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Macaulay, Catharine (1731-1791) Catharine Graham Macaulay papers, GLC 1784.01-1800.04 [decimalized]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01784 Author/Creator: Macaulay, Catharine (1731-1791) Place Written: [various places] Type: Header Record Date: 1763-1791 Pagination:

Includes items between GLC 1784 and 1800.05, totaling approximately 190 items. GLC 1784.01 is a single item.

August 9. 1770
I received from my Friend Mr. Gill, an Introduction that a Letter from me, would not be disagreeable to you; and have been emboldened by that means to give you this Trouble.
I have read, not only with Pleasure and Instruction, but with great admiration, Mrs. Macaulay's History of England. It is formal upon the Plan, which I have ever wished to see adopted by Historians. It is calculated to strip off the false Lustre from worthless Princes and Nobles and selfish Politicians and to bestow the Reward of Virtue, Praise upon the generous and worthy only. No charms of Eloquence can attone for the want of this exact, historical Morality: and I know of no History, in which it is, so religiously regarded.
It was that History, as well as the concurrent Testimony of all who have come to this Country from England that I had formed the highest opinion of the Author, as one of the brightest ornaments, not only of her sex, but of her age and Country. I could not therefore but esteem the Information given me by Mr. Gill, as one of the most agreeable & fortunate occurrences of my Life.
Indeed it was rather a Mortification to me to find, that a few fugitive speculations in a Newspaper, had excited your Curiosity to [2] enquire after me. The Production which some Person in England I know not who has been pleased to entitle "a Dissertation on the Common and Feudal Law,["] was written a Braintree, eleven miles from Boston, in the year 1765 - written at Random, weekly without any preconceived Plan, printed in the Newspapers, without Corrections, and so little noticed or regarded here, that the writer never thought it worth his while to give it either a Title or a Fixative. And indeed the Editor, in London, might with more Propriety have named it "The what d'ye call it." or as the critical Reviews did "a flimsy lively Rhapsody," then by the Title, he has given it. But it happened to hit the Fancy of some one it seems, who has given it a larger duration than a few weeks of printing it in Conjunction with the Letters of the House of Representatives of this Province, and by ascribing it to a very venerable and learned Name. I am very sorry, however that Mr. Gridleys Name was affixed to it, for many Reasons. The Mistakes, Inaccuracies and want of arrangement in it are utterly unworthy of Mr. Gridleys great and deserved Character for Learning, and the general Spirit and Sentiments of it, are by no means reconcilable, to his known opinions & Principles in Politics.
It was indeed written by your present Correspondent, who then had Designs in his Head, which he never attempted to create and probably never will.-deprived as he is by the Infirmities of ill Health, and the Calls of numerous, growing Family, whose only Hopes are in his central applications to the Drudgeries of his Profession, it is almost impossible [3] for him to pursue any Inquiries, or to enjoy any Pleasures of a literary kind.
He has, however been informed that you have in Contemplation an History, in which the affairs of America are to have a Share. If this is true it would give him infinite Pleasure. Whether it is or not, if he can by any Means in his Power, by Letters or otherwise, contribute any Thing to your Amusement, and Specially to your Assistance in any of your Inquiries, he will always esteem himself extremely happy in attempting it.
Pray excuse the Freedom I have taken, Madam in giving you the Trouble of this Letter, and believe me with great Esteem and Admiration, your most obedient and very humble Servant
John Adams
Mrs. Katharine Macaulay

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