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were to lead the opposition to government; and he seemed all at once to have deserted the cause, and gone over to the enemy. The following letter, addressed to his father, will show the state of the public mind, and the importance which was attached to Mr Quincy's decision.
"Braintree, March 22, 1770. "My Dear Son,-I am under great affliction, at hearing the bitterest reproaches uttered against you, for having become an advocate for those criminals who are charged with the murder of their fellow-citizens. Good God! Is it possible? I will not believe it.
"Just before I returned home from Boston, I knew, indeed, that on the day those criminals were committed to prison, a sergeant had inquired for you at your brother's house,—but I had no apprehension that it was possible an application would be made to you to undertake their defence. Since then I have been told that you have actually engaged for Captain Preston;—and I have heard the severest reflections made upon the occasion, by men who had just before manifested the highest esteem for you, as one destined to be a saviour of your country.
"I must own to you, it has filled the bosom of your aged and infirm parent with anxiety and distress, lest it should not only prove true, but destructive of your reputation and interest! and I repeat, I will not believe it, unless it be confirmed by your own mouth, or under your own hand.
"Your anxious and distressed parent,
His reply to his father is eminently characteristic of his intrepidity in the discharge of what he considered his duty.
Boston, March 26, 1770.
"Honoured Sir,-I have little leisure, and less inclination either to know, or to take notice, of those ignorant slanderers, who have dared to utter their "bitter reproaches" in your hearing against me, for having become an advocate for criminals charged with murder. But the sting of reproach, when envenomed only by envy and falsehood, will never prove mortal. Before pouring their reproaches into the ear of the aged and infirin, if they had been friends, they would have surely spared a little reflection on the nature of an attorney's oath and duty ;— some trifling scrutiny into the business and discharge of his office; and some small portion of patience in viewing my past and future conduct.
"Let such be told, Sir, that these criminals, charged with murder, are not yet legally proved guilty, and therefore, however criminal, are entitled, by the laws of God and man, to all legal counsel and aid; that my duty as a man obliged me to undertake; that my duty as a lawyer strengthened the obligation; that from abundant caution, I at first deelined being engaged; that after the best advice, and most mature deliberation had determined my judgment, I waited on Captain Preston, and told him that I would afford him my assistance; but, prior to this, in presence of two of his friends, I made the most explicit declaration to him, of my real opinion, on the contests (as I expressed it to him) of the times, and that my heart and hand were indissolubly attached to the
cause of my country; and finally, that I refused all engagement, until advised and urged to undertake it, by an Adams, a Hancock, a Molineux, a Cushing, a Henshaw, a Pemberton, a Warren, a Cooper, and a Phillips. This and much more might be told with great truth, and I dare affirm, that you, and this whole people will one day REJOICE, that I became an advocate for the aforesaid "criminals," charged with the murder of our fellow-citizens.
"I never harboured the expectation, nor any great desire, that all men should speak well of me. To inquire my duty, and to do it, is my aim. Being mortal, I am subject to error; and conscious of this, I wish to be diffident. Being a rational creature, I judge for myself, according to the light afforded me. When a plan of conduct is formed with an honest deliberation, neither murmuring, slander, nor reproaches move. For my single self, I consider, judge, and with reason hope to be immutable.
"There are honest men in all sects, I wish their approbation ;-there are wicked bigots in all parties,-I abhor them." I am, truly and affectionately, your son, "JOSIAH QUINCY JUN." These gentlemen have been perhaps duly honoured for this remarkable sacrifice of the strongest personal and party passions to principle and a sense of duty; but we have thought that the vast good which they did to their country, and the immense advantage, which the cause they loved, derived from their courage and success, has hardly been rightly estimated. The condition, to which the troubles of those times should lead, depended almost wholly upon the course which public opinion should finally take. All eyes, in all parts of the continent, were fixed upon Boston, and although the principles of Mr Quincy and his compatriots spread rapidly and widely, and seized upon men's minds with a power, which might well be deemed miraculous, still their success was protracted and difficult. What would it have been, if these patriots had not profited by this opportunity, not merely to protect their cause from an indelible stigma, but to give it a most dignified and imposing character, and win for it the approbation and zealous good will of the noble-minded every where?
In 1773, his health had so much declined, that it was thought a change of climate afforded the only hope of his recovery. Accordingly, in February of that year he sailed for Charleston, South Carolina, whence he returned by land to Massachusetts. He visited, of course, the most prominent individuals wherever he went, and his interesting letters and journal show that his thoughts seldom wandered from that object, which he had most at heart. He immediately resumed his professional practice, but testified his interest in the public.
affairs of the day and the strength of his intellect, by various efforts in the public service, and particularly by his celebrated" Observations on the Boston Port-Bill," and essays on the Hutchinson papers, under the signature of "Marchmont Nedham." In 1774 he determined to abandon his profession and embark for England. In that country he remained some months, exerting himself with unremitted assiduity to advance that cause upon which all his thoughts and cares were concentrated. His health again failed him; but he determined to return home, although his London physicians were very confident that a residence in Bristol for a season would be eminently useful. When at sea, he grew rapidly worse, and, on the 26th of April, died in sight of his native shore.
We cannot do justice to the motives, which induced him to encounter the risk of this voyage, without giving to our readers some extracts from a letter, which he dictated to a sailor on board, after he became incapable of writing.
"At Sea, April 21, 1775.
"Foreseeing that there will be many inexplicable circumstances in the way of my friends, to account for many things relating to my conduct, I should have been glad, if God had spared my life, to converse with them once more. But this, his holy Providence seems fully settled to deny. Some few matters I have prevailed with a friend on board to minute for their information.
My going to America at this time was very considerably against my inclinations, especially as Doctor Fothergill was of opinion that Bristol waters would be of great advantage to me. But he did not dissuade me from going to America, but advised it very strongly in preference to my staying in London, or its environs.
"The most weighty motive of all that determined my conduct, was the extreme urgency of about fifteen or twenty most stanch friends to America, and many of them the most learned and respectable characters in the kingdom, for my immediately proceeding to Boston. Their sentiments what ought to be the conduct of Boston, and of the continent, at this, and the approaching season, I had heard very often in the social circle; and in what things they differed I perfectly knew. appeared of high importance that the sentiments of such persons should be known in America. To commit their sentiments to writing was neither practicable nor prudent at this time. To the bosom of a friend they could intrust what might be of great advantage to my country. To me that trust was committed, and I was, immediately upon my arrival, to assemble certain persons, to whom I was to communicate my trust, and had God spared my life, it seems it would have been of great service to my country. *
* Ever since I have been out, almost every thing has been different from what I expected. Instead of pleasant weather, the most inclement and damp, which removes me entirely from the deck, and when I was flattered with the hope of getting into port six days ago, I
am yet here, as distant from it as when the encouragement was given me. Had Providence been pleased that I should have reached America six days ago, I should have been able to converse with my friends. I am persuaded that this voyage and passage are the instruments to put an end to my being. His holy will be done!
"Mr Quincy is so low, that he probably will not be able to read a word of the foregoing, but it is to be hoped it will be intelligible with a little pains."
We had marked for quotation many passages of his Journal while in England, and of his letters thence; but, upon the whole, we think it unnecessary to insert them, as we cannot doubt that the peculiar merits of this volume will ensure a thorough perusal of it, by all who are interested in the history of our Revolution.
Reform of Harvard College. (For the Titles, see last Gazette.) [CONTINUED.]
THIS second committee, it must be admitted, performed their duty faithfully. The result of their labours was the pamphlet marked No. 3, in the list at the head of this article. It contains the most complete account of the actual state of the University which we have ever met with; we may add, the most complete which could well be given in any reasonable compass. It consists of four several documents, and the manner in which they were obtained is thus briefly, clearly, and satisfactorily stated.
The Committee have invited and received communications from the President and Treasurer of the University, from the Immediate Government as a body, and from each of the Instructers; and the documents herewith submitted exhibit the statements received from them, comprising all the information which the Committee were instructed to procure.
The nature of these documents is thus described.
No. I. is the Statement received from the Treasurer, setting forth the Finances of the University, comprising a particular account of its ways and means, the expenses necessary during the present College year, the salaries of all the officers, and the funds from which the same are paid.
No. II. contains the Foundations, Statutes, and Regulations of the several Professorships and Tutorships, showing the duties which are required of each Instructer, or may be required of him consistently with the terms of the original foundation, or with the contract made between him and the University.
No. III. contains the Answers of the Immediate Government to a series of questions proposed by the Committee with the view of ascer taining and exhibiting the present organization of the Government and the practical effects of that organization, the course of instruction and modes of discipline, the duties performed by the College officers, the conduct and proficiency of the Students, the necessary expenses of education, the changes which have taken place in these respects during the last twenty years, and such further particulars in relation to the condition of the University in all its departments, as would enable the overseers to form a satisfactory opinion of the application and probable effect of the various alterations which had been, or might be suggested.
With a view to the performance of the further duties assigned them, that of recommending such specific regulations as they should deem expedient, and that of preparing a code of College Laws in a simple and brief form, including those regulations; the Committee communicated to each of the instructers their intention of asking a personal interview with him after receiving his answer to their letter. Their object was to enter into a free discussion of the measures to be proposed, with those, whose situation and experience enabled them to ascertain with the most accuracy the nature and extent of existing evils, and to suggest the most appropriate and effectual remedies. On learning afterwards, however, that the Immediate Government had been for some time engaged, at the request of the Corporation, in preparing a new code of laws, as a manual for the use of the Students, intended to embrace all the specific regulations, which they should think it expedient to adopt at present, the Cominittee determined to postpone any further proceedings in relation to this subject, until the Report of the Government should be completed. This is now done, and the contemplated code has been laid before the Corporation, by whom it has been recently transmitted to this Committee with the information, that it is substantially approved by that body, though it has not yet been acted upon definitively.
No. IV. exhibits this Code.
The publication of this collection brings the actual state of the University distinctly before the public, an important and highly valuable result of the discussions, if they had produced no other. We are thus enabled to form our own opinions from the facts of the case, instead of depending upon vague and general representations. We shall avail ourselves of the opportunity, which is thus afforded us, to make some remarks which are suggested by portions of this report.
It is well known to many of our readers, that it has been objected to Harvard College, that an education in that seminary is too expensive-and it is admitted directly or indirectly by both committees, that this is the fact. We believe this objection has had much greater weight than any single one, perhaps than all others together, in deterring parents in moderate circumstances from sending their children to Cambridge.