Monthly Archives: September 2006

Item of the Day: United States’ Gazette, for the Country (1804)

Full Title: United States’ Gazette, for the Country. Volume IV. No. 344. [Philadelphia] 4 December 1804.

From the Charleston Times.


A planter of the state of South Carolina, takes the liberty to propose to you an object of manufacture, in his opinion very well worthy of your attention; and in which opinion he is not singular, but from a communication he has had with many respectable planters, who with himself hold a number of slaves, and wish to see them cloathed in the winter seasons, with the manufacturers of our own states, rather than be dependent on foreign supplies of this kind; as our country can never be said to be independent , while we rely entirely on foreign cloth to cover us. The present time we deem highly propitious for the beginning of the manufacture of this cloth in the eastern states. The fabrick recommended is a warp of cotton, and to be filled with wool dyed brown, or in its natural colour; to be seven-eights of a yard wide, and to be well milled of good thickness, and dressed on the surface. For such cloth, from 55 to 75 cents per yard might be readily obtained, if delivered in Charleston, fitting for this manufacture, at the rates of from 16 to 20 cents per pound; a quantity of wool, which is now thrown aside for want of a market, might also be had at a low rate; and thus a beneficial exchange of our raw material for your manufacture, would be established. I wish the enterprizing spirit of my fellow citizens to the Northward, would make the experiment above recommended; I can assure them of success, if the cloth is well made, and of sufficient warmth to make our people comfortable in winter. Negro cloths imported from England are yearly advancing in price, to an extent this season (the best 92 cents per yard;) and the next season it may be expected by the troubles of war, it will be 100 cents, and perhaps more. In our revolutionary war, were at first put to many shifts and difficulties for clothing of our slaves comfortably in winter, but in a little time we got the better of it, and many of us made to our plantations, as much cloth of this kind as clothed all our people in a warm comfortable manner; but on the return of peace we returned to our former habits of buying imported cloth, which then was reasonable in price; but of late, and the present season, the prices are greatly advanced, which in my opinion makes the present time favourable to the introduction of our own manufactures, besides the advantage of strengthening the bond of our union. I wish it be understood, that I have no private interested motives in his hint, am as little embarrassed in my fortune as any man, therefore find as little difficulty in paying these high prices for imported negro cloth — but it has long been a wish of mine to see our supplies of this article come from the Eastern States of our union; and no time was ever more favourable to the introduction of them than the present.



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Item of the Day: A Compendious History of New England (1809)

Full Title: A Compendious History of New England Designed for Schools and Private Families by Jedidiah Morse, D.D. and Elijah Parish, D.D. Second Edition, with Improvements by the Authors. Published at Newburyport, by Thomas & Whipple Sold Wholesale and Retail at their Book-store No. 2 State Street, 1809.

Chap. XIX.

Comet; Philip’s War; life and character of captain Church.

The people of New England were surprised by the appearance of a comet, from the 17th of November, 1664, til the 4th of February following. They deemed it ominous (as they afterward did the Aurora Borealis,) of some calamity, which was shortly to befall them.

In the year 1675, a war with the Indians, by the name of Philip’s war, broke out, which endangered the existence of the colony. Some doubted whether the Indians would not succeed in the total extirpation of the English. This distressing war lasted more than a year.

This was the first hostile attack from the natives, which had been really alarming to the country. In 1637, the troops of Massachusetts and Connecticut had destroyed the Pequots. In 1643, there were some disturbances with the Narragansets, but matters were settled without shedding blood. In 1646, a plot was formed by Sequasson a sachem near new Haven, to assassinate the magistrates of that colony; but he effected nothing. In 1647, there were some transient difficulties with the Narragansets and Mohegans. The next year, the Narragansets hired the Mohawks to assist them against the Mohegans, but were detected. The following year, some persons were murdered by the Indians at New Haven and Long Island.

In the year 1653, the public mind was agitated, a general panic seized the country, from an apprehension that there was a conspiracy of the Indians through the country to cut off the English. These rumors and terrors of the day appeared, afterward, to have had no just foundation.

In 1657, Alexander, the son of Massasoit, invited the Narragansets to join with him in revolting from the English; general Winslow went with only ten men, and brought him to Plymouth, where, though he was treated very civilly, his vexation and madness threw him into a fever, of which he died. His brother Philip succeeded him, and renewed his covenant with the English in 1662; yet, in 1671, he commenced hostilities against the English, but was soon subdued, and promised never to begin war again, before he had made complaint himself to Plymouth colony. Exception these slight difficulties, for almost forty years the English had enjoyed peace with the Indians.

In 1675, John Sausaman, an Indian whom the English had employed as a missionary to instruct his brethren, informed the governor of Plymouth, that Philip, with several other tribes, was plotting the destruction of the English. Soon after this, Sausaman was found murdered; three Indians were arrested, tried, convicted, and hung for the murder. Philip, now more offended, sent away his women, armed his men, and robbed several houses in the vicinity of his own dwelling. June 24, 1675, the colony observed as a day of humiliation and prayer. As the people of Swanzey were returning from public worship, the Indians, lying in ambush, fired a volley, killed one man and wounded another. Two men, who went for a surgeon, were shot, and at the same time, in another part of the town, six other persons were killed. Immediately, a company of horse and foot, marched from Boston, and another company of foot from Plymouth, and arrived the 28th near Philip’s seat; twelve men the same evening reconnoitred his camp, were fired upon, one was killed, and one wounded; the next morning a resolute assault was made, when the savages fled, leaving their camp and their country to the conquerors.

. . .

The enemy soon burnt 32 houses in Springfield. The general court, then sitting in Boston, appointed a committee, who, with the ministers of the vicinity, might suggest what were the sins, which brought these heavy judgments, and what laws could be enacted for the prevention of those sins. Their report was received October 19, and measures were taken to carry the design into effect. The same day, at Hatfield, the new England troops obtained a decisive victory over the enemy. Seven or eight hundred of them assaulted the town, but were repulsed in such a vigorous manner, that they fled in every direction; numbers of them were drowned in attempting to cross the river; others reached the Narraganset country before they rested. The English, on this important day, lost but one man. Those in Narraganset retired to a small piece of dry land, in a great swamp seven miles west of the south ferry that goes over to Newport.

. . .

This was a most distressing time in new England. The war had been raging almost a year; the towns all over the country had been in a constant state of alarm and terror; the enemy appearing in different and distant places at the same moment. The season of planting was at hand; to neglect this service would produce a famine; to call home their troops would be only to invite the enemy to destroy them. Parties must be sent out, garrisons must be manned; the labors of the field must be performed. In this crisis a spirit of prayer was remarkably conspicuous through country. Fervent supplications were offered by the churches of New England.

. . .

Never has New England seen so dismal a period as the war with Philip. About 600 men, the flower of her strength, had fallen in battle, or been murdered by the natives. A great part of the inhabitants were in mourning. There were few families, who had not lost some near relative. In Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Rhode Island, twelve or thirteen towns had been utterly destroyed, and others greatly damaged. About 600 buildings, chiefly dwelling houses, had been burned; a large debt had been contracted, and bast quantities of goods, cattle and other property had been destroyed. About every eleventh family had been burned out, and an eleventh part of the militia through New England had been slain in the war. So costly is the inheritance we have received from our valiant forefathers. The land we sow has been stained with their blood.

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Filed under 1800's, American Indians, History, Posted by Rebecca Dresser

Item of the Day: An Enquiry into the Duties of Men (1794)

Full Title: An Enquiry into the Duties of Men in the Higher and Middle Classes of Society in Great Britain, Resulting from their Respective Stations, Professions, and Employments. By Thomas Gisborne, M.A. London: Printed by J. Davis, For B. and J. White, Fleet-Street, 1794.

Chapter I
Plan of the Work Explained.

To apply moral truths to practical purposes; to point out their bearings on modern opinions and modern manners; and to deduce from them rules of conduct by which the inhabitants of the country in particular, each in his respective station, may be aided in acquiring the knowledge and encouraged in the performance of their several duties, are objects of unequivocal utility. They are the objects which it is my wish to attain, as far as I am able, in the present work.

. . .

The plan proposed required me to enter into a regular and to a certain degree minute detail of the various duties of the different classes of society, which fall within its limits; to combine in every branch of my enquiry, as far as the nature of the subjects will admit, the conclusions of reason with the dictates of religion; and to deduce such inferences, and subjoin such remarks, as appear immediately applicable to the circumstances of Englishmen in common life. In the prosecution of a plan of this nature, the attention will of course be attracted in the first place by those objects which are of the most general importance, and those situations which render the persons fixed in them particularly conspicuous. And it will afterwards be directed to points which interest either a smaller proportion of the community, or that part of it which is more withdrawn from public observation. I propose therefore, in the outset of the undertaking, to investigate the conformity between the acknowledged principles of the British Constitution, as it stands and is administered at present, and those fundamental rules of political wisdom, which ought to be carefully regarded in every civil society: to offer, in the next place, some remarks on the functions of the sovereign, and to notice the general duties of Englishmen as subjects and fellow-citizens: and afterwards to discriminate the upper and middle classes of the inhabitants of this country according to the several ranks, professions, and employments, into which they are distributed, beginning with those of a public nature, and descending to those which are private and domestic, and to state the several duties and temptations peculiar to each. It will not be expected that in a work of this kind a distinct part should be appropriated to those, who are placed in the lowest ranks of society. By them argumentatives and bulky treatises on morality will not be read. The careful perusal of their bible, and the study of short and familiar expositions of its precepts, aided by the public and private admonitions of their pastors, are to them the principal sources of instruction. Not but that the morals of the common people may be materially corrected, their understandings improved and their misconceptions rectified, with equal benefit to themselves and to the whole community, by judicious attention on the part of their superiors among the laity. To pursue those objects with diligence, with perseverance, and with a studious regard to the difference of temporary or local circumstances, practices, and opinions, is a moral obligation strictly incumbent on all persons in the higher classes; and one which will not pass without further notice in the course of the following pages.

To the choice of this plan I was determined by a persuasion, that it offered the fairest opportunity of effectually bringing home the duties of men to their understandings and bosoms. He who would read with indifference an abstract enquiry into the nature of a particular duty, and the proper means of performing it, might be struck with a faithful representation of the occasions on which the performance of that duty is required, the manner in which it is to be effected, and the pretences by which it is commonly evaded, exemplified in the occurrences which attend his own profession and situation in life. Remarks, which in the former case he might probably have slighted as the reveries of speculative theory, in the latter press upon his mind corroborated by the energy of authentic facts, of the truth of which he has had ocular and almost hourly demonstration. I may likewise add as a further reason for adopting the method proposed, that I do not recollect any ethical work in which a similar plan is pursued with regularity, and at the same time extended to any considerable variety of subjects.

There is however one imperfection inseparable from this mode of proceeding, which it may be requisite briefly to mention. No man acts in a single character; nor can all his duties be brought into one point of view. The member of the legislature, the minister of state, the counsellor, the merchant, is also a subject, a husband, a parent, a landlord, or a master. In order then to avoid the repetition which would only swell the bulk of the performance without conveying additional information; I request the reader, of whatever description he may be, not to confine his attention to the chapter appropriated to the station or profession to which he belongs; but to consider those chapters also which include the general duties of subjects, and the especial obligations of private and domestic life, as particularly addressed to himself. If I should be told that remarks and directions will still be found applied to persons of one description which equally appertain to those of another; instead of sheltering myself under the acknowledged impossibility of avoiding all defects in any undertaking, or pleading that the defect alleged is of no prominent magnitude, I might reply that it is a circumstance which I scarcely desire to be otherwise. For, as the matter now stands, even the cursory enquirer, who turns to a particular chapter from curiosity to know what is there stated concerning the profession of which it treats, though a profession in which he is not personally engaged; may chance to meet with observations, which he may perceive to be not altogether inapplicable to his own.

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Filed under 1790's, Culture, Posted by Rebecca Dresser

Item of the Day: A Fragment out of the sixth book of Polybius (1743)

Full Title: A Fragment out of the sixth book of Polybius, containing a dissertation upon government in general, particularly applied to that of the Romans, together with a description of the several powers of the consuls, Senate, and people of Rome, Translated from the Greek with notes. To which is prefixed a preface, wherein the system of Polybius is applied to the government of England: and, to the above-mentioned Fragment concerning the powers of the Senate, is annexed a Dissertation upon the constitution of it. By a Gentleman [Edward Spelman]. London: Printed by J. Bettenham, and sold by W. Meyer, 1743.

[Elements of the political beliefs of the 2nd-century historian Polybius are evident in the writings of the John Adams and in the debates among the delegates at the Constitutional Convention. These would include the importance to a republic of a mixed government and a system of checks and balances. The text immediately below is taken from the preface of Spelman’s preface to the Fragment, and is followed by a translated excerpt of Polybius. This 1743 volume contains both the Greek and the English translation.]


Several Considerations led me to lay before the Publick a Translation of the following Fragment of Polybius: The Principal of which was, the very great Satisfaction I received, as an Englishman, in finding the whole Reasoning of that excellent Author as applicable to our own Constitution, as to That, for which it was intended.The great Advantages flowing from the happy Temper, and equal Mixture of the three Orders, for which he so justly celebrates the Roman Government, are all to be found in our own; with this Circumstance in our Favour, that our Situation, as an Island, forbids us either to fear, or aim at Conquests; by the gaining, as well as the suffering of which, that political Harmony is in Danger of being destroyed: By the Spoils of conquered Nations Caesar was enabled to corrupt the Roman People, and bribe them to be the Instruments of their own Ruin, by erecting an absolute Monarchy in his Favour; which, growing, afterwards, wanton for Want of a Check from the other Orders, weak for Want of their Assistance, became, at last, a Prey to a barbarous Invader, often vanquished, and always despised, while the Balance of all Three was preserved.

If my Countrymen will attentively consider every Argument, made Use of by Polybius, to shew the Excellence of a Government founded on an equal Mixture of Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy, they will, I dare say, have the same Satisfaction I enjoyed; that is, they will find the System of Policy, laid down by that great Man, in the following Dissertation of the Constitution of the Romans, to be a Description of the Advantages enjoyed under That of England.

I would not be thought to say this in Flattery to the Government, under which I was born, and hope to pass the Remainder of my Life; not only my own Reason, but, what is of much greater Weight, even to my self, the Authority of the grates of Men of antiquity convinces me that a Government mixed like Those of Sparta, Rome and England, is, of all other, the easiest, the securest, and the happiest to live under. If any of us are insensible of the Blessings we enjoy, I must think it owing to our being accustomed to them; custom, I know, can both deaden the Sense of the greatest Misfortunes, and pall the Enjoyment of the greatest Blessings; and Custom may, possibly, make us view that State with Indifference, which all other Nations look upon with Envy. But this Indifference is far from being Epidemical; the Fears, the Jealousies of Innovations, all pardonable in a free Sate, however groundless, are to me a Proof, beyond Contradiction, that we love what we so much fear to lose. And how general must those Fears be, when it is popular only to pretend to fear? . . .
[Edward Spelman]

. . . What, therefore, are the Beginnings of Government, and from whence do they originally spring? When, either by a Deluge, a Pestilence, a Famine, or the like Calamity, such as we know have happened, and Reason teaches us will often happen again, the Race of Mankind is well night destroyed, and all their Institutions and Arts destroyed with them; from the few that are left, as from so many Seeds, a new Generation, in Process of Time, encreases [sic] to a Multitude; then it comes to pass, as in other Animals, so in Men, when they are got together (which it is reasonable to suppose they would be, as they are of the same Kind, by Reason of their natural weakness) that he, who excels in Strength of Body and Courage, must, of Necessity, gain the Command and Authority over the rest: And, as in Animals of other Kinds also, which are not influenced by Opinions, but by the Instinct of Nature alone, we observe the same Thing commonly falls out, This ought to be looked upon as the most genuine Work of Nature: Among these the strongest are, by common Consent, allowed to be the Masters; such as Bulls, wild Boars, Cocks, and Animals of the like Nature: In the same Manner, it is probable that Men also, when they first get together, like a Herd, are governed by those of the greatest Strength an Courage; the Measure of whose Power is Strength, and their Government, Monarchy. When the Individuals, thus assembled, by living together, become, through Time, habituated to one another, then is the Foundation laid for Kingly Government, and then do Mankind receive the first Tincture of Honour and Justice, and of their Opposites: the Notions of which are first formed in the following Manner. . . .

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Filed under 1740's, History, Legal, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: The Rights of the British Colonies (1764)

Full Title: The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved by James Otis, Esq. Boston: Printed and Sold by Edes and Gill, in Queen-Street, 1764.

Of the Origins of Government

The origin of government has in all ages no less perplexed the heads of lawyers and politicians, than the origin of evil has embarrassed divines and philosophers: And ’tis probable the world may receive a satisfactory solution on both those points of enquiry at the same time.

The various opinions on the origin of government have been reduced to four. 1. That dominion is founded in Grace. 2. On force or meer power. 3. On compact. 4. On property.

The first of these opinions is so absurd, and the world has paid so very dear for embracing it, especially under the administration of the roman pontiffs, that mankind seem at this day to be in a great measure cured of their madness in this particular; and the notion is pretty generally exploded, and his’d off the stage.

To those who lay the foundation of government in force and meer brutal power, it is objected; that, their system destroys all distinction between right and wrong; that it overturns all morality, and leaves it to every man to do what is right in his own eyes; that it leads directly to scepticism, and ends in atheism. When a man’s will and pleasure is his only rule and guide, what safety can there be either for him or against him, but in the point of a sword?

On the other hand the gentlemen in favor of the original compact have been often told that their system is chimerical and unsupported by reason or experience. Questions like the following have been frequently asked them, and may be again.

“When and where was the original compact for introducing government into any society, or for creating a society, made? Who were present and parties to such compact? Who acted for infants and women, or who appointed guardians for them? Had these guardians power to bind both infants and women during life, and their posterity after them? Is it in nature or reason that a guardian should by his own act perpetuate his power over his ward, and bind him and his posterity in chains? Is not every man born as free by nature as his father? Has he not the same natural right to think and act and contract for himself? Is it possible for a man to have a natural right to make a slave of himself or of his posterity? Can a father supersede the laws of nature? What man is or ever was born free, if every man is not? What will there be to distinguish the next generation of men from their forefathers, that they should not have had the same right to make original compacts as their ancestors had? If every man and woman born or to be born has, and will have, a right to be consulted, and must accede to the original compact before they can with any kind of justice be said to be bound by it, will not the compact be every forming and never finished, ever making but never done? Can it with propriety be called a compact original or derivative, that is ever in treaty but never concluded?”

. . .

There are other questions which have been started, and a resolution of them demanded, which may perhaps be deemed indecent by those who hold the prerogatives of an earthly monarch, and even the power of a plantation government, so sacred as to think it little less than blasphemy to enquire into their origin and foundation: while the government of the supreme ruler of the universe is every day discussed with less ceremony and decency than the administration of a petty German prince. I hope the reader will consider that I am present only mentioning such questions as have been put by high-flyers & others in church and state, who would exclude all compact between a Sovereign and his people, without offering my own sentiments upon them; this however I presume I may be allowed hereafter to do without offence. Those who want a full answer to them may consult Mr. Locke’s discourses on government, M. De Vattel’s law of nature and nations, and their own consciences.

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Filed under 1760's, Legal, Posted by Rebecca Dresser, Revolution

Item of the Day: Travels through Germany. Vol. I. (1768)

Full Title: Travels through Germany. Containing observations on customs, manners, religion, government, commerce, arts and antiquities. With a particular account of the Courts of Mecklenburg. In a series of letters to a friend, by Thomas Nugent. Embellished with elegant cuts of the palaces and gardens of the Dukes of Mecklenburg. Vo. I. London: Printed for Edward and Charles Dilly, 1768.


The following letters were committed to the press, exactly in their native simplicity. This, perhaps, has occasioned a few repetitions, and a recital of particulars, which may appear uninteresting to some readers. The author, however, on submitting them to public view, did not chuse to make any alteration in their dress; this would have too much the appearance of art; and letters to a friend, such as these, should discover none. They are the effusions of a heart warmed with sentiments of affection. The taste of readers is various; and what appears minute and trifling to many, is to others, at least, a matter of entertainment. The author’s design in going abroad, was to improve his History of Vandalia, by investigating things at the fountain-head. This has induced him carefully to study the various scenes of life, and the humours and characters of men, from the prince to the cotager; agreeably to the words of a very ingenious female traveler*, Pour connoitre au vrai le moeurs des pais, nous examinons les cabanes. If we view things in a philosophical light, are not the occupations of the farmer, the gardener, and the artificer, as instructive and interesting a subject, as plays, operas, and other fashionable entertainments? These the author, however, has not omitted, when they came in his way, merely in compliance with the prevailing taste. A traveler generally makes himself the hero of his piece, by reciting his hardships and sufferings . . . the author has followed the example of his predecessors; and if this has sometimes rendered him too personal, he humbly hopes for the reader’s indulgence. Though no poet, he is an admirer of the Muses, and has been naturally led to intersperse these Letters with several passages from our best writers, which helped to sooth some toilsome scenes, and, perhaps, will contribute to enliven the narration. This is all he thinks proper to mention by way of apology; the necessity of any farther preface is superseded by the beginning of the first letter.*Madam de Boccage.

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Filed under 1760's, Germany, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Travel

Item of the Day: The Letters of Governor Hutchinson (1774)

Full Title: The Letters of Governor Hutchinson, and Lieut. Gover Oliver, &c., Printed at Boston, 1774.

Boston, August 1768

. . .

It is very necessary other information should be had in England of the present state of the commissioners of the customs than what common same will bring to you, or what you will receive from most of the letters which go from hence, people in general being prejudiced by many false reports and misrepresentations concerning them. Seven eights of the people of the country suppose the board itself to be unconstitutional, and cannot be undeceived and brought to believe that a board has existed in England all this century, and that the board established here has no new powers given to it. Our incendiaries know it, but they industriously and very wickedly publish the contrary. As much pains have been taken to prejudice the country against the persons of the Commissioners, and their characters have been misrepresented and cruelly treated, especially since their confinement at the Castle, were they are not so likely to hear what is said of them, and are not so able to confute it.

It is now pretended they need not to have withdrawn, that Mr. Williams had stood his ground without any injury, although the mob beset his house, etc. There never was that spirit raised against the under officers as against the Commissioners, I mean four of them. They had a public affront offered them by the town of Boston, who refused to give the use of their hall for a public dinner, unless it was stipulated that the Commissioners should not be invited. An affront of the same nature at the motion of Mr. Hancock was offered by a company of cadets. Soon after a vessel of Mr. Hancock’s being seized, the officers were mobb’d, and the Commissioners were informed they were threatened. I own I was in pain for them. I do not believe if the mob had seized them, there was any authority able and willing to have rescued them. After they had withdrawn, the town signified to the Governor by a message that it was pected or desired they should not return. It was then the general voice that it would not be safe for them to return. After all this, the sons of liberty say they deserted or abdicated.

The other officers of the customs in general either did not leave the town, or soon returned to it. Some of them seem to be discontented with the Commissioners. Great pains have been taken to increase the discontent. Their office by these means is rendered extremely burdensome. Everything they do is found fault with, and yet no particular illegality or even irregularity mentioned. Thee is too much hauteur, some of their officers say, in the treatment they receive. They say, they treat their officers as the Commissioners treat their officers in England, and require no greater deference. After all, it is not the persons, but the office of the Commissioners which has raised this spirit, and the distinction made between the commissioners, is because it has been given out that four of them were in favour of the new establishment, and the fifth was not. If Mr. Hallowell arrived safe, he can inform you many circumstances relative to this distinction, which I very willingly excuse myself from mentioning.

I know of no burden brought upon the fair trader by the new establishment. The illicit trader finds the risk greater than it used to be, especially in the port where the board is constantly held. Another circumstance which increases the prejudice is this; the new duties happen to take place just about the time the commissioners arrived. People have absurdly connected the duties and Board of Commissioners, and suppose we should have had no additional duties, if there had been no Board to have the charge of collecting them. With all the aid you can give to the officers of the crown, they will have enough to do to maintain the authority of government, and to carry the laws into execution. If they are discountenanced, neglected, or fail of support from you, they must submit to every thing the present opposers of government think fit to require of them.

There is no office under greater discouragements than that of the commissioners. Some of my friends recommended me to the ministry. I think myself very happy that I am not one. Indeed it would have been incompatible with my post as chief justice, and I must have declined it, and I should do it although no greater salary had been affixed to the chief justice’s place, than the small pittance allowed by the province.

From my acquaintance with the Commissioners I have conceived a personal esteem for them, but my chief inducement to make this representation to you, is a regard to the public interest, which I am sure will suffer if the opposition carry their point against them.

I am, with very great esteem, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,

August 10. Yesterday at a meeting of the merchants, it was agreed by all present to give no more orders for goods from England, not receive any on commission until the late acts are repealed. And it is said all except sixteen in the town have subscribed an engagement to that tenor. I hope the subscription will be printed, that I may transmit it to you.

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Filed under 1770's, Legal, Letters, Posted by Rebecca Dresser

Item of the Day: Carey’s Pennsylvania Evening Herald and The American Monitor (1785)

Full Title: The Pennsylvania Evening Herald, and the American Monitor. Vol. I. No. 47. [Philadelphia] 6 July 6 1785.

Regular bred Physician, having
had his tuition on Montpelier
for a considerable time,

Being a resident of the city of Philadelphia for upwards of five years, has had many opportunities of being employed in the way of his profession, and hopes, to those who were pleased to employ him, he has given such proofs of his abilities as will be an inducement to them, from the relief they may have experienced by the use of his medicines, to recommend him to their friends and the public in general; to whom he will ever be studious to give the greatest satisfaction, agreeable to their complaints.He begs leave to inform the public, that, among many other diseases too tedious to enumerate in a method of this kind, he will infallibly (under God’s mercy) perform the following cures, viz. the venereal disease, if increased to the last degree; the cancer, king’s evil, the wen, all kinds of ulcers, the rheumatism, gout, any kind of tetter, the leprosy, and all the maladies which to some might appear incurable.

Likewise, said Doctor will restore the sight to any person unhappily afflicted by blindness caused from a cataract on the eye, performed by a delicate operation. –He has a most marvelous eye-water of his own composition, to cure or prevent cold in sore eyes. –He has compounded a balsam, which infallibly cures consumptive disorders from the first, second, third, and perhaps fourth degree, as several can affirm during his residence in this city; likewise a number of other compounds for different maladies, such as the elixir for curing the stomach-ach, or cholic, often so dangerous to numbers of people; hypochondriac and hysteric disorders attending either male or female, which is most excellent for.

Said Doctor likewise begs leave to inform the public, that he has been happily successful in curing the fever and ague, which numbers can testify from the benefit they have received by his prescription. –He thinks fit to insert prices according to the age of the patient, viz. from two to seven years old, 8s. from 7 to 15, 15s. from 15 upwards, 30s. He will give proper directions for taking all his medicines, according to the complaint of the patient. He destroys all kinds of worms in infants or grown people, and prepares a plaister that will infallibly cure children afflicted with a lax and pukeing, a disorder which has brought many children to the grave. –He will consult those who please to favour him with their confidence upon any kind of malady, three days in the week, viz. on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturday in the mornings from six to ten o’clock, and in the evenings from two to five.

Said Dr. Goss will have three convenient places for the reception of patients, and will give strict attention to all who shall favour him with their confidence.

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Filed under 1780's, Medicine, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: Miscellany Politicks. For the Farmer’s Weekly Museum. (1798)

Full Title: “Miscellany Politicks. For the Farmer’s Weekly Museum.” The Farmer’s Weekly Museum: Newhampshire and Vermont Journal. Vol. V. No. 251. [Walpole, New Hampshire] 23 January 1798.

[The Farmer’s Weekly Museum was printed by David Carlisle, Jr. and edited by Joseph Dennie. This serial was continued under the title “The Farmers’ Museum, or. Lay Preacher’s Gazette.” The following excerpt is signed “PLAIN TRUTH.”]



In proportion as publick opinion is right or wrong, the sound principles of our constitution will be cherished, and the wise measures of our government supported by the citizens; or, on the contrary, false and erroneous principles will bring in bad men, and bad measures are sure to follow.It is the undoubted and uniform tendency of every revolution to propagate, at least during the heat of contest, a violent democratick spirit, which is seldom friendly to rational liberty, while it lasts, and is almost always fatal to it., when it expires. For nothing is more likely first to discredit, and then ruin a good cause, than carrying its principles to extremes. The forlorn and almost desperate condition of French liberty is an example still reeking in blood, still smoking in ruins before the eyes of mankind. No statesmen ever talked fairer, no men ever acted worse. No theories were ever wrought with a smoother polish, or glittered more with the mock diamonds and tinsel of philosophy; and never did the servile maxims of despotism, and the rage of tyrants inflict a more diffusive and pestiferous curse upon a nation.

We are more astonished at the contrast between theories and measures, between prophecies and events, between the same men demagogues and tyrants, than we ought to be. We overlook, or want patience to apply the known laws of the human character and passions, and the unvaried testimony of history.

It has been hinted, and the writer has not the smallest hesitation in asserting, that the tendency of publick opinion has been often MUCH TOO DEMOCRATICK in the United States. The unexpended heat of our revolution and the scorching and blasting reflection from that of France have not permitted the American republick to enjoy that uninterrupted health, which many, were led to anticipate, from the soundness of its temperament, and the prudent exactness of its regimen. The publick pulse has been many times feverish, and the nervous system irritable to a degree, that indicates a morbid leaven of democracy in the blood. The Shays and whisky insurgents, successfully assumed democratick principles, as equally true and popular, and endeavoured, thank heaven in vain, to excite an enthusiastick zeal to sustain them. The decline of this fiery spirit will be lamented by those, who cannot conceive that the love of liberty exists, if it be not exalted to fury. With them it is not a right, a dictate of reason, but a passion, equally sanguinary and stupid; sanguinary, because it neither discerns, nor approves any, but violent means, and , stupid, because, if left to itself, is sure to destroy its object. Accordingly, we hear the Democrats affecting to lament the supposed extinction of the spirit of 1776, as if there were no reason for repose, when the struggle is over. When resistance ceases, the passions must subside, nor is it in nature for them to keep up. It would be well for us if the revolutionary fervour had actually passed off. However necessary it may be for the security of liberty, when it is endangered, it disturbs the tranquil possession when it is not. Every popular ferment bewilders the judgment of those, whom it affects, and is the fruitful sources of the most obstinate errours. A man in a passion is not the best reasoner; and why should the Democrats imagine that the nation cannot reason, unless it raves, or that we are all in a lethargy, because we are not in a frenzy; yet who cares less for 1776 than they, for they would yield independence, now it is won, to France, and Washington, John Adams, Jay, Hamilton, Knox, Pickering, the Pinckneys, and the chief patriots of that day, are their abhorrence.

Times of publick convulsion certainly give an energy to the national character. –They call forth heroes and martyrs; at present we have not occasion for either. All the passions, which it is the business of laws in quiet times to refrain, then taking the ascendant, become the virtues of the day, and clamorous for indulgence. When men are taught to hold their own lives cheap, and its pleasures are spurned, as bringing dishonour in their allurements; when they are in the habit of spilling blood, as if they spilt water; when they taste the sweetness of revenge, and enjoy the luxury of inflicting on their foes the pain, and want, and wounds, that they themselves suffer, are they then and then only, qualified to be Republicans? As well as a raging fever may be called health, or fanaticism be confounded with true devotion. . . .



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Filed under 1790's, Culture, Journal, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: Hannah More’s Tales for the Common People (1801)

Full Title: The Works of Hannah More, in Eight Volumes; including several pieces never before published. Vol. V. “Tales for the Common People.” London: Printed by A. Strahan for T. Cadell Jun. and w. Davis, 1801.


To improve the habits, and raise the principles of the common people, at a time when their dangers and temptations, moral and political, were multiplied beyond the example of any former period, was the motive which impelled the Author of these volumes to devise and prosecute the institution of the Cheap Repository. This plan was established with an humble wish, not only to counteract vice and profligacy on the one hand, but error, discontent, and false religion on the other. And as an appetite for reading had, from a variety of causes, been increasing among the inferior ranks in this country, it was judged expedient, at this critical period, to supply such wholesome aliment as might give a new direction to their taste, and abate their relish for those corrupt and inflammatory publications which the consequences of the French Revolution have been so fatally pouring in upon us.The success of the plan exceeded the most sanguine expectation of its projector. Above two millions of the Tracts were sold within the first year, besides very large numbers in Ireland; and they continue to be very extensively circulated, in their original form of single Tracts, by Evans, in Long-lane, West Smithfield, Hatchard in Piccadilly, and Hazard in Bath, as well as in three bound volumes sold by Rivington, Hatchard, and all other booksellers.

As these stories, though principally, are not calculated exclusively for the middle and lower classes of society, the Author had, at the desire of her friends, selected those which were written by herself, and presented them to the public in this collection of her works, in an enlarged and improved form.


  • The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain: In Two Parts.

  • The Two Shoemakers: In Six Parts.

  • The History of Tom White the Postboy: In Two Parts.

  • The History of Hester Wilmot: In Two Parts; being the Sequel to the Sunday School.

  • The Grand Assize, or General Goal Delivery: An Allegory.

  • The Servant Man turned Soldier: An Allegory.

  • The History of Betty Brown the St. Giles Orange Girl, with some Account of Mrs. Sponge the Money-Lender.

  • Black Giles the Poacher: In Two Parts. Containing some Account of a Family who had rather live by their Wits than their Work.

  • Tawney Rachel; or, The Fortune-teller; with some Account of Dreams, Omens, and Conjurers.

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Filed under 1800's, Fiction, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Women