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Mrs. H. and With best respects to Mrs. Belknap, I



Yours of 5th inst. is answered above.

family are well. am, dear sir,


BOSTON, February 19, 1791.

MY DEAR SIR,-Your favour of the 14 January is come to hand; and though I have written you one letter since you sent me that, yet I think I cannot be too explicit upon the subject of my paper, especially as you say in yours, "If you wish to have it bespoke, let me know, and it shall be done." I do wish it, and not only so, but depend upon it. If it can be had as soon as April, or sooner, in any small quantity, please to send what you can, and let the rest be engaged to be delivered as soon as it can be made. I can get no such paper here as I have promised in my proposal, any sooner than I can have it from Philadelphia, and must give 1s. in a rheam more, besides. You mention 30 dollars paid you by Mr. Wingate. I desired Dr. Rush and Mr. Ames to put what they might collect into your hands. I gave a subscription paper to Thomas Anthony (the son of that Anthony who is, or was lately, partner to Hewes). If you should see him, I will thank you for asking him whether he has done any thing for me; and though I told him to send any money which he might collect to Mr. Miller of this town, yet, if he gives it to you, it will be as well. If he should think a line from me necessary, I will add one to the end of this paper. As you are in the speculating way, perhaps you may be able to make some small gain of this advance money before it will be wanted for the paper. This I leave entirely to your judgment. I wish you much success in your new business. It would please

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me and yourself better if it would admit of some attention to matters of science; but we must conform to our circumstances, and endure trials. Moral improvement is not inconsistent with a close attention to business. hope the time will come when you will be able to devote some time also to scientific pursuits, that the world may not lose the benefit of your former labours in this way.


We have now formed our Society; and it is dubbed, not the Antiquarian, but the "Historical Society." * It consists at present of only 8, and is limited to 25.† We intend to be an active, not a passive, literary body; not to lie waiting, like a bed of oysters, for the tide (of communication) to flow in upon us, but to seek and find, to preserve and communicate literary intelligence, especially in the historical way. We are not, however, quite ripe for action. Will it suit you to be a corresponding member? If you say yes, I will propose you. ‡


My family is at present well, and we all send our love. Sister Morse was here a-visiting last Monday. She was in good spirits. Adieu.

Yours affectionately,


My kind regards to Dr. Clarkson's family. Can you tell whether William Spotswood is in Philadelphia, or where he is?

P. S. You have not told me whether you have advertised my proposals, nor to whom you have given the other papers which I enclosed to you.

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* See note on p. 231.—EDS.

† But eight only were present when the Society was instituted, Jan. 24, 1791; but two who were absent were considered as present and associating. See Soc. Proceedings for July, 1858, p. 110. In the Constitution of the Society, adopted at its first meeting, the number of Resident Members is limited to thirty, and the number of Corresponding Members is also limited to thirty. — EDS.

See p. 297, note. - EDS.


PHILADELPHIA, March 1, 1791.

MY DEAR SIR, —I pity your patience, for I fear it has had a severe trial. Mine has sympathized with it; for, after numerous repeated and fruitless attempts to procure you paper, I was reduced almost to despair. At length I tried to find the maker of what you had before, and succeeded.

I wrote to him, and he has just been with me. He asks 3 dollars per rheam, which I think is high. He says he had 21s. for the 1st volume, and that the increased demand for paper has raised the price of rags, so that he cannot afford it so low now as he did then. I got him to agree to supply me at 22s., and engaged 65 rheams, which he is to deliver in six weeks, but will let me have a part sooner, and I have become bound to pay him the money as the paper is delivered. Thirty and a half dollars I received from Mr. Wingate. The rest I must depend on you for. Mr. Ames will probably pay me something. I engaged only 65 rheams, because I did not know how the price would suit you; but, if you choose to have as much more, it can be made hereafter.

My collection is likely to go to press at last. Proposals are published, and I feel a little flattered by their reception. If you feel the cacoethes scribendi, after they have made their public appearance with you, perhaps a little puff in the newspaper or Magazine, or both, about the utility and importance of the collection, &c., &c., may help it along.

I have had very sore eyes for some time past, and writing this letter has almost blinded me. Jonas joins me in respects for Mrs. B., he says, "and the young ladies." I am, dear sir,

Your friend,


P. S. Neither the Horizontal Mill, nor Jenkins's plan of teaching writing, is new. I saw both above 20 years ago.


BOSTON, March 18, 1791.

MY DEAR SIR, Your favour of 1st inst. came to hand yesterday, and I thank you for your kindness and pains in endeavouring to procure me paper. Though the price is 28. your currency more than I was led to expect from your letter to Mr. Morse, yet, as it cannot be had for less, I am content. I could have had paper made here for 17s. our currency, which, it was said, would be as good as that on which my 1st Volume was printed; but I could not be certain of that. Now I can say it is. made by the same man, and I shall feel a satisfaction in being able to comply with my engagement in the proposal.

Mr. Wingate was here yesterday. He says Mr. Ames left Philadelphia before him. I am sorry he did not call on you, but I shall see him here. I shall procure you a bill for 150 dollars as soon as possible, which, with what you have in hand, and what you will probably receive at Philadelphia, will pay for the paper you have engaged. Dr. Rush writes that he left his subscription paper with Thomas Dobson. Mr Thomas also sent him one. If he has received any cash by way of advance, the enclosed order will, I suppose, be a sufficient authority for him to pay it to you. Thomas sent another to Pritchard. You shall also have an order on him. If you think they have collected as many subscriptions as there is reason to expect, please to desire them to return the papers to Mr. Thomas, at Worcester: if not, let them keep them longer. I must have a return of names, because I think to print them in the 3d volume.

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As it is necessary that both volumes should be printed on the same kind of paper, you will be so good as to engage 65 rheams more, to be made as soon as possible. I will take care to supply you with money as fast as I can, that you may not be in advance for me, nor in debt on my account. The Assembly of New Hampshire, at their late session, made me a grant of £50, as an encouragement to my work.* I expect to go to Exeter in about a fortnight or three weeks, to finish my compilation. I shall then probably receive the money. As I may be absent at the time of the arrival of the first parcel of paper, please to direct it to the care of Messrs. James and Thomas Lamb, merchants in State Street.

I am very glad to find that you have at last ventured on the printing of your collection. It will be voluminous; and the price, though reasonable enough considering the quantity of matter, will be rather above the reach of such persons as commonly subscribe for new books. I shall give one of the papers to a young man in this town, who is an enthusiast for antiquity, and has procured more subscriptions for me than any other person: the other I shall keep. The puff shall be attended to. Yesterday began drawing the State Lottery. The mania is coming to a crisis. I expect to see many wry faces before it is over. Mrs. Belknap joins in the kindest regards to Mrs. Hazard and yourself. I am, dear sir,

Your obliged friend and servant,


Our compliments, not excepting the young ladies, to Jonas.

Brother Morse had a very ill turn last Sabbath, and could not preach in the P.M. I have not heard from him since Monday.

* See N. H. Hist. Soc. Coll., I. p. 286. — Eds.

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