Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

son Committee” in 1826, 7, 8, in vindication of yourself, and that best
of women (whose memory I shall never cease to respect) against the
vile slanders of your enemies ? But why do I ask the question ?
The scenes of those days and the principal actors in them, I am sure
can never be forgotten by you, however changed your feelings towards
them may be.

It is with the most unfeigned regret, General, that I feel myself
constrained to advert to these things; but the strange and unexpected
character of your letter, seem to make it necessary and proper to pass
them in review, for the purpose of calling to miod our former relations.
I repeat, then, that no son was ever more ardently attached to his
father than I was to you; or more earnestly desired to see his fame,
his character, and his honor, preserved untarnished. Judge, then,
what must have been my feelings when I was told in the summer of
1835, not long after Mr. Blair informed me of the remarks of Mr.
Senator Wright, by a mutual friend whom I was bound to believe, that
you thought I was “acting with insincerity towards you!" No, y

, you can have no conception of the mortification and chagrin I felt on that occasion. The intelligence inflicted a wound in my bosom which time and endurance may assuage, but canpot heal. It paralized the ardent impulses of my heart, and gave me an insuperable aversion to a continuance in the arena of party warfare. This was the secret of my indifference, in relation to political operations, which did not proceed from any particular attachment or preference for those who had incurred your displeasure, as I have no doubt was supposed by you. I was at first unwilling to believe what our friend had told me, and thought your remarks must have been misunderstood by him, but many paiuful circumstances afterwards occurred which left me no room to doubt; or, if they did, does not the suggestion you convey to me, to resign my office and return to Tennessee, go far to confirm it? The proposition is made, too, General, without stopping to enquire, whether it would be convenient for me to do so. You were apprised in a letter I wrote you more than eighteen months ago, that I had no wish to remain here longer than was necessary to complete the education of my two youngest children, and I have said the same thing frequently to my owu and the friends of the president in this city. I never intended to remain in oflice longer than Mr. Van Buren's first term, because by that time my object would be fully accomplished, and I could then take my children and go home. Preparatory to this I gave directions to have my house repaired, some time since, so that it might be ready for my reception.

This is still my determination, and from it I cannot voluntarily depart. Do those for whose benefit and advancement I have spent the

1 Notwithstanding this, however, I continued faithfully to support Mr. Van Buren's election to the last - that is, until he was elected in 1836. — Lewis.

1

1

1

1910.)

COTTON'S FAREWELL SERMON, 1630.

503

me, Yours,

prime of my life object to this? If so, they have the power to send me home by giving my place to another and, for aught they know, or perhaps care, may deprive me of the means of finishing the education of my children.

I have nothing more to say. If my death warrant has already been signed, as was intimated to me some two months ago, let the blow be struck. I am prepared to meet it, I hope, with becoming firmness and dignity. I have the consolation to know, if it be a consolation, it is not the first time that those invested with power have turned round and crushed the very men who placed it in their hands, and probably it will not be the last. The history of despotic governments is full of such examples, but I had hoped that in this free and enlightened country at least, the principles of justice and liberty would find a sure and permanent asylum.

I pray you excuse this long and incoherent letter. Altho' much infeebled from indisposition, yet I could not consent to let the opportunity pass without fully disclosing to you my mind, in relation to the matters referred to. I have spoken freely and without disguise, but, at the same time, I hope with becoming respect, such at least was my wish. Please remember me kindly to your son and daughter and believe

W. B. LEWIS. Mr. FORD also communicated a letter, dated March 28, 1910, from Mr. Frederick L. Gay, of Brookline :

In Mr. Mead's paper on Cotton's farewell Sermon “God's Promise to his Plantation," I find the following:

“ Palfrey -- in a note — refers, as his authority for the statement, to Scottow, with whose Narrative' Barry also shows himself acquainted. But nowhere do the farewell sermon and the memorable occasion of its delivery, of which Scottow gives explicit information, receive any attention. . . . Scottow’s ‘Narrative' thus appears to be the sole distinct original authority concerning the delivery of Cotton's farewell sermon at Southampton.”

This is probably true so far as the delivery of the sermon at Southampton is concerned. I find, however, an original printed authority earlier than Scottow, with the date August 12, 1672, and the imprint 1674. I quote from William Coddington's “ A Demonstration of True Love,” (p. 13):

"And the Planters Play (Plea), and John Cotton's Sermon, which was in 1630. printed by John Humphery our Agent, to satisfie the Godly

1 Jackson replied on September 9, regretting that Lewis had interpreted his suggestion of retiring to Tennessee in any other than a friendly spirit. The Jackson-Lewis correspondence is calendared in the “Bulletin of the New York Public Library," iv. 292. Lewis was removed by Polk in 1845.

2 3 Proc., 1. 108, 112.

minded of our Removal out of England, all did satisfie me to remore as Lot out of Sodom, being grieved for your unrighteous Dealings."

Without question this is an allusion to “God's Promise to his Plantation ;” but the chief interest of the extract lies in the proof it offers that Prince was right in his surmise that John Humphrey was the J. H. who signed the preface “ To the Christian Reader.”

Let me give one more quotation from the same page to clinch the fact that this our Humphrey (as Cotton Mather would have called him) was the colonists' press agent in 1630.

“I find a printed Paper dated in Yarmouth Road, aboard the Arbella, April the 7th 1630. by us the Heads, that then brought over the Massachusets Patent, in the Name of the whole Company,' John Winthrop Governour, Thomas Dudly Deputy, Sr. Richard Saltingstal (so called) Isaak Johnson that married the Earl of Lincoln's Sister; the Lady Arbella ; Our Ship, a war like Ship, called the Eagle; the Admiral of the Fleet, in Honour of the Lady, was named the Arbella ; they two before-said and William Coddington Assistents, with others, as in that printed Paper yet extant may appear, and the Planters Plea (both printed the same time, to satisfie the Godly. minded) wherein their Prayers were desired, and the Ground of our Removal expressed, viz. To propagate the Gospel, and other Grounds therein mentioned, as well performed, as that which was by John Humphry (a known Man that married the Earl of Lincoln's Sister, that printed them) dispersed into most Parts of England.”

I send you these bibliographical scraps thinking they may fit into some cranny of your many-sided work. P. S. Mr. Adams's Milton episode is closed, but the N. E. Weekly Journal of March 17, 1741, shows there was then a copy in Boston in which the owner's name was written. Nathaniel Shower at his warehouse on Dock Square has for sale sundry goods, and goes on to say:

“ Sundry Books have been taken out of the Dwelling House of the said Shower's (among which are Milton's Paradice lost, and Milton's Paradice regain'd) bis Name is wrote on the first Leaf of each Book : Whoever can discover the Person that took them, or find where the Books are so they may be had again, shall be paid Forty Shillings for their Trouble. If offered to Sale, it's desir'd they may be stop'd."

Mr. GREENOUGH contributed from his collection fifteen letters addressed to the executive authorities of Massachu

1 " The Humble Request of His Majesty's Loyall Subjects, the Governor and the Company late gone for New England ” etc. A copy is in the Boston Public Library. It is reprinted in Life and Letters of John Winthrop," 11. 10.

? See note in 3 Proc., 1. 111. For John Humphrey see 2 Proc., X111. 38. 3 3 Proc., XL11. 154.

setts on the defence of the frontier towns against Indian incursions in 1691-95, the aftermath of the outbreak of 1692.

PYNCHON TO ADDINGTON.

SPRINGFIELD, December 3, 1694. Sir, — Very desirous I haue bene to have had advice about continueing or quitting the Garrisons at Dearefield and Brookefield and therefore have several times wrot for directions thereabouts both to bis Excel. before he rune of, and (If I mistake not) to your selfe also, But haue not Rec'd one line, nor heard any thing in the least concerning the same, and am loath vpon my owne head to discharge them, least If any thing fal out not wel, I should deservedly be Blamed, though the approaching winter gives hopes of some respit, and allowance of some ease from the charge and expence the Countrey is at, which I am desirous may be Improved for the best. Wherefore I write these lines once againe to your selfe, who can (and I request you to) move in it as is most meete and let me ynderstand what I am to doe Further. If with safety to the Place, I incline that the Garrison at Dearefield be dismissed or abated for a Month or sixe weekes and not much longer:

The entring vpon Winter wil give some security, for in Reson noe attempt can be from Canida now at this season, though when winter is setled al Rivers strong Passage good, days lengthen and warmer weather towards then may be the enymys motion and Indeed al times that they haue come either to Schenecktokee, or to the Magras it hath bene about the beginning of Febr, and they may as wel come to Dearefield, where a Garrison ought wel to be provided and setled in January, in meane time probably some relaxation may be allowed. And for Brookefield who are more within our Towne, I suppose this winter time they are more probably secured, and wil be advantaged by Dearfield being provided. And beside 3. men signifie litle (though the Inhabitants desire their continuance) for I haue drawne al from Brookfield to 3. men now there, who I doubt doe little as to watch etc. however the Inhabitants desire them yet this winter til Spring I apprehend it wil pot availe much. But in the Spring either the People there should be caled off, or ordered off or otherwise have more soldiers : twil be to litle purpose If an Eoymy come on them, vnless there be 12. or 16. which If it be not feazable and attended to, the People should haue seasonable notice to draw off in the Spring. But Dearefeild, that Post I conclud al are for maintaining it, with suficient strength so as to hold it against the enymys attempts and thereby secure al these other Townes, and advantage Conecticot (For which end I returne againe to Dearfield) Supposing it to be much the Interest of Conecticot and their Duty for securing them selves and their Majesties subjects, and bearing some proportion in the charge of the war, to advance for the Garrisoning of that Place: wherefore I suggest that Conecticot be timely writ

vnto and moved to their Duty: It may be good to be before hand in seasonable writing to Govr. Treate : that they would Place 40. soldiers with al officers at Deare feild at the begining of Jan. or some time in Jan, next, and be at the charge thereof for al next Summer. Otherwise it will be necessary This Province doe more then yet hath bene. For we must acknowledge that vnder God (who did al for vs) those few soldiers there in Sept, last, were a meanes of preserving and holding that Place: I humbly crave a candid acceptance of what is suggested and leave al with you, and to the most Judicious Resolves of the Leiut. Govr. and Council, hoping to heare from you what is needful. I did Hint something to you about Fortifications in these Townes we are not in any good Posture: both Hatfeild Hadly etc as wel as this Towne and the Rest are to open ; Fortifications gon to decay and for repairing or making new, People a litle wilful Inclined to do when and how they please or not at al, an order from authority is necessary to enforce to what is meete, and wil strengthen the hands of those here who would haue something done but find obstructions, to their discouragement, and laying it aside: that matters for safety may be revived by some quickning directions is necessary to get us into a better way of security in the Spring and against next yeares feared Trobles, which the Lord prevent. I hoped to have Recd commissions for the Lt. Col. and Sergt. Major of this Regiment before the Govr. went, but none came, vuless they are left with your selfe: I should have bene glad, and need others joined with me.

1 Recd. the Acts and orders for the Thanksgiving etc. and sent them to the several Townes as directed, but noe letter with them, nor any lines before or since: His excel. I heare arrived the Sabbath after he went from Boston at Piscattaqve to goe with the Mast Ships and Convoy etc. I pray God give him a good and safe Passage and order al things wel that he may returne to vs with a Blessing, and in the meane time to order matters wel for vs, gviding our Rulers aright in the Management of al affaires for his owne Glory and this Peoples good, and so with the Tender of al due respects and Service (as to your selfe, so) to the Leiut, Govr. and Gent. of the Council, I am, Sir. your assured Friend and humble Servant

[ocr errors]

John Lynchon

I shal be very thankful for a line from you, of the account of affaires, and of what forreigne News bath arrived therein. Vale. J. P.:

1 Addressed : These For Honble Isaac Addington Esqr, one of the Council and Secretary of their Majesties Province of the Massachusetts Bay in Boston.

« ZurückWeiter »