I. Humphrey Ploughjogger to the Boston Evening-Post
Bostun, the thurd of March 17631
Thes fue Lins cums to let you no, that I am very wel at prisent, thank God for it, hoping that you and the family are so too. I haf bin here this fortnite and it is fiftene yeres you no sins I was here laste, and ther is grate alterashons both in the plase and peple, the grate men dus nothin but quaril with one anuther and put peces in the nues paper aginst one anuther, and sum sayes one is rite, and others sayes tuther is rite and they dont know why or wherefor, there is not hafe such bad work amumgst us when we are a goin to ordane a minstur as there is amungst these grate Fokes, and they say there is a going to be a standin armey to be kept in pay all pece time and I am glad of it Ime sure for then muney will be plenty and we can sell off our sauce2 and meat, but some other peple says we shall be force to pay um and that wil be bad on tuther hand becaus we haf pade taksis enuf alredy amungst us, and they say we are despretly in det now but howsomever we dont pay near upon it so much as bostun folks and thats som cumfurt but I hop our depetys will be so wise as to take care we shant pay no more for that, the Bostun peple are grone dedly proud for I see seven or eight chirch minsturs3 tuther day and they had ruffles on and grate ty wigs with matter4 a bushel of hair on um that cums haf way down there baks, but I dont wonder they go so fin for there is a parcel of peple in Lundun that chuses um as they say and pays um, but our m—— thinks themselfs well off if they can get a toe shirt to go to Leckshun in,5 but that is not their sorts for if they ant well pade they cant help it and they ort to be for the bible says the laburrer is wurthy of his hier and they that prech the Gospel should live by the Gospel, but Ime dredful afrade that now there is so many of these minsturs here that they will try to bring in popiree among us and then the pritandur will come and we shal all be made slaves on.6 I have bote your juse harp and intend to come home next week and tell your mother so. so no more at prisent but that I am Your lofeing father
MS not found. Reprinted from ((Fleet’s) Boston Evening-Post, 14 March 1763).
1. This is the only letter in this group for which the author assigned a date of composition.
2. See OED description begins The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, 1933; 12 vols. and supplement. description ends under Sauce, 4a: “Chiefly U.S. Vegetables or fruits, fresh or preserved, taken as part of a meal.”
3. Anglican clergymen. Americans had to go to England for ordination by a bishop.
4. Probably to be read as “with a matter of,” meaning “about a bushel.” See OED description begins The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, 1933; 12 vols. and supplement. description ends under Matter, 24. For another example, see No. III, below.
5. That is, Congregational ministers think they are well off if they can afford a coarse linen shirt to wear to Election Day ceremonies. These were held in Boston on the last Wednesday in May, when the General Court convened and elected the Governor’s Council. It was a day “of ’treats’ and feasts as well as sermons and politics” (A. W. Plumstead, ed., The Wall and the Garden: Selected Massachusetts Election Sermons 1670–1775, Minneapolis, 1968, p. 11).
6. Period editorially supplied.