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and what the cheerful disposition of the people of this country, under all their disappointments in this business, confirms: We are too steady and too resolute to give way, and either you or we roust give way. If we were less steady than we are, we could still be too much for you, by the relative advantages which we enjoy, in spite of the great expenses to which you are putting us, in great naval equipments, and in more numerous armies than have ever yet been seen in America. It is a cursed business. We may be mistaken, but we think you, in general, in a state of phrensy. You will neither hear reason, nor act reasonably; and the only question now is, whether you will be brought back to common sense and general happiness, or whether you shall succeed in destroying both us and yourselves. As for your Excellency, individually, you are behaving in a manner to deserve great credit. You are acting the dignified, determined part, and are showing yourself a friend to both sides of the Atlantick. You have all due honour for it here, and I hope you will be treated with equal candour on your own side of the Atlantick.
The bill, which had the Royal assent yesterday, puts an end to all commercial intercourse between us. I hope the Southern countries will begin to see the consequences of continuing upon themselves the miseries which that bill must bring on them, and that they will learn (what they might have learned long ago) that if they succeed in their present united enterprise, they will immediately find themselves in a state of subjection to the New-Englanders, and that the longer they persevere in that enterprise, (if they are fortunate enough in the end to fail in it,) the more they must suffer.
For other matters, I must refer you to the papers from the post-office; and remain, very affectionately, yours,
The following is the copy of a Letter from His Excellency ROBERT EDEN, Esq., to CHARLES CARROLL, J. HALL, and WILLIAM PACA, Esquires.
Annapolis, April 17, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: However unwelcome might be your errand, your polite behaviour to me yesterday merits my acknowledgments; and, on mature consideration of the proposal you made to me, I find it incumbent on me to tell you that I will not accord to it; nor can I, whilst I act, in any degree, as Governour of this Province, give my parole to walk about in it a prisoner at large, under any obligation whatever. The necessity must be obvious of my ceasing to act as Governour, should I become a prisoner. Neither will I voluntarily give you any satisfaction on that head, further than that I had, and have, no intention, during these times, of leaving the Province whilst my continuing here can, in my own opinion, tend to preserve its tranquillity. My resolution wasas the letters you have of mine showto continue here whilst I could serve the Province; nor shall the indignity now offered to me alter it. I shall persevere in my line of duty by what I think the rule of right, but not without some chagrin at knowing myself, unmeritedly, the object of suspicion; although I have the satisfaction to think that a considerable part of the most respectable persons in the Province entertain a very different opinion of me than is to be inferred from your proposed arrest.
May I not challenge you to say to the world if any troops have arrived at, or any hostile measures been proceeded in against this Province, from any request of mine, or information from me to the Secretary of State?
I have above told you my resolution of continuing in my station as long as permitted, or the ostensible form of the established Government can contribute to preserve the peace of the Province; and I will add one further assurance, in hopes it may be satisfactory to you, that, as your Convention is to meet shortly, they shall find me here, and willing to continue acting in the same line I have hitherto done, so long as Maryland can reap any peaceful benefits from my service; provided I can have assurances that my peaceable departure shall not be impeded whenever I find my remaining any longer here unnecessary, or that my private affairs at home indispensably demand my return.
Consistent with my honour and insulted station, I cannot add more, but that, if made a prisoner, I shall consider myself treated as an enemy, and such a proceeding as a breach of that confidence I have implicitly reposed in you; which I thought my conduct, and the publick declaration of the Convention justified.
I am, gentlemen, with respect, your obedient, humble servant,
To Charles Carroll, Esq., Barrister; John Hall, Esq.; and William Paca, Esq.
Answer thereto by the Committee.
SIR: In times of publick distress and convulsions, when a free people are threatened with a deprivation of their civil liberty, exertions for its preservation, influenced by the purest principles, and conducted with all possible attention to form and ceremony, we hope will not be considered as an indignity or insult to any rank or station in the community. The proceeding which your Excellency reprehends in your letter addressed to Charles Carroll, John Hall, and William Paca, Esquires, and communicated by them to our Board, arose from an impression that we, who are entrusted with the publick safety, should pursue, with vigilance, every effectual measure, though the danger to be guarded against may rest only in possibility. The intercepted letters from Administration to your Excellency, we own, furnish grounds for conjecture and apprehension only of your having held an injurious correspondence; and, whilst we reflect on the general tenour of your Excellencys conduct, the friendly disposition you have often manifested, and the several favourable and impartial representations you have made to Administration of the temper and principles of the people of this Province, we sincerely lament the necessity of the times, which, urging us to guard against every possibility of danger, forced us to a measure so disagreeable to, and which may prove an unmerited treatment of your Excellency.
We acknowledge, sir, we know of no information yon have given Administration countenancing or encouraging the introduction of troops into this Province; nor do we know of any measures whatever to have been concerted or pursued by your Excellency injurious to this Province, or America.
We thank your Excellency for your resolution of continuing in your station as long as permitted, or the ostensible form of the established Government can contribute to preserve the peace of the Province; and we cheerfully acquiesce in your Excellencys assurance, that, as the Convention is shortly to meet, they shall find you here. As far as our influence extends with that respectable body, it shall not be wanting to remove every obstruction to your peaceable departure whenever your Excellencys continuance here shall become inconsistent with your instructions, or your private affairs shall demand your return.
With ardent wishes for a speedy reconciliation upon ho nourable and constitutional terms, we have the honour to be, with sincere respect, your most obedient, humble servants.
THOMAS RICHARDSON TO MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY.
Georgetown, April 17, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: Your letter of the 19th of February did not come to hand until Friday last. I am very sensible of the honour the Convention did me by appointing me Supervisor to the Saltpetre Works for this District; but being myself a stranger to the process necessary for making that article, and not knowing any person who understood it that would undertake to carry on the business, I thought it my duty to resign, in hopes the Committee for this District might know, and would appoint some person qualified for the undertaking. Accordingly, some time before the rising of the Convention, I delivered Mr. John Murdoch (one of our Committee) a newspaper in which was the resolve of the Convention concerning Saltpetre Works, desiring him to show it to the Committee, and inform them of my resignation; but have not heard of any other persons being appointed.
Having this occasion to trouble you, I must beg leave to intrude as much farther on your patience as to inform you that the Convention having appointed Mr. William Deakins to a Majority, and Mr. Aquila Johns to the naval service of the Province, the Georgetown Militia was left without any subaltern officer. The company have nominated Mr. Alexander McFadon First, and Mr. John Peters Second Lieutenants; and Mr. Edward Gale Ensign. If those