Item #58729 Two autograph letters signed from Jonathan Clap to his brother Nathaniel. Johnathan Clap.
Two autograph letters signed from Jonathan Clap to his brother Nathaniel
Two autograph letters signed from Jonathan Clap to his brother Nathaniel
Two autograph letters signed from Jonathan Clap to his brother Nathaniel

First hand account of activities in Dorchester during Queen Anne's War

Two autograph letters signed from Jonathan Clap to his brother Nathaniel

[Dorchester, Mass.]: 1708. Both 8½" x 7¾", approx. 310 and 350 words respectively (exclusive of the shorthand notes - see below); from Jonathan Clap of Dorchester MA to his brother Nathaniel, then a minister in Newport, RI. In the first letter, dated August 8th, 1708, he writes of conditions at the farm: "god frown on us in respect of the dryness of the season the grass is withered the corn langisheth the dum creaters want the grass of the feed and water for their nurishment god is angry with us." He then details his concerns about the possibility of an approaching enemy, as the Colonies are at the point embrolied in Queen Anne's War. He writes: "this day many of our solder trooper are sent away this morning to see if the can make discovery of a body of the enymie which we heare is com over the leake which the say have bin 20 or 21 day out from moryal (Montreal) whether true or not this is true it will put all towns into a poster of war which are remot and it will be a means of dragging many of our friends an neighbors in to pleases of danger the lord [?] for what his will and pleasure may be and save his people from the 700 hundred which we hear of and keep of every evil thing leat by sin we sepose our fron tears to be come a pray to a cruell barborus nation our neighbors to the soldier of the ennymie in the wildernes. Got people in this town have apointed next fryday to be seat appart to seck the lease and the all myty god for maby full shower one the earth and to pray for defence from enymies." Queen Anne's War was the second in a series of French and Indian Wars fought in England's thirteen colonies. War broke out in 1701 and was primarily a conflict between French, Spanish, and English colonists for control of the American continent while the War of Spanish Succession was being fought in Europe, with each side allied with various Indian tribes. The war was fought on four fronts. The New England front pitted English colonists against French colonists and Indian forces in Acadia and Canada. The French colonists and the Wabanaki Confederacy sought to thwart British expansion into Acadia. They executed raids in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, most famously the raid on Deerfield in 1704. The second letter is dated Sept. 5th of the same year, Johnathan reports that the men who went out to engage with a suspected enemy have returned. "For there have bin all most half the able men in in each town out on sarvis for all most a month past but now there are returned home all of this town but too we have caus to give thanks for their safe return." He also reports on the death of two women in the community: "As I supose you have hard of the death of Mr. Shodders wife in Boston and Mr. Tayler wife in Dorchester. Both rich and one young and strong but death he remueved them both which are warning to all to make ready for it will not spear any for riches busy and strength to bring so great charg on us. For there have bin all most half the able men in in each town out on sarvis for all most a month past but now there are returned home all of this town but too we have caus to give thanks for their safe return." Johnathan continues to lament the drought: "God hes bin with holding raine from us and for want of it corn and grass is much diminished in many pleases. and god is thretting? us with scarsyty for our sin god may punish us justly and make lately god sufer the hethen so take away the lifes and asteat of many and hes given but little suckses to our solder threw he had opertunyty yet how is courrag taken from them and god sems in sum respect to for suckus and his glory to depart from us." At the end of the texts of the letters Nathanial has made note of the date of receipt and has added a series of three notes in shorthand, dated between June 6 and July 8, 1708, which doesn't conform to the dates of the letters, but because these notes are indistinguishable it's difficult to come to any conclusions about them. Nathaniel Clap (1668-1745) was born in Dorchester, graduated from Harvard in 1690, and began his work as a minister in Newport, Rhode Island in 1695. His brother Jonathan Clap (1673-1723), a resident of Dorchester and author of these letters, was a deacon, Town Selectman, and Town Treasurer in that town. Item #58729

Price: $12,500.00

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