The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IX (of X) - America - I
Author: Various
1  2  3  4  5     Next Part
Home - Random Browse


of the






Associate Editor

With an Introduction, Biographical and Explanatory Notes, etc.


Vol. IX






* * * * *

The Best of the World's Classics




* * * * *




JOHN SMITH—(Born in 1579, died in 1631.) His Story of Pocahontas. (From the "General History of Virginia") 3

WILLIAM BRADFORD—(Born in 1590, died in 1657.) The Pilgrims Land and Meet the Indians. (From the "History of Plymouth") 11

SAMUEL SEWALL—(Born in 1652, died in 1730.) How He Courted Madam Winthrop. (From his "Diary") 19

COTTON MATHER—(Born in 1663, died in 1728.) In Praise of John Eliot. (From the "Magnalia Christi Americana") 33

WILLIAM BYRD—(Born in 1674, died in 1744.) At the Home of Colonel Spotswood. (From "A Visit to the Mines") 38

JONATHAN EDWARDS—(Born in 1703, died in 1758.) Of Liberty and Moral Agencies. (From the "Freedom of the Will") 44

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN—(Born in 1706, died in 1790.) I His First Entry into Philadelphia. (From the "Autobiography") 51

II Warnings Braddock Did Not Heed. (From the "Autobiography") 55

III How to Draw Lightning from the Clouds. (From a letter to Peter Collinson) 59

IV The Way to Wealth. (From "Poor Richard's Almanac") 61

V Dialog with the Gout 68

VI A Proposal to Madame Helvetius. (A letter to Madame Helvetius) 76

GEORGE WASHINGTON—(Born in 1732, died in 1799.)

I To His Wife on Taking Command of the Army. (A letter written on June 18, 1775) 79

II Of His Army in Cambridge. (A letter to Joseph Reed) 81

III To the Marquis Chastellux on His Marriage. (A letter of April 25, 1788) 84

JOHN ADAMS—(Born in 1735, died in 1826.)

I On His Nomination of Washington to Be Commander-in-Chief. (From his "Diary") 87

II An Estimate of Franklin. (From a letter to the Boston Patriot) 90

THOMAS PAINE—(Born in 1737, died in 1809.)

In Favor of the Separation of the Colonies from Great Britain. (From "Common Sense") 94

THOMAS JEFFERSON—(Born in 1743, died in 1826.)

I When the Bastile Fell. (From his "Autobiography") 98

II The Futility of Disputes. (From a letter to his nephew) 106

III Of Blacks and Whites in the South. (From the "Notes on the State of Virginia") 108

IV His Account of Logan's Famous Speech. (From the "Notes on Virginia") 114

GOUVERNEUR MORRIS—(Born in 1752, died in 1816.)

I The Opening of the French States-General. (From a letter to Mrs. Morris) 117

II Of the Execution of Louis XVI. (From a letter to Thomas Jefferson) 120

ALEXANDER HAMILTON—(Born in 1757, died in 1804.)

I Of the Failure of Confederation. (From The Federalist) 123

II His Reasons for not Declining Burr's Challenge. (From a statement written before the day of the duel) 129

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS—(Born in 1767, died in 1848.)

I Of His Mother. (From the "Diary") 133

II The Moral Taint Inherent in Slavery. (From the "Diary") 135

WILLIAM E. CHANNING—(Born in 1780, died in 1842.)

Of Greatness in Napoleon. (From a review of Scott's "Life of Napoleon") 139

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON—(Born in 1780, died in 1857.)

Where the Mocking Bird Dwells. (From the "Birds of America") 144

WASHINGTON IRVING—(Born in 1783, died in 1859.)

I The Last of the Dutch Governors of New York. (From "Knickerbocker's History of New York") 147

II The Awakening of Rip Van Winkle. (From the "Sketch Book") 151

III At Abbotsford with Scott. (From the "Crayon Miscellany") 161

FENIMORE COOPER—(Born in 1789, died in 1851.)

I His Father's Arrival at Otsego Lake. (From "The Pioneers") 170

II Running the Gantlet. (From "The Last of the Mohicans") 178

III Leather-Stocking's Farewell. (From "The Pioneers") 185

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT—(Born in 1794, died in 1878.)

An October Day in Florence. (From a letter) 194

WILLIAM H. PRESCOTT—(Born in 1796, died in 1859.)

I The Fate of Egmont and Hoorne. (From "Philip II") 198

II The Genesis of Don Quixote. (From the "Miscellanies") 209

GEORGE BANCROFT—(Born in 1800, died in 1891.)

The Fate of Evangeline's Countrymen. (From the "History of the United States") 217

RALPH WALDO EMERSON—(Born in 1803, died in 1882.)

I Thoreau's Broken Task. (From the "Funeral Address") 223

II The Intellectual Honesty of Montaigne. (From "Representative Men") 229

III His Visit to Carlyle at Craigen-puttock. (From "English Traits") 231

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE—(Born in 1804, died in 1864.)

I Occupants of an Old Manse. (From "Mosses from an Old Manse") 235

II Arthur Dimmesdale on the Scaffold. (From "The Scarlet Letter") 242

III Of Life at Brook Farm. (From "The Blithedale Romance") 248

IV The Death of Judge Pyncheon. (From "The House of the Seven Gables") 252

* * * * *




Born in England in 1579, died in 1631; served against the Turks, captured, but escaped and returned to England in 1605; sailed for Virginia in 1606, and helped to found Jamestown; captured by Indians and his life saved by Pocahontas the same year; explored the Chesapeake to its head; president of the Colony in 1608; returned to London in 1609; in 1614 explored the coast of New England; captured by the French in 1615 and escaped the same year; received the title of Admiral of New England in 1617; published his "True Relation" in 1608, "Map of Virginia" in 1612, "A Description of New England" in 1616, "New England's Trials" in 1620, and his "General History" in 1624.


Here more than two hundred of those grim Courtiers stood wondering at him [John Smith], as he had beene a monster; till Powhatan[2] and his train had put themselves in their greatest braveries. Before a fire upon a seat like a bedsted, he sat covered with a great robe, made of Rarowcun skinnes, and all the tayles hanging by. On either hand did sit a young wench of 16 or 18 years, and along on each side the house, two rowes of men, and behind them as many women, with all their heads and shoulders painted red; many of their heads bedecked with the white downe of Birds; but every one with something: and a great chain of white beads about their necks.

[Footnote 1: From Smith's "Generall Historie of Virginia."]

[Footnote 2: Powhatan was chief of a confederacy of Indians known as the Powhatans, which he had raised from one comprizing only seven tribes to one of thirty. The word Powhatan means "falls in a stream," and was originally applied to the falls in the James river at Richmond.]

At his entrance before the King, all the people gave a great shout. The Queene of Appamatuck was appointed to bring him water to wash his hands, and another brought him a bunch of feathers, instead of a towel to dry them. Having feasted him after their best barbarous manner they could, a long consultation was held, but the conclusion was, two great stones were brought before Powhatan: then as many as could laid hands on him, dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head, and being ready with their clubs, to beate out his braines, Pocahontas the King's dearest daughter, when no intreaty could prevaile, got his head in her armes, and laid her owne upon his to save him from death: whereat the Emperour was contented he should live to make him hatchets, and her bells, beads, and copper; for they thought him as well of all occupations as themselves. For the King himselfe will make his owne robes, shooes, bowes, arrowes, pots; plant, hunt, or doe any thing so well as the rest....

To conclude our peace, thus it happened. Captaine Argall[3] having entered into a great acquaintance with Japazaws, an old friend of Captaine Smith's, and so to all our Nation, ever since hee discovered the Countrie: hard by him there was Pocahontas, whom Captaine Smith's Relations intituleth the Numparell of Virginia, and tho she had beene many times a preserver of him and the whole Colonie, yet till this accident shee was never seene at James towne since his departure, being at Patawomeke, as it seemes, thinking her selfe unknown, was easily by her friend Japazaws perswaded to goe abroad with him and his wife to see the ship, for Captaine Argall had promised him a Copper Kettle to bring her but to him, promising no way to hurt her, but keepe her till they could conclude a peace with her father. The Salvage for this Copper Kettle would have done any thing, it seemed by the Relation; for tho she had seene and beene in many ships, yet he caused his wife to faine how desirous she was to see one, and that he offered to beat her for her importunitie, till she wept.

[Footnote 3: Argall, through intimidation or bribery, had made Pocahontas a captive in 1612, when she was the wife of an Indian attached to her father as a subordinate chief or leader.]

But at last he told her, if Pocahontas would goe with her, he was content: and thus they betrayed the poore innocent Pocahontas aboord, where they were all kindly feasted in the cabin. Japazaws treading oft on the Captaine's foot, to remember he had done his part, the Captaine when he saw his time, perswaded Pocahontas to the gun-roome, faining to have some conference with Japazaws, which was only that she should not perceive he was any way guiltie of her captivitie: so sending for her againe, he told her before her friends, she must goe with him, and compound peace betwixt her Countrie and us, before she ever should see Powhatan, whereat the old Jew and his wife began to howle and crie as fast as Pocahontas, that upon the Captaine's fair perswasions, by degrees pacifying her selfe, and Japazaws and his wife, with the Kettle and other toys, went merrily on shore, and she to James towne. A messenger forthwith was sent to her father, that his daughter Pocahontas he loved so dearly, he must ransome with our men, swords, pieces, tooles, etc., he trecherously had stolne....

Long before this, Master John Rolfe, an honest Gentleman, and of good behaviour, had beene in love with Pocahontas, and she with him, which thing at that instant I made knowne to Sir Thomas Dale by a letter from him, wherein hee intreated his advice, and she acquainted her brother with it, which resolution Sir Thomas Dale[4] well approved. The bruit of this mariage came soone to the knowledge of Powhatan, a thing acceptable to him, as appeared by his sudden consent, for within ten days he sent Opachisco, an old Uncle of hers, and two of his sons, to see the manner of the mariage, and to doe in that behalfe what they requested, for the confirmation thereof, as his deputie; which was accordingly done about the first of Aprill. And ever since we have had friendly trade and commerce, as well with Powhatan himself, as all his subjects....

[Footnote 4: Dale was colonial governor of Virginia in 1611 and again in 1614-16. In the latter year he returned to England, taking with him Captain Rolfe and Pocahontas.]

The Lady Rebecca,[5] alias Pocahontas, daughter to Powhattan, by the diligent care of Master John Rolfe her husband and his friends, as taught to speake such English as might well bee understood, well instructed in Christianitie, and was become very formal and civil after our English manner; she had also by him a childe which she loved most dearely and the Treasurer and Company tooke order both for the maintenance of her and it, besides there were divers persons of great ranke and qualitie had beene very kinde to her; and before she arrived at London, Captaine Smith to deserve her former courtesies, made her qualities knowne to the Queene's most excellent Majestie and her Court, and writ a little booke to this effect to the Queene: An abstract whereof followeth.

[Footnote 5: Under that name Pocahontas had been baptized in the original Jamestown church. A legend has survived that an old font, now preserved in the church at Williamsburg, is the one from which she was baptized.]

"To the most high and vertuous Princesse Queene Anne of Great Brittanie.


"The love I beare my God, my King, and Countrie hath so oft emboldened me in the worst of extreme dangers, that now honestie doth constraine mee presume thus far beyond my selfe, to present your Majestie this short discourse: If ingratitude be a deadly poyson to all honest vertues, I must bee guiltie of that crime if I should omit any meanes to bee thankful. So it is, that some ten yeers agoe being in Virginia, and taken prisoner by the power of Powhatan their chiefe King, I received from this great Salvage exceeding great courtesie, especially from his son Nantaquaus, the most manliest, comeliest, boldest spirit, I ever saw in a Salvage, and his sister Pocahontas, the King's most deare and well-beloved daughter, being but a childe of twelve or thirteene yeers of age, whose compassionate pitiful heart, of desperate estate, gave me much cause to respect her: I being the first Christian this proud King and his grim attendants ever saw: and thus inthralled in their barbarous power, I cannot say I felt the least occasion of want that was in the power of those my mortal foes to prevent, notwithstanding all their threats. After some six weeks fatting among those Salvage Courtiers, at the minute of my execution, she hazarded the beating out of her owne braines to save mine, and not only that, but so prevaild with her father, that I was safely conducted to James towne, where I found about eight and thirtie miserable poore and sicke creatures, to keepe possession of all those large territories of Virginia. Such was the weaknesse of this poore Commonwealth, as had the Salvages not fed us, we directly had starved.

"And this reliefe, most gracious Queene, was commonly brought us by this Lady Pocahontas, notwithstanding all these passages when inconstant Fortune turned our peace to war, this tender Virgin would still not spare to dare to visit us, and by her our jars have beene oft appeased, and our wants still supplyed; were it the policie of her father thus to imploy her, or the ordinance of God thus to make her His instrument, or her extraordinary affection to our Nation, I know not: but of this I am sure:—when her father with the utmost of his policie and power, sought to surprize mee, having but eighteene with mee, the darke night could not affright her from comming through the irkesome woods, and with watered eyes gave me intelligence, with her best advice to escape his furie; which had hee knowne, hee had surely slaine her. James towne with her wild traine she as freely frequented, as her father's habitation; and during the time of two or three yeeres, she next under God, was still the Instrument to preserve this Colonie from death, famine and utter confusion, which if in those times had once beene dissolved, Virginia might have line as it was at our first arrival to this day. Since then, this businesse having beene turned and varied by many accidents from that I left it at: it is most certaine, after a long and troublesome war after my departure, betwixt her father and our Colonie, all which time shee was not heard of, about two yeeres after she her selfe was taken prisoner, being so detained neere two yeeres longer, the Colonie by that meanes was relieved, peace concluded, and at last rejecting her barbarous condition, was maried to an English Gentleman, with whom at this present she is in England; the first Christian ever of that Nation, the first Virginian ever spake English, or had a childe in mariage by an Englishman, a matter surely, if my meaning bee truly considered and well understood, worthy a Prince's understanding....

"The small time I staid in London, divers Courtiers and others, my acquaintances, hath gone with mee to see her, that generally concluded, they did thinke God had a great hand in her conversion, and they have seen many English Ladies worse favored, proportioned and behaviored, and as since I have heard, it pleased both the King and Queene's Majestie honorably to esteeme her, accompanied with that honorable Lady the Lady De la Warre, and that honorable Lord her husband, and divers other persons of good qualities, both publikely at the maskes and otherwise, to her great satisfaction and content, which doubtlesse she would have deserved had she lived to arrive in Virginia."[6]

[Footnote 6: Pocahontas in England gave birth to a son. She died at Gravesend in the following year, in 1617. The parish records of Gravesend describe her as "a Virginia lady borne, here was buried in ye chauncell." In London a well-known street preserves a memorial of her in its name—La Belle Sauvage. Her son, Thomas Rolfe, after living many years in England, settled in Virginia. Several families in that State have traced their descent from him. One of these was the famous John Randolph of Roanoke.]


Born in England in 1590, died at Plymouth, Mass., in 1657; governor of Plymouth Colony from 1627, except for five years, to 1657; wrote a "History of the Plymouth Plantation" for the period 1602-47, the manuscript of which was lost in England, but after the lapse of about seventy-five years it was found in a library in 1855, and in the following year published.



Having the wind good, we sailed all that day along the coast about fifteen leagues; but saw neither river nor creek to put into. After we had sailed an hour or two, it began to snow and rain, and to be bad weather. About the midst of the afternoon the wind increased, and the seas began to be very rough; and the hinges of the rudder broke, so that we could steer no longer with it, but two men, with much ado, were fain to serve with a couple of oars. The seas were grown so great that we were much troubled and in great danger; and night grew on. Anon, Master Coppin bade us be of good cheer; he saw the harbor. As we drew near, the gale being stiff, and we bearing great sail to get in, split our mast in three pieces, and were like to have cast away our shallop. Yet, by God's mercy, recovering ourselves, we had the flood with us, and struck into the harbor.

[Footnote 7: From what was long known as "Mourt's Relation," published in London in 1622, but more properly, and now generally, called the "Journal," or diary, of Bradford and Edward Winslow. This important historical document covers the first year of the Plymouth colony.]

Now he that thought that had been the place, was deceived, it being a place where not any of us had been before; and coming into the harbor, he that was our pilot, did bear up northward, which if he had continued, we had been cast away. Yet still the Lord kept us and we bare up for an island before us, and recovering of that island, being compassed about with many rocks, and dark night growing upon us, it pleased the Divine Providence that we fell upon a place of sandy ground, where our shallop did ride safe and secure all that night; and coming upon a strange island, kept our watch all night in the rain upon that island. And in the morning we marched about it, and found no inhabitants at all; and here we made our rendezvous all that day, being Saturday, 10th of December. On the Sabbath day we rested; and on Monday we sounded the harbor, and found it a very good harbor for our shipping. We marched also into the land, and found divers cornfields, and little running brooks, a place very good for situation. So we returned to our ship again with good news to the rest of our people, which did much comfort their hearts....

Some of us, having a good mind, for safety, to plant in the greater isle, we crossed the bay, which is there five or six miles over, and found the isle about a mile and half or two miles about, all wooded, and no fresh water but two or three pits, that we doubted of fresh water in summer, and so full of wood as we could hardly clear so much as to serve us for corn. Besides, we judged it cold for our corn, and some part very rocky; yet divers thought of it as a place defensible, and of great security. That night we returned again a shipboard, with resolution the next morning to settle on some of those places.

So in the morning, after we had called on God for direction, we came to this resolution, to go presently ashore again, and to take a better view of two places which we thought most fitting for us; for we could not now take time for further search or consideration, our victuals being much spent, especially our beer, and it being now the 19th of December. After our landing and viewing of the places, so well as we could, we came to a conclusion, by most voices, to set on the main land, on the first place, on a high ground, where there is a great deal of land cleared, and hath been planted with corn three or four years ago; and there is a very sweet brook runs under the hill side, and many delicate springs of as good water as can be drunk, and where we may harbor our shallops and boats exceeding well; and in this brook much good fish in their seasons; on the further side of the river also much corn-ground cleared. In one field is a great hill, on which we point to make a platform, and plant our ordnance, which will command all round about. From thence we may see into the bay, and far into the sea; and we may see thence Cape Cod. Our greatest labor will be fetching of our wood, which is half a quarter of an English mile; but there is enough so far off. What people inhabit here we yet know not, for as yet we have seen none. So there we made our rendezvous, and a place for some of our people, about twenty, resolving in the morning to come all ashore and to build houses.

But the next morning, being Thursday, the 21st of December, it was stormy and wet, that we could not go ashore; and those that remained there all night could do nothing, but were wet, not having daylight enough to make them a sufficient court of guard, to keep them dry. All that night it blew and rained extremely. It was so tempestuous that the shallop could not go on land so soon as was meet, for they had no victuals on land. About eleven o'clock the shallop went off with much ado with provision, but could not return, it blew so strong; and was such foul weather that we were forced to let fall our anchor, and ride with three anchors ahead.

Friday, the 22d, the storm still continued, that we could not get a land, nor they come to us aboard....

Saturday, the 23d, so many of us as could went on shore, felled and carried timber, to provide themselves stuff for building.

Sunday, the 24th, our people on shore heard a cry of some savages, as they thought, which caused an alarm and to stand on their guard, expecting an assault; but all was quiet.

Friday, the 16th, a fair warm day toward. This morning we determined to conclude of the military orders, which we had begun to consider of before, but were interrupted by the savages, as we mentioned formerly. And while we were busied, hereabout, we were interrupted again; for there presented himself a savage, which caused an alarm. He very boldly came all alone, and along the houses, straight to the rendezvous; where we intercepted him, not suffering him to go in, as undoubtedly he would out of his boldness. He saluted us in English, and bade us "Welcome!" for he had learned some broken English among the Englishmen that came to fish at Monhiggon, and knew by name the most of the captains, commanders and masters, that usually come. He was a man free in speech, so far as he could express his mind, and of a seemly carriage. We questioned him of many things; he was the first savage we could meet withal. He said he was not of these parts, but of Morattiggon, and one of the sagamores or lords thereof; and had been eight months in these parts, it lying hence a day's sail with a great wind, and five days by land. He discoursed of the whole country, and of every province, and of their sagamores, and their number of men and strength. The wind beginning to rise a little, we cast a horseman's coat about him; for he was stark naked, only a leather about his waist, with a fringe about a span long or little more. He had a bow and two arrows, the one headed, and the other unheaded. He was a tall, straight man, the hair of his head black, long behind, only short before, none on his face at all. He asked some beer, but we gave him strong water, and biscuit, and butter, and cheese, and pudding, and a piece of mallard; all which he liked well, and had been acquainted with such amongst the English. He told us the place where we now live is called Patuxet, and that about four years ago all the inhabitants died of an extraordinary plague, and there is neither man, woman, nor child remaining, as indeed we have found none; so as there is none to hinder our possession, or to lay claim unto it. All the afternoon we spent in communication with him. We would gladly have been rid of him at night, but he was not willing to go this night. Then we thought to carry him on shipboard, wherewith he was well content, and went into the shallop; but the wind was high and the water scant, that it could not return back. We lodged him that night at Steven Hopkin's house, and watched him.

The next day he went away back to the Masasoits, from whence he said he came, who are our next bordering neighbors. They are sixty strong, as he saith. The Nausites are as near, southeast of them, and are a hundred strong; and those were they of whom our people were encountered, as we before related. They are much incensed and provoked against the English; and about eight months ago slew three Englishmen, and two more hardly escaped by flight to Monhiggon. They were Sir Ferdinando Gorge's[8] men, as this savage told us; as he did likewise of the huggery, that is, fight, that our discoverers had with the Nausites, and of our tools that were taken out of the woods, which we willed him, should be brought again; otherwise we would right ourselves. These people are ill affected toward the English by reason of one Hunt, a master of a ship, who deceived the people and got them under color of trucking with them, twenty out of this very place where we inhabit, and seven men from the Nausites, and carried them away, and sold them for slaves, like a wretched man (for twenty pound a man) that cares not what mischief he doth for his profit.

[Footnote 8: Gorge was an English naval and military commander who came of an ancient family in Somersetshire. He had undertaken several schemes of discovery and settlement in America, but with small success. His pioneer work, however, was of such importance that he has sometimes been called "the father of English colonization in America."]

Saturday, in the morning, we dismissed the savage, and gave him a knife, a bracelet, and a ring. He promised within a night or two to come again and to bring with him some of the Masasoits, our neighbors, with such beavers' skins as they had to truck with us.

Saturday and Sunday reasonable fair days. On this day came again the savage, and brought with him five other tall, proper men. They had every man a deer's skin on him, and the principal of them had a wild cat's skin, or such like, on the one arm. They had most of them long hosen up to their groins, close made, and above their groins to their waist another leather; they were altogether like the Irish trousers. They are of complexion like our English gipseys; no hair or very little on their faces; on their heads long hair to their shoulders, only cut before; some trussed up before with a feather, broad-wise, like a fan; another a fox-tail, hanging out. These left (according to our charge given him before) their bows and arrows a quarter of a mile from our town. We gave them entertainment as we thought was fitting them. They did eat liberally of our English victuals. They made semblance unto us of friendship and amity. They sang and danced after their manner, like antics. They brought with them in a thing like a bow-case (which the principal of them had about his waist) a little of their corn pounded to powder, which, put to a little water, they eat. He had a little tobacco in a bag; but none of them drank but when he liked. Some of them had their faces painted black, from the forehead to the chin, four or five fingers broad; others after other fashions, as they liked. They brought three or four skins; but we would not truck with them at all that day, but wished them to bring more, and we would truck for all; which they promised within a night or two, and would leave these behind them, tho we were not willing they should; and they brought us all our tools again, which were taken in the woods, in our men's absence. So, because of the day, we dismissed them so soon as we could. But Samoset,[9] our first acquaintance, either was sick or feigned himself so, and would not go with them, and stayed with us till Wednesday morning. Then we sent him to them to know the reason they came not according to their words; and we gave him a hat, a pair of stockings and shoes, a shirt, and a piece of cloth to tie about his waist.

[Footnote 9: Samoset is still famous as an Indian who remained firm in his friendship with the Plymouth colonists.]


Born in England in 1652, died in Boston in 1730; served in the Bay Colony as judge and in other public stations; one of the judges at trials for witchcraft in 1692; chief justice in 1718; a philanthropist, and in 1700 wrote a pamphlet against slavery; his other works: "Queries Respecting America," published in 1690; "The Kennebec Indians" in 1721, and his "Diary" covering the period 1664-1729 in 1882.



September 5, 1720. Mary Hirst goes to Board with Madam Oliver and her Mother Loyd. Going to Son Sewall's I there meet with Madam Winthrop, told her I was glad to meet her there, had not seen her a great while; gave her Mr. Homes's Sermon....

[Footnote 10: From Sewall's "Diary," as published by the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1882.

Mrs. Winthrop was the widow of General Waite Still Winthrop, a son of John Winthrop, Governor of Connecticut, who was a son of John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Her maiden name was Katharine Brattle. She had first married John Eyre, with whom she lived about twenty years, and by whom she had twelve children. She was born in 1664, and at the time of Sewall's courtship of her was fifty-six and he sixty-nine. General Winthrop and Mrs. Sewall had died a few years before within a month of each other. Madam Winthrop did not marry Judge Sewall, nor any one else. She died five years after the date of this courtship.]

September 30. Mr. Colman's Lecture: Daughter Sewall acquaints Madam Winthrop that if she pleas'd to be within at 3 P.M. I would wait on her. She answer'd she would be at home.

October 1. Satterday, I dine at Mr. Stoddard's: from thence I went to Madam Winthrop's just at 3. Spake to her, saying, my loving wife died so soon and suddenly, 'twas hardly convenient for me to think of marrying again; however I came to this Resolution, that I would not make my Court to any person without first Consulting with her. Had a pleasant discourse about 7 [seven] Single persons sitting in the Fore-seat. She propounded one and another for me; but none would do, said Mrs. Loyd was about her Age.

October 3. 2. Waited on Madam Winthrop again; 'twas a little while before she came in. Her daughter Noyes being there alone with me, I said, I hoped my Waiting on her Mother would not be disagreeable to her. She answer'd she should not be against that that might be for her Comfort. I Saluted her, and told her I perceived I must shortly wish her a good Time; (her mother had told me, she was with Child, and within a Moneth or two of her Time). By and by in came Mr. Airs, Chaplain of the Castle, and hang'd up his Hat, which I was a little startled at, it seeming as if he was to lodge there. At last Madam Winthrop came too. After a considerable time, I went up to her and said, if it might not be inconvenient I desired to speak with her. She assented, and spake of going into another Room; but Mr. Airs and Mrs. Noyes presently rose up, and went out, leaving us there alone. Then I usher'd in Discourse from the names in the Fore-seat; at last I pray'd that Katharine [Mrs. Winthrop] might be the person assign'd for me. She instantly took it up in the way of Denyal, as if she had catch'd at an Opportunity to do it, saying she could not do it before she was asked. Said that was her mind unless she should Change it, which she believed she should not; could not leave her Children. I express'd my Sorrow that she should do it so Speedily, pray'd her Consideration, and ask'd her when I should wait on her agen. She setting no time, I mentioned that day Sennight. Gave her Mr. Willard's Fountain open'd with the little print and verses; saying, I hop'd if we did well read that book, we should meet together hereafter, if we did not now. She took the Book, and put it in her Pocket. Took Leave.

October 5. Midweek, I din'ed with the Court; from thence went and visited Cousin Jonathan's wife, Lying in with her little Betty. Gave the Nurse 2s. Altho I had appointed to wait upon her, Madam Winthrop, next Monday, yet I went from my Cousin Sewall's thither about 3 P.M. The Nurse told me Madam dined abroad at her daughter Noyes's, they were to go out together. I ask'd for the Maid, who was not within. Gave Katee a penny and a Kiss, and came away. Accompanyed my Son and daughter Cooper in their Remove to their New House.

October 6. A little after 6 P.M. I went to Madam Winthrop's. She was not within. I gave Sarah Chickering the Maid 2s., Juno, who brought in wood, 1s. Afterward the Nurse came in, I gave her 18d., having no other small Bill. After awhile Dr. Noyes came in with his Mother; and quickly after his wife came in: They sat talking, I think, till eight a-clock. I said I fear'd I might be some Interruption to their Business: Dr. Noyes reply'd pleasantly: He fear'd they might be an Interruption to me, and went away. Madam seem'd to harp upon the same string. Must take care of her Children; could not leave that House and Neighborhood where she had dwelt so long. I told her she might doe her children as much or more good by bestowing what she laid out in Hous-keeping, upon them. Said her Son would be of age the 7th of August. I said it might be inconvenient for her to dwell with her Daughter-in-Law, who must be Mistress of the House. I gave her a piece of Mr. Belcher's Cake and Ginger-Bread wrapped up in a clean sheet of Paper; told her of her Father's kindness to me when Treasurer, and I Constable. My Daughter Judith was gon from me and I was more lonesom—might help to forward one another in our Journey to Canaan.—Mr. Eyre[11] came within the door; I saluted him, ask'd how Mr. Clark did, and he went away. I took leave about 9 a-clock. I told [her] I came now to refresh her Memory as to Monday night; said she had not forgot it. In discourse with her, I ask'd leave to speak with her Sister; I meant to gain Madam Mico's favour to persuade her Sister. She seem'd surpris'd and displeas'd, and said she was in the same condition!...

[Footnote 11: A son of Madam Winthrop by her first marriage.]

October 10. In the Evening I visited Madam Winthrop, who treated me with a great deal of Curtesy; Wine, Marmalade. I gave her a News-Letter about the Thanksgiving; Proposals, for sake of the Verses for David Jeffries. She tells me Dr. Increase Mather visited her this day, in Mr. Hutchinson's Coach.

October 11. I writ a few Lines to Madam Winthrop to this purpose: "Madam, These wait on you with Mr. Mayhew's Sermon, and Account of the state of the Indians on Martha's Vinyard. I thank you for your Unmerited Favors of yesterday; and hope to have the Happiness of Waiting on you to-morrow before Eight a-clock after Noon. I pray GOD to keep you, and give you a joyfull entrance upon the Two Hundred and twenty-ninth year of Christopher Columbus his Discovery; and take Leave, who am, Madam, your humble Servant. S. S."

Sent this by Deacon Green, who deliver'd it to Sarah Chickering, her Mistress not being at home.

October 12. At Madam Winthrop's Steps I took leave of Capt Hill, &c. Mrs. Anne Cotton came to door (twas before 8.) said Madam Winthrop was within, directed me into the little Room, where she was full of work behind a Stand Mrs. Cotton came in and stood. Madam Winthrop pointed to her to set me a Chair. Madam Winthrop's Countenance was much changed from what 'twas on Monday, look'd dark and lowering. At last, the work, (black stuff or Silk) was taken away, I got my Chair in place, had some Converse, but very Cold and indifferent to what 'twas before. Ask'd her to acquit me of Rudeness if I drew off her Glove. Enquiring the reason, I told her twas great odds between handling a dead Goat, and a living Lady. Got it off. I told her I had one Petition to ask of her, that was, that she would take off the Negative she laid on me the third of October; She readily answer'd she could not, and enlarg'd upon it; She told me of it so soon as she could; could not leave her house, children, neighbours, business. I told her she might do som Good to help and support me. Mentioning Mrs. Gookin, Nath, the widow Weld was spoken of; said I had visited Mrs. Denison. I told her Yes! Afterward I said, If after a first and second Vagary she would Accept of me returning, Her Victorious Kindness and Good Will would be very Obliging. She thank'd me for my Book, (Mr. Mayhew's Sermon), But said not a word of the Letter. When she insisted on the Negative, I pray'd there might be no more Thunder and Lightening, I should not sleep all night. I gave her Dr. Preston, The Church's Marriage and the Church's Carriage, which cost me 6s. at the Sale. The door standing open, Mr. Airs came in, hung up His hat, and sat down. After awhile, Madam Winthrop moving, he went out. Jno. Eyre look'd in, I said How do ye, or your servant Mr. Eyre: but heard no word from him. Sarah fill'd a Glass of Wine, she drank to me, I to her, She sent Juno home with me with a good Lantern, I gave her 6d. and bid her thank her Mistress. In some of our Discourse, I told her I had rather go the Stone-House adjoining to her, than to come to her against her mind. Told her the reason why I came every other night was lest I should drink too deep draughts of Pleasure. She had talk'd of Canary, her Kisses were to me better than the best Canary. Explain'd the expression Concerning Columbus.

October 13. I tell my Son and daughter Sewall, that the Weather was not so fair as I apprehended.

October 17. In the Evening I visited Madam Winthrop, who Treated me Courteously, but not in Clean Linen as somtimes. She said, she did not know whether I would come again, or no. I ask'd her how she could so impute inconstancy to me. (I had not visited her since Wednesday night being unable to get over the Indisposition received by the Treatment received that night, and I must in it seem'd to sound like a made piece of Formality.) Gave her this day's Gazett. Heard David Jeffries say the Lord's Prayer, and some other portions of the Scriptures. He came to the door, and ask'd me to go into Chamber, where his Grandmother was tending Little Katee, to whom she had given Physick; but I chose to sit below. Dr. Noyes and his wife came in, and sat a considerable time; had been visiting Son and daughter Cooper. Juno came home with me.

October 18. Visited Madam Mico, who came to me in a splendid Dress. I said, It may be you have heard of my Visiting Madam Winthrop, her Sister. She answered, Her Sister had told her of it. I ask'd her good Will in the Affair. She answer'd, If her Sister were for it, she should not hinder it. I gave her Mr. Homes's Sermon. She gave me a Glass of Canary, entertain'd me with good Discourse, and a Respectfull Remembrance of my first Wife. I took Leave.

October 19. Midweek, Visited Madam Winthrop; Sarah told me she was at Mr. Walley's, would not come home till late. I gave her Hannah 3 oranges with her Duty, not knowing whether I should find her or no. Was ready to go home: but said if I knew she was there, I would go thither. Sarah seem'd to speak with pretty good Courage, She would be there. I went and found her there, with Mr. Walley and his wife in the little Room below. At 7 a-clock I mentioned going home; at 8. I put on my Coat, and quickly waited on her home. She found occasion to speak loud to the servant, as if she had a mind to be known. Was Courteous to me; but took occasion to speak pretty earnestly about my keeping a Coach: I said 'twould cost L100. per annum: she said twould cost but L40. Spake much against John Winthrop, his false-heartedness. Mr. Eyre came in and sat awhile; I offer'd him Dr. Incr. Mather's Sermons, whereof Mr. Appleton's Ordination Sermon was one; said he had them already. I said I would give him another. Exit. Came away somewhat late.

October 20. Promis'd to wait on the Governor about 7. Madam Winthrop not being at Lecture, I went thither first; found her very Serene with her daughter Noyes, Mrs. Dering, and the widow Shipreev sitting at a little Table, she in her arm'd Chair. She drank to me, and I to Mrs. Noyes. After awhile pray'd the favor to speak with her. She took one of the Candles, and went into the best Room, clos'd the shutters, sat down upon the Couch. She told me Madam Usher had been there, and said the Coach must be set on Wheels, and not by Rusting. She spake something of my needing a Wigg. Ask'd me what her Sister said to me. I told her, She said, If her Sister were for it, She would not hinder it. But I told her, she did not say she would be glad to have me for her Brother. Said, I shall keep you in the Cold, and asked her if she would be within to morrow night, for we had had but a running Feat. She said she could not tell whether she should, or no. I took Leave. As were drinking at the Governour's, he said: In England the Ladies minded little more than that they might have Money, and Coaches to ride in. I said, And New-England brooks its Name. At which Mr. Dudley smiled. Governour said they were not quite so bad here.

October 21. Friday, My Son, the Minister, came to me P.M. by appointment and we pray one for another in the Old Chamber; more especially respecting my Courtship. About 6. a-clock I go to Madam Winthrop's; Sarah told me her Mistress was gon out, but did not tell me whither she went. She presently order'd me a Fire; so I went in, having Dr. Sibb's Bowels with me to read. I read the two first Sermons, still no body came in: at last about 9. a-clock Mr. Jno. Eyre came in; I took the opportunity to say to him as I had done to Mrs. Noyes before, that I hoped my Visiting his Mother would not be disagreeable to him; He answered me with much Respect. When twas after 9. a-clock He of himself said he would go and call her, she was but at one of his Brothers: A while after I heard Madam Winthrop's voice, enquiring somthing about John. After a good while and Clapping the Garden door twice or thrice, she came in. I mention'd somthing of the lateness; she banter'd me, and said I was later. She receiv'd me Courteously. I ask'd when our proceedings should be made publick: She said They were like to be no more publick than they were already. Offer'd me no Wine that I remember. I rose up at 11 a-clock to come away, saying I would put on my Coat, She offer'd not to help me. I pray'd her that Juno might light me home, she open'd the Shutter, and said twas pretty light abroad; Juno was weary and gon to bed. So I came home by Star-light as well as I could. At my first coming in, I gave Sarah five Shillings. I writ Mr. Eyre his name in his book with the date October 21, 1720. It cost me 8s. Jehovah jireh! Madam told me she had visited M. Mico, Wendell, and Wm. Clark of the South [Church].

October 22. Daughter Cooper visited me before my going out of Town, staid till about Sun set. I brought her going near as far as the Orange Tree. Coming back, near Leg's Corner, Little David Jeffries saw me, and looking upon me very lovingly, ask'd me if I was going to see his Grandmother? I said, Not to-night. Gave him a peny, and bid him present my Service to his Grandmother.

October 24. I went in the Hackny Coach through the Common, stop'd at Madam Winthrop's (had told her I would take my departure from thence). Sarah came to the door with Katee in her Arms: but I did not think to take notice of the Child. Call'd her Mistress. I told her, being encourag'd by David Jeffries loving eyes, and sweet Words, I was come to enquire whether she could find in her heart to leave that House and Neighbourhood, and go and dwell with me at the South-end; I think she said softly, Not yet. I told her It did not ly in my Lands to keep a Coach. If I should, I should be in danger to be brought to keep company with her Neighbour Brooker, (he was a little before sent to prison for Debt). Told her I had an Antipathy against those who would pretend to give themselves; but nothing of their Estate. I would a proportion of my Estate with my self. And I supposed she would do so. As to a Perriwig, My best and greatest Friend, I could not possibly have a greater, began to find me with Hair before I was born, and had continued to do so ever since; and I could not find in my heart to go to another. She commended the book I gave her, Dr. Preston, the Church Marriage; quoted him saying 'twas inconvenient keeping out of a Fashion commonly used. I said the Time and Tide did circumscribe my Visit. She gave me a Dram of Black-Cherry Brandy, and gave me a lump of the Sugar that was in it. She wish'd me a good Journy. I pray'd God to keep her, and came away. Had a very pleasant Journy to Salem.

November 1. I was so taken up that I could not go if I would.

November 2. Midweek, went again, and found Mrs. Alden there, who quickly went out. Gave her about 1/2 pound of Sugar Almonds, cost 3s. per L. Carried them on Monday. She seem'd pleas'd with them, ask'd what they cost. Spake of giving her a Hundred pounds per annum if I dy'd before her. Ask'd her what sum she would give me, if she should dy first? Said I would give her time to Consider of it. She said she heard as if I had given all to my Children by Deeds of Gift. I told her 'twas a mistake, Point-Judith was mine &c. That in England I own'd, my Father's desire was that it should go to my eldest Son; 'twas 20L per annum; she thought 'twas forty. I think when I seem'd to excuse pressing this, she seemed to think twas best to speak of it; a long winter was coming on. Gave me a Glass or two of Canary.

November 4. Friday, Went again, about 7. a-clock; found there Mr. John Walley and his wife: sat discoursing pleasantly. I shew'd them Isaac Moses's [an Indian] Writing. Madam W. serv'd Comfeits to us. After awhile a Table was spread, and Supper was set. I urg'd Mr. Walley to Crave a Blessing; but he put it upon me. About 9. they went away. I ask'd Madam what fashioned Neck-lace I should present her with, She said, None at all. I ask'd her Whereabout we left off last time; mention'd what I had offer'd to give her; Ask'd her what she would give me; She said she could not Change her Condition: She had said so from the beginning; could not be so far from her Children, the Lecture. Quoted the Apostle Paul affirming that a single Life was better than a Married. I answered That was for the present Distress. Said she had not pleasure in things of that nature as formerly: I said, you are the fitter to make me a Wife. If she held in that mind, I must go home and bewail my Rashness in making more haste than good Speed. However, considering the Supper, I desired her to be within next Monday night, if we liv'd so long. Assented. She charg'd me with saying, that she must put away Juno, if she came to me: I utterly deny'd it, it never came in my heart; yet she insisted upon it; saying it came in upon discourse about the Indian woman that obtained her Freedom this Court. About 10. I said I would not disturb the good orders of her House, and came away. She not seeming pleas'd with my Coming away. Spake to her about David Jeffries, had not seen him.

Monday, November 7. My Son pray'd in the Old Chamber. Our time had been taken up by Son and Daughter Cooper's Visit; so that I only read the 130th and 143. Psalm. Twas on the Account of my Courtship. I went to Mad. Winthrop; found her rocking her little Katee in the Cradle. I excus'd my Coming so late (near Eight). She set me an arm'd Chair and Cusheon; and so the Cradle was between her arm'd Chair and mine. Gave her the remnant of my Almonds; She did not eat of them as before; but laid them away; I said I came to enquire whether she had alter'd her mind since Friday, or remained of the same mind still. She said, Thereabouts. I told her I loved her, and was so fond as to think that she loved me: she said had a great respect for me. I told her, I had made her an offer, without asking any advice; she had so many to advise with, that 'twas an hindrance. The Fire was come to one short Brand besides the Block, which Brand was set up in end; at last it fell to pieces, and no Recruit was made: She gave me a glass of Wine. I think I repeated again that I would go home and bewail my Rashness in making more haste than good Speed. I would endeavor to contain myself, and not go on to sollicit her to do that which she could not Consent to. Took leave of her. As came down the steps she bid me have a care. Treated me Courteously. Told her she had enter'd the 4th year of her Widowhood. I had given her the News-Letter before: I did not bid her draw off her Glove as sometime I had done. Her Dress was not so clean as somtime it had been. Jehovah Jireh.

Midweek, November 9th. Dine at Brother Stoddard's: were so kind as to enquire of me if they should invite Madam Winthrop; I answer'd No. Thank'd my Sister Stoddard for her Courtesie. Had a noble Treat. At night our Meeting was at the Widow Belknap's. Gave each one of the Meeting One of Mr. Holmes's Sermons, 12 in all; She sent her servant home with me with a Lantern. Madam Winthrop's Shutters were open as I pass'd by.

November 11th. Went not to Madam Winthrop's. This is the 2d Withdraw....

About the middle of December Madam Winthrop made a Treat for her Children; Mr. Sewall, Prince, Willoughby: I knew nothing of it; but the same day abode in the Council Chamber for fear of the Rain, and din'd alone upon Kilby's Pyes and good Beer.[12]

[Footnote 12: In the following summer Judge Sewall made his addresses to an old friend of his, then a widow, Mrs. Ruggles, by whom he was rejected. In March of the next year he married Mrs. Mary Gibbs.]


Born in Boston in 1663, died in 1728; son of Increase Mather; colleague of his father in the North Church of Boston in 1684, remaining in that pulpit until his death; active in the suppression of witchcraft; published his "Magnalia" in 1702, his "Wonders of the Invisible World" in 1692.


He that will write of Eliot must write of charity, or say nothing. His charity was a star of the first magnitude in the bright constellation of his vertues, and the rays of it were wonderfully various and extensive. His liberality to pious uses, whether publick or private, went much beyond the proportions of his little estate in the world. Many hundreds of pounds did he freely bestow upon the poor; and he would, with a very forcible importunity, press his neighbors to join with him in such beneficences. It was a marvelous alacrity with which he imbraced all opportunities of relieving any that were miserable; and the good people of Roxbury doubtless cannot remember (but the righteous God will!) how often, and with what ardors, with what arguments, he became a beggar to them for collections in their assemblies, to support such needy objects as had fallen under his observation. The poor counted him their father, and repaired still unto him with a filial confidence in their necessities; and they were more than seven or eight, or indeed than so many scores, who received their portions of his bounty. Like that worthy and famous English general, he could not perswade himself "that he had anything but what he gave away," but he drove a mighty trade at such exercises as he thought would furnish him with bills of exchange, which he hoped "after many days" to find the comfort of; and yet, after all, he would say, like one of the most charitable souls that ever lived in the world, "that looking over his accounts he could nowhere find the God of heaven charged a debtor there." He did not put off his charity to be put in his last will, as many who therein shew that their charity is against their will; but he was his own administrator; he made his own hands his executors, and his own eyes his overseers. It has been remarked that liberal men are often long-lived men; so do they after many days find the bread with which they have been willing to keep other men alive. The great age of our Eliot was but agreeable to this remark; and when his age had unfitted him for almost all employments, and bereaved him of those gifts and parts which once he had been accomplished with, being asked, "How he did?" he would sometimes answer, "Alas, I have lost everything; my understanding leaves me, my memory fails me, my utterance fails me; but, I thank God, my charity holds out still; I find that rather grows than fails!" And I make no question, that at his death his happy soul was received and welcomed into the "everlasting habitations," by many scores got thither before him, of such as his charity had been liberal unto.

[Footnote 13: From the "Magnalia Christi Americana." This work comprizes an ecclesiastical history of early New England, and has been in much favor with collectors. John Eliot has commonly been called "The Apostle of the Indians." He labored among them many years and translated into their language the Bible. Copies of the "Eliot Bible" are now among the most valuable of early American books.]

But besides these more substantial expressions of his charity, he made the odors of that grace yet more fragrant unto all that were about him, by that pitifulness and that peaceableness which rendered him yet further amiable. If any of his neighborhood were in distress, he was like a "brother born for their adversity," he would visit them, and comfort them with a most fraternal sympathy; yea, 'tis not easy to recount how many whole days of prayer and fasting he has got his neighbors to keep with him, on the behalf of those whose calamities he found himself touched withal. It was an extreme satisfaction to him that his wife had attained unto a considerable skill in physick and chirurgery, which enabled her to dispense many safe, good and useful medicines unto the poor that had occasion for them; and some hundreds of sick and weak and maimed people owed praises to God for the benefit which therein they freely received of her. The good gentleman her husband would still be casting oil into the flame of that charity, wherein she was of her own accord abundantly forward thus to be doing of good unto all; and he would urge her to be serviceable unto the worst enemies that he had in the world. Never had any man fewer enemies than he! but once having delivered something in his ministry which displeased one of his hearers, the man did passionately abuse him for it, and this both with speeches and with writings that reviled him. Yet it happening not long after that this man gave himself a very dangerous wound, Mr. Eliot immediately sends his wife to cure him; who did accordingly. When the man was well, he came to thank her, but she took no rewards; and this good man made him stay and eat with him, taking no notice of all the calumnies with which he had loaded him; but by this carriage he mollified and conquered the stomach of his reviler.

He was also a great enemy to all contention, and would ring aloud courfeu bell wherever he saw the fires of animosity. When he heard any ministers complain that such and such in their flocks were too difficult for them, the strain of his answer still was, "Brother, compass them!" and "Brother, learn the meaning of those three little words, bear, forbear, forgive." Yea, his inclinations for peace, indeed, sometimes almost made him to sacrifice right itself. When there was laid before an assembly of ministers a bundle of papers which contained certain matters of difference and contention between some people which our Eliot thought should rather unite, with an amnesty upon all their former quarrels, he (with some imitation of what Constantine did upon the like occasion) hastily threw the papers into the fire before them all, and, with a zeal for peace as hot as that fire, said immediately, "Brethren, wonder not at what I have done; I did it on my knees this morning before I came among you." Such an excess (if it were one) flowed from his charitable inclinations to be found among those peace-makers which, by following the example of that Man who is our peace, come to be called "the children of God." Very worthily might he be called an Irenaeus as being all for peace; and the commendation which Epiphanius gives unto the ancient of that name, did belong unto our Eliot; he was "a most blessed and a most holy man." He disliked all sorts of bravery; but yet with an ingenious note upon the Greek word in Col. iii. 15, he propounded, "that peace might brave it among us." In short, wherever he came, it was like another old John, with solemn and earnest persuasives to love; and when he could say little else he would give that charge, "My children, love one another!"

Finally, 'twas his charity which disposed him to continual applications for, and benedictions on those that he met withal; he had an heart full of good wishes and a mouth full of kind blessings for them. And he often made his expressions very wittily agreeable to the circumstances which he saw the persons in. Sometimes when he came into a family, he would call for all the young people in it, that so he might very distinctly lay his holy hands upon every one of them, and bespeak the mercies of heaven for them all.


Born in Virginia in 1674, died, in 1744; educated in England and the Netherlands; visited the court of France; chosen a Fellow of the Royal Society; receiver-general of the revenue in Virginia and three times colonial agent for Virginia in England; for thirty-seven years member, and finally president, of the Council of Virginia; his home in Virginia the famous ancestral seat called Westover.


Sept., 1732. Colonel Spotswood's enchanted castle is on one side of the street, and a baker's dozen of ruinous tenements on the other, where so many German families had dwelt some years ago; but are now removed ten miles higher, in the Fork of Rappahannock, to land of their own. There had also been a chapel about a bow-shot from the colonel's house, at the end of an avenue of cherry trees, but some pious people had lately burned it down, with intent to get another built nearer to their own homes. Here I arrived about three o'clock, and found only Mrs. Spotswood at home, who received her old acquaintance with many a gracious smile. I was carried into a room elegantly set off with pier glasses, the largest of which came soon after to an odd misfortune. Amongst other favorite animals that cheered this lady's solitude, a brace of tame deer ran familiarly about the house, and one of them came to stare at me as a stranger. But unluckily spying his own figure in the glass, he made a spring over the tea-table that stood under it, and shattered the glass to pieces, and falling back upon the tea-table made a terrible fracas among the china.

[Footnote 14: From "A Progress to the Mines," the date of the visit being 1732, which was the year in which Washington was born. Byrd's work is one of several admired writings by Byrd, now known collectively as the "Westover Manuscripts." Colonel Spotswood, of whom Byrd here writes, in early life had been a soldier under Marlborough, and in 1710 Governor of Virginia. In 1714, on his appointment to command a British expedition to the West Indies, he was made a major-general, but he died before embarking. He maintained fine establishments at Yorktown and on the Rapidan.]

This exploit was so sudden, and accompanied with such a noise, that it surprized me, and perfectly frightened Mrs. Spotswood. But 'twas worth all the damage to show the moderation and good humor with which she bore this disaster. In the evening the noble colonel came home from his mines, who saluted me very civilly, and Mrs. Spotswood's sister, Miss Theky, who had been to meet him en cavalier, was so kind too as to bid me welcome. We talked over a legend of old stories, supped about 9, and then prattled with the ladies, till it was time for a traveler to retire. In the mean time I observed my old friend to be very uxorious, and exceedingly fond of his children. This was so opposite to the maxims he used to preach up before he was married, that I could not forbear rubbing up the memory of them. But he gave a very good-natured turn to his change of sentiments by alleging that whoever brings a poor gentlewoman into so solitary a place, from all her friends and acquaintance, would be ungrateful not to use her and all that belongs to her with all possible tenderness.

We all kept snug in our several apartments till nine, except Miss Theky, who was the housewife of the family. At that hour we met over a pot of coffee, which was not quite strong enough to give us the palsy. After breakfast the colonel and I left the ladies to their domestic affairs, and took a turn in the garden, which has nothing beautiful but three terrace walks that fall in slopes one below another. I let him understand that, besides the pleasure of paying him a visit, I came to be instructed by so great a master in the mystery of making of iron, wherein he had led the way, and was the Tubal Cain of Virginia. He corrected me a little there, by assuring me he was not only the first in this country, but the first in North America who had erected a regular furnace. That they ran altogether upon bloomeries in New England and Pennsylvania till his example had made them attempt greater works. But in this last colony they have so few ships to carry their iron to Great Britain that they must be content to make it only for their own use, and must be obliged to manufacture it when they have done. That he hoped he had done the country very great service by setting so good an example....

Our conversation on this subject continued till dinner, which was both elegant and plentiful. The afternoon was devoted to the ladies, who showed me one of their most beautiful walks. They conducted me through a shady lane to the landing, and by the way made me drink some very fine water that issued from a marble fountain, and ran incessantly. Just behind it was a covered bench, where Miss Theky often sat and bewailed her virginity. Then we proceeded to the river, which is the south branch of Rappahannock, about fifty yards wide, and so rapid that the ferry boat is drawn over by a chain, and therefore called the Rapidan. At night we drank prosperity to all the colonel's projects in a bowl of rack punch, and then retired to our devotions.

Having employed about two hours in retirement, I sallied out at the first summons to breakfast, where our conversation with the ladies, like whip syllabub, was very pretty, but had nothing in it. This, it seems, was Miss Theky's birthday, upon which I made her my compliments, and wished she might live twice as long a married woman as she had lived a maid. I did not presume to pry into the secret of her age, nor was she forward to disclose it, for this humble reason, lest I should think her wisdom fell short of her years....

We had a Michaelmas goose for dinner, of Miss Theky's own raising, who was now good-natured enough to forget the jeopardy of her dog. In the afternoon we walked in a meadow by the river side, which winds in the form of a horseshoe about Germanna, making it a peninsula containing about four hundred acres. Rappahannock forks about fourteen miles below this place, the northern branch being the larger, and consequently must be the river that bounds my Lord Fairfax's grant of the northern neck.

The sun rose clear this morning, and so did I, and finished all my little affairs by breakfast. It was then resolved to wait on the ladies on horseback, since the bright sun, the fine air, and the wholesome exercise, all invited us to it. We forded the river a little above the ferry, and rode six miles up the neck to a fine level piece of rich land, where we found about twenty plants of ginseng, with the scarlet berries growing on the top of the middle stalk. The root of this is of wonderful virtue in many cases, particularly to raise the spirits and promote perspiration, which makes it a specific in colds and coughs. The colonel complimented me with all we found, in return for my telling him the virtues of it. We were all pleased to find so much of this king of plants so near the colonel's habitation, and growing, too, upon his own land; but were, however surprized to find it upon level ground, after we had been told it grew only upon the north side of Stony Mountains. I carried home this treasure with as much joy as if every root had been a graft of the Tree of Life, and washed and dried it carefully. This airing made us as hungry as so many hawks, so that between appetite and a very good dinner, 'twas difficult to eat like a philosopher. In the afternoon the ladies walked me about amongst all their little animals, with which they amuse themselves, and furnish the table; the worst of it is, they are so tenderhearted they shed a silent tear every time any of them are killed. At night the colonel and I quitted the threadbare subject of iron, and changed the scene to politics. He told me the ministry had receded from their demand upon New England, to raise a standing salary for all succeeding governors, for fear some curious members of the House of Commons should inquire how the money was disposed of that had been raised in the other American colonies for the support of their governors....

Our conversation was interrupted by a summons to supper, for the ladies, to show their power, had by this time brought us tamely to go to bed with our bellies full, tho we both at first declared positively against it. So very pliable a thing is frail man, when women have the bending of him.


Born In Connecticut in 1703, died in Princeton in 1758; pastor at Northampton, Mass., in 1727-50; missionary to the Indians at Stockbridge in 1751-58; president of Princeton in 1758; his "Treatise Concerning the Religious Affections" published in 1746; "Qualifications for Full Communion" in 1749; "The Freedom of the Will," his most famous book, in 1754; "Doctrine of Original Sin Defended" in 1758, and "History of the Redemption" in 1772.


The plain and obvious meaning of the words freedom and liberty, in common speech, is power, opportunity, or advantage, that any one has, to do as he pleases. Or, in other words, his being free from hindrance or impediment in the way of doing, or conducting in any respect, as he wills. (I say not only doing, but conducting; because a voluntary forbearing to do, sitting still, keeping silence, etc., are instances of persons' conduct, about which liberty is exercised; tho they are not so properly called doing.) And the contrary to Liberty, whatever name we call that by, is a person's being hindered or unable to conduct as he will, or being necessitated to do otherwise.

[Footnote 15: From "The Freedom of the Will." It is not alone as a contribution to theology that this work has been much admired. It is probably the most famous theological treatise yet produced in America; one writer has called it "one of the most famous philosophical works in the world." But as an intellectual achievement solely, and for the perfection of its style, it has been quite as generally praised.]

If this which I have mentioned be the meaning of the word liberty, in the ordinary use of language; as I trust that none that has ever learned to talk, and is unprejudiced, will deny: then it will follow that in propriety of speech neither liberty, nor its contrary, can properly be ascribed to any being or thing but that which has such a faculty, power or property as is called will. For that which is possest of no such thing as will, can not have any power or opportunity of doing according to its will, nor be necessitated to act contrary to its will, nor be restrained from acting agreeably to it. And therefore to talk of liberty, or the contrary, as belonging to the very will itself is not to speak good sense; if we judge of sense and nonsense by the original and proper signification of words. For the will itself is not an agent that has a will: the power of choosing itself has not a power of choosing. That which has the power of volition or choice is the man or the soul, and not the power of volition itself. And he that has the liberty of doing according to his will, is the agent or doer who is possest of the will; and not the will which he is possest of. We say with propriety that a bird let loose has power and liberty to fly; but not that the bird's power of flying has a power and liberty of flying. To be free is the property of an agent, who is possest of powers and faculties, as much as to be cunning, valiant, bountiful, or zealous. But these qualities are the properties of men or persons and not the properties of properties.

There are two things that are contrary to this which is called liberty in common speech. One is constraint; the same is otherwise called force, compulsion, and coaction; which is a person's being necessitated to do a thing contrary to his will. The other is restraint; which is his being hindered, and not having power to do according to his will. But that which has no will, can not be the subject of these things. I need say the less on this head, Mr. Locke having set the same thing forth, with so great clearness, in his "Essay on the Human Understanding."

But one thing more I would observe concerning what is vulgarly called liberty; namely, that power and opportunity for one to do and conduct as he will, or according to his choice, is all that is meant by it; without taking into the meaning of the word anything of the cause or original of that choice; or at all considering how the person came to have such a volition; whether it was caused by some external motive or internal habitual bias; whether it was determined by some internal antecedent volition, or whether it happened without a cause; whether it was necessarily connected with something foregoing, or not connected. Let the person come by his volition or choice how he will, yet, if he is able, and there is nothing in the way to hinder his pursuing and executing his will, the man is fully and perfectly free, according to the primary and common notion of freedom.

What has been said may be sufficient to show what is meant by liberty, according to the common notions of mankind, and in the usual and primary acceptation of the word: but the word, as used by Arminians, Pelagians and others, who oppose the Calvinists, has an entirely different signification. These several things belong to their notion of liberty. 1. That it consists in a self-determining power in the will, or a certain sovereignty the will has over itself, and its own acts, whereby it determines its own volitions; so as not to be dependent, in its determinations, on any cause without itself, nor determined by anything prior to its own acts. 2. Indifference belongs to liberty in their notion of it, or that the mind, previous to the act of volition, be in equilibrio. 3. Contingence is another thing that belongs and is essential to it; not in the common acceptation of the word, as that has been already explained, but as opposed to all necessity, or any fixt and certain connection with some previous ground or reason of its existence. They suppose the essence of liberty so much to consist in these things that unless the will of man be free in this sense, he has no real freedom, how much soever he may be at liberty to act according to his will.

A moral agent is a being that is capable of those actions that have a moral quality, and which can properly be denominated good or evil in a moral sense, virtuous or vicious, commendable or faulty. To moral agency belongs a moral faculty, or sense of moral good and evil, or of such a thing as desert or worthiness, of praise or blame, reward or punishment; and a capacity which an agent has of being influenced in his actions by moral inducements or motives, exhibited to the view of understanding and reason, to engage to a conduct agreeable to the moral faculty.

The sun is very excellent and beneficial in its action and influence on the earth, in warming it, and causing it to bring forth its fruits; but it is not a moral agent. Its action, tho good, is not virtuous or meritorious. Fire that breaks out in a city, and consumes great part of it, is very mischievous in its operation; but is not a moral agent. What it does is not faulty or sinful, or deserving of any punishment. The brute creatures are not moral agents. The actions of some of them are very profitable and pleasant; others are very hurtful; yet, seeing they have no moral faculty, or sense of desert, and do not act from choice guided by understanding, or with a capacity of reasoning and reflecting, but only from instinct, and are not capable of being influenced by moral inducements, their actions are not properly sinful or virtuous; nor are they properly the subjects of any such moral treatment for what they do, as moral agents are for their faults or good deeds.

Here it may be noted that there is a circumstantial difference between the moral agency of a ruler and a subject. I call it circumstantial, because it lies only in the difference of moral inducements they are capable of being influenced by, arising from the difference of circumstances. A ruler, acting in that capacity only, is not capable of being influenced by a moral law, and its sanctions of threatenings and promises, rewards and punishments as the subject is; tho both may be influenced by a knowledge of moral good and evil. And therefore the moral agency of the Supreme Being, who acts only in the capacity of a ruler toward His creatures, and never as a subject, differs in that respect from the moral agency of created intelligent beings. God's actions, and particularly those which are to be attributed to Him as moral governor, are morally good in the highest degree. They are most perfectly holy and righteous; and we must conceive of Him as influenced in the highest degree by that which, above all others, is properly a moral inducement, viz., the moral good which He sees in such and such things: and therefore He is, in the most proper sense, a moral agent, the source of all moral ability and agency, the fountain and rule of all virtue and moral good; tho by reason of His being supreme over all, it is not possible He should be under the influence of law or command, promises or threatenings, rewards or punishments, counsels or warnings. The essential qualities of a moral agent are in God, in the greatest possible perfection; such as understanding, to perceive the difference between moral good and evil; a capacity of discerning that moral worthiness and demerit, by which some things are praiseworthy, others deserving of blame and punishment; and also a capacity of choice, and choice guided by understanding, and a power of acting according to his choice or pleasure, and being capable of doing those things which are in the highest sense praiseworthy. And herein does very much consist that image of God wherein He made man (which we read of Gen. i. 26, 27, and chapter ix. 6), by which God distinguishes man from the beasts, viz., in those faculties and principles of nature, whereby he is capable of moral agency. Herein very much consists the natural image of God; as His spiritual and moral image, wherein man was made at first, consisted in that moral excellency, that he was endowed with.


Born in Boston in 1706, died in 1790; settled in Philadelphia in 1729; Postmaster of Philadelphia in 1737; discovered the identity of lightning with electricity in 1753; proposed a "Plan of Union" at Albany in 1754; Colonial Agent for Pennsylvania in England in 1757-62 and 1764-75; Member of the Second Continental Congress in 1775; Member of the Committee which drew up the Declaration of Independence in 1776; Ambassador to France in 1776; helped to negotiate the treaty of peace with England in 1783; President of Pennsylvania in 1785-88; Member of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.




I have been the more particular in this description of my journey, and shall be so of my first entry into that city, that you may in your mind compare such unlikely beginnings with the figure I have since made there. I was in my working dress, my best clothes being to come round by sea. I was dirty from my journey; my pockets were stuffed out with shirts and stockings, and I knew no soul nor where to look for lodging. I was fatigued with traveling, rowing and want of rest, I was very hungry; and my whole stock of cash consisted of a Dutch dollar, and about a shilling in copper. The latter I gave the people of the boat for my passage, who at first refused it, on account of my rowing; but I insisted on their taking it. A man being sometimes more generous when he has but a little money than when he has plenty, perhaps through fear of being thought to have but little.

[Footnote 16: From Chapters I and II of the "Autobiography."]

Then I walked up the street, gazing about till near the market-house I met a boy with bread. I had made many a meal on bread, and, inquiring where he got it, I went immediately to the baker's he directed me to, in Second street, and asked for biscuit, intending such as we had in Boston; but they, it seems, were not made in Philadelphia. Then I asked for a three-penny loaf, and was told they had none such. So, not considering or knowing the difference of money, and the greater cheapness nor the names of his bread, I had him give me three pennyworth of any sort. He gave me, accordingly, three great puffy rolls. I was surprized at the quantity, but took it, and, having no room in my pockets, walked off with a roll under each arm, and eating the other. Thus I went up Market street as far as Fourth street, passing by the door of Mr. Read, my future wife's father;[17] when she, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance. Then I turned and went down Chestnut street and part of Walnut street, eating my roll all the way, and, coming round, found myself again at Market street wharf, near the boat I came in, to which I went for a draft of the river water; and, being filled with one of my rolls, gave the other two to a woman and her child that came down the river in the boat with us, and were waiting to go farther.

[Footnote 17: Deborah was Mr. Read's daughter's name. Her grave, alongside Franklin's, in Philadelphia, has been a place of much pilgrimage these many years. One of the letters of Mrs. Franklin that has survived may be given here in illustration of her limited education. It was addrest to Franklin while he was in England, being dated "October ye 11, 1770":

"My dear Child:—the bairer of this is the Son of Dr. Phinis Bond his only son and a worthey young man he is going to studey the Law he desired a line to you I believe you have such a number of worthey young Jentelmen as ever wonte to gather I hope to give you pleshner to see such a number of fine youthes from your one country which will be an Honour to thar parentes and Countrey.

"I am my dear Child your ffeckshonot Wife D. Franklin."]

Thus refreshed, I walked again up the street, which by this time had many clean-drest people in it, who were all walking the same way. I joined them, and thereby was led into the great meeting-house of the Quakers near the market. I sat down among them, and, after looking round awhile and hearing nothing said, being very drowsy through labor and want of rest the preceding night, I fell fast asleep, and continued so till the meeting broke up, when one was kind enough to rouse me. This was, therefore, the first house I was in, or slept in, in Philadelphia.

Walking down again toward the river, and, looking in the faces of people, I met a young Quaker man, whose countenance I liked, and, accosting him, requested he would tell me where a stranger could get lodging. We were then near the sign of the Three Mariners. "Here," says he, "is one place that entertains strangers, but it is not a reputable house; if thee wilt walk with me, I'll show thee a better." He brought me to the Crooked Billet in Water street. Here I got a dinner; and, while I was eating it, several sly questions were asked me, as it seemed to be suspected, from my youth and appearance, that I might be some runaway.

After dinner, my host having shown me to a bed, I laid myself on without undressing, and slept till six in the evening, when I was called to supper. I went to bed again very early, and slept very soundly till next morning. Then I drest myself as neat as I could, and went to Andrew Bradford the printer's. I found in the shop the old man his father, whom I had seen at New York, and who, traveling on horseback, had got to Philadelphia before me. He introduced me to his son, who received me civilly, gave me a breakfast, but told me he did not at present want a hand, being lately supplied with one; but there was another printer in town, lately set up, one Keimer, who, perhaps, might employ me; if not, I should be welcome to lodge at his house, and he would give me a little work to do now and then till fuller business should offer.



This general [Braddock] was, I think, a brave man, and might probably have made a figure as a good officer in some European war. But he had too much self-confidence, too high an opinion of the validity of regular troops, and too mean a one of both Americans and Indians. George Croghan,[19] our Indian interpreter, joined him on his march with one hundred of those people, who might have been of great use to his army as guides, scouts, etc., if he had treated them kindly; but he slighted and neglected them, and they gradually left him.

[Footnote 18: From Chapter X of the "Autobiography."]

[Footnote 19: Croghan afterward became associated closely with Sir William Johnson in the Mohawk and Upper Susquehanna Valleys. He acquired title to a large tract of land at the foot of Otsego Lake, but, while settling it, mortgaged the land heavily, and eventually lost it through foreclosure. William Cooper, father of the novelist, subsequently obtained title to these lands and went into the country to settle them. In the course of his labors, he founded the village of Cooperstown, and made it his home. It was this circumstance which led to Fenimore Cooper's knowledge of Indian and frontier life as depicted in his writings. The home of William Cooper had previously been in Burlington, N. J.]

In conversation with him one day he was giving me some account of his intended progress. "After taking Fort Duquesne,"[20] says he, "I am to proceed to Niagara; and, having taken that, to Frontenac,[21] if the season will allow time; and I suppose it will, for Duquesne can hardly detain me above three or four days; and then I see nothing that can obstruct my march to Niagara." Having before revolved in my mind the long line his army must make in their march by a very narrow road, to be cut for them through the woods and bushes, and also what I had read of a former defeat of fifteen hundred French, who invaded the Iroquois country, I had conceived some doubts and some fears for the event of the campaign. But I ventured only to say, "To be sure, sir, if you arrive well before Duquesne, with these fine troops, so well provided with artillery, that place, not yet completely fortified and as we hear with no very strong garrison, can probably make but a short resistance. The only danger I apprehend of obstruction to your march is from ambuscades of Indians, who, by constant practise, are dextrous in laying and executing them; and the slender line, near four miles long, which your army must make, may expose it to be attacked by surprize in its flanks, and to be cut like a thread into several pieces, which, from their distance, can not come up in time to support each other."

[Footnote 20: Now Pittsburg.]

[Footnote 21: In early times commonly called Fort Frontenac, but now Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The name was changed to Kingston by Loyalists who settled at the fort after the American Revolution.]

He smiled at my ignorance, and replied, "These savages may, indeed, be a formidable enemy to your raw American militia, but upon the King's regular and disciplined troops, sir, it is impossible they should make any impression." I was conscious of an impropriety in my disputing with a military man in matters of his profession, and said no more. The enemy, however, did not take advantage of his army which I apprehended its long line of march exposed it to, but let it advance without interruption till within nine miles of the place; and then, when more in a body (for it had just passed a river, where the front had halted till all were come over), and in a more open part of the woods than any it had passed, attacked its advanced guard by a heavy fire from behind trees and bushes, which was the first intelligence the general had of an enemy's being near him. This guard being disordered, the general hurried the troops up to their assistance, which was done in great confusion, through wagons, baggage, and cattle; and presently the fire came upon their flank: the officers, being on horseback, were more easily distinguished, picked out as marks, and fell very fast; and the soldiers were crowded together in a huddle, having or hearing no orders, and standing to be shot at till two-thirds of them were killed; and then, being seized with a panic, the whole fled with precipitation.

The wagoners took each a horse out of his team and scampered; their example was immediately followed by others; so that all the wagons, provisions, artillery, and stores were left to the enemy. The general, being wounded, was brought off with difficulty; his secretary, Mr. Shirley, was killed by his side; and out of eighty-six officers, sixty-three were killed or wounded, and seven hundred and fourteen men killed out of eleven hundred. These eleven hundred had been picked men from the whole army; the rest had been left behind with Colonel Dunbar, who was to follow with the heavier part of the stores, provisions, and baggage. The flyers, not being pursued, arrived at Dunbar's camp, and the panic they brought with them instantly seized him and all his people; and, tho he had now above one thousand men, and the enemy who had beaten Braddock did not at most exceed four hundred Indians and French together, instead of proceeding, and endeavoring to recover some of the lost honor, he ordered all the stores, ammunition, etc., to be destroyed, that he might have more horses to assist his flight toward the settlements, and less lumber to remove. He was there met with requests from the governors of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania that he would post his troops on the frontiers, so as to afford some protection to the inhabitants; but he continued his hasty march through all the country, not thinking himself safe till he arrived at Philadelphia, where the inhabitants could protect him. This whole transaction gave us Americans the first suspicion that our exalted ideas of the prowess of British regulars had not been well founded.

In their first march, too, from their landing till they got beyond the settlements, they had plundered and stript the inhabitants, totally ruining some poor families, besides insulting, abusing, and confining the people if they remonstrated. This was enough to put us out of conceit of such defenders, if we had really wanted any. How different was the conduct of our French friends in 1781, who, during a march through the most inhabited part of our country, from Rhode Island to Virginia, near seven hundred miles, occasioned not the smallest complaint for the loss of a pig, a chicken, or even an apple.



As frequent mention is made in public papers from Europe of the success of the Philadelphia experiment for drawing the electric fire from clouds by means of pointed rods of iron erected on high buildings, etc., it may be agreeable to the curious to be informed that the same experiment has succeeded in Philadelphia, tho made in a different and more easy manner, which is as follows.

[Footnote 22: From a letter to Peter Collinson, dated October 19, 1752, and read before the Royal Society of London in December of the same year.]

1  2  3  4  5     Next Part
Home - Random Browse