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ed by Benjamin and Josias, who adhered to them ever after. The rest of the family continued in the episcopal Church,
My father, Jofias, married early in life. He went, with his wife and three children, to New England about the year 1682. conventicies be. ing at ihat time prohibited by law, and frequently disturbed, some considerable persons of his acquaintance determined to go to America, where they hoped to enjoy the free exercise of their religion, and
my father was prevailed on to accompany them.
My father had also by the same wife four children born in America, and tenothers by a second wife, inaking in all seventeen. I remember to have seen thirteen feated togetherathis table, whoall arrived to years of maturity, and were married, I was the låst of the fons, and the youngest child, excepting two daughters. I was born at Boston in New In, gland. My mother the second wise, was Abiah Folger, daughter of Peter Folger, one of the first colonists of New England, of whom Cotton Matlier makes honourable mention, in his Ecclefiafti cal History of that province, as “a pious and learng
ed Englishman," if I rightly recolle his expres; Tions. I have been told of his having written a variety of little pieces; bur; there appears to be on, ly one in print, which I met with many years ago It was published in the year 1075, and is in, faini liar verse, agreeable to the tase of the times and the country. The author addresies himself to the governors for the time being, speaks for liherry of consciepce, and in favour cithe anabaptist cho kers, and other sectaries, who had suffered perrcution. To this perfecution heattributes thié wars with the natives, and other calamities which afflict. ed the country, regarding them as the judgements of God in punishment of so odious an offence, and he exhort's the government to the repeal of laws fo contrary to charity. The poem appeared to be written with a manly freedom and a pleasing finplicity. I recollect the six concluding lines, though I have forgotten the order of words of the two firii; the sense of which was, that his censures were die. tated by benevolence, and that; of consequence, he wished to be known as the author, because, faid he, I hate froin my very foul dissimulation :
From Sherburne*; where I'dwell,
I therefore put my name,
PETER FOLGER. My brothers were all put apprentices to different trades. With respect to myself, I was selit, at the age of eight years to a grammar school. My - father destined me for the church, and already regarded me as the chaplain of the family. The promptitude with which from my infancy I had . learned to read, for I do not remember to have been ever without this acquirement; and the encouragements of his friends, who assured him that I should one day certainly become a man of letters, confirmed him in this design. My uncle Benjamin approved also of the scheme, and promised to give me all his volumes of fermons, written, as I have said, in the short hand of his invention, if I would take the pains to learn it.
I remained however scarcely a year at grammar school, although, in this short interval, I had ri
Tovn in the Island of Nantucket:
fen from the middle to the head of my class, from thence to the class inimediately above, and was to pals at the end of the year, to the one next in order. But my father, burthened with a numerous family, found that he was incapable, without subjecting himself to difficulties, of providing for the expence of a collegiate education ; and confidering besides, as I heard him say to his friends, that persons so educated were often poorly provided for, he renounced his first intentions, took me from the grammar school, and sent me to a school for writing and arithmetic, kept by a Mr. George Brownwel, who was a skilful maiter, and succeeded very well in his profeffion by employing gentle means only, and such as were calculated to encourage his scholars.
Under him I soon acquir. ed an excellent hand; but I failed in arithmetic, and made therein no sort of progress.
.At ten years of age, I was called home to assit my father in his occupation, which was that of soap-boiler and tallow.chandler; a business to which he had served no apprenticeship, but which he embrac’d on his arrival in New England, because he found his own, that of a dyer, in too little request to enable him to maintain his family, I was accordingly employed in cuttiog the wicks, filling the moulds, taking care of the Thop, carrying messages, &c.
This business displeased me, and I felt a strong inclination for a sea life; but my father set his face against it. The vicinity of the water, howeve., gave nie frequent opportunities of venturing my self both upon and within it, and I foon acriuired the art of iwimming, and of managing a boat.-When embarked with other children, the help
was commonly deputed to me, particularly on difficult occasions; and, in every other projeet, I was almost always the leader of the iroop, whom I sometimes involved in embarrassments. I shall give an instance of this, which demonstrates án early difpofition of mind for public enterprises, though the one in question was not conducted by justice.
The mill-pond was terminated on one side by a marsh, upon the borders of which we were accurtomed to take our stand, at high water, to angle for small fish. By dint of walking, we had converted the place into a perfect quagmire. My propofal was to erect a wharf that should afford us firm footing; and I pointed out to my companions a large hcap of stones, intended for the building a new house near the marsh, and which were well adapted for our purpole. Accordingly, when the workmen retired in the evening, 1 assembled a number of my playfellows, and by labouring dilia gently, like ants, sometimes four of us uniting our strength to carry a fingle store, we removed them all, and conitructed our little quay. The workmen were surprised the next morning at not find. ing their stones, which had been conveyed to our wharf. Enquiries were made respecting the autllors of this conveyance; we were discovered ; complaints were exhibited agajnit us ; many of uns underwent correction on the part of our parents; and tliough I ftrenuously defended the utility of the work, my father at length convinceu me, that nothing which was not strictly honeft could be useful. It will not, perhaps
, be uninteresting to you to Inox that sort of a man my father was,
. He has
an excellent constitution, was of a middle fize, but well made and strong, and extremely active in whatever he undertook. He designed with a degree of neatness, and knew a little of mufic. His voice was sonorious and agreeable ; so that when he sung a psalm or hymn with accompaniment of his violin, as was his frequent practice in an evening when the labours of the day were finished,
it was truly delightful to hear him. He was · verfed also in mechanics, and could upon occasion, use the tools of a variety of trades. But his
a and folid judgement in matters of prudence, both in public and private life. In the former indeed he never engaged, because his numerous family and the mediocrity of his fortune, kept him unremittingly employed in the duties of his profession. But I very well remember that the leading men of the place used frequently to come and ask his advice respecting affairs of the town, or of the church to which he belonged, and that they paid much deference to his opinion. Individuals were also in the habit of consulting him in their private affairs, and he was often choferi arbiter between contending parties.
He was fond of having at his table, as often as polible, some friends or well informed neighbours capable of rational conversation, and he was ala ways careful to introduce useful or ingenious to
lifcourse, which might tend to form the of his children. By this means he early I our attention to what was just, prudent, ficial in the conduct of life. He never the meats which appeared upon the ta discussed whether they were well or !