To John Sargent
ALS (draft): American Philosophical Society
Philada. June 27. 1775.
I have written to Messrs. Browns and Collinson to pay the Ballance of my Acct to you;8 and I beg you to take the Trouble of receiving and keeping it for me, or my Children. It may possibly soon be all I shall have left: as my American Property consists chiefly of Houses in our Seaport Towns, which your Ministry have begun to burn, and I suppose are wicked enough to burn them all.9 It now requires great Wisdom on your Side the Water to prevent a total Separation; I hope it will be found among you. We shall give you one Opportunity more of recovering our Affections and retaining the Connection; and that I fear will be the last.1 My Love to Mrs. Sargent and your Sons.2 My best Wishes attend you all; being ever, with sincere Esteem, and the most grateful Sense of your long continu’d Friendship, Dear Sir, Your affectionate humble Servant
8. The preceding document.
9. BF had expected this to happen when war began (above, XXI, 584), and perhaps for that reason jumped to the conclusion that it was happening. The first circumstantial account of the Battle of Bunker Hill reached Philadelphia on the 24th and was read to the Congress on the 26th; the burning of Charlestown during the battle was quickly seized upon as an example of wanton destruction. Burnett, Continental Congress, p. 83; JCC, II, 152, 165, 216.
1. The Olive Branch Petition (see the note on it below, July 8, 1775) had been before the Congress since June 19.
2. George, Arnold, and John: above, X, 365 n.