Transcribed by Gary Carroll, [email protected]
Letter from James Douglas Haszard 1797-1876 to George Haszard 1803-1824. It appeared in the Guardian 29 March, 1938, page 10
From James D Haszard aged 25 to his younger brother George aged 19 ; JD Haszard appears to have been employed at this time by printers John Miller and John Hutchens who began in 1820 to publish the Manufacturors and Farmers Journal and Providence and Pawtucket Advertiser.
Providence, Rhode Island November 9th, 1822
I wrote Mr. Davies a few days since, answering several questions which he suggested, and informing him that I should not return this fall, for sundry reasons therein stated which were among them, my inability to purchase types for want of funds sufficient and I am in very good health, and spirits though Providence and many sections of the United States are sickly to an alarming extent, and it has been the dispensation of Providence to bereave us of one of our cousins, Sarah B. Coles, who departed this life 14th ult. of typhus fever, her brother, William Coles, lies ill of it now. Mr. Miller, my employer and his mother-in-law are also very ill, but the latter is in a convalescent state. As it may be some information and Rhodes Gardiner likely having some knowledge of the persons, I mention them who died during the last month in North and South Kingston, Mr. Chadsey, Mr. Helms, Mr. Chaplin and Mr. Legars, all his wife's relations as far as I have heard are well, I have not seen them this some time.
In New York the yellow fever has abated, and the people are returning to their habitations, which were deserted during the rage of the epidemic. Thirty to forty are dying in New Orleans, twenty-five to thirty in Baltimore and in proportion in many other places in this Union and neighborhood. I cannot feel sufficiently thankful to the bounty of Providence during this awful mortality in preserving me from its languishing and fatal effects. The cold weather now advancing will and has already checked its virulence. I received a letter from Cousin Charlotte Rind, who informs me that William has been married nearly four years since. His wife died last April of a pulmonary complaint, and left an infant, of which she has the charge. Clementina married a second time, a Mr. Latimer, a merchant, she urges me very much to visit Georgetown, but from calculations that I have made, I shall not be enabled. Joanna and herself are not married.
I wish you to enquire if Mrs. Irving of Cherry Valley was not a Creed - if not - if there is not one in Three Rivers who married an Irving. A lady called on one who is a daughter of the late old Mr. Creed of Three Rivers and wishes to hear from her sister, if you find out, she would be glad to receive a letter from Mrs. Irving, who is to direct "Mrs. Searle, Providence, R.I., Pawtixel Street."
Let me know whether Rhodes has got his woolen factory under way and how likely it is to succeed, also how the printing goes on, amd what is said about me. Has the House of Assembly met since I have been away? As there must be many things taken place, do not fail to write me. Has old Mr. Cantelo returned from New York? Any and what are the new letters received from Britain, etc. Mr. Drake, with his Bonaparte was here last September, he is now in Salem.
I must now commence a scolding you for not writing. You would almost make me believe you were not capable, but that I would not be willing to suppose as from the reading and practice you must have had during the time I have been away, have made considerable proficiency, I therefore expect this letter will be immediately answered. If I have been too sanguine in my expectations, get Mr. Davies or some capable person to prepare one for you, but I hope that may not be necessary. When you write do not let it be all together and a repetition of the same things, but plan it so that I may have a letter from someone once a fortnight at least, it is now six weeks since I received Mr. Davies agreeable favour in which he assured me he would write once semifortnightly, but I am afraid he has forgotten his promise, tell him I shall be extremely happy in receiving a letter from him as often as possible.
I have just finished the Laws and have proceeded on a volume of Manuscript Sermons. I have the strongest confidence and respect of Messrs. Miller and Hutchens, who treated me with marked attention. I have also the continued respect of a number of the most opulent and worthy citizens of this place from whom I am continually receiving invitations to their houses. They do not look upon a man here any the least for following his business, tho' it should be mechanical. If he bears a good character, dresses decently and has good introduction, he is sure to be noticed.
I occasionally make from $10.00 to $11.00 per week, but average about $9.00. I am obliged to dress with other expenses, which I cannot avoid in the company which I keep, therefore, I cannot lay by as much as I should wish. I was at a party a few evenings since at Mrs. Nightingale's which was very large, splendid and grand with the most fashionable belles of Providence. I happened, unluckily that evening to be taken with a very severe headache "Miss Greene would say it was the heartache" and I did not enjoy myself as well as I should have otherwise done. I do not like large parties, but the beauties drew me thither, their charms were irresistible.
I may and I may not return with a wife, it will depend on circumstances, that I can get one to please me in every respect. I have made no positive bargain yet, though I have frequent pleasure of the company of several fine ladies, not fine in apparel, etc. but in accomplishmentsand housewifery, etc. If I take the pains and give preference to the Providence ladies, I trust I shall not be deceived.
October 18th: I must from the affection I have for you as a brother, advise and by every means incite you to the pursuit of knowledge. You have good natural abilities, then why not cultivate them? Many idle hours frivolously wasted, would if well employed be paying you principal and interest, otherwise both are lost. I would not wish to see you a stoic or abstractedly employed in the study of sciences, neglecting social duties and innocent pleasures; but, then those may be regarded and the greater objects at the same time properly attended to.
The nine o'clock bell has rung a warning for all honest citizens to be at home (I am writing in the Counting Room). There are very good regulations in Providence. The bell rings at sunrise for to commence work, again at twelve for dinner and at nine at night. The reason for leaving off on the principal topic of my letter was an alarm of fire. I have hardly got the din of the bells, rattling of the engine and vociferations of the cry fire out of my ears. It was nothing of consequence.
I will resume my admonitions to you because it is a subject that so deeply interests me. I have such a fervent desire to see you advance your self, which nothing but perseverance, resolution and industry can do. You are not born to a fortune, even if you were that would not constitute happiness. Probity, restraint and virtue, that not only establishes character, in this world, but prepares for the next. What is a man without character, no confidence I placed in him, no trust reposed, but all his actions suspected of having an evil design. He has no regard for himself, he cannot have any for others, therefore avoid such as you would a reptile. I would in regard to politeness, good breeding, etc. advise you to read Chesterfield's advice to his son. For specimens of perseverance, industry and economy, the Life of Franklin, who you will perceive was nothing more than a printers boy. Read the Histories of England, Rome, Greece, etc. etc. for by them will learn eminent characters that have appeared, the modes of Government, situations, extents curiosities, etc. with a deal of useful matter. As you advance you will take a relish in reading poetry and sublime writings which history will develop to you. How much better you would feel, how much more respected, than if you had been associating with some low misread, ignorant, horse jockey or tricky fellow from whose conversation or manners, no edification was to be derived. You do not know what you may be called upon to do. If you are competent, you may be raised to some high office.
James D. Haszard