J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

“The old Year is past”

Continuing a Boston 1775 tradition, here is a “carrier address” from the turn of the year 1766. That was a bit of poetry that printers’ workers wrote, printed, and carried around in their quest for tips at the start of a new year.

New-Year’s Wish
From the Carrier of the Boston Post-Boy, &c.

GEN’ROUS Customers, I run
To serve you as I begun,
With the freshest of News from the Press;
In Hot, and in Cold,
With News, new and old
I readily shall you address.
Ah! the Times are hard,
But we’ll pay no regard
To the Stamps, Mobs, Devils, or Popes;
The freedom of Press
Will gain the Success,
And fully Accomplish our Hopes.---
The old Year is past,
The new come at last;
I wish you full Bumpers, and Bowls,
With every Thing good,
Which serveth for Food
For your Bodies, as well as your Souls,
Then while you are Eating,
And each other greeting,
With Things which you richly enjoy,
Pray freely dispense
Of some Shillings or Pence,
To your faithfull unwearied Boy.


Don N. Hagist said...

He blew the meter in the last line. No tip for him.

J. L. Bell said...

You're a tough man, Don. But fair.