1784 · Boston
The author, whom Evans identifies, would become a loyal Jeffersonian and serve as Governor and Attorney General of Massachusetts. His writings "on contemporary issues, published under several pen names, were innumerable and carried great weight. He was more than a mere politician, however, and was keenly interested in several fields of thought outside of politics" [DAB].
This pamphlet, Sullivan's earliest separate publication, is an unambiguous anti-clerical celebration: the people of New England have finally abandoned the "servile awe" in which they previously held the clergy. Thatcher had lamented the diminishing power of the clergy. Sullivan rebuts Thatcher's complaint that churches should not have the power to dismiss their pastors. Thatcher also holds to the increasingly unpopular view that towns ought to support local ministers, even while the people are "suffering themselves by being obliged to receive their own debts in paper money upon a par."
Originally, "none but members in full communion with the congregational churches, had a right to vote in the affairs of civil government." Happily, this state of affairs has ended. Sullivan reminds that, at the time of the Revolution, "some clergymen in the state were enemies to the people, who can never plead the excuse of timidity, for they gave evidence of a malignancy of heart...They can never be forgiven."
Evans 18800. NAIP w003582. (Inventory #: 26782)