From Benjamin Kent
Boston May 26th: 1776
I have written upon Politics, to your Names Sake, upon the grand affair of a Declaration of Independence, and I suppose he will show it to our Continentall Representatives I mean our Representatives of Massachusetts bay If desir’d, for tho I thro the kindness of Providence Sustain no Sort of publick Caracter; yet I concern my self very much in Affairs which Concern the publick. I remember I promised you I would write you when the Continental Arms Should work a Change to give me something to write upon, But the Lord has sent a pannick upon Our Enemies, and by that means, and not the force of our Arms, I am now a resident in Boston. But what I this day hear of the Doings of the Continental Congress induceth me earnestly to ask you if you have releasd that double damnable fellow Ben: Church Junr:, which I am very unwilling to believe, and if so how it came to pass.1 Pope says whatever is is right but there is you know such a thing as right wrong. Hang well and pay well, is a fundamental principle in all good Government, but the releasing him, seems quite Contrary. But if it is so, I wish he would come to Boston. I would affront him in hopes he would offer me Such treatment that I might beat his brains out or cut his Throat and I might escape the Gallows. I assure you I write under great discomposure of Mind on that Account, because I have been so Credibly inform’d you have releas’d him, that I believe it. Pray give me some relief, or you will never receive from me a better Letter, and this is of no other Importance than to ease my own Stomach, and to let you know you are beloved by yr. Bror.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For The Honble: John Adams Esq; of the Continental Congress Philadelphia By Mr. Bant"; docketed: “Mr Kent. May 26. 1776.”
1. In response to a petition from Church and members of his family, the congress on 14 May remanded him to Massachusetts for a trial and requested that until the trial the Council allow him to be free on parole on condition that he not leave the province or correspond with the enemy (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 4:352). See also William Tudor to JA, 28 Oct. 1775, note 7 (above).