history-genealogy site

This is a site where I will discuss my family genealogy research and related history. When a blog deals with a particular family group, I will try to include it in the title so uninterested people can skip it without skimming it. It is my hope to get feedback on research methods, family members and historical context from other historians, genealogists, and researchers. (c) Barbara L. de Mare 2006, 2007

Location: Englewood, New Jersey, United States

Saturday, July 28, 2007

SAMUEL PRESTON admonishing his son-in-law SAMUEL CARPENTER II IN 1714

"From a letter addressed to SAMUEL CARPENTER 2D, in 1714 (3 years after he was married), by Samuel Preston, his father-in-law, he appears to have indulged too much at one time in irregular habits, although there is no doubt that he "mended his ways" and became an esteemed citizen. The original copy in the handwriting of the author is preserved, with an endorsement that he had delivered the original on the day upon which it was written. "Philadelphia, the 20th of 11th Mo. 1714 "I persuade myself that I need not use arguments to make thee sensible how thou stands interested in my affections. Thou must believe, when I gave thee my daughter, with the manner and circumstances of my doing it, that it was because I loved thee--and if thy reason may be permitted to guide thy judgment, thou will not unkindly resent what I herein say to thee, but understand and accept it, as a further confirmation of my good will towards thee. Believe me Samuel, I have with great sorrow seen in thee that which in affection duty and conscience, I am constrained to take notice of, and observe to thee for thy information, that is thy constant, frequent and pernicious practice of going to taverns. It is very surprising, and exercising to me, and I take it to be an infallible sign of thy degeneracy from the religious example and discipline which thou hast had, and I do say to thee that unless thou reform thou art in great danger of being utterly ruined and everlastingly unhappy in perpetual woe and misery. I pray thee give me leave to say to thee (I am sure it is in all abundance of love) some injurious effects that flow from that cause and I mention that, the expense, 'tis what I think the least of, but upon a modest computation that cannot be less than forty or fifty pounds per annum, which spent in thy family would make housekeeping more generous, and thy entertainments at home much more to thy liking, and abundantly more reputable; but if nothing of this sort be wanting, then it would certainly be an addition to thy estate, and an advantage to posterity. But the time thou spendest abroad in public houses is injurious to thy business reputation, relations friends and family. They that come upon any business are disappointed, and what might have offered for thy interest is turned away, and that is not all, thy reputation is sullied, which once sunk, the current of trade stops and is hardly ever regained. It is a scandalous imputation, "he is not at home but he certainly may be spoken with at Radleys." Thy absence from thy family makes thee too much a stranger to thy friends, and relations, whose visits and conversations might be instructive, edifying and conducive to thy advantage, not only in preserving affection, but helpful in advice, and experience, if needful; but the worst part is, it need be extremely disagreeable to thy wife who cannot but think herself slighted and ill used, that no endearment of hers, nor the very pledges of her affection, ever afford any agreeable entertainment, diversion or contentment at home but something must be sought for elsewhere--such once kindled are seldom if ever quenched, but all the bonds of conjugal affection, that brings you together are dissolved, and to speak plainly I fear something of the kind has got ground in her already--her disconsolate looks and frequent indispositions denote a depressed spirit (though I must say and it is a comfort to me) I never heard the least repining from her. To enumerate the many disorders that arise from this detestable practice, would carry me too great a length. I must confine myself to brevity, and only say that the too frequent use of strong drink is destructive to the whole fabric of life. It wets and destroys the animal spirit and clouds and affects the brain, breaks the constitution and contexture of the body. It makes man, the emblem of his creator, worse than inferior or irrational creatures. How contemptible is the drunkard. But thou mayst say is not the case. I confess I have not heard it, and am religiously thankful for it. But let me remind thee, there is 'a woe to them that go mightily to drink strong drink.' Upon the whole Son Carpenter, that which weighs most within me, is, the concern I have for thy future estate, inasmuch as we did not give ourselves being, but are and must be subject to a being much superior to us, ('though I must grant it ought to be our greatest concern in life to be conformable to the will of that power that made us). I beseech you think seriously, our soles are at stake. If we deceive ourselves on this great point, the loss is irreparable. Most certain it is (the text is plain) 'such as we sow such must we reap.' Let us therefore I pray thee, as is our indispensable duty and interest, examine what we are sowing. If it be fleshly and corrupt delights and carnal pleasures, we shall assuredly reap corruption. If our works are works of iniquity, it is not our saying Lord, Lord, nor professing what we have done in his name that will save us, our doom Christ himself has declared will be 'depart from me ye workers of iniquity I know ye not.' Seeing then that our doom is irreversible, that our rewards must be such as our works are, and that the workers of iniquity must depart unknown, that wilt confess it very much concerns us to take a view of ourselves--The tree is known by its fruits, men do not gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles. Give me leave therefore son Carpenter to query why art thou grown religiously cold? Thou appearest once or twice a week at the appointed place for visible worship; but so often so far out of time, that in charity I believe thou art ashamed and from a sense of guilt in thyself gets as much out of sight as thou well can. Art thou not becoming estranged in thy heart from those of the best reputation for sobriety and Christian worth? Is not the time thou spendest in the society of such persons from tavern conversation and company uneasy to thee? Art thou the primogeniture son, heir, and name of thy father, in the possession and inheritance of his virtues? Dost thou love honor and reverence his name? Come up in his place, tread in his footsteps, follow his example precepts and discipline. Art thou not unmindful of thy aged mother, a widow, to give her double honor, who acts the part of a double parent? As to customs, fashions and unprofitable conversation, art thou not therein taking a liberty for which in the end, in the tribunal of thy own conscience thou standest condemned? "Pray Samuel let these things take place with thee. I am well assured thou art gone from the innocency of thy good education, which I take to be the indication of a distempered mind brought on thee through a very ill habit. "Apply thyself to the great Physician of souls. He is able and no other to work thy cure. Take his medicine, follow his prescription; 'tis written in thy own heart, submit to the operation of it and thou wilt be made perfectly whole; but without such application thy disease will prevail. It must be a work of grace and a submission thereto, that will remove the cause, nothing else will do. Self resolutions are ineffectual and 'though they give some imaginary relief, it will be but a deception, the cause remaining, the effects will not cease. I therefore because I love thee, earnestly beseech thee to take my advice who am in great affection, "Thy affectionate father, SAMUEL PRESTON"


Blogger VanLori1952 said...

What wonderfull and loving advice.
Even though I record neither of these people in my data base, my"gut" tell me that I should have them there. My 10th G Grandparents are [to the best of my knowledge]
Alexander CARPENTER {1546 - 1612} and Priscilla DILLEN { 1562 - 1644}. I link to two daughters.
Juliana CARPENTER, m1 to George MORTON m2 to Manasseh KEMPTON and
Priscilla CARPENTER, m1 to William
WRIGHT m2 to John COOPER, my 9th G Grandparents. Do you think we are related?
My e-mail address is vanlori@sbcglobal.net

1:42 PM  
Blogger his gene, esq. said...

Lorraine, I just checked your names again and see no matches on my database. They are not familiar-sounding Carpenter names from the Samuel line. Do you know where your Carpenters settled in this countrty? My Samuel line came to Philadelphia with William Penn.


3:49 PM  

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