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should begin in earnest to put your materials into order, and propose to publish it by numbers? However, I would not give up the idea, at present, of going on as you have proposed, though " £1,500 is indeed a serious sum.
If Beeking will not let me have less than the first number of rheams, why then I must take them. They will come in play by and by; but you must get him to give me a little credit, for I feel almost exhausted. I have a press and cases, and a number of et ceteras to pay for, though I have no types. Eight hundred copies are contracted for. I am persuaded there are many, perhaps 200, of the 1st volume, either lost or fallen into such hands as will care nothing about the remaining volumes. I have no objection to receiving subscriptions without the advance; but, had I not asked for the dollar, I should not have been able to pay for the paper.
As I intend to print a list of subscribers, I beg you will return me the names of such few as you have.
Mrs. B. joins in best regards to you and yours, with, dear sir,
Your sincere and obliged friend and humble servant, JERE. BELKNAP.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
PHILADELPHIA, May 27, 1791.
MY DEAR SIR, -Your favour of 29th ultimo gave us great satisfaction, as it informed of an addition to our friend Morse's family and happiness, and that ma'am was, &c. The Judge and lady were at New York and received the news there.
The paper for Dobson's plates is made in this State, but comes high, and D. says is not fit for your purpose. Being too thick to fold in an 8vo, it will cut. He and I, upon reasoning on the case, judged it would be best to advise you to folio post, of a middling thickness, as the
best, and not very expensive. This you may get at Boston, and save expence of freight and risque.
From Jedediah's loading his first-born with names, I suspect his hopes of a numerous progeny are faint. Admitting this to be the fact, pray why may not Belknap and Hazard have been added to the young gentleman's nominal honours? If we choose it, we have a right to be affronted; for, as friends, we should have been thought of.
I have received 165 dollars by Mr. Codman. No more paper yet come to hand.
So you have had Dr. Witherspoon with you. He is going to give a new proof of the truth of Solomon's remark, that great men are not always wise, by marrying a widow of 27 with one child. I am told he was called off in the Seceder Church last Sunday. Our General Assembly (ecclesiastical) has been sitting here. One of the members lodged at my house. He married a woman two years older than his mother. Now I think it will be no bad plan for the Doctor and him to exchange wives. I suspect the old gentleman means to try the effects of "animal magnetism," about which there have lately been some curious publications in Fenno's paper.
I am happy to hear of Mr. Walcutt's success, and shall duly notice his services when I publish. I expect to begin in July.
Love to Mrs. B.
P. S. All well. I have suggested to our General Assembly the propriety of collecting materials for an history of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. The idea is approved, and the business will be prosecuted.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
PHILADELPHIA, June 6, 1791.
MY DEAR SIR,Since my last, I have received yours of 16th ultimo, and am happy to find that the two boxes of paper got safe to Boston, and that the paper is approved of. Beeking has the character of an honest man and a good workman, and, I believe, deserves it. Josey must know him. So your printing is begun. Try to put Jo a little on his mettle, and let him aim at equalling the 1st volume in goodness of workmanship: it will be of great advantage to him to begin well. The loss of his types must be very mortifying; but, although the book is printed at Thomas's office, I suppose Jo will put his own imprint to it, so that he will still be known as the operator.
You have a just idea of mercantile losses. What you say upon that subject reminds me of a conversation I once had with an eminent merchant of New York. He had bought an unruled blank-book of me, and ordered me to get it ruled. When it was done, he would not pay for the ruling. I told him I had paid for it, and, if he would not, I should lose money by the book. "Don't tell me of losing," said he: "I understand losses as well as you do. There are two kinds of them, positive and negative. A positive loss is when a man does not sell a commodity for as much as it cost him; a negative, when he gets a profit, but not so great an one as if the purchaser had allowed him the full price he asked. Your loss is of this kind."
You were misinformed about Dr. Samuel Magaw. He is not dead, nor more likely to die than anybody else.
I think the terms on which Mr. Hill offers you a plate for your map, if he will do it well, [quite reasonable]. The plate must be extremely well polished, or it will be impossible to take a clean impression from it. In this respect,
most of the New England plates which I have seen are deficient. Trenchard has repeatedly promised to let me know his terms, and return the map, but has done neither yet. I have several times called at his lodgings without being able to see him. As I have heard nothing of William Spotswood, I suspect he has removed from this city.
I do not yet receive returns from persons appointed to receive subscriptions for me, so that I cannot tell what my prospect is; but I am rather inclined to think I shall risque the publication. As to publishing an history, that is absolutely out of the question; for, had I abilities, I have not leisure to write one. But, inter nos, I think materials such as mine will, of themselves, form the best history that can be published, as they will furnish facts free from the glosses of commentators.
Beeking will let you have the quantity of paper you proposed.
My own name is the only one subscribed to your proposals in my hands.
This letter is to be handed you by the Rev. Mr. Green (Dr. Sproat's colleague), whom we Presbyterians call the best preacher in the city. He is one of my ministers, and I take the liberty of recommending him to your friendly and polite attentions. You will be pleased with him.
I had almost forgotten to tell you that all this time I have been writing with both feet wrapped in wool and flannel. You will think this fit of the gout cannot be very severe, or I would have thought of it sooner. It is not; and yet now and then I have an excruciating twinge, which makes me almost forget every thing else. This is the third day of my confinement. Time must determine how many more there are to be.
Mrs. H. and family are well. She proposed setting out for Shrewsbury next Friday, but I fear my gout will prevent her. She joins in love to Mrs. B. and yourself, with Your friend, EBEN. HAZARD.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
BOSTON, June 11, 1791.
DEAR SIR,— My son's types are at last come to hand, and I expect his press in a few days; and now I do not care how soon the rest of the paper is sent. I have engaged paper for the engraving, of a crown size, which will leave a good margin to be sewed into the back of the book, and to be cut at the edges. The printing of my second volume is advanced as far as letter L, which is about onethird; and, if Jo should begin the third before the second is finished, I shall have enough to do to attend two presses at once, besides all my other employments.
This week Mr. Walcutt shewed me his list of subscriptions: they amount to 30. My name is among them; and I shall give you 2 sets of my work, bound (if you choose to have them so), in lieu of one set of yours, in numbers. Printing seems at present to go on briskly: the paper-makers have full employment, and there is scarcely a journeyman printer to be had.
Our friend Morse and family were well the day before yesterday.
Mr. Jefferson, they say, is gone to Lake Champlain : I suppose to try his pendulum at the 45th degree of latitude. Is it not somewhat remarkable that the northern boundary of the United States should be that precise point which is to regulate the weights and measures of all mankind?
Bishop Carrol is here yet, and I assure you is treated with the greatest attention and respect by most of our distinguished characters; but the cause which he means to serve is not the foundation of this respect: it is wholly owing to his personal character.
I have kept this letter open till this day, June 16th; but nothing occurs to be added. There seems to be a resort