« AnteriorContinuar »
paper, printing, and binding, and the profits on the sales to be mutually divided, each of us to make the necessary exertions to promote its circulation, the expences to be paid for out of the first sales." Before I finally close with his proposal, I wish to know whether there is any prospect of an Act of Congress respecting literary property. He desires me to appoint some person in Philadelphia to correct the press. Do you know of anybody equal to the business, or that will attend to it, and whom I could trust with the secret, for a secret it must be that I am the author, if it can be? Tell me, also, what you think of the matter, as I have stated it to you and to Mr. Joy; and tell me, also, whether it is your opinion that such a thing might have any sale in France. I have an acquaintance with the French Consul here, and could safely trust him with it, and by his interest get it translated and introduced into that kingdom. You are my privy councillor, and I depend much on your judg
I have seen in the papers some account of Captain Hutchins, lately deceased; and, from what is there said, I think he ought to be noticed in the American Biography. Pray can you give me any farther account of him, or direct me where any thing may be found?
No letters from you by this evening's post. Our love to Mrs. Hazard. Are glad to hear, by your last, of her return from Shrewsbury. We expect the bridegroom and bride the latter end of next week. Mr. Carey says they are to quarter with him till a house be provided.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, June 12, 1789.
MY DEAR SIR, —I had a terrible night last night, and, after being in bed about an hour, was forced to get up and sit in the easy-chair, then take an anodyne, then go to bed again; and, after a great deal of tumbling and tossing, I at length got to sleep, and lay till near noon to-day. I am now tolerably free from pain; and, having sent to the post-office, have, in consequence, had a tête-àtête with you. I am not acquainted with Mr. Joy, but am told he is to sail next Sabbath for England. I will contrive to get your letter to him in season. As far as the Foresters have been published, I think Spotswood's offer is fair, because so far he has given you a compensation; and indeed, I think, has purchased the copyright. What is yet unpublished is in a different situation, being wholly yours; and I think you should have a compensation for admitting him to a right in it, which I do not conceive the bare advance of money for printing, &c., to be, because you are to repay half the sum advanced. It is, in fact, only lending you a sum for a short time, upon good security. Were he to be at the expence of the 1st edition, and give you the half of it for his share of the copyright of the whole book, it would more nearly meet my ideas of a compensation for you. On the other hand, he may plead that the whole copyright of that part of the Foresters which has been published is his, he having purchased it, and paid you your full price for it. This I take to be strictly true; and that, in good conscience, you ought not to use any part of it without his consent, though there is no statute for securing it to him. Suppose, then, the matter should be put upon this footing: that you should continue and compleat the work, and that you should admit him to half the copyright of a quantity of the book
(yet to be published), equal to what is already published, as a compensation for your being admitted to half of his copyright; thus far the work to be printed on the terms he proposes, the remainder to be printed at his sole expence, and one half the edition of this remainder (not the profits of it) to be yours, in consideration of his owning half the copyright of the remainder. You will then be equally concerned in the whole, and he ought to derive equal advantages with you from sale of copyright in Europe. If you see any thing like "Egri Somnia" in all this, excuse it as the reverie of a gouty man. Talk with your brother Morse about copyright. He has revolved the subject thoroughly in his mind, and thinks critically upon it. You can state the case so as to keep the Foresters out of sight. I have no doubt there will be an Act of Congress for securing literary property. The business has been in the hands of a committee some time. Why cannot Spotswood correct the press himself? If not, cannot he get Dallas to do it? It is very probable that he is in the secret. It is properly the duty of the printer to have the press corrected, for he should deliver his work done in a masterly way. I do not think you have stated the matter to Mr. Joy so clearly as you intended, as you only desire him to enquire if either of the London booksellers will "accept the exclusive privilege of printing your History." I apprehend you mean to have some quid pro quo. It is probable a number of the Foresters would sell in France. But why do you propose publishing them in the form of letters? Will not their present form be equally advantageous?
I suppose Mr. Morse will be with you to-morrow night; i.e., at Charlestown. If you see him, please to let him know you have heard from me, and all are well except myself. We all send love to Mrs. Belknap, Mr. and Mrs. Morse. I am, my dear sir,
Lest Mr. Joy should misunderstand you, and make an unintended bargain for you, I have written him a note, intimating that you expect an allowance for the exclusive privilege of printing the History, -not to be interested in the editions, but a sum of money at once.
Captain Hutchins was worthy of a place in the American Biography, a man of a good character, of polite manners, of great integrity, who made a regular profession of religion. He joined Dr. Rodgers's church some time ago. There is a gentleman in the town who, I believe, knows his whole history, from whom I will endeavor to get information.
I can tell you one anecdote of him. The Ohio Company purchased their tract on condition of paying 500,000 dollars at the time of signing the contract, and the remaining 500,000 upon a return of the survey being made. The payments were to be made in certificates, which, you know, bear an interest of 6 per cent. Of course the Ohio Company draw an interest of 6 per cent on 500,000 dollars till the return of survey is made. Captain Hutchins attended to this, and intimated it to Congress, as a reason why he should be sent, without delay, to make that survey. I mention this as a proof of fidelity in office. He went to do the business, and died before it was accomplished.
I sent your letter to Mr. Joy, who returned, for answer, that he would pay particular attention to it. Last night I received yours, enclosing a continuation of Penn's Life, which shall be sent to Trenchard. You will find some original letters from Penn in the last Museum. My feet are pretty easy to-day. The Columbian Magazine for May was not published last Wednesday.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Boston, June 14, 1789.
DEAR SIR,-Yesterday P.M. Mr. Morse arrived at Charlestown, of which I presume you will have particular information from his own hand. I was to have preached there this forenoon, if he had not come; but a message was sent to inform me yesterday before night.
I wish I was within speaking distance of you, wrapped in your flannel. Your gout is not of the worst kind, as I judge from the pleasant manner in which you inform me of it. There is one advantage attending it; and that is the pleasure of recovery. For this, I presume, you are a candidate; and, to comfort you farther, you will recollect that all happiness is comparative. You will experience this by and bye. Therefore, keep a good heart, my friend. Did you ever try the beefsteak poultice? I have found relief from it in a disorder of a similar kind. If my sermon has contributed to your entertainment, and alleviated one pang, I am so far happy. Nothing is a greater pleasure to me than to have the approbation of the wise and good.
I dined yesterday in company with Lieutenant-Governour A.;* and he talked about "personal and domestic rights," as in his late public speech. The liberty of the press is so valuable in his view, that he had rather be abused in print than that liberty should be abridged. Security of person and property, and trial by jury, were also mentioned as necessary to be considered. I hope that Congress will say something to make such people easy, whether it be called amendment, addition, or explanation. Mrs. B. begs her sympathetic regards to her gouty friend, and we join in love to you both.
Our Church have this day chosen delegates to attend
* Samuel Adams. — EDS.