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him to be deceived by his courtiers on both sides of the Atlantic, and in his official capacity only, cruel. I thought the expression too passionate, and too much like scolding, for so grave and solemn a document; but as Franklin and Sherman were to inspect it afterwards, I thought it would not become me to strike it out. I consented to report it, and do not now remember that I made or suggested a single alteration.
We reported it to the committee of five. It was read, and I do not remember that Franklin or Sherman criticised anything. We were all in haste. Congress was impatient, and the instrument was reported, as I believe, in Jefferson's handwriting, as he first drew it. Congress cut off about a quarter of it, as I expected they would; but they obliterated some of the best of it, and left all that was exceptionable, if anything in
I have long wondered that the original draft has not been published. I suppose the reason is, the vehement philippic against negro slavery.
As you justly observe, there is not an idea in it but what had been hackneyed in Congress for two years before. The substance of it is contained in the declaration of rights and the violation of those rights, in the Journals of Congress, in 1774. Indeed, the essence of it is contained in a pamphlet, voted and printed by the town of Boston, before the first Congress met, composed by James Otis, as I suppose, in one of his lucid intervals, and pruned and polished by Samuel Adams.
Your friend and humble servant 6 August, 1822.
TO JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, ON HIS ELECTION TO THE PRESIDENCY.
Y DEAR SON: I have received your letter of the 9th. Never
did I feel so much solemnity as upon this occasion. The multitude of my thoughts, and the intensity of my feelings are too much for a mind like mine, in its ninetieth year. May the blessing of God Almighty continue to protect you to the end of your life, as it has heretofore protected you in so remarkable a manner from your cradle! I offer the same prayer for your lady and your family, and am your affectionate father,
JOHN ADAMS. QUINCY, 18 February, 1825.
BORN in Hebron, Conn., 1735. Died in New York, N. Y., 1826.
THE FROGS OF WINDHAM.
[A General History of Connecticut. 1781.] STRAN TRANGERS are very much terrified at the hideous noise made on
summer evenings by the vast number of frogs in the brooks and ponds. There are about thirty different voices among them; some of which resemble the bellowing of a bull. The owls and whippoorwills complete the rough concert, which may be heard several miles. Persons accustomed to such serenades are not disturbed by them at their proper stations; but one night, in July, 1758, the frogs of an artificial pond, three miles square, and about five from Windham, finding the water dried up, left the place in a body, and marched, or rather hopped, towards Winnomantic river. They were under the necessity of taking the road and going through the town, which they entered about midnight.
The bull frogs were the leaders, and the pipers followed without number. They filled a road 40 yards wide for four miles in length, and were for several hours in passing through the town, unusually clamor
The inhabitants were equally perplexed and frightened : some expected to find an army of French and Indians; others feared an earthquake, and dissolution of nature. The consternation was universal. Old and young, male and female, fled naked from their beds with worse shriekings than those of the frogs. The event was fatal to several women. The men, after a flight of half a mile, in which they met with many broken shins, finding no enemies in pursuit of them, made a halt, and summoned resolution enough to venture back to their wives and children ; when they distinctly heard from the enemy's camp these words, “ Wight, Helderken, Dier, Tètè.” This last they thought meant treaty; and plucking up courage, they sent a triumvirate to capitulate with the supposed French and Indians. These three men approached in their shirts, and begged to speak with the General ; but it being dark, and no answer given, they were sorely agitated for some time betwixt hope and fear; at length, however, they discovered that the dreaded inimical army was an army of thirsty frogs, going to the river for a little water.
STORIES OF CONNECTICUT TOWNS.
[From the Same.]
W EATHERSFIELD is four miles from Hertford, and more compact
than any town in the colony. The meeting-house is of brick, with a steeple, bell, and clock. The inhabitants say it is much larger than Solomon's Temple. The township ten miles square; parishes four. The people are more gay than polite, and more superstitious than religious,
This town raises more onions than are consumed in all New-England. It is a rule with parents to buy annually a silk gown for each daughter above seven years old, till she is married. The young beauty is obliged in return, to weed a patch of onions with her own hands; which she performs in the cool of the morning, before she dresses for her breakfast. This laudable and healthy custom is ridiculed by the ladies in other towns, who idle away their mornings in bed, or in gathering the pink, or catching the butterfly, to ornament their toilets; while the gentlemen far and near, forget not the Weathersfield ladies' silken industry.
Simsbury, with its meadows and surrounding hills, forms a beautiful landscape, much like Maidstone in Kent. The township is twenty miles square, and consists of nine parishes, four of which are episcopal. Here are copper mines. In working one many years ago, the miners bored half a mile through a mountain, making large cells forty yards below the surface, which now serve as a prison, by order of the General Assembly, for such offenders as they choose not to hang. The prisoners are let down on a windlass into this dismal cavern, through a hole, which answers the triple purpose of conveying them food, air, and I was going to say light, but it scarcely reaches them. In a few months the prisoners are released by death and the colony rejoices in her great humanity, and the mildness of her laws. This conclave of spirits imprisoned may be called, with great propriety, the catacomb of Connecticut. The light of the sun and the light of the gospel are alike shut out from the martyrs, whose resurrection-state will eclipse the wonder of that of Lazarus. It has been remarked by the candid part of this religious colony, that the General Assembly and the Consociation have never allowed any prisoners in the whole province a chaplain, though they have spent much of their time and the public money in spreading the gospel in the neighboring colonies among the Indians, quakers, and episcopalians, and though, at the same time, those religionists preach damnation to all people who neglect to attend public worship twice every Sabbath, fasting and thanksgiving day, provided they are appointed by themselves, and not by the King and Parliament of Great Britain. This well founded
remark has been treated by the zealots as springing more from malice than policy.
I beg leave to give the following instances of the humanity and mildness the province has always manifested for the episcopal clergy.
About 1746, the Rev. Mr. Gibbs, of Symsbury, refusing to pay a rate imposed for the salary of Mr. Mills, a dissenting minister in the same town, was, by the collector, thrown across a horse, lashed hands and feet under the creature's belly, and carried many miles in that humane manner to jail. Mr. Gibbs was half dead when he got there; and, though he was released by his church wardens, who, to save his life, paid the assessment, yet, having taken cold in addition to his bruises, he became delirious, and has remained in a state of insanity ever since.
In 1772, the Rev. Mr. Mozley, a missionary from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, at Litchfield, was presented by the grand jury for marrying a couple belonging to his parish after the banns were duly published, and consent of parents obtained. The Court mildly fined Mr. Mozley 201. because he could not show any other license to officiate as a clergyman, than what he had received from the Bishop of London, whose authority the Court determined did not extend to Connecticut, which was a chartered government. One of the Judges said, “It is high time to put a stop to the usurpations of the Bishop of London, and to let him know, that though his license be lawful, and may empower one of his curates to marry in England, yet it is not so in America ; and if fines would not curb them in this point, imprisonment should.”
The true character of Davenport and Eaton, the leaders of the first settlers of New Haven, may be learnt from the following fact :- An Eng. lish gentleman, of the name of Grigson, coming, on his travels, to New Haven, about the year 1644, was greatly pleased with its pleasant situation; and, after purchasing a large settlement, sent to London for his wife and family. But before their arrival, he found that a charming situation, without the blessing of religious and civil liberty, would not render him and his family happy: he resolved, therefore, to quit the country, and return to England, as soon as his family should arrive, and accordingly advertised his property for sale; when lo! agreeable to one of the Blue Laws, no one would buy, because he had not, and could not obtain liberty of the selectmen to sell it. The patriotic virtue of the selectmen thus becoming an insurmountable bar to the sale of his New Haven estate, Mr. Grigson made his will, and bequeathed part of his lands towards the support of an episcopal clergyman, who should reside in that town, and the residue to his own heirs. Having deposited his will in the hands of a friend, he set sail, with his family, for England, but died on his passage. This friend proved the will, and had it re
corded, but died also soon after. The record was dexterously concealed by gluing two leaves together; and, after some years, the selectmen sold the whole estate to pay taxes, though the rent of Mr. Grigson's house alone in one year would pay the taxes for ten. hardy enough to exclaim against this glaring injustice, were soon silenced, and expelled the town. In 1750, an episcopal clergyman was settled in New Haven; and, having been informed of Grigson's will, applied to the town clerk for a copy, who told him there was no such will on record, and withal refused him the liberty of searching. In 1768, Peter Harrison, Esq., from Nottinghamshire, in England, the King's collector of New Haven, claimed his right of searching public records ; and being a stranger, and not supposed to have any knowledge of Grigson's will, obtained his demand. The alphabet contained Grigson's name, and referred to a page which was not to be found in the book. Mr. Harrison supposed it to have been torn out; but, on a closer examination, discovered one leaf much thicker than the others. He put a corner of the thick leaf in bis mouth, and soon found it was composed of two leaves, which with much difficulty having separated, he found Grigson's will! To make sure of the work, he took a copy of it himself, and then called the clerk to draw and attest another ; which
Thus furnished, Mr. Harrison instantly applied to the selectmen, and demanded a surrender of the land which belonged to the church, but which they as promptly refused; whereupon Mr. Harrison took out writs of ejectment against the possessors. As might be expected, Mr. Harrison, from a good man, became, in ten days, the worst man in the world ; but, being a generous and brave Englishman, he valued not their clamors and curses, though they terrified the gentlemen of the law. Harrison was obliged to be his own lawyer, and boldly declared he expected to lose his cause in New England; but after that he would appeal, and try it, at his own expense, in Old England, where justice reigned. The good people, knowing Harrison did not get his bread by their votes, and that they could not baffle him, resigned the lands to the church on that gentleman's own terms; which in a few years will support a clergyman in a very genteel manner. The honest selectmen yet possess the other lands, though report says Mr. Grigson has an heir of his own name, residing near Holborn, in London, who inherits the virtues of his ancestor, and ought to inherit his estate.
The sad and awful discovery of Mr. Grigson's will, after having been concealed above one hundred years, would have confounded any people but those of New Haven, who study nothing but religion and liberty. Those pious souls consoled themselves by comparison : “We are no worse," said they, “than the people of Boston and Windham county." The following fact will explain this justification of the saints of New Haven.