The Olden Time Series: Vol. 2: The Days of the Spinning-Wheel in New England
Author: Various
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16mo. Per vol., 50 cents.

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There appears to be, from year to year, a growing popular taste for quaint and curious reminiscences of "Ye Olden Time," and to meet this, Mr. Henry M. Brooks has prepared a series of interesting handbooks. The materials have been gleaned chiefly from old newspapers of Boston and Salem, sources not easily accessible, and while not professing to be history, the volumes contain much material for history, so combined and presented as to be both amusing and instructive. The titles of some of the volumes indicate their scope and their promise of entertainment:—


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"It has been the good fortune of the writer to be allowed a peep at the manuscript for this series, and he can assure the lovers of the historical and the quaint in literature that something both valuable and pleasant is in store for them. In the specialties treated of in these books Mr. Brooks has been for many years a careful collector and student, and it is gratifying to learn that the material is to be committed to book form."—Salem Gazette.

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For sale by all Booksellers. Sent, post-paid, upon receipt of price. Catalogues of our books mailed free.



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"To say that the past is of no importance, unworthy of a moment's regard, because it has gone by, and is no longer anything, is an argument that cannot be held to any purpose; for if the past has ceased to be, and is therefore to be accounted nothing in the scale of good or evil, the future is yet to come, and has never been anything."—HAZLITT.

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"In my young days, when I was leetle, The only steam came from the kettle.


"The Gals on good old Dobbins rid then, But folks don't do as they used to did then.


"Heigho! I grieve, I grieve For the good old days of Adam and Eve."

From HENRY J. FINN'S "Good Old Times,"

October, 1827.






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The Days of the Spinning-Wheel in New England

"Old and new make the warp and woof of every moment. There is no thread that is not a twist of these two strands. By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote."—EMERSON




Copyright, 1885,


All rights reserved.

University Press:




ABERDOUR, JOHN LORD 71 Adams, Samuel 71 Amherst, General 38 Amiel, John 53 Amory, Jonathan 79 Apthorp, Charles Ward 30 Apthorpe, Charles 33 Apthorpe, Rev. Mr. 33 Apthorpe, Susan 33 Ashton, John 35 Avery, John 55, 56

BALCH, Rev. Mr. 29 Balkum, Daniel 89 Barnard, Benjamin 61 Belknap, Jeremiah 29 Bernard, Gov. Francis 35, 36, 37, 46 Blanchard, Caleb 84 Bollan, William 9 Bowditch, Nathaniel 42 Bowdoin, Hon. James 33 Bowdoin, Miss 33 Brattle, William 63 Breck, Samuel 88 Brenton, Benjamin 54 Britt, Thomas 59 Brown, B. 97 Brown, Obadiah 64 Bulfinch, Dr. Thomas 33 Butler, Mr. 21

CALDWELL, JAMES 68 Carpenter, Captain 19 Carr, Colonel 68 Chase, Samuel & William 21 Clark, John 68 Clark, Stephen 13 Clarke, Richard 59 Clarke, Sukey 59 Cole, Patrick 68 Colman, Rev. Henry 97 Cooper, William 20 Copeland, E. Jr. 86 Copley, John Singleton 59, 72 Crocker, Cornelius 10 Crosby, John 60

DALAND, B. 97 Dalrymple, Colonel 68 Dana, Rev. Mr. 81 Darley, Arthur 57 Davis, Joshua 60 Deane, Rev. Samuel 93 Deane, Mrs. 93 Deshon, Moses 15 Douglass, Mr. 39, 41

EASTLAKE, SIR CHARLES 6 Edes & Gill 11,16,32,43 Elliot, Sally 33 Elliot, Simon 33, 85, 86 Ellis, Mrs. 91 Ellis, Rev. Mr. 90 Elwell, Edward H. 93 Emerson, R.W. 6 Erving, John 67

FLEMMING, ALBERT 98 Flynt, Henry 17, 18 Fowle & Draper 48 Franklin, Dr. Benjamin 24 Franklin, Elizabeth 24

GAY, MARTIN 59 Gordon, James 79 Gorham, Joseph 10 Gray, Samuel 68 Green & Russell 34, 47, 52 Greene, John 68 Gwin, Captain 56

HANCOCK, JOHN 69 Haskell, Philemon 91 Hawthorne, Nathaniel 42 Henshaw, Joshua, Jr. 59 Hickling, William 61 Hill, Colonel John 59 Hill, Katherine 59 Holyoke, Edward 14 Hudson, James 9 Hurd, John 62, 63



KING CHARLES I. 5 King George II. 10 King George III. 37, 44

LEE, FRANCIS H. 86 Lewis, Phillip 71 Loyal, Paul 35

MACAULAY, T.B. 5 Marshall, Thomas 29 Mason, Colonel David 39, 40 Maverick, Samuel 68 Micklefield, William 86, 87, 88 Minot, George R. 70 Monk, Christopher 68 Morgan, Captain 34, 35 Morton, Captain 68 Murray, Mrs. 82 Murray, Rev. Mr. 82


PAINE, WILLIAM 50 Parker, David 68 Parkman, Samuel 80 Payne, Edward 68 Peirce, Benjamin 42 Pelham, Charles 72 Pelham, Mrs. 72 Perkins, Thomas H. 33 Phenix, John 4 Pickering, Colonel Timothy 42, 46 Pickering, John 42 Pickering, Timothy, Sr. 44, 46 Pope of Rome 85 Poynton, Thomas 51, 52 Prescott, John 39 Prescott, William H. 42 Preston, Captain 68 Prince of Wales 28


READ, THOMAS 16 Revere, Paul 71 Rhodes, Captain 84 Rogers, Rev. Mr. 13 Rowe, John 54 Ruskin, John 99 Russell, Benjamin 25 Russell, Daniel 65

SALISBURY, ELIZABETH 67 Salisbury, Samuel 67 Savage, Samuel Phillips 63 Scott, William 94 Shays, Daniel 89 Shirley, General William 28 Spencer, Herbert 6 Stevens, Captain 80 Storr, Marmaduke 60 Story, Joseph 42 Story, William W. 42

TEMPLE, HON. JOHN 33 Thorn, Dr. 50 Treadwell, Jonathan 92


WASHINGTON, GEORGE 4 Waters, Josiah 29 Watson, Mr. 21 Webb, Joseph, Jr. 71 Whipple, Joseph 90 Whitefield, Rev. George 57, 58 Whitmore, Major-General 66 Wickham, Captain 56 Winter, Joshua 80 Willard, Joseph 75, 78 Williams, Jonathan 70 Wolfe, General James 25, 27 Wood, William 13



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WITHIN the last few years many young ladies have searched country houses or ransacked old garrets to find spinning-wheels, which, like old chairs, tall clocks, and warming-pans, have now become objects of curiosity and interest to those who take a fancy to antique articles. It has become fashionable to have these things to adorn our Queen Anne houses. And brass andirons and shovels and tongs have come into request, so that we may enjoy the luxury of an open wood fire, which, to our mind, is one of the most cheerful things in this world. Some one has remarked "that to be well-dressed gives a feeling of satisfaction that religion fails to give;" but to us, to sit before a blazing wood fire on a dull, cold evening, gives a feeling of comfort and delight which surpasses anything we know of. What charming companionship in a wood fire! Better than the company of uncongenial persons.

"Old wood to burn," "Old books to read:"

these are enough; we will leave out the "old wine to drink."

"This bright wood fire, So like to that which warmed and lit My youthful days, how doth it flit Back on the periods nigher! Re-lighting and re-warming with its glow The bright scenes of my youth,—all gone out now."

Glance backward to some years before the Revolution, and we shall find a spinning-wheel in every house, and then, probably, in constant use. Now its place in our homes is taken by the piano. This instrument had not then come into use. Something resembling it,—namely, the spinnet or the harpsichord,—was to be found in some instances; but it was by no means common to find these, for there was but little knowledge of music in America in those days. A hundred years ago, only one or two churches in Boston had organs, and the public taste, except in rare cases, was decidedly against music of all kinds, especially sacred music. To show how this was, we have heard an old lady say that when she was young, some eighty years or so ago, "musicians, for the most part, were not thought much of" by the most cultivated people of that time; and she assured me that even at a later date, members of military bands, as well as organists and violinists (then called fiddlers) were too often low characters and men much addicted to drinking. The times were too hard for the New England people of those days to cultivate music or indulge in entertainments of any kind except "going to meeting." There was but little money in circulation, and that was almost always in the form of a depreciated currency. Gold and silver were scarce articles, and a large proportion of the necessities of life and luxuries—if luxuries they could be called; they would hardly be so considered by us—were imported from England or elsewhere. The leading occupations were farming, fishing, making New England rum, importing rum, sugar, and molasses from the West Indies, and dry goods from England. The common people were poor enough, in comparison with the condition of the same class at the present time, when they make as good an appearance as the wealthy did a hundred years ago. It would be safe to say that they have more comforts and conveniences in their homes to-day than the more prosperous had at the time of the Revolution. The humorist, John Phenix, said that "Gen'l Washington never saw a steamboat, nor rode in a railroad car;" and possibly his house was not heated by steam, or furnished with pipes for hot and cold water. Nor did he ever use gas, or the telegraph or telephone. Whether the people who lived then would have shown the extravagance which characterizes our time if they had possessed the means, is a question not easily to be answered; but it is certain they were more frugal than we are, if not more industrious. The Revolution left the masses of the people in rather a destitute condition, and they were forced to be economical. Their habits were so entirely different from modern habits that it would exceed our limits to undertake to draw a careful comparison. It is said that the people of those days bewailed the degeneracy of the times, and spoke of the industry and frugality of earlier periods.

NORWICH, May 6, 1784.

A correspondent observes, that the extravagances of the present day are fully demonstrated in the broadcloth coats and silk gowns,—the powder and feathers, the ruffles and cardinals, the silk stockings and feet trappings—In the feasts, the dancing parties and select companies—and what is the more melancholy, all orders and degrees help form the circle.—Where is the simplicity in dress and manners; temperance in meats and drinks, which formed the virtuous characters of our illustrious ancestors?—O! the degeneracy of the times!

Salem Gazette.

Just as our ancestors did, as Macaulay says, in the days of Charles the First; they thought they were not as good as their ancestors had been. This habit of looking back to a time so remote that "distance lends enchantment to the view," seems to be almost universal. It is this feeling of reverence for the old that makes it so interesting to us, and leads us to look at things of the past poetically rather than practically; although it is true that sometimes the interest taken in inconvenient and uncomfortable articles arises rather from their age than from anything else. But oftentimes the very simplicity, solidity, and strength of old furniture, for instance, is charming, in contrast with the elaborate, unmeaning carvings and flimsy character of more modern productions. We are beginning to see how much more sensible the Chippendale and other styles commended by Eastlake and some other writers on household art are to much that has been produced in later times. Yet we must allow that prejudice and fashion go a great way in determining our likes and dislikes, in furniture as well as in dress and other things. Very likely in a few years we shall tire of the Queen Anne houses and furniture, and hard floors, and have a surfeit of Anglomania, especially if we carry the taste too far. In this country, as Emerson says, "Every rider drives too fast." It is hard to be simple and slow. We must build fast, eat fast, and live fast. But Emerson says again, "Nature has no respect for haste." Herbert Spencer has given us in a kindly spirit some hints on this score which it would be well to heed. But we are wandering from our immediate subject. Our desire is to illustrate, in the very words of the people of the period we refer to, the views they entertained of economy and industry, and how they carried them out. We will begin, then, in the year 1759, with a curious letter to the "Boston Gazette" of June 11 of that year, in which the writer gives some account of the cost of provisions at that period.

To the Trading and Farming People of New England.


I Have been coming and going among you since the Year 1745. I am now once more on Service in this Part of the World, and not a little surprized at the Alteration in the Value of your Provisions, since my Knowledge of your Country. When I first came among you, I could have bought a Pound of Beef for a Penny, a Goose for a Shilling, a Fowl for three Pence, and so in Proportion. It now is, I think, four Pence Sterling for a Pound of Beef, eighteen Pence Sterling for a Fowl, and three Shillings for a Goose. Pray Gentlemen, when that is the Price at Boston, what must we pay for it at Louisbourg, after it has gone thro' the Hands of many different People that are to live out of it. Our Pay is not increased.

I would say nothing to influence you to sell cheaper, from Motives disinterested or publick spirited, as that weighs but little with the Generality of Mankind. But consider your own Interest, the War can last but little longer: This Campaign, in all Probability, will put an End to it, then where will you find a Market for your Stock you raise. Consider with the Fall of this present Summer, its pretty certain the Soldiers and Seamen at present employed for your Defence, will be called to Britain: Take the Market while it holds Gentlemen. We have Beef found us, that is to say, the Publick purchases it; let us now and then taste of your Veal, Mutton and Fowls for our Money, and we will spend all among you; and we expect both Interest and Inclination will prompt you to give us an ample Supply.

I am your Friend, An ANTI-CANADIAN.

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In the same paper is an auction advertisement, showing how they mixed the different kinds of property.

TO be Sold by publick Vendue on Scarlet's Wharff, at the North End of Boston, THIS AFTERNOON, at IV o'Clock, Sundry Hogsheads of Sugar, four likely Negro Men, and a Parcel of old Copper; Prize Goods lately brought into this Port.

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On the 19th November we are shown how remittances were made in those days.

We hear that the Treasurer of this Province has received a Bill of Lading for two Boxes of Portugal Gold, ship'd by Mr. Agent Bollan, on board the Mercury Man of War, amounting to Twenty thousand six hundred and eighty Pounds, seventeen shillings and six Pence; being Part of the L27,000 granted by Parliament in 1757, to this Province, to recompence them for the Expences they were at in the Expedition in 1756.—Said Ship may be daily expected.

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And here is a description of a vessel of the time.

Mr. James Hudson came Passenger in the Vessel that arriv'd at Cape-Ann, mention'd in our last, which saw a Wreck in Lat: 36, he says, she was a Frigate built Ship of about 200 Tons burthen, had a Lion Head painted yellow, a short Topgal on Quarter-Deck, a small Tafrail painted yellow, Quarters and Stern painted blue, had a large Trophies painted on her Stern and gilt, full of Water, and no living Person on board.

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On the 5th February in that year, this was the way they advertised for recruits for the Government service, offering among other inducements, "a Crown to drink the King's health."

ALL able-bodied fit Men that have an Inclination to serve His Majesty King GEORGE the Second, in the first Independent Company of Rangers, now in the Province of Nova-Scotia, commanded by Joseph Gorham, Esq; shall, on inlisting, receive good Pay and Cloathing, a large Bounty, with a Crown to drink the King's Health. And by repairing to the Sign of the Bear in King-Street, Boston, and to Mr. Cornelius Crocker, Innholder in Barnstable, may hear the particular Encouragement, and many Advantages accruing to a Soldier, in the Course of the Duty of that Company, too long to insert here; and further, may depend on being discharged at the Expiration of the Time entertained for, and to have every other Encouragement punctually compli'd with.

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There was a meeting of "very agreeable Ladies" in the interests of economy about the same time.

In a large Circle of very agreeable Ladies in this Town, it was unanimously agreed to lay aside the Use of Ribbons, &c. &c. &c. for which there has been so great a Resort to Milliners in times past——It is hoped that this Resolution will be followed by others of the Sex throughout the Province—How agreeable will they appear in their native Beauty, stript of these Ornaments, from the prevailing Motive of Love to their Country.

We must after all our Efforts, depend greatly upon the Female Sex for the Introduction of Oeconomy among us: And those who have the Pleasure of an Acquaintance with them, assure us that their utmost Aid will not be wanting.

So strong is the Disposition of the Inhabitants of this Town to take off the Manufactures that come from the Country Towns, especially Womens and Childrens Winter Apparel, that nothing is wanting but an Advertisement where they may be had in Town, which will be taken in, and published by the Printers of this Paper Gratis.

* * * * *

Labrador tea began to take the place of green and bohea.

Messieurs EDES & GILL,

THE use of Hyperion or Labradore Tea, is every day coming into more general vogue among people of all ranks. The virtues of the plant or shrub from which this delicate Tea is gathered, were first discovered by the Aborigines, and from them the Canadians learned them. It soon became into such repute that quantities were sent to France, where I have heard say, it was soon in such demand, as alarmed the French East-India company, and procured an ordinance prohibiting the importation of any more on the pain of death. So little do some politicians regard the health or even the life of man, when either of them appear to be incompatible with their particular interests, views and projects. Before the cession of Canada to Great-Britain, we knew little or nothing of this most excellent herb: but since that we have been taught to find it growing on every hill and dale, between the Lat. 40 & 60. It is to be found all over New-England in great plenty, and that of the best quality, particularly on the banks of Penobscot, Kennebeck, Nichewannock and Merrimac. Immense quantities may be found on the mountains near the great lakes.

Nothing short of the highest degree of infatuation and madness could ever have prevailed with us to introduce unwholesome Exoticks. The voice of reason crys louder than ever for their perpetual banishment; and the further use of them must be accounted for but by the force of invincible prejudice. This indeed sometimes leads to a preference of rank poison if far fetched and dear bought, to the most salubrious draught at hand, with little pains or cost, tho' of inestimable value.


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The following items, Sept. 17, 1759, throw some light on the state of the country in some parts of New England, where, even if the "Lyons" once seen at Cape Ann by Wood had departed, there were still some bears, one having been seen within two miles of Boston.

We hear from Brentwood, in New Hampshire Government, as two Children were gathering Beans in a Field, a large Bear came upon them and kill'd them both;—The Bear was pursued, but could not be found.

Also from Chester, in the same Government, that a few Days after the above, another Bear came behind a Woman as she was walking along, not far from her House, and tore off the hind Part of her Gown, which he carried off in his Mouth;—but the Woman happily made her Escape from him.

And from Kingston, in the County of Worcester, we hear, that on Tuesday last as Mr. Stephen Clark of that Town was out a Hunting after Bears, his Next Door Neighbour went out into his Cornfield just at Evening, and seeing something move which he thought was one of those Animals, shott at it, and upon his coming to the place, found it to be Mr. Clark as above-mention'd, shot thro' his Head, to his great surprize.

We hear from Kittery, that in about 13 Days past, seven large Bears have been kill'd within a Mile of the Rev. Mr. Rogers's Meeting House.

It is said some of these voracious Animals have ventured down even to some of the Seaport Towns at the Eastward.—Two of them were seen at Medford last Week; and one of them has been lately killed within two Miles of this Metropolis. Some have weighed above 300 lb. Wt.

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Notice to Students of Harvard College:

THIS is to give Notice to the Candidates for their second Degree at Harvard-College this Year, that they attend at the College by the 11th Day of July next, and if any shall neglect their Attendance accordingly, without sufficient Reason therefor, they may not expect their said Degrees this Year. Cambridge, June 9, 1759.


NOTICE is hereby given to all who desire an Admission into Harvard College this Year, That the President and Tutors have determined to attend the Business of Examination on Friday and Saturday the 19th and 20th Days of July next.

Cambridge, June 9, 1759. EDWARD HOLYOKE, Pres.

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When we remember the present condition of the city of Lynn, it is interesting to note how that place stood in reference to the shoe industry in the year 1762. The "Boston Gazette" of November 2 says:—

We are confidently told, that in the Town of Lynn upwards of Forty Thousand Pair of Womens Shoes have been made in one Year, equal in Goodness to any imported from Abroad—It is thought that in a few Years they will be supply'd with Callimanco and other Stuffs manufactured in this Province.

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The statement has often been made by connoisseurs that there was no mahogany furniture in America before the Revolution; but this is a mistake, for here, in the "Boston Gazette" of Feb. 5, 1759, is an advertisement announcing the sale of a "Beautiful Mehogany Desk and Book-Case." Probably this was an early specimen of such kind of work, as mahogany, it is said, was not introduced into Europe long before this time.

To be Sold by Moses Deshon,

On Dock-Square, Next Wednesday, at V o'Clock, in the Afternoon, and Friday Evening following.

A Handsome 8 Day Clock, a Brass Grate, Shovel Fire, Tongs, Tables, and a Variety of other Articles; a fine Assortment of English, Scotch, and French Goods. N.B. A beautiful Mehogany Desk and Book-Case; and a Quantity of Cannon-Powder to dispose of at private Sale.

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A curious advertisement of a runaway convict in Maryland appears in the same paper, Sept. 15, 1759:—

Fifteen Pistoles Reward.

RAN-AWAY from the Subscriber, (living at ANNAPOLIS, in MARYLAND) in June last, a Convict Servant Man, named Thomas Read, alias Cutbert, about 25 or 30 Years of Age, 5 Feet, 4 Inches high, well set, grey Eyes, large Nose, and had short brown curl'd Hair. He is supposed to be in Boston, or some of the Northern Governments; is a Jeweller, and Motto-Ring-Engraver, and is an artful talkative pert Fellow;—can write pretty well, and has doubtless help'd himself to a Discharge, Pass, or any other Writing to deceive, and suit his Purpose; His Apparel is probably genteel, as he had Money with him, a Watch in his Pocket, and a large Stock of Pride; By what Name he now goes is uncertain, as he has Impudence eno to pick & chuse any he should think proper.

Whoever takes the said Convict Servant, and returns him to his Master, shall have FIFTEEN PISTOLES Reward, and reasonable Charges paid, by

Annapolis, September 15, 1759. JOHN INCH.

Boston, Printed and Sold by EDES & GILL. 1759.

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In the year 1762 there appears to have been quite a stir in reference to economy and home productions, and doubtless the spinning-wheels were constantly in use. In the "Boston Gazette," November 2, is a very curious letter of Henry Flynt, a noted teacher, addressed to the ladies of North America.



I AM one of those who think it not only high Time but of the last Importance, that you should be publickly addressed: And of the many ingenious Pens, which in the Course of a few Years have informed and enlightened this Country, I have often wished that at least some one of them had been more particularly devoted to your Service. This would have agreeably prevented me in an attempt to which I find myself in all Respects but too unequal. Yet relying on your good Sense and Candour, I venture to lay at your Feet a few well-intended Sentiments, which tho' in a plain homespun Garb, I hope will not offend. I am convinced that at this present it is not only in your Inclination and Will, but also in your Power, to effect more in favour of your Country, than an Army of an Hundred Thousand Men; and indeed more than all the armed Men on this vast Continent.—Can a Woman forget her Ornaments? Yes I know she can. Deborah once judged Israel, and some think it was never judged much better afterwards. But what tho't Deborah or Jael of their Ornaments, when the one was contriving, & the other driving the Nail that would go? What tho't beautiful Esther of her Ornaments, when those of her Kindred & Houshold were in immediate and imminent Danger, by the Decree treacherously obtained by Haman, from the mouth of her beloved and almost adored Lord Ahasuerus the Great? What tho't Judith of her Ornaments, when she was severing the Head of Holofernes from his Body, or while flying with the Prize to the Relief of her despairing Friends? The Time would fail me, were I to recount the wondrous Deeds and mighty Atchievements of renowned and honorable Women in all Ages.

I have but alluded to a few Instances, among many of divine Heroism in your Sex, which hath often saved a Country, when the dull ploding Wisdom of man has been totally at a Plunge. How near we are to such a Crisis, is left to the Conjecture of others. It would be a little out of Nature to expect the Birth and Exploits of Heroines to take Place before those of Heroes. I believe we shall be furnished with both in their Order, as Occasion may require. All I think at present that can be reasonably expected or desired of you, is to consent to lay aside all superfluous Ornaments for a Season—after which they shall be surely returned to you again with Interests.—You shall be cloathed in Purple, and Scarlet, and Fine Linnen of our own, and with other glorious Apparel; which, if possible, shall add a Lustre to your native Charms.


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Newport, R.I., has the reputation of having been engaged in the slave-trade before the Revolution; and the following item, in the "Boston Gazette," June 30, 1762, noticing without comment the arrival of a Guinea trader there, would seem to show it to have been not an uncommon occurrence.

We hear from Newport, Rhode Island, That Capt. Carpenter was arrived there from the Coast of Guinea, having had 104 Days Passage, ten Days whereof they were without Meat, but had a Sufficiency of Rice and Corn. They lost but six Slaves out of 69 they bro't out with them.

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On the 5th of November "the gunpowder treason and plot" was formerly pretty generally remembered,—by the boys, at least, who made bonfires and burned tar-barrels. We believe the custom has fallen into disuse except in Salem and Marblehead, where there seems to be a little "Colonialism" left. As recently as 1885 the writer saw a bonfire in honor of the occasion on a hill near the latter place. In 1762 there must have been quite a demonstration, if we can judge anything by a vote of the town of Boston. Englishmen visiting us have sometimes expressed astonishment at learning that this curious custom should still be kept up here, while it had been abolished at home.

Upon a motion made, Voted, That the Town will take all proper Measures, by keeping in their Children and Servants, & other Ways, to prevent the Disturbances which have sometimes happened on or about the 5th Day of November.

Attest, William Cooper, Town-Clerk.

Tuesday last (5th November) being the Anniversary of the happy Deliverance of the British Nation from the Popish Powder Plot, at Noon the Guns at Castle William and at the Batteries in this Town were fired: At One all the nine Men of War then in this Harbour also fired.

From the Essex Gazette, Nov. 12, 1771.

The accommodation offered for travel between Boston and New York before the Revolution must have been slim enough, judging from an advertisement in the "Boston Gazette" in 1761. Passengers then went by vessel from Providence; that is, "Gentlemen Passengers." Whether ladies were accommodated or not, does not appear; but perhaps they were in the habit of going by stage, taking a week or so to accomplish the journey, or, more than likely, few ever travelled at all in those times. In our day, when every one is on the move, it is hard to realize this state of things.

* * * * *

Notice is Given, That SAMUEL and WILLIAM CHACE, of Providence, have a suitable Vessel that goes steadily between there and New-York. So that all Gentlemen Passengers and others that incline to take the Rout from Boston to New-York, or from New-York to Boston, may be well accommodated.

Providence, Aug. 29, 1761.

"In 1756," Watson says, "the first stage was started between Philadelphia and New York by Mr. Butler; three days through in summer time, five and six in winter. In 1765 a second stage was started, to go through positively in three days. This was a covered Jersey wagon,—fare, twopence per mile. In 1766 another stage, called the 'Flying Machine,' was started, to go through in two days,—threepence per mile."

* * * * *

A brief account of Montreal in the "Boston Gazette," March 30, 1761.

NEW-YORK, March 23.

Extract of a Letter from Montreal.

——"The Case of the poor Canadians is really deplorable, occasioned by the bankruptcy of the crown of France. Many of them who had, with great danger and labour, acquired estates worth 20,000 l. sterl. by the fur-trade, or otherwise, can now scarce procure a dinner. All their remittances from their mother country, consisted in bills on the French King, which are not now worth one farthing, as no body whatever will accept of them in payment. It is computed there is above the value of 3,000,000 l. sterling of these useless paper scraps, circulated through the colony, which, as a reward to the wretched inhabitants for all their hardships and fatigues, must now supply the place of affluence and independence. Most, if not all of them, are perfectly reconciled to the British government, as they can now with security enjoy any little property they have; whereas formerly, Governor Vaudreuil made no ceremony of seizing the produce of their lands, their merchandize and manufactures of every kind, and after conveying them to the King's store houses, paid to the proprietors any price he pleased. If the owners thereafter had occasion for any of their own commodities, they could not procure them under twenty times the price they had received.

"Montreal in general is a well built town, but incapable of any defence. The churches are elegant, and the houses of some of their principal men are really magnificent; though few in number. The Hotel Dieu is by far the finest hospital I ever saw, every thing in it is extremely neat and convenient.

"The people here are extravagantly fond of dress; a stranger would take Montreal to be a city inhabited by none but the rich and idle: they are all finely powdered, walk with their hats under their arms, and wear long coats, adorned with tinsel lace, and buttoned down to the extremity. Since I came here, I have not seen one man dressed like a tradesman. The ladies in general are handsome, extremely gay, and well bred."

* * * * *

In 1767 the best soap and "dipt" and "mould" candles were sold at the post-office in Boston, according to an advertisement in the "Gazette" of October 26. The candles were made of tallow, and gave but little light, requiring almost constant snuffing. Other kinds of candles were not in general use in New England in the last century. Sperm oil and sperm or wax candles could be used only by the wealthy. Many families, for economy, made their own candles. This practice was common in New England down to within fifty years.

It will be recollected that Dr. Franklin's father was a tallow-chandler in Boston, and that the Doctor himself worked at the business when a boy. Elizabeth Franklin, whose name appears in the following advertisement, was probably a relative of the family.

* * * * *

SOLD BY Elizabeth Franklin, At the Post-Office,

THE best true Crown Soap, Alicant best hard Soap, by the Doz. or single Pound, dipt and mould Candles at the lowest Price.

* * * * *

Every week the burials and baptisms in Boston were thus inserted in the papers. The following is from the "Gazette" of Nov. 23, 1767:—

Buried in the Town of Boston since our last, Five Whites. Three Blacks. Baptiz'd in the several Churches, Four.

* * * * *

This custom was continued many years. We take the following from the "Massachusetts Centinel," April 2, 1788:—

BURIED in town last week 11—BAPTISED 14.

Published by BENJAMIN RUSSELL, near the State-House, Boston.

* * * * *

General Wolfe's Manifesto from the "Boston Gazette," Dec. 10, 1759.

As the Manifesto lately published was only a Translation from a French Manuscript, we are requested to publish the following, which is

General WOLFE's Manifesto, as written by Himself.

THE formidable Sea and Land Armament which the People of Canada now behold in the Heart of their Country is intended by the King my Master to check the insolence of France;—To revenge the Insults offered to the British Colonies, and totally deprive the French of their most valuable Settlements in North-America.

For these Purposes only is the Formidable Army under my Command intended.

The King of Great-Britain wages no War with the Industrious Peasant, the sacred Orders of Religion, or the defenceless Women and Children: To these in their distressful Circumstances His Royal Clemency offers Protection. The People may remain unmolested on their Lands, inhabit their Houses, and enjoy their Religion in Security. For these inestimable Blessings, I expect the Canadians will take no Part in the Great Contest between the two Crowns; But if by a vain Obstinacy, and misguided Valour, they presume to appear in Arms, they must expect the most fatal Consequences; their Habitations destroyed, their sacred Temples exposed to the Fury of an exasperated Soldiery; their Harvest utterly ruined, and the only Passage of Relief stopped up by a most formidable Fleet.—In this unhappy Situation, and closely attacked by another great Army, what can the wretched Natives expect from Opposition!

THE unparelelled Barbarities exerted by the French against our Settlements in America, might justify the bitterest Revenge in the Army under my Command; but Britons breathe higher Sentiments of Humanity, and listen to the merciful Dictates of the Christian Religion. Yet should you suffer yourselves to be deluded by an imaginary Prospect of our want of Success; should you refuse those Terms, and persist in Opposition; Then surely will the Law of Nations justify the Waste of War, so necessary to crush an ungenerous Enemy: and Then, the miserable Canadians must in the Winter have the Mortification of seeing those very Families, they have been exerting a fruitless and indiscreet Bravery for, perish by the most dismal Want and Famine.

In this great Dilemma let the Wisdom of the People of Canada shew itself!

BRITAIN stretches out a powerful, yet a merciful Hand, Faithful to her Engagements, and ready to secure them in their most valuable Rights and Possessions.

FRANCE, unable to support Canada, deserts her Cause at this important Crisis, and during the whole War has assisted her with Troops, who have been maintained only by making the Natives feel all the Weight of grievous and lawless Oppression.


* * * * *

Boston, November 2, 1761.

Last Evening, just at Eight o'Clock, this Town was alarmed with the Shock of an EARTHQUAKE.


* * * * *

On the 15th of August, 1763, the "Boston Post-Boy" gives the following account of the celebration of a royal birthday:—

BOSTON, August 15.

On Friday being the Birth-Day of the Prince of Wales, and the Anniversary of the Accession of the House of Hanover, and also of the Surrender of the Havanna, which was the immediate Means of bringing about the Peace; at One o'Clock the Guns at the Castle and Town Batteries were Fired; and in the Evening his Excellency the Governor gave a Ball at Concert Hall. There were present about 240 Gentlemen and Ladies; the Ball was opened by General Shirley and the Governor's Lady about 8 o'Clock; the Country Dances began about nine, and about ten a Supper Room was opened, where was a very handsome Collation. The Ladies made a brilliant Appearance, and the Company expressed the highest Pleasure and Satisfaction on the Occasion, and broke up about two in the Morning. The whole was conducted with the greatest Order, Elegance and Decorum.

* * * * *

The great military "occasion" of those days was the annual parade of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. In June, 1763, that Company celebrated its one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary. In the "Boston Post-Boy" of June 13 we have this account:—

Monday last, agreeable to ancient Custom, the Artillery Company of the Province, appeared under Arms, being the Anniversary of the Election of Officers for the Company: A Sermon was preached by the Rev'd Mr. Balch of Dedham, at the Old Brick Meeting-House, where his Excellency the Governor, the Members of his Majesty's Council and House of Representatives, with a Number of other Gentlemen, attended; after which they proceeded to Faneuil-Hall, where an elegant Dinner was provided; and in the Afternoon the following Gentlemen were chosen for the ensuing Year, viz.

Thomas Marshall, Esq; Captain, Mr. Josiah Waters, Lieutenant, Mr. Jeremiah Belknap, Ensign.

In the Evening a plentiful Repast was given by the Officers newly elected, at Faneuil-Hall; where many loyal Healths were drank.

* * * * *

After the great fire in Boston in March, 1760, this item appeared in the "Gazette" of May 19:—

We hear that Charles Ward Apthorp, Esq; of N.-York, Merchant, upon hearing of the Calamity which had befallen this Town by the late dreadful Fire, generously ordered his Agent here to pay to the Gentlemen appointed to receive the Donations of charitable dispos'd Persons the Sum of One Hundred Pounds, L.M. for the Relief of the Sufferers.

Mr. Apthorp, of New York, made this generous donation—a large sum for that time—for the relief of the sufferers of his native place.

* * * * *

On the 30th of March, 1761, the "Boston Gazette" prints the following among its items of news:—

The following Proverbs we hope will not be disregarded, tho' taken from a Book in the Hands of almost every Freeholder in this Province; for they are true English Proverbs——

LOOK before you leap—Wise Men think twice before they act once—Avoidance is better than late Repentance—Put your Hand in the Lion's Mouth, then get it out if you can—Haste makes Waste—Fast bind fast find—A Wedge once enter'd, the Log flies—You may add, when you cannot take away—Cut your Coat according to your Cloth—A rash Beginning makes a foolish Ending—Better late than never—He that acts for others, should act with Caution—Once well done is twice done—A wise Man foreseeth the Storm and secureth himself——Of all Murderers, Self-Murderers are the most stupid—A Snake in the Grass may bite before it is seen.

A Word to the Wise is sufficient. AMEN.

* * * * *

BOSTON IN OLDEN TIMES.—The "Boston Transcript," in a notice of the newspapers published in Boston in 1767, of which there were ten, says: The printer in those days was a man of "all work." If a negro or horse was up for sale, the printer was the seller. The advertisements in these old papers are curiosities in their line. The following notices appeared in the advertising columns of the "Boston Evening Gazette," in 1741:—

"To be sold by the Printer of this Paper, the very best negro woman in this town, who has had the small pox and the measles; is as hearty as a horse, as brisk as a bird, and will work like a beaver."

"To be sold by the Printer of this Paper, a negro man about thirty years old, who can do both town and country business very well, but will suit the country best, where they have not so many dram-shops as we have in Boston. He has worked at the printing business fifteen or sixteen years; can handle axe, saw, spade, hoe, or other instrument of husbandry, as well as most men, and values himself, and is valued by others, for his skill in cookery."

* * * * *

This item, from a paper of 1767, seems to show that the Government was not then obliged to have a "bill" to uphold silver, for it was evidently in the ascendency; but there was no Western territory at that time, or rather, it had not been discovered.

Gold as well as Silver will be taken for the Tickets, and the Prizes paid off in like Manner. Prizes not demanded within Twelve Months after Drawing, will not be paid, but will be deem'd as generously given for the Purpose aforesaid, and applied accordingly.

Tickets to be had of the respective Managers, and of Edes and Gill.

* * * * *

Fashionable weddings in the days of the spinning-wheel were not so fully described as they are at the present day. Nothing used to be said about the "magnificent dresses," "best man," "ushers," "contracting parties," "elegant presents," etc., etc.; there was a simple announcement of the fact. Here are specimens of marriage announcements,—persons belonging to the first families in Boston.

"Boston Gazette," Feb. 5, 1759.

Last Thursday Morning, was married at King's-Chappel, Dr. THOMAS BULFINCH, Son of the late Dr. BULFINCH of this Town, to Mrs. SUSAN APTHORPE, Daughter of the late CHARLES APTHORPE, Esq; The Rev'd Mr. APTHORPE perform'd the Ceremony, before a very great Number of Spectators.

* * * * *

"Columbian Centinel," March 26, 1788.

——Mr. THOMAS H. PERKINS, merchant, to Miss SALLY ELLIOT, only daughter of Mr. SIMON ELLIOT.

* * * * *

"Gazette," Jan. 26, 1767.

BOSTON, January 26, 1767.

Tuesday the Honorable JOHN TEMPLE, Esq; Surveyor-General of North-America, was married to Miss BOWDOIN, Daughter of the Honorable JAMES BOWDOIN, Esq; of this Town.

* * * * *

Specimen of a house in "Corn-Hill," from the "Post-Boy," May 7, 1763.


A Large and Commodious Brick Dwelling-House, pleasently scituated in Corn-Hill: For further particulars Enquire of Green & Russell Printers in Queen-street.

* * * * *

The "Virginia Gazette" gives an account of an early and bold attempt at British impressment of seamen. This business caused us a great deal of trouble in after years, and was one of the causes of "Madison's War," as the old people were fond of calling it.

The press-gang was one of the peculiar institutions of Great Britain.

BOSTON, October 26, 1767.

By the Virginia Gazette, of the first Instant, it appears that Captain Morgan, of the Hornet Sloop of War, concerted a bloody riotous Plan, to impress Seamen, at Norfolk, for which Purpose, his Tender was equipped with Guns and Men, and under Cover of the Night said Morgan landed at a public Wharff, having first made proper Dispositions either for an Attack or Retreat, then went to a Tavern, and took a chearful Glass, after which they went to work, and took every Person they met with, and knocked all down that resisted; and dragged them on board the Tender; but the Town soon took the Alarm, and being headed by Paul Loyal, Esq; a Magistrate, they endeavoured to convince Capt. Morgan of his Error, and being deaf to all they said he ordered the People in the Tender to fire on the Inhabitants, but they refused to obey their Commanders Orders, and he was soon obliged to fly, leaving some of the Hornets behind, who were sent to Gaol, but were afterwards released.

Mr. John Ashton, in his recently published work on "Social Life in England at the end of the Eighteenth Century," informs us that one evening in the year 1790, 2,100 men were pressed in London alone, besides many more at the seaport towns.

* * * * *

In the summer of 1762 there was a severe drought in Massachusetts, and the Governor issued a proclamation recommending public prayers for rain; but it will be noticed that he says if rain should come before the day set apart for prayers, then, instead of humiliation, it would be the duty of the people to make it a day of thanksgiving. The proclamation referred to was published in the "Boston Post-Boy" of July 13, 1762.



Captain-General and Governor in Chief, in and over His Majesty's Province of Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, and Vice-Admiral of the same.


For a Day of Public Prayer.

IT having pleased Almighty God to visit this Province with another severe Drought, which, if it should continue much longer, cannot fail of bringing great Distress upon the Inhabitants thereof—We are again called upon to supplicate the Interposition of Divine Providence to relieve this Country from the imminent Danger with which it is threatned, by dispensing timely and plentiful Rain.

I HAVE therefore thought fit to appoint, and I do, by and with the Advice of His Majesty's Council, appoint Wednesday the Twenty-eighth Day of this Instant July to be a Day of Public Prayer throughout the Province: Whereon the whole People may as at one Time humble themselves before Almighty God, acknowledging their great Unworthiness, and confessing their manifold Sins, and imploring the Supreme Dispenser of all Good, that He would be graciously pleased not to with-hold from them the Fruits of the Earth, but by seasonable and refreshing Rains bring what yet remains undestroyed to a due and seasonable Maturity.

AND WHEREAS some Places have been exempted from the general Want of Rain; and it is to be hoped that before the Day appointed as aforesaid, many others, and possibly the whole Province, may have a gracious and timely Relief: It will be our Duty to intermix Thanksgiving with Humiliation, in such a Manner as the State of the Province, and particular Parts thereof, shall at that Time require.

And I do order the said Day to be observed as a Day set apart for Religious Worship, and that no servile Labour or Recreation be permitted thereon.

GIVEN at the Council-Chamber in Boston, the Ninth Day of July, 1762, in the Second Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Third, by the Grace of GOD, of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, KING, Defender of the Faith, &c.

Fra. Bernard.

By His Excellency's Command, A. OLIVER, Secr'y. GOD Save the KING.

* * * * *

Fire-works to be "play'd off," Aug. 13, 1759. From the "Boston Gazette."

The Publick REJOICINGS in Town this Day, on Account of the Success of His Majesty's Arms in the Reduction of Ticonderoga, Niagara and Crown-Point, by the Troops under the Command of the victorious General AMHERST, are now beginning—A great Number of People have been employ'd in making Fire-Works, &c. which will be play'd off this Evening, when there will be a handsome illumination.

* * * * *

The "Post-Boy" of November 15 of that year prints the following:—

NEW-YORK, November 15.

The Ships Manchester and Edward, that arrived here lately from London, brought over no less than 206 Chests of Green and Bohea Teas, for the different Merchants of this City.

Since our last two Vessels arrived here from Ireland, with about 2000 Firkins of choice Irish Butter, which we hope will bring down the Price of that Article.

* * * * *

We get an idea of men's clothing in 1767 from the following:—

WHEREAS in the Time of Divine Service Yesterday, the House of the Subscriber was broke open, and the following Things stolen from thence, viz. a Chocolate-colour Coat and Jacket trim'd with Brass Buttons, a cloth-colour'd cut-velvet Jacket with white Buttons, a pair Wash-Leather Breeches with white Buttons, five Silver Tea-Spoons, and one large ditto, mark'd G.P. Whoever shall apprehend the Thief or Thieves, so that he or they may be convicted, shall have FOUR DOLLARS Reward, paid by


Concord, September 14, 1767.

* * * * *

Lectures were not common in the last century. It was not until within fifty or sixty years ago, when Lyceums began to be established, that the lecture system became developed.

We find that in 1769 a Mr. Douglass lectured in Boston, according to an advertisement in the "Chronicle," August 17th.

The well-known Colonel David Mason of the Revolution, who was a prominent figure among the patriots at Leslie's Retreat at the North Bridge in Salem in February, 1775, was one of the earliest, if not the very first, to lecture in Salem upon a scientific subject. In the "Essex Gazette," Jan. 15, 1771, we find his advertisement:—

No longer than next Week, will Continue to be exhibited, every Evening in which the Air is dry, (Saturday and Sunday excepted)

A Course of Experiments in that instructive and entertaining Branch of Natural PHILOSOPHY, called


To be accompanied with Methodical Lectures on the Nature and Properties of that WONDERFUL ELEMENT,

By David Mason,

At his Dwelling-House near the North Bridge. The Course to consist of two Lectures, At a Pistareen each Lecture.

As the Knowledge of Nature tends to enlarge the human Mind, and give us more noble, more grand and exalted Ideas of the AUTHOR of Nature, and if well pursued, seldom fails producing something useful to Man, 'tis hoped these Lectures may be thought worthy of Regard and Encouragement.

Tickets to be had at the above Place.

* * * * *

Positively the LAST NIGHT. To-Morrow, being Friday, August 17, 1769. Mr. Douglass, Will deliver the LECTURE ON HEADS, Coats of Arms, Wigs, Ladies-head Dresses, &c, &c, &c, &c. After which, will be pronounced SOME SELECT PIECES From THE MOST CELEBRATED ENGLISH POETS. *** Tickets for Admission, to be had of Green and Russell, and at the Bunch of Grapes in King-Street. At HALF-a-DOLLAR each. To begin exactly at 8 o'clock.

* * * * *

Thus we see that Salem was early in the field of literature and science. Its citizens must take pride in remembering such great names as Nathaniel Bowditch, William H. Prescott, Joseph Story, Timothy Pickering, John Pickering, Benjamin Peirce, William W. Story, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and many others.

* * * * *

When we see the great waste of paper in these days,—handbills, circulars, and newspapers, which are blowing about the streets at times,—we sometimes wonder how it was in 1767, on October 19, when the following notice appeared in the "Boston Gazette."

—> THIS is to give Notice, That on TUESDAY the 27th Instant, the Bell-Cart will go thro' Boston, to collect Linnen Rags for Milton Paper-Mill; as the highest Price will be given, all House-keepers and others are desired to have them in Readiness.—And, as it appears that all Sorts of Paper now to be imported, will come at a much higher Price than usual—if People will but save their Rags, it will not only be greatly interesting to the Public that the aforesaid Mill should have a full Supply, but will also encourage the manufacturing of all such different Sorts of Paper as are generally used among us, and a little to spare the neighbouring Governments.

* * * * *

Here are two notices,—the first, nearly eight years before the battle of Lexington, sounds warlike; the second is a call to promote greater economy on the part of the inhabitants.

Messieurs EDES & GILL,

Please to insert the following in your next.

IT is rumoured, and some say with great Probability, that a Body of Troops are ordered to be in Readiness at Halifax, to embark to any Part on the Continent of America, upon the first Notice of Uneasiness at the Novelties we daily expect.—It is as certain that America is also in Readiness to defend their Liberties at the Risque of every Thing else—there can be no Hesitation whenever the Alternative shall be Slavery or Death—If therefore they wait to know whether we will tamely submit to Slavery, the sooner the Matter is bro't to a Crisis the better.——But while we have any Opinion of the Integrity and good Sense of the Parliament of G.B. such Reports will not easily gain Credit. DETERMINATUS.

* * * * *

The Freeholders and other Inhabitants of this Town, are to meet at Faneuil-Hall, on Wednesday next, to consider and agree upon some effectual Measures to promote Industry, Oeconomy, and Manufactures, thereby to prevent the unnecessary Importation of European Commodities, which threaten the Country with Poverty and Ruin, &c.——

* * * * *

Timothy Pickering, the father of the distinguished Revolutionary officer and statesman of the same name, addressed an open letter to King George III., which is printed in the "Salem Gazette," Oct. 31, 1769. It is a very quaint production, but it shows the writer's love of simplicity and downright honesty. He was a sturdy Puritan.

"Oct. 31, 1769.


"GREAT SIR,—Your Kingdom is like a House divided against itself. Something Extraordinary must be done. Our Parliaments for fifty years past (or some of them) have ruined the Nation, in making a monstrous Debt by hiring Money, while greater Sums have been expended in Pride and Luxury. Thirteen hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling, the Public Prints tell us, is paid annually to the Dutch as Interest money. My Advice is that all Rulers and Officers, who have high Salaries, drop them, except so much as is necessary for plain Living;—(Samuel had more Honour in his plain Living with his upright Mind, than Saul had in all his Princely Grandeur,)—And that all unnecessary Pensions cease together with military Officers half-pay, (How Unequal are our Ways: These Officers must have large Half-Pay, while the common Soldiers are not allowed small Half-Pay—who have been exposed generally to greater Hardships than their Officers. Either let all have Half-Pay or none. The Soldiers are to be respected as well as their Officers and are as necessary,) and that high Taxes very high be laid on all Pride and Luxury, wherever it is found, the Clergy and the Women not excepted; And that great Taxes be laid on the Rich. I have an Income of but about eighty Pounds Sterling a Year, including my own Hands Labour, nevertheless I am freely willing to pay one quarter Part of it in Taxes till my Public Debts are paid. Others that have Two hundred a Year, can with Ease pay one half of it in Taxes, if need be. Pay thy Debts; Owe no man anything is Law, Divine and Moral. Immoral Men are in the road that leads to Hell; if they attend Public Worship, they are Hypocrites, like the Scribes and Pharisees, of whom Christ said, Ye are of your Father the Devil. If I understand the Apostle, when such Men sit or kneel at a Communion Table, it is a Table of Devils to them. Pray, Sir, tell your Placemen that the vast Multitude of your Subjects are very uneasy that so much of the Public Money, when raised is sunk in the Gulph of Exhorbitancy. My Governor, Mr. Francis Bernard, demands a thousand Pounds Sterling a Year; one half that Sum is more than Enough, especially as the Nation is ready to sink with the Weight of its Public Debt. The Clergy can tell their Congregations that the New Testament rather reproves than commands the wearing of costly Array and faring sumptuously every Day; And I may venture to tell my Readers that all those who neglect taking a conscientious care to pay their Debts, private Debts, as well as public, are in the high Way to Destruction; the commonness of the Sin don't abate the Malignity of it.

P.S. Your Majesty sees how diligent Governor Nehemiah was in reforming what was amiss in Israel. He was obliged indeed to contend with the Nobles and the Rulers who opposed him, but he subdued them, and no wonder! Because he feared God and not Man.

From a loyal Subject of my King and a sincere Friend to his Kingdom.


Mr. Pickering wrote a letter to his son, while the latter was a student at Harvard College, requesting him not to play at cards, a practice which he regarded as wicked. But the son (Colonel Timothy Pickering afterwards), as Mr. Upham, his biographer, well remarks, was altogether too busy with his studies to waste time over cards.

* * * * *

We do not observe in the old papers much that would indicate a belief in modern Spiritualism; but it would seem from some accounts that "angels" were occasionally seen. In the cases we quote, the kind of "angels" is not stated. Whether they were real live beauties, or not, can only be conjectured. Who would not now like to buy one of these books at "four Coppers," so as to read all about these angels?


(And Sold by Green & Russel, in Queen-Street,)

A True & wounderful Relation of the Appearance of THREE ANGELS, (cloathed in White Raiment) to a young Man at Medford, near Boston, in New-England, on the 4th of February 1761, at Night. Together with the Substance of the DISCOURSE, delivered by one of the Angels, from the 3d Chapter of Colossians, and 4th Verse.

[Price only four Coppers.]

—> Good Allowance to those that purchase by the Dozen.

Boston Gazette, Feb. 18, 1761.

* * * * *

About this time, also, "angels" made their appearance "at home" (England), as will be seen by another notice from the same paper.

* * * * *

This Day Published,

(And Sold by Fowle & Draper, in Marlboro'-Street.)

A full Relation of the surprizing Appearance of an Angel, in the Parish-Church of Gainsbury in Lincolnshire, on Christmas-Day last, in the Morning.—From whom was obtained a Prophecy of many Things that should come to pass in Europe; but more especially in England and France:—The first of which Kingdoms is threatened with several Judgments on Account of their great Misimprovement of peculiar Priviledges: Whilst the latter, notwithstanding their Endeavours to become great, shall be totally destroy'd by Discord among themselves, &c. &c. The whole being a loud Call to Repentance.—Published at the Request of the Parishioners, and attested to by two Ministers, and three Esquires.


* * * * *

In the "Boston Post-Boy" for Dec. 12, 1763, is an account of the dedication of the Synagogue in Newport, R.I.

NEWPORT, December 5.

On Friday last, in the Afternoon, was the Dedication of the new Synagogue, in this Town. It began by a handsome Procession, in which were carried the Books of the Law, to be deposited in the Ark. Several Portions of Scripture, and of their Service, with a Prayer for the Royal Family, were read, and finely sung by the Priest and People. There were present many Gentlemen and Ladies. The Order and Decorum, the Harmony and Solemnity of the Musick, together with a handsome Assembly of People, in an Edifice the most perfect of the Temple Kind perhaps in America, and splendidly illuminated, could not but raise in the Mind a faint Idea of the Majesty and Grandeur of the antient Jewish Worship mentioned in Scripture.

* * * * *

We find by the "Salem Mercury" of March 30, 1789, that New Hackensack was fifty or sixty years before Rochester in "rappings" and "table-tippings." Who shall say that these manifestations, whatever they are, are not as old as man himself? The best and wisest of us do not know everything. There may be some science, yet in its infancy, which will some day be explained, so that all these things will then be perfectly understood. The account here given has no appearance of deception. Had the girl lived a hundred years earlier, she would in all probability have been hanged for a witch; but had she lived in these days, she might have reaped a harvest from lectures and seances.


Extract of a letter from a gentleman at Fishkill, dated March 3, 1789.

"Were I to relate the many extraordinary accounts of the unfortunate girl at New-Hackensack, your belief might, perhaps, be staggered. I shall therefore only inform you of what I was an eyewitness to. Last Sunday afternoon myself and wife went to Dr. Thorn's, and after sitting sometime, we heard a knocking under the feet of a young woman that lives in the family; I asked the Doctor what occasioned the noise—he could not tell, but replied, that he, together with several others had examined the house, but were unable to discover the cause. I then took a candle, and went with the girl into the cellar—there the knocking also continued; but as we were ascending the stairs to return, I heard a prodigious rapping on each side, which alarmed me very much. I stood still some time looking around with amazement, when I beheld some lumber, which lay at the head of the stairs, shake considerably. About eight or ten days after, we visited the girl again—the knocking still continued, though much louder. Our curiosity induced us to pay the third visit, when the phenomena were still more alarming. I then saw the chairs move; a large dining table was thrown against me, and a small stand on which stood a candle, was tossed up, and thrown in my wife's lap; after which we left the house, much surprised at what we had seen."

* * * * *

Advertisements for runaway slaves are very numerous, as well as offers for the sale of single slaves. In some instances negro children are "to be given away." The following notices are taken from the "Boston Gazette" and the "Boston Post-Boy." The descriptions of dress, personal appearance, etc., are very curious.

RAN away from Thomas Poynton of Salem, a Negro Fellow, about 25 Years of Age, a short thick-set Fellow, not very black, something pitted with the Small-Pox, speaks bad English: Had on when he went away, a dark colour'd Cloth Coat, lined with red Shalloon, with Mettal Buttons, a blue Sailor's Jacket, and a flowered German Serge Jacket, black knit Breeches, a Pair grey Stockings newly stock'd, an old Beaver Hatt, and an old Drab Great Coat: Any Person that shall take up said Negro, and convey him to Salem, or secure him in any Gaol shall be well rewarded, and all necessary Charges paid.

N.B. All Masters of Vessels and others are cautioned against harbouring, concealing or carrying off the said Negro, as they would avoid the Rigour of the Law. THOMAS POYNTON.

Gazette, Feb. 4, 1766.

* * * * *

To be given away,

A Male Negro Child of a good Breed, and in good Health. Inquire of Green and Russell.

Post-Boy, Feb. 28, 1763.

* * * * *


A young Negro Woman about 20 Years of Age, born in this Country, possess'd of many good Qualifications, is a very good COOK, can handle her Needle well, and do every Kind of Business about House, and sold only for want of Employ. Enquire of Green & Russell.

—> She will not be sold out of this Town.

Post-Boy, Feb. 28, 1763.

* * * * *

RAN away from his Master, John Amiel of Boston, last Thursday Night, a Negro Fellow named Peer, he had on when he went away a cloth colour'd Coat, lin'd and trim'd with red, a black broad cloth Waistcoat without sleeves, a yellow pair of leather Breeches, a large pair of silver Buckels, and a good Beaver Hat; he is a thick set Fellow, has very large Feet and Legs, and speaks good French and English. Whoever will apprehend the said Negro and bring him to his Master in Boston, shall have TWO DOLLARS Reward, and all necessary Charges paid by John Amiel.

All Masters of Vessels and others, are hereby forbid to harbour, conceal or carry off said Negro Servant, as they would avoid the penalty of the Law.

Boston, May 2.

Post-Boy, May 10, 1763.

* * * * *


A Negro Woman, about Twenty Eight Years of Age; she is remarkably healthy, and strong, and several other good Qualities; and is offer'd to Sale, for no other reason, than her being of a furious Temper, and somewhat lazy; smart Discipline, would make her a very good Servant. Any Person minded to Purchase, may be further inform'd by enquiring of the Printers.

Gazette, May 12, 1760.

* * * * *

Newport, Rhode-Island, August 28, 1767.

Ran-away from Benjamin Brenton, a short thick Negro Man named LONDON, has lost his Toes off both Feet. Whoever brings said Negro to his Master, shall have EIGHT DOLLARS Reward, and all Charges paid.

Boston Gazette.

* * * * *

Boston, for aught we know, did as much in the slave-trade as Newport; possibly more. The numerous advertisements of "Prime Men and Boys" and "Parcels of likely Negroes" which appear about this time in the Boston papers rather indicate a considerable trade in slaves.


A few likely Negro Boys, and two Negro Men between 20 and 30 Years of Age. Also, Newcastle Coals, Lisbon and Salterduda Salt, A few Pipes of MADEIRA WINES, also Fyal Wines, Quart Bottles by the Groce—Hemp—Russia and Ravens Duck—English Duck of all Numbers—Cordage Anchors—Oznabrigs—Ticklenburgs—Hooks and Lines—Newcastle Crown Glass of all Sizes and in Sheets—ALSO, Bristol Glass of all Sizes—All Sorts of Nails—Scotch Snuff, and a variety of English and Scots Manufactures.

Boston Post-Boy, Dec. 19, 1763.

* * * * *

Just Imported from Africa, And to be Sold cheap at No. 5 Butler's Row.

A few prime Men and Boys Slaves from the Gold Coast.

* * * * *


A Parcel of likely Negroes, imported from Africa, Cheap for Cash or Credit with Interest; enquire of John Avery at his House, next Door to the white Horse, or at a Store adjoining to said Avery's Distill House, at the South End, near the South Market:—Also if any Persons have any Negroe Men, strong and hearty, tho' not of the best moral character, which are proper Subjects for Transportation, may have an Exchange for small Negroes.

Boston Gazette, 1763

* * * * *

JUST Imported,


A Number of prime young SLAVES, from the Windward Coast, and to be Sold on board Capt. Gwin lying at New-Boston.

Boston Gazette, July 13, 1761.

* * * * *

To be sold, a parcel of likely hearty Negroes, both Male and Female from Ten Years of Age to Twenty, imported the last Week from AFRICA. Enquire of Capt. Wickham on board the Sloop Diamond, now laying at the Wharff adjoining to JOHN AVERY'S Distill-House near the South Market, or of said Avery at his House next the White Horse.

We have not been able to find that any of the inhabitants of Salem engaged in the slave-trade; but we notice that at a town-meeting held in the month of May, 1773, the following vote was passed: "That the Representatives of the Town be instructed to use their utmost Endeavours to prevent the future Importation of Negroes into this Province; their Slavery being repugnant to the natural Rights of Mankind and highly prejudicial to the Province." It is of course possible that some Salem people may have been interested in vessels hailing from other places and engaged in this nefarious traffic, as it is now considered.

* * * * *

Arrival of Irish servants at Boston in 1769.

Arrived from IRELAND,

THE Ship King of Prussia, ARTHUR DARLEY, master, has on board 30 Servants, some Tradesmen, viz. Taylors, Shoe-makers, Smiths, Weavers, &c. the remainder Country lads that understand Farming business.——His stay here will be short, as he is bound to another Port.

Boston Chronicle, September 25.

* * * * *

The celebrated revival preacher Rev. George Whitefield was in Boston in 1764. We take the following item from the "Boston Post-Boy" of February 24:—

At a Meeting of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Boston on Friday last, it was voted unanimously, That the Thanks of the Town be given the Rev. Mr. GEORGE WHITEFIELD, for his charitable Care and Pains in collecting a considerable Sum of Money in Great-Britain, for the distressed Sufferers by the great Fire in Boston, 1760; and a respectable Committee was appointed to wait on Mr. WHITEFIELD to inform him of the Vote, and present him with a Copy thereof, which Committee waited upon him accordingly, and received the following Answer,


This Vote of Thanks for so small an Instance of my good-will to Boston, as it was entirely unexpected, quite surprizes me——Often have I been much concerned that I could do no more upon such a distressing Occasion.——That the Redeemer may ever preserve the Town from such like melancholy Events, and sanctify their present afflictive Circumstances to the spiritual Welfare of all its Inhabitants, is the hearty Prayer of,

Gentlemen, Your ready Servant in our common LORD. GEORGE WHITEFIELD.

The Rev. Mr. WHITEFIELD preached on Tuesday and Saturday last, at the Old South Meeting-House, to large and crouded Auditories.

* * * * *

Marriage of Copley, the celebrated painter, from the "Chronicle," Nov. 20, 1769.

Last Thursday Mr. John Singleton Copley was married to Miss Sukey Clarke Daughter of Richard Clarke, Esq; and Mr. Joshua Henshaw, jun. to Miss Katherine Hill, Daughter of Col. John Hill.

* * * * *

Thomas Britt

Would take a few young Ladies, &c. to teach them Spelling, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, at his School near the Cornfield. ALSO, French taught and translated by said Britt.

Boston Gazette, April 27, 1767.

* * * * *

Where were or where was, as the case might be, the "Cornfields" or "Cornfield" of Boston in 1763? Martin Gay kept a store or lived near there, and in 1767 Master Britt kept a school for young ladies near the "Cornfield."

Choice English Peas

at the North-Mills, TO BE SOLD, by the larger or smaller Quantity, at a low Rate, Enquire of William Paine at said Mills, or of Martin Gay, near the Cornfields, Boston.

Dec. 12, 1763.

* * * * *

When we remember the old pictures and portraits of stately ladies with high headdresses and gentlemen with wigs, the following advertisements are interesting:—

Joshua Davis, Peruke-Maker.

HEREBY informs his Customers, and others, That he has Remov'd his Shop from the Head of the Long Wharf, next the Crown Coffee House, to the first Shop in Mackrell Lane, next the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, where they may be serv'd with Fidelity and Dispatch.

—> Said Davis makes the neatest and most fashionable Wiggs, at a moderate Rate.

Boston Gazette, Feb. 18, 1761.

* * * * *

A genteel Gold Watch, made by Marmaduke Storr, to be Sold, inquire of the Printers. Sept. 14, 1761.

* * * * *

A few Genteel Grey and light Grey London-made WIGS, to be sold by JOHN CROSBY, Periwig Maker near the Sign of the Lamb, also Wig-makers Ribbons, Silk and Cauls, Bodyed Grizle, and Grizle Hairs for cut Wigs, Bleach'd, Tye and Brown Spencer Hairs, white Goat Hairs, white, black, and brown Horse Hairs, Moy Crown Hairs, Cards and Brushes, drawing Cards and Brushes, best Razors, purple Thread, Tupee Irons, & Curling Tongs, Tupee Combs in Cases, Wig Blocks, Silk Puffs, Hair, Powder, Shaving Boxes, & Brushes, wash Ball Boxes, and wash Balls, London black Balls with Printed directions, to use them very Nice, black Sattin Baggs for the Hair, white, black, yellow; & Bear Grees, Pomatum Excellent with their use to make Hair of a good Colour, & to grow thicker, Gold & Silver Powders (so called) to clean Gold and Silver Lace & Embroaderry.

Boston Post-Boy, Dec. 12, 1763.

* * * * *

At fires, leather buckets were used by the inhabitants, and were sometimes lost or misplaced, as appears from the following advertisements from the "Boston Gazette":—

LOST at the late Fire on the 5th of November Inst. a Leather Bucket, No. 2, mark'd Wm. Hickling: Whoever is taken up the same, are desir'd to return it to the Owner, or the Printers hereof.

* * * * *

LOST at the Fire near Oliver's-Dock, on the 14th Day of November last, a Pair of Leather Fire Buckets, mark'd Benj^a. Barnard, and dated 1757. Whoever will give Information, or bring them to the Printers hereof, shall be handsomely Rewarded.

Dec. 10, 1759.

Within the writer's recollection, in nearly every house in Salem two or more fire-buckets, marked with the owner's name, were, when not in use, kept hanging in the front hall. At fires, lanes, as they were called, of men were formed, under the direction generally of the fire-wards, and water was passed from one to another and to the fire from some neighboring pump or cistern.

* * * * *

We see notices like the following of insurance offices; but they were principally for marine risks, as not many fire risks were taken before the beginning of the present century.

Hurd's Insurance-Office,


OPEN at all hours of business, where Policies of Insurance are underwritten upon the most moderate premiums; and the Gentlemen forming this Insurance Company, whose names are inserted in each Policy, having established adequate Funds for the ready payment of such losses as may happen, hereby notify, that business will be done with all possible attention, dispatch and punctuality, by


April 8, 1784. (Insurance Broker.)

* * * * *

THIS is to inform all Gentlemen in Trade, That


Lately kept in Ann-Street near the Town-Dock, by SAMUEL PHILLIPS SAVAGE, is removed to the House of the Honorable WILLIAM BRATTLE, Esq; next Door to the British Coffee-House, King-Street: Where the Business of Insurance is carried on as usual.

Boston, December 6, 1759.

With regard to policies, the term "under-writer" came from an old custom. There were in old times no joint-stock companies for insurance, but policies were filled out and left at an office kept by some person for the purpose, where any responsible man could sign his name to a particular policy and affix such sum as he was willing to risk, and thus become one of the "underwriters." We have seen, for instance, a policy for $20,000 with twelve or fifteen names of merchants, signed with various sums from $500 upwards.

* * * * *

A quaint notice of the death of Obadiah Brown, of Providence, from the "Boston Post-Boy":—

PROVIDENCE, June 21, 1762.

ON Thursday last died at his Seat in the Country, after two Days Illness, OBADIAH BROWN, Esq; in the 50th Year of his Age. He was one of the most considerable Men in this Town: In the various Branches of Business which he carried on, his Activity was unequalled, his Judgment and Prudence oftener admired than imitated, his Honesty and Integrity fit to be drawn into Example.—As a Magistrate, he was judicious, grave, and reserved:—As a Friend, constant, open, facetious, and cheerful:—In the Relations of a Husband, Father, and Master, the deep and real Sorrow of his Widow, the mournful Tears of his Children, and the unusual Cries and Lamentations of his Servants, are invincible Proofs in his Favour. His Beneficence is witnessed by the Sighs of the Poor and Thanks of the Tradesmen: And his Death is universally lamented, because his Life was universally useful.

* * * * *

Notice of Hon. Daniel Russell, from the "Boston Gazette":—

Charlestown, December 10, 1763.

ON Tuesday last departed this Life, after a short Illness, the Hon. DANIEL RUSSELL, Esq; who, for upwards of Twenty Years, was a Member of his Majesty's Council for this Province: He also served the Province as Commissioner of Impost, and the County of Middlesex as Treasurer, for more than fifty Years; in the Discharge of all which Offices, such was his conscientious Fidelity and unsullied Integrity, as procured him universal Approbation and Esteem.

In public and private Life, his whole Conduct was such as evidently showed his invariable desire and endeavour to preserve a Conscience void of Offence both towards God and Man; and by the Rectitude of his Behaviour, to adorn and recommend the holy Religion which he professed, and to approve himself to the all-searching Eye of the Father of Spirits.

His Memory is greatly honoured by all who were acquainted with him, in whose esteem he was truly that "noblest Work of God, An honest Man."

It is observable that in the several Offices which he sustained, he succeeded his worthy Father and Grandfather; both of whom held and discharged the same, for a great Number of Years, with unspotted Reputation.

His Remains, we hear, will be inter'd on Monday next, on which Day, had he lived, he would have entered the 79th Year of his Age.

"The sweet Remembrance of the just "Shall flourish when he sleeps in dust."

* * * * *

Account of the burial of Major-General Whitmore, from the "Boston Gazette":—

BOSTON, December 21, 1761.

Wednesday afternoon the Corps of Major General WHITMORE was interred in the King's Chapple with all the Honours that this Town could give. The Procession went from the Town-House to the King's Chapple in the following Manner; A Party of the Troop of Horse Guards, the Company of Cadets, the Officers of the Regiment of Militia, the officiating Ministers, the Corps, the Pall supported by six regular Officers, the chief Mourners, the Governor and Lieut. Governor, the Council, the Judges, Justices, Ministers, and principal Gentlemen of the Town, a great Number of Coaches and Chariots following. During the whole Procession Minute-Guns were fired. The Corps was placed in the Middle of the King's Chapple whilst Part of the Funeral Service was performed, and was from thence carried into the Vaults below, and there interred. Whilst the last Service was performing the Cadets fired three Vollies.

* * * * *

Notice of Hon. John Erving, from the "Massachusetts Gazette," Aug. 22, 1786:—

Died, last Sunday morning, in the 94th year of his age, the Hon. JOHN ERVING, Esq. who, for twenty years, was a member of the Council under the old constitution, and one of the most eminent merchants in America.

As a man of probity, and strict honesty, he was universally esteemed. Those who were acquainted with his character must regret the loss of so worthy a member of the community. In his domestick life he was a tender parent and kind master.——His funeral will be this afternoon, precisely at five o'clock, from his house in Tremont-street, where his friends and acquaintance are desired to attend.

* * * * *

Notice of the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Salisbury, from the "Massachusetts Centinel," March 28, 1789:—

Last Wednesday night departed this life, very suddenly, Mrs. ELIZABETH SALISBURY, the amiable and virtuous Consort of Mr. Samuel Salisbury of this town, merchant. Her funeral will be from his house in Marlborough-street, this afternoon—which her friends are desired to attend.

* * * * *

From the "Boston Chronicle," March 8, 1770:—


For some days bye-past, there have been several affrays between the inhabitants and the soldiers quartered in this town.

Last Monday about 9 o'clock at night a most unfortunate affair happened in King-street: The centinel posted at the Custom-house, being surrounded by a number of people, called to the main-guard, upon which Capt. Preston, who was Captain of the day, with a party, went to his assistance: soon after which some of the party fired, by which the following persons were killed and wounded,

Mr. Samuel Gray, ropemaker, killed.—A Mollatto man, named Johnson, killed.—Mr. James Caldwell, mate of Capt. Morton's vessel, killed.—Mr. Samuel Maverick, wounded, and since dead.—A Lad named Christopher Monk, wounded.—A lad named John Clark, wounded.—Mr. Edward Payne, Merchant, standing at his entry-door, wounded in the arm.—Mr. John Greene, taylor, wounded.—Mr. Patrick Cole, wounded.—David Parker, wounded.

Early next morning Captain Preston was committed to gaol, and same day 8 soldiers.

A meeting of the inhabitants was called at Fanueil-hall that forenoon: and the Lieutenant-Governor and Council met at the Council-chamber, where the Colonels Dalrymple and Carr were desired to attend, when it was concluded upon, that both regiments should go down to the barracks at Castle-William, as soon as they were ready to receive them.

We decline at present, giving a more particular account of this unhappy affair, as we hear the trial of the unfortunate prisoners is to come on next week.

This is all the "Boston Chronicle" has to say about that great historical event of the fifth of March, an event which stirred the whole country and filled the minds of the Colonists with a perfect hatred of the British power in America,—"The Boston Massacre." The editor of the paper was probably a Tory.

* * * * *

The "Massachusetts Gazette," Feb. 3, 1774, says:—

We hear that the Hon. JOHN HANCOCK, Esq; is appointed to deliver the ORATION in Commemoration of the Bloody Tragedy on the 5th of March.

* * * * *

The "Salem Gazette" has this item, March 7, 1782:—

Last Tuesday Mr. George R. Minot delivered an elegant and spirited Oration, at the old brick meeting-house, in commemoration of the horrid massacre perpetrated on the 5th of March, 1770, by a banditti of the British tyrant's 29th regiment.

* * * * *

It may not be of any consequence to the public to know what kind of coat Jonathan Williams wore in 1767, but it may be a matter of curiosity to his descendants now living. We take the following advertisement from the "Boston Gazette," Dec. 28, 1767:—

Whereas there has been taken out of the House of Jonathan Williams in Cornhill, two Great Coats, on the 23d Instant, one of his own Wearing a cloth-coloured Drab; the other his Servants, a blue Cloth ditto. Whoever has taken them, and will return the former to said Williams, shall have the latter gratis, and no Questions ask'd.

* * * * *


Frequent applications being made to the Town-Cryer, to proceed through the streets in search of Children that have strayed from their home, which practice often excites unnecessary alarm to the inhabitants.

The public are respectfully desired, in case of any discovery of a child, or children so lost or strayed, to bring them immediately to the subscriber at No. 71, Newbury street.—By an attention to this regulation, Parents and friends may have their anxiety relieved by applying as above.


Constitutional Telegraph, Aug. 8, 1800.

* * * * *

Masonic notice from Paul Revere and others, from the "Boston Post-Boy."

NOTICE is hereby given to the Brethren of the Antient and Honorable Society of FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS, That the Feast of St. JOHN the BAPTIST will be Celebrated by the Brethren of St. ANDREW'S Lodge, (duly authoriz'd, constituted and appointed to be held at Boston, by the Right Honorable, JOHN LORD ABERDOUR, Grand Master of Scotland) on Thursday the 24th Instant, at the Royal-Exchange Tavern in King-Street, Tickets to be had of

JOSEPH WEBB, jun. Boston, June 14, 1762. PHILLIP LEWIS, PAUL REVERE.

* * * * *

The house of Copley, the celebrated painter, is thus advertised:—

To be LET, and entered on immediately,

THAT elegant, convenient, and most pleasantly situated DWELLING-HOUSE, with a large Garden, and other Land about it, (near his Excellency the Governour's) belonging to Mr. COPLEY; well known to be completely accommodated for a genteel family. Inquire of CHARLES PELHAM, (at the late Dwelling-House of Mrs. PELHAM, at New-Boston) he being impowered to let it.

May 16, 1789.

Massachusetts Centinel.

* * * * *

Antique luxuries.

WANTED, the following, viz. Fifteen Pair of WOOD DUCKS, Four Pair of WILD GEESE, Three Pair of FLYING SQUIRRELS, Three Dozen of the smallest Size Terrapeins or fresh Water TURTLES, for which a good PRICE will be given, or for any Part of them.——Enquire of the Printer.

Essex Gazette, Feb. 21, 1771.

* * * * *

We do not see much in the papers about spinning-wheels until after the War of the Revolution; then there seemed to be what may be called a revival of domestic industry. In 1786 the ladies of Hartford, Conn., formed an Economical Association. They say that they are "fully sensible that our calamities are in a great measure occasioned by the luxury and extravagance of individuals, and are of opinion that it is a duty they owe their country as well as their families to retrench as far as possible all unnecessary expenses." Their articles of agreement were signed, on the 6th of November, 1786, by more than a hundred ladies belonging to the first families in the city. By these articles they engage "not to purchase for next six months any Gauze, Ribbons, Lace, Feathers, Beaver-Hats, Silks, Muslins, and Chintzes, except only for weddings and mourning;" also to "dress their persons in the plainest manner and encourage industry, frugality, and neatness, giving all due preference to the manufactures of their own country." To this they add that "when they receive visits and make entertainments, it will be their study to avoid unnecessary expense, especially on foreign articles." On June 17 of that year the President of Harvard College addressed a letter to the "Massachusetts Gazette" which is interesting in this connection. This letter we copy to show how economy entered into everything, even a "liberal education." It will moreover be of interest because of the attempt made to regulate the students' dress.


To the Publisher of the Massachusetts Gazette.

EVERY proper attempt of the Governours of the University to lessen the expense of a liberal education must be grateful to the Publick, and meet with their hearty concurrence; the Members of the Community, therefore, in general, and the Parents and Guardians of the Students in particular, it is not doubted, will be well pleased with some late regulations, made by the Corporation and Overseers, to introduce economy in dress, and will readily perform their part, in carrying them into effect.

By ordering an uniform, the Governours of the Society have removed the temptation to that frequent change of apparel, which may have arisen from the liberty the Students have had, of chusing different colours, from time to time: And by entirely prohibiting silk (an unnecessary article in their clothing) a very considerable expense is prevented.

That the dress of the Students be neat and decent is highly proper; but that it should be very ornamental and expensive is ever needless, and oftentimes pernicious: Nor will any Student, who is solicitous to acquire knowledge, and sincerely disposed to improve his time to the best advantage, in obtaining such degrees of it, as may enable him to be extensively useful to the Community, feel a reluctance to economical institutions respecting dress. He will not only esteem the ornaments of the mind of vastly higher importance than those of the body, but the general good will also constantly influence his conduct; and he will chearfully encourage every regulation, which tends to promote frugality.

The regulations referred to, I now transmit to you, which the Corporation and Overseers of the University request you to publish, for the information of all concerned.

I am, Sir, your humble servant,


* * * * *

At a Meeting of the CORPORATION, &c. JUNE 13, 1786.

WHEREAS the enjoining of an uniform colour, in the clothing of the Undergraduates, and prohibiting a certain species of materials, in their apparel, will have a great tendency to lessen the expense of dress (which, at present, constitutes too large a proportion of the Collegiate charges) while, at the same time, the appearance will be more academical:

Voted, That it be recommended, that the Freshmen, who shall be admitted into the University the present year, before the end of the Summer Vacation, be provided with coats of blue-gray, being a mixture of deep blue and white wool, as nearly as may be, seven eighths of the blue, and one eighth of the white, or, if that cannot conveniently be obtained, of a dark blue colour,—and with waistcoats and breeches of the same colour, or of a straw colour.

That, when they shall procure clothes, afterwards, and while Undergraduates, their coats shall be of the colour first mentioned, and their waistcoats and breeches of the same colour, or of a straw colour.

That the Freshmen, who shall be admitted into the University in the year 1787, and afterwards, shall be provided with coats of the colour first mentioned, and with waistcoats and breeches as last mentioned, and shall continue provided with clothes of these specified colours while they remain Undergraduates.

That all, who shall hereafter be admitted, when they commence Sophimores, shall have the addition of frogs to the button holes of their coats, the cuff of the sleeve to be plain.

That when they commence Junior Sophisters, their coats shall have the further addition of frogs on the button-side,—continuing the plain cuff; and they shall also provide themselves with black gowns, having a close sleeve and slit cuff, to be made according to the direction of the Corporation.

That, when they commence Senior Sophisters, they shall have the further addition of buttons and frogs to the cuff of their coat, and shall also have black gowns, with a wide sleeve,—the mode to be determined by the Corporation.

That when they are admitted to the Bachelor's degree, they shall appear in like gowns and clothes as are prescribed for the Senior Sophisters.

That the Seniors and Juniors shall wear their black gowns, on all publick occasions, and whenever they shall publickly declaim in the Chapel.

That no Undergraduate, to whom these injunctions may extend, be permitted to appear within the limits of the College, or town of Cambridge, in any other dress than is before described, unless he has on a night gown, or an outside garment be necessary over his coat.

That no part of the dress of the Undergraduates be made of silk;—and that it be recommended to them, to clothe themselves in home manufactures, as far as may be.

That these regulations be extended to all who shall hereafter be admitted into the University;—and that it be recommended to such as are already Members, to conform thereto, upon principles of economy, as far as may consist with their present supply of clothing.

* * * * *

UNIVERSITY in Cambridge, June 12, 1786.

CANDIDATES for their second degree, at the next Commencement, are notified, that it is expected that they give their attendance at the University by the 12th day of July; and if any should not attend by that time, they will not receive their degree this year, unless they give sufficient reasons for their absence.

They who desire admission into the University this year, are also notified, that the President and Tutors will attend the business of examination on Friday and Saturday, the 21st and 22d of July.


* * * * *

In 1788 the industry of the people of Providence, R.I., is set forth in the following notice, from the "Salem Mercury" of November 25:


A Providence paper informs, that the Carding and Spinning Machines used in England in manufacturing cotton stuffs, are introducing into that town by some publick spirited gentlemen—and that there are few families in that town which are not manufacturing some kind of cloth.

* * * * *

It appears from the "Columbian Centinel," July 14, 1790, that the wealthy of that day had a fondness for foreign articles.

Complaint is very prolifick in all countries. In the United States we complain, that,

Tho' rich at home, to foreign lands we stray, And trade for trinkets our best wealth away.

* * * * *

The following advertisement from the "Massachusetts Centinel" recalls the time when cows were pastured on Boston Common.

STRAYED, on Saturday last, from Boston Common, and belonging to JONATHAN AMORY, a young red COW, with some white on the back and belly, forehead white, small horns, with the tips off. Whoever will bring her to the owner will be rewarded.

Boston, May 24, 1788.

* * * * *

People were expected to have long memories in old times, judging from the following notification in the "Boston Gazette" of 1760:—

WHEREAS on the 17th of January 1740-1, twenty-seven yards and an half of yard-wide sheeting linnen, and some smaller articles, was sold at Mr. James Gordon's shop in Boston, and deliver'd to one capt. Stevens, as appears by said Gordon's book; and thro' some mistake in keeping his books, said articles are charg'd to another of the same name. If therefore the said capt. Stevens, that really had said goods, or any of his family, or others, can give any light into the matter, it is desired they would acquaint the printers hereof, and they shall be generously recompenced for their trouble.

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