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by Increase Mather, in 1673. The second edition, published in 1712, has, as a heading to the title, "Wo to Drunkards." In the preface to that edition,1 he says, "The Sermons Emitted herewith, were both Preached & Printed Nine and Thirty Years ago, in 1673. There was then need of Preaching & Writing against this prevailing Evil. There is so much more now at this Day." He also says, "There was a time (as I have elsewhere noted) when a man might Live Seven Years in New England, and not see a Drunken man." About 1690 there was published "A Disswasive from the Folly and Sin of Drunkenness. By way of Answer to two Questions: viz. 1 What is it? 2 What may be said against it," printed for and sold by Benjamin Harris, Boston.2
Cotton Mather, in his Diary, says, in 1709, "On the Occasion of some Judgments, which God has dispensed on some Sinners (especially Drunkards) in my Neighbourhood, I thought, that I would watchfully endeavour an holy Improvement of them. I preached a sermon at the Lecture, on that Subject, how Sinners are punished in their very Sins themselves." 3 Again, in 1711, he says, "I am given to understand, that among the Communicants of the Church under my Charge, there are several wicked People. Some that frequently drink to Excess." 4 A note in the Diary, April, 1713, says, "Ezekiel Needham, having been convicted of being scandously overtaken with Drunkenness and of being accustomed unto a Trade of excessive Drinking, he was this Day laid under the Admonition of the Church and suspended from the Communion."6 Sewall in his Diary, under date of March 10, 1686-7, says, "Mr. Mather preaches the Lecture. Speaks sharply against Health-drinking, Card-playing, Drunkenness, profane Swearing, Sabbath-breaking, etc."8
I have thought this tract worthy of your attention, it being one of the earliest, if not the earliest temperance tract, written and published here, as well as one of which three editions were issued and sold in some four weeks from its first appearance, and which besides has been republished from time to time in ten editions, the last over one hundred years after the first.
1 There is a copy in the Boston Athenaeum.
'This is advertised on the last page of Cotton Mather's Companion for Communicants, Boston, 1690, of which there is a copy in the Boston Public Library. 1 ii. 18. * ii. 65. 8 ii. 198. 'i. 169.
The following was submitted on behalf of Mr. Matthews:
Mr. Farwell's remarks cover the ground so completely that little remains to be added. But perhaps three comments will be worth while. Several years ago, before I had seen the book exhibited to-day, I had noted allusions to "Sir Richard" in a sense at first somewhat obscure, but later clearly shown to be a personification of rum. Thus in "An Extract of a Letter from an Officer in Capt. Stewart's1 Company at Jamaica, dated Jan. 8. 1740," it is stated that "We have lost four of our Soldiers since we left Boston, two of them at Sea, which Sir Richard kill'd." 1 Again, the following passage occurs in the Massachusetts Centinel of June 18; 1785:
SHELBURNE,1 June 6.
Saturday last being the anniversary of His Majesty's Birth Day, the same was celebrated here with every demonstration of Joy: ... In the evening the barracks were beautifully illuminated, as were also many of the houses in town; and the night was spent with that decorum that marks the character of loyal subjects, viz. getting drunk for the honor of the crown —fighting out of love to Majesty — and rolling about in the streets all night in honor of Sir Richard's victory (p. 2/3).4
But why was rum personified as Sir Richard, rather than as Sir David, Sir John, or what not? Though of no importance, the question interested me, and was solved when one day at the Boston Athenaeum I called for a pamphlet and found it bound up with other pamphlets, one of which was the edition of the Indictment and Tryal of Sir Richard Rum mentioned by Mr. Farwell.5
1 Capt. George Steuart, who was killed a few weeks later. He was the father of Sir John Steuart (H. C. 1734).
1 New England Weekly Journal, March 17, 1741, p. 1/3. 'Shelburne, Nova Scotia.
4 Sometimes the name appears in full, as in the Farmer's Almanack for 1816:
"Our good or bad fortune depends greatly on the choice we make of our friends." I never knew Sir Richard Rum's friendship worth preserving. He is warm and very cordial at first, but .he is sure to lead you into difficulty in the end (in Kittredge, Old Farmer and his Almanack, p. 274).
s It is of course possible that the author of the pamphlet used a name already familiar; but I know of no example of "Sir Richard" before 1724, and until such example is produced it must be assumed that "SirRichard" was derived from the pamphlet. No doubt "Richard" was selected for the alliteration.
Secondly, it is fitting that Barbados should be brought into the argument, for it was there that both the liquor and the word rum as applied to it originated1
Thirdly, in Sir Richard's plea for himself we have — unless indeed in 1724 it was already a Joe Miller — the original of a story which later became famous, was repeated in many forms, and was more than once attributed to Franklin. "The further South you go, especially towards N. York, N. Jersey, &c," says Sir Richard, "they hate a Stranger as they hate a Rattle-Snake;" and then he goes on to speak of the "impertinent Questions" to which a traveller in those parts was subjected, as, "From whence did he come? Where is he bound? What is his Name and Business?" * In 1759 and 1760 the Rev. Andrew Burnaby, Vicar of Greenwich, travelled extensively in this country, and, speaking of New England, wrote:
The lower class of people . . . are impertinently curious and inquisitive. I was told of a gentleman of Philadelphia, who, in travelling through the provinces of New England, having met with many impertinences, from this extraordinary turn of character, at length fell upon an expedient almost as extraordinary, to get rid of them. He had observed, when he went into an ordinary, that every individual of the family had a question or two to propose to him, relative to his history; and that, till each was satisfied, and they had conferred and compared together their information, there was no possibility of procuring any refreshment. He, therefore, the moment he went into any of these places, inquired for the master, the mistress, the sons, the daughters, the menservants and the maid-servants; and having assembled them all together, he began in this manner. "Worthy people, I am B. F. of Philadelphia, by trade a , and a bachelor; I have some relations at
Boston, to whom I am going to make a visit: my stay will be short, and I shall then return and follow my business, as a prudent man ought to do. This is all I know of myself; I beg therefore that you will have pity upon me and my horse, and give us both some refreshment." a
Here the story is related of New Englanders in general. In the next version it is brought home to the people of Connecticut:
1 See the Oxford Dictionary under "kill-devil," "rum," "rumbullion," and "rumbustion."
• See p. 239, above.
* Travels through the Middle Settlements in North-American, London, 1775, pp. 82-83; second edition, London, 1775, pp. 143-144.
PORTSMOUTH, January 14, 1774.
Yesterday came to Town in the Stage-Coach from Boston, the LADY,1 who is said to be the Dutchess or Princess of Cronenburgh — in some of the Southern Papers, she has gone by the above and different Names and Titles, as may be seen by our late Papers. A Correspondent says, it is a pity this Lady came from New-York to Rhode-Island in a Packet, for had she come through the Colony of Connecticut, we should certainly have known who and what she was, as it is generally the Custom at all Public Houses there, to ask a Stranger, what is his Name & his Business, where he came from, where he is going, &c. &c. before they'll even give your Horse Oats?
In the same year Patrick M'Robert, also alluding to New England, represents the traveller as a Scotchman, who, "as soon as he entered a tavern, . . . used to begin and tell them he was such a one, telling his name, travelling to Boston, born in North Britain, aged about thirty, unmarried, prayed them not to trouble him with any more questions but get him something to eat." 3 In the Massachusetts Centinel Extraordinary of December 16, 1789, there appeared, under the heading "ANECDOTES. From a London paper. AMERICAN INQUISITIVENESS," an article by "A Gentleman who has travelled through most parts of North America" which reads in part as follows: •
This curious spirit is intolerable in the Eastern States; and the gentleman 4 who has favoured us with this article, has heard the celebrated
1 From 1773 to 1775 many amusing passages relating to this person are found in American newspapers, letters, and diaries. Her name was Sarah Wilson, she lived in the family of the Hon. Caroline Vemon, committed theft, was transported, was a convict servant in Maryland, made her escape, assumed various high titles, travelled in style in the northern colonies, proved a great enigma to the good people of New England, and even took a hand in the political controversies of the day.
* New Hampshire Gazette, January 14, 1774, p. 3/2. On July 4, 1787, the Rev. Manasseh Cutler, then travelling through Connecticut, wrote:
The landlord ... is a genuine Connecticut tavern-keeper — before your horse's bits are out of his mouth, the usual questions are asked: What's your name? Where did you come from? Where are you going? And, what's your business? Answer these questions, and his curiosity is completely satisfied; nor does he wish to know a syllable more about you, only that you will take care to pay your bill (Life, Journals, and Correspondence, i. 223-224).
* Quoted by our associate Mr. Kittredge in his Old Farmer and his Almanack, p. 268.
4 Possibly Andrew Burnaby, who did not die until 1812 (Dictionary of National Biography).
Dr. Franklin, who is himself a Bostonian, relate with great pleasantry, that in travelling, when he was young, the first step he took for his tranquility, and to obtain immediate attention at these inns, was to anticipate inquiry, by saying, "My name is Benjamin Franklin, I was born at Boston, am a Printer by profession, am travelling to Philadelphia, shall return at such a time, and have no news — now what can you give me for dinner" (p. 1/1).
Finally, in a slightly different form but still applied to Franklin, the story was again printed in the Massachusetts Magazine for February, 1792 (IV. 116).
What bearing has this story on the authorship of Mr. Farwell's tract? So far as it has any, it seems to me to show conclusively that the anecdote did not originate with Franklin. At the time of the publication of the tract, Franklin was barely eighteen years old, he had recently quarrelled with his brother James, and until a few months before he had never, so far as is known, left Boston. Exactly when he ran away has never been ascertained, but presumably it was in or about September, 1723, since James Franklin on September 30 advertised for "a likely lad for an Apprentice" 1 and Benjamin had certainly reached Philadelphia in October of that year.2
Mr. Samuel E. Morison read a translation of a curious and amusing document, which he recently found in Paris, describing a project for a descent on St. Helena in 1780 by John Paul Jones, at the head of a contingent of Americans disguised as East Indian women.
The following paper by Mr. Julius H. Tuttle was read:
PETER PRUDDEN'S COMPANY AND COLONIAL AFFAIRS IN 1637 AND 1638
In 1637, the large and increasing numbers of incoming passengers did not always find suitable accommodations among their friends in the maritime towns of the Bay Colony. The overcrowding of these towns had led a few years before to permission given by the General Court to the inhabitants of any town to make settlements else
1 Publications of this Society, ix. 456.
1 A. H. Smyth's Writings of Franklin, i. 260, x. 153.