I have tried to show, with out exasperating the reader, as well-documented as possible, a treatise about Newburyport and Smuggling and how the practice indeed opened the way for the building and financing and sustaining tunnels under the city.
Next Saturday, I will finally satisfy the cries of my readers by putting in one post, all the information on the tunnels that is known as of 2016.
There is a standard narrative based on legend that there are three major tunnels, and that at least one of them goes into the Oak Hill Cemetery. The fact that many tunnel entrances are found in some of the houses in the city does not necessarily support the narrative. Most of the streets were muddy, partially consisting of sewage, horse manure and when dry season, clouds of dust. Many wealthy merchants may simply have wanted to get to the docks without the bother of mingling on such roads or wanted to get to the docks before the competition did since no one knew what would be listed in the ship’s hold. Or, the smuggling was not coordinated and there may just be a little family of them scattered across the city coming from the richest merchants. And of course, there is a great hamper in that the city and its residents wanted to distance themselves by walling them up or blocking them, or hiding them. Now, here in 2016; we also have the long stretch of time and how it affects the elements to also contend with as these tunnels are examined.
But the point of these posts is that the argument that such an expensive and involved project could not be possible; has been dashed to pieces once and for all. Money and Motive are soundly documented historically and that is the main point of this series:
There comes a moment though when the arm-chair researcher and the dusty books of the Library must be left behind for actual field work. Theories must be tested, facts extracted and there is danger: bureaucratically, financially, legally and socially which must be grappled.
And that takes daring and time!