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done will contribute to his advancement. He is a young lawyer, and a clerk to the House of Representatives.
A gentleman, who has lately arrived from France, says that the commotions there are very serious; that their men of intelligence have, ever since the part they took in our affairs, been looking into their own rights and the principles of their Constitution, and are determined to have things put on their ancient footing. Power and privilege will probably be at handycuffs again. So it was in the days of Nimrod, and so it has been ever since.
I hear the Monarch (not of France) intends to honour this town with a visit. I had much rather see Mr. Morse, and hope he is by this time recovered of his ill turn. Your mother, considering her age, I suspect is going to leave you. I wish her, from my heart, an easy passage through the dark valley, and an open entrance to the regions of light and blessedness.
Sunday evening, August 3.
I have this day been at Roxbury old church; and, in the interval of service, have been looking over the ancient church records, written by Weld, Danforth, and Eliot. Some things there are very curious, and some which corroborate an idea which I have long had, and which I have heard you express, concerning the treatment which captive Indians met with from our otherwise good forefathers. Old father Eliot appears as an honest man, and expresses a parental affection for the unhappy Indians, and would have saved the life of one in particular, if he could; but the then Governour was inexorable. Humanum est errare!
Adieu, my friend. Mrs. B. joins in most affectionate salutations.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, August 7, 1788.
MY DEAR SIR,It was "a mercy that the New York Convention did not hold their session before that of your State and Virginia;" and, indeed, all things respecting the new Constitution have been mercifully ordered so far. From the evident interposition of Heaven in its favour, I please myself with the idea that it will answer the purposes intended.
No Cutler yet! Where does the man stay? I want much to see him, and have a long conversation with him.
The Monarch's opinion about Soto's expedition seems to be one of his hobby-horses, and a very favourite one, too. Captain Hutchins tells me the herds of buffaloes are found as far southward as " down to the Bay of Mexico." I have his map, and pamphlet containing a description of Florida, but cannot send them to you, as the former, being large, would be ruined by the transportation, and the latter forms part of a thick 8vo volume. Hutchins says the fortifications are found up the Mississippi, Monongahela, James River, Potowmack, and Delaware; and his opinion is that they were all made by the same per
My good mother still languishes, and from appearances will leave us soon. Death will not find her unprepared
to meet him.
Enclosed is a letter from Mr. Morse, which should have gone by last post, but I could not write then. Bernard Romans published a chart of the coast of Florida, and the 1st Vol. (12mo) of the History. I esteemed both catchpenny performances, and, from a personal acquaintance with the man, had not confidence enough in his information to think his History worth reading. I have it; and, you choose to read it, I will send it.
Congress have been a week debating about the place for the new Congress to meet at. Philadelphia was proposed, and lost it; Lancaster (in Pennsylvania) too. Baltimore carried it, but lost it on reconsideration. York was inserted in the blank, having 7 States in its favour. To-day Rhode Island refuses to vote on the whole ordinance, and all is undone again for the present. I often meet with proofs of Solomon's wisdom!
Love to Mrs. B. and yourself from Mrs. H. and your friend, EBEN. HAZARD.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, August 21, 1788.
MY DEAR SIR,I thank you and Mrs. Belknap for your anxiety on my account. The titles were nearly enough alike to occasion an error in an inattentive reader. But, though I have hitherto escaped, death has made a breach in my family by removing my good mother from us. She died last Friday night, having set us a bright example of both faith and patience.
Mr. Morse is at Elizabethtown, whither I sent the letter for him. His time with us has expired.
The report of the rejection of the new Constitution by North Carolina is not confirmed, and a gentleman who left Wilmington the 1st inst. says it cannot be true. He saw letters from members of the Convention at Hillsborough, dated but three days before, which informed that they had gone through the business of the contested elections, and just entered on the Constitution, which was to [be] debated by paragraphs.
My little girl is very sick, and Mrs. Hazard is not well. Close confinement and application to business have impaired my health, and induced a degree of debility to
which I have been hitherto a stranger. Mrs. H. joins in love to Mrs. B. and yourself with, dear sir, Your real friend,
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, August 26, 1788.
MY DEAR SIR,-I see in the Philadelphia papers a letter about the 3 negroes, which I know to be yours, from its being almost in totidem verbis with one to myself. Whether the "African dealers, distillers," &c. (who, I suppose, will see it soon in the Boston papers), will thank the "clergyman upon whom Prince Hall waited, who petitioned the Court," for his interference, is doubtful. I did not think it prudent to publish it here, least you might be rendered obnoxious to some folks in Boston by it. I am much pleased with Minot's performance. There is a degree of impartiality and independence of spirit in it, which does him honour. If you took extracts from the church records about the treatment of captive Indians, I wish you would lend them to me, for I want to be satisfied upon that subject. The forefathers of New England had their failings, as well as other men; but we have no right to censure them. I wish we could leave as many proofs on record, for posterity, of our prudence, our patriotism, and our piety, as they have.
I do not know all the members of the Philological Society, though I have understood that they are not numerous. The Monarch reigns supreme, and some of his subjects (I am told) have had only an English elucation. How they will succeed in establishing a "Federal Language," time must determine.
The Columbian must be obliged to you for your exertions. If it lives, I think it will owe its life to you.
Carey was here a day or two ago. He told me you had got the paper for him. He deserves encouragement. My old acquaintance, and your new one, has got to be a regular correspondent; and, from an hint he has dropped to me, I suspect he intends to continue it. This I have no objection against, but I do not like my instrumentality in the business. Though I am not sensible that it is wrong, yet I do not feel altogether as if it was right. You understand me.
Mrs. Hazard and my daughter are better, though not yet well. The former unites her best wishes for yourself and Mrs. Belknap with those of
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, September 2, 1788.
MY DEAR SIR, -Your remarks on Soto's expedition came safe to hand. Captain Hutchins has gone to the Westward, so that I could not take his opinion of them; but I read them to Colonel Morgan, who is nearly as well acquainted with that country as Captain Hutchins, and was much pleased with them. He objected against: "And the proper season for hunting them [buffaloes] is in November and December, the very months in which Soto marched from Mavilla northward." He says there is no particular season that can, with propriety, be called the proper season for hunting them, as they are hunted at all seasons, when necessity calls for it. He says that, when he was down there (before the war), if they wanted the buffaloes for their tallow, they hunted them in summer; if for their flesh, in winter; and added that, if the buffaloes were to be killed when Soto arrived there, their skins would not do for coverlets, not being dressed; and that to dress them as the Indians do requires con