Trent and Wells, eds. Colonial Prose and Poetry. 1901.
Vol. III. The Growth of the National Spirit: 17101775
JOHN SECCOMB, who has won an unenviable immortality as a writer of doggerel, was born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1708, and died in 1793 in Chester, Nova Scotia, whither he had gone in 1763 to be minister to a Dissenting congregation. He was graduated from Harvard College in 1728, and from 1733 to 1757 ministered to the Congregational Church in the town of Harvard, Massachusetts. He achieved great notoriety, while still connected with his Alma Mater, by his Father Abbeys Will, a coarsely humorous poem, the subject of which was Matthew Abdy, who held some menial position in connection with the College. This effusion for some inexplicable reason so pleased Governor Belcher that he sent it to England, where it was printed in The Gentlemans Magazine for 1732 and in The London Magazine of the same year. Perhaps not a little of the subsequent British depreciation of American literature was due to the belief that Seccombs doggerel fairly represented the latter. Fortunately Seccomb, after writing a companion skit, lapsed into comparative silence when he had won his laurels. His poem (sic) is given here for illustrative purposes only. Those who wish to know, more about it may be referred to the edition of 1854, undertaken by the antiquarian John Langdon Sibley, well-known as the Librarian of Harvard, and a devoted student of its annals.
Some time since died here, Mr. Matthew Abbey, in a very advanced age: He had for a great number of years served the College in quality of Bedmaker and Sweeper: Having no child, his wife inherits his whole estate which he bequeathed to her by his last will and testament, as follows, viz.: