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Letter from London to a Gentleman in New-York



Enclosed you have a paper which contains the Lords' Protests against the Address to the King' s Speech, which you will no doubt receive by the Packet. It is very unusual to have any division, though there is commonly a debate on such addresses, and still more unusual for such division to be followed with a Protest. Yesterday there were strong debates, and a division in the House of Commons, on their Address, in answer to the Speech, which latter, viz: the division, is uncommon on such an occasion. The Courtiers carried their point by a considerable majority, but these steps show plainly that there is a determined resolution among the Patriots here to resist the wicked Ministerial measures against America; indeed, your cause gathers strength in this Kingdom every day, for now it is plain, beyond a doubt, that the measures taken against America are intended, finally, to subvert the liberties of this country; and I make not the least question, but the sword being once drawn against you, will produce something very like a civil war in this country in less than twelve months.

The people at present do not feel, and therefore are quiet, nor can you, (when our luxury, riches, and dissipation are considered) in reason, expect they should, while you are ministering to their pleasure by such plentiful remittances.

This day there was a report current, that the Congress of the States of America had adjourned, having fixed on stopping all imports into America from Great Britain, the first of this month, and all exports from America to Great Britain, after the first of January. From curiosity I strolled upon ' Change, and for the first time saw concern and deep distress in the face of every American Merchant; they seemed to think that it was absolutely necessary to apply to Parliament and Administration to relax and settle the American business on the old footing, as it was at the end of the last war, and then things would go on as they should do; this convinced me of the truth of what many have said before, that the Merchants will never stir till they feel, and every one knows that the Manufacturers will never take the lead of the Merchants.

If this report of the exports being stopped the first of January next should prove true, and you add to it a determination of not paying any British debts till your rights are fully restored, I am sure in less than three months you will have as strong a mercantile combination in your favour as there was in the time of the Stamp Act. Artful, designing, and wicked men, who never had, in truth, an honest or virtuous feeling in their lives, will pretend to exclaim against such a conduct as dishonest, but ask any of these drivellers this question: Had any of you, in your hand, a stick belonging to another man, whom you knew, if he could get it into his own, was determined to break your head with it, would you, on the stick' s being demanded by the right owner, give it up to him?

Indeed, I am convinced the Merchants here will not assist you till their remittances are stopped; but I am afraid of your Town, for it is currently said here, and with much confidence, that a good deal of publick money has been put in the hands of a Mr˙ * * * * *, one of the * * * * *, and some of your other great men, in order to buy their influence in favour of the Ministerial measures, in order to secure the Province of New-York on the side of our wicked rulers, and thereby cut off the communication of the other Colonies with the New England Provinces; but should these great men prove traitors to their country, I hope the yeomanry at large, in your Province, set too great a value on your inestimable rights and liberties to let any great men cheat you out of them.