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1787.08.31 — Charles Phelps to Moses Porter Phelps, August 31, 1787

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1787.08.31 — Charles Phelps to Moses Porter Phelps, August 31, 1787


Charles Phelps is writing to his son, Moses Porter Phelps, who is currently enrolled at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The letter is dated August 31, 1787. He sends a bond via Mr. White of Watertown and instructs Moses to deliver the bond to Anchor Tavern, run by Mr. Bradish, presumably to pay off a bar tab. (Boston 1775 Blog) This tavern was known to be frequented by Harvard students due to close proximity to the Harvard Yard and the offering of food and drinks different from that served at school. Charles also mentions Mr. White will help Moses purchase a trunk in Boston and Frederick Chapin will be sent with various items (articles) in two weeks time. Charles then informs Moses that the family is well, and advises him to take Mr. Garrneth’s advice. It is unknown who Mr. Garrneth is. He instructs him to do right by the family name, and prioritize his studies. It is possible that this is in response to Moses visiting the tavern, and a possible presumption of bad behavior. Charles finishes the letter by asking Moses to write home and to ask for anything he may need.


Charles Phelps


Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers (Box 4, Folder 5)
University of Massachusetts Special Collections and University Archives




Public domain





Hadley 31st August 1787

My Son
I send you by Mr. White of Watertown, the Bond, to the steward, you will give it to him, and [desire] Him to give you the Bond I gave him, and carry it to [Mr. Bradish], and let him [destroy] it. You will see that it is done —I have agreed with Mr. White to get you a trunk in Boston, and bring it to your quarters. Shall send you some Articles in about a fortnight by Frederick Chapin.

We are all as well as common, I hope you will behave yourself so as to get the esteem of your tutor, Remember and take the Advice of Mr. Garrneth [?] and behave yourself with decency and good order in the family—you will keep yourself clean, should always walk in the morning, be careful in forming any particular friendship with any of the scholars, as you are young and inexperienced with mankind you may be liable to make a mistake — mind your studies, and Observe the Rules in Order of the College — you will take the first Opportunity to write home, and let us know if you are in want of any thing —I wish you well and am your Affectionate Father
Charles Phelps
Moses Porter Phelps