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Stephen Moylan to Joseph Reed



Beverly, October 24, 1775.

DEAR SIR: I am much obliged to you that you take notice of my letter per Wilson, and doubt not he will answer your and my expectation. I wish with all my soul that these two vessels were despatched, chiefly for the publick


service, and also that I may have the pleasure of seeing my friends, Mr˙ Lynch and Col˙ Harrison. I want much to be introduced to Doctor Franklin, for whom I have had, many years, a vast veneration. I think they will be off on Thursday evening; if they are, I will be with you on Friday.

Colonel Glover showed me a letter of yours which has mortified him much. I really and sincerely believe he has the cause much at heart, and that he has done his best, in the fitting out these four last vessels, for the publick service. You cannot conceive the difficulty, the trouble, and the delay there is in procuring the thousand things necessary for one of these vessels. I dare say one of them might be fitted in Philadelphia or New- York in three days, because you would know where to apply for the different articles; but here you must search all over Salem, Marblehead, Danvers, and Beverly, for every little thing that is wanting. I must add to these, the jobbing of the carpenters, who are, to be sure, the idlest scoundrels in nature. If I could have procured others, I should have dismissed the whole gang of them last Friday — and such religious rascals are they, that we could not prevail on them to work on the Sabbath. I have stuck very close to them since, and what by scolding and crying shame for their tory-like disposition in retarding the work, I think they mend something.

There is one reason, and I think a substantial one, why a person born in the same Town or neighbourhood, should not be employed on publick affairs of this nature, in that Town or neighbourhood; it is, that the spirit of equality which reigns through this Country will make him afraid of exerting that authority necessary for the expediting his business. He must shake every man by the hand, and desire, beg, and pray, do brother, do my friend, do such a thing; whereas a few hearty damns, from a person who did not care a damn for them, would have a much better effect, (this I know by experience,) for your future government. Indeed, I could give other reasons, but I think this sufficient.

I hope the Field-Deputies will not depart before I have the pleasure to see them; my compliments to those of them that I am acquainted with; and believe me, with great esteem, dear Sir, your assured humble servant,


P˙S. My best respects attend his Excellency. Pray order the articles wrote for yesterday, to be forwarded without delay. I sha' nt send my sensible boy any more express; but as he goes to town on some business of my own, I desire he may call on you, and if you have any commands, I dare say he will wait for them.