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haps bank-notes may be bought at a discount, in which case you would gain something; and the risque of sending them hither by post is very trifling.

It will not answer to print less than 1000 copies; because the smaller the number, the greater in proportion is the cost. Besides, 500 disposed of (or perhaps a few more) will pay the whole expence.

I have received no returns of subscriptions, except those you have been informed of, and 5 from Dr. Gordon. Adieu. Eben. Hazard,


Dover, Saturday, August 30, 1783.

My Dear Sir, — Expecting to take a ride eastward on Monday, and having not received any thing from you for a fortnight past, nor known whether there be any thing this week or not, I only can tell you that, since Monday, when I sent you an account of 328 subscriptions^ I have received but 11 more, which makes the whole 339. In a few days I expect to have more returns.

With this you have the fourth chapter, and the third went by the post before last.

Wishing you all manner of happiness, I am, dear sir, your much obliged friend and servant, J. B.

Mrs. B. desires her respects.

If you find the printing incorrect, or if you see any grammatical or other errors in the copy, I shall be obliged by your correcting them.


Monday, Sept. 1,1783.

My Dear Sir, — Having received your very kind letters of August 9th and 11th, I cannot but immediately make a return, though it is uncertain whether I shall be able to get it to the office before it be too late for this week.

So many circumstances seem to concur, and so many judicious friends agree in their advice, that I have determined to send my son Jo to Mr. Aitken for a trial, and shall now do the best I can to prepare him for his voyage, and desire my friends in the sea-port towns to look t>ut for him a good opportunity of conveyance, and some careful person with whom I may trust him. How long this will take I cannot possibly say, but I will endeavour to forward it as much as lies in my power. I esteem your kindness towards me and him in this matter very highly, and your intimation of the benevolence of Ulysses is peculiarly obliging. The child will need friends, being so far removed from home; and I hope he will conduct himself so as that your friends may be his. I wish it may so happen that you may not be obliged to remove from Philadelphia.

I wrote you a short letter on Saturday, and intimated that I should take an Eastern tour this week; but the company which I expected did not arrive, so it must be deferred. I enclosed my fourth chapter, and have begun to copy the fifth. I gave you an account of 339 subscribers, to which 9 more are to be added, which makes the number 348. I observe what you say about additional sheets, and hope we shall not be obliged to make the volume more bulky than 400. I can suppress part of the Appendix. I do not think I shall have any bound, at least no considerable number.

As to Mr. A.'s literary paper, I shall cheerfully do any thing to forward it. But why does he publish it weekly? He has his reasons no doubt, and I trust they are good ones; but if his magazine failed, which was only a monthly performance, because he was obliged to give so much scattering credit, will not a weekly paper be subject to the same inconvenience in a greater degree? I should have proposed an annual one: the matter then would have been better digested, and the pay more certain. As to Pickering, he writes nothing but in the way of his profession. Sewall is a dabster at essays. Mrs. B. is reserved, but an application from you might educe something perhaps. As to the African oration, I know you will do nothing but what is " decent" So I rest it safe in your hands, and it is in the hands of no other person.

I shall bear in mind the 11th of September as a memorable sera in the life of my friend; and, when it comes, shall fancy myself at the nuptials, and wish you joy of the day. You must be my proxy to administer the salutation of your friend to Mrs. Bride. I am, dear sir,

Your hearty friend, Jer. Belknap.

Mrs. B. is exceedingly obliged by your care of her child, and wishes you a thousand blessings.

P. S. Whenever Mr. Aitken thinks proper to begin his press-work, I am willing, only you must fix the number of copies according to your best judgment. I shall continue sending you the number of subscriptions every week. As soon as a sheet is struck off, be so kind as to send, per the first opportunity, one copy to Mr. Samuel Eliot, directing the shipmaster, or whoever carries it, to deliver it (without going through the London post-office) at the house of Wright & Gill, in Abchurch Lane, and let me have another sheet. If you think it best that Mr. E. should have a duplicate to prevent miscarriage, you may either send him one yourself or send me two sheets, and I will forward one of them to him. I shall send on the MS. as fast as I can transcribe it.

[On the outside of the letter was written :]

I have received a subscription paper since this was sent to the office for 23 more books. J. Libbey.


Dover, Sept. 12, 1783.

My Dear Sir, — We did not forget last evening to drink, or, to speak in the Johnsonian style, to "bibulate to the salubrity" of our friend and his bride. By this time^I conclude you have taken leave of your bachelorship, and are initiated into the science of matrimony, which I wish may prove to you and your partner a source of enjoyment. You must accept of this wish, "warm from the heart," instead of an epithalamium, which I am [in] no capacity for composing; and, if I was, it would be needless, for no more than this fairly implies could be said, though the sentiment be drawn out into a Pindaric of a yard long. They say gaping is catching: perhaps marrying is. Our friend, the freemason, had kept up his heart " in an ivory box" till he heard of your manoeuvres in the hymeneal field; and now he has let it fairly be catched up by a girl of 17, a daughter of Mr. Treadwell, of Portsmouth; * and so, as good brother Harvey says, "the world is peopled," and so it ought to be, say I; and there's an end of my discourse on the subject.

Enclosed with this, you have the latter half of my fifth, and the whole of my sixth, chapter; and I believe you may count what I have sent as one-half of the copy, exclusive of the Appendix. There will be a short Preface, which, with the Contents and the Title-page, may, I suppose, be put into half a sheet; and, as to the Appendix, I can curtail it well enough of those papers which are already in print, and perhaps some others: so that you can calculate whether my work will, or will not, consist of the number of pages mentioned in the Proposals. I should rather not exceed it.

* The person called in these letters the "Ereemason" was the Rev. John Eliot, who succeeded his father, the Rev. Andrew Eliot, as pastor of the New North Church in Boston. He married, Sept. 10, 1784, Ann Treadwell, daughter of Jacob Treadwell, Esq., of Portsmouth, N.H. He was one of those who co-operated with Dr. Belknap in the formation of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He was a cousin of Mrs. Belknap. — Eds.

Since I wrote last, I have had a return of all the remaining subscription papers; and, upon casting up the whole, I find 393, — including 23 which Mr. Libbey says he noted on the outside of my last letter to you. I have left 5 or 6 of the papers in the hands of some particular friends, who think they can yet pick up some recruits; but I believe, if for a round number you set down 400 for this and the State of Massachusetts, it will be as many as can be depended on.

Mrs. B. is preparing her son for his expedition. I have not yet heard of an opportunity to send him, but am on the enquiry.

Pray, my friend, how goes on, your collection of papers? When do you intend to begin the printing of them? I have heard nothing of the work for a long time.

Sept. 13.

This morning I am favoured with yours of 27th ult.; and, by the same conveyance that this goes to Portsmouth, I write to a friend there to enquire for a bill of exchange or bank-note: if neither can be procured there, shall make the enquiry at Boston, and send it on as soon as it can be had. For several weeks past, I have set my self a stint to copy a chapter, or, if too long, half a chapter of my History; and shall continue it, so that you may have it in season, that there may be no stop in the work after it is begun: if I go on no faster than I have of late, you will probably get the whole in six weeks from this time. But, however "rapidly" the printing should go on after it is begun, the publication must, at all events, be delayed till some arrangements are made with respect to a transmarine edition, or till (if that should be the case) I am informed of the impracticability of it. I shall be

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