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showers, as in April; a clear, cool afternoon, and now fine starlight.
Though I have made repeated inquiries, I cannot meet with the Report yet, but am far from being discouraged. I will try to get it by Cutler's return. The bookseller here has sent me 15 of your History bound, and 18 in boards, and 12 out of 13 (bound) are returned from Newhaven. The other was given, by your direction, to Dr. Stiles. How How many did you send here in all? I congratulate you on the recovery of your children from the measles. Our little boy is to be inoculated for the smallpox next week. I send you one of Clarkson's Essays on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, and one of his Impolicy of the Slave Trade.* Congress will probably put the $10 per head on negroes imported this
It does not appear to me to be possible for the postoffice to be made to produce so many thousand dollars as is stated in the public papers; and I think the new P. M. G. has fairly committed himself, as they say. The fact is, inter nos, that he knows nothing about the business, and I am told he does not take proper pains to be informed. A committee of Congress has reported a P. O. bill, and, if my information is right, without even consulting him about it. I have been applied to for my remarks on it. These things look oddly. Before the P. O. can produce what is supposed, our commerce must encrease vastly; for commerce is, and must be, its chief support. In short, the department can do nothing without it. We shall see what the nett produce will be at the year's end. Let Mrs. B. know she is affectionately remembered by Mrs. H. and Your friend, EBEN. HAZARD.
P. S. Our love to Mr. Morse and family, when you see them.
* The reader will readily recognize this author as the celebrated Thomas Clarkson, M.A., of England. - EDS.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
BOSTON, March 10, 1790.
DEAR SIR, — I had your letter by Mr. Morse, and am glad to hear that his affair is compromised, and that he has lost no more money. What with his peregrinations, vexations, leaky trunks, and incidental expences, I think he has paid sufficient earnest for his future gains.
Inclosed you have a copy of a circular letter which I am sending all about New Hampshire to collect all the gleanings of information which can be had; for, while any scene is unexplored or unattempted, I shall not think my business done. There is one, however, which is to me inaccessible; and that is the Plantation Office, in England. I must do without searching that. Mrs. B. unites with me in love to you and yours.
I am your sincere friend
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
BOSTON, 23d March, 1790.
MY DEAR SIR, -Your last was extremely acceptable, as it enabled me to pay a debt; viz., to return Clarkson's Essay to Colonel Waters, from whom I borrowed it, to give to a person who is engaged in the Guinea trade, and, to evade our laws, is gone to France, there to fit out his ship for the detested business. I am afraid the book will not have any good effect on him; but, if it should serve only to gall his conscience a little, it may some time or other bring him to serious recollection.
I thank you, dear sir, for enabling me to do this. We have indeed had a strange winter; and this month has presented all sorts of weather, more snow than all the
THE BELKNAP PAPERS.
preceeding winter. Last Sabbath was a summer day; yesterday and to-day, snow.
You could scarcely imagine what a rage we have here for lotteries. 8,000 tickets sold in four days, in the Marblehead lottery, the scheme calculated on the plan of a Dutch lottery. I wonder Secretary Hamilton does not hit upon a lottery. It would be more popular than laying a duty on salt, which, if he does, will greatly injure our fisheries.
I think 48 books were sent to your care. Of those sent to New Haven, Mr. Morse tells me, none were sold. You speak of 45 returned to you. One was given to Yale College; therefore, two only have been sold in New York. Certainly this is a "day of small things." I am going on (festina lente) with the 2d volume. So much has been said to me about writing it, that I shall be much disappointed if the sale of it does not help off the remaining half of the 1st volume. A second disappointment would almost, or quite, unnerve me.
Jere. Libbey was here, and spent a day or two with us last week, and it was quite refreshing to see him. I shewed him the last paragraph of your letter, about his new master; and I found that he had conceived the same idea of him, as a person inattentive to business. He spoke of you in terms of great affection and respect. I scarcely know a worthier character than he is.
I hear that our friend the DOCTOR is likely to be detained a great while at New York. Is there any probability of his succeeding in his application for an abatement in the price of Ohio lands, and in his plan for a university? I have not seen Mr. Morse since last Thursday. He was well then, but said his wife was poorly. I shall probably see them to-morrow; as I expect to go to Cambridge. If any thing material should occur, I will write again soon. This will go by Mr. Appleton, Loan Officer for this State, who is, I suppose, going to settle
his accounts. Mrs. B. remembers you kindly, and desires her love to Mrs. Hazard, as does
P. S. Can you pick up any papers or anecdotes of Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch Governour of New York? Pintard promised me something concerning him; but I have not, as yet, received any thing. He says that one of his posterity is yet living in New York, and I think of the same name.
You will soon see the Life and Character of Dr. Winthrop in the Museum. I have agreed with Carey that his printing my biographical communications shall not injure my right to them in future.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, 27 March, 1790.
DEAR SIR,- After many fruitless enquiries, and searches among my newspapers, &c., for the Report, I was directed to a Mr. Kelly, who has made Vermont business his study for many years. He informed me that the Report was never in this country, and is to be found (probably) nowhere but in the Plantation Office, in England. The order of the King in Council upon it you have in my thin Folio Volume.
In Chalmers's Political Annals you will find something about New Hampshire, from the "Plantation Office;" and this, I suspect, is all you will get from that source. I believe the 1st volume, only, is published yet. Mr. Morse has a copy of it. I have read it with pleasure, though I do not like his doctrine respecting the right of the aborigines to the country.
I have made some enquiry for Perrin's abridgment of Chambaud, but cannot find it yet. Shall enquire farther.
Mr. Jefferson has arrived, and accepts the appointment of Secretary of State.
Another attempt is making to bring my papers to light as an appendix to a Magazine. I don't know how it will succeed. If the persons who propose being concerned in the Magazine undertake it, I think they will publish a good one.
Did you ever see such a piece of work as Congress has made of the Quakers' Petition about slaves? They were thrown into a great ferment by it, and some very indecent expressions fell from some of the members. Many who are anxious for the honour and dignity of the National Government were extremely hurt by such deviations from the rules of propriety.
Our youngest child has got safely through the smallpox, and we are now all well. We unite in love to yourself and Mrs. Belknap.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
BOSTON, May 7, 1790.
MY DEAR SIR, Your last letter is dated the 27 March. I am sorry that the Report of the Lords of Trade cannot be had in this country. I suppose it might be had by a proper application in England; but I have not the means, and therefore must be content without it. I have seen Chalmers, and have a copy now in my hands.
Mr. V. P. Adams told me that Chalmers was provided for by the English Ministry, and would probably "drudge no more at Annals." He seems to have the patience, but not the candour, necessary for an historian.
Barnard has arrived, but has not brought my books. I thank you for your trouble in looking for Perrin's abridgment. Should you meet with Nugent's Pocket Dictionary