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versation with their children and grandchildren. I do not repine at my malady, though a severe one, when I consider how well I am provided with every convenience to palliate it, and to make me comfortable under it; and how many more horrible evils the human body is subject to; and what a long life of health I have been blessed with, free from them all.
You have done well not to send me any more fish at present. These continue good, and give me pleasure.
know any thing of our sister Scott's daughter; whether she is still living, and where? This family join in love to you and yours, and to cousins Williams, with your affectionate brother,
P. S. It is early in the morning, and I write in bed. The awkward position has occasioned the crooked lines.
The letters in the following SUPPLEMENT were obtained too late to be inserted in the order of their dates. Those addressed to CHARLES Thomson have been obligingly communicated by Mr. William B. Reed, of Philadelphia, who received the originals from Mr. John Thomson, of Newark, Delaware. They have never before been printed. The letter to JANE Mecom, near the end of the SUPPLEMENT, has recently been published for the first time in the New York “Evening Signal."
TO CHARLES THOMSON.
Proprietary Government in Philadelphia. — Stamp Act.
London, 11 July, 1765. DEAR FRIEND, I am extremely obliged by your kind letters of April 12th and 14th, and thank you for the intelligence they contain. The outrages continually committed by those misguided people, will doubtless tend to convince all the considerate on your side of the water, of the weakness of our present government, and the necessity of a change. I am sure it will contribute towards hastening that change here, so that, upon the whole, good will be brought out of evil; and yet I grieve to hear of such horrid disorders. The letters and accounts boasted of from the Proprietor, of his being sure of his retaining the government, as well as those of the sums offered for it, which the people will be obliged to pay, &c., are all idle tales, fit only for knaves to propagate, and fools to believe. A little time will dissipate all the smoke they can raise to conceal the real state of things.
The unsettled state of the ministry, ever since the Parliament rose, has stopped all proceeding in public affairs, and ours amongst the rest; but, change being now made, we shall immediately proceed, and with a greater cheerfulness, as some we had reason to doubt of are removed, and some particular friends are put in place. What you mentioned of the Lower Counties is undoubtedly right. Had they ever sent their laws home, * as they ought to have done, that iniquitous one of priority of payment to residents would undoubtedly have been repealed. But the end of all these things is nigh; at least, it seems to be so.
The spiking of the guns was an audacious piece of villany, by whomsoever done. It shows the necessity of a regular enclosed place of defence, with a constant guard to take care of what belongs to it, which, when the country can afford it, will, I hope, be provided.
Depend upon it, my good neighbour, I took every step in my power to prevent the passing of the Stamp Act. Nobody could be more concerned and interested than myself, to oppose it sincerely and heartily. But the tide was too strong against us. The nation was provoked by American claims of independence, and all parties joined in resolving by this act to settle the point. We might as well have hindered the sun's setting. That we could not do. But since it is down, my friend, and it may be long before it rises again, let us make as good a night of it as we can. still light candles. Frugality and industry will go a great way towards indemnifying us. Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. If we can get rid of the former, we may easily get rid of the latter.
My best respects to Mrs. Thomson. Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours affectionately,
* By home here is meant England, a common use of the word before the Revolution.
+ Claims to an independence of Parliament, in regard to the power of taxing the colonists without their consent.