At a time when all Europe
is interested in the fate of America you will forgive me my Dear
Madam if I lay aside the ceremony usually observed... & again
call your Attention... to my Last [letter] in which I hinted
that the sword was half drawn from the scabbard. Soon after which
this people were obliged to unsheath it to repel the violence
offered to individuals & the impotence of an attempt to seize
the private property of the subjects of the king of England.
And thereby put it out of their power to defend themselves against
the Corrupt Ministry of this Court.
You have undoubtedly, Madam,
been Apprized of the Consequences of this hostile movement which
compelled the Americans to fly to arms in Defense of all that
is held dear and sacred among Mankind. And the public papers
as well as private accounts have witnessed to the Bravery of
the peasants of Lexington & the spirit of freedom Breathed
from the Inhibitants of the surrounding Villages. You have been
told of the distresses of the people of Boston. Famine &
pestilence began to rage in the City [forcing] ... most of them
to Depart leaving their Effects behind & to quit this Elegant
and Convenient Habitation in the Capital & fly back into
the Hospitable army of their Brethren in the Country. And the
Conflagration of Charlestown [the Battle of Bunker Hill] will
undoubtedly Reach each British Ear before this came to your hand.
Such instances of wanton Barbarity have seldom been practiced
even among the most Rude & uncivilized Nations. The ties
of Gratitude which now broken through by the king, troops, in
this base tradition greatly enhance their guilt. It was the Inhabitants
of that town who prompted by humanity generously opened the door
to the routed Gage on the Nineteenth of April and poured Balm
into the Wound, of the Exhausted & dying soldiers after their
precipitant retreat. Had they observed a different conduct on
that Memorable day. Had they assisted in cutting off s[ai]d...
retreat it might not have been in the power of General Gage to
have wrapped that town in flames & driven out the miserable
inhabitants the prey of poverty & despair... I shall... only
give a short account of the present situation of American affairs
in the Environs of Boston. We have a well appointed brave &
high spirited continental army. Consisting of about twenty two
thousand Men. Commanded by the accomplished George Washington....
of one of the first fortunes in America. A man whose military
abilities & public & private virtue, place him in the
first class of the Good & Brave & one really of so high
a Stamp as to do Honor to Human Nature. this army is to be originally
recruited & to be supported & paid at the expense of
the United colonies of America. And were Britain powerful &
infatuated enough to find out a force sufficient to cut of[f]
this little Resolute army... it would exhibit in the field thrice
their Number, Ready to avenge the stroke & cut down the justice
of Heaven on the Destroyer of peace, liberty, & happiness
The great Council of America
have once more petitioned His Majesty to devise some... reconciliation.
This is a final proof with what Reluctance the progeny of Britain
draw forth the sword against their unnatural parent. Both the
Ministerial & the American army seem at present to be rather
on the defensive as if each were wishing for some Benign Hand
to interpage and heal the dreadful contest without letting out
the blood from the bosom of their Brethren.