300 Thomas Hollis to John Gunston

    Mansel street May 16, 1724

    Mr. Gunston Tresurer.

    Deare Sir

    Upon perusal of the catalogue of the library in the College at Cambridg N. E., it is found, numbers of useful books fitting for such a library are wanting. Whereupon I am moved by some Ministers in London, to see if £100 Star, might not be spared for so valluable a purpose out of the cash of our Society to buy such necessary books and send them over to Boston for that purpose. I promised to read over the Charter and consider it—and now do return it carefully unto you—with this remark. I think we may, for in pursuance of the liberty granted, Page 6, you have formerly sent books for the Indians and printed books for them in N. E. and do pay Ministers and Masters to instruct them. You have formerly had 2 or 3 Students at the College and last April did a fresh order to seek out some youth fitting to send to College at the Corporations expence. I argue how shall youth be instructed if such books as are necessary are wanting in the library.

    The words are that the Governor and any five of the Corporation may allow of Expences for instructing the Natives and their Children in the knowlege of the English tongue and of Religion and in other liberal Arts and Sciences. Therefore if our Governour and five of us come into the Opinion that to buy and pay for £100 Star. such necessary books for the College library for promoting the Christian Religion in New England and parts adjacent, we may lawfully do it, and having now a good Stock of Cash in hand both at London and Boston we are able to do it, without hindring the necessary expences that usually occur every yeare, and I think it is such a good work, as all our Commissioners in Boston will approve of, and commend your Zeale and Conduct.

    If you approve hereof when you have seriously reflected on the contents, pray communicate it to Governour Ashurst95 at your convenience—and keep this letter to discourse upon, when we shall happen to meet together—and you will oblige.

    Your very Loving Friend

    Thomas Hollis

    [ln margin:] our Governor non concur’d—through feare or want of zeale.

    Hollis Letters and Papers, p. 52. This is noted as No. 31, although it is not to Colman. John Gunston was Treasurer of the New England Company (or Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the Parts Adjacent in America) from 1704–1729; Hollis became a member in 1720.