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Letter from Philadelphia to the Boston Committee




Philadelphia, May 24, 1774.

We lament with you the distress of Boston, and think Great Britain must be out of her senses. We are fully sensible your cause is the common cause of all the Colonies; we must have a push for it, with all our strength against the whole strength of Great Britain; by sea they will beat us; by land, they will not attempt us; we must try it out in a way of commerce.

1st˙ By suspending all trade with Great Britain, we can lessen the revenue of the Crown near a million sterling per annum.

2d˙ By suspending all trade with the West Indies, we can starve them and ruin their plantations; by withholding our provisions and lumber, in six months, which will stop the four and a half per cent to the Crown, ruin a great number of merchants in London, who are concerned in the West Indies, and deliver us from the slow poison we usually import from thence.

3d˙ By withholding flax-seed from Ireland, we can ruin the linen manufactory in twelve months. This will reduce about three hundred thousand people to a want of employ; which, with near an equal number of British manufacturers in Great Britain reduced to the same state, will soon muster tumults enough to fill their hands and hearts at home, for there is no satisfying starving people, but by killing or feeding them.

These are the means we are coolly deliberating; we have other things in contemplation; as stopping our ports entirely, and laying up all our shipping; and some other things; we shall try to convene a general Congress of all the Colonies as soon as may be. May God give wisdom and firmness, prudence, and patience, in this time of trial.