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delphia almanac for this present year, the value of it in both these States is said to be 4s. 8c?. Pray is there any mistake, or what is the reason of the difference?

Monday,* the 2d inst., between daybreak and sunrise, we had here a very distinct shock of an earthquake, which came from the N.W. and went off at the S.E. It continued, as near as I could judge, about two minutes. No mention is made of it in the Boston paper of the same day: whether it extended so far I have not heard. Ever since Christmas, we have had a severe and unrelenting frost and frequent snow-storms: the snow is now above two feet in the woods and pretty level.

Jan. 12, 1786.

Last evening arrived yours of the 21st ult. (in a shorter passage than the other), enclosing one from my son, and two pamphlets, for one of which I thank you, and the other our good friend Ulysses. You speak of having sent me "A Plan for liquidating the Debts of Pennsylvania." I have received no such pamphlet. I do wish to have a critique on my book from Dr. Blair; and, if vyou could procure it for me through Dr. Erskine, I should be much pleased. If you have a spare copy, please to send one to him, and I will replace it. Your very friendly advice about the continuation shall have due weight with me: it has the approbation of my privy council, which is an additional sanction. But there is one difficulty to be got over; and that is, after the treatment I have received

from our rascally G 1 C 1, to apply to them again

for the use of their Records. This will certainly be a very mortifying circumstance. Would they offer it of their own motion, I might be tempted. As to Bull, I intended it only as a present to Aitken. If you think it worth his acceptance, I will proceed in it; and it will serve for a by business, when I feel right for it, which is not often. Such things must be done by the impulse of the moment. The parts which you have were run off at two sittings. I might, at another time, sit and scratch my pate a whole day, and not produce a page.

* The very same day 2 years ago, and within 3 hours of the time, we had such another shock. — Belknap's Note.

Some delay has happened about a muff and tippet, which I was to send from Boston to Mr. Aitken's daughter, which on account of the freezing of the Delaware may oblige me to order it to New York. In that case, I beg your care to forward it by land: you will receive a letter concerning it and the vessel in which it comes.

As to the dark day in Canada, I have not sufficient information to be able to "make up my mind" (if you quote Burgoyne, I may quote Lee) uptm the matter. It seems there was'a thunder-shower, and this always brings darkness, sometimes in a very great degree. It was not a continued darkness, but light and darkness preceeded each other several times. In this respect, it differed from ours in the year 1780. As to "subterraneous effluvia/' which somebody calls in to account for it, there must be some farther evidence before this idea can be admitted. It is a pity there could not be a collection of accounts from * different -parts of that country, that might be depended on. The days on which it is said to have happened were very clear and pleasant where I was; viz., sailing up the Sound to New York. It was the same here at Dover, as I find by a journal which I desired might be kept in my absence.

I am sorry you cannot find a Linnaean correspondent for Brother Cutler. If Dr. Clarkson cannot, then he must ride his hobby-horse alone!

Is there not one Bartram in Philadelphia, who is remarkable in that way?

Mrs. B. joins in love to your mama, and wife, and little Sam, with your affectionate friend,

Jeke. Belknap.

State of New Hampshire. Strafford.

To Joshua Foss, juner, Esq., one of the justices of the peace for the County aforesaid, Abraham Batch elder of North wood, in the County of Rockingham, husbanman, in behalf of the State of New Hampshire aforesaid complaineth: That James Murry cordwinder in said North wood, in the County of Rockingham aforesaid, hath a black mare with a star of white in the forad, and sum white on the nose, which mare the said Batchelder purshased of Durben Taler of Hampton in the County of Rockingham aforesaid, in the year 1781, in his Passision or disposed of the same, which mare belongs to the said Batchelder, and said Murry refuses to deliver up said mare to the damage of the said Batchelder as he saith teen pounds.

Abraham Batchelder.

November 2lst, 1785.

/Strafford st.

To the SherrifF of the County of Strafford, his under-sheriff or Depty, or Cunstable of Barrington, greeting. Complaint having bin maid as above, you are hereby requested in the name of the State of New Hampshire, you are to take said mare, if she may be found in your precinct, and deliver the said mare to the said Batchelder, or the said mare bring before me, the subscriber, one of the justices of the peace for said county, to be disposed of according to law, for dueing whereof this is your warrant, given under my hand and seal at Barrington, this 21st day of November, Ad 1785.

Joshua Foss, juner.


New York, February 22,1786.

Dear Sir, — I don't know how many weeks after the date of yours of Jan. 10th and 12th had elapsed before I received it; but I believe I have not answered it. From your manner of writing about Josey's binding your History, I judge that you are pleased with his proficiency, and I feel no doubt that you will yet enjoy much greater pleasure arising from the same cause. I cannot answer any of your questions about the judges in New Jersey, as I never knew the particulars of the affair you allude to, but have only understood, in general, that upon a trial, in consequence of some act of the New Jersey Assembly, the judges refused to decide according to the act, because they considered it as passed in violation of the Constitution of the State. I think Squire "foss" will never make a very respectable figure in history: ex quovis ligno non jit Mercurius. Had I been constable, as the thing was so civilly requested in the name of the State, I would most certainly the said mare have brought before the squire, even if he had been in the Prcetorium. I sent the warrant to our judge, to make him laugh. Our boy and girl prove a valuable acquisition. I do not understand that the commissioners have yet returned from the Indian country: their success, I suspect, is rather doubtful. My tables were composed during the war, and at that time the value of dollars in South Carolina and Georgia was as there mentioned; but, since the peace, they have been fixed at 4s. 8d.? and I understand that all money transactions in <£. s. d. are in sterling.

Our winter hitherto has been remarkably moderate, and last week a man offered me wood at my door, at a lower price than I paid for my winter's stock in November. I was in doubt whether I had sent you a plan for liquidating the debts of Pennsylvania, or not; however, I now do it. Shall watch an opportunity of sending my copy of your History (the only one I have) to Dr. Blair, and try to get his opinion of it. Were I in your place (with my present sentiments), I would not hesitate a moment about applying to the G. C. for the use of their Records. Feeling the treatment you have received so sensibly as to let it operate either to your own or your family's prejudice is making them persons of too much consequence: besides, you may save your feelings by applying to a different House from the one which offended you. This is not what the Virginians call " whipping the devil round a stump" because in the eye of the law the present House is not the same as the' last, though it may consist of the very same members.

/ say, continue the History. Should the muff and tippet come to my hands, due attention shall be paid to them. I will write to Dr. Clarkson about a correspondent for Mr. Cutler. Our Assembly is sitting and hammering upon a money bill. There are not nine States yet in Congress.

We are all well, and think and speak affectionately of you and Mrs. Belknap. Sally is gone to Philadelphia on a visit to her friends: we expect her home in a day or two. Little Sam knows most of the letters of the alphabet: his grandmother has played him into a knowledge of them.

I send you a New York Register, and with it the love of all my family, as well as that of your friend,

Eben. Hazakd.



It has appeared to me very probable, my dear sir, for four years past, that I should not long continue in this

* There is no date or address to this letter, but it was probably written in the early part of 1786. ,

Dr. Belknap was settled as minister of the parish in Dover, N.H., in February, 1767, on a salary of £100 a year, "lawful money," or what may be expressed in dollars and cents, $333.33£; but the obligations of his people for the payment of even this small sum were not responded to, and it was the source of constant and extreme embarrassment to him. In the year 1778 he thus writes to a friend: "I scarcely think, from what I have experienced, that I shall be able to obtain the necessaries of life another year, without the most strenuous exertions of those who are my friends from principle; and their influence will not prevail on others to do their duty, so that my support is absolutely become a burden to a people who, I used to think, bore it cheerfully. ... I am actually obliged to plant my own bread-corn this year, and expect to handle the hoe as a common labourer^ as my wife is forced to do the wheel, to the great injury of her health and the neglect of the other necessary business of the family. . . . These things are a continual source of vexation, both of body and mind; they take off my attention from my proper business, and unfit me for the duties of my station."

These troubles "kept his mind in perpetual agitation/' until he finally dissolved his connection with the parish in September, 1786. Some details of this unhappy state of things may be seen in the "Life of Dr. Belknap," from which the above extract is taken.—Eds.

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