318 John Davenport to Benjamin Colman

    [Stamford, April 20 1725]

    Reverend Sir

    There is one of our place of the Name Penoyr whose father Thomas Penoyr I have known an Inhabitant here (and I think has told me that Mr. Penoyr a Larg Spirited Donor to the Interest of Learning in N. Engl [and], the benefits of whose Donation Alma Mater Nostra Cantabrigia hath for many years been refreshed with, was his said Thomas fathers Brother) which said Thomas deceased here on the Last fall.

    The Son I mean, viz. Reuben Penoyr by name, aged about 17 or 18 years, a person in my thoughts not Un-promising, though not yet initiated in Grammar Learning, but as he seemeth, pretty much inclined to begin and go on in study (though his father left him but a Small Pittance) from the Encouraging Report of the said Gentleman Mr. Penoyr, who is said to have wonderfully distinguished his said Donation by the favourable Remembrance to his Kin and Name, hath been once and again with me to understand what I could acquaint him with about that Matter: But I have never been advantaged to make a just Report of that Donation, though I have heard some thing of it at Cambridge about fourty Years ago.

    Said Reuben’s hopes have been raised, that a good Provision from that Donation may be in a reserve for him, and he hath intreated me to make inquiry for his satisfaction, what indeed it is, that said Mr. Penoyr hath done and given even in the whole of it to encourage one of his Name and kin to enter on and move forward in Learning.

    I have thot on Your Reverend Name, as (by Report) a principal member of the Corporation of harvard-College, and Praeses Elect, nor can I say but by this time inaugurate: But however that is, I perswade my self, the plain and undoubted meaning of that Large-spirited Donor shall (so far as Your Interest, that is not small, goeth) be a sufficient motive with You, to make a full inquiry about the premises, and to send unto us a full account of that matter, after you are well knowing thereunto.

    I have intreated, Sir, the Worthy and Reverend, Mr. John Dixwel one of the Governing Presbyters of a North Church in Boston to oblige me in attending upon You, both in Delivering this Letter, and receiving Your answer with all Convenient Speed, so that if the Account we may receive of the Premises come with full and expected encouragement, that then the afore-named Reuben Penoyr may determine to be dedicating himself to the special service of his Maker, and be prosecuting Learning as a Suitable means thereunto.

    To Conclude, That the Reverend and honourable place of my Quondam Tutor, the celebrious President Leverett may be happily filled, and that harvard-College, our kind Mother may flourish greatly, and that Yale College by Heavens favour may be the seat of Piety Learning and good manners, and that the interest of the Churches in N.E. may be dear and precious in the account of him that walketh in the midst of the Candlesticks and holdeth the Starrs in his right hand are the hearty Serious Wishes of

    Reverend Sir

    Your Unworthy Brother in our

    Common Saviour

    John Davenport

    Reverend Mr. Colman

    College Papers, Supplement 1. 19 (No. 45). John Davenport (A.B. 1687) was minister at Stamford, Connecticut; he received a Pennoyer Scholarship in the years 1684 to 1686. Reuben Pennoyer did not become a student at Harvard. Someone added at bottom a statement about William Pennoyer’s Will, with the notation, “It brings in now 17 or 18 pound a year.”