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play, but “ the feelings of the writer of the drama, depressed by remarks of this description, officiously handed her both by friends and enemies, declined." 6. The Traveller Returned" was performed in the Boston Theatre, March 9th, 1796., Robert Treat Paine criticised it severely in the “ Orrery,and attributed the authorship to Mrs. Murray. A correspondent of the Centinel replied to the criticism with much tartness, and Paine rejoined with equal severity, insinuating that Mrs. Murray was the correspondent of the Centinel. The controversy occasioned articles in other papers, and finally called forth the following letter from Mr. Murray:

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“Mr. Russell, I have been accustomed from early life to give unlimited credit to the old proverb, Honesty is the best policy ; and being from the dawn of my existence trained up in the habit of speaking 'TRUTH, I feel no inclination to depart therefrom ; and though I delight to give pleasure, I do not recollect speaking well to, or of any individual that I did not think deserved it.

“Some questions asked by "A Friend' in the Mercury of this day, I conceive no one can be so well qualified to answer as myself; and for the information of that friend in particular, and as many of the public in general, as do me the honor to take kind or unkind notice of nie, I beg leave to answer them.

And first. I do most solemnly declare that I never wrote The Traveller Returned', or a single line in that or any other play, not that I think time badly spent in writing a good play, and that. The Traveller Returned coines under that description I am bouud to believe, not only from the general bursts of applause it met with on its representation, out from the judgment of some of the best judges of dramatic excellence in this town.

Secondly. I never was a player of the strolling or stationary kind, in Ireland or elsewhere. Not that I conceive it dishonest or dishonorable to appear on the stage, there

To wake the soul by tender strokes of art;
To raise the genius and to mend the heart;
To make mankind in conscious virtue bold,

Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold. And I have known of some, who off and on the stage, have acted well their part, and there all the lionor lies.

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Thirdly. It is not a fact that I ever read a piece presented for publication before strangers and apprentices in the Centinel office. This, you, sir can testify, which a love of justice will no doubt oblige you to do, detached from the consideration of obliging your's and the public's most obedient servant, -John Murray.

Near the close of the season the same play was performed “ for the benefit of the poor widows and orplians of the town of Boston.” The bill on this occasion was prefaced with a card from the author, respectfully soliciting the patronage of the public, and “relinquishing her claim of pecuniary emolument” in favor of those objects of charity. Between the fourth and fifth acts an " apology for the author" was spoken by Mrs. S. Powell. The complaining tone of the “ apology seems to imply that the piece and its author had been rudely handled by the critics. 2

Some years prior to the publication of The Gleaner Mrs. Murray had published “ in a periodical publication of a miscellaneous nature," an essay on “ The Equality of the

' Sexes.” This she supplements by four papers in The Gleaner, in which she sets forth the justice and propriety of considering women, as far as relates to their understanding, in every respect, equal to men. “ Our evidences tend to prove them alike capable of enduring hardships ; equally ingenious and fruitful in resources; their fortitude and heroism cannot be surpassed; they are equally brave; they are as patriotic, as influential, as energetic, and as eloquent; as faithful and as persevering in their attachments; as capable of supporting with honor, the toils of government; and equally susceptible of every literary acquirement." Some of the discussions of later days on these several points are anticipated by her, and she champions her cause in an interesting and forcible man

Her style in all her writings is somewhat stilted and grandiloquent, quite of the Sir Charles Grandison type, though, perhaps, not more so than was peculiar to many contemporary writers.

* Ibid. Article, Dramatic Reminiscences, No. VI., p. 475.


Copies of The Gleaner having been sent to England, it was 80 well received that its re-publication in that country was solicited and consented to by Mrs. Murray; but the death of the gentlemen to whom the work was entrusted, caused the project to fail. The copy which crossed the Atlantic for the use of the printer, and which her English friend prepared for the press by erasing such local allusions and phrases as would be of no interest to her anticipated new readers, has, after many years, returned to this country, to become the property of the Universalist Historical Society.

A very interesting series of letters written by Mrs. Murray to her parents while she was on a visit with her husband to Philadelphia, in 1790, is preserved. They are of value as furnishing us with the names of some of the most eminent Universalist laymen of that day, and as indicating the respect shown to Mr. Murray, by noted public men of that period.

They went to Philadelphia to assist in organizing a convention of the Universalists of the United States, — the first attempt in our history at a general organization - the "Associ

" ation " formed at Oxford, Mass., in 1785, being purely local in its aim, and temporary in its purpose, and holding no session after 1787. The Philadelphia convention assembled May 25th, and continued till June 8th, the longest time ever given by our people to convention purposes.

At that time the prospects of Universalism in Philadelphia were most flattering. Christopher Marshal, the family of Benjamin Franklin, Dr. William Smith, President of the University, and several of the Professors in that institution, and Dr. Benjamin Rusli, are among those named by Mrs. Murray as favoring the doctrine, and attendants on her husband's preaching. “ The sentiments of the Universalists," she writes

are growing every day more and more respectable in this city. The family of Dr. Franklin is among the foremost of their favorers. Mrs. Bache, the doctor's daughter, says it was her father's opinion that “no system in the Christian world was so effectually calculated to promote the interests of society as hat doctrine which shows a God reconciling the lapsed world to Himself."

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This statement of Dr. Franklin's views was published many years ago, in the London Monthly Magazine as communicated to the correspondent of that periodical by a person who had visited Dr. Franklin's family, and was copied by the late Dr. Whitemore, in his Modern History of Universalism, in 1829. As it was an anonymous communication, it has been regarded by many as mere tradition, if not wholly imaginary. We are now able to authenticate it, and also to account for its publication in the magazine. Mr. Murray, who was proud of his wife's literary abilities, sent this series of her letters to his friend in England, Rev. Robert Redding, for his perusal, the same gentleman who subsequently arranged for the re-publication of The Gleaner. The letters interested Mr. Redding so greatly that he copied them and returned the originals, and published numerous extracts in the London Magazine, among which was this with reference to Mrs. Murray's visit to Mrs. Bache, and their conversation on the religious views of Dr. Franklin. We have quoted from Mr. Redding's copy which was returned to this country a few years ago by his son, since deceased. Of Dr. Rush, Mrs. Murray says in the same letter :


66 Dr. Rush is a man of sense and letters. He is well known in the medical and literary world. I am happy that I can name Dr. Rush as an open avowed Professor of, and ornament to the Religion of Jesus. Addressing Mr. Murray this morning with much candor, he thus expressed himself: • Why, my dear sir, you have stood much alone. How have you buffeted the storm? What a torrent of prejudice, tradition, malevolence and calumny have you had to encounter. Twenty years ago I heard your name, - you were preaching

in Bachelor's Hall. No consideration would have induced me to come within a mile of the place, and had I met you I should not have conceived it could have been you, except I had found you with the cloven foot and with horns! But now peaceful to myself is the revolution. The Bible is a consistent book, and everything that is excellent it contains.'

Of the estimation in which Mr. Murray was held in Philadelphia, and of the desire of the church there to retain him, she thus speaks :

“ The Philadelphians are exceedingly anxious to fix Mr. Murray among them. At first a genteel house, rent free for life, with a salary of £200 a year was proffered him; they now propose £250, and finally, they add, if he will pledge his word to return to them as soon as he can adjust bis affairs to the Eastward, they will insure him, exclusive of his house rent, £ 100. The church belonging to the Universalists in this metropolis not being spacious enough to contain the numbers who flock to hear him, application was made to the Rev. Dr. Smith, provost or president of the college and academy for the use of a building belonging to, and known by the name of the College Hall. A special meeting of the trustees was upon this occasion called, and unanimous consent obtained. Dr. Smith sent a message requesting Mr. Murray's attendance at his house. Mr. Murray, you will not doubt obeyed the summons, when he was escorted to the hall by the President and Professors, who escorted him to the pulpit stairs and then took their seats in the assembly. Mr. Murray, after delivering a discourse, did not immediately appoint a future lecture. The President addressed him: “Sir, I expected you would have published other opportunities for, you must know that the use of the hall is yours, when, and as frequently as you please.' Accordingly, in the week, large and respectable audiences are collected there. Besides the President Messrs. Magaw, Rogers, Bond, McDual and Andrews regularly attended.”

Returning from Philadelphia, Mr. and Mrs. Murray stopped a few days in New York, where they visited President Washington and his family, and received a call from Mrs. Washington. “ One hour," writes Mrs. Murray, “she coudescendingly devoted to me, and so much of friendship did hier salutations wear, so interested and animated was our conversation, that a bystander would have lost all idea of the distance between us, and would hardly have supposed that we met but for the second time.”

Vice-President Adams sent his carrige to convey them to his residence just outside the city, where they passed an afternoon. “Mr. and Mrs. Adams," writes Mrs. Murray, " are still the same kind, hospitable people who some months since received us with such affectionate and amiable kindness,

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