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It will be noticed that while the resolution of the General Court merely intended to arrest the parties for publishing and dispersing the verses, the Proclamation asserted that it was strongly suspected that one or both wrote them. The subsequent proceedings under the proclamation are developed in certain papers in the Massachusetts Archives, and would indicate that the writer or writers of the verses sought to avoid the consequences of their act by having them printed in Rhode Island.

Prov: of To James Warren Esq' Sheriff of the County of Plymouth

the or to either of His Deputies Mass Bay. Greeting

In His Majesty's Name You are hereby required and impowered forthwith to take the Bodies of Robert Llowland of Duxborough Hezekiah Cane of Pembroke and Jethro Sprague of Duxbrough into your Custody and bring them before this House to give Answer for their Contempt of the Order of this House and such other matters as shall be laid to their Charge.

Given under my Hand and Seal in the Chamber of the Ilouse of Representatives this Ninth Day of April. Anno Domini 1751. And in the 24th Year of His Majes Reign



The following entry of the return on this warrant is endorsed on the back of it:

Plym. 88 April ye 10:1751 then persuant to Warrant I have tuck the Bodeys [of] ye with In Named Hezekiah Keen and Jetbro Sprage and them Brout Before the Honorabel house of Representifes and I have made deligent Sarch for the with[in] named Robert howland and Cold not find him with in my present (precinct]


Dep' Sheriff Nath? Churchill of Plymouth of lawfull age testify's & says that he was at the house of Jethro Sprague in Duxborough on Monday 11th March past, where were severall Persons & being askt by sd Sprague whether he had ever heard the Verses on the Death of Old Tenor I told him no, whereupon he desired us to sit down & we should, upon this he called upon oue Robert Howland who was then at

1 Mass. Archives, chi. 580; 2 581.

Spragues house, smoaking his pipe, to say or repeat them,

at first he seemed somewhat backward, but afterwards taking his pipe out of his mouth, he repeated in the hearing of myself & severall other persons then present a Number of Verses, on the Lamentation of the Death of Old Tenor. Afterwards Joseph Morton & myself went out of the House in order to pursue a person who had broke out of Plymouth Goal & (as we heard) was in Duxbury, said Howland told us he was going that way & would show us the House where y? person was, & as we were rideing along, he heard the s! Howland tell sd Morton, that the sa Verses were gone severall weeks before, to R4 Island in order to be printed & that he believed he would hear more of them hereafter ; And since that I have seen some Verses printed, which according to the best of my remembrance I verily believe to be the same I heard repeated by the sRobert Howland, which contained severall very hard reflections on the Generall Court I further say not



Boston 1st April 1751. Nath! Churchill appeared & made solemn oath that the above Deposition by him subscribed is just & true

Before me T. HUBBARD J Peace 1

In the affidavit of Joseph Morton, Jr., of Plymouth, to the same effect, he states that on the “ fryday or Saterday following [March 11, 1751] Thomas Foster Esq' Shew me a printed Copy of Verses which I took to be .. the Same Verses." It also appears that there were two or three sets or renderings of these doggerel lines, and it is likely that the more offensive were not contained in the printed sheet.

MR, FORD submitted for publication a copy of the following letter on slavery in Virginia, written by one Virginian to another at the time of the Missouri Compromise excitement.

MY DEAR SIR, I had fixed on the 25th of last month to do myself
the pleasure of paying my respects to yourself and Mrs. Madison,
hoping that my son Robert would have returned by that time from his
Tour thro' upper and lower Canada. But a few days ago I received
a letter from him, dated at Kingston, on his way from Quebec to York,
to Niagara, and so on through Gennessee and by the great Canal to

i Mass. Archives, cii. 585.
2 From the Madison Papers in the Library of Congress.

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New York. He was detained at Quebec to attend the Obsequies of
the late unfortunate Duke * of Richmond, to whom, being one of my
youthful acquaintance, when he was Captain Lenox, I had given him
a letter of introduction. His presence here, therefore, cammot be
calculated on till late in the present month. Until he arrives, I dare
not, in common prudence, leave my affairs to the sole management of
overseers, who, in these days, are but little respected by our intelligent
Negroes, many of whom are far superiour in mind, morals, and
manners to those who are placed in authority over them. Nor is
there any prospect of a change for the better, but on the contrary, our
white people, of a certain description are, unhappily, becoming, day by
day, more profligate, whilst our Negroes, happily are becoming more
enlightened and more observant. I think slavery is working it's own
cure. Under the best management, with daily vexation and never
ending violence to our feelings, it does not afford us two per cent upon
our Capital, and often brings us into debt. It is impossible, I think,
that the present state of things can last. We must either abandon all
the pure morality of Republicanism, or the gross and glaring im-
morality of slavery. They cannot co-exist many years longer. This
Union must snap short at last where Liberty ends, and Slavery begins.
The Missouri Question is bringing on the Crisis.

You have now had experience enough, my dear Sir, as a practical Farmer, to be convinced, I suspect, that my opinion, namely, “that Slavery and Farming are incompatable,” is not wholly unfounded. This opivion, indeed, seems to be a necessary consequence of the former one. Without industry, carefulness, and frugality, no Furmer ever did, or ever can prosper in any Country. But where there is Negro Slavery there will be laziness, carelessness, and wastefulness. Nor is it possible to prevent them. Severity increases the evil, and humanity does not lessen it. What nett profit will your fine wheat estates yield you now at a Dollar a Bushel, after more than one half is deducted for Expences and carriage to market? Tobacco, our antient staple, it is true, sells for a comparative little. But even this affords us more profit, and enables us to make both ends meet at the end of the year, if we are skilful in the management, and judicious in our disposal of it. Such Tobacco as you can make upon the rich Lands I rode thro' at Montpelier, if stemmed, put up dry and clean, and prized loose, would, in the London or Liverpool Markets, always command a good price. That is to say, in the present depressed state of the market, it would

* The melancholy manner of his death was this. He had a tame Fox with him. His favorite little Dog, Blucher, got into a squabble with this Fox. The Duke fearing injury to the Dog, interposed his Hand, and was bit. The Fox was mad, and died the next day. Several days after the poor Duke was seized with a Hydrophobia. (In margin.] He was Charles Lennox, fourth Duke of Richmond. See Dictionary of National Biography.


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