A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at No. 25 Beacon Street, Boston, on Thursday, 25 February, 1904, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the President, George Lyman Kittredge, LL.D., in the chair.
The Records of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.
The Corresponding Secretary reported that a letter had been received from Mr. Francis Blake of Weston accepting Resident Membership.
President Kittredge remarked upon some investigations he is making of the study of Alchemy in New England, and spoke particularly of George Stirk, or Starkey, of the Harvard Class of 1646.
Mr. John Noble read some notes on Washington’s three visits to Boston. The first visit, Mr. Noble said, was in February or March, 1756, when Washington came to lay before Governor Shirley, who, on the death of Braddock, had succeeded to the general command of the Colonies, a question of military precedence relating to Fort Cumberland which had arisen between the Governors of Maryland and Virginia.1 Washington succeeded in his mission; he was handsomely received here, and he had an opportunity of telling Governor Shirley the particulars of the death of his son William Shirley,2 who was killed at Braddock’s defeat. In what imposing array Washington at that time probably presented himself may be guessed at by his order, not long before, to his correspondent in London for an outfit. This order, which gives a glimpse of one side of Washington in his younger days, is as follows:
2 complete livery suits for servants; with a military cloak and all other necessary trimmings for 2 suits more. I would have you choose the livery by our arms, only as the field of the arms is white, I think the clothes had better not be quite so, but nearly like the inclosed. The trimmings and facings of scarlet, and a scarlet waistcoat. If livery lace is not quite disused, I should be glad to have the cloaks laced. I like that fashion best, and two silver-laced hats for the above servants.
1 set of horse furniture, with livery lace, with the Washington crest on the housings, &c. The cloak to be of the same piece and color of the clothes.
3 gold and scarlet sword-knots. 3 blue and silver ditto. 1 fashionable gold-laced hat.1
Washington’s second visit was in March, 1776, immediately after the evacuation of Boston by the British.2 It was at this time, too, that he received from Harvard College the second degree of LL.D. conferred by it.3 Washington’s final visit was when he came as President of the United States in October, 1789. The circumstances and conditions of this visit are too well known to dwell upon.4
Mr. Henry H. Edes communicated a letter dated Williamsburg, Virginia, 1 June, 1776, written by John Augustine Washington to his wife. A younger brother of George Washington, John Augustine Washington was born 13 January, 1736, and died early in 1787.1 He married Hannah Bushrod, a daughter of Colonel John Bushrod of Westmoreland County. At the time of writing the letter, John Augustine Washington was a member of the Virginia Convention which met at Williamsburg on May sixth, 1776.2 The Declaration of Rights, referred to in the letter, was reported May twenty-seventh and passed June twelfth.3
Williamsbg. 1 June 1776
My dear Hannah
I had the pleasure of recieving your two very affectionate letters the one by Jerry, and the other by the way of Fredericksbg. yesterday, it gives me great pleasure to hear you are well and our Children.1 I nattered myself strongly with hopes that I should be able to come up there about this time but we are at present ingaged in framg. a declaration of the peoples rights which I am very anxcious about and cannot leave this place till it is finished or posponed, as soon as that is done I propose if possable to come up for a day or two, and at this time flatter myself that I may set out about next Friday or Satuday, if I should be disapointed I hope you will suffer no uneasyness from any apprihensions of my being sick, as you may depend I should inform you, and that I am very uneasy to see you the first oppertunity shall be imbraced
I have no time to write more than one letter undeed I do not know by what oppertunity this is to go—please to tell Mr. Stubbs as soon as the Carpenters are done what was before mentioned, he had better make them set up all the staves into Tobo. Hogsheads—it would not be a Miss if they were to get out the wheat as fast as they can without too much [? interference] with other business, and apply some of it mixed with meal for the Negros by way of tryal, but I fear it will not do—I wrote to you some time past to know whether you got, Purdies & Dixon & Hunters papers2 regularly transmitted by the Westmoreland rider please my dear to let me know by the first oppertunity—with regard to black hairpins there is none for sale nor are the song books to be had, Adjutant Johnston informs me he has a plenty and that he will supply me, but he is out of Town. Remember me to all inquiring Friends and believe me to be Your Most Aft. Husband
John AugN. Washington
N. B. give my love to Billy1 and tell him I have not time to answer his Letter, also my Love to our dear little children
Mrs. Hannah Washington
Recommended to the Care of the Honble. Mr. Carter3 who is requested to forward this Letter
Mr. Edes also communicated a letter written 13 March, 1778, by Bushrod Washington to his mother. A son of John Augustine and Hannah (Bushrod) Washington, Bushrod Washington was born 5 June, 1762, graduated at William and Mary College in 1778, was appointed by President John Adams in 1798 an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and died 26 November, 1829.4 He married Anne Blackburn, a daughter of Colonel Thomas Blackburn of King William County.
BUSHROD WASHINGTON TO MRS. HANNAH WASHINGTON.
Fredericksburg March 13th 1778
The uneasiness I have suffer’d since the reception of yours can scarcely be exprest. Is it possible you can believe I could be so lost to every Idea of Gratitude as to forget my duty to the best of parents to whom I owe my being & everything else which has rais’d me above the meanest of my species? I cannot conjecture by what means you could possibly be inform’d of a Report which never had any other foundation than the busy tongues of those who seem to wish for Strife. It has always been my choice since I came to Town rather to expend any small portion of an Evening I had to spare from my Studys amongst the Ladies where I knew my Company was agreable than to run into the common follies of this place & I will be bold to say that I past my time with more innocence & heart felt Satisfaction in that way than many of my acquaintances in pursuit of their wild inclinations. The Lady you refer to was often present & had in common with the rest every testimony of friendship of which they all merited a large portion at my hands; she was my partner at several Balls and other amusement; nor could I conceive that I was in [? any] degree to blame, little thinking that such might be [? the] consequences or that any person could view this in a light to my disadvantage or represent it to You in the manner they have Done: when I was every day under your immediate inspection you never deny’d me the like amusements, & had you been present here I would never have receiv’d the least check for any part of my conduct—But supposing the whole of what has been told you to be true & that I had really felt a more than common friendship for this Young Lady the bare mention of it’s being disagreable to you would cause me to desist. Nay was I even arriv’d at that time of Life when I might be suppos’d to be a better Judge for myself no temptation whatever could induce me to act contrary to the happiness & affectionate Councils of Parents I so dearly love & have so much reason to Regard, my whole felicity depend on the continuation of your esteem & by the Kind & benificent assistance of my Creator I shall ever endeavour to deserve it. Let me therefore (Dr. Mama) intreat you in the name of that maternal Kindness which I have ever experienc’d from you never to believe that I have or ever will act in any manner contrary to Your happiness or the honour of my Kindred & Relations. Your approbation will always yeld me a satisfaction next to that of my own breast & a mind free from self-reproach: do inform Papa (if the report has come to his Ears) what I have wrote & shall be miserable ’till I hear from you again that I may know you are satisfyed. But what avails what I can possibly Say if you listen to the malicious reports form’d & propagated by some who take every opportunity to injure the innocent & make their characters as Black as their own. I had heard of Capt Washingtons1 misfortune before Jerry came up & have been very uneasy ever Since ‘though I heard he only had three Shot & was recovering which was not so bad as the whole load although I should fear some danger from the Shot that is not extracted; I cannot help being very sorry for the Capt. & most sincerly pity My Sister whose condition may be more easily conceiv’d than expresst. We return her most hearty thanks for the apples which are the greatest rarity she could have sent us. the favour we esteem greater that amidst the trouble & confusion of her mind she could think of us & was it not for that should be apt to quarrel with her for allowing so many opportunities to pass unotic’d though she has the same reason to retort but Jerry always stays so sho[r]t a time that I scarcely have time to write to You—We hear from above that uncle Washington2 is very unwell which has detain’d him so long from going down to be married & perhaps (though very unlikely) has detain’d Mr Stubbs so long from coming down who I reckon you have expected for a long time—Aunt Washington will be much oblidg’d to you if you have any opportunity to [? go to] Richmond Court House to buy her a dozen Cups & Saucers as she does not stand upon price
Your Dutyful Son
Mrs. Hannah Washington of Bushfield Westmoreland
Mr. Edes also exhibited a single sheet (13½ by 8½ inches), printed on both sides, one side containing “A New Song,” written during the Siege of Boston, the other side containing “The Grand Constitution.” The sheet is not dated, but obviously, from the title of the second song, it could not have been printed before the autumn of 1787. The two pieces follow:
A New Song: To the Tune of the British Grenadier.
VAIN Britons, boast no longer with proud Indignity,
By Land—your conquering Legions—your matchless strength at Sea,
Since We your braver Sons, incens’d, our swords have girded on,
Huzza, Huzza, Huzza, Huzza, for War and Washington!
Urg’d on by North and Vengeance, these valiant Champions came,
Loud bellowed Tea and Treason! and George was all on Flame,
Yet sacrilegious as it seems—we Rebels still live on—
And laugh at all your empty Puffs, and so does Washington!
Still deaf to mild Intreaties—still blind to England’s good,
You have for Thirty Pieces—betray’d your Country’s blood;
Like Æsop’s greedy Cur, you’ll gain a shadow for your bone;
Yet find us fearful Shades indeed, inspir’d by Washington.
Mysterious! unexampled! incomprehensible!
The blundering schemes of Britain, their Folly, Pride and Zeal!
Like Lions how ye growl, and threat! meer Asses have ye shown,
And ye shall share an Ass’s fate, and drudge for Washington.
Your dark, unfathom’d Councils—our weakest heads defeat!
Our Children rout your Armies—our Boats destroy your Fleet,
And to compleat the dire disgrace, coop’d up within a Town,
You live the scorn of all your Host! the slaves of Washington.
Great heav’n is this the Nation—whose thund’ring arms were hurl’d
Thro’ Europe, Afric, India? whose Navy rul’d the World?
The lustre of your former Deeds—whole ages of Renown—
Lost in a moment—or transf er’d to Us and Washington!
Yet think not thirst of Glory—unsheaths our vengeful Swords,
To rend your bands asunder—and cast away your cords—
‘T is Heav’n born Freedom fires us all—and strengthens each brave Son,
From him who humbly guides the Plough to godlike Washington!
Your armies should be doubled—in number, force and fire!
Then might the glorious Conflict prove, which best deserv’d the boon—
America or Albion—a George or Washington.
Fir’d with the great Idea—our Father’s shades would rise!
To view with stern Contention,—the Gods desert the skies—
And Wolfe, mid hosts of Heroes, superior, bending down—
Cry out, with eager transport—Well done, brave Washington.
Should George, too choice of Britons—to foreign Realms apply—
And madly arm half Europe,—yet still we would defy
Turk, Russian, Jew, and Infidel, or all those Pow’rs in one—
While Hancock crowns our Senate—our Camp great Washington.
Tho’ warlike weapons fail’d us—disdaining slavish fears—
To swords we’d beat our Ploughshares—our pruning hooks to spears—
And rush all desp’rate! on our Foe! nor breathe, till battle won;
Then shout and shout, America! and conquering Washington!
Proud France should view with Terror—and haughty Spain should fear,
While every warlike Nation—would court Alliance here—
And George, his Minions trembling round, dismounted from his Throne—
Pay Homage to America and glorious Washington.
Printed and sold at the Bible & Heart1 in Cornhill, Boston.
The Grand Constitution: A new Federal SONG.
To the Tune of—“Our Freedom we’ve icon, &c.”
FROM scenes of affliction—Columbia opprest—
Of credit expiring—and commerce distrest,
Of nothing to do—and of nothing to pay—
From such dismal scenes let us hasten away.
Our Freedom we’ve won and the Prize let’s maintain,
Our Hearts are all right,
Unite, Boys, Unite,
And our EMPIRE in glory shall ever remain.
For we turn our glad eyes to a prospect more fair:
The Soldier return’d to his small cultur’d farm,
Enjoys the reward of his conquering arm,
Our Freedom, &c.
Our trade and our commerce shall reach far and wide,
And riches and honour flow in with each tide,
Kamschatka and China with wonder shall stare,
That the Federal stripes shou’d wave gracefully there.
Our Freedom, &c.
With gratitude let us acknowledge the worth,
Of what the Convention has call’d into birth,
And the Continent wisely confirm what is done
By Franklin the Sage, and by brave Washington.
Our Freedom, &c.
The wise Constitution let’s truly revere,
It points out the course for our Empire to steer,
For Oceans of bliss, do they hoist the broad sail,
And Peace is the current, and Plenty the gale.
Our Freedom, &c.
With gratitude fill’d—let the great Commonweal
Pass round the full glass to Republican zeal—
From ruin—their judgment and wisdom well aim’d,
Our Liberties, Laws, and our Credit reclaim’d.
Our Freedom, &c.
Here Plenty and Order, and Freedom shall dwell,
Independence and culture shall graciously smile,
And the Husbandman reap the full fruit of his toil.
Our Freedom, &c.
The blessings the Federal Convention bestows;
O! then let the People confirm what is done
By Franklin the Sage, and by brave Washington.
Our Freedom we’ve won, and the prize let’s maintain,
By Jove we’ll Unite,
Approve and Unite—
And huzza for Convention again and again.
Printed and Sold at the Bible and Heart in Boston.
In the absence of Mr. Albert Matthews, Mr. Thomas Minns read on his behalf the following paper on—
SOME SOBRIQUETS APPLIED TO WASHINGTON.
It need not be urged that the sobriquets, nicknames, and epithets which become attached to persons are often indicative of their characters, of their achievements, and of the estimation in which they are held. Thus, the sobriquet the American Fabius tells us something of the military tactics pursued by Washington during the Revolutionary War. Again, the title the Fattier of his Country shows the feeling entertained for Washington by his fellow-countrymen. There is, of course, nothing new in these two expressions; but as, so far as I am aware, no attempt has been made to show their history, perhaps it will not be inappropriate to present to-day some notes which I have collected bearing on the subject. These notes have been picked up in casual reading and do not pretend to be exhaustive, but they probably furnish a sufficiently complete account of the early history of the two terms above mentioned.
Among the fragments of the poet Ennius are the following verses:
Vnus homo nobis cunctando restituit rem.
Noenum rumores ponebat ante salutem.
Ergo plusque magisque uiri nunc gloria claret.1
The first of these lines was appropriated by Virgil,1 all three were introduced by Cicero into one of his works,2 and they appear to have been very popular. It is not without interest for us Americans to note that the earliest allusion to Fabius in English literature which has thus far been pointed out occurs in a book written about New England. In 1637 Thomas Morton remarked:
Hanniball when hee had to doe with Fabius was kept in awe more by the patience of that one enemy, then by the resolution of the whole army: A well tempered enemy is a terrible enemy to incounter.3
In a work printed in 1740, but written certainly as early as 1734, Roger North, alluding to Charles the Second, said:
It is most certain the King was, at that Time, a Fabius, cunctando restituit rem.4
In 1733 Swift spoke of “prudent Fabius.”5 Writing 16 October, 1759, Horace Walpole declared:
You will see in our gazettes that we make a great figure in the East Indies. In short, Mr. Pitt and this little island appear of some consequence even in the map of the world. He is a new sort of Fabius,
Qui verbis restituit rem.6
In a letter written to Mrs. Mercy Warren from Philadelphia 25 November, 1775, John Adams said:
The inactivity of the two armies is not very agreeable to me. Fabius’s cunctando was wise and brave. But, if I had submitted to it in his situation, it would have been a cruel mortification to me. Zeal, fire, and activity, and enterprise, strike my imagination too much. I am obliged to be constantly on my guard; yet the heat within me will burst forth at times.7
The whole of York Island is in the possession of his Majesty’s forces. General Howe has, for some time, been attempting to force General Washington to a decisive action, which he has, hitherto, avoided with the penetration of a Fabius.1
In the same year there appeared in an English magazine an article signed “A By Stander,” in which we read:
When Hannibal had slain almost half the citizens of Rome, he saw the walls of their city, without possessing it. But America has found her Fabius, before she sought her Cannae. Delay and defence are proved her system.2
It is worth remarking, not only that Washington was known to his countrymen, to the Loyalists, and to the British as Fabius, but also that the adjective Fabian possibly made its first appearance in the English language in connection with Washington.3 His policy by no means won the approval of all, and soon complaints were heard, and the policy was both attacked and defended. On 28 June, 1777, Alexander Hamilton wrote:
I know the comments that some people will make on our Fabian conduct. It will be imputed either to cowardice, or to weakness. But the more discerning, I trust, will not find it difficult to conceive, that it proceeds from the truest policy, and is an argument neither of the one nor of the other.4
In spite of the guard which John Adams in 1775 declared he kept over himself, the heat within him did indeed burst forth at times, and on 2 September, 1777, he thus freed his mind:
St. Leger and his party have run away. So will Burgoyne. I wish that Stark had the supreme command in the northern department. I am sick of Fabian systems in all quarters. The officers drink, A long and moderate war. My toast is, A short and violent war. They would call me rash, etc., but I know better. I am as cool as any of them, and cooler too, for my mind is not inflamed with fear nor anger, whereas I believe theirs are with both.1
On 18 March, 1779, Hamilton, in reply to a request from Miss Livingston, daughter of Governor William Livingston, for a pass through the American lines for some friends, wrote as follows:
But when, instead of availing yourself of so much better titles, you appealed to the cold, general principles of humanity, I confess I felt myself mortified, and determined, by way of revenge, to mortify you in turn. I resolved to show you that all the eloquence of your fine pen could not tempt our Fabius to do wrong; and, avoiding any representation of my own, I put your letter into his hands, and let it speak for itself. . . . I congratulate myself on the success of my scheme; for though there was a harder struggle upon the occasion, between inclination and duty, than it would be for his honour to tell; yet he at last had the courage to determine, that as he could not indulge the ladies with consistency and propriety, he would not run the risk of being charged with a breach of both.2
In his celebrated poem of M’Fingal, John Trumbull makes his hero see a vision of which the following is a part:
Behold o’er Tarlton’s blustring train,
The Rebels stretch the captive chain!
Afar near Eutaw’s fatal springs
Descending Vict’ry spreads her wings!
Thro’ all the land in various chace,
We hunt the rainbow of success!
In vain! their Chief superior still
Eludes our force with Fabian skill,
Or swift descending by surprize,
Like Prussia’s eagle sweeps the prize.3
Dans la crainte que les délices de Capoue ne me Assent oublier les campagnes d’Annibal & de Fabius, je voulus monter à cheval, dès le 2 décembre, pour aller voir le champ de bataille de Germantown.1
In his Eulogium on Major-General Greene, delivered 4 July, 1789, Hamilton said:
The sword having been appealed to, at Lexington, as the arbiter of the controversy between Great Britain and America, Greene, shortly after, marched, at the head of a regiment, to join the American forces at Cambridge; determined to abide the awful decision. He was not long there before the discerning eye of the American Fabius marked him out as the object of his confidence.2
In his notorious Letter to George Washington of 30 July, 1796, Thomas Paine wrote:
Nothing was done in the campaigns of 1778, 1779, 1780, in the part where General Washington commanded, except the taking of Stony Point by General Wayne. The Southern States in the mean time were over-run by the enemy. They were afterwards recovered by General Greene, who had in a very great measure created the army that accomplished that recovery. In all this Washington had no share. The Fabian system of war, followed by him, began now to unfold itself with all its evils; but what is Fabian war without Fabian means to support it?3
In the Preface to a work published in 1797 and dedicated to’ Washington himself, the Rev. Jonathan Boucher, who at one time had acted as tutor of Mrs. Washington’s son, John Parke Custis, wrote these words:
The pains which the leading men in the Northern Colonies took to engage those of Virginia in particular in their long-meditated project of independence, could be unknown to no man on the spot, who was duly careful to watch all those little incidents on which great events so often turn. Hence, when a Congress was resolved on, Mr. Randolph, a Virginian, was pitched on to be it’s first President: and hence too, in regular succession, the nomination of Mr. Washington, who was also of Virginia, to the command of the American Army. Both Tacitus and Pliny (indisposed as the former of these great writers certainly was to censure popular encroachments with any severity) bestow high praises on Rufus Virginius for having refused the empire when it was offered to him; and for having declared, he would not take up arms, even against a tyrant, till he had legal authority so to do; that is to say, till the Senate ordered him. . . . Rufus Virginius, however, was not that Roman, whom the Virginian Cincinnatus, or (as his countrymen are more proud to call him) the American Fabius, may be supposed to have made his model.1
Having thus traced the history of Fabius as applied to Washington during the last twenty-four years of his life, let us now turn to the designation of the Father of his Country. It is of course needless to point out that as a title of respect, the word “father” has been employed among the English for centuries. The Fathers of the Church were alluded to in the fourteenth century. In 1591 Shakspere made a serving-man speak of the Duke of Gloucester, uncle of Henry VI., as “a Father of the Common-weale.”2 In 1700 Dryden called Chaucer “the father of English poetry.” In 1705 Thomas Hearne referred to Sir Robert Clayton, Alderman and Lord Mayor of London, as “the Father of yt City.”3
Turning to this country, it is possible to present some fresh citations. About 1684 we read of “The Venerable remains of Mr. Roger Williams, the Father of Providence, the Founder of the Colony, and of Liberty of Conscience.”4 On 2 December, 1731, Governor Belcher thus addressed the Massachusetts House of Representatives:
As I abhor every thing that carries the Face of blind Obedience, so do I the least appearance of want of Duty to a PRINCE who upon the highest Reason may challenge to be stiled, THE FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY. Thus happy is the whole English World, IN HIS PRESENT MAJESTY: I therefore hope, we shall all endeavour to make this People happy under the present Reign and Establishment.1
In 1764 Governor Hutchinson wrote that “In the beginning of 1649 (March) died Mr. Winthrop, the father of the country.”2
That Belcher should have called George the Second the Father of his Country, is not surprising. It is not without interest to note, however, that shortly before the outbreak of the American Revolution not dissimilar language was applied to George the Third. In a Petition to the King for the removal of Governor Bernard, drawn up 30 June, 1768, the members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives thus expressed themselves:
On the whole, Sir, We will Consider his most Sacred Majesty under God, as our King, our best Protector and common Father; and shall ever bear him true and faithful Allegiance.3
It is seen, then, that as a title of respect Father was well known to the American colonists.4 It was to be expected, therefore, that in due time the designation of the Father of his Country would be applied to Washington. The circumstances under which the sobriquet was, so far as I am aware, first employed, are of interest. The Annapolis Convention of 1786 having proved abortive, it was a grave question with Washington whether he ought to attend the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Writing to David Humphreys 26 December, 1786, he said:
That the federal government is nearly if not quite at a stand, none will deny. The first question then is, shall it be annihilated or supported? If the latter, the proposed convention is an object of the first magnitude, and should be sustained by all the friends of the present constitution.1
In March, 1787, he again wrote to several persons asking their opinions as to whether he should attend. Among these was Henry Knox, and on 19 March, 1787, Knox wrote a reply in which he said:
As you have thought proper, my dear Sir, to request my opinion respecting your attendance at the convention, I shall give it with the utmost sincerity and frankness. I imagine that your own satisfaction, or chagrin, and that of your friends, will depend entirely on the result of the convention. For I take it for granted, that, however reluctantly you may acquiesce, you will be constrained to accept of the president’s chair. Hence the proceedings of the convention will more immediately be appropriated to you than to any other person. Were the convention to propose only amendments and patchwork to the present defective confederation, your reputation would in a degree suffer. But, were an energetic and judicious system to be proposed with your signature, it would be a circumstance highly honorable to your fame, in the judgment of the present and future ages; and doubly entitle you to the glorious republican epithet, The Father of your Country.1
The Philadelphia Convention having drawn up our present Constitution, and that having been ratified by the requisite number of States, Washington was elected President in January, 1789, and soon after set out from Mount Vernon for his inauguration at New York. In a Philadelphia newspaper of Tuesday, 21 April, 1789, appeared the following:
Yesterday His Excellency the President of the United States arrived in this city, about one o’clock, accompanied by the President of the State,2 the Chief Justice,3 the Speaker of the Assembly,4 the Attorney-General,5 the Honorable Mr. Read,6 and Secretary Thomson,7 the two city troops of horse, the country troop, a detachment of artillery, a body of light infantry, and a numerous concourse of citizens on horseback and foot.
His Excellency rode in front of the procession, on horseback, politely bowing to the spectators who filled the doors, windows and streets while he passed. The bells were rung, and a feu-de-joy was fired as he moved down Market and Second streets, to the City-Tavern.
The joy of our whole city upon this august spectacle, cannot easily be described. Every countenance seemed to say, Long, long live George Washington, the Father of the People!8
From Philadelphia, where he arrived April twentieth, Washington proceeded the next day to Trenton; but he declined the honor of an escort of the city troop of light horse on the ground that as it rained he was obliged to ride in his carriage,—“for he could not, he said, think of travelling under cover, while they were exposed to the rain on horseback.”1 This conduct elicited the following comment:
How different is power when derived from its only just source, viz. The People, from that which is derived from conquest, or hereditary succession! The first magistrates of the nations of Europe assume the titles of Gods, and treat their subjects like an inferior race of animals. Our beloved Magistrate delights to shew, upon all occasions, that he is a man—and instead of assuming the pomp of master, acts as if he considered himself the father—the friend—and the servant of the People.2
Arrived at New York, Washington was inaugurated President on the thirtieth of April. In an account of the celebration of the following Independence Day, dated New York, 4 July, 1789, we read:
Our common FATHER and DELIVERER, to whose prudence, wisdom and valour we owe our Peace, Liberty and Safety, now leads and directs in the grand councils of the nation for their preservation. . . . This roused us to action, to deliberation, to decision—and now we celebrate an independent Government—an original Constitution! an independent Legislature, at the head of which we THIS DAY celebrate THE FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY—We celebrate WASHINGTON! We celebrate an INDEPENDENT EMPIRE!3
The American Fabius, the Virginian Cincinnatus, and the Father of his Country were all epithets which, as we have seen, were freely bestowed upon Washington during his lifetime. In conclusion, let me for a moment dwell on a still more honorable and famous expression which was applied to him immediately after his death. The circumstances under which the expression was first employed are well-known, but the exact form of the expression is often inaccurately given. Our associate Mr. John Bartlett, in his invaluable Familiar Quotations,4 instead of going to the earliest printed sources, has relied on the account given by John Marshall in 1807, and so he and others have been led into error. Washington was seized with his fatal illness on December thirteenth, 1799, died on the fourteenth, and was buried on the eighteenth. “So short was the illness,” writes Marshall, “that, at the seat of government, the intelligence of his death, preceded that of his indisposition.”1 Congress was at the time in session and Marshall was himself a member of the House of Representatives. On December nineteenth Marshall announced to the House the death of Washington and concluded his remarks as follows:
Let us then Mr. Speaker pay the last tribute of respect and affection to our departed friend. Let the grand council of the nation display those sentiments which the nation feels. For this purpose I hold in my hand some resolutions which I take the liberty of offering to the house.2
In a note Marshall adds:
These resolutions were prepared by general Lee, who happening not to be in his place when the melancholy intelligence was received and first mentioned in the house, placed them in the hands of the member [Marshall himself] who moved them.3
Let us now leave Marshall and turn to the Journal of the House of Representatives, where, under date of 19 December, we read:
The House of Representatives of the United States, having received intelligence of the death of their highly valued citizen George Washington, general of the armies of the United States; and sharing the universal grief this distressing event must produce,
1. That this House will wait on the President of the United States, in condolence of this national calamity.
3. That a joint committee, of both Houses, be appointed to report measures suitable to the occasion, and expressive of the profound sorrow with which Congress is penetrated on the loss of a citizen, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.
4. That when this House adjourns, it will adjourn until Monday next.1
On the twenty-sixth of December Henry Lee delivered before Congress his funeral oration. In this occur the words:
First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life.2
Again on behalf of Mr. Matthews, Mr. Minns read the following remarks:
Samuel Sewall’s little pamphlet, The Selling of Joseph, printed 24 June, 1700, was the first published protest against slavery in Massachusetts. In one place, he says:
How horrible is the Uncleanness, Mortality, if not Murder, that the Ships are guilty of that bring great Crouds of these miserable Men, and Women. Methinks, when we are bemoaning the barbarous Usage of our Friends and Kinsfolk in Africa: it might not be unseasonable to enquire whether we are not culpable in forcing the Africans to become Slaves amongst our selves. And it may be a question whether all the Benefit received by Negro Slaves, will balance the Accompt of Cash laid out upon them; and for the Redemption of our own enslaved Friends out of Africa.
I am sure, if some Gentlemen should go down to the Brewsters to take the Air, and Fish: And a stronger party from Hull should Surprise them, and Sell them for Slaves to a Ship outward bound: they would think themselves unjustly dealt with; both by Sellers and Buyers. And yet ’tis to be feared, we have no other kind of Title to our Nigers.3
But though Sewall questions the right to hold men in slavery, he does not distinctly propose the abolition of slavery. In the Boston News-Letter of 10 June, 1706, appeared an article in which the ground was taken that white servants were superior to slaves; but here the question was regarded as purely an economic one, and nothing is said as to the iniquity of slave-holding. The late Dr. George H. Moore, in his Notes on the History of Slavery in Massachusetts, printed the article from the News-Letter,1 but gave nothing between 1706 and 1733, in which year the Rev. Elihu Coleman printed his Testimony against that Anti-Christian Practice of making Slaves of Men. Even if this gap has since been bridged, no apology is needed for calling attention to another early protest against slavery, especially as it is hidden away in a tract where one would not expect to find it. In 1716 there was printed at Boston a pamphlet entitled, Some Considerations upon the Several Sorts of Banks propos’d as a Medium of Trade. In this will be found the following passage:
And as to Slaves, as was before demonstrated, they are a great hinderance to the Peopling and Improving the Country: And the Proverb tell us, That the Receiver is as bad as the Thief; and that if there were no Receivers, there would be no Thieves: If those are true Proverbs, then are not we of this Country guilty of that Violence, Treachery and Bloodshed, that is daily made use of to obtain them; we rendering our selves Partakers with them in that Wickedness? (For ’tis not to be supposed, that these do voluntarily abandon themselves to be carried into a Foreign Country, and there to be sold for Slaves) If therefore the Country in stead of many Laws they have made obout Negroes, should Enact, That twenty Years hence there should be no Slave in the Country, it would hurt no Man, but would greatly Encourage Servants to come, and necessitate their being brought over, to the great Increase and Strengthning the Country.2
Here again we meet with the economic argument, but the specific allusion to the abolition of slavery within twenty years is interesting. This pamphlet was recently reprinted by our associate Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis. As Mr. Davis says nothing as to its authorship, I suppose that it is unknown.
Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis confirmed Mr. Matthews’s surmise concerning the authorship of the tract. Mr. Davis also communicated photographic copies of three newly-discovered printed forms of Writ used in the Land Bank cases, drawn from the Suffolk Court Files.
Mr. William C. Lane made the following communication:
The following letters from Nathaniel Walker Appleton to Eliphalet Pearson were found among other papers of Dr. Pearson lately received from his descendants by the Trustees of Phillips Academy, Andover, of which school Dr. Pearson was the first preceptor. Such of the papers as related to Harvard College, with the government of which Dr. Pearson had been closely connected as Professor and Fellow of the Corporation, the Trustees generously transferred to the Library of Harvard College. Among them were included this brief series of letters written by one classmate to another in the years immediately succeeding their graduation, while one was preparing for the practice of medicine, the other for the ministry. They contain many interesting references to College affairs, and they also reflect the stirring events and political passions of the time (1773–1778).
Nathaniel Walker Appleton, the writer of the letters, born in Boston, 14 June, 1755, was the son of Nathaniel Appleton of the Class of 1749, a merchant of Boston, a member of the Committee of Correspondence, and a Commissioner of Loans. His grandfather was the well-known Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Appleton of the Class of 1712, minister of the Church in Cambridge from 1717 till his death in 1784. An uncle John Appleton (born 1739, died 1817) lived in Salem, where Nathaniel W. Appleton studied medicine under the direction of his father’s cousin, Dr. Edward Augustus Holyoke, a son of President Edward Holyoke. After remaining three years in Salem with Dr. Holyoke, he moved to Boston, where he died 15 April, 1795. A funeral “Discourse, Delivered at the First Church in Boston, 19th April, A. D. 1795, the Lord’s-Day after the Interment of Nathaniel W. Appleton, M.D.,” was published in 1796 by the Rev. John Clarke, who is mentioned several times in the letters which follow.1
Eliphalet Pearson, Appleton’s correspondent and College friend, was born in Byfield 11 June, 1752, and was educated at Dummer Academy. He entered Harvard College in 1769 and graduated in 1773. In 1773–1774 he was Master of the Grammar School in Andover and was living in the family of his friend Samuel Phillips (later known as Judge Phillips) in Andover. He returned to Cambridge to study for the ministry, but during the College’s exile from Cambridge, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, he was again in Andover with his friends. He became the first preceptor of Phillips Academy, which was opened in April, 1778. After eight years of service, in 1786 he was called to Cambridge as Professor of Hebrew in the College. In 1800 he became a member of the Corporation of Harvard College, and was Acting-President during the interval between the death of President Joseph Willard in 1804 and the election of Samuel Webber in 1806. Becoming more and more dissatisfied with the liberal tendencies of the College, he resigned his professorship and his membership in the Corporation in 1806 and withdrew to Andover.2 On the establishment of the Theological Seminary in Andover, he was made Professor of Sacred Literature in 1808.
His first wife was Priscilla, a daughter of President Holyoke, born in 1739 and accordingly his senior by thirteen years. She died in Andover, 29 March, 1782, soon after the birth of her daughter, Mary.3 Dr. Pearson died 12 September, 1826.4
Cambridge Decr. 14th 1773.
As I had wrote you three or four Letters and received no Answer, I was at a Loss to know what to impute to, but understanding by Mr. Farrington1 that you had wrote I concluded it had miscarried so thought proper to inform you of it, shall expect immediately a Long Letter from you in Answer to All those I have wrote. Herewith goes your News Paper2 which I endeavour to send as soon as possible. The unhappy affair concerning the late Pr-s-d-nt remains as yet something in the dark, perhaps Time may discover it.3 He resigned on 6th Inst & went off to Sherburne the next Day. We Hope that the Corporation will make Choice of a Person to fill the vacant Chair who by his exemplary Virtue will remove the Blemish which now lays upon the College. There have been some Commotions in the S—C—which are yet not entirely settled.4 Mr. Gannet is much approved of as Tutor.5
I Understand you have some thoughts of going to Portsmouth, should be glad to know as to that. Received a Letter abt 10 Days ago from your Chum Cutler1 & also one from our Friend Crosby2 both well and in good Spirits, hope this will find you so. You have doubtless seen the Proceedings of the PEOPLE.1 We wait the Event with Patience, trusting that all will work for the best good of this much injured People. Thus much for Politics—the Paper will not allow Me to enlarge—so conclude with subscribing myself
Your sincere Friend & Class-Mate
Nathl. Walker Appleton.
P.S. Pray write me soon.
Mr Eliphalet Pearson
Cambridge Decr 21st .
I receiv’d your kind Favr, of 29th ult: this Morning, when I went to Messrs. Osgood & Farrington’s Shop to leave your Paper; I can assure you Sir it gave me great Pleasure to receive a Line from you as I have been in anxious Expectation of it these some Weeks past; I had almost despair’d of ever receiving one, but was reliev’d from it by Sir Farrington1 who inform’d me you had wrote, so concluded it was miscarried which I suppose is the one I have now receiv’d. You have ask’d pardon for your Neglect, which I readily give, on condition that the Number of your future Letters equal mine, or in other words that you write every Oppo. I am extremely obliged to you for your Expressions of Friendship towards me who am so unworthy of them, tho’ I doubt not they were sincere, as they came from one who I know means to be sincere in all he says or does. I readily agree with you that the Essence of a. Letter consists not in Sublimity of Diction or justness of method as you may perceive by the Inaccuracy of this Scroll. By your Boarding in the best Families I take it for granted that you must enjoy a great Satisfaction in the very agreable Company of Mr. Phillips & his Lady.1 I can readily conceive of a School of 110 Scholars employing the most of your Time.2 As for myself I do not sufficiently improve my Opportunities to gain Knowledge although I may be said to receive Nourishment from the Fountain Head, being diverted by much Company & my own natural Fickleness. As to the unhappy Affair concerning the late Pr-s-d-nt it remains as yet in the dark. The Corporation are ordered to proceed with all convenient Speed to a new Election; trust that it may be a Repairer of the great Breach which is now made upon the Character of the College. Dr. Eliot & Mr. Willard are talked of to succeed to the Chair. As to the S. Cl. Affairs are not yet thoroughly settled, but when they are, will inform you. When I go to Boston, will stop your Paper according to your Desire. Mr. Gannet our new Tutor is generally liked. Sr. Parsons3 is well, he proposes to tarry here the Vacancy, believe I shall do so likewise. If you’ll write to your Chum Cutler & send it to me I will endeavour to send it by Emerson who goes either next Week or the Week after next. The detested TEA is the general Topic of Conversation, the Council1 met to day but did not advise to the Issuing of a Proclamation in order to discover the Persons concern’d in destroying the s’d Tea. Mr. Attorney General2 has been pleas’d to s[t]ile it High Treason perhaps he thinks that great Words will put this People in Terror, but I believe he is mistaken; if the other Colonies send back or destroy those Teas sent them; I am apt to think it will be hush’d; but if it should prove otherwise, take care poor Boston. Thank you for the Compliment (for as such I shall consider it) of your being surpass’d by the Spirit & Elegance of my Letters. I hope that I shall not be strict to mark Iniquity. Shall let your Plea of a stiff thumb bear its full Sway—doubtless ere this you are tired of reading so I conclude by assuring you that the oftner I receive Letters from you, the more Satisfaction & Pleasure it will certainly give
Your sincere Friend
Nathl. Walker Appleton.
PS. Pray excuse my Interlinings & other Errors particularly Egotism.
Mr. Eliphalet Pearson
Cambridge Dec: 27th: 1773.
I receiv’d your’s of 19th Inst. on 24th at Night. I can assure you it gave very great Pleasure to receive so kind & long a Letter from one whose sincere Friendship towards me merits my highest Esteem. I congratulate you on your being as well situated as most, (perhaps I may say as well as any) of your Order. I hope you have ere this receiv’d my two Letters with your News Paper of 20th inst. inclos’d in one; the other directed as if favd. by Mr. S. A[ ] though they did not go by him, both I believe bear Date 21st inst. Messrs [Osgood and] Farrington’s Shop really cuts a Flash, I doubt not but they’ll make it do well after they get their Distill-House up; As such a Shop &c was very much wanted in this Town. I readily agree with you in your Remarks upon the detested TEA, which now causes & has caus’d more trouble & Vexation, Expence & Luxury, & perhaps such Consequences will (next Spring) follow upon the People’s being obliged to destroy it, as the Wealth even of the East Indies itself will never be able to repair. I mean both its moral & political Consequences. However We must leave this & all other Matters to him who rulest & ordainest all things in infinite Wisdom. The Corporation met this Day at my Grandfathers in order to consult & deliberate upon the important Affair before them, as soon as they come to a Choice I’ll endeavour to inform you. Perhaps my dropping the following Expressions in one of my Letters (vizt. “If you’ll condescend to write me”) was through inadvertency, but I now recall it. Will endeavour to follow your kind Directions concerning the S—C—& when things are fully ripe, will write you. Forgot to stop your Paper on Friday when I was at Boston but will endeavour to remember it next Time. If your Paper comes to Town in Season will inclose but, if it should not, will send it the first Oppo. This Goes by Doctr. Bowman who is to go off to-morrow-morning early. This the needful at present from your sincere Friend
NathL. Walker Appleton.
Mr. E. Pearson, Pedagogue.
PS. Dr Bowman in[forms m]e that you talk of coming down soon, pray inform me as to the Truth of it.
Yrs ut Supra.
To Mr: Eliphalet Pearson
School-Master in Andover
Fav’d by Dr Bowman
I wish you a happy new Year. Hope you have ere this receiv’d my two last, as I have not been at Boston since I wrote you. I did not stop your Paper, but I intend to go certainly this Week & will endeavour to remember it, pray write me every Oppo All well. The News you’ll see in the Paper, the Indians1 are determined that there shall be no Tea used any where. I rec’d a line from Cutler yesterday, he is well & in good Spirits. I propose to tarry here this Vacancy.2 Sr. Parsons tarries here as Scarecrow.3
So this the needful at present
from your sincere Friend
N W Appleton.
Eliphalet Pearson A. B. in Andover pr the Bearer.
PS. The People of Charlestown burnt their Tea last Friday at Noon.1
N TV A
E. P. AB
For Mr. Eliphalet Pearson In Andover
Cambridge Jany. 4th 1773 
11 oClock A. M.
I receiv’d your Letters bearing Date Decr. 28 & 31st this Day at 10 o/Clock & not before. Went immediately over to College, but alass Sheaffe,1 Clarke, Rogers, Penhallow, McClintock, Emerson, Fenton & King were all gone off this Morning, I hunted all over College to find one going that way, after a Search & Inquiry of ½ an Hour I found one Eeans a freshman, that belongs to Dover, he’ll set off this Afternoon, says, that he has opportunities every Day to send to York, so I committed the Letter to his Custody, trusting that it will arrive safe at its destined Port. The Letter in which your Paper is enclos’d was wrote at 9 o/Clock this Morn. I could find no one going Andover Road, Osgood, Poor & Barnard gone off, so I now write an Answer waiting the first Oppo. to send.—Now for your Letters—Perhaps one Reason why you would not write on any learned Subject was because you thought, (I say perhaps) that I should not understand. I do not like your Method of writing, it is too much like sermonizing, which you know we have twice every Week, however I’ll allow for your writing, as perhaps it may be in order to get your hand in, as I suppose you intend to pr—ch. Whenever you do undertake to write a Sermon I hope that you’ll not go to Work in this Way as it will be (as you very well say) all Method & no Matter, it will answer to spin out the Hour, but I trust you’ll be enabled to entertain your Audience an Hour, with Matter as well as Method. You may remember that in the 3d place under the 2d place which was under 1st Head you have these Words “3ly Thirdly the alleviation or mollification of the Condition” which please to explain in your next. Remember you have promised me the other 4 Heads when you have Time. Am glad you slept some & was some refreshed after sermonizing till Midnight. As for me I intend to tarry here & embrace the Privilege of living here till the Spring when I propose to go & live with some Practitioner in Physic perhaps at Boston. As for News & Curiosities I have nothing except what is in the papers. I conclude that by the Time you receive this you’ll be out of Concern for Boston as all the Colonies have in a Manner united. The detest’d Plant is not drank in the Hall,1 perhaps it may be in some few private Chambers; for my part have not drank any this sometime & believe I shall not till the Duty is repealed &c. Shall expect to see you here this Winter. Thus much for your’s bearing Date 28th Dec’. Thank you for your Wish of a happy new Year. Am sorry you are not pleas’d with the Tea Dealers in Boston.1 I would just ask you one Question. Pray what Good does it do to burn their Tea for which they have paid the Duty &c? Let them stand by their Resolution not to import, vend or use any more. The 39 Protestors of Plymouth, are universally despis’d.1
You mention that you’ll “enclose something concerning’ the S–C if you have Time” as you have not please to remember it in your next. I believe you must excuse my not complying with your Request of burning your nonsensical Letter (as you are pleas’d to call it) as I shall keep it amongst my valuable Papers. Excuse the Incoherence of this Scroll, concluding that by this Time you are pretty well tired, I conclude by
Nathl. Walker Appleton.
To the Pedagogue of Andover.
To Mr Eliphalet Pearson
Schoolmaster in Andover
Cambridge, Febr: 10th: 1774
Inclos’d is another of your Papers, which you’ll perhaps be as surpris’d to see, as I was to hear y’ it was at Mr. Howe’s. I called at the printers some time since (as I think I wrote you) who promis’d me they would stop the paper, but by some Accident it came this Week, the next time I go to Boston, I’ll endeavour to remember it. This goes by Sf Parsons who can inform you of all the news so need not write it. We are appre[he]nsive that we shall be able to put a Stop to the progress of the small-pox in this Town. Doctr Cooper1 is chosen preside but it is doubtful whither he will accept; on some Accts: it would do; tho’ not on others, so trust he’ll be directed for the best. You may remember y’ in your last you promis’d to write me this Vacancy, but as I have not rec’d a Line from you for some time, shall expect one soon. As to the Affair of the Judges &c & of the S—C—Parsons can give you a much more full & intelligible Acct. than I can possibly write you. Expect to hear soon from Cutler & if I receive a Letter for you, I’ll send it along pr. 1st Oppo.
Excuse this incoherent, & unintelligible Scroll from your Sincere Friend
NathL. WalkR. Appleton.
PS. I would just in form you that Dr. Cooper’s Dudleian Lecture—Sermon2 is out & to be had at Greenleaf’s printing Office price 76 in Orange Tree-Lane
Yrs N W A
Mr Eliphalet Pearson
Favd. by Mr. T. Parsons
Cambridge, Feby. 21st. 1774
½ past 10 oClock Evening
I was very glad to hear by Sr Parsons of your Welfare. As I am inform’d Mr. Farrington sets off for Andover tomorrow-morning early, take this 1st Oppo of sending your Paper of 14th. Inst: since which time I have been at Boston & stopt it, Messrs. Edes & Gill desired me to inform you that you Now owe for 6 Months vizt from Augt: 15 to Feby. 15. The Govt: still refuses to comply with the reasonable Request of the House with respect to the removal of Judge Oliver.1 The Court is to sit tomorrow what the Event will be we know not. As it is late I shall conclude
with informing you that I shall certainly expect a Letter from you to
Your sincere Friend
NathL: WalkR: Appleton
by the Bearer hereof.
NO PRESIDENT as yet Sr:
To a pedagogue at Andover
For Mr Eliphalet Pearson at Andover
Fav’d by Mr:Farrington2
Salem1 November 21 1774
It is so long since either of us has wrote the other that I actually forget which is in default, however it would be inexcusable in me not to embrace this Oppo: of writing you by my father, who I expect will set out to-morrow or the next day, for Cambridge in order to attend the Congress which is adjourn’d to 23rd Inst:—
Salem 22d Novr: 1774
We had the pleasure of seeing our Friend T. Parsons Yesterday. I see him and that was all, for he hurried thro’ the town as if he had been afraid to stay in it, however I cannot really blame him considering that the Weather has turn’d out to be such as renders it very disagreable. travelling. It is sometime since I heard from our Friends N. Cutler, or S. Crosby. What do you think of the Parliament’s being dissolved? Is it a Maneuvre of Ld. North’s or was the Clamour of the people the Occasion of it? Time will soon discover to us the Cause and the Effect of it, grant that it may prove salutary to this long oppress’d and distress’d People; but I’ll have done with Politics and proceed to ask you in what State the S—C of Harv: Coll is in; is it ruined or no, if not do exert yourselves to restore it to its pristine Splendor. I hope the Clitonian has not superceded it;—Pray write me soon, my Respects to the several Persons who compose that agreable Family in which you have the pleasure to reside at present; My Compliments to Mr: Wadsworth and our other Friends at the Seat of the Muses—pray inform me how the new Pr-s-d-t performs the several Functions of his new & important Station. Please to remember that you are now in some measure indebted to
Your sincere Friend
NathL: WalkR: Appleton
Eliphalet Pearson A. B.
Mr: Eliphalet Pearson in Cambridge
To be left at Madm: Holyoke’s.
Salem Jany: 24th 1775
I embrace this Oppo: by the Doctor & his Lady to return a short Answer to your last kind Epistle, which I should answer more fully, but as Debts of that sort are generally cancelled by a Visit, I shall expect a Letter from you by the return of the Bearers, if you are not too much engaged in their agreable Company, my Respects to our Friend Theodore & please to let him know that I shall expect the same Favour from him. As to the Affairs of the Town w[h]ither publick or family you will learn from the Doctr &c. Being in great haste you must excuse my being short & may expect a longer one the next Oppo from
Your sincere Friend
N W Appleton
Tuesday 10 oClock AM—
Eliphalet Pearson A B
Student in Divinity at Cambridge
Mr: Eliphalet Pearson Student of Divinity in Cambridge
Favoured by Dr: Holyoke & Lady
Salem March 5th 1775
Anniversary of the Massacre
I improve this first Oppo: after you[r] last, sudden & short Visit, to renew a Correspondence which has been interrupted these some Months. I cannot think of this melancholy Day, without Horror & Trembling, to consider the fatal Consequences of placing a standing Army in time of peace in a free & populous City; but class instead of removing that Army forever after that fatal Night from that unhappy Town, we now find it full of those mercenary Wretches, who are always ready to obey the Nod of a ministerial T-r-nt. I understand that Doctr: Warren1 is to pronounce the Oration on the morrow at which I suppose you ‘ll be present; please to write concerning this and other matters by my Father who will come from Cambridge hither on Wednesday next. Mr: Mascarene has had an ill turn these two nights, all other Friends pretty well. Hope you’ll call soon upon the S—C—and give me some information concerning that Cl—of which I have the Honor to be a fellow-Member with you, am therefore desirous of knowing of its prosperity & Success, and that it may continue for a long time yet to come a Blessing and Ornament to the Sons of Harvard is the earnest Wish of him who subscribes himself
Dear Eliph: your sincere Friend—
NathL: W. Appleton
Remember me to your agreable Family & College Friends
Eliphalet Pearson A. B.
Mr:. Eliphalet Pearson in Cambridge
To be left at Madm: Holyoke’s
Salem May 30th—1776
Understanding that Mrs. Mascarene would have an Oppo. to send to Andover1 this Week I could not neglect it altho’ I wrote you yesterday what you will esteem nothing but a mere Scroll. I have again & again perus’d your Essay if I may so call it with impartial attention. You desire me not to fail to give you my Sentiments fully upon it. I wrote you yesterday concise. Ever since I first heard of the Act (for you must know I have never seen it) the Name of a TEST Act2 struck me with surprise; (if anything can be surprising that the last Genl. C—rt did) I have never yet talked with any one upon it, but have entirely agreed with me, that it is arbitrary, tyrannical, & even blasphemous. If I was to enlarge it would be nearly a repetition of what you have wrote. But what one good End will it i. e. the Act answer, my Friend? if possible answer that Question. My having been in the same predicament as. yourself is the only apology I shall offer for not having wrote you before. As you & Cousin priscy3 have had thoughts for this some time past to visit Salem hope you’ll not give them over but make us happy with. your Company soon. My love to Miss Epes congratulate her upon her recovery. Dear Friend I am really concern’d for Cousin Betsy,1 but Mrs: Mascarene will write by this Oppo. our good Doctrs. Advice upon the matter. I understood last week by Johnny Low2 that our Friend Parsons & plummer were gone to be inoculated. I could wish you might have been with them. M; Barnard set out last Saturday from Haverhill for No. 53 on the same Acct. so he will doubtless meet them there—in consequence my Duty in the Shop &c will engage my Attention more closely for a Month or so. O Quebec! Quebec!4——I delivered Miss Polly Smith’s letter yesterday P M—perhaps she will return an Answer at this Oppo.—I have made a few Extracts from Macquer’s Chymistry on the Phlogiston5—the Acids—Salts—Metals & Semi metals—if you have not seen the [ ] & they will be agreable—as they are only on half Sheet Paper—I will send them pr first Oppo: You perhaps will be thoughtful of the little Girl that had the Misfortune to be kicked in the Stomach by a Horse—she is something better today—it was a violent Contusion—very problematical at present whether she will recover.
Thursday P M—The information that I sent you yesterday concerning the Congress was as I heard it, but it turns out to be a mistake; the Congress have not voted for Independence. But the Question was agitated when there were but 10 Colonies present—& there was 6 to 4. The 3 Colonies that were absent were Rhode-Island, Jersey & Georgia—from whence you will know which were the 6 Colonies for it. Your Sentiments if you please on the important Affair of Independence. I trust that you will, as I shall, improve every Oppo to write & I hope that our interrupted Correspondence will be carried on with redoubled Vigor. Have not as yet heard a Word from Watertown—shall not seal my Letter ’till tomorrow—when perhaps I may add something further.
Well, Friend, You will ere this reaches you see yesterdays Paper, in which the First Article that strikes your Attention is the Vote of Congress1 pass’d 15th inst.—Judge You—Independance or not? This I suppose is the Vote that was pass’d 6 to 4 &e. You will deliver the enclos’d Letters.
That you may be succeded in all your Undertakings & prove to be a faithful & successful Minister of the Gospel of the ever blessed Jesus—is the sincere Wish & ardent Desire of your
NathL: WalkR. Appleton
P S I think you will approve of that part of the Instructions to the Representatives of Boston which respects the internal Police of the Colony.2
Mr: Eliphalet Pearson in Andover
[19 August, 1776.]
It would be unpardonable in me, my Friend, to neglect this favourable Oppo. of writing a few Lines to you, altho’ I have not the pleasure of receivg: one from you pr Mr. French, which I will endeavour to excuse, considering the many important Affairs that no doubt take up most of your time. As you have begun to preach if you could come this Way so as to give me an Oppo. of hearing you my dear Friend expound the Scriptures from the sacred Desk it would give me great Pleasure. You’ll readily believe me, when I assure you that my barren Genius produces nothing at present fit for your Contemplation. 1 am truly sensible of the importance of cultivating that necessary part of a good Education—the inditing of a Good Letter or in other words keeping up a friendly Correspondence by Letter; that it improves the mind & that it encreases the sacred Flame of Friendship which has been already enkindled in two congenial Breasts. Therefore should be extremely glad to do all in my power towards promoting such a friendly intercourse between us. As to the Welfare of Mr. Mascarene’s Family concerning whom you’ll doubtless be Anxious, Miss Priscy can better inform you than I can possibly write. You are, no doubt, conscious that the present Topic of Conversation is Politics, or rather an Enquiry into the News of the day—at this time we may reasonably expect to hear very soon, something of importance from the two Armies at New York & Ticonderoga. There was, a Report in town on friday of a Battle at N York—but it was told with so many improbable Circumstances, that few People gave credit to it any further than that there had been a Battle, but even that seems now to be without foundation. When I was at Cambridge last Week, in order to fee Mr. Pres-d-nt L—for a Degree,1 I had not the pleasure of seeing any of our Class Mates except Farrington, Fales & Peabody. Had the pleasure of drinking Tea that PM with Mr. Farrington, his Lady & child, Peabody in Compa Does it not surprize you? to think that a No. of the same standing with our selves have got into the World as it were, before us. But I am content to wait with patience, not doubting but that in due time We shall be provided for, in the several Branches of our proffesions. You have heard, no doubt, that Catalogues1 are to be printed this Year & in a pamphlet. Alas! our good old Friend Cutler appears first with an Asterism prefix’d to his Name—grant that it may be truly ominous of his being in those starry Regions, where there are no Wars, nor Rumors of Wars, but where all is peace, Harmony, & Happiness.
If you will be so kind as to propose some Topic to write upon, in your next and at the same time give me your Sentiments upon it—I will endeavour to return you mine. Happening this Minute to open an Ames’s Almanack for 1755—the following Lines appeared new to me & thinking they may be so to you I will copy them—
Who ’ere presum’d, till Franklin led the Way,
To climb the amazing Highth of Heaven,
And rob the Sky of it’s tremendous Thunder;
And leave the Clouds, with Winds & Tempests fraught,
But Breath enough to shake the trembling Trees,
And rock the Birds that pirch upon their Boughs.
You will doubtless see in the papers Genl. Carlton’s general Orders2 at Chamblee Augt 7.—very blustering—they appear to me ridiculous, give me your opinion—considering the present State of Affairs. How different his Conduct from that of my Lord Howe! You must know about fortnight ago Mr. Nath1. Tracey went with a Flag of Truce from N York on board the Eagle in order to exchange some prisoners for those that were taken on board the Yankee Hero3—which he soon settled with his Lordship—& they are to be exchanged as soon as may be at Mblh’d. Then Mr. T—presented Ld. H. with a Letter. Is this from his Excellency? I believe it is he gave it me. I am heartily glad of it, I have an high Opinion of him—I admire his personal Character—his Conduct during the last Campaign at Cambridge, shews that he is an able General. I long for a personal Acquaintance with him, but he is too scrupulous he ought to have recd. my Letter. Had I acknowledged his Title I should have given up all I am contending for. I do not pretend to say that America is not right. Have never enter’d into politics—but when there was talk of Commissioners for Peace—I entered into the Affair with a sincere desire of serving my King & Country and also the Americans for whom I have an high esteem & ever shall when I consider their kind Notice of my Brother.1 I came out with ample powers or else I would not have come—am very sorry that I did not arrive before Independ[en]cy was declared—but still more that I did not arrive before Gen1 Howe left Boston. If I had I dare say I could so have settled matters with Genl. Washington as to have gone myself by Land to Philadelphia. I would have gone immediately to the Congress—and treated with them as the persons in whom the Americans trusted their publick Affairs—& then I dare say I could have accomodated the unhappy Contest between G Britain & the Colonies. But I am now afraid it is too late. As to the affair of Independency—it is more consistent with your principles & Conduct—than you were before. But as to foreign Alliances I do not think you’ll be able to obtain any for I am very well assured that the Court of G B have secured all the Courts in Europe on their side. I do not think that laying waste your Sea port Towns & destroying Lives & property will have the least Tendency to settle Animosities. If it must be decided by the Sword it must. But I am jealous on which side the Scale will turn. I wish it may soon be settled in an amicable Way &c &c &c &c. in this Way they convers’d for near two Hours. But before Mr. Tracey’s Departure Ld. Howe open’d the Letter & said it was not from his Excellcy but from his good Friend Docf. Franklin—he was extremely glad to receive it. Dr. F., says he, is my particular Friend—I esteem him as one of the greatest Men in the World—am much obliged to him for this Letter—&e &c—I think says Ld H. that your Congress are right in their Resolutions upon Gl. Arnolds. Cartel2—provided Facts are as they are there stated, but I dare say they will find them to be otherwise. But the Canada Affairs are not in my Department——Now my dear Friend—if all were of my Ld. Howes Mind —how soon this unnatural Contest would be settled. But class it is for the interest of too many to keep up the Ball—& while they swim they care not who sinks.1
If the above Scrawl is intelligible & will afford you any Satisfaction it will greatly rejoice
Your sincere Friend
N W Appleton.
Salem Augt. 19. 1776.
The R-v-r-nd Eliphalet Pearson
NB It is worthy of Observation that a few days after the above Conference Ld. Howe sent a Letter directed to his Excellency General Washington with the Titles.
Mr: Eliphalet Pearson Andover
pr. fav of Miss Holyoke
Salem Sept. 8. 1776.
Sabbath Eve past 10 oClock.
I rec’d your agreable Epistle of 6t. inst. yesterday p Mm. Holyoke. Am very sorry to hear that your Mind, labours under any particular Disturbance at this time of general Calamity, when every rational person must be anxious for the Fate of his Country. If there is any thing in my power that can conduce to ease you of your Anxiety, you may be assured of my utmost Endeavours to do it, if you think proper to acquaint me with it.
At the time when I quoted those Lines on the great Franklin, I had no particular Reference to Electricity—it was meerly accidental my happening to open an old Almanack at that place. Please to propose your Subject in your next—and as I said in my last I will endeavour to give you my—you will not let me say—poor Abilities—because as you are pleas’d to write “such Apologies are ill suited to that confidential candid Friendship” &c &c. Am sorry you have not seen Gl. Carltons famous Orders. If the Narrative respecting Ld. H & Mr T afforded you any Entertainment I am really glad. You wish I could give you a particular Acco. of what has since past between Gl. W—& Ld H on Long Island. I wish it was in my power, but it is not. The present General Acco. is confus’d. Time will perhaps afford us a full & particular one—last Night’s post brings no News papers as there were none printed in N York. The best Acco. I can collect is—That after several skirmishings on Wednesday & Thursday—on Thursday Eve Gl. W. held a Council of War when it was agreed to abandon the Island immediately, without risqueing the whole Army, viz 10,000 men, being cut off from a Retreat the next Day—accordingly Orders were giving at 9 oClock & the Boats which lay ready on N York side to carry Reinforcements to the Island were ordered to carry them off. The whole was compleated by 3 oClock Friday Morn—& we only left two or three 32 pounders—that the Gl. himself was one of the last that came off. Gl. Sullivan fell into a Ditch & was taken prisoner—he is now gone to Philadelphia on his Parole for 10 Days he was allowed to tell the Enemy’s Loss—vizi 1500 killed on the Field of Battle, 3 Field Officers & Gl. Grant are among the slain—35 taken prisoners. Some say that Gl. Sullivan says our Loss is greater than theirs—others say but between 7 & 800 kill’d—it will be a great while before we know the Truth of our Loss. Ld. Howe has now got possession of the finest Island on the Continent which will afford them fine Winter Quarters. Fuel in plenty—40000 inhabitants on it—& 80000 Head of Horn’d Cattle—the Island it is said raises as much Grain as the whole Colony of Connecticut. This is a very important Crisis. May “the Cause of Truth, Virtue & Liberty finally triumph.” Let us wait with Patience the important Decisions of an all wise providence & be prepared for whatever may be our Lot—whither Peace or War—Liberty or Slavery. We have had the pleasure of your Neice’s agreable Compe these 10 Days, she has in general carried herself well. But she has not broke herself of her Trick of Winking any more than her Uncle that of snapping. Hope when she returns home I shall be able to give you a better Acco. I dined with our Friend Parsons last Friday—he was on his Way from Watertown through Salem to Newbury. Madam Holyoke can inform you of Mr Mascareue’s Family’s Health &c.
Thank you for your kind Wishes for your sincere Friend
NathL. W. Appleton
“and all whom he holds dear.”
My kindest Regards to Miss priscy.
PS. T Parsons informed me that last or this Week—the Corporation rechose Mr. Wadsworth1 Tutor—as his Time of three Years was expired. There were two vizt. Doctr W—& Dr C—against him—Dr. A & Dr E for him & the Revd. president gave it (to his great Honor) in Mr. Ws. Favour. So you may perceive the redoubtable Mr H—& his Croney Jimmy W—are not absolute in the Govt. of the College.
Mr: Eliphalet Pearson Andover
Fav’d by Madm: Holyoke
Salem Wednesday Sepr. 17. 1777.
My dear Friend
It seems almost an Age since I had the Pleasure to see or hear from you. Our Friend Parsons whom I saw at Newbury last Week inform’d me that you had been ill but that you had got much better. I hope your Health will be restor’d & continu’d you. It is reported that you are to have the new School which is to be erected at Andover—& that you are soon to make Miss P-r-y H-e happy. No wonder then, you could write Theodore that you was very glad to hear that I was alive after what had happen’d. As to those Matters they will be more fully explain’d when We see each other, but when that will be is very uncertain—you do not travel this road now a’days oftener than if there was half a dozen 50 Gun Ships to intercept your Passage. But if you will venture to come yourself or send a Line I will insure you at 72 pr Ct—tho’ common Insurance is now 75 pr Ct This by Mrs. Holyoke who I suppose will return by the last of the Week—do write how you do—& conc the School &c. I have lately purchas’d me a manuscript Bible wrote on Parchment in old English Hand & vulgate Latin—with a No of Abbreviations & Characters—suppose to be wrote about the Year 1400. I esteem it as a great Curiosity—it is to be sent to Portsmouth this Week but when it returns should be very glad to have you see it. My time is now near expir’d with the Doctr. and I expect to leave him in less than three Weeks—to go where? you will say. O! my dear Friend to launch into the wide World of Troubles & Sorrow. I cannot bear the Thought—it causes such Sensations to arise in my mind as make me dread the day when I must set out for myself—some of your advice at this time will be very acceptable to
Your sincere Friend
N W Appleton.
My Respects wait on
Love to Miss Prisey & Betty Epes.
Tell Miss Epes that her Papa, Mamma, Brothers & Sisters were all well last Sabbath Eveng. Can you procure any such thing as Honey or Wax—if so do let me know.
Monday Septr 22d. As the Weather has prevented Mrs. H. going as propos’d she intends sitting out this AM, altho’ the Weather is not very agreable. As for Politics we are in great Suspence expecting to hear hourly some important News from both Armies. O that this Campaign might be the decisive one, & we soon enjoy Peace, Liberty & Happiness.
Mr: Eliphalet Pearson Andover
Fav’d by Mrs. Holyoke
June 12, 1778
My dear Friend
I hope this may hail you, the Acting Preceptor of Phillips School., We have been favoured by Mr. Phillips with the Particulars of that unfortunate Affair which so lately happen’d in your Parish;1 it is not only a great Misfortune to our worthy Patriot, & to those Families who are depriv’d of their Heads; but is a very great Publick Loss. I do not understand that any of your Family recd. any Damage from the violence of the Shock which no doubt considerably affected you. Our Friend Mr. Clarke has gone this Week to Salem; to bury his Grandfather, the famous Deacon Pickering.1 He is to be ordained 8th July at which time I depend upon having the Pleasure of seeing you here. My best Regards to Madam Holyoke, to Miss Priscy &c. Mrs. Mascarene has been troubled with a Cough this Week past. Their whole time is employed in preparing for, & attending on Mr. Shirley & Lady, Miss Rock; Miss Yeaden Waiting Maid, Mon\ Louis le Valet de Chambre, Mr. James the Footman & Jem the Lacquey.
Mr. M. as usual. Cousin Betsy very well; I do not know whither they will write by this Oppo. When I was at Andover you mentioned your great Want of a tooth-Brush; I take this Oppo. to present you with two Brushes for that Purpose, likewise a small Box about half full of Dentifrice, trusting that they will be acceptable
Your sincere Friend
N. W. Appleton.
NB. PS. the Presidents Lady2 broke out with the Small Pox last Wednesday at Cambridge.
Perhaps Smoak is necessary as I now attend two Patients with the S. Pox.
Mr: Eliphalet Pearson
Preceptor of Phillips School: Andover
Fav’d by Mr. S. Phillips
Boston March 23 1782
My dear Friend
After acknowledging the favor of yours of yesterday let me heartily congratulate you upon being made a happy Parent; am very sorry that our good Cousin your amiable Lady is so unwell & is not able to make a Nurse for her Baby. Immediately after perusing your Letter I sent my Servant Girl being somewhat unwell myself & not daring to be out in the Eveg Air with Mr. Bush to Willis & from thence to Mrs. Mascarene’s the result you will learn of him. Not recollecting but one Nurse that wanted a Place tho’ many want to take a Child I applied this Morng to Mrs. Greenough with whom she lives. She is about 23 Years of Age—very good temper, is not known now to have or ever to have had any Disorder that can cause Uneasiness, her Milk is good, but it is 12 months old. She is very clean & careful about the Child, but is a Slut respecting herself—is under some Engagements to go to Roxbury. I did not see her but purpose it before Mr. Bush leaves the Town. Mrs. Mascarene will inform you the Result of her Enquiries. Mrs. Appleton joins me in Love to you & Mrs. Pearson—pray kiss the little Bantling for me. You cannot doubt how much Pleasure your Happiness affords me & how strongly I feel myself interested in all your Concerns. That Mrs. P1 may speedily recover her Health; that little Polly may have an excellent Nurse & that all of You may enjoy every Felicity in each other that the Connection ever affords is the sincere
Wish of your affectionate Friend
N. W. Appleton.
NB. Mr Cutting has not returned my Ainsworth. We are all very well. The Massa. Med: Socy are to meet 17 April. My Bro. Jno. sailed for St. Thomas’s last Monday.
Boston Feby. 12o. 1784.
My dear Friend
On Monday last the supreme Ruler of the Universe was pleased to take from us by Death, my aged pious & reverend Grandfather, in the 91st Year of his Age & 67 of his Ministry. Our Loss is his Gain—why then ought we to mourn? The best Respect we can pay is to imitate his pious, catholic & charitable Conduct thro a long & useful Life.
By this Oppo. I send you one of Mr. Clarke’s2 Sermons upon the Death of Dr Cooper, also the Magazine3 for January. The Editors at present are obliged in some measure to conform to the taste of the Subscribers. If we could have a few more good original pieces—there would be new Subscribers & we need not mind, the little ones. Cannot you favour us with some productions from Andover? some Observations in reply to Susannah & Fenelon upon Enigmas. At present I am confined with a bad Cold.
Your Friend & Servt
Mr. E. Pearson
Mr. Adams Sherman Hill of Boston and Mr. Thornton Marshall Ware of Fitchburg were elected Resident Members, and Mr. Herbert Putnam of Washington, D.C., a Corresponding Member.