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Madam Shipley’s Prophecy

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

March 21.—After a most ridiculous gasconade upon the late movement of a detachment from the British troops into New Jersey, the publisher of the last week’s Trenton paper1 introduces a most comfortable prophecy of a good lady who lately died at Wilmington. It is no new device among these deceivers of the people, to call in the aids of popular superstition in support of their ambitious projects. And though we think it rather a profanation to amuse the people with such idle tales under the name of prophecy, we hope our readers will excuse our inserting this of the good Madam Shipley, not doubting but it will have all the weight which it merits with those for whose encouragement it was published in New Jersey:

Trenton, March 11.

The public has been already informed of the death of Elizabeth Shipley, of Wilmington; but a circumstance relating thereto is (perhaps) a secret, except to a few. On her deathbed, as well as during her better state of health, she was much affected with the calamity that this country now labors under from the cruel oppression of the King and Parliament of England; but a ray of that light by which the soul can look into future events springing up in her, she was comforted, and with godly confidence declared, That this country should not be conquered by Great Britain. This she uttered with such solemnity that it commanded the particular notice of all who heard her, and is now made public for the encouragement of every well-wisher to the freedom and liberties of America. Every one who had an opportunity of knowing this great and good woman, whether they be Whig or Tory, will be inclined to give credit to her prophecy; and for the sake of all such who knew her not, they are now informed that she was a woman eminently endowed with knowledge, both natural and divine.2


1 New Jersey Gazette, March 11.
2 Pennsylvania Ledger, March 21.