Memorandum. To enquire more particularly into the
Weymouth -- how they estimate a Days Work for a Man, Horse, Yoke
of oxen, Carts, Tools, Pickaxes, Spades, shovells
&c. -- how much Money or what a sum they assess upon the whole Town,
annually, to amend their Ways? -- whether the assessment is committed to the
surveyor, of all within his District, &c.
Enquire, too, at
Boston of Cunningham, how they pave and repair the
Pavements of their great Streets, and Lanes and Alleys &c. whether poor
People are left at their Election to work or to pay? and how they apportion
their assessment? But I presume it is not according to the Polls Tax but in
Proportion to the Province Tax, or Town and County. So that rich Men may
contribute in Proportion to their Wealth, to repairing, as they contribute most
by their Equipages &c. to the wearing and spoiling the high Ways.
But a Tax upon the Poles, and real and Personal Estates of the Town will not
bring the burthen
to Equality. We will suppose that
John Ruggles and Caleb Hubbard are rated
equally for Heads, and real and personal Estates. Caleb
Hubbard Carts down [illegible]
1000 Worth of Wood
and Timber to the Landing Places, and so reaps three or 400 a Year
Profit by improving the Ways; and by his heavy Loads, and Wheels, he breaks and
and crushes the Ways to Pieces. But Mr.
Ruggles on the other Hand, confines himself
to his farm
He neither receives Benefit from any High ways, or
does any Damage to them, further than riding to Meeting on Sundays, and Town
Meetings. Now what Reason, what Propriety can there be in taxing
Ruggles and Hubbard equally to the high ways.
One gets his living by ruining the Ways, the other neither gets a farthing by
them nor does them a farthing Damage.
The Power of a Town. The Proviso in the 11th of George Chaptr. 4th. That this Act shall not extend to the
preventing or altering the Practice in any Town of defraying the Charge of
repairing or amending the High Ways by a Rate or Tax, or any other Method they
have or shall agree upon. The Words "agreed upon," in this Proviso, I presume,
signify "determined by the major Part of the Voters," for the same Words
"agreed upon" are used, in several other Acts, where their meaning must be so.
Thus 6th. W. & M. C. 5, the Act to enable Towns, Villages, Proprietors in
common and undivided Lands to sue and be sued.
Parson Smith's Parsonage.
Vid. 6th. Wm. & M. C. 5. Page 60 -- Charter Page 6th &c.
from Index to Index. All Lands &c. which any Body politick, or Corporate,
Towns, Colledges or Schools, do hold &c. by or
under any Grant by any general Court, or by any other lawful Right or Title
whatsoever; shall be by such Towns, Colledges or
Schools, their respective Heirs, successors and assigns forever, according to
the Purport and Intent of such respective Grant, &c., not withstanding any
Want of form.
Now in the
Weymouth Case, there is a Deed to a Committee of the Town of
Weymouth for the use of the Ministry, &c. and for a
convenient settlement of Housing and Lands, for the Ministry, and for no other
Use, Intent or Purpose whatsoever. Now I believe it must be agreed that that
Committee and their Grant had no Intent or Design, of any thing but that the
present Incumbent and his successors should enjoy that House and Land forever.
And, it cant be thought that Either Party to that deed entertained a Thought of
dividing that House and Land among 50 ministers, that shall happen to settle
within the Borders of that Town, tho they may be
Churchmen, Anabaptists, Quakers, Separatists, for every one of these sects,
have a Minister who may be as well called one of the Ministry of
Weymouth as Mr. Bayley
I am an old Man turned of seventy. When I was young my common
amuzement was Reading. I had some Engagements in
Business, and and was no Enemy to innocent Pleasure. but
as my Circumstances were easy, I gave a greater Indulgence to my Curiosity of
conversing largely with the World than most Persons of my Age, and Rank. In
this Course of Life, I soon found that human Nature, the Dignity of which I
heard extolled by some, and debased by others, was far from deserving that
Reverence and Admiration, which is due to great Virtue and Intelligence. I
found as I thought [illegible] in that day a Multitude of People,
who suffered themselves to be caught by hooks and snares covered over with such
Bait, [illegible] as would not have imposed even on
fishes and Birds: and I found as I thought a few others, the Anglers of that
Day whose constant Attention and Pursuit was to [illegible]
allure and take that Multitude. The first Instances of this sort that fell
under my observation raised my Compassion and Indignation alternately. I
pittyd poor deluded [illegible]
simplicity on one hand, and I raged against Cruelty and Wickedness
on the other, and could not but think, that to rescue the Lamb from the jaws of
the Wolf would be a noble Adventure. But on further Consideration the Design
seemed impracticable. The Attempt was odious.
The Knaves would
arise in a Combination to ruin the Reformer and the full
be managed in no other Way than that of their Appetites and Passions. For this
Reason and to avoid the pungent Misery of a disappointed, despized
Patriot, I determined to make a total alteration
in the Course and Nature of my Ideas and sentiments. [illegible]
Whenever I heard or saw an Instance of atrocious Treachery, fraud, Hypocrisy,
Injustice, or Cruelty, or Lust
the common Effects of excessive
Ambition, Avarice and Lust, instead of indulging the sentiments of Nature,
which I found were a Resentment bordering on Rage, I resolved instantly to set
up a Laugh and make my self
merry: whenever I
saw human Nature [illegible] to Brutal Debauchery
[illegible] Cold, hunger, [illegible] Whipping
Post, Pillory, Gallows, instead whenever I saw human Nautre
whenever I saw a simple deluded Creature
, by the Craft of others to brutal Debauchery,
sickness, Cold, Hunger, Prison, Whipping Post, Pillory or Gallows, instead of
indulging sympathy and feeling, I set about the [illegible] my self
to laughing. I
must own I found a good deal of Difficulty to command my
at first, in this bold Attempt to alter the whole system of
Morality: and in spight
my Attention, a flash of Vengeance, [illegible]
sometimes escape me, before I could bring my Muscles into a risible
But by long Practice I have at last
obtained a settled Habit of
making my self
merry at all the Wickedness and Misery
of the World. And the Causes of Ridicule have been every Hour increasing and
multiplying from the 25th Year of my Age, when I first attempted the alteration
of my Mind, to the present Hour. And now in spight
all the Infirmities of old Age I am the most tittering, giggling Mortal you
But the amplest source of my merriment, thru the
whole Course of my Life has been the affair of English Priviledges, British Liberty and all that.
I have heard Men every Day for fifty Years boasting, "our Constitution is
the finest under heaven. We are governed by our own Laws. No Tyrant can Lord it
over us. The King is as accountable for his Conduct as the subject. No
Government that ever existed, was so essentially free. Every Man is his own
Monarch. His Will, or the Will of his Agent, and no other can bind him." All
these gallant, blustering speeches I have heard in Words -- and I never failed
to raise a Horse laugh. For observe the pleasant course of these Things. The
few who have real Honour, Temperance, and
Understanding, who are desirous of getting their Bread and Paying their Debts
by their own Industry, apply their Attention to their own Business, and leave
of Towns and Provinces to others. But a young fellow,
who happens to be by Nature or by habit indolent, and perhaps profligate,
begins by laying schemes by himself or his Friends, to live and get Money
or Care. His first step is to procure a
Deputation from some sheriff. With this Power and the help of
[illegible] With Writts and
By the Help of Writts
and drawing Writts
, or employing some
to draw them, for a share, 1/3 or
1/4 of the fee, then serving them, and Executions, carrying Tales and
Intelligence from one Party to the other, then settling Disputes, vastly
compassionating the Party, by taking twice lawful fees, they wheedle themselves
into some Connections with the People, and considerable sums of Money into
their own Pocketts
They presently grow expert capable Men very expert at
Calculations, and well acquainted with the real and personal Estates of the
Town and so very fit for select Men, and after 2 or 3 Years opposition from the
most virtuous and independent Part of a Town they obtain an Election. After
this [illegible] his Reputation increases very fast. He becomes,
to those not already grappled to his Interest by fear nor affection, very
assiduous and obliging. And when the season of the
a swarm of Candidates for Approbation to keep Taverns or Dram shops, surround
him, for his favour
. For one he will use his Utmost
Interest. For another, he really thinks there is Occasion for a Public House
where he lives. For a Third his Circumstances are so needy he really thinks he
ought to be assisted. For a 4th. he is so unable to work, that he must be
assisted, and to a fifth, He likes it very well, for he thinks, the more there
are the better, the more obliging they will be and the cheaper they will
Taverns and Dram shops are therefore placed in every Corner of the Town,
The Taverner where poor Mankind, allured by the smell of
Brandy And Rum, resort, and carouse: waste their Time, spend their Money, run
in Debt to Tavern and others, [illegible] grow attached to the
Taverner who is attached to his Patron both by Gratitude and Expectation. The
Hero of this Romance, is presently extolled as a public Blessing, as the most
useful Man in Town, as a very understanding and [civil?] Man,
and is at the next May Meeting set up for a Candidate as
Representative. The same Body of wealthy and virtuous Persons, who
first opposed the first step of his Exaltation, are still resolute
to oppose the second, and for the first few Years, he fails. But, by
Assiduity and Impudence, by extending the
and fortifying the Parts of the same system,
he increases his Interest, and the virtuous few begin
to dread the Consequences, they resolve not to be present and
of the Disgrace of the Town. They stay
at home, and the News is brought them that the Person they despized
, and &c. has obtained his Election.
In this manner Men, are employed to make Laws for their Country,
who are totally ignorant of all Law human and divine, natural, civil,
ecclesiastical and common, are employed to make Laws for their Country, while
others, who have been led by their Education to search to the Bottom of human
Nature, and to examine the Effect of all Laws upon human affairs
Z. tells me, that
Jona. Rawson is malicious and cruel as
well as conceited. He spights
Quincy and his whole Family. He says that the whole family was
prodigal and extravagant, and that he borrowed Money and bought Goods upon
Credit, but two days before he housed himself, when he knew that he never
should pay, which was no better than Stealing. -- Tis fraud. Tis Cheating, Tis
Knavery, Tis Villany. Oh he longs to see
Quincys Daughters out at service. It would please him to see
them, washing and serving Dishes, Washing Clothes, &c. Why should not they
work as well as Mrs. Liddy and I? We are more
honourably descended than they! -- He longs to
Milton select men have warned him out of that Town. He himself
was very urgent to have young Edd. warned out of
Braintree, when he first came to live with his Father, but never
could get a Majority of the select men of his Mind. He hopes that the Church in
Milton will refuse him their Communion. He hears that some
Members are uneasy and talk of objecting to his partaking there, and he wishes
they would. He was extremely glad to hear, that Mr. Quincy
failed of getting Clerk of the General Court. He heard he was a Candidate, and
disappointed, and was rejoiced at it. A fine story, that he who wanted
discretion to manage his own private Affairs, who rushed headlong to
Bankruptcy and Destruction should be intrusted with public affairs. That he who
would lye and Cheat, at such a Rate, should stand in public Place.
Thus he seems to wish that poor Mr. Quincy should be
excluded from all public Trust, that he should be expelled from any Town that
should move into, be excommunicated from the Church,
brought to beg his Bread or be maintained by the Town, and his Daughters
sent out to service as Kitchen Maids. This is Malice, Tis
Rage, Tis Cruelty, 'Tis Persecution. Tis Hell and the Devil -- and
by all Probability the Provocation to this Excess of Malevolence, which would
strip them of all the means of life temporal and eternal, is a Loss of about
forty shillings old Tenor by Mr. Quincy, some way or another.
These are dreadful sentiments. This is a woful
He, and his Brother Josiah, and all the
rest of the Family, are very proud of their Descent from Mr.
Rawson, an ancient secretary of this Province. Secretary
Rawson was his great Grandfather. His father was a tippling, silly old
fellow like David Bass, and if his Grandfather was of a like
Character, the Dishonour of descending from such a
father and Grandfather must have taken away all the Honour of descending from an honorable great Grand
Tis vain and mean to esteem oneself for his Ancestors Merit. But he is very
avaricious, and very ambitious and excessively vain. Vain of his Descent, his
Estate, his Knowledge, his sense, his public Employments, and public
spirit. he is ambitious that of Select Man, that of Commissioner of
Bankruptcy &c., and of his public Capacity and spirit, -- ambitious of
public Trust as a select Man, a Representative, a Commissioner &c. And
besides all these, he is brutally uncivil and rude in Company. He is an
impetuous bauler, a rough, unpolished, ill bred Clown
and Coxcomb. These are the Properties of one of the favourites of
Is Lawrence to be Styled a Yeoman? or not. For the Negative
these Things are to be considered. -- 1st.
Bayley in his Dictionary,
defines Yeomen to be the first Degrees of the Commons, Freeholders, who have
land of their own, and live on good Husbandry.
Sir T. Smith defines a
Yeoman to be a free born Englishman, who may lay out of his own free Land in
Yearly Revenue, to the sum of 40s.
Now Lawrence is not most certainly one of any of the first
degrees of the Commons. He is a poor, low, inferiour sort of Man, to be ranked only among Labourers,
and the meanest of the People. He is certainly no freeholder, he has no Land of
his own, and he does not live at all upon Husbandry. And if it should be
admitted that he was a free born Englishman, according to the first Part of
Sir Thos. Smiths Definition, yet he does not answer the last
Part of it, for he cannot lay out of his own free Land, in Yearly Revenue to
the sum of 40s., for he is not the owner of one foot of Land in the World.
I find in 23 : H. 6. 15. Abt. [Abridgment of the]
Statutes, title Parliament ss. 29. None shall be a Knight of the Shire, which
standeth in the Degree of a Yeoman or Under. -- By this statute therefore it
appears that there are Degrees, or at least a Degree under that of a
In Shep. Abt. [Sheppard's Abridgment], Title Name. -- So
of Commons there be Degrees as Knights, Esquires, Gentlemen, Citizens, Yeomen
and Burgesses of several Degrees. -- Here Burgesses are a Rank below
Is Lawrence a Yeoman?
For the affirmative these Things are to be considered.
What was the precise meaning of the Word Yeoman in the ancient Saxon or
Teutonic Languages, I cannot say. And whether this Title was or was
not in ancient times, most usually given to Land Holders, to Country farmers,
is not worth while to inquire, because it is not material to the present
Question. -- For
It is certain, that in the modern Language both of Courts and
History's, all Persons under the Degree of Gentlemen are styled Yeomen. The
Gentry and Yeomanry of England comprehend all Degrees of Men from the King to
the Beggar, in History, and in the modern Lawbooks
a Yeoman is defined to be an ordinary common man.
In Strange's Reports -- It is settled over and over again,
first that a Trader may be sued by the Addition of his Degree, as that of
Yeoman e.g. and the Writ shall not abate unless he pleads another degree.
Another Defendant pleaded that he was a Lime merchant, and not a Yeoman.
Plaintiff demurred, and the Court held, that every Man be he a trader or not a
Trader, has a Degree by which he may be denoted. And that if the Defendant had
shewn himself to be a Degree higher than a Yeoman,
that would have abated the Writ, but not otherwise.
In modern Cases, Defendant pleaded that he was a Farmer
a Yeoman. The Plaintiff demurred, and it was held, that if the Defendant is not
a Gentleman he must be a Yeoman i.e. an ordinary or common Person.
Besides I find it said in some Dictionaries that the Saxon Word from whence
Yeoman is drawn signified a Shepherd. Now a Man may be a shepherd without being
a Landholder, and the Word which answers this in the teutonic Language
signified a common man. Now every common man is not a Landholder.
But all these Criticisms are Trash and trifling for it is settled Practice
in this Court, in Conformity to the late Practice at Home, to call every one of
these lower sort of People, who are not Gentlemen and whose Occupation is not
known, Yeoman. I have heard common soldiers, styled Yeomen in Indictments,
soldiers belonging to the Train who had no Land. I have known a Multitude of
Instances where Defendants in civil Actions in this Court, have been called
Yeomen, who never owned an Inch of ground in their Lives. But this Man has a
better Right to this Addition, for he was born a Yeoman according to this
Definition, i.e. a Land holder, and he owned when this Note was given a good
farm, a farm worth 3000.
Q. [Query] Is Labourer an Addition of Degree or
Mistery? A Labourer is one that has no Trade or Art
or Mistery, but it is an Occupation.
It would be worth while to describe all the Transformations of
flatery. -- Yet there is always a salvo, which
shews his Deceit and Insincerity.
If Mr. Adams should become in 2 or 3 Years, one of
the most eminent Lawyers in the County, and remove to Boston, there you would
find persons, who have Knowledge of the World and Daughters to
dispose of, who have Knowledge of the World, and Prudence enough to look out
the most thriving best Characters, for Matches to their Daughters.
Twenty such Men would have their Eyes upon You; would dress out their Daughters
to the best Advantage, contrive Interviews, lay schemes and presently, some one
more beautiful, or sensible, or witty or artful, than the rest will
draw take you in. We shall see you, not with
[illegible] in spight of your
Phylosophy, and Contempt for Wife and Mistress
and all that, sighing, and dying with Love. Here, under a specious Pretext of
Raillery for my boasted, and affected, Indifference to Ladies, he is
insinuating or would make me believe that he designed to insinuate, that I am
likely to be the ablest Lawyer on the stage, in 2 or 3 Years, that 20 Gentlemen
will Eye me for a Match to their Daughters, and all that. This is the flattery.
Yet, in truth he only said, if Mr. Adams should
become &c. so that if his Consequences should never take Place, Oh I never
expected they would, for I did not expect you would be eminent. -- Besides, if
he was to speak his real sentiments, I am so illbred, unpolished &c. that I never shall succeed
with ladies or the World &c. &c.
The same Evening, I shew
him, my Draught of our
Licensed Houses and the Remarks upon it. Oh he was transported! he was
ravished! He would introduce that Plan at the sessions, and read the Remarks,
and say they were made as well as the Plan by a Gentleman to whom their could
be no Exception -- &c.
He saw an Abstract of the Argument for
and against Writts
of Assistants -- and
did you take this from those Gentlemen as they
delivered it? You can do any Thing! You can do as you please!
Gridley did not use that Language. He never was Master of such
a style! It is not in him -- &c.
I will lay 100 Guineas, that before 20 Years, you will raise the Fees of the
Bar 3 fold. If your Eloquence should turn out equal to your Understanding, you
will. I know you will!
You have Ld.
Bolinbroke by heart! With one
cursory Reading you have a deeper Understanding of him and remember more of
him, than I do after 3 or 4. Readings, or than I should have after 10
With all your Merit, and Learning, and Wit and sense and Spirit, and
Vivacity, and all that.
These are the bold, gross, barefaced Flatteries that I hear every Time I see
that Man. Can he think me such a Ninny as to be allured and deceived by such
gross Arts? He must think me vastly vain, silly, stupid, if he thinks to impose
on me, if he thinks I cant see the Deceit. It must be deceit. It cannot be any
Gray v. Paxton.
Otis drew a Writ vs.
Paxton for Money had and received to the Use of the Province.
Prat pleaded in Abatement, That,
altho the suit was brot
in Greys Name, altho
Gray was Plantiff, Yet no Promise
was alledged to have been made to
Gray. The Defendant is alledged to
be indebted to the Province, for Money received to the Provinces Use, and to
have promised to pay it to the Province. Yet the Province is not
Plantiff. It is Gray
vs. Paxton, but it should have been
Province of the Massachusetts Bay v.
The Treasurer and Receiver General has not a Right ex Officio, to
demand sue for and recover all Monies that are due to the Province.
No more than a Noblemans Steward has to sue for and Recover the Demands of the
Nobleman: No more than the Cashier of the Bank of
England, has to sue for and Recover all Monies due to the Bank
England. A steward may sue but not in his own Name, he must sue
in the Name of his Master. The Cashier may sue, but not in his own Name, he
must sue in the Name of the Governor and Company of the
England. A Corporate Body is one Person in Law and may sue or be
sued, and There is an Instance, before the Court, this Term, in your own
Dockett, of a suit brot by
a Town, the Town of
Dorchester vs. A.B. &c. There is a
special Law of this Province, which impowers
Gray vs Paxton
to [assist?] us, we asked the advice of others, and we could
think of none better than the Valuation Act. But this, threw new fuel into the
unquenchable furnace of
Boston Passions. What they cry? We obliged to tell upon Oath how
much we are worth? must not we [illegible] drink Madeira, use
silver plates, ride in our Chariots go to Concerts and assemblies, and let our
sons and Daughters spend a few Guineas a Week at Cards, without telling the
assessors and having it recorded that we are in Debt for all this, and are
10,000 worse than nothing? Oh these vile shoe string Country
Reps. [There is reason to believe that
this alternative draft of the letter, which appears below, was once longer but
was later removed from the paper booklet.]
[DRAFT OF A LETTER TO THE BOSTON GAZETTE, MAY
I am myself an Inhabitant of
Boston, and have I think an honest affection for the Town, and a
sincere Concern for its Honour: for which Reason I
cannot reflect upon the late prevailing Humor of attributing our own follies to
the Country without Regret. The late Engagement in your Paper, between two
litigating Scribblers, about the Clergy of this Town, and their
[illegible] lawdable Conduct, at the
late Installment, forsooth was between two Country laymen: and many other
Pieces lately published have been in Country Characters; young Gentlemen from
the Country, old Batchellers in the Country
&c. This is [merely??] fathering our own natural Children
on other Men who are more chaste. Such Pieces, every Man who reads them knows,
are the Productions of idle fellows in this Town -- Persons who have no
Business, of more Consequence, to employ their Time and Thoughts, and who
happen to grow vain enough in their own Imaginations, to prize highly their own
Wit and Talent. Whereas the good People in the Country, whom in journeys
which I often take I have pretty carefully observed, are more
and attentive to their own Business, and
much less conceited of their sense and Learning. Besides any Man may observe in
these Pieces, a Temper, and Manners quite remote from the honest simplicity and
natural, and habitual Benevolence of a Countryman. Tis really doing Injustice
to the Country to impute to it
uncandid, illiberal [illegible]
Productions, but no Wonder these
Grub-street Garreteers are guilty of this Injustice when, I am sorry to say it,
a like Kind is committed by almost all orders of the
Town, in many other affairs of much more Consequence.
The affair of Taxes has been a common Place Topic of Complaint against the
Country, among all Ranks of Men in this Metropolis for many Years. Our Gentry
has given frequent Invitations, to the Country Representatives, and to other
Country Gentlemen, who had Acquaintance here, to Entertainments. The
Productions of every Element and Climate were assembled, and the nicest Art and
Cookery employed to regale them. The furniture of our Houses and Tables were
proportionably rich and gay. Our Persons were cloathed in silks and Laces and Velvet, and our Daughters
especially blazed in the rich vestments of Princesses. At the same Time the
poor Gentlemen were scarcely able to walk the streets, for the Multitude of
Chariots, or to hear themselves speak for the rapid Rattling of Hoofs and
Wheels. (Wits and Wags may laugh at my Discription, but Foppery ought to be described in
Bombast.) These Appearances at the Churches, assemblies, Concerts, Private
Houses and streets, gave the Country an opinion, either that Boston was vastly
vastly extravagant, and they dared not, by any public
speech or Conduct suppose the latter least they should give offence
to us, who had treated them even with assiduous
Complaisance and Hospitality.
They endeavoured to Settle the Proportion of public Burdens, (and how should
they do otherwise) according to the best Proofs they could procure of Wealth
and Ability: And altho People in the Country were
obliged to wear Homespun threadbare, eat salt Pork and Beef, drink
Cyder and small Beer, and turn every stone, and save
every Penny to pay their Taxes, and did it chearfully too: yet we in
Boston never would pay ours, without Grumbling, and cursing
Country folks, and Country Representatives.
Well, the Country Gentlemen desirous to do justice,
[harkened?] to our Complaints, and set themselves to discover
as well as they could, who was and who was not able to support the Pomp they
every day saw. They asked our own Representatives and other, the most sensible
Inhabitants of the Town, and no better Method was to be found than the
Valuation Act. But, this, instead of quieting
extinguishing only enflamed our
Discontent. "What we cry? We obliged to tell upon Oath how much we are worth?
must not we drink Madeira, use Silver Plates eat in silver and
China? Ride in our Chariots? Go to Concerts and assemblies? and let our sons
and Daughters spend a few Guineas a Week at Cards without telling the
assessors, and having it recorded that we are in Debt for all this, and
10,000 worse than nothing! Oh these vile shoe string
We have not in short the Ingenuity of common Debauchees, who will often
confess their own folly, in getting Claps and daily Drams, has given them the
Hectick: But we are determined to take no shame to
ourselves, but charge all the Conseque the natural and unavoidable
Consequences of our own Imprudence on the Country. The Country, it is true, is
not an unexceptionable Example of Wisdom. Many Things are running Wild. Many
[illegible] simptoms are
appearing begin to appear, that threaten their Happiness, their Morals,
Health, Properties and Liberties, in a very melancholly manner: But even these simptoms are produced, in a great Measure by the
inconsiderate Politicks of this Town. -- Give me
Leave to mention a very flagrant Instance out of a Multitude.
If you ride over this whole Province you will find, that,
alltho Taverns are generally too numerous, they are
not half so numerous in any one County, in Proportion to the Numbers of People
and the Necessity of Business and Travellers, as in this. In most Country
Towns, in this County, you will find almost every other House, with a sign of
Entertainment before it. If you call, you will find Dirt enough, very miserable
Accommodation of Provision and Lodging, for your
self and your Horse. Yet if you set the Evening, you will find the House
full of People, drinking Drams, Plip, Toddy,
Carrousing, swearing, but especially, plotting,
with the Landlord, to get him, at the next Town Meeting an Election, either for
or Representative. Thus the Multiplicity of these
Houses, by dividing the Profits, renders the Landlords careless of Travellers,
and allures the poor Country People, who are tired with Labour
and hanker after Company, to waste their Time and
money, contract Habits of Intemperance and Idleness, and by degrees to loose
the natural dignity and freedom of English Minds, and confer those offices,
which belong by Nature and the spirit of all Government to Probity and Honesty,
on the meanest and weakest and worst of human Characters.
A good deal of this has happened, as I believe, partly from what I have seen
and partly from credible Information, in the Country: But who is most to blame!
The Court of Sessions has made such Rules for itself, that the Country Justices
can seldom attend. The select Men of the several Towns, have been so often
disappointed, that they are discouraged. Some Houses to my Knowledge have been
licensed which never had any Approbation from any select Man. Other Persons
have been licensed whom the select Men have found by Experience, and certified
to be unfit, guilty of Misrule, and therefore unfit. Others have
been recognized for seven Years together without any Approbation from the
select Men, thro that whole Time. Nay a Man has been
recognized, tho the select Men certifyed good Reasons for not approbating him -- that
he was very intemperate, had poor Accommodations, and was subject to fits of
if not Delirium, that made it dangerous to come near him:
it was proved, that the same Man, in one
of those fits, had but a few days before, Stabbed another, with apparent Design
and great Danger of Murder.
Now I agree, that Ambitious Spirits in the Country, who have little
Honour who have little Honour will soon see, that such Houses must be
favoured, and multiplied, to promote their own
designs, and therefore Retailers and Taverners are generally in the Country
Assessors, or select Men, or Representative or Esquires: But are not we more to
blame. Are not some of our justices, Importers of Mollasses? are not others Distillers? and are not all of
them fond of a lawful Fee? In short it is owing wholly to
Boston justices, that those Houses have been so shamefully
multiplied, in the Country, multiplied so that decent Entertainment for a
Traveller is no where to be had.
Beg. The Freedom of Censure is a Matter of great
Consequence in our under our Government. There are certain Vices and
follies, certain Indecencies of Behaviour, beneath
the Inspection and Censure of Law and Magistracy, which must be restrained and
corrected by Satyr. And for this Reason, every Piece of just Ridicule in public
or private bestowed on any foppery wrong or foolish Conduct, gives
Pleasure, even altho
myself the Object. From the same Principle I was glad to see some Animadversion
on the late inconsistent Conduct of the Ministers of this Town. And nothing but
sacerdotal Impudence, and Ecclesiastical Pride, can account for the surly,
revengeful Manner in which those Pieces have been received.
11TH. 1761 .
I have been for a Week or fortnight engaged in a Project. [to obtain the
appointment of his brother Peter Boylston Adams as a deputy sheriff of Suffolk
co.] Have remarkably succeeded hitherto.
Mr. Niles approved in all
Things. Major Crosbey
approved in all Things. Deacon
Palmer approved in all Things. They have given under their Hands a
very full and handsome Character and Recommendation of my
Brother -- much more ample than I expected. They have really Spoken
in Hyperbole. They have expressed themselves with Warmth. I expected only a
signification of their Consent and Approbation, but they have expressed
themselves with Zeal. I ought to consider these Credentials gratefully, as a
strong Instance of friendship, and take the first Opportunity of making some
Return. Mr. N. has the worst opinion of
Thayers Morals. He detests
the base Methods of Debauchery, and Lying, and Duplicity, that he has been in.
P. despizes him.
But scheming seldom has success. I expect to come off but second best after
all. I expect that Thayer will hear of my Design, and in order
to defeat it, continue in the office himself. If he should, I shall be pretty
[well?]. Intrigue, and making Interest, and Asking favors is a
new Employment to me. I'm unpractised in
Intrigues for Power.
I begin to feel the Passions of the World. Ambition, Avarice, Intrigue,
Party, all must be guarded.
My fears of failing are at last vanished. The scheme succeeded in all
Things, and is compleated. B.
[Boylston] is constituted, commissioned
and sworn, and this Day, undertaken to officiate. Now a new Train of
Anxieties, begins to take Place. Fears of imperfect services, imperfect and
false Returns, voluntary and negligent Escapes, miscalculations, Want of
strength, Courage, Celerity, Want of Art and Contrivance &c. Rashness,
Indolence, Timidity, &c.
The Project was so well planned, that success seemed certain. Every
all the justices recommended. Two other Gents of his Acquaintance,
men of Honour
concurred and urged, and dropped Hints if not Anecdotes, vs.
the old one. Hints were [illegible]
dropped to him by others that I should employ Constables
and so deprive him of his Profits. So that his Interest, his Vanity, his
, were all touched. It cost me much Pains, at
least 2 Journeys to
Boston, one to Mr. Niles', one to
Germantown, one to Mr.
, and Majr. Crosbeys. The
Writing of a long Bond. The solicitation of Credentials, of sureties and of the
office. More solicitation procured it. And altho
was not much disguised or concealed, yet it was so silently conducted that I
believe the [grand?]
Adversary never once suspected it. All the
Wiles and Malice of the old serpent would have been employed against it, if it
had been known or suspected. But there was one Particular of mere Luck, to
which we were much indebted -- vizt. the Complaint of
That unfriendly, unbrotherly, unneighbourly
well as rash and unmannerly, Spurning of the Execution, and then sending it to
Gould, where it was lost, gave the great Man an ill opinion of
and made him more willing and ready, at my solicitation,
to constitute another, and even without consulting Thayer.
I have latterly arose much earlyer than Usual.
Arose at five and at 6 O'clock, instead of 8 and 9. The Mornings are very long,
and fine opportunities for Study. They are cool and pleasant. But I have not
improved my Time, properly. I have dozed and sauntered away much of my Time.
This morning is very fine [illegible] . The clear sky,
the bright sun, the clean Groves and Grass, [illegible] after so
fine a Rain are very pleasant. But the Books within this Chamber have a much
better Title to my Attention than any of the rural scenes and objects without
it. I have been latterly too much in the World, and too little in this Retreat.
In the Abroad, my Passi Appetites are solicited, my
Passions inflamed, and my Understanding too much perverted, to judge wisely of
Men or Things. But in this Retreat, where neither my Senses nor Appetites nor
Passions are excited, am able to consider all Things more
[illegible] coolly, and sensibly. -- I was [illegible] to him guilty of rash and profane Swearing, of rough
and indecent Virulence vs. the Characters
of Goffe, J. Russell, Lieutenant
Governor, &c. Not but that there have been Faults in their
Characters and Conduct, that every honest Man ought to resent.
Dined at Deacon Hills, with Sam Quincy
and his Bride, and with
Mr. Cushing a Representative of Salisbury.
Cushing seems a fair minded Countryman. Some free and friendly
Conversation passed between Henry Hill and his father, about
Advancement, and stock and setting up, and giving 1000 a Year.
Henry said You ought to give me 1000 a Year or 10,000
right out, and then I maintain myself. You must give me Money or learn me to
get it, or why did you make me? I'le go back again,
Drank Tea, at Major Nobles, with Coll.
Quincy, Deacon Whittemore, and the Man who is sued to
this Court. I've forgot his Name. All in Consultation about defending their
Lands in the Eastward.
I am creating Enemies in every Quarter of the Town. The
Clarks hate. Mother Hubbard,
Thayer, Lamb, Tirrell,
This is multiplying and propagating Enemies, too fast. -- I shall
have the Ill-Will of the whole Town whole Town.
White. Daniel White, Moses
Adams. -- This will not do.
Daniel Prat vs. Thos.
Colson. -- This Action was brot by
Plaintiff vs. Colson as
Administrator, on the Estate of Mr. Bolter, for
Non-Performance of a Covenant of Indenture. Prat was a poor,
fatherless Child and his Mother Unable to provide for him, bound him
an Apprentice to Mr. Bolter. He was then under 10 Years of
Age, and so was bound for Eleven Years, and some odd Months. In Consideration
of this very long and unusual Term of Apprenticeship his Master covenanted to
teach him to read, write and Cypher, and to teach him
the Trade of a Weaver. But we contend complain that he never taught
us either to read, write or Cypher, or to weave. Call
The Law, Gentlemen, is extreamly tender and
indulgent to such Actions as these. For such is the Benignity and Humanity of
the English Constitution that all the weak, and helpless, and friendless Part
of our Species are taken under its Peculiar Care and Protection. Women,
Children, and Especially Widows and fatherless Children, have always, from the
Compassion of the Law peculiar Priviledges and
Indulgences allowed them.
Therefore as a poor, fatherless, and
friendless Child the Law would allow great Indulgence and Lenity to this
But he is to be favoured for Another Reason.
Because the English Law greatly favours Education. In
every English Country, some sort of Education, some Acquaintance with Letters,
is necessary, that a Man may fill any station whatever. In every English
Country In the Countries of slavery, and Romish superstition,
the Laity must not learn to read, least they should detect the gross Impostures
of the Priesthood, and shake off the Yoke of Bondage. But in Protestant
Countries and especially in England and its Colonies, Freedom of
Enquiry is allowed to be not only
[illegible] the Priviledge but the
Duty of every Individual. We know it to be our Duty, to read, examine and judge
for ourselves, even of ourselves what is right. No Priest nor Pope has any
Right to say what I shall believe, and I will not believe one Word they say, if
I think it is not founded in Reason and in Revelation. Now how can I judge what
My Bible justifies unless I can read my Bible.
The English Constitution is founded, tis bottomed
And grounded on the Knowledge and good sense of the People. The very Ground of
our Liberties, is the freedom of Elections. Every Man has in
Politicks as well as Religion, a Right to think and
speak and Act for himself. No man either King or Subject, Clergyman or Layman
has any Right to dictate to me who the Person I shall choose
to for my Legislator and Ruler. I must judge for myself, but how can
I judge, how can any Man judge, unless his Mind has
and enlarged by Reading. A Man who can read, will find in his Bible, in the
common sermon Books that common People have by them and even in the
and News Papers, Rules and observations,
that will enlarge his Range of Thought, and enable him the better to judge who
has and who has not that Integrity of Heart, and that Compass of Knowledge and
Understanding, which form the Statesman.
Mem.. To ask Seth Copeland,
whether his Father White has a Copy of his Fathers Will? How
came Eb. White possessed of that old Deed to his father,
and not and how came Tho's White to have it? and
whether he Tho's White has a Copy of that Deed. And Q.
[Query] of whom Capt. Thayer bought his
share of the Landing? and of whom Holbrook bought his share of
the Landing? And whether
the Beech and Flatts, where Thayers and
Holbrooks Wharffs now are, ever belonged to
Tho's White the Testator.
Spent Evening at Zabs with the
Wibirt. I have seen a Picture of Oliver
Cromwell, with this Motto under it.
Careat successibus opto
Quisquis ab Eventu, facta notanda putat.
[From Ovid's Heroides, II.
I pray that he may want success, who thinks that Deeds are to be estimated
from their Event, their success. Oliver was successful but not
prudent nor honest, nor lawdable nor imitable.
A certain Romish Priest had five young Nuns, committed to his Charge, i.e.
he was appointed the Confessor to them. And after a while they all five proved
with Child by him. He was summoned into the Ecclesiastical Court
Spiritual Court, to answer to the Charge of Fornication. The judge told him he
was charged with a criminal Correspondence with all five of the Nuns that had
been entrusted to his Care. The Priest replies, Quinque mihi tradidit Dominus
Talenta, Et Ecce alia quinque super lucratus sum. -- The judge was so well
pleased with his Confession that he said Remittuntur tibi Peccata tua, Abi in
Read in Just.
18TH. 1761. SUNDAY.
Arose at 6. Read in Popes
Satyrs. Nil Admirari &c. I last night read [illegible]
thro, both of Dr.
Donnes Satyrs versifyed by
Pope. Was most struck with these Lines
Bear me some God! Oh! quickly bear me hence
To wholsome solitude the Nurse of sense
Where Contemplation prunes her ruffled Wings
And the free soul looks down to pitty Kings.
Prayer! A post. [postulant?] -- Hands uplifted, and Eyes.
A very proper Prayer for me to make when I'm in
Bo-n [Boston]. Solitude is a Personage, in a
clean, wholsome Dress, the Nurse and Nourisher of
sense. Contemplation a Personage, prunes, picks, smooths. Is she an
Angell or a Bird -- ruffled, rumpled, rugged, uneven,
tumbled. Free soul, not enslaved, unshackled, no Bondage, no subjection, looks
down, pitties George,
Louis, Frederick, Phillip,
the most refined Patriotism to which human Nature can be wrought, has
in it [illegible] an alloy of ambition, of Pride and
of avarice, that debases the Composition, and produces mischievous Effects.
Among the numberless Imperfections of human Nature and society, there is
none that deserves to be more lamented, because there is none that is the
source of greater Evils, than the Tendency of great Parts and Genius, to
imprudent sallies and a Wrong Biass
. If We move back,
the History of all ages and Nations, we shall
find, that all the Tumults, Insurrections, and Revolutions, that have
that have disturbed the Peace of society, and spilled oceans
of Blood, have arisen from the rash
giddy Rashness of
Extravagance of the sublimest Minds. But in those Governments where the People
have much Power, tho [illegible]
best that can be found, the Danger from such spirits is the greatest of all.
That unquenchable Thirst of superiority, and Power which, in such Governments,
the Lust of Popularity, often
precipitates Persons of Character I describe, into the wildest Projects and
Adventures, to set the World aware of their Parts and Persons, without
attending to the Evils that must ensue
Calamities that must ensue.
Popular orators are [illegible] generally opposite to
the present [illegible] and
public Measures, and despizing
Persons in Power, whether with
wise or foolish, wicked or upright, with
all their Wit, and
Knowledge, merely to make themselves the Idols of a slavish, timid People, who
are always jealous and invidious of Power and therefore devoted to those that
expose, ridicule or condemn it. Eloquence that may be employed to
wisely to persuade, is often employed wickedly
to seduce, from the Eloquence of Greece and Rome down to the rude speeches of
our American Town Meeting. I am not [illegible]
more charity, than to believe, that these orators really intend an Injury to
their Country; but so subtle are our Hearts in deceiving and
ourselves, [illegible] think
we are so
apt to think our own Parts so able and [illegible]
necessary to the public, that a public
we shall richly repair, by
our Capacity in public life
station any Mischiefs we occasion in our
Way to them. There is perhaps a sincere [illegible]
the Hearts of all such Persons; but it must be confessed, that the most refined
Patriotism to which human Nature can be wrought, has in it an alloy of
Ambition, of Pride and avarice that debases the Composition, and produces
As unhappy and blamable as such Persons are, the general Method
among Persons in Power of treating such
spirits, is neither less unhappy, or blamable or hurtful. Such Minds, with a
wise and delicate Management, may be made the ornaments and Blessings of
: but by an unskilfull
rough Usage, will be rendered desperate and therefore the Worst Blemishes and
Plagues of their Country.
I therefore who am setting up for the Monitor of all future Legislators,
[illegible] a Character for which by my great Age, Experience,
Sense and Learning I am well qualified, hereby advise the orator, to guard
himself against the danger to and his Country, against the Danger to
which his Passions expose both, and the Man in Power, instead of thwarting, and
insulting and overbearing a Person who perhaps is full as wise and good as he,
to [soothe] and cool and soften by a mild obliging
Behaviour, and a just Attention to the
Tuesday Night. Col. Q. If that
House was builded in 1755 before
my first Wifes Death
&c. &c. I am the most lost to all sense of Truth that ever Man was
You have given me a fee. Now this Action may possibly bear 3 several
1st. It might be considered as an Engagement in your suit vs. Cranch.
2d. It might be con
2d. It might be considered as an Engagement to
give you, the Offer of my service in all Causes, before I should engage in
favour of any other Person vs. you.
3. It may be considered, for aught I can say, merely as a sop for Cerberus,
to hinder in short to silence me in this Case, to
bearly to prevent my engaging on the other side, and
to secure me as an Under Worker to fetch and carry, prepare Evidence
Now I frankly tell you, when I accepted a fee from you, I accepted it in the
second sense And in that alone. And I will tell you my Reasons. I had often
heard you say that you once gave Mr. Prat a retaining fee, and
you explain yourself thus a fee not to engage for to be on your side
in all Causes if you desired it, and not to engage against you, without first
letting you know it. And you said further that whenever any Cause happened,
after you gave that fee, you
again engaged him &c. Another
Reason was sometime since when you apprehended a Dispute with Deacon
Palmer you told me you
desired me if any Person should
apply to me against you that I would not engage without letting you know it,
and if upon such Information you did not offer me more than the other Party
had, I should be at Liberty to engage for him. And you then subjoined, to
secure You to this, I will give you a retaining fee if you will take it. By the
Way I then made this objection. "For another Person I may be employed to
conduct the Cause but you can never entrust a Cause in the Hands of your Son
and me, and to employ me in Conjunction with another, in Neglect of your Son,
would not do." You answered Yes, you [illegible]
should have the Conduct of the Causes for [illegible]
it was not
proper a son [should?]
argue a Cause for his father. Another
Reason was you offered the fee to me as a retaining fee before you said one
Word of any Particular Cause. Neither Mr. Cranchs
Cranchs 3 suits, nor any Eastern Claims, nor Deacon
Palmers Account nor any other Cause was mentioned to me,
after you had put the fee into my Hand, and with
it you said if any Person shall apply to you against me, dont you engage till
You let me