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siderable time. He therefore advised me to obliterate that sentence, as not answering your purpose, which I have done. He also advised me to leave out Delaware in the account of places where forts are found (he thinks Captain Hutchins must be mistaken in that instance), and to insert "several branches of Youghiogany," which I have done. I have also made the alteration you suggested in the time of Soto's march. No error occurred to me; and indeed, my mind is so perplexed by being overloaded, that an error must be very palpable before I could perceive it. I will retain the MS. till I receive your farther directions about it.
Love to Mrs. B. from Mrs. H. and
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, Sept. 9, 1788.
MY DEAR SIR,—I sympathize with you in the afflictions of your family, but hope this will find your son restored to health again, as my daughter is. I thank you for your advice respecting myself, but it is impossible for me to follow it. My masters keep me so closely at work that it is impossible for me to take proper exercise; and, when I ask for help, instead of granting it, they encrease my burden. I cannot help suspecting that one of them wants to be my successor, and is trying to work me out of his way; and, really, I would not be long in it, if I could see any other way of maintaining my family reputably, which at present I cannot. I have had thoughts of hiring a farm, and retiring into the woods, where I may at least enjoy liberty, and that not without some hopes of independence; and Cutler's "Indian Heaven" (where I own a seat) has been more than half seriously in contemplation; but when I reflect that the present Confederation, with its rascally appendages, are near expiring,
and that there is a prospect of some stability and respectability under the new Constitution, I conclude to wait (if I can) till that takes place, in hopes of better times. You ask me why I cannot visit you this autumn ? What I have said already will serve to answer the question. As an addendum, I tell you it is near three years since I have been out of sight of the city of New York. From this you may conjecture that there is more of necessity than choice in my staying so much at home.
I did not think it adviseable to prefix your name to the remarks on Soto's Expedition, least it might make you a surer mark for the Monarch, or any other fierce man, to shoot at. Notwithstanding his assertion, I think it probable that our congregation will part with Mr. Morse. He appears to me to be highly acceptable to a great majority of them; but there are so many fond of Mr. Muir, that I suspect the peace of the congregation will require that both should leave us. Mr. Morse has preached for us, in all, five months. Mr. Muir was then invited for three, which will expire a few weeks hence. The Church Session, last week, agreed to invite Mr. Morse for three months more, commencing at the expiration of Mr. Muir's; but the invitation is not put into his hands, and I do not think it will be immediately, but that the report of it will circulate among the congregation, that their sentiments may be known.
The Monarch thinks of going to live in Boston. He speaks highly of Thomas as a printer, &c., from which I suspect there is to be some connection between them.
The North Carolina news lowered securities 6d. in the £ here, too; but that is a short-lived business.
Thank you for the extracts from Roxbury Records: they shall not be communicated. If you get any thing from Mather, do let me have it. Have you ever yet met with any thing certain about Philip's wife and son?
Your letter to R. has got into the New Haven paper.
It will be sufficient, I believe, if you hint to him that your friend H. thinks there is an impropriety in his being the medium of intercourse between you, on account of his office. Perhaps I may hint it to him, too.
I will look over the Records of the United Colonies for anecdotes about Eliot, and communicate what I find.
Congress have not yet fixed the place for the new Congress to meet at. The choice of three Commissioners of Accounts was the order of this day, and it is said there are no less than 17 or 18 persons in nomination.
Mrs. H. joins me in love to Mrs. B. and yourself. I am, dear sir, Yours affectionately,
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
New YORK, Sept. 13, 1788.
MY DEAR SIR, By yours of 6th inst., you have added another to the many proofs you have already given me of your friendship; but I cannot take your advice. Inter nos, I have reason to believe that somebody, believing the philosophical doctrine of solidity, is fully satisfied that two bodies cannot occupy the same space at the same time; and, having a partiality for the space I occupy, wishes to get me out of it, that he may get in. Who it is I know not, but suspect, from what has happened, that he may be one of my masters; somebody, I dare say, who never risqued his neck pro bono publico, as I did in 1776, and afterwards, but sees something tempting in a public station now, and more especially under the new Constitution, when an office will be respectable, and perhaps permanent, and officers will not be so liable to be p-d upon by every puppy that comes into power. I suspect the scheme has been to increase my labour beyond my strength, without allowing me any additional help, and thus force me to decline the service, or else to leave part
of my duty unperformed, and then be liable to censure for non-performance. Another part of the plan seems to have been to worry me, and distract my attention, by frequently calling for a variety of information, the giving whereof was particularly perplexing, considering how frequently I must have been interrupted by other indispensable calls of official duty. When I had reason to suspect unfair play, I was determined not to quit the office; though, from the neglect with which my applications for assistance had been treated for several years, and the difficulty I found in doing my duty, I had had thoughts of it before; and I have accordingly stuck to it. There are so many watching for my halting, that I am obliged to walk very circumspectly; and, for this reason, I cannot leave home even for a day. Should I be called for, and found to be absent, it would be an unpardonable sin; and I am resolved to commit none such. A few months more will put an end to the struggle between the ins and outs, and I think I can make out to stand it for that time. Mr. Wingate is to set out to-morrow afternoon for Philadelphia, to return next Thursday, and the next day start for New Hampshire. He has seen a good deal of the manoeuvring, and has gone so far as to tell me that he has been sounded about the P. M. G.; but, as he was not more communicative, delicacy prevented my being particular in my enquiries, but you may. I wish you, when you see him, to find out the whole scheme, if you can, and let me know it, as it may assist me much as to future operations.
Soto has gone on. I sent him with your letter in which you said: "With this, or soon after, you will receive," &c.
Mrs. H. is much obliged by your letter to her. She thinks you are quite right, though, at the same time, she sees and feels the necessity I am under of staying at home. For my own part, I think I might adopt the Connect
icut motto: "Qui transtulit sustinet." This has been the case hitherto, and I doubt not will be; and as the office, as to me, was literally an unsollicited Deodand, and Providence hedges up my way with respect to other pursuits, I think it my duty not to risque the loss of it in present circumstances.
Lest your operations should be retarded, I send you some hints about Mr. Eliot, and you may expect more hereafter.
Has Russel ever raised the eleventh Pillar yet? I have not seen his paper since he got the tenth up; and, as I save those pictures, I wish to have the eleventh, too.
Congress have this day fixed upon New York as the place for the 1st Congress under the new Constitution to meet at. The electors are to be appointed on the first Wednesday in January. They are to choose the President on the 1st Wednesday in February, and Congress is to meet on the first Wednesday in March.
Since your letter, Mrs. H. loves you better than ever; and her attachment to Mrs. B. is not lessened by it. Remember us both affectionately to her. I am,
Your very sincere friend,
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
BOSTON, Tuesday evening, Sept. 23d, 1788.
DEAR SIR, By kind Providence and a good neighbour (Brother Clarke), I have this evening had half an hour's conference with Mr. Wingate. The result is, there has been an attempt in Congress to get you displaced, and W. says that he prevented it. His colleague was for it, and, had he agreed with him, there would have been seven States on that side. The States against you are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and Georgia, and I am uncertain whether Rhode Island or North Carolina;