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worthy old Gentleman Mr. Rivera, where does he live and how does he content himself. poor Newport, what is to be its fate at last; I fear Destruction. Its Inhabitants are already scatterd to the four corners of the Earth.

my good

Sir when I reflect on the happy days we have spent there, and with what ease and pleasure yourself and some others went through a multiplicity of business, I can hardly persuade myself that I am awake, but as I have something to do on my little farm, I endeavour to pass the time as cheerful as possible, and patiently wait for better times. I desire to thank god my famaly enjoy health and plenty, and have been seated in a part of the Country, where they have (as yet) liv'd free from Ravage or Insult. The farming business I am quite unacquainted with, and find it by no means. profitable, yet I spend much less then I should in town. I could see any prospect I should be glad to engage in some Business that I was better acquainted with, but it looks dark on every side that I know not what coarse to steer. Mrs. Anthony joins me in our best Respects to Mrs. Lopez, your self and famaly, and likewise to Mr. and Mrs. Rivera etc., and believe me to be Your Very Sincere Friend and Humble Servant,

N. B.



can you inform me how Capt. Wright is and where his famaly are.

[Endorsed,] To Mr. Aaron Lopez, To the Care of Mr. Josiah Hewes Merchant, in Philadelphia. Per favour Mr. Lee.


My Dear and very worthy Friend,

Philadelphia, February 3d, 1779.

How shall I express my gratitude to you for the satisfaction you have given me with the rec't of your friendly and obliging Favor of the 27th ulto. which this moment has been handed me by our mutual Friend Mr. Hewes, who telling me its Bearer returns again to Exeter tomorrow morn

ing, I would not miss the opportunity of acknowledging its agreeable contents, and gratifying your wishes of hearing from me, from my family, and some thing from the distress'd Inhabitants of our once flourishing Iland;1 But before I render you this intelligence, permit me to tell you, that I am extreamly happy to learn, that the Almighty has been pleased to guide you and good Family to so safe an Asylum, and that there he has blest you with health, peace, and plenty arround you, during these times of publick and almost universal Callamity; But what I esteem still a greater Blessing, endowed you with a gratefull heart, susceptible of all those divine bounties, which I pray may be continued you with all the additional felicities this sublunary World is capable of affording. For my part I have the pleasure to acquaint my good Friend, that I consider myself under still greater obligations to Heaven; having hitherto enjoy'd every one of those inestimable Blessings you are pleased to tell me of, without the least Merit or Title to them; am therefore to acknowledge myself infinitely more thankfull for so mercifull Dispensations.

Since we left our Island my principal object was to look out for a Spot, where I could place my Family, secured from sudden Allarms and the Cruel Ravages of an enraged Enemy; Such a one I have hitherto found in the small inland Township of Leicester in the Massachusetts Bay, where I pitch'd my Tent, erecting a proportionable one to the extent of my numerous Family on the Sumit of an high healthy Hill, where we have experienc'd the civilities and hospitality of a kind Neighbourhood; and moved in the same Sphere of Business I have been used to follow, which, altho much more contracted, it has fully answer'd my wishes, and you know my Friend, when that is the case, it never fails of constituting real happiness: Add to this the satisfaction of having for

1 In a letter from Governor Greene to the Assembly of Connecticut, January 21, 1779, it was stated that two thousand persons had been driven from their homes, and were dependent on public or private charity. The neighboring states contributed to their relief, and the Continental Congress reduced the amount of taxes required from the state. Journals, XIII. 269.

a next door neighbour your truly well wishing Friend, my Father in Law Mr. Rivera, who with his Family I left in good health, spending in peace the fruits of his last summer's Labour on a small Farm. the Old Gentleman improves with much the same Farming Faculties, you tell me you cultivate yours; 1 and I can farther inform you that while his hands have been imploy'd in that usefull Art, his agitated Mind has uniformly accompanied yours to poor Newport; where I do still hope we shall soon have the pleasure of meeting each other again and re-enjoy those injurd habitations, we have so long been deprived of, with all satisfaction.


By this Weeks Post Mrs. Lopez has informd me that the Widow Lee, who had the Liberty of going down from Providence in a Flag to Newport, after staying there some days, she had the indulgency of returning to Providence, and being engaged to nurse my Daughter Mrs. Mendez (who I have the consolation to tell you leaves [lives] also near me and next door to our good Neighbour Capt. Jno. Lyon formerly of Newport). This Mrs. Lee coming directly on her return into our Family inform'd Mrs. Lopez, that the poor Inhabitants of that Town, have been very much distress'd this Winter for the want of fewell and provisions, those Individuals of my Society in particular, who she said had not tasted any meat, but once in two months: Fish there was none at this Season of the Year, and they were reduced to the alternative of leaving upon Chocolate and Coffe. These and many other Callamities and Insults the wretched

1 Among those Jews who came from Newport to Leicester in 1777 were Abraham Mendez, Jacob Rod Rivera, and the Lopez family. Rivera purchased of Nathan White thirty-one acres opposite the meeting-house. Lopez bought of Henry Bass and Joseph Allen a plot of land afterwards occupied by the Leicester Academy. All, but Lopez, returned to Newport after the peace of 1783. Aaron Lopez was drowned in Smithfield May 20, 1782, when driving with his family to Providence. The following tribute appeared in the newspaper of the time: "He was a merchant of eminence, of polite and amiable manners. Hospitality and benevolence were his true characteristics, an ornament and a valuable pillar in the Jewish society of which he was a member. His knowledge in commerce was unbounded; and his integrity irreproachable. Thus he lived, and thus he died; much regretted, esteemed, and loved by all." Washburn, Historical Sketches of the Town of Leicester, 121-124.


Inhabitants experience, ought to excite our thanks to that Great Being, who gave us resolution to exchange at so early a period that melancholy Spot for that we now are enjoying. Your Dweling house I understand has sufer'd much. Your Neighbour Augustus Johnson 1 was found dead at his house. My Neighbour Gideon Sesson's Wife is crazy, and what I lament most, is, that the vertue of several of our Reputable Ladys has been attacked and sullied by our destructive Enemys, - so much for poor Newport. Capt. Benj. Wright continues at Jamaica. his zeallous wishes to put me in possession of some part of the large property I have had lock'd up in his hands since the commencement of this war, led him to address me with three Vessels loaded on my sole and proper account, all which have been taken by our American Cruizers; the first falling in honest hands was delivered up to me by a reference agreed to by the parties. The other two were libelled and contested, one of them was adjudged at Providence to be restored to me: the opposite party appealed to Congress. The third and most valuable was (contrary to the opinion and expectation of every spectator) condemn'd at a Connecticut Court of Admiralty. I appeald to Congress, which has brought me here in full hopes of obtaining redress. Mrs. Wright was left porly at Newport, when Nurse Lee came away, which prevented Mrs. Wright coming off in the same Flagg, as she intended, but will do it soon, as she recovers.

I have oferd the poor distress'd Woman all the assistance in my power to grant her, as I esteeme her an object of real


Now my Dear Friend I have only to add my sincere thanks for your kind invitation to spend a day or two with you at your habitation. I shall inform myself (not being acquainted where Exeter lays) and if I can anyways make it convenient to call on you, may expect to see me; meantime permit me to announce you and Mrs. Anthony every good

1 Augustus Johnson had been the royal Attorney General of the colony and had been burned in effigy in 1765. See Mason, Annals of Trinity Church, 106 n. 2 Journals, XIII. 162.

wish pure esteem can suggest being very truly, Dear Sir, Your affectionate Friend and humble Servant.



East Greenwich, February 6th, 1779.

I AM sorry to inform you of the Sloop Speedwell's being condemn'd by the Carpenters as unfit for the sea. Mr. Nightingale says he was never so much deceived before, when we purchased the vessel she lay in the mud with her hold full of ice. What part of her we could see was exceeding good, and Mr. Nightingale being acquainted with her before supposed there to be no Danger in purchasing her; and never found out that her Timber was rotten till she was hove out

to grave.

He however thinks he can retail her out for as much as she cost us, as she has 2 good Cables and her other rigging very good. Colonel Nightingale, John Brown and myself have purchased a snow of about 160 Tons, well built, an excellent sailer, and if you choose you may have a part in her on good terms, to proceed on the same voyage. You will inform me what you will do within a day or two; otherwise I shall very likely dispose of her. I am Sir your very Humble Servant,

RICHARD MAtthewson

N. B. The Snow as she now is Cost 2500£.


If Mr. Paca, Mr. Ellery and Mr. Henry can attend a Court of Appeals this Even at seven oclock, parties are desirous of being heard, and the Court will meet accordingly. But it

1 of the Continental Congress, for hearing prize causes. It probably relates to the petition of Aaron Lopez.

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