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Extract of a Letter from a Gentlman in England to his Correspondent in Virginia



The sword is drawn here, and the scabbard thrown away. What are you to do? Submission and slavery are the same. The question then can only be, how shall we best resist the chains prepared for us?

Let Virginia, Maryland, and South-Carolina declare their resolution to stand by the Massachusetts; let the non-import be commenced as soon as possible. Were it not for the import of American Grain, this Country would this moment be in famine and insurrection. Be vigilant in keeping the Non-Import and Export Resolutions unviolated in the smallest degree. Select the best of the Militia, train and arm them well, and familiarize them to the right of resistance and the necessity of exerting it; cultivate the frontier Militia and their leaders. Much will depend on them. It is determined to put you to the trial; and every thing that is dear to us depends on your firmness. Remember that night is the time when the discipline of the Regulars is least availing, and their artillery useless. One year' s firm observation of your Resolutions must reduce the Ministry to the necessity of capitulating. This Country cannot bear one year' s interruption of her Commerce. It is impossible. A protractive war on your part must enfeeble her Army, which cannot be recruited but at a vast expense of time and money. The interruption of commerce brings, in a year' s time, half our Merchants and Manufacturers to beggary, loads her landed interest with additional publick taxes and poor' s rates, so as to shake every part of the community to its foundation. Nothing but a miracle can support them under such an accumulation of calamities. Let it be your study, therefore, to promote a frugality and industry in providing against the consequences of the interruption to you, so as to prevent popular disorders, and keep the people firm. You have the game in your own hands; a little patience, a little endurance, and your victory is sure. If you conquer in this contest, you will be the freest, the


most prosperous and respected people in the world; if you submit, the most inexorable yoke that ever galled the neck of any Nation will be your lot. The threats thrown out here against you are fit only for savages. It is impossible to conceive with what approbation the House of Commons heard a Colonel Grant, the same who commanded the expedition with Colonel Lewis to Fort Du Quesne, declare, that he had always treated the Americans as beasts of burden, and that they deserved no better usage, being fit for nothing else. American fraud, American rapine, American cowardice, and American insolence, are the perpetual topicks of ministerial declamation. When America is the question, every idea of justice or mercy seems to be extinguished. Your own experience of seven years' ineffectual supplication will show that their professions of readiness to hear and redress grievances is a mere mockery.

The very existence of liberty on the face of this earth; the precious possession of it to you and your posterity from generation to generation; the avoiding the most cruel bondage and thraldom that ever ground the faces of a miserable people, all depend upon a year or two' s exertion of virtue, fortitude, and forbearance in America. How infinite the purchase, and how cheap! Orders are certainly sent to seize particular persons. Reprisals will surely be made; but remember it is a state of war, and therefore be guarded. It is not the way to conquer the lion to run into his mouth.

I have the greatest inclination to come over. And yet I think I can be more serviceable, here; nor do I imagine myself in less danger. On the contrary, I am certain of the intention of destroying certain American advocates here, when the temper of the times render it safe; Adieu.