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manufacturers. Subsequent events Gen. Palmer, with all his sentidefeated his projects with respect to ment and imagination, was an emi. this settlement. He lived here, how. nently practical man. Never clos. ever, before and after the revolution- ing his heart against those whom ary troubles commenced, more like Providence saw fit to subject to the an old fashioned English country heavy trial of poverty and the misgentleman, than any one beside has conception of society, he saw that ever done amongst us. For his en- many worthy persons were driven terprise and activity were even sur- to despair, by the absolute impossipassed by his philanthropy and be-bility, which occurs often in the nevolence. While he was surround- midst of flourishing society, to obtain ing his handsome residence with all employment; unless aided by the the comforts and beauties which his countenance and purse of some reeasy fortune and refined taste ena- spectable friend. By becoming that bled him to do with facility; furnish. friend, at the moment when hope ing a well chosen and somewhat ex- and despair were contending for victensive library, and enjoying the tory in the sensitive and inexperience pleasant neighborhood of the Quin- ed but honest and noble heart, he cys, Cranches and Adamses, he established many young people in threw wide open the door of a gen- useful and lucrative employments. eral hospitality. This place in the From the time of Mr. Palmer's course of time came to be known arrival in America, till the year under the name of Friendship Hall, 1770, he lived with his family in the and it well deserved the title. Six successful prosecution of his busimaiden ladies found a home in his ness, in Boston and Germantown, and house, cherished as sisters. Two in the quiet enjoyment of all those by the name of Leffington were conveniences and elegances with utterly poor. One by the name of which his ample means had surFerno, afterwards married a respect- rounded him. During this period able Boston merchant. Miss Eunice of his life, nothing occurred of suffiPaine, sister of Robert Treat Paine, cient interest to the public to justify distinguished then, and by many any extended notice. remembered now, for uncommon In the fall of 1770, Mr. Palmer worth, a vigorous intellect and cul. went to England, for the benefit of tivated mind, when she first be. his health, worn down by his excame a member of his family, cessive activity. With his English had an income of her own, which relations he had always kept up a enabled her to live independently, lively correspondence, which contin. and she chose this home, where she ued even through the revolutionary found congeniality of taste and feel. times, many of them ardently syming, in preference to her brother's pathizing with his political views. house. In subsequent years, public While in London his portrait, a and private events, fraud and injus- steel engraving of which embeltice, left her destitute of money, and lishes this number, was taken by wholly dependent on Gen. Palmer. the celebrated Copley, and sent to But it continued to her the same his family at Germaniown. An an. happy home. The same handsome ecdote, illustrating the perfection of apartment, tender nursing, (for she this painting and the exactness of was an invalid,) and devoted atten- the likeness, and which has been tion were hers, as when she had made to garnish a tale in one of our wealth at command; until the per- annuals, where it is told as pertaining secuted family of her friends was, to a fictitious personage, deserves to in its turn thrown houseless on the be repeated here, as it is character. charities of the world.
istic of the man to whom it relates. The portrait arrived at the family the Indians who threw the tea into mansion while he was yet absent, Boston harbor. The following acand was placed on the floor in the count of the affair was taken down hall, and the workmen engaged in from the lips of the widow of the the several manufactories, to whom latter by a friend, a few years before he was a father and friend rather her death, which occurred in 1838. than a master, were summoned by “ In the month of November, his family to contemplate the excel. 1773, one evening about 10 o'clock, lent likeness. While his family I was sitting rocking my baby in were contemplating the honest de- the cradle, when I heard the gate light of the men, a favorite cat, which and door open. I supposed my husGen. Palmer was in the habit of let- band was just returning from his ting sit on his shoulder in domestic club, and so I opened the parlor hours, came into the room. She door, and there stood three stout walked directly to the picture and looking Indians! I screamed, and attempted to climb upon the shoul- should have fainted of very fright, der. Being reflected by the glass, had I not recognized my husband's (it was a crayon painting,) she went voice, saying, don't be frightened, behind the frame, in order as it Betsey, it is I. We have only been would seem, to get up on his back, making a little salt water tea.' His as she often did on that of the ori- two companions were Foster Candy ginal. This trifling circumstance and Stephen Bruce. Soon after this touched every heart, and in a mo- secretary Flucher called upon my ment, wife, children, friends and husband and said to him, “Joe, you servants, were bathed in tears, a are so obnoxious to the British gove tribute alike to the excellence of the ernment, that you had better leave artist, and the loveliness of the man town. You can take your personal he had caused to live by his pencil. property, but none of your goods.'
In the letters of Gen. Palmer to Accordingly we left town, and went his friends in England, there was a to live in part of my father's house constant expression of interest in in Watertown." the political questions of the day, From the same source we gather during several years. The first al. the following incidents connected lusion to the subject which we find with the battles of Lexington and in his own hand, appears in a note
Bunker Hill. “On the night of the to his wife, dated Boston, 1773. 18th of April, 1775, I heard the Dear Madam—I have only time and said, My dear, I hear the
drum beat. I awoke Mr. Palmer to send the paper of the day, and to
drum.' He was out of bed with the say that Palfrey has sent word from Philadelphia, that a tea ship has rapidity of a bullet from a gun, and
he , arrived there with a consignee on board, and that the people would not ride. I have received an express,
entered and said, “My son, we must suffer him to land, and have allow. Three men lie dead at Lexington.' ed him only six hours to prepare
for his return to London. The above I entreated the old gentleman not to
My husband was off in an instant. I
suppose is true; but I have not had time to enquire more particu. go; but he would not stay. He told larly. All well; adieu,
me, that probably there would be J. PALMER.
another brigade along soon, and that
I had better remove out of the way. When the tea arrived in Boston, They had their horses ready saddled Mr. Palmer was for the most sum- and their pistols loaded in the barn; mary measures, and his son, Mr. for they expected some sudden Joseph Pearse Palmer, was among alarm. They were off immediately, and I heard no more of them till the was much affected, and gave me all next night at ten o'clock. In the the papers he could collect, which mean time I sent my own father and belonged to his brother. I spent mother in my horse and chaise to most of the summer at a little farma Mr. Blair's in Newtown. After. house on the estate of Mr. Pigeon. wards I took my children and went My husband was still engaged in the to the house of a Mr. Pigeon in an- duties of quarter master general." other part of Newtown, and took The first record of Gen. Joseph possession of his house, he having Palmer's public life, that is to be fed still further from the scene of found, is on the 6th of Sept., 1774, strife. Here I waited anxiously for where he is moderator of a meetthe return of my husband and father. ing at the house of Mr. R. WoodI had begun to despair, when they ward of Dedham. This was a meetgalloped up to the house. They ing of delegates from every town had ridden the whole day, and my and district in Suffolk, (which counhusband had completely ruined a ty then included all that is now Sufbeautiful horse, called the Rising folk and Norfolk.) A very noble Sun, which he had given me, as a report was made by this meeting. bridal present. My father was near- It begins with an expression of al. ly killed by this day of toil. He legiance to King George, but goes had to be lifted from his horse, and on to protest against late acts of the was borne into the house and laid British Parliament, suspends the alon the parlor floor. He was so legiance of the people to the present exhausted as to be unable to speak unconstitutional government, (as or move, and it was many hours, they deem it,) and recommends under the most judicious treatment, abstaining from British merchanbefore he showed any encouraging dise; appoints a committee, of which signs of animation."
Mr. Palmer is one, to encourage do" I used to go to Watertown eve- mestic arts and manufactures; and ry day, and on the 15th of June fole while it earnestly recommends the lowing, I met Gen. Warren for the abstaining from all riots, proposes last time. He had been our family regular measures of opposition. physician, and I am sure that I liked The report is amply worth reading, him better than any body except my as an expression of the wisdom and husband. He was a handsome man spirit of the time, and may be found and wore a tie wig. He had fine
in the appendix of William Lincoln's color and bright blue eyes. He “History of the Massachusetts Prodined with us, and while at dinner vincial Congress." said to me, Come my little girl, When the first provincial condrink a glass of wine with me for gress was organized, October 7th, the last time, for I am going upon 1774, we find Mr. Palmer one. It the hill to-morrow, and I shall never is well known that Gen. Gage sumcome off.' The next day I rose very moned the general court of Massaearly, and could hear the cannon chusetts to meet Oct. 5th, 1774. from Bunker's Hill and see the Mr. Palmer was one of the three smoke of burning Charlestown. I members from Braintree. When, hastened to Watertown to hear the “ on account of the rebellious move. news. Gen. Warren's servant met ments in the province,” Gen. Gage me in front of our house and seizing countermanded his order, ninety of my horse's head, exclaimed, “Oh the court, nevertheless, assembled missee, missee! the devils hab kill. at Salem, the appointed place, and ed my master. The tears ran down waiting two days in vain for Gen. his cheeks. I saw Dr. John War. Gage, organized themselves as a ren, the brother of the general. He Provincial Congress, " to take into consideration the dangerous situa. 20th, 1775. He was also made tion,” &c. Mr. Palmer was one of secretary to this Congress, when these ninety gentlemen. The rec- Dr. Warren was chosen its presiords of the provincial Congress, dent. He is equally active in the above referred to, bear testimony to third provincial Congress, when, as his activity. October 13th, we find in the second, he was the only delhim on the committee to report a egate from Braintree. May 31st, resolve, recommending the total dis- he is the medium of conference beuse of India teas; October 22d, to tween the Congress and the conven. prepare a non-consumption agree tion of the clergy at Watertown; ment, relative to all British and In- June 3d, on a committee to take dia goods; October 24th, to take in- care of a case of small pox at Brookto consideration and determine what line; June 13th, to consider with three number of ordnance and quantity of other gentlemen, "Gen. Gage's expowder will be necessary, &c.; traordinary proclamation of June October 27th, he was made one of 12th,” in which his friends Samuel the committee of safety, consisting Adams and John Hancock were of six gentlemen ; October 28th, to excluded from the general amnesty resolve the non-consumption agree. proposed ; June 14th, on a committee ment; November 28th, to take into to appoint a day of fasting ; June consideration the state of manufac- 19th, to advise and assist the comtures, &c., and how they may be missary general ; July 1st, to direct improved ; December 7th, to deter. that the rules and regulations of the mine the recompense of the dele army be frequently read to the sol. gates, who attended the continental diers; and to report a resolve on a Congress in September, 1774. When new emission of bills of credit ; July it was resolved that a committee 11th, to raise a speedy reinforcement consisting of one gentleman from of the army; July 13th, to settle and each county and maritime town define the powers of the committee should be appointed to prepare in. of safety, of which he was one. formation for the continental Con- As a permanent member of the gress of May 10th, 1775, respect- committee of safety, we find him, ing the number of inhabitants, state according to its journals, constantly of merchandise and manufactures active, and especially in such mili. of the province, Mr. Palmer was tary offices as seeing to the fortifica. the sole delegate for the whole coun. tion of Bunker Hill, (June 15th, ty of Suffolk.
1775,) and surveying other places In the second provincial Congress (June 23d) for the same purpose.* we also find him on the various In the memoir of Robert Treat committees, viz. to take into con- Paine, which makes an appendix to sideration the state of the province; Ward's life of Curwin, we find to sit in the recess and prepare Gen. Palmer mentioned as presi. rules and regulations for the pro- dent of the provincial Congress. vincial army; to rouse the people His son, Joseph Pearse Palmer, was to prepare for defense ; to corres- secretary of the committee of safe. pond with the other governments ty until appointed quarter master during the recess; to regulate the general; for both father and son regiments of the army; to confer served their country, not merely in with the delegates from Connecticut, the civil, but military department. on a point of honor, touching a letter they were charged with to the The original draft of Fort Independe assembly of Connecticut by Gen. ence, in General Palmer's own bandwrit. Gage ; to take measures for organi- of 'his grandsons, until within a few
ing, was preserved in the hands of one zing the Massachusetts army, May years.
They were both engaged in the af- an excuse to the people at home, fair at Lexington, the father as brig. and unite them with him in an opinadier general.
ion of the necessity of pushing hosStill farther light may be thrown tilities against us. upon Gen. P.'s public services, and On the contrary the delegates and upon the estimation in which he and other persons from all parts, was held by the great men of our are unanimously very sanguine that country, by selections from the cor- if Boston and the Massachusetts can respondence between them and him possibly steer a middle course beand with his family, about this period. tween obedience to the acts, and
open hostilities with the troops, the To Joseph Palmer, Esq., Germantown, exertions of the colonies will procure
Philadelphia, Sept. 26, 1774. a total change of measures and full
protection at sea, is a subject often of the Congress, concerning your mentioned in private conversation wisdom, fortitude, and temperance, here. Many gentlemen have purin the Massachusetts in general, and sued the thought and digested their the county of Suffolk in particular, plans, but what is to be the fate of will be public in our country. It
ihem I can not say. is the universal sense here that the It is my opinion, sir, that we do Massachusetts acts and Murder act, our full proportion towards the proought not to be submitted to a mo- tection of the empire, and towards ment. But then, when you ask the the support of the naval power. To question, what is to be done ? they the support of the standing army, we answer, “stand still, bear with pa. ought never to contribute voluntarily. tience; if you come to a rupture A gentleman put into my hands a with the troops, all is lost.” Re- plan, a few days ago, for offering to suming the first charter, absolute raise £200,000 sterling annually, independency, &c., are ideas which and to appropriate it for the mainstartle people here.
tenance of a ship of war. But is It seems to be the general opin- not this surrendering our liberty ? ion here, that it is practicable for us I have not time, however, to discuss in the Massachusetts to live wholly these questions at present. I hope without a legislature and courts of to have the pleasure of considering justice as long as will be necessary these things in private conversation. to obtain relief. If it is practicable, Mean time I pray God to direct, asthe general opinion is that we oughtsist, and protect you, and all our to bear it. The commencement of friends, amidst the dangers that surhostilities is exceedingly dreaded round you. here. It is thought that such an at- Am glad to hear Mr. Cranch is tack upon the troops, even though about taking refuge at Braintree. it should prove successful and trium- I wish every living creature, except phant, would certainly involve the the tories, was well provided for in whole continent in a war. It is gen- the country. My respects to all erally thought here that the ministry your worthy family. I remain with would rejoice at a rupture in Boston, great respect, your friend and hum. because that would furnish him with