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Mr. Wingate delivered me yours of 13th ult., with the subscription lists. I think it will be best not to deliver the bound and gilt books before the 3 volumes are finished, because of the difficulty of binding exactly alike at distant periods.

Excuse me if I am not a good correspondent; for, between my common business, my big book, which is now advanced to signature Pp., and preparations for building in the spring, I am absolutely obrutus negotiis.

I hope this will find your daughter quite recovered, and Mrs. Belknap and family in health. Love to them all from Mrs. H. and Your friend,



PHILADELPHIA, November 30, 1791.

DEAR SIR, — I have yours of the 28th ult. and 5th inst. ; and I suppose you have, ere now, received mine informing you that I had settled the matter with the paper-maker. The Ceres is near sailing, and will bring you the paper in two boxes, agreeably to the enclosed receipt. This, I think, completes your order. The carpenter has not informed me the price of the boxes; but I will endeavour to see him, and let you know how your account stands. The six half Joes sent by Mrs. V. P. are received.

Only two subscribers (Mr. Vaughan and Mr. Madison) have called for their books yet. I have no person by whom I can send them to them, but have though s of employing the penny-post, who will probably carry them and receive the money for a trifling consideration.

Mr. Fenno intimated to me that he should charge nothing for the advertisement. I would put the books into Dobson's hands; but I am afraid of affronting Robert, which would be bad policy at present, and Robert is not now able to push a sale, as he could formerly. This embar

rasses me.

Ishmael might do for a name for the son of the bondwoman, if we could avoid concatenations of ideas; but those who know Ishmael's story would recollect that he could say, “I have Abram to my father," and that this claim was originally founded in Sarai's consent; and perhaps they would begin to whistle (whew) directly, as Uncle Toby did, on another occasion. The lad's name is William; and he and his mother have gone, not into the wilderness, but to New York, where her father and mother

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Cornelia's husband is in town, and informs us that she is well. An increase is expected there pretty soon. Susan has returned to Shrewsbury.

Mr. Thayer called upon me at my office with your letter; but his stay in town was so short that he could not favour me with his company at my house. He encouraged me to expect him on his return.

I am much pleased with the plan of the “ Apollo," and heartily wish it success. Please to have my name entered in the list of subscribers. I suspect there will not be many here. People are tired with subscriptions; but when the work is published, so that some judgment can be formed of its merit, it is probable that some will take it. The proposals have hung up conspicuously in our office ever since they first came to hand, and we have not a single subscriber since.

Did you receive my letter enclosing some communications for Mr. Walcutt, the directory, &c. ?

I hope your next will inform me that Sally has got well. My little folks (the two youngest) have been long disordered. They had the chicken-pox, which left impurities in their blood, that have since appeared in tumours, &c. Little Master Erskine (who is two years old this day) has insisted upon being almost constantly in his mother's or Sally's lap, and has worried them completely. However, he is now getting better; and I hope the cold weather, when it comes, will set all to rights.

My first volume goes on very well. I expect it will make its public appearance in January. I have lately met with the first laws of Virginia, a part of one of which is : “ Nor shall any one aforesaid (man or woman, launderer or launderesse) within lesse than a quarter of one mile from the Pallizadoes dare to do the necessities of nature, since by these unmanly, slothfull, and loathsome immodesties, the whole fort may bee choaked and poisoned with ill aires, and so corrupt (as in all reason cannot but much infect the same); and this they shall take notice of and auoid, upon paine of whipping and further punishment, as shall be thoughte meete by the censure of a martiall court.” A quarter of a mile, for a man who is hard pushed ! It is a serious piece of business.

December 1.

I cannot see the carpenter yet. With love to Mrs. Belknap, I am Your affectionate



Boston, December 19, 1791.

MY DEAR SIR, - Your favour of November 30th came to hand last evening, enclosing Chessman's receipt. The paper arrived safe last week. The enclosures for Fleet came in season, and were of use; and he says (i.e., Tom Fleet) that he intends to send you a Register. I approve of your sending the books by the penny-post. It is the surest way of doing the business. Whatever you receive for them, and whatever balance is in your hands on the paper account, be so good as to pay to Robert. I hope when the 3d volume is out, that I shall be done with him. Permit me to express my very grateful acknowledgments to you for your very friendly attention to my affairs. I wish you would give me some commission to execute for you here. When your 1st volume comes out, send the copies to me, and I will deliver them and collect

the money.

Our “ Apollo ” will come forth on the 1st Friday in January.* We intend to begin with publishing a collection of original letters and papers relative to the expedition to Cape Breton in 1745, among which Shirley's orders to Pepperell will appear. Your name is added to the subscription. I received a letter the other day from Mr. Randolph, Attorney General of the United States, in which he says: “I cannot learn that any person here is authorized to receive subscriptions for the "American

* The Historical Society, as we have said, was instituted Jan. 24, 1791. Its MS. materials beginning to accumulate, the members, in the autumn of that year, encouraged the publication of a periodical contemplated by two young men (Alexander Young, the father of the late Rev. Alexander Young, D.1)., and Joseph Belknap, Dr. Belknap's oldest son, formerly apprenticed with Aitken, of Philadelphia), with a view to its being made the vehicle of the Society's publications. Accordingly, the “ American Apollo" made its appearance in January, 1792, in an octavo form, and continued to be issued weekly till September of that year. Each number contained from eight to twelve pages, besides the publications of the Historical Society, which were stitched into the same covers, making from four to eight pages additional. The first number of the “ Apollo" was issued on Friday, Jan. 6, 1792; and the last, in the octavo form, Friday, September 28, of the same year: making thirty-nine numbers in all. In these thirty-nine numbers there were issued two hundred and eight pages of the first volume of the Society's Collections. The “ Apollo was then continued in a newspaper form; and the remainder of the volume of Collections, eighty pages, was issued in four parts or numbers, for the months of September, October, November, and December, stitched in blue covers. Vols. II. and III. of the Collections were issued in like manner, that is, in twelve monthly numbers each, in 1793 and 1794, generally in blue covers, and from the same press, that of "Belknap and Hall;" the last six numbers of Vol. III. bearing the imprint of Joseph Belknap, "printer to the Historical Society." (The firm of

Belknap and Young" was dissolved May 16, 1792; and, soon afterwards, that of

Belknap and Hall” was formed, and continued till its dissolution, July 3, 1794.) Vols. IV. and V. of the Collections were published in 1795 and 1798, in quarterly parts or numbers, and printed by Samuel Hall, No. 53 Cornhill, Boston. Vol. V. was the last printed in numbers.

A sketch of the formation of the Historical Society, and a minute bibliographical account of its earliest publications, was contributed by the writer to the “Cambridge Chronicle" for June 26, 1852. EDS.


Apollo;' otherwise, I should pay the sum required. At any rate, I beg to be considered as one of the subscribers.”

If I mistake not, I asked you to appoint some person for this purpose. If no person is yet appointed, suppose you

should ask Fenno. I have not seen his advertisement; but I consider myself as much obliged by his goodness, and I beg you to inform him of it.

My 3d volume is advanced to letter R. I hope it will be out by February. I have an index to make for the whole, a jobb which I dread more than writing a whole volume.

I am in treaty with T. & A. for the “ Foresters," to be printed in a duodecimo.f What think you of į of the sheets, or the value thereof at the selling price, for every edition during the term allowed for proprietorship? No risk on my part, and only a liability to pay for half the paper of the first edition, if there be not enough sold to pay the expence


paper in two years ? I prefer having T. & A. for proprietors, for two reasons: First, they have extensive connections, and can push a sale. Secondly, there will probably be no suspicion who the author is, which would infallibly be the case if my son were to stand as proprietor; and I wish to remain concealed, if possible. I shall correct the parts already printed, divide them into letters, and continue the work.

I wish you joy on the acquisition of the Virginia Laws.

I hope none of the pallisaded inhabitants were troubled with the diarrhoea, or, if they were, that the law was executed in mercy. Had the legislative powers there been as wise as our forefathers, and adopted the Laws of Moses, they would have found a paddle provided in such cases. If you print these laws, and your other miscellanea curi

* Unhappily, the index to Dr. Belknap's “History of New Hampshire" was never prepared; at least, it was never printed. Eds. † Thomas and Andrews, of Boston, who printed the first edition of the “Forest

in a book form, in 1792. -Eds. .


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