1834-35: Thomas March Clark to John Milton Clapp

Thomas March Clark (1860s)

Thomas March Clark (1860s)

These two letters were written by Thomas March Clark (1812-1903) — an American Episcopal bishop. He was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College in 1831 and worked for two years as a teacher. Clark was raised a Presbyterian. He studied at Princeton Theological Seminary and was licensed as a preacher after his graduation in 1835. He soon applied for ordination in the Episcopal Church. Clark was ordained deacon on Feb. 3, 1836, and priest on Nov. 6, 1836. He served parishes in Boston, Philadelphia, and Hartford, Connecticut, prior to his election as the fifth Bishop of Rhode Island. He was consecrated in Grace Church, Providence, on Dec. 6, 1854. Clark was rector of Grace Church between 1854 and 1866, but then resigned to devote himself full-time to episcopal duties. He served as Presiding Bishop from Feb. 7, 1899, until his death. Clark was an active supporter of the Union cause during the Civil War, and he was committed to the theological and social liberalism of the broad church party. He died in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Right Reverend Clark married Caroline Howard (b. 1826) in September 1838 in Boston and they had four children born between 1840 and 1857.

Clark wrote the letters to his chum, John Milton Clapp — an 1831 graduate of Yale who soon after became “principal teacher” in Beaufort College, South Carolina. Later (1836) he resigned, and after a trip North to visit his relatives, with whom he was widely at variance on the slavery question, he returned South and became one of the editors of the “Charleston Mercury.” He also at one time edited the “Southern Quarterly.”

From the content of these letters we can tell that these two college chums were very close, yet we can also see that as they pursued post-graduate careers, they were being slowly drawn apart over sectional differences — especially on the topic of slavery.

1834 Letter

1834 Letter

Addressed to Mr. John Milton Clapp, Beaufort, South Carolina

Theological Seminary
[Princeton] New Jersey
July 16, 1834

Verify, my dear John Milton, in this thy last communication, thou hast outdone thyself!

July 17 — I had proceeded thus far yesterday when I was suddenly called away, but the days are not yet passed away. It is night, sacred night! I sit in solitude — ever & anon, wreathing columns of smoke go up from my epistolary shrine, & as I knock off the ashes from my departing segar, I muse & say — “so it is! man exhausts himself in smoke, & turns to ashes, & is thrown aside to make room for others! dust thou art & unto dust.” It is night! the hour when beasts sleep & man lives! The hour when the present ceases & the past exists! It is night! & I close my curtains for I see no object without familiar to both thee & me, & we will have no intrusions upon this hour. We will be alone. I see thee now. I need no power of vision, borrowed from good old Coburn. I see thee sitting in that chair as plainly as ever in past days. And I will speak with thee tonight just as freely, & as ramblingly, & as secretly & as cooly & as wildly & as foolishly as ever I dared to do. I am in the mood. I shall therefore say nothing worth reading — still less worth remembering. And who shall we “let in” this evening to be discussed? Shall it be him of “Temperance speech” memory? Abaunt! What we both have most reason to dread the coming fall is that him of Lowell will become bodily present to us: — for if Eaton ¹ calls at Princeton, depend upon it, I shall send him further down. Shall it be “those two men?” I trust I do not hate those men, but with him of the whiskers, & him of the throat, let us have no more reminiscence.

Shall it be — yes! it must be so — myself? And what of myself? Truly I know little good & much evil. Of the former, I should not speak. Of the latter, I would not. If called upon to report progress “since my last,” I can only say I am yet alive & well, thank the Giver of all good. I believe I yet hold a place in your kind feelings. Thanks too, many, many, many thanks for that. I yet love to read thy letters (& thy last was assuredly thy best & thy longest) & I yet love to answer them. I am yet 5 feet, 9 inches high & I have a good appetite!

I have forsaken “the Seminary Commons” — driven away by bread made of lime & water, stiffened by spider’s legs & forcibly ejected by an innumerable multitude of flies! I have heard from home too. Warren was a little sick — love sick & body sick. He has no prospect of business; lives upon the interest of his love & knows not what may be reserved for him in future. The man whom the majority of our church rushed to settle over them & whose settlement my father approved, cometh not. Of Lowell, I hear but little. Dr. [John Call] Dalton has lost one of his children — John, I believe. They will suffer much, for you know how their hearts were bound up in their children.

In Princeton, we all hold on the even tenor of our way — all is still, sober, & studious. You ask if I expect to graduate here. That is my present plan. I shall probably take a license next year in autumn & remain in this Seminary another year. I may spend a fourth year in some other institution. Here, of course, all future plans must end. I can look ahead no further. I would just drop a word in your most private ear in passing, touching one other matter, viz. that of the “awful noose.” My plans are the same, as ever. I say as ever, for I have no remembrance of any previous anticipations; but alas! it is yet all project. If I never get married, it will be because I am too lazy to do it. But before many years, I hope — as I said above — “to report progress. “We know what we are, but we know not what we shall be.”

It will not be many weeks before our old classmates will reassign life at Yale. I have no expectation of being there. Were you to be there, I would go on, were it only to gaze upon some few familiar spots together where once we walked & plotted & speculated & anticipated. But with my classmates as such, I feel no sympathy. I did nothing in New Haven for them — nor they aught for me. I laughed for our mutual amusement in their company & they laughed at me behind my back for their own comfort. I made myself the creature of an horn in college, & was fully appreciated! I kept “public house” for them & they — but fudge! There was one place where we ruled.

Do you mean to take your degree of A. M.? By the way, do you know that I have your degree of Bachelor &c. — safely laid away in my tin case? I will bequeath it to posterity unless you call for it. I have now told you, I believe, all that concerns myself & Co. — & gladly turn from so dry (it is a very war evening) a subject, to the perusal again of your letter, & then, taking that for my text, I shall on the coming pages, discourse most freely on all its various topics without regard to order, cleaness, sense, logic, or philology: & truly, most revered Doctor, should I, at any time, vary from the respect due from a Boswell to a Johnson, let it be pardoned.

Suffer the fly to light on the tip of the lion’s ear, & once in a while, buzz soft words of “advice” in the hearing of one, “who hates to be advised.” It shall be a gentle whisper, — At not the monarch of the forest ____ or if he was, let it be “as gentle as any sucking lamb.” What all the above means, I know not & it matters not.

And, imprimis, as to the size of thy sheet, if you write to me on foolscap, I shall always feel bound to return the same (there were 75 lines on your first page, at the rate of 13 words to a line. I have 74 lines at a fraction of your rate of words! Balance per____ — 1 line! vide Hutton’s Mathematics?) just as I should return you a “blanket sheet,” if one could be had — provided you should favor me with the same. Your letters always [greek] — Secundus — “the 4th of July!” — & it is too the date of your letter. One year ago that day we anticipated almost every situation for the 4th of 1834 but the right one. I congratulate you on your abstinence, that you shunned “high places” on that occasion, but in fact, how could you with your toryism hanging about you drink to the patriotic toasts of that day?

And where was I on that occasion? Truly Dr., at my old business — speech making! I believe this infirmity rather grows upon me — & since the premature death of our old friend Eaton, proceeding from his Temperance speech surfeit, I begin to tremble. The afternoon previous to the 4th I took my beast & drove off about 20 miles north of Princeton to be in readiness on the coming day to harangue the multitude. It was a splendid evening & I thought of divers expeditions of old & the thought made me dull. But the roads! At one time knocking my head against the moon till it fairly ached with pain, & the next moment sinking down to the vicinity of Symmes’ hole! But I arrived at last. I soon found myself ensconced in the family of “the minister” — a perfect stranger to me but a fine old man — 13 children — fine table — good company & all comfortable. A fine supper & a tolerable segar soon removed the memory of my troubles & when the old man found out that I was a regular old Yankee, he very facetiously & amply proceeded to enlighten me as to their characteristics taking, of course, the Yankee Pedlar as his guide.

The convocation the coming day was in “nature’s temple,” viz. the wood. All went on as it should til about 12 o’clock when a sudden deluge of rain in a moment scattered the multitudes & of course, snapped a roaring stump speech in twain! The women cut for home like mad sheep, & the men all in full chase after them. The boys yelled for joy & your humble servant resumed — not his speech, but his wagon, & arrived in Princeton about ½ past 7 — too late for supper & too early for the fire works. If you had been with me, I would have laughed over the catastrophe (we are used to such cases) but as it was I — was resigned.

“you are to study law.” — “Am I pleased?” Most assuredly. For I believe you are, with all your abstract (?) dislike of the science, well adapted for it, & still further, as I believe you will enter upon the study under exceedingly favorable auspices, favorable & very pleasant. Shall you continue to teach while studying or defer it till you are finished your professional career? But it does sound queer to tak of you as a lawyer. And yet I believe under existing circumstances you have chosen wisely. It is true, I have hoped that we might meet in the same profession ultimately, — that we might have given each other the “right hand of fellowship” in the clerical profession, & I cannot, therefore, help sending off one sigh in chase of a destroyed but long cherished hope. But you know best your own feelings on this subject. You may well judge that I should hardly call you a “reprobate” because you do not see fit to study theology & though you have placed yourself among the aristocracy of morals, — and yet, John M., — and yet — no! I can’t say just now what I would — but — but caveto! You will hardly suspect me of can’t — (if you ever do, it will be too bad.) but, if I were to enter into the confessional & make you my ghostly father pro. tem., I would tell you that in respect to that preparation for a clerical life, which relates to the feelings, I fear I have been going wrong — wrong — utterly wrong.

O Clapp, I am awake to one thing, I believe. I cannot but think we have been playing too near the fire in making immoralities & hypocrisies the subject of mere ridicule. Have we not bandied about principles too much as matter of mere speculation viewing them as abstractions with which our doctrines are not at all connected. “Nemo enim illic ridet vitia, nec corrumpere et corrumpi saccrilum vocation.” Tacitus. — And, if it is true, that in this life “even in the fairest fountain of delight, there is a secret & evil spring eternally bubbling up & scattering its bitter waters over the very flowers which surround its margin,” let us see to it that in no rash hour we cast away or forget that which alone abideth in happiness. But I wander.

I rejoice that you are coming into a regular profession for he very fact you hint at, — that the “scattered fragments” (as you say), or rather, the miscellaneous stores of your mind will be brought into action. And political life will follow — at least you will make it incritable — with all its pains & meanness, there is something in the rascality that fascinating. But more of this hereafter.

Slavery! I thank thee for thy dissertation. And is it inevitable? Must it abide forever? You will have before this have received information of the New York riots against the abolitionists. The clouds thicken. I am convinced that if the slaves are ever set free, they will have to choose one of three things — Amalgamation, Colonization, or Annihilation. Now, violently opposed as I must be to the Abolitionists, I cannot but hope for the extinction of slavery at some future time; & still further, having but little doubt that this will be the case, I am strongly in favor of Colonization. It has struck me that slavery may in time assume a somewhat different shape than at present — something like the old serfs — so that the South may not be the loser, & yet the unnaturalness of the present system be removed. If slavery is ever abolished, the North must bear her full share in making full & just compensation to the South. I will not forget the A. S. S. [Anti-Slavery Society] Society. But I have divers important topics yet on hand for this letter & I have no more space for slavery at present.

And now, my old friend, your hand! You are a Tory! True, I could have prophesied it. Now, what is Toryism? If you can possibly get hold of Fraser’s Magazine (London) in the last January number, you will find a most magnificent article precisely in reply to the above question. I want a dissertation too on Nullification (from nil & fro; vide E. Lib — ep? Dr?). Your views & your facts. It is a matter I know very little about. Of this too, more anon.

As to my particular friend (second only to one whom modesty will prevent the necessity of his “painting a blush there,” while he reads these lines) Mr. Wallace — you ask his entire name. Strange that I should have forgotten it before (by the way, he is “spending the day” in my room at this present), it is Horace Binney Wallace of Philadelphia, named for his uncle of Phil: Mr. [Horace] Binney, lawyer, whose son took the valedictory in Yale, as you may recollect, some years before I took the same appointment in our class. His father is a reputable lawyer of Philadelphia, of good family &c. Said Wallace is but 18 years of age, but remarkable precocious. In stature, of the middle height, light in complexion, fair hair, perfect Grecian head, except that it is a little too heavily moulded for grace, but not for expressiveness of intellect. His love of English Literature is unbounded but never exhibited in a foolish way ad populum — never obtrusive; in fact, Dr., like you & I, he is remarkably modest! He doth not so much excel in public bodies as in private converse; like thyself, great Dr., having much ability to please the mob from his excessive contempt for the ignoble vulgers, he rather suffereth the oi [greek] to cont____ him. But I dismiss him for the present by merely stating that you may look for an epistle from him shortly; he & I gloat over the prospect of a scene in some future day when he & you , after an intimate friendship & correspondence of half a score of years, shall meet by chance — perfect strangers [greek] & too, by chance, shall discover — discover (O! for a proper expression to wind off my splendid sentence! Ah! I have it!!) — shall discover “who is who!” He is a snuff-taker & a Tory.

One passing word for Lowell. I said in my last that the charm was broken. But I did not mean that the thousand & one recollections — joint recollections — associated with that place were in the least degree impaired. No, John Milton, so long as I am blessed by God with the power of memory, so long will I remember & sheepish the remembrance of our connection there. But were again to renew our “face to face” intimacy, it should not be in Lowell. It should be in a better slime — in a more congenial region. By the way, does it look like a cooling off of your friendship that for nearly a year, our correspondence has been monthly increasing both in frequency, in length, & (permit me to say to you) in interest? “Note it down.” O, it is a glorious sight to look upon such a sheet as thy last! It is pleasant to look out upon a splendid scene. It is pleasant to be wafted along the waters of Beaufort, “where the light winds lie at rest.” It is pleasant to receive a fat salary. It is pleasant to imbibe iced claret in hot weather, — but far more pleasant to my eyes is thy full, well-seasoned sheet. Do you realize that before many months, it will be the anniversary of our last parting scene? O Time — Time — Time!

The Cambridge rebellion ² — well, it has been quite “an interesting scene” there. And our old friend Kit! Would he have remodeled the college after the pattern of the University of Glasgow? But after all, I understand they have admitted over 40 to the coming Freshman Class. Their commencement is said to have been exceeding flat — very few people attended. I heard from ____ the other day. He says they threaten to reorganize our old school about this time. But I suppose they will hardly recognize our old concern as the same thing with their new formation; they would dislike that our names should be written down as the first instructors of the establishment. Verily, as says Bolingbroke, they will pull down the fabric they had built for us in order to pelt us with stones. Dodge! — Clapp — Dodge!

Speaking of dodging reminds me of our railroad. It will be open in a month, I am told.

I am surprised & rejoiced to find your faith so extensive as that you are willing to believe that I am a student. Wallace & your humble servant — as we board together — have begun to talk German a little with each other at the table. I think in time we shall make something of it. We have the ground to ourselves as no one else at the table understands a word. Hebrew goes on easily. I find no difficulties in the language now. We have a splendid teacher [in Archibald Alexander] — very much like S_____ in his modus operandi — pithy, brief & savage. He says fine things & in as few words as possible of the keenest sarcastic powers withal. He gave as a lecture today, strongly recommending us to read for amusement. He is altogether a queer fish. When Prof. in the college here — an old drone hesitated in translating the words bona parte, & [Professor Archibald] Alexander told him very sternly, to call it Bonaparte & go ahead. One of the students, at a certain recitation brought in his dog, & Alexander observing it, ordered the owner of the beast to remove him, as there were a sufficient number of curs already in the room; but as no one acknowledged the dog as his own, he remarked that it “was of no consequence as a fellow __ ing would soon probably lead the animal to search out his master” whereupon the quadruped very leisurely walked up to Alexander & stretching himself round his chair, there abode till the conclusion of the recitation.

July 21. My letter remains unfinished for two days on account of a severe head ache with which I have been afflicted, & I have now delayed it one day longer in consequence of a certain report that last night reached my ears, that I was about to receive an offer: not of matrimony, or suspension, — but of what nature & description, I will leave for you to conjecture till my next. Nothing tangible hath come to light today & I must not delay my sheet any longer.

When & how long are your vacations? I thought you had the summer months, for which to do your own deeds, & think you own thoughts. It gives me great pleasure to hear of the happy & prosperous state of your domestic establishment: the case of your intemperate turkey’s death I will forward to the Temperance Recorder as an “awful warning.” My profound respects to your two expected litters of puppies. Hope they may be well educated. I am about forming a Fly Colonization Society for the transportation of the flies from my domains. I have secured a very healthy & clean whitewashed wall for the site of the colony & hope to fit out an expedition soon. “The smallest favor gratefully received.”

I believe I told you sometime since that I had heard from our old friend Kit McLellan of Baltimore. I received a letter from him not long since pretty well filled up with infidelity & requesting a refutation of divers points in that science, if I could give it, I answered him to the best of my ability in all due candor & as might be expected, have not heard from him since. [Seagrove W.] Magill of our class is married to one of the Miss Twining’s of New Haven.

I feel my bowels yearn for Samuel S. DeForest; verily, most reverered Doctor, it will soon be time for us “to doff the traveler’s cap, & on with the monk’s cowl.” We are getting old — remember that I have passed the 4th of July since my last, & am of course one year older. We are getting old. We begin to “shift into the lean & slippered pantaloon; our “big, manly voice” will soon turn again to childish treble.” Let us then awake out of sleep! When are the movements of fame to begin to rise? Once more must I express my joy that you have come to a decision as to your course of life; — but I should like to witness thy first visiting over some wretched & rather “out o’ the way” case in court! Will you, once in a while, just call to mind, a certain note of thine, de quir karum? — “Glorious science of the law!”

My regards to Mr. Smith & to M. Stuart. How prospers your school? You forgot it entirely in your last. I await the history of your last sea fight — pardon me, I mean — tea fight. A grand joke that, of the sawing off Jackson’s head on the Frigate Constitution one stormy night a few weeks since.³ Some more particulars if you please, respecting the alligator 14 feet long!

Yours as usual, — Thomas M. Clark

¹ This may be a reference to Moses F. Eaton who was secretary of the Lowell Temperance Society in the mid 1830s.

² The 31 May 1834 edition of the Saturday Morning Transcript (Boston, MA) printed the following news:

Rebellion at Harvard. We learn that a rebellious spirit has shown itself at Cambridge. We are not informed of the particulars, but it is reported that some of the members of the Sophomore [Class] having injured the furniture of one of the public halls, President Quincey threatened to send the whole class to Concord. This morning they evinced their contempt of his authority by hissing and scraping at prayers. Te consequence was public rebuke and the dismissal of the class. On the order being announced, the other classes too part against the Government, and the rebellion became general. When we last heard from the seat of war, all studies were suspended.

³ Clark is referring to the incident in 1834 in which seaman Samuel Dewey stealthily rowed across Boston harbor in the dead of night and sawed the face off the masthead figure of Andrew Jackson on the Frigate Constitution which was anchored there. He did so out of protest to President Jackson’s removal of funds from the National Bank which shut down the flow of credit to businesses and angered Boston merchants.


1835 Letter

1835 Letter

Addressed to John Milton Clapp, Esq., Beaufort, South Carolina

Princeton [New Jersey]
September 8, 1835

My dear John,

Do you realize that it is now two years since we sat down on a certain evening by our old school house to wait for the gig that was to carry us on a little ride to Dracut? That was the last day of our being mentally engaged in the same employment? And what has become of these two years? So far as external circumstances go, they have not been very eventful. The monotonous routine of a Theological Seminary has marked their progress, letters from & letters to you have served to keep alive the memory of other scenes. From time to time I have alone visited the region of those past scenes & here the story ends. I have formed a few — a very few — new acquaintances, & forgotten many more old ones. Of these few new friends, I care but a trifle for hardly one & the acquaintance will cease with the occasion that caused it. You have been more in life — you have acted in ever stirring scenes, & found more congenial spirits among them with whom you come in contact.

I do not think the air of college or seminary would ever become wholesome to me. I don’t like its staleness, its forms of society — if it may be said to have any — & I am glad to say that three weeks will terminate all connection which I have with a literary institution. I have concluded not to return here again & also not to enter any other Seminary. I am now & have been for some time attending both the lectures of the present & the succeeding year & have concluded that in two years, all the marrow that there is in such an institution as this cn be extracted & digested. I mean to return home & compose myself there for a time with my books & my pen, preaching occasionally as circumstances shall be. I am now truly waiting for the term to close in order to leave at a canonical time. It will be something of a change of life to have closed this long course of preparation & to enter upon real life — to step the vestibule into the temple. It is a change that I have long anticipated & still now that it has come, I think I care very little about it. It is this with everything, that we have long anticipated. I am glad that I have already passed thro’ the ordeal of examination for license. I have not that ceremony left ahead.

When will you go through the form of admission to the bar & where will you be examined? Your letters have left me in some doubt as to the nature of your plans for the future.

I am now living like a hermit — in a large boarding house. I am the only boarder who occupies a room & thus have the whole range of the domicile to myself. There are two other students whom I meet at table. If I was in good health & in comfortable trim, this solitude would not be unpleasant as it would afford me a much uninterrupted time, but for the past month or six weeks I have been almost constantly unwell & have had an attack of fever which _____ably reduced me.They have a way here of copious bleeding & purging whenever any trifling malady seizes one — as though it were profitable occasionally to be carried one or two or three steps down into one’s grave that we may be sufficiently grateful to the physician for sparing us a deeper descent.

I preached last Sunday at a primitive looking place about 16 miles from here called Ringoes! ¹ Just as a specimen of the liberality of the Jersey people, let me tell you an adventure that happened to one of our students last winter. It was bitter cold weather & he was sent for to go & preach a Sunday at a certain place. He accordingly went. The place was 25 miles off & he of course was at the expense of a horse & gig for a day or two. He preached on Sunday & when he came to take his departure, the Treasurer of the Society, as a compensation for his time & labor & expense, handed him fifty cents!

But it is time for me to turn to some of the topics in your epistle. Your hunting story is a choice one. I should like to see the man who acted in such an adventure as that. The Abolition excitement seems to have burst out of late with great vigor. We hear but little said on the subject in Princeton. There are not a great many slaves in this state but I should think that in this region the blacks constitute about one half of the population. A man was found in a house in Princeton last week endeavoring to obtain subscribers to the Abolition periodicals. A mob of college students & town’s people collected & paraded him through the streets of the edge of the village & then gave him his choice — either to run for it or receive a coat of tar & feathers. He wisely close the former alternative & was heard of no more. ²

It seems that you will not leave Beaufort till February. I have been confidently anticipating your visit to New England this Autumn. When do you mean to come with your present plans? And where have you concluded to settle after leaving South Carolina? I hope we shall not miss of your visit, even if it is somewhat delayed.

You ask for further particulars of my last visit to Lowell &c. but the truth is that the particular incidents have now so completely faded from my mind that I can recall nothing of any interest. “The polar animal E—n” I did not see. He was not exhibited during my stay. His amiable consort I had a transient view of as she stared at her window & as I stood on the minister’s doorsteps. “The bull calf B—ly” was also hidden from my view but his eldest daughter I saw & conversed with. She seemed to think that we did all things well & found great fault with her father & Po. By the way, she is married to one of the Saunders — the talkative one.

I called upon young Dr. Graves & his wife, formerly Anne Adams, & while I was there the placid old gentleman — the elder Dr. Graves — of pleasant obesity, entered. It did my soul good to look upon him. I thought the young Dr. looked rather sheepish (as ell he might), but the father was all bland___ & smiles. What a pleasure to be physicked by such a man! Rev. Mr. [William] Barry has left & is about to leave his people. The good flock in Lowell have for some incomprehensible reason or other become dissatisfied with him. ³

Do you ever hear by letter from any of our old college friends? You are the only one with whom I have any correspondence at all. In fact, you are my only correspondent left apart from my own relations at home. How vigorously for so old a man does Father Time use his scythe! It is one eternal harvest with him & he reaps a most multifarious crop! Well! Well!

I occasionally see in the newspapers the account of the Ordination & settlement of some of our old classmates. I saw the other day an account of [William Ingraham] Kip’s settlement over a parish in this state. I wrote [Rev. Francis V.] Pike a few months since but he has deigned me no reply. He is, I suppose, in Andover pursuing his studies yet.

This is the last letter you will receive from me dated Princeton. Please direct your reply to Newburyport again, not forgetting, if you please, to make such a distinction in the direction that your letter may come into my hands & not my fathers. There are one or two friends whom I shall leave behind me here whose loss I shall regret & one in particular.

With the people resident here I have had no concern & in leaving them, I of course have no regrets. I have written this poor scrawl with no material for a letter, not an incident on hand; before my next, I shall have passed over classic ground again & shall something to communicate. This is an unworthy reply to your last letter, but such as it is, please accept it from your friend in sincerity, — Thomas M. Clark, Jr.

¹ Ringoes is the oldest known settlement in Hunterdon County. The village grew up around John Ringo’s Tavern on Route 179 on the Old York Road. The tavern was the site for many meetings of the Hunterdon Chapter of the Sons of Liberty formed in 1766.

² The Charleston Courier of 17 September 1835 reported on this incident as follows: “At Princeton (N. J.) a fanatic named Silas Tripp, attending and distributing abolition tracts at an Ebon meeting, was called forth, and made to trip out of town, with or rather by a civic escort, amidst much agreeable small talk about tar, feathers, and other like personal decorations.” Another account of the incident appeared in the 12 September 1835 issue of the Gloucester Telegraph (Gloucester, MA) which read: “Silas Tripp, an agent of the Philanthropist, Liberator, &c. was engaged in distributing abolition papers, &c. at Princeton, N. J. last week, and one evening attended a meeting of the blacks in the suburbs of that place — Great excitement was produced — a collection of persons proceeded to the house where the meeting was held, and requested the Lecturer to come out, which, after some altercation, he did, and gave up his papers, &c. They conducted him through the town, with various expressions in reference to Lynch Law, tar & feathers, &c. — but upon his earnest solicitation, and a promise not to be engaged there in like business again, they let him go without inflicting any injury upon him.

³ After leaving Lowell, Rev. William Barry was installed as the pastor of the First Parish in Framingham in December 1835.


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