« PreviousContinue »
certificates I have for what remains due to me of that salary, be sold towards raising the sum of two thousand pounds sterling, to be disposed of as I am now about to order.
It has been an opinion, that he who receives an estate from his ancestors, is under some ubligation to transmit the same to posterity. This obligation lies not on me, who never inherited a shilling frone any ancestor or relation. I shall, however, if it in not diminished by some accident before my death leave a considerable estate among my descendants and relations. The above observation is made mere ly as some apology to my family, for my making be. quests that do not appear to have any immediate ro. lation tu their advantage.
I was born in Boston, New England, and owe my first instructions in literature to the free gra.ninar. schools established there. I have therefore consider. ed those schools in iny will.
But I am also under obligations to the state si Massachussetts, for having, unasked, appointed me formerly their agent, with a handsome salary, which continued some years; and, although I accidentally lost in their service, by lansmitting Governor Hutchinson's letters, much more than the amount of what they gave me, I do not think that ought in the least to diminish my gratitude. I have considered that, among artisans, good apprentices are most likely to make good citizens; and having myself been bred to a manual art, printing, in my rative town, and afterwards assisted to set up my business in Philadelphia by kind loans of money from two friends there, which was the foundation of my fortune, and of all the utility in life that may be ascribed to me I wish to be veful even after my death, if possible, in forming and advancing other young men, that may be serviceable to their country in both these towns.
To this end I devote two thousand pounds sterling, which I give, one thousand thereof to the inhabitants of the town of Boston, in Massachusetts, and the other thousand to the inhabitants of the city of Phi. ladelphia, in trust, to and for the uses, intents, and purposes, herein after mentioned and declared.
The said sum of one thousand pounds sterling, if accepted by the inhabitants of the town of Boston, shall be managed under the direction of the select men, united with the ministers of the oldest episco. palian, congregational, and presbyterian churches in that town, who are to let out the same upon interest at five per cent. per annum, to such young married artificers, under the age of twenty-five years, as have served an apprenticeship in the said tcwn, and faith fully fu:filled the duties required in their indentures so as to obtain a good moral character froin at least two respectahle citizens, who are willing to become sureties in a bond, with the applicants, for the repayment of the money so lent, with interest, accord ing to the terms herein after prescribed ; all which bonds are to be taken for Spanish milled dollars, or the value thereof in current gold coin; and the managers shall keep a bound book, or books, where. in shali be entered the names of those who shall apply for, and receive the benefit of this institution, and of their sureties, together with the sums lent, the dates, and other necessary and proper records, respecting the business and concerns of this institution : and as these loans are intended to assist young married, artificers, in setting up their business, they are to be proportioned by the discretion of the inanagers, so as not to exceed sixty pounds sterling to ono person, nor to be less than fifteen pounds.
And if the number of appliers so entitled should be s. large as that the sum will not suffice to afford lo every one soine assistance, these aids may there. foro be small at first, but as the capital increase by the accumulated interest they will be more ample. And in order to serve as many as possible in their turn, as well as to make the repayment of the princi pal borrowed more easy, each borrower shall be Cobliged to pay with the yearly interest one-tenth part of the principal; which sums of principal and interest so paid in, shall be again let out to fresh borrow. ers. And it is presumed, that there will be always found in Boston virtuous and benevolent citizens, willing to hestow a part of their time in doing good to the rising generation, by superintending and man
aging this institution gratis ; it is hoped, that no part of the money will at any time lie dead, or be diverted to other purposes, but be continually augmenting by the interest, in which case there may in time be more than the occasion in Boston may require : and then some may be spared to the neighbouring for other towns in the said state of Massachusetts, which may desire to have it, such towns engaging to pay punctually the interest, and the proportions of th principal annually to the inhabitants of the town o Bostor., If this plan is executerl, and succeeils, a projected, without interruption for one hundred years, the sum will be then one hundred and thirty-one thousand pounds; of which I would have the mana. gers of the dunation to the town of Boston then lay out, at their discretion, one hundred thousand pounds in public works which inay be juriged of most general utility to the inhabitants : such as fortifications, bridges, aqueducts, public buildings, baths, pavements, or whatever may make living in the town moro convenient to its people, and render it more agrec. able to strangers resorung thither for health, or a temporary residence. The remaining thirty-one thousand pounds I would have continued to be let out to interest, in the manner above directed, for one hundred years; as I hope it will have been found, that the institution has hall a good effect on the con duct of youth, and been of service to many worthy characters and useful citizens. At the end of this second term, if no unfortunate accident has prevent. ed the operation, the sum will be four millions and sixty one thousand pounds sterling, of which I leave one million and sixty one thousand pounds to the dis position and management of the inhabitants of th town of Boston and the three millions to the disposi tion of the government of the state ; not presuming to carry my views farther.
All the directions herein given respecting the dis position and manageinent of the douation to the inhabitants of Boston, I would have observed re respecting that to the inhabitants of Philadelphia, only as Philadelphia is incorporated, I request the corporation of that city to undertake the manage
ment, agreeable to said directions: and I do hereby vest them with full and ample powers for that pur. pose. And having considered that the covering its ground plat with buildings and pavements, which :arry off most rain, and prevent iis soaking into the earth, and renewing and purifying the springs. whence the water of the wells inust gradually grow worse, and in time be unfit for use, as I find has happened in all old cities; I recommend, that, at the end of the first hun tred years, if not done before, th corporation of the city employ a part of the hundre thousand pounds in bringing by pipes the water of the Wissahicon-creek into the town, so as to supply the inhabitants, which I apprehend may be donc without great difficulty, the level of that creek being much above that of the city, and may be made higher by a dan. I also recominend making the Schuyl. kill completely navigable. At the end of the second hundred years, I would have the disposition of the four millions and sixty-one thousand pounds divided between the inhabitants of the ciiy of Philadelphia and the government of Pen::sylvania, in the same manner as herein directed with respect to that of the inhabitants of Boston and the government of Mas. sachusetts. It is my desire that this institution should take place, and begin to operate within one year after my decease ; for which purpose due notice should be publicly given, previous to the expiration of that year, that those for whose benefit this esta. blishment is intended may make their respective applications: and I hereby direct my executors, the survivors and survivor of them, within six months after my decease, to pay over the said sum of two thousand pounds sterling to such persons as shall be duly appointed by the select men of Boston, and the corporation of Philadelphia, and to receive and take charge of their respective sums of one thousand pounds each for the purposes aforesaid. Consider. ing the accidents to which all human affairs and projects are subject in such a length of time, I have perhaps too much flattered myself with a vain fancy, that these dispositions, is carried into execution, will De continued without interruption, and have the ef
Sects proposed; I hope, however, that if the inhabi: tants of the two cities should not think fit to under. take the execution, they will at least accept the offer of these donations, as a mark of my good will, token of my gratitude, and testimony of my desire to be useful to them even after my departure. I wish, in. deed that they may both undertake to endeavour the execution of my project, because I think, that, though unforeseen difticulties may arise, expedients will b bund to remove them, and the scheme bc foun practicable. If one of them accepts the money with une conditions, and the other refuses, my will then is that both sums be given to the inhabitants of the city accepting; the whole to be applied to the same pur. poses, and under the same regulations directed for The separate parts; and if both refuse, the money remains of course in the mass of my estate, and it is to be disposed of therewith, according to my will made the seventeenth day of July, 1788.
My fine crab-tree walking-stick, with a gold head curiously wrought in the form of the Cap of Liberty, I give to my friend, and the friend of mankind, General Washington. If it were a sceptre, he has inerited it, and would become it.