A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at the house of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, No. 28 Newbury Street, Boston, on Thursday, 25 January, 1923, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the President, Fred Norris Robinson, Ph.D., in the chair.

    The Records of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.

    The Corresponding Secretary reported that letters had been received from Mr. James Melville Hunnewell and Mr. Arthur Stanwood Pier, accepting Resident Membership.

    Mr. Kenneth Ballard Murdock of Brookline was elected a Resident Member.

    Mr. Lawrence S. Mayo read a paper on “Peter Livius the Trouble-maker,” speaking in substance as follows:203

    Among the “Langdon Papers” in the possession of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania is the family record of Peter Lewis Levius, begun in the first half of the eighteenth century. The chronicler was the father of Peter Livius, who was a conspicuous figure in the history of New Hampshire in the decade prior to the outbreak of the American Revolution. Livius’s attempt to oust John Wentworth from the governorship of New Hampshire led Belknap to mention his name in his History of New Hampshire, but his origin and earlier days have been largely a matter of conjecture. In Brewster’s Rambles about Portsmouth, for instance, Bedford, England, is given as the place of his birth, and 1727 as the year. Furthermore, Brewster states that he came “of a Saxon family of distinction,” while Belknap is content with the more guarded observation that he was “a gentleman of foreign extraction.”

    According to the family record Peter Livius was born at Lisbon, Portugal, July 12, 1739. His father was a German and his paternal ancestors had lived in or near Hamburg for many generations. His mother was either English or Irish. She was Susanna Humphry, and her birthplace was Waterford in the south of Ireland. Why the elder Livius migrated to Lisbon is not clear, but one gathers that he became a merchant there. Before he was six years old young Peter Livius was taken to England and “put to school at Mr. Sherondel’s at Chelsea.” There he remained until he was fourteen, returning to his family in Lisbon in April, 1754. In the following autumn he entered upon a five-year apprenticeship with Messrs. Dea & Company in his native city. The Lisbon earthquake occurred about a year later, and the offices of Messrs. Dea & Company were destroyed in the consequent fire. In the spring of 1756 they resumed business—and Peter Livius with them—“at Alcantara, near Lisbon.” Here, on April 4, 1756, the family record ends, as far as Peter is concerned.

    Seven years later—in the summer of 1763—Peter Livius turns up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, having married in the meantime Miss Anne Elizabeth Mason.204 She was one of the daughters of Colonel John Tufton Mason, the hereditary proprietor of New Hampshire who had sold his ancient and dubious territorial claim in the 1740’s. According to local tradition Mr. Livius cut quite a figure in the provincial capital. He rode in a coach, resided in a painted house, and owned a country-seat at Tuftonborough on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee.205 In 1764 he responded to Harvard College’s appeal for aid by giving some books.206 That was the year of the burning of Harvard Hall. The College did not forget his generosity, and three years later conferred upon him the honorary degree of Master of Arts. Although Livius’s academic education seems to have been slight, he probably possessed a good mind, for Governor John Wentworth refers to him as “a learned man.”207

    In 1765 Peter Livius became a member of the Council. About this time he began to acquire a reputation for sharp practice in business transactions. If certain affidavits are good evidence, his attempts to defraud friends and family connections were outrageous.208 As an administrator of justice, too, he soon earned a bad name. Probably it was Benning Wentworth who appointed him a justice of the Court of Common Pleas. We know that it was Governor John Wentworth who dropped him from the judiciary when the province was divided into counties in 1771. Here again there are affidavits, and they seem to prove that as a judge Livius was remarkable chiefly for his partiality.209 In 1771 Livius began the controversy with John Wentworth which he intended should bring about the latter’s downfall. He carried the case to England and all but succeeded. Ultimately the Privy Council sustained Wentworth, but it was a close call. Indeed it is doubtful if Lord Dartmouth was convinced by the decision, for he soon afterward issued a warrant appointing Livius chief justice of New Hampshire.210 Fortunately he was persuaded to retract this step before it took effect.

    Peter Livius did not return to New Hampshire in any capacity. Instead he read law at the Middle Temple, and was admitted to the English bar in 1775. Meanwhile, in April, 1773, he had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.211 In 1775 Oxford gave him the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law. In that same year he was sent out to Quebec as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas.212

    Soon after Livius arrived at Quebec the town was besieged by the Americans under Montgomery and Arnold. In the assault which cost Montgomery his life a number of Americans were captured. Among them was Captain Henry Dearborn of Nottingham, New Hampshire, who later became General Dearborn and Jefferson’s Secretary of War. Livius befriended him, and at the same time suggested that he would try to obtain permission for him to return to his home on parole, if Dearborn would agree to do his best to persuade the revolutionary authorities of New Hampshire to allow Mrs. Livius and the four children to come to him at Quebec.213 The arrangement was carried out by both parties. Dearborn returned to Nottingham, and through his influence the Livius family were permitted to board the schooner Polly and to depart from Portsmouth in peace in July, 1776.214 Local tradition has it that Mrs. Livius paid off some debts with her furniture, and left the family bible at the house of a near neighbor.215 There the book remained for almost a century. Did the Livius household record, which is so mysteriously and inappropriately included among the “Langdon Papers” at Philadelphia, come out of this bible?

    In June, 1777, a letter attributed to Peter Livius was removed from the false bottom of a canteen and read by General Schuyler at Fort Edward. It was addressed to General John Sullivan and its purpose was to induce him to abandon the American cause.216

    At this point Livius drops out of New Hampshire history, but the glimpses we get of him at Quebec are reminiscent of his career at Portsmouth. In 1776 he was appointed chief justice of the province and a member of the Council ex officio. For the sake of efficient administration Sir Guy Carleton, the governor, created an executive committee of the Council, which virtually took the place of the larger board. With the help of this committee Carleton carried Canada safely through a critical period,—but he did not include Livius among its members. It is not surprising, therefore, that in 1778 Livius attacked the legality of the executive committee and demanded immediate remedy. Carleton, who had already resigned, was disgusted. He removed Livius from the judiciary and hence from the Council. Livius went to England and presented his case against Governor Carleton. Lord George Germain, Secretary of State for the Colonies, had no love for Carleton, and Carleton’s antipathy for him was well known. Perhaps these were among the reasons that led Carleton to decline to defend his course before the Board of Trade. However that may have been, Livius was sustained and the office of chief justice was restored to him with extended powers.217

    In spite of his good fortune in this controversy Livius was peculiarly reluctant to return to Canada. In fact he never returned. On one pretext or another he remained in England, enjoying at least half of the salary of his office while its duties were performed by others. This agreeable arrangement, which was largely due to the indulgence of Lord George Germain, continued until 1786, a period of eight years.218 Then not only was Livius superseded, but General Carleton, now Lord Dorchester, returned to Canada as governor of Quebec. Nine years later the Gentleman’s Magazine, under date of July 23, 1795, recorded among other recent deaths—“On his way to Brighthehnstone, Peter Livius, esq. late chief justice of Canada.”219

    Mr. Percival Merritt read the following:


    As a preliminary to the bibliographical notes on Thayer’s Account of his Conversion, a few biographical notes in regard to the author himself seem desirable. John Thayer, the fourth son of Cornelius and Sarah (Plaisted) Thayer, was born in Boston, May 15, 1758. His college education was obtained at Yale College, which he entered with the class of 1778. He did not graduate in course, but received an honorary degree of A.B. at the Commencement in 1779. He is supposed to have pursued his theological studies in Boston under the Rev. Charles Chauncy and to have received a licence to preach, although he was not regularly settled over any Congregational church. From August, 1780, to May, 1781, he served as chaplain at Castle William, enrolled in Capt.-Lieut. William Burbeck’s company under command of His Excellency the Governor. This fact accounts for frequent references to his having been John Hancock’s private chaplain. After the conclusion of his service at the Castle he went to Europe, arriving in France at the end of 1781. In the following year he spent some months in England, where he was invited to preach. He then returned to France and from there went on to Rome.

    While at Rome he was in the habit of frequently meeting with two Jesuit priests, and discussing and studying with them questions of religious belief and practices. Eventually by reason of his investigations and reading, as well as by his personal knowledge of a miraculous cure effected by the Venerable Benedict Labre, he became a convert and publicly conformed to the Church on May 25, 1783. After his return to France, having decided to adopt the ecclesiastical state, he entered the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris. On June 2, 1787, he was ordained priest for service in the mission of the United States. His return to his native land was somewhat delayed, but about the middle of December, 1789, he landed at Baltimore and soon proceeded to Boston, where he arrived in the first week of January, 1790. On Sunday, January 10, he officiated for the first time at the Church of the Holy Cross on School Street, then under the charge of a French priest, the Abbé Louis de Rousselet. Some difficulties and a division soon arose in the church which were finally settled in June, 1791, by the appointment of Father Thayer as sole pastor. In August, 1792, he was himself superseded through the appointment of the venerated Dr. Francis A. Matignon, by Bishop Carroll, to the charge of the Boston church.

    Thayer now appears to have served for some years as a missionary to the small bodies of Catholics in the various New England towns, both before and after his assignment by the Bishop to a mission at Alexandria, Virginia, where he was located for nearly three years, 1793 to 1796. In 1799 he was sent by Bishop Carroll to assist in the missions in Kentucky and remained there about four years.


    In 1803 he returned to Europe and probably passed the rest of his life in Ireland, where he died at Limerick, February 17, 1815.

    Within a few months after Thayer’s ordination to the priesthood in June, 1787, his Account of his Conversion was published in London. The Rev. Francois Charles Nagot, Director of the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice, in a letter dated Paris, 28 September, 1790, giving some account of Thayer, states that shortly after his ordination he went to London and remained there about three months, but was again in Paris by November, 1787.220 It must have been during his stay in London, perhaps in the month of September, that the first edition of the Conversion appeared. It is probable that it ran through four editions there before it was published in Paris, as the London fifth edition is dated 1788.221

    A brief collation of the earliest known edition, the second, London, 1787, will show what is commonly, though not invariably, to be found in the various editions:222

    Title-page, 1 leaf; Account of Conversion, dated “London Aug. 24, 1787. John Thayer,” pp. [1]–36; Letter to his brother, dated “Paris,———, 1787, J. Thayer,” and addressed to “Mr. Nath. Thayer, Queen-Street, Boston, in America,”223 pp. [37]–60; “A Letter from a Young Lady lately received by him into the Church,” signed “Your grateful Servant. Aug. 16, 1787,” pp. 61–66.

    At the beginning of the Account he wrote:

    Both my conversion, and my solemn abjuration at Rome, were public. Passing afterwards into France, I related my story, or rather that of Divine Providence in my regard, to a great number of respectable persons, who wished to learn the particulars of it. I was afterwards strongly solicited by some friends, to send it to the press, for the edification of Christians, and for the greater glory of God. Yielding to their reasons, and their authority, I now, by their advice, give it both in English and French, in favor of those who only understand one of these languages.

    The first edition in French was issued at Paris in 1788. The Approbation of the censor is dated and signed: “A Paris, ce 20 Novembre 1787. L. de Montis, Docteur en Theologie.” Presumably the book appeared early in the year 1788, unless it was advance-dated. In the prefatory note to the “Lettre D’une jeune Demoiselle de Londres, nouvellement convertie,” Thayer wrote: “on a jugé à-propos de la rendre publique à Paris comme elle l’est à Londres.”224

    In the Account itself Thayer made acknowledgment of the assistance which he had received in preparing the French edition for the press: “Quant au François qui ne m’est pas encore bien familier, j’avoue que j’ai été obligé d’emprunter du secours & de faire retoucher mon style trop incorrect.”225

    The letter to his brother appears here to have been printed in full instead of in the form of “several extracts” as stated on the title-page of the English second edition. It is considerably longer and contains a preamble and twenty-five sections, the increase in numbers arising partly from a sub-division of some of the sections and partly by the introduction of new material.226

    The Conversion now passed through a number of editions in various languages. In Portuguese and English, Lisbon, 1788;227 in Spanish, Barcelona, and Valencia, 1788; in English, Baltimore, 1788; and in new editions at London and Paris, 1788. In 1790 it was published in German;228 in 1791 in French at Quebec; and in 1794 in Latin at Münster. It also appeared in an Italian edition of which, as yet, no copy has been found.229 For a time, at least, it proceeded along two different lines so far as Thayer’s letter to his brother was concerned. The Lisbon, Manchester, Baltimore, and Wilmington, N. C., editions followed the early English editions. The other Continental editions, the London fifth (1788), and the subsequent editions in English, followed the Paris first edition. They can be easily differentiated by the number of sections, the first line having nine sections, and the second ranging from thirteen to twenty-five numbered sections. The Quebec edition does not contain the letter to Nathaniel Thayer, nor the letter from the young English convert, but it has in place of them the letter of the Rev. Francois Charles Nagot which is referred to above.230

    On the title-pages of the various editions there is a bibliographical peculiarity in the citation of the verse from the Psalms: “Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo.” In the London second edition, and the editions which follow it, except the Lisbon (1788), it is cited as: “Ps. lxxxix. 1.” In the Paris first, and editions which follow that, with the exception of the London fifth and sixth, and Dublin (1809) editions, which read 89.1, it is cited: “Ps. 88.1.” The Münster edition (1794) and Hartford edition (1832) do not cite it at all. In the Barcelona and German editions it appears on the verso of the title-pages. The Lisbon edition (1788) cites 88.1. The reason for this variation is that the London second follows the numbering of the Psalms in the King James Bible, and the Paris first the numbering in the Douay Bible.

    The vitality, and value as a tract, of Thayer’s Conversion is shown by its repeated re-issue, both as a separate publication and in connection with accounts of other notable instances of conversion, for nearly a century. The latest example of its use as a tract which I have seen is in a pamphlet published by the Catholic Truth Society of London in 1897: “A New-England Convert or The Story of the Rev. John Thayer,” by the Rev. T. E. Bridgett. The first part of this pamphlet is based on the Account itself, from which long quotations are made.

    The Harvard College Library possesses a manuscript copy of the Conversion which was bought by the late Professor Charles F. Dunbar and presented to the Library May 12, 1892. It contains also Thayer’s letter to his brother but not the letter of the “jeune Demoiselle de Londres.”231 On the title-page are the words: “Ecrite par lui-même en 1788.” It would seem that the manuscript had been represented as written by Thayer himself, for a letter from the Rev. Arthur T. Connolly to Justin Winsor, then Librarian, is bound in with it, in which he expresses the opinion that it “is only a translation” and offers to send specimens of Thayer’s handwriting for purpose of comparison.232 As a matter of fact the words “Written by himself” appear on all title-pages in the various languages. The date 1788 was probably added by the copyist, or some one else, though why the Conversion should have been written out by hand in 1788 is not obvious. Both the Massachusetts Historical Society and the College Library now have photostatic copies of an autograph letter of Thayer, written in 1790, and a comparison of the letter with the manuscript shows clearly that the latter was not Thayer’s work.


    The numbering of the various editions raises a bibliographical problem which cannot be solved accurately. Some of the questions are considered at length in the foot-notes to the following checklist. Judging from the imprint of the London second and fifth editions it seems possible that Coghlan published four editions, prior to the fifth, which were numbered consecutively,233 and that the undated Manchester third edition, which follows the London second in form, was called the third on that account. It is probable that a provincial publisher would take into account, in his numbering, the previous London editions, as did Goddard of Baltimore who apparently reprinted from a London fourth and styled his edition as the fifth. But it is less likely that a London publisher would take into account a provincial publication. Bowen and Howard of Wilmington, N. C., appear to have numbered their edition, in 1789, as the sixth, following the Baltimore fifth from which they presumably re-printed. The styling the Liege edition (1789) the Quatrième Édition would seem to indicate that there was a Paris edition subsequent to the second of 1788.

    The edition cited by the Rev. J. M. Finotti as a London fourth (1797)234 was probably a Dublin edition, and may have been the fourth in sequence published there, in view of Thayer’s statement in 1809 that the Conversion had passed through several editions in Ireland.235 The Kilkenny fifth edition (1805) apparently continues the successive numbering of Irish editions. These are matters of conjecture only and are therefore offered tentatively.

    Of the twenty-six editions listed below twelve have been examined personally, eight have been verified by photostats of title-pages or descriptions obtained from librarians, and the remaining six are listed from references to them in bibliographies or other books. The list is obviously incomplete, but it is hoped that its publication may result in bringing to light other editions.

    The order of arrangement is chronological, but in the case of the appearance of a number of editions in any one year, as in 1788, it is not possible to list them in exact chronological order.

    The check-list which follows is divided into two sections: I contains the separate editions of the Conversion; II contains the Conversion as published in connection with accounts of other conversions.

    Check-List of John Thayer’s “Conversion”

    Key to Abbreviation

    AAS = American Antiquarian Society

    ACHR = American Catholic Historical Researches

    ACHS = American Catholic Historical Society

    BA = Boston Athenaeum

    BCA = Rev. J. M. Finotti, Bibliographica Catholica Americana (New York, 1872)

    BPL = Boston Public Library

    BM = British Museum

    BVE = Biblioteca Vittorio Emanuele, Rome

    CUA = Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C.

    HC = Harvard College Library

    JCB = John Carter Brown Library

    LC = Library of Congress

    LCP = Library Company of Philadelphia

    MHS = Massachusetts Historical Society

    NYHS = New York Historical Society

    NYPL = New York Public Library

    Räss = Dr. Andreas Räss, Die Convertiten seit der Reformation (Freiburg, 1866–1871)

    RML = Riggs Memorial Library, Georgetown University, Washington, D. C.

    St.S = Bibliothèque Saint-Sulpice, Montreal

    Shea = John Gilmary Shea, Life and Times of the Most Rev. John Carroll (New York, 1888)

    UL = Université Laval, Quebec

    WL = Watkinson Library of Reference, Hartford

    YU = Yale University Library


    date place language edition location236




    2d Edition a


    [1787?] b

    Manchester, Eng.


    3d Edition








    English and Portuguese c


    [1788] d



    JCB. RML.




    HC. HC JCB. YU.




    Seconde Édition

    LC. LC.




    5th Edition

    BA. CUA.




    5th Edition e



    Wilmington, N. C.


    6th Edition f





    Quatrième Édition.



    Ofen g




    Hartford h


    She Shea, p. 389 n. 1.


    Quebec i


    S St.S. UL.


    London j


    6th Edition



    Monasterii Westphalorumk




    London, or



    BCA. pp. 246–7


    London m


    8th Edition



    Kilkenny n


    5th Edition

    BCA. p. 243




    CUA. MHS. RML.




    ACHR. xx. 48 p


    Mainz q


    Räss. x. 305 n. 1


    London q


    11th Edition

    Räss. x. 305 n. 1


    Hartford r


    HC. LC.


    Philadelphia s


    ACHS. LC.


    Hartford or New Haven? t






    n. p. but supposed to be at Augsburg

    Geschichte zweier merkwürdigen Bekehrungen zur katholischen Religion, nämlich des Herrn Thayer’s und des Herrn Joh. Joseph Keideck’s, eines Rabbiners in Deutschland.u (Räss, Die Convertiten seit der Reformation, x. 305). BA.




    Conversions remarquables de quelques Protestants. St.S.v




    Recueil de conversions remarquables nouvellement opérées dans quelques Protestants w




    Nouvelle édition




    Troisième édition augmentée



    Paris et Lyon

    Nouvelle édition, augmentée d’une notice sur la conversion de M. de Haller




    Conversion de Mr Thayer et de Mlle Pitt. MHS.




    Tableau Generale des Principales Conversions. BCA. p. 246 x




    Nouvelle édition augmentée [of the Recueil de Conversions]




    Dictionnaire des Conversions. Col. 1275–1287y BPL.




    Nouvelle édition [of the Recueil de Conversions]




    D. A. Rosenthal, Convertitenbilder aus dem neunzehnten Jahrhundert, 1867–1872, iii. part 1. pp. 315–330z BA.




    Dr. A. Räss, Die Convertiten seit der Reformation,

    1866–1871, x. 1746–1798, pp. 305–322.aa BA.

    a Editions are recorded as they appear on title-pages, or as listed in catalogues and bibliographies.

    b This edition is undated and cannot be assigned with certainty. It might have appeared in the latter part of the year 1787, or early in 1788. Thayer dated his Account “London, Aug. 24, 1787,” and presumably the London first edition could not have been published earlier than the last week in August, or the beginning of September. The Manchester edition follows the London second edition with only a few trifling exceptions. The text of the title-page is the same except that in place of the verse from the Psalms are the words: “With the Addition of two Letters, extracted from the Life of Benedict Joseph Labre.” An edition of the Life of Labre was published in London in 1785. The variations in the text itself are typographical and such as might have occurred in re-setting the type.

    c The copy of the Lisbon edition in the Massachusetts Historical Society lacks the title-page in English. The John Carter Brown copy has the title-page in both languages. The editor and translator wrote in his preface: “Think not kind and Courteous Reader, that my design in publishing in Lisbon, the Copy of what has met with so much approbation, in four Editions, thro which it has already passed in London, is any other than that of giving glory to a most Bountiful God.” The English title-page reads: “First printed in London, and now in Lisbon, MDCCLXXXVIII.”

    d Undated but assigned to 1788 after conferring with Mr. Ford. This edition has been cited as published in 1787, but the title-page reads “Traducido del Frances” and the book itself follows in arrangement the Paris first edition of 1788, which only received the “Approbation, & Privilege du Roi” under date of November 20, 1787.

    e This edition raises the question as to what is meant by the words “fifth edition.” On the title-page, following the verse from the Psalms, are the words “The Fifth Edition” between two rules. Then the imprint follows: “Baltimore: Reprinted (from the London Edition) and sold by William Goddard, M.DCC.LXXXVIII.” As no other Baltimore edition has been located, and the ten copies listed are practically all referred to as the Baltimore fifth edition, the natural inference would be that Goddard’s imprint implied that it was “Reprinted (from the [fifth] London Edition).” But the title-page is an exact reprint not of the London fifth edition (1788) but of the London second edition (1787). A further comparison of the three editions shows clearly that the Baltimore edition is not a reprint of the London fifth but of an earlier London edition. The difference between the various editions is particularly noticeable in Thayer’s letter to his brother. In the London second and Baltimore editions the letter begins with the words “Your first objection,” and is divided into nine sections. In the London fifth the letter begins with a preamble, and is divided into twenty-two sections and a postscript, the section numbered 1 beginning with the words “Your first objection.”

    The Baltimore edition may have been a reprint of a London fourth edition and so was styled by Goddard the fifth edition. The imprint of the London second and fifth editions is the same except that the word which is enclosed in brackets only appears in the second: “LONDON; Printed by J. P. Coghlan, No. 37. Duke-Street, [near] Grosvenor-Square: And Sold by P. Byrne, Grafton-Street, Dublin.” It seems probable that Coghlan would number his editions consecutively, that there was a third and a fourth edition with his imprint, and that the Baltimore edition can be properly regarded as the first American edition. The Rev. J. M. Finotti (Bibliotheca Catholica Americana, p. 243) arrived at the same conclusion regarding the numbering of the Baltimore edition. He wrote that “both Goddard of Bait, and Reynolds of Kilkenny meant that they had printed the 5th after the 4th London ed.” (For Reynolds, see p. 139 note n, below.)

    It is possible that the comparatively wide distribution of the Baltimore edition in this country may have been due to Thayer himself. He arrived at Baltimore on his return to the United States in the middle of December, 1789, and reached Boston in the first week in January, 1790. Early in May he made his first professional visit to Salem, where he was received and entertained by the Rev. William Bentley. On his departure he left with Bentley “several hundred pamphlets . . . to be committed to the custody of some proper person for sale.” The first item on the list was: “49 Copies of Mr Thayer’s Conversion, ls/.” (Diary, i. 165, 166.) Not long after Thayer’s arrival in Boston, John W. Folsom, a book-seller at No. 30, Union Street, advertised for sale: “The last London Edition of The RELATION of the Rev. Mr. Thayer’s CONVERSION to the Catholick Faith.—Price one shilling” (Massachusetts Centinel, February 20, 1790, p. 3/3). This advertisement was repeated on March 3 and 10.


    f “The Sixth Edition. Wilmington, (North Carolina:) Reprinted by BOWEN & HOWARD, M.DCC.LXXXIX. For, and at the Expence of The Reverend PATRICK CLEARY.” This is probably a reprint of the Baltimore edition, and styled the sixth edition on account of the statement on the Baltimore title-page. The arrangement of the “Letter” shows that it is not a reprint of the London fifth. This copy is not complete, having at the end only the preliminary note and first page of the letter to Thayer from the young lady.

    g The German name for Buda.

    h No copy located. The Conversion is stated by J. G. Shea to have been “reprinted in Baltimore in 1788, Hartford 1790, and the French in Canada about the same time.”

    i Undated, but identified as 1791 by M. Aegidius Fauteux from contemporary account-books showing that the book was offered for sale in that year.

    j I am indebted to the American Catholic Historical Society for a transcript of the title-page of this edition. It is exactly the same as the London fifth through the citation from the Psalms. The imprint reads: “THE SIXTH EDITION. London: Printed by J. P. Coghlan, No. 37, Duke-Street, Grosvenor-Square. MDCCXCI. (Price Sixpence).” As in the fifth edition Thayer’s letter to his brother has the preamble, twenty-two sections, and postscript.

    k Munster in Westphalia. Translated from the French, and edited by “Henricus Ludovicus Hulot Rheinensis Dioeceseos Presbyter, pro fide et unitate Catholica exul.”

    1 The Rev. J. M. Finotti wrote that “In 1797, J. Boyce, b. Inns-Quay, London, published a Fourth Edition of ‘An Account &c.,’ pp.53, 12mo.” A comparison of this record with the imprint of the Dublin, 1809, edition (see note o, below) suggests the possibility that this was a Dublin and not a London edition. Father Finotti’s note is not very clear. Apparently he had not seen the copy himself. The paragraph is signed “Apb. B”[altimore]. Kings Inn Quay is the quay adjoining Arran-Quay in Dublin.

    m I am indebted to Mr. R. F. Sharp of the British Museum for a transcript of the title-page. The imprint reads: “The Eighth Edition. London: Printed by Keating, Brown and Keating, (Successors to the late Mr. J. P. Coghlan,) No. 37, Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, M.DCCC.”

    n The Rev. J. M. Finotti described his own copy of the Kilkenny edition as “Printed and sold by John Reynolds, High Street, 1805.” He stated that the title-page was the same as in the Baltimore edition, and that it was “also qualified, ‘The Fifth Edition.’”

    o “Dublin: Printed by J. Boyce, 7, Arran-Quay, 1809. [Price, Thirteen Pence].” This edition contains a Dedication signed “John Thayer—Dublin, Jan. 28, 1809,” which reads in part: “THE following Little Narrative was published above twenty years ago, and, since that time, has been very frequently reprinted in many parts of Europe and America. It has passed through several editions in this island. By the blessing of God it has everywhere contributed to the edification of catholics and the conversion of many protestants.” He adds that he has lately revised it and corrected several errors of the press. He gives, in footnotes to the Account, the names of the two Jesuit priests in Rome, who greatly influenced him, as Father Ambrogio and Father Zacharia. The letter to his brother follows in general the London fifth and Paris first editions. There is substantially the same text though not divided into as many sections.

    p “In 1815 was published at Cork, Ireland, an Account of the Conversion of Rev. John Thayer, a Protestant Minister of Boston, who embraced the Roman Catholic Religion in 1783.”

    q No copies located, but Dr. Rass in a footnote cites a German edition, Mainz, 1822, and an eleventh edition, London, 1824.

    r “By the editors of the U. S. Catholic Press. Hartford, Conn. MDCCCXXXII.” The Harvard College copy appears to be incomplete. It does not contain the letter from the young lady, but ends at page 38 with the postscript to Thayer’s letter. The title-page refers to some controversial writings which do not appear in the book.

    s Philadelphia, E. Cummiskey—South Sixth St. 1837 (Catholic Tracts no. 11).

    t The Librarian of the Riggs Memorial Library kindly informs me that at the present time, after a very thorough search, he has not been able to find this copy, which he suspects may have been loaned and not returned. It is therefore impossible to determine the exact place of imprint.

    u There was published in Paris, 1783, a “Relation de la Conversion et du Baptême d’un Célébre Rabbin d’Allemagne. (J. J. Keideck, composed by himself and translated into French by Father Bernard Lambert.)”

    v The Boston Athenaeum catalogues a copy of this book, but unfortunately it is missing. I am informed by M. Aegidius Fauteux that the library of Saint-Sulpice in Montreal possesses a copy of the work, which was published anonymously by the Rev. Francois Charles Nagot. He states that the collation of the part occupied by Thayer’s Conversion is absolutely the same as that of the Paris first edition of 1788, that the imprint is practically the same, and that it is evident that both were the issue of the same press.

    w I am also indebted to M. Fauteux for supplying the items listed as 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 11. He informs me that the titles are to be found in Bertrand’s Bibliotheque Sulpicienne, ii. 42.

    x Father Finotti states that the Tableau Generale, pp. 68–103, contains Thayer’s Conversion but without the two letters.

    y By Charles Francois Chevé, and published as volume 33 of the Nouvelle Encyclopédie Theólogique, by the Abbé J.-P. Migne.

    s The Conversion appears under the sub-division “Amerika” with the heading “Nathanael Thayer, presbyterianischer Pfarrer in Boston.”

    aa This volume also contains Thayer’s letter to his brother, pp. 322–340, and the letter from the young lady in London, pp. 538–540.

    On behalf of Mr. Samuel E. Morison, the following communication was made:

    Dr. AMOS WINDSHIP (1745–1813; H. C. 1771)237

    The commonplace-books of Ephraim Eliot, who graduated at Harvard College in 1780, have been drawn upon several times for our Transactions.238 The most finished sketch in the two volumes, as well as the most entertaining and amusing, is one entitled “Biography of a Rascal.” The subject of this unflattering piece of portraiture is Dr. Amos Windship, who had a varied and somewhat stormy career.239

    The son of Nathaniel Windship and Mercy (Leland) Windship, Amos was born at Holliston August 10, 1745.240 His father died December 27, 1753,241 and on June 10, 1760, Amos was placed under the guardianship of Daniel Emerson.242 In 1767 he entered Harvard College, but remained not more than a year.243 He then studied medicine, practised in several places, came to Boston about 1773, served as a surgeon on various vessels during the Revolution, among them the Alliance, made two or three trips to England, in 1790 received from Harvard College the degrees of A.M. amd M.B.,244 being allowed to have his place in his Class of 1771,245 lived in Boston off and on for many years, in 1799–1800 served on the Herald against the French, and finally died at Wellfleet on June 26, 1813.246

    Dr. Amos Windship was three times married. His first wife was Desire Bell,247 the daughter of Daniel Bell and Desire (Barker) Bell, by whom he had three children: Charles Williams Windship, Desire Windship, and Sarah Windship.248 In 1784 he married Elizabeth May,249 a daughter of Ephraim May and Zibiah (Cravath) May, by whom he had four children: John Cravath May Windship, Elizabeth Windship, Lettsom Windship, and Charlotte Windship.250 About March 15, 1808, he married Abigail Lawrence,251 a widow, by whom he had no children so far as is known.

    Mr. Eliot’s biography is in the form of a letter, but to whom addressed has not been ascertained. Nor is the date of composition known, though that must have been between 1816 and 1827. Writing nearly half a century after some of the events recorded, Mr. Eliot not unnaturally fell into inaccuracies here and there; but so far as his statements can be tested from other sources, they stand the ordeal very well.252

    Biography of a Rascal

    Dear Sir,

    In conformity to your request, I will endeavour to note such circumstances as have come to my knowledge respecting the very excentric person of whom we were conversing a few days since. It is to be lamented that so many particulars must be mentioned, which do not redound to his credit & reputation, but all shall be put down. The former part of his life to about the sixteenth year of his age was spent among his relations in the country; who were Farmers, & kept him at work. Leaving a laborious life he entered College in the year 17 He remained there about six months253 & was freshman to N. T.254 of Newburyport who was a monied Lad. Frequently missing money from his desk, suspicions were excited against our friend. One day in order to ascertain who was the pilferer if possible, he pretended to be obliged to leave Cambridge a few days, his chambermate being also absent. It was customary for freshmen to study in their senior’s rooms, and he left the care of his room with Windship. Returning after a few hours, he enquired if any one had been there? was assured that no one had, & that he himself had not been out of the room, not even to prayers. On examining his desk, he missed four guineas, and directly charged his freshman with the theft. It was strenuously denied, but symptoms of guilt appearing in his countenance, he was searched and no money found. But T. insisted upon his leaving College at once or he would prosecute him, he wisely followed his directions, and ran away without taking up his bond, & did not finish his education there, or at any other seminary. After a few days the sweeper on removing the bedstead in T’s room, found a guinea under each Bed post. Sometime after this, I find that he studied physic with Doct Lincoln of H.255 but know nothing of his character or conduct there & so suppose it was unexceptionable. He commenced business at Wellfleet on the Cape where nothing particular is told of him; excepting that a finback whale was left in the harbour one sabbath morning. Great bustle was made about it, & altho’ no one went to meeting, they were so observant of the day that they could not be prevailed upon to go after the whale, although many of them were professed whalemen. Our doctor just before the tide came in got a whale boat, and arguing that providence had presented a boon to them, which it would be absolutely sinfull to throw in his face, prevailed upon a sufficient number to go off & they succeeded in taking the whale.

    After some time, he removed to Nantucket & practiced as a partner with the old doctor256 who was settled there, but growing into years, he wanted an assistant. There he practiced to acceptance; & I have heard many persons speak very respectfully of him. But the scene was too confined; and he removed to Boston in the year 1774. In this place he was confined, when the intercourse was cut of after the rout of the British in 1775. In the disguise of a sailor, with his head shaved & covered with a milled cap, he escaped from the town, & got employment as a surgeon in the military hospital at Cambridge,257 where he continued several months, was very intimate with the Director general Doctor Church,258 who being charged with holding a treasonable correspondence with the Enemy, our Doctor was suspected of having concern with him, but the suspicion soon died away, and he was never called to an account. For years he was employed in the Navy of the United States, was first Surgeon of the Alliance, when president Adams went in her to France as plenipotentiary; & to Holland.259 Our Doct visited Paris, where he arrived in the evening.260 He put up at a Hotel in which his friend Duncan Ingraham of Boston lodged & slept in the same chamber. Early in the morning he arose to look out of window. Astonished at the multitude of people who were passing, he became bewildered & singing out to his fellow lodger, Dune! Dune! quick! quick here are the mobs going to fight about the North End pope!

    While in paris, a number of Americans were taken suddenly ill & the Doct was asked to visit them. He was alarmed at their symptoms & being interrogated as to their disorder egad, gentlemen it is bad enough, a devilish sort of fever I assure you. What fever do you call it Doctor? Why, Why ‘tis the pectick fever & a cursed fever it is too. The gentlemen anxious about their countrymen requested Doct Brooks,261 Surgeon to the Frigate Bonne Homme Richard to visit them, when lo! He found them all broken out with the measles. This is the origin of his nickname, Doctor Pectic which you have often heard applied him. When he rejoined the ship, a mutiny among the officers against the Captain existed; & there was much disturbance on board. The Doctor was Jack on both sides, but the Captain,262 in his printed Journal, of the cruise complains, that having found it exepedient to direct that no boat should go on, shore, the Doctor stole one & was absent several days. The Alliance was ordered to sail in concert with the Bon Homme Richard, the famous Paul Jones being Commodore. They soon fell in with the British Frigate Serapis which was much superior to either of the American frigates. The B. Homme Richard was to lay her alongside, while the Alliance was order’d to rake her from the stern, fore, & aft. Capt Landais who commanded her, was a frenchman of great nautical experience & reputation, probably mistook his orders from ignorance of our language, instead of taking his allotted station, sailed round, & being near sighted, poured a broad side into the American ship, by mistaking her for the Serapis. Being hailed by Jones, & ordered to his proper station, he fell so far to leeward in his endeavour to gain it, that he was unable to get into the action. The two ships were engaged Yard arm & yard arm. The carnage great, & a deficiency of hands to dress the wounded. As the Alliance was likely to do no further service, the Commodore sent orders for the Chief Surgeon to come on board his ship; which he did at the great jeopardy of his life. Our doctor has often narrated the circumstances to the writer, he observed that being exposed to the shot from both ships, he laid flat on his back in the bottom of the boat, the british marines pelting her with small shot, while she was rowed up; but he got into the American ship unhurt, being reserved for many curious adventures. The decks being covered with dead & wounded, his assistance was much wanted. The British ship was taken, & the American which was an old French Frigate,263 nearly worn out, though imposed upon the American Agent, was so much injured, that the crew were all obliged to be crowded into the British ship, & she was abandoned. The prize with the Alliance went into the Texel. Here the Serapis was demanded by the British Ambassador as prize to a pirate; the American nation having not then been acknowledged by the Dutch government. The prisoners had received so much kindness & attention from our Doctor, that Sir Joseph Yorke264 the British Ambassador sent him a present of one hundred guineas. A boy named Barstow, a powder monkey on board the Serapis, was very dreadfully burned, by the explosion of some cartridges on deck during the action. He acquired such an affection for the Doctor, that he could not be separated from him, accompanied him to Boston & continued with him a voluntary & faithful servant for many years.

    When the Alliance returned to America,265 the Doctor quitted the service, & commenced Merchant, in company with a Brother in law Deacon Daniel Bell.266 The first enterprize in which they were concerned, was to get a cargo of Oil from Nantucket to Great Britain. He took a trip to New York & obtained a private licence therefor. Some merchants in London being privately in the concern a Ship was loaded, & proceeded on her voyage, the Cargo being paid for by bills on an American merchant in Amsterdam. They were honoured. The ship with the Doctor on board, was to hover on the coast of England; to be taken by a british privateer & then claimed by the London partners. The Admirals protection was to screen him from all other captures. Unfortunately for the adventurers peace took place while he was on the ocean. The privateers were called in & hauled up. After standing off & on for a reasonable time, he learned that peace was made, & he then thought there would be no obstacle to his making a good voyage, by going immediately into the Thames & selling the oil. He was ignorant of the different standing which Americans held from what they did, when we were british subjects. His British Copartners would know nothing of him. And the Cargo being entered as American, was subject to the foreign duty, which amounted to more than it was worth. Stock & block went to pot; & the American adventurers were indebted for the cargo to those merchants who honored their bills in Amsterdam. The enterprize terminated in the ruin of the whole american concern. As the Doctor appeared only as super-cargo, he escaped any pecuniary loss, but he suffered much persecution from the creditors of Deacon Bell when he returned to America.

    While he was in London, Mr Dickinson, the merchant on whome he valued himself, became very sick. He was attended by Doct Letsom267 of London. Some person was wanted to pay attention to him; who was familiar with sickness. The Doctor offered his services, which were accepted, and he removed his quarters to Mr Dickinsons house. Doctor Letsom being called to a distance from the city, left directions for his treatment with our friend; who thinking the bark might be thrown in, to advantage, made a liberal use of it, & with so much success, that when Letsom came back, his patient had become almost a well man. This was the commencement of an intimacy between the two physicians which afterwards turned to much advantage to our Doctor. Mr Dickinson was so sensible of the benefit he had derived from the judicious treatment he had received from the Doctor, that he also became a friend to him, and as his pecuniary prospects were blasted, he obtained an invoice of drugs & medicines for him, for which he became responsible, and advised him to enter into the business of a drugist, when he should return to America. The Doctor either forgot payment was to be made for the medicines, or was unable to do it; & Mr Burgess, the partner of Mr Dickinson was about making an attachment of his property, but was prevented by express orders from Mr Dickinson, who finally lost the whole debt. Upon the Doctors arrival in Boston; a new difficulty arose. The creditors of Mr Bell, his late Copartner were about making an attachment upon the drugs. So that he was obliged to make them over to Mr Burgess, as agent for Dickinson, by which means he was kept out of the use of them for many months, till by process of Law, they were delivered up to him. But the Lawyers milked him well. During this time he lost his wife,268 who was a very valuable woman, by whom he had a number of Children, some of whom are still living. Fame or scandall reported that within a fortnight after her decease, He was caught in bed with the maid servant by the nurse

    See him now commence drugist! with the assistance of a young man whom he had brought from England, who had been brought up a working Chymist he carried on the business with some reputation, paid his addresses to a Miss May,269 a young lady of good character & respectable connections. The day of marriage was set & all things nearly in readiness, when his ill luck stepped in, & a disorder appeared upon him to which single men are sometimes subjected & with such formidable appearances, as render’d a postponement of the wedding absolutely expedient. An excuse of some kind was to be contrived & here a circumstance which had been thought very untoward, now turned out lucky. He had suffered from a large wen, just under one of his ears, it had been disregarded for several years. The doctor now thought it had put on appearances of a bad cancer & submitted to an extirpation of it. By the time the wound was healed, he had got well enough to consummate the marriage.

    For a number of years he lived respectably, did considerable business & grew into esteem. Being an attendant at King’s Chapel, he became a zealous Unitarian, was active in getting forward the alteration in the Liturgy, & was one of the committee for obtaining subscribers for the new form.270 Soon after for some reason best known to himself, he was converted to a zealous Trinitarian, left the Chapel, & attached himself to the North Church called Christ Church, where a young man named Montague officiated as reader. Here he became active & useful, obtained by subscription & oratorios, sufficient money to put the church into handsome repair. Behold him now a church warden.271

    A second trip272 to England now followed. As Church Warden he had under his care the Cemitary in the cellar of the Church, in which were deposited the remains of many British officers, some of whom died of sickness & others mortally wounded in Battle. Among these was the brave Major pitcairn273 of the Royal marines—his widow lived in London; his brother was physician to the King, & his son to the prince of Wales. The Doctor was introduced to one of these gentleman, & offered to superintend the removal of the Major’s coffin & its contents, if it would afford any satisfaction to his friends. This offer procured him the notice of the Lady, & the Two Doctor Pitcairns. After obtaining a credit for a very large assortment of Drugs, he returned to Boston. The Major was a very large & stout man, was well known to the inhabitants of Boston & notwithstand the errand he was sent here upon, such was his gentlemanlike deportment, he had their respect. The sexton274 of the church taking advantage of this disposition in the people used to shew a set of human bones in a very large coffin as those of the Major. This Coffin with its contents were taken out, packed in a box, marked an Organ, sent to London & deposited among the Major’s relatives.275 But the probability was that the bones were those of a Lieutenant of the Major’s battalion, who was much like the Major in size & shape. He died of an inflamation of the brain, this is probable from the circumstance of a large Blister plaster upon the head which was in this coffin, & which was removed by a friend of the writer. A few months after, Capt Edward Davis handed to the Doctor a handsome gold watch, which he said was a present to him, from a Lady, who chose to be unknown. It was probable it came from Madam Pitcairn, as the Doctor on visiting London a third time, waited upon her to pay his respects; in the course of the visit she asked him to let her see his watch, which he had taken out to see the time of day. She took a small seal from her own watch, & desired him to put it upon his watch chain & keep it as a token of her gratitude for the trouble he had had in sending the remains of her husband to London. Now, I really do not think that he had any idea that a wrong coffin was delivered to him, but am fully of opinion that the sexton imposed upon him, as he was as great a villain as ever went unhung. The legend on the seal was in french “Je blesse en secret.” When the Doctor handed it to the writer to look at, he observed that he fancied it to be a motto taken from Virgil.

    About this time our Doctor was honoured with a diploma as corresponding member of the London medical society,276 & requested to point out some physicians of eminence in or near Boston, for whom similar honours were intended. He nominated Doctors Warren277 & Dexter278 & in an elegant Latin Letter acknowledging the honour which was confered upon him. This letter was written by Dingley,279 a latin schoolmaster. The Doctor could not read it & construe it. The gentlemen whom he recommended received the same honour. But Doctor Letsom now found that he had gone too fast in regard to our Doctors election, as the requisite qualification was, that the candidate must be a Batchelor or Doctor of Physic, to neither of wch had he been admitted. To save himself his friend Letsom advised that he should immediately go thro’ the courses of Lectures, requisite to obtain one of them, & if the expence should be more than he could spare, he gave him authority to draw upon him for it thro’ Mr Crawley of London to amount of fifty pounds sterling, after the object should be obtained. He complied. & when a diploma280 was taken out, he forwarded it to Letsom, together with the discription281 of a dissection which he pretended he had made of a subject in which there were some uncommon appearances & some facts discovered which were not usual. Doct Letsom supposing the communication to be designed for the society, presented it, & it was printed in their transactions.282 When the volume arrived in America, a grand difficulty arose. The subject of the dissection was a patient of Doct Abijah Cheever,283 who made it, & drew up the statement had drawings made, & by request, lent them to Windship, who sent them to London as his own, altho’ he had never seen the woman either dead or alive—probably he had no idea of its being published. This produced a newspaper discussion, & a letter from Doct Cheever to the society exposing the plagiarism.

    While our doctor was attending to the Lectures at Cambridge, preparatory to his receiving his medical degrees,284 he displayed a new trait in his character, viz. that of an arch intriguer. Wishing to make his own importance appear, he gave intelligence to the Government of the College that he had been entrusted with a secret by Doctor Letsom, which must not be told, wch was, that Doctor Letsom was maturing a plan to carry into effect a design of the late Doct Fothergill285 of London, of establishing a medical school at Cambridge, which he was prevented from executing by the war, which separated the two countries, during which Fothergill had died. The government of the College together with the medical professors286 caught at the bait excepting Waterhouse,287 who being personally & familiarly acquainted with Letsom & had been a student under Fothergill, had never had a hint of it, and probably mortified at the neglect of himself as a confident, expressed his doubts as to the correctness of the information, and used some undue measures to prevent its taking effect. With this view, he wrote a letter to Letsom, libelling the government of the College, stating that he having had superior advantages in Europe to any of his associates in the medical institution, had become an object to Envy, & on A/c of his religious principles, which he stated to be rigid quakerism (Doct Letsom being a quaker) was suffering great & unmeritted persecution. This letter was copied by a Doctor Benjamin Haskell;288 a pupil of Waterhous of unprincipled morals, and sent to Letsom without signature. This letter was shewn to Windship in London by Letsom, and he made it known to the government of the College. Suspicions fell upon Waterhous, but proof was wanting, the hand writing certainly was not his, but here the Devil stepd in. Haskell had quarrel’d with Waterhouse, had left his instructions & put himself under the direction of Windship. He betrayed the secret, & when a copy was obtained, & collated with a copy which Haskell had retained, it was demonstrated to be the work of Waterhouse, for Haskell swore to his having copied it from Waterhouses letter book & when finally the original was obtained, the hand writing was demonstrated to be that of Haskell.

    Lo! now see our Doctor a favorite of the College; and a man of great influence among the governors, who conceived he had Letsom at command & thought they could make use of him to advantage. The manner & cause of his leaving Cambridge has been told, viz. that he had run away under the imputation of stealing289 Yet now, he sat up a claim to be placed in the order in which he stood in his class, which had never been done in favor of any one,290 but he had obtained his medical degree in opposition to law, & nothing venture, nothing have, he pushed his pretensions so forcibly & obtained a petition from his former classmates in such a manner, as caused him to succeed & he stands in the College Catalogue in as regular a manner as any other man, as a master of arts. Those were Winships Halcyon days. He informed the writer of this that Professor Warren291 had laid the plan for getting him his place in his class, and had used all his influence to effect it, which was also the case in regard to his getting his medical degree without an examination, which he could never have passed reputably, under pretence that having been a chief surgeon in the United States service, it would be derogatory to him & to the service if he submitted to be examined by men who were his cotempories & juniors.292

    In a late voyage to London, he obtained credit for a very large assortment of medicines, he connected himself with a Mr Sam. Jane,293 a man of excellent character, and went into a very extensive line of business by wholesale. He had bought a ship & was his own Merchant. He was now, bigger than ever, forgot his old friends, was flush of money, lived expensively, kept much genteel company. Thinking himself qualified as a merchant he fitted out his ship, freighted her with money obtained from the sale of the goods which he had brought out from London & which he never paid for, was cast away near the harbour of Lisbon, was taken from the wreck when he had been standing up to the neck in water, & instead of taking advantage of the money which he derived from the insurance of Ship & Cargo & wiping off in part at least, the old score, he foolishly bought the wreck as it laid & undertook to repair her there, and after spending all his money, he returned to Boston a poor man.

    Yet he kept up a good part. Connected himself again as an active member of the north or Christ Church, Which was then labouring under difficulty in regard to the choice of a Rector. The pulpit had been supplied by a Mr Montague, a low bred man, of much cunning but mean literary abilities.294 He was a favorite among the lower class of the people. A few of higher order were trying to encrease the reputation of the Church & the Rev Doct Walter,295 formerly Rector of Trinity church during our connection with Britain, and who had gone off as a refugie, now returned to this country. It was thought by the better sort, that if Mr Walter could be prevailed upon to accept the Rectorship, he would restore the rank of the Church, by attracting the immediate friends of Episcopacy &c. But Montagues friends, remembered he had been a rank Tory, that he had the disrepute of having sent a servant to Cambridge during the blockade of Boston, who was under inoculation for the small pox in order to spread that disorder among the Americans in Camp. This was then the most formidable disease that had ever been known in this country, the very name of which spread terror far & wide. Whether this was true had been matter of dispute. It was also reported that he had been very severe in his discourses to a Capt Johnson who had been a parishioner to Walter at Trinity Church, but now laid in a hospital on Long island where he had received a severe wound in the famous battle there, of which hospital Walter was acting chaplain. These tilings would have caused his dismission as a candidate had not our Windships good or evil genius come to his assistance. He became from a friend, a decisive enemy to Montague, & as violent a friend to Walter. He advised Montague to take himself off, telling him I have been in London & giving hints that he knew enough against him to drive him away if he would not go peaceably. Montague thought he might defy him, but he did not know with whom he had to deal. Now Montague had taken a trip to London, a few years before296 & becoming acquainted with some buckish English clergymen, who wishing to put a trick upon their raw Yankee brother, had introduced him into bad company297 . . . Thus armed, our Doctor went boldly on, exposed Montagues follys to the members of the church & it became town talk. Montague abashed retired from the field & his rival pot possession of the Church.298 Doctor Walter not being very submissive & despising Windships character soon deprived Windship of his influence.299 He quitted the Doctors preaching became a member of the New Brick Church, then under the care of the late amiable Doctor Lathrop.300 He was a very active & useful member of this society, & was very assiduous in getting the meeting house repaired & other advantages to it. Again pops in the Doctors evil genius, & brought into Boston, a Lady from London who Claimed his patronage as an old acquaintance in that city. She pretended, that she was in pursuit of an husband, who she heard was an actor on the Boston stage. This she found was not true. Having no money & claiming protection from the Doctor, he imprudently took her into his house. Here she proved a bad inmate, was open in receiving visits from other gentlemen & probably gained much influence over him. So that Mrs W. insisted upon her leaving her house.

    The Doctor soon after this was employed by the creditors of a Mr Clarke who had absconded much in debt, to pursue him to Carolina. He was furnished with money for the purpose & reached Philadelphia. When about leaving that city, he very ostentatiously called witnesses to see him deposit his money in a leather portmanteau. After having rode a short distance, he quitted the stage for a short time upon business. When he returned he found his portmanteau cut into & the money with one passenger gone. This passenger was said to be bound to Albany. The Doctor posted after him & without success. Not being in want of Cash, his employers were suspicious of foul play. Upon interrogating him closely as to his means of supplying himself, he made out a story, that at Albany he had found his English Madam, who had been so lucky as to find her husband there. That he was a very clever honourable man & had paid him for her board while she was at his house, & made him full compensation for all the expence he had been at on her account. Though nobody believed this story, yet no body could contradict it, & he got off clear.

    After his return, his health declined & he became bed ridden. Dreadful ulcers broke out upon him, the bones of his nose became carious, & his whole system became so diseased, that his dissolution was daily expected. He was so nauseous, that no one could approach him with out being made sick at the stomach. He was now said to be in a consumption, tho’ many thought, if he had not been so fortunate as to find his English lady, he might not have been so badly affected. He was confined to his house a full year. The first time the writer saw him was creeping about Boston market. He had the appearance of a worn out debauchee. Upon inquiry, he observed to him, that he had been ill in consequence of exposure to the night air in the Dismal swamp in North Carolina. It was not known, that he had ever been there. He gradually recovered his health & became strong & active. He went down to penobscot & acquired reputation as a Surgeon, performed successfully a number of Capital operations & might have got a good living, if his evil genius had let him alone. He quitted Penobscot & returned to Boston, but his glory was departed. He was poor in purse & in character & was not noticed. After collecting some cash & buying a few family stores, he was about returning to the Eastward, but just as the vessel was getting under weigh, he was arrested for debts & clapt into Goal.301 It was on a friday afternoon, he knew not where to get bond & was put into close confinement. His fund of Cash was half a dollar. With a quarter he bought a basket of Charcoal, with the remainder, a shin of beef & some bread. He borrowed a tin kettle of one of his former friends, who was the only person who knew of his arrest. The debt being to the United States he was not indeed a subject for bail even if he had known whom he might apply to. The man who lent him the kettle told to Mr John Checkley,302 who had formerly been his tenant, of his situation. Checkley immediately got admission to him, found him trying to make a soup of his beef, without any thing to season it, with, it was Sunday noon. Chickley told him he would send him dinner, made his condition known & he had afterwards a comfortable support until a discharge was obtained for him.

    He now was appointed Surgeon to the Ship Herald in the service of the United States during John Adams fracas with the french.303 He now held up his head again, & sailed to the West India station. His assistant surgeon was an ignorant worthless Jew named Abraham Solis,304 who quarrelled with his principal & excited so much difficulty that the Doct thought best to desert from the Ship & come to Boston. The Ship was left without any medical man on board & soon after returned to Boston also. Here Windships enemies sat Solis to work in drawing up articles of charge against him; & he was tried by a court martial & it was determined to discharge him wth disgrace. Solis charges were for embezzling & selling the medicines in the West indias. This was not proved. But Russels305 was for desertion. This was proved. But here his good genius prevailed, and it was proved that the order was for a court of inquiry only, which the members had turned into a court martial. So the transactions were declared to be null & void. John Adams term of service was about expiring & he did not pursue the enquiry. Windship went to Washington & found Jefferson cared nothing about it. The ship was put out of commission & Windship left to go about his business.

    He next took up residence at Exeter and got some employment as a physician. He became acquainted with Governor Gilman, whose brother was a drugist.306 He frequented the shop & was detected in stealing money from the drawer. His wife was in Boston, worn down by her husbands disgraceful situation, & fell a victim to it, but had the satisfaction of dying among her friends.307 The doctor confessed the theft but plead insanity, on which he was pardoned, & came again to Boston in Sailors habit, ran about with a sword & threatened to kill himself & every body else, but did no harm. When he came to himself he went again to the district of maine & turned Methodist exhorter. This did not last long. He came again to Boston, boarded with a widow who had a few thousand dollars. To settle for his board, he persuaded her308 to marry him.309 She wisely endeavoured to secure her property by buying a farm in Dedham, upon which they lived a short time, but he got no business & the farm would not support them. He then persuaded a drugist to set him up in a small Apothecary’s shop. As security for the property he induced his wife to mortgage her farm, telling her it was a matter of form only & it could not hurt her. He kept shop a few weeks, then sold the stock for cash, & shipd himself to the Havanna. Here he got some employment, in his profession among the Americans who frequented that port. But becoming a zealous democratic partisan, he was informed that he would soon be taken into custody by the Spanish government, & he decamped. Came to Welfleet, the place where he first commenced business. He now pretended to have lost his wife in Boston; went into mourning & in a short time he paid his addresses to a Mrs Kendrick, widow to the physician who immediately preceded him. She had some property in her own hands. She would have married him, but was prevented by her friends, till they could learn whether he was really a widower which it was suspected not to be the case. Two Gentlemen, her friends, called upon the writer for information; and it so happened that his wife lived nearly opposite to his house, was very poor & supported herself by taking in washing. The gentlemen returned & made known the result of their inquiries. Probably his scheme was to get hold of her property & make off with it. He soon after removed to provincetown, where he soon gave up the Ghost.310 Thus ended his eventful life, which ought to be held up in terrorem.

    When Doct Norris letter came to hand, Windship called on Doct. John Eliot311 with it, & offerd a perusal of it, to convince him of Montagues imprudence & bad principles: Doct Eliot would not see it or hear it read. Sometime after, Windship met Doct. Eliot & mentioned that Brand Hollis of London had sent him a new translation of the book of Job, which he would leave at his house for his perusal. He did so. When Doct Eliot had progressed some way in it, on turning over a leaf suddenly, he found a copy of Dr Norris’ statement of Montagues case, neatly interleaved therein. Thus taken unawares he read it, gave the book Back to Windship, saying there Windship, if you are capable of this, I will take care never to affront you. Sometime after it was agreed, that all papers & letters about the matter should be put into Rev Doct. Eliot’s hands, not to [be] deliver’d to either, or copied, but in presence of all those concerned: & by mutual consent. He kept them for sometime. They were never applied for according to agreement, but both Montague & Windship were unremitted in exertions to obtain them in a clandestine manner. They could not persuade the Doctor to gratify either of them, & how they were disposed of I never knew, or what became of them. I have never heard of them among the Doctors papers since his death, & conclude they were destroyed by him.