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Letter from John Dickinson, Fairhill, to Josiah Quincy



Fairhill, June 20, 1774.

DEAR SIR: I sincerely thank you for your kind letter, and the present attending it. This, without flattery, I think highly valuable, and it gives me inexpressible pleasure to find myself addressed in so friendly a manner by a gentleman I so heartily wish to call a friend.

As far as I have been able to collect the sense of the Colonies, they are very unanimous in the measure you mention of a Congress. You, and your worthy fellow-sufferers, would receive a glimpse of joy, amidst your distresses, to know with what sympathy the inhabitants of this Province consider your case. What never happened before, has happened now. The country people have so exact a knowledge of facts, and of the consequences attending the surrender of the points in question, that they are, if possible, more zealous than the citizens who lie in a direct line of information. Doubt not that everything bears a most favourable aspect. Nothing can throw us into a pernicious confusion, but one Colony' s breaking the line of opposition, by advancing too hastily before the rest. The one which dares to betray the common cause, by rushing forward, contrary to the maxims of discipline established by common sense, and the experience of ages, will inevitably and utterly perish.

May God Almighty bless you, and my beloved brethren of Boston and Massachusetts Bay. My heart is full. The time will come, I hope, when I may congratulate them on a more stable security of their liberty than they ever yet have enjoyed. I am, sir, with truth, your very affectionate and very humble servant,


P˙ S. Our country people appear to me to be very firm. They look to the last extremity with spirit. It is right they should, if they will submit their resentment to the guidance of reason.