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Letter from Governour Penn to the Earl of Dartmouth



Philadelphia, July 5, 1774.

MY LORD: In my last, of the 31st of May, I had the honour to inform your Lordship of my expectation that a petition would be presented to me for calling the Assembly. I have since received such a petition, and herewith transmit you a copy of it, as also of my answer. In consequence of my refusal to call the Assembly, there was a general meeting of the people of this city and county, which, I am informed, was not so full as might have been expected on such an occasion.

Their proceedings I am only acquainted with by the newspapers, one of which I send your Lordship, which contains the transactions of the day. The general temper of the people, as well here as in other parts of America, is very warm. They look upon the chastisement of the people of Boston to be purposely rigorous, and held up by way of intimidation to all America; and, in short, that Boston is suffering in the common cause. Their delinquency in destroying the East India Company' s tea, is lost in the attention given to what is here called, the too severe punishment of shutting up the port, altering the Constitution, and making an Act, as they term it, screening the officers and soldiers shedding American blood. The plan which seems to be universally adopted is the procuring a general Congress, in order to state the rights, and represent the grievances of America to the Throne; and to agree upon such measures as may be thought most likely to relieve Boston, and restore harmony between Great Britain and the Colonies.

The measures generally talked of is the non-importation and non-exportation from and to England. Some are for making it general, and others for limiting it, but all for associating against the use of East India goods of every kind, except saltpetre and spices. In the mean time, as great numbers of people will be reduced to absolute indigence for want of their usual employment, collections are making here, and in all other parts of America, for their relief.