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I write at this Time, only to remind you that I have received no Letters. Let me intreat the earliest Attention of our Houses, to the Accounts and Vouchers of our Province. Accounts must be exact and Vouchers genuine, or We shall suffer. The whole Attention of every Member of both Houses, would be not improfitably employed upon this subject untill it is finished. The Accounts, I mean are of...
Mr. Lynch, Coll. Harrison, and Dr. Franklyn are preparing for a Journey to Watertown and Cambridge, one of whom will do me the Favour of taking this Letter. Mr. Lynch, you have seen before. He is an oppulent Planter of Great Understanding and Integrity and the best Affections to our Country and Cause. Coll. Harrison, is of Virginia, and the Friend and Correspondent of the General, but it seems...
Philadelphia, 30 September 1775. RC offered for sale by Parke-Bernet Gallery, N.Y., Gribbel sale, pt. 2, 22–24 Jan. 1941, lot 2. Addressed to James Warren as Speaker of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, “favoured by Dr. Franklin.” After giving the names of the congressional committee members and explaining their function, JA proceeds, “I hope our Province, in every Part of it,...
What think you of a North American Monarchy? Suppose We should appoint a Continental King, and a Continental House of Lords, and a Continental House of Commons, to be annually, or triennially or Septennially elected? And in this Way make a Supreme American Legislature? This is easily done you know by an omnipotent Continental Congress, and When once effected, His American Majesty may appoint a...
This Morning I received your kind Favours of the 11th. and 19th. Ultimo—with the Enclosures. Drapers Paper is a great Curiosity and you will oblige me by Sending it as often as posible. The Foreign News you mention, is all a Delusion my Friend. You may depend upon it, every Measure is preparing by the Ministry to destroy Us if they can, and that a Sottish Nation is Supporting them. Heaven...
I believe you will have a surfeit of Letters from me, for they will be as inane, as they are numerous. The Bearer of this is Major Bayard a Gentleman of this City of the Presbyterian Perswasion of the best Character and the clearest Affections for his Country. I have received so many Civilities from him, that I could not refuse myself the Pleasure of introducing him to you. Our obligations of...
The Debates, and Deliberations in Congress are impenetrable Secrets: but the Conversations in the City, and the Chatt of the Coffee house, are free, and open. Indeed I wish We were at Liberty to write freely and Speak openly upon every Subject, for their is frequently as much Knowledge derived from Conversation and Correspondence, as from Solemn public Debates. A more intricate and complicated...
You will not think your Time misspent in Perusing any Plans for the Service of your Country, even altho they may prove, upon Examination chimerical. There are two Channells only, through which Vessells of large Burthen, can pass, to and from Boston: one, is between the West Head of Long Island and the Moon: It is a mile wide, but incumbered with Rocks and too shallow for a Man of War of more...
Mr. Jonathan Mifflin, a young Gentleman of this City, a Relation of our Friend the Quarter Master General will hand you this Letter. I believe you will have enough of my Correspondence this Time, for it has certainly been filled with mere Impertenence and contains nothing of War or Politicks which are so Agreable to your Taste. Our Expectations are very Sanguine, of Intelligence from Schuyler...
I would write often if I had any thing to communicate: But Obligations of Honour forbid some Communications and other Considerations prevent others. The common Chatt of a Coffee house, is too frivolous for me to recollect or you to read. I have inclosed a Paper upon which I will make no Remark: But leave you to your own Conjectures. Only I must absolutely insist that it be mentioned to nobody....
As the Article of Powder is much wanted to carry on the operations vs the ministerial Army, and as the british Ministry, have taken every Step that human Nature could divise to prevent the Americans obtaining So essential an Article; it is humbly Submitted to the Wisdom, of the cont. Congress, whether it will not be prudent to Supply yourselves with that Article at the Expence of the said...
Yours of october 1. and 2d I received this Morning with the Letters inclosed. These were from my afflicted Wife, giving me Such a continued History of her Distresses, as has affected me too much to write you a long Letter. The Misfortune, or what shall I call it of the Surgion General had been represented here in several Letters in very glaring Colours untill one arrived from the secretary to...
The Letter of Dr—— is the oddest Thing imaginable. There are so many Lies in it, calculated to give the Enemy an high Idea of our Power and Importance, as well as so many Truths tending to do us good that one knows not how to think him treacherous: Yet there are several Strokes, which cannot be accounted for at least by me, without the Supposition of Iniquity. In Short I endeavour to Suspend...
It was the latter End of August that I left you. All September has run away, and 19 days in Octr.—and We have had no regular Intelligence from Watertown or Cambridge. Your Goodness I acknowledge. But there was a Committee of both Houses appointed, to correspond with your Delegates; and We were to be informed of every Thing that occurred in Boston, Cambridge, Roxbury, Watertown &c especially of...
What Think you of an American Fleet? I dont mean 100 ships of the Line, by a Fleet, but I Suppose this Term may be applied to any naval Force consisting of several Vessells, tho the Number, the Weight of Metal, or the Quantity of Tonnage may be small. The Expence would be very great—true. But the Expence might be born and perhaps the Profits and Benefits to be obtained by it, would be a...
I want to be with you, Tete a Tete, to canvass, and discuss the complicated subject of Trade. I Say nothing of private Consultations or public Debates, upon this important Head. When I write you Letters you must expect nothing from me but unconnected Scraps and broken Hints. Continual Successions of Company allow me Time only to Scrawl a Page of Paper, without Thought. Shall We hush the Trade...
Can The Inhabitants of North America live without foreign Trade? There is Beef and Pork, and Poultry, and Mutton and Venison and Veal, Milk, Butter, Cheese, Corn, Barley, Rye, Wheat, in short every Species of Eatables animal and Vegetable in a vast abundance, an immense Profusion. We raise about Eleven hundred Thousand Bushells of Corn, yearly more than We can possibly consume. The Country...
The Bearer of this is John McPherson Esq. He is a Genius—an old Sea Warriour, Nine or ten Times wounded in Sea Fights. He has a son in the Service—Aid de Camp to Schuyler—a very sensible Man. Of Mr. McPhersons Errand to the Camp ask no Questions and I will tell you no false News. It will make a Noise, in Time—but for the present for Gods sake let not a Word be said. I hope all our Friends who...
I believe I shall surfeit you with Letters, which contain nothing, but Recommendations of Gentlemen to your Attention, especially as you have So many important affairs to take up all your Time and Thoughts. But the Bearers, are Gentlemen, who come so well recommended to me that I could not refuse my self the Pleasure of giving them an opportunity of Seeing my Friend Warren, of whom you must...
We must bend our Attention to Salt Petre. We must make it. While B. is Mistress of the Sea, and has so much Influence with foreign Courts, We cannot depend upon a Supply from abroad. It is certain that it can be made here because it is certain that it has been formerly and more latterly. Dr. Graham of White Plains in the Colony of New York told me, that he has made Some thousands of Pounds...
I have only Time to acquaint you that Yesterday, that eminent American, and most worthy Man The Honourable Peyton Randolph Esqr. our first venerable President, departed this Life in an Apoplectic Fit. He was seized at Table having but a few Moments before set down with a good deal of Company to dinner. He died in the Evening without ever recovering his senses after the first stroke. As this...
When it is Said that it is the Prerogative of omniscience to Search Hearts, I Suppose it is meant that no human sagacity, can penetrate at all Times into Mens Bosoms and discover with precise Certainty the secrets there: and in this Sense it is certainly true. But there is a sense in which Men may be said to be possessed of a Faculty of Searching Hearts too. There is a Discernment competent to...
A Method of collecting Salt Petre from the Air which is talked of here is this. Take of Lime and Ashes equal Quantities, and of horse dung a Quantity equal to both the Ashes and Lime, mix them together into a Mortar, with this Mortar and a Quantity of long Straw to keep it together build two Walls Eighteen Inches thick, and three feet high, about four feet asunder. Then make a Center and turn...
Governor Ward of Rhode Island has a son about five and twenty years old who has been so far carried away in the Absence of his Father, with a Zeal for his Country as to inlist into the Artillery as a private. He never Said a Word to the Governor about, or he would have had a Commission. A younger Brother, who solicited of his father Permission to enter the service, was made a Captain. Now it...
Upon the Receipt of the Intelligence of Dr. Church’s Letter, Dr. Morgan was chosen in his Room. This Letter is intended to be sent by him, and therefore probably will not go in ten days. John Morgan, a Native of this City, is a Doctor of Physick, a Fellow of the Royal Society at London; Correspondent of the Royal Academy of Surgery at Paris; Member of the Arcadian Belles Lettres Society at...
Our Association, against Importations and Exportations, from and to Gr. Britain, Ireland andthe British West Indies, if We consider its Influence, upon the Revenue, the Commerce, the Manufactures and the Agriculture of the Kingdom, is a formidable Shield of Defence for Us. It is Shearing of its Beams that Luminary, which in all its Glory might dazzle our feeble Sight. But a Question arises,...
I have only Time to acquaint you that Congress have ordered the arrears of Pay to be discharged to the soldiers and one Months Advance Pay to be made. No Bounty nor any allowance for Lunar Months. I have a Thousand Things to say—But no Time. Our Army must be reconciled to these Terms, or We shall be ruined for what I know. The Expenses accumulating upon the Continent are so vast and boundless...
Mr. Archibald Buchannan, and Mr. Walter Tolley both of Maryland, and hearty Friends of America, introduced to me by my Friend Mr. Chace Chase , are bound to the Camp, and Mr. Chace requested a Letter from me. Chace is a Man of common sense. I received your Packett. I am obliged to you for opening the Letter from our Friend Mr. Adams, and if you had opened all the others, you should have been...
I Shall inclose to a Lady of my Acquaintance all the News Papers which have been printed in this City, Since my arrival, by which you will See, to what Point the Tide of Political Sentiment, Setts. Scarcely a Paper comes out, without a Speculation or two in open Vindication of opinions, which Five Months ago were Said to be unpopular. A vast Majority of the People, indeed, I very well know...
We have at last hit upon a Plan which promises fair for Success. Dr. Franklin, and Mr. Chase of Maryland, and Mr. Charles Carroll of Carrollton, are chosen a Committee to go to Canada. I must confess I have very great Confidence, in the Abilities and Integrity, the Political Principles and good Disposition of this Committee. Franklins Character you know. His masterly Acquaintance with the...
I have not received more than one Letter from you since I left you and that was a very Short one. I have written as often as I could. If you get a sight of the New York and Philadelphia News Papers you will see what a mighty Question is before the Tribunal of the Public. The Decision is yet in suspence, but a Guess may be formed what it will be. The Day before Yesterday the Committee of...
Since the joyfull News of the Reduction of Boston by the Forces of the united Colonies, my Mind has been constantly engaged with Plans and Schemes for the Fortification of the Islands and Channells in Boston Harbour. I think that if Cannon and Ammunition, in the necessary Quantities can possibly be obtained, Fortifications ought to be erected upon Point Alderton, Lovells Island, Georges...
As foreign Affairs become every day more interesting to Us no Pains should be spared to acquire a thorough Knowledge of them, and as the inclosed Extract contains some observations which are new to me, I thought it might not be uninteresting to you. Howe has put 3000 Troops on board of Transports, which lie or at least lay last saturday at Staten Island. Whether this is a Feint, or a Serious...
I agree with you, in yours of the 30 March, in opinion that five Regiments are too Small a Force to be left with you, considering the Necessity of fortifying the Harbour, and the Danger there is that the Enemy may renew their Designs upon our Province. Am happy to learn that you have Sent a Committee to view the Harbour of Boston and report the best Method of Securing it. When this Report is...
Last Evening, a Letter was received, by a Friend of yours, from Mr. John Penn, one of the Delegates from North Carolina, lately returned home to attend the Convention of that Colony, in which he informs, that he heard nothing praised in the Course of his Journey, but Common sense and Independence. That this was the Cry, throughout Virginia. That North Carolina, were making great Preparations...
The Management of so complicated and mighty a Machine, as the United Colonies, requires the Meekness of Moses, the Patience of Job and the Wisdom of Solomon, added to the Valour of Daniel. They are advancing by slow but sure steps, to that mighty Revolution, which You and I have expected for Some Time. Forced Attempts to accellerate their Motions, would have been attended with Discontent and...
Yours of Ap. 30. was handed me yesterday. My Writing So seldom to you, proceeds from Necessity not Choice, I assure you. I can Sympathize with you in your ill Health, because I am always unwell my­ self. Frail as I am, at best, I am feebler in this Climate than at home. The Air here has no Spring—And My Mind is overborne with Burdens. Many Things are to be done here and many more to think upon...
This Day the Congress has passed the most important Resolution, that ever was taken in America. It is, as nearly as I can repeat it, from Memory, in these Words. “Whereas his Britannic Majesty, in Conjunction with the Lords and Commons of Great Britain, has, by a late Act of Parliament, excluded the Inhabitants of these united Colonies from the Protection of his Crown and Whereas No Answer...
Yours of 8 May received this Morning, and am as I ever have been much of your Opinion that The Enemy would return to the Massachusetts if possible. They will probably land at Hingham or Braintree, or somewhere to the Northward of Boston, not make a direct Attempt upon Boston itself, the next Time. I hope no Pains, no Labour or expence will be neglected to fortify the Harbour of Boston however....
Every Post and every Day rolls in upon Us Independance like a Torrent. The Delegates from Georgia, made their Appearance, this Day in Congress, with unlimited Powers, and these Gentlemen themselves are very firm. South Carolina, has erected her Government and given her Delegates ample Powers, and they are firm enough. North Carolina, have given theirs full Powers after repealing an Instruction...
I shall address this to you as Speaker, but you may be Councillor, or Governor, or Judge, or any other Thing, or nothing but a good Man, for what I know. Such is the Mutability of this World. Upon my Word I think you Use the World very ill, to publish and send abroad a Newspaper, since the 29 May without telling Us one Word about the Election, where it was held, who preached the sermon, or &c....
Your Favours of June 2d and 5th. are now before me. The Address to the Convention of Virginia, makes but a Small Fortune in the World. Coll. Henry, in a Letter to me, expresses an infinite Contempt of it, and assures me, that the Constitution of Virginia, will be more like the Thoughts on Government. I believe, however, they will make the Election of their Council, Septennial. Those of...
Congress has been pleased to establish a War Office, and have done me the Honour to make me a Member of that Board, which lays me under obligation to write you upon the subject of Flints. Congress has impowered and directed the Board to employ a Number of Persons, wherever they can find them, to manufacture Flints, and also to enquire in the Several Colonies, for the proper Flint Stone. It...
I have Time only to tell you that I am yet alive, and in better Spirits than Health. The News, you will learn from my very worthy Friend Gerry. He is obliged to take a Ride for his Health, as I shall be very soon or have none. God grant he may recover it for he is a Man of immense Worth. If every Man here was a Gerry, the Liberties of America would be safe against the Gates of Earth and Hell....
Yours of the 10th. instant, came by Yesterdays Post. This I Suppose will find you, at Boston, growing well of the Small Pox. This Dis­ temper is the King of Terrors to America this Year. We shall Suffer as much by it, as We did last, Year by the Scarcity of Powder. And therefore I could wish, that the whole People was innoculated. It gives me great Pleasure to learn, that Such Numbers have...
My Health has lasted much longer, than I expected but at last it fails. The Increasing Heat of the Weather added to incessant application to Business, without any Intermissions of Exercise, has relaxed me, to such a degree that a few Weeks more would totally incapacitate me for any Thing. I must therefore return home. There will be no difficulty, in finding Men Suitable to send here. For my...
I have directed a Packett to you, by this days Post, and Shall only add a few Words by Fessenden. I assure you the Necessity of your sending along fresh delegates, here, is not chimerical. Paine has been very ill for this whole Week and remains, in a bad Way. He has not been able to attend Congress, for several days, and if I was to judge by his Eye, his Skin, and his Cough, I should conclude...
I had a Letter from you, by the Post Yesterday. Congratulate you, and your other Self, on your happy Passage, through the Small Pox. I must intreat you to embrace the earliest opportunity, after the General Court Shall assemble, to elect Some new Members to attend here, at least one, instead of me. As to others they will follow, their own Inclinations. If it had not been for the critical State...
Yours of August 11 reached me Yesterday. Mrs. Temple shall have all the Assistance which I can give her, but I fear it will be without success. It will be a Precedent for So many others, that there is no seeing the End of it. I shall answer her Letter by the next Post, and if I cannot promise her any Relief, I can assure her of Mr. Temples Arrival, and of his having Leave to go home, which I...
It is in vain for me to think of telling you News, because you have direct Intelligence from Ticonderoga much sooner than I have, and from N. York sooner than I can transmit it to you. Before this Time the Secretary has arrived, and will give you all the Information you can wish, concerning the State of Things here. Mr. G. got in the day before Yesterday, very well. There has been a Change, in...