DIE MERCURII TRIGESSIMO MENSIS MAII INCHOATUM ANNO MDCCXLIV
Annapolis, Wednesday, May 30th.I
set out from
Maryland, upon Wednesday the 30th of May
at eleven o’clock in the morning; contrary winds and bad weather prevented my
intended passage over Chesapeak Bay; so taking the Patapscoe road, I proposed
going by the way of Bohemia to Newtown upon Chester, a very circumflex course,
but as the journey was intended only for health and recreation, I was
indifferent whether I took the nearest or the farthest route, having likewise a
desire to see that part of the country. I was in seeming bad order at my first
setting out, being suspicious that one of my horses was lame; but he performed
well, and beyond my expectation. I travelled but twenty-six miles this day;
there was a cloudy sky, and an appearance of rain. Some miles from town I met
Mr. H t going to Annapolis. He returned with me to his own house, where I was
well entertained and had one night’s lodging and a country dinner. 1.
Mr. Hl, a gentleman of Barbadoes, with whom I expected to
have the pleasure of travelling a good part of my intended journey, had left
Annapolis a week or ten days before me, and had appointed to meet me at
Philadelphia. He went to Bohemia by water, and then took chaise over land to
Newcastle and Wilmington, being forbid for certain physical reasons to travel
on horseback. This was a polite and facetious gentleman, and I was sorry that
his tedious stay in some places put it out my power to tarry for him; so I was
deprived of his conversation the far greatest part of the journey. 2.
Mr. H l and I, after dinner, drank some punch, and
conversed like a couple of virtuosos. His wife had no share in the
conversation; he is blessed indeed with a silent woman; but her muteness is
owing to a defect in her hearing, that without bawling out to her she cannot
understand what is spoken, and therefore not knowing how to make pertinent
replies, she chuses to hold her tongue. It is well I have thus accounted for
it, else such a character in the sex would appear quite out of nature. At night
I writ to Annapolis, and retired to bed at ten o’clock. 3.
Thursday, May 31stI got up
betimes this morning, pour prendre le frais
, as the French term it, and found it heavy and cloudy, portending
rain. At nine o’clock I took my leave of Mr. Ht, his wife and sister, and took
A little before I reached Patapscoe ferry, I was overtaken
by a certain captain of a tobacco ship, whose name I know not, nor did I
inquire concerning it, lest he should think me impertinent. 5.
WE crossed the ferry together at ten o’clock. He talked
inveterately against the clergy, and particularly the Maryland clerks of the
holy cloth; but I soon found that he was a prejudiced person, for it seems he
had been lately cheated by one of our parsons. 6.
BALTIMORE TOWN-GUNPOWDER FERRY-JOPPA
THIS man accompanied me to Baltimore Town,’ and after I
parted with him I had a solitary journey till I came within three miles of
Gunpowder Ferry, where I met one Matthew Baker, a horsejockey. 7.
Crossing the ferry I came to Joppa, a village pleasantly
situated, and lying close upon the river; there I called at one Brown’s, who
keeps a good tavern in a large brick house. The landlord was ill with
intermitting fevers, and understanding from some one there who knew me, that I
professed physick, he asked my advice, which I gave him. 8.
Here I encountered Mr. Dn, the minister of the parish, who
(after we had despatched a bowl of sangaree)
carried me to his house. There passed between him, his wife, and me some odd
rambling conversation, which turned chiefly upon politicks. I heard him read
with great patience some letters from his correspondents in England, written in
a gazette style, which seemed to be an abridgement of the political history of
the times and a dissection of the machinations of the French, in their late
designs upon Great Britain. This reverend gentleman and his wife seemed to
express their indignation, with some zeal, against certain of our Stsmn and
Crsl at Annapolis, who it seems had opposed the interest of the clergy by
attempting to reduce the number of the Taxables. This brought the proverb in my
mind, The shirt is nearest the Skin. Touch a man in
his,private interest, and you immediately procure his ill will. 9.
Leaving Joppa I fell in company with one Captain Waters
and with Mr. D gs, a virtuoso in botany. He affected some knowledge in Natural
Philosophy, but his learning that way was but superficial. 10.
DESCRIPTION OF THE GENSING
HE showed me a print or figure of the
Gensing, which he told me was to be
found in the rich bottoms near Susquehanna. The plant is of one stem or stalk,
and jointed. From each joint issues four small branches, at the extremity of
each of these is a cinquefoil, or five leaves, somewhat oblong, notched and
veined. Upon the top of the stem it bears a bunch of red berries, but I could
not learn if it had any apparent flower, the colour of that flower, or at what
season of the year it blossomed or bore fruit. I intended, however, to look for
it upon the branches of Susquehanna, not that I imagined it of any singular
virtue, for I think it has really no more than what may be in the common
liquorice root, mixed with an aromatick, or spicy drug, but I had a curiosity
to see a thing which has been so famous. 11.
After parting with this company, I put up at one
Tradaway’s, about ten miles from Joppa. The road here is pretty hilly, stony,
and full of a small gravel. I observed some stone, which I thought looked like
Just as I dismounted at Tradaway’s, I found a drunken Club
dismissing. Most of them had got upon their horses, and were seated in an
oblique situation, deviating much from a perpendicular to the horizontal plane,
a posture quite necessary for keeping the center of gravity within its proper
base, for the support of the superstructure; hence we deduce the true physical
reason why our heads overloaded with liquor become too ponderous for our heels.
Their discourse was as oblique as their position: the only thing intelligible
in it was oaths and Goddamnes; the rest was an inarticulate sound like
Rabelais’ frozen words a-thawing, interlaced with hickupings and belchings. I
was uneasy till they were gone, and my landlord, seeing me stare, made that
trite apology,That indeed he did not care to have such disorderly fellows come
about his house; he was always noted far and near for keeping a quiet house and
entertaining only gentlemen or such like; but these were country people, his
neighbours, and it was not prudent to disoblige them upon slight occasions.
“Alas, sir!” added he, “we that entertain travellers must strive to oblige
everybody, for it is our daily bread.” While he spoke thus our Bacchanalians
finding no more rum in play, rid off helter-skelter, as if the devil had
possessed them, every man sitting his horse in a seesaw manner like a bunch of
rags tied upon the saddle. I found nothing particular or worth notice in my
landlord’s character or conversation, only as to his bodily make. He was a fat
pursy man, and had large bubbies like a woman. I supped upon fried chickens and
bacon, and after supper the conversation turned upon politicks, news, and the
dreaded French war; but it was so very lumpish and heavy that it disposed me
mightily to sleep. This learned company consisted of the landlord, his overseer
and miller, and another greasy-thumbed fellow, who, as I understood, professed
physick, and particularly surgery in the drawing of teeth. 13.
He practised upon the housemaid, a dirty piece of lumber,
who made such screaming and squawling as made me imagine there was murder going
forwards in the house. However, the artist got the tooth out at last, with a
great clumsy pair of blacksmith’s forceps; and indeed it seemed to require such
an instrument, for when he showed it to us it resembled a horsenail more than a
The miller I found professed musick, and would have tuned
his crowd’ to us, but unfortunately the two middle strings betwixt the bass and
treble were broke. This man told us that he could play by the book. 15.
After having had my fill of this elegant company, I went
to bed at ten o’clock. Friday, June 1 st.The sun
rose in a clear horizon, and the air in these highlands was for two hours in
the morning very cool and refreshing. I breakfasted upon some dirty chocolate,
but the best that the house could afford, and took horse about half an hour
after six in the morning. For the first thirteen miles the road seemed gravelly
and hilly, and the land but indifferent. 16.
WHEN I came near Susquehanna Ferry I looked narrowly in the
bottoms for the gensing, but could not discover it. The lower ferry of
Susquehanna, which I crossed, is above a mile broad. It is kept by a little old
man, whom I found at vittles with his wife and family upon a homely dish of
fish, without any kind of sauce. They desired me to eat, but I told them I had
no stomach. They had no cloth upon the table, and their mess was in a dirty,
deep, wooden dish, which they evacuated with their hands, cramming down skins,
scales, and all. They used neither knife, fork, spoon, plate, or napkin,
because, I suppose, they had none to use. I looked upon this as a picture of
that primitive simplicity practised by our forefathers, long before the
mechanic arts had supplied them with instruments for the luxury and elegance of
life. I drank some of their cider, which was very good, and crossed the ferry
in company with a certain Scots-Irishman, by name Thomas Quiet. The land about
Susquehanna is pretty high and woody, and the channel of the river rocky. 17.
Mr. Quiet rid a little scrub bay mare, which he said was
sick and ailing, and could not carry him, and therefore he lighted every half
mile and ran a couple of miles at a footman’s pace, to “spell the poor beast”
(as he termed it). He informed me he lived at Monocosy, and had been out three
weeks in quest of his creatures (horses), four of which had strayed from his
plantation. I condoled his loss, and asked him what his mare’s distemper was,
resolving to prescribe for her, but all that I could get out of him was that
the poor silly beast had choaked herself in eating her oats; so I told him that
if she was choaked she was past my art to recover. This fellow I observed had a
particular down-hanging look, which made me suspect he was one of our New-light
I guessed right, for he introduced a discourse concerning
Whitefield,l and enlarged pretty much and with some warmth upon the doctrines
of that apostle, speaking much in his praise. I took upon me, in a ludicrous
manner, to impugn some of his doctrines, which by degrees put Mr. Quiet in a
passion. He told me flatly that I was damned without redemption. I replied that
I thought his name and behaviour were very incongruous, and desired him to
change it with all speed, for it was very improper that such an angry turbulent
mortal as he should be called by the name of Thomas Quiet. 19.
PRINCIPIO IRON WORKS
IN the height of this fool’s passion, I overtook one Mr. B
r, a proprietor in the iron works there, and, after mutual salutation, the
topic of discourse turned from religious controversy to politicks; so putting
on a little faster we left this inflamed bigot and his sick mare behind. This
gentleman accompanied me to Northeast, and gave me directions as to the road.
I crossed Elk Ferry at three in the afternoon. One of the
ferry-men, a young fellow, plied his tongue much faster than his oar. He
characterized some of the chief dwellers in the neighbourhood, particularly
some young merchants, my countrymen, for whom he had had the honour to stand
pimp in their amours. He let me know that he understood some scraps of Latin,
and repeated a few hexameter lines out of Lilly’s Grammar. He told me of a
clever fellow of his name, who had composed a book, for which he would give all
the money he was master of to have the pleasure of reading it. I asked him who
this namesake of his was. He replied that it was one Terence; and to be sure he
must have been an arch dog, for he never knew one of the name but he was
remarkable for his parts. 21.
THus entertained I got over the ferry, and rid to Bohemia,’
and, calling at the manor-house there, I found nobody at home. 22.
I met here a reverend parson, who was somewhat inquisitive
as to where I came from, and the news, but I was not very communicative. I
understood afterwards it was parson W e. 23.
I CROSSED Bohemia Ferry, and lodged at the ferry house.
The landlord’s name I cannot remember, but he seemed to be a man of tolerable
parts for one in his station. Our conversation ran chiefly upon religion. He
gave me a short account of the spirit of enthusiasm that had lately possessed
the inhabitants of the forests there, and informed me that it had been a common
practice for companies of twenty or thirty hair-brained fanaticks to ride thro’
the woods singing of psalms. 24.
I went to bed at nine at night; my landlord, his wife,
daughters, and I lay all in one room. 25.
Saturday, June 2nd.In the
morning there was a clear sky overhead, but a foggy horizon, and the wind at
south, which presaging heat I set out very early. 26.
I TOOK the road to Newtown upon Chester Ferry, and crossed
Sassafrax Ferry at seven o’clock’in the morning, where I found a great
concourse of people, at a fair. The roads here are exceeding good and even, but
dusty in the summer, and deep in the winter season. The day proved very hot. I
encountered no company, and I went three or four miles out of my way. 27.
I REACHED Newtown at twelve o’clock, and put up at
Dougherty’s, a publick house there. I was scarce arrived, when I met several of
my acquaintance. I dined with Dr. Anderson, and spent the rest of the day in a
sauntering manner. The Northern post arrived at night. I read the papers, but
found nothing of consequence in them, so after some comical chat with my
landlord, I went to bed at eleven o’clock at night. 28.
Sunday, June 3d.I stayed all
this day at Newtown, and breakfasted with Th. Clay, where I met with one Wb, a
man of the law,to appearance a civil, good-natured man, but set up for a kind
of connoisseur in many things. I went to visit some friends, and dined at the
tavern, where I was entertained by the tricks of a female baboon in the yard.
This lady had more attendants and hangers-on at her levee than the best person
(of quality as I may say) in town. She was very fond of the compliments and
company of the men and boys, but expressed in her gestures an utter aversion at
women and girls, especially negroes of that sex,the lady herself being of a
black complexion, yet she did not at all affect her country women. 29.
At night I was treated by Captain Binning, of Boston, with
a bowl of lemon punch. He gave me letters for his relations at Boston. While we
put about the bowl a deal of comical discourse passed, in which the landlord, a
man of a particular talent at telling comic stories, bore the chief part. 30.
Monday, June 4th.The morning
being clear and somewhat cool, I got up before five o’clock, and soon mounted
horse. I had a solitary route to Bohemia, and went very much out of my way, by
being too particular and nice in observing directions. 31.
SASSAFRAX AND BOHEMIA FERRIES
I REACHED Mr. Alexander’s house on the manor at twelve
o’clock. There I stayed and dined and drank tea with Miss Cey. After some talk
and laughter I took my leave at five o’clock, designing 12 miles farther, to
one Vanbibber’s, that keeps a house upon the Newcastle road; but instead of
going there I went out of my way, and lay at one Hollinzs HEAD OF ELK 32.
THERE is a great marsh upon the left hand of his house,
which I passed in the night, thro’ the middle of which runs Elk. The multitude
of fireflies glittering in the dark upon the surface of this marsh makes it
appear like a great plain scattered over with spangles. 33.
In this part of the country, I found they chiefly
cultivated British grain,-as wheat, barley and oats. They raise, too, a great
deal of flax, and, in every house here, the women have two or three
spinningwheels a-going. The roads up this way are tolerably level, but in some
places stony. After a light supper I went to bed at ten o’clock. 34.
Tuesday, June 5th.I took horse
a little after five in the morning, and after a solitary ride thro stony,
unequal road, where the country people stared at me like sheep when I inquired
of them the way, I arrived at Newcastle, upon Delaware, at nine o’clock in ye
morning and baited my horses at one Curtis’s, at the sign of the Indian King, a
good house of entertainment. 35.
This town stands upon stony ground, just upon the water,
there being from thence a large prospect eastward, towards the Bay of Delaware
and the Province of the Jerseys. The houses are chiefly brick, built after the
Dutch model, the town having been originally founded and inhabited by the
Dutch, when it belonged to New York government. It consists chiefly of one
great street, which makes an elbow at right angles. A great many of the houses
are old and crazy. There are in the town two public buildings; viz., a
court-house and church. 36.
At Curtis’s I met company going to Philadelphia, and was
pleased at it, being myself an utter stranger to the roads. This company
consisted of three men,Thomas Howard, Timothy Smith, and William Morison. I
treated them with some lemon punch, and desired the favour of their company.
They readily granted my request, and stayed some time for me, till I had eat
Smith, in his coat and hat, had the appearance of a
Quaker, but his discourse was purged of thee’s and
thou’s, tho’ his delivery seemed to be solemn and
Howard was a talkative man, abounding with words and
profuse in compliments, which were generally blunt, and came out in an awkward
manner. He bestowed much panegyrick upon his own behaviour and conduct. Morison
(who, I understood, had been at the Land Office in Annapolis, inquiring about a
title he had to some land in Maryland) was a very roughspun, forward, clownish
blade, much addicted to swearing, at the same time desirous to pass for a
gentleman, notwithstanding which ambition, the conscientiousness of his natural
boorishness obliged him frequently to frame ill-timed apologies for his
misbehaviour, which he termed frankness and freeness. It was often,”Damn me,
gentlemen, excuse me; I am a plain, honest fellow; all is right down
plaindealing, by God.” He was much affronted with the landlady at Curtis’s,
who, seeing him in a greasy jacket and breeches, and a dirty worsted cap, and
withal a heavy, forward, clownish air and behaviour, I suppose took him for
some ploughman or carman, and so presented him with some scraps of cold veal
for breakfast, he having declared that he could not drink “your damned washy
tea.” As soon as he saw his mess, he swore, ”Damn him, if it wa’n’t out of
respect to the gentleman in company” (meaning me) “he would throw her cold
scraps out at the window and break her table all to pieces, should it cost him
100 pounds for damages.” Then, taking off his worsted nightcap, he pulled a
linen one out of his pocket, and clapping it upon his head, ”Now,” says he, “I
‘m upon the borders of Pennsylvania and must look like a gentleman; t’ other
was good enough for Maryland, and damn my blood, if ever I come into that
rascally Province again if I don’t procure a leather jacket, that I may be in a
trim to box the saucy jacks there and not run the hazard of tearing my coat.”
This showed, by the bye, that he paid more regard to his modesty and
selfdenyal. He then made a transition to politicks, and damned the late Sir R
W for a rascal. 39.
We asked him his reasons for cursing Sir R, but he would
give us no other but this,that he was certainly informed by some very good
gentlemen who understood the thing right well, that the said Sir R was a damned
rogue, and at the conclusion of each rodomontade he told us that tho’ he seemed
to be but a plain, homely fellow, yet he would have us know that he was able to
afford better than many that went finer; he had good linen in his bags, a pair
of silver buckles, silver clasps, and gold sleeve buttons, two Holland shirts
and some neat nightcaps, and that his little woman at home drank tea twice a
day, and he himself lived very well and expected to live better so soon as that
old rogue B t died, and he could secure a title to his land. 40.
The chief topic of conversation among these three
Pennsylvanian dons upon the road, was the insignificancy of the neighbouring
Province of Maryland when compared to that of Pennsylvania. They laid out all
the advantages of the latter which their bungling judgment could suggest, and
displayed all the imperfections and disadvantages of the first. They enlarged
upon the immorality, drunkenness, rudeness, and immoderate swearing, so much
practised in Maryland, and added that no such vices were to be found in
Pennsylvania. I heard this and contradicted it not, because I knew that the
first part of the proposition was pretty true. 41.
They next fell upon the goodness of the soil, as far more
productive of pasturage and grain. I was silent here likewise, because the
first proposition was true, but as to the other relating to grain I doubted the
truth of it; but what appeared most comical in their criticisms was their
making a merit of the stoniness of the roads. “One may ride,” says Howard,
“fifty miles in Maryland and not see as many stones upon the roads as in fifty
paces of road in Pennsylvania.” This I knew to be false, but as I thought there
was no advantage in stony roads, I even let them take the honour of it to
themselves, and did not contradict them. 42.
At Newcastle, I heard news of Mr. Hl, my intended fellow
traveller. They told me he was at Willmington upon Cristin River. 43.
WE crossed that ferry at twelve o’clock, and saw Wilmington
about a mile to the left hand. It is about the largeness of Annapolis, but
seemingly more compactly built; the houses all brick. We rid seven miles
farther to one Foord’s, passing over a toll bridge in bad repair, at a place
called Brandy wine. At Foord’s we dined and baited our horses. There one Usher,
a clergyman, joined our company, a man seemingly of good natural parts and
civil behaviour, but not overlearned for the cloth. While dinner was getting
ready a certain Philadelphian merchant called on Mr. Howard and with him we had
a dish of swearing and loud talking. 44.
After dinner we fell upon politicks, and the expected
French war naturally came in, whence arose a learned dispute in company, which
was about settling the meaning of the two words declaration and proclamation.
Mr. Smith asserted that a proclamation of war was an
improper phrase, and that it ought to be a declaration of
war; and on the other hand a proclamation o f
peace. Mr. Morrison affirmed with a bloody oath that there might be such
a thing as a proclamation of a declaration, and
swore heartily that he knew it to be true both by experience and hearsay. They
grew very loud upon it as they put about the bowl, and I retired into a corner
of the room to laugh a little, handkerchief fashion, pretending to be busied in
blowing my nose; so I slurred a laugh with noseblowing . . . . 45.
At last the parson determined all by a learned definition,
to this purpose, that a proclamation was a
publication of anything by authority and a declaration only a simple declaring of anything without
any authority at all, but the bare assertion of a certain fact, as if I should
declare that such a one was drunk at such a time, or that such a person swore
so and so. 46.
This dispute ended, we took our horses and rid moderately,
it being excessive hot. I observed the common style of salutation upon the road
here was How d’ye? and How is’t? 47.
The people all along the road were making of hay, which
being green and piled up in rucks, cast a very sweet and agreeable smell. There
are here as fine meadows and pasture grounds as any ever I saw in England. The
country here is not hilly, nor are the woods very tall or thick. 48.
The people in general follow farming and have very neat
brick dwellinghouses upon their farms. 49.
WE passed thro’ Chester at seven o’clock at night, where we
left Morison, Smith, and Howard; and the parson and I jogged on, intending to
reach Derby, a town about nine or ten miles f rom Chester. 50.
Chester is a pretty neat and large village. Built chiefly
of brick, pleasantly situated upon a small river of the same name that
discharges itself into Delaware, about half a mile below where the village
stands. Over this river is a wooden bridge, built with large rafters and planks
in form of an arch. The Statehouse is a pretty enough building; this put me in
mind of Chelsea near London, which it resembles for neatness, but is not near
so large. 51.
THE parson and I arrived at Derby, our restingplace, at
half an hour after eight at night. This village stands in a bottom and partly
upon the ascent of a hill, which makes it have a dull, melancholy appearance.
We put up at a publick house kept by one Thomas, where the landlady looked
after everything herself, the landlord being drunk as a lord. The liquor had a
very strange effect upon him, having deprived him of the use of his tongue. He
sat motionless in a corner, smoaking his pipe, and would have made a pretty
good figure upon arras. 52.
We were entertained with an elegant dispute between a
young Quaker and the boatswain of a privateer, concerning the lawfulness of
using arms against an enemy. The Quaker thee’d and thou’d it thro’ the nose to
perfection, and the privateer’s boatswain swore just like the boatswain of a
privateer, but they were so far from settling the point that the Quaker had
almost acted contrary to his principles, clenching his fist at his antagonist
to strike him for bidding God damn him. 53.
At nine Mr. Usher and I went to bed.54.
Wednesday, June 6th.We mounted
horse at five in the morning, crossed Skuylkill Ferry at six, and in half an
hour more put up our horses at one Cockburn’s at the sign of the Three Tons in
Chestnut Street. 55.
THE country round the city of Philadelphia is level and
pleasant, having a prospect of the large river of Delaware and the Province of
East Jersey upon the other ,side. You have an agreeable view of this river for
most of the way betwixt Philadelphia and Newcastle. The plan or platform of the
city lies betwixt the two rivers of Delaware and Skuylkill, the streets being
layed out in rectangular squares, which makes a regular, uniform plan; but upon
that account altogether destitute of variety. 56.
At my entering the city I observed the regularity of the
streets, but at the same time the majority of the houses mean and low, and much
decayed; the streets in general not paved, very dirty and obstructed with
rubbish and lumber, but their frequent building excuses that. The Statehouse,
Assembly house,’ the great church’ in Second street, and Whitefield’s Church,
are good buildings. 57.
I observed several comical, grotesque Phizzes in the inn
where I put up, which would have afforded variety of hints for a painter of
Hogarth’s turn. They talked there upon all subjects,politicks, religion, and
trade,some tolerably well, but most of them ignorantly. I discovered two or
three chaps very inquisitive, asking my boy who I was, whence come, and whither
I was shaved by a little finical, humpbacked old barber,
who kept dancing round me and talking all the time of the operation, and yet
did his job lightly and to a hair. He abounded in compliments, and was a very
civil fellow in his way. He told me he had been a journeyman to the business
for forty odd years, notwithstanding which he understood how to trim gentlemen
as well (thank God) as the best masters, and despaired not of preferment before
he died. 59.
I delivered my letters, went to dine with Collector
Alexander, and visited several people in town. In the afternoon I went to the
coffeehouse, where I was introduced by Dr. Thomas Bond’ to several gentlemen
of the place, where the ceremony of shaking of hands, an old custom peculiar to
the English, was performed with great gravity, and the usual compliments. I
took private lodgings at Mrs. Cume’s in Chestnut Street. 60.
Thursday, June 7th. I remarked
one instance of industry as soon as I got up and looked out at my chamber
window, and that was the shops open at five in the morning. I breakfasted with
Mrs. Cume, and dined by invitation with Dr. Thomas Bond, where after some talk
upon physical matters he showed me some pretty good anatomical preparations of
the muscles and bloodvessels injected with wax. 61.
After dinner Mr. Vbles, a Barbadian gentleman, came in,
who, when we casually had mentioned the freemasons, began to rail bitterly
against that society, as an impudent, assuming, and vain cabal, pretending to
be wiser than all mankind besides, an imperium in
imperio, and therefore justly to be discouraged and suppressed, as
they had lately been in some foreign countries. Tho’ I am no freemason myself,
I could not agree with this gentleman, for I abhor all tyrannical and arbitrary
notions. I believe the freemasons to be an innocent and harmless society that
have in their constitution nothing mysterious or beyond the verge of common
human understanding, and their secret, which has made such a noise, I imagine
is just no secret at all. 62.
In the evening at the coffeehouse, I met Mr. Hl, and
inquiring how he did and how he had fared on his way, he replied as to health
he was pretty well, but he had almost been devoured with bugs and other vermin,
and had met with mean, low company, which had made him very uneasy. He added
that he had heard good news from Barbadoes concerning his friends there,from
one, who he imagined called himself Captain
Scrotum, a strange name indeed, but this
gentleman had always some comical turn in his discourse. 63.
I parted with him, and went to the tavern with Mr. Currie
and some Scots gentlemen, where we spent the night agreeably, and went home
sober at eleven o’clock. 64.
Friday, June 8th.I read
Montaigne’s Essays in the forenoon, which is a strange medley of subjects, and
particularly entertaining. 65.
I dined at a tavern with a very mixed company of different
nations and religions. There were Scots, English, Dutch, Germans, and Irish;
there were Roman Catholicks, Churchmen, Presbyterians, Quakers, Newlightmen,
Methodists, Seventhdaymen, Moravians, Anabaptists, and one Jew. The whole
company consisted of twentyfive, planted round an oblong table, in a great
hall well stocked with flies. The company divided into committees in
conversation; the prevailing topick was politicks, and conjectures of a French
war. A knot of Quakers there talked only about selling of flour and the low
price it bore; they touched a little upon religion, and high words arose among
some of the sectaries, but their blood was not hot enough to quarrel, or, to
speak in the canting phrase, their zeal wanted fervency. of questions
concerning Maryland, understanding I had come from thence. In my replies I was
reserved, pretending to know little of the matter, as being a person whose
business did not lie in the way of history and politicks. 66.
In the afternoon I went to see some ships that lay in the
river. Among the rest were three vessels afitting out for privateers,a ship,
a sloop, and a schooner. The ship was a large vessel, very high and
fullrigged; one Captain Mackey intended to command her upon the cruise. At six
o’clock I went to the coffeehouse and drank a dish of coffee with Mr. Hl.
After staying there an hour or two, I was introduced by Dr.
Phineas Bond into the Governour’s Club, a society of gentlemen that meet at a
tavern every night, and converse on various subjects. The Governour gives them
his presence once a week, which is generally upon Wednesday, so that I did not
see him there. Our conversation was entertaining; the subject was the English
poets and some of the foreign writers, particularly Cervantes, author of Don
Quixote, whom we loaded with eulogiums due to his character. 68.
At eleven o’clock I left this club and went to my lodging.
Saturday, June 9th.This morning
there fell a light rain, which proved very refreshing, the weather having been
very hot and dry for several days. he heat in this city is excessive, the sun’s
rays eing reflected with such power from the brick houses, and from the street
pavement, which is brick; the people commonly use awnings of painted cloth or
duck over their shop doors and windows, and at sunset throw bucketsful of water
upon the pavement, which gives a sensible cool. They are stocked with plenty of
excellent water in this city, there being a pump at almost every fifty paces’
There are a great number of balconies to their houses,
where sometimes the men sit in a cool habit and smoke. 72.
The market in this city is perhaps the largest in North
America. It is kept twice a week, upon Wednesdays and Saturdays. The street
where it stands, called Market Street, is large and spacious, composed of the
best houses in the city. 73.
They have but one publick clock here, which strikes the
hour, but has neither index nor dialplate. It is strange they should want such
an ornament and conveniency in so large a place, but the chief part of the
community consisting of Quakers they would seem to shun ornament in their
publick edifices as well as in their apparel or dress. 74.
The Quakers here have two large meetings;’ the Church of
England one great church in Second Street, and another built for Whitefield, in
which one Tennent, a fanatic, now preaches; the Romans one chapel; the
Anabaptists one or two meetings, and the Presbyterians two. 75.
The Quakers are the richest and the people of greatest
interest in this government; of them their ouse of Assembly is chiefly
composed. They have the character of an obstinate stiffnecked generation, and
a perpetual plague to their Governours. The present Governour, Mr. Thomas, has
fallen upon a way to manage them better than any of his predecessors did, and
at the same time keep pretty much in their good graces, and share some of their
Favours. However, the standing or falling of the Quakers in the House of
Assembly depends upon their making sure the interest of the Palatines in this
Province, who of late have turned so numerous that they can sway the votes
which way they please. 76.
Here is no publick magazine of arms, nor any method of
defence either for city or Province in case of the invasion of an enemy; this
is owing to the obstinacy of the Quakers in maintaining their principle of
nonresistance. It were pity but they were put to a sharp trial to see whether
they would act as they profess. 77.
I never was in a place so populous where the gout for
publick gay diversions prevailed so little. There is no such thing as
assemblies of the gentry among them, either for dancing or musick; these they
have had an utter aversion to ever since Whitefield preached among them. Their
chief employ, indeed, is traffick and mercantile business, which turns their
thoughts from these levities. Some Virginia gentlemen that came here with the
Commissioners of the Indian treaty were desirous of having a ball, but could
find none of the female sex in a humour for it. Strange influence of religious
enthusiasm upon human nature to excite an aversion at these innocent amusements
for the most part so agreeable and entertaining to the young and gay, and
indeed, in the opinion of moderate people, so conducive to the improvement of
politeness, good manners, and humanity. 78.
I was visited this morning by an acquaintance from
Annapolis, of whom inquiring the news, I could not learn anything material.
I dined at the tavern, and, returning home after dinner, I
read part of a book lately writ by Fielding, entitled
The Adventures o f Joseph Andrews, a
masterly performance of its kind, and entertaining; the characters of low life
here are naturally delineated, and the whole performance is so good that I have
not seen anything of that kind equal or excel it. 80.
This proved a rainy afternoon, which, because it abated
the sultry heat, was agreeable. I drank tea with Collector Alexander, where I
saw Mr. Hl. 81.
Their conversation turned upon the people in Barbadoes,
and as I knew nothing of the private history of that island, I only sat and
heard, for they went upon nothing but private characters and persons. This is a
trespass on good manners which many wellbred people fall into thro’
inadvertency, two engrossing all the conversation upon a subject which is
strange and unknown to a third person there. 82.
At six in the evening I went to my lodging, and looking
out at the window, having been led there by a noise in the street, I was
entertained by a boxing match between a master and his servant. The master was
an unwieldy, potgutted fellow, the servant muscular, rawboned, and tall;
therefore tho’ he was his servant in station of life, yet he would have been
his master in single combat, had not the bystanders assisted the master and
holp him up as often as the fellow threw him down. The servant by his dialect
was a Scotsman; the names he gave his master were no better than “little
bastard,” …. terms ill applied to such a pursy load of flesh. 83.
This night proved very rainy. 84.
Sunday, June 10th.This proved
a very wet morning, and there was a strange and surprising alteration of the
temperature of the air, from hot and dry (to speak in the style of that elegant
and learned physician, Dr. Salmon, and some other ancient philosophers) to cold
and moist. 85.
I intended to have gone to church or meeting to edify by
the Word, but was diverted from my good purpose by some polite company I fell
into, who were all utter strangers to churches and meetings. But I understood
that my negro Dromo very piously stepped into the Lutheran Church to be edified
with a sermon preached in High Dutch, which, I believe, when dressed up in the
fashion of a discourse, he understood every bit as well as English, and so
might edify as much with the one as he could have done with the other. 86.
I dined at a private house with some of my countrymen, but
our table chat was so trivial and trifling that I mention it not. After dinner
I read the second volume of The Adventures o f
Joseph Andrews, and thought my time well
I drank tea with Mrs. Cume at 5 o’clock. There was a lady
with her who gave us an elegant dish of scandal to relish our tea. At six
o’clock I went to the coffeehouse, where I saw the same faces I had seen
before. This day we had expresses from New York, which brought instructions to
proclaim war against France, and there was an express immediately despatched to
Annapolis in Maryland for the same purpose. 88.
Monday, June 11th.The morning
proved clear, and the air cool and refreshing, which was a great relaxation and
relief after the hot weather that had preceded. I read Montaigne’s
Essays in the morning, and was visited
by Dr. Lloyd Zachary,’ a physician in this place. 89.
I dined with Collector Alexander, and went in the
afternoon in the company of some gentlemen to attend the Governour to the
Courthouse stairs, where war was publickly to be proclaimed against France.
There were about two hundred gentlemen attended Governour
Thomas. Col. Lee, of Virginia, walked at his right hand, and Secretary Peters’
upon his left; the procession was led by about thirty flags and ensigns taken
from privateer vessels and others in the harbour, which were carried by a
parcel of roaring sailors. They were followed by eight or ten drums that made a
confounded martial noise, but all the instrumental music they had was a pitiful
scraping negro fiddle, which followed the drums, and could not be heard for the
noise and clamour of the people and the rattle of the drums. There was a rabble
of about 4,000 people in the street, and great numbers of ladies and gentlemen
in the windows and balconies. Three proclamations were read,ist, the King of
England’s proclamation of war against the French King; and, a proclamation for
the encouragement of such as should fit out privateers against the enemy; 3d,
the Governour of Pennsylvania’s proclamation for that Province in particular,
denouncing war and hostility against France. 91.
When Secretary Peters had read these, the Governour with a
very audible voice “desired all such persons as were fit to carry arms to
provide themselves, every man with a good musket, cartouche box, powder and
shot, and such implements as were requisite either to repel or annoy the enemy,
if there should be any necessity or occasion,” adding that he should surely
call upon each of them to see that they were provided, “for depend upon it,”
says he, “this Province shall not be lost by any neglect or oversight of mine.”
The Governour having thus spoke, a certain bold fellow in
the crowd with a stentorian voice made this reply,”Please your Honour,” says
he, “what you say is right, but I and many others here, poor men, have neither
money nor credit to procure a musket or the third part of a musket, so that
unless the publick takes care to provide us, the bulk of the people must go
unfurnished, and the country be destitute of defence.” The Governour made no
reply, but smiled; so went into his chariot with Col. Lee and the Secretary,
and drove homewards. 93.
In the evening I drank tea with Mrs. Cume and went to the
coffeehouse. At seven o’clock I went to the Governour’s Club, where were a
good many strangers. Among the rest Captain Mackay, commander of the privateer
ship. The conversation ran chiefly upon trade, and the late expedition at
Cartagene. Several toasts were drank, among which were some celebrated ones of
the female sex. 94.
Tuesday, June 12th.This seemed
to me an idle kind of a day, and the heat began to return. I prepared my
baggage, intending tomorrow to proceed c)n my journey towards New York, which
city I proposed to be my next restingplace. I breakfasted abroad, and dined at
the tavern, where I met anDther strange medley of company, and among the rest a
trader from Jamaica, a man of an inquisitive disposition, who seized me for
half an hour, but I was upon the reserve. 95.
I drank tea with Mrs. Cume at five o’clock. There was with
her a masculinefaced lady, very much pitted with the smallpox. I soon found
she was a Presbyterian, and a straitlaced one too. She discovered my religion
before I spoke. “You, sir,” said she, “were educated a Presbyterian, and I hope
you are not like most of your countrymen of that persuasion, who when they come
abroad in the world shamefully leave the meeting and go to Church.” I told her
that I had dealt impartially betwixt both since I came to the place, for I had
gone to neither. “That is still worse,” said she. 96.
I found this lady pretty well versed in the church history
of Maryland. “I am surprised,” said she, “how your government can suffer such a
rascally clergy. Maryland. has become a receptacle, and, as it were, a common
shore for all the filth and scum of that order. I am informed that tailors,
cobblers, blacksmiths, and such fellows, when they cannot live like gentlemen
by their trades in that place go home to take orders of some latitudinarian
bishop, and return learned preachers, setting up for teachers of the people,
that have more need of schooling themselves, but that might bear some excuse if
their lives were exemplary and their morals good; but many of them are more
compleatly wicked than the most profligate and meanest of the laity. It is a
shame that such fellows should be inducted into good livings, without any
further ceremony or inquiry about them than a recommendation from Ld Bre.
“The English think fit sometimes to be very merry upon the
ignorance and stupidity of our Presbyterian clerks. I am sorry indeed that it
is too true that many of them have exposed themselves in ridiculous colours,
but notwithstanding this can the generality of their clergy, as wise and
learned as they are, show such good behaviour and moral life? Besides,
generally speaking, in Scotland, where the Presbyterian constitution is the
National Church, they admit none now to holy orders who have not had a college
education, studied divinity regularly and undergone a thorough examination
before a Presbytery of clerks. Do the English do so? No; their inferior clergy
are rascally fellows, who have neither had a fit education nor had their
knowledge put to the trial by examination; but undergoing some foolish ceremony
or farce from a bishop, commence teachers presently, and prove afterwards
inferior to none for ignorance and vice. Such are your Maryland clerks.” 98.
I heard this long harangue with patience, and attempted to
speak in defence of our clergy, but this lady’s instructions bore such credit
with her that she would not be contradicted. I quoted the maxim of Constantine
the Great, who used to say that when a clergyman offended he would cover him
with his cloak; but her charity for the order I found did not extend so far, so
I allowed her to run on in this kind of critical declamation till her stock was
I must make a f ew remarks bef ore I leave this place.
The people in general are inquisitive concerning strangers. If they find one
comes there upon the account of trade or traffic, they are fond of dealing with
him and cheating him, if they can. If he comes for pleasure or curiosity, they
take little or no notice of him, unless he be a person of more than ordinary
rank; then they know as well as others how to fawn and cringe. 100.
Some persons there were inquisitive about the state of
religion in Maryland. My common reply to such questions was that I studied
their constitutions more than their consciences, so knew something of the
first, but nothing of the latter. 101.
They have in general a bad notion of the neighbouring
Province, Maryland, esteeming the people a set of cunning sharpers ; but my
notion of the affair is, that the Pennsylvanians are not a whit inferior to
them in the science of chicane, only their method of tricking is different. A
Pennsylvanian will tell a lie with a sanctified, solemn face; a Marylander
perhaps will convey his fib in a volley of oaths; but the effect and point in
view are the same, tho’ the manner of operating be different. 102.
In this city one may live tolerably cheap, as to the
articles of eating and drinking, but European goods here are extravagantly
dear. Even goods of their own manufacturesuch as linen, woolen, and
leatherbear a high price. Their government is a kind of anarchy (or no
government), there being perpetual jars betwixt the two parts of the
legislature, but that is no strange thing, the ambition and avarice of a few
men in both parties being the active springs in these dissensions and
altercations, tho’ a specious story about the good and interest of the country
is trumped up by both; yet I would not be so severe as to say so of all in
Mr. Ts,’ the present Governour, I believe, is an upright
man, and has the interest of the Province really at heart, having done more for
the good of that obstinate generation, the Quakers, than any of his
predecessors have done. Neither are they so blind as not to see it, for he
shares more of their respect than any of their former Governours were wont to
There is polite conversation here among the better sort,
among whom there is no scarcity of men of learning and good sense. The ladies,
for the most part, keep at home and seldom appear in the streets, never in
publick assemblies, except at the churches or meetings; therefore I cannot with
certainty enlarge upon their charms, having had little or no opportunity to see
them either congregated or separate, but to be sure the Philadelphia dames are
as handsome as their neighbours. 105.
The staple of this Province is bread, flour, and pork.
They make no tobacco but a little for their own use. The country is generally
plain and level, fruitful in grain and fruits, pretty well watered, and
abounding in woods backward; it is upon the growing hand, more than any of the
Provinces of America. The Germans and High Dutch are of late become very
numerous here. 106.
Wednesday, June 13th.Early in
the morning I set out from Philadelphia, being willing to depart that city,
where upon account of the excessive heat it was a pain to live and breathe. Two
gentlemen of the city, Mr. Currie and Mr. Wallace, complimented me with their
company five miles of the road. I remarked in the neighbourhood of Philadelphia
some stone bridges, the first that I had seen in America. The country people
whom I met asked in general whether war had been proclaimed against France.
SHAMANY FERRY, BRISTOL
ABOUT nine in the morning I crossed Shamanys Ferry, and
half an hour after rested at Bristo’, a small town twenty miles northeast of
Philadelphia situated upon Delaware River, opposite to which upon the other
side of the river stands Burlington, the chief town in the East Jerseys. 108.
I put up my horses in Bristo’,1 and breakfasted at
Malachi Walton’s at the sign of the Crown, intending to tarry till the cool of
the evening, and then proceed to Trenton, about ten miles farther. 109.
Bristo’ is pleasantly situated, and consists of one
street that runs upon a descent towards the river, and then, making an angle or
elbow, runs parallel to the river for about a quarter of a mile. Here are some
wharfs, pretty commodious for small vessels to load and unload. 110.
The houses in the town are chiefly brick, and the
adjacent land pretty level and woody. 111.
DELAWARE FERRYJERSEY GOVERNMENTTRENTON
I took horse about five in the afternoon, crossed the
ferry of Delaware about seven o’clock, and a little after arrived at Trenton in
East Jersey. 112.
Upon the left hand, near the river, on the Jersey side,
is a pretty box of a house, the property of Governour Thomas of Pennsylvania,
in which Colonel Morris,2 the present Governour of the jerseys, lives. Upon the
right hand, close upon the town, is a fine water mill, belonging likewise to
Colonel Thomas, with a very pretty cascade, that falls over the dam, like a
transparent sheet, about thirty yards wide. 113.
I was treated, at my entry into the town, with a dish of
staring and gaping from the shop doors and windows, and I observed two or three
people laying hold of Dromo’s stirrups, inquiring, I suppose, who I was, and
whence I came. 114.
I put up at one Eliah Bond’s at the sign of the Wheat
Sheaf. Two gentlemen of the town came there, and invited me into their company.
One was named Cadwaller, a doctor in the place, and, as I understood, a
fallenoff Quaker. 115.
We supped upon cold gammon and a salad. Our discourse was
mixed and rambling; at first, it was political; then Cadwaller gave me the
character of the constitution and government. The House of Assembly here he
told me was chiefly composed of mechanics and ignorant wretches, obstinate to
the last degree; that there were a number of proprietors in the government and
a multitude of Quakers. He enlarged a little in the praise of Governour Morris,
who is now a very old man. 116.
From politics the discourse turned to religion and then
to physick. Cadwaller asked me concerning several people in Maryland, and among
the rest (not yet knowing me) he came across myself, asking me if Hamilton at
Annapolis was dead or alive. “Here he is,” says I, “bodily and not
He told me the reason why he inquired was that about a
twelvemonth ago, one Dr. Thomson’ from Maryland had been there, and had
reported he was going to settle at Annapolis in place of Hamilton there, who
they did not expect would live; “but, sir,” says he, “if you be the man, I
congratulate you upon your unexpected recovery.” 118.
Thus passing from one subject to another in discourse,
Cadwaller inveighed bitterly against the idle ceremonies that had been foisted
into religious worship by almost all sects and persuasions; “not that there was
anything material in these ceremonies to cavil at, providing the true design of
them was understood, and they were esteemed only as decent decorations and
ornaments to divine service in the temples and churches, but upon account that
the vulgar in all ages had been misled and imposed upon by wicked, politic, and
designing priests and persuaded that the strength and sinews of religion lay in
such fopperies, and that there was no such thing as being a good man or
attaining salvation without all this trumpery. It is certain,” added he, “that
a superstitious regard and veneration to the mere ceremonials of religion has
contributed very much to corrupt the manners of men, turning their thoughts
from true morality and virtue (to promote which ought to be the sole aim of all
religions whatsoever) to dwell upon dreams, chimeras fit only to distract the
human mind, and give place for mad zeal, the woeful author of persecution,
murder, and cruelty.” 119.
To this I replied that “priests of all sorts and sects
whatsoever made a kind of trade of religion, contriving how to make it turn out
to their own gain and profit, yet notwithstanding many were of opinion that to
inculcate religion into vulgar minds we must use other methods than only
preaching up fine sense and morality to them. Their understanding and
comprehension are too gross and thick to receive it in that shape. Men of sense
of every persuasion whatsoever are sensible of the emptiness and nonsense of
the mere ceremonial part of religion, but at the same time allow it to be in
some degree necessary and useful, because the ignorant vulgar are to be dealt
with in this point as we manage children by showing them toys in order to
persuade them to do that which all the good reasoning of the world never would.
The mobile, that many headed beast, cannot be reasoned into religious and pious
duties. Men are not all philosophers, the tools by which we must work upon the
gross senses and roughcast minds of the vulgar are such as form and lay before
their eyes rewards and punishments, whereby the passions of hope and fear are
excited; and withal our doctrines must be interlaced with something amazing and
mysterious in order to command their attention, strengthen their belief, and
raise their admiration, for was one to make religion appear to them in her
genuine, simple, and plain dress, she would gain no credit and would never be
Here Cadwaller interrupted me and said “all these
discourses signified nothing, for he thought she was very little regarded even
as it was.” 121.
We dismissed at twelve at night. 122.
Thursday, June 14th.A little
after five in the morning I departed Trenton, and rid twelve miles of a very
pleasant road, well stored with houses of entertainment. 123.
The country round about displays variety of agreeable
prospects and rural scenes. I observed many large fields of wheat, barley, and
hemp, which is a great staple and commodity now in this Province; but very
little maize, or Indian corn,only two or three small fields I observed in
riding about forty miles. They plant it here much thicker than in Maryland, the
distance of one stalk from another not exceeding two feet and a half or three
feet at most. 124.
All round you in this part of the country you observe a
great many pleasant fertile meadows and pastures, which diffuse at this season
of the year, in the cool of the morning, a sweet and refreshing smell. The
houses upon the road are many of them built with rough stone. 125.
I PASSED thro’ Princetown, a small village, at eight in
the morning, and was saluted with How’ st ni tar by an Indian traveller. About
half a mile from this village I observed upon the road a quarry of what
appeared to me gray slate, the first I had seen in America. 126.
AT half an hour after eight in the morning, I put up at
one Leonard’s at the sign of the Black Lion in Kingstown, another small village
upon the road. I breakfasted there upon a dish of tea, and was served by a
pretty smiling girl, the landlord’s daughter. After breakfast, as I sat in the
porch, there arrived a waggon with some company. There were in it two Irishmen,
a Scotsman, and a Jew. The .Jew’s name was Abraham Dubois, a Frenchman by
birth. He spoke such bad English that I could scarce understand him. Ile told
me he had been at Conestogo to visit some relations he had there; that he left
that place upon Monday last, and at that time there had arrived there forty
canoes of Indians of the tribes of the Mohooksl and Five Nations, going to
treat with the Governours and Commissioners of the American Provinces. This Jew
and the company that were with him began a dispute about sacred history. He
insisted much upon the books of Moses and the authority of the Old Testament.
He asked the Scotsman, in particular, if he believed the Old Testament. He
replied that “nowadays there were few Old Testament people, all having become
Newlightmen; for,” says he, “among the Christians, one wife is sufficient for
one man, but your Old Testament fornicators were allowed a plurality of wives
and as many concubines as they could afford to maintain.” The Jew made no
answer to this nonsensical reply, but began very wisely to settle what day of
the week it was, and what time of that day, that God began the creation of the
world. He asserted that “It was upon the day that the Christians call Sunday,
and that when the light first appeared it was in the west, and therefore it was
in the evening that the creation was begun.” “Had that evening no morning
then?” replied the Scotsman with a sneer. To which the Jew answered that there
had been no dawn or sunrising that day, because the sun was not yet created, to
run his diurnal course, but that a glorious stream of light suddenly appeared
by the mandate of God in the west.” “I never heard of an evening without a
morning in my life before,” replied his antagonist, “and it is nonsense to
suppose any such thing.” “Cannot black exist,” said the Jew, “without its
opposite white?” “It may be so,” said the Scotsman, “but why does your
countryman Moses say and the evening and the morning was the first day?”‘ The
Jew answered that the evening was there first mentioned, because the work was
begun upon the evening, at which the Scotsman swore that the words were
misplaced by the translators, which pert reply put an end to the dispute. After
a deal of such stuff about the Jewish sabbath and such like subjects, the
waggon and company departed. They travel here in light convenient waggons, made
somewhat chaisefashion, being high behind and low before, many of them running
upon four wheels, so that the horses bear no weight, but only draw, and by this
means they can travel at a great rate, perhaps forty or fifty miles a day.
Betwixt twelve o’clock and three in the afternoon, there came up three smart
thunder gusts, with which fell a deal of rain, but it did not much cool the
air. In the middle of the first rain a solemn old fellow lighted at the door.
He was in a homely rustic dress, and I understood his name was Morgan. “Look ye
here,” says the landlord to me, “here comes a famous philosopher.Your servant,
Mr. Morgan, how d’ye?” The old fellow had not settled himself long upon his
seat, before he entered upon a learned discourse concerning astrology and the
influences of the stars, in which he seemed to put a great deal more confidence
than I thought was requisite. From that he made a transition to the causes of
the tides, the shape and dimensions of the earth, the laws of gravitation and
fifty other physical subjects, in which he seemed to me not to talk so much out
of the way as he did upon the subject of judicial astrology. At every period of
this old philosopher’s discourse, the landlord’s address to him was, “Pray, Mr.
Morgan, you that are a philosopher, know such and such reasons for such and
such things, please inform the gentleman of your opinion.” Then he fell upon
physick, and told us that he was ariding for his health. I found him very
deficient in his knowledge that way, tho’ a great pretender. All this chat
passed while the old fellow drank half a pint of wine, which done, the old don
took to his horse and rid off in a very slow solemn pace, seemingly well
satisfied with his own learning and knowledge. When he was gone inquired of the
landlord more particularly concerning him, who told me that he was the most
conspicuous and notorious philosopher in all these American parts; that he
understood “mademadigs” [mathematics] to a hair’s breadth, and had almost
discovered whereabouts the longitude lay, and had writ home to the States of
Holland and some other great folks about it, a great while ago, but had as yet
received no answer. A little after two o’clock we went to dinner, and at four I
took horse, having in company a comical old fellow named Brown, that was going
to New York to examine the old records concerning some land he had a title to
in the lower counties of Pennsylvania government. This old fellow entertained
me the whole way with points of law, and showed himself tolerably well versed
for one of his education, in the quirps, quibbles, and the roguish part of that
science. As we jogged on I observed some mountanous land about 15 or 16 miles
to the northward. 127.
WE arrived at six o’clock at Brunswick, a neat small city
in East Jersey government, built chiefly of brick and lying upon Raritan River,
about sixty miles northeast of Philadelphia. I put up this night at one
Miller’s, at the sign of Admiral Vernon, and supped with some Dutchmen and a
mixed company of others. I had a visit from one Dr. Farquhar in town, who did
not stay long with me, being bound that night for New York by water. Our
conversation at supper was such a confused medley that I could make nothing of
it. I retired to bed at eleven o’clock, after having eat some very fine pickled
oysters for supper. 128.
Friday, June 15th.A little
before six in the morning I forded Raritan River. The tide being low and the
scow aground, so that I could not ferry it over, I went by the way of Perth
Amboy, but before I came to that place I was overtaken by two men, a young man
and an old, grave, sedate fellow. The young man gave me the salute, which I
returned and told him that, if he was going to Amboy, I should be glad of
He replied he was going that way. First of all, as it is
natural, we inquired concerning news. 130.
I gave him an account of such scraps of news as I had
picked up at Philadelphia, and he gave me an account of a capture that had
wellnigh been made of an English sloop by a Frenchman that had the impudence
to pursue her into the hook at the entrance of York Bay, but the English
vessel, getting into Amboy harbour, the Frenchman betook himself to sea again;
“but had this French rogue known Amboy as well as I,” added my newsmonger, “he
would have taken her there at anchor.” After discussing news, we discoursed
concerning horses, by which I discovered that my chap was a jockey by trade.
the old don spoke not one word all the way, but coughed and chewed tobacco. At
nine in the morning we stopped at the sign of the King’s Arms in Amboy, where I
breakfasted. As I sat in the porch I observed an antique figure pass by, having
an old plaid banyan, a pair of thick worsted stockings ungartered, a greasy
worsted nightcap, and no hat. “You see that original,” said the landlord; “he
is an old bachelor, and it is his humour to walk the street always in that
dress. Tho’ he makes but a pitiful appearance, yet is he proprietor of most of
the houses in town. He is very rich, yet for all that has no servant, but milks
his own cow, dresses his own vittles, and feeds his own poultry himself.” Amboy
is a small town. It is a very old American city, being older than the city of
New York; being a chartered city, much less than our Annapolis, and here
frequently the Supreme Court and Assembly sit. It has in it one Presbyterian
meeting, and a pretty large market house, lately built. It is the principal
town in New Jersey, and appears to be laid out in the shape of a St. George’s
cross, one main street cutting the other at right angles. ‘T is a seaport,
having a good harbour, but small trade. 131.
They have here the best oysters I have eat in America. It
lies close upon the water, and the best houses in town are ranged along the
water side. In the jerseys the people are chiefly Presbyterians and Quakers,
and there are so many proprietors that share the lands in New Jersey and so
many doubtful titles and rights, that it creates an inexhaustible and
profitable pool for the lawyers. 132.
At ten o’clock I crossed the ferry to Staten Island,
where are some miles of pretty stony, sandy, and uneven road. 133.
NEW YORK GOVERNMENTSTATEN ISLAND
I TOOK notice of one entire stone there about ten feet
high, twelve feet long, and six or seven feet thick. At one end of it grew an
oaktree, the trunk of which seemed to adhere or grow to the stone. It lay
close by a little cottage, which it equalled pretty near in dimensions. I
remarked this stone, because I had not seen so large a one anywhere but in the
Highlands of Scotland. 134.
A great many of the trees here are hung thick with long
hairy gray moss, which if handsomely oiled and powdered and tied behind with a
bag or ribbon would make a tolerable beauperiwig. In this island are a great
many poor thatched cottages. It is about eighteen miles long and six or seven
miles broad. It seers to abound with good pasture, and is inhabited by farmers.
There are in or near it some towns, the chief of which are Katharine’s Town,
Cuckold’s Town,’ and Woodbridge. 135.
I CAME to the Narrows at two o’clock, and dined at one
Corson’s, that keeps the ferry. The landlady spoke both Dutch and English. I
dined upon what I never had eat in my life before,a dish of fried clams, of
which shell fish there is abundance in these parts. 136.
As I sat down to dinner I observed a manner of saying
grace quite new to me. My landlady and her two daughters put on solemn, devout
faces, hanging down their heads and holding tip their hands for half a minute.
I, who had gracelessly fallen to, without remembering that duty, according to a
wicked custom I had contracted, sat staring at them, with my mouth chockfull,
but after this short meditation was over we began to lay about us and stuff
down the fried clams, with rye bread and butter. They took such a deal of
chewing that we were long at dinner, and the dish began to cool before we had
eat enough. 137.
The landlady called for the bedpan. I could not guess
what she intended to do with it, unless it was to warm her bed to go to sleep
after dinner; but I found that it was used by sway of a chafingdish to warm
our dish of clams. I stared at the novelty for some time, and reaching over for
a mug of beer that stood on the opposite side of the table, my bag sleeve
caught hold of the handle of the bedpan, and unfortunately overset the clams,
at which the landlady was a little ruffled, and muttered a scrap of Dutch, of
which I understood not a word, except i)iynheer, but I suppose she swore, for
she uttered her speech with an emphasis. 138.
After dinner I went on board the ferry boat, and with a
pretty good breeze, crossed the Narrows in half an hour to Long Island. 139.
AT the entry of this bay is a little craggy island, about
one or two miles long, called Coney Island. Before I came to New York Ferry I
rid a byway, where in seven miles’ riding I had twentyfour gates to open. 140.
Dromo, being about twenty paces before me, stopped at a
house, where, when I came up, I found him discoursing a negro girl, who spoke
Dutch to him. “Dis de way to York?” says Dromo. “Yaw, dat is Yarikee,” said the
wench, pointing to the steeples. “What devil you say?” replies Dromo. “Yaw,
mynheer,” said the wench. “Damme you, what you say” said Dromo again. “Yaw,
yaw,” said the girl. “You a damn black bitch,” said Dromo, and so rid on. 141.
The road here for several miles is planted thick upon each
side with rows of cherrytrees, like hedges, and the lots of land are mostly
enclosed with stone fences. 142.
AT five in the afternoon I called at one Baker’s that
keeps the York Ferry, where, while I sat waiting for a passage, there came in a
man and his wife that were to go over. The woman was a beauty, having a fine
complexion and good features, black eyes and hair, and an elegant shape. She
had an amorous look, and her eyes, methought, spoke a language which is
universally understood. While she sat there her tongue never lay still, and
tho’ her discourse was of no great importance, yet methought her voice had
music in it, and I was fool enough to be highly pleased to see her smiles at
every little impertinence she uttered. She talked of a neighbour of hers that
was very ill, and said she was sure she would die, for last night she had
dreamt of nothing but white horses and washing of linen. I heard this stuff
with as much pleasure as if Demosthenes or Cicero had been exerting their best
talents, but meantime was not so stupid but I knew that it was the fine face
and eyes, and not the discourse that charmed me. At six o’clock in the evening
I landed at New York. 143.
THIS city makes a very fine appearance for above a mile
all along the river, and here lies a great deal of shipping. I put my horses up
at one Waghorn’s at the sign of the Cart and Horse. There I fell in with a
company of toapers. Among the rest was an old Scotsman, by name Jameson,
sheriff of the city, and two aldermen, whose names I know not. The Scotsman
seemed to be dictator to the company; his talent lay in history, having a
particular knack at telling a story. In his narratives he interspersed a
particular kind of low wit, well known to vulgar understandings, and having a
homely carbuncle kind of a countenance, with a hideous knob of a nose, he
screwed it into a hundred different forms while he spoke, and gave such a
strong emphasis to his words that he merely spit in one’s face at three or four
feet distance, his mouth being plentifully bedewed with salival juice by the
force of the liquor which he drank and the fumes of the tobacco which he
smoaked. The company seemed to admire him much, but he set me astaring. 144.
After I had sat some time with this polite company, Dr.
Colchoun, surgeon to the fort, called in, to whom I delivered letters, and he
carried me to the tavern,’ which is kept by one Todd, an old Scotsman, to sup
with the Hungarian Club, of which he is a member, and which meets there every
night. The company were all strangers to me, except Mr. Home, Secretary of New
Jersey, of whom I had some knowledge, he having been at my house at Annapolis.
They saluted me very civilly, and I, as civilly as I could, returned their
compliments, in neat short speeches, such as “Your very humble servant,” “I ‘m
glad to see you,” and the like commonplace phrases, used upon such occasions.We
went to supper, and our landlord Todd entertained us, as he stood waiting, with
quaint saws, and jackpudding speeches. “Praised be God,” said he, “as to cuikry
I defaa ony French cuik to ding me, bot a haggis is a dish I wadna tak the
trouble to mak. Look ye, gentlemen, there was anes a Frenchman axed his frind
to denner. His frind axed him, `What hae ye gotten till eat?’ `Four an’ twanty
legs of mutton,’ quo’ he, `a’ sae differently cuiked that ye winna ken whilk is
whilk.’ Sae whan he gaed there, what deel was it, think ye, but four and twanty
sheep’s trotters, be God”he was agoing on with this tale of a tub when, very
seasonably for the company, the bell, hastily pulled, called him to another
room, and a little after we heard him roaring at the stairhead,”Damn, ye
bitch, wharfor winna ye bring a canle?” 145.
After supper they set in for drinking, to which I was
averse, and therefore sat upon nettles. They filled up bumpers at each round,
but I would drink only three, which were to the King,’ Governour Clinton,’ and
Governour Bladen,’ which last was my own. Two or three toapers in the company
seemed to be of opinion that a man could not have a more sociable quality or
enduement than to be able to pour down seas of liquor, and remain unconquered,
while others sank under the table. I heard this philosophical maxim, but
silently dissented to it. 146.
I left the company at ten at night pretty well flushed
with my three bumpers, and ruminating on my folly went to my lodging at Mrs.
Hogg’s in Broad Street. 147.
Saturday, June 16th.I
breakfasted with my landlady’s sister, Mrs. Boswall. In the morning Dr.
Colchoun called to see me, and he and I made an appointment to dine at Todd’s.
In the afternoon I took a turn thro’ several of the principal streets in town,
guarding against staring about me as much as possible, for fear of being
remarked for a stranger, gaping and staring being the true criterion or proof
of rustic strangers in all places. The following observations occurred to me:
I found the city less in extent, but by the stir and
frequency upon the streets, more populous than Philadelphia. I saw more
shipping in the harbour. The houses are more compact and regular, and in
general higher built, most of them after the Dutch model, with their gavell
ends fronting the street. There are a few built of stone; more of wood, but the
greatest number of brick, and a great many covered with pantile and glazed tile
with the year of God when built figured out with plates of iron, upon the
fronts of several of them. The streets in general are but narrow, and not
regularly disposed. The best of them run parallel to the river, for the city is
built all along the water, in general. 149.
This city has more of an urban appearance than
Philadelphia. Their wharfs are mostly built with logs of wood piled upon a
stone foundation. In the city are several large public buildings. 150.
There is a spacious church,’ belonging to the English
congregation, with a pretty high, but heavy, clumsy steeple, built of
freestone, fronting the street called Broadway. There are two Dutch churches,
several other meetings, and a pretty large Townhouse at the head of Broad
street. The Exchange stands near the water, and is a wooden structure going to
decay. From it a pier runs into the water called the Long Bridge, about fifty
paces long, covered with plank and supported with large wooden posts. The Jews
have one synagogue in this city. 151.
The women of fashion here appear more in public than in
Philadelphia, and dress much gayer. They come abroad generally in the cool of
the evening and go to the Promenade. 152.
I returned to my lodging at four o’clock, being pretty
much tired with my walk. I found with Mrs. Boswall a handsome young Dutchwoman.
We drank tea, and had a deal of trifling chat; but the presence of a pretty
lady, as I hinted before, makes even trifling agreeable. 153.
In the evening I writ letters to go by the post to
Annapolis, and at night went and supped with the Hungarian Club at Todd’s,
where, after the bumpers began to go round according to their laudable custom,
we fell upon various conversation, in which Todd, standing by, mixed a deal of
his clumsy wit, which for the mere stupidity of it sometimes drew a laugh from
the company. Our conversation ended this night with a piece of criticism upon a
poem in the newspaper, where one of the company, Mr. M e,’ a lawyer, showed
more learning than judgment in a disquisition he made upon nominatives and
verbs, and the necessity there was for a verb to each nominative, in order to
make sense. We dismissed at eleven o’clock. 154.
Sunday, June 17th.At
breakfast I found with Mrs. Boswall some gentlemen, among whom was Mr. J ys,’
an officer of the customs in New York. To me he seemed a man of an agreeable
conversation and spirit. He had been in Maryland some years ago, and gave me an
account of some of his adventures with the planters there. He showed me a deal
of civility and complaisance, carried me to church, and provided me with a pew.
The minister who preached to us was a stranger. He gave us a good discourse
upon the Christian virtues. There was a large congregation of above a thousand,
among whom was a number of dressed ladies. This church is above ioo feet long,
and 8o wide. At the east end of it is a large semicircular area in which stands
the altar, pretty well ornamented with painting and gilding. 155.
The galleries are supported with wooden pillars of the
Ionic order, with carved work of foliage and cherubs’ heads gilt betwixt the
capitals. There is a pretty organ at the west end of the church, consisting of
a great number of pipes handsomely gilt and adorned; but I had not the
satisfaction of hearing it play, they having at this time no organist; but the
vocal music of the congregation was very good. 156.
Mr Jys carried me to Mr. Bayard’s to dine, and at four
o’clock we went to the coffeehouse. I drank tea at a gentlewoman’s house,
whose name I know not, being introduced there by Mr. Jys. There was an old
lady and two young ones, her daughters, I suppose. The old lady’s discourse ran
upon news and politicks, but the young women sat mute, only now and then smiled
at what was said, and Mr. Jeffrys enlivened the conversation with repartee.
At six o’clock I went to see the fort and battery. The
castle, or fort, is now in ruins, having been burnt down three or four years
ago by the conspirators, but they talk of repairing it again. The
LieutenantGovernour had here a house and a chapel, and there are fine gardens
and terrace walks, from which one has a very pretty view of the city. In the
fort are several guns, some of them brass and cast in a handsome mould. The new
battery is raised with ramparts of turf, and the guns upon it are in size from
twelve to eighteen pounders. The main battery is a great halfmoon or
semicircular rampart bluff upon the water, being turf upon a stone foundation,
about ioo paces in length, the platform of which is laid in some places with
plank, in others with flagstone. Upon it there are fiftysix great iron guns,
well mounted, most of them being thirtytwo pounders. 158.
Mr. Jys told me that to walk out after dusk upon this
platform was a good way for a stranger to fit himself with a courtesan; for
that place was the general rendezvous of the fair sex of that profession after
sunset. He told me there was a good choice of pretty lasses among them, both
Dutch and English. However, I was not so abandoned as to go among them, but
went and supped with the Club at Todd’s. 159.
It appeared that our landlord was drunk, both by his
words and actions. When we called for anything he hastily pulled the bellrope,
and when the servants came up, Todd had by that time forgot what was called
for. Then he gave us a discourse upon law and gospel, and swore by God that he
would prove that law was founded upon gospel, and gospel upon law, and that
reason was depending upon both, and therefore to be a good lawyer it was
substituted to be a good gospeller. We asked him what such a wicked dog as he
had to do with gospel. He swore by God that he had a soul to be saved as well
as the King, and he would neither be hanged nor damned for all the Kings in
Christendom. We could not get rid of him till we put him in a passion by
affirming he had no soul, and offering to lay him a dozen of wine that he could
not prove he had one, at which, after some tags of incoherent arguments he
departed the room in wrath, calling us heathens and infidels. I went home after
twelve o’clock. 160.
Monday, June 18th.Most of
this day proved rainy, and therefore I could not stir much abroad. I dined at
Todd’s with Dr. Colchounl and a young gentleman, a stranger. After dinner the
doctor and I went to the coffeehouse and took a hit at backgammon. He beat me
two games. At five in the afternoon, I drank tea with Mrs. Boswall, and went to
the coffeehouse again, where I looked on while they played at chess. It
continued to rain very hard. This night I shunned company, and went to bed at
Tuesday, June 19th.At
breakfast with my landlady I found two strange gentlemen that had come from
Jamaica. They had just such cloudy countenances as are commonly wore the
morning alter a debauch in drinking. Our conversation was a medley, but the
chief subject we went upon was the difference of climate in the American
Provinces, with relation to the influence they had upon human bodies. I gave
them as just an account as I could of Maryland, the air and temperature of that
Province, and the distempers incident to the people there. I could not help
suspecting that there were some physicians in the company by the tenour of the
discourse, but could not understand for certain that any one there besides
myself was a professed physician. 162.
One gentleman there that came from Curaçao told us that
in a month’s time he had known either thirty or forty souls buried, which, in
his opinion, was a great number for the small neighbourhood where he lived. I
could scarce help laughing out at this speech, and was just going to tell him
that I did not think it was customary to bury souls anywhere but in Ireland;
but I restrained my tongue, having no mind to pick a quarrel for the sake of a
We dined at Todd’s, with seven in company, upon veal,
beefsteaks, green pease, and raspberries for a dessert. There talking of a
certain free negro in Jamaica, who was a man of estate, good sense, and
education, the forementioned gentleman who had entertained us in the morning
about burying of souls, gravely asked if that negro’s parents were not whites,
for he was sure that nothing good could come of the whole generation of blacks.
Afternoon I drank tea with Mrs. Boswall, having, to pass
away time, read some of the journal of proceedings against the conspirators’ at
New York. At night I went to a tavern fronting the Albany coffeehouse along
with Doctor Colchoun, where I heard a tolerable
concerto of musick, performed by
one violin and two German flutes. The violin was by far the best I had heard
played since I came to America. It was handled by one Mr. Hd. 165.
Wednesday, June 20th.I dined
this day at Todd’s, where I met with one Mr. M 1s,’ a minister at Shrewsbury
in the jerseys, who had formerly been for some years minister at Albany. I made
an agreement to go to Albany with him the first opportunity that offered. I
inquired accordingly at the coffeehouse for the Albany sloops, but I found none
ready to go. 166.
I got acquainted with one Mr. Weemse, a merchant of
Jamaica, my countryman and fellow lodger at Mrs. Hogg’s. He had come here for
his health, being afflicted with the rheumatism. He had much of the gentleman
in him, was goodnatured, but fickle; for he determined to go to Albany and
Boston in company with me; but, sleeping upon it, changed his mind. He drank
too hard, whence I imagined his rheumatism proceeded more than from the
intemperature of the Jamaica air. 167.
After dinner I played backgammon with Mr. Jeffreys, in
which he beat me two games for one. I read out the Journal of Proceedings,
andat night repared my baggage to go for Albany. 168.
Thursday, June 21st.I dined
at Todd’s with several gentlemen, and called upon Mr. M Is at two o’clock,
with whom I intended to go by water to Albany in a sloop belonging to one
Knockson. I met here with one Mr. Knox, a young man, son of David Knox, late of
Edinburgh, surgeon, in whose shop I had learnt pharmacy. While we talked over
old stories, there passed some comic discourse betwixt Todd and four clumsy
Dutchmen. These fellows asked him if they could all drink for fourpence. “That
you may,” says Todd, “such liquor as fourpence will afford.” 169.
So he brought them a bottle of shipbeer, and distributed
it to them in a halfpint tumbler, the last of which being mostly froth, the
Dutchman to whose share it came, looking angrily at Todd, said, “The Deyvil
damn the carle!” “Damn the fallow,” says Todd, “what wad he hae for his 4
pennies?” After getting my baggage and some provisions ready, I went on board
the Albany sloop, where I found Mr. M s and his wife, an old, jolly, fat
Dutchwoman, mother to the Patroon at Albany, a gentleman there of Dutch
extract, the chief landed man in the place. 170.
HAVING a contrary wind and an ebb tide, we dropped anchor
about half a mile below New York, and went ashore upon Nutting Island, which is
about half a mile in dimension every way, containing about sixty or seventy
square acres. We there took in a cask of spring water. 171.
One half of this island was made into hay, and upon the
other half stood a crop of good barley, much damaged by a worm which they have
here, which so soon as their barley begins to ripen cuts off the heads of it.
There lived an old ScotsIrishman upon this island with
his family in a ruinous house, a tenant of the Governour’s, to whom the island
belongs durante officio. This old man treated
us with a mug of shipbeer, and entertained us with a history of some of the
adventures of the late Governour Cosby 1 upon that island. It is called Nutting
Island from its bearing nuts in plenty, but what kind of nuts they are I know
not, for I saw none there. I saw myrtle berries growing plentifully upon it, a
good deal of juniper and some few plants of the ipecacuan. The banks of the
island are stony and steep in some places. It is a good place to erect a
battery upon, to prevent an enemy’s approach to the town, but there is no such
thing, and I believe that an enemy might land on the back of this island out of
reach of the town battery and plant cannon against the city or even throw bombs
from behind the island upon it. 173.
We had on board this night six passengers, among whom
were three women. They all could talk Dutch but myself and Dromo, and all but
Mr. Ms seemed to prefer it to English. At eight o’clock at night, the tide
serving us, we weighed anchor, and turned it up to near the mouth of North
River, and dropt anchor again at ten just opposite to the great church in New
Friday, Tune 22d.While we
waited the tide in the morning, Mr. Ms and I went ashore to the house of one
Mr. Van Dames, where we breakfasted, and went from thence to see the new Dutch
church, a pretty large but heavy stone building, as most of the Dutch edifices
are, quite destitute of taste or elegance. The pulpit of this church is
prettily wrought, being of black walnut. There is a brass supporter for the
great Bible that turns upon a swivel, and the pews are in a very regular order.
The church within is kept very clean, and when one speaks or hollows there is a
fine echo. We went up into the steeple, where there is one pretty large and
handsome bell, cast at Amsterdam, and a publick clock. From this steeple we
could have a full view of the city of New York. 175.
Early this morning two passengers came on board of the
sloop, a man and a woman, both Dutch. The man was named Marcus Van Bummill. He
came on board drunk and gave us a surfeit of bad English. If anybody laughed
when he spoke he was angry, being jealous that they thought him a fool. He had
a good deal of the bully and braggadocio in him, but when thwarted or
threatened he seemed fainthearted and cowardly. Understanding that I was a
valetudinarian he began to advise me how to manage my constitution. “You drink
and whore too much,” said he, “and that makes you thin and sickly. Could you
abstain as I have done, and drink nothing but water for six weeks, and have to
do with no women but your own lawful wife, your belly and cheeks would be like
mine,look ye, plump and smooth and round.” With that he clapped his hands upon
his belly and blowed up his cheeks like a trumpeter. He brought on board with
him a runlet of rum, and, taking it into his head that somebody had robbed him
of a part of it, he went down into the hold, and fell aswearing bitterly by
Dunder, Sacramentum, and
Jesu Christus. I, being upon deck and
hearing a strange noise below, looked down and saw him expanding his hands and
turning up his eyes as if he had been at prayers. He was for having us all
before a magistrate about it, but at last Knockson, the master of the sloop,
swore him into good humour again, and persuaded him that his rum was all safe.
He quoted a deal of scripture, but his favorite topics when upon that subject
was about King David and King Solomon and the shape and size of the Tower of
Babel. He pretended to have been mighty familiar with great folks when they
came in his way, and this familiarity of his was so great as even to scorn and
contemn them to their faces. After a deal of talk and rattle he went down and
slept for four hours, and when he waked, imagined he had slept a whole day and
a night, swearing it was Saturday night when it was only Friday afternoon.
There was a Dutchwoman on board, remarkably ugly, upon whom this Van Bummill
cast a loving eye, and wanted much to be at close conference with her. 176.
AT twelve o’clock we passed a little town, starboard,
called Greenwitch, consisting of eight or ten neat houses, and two or three
miles above that on the same shoar, a pretty box of a house, with an avenue
fronting the river, belonging to Oliver Dulancie. On the left hand some miles
above York, the land is pretty high and rocky, the west bank of the river for
several miles being a steep precipice, above 100 feet high. 177.
Mr. Ms read a treatise upon microscopes, and wanted me
to sit and hear him, which I did, tho’ with little relish, the piece being
trite and vulgar, and tiresome to one who had seen Leewenhoek, and some of the
best hands upon that subject. I soon found Mls’s ignorance of the thing, for
as he read he seemed to be in a kind of surprise at every little trite
observation of the author’s. I found him an entire stranger to the mathematics,
so as that he knew not the difference betwixt a cone and a pyramid, a cylinder
and a prism. He had studied a year at Leyden under Boerhaave, even after he had
entered into holy orders. He had once wore a soldier’s livery, was very
whimsical about affairs relating to farming, in so much that he had spent a
deal of money in projects that way, but reaped as little profit as projectors
commonly do. I was told by a gentleman that knew him that formerly he had been
an immoderate drinker, so as to expose himself by it, but now he was so much
reformed as to drink no liquor but water. In some parts of learning, such as
the languages, he seemed pretty well versed. He could talk Latin and French
very well, and read the Greek authors, and I was told that he spoke the Dutch
to perfection. He inquired of me concerning Parson Cse of Maryland, but I
could not find out which of the C ses it was. He told me he had once given him
a hearty horsewhipping for some rude language lie gave him in a theological
dispute which they had. I was informed by him that Morgan, the philosopher and
mathematician, whom I had seen at Kingstown was his curate. 178.
We passed a little country house belonging to one Philips
at four o’clock, starboard. This house is about twenty miles above York. We had
several learned discourses in the evening from Van Bummill concerning doctors.
“You are a doctor,” says he to me; “what signifies your knowledge? You pretend
to know inward distempers and to cure them, but to no purpose; your art is
vain. Find me out a doctor among the best of you, that can mend a man’s body
half so well as a joiner can help a crazy table or stool. I myself have spent
more money on doctors than I would give for the whole tribe of them if I had it
in my pocket again. 179.
Experience has taught me to shun them as one would
impostors and cheats, and now no doctor for me but the great Doctor above.”
This was the substance of his discourse, tho’ it was not so well connected as I
have delivered it. After this harangue he took a dram or two, and got again
into his wonted raving humour. He took it in his head that Lord Baltimore was
confined in the tower of Troy, as he called it, went down into the hold, and
after he had there disgorged what was upon his stomach, he went to sleep and
dreamt about it. He came upon deck a little before sunset, and was so full of
it that he hailed each vessel that passed us, and told it as a piece of news.
We had a fresh westerly wind at night, which died away at
ten o’clock, and we dropt anchor about forty miles above York. 181.
Saturday, Tune 23d.We weighed
anchor about four in the morning, having the wind northeast and contrary, and
the tide beginning to fall. We dropped anchor again at seven. Mr. Van Bummill
was early upon deck, and was very inquisitive with Mr. Ms about the meaning of
the word superstition, saying he had often met with
that word in English books, but never could understand what was meant by it.
Then he read us the 26th chapter of the Ecclesiasticus, concerning women, and
after he had murdered the reading in the English, he read it from the Dutch
Bible, and lectured upon it at large to the passengers and crew, and tho’ he
looked himself as grave as a parson, yet the company broke frequently out into
fits of laughter. 182.
We went ashore to fill water near a small log cottage on
the west side of the river inhabited by one Stanespring and his family. The man
was about thirtyseven years of age, and the woman thirty. They had seven
children, girls and boys. The children seemed quite wild and rustic. They
stared like sheep upon Ms and me when we entered the house, being amazed at my
laced hat and sword. They went out to gather blackberries for us, which was the
greatest present they could make us. In return for which we distributed among
them a handful of copper halfpence. This cottage was very clean and neat, but
poorly furnished, yet Mr. Ms observed several superfluous things which showed
an inclination to finery in these poor people; such as a lookingglass with a
painted frame, half a dozen pewter spoons, and as many plates, old and wore
out, but bright and clean, a set of stone tea dishes and a teapot. These Mr. M
ls said were superfluous, and too splendid for such a cottage, and therefore
they ought to be sold to buy wool to make yarn; that a little water in a wooden
pail might serve for a lookingglass, and wooden plates and spoons would be as
good for use, and when clean would be almost as ornamental. As for the tea
equipage it was quite unnecessary, but the man’s musket, he observed, was as
useful a piece of furniture as any in the cottage. 183.
We had a pail of milk here, which we brought on board,
and the wind coming southerly at eleven o’clock, we weighed anchor, and entered
the Highlands, which presented a wild, romantic scene of rocks and mountains,
covered with small scraggy wood, mostly oak. 184.
ANTHONY’S NOSECOOK’S ISLAND
WE passed Dunder Barrack, or Thunder Hill, larboard, at
half an hour after eleven, and another hill, starboard, called Anthony’s Nose
from its resemblance to a man’s nose, under which lies Cook’s Island,’ being a
small rock about ten paces long and five broad, upon which is buried a certain
cook of a manofwar, from whom it got its name. His sepulchre is surrounded
with ten or twelve small pine trees about twenty feet high, which make a grove
over him. This wild and solitary place, where nothing presents but huge
precipices and inaccessible steeps, where foot of man never was, infused in my
mind a kind of melancholy, and filled my imagination with odd thoughts, which
at the same time had something pleasant in them. 185.
It was pretty to see the springs of water run down the
rocks, and what entertained me not a little was to observe some pretty large
oaks growing there, and their roots to appearance fixed in nothing but the
solid stone, where you see not the least grain of mould or earth. The river is
so deep in these Narrows of the Highlands that a large sloop may sail close
upon the shore. We kept so near that the extremity of our boom frequently
rustled among the leaves of the hanging branches from the bank. In some places
of the channel here, there are ninety fathoms water, and very near the shore in
several places seventy or sixty fathoms. 186.
WE passed the Hay Ruck,’ a hill so called from its
resemblance, upon our starboard at dinner time. There are several cottages here
so very small that a man can scarce stand upright in them, and you would think
that a strong fellow would carry his wooden but upon his back. 187.
ABOUT three in the afternoon we cleared the Highlands, and
left a small island called Doepper’s or Dipper’s Island’ to the starboard. It
is so named because, they say, it has been customary to dip strangers here,
unless they make the sloop’s crew drink, and by that they save their dipping
and are made free in the river. Wherefore, as I never had been that way before,
I saved my dipping with a bottle of wine which I spared them from my stores.
BUTTER MOUNTAINMURDER CREE
AT four o’clock we passed the Butter Mountain’ on our
larboard, above which is Murder Creek,’ so called from a massacre of the white
men that was committed by the Indians at the first settlement of the part. 189.
AT six o’clock we passed Dancing Hall, larboard, a little
square and level promontory, which runs about fifty paces into the river,
overgrown with bushes, where they report, about sixty or seventy years ago,
some young people from Albany, making merry and dancing, were killed by some
Indians, who lay in ambush in the woods. We had a discourse this evening from
Van Bummill about the Tower of Babel, which was his constant and darling theme.
He told us that, in all his reading, he never could be informed of the height
of it, and, as to its figure, he was pretty certain of that from the pictures
of it which he had seen. When he had finished his argument, he got to talking a
medley of Dutch and English to the women, which confusion of language was
apropos after he had been busy about the Tower of Babel. The learned Van
Bummill and the two Dutch women left us at seven o’clock, going ashore to a
place two miles below Poughcapsy, I where they lived. 190.
WE anchored at eight o’clock at the entry of that part of
the river called Long Reach,’ the weather being very thick and rainy, and close
by us on the starboard side stood a small village called Poughcapsy, where the
master and hands went ashore and left us to keep the sloop. 191.
Sunday, Tune 24th.At four in
the morning Mr. Ms and I went ashore to the tavern, and there we met with a
justice of the peace and a Newlight tailor. The justice seemed to have the
greatest half or all the learning of the county in his face, but so soon as he
spoke, we found that he was no more learned than other men. The tailor’s phiz
was screwed up to a satisfied pitch, and he seemed to be either under great
sorrow for his sins or else ahatching some mischief in his heart, for I have
heard that your hypocritical rogues always put on their most solemn countenance
or vizard, when they are contriving how to perpetrate their villanies. We soon
discovered that this tailor was a Moravian. 192.
The Moravians are a wild, fanatick sect with which both
this place and the jerseys are pestered. They live in common, men and women
mixed in a great house or barn, where they sometimes eat and drink, sometimes
sleep, and sometimes preach and howl, but are quite idle, and will employ
themselves in no useful work. They think all things should be in common, and
say that religion is entirely corrupted by being too much blended with the laws
of the country. They call their religion the true religion, or the religion of
the Lamb, and they commonly term themselves the followers of the Lamb, which I
believe is true, in so far as some of them may be wolves in sheep’s clothing.
This sect was first founded by a German enthusiast, Count Zenzindorff, who used
to go about some years ago and persuade the people to his opinions and drop a
certain catechism, which he had published, upon the highway. They received a
considerable strength and addition to their numbers by Whitefield’s preaching
in these parts, but now are upon the decline, since there is no opposition made
to them. 193.
Mr. MIs and I anatomized this Moravian tailor in his own
hearing, and yet he did not know of it, for we spoke Latin. He asked what
language that was. The justice told him he believed it was Latin, at which the
cabbager sighed and said it was a pagan language. We treated him, however, with
a dram, and went from the tavern to one Cardevitz’s, who having the rheumatism
in his arm, asked my advice, which I gave him. The land here is high and woody.
and the air very cool. 194.
WE weighed anchor at seven o’clock, with the wind
southwest and fresh, and half an hour after passed by Sopus, a pleasant village
situated upon the west side of the river, famous for beer and ale. 195.
LITTLE SOPUS ISLAND
LITTLE above that is a small island called Little Sopus,
which is about half way betwixt Albany and irk. At Sopus we passed by the
Governour’s fleet, consisting of three painted sloops. That therein Clinton was
had the union flag astern. He had been at Albany treating with the Indians.
WE now had a sight of the range of mountains called the
Catskill or Blue Mountains, bearing pretty ar N. W. and capped with clouds.
Here the river about two miles broad, and the land low, green, and pleasant.
Large open fields, and thickets of woods, alternately mixed, entertain the eye
with variety of landscips. 197.
AT twelve o’clock we sailed by Ancrum, starboard, the seat
of Mr. Livingston, a lawyer, where he has a fine brick house standing close
upon the river. The wind blew very high att south east. AT half an hour after
twelve we saw the town of Ransbeck, a German town, starboard, in which are two
AT one o’clock we scudded by Livingston Manor, then the
Catskill Hills bore west by south. At three o’clock we sailed by a Lutheran
chapel, larboard, where we could see the congregation dismissing, divine
service being over. 199.
AT four o’clock we passed by Carmine Island,’ about three
miles in length. 200.
AT five we sailed past Nussman’s Island,’ starboard, where
there is a small nation of the Mochacander Indians, with a king that governs
them. We ran aground upon a sandbank at half an hour after five o’clock, and by
hard labour got clear again in about an hour. This was a great disappointment
to us, for we expected that night to reach Albany. There came up a thunder gust
as soon as we got clear, which obliged us to furl our sails and fix our anchor;
but it soon went over, so with a small wind we made three miles farther, and
passed a sloop bound for York, where some fine folks were on board. At eight
o’clock there came up a hard storm with very sharp thunder, so that we were
obliged to let go our anchor again, and there remain all night. 201.
Monday, June 25th.We went
ashore this morning upon a farm belonging to ‘Cobus Ranslaer,l brother to the
Patroon’ at Albany. (
James by the Dutch appellation is
Jacobus contracted.) There is here a
fine saw mill that goes by water. 202.
At seven o’clock, the wind being southerly, we hoised
anchor, and, sailing up the river, we passed large stone, larboard, called Prec
Stone, or Preaching Stone,’ from its resemblance to a pulpit. We ad not made
much way, before the wind changed northwest, so we resolved to go to Albany in
the loop’s canoe, and went ashore to borrow another carry our baggage. We found
the poor people here in great terror of the Indians, they being apprehensive
that they would begin their old trade of scalping. 203.
WE set off in the canoes at nine o’clock, and saw Albany
at a distance. We landed upon an island,’ belonging to Mr. Ms, upon which
there was fine grass of different sorts, and very good crops of wheat and
pease, of which they bring up great quantities here for the use of the
ships,the bug not getting into their pease there as with us. These were the
first fields of pease I had seen since I left Britain. We met several Dutchmen
on the island, who had rented
morgans of land upon it; they call half
an acre of land there a
These people were very inquisitive about the news, and
told us of a Frenchman and his wife that had been at Albany the day before we
arrived. They had come from Canada, and it was they we saw on board the sloop
that passed us last night. The Frenchman was a fugitive, according to his own
account, and said he had been a priest, and was expelled from his convent for
having an intrigue with that lady who was now his wife. The lady had been
prosecuted at law and had lost the greatest part of her estate, which went
amongst these cormorants, the lawyers. The Governour of Canada, Mons’r
Bonharnois, being her enemy, she could not expect justice, and therefore fled
with this priest to the English settlements, in order to prevent her being
entirely beggared, taking the residue of her estate along with her. 205.
This Bonharnois is now a very old man, and they say
behaves himself tyrannically in this government. He was a courtier in Louis
XIVth’s time, and then went by the name of Mons’r Bon Vit, which being an ugly
name in the French language, the King changed his name to Bonharnois. 206.
This day there came some Canada Indians in two canoes to
Albany to pursue this priest and his lady. 15,000 livres were laid upon each of
their heads by the Governour. They said they had orders to bring back the
priest, dead or alive; if dead to scalp him, and take the consecrated flesh
from his thumb and forefinger. The lady they were to bring back alive; but they
came too late to catch their game. 207.
Mr. Ms imagined that all this story was a plausible
fiction, and that the Frenchman was sent among them as a spy; but this
conception of his to me seemed improbable. 208.
Tuesday, June 26th.Early this
morning I went with Mr. M s to Albany, being a pleasant walk of two miles from
the island. We went a small mile out of town to the house of Jeremiah Ranslaer,
who is dignified here with the title of Patroon. He is the principal landed man
in these parts, having a large manor, fortyeight miles long and twentyfour
broad, bestowed upon his greatgrandfather by King Charles the Second, after his
restoration. The old man, it seems, had prophesied his recovering of his
kingdoms ten years before it happened. The King had been his lodger when he was
in Holland, and thereby he had an opportunity to ingratiate himself, and
procure the royal favour. This manor is divided into two equal halves by
Hudson’s River, and the city of Albany stands in the middle of it. This city
pays him a good yearly rent for the liberty of cutting their firewood. 209.
The Patroon is a young man, of a good mien and presence.
He is a bachelor, nor can his friends persuade him to marry. By paying too much
homage to Bacchus, he has acquired a hypochondriac habit. He has a great number
of tenants upon his manor, and he told me himself that he could muster 6oo men
fit to bear arms. Mr. M s and I dined at his house, and were handsomely
entertained with good viands and wine. After dinner he showed us his garden and
parks, and Mr. M s got into one of his long harangues of farming and
improvement of ground. 210.
At four o’clock Ms and I returned to town, where Ms
having a general acquaintance (for he had practised physick ten years in the
city, and was likewise the Church of England minister there), he introduced me
into about twenty or thirty houses, where I went thro’ the farce of kissing
most of the women, a manner of salutation which is expected (as Ms told me)
from strangers coming there. I told him it was very well, if he led the way I
should follow, which he did with clerical gravity. This might almost pass for a
penance, for the generality of the women here, both old and young, are
remarkably ugly. 211.
At night we went to the island, where we supped. While we
were at supper we smelt something very strong like burnt oatmeal, which they
told me was an animal called a skunk, the urine of which could be smelt at a
great distance, something of the nature of the polecat, but not quite so
Wednesday, June 27th.I went
this morning with the Patroon’s brother, Stephen Ranslaer, to see the Cohoos, a
great fall of water twelve miles above Albany. 213.
THE water falls over a rock almost perpendicular, eighty
feet high and nine hundred feet broad, and the noise of it is easily heard at
four miles’ distance; but in the spring of the year, when the ice breaks, it is
heard like great guns all the way at Albany. There is a fine mist scattered
about where it falls, for above half a mile below it, upon which when the sun
shines opposite appears a pretty rainbow. Near the fall the noise is so great
that you cannot discern a man’s voice, unless he hollows pretty loud. Below the
fall the river is very narrow and very deep, running in a rocky channel. There
is a bank of solid rock, about 300 or 400 feet wide, as smooth and level as a
In this journey we met a Mohook Indian and his family
going ahunting. His name was Solomon. He had a squaw with him, over whom he
seemed to have an absolute authority. 215.
We travelled for two miles thro’ impenetrable woods, this
Indian being our guide, and when we came to the banks of the river near the
falls we were obliged to leave our horses and descend frightful precipices. One
might walk across the river on foot upon the top of the rock whence the water
falls, was it not for fear of being carried down by the force of the water, and
Solomon told us that the Indians sometimes run 216.
WE rid at a pretty hard rate fifteen or sixteen miles
farther to the Mohooks town, standing upon the same river. In it there are
several wooden and brick houses, built after the Dutch fashion, and some Indian
wigwams or huts, with a church where one Barclay 2 preaches to a congregation
of Indians in their own language, for the bulk of the Mohooks up this way are
Returning from here we dined at Col. Skuyler’s,3 about
four o’clock in the afternoon, who is naturalized amon_ the Indians, can speak
several of their languages, and has lived for years among them. We spent part
of the evening at the Patroon’s, and going to town at night I went to the
tavern with Mr. Livingston, a man of estate and interest there, where we had a
mixed conversation. 218.
Thursday, June 28th.Early this
morning I took horse, and went in company with one Collins,’ a surveyor here,
to a village called Schenectady, about sixteen miles from Albany, and
pleasantly situated upon the Mohook River. 219.
It is a trading village, the people carrying on a traffick
with the Indians; their chief commodities, wampum, knives, needles, and other
such pedlery ware. This village is pretty near as large as Albany, and consists
chiefly of brick houses, built upon a pleasant plain, enclosed all round at
about a mile’s distance, with thick pine woods. These woods form a copse above
your head, almost all the way betwixt Albany and Schenectady, and you ride over
a plain, level, sandy road till, coming out of the covert of the woods, all at
once the village strikes surprisingly your eye, which I can compare to nothing
but the curtain rising in a play and displaying a beautiful scene. 220.
We returned to Ms’s island, from whence between twelve
and one o’clock I went to Albany in a canoe, the day being somewhat sultry,
tho’ in this latitude the heats are tolerable to what they are two or three
degrees to the southward, the mornings and evenings all summer long being cool
and pleasant, but often, about noon and for three hours after, the sun is very
I went to see the school in this city, in which are about
aoo scholars, boys and girls. I dined at the Patroon’s; after dinner Mr.
Shakesburrough, surgeon to the fort, came in, who by his conversation seemed to
have as little of the quack in him as any halfhewn doctor ever I had met with.
The doctors in Albany are mostly Dutch, all empirics, having no knowledge or
learning but what they have acquired by bare experience. They study chiefly the
virtues of herbs, and the woods there furnish their shops with all the pharmacy
they use. 222.
A great many of them take the care of a family for the
value of a Dutch dollar a year, which makes the practice of physick a mean
thing, and unworthy of the application of a gentleman. The doctors here are all
This afternoon I went avisiting with M s, and had the
other kissing bout to go thro’. We went at night to Stephen Ranslaer’s, where
we supped. 224.
Friday, June 29th.After
breakfast I walked out with Ms, and visited some more old women, where I had
occasion to prescribe and enter into a dispute with a Dutch doctor. Mr. M s’s
gesture in, common discourse often afforded me subject of speculation. At every
the least trifling expression and common sentence in discourse, he would shrug
up his shoulders, and stare one in the face as if he had uttered some very
wonderful thing, and he would do the same while another person spoke, tho’ he
expressed nothing but common chat. By this means it was hard to tell when
anything struck his fancy, for by this odd habit he had contracted in his
gesture, everything seemed alike to raise his admiration. About this time one
Kuyler, the mayor of the city, was suspected of trading with the Canada
Indians, and selling powder to them. The people in town spoke pretty openly of
it, and the thing coming to Governour Clinton’s ears, he made him give security
for his appearance at the General Court, to have the affair tried and
I went before dinner with M s, and saw the inside of the
Townhouse.’ The great hall where the court sits is about forty feet long and
thirty broad. This is a clumsy, heavy building, both without and within. We
went next and viewed the workmen putting up new palisading or stoccadoes to
fortify the town, and at ten o’clock we walked to the island, and returned to
town again at twelve. Mr. M s and I dined upon cold gammon at one Stevenson’s,
a Scots gentleman of some credit there. We drank tea at Steph. Ranslaer’s, and
supped at widow Skuyler’s, where the conversation turned upon the Moravian
enthusiasts and their doctrines. 227.
Saturday, June 30th.In the
morning I went with M s to make some more visits, of which I was now almost
tired. Among others we went to see Dr. Rosaboom,2 one of the Dutch medicasters
of the place, a man of considerable practice in administering physick and
shaving. He had a very voluminous Dutch Herbalist lying on the table before
him, being almost a load for a London porter. The sight of this made me sick,
especially when I understood it was writ in High Dutch. I imagined the contents
of it were very weighty and ponderous, as well as the book itself. It was writ
Rumpertus Dodonzus. From this book
Rosaboom had extracted all his learning in physick, and he could quote no other
author but the great infallible Rumpertus, as he styled him. His discourse to
us tended very much to selfcommendation, being an historical account of cases
in surgery, where he had had surprising success. 228.
At ten o’clock Ms and I went to the island, where we
dined, and M s, being hot with walking, went to drink his cool water as usual,
which brought an ague upon him, and he was obliged to go to bed. In the
meantime the old woman and I conversed for half an hour about a rural life and
good husbandry. At three o’clock I walked abroad to view the island, and
sitting under a willow near the water, I was invited to sleep, but scarce had I
enjoyed half an hour’s repose, when I was waked by a cow that was eating up my
handkerchief, which 229.
I had put under my head. I pursued her for some time
before I recovered it, when I suppose the snuff in it made her disgorge, but it
was prettily pinked all over with holes. 230.
I went to the house and drank tea and then walked to town
with Ms. On the way we met an old man who goes by the name of Scots Willie. He
had been a soldier in the garrison, but was now discharged as an invalid. He
told us he had been at the battle of Killiecrankie in Scotland, upon the side
where Lord Dundee fought, and that he saw him fall in the battle. 231.
We supped by invitation at the tavern with some of the
chief men in the city, it being muster day, and a treat given by the officers
of the fort to the muster masters. There were Messrs. Kuyler the Mayor,
Tansbrook the Recorder, Holland the Sheriff,’ Surveyor Collins,’ Captain Blood,
Captain Haylin c of the Fort, and several others. The conversation was rude and
clamorous, but the viands and wine were good. We had news of the French having
taken another small fort, besides Cansoe. I walked with Ms to ye island at ten
at night. 232.
Sunday, July 1st.At six
o’clock this morning a sharp thunder gust came up with a heavy rain. I
breakfasted at the island, and went to town with Ms and his wife. At ten
o’clock we went to the English Church,’ where was the meanest congregation ever
I beheld, there not being above fifteen or twenty in church, besides the
soldiers of the fort, who sat in a gallery. Ms preached and gave us an
indifferent good discourse against worldly riches, the text being, “It is
easier for a cable [camel] to pass thro’ the eye of a needle than for a rich
man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” This discourse, he told me, was calculated
for the natural vice of that people, which was avarice, and particularly for
Mr. Livingston,’ a rich but very covetous man in. town, who valued himself much
for his riches. But unfortunately Livingston did not come to church to hear his
At twelve o’clock another thunder gust came up. We dined
at Stephen Ranslaer’s, and made several visits in the afternoon. Among the rest
we went to see Captain Blood, of the fort. He is nephew to the famous Blood’
that stole the Crown. This man is a downright old soldier, having in his manner
an agreeable mixture of roughness and civility. He expressed a strong regard
for the memory of the Duke of Berwick, of whose death, when he heard, he could
not forbear crying, for tho’ he was an enemy to his master, the King of
England, yet was he a brave and a generous man, for when he and several other
English officers were taken prisoners in battle by the French, the duke
generously gave them liberty upon their parole, and lent or indeed gave them
ter pistoles apiece to furnish their pockets when they were quite bare of
money. This spirit of gratitude in the old man pleased me very much, and made
me conceive a good opinion of him, gratitude being a certain criterion or mark
of a generous mind. 234.
After visiting him we went to Captain Haylin’s house, who
received us very civilly, but not in such a polite manner as Captain Blood. He
told us he had been a dragoon at the siege of Namur in King William’s time and
was then twenty years old, which makes him an older man than Blood, whose first
campaign was the battle of Almanza. 235.
I observed the streets of this city to be most crowded
upon Sunday evening, especially with women. We supped at Stephen Ranslaer’s.
Monday, July 2d. I now began
to be quite tired of this place, where there was no variety or choice, either
of company or conversation, and one’s ears perpetually invaded and molested
with volleys of roughsounding Dutch, which is the language most in use here. I
therefore spoke to one Wendall, master of a sloop, which was to sail this
evening for York, and took my passage in him. I laid in a stock of provisions
for the voyage at one Miller’s, a sergeant of the fort, who keeps the tavern,
and where my landlady, happening to be a Scotswoman, was very civil and
obliging to me for country’s sake. She made me a present of a dried tongue. As
I talked with her a certain ragged fellow came bluntly up, and took me by the
hand, naming me. “Sir,” says he, “there is a gentleman here in town who says he
knows you, and has been in your garden at Annapolis in Maryland, when he lived
with one Mr. Dulany there. He swears by Gd he would be glad to see you to talk
a little or so, as it were, about friends and acquaintances there. 237.
He bid me tell you so, and damme, says I, if I don’t, so
I hope the gentleman won’t be offended.” I told him no, there was no offence,
but bid him give my service to my friend, and tell him I was now in a hurry,
and could not wait upon him, but some other time would do as well. So, giving
this orator a dram, I went and drank half a pint with the Captains Blood and
Haylin, and walked to the island, where I dined. 238.
In the afternoon I read Rollin’s
Belles Lettres. The day was hazy
and threatened rain very much. At half an hour after two o’clock I saw
Wendall’s sloop falling down the river, with the tide, and they having given me
the signal of a gun, which was agreed upon, they sent their canoe for me. At
three o’clock I took my leave of M s and his wife, thanking them for all their
civilities and the hospitality I had met with in their house. I followed the
sloop for near two miles in the canoe, before I overtook her, and went on board
half an hour after three. 239.
We had scarce been half an hour under sail after I came
on board when we ran aground upon some shoals about a mile above the oversleigh
and dropt anchor, till after six, the tide rising, we were afloat again, and
went down, with the wind N. by East.,rainy. 240.
There was a negro fellow on board, who told me he was a
piece of a fiddler, and played some scraping tunes to one Wilson, who had come
on board of us in a canoe. This was an impudent fellow. He accosted me with
“How do you, countryman?” at first sight, and told me he was a Scotsman, but I
soon found by his howl in singing the
Black Jock to the negro fiddle that he
was a genuine Teague. He told me some clever lies, and claimed kin to Arncaple
in Scotland. He said he had an estate of houses by heritage in Glasgow, swore
he was born a gentleman for five generations, and never intended for the
plough; therefore he had come to push his fortune in these parts. 241.
At seven o’clock we reached the oversleigh, and there ran
aground again. In the meantime a Dutch gentleman, one Volckert Douw, came on
board a passenger, and I flattered myself I should not be quite alone, but
enjoy some conversation; but I was mistaken, for the devil a word but Dutch was
bandied about betwixt the sailors and him, and in general there was such a
medley of Dutch and English as would have tired a horse. We heaved out our
anchor, and got off the shoal at half an hour after seven, so got clear of the
oversleigh, the only troublesome part in the whole voyage. We sailed four miles
below it, the wind northeast and the night very rainy and dark. We dropt anchor
at nine at night and went to bed. 242.
The city of Albany lies on the west side of Hudson’s
River upon a rising hill about thirty or forty miles below where the river
comes out of the lake, and 16o miles above New York. 243.
The hill whereon it stands faces the southeast. The city
consists of three pretty compact streets, two of which run parallel to the
river, and are pretty broad, and the third cuts the other two at right angles,
running up towards the fort, which is a square stone building, about Zoo feet
square, with a bastion at each corner, each bastion mounting eight or ten great
guns, most of them thirtytwo pounders. In the fort are two large brick houses
facing each other, where there is lodging for the soldiers. 244.
There are three market houses in this city, and three
public edifices, upon two of which are cupolas or spires, viz., upon the
Townhouse and the Dutch church. The English church is a great, heavy stone
building without any steeple, standing just below the fort. 245.
The greatest length of the streets is half a mile. 246.
In the fort is kept a garrison of 300 men under the
King’s pay, who now and then send reinforcements to Oswego, a frontier garrison
and trading town, lying about i8o miles south and by west of Albany. This city
is enclosed by a rampart or wall of wooden palisadoes, about ten feet high and
a foot thick, being the trunks of pinetrees rammed into the ground, pinned
close together, and ending each in a point at top. Here they call them
stoccadoes. At each 200 feet distance, round this wall is a block house, and
from the north gate of the city runs a thick stone wall down into the river,
200 feet long, at each end of which is a block house. In these block houses
about fifty of the city militia keep guard every night, and the word all’s well
walks constantly round all night long from sentry to sentry and round the fort.
There are five or six gates to this city, the chief of which are the north and
the south gates. In the city are about 4,000 inhabitants, mostly Dutch or of
Dutch extract. 247.
The Dutch here keep their houses very neat and clean,
both without and within. Their chamber floors are generally laid with rough
plank, which in time, by constant rubbing and scrubbing, becomes as smooth as
if it had been planed. Their chambers and rooms are large and handsome. They
have their beds generally in alcoves, so that you may go thro’ all the rooms of
a great house and see never a bed. They affect pictures much, particularly
scripture history, with which they adorn their rooms. They set out their
cabinets and buffets much with
china. Their kitchens are likewise very clean, and there they hang earthen or
delft plates and dishes all round the walls, in manner of pictures, having a
hole drilled thro’ the edge of the plate or dish, and a loop of ribbon put into
it to hang it by; but notwithstanding all this nicety and cleanliness in their
houses they are in their persons slovenly and dirty. They live here very
frugally and plain, for the chief merit among them seems to be riches, which
they spare no pains or trouble to acquire, but are a civil and hospitable
people in their way, but at best rustic and unpolished. 248.
I imagined when I first came there that there were some
very rich people in the place. They talked of thirty, forty, fifty, and a
hundred thousand pounds as of nothing, but I soon found that their riches
consisted more in large tracts of land than in cash. 249.
They trade pretty much with the Indians, and have their
manufactories for wampum, a good Indian commodity. It is of two sorts,the
black, which is the most valuable, and the white wampum. The first kind is a
bead made out of the bluish black part of a clam shell. 250.
It is valued at six shillings, York money, per one
hundred beads. The white is made of a conch shell from the West Indies, and is
not so valuable. They grind the beads to a shape upon a stone, and then with a
welltempered needle dipped in wax and tallow they drill a hole thro’ each
bead. This trade is apparently trifling, but would soon make an estate to a man
that could have a monopoly of it, being in perpetual demand among the Indians,
from their custom of burying quantities of it with their dead. They are very
fond of it, and they will give skins or money or anything for it, having (tho’
they first taught the art of making it to the Europeans) lost the art of making
it themselves. 251.
They live in their houses in Albany as if it were in
prisons, all their doors and windows being perpetually shut. But the reason of
this may be the little desire they have for conversation and society, their
whole thoughts being turned upon profit and gain, which necessarily makes them
live retired and frugal. At least this is the common character of the Dutch
everywhere. But indeed the excessive cold winters here oblige them in that
season to keep all snug and close, and they have not summer sufficient to
revive heat in their veins, so as to make them uneasy or put it in their heads
to air themselves. They are a healthy, longlived people, many in this city
being in age near or above 100 years, and eighty is a very common age. They are
subject to rotten teeth and scorbutic gums, which, I suppose, is caused by the
cold air, and their constant diet of salt provisions in the winter; for in that
season they are obliged to lay in, as for a sea voyage, there being no stirring
out of doors then for fear of never stirring again. As to religion they have
little of it among them, and of enthusiasm not a grain. The bulk of them, if
anything, are of the Lutheran Church. 252.
Their women in general, both old and young, are the
hardest favoured ever I beheld. Their old women wear a comical headdress,
large pendants, short petticoats, and they stare upon one like witches. 253.
They generally eat to their morning’s tea raw hung beef,
sliced down in thin chips in the manner of parmesan cheese. Their winter here
is excessive cold, so as to freeze their cattle stiff in one night in the
To this city belong about twentyfour sloops about fifty
tons burden, that go and come to York. They chiefly carry plank and rafters.
The country about is very productive of hay and good grain, the woods not much
The neighbouring Indians are the Mohooks to the
northwest, the Canada Indians to the northward, and to the southward a small
scattered nation of the Mohackanders. 256.
The young men here call their sweethearts
luffees, and a young fellow of
eighteen is reckoned a simpleton if he has not a
luffee; but their women are so
homely that a man must never have seen any other
luffees else they will never entrap him.
Tuesday, July 3d.We sailed for
some time betwixt one and three in the morning, and then, the tide turning
against us, we dropt anchor. 258.
WE weighed at six in the morning and passed Nussman’s
Island, larboard,wind north and by east. At half an hour after seven we met
two sloops from York by whom we had news of a French privateer taken by Captain
Ting, master of the Boston galley. 259.
AT nine o’clock we passed the Kenderhuick, a small
peninsula called Vanskruik, where stood a farr house, and the fields were
covered with good grai and hay. About this time two Dutchmen in a batteau came
on board of us, and fastened the batteau to the sloop’s side. The wind
freshened up an was fair. 260.
WE could now observe the Catskill Mountains bearing
southwest, starboard. At half an hour after ten, the wind freshened so much
that the batteau broke loose from the sloop and overset, and one of the
Dutchmen that was stepping down to save her was almost drowned. The fellows
scampered away for blood in our canoe to recover their cargo and loading, which
was all afloat upon the water, consisting of old jackets, breeches, bags,
wallets, and buckets. 261.
This kept us back some miles, for we were obliged to drop
our anchor to stay for our canoe. 262.
They picked up all their goods and chattels again,
excepting a small hatchet which by its ponderosity went to the bottom, but the
rest of the cargo, being old clothes, rope ends, and wooden tackle, floated on
the surface. 263.
My fellow passenger, Mr. Douw, was very devout all this
morning. He kept poring upon Whitefield’s sermons. 264.
AT twelve o’clock we passed a place called the Kemp,
larboard, where some High Germans are settled. The Catskill Mountains bore W.
by S. 265.
HYBANE AND MURLANIN ISLANDS
AT one o’clock we passed Hybane and Murlanin Islands,
larboard. The Catskill Mountains bore due west. 266.
SOPUS CREEKLITTLE SOPUS ISLAND
AT three o’clock we cleared Sopus Creek, otherwise called
Murder Creek, starboard, and half an hour after four, Little Sopus Island,
reckoned half way betwixt Albany and York. Catskill Mountains bore west
AT half an hour after seven we passed by Poughcapsy,
larboard. We sailed all night but slowly, our wind failing us. 268.
Wednesday, July 4th.At two in
the morning, the wind dying away, and the tide being against us, we dropt
anchor five miles to the northward of the Highlands. I got up by five in the
morning, and going upon deck I found a scattered fog upon the water, the air
cold and damp and a small wind at south. The ebb tide began at six in the
morning, so we weighed anchor and tripped it down with a pretty strong
southerly wind in our teeth. 269.
AT ten o’clock we passed Doepper’s Island, larboard, and
as we entered the Highlands the wind left us. At half an hour after ten, the
wind turned fair at northeast, but small; at twelve southerly again; at half an
hour after two very variable, but settled at last in the southerly quarter.
COMMASKY, OR BUTTERMILK ISLAI
WE came opposite to a little loghouse, or cottage, upon
the top of a high, steep precipice in view of Commasky, or Buttermilk Island,
where we dropt anchor. The tide beginning to flow, we went ashore to this house
in expectation of some milk or fowls or fresh provision, but could get none,
for the people were extremely poor. This appeared a very wild, romantic place,
surrounded with huge rocks, dreadful precipices, and scraggy, broken trees.
The man’s name that inhabited here was James Williams, a
little old man, that followed fishing and cutting of timber rafters to send to
Albany or York. He had four children,three sons and a daughter, whom he kept
all employed about some work or other. I distributed a few copper halfpence
among them, for which they gave me a great many country bows and curtsies. It
is surprising how these people in the winter time live here or defend
themselves in such slight houses against the violent cold. 272.
Going on board again at 4 o’clock I killed a snake, which
I had almost trod upon as I clambered down the steep. Had it been a rattlesnake
I should have been entitled to a colonel’s commission, for it is a common
saying here that a man has no title to that dignity until he has killed a
The rock here is so steep that you may stand within
twenty yards of the edge of the bank, and yet not see the river, altho’ it is
very near a mile broad in this place. The tide ebbing at half an hour after six
we weighed anchor, and found by the tiresome length of our cable that there
were ninety feet water within twenty paces of the shoar. 274.
WE passed by the Hay Ruck, half an hour after seven, the
wind southwest. We sent our canoe ashore here to a farmhouse, and got a
bucketful of buttermilk and a pail of sweet milk. 275.
ANTHONY’s NOSECOOK’S ISLAND
AT half an hour after eight we passed Anthony’s Nose,
larboard, wind strong at south; at nine Cook’s Island, larboard; at ten cleared
the Highlands, and anchored at two in the morning some miles below the
Thursday, July 5th.We weighed
anchor a little after six in the morning, wind southwest, and dropt anchor
again a quarter after two in the afternoon, York Island being in view at a
distance. We went ashore to the house of one Kaen Buikhaut, a Dutch farmer. The
old man was busy in making a sleigh, which is a travelling machine used here
and at Albany in the winter time to run upon the snow. The woman told us she
had eighteen children, nine boys and as many girls. Their third daughter was a
handsome girl, about sixteen years of age. We purchased there three fat fowls
for ninepence, and a great bucketful of milk into the bargain. We went on board
a quarter after six, and had hard work in weighing, our anchor having got fast
hold of a rock. Dromo grinned like a pagod as he tugged at the cable, or like
one of his own country idols. 277.
However, we got it up at length. At ten at night we had a
very hard southerly wind and had almost lost our canoe. The wind came up so
furious that we were obliged to drop anchor at eleven o’clock. Another sloop,
running like fury before the wind, had almost been foul of us in the dark till
we gave her the signal of a gun, which made her bear awav. 278.
YORK ISLAND GREENWITCH
Friday, July 6th.We weighed
anchor before five in the morning, having the ebb tide, the wind still
southerly, and the weather rainy. We came up with York Island and Dulancie’s
house’ at half an hour after six, larboard. Here we were becalmed, and so
floated with the tide till nine o’clock, Greenwitch larboard. The wind sprang
up at northwest very fresh with a heavy shower, and about half an hour after
nine we landed at New York. 279.
I NEVER was so destitute of conversation in my life as in
this voyage. I heard nothing but Dutch spoke all the way. My fellow passenger
Volkert Douw could speak some English, but had as little in him to enliven
conversation as any young fellow ever I knew that looked like a gentleman.
Whoever had the care of his education had foundered him by instilling into him
enthusiastic religious notions. 280.
At ten o’clock I went to my lodging at Mrs. Hogg’s, where
I first heard the melancholy news of the loss of the Philadelphia privateer. I
dined at Todd’s, where there was a mixed company; among the rest Mr. Hn, the
City Recorder, Oliver Dulancie, and a gentleman in a green coat, with a
scarified face, whose name I cannot recollect, from Antigua. After dinner they
went to the old trade of bumpering; therefore I retired. 281.
In this company there was one of these despicable fellows
whom we may call ct spies, a man, as I understood, pretty intimate with Gr
Cn, who might perhaps share some favour for his dexterity in intelligence.
This fellow I found made it his business to foist himself into all mixed
companies to hear what was said and to inquire into the business and character
of strangers. After dinner I happened to be in a room near the porch fronting
the street, and overheard this worthy intelligencer apumping of Todd, the
landlord. He was inquiring of him who that gentleman in the green coat was whom
I just now mentioned. Todd replied “He is a gentleman from Antigua, who comes
recommended to Cre Wn, by Governour Gh, of Virginia,” and that he had been
with Lord Banff, and left him upon some disgust or quarrel. Todd next informed
him who I was, upon his asking the question. “You mean the pockfretten man,”
said he, “with the darkcoloured silk coat. He is a countryman of mine, by
God,one Hamilton from Maryland. They say he is a doctor, and is travelling for
his health.” Hearing this stuff, “this is afternoon news,” thought I, “for the
Governour,” and just as the inquisitor was desiring Todd to speak lower (he was
not deaf), I bolted out upon them and put an end to the inquiry, and the
inquisitor went about his business. 282.
I went to the inn to see my horses, and finding them in
good plight, Mr. Waghorn desired me to walk into a room, where were some Boston
gentlemen that would be company for me in my journey there. I agreed to set out
with them for Boston upon Monday morning. Their names were Messrs. Laughton and
Parker,’ by employment traders. There was in company an old grave don, who,
they told me, was both a parson and physician. 283.
Being a graduate, he appeared to be in a mean attire. His
wig was remarkably weatherbeaten, the hairs being all as straight as a rush,
and of an orange yellow at the extremities; but that it had been once a fair
wig you might know by the appearance of that part which is covered by the hat,
for that headwear I suppose seldom went off unless at proper times to yield
place to his nightcap. The uncovered part of his wig had changed its hue by the
sunbeams and rain alternately beating upon it. This old philosopher had,
besides, as part of his wearing apparel, a pair of old greasy gloves, not a
whit less ancient than the wig, which lay carefully folded up upon the table
before him, and upon his legs were a pair of old leather spatterdashes,
clouted in twenty different places, and buttoned up all along the outside of
his leg with brass buttons. He was consumedly grave and sparing of his talk,
but every now and then a dry joke escaped him. 284.
At the opposite side of the table sat another piece of
antiquity, one Major Spratt,3 a thin, tall man, very phthisical, and addicted
much to a dry cough. His face was adorned and set out with very large
carbuncles, and he was more than half seas over in liquor. I understood he
professed poetry, and often applied himself to rhyming, in which he imagined
himself a very good artist. He gave us a specimen of his poetry in an epitaph,
which he said he had composed upon one Purcell, a neighbour of his, lately
dead; asked us if we did not think it excellent, and the best of that kind ever
we heard. He repeated it ten times over with a ludicrous air and action.
“Gentlemen,” said he, “pray take notice now, give good attention. It is perhaps
the concisest, wittiest, prettiest epigram or epitaph, call it what you will,
that you ever heard. 285.
Shall I get you pen and ink to write it down? Perhaps you
may n’t remember it else. It is highly worth your noting. Pray observe how it
“Here lies John Purcell ;
And whether he be in heaven or in hell, Never a one of us
all can tell. “
This poet asked me very kindly how I did, and took me by
the hand, tho’ I never had seen him in my life before. He said he liked me for
the sake of my name; told me he was himself nearly related to Colonel Hamilton
1 in the jerseys, son of the late Governour Hamilton’ there. Then from one
digression to another he told me that the coat he had upon his back was thirty
years old. I believed him, for every button was as large as an ordinary turnip,
the buttonholes at least a quarter of a yard long, and the pocket holes just
down at the skirts. 287.
After some confused topsyturvy conversation, the
landlord sang a bawdy song, at which the grave parsondoctor got up, told us
that was a language he did not understand, and therefore took his horse and rid
away; but, in little more than half an hour or three quarters returned again
and told us he had forgot his gloves, and had rid two miles of his way before
he missed them. I was surprised at the old man’s care of such a greasy bargain
as these gloves. They were fit for nothing but to be wore by itchified persons
under a course of sulphur, and I don’t know but the doctor had lent them to
some of his patients for that purpose, by which means they had imbibed such a
quantity of grease. The landlord told me he was a man worth 5,000 pounds
sterling, and had got it by frugality. I replied that this instance of the
gloves was such a demonstration of carefulness that I wondered he was not worth
twice as much. 288.
At four o’clock I came to my lodging, and drank tea with
Mrs. Hogg, and Mr. John Watts,’ a Scots gentleman, came to pay me a visit. At
five I went to the coffeehouse, and there meeting with Mr. Dupeyster,2 he
carried me to the tavern, where in a large room were convened a certain club of
merry fellows. Among the rest was H d, the same whom I extolled before for his
art in touching the violin; but that indeed seemed to be his principal
excellency. Other things he pretended to, but fell short. He affected being a
wit and dealt much in pointed satire, but it was such base metal that the edge
or point was soon turned when put to the proof. When anybody spoke to him, he
seemed to give ear in such a careless manner as if he thought all discourse but
his own trifling and insignificant. In short he was fit to shine nowhere, but
among your goodnatured men and ignorant blockheads. There was a necessity for
the first to bear with the stupidity of his satire and for the others to admire
his pseudosophia and quaintness of his speeches, and at the same time with
their blocks to turn the edge and acuteness of his wit. He dealt much in
proverbs, and made use of one which I thought pretty significant when well
applied. It was the devil to pay, and no pitch hot? an interrogatory adage metaphorically derived from the manner of sailors, who
pay their ships’ bottoms with pitch. I backed it with great
cry and little wool, said the devil when he shore his hogs, applicable
enough to the ostentation and flutter he made with his learning. 289.
There was in this company one Dr. McGraa, a pretended
Scotsman, but by brogue a Teague. He had an affected way of curtsying instead
of bowing when he entered a room. He put on a modest look, uncommon to his
nation, spoke little, and when he went to speak leaned over the table and
stretched out his neck and face, gooselike, as if he had been going to whisper
you in the ear. When he drank to any in the company he would not speak, but
kept bowing and bowing, sometimes for the space of a minute or two, till the
person complimented either observed him of his own accord or was hunched into
attention by his next neighbour, but it was hard to know whom he bowed to, upon
account of his squinting. 290.
However, when the liquor began to heat him a little, he
talked at the rate of three [hundred?] words in a minute, and, sitting next me
(he was very complaisant in his cups), he told me he had heard my name
mentioned by some Marylanders, and asked me if I knew his uncle Grierson in
Maryland. I returned his compliments in as civil a man nothing but waiting upon
one another at our lodgings, but after all this complimentary farce and
promises of serving and waiting were over, I could not but observe that none of
us tools the trouble to inquire where the one or the other lodged. I never met
with a man so wrapped up in himself as this fellow seemed to be, nor did I ever
see a face where there was so much effrontery under a pretended mask of
There was, besides, another doctor in company, named
Mann, doctor of a manofwar. The best thing I saw about him was that he would
drink nothing but water, but he eat lustily at supper, and nothing remarkable
appeared in his discourse (which indeed was copious and insipid) but only an
affected way he had of swearing by God at every two words; and by the motion of
his hands at each time of swearing that polite and elegant oath, he would seem
to let the company understand that he was no mean orator, and that the little
oath was a very fine ornament to his oration. 292.
But the most remarkable person in the whole company was
one Wendall, a young gentleman from Boston. He entertained us mightily by
playing on the violin the quickest tunes upon the highest keys, which he
accompanied with his voice, so as even to drown the violin, with such nice
shakings and gracings that I thought his voice outdid the instrument. I sat for
some time immovable with surprise. The like I never heard, and the thing seemed
to me next a miracle. The extent of his voice is impossible to describe or even
to imagine unless by hearing him. The whole company were amazed that any person
but a woman or eunuch could have such a pipe, and began to question his
virility; but he swore that if the company pleased he would show a couple of as
good witnesses as any man might wear. He then imitated several beasts, as dogs,
cats, horses, and cows, and the cackling of poultry, and all to such perfection
that nothing but nature could match it. When the landlord (a clumsy,
sallowfaced fellow in a white jacket) came to receive his reckoning, our
mimic’s art struck and surprised him in such a manner that it fixed him quite,
like one that had seen the Gorgon’s head, and he might have passed for a statue
done in white marble. He was so struck that the company might have gone away
without paying and carried off all his silver tankards and spoons, and he never
would have observed. 293.
After being thus entertained I returned to my lodging at
eleven o’clock. 294.
Saturday, July 7th.In the
morning I waited upon Stephen Bayard, to whom my letters of credit were
directed. He invited me to a Sunday’s dinner with him. We heard news of a
coasting vessel belonging to N. England taken by a French privateer in her
passage betwixt Boston and Rhode Island. I writ to Annapolis by the post. I
dined at Todd’s, and went in the afternoon to see the French prizes in the
harbour. Both of them were large ships about 300 tons burden,the one Le
Jupiter and the other Le Saint François Xavier. Warren, who took the St.
Francis, has gained a great character. His praise is in everybody’s mouth, and
he has made a fine estate of the business. I went home at night, and shunned
Sunday, July 8th. I spent the
morning at home, and at one o’clock went to dine with Mr. Bayard. Among some
other gentlemen there, was my old friend Dr. McGraa, who today seemed to have
more talk and ostentation than usual, but he did not shine quite bright till he
had drunk half a dozen glasses of wine after dinner. He spoke now in a very
arbitrary tone, as if his opinion was to pass for an
ipse dixit. He and I unhappily
engaged in a dispute, which I was sorry for, it being dissonant to good manners
before company, and what none but rank pedants will be guilty of. We were
obliged to use hard physical terms, very discordant and disagreeable to ears
not accustomed to them. I wanted much to drop it, but he kept teasing of me. I
found my chap to be one of those learned bullies who by loud talking and an
affected sneer seem to outshine all other men in parts of literature where the
company are by no means proper judges, where for the most part the most
impudent of the disputants passes for the most knowing man. The subject of this
dispute was the effect which the moon has upon all fluids as well as the ocean,
in a proportionable ratio, by the law of gravitation or her attractive power,
and even upon the fluids in the vessels of animals. . . . He did not believe
the moon had anything to do with us or our distempers, and said that such
notions were only superstitious nonsense, wondering how I could give credit to
any such stuff. We had a great deal of talk about attraction, condensation,
gravitation, rarefaction, of all which I found he understood just as much as a
goose; and when he began to show his ignorance of the mathematical and
astronomical problems of the illustrious Newton, and blockishly resolve all my
meaning into judicial astrology, I gave him up as an unintelligent,
unintelligible, and consequently inflexible disputant, and the company being no
judges of the thing, imagined, I suppose, that he had got the victory, which
did not at all make me uneasy. He pretended to have travelled most countries in
Europe, to have shared the favour and acquaintance of some foreign princes and
grandees, and to have been at their tables; to be master of several European
languages, tho’ I found he could not speak good French, and he merely murdered
the Latin. He said he had been very intimate with Professor Boerhaave and Dr.
Astruc, and subjoined that he knew for certain that the majority of the Spanish
bishops were Jews. 296.
There was another doctor at dinner with us, who went away
before this dispute began. 297.
His name was Ascough. When he came first in, he told Mr.
Bayard he would dine with him, provided he had no green pease for dinner. Mr.
Bayard told hiln there were some, but that they should not come to table, upon
which, with some entreaty, the doctor sat down, and eat pretty heartily of
bacon, chickens, and veal; but just as he had begun upon his veal, the stupid
negro wench, forgetting her orders to the contrary, produced the pease, at
which the doctor began to stare and change colour in such a manner that I
thought he would have been convulsed, but he started up and ran out of doors so
fast that we could never throw salt on his tail again. Mr. Bayard was so angry
that he had almost overset the table, but we had a good dish of pease by the
bargain, which otherwise we should not have tasted. This was the oddest
antipathy ever I was witness to. At night I went to Waghorn’s, and found my
company had delayed their setting off till Tuesday, so I returned home. 298.
Monday, July 9th.I waited
upon Mr. Bayard this morning, and had letters of credit drawn upon Mr. Lechmere
at Boston. I dined with Mr. M s and other company at Todd’s, and went to tarry
this night at the inn where my horses were, in order to set out tomorrow
morning betimes on my journey for Boston. We heard news this day of an English
vessel, laden with ammunition and bound for New England, being taken on the
coast. I spent the evening at Waghorn’s, where we had Mr. Wendall’s company,
who entertained us as before. We had among us this night our old friend Major
Spratt, who now and then gave us an extempore rhyme. I retired to bed at twelve
The people of New York, at the first appearance of a
stranger, are seemingly civil and courteous, but this civility and complaisance
soon relaxes if he be not either highly recommended or a good toaper. To drink
stoutly with the Hungarian Club, who are all bumper men, is the readiest way
for a stranger to recommend himself, and a set among them are very fond of
making a stranger drunk. To talk bawdy and to have a knack at punning passes
among some there for good sterling wit. Governour Clinton himself is a jolly
toaper and gives good example, and for that one quality is esteemed among these
The staple of New York is bread flour and skins. It is a
very rich place, but it is not so cheap living here as at Philadelphia. They
have very bad water in the city, most of it being hard and brackish. Ever since
the negro conspiracy, certain people have been appointed to sell water in the
streets, which they carry on a sledge in great casks and bring it from the best
springs about the city, for it was when the negroes went for tea water that
they held their cabals and consultations, and therefore they have a law now
that no negro shall be seen upon the streets without a lanthorn after dark.
In this city are a mayor, recorder, aldermen, and common
council. The government is under the English law, but the chief places are
possessed by Dutchmen, they composing the best part of the House of Assembly.
The Dutch were the first settlers of this Province, which is very large and
extensive, the States of Holland having purchased the country of one Hudson,
who pretended first to have discovered it, but they at last exchanged it with
the English for Saranam, and ever since there have been a great number of Dutch
here, tho’ now their language and customs begin pretty much to wear out, and
would very soon die were it not for a parcel of Dutch domines here, who, in the
education of their children, endeavour to preserve the Dutch customs as much as
possible. There is as much jarring here betwixt the powers of the Legislature
as in any of the other American Provinces. 302.
They have a diversion here very common, which is the
barbecuing of a turtle, to which sport the chief gentry in town commonly go
once or twice a week. 303.
There are a great many handsome women in this city. They
appear much more in public than at Philadelphia. It is customary here to ride
thro’ the street in light chairs. When the ladies walk the streets in the
daytime they commonly use umbrellas, prettily adorned with feathers and
There are two coffeehouses in this city, and the
northern and southern posts go and come here once a week. I was tired of
nothing here but their excessive drinking, for in this place you may have the
best of company and conversation as well as at Philadelphia. 305.
YORK FERRYLONG ISLANDJAMAICA
Tuesday July 10th.Early in the
morning we got up, and after preparing all our baggage, Messrs. Parker,
Laughton, and I mounted horse, and crossed the ferry at seven o’clock over to
Long Island. After a tedious passage and being detained some time at Baker’s,
we arrived a quarter after ten at Jamaica, a small town upon Long Island, just
bordering upon Hampstead Plain. It is about half a mile long; the houses
sparse. There are in it one Presbyterian meeting, one English and one Dutch
church. The Dutch church is built in the shape of an octagon, being a wooden
structure. We stopped there at the sign of the Sun, and paid dear for our
breakfast, which was bread and mouldy cheese, stale beer, and sour cider. 306.
WE set out again and arrived at Hampstead, a very
scattered town, standing upon the great plain to which it gives name. We put up
here at one Peters’s, at the sign of Guy of Warwick, where we dined with a
company that had come there before us, and were travelling southward. There was
a pretty girl here, with whom Parker was mightily taken, and would fain have
staid that night. This girl had intermitting fevers. Parker pretended to be a
doctor, and swore he could cure her if she would submit to his directions. With
difficulty we persuaded Parker to mount horse. 307.
At four o’clock, going across this great plain, we could
see almost as good a horizon round us as when one is at sea, and in some places
of the plain, the latitude might be taken by observation at noonday. It is
about sixteen miles long. The ground is hard and gravelly; the road very smooth
but indistinct, and intersected by several other roads, which make it difficult
for a stranger to find the way. There is nothing but long grass grows upon this
plain, only in some particular spots small oak brush, not above a foot high.
Near Hampstead there are several pretty winding brooks that run thro’this
We lost our way here, and blundered about a great while.
At last we spied a woman and two men at some distance. We rid up towards them
to inquire, but they were too wild to be spoke with, running over the plain as
fast as wild bucks upon the mountains. Just after we came out of the plain and
stink into the woods, we found a boy lurking behind a bush. We wanted to
inquire the way of him, but, as soon as we spoke, the game was started and away
he ran. 309.
WE arrived at Huntington at eight o’clock at night, where
we put up at one Flat’s, at the sign of the Halfmoon and Heart. This Flat is
an Irishman. We had no sooner sat down, when there came in a band of the town
politicians in short jackets and trousers, being probably curious to know who
them strangers were who had newly arrived in town. Among the rest was a fellow
with a worsted cap and great black fists. They styled him doctor. Flat told me
he had been a shoemaker in town, and was a notable fellow at his trade, but
happening two years ago to cure an old woman of a pestilent mortal disease, he
thereby acquired the character of a physician, was applied to from all
quarters, and finding the practice of physic a more profitable business than
cobbling, he laid aside his awls and leather, got himself some gallipots, and
instead of cobbling of soales fell to cobbling of human bodies. At supper our
landlord was very merry, and very much given to rhyming. 311.
There were three buxom girls in this house, who served us
at supper, to whom Mr. Parker made strenuous courtship. One was an Indian girl
named Phoebe; the other two were Lucretia and Betty; but Betty was the
topbeauty of the three. 312.
Wednesday, July 11th.We left
Huntington at half an hour after six in the morning, and after riding five
miles stony road, we breakfasted at a house upon the road, at the sign of
Bacchus. Then proceeding ten or eleven miles f arther, we forded Smithtown
River, otherwise called by the Indians Missaque. We baited our horses at a
tavern where there was a deaf landlady. After half an hour’s rest we mounted
horse again, and rid some miles thro’ some very barren, unequal, and stony
land. We saw the mouth of Smithtown River running into the sound, thro’ some
broken sandy beaches about eight miles to our left hand N. N. W., and about
twentyfour miles farther to the northward, the coast of the main of New
England or the Province of Connecticut. 313.
BROOKHAVEN, OR SETOQUET
WE arrived at a scattered town called Brookhaven, or by
the Indians Setoquet, about two o’clock afternoon, and dined at one Buchanan’s
Brookhaven is a small scattered village, standing upon
barren rocky land near the sea. In this town is a small windmill for sawing of
plank, and a wooden church with a small steeple. 315.
At about fifty miles’ distance from this town eastward is
a settlement of Indians, upon a sandy point, which makes the south fork of the
island, and runs out a long narrow promontory into the sea, almost as far as
Block Island. 316.
While we were at Buchanan’s an old fellow named Smith
called at the house. He said he was atravelling to York, to get a license or
commission from the Governour to go aprivateering, and swore he would not be
under any commander, but would be chief man himself. He showed us several antic
tricks, such as jumping half a foot high upon his bum, without touching the
floor with any other part of his body. Then he turned and did the same upon his
belly. Then he stood upright upon his head. He told us he was seventyfive
years of age and swore damn his old shoes if any man in America could do the
like. He asked me whence I came and whither I went. I answered him I came from
Calliphurnia and was going to Lanthern Land. He swore damn his old shoes again
if he had not been a sailor all his life long and yet never had heard of such
places. Mr. Parker made him believe that he was a captain of a privateer, and
for a mug of cider made him engage to go on board of him upon Friday next,
promising to make him his lieutenant, for nothing else would satisfy the old
fellow. The old chap was mightily elevated at this and damned his old shoes
twenty times over. At last he wanted to borrow a little advance money of
Parker, which when he found he could not obtain, he drank up his cider, and
swore he would not go. 317.
We took horse again at half an hour after five o’clock,
and had scarce got a mile from Brookhaven when we lost our way, but were
directed right again by a man whom we met. After riding ten miles thro’ woods
and marshes, in which we were pestered with mosquitoes, we arrived at eight
o’clock at night at one Brewster’s, where we put up for all night, and in this
house we could get nothing either to eat or drink, and so were obliged to go to
bed fasting or supperless. I was conducted upstairs to a large chamber. The
people in this house seemed to be quite savage and rude. 318.
Thursday, July 12th.When I
waked this morning I found two beds in the room, besides that in which I lay,
in one of which lay two great hulking fellows, with long black beards, having
their own hair, and not so much as half a nightcap betwixt both them. I took
them for weavers, not only from their greasy appearance, but because I observed
a weaver’s loom at each side of the room. In the other bed was a rawboned boy,
who, with the two lubbers, huddled on his clothes, and went reeling downstairs,
making as much noise as three horses. 319.
We set out from this desolate place at six o’clock, and
rid sixteen miles thro’ very barren and waste land. Here we passed thro’ a
plain of six or eight miles long, where was nothing but oak brush or bushes,
two feet high, very thick, and replenished with acorns; and thinly scattered
over the plain were several old naked pines at about two or three hundred
feet’s distance one from another, most of them decayed and broken. In all this
way we met not one living soul, nor saw any house but one in ruins. Some of the
inhabitants here call this place the Desert of Arabia. It is very much infected
with mosquitoes. We breakfasted at one Fanning’s. Near his house stands the
County Courthouse, a decayed wooden building, and close by his door runs a
small rivulet into an arm of the sea about twenty miles’ distance, which makes
that division of the eastern end of Long Island called the Fork. 320.
THis day was rainy, but we took horse and rid ten miles
farther to one Hubbard’s, where we rested half an hour, then proceeded eight
miles farther to the town of Southhold, near which the road is level, firm, and
pleasant, and in the neighborhood are a great many windmills. The houses are
pretty thick along the road here. We put up at one Mrs. Moore’s in Southhold.
In her house appeared nothing but industry. She and her granddaughters were
busied in carding and spinning of wool. Messieurs Parker and Laughton were very
much disposed to sleep. We ordered some eggs for dinner and some chickens. Mrs.
Moore asked us if we would have bacon fried with our eggs; we told her no.
After dinner we sent to inquire for a boat to cross the Sound. 321.
At night the house was crowded with a company of patched
coats and tattered jackets, and consequently the conversation consisted chiefly
in damn ye, Jack; and here’s to you, Tom. A comical old fellow among the rest
asked me if I had come from the new country. 322.
His name he told me was Cleveland, and he was originally
of Scots parentage. I told him then his genuine name must be Cleland. We asked
him what entertainment we could have at the oyster pond, where we designed to
take boat to cross ye Sound. “Why truly,” said he, “if you would eat such
things as we Gentiles do, you may live very well, but as your law forbids you
to eat swine’s flesh your living will be but indifferent.” Parker laughed, and
asked him if he took us for Jews or Mahometans. He replied: “Gentlemen, I ask
pardon, but the landlady informed me you were Jews.” This notion proceeded from
our refusing of bacon to our eggs at dinner. 323.
While we were at supper there came in a peddler with his
pack, along with one Doctor Hull, a practitioner of physick in the town. We
were told that this doctor was a man of great learning, and very much of a
gentleman. The peddler went to show him some linen by candlelight, and told
him very ingenuously that now he would be upon honour with him and recommend to
him the best of his wares, and as to the price he would let him know the
highest and lowest at one word, and would not bate one penny of six shillings a
yard. There passed some learned conversation betwixt this doctor and peddler,
in which the doctor made it plain that the lawyers, clergy, and doctors tricked
the rest of mankind out of the best part of their substance, and made them pay
well for doing of nothing. But the peddler stood up mightily for the honour of
his own profession, and affirmed that they made as good a hand of it as any
cheat among them all; “but then,” added he, “you have something to handle for
your money, good or bad, as it happens.” We left this company at nine o’clock
at night, and went upstairs to bed, all in one chamber. 324.
Friday, July 13th.We took
horse after six in the morning and rid five or six miles close by the Sound
till we came to one Brown’s, who was to give us passage in his boat. Then we
proceeded seven miles farther, and stopped at one King’s to wait the tide when
Brown’s boat was to fall down the river, to take us in. The family at King’s
were all busy in preparing dinner, the provision for which chiefly consisted in
garden stuff. Here we saw some handsome country girls, one of whom wore a
perpetual smile in her face, and prepared the chocolate for our breakfast. She
presently captivated Parker, who was apt to take flame upon all occasions.
After breakfast for pastime we read Quevedo’s visions, and at one o’clock dined
with the family upon fat pork and green pease. At two o’clock we observed the
boat falling down the river, and having provided ourselves with a store of
bread and cheese and some rum and sugar, in case of being detained upon the
water, that part of the Sound which we had to cross being eighteen miles broad,
we put our horses on board ten minutes before three, and set sail with a fair
wind from the Oyster Pond. 325.
AT three o’clock we crossed the Gut, a rapid current,
betwixt the main of Long Island and Shelter Island, caused by the tides. 326.
SHELTER ISLAND GARDINER’S ISLAND
AT a quarter after three, we cleared Shelter Island,
larboard, upon our weather bow. Gardiner’s Island bore east by north,
starboard, about three leagues’ distance. This island is in the possession of
one man, and takes its name from him. It had been a prey to the French
privateers in Queen Anne’s war, who used to land upon it and plunder the family
and tenants of their stock and provisions, the island lying very bleak upon the
ocean, just at the easternmost entry of the Sound, betwixt Long Island and the
main of Connecticut. 327.
FISHER’S ISLANDTWOTREE ISLAND
A LITTLE to the northward of this lies Fisher’s Island,
and about three or four leagues’ distance upon our larboard we saw a small
island called Twotree Island, because they say there are only two trees upon
it, which are of a particular kind of wood, which nobody there can give a name
to, nor are such trees to be seen anywhere else in the country.328.
CONNECTICUT GOVERNMENTNEW LONDON
WE arrived in the harbour at New London at half an hour
after six, and put up at Duchand’s at the sign of the Anchor. The town of New
London is irregularly built along the water side, in length about a mile. There
is in it one Presbyterian meeting and one church. 329.
‘T is just such another desolate, extensive town as
Annapolis in Maryland, the houses being mostly wood. The inhabitants were
alarmed this night at a sloop that appeared to be rowing up into the harbour,
they having heard a little before a firing of guns out in the Sound, and seen
one vessel, as they thought, give chase to another. There was a strange clamour
and crowd in the street, chiefly of women. The country station sloop lay in the
harbour, who, when she was within shot, sent her a salute; first one gun, sharp
shot, but the advancing sloop did not strike; then she bestowed upon her
another, resolving next to proceed to a volley; but at the second shot, which
whistled thro’ her rigging, she struck and made answer that it was one Captain
Trueman from Antigua. Then the people’s fears were over, for they imagined it
was old Morpang, the French rover, who in former times used to plunder these
parts when he wanted provision. 330.
NEW LONDON FERRY
Saturday, July 14th.We departed New London at seven
o’clock in the morning, crossing the ferry, and rid eight miles thro’ a very
stony rough road, where the stones upon each hand of us seemed as large as
houses, and the way itself a mere rock. 331.
THIS is properly enough called Stonington. We breakfasted
at one Major Williams’s, and proceeded ten miles farther to Thomson’s, where we
baited our horses. Here we met one Captain Noise, a dealer in cattle, whose
name and character seemed pretty well to agree, for he talked very loud, and
joaked and laughed heartily at nothing. 332.
RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE GOVERNMENT
THE landlady here was a queer old woman, an enormous heap
of fat. She had some daughters and maids, whom she called by comical names.
There were Thankful, Charity, Patience, Comfort, Hope, etc. 333.
Upon the road here stands a house belonging to an Indian
King named George, commonly called King George’s house or palace. He possesses
twenty or thirty thousand acres of very fine level land round this house, upon
which he has many tenants, and has of his own a good stock of horses and other
cattle. The King lives after the English mode. His subjects have lost their own
government policy and laws, and are servants or vassals to the English here.
His queen goes in a high modish dress in her silks, hoops, stays, and dresses
like an Englishwoman. He educates his children to the
belles lettres and is himself a
very complaisant, mannerly man. We payed him a visit, and he treated us with a
glass of good wine. 334.
We dined at one Hill’s, and going from thence at four
o’clock, and travelling thro’ twelve miles more of stony, rough road, we passed
by an oldfashioned wooden house at the end of a lane, darkened and shaded over
with a thick grove of tall trees. This appeared to me very romantic, and
brought into my mind some romantic descriptions of rural scenes in Spenser’s
Faerie Queene. 335.
ABOUT a quarter of a mile farther, at the end of a lane,
is a little hill, that rises up in a conical form and is therefore called the
Sugar Loaf. The fencing here is all stone. We could see to our right hand the
ocean and part of the Sound, the long point of Long Island called Montague
Block Island, and at a good distance, behind an island called Conannicut, part
of Rhode Island. 336.
At six o’clock we arrived at a village called Tower Hill
or South Kingstown. It lies near the sea. All round here the country is high,
hilly, and rocky; few woods and these dwarfish. You have a large, extensive
prospect from here, both to the sea and landward. We put up at the house of one
Case in Kingstown, who keeps a pretty good house, is a talkative, prating man,
and would have everybody know that he keeps the best public house in the
country. We heard news of some prizes brought into Newport by the Rhode Island
privateers, and among the rest a large Spanish snow, with no loading, but
30,000 pounds’ value, New England money, in silver, which is 5,000 pounds
Sunday, July 15th.We tarried
at Case’s all this day, it being unlawful here to travel upon Sunday, or, as
they term it, Sabbath day (Sunday being a pagan name). We loitered about all
the forenoon, having nothing to do and no books to read, except it was a
curious History of the Nine Worthies (which we found in Case’s library), a book
worthy of that worthy author Mr. Burton, the diligent compiler and historian of
Grub Street. Case was mightily offended by Mr. Laughton for singing and
whistling, telling him that he ought not so to profane the sabbath. Laughton
swore that he had forgot what day it was, but Case was still more offended at
his swearing, and left us in bad humour. 338.
This day was bleak and stormy, the wind being at east by
north. I diverted myself by looking at the coasting sloops passing up and down
by Connannicut Point, which runs out here, much like Greenberry’s near
Annapolis, but is quite bare, rocky, and barren. Upon it the tide beats with
great violence, so as to raise a white foam a great way round it. We dined at
three o’clock, and after dinner walked out to see our horses in the pasture,
where my gray, having laid himself down at full length to sleep, I imagined at
a distance that he was dead; but throwing a stone at him he started up and got
to his heels. We viewed the sea from a high rock, where we could see the spray
beating with violence over the tops of the rocks upon the coast, and below us,
of three or four miles’ extent, a pleasant green meadow, thro’ the middle of
which ran a pretty winding river. Most of the country round is open, hilly, and
rocky, and upon the rocks there is a great deal of spar, or substance like
white marble, but in very small pieces. 339.
We returned home at six o’clock, and had a rambling
conversation with Case and a certain traveller upon different subjects. There
came to the house at night a Rhode Island colonel (for in this country there is
great plenty of colonels, captains, and majors), who diverted us with some
stories about the Newlightmen. There are a great many Seventhdaymen here, who
keep Saturday instead of Sunday, and so go to work when others go to church.
Most of the people here begin their Sunday upon Saturday night after sunset,
and end it upon Sunday at sunset, when they go to any kind of recreation or
work upon other days lawful. 340.
After a light supper of bread and milk, we went to bed.
NARAGANTSET FERRYDUTCH ISLAND
Monday, July 16th.We set off
from Case’s at half an hour after six in the morning, and crossed Conannicut
Ferry or Naragantset betwixt eight and nine o’clock. 342.
RHODE ISLAND FERRY
THERE is a small island lies betwixt the main and
Conannicut, called Dutch Island, because the Dutch first took possession of it.
We crossed the other ferry to Newport, upon Rhode Island, a little after ten
o’clock, and had a very heavy rain all the passage. 343.
THERE are some rocks there called the Dumplin’s, and a
little above a small island called Rose Island, upon which there is one tree.
Here you have very pretty views and prospects from the mixture of land and
water. As we stepped into the ferry boat there were some stones lay in her
bottom, which obstructed the horses getting in. Dromo desired the skipper to
“trow away his stones, de horse be better ballast.” “No,” says the fellow, “I
cannot part with my stones yet; they will serve for a good use at another
We arrived at Newport at 12 o’clock. Rhode Island is a
pleasant, open spot of land, being an entire garden of farms, twelve or
thirteen miles long and four or five miles broad at its broadest part. The town
Newport is about a mile long, lying pretty near north and south. It stands upon
a very level spot of ground, and consists of one street, narrow, but so
straight that, standing at one end of it, you may see to the other. It is just
close upon the water. There are several lanes going from this street, on both
sides. Those to the landward are some of them pretty long and broad. There is
one large Markethouse, near the south end of the main street. The Townhouse
stands a little above this Markethouse, away from the water, and is a handsome
brick edifice, lately built, having a cupola at top. There is besides in this
town two Presbyterian meetings, one large Quaker meeting, one Anabaptist, and
one Church of England.’ The church has a very fine organ in it, and there is a
publick clock upon the steeple as also upon the front of the Townhouse. The
fort’ is a square building of brick and stone, standing upon a small island,
which makes the harbour. This place is famous for privateering, and they had
about this time brought in several prizes, among which was a large Spanish snow
near aoo tons burden, which I saw in the harbour, with her bowsprit shot off.
This town is as remarkable for pretty women as Albany is
for ugly ones, many of whom one may see sitting in the shops in passing along
the street. I dined at a tavern kept by one Nicolls at the sign of the White
Horse, where I had put up my horses, and in the afternoon, Dr. Moffatt, an old
acquaintance and schoolfellow of mine, led me a course thro’ the town. He
carried me to see one Feake,2 a painter, the most extraordinary genius ever I
knew, for he does pictures tolerably well by the force of genius, having never
had any teaching. I saw a large table of the judgment of Hercules, copied by
him from a frontispiece of the Earl of Shaftesbury’s, which I thought very well
done. This man had exactly the phiz of a painter, having a long pale face,
sharp nose, large eyes, with which he looked upon you steadfastly,long curled
black hair, a delicate white hand, and long fingers. 346.
I went with Moffatt in the evening to Dr.Keith’s, another
countryman and acquaintance, where we spent the evening very agreeably in the
company of one Dr. Brett,’ a very facetious old man. I soon found that Keith
passed for a man of great gallantry here, being frequently visited by the young
ladies in town, who are generally very airy and frolicsome. He showed me a
drawer full of the trophies of the fair, which he called his cabinet of
curiosities. They consisted of torn fans, fragments of gloves, whims,
snuffboxes, girdles, apronstrings, laced shoes and shoeheels, pincushions,
hussifs, and a deal of other such trumpery. I lay this night at Dr. Moffatt’s
Tuesday, July 17th.I
breakfasted with Dr. Moffatt, and had recommendatory letters of him to some of
the fraternity in Boston. I went with the Doctor at ten o’clock to see a house
about half a mile out of town, built lately by one Captain Mallbone, a
substantial trader there. It is the largest and most magnificent dwellinghouse
I have seen in America. It is built entirely of hewn stone of a reddish colour;
the sides of the windows and cornerstones of the house being painted like
white marble. It is three stories high, and the rooms are spacious and
magnificent. There is a large lanthern or cupola on the roof, which is covered
with sheet lead. The whole staircase, which is very spacious and large, is done
with mahogany wood. This house makes a grand show at a distance, but is not
extraordinary for the architecture, being a clumsy Dutch model. Round it are
pretty gardens and terraces, with canals and basins for water, from whence you
have a delightful view of the town and harbour of Newport, with the shipping
lying there. 348.
When Mr. Parker and Laughton came up, we proceeded on our
journey, riding along the island a broad and even road, where our eyes were
entertained with various beautiful prospects of the continent, islands, and
water. From some high places we could see Block Island to the westward. We
dined at Burden’s, a Quaker, who keeps the ferry, where we had good
entertainment, and met with one Mr. Lee, a proprietor in some iron works near
Boston. We crossed the ferry at four o’clock, and rid some miles of stony,
unequal road. 349.
MASSACHUSETTS PROVINCEMOUNT HOPE
As we entered the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, upon
the left hand we saw a hill called Mount Hope, formerly the stronghold or
refuge of an Indian king named Philip, who held the place a long time against
the first settlers, and used to be very troublesome by making excursions. 350.
WE passed thro’ Bristol, a small trading town, laid out in
the same manner as Philadelphia, about three o’clock. We crossed another little
ferry at five o’clock, and baited at one Hunt’s, then riding ten miles farther
we parted with Mr. Lee, and lay that night at one Slake’s, at the sign of the
White Horse. 351.
Wednesday, July 28th.We set
out a little after six in the morning, breakfasted at Mann’s,, and from thence
went ten miles farther to Robins’s,’ where we parted. We were resolved to dine
at Dedham, but were scarce got upon our horses when we were met by a company of
gentlemen, who being acquaintances of Parker and Laughton, they persuaded us to
turn back to Robins’s again. There was in this company one Coffin,’ who
inquired after my brother in Maryland, and told me he had once been a patient
of his when at Benedict Town upon Patuxent, about sixteen or seventeen years
In this house I and my company were taken for peddlers.
There happened to be a peddler there selling some wares, who saw me open my
portmanteau and sort some bundles and packets of letters. He mistook my
portmanteau for a pack, for it is not very customary here to ride with such
implements, and so would have chaffered with me for some goods. 353.
While we were at dinner one Mr. Lightfoot came in, to whom
I had a recommendatory letter. This Lightfoot is a gentleman of a regular
education, having been brought up at Oxford in England, a man of good humour
and excellent sense. He had upon his head, when he entered the company, a straw
hat dyed black, but no wig. He told us that he always rode in this trim in hot
weather, but that among the country people he had been taken for a French spy,
upon account of the oddity of his dress. He said he had heard a grand laugh as
he passed by, and guessing that there were some Boston people in the company he
was induced to call in. Then he pulled about two pounds of black rye bread out
of his pocket, and told us that he thought perhaps he might come to some places
upon the road where there might be a scarcity of fine bread, and therefore had
provided himself. 354.
We had news here of the French having, along with the
Cape Sable and St. John Indians, made an attack upon Annapolis Royal, and that
they had killed all their cattle and several men there, and burnt down all the
houses in the town, so that the inhabitants, in the utmost distress, were
obliged to betake themselves to the fort, where they were scanty of provisions
and ready to surrender, when Captain Ting, master of the Boston galley, came
seasonably to their assistance with a reinforcement of men and a fresh supply
of provisions, and as soon as the enemy heard his guns they fled into the
woods. This Ting has gained a great character here for his conduct and courage.
WE parted from Robins’s a little after three, and betwixt
five and six arrived at Dedham, a village within eleven miles of Boston, where
we rested a little and drank some punch. Lightfoot had a scolding bout here
with one Betty, the landlady’s daughter, for secreting one of our lemons, and
was obliged to vent a deal of billingsgate, and swear a string of lusty oaths,
before he could recover it again. He told me that this place was the most
sharping country ever I was in, and that this little peddling trick was only
the beginning of it, and nothing to what I should experience if I stayed but
some weeks there. We took horse at half an hour after six, and passed several
pretty country boxes at three or four miles’ distance from Boston, belonging to
gentlemen in the town. 356.
AT thirteen miles’ distance from Boston is a range of
hills, called the Blue Hills, upon the top of one of which a gentleman has
built a country house, where there is a very extensive view. A quarter before
eight we arrived in Boston. 357.
THERE I put my horses at one Barker’s’ and took lodging at
Mrs. Guneau’s, a Frenchwoman, at the back of the Almshouse, near Beacon Hill, a
very pleasant part of the town, situated high and well aired. My landlady and I
conversed about two hours. She informed me that one Mr. Hughes, a merchant,
that lately had been in Maryland, lodged at her house, which I was glad to
hear, having had some small acquaintance with him. My landlady was a
Frenchwoman, and had much of the humour of that nation, a deal of talk and a
deal of action. I went to bed at eleven o’clock. 358.
Thursday, July 19th.I got up
half an hour after five in the morning, and after breakfast I took a turn in
the garden with Mr. Hughes, from whence we had a view of the whole town of
Boston, and the peninsula upon which it stands. The neck which joins this
peninsula to the land is situated southwest from the town, and at low water is
not above thirty or forty paces broad, and is so flat and level that in high
tides it is sometimes overflowed. The town is built upon the south and
southeast side of the peninsula and is about two miles in length, extending
from the neck of the peninsula northward to that place called North End, as
that extremity of the town next the neck is called South End. Behind the town
are several pleasant plains, and on the west side of the peninsula are three
hills in a range, upon the highest of which is placed a long beacon pole. To
the northward over the water is situated a pretty large town called
Charlestown. We could see a great many islands out in the bay, upon one of
which, about three miles from town, stands the Castle, a strong fortification,
that guards the entry of the harbour upon the most extreme island. About twelve
miles out is the Lighthouse,’ a high building of stone in form of a pillar,
upon the top of which every night is kept a light to guide ships into the
harbour. When a snow, brig, sloop, or schooner appears out at sea they hoist a
pinnace upon the flagstaff in the Castle; if a ship, they display a flag. 359.
At twelve o’clock I waited upon Mr. Hooper, one of the
ministers in Boston, and from thence went to Mr. Lechmere’s,4 the surveyor’s,
to whom my letters of credit were directed. From his house I went to the
Change, a place of public rendezvous. Here is a great building called the
Townhouse,’ about 125 feet long and forty feet broad. The lower chamber of this
house, called the Change, is all one apartment, the roof of which is supported
all along the middle with a row of wooden pillars, about twentyfive feet high.
Upon Change I met Mr. Hutchinson and Captain Wendall, to whom I delivered
letters. I went down to view the Long Wharf. This runs in a direct line with a
broad street called King’s Street, and is carried into the water pretty near a
quarter of a mile. Upon one side of this wharf all along, there is a range of
wooden houses, and close by the wharf lies a very numerous shipping. I dined at
Withered’s, a tavern at the Change, and there heard news of the magazines at
Placentia being blown up. 360.
In the afternoon about six o’clock, Messrs. Parker and
Laughton called at my lodging, and with them I took a tour round the north end
of the town, and to the waterside, after which we went to a club at Withered’s,
where there was a potbellied doctor president. This man was as round as a
ball, about five feet high, and pretended to be very knowing in politicks. He
was a Frenchman by birth, and I understood he was by trade a usurer, letting
out money at ten per cent. I left this club at ten o’clock and went home. 361.
Friday, July loth. I got up
pretty early and took a turn in the garden. At eleven o’clock I went abroad
with Mr. Hughes, and after taking a walk to the waterside we went to Change at
twelve o’clock, where I delivered several letters. I saw at Change some
Frenchmen, officers of the flag of truce, with prisoners for exchange from
Canso, and of the privateer taken by Captain Ting. They were very loquacious,
after the manner of their nation, and their discourse for the most part was
interlaced with oaths and smut. At two o’clock Mr. Hughes and I dined with Mr.
Hooper, where we had some agreeable conversation. I came home in the afternoon,
and writ some letters to go by the ships to Great Britain. 362.
Saturday, July first.I rose
later than usual this morning, and breakfasted with Mrs. Guneau and her
daughter, the latter a passably handsome girl, nothing of the French spirit in
her, but rather too grave and sedate. Near twelve o’clock I walked out with Mr.
Hughes, and went to Change, where, after attending some time, and observing a
variety of comical phizes, I encountered Captain Wendall, who pointed out Dr.
Douglass 1 and Mr. Arbuthnot 2 to me, to whom I delivered letters. 363.
I was invited to dine with Captain Irvin,’ upon salt
codfish, which here is a common Saturday dinner, being elegantly dressed with a
sauce of butter and eggs. In our company here was one Captain Petty, a very
hardfavored man, a Scotsman by birth, humpbacked, and the tallest humpy ever I
saw, being six feet high at least. There was one Perkins, a little roundfaced
man, a trader in the place. The discourse turned chiefly upon commerce and
trade, and thro’ the whole of it I could discover a vein of that subtlety and
acuteness so peculiar to a New England genius. Mr. Arbuthnot and I had some
disputes concerning some particular High Church maxims, but as I looked upon
the promoters and favourers of these doctrines to be every whit as absurd and
silly as the doctrines themselves, and adapted only for weak people, so I
thought all argumentation was thrown away upon them, and therefore I dropped
the dispute, for, as I was a stranger, I cared not, for the sake of such damned
trifles, to procure the odium or ill will of any person in the place. After
dinner I went home and slept till the evening, the weather being pretty hot,
and I having drunk too much wine, it made me heavy. 364.
Sunday, July 22d.After
breakfast I went with Mr. Hughes to Hooper’s meeting,’ where we heard a very
good discourse, and saw a genteel congregation. The ladies were most of them in
high dress. This meetinghouse is a handsome new wooden building, with a huge
spire or steeple at the north end of it. The pulpit is large and neat, with a
large soundingboard, supported at each end with pilasters of the Doric order,
fluted, and behind it there is a high arched door, over which hangs a green
The pulpit cushion is of green velvet, and all the
windows in the meeting are mounted with green curtains. 366.
After dismissing I went to Change, and returning from
thence dined with Mr. Lechmere. There was a lady at table of a very masculine
make, but dressed fine à la mode. 367.
She did not appear till dinner was almost over,
pretending she could not endure the smell of the victuals, and was every now
and then lugging out her sal volatile and Hungary water, but this I observed
was only a modish air, for she made a shift betwixt times to swallow down as
much beef and pudding as anybody at the table; in short her teeth went as fast
as her tongue, and the motion of both was perpetual. 368.
After dinner I went to the English chapel with Mr.
Lechmere, and heard a small organ played by an indifferent organist. A certain
pedantic Irishman preached to us, who had much of the brogue. He gave us rather
a philosophical lecture than a sermon, and seemed to be one of those conceited
prigs who are fond of spreading out to its full extent all that superficial
physical knowledge which they have acquired more by hearsay than by application
or study; but of all places the pulpit is the most improper for the
ostentatious of this sort; the language and phraseology of which sacred rostrum
ought to be as plain to the ploughman as the scholar. We had a load of
impertinence from him about the specific gravity of air and water, the
exhalation of vapours, the expansion and condensation of clouds, the operation
of distillation, and the chemistry of nature. It fine it was but a very puerile
physical lecture, and no sermon at all. 369.
There sat some Indians in a pew near me who stank so that
they had almost made me turn up my dinner. They made a profound reverence to
the parson when he finished; the men bowed, and the squaws curtsied. 370.
After dinner I writ a letter for Annapolis and drank tea
with Mrs. Guneau and some ladies. 371.
Monday, July 23rd.This
morning I walked abroad with Mr. Hughes, and passed over the dam at the
reservoir’ to the north end of the town. We surveyed the ships abuilding upon
the stocks, and went to see the new battery, a building of wood, just at the
entry of that inlet of water that runs up towards Charlestown. This new battery
mounts about fourteen or fifteen great guns, and facing the bay it runs out
about fifty paces into the water. From thence we went and surveyed the
merchants’ warehouses, which stand all along the waterside. 372.
We next viewed the new Markethouse,’ an elegant building
of brick, with a cupola on the top, in length about 130 feet, in breadth
betwixt 4o and 5o. This was built at the proper expense of one Funell, a
substantial merchant of this place, lately dead, and presented by him to the
public. It is called by the name of Funell Hall, and stands near a little inlet
of water, called the Town dock, over which, a little below the Markethouse, is
a wooden drawbridge that turns upon hinges that small vessels may pass and lie
above it. In low tides this inlet is a very stinking puddle. 373.
At nine o’clock we finished our tour, and came home
sharpset for breakfast. At eleven o’clock Mr. Vans’ came to visit me, and
invited me to dine with him upon Tuesday. I went to Withered’s at twelve
o’clock, and from thence went to dine with Captain Wendall, where were some
officers that had belonged to the garrison at Canso, and had been there when
the place was taken by the French. They were brought to Boston by Captain
Mangeau in the flag of truce. After dinner Captain Mangeau himself came in, who
spoke such broken English that I understood his French much better. In the
afternoon I called at Mr. Hooper’s and agreed to go to Cambridge with him upon
Tuesday, July 24th.I received
this day a letter from Dr. Moffatt at Newport, Rhode Island, and answered the
same by the opportunity of Mr. Hughes, who went there this day. Dr. Douglass
paid me a short visit in the morning, and at twelve o’clock I went to Change,
where I saw Mr. Vans, who carried me to dine with him. 375.
Mr. Vans himself and his whole family I found to be great
admirers of the New Light doctrines and scheme. His wife is a strenuous
Whitfieldian. The word carnal was much used in our
table talk, which seems to be a favorite word of the fair sex of that
persuasion. There was one at table whom Mr. Vans called brother, who spoke very
little, but had the most solemn puritanic countenance ever I had seen. The
discourse chiefly turned upon religion, but the strain of it was so
enthusiastic that I thought fit only to be a hearer. 376.
After dinner I went with Mr. Vans to an auction of books
in King street, where the auctioneer, a young fellow, was very witty in his
way. “This book,” says he, “gentlemen, must be valuable. Here you have
everything concerning popes, cardinals, antichrist, and the devil. Here,
gentlemen, you have
Tacitus, that elegant historian. He
gives you an account of that good and pious person, Nero, who loved his mother
and kindred so well that he sucked their very blood.” The books that sold best
at this auction, while I was there, were
Pamela, Antipamela, The Fortunate Maid,
Art o f Love and The Marrow o f Modern
We were called to the windows in the auction room by a
noise in the street, which was occasioned by a parade of Indian chiefs marching
up the street with Colonel Wendall. The fellows had all laced hats, and some of
them laced matchcoats and ruffled shirts, and a multitude of the
plebs of their own complexion
followed them. This was one Henrique,l and some other of the chiefs of the
Mohooks, who had been deputed to treat with the eastern Indians bordering upon
New England. This Hen rique is a bold, intrepid fellow. When he first arrived
at the place of rendezvous, none of the eastern chiefs were come. However, he
expressed himself to the commons to this purpose: “We the Mohooks,” said he,
“are your fathers, and you our children. If you are dutiful and obedient, if
you brighten the chain with the English our friends, and take up the hatchet
against the French our enemies, we will defend and protect you, but otherwise
if you are disobedient and rebel you shall die, every man, woman, and child of
you, and that by our hands. We will cut you off from the earth, as an ox
licketh up the grass.” To this answer that what he said was just. As for their
parts they would do their best to keep their end of the house in order; but
their house was a very long house, one end of it was light and the other dark,
because having no doors or windows the sun could not shine in upon them. (By
the dark end they meant the St. John and Cape Sable Indians of the same nation
with them, but in the French interest.) In the light end they knew what they
were adoing, but nobody could see in the dark. 378.
However, they would strike a light, and if possible
discover its most secret corners. “It is true you are our fathers, and our
lives depend upon you. We will always be dutiful, as we have hitherto been, for
we have cleared a road all the way to Albany betwixt us and you, having cut
away every tree and bush, that there might be no obstruction. You, our fathers,
are like a porcupine full of prickles, to wound such as offend you; we, your
children, are like little babes, whom you have put into cradles and rocked
asleep.” While they delivered this answer they appeared very much frightened,
and in the meantime one Lewis, an eastern chief, came upon the field, who
seemed to reprove Henrique for delivering his embassy to the common people
while none of the chiefs were by, telling him it was like speaking to cattle;
but Henrique with a frown told him that he was not obliged to wait his
conveniency and time, adding that what was said was said, and was not again to
be repeated, but do you or your people at your peril act contrary to our will.
At that the other Indian was silent and durst not speak. These Mohooks are a
terrour to all round them, and are certainly a brave, warlike people, but they
are divided into two nations, Protestants and Roman Catholics, for the most of
them are Christians; the first take part with the English, the latter with the
French, which makes the neighbouring Indians, their tributaries, lead an
unquiet life, always in fear and terrour and an uncertainty how to behave. 379.
I went this night to visit Mr. Smibert, the limner, where
I saw a collection of fine pictures, among the rest that part of Scipio’s
history in Spain where he delivers the lady to the prince to whom she had been
betrothed. The passions are all well touched in the several faces. Scipio’s
face expresses a majestic generosity, that of the young prince gratitude and
modest love; and some Roman soldiers, standing under a row of pillars apart, in
seeming discourse, have admiration delineated in their faces. But what I
admired most of the painter’s fancy in this piece is an image or phantom of
chastity behind the solium upon which Scipio sits, standing on tiptoe to crown
him, and yet appears as if she could not reach his head, which expresses a good
emblem of the virtue of this action. I saw here likewise a collection of good
busts and statues, most of them antiques, done in clay and paste, among the
rest Homer’s head and a model of the Venus of Medicis. 380.
Wednesday, July 25th. I had
appointed this day to go to Cambridge with Mr. Hooper, but the weather proved
too hot. I went to Change at twelve o’clock, and heard no news, only some
distant hints of an intended expedition of the English against Cape Briton,
which is a great eyesore to their fishing trade upon this coast. 381.
I dined with Mr. Hooper, and drank tea there, and went in
the evening to the auction, but found no books of value exposed to sale. When I
came to my lodging at night Mrs. Guneau told me she had got a new lodger, one
Monsieur de la Moinnerie, a Frenchman, who had come from Jamaica. This evening
was very hot, bordering upon our Maryland temperature, and being out of order 1
went to bed before nine. 382.
Thursday, July 26th.This day at
Withered’s I met with Dr. Clerk,’ to whom I delivered a letter. He invited me
to the Physical Club at the Sun Tavern’ upon Friday evening. I promised to
attend there in case the weather should prevent my journey eastward, which I
intended as far as Portsmouth or Pitscataquay. I dined at Withered’s with some
gentlemen. While we were at dinner there came up a thunder shower, which cooled
the air very much, it having been for some days very hot. 383.
After dinner one Captain Pasher came in, who had been at
Canso when the French took it. He had a vessel there laden with provisions, for
which he had contracted with the French before the war broke out, when they
carried him to Cape Breton. They were so generous as to pay him for his cargo
of provisions and dismiss him. In the payment it was supposed they had given
him some brandy and other contraband goods, which he attempted to run here, but
being discovered was called to account by the government, not only for running
these goods, but for supplying the enemy with provision. As to the latter
accusation he was acquitted, because the contract or bargain with the French
had been made before the declaration of war, and as he was taken prisoner at
Canso, it was in the power of the French to seize his vessel and cargo without
paying him for them. He had lost likewise considerably by his bills being
protested by the Board of Admiralty in France. He told me his losses amounted
to above 20,000 pounds New England currency. I imagined that he might be
related to Mr. Pr at Annapolis, because I had known but few of that name. I
asked him if he knew that gentleman. He replied that he had never seen him, but
he believed he was a kinsman of his. 384.
I went in the afternoon to Mr. Lechmere’s, and thence to
Mr. Fletcher’s,2 a young gentleman, son to Captain Fletcher so well known in
Annapolis. He and I went to the auction together, but the books sold so dear
that I could not procure such as I wanted. We had only a good deal of
auctioneer wit. 385.
I supped at Fletcher’s, and the night being very dark and
rainy, I bad much ado to find my way home to my lodging, but calling in
accidentally at Lechmere’s without knowing where I went, he was so civil as to
send a boy and lanthorn along with me. The streets of this town are very quiet
and still anights, yet there is a constant watch kept in the town. 386.
Friday, July 27th.This day
proving very rainy I was prevented in my intention to travel eastward. At
breakfast with Mrs. Guneau, Mons. de la Moinnerie chattered like a magpie in
his own language, having Mrs. Guneau to talk with, who speaks very good French.
Their conversation ran upon the rate of the markets at Boston, and the price of
beef, mutton, and other provisions. I dined at Withered’s and in the afternoon
went to the auction, where I bought a copy of Clerk’s Homer very cheap. At
night I went to the Physical Club at the Sun Tavern, according to appointment,
where we drank punch, smoaked tobacco, and talked of sundry physical matters.
Douglass, the physician here, is a man of good learning,
but mischievously given to criticism, and the most compleat snarler ever I
knew. He is loath to allow learning, merit, or a character to anybody. He is of
the clinical class of physicians, and laughs at all theory and practice founded
upon it, looking upon empiricism or bare experience as the only firm basis upon
which practice ought to be founded. He has got here about him a set of
disciples, who greedily draw in his doctrines, and being but half learned
themselves have not wit enough to discover the foibles and mistakes of their
preceptor. This man I esteem a notorious physical heretic, capable to corrupt
and vitiate the practice of the place by spreading his erroneous doctrines
among his shallow brethren. 388.
This night we heard news of Morpang’s being upon the
coast. I went home at eleven o’clock at night, and prepared for my journey
Saturday, July 28th. I departed Boston
this morning betwixt seven and eight o’clock, and crossing the upper ferry, I
came to Charlestown, a pretty large and compact town, consisting of one street,
about half a mile long. 390.
I breakfasted there at the sign of the Swan. Our
conversation at breakfast ran upon the extravagancies of the Newlightmen, and
particularly one Gilman,’ a noted preacher among them. One day this fellow
being in his pulpit, he exerted himself to the utmost to move the passions in
his audience by using such pathetic expressions as his dull, costive fancy
could frame. “What!” said he, “not shed one tear for poor Christ, who shed his
blood for you; not one tear, Christians! not one single tear! Tears for blood
is but a poor recompense. 0 fie! fie! this is but
cold comfort.” At that an old woman bolted up in pious fury, and mounting the
pulpit steps, bestowed such a load of close hugs and kisses upon the preacher
that she stopped his mouth for some time, and had almost suffocated him with
DEPARTING Charlestown I passed thro’ Mystic at ten
o’clock, a pretty large village, about four miles northeast from Boston. A
little after twelve I passed thro’ Lynn, another village, but very scattered,
and standing upon a large compass of ground, the situation very open and
pleasant. Here I could have a view of the sea upon my right hand and upon my
left, a large open hilly and rocky country with some skirts of woods which
seemed to be but low and of a small growth. 392.
AT one o’clock I arrived at Marblehead, a large fishing
town, lying upon the sea coast, built upon a rock, and standing pretty bleak to
the easterly winds from the sea. It lies eighteen miles northeast from Boston,
and is somewhat larger than Albany, but not so neatly or compactly built, the
houses being all of wood and the streets very uneven, narrow, and irregular. It
contains about 5,000 inhabitants and their commodity is fish. There is round
the town above 200 acres of land covered with fishflakes, upon which they dry
their cod. 393.
There are ninety fishing sloops always employed, and they
deal for 134,000 sterling prime cost value in fish yearly, bringing in 30,000
quintals,a quintal being one hundredweight dried fish, which is 3,000,000
pounds’ weight, a great quantity of that commodity. 394.
I put up here at one Reid’s at the sign of the Dragon,
and while I was at dinner, Mr. Malcolm,’ the Church of England minister to whom
I was recommended, came in. After I had dined he carried me round the town, and
showed me the fishflakes and the town battery, which is built upon a rock,
naturally well fortified, and mounts about twelve large guns. We had a great
deal of talk about affairs at home. I went to his house and drank tea with him.
He showed me some pretty pieces of music, and played some tunes on the flute
and violin. He is author of a very good book upon music, which shows his
judgment and knowledge in that part of science. 395.
Sunday, July 29th.This
morning, inquiring for my portmanteau, I was told by my man Dromo that it was
in his room. I had the curiosity to go and see what kind of a room his room
was, and upon a reconnoitre found it a most spacious one, furnished
la mode de cabaret, with tables,
chairs, a fine featherbed with quilted counterpane, white calico canopy or
tester, and curtains, every way adapted for a gentleman of his degree and
I went to church to hear Mr. Malcolm in the forenoon, who
gave us a pretty discourse. This church is a building of wood, about eighty
feet square, supported in the inside with eight large octagonal wooden pillars
of the Doric order. Upon this church stands a steeple in which there is a
public clock. The floor of the church is raised six or seven feet above the
ground, and under it is a burying place. The pulpit and altar are neat enough,
the first being set out with a cushion of red velvet, and the other painted and
adorned with the King’s arms at top. There is one large gallery facing the
pulpit, opposite to which at the south entry of the church hangs a pretty large
gilt candle branch. The congregation consisted of about 400 people. I dined
with Mr. Malcolm, and went to church again with him in the afternoon, and spent
the in his company. In this town are likewise two great Presbyterian meetings.
Monday, July 30th.Mr. Malcolm and I set
out at eleven o’clock in the morning for Salem, which is a pretty town about
five miles from Marblehead, going round a creek, but not above two if you cross
the creek. We arrived there betwixt twelve and one o’clock, and called at
justice Sewell’s, who invited us to dine with him. We put up our horses at the
Ship Tavern,’ and went to Mr. Sewell’s. 398.
Our conversation ran upon the enthusiasm now prevalent in
these parts, and the strange madness that had possessed some people at
Ipswitch, occasioned by one Woodberry,3 a mad enthusiast, who, pretending to
inspiration, uttered several blasphemous and absurd speeches, asserting that he
was the same today, yesterday, and forever, saying he had it in his power to
save or damn whom he pleased, falling down upon the ground, licking the dust,
and condemning all to hell who would not do the like, drinking healths to King
Jesus, the selfexisting Being, and prosperity to the kingdom of heaven, and a
thousand other such mad and ridiculous frolics. I was quite shocked at these
relations, both when I heard them mentioned in conver sation, and saw them
published in the newspaper, being surprised that some of the chief clergy there
had been so weak as to be drawn away by these follies. This is a remarkable
instance to what lengths of madness enthusiasm will carry men once they give it
a loose [rein], and tho’ these excursions may appear shocking to people in
their senses, yet so much good may follow them as that the interest and
influence of these fanatic preachers will be thereby depressed among all such
people as are not quite fools or mad. These extravagancies take all their first
root from the labours of that righteous apostle Whitefield, who, only for the
sake of private lucre and gain, sowed the first seeds of distraction in these
unhappy ignorant parts. 399.
In the afternoon Mr. Malcolm and I rid to the countryseat
of one Brown,’ a gentleman who married a daughter of the late Governour
Burnet’s, a granddaughter of the bishop’s. His house stands upon the top of a
high hill, and is not yet quite finished. It is built in the form of an H, with
a middle body and two wings. The porch is supported by pillars of the Ionic
order about fifteen feet high, and betwixt the windows of the front are
pilasters of the same. The great hall or parlour is about forty feet long and
twentyfive wide, with a gallery over the first row of windows, and there are
two large rooms upon a floor in each of the wings about twentyfive feet
From this hill you have a most extensive view. To the
southwest you see the Blue Hills, about thirtysix miles’ distance; to the east
the sea and several islands; to the northwest the top of a mountain called
Wachusett Mountain, like a cloud, about ninety miles’ distance, towards Albany;
and all round you have a fine landscape, covered with woods, a mixture of hills
and valleys, land and water, upon which variety the eye dwells with pleasure.
This hill Mr. Brown calls Mount Burnet in compliment to his wife. 401.
In the hall I saw a piece of tapestry or arras of
scripture history, done by Vanderbank, a Dutch artist. For elegance and design
it is like painting, the passions in the faces being well expressed. It is the
best of the kind ever I saw. 402.
This gentleman has a fine estate, but withal has the
character of being narrow and avaricious, a vice uncommon to young men. He has
a strange taste for theological controversy. While we were there the
conversation turned chiefly upon nice metaphysical distinctions relating to
original sin, imputed righteousness, reprobation, effectual calling, and
absolute decrees, which stuffas I esteem it to be no more than the monstruous
and deformed offspring of scholastic, theological heads, I should choose to
hear at no other times but when I took a cathartic or emetic, in order to
promote the operation if it proved too sluggish. 403.
Mr. Malcolm and I returned to Salem a little before eight
o’clock, and went to the Ship Tavern, where we drank punch and smoaked tobacco
with several colonels; for colonels, captains, and majors are so plenty here
that they are to be met with in all companies, and yet methinks they look no
more like soldiers than they look like divines; but they are gentlemen of the
place, and that is sufficient. 404.
We went to Mr. Sewell’s lodging betwixt nine and ten at
night, and after some chat with him went to bed. 405.
The town of Salem is a pretty place, being the first
settled place in New England. In it there is one Church of England, one Quaker
meeting, and five Presbyterian meetings. It consists of one very long street,
running nearly east and west. Upon the watchhouse, is a grenadier, carved in
wood, shouldering his piece. 406.
Tuesday, July 31st.At eleven
o’clock this morning Mr. Malcolm accompanied me to Salem Ferry, where I
crossed, and rid a pleasant level road all the way to Ipswitch, where the
houses are so thick planted that it looks like one continued village. I put up
at one Howel’s in Ipswitch, at the sign of the Armed Knight. I waited upon Mr.
John Rogers,1 the minister there, and delivered him a packet of letters from
his son at Annapolis. 407.
I returned again to the tavern and there met a talkative
old fellow, who was very inquisitive about my place of abode and occupation, as
he called it. He frequently accosted me with please your
honour, with which grand title, like some fools whom I know, I seemed
highly pleased tho I was conscious it did not belong to me. When I told him I
came from Maryland, he said he had frequently read of that place but never had
seen it. This old fellow, by his own account, had read of everything, but had
seen nothing. He affected being a scholar, or a man much given to reading or
study, and used a great many hard words in discourse, which he generally
There was likewise a young man in company, who rid with me
some miles on my way to Newberry. He valued himself much upon the goodness of
his horse, and said that he was a prime beast as ever went upon four legs or
wore hoofs. He told me he had a curiosity to ride to Maryland, but was afraid
of the terrible woods in the way, and asked me if there were not a great many
dangerous wild beasts in these woods. I told him that the most dangerous wild
beasts in these woods were shaped exactly like men, and they went by the name
of Buckskins, or Bucks, tho’ they were not Bucks either, but something, as it
were, betwixt a man and a beast. “Bless us! you don’t say so,” says he; “then
surely you had needs ride with guns” (meaning my pistols). I parted with this
When I had got about half way to Newberry, a little
farther I met a fat sheep driving in a chaise, a negro sitting upon the box. I
asked the negro if that was his master. He told me no, but that it was a wether
belonging to Mr. Jones, who had strayed and would not come home without being
carried. Passing by this prodigy I met another, which was two great fat women
riding upon one horse. 410.
I ARRIVED at Newbury at seven o’clock, and put up at one
Choat’s at the sign of the Crown, which is a good house. Newbury is a pretty
large village, lying close upon the water; the houses are chiefly wood. In this
town there is one handsome meeting built in a square form, with a spire or
steeple upon which is a little neat publick clock. 411.
Wednesday, August 1st.This
morning proved very rainy, and therefore I did not set out till eleven o’clock.
I crossed Newbury Ferry, and rid a pleasant even road, only somewhat stony, and
in a perpetual drizzle, so that I could not have an advantageous view of the
country round me. At half an hour after one I passed thro’ Hampton, a very
long, scattered town. 412.
Having proceeded some miles farther, I was overtaken by a
man who bore me company all the way to Portsmouth. He was very inquisitive
about where I was going, whence I came, and who I was. His questions were all
stated in the rustic civil style. “Pray, sir, if I may be so bold, where are
you going?” “Prithee, friend,” says I, “where are you going?” “Why, I go along
the road here a little way.” “So do I, friend,” replied I. “But may I presume,
sir, whence do you come?” “And from whence do you come, friend?” says I,
“pardon me.” “From John Singleton’s farm,” replied he, “with a bag of oats.”
“And I come from Maryland,” said I, “with a portmanteau and baggage.”
“Maryland!” said my companion, “where the devil is that there place? I have
never heard of it. But pray, sir, may I be so free as to ask your name?” “And
may I be so bold as to ask yours, friend?” said 1. “Mine is Jerry Jacobs, at
your service,” replied he. I told him that mine was Bombast Huynhym van
Helmont, at his service. “A strange name indeed; belike you ‘re a Dutchman,
sir,a captain of a ship, belike.” “No, friend,” says I, “I am a High German
alchymist.” “Bless us! you don’t say so; that ‘s a trade I never heard of; what
may you deal in, sir?” “I sell air,” said I. “Air,” said he, “damn it, a
strange commodity. I ‘d thank you for some wholesome air to cure my fevers,
which have held me these two months.” I have noted down this dialogue as a
specimen of many of the same tenour I had in my journey when I met with these
inquisitive rustics. 413.
NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNMENT
HAVING now entered New Hampshire Government I stopped at a
house within five miles of Portsmouth to bait my horses, where I had some
billingsgate with a saucy fellow that made free in handling my pistols. I found
a set of low rascally company in the house, and for that reason took no notice
of what the fellow said to me, not being overfond of quarrelling with such
trash. I therefore mounted horse again at half an hour after three, and having
rid about two miles saw a steeple in a skirt of woods, which I imagined was
Portsmouth; but when I came up to it, found it was a decayed wooden meeting
house, standing in a small hamlet within two mile of Portsmouth. 414.
IN this part of the country one would think there were a
great many towns by the number of steeples you see round you, every country
meeting having one, which by reason of their slenderness and tapering form
appear at a distance pretty high. I arrived in Portsmouth at four in the
afternoon, which is a seaport town very pleasantly situated close upon the
water, and nearly as large as Marblehead. It contains betwixt four and five
thousand inhabitants. There are in it two Presbyterian meetings and one Church
of England, of which last one Brown,’ an Irishman, is minister, to whom I had a
letter recommendatory from Mr. Malcolm. I put up here at Slater’s, a widow
woman, who keeps a very good house and convenient lodging. After I had dined, I
waited upon Mr. Brown and he invited me to breakfast with him tomorrow. I
returned to my lodging at eight o’clock, and the post being arrived, I found a
numerous company at Slater’s reading the news. Their chitchat and noise kept
me awake three hours after I went to bed. 415.
Thursday, August 2d. I went and
breakfasted with Mr. Brown, and after breakfast we waited upon Governour
Wentworth,’ who received me very civily and invited me to take a souldier’s
dinner with him, as he called it, art the fort. 416.
AT ten o’clock we went by water in the Governour’s barge
to Newcastle, a small town, two miles from Portsmouth, where the fort’ stands
upon a little island opposite to Newcastle. Upon the other side of the water,
there is a village called Kitterick. The tide in these narrows runs with great
rapidity and violence, and we having it in our favour and six oars in the
barge, were down at the fort in about ten minutes. This fort is almost a
triangle, standing on a rock facing the bay. That side next the town is about
200 feet long, built of stone, having a small bastion at each end. The other
two sides next the water are each about 300 feet long, and consist of turf
ramparts, erected upon a stone foundation, about seven feet high and ten feet
thick, so that the largest bullets may lodge in it. 417.
This fort mounts about thirty guns, most of them
thirtytwo pounders, besides fifteen or twenty small ones or twelvepounders.
In the guardroom, where we dined, are small arms for about sixty men, but kept
in very bad order, being eat up with rust. 418.
After dinner, the sky turning clear, we took a view to the
eastward towards the ocean, and could see several islands and Cape Anne, at a
distance like a cloud, with about twentyfour sail of small coasting vessels.
Mr. BROWN and I crossed the water at three o’clock, and
rid nine miles up the country to a place called York. In our way we had a
variety of agreeable prospects of a rocky and woody country and the ocean upon
our right hand. We returned to the fort again a little after seven o’clock.
This Province of New Hampshire is very well peopled, and
is a small colony or government, being enclosed on all hands by the
Massachusetts Province, to which it once belonged, but has lately, for some
state reasons, been made a separate government from New England. 421.
The provinces here are divided into townships instead of
shires or counties. The trade of this place is fish and masting for ships, the
navy at home being supplied from here with very good masts. 422.
I observed a good many geese in the fort. The Governour
took notice that they were good to give an alarm in case of a nocturnal
surprise, mentioning the known story of the Roman Capitol. We rowed back to
town against the tide, betwixt eight and nine at night. I took my leave of
Governour Wentworth at nine o’clock at night and went to my lodging. 423.
Friday, August 3d. I departed
Portsmouth at half an hour after five in the morning, and had a pleasant route
to Hampton. This town is about seven or eight miles long, but so disjoined that
some of the houses are half a mile’s distance one from another. About the
middle of it is a pretty large plain, about half a mile broad and four or five
miles long, which is marshy and overgrown with saltwater hay. On my left hand
here I could see the sea and Cape Anne, where the plain opened. 424.
I breakfasted at one Griffin’s at Hampton. I had some
discourse with the landlord, who seemed to be very fond of speculative points
of religion, and was for spiritualizing of everything. 425.
NEAR Newbury Ferry’ I met an old man, who was very
inquisitive about news. He rid above a mile with me. I crossed the ferry at
twelve o’clock, and dined at Choat’s with two Boston gentlemen, and after
dinner they would have had me go to the Presbyterian meeting to hear a sermon,
but I declined it, and getting upon horseback departed Newbury at three in the
afternoon, the day being pretty hot. 426.
Some miles from this town I passed thro’ a pleasant small
plain about a quarter of a mile broad, thro’ the middle of which runs a pretty
winding river. On the way I met a young sailor on foot who kept pace with my
horse, and he told me he was bound for Salem that night. He entertained me with
his adventures and voyages, and dealt much in the miraculous, according to the
custom of most travellers and sailors. 427.
I ARRIVED at Ipswtch at six o’clock and put up at
Howell’s. I went to see Mr. Rogers, the minister there, and at night drank
punch with his son, the doctor. 428.
Saturday, August 4th.I left Ipswich early in the morning,
and had a solitary ride to Salem. I put up my horses there at the Ship Tavern
and called at Messrs. Sewell’s and Brown’s, but they were both gone out of
At Salem there is a fort’ with two demibastions, but they
stand less in need of it than any of the other maritime towns here, for the
entry to this harbour is so difficult and rocky that even those who have been
for years used to the place will not venture in without a good pilot, so that
it would be a hard task for an enemy to enter. Portsmouth harbour is easy
enough, but the current of the tides there is so violent that there is no
getting in or out but at particular seasons, and, besides, they are locked in
on all hands by islands and promontories. At Marblehead the entry is very easy
and open. 430.
At twelve o’clock I thought of going to Marblehead again
to pay another visit to Mr. Malcolm, whose company and conversation had much
pleased me, but meeting here with a gentleman going to Boston, I took the
opportunity, for the sake of company, to i along with him. 431.
WE rid hard to the lower ferry, having made fifteen miles
in two hours. We had a tolerably good passage over the ferry, which here is two
miles broad. I left my horses at Barker’s stables, and drank tea with my
landlady, Mrs. Guneau. 432.
THERE was in the company a pretty young lady. The
character of a certain Church of England clergyman in Boston was canvassed, he
having lost his living for being too sweet upon his landlady’s daughter, a
great belly being the consequence. I pitied him only for his imprudence and
want of policy. As for the crime, considered in a certain light, it is but a
peccadillo, and he might have escaped unobserved, had he had the same cunning
as some others of his brethren who doubtless are as deep in the dirt as he in
the mire. I shall not mention the unfortunate man’s name
(absit foeda calumnia), but I much
commiserated his calamity and regretted the loss, for he was an excellent
preacher; but the wisest men have been led into silly scrapes by the
attractions of that vain sex. 433.
I had the opportunity this night of seeing Mons. la
Moinnerie, my fellow lodger. He was obliged to keep the house close, for fear
of being made a prisoner of war. He was the strangest mortal for eating ever I
knew. He would not eat with the family, but always in his own chamber, and he
made a table of his trunk. He was always achewing, except some little
intervals of time in which he applied to the study of the English language.
Sunday, August 5th.I went this
morning into monsieur’s chamber and asked him how he did. He made answer in
French, but asked me in maimed English if I had made
un bon voyage, what news, and many
other little questions culled out of his grammar. I was shy of letting him know
I understood French, being loath to speak that language, as knowing my
faultiness in the pronunciation. He told me that
hier au soir he had de mos’
excellen’ souper, and wished I had
been to eat along with him. His chamber was strangely set out: here a basin
with the relicks of some soup, there a fragment of bread; here a paper of salt,
there a bundle of garlic; here a spoon with some pepper in it, and upon a chair
a saucer of butter. The same individual basin served him to eat his soup out of
and to shave in, and in the water where a little before he had washed his hands
and face, he washed likewise his cabbages. This, too, served him for a
punchbowl. He was fond of giving directions how to dress his victuals, and told
Nanny, the cook maid, “Ma foi, I be de good cock, Madame Nannie,” said he. The
maid put on an air of modest anger, and said she did not understand him. “Why,
here you see,” says he, “my cock be good, can dress
de fine viandes.” 435.
This morning I went and heard Mr. Hooper, and dined with
Mr. Grey. I went to meeting again in the afternoon. He (Mr. Hooper) is one of
the best preachers I have heard in America, his discourses being solid sense,
strong connected reasoning, and good language. I drank tea with Mrs. Guneau in
the afternoon, and staid at home this night, reading a little of Homer’s first
Monday, August 6th.I was visited this
morning by Mons. de la Moinnerie, who spoke bad English, and I indifferent
French; so we had recourse to Latin, and did somewhat better. He gave me an
account of his own country, their manners and government, and a detail of his
own adventures since he came abroad. He told me that he had studied the law,
and showed me a diploma granted him by the University of Paris. He had
practised as a chamber counsel in Jamaica for two months, and was coming into
pretty business, but intermeddling in some political matters procured the
illwill of the grandees there, and being obliged to go away, took to
merchandizing; but his vessel being cast away at sea, he took passage for
Boston in a sloop, before the French war was declared, intending to go from
thence to old France. 437.
I dined this day at Withered’s, and spent the evening with
Dr. Clerk, a gentleman of a fine natural genius, who, had his education been
equivalent, would have outshone all the other physicians in Boston. Dr. D was
there and Mr. Lightfoot, and another gentleman, a lawyer, a professed
Dr. D talked very slightingly of Boerhaave, and upon all
occasions I find sets himself up as an enemy to his plan of theory, and laughs
at all practice founded upon it. He called him a mere
helluo librorum, an indefatigable
compiler, that dealt more in books than in observation or [***].. I asked his
pardon and told him that I thought he was by far the greatest genius that ever
appeared in that way since the days of Hippocrates. He said his character was
quite eclipsed in England. “Pardon me, sir,” said I, “you are mistaken. Many of
the English physicians who have studied and understand his system admire him.
Such as have not, indeed, never understood him, and in England they have not as
yet taught from his books; but till once they embrace his doctrines they will
always, like the French, be lagging behind a century or two in the improvements
of physick.” 439.
I could not learn his reasons for so vilifying this great
man, and most of the physicians here (the young ones I mean) seem to be awkward
imitators of him in this railing faculty. They are all mighty nice and mighty
hard to please, and yet are mighty raw and uninstructed (excepting D himself
and Clerk) in even the very elements of physick. I must say it raised my spleen
to hear the character of such a man as Boerhaave picked at by a parcel of
pigmies, mere homuncios in
physick, who shine nowhere but in the dark corner allotted them, like a lamp in
a monk’s cell, obscure and unknown to all the world excepting only their silly
hearers and imitators, while the splendour of the great character which they
pretend to canvass eclipses all their smaller lights like the sun enlightens
all equally, is ever admired when looked upon, and is known by every one who
has any regard for learning or truth. So that all their censure was like the
fable of the dog barking at the moon. I found, however, that Dr. D had been a
disciple of Pitcairn’s, and as some warm disputes had subsisted betwixt
Pitcairn and Boerhaave, at his leaving the professional chair of Leyden, when
turned out by the interest of King William (for Pitcairn was a strenuous
Jacobite) he bore Boerhaave a mortal grudge afterwards, and endeavoured all he
could to lessen his interest and diminish his character. I left the company at
eleven o’clock and went home. 440.
Tuesday, August 7th.I was
visited this morning by Monsieur. . . . 441.
I dined at Withered’s and called at Mr. Hooper’s after
dinner to know when he intended to go for Cambridge; we agreed upon tomorrow
afternoon. Coming home again I had the other volley of French from Monsieur,
accompanied with a deal of action. 442.
At night I went to the Scots’ Quarterly Society, which met
at the Sun Tavern. This is a charitable society, and act for the relief of the
poor of their nation, having a considerable sum of money at interest, which
they give out in small pensions to needy people. I contributed for that purpose
three pounds, New England currency, and was presented with a copy of their
When the bulk of the company were gone I sat some time
with Dr. Douglass, the president, and two or three others, and had some chat on
news and politicks. At half an hour after ten, I went home and had some more
French from Monsieur, who was applying strenuously to learn English. 444.
Wednesday, August 8th.This proving a
very rainy day, I was frustrated in my design of going to Cambridge, and was
obliged to stay at home most of the day. I had several dialogues with La
Moinnerie relating to the English language. Mr. Hughes and I eat some of his
soup. By way of whet he made us some punch, and rinsing the bowl with water
tossed it out upon the floor without any ceremony. The French are generally the
reverse of the Dutch in this respect. They care not how dirty their chambers
and houses are, but affect neatness much in their dress when they appear
abroad. I cannot say cleanliness, for they are dirty in their linen wear. Mr.
Hughes and I dined with Mrs. Guneau, and went to Withered’s. After dinner we
walked out upon the Long Wharf. 445.
The rain still continuing, I went home at four o’clock,
and stayed at home all that evening. 446.
Thursday, August 9th.I went
with Mr. Hughes before dinner to see my countrywoman Mrs. Blackater (here
Blackadore, for our Scots names generally degenerate when transplanted to
England, or English America, losing their proper orthography and
pronunciation). She is a jolly woman, with a great round red face. I bought of
her a pound of chocolate, and saw one of her daughters, a pretty buxom girl, in
a gay tawdry deshabille, having on a robe de chambre of cherrycoloured silk,
laced with silver round the sleeves and skirts, and neither hoop nor stays. By
this girl’s physiognomy, I judged she was one of that illustrious class of the
sex commonly called coquettes. She seemed very handsome in every respect, and
indeed needed neither stays nor hoop to set out her shapes, which were
naturally elegant and good; but she had a vile cross in her eyes, which spoilt
in some measure the beauty and symmetry of her features. Before we went away
the old woman invited Hughes and me to drink tea any afternoon when at leisure.
I dined with Mr. Fletcher in the company of two
Philadelphians, who could not be easy because forsooth they were in their
nightcaps, seeing everybody else in full dress, with powdered wigs,it not
being customary in Boston to go to dine or appear upon Change in caps as they
do in other parts of America. What strange creatures we are! and what trifles
make us uneasy! It is no mean jest that such worthless things as caps and wigs
should disturb our tranquillity and disorder our thoughts, when we imagine they
are worn out of season. I was myself much in the same state of uneasiness with
these Philadelphians, for I had got a great hole in the lappet of my coat, to
hide which employed so much of my thoughts in company that, for want of
attention I could not give a pertinent answer when I was spoke to. 448.
I visited Mr. Smibert in the afternoon, and entertained
myself an hour or two with his paintings. At night I was visited by Messrs.
Parker and Laughton, who did not tarry long. Mr. Clerk came and spent the
evening with me, and as we were adiscussing points of philosophy and physick
our inquiries were interrupted by La Moinnerie, who entered the room with a
dish of roasted mutton in his hand. “Messieurs, votre serviteur,” says he.
“Voil Voilà du mouton rôti ; voulezvous manger un peu avec moi?” Dr. Clerk
could not refrain laughing, but I payed a civil compliment or two to Monsieur
and he retired, bowing, carrying his mutton with him. 449.
I had occasion to see a particular diversion this day,
which they call “hauling the fox.”It is practised upon simple clowns. Near the
town there is a pond of about half a quarter of a mile broad. Across this they
lay a rope, and two or three strong fellows concealed in the bushes hold one
end of it. To a stump in view there is tied a large fox. When they can lay hold
of an ignorant clown, on the opposite side of the pond, they inveigle him by
degrees into the scrape, two people pretending to wager,one upon the fox’s
head, and the other upon the clown’s,twenty shillings or some such matter,
that the fox shall not or shall pull him thro’ the water in spite of his teeth.
The clown easily imagines himself stronger than the fox, and for a small reward
allows the rope to be put round his waist, which done, the sturdy fellows on
the other side, behind the bush, pull lustily for their friend the fox, who
sits tied to his stump all the time of the operation,being only a mere
spectator,and haul poor pilgarlick with great rapidity thro’ the pond, while
the water hisses and foams on each side of him as he ploughs the surface, and
his coat is well wet. I saw a poor country fellow treated in this manner. He
ran thro’ the water upon his back like a log of wood, making a frothy line
across the pond, and when he came out he shook himself, and swore he could not
have believed the fox had so much strength. They gave him twenty shillings to
help to dry his coat. He was pleased with the reward, and said that for so much
a time he would allow the fox to drag him thro’ the pond as often as he
Friday, August 10th.This
morning proving very rainy, I could not go abroad till twelve o’clock. At that
hour I went to Withered’s, where I dined, and from thence walked down the Long
Wharf with Mr. Hughes, Mr. Peach, and his brother. 451.
We saw a French prize brought in, which was taken by
Waterhouse, a Boston privateer. She was laden with wine, brandy, and some bail
goods to the value of 14,000 sterling. They expected in two more (fishing
vessels) taken by the same privateer. This Waterhouse has a wellfitted vessel
and a great many stout hands, but by some misbehaviour in letting go a small
privateer and a large merchant ship, he has acquired the character of
cowardice. He was tried upon the affair before the Governour and Council, but
acquitted himself tolerably, tho’ his character must forever suffer by it. 452.
We went on board of Mr. Peach’s schooner, in the harbour,
where we drank some Bristo’ bottled cider. From thence we went to Close street,
to visit Mrs. Blackater, where we saw the two young ladies, her daughters. They
are both pretty ladies, gay and airy. They appear generally at home in a loose
deshabille, which in a manner half hides and half displays their charms,
notwithstanding which they are clean and neat. Their fine complexion and shapes
are good, but they both squint and look two ways with their eyes. When they go
abroad they dress in a theatrical manner, and seem to study the art of
catching. There passed some flashes of wit and vivacity of expression in the
conversation heightened no doubt by the influencing smiles of the young ladies.
The old lady, after having under stood something of my history, gave me a kind
invitation to come and practise physick in Boston, ani proffered me her
business, and that of all the friend she could make, expressing a great regard
for he countrymen and particularly for physicians of tha nation, who, she said,
had the best character of any She entertained us much with the history of ;
brother of hers, one Philips,’ Governour of St. Mar tin’s, a small Dutch
settlement, and had got sever or eight copies of his picture done in graving,
hunt up in her room. Peach passed her a compliment and said the pictures were
exceeding like, for h knew her brother; but he told us afterwards tha they were
only words of course, for there was n more likeness betwixt the man and his
picture that betwixt a horse and a cow. This old woman i rich, and her
daughters are reputed fortunes. 453.
They are both beauties, and were it not for the squinting
part they would be of the first rate. 454.
After a very gay conversation of three hours, w went away
and I repaired to Withered’s to the Physical Club, where Dr. D gave us a
physical harangue upon a late book of surgery, published b., Heister,’ in which
he tore the poor author all b pieces and represented him as entirely ignorant o
the affair. Heister is a man of such known learn ing and such an established
character in Europe as sets him above any criticism from such a mal as D, who
is only a cynical mortal, so ful of his own learning that any other man’s is
not current with him. I have not as yet seen Heister’s book of surgery, but
D’s criticism, instead of depreciating it in my opinion, adds rather to its
character. I saw it recommended in the Physicw. News from Edinburgh, and the judgment of the literati in
physick of that place preponderates with me all that D can say against it. D
is of the clinical class of physicians, cries up empiricism, and practises upon
grounds which neither he himself nor anybody for him can reduce to so much as a
semblance of reason. He brags often of his having called Boerhaave a
helluo librorum in a thesis which
he published at Leyden, and takes care to inform us how much Boerhaave was
nettled at it; just as much, I believe, as a mastiff is at the snarling of a
little lapdog. There are in this town a set of halflearned physical prigs, to
whom he is an oracle (Dr. Clerk only excepted, who thinks for himself). Leaving
this company, quite sick of criticism I went home at eleven o’clock. 455.
Saturday, August 11th.I went
this morning with Mr. Peach and breakfasted upon chocolate at the house of one
Monsieur Bodineau, a Frenchman, living in School Street. This house was well
furnished with women of all sorts and sizes. There were old and young, tall and
short, fat and lean, ugly and pretty dames to be seen here. Among the rest was
a girl of small stature,no beauty, but there was life and sense in her
conversation; her wit was mixed with judgment and solidity, her thoughts were
quick, lively, and well expressed. She was, in fine, a proper mixture of the
French mercury and English phlegm. 456.
I went to Change at twelve o’clock, and dined with Mr.
Arbuthnot. I had a tune on the spinet from his daughter after dinner, who is a
pretty, agreeable lady, and sings well. I told her that she played the best
spinet that I had heard since I came to America. The old man, who is a blunt,
honest fellow, asked me if I could pay her no other compliment but that, which
dashed me a little; but I soon replied that the young lady was every way so
deserving and accomplished that nothing that was spoke in her commendation
could in a strict sense be called a compliment. I breathed a little after this
speech, there being something romantic in it, and considering human nature in a
proper light, could not be true. The young lady blushed; the old man was
pleased and picked his teeth; and I was conscious that I had talked nonsense.
I was disappointed in my intention of going to the Castle
with Messieurs Parker and Laughton. They called before I came home, and left
me, expecting that I would follow with Dr. Clerk, who did not keep the
appointment. I rid out in the evening with Messrs. Peach and Hughes to one
Jervise’s, who keeps publick house four miles out of town. This house is the
rendezvous of many of the gentry of both sexes, who make an evening’s promenade
in the summer time. There was a great deal of company, that came in chairs and
on horseback. I saw there my old friend Captain Noise.’ We drank punch, and
returned to town at eight o’clock at night. After some comical chat with La
Moinnerie, I went and supped at Withered’s with Messrs. Peach and Hughes. 458.
Sunday, August 12th.I went
this day, with Mr. Hughes and Peach, to Hooper’s meeting, dined at Laughton’s,
and went again to meeting in the afternoon, where I saw Mrs. Blackater and her
two daughters in a glaring dress. 459.
This day I was taken notice of in passing the street by a
lady who inquired of Mr. Hughes concerning me. “Lord!” said she, “what strange
mortal is that?” “‘T is the flower of the Maryland beaux,” said Hughes. “Good
God!” said the belle, “does that figure come from Maryland?” “Xtadam,” said
Hughes, “he is a Maryland physician.” “O Jesus! a physician! deuce take such
oddlooking physicians.” I desired Hughes when he told me of this conference to
give my humble service to the lady, and tell her that it gave me vast pleasure
to think that anything particular about my person could so attract her
resplendent eyes as to make her take notice of me in such a singular manner,
and that I intended to wait upon her that she might entertain her opticks with
my oddity, and I mine with her unparalleled charms. 460.
I took a walk on the Long Wharf after sermon, and spent
the evening very agreeably with Mr. Lightfoot and some other gentlemen at his
lodging. Our discourse began upon philosophy, and concluded in a smutty strain.
Monday, August 13th. I made a
tour thro’ the town in the forenoon with Mr. Hughes, and at a certain lady’s
house saw a white monkey. It was one of those that are brought from the
Muscetto shore and seemed a very strange creature. It was about a foot long in
its body, and in visage exceeding like an old man, there being no hair upon its
face, except a little white downy beard. It laughed and grinned like any
Christian (as people say), and was exceeding fond of its mistress, bussing her,
and handling her bubbies just like an old rake. One might well envy the brute,
for the lady was very handsome, so that it would have been no disagreeable
thing for a man to have been in this monkey’s place. It is strange to see how
fond these brutes are of women, and, on the other hand, how much the female
monkeys affect men. The progress of Nature is surprising in many such
instances. She seems by one connected gradation to pass from one species of
creatures to another, without any visible gap, interval, or
discontinuum in her works. But an
infinity of her operations is yet unknown to us. 462.
I allotted this afternoon to go to the Castle with Messrs.
Brazier and Hughes. Before dinner I called at Hooper’s, and agreed to go to
Cambridge with him tomorrow afternoon. 463.
Brazier, Hughes, and I took horse after dinner, and rid
round to the point, on purpose to go to the Castle, but were disappointed, no
boat coming for us. It rained, and, as we returned home again, we called in at
the Greyhound and drank some punch. Some children in the street took me for an
Indian king upon account of my laced hat and sunburnt visage. 464.
Tuesday, August 14th.I went
with La Moinnerie to dine at Withered’s, he having now got a permission from
the Governour to go abroad. We had there a good jolly company. 465.
Mr. Hooper put off our going to Cambridge till tomorrow,
so I went in the afternoon with Hughes to the house of Mr. Harding,’ and had
some conversation with a very agreeable lady there, Mr. Withered’s sister. This
lady cannot be deemed handsome, but to supply the want of that natural
accomplishment, which the sex are so very fond of, she had a great deal of good
sense and acquired knowledge, which appeared to the best advantage in every
turn of her discourse. The conversation was lively, entertaining, and solid;
neither tainted with false or trifling wit nor illnatured satire or
reflexion,of late so much the topic of teatables. I was glad to find that in
most of the politer cabals of ladies in this town, the odious theme of scandal
and detraction over their tea had become quite unfashionable and unpolite, and
was banished entirely to the assemblies of the meaner sort, where may it dwell
forever, quite disregarded and forgotten, retiring to that obscure place
Billingsgate, where the monster first took its origin. 466.
Going from this house, we went and surveyed a ship upon
the stocks, that was intended for a privateer. I spent the evening with Mr.
Parker, where I drank good port wine, and heard news of six prizes carried into
New York by the company of privateers there. There was in our company one Hill,
who told us a long insipid story concerning a squinteyed parson, a cat, and
the devil. I had a letter from Miss Withered to her brother in Maryland, who
lives upon Sassafras River. 467.
Wednesday, August 15th.I went
this morning with Messrs. Hooper and Hughes to Cambridge. Upon the road we met
two of the French Mohooks on horseback, dressed,
a la mode française, with laced
hats, fulltrimmed coats, and ruffled shirts. One of them was an old fellow;
the other a young man with a squaw mounted behind him. The squaw seemed to be a
pretty woman, all bedaubed with wampum. They were upon little roan horses, and
had a journey of above 700 miles to make by land. Upon the road to Cambridge,
the lands are enclosed with fine stone fences, and some of the gates have posts
of one entire stone, set right up upon end, about eight or ten feet high. The
country all round is open and pleasant, and there is a great number of pretty
country houses scattered up and down. 468.
WHEN we came to Cambridge we waited upon Mr. Hollyhoak,l
the president, who sent the librarian 2 to show us the college and the library.
Cambridge is a scattered town about the largeness of Annapolis, and is
delightfully situated upon a pleasant plain near a pretty river of the same
name,’ over which is a wooden bridge. The college is a square building or
quadrangle about 150 feet every way. The building upon the left hand as you
enter the court is the largest and handsomest and most ancient, being about roo
years old; but the middle or front building is indifferent, and of no taste.
That upon the right hand has a little clock upon it, which has a very good
bell. In the library are three or four thousand volumes with some curious
editions of the classics, presented to the college by Dean Barklay. There are
some curiosities, the best of which is the cut of a tree about ten inches thick
and eight long, entirely petrified and turned into stone. 469.
CHARLESTOWN FERRYCASTLE OF BOSTON
WE returned from Cambridge by the way of Charlestown.
Crossing that ferry to Boston, we dined at Withered’s with a pretty large
company, and in the afternoon had a pleasant sail to the Castle, where the
Governour and Assembly were met, to consult about fortifying of Governour’s
Island, which is situated just opposite to that whereon the Castle stands. This
Castle consists of a large halfmoon with two bastions, defended with a glacis
of earth and wood which is cannon proof. Upon these are mounted about forty
great iron guns, each thirtytwopounders. Upon the higher works or walls of
this Castle are mounted above one hundred smaller guns, most of them twelve or
eighteenpounders. Upon the most eminent place is a lookout, where stands the
flagstaff, and where a sentry is always posted. From here you can see pretty
plainly with a spyglass. 470.
ABOUT nine miles farther out, upon a small island is the
Lighthouse, which is a high stone building in form of a sugarloaf, upon the
top of which every night they burn oil, to direct and guide the vessels at sea
into the harbour. There is a drawwell in the Castle, which is covered with an
arch of brick and stone in fashion of a vault. In the most eminent place is a
square court, upon one side of which is a chapel and stateroom, upon the other
some dwellinghouses. 471.
We went to see Mr. Philips, the chaplain there, and
returned to town at nine o’clock at night. I supped with Hughes at Withered’s,
and saw one Mr. Simmonds there, a gentleman residing at Charleston in South
Carolina, who was going there by land, and proposed to go in company with me to
Thursday, August 26th.I stayed
at home most of the forenoon and had a deal of chat with La Moinnerie. I
regretted much that I should be obliged to leave this facetious companion so
soon, upon the account of losing his diverting conversation, and the
opportunity of learning to speak good French, for he used to come to my room
every morning and hold forth an hour before breakfast. 473.
I intended to begin my journey homeward tomorrow. I dined
with Hughes at Dr. Gardiner’s, and our table talk was agreeable and
instructing, divested of these trifles with which it is commonly loaded. We
visited at Mrs. Blackater’s in the afternoon, and had the pleasure of drinking
tea with one of her fair daughters, the old woman and the other daughter being
gone to their country farm. 474.
I went in the evening with Mr. Hughes to a club at
Withered’s, where we had a deal of discourse in the disputatory way. One Mr.
Clackenbridge (very properly so named upon account of the volubility of his
tongue) was the chief disputant as to verbosity and noise, but not as to sense
or argument. This was a little dapper fellow, full of the opinion of his own
learning. He pretended to argue against all the company, but like a confused
logician he could not hold an argument long, but wandered from one topic to
another, leading us all into confusion and loud talking. He set up for a
womanhater, and preferring what he called liberty before every other enjoyment
in life, he therefore decried marriage as a political institution, destructive
of human liberty. 475.
My head being quite turned this night with this confused
dispute, and the thoughts of my journey tomorrow, I got into a strange fit of
absence; for, having occasion to go out of the company two or three times to
talk with Mr. Withered, I heedlessly every time went into a room where there
was a strange company, as I returned, and twice sat down in the midst of them,
nor did I discover I was in the wrong box till I found them all staring at me.
For the first slip I was obliged to form the best apology I could, but at the
second hit I was so confused and saw them so inclinable to laugh that I ran out
at the door precipitately, without saying anything and betook me to the right
company. I went to my lodging at twelve o’clock. 476.
I need scarce take notice that Boston is the largest town
in North America, being much about the same extent as the city of Glasgow in
Scotland, and having much the same number of inhabitants, which is between
twenty and thirty thousand. It is considerably larger than either Philadelphia
or New York, but the streets are irregularly disposed, and in general too
narrow. The best street in the town is that which runs down towards the Long
Wharf, which goes by the name of King’s Street. This town is a considerable
place for shipping, and carries on a great trade in time of peace. There are
now above one hundred ships in the harbour, besides a great number of small
craft, tho’ now upon account of the war the times are very dead. The people of
this Province chiefly follow farming and merchandise. Their staples are
shipping, lumber, and fish. The Government is so far democratic as that the
election of the Governour’s Council and the great officers is made by the
members of the Lower House, or Representatives of the people. Mr. Shirley,’ the
present Governour, is a man of excellent sense and understanding, and is very
well respected there. He understands how to humour the people, and at the same
time acts for the interest of the Government. 477.
Boston is better fortified against an enemy than any port
in North America, not only upon account of the strength of the Castle, but the
narrow passage up into the harbour, which is not above 16o feet wide in the
channel at high water. 478.
There are many different religions and persuasions here,
but the chief sect is that of the Presbyterians. There are above twentyfive
churches, chapels, and meetings in the town, but the Quakers here have but a
small remnant, having been banished the Province at the first settlement upon
account of some disturbances they raised. The people here have lately been, and
indeed are now in great confusion and much infested with enthusiasm from the
preaching of some fanatics and Newlight teachers, but now this humour begins to
lessen. The people art generally more captivated with speculative than with
practical religion. It is not by half such a flagrant sin to cheat and cozen
one’s neighbour, as it is to ride about for pleasure on the sabbath day, or to
neglect going to church and singing of psalms. The middling sort of people here
are to a degree disingenuous and dissembling, which appears even in their
common conversation, in which their indirect and dubious answers to the
plainest and fairest questions show their suspicions of one another. The better
sort are polite, mannerly, and hospitable to strangers,such strangers I mean
as come not to trade among them (for of them they are jealous). There is more
hospitality and frankness shown here to strangers than either at York or at
Philadelphia, and in the place there is an abundance of men of learning and
parts so that one is at no loss for agreeable conversation, nor for any set of
company he pleases. Assemblies of the gayer sort are frequent here, the
gentlemen and ladies meeting almost every week at concerts of musick and balls.
I was present at two or three such, and saw as fine a ring of ladies, as good
dancing, and heard musick as elegant as I had been wit ness to anywhere. I must
take notice that this place abounds with pretty women, who appear rather more
abroad than they do at York, and dress elegantly. hey are for the most part
free and affable as well as pretty. saw not one prude while I was here. 479.
The paper currency of these Provinces is now very much
depreciated, and the price or value of silver rises every day, their money
being now six for one upon sterling. They have a variety of paper currencies in
the Provinces; viz., that of New Hampshire, the Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
and Connecticut, all of different value, divided and subdivided into old and
new tenors, so that it is a science to know the nature and value of their
moneys, and what will cost a stranger some study and application. 480.
Dr. Douglass has writ a compleat treatise upon all the
different kinds of paper currencies in America,’ which I was at the pains to
read. It was the expense of the Canada expedition that first brought this
Province in debt and put them upon the project of issuing bills of credit. 481.
Their money is chiefly founded upon land security, but
the reason of its falling so much in value is their issuing from time to time
such large sums of it, and their taking no care to make payments at the
expiration of the stated terms. They are notoriously guilty of this in Rhode
Island Colony, so that now it is dangerous to pass their new moneys in the
other parts of New England, it being a high penalty to be found so doing. This
fraud must light heavily upon posterity. This is the only part ever I knew
where gold and silver coin is not commonly current. 482.
Friday, August 17th. I left
Boston this morning at half an hour after nine o’clock, and nothing I regretted
so much as parting with La Moinnerie, the most lively and merry companion ever
I had met with, always gay and chearful, now dancing and then singing, tho’
every day in danger of being made a prisoner. This is the peculiar humour of
the French in prosperity and adversity. Their temper is always alike, far
different from the English, who, upon the least misfortune are for the most
part clogged and overclouded with melancholy and vapours, and giving way to
hard fortune shun all gayety and mirth. La Moinnerie was much concerned at my
going away and wished me again and again un
bon voyage and bonne santé, keeping fast hold of my stirrup for about
a quarter of an hour. 483.
I HAD a solitary ride to Dedham, where I breakfasted at
Fisher’s and had some comical chat with Betty, the landlady’s daughter, a jolly
buxom girl. The country people here are full of salutations, even the country
girls that are scarce old enough to walk will curtsy to one passing by. A great
lubberly boy with short cut hair, having no cap, put his hand to his forehead
as I passed him, in fashion as if he had been pulling off his cap. 484.
I DINED at Mann’s in the town of Wrentham, at was served
by a fat Irish girl, very pert and fo ward, but not very engaging. I proceeded
the night to Hake’s, where I lay. There was here large company, and among the
rest a doctor, a to thin man, about whom nothing appeared remar: able but his
dress. He had a weatherbeaten black wig, an old striped collimancoe banyan and
antique brass spur upon his right ankle, and pair of thicksoaled shoes tied
with points. The told me he was the learnedest physician of the parts. 485.
I went upstairs at nine o’clock and heard n landlady at
prayers for an hour after I went to be The partition was thin, and I could
distinctly he, what she said. She abounded with tautologies at groaned very
much in the spirit, praying again at again for the fulness o f grace and the
blessing 4 regeneration and the new birth. 486.
Saturday, August 18th.I set
out from Hake’s betwixt seven and eight in the morning, the weather being
cloudy and close. I went by the way of Providence, which is a small but long
town, situated close upon the water, upon rocky ground, much like Marblehead,
but not a sixth part so large. It is the seat of Government in Providence
Colony, there being an Assembly of the Delegates sometimes held here. 487.
ABOUT four miles northeast of this town there runs a small
river, which falls down a rock, about three fathoms high, over which fall there
is a wooden bridge. The noise of the fall so scared my horses that I was
obliged to light and lead them over the bridge. At this place there are iron
works. I breakfasted in Providence at one Angell’s,2 at the sign of the White
Horse, a queer pragmatical old fellow, pretending to great correctness of style
in his common discourse. I found this fellow at the door, and asked him if the
house was not kept by one Angell. He answered in a surly manner: “No.” “Pardon
me,” says I, “they recommended me to such a house.” So, as I turned away, being
loath to lose his customer, he called me back. “Hark ye, friend,” says he, in
the same blunt manner, “Angell don’t keep the house, but the house keeps
Angell.” I hesitated for some time if I should give this surly chap my custom,
but resolved at last to reap some entertainment from the oddity of the fellow.
While I waited for the chocolate which I had ordered for
breakfast, Angell gave me an account of his religion and opinions, which I
found were as much out of the common road as the man himself. I observed a
paper pasted upon the wall, which was a rabble of dull controversy betwixt two
learned divines, of as great consequence to the publiek as
The Story o f the King and the Cobbler
The Celebrated History o f the Wise Men o f
Gotharn. This controversy was intituled
Cannons to batter the Tower of Babel.
Among the rest of the chamber furniture were several elegant pictures, finely
illuminated and coloured, being the famous piece of
The Battle for the Breeches, The Twelve Golden
Rules, taken from King Charles I’s study, of blessed memory (as he is
very judiciously styled),
The Christian Coat o f Arms, & c., &
c.,, in which pieces are set forth divine attitudes and elegant
passions, all sold by Overton, that inimitable alehouse designer at the White
Horse without Newgate. 489.
I left this town at ten o’clock, and was taken by some
children in the street for a trooper, on account of my pistols. 490.
PROVIDENCE FERRYFERRY BRISTO’FERRY RHODE
I CROSSED Providence Ferry betwixt ten and eleven o’clock,
and after some difficulty in finding my way, I crossed another ferry about four
miles eastward of Bristol. I arrived in Bristol at one o’clock, and a little
after crossed the ferry to Rhode Island, and dined at Burden’s. I departed
thence at four o’clock, but was obliged to stop twice before I got to Newport
upon the account of rain. 491.
I went into a house for shelter, where were several young
girls, the daughters of the good woman of the house. They were as simple and
awkward as sheep, and so wild that they would not appear in open view, but kept
peeping at me from behind doors, chests, and benches. The country people in
this island in general are very unpolished and rude. 492.
I ENTERED Newport betwixt seven and eight at night, a
thick fog having risen, so that I could scarce find the town. When within a
quarter of a mile of it my man, upon account of the portmanteau, was in the
dark taken for a peddler by some people in the street, whom I heard coming
about him and inquiring what he had got to sell. I put up at Niccoll’s, at the
sign of the White Horse, and lying there that night was almost eat up alive
with bugs. 493.
Sunday, August 19th.I called
upon Dr. Moffatt in the morning, and went with him to a windmill near the town
to look out for vessels, but could spy none. The mill was agoing, and the
miller in it grinding of corn, which is an instance of their not being so
observant of Sunday here as in the other parts of New England. 494.
I dined at Dr. Moffatt’s lodging, and in the afternoon
went to a Baptist meeting to hear sermon. A middleaged man preached, and gave
us a pretty good tho’ trite discourse upon morality. I took lodging at one Mrs.
Leech’s, a Quaker, who keeps an apothecary’s shop, a sensible, discreet, and
industrious old woman. 495.
Dr. Moffatt took me out this evening to walk near the
town, where are a great many pleasant walks amidst avenues of trees. We viewed
Mr. Malbone’s house and gardens, and as we returned home met Malbone himself,
with whom we had some talk about news. We were met by a hand some bonaroba in
a flaunting dress, who laughed us full in the face. Malbone and I supposed she
was a paramour of Moffatt’s, for none of us knew her. We bantered him upon it,
and discovered the truth of our conjecture by raising a blush in his face. 496.
Monday, August 20th.I made a
tour round the town this morning with Dr. Moffatt. I dined with him, and in the
afternoon went to the coffeehouse, and after drinking a dish of coffee, we
went with Mr. Grant, a Scotch gentleman in town, and took a walk across one end
of the island, where we had several delightful views to the water. There is one
cliff here, just bluff upon the ocean, called Hog’shole, out of which filtre
some springs of very fine fresh water. It affords a cool, pleasant shade in the
summer time, for which reason the ladies go there to drink tea in a summer’s
afternoon. We encountered some fair dames there, and had abundance of gallantry
and romping. 497.
At seven o’clock I went with one Mr. Scot’ to a Club,
which sits once a week upon Mondays, called the Philosophical Club. But I was
surprised to find that no matters of philosophy were brought upon the carpet.
They talked of privateering and building of vessels; then we had the history of
some old families in Scotland, where, by the bye, Grant told us a comic piece
of history relating to General Wade’ and Lord Lovat. The latter had somehow
fore made it his business to get him turned out of a Colonel’s commission which
he then possessed. What he accused him of was his keeping a ragamuffin company
of cowherds and other such trash to make the number of his regiment compleat,
while he put the pay in his own pocket. Wade upon a time comes to review this
regiment. Lovat being advertised beforehand of this review laid his scheme so
that he procured a parcel of likely fellows to come upon the field, who made a
tolerable appearance. When the General had reviewed them, my Lord asked him
what he thought of his men. “Very good cowherds in faith, my Lord,” replied the
General. Lovat asked what his Excellency meant by that reply. The General
answered that he was ordered to signify his Majesty’s pleasure to him that he
should serve no longer as Colonel of that regiment. “Look ye, sir,” says Lovat,
“his Majesty may do in that affair as he pleases; it is his gift, and he may
take it again, but one thing he cannot without just reason take from me, which
makes a wide difference betwixt you and me.” Wade desired him to explain
himself. “Why, thus it is,” says Lovat : “When the king takes away my
commission I am still Lord Lovat; when he takes yours away, pray observe, sir,
that your name is George Wade.” This unconcerned behaviour nettled Wade very
much and blunted the edge of his revenge. After this history was given, the
company fell upon the disputes and controversies of the fanatics of these
parts, their declarations, recantations, letters, advices, remonstrances, and
other such damned stuff, of so little consequence to the benefit of mankind or
the publick that I looked upon all time spent ii either talking concerning them
or reading thei works as eternally lost and thrown away, and there fore
disgusted with such a stupid subject of dis course, I left this Club and went
Tuesday, August 21st.I stayed
at home most of the forenoon and read Murcius, which I had of Dr. Moffatt, a
most luscious piece, from whom all our modern salacious poets have borrowed
their thoughts. I did not read this book upon account of its lickerish
contents, but only because I knew it to be a piece of excellent good Latin, and
I wanted to inform myself of the proper idiom of ye language upon that subject.
I walked out betwixt twelve and one with Dr. Moffatt, and
viewed Malbone’s house and gardens. We went to the lanthern or cupola at top,
from which we had a pretty view of the town of Newport and of the sea towards
Block Island, and behind the house of a pleasant mount, gradually ascending to
a great height, from which we can have a view of almost the whole island.
Returning from thence, we went to the coffeehouse, where, after drinking some
punch, the doctor and I went to dine with Mr. Grant. After dinner I rid out of
town in a chaise with Dr. Keith, one Captain Williams’ accompanying us on
WE called at a publick house, which goes by the name of
Whitehall, kept by one Anthony, about three miles out of town, once the
dwellinghouse of the famous Dean Barclay,’ when in this island, and built by
him. As we went along the road, we had a number of agreeable prospects. 501.
At Anthony’s we drank punch and tea, and had the company
of a handsome girl, his daughter, to whom Captain Williams expressed a deal of
gallantry. She was the most unaffected and best behaved country girl ever I met
with. Her modesty had nothing of the prude in it, nor had her frolicksome
freeness any dash of impudence. 502.
We returned to town at seven o’clock, and spent the rest
of the night at the coffeehouse, where our ears were not only frequently
regaled with the sound of very welcome, sir, and
very welcome, gentlemen, pronounced solemnly,
slowly, and with an audible voice to such as came in and went out by Hassey, a
queer old dog, the keeper of the coffeehouse, but we were likewise alarmed (not
charmed) for half an hour by a man who sang with such a trumpet note that I was
afraid he would shake down the walls of the house about us. I went home betwixt
nine and ten o’clock. 503.
Wednesday, August 22d.I stayed at home
all this morning, and betwixt twelve and one, going to the coffeehouse, I met
Dr. Keith and Captain Williams. We tossed the news about for some time. Hassey,
who keeps this coffeehouse, is a comical old whimsical fellow. He imagines
that he can discover the longitude, and affirms that it is no way to be done
but by an instrument made of whalebone and cartilage or gristle. He carried his
notions so far as to send proposals to the Provincial Assembly about it, who,
having called him before them, he was asked if he was a proficient in the
mathematicks. “Why, lookee, gentlemen,” says he, “suppose a great stone lies in
the street, and you want to move it, unless there be some moving cause, how the
devil shall it move?” The Assembly finding him talk thus in parables, dismissed
him as a crazy gentleman, whom too little learning had made mad. He gives this
as his opinion of Sir Isaac Newton and Lord Verulam, that they were both very
great men, but still they both had certain foibles, by which they made it known
that they were mortal men, whereas had he been blessed with such a genius, he
would have made the world believe that he was immortal, as both Enos and Elias
had done long ago. He talks much of cutting the American isthmus in two, so to
make a short passage to the south seas, and if the powers of Europe cannot
agree about it he says he knows how to make a machine with little expense, by
the help of which ships may be dragged over that narrow neck of land with all
the ease imaginable, it being but a trifle of loo miles, and so we may go to
the East Indies, a much easier and shorter way than doubling the Cape of Good
Hope. He has a familiar phrase, which is, “very welcome, sir,” and “very
welcome, gentlemen,” which he pronounces with a solemn sound, as often as
people come in or go out. 504.
I dined with Captain Williams and at six o’clock went
again to the coffeehouse. At seven we called upon some ladies in town, and
made an appointment for a promenade. In the meantime Dr. Keith and I went to
the prison, and there had some conversation with a French gentleman, a
prisoner, and with one judge Pemberton,’ a man of good learning and sense.
While we were there one Captain B;,112 called in, who seemed to be a droll old
man. He entertained us for half an hour with comical stories and dry jokes. At
eight o’clock we waited on the ladies, and with them walked a little way out of
town to a place called the Little Rock. Our promenade continued two hours, and
they entertained us with several songs. We enjoyed all the pleasures of
gallantry without transgressing the rules of modesty or good manners. There
were six in company at this promenade; viz., three dames and three gallants.
The belle who fell to my lot pleased me exceedingly, both in looks and
conversation. Her name was Miss Clerk,’ daughter to a merchant in town. After a
parting salute, according to the mode of the place, I with reluctance bid the
ladies farewell, expressing some regret that being a stranger in their town,
and obliged soon to leave it, I should perhaps never have the happy opportunity
of their agreeable company again. They returned their good wishes for my
compliment, so I went to my lodging, and, after some learned chat with my
landlady concerning the apothecary’s craft, I went to bed. 505.
Thursday, August 23d.It rained hard all
this morning, and therefore I stayed at home till twelve o’clock. Mr. Moffatt
came to breakfast with me, and he and I went to the coffeehouse betwixt twelve
and one. We saw there some Spaniards that had been taken in the snow prize. One
of them was a very handsome man and well behaved; none of that stiffness and
solemnity about him commonly ascribed to their nation, but perfectly free and
easy in his behaviour, rather bordering upon the French vivacity. His name was
Don Manuel (I don’t know what). He spoke good French and Latin, and ran out
very much in praise of the place, the civility and humanity of the people, and
the charms of the ladies. 506.
I dined at Mr. Grant’s, and went with Dr. Moffatt in the
afternoon to visit Dr. Brett, where we had a deal of learned discourse about
microscopical experiments, and the order, elegance, and uniformity of Nature in
the texture of all bodies, both animate and inanimate. I spent the evening at
Dr. Moffatt’s lodging, along with Mr. Wanthon,l the collector, and Mr. Grant, a
young gentleman of the place, and Dr. Brett, and returned to my lodging at ten
I found the people in Newport very civil and courteous in
their way. I had several invitations to houses in town, all of which because of
my short stay I could not accept of. They carry on a good trade in this place
in time of peace, and build a great many vessels. The island is famous for
making of good cheeses, but I think those made in the Jerseys as good, if not
preferable. In time of war this place is noted for privateering, which business
they carry on with great vigour and alacrity. The island has fitted out now
thirteen or fourteen privateers, and is daily equipping more. 508.
While I stayed in this place they sent in several
valuable prizes, but, notwithstanding this warlike apparatus abroad, they are
but very sorrily fortified at home. The rocks in their harbour are the best
security; for the fort, which stands upon an island, about a mile from the
town, is the futilest thing of that nature ever I saw. It is a building of near
aoo feet square, of stone and brick, the wall being about fifteen feet high,
with a bastion and watchtower on each corner, but so exposed to cannon shot
that it could be battered about their ears in ten minutes. A little distance
from this fort is a battery of seventeen or eighteen great guns. 509.
They are not so straitlaced in religion here as in the
other parts of New England. They have among them a great number of Quakers. The
island is the most delightful spot of ground I have seen in America. I can.
compare it to nothing but one entire garden. For rural scenes and pretty, frank
girls, I found it the most agreeable place I had been in thro’ all my
I am sorry to say that the people in their dealings one
with another, and even with strangers in matters of truck or bargain, have as
bad a character for chicane and disingenuity as any of our American Colonies.
Their government is somewhat democratick, the people choosing their Governour
from among their own number every year by poll votes. 511.
One Mr. Green’ is now Governour; the House of Assembly
chooses the Council. They have but little regard to the laws of England, their
mother country, tho’ they pretend to take that constitution for a precedent.
Collectors and naval officers here are a kind of ciphers.
They dare not exercise their office for fear of the fury and unruliness of the
people, but their places are profitable, upon account of the presents they
receive for every cargo of run goods. This Colony separated itself from New
England, and was formed into a different government thro’ some religious
quarrel that happened betwixt them. It is customary here to adorn their chimney
panels with birds’ wings, peacock feathers, and butterflies. 513.
Friday, August 24th.Going to
breakfast this morning I found a stranger with Mrs. Leech, who in sixteen days
had come from Maryland, and had been there about some business relating to iron
works. When I came into the room he asked Mrs. Leech if this was the gentleman
that came from Maryland. She replied yes; then turning to me he acquainted me
that he had lately been there, and had seen several people whom he supposed I
knew, but he was fain to leave the place in a hurry, the agues and fevers
beginning to be very frequent. He gave me an account of his having seen some of
my acquaintances well at Joppa. I was glad to hear good news from home, it
being now above three months since I had any intelligence from there. 514.
I called at Dr. Moffatt’s after breakfast, who
entertained me for half an hour with his sun microscope, which is a very
curious apparatus, and not only magnifies the object incredibly, upon the
movable screen, but affords a beautiful variety and surprising intermixture of
coloars. He showed me a small spider, the down of a moth’s wing, the down of
feathers, and a fly’s eye, in all of which objecis Nature’s uniformity and
beautiful design, in the most minute parts of her work, appeared. The doctor
walked to the ferry landing with me, and there we took leave of one another.
CONNANICUT FERRY NARRAGANSETT
I HAD a tedious passage to Connanicut. It being quite calm
we were obliged to row most of the way. Our passage was more expeditious over
Narragansett Ferry, and there I had the company of a Rhode Islander all the way
to Kingstown, where I dined at Case’s in the company of some majors and
captains, it being a training day. Betwixt Case’s and Hill’s I was overtaken by
a gentleman of consider able fortune here. He has a large house close upon the
road, and is possessor of a very large farm, where he milks daily 104 cows, and
has besides a vast stock of other cattle. He invited me into his house, but I
thanked him and proceeded, the sun being low. 516.
I put up at Hill’s about sunset, and inquired there at
the landlord concerning this gentleman. Hill informed me that he was a man of
great estate, but of base character, for being constituted one of the committee
for signing the public bills of credit, he had counterfeited 50,000 pounds of
false bills, and made his brethren of the committee sign them, and then
counterfeited their names to 50,000 pounds of genuine bills, which the
government had then issued. This piece of villany being detected the whole
Ioo,ooo pounds was called in by the Government and he fined in 30,000 pounds to
save his ears. But I think the fate of such a wealthy villain should have been
the gallows, and his whole estate should have gone to repair the publick
As one rides along the road in this part of the country,
there are whole hedges of barberries. 518.
Saturday, August 25th.I set off at
seven o’clock from Hill’s, and it being a thick mist I had a dull solitary ride
to Thomson’s, where I breakfasted, being overtaken by a Seventhday man going
to meeting. Thankful, a jolly, buxom girl, the landlady’s daughter, made me
some chocolate, for which I did not thank her, it being sorry stuff. I departed
from there a little after ten, in the company of some Seventhday men going to
CONNECTICUT GOVERNMENT STONINGTON
IN this government of Rhode Island and Providence, you may
travel without molestation upon Sunday, which you cannot do in Connecticut or
the Massachusetts Province without a pass, because here they are not agreed
what day of the week the sabbath is to be kept, some observing it upon Saturday
and others upon Sunday. 520.
I dined at Williams’s at Stonington with a Boston
merchant named Gardiner, and one Boyd, a Scotch Irish peddler. The peddler
seemed to understand his business to a hair. He sold some dear bargains to Mrs.
Williams, and while he smoothed her up with palaver the Bostoner amused her
with religious cant. This peddler told me he had been some time ago at
Annapolis, at some horse races, and inquired after some people there. He gave
me a description of B ie Mt, whose lodger he had been, and gave me a piece of
secret history concerning Pl Rz, the Portuguese, and Ny Hy, how they passed
for man and wife when they were in Philadelphia and the neighbourhood of that
city. Our conversation at dinner was a medley. Gardiner affected much learning
and the peddler talked of trade. 521.
NEW LONDON FERRYNEW LONDON
I LEFT Williams’s about half an hour after three, and
icrossing the ferry a little after five o’clock, I arrived at New London and
put up at Duchand’s, at the sign of the Anchor. I did not know till now that I
had any relations in this town. A parcel of children, as I rid up the lane,
saluted me with “How d’ye, uncle? Welcome to town, uncle.” 522.
Sunday, August 26th.I stayed at home
most of the forenoon, and was invited to dine with Collector Lechmere, son to
the surveyor at Boston. There was at table there one Dr. Goddard and an old
maid, whom they called Miss Katy, being a great fat woman with a red face, as
much like an old maid as a fryingpan. There sat by her a young modestlooking
lady, dressed in black, whom Mr. Lechmere called Miss Nancy, and next her, a
walnutcoloured thin woman, sluttishly dressed, and very hard favoured. 523.
These ladies went to meeting after dinner, and we three
sat drinking of punch, and telling of droll stories. 524.
I went home at six o’clock, and Deacon Green’s son came to
see me. He entertained me with the history of the behaviour of one Davenport,’
a fanatick preacher there, who told his flock in one of his enthusiastic
rhapsodies, that in order to be saved they ought to burn all their idols. They
began this conflagration with a pile of books in the publick street, among
which were Tillotson’s
Thoughts, Drillincourt on
Death, Sherlock, and many other
excellent authors, and sang psalms and hymns over the pile while it was
aburning. They did not stop here, but the women made up a lofty pile of hoop
petticoats, silk gowns, short cloaks, cambrick caps, redheeled shoes, fans,
necklaces, gloves, and other such apparel, and, what was merry enough,
Davenport’s own idol, with which he topped the pile, was a pair of old woreout
plush breeches, but this bonfire was happily prevented by one more moderate
than the rest, who found means to persuade them that making such a sacrifice
was not necessary for their salvation, and so every one carried off their idols
again, which was lucky for Davenport . . ., for the devil another pair of
breeches had he but these same old plush ones which were going to be offered up
as an expiatory sacrifice. Mr. Green took his leave of me at ten o’clock, and I
went to bed. 525.
Monday, Augusta7th.Aftervisiting Deacon
Green this morning, and drinking tea with him and wife, he gave me a packet for
his son Jonas at Annapolis. The old man was very inquisitive about the state of
religion with us, what kind of ministers we had, and if the people were much
addicted to godliness. I told him that the ministers minded hogsheads of
tobacco more than points of doctrine, either orthodox or heterodox, and that
the people were very prone to a certain religion called selfinterest. 526.
I LEFT New London betwixt eight and nine o’clock in the
morning, and crossed Hantick Ferry’ or the Gut, a little before ten. This is an
odd kind of a ferry, the passage across it not being above fifty paces wide,
and yet the inlet of water here from the Sound is near threequarters of a mile
broad. This is occasioned by a long narrow point or promontory of hard sand and
rock, at its broadest part not above twelve paces over, which runs out from the
western towards the eastern shore of this inlet, and is above half a mile long,
so leaves but a small gut, where the tide runs very rapid and fierce. The scow
that crosses here goes by a rope, which is fixed to a stake at each side of the
gut, and the scow is fastened to the main rope by an iron ring, which slides
upon it, else the rapidity of the tide would carry scow and passengers and all
NANTIQUE, AN INDIAN TOWN
A LITTLE after I passed this ferry I rid close by an
Indian town upon the left hand situated upon the brow of a hill. This town is
called Nantique and consists of thirteen or fourteen huts or wigwams made of
I PASSED over a bridge in very bad repair, for which I
paid eightpence toll, which here is something more than a penny farthing
sterling, and coming down to Seabrook Ferry upon Connecticut River, I waited
there three or four hours, at the house of one Mather, before I could get
passage. The wind blew hard at northwest with an ebb tide, which the ferrymen
told me would have carried us out into the Sound had we attempted to pass. 529.
Mather and I had some talk about the opinions lately
broached here in religion. He seemed a man of some solidity and sense, and
condemned Whitefield’s conduct in these parts very much. After dinner there
came in a rabble of clowns, who fell to disputing upon points of divinity as
learnedly as if they had been professed theologues. ‘T is strange to see how
this humour prevails, even among the lower class of the people here. They will
talk so pointedly about justification, sanctification, adoption, regeneration,
repentance, free grace, reprobation, original sin, and a thousand other such
pretty chimerical knickknacks, as if they had done nothing but studied divinity
all their lifetime, and perused all the lumber of the scholastic divines, and
yet the fellows look as much, or rather more like clowns, than the very
riffraff of our Maryl2nd planters. To talk in this dialect in our parts would
be like Greek, Hebrew, or Arabick. 530.
I met with an old paralytic man in this house, named
Henderson, who let me know that he had travelled the world in his youthful days
and had been in Scotland, and lived some years in Edinburgh. He condemned much
the conduct of the late enthusiasts here, by which he put some of our clowns in
company in a fret, but the old man regarded them not, going on with his
discourse, smoking his pipe, and shaking his gray locks. I was very much taken
with his conversation, and he seemingly with mine, for he gave me many a hearty
shake by the hand at parting, and wished me much prosperity, health, and a safe
return home. 531.
I CROSSED the ferry at five o’clock. This river of
Connecticut is navigable for fifty miles up the country. Upon it are a good
many large trading towns, but the branches of the river run up above two
hundred miles. We could see the town of Seabrook below us on the western side
of the river. I 532.
I lodged this night at one Mrs. Lay’s, a widow woman, who
keeps a good house upon the road, about six miles from Seabrook. I had much
difficulty to find the roads upon this side Connecticut River. They wind and
turn so much, and are divided into such a number of small paths. I find they
are not quite so scrupulous about bestowing titles here as in Maryland. My
landlady goes here by the name of Madam Lay. I cannot tell for what, for she is
the homeliest piece both as to mien, make, and dress that ever I saw, being a
little roundshouldered woman, palefaced and wrinkly, clothed in the coarsest
homespun cloth; but it is needless to dispute her right to the title, since we
know many upon whom it is bestowed who have as little right as she. 533.
Tuesday, August 28th.I
departed Lay’s at seven in the morning, and rid some miles thro’ a rocky high
land, the wind blowing pretty sharp and cool at northwest. 534.
A LITTLE after eight o’clock, I passed thro’
Killingsworth, a small town, pleasantly situated. I breakfasted at one Scran’s,
about half way betwixt Killingsworth and Gilford. This is a jolly old man, very
fat and pursy, and very talkative and full of history. He had been an American
soldier in Queen Anne’s war, and had travelled thro’ most of the continent of
North America. 535.
He inquired of me if poor Dick of Noye was alive, which
question I had frequently put to me in my travels. 536.
GOING from this house, I passed thro’ Gilford at eleven
o’clock in company of an old man, whom I overtook upon the road. He showed me a
curious stone bridge, within a quarter of a mile of this town. It lay over a
small brook, and was one entire stone about ten feet long, six broad, and eight
or ten inches thick, being naturally bent in the form of an arch, without the
help of a chisel to cut it into that shape. “Observe here, sir,” says the old
man, “you may ride i,ooo miles and not meet with such a stone.” Gilford is a
pretty town, built upon a pleasant plain. In it there is a meeting, upon the
steeple of which is a publiek clock. 537.
I CAME to Branford, another scattered town, built upon
high rocky ground, a little after one o’clock, where I dined at the house of
one Frazer. Going from thence I passed thro’ a pleasant, delightful part of the
country, being a medley of fine green plains, and little rocky and woody hills,
caped over as it were with bushes. 538.
I CROSSED Newhaven Ferry betwixt four and five o’clock in
the afternoon. This is a pleasant navigable river that runs thro’ a spacious
green plain into the Sound. 539.
I arrived in Newhaven at five o’clock, where I put up at
one Monson’s at ye sign of ye Halfmoon. There is but little good liquor to be
had in the publick houses upon this road. A man’s horses are better provided
for than himself, but he pays dear for it. The publickhouse keepers seem to be
somewhat wild and shy when a stranger calls. It is with difficulty you can get
them to speak to you, show you a room, or ask you what you would have, but they
will gape and stare when you speak, as if they were quite astonished. Newhaven
is a pretty large, scattered town, laid out in squares, much in the same manner
as Philadelphia, but the houses are sparse and thin sown. It stands on a large
plain, and upon all sides (excepting the south, which faces the Sound) it is
enclosed with ranges of little hills, as old Jerusalem was, according to the
topographical descriptions of that city. The buryingplace is in the center of
the town, just facing the college,’ which is a wooden building about Zoo feet
long, and three stories high, in the middle front of which is a little cupola,
with a clock upon it. It is not so good a building as that at Cambridge, nor
are there such a number of students. It was the gift of a private gentleman to
this place. 540.
Wednesday, August 29th.I set
out from Monson’s a little after seven o’clock, and rid a tolerable good road
to Millford. Before I came there I was overtaken by a young man, who asked me
several questions, according to country custom,such as where I was going and
whence I came, and the like. To all which I gave answers just as impertinent as
the questions were themselves. I breakfasted in Millford at one Gibbs’s, and
while I was there, the post arrived, so that there came great crowds of the
politicians of the town to read the news, and we had plenty of orthographical
blunders. We heard of some prizes taken by the Philadelphia privateers.
Millford is a large scattered town, situated upon a large pleasant plain. 541.
STRATFORD FERRY STRATFORD
I WENT from here in company of a young man, and crossed
Stratford Ferry at eleven o’clock, and was obliged to call at Stratford, my
gray horse having lost a shoe. I stayed there some time at one Benjamin’s, who
keeps a tavern in the town. There I met a deal of company, and had many
questions asked me. Stratford is a pleasant little town, prettily situated upon
a rising ground, within half a mile of a navigable river that runs into the
Sound. In this town is one Presbyterian meeting, and one church, both new
buildings. The church is built with some taste and elegance, having large
arched sash windows, and a handsome spire or steeple at the west end of it.
MY young man rid with me till I came within five miles of
Fairfield, which is another town in which is an octagonal church or meeting
built of wood, like that of Jamaica upon Long Island, upon the cupola of which
is a publick clock. The roads between this town and Norwalk are exceeding rough
and stony, and the stones are very full of glittering isinglass. 543.
There is a river on the west side of this town, which runs
into the Sound. I forded it at high water, when pretty deep. 544.
WITHIN three miles and a half of Norwalk is another river,
called by the Indian name of Sagatick. This I forded at low tide. I dined at
one Taylor’s here. My landlord was an old man of seventy. Understanding from my
boy that I was a doctor from Maryland, and having heard that some of the
doctors there were wonderworkers in practice, he asked my advice about a
cancer which he had in his lip. I told him there was one Bouchelle in Maryland
who pretended to cure every disease by the help of a certain water which he had
made, but as for my part I knew no way of curing a cancer but by extirpation or
cutting it out. 545.
I ARRIVED at Norwalk at seven o’clock at night. This town
is situated in a bottom, midst a grove of trees. You see the steeple shoot up
among the trees about half a mile before you enter the town and before you can
see any of the houses. 546.
While I was at Taylor’s the children were frightened at my
negro. Slaves are not so much in use as with us, their servants being chiefly
bound or indentured Indians. The child asked if that negro was acoming to eat
them up. Dromo indeed wore a voracious phiz, for, having rid twenty miles
without eating, he grinned like a crocodile, and showed his teeth most
Betwixt Taylor’s and Norwalk, I met a caravan of eighteen
or twenty Indians. I put up at Norwalk at one Beelding’s, and as my boy was
taking off the saddles, I could see one half of the town standing about him,
making inquiry about his master. 548.
I was disturbed this night by a parcel of roaring
fellows, that came rumbling upstairs to go to bed in the next room. They beat
the walls with their elbows, as if they had a mind to batter down the house,
being inspired, I suppose, by the great god Bacchus. A certain horsejockey in
the company had a voice as strong as a trumpet, and Stentorlike he made the
house ring. “Damn me,” says he, “if you or any man shall have the jade for 100
The jade is as good a jade as ever wore curb.” (It is
customary here to call both horses and mares by the name of jades.) I wished him and his jade both once and again at
the devil for disturbing my rest, for, just as I was adropping asleep again he
uttered some impertinence with his Stentorian voice, which made me start and
waked me. My rest was broken all that night, and waking suddenly from a
confused dream about my horse dropping dead under me in the road, I imagined I
heard somebody breathe very high in the bed by me. I thought perhaps that my
friend Stentor had thought fit to come there, and felt about with my arms, but
could discover nothing but the bed clothes, tho’ the sound continued very
distinct in my ears for about a minute after I was broad awake, and then it
died away by degrees. This, with some people, would have procured the house a
bad name of its being haunted with spirits. 550.
Thursday, August 30th.I left
Norwalk at seven in the morning, and rid ten miles of stony road, crossing
several brooks and rivulets that run into the Sound, till I came to Stanford. A
little before I reached this town, from the top of a stony hill I had a large
open view or prospect of the country westward. The greatest part of it seemed,
as it were, covered with a white crust of stone, for the country here is
exceedingly rocky, and the roads very rough, rather worse than Stonington. I
breakfasted at Stanford at one Ebenezer Weak’s. In this town I saw a new
church, which is now abuilding, the steeple of which was no sooner finished
than it was all tore to pieces by lightning in a terrible thunderstorm that
happened here upon the first day of August in the afternoon. I observed the
rafters of the steeple split from top to bottom and the wooden pins or trunnels
that fastened the joints half drawn out. 551.
While I was at breakfast at Weak’s, there came in a crazy
old man, who complained much of the hardness of the times and of pains in his
back and belly. “Lackaday for poor old Joseph!” said the landlady. A little
after him came in one Captain Lyon, living at Rye Bridge. He wore an affected
air of wisdom in his phiz, and pretended to be a very knowing man in the
affairs of the world. He said he had travelled the whole world over in his
fancy, and would fain have persuaded us that he understood the history of
mankind completely. 552.
Most of his knowledge was pedantry, being made up of
commonplace sentences and trite proverbs. I asked him if I should have his
company down the road. He replied that he would be glad to wait on me, but had
an appointment to eat some roast pig with a neighbour of his, which would
detain him till the afternoon. So I departed the town without him. 553.
I rode a stony and hilly road to Horseneck, and overtook
an old man who rid a sorrel mare, with a colt following her. He told me he was
obliged to ride slow for fear of losing the colt, for sometimes the creature
strayed behind, meeting with jades upon the way. He said he had been travelling
the country for three weeks, visiting his children and grandchildren, who were
settled for fifty miles round him. He told me he had had twentyone sons and
daughters, of whom nineteen were now alive, and fifteen of them married and had
children; and yet he himself did not marry till twentyseven years of age, and
was now only seventytwo years old. This old man called in at a house about two
miles from Horseneck, where he said there lived a friend of his. An old fellow
with a mealy hat came to the door, and received him with a “How d’ye, old
friend Jervis?” So I parted with my company. 554.
I PASSED thro’ Horseneck, a scattered town, at half an
hour after eleven o’clock, and passed over Rye Bridge at twelve, the boundary
of Connecticut and York Government, after having rid 155 miles in Connecticut
“FAREWELL, Connecticut” (said I, as I passed along the
bridge), “I have had a surfeit of your ragged money, rough roads, and
enthusiastick people.” The countries of Connecticut and New England are very
large and well peopled, and back in the country here, upon the navigable
rivers, as well as in the maritime parts, are a great many fine large towns.
The people here are chiefly husbandmen and farmers. The staples are the same as
in the Massachusetts Province. They transport a good many horses to the West
Indies, and there is one town in this Province that is famous for plantations
of onions, of which they send quantities all over the continent and to the
islands, loading sloops with them. Many of these onions I have seen nearly as
large as a child’s head. 556.
It is reported that in Connecticut alone they can raise
fifty or sixty thousand men able to bear arms. One Mr. Law’ is present
Governour of the Province. It is but a deputy Government under that of New
England or the Massachusetts.’ 557.
Coming into York Government I found better )ads, but not
such a complaisant people for salutig upon the road, tho’ in their houses they
are either so wild nor so awkward. It is to no pur)se here to ask how many
miles it is to such a place. hey are not at all determined in the measure of
ieir miles. Some will tell you that you are two files from your stage. Ride
half a mile farther, they’ll tell you it is four; a mile farther; you’ll be
told it is six miles, and three miles farther they’ll say it is seven, and so
I HAD a long ride before I arrived at New Rochelle, where
I dined at the house of one Le Compte, a Frenchman, who has a daughter that is
a sprightly, sensible girl. 559.
COMING from thence at four o’clock, I put up this night at
Doughty’s, who keeps house at Kingsbridge; a fat man, much troubled with the
rheumatism, and of a hasty, passionate temper. I supped upon roasted oysters,
while my landlord eat roasted ears of corn at another table. He kept the whole
house in a stir to serve him, and yet could not be pleased. 560.
This night proved very stormy and threatened rain. I was
disturbed again in my rest by the noise of a heavy tread of a foot in the room
above. That wherein I lay was so large and lofty that any noise echoed as if it
had been in a church. 561.
Friday, August 31st.I
breakfasted at Doughty’s. My landlord put himself in a passion because his
daughter was tardy in getting up to make my chocolate. He spoke so thick in his
anger and in so sharp a key that I did not comprehend what he said. 562.
I saw about fifty Indians fishing for oysters in the gut
before the door. The wretches waded about stark naked, and threw the oysters as
they picked them up with their hands into baskets that hung upon their left
shoulders. They are a lazy, indolent generation, and would rather starve than
work at any time, but being unacquainted with our luxury, Nature in them has
few demands, which are easily satisfied. 563.
I PASSED over Kingsbridge at nine o’clock, and had a
pleasant ride to York. This small island is called York Island from the City of
York, which stands upon tile southwest end of it. It is a pleasant spot of
ground, covered with several small groves of trees. 564.
ABOUT three miles before I reached York I saw the
manofwar commanded by Commodore Warren lying in Turtle Bay. This was a
festival day with the crew. They were aroasting an entire ox upon a wooden
spit, and getting drunk as fast as they could, Warren having given them a
treat. I was overtaken here by a young gentleman who gave me a whole packet of
news about prizes and privateering, which is now the whole subject of
discourse. I met one Dutchman on the road, who addressed me: “May I be so bold,
where do you come from, sir?” 565.
I ARRIVED in New York about eleven o’clock, and put up my
horses at Waghorn’s. After calling at Mrs. Hogg’s, I went to see my old friend
Todd, expecting there to dine, but accidentally I encountered Stephen Bayard,
who carried me to dine at his brother’s. 566.
There was there a great company of gentlemen; among the
rest Mr. D cie,’ the Chief Justice, Mr. Hn, the City Recorder, and one Mr.
More, a lawyer. There was one gentleman there whom they styled captain, who
squinted the most abominably of anybody ever I saw. His eyes were not matched,
for one was of a lighter colour than the other. 567.
Another gentleman there wore so much of a haughty frown
in his countenance, that even when he smiled it did not disappear. There were
thirteen gentlemen at table, but not so much as one lady. We had an elegant,
sumptuous dinner, with a fine dessert of sweetmeats and fruits, among which
last there were some of the best white grapes I have seen in America. 568.
The table chat ran upon privateering and such discourse
as has now become so common that it is tiresome and flat. One there who set up
for a dictator talked very much to the discredit of Old England, preferring New
York to it in every respect whatsoever relating to good living. Most of his
propositions were gratis dicta, and it seemed as if he either would not or did
not know much of that fine country England. He said that the grapes there were
good for nothing but to set a man’s teeth on edge; but to my knowledge I have
seen grapes in gentlemen’s gardens there far preferable to any ever I saw in
these northern parts of America. He asserted also that no good apple could be
brought up there without a glass and artificial heat, which assertion was
palpably false and glaringly ignorant, for almost every fool knows that apples
grow best in northern climates betwixt the latitudes of thirtyfive and fifty,
and that in the southern hot climes, within the tropics, they don’t grow at
all, and therefore the best apples in the world grow in England and in the
north of France. He went even so far as to say that the beef in New York was
preferable to that of England. When he came there I gave him up as a trifler,
and giving no more attention to his discourse, he lost himself, the Lord knows
how or where, in a thicket of erroneous and ignorant dogmas, which any the most
exaggerating traveller would have been ashamed of. 569.
But he was a great person in the place, and therefore
none in the company was imprudent enough to contradict him, tho’ some were
there that knew better. 570.
I have known in my time some of these great dons take
upon them to talk in an extravagant and absurd manner: “What a fine temperate
climate this is!” says a certain dictating fop, while everybody that hears him
is conscious that it is fit for none but the devil to live in. “Don’t you think
them fine oysters,” says another exalted prig, while everybody knows he is
eating of eggs. This we cannot conceive proceeds from ignorance, but from a
certain odd pleasure they have in talking nonsense without being contradicted.
This disposition may arise from the natural perverseness of human nature, which
is always most absurd and unreasonable when free from curb or restraint. This
company after dinner sent in for bumpers, so I left them at three o’clock. 571.
I heard this day that Mr. Hl was in town, and that Ting,
master of the Boston galley, had taken Morpang, the French cruiser, after a
desperate battle and the loss of many men; but to this I gave little credit. By
letters from Lisbon we had an account of Admiral Matthews having taken eighty
French trading ships up the straits. 572.
Saturday, September ist.I
breakfasted with Mrs. Hogg this morning, and at breakfast there was a good
number of gentlemen; among the rest one Mr. Griffith from Rhode Island in five
days, who informed us that the news of Morpang’s being taken was a fiction. I
called at Mr. Bayard’s in the morning, but found him not at home. I met my old
friend Dr. McGraa at the door, who told me he had seen Mr. H11, and that he
had expressed a desire of seeing me. I dined at Todd’s with a mixed company,
and in the afternoon crossed the river to Baker’s in company with Dr. Colchoun
and another gentleman. We stayed and drank some punch there, and viewed the
French prizes in the harbour. 573.
We returned to town at seven o’clock. We went to the
Hungarian Club at night, where were present the Chief Justice, the City
Recorder, Mr. Philips,’ the Speaker of the House of Assembly, and several
others. We had a deal of news by the Boston papers and some private letters,
and among other news, that of the Dutch having declared war against France, and
the capture of some of the barrier towns in Flanders by the French, as also the
taking of some tobacco ships near the capes of Virginia, which furnished matter
for conversation all night. We had an elegant supper, and among other things an
excellent dish of young green pease. I wanted much to have met with H11 this
day, but heard that he was gone over to Long Island. 574.
Sunday, September 2d.I stayed
at home the forenoon, and dined with Stephen Bayard. Just as we had done
dinner, we heard two raps at the door solemnly laid on with a knocker. A
gentleman in the company was going to see who it was, but Mr. Bayard desired
him not to trouble himself, for it was only the domper. I asked who that was. He told me it was a fellow
that made a course thro’ one quarter of the town, giving two raps at each door
as he passed to let the people in the houses know that the second bell had rung
out. This man has a gratuity f rom each f amity for so doing every new year.
His address, when he comes to ask for his perquisite, is: “Sir” or “Madam, you
know what Imean.” So he receives a piece of money, more or less, according to
pleasure. This custom first began in New York, when they had but one bell to
warn the people to church, and that bell happened to be cracked, so, for the
sake of lucre, the sextons have kept it tip ever since. Such a trifling office
as this perhaps is worth about forty pounds a year York currency, tho’ the poor
fellow sometimes is drubbed for his trouble by newcomers who do not understand
the custom. 575.
After dinner Mr. Jeffrys came in, and we had some very
comical jaw. He spoke of going to Maryland along with me. I went home at four
o’clock and supped this night with Mr. Hogg, there being a Scots gentleman in
company. Just before supper Mr. Bourdillon came in, at the sight of whom we
were all surprised, he having been a pretty while gone from these parts. He
gave us an account of his adventures, and the misfortunes he had met with since
his departure, of his narrowly escaping a drowning in his voyage to Curaçao,
his being taken by the Spaniards in his passage from Jamaica to New York, and
the difficulties and hardships he went thro’ in making his escape, being
obliged to live for four days upon nothing but a quart of water, and being
driven out to the open ocean in a small undecked boat till he was
providentially taken up by a Philadelphia sloop, bound homewards to
Monday, September 3d.I stayed
at home all this forenoon, and dined at Todd’s, where was a very large company,
and among the rest Mr. Bourdillon, who told us that he had seen our quondam
acquaintance Paul Ruiz among his countrymen the Spaniards. In the afternoon I
went to the coffeehouse and read the newspapers, and coming home at six
o’clock, I drank some punch with Mr. Hogg and one Heath, a dry old chap. 577.
Tuesday, September 4th.This
day proving very rainy, I kept my room the greatest part of it. I dined with
Mr. Hogg and family, and after dinner the discourse turned upon hystericks and
vapours in women, when Mr. Hogg, pretending to discover to me an infallible
cure for these distempers spoke good neat bawdy before his wife, who did not
seem to be much surprised at it. He told me that a good mowing was a cure for
such complaints. I concluded that this kind of talk was what his wife had been
used to, but it is an inexcusable piece of rudeness and rusticity in the
company of women to speak in this manner, especially when it is practised
before wives and daughters, whose ears should never receive anything from
husbands and fathers but what is quite modest and clean. 578.
In the afternoon I sauntered about some time in the
coffeehouse, where were some rattling fellows playing at backgammon, and some
deeper headed politicians at the game of chess. At six I went home, and,
meeting with Mr. Bourdillon, he and I went to Todd’s together, expecting to sup
and have some chat snugly by ourselves, but we were interrupted by three young
rakes who bounced in upon us, and then the conversation turned from a grave to
a wanton strain. There was nothing talked of but ladies and lovers, and a good
deal of polite smut. We drank two remarkable toasts, which I never before heard
mentioned: the first was to our dear selves, and the tenour of the other was my
own health. I told them that if such ridiculous toasts should be heard of out
of doors, we should procure the name of the Selfish Club. We supped and
dismissed at nine o’clock. Mr. Bourdillon and I went home like two
philosophers, and the others went awhoring like three rakes. 579.
Wednesday, September 5th.It
threatened rain all day, and I did not go much abroad. I went in the morning
with Mr. Hogg to the Jews’ synagogue,’ where was an assembly of about fifty of
the seed of Abraham, chanting and singing their doleful hymns round the
sanctuary (where was contained the ark of the covenant and Aaron’s rod),
dressed in robes of white silk. They had four great wax candles lighted, as
large as a man’s arm. Before the rabbi, who was elevated above the rest in a
kind of desk, stood the seven golden candlesticks, transformed into silver
gilt. They were all slipshod. The men wore their hats in the synagogue, and
had a veil of some white stuff, which they sometimes threw over their heads in
their devotion; the women, of whom some were very pretty, stood up in a gallery
like a hencoop. They sometimes paused or rested a little from singing, and
talked about business. My ears were so filled with their lugubrious songs that
I could not get the sound out of my head all day. 580.
I dined at Todd’s with several gentlemen, and at night
after playing a hit at backgammon with Mr. Hogg, I went to Todd’s again with
Mr. Bourdillon, where we supped by ourselves. It rained very hard, and we
returned home at eleven o’clock at night. 581.
Thursday, September 6th.This
day, the weather being somewhat more serene, I went more abroad, but it passed
away, as many of our days do, unremarked and trifling. I did little more than
breakfast, dine, and sup. I read some of Homer’s twelfth Iliad, and went to the
coffeehouse in the afternoon, where I met my old friend Mr. Knockson, in whose
vessel. I had made my voyage to Albany. I also saw there the learned Dr.
McGraa, who told me for news that the Indians had already begun their
hostilities by murdering some families of the back inhabitants. I played at
backgammon with Mr. Hogg at night and supped with him. 582.
Friday, September 7th.This morning I
had a visit from my tailor, who fitted me with a new coat and breeches, my
clothes with which I set out being quite wore to a cobweb. Going to the
coffeehouse with Mr. Bourdillon at eleven o’clock, I played at backgammon with
him and lost one hit. just as we had done playing Mr. H11 came in, who saluted
me and I him very cordially, and inquired of one another’s welfare. 583.
He told me he had been upon Long Island, and was very
well, but only had got a broken head. “I hope,” replied I, “you have not been
afighting.” “No,” says he, “but I tumbled out of my chair.” As I rid along the
road there was another tall thin gentleman with him, who, by his visage jaune I
took to be a West Indian, and I guessed right. 584.
I dined at Todd’s with Bourdillon and Dr. Colchoun. The
doctor and I smoked a pipe after dinner and chopped politics. I went to
Waghorn’s at night to inquire of the state of my horses, and after having sat
some time in a mixed company, Major Spratt came in, and he and I retired into a
room by ourselves. He showed me a picture of a hermit in his cell,
contemplating upon mortality with a death’shead in his hand. It was done in
oil colours upon wood, and according to my judgment, it was a very nice piece
of painting. About ten o’clock there came to us a drunken doctor, who was so
intoxicated with liquor that he could scarce speak one connected sentence. He
was much chagrined with some people for calling him a quack. “But God damn
’em,” says he, “I have a case of pistols and sword; I ‘ll make every blood of
them own before long what it is to abuse a man of liberal education.” I asked
him what university he had studied at, Cambridge or Oxford. “Damn me, neither,”
said he. “Did you study at Leyden under Boerhaave, sir?” said I. “Boerhaave may
go to hell for a fool and a blockhead as he was,” said he, “that fellow was
admired by all the world, and, damn his soul, I know not for what. For my part,
I always had a mean opinion of him, only because he was one of them rascally
Dutchmen, damn their souls.” He went on at this rate for about half an hour. I,
being tired of this kind of eloquence, left him to himself and went home. 585.
Saturday, September 8th. I called this
morning at Mr. Bayard’s, but he was not in town. I kept my nom most of the
forenoon, and read Homer’s thirenth Iliad. I dined at Todd’s with a countryman
mine, who had come from Virginia. He was a little ipper young fellow with a
gaudy laced jacket; his ime Rhae, by trade a merchant, and had traveled most of
the continent of English America. He mistook me for the doctor of the
manofwar, and, asking me when we should sail, I replied that I did not expect
to sail anywhere till such time as I should cross the ferry. 586.
We expected great news this night from Boston, having
heard that some London ships had lately arrived there; but we were
disappointed, for none had come. I supped at Todd’s with Bourdillon and some
French gentlemen. We heard news that Commodore Haynson in his way home had
taken the Acapulco ship, a very rich prize, and that some ships from New York
had been taken in their way home; but there are so many lies now stirring that
I gave little credit to these nouvelles. This night
was very sharp and cold. Bourdillon and I went home at eleven o’clock. 587.
Sunday, September 9th.I went this
morning to the French church’ with Mons. Bourdillon, and heard one Mons. Rue
preach. He is reckoned a man of good learning and sense; but, being foolishly
sarcastical, he has an unlucky knack at disobliging the best of his
parishioners, so that the congregation has now dwindled to nothing. 588.
I dined at Todd’s with a mixed company, and had two
letters: one from Dr. Moffatt at Rhode Island, in which I had the first news of
the death of our great poet Pope, full of glory, tho’ not of days; the other
letter came from Boston, and came from the hand of La Moinnerie, which, for a
specimen of the French compliment, I shall here transcribe: 589.
A Boston, le 28me aoust 1744.
MONSIEUR,Je reçois dans ce moment, par Monsieur Hughes, la lettre que vous
avez pris la peine de m’escrire, le 24 du courant, de Rhode Island, laquelle
m’a fait un sensible plaisir, [en] apprenant votre heureuse arrivée en ce
payslà. Je désire que vous conserverez votre santé, et je redouble mes voeux à
ciel pour que la fatigue du voyage ne vous soit point incommode. Vos nouvelles
me prouvent entièrement la bonté que vous avez pour moi, et m’assurent aussi
que j’avois tort de penser que mes entretiens vous incommodoient, car en vérité
j’étois timide de vous arrêter si souvent et même dans les temps que vous étiez
si souhaité dans ce qu’il y avoit de plus aimables compagnies, mais à vous
parler franchement, je me trouvois si content avec vous que je fus aussi fort
chagriné de votre départ, ainsi que tous vos amis l’ont été, et si mes affaires
eussent pu finir, j’aurois été de votre compagnie jusque dans votre pays. Je
tremble quand je fais réflexion sur l’hiver, si je suis obligé de rester dans
les pays froids. 590.
J’espère que vous me donnerez la satisfaction de
m’escrire. Je tâcherai à la première de vous escrire en anglois, étant bien
persuadé que vous voudriez bien excuser mon ignorance. Je me suis tant appliqué
que j’ai conçu tous les mots de votre lettre, qui sont fort clairs et
poétiques, et pour ne laisser aucune doute Monsieur le docteur Douglass m’a
fait le plaisir de la lire. 591.
Je n’ai pas encore pris ma médecine, mais je vais m’y
Tous vos amis vous saluent et vous souhaitent bien de la
santé. Je vous escris le présent par un docteur de médecine de la Barbade, qui
va à Rhode Island. Je souhaite qu’il vous y trouve en bonne joie. Je suis
parfaitement, monsieur et ami, votre très humble et très obéissant serviteur,
[Translation by William Gordon:]594.
[BOSTON, August 28, 1744. SIR,I have this moment
received, by Mr. Hughes, the letter which you have taken the trouble to write
me of the 24th instant from Rhode Island. It has given me the greatest pleasure
to learn of your safe arrival in that country. I sincerely trust that your
health will be preserved and that the fatigues of the journey may not incommode
you in the slightest degree. 595.
What you say is to me a certain proof of your kindly
regard, and convinces me that I was entirely wrong in supposing that my
conversation disturbed you, for in truth I was afraid to intrude upon you so
often and at times when you were so much desired and appreciated by the most
amiable society. To confess the honest truth I was delighted with you and as
grieved at your departure as any of your friends could have been, and if my
affairs had permitted it would willingly have accompanied you into your own
country. But I tremble when I think of winter if I should be compelled to make
my abode in cold countries. 596.
I am in hopes that you will give me the pleasure of
hearing from you. I shall attempt for the first time to write in English, being
quite certain that you will fully excuse my mistakes. I have studied very hard
and I understand all the words in your letter, which were very clear and
poetical, but so as to allow no doubt, Dr. Douglass did me the kindness to read
I have not yet taken my medicine, but am determined to do
so. All your friends salute you and wish you abundant health. I write you this
by a medical doctor of Barbadoes who is going to Rhode Island. Trusting that he
will find you in the enjoyment of every happiness, I remain, 598.
Dear sir and friend, 599.
Your most humble and obedient servant, 600.
I went this afternoon with Mr. Hogg to the Presbyterian
meeting and heard there a good puritanick sermon preached by one Pemberton. I
supped at Todd’s with two or three of my countrymen, among whom was Mr. Knox.
Monday, September 10th.I dined
this day with Mr. Bayard’s brother, and, after dinner, we tossed about the
bumpers so furiously that I was obliged to go home and sleep for three hours
and be worse than my word to Mr. Hll, with whom I had promised to spend the
evening. I writ to Dr. Moffatt at Newport, and to La Moinnerie at Boston, of
which letter follows the copy : 602.
A New York, le Lome de
Septembre. MONSIEUR,L’honneur de la vôtre, en date du 28me aoust, m’est bien
parvenu. Je suis bien charmé que vous jouissiez d’une bonne santé, et vous
remercie de la faveur que vous m’avez faite en m’escrivant. Pour ce qui me
regarde, je jouis d’une parfaite santé depuis que j’ai laissé Boston. La seule
chose que je regrette est de me voir séparé (et peutêtre pour toujours) des
agréables personnes avec qui je me suis rencontré et lié connaissance lors que
j’étois à Boston, et en particulier de vous, monsieur, de qui l’humeur
facétieuse, gaie, et la conversation agréable, me plaisoit beaucoup; mais,
hélas! nos joies ne sont pas durables. Elles sont comme les nuages d’une belle
soirée,le soleil couchant, de différentes formes et de diverses couleurs
charmantes; mais sitost que cette lumière glorieuse s’éloignera de notre
horizon, et se couchera dans le sein de Thétis, sa belle maîtresse, ce
spectacle brillant se dissipera, nous sommes dans le crépuscule, la nuit
s’approche, il fait sombre! Hé bien, que pensezvous, monsieur? sans doute que
je soie devenu fou ou poète, escrivant de telles bagatelles dans une langue
dont je n’entends pas le propre idiome, mais je me flatte que vous veuillez
bien excuser mon ignorance. 603.
J’ai vu de différents climats et de différents visages
depuis que je vous ai quitté. A l’égard du pays, il est quelquefois montagneux
et plein de roches, quelquefois c’est un terrain égal, et assez agréable. J’ai
vu bien des hommes que l’on peut bien appeler fous, et d’autres gens d’esprit,
mais j’en ai peu rencontré de sages. A l’égard du sexe, j’en ai vu dont les
charmes seroient capables d’eschauffer les roches, ou de fondre des montagnes
de glace. 604.
Vraiment, monsieur, vous ne devez pas craindre l’hiver à
Boston, puisque le sexe y est si plein de charmes et de chaleurs bénignes, mais
je nen dis pas d’avantage, laissant à ceux qui en sont spectateurs, et qui sont
du sang plus chaud que st le mien, les soins de les captiver. 605.
You ‘ll pardon me, sir, for writing you in bad ench. To
make amends I subjoin a scrap of iglish, tho’ not much better, yet I hope more
operly expressed. I expect still to hear from u, and wish you all the health
and tranquillity rich a mortal man can possibly enjoy. [Translation by William
[NEW YORK, September io. SIR I have duly received your
favour of the 28th August. I am delighted to learn that you are in the
enjoyment of good health, and thank you for the honour you have done me in
writing to me. With regard to myself I have enjoyed perfect health since I’left
Boston. The only thing I regret is to find myself separated (and perhaps
forever) from the agreeable persons I met and whose acquaintance I made while I
was in Boston; and to you, sir, does this remark particularly refer, with whose
gay facetious humour and pleasant conversation I was so greatly pleased. But,
alas! our joys are transient. Like the clouds of a lovely evening at sunset,
they assume different forms and divers charming colours, but as soon as the
glorious luminary of day sinks beneath the horizon and goes to rest in the
bosom of Thetis, his beautiful mistress, the glorious spectacle vanishes: we
are in the twilightnight comes on apaceit is dark. Ah ! but what must you
think, sir? certainly that I have either become a lunatic or a poet, to write
such bagatelles in a language of which I don’t even understand the correct
idiom; I flatter myself, however, that you will kindly excuse my ignorance.
Since leaving you I have experienced different climates
and have seen different faces. With respect to the country, it is sometimes
mountainous and full of precipices, sometimes it is a level plain and very
pleasant. I have seen many men whom one might well term fools, and met some
wits, but few who could be deemed wise. Apropos of the sex, I have seen those
whose charms would warm rocks, would melt icy mountains. Truly, sir, you have
no need to fear the winter in Boston, since the sex there is so replete with
charms and benignant warmth; but I will say no more, leaving to those who
behold them and are of warmer blood than I the labour of captivating them.]
I supped at Todd’s this night with a mixed company, where
we had a deal of trifling chat. 609.
Tuesday, September 11th.This
morning at the coffeehouse I took my leave of Mr. H1, who gave me his good
wishes, and promised to write to me from Barbadoes. 610.
FERRY ELIZABETHTOWN POINT
I DINED with my countryman, Mr. Rhea, at Mr. Bayard’s,
and, taking my leave of Mrs. Hogg and her sister after dinner, I took boat
along with Mr. Rhea from York to Elizabethtown Point, and had a pleasant
passage, making fifteen miles by water in three hours. 611.
JERSEY GOVERNMENT ELIZABETHTOWNWOODBRIDGE
MR. RHEA and I mounted horse, and rid twelve miles farther
after sundown. We passed thro’ Elizabethtown at seven o’clock at night, and
arrived at Woodbridge at half an hour after eight. The country here is pleasant
and pretty clear, with a beautiful intermixture of woods. The roads are very
good in dry weather. 612.
We put up at one Heard’s, where we supped with a simple
fellow, that had been bred up among the reeds and sedges, and did not seem as
if ever he had conversed with men. His name was Mason, a Quaker by profession.
Our landlady was a jolly fat woman, weighing about two hundredweight of fat.
I was sorry to leave New York, upon account of being
separated from some agreeable acquaintance I had contracted there, and at the
same time I cannot but own that I was glad to remove from a place where the
temptation of drinking (a thing so incompatible with my limber constitution)
threw itself so often in my way. I knew here several men of sense, ingenuity,
and learning, and a much greater number of fops, whom I chuse not to name, not
so much for fear of giving offence as because I think their names are not
worthy to be recorded either in manuscript or printed journals. These dons
commonly held their heads higher than the rest of mankind, and imagined few or
none were their equals. But this I found always proceeded from their narrow
notions, ignorance of the world, and low extraction, which indeed is the case
with most of our aggrandized upstarts in these infant countries of America, who
never had an opportunity to see, or (if they had) the capacity to observe the
different ranks of men in polite nations, or to know what it is that really
constitutes that difference of degrees. 614.
Wednesday, September 12th.I
was waked this morning before sunrise with a strange bawling and hollowing
without doors. It was the landlord ordering his negroes, with an imperious and
exalted voice. In his orders the known term or epithet of son of a bitch was often repeated 615.
I came downstairs, and found one Mr. White, a
Philadelphian, and the loggerheaded fellow that supped with us last night
ordering some tea for breakfast. Mr. Mason, among other judicious questions,
asked me how cheeses sold in Maryland. I told him I understood nothing of that
kind of merchandise, but if he wanted to know the price of cathartics and
emetics there, I could inform him. He asked me what sort of commodities these
were. I replied that it was a particular kind of truck which I dealt in. When
our tea was made it was such abominable stuff that I could not drink of it, but
drank a porringer of milk. 616.
We set off att seven o’clock and before nine passed thro’
a place called Pitscatuay about 3 miles from Brunswick. I have observed that
severall places upon the American main go by that name. The country here is
pleasant and levell, intermixed with skirts of woods and meadow ground, the
road in generall good but stormy in some places.617.
We crossed Raretin River and arrived in Brunswick att 9
o’clock. We baited our horses and drank some chocolate at Miller’s.618.
WE mounted again at ten, and after riding fifteen miles of
a pleasant road, the day being somewhat sultry, we put up at Leonard’s at
Kingston, a little before one, where we dined. Here we met with an old
chattering fellow, who imagined that Mr. Rhea was an officer of Warren’s
manofwar, and wanted to list himself. He told us he had served in Queen
Anne’s wars, and that he was born under the Crown :)f England, and that
eighteen years ago he had left the service, and lived with his wife. 619.
We asked him where his wife was now. He answered he
supposed in hell, “asking your honour’s pardon, for she was such a plague that
she was fit for nobody’s company but the devil’s.” We could scarcely get rid of
this fellow, till we made him so drunk with rum that he could not walk. He
drank to Captain Warren’s health, and subjoined, “not forgetting King George.”
We took horse again at three o’clock, and White and the Quaker kept in close
conversation upon the road, about twenty paces before, while Rhea and I held a
conference by ourselves. 620.
AT five o’clock we passed thro’ a town called Maidenhead,
and at six arrived at Bond’s in Trenton, where we put up for all,night. Here
Mason, the Quaker, left us, little regretted, because his company was but
insipid. Just as Rhea and I lighted at the door, there came up a storm at
northwest, which we were thankful we had so narrowly escaped, for it blowed and
rained vehemently. 621.
We had Dr. Cadwaller’s company at supper and that of
another gentleman in town, whose name I cannot remember. There passed a great
deal of physical discourse betwixt the doctor and me, of which Rhea and White
being tired went to bed, and I followed at eleven o’clock. 622.
Thursday, September 13th.This
morning proved very sharp and cold. We set out from Trenton at seven o’clock,
and, riding thro’ a pleasant road, we crossed Delaware Ferry a little before
eight, where the tide and wind being both strong against us, we were carried a
great way down the river before we could land. 623.
WE arrived at Bristo’ betwixt nine and ten o’clock, and
breakfasted at Walton’s. 624.
SETTING Out from thence we crossed Shammany Ferry at
eleven o’clock. The sun growing somewhat warmer we travelled with ease and
pleasure. We stopped some time at a house within thirteen miles of
Philadelphia, where there was an overgrown landlady much of the size of By Mt
at Annapolis, who gave us bread and cheese and some cold applepie, but we paid
dear for it. 625.
Before we went into town, we stopped to see the works,
where they were casting of cannon, where I thought they made but bungling work
of it, spoiling ten where they made one. 626.
WE entered Philadelphia at four o’clock and Rhea and I put
up at Cockburn’s.’ I went at six o’clock and spent the evening with Collector
Friday, September 14th.I stayed at home
most of the forenoon, the air being somewhat sharp and cold. I dined with Mr.
Currie and Mr. Weemse, at a private house, and, going home after dinner, read
one of Shakespear’s plays. I drank tea with my landlady Mrs. Cume, and at five
o’clock went to the coffeehouse, where I saw Dr. Spencer, who for some time
had held a course of physical lectures of the experimental kind here and at New
York. I delivered him a letter from Dr. Moffatt at Newport. I met here likewise
one Mitchell, a practitioner of physick in Virginia, who was travelling as he
told me upon account of his health. He was a man much of my own make, and his
complaints were near akin to mine. Here I met Dr. Phineas Bond and others of my
old acquaintances. 628.
At Philadelphia I heard news of some conturbations and
fermentations of parties at Annapolis, concerning the election of certain
parliament members for that wretched city, and was sorry to find that these
trifles still contributed so much to set them at variance, but I pray that the
Lord may pity them, and not leave them entirely to themselves and the devil. I
went home at eight at night, the air being cold and raw, and was sorry to hear
that my fellow traveller Mr. Rhea was taken with an ague, the effect of our
night’s ride upon Tuesday. 629.
Saturday, September 25th.This
morning proving rainy, I stayed at home till eleven o’clock, at which time my
barber came to shave me, and gave me a harangue of politics and news. I paid a
visit to Dr. Thomas Bond, and went and dined at Cockburn’s in company with two
stanch Quakers, who sat at table with their broad hats upon their heads. They
eat a great deal more than they spoke, and their conversation was only yea and
nay. In the afternoon I had a visit of Mr. Rhea, who had expelled his ague by
the force of a vomit. 630.
At six o’clock I went to the coffeehouse and thence with
Mr. Alexander to the Governour’s club, where the Governour himself was present,
and several other gentlemen of note in the place. The conversation was
agreeable and instructing, only now and then some persons there showed a
particular fondness for introducing gross, smutty expressions, which I thought
did not altogether become a company of philosophers and men of sense. 631.
Sunday, September 16th.This
morning proved very sharp, and it seemed to freeze a little. I breakfasted at
Neilson’s with Messrs. Home and Watts and went to the Presbyterian meeting in
the morning with Mr. Wallace. There I heard a very Calvinistical sermon
preached by an old holderforth, whose voice was somewhat rusty, and his
countenance a little upon the four square. The pulpit appeared to me somewhat
in shape like a tub, and at each side of it aloft was hung an oldfashioned
brass sconce. 632.
In this assembly was a collection of the most curious
oldfashioned screwedup faces, both of men and women, that ever I saw. There
were a great many men in the meeting with linen nightcaps, an indecent and
unbecoming dress, which is too much wore in all the churches and meetings in
America that I have been in, unless it be those of Boston, where they are more
decent and polite in their dress, tho’ more fantastical in their doctrines, and
much alike in their honesty and morals. 633.
I dined with Collector Alexander, and in the afternoon
went with Mr. Weemse to the Roman Chapel, where I heard some fine musick and
saw some pretty ladies. The priest, after saying mass, catechized some children
in English, and insisted much upon our submitting our reason to religion and
believing of everything that God said (or properly speaking everything that the
priest says, who often has the impudence to quote the divine authority to
support his absurdities), however contradictory or repugnant it seemed to our
natural reason. I was taken with a sick qualm in this chapel, which I
attributed to the gross nonsense, proceeding from the mouth of the priest,
which, I suppose, being indigestible bred crudities in my intellectual stomach,
and confused my animal spirits. I spent the evening at the tavern with some
Monday, September 17th.This
day was very sharp and cold for the season, and a fire was very grateful. I did
little but stay at home all day, and employed my time in reading of Homer’s
Iliad. I dined at the tavern, and walked out to the country after dinner to
reap the benefit of the sharp air. When I returned I drank tea with Mrs. Cume,
and there being some ladies there, the conversation ran still upon the old
topic, religion. 635.
I had a letter from my brother in Maryland, where there
was an account of some changes that had happened there since I left the place.
At the coffeehouse I could observe no new faces, nor could I learn any news.
Tuesday, September 18th.This forenoon I
spent in reading of Shakespear’s
Timon of Athens, or Manhater, a play
which, tho’ not written according to Aristotle’s rules, yet abounds with
inimitable beauties, peculiar to this excellent author. 637.
I dined at Cockburn’s, where was a set of very comical
phizzes, and a very vulgar unfurbished conversation, which I did not join in,
but eat my dinner and was a hearer, reaping as much instruction from it as it
would yield. 638.
I paid a visit to Collector Alexander in the afternoon,
and at night going to the coffeehouse, I went from thence, along with Messrs.
Wallace and Currie, to the Musick Club, where I heard a tolerable
concerto performed by a
harpsichord and three violins. One Levy there played a very good violin; one
Quin bore another pretty good part; Tench Francis played a very indifferent
finger upon an excellent violin, that once belonged to the late Ch. Calvert,
Governour of Maryland. We dismissed at eleven o’clock, after having regaled
ourselves with musick, and good viands and liquor. 639.
19th.Today I resolved to take my departure from this town. In the
morning my barber came to shave me and almost made me sick with his Irish
brogue and stinking breath. He told me that he was very glad to see that I was
after being of the right religion. I asked him how he came to know what
religion I was of. “Ohon ! and sweet Jesus now!” said he, “as if I had not see
your Honour at the Roman Catholic chapel, coming upon Sunday last.” Then he ran
out upon a blundering encomium concerning the Catholicks and their principles.
I dined with Mr. Alexander, and, taking my leave of him and wife, I went to Mr.
Strider’s in Front Street, where I had some commissions to deliver to Mr.
Tasker at Annapolis. 640.
TAKING horse at half an hour after three o’clock, I left
Philadelphia, and crossed Skuylkill Ferry. At a quarter after four, I passed
thro’ the town of Darby about an hour before sunset. 641.
ABOUT the time of the sun’s going down, the air turned
very sharp, it being a degree of frost. I arrived in Chester, about half an
hour after seven, riding into town in company with an Irish Teague who overtook
me on the road. Here I put up at one Mather’s, an Irishman, at the sign of the
At my seeing of the city of Philadelphia, I conceived a
quite different notion of both city and inhabitants from that which I had
before from the account or description of others. I could not apprehend this
city to be so very elegant or pretty as it is commonly represented. In its
present situation it is much like one of our country market towns in England.
When you are in it the majority of the buildings appear low and mean, the
streets unpaved, and therefore full of rubbish and mire. It makes but an
indifferent appearance at a distance, there being no turrets or steeples to set
it off to advantage, but I believe that in a few years hence it will be a great
and flourishing place, and the chief city in North America. 643.
The people are much more polite, generally speaking, than
I apprehended them to be from the common account of travellers. They have that
accomplishment, peculiar to all our American Colonies; viz., subtlety and craft
in their dealings. They apply themselves strenuously to business, having little
or no turn towards gayety (and I know not indeed how they should, since there
are few people here of independent fortunes or of high luxurious taste).
Drinking here is not at all in vogue, and in the place there is pretty good
company and conversation to be had. It is a degree politer than New York, tho’
in its fabriek not so urbane, but Boston excels both for politeness and
urbanity, tho’ only a town. 644.
Thursday, September 20th.I
set out at nine o’clock from Mather’s and about two miles from Chester was
overtaken by a Quaker, one of the politest and best behaved of that kidney ever
I had met with. We had a deal of discourse about news and politicks, and after
riding four miles together we parted. 645.
I now entered the confines of the threenotched road, by
which I knew I was near Maryland. Immediately upon this something ominous
happened, which was my man’s tumbling down, plump, two or three times, horse
and baggage and all, in the middle of a plain road. I, likewise, could not help
thinking that my state of health was changed for the worse upon it. 646.
WITHIN a mile of Wilmington I met Mr. Neilson of
Philadelphia, who told me some little scraps of news from Annapolis. 647.
I CROSSED Christin Ferry at twelve o’clock, and at two
o’clock I dined at Griffith’s in Newcastle, and had some chat with a certain
virtuoso of the town who came in after dinner. I departed thence at half an
hour after three, and about a mile from town I met a monstrous appearance, by
much the greatest wonder and prodigy I had seen in my travels, and every whit
as strange a sight by land as a mermaid is at sea. It was a carter driving his
cart along the road, who seemed to be half man, half woman. All above from the
crown of his head to the girdle seemed quite masculine, the creature having a
great hideous unshorn black beard and strong coarse features, a slouch hat,
cloth jacket, and great brawny fists, but below the girdle there was nothing to
be seen but petticoats, a white apron, and the exact shape of a woman with
relation to broad round buttocks. I would have given something to have seen
this creature turned topsyturvy, to have known whether or not it was an
hermaphrodite, having often heard of such animals, but never having seen any to
my knowledge; but I thought it most prudent to pass by peaceably, asking no
questions, lest it should prove the devil in disguise. 648.
Some miles farther I met two handsome country girls, and
inquired the road of them. One seemed fearful, and the other was very forward
and brisk. I liked the humour and vivacity of the latter, and lighted from my
horse as if I had been going to salute her; but they both set up a scream and
ran off like wild bucks into the woods. 649.
I stopped this night at one Van Bibber’s, a house twelve
miles from Newcastle. The landlady here affected to be a great wit, but the
landlord was a heavy lubber of Dutch pedigree. The woman pretended to be
jealous of her husband with two ugly old maids that were there; one of whom was
named Margaret, who told me she was born in Dundee in Scotland, and asked me if
ever I had drunk my Dundee swats out o f twalugged
bickers. (Ale out of twoeared cups.) These two old maids would sit, one
at each side of Van Bibber and tease him, while his wife pretended to scold all
the time, as if she was jealous, and he would look like a goose. 650.
There were in this house a certain Irish Teague, and one
Gilpin, a dweller in Maryland. The Teague and Gilpin lay in one bed upon the
floor, and I in a lofty bedstead by myself. Gilpin and I talked over politicks
and news relating to Maryland, while we were in bed, before we went to sleep,
and our discourse was interlaced with hideous yawnings, like two tired and
weary travellers, till at last the nodding deity took hold of us in the middle
of halfuttered words and broken sentences. My rest was broken and interrupted,
for the Teague made a hideous noise in coming to bed, and as he tossed and
turned kept still ejaculating either an ohon or
sweet Jesus. 651.
Fridav, September 21stI was waked early
this morning by the groanings, ohous, and yawnings
of our Teague, who every now and then gaped fearfully, bawling out, “O sweet
Jesus!” in a mournful, melodious accent; in short he made as much noise between
sleeping and waking as half a dozen hogs in a little pen could have done; but
Mr. Gilpin, his bedfellow, was started and gone. 652.
I TOOK horse at nine o’clock, and arrived at Bohemia at
twelve. I called at the manorhouse, and dined there with Miss Coursey. She and
I went in the afternoon to visit Colonel Colville,’ and returned home betwixt
eight and nine at night. 653.
Saturday, September 22d. I rid this
morning with Miss Coursey to visit Bouchelle, the famous Yaw doctor, who
desired me to come and prescribe for his wife, who had got an hysterick
palpitation, or as they called it a wolf in her
heart. I stayed and dined with him, and there passed a deal of
conversation between us. I found the man much more knowing than I expected from
the common character I had heard of him. He seemed to me a modest young fellow,
not insensible of his depth in physical literature, neither quite deficient in
natural sense and parts. His wife having desired my advice I gave it, and was
thanked by the husband and herself for the favour of my visit. 654.
There was there an old comical fellow named Millner, who
went by the name of doctor. He was busy making a pan
of melilot plaster, and seemed to have a great conceit of his own learning. He
gave us a history of one Du Witt, a doctor at Philadelphia, who he said had
begun the world in the honourable station of a porter, and used to drive a
turnip cart or wheelbarrow thro’ the streets. This old fellow was very
inquisitive with me, but I did not incline much to satisfy his curiosity. He
asked me if Miss Coursey was my wife. After dinner we returned homewards. 655.
Sunday, September 23d.There
came up a furious northwest wind this morning, which prevented my setting off,
as I intended, knowing that I could not cross the ferries. I was shaved by an
Irish barber, whose hand was so heavy that he had almost flayed my chin and
head. Miss Coursey and I dined by ourselves, and at four o’clock we walked to
Colonel Colville’s, where we spent the evening agreeably, and returned home at
eight o’clock, the night being cold and blustering and the wind in our teeth.
Monday, September 24th.It seemed to
threaten to blow hard this morning, but the wind changing to south before
twelve o’clock, it began to moderate and I had hopes of getting over Elk Ferry.
I dined with Miss Coursey at Colonel Colville’s, and set out from there at
three o’clock, intending at night for Northeast. 657.
On the road here, at one Altum’s, who keeps publick house
at Elk Ferry, I met with my Irish barber, who had operated upon my chin at
Bohemia, who had almost surfeited me with his palaver. I had some learned
conversation with my ingenious friend Terence, the ferryman, and as we went
along the road, the barber would fain have persuaded me to go to Parson Wye’s
to stay that night, which I refused, and so we took leave of one another. 658.
I went the rest of the way in the company of a man who
told me he was a carter, a horsejockey, a farmer,all three. He asked me if I
had heard anything of the wars in my travels, and told me he heard that the
Queen of Sheba, or some such other queen, had sent a great assistance to the
King of England, and that if all was true that was said of it, they would
certainly kill all the French and Spaniards before Christmas next. 659.
TALKING of these matters with this unfinished politician,
I arrived at Northeast at seven o’clock at night, and put up at one Smith’s
there. After supper I overheard a parcel of superficial philosophers in the
kitchen, talking of knotty points in religion over a mug of cider. One chap,
among the rest, seemed to confound the whole company with a show of learning,
which was nothing but a puff of clownish pedantry. I went to bed at ten
Tuesday, September 25th.I
departed Northeast this morning at nine o’clock. The sky was dark and cloudy,
threatening rain. I had a solitary ride over an unequal, gravelly road till I
came to Susquehanna Ferry, where I baited my horses, and had a ready passage,
but was taken with a vapourish qualm in the ferryboat, which went off after
two or three miles’ ridingI dined art my old friend Tradaway’s, whom I found
very much indisposed with fevers. He told me it had been a very unhealthy time
and a hot summer. I should have known the time had been unhealthy without his
telling me so, by only observing the washed countenances of the people standing
at their doors, and looking out at their windows, for they looked like so many
staring ghosts. In short I was sensible I had got into Maryland, for every
house was an infirmary, according to ancient custom. 661.
I ARRIVED at Joppa at half an hour after five o’clock, and
putting up at Brown’s, I went and paid a visit to the parson and his wife, who
were both complaining, or grunting (as the country phrase is), and had
undergone the penance of this blessed climate, having been harassed with fevers
ever since the beginning of August. I took my leave of them at eight o’clock,
and supped with my landlord. 662.
Wednesday, September 26th.This
morning proved very sharp and cool. I got over Gunpowder Ferry by ten o’clock,
and rid solitary to Newtown upon Patapscoe, where I dined at Rogers’s and saw
some of my acquaintances. 663.
I CROSSED Patapscoe Ferry at four o’clock, and went to Mr.
Hart’s, where I stayed that night. We talked over old stories, and held a
conference some time with a certain old midwife there, one Mrs. Harrison, and
having finished our consultations, we went to bed at ten o’clock. 664.
Thursday, September 27th.I set
off from Mr. Hart’s a little after nine o’clock, and baited at More’s, where I
met with some patients that welcomed me on my return. 665.
I ARRIVED at Annapolis at two o’clock afternoon, and so
ended my peregrinations. 666.
In these my northern travels I compassed my design, in
obtaining a better state of health, which was the purpose of my journey. I
found but little difference in the manners and character of the people in the
different Provinces I passed thro’ ; but as to constitutions and complexions,
air and government, I found some variety. Their forms of government in the
northern Provinces I look upon to be much better and happier than ours, which
is a poor, sickly, convulsed State. Their air and living to the northward is
likewise much preferable, and the people of a more gigantick size and make. At
Albany, indeed, they are entirely Dutch, and have a method of living something
differing from the English. 667.
In this itineration I compleated, by land and water
together, a course of 1624 miles. The northern parts I found in general much
better settled in the southern. As to politeness and humanity they are much
alike, except in the great towns, where the inhabitants are more civilized,
especially at Boston. 668.