Providence, R. I., November 20, 1775. Unlined bifolium, 7.75 x 6.13 inches, 2 pages of text plus integral address and docketing. Approx. 400 words. Some soiling to a portion of a page after the letter had been refolded for filing by Foster; in very good condition, quite legible. Item #19238
Young college graduates looking for purpose in Revolutionary New England: Gair writes from Providence, where he had earned his A.M. as an early student at the College of Rhode Island (eventually Brown), here on the eve of departure to establish the Baptist church in Medfield, Mass. the next year, writes to another recent Brown graduate (and eventual Federalist senator) who was then studying law in Northampton, Mass. Foster appears to be having difficulties adjusting to life studying the law, a state of mind presumably compounded by the excitement of patriotic ferment bubbling up around the commonwealth; Gair writes, “You complain of Darkness of Mind, under which you say you labour. It must be a Consolation to every unprejudiced Enquirer after Truth, yt. tho’ we are in ye. Present Calamitous day deprived of many sacred Rights, we in some good degree are indulged with Liberty of Conscience.” Gair adds he is pleased to hear of “your determination is Cheerfully to go, & also to do, wherever & whatever, appears duty.” Gair concludes with instructions on directing correspondence to Medfield.