« AnteriorContinuar »
I am in doubt whether I shall see Plymouth this winter, for I expect New York will fall into our hands; and, in that case, I must go there to establish a post-office and change the post-road, and to help drive off the Tories. However, should I go to Plymouth, I will endeavour to give you seasonable information of it. Should you come to Boston while I am in its neighbourhood, if you can any way make it suit your convenience, I shall depend upon your quartering with me at Dr. Gordon's. There will be something wholesome for you to eat, we can give you either cider or grog to drink, I have some excellent hay for your horse, and we shall be very happy in your company.
Before 1 forget it—I went to Dorchester some days ago, on purpose to collect inscriptions from tombstones. Among the rest are those of Governour Stoughton, Humphrey Atherton, and Richard Mather. As their Lives will doubtless be in the Biography, you should be possessed of their epitaphs. I know you have the Major-General's. If you have not the others, I will send them to you.
The following is from Roxbury burying-ground : —
Sub Spe immortali ye
You have not got this "renowned poet's" name in your list of memorable men.
When I looked over your History, I observed a note which I think will be injurious to you, and intended mentioning, but forgot it. It contains a conjecture about the origin of the expression "Dover Court/' which you seem to suppose your Dover gave birth to; but this was certainly not the case, it having undoubtedly been used long before your Dover was known. It had its origin in Great Britain, and refers to a Dover Court there.
Now for all the news we have. A gentleman who came up from Boston last night says they have an account there, which they credit, that the whole British army in Georgia had surrendered to General Lincoln; and that those in New York say they would rather surrender to General Washington than to the French. If they do to either, our purpose will be answered. I think there can be no doubt that the enemy are evacuating New-Port. When they have done this, they will be, in point of territory on this continent, just where they were in October, 1776. What rapid progress they make! We have heard nothing of Count d'Estaing lately. If he should reach Sandy Hook before the New-Port gentry, they will be in a pretty box.
Remember me affectionately to Mrs. Belknap, and be assured that I am
Your friend and very humble servant,
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
Jamaica Plain, Oct. 30,1779.
Reverend And Dear Sir, — What I feared has come to pass. I am obliged to go to Philadelphia, and propose setting out on Monday next. It is hard, very hard, my friend, to be kicked about the world at this rate, but I am "under authority," and must submit. I intend, however, to be as expeditious as possible, that I may return again soon to my favourite study. As I am going away, I regret your not coming to Boston, for no other reason but that it will be a disappointment to you. Should you come, / believe no further requests will be made respecting your History, as I think I have dropped sufficient hints to prevent it; but I am never asked to be surety for any man, but I recollect Solomon's advice, and refuse it. Our friend is a full-blooded historian, as rapacious as a wolf; but I am confident has no design to injure others, or deprive them of any part of the laurels which they merit. He is pleased to find you are so near publication, and requests you will set him down as a subscriber for six copies of the History, be the price what it may. All my indispositions are removed, except that for going to Philadelphia. The pumpkin-shell has not become so dry yet as to be in any great danger of cracking, and I hope it will be even strengthened by the present journey. I did not receive your last before I had taken leave of Boston, but I sent in the one it enclosed for Mr. Elliot, by a safe hand. Before this reaches you, you will doubtless have heard of Count d'Estaing's success in Georgia, and the evacuation of Newport. It is said the enemy did not go from Rhode Island towards New York, but directly out to sea; and it is conjectured that they are bound either to Halifax, the West Indies, or Europe. They have also evacuated Stony and Verplank's Points, upon Hudson's River; so that they possess now no greater a part of the United States than they did in September, 1776, excepting Penobscot.
How foolishly have they expended both their money and their blood!
A brig from Holland arrived last night at Boston, but I have not heard either what passage she had, or what intelligence she brings.
Mr. Eckley was ordained last Wednesday, and Mr. Elliot is to be ordained the next.
Dr. Gordon joins me in cordial salutations.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
Jamaica Plain, Nov. 30,1779.
Ecce iterwn Crispinusf Here I am again, my dear sir, having proceeded as far as Fishkill, on the way to Philadelphia, and found it unnecessary to go farther. Upon my return, Dr. Gordon put Burnaby into my hands, for which I am much obliged to you. I have read him with pleasure, and shall make large extracts from him. He has made some trifling mistakes, but gives much the best account of both persons and things of any English author I have met with, and, upon the whole, a very just one. s He does not shine as a politician: subsequent facts have subverted his system. He did not make that allowance for Divine interposition which a clergyman ought to have done. Enclosed are some Southern papers. My best respects to Mrs. Belknap.
Yours affectionately, Eben. Hazard.
Favour me with your opinion of the New York law for preventing robberies. Dr. Gordon's compliments.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
Jamaica Plain, Dec. 15, 1779.
Eeverend And Very Dear Sir, — Your favour of 4th ult., having been to Philadelphia and returned, came to hand by last post. There was not the least need of any part of all the apologies contained in it, for I did not conceive that any part of it was either indelicate or improper. My last mentioned the receipt of Burnaby. I have almost done with him, and shall return him soon. An anecdote in his sixtieth page respecting General Washington will do to insert among your biographical memoirs of that great man. Though he is not dead, you may begin to write his life, and every anecdote about him will be worth preserving. I took your list of names with me when I went westward, with a design to pick up something for you, but my not accomplishing my expected journey prevented. I do not suppose General S.'s letters are "simple narratives," but rather pompous accounts of simple transactions.* It is not impossible that there may have been one or two neat framed houses, belonging to white people, in one or more of the forty towns, and this would be a sufficient hint for a lively fancy, warmed by victory, to work upon. Besides, it is not to be expected that a General would tell a story in the way that you and I and other common folks would. What advantage would arise from being a General, if, after all, he must be like other people? To be serious, I suppose the account contains, after stripping it of figure, nothing more than this, that forty Indian towns were destroyed, and the country in their vicinity desolated in such a manner as to cut off the Indians' hopes of subsistence by the fruit of their labours in the field. The towns, as such, I suppose, were of no real importance; but the destruction of them may be productive of good consequences, as it will intimidate the Indians, and make them cautious how they fight against us in future; and, as they have been thereby driven so far back into the woods, our frontiers will probably have rest. The country, too, may be considered as an acquisition of territory, for I am informed that the Indians never attempt a resettlement of a place from which they have once been driven. In these points of view, that expedition was of importance; and it seems to be the general opinion that the conductor managed it judiciously. It would have given me pleasure could I have been one of the company at Mr. Elliot's ordination,