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public stations. Sir William Phips sought the good of the country, according to his own apprehension. "Palest envy must allow this," says Dr. Mather, who devotes nearly 40 pages of the Magnalia to the biography of this gentleman. He says it is not enough to call him "father of the province, but he should be called the angel, assigned to the special care of it, by a singular deputation from heaven." In another place, he speaks of his "being dropped from the machine of heaven." It seems, however, that sir William had the passions of men, and discovered strong corporeal qualities; for he would quarrel, sometimes, with the officers of government, and use his fists upon certain occasions to bring them to his own views of a proper conduct. Instances of this sort with a captain of a mán of war, and a collector, occasioned complaints against him, which he was sent for to answer. He had an opportunity there to justify himself, according to Mr. Hutchinson, and was about returning to his government, but was taken sick and died in London about the middle of February, 1694. He was buried in the church of St. Mary Wolnoth. The character of sir William Phips which others give, setting aside the life of him by Dr. Cotton Mather, which is rather an eulogy upon one of the pious members of his church, is, that he was a blunt honest man, who had a lively confidence in every thing he undertook, open hearted and generous, but vulgar in speech and manners. His talents were considerable, otherwise he never could have done so much, or obtained such promotion. This, however, has been attributed to fortunate circumstances rather than to superiour abilities. Histories of New England, by Mather, Douglass, Hutchinson.

PHIPS SPENCER, lieut. governour of Massachusetts, was nephew, and adopted son, of sir William. He was a man of respectability rather than influence in the province, and was more indebted to his

wealth and connections for his rising to office, than any thing very splendid in his abilities, or patriotick in his character. He was of his majesty's council a number of years before he was appointed lieut, governour. Mr. Adam Winthrop was a candidate for this office when Mr. Tailer died in 1732. He was the friend of Belcher, who solicited in his favour; but the friends of Mr. Phips were more pow. erful, and obtained the place for him. He was lieut. governour from 1732 to the year of his death. While Shirley was in the chair, he expressed an opinion that the lieut. governour was not a counsellor ex officio. It was supposed he was. He had been always so considered, and therefore he was not chosen by the legislature. The conduct of Shirley gave great disgust to the lieut. govern, our, and led him to much retirement. He is represented as a very prudent and upright magistrate, He was several times in the chair of government, and was in this office, as commander in chief of the province, when he died. This event took place, April 4, 1757.


PIERSON ABRAHAM was from Yorkshire. came into New England, and joined the Boston church. Afterwards he went to Long Island, with a number of families, who removed from Lynn in Massachusetts, to this new plantation. They incorporated themselves into a church state before they went, and also entered into a civil combination, for the maintaining government among themselves. This was about the year 1640. The town they settled was called Southampton, east end of Long Island. Part of this church afterwards divided, and went over upon the main, and settled Brainford. By advice of the council, Mr. P. went with them. The year of his death is not mentioned, only that he died, leaving the name of a prudent and pious man.*

• Dr. Mather mentions three worthy divines of New Haven colony, who were famous in their day. Mr. Blackman, Mr. Pierson, and Mr. Denton, the first minister of Stamford, who was

In the records of the united colonies, there is frequent mention made of his services to the Indians, for which he had a fixed salary. When Mr. Eliot was allowed 40/. Mr. Pierson had 157. He was a missionary, whose services are mentioned with respect by the corporation in England. They ordered 1500 copies of a catechism which he wrote in the Indian language to be printed and dispersed. Magnalia. Records of U. C.


PIERSON ABRAHAM, rector of Yale College, son of the minister of Brainford, was graduated at HarHe was soon after ordained vard College, 1668. In the year over the church at Killingsworth. 1700, he was appointed one of the fellows of Yale College, and the succeeding year chosen to preside over that seminary, with the title of rector. character was high as a scholar and divine. While he held this office, he composed a system of natural philosophy, which was used by the students for He was a very zealous calvinist, and many years. strongly attached to the form and discipline of the New England churches. It was the general wish of the people of Connecticut to remove the College from Saybrook; but they were not able to accomplish it during the rectorship of Mr. Pierson. The people of Killingsworth opposed it, who enjoyed the excellent preaching of their pastor; the expense of the removal also, was more than could be allowThis took place after his ed from their funds. death. The rector died in April, 1707, and was Private mss. Holmes' account greatly lamented. of Yale College.

POWNALL THOMAS, governour of Massachusetts Bay, was descended from a respectable family in England. His mother was daughter of John Burniston, governour of Bombay; his brother, John Pownall, esq. was secretary to the lords of trade, &c. also a Yorkshire man, and first settled at Halifax, in England. "Though he was a little man, says he, his well accomplished mind was as an Iliad in a nut shell."

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and was more acquainted with the affairs of these plantations than any man in England. By his attention to the business, many thousand papers relating to the history of the colonies are now regularly filed, and preserved for future use, which had been neglected and scattered, and in a few years would have been entirely destroyed. What precious documents they are may be known by any one, who has read Chambers's political annals!

In 1757, Mr. Pownall was appointed governour of Massachusetts, in the room of Shirley. He arrived in Boston the beginning of August, and immediately received to his confidence those gentlemen, who were styled friends to liberty and the constitution of the province. These had opposed the late administration, which had been strongly supported by most who held offices in the state, at the head of whom were Hutchinson, Oliver, Paxton, &c. A lawyer of very eminent abilities, Mr. Pratt, who was afterwards chief justice of New York, and a popular clergyman, the rev. Dr. Cooper, were always considered as the principal friends and advisers of gov. Pownall. They were men of talents; but talents, wit and satire were more conspicuous on the other side, and he was deeply wounded by the shafts of ridicule, or by serious attacks upon his conduct. When he found his intrigues exposed, by a pamphlet written at New York,* and so large a part of the government of Massachusetts in favour of those whom he had injured; his great pretensions to learning of no avail with the literary societies; his own manners, light and debonnaire, so inconsistent with the grave and sober habits of New England, he solicited a recall from this government, and was appointed successor to gov. Littleton of South Carolina. He sailed from Boston to London the 3d. of May, 1760. After his arrival in England he obtained offices, which he preferred to a government in North America. He was chosen a mem

• Historical Collections, vol. vii.

ber of the British parliament, and, in 1762, appointed general of controul, with the rank of lieut. colonel, to the combined army in Germany, a short time previous to the peace of 1763.

. During the time of his being in the parliament he was in the opposition; of consequence, a friend to the colonies. His speeches and writings against the measures employed to bring them into subjection, were read in our house of representatives, and reprinted with lively demonstrations of gratitude and joy. The patriotick exertions of this governour were contrasted with the wicked designs of the tory administration which succeeded. Pownall was as much the idol of the whigs as Bernard and Hutchinson were odious to them.*

Mr. Pownall had no small influence in the house of commons from his knowledge and experience in American affairs. While those who knew nothing of the colonies represented them as turbulent, ungrateful, and without any merit in the conduct of the war which secured Canada and the West Indies to the British crown, he pointed out "the aid they afforded the British arms whenever they were em.

* A town in the district of Maine, was named Pownalborough. Part of the lands before they were located, were granted to the governour. In his latter days he desired these might be sold, or leased in such a manner, as a fund might be raised for the estabThis lishment of a professorship of law in Harvard College. town is now divided; part of it is called Wiscasset, and the other part Dresden. The reason given for the alteration was, that Wiscasset was the Indian name, and the name by which it was known. It is right to preserve the Indian name; but why change that of Pownal for Dresden? It was supposed to be a prettier sound; but ought any thing less than a weighty consideration to make wise men change the name of a place? Especially when a town has been so called out of respect to a benefactor to the country. Pownall was a great friend to this province, and Why should his name the friends of the revolution loved him. or services be forgotten? Besides the injustice of the thing, it is bad policy. Who is secure of the honours given him by one generation, if the next, from the whim of the occasion, will take it away? Shall the name be lost before the mould gathers on the sepulchral monument, or the letters grow illegible on the grave stone? How will this lessen the stimulus to patriotick exertions!

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