1826 letter from Boston, 4th of July...death of President Adams

July 26, 2018

1826 letter from Boston, 4th of July...death of President Adams

Interesting letter written by Clement Durgin, a schoolteacher in Boston to his brother John, back with the family in Sanborton New Hampshire

Talk of John’s visit to Boston, and the special 50th anniversary of the Fourth of celebration. and the solemn events following the death of ex-President Adams.

It would seem the John misbehaved while In Boston and Clement is jokingly threatening to tell his wife!

On a sad family note, their mother would die a little more than 2 weeks after this letter.

Sent to
John H. Durgin
Sandborton Bridge (ed. Sanborton)
 
Boston July 7th 1826
 
Dear Brother
I have not heard from Sandborton since
you were here monday I know that you ever arrived at home.
If you had not, I probably should have rec’d some enquiry
from your wife and should then have had to relate all that
passed during your stay in Boston how you wanted me to go
up to that noted little place ------- with you and how I
would not, and I should have to tell her that you were so
kind in your remembrance to him, that you thought (that) one
of the same sex would answer just as well and how
do I know that you were not a rogue for you were not under
my eye half the time. I say John if you don’t want me
__(t)ell all this and how you ----- walked with that pretty girl &
__ very dark night & and how you got lost coming home &c.
I say if you wish her not to learn all this you may prevent
It by writing me the first leisure time you have.
 
Nothing has transpired since you left more than is usual in a
city like this -- where daily transactions are such as astonish the
natives -- you can testify to this; recollect how you stand
and _____ and gazed and were astonished at what you saw.
 
I dare say you have told large stories since you returned
especially of the Circus and Museum, and never did a man go
out of Boston better satisfied with what he saw and heard than
you. We have many great days in this city and among the most
important, past, was the Fourth of July and had you been here
you might well have said O! What a thundering noise they make –
At early morn the roar of cannon and ringing of bells announced////
 
the great jubilee and the same was repeated noon and night.
The day was beautiful and all nature seemed to wear a more
than usual pleasant smile. Our common looked like the encamp-
ment of the Israelites journeying to the land of Canaan.
In the evening we had a grand ___ of fireworks prepared by
the city for the occasion. I can give you no adequate description
of this as you have now seen any thing of the kind.
 
I got through the day tolerably comfortably heared two ora-
tions dined with Franklin Society delivered a speech before them
and did as most other people on the occasion, drank toasts
eat grapes, strawberries &c and after all I came off quite sober and highly
delighted -– in the evening went to see the fireworks where I saw more
kind of working than one and retired greatful that I had lived to
see this great jubilee of our happy country.
 
On the morrow it came to pass that our bell were caused to
toll for the death of the venerable president Adams who died
at his residence in Quincy about 4 o’clock PM of the 4th
 
His funeral obsequies were performed this day, and all univer-
sal mark of respect was paid his memory by this city.
 
Bells tolled and minet guns were fired from 4 to 6 o’clock
when the tomb rec’d the remains of this truly great man.
“ So sleep the good who sink to rest.
By all their country’s wishes blest”
 
But 2* of the signers of the declaration of Independence now remain
Mr. Carroll of Maryland and Mr. Jefferson of Virginia,
Mr. Adams died within a few minets after he had completed
the fiftieth year from the time he signed the declaration.
 
I have recently rec’d a letter from brother Jackson – family well
and have lately buried their youngest son about 15 months old
died of measles.
  *But one Mr. Carroll ////
 
I shall probably be at Sandbornton in about
8 weeks – since you were here I have closer my first
year’s engagement and commenc’d another. My salary is
raised to what I told you. I should require viz 600 Dolls.
with some privileges which will be as good as one hundred or
150 more.
I shall endeavour to content myself with that sum
until I can do better, or if my health is preserved I shall
in time get enough to maintain my children comfortably.
 
Give my love to mother with a wish for health and happiness
hoping. I shall soon have the pleasure of seeing you and her.
Tell Mary I believe she owes me a letter or if she does not
I should be glad to give her 25 cents for one.
Remember me to all my brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins,
neighbours, and friends. I don’t wish you to leave your haying
to tell them, but tell all who enquire that I shall be seen a__
and about our premises on or about the first of Sept.  when and
where I shall be extremely happy to mark on them.
=> Look ye well to my threat – if you don’t write soon
I shall ------ I won’t say what if you write
 
I am respectfully your
Affectionate brother
Clement
 
=> Ensign S.A. Durgin Esq.



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