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small vessels from Connecticut arrived at Portsmouth this week, and were cleared between 11 o'clock and night of 500 bushels, which they sold at 7 shillings. The people thronged on board so as to endanger the sinking of the vessels.
Mrs. B. desires her regards, and I am, dear sir, your obliged friend and servant, J. B.
Ju}y 27. This day a very fine rain.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
Philadelphia, August 7,1782.
I Believe really, my dear sir, that in the hurry of business I have omitted answering your favour of June 27th. It was long on the road, but came safely to hand at last. The Articles of Capitulation were enclosed. No doubt the Propagating Society's Abstracts, which have been published since the war began, contain many curious accounts sent over by the pious missionaries, but I have not had the pleasure of seeing any of them. I remember having heard Mr. Inglis's mentioned soon after it was printed. It was then considered as a lie told for the good of the Church. When our army lay at New York, it was usual for such parts of it as were not engaged in necessary military duty to go to some place of public worship on the Sabbath; and, as the enemy were at the Hook, they took thfcir guns with them, and their bayonets were fixed. This, I suppose, was considered as a necessary precaution to prevent a surprise. They marched in regular order and had their military music with them. Some went to one church, and some to another, just as their inclinations or those of their officers led them. This information will enable you to understand Mr. Inglis's story. It is very probable that "150 rebels marched" to "church with drums beating and fifes playing," &c, but not "into" it, because the music always ceased when the troops came to the church door; and I recollect perfectly that my minister, finding the congregation were disturbed by the music's continuing so long, mentioned it to the commanding officer, and after that it was stopped at some distance from the church, so as to be no way inconvenient. At the time Mr. Inglis refers to, the sight of so many troops coming armed to church might have been a novelty and frightened some of the "women." This is very probable, and the noise of so many feet moving at once may have increased their terrors; but it does not appear, even from his own story, that any mischief was really intended. "The rebels stood in the aile near fifteen minutes." From the tenour of his tale, one would suppose he thought it was that they might be ready to " fire at him, when the collects for the king and royal family were read." But it was evidently because they had no seats, for " being asked into pews by the sexton they complied," "and the matter passed over without any accident." In short, I believe the truth of the matter to have been nothing more than that a number of our soldiers wTent to church to hear a sermon, behaved themselves very decently there, and after service very peaceably retired; but that Mr. Inglis thought he should recommend himself to his employers, by exhibiting an instance of fortitude and perseverance in the midst of surrounding dangers, and therefore made the dreadful tale. The story as he tells it might very sensibly affect the Society, who doubtless considered him as a person of integrity, and from their distance must necessarily be ignorant of circumstances; but Americans must see improbability in prima fade, more especially when it is recollected that General Washington, who had the supreme command of the troops, and was then upon the spot, is a member of the Church of England, and most certainly
would not suffer such an indignity to be offered to her, while others were encouraged by him. Mr. Inglis was a very zealous advocate for an American Episcopate, and afterwards as staunch a Tory as any in America. He is now rector of the churches in city of New York. It is said he superintends one of the presses, and his estate has been confiscated by the laws of the State. From all this you will be able to judge what degree of credit is due to his representations.*
I send you some newspapers. In addition to what you will find in them, we generally suppose not only Savannah, but Charlestown also, to be evacuated. Respects to Mrs. B. Adieu.
The Metropolitan's raptures still continue. I expect he will claim the flitch of bacon, if the war should end soon enough.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
% Philadelphia, August 28,1782.
Dear Sir, — I believe a fortnight has elapsed since I received your favour of 26th ult., and I have not had time to answer it. My situation in this respect is still the same, and this hasty line is sent merely to let you see I have not forgot you, and to enclose you some newspapers and Mr. Paine's late publication.! You are the only subscriber for McFingal that I have heard of; and as it is to be printed at Hartford, in Connecticut, I apprehend you will be able to get it from thence much more easily than from this place.*
* For further information respecting the Rev. Charles Inglis, D.D., the clergyman here spoken of, see Sabine's " Loyalists," second edition, I. 663. — Eds.
t Numbers XI., XII., and XIII. of Paine's "Crisis" had been published in March and May of this year. — Eds.
With best respects to Mrs. Belknap, I am, dear sir,
Your friend, Eben. Hazard.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Dover, Sept. 2,1782.
Dear Sir, — Your letter concerning Inglis's persecution by the rebels in 1776 came to my hands as I was going to our Metropolis, and the first chance 1 had to read it was in the ferry boat. The Metropolitan's raptures had so taken hold of my imagination that I could not help complimenting him upon the subject, withal adding that he had reason to be in raptures. I hope I have not transgressed the bounds of friendship in so doing. They seem at present to be very well pleased with each other. . . .
Inglis's affair turns out much as I suspected. There are many other similar colourings in those Abstracts, which no doubt served to excite the pity of the good ladies, and others who annually contribute to the Society.
Our friend Dr. Gordon, I see, has advertized his library for sale. Is he going to England again? — I should have said, GREET Brittain f — and will he carry off all the papers he has collected towards an History of the Revolution ? t
You have a writer in one of your papers (I think the Journal) who signs Leonidas. There are some things worthy of notice in his publications respecting a navy; and I am pleased to find that, in the estimates made by Congress for the next year, provision is made for the building one.
* John Trumbull's "M'Fingal." The first and second cantos of it were published as one, in a thin pamphlet of forty pages, by William and Thomas Bradford, of Philadelphia, in the autumn of 1775. Before the close of 1782, the whole work was printed and published by Hudson & Goodwin, at Hartford. — Eds.
t The Kev. William Gordon, D.D., so often mentioned in this correspondence, was born in Hitchin, Eng. He came to America in 1770, and in 1772 was settled over the church in Roxbury. He returned to England in 1786, and in 1788 published in London his "History of the . . . Independence of the United States of America," &c. — Eds.
We have four of the French fleet in our harbour. * One of them, viz., the Bourgogne, was sadly mauled in the action with Kodney. They are new masting her. This is a most excellent harbour for such business, as masts are the natural produce of the country, and there happens to be a good number ready got into the river. Our 74 goes on vigourously. They talk of launching her this fall; but, if the French should purchase her, as 't is said they will, in lieu of the Magnifique, which they have lost in Boston harbour, the Chevalier Jones's nose will be out of joint.
What think you of peace, shall we have it or not? Are not seven years a sufficient space of time to make experiments in? Cannot a nation tell within that time whether they are likely to win or lose?
You see I am in a. talking mood, and you '11 indulge me in asking a few more questions. Suppose we should have peace and independence, how are we to trade to the East Indies? Are we to purchase East India commodities in Europe, or erect factories for ourselves in India? I have wondered (and ignorant folks, you know, are very apt to wonder) why we could not get East India goods across the Pacific by the way of Acapulco, and purchase them at La Vera Cruz? It would be no more than a common West India voyage to go there, and our flour and fish would come to [a good] market among the Mexican Spaniards.
As to my friend whom I have so often mentioned to you, he is at length settled down on his old foundation.
* By "our harbour," Dr. B. means Portsmouth harbor. — Edb.