Mem[orial] of L[etters] wrote during my Journey.
[Note: The initials stand for the recipients of the letters. Thus, “AQ” is for Abigail Quincy (wife), “JQ” is for Josiah Quincy (father), “SQ” is for Samuel Quincy (brother), etc. “WT” is possibly for William Tryon (1729–1788), former Governor of North Carolina (1765–1771) who became Governor of New York. “PM” is for Perez Morton (1750–1837). Harvard College 1771. He studied law with Quincy, and was admitted to the bar in 1774. Morton became Attorney General of Massachusetts 1810–1832. See Coquillette, Brink, Menand eds., Law in Colonial Massachusetts, p. 347. Special thanks to my co-editor Neil York.]
The design of the ensuing Journal is, among other things; to gratify one who has a right to a very large share of my thoughts and reflections, as well as to participate, as far as possible, of all my amusements and vicissitudes:1 to be a memorial of my thoughts, as they rises, and to remain a future witness to my self of the changes of my own sentiments and opinions: to record those kindnesses and little civilities, which might otherwise imperceptibly fleet from the memory; but which ought nevertheless to be held in rememberance till we shall embrace an opportunity fully to return them.
To thou therefore into whose hand this Journal, either before or after my death, may chance to fall, the foregoing considerations may serve as some Excuse for those trifles and impertinencies I foresee it will contain, and shall not strive to avoid.
Boston Mar: 6th 1773
J. Quincy, junr.
A Journal, interspersed with observations and remarks, by Josiah Quincy junr. “Eye nature’s walks, shoot folly as it flies, And catch the manners living as they rise.” “Laugh where we must, be candid where we can.”
Mark the affections of thy youth, and engrave the observations and sentiments of thy manhood; the review shall solace thy old age and bring a kind of re-juvenescence to thy hoary head. Zoroaster. lib. IX, fol. 5.3
*[following page numbered “2” is blank]
Sailed in the Bristol Packett,4 John Skimmer5 commander for So Carolina, with design of taking the tour of the Southern provinces for my health. The “Nos patriae fines, nos dulcia linquimus Arva”6 of Virgil was uppermost in my mind, and when I came in sight of my father’s cottage,7 “Te, Tytere, lentus in Umbra”8 seemed the sweetest harmony I ever caroled. A perpetual involuntary repetition of the five first lines of the first Eclogue employed my first hour on shipboard. No lines I ever read seemed to contain so much sentiment and harmony of numbers. Every word was a beauty, and every reflection discovered some new charm. I begun to think no one had ever seen how much the Poet conveyed, and was fully convinced no English translation had ever reached half the force, sense and grace of the original. What was to be done? I had nothing to do. I immediately set about a new translation of my favorite Roman.9
Before I had got well engaged in my labours, and before (I am sure) I had one draught of Helicon,10 my employment was changed, and my attendants were Randall and the Cabin-boy, instead of the Muses and Graces. A bowl of thin water-gruel was preferred to a goblet of Nectar and Ambrosia, and Randall stood
“Mihi magnus Apollo.”11
However at intervals the paroxysm of Mount Parnassus came on, and I was soon convinced that he who has little to do will soon have his Hobby-horse. And why may not I up ride as Yorick12 says, so that I injure no passenger in the way?
By the 3d watch of the Night I had finished my task: it appeared the best brat I had ever seen: But misfortunes attend the Poet. Upon a comparison with the original, my translation exceeded it almost 2 thirds in length. It will not do, said I. I must try again “and strain from hardbound brains nine lines a day.” Thus I continued my very variegated employ, alternately busied
busied with the Cabin-boys and the muse, til I fitted my expressions and numbers to my author. This will do, cried I. Who would not be sea-sick a little, if it will purifie and sublimate a Common Lawyer into a poet. I am sure no body has given the forte of Virgil so well: no translator has done it I am sure. I will continue the vein, and publish a translations of the first Eclogue as a specimen of my improvement by traveling. Alas how short-lived are the pleasures of Imagination! A few minutes recollection reminded me that I could remember only Trapp’s translation,13 which was the one I used while a school-boy: This was a damper with a witness, and the words of the wit, who wrote over Trapp’s door while he was in his labour did the business. I have never made another attempt from that time to this; and believe I shall not to my dying day. “Trapp mind thy bible, and translate no further, “For it is written—thou shalt do no murder.”14
These lines made a much deeper impression upon me, than on the good Doctor to whom they were particularly applied; and I forthwith determined to take the Poet’s advice—
“Keep your piece nine years.”
A considerable time before my taking this wise resolution, I had taken to my bed. A very high wind and large sea had given a quietus before I had reached the Light house.15 An instant application of diluters16 however rendered my exercises less painful at first; and little incidents kept turning up to divert my attention or chear my spirits. I observed Randall to be over assiduous in holding my head and calling for liquid, while his sides and body shook as if he would die. I pretty soon discovered my situation had excited his immediate laughter and all his over-officious
over-officiousness intended to conceal his mirth. He would perhaps have received some indications of my discovery had not my memory reminded me of a time when I was a like overtaken and had recourse to a very similar artifice—
[1.5 lines crossed-out with ink]
Exhausted nature soon called for some repose; a return of my illness however soon disturbed it. But when in calling for my servant I was told he had taken to his bed, my revenge was satisfied, tho’ if I would have moved he should have seen my sides shake in his turn. Thus I was relieved with trifles and mirth at every interval of my labours. For the noises which came almost every instant thro’ the bulkhead convinced me that the Corners of Randall’s mouth no longer made enchroachments on the domain of his ears: no position in
Euclid was clearer than that R[andall]’s Jaws now oscillated with quickness between the Zenith and Nadir17, and that their motion was no longer horizontal, but vertical.
Thus—“Trifles please the idle mind.” The Cabin-boy who has now become my assistant afforded new matter for entertainment, and consolation. Tho’ he had been three years accustomed to the sea, yes the swell and motion of the water was so great as to work him as much as my self. And while the poor little fellow extended his arms to my assistance, he lay with his breast on the floor and was exercised with strains and throws more violent than my own. My own situation made me compassionate. Good Heaven! Thôt I, how various, how
unsearchable are thy allotments, “Every reflection of my mind now served to reconcile me to my own afflictions: their number decreased on comparison, and in proportion as calamities humanized my heart: towards the poor prostrate boy, their severity dissipated apace. Gay’s fable18 of the Cook-maid, turnspit and the ox, which I had learned when very young lulled me to repose (for the first time on Shipboard) about 3 in the morning.
A more disagreeable time can hardly be conceived, than the season of my first days and nights. Exhausted to the last degree, I was too weak to rise, and in too exquisite pain to lie in bed. Unable to take any manner of food, I remained wholy confined to my state-room, till the pains of my body and limbs forced me to make one effort to get fresh air. Assisted by two people I reached the foot of the Companion-stairs, but
was not able to proceed further. The fresh air instead of refreshing, as first, overcame me. My sickness came on with redoubled violence, and after several fainting turns, I was carried back to bed. At the end of fifty eight hours, I took the sustenance of one rusk, and soon after of a little broth. The night passed very heavily away, and at about 4 in the morning, my pains came on so violent, and my cabin was so sultry and hot, [that] to rise or perish seemed the only alternative. I knocked for the watch upon deck, and with the assistance of two of them, got seated on a hen-coop by side of the Binikle.19
Scenes altogether new and surprising presented themselves to my view. I had never before been on deck since passing the Light house,20 and had never before been out sight of land. The heavens were overcast with black and heavy clouds, with here and there a light flying wild cloud interspersed. With a hard North East wind, the weather was extremely close and muggy, and distant flash-
es of lightening gleamed all round the horizon, the waves seemed to curl with flames just sufficient to make the darkness visible and successive peals of distant thunder all conspired to make deep impressions and fit the mind for meditation. To know how all this affected me, a person must consid er my weakness, my situation and cast of mind.
What a transition have I made and am still making!—was the exclamation of my heart. Instead of stable earth, the fleeting waters: the little hall of Justice right and wrong is changed for the wide-expanding immeasurable ocean: instead of petty jarrs21 and waspish disputations; waves contend with waves, and billows war with billows: seas rise in wrath and mountains combat heaven; clouds engage with clouds and lightenings dart their vengeful corruscations; thunders roll and oceans
roar: All other flames and distant shores, sea, air and heaven reverberate the mighty war and eccho awfull sounds:
“The Sky it seems would pour down livid flames, But that the Sea, mounting to th’ welkin’s cheek, Dashes the fire out.”22
Vast field for contemplation! Riches for mind and fancy!
Astonishing monuments of wisdom; magnificient productions of power!
The ingenuity, the adventurous spirit, the vast enterprises of man next succeed to employ reflection. A little skiff, scarce a speck in this wide expanse, flew threw the waves and plyed this angry flood;—braved the threatening dangers—this world of night and chaos.
[left margin, ll. 6–7]
While thus surprised and gratified, I rejoiced to think of my undertaking, and was pleased with the hopes being wiser and better for my excentric motion. Suddenly the weather changed, became redoubly inclement, and cold rain and sleet threatened my health if I tarried longer. But to go in my enfebled state to a hot confined cabin [half of l. 9, all of l. 10, half of l. 11 scratched out] was intollerable. Rain and cold appeared less dreadfull than heat and foul air. I sent for my hussar, which with my sourtout,23 was to fit me for a companion to the sailor at helm till sun rise.
The weather increased in badness—I became fretfull—’twas death almost to retire to my hole—an exclamation escaped me—I repined—I murmurred—I exclaimed again.—When—(I
shall never forget the sensation)—the seaman at helm carrolled with his marine pipe—“How little do these landmen know, what we poor sailors undergo.” The best divine, moralist or philosopher could not have devised a better care for my spleen and vexation. I was all sympathy in a moment. Upon comparison how little reason had I for complaint? How much ground of gratitude to heaven? Each thôt now tended to reform me, every new reflection became more and more sentimental. I was humanized—
“Hence pity found place in my breast.”—The honest tar continued his carolls, and his notes were truly musick to my ear.
“A concord of sweet sounds.” I was perswaded the fellow chaunted his naval tune to divert me, but when then he expected to do it by the harmony of sounds and numbers or by the sentiment of his song to alleviate my afflictions
in calling me to consider those of others, I doubted. but it was wholly immaterial to me; either way I was equally obliged to him.—(Some passages of Yorick at this instant came across my mind—and it would have been infamous, if they had no influence upon my heart.)24 My hand mechanically went to my pockett, but searched in vain for my purse: this was deposited in my sea-chest the day before I sailed. Luckily a small remnant of my Cash fee was in the Lining of my desert-pockett—I threw it to the helmsman who in endeavouring to catch it struck it half thorough one of the scupper-holes. It was now out of his reach, he could not leave his helm to get it, I could not rise from any seat without help,
help, and no one was on deck but, us two.—The witty, careless, good humoured fellow looked a little shagreened at first, (for every roll of the sea threatened it’s loss) but with great ease and indifference turning upon his heel warbled with ineffable harmony
“Hah! why should we quarrel for riches, Or any such glittering toys, Since a light heart and a thin pair of breeches, Goes thoro’ the world brave boys.” To know how this turn of the sailor was relished, to realize the pleasures it gave, one must know every circumstance of my situation and every feeling of my heart.
If there is any merit in the motive—any in the action—all is thine Oh Yorick, Prince of sentiment!
Days of heat, cold, wind and rain now rolled on. Confined to my cabin almost wholly I became pale, wan and spiritless; and as I have since learned from my servant every person on ship-board gave me over and concluded I should never reach land. I was perfectly sensible of my danger, but by being carried upon deck, night and day, when it did not storm violently, my spirits revived, but my appetite never. My second week at sea was now passing, with only little incidents, perhaps, nor more worthy of recording than those which for want of better materials has engaged my idle time, and found a place in the preceeding pages.
With us came passenger one Mr. John Alexander Hunter late a purser on board his majesty’s 20 gun ship war lying in Boston: a gentleman lately oblidged to ask leave to quit the service, for his following the practices and examples of his superiors: which in them escaped with impunity. “See Little villains hung by great.”25
Mr. Hunter was one day uttering his complaints, when among other things an expression escaped him, remarkable as coming from he who had been 15 years in the Crown-service, and retained much of the peculiar sentiments and manners of such an employ. He was speaking of the partiality of a Court of Enquiry which had sat upon him and the little reason to hope for justice in a Court martial with which he was threatened, unless he would ask leave to quit his birth [berth?].—“Good GOD!, cried he, why do I complain? What reason had
I to expect any thing better. A government that is arbitrary is always unjust: a tyranny in one or more is always cruel and unrighteous.” Such sentiments from him surprised me. I was impatient to know whether these reflections were founded in his heart, or only the over-flowings of spleen, disappointment and revenge. For great is the sense of wrong, when oppression touches ourselves, weak, weak indeed, when we are exempted from all apparent danger of a like misfortune.
Hunter was a man of good natural powers; considerably acquainted with essays and the Belles Lettres, tho’ not learned or conversant with the severer studies.26 I took this opportunity to start the controversy between G[reat] B[ritain] and the Colonies. I spoke of the conduct of both; of present measures and
of the probable consequences. I hoped hence to draw the general opinions of his Core and also what must have frequently transpired in his company for the last 7 years.
“Very true, said he, Mr. Q[uincy] we all know this. Great Britain has no right to tax you. The ministry know it as well as you, but money must be had some where. Every thing is strained to the utmost at home. The people of England see, as well as you, that N[orth] America must one day be independent, and tis her interest and most certainly of the present administration to prevent this as much as possible: And they will prevent it for a much longer time than you imagine. For you can’t contend with the powers of Britain, whose navy conquers the World; and your first men are all bought off and will be more and more so
in proportion as the ministry are wise and well informed. And who can blame them for it, they are in the right of it to do it, and you are in the right of it to make opposition, but all will not do. You must submit for a great while yet to come. Why all the world are slaves, and N[orth] America can’t hope to be free.”
A train of conversation of this kind pleased and exasperated. I reasoned, spoke of facts, of history, of human nature, of glorious sacrifices—till from inveighing I almost stormed. The agitation did my health good, if nothing more; for I wanted my blood to circulate.
Upon my telling him, that the present steps of the British government were to the last degree iniquitous, repugnant to the first notions of right
and wrong:—“Oh (Mr. Q[uincy] (he replied) what do you tell of that for, there can be no government without fraud and injustice!—All government is founded in corruption. The British government is so. There is no doing without it in State-affairs.” This was a clencher. Well I hope Mr. H[unter] you will never more complain of arbitrary proceedings and wrong and cruelty seeing such is the government you have served and are now raging to be employed by. ““Yes, yes, when it touches one’s-self, we have right to complain. Damn it, was ever any one served as I have been? Admiral M.27 has himself to my knowledge done ten times as bad, and yet the rascal, the scoundrel persecuted me with unrelenting, brutal cruelty.”
Here I let matters drop, making only a few natural reflections on the character of man. How little variant is this Gentleman from those Zealots for Liberty, who are the Enslavers of Negroes?
In the course of this time I had a good opportunity of discovering the great corruption of Administration and the gross fraud of the Servants of the Crown. Mr. H[unter] frequently owned to me that his salary and birth was only worth 45£ sterling a year: but that the year before last he made 300£ and the last 6 months at the rate of 400£ sterling a year.28 And this will not seem at all incredible to those who are informed of the ways and means of doing it and the sharers and connivers of it.
This morning we were within 30 leagues of our port, which should have probably have reached the preceeding day had we not been becalmed 24 hours. At about 7 o’Clock AM a black cloud hung over the North eastern part of the Hemisphere, and at 8 the wind rose extremely high at NNE. Before night the wind blew a hurricane: Every thing threatened a terrible tempest. We were in the latitude of Bermudas,29 a latitude remarkable for storms and whirlwinds. The hurry, noise and confusion of preparing for the storm was astonishing to one, never in a like situation. Rain, hail, snow and sleet descended with great violence and the wind and waves raged all night. About 4 in the next morning Capt. Skimmer called to me, Saying “Mr. Q[uincy] come and see here: you may now say
you have seen a storm at sea. I never saw so dismal a time in my life.”
The scene beggars all description. As the day advanced, at times light-openings in the clouds gave a view of the horrors all around us: such apertures were ever attended by a tenfold gust of wind. The seas rose in mountains on each side, and we were alternately elevated to the clouds and sunk in the deep. I frequently saw the yards plunged in the waves, and was often sent by force of the motion across my cabin. I used to keep myself in bed by throwing my left arm over my right shoulder and then twisting a cord (fastened to the side) round my wrist prevented being pitched out of bed. It was so dark by reason of immense thick fogs that at mid-day you could not see the end
of the Bowsprit,30 and often scarce discern the yards. The exhalations from the water resembled in density and much in smell the vapour from a burning lime-kiln. In short horror was all round Us. Our Capt. had been 31 years a seaman, Mr. Hunter had been on all the Coasts of Europe and America, and the Mariners had one or other of them visited most parts of the ocean, but none had seen so terrible a time. Seas struck us repeatedly with terrible concussions, and all seemed to expect instant deaths. In this manner day succeeded day, and night closed upon night; here a gleam of hope, and then anon a bitter disappointment. In vain did we look for change, tempest and whirlwinds seemed to have attained stability.
“In every place Flamed amazement.—Not a Soul But felt a fever of the mind.”31
On Wednesday (24th Feby) night, the rain much abated, but the clouds did not disperse, nor the wind lull. I put my head out of the Companion door in order to take a view, I could not help repeating those beautiful lines of our Poet
Unmuffle ye faint starrs, and thou fair moon, That wont’st to love the traveler’s benizon [blessing], Stoop thy pale visage thro’ an amber cloud, And disinherit Chaos, that reigns here In double night of darkness and of shades; Or if your influence be quite damm’d up With black usurping mist, some gentle taper, Though a rush-candle from the wicker hole Of some clay habitation, visit us With they long levell’d rule of streaming light, And thou shalt be our Star of Arcady, Or Tyrian Cynosure.32
On Thursday things remained much as they were; towards night the clouds dispelled, starrs were here and there to be seen, and every thing seemed to promise better times: but our hope was as
the morning cloud and evening dew. Before day light seas, winds, snow and rain raged more than ever. All matters had previous to this been disposed to encounter the worst. Everything was either lashed upon deck or removed off it: Axes were delivered out and all stood prepared for cutting away the masts, which we expected to be obliged to do every minute. We had long laid under bare-poles, except what is called a balanced mainsail to keep her head to the wind and seas as far as possible. All now retired to steerage or cabin: none remained upon deck: we drew towards the Shore with incredible swiftness, considering we carried no sail: Seas broke over us often; now and then one would strike with enormous force. I had no way to keep myself in bed, but by throwing my left arm over the right shoulder and then twisting a cord (fixed to the side of my state-room) round my wrists. The whole of this night, (after eight o’Clock) I believe every soul on board expected to perish. ∆
We were now in that latitude
∆[Added, Left Margin, at “∆”] “Who knows but he, whose hands the light’ning forms, Who heaves Old Ocean, and who wings the storms,” “Pours fierce ambition in a Caesar’s mind, Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind.”33
[left margin, ll. 17‒22]
in which the remains of my Elder Brother34 lay deposited in the Ocean; and probably very near the spot were Mr. John Apthorp35 and lady were foundred. It was impossible at this season to exclude this from rememberance the mind dwelt upon it. Especially as in case of our loss, there would have been a like ignorance of our fate and length of expectation of friend, as in the unhappy case of Mr. A[pthorp] and his lady. To consider to ruminate, to waver, to despond, to cheer and ponder anew was natural to the scene—˜
— “A thousand fantasises
— throng into the memory;
Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire, And airy tongues, that syllable mens names On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses. These thoughts may startle well, but not astound The virtuous mind.—Peace—be not over-exquisite
˜ [Added, Left Margin] He who thro’ immunity can peirce, See worlds on worlds compose one universe, Observe how system in system runs, What other planets circle other suns, What vary’d Being peoples ev’ry star, May tell why Heav’n has made us as we are.”36
[left margin, ll. 13–20]
“To cast the fashion of uncertain evils; For grant they be so, while they rest unknown, What need a man forestall his date of grief, And run to meet what he would most avoid? Or if they be but false alarms of fear, How bitter is such self-delusion?”37
Providence now gratified a frequent desire of my heart:—that I might be in a situation so circumstanced as to be fully convinced of a speedy departure—
— “To that bourn
From which no traveller returns:”—that I might have the exercise of my understanding—time to examine the heart—to reflect upon the past—look forward to the future—weigh and consider—Whether I leaned—“Upon the pillared firmament, Or rotteness.”38
To notice the operations of the mind and observe the emotions of the spirits at such
seasons is certainly a duty and very profitable employ. The justness of our sentiments opinions and judgments concerning all subjects is here brôt to the test; and the propriety, right and equity of our past lives must stand an audit. We hence are powerfully taught what is folly, what wisdom, what right and what wrong:—the duties we have omitted and those we have performed: a reflection upon the one is pungent, a review of the other exquisitely joyous. That procrastination is the theif of time we had heard in doctrine: It’s truth now shines not in theory, but in fact: experience gives weight and energy to what before was fluctuating and feeble. “Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow Creeps in this petty space To the last syllable of recorded time; And All our Yesterdays have lighted fools
“The way to study wisdom.”39
I had often in past life expressed my creed that every man died a hater of tyrants, an abhorrer of oppression, a lover of his country, and a friend to mankind. I shall never forget how my conviction upon this head now received confirmation. No period of my life now gave such solid solid satisfaction, such heart-felt joy, as those few in which I had contributed a mite towards exhibiting certain men and measures in what now appeared a true light and in annoying those who at this test still appeared the enemies of country. Perhaps I was now more an enthusiast than ever, for the review was delightfull.—I regretted nothing more than that in past-times I had not been more of the true citizen of my country and the world;—more assiduous, more persevering, more bitter more
implacable, more relentless against the scourges of my country, and the plagues of mankind. I shall never, I hope I shall never, forget the resolutions I now formed, the sentiments I now entertained; my determination to remember them in future and make this minute I am now writing of, as a memorial of the past and a memento for the future; And to aid me in engraving them on the tablet of my heart.
At the making of this minute I have not reached the land; the day is more cheerful but Danger not at an end. I pray GOD to seal instruction at this instant;—that every thought and sentiment which is just and true; that every resolution which is good and noble may not be shipwrecked in the future current, whirl or tempest of base,
ignoble appetites, tumultuous, execrable passions;—Become the fleetings of a bird of passage—“The baseless fabrick of a vision”—but stable as the pillared firmament and influential as the mid-day sun.
Upwards of an 100 hours had now passed without sight of the Sun: the Wind had set almost wholly from NNE; the Gulph Stream (said to run along the Carolina—shore upwards of 5 knots an hour) directly opposite: All of a sudden the waters changed their colour: we threw the lead and found soundings; the terror and confusion on Shipboard was now great indeed: whether this land was off the Barr of Carolina, off Roman Shoals or the Bahama Sands was altogether uncertain to every person on board.40 New dangers now stared us in the face. Necessity compelled to venturing upon deck and hoisting a reefed foresail;
for the wind set violently on the shore at this time, about 8 in the morning; in the afternoon the clouds seemed again to scatter, and tho’ we flattered ourselves less than before, yet the signs of better wheather worked forcibly on our hopes. At night however, new clouds arose with redoubled heaviness and blackness, and our Capt. said he believed we should have a harder time, than ever. The winds changed almost every minute, and what is very extraordinary considering their violence these variations were to directly opposite points of compass.41 WE had the greatest reasons to fear the consequence. But the rains falling in incredible floods imperceptibly layd the seas and assuaged the storm. And after a prodigious trying
night to those sailors who kept the Deck, the morning broke with signs of fair weather. At XII o’Clock (27 Feby) we had a tolerable good observation, and found ourselves to the Southward of Our port. Our Crew were spent, pale and spiritless. The pleasures of a returning sun are not to be conceived but by those who have been in like jeopardizes and trials.42
We had once during the storm discovered a ship near us: we now again saw her. Each made a signal to speak together, and each bearing down upon the other, we met just at XII o’Clock. It proved a ship from St. Croix: she had scarce a rag of sail standing, most of her running rigging gone: her hand[s] alternately at the pump: she looked distressfully enough: Each one on board our brigg began now to compare our
case with that of our fellow voyager who appeared bound to the same port with us: all were moralizing on the scene. For we had comparatively suffered no such damage in the Storm. Extreme precaution, watchfulness, and steadiness in our master, great activity and courage in our crew; all knowing and willing to do their duty; with extreme fine sails, rigging etc. had saved us from much injury which we should otherwise certainly have suffered. The Capt. of this Ship told us that he had been a seaman 21 years and never had seen “such a time in his days!” No person on board us had ever been to Carolina, which occasioned our Capt. to asked the master of the Ship whether he had ever been the like voyage before: to which he answered “yes about 21 years ago.” And our
replying that we had never been there; the hearty fellow commanding the Ship cheerfully said—“Give us this sun and this breeze and we’ll soon be better acquainted with the way.”
I could not helped being surprized with this sort of ease and jollity immediately after such hair-breadth ’scapes and in a shattered condition. Our Crew were mightily tickled with his courage—And a horse-laugh-“hearty-cock-brave fellow” and reechoed thro’ our bark.
This interview also was one of those we must experience before we can form a true idea of its pleasure. ’Twas far beyond what a mere landman would suppose.
We soon outsailed the Ship, but before we had gone far our Capt. on a sudden seemed very angry with himself: no one knew the cause of his agitation; when he ordered the peak
[Added, Left Margin] The Crew of this ship was so weakened with incessant pumping and fatigue that when they came off Charlestown strength of lungs sufficient to answer the hailing; and it was finally made by a signal.
[left margin, ll. 4–11]
of the mainsail droped and to bear down again on the Ship:—which being done we all waited to know the cause of it; the countenances seemed to express wonder at what it could mean, and the hurry of executing the orders of the master prevented us from asking questions. While we were thus waiting with expectation, the speaking trumpet resounded “Do you want any thing that I have got—provisions, water, canvass, or rigging?” Heavens! what were the sensations of my heart at this question? And how was my blood and spirits moved, when the hoarse reply was—“No! no! plenty, plenty here yet—thank GOD!—Who’s the Commander of that Brigg?” “John Sckimmer!” “GOD send you well in!”
This scene made me almost beside myself. I was weak and feeble:—misfortunes humanize the mind. Adversity ˜ makes us susceptible of the finer feelings. My brain turned—my throbbed—my pulse rose and fell,—I almost—and should have quite—fainted had not tears bursting from my eyes and rolling down in a torrent gave me ease.—Here was a most beautiful assemblage of sympathies and virtues: and my mind was so softened by disease and misfortunes, that it was well fitted to feel the energy of such a union. Humanity and benevolence—gratitude and thankfulness shown reciprocally in the offer and return and vied in lustre: a similitude of calamity inspired friendship and charity, and sublimity of action.—It has been said that necessity was the mother of invention;43 may we not also say, that misfortune is the parent of virtue?
—“What Sorrow is, thou bid’st us know, And from our own, we learn to melt at others’ woe.”44
“Daughter of Jove, relentless power, Thou tamer of the human breast, Whose iron scourge, and tort’ring hour. The bad affright, afflict the best! When first thy Sire to send on Earth VIRTUE, his darling child design’d, To thee he gave ye heavenly birth, And bad to form her infant mind. Thy form benign, Oh Goddess wear, Thy milder influence impart, Thy philosophic train be here To soften, not to wound the heart, The generous spark extinct revive, Teach me to love and to forgive, Exact my own defects to scan, What others are to feel, and know myself a man.”45
[left margin, ll. 1–20]
We now were off Charlestown-Bar, and the wind being right in our teeth we were the whole day beating up. Just before sunset we passed the fort. Charlestown46 appeared situated between two large spacious rivers, (the one on the right called Cooper River and—the other on the left, Ashley-River) which here emptie themselves into the sea. The number of shipping far surpassed all I had ever seen in Boston. I was told there were then not so many as common at this season, tho’ about 350 sail lay off the town. The town struck me very agreeably; but the New Exchange47 which fronted the place of my landing made a most noble appearance. On landing, Sunday Ev[enin]g just before dark, the numbers of Inhabitants and appearance of the Buildings far exceeded my expectation. I proceeded to the Coffee house,
[left margin, ll. 5, 7]
1 March 1773
where was a great resort of company as busy and noisy as was decent.
I hear met with Mr. Lavinus Clarkson48 to whom I had Letters who much befriended me in getting lodgings, which we were put to very great difficulty to obtain. By X o’Clock however we procured one near the State-house, and this night I had the most sound and refreshing slumber I ever enjoyed.
In the morning the same gentleman politely attended me to introduce me to those to whom I had Letters of recommendation.
This and the next day I spent in traversing the town from one end to the other, viewing the publick buildings and most elegant mansion houses.
[left margin, ll. 4, 6]
This day I was waited upon by several gentlemen to whom yesterday I had delivered Letters—those who came in my absence left Cards with their names. Received a ticket from David Deis Esq.49 for the St. Cecilia Concert,50 and now quit my journal to go.
[left margin, l. 8]
The Concert-house is a large inelegant building situated down a yard at the enterance of which I was met by a Constable with his staff. I offered him my ticket, which was subscribed by the name of the person giving it, and directing admission of me by name, the officer told me to proceed, I did and was next met by a white-waiter, who directs one to a 3d to whom I delivered my ticket and was conducted in. The Hall is preposterously and out of all proportion large, no Orchestra for the performers,
tho’ a kind of loft for fiddlers at the Assembly.51 The performers were all at one end of the hall and the Company in front and on each side. The musick was good. The two Base-viols and French horns were grand. One Abbercrombie,52 a Frenchman just arrived played a first fiddle and solo incomparably, better than any I ever had heard: I have several times heard John Turner and Morgan53 play a solo. Abbercrombie can’t speak a word of English and has a salary of 500 Guineas54 a year from the St. Cecilia Society.—Hartley55 was here, and played as I thôt badly on the harpsichord. The capital defect of this concert was want of an organ.
Here was upwards of 250 ladies, and it was called no great show. I took a view of them, but I saw
In loftiness of head-dress these ladies stoop to the daughters of the North: in richness of dress surpass them: in health and floridity of countenance veil to them: in taciturnity during the performances greatly before our ladies; in noise and flirtations after the musick is ever pretty much on a par. If Our Women have any advantage it is in White and red, vivacity and fire.
The Gentlemen many of them dressed with a richness and elegance uncommon with us—many with swords on. WE had two Macaronis58 present—just arrived from London. This character I found real, and not fictitious. “See the Macaroni” was a
[left margin, ll. 4, 6]
common phrase in the hall. One may well be stiled the Bag and the Other the Cue-Macaroni.59
Mr. Deis was very polite:—he introduced me to most of the first character. Among the Rest to Ld. Charles Gr:[eville] Montagu,60 the Governor (who was to sail next day for London), and to the Ch:[ief] Justice61 two of the assistant Judges, and several of the Council.
Nothing that I now saw raised my conceptions of the mental abilities of this people: but my wrath enkindled when I considered a King’s Gov[ernment]. Spent in viewing horses, riding over the town and into the vicinity, and receiving formal complements.
David Deis Esq:
[left margin, ll. 4, 6, 7]
Dined (with four other Gentlemen) with David Deis, Esq. Table decent and not inelegant: Provisions indifferent, but well dressed: no apology: good wines and festivity. Salt fish brôt in small bits in a dish made a corner. The first toast the king: the 2d a lady: The 3d Our friends at Boston and your (meaning my) fire-side. The master of the feast then called to the Gentlemen on his right hand for a Lady:—this was done to every one, except to the Ladies at table (Mr. D’s daughters about 16 and 10) who were called upon for a Gentleman and gave one with ease. The ladies withdrew after the first round—the father seemed displeased at it. Glasses were changed every time different wine was filled. A sentiment was given by each Gentleman and then we were called to Coffee and tea. No compulsion in drinking, except that a Bumper was called for at the 3d toast.62 Politicks an uninteresting topick.
5 March: Friday
John Matthews, Esq.
[left margin, ll. 4–5]
Dined at a very elegantly disposed and plentiful table at the house of John Matthews, Esq.63 (son-in-law of Col. Scott)64 in company with the Ch[ief] Justice of St. Augustine,65 and several other Gentlemen.
Puddings and pies brôt in hot after meats taken away. The flour of the place in general is indifferent. First toast The King and his friends. The master of the feast calls upon his lady for a Gentleman as a 2d toast: given with ease. Ladies go round as toasts. The females withdraw, and sentiments succeed. No compulsion in drinking: no interesting conversation. Good wines.
Thomas Loughton Smith Esq.
[left margin, ll. 3, 4, 6, 8]
This day was to have been spent with Thomas Loughton Smith, Esq.66 at his country seat. Bad weather prevents, and I take what is called a family dinner with him. A prodigious fine pudding made of what they call Rice flour. Nick-nacks brôt on table after removal of meats. Ladies ask the Gentlemen to drink a glass of wine with them: Upon a Gentleman’s asking a Lady to do the like, she replies: G—bless you, I thôt you never would ask I have been waiting for you this ½ hour.” 1st Toast, Our Boston—friends and their Good health Sir:—the Unmarried Lady (of 19) at my right “your good health and best affections Sir!” Miss ____ your toast madam. “Love and friendship and they who feel them!” Toasts called for from the Guests, etc. till Coffee etc. Mr. Smith’s house furniture, pictures, plate etc. very elegant—wines very fine.
Mrs. Smith shewed me a most beautiful White Sattin and very richly embroidered Lady’s work bag, designed as a present for a lady in London. Miss Catherine Ingliss, her Sister, a still more finely embroidered festoon (as they called it) of flowers. Both their own work; and surpassing anything of the kind I ever saw. Before dinner a short account of the late disputes with the Governor Lord Charles G. Montague, and the state of matters at present.
No Politicks after dinner. In walking with ____ occurred a singular event, of which Balch67 could make a humorous story.
Went to St. Phillips Church:68 Very few (comparatively speaking) present, tho’ this former part of the day is the most full: A young scarcely-bearded boy read prayers, with the most gay, indifferent and gallant air imaginable: very few men and no women stand in singing time: a very elegant peice of modern declamatory composition was decently delivered by another clergyman, by way of sermon from these words in Job “Acquaint now thyself with GOD, thus good will or may come of it.”69 Having heard a young church-parson very coxcomically70 advance a few days before, that no sermon ought to exceed 25 minutes, I had the curiosity to see by my watch whether our clerical instructor was of the same sentiments, and found he shortened the space above 7 ½ minutes. It was very common in prayer as well as
sermon-time to see gentlemen conversing together. In short, taking a view of all things, I could not help remarking the time of it, that here was not, certainly, “solemn mockery.” This Church is the most decorated within, tho’ not the most splendid without, of any in the place.
I find that in the several places of public worship, which I have visited, that a much greater taste for marble monuments prevail here, than with Us to the northward.
I had noticed before, and could not help renewing a remark, that a majority of both Sexes at public assemblies appear in mourning.
I have seen and have been told, that mourning apparel at funerals is greatly in fashion.
This divine after shewing that avocations, business etc. precluded a certain species of acquaintance with GOD, very sagely said “I come now to show that there is a certain allowable acquaintance with GOD.” Qu. What kind of acquaintance can the Creature have with the Creator which is not allowable?
[left margin, ll. 5–16]
[left margin, l. 1]
Miles Brewton Esq.
[left margin, ll. 4, 6, 7]
Dined with considerable company at Miles Brewton Esq.’s71, a gentleman of very large fortune: a most superb house72 said to have cost him 8000£ sterling.73 The Grandest hall I ever beheld, Azure Bleu Satten-window Curtains, rich bleu paper with gilt, Mashee Borders,74 most elegant picture, excessive grand and costly looking glasses etc. Politicks started before dinner: a hot sensible flaming tory, one Mr. Thomas Shirley75 (a native of Britain) present: he had advanced that G[reat] B[ritain] had better be without any of the Colonies; that she committed a most capital political blunder in not ceeding Canada to France: that all the Northern Colonies to the Colony of New York and even NY also were now working the Bane of G[reat] B[ritain]: that GB would do wisely to renounce the Colonies to the North and leave them a prey to their continental neighbors or foreign powers: that none of the political
writings or Conducts of the Colonies would bear any examination but Virginia and none could lay any claim to incomium76 but that province etc.
—Strongly urged that the Massachusetts were aiming at sovereignty over the other provinces; that they now took the lead, were assuming, dictatorial etc. “You may depend upon it (added he) that if G[reat]B[ritain] should renounce the Sovereignty of this Continent or if the Colonies shake themselves clear of her authority that you all (meaning the Carolinas and the other provinces) will have Governors sent you from Boston; Boston aims at Nothing less than the sovereignty of the whole continent; I know it.”
It was easy to see the drift of this discourse: I remarked that all this was new to me; that if it was true, it was a great and good ground of distrust and disunion between the
colonies; that I could not say what the other provinces had in view or thôt but I was sure that the Inhabitants of the Massachusetts paid a very great respect to all the Sister provinces, that she revered, almost, the leaders in Virginia and much respected those of Carolina. Mr. Shirley replied, when it comes to the test Boston will give the other provinces the shell and the shadow and keep the substance. Take away the power and superintendency of Britain, and the Colonies must submit to the next power. Boston would soon have that—power rules all things—they might allow the other a paltry representation, but that would be all.
The Company seemed attentive—and incredulous—were taking sides—
when the call of dinner turned the subject of attention.
Shirley seemed well bred and learned in the course of the Afternoon, but very warm and irascible.
From his singular looks, and behavior I suspected he knew my political path. A most elegant table—3 courses. (Nick nacks), jellies, preserves, sweet meats etc.
After dinner, two sorts of nuts, almonds raisins, 3 sorts of Olives, apples, oranges etc.
By Odds the richest wine I ever tasted: Exceeds Mr. Hancock’s, Vassall’s, Phillips’s and others much in flavour, softness and strength.
I toast all your friends, Sir. Each gentleman gave his toast round in succession.
justices and 3 freeholders might and very often did instanter79 upon view or complaint try a negro for any crime, and might and did often award execution of death—issue their warrant and it was done forthwith. Two Gentlemen present said they had issued each warrants several times. This law too was for free as well as slave-Negroes and molattoes. They further informed me, that neither Negroes or molattoes could have a Jury;—that for killing a negro, ever so wantonly, as without any provocation; they gave a late instance of this; that (further) to steal a negro was death, but to kill him was only fineable. Curious laws and policy! I exclaimed. Very true cried the Company but this is the case.
At Mr. Brewton’s side board was very magnificent plate: a very large exquisitely wrought Goblet much excellent workmanship and singularly beautiful.
A very fine bird kept familiarly playing over the room, under our chairs and the table, picking up the Crumbs etc. and perching on the window, side board and chairs: vastly pretty!
Received complimentary visits, from Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Esq.,80 Messrs. Bee,81 Parsons, Simpson, and Scott, all Gentlemen of the Bar, and others. Was much entertained with Mr. Pinckney’s conversation, who appeared a man of bright natural powers, and improved by a British education at the Temple.82
This Gentleman presented me with the only digest of the laws of the province,83 made some years since by Mr. Simpson, late Atty. General in the Absence of Sir Eagerton Leigh.84 This present was the more acceptable as there is no collection of the Laws of this Province in a book to be had.—No wonder their lawyers make from £2000 to £3000 sterling a year!85—The rule of Action altogether unknown to the people!86
Spent all the morning in viewing the Public library, State-house, public offices etc. being waited upon by Messrs. Pinckney and Rutledge,87 two of the Gentlemen lately from the temple, where they took the degree of Barrister at law. The public library is a handsome, square, spacious room, containing a large collection of very valuable books, cuts, globes etc. I received much entertainment and information from the above gentlemen and Mr. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney informed me of an anecdote to which he was personally knowing, which I desired him several times to repeat that I might be the better able to relate it. He said, that two Gentlemen being at a tavern one of them gave the Pretender’s health, the other refused to drink it, upon which he who gave the toast threw his glass of wine in
in the refuser’s face. For this an action of trespass was brôt, and Sir Fletcher Norton88 closed the cause on behalf of the plaintiff, before Lord Mansfield89 at Nisi Prius.90 His Lordship in summing up the case told the Jury it was a most trifling affair, that the action ought never to have been brôt, and they ought to find the defendant Not Guilty. Sir Fletcher after his Lordship had sat down rose immediately in some heat and asked his Lordship if he did not intend to say anything more to the Jury?
Lord M[ansfield] No, Sir Fletcher I did not. Sir F[letcher] I pray to be heard, then; and I do here public[ly] aver it to be law, that if one man throws wine out of a Glass at another in anger, this is an assault and battery; this I declare for
law, and I do here pawn my reputation as a lawyer upon it.
Lord M[ansfield] Poo, poo, poo! Sir F[letcher] it is a most trifling affair.
Sir F[letcher] Poo, poo, poo! my Lord, I don’t intend to be poo, poo, poo’d out of it neither!—I renew my declaration, and affirm it for law—and if the Jury don’t hear law from the Court, they shall from the Bar. I affirm again that it is an assault and battery. Here Sir Fletcher sat down, and spoke so loud as that the whole Court, bar and Jury heard him,—“He had as good’s retract his opinion now, as do it at another time.” Meaning on a motion for a new trial for misdirection of the Judge on a point of Law.
[left margin, ll. 13, 14]
Lord Mansfield did not think fit to take any notice of all this. Compare this with some maneuvres of the little GODS of the North.91
Mr. C C Pinkney who was a member of the General Assembly told me that the members of the house, like those of the Commons of England always sat with their hats on.
Dined with Mr. Thomas Smith;92 several Gentlemen and ladies: decent and plenteous table of meats: the upper cloth removed, a compleat table of puddings, pies, tarts, custards sweet-meats, oranges, Macarones etc. etc.—profuse Excellent wines—no politicks.
Spent the Evening at the Assembly. Bad musick, good dancing, elegantly disposed supper, bad provisions, worse dressed.
[left margin, ll. 7, 10]
[left margin, l. 5]
Dined with Mr. Roger Smith,93 son to Mr. Thomas Smith: good deal of company, elegant table, and the best provisions I have seen in their town. One Cloth removed, a handsome desert of most kinds of Nicknakes.94 Good wines and much festivity. Two ladies being called on for toasts, the one gave—“Delicate pleasures to susceptible minds.” The other, “When passions rise may reason be the guide.”
In company were two of the late appointed assistant Justices from G[reat]B[ritain]. Their behavior by no means abated my zeal against British
NB. This Gentleman tho’ he appeared not above 29, or 30, had been 4 years of the General Assembly, for St. Phillips—Parish, Charlestown [left margin, ll. 11–16]
[left margin, l. 7]
British appointments: one of them appeared, in aspect, phiz, conversation etc. very near an______________95
In company dined on Mr. Thomas Bee, a planter of considerable opulence. A gentleman of sense, improvement, and politeness; and one of the members of the house;—just upon the point of marrying Mrs. McKenzie, a young widow of about 20 with 8000 or 9000 guineas independant fortune in specie, and daughter to Mr. Thomas Smith.96
From Mr. Bee, I received an assurance of the truth of what I had before heard: that a few years ago,97 the assistant Judges of the Superior Court of the province, being natives, men of abilities, fortune and good fame, an act of assembly passed to settle 300 Sterling98 a
Sterling a year upon them, when the king should grant them Commissions quam diu se bene gesserint.99 The act being sent home for concurrence was disallowed, and the reasons assigned was the above clause.
I am promised by Mr. Bee a trans-script of the Reasons of disallowance with the Attorney and Solicitor—general’s opinion relative to the act.100 Upon this, the assembly passed an act to establish the like salary payable out of any monies that shall be in the treasury, not restricting it to any alteration in the tenure of their commission.—
Mark the sequel. No Assistant Judges had ever before been nominated in England. Immediately upon the king’s approving this last act, Lord Hillsborough101 in his zeal for American
good forthwith sends over, one Chief Justice, and two assistant Justices, Irishmen, the other two, was the one a Scotchman, and the other a Welshman.102
How long will the simple love their simplicity? And ye, who assume the guileful name, the venerable pretext of friends to Government, how long will ye deceive and be deceived. Surely in a political sense, the Americans—“are lighted the way—to study wisdom.”103 I have conversed with upwards of one half the members of the General Assembly and many other ranks of men on this matter. They see their error, and confess it: they own it a rash, imprudent, hasty step, and bitterly repent it. A Committee of the house has ranked
it in their list of grievances. The only solamen104 is—“it is done: we will take care, never to do the like again.” The only apology is, that the assistant Judges of the provinces were unwilling to have Circuit Courts without a fixed salary: the remote parts of the province complained of being obliged to attend all causes at Charlestown: they had great reason of complaint: the regulaters of this province were up as well as those of N[orth] Carolina: Such was the influence of some, that upon the disallowance of the first act, that no act for creating Circuit Courts could be got thro’ till salaries were fixed.—May heaven forgive, but the people never forget them! Think you, that they who
eyed the fleece, have got it? NO! As in like cases—American fools—thirsting for honour and riches—beat the Bush:—British harpies105 seize—the poor bird.106—Righteous is the measure of GOD. Spent a most agreeable evening with Mr. R[oger] S[mith] and was entertained with much genteel supper.
I also have learned from several Gentlemen that it was common in this province for an executor of a will to make several hundred guineas107 by his office;—and that with reputation. Mr. R[oger] S[mith] told he made the last year, by 3 ex[ecut]orships upwards of Seven hundred guineas108; and Mr. Bee told me, that Thomas L Smith’s father made 10,000 Sterling109 and more the same way.
Who would not be his own Executor?
[left margin, l. 3]
Dined with Thomas Lynch Esq.,110 a plain, sensible, honest man, upon a solid, plentiful, good table; with very good wines.
NB I was Introduced by
Thomas Smith Esq.
[left margin, ll. 8–11]
Spent the Evening with the Friday-night Club, consisting of the more elder substantial gentlemen: About 20 or 30 in Company. Conversation on negroes, Rice, and the necessity of British Regular troops to be quartered in Charlestown: there were not wanting men of fortune, sense & attachment to their country, who were zealous for the establishing such troops here.
I took some share in this conversation; and can’t but hope I spoke conviction to many sensible minds. At the Close of the Evening, plans were agitated for the making a certain part of the
with Mr. Brewton
militia of the province (to take in rotation) answer instead of foreign aid.111
I here learned in a side conversation, that two of the late Assistant-Judges ˜ of the Supreme Court (men too of great opulence!) who were in the General Assembly at the time of the Act mentioned 2 pages back, were the very means of getting it passed: Quid non mortalia pectora cogis Auri sacra fames?112 That they hoping to enjoy the Emoluments of the grant were hot, zealous and perpetually persevering till they got it thro’: He informed me also of the specious arguments they used, and the advantages that they took of the popular commotions. Good heavens, how much more noble a part might they have taken: They are now knawing their tongues in rage.
˜ Gentlemen now in high and popular repute.
[left margin, ll. 7–9]
T L Smith
[left margin, ll. 4, 5]
Spent all the morning transcribing Mr. Edward Rutledge MS law Reports.113 At XI set off in State for the Retreat of T L Smith Esq. Dined there and spent the remainder of the Day.
This Day spent the most agreably of any since my arrival in Charles-town.
A most delightful place indeed!
Bad weather: spent the day at my lodgings. Visited by Mr. Lynch, Deis, and others. Mr. Lynch gave me a long account of the conduct of the Regulators114; with the cause of their ill-success; the Ease with which Tryon115 might have been defeated.
He said he had the best information of the facts he related, and good grounds for his opinions on the matter.
Lynch, Rutledge Brewton
[left margin, ll. 3, 5, 8]
Dined with company at Mr. Lynch’s on Turtle.116—
Spent the morning and afternoon in transcribing Law reports of Edw[ar]d Rutledge Esq. late Student in the Temple.117
Spent the evening with Monday-night Clubb; introduced by Mr. Brewton. Cards, feasting, and indifferent wines. NB. This was at a Tavern, and was the first time of my meeting with ordinary wines since my being at Charlestown.
[left margin, l. 14]
[left margin, l. 16]
Spent this morning ever since 5 o’Clock in perusing Public Records of the Province which I was favored with by the worthy Mr. Bee:—have marked many to be Copied for me:—am now going to the famous Races.
[left margin, l. 9]
[left margin, ll. 11, 12]
The races were well performed, but Flimnap beat Little David, (who had won the 16 Last Races) out and out: The last heat the former distant the latter. The first 4 mile heat was performed in 8 m[inutes] and 17 seconds, being 4 miles.—2000£ sterling118 was one [sic] and lost at the Race, and Flimnap sold at Public Vendue119 the same Day for £300 sterling.120 Took a family-dinner with Mr. Brewton—had a fine dish of Politicks—had further light from one of the Company (a prerogative—man) into the Arts used to disunite the Colonies. Sounded Mr. Brewton and Mr. Erving121, when alone, with regard to a general and permanent Continental literary correspondence: the matter taken mightily. At the Races I saw a prodigious fine collection of excellent, tho’ very high-prized horses—and was let a little into the singular art and mystery of the Turff.
Spent all the morning in copying Mr. Rutledge’s Reports. Feasted with the Sons of St. Patrick. While at Dinner 6 violins, 2 hautboys and basoon with a Hand-tabor beat excellently well. After Dinner 6 French horns in concert—most surpassing musick!—Two solos on the French horn by one who is said to blow the finest horn in the world: he has 50 Guinea122 for the Season from the St. Cecilia—Society.
[left margin, l. 18]
Spent in Reading further reports of Mr. R[utledge]—paying complementary visits of Departure, and in preperation for my Journey Northward.
NB This day advanced to Miles Brewton Esq. thirty one pounds sterling123 for one pipe124 of Best London Particular Madeira Wine to be sent for to the house of Puntalium Fernandez and Co. in Madeira—and Took Mr. Brewton’s Receipt of this date.
By reason of an order of the house of Assembly enjoining attendance of all the members, Mr. Lynch cannot set out:—I am therefore to be detained this day. Spent all the morning in hearing the debates of the House—had an opportunity of hearing the best speakers in the province.
The first thing done at the meeting of the house is to bring the mace X and lay it on the table before the speaker. This I am told is the way in the Commons of G[reat]B[ritain]. The next thing is for the Clerk to read over in a very audible voice, the doings of the preceeding day.
The speaker is robed in black and has a very large Wigg of State, when he goes to attend the Chair (with the Mace borne before him) on Delivery of speeches etc. T Lynch Esq. spoke like a man of sense and a patriot—with dignity, free, and laconism. Gadsen Esq.125 was plain, blunt, hot and incorrect tho’ very sensible. In many respects he resembles Bowers.126 In the course of the debate, he used these very
[Added, Left Margin, next to “mace X”] X A very superb and elegant one which cost 90 Guineas.127
[left margin, ll. 9–11]
singular expressions for a member of parliament—“And, Mr. Speaker, if the government and Council don’t see fit to fall in with Us, I say, let the General duty law, go to the Devil, Sir.—And we go about our business!” Parsons, Jno. Rutledge, and Old Charles Pinckney, (the three first-lawyers in the Province) spoke on the occasion:—the two last very good speakers indeed.128 The members of the house all set with their hats on, and uncover when they rise to speak: they are not confined (at least they did not confine themselves) to any one place to speak in.
The members conversed, lolled, and chatted much like a friendly jovial society, when nothing of importance was before the house:—nay once or twice while the Speaker and clerk were busy in writing the members spoke quite loud across the room to one another.—A very unparliamentary appearance.
The speaker put the Q[uestio]ns sitting, and conversed with the House sitting: the members gave their votes by rising from their seats—the dissentients did not rise.
[left margin, l. 6]
Set out with Mr. Lynch for his plantation on Santee river on any way to the Northward. In crossing Hobcaw—ferry we were awed by 6 Negroes 4 of whom had nothing on but their kind of breeches, scarce sufficient for covering.
Had a most agreeable ride, and received much information from Mr. Lynch of the maneuvers at the Congress in 1765: his relation was by no means favorable to a certain celebrated Northern Patriot;129 and the conduct of Livingston130 (as L[ynch] exhibited it) ought to be remembered with unrelenting indignation [line crossed out] Caesar Rodney of Pennsylvania131 Lynch and Gadsen of So[uth] Carolina were heroes and patriots.
NB. From what I learned from Mr. Lynch it is worth trying the experiment of planting Rice in our low, marshy lands, for the purpose of feeding cows and making the most excellent flavored and yellow butter.—He said he did not doubt it would answer well. [left margin, written with the page turned 90∞ counter-clockwise, ll. 9–24]
Mr. Lynch’s plantation is very pleasantly situated and is very valuable. [5 lines heavily crossed out] Had a three hours tedious passage Santee-river: Crossed Georgetown river or Sam-pit River just at dark. Lodged in the town and am now held in duress by a very high equinoxial gale from Crossing Wineyaw-bay,132 formed by the union of Waccamaw [Winyaw], Pedee [Pee Dee] and Black rivers. ’Tis prodigious fine traveling weather and requires no small share of philosophy to be contented with my situation.
NB. I had a very fine view of a white Squirrel this day, in traveling thro’ the woods.
[left margin, ll. 5, 9]
Spent this night with Mr. Joseph Allston133 a gentleman of immense income all of his own acquisition: He is a person between 39 and 40, and a very few years ago begun the world with only 5 negroes—has now 5 plantations, with an 100 slaves on each. He told me his neat income was but about 5 or 6000 £ sterling134 a year, he is reputed much richer. His plantation, negroes, gardens etc. are in the best order of any I have seen: He has propag[at]ed the Lisbon and Wine Island grapes with great success. I was entertained with more true hospitality and benevolence by this family than any I had met with. His good lady filled a wallet, with bread, biscuit, wine, fowle and tongue, and presented it next morning. The wine I declined, but gladly received the rest. At about 12 o’Clock in a sandy pine
desert I enjoyed a fine regalement; and having met with a refreshing spring, I remembered the worthy Mr. Allston and Lady with more warmth of affection and hearty benisons, than ever I toasted King or Queen, Saint or Hero.
This Gentleman sent his servant as our guide between 30 and 40 miles much to our preservation from very vexatious difficulties.
[left margin, l. 14]
Lodged the last night at the Plantation of Mr. Johnston,135 (who is now at Charlestown) Mr. Withers, Brother in law to Mr. Joseph Allston came as our guide about 10 miles.
A most barren, deary rode: 9 cows and oxen had perish within a week for want of sustenance: great difficulty to get food for man or beast.
This day left the province of South Carolina and entered that of the North
Gen[era]l remarks and Observ[ati]ons on So[uth] Carolina
The constitution of So[uth] C[arolina] is in very many respects defective and in an equal number extremely bad.
The inhabitants may well be divided into opulent and lordly planters, poor and spiritless peasants and vile slaves.
Having blended with every order of men as much as was possible and convenient, I had considerable opportunity to learn their manners, genius, taste etc.
The whole body almost of this people seem averse to the claims and assumptions of the British Legislature over the Colonies; but you will seldom hear even in political conversations any warm or animated expressions against the measures of administration. Their fiercer passions seem to be employed upon
their slaves and here to expend themselves. A general doubt of the firmness and integrity of the Northern colonies is prevalent: they say the M[assachusetts] Bay can talk, vote and resolve—but their doings are not correspondent:136 sentiments and expressions of this kind are common and fasionable; they arise from various causes: I imagine from envy and jealously in some, and from artifice in others: the very remarkable difference in their manners and religious tenets and notions contribute to the same effect.
It may well be questioned whether in reality there is any 3d branch in the Cons[titu]tion of this government.137 ’Tis true they have a house of assembly: but who do they represent? The laborer, the mechanic, the tradesman, the farmer, husbandman or yeoman? No. The representatives are almost if not wholly rich planters:—the
Planting interest is therefore represented but I conceive nothing else (as it ought to be.)
At present, the house of Assembly X are staunch Colonists. But what is it owing to? Bad policy on the other side the water. The members of this house are all very wealthy, and such kind of men have in general but little solicitude about the interests or concerns of the many: and frequently the fittest instruments to inslave and oppress the commonality. Such extravagant disproportion in property is to the last degree impolite and dangerous. The Council, Judges and other great officers are all appointed by mandamus from G[reat]B[ritain] nay the Clerk of the Board and Assembly. Who are and have been thus appointed? Indigent and ____ persons, disconnected and obnoxious to the people. I heard several of the planters say, “we none of Us, when we grow old can expect the honour of the State—they
[Added, Left Margin, next to house of Assembly X”] X Non-residents may be chosen to represent any town, if they have lands in the county; and hence a great majority of the house are dwellers in Charlestown, where the body of Planters reside during the sickly months. A fatal kind of policy!
[left margin, ll. 4–18]
“are all given away to worthless poor rascals.”
The planter (like the fox) prides himself in saying the grapes are sower:138 his fortune inclines and makes him look with contempt on the official grandee.—Thus the rights and liberties of the State are in some measure safe—but from a very unstable cause.
This government is composed of two aristocratic parts and one monarchical body: the aristocratic parts mutually dislike each other.—Let us suppose a change in British policy.
Compose the Council of the first planters, fill all the Public offices with them—give them the honour of the State, and tho’ they don’t want them, give them it and emoluments also:—introduce Baronies and Lordships—their enormous estates will bear it
What will become of Carolinian freedom? The luxury, disipation, life, sentiments and manners, of the leading people naturally tend to make them neglect, dispise, and be careless of the true interests of mankind in general.—
Hence we may suppose, that when a different policy is gone into with regard to this people, there will be a very calamitous alteration in the views and conduct of the Planters and therefore also with regard to the true interests of the province. State, magnificence and ostentation, the natural attendants of riches, are conspicuous among this people: the number and subjection of their slaves tend this way. Cards, dice, the bottle and horses engross prodigious portions of time and attention: The Gentlemen (planters and merchants) are mostly men of the turff and gamesters. Political enquiries and philosophie disquisitions are too laborious for them: they have no great passion for to shine and blaze in the forum or Senate.139
The yeomanry and husbandmen make a very different figure from those of New England: the middling order in the Capital are odious characters. The state of Religion here is repugnant not only to the ordinances and institutions of Jesus Christ, but to every law of sound policy.
The Sabbath is a day of visiting & mirth with the Rich, and of license, pastime and frolic for the negroes. The blacks I saw in great numbers playing pawpaw, huzzle-cap, push penny,140 and quarrelling round the doors of the Churches in service time—and as to their priests—Voltaire says—“always speak well of the prior.”141—The slaves who don’t frolic on the Sabbath, do all kinds of work for themselves on hire. The ladies of Charlestown want much of the fire and vivacity of the North, or I want taste and discernment.
There being but one chief place of trade it’s increase is amazingly rapid:—the stories you are every where told of rise in the value of lands seem Romantic, but I was assured they were fact.
There is a large Colossal statue of Mr. Pitt142 in Charlestown much praised by many. The drapery was exquisitely well done: but to me, the attitude, air and expression of the piece was bad. The staple commodities are Rice, Indigo, hemp, tobacco, peas, skins and naval stores: the two first are the capital: the general topics of conv[ersati]on, when cards, the bottle and occurrences of the day don’t intervene are of negroes, and the price of Indigo and Rice: I was surprized to find this so general.
Compared with the Inhabitants of N[ew]E[ngland] I think it no injustice to say there are here few men of Letters and science
Slavery may truely be said to be the peculiar curse of this land: Strange infatuation! It is generally thought and called by the people it’s blessing. Applicable indeed to this people and their slaves are the words of Our Milton—
—“So perfect in their misery, Not one perceive their foul disfigurement.”143 A few years ago; it is allowed, that the Blacks exceeded the Whites as 17 to 1. There are those who now tell you, that the Slave are not more that 3 to 1, some pretend not so many. But they who talk thus are afraid that the Slaves should by some means discover their superiority: many people express great fears of an insurrection, others treat the idea as chimerical. I took great pains (finding much contrariety of opinion) to find out the true proportion:
the best information I could obtain fixes it at about 7 to 1, my own observation leads me to think it much greater.144
The brutality used towards the slaves has a very bad tendency with reference to the manners of the people, but a much worse with regard to the youth. They will plead in their excuse—“this severity is necessary.” But whence did or does this necessity arise? From the necessity of having vast multitudes sunk in barbarism, ignorance and the basest and most servile employ! By reason of this Slavery; the children are early impressed with infamous and destructive ideas, and become extremely vitiated in their manners—they contract a negroish kind of accent, pronunciation, and dialect,145 as well as ridiculous kind
of behavior:—even many of the grown people, and especially the women, are vastly infected with the same disorder. Parents instead of talking to their very young children in the unmeaning way with us, converse to them as tho’ they were speak[ing] to a new imported African. From the same cause have their Legislators enacted laws touching negroes, mulattoes and masters which savor more of the policy of Pandemonium146 than the English constitution:—laws which will stand eternal records of the depravity and contradiction of the human character: laws which would disgrace the tribunal of Scythian, Aral, Hottentot and Barbarian147 are appealed to in decisions upon life limb and liberty by those who assume the name of Englishmen, freemen and Christians:—the place of trial
no doubt is called a Court of Justice and equity—but the Judges have forgot a maxim of English law—Jura naturalia sunt immutabilia148 and they would do well to remember that no laws of the (little) creature supercede the laws of the (great) creator. Can the institutions of man make void the decree of GOD! These are but a small part of the mischief of Slavery—new ones are every day arising—futurity will produce more and greater. Mr. Lynch told me, that he knew several Negroes who had refused to implore a forgiveness when under sentence of death, tho’ a pardon was insured on this easy term. Preferring death to their deplorable state, they died with
See Lord Hobart’s
[left margin, l. 4]
a temper deserving a better fate. There is much among this people of what the world call hospitality and politeness, it may be questioned what proportion there is of true humanity, Christian charity and love.
Wm Hill Esq.
[left margin, ll. 3, 4]
Lodged the last night in North Carol[ina]: at the house of William Hill Esq.149: a most sensible, polite gentleman: tho’ a Crown officer,150 a man replete with sentiments of general liberty and warmly attached to the cause of American freedom.— Spent much of this day in public and private conversation with Col. Robert Howe,151 a leading and active member of the General Assembly. Fine natural parts, great feeling, pure and elegant diction, with much persuasive eloquence.
Tho’ likewise a Crown Officer with a lucrative post152 a staunch whig and colonist. I received much information in provincial politicks and great pleasure from his relation.
Hot and zealous in the Cause of America he relished the proposed Continental correspondence, promised to promote it and write me by the first opportunity.
This Gentleman gave me at night a 3 hours minute relation of the motives, views and proceedings of the Regulators,
I begun to change my opinion of the Regulators and Governor Tryon—But as is common on the next day.
Breakfasted with Col. Dry,155 the Collector of the Customs and one of the Council.—A friend to the Regulators and seemingly warm against the measures of British and Continental administrations he gave me an entire different account of things. I am now left to form my own opinion—and am preparing for a water tour to Fort Johnston,156 having sent Randall forward to Wilmington.
[left margin, l. 1]
Rob Howe, Esq.
[left margin, ll. 3, 5]
Yesterday was a most delightful day: Fort Johnston is as delightful a situation: the Commander (Rob Howe) is, if possible a more delightful fellow. A most happy compound of the man of sense sentiment and dignity, with the man of the world, the sword, the Senate and the Bucks:157 A truely surprizing character! The relations of his past life and adventures which he gave me in private was moving and was ravishing:—’Twas joyous, passing joyous! ’twas exquisite, supremely exquisite! NB. He has promised to transport me some of the most finished compositions in the world. I have reason to think he will be as good as his word. In a retired walk, Mr. Howe told me, that in this government there was a select number who had mutually agreed and solemnly promised each other to keep each a regular journal not only of the Public
[left margin, ll. 16, 18]
occurrences, but of the conduct of every Public character! ’Tis a glorious scheme—if executed will be fraught with good. He told me, that having lately had come words upon political affairs with governor Martin and one of his council and tools, he took occasion to mention the existence of this society and the end of their insituation—to record the actions (as he expressed it) of knaves and fools—of little villains and great and transmit them in true characters to posterity. It had the desired effect for—Felix trembled.158 I go to Church this day at Brunswick159—hear William Hill read prayer—dine with Col. Dry—proceed to-morrow to Willmington160 and dine with Dr. Cobham161 to-morrow with a picked company.
Col. Dry, a member of the Council in this province furnished me with the following Instruction,162 given Governor Martin, and as Col. Dry told me. Governor M[artin] said to all the Colony—Governors likewise.
Copy George R.
[left margin, ll. 6, 7]
Additional Instruction to Our trusty and well beloved Josiah Martin Esquire Our Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over our Province of North Carolina in America. Given at our Court at St. James’s the 4th day of February 1772: In the twelfth year of Our reign.
Whereas Laws have been passed in some of Our Colonies and Plantations in America by which the Lands, tenements, goods, chattels, rights and credits of persons, who have never resided within
the Colonies where such laws have been passed have been made liable to be attached for the recovery of debts in a manner different from that allowed by the Laws of England in like Cases. And whereas it hath been represented unto us, that such laws may have the consequence to prejudice and obstruct the commerce between this kingdom and our said Colonies, and to effect Public Credit. ’Tis therefore Our will & pleasure that you do not on any pretence whatever give your assent to or pass any bill or bills in our Province under your government by which the lands, tenements, goods, chattels, rights & credits
w:s essentially so?
[left margin, ll. 4–6 opposite “different”]
[left margin, ll. 11–13 opposite “our will & pleasure”]
of persons who have never resided within our said Province shall be made liable to be attached for the recovery of debts due from such persons
otherwise than is allowed by law in Cases of the like nature within our kingdom of Great Britain until you shall first have transmitted to us, by one of our Principal Secretaries of State, the Draughts of such bill or bills and shall have received Our Royal Pleasure there upon, unless you take care in the passing of such bill or bills that a clause or clauses be inserted therein suspending and defferring the Execution there of until Our Royal Will and Pleasure shall be known there upon.
[left margin, l. 17 opposite “GR”]
Col. Dry is justly called the house of universal hospitality—his table abounds with plenty—his servants excel in cookery—and his sensible lady exceeds (at least I think equals) Sister Q[uincy] in the pastry and Nick-nack way.165
Dined at Dr. Thomas Cobbam’s in company with Harnett,166 Hooper,167 Burgwin,168 Dr. Tucker169 and others, in Willmington. Lodged also with Dr. Cobbam, who has treated me with great politeness, tho’ an utter stranger and one to whom I had no Letters. Spent the Evening with the Great Company of the place.
Dined with about 20 at Mr. William Hooper’s—find him apparently in the Whig interest—has taken that side in the house—is caressed by the Whiggs—and is now pushing his election thro’ the influence of that party.
Spent the evening and night at Mr. Harnett’s, the Samuel Adams of North Carolina except in point of fortune.170
Robert Howe, Esq., Harnett and myself made the Social triumvirate of the Evening. The plan of Continental correspondence highly relished, much wished for and resolved upon, as proper to be pursued.
Mr. H[arnett] lives in taste—with philosophy and virtue.
At about 11 o’Clock, Col Howe took his leave of me, having scarce been absent from each other since our first acquaintance 5 days ago. From perfect strangers we became intimate—From some cause or other we have formed an apparent affection and at parting both seem to be mutually and alike affected.—“I will not take a final leave (said he at our parting) for I feel an impulse that
we shall—we must—meet again!! This gentleman is a very extraordinary character. Formed by nature and his education to shine in the Senate and the field—(in the Company of the phylosopher and libertine171—a favorite of the man of sense and the female world. He has faults and vices—but alas who is without them? His faults are those of a high spirit—his vices those of a man of feeling.
His Adventures and intrigues expressed with his fire and cloathed in his diction would form a most engaging romance. In short his Character seemed an Assemblage of a Granderson and Lovelace.172
31st March 1773
[left margin, ll. 12, 14]
Set out from Mr. Harnett’s for New-bern.173
[left margin, l. 3]
This evening maybe stiled that of the Knight—errant174—not worth the trouble of recital, tho’ it certainly had liked to have proved very momentous.
[left margin, l. 8]
Reached Newbern about XI o’Clock AM in company with Capt. Collett175 Waited upon Judge Howard176 and spent about an hour with him—Did not present the rest of my Letters—because of the finest of the weather for traveling and no C[our]ts of any kind sitting or even in being in the province. Judge Howard waited upon me in the Evening with recommendatory Letters to Col. Palmer177 of Bath and Col. Buncombe178 of Tyrrell county.
Reached Bath in the Evening—Did not deliver my Letters to Col. Palmer, but proceeded next morning to Mr. Wingfield’s179 parish where I spent the Sabbath.
[left margin, ll. 6, 7, 8]
Spent this and the next day in crossing Albermarle—sound and in dining and conversing in Company with the most celebrated lawyers of Edenton. They appeared sensible Tryonists182 and prerogative subjects. From them I learned that Dr. Samuel Cooper183 of Boston was generally, (they said universally) esteemed the Author of Leonidas,184 who together with Mucius Scaevola185 were burnt in effigy under the Gallows by the Com[mon] hang-man in No[rth] Carolina.
Here was a Char[acter] who Balch186 could by taking off sett a jovial company in a perfect roar.—He was a man of sense, but the most singular I ever saw.
There being no C:[our]ts of any kind in this province and no laws in force by which any could be held, I found little inclination or incitement to stay long in Edenton, tho’ a pleasant town.187 Accordingly a guide offering his direction, just at evening I left the place, and proceeded just into the bounds of Virginia where I lodged the Night.
Gen[era]l Reflections and Remarks on No and So Carolina
(as they rise.)
The soils and climates of the Carolinas differ, but not so much as their Inhabitants. Tho’ little more than imaginary line part these people, you no sooner enter the No[rth] prov[ince] before you seem to see a surprising change of men and things.
There is an affectation too prevalent in So[uth] Carolina of superiority over the Northern colonies, especially over poor No[rth] C[arolina], which was much misery presented to me, and might therefore cause a prejudice in
their favour when I found things so different from the accounts received of them.—But all prejudice apart.
The number of Negroes and slaves are vastly less in No[rth] than So[uth] C[arolina]. Their staple—commodity is not so valuable, being not in so great demand, as the Rice, Indigo, etc. of the South. Hence labor becomes more necessary, and he who has an interest of his own to serve is a laborer in the field. Husbandmen and agriculture increase in number and improvement. Industry is up in the woods, at tar, pitch, and turpentine—in the fields plowing, planting, or clearing and fencing the land. Herds and flocks become more numerous, and they resemble not Pharoah’s lean kine,188 so much as those of the Prov[ince] I had just left. You see husband-men
men, yeomen and white laborers scattered thro’ the country, instead of herds of Negroes and tawny slaves. Healthful countenances and numerous families become more common as you advance North. In Charlestown and so thro’ the Southern prov[ince] I saw much apparent hospitality, much of what is called good-breeding and politeness, and great barbarity. In Brunswick, Willmington, Newbern Edenton, and so thro’ the North prov[ince] there is real hospitality, less of what is called politeness and good-breeding and less inhumanity.
Property is much more equally diffused in one prov[ince] than the other, and this may account, for some, if not all, the differences of Character of the inhabitants.
Arts and sciences are certainly better understood, more relished, more attended to and better cultivated in the one prov than the other. Men of genius, learning, and true wit, humour, and mirth are more numerous here than the country I had just left: a country too, when the civilities I had received served to prejudice my judgment in it’s favour. However, in one respect, I find a pretty near resemblance between the two Colonies: I mean the State of Religion. At a low ebb indeed in both Provinces. ’Tis certainly high time to repeal the Laws relative to religion and the observation of the Sabbath, or to see them better executed. ’Tis certainly to the last degree false
politicks to have laws in force which the legislators, judges and executive officers not only break themselves, but practically and too often openly and avowedly deride. Avowed impunity to all offenders is one sign at least that the Law wants amendment or abrogation.189
Alike as the Carolinas are in this respect, they certainly vary much as to their gen[eral] sentiments, opin[ion]s and judgments: they may well be considered as very opposite in character, and tis very apparent that no great friendship or esteemed is entertained by one towards the other.
The slaves in No[rth] C[arolina] are fewer in number, better cloathed and better fed, than in So[uth], and are of consequence better servants.
A mischief incident to both these prov[inces] is very observable, and very natural to be expected:—the intercourse between the whites and blacks. The enjoyment of a negro or molatto woman is spoken of as quite a common thing: no reluctance, delicacy or shame is made about the matter. It is far from being uncommon to see a gentleman at dinner, and his reputed off-spring a slave to the master of the table. I myself saw two instances of this, and the company very facetiously would trace the lines, lineaments and features of the father and mother in the Child, and very accurately point out the more characteristick resemblances. The fathers neither of them blushed or seem disconcerted. They were called men of worth, politeness and humanity.
Strange perversion of terms and language! The Africans are said to be inferior in point of sense and understanding, sentiment and feeling, to the Europeans and other white nations. Hence the one infer a right to enslave the other. An African Black labors night and day to collect a small pittance to purchase the freedom of his child: the American or European White man begets his likeness, and with much indifference and dignity of soul sees his progeny in bondage and misery, and makes not one effort to redeem his own blood.—Choice food for Satire—wide field for burlesque—and noble game for wit!—unless the enkindled blood inflame resentment, wrath and rage; and vent itself in execrations.
The staple commodities of No[rth] C[arolina] are all kinds of Naval stores—Indian Corn, pork, peas, some tobacco, which they gen[erally] send into Virginia, hemp, flax-seed and mustard seed: the culture of Wheat and rice is making quick progress, as a spirit of agricultures is rising fast.
The favorite liquor of the Carolinas are Claret and Port wines in preference to Madeira and Lisbon.190 The Commerce of No[rth] C[arolina] is much differed thro’ the several parts of the prov[ince]—they in some respects may be said to have no metropolis, tho’ Newbern is called the Capital, as there is the seat of Government. It is made a Q[uestio]n which carries on most trade whether Edenton, Newbern [New Bern], Willmington or Brunswick: It seems to be one of the two first.
There is very little, if any kind, of commerce or intercourse between the No[rth] and So[uth] prov of Carolina, and there is very little, if any more, of regard in the Inh[abitan]ts of the one Colony for those of the other.
The present state of No[rth] C[arolina] is really envious: there are but 5 laws in force thro’ the Colony,191 and no Courts at all in being. None can recover their debts except before a single magistrate where the sums are within his jurisdiction, and offenders escape with impunity. The people are in great consternation about the matter: What will be the consequences are problematical: many people, as Lord Bottetourt192 says “augur ill”193 on the occasion.
Lodged at Suffolk.194—
[left margin, l. 2]
Dined at Smithfield195—two considerable towns in Virginia.
Ever since I have left So[uth] Carolina, as I verge No[rth] the lands and culture of them have gradually changed for the better. Excellent farms and charming large cleared tracts well-fenced and tilled are all around me.—Peach-trees seem to be of spontaneous growth in the South provinces, and I had them all-along in their proudest bloom. Whole fields of them looked beautifully. I saw about 6 acres all in high bloom, and very regularly planted, and Every other row of trees was of the apple and pear kind, not yet in blossom: An extent of about 12 or 15 acres of peach-trees regularly set in equi-distant rows, intermixed all about with many
small pine trees of exquisite verdure, formed a prospect to the Eye most delightful and charming.
I arrived this morning about 10 o’Clock at Williamsburg,196 the Capital of Virginia. ’Tis a place of no trade, and it’s importance depends altogether on it’s being the seat of gov:t and the place of the College.197 I have just been taking a view of the whole town. ’Tis inferior much to my expectation. Nothing of the population of the North, or of the magnificence and splendor of the South. The College makes a very agreeable appearance in front, but in the rear it is scandalously out of repair. The large garden before the College is of ornament and use. There is but
two private buildings of Note: the Governor’s and the Atty Gen:l’s. The first is not remarkable: the other is in the Chinese taste; and is the handsomest of the two. The Capitol or State-house198 is called a very handsome building, I have as yet seen only the outside, I shall visit the Inward parts of it on the morrow. The College in this place is in a very declined state.
April. 10th 11th 12th
Hewes’s crab-apple201 is much cultivated in Virginia. I have tasted better cyder made it, than any I ever drank made from Northern fruit. The Cyder is quite pale, and clear, but of most exquisite flavor. Tis certainly worthy taking much pains to propogate these trees with us.
The State-house is more commodious inside, than ornamental without. The Council Chamber is furnished with a large, well chosen, valuable collection of Books; chiefly of law. The Court of Justice is very ill contrived.
I was present at their Gen:l Court, which is the Sup[erio]r Court of Justice and the Court of Chancery of the prov:[ince]—But had only an opp[ortunit]y of hearing short motions made by their most
eminent counsel at the Bar: the Chancery—business being always the employ of the first week, and the Crown or Civil Business that of the second and succeeding weeks. The Constitution of the Courts of Justice and equity in this colony is amazingly defective, inconvenient and dangerous, not to say absurd and mischievous. This motley kind of Court called the Gen:l Court is composed of the Governor and Council, who are appointed and created by mandamus from the Crown, and hold bene placito.202 I am told that it is no uncommon thing for this Court to set one hour and hear a cause as a Court of Law; and the next hour, perhaps minute, to set and audit the
same matter as a Court of Chancery and equity: and if my information is good, they very frequently give directly contrary decisions.203 Voltaire,204 his Huron or Pupil of Nature might here exercise their talent of wit and sarcasm. It was a matter of speculation with me how such a constitution and form of judicial administration could be tolerable: I conversed with divers who seemed to have experienced no inconvenience and of course to apprehend no danger from this quarter; yet they readily gave into my sentiments upon the subject, when I endeavored to show the political defects and solecism205 of this constitution.
However I saw none who gave me any satisfactory account of the true reason that more mischeivous consequences had not flowed from this source. Perhaps it was owing to my misfortune in having no Letters to any of the Bar, and but one to any Gentlemen within many miles of Williamsburgh, tho’ I had many to persons of distinction expected in town next week. I could only regret, but many circumstances deprived me of remedying, this inconvenience.
I spent the Evening with two of the Councils of the Province,
and our conversation was wholly political (and inquisitive.) They invited me to dine with the Councils next day and offered to introduce me to the Governor, the Earl of Dunmore,206 but I was unfortunately obliged to wave207 their invitation and offer.
The State of Religion here is a little better than to the South; tho I hear the most shocking accounts of the depravity and abominable wickedness of their established Clergy, several of whom keeping public taverns and open gaming houses: Other crimes of which one them (who now officiates) is charged and
[pages 125 and 126 are cut out]208
safe-guard from future invasions and oppressions. I am mistaken in my conjecture, if in some approaching day Virginia does not more fully see the capital defects of her constitution of gov:t and rue the bitter consequences of them.
The Commonality and farmers thro’ this province were vastly more ignorant and illiterate kind of people than with us; yet their farms and fields displayed great marks of fine husbandry and much
industry and improvements: but a spirit of inquiry and literature is thro’ this whole colony manifestly subordinate to a spirit of gaming, horse-racing and jockeying of all kinds:—even cock-fighting is a very predominant passion. Three or four matches of this sort where advertised in the Public prints of Williamsburgh and I was a witness to five in the course of my Journey from that town to Port-royal.
The Hewes’s Crab Apple much cultivated in this prov:[ince] and increase fast in repute for making the best cyder.
An Aristocratical spirit and principle is very prevalent in the Laws policy and manners of this Colony, and the Law ordaining that Estates-tail shall not be barred by Common Recoveries is not the only instance thereof.209
Crossed Potomack river and arrived in Maryland. Thro’ Virginia you find agriculture carried to great perfection, and large fields (from 10 to 30 acres extent) are planted with Peach-trees, which being all in bloom made my journey vastly agreable. The purpose of raising these trees is the making a Brandy, a very favorite liquor. The land evidently grows better as I verge North, and as stony and rocky ground becomes more frequent. The melody of the fields and woods thro’ Virginia is greatly beyond the Carolinas. The Culture of corn and wheat is supplanting very fast that of tobacco in this province. I spent yesterday chiefly with young men of fortune: they were gamblers and Cock-fighters, hound-breeders and horse jockies. To hear them converse, you would think that the grand point of
all science was properly to fix a Gaff210 and touch with dexterity the tails of a Cock while in combat. He who won the last match, the Last main, or last horse race assumed the airs of a Hero or German potentate. The ingenuity of a Locke211 as the discoveries of a Newton212 were considered as infinitely inferior to the accomplishments of him who knew when to Shoulder a blind Cock or start a fleet horse. I had heretofore heard Virginia famed for hospitality and politeness. I made not these discoveries. It abounds with knaves and sharpers, and those who are adroit at Lord Bacon’s Left-handed wisdom.213 They have several wise men and patriots; but even these are much belied, if they have not been guilty of practices inconsistent with common
honesty.—’Tis, according to Shakespear, the spur of the place to be subtle & trickish.214
Having now finished my tour thro’ those Southern-provinces which boast most of their politeness, taste and the art of true living, I am naturally led to consider the justness of their good opinion of themselves.
“One affronts (says Voltaire) a whole nation, if one doubts of this being placed at present at the summit of taste. The best way is to wait until time and example shall instruct a nation wherein it errs in it’s judgment and taste.”215 It is really affecting to consider what a prodigious number of men have not the least spark of taste, have no relish for the fine arts.—
Taste, like phylosophy, falls to the lot of only a small select number of privileged souls. It was in vain that (Ovid said), GOD has created us with countenances which look towards the heavens (erectos ad sydera tollere vultus216) for men are almost all bent towards the Earth.
The soils thro’ Virginia and Maryland are mostly of a redish colour and sandy substance.
Maryland is very hilly and abounds in Oak trees.
To the South of Virginia the public roads are thro’ a level, sandy, pitch-pine barren: when you enter Virginia, and in proportion as you come north you change the plain for hills, and Pitch-pines for Oaks; and the goodness, value, and improvement of the soil is very correspondent to this alteration of appearances. The Tobacco of Maryland, as I was uniformly told both there and in Virginia bears a preference in all foreign markets and carries a proportionable advance of price.
The Maryland Tobacco goes under the denomination of colored Tobacco, and is of a bright yellow aspect, and the very best of it verges near to a Whitish bright colour. This colour arises cheifly from the nature of the soil, but in some measure also from the mode of curing it:—the Marylander in this respect taking more pains than the Virginian.
The clergy and people of this prov:[ince] are ingaged in a very bitter, important contest, and if we may judge by their public papers ’tis like to prove a very wordy war.
Til this controversy began, which is not of very long standing, the clergy received from all taxables, which are all men, black and white, and all women,
except white women, from sixteen to sixty, unless exempted for age or infirmity by the County-Court according to positive law, forty pounds of tobacco a year: and this tax is payable by all Religious sects and denominations without exception.
Curious Craft!—Jesuitical policy! Rare sport for the genius of Voltaire!217 The clergy tell us with immaculate truth and still more unhypocritical solemnity, “the religion and kingdom of CHRIST and his followers are not of this world.” ’Tis certainly happy for mankind, that these assay-masters of religion and the faithful are inducted into their office by nothing more than temporary State-power, and their commissions are only durante hâc vitâ:218 ’tis
well for the Cloth, that no express positive institution is in force and use, limiting their authority, revenue and office quam diu se bene & christianâ fide gesserint.219
The culture of Tobacco is declining, and that of grain is rising fast, thro’ this province.
St. George’s County and Elk-ridge Tobacco is deemed here to be of the best quality.
April 20th 21st 22d
Maryland is the finest wheat country in the world: the vast extended feilds[sic] of that and other grains all thro’ the country affords great pleasure to the lover of mankind and the useful arts; and the exquisite verdure which at this season covers these fields presents a prospect highly gratifying to the sensualist and lover of nature. The Marylanders are much attached to that vile practice—Cock-fighting—equally degrading sense, sentiment and humanity. I met with two parties of the middling rank in life who had each spent three successive days at this inglorious amusement, and as many nights in riot and debauchery.
I spent about 3 hours in company with the famous Daniel Dulany, Esq.220 (author of the Considerations221) the Attorney General of the province and several others of the Bar, and Gentlemen of the province. Dulany is a Diamond of the first water:—a gem that may grace the cap of a patriot or the turban of a Sultan.
A most bitter and important dispute is subsisting and has long subsisted in this province touching the fees of this officers of the colony and the Governor’s proclamation relative thereto.—At the conference of the two houses (which I have in print222) the Dispute was conducted (by it is universally said) by Daniel Dulany of the Council and the Speaker Tillingman223 and [blank] of
of the Lower House. This dispute tho’ managed with good sense and spirit, breaths an acrimony, virulence, and unmannerly invective not honorary to the parties and inconsistent with the rules and dignity of parliament.
The same dispute is now kept up in the public papers by honorable Daniel Dulany, Esq. on one side and Charles Caroll [Carroll], Esq. of Carlton on the other, with amazing mutual hatred and bitterness. The Legislature of Dulany is Antillon, that of Caroll is the first Citizen.224 Caroll and Dulany are men of prodigious
fortunes, and their families have been at open enmity many years. Carol [Carroll] and his father are professed Roman Catholick, each of them keeping a Priest and Private Chapel in their respective houses. There are upwards of 5000 Roman Catholicks in this province.225
I attended the Supreme (called the Provincial) Court on two Days, but no one cause or motion was argued, and I had therefore no good opportunity to judge of the talents of the Bar, but from some little specimens and appearances I conjecture here is not much of the superlative.
Daniel Dulany who heretofore practiced with great reputation is said to have spoke with as much sense, elegance and spirit as he writes: if so he must equal, if not go beyond, all I have yet seen or heard.
The commonality seem in general thro’ this province to be well dispositioned and friendly towards strangers, and pretty industrious: But I saw nothing to lead me to suppose they in any measure surpassed the New Englanders in either of these respects.
Baltimore226 is the largest, most populous and trading town in this province. Annapolis227 is the metropolis or seat of government; and the place of the Residence of many of the most wealthy citizens; but it is a mighty poor, diminutive, little city, and makes a very contemptible appearance.
As soon as you enter Pennsylvania—government the regularity, goodness, and the strait, advantageous disposition of Public Roads are evidences of the good policy and laws of this well regulated province. Pennsylvania is said to be not so fine a wheat country as Maryland, but a better grazing country.—Cattle cover the pastures in great abundance. Very fine streams of water are every where dispersed thro this land, and as you approach the Capital a prospect of the River Delaware on which Philadelphia228 is situated affords a delightful scene.
My journey for this several days has not only been delightful from the gratifications of the Eye, but the exquisite scent from blooming orchards gave a rich perfume, while sweetest melody of birds was truely charming to the Ear.229
Went to public worship at St. Peter’s Church,230 and heard the celebrated orator Reverend Mr. [blank] Coombs,231 an Episcopalian. He labored to speak with propriety and was therefore not natural, altogether; he was a little affected, but spoke well. This may seem a paradox, but I can’t better convey my idea of him. In prayer, he had the fault of most priests, especially those who use established forms, his emphasis, accent, look and gesture was not conformable to his subject, station and language. He made an extempore prayer before sermon, which in point of sentiment, propriety expression and true sublimity exceeded anything of the kind, I ever heard. This prayer he uttered with singular grace.—His sermon was 20 minutes in length, and was an extreme fine, moral, deistical, elegant declamation—decorated with all the beauties of polished language and rhetorical utterance:—it closed
most charmingly—I was in raptures.
The Church is beautifully neat: there is no Lord’s prayer, commandments or creed over the Communion table,232 and the Pulpit fronts about.
The whole congregation except the Clerk and one other person sat all singing time, til at the end of the Lord singing, when the whole Church rose at the Gloria Patri.—The dress and demeanor of the Audience was quite quakerlike, decent and modest. Reverend Mr. Blair233 in the Evening told me that he worshiped this Sabbath at this church. He now appears in dress and manners quite the Layman. In the Evening I heard that truely sensible devout man and great Orator—Mr. Jones:234 Take him for all in all, and he is the best reader and public speaker I ever heard in the pulpit.
[left margin, ll. 1, 2]
This morning at sun-rise took a delightful ride of about 14 miles into the country. This country is a perfect garden. I had almost said an Eden. However I saw it at the highest advantage.
[left margin, l. 9]
Feasted with the Superior Court Judges and all the Bar on Turtle etc. Had much con-
Joseph Reed, Esq.
[left margin, ll. 11, 12]
versation with the Farmer,238 Mr. Galloway,239 the Speaker of the House, and [others] on politicks:—Introduced by Mr. Reed,240 an eminent Lawyer, to whom I had a Letter from the Honorable Thomas Cushing, Esq.241
[left margin, ll. 3, 4]
[left margin, l. 12]
This forenoon John Dickinson, Esq.242 waited on me at my Lodgings and spent about an hour with me, and engaged me to dine with him 3d of May at his Country-seat.
Compared with the honours paid the above Gentlemen in all the other provinces, you may justly say “A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country.”
A like complement paid me by Mr. Stanton.243
Dined with Mr. Jon:a Smith244 a very worthy and sensible merchant with several very worthy and sensible lawyers.
[left margin, l. 1]
Dined with Mr. Thomas Smith merchant in Philadelphia and a select company:—Was visited in the morning by the Reverend Mr. Ewing245 who spent 2 hours with me and with whom I dine on 5th May. He appears quite the man of sense, breeding and chatholicism,246 and he gave me much insight into the present state of the College247 in this place. To the South and North of this prov:[ince] we have by much too exalted an idea of it.
[left margin, l. 11]
Waited upon this morning for about an hour by Chief Justice Allen248 and his sons. Dined at the house of that very sensible polite and facetious lawyer, Joseph Reed Esq. in company with the Farmer,249 Judge Jared Ingersoll,250 several other lawyers and merchants. Our Discourse altogether political, polite and entertaining.
Mrs. Reed the Daughter of the late Dennis Debert, Esq.251 (our agent) is an ornament of her own sex, and the Delight of Ours.
[left margin, ll. 13, 15]
[left margin, ll. 7, 8]
Towards Evening, Judge Ingersoll and Mr. Reed waited on me round the town to show me its Environs and public buildings.
[left margin, l. 5]
Took a three hours ride with Mr. Reed round the vicinity of Philadelphia: received much information form him relative to Mr. Dickenson (the Farmer’s)252 manners, disposition and character: as also touching Chew253 and Galloway.254
Feasted with the Sons of St. (alias King) Tammany.255 (3 French horns, Bassoon, Three fiddles, etc. before and after dinner.) The account I have received of Bethlem256 and it’s Inhabitants, who are all Moravians, is truely singular and surprising.
Went to the Public worship of a Romish Church.257 Such ceremony, pomp, and solemnity were surprising, entertaining and instructive. The Devotion of priest and people were evidences of the force of superstition and priestcraft. The deepest solemnity of worship and musick: the greatest sanctity of countenance and gesture.258
While external forms and appearances made a deep impression on my own mind, I could easily conceive how much deeper they must impress others. While attention held me mute, reason lost part of her influence, and left subsequent reflection to lead me to a better judgment.
In the words of the NEW England psalms—“In me the fire enkindled is.”
[left margin, l. 11]
Attended the Moravian—worship: the softest kind of vocal and instrumental musick made some compensation to the Ear for the gross affronts offered the understanding. (More incoherent, fulsome, absurd and almost impious nonsense I never heard.)
[left margin, ll. 11, 13]
The morning and forenoon spent between reading and amusements of the itinerary kind.
Dined with the Celebrated Pennsylvania Farmer John Dickenson, Esq.261 at his country seat about 2 ½ miles from town. A large company were very elegantly entertained with Turtle and a plenteous table. This worthy and arch-politician, (for such he is though his views and disposition lead him to refuse the latter appellation) here enjoys otium cum dignitate262 as much as any man. Take into consideration the antique look of his house, his gardens, green-house, bathing house, grotto, study, fish-pond, fields, meadows, vista, thro’ which is a distant prospect
of Delaware River, his paintings, antiquities, improvements etc. in short his whole life, and we are apt to think him the happiest of mortals:—I verily believe he enjoys much true felicity: but as Whitfield263 said of the man in the Gospel—did you ever see a man or his station without a but. I am mistaken, if this engaging, and stricktly speaking charming man, has not his. He was polite eno’ to repeatedly request my acceptance from him of Pennsylvania laws,264 & I was unpolite and thoughtless eno’ as often to refuse them. However I have this excuse, I had before refused a like offer from Mr. Speaker Galloway, and had engaged one of
I this day had confirmed to me, what I ever believed—that a certain North American Dr. [blank (Franklin)] is a very trimmer—a very courtier.267 Perhaps my former sentiments might make the conviction easier—however I had (to me) satisfactory evidence.
[Added, Bottom of page] N.B. Jan 1775 London. I am now very well satisfied, that the abovenamed Dr. has been grossly calumniated:—and I have one more reason to induce me to be cautious how I hearken too readily to the slander of envious or malevolent tongues. This minute I tho[ugh]t is but justice to insert in order to take of any impression to the disadvantage of Dr. Franklin,
whom I am now fully convinced is one of the wisest and best of men upon Earth:—One, of whom it may be said that this world is not worthy. Quincy jun.
Spent about 2 hours in private conversation with Chief Justice Allen. He gave me one new piece of intelligence, which was, that Dr. Franklin was the first proposer of the Stamp Act. Mr. Allen said he knew this certainly to be fact: I might depend on it: That George Grenville268 told him so, and he was certain of it from other quarters.
I find men who are very great foes to each other in this province, unite in their doubts, insinuations and revilings of Franklin.
February 12 /1878
When the Memoir of J. Quincy Jr. was published in 1825, my father decided not to publish this passage. Some years after, the passage was read to Mr. Sparks, who regretted it was not published, and asked and obtained a copy of it. When I published a 3d Edition in 1874–5. I intended to print it, but my brother, Edmund, told me there was yet a strong dislike of Franklin in some classes in Philadelphia, who said that in some important respects, his conduct had been a great disadvantage to the young men of Philadelphia, and set them a bad example. I therefore concluded to follow my father’s opinion and omit it. Eliza Susan Quincy.
[See discussion at Editor’s Foreword, pp. 3–4, supra, and Transcriber’s Foreword, p. 8 supra. Everything from the May 3d entry, “If I had thought better,” p. 306  through “In the afternoon went with a number of gentlemen,” p. 314  was excised, including the visit to the Catholic chapel May 6th, most certainly by Eliza Quincy.]
[left margin, l. 2]
Ewing T. Smith.
[left margin, ll. 4, 6]
Dined with William Shippen, jun. brother of Mrs. Blair.269
[left margin, l. 3]
Dined with Reverend Mr. Ewing, to whom I was recommended by Reverend Mr How.270 Spent the afternoon with a large company at Mr. Thomas Smith’s.
[left margin, l. 7]
Was attended by Dr. Rush271 to the mansion of one of the Super-intendants of Romish Chapel. Mr. Farmer272 being out of town, Mr. Molineux (an Englishman from Lancaster in England, and joint super intendant with Mr. F[armer]) carried us to see the Inner Appartments of the Dwelling house and the Old Chapel.273 The picture of the Virgin Mary feeding Jesus
Christ over the Alter of the Old Chapel was a very good peice of painting; the Painting exhibiting his crucifixion in the New Chapel is in my opinion much better done.
Mr. Molineux told us very freely that he and Mr. Farmer were both of the order of the Jesuits.274 He and the Sexton (a Dutchman) on entering the Chapel sprinkled themselves with holy water and crossed themselves: on approaching the Communion-table bowed the knee very low, and on entering within performed the same ceremony, and the like at their departure.
We were not asked to come within the Communion, nor presented with a sight of the Nick nacks I had seen at a distance.275
[left margin, l. 6]
Molineux’s character is to me problematical: Farmer appears much of the Devotee.
[left margin, l. 5]
Dined with Dr. [blank] Cox276 a worthy, sensible, polite, opulent merchant, who has a most accomplished lady to his wife. In the afternoon went with a number of Gentlemen to see the hospital and hear a lecture from young Dr. Shippen. The curiosities of this hospital are far beyond anything of the kind in North America.277 Dr. S[hippen] gave a very learned, intelligible, elegant and concise lecture, which did him honor as a physician, composuist and orator.
Returned and supped with Dr. Cox and spent a very social night.
[left margin, ll. 2, 4]
[left margin, l. 8]
This day I was to have dined with Mr. Peter Whycoff278 merchant but having met with Thomas Oliver, Esq.279 of Cambridge, who was returning home, I embraced the opp[ortunit]y of so agreeable company, and set out for New England 10 days earlier than I intended. I was also obliged to decline the invitation of Chief Justice Allen to dine with him, on a like account.
Our tour thro’ Pennsylvania on the borders of the River Delaware was variegated by those inchanting prospects of sea, navigation, land, industry and plenty, which serve to delight the senses and elevate the mind.
Gen:l remarks & observons on Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvanians as a body of people may be justly characterized as industrious, sensible and wealthy: the Philadelphians as commercial, keen and frugal: their economy and reserve have sometimes been censured as civility and avarice, but all that we saw in this excellent city was replete with benevolence, hospitality, sociability and politeness, joined with that prudence and caution natural to an understanding people who are alternately visited by a variety of strangers differing in rank, fortune, ingenuity and character.
The legislative body of this province is composed of the Governor and the representatives of the people, and the state of their acts are in the name of the Governor by and with the consent and advice of the freemen of the prov:[ince] of Pennsylvania.
I attended 3 several days the setting of the Superior Court, (which is as contemptible a one as I ever saw.) Without learning, dignity and order a Court will soon loose much of it’s authority and more of it’s repute. The Bar are a very Respectable body.
All sects of religionists compose this city; and the most influential, opulent and first characters scarce ever attend Public worship anywhere. This is amazingly general and arises partly from policy, partly from other causes. A man is sure to be less exceptionable to the many, more likely to carry his point in this prov:[ince] by neglecting all religious parties in general, than adhereing to any on[e] in particular. And they who call themselves Christians much sooner encourage and vote for a deist or an Infidel, than one who appears under a religious persuasion different from their own. “Tantum religio potuit suadere.”282
There is a proprietary influence in this prov:[ince] destructive of a liberal conduct in the legislative branch and of [blank] in the executive authority here.
The House of Representatives are but 36 in number, as a body held in great, remarkable and general contempt: much despised for their base acquiescence with the laws and measures of the proprietary party, and singularly odious for certain provincial maneuvers too circumstantial to relate.
Their debates are not public, which is said now to be the Case of only this house of Commons throughout the Continent. Many have been the attempts to procure an alteration in this respect but all to no purpose.
The influence283 which governs this house is equal if not superior to anything we hear of but that which governs the British parliament; and the
This Government is in great danger from this quarter.—But a lineal successive defect of capacity, want of policy, glaring avarice and oppressive measures in the Penn-family is said to have prevented and guarded against much of the mischief which might otherwise have taken place.287
[Continued from preceding line down entirety of left margin]
But should a subtle and genuine keen modern statesman (a Sir Robert Walpole288 for Instance) arise from this stock,289 great and important maneuvers may be expected. This family lost much of their Prov:[incia]l influence by renouncing the Religion of their Ancestors and of the Colony in general for that of Episcopacy.
Notwithstanding the Prop:[rietar]y influence before spoken of, there is a certain Quaker Int:[eres]t which operates much against the Proprietor in land causes in the Courts of Common law, where the Jury frequently give verdicts against the opinion of the judges.290 In the house of Reps the Leaders of the Quaker party are often of the Proprietory likewise [i.e., against?]. All general questions and points are carried by the Quakers: that is, by their union they defeat the operations of all other sects in questions which any way relate to or may in the end affect religious concerns.—But they are very
public spirited in all matters of public edifices and charitable institutions. There is also throughout the whole province among the husbandmen a spirit of industry and useful improvement.
There is no militia in the prov:[ince] and of course no seeking after petty commissions, etc.—The advantages and disadvantages of this is a topick of doubtful disputation:—we shall never all think alike on this head.—Many of the Quakers and all of the Moravians hold defensive war lawful; offensive otherwise.
There is a general disliking, not to say antipathy among the Quakers against N[ew] Eng[lan]d: and this aversion has it’s influence in their judgment on the men and things of that country, and especially in their opin:[ion] concerning the public transaction of the Massachusetts Bay. They are frequently calling to mind and often relating little anecdotes of the severities used towards their ancestors in that province.—No doubt the story is exaggerated, but they give it credit, and feel accordingly.291
The streets of Philadelphia intersect each other at right angles,292 and it is probably the most regular and best laid out city in the world:—perhaps equal to Babylon of Old; and peradventure in other less-eligible respects may equal it, within the compass of two centuries:—I mean in numbers, wealth, splendor, luxury and vice.—This city & prov:[ince] are in a most flourishing state: and if numbers of buildings, men, artificers, and trade is to settle the point, Philadelphia is the Metropolis of this Northern region.
The Philadelphians boast of their market, and most of the Southern gentlemen justifie this vaunting:—it is undoubtedly the best regulated on the continent: but in point of plenty and goodness of beaf mutton, veal, lamb and poultry they most certainly do not equal Boston; I think are visibly inferior to it in these respects.
In the Articles of Bread, Sparrow-grass,293 and butter, I never saw any place equal to it.
The Philadelphians in respect of the bounty and decency of table are an example to the world; especially to the American: with the means of profusion, they are not luxurious, with the bounties of earth and sea, they are not riotous; with the riches of commerce and industry, they avoid even the appearance of epicurean splendor and parade.
Very few ladies in Philadelphia head their tables294 on days of entertainments of several gentlemen. At first I was not pleased with this custom: on reflection and further consideration, I approve it.—However I prophesy that it will be laid aside here in a very few years.
The political state of Pennsylvania is, at this time, the calmest of any on the Continent.
The attention, respect and civility paid me during my residence in this agreeable town is apt to byass [bias] my judgment; as no doubt all things receive a tincture; if not their form, from the medium thro’ which they are received.295
[left margin, l. 1]
Owing to the Company with which I was now associated I passed thro’ New Jersey with unusual, and comparatively unprofitable speed.
Princetown298 where WE tarried one night is a delightful and healthy spot: the College299 is charmingly situated and is a commodious and handsome edifice: It is said to be in a flourishing state. The soil and culture of the Jersies are equal, if not superior, to any (yet settled) in America. ’Tis indeed a fine country.
Having passed rapidly thro’ this prov:[ince] and for that reason declined delivering any of my Letters, I am quite an incompetent judge of the Constitution, laws, policy, and manners of this people.
[left margin, l. 7]
In the evening we reached Powles-Hook ferry, and next morning reached New York.300
In the Afternoon and Evening we traversed the whole city: and spent the Night at our own Lodgings in company with Major R. Bayard301 & Mr. Hide.
Breakfasted with Major Bayard.—received a few complementary visits—and invitation to dine with Col. William Bayard at his seat in the Country.
Went to the Playhouse in the Evening—saw the Gamester302 and Padlock303 performed.—the players make but an indifferent figure in tragedy: they make a much better in comedy. Hallam304 has merit in every character he acts: Mr. Wools305 in the Character of Don Diego, and Mrs. Morris,306 in that of Ursula, I thought acted with [?] superlatively.
I was however upon the whole much gratified, (and believe if I had stayed in town a month should go to the Theatre every acting night. But as a citizen and friend to the morals and happiness of society I should strive hard against the admission and much more the Establishment of a Playhouse
in any state of which I was a member.
Spent the morning in writing and roving.
Dined with Col. William Bayard307 at his seat on North River. His seat, table, and all around him in the highest elegance and taste. His daughter, Mrs. Johnson sung 3 or 4 songs with more voice, judgment, and execution than I ever heard any lady. Several of the Company who heard the best singers in London said she surpassed them: All agreed she equaled the celebrated Mrs. Brent,308 but Dr. Middleton309 said his complaisance310 did not lead him to say
he had never heard better singing in England, but he had met with nothing like it in America.
Was this day invited to dine on the morrow with David Vanhorne, Esq.311 and Mr. [blank] Broom312 the husband of the late Miss Rebecca Lloyd313, but declined them both expecting on the morrow to go through the sound to Rhode Island.
Drank tea with Mr. Broom and lady; she appeared in her usual goodness; he is endowed with much civility, understanding and politeness.
[page 177 skipped numerically (not torn out)]
Attended a Public Concert, which was very full. The Musick indifferent; the room intolerable. The ladies sprightly, loquacious, familiar and beautiful: the men not so richly or elegantly dressed as I expected, nor so gallant as the incitements of the Night seemed to justifie.
Miss Hallam314 & Miss Storer315 (two actresses) sung several times well, but the melody was much injured by the instrumental musick. Indeed it is not uncommon to hear vocal musick frequently thus destroyed and every softer beauty of it lost.
Spent the day in riding & rambling, and the Evening at the Playhouse. The Tempest of the Shakespear,316 the Masque of Neptune, and Amphetrite,317 and the Honest Yorkshireman318 was performed. The scenery of the Tempest was far beyond what I tho[ugh]t practicable. The players excel in comedy; are but indifferent in tragedy.
Preparing for departure and congratulatory and complementary trifles consumed the day. Paid Mr. Rivington319 for his paper for one year from the first publication; which he is to send me free of further expense.
By the desire of Col. Oliver and some other polite company took passage down the Sound for Newport.320 Was the rather induced to this tour by water than thro’ Connecticut, having before gone thro’ that Colony and my horses being so fatigued with their journey as to render it doubtful whether they could reach home by Land.
[left margin, l. 14]
‘Baring one storm which occasioned our laying at Anchor one day our passage was pleasant; and we reach Newport safely this day about noon.
The Equestrian Statue of his Majesty near the Fort, is a very great ornament to the City New York. The Statue of Mr. Pitt321 has all the defects of that at Charlestown (I before mentioned) with the additionnal one of being of the Pedestral kind instead of the Colossal.
The general character of the Inhabitants of this City is much tinctured with gayety & dissipation. But having now got so near the place of my birth & residence, my sentiments and opinions may be presumed to be too much affected by former impression and byases [biases] to make me an impartial judge or wholly indifferent relator. I therefore
wave a detail of my observations and judgment upon the two Colonies of New York and Rhode Island for the same reason.
Thus (Currente Calamo322) have I given some idea of the impressions made upon my own mind in this agreeable town. Opinions and sentiments formed in haste and (as Lord Bacon says) upon the spur of the occasion are liable to many exceptions; and may probably be erroneous.323 However they are evidences of my own judgment; may serve of valueable purpose
of bringing past scenes into present and future view, and be a landmark of our own errors. Some of the most durable pleasures are of the retrospective kind: some of the best preservatives from present mistakes are written transcripts of past errors.
What I have set down will be chiefly useful to myself: (it cannot be profitable or entertaining to the uninterested reader who may chance to cast his eye on this hasty production. If he throw it down with the gesture of contempt—let him remember it was not intended to please or instruct him.)—324
A Bird of passage may easily collect—peradventure bear away—food for itself; but can transport on his fleeting tour very little, if anything of sufficient solidity for the nourishment or (regale) of others.
Where I to lament anything, it would be the prevalent and extended ignorance of one colony of the concerns of another.—
Where I to hazard an excentric conjecture it would be, that the Pen. [Penn], Baltimore or Fairfax familys will hereafter contend for the dominion—and one of them perhaps attain the sovereignty—of North America.325
And where I to breathe a wish—it would be, that the numerous and surprisingly increasing inhabitants326 of this extensive, fertile and amazing Continent may be thoro’ly attentive and suitably actuated by the blessings of Providence—the dangers which surround them—and the duties they owe to GOD, themselves and posterity.327