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Massachusetts Congress to Stephen Hopkins



Watertown, April 28, 1775.

SIR: It is with the deepest concern we find Mr˙ Brown, that valuable friend of the cause of America, betrayed into


the hands of our common enemies; and every measure for his release that can be pursued by us, shall most earnestly be adopted.

We have ordered Samuel Murray, son of the Mandamus Counsellor, and such Officers of General Gage' s Army as are prisoners of war, not disabled from travelling, to be immediately sent, with a sufficient guard, to Providence ; and I think it best that Murray and Officers should write to their friends in Boston, and acquaint them that Mr˙ Brown' s friends have the same advantage over them as General Gage hath over Mr˙ Brown.

We beg leave to suggest to you the critical situation of the Colony at the present time, which disables the Congress from immediately seizing every Crown Officer in the Government. Boston is closed, and the numerous inhabitants so obnoxious to our enemies, are imprisoned therein. Several of our seaports are blockaded with shipping, and threatened with destruction if they join the Army. Under this situation, the inhabitants of those places most in danger, are day and night removing their furniture and effects; and we hope soon to see it, generally done. Should we, therefore, seize the Crown Officers as proposed, it may hurl on us and our seaports sudden destruction, before they have an opportunity of saving themselves. We had it in contemplation to send a letter to the General, acquainting him that we should treat the Crown Officers with severity if Mr˙ Brown should be so treated by him; but we are apprehensive it would produce an unhappy, rather than good effect, as he has a greater number of our friends than we have of his. We desire you to give us your further sentiments of the matter. If any other way is left wherein the Congress can save Mr˙ Brown,, it shall be readily pursued. We are, &c.