Scarce Autographed Letter Signed as Minister of the First Congregational Church
Place Published: New London, CT
Date Published: 1761
Description: 2 pages (front and back), 9.5 x 7.5 inches, New London, Connecticut, October 3, 1761. Written to his father Mather Byles Sr., mentioning his new wife Rebecca and the trials and tribulations of life, in part: "...My dear 'Becca's late disorder has occasioned so much confusion in my family; that I have scarcely had time, till now, to set pen to paper. I find the cares of this life naturally increasing; as I am now surrounded with a much greater share of its pleasures & enjoyments. New scenes of social tendencies and solicitude are perpetually opening upon me, and these joined to the labors and anxieties necessary attending the ministerial character...I have still constant reason to acknowledge the peculiar smiles of providence, by which I am distinguished; with a more unreserved fullness of heart, than I once thought consistent with the present state; animated by one comprehensive view, both of my present circumstances, and future prospects..." Unfortunately for Byles Jr., his future prospects were not good. He had a falling out with his church in New London and eventually settled in Massachusetts. A staunch loyalist, following the siege of Boston, he fled to Nova Scotia (to avoid being tarred and feathered), forfeiting all of his property and possessions. Note: The extensive Byles Family Papers housed in the Massachusetts Historical Society claims just six examples of correspondence written by Mather Byles Jr., of which only a single letter is addressed to his father. Harvard University has nothing, being rejected by the family when the college made a bid to acquire the family correspondence in the 1830s. Usual interlocking folds with a small chip at the left margin due to the removal of a wax seal; browning along the uneven right edge. Good condition.
Comments: Loyalist-Clergyman and a descendent of Increase and Cotton Mather (Salem Witch Trials).Signed: Y
Book ID: 253731