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Though it is “a terrible thing” for “eyes with reading almost blind” to go over between three and four hundred pages of ms. History, I have read “the General history of the United States” with more delight than it would be prudent for me to express. It is written in the pure spirit of an upright and faithful and impartial American. I see in it none of those panegyrical Romances which compose...
I cannot pretend to any extraordinary Knowledge of the History of this Country, or of what a general History of it ought to contain nor is my Letter written with Sufficient Care for publication: but as this is equally true of every other Thing of mine that has been published you are quite at Liberty to make what use of this you please. My Life has been passed in too much hurry to allow me to...
Thanks for your favour of the 1st and the Sermon. I have never Seen Trumbulls History, in print, and know nothing of it, but from the very hasty Perusal of the Manuscript you Sent me. I esteem Dr Morse and Dr Ware. The Vote of the former against the latter never diminished my Esteem for either: because I believed both to be able and conscientious Men. I esteem Dr Morse and Miss Adams and the...
I thank you for your favour of the 10th. and the Pamphlet inclosed “American Unitarianism.” I have turned over its Leaves, and found nothing that was not familiarly known to me In the preface, Unitarianism, is represented as only thirty years old in New England. I can testify as a Witness to its old Age. Sixty five years Ago, my own Minister the Reverend Lemuel Briant, Dr Jonathan Mayhew of...
For some time past I have been unable to read write or See.—So that it has been impossible for me to answer your Expectations as I wished. And now it costs me more pain and time to write a time than it did but seven years ago to write a page.— you will find me but a miserable resource for information or advice in your great Undertaking. I can give you nothing but broken hints. At present I...
On September 11th. I wrote you a line inclosed in a pacquet with four original letters from Governor McKean and a pamphlet of my own. I requested the return of them: but have not been informed whether you have received them or not. Whether it was jocularly or ironically, or ludicrously, or vanity, that I promised you a specimen of the manner in which I would write the history of our country...
The Pamphlet I lent you and the Letters from Governor Mackean you may retain for the time you mention. The Pamphlet I would give you, if I had or could procure another. The rise and progress of that pamphlet is this. On my return form Phyladelphia in November 1774, I found that Mrs Drapers Massachusetts Gazette had been long pouring forth torrents of scurrility against the Whigs, and dreadful...
There are thirty or forty Histories of the American Revolution and consequent War now upon the Stocks and ready to be launched, as soon as the Weather and the tide will permit. The Chevalier Botta, an Italian Knight has already written one, which is Said to be the best that ever had appeared. Mr Mackean and Mr Pollard have written two others. Mr Randolph of Virginia has left one Soon to be...
If I ever comply with your request, I must make haste, & employ the few intervals of light which my eyes afford me. Where is the man to be found, at this day, when we see Methodistical Bishops, Bishops of the Church of England, & Bishops, Archbishops, & Jesuits of the Church of Rome, with indifference; who will beleive, that the apprehension of Episcopacy, contributed 50 years ago, as much as...
If such was the Spirit of the English Church in America, and especially in Virginia before the Revolution: Can you wonder, that Men So enlightened as Richard Henry Lee and his Brothers, Patrick Henry Chancellor Wythe Chief Justice Pendleton, Mr Jefferson Mr Madison &c, though they had been all educated in that Church, became afterwards Disciples of Lock, Blackburne, Fourneux and William Penn,...
In your favour of the 15th of November, you ask, in the Name of your eldest Son, the Liberty to take my Buste By Saturdays Mail I recd a Letter dated Philadelphia Decr. 6th. from Mr Joseph De la Plaine, a Gentleman whom I know not, who Says “A respectable Young Gentleman, Mr Morse, lately from London, Son of the Revd. Dr Morse is an excellent Artist I learn. I beg you to do me the honour of...
You are examining me upon Interrogatories. I must tell you the Truth and nothing but the Truth. But to tell you the whole Truth is impossible. It would require more Volumes than I can calculate. I am as in capable of composing or Writing them as I am of commanding the Sun to Stand Still. I can only note a few broken Hints. In 1765 the Colonies were more unanimous than they ever have been...
From 1760 to 1766 was the purest period of patriotism, from 1766 to 1776 was the period of corruption from 1775 to 1783 was the period of war; not a revolutionary war, for the revolution was complete in the minds of the people & the Union of the Colonies before the war commenced, in the Skirmishes of Concord & Lexington on the 19th of April 1775. In 1766 commenced the seperation of parties,...
The trials of the officer & Soldiers, who were indited for the slaughter in King Street were pending, for the greatest part of the year 1770, & when they came on, consumed six, or seven days each; the discussions & Decisions, in those cases, convinced the people that they could depend on no protection, against the Sovereignty of Parliament but Providence, & their own Arms. Accordingly they...
In the Order of Time, I have passed over a Tragical Event, which excited much interest, and contributed largely, to render the Sovereignty of Parliament odious, detestable and horrible to the People. And I can consionscously add, accellerated the Catastrophy of the fifth of March 1770. In 1769 a little before the Recall of Governor Bernard, The British Frigate, The Rose Sent a Lieutenant, a...
I have received your Favour of the Second of this Month, and the Letters I lent you of Governor Mackean: but not the Pamphlet I lent you at the Sametime, So improperly entitled by British Editors, “History of the disputes with America.” This Pamphlet, the only one I know, at present, I pray you to return as Soon as possible; because I have immediate Occasion for it. I am, Sir, very...