« AnteriorContinuar »
fied with his own opinion. I think he will either change his ground, or drop the contest. I
I am, dear sir.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Boston, August 25, 1789.
MY DEAR SIR, — Forgive my inadvertence in not sooner sending you the inclosed receipt. It ought to have gone immediately on my receiving Spotswood's, but I forgot it.
I have had a conversation with the gentleman whom I mentioned to you as having had a better view of the Charlestown battle in 1775 than Mr. T., who was on Malden side of Penny Ferry; but this gentleman was on a hill in Chelsea, and had a good perspective glass. Just as I expected, his ill opinion of G. as an historian makes him decline lending his name to support any thing that he has said, though I have no doubt that part of the story is rightly told; yet some other parts of it, and of the Lexington affair too, he says, are misrepresented. What G. has said about General Washington has offended many people, and this gentleman in particular; and, from this and other circumstances, I believe it will be no easy matter for G. to find any persons of character and consequence who will stand forth as his vouchers. He was not much beloved nor regarded while he was here, and the stories he has told of one and another in his book have helped to sink him in the general estimation, though now and then I find some who are rather inclined to speak favourably of him. I have not as yet had any conversation with T. since I received your letter; but I know what his opinion is of G. and his book. I know not how you will be able to communicate these ideas to him, but I must relate matters to you just as I find them, or I should not be faithful.
When will it suit you to make another such payment to Spotswood ? or will it do for me to send you our bankbills ? Adieu. Yours affectionately,
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, 27 August, 1789.
MY DEAR SIR, - I am glad that Spotswood has been so explicit, as it will remove every embarrassment. You have gone on very cleverly in your biographical plan so far, and I wish you to be able to compleat it. In order to assist you, I have been hunting through several chests of papers for the letters to and from Sir William Johnston, but cannot find them yet: shall look again soon.
If you have Smith's History of New York, I think it probable you will find some hints in it about some of the characters you mention. I have no acquaintance with the history of any of them.
Mr. P[intar]d is a lively, chearful man, who appears to me not to want understanding as much as he does solidity. I can hardly form a determinate character of him in my own mind, and yet in some respects I am disposed to think favourably of him too. I think him a singular mixture of heterogeneous particles.
If our friend Gordon did as you have heard, he did not take the most effectual way to become possessed of facts; but I am mistaken if I did not see very different accounts of the same transactions, received from different people, in his collection of materials. I know that his intention was to state facts truly. Dr. Ramsay, who is now in this city (wliose History of the Revolution is in the press at Philadelphia), told me the other day that Gordon's History contains a very valuable collection of authentic materials; and, had he met with it sooner,
would have saved hiin a vast deal of trouble. I was looking for your two letters, but one of the tribe of Levi has called on me, and interrupted me. I have left him with ma'am till I finish this letter. I am glad you are going on with your second volume of New Hampshire. Please to present my compliments to Colonel Waters, and thank him for the sermon.
I have found out who Mr. Tappan's pamphlets were for. Had that good gentleman attended to Solomon's advice, : “Leave off contention before it be meddled with,” (is not this a bull ?) perhaps he would have done better Love to Mrs. B. Adieu.
BELKNAP TO IIAZARD.
Boston, 30 September, 1789.
MY DEAR SIR, - I have conversed with Mr. Thacher since I wrote to you, and he assures me of the fact which he observed with his own eyes; viz., that the British troops retreated to their boats, and that the officers were busily engaged in getting them to march up. They had two repulses. He was on the Malden side of Penny Ferry, near the house marked in G.'s plan, above the floating batteries. The enemy landed on Morton's Point, and some of the boats came round the Point to a bite or cove which you may see in the plan, so as to be in view of the place where he stood; and these were the boats to which he saw some of them retreat.
Other boats remained on the side of the Point next to Boston. These were out of his view. He seems rather more candidly disposed than the other gentleman whoin I spake of in my last. The fact of their double repulse is so well known here that no person pretends to doubt it; but the circumstances of the wind shifting that day, and carrying the smoke another course, is said to be not true. It was S.W. the whole day, and cinders of the fire were carried over to Chelsea. The smoke, in fact, incommoded the
enemy, but not the entrenchment. Pintard has written me a letter, and sent me some books. I must correspond with him. He appears very friendly, and I hope I shall not be disappointed in him.
Brother Morse is gone to New Haven Commencement. His wife was well yesterday. This day five French menof-war have arrived. Our Supreme Court are busy in trying criminals, of which there is a great number unhanged.
Adieu. Love to Mrs. Hazard. When you find Sir W. J.'s letters, and mine about the White Hills, you will be so good as to send them. Your sincere friend,
P.S. I have just seen a letter from a gentleman in Connecticut, who says the salary of the door-keeper of Congress is equal to that of the Chief Justice of Connecticut. Great complaint of high salaries !
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, September 5, 1789. MY DEAR Sir, - I now lend you your letter of August 16, 1784, which is all I can find upon the subject of the White Mountains; and yet there certainly was another, for I recollect a draught of part of the country; but I do not know where to find it, for I have not had time to sort my papers since I have been in this city ; * nor can I find Sir William Johnson's Correspondence, though I have searched for it again. Indeed, I do not remember to have seen this since the peace; which, with my not being able to find it now, makes me fear it was lost flagrante bello.
* By Hazard's letter of October 29 it will be seen that he had found the second letter, and also the map. This last has been heliotyped for this volume. See note on p. 168. — Eds.
Mr. Pintard has mentioned to me his thoughts about an American Antiquarian Society. The idea pleases me much. We shall have the plan upon paper one of these days, and you will doubtless be made acquainted with it. Mr. P. has lately purchased a very large collection of pamphlets (in vols.) relating to the American Revolution. It was made by Dr. Chandler, of Elizabeth Town, who was in England all the war. It is valuable, as is Mr. P.'s library.
Congress have fixed on the eastern bank of the Susquehanna for the seat of their permanent residence. The southern members brought on the business, and the rest wished to postpone it; but this was not allowed. When they found they were like to be outvoted, and should not be able to carry Congress to the Potowmack, the Southern gentlemen wished to postpone the business; but the tables were turned upon them, and the others insisted upon finishing it now, which was done. Congress are to remain here till the Federal City is prepared for their reception.
Mrs. Breese, Miss Breese, and her two brothers, are here. The three last are going to Commencement at New Haven. The two young gentlemen will return from thence, but Miss Breese will go on to Charlestown, with Mr. Morse, who is expected to meet them at New Haven. She will probably spend the winter with her sister; and I think you will find her sensible and prudent.
Mrs. Hazard and family are well. Love to Mrs. Belknap from Your friend,