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To the People of Virginia



Williamsburgh, May 25, 1775.

Whilst we are almost involved in all the terrours of a civil war; whilst the injured genius of America cries aloud for justice; and whilst the only measures by which an accommodation can be procured meet with a most daring and unjust opposition from some of our most distinguished men, who should rather be the principal promoters of it: can I, without doing violence to reason, avoid exclaiming against the inhumanity of the action? Were they Englishmen, I should only say that they could not divest themselves of that partiality for their native Country, almost inherent in, our nature, and of consequence had imbibed wrong principles; but for Americans, both born and brought up among us, to sell their Country for a smile, or some ministerial office what language is sufficient to express the indignation, the contempt, which such conduct must naturally create in every virtuous breast. Alas! Great Britain, thy vices have even extended to America. So small


an isle is become insufficient to contain such innumerable pollutions, Americans ! the torrent as yet is but small; only a few are involved in it; it must be soon stopped, or it will bear all before it with an impetuous sway. The warlike Coriolanus, after he had fought many great and memorable battles in the service of his Country, after he had opposed in Carioli, an extensive city, all its inhabitants, as valiantly as ever extravagant fiction represents Hector to have done in the Grecian camp; I say, after he had performed such meritorious actions for his Country, when he found himself treated contemptuously, and banished from the city for taking up arms against his Country in his own defence, has all his former glory sullied. In what light, then, must we look on our countrymen, who espouse the side of the infamous Ministry? The conclusion is obvious. Pity for the despicable wretches bids me cease to draw it.