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proved to be not natural but political^ an apology agreed upon, and the point settled. But two (I believe) very honest men had very disagreeable feelings on the occasion, as I doubt not a third will (though unnecessarily), and even the printer did not escape without a severe admonition to "take heed."
With compliments to Mrs. Belknap, I am, dear sir,
Yours affectionately, Eben\ Hazard.
P. S. If this paper is not good, it is large, and therefore I make no apology for it.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Dover, August 16, 1779.
Mr Dear Sir, — Had I entertained the least suspicion that any honest man, though ever so great a stranger to me, could have conceived himself injured or offended, or been put to one moment's uneasiness by any passage of my political fable, that part of it should immediately have been suppressed. But that my worthy friend Hazard should so toto ccelo mistake the design of the postscript as to imagine it contained a reflexion on his moral character, I never could have believed, had I been told it from any lesser authority than his own. You were mentioned only in your public character 4s a collector of curiosities, and it was hinted as the wish of the wrriter that the production alluded to might exist nowhere but in a collection such as you are making, in which I dare engage you have got many political monsters besides this. Had my friend, through whose hands it passed to the press, been apprehensive of any latent hint to the disadvantage of your character, he would have suppressed that postscript. But it was as inconceivable to him as to me. I am glad, however, that he has explained the matter to your satisfaction, and I am sure you must now view it in a very harmless light, so that I need not make any further apology. I do not find that any persons this way have at all mistaken the design of the Apologue, and I hope it has had some good effect. Such a manner of treating the subject was judged more effectual than a long, dry, sober dissertation, pointing out the absurdity and insufficiency of the Constitution.* It has been rejected by a very large majority in Portsmouth: but one person only spoke in favour of it, and but two voted for it. If it meets with the same fate in other places, as I sincerely wish it may, it will depend on you to be transmitted to posterity as a monument, among many others, of the wisdom, learning, and consistency of the present age.
Since I wrote last, I have picked up duplicates of two of those Indian Treaties, which were annexed to Gyles's Memoirs, viz., those of 1726 and 1749, which I will give you when you come here. There are more of those Treaties and Conferences in print, and I guess may be found in Boston, if enquired for. I thank you for the sketch you sent me of Dr. Finley's Life and Character. You mention President Davies's Life being in print: if you mean the account prefixed by Mr. Bostwick to the sermon on King George 2d, I have it. If there be any other, I should be glad to know it. Your intention of assisting in the compilation of a Biographical Dictionary is exceeding kind. I should be glad to know whom you have mentioned the matter to that may be likely to remember it. For I must repeat my wish (not that you, for you have forbid me, but), that some other person of more leisure and greater opportunities than myself would undertake to bring the design to perfection; for circumstanced as I am now, and I see no prospect of a change for the better, it might as well be expected that a snail should quit her shell and soar with the eagle as that I should bring to pass a thing of such magnitude and variety. I will, however, do what very little falls within the compass of my ability, in hope that it may be of use to some other person who may bring the plan to maturity. I do think that something very clever might be done. There have been some very worthy characters, some very bad, and some very odd, and all of them together would form such a group as would afford both instruction and amusement. I would extend the limits of the plan through the whole Continent and Islands, and as far back into antiquity as Manco Capac. I would comprehend the discoverers and first navigators, and I would seek examples of heroic virtue among the untutored savages.
* See Farmer's Belknap's New Hampshire, p. 389.—Eds.
There are many now living characters who must in time be admitted into the collection: it would be of use to keep a memorandum for such hints concerning them as may be of use hereafter., Some have already fallen in the course of this war, who must be remembered with honour. When you come hei^, which I have been long wishing for, I will give you a list of names which I have collected; and, if you can furnish hints respecting the characters and actions of any of them, I shall be obliged to you. But you have business enough on hand. I shall therefore beg your patience no longer than while I assure you that I am, with great esteem and regard,
Your obliged friend and obedient servant,
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
Jamaica Plain, Aug. 31, 1779.
Reverend And Dear Sir,—Knowing your benevolence and sensibility, I was afraid to write to you about the Pennycook Egg, lest I should hurt your feelings; but, upon second thoughts, it appeared best, for, as I was confident you would hear of what had happened, I supposed my silence would hurt them more; but, though I wrote, I hoped I had done it in such a way as to convince yon that any apology on your part was unnecessary. I find, however, by your favour of the 16th inst., that I was mistaken. Let this matter rest for the present. When we meet, we will revive it for the sake of an hearty laugh, which I know you enjoy as much as I do. When shall we meet? That question I can't answer. I intended being at Dover by this time, but have been unexpectedly prevented. New business in the post-office department has just turned up, which throws a new obstruction in my way; but, this notwithstanding, I hope to see you within thirty days. I am obliged to you for endeavouring to procure the Indian Treaties for me. They ought to be in my collection, but I do not think them sufficiently important to merit transcribing, especially when more important materials come in competition with them. The Life of Mr. Davies which I referred to, I think, was written by Dr. Gibbons, and prefixed to a London edition of his sermons which the Doctor published. I mentioned the Dictionary to Dr. Gordon, of this place; Dr. Stiles, of Newhaven; the Reverend Mr. Tennent, of Greenfield, in Connecticut; and, I think, to several gentlemen in Philadelphia: but I mentioned it, — as you preach sermons, — in hopes that it might probably take effect somewhere, but almost despairing of it at the same time. In short, the war, and the numerous avocations consequent upon it, have thrown every man's mind into such an unsettled and confused state that but few can think steadily upon any subject. They hear of useful designs, they give you all the encouragement which can be derived from the warmest approbation of your plan, they will even promise you assistance. Politics intrude, — kick you and your designs out of their heads; and when you appear again, why they really forgot that the matter had been mentioned to them. I have been repeatedly served so with respect to my collection, and even public bodies act in the same manner with individuals. Though Congress have recommended it to them to furnish me with copies of such parts of their records as I may want, they have not yet done it in any one instance, except where they have had printed copies of them, but I have been obliged to transcribe all that I have yet collected wdth my own hand. I feel, at times, almost discouraged, and half resolve to drop the design, notwithstanding all that I have done. A conviction of the utility of it alone prevents. With respect to your plan, I think you will find work enough upon the Continent, without going to the Islands; and as the " Lives of the Discoverers and First Navigators are already in print/' it will hardly be worth while to plague yourself with them. Could any thing certain be collected respecting any of the Indians, it will be worth inserting, but it will be extremely difficult to get such anecdotes of them as may be depended on. In the Records of the United Colonies, I meet with such accounts of three or four Indians as may enable me to give you the outlines of their characters in very short hints, which you may dilate at your leisure. There are doubtless many living characters, which ought in time to be included.
But I have already exceeded the little time I could allot for this letter, and must, after due respects to Mrs. Belknap, bid you adieu.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Dover, Oct. 5, 1779.
My Dear Sir, — I thank you much for the communications in your last packet, particularly for the letters of Mr. Moody, which will serve to correct some particulars in my account of him, and the times in wrhich he suffered. I herewith enclose copies of Barefoot's and Mason's depositions relative to the assault and battery committed on