[The covers are cut from a contemporary newspaper.]
Inside Front Cover
We are now concluding the Year 1765, tomorrow is the last day, of a Year in
America has shewn such Magnanimity and
Spirit, as never before appeared, in any Country for such a Tract of Country.
And Wednesday will open upon Us a new Year 1766, which I hope will procure Us,
innumerable Testimonies from
Europe in our favour and Applause, and
which we all hope will produce the greatest and most extensive joy ever felt in
America, on the Repeal both of the stamp Act and sugar Act, at
least of the former.
. Who is it, that has harrangued
the Grand juries in every County, and
endeavoured to scatter Party Principles in Politicks
? Who has made it his constant Endeavour to
discountenance the Odium in which Informers are held? Who has taken
in fine spun, spick
and span, spruce, nice, pretty, easy warbling Declamations to Grand Inquests to
render the Characters of Informers, honourable
respectable? Who has frequently expressed his Apprehensions, that the form of
England was become too popular. Who is it, that has said in
public Speeches, that the most compleat
Europe was the Government of
France? Who is it, that so often enlarges on the Excellency of
the Government of Queen Elizabeth, and
insists upon it so often, that the Constitution, about the Time of her Reign
and under her Administration, was nearest the Point of Perfection? Who is it
that has always given his opinion in Favour
Prerogative and Revenue, in every Case in which they have been brought into
Question, without one Exception? Who is it that has endeavoured to
simple juries, by an Argument as warm and
vehement, as those of the Bar, in a Case where the Province was contending
a Custom -- House -- Officer? And what were the
other Means employed in that Cause vs.
of the General Assembly? Who has monopolized almost all the Power, of the
Government, to himself and his family, and who has been endeavouring to procure
more, both on this side and the other side
Read Shakespears Life of
K. Henry 8th. Spent the Evening with the Company of
Singers at Moses Adams's.
Clarendon to Pym.
They are extreamly
proud of their Country, and
they have reason to be so. Millions, Tens and Hundreds of Millions of Freeborn
Subjects, are familiar to their Imaginations, and they have a pious Horror, of
consenting to any Thing
, which may
slavery on their Posterity. They think that
the Liberties of Mankind and the Glory of
human Nature is in their
Keeping. They know that Liberty has been skulking about in Corners from the
Creation, and has been hunted and persecuted, in all Countries, by cruel Power.
But they flatter them selves
America was designed by Providence for the Theatre, on which Man
was to make his true figure, on which science, Virtue, Liberty, Happiness and
Glory were to exist in Peace.
Now have not they the same Reason to contend against Parliamentary
Taxations, which you and your Hampden had against regal and
ministerial Taxations. -- What were your Reasons?
TUESDAY. DECR. 31ST.
Went to Mr. Jo. Bass's and there read Yesterdays Paper.
Walked in the Afternoon into the Common and quite thro my Hemlock Swamp. [I] find many
fine Bunches of young Maples, and nothing else but Alders. Spent the Evening at
Home with Neighbour Field.
The national Attention is fixed upon the Colonies. The Religion,
Administration of Justice, Geography, Numbers, &c. of the Colonies are a
fashionable Study. But what wretched Blunders do they make in attempting to
regulate them. They know not the Character of Americans.
ANNO DOMINI 1766
1766. JANUARY 1 ST.
Severe cold, and a Prospect of Snow.
We are now upon the Beginning of a Year of greater Expectation than any,
that has passed before it. This Year brings Ruin or Salvation to the British
Colonies. The Eyes of all
America, are fixed on the [British ]Parliament.
America are staring at each other. -- And they will probably
stare more and more for sometime.
At Home all day. Mr. Joshua Hayward Jur. dined with me.
, the Subject. Drank Tea
Dr. Tufts here in the Afternoon, American Politicks
the Subject. Read, in the Evening a Letter from
our present Agent to
Ld. Dartmouth, in which he considers three Questions.
1st. Whether in Equity or Policy
America ought to refund any Part of the Expence
of driving away the French in the last War? 2d.
Whether it is necessary for the Defence
Plantations, to keep up an Army there? 3d.
Whether, in Equity, the Parliament can tax Us? Each of which he discusses like
a Man of Sense, Integrity and Humanity, well informed in the Nature of his
Subject. In his Examination of the last Question he goes upon the Principle of
Ipswich Instructions, vizt. that the first Settlers of America,
were driven by Oppression from the Realm, and so dismembered from the
Dominions, till at last they offered to make a Contract with the Nation, or the
Crown, and to become
subject to the Crown upon certain Conditions,
which Contract, Subordination and Conditions were wrought into their Charters,
which give them a Right to tax themselves. This is a Principle which has been
advanced long ago. I remember in the Tryal
Worcester between Governor Hopkins of
Rhode Island and Mr. Ward one of the Witnesses
swore that he heard Governor Hopkins, some Years before, in a
Banter with Coll.
Amy, advancing that
We were under no subjection to the British Parliament, that our Forefathers
came from Leyden &c. -- and indeed it appears from
Hutchinsons History, and the
Massachusetts Records, that the Colonies were considered
formerly both here and at Home, as Allies rather than Subjects. The first
Settlement certainly was not a national Act, i.e. not an Act of the People nor
the Parliament. Nor was it a national Expence
Neither the People of
England, nor their Representatives contributed
towards it. Nor was the Settlement made
on a Territory belonging to the People nor the Crown of
[Query]. How far can the Concern the Council at
Plymouth had, in the first Settlement, be considered as a
national Act? How far can the Discoveries made by the
Cabots, be considered as an Acquisition of Territory to the Nation
or the Crown? -- and Q. whether the Council at
Plymouth or the Voyages of the Cabots, or
of Sir Walter Rawleigh &c. were any Expence to the Nation?
In the Paper there are also, Remarks on the Proceedings of Parliament
relating to the stamp Act taken from the
London Magazine Septr.
remarker says, as a great Number of
new Offences, new Penalties,
and new offices and officers, are by this Act created, We cannot wonder at its
disgustful to our Fellow Subjects
America. The patient and long suffering People of this Country
would scarcely have born it at once -- they were brought to it by Degrees --
and they will be more inconvenient in
America than they can be in
The Remarker says further, that the design of one Clause in the Stamp Act,
seems to be, that there shall be no such Thing as a practising Lawyer in the Country, the Case of the
Saxons. This design he says ludicrously, by compelling every man to manage and
plead his own Cause, would prevent many delays and Perversions of justice, and
so be an Advantage to the People of
America. But he seriously doubts whether the Tax will pay the
Officers. People will trust to Honour, like Gamesters
and Stockjobbers. He says he will not enter into the Question, whether the
Americans are right or wrong in the Opinion they have been indulged in ever
since their Establishment, that they could not be subjected to any Taxes, but
such as should be imposed by their own respective Assemblies. He thinks a Land
Tax the most just and convenient of any -- an Extension of the British Land Tax
to the American Dominions. But this would have occasioned a new Assessment of
the improved Value of the Lands in
England as well as here, which probably prevented the Scheme of
a Land tax, for he hopes, no View of extending the corruptive Power of the
Ministers of the Crown had any Effect.
It is said at
N. York, that private Letters inform, the great Men are
exceedingly irritated at the Tumults in
America, and are determined to inforce the Act. This irritable Race, however, will have
good Luck to inforce it. They will find it a more obstinate War, than the
JANY. 2D. THURDSDAY.
A great Storm of Snow last night. Weather tempestuous all Day. Waddled thro the Snow, driving my Cattle to water at Dr.
Savils. A fine Piece of glowing Exercise. -- Brother spent the Evening
here in chearful Chat.
Phyladelphia, the Heart and Hand fire Company has expelled
Mr. Hewes [Hughes]
the Stamp Man for that
Colony. The Freemen of
Talbot County in
Maryland have erected a Jibbet before the Door of the Court
House 20 feet High, and have hanged on it, the Effigies of a Stamp Informer in
Chains, in Terrorem, till the Stamp Act shall be repealed, and have resolved
unanimously to hold in Utter Contempt and Abhorrence every Stamp Officer, and
every Favourer of the Stamp Act, and to have no Communication with any such
Person, not even to speak to him, unless to upbraid him with his Baseness. --
is the Spirit of Liberty,every where
. -- Such an Union was never before known in
America. In the Wars that have been with the french and Indians,
a Union could never be effected. -- I pitty
fellow Subjects in
Hallifax, for the great Misfortune that has befallen them.
Quebec consists chiefly of French Men who [are
with a few English and awed by an Army-tho
it seems the Discontent there is so great that the
Gazette is drop'd
Hallifax consists of a sett
and Vagabonds, who are also kept in fear by a Fleet and an Army. But can no
Punishment be devised for
Port Royal in
Jamaica? For their base Desertion of the Cause of Liberty? Their
tame Surrender of the Rights of Britons? Their mean, timid
Resignation to slavery? Meeching, sordid, stupid Creatures, below Contempt,
below Pity. They deserve to be made Slaves to their own Negroes. But they live
under the scortching
Sun, which melts them,
dissipates their Spirits and relaxes their Nerves. Yet their Negroes seem to
have more of the Spirit of Liberty, than they. I think we sometimes read of
Insurrections among their Negroes. I could wish that some of their Blacks had
been appointed Distributors and Inspectors &c. over their Masters. This
would have but a little aggravated the Indignity.
1766. JANY. 3D.
Fair Weather and Snow enough. Major Miller, Dr.
Savil and Mr. Joseph Penniman spent the Evening, with
me. Agriculture, Commerce, Fishery, Arts, Manufactures, Town, Provincial,
American, and national Politicks the Subject. --
Anecdote, in the Beginning of the Year, Deacon Penniman was
for reducing the Salary of the School Master from 330 to 300. The Master
Penniman insisted on keeping half the time in the Middle
Precinct, if he had but 300, to which the Select Men agreed. But when the Time
came for Penniman to remove to the School in the Middle
Precinct, Moses French, who had for many Winters kept the
School there, and had been an active Advocate for Deacon
Penniman, complained that he had depended on that School, and had not
provided any other Business, and petitioned to keep it. So that the Deacon was
obliged to [illegible] move the select Men to agree afresh with
Penniman and allow him his 330 to keep at the North
End. Thus it seems the Deacon did not see to the End of the Year when he began
JANY. 4. SATURDAY.
Edes & Gill's
brought in. I find that Somebody has published the very scene in
8, which I have put into
Ld. Clarendons Letter to Pym. This
brings to my Mind again Ld. Bacons Doctrine of secret,
invisible Connections and communications, and unknown undiscovered Laws of
Nature. Hampden writes to Pym on the Failure
of Justice in
America, on the shutting up of the Courts of justice, since
October. He has given the Public Mr. Otis's Arguments before
the Governor and Council, from Magna Charta, Ld. Coke,
the Judges Oaths &c. -- and promises to give more.
JANY. 5TH. 1766.
Heard Mr. Wibird all Day. A Sacramental Sermon on
"It is finished. -- "
MONDAY [6 JANUARY].
At Home. Mr. Smith and Mr. Penniman dined
TUESDAY [7 JANUARY].
Boston. Hampden has given us in Yesterdays
Gazette, a long Letter to Pym upon shutting up the Courts, in
which he proves from Holts and Pollexfens
Arguments at the Revolution Conference, from Grotius
De Jure Belli, B. 1. C. 3. . 2. that shutting up the Courts is an
Abdication of the Throne, a Discharge of the Subjects from their Allegiance,
and a total Dissolution of Government and Reduction of all Men to a state of
Nature. And he proves [illegible] from Bracton
that partial Tumults, &c. are not a Tempus Guerrium, (Bellorum) a Time of
Sam. Waterhouse and has made a most malicious,
ungenerous, Attack upon James Lovell Jur. the Usher of the
Grammar school, and insinuated about feminine Gender and Conjunction Copulative
-- as Y.Z. and H. had attacked him, about Idleness and familiar Spirits, and
Zanyship, and Expectancy of a Deputation &c. This Way of reviling one
another is very shocking to Humanity and very dangerous in its Consequences. To
pry into a Mans private Life, and expose to the
World, all the Vices, and Follies of Youth, to paint before the Public Eye,
all the Blotts and Stains, in a Mans private
Character, must excite the Commisseration of every Reader, to the Object, and
his Indignation against the Author of such Abuse.
Spent half an Hour with Father Dana, another with
Samuel Quincy, an Hour with Mr. Otis, &c.
Otis is in high Spirits, is preparing for next Mondays Paper.
Says that Mr. Trail brings very comfortable News, that
Conway told him the Stamp Act must be repealed, that there was
some Difficulty about coming off with Honor and that
America would boast that she had conquered
Britain. But he hoped the Americans would Petition. He longed to
receive some Petitions &c. John Wentworth writes his
Uncle Saml., that the Marquis of
Rockingham told him, he would give his Interest to repeal 100 stamp
Acts, before he would run the Risque
Confusions, as would be caused by the
Enforcing it. That he knew
there were already 10,000 Workmen discharged from Business, in Consequence of
Clarendon to Pym.
Nothing gave me so much Regret, or such Remorse in my whole Life, as the
Part I acted in conniving at some of King Charles's
grievous and illegal Measures, and the Pains I took to support him, and his two
oppressive Instruments Laud and Strafford.
But my very zealous Attachment to the Church and the enthusiastical Spirit of
Party, made me see many Objects in a Partial Light. I have condemned
my self for these faults from that Time to this. And
it grieves me to hear that the Barbadians have acted so vile a Part, in the
Year 1765. That Island was settled, under the Protectorate of
Cromwell, by zealous Partisans for Passive Obedience, and I
suppose a Remnant of the servile Spirit of their Ancestors, and of those
ruinous Doctrines have prevailed on them to submit. I said under the
Protectorate for I must own I can scarcely prevail on my
self to call it an Usurpation, or the struggle made by you and
Hampden and others, a Rebellion. If I was to revise my
History, I should alter many Things which the Rage of Party hurried me to
record, and in Particular, the Tittle of that
WEDNESDAY JANY. 8TH.
At Home. Wrote &c.
JANY. 9TH. 1765 [i.e.
At Home. [illegible]
Proventu Scelerum quaerunt uter imperet Urbi?
Vix tanti fuerat Civilia Bella movere
Must such a Number of new Crimes be committed, to decide which of these two,
Caesar or Pompey, shall be master in
Rome? One would hardly purchase at that Price, the good Fortune
of having Neither of them for Master.
Clarendon to Pym.
Grotius De jure Belli et Pacis B. 2 C. 16. . 22. N.
1. The Interpretation that restrains the Import of Words is taken either from
an original Defect in the Will of the Speaker or from some Accident falling out
inconsistent with his design. Note. 1. There are some Cases, which there is
good Reason to believe, the Person who speaks either did or at least might
foresee them; and yet that he never intended they should be included in the
general Terms, tho he has not expressly excepted
them, because he supposed such an Exception clear in itself. There are other
Cases which could not be foreseen but are such as if they could have come into
the Mind of him who speaks, he would have excepted them. This is the Accident,
inconsistent with his design.
. 25. Tis also a very usual Inquiry, whether Acts are to be
understood, with this tacit Condition if things continue in the same
Posture they are now in: and We frequently read of in
History, of Embassadors, who understanding that there was so great a Turn in
Affairs, as would render the whole Matter and reason of their Embassy void,
have returned home without opening their Commission at all. (implied
Conditions, tacit Exceptions, tacit Restrictions.)
. 26. Since it is impossible to foresee and specify every Accident,
there is a Necessity for reserving the Liberty of exempting such Cases, as the
Speaker would, were he present him self
, exempt. One
infallible Token that there ought to be such an Exemption is, when to adhere
precisely to the Letter would be unlawful i.e. repugnant to the Laws of God and
Nature. Another Token of Restriction shall be this, when to stick close to the
Letter, is not absolutely, and of it self unlawful, but when upon
the Thing with Candor and Impartiality, it appears
too grievous and burdensome. Seneca says, In the Law you say
there is nothing excepted. But however, many Things which are not expressly
excepted, are yet evidently implied to be so. The Letter indeed is narrow but
the meaning extensive, and some Things are so very plain, as to want no
Exception at all. And again, We engage to appear in Court on
certain day, and yet all those who do not appear, are not liable to the
Penalty. There are some invincible Obstacles that excuse a Non Performance.
Thus all the Rules, that have been framed by Phylosophers, Civilians, and Common Lawyers, for the
Interpretation of Promises, Covenants, nay Oaths, Treaties, Commissions,
Instructions, Edicts and Acts of Parliament, are exactly coincident with the
Maxim of Common sense, in the Conduct of private Life, that Cases of Necessity
and Impossibility are always excepted. That there is a Necessity for proceeding
with Business, has been proved by your old Friend Hampden,
beyond all Contradiction. He has proved that Protection and Allegiance are
reciprocal, that a Failure of justice without actual Violence as in Cases of
Invasion and Rebellion, is an Abdication of the Crown and Throne. So that if
the Prevention of a total Dissolution of Government and an universal Reduction
of all Men to a state of Nature, is a Case of Necessity, this Province is at
present in that Case.
THURDSDAY. JANY. 9TH.
At Home all day. Mr. Smith, Dr. Tufts,
Dr. Savil, Mr. Bass &c. here.
FRYDAY. JANY. 10TH.
Humphry Ploughjogger received a Letter from a Friend,
thanking him for his good Advice and presenting
him with a
Crimson, Homespun Cap to wear with his Hide, as a Reward. -- Mr.
Etter came in before Dinner, about his Petition to the General Court
for Assistance in his stocking Weaving Business. -- Went in the afternoon with
my Wife to her Grandfathers. -- Mr. Cleverly here in the
Evening. He says he is not so clear as he was that the Parliament has a Right
to tax Us. He rather thinks it has not. Thus the Contagion of the Times has
caught even that Bigot to passive Obedience and non Resistance. It has made him
waver. It is almost the first Time I ever knew him converted or even brought to
doubt and hesitate about any of his favourite
Points, as the Authority of Parliament to tax us was one. Nay he used to assert
possitively, that the King was as absolute in the Plantations as the great Turk
in his dominions.
Mr. Quincy gave me, some Anecdotes about John
Boylstone and Jo. Green &c.
Green refused to sign the Resolutions of Merchants at first,
but was afterwards glad to send for the Paper. They were at first afraid of
Plymouth, but these Towns have agreed unanimously to the same
What will they say in
England, when they see the Resolves of the American
Legislatures, the Petitions from the united Colonies, the Resolutions of the
JANY. 11TH. 1766.
Clarendon to Pym.
In one particular, I must confess the
Americans have not acted
with their usual Firmness and
Acuteness of Understanding, and
Firmness of Spirit. I mean in that very strange Piece of Conduct of their
shutting the Courts of Justice. I call it their Conduct, tho
it is apparently against the general judgment of the
People, and it ought to be charged on a few Individuals, who have Other Things
in View besides Truth, Right, or Law. Indeed I could scarcely have believed,
that the Fact was so, had not the
Town of Boston asserted it, in their Memorial to his Excellency
in Council, and had it not been admitted to be true, in the Answer of the
Board. Shutting the Courts of Law
strictly speaking, which is to appear and be tryed
the Records, is a partial and temporary Dissolution of the Government, even in
Cases of Invasion and Rebellion, and as I take it so far forth reduces the
People to a state of Nature, and leaves every Man in every Case to do
justice, and to carve out his own Remedy
with his Tongue, his fist or his Sword. Now, I should be very glad to know,
whether it appears upon Record, that the Courts of Justice are shut. If it
does, I apprehend that Record will justify me in judging in my own Cause, and
becoming in all Cases where I am
injured or have a Demand, my own
Lawyer, judge, juror and sherriff. And the same Record will prove too that we
are in a state of War foreign or domestic. But We are at Peace no doubt with
all foreign Nations. Well then, the only Supposition that remains is that We
are in a state of actual Rebellion, and that the judges cannot sit in judgment
for fear of actual Violence. Will any Man pretend this is our Case? Has any Man
within the Province appeared in Arms, unless it was out of Attachment to his
Majestys Person and Government, as a Number of the Militia of the
Town of Boston did? Has one overt act of Treason been committed
within the Province? Was there ever such an Act committed within the Province
from its first settlement? Nay, I may go further and ask, has there been a
disrespectful Speech uttered of his Majesty or his Government,thro
the whole memorable Year 1765, even at Midnight? over
the Bowl or the Bottle? -- I believe not one. -- Oh, But there was a Riot which
down an House. -- So have there been an
hundred Riots, an hundred skimmingtons Ridings, in which some of his Majestys
subjects have received Damage, some by riding a Rail and some a Bull,
some for one Misdemeanor and some for another. Nay there have been
such Ridings in which some of his Majestys subjects have been slain, some in
which the Kings officers, sherriffs have been killed in the Execution of his
office. Pray was that an overt Act of high Treason in the whole Province, or in
any one Person concerned in the Riot? Was that a Foundation for shutting the
Courts? and recording the whole Province in a state of Rebellion? Will it be
said that there is no Record of any shutting of Courts? no Record to prove any
Invasion or Rebellion? [illegible]
How comes it then to have been
admitted by the honorable Board that the Courts of Law, so far as respected
civil Matters, were to all Intents and Purposes shutt
The Truth is here is a strange Ambiguity affected in this Matter. Courts
will sit and suffer no Business to be done but adjourn, adjourn to next Spring.
So that the Clerks are at a loss whether to make out Writs, the People are
uncertain whether such Action will ever be sustained at all, and they know
certainly that no Execution can be had till next Spring. So that they think it
not worth while to be at the Expence
purchasing Writs. In this situation of Things we are as much deprived
of the Kings Protection of our Persons and Properties, as unable to procure
justice, as if an actual Record was made of Invasion or Rebellion. So that the
subject is as effectually deprived of the Benefit and Protection of the Law, as
if the Laws were silent, drowned in the Din of War! We are therefore in Effect
deprived of the Benefit of Magna Charta.
JANY. 12TH. 1766.
Heard Mr. Wibird all day, at Evening Mr.
JANY. 13TH. 1766.
Boston, the Inferiour Court of
Common Pleas opened. Present Mr. Wells, Mr.
Watts and Mr. Foster Hutchinson. More than 100 new
Entries. The Actions all called over and many defaulted and some continued. So
that The Court has rushed upon the thick Bosses of the Buckler and into the
thickest of the Penalties and Forfeitures. Dined at Brother
Dudleys, with Gridley, Swift, Lowell and Mr.
Fayerweather. Fayerweather is one of the genteel
Folks. He said he was dressed in Black as Mourning for the Duke of
Cumberland. He said he was wearing out his black
Cloaths as fast as he could and was determined to
get no more till the Stamp Act was repealed. He designed to wear out all his
old Cloaths, and then go upon our own Manufactures,
unless the stamp Act was repealed.
One Thompson came to me at Cunninghams in
the Evening, and engaged me in a Cause of Lampson
vs. Buttar, which is for entering
a Vessell at
Louisbourg and taking away 10 Bbls. Rum. Buttar
was or pretended to be a naval Officer for the
Port of Louisbourg, or Secretary to Governor
Whitmore, and under Colour of that Authority,
entered the Vessell and seized and brought off the
Rum. Now Butter pretended to give Commissions to officers
under him to attend the Wharfs and Keys of the Port and to examine all Goods
imported and exported, and to stop the same, and report to him if illegal, or
Contrary to the orders of the Governor, &c.
Mr. Gridly was in a very trifling Humour to day
after Dinner, telling
tales about Overing &c. and judges of Inferiour
Courts formerly, and McCarty who built the Court by the Town
House &c., and Stories about Coll.
Ipswich, &c. The unsmotherable Pride of his own Heart, broke
out in his account of his Disputes &c. with Choat.
Choat was a Tyrant, Choat attempted Things
too large for him. I have tumbled him over and over, and twisted and tossed and
tumbled him, and Yet he could say to me sir I was here at 9 o Clock by
Agreement and you was not come. -- I answered him I was here, sir, at a Quarter
after 9, and you was not here. Sir the Honour
attending me might at any Time dispense with a Quarter of an Hour. -- This is
not Pride. If Gridley had Pride, he would scorn such gross
new England Church he said was one Object of Dispute
between them. -- The People in the Pale, the Deacons, and the Minister
were the Picture of a
N.E. Church. No Idea of it in the new Testament. Platform too
was a bone of Contention.
Spent the Evening at Mr. Adams's, with him and
Brother Swift, very socially.
JANY. 14TH. 1766.
Dined at Mr. William Coopers with
Messrs. Cushing, Story, and John
Boylstone. Cushing, silent and sly as usual. Story I
dont know what. Cooper and Boylstone
principal Talkers. Boylstone, affecting a
Phylosophical Indifference about Dress,
Furniture, Entertainments &c., laughed at the affectation of nicely
distinguishing Tastes, such as the several Degrees of Sweet till you come up to
the first degree of bitter, laughed at the great Expences for Furniture, as Nick
Boylstones Carpetts, Tables, Chairs,
Glasses, Beds &c. which Cooper said were the richest in
N. America. -- The highest Taste and newest Fashion, would soon
flatten and grow old. -- A Curse or two upon the Climate, preferable however to
Carolina. But every Part of
Europe preferable to this. -- [Query]. Is not
this Nicety of Feeling, this Indisposition to be satisfyed with the Climate, of the same Nature with the
Delicacy of Tastes, and the Curiosity about Furniture just before exploded. --
Spent the Evening at Cunninghams.
WEDNESDAY. JANY. 15TH.
Dined at Mr. Isaac Smiths. No Company, no Conversation.
Spent the Evening with the Sons of Liberty, at their own Apartment in
Hanover Square, near the Tree of Liberty. It is a Compting Room
in Chase & Speakmans Distillery. A very
small Room it is.
John Avery -- Eads the Printer.
John Smith, Thomas [illegible]
John Avery Distiller or Merchant, of a liberal Education,
John Smith the Brazier, Thomas Crafts the
Painter, Edes the Printer, Stephen Cleverly
the Brazier, Chase the Distiller, Joseph
Field Master of a Vessell, Henry
Bass, George Trott jeweller, were present.
I was invited by Crafts and Trott, to go
and spend an Evening with them and some others, Avery was
mentioned to me as one. I went, and was very civilly and respectfully treated,
by all Present. We had Punch, Wine, Pipes and Tobacco, Bisquit and Cheese -- &c. I heard nothing but such
Conversation as passes at all Clubbs among Gentlemen
about the Times. No Plotts, no Machinations. They
Chose a Committee to make Preparations for grand Rejoicings upon the Arrival of
the News of a Repeal of the Stamp Act, and I heard afterwards they are to have
such Illuminations, Bonfires, Piramids, Obelisks,
such grand Exhibitions, and such Fireworks, as were never before seen in
America. -- I wish they mayn't be
THURDSDAY. JANY. 16TH.
Dined at Mr. Nick Boylstones, with the two Mr.
Boylstones, two Mr. Smiths,
and the Ladies. An
elegant Dinner indeed! Went over the House to view the Furniture, which alone
cost a thousand Pounds sterling. A Seat it is for a noble
, a Prince. The
Turkey Carpets, the painted Hangings, the Marble Tables, the
rich Beds with crimson Damask [illegible]
Counterpins, the beautiful Chimny
Clock, the Spacious Garden, are the most magnificent of any Thing
I have ever seen.
The Conversation of the two Boylstones and
Hallowell is a Curiosity. Hotspurs
all. -- Tantivi. -- Nick. is a warm Friend of the Lieutenant
Governor, and [illegible] inclining towards the Governor.
Tom a firebrand against both. Tom is a
perfect Viper -- a Fiend -- a Jew -- a Devil -- but is orthodox in
Politicks however. Hallowell tells stories about Otis
and drops Hints about Adams, &c., and about
Mr. Dudley Atkins of
Newbury. Otis told him, he says, that the
Parliament had a Right to tax the Colonies and he was a d--d fool who
deny'd it, and that this People never would be quiet
till we had a Council from Home, till our Charter was taken away, and till we
had regular Troops quartered upon Us.
He came up under the He says he saw Adams under
the Tree of Liberty, when the Effigies hung there and asked him who they were
and what. He said he did not know, he could not tell. He wanted to
He says Mr. Dudley Atkins was too well acquainted with the
Secret of some riots there, to be entirely depended on, in his Account,
Nick Boylstone is full of Stories about
jemmy and Solomon Davis.
Solomon says, Country man I dont see what Occasion there is
for a Governor and Council and House. You and the Town would do well
Spent the Evening at Bracketts with Gen. Winslow,Coll. Bradford, Mr. Otis,
Richmond, Mr. [Brinlys?], and
Mr. [Caldwell?] and Captain
Hayward. Mr. Otis gave Us some Account of
Ruggles's Behaviour, at the Congress, and Winslow
told Us about catching Bass with Eeel Spears, at
the North River. Otis says, that when they came
to sign Ruggles moved that none of them
should sign, but that the Petitions should be carried back to the assemblies,
to see if they would adopt them. This would have defeated the whole
Enterprize. This Ruggles has an inflexible Oddity about him,
which has gained him a Character for Courage and Probity, but renders him a
disagreable Companion in Business.
FRYDAY [17 JANUARY].
Came home, and dined, and there stayed.
SATURDAY. JANY. 18TH.
At Home. The Dr. dined here.
Clarendon to Pym.
There has been a great Inquiry, in some Parts of
America, after a Diffinition
the british Constitution. Some have defined the Constitution to be the Practice
of Parliament. Some have called it, Custom, some have call'd
it the most perfect Combination of human Powers in
society, that finite Wisdom has yet contrived and reduced to Practice, for the
Preservation of Liberty, and the Production of Happiness. Some Have said
, Lords, and Commons make the Constitution. Some
have said that the whole Body of the Laws are the Constitution. -- I confess
there is nothing in any one of these, that is satisfactory to
Mind. Yet I cannot say that I am at any Loss about my own or any Man's Meaning
when he uses those Words "The british Constitution."
What do we mean by the human Constitution? The Constitution of the human
Body? What by a strong or a weak
strong and robust, or a weak and
feeble Constitution? Do we not mean a certain Contexture of Nerves,
, Muscles, or certain Qualities of the Blood
and juices, as sizy or watery, flegmatic
fiery, acid or alkaline? These are the Ideas which enter into our Minds when we
consider the human Constitution as productive of Health or Strength. And We
always consider the Constitution in Relation to its End. And the Physician
shall tell one Man, that certain Kinds of Exercise, or Dyet
or Medicine are not adapted to or consistent with his
Constitution, i.e. not compatible with that Mans Health, which he would say are
the best adapted to Health in another. The Patients Habit, we will say, abounds
with acid and acrimonious juices, in too great a Quantity, will the Dr. order
Juice, Barberries and
, to work a Cure? These would be
unconstitutional Remedies, calculated to increase the Evil, which arose for
want of a Ballance
between the acid and
Ingredients in his Composition. So if the Patients
Nerves are braced overmuch, will the Physician order the Jesuits Bark? There is
a certain Quan [Quanity]
tity of Exercise,
, and Medicine, and they are of certain Sorts,
which is best adapted to my Constitution, which will keep me in the best Health
and Spirits, and will contribute the most to the Prolongation of my Life. These
determinate Quantities are not known to me perhaps or any other Person. And
here is the proper Province of the Physician, to study my Constitution, and
give me the best Advise
he can, what and how much I
may eat and drink, and sleep, how far I may ride or walk in a day, what Air and
Weather I may improve for this Purpose and when I shall take Physick
and of what sort it shall be, in order to preserve
my Health and prolong my Life.
But there are moreover certain [illegible] Parts
the human Constitution which may properly be called Stamina Vitx, or essentials
and Fundamentals -- Parts without which Life itself cannot be preserved a
Moment. I suppose that annihilate the Heart, the Lungs, the Brain, the Animal
Spirits, the Blood, any one of these and Life will instantly depart. These may
therefore be safely called fundamental Parts of the human Constitution. Yet the
Limbs may be all amputated, the Eyes put out, and many other mutilations
practiced on the Man, to impair his Strength, Activity and many other
Attributes and yet the Fundamentals and Essentials to Life, may remain
may last many Years.
Let me put the Case of a Machine, a Clock, a Watch, a Ship, or a Grist
A Clock also has a Constitution, i.e. a certain Combination
, Springs, Wheels and Levers, calculated for certain Uses
and Ends. This Use and End is the Mensuration of Time. Now the same Reasoning
may be employed with equal Propriety, concerning a Clock as concerning the
human Body. The Constitution of a Clock does not imply that the Weights and
Wheels and other Movements should be so perfectly contrived and executed as
never to go too fast or too slow, as never to gain nor loose
a Second in a Year, or a Century. But
is the Province of
Graham and Tomlinson, to execute the
Workmanship like Artists and come as near Perfection as the human Eye and
finger will allow, i.e. as near an exact Mensuration of Time. But yet there are
certain Parts in the Frame of a Watch without which it will not go
all -- without which you can have no better Account
from it of the Time of day than you can from the oar
Gold and silver and Brass and Iron out of which they are wrought. The
some of the Wheels, the Dial Plate and the
Hand -- without any one of these you can have no Clock or Watch. These
therefore are the Essentials and
Fundamentals of a Watch.
Let Us now enquire if the same Reasoning is not
applicable to Government. For Government is a Frame, a scheme, a system, a
Combination of Powers, [illegible] for a certain End vizt. the
good of the whole Community. The public Good, the salus Populi is the professed
End of all Government, the most despotic as well as the most free. I shall not
enter into any Inquiry which Form of Government, whether Either of the Forms of
the schools or any Mixture of them is the best calculated to this End the Salus
Populi: This is the Inquiry of the Founders of Empires. I shall take for
granted what I am sure no Briton will controvert, that Liberty is essential to
human Happiness -- to the public Good, the Salus Populi. And here lies the
Difference between the british Constitution and other Constitutions of
Government, vizt. that Liberty is its End -- the preservation of Liberty is its
End, its Use, its Designation, its Drift and scope, as much as Life and Health
are the Ends of the Constitution of the human Body, as much as the Mensuration
of Time is the End of the Constitution of a Watch, as much as Grinding Corn is
the End of a Grist Mill, or [illegible] the Transportation of
Burdens the End of a Ship.
The British Constitution therefore is a Mixture
The first grand Division of Power therefore in the British Constitution is
into the Power of Legislation and that of Execution.
great Divisions of the Power of Legislation are into
those of the King, the Lords, the Commons, and the People. I distinguish
between the Commons and the People because there is a material Difference
between the House of Commons and the People who depute them, and these last
have as important a Power, in the Constitution as the former, the Power I mean
The Power of Execution also, consists of the King, judges and
So that two Branches of popular Power, are as essential and fundamental to
the great End of the british Constitution, the Preservation of Liberty, and to
preserve the Ballance and Mixture of the Government,
and to prevent its running into an Oligarchy or Aristocracy, and as
the Lords and Commons are to prevent its becoming an absolute Monarchy.
The Branches of Power that I mean here are voting for Members of the House
of Commons, and Tryals
by juries. This therefore is
an Essential Wheel in the Watch, that the People should have a share in the
making of Laws and in the Execution of them. In these two Wheels consist the
security and Liberty of the People. They have no other Fortification against
besides these, no other security against being ridden [illegible]
like Horses, and fleeced like Sheep, and worked like
Cattle, and fed and Cloathed
, and Hounds. Nay no other security against fines,
Imprisonments, loss of Limbs, Whipping Posts, Gibbetts, Bastinadoes and
What a Fine Reflection is it to a Man, Pym, and Consolation
-- I can be [illegible] subject to no Law that I do not make my self or constitute some of my Friends to make for me. My
Father, Brother, Friend,Neighbour, a Man of my own
Rank, nearly of my own Education, Fortune, Habits, Passions, Prejudices, one
whose Life and Fortune and Liberty are to be affected like my own, by the Laws
he shall consent to for himself and me!
What a Satisfaction is [it]
to reflect, Mr.
Pym, (I hope the infernal Regions have not made you forget all your
humanity) that I can lye
under the Imputation of no
Guilt, be subject to no Punishment, lose none of my Property, or the
Necessaries, Conveniences or Ornaments of Life which
indulgent Providence has showered around me, but by the judgment of my Peers,
my equals, my Neighbours
, Men who know me and to
whom I am known, Men who have no End to serve by Punishing me, Men who wish to
find me innocent if charged with a Crime and Men who are
indifferent on which Side the Truth lies, if I dispute with my
JANY. 19TH. 1766.
Heard Mr. Robbins of
JANY 20TH. 1766.
Leonard gave me an Account of a Clubb that he belongs to, in
Boston. It consists of John Lowell,
Elisha Hutchinson, Frank Dana, Josiah
Quincy, and two other young Fellows, Strangers to me.
Leonard had prepared a Collection of the Arguments, for and
against the Right of Parliament to tax the Colonies, for said Clubb. His first Inquiry was whether the subject could be
taxed without his Consent in Person or by his Representative?
2d. Whether We Americans are represented in
Parliament or not?
Leonard says that Lowell is a Courtier,
that he ripps
about all who stand foremost in their
opposition to the Stamp Act, at your Otis's and
Adams's &c. and says that no Man can scribble about
without bedaubing his fingers, and every
one who does is a dirty fellow. He expresses great Resentment against that Line
in Edes & Gill,
"Retreat or you are ruined," and says they ought to be committed for
that single stroke. -- Thus it seems that the Air of Newbury, and the Vicinage
&c. have obliterated all the Precepts,
Admonitions, Instructions and Example of his Master Thatcher,
and have made him in Thatchers Phrase
licker and an A--se Kisser of Elisha Hutchinson.
Lowel is however very warm, sudden, quick, and impetuous and
all such People are unsteady. Too much Fire. Experientia docet.
Leonard gave me also a Relation of his going to Providence
Court and Spending an Evening with the Political Clubb
there. The Clubb consists of Governor
Hopkins, Judge Jenks, Downer,
Cole and others. They were impatient to have the Courts opened
in this Province not choosing to proceed in Business alone. Were very
inquisitive concerning all our Affairs. Had much to say of
Hutchinson, Otis, &c. Admired the answer
to the Governors Speech. Admired the Massachusetts Resolves.
Hopkins said that nothing had been so much admired there
through the whole Course of the Controversy, as the Answer to the Speech,
tho the Massachusetts Resolves were
the best digested and the best of any on the Continent. Enquired who was the
Author of them.
Enquired also who it was that burlesqued the Governors Speeches? Who wrote
jemmybullero, &c. Thought Hutchinsons History did not
shine. Said his House was pulled down, to prevent his writing any more by
destroying his Materials. Thought Otis was not an original
Genius, nor a good Writer, but a Person who had done, and would continue to do
much good service.
Were very inquisitive about McIntosh. Whether he was a Man of Abilities,
or not? Whether he would probably rise, in Case this Contest should be carried
into any Length. Jo. Green, Waterhouse and
Church were talk'd of as capable of
Bullero and the Burlesques.
Inside Back Cover
Back Cover, upside down
Paper book no. 12.
copied. Vol 3 [i.e. 2]. Journal of Fragments
[The preceding text was added in the handwriting of Charles Francis Adams]