|You are here: Home >> American Archives|
you in the language, and with the spirit, of one bold, determined, free citizen to another, and conjure you, as you value the liberties and rights of the community of which you are a member, not to lose a moment, and, in my name, (if my name is of consequence enough,) to direct the commanding officer of your troops at Annapolis immediately to seize the person of Governour Eden. The sin and blame be on my head. I will answer for all to the Congress. The justice and necessity of the measure will be best explained by the packet transmitted to you by the Committee of Safety from this place.
God Almighty give us wisdom and vigour in this hour of trial.
Adieu, dear sir. Yours, most sincerely,
To Samuel Purviance, Esq., Chairman of the Committee, Baltimore.
GENERAL LEWIS TO PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Williamsburgh, April 6, 1776.
SIR: I with pleasure embrace this first opportunity that has offered, of returning the honourable Continental Congress my unfeigned thanks for the mark of distinction they have conferred on me, in promoting me to so honourable; a rank in their service. Gratitude to them, and the real regard I have for the interest of my country, are motives sufficient to occasion the utmost exertion of my poor abilities, which I promise most heartily and faithfully, and wish it may be in my power to demonstrate, by actions becoming ray rank, the real sentiments of my heart.
Men sufficient for the completion of the regiments are inlisted; but as several companies have not reached their places of destination, all the commissions are not given out; therefore I cannot at present give the officers names, rank, and dates of commissions; but it shall be done as soon as in my power.
I am, honourable sir, your most devoted, most obedient, and very humble servant,
To the Honourable John Hancock.
E. JOHNSON TO MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY.
At a meeting of the Committee of Observation for Calvert County, at the Court-House, in Prince Fredericktown, on Saturday, the 6th of April, 1776, were present eight Members, Mr. Benjamin Mackall in the chair.
Resolved, That the Council of Safety be informed that this Committee have received a barrel of Gunpowder, said to contain ninety-three and three-quarter pounds, and a parcel of Lead Shot, said to weigh four hundred ninety-five and a half pounds, from the Committee of Charles County; that they have collected from individuals Powder and Lead and Flints, to the amount of thirteen Pounds currency, which they distributed amongst the Militia of this County at the different alarms.
Signed by order:
E. JOHNSON, Clerk.
To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.
ROBERT MORRIS TO GENERAL GATES.
Philadelphia, April 6, 1776.
Our friend Lee has taken possession of the Palace at Williams burgh, which I fancy will not be much approved by the gentlemen of that country. However, he will soon be called to North-Carolina, if it be true that Clinton has effected a landing with fifteen hundred men at Wilmington, and thrown up intrenchments there. In short, the scene thickens, and if our enemies can find men, we may expect to be attacked in all quarters; but to do this, they must certainly have recourse to foreigners, as they cannot meet success in the recruiting service in any of the three Kingdoms.
Where the plague are these Commissioners? If they are to come, what is it that detains them? It is time we should be on a certainty, and know positively whether the liberties of America can be established and secured by reconciliation, or whether we must totally renounce connection with Great Britain, and fight our way to a total independence. Whilst we continue thus firmly united among ourselves, there is no doubt but either of these points may be carried; but it seems to me we shall quarrel about which of these roads is best to pursue, unless the Commissioners appear soon, and lead us into the first path. Therefore, I wish them to come, dread ing nothing so much as even an appearance of division amongst ourselves.
To General Gates.
ELBRIDGE GERRY TO MASSACHUSETTS ASSEMBLY.
Philadelphia, April 6, 1776.
DEAR SIR: I have just time to send you by the post a newspaper, in which is inserted the resolves of Congress for opening of American Ports to all nations except such as are subject to the King of Great Britain. It is a matter of importance that these resolves should be published in all the papers, and sent to every part of Europe and the West-Indies not inimical to the Colonies. I doubt not the Commit tee of Correspondence, or other suitable persons, will be desired by the honourable Court to attend to such a measure, and cause the same to be republished in the foreign papers.
I hope by the next post to send some blank commissions and instructions for letters of marque, and the resolves of Congress relative thereto, they being now in the press.
I remain, sir, respectfully, your very humble servant,
To the Honourable James Warren, Esq., or, in his absence, William Cooper, Esq., Speaker of the honourable House of Representatives, Massachusetts-Bay.
TO THE INHABITANTS OF PHILADELPHIA.
If ever there was or can be a question that ought to en gage the serious attention of every man whose lot is cast in this American land, it is that now agitated, viz: In what shape we shall hereafter exist as a people? Whether we shall preserve the ancient forms of Government, which have led us to our present rank and importance in the world, or explore the dark and untrodden way of Independence and Republicanism? I hope it will not be objected to me, that I have connected the idea of separation from Great Britain with that of erecting a Republick in America. I have in this followed the author of Common Sense; and, indeed, it can hardly be supposed, nor has it been suggested, that, when we set up for ourselves, we shall immediately again set up for a Kingly Government. Our new legislators would persuade us, that when these Colonies have shaken off the British yoke, they will calmly sit down with one heart and one voice, to form themselves into a great Republick. They will be governed by the pure dictates of wisdom, and influenced by a love of liberty in framing their new constitution. Passion and prejudice will have no hand in it. Ancient grudges and dislikes, clashing interests and religious discords, will be done away. Thus assembled, and thus disposed, who can doubt but that they will rear up a fabrick upon the ruins of the English form of Government, that shall be the admiration of the world, and endure forever? That men do, or at least affect to believe, this will be the case, I have no more doubt than that it certainly would not happen accordingly.
However, as it is but common prudence to consider an evil before we devise a remedy, let us take a view of the state of these Colonies before the existence of our present disputes; and I will venture to affirm that political liberty never existed in greater perfection than here. Some abuses, indeed, we had reason to be uneasy under; but they were rather complained of as establishing precedents for future violations, than as severely felt. The consequence, then, is plain, that redress of these grievances, and security from future ones, should be the objects of this contest. But whence (it will be asked) shall we procure this security? I answer, from solemn compact, mutual interest, and length of time. Great Britain, by this dispute, will be taught that her true interest lies in a friendly connection with us; and a few years hence a similar attempt will be impracticable, from our in crease of numbers and strength.
But the most singular argument urged to reconcile us to