Skip to main content

A Quakers Letter To His Watchmaker

April 2023
1min read

“I send thee once more my erroneous watch, which wants thy speedy care and correction. Since the last time he was at thy school, I find, by experience, he is not benefited by thy instruction; thou demandest the fourth of a pound sterling, which thou shall have, but let thy honest endeavors first earn it. I will board him with thee a little longer, and pay for his table if thou requires!. Let thy whole endeavors and observations be upon him, for he has mightily deviated from the principles of truth; I am afraid he is foul in the inward man—I mean his springs. Prove and try him well with thy adjusting tools of truth, that if possible he may be drawn from the errors of his ways. By the index of his tongue he is a liar, and the motion of his body is ever variable and uncertain. I presume his body is foul, as I have observed; therefore brush him well with thy cleansing instruments from all pollutions, that he may vibrate with regularity and truth; admonish him friendly and with patience, and be not too hasty and rash with thy correction, lest, by endeavoring to reduce him from one error, thou shouldst fling him headlong into another, for he is young and of malleable temper; he may, with due correction, be brought into the path of truth. In fine, let him visit often the motion of the sun, and regulate him by his table of equation; and when thou findest them to agree, send him home with thy bill of moderation, to thy friend Tobias Gowell.”

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.


Stories published from "April 1958"

Authored by: The Editors

The white man made certain his imported thoroughbred could outrun the red man’s pony, but the Indian chief was wise in the gambler’s ways

Authored by: Walter Lord

“Why Oh! Why should death’s darts reach the young and brilliant —”

Authored by: William Harlan Hale

Japan’s feudal, shut-in history suddenly came to an end when the bluff American commodore dropped anchor in Tokyo Bay

Authored by: Merlo J. Pusey

Did the President, as he claimed, lose a battle but win a war in his attempt to pack the Supreme Court? Historical perspective suggests another answer

In the misty memories of six centenarians recorded in 1864, the great war lives again

Authored by: Arnold Welles

Young Samuel Slater smuggled a cotton mill out of England—in his head—and helped start America’s Industrial Revolution

Authored by: Ray Allen Billington

A distinguished historian finds that after 65 years Frederick Jackson Turner’s disputed “frontier theory” is still a valid key to understanding modern America

Authored by: George F. Scheer

Around Francis Marion there has sprung up an overgrowth of legend as tangled as the swamps he fought in. Here is an authoritative account of his role in the Revolution

Authored by: Lydel Sims

The Confederates’ Hunley was the first submarine to sink an enemy warship, but her crude design made her a coffin for her crew

Authored by: The Editors

Homely sentiment and crude humor—in delightful covers—helped soothe the mid-nineteenth-century breast

Featured Articles

The world’s most prominent actress risked her career by standing up to one of Hollywood’s mega-studios, proving that behind the beauty was also a very savvy businesswoman. 

Rarely has the full story been told about how a famed botanist, a pioneering female journalist, and First Lady Helen Taft battled reluctant bureaucrats to bring Japanese cherry trees to Washington. 

Often thought to have been a weak president, Carter was strong-willed in doing what he thought was right, regardless of expediency or the political fallout.

Why have thousands of U.S. banks failed over the years? The answers are in our history and politics.

In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln embodied leading in a time of polarization, political disagreement, and differing understandings of reality.