« AnteriorContinuar »
Sam along with me, stay about a week, and then bring all home. Then for a jaunt to Philadelphia. With love to Mrs. Belknap, I am, dear sir,
Your affectionate Eben. Hazard.
P. S. You will have learned, from the newspapers, what was done with the Creek Indians. The treaty made with them seems to me to contain the most rational plan for civilizing and consequently Christianizing them; and I think it an important step towards the fulfilment of Scripture prophecy.
We have lately had a mendicant clergyman here from Virginia, of the name of Blagrove, who has been soliciting charity by singing, and succeeded. He sung two solo anthems one Sunday, in Trinity Church, and a collection was made for him. Notice had been given in the newspapers that he was to sing, and that a collection was to be made "for a benevolent purpose." Great numbers of people attended, and the sum raised was large. I am told that between the collection, private subscriptions, and a donation from St. George's Society, his Reverence received above £300 in this city. He collected something handsome in Philadelphia, too. What has become of the Virginia spirit, that a clergyman of the Ancient Establishment is reduced to the necessity of begging in other States for money to support his family and pay his debts? You may publish this about the Parson, if you please.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Boston, August 27, 1790.
My Dear Sir, — I am very sorry to find, by your last, that you have been disappointed of an office, which I am sure you would have filled with honour and advantage, botli to the public and yourself. What can be the reason
of the neglect with which a faithful officer is treated? But I trust all these things will work together for good. They certainly are meant so by him who superintends the universe, and orders all things wisely. I trust you will reap benefit from your misfortunes, and find these light afflictions working out for you a preparation to a nobler reward than any which this world can bestow.
Respecting your History of the United Colonies, I am unable, at present, to form any opinion whether it would be an object of any consequence to you to publish it. N. W. has undertaken to print Governour Winthrop's Journal, and has advertised that it will be ready next Monday. We shall see how it takes with the public, and whether it excites an enquiry for other portions of American antiquity. If it should, I think the work in your hands would be an excellent sequel to it.
When Mr. Pintard was here, he strongly urged the forming a Society of American Antiquarians. Several other gentn have occasionally spoken to me on the same subject. Yesterday 1 was in company where it was again mentioned, and it was wished that a beginning could be made. This morning I have written something, and communicated it to the gentn- who spoke of it yesterday.# How it will issue, time must determine. If it should come to any thing, you shall hear farther. Say nothing of it to Mr. Morse at present, nor to any other person.
I send you a few specimens of the Sandwich Island cloth, fish-hooks, and cordage, made of the fibres of the cocoa-shell. They came in the Columbia. A large collection of the productions of those Islands of the N.W. coast and of China have lately been presented to the Museum, principally by my procuring.
* The paper here referred to is preserved among Dr. Belknap's MSS., in his own handwriting, and is labelled "Plan for an Antiquarian Society, August, 1790." A heliotype copy of it is here given. It was printed in the "Proceedings" forJuly, 1858. The result of these conferences was the establishment of the Massachusetts Historical Society, which was instituted at a meeting held at the house of William Tudor, Jan. 24, 1791. See letter of Feb. 19, 1791. — Eds.
Our worthy Mr. Bowdoin lies dangerously ill of a putrid fever and dysentery. The physicians yesterday entertained some hopes of him. I pray God he may recover.
Mrs. B. joins with me in cordial salutations to yourself, Mrs. Hazard, and the children; and I am, dear sir,
Your very affectionate friend, Jere. Belknap.
P. S. The sermons of Mr. Parsons are posthumous. I have seen Mycall, who printed them. He says they are very scarce, and cannot be had under 5 dollars. This I think is an unreasonable price for two 8vo volumes.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Boston, September 14, 1790.
My Dear Sir, — If your positive neighbour, the Connecticut man, is a person in whom you can repose confidence, and you think he will be gratified by having his mistake corrected, you have my liberty to do it. I shall do nothing with that tale at present; but by and bye, when my son Joseph shall come to be a printer, I may possibly finish the work, and let him print it. I have read Bloomsgrove. It is a piece of patchwork, as all the productions of that genius are. He is indebted much to Lord Kaimes, and much to other writers. It is, however, as good as can be expected from a man who never had any children to try his theory upon. Bachelors' wives and old maids' children, you know, are always the best educated and best behaved of any in the world. There seems to be a deal said, in the puffing way, about this performance. I join with you in reprobating the new div-is-ions of words, as well as the new mode of spelling recommended and exemplified in the fugitiv Essays, ov No-ur Websttir eskwier junier, critick and coxcomb general of the United States. We are, however, indebted to him for Winthrop's Journal, and I most sincerely wish that it may be followed by the Records of the United Colonyes. I think it probable that some considerable number of subscriptions may be obtained here; and, if you will print proposals, and send me a parcel, I will interest as many friends in the matter as I possibly can, besides making exertions myself.
The extract relative to the mendicant parson has been printed in the Centinel, with some small alteration, — I hope not for the worse.
What if you should get Thomas to print the Records? He has a partner and a press in this town, within a few doors of my house; and, if the book was printed here, I could oversee the work, and take care that it shall not be so incorrect as Winthrop's Journal, which is, I think, the worst executed, except one, that ever I saw. N. W. is inexcusable for this, and ought to be ashamed. Thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? is strictly applicable to him.
No more as yet about the Antiquarian Society. The gentn who seemed so zealous, as I wrote you, has been ever since overwhelmed with business in the Supreme Court; and I have not once seen him, for I seldom attend courts of any kind.
Yesterday I was consulted on forming a set of inscriptions for a historical pillar, which is erecting on Beacon Hill. Some of the most striking events of the Revolution will be inscribed, beginning with the Stamp Act and ending with the Funding Act. These comprehend a period of 25 years. The one may be considered as the beginning, and the other as the conclusion, of the American Revolution. The pillar is to be 60 feet high; over its capital, the American eagle, which is to perform the office of a weather-cock. The arrows are to serve for