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Arthur Lee to James Kinsey, Speaker of the House of Assembly, New-Jersey



Garden Court, Middle Temple, April 17, 1775.

SIR: Your letter, containing the Petition from the House of Representatives to the King, arrived here after Doctor Franklin had sailed for Philadelphia. The Petition was therefore put into my hands to deliver to Lord Dartmouth. I accordingly gave it to his Lordship, informing him of these circumstances, and of the wish of the House that it might be presented to His Majesty. But his Lordship returned it to me this morning, with a declaration, that as I was not authorised by the House, he, as Secretary of State, could not receive it from me for the purpose I desired. To deliver it to the King, in the common way, if I were authorized so to do, would be ineffectual, because there is no certainly of his reading it; and he never gives an answer but from the Throne, or through one of his Secretaries of State. The Petition will therefore remain here, to wait the further pleasure of the House, They who know and lament that Petitions for redress of grievances from the different Assemblies have been repeatedly rejected, cannot but be persuaded, that the promise of their being now attended to is only a Ministerial manoeuvre to divide the Colonies, and draw off their attention to, and confidence in, that which is their great shield and defence — union in General Congress. Your Constitution was so framed as to mortify that hope. To divide and to destroy, or to fix this merciless tyranny upon us, is their only endeavour. But I trust in God, that the wisdom and virtue of our countrymen will continue to render it ineffectual, and give us, at length, a happy issue out of all our troubles, by obtaining a full redress of grievances.

I have the honour of being, &c.