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Letter from William H. Drayton to John Hancock



SIR : By order of the [Provincial] Congress I have the honour to transmit, through your hands, to the honourable the Continental Congress, the enclosed copy of an act of Parliament, which received the Royal assent on the 21st of December last.

A packet just arrived at Georgia brought out this act, purporting a declaration of war against the United Colonies; and as it is probable the communication between England and the Northern Colonies may be so far obstructed that a copy of the act may not speedily reach Philadelphia by a northern channel, and as it is of the highest importance that the Continental Congress should be possessed of one, we have thought proper to transmit to you by express the only printed copy we have.

The act being laid before, the [Provincial] Congress, they so much resented the contents of it, that a West-Indiaman, which had put in here to refit, loaded with sugars, and being on the point of sailing for London, was immediately seized and brought back to the town; and it is ordered that her cargo be sold, and the money arising from the sale, be placed in the Treasury. Indeed, the Congress were disposed to have proceeded, and they certainly would have proceeded to pass a resolution to make prize of all the vessels belonging to Great Britain, but they would not anticipate the determination of the American Congress upon that important subject.

I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant, William H˙ Drayton, President.

To the Honourable John Hancock, Esquire, President of the Continental Congress.