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set up an Idol they are determined to worship with or without reason has had the greatest. they have even made use of the Tories to prevent my being Chose by my Town, who made their Appearance on this Occasion for the first Time for seven Years. The partiality of you and the rest of my friends has made me an object of great Importance with this party, and every thing is done to get me out of sight. in short the plan is to Sacrifise you and me to the Shrine of their Idol. I hope for the sake of the Character and Interest of our Country they wont Succeed against you. for myself I am Content to be as private a Man as they can make me. I have a Good Conscience that is all I want and of that they cant deprive me. I am not disappointed. I have all I expected you will see the List of the House and will form your own Expectations. I suppose my Cousin will be an Influential Member. with regard to the Constitution I am of the Opinion it will not prevail, and that Anarchy and Confusion will take place before we have one settled Your dear Town have with others lost their Compass and with it lost sight of their old principles and policy. they have acted accordingly upon this Occasion, while no Man can Entertain a reasonable prospect of getting a better form. the Small Pox is still lurking in Town and has made its Appearance in such a Manner as has alarmed the House. the Court is therefore Adjourned to Watertown. what else is done I cant say. No foreign News. we learn Philadelphia is Evacuated. where are they going next. some Conjecture to the West Indies while others think the North Rivers or Connecticut are the Object. we shall know soon. we have yet no Intelligence of the Arrival of the Boston I dont write to Mr. Gerry because I suppose he is on his way here. if still with you my regards to him. I shall write to Mr. Lovel. Doct'r Holton is waiting for General Hancock, who I hear took a pompous Leave of the House Yesterday by going up and shakeing Hands with the Speaker, etc., after moving for leave to return soon if his health would not admit of his Tarrying long. I suppose a Cavelcade will attend him, Subscriptions for that purpose haveing been Circulated for a week. I believe he will go Tomorrow. you will provide for his reception as you think fit. I am Your Assured Friend J. W.


YORK TOWN, June 1, 1778

MY DEAR SIR, I wrote to you a few Days ago by Mr. Brailsford,1 since which I have receivd your Favors of the 10th and 13th of May. The Arts you mention as being practicd by the Tories in Boston, to prejudice the People against our new Connections, are similar to those which I find on reading a late Philada. Paper, are practiced there. The Danger of Popery is particularly held up by the Partizans of that King, who would wish to drain Ireland of its Catholicks to carry on his bloody Purposes in America. I do not wonder that a certain Gentleman, though of the Character you have described, should joyn in such an objection. He may think it will give him Popularity among a particular class of Men, and serve one Purpose which I believe he has constantly in View; but I am satisfied that such a Suggestion will have a different Effect.

I have receivd several Letters from my Friend Dr. Lee since my Arrival here. Those by the Way of Boston are Duplicates, and contain Nothing of Importance more than what we receivd by Mr. Dean. I wish you would revive in the House of Representatives the Proposition which was made last Winter relating to that Gentleman. I have an additional Reason inducing me to urge this Matter, which I will communicate to you at another Time, and which I am very sure you will approve of. At present I believe you are satisfied that it is both Policy and Justice that it should be done.



Congress has been pleasd to put me on the Marine Committee. I mention this to you, in hopes that I shall have the Pleasure of receiving your Letters the oftener on that Account, and particularly on the Subject of the Navy, which I will use my utmost Endeavours to build up. The Committee have orderd a Letter to your Board by this Post. Capt. Burk is to have the Command of the Resistance which may be a Step to further Promotion here

I Norton Brailsford.

3 May 27, 1778.


2 For granting land to Lee in Massachusetts.

4 William Bourke. Capt. Daniel Waters had refused the offer of the vessel.

after. The french Gentleman1 who was fed with Promises at Boston and afterwards substantially relievd by you is highly esteemd by this Committee, and will be rewarded and employed, and Capt. Peck' is not unnoticed. The new Frigate at Salisbury, though before christened by another Name, has that of the Alliance given to her by the Committee. This Letter I intended to have finishd and forwarded by the Post, this Morning, (June 2) but was prevented. Capt. Barry who is to take the Command of the Raughley will deliver it to you. I am apprehensive for our Friend Mr. J. A. who if I mistake not had saild seven Weeks when the last Vessel left Nantz. The Bearer is in Haste. Adieu. [No signature.]


PLIMOUTH, June 2, 1778

You, my Dearest Friend, who have so often heard me express my opinion of the folly, fickleness and ingratitude of mankind will not wonder when I tell you I am not at all surprised to see them forsake a man who for many years has at the expense of his own health and happiness uniformly aimed to promote their interest, but I own I did not expect to see your town wn so suddenly deviate from the principles they formerly professed.'


I never supposed that in the midst of the contest and at the most critical period thereof they would suffer the inveterate enemies of this country to lift up their heads and openly oppose the measures and malign the men who have suffered so much in the public cause. Yet strange as it may appear one of the most subtile emissaries of Britain and the most malignant of your foes was suffered yesterday in full meeting of the town to stand up and cast the most illiberal reflections on a man whose primary object has been to rescue these people from the thraldom of a foreign yoke and to preserve their rights against the machinations of the more dangerous enemies that lurk in their own bosoms. With this sole point in view how much fatigue and painful watching have 2 A designer of vessels. 3 Ned Winslow the elder.

I Pierre Landais.

you sustained, and from your absence and sufferings how much anxiety have I felt and how many tears has it cost me. But you are now released by the suffrages of the people and stand acquitted to your God, your country and your conscience if you never engage again. I feel the highest pleasure from the knowledge of your integrity and the certainty I have that the voice of popularity was never a stimulus to any one action of your life. You have justly despised the breath of the vulgar and looked with contempt on those selfish wretches who lie in wait for the applause of the multitude and court adulation from every servile lip.1

How often has the young gentleman who is the bearer of this agreed with me in sentiment that the reward of patriotism was not in this world and as he is just setting out in the craggy path of political strife may he conduct so as to reap the laurels due to unblemished virtue. But some say he has entered at the wrong end of the dangerous labyrinth yet I cannot believe him so lost to the noble feelings of friendship and honour as to unite with the enemies of his country to undermine a man I know he cannot but esteem and who from personal regard and a generous confidence in his profession of Whiggism has long considered Mr. G. Thomas in the light of a friend.

You will perhaps think me a little chagrined at the late conduct of your townsmen but it is not heightened. I have long felt so much indignation and disgust for the ingratitude and baseness of your constituents (a very few excepted) that I could scarce bear the reflection that you were sacrificing the best comforts of life, your domestic felicity to support the interests of those who stood ready to repay your indefatigable labour with undeserved ex


I will now indulge the hope that your duty will not urge you in future to be much separated from your family, that we may shortly sit down in private tranquillity till Nature makes the last demand "when Conscience like a faithful friend Shall smooth the bed of death." I propose to go to Barnstable on Thursday. Shall spend the day with my father and when I return it will be in full

I Thomas Nicholson was chosen to represent Plymouth in the Great and General Court.

expectation of meeting you in a day or two more. In addition to my wishes to see you and my purpose of returning with you I have still another weighty reason for urging your return next week as proposed. The meeting of this town for raising their quota of men by assignment stands adjourned to next Monday sevenight you will then have an opportunity once more to exert your abilities in favor of the wisest measures and if you think proper to thank people for the late marks of respect shown to a truly disinterested friend of his country.


Do you hear nothing from the Boston frigate. If Mr. Adams falls into the hands of foreign enemies he is to be pitied but less than those traduced by internal foes in the presence of friends who have not spirit enough to resent it. Don't you admire the late address of Congress; but it is not the same people they addressed three years ago so that I fear it will have but little effect. I hope to hear from you soon and be assured notwithstanding the caprice of woman, the instability of man and every deformity in which human nature is exhibited in modern times, you will ever have a faithful friend in your affectionate




BOSTON, N. England, June 7th, 1778 MY DEAR SIR, - We are yet in a State of Uncertainty whether you are Arrived in France or England, and Consequently whether you are now acting as an Embassador or suffering as Prisoner; all we know is that the last Ship from France brings no Account of you tho' you had been out seven weeks when she left Rockfort. The Enemy have Circulated a Report that the Boston was taken, and mention the Name of the Ship that Captured her: 2 but I don't Incline to give Credit to it, and think there are reasons to doubt it. As I think myself Interested in the Event, I am anxious to hear of your safe Arrival. Nothing for several weeks has got in from any part of Europe tho' the winds have been remarkably I Journals of the Continental Congress, XI. 474- 2 Adams, Familiar Letters, 338.

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