A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at No. 25 Beacon Street, Boston, on Thursday, 28 March, 1912, at three o’clock in the afternoon, Andrew McFarland Davis, A.M., 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. Lincoln Newton Kinnicutt and Mr. Samuel Eliot Morison, accepting Resident Membership; and from Mr. Edward Vanderhoof Bird, accepting Corresponding Membership.

    The Hon. Robert Grant of Boston was elected a Resident Member.

    Mr. Andrew McF. Davis read the following remarks:


    The title of my paper does not suggest the idea that the paper itself is appropriate for submission to the consideration of this Society. Nor will it be found when it shall have been read that there is within its contents any historical matter of a local nature upon which its presentation at this meeting can be justified. It is nevertheless the outcome of a research originally undertaken for the purpose of elucidating certain recondite facts in the financial history of this Colony and the experience herein portrayed was the direct result of an attempt to obtain knowledge which might perhaps bear on the subject. If this thread should prove too slender to connect the story of a personal experience with the more solid labors in historical study of the members of this Society, there may still be urged the plea that in any case the narrative of such an event will show that even in the prosecution of an apparently-uninviting research one may be rewarded with unexpected pleasure.

    In August, 1894, I was in London, and one morning while glancing over the columns of a daily newspaper I ran across a paragraph stating that the Dean of Westminster Abbey having left town the day before, Canon Wilberforce would for the time being perform the functions of that office. The sight of the title of the Abbey in this public announcement recalled to my mind the fact that in the Fourth Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts I had seen a calendar of the documents in the archives of Westminster Abbey which included a paper that purported to refer to a bank in the time of Charles the Second. Just previous to my visit to London I had made a thorough examination of the English literature of the seventeenth century bearing upon the subject of banking, and was exceedingly anxious to see an original paper that could properly be described as dealing with the affairs of a contemporary bank of that date. If the description of the paper thus given should prove to be correct, it would be difficult to account for the fact that the contemporary writers whose works I had carefully perused should have made no mention of such a bank. On the other hand, while the inference was justifiable that the date of the entry was wrong, it was impossible for me to assert ex cathedra that the person who made the calendar had committed an error. Inasmuch as the existence of a bank at this time had escaped the observation and knowledge of historical writers, any facts concerning it that investigation might reveal would be eagerly welcomed by historical and economic students. It was with some trepidation, therefore, that I learned that the Dean of the Abbey was out of town, since I might through this cause be cut off from access to the archives, but it was evident that even in the absence of the Dean it might be possible to secure a sight of the paper through the courtesy of Canon Wilberforce. I, therefore, applied to the Canon for permission to inspect it. As matters turned out, the absence from town of the Dean of the Abbey was perhaps actually advantageous for me. I found in Canon Wilberforce a man deeply interested in archaeology and a sympathizer with those engaged in historical research. He promptly replied to my request that if I would call at his house in Dean’s Yard at a given time he would make arrangements for giving me access to this document.

    At the appointed hour I reported at Dean’s Yard, and was cordially received by the Canon. He took me upstairs in his residence and showed me a chamber which was frescoed in a background of dark color, bearing a pattern with quaint figures and archaic designs. This fresco he told me had been concealed by a superimposed coat of plaster. Suspecting the existence of some decoration beneath the plaster, he had caused it to be carefully removed and had thus revealed the fresco, the discovery of which had greatly interested the archaeologists of London. It was of great age (the exact conjectural date escapes my memory), but a probable time for its construction had been assigned. He then took me into his dining-room, the ceiling of which was a groined vault of stone. This room was at a slightly lower level than the ground floor of the house, and he told me that it had been used for a coal cellar and wine vault. Noticing the height of the groining above the level of the ground, he saw that by cutting a door to furnish a suitable entrance and by making an opening for a window through which to obtain light, he could convert the vault into a beautiful room. The result was successful in the extreme. Light was secured as suggested and all was accomplished without disfiguring the architectural effect of the ancient house.

    After this inspection we proceeded to an office attached to the cloisters, where, by appointment, an official styled the Clerk of the Works was to take me in charge. On the way thither we stopped at the Chapter House of the Abbey for a moment, to enable Canon Wilberforce to point out the memorial to the poet Lowell, which had recently been placed there.

    The cloisters of the Abbey lie on the south side of the nave, to the west of the south transept. They actually infringe upon the transept and occupy a portion of the space which if the interior area of the church had been assigned to the several parts with an eye to symmetry would have been included in the west aisle of the south transept.

    There are two entrances from the cloisters to the church. If one goes in at the east door he will, when fairly within the church, realize that he is abreast of the choir, and that he is directly opposite the west aisle of the north transept, the entrance to which transept from the street is the one most familiar to visitors to the Abbey. To the west of one entering by the door first mentioned, lies the nave, a portion of which is occupied by the choir. To the east lies the south transept containing within its limits the Poets’ Corner, and beyond this a wealth of chapels and tombs in that portion of the building which in cathedrals is generally devoted to the choir, but which in this abbey church is sepulchral in character. Between the interior of the church and so much of the east walk of the cloisters as adjoins the south transept, there is a solid wall which is actually within the boundaries of the church structure, but to the eye seems to be the massive exterior of the building. This wall constitutes the western boundary of the Poets’ Corner, and at the junction with the nave, turns to the west and connects with the south wall of the nave. It is through a doorway in this interior wall that the east entrance to the church from the cloisters is effected. This may not be clear, but as a matter of fact a portion of the east walk of the cloisters is actually within the external lines of the church. Knowledge of these details as to the relation of the site of the cloisters to the interior of the church will help to understand the location of the archives of the Abbey. Proceeding from the Chapter House to our place of appointment in the cloisters we there met an elderly man, in the service of the Abbey, whom Canon Wilberforce introduced as the Clerk of the Works. I was turned over to this official and instructions were given him to take me to the library in order that I might inspect the document of which I was in search.

    The library is in the upper part of one of the buildings attached to the Abbey in a large room which is said formerly to have been a dormitory. The room was surrounded with shelves which were loaded with old books, mainly quartos, bound in leather which had turned black with age. In the middle of the room was a long table and on the table was a single book the binding of which furnished the only bit of color in the room. The volume was a thick octavo and the cloth binding was of a brilliant scarlet. Curiosity led me to investigate the title of this modern intruder and I found it to be a catalogue of the Chicago Exposition.

    I had provided myself with the numerical notation by which the paper of which I was in search was designated in the Fourth Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. My first step therefore was to investigate the system by which the places on the shelves were indicated in the volumes constituting the library. A glance at the shelf-marks of two or three volumes was enough to satisfy me that the numbers on the paper did not belong to any system made use of for the books in the library.

    Was it possible that there were any manuscripts in the room? If so might they not be filed away under a special system of numerical designation which might comprehend those numbers assigned in the report to my paper? Such were the suggestions that occurred to me, and turning to the Clerk of the Works I asked him whether there were any manuscripts in the room. He pondered for a moment and then shook his head. “Is there any other place in the Abbey where there is a collection of papers in which the one that I am in search of might be found?” “Yes, there is,” said he, after a moment’s reflection. “It might be in the archives.” “Is it possible for you to take me there?” Again a brief hesitation and then he said, “Yes, but I shall have to ask you to wait in the cloisters while I get the keys.”

    Returning to the cloisters, my obliging escort disappeared for a short space of time and then reported again. This time he was armed with several large keys all of an archaic type, keys such as you see exposed in museums, made at a time when the larger the lock and the greater the size of the key the more the confidence that was placed in the resisting powers of the bolt. Passing to the east walk of the cloisters, he opened a door flush with the wall in which it was situated which gave access to a circular staircase within. Up this staircase we mounted till we reached a door which opened out onto a sort of balcony, attached to the outside wall of the building. The floor of this balcony was of plank and the supports and railing were of iron. We stepped out onto the balcony and proceeded for a short distance when we came to another door in the wall which was fastened with a huge padlock at least three inches in diameter and correspondingly thick. When this was unlocked and the door thrown open, we stepped through the doorway and found ourselves inside the church upon a platform with a heavy stone balustrade which seemed to be over a portion of the south transept. Looking over the balustrade one could see the Poets’ Corner immediately below.

    I have already called attention to the curious structural fact that the north and south transepts of the church are not of equal width, the western aisle of the south transept having been taken over into the cloisters. This has been accomplished in such a way as to make it very difficult to tell what the exterior lines of the church are at that point. A person standing inside the church at the doorway which communicates with the eastern walk of the cloisters and looking out to the southward, has upon his left hand a solid wall and on his right a series of piers with openings between them through which he can see the cloister garth. The wall in which is pierced the doorway where he stands, and the wall alongside the cloister walk, at right angles to it, which he sees to his left, are both, as has already been stated, entirely within the church and are not carried up even to the lower lines of the triforium, while on the other hand the first three piers on his right in the cloisters support the main wall of the church.

    The balustraded platform upon which we had entered from the balcony, and from which we could look down upon the Poets’ Corner, must have been over what should architecturally have been the west aisle of the south transept and the area of the platform apparently corresponded with that which the aisle itself should have occupied on the floor of the church. We were therefore immediately over that portion of the cloisters from which we had entered. Moreover, the staircase up which we had clambered must have been within the heavy pier at the southwest corner of the south transept.

    On the west side of this platform a rudely constructed board partition had been thrown up, thus creating a room perhaps twelve or fifteen feet square, entrance to which was effected through a door which was locked at the time of our arrival but which readily yielded to the persuasion of our conductor. Beyond this temporary structure on the platform, a table, also of a temporary character, was improvised. At that time it was vacant and there was no indication of its purpose.

    Entering the temporary room constructed on the platform we found on the wall to our right a series of pigeon holes, or compartments, with shelves, each deep enough and large enough to admit of holding a number of documents, and within these receptacles were filed away a large number of papers and documents. An examination of some of these papers plainly showed that the numerical system by which they were severally designated evidently might and probably did comprehend the paper of which I was in search. The room was lighted by a window cut in the wall directly opposite the door which apparently was of modern construction. Selecting from the papers in the racks a bundle which contained papers bearing numbers corresponding closely with the notations on my paper, and which indeed seemed to promise that the paper itself was to be found therein, I went over to the window and ran through the bundle without finding the document. There were many papers in this bundle and they varied in size from voluminous documents many pages in length to thin papers of merely one or two pages. The paper of the different documents also varied. Some of the pages were heavy and stiff, others were thin and flexible.

    My disappointment was of course very great. Here was the place where the paper ought to be found and in my hands I held the bundle which by its numerical designations ought to contain it. The only explanation that I could give of the dilemma in which I found myself was that I might have made a mistake in copying the number from the Fourth Report of the Commission on Historical Manuscripts. I ought perhaps to have gone over my work again and examined afresh every paper of the heterogeneous collection in the bundle, but I felt some compunctions at having monopolized so long the time of my good-natured conductor and therefore announced that I would give up the search.

    Before leaving the room he called my attention to two trunks standing on the floor, old fashioned trunks, with arched tops, the exteriors covered with calf skin with the hair left on. Lifting the lid of one of these trunks he showed me that the body of the trunk was filled with illuminated parchment documents, each bearing a large wax seal, two or three inches in diameter, attached thereto by ribbons, —documents apparently, that we should place in a glass case and gaze upon with wonder at the skill displayed in their preparation.

    Returning to the cloisters I had quite a talk with the Clerk of the Works before leaving the Abbey. He was an interesting man, had at one time been an under-gardener in the service of the Queen, and now was as enthusiastic in his love of the Abbey as Dean Stanley himself. “I know every stone in the Abbey,” he said, and he claimed that in certain parts of the exterior walls, especially in the cloisters, he had renewed many of them. When one considers how soft and friable is the stone of which the Abbey is built, this claim does not seem unreasonable.

    It was an easy matter to test my conjecture that I might have made an error in transcribing the number given to my paper in the published calendar. There were several places where I could consult the Fourth Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. One of them was the office of Stevens and Brown at Trafalgar Square. I felt sure that the invariable courtesy which they were in the habit of extending to Americans seeking for information on historical points would not be denied me, and therefore in due course of time I went to that office. The Report of the Commission was kindly placed at my disposal, and in a few minutes I knew that I had made no mistake in transcribing the number, and I felt sure that I must actually have had the sought for document in my hands. There were several ways in which it might have escaped me, the most probable being that it was one of the thin papers and had become attached to or folded in one of the larger and heavier documents in the bundle.

    The question now was, would the good nature of the Clerk of the Works hold out to give me a second look at the bundle of papers in which I suspected that the document must be filed. There was but one way to find that out and that was to go to the Abbey and ask him to take me again to the archives. This I did, either the next day or the day after, with the result that I was not only received by him with cordiality, but he at once secured the keys necessary for our purpose. Thus equipped for our expedition we were proceeding along the cloisters towards the entrance to the staircase when we were stopped by some functionary of the Abbey who inquired where we were going. We explained the nature of our errand, and stated that the search for the paper had been authorized by Canon Wilberforce. Notwithstanding this, the person who had interrupted our progress positively prohibited the Clerk of the Works from taking me to the archives, but to my great satisfaction he added to this prohibition the following words: “Mr. Scott of the British Museum is now engaged in making a calendar of these documents. He comes here every day at four o’clock in the afternoon with an assistant. When he comes you can go in with him.” In effect then his prohibition would result in nothing more than an inconvenience, provided Mr. Scott was to go up to the archives, either that day or in the course of a few days.

    There was one way in which I might obtain knowledge on that question and that was to go to the Museum and ask Mr. Scott personally when he was going to visit the archives. This I proceeded to to do.

    Access to the office of an official of the Museum was to be gained only by the exercise of the usual formalities which protect workers in public places from the intrusion of idlers. I sent up my card to Mr. Scott and in due time was conducted through a side passage, up a flight of stairs, and was admitted to his office. I was courteously but frigidly received. I had no credentials and Mr. Scott on his part was not prepared to encourage strangers to call upon him for aid in getting access to the archives of the Abbey. Our conversation, therefore, after I had told him my errand and explained that I had called solely for the purpose of ascertaining if he were going over to the Abbey that afternoon, consisted on his part in a series of affirmations that he could not possibly take any person with him into the archives; that he did not understand why I had been sent to him; that he had nothing to do with visitors to the Abbey, and other and similar protests, which, on the whole, were neither unreasonable nor unexpected. In response, I on my part assured him that I did not ask him to take me into the archives; that I did not wish him to assume any responsibility whatever for me in this matter; that the linking of my visit to the archives to his work was not my doing, and that the only purpose that I had in intruding upon him was to ascertain if he were actually going to the Abbey that afternoon to continue his work in the archives. After fencing me off for some time, Air. Scott ultimately yielded to the persistence with which I stuck to my inquiry, and told me that he was going that afternoon to the Abbey, adding to this information the statement, “and it is fortunate for you that you came to-day, for to-morrow I am going to Normandy to spend my vacation.”

    At four o’clock that afternoon I was in waiting at the entrance to the cloisters. I was chatting with the Clerk of the Works when the chimes rang out the hour. It was perhaps five minutes past four o’clock, when Mr. Scott with his assistant arrived on the scene walking rapidly and evidently in great haste. If he had entertained any doubts as to the story which I had told him they must have disappeared when he saw me with the Clerk of the Works waiting for his arrival. Whether this were so or not, he came forward hurriedly, and his first words were those of apology for being late. “I hope I have n’t kept you waiting, sir,” he said; “I was detained and prevented from arriving here on time.”

    The keys were produced and we went up to the room in which the archives were deposited. I submitted the number of my paper to him, and he at once took up the bundle which I had already examined and with the aid of his assistant proceeded to examine the numbers of the papers in the bundle. The care with which they separated and examined the several papers included in the bundle precluded the possibility of any, even the smallest, escaping them. As they turned over paper after paper and the number remaining unexamined in the bundle grew smaller and smaller I began to be afraid that after all my search had been only too complete; but this proved not to be the case, for when only one or two papers remained to be examined Mr. Scott handed me a small paper which when unfolded proved to be about the size of a half sheet of small note paper. The paper was thin and the file so small that it obviously might have adhered to some other paper, perhaps have found its way between the leaves of a larger document.

    The entry in the Report of the Royal Commission which had made me desirous of seeing the document read as follows: “Temp. Charles II. A paper endorsed ‘A list of the names of the persons concerned in the late Bancke beinge Governors thereof,’ beginning with Lord Jermyn” (p. 195). Taking the paper up to the window I first examined this endorsement. As I read it over I saw that the words interpreted by the cataloguer as “late Bancke” were in reality “land Bancke.” The presence of Mr. Scott, a man undoubtedly familiar with the chirography of that period, furnished me with an opportunity to test the accuracy of my judgment. I submitted the words to his inspection and he without hesitation pronounced me to be right. This discovery that there was an error in the published endorsement of the paper did not throw light enough upon the subject to enable me to fix its date on the spot, but it did reduce the probable value of the paper as an historical document. It was at any rate worth copying, and with that intent I took out a block of paper that I had brought with me and began to copy the document. “What are you going to do?” said Mr. Scott. “I am going to copy this paper,” said I. “You do not suppose that I can wait while you copy that document! If you want to copy it take it down to the office of the Clerk of the Works and make your copy there.” “Look here, Mr. Scott,” said I, “I have come here to get a copy of this document. You have come here with your assistant to calendar these papers. Suppose you go about your work just as though I were not here, and let me sit at your table and make my copy where you are at work. Then you can see what I am doing with the paper and I can return it to your custody when I am through with it. That will be much better for all of us than sending me down to the office of the Clerk of the Works with the paper.” To this he assented and I made my copy at his table as I had suggested, thanked him for his assistance, and bore away with me the copy which had cost me so much trouble.

    Subsequent examination showed that the document was undoubtedly a memorandum connected with the formation of the Land Bank which is described in a tract entitled “The Settlement of the Land-Bank. Established Anno Dom. 1695,” which tract was republished by Lord Somers.538 It was as its title indicated a mere list of names, and although of little value, still, as the list had never before been made public, I caused it to be published in a note in Currency and Banking in Massachusetts Bay (II. 56–57). The experience of running it down had been interesting. The zest of the search had been reduced by incredulity on my part as to the existence of any bank in the days of Charles the Second, indeed had the entry in the report read “land bank” instead of “late bank” my interest in the document would probably not have been stimulated to the extent of arousing me to the activity of actual search. The air was full of talk about banks in the last days of Charles the Second and much speculation was indulged in about land banks. These speculations did not, however, materialize until, under the skilful manipulation of William Paterson, the Bank of England was organized in 1694. While, therefore, I cannot take credit for having contributed through this search any material of value to the economic history of this period, I can nevertheless look back with gratitude upon the catalogue of the Fourth Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts for having aroused my interest to such an extent as to furnish me with an experience full of pleasant memories.

    Mr. Chester N. Greenough made the following communication:


    Even though the historical literature of New England were far richer than it is in such diaries as those of Samuel Sewall and Cotton Mather and in such observations as those of Lechford and Josselyn, there would still be an honorable place for such a document as we apparently have in John Dunton’s Letters from New England. Nothing could be more welcome than the record of a London bookseller who spent five months in Boston in the critical year 1686, whose point of view is that of a friendly outsider, whose acquaintance included not merely the clergy and the magistrates but many other types as well, whose observation comprehended Indians, adventurers, tavern-keepers, picnics, sermons, and executions, and whose portraits of people are perhaps more numerous, as they certainly are more vivid, than those of almost any other writer of that time and place. The wonder would seem to be that more extensive use has not been made of a record of which the date, contents, and point of view lead us to expect so much. Not that Dunton has been wholly neglected: many historians539 have made use of him, and one or two540 have praised in the highest terms the truthfulness and insight of his portraits. These portraits do, indeed, deserve our close attention. But first let us see who Dunton was and how he came to write about New England.

    John Dunton541 was born on May 4–14, 1659. His father, previously Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and then rector of Graffham in Huntingdonshire, was the third John Dunton in succession to be a minister. Our John Dunton, unable to keep up this tradition, was apprenticed, when between fourteen and fifteen years old, to Thomas Parkhurst, the London bookseller, who was later to bring out Cotton Mather’s Magnalia. Dunton’s apprenticeship seems not to have been wholly industrious. When it ceased, apparently in 1681, he commenced bookseller on his own account. His first publication was entered in Michaelmas Term of 1681.542 Many others followed, one of them a collection of fimeral sermons, The House of Weeping, 1682, by his father. On August 3, 1682, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Annesley, D.D. For a while “prosperity and success were the common course of Providence,”543 but presently “there came a universal damp upon Trade,”544 and Dunton, having £500 due him in New England, decided to “ramble” thither.

    In November,545 1685, accordingly, in the ship Susannah and Thomas, Captain Thomas Jenner, he set sail from the Downs for Boston. After a very long and unpleasant voyage, in the course of which he either saw or just missed seeing an amazing variety of fishes and marine animals — including an alligator546 — Dunton reached Boston. The date of his arrival has been variously stated. Whitmore547 puts it “within a day or two of February 10,” 1686. Palfrey,548 probably following John Nichols,549 puts it in March. John Bowyer Nichols550 prefers February. We have, to be sure, Dunton’s own word that he was at sea “above four months.”551 But as for that, we have also Dunton’s word552 that he spent ten months in New England, although he declares that he sailed for home on July 5, 1686,553 — an assertion wholly irreconcilable with the statement that he set sail on either November 2 or November 20, and spent four months at sea.

    The true date appears as soon as we examine Sewall’s Diary. For we know from Dunton554 that he sailed with Captain Thomas Jenner, and we have, furthermore, a rather explicit account555 of his arrival at Boston. “We . . . Landed near the Castle, within a mile of Boston, where we lay that Night; . . . Having refresh’d our selves the first Night at the Castle, where . . . we were very civilly treated by the Governour,556 the next morning we bent our Course for Boston; . . . over the Ice.” Sewall’s account, although it makes no mention of John Dunton, agrees in all these circumstances and also supplies the date:557

    Wednesday, Janr 27. [1686] . . . Is talk of a Ship below and some think it may be Jenner from London.

    Thorsday, January 28, Mr. Jenner having lodged at Capt. Clap’s last night, with Mr. Belcher and others, come near twenty together to Serjt Bull’s over the Ice and bring the News of the Rose Frigot ready to come and bring Mr. Randolph, who is to be Deputy Governour, and Mr. Dudley Governour. . . . The Town much filled with this discourse. . . . When Mr. Jenner came in the Magistrates went all off the Bench to hear his News in the Lobby.558

    It is entirely clear, therefore, that John Dunton arrived in Boston Harbor on the evening of January 27, 1686, and reached the city on the following day. Dunton’s own chronology is so shaky that it is a satisfaction to be able to fix this date by evidence from a trustworthy source.

    On February 16, 1686, Dunton was vouched for as a stranger,559 and about the same time he opened his bookshop at Mr. Richard Wilkins’s, “opposite to the Town-House,” where he also lodged. He next presented various letters of introduction and began to look about him. Business did not, apparently, prevent him from making many “rambles” to neighboring towns or from cultivating the acquaintance of all who showed themselves friendly. He saw the execution of Morgan on March 11, and the arrival of Randolph on May 14. On July 5 he sailed for London, where he arrived one month later.560

    Bond of Francis Burroughs that John Dunton a Stranger shall not become a Charge upon the Town of Boston 1685

    Engraved for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts

    Dunton’s subsequent career may be very briefly reviewed. He found his affairs involved in debt, was obliged to remain in hiding for ten months,561 and then “took a trip over to Holland, Flanders, Germany, &c.”562 He returned to London on November 15, 1688,563 and resumed business at “the sign of the Black Raven . . . opposite to the Poultry Compter.”564 There for ten years he published, compiled, and projected to his heart’s content. He was temporarily saddened by the death of his wife in 1697, but remarried within a year, went to Ireland on a bookselling venture, returned, published his famous Life and Errors in 1705, wrote profusely and violently until 1723, and died in obscurity ten years later.

    This career certainly leaves the impression of an increasingly irresponsible person. As such John Dunton seems to have been regarded by many of his contemporaries. Swift, in the Tale of a Tub (1704), alludes to Dunton’s voluminous and indiscriminate publishing projects,565 and in his Publick Spirit of the Whigs (1714) ironically praises Dunton’s “famous tract entitled Neck or Nothing,” which “must be allowed to be the shrewdest piece, and written with the most spirit, of any which has appeared from that side since the change of the ministry.”566 The Earl of Sunderland thought him “an impudent Fellow,” who had “abused the greatest men in the Nation.”567 The writer of the footnote on Dunton in the Dunciad (ii. 144) agrees with Sunderland: “a broken568 bookseller,” the annotator calls him, “and an abusive scribbler. He wrote Neck or Nothing, a violent satire on some Ministers of State; a libel on the Duke of Devonshire and the Bishop of Peterborough, &c.”569 The London Post said of Dunton, “In spite of native Dulness [he] resolves to be a Wit, as he always did to be a Knave, in spite of . . . a whole volume of repentance.”570 Charges of financial untrustworthiness are also abundant,571 though vague, and a certain R. Key seems to indicate that Dunton was known to be licentious in personal conduct.572 Certainly there is no lack of nastiness in some of Dunton’s writings,573 however admirable the moral tone of most of them. I fancy Dunton to have had an utterly irresponsible and fluctuating nature, in which by turns immorality, repentance, credulity, and vindictiveness directed his unceasing frenzy for publication. “Mr. John Dunton, lunatick,” is the succinct characterization of him in the second number of the Monitor (1714),574 and as early as 1707 Thomas Hearne records, “There is publish’d The IId Part of the Pulpit Fool, by John Dunton a poor craz’d silly Fellow.”575 Certainly Dunton becomes less puzzling if we regard him, at least in his later years, as partially insane. Yet his publications contain so much that is not his own, and the evidence of others about him is so full of prejudice and obscurity, that it is a very difficult matter to decide.

    The Letters from New England are eight in number, one of them apparently written from West Cowes, six from Boston, and one after the return to London.

    The first, “From West-Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, Octob. 25th, 1685,” is addressed to his wife and narrates the embarkation and the beginning of the voyage. It is signed “Yrs Entirely / John Dunton.”

    The second letter, written from Boston, dated February 17, 1685–6, and addressed “To My Only Brother Mr. Lake Dunton. Lately Return’d from Surat in the East-Indies,” completes the account of the voyage. It is signed “Your truly Loving and / Affectionate Brother, / Philaret.”576

    The third letter, dated from Boston, March 25, 1686, is addressed to Mr. George Larkin, at London, and is signed “Philaret.” This letter, which is one of the most important of the series, must have required a considerable sum in postage, for in Whitmore’s edition it fills about ninety pages. In it, declares Dunton:

    I shall observe this method:

    1. Give you an Account of my Reception at Boston:

    2. The Character of my Boston Landlord, his Wife and Daughter;

    3. Give you an Account of my being admitted into the Freedom of this City:

    4. I shall next describe the Town of Boston, it being the Metropolis of New-England; and say something of the Government, Law, and Customs thereof.

    5. I shall relate the Visits I made, the Remarkable Friendships I contracted, and shall conclude with the character of Madam Brick as the Flower of Boston, and some other Ladyes, And I’ll omit nothing that happened (if remarkable) during my stay here. And in all this I will not copy from others, as is usual with most Travellers, but relate my own Observations.577

    In the fourth letter, without date or place, but addressed to Dunton’s cousin, John Woolhurst, at London, and signed “Philaret,” we have an account of Dunton’s “rambles”578 to Charlestown, Medford, New-Town, Winnisimet,579 Lynn, Nantascot, Wissaguset,580 Braintree, Dorchester, and Roxbury. In the course of this letter we find short descriptions of these towns, a good deal about Indians, and an account of the apostle Eliot.

    The fifth letter, undated, is to Dunton’s father-in-law, Dr. Samuel Annesley, from his “Most Dutiful Son-in-Law, Philaret.” It contains an account of the conversion of the Indians, for which Dunton modestly disclaims originality.581

    The sixth letter is without date, but it contains letters between Dunton and his apprentice Palmer, which in the Life and Errors582 are dated April 4, 1686, and April 10, 1686. It is addressed to his wife and is signed “Your ever Faithful / Philaret.” It describes his ramble to Salem, whither he went alone, “save that by an Intercourse of Souls, my Dear, I had your Company.”583

    The seventh letter, the last of those supposed to have been written from Boston, is addressed “To My Beloved Sister, Mrs. Sarah Dunton.” It contains information about various matters relating to Indians, descriptions of Wenham and Ipswich, and two portraits of people. It has no date.584

    The final letter, “To Mr. Richard Wilkins in Boston in New England,” briefly assures his former landlord of Dunton’s safe arrival in London and his happy reunion with his wife.

    The earliest version of Dunton’s account of New England is in the Life and Errors (1705).585 That account was very inadequately reprinted in 1814 in the Massachusetts Historical Collections.586 In 1818 John Bowyer Nichols did much better: he not only reprinted the Life and Errors much more accurately and fully,587 but also added selections from Dunton’s other works, prefixed a good memoir, and appended a calendar of the Dunton MS in the Bodleian Library.588

    From these manuscripts a copy of the eight “Letters from New England” was made589 under the supervision of Colonel Joseph L. Chester for the use of William Henry Whitmore, who first printed the Letters from New England in 1867 for the Prince Society. We are under great obligations to Whitmore for having made these letters accessible. One wishes very much, however, that he had reprinted the whole of the Chester MS: to have done so would have revealed Dunton’s vulgarity and his excursiveness, which, however unattractive, are important if we wish to know him. Even more does one wish that Whitmore had indicated every erasure and interpolation in the Chester MS, for these bear vitally upon the question of the date and genuineness of the Letters, questions which Whitmore hardly raised at all.

    One question which Whitmore did raise, however, and which he did much to settle, is the question of Dunton’s importance as an original authority. Whitmore was able to show that nearly everything that Dunton tells us about the Indians is copied almost verbatim from either Roger Williams or Cotton Mather, though Dunton often takes pains to work over the information into monologues from imaginary persons whom he met on his rambles. Whitmore further shows borrowings from Josselyn’s Two Voyages (1674) and from J. W.’s Letter from New England (1682). In all, Whitmore points out about thirty cases in which, without acknowledgment, Dunton appropriates rather long passages from earlier writers. This was much more than a curious discovery, for it very importantly modified the idea of the value and purpose of the book which we might otherwise have had.

    When so much has been pointed out that is not original, one is naturally moved to see if there may not be still more. It appears that there is much more.

    Here, for example, is an episode of Dunton’s voyage and beside it a passage from Josselyn’s Two Voyages:



    About 8 of the clock at night, It flame settled upon the main mast, it was about the bigness of a great Candle, and is called by our Seamen St. Elmes fire, it comes before a storm, and is commonly thought to be a Spirit; if two app ear they prognosticate safety: These are known to the learned by the names of Castor and Pollux, to the Italians by St. Nicholas and St. Hermes, by the Spaniards called Corpos Santos (ed. Veazie, p. 8).

    On the next Day, in the Captain’s Cabin, we had hot debates about a Flame, which sometimes settles upon the main mast of a Ship . . . It is about the bigness of a good large Candle, and was call’d by the Seamen St. Ellines Fire; it usually comes before a storm, and is commonly thought to be a Spirit; and here’s the conjuration of it, that tho’ one is look’d upon as an ill Omen, yet if two appear, they are said to Prognosticate Safety. These are known to the Learned by the names of Castor and Pollux: to the Italians, by St. Nicholas and St. Hermes, and are by the Spaniards called Corpus Santo s (Letters, p. 31).

    One cannot help wondering, after this, if the various sailors who told Dunton so much about the different fish they had met,590 had not managed to commit to memory large portions of some not very reliable work on natural history, the identity of which has thus far eluded our search.

    In the fifth letter there is a rather distinct bit of description of the country through which Dunton rode on his trip to Natick. The letter is addressed to Dr. Annesley:

    As we rid along that lovely valley I have mention’d, Sir, we saw many lovely Lakes or Ponds, well stored with Fish and Beavers: These, they tell me, are the original of all the great Rivers in the Countrey, of which there are many, besides lesser Streams, manifesting the Goodness of the Soil, which is in some places black, in others red, with clay, Gravel, Sand and Loom, and very deep in some places, as in the Valleys and Swamps, which are low grounds, and bottoms, infinitely thick set with Trees and Bushes of all sorts; others having no other Shrubs or Trees growing but Spruce, under the Shades whereof we Rambled two or three miles together, being goodly large Trees, and convenient for Masts and Sail-Yards (Letters, p. 216).

    Josselyn had written:

    Within these valleys are spacious lakes or ponds well stored with Fish and Beavers; the original of all the great Rivers in the Countrie, of which there are many with lesser streams (wherein are an infinite of fish) manifesting the goodness of the soil which is black, red-clay, gravel, sand, loom, and very deep in some places, as in the valleys and swamps, which are low grounds and bottoms infinitely thick set with Trees and Bushes of all sorts for the most part, others having no other shrub or Tree growing, but spruse, under the shades whereof you may freely walk two or three mile together; being goodly large Trees, and convenient for masts and sail-yards (Two Voyages, pp. 37–38).

    It will be noticed that Dunton relies upon the authority of Josselyn to determine even the length of his ramble. Josselyn writes: “you may walk freely two or three mile together.” Dunton echoes: “We rambled two or three miles together.” No traveller ever followed his Baedeker more faithfully.

    That Josselyn actually was Dunton’s Baedeker appears when we examine the short descriptions of the various towns which Dunton visited in his rambles. There are twelve of them in all,591 and the description of each592 is taken almost verbatim from Josselyn. The account of Nantascot is a fair example:



    . . . a Town called Nantascot, which is two Leagues from Boston, where Ships commonly cast Anchor.

    Pullin-point is so called, because the Boats are . . . haled against the Tide which is very strong, it is the usual Channel for Boats to pass into Mattachusets-Bay.

    There is an Island on the South-side of the passage containing eight Acres of ground. Upon a rising hill within this Island is mounted a Castle commanding the entrance, no stately Edifice, nor strong; built with Brick and Stone, kept by a Captain, under whom is a master-Gunner and others.

     . . . The Bay is large,

    made by many Islands, the chief Deere-Island, which is within a flight shot of Pullin-point, great store of Deere were wont to swim thither from the Main; then Bird-Island, Glass-Island, Slate-Island, the Governours Garden, where the first Apple-Trees in the Countrey were planted, and a vinyard; then Round-Island, and Noddles-Island not far from Charles-Town: most of these Islands lye on the North-side of the Bay (pp. 122–3).

    Being come to Nantascot we took a survey of the Town, which is a Sea-Port, about two Leagues from Boston, where ships commonly cast Anchor: near which is Pullin Point, so called, because the Boats are haled against the Tide, which is very strong. It is the usual Channel for Boats to pass into the Massachusetts Bay. On the South Side of the Passage there is an Island containing about Eight Acres of ground; Upon a rising Hill within this Island is mounted a Castle. Here ’twas we first Landed, when I came into the Countrey; Tho’ tins Castle be no stately Edifice, nor very strong, being built with Brick and Stone, yet it commands the Entrance, so that no Ship can pass by without its leave: It is kept by a Captain, under whom is a Master-Gunner, and some others.

    I then took a transient view of Pullin-Point. The Bay is large, and has Boston in view, as soon as you enter into it: It is made by many Islands, the chiefest of which is the Dear Island, which is within a flight shot of Pullin-Point: It is called Dear Island, because great store of Deer were wont to swim thither from the main Land: We then viewed Bird Island, Glass-Island, State593-Island, and the Governour’s Garden, where the first Apple trees in the Countrey were planted, and there also was planted a Vineyard: Then there is Round Island, so called from the figure of it, and last of all Noddles Island, not far from Charles-Town. Most of these Islands lie on the North-Side of the Bay (Letters, pp. 179–180).

    All this does not prove that Dunton did not visit these places, for we know that he saw Boston with his own eyes, even though he avails himself of Josselyn’s description of it. But it is clear that we cannot use Dunton’s descriptions to show what these towns were like in 1686.

    It is now time to raise the whole question of the date and genuineness594 of these Letters. In his preface Whitmore observes:595

    In regard to the point as to these being the letters written at the time, Mr. Chester says that he does not regard them as letters actually sent from Boston to the parties addressed. They were all written in a uniform hand, on uniform paper, and may be considered rather as a journal, kept probably during his sojourn at Boston, and intended for publication. The other theory would be that this was his letter-book, in which, according to the custom of the times, he kept copies of the letters sent.

    Mr. Chester adds: “The interpolations and emendations are numerous, and some of them clearly of a later date. Sometimes entire pages were evidently after-thoughts, and occur at the end of the volume, being referred to by marks in the body of the MSS.”

    Further than this Whitmore did not go. We do not know, therefore, which pages were added; indeed we know hardly anything about the author’s minor changes except what we can learn from the Chester MS in the library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. A week at the Bodleian might clear up many difficulties. Nevertheless, with the text as we have it something can be done.

    On the very first page of the Letters from New England there is a note, which Whitmore prints as a footnote, in which Dunton refers by page to his “lately published Farewell to Dublin.” The farewell to Dublin — the actual event — took place late in December of 1698, and the Dublin Scuffle, of which the Farewell seems to have formed a part, was not published until 1699. Again, at the very end596 of his Letters, and also in his account of the negligence of his apprentice,597 Dunton has passages in which he gets nearly a year ahead of the date which must be assumed for the eighth letter, if we are to suppose that the entire manuscript represents a body of letters actually sent from New England. It is therefore at least clear that we have in the Chester MS certain passages which could not have been written from Boston in the year 1686. It remains to ask, then, whether such passages are numerous and incorporated in the letters, or whether they constitute merely a few such notes as the two just cited.

    In the second letter, dated March 25, 1686, we have a reference to “Major Dudley, afterwards President.”598 Now Joseph Dudley’s commission as President did not arrive until May, 1686.599 Again, we have in the same letter, under date March 25, 1686, the following sentence: “Another Occurence that happened whilst I was here, was, the Arrival of the Rose Frigot from England with a New Charter brought over by one Rundel” [Randolph].600 But this event did not take place until May 14, 1686.601 However, it may be urged that Dunton should be forgiven any slight confusion of dates, provided he limits himself in these letters to the narration of events which occurred before his departure, on July 5, 1686.

    But Dunton does not by any means keep within even these rather generous limits. His account of John Eliot602 is largely taken verbatim from Cotton Mather’s Life of Eliot, which was not published until 1691.603 He refers604 to the publication of the life of Nathaniel Mather, which did not appear until 1689.605 He quotes from Increase Mather’s letter to Dr. John Leusden, which is dated July 12, 1687.606 More curious still is a remark607 made in connection with Cotton Mather. “Cotton Mather . . . has very lately finish’d a Church-History of New-England, which I’m going to print.” Now, as every reader of Cotton Mather’s Diary knows, the Magnalia was not finished until 1697.608 Another allusion,609 which is somewhat less obvious, carries the date still further forward. After portraying the admirable character of Comfort Wilkins, Mrs. Green, and Madam Brick, Dunton remarks, “And now Sir Daniel, I suppose you’ll give some grains of Allowance to Sir John: For I believe such Females as these, wou’d set even a Gentleman of more Reformation, a longing for further Acquaintance with ’em, without making it a Crime.”610 This allusion can be to no one but Daniel Defoe, who in reply to the attacks made upon his Reformation of Manners (1702), published “More Reformation. / A / Satyr / Upon / Himself. / By the Author Of /The True Born English-Man.” But Defoe’s More Reformation was not entered for publication until Michaelmas Term of 1703,611 and bears the date 1703 upon its title-page. All of these passages, except one, throw the date forward indefinitely from 1686. The only passage which suggests two limits is the very interesting one in connection with the Magnalia, for it is extremely unlikely that after 1702, in which year the Magnalia was published by Thomas Parkhurst, Dunton would have written, even in the rough draft of these Letters, that the Magnalia was a work “which I’m going to print.” Except for this clause, I see nothing in the Letters to show that they were not written after the Life and Errors (1705).612 But without use of the MS at the Bodleian, it is impossible to do more, though it is certainly impossible to do less, than to cast general doubt upon the date of the entire work.

    We can immediately answer in the negative the question, Is this work in its present form a body, of actual letters? It is clear that the letters as we have them have been worked over to make a book, if, indeed, they ever were actual letters. The mere fact that Dunton frequently appeals to “the reader”613 suffices to show this, if, indeed, any further evidence were needed than the inordinate length and the general tone of the work.614

    But although it is clear that the author intended to make a book, it is equally clear that he had not finished preparing the copy for the press. In the Chester MS, for instance, we have at one point615 the note: “Here insert the Poem upon Punch, out of Ratcliff’s Rambles.”616

    That at least a portion of the composition of these Letters was after Dunton had forgotten (if he ever knew them by experience) some of the details of his visit is suggested by these and other scattered bits of evidence. For instance, it is remarkable to find that, although Dunton assures us of the intimacy of his acquaintance with such men as Higginson, Gerrish, and Hubbard, he gets their names wrong, as well as the names of other people617 who are incidentally mentioned. Dunton’s almost complete omission of matters of public concern is another fact in point. For example, he says nothing whatever about the epidemic of small-pox, although so great was the affliction that March 25, 1686, the very date of the letter wherein so many of his characters occur, was “appointed . . . to be kept as a Day of Solemn Humiliation and Prayer throughout this Colony.” The General Court had even voted to “recommend it to the Elders and Ministers of the respective Churches, to promote this work on the said day; forbidding Servile Labour to all People within this Jurisdiction, thereon.”618 All this could hardly have occurred if the Letters in their present form were based upon real letters, or upon a journal dating from the period of his actual visit.

    In fact, it must be granted that Dunton is a highly unreliable person, whose narrative cannot be accepted as a record of historical fact. As an instance of this let me cite the account of the execution of Morgan.619 Dunton assures us that after the sermon he and Cotton Mather rode to the place of execution, that a great crowd followed, and that from where he was he caught occasional glimpses of Morgan.620 But if Dunton had been where he says he was on this occasion, he could have seen Morgan without difficulty, for we know that Cotton Mather walked beside the criminal to the place of the execution.621 The close of this day of Morgan’s execution was made happy for Dunton by a picnic. He tells us that he and half a dozen others got a boat and rowed to Governor’s Island, had a kind of barbecue, treated the ladies, and returned in the evening.622 Now a person who has just witnessed an execution is certainly entitled to go upon a picnic if he so desires. And yet nothing would seem to be more discouraging than certain conditions on the day of this picnic, the date of which was March 11. The winter had been very severe, and although the harbor was no longer frozen over, it had but recently begun to open.623 Moreover, Morgan was not “turned off” until half-past five;624 so Dunton could hardly have started on his picnic before dark; and, to make the affair seem even more dismal, we find from Sewall’s Diary that it rained nearly all the evening.625 All that can be said, and all that needs to be said, is that Dunton’s accounts of the execution and of the picnic make a remarkable contrast, and that is probably what he was chiefly aiming at.

    It remains to consider the most interesting part of the Letters, — the portraits of people.

    It is more than a coincidence that in speaking of these portraits Dunton almost always employs the same word. He uses it on his title-page, he uses it in outlining the third letter (for our immediate purpose the most important of them all), and he often uses it in introducing or concluding his accounts of particular people. That word is “character,” as employed in the following sentence: “And thus, Reader, I have given you the Character of another of my Female Friends in Boston.”626

    The “character” in this sense of the word, was a well recognized, prolific, popular, and influential form in English literature of the seventeenth century.627 We are fortunate in having several contemporary definitions of it, the most explicit and interesting of which is that in a school-book, published in 1665 by Ra[lph] Johnson, who gives not only a definition of the character but also three rules for making one. The full title of the book, of which the Harvard University Library contains a copy, is as follows:

    The / Scholars Guide / From the Accidence to the / University. / Or, / Short, Plain, and Easie Rules for per- / forming all manner of Exercise in the Grammar School, viz. / Rules for Spelling, Orthography, Pointing, Construing, / Parsing, making Latine, placing Latine, Variation, Amplifica- / tion, Allusion, Imitation, Observation, Moving-passion. / As Also / Rules for making Colloquys, Essays, Fables, Prosopo- / pajia’s, Characters, Themes, Epistles, Orations, Declama- / tions of all sorts. / Together With / Rules for Translation, Variation, Imitation, / Carmen, / Epi- / grams, Dialogues, Eccho’s, Epitaphs, Hymnes / Anagrams, / Acrostichs, Chronostichs, &c / By Ra[lph] Johnson Schoolmaster. / [motto] / London, / Printed for Tho. Pierrepont at the Sun in St Pauls Churchyard, 1665.

    The definition and rules628 are these:

    A character is a witty and facetious description of the nature and qualities of some person, or sort of people.

    1. Chuse a Subject, viz. such a sort of men as will admit of variety of observation, such be, drunkards, usurers, lyars, taylors, excise-men, travellers, pedlars, merchants, tapsters, lawyers, an upstart gentleman, a young Justice, a Constable, an Alderman, and the like.

    2. Express their natures, qualities, conditions, practices, tools, desires, aims, or ends, by witty Allegories, or Allusions, to things or terms in nature, or art, of like nature and resemblance, still striving for wit and pleasantness, together with tart nipping jerks about their vices or miscarriages.

    3. Conclude with some witty and neat passage, leaving them to the effect of their follies or studies.

    It would be merely speculation, though not absurd speculation, to say that John Dunton himself may have had to commit this passage to memory; but it is surely not speculation to infer, merely from the presence of a definition of the “character” in a single book of this kind, that the form was generally recognized and that it was practised in schools just when that fact might easily have influenced Dunton.

    That inference can be amply supported from other definitions of the character and from the existence of a very large number of books containing characters. Let us first supplement Johnson’s definition from other seventeenth-century sources, and then consider some of the principal books of characters that Dunton may have known.

    In 1614, just after the shameful death of Sir Thomas Overbury, there appeared a famous collection of characters by Overbury and his friends. The first edition, containing twenty-one characters, was soon followed by others with additional characters. The ninth impression,629 1616, has no fewer than eighty-two characters, of which one is a definition of a character, as follows:

    To square out a character by our English levell it is a picture (reall or personall) quaintly drawne, in various colours, all of them heightned by one shadowing.

    It is a quick and soft touch of many strings, all shutting up in one musicall close; it is wits descant on any plaine song.630

    Although the author of this, by practising the quaintness which he preaches, may seem to have confused the subject rather than defined it, yet in one important respect he does modify the impression left by Johnson: he shows that the character may have for its subject a thing as well as a person. As a matter of fact, there are a great many impersonal characters.631

    Another modification needs to be made in Johnson’s definition — or rather in the impression left by his rules: the character is by no means necessarily adverse. Fuller’s “Holy State” is more than three times as large as his “Profane State;” Hall gives us eleven “Characterisms of Virtues;” Earle has such types as a Grave Divine, a Contemplative Man, a Good Old Man; Overbury has A Wise Man, A Noble Spirit, and many others. In fact, almost every writer of characters except Samuel Butler composed many that were not adverse.

    Various other character-writers632 contribute to a definition. They show us that the character is brief,633 witty,634 and didactic in purpose.635 They also show us — and this is important in considering Dunton — that the character is generic though at the same time faithful to life,636 and that the writer of characters intentionally exaggerates637 by making the good people better than in real life and the bad people worse.638

    It is perhaps beginning to be clear that the character was a popular and prolific form. Bishop Hall’s Characters of Virtues and Vices (1608) contained twenty-six separate characters; Overbury’s characters, eighty-two in all, reached an eighteenth impression in 1664; Earle’s Microcosmography, first published in 1628, contained seventy-eight characters and reached an eighth edition within sixteen years. Thomas Fuller’s The Holy and the Profane State (1642), which contained forty-nine characters, went through at least four editions by 1663. Samuel Butler’s characters, posthumously published, number no fewer than one hundred and eighty-seven. These are merely the greater names. In addition there were scores by minor or anonymous authors, and also — particularly after the beginning of the Civil War — an immense number of pamphlets containing single characters. It would, in fact, be an entirely sober statement to say that when Dunton sailed for New England he might, had he collected character books as George Thomason did his pamphlets, have been the possessor of between three and four hundred of these volumes, containing in all considerably over a thousand separate characters.639

    But let me not by mentioning George Thomason seem to disparage the labors of John Dunton, particularly with reference to the character. For the fact is that of the portraits in the Letters from New England — Mr. Heath, Dr. Bullivant, the jailer, Mrs. Green, the Widow Brick, and all the rest of them — no fewer than thirty-two are, either wholly or in part, taken almost verbatim from such books of characters as we have been discussing. The discovery of this fact, which radically modifies our estimate of the Letters, is the chief occasion for this paper.

    To see how he does it let us place side by side Dunton’s character of Mr. Heath640 and Thomas Fuller’s character of “The Good Merchant” in the Holy and the Profane State (1642):641



    . . . He wrongs not the buyer in number, weight, or measure.

    These are the landmarks of all trading, which must not be removed: for such cozenage were worse than open felony. First, Because they rob a man of his purse and never bid him stand. . . . Thirdly, as much as lies in their power, they endeavour to make God accessory to their cozenage, . . . For God is the principal clerk of the market: all the weights of the bag are his work. Prov. xvi. 11.

    2. He never warrants any ware for good, but what is so indeed . . . 5. He makes no advantage of his chapman’s ignorance, chiefly if referring himself to his honesty: where the seller’s conscience is all the buyer’s skill, who makes him both seller and judge, so that he doth not so much ask as order what he must pay.

    . . . . . . . . . When one told old Bishop Latimer that the cutler had cozened him in making him pay twopence for a knife, not in those days worth a penny:

    No, quoth Latimer, he cozened not me, but his own conscience. One the other side, St. Augustine642 tells us of a seller, who out of ignorance asked for a book far less than it was worth; and the buyer (conceive himself to be the man if you please) of his own accord gave him the full value thereof.

    The next I’ll mention shall be Mr. Heath — a grave and sober Merchant: And were I now to write the Character of a good Merchant, I wou’d as soon take him for the Exemplar of one, as any Man I know. This I am sure, he never wrongs the Man that buys of him, in Number, Weight or Measure. For ’tis his Judgment that these are the Statute Laws of Trade, which, like those of the Medes and Persians, must never be remov’d; and I have heard him say that such a Cozenage is worse than open Felony; because they rob a Man of’s Purse, and never bid him stand; and besides that they Endeavour to make God accessory to their cozenage by false weights: For God is the Principal Clerk of the Market: All the Weights of the Bag (as Solomon tells us, Prov. 16, 11,) being his Work. There are two things remarkable in him, (and I will instance no more.) One is, That he never warrants any Ware for good, but what is so indeed: And the other, That he makes no Advantage of his Chapman’s ignorance, especially if he referrs himself to his Honesty. Where the Conscience of the Seller is all the Skill of the Buyer, the Seller is made the Judge, so that he doth not so much ask as Order what he must pay. I have read that old Bishop Latimer once bought a knife that cost him two pence (which was it seems accounted a great Price in those days), and shewing it unto his Friend, he told him, The Cutler had cozen’d him, for the knife was not worth a penny: No, replied Latimer, he cozen’d not me, but his own Conscience. So far from that was this honest Gentleman, that when a Bookseller (that shall be nameless) did out of Ignorance demand less for a Book than it was truly worth, he of his own accord gave him the full value of it. This honest Gentleman did me the favour to be my daily Visitor, and has brought me acquainted with one Mr. Gore of New York, with whom I trade, which I hope will be to my advantage.

    The character of Daniel Epes643 of Salem is worth noting, partly because it occurs in the Life and Errors644 though not in the Letters, and partly because in forming this portrait Dunton, instead of taking a single earlier character, as he usually does, has combined Earle’s “Downright Scholar” and his “Contemplative Man,”645 both printed in 1628:



    He has not humbled his meditations to the industry of complement, nor afflicted his brain in an elaborate leg. . . . He cannot kiss his hand and cry, madam, nor talk idle enough to bear her company. . . . The hermitage of his study has made him somewhat uncouth in the world, . . . He will not lose his time by being busy, or make so poor a use of the world as to hug and embrace it.

    I must also remember the great civilities I met at Salem from Mr. Epes, (the most eminent Schoolmaster in New-England): He hath sent many Scholars to the University in New-England. He is much of a Gentleman; yet has not humbled his meditations to the industry of compliments, nor afflicted his brain in an elaborate leg, (he cannot kiss his hand, and cry, Madam, your humble servant, nor talk idle enough to bear her company). But though a School, and the Hermitage of his Study, has made him un-courtly, yet (which is a finer accomplishment) he is a person of solid Learning; and does not, like some Authors, lose his time by being busy about nothing, nor make so poor a use of the World, as to hug and embrace it.

    A few of Dunton’s minor figures, who have no names, are also copied from earlier books of characters. Such are the host at Gravesend, the jailer at Boston, and the troublesome landlord at Lynn.646 The first of these is reprinted below in comparison with the character of “An Host” in the Overbury collection of 1614:

    Sir Thomas Overbury

    An Host


    . . . He consists of double beere and fellowship, . . .

    He entertaines humbly, and gives his guests power, as well of himselfe as house. He answers all mens expectations to his power, save in the reckoning: and hath gotten the tricke of greatnesse, to lay all mislikes upon his servants. His wife is the cummin seed of his dove-house; and to be a good guest is a warrant for her liberty. . . . In a word, hee is none of his owne: for he neither eats, drinks, or thinks, but at other mens charges and appointments (Overbury’s Works, ed. Rimbault, p. 71).

    As soon as we had look’d a little about the Town, we went into an Inn, where we found our Host a man that consisted of Double (Beer)647 and fellowship; for as he was sure to supply us with Drink even without asking, so he would always thrust himself in for a snack, in helping to drink it; yet to say the truth, he was a Man of great humility, and gave us power as well over himself as his house. I observ’d him to be exceeding willing to answer all Mens Expectations to the utmost of his Power, unless it were in the Reckoning, and there he would be absolute; and had got that Trick of Court-Greatness, to lay all mistakes upon his Servants. His wife was like Cummin-seed to a Dove-house, and helpt to draw in the Customers; and to be a good Guest, was a sufficient Warrant for her Liberty. And to give you his character in few words, he is an absolute slave, for he neither eats, drinks, nor thinks, but at other mens charges and Appointments. But he sells himself at an Extravagant rate, and makes all his Customers pay dearly for the Purchase. Nor was he at all singular, for in the whole Town, there was never a Barrel better Herring (Letters, pp. 11–12).

    It is astonishing to note the plausibility of Dunton’s past tenses here and of his assurance that he himself observed the facts.

    And now we must look at Comfort Wilkins, Mrs. Green, and the Flower of Boston. There are, to be sure, other women characterized in the Letters: Mrs. D —, Mrs. T —, Mrs. F —y, and three others,648 all unfavorably delineated, are copied from earlier books of characters. But the Damsel (Comfort Wilkins), Mrs. Green, and the Widow Brick are far more elaborately portrayed than any of the other characters in the Letters. Not only does Dunton devote more space to summarizing their virtues, but he represents them as playing a considerable part in his stay here. In fact, Mrs. Green used to tell him that if Mrs. Dunton should die, “none was fit to succeed her but Madam Brick.” “The Widow Brick was without doubt,” says Whitmore,649 “Joanna, daughter of Arthur Mason, who married first Robert Breck, and secondly Michael Perry. From Dunton we have the following items for identification: She was a widow, twenty-two years old in 1686, the mother of two children, and a member of Rev. James Allen’s church.”650 The character certainly fulfills these requirements, and, although Dunton in his manuscript first wrote “Mrs. Birch” and then crossed it out in favor of “Mrs. Brick,” I dare say Whitmore is partly right. But it is equally true that Mrs. Brick is the third section of the third part of the “Ladies Calling . . . By the Author of the Whole Duty of Man,” &c., which reached a fifth edition in 1677.651 I reproduce the entire character with portions of the earlier character beside it.652

    The Ladies Calling


    1. The next state which can succeed to that of Marriage, is Widow-hood.

    She is a woman whose head hath been quite cut off, and yet she liveth.653

    . . . Love is strong as death, Cant. 8. 6. and therefore when it is pure and genuine, cannot be extinguish’d by it, but burns like the Funeral-Lamps of old even in Vaults and Charnel-houses. The conjugal Love, transplanted into the Grave . . . improves into Piety, and laies a kind of sacred Obligation upon the Widow, to perform all offices of respect and kindness which his remains are capable of.

    2. Now those Remains are of three sorts, his Body, his Memory, and his Children. The most proper expression of her love to the first, is in giving it an honorable Enterment; . . . prudently proportion’d to his Quality and Fortune, so that her Zeal to his Corps may not injure a Nobler Relic of him, his Children.

    Her grief for her husband though real, is moderate, . . . our widow’s sorrow is no storm, but a still rain.654

    And this decency is a much better instance of her kindness, then all those Tragical Furies wherewith some Women seem transported towards their dead Husbands, those frantic Embraces and caresses of a Carcass, which betray a little too much the sensuality of their Love. And . . . those vehement Passions quickly exhaust themselves, and . . . seems rather to vanish then consume.

    3. The more valuable Kindness therefore, is that to his Memory, endevouring to embalm that, keep it from perishing. . . .

    . . . She is . . . to perfume his Memory . . . by reviving the remembrance of whatever there was praiseworthy in him, vindicating him from all Calumnies and false Accusations, and stifling (or allaying) even true ones as much as she can.

    And indeed a Widow can no way better provide for her own Honor, then by this tenderness of her Husbands.

    4. Yet there is another Expression of it, inferior to none of the former, and that is the setting such a value upon her relation to him, as to do nothing unworthy of it.

    ’Twas the dying charge of Augustus to his Wife Livia, Behave thy self well, and remember our Marriage. And she who has bin wife to a Person of Honor, must so remember it, as not to do any thing below her self, or which he (could he have foreseen it) should justly have bin ashamed of.

    5. The last Tribute she can pay him, is in his Children. These he leaves as his Proxies to receive the kindness of which himself is incapable;

    so that the Children of a Widow may clame a double portion of the Mothers love; one upon their Native right, as hers; the other, as a bequest in right of their dead Father.

    And, indeed, since she is to supply the place of both Parents, ’tis but necessary she should put on the Affections of both, and to the tenderness of a Mother, add the care and conduct of a Father. First, in a sedulous care of their Education: and next in a prudent managery of their Fortunes; . . .

    . . . will furnish them with Ingenious and Vertuous Principles, such as may set them above all vile and ignoble practices.

    . . . As to the . . . managing of their Fortune, there is the same rule . . . , viz. to do as for themselves, that is, with the same care and diligence (if not a greater) as in her own Concern. I do not say that she shall confound the property, and make it indeed her own, by applying it to her peculiar use, a thing I fear which is often don, especially by the gaier sort of widows, who to keep up their own Equipage, do sometimes incroach upon their sons peculiar.

    10. I have hitherto spoke of what the widow ows to her dead husband; but there is also somewhat of peculiar Obligation in relation to herself. God who has plac’d us in this World to pursue the interests of a better, directs all the signal acts of his Providence to that end, and intends we should so interpret them . . . and a widow may more then conjecture, that when God takes away the mate of her bosom, reduces her to a solitude, he do’s by it sound a retreat from the lighter jollities and gaieties of the world. And as in compliance with civil custom she . . . should put on a more retir’d temper of mind, a more strict and severe behavior:

    and that not to be cast off with her veil, but to be the constant dress of her widowhood.

    There are many things which are but the due compliances of a Wife, which yet are great avocations, and interruptions of a strict Devotion; when she is manumitted from that subjection, when she has less of Martha’s Care of serving, she is then at liberty to chuse Mary’s part. Luk. 10. 42.

    . . . Those hours which were before her husbands right, seem now to devolve on God the grand proprietor of our time: that discourse and free converse wherewith she entertain’d him, she may now convert into colloquies and spiritual entercourse with her maker.

    The Character of The Widow Brick, the very Flower of Boston; That of a Widow is the next state or change that can succeed to that of marriage. And I have chosen my Friend the Widow Brick, as an Exemplar to shew you what a Widow is: Madam Brick is a Gentlewoman whose Head (i. e. her Husband) has been cut off, and yet she lives and Walks: But don’t be frighted, for she’s Flesh and Blood still, and perhaps some of the finest that you ever saw. She has sufficiently evidenc’d that her Love to her late Husband is as strong as Death, because Death has not been able to Extinguish it, but it still burns like the Funeral Lamps of old, even in Vaults and Charnel-Houses; But her Conjugal Love, being Transplanted into the Grave, has improv’d it self into Piety, and laid an Obligation upon her to perform all offices of Respect and Kindness to his Remains, which they are capable of.

    As to his Body, she gave it a decent Enterment, suitable to his quality; or rather above it, as I have been inform’d; for Mr. Brick was Dead and Buried before I came to Boston. And that this was the Effect of that dear love she had for him, appears in this, That she wou’d not suffer the Funeral Charges to make any Abatement from the Children’s Portions. Her grief for his Death was such as became her, great but moderate, not like a hasty Shower, but a still Rain: She knew nothing of those Tragical Furies wherewith some Women seem Transported towards their Dead Husbands; those frantick Embraces and Caresses of a Carcass, betray a little too much the Sensuality of their Love. Such violent Passions quickly spend themselves, and seem rather to Vanish than Consume. But Madam Brick griev’d more moderately, and more lastingly. She knew there was a better way of Expressing her Love to him, and therefore made it her Business to Embalm his Memory, and keep that from Perishing. And I always observ’d, That whenever she spoke of her Husband, it was in the most Endearing manner. Nor cou’d she ever mention him, without paying the Tribute of a Tear to his Memory. She wou’d often be reviving the remembrance of some Praise-worthy Quality or other in him; and if any happen’d to say something of him not so commendable, she wou’d excuse it with a world of Sweetness, and by a frowning glance at the Relator, declare how much she was displeas’d. And tho’ I cannot think it her design, yet I believe she was sensible enough that she cou’d no way better provide for her own Honour than by this Tenderness she shew’d for her Husband’s. But Madam Brick shew’d a better way of expressing the Honour she had for her Husband’s Memory, and that is, She set such a value on her Relation to her Husband, as to do nothing that might seem unworthy of it.

    Historians inform us, That ’twas the Dying Charge of Augustus to the Empress Livia, Behave thy self well, and remember our Marriage. This Madam Brick made her Care; For having been the Wife of a Gentleman of good Quality, she so remember’d it, as not to do any thing below her self, or which Mr. Brick (cou’d he have foreseen it) might justly have been asham’d of. But Madam Brick had yet another way of Expressing the Value she had for Mr. Brick, and that is, by the kindness she show’d to the Children which he left behind him, which were only two: And this was so remarkably Eminent in her, that I have heard her say, Her Children might now claim a double Portion in her love, one on their Native Right, as being Hers; and the other on the Right of their dead Father, who had left them to her: “And truly,” said she, “since I must supply the place of both Parents, ’tis but necessary that I shou’d put on the Affections of both; and to the Tenderness of a Mother, add the Care and Conduct of a Father.” She was as good as her Word, both in a sedulous care of their Education, and in a Prudent Management of their Fortunes. As to then-Education she took care that they might have that Learning that was proper for them, and above all, that they might be furnished with ingenuous and vertuous Principles, founded on the Fear of God, which is the beginning of all true Wisdom. And as to their Fortunes, she was so far from Embeziling them, a Practice too common with some Widows, that she augmented them, while it was in the Power of her hand to do it. (For Madam Brick is but a Young Widow, tho’ she is the Mother of two Children.)

    But Madam Brick is one that has yet more refined and Exalted Thoughts: She is highly sensible that God, who has plac’d us in this World to pursue the Interests of a better, directs all the signal Acts of his Providence to that end, and intends we shou’d so interprett them; And therefore she wisely reflected that when God took away from her the Mate of her Bosom, and so reduc’d her to a solitude, he thereby, as it were, Sounded a Retreat to her from the lighter Jollities and Gayeties of the World; and therefore in Compliance to the Divine Will, and that she might the better Answer the Requirement of the Almighty, tho655 put on a more retired Temper of Mind, and a more strict656 . . .

    Neither, did she suffer Her Pious behaviour, to be cast off with her Widow’s Vail, but made it the constant Dress both of her Widowhood and Life; and as a consequence hereof, she became a Member of Mr. Allen’s Congregation; and liv’d a life of Sincere Piety: And yet was so far from Sowrness either in her Countenance or Conversation, that nothing was ever more sweet or agreeable: Making it evident that Piety did not consist in Moroseness, nor Sincere Devotion in a supercilious Carriage; ’twas the Vitals of Religion that she minded, and not Forms and Modes; and if she found the Power of it in her heart, she did not think her self oblig’d to such a starch’dness of Carriage as is usual amongst the Bostonians, who value themselves thereby so much, that they are ready to say to all others, Stand off, for I am holier than thou. She did not think herself concern’d to put on a Sorrowful Countenance, when the Joy of the Lord was her strength.

    I had much the greater value for Madam Brick, on the Account of a Discourse that past between Mrs. Green and her, which (as Mrs. Green related it to me) was to this effect: Mrs. Green commended her very much, in that being a Young Widow, in the bloom of all her Youth and Beauty, (for she was but twenty-two) she had given up so much of her time to the Exercise of Devotion, and the Worship of God; To which she reply’d, ‘She had done but what she ought; for in her Married state she found many things which yet are but the due Compliances of a Wife, which were great Avocations to a Strict Devotion; but being now manumitted from that Subjection, and having less of Martha’s Care of Serving, it was but reasonable she shou’d chuse Mary’s better part.’ “And those hours (added she) which were before my Husband’s Right, are now devolv’d on God, the Great Proprietor of all my time: And that Discourse and free Converse with which I us’d to entertain Mr. Brick, ought now to be in Colloquies and heavenly Entercourses with My dear Redeemer.” Nor was her Piety and Devotion barren, but fruitful and abounding in the Works of Charity, and she cloath’d the Naked as far as her Ability permitted. And tho’ my self and Mr. King went thither often (for she wou’d scarce permit a single visit) we never found her without some poor but honest Christian with her, always discoursing of the things of Heaven, and ere she went, supplying of her with the things of Earth. How long she may remain a Widow, I have not yet consulted with the Stars to know, but that she has continu’d so two years, is evident to all that are in Boston.

    To conclude her Character, the Beauty of her Person, the Sweetness and Affability of her Temper, the Gravity of her Carriage, and her Exalted Piety, gave me so just a value for her, that Mrs. Green wou’d often say, Shou’d Iris Dye (which Heaven forbid) there’s none was fit to succeed her but Madam Brick: But Mrs. Green was partial, for my poor Pretences to secure vertue, wou’d ne’er have answer’d to her Tow-ring heighths. ’Tis true, Madam Brick did me the Honour to treat me very kindly at her House, and to admit me often into her Conversation, but I am sure it was not on Love’s, but on Vertue’s score. For she well knows (at least as well as I do) that Iris is alive: And therefore I must justifie her Innocence on that account. And tho’ some have been pleas’d to say, That were I in a single state, they do believe she wou’d not be displeas’d with my Addresses, As this is without any ground but groundless Conjectures, so I hope I shall never be in a capacity to make a Tryal of it.

    But, I’m sure our Friendship was all Platonick (so Angels lov’d) and full as Innocent as that of the Philosopher who gave it the name; but if Plato was not very much wrong’d he never lov’d vertue so refinedly, as to like to court her so passionately in a foul or homely habitation as he did in those that were more Beautiful and Lovely; and this sufficiently justifies my Friendship to Madam Brick and her Spotless Innocence in accepting of it. Thus, Reader, I have given you the Character of another of my Friends of the Fair Sex in Boston; and leave you to judge whether or no she deserve the Title of the Flower of Boston, which at first sight I gave her (Letters, pp. 105–111).

    So much for the Widow Brick, the Flower of Boston. And Comfort Wilkins and Mrs. Green are drawn from the same source — The Ladies Calling. Even the remarks which they are represented as actually having made to John Dunton or in his presence are taken almost verbatim from those earlier characters of the abstract Virgin, Wife, and Widow, as conceived by an English clergyman thirteen years before John Dunton came to Boston.

    For convenience I have arranged in a table such borrowings in Dunton’s Letters as have been traced to their source. The letter W indicates that Dunton’s indebtedness was detected by Whitmore.

    Dunton’s Source Dunton
    First Letter

    Overbury’s “Fair and Happy Milkmaid” (Works, ed. Rimbault; pp. 118–119).

    Description of a Milkmaid (omitted by Whitmore;657 see Letters, p. 11).

    Overbury’s “Host” (Works, p. 71).

    The Host and his Wife (pp. 11–12).

    Overbury’s658 “Almanac-maker” (Works, pp. 92–93).

    An Astrologer (pp. 17–18).

    Overbury’s “A Maquerela, in plain English a Bawde” (Works, pp. 99–100).

    A Bawd.659

    Overbury’s “A Whoore” (Works, pp. 82–83).

    An Impudent Whore.660

    Overbury’s “A very Whore” (Works, pp. 83–84).


    Second Letter

    Overbury, “A Saylor” (Works, pp. 75–76).

    George Monk, the Mate (p. 26).

    Overbury, “A Saylor” (Works, pp. 75–76).

    Charles King, the Gunner (p. 26).

    Josselyn, p. 8.662

    St. Elmo’s Fire (p. 31).

    Third Letter

    Partly from Overbury’s “A Wise Man,” and partly from Overbury’s “A Noble Spirit” (Works, pp. 60–62).

    Mr. Burroughs, a Merchant (pp. 59–62).

    Josselyn, pp. 124–126.

    Description of Boston (pp. 66–69). W.

    Josselyn, p. 139.

    “There is no trading for a Sharper with them,” etc., to end of the sentence (p. 69).

    J. W., A Letter from New England, 1682, p. 2.663

    “As to their religion” (p. 69), etc., to the end of the paragraph. W.

    Josselyn, p. 138.

    “The Government, both Civil and Ecclesiastical,” etc., to the end of the sentence (p. 70).

    Jossleyn, p. 139.

    Account of the collection taken in church after the Sunday afternoon sermon (pp. 70–71).

    Josselyn, pp. 137–138.

    “Every church (for so they call),” etc., to the end of the following sentence (p. 71).

    Josselyn, pp. 134–137.

    “As to their laws,” and the rest of the paragraph (p. 71). W.

    Partly from Josselyn, p. 137.664

    “For being drunk” (p. 72), etc., through “and so our poor debtors” (p. 73, 1. 7). W.

    J. W., A Letter from New England.

    “But for lying and cheating” (p. 73) through “fasten his Tallons first upon ’em” (p. 74). W.

    Probably from Josselyn, p. 39, third paragraph, though not verbatim.

    “And thus, my friend,” etc., to the end of the paragraph (p. 74).

    Fuller, “The Good Merchant” (Holy and Profane State, ed. 1840, pp. 88–91).

    Mr. Willy (p. 81).

    Earle, “A Modest Man” (Microcosmography, ed. 1811, pp. 147–150).

    Mr. Mortimer (p. 86).

    Fuller, “The Good Merchant.”

    Mr. Heath, a good merchant (pp. 88–89).

    Overbury, “A Mere Pettifogger” (Works, pp. 129–131).

    Mr. Watson, a Lawyer (pp. 89–90).

    Contains one sentence from Richard Flecknoe’s character “Of an extream Vitious Person.”665

    Mr. C ———666 (p. 90).

    Fuller, “The Good Physician” (Holy and Profane State, ed. 1840, p. 42).

    Dr. Oaks (p. 93).

    Partly from Fuller’s “The True Gentleman,” partly from his “Good Physician” (Holy and Profane State, ed. 1840, pp. 120–122, 43).

    Dr. Bullivant (pp. 94–96).

    The Ladies Calling, part ii. Sect. 1.

    Comfort Wilkins, a Virgin (pp. 98–102).

    The Ladies Calling, ii. Sect. 2.

    Mrs. Green, the Wife (pp. 102–105).

    The Ladies Calling, ii. Sect. 3. The character of Mrs. Brick also contains two sentences from Fuller’s “the Good Widow” (Holy and Profane State, ed. 1840, p. 19).

    Madam Brick, the Widow (pp. 106–111).

    Fuller’s “The Harlot” (Holy and Profane State, ed. 1840, pp. 287–290).

    Mrs. Ab——l (pp. 112–113).

    Flecknoe, “Of an inconstant disposition” (ed. 1673, p. 17).

    Doll S———der (p. 115).

    Flecknoe, “Of a Proud One” (Fifty-five Enigmatical Characters, 1665.667 The character “Of a Proud One,” which is not mentioned in the table, of contents, stands between Nos. 31 and 32). This character also contains one sentence (“Had she been with the Israelites,” etc.) from Fuller’s essay “Of Apparel” (Holy and Profane State, ed. 1840, p. 133).

    Mrs. ———668 (pp. 115–116).

    Third Letter (continued)669

    Earle, “A Prison” (Microcosmography, 1811, pp. 156–158).

    The Prison, in Prison Lane (pp. 118–119).

    Overbury, “A Jailer” (Works, ed. Rimbault, pp. 166–168).

    The Jailer (pp. 120–121).

    Cotton Mather, The Call of the Gospel Applyed, etc., Second edition, 1687 (Sibley No. 5).670

    Cotton Mather on the execution of Morgan (pp. 122–124).671 W.

    Joshua Moody, An Exhortation to a Condemned Malefactor, etc., 1687.672

    Joshua Moody on the same673 (pp. 125–129). W.

    Increase Mather, A Sermon, Occasioned by the Execution, etc., Second Edition, 1687.674

    Increase Mather on the same675 (pp. 129–135). W.

    Increase Mather, A Sermon occasioned by the Execution, etc., pp. 35–36.676

    Morgan’s last words (pp. 135–136). W.

    Fourth Letter

    Josselyn, p. 126.

    First Ramble (To Charlestown). Description of Charlestown (pp. 149–150).

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 100–105.677

    Indian Hospitality (pp. 151–153). W.

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 107–108.

    Second Ramble (To Medford).

    Indian Hospitality, continued (p. 155). W.

    Josselyn, p. 127.

    Third Ramble (To New-Town).

    Description of New Town (pp. 155–156).

    Josselyn, p. 128.

    Fourth Ramble (To Winnisimet).

    Description of the Town (pp. 163, 167).

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 120–128, 132–135.

    Indian Houses (pp. 163–167). W.

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 158–162.

    Fifth Ramble (To Lynn).

    Indian Travelling (pp. 168–169). W.

    Josselyn, p. 128.

    Description of Lynn (p. 169).

    Earle, “A bold, forward Man” (Microcosmography, ed. 1811, pp. 122–125).

    The Troublesome Host (pp. 169–170).

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 207–220.

    Indian Religion (pp. 171–176). W.

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 233–237.

    Sixth Ramble (To Nantascot).

    Indian Money (pp. 177–179). W.

    Josselyn, pp. 122–123.

    Description of Nantascot (including the paragraph beginning, “Being come to Nantascot,” and also the next paragraph).

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 248–252.

    Seventh Ramble (To Wissaguset).

    Indian Hunting (pp. 181–182). W.

    Josselyn, p. 123.

    Description of the Town (p. 183).

    Roger Williams, Key, p. 167.

    Eighth Ramble (To Braintree).

    Climate of New England (pp. 184–185). W.

    Josselyn, p. 123.

    Description of Braintree (p. 185).

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 196–202.

    Ninth Ramble (To Dorchester).

    Fish of New England (pp. 186–189). W.

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 187–190.

    Beasts of New England (pp. 189–190). W.

    Josselyn, pp. 123–124.

    Description of Dorchester (pp. 190–191).

    Josselyn, p. 124.

    Tenth Ramble (To Roxbury).

    Description of Roxbury (p. 192).

    Cotton Mather, Life of Eliot (ed. 1691, portions of pp. 6–73; ed. 1694, pp. 6–78; Magnalia, ed. 1702, bk. iii. pp. 173–190).

    Life and Character of Eliot (pp. 194–199). W.

    Cotton Mather, Life of Eliot (ed. 1691, pp. 74 ff; ed. 1694, pp. 78 ff; Magnalia, ed. 1702, bk. iii. pp. 190 ff).

    Conversion of the Indians (pp. 200–202). W.

    Fifth Letter

    Cotton Mather, Life of Eliot (ed. 1691, pp. 88 ff; ed. 1694, pp. 94 ff; Magnalia, ed. 1702, bk. iii. p. 194).

    Eliot’s Labors among the Indians (pp. 211–212).

    Josselyn, p. 127.

    Description of Watertown (pp. 214–215).

    Josselyn, pp. 37–38.

    Brief description (about 12 lines) of the country through which he rode to Watertown (p. 216).

    Cotton Mather, Magnalia, ed. 1702, bk. vi. p. 51.

    The Indian Government (pp. 218–220, 1.8).

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 163–166.

    Authority of the Prince’s Punishments (p. 220, two paragraphs).

    Cotton Mather, Life of Eliot (ed. 1691, pp. 80 ff; ed. 1694, pp. 85 ff; Magnalia, ed. 1702, bk. iii. pp. 192 ff).

    Of the conversion of the Indians (pp. 221–224). W.

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 203–205.

    Indian Clothing (pp. 224–225). W.

    Cotton Mather, Life of Eliot (ed. 1691, pp. 100 ff, 104–108, 89–92; ed. 1694, pp. 106 ff, 111–116, 95–99; Magnalia, ed. 1702, bk. iii. pp. 197 ff, 198–199, 194).

    The Converted Indians of Natick (pp. 225–233). W.

    John Eliot, The Dying Speeches of Several Indians.678

    Dying Speeches of Indians (pp. 233–241). W.

    Sixth Letter

    Josselyn, p. 132.

    Settlement of Salem679 (pp. 252–253).

    Overbury, “A Reverend Judge” (Works, ed. Rimbault, pp. 136–137).

    Mr. Sewel (p. 254)

    Earle, “A Grave Divine” (Microcosmography, ed. 1811, pp. 9–11).

    Mr. Higgins(on) (pp. 254–255).

    Seventh Letter

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 228–231.

    Marriage Customs of Indians (pp. 267–269). W.

    Josselyn, pp. 129–130.

    Description of Wenham and the surrounding country (pp. 271–272).

    Roger Williams, Key, p. 180.

    Indian Husbandry (pp. 272–275). W.

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 246–247, 239–245.

    Indian Trade and Money (pp. 277–279). W.

    Josselyn, p. 129.

    Description of Ipswich (p. 280).

    Overbury, “A Good Wife” (Works, ed. Rimbault, pp. 72–73).

    Mrs. Steward (p. 281).

    Overbury, “A Noble and Retired Housekeeper” (Works, pp. 115–116).

    Mr. Steward (pp. 281–282).

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 258–264.

    Indian Warfare (pp. 283–285). W.

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 254–257.

    Indian Games and Sports (pp. 286–288). W.

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 142–147.

    Indians and News (pp. 292–293). W.

    Roger Williams, Key, pp. 274–277.

    Indian Mourning and Burial (pp. 294–295). W.

    From this list it appears that there are at least eighty-four cases in which Dunton incorporated borrowed material in the Letters. Of these Whitmore noted thirty-three: eighteen from Roger Williams, six from Cotton Mather, three from Josselyn, two from Increase Mather, two from J. W., one from John Eliot, and one from Joshua Moody. To these we have added fifty-one passages, — twenty from Josselyn and thirty-one from various writers of characters; namely, fourteen from Overbury, seven from Fuller, four from Earle, three from Flecknoe, and three from the author of The Ladies Calling.

    It may be suggested — indeed it has been suggested680 — that “had this volume been issued in Dunton’s life-time, he might have confessed his indebtedness.” For two reasons this seems unlikely.

    First, it is unlikely because of the principle which, seen in its extreme form, makes a novelist avoid footnotes. Dunton, to be sure, was not a novelist; he was not even able to achieve such approaches to the novel as were made by Addison and Defoe. Yet it seems clear that when an author, in copying such material as that which Dunton takes from Roger Williams, uses such pains as his to make the ideas appear either to be original or to have been communicated to him by persons with whom he spoke in the course of his rambles, he is manifestly trying681 to write a kind of work in which acknowledgments of indebtedness would be out of place.

    A second and more tangible objection is that to make such acknowledgments appears not to have been Dunton’s custom. For in at least two works that were published in his lifetime — the Life and Errors (1705) and Athenianism (1710) — Dunton borrows freely and without acknowledgment.

    In the first part of his Athenianism (1710) Dunton prints as his own four poems682 which had appeared in 1685 in Samuel Wesley’s Maggots,683 of which Dunton had written in 1705: “I once printed a Book, I remember, under the title of ‘Maggots’; but it was written by a Dignitary in the Church of England.”684

    In his Life and Errors (1705) Dunton prints, without acknowledgment, not only many of the characters that appear in his Letters, but many others as well. Comfort Wilkins, Mrs. Green, the Widow Brick, Mr. Heath, Dr. Oakes, Dr. Bullivant, and Dunton’s other Boston friends appear there, sometimes more briefly sketched than in the Letters, but still replete with phrases taken from earlier books of characters. And in addition there are a great many characters of Dunton’s English acquaintances — printers, publishers, hack-writers, and so on — in which he borrows at least a phrase or two from such writers as Hall and Earle. The character of Major Hatley, placed beside one of Hall’s types, will give a fair idea of the extent of the borrowing in the more fully developed portraits.685

    Joseph Hall Dunton
    The Valiant Man (1608) Major Hatley

    He is the master of himself, and subdues his passions to reason, and by this inward victory works his own peace.

    . . . He lies ever close within himself, armed with wise resolution, and will not be discovered but by death or danger.

    . . . and he holds it the noblest revenge, that he might hurt and doth not (Hall’s Works, Oxford, 1837, vi. 94).

    He is the master of himself, and subdues his passions to reason; and by this inward victory, works his own peace. He is well skilled in Military Discipline; and, from being a Captain, is advanced to a Major. He lies ever close within himself, armed with wise resolution, and will not be discovered but by Death or Danger. “Piety never looks so bright as when it shines in Steel;” and Major Hatley holds it the noblest revenge that he might hurt, and does not. I dealt with this Military Stationer for six years, but left him, with flying colours, to trade with his honest Servant (Life and Errors, i. 255).

    Where does all this leave us? How does the discovery of these borrowings affect our knowledge of the persons characterized and our estimate of Dunton’s Letters from New England?

    It seems to me that Dunton’s characters may be made to fall into three groups. First come a number of portraits in the course of which Dunton used a phrase or a sentence from some earlier writer of characters. Probably the phrase fitted as well as any original phrase would have fitted. If so the validity of the portrait is not affected. Next come those instances in which fairly well-known persons like Mr. Epes, Dr. Bullivant, Mr. Heath, and others, are characterized almost wholly in the words of earlier writers. In these cases it is unsafe to apply the details of the portrait: we can be sure merely that the character was — or that Dunton thought him — a worthy merchant, a skilled physician, or whatever else; that is, we can apply the title, not the details. Finally come persons who are wholly characterized in the words of earlier writers, and of whom nothing is known except what Dunton tells us. Here it would seem that, in the words of Sir John Seeley, “history fades into mere literature.”

    Historically considered, Dunton’s Letters from New England have suffered a good deal in the course of this examination. Indeed, an historian might almost say that they are not letters, that they are not from New England, and that they are not by John Dunton. But I wish to suggest, in conclusion, that the trouble is not that the book is a bad one, but that it has been wrongly catalogued. If we take it off the American History shelves — where it never belonged — and put it with English Fiction, we shall find, I think, that precisely those portions of it which were before the most absurd and deceptive are now the most significant.

    Few phases of the transition in English literature from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century are more important or more difficult to trace than the beginnings of English prose fiction. These beginnings have to be sought in a great variety of documents, including fictitious voyages, histories, and letters, imaginary adventures of animals, allegories, visions, and many other devices, which, although they often contain fact, do not aim to be true.686 Another matter vital to the transition is the development from the abstract character to the novel of character. It is well known that Addison and Steele, in the Tatler and the Spectator, mark a half-way point in several phases of this transition. They used fictitious letters and diaries, and in particular they made great progress in modifying the old abstract character, which they felt to be stiff, vague, and repellently didactic. Accordingly, they gave their characters names, they made them speak, they even, by becoming Mr. Nestor Ironsides or Mr. Spectator, walked right into the page themselves and spoke with their characters. They supplied descriptive backgrounds, and indeed almost everything that a novel requires, except the plot. Consequently we say truly that they greatly improved the technique of characterization in prose fiction.

    Did not John Dunton, very imperfectly and probably with motives very much mixed, do many of these things? He took abstract characters, named them, made them speak, spoke with them, went on picnics with them, and, in the case of Madam Brick, almost fell in love with one of them. His mistake was not in introducing so much fiction, but rather in not casting entirely loose from fact. Our mistake has been in keeping him on our shelves beside Sewall and Josselyn, instead of beside Ned Ward and Daniel Defoe.

    Mr. Albert Matthews made the following communication:

    Efforts to reproduce the broken English of Indians were made as early as 1675;687 an example of Negro English found its way into print in 1721;688 and a letter in broken German was printed in a New York newspaper in 1747.689 Words and terms peculiar to this country, or which had here acquired meanings different from those attached to them in England, were recorded both by native writers and by foreigners during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was not, however, until 1781, that an attempt — meagre, but deliberate — was made to discuss Americanisms. In that year President Witherspoon of the College of New Jersey said that “about one hundred and fifty years ago” Greek and Latin were “better understood than they are at present;” and continued:

    Since the period above mentioned, the modern, or as they are sometimes called, the northern languages, have been gradually polished, and each nation has manifested a zeal for, and an attention to, the purity and perfection of its own tongue. This has been the case, particularly, with respect to the French and English. The French language is, as nearly as I can guess, about fifty years before the English, in this respect; that is to say, it is so much longer since their men of letters applied themselves to the ascertaining, correcting and polishing of it. The English, however, has received great improvements within the last hundred years, and probably will continue to do so. . . .

    To these reflections it may be added, that our situation in America is now, and in all probability will continue to be such, as to require peculiar attention upon this subject. The English language is spoken through all the United States. . . . Time and accident must determine what turn affairs will take in this respect in future, whether we shall continue to consider the language of Great-Britain as the pattern upon which we are to form ours; or whether, in this new empire, some centre of learning and politeness will not be found, which shall obtain influence and prescribe the rules of speech and writing to every other part.

    While this point is yet unsettled, it has occurred to me to make some observations upon the present state of the English language in America, and to attempt a collection of some of the chief improprieties which prevail, and might be easily corrected. . . . Curiosity led me to make a collection of these, which, as soon as it became large, convinced me that they were of very different kinds, and therefore must be reduced to a considerable number of classes, in order to their being treated with critical justice.

    Witherspoon then went on to say that he had made a division into eight classes, of which the first was “Americanisms, or ways of speaking peculiar to this country;” and under this head remarked:

    1. The first class I call Americanisms, by which I understand an use of phrases or terms, or a construction of sentences, even among persons of rank and education, different from the use of the same terms or phrases, or the construction of similar sentences, in Great-Britain. It does not follow, from a man’s using these, that he is ignorant, or his discourse upon the whole inelegant; nay, it does not follow in every case, that the terms or phrases used are worthless in themselves, but merely that they are of American and not of English growth. The word Americanism, which I have coined for the purpose, is exactly similar in its formation and signification to the word Scotticism. By the word Scotticism is understood any term or phrase, or indeed any thing in construction, pronunciation, or accentuation, that is peculiar to North-Britain.690

    A generation went by before the subject again received systematic treatment, this time at the hands of John Pickering, whose “Vocabulary, or Collection of Words and Phrases which have been supposed to be peculiar to the United States of America” was first published in book form in 1816, though it had been printed the year before in the Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (III. 439–536).

    But though Witherspoon was the first to write on the subject of Americanisms, yet he had been anticipated by one or two others so far as the mere suggestion of some such undertaking was concerned. Writing in 1809, John Adams said:

    In travelling from Boston to Philadelphia, in 1774, 5, 6, and 7, I had several times amused myself, at Norwalk in Connecticut, with the very curious collection of birds and insects of American production made by Mr. Arnold; a collection which . . . made a deep impression upon me, . . .

    When I was in Europe, in the years 1778 and 1779, in the commission to the King of France, with Dr. Franklin and Mr. Arthur Lee, I had opportunities to see the king’s collections and many others, which increased my wishes that nature might be examined and studied in my own country, as it was in others.

    In France, among the academicians, and other men of science and letters, I was frequently entertained with inquiries concerning the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, and with eulogiums on the wisdom of that institution, and encomiums on some publications in their transactions. These conversations suggested to me the idea of such an establishment at Boston, where I knew there was as much love of science, and as many gentlemen who were capable of pursuing it, as in any other city of its size.

    In 1779, I returned to Boston in the French frigate La Sensible, with the Chevalier de la Luzerne and M. Marbois. The Corporation of Harvard College gave a public dinner in honor of the French ambassador and his suite, and did me the honor of an invitation to dine with them. At table, in the Philosophy Chamber, I chanced to sit next to Dr. Cooper.691 I entertained him during the whole of the time we were together, with an account of Arnold’s collections, the collections I had seen in Europe, the compliments I had heard in France upon the Philosophical Society at Philadelphia, and concluded with proposing that the future legislature of Massachusetts should institute an academy of arts and sciences.

    The doctor at first hesitated, thought it would be difficult to find members who would attend to it; . . . The doctor at length appeared better satisfied; and I entreated him to propagate the idea and the plan, as far and as soon as his discretion would justify. The doctor accordingly did diffuse the project so judiciously and effectually, that the first legislature under the new constitution adopted and established it by law.692

    A statement made thirty years after the event can hardly be expected to be accurate in all details, but the above statement can be shown to be correct in its main features. Adams reached Boston on August 3, 1779, as appears from this notice in the Independent Chronicle of Monday, August 9:

    Tuesday last arrived here a French frigate of 32 guns, from France, in which came passengers his Excellency the Chevalier de la Luzerne, Plenipotentiary from His Most Christian Majesty to the United States with his Secretary, &c, as also the Hon. John Adams, Esq; late a Commissioner from these States to the Court of France (p. 3/1).

    And the dinner at the College was given on August 24:

    On Tuesday, se’nnight, the Chevalier de la Luzerne, accompanied with M. de Valnais, Consul of France, M. de Marbois, . . . and a number of other gentlemen of distinction, both French and American, made a visit to Harvard-College, at the invitation of the President and Corporation. . . .

    After amusing themselves among the rich variety of books reposited in the Library, the company were conducted into a large and elegant Philosophy room, where a very decent entertainment was provided;693 . . .

    But in saying that “the first legislature under the new constitution adopted and established it” — that is, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences — “by law,” Adams’s memory was slightly at fault; and he probably confused the Constitution drawn up late in 1779 but rejected by the people, with the Constitution drawn up late in 1780 and ratified by the people. If Adams was correct in thinking that it was he himself who on August 24, 1779, suggested to Dr. Cooper the idea of founding such a society, then indeed did the latter “diffuse the project” with great rapidity; for the Act incorporating the society in question was read for the first time in the House on December 15, 1779, and was passed on May 4, 1780.694 It is to be noted, however, that in the section of that Act wherein “the end and design of the institution of the said academy” are defined, nothing specific is said about the English language, though the final words of the section are: “in fine, to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people.” It is evident, however, that that particular subject had been brooding in Adams’s mind, for in a letter written to the President of Congress (Samuel Huntington) from Amsterdam on September 5, 1780, he said:

    Most of the nations of Europe have thought it necessary to establish by public authority institutions for fixing and improving their proper languages. I need not mention the academies in France, Spain, and Italy, their learned labors, nor their great success. But it is very remarkable, that although many learned and ingenious men in England have from age to age projected similar institutions695 for correcting and improving the English tongue, yet the government have never found time to interpose in any manner; so that to this day there is no grammar nor dictionary extant of the English language which has the least public authority; and it is only very lately, that a tolerable dictionary has been published, even by a private person, and there is not yet a passable grammar enterprised by any individual.

    The honor of forming the first public institution for refining, correcting, improving, and ascertaining the English language, I hope is reserved for congress; they have every motive that can possibly influence a public assembly to undertake it. It will have a happy effect upon the union of the States to have a public standard for all persons in every part of the continent to appeal to, both for the signification and pronunciation of the language. . . .

    . . . English is destined to be in the next and succeeding centuries more generally the language of the world than Latin was in the last or French is in the present age. The reason of this is obvious, because the increasing population in America, and their universal connection and correspondence with all nations will, aided by the influence of England in the world, whether great or small, force their language into general use, in spite of all the obstacles that may be thrown in their way, if any such there should be.

    It is not necessary to enlarge further, to show the motives which the people of America have to turn their thoughts early to this subject; they will naturally occur to congress in a much greater detail than I have time to hint at. I would therefore submit to the consideration of congress the expediency and policy of erecting by their authority a society under the name of “the American Academy for refining, improving, and ascertaining the English Language.” The authority of congress is necessary to give such a society reputation, influence, and authority through all the States and with other nations.696

    Adams concluded his long letter with a consideration of certain details. And writing to Edmund Jenings on September 30, 1780, he returned to the subject, saying:

    I have written to Congress a serious request, that they would appoint an academy for refining, correcting, improving, and ascertaining the English language. After Congress shall have done it, perhaps the British king and parliament may have the honor of copying the example. This I should admire. England will never more have any honor, excepting now and then that of imitating the Americans.

    I assure you, Sir, I am not altogether in jest. I see a general inclination after English in France, Spain, and Holland, and it may extend throughout Europe. The population and commerce of America will force their language into general use.697

    It is thus seen that though Witherspoon made an actual contribution to the study of the English language in this country in 1780, yet Adams had the year before advocated the establishment by Congress of an “American Academy for refining, improving, and ascertaining the English Language.” Until a short time ago I had supposed that Adams’s suggestion was the first of the sort that had been made, but recently I have run across a still earlier suggestion precisely similar in character — indeed, so similar that one cannot help wondering whether this suggestion too did not come from Adams. According to his own statement made in 1809, it was while he was “travelling from Boston to Philadelphia, in 1774, 5, 6, and 7” that his attention was first drawn to the matter of an academy. Now his first journey to Philadelphia was not begun until August, 1774; he was in Boston or its immediate vicinity from December, 1773, up to the time of his departure for Philadelphia on August 10, 1774;698 and the article I am about to quote appeared in the Royal American Magazine for January, 1774. Hence the article was written before, so far as we know, the idea of a general academy had occurred to Adams; and several years before, according to his recollections written in 1809, the idea of an academy for the study of language had occurred to him. Probably the writer of the article that appeared in the magazine published in Boston in 1774 will never be ascertained, though possibly chance may some day disclose its authorship. That article is as follows:

    For the Royal American Magazine.


    THE dispensations of Providence, and the present aspect of the world, make it evident, that America will soon be the seat of science, and the grand theatre where human glory will be displayed in its brightest colours. The present age may lay a foundation for the shining improvements which shall adorn future periods, and thereby contribute to all the splendor and felicity which shall illumine this new world through the successive æras of its duration. And as Language, is the foundation of science, and medium of communication among mankind, it demands our first attention, and ought to be cultivated with the greatest assiduity in every seminary of learning. The English language has been greatly improved in Britain within a century, but its highest perfection, with every other branch of human knowledge, is perhaps reserved for this Land of light and freedom. As the people through this extensive country will speak English, their advantages for polishing their language will be great, and vastly superior to what the people in England ever enjoyed.

    I beg leave to propose a plan for perfecting the English language in America, through every future period of its existence; viz. That a society for this purpose should be formed, consisting of members in each university and seminary, who shall be stiled, Fellows of the American Society of Language: That the society, when established, from time to time elect new members, and thereby be made perpetual. And that the society annually publish some observations upon the language, and from year to year, correct, enrich and refine it, until perfection stops their progress and ends their labour.

    I conceive that such a society might easily be established, and that great advantages would thereby accrue to science, and consequently America would make swifter advances to the summit of learning. It is perhaps impossible for us to form an idea of the perfection, the beauty, the grandeur, and sublimity, to which our language may arrive in the progress of time, passing through the improving tongues of our rising posterity; whose aspiring minds, fired by our example, and ardour for glory, may far surpass all the sons of science who have shone in past ages, and may light up the world with new ideas bright as the sun.

    America, 1774.

    An American.699

    On behalf of Mr. Ezra H. Baker, Mr. Matthews exhibited a volume that had formerly belonged to Edward Everett, and read the following statement, prepared from notes furnished by our associate Mr. William C. Lane and by Mr. Walter R. Spofford of the Harvard College Library:

    The volume, which came from the sale of Dr. William Everett’s library in 1911, is bound in leather, the leaves cut and gilded on the edges, and measures 4¾ by 7¾ inches; has the words “University at Cambridge” printed on the back of the cover and the name “Paul Svinin” printed on the side of the cover; and contains the three following pamphlets: (1) “The Constitution of the University at Cambridge, with an Appendix. Cambridge: . . . 1812,” 36 pages; (2) “Catalogus Universitatis Harvardianæ, MDCCCIX,” 64 pages; (3) “The History of Cambridge. By Abiel Holmes,.. . . Boston. 1801,” 40 pages.700 Bound in, facing the title-page of the first pamphlet, is a water-color sketch of “The Edifices of the University at Cambridge, Mass.,”701 reproduced on the opposite page. In the upper right-hand corner of this sketch is the name “J. A. Shaw.” No doubt the artist was John Angier Shaw of the Class of 1811.702 As Holworthy Hall does not appear, the sketch was doubtless made while Shaw was an undergraduate; and this notion is confirmed by the words which Edward Everett has written on the back: “Since this view was taken, there has been erected another building, to the east of Stoughton Hall; which does not come very well into view, from the Point of Sight from which this sketch was made.”703 On a fly leaf at the beginning of the volume is the inscription:

    Mr. P. Svinin, as a small token of affectionate remembrance, from his sincere friend

    Cambridge May 1812.

    Edw. Everett.

    There is nothing to show how the volume got back to America if, as seems probable, it was actually given to Svinin.

    Edward Everett was a classmate of Shaw’s, and in May, 1812, was a resident graduate studying divinity and living in the family of President Kirkland. In the following summer he delivered the Phi Beta Kappa poem, and in September was appointed Latin tutor; but in the autumn of 1813 he was settled in Boston over the Church in Brattle Square.704

    Paul Petrovich Svinin, who was born in Russia (presumably at Moscow) in 1787, was a literary man and an artist, and founded a newspaper. In 1806 he entered the service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and later visited England, Spain, and America. He was in Philadelphia in 1811–1813, and while in this country he met the exiled General Moreau, with whom he returned to Europe in 1813. As a result of his travels in this country, he wrote (in Russian) A Glance at the Republic of the United States of the American Provinces; and was also the author of several other books.705 He returned to Russia in 1818 and died in 1839.