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Letter from Major General Haldimand to the Earl of Dartmouth




New-York, 1st Jun˙, 1774.

I think it my duty to acquaint your Lordship with the apparent effect which the late vigorous measures adopted by the Parliament of Great Britain have made on the minds of the people of this country; the few who entertained more loyal and liberal ideas of Government, are now induced and encouraged to speak their minds with more freedom, and fear not to disapprove the rash proceedings of their countrymen; blindly led by a few hotheaded and designing men. This has operated so far as to prevent, hitherto, the effect of the resolution warmly urged by a number of violent enthusiasts, to shut up their ports themselves, both here and at Philadelphia, and to decline any importation from Great Britain and Ireland, or exportation to any of the West India Islands, until the Act against the town of Boston should be repealed.

The more timid amongst them, actuated by self-interest and common prudence, have joined the few who dared to stand forth against such outrageous and illegal combinations. In consequence of which the measure was rejected; but it is to be feared that the fire is only smothered at present, and might break out anew unless the measures said to be adopted subsequent to the Boston Port Bill, should prove sufficient to restore the good order and harmony so essential to Britain and her Colonies, to assure the dependence of the latter on the Kingdom of Great Britain, and in time remove the prejudices now subsisting.