Thursday, August 7, 2014

John Greenleaf Whittier Letter to decline Endicott celebraton 1878


John Greenleaf Whittier dodges Gov John Endicott ceremony in Salem Massachusetts. His letter to George M Whipple is posted below From September 22 1878 New York Times Archives




Thomas Macy court dealings with Puritans and Edward Wharton Source This year several persons were prosecuted and fined for violating the law of 1657, which prohibited ‘entertaining quakers.’ Among them was Thomas Macy, one of the first settlers of Newbury, but at this time a resident in Salisbury. Complaint having been made against him, he was summoned to appear before the general court, to answer the charges preferred against him. Instead of complying with the requisition, he sent a letter, of which the following is a copy. More on Quaker Persecutions
‘This is to entreat the honored court not to be offended because of my non-appearance. It is not from any slighting the authority of this honored court, nor from feare to answer the case, but I have bin for some weeks past very ill, and am so at present, and notwithstanding my illness, yet I, desirous to appear, have done my utmost endeavour to hire a horse, but cannot procure one at present. I being at present destitute have endeavoured to purchase, but at present cannot attaine it, but I shall relate the truth of the case as my answer should be to ye honored court, and more cannot be proved, nor so much. On a rainy morning there came to my house Edward Wharton and three men more; the said Wharton spoke to me saying that they were traveling eastward, and desire me to direct them in the way to Hampton, and asked me how far it was to Casco bay. I never saw any of ye men afore except Wharton, neither did I require their names, or who they were, byt by their carriage I thought they might b e quakers and told them so, and therefore desired them to passe on their way, saying to them I might possibly give offence in entertaining them, and as soone as the violence of the rain ceased (for it rained very hard) they went away, and I never saw them since. The time that they stayed int he house was about three quarters of an hour, but I can safely affirme it was not an houre. They spake not many word in the time, neither was I at leisure to talke with them for I came home wet to ye skin immediately afore they came to the house, and I found my wife sick in bed. If this satisfie not the honored court, I shall subject to their sentence: I have not willingly offended. I am ready to serve and obey you in the Lord,’
Tho. Macy [Essex County Court files]
Notwithstanding this explanation and apology, he was fined thirty shillings, and was ordered to be admonished by the governor, for ‘entertaining quakers,’ two of whom, William Robinson and Marmaduke Stephenson, were hung in Boston, December twenty-seventh, 1659. Tradition informs us, that Thomas Macy immediately after his sentence, took an open boat, and with his wife and children, went to Nantucket, was one of the first English settlers in that island, and there resided the remainder of his life. An amusing ballad, founded on the above-mentioned incidents, was written by the poet J.G. Whittier, and published some years ago in a Philadelphia annual.
A Collection of the Sufferings of the People Called Quakers: For the Testimony of a Good Conscience from the Time of Their Being First Distinguished by that Name in the Year 1650 to the Time of the Act Commonly Called the Act of Toleration Granted to Protestant Dissenters in the First Year of the Reign of King William the Third and Queen Mary in the Year 1689, Volume 2 
From  The history of the rise, increase, and progress, of the Christian people called Quakers


                                                   George M Whipple House in Salem
From [Gov. Endicott; Massachusetts; G. Whittier; Salem; Mass.,] Monday, September 23, 1878 Cincinnati Daily Gazette (Cincinnati, OH)


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