Primary tabs

To the Printer of the Massachusetts Gazette



Worcester County, Massachusetts, March 24, 1775.

I was always sorry that our County Convention under took to say any thing against the reading of the productions which appear on the contrary side of the question, for many reasons that I could offer, if there were any need of it. But one special reason why I think it was a pity they did it, is, it so much intimated to the people as though they thought there was something of force in what was said by our opposers; when, for my part, there appears to me so little force in what they say, that I heartily wish every one who gives any attention to publick affairs to make any judgment upon them, would read all they can upon that side, that it might more fully confirm them in their opposition to the present measures of Administration; when they see that all the advocates for it can produce in favour of it is pregnant with reproaching of us, as being both fools and knaves, and at the same time asserting things to be matters of fact which we know to the contrary. When they, in their abundant affection and professed kindness, tell us, that all we complain of is owing to our ignorance, distempered brains, heated imaginations, infatuated blindness and delusion, &c˙, it does not work in us any gratitude to them, for complimenting of us as such distracted fools.

When they tell us, that the grievances enumerated by the Continental Congress, are barefaced falsehoods, and that we neither see nor feel any grievances; at the same time our senses tell us, that what the Congress have said are manifest truths, the Tories, thus giving our senses the lie, do not induce us to give credit to those writers who forbid us believing our own senses. When those writers assert facts which we know to the contrary, it gives us good reason to believe every thing they say is false. This, in the enumeration of grievances of the friends of Government, (as they fondly call themselves,) in your paper of the 23d of February last, what is said about so many appearing in arms at Worcester; what was said about Colonel Putnam and Colonel Chandler being obliged to flee to Boston, we absolutely know was not as there represented. So also many things said by Phileirene, in your paper of the 3d of March instant, we don' t at all believe. But especially his saying, "that all parties join in esteeming General Gage as the most amiable of men, and the, best of Governours," we absolutely know to be very far from the truth, both by the publick prints and by private observation. Whatever General Gage may in fact be, I don' t pretend to say; but that he is not so esteemed by all parties, as Phileirene pretends, is a most manifest fact. And I cannot comprehend how he should have a face to say it, unless upon the same principle before-mentioned of forbidding our believing our own senses! If the publick will not take it as an affront upon their understandings, to


illustrate that which is so plain, I will offer a few words, showing the perverseness of Phileirene' s remarks on the Petition of the Congress. I will only observe on what he says about the Mandamus Counsellors in your paper of the 9th instant. There he pretends to make out that it is best they should be so appointed, because," he says, if the Council chosen by the Representatives should adopt any unpopular measures, they were in danger the next year of losing their places; as "if this were a reason to convince the people that it is best they should have no hand in choosing them. The same reason (if I may be allowed to scandalize the word so much as to call it reason) will show, that our Representatives ought to be appointed by Mandamus; or, more properly, that we should hare no Representatives at all to assist in legislating for us. And this is evidently what they are after; none can avoid the imputation, so long as they urge that the British Parliament have a right to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever, of indeed in any case Whatsoever, and plead for the justice and right of the Parliament in their making laws to set aside and make void our laws. So that nothing can be more manifest, than that this Phileirene is for having us have no voice whatsoever in choosing a legislative body for ourselves. And it is beyond all comprehension to understand why he is not ashamed to treat us as such asses, telling us that We are not fit to have any voice in electing any of our Officers of Legislators; and in earnest propose to us, to give it all up, because we are not fit to have any thing to do with choosing them; unless he is so mad upon his own vanity as to persuade himself, that we will hearken to him, rather than our own feelings and senses.

But yet it is inconceivable why he should drive so hard to make us believe that we are such fools, that it is best for us to give up all pretensions to any part in governing ourselves, so much as choosing our own guardians; for the very moment we should do this, it would be such an evidence that we were grossly non compos mentis, that the very act of this giving up would not be binding; and I hope that all such as do give unto these principles of Phileirene, will every where be so far considered non compos as not to be admitted to any office or betrustment whatsoever; and why it is not the duty of the Selectmen, in their respective Towns, according to the Laws of this Province, to render all such non compos, so as to prevent their doing any mischief, and people from trading with them, I presume no good reason can be given. Those that are so insane as to run about, and are proper only for Bedlam, let them run there themselves, as many have already. But suppose we are such dunces that we must have guardians without our choosing of them, I defy this Phileirene or any one else to shew who made the people of Great Britain our guardians, or how they ex-officio are such, any more than the people of France, or even of Africa, or any other place. As for this Phileirene, I am well satisfied who he is by his language; and if I rightly guess, he has left off hunting silver by his hazle-rods of late years, and found a more successful way of obtaining of it, and is now roused against the Congress and Liberty, by the same spirit that the old silversmith, Demetrius, was against the Apostles and Christianity — Acts xix. The craft by which this modern Demetrius gets his wealth is called in question, and in danger of being set at nought. Old Demetrius' s complaint was, that not only at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, people were persuaded to believe that they were no gods that were made with hands, And so now not only at Boston, but almost throughout all America, it is urged, that of right there are no laws, where there are no representation of the people for whom they are pretended to be made. And it seems this modern Demetrius has got those of his own occupation together, and is endeavouring to set the City in an uproar; but I hope he will avail no farther than to have those of his own craft cry, great is Diana of the Ephesians, or rather, according to the modern craftsmen, great is the Parliament of Great Britain; but I hope those disturbers of the peace will in due time be called in question for their uproar.

As for the Converted Whig, in your paper of the 9th instant, we none of us believe that it is any other than a fiction of some Tory; Ire don' t speak as one that ever understood Whiggism, and I defy any one to show any such person who was ever reputed as a true Whig, that indited


that piece. If he has made a change so much for the better, as there pretended, and to give his experiences to the world, why don' t He, as the repenting Tories so many have done, give his name with his repentance or recantation. However, if it be really as there pretended, I don' t expect he will ever return, but it will be with him as the wise man says it is with those that go after the strange woman, Prov˙ ii˙ 19: "None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life."

I had many things more that I thought to have wrote, but I will defer them for the present, and subscribe as before;