« AnteriorContinuar »
THE BELKNAP PAPERS.
EBENEZER HAZARD TO JEREMY BELKNAP.
Portsmouth, Jan. 29, 1779.
Keverend Sir, — Some advices received by last post rendering it necessary for me to proceed as expeditiously as possible to Philadelphia, I am deprived of the pleasure of paying you a second visit as I intended, and laid under the necessity of sending Gorges's History to you, instead of delivering it in person, which, I doubt not, the necessity of the case will induce you to excuse.
The papers you were kind enough to promise me, I must beg you to send to the post-office in this place, directed to me at Boston, to the care of the Reverend Dr. Gordon, who will carefully forward them. Please to mention on each paper the authority or book from which it was taken, and please favour me with a line informing me whether they were transcribed literatim. With compliments to Mrs. Belknap, I am, reverend sir,
Your very humble servant,
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Dover, Feb. 2, 1779.
Sir, — I am favoured with yours of 29th ult., and the return of Gorges's History. I know not how you mistook my meaning with regard to the papers which you desire. Those which I mentioned to you are some records and files which I have made use of in compiling my History, and from which I have made some transcripts to be annexed to it either as authorities or as curiosities. These I told you you would not need to copy, because when they were printed I would send you a copy,' and you might then use them as you pleased. It was also my intention to give you an opportunity of perusing the files and records, that you might select any others which were suitable to your design. This was precisely my meaning; and I could not intend otherwise, because I did not know what papers you might choose.
However, as you have placed some dependence on my sending you some, I here subjoin the titles of sundry papers which are among those in my possession, and which I do not desire to swell my appendix with. If you judge any of them proper for your collection, pray favour me with a line before I return them to the office where they belong; and, if I can get time to transcribe them for you, I will send them as you desire, being always ready to do whatever is in my power to forward any undertaking for the public good.
I thank you for the Address to the Quakers; should be glad to have it distributed among ours, but am afraid to be the instrument, lest they should take a prejudice against it. If it was to come from some of their own friends, it might have an happy effect. We were much disappointed in not seeing you again. Perhaps your business will lead you into these parts some other time, when I shall be happy in welcoming you to my house.
There is one thing I intended to mention to you, which, if it meets with your approbation, may serve as an underplot to your general design. In the course of your travels and researches into antiquity, you will naturally become acquainted with the characters of many persons whose memories deserve regard either as statesmen, scholars, patriots, soldiers, or otherwise. Might not a collection of these in the form of a biographical dictionary be an useful work? I have had thoughts of such a thing, and have made the beginning of a small attempt to carry it into execution. But as your opportunities for perfecting such a plan are much superior to what mine are, or will probably ever be, I will gladly resign to you whatever I have done or may hereafter do towards it. Mrs. Belknap desires her compliments, and I am, sir, With much respect, your very humble servant,
Titles of the Papers above-mentioned.
1. The Protest of Edward Randolph, Collector of Customs, against
the Proceedings of the Massachusetts General Court relating to the Plantation Laws. April 3, 1682. N. B. This is mentioned in Hutchinson's History, Vol. I., p. 333, and misdated 1681.
2. Copy of a Letter from King Charles II. to the Massachusetts Col
ony, relating to Mason's claim of land within the boundary of that Colony. 23 June, 1682.
3. Copy of a Proclamation by Lieutenant-Governor Cranfield, for
calling an assembly in ISTew Hampshire, by the King's order, to make an act against Pirates. May 16, 1684.
4. Copy of the said Act. 22 July, 1684.
5. Copy of Randolph's deputation from the Commissioners of Cus
toms in England, to be Collector, Surveyor, and Searcher in New England. 13 June, 1678.
6. Copy of Instructions from said Commissioners to said Randolph.
9 July, 1678.
7. Copy of a Power to Randolph, and others therein named, to
administer an oath to Benedict Arnold, Esq., Governour of Rhode Island, for the execution of the Acts of Trade. 26 September, anno 30 Caroli Secundi.
8. Copy of a Passport, or Letter of Recommendation or Assistance,
directed to all the King's officers, &c, in favour of Ed. Randolph. N. B. The first and four last mentioned papers were given into a special court, in a case between Randolph and Mark Hunking, and there filed.