London January 14, 1720 [1719/20]
Mr. Benjamin Colman
I have received your letter dated Nov. 16, directed to Mr. John Hollis who is my Brother. We were copartners in trade when he corresponded with you, but I am since that retired. He had gained acquaintance with Mr. Tory when in Zealand, where he died. When the Widdow and children came to England he did them sundry good offices, and the best was at last in sending over effects to the Daughters, in which he particularly was serviceable with succes, which was a pleasure to me and to you also, in which he acted honestly as a faithful freind for the Orphans.
I suppose if you look again into the N. E. College Register you wil find the gift your letter mentions entred in my name according to the receipt which was sent me under the hand of Mr. White your Treasurer from Messrs Cradock and Gilbert, with whom I contracted before I sent the goods that they should take no provision, and I find they have complied by the account of sales sent me, with which I am wel satisfied.
I did desire in a late letter that there should be some produce of Intrest first made, enuf to make up the sum registered even £300 N. E. money—and that the future annual increase should goe towards the maintenance and education of pious students for the Ministry who were poor in this World.
I am sorry Dr. I. M. grandson1 should come under that character. I hoped their worldly circumstances had been above it, but supposing it is to be needful and the youth Religious I have nothing to object, rather glad he is first prefered.
Now since you are pleasd so frankly to inform me of the state of your College, of which I had not so particular account before although I have had many thoughts of shewing some liberallity to it—ever since the death of my honored Unkle Robert Thorner—who made me one of his Trustees, of his Estate, devoted to pious uses. My Brother John Hollis is of late made a Trustee with me therein. When Doctor Increase Mather was in England, I gave him a minute out of the said will to register in your College, but the payment is yet very distant, many years, I hope will be honestly transmitted in the time.2 I propose to leave my Nephew Thomas Hollis to succeed me in the said Trust and hope he may live to pay the £300 star, legacy—though I have no expectation of doing it in my life here.
I would ask your advise and of your President the Reverend Mr. Leverett on a supposition that I should sooner or later resolve to add to the Gift alredy devoted in what manner or orders I had best to expres my Gift to the College to answer my Intention. Which is to assist Pious young men in their studies for the Ministry Who are poor and cannot comfortably goe forwards without an Exhibition that men may be sent forth to preach the Gospel of our blessed Redemer not only in N.E. but in the Brittish Colonies beyond you which are greatly deficient of such helps as I am informed and rarely any of serious Religion and good morals are sent hence, or that are willing to goe on such a message in this time of Liberty. I design to send by the Hanover Captain William Chudder for Boston directed to Dr. Increase Mather3 one chest of books; many of which I have read over with profit and pleasure, but can not now pursue reading as when younger and I have ordred the chest to be delivered to Dr. Increase Mather or to your President and inclosed is a catalogue of the books. My directions are about them as follows, that your library keeper examine the books, and what he finds more or less among them fitt for your Library, viz. such as you have not there alredy then all such to be placed there for publick use as my Gift.
Nextly that Mr. Elisha Callender4 may have liberty to take such of the remainder as are proper for his owne study giving him a preference. My self and Brother and many of our family profess Adult Baptism and [. . .]5 with all Saints, and the remainder to be [. . .] young Ministers who may need them and make a good use of them. Excuse me deare Sir in the length of this my first Epistle and favour me with an answer so soon as you can with convenience. May you be preserved and made useful to the College and Church of Christ is the sinceer desire of
Your affectionate freind
P.S. January 27, 1720
Since the writing the above lines I am informed of one Mr. Wheeten6 at Swanzy a Baptist, that he is a good liver and a good preacher whom I recomend to share in part of the Remaining books with Mr. Elisha Callender.
Yours Thomas Hollis
P.S. March 3
There are two chests of Armes loded in Capt. Chudder—and some casks of Nales in another ship consigned to Mr. Tyler. If they arrive safe I design the produce thereof to be added to my gift last yeare, and when I have your or Mr. Leverets direction, I will give my orders how the Increase shall be applied annually; but if I should not live to give you directions, then my desire is that my first orders before mentioned may stand for all.
[Endorsed:] Mr. Thomas Hollis No. 1 Mr. Hollis his Letters to me, respecting the Colledge, put in order, In all fifty and three.
Hollis Letters and Papers, p. 4. Colman (A.B. 1692) was Minister of the Brattle Street Church, Boston, and a Fellow and Overseer of the College. Since a large number of letters from Hollis to Colman and others are in this volume, the designation, recipient’s copy, will be omitted. In writing, Hollis used dashes frequently; many of these have been dropped, or commas and periods substituted, without, however, changing the sense; paragraph indentions have also been supplied, where needed. The date received, May 17, 1720, is noted on the address leaf.