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that we shall ever detest and avoid it, as a complication of robbery, murder, famine, fire and pestilence. You will have heard, before this reaches you,
of the treacherous conduct
to the remaining people in Boston, in detaining their goods, after stipulating to let them go out with their effects, on pretence that merchants' goods were not effects; the defeat of a great body of his troops by the country people at Lexo ington; some other small advantages gained in skirmishes with their troops; and the action at Bunker'shill, in which they were twice repulsed, and the third time gained a dear victory. Enough has happened, one would think, to convince your ministers, that the Ame. ricans will fight, and that this is a harder out to crack than they imagined.
We have not yet applied to any foreign power for assistance, nor offered our commerce for their friendship. Perhaps we never may: yet it is natural to think of it, if we are pressed.
We have now an army on the establishment which still holds yours besieged.
My time was never more fully employed. In the morning at six, I am at the committee of safety, appointed by the assembly to put the province in a state of defence; which committee holds till near nine, when I am at the congress, and that sits till after four in the afternoon. Both these bodies proceed with the greatest unanimity, and their meetings are well attended. It will scarce be credited in Britain, that men can be as diligent with us from zeal for the public good, as with you for thousands per annum.
Such is the difference between uncorrupted new states, and corrupted old Great frugality and great industry are now become fashionable here: gentlemen, who used to entertain with two or three courses, pride themselves now in treating with simple beef and pudding: By these means, and the steppage of our consumptive trade with Britain, we shall be better able to pay our voluntary taxes for the support of our troops. Our savings in the article of trade amount to near five millions sterling per annum.
I shall communicate your letter to Mr. Winthrop, but the camp. is at Cambridge, and he has as little leisure for philosophy as myself.
Believe me ever, with sincere esteem, my dear friend,
Yours most affectionately.
Account of the first Campaign made by the British Forces in
Philadelphia, Oct. 3, 1775. DEAR SIR, I AM to set out to-morrow for the campt, and having but just heard of this opportunity, can only t:rite a line to say that I am well and hearty.- Tell our dear good friend
*, who soinetimes has his doubts and despondencies about our firmness, that America is
* This letter has been several times very incorrectly printed : it is here given from a genuine copy. B. V.
Dr. Franklin, col. Harrison, and Mr. Lynch, were at this time appointed by congress (of which they were members) to confer on certain subjects with gen. Washington. The American army was then employed 2 A 3
determined and unanimous; a very few tories and placemeu excepted, who will probably soon export themselves.-Britain, at the expence of three millions, has killed one hundred and fifty Yankies this campaign, which is 20,0001. a head; and at Bunker's Hill she gained a mile of ground, half of which she lost again by our taking post on Ploughed Hill. During the same time sixty thousand children have been born in America. From these data his mathematical head will easily calculate the time and expence necessary to kill us all, and conquer our whole territory. My sincere respect to
and to the club of honest whigs at
*. Adieu, I am ever Yours most affectionately,
Probability of a Separation.
Philadelphia, Oct. 3, 1775. I WISH as ardently as you can do for peace, and should rejoice exceedingly in co-operating with you to that end. But every ship from Britain brings some in
in blocking up gen. Howe in Boston; and I believe it was dnring this visit, that gen. Washington communicated the following memorable anecdote to Dr. Franklin ; viz. “ that there had been a lime, when this army had been so destitute of military stores, as not to have powder enough in all its magazines, to furnish more than five rounds per man for their small arms." Great guns were out of the question; they were fired now and then, only to show that they had them. Yet this secret was kept with so much ad. dress and good countenance from both armies, that gen. Washington was enabled effectually to continue the blockade. B.V.
telligence of new measures, that tend more and more to exasperate: and it seems to me, that until you have found by dear experience the reducing us by force impracticable, you will think of nothing fair and reasonable. We have as yet resolved only on defensive mea
If you would recal your forces and stay at home, we should meditate nothing to injure you. A little time so given for cooling on both sides would have excellent effects. But you will goad and provoke us. You despise us too much; and you are insensible of the Italian adage, that there is no little enemy. I am persuaded the body of the British people are our friends; but they are changeable, and by your lying gazettes may soon be made our enemies. Our respect for them will proportionally diminish; and I see clearly we are on the high road to mutual enmity, hatred, and detestation. A separation will of course be inevitable. It is a million of pities so fair a plan, as we have hitherto been engaged in for increasing strength and empire with public felicity, should be destroyed by the mangling hands of a few blundering ministers. It will not be destroyed : God will protect and prosper it: you will only exclude yourselves from any share in it. We hear, that more ships and troops are coming out. We know you may do us a great deal of mischief, but we are determined to bear it patiently as long as we can; but if you flatter yonrselves with beating us into submission, you know neither the people nor the country.
The congress is still sitting, and will wait the result of their last petition.
2 A 4
Letters to Monsieur Dumas, urging him to sound the several Courts
of Eur pe, by Means of their Ambassadors at the Hague, as to any Assistance they may be disposed to afford America in her Struggle for Independence*.
Philadelphia, Dec. 9, 1775.
DEAR SIR, I RECEIVED your several favours, of May 18, June 30, and July 8, by Messrs. Vaillant and Pochard; whom, if I could serve upon your recommendation, it would give me great pleasure.' Their total want of English is at present an obstruction to their getting any employment among us; but I hope they will soon obtain some knowledge of it. This is a good country for artificers or farmers, but gentlemen of mere science in les belles lettres cannot so easily subsist here, there being little demand for their assistance among an industrious people, who, as yet, have not much leisure for studies of that kind.
I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of
edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy which I kept (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the college of Massachusett's Bay, as you directed) has been continually in the hands of the members of our congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have enter
* This letter is taken from an American periodical publication entitled The Port Folio, in wbich it appeared July 31, 1802. Editor.