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Remarks on the Present State of Affairs


Williamsburgh, Virginia, March 5, 1776.

The Tones and tools of Administration are constantly crying out that the Congress is aiming at independence, and pretend now that they would wish to see America put into the situation it was in the year 1763. I say pretend, now, because now they find it impossible to bring America to the abject state of slavery they were willing to reduce her, and have no hopes of succeeding in their scheme of despotism, unless they can take advantage of our love of the British Constitution, and attachment to Great Britain, by alarming


us with the thoughts of a separation, by raising a distrust in the Congress, and fears of an unsettled and imperfect republick, or, at the same time, by lulling us into a state of security, and flattering us with an expectation of an accomodation. That the Ministry (whatever Lord North may be supposed to mean by something he said to that effect) do not wish to see us restored to the situation we were in 1763, must be evident from their not embracing the offers, of the Congress to accept of those terms; for if they desired it — if they preferred peace to war, and were willing to put a stop to the effusion of the blood of their fellow-subjects, they would have eagerly embraced the petition of the Congress, and made it the basis of an honourable negotiation, which must speedily have brought about a happy and lasting reconciliation. But the King, who had early imbibed principles of despotism, and who has found means to make himself absolute, even in England, by means of a venal Parliament and a servile army of sycophants, and who has lately tasted the sweets (it was but a taste) of an absolute monarch, in his Kingdom of Quebeck, was determined not to admit it as a basis of a negotiation, scorning to treat with Rebels; and declaring, from his tin-one, that we meant but to deceive and "lull him into a security, by professions of attachment and loyalty, whilst we were preparing for war." And from the King' s speech, the world would suppose that we had so far got the start of him, in our preparations, that he was obliged to call in foreign troops to his assistance. His Majesty, does, it is true, most graciously say, "It may not be amiss to empower certain persons to pardon such offenders as shall repent and turn from their evil ways." But he says nothing like what his tools here have said; nor can there be the least foundation for the report, which was lately so industriously propagated, viz: That several of the obnoxious acts were repealed, and that Commissioners were on their way to Philadelphia, to treat with the Congress. Whoever will read the vote of the House of Commons, on Lord North' s motion, of November 28th, and the resolve of the Irish House of Commons, on Friday, the 21st of November, and will also consider the great preparations England is making for a war, the arrival of men-of-war with transports here, and knows that Lord Dunmore is actually intrenching at Tucker' s Mills, that he is daily recruiting his army of slaves, that there has lately been a dangerous commotion in North-Carolina, and that the English commander at Detroit has instigated some Indians to make an attack on our frontiers, who have actually scalped several people — I say, whoever knows and considers these things, must see that the story of Commissioners, repeal, and accommodation, was intended but to lull us into security, or to insult and mock us. It is therefore high time to look to ourselves; and if we cannot enjoy the privileges of Englishmen, when connected with them, let us instantly break off those fetters of affection which have hitherto bound us to them; and if England calls in foreign assistance, let us follow the wisdom of her example, and do so likewise.