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Letter from Samuel Adams to a Gentleman in Virginia



Boston, March 2, 1775.

SIR: Your letter of the 24th of December last, to Mr˙ Cushing and others, by Captain Tompkins, of the Schooner Dunmore, in which were brought several valuable donations from our friends in Virginia, to the sufferers in this Town by the Port-Bill, was communicated to the Committee appointed to receive such donations, and by their direction I am to acquaint you that they cheerfully consented at your request, that the Schooner should be discharged at Salem, thinking themselves under obligation to promote her despatch, more especially as there was unexpected delay in her loading; and you have very generously declined receiving demurrage. We have repeatedly had abundant evidence of the firmness of our brethren of Virginia, in the American cause; have reason to confide in them that they will struggle hard for the prize now contending for.

I am desired, by the Committee, to acquaint you that a Ship has lately sailed from this place, bound to James River, in Virginia; the Master' s name Crowel Hatch. When he was building his Ship, a proposal was made to him by some of the Committee to employ the tradesmen of this Town, for which he should receive a recompense by a discount or five per cent˙ on their several bills; but he declined to accept of the proposal. This you are sensible, would have been the means of his employing our sufferers at their usual rates, and at the same time, as cheap to him as if he had got his Vessel built by more ordinary workmen, from the country. There is also another circumstance which I must relate to you. Captain Hatch proposed that the Committee should employ our Smiths in making Anchors for his Vessel, at a price by which they could get nothing but their labour for their pains, because he could purchase cast Anchors, imported here for the same price, which was refused. At this he was very angry, and (perhaps in gust of passion) declared in the hearing of several persons of credit, that he was used ill; threatening that "he would stop all the donations he could, and that no more should come from the place where he was going to," meaning Virginia. These facts the Committee thought necessary to communicate to you, and to beg the favour of you to use your influence, that Captain Hatch may not have it in his power (if he should be disposed) to traduce the Committee, and injure the sufferers in this Town, for whose relief our friends in Virginia have so generously contributed.

I am, in the name of the Committee, sir, your obliged friend, and humble servant,