To D*** C*****, Esq.
New-Jersey, March 18, 1775.
DEAR SIR: You expect my sentiments on our publick affairs, and, indeed, I can with freedom unburden my full heart to one whom I esteem a true friend to George the Third, our rightful Sovereign, to the Protestant succession in his family, and to the real interest and greatest good of the whole British Empire. And were such as truly the character of every British subject as it is yours, and every mind properly informed, all our unhappy differences would soon be amicably settled, and every disagreeable commotion and unfriendly passion subside. But a strong party too near the Throne, of a quite opposite character, are opposing the general good of the Nation, to the great danger of the King, the Protestant succession and interest, and even the very existence of the Empire as such.
You need not be told, Sir, the many well known facts on which this great danger is founded. Have, not that party invaded the rights of mankind in every part of the Empire? Hath not that invasion stirred up a spirit of jealousy, disaffection, and opposition to those hateful measures, more or less, in almost every City, County, and Colony in the British Dominions? For instance, the noble spirit and manly opposition shewn by the citizens of London, and the ejectors of Middelsex when their right of election was trodden under foot by that party, in the case of Wilkes and Luttrell. And the many Petitions and Remonstrances from every quarter, are so many instances of the like kind. Hence it appears that America is not singular in her opposition. He must be ignorant of the present state of our Nation, who is not sensible that there are still millions in Great Britain and Ireland, who are possessed of the same virtuous principles with us; and who have shown, or soon must show themselves on the side of Liberty, Protestantism, and the Constitution. Their eyes are opening. They see more and more, this great ' truth, that the ruin of the whole Empire is involved in that of America In short, such is the state of our publick affairs, that should the friends of despotism carry their point a little higher, and begin with the sword to enforce submission to tyranny, the whole Empire would fall into the most dreadful convulsions, and shake to the very centre. Then, when these convulsions shall have subsided, through the loss, of much blood; then may Heaven prevent it) the Atlantick Ocean, the Irish Sea, and the River Tweed, will probably, be what the English, Channel is
v2:161now a divider of Kingdoms, or the whole to be swallowed up by Bourbon.
Nor can Stuart himself, whom America abhors, expect more than a part of the Empire. For France and Spain, now grown stronger, will, no doubt, at such a time, do all that in them lies to divide and weaken the British Empire; when the Romish religion in Ireland, the love of Stuart in Scotland, and the lust of gold in England, will forward their design: for what but the love of money could have calculated the present ministerial plan so exactly to suit the meridian of Paris?
Some may imagine that America may be subjugated without any such ill consequences to the European part of the British Dominions, and that the Americans, were the case once to be put, sword in hand, would make but a feeble resistance; because, they say, many in hopes of present profit or future favours, and many through fear of punishment, will join the ministerial party, and thereby so divide as to destroy, in a great measure, every mode of opposition; and that those who still continue their opposition will be so disheartened and unsupported as to fall an easy prey to their enemies. On which let it be remarked, that those who hold and endeavour to propagate such slavish anti-American doctrines, betray in themselves either ignorance, cowardice, or treachery; which are directly opposite to the true character of America in general. The Americans are a sensible, learned, brave, loyal, free, Protestant people. And though there are some who are otherwise, yet they are a diminutive number, so comparatively few, that they never have, and it is to he hoped they never will take the lead in our publick affairs. Those who think England may be safe while in an open rupture with America, do not duly consider their danger from their internal and external enemies the French, Spaniards, Catholicks, Jacobites, and Tories; of which it is hard to say who are the greatest enemies of the British Constitution, and the Protestant interest. Be that as it may, it has been openly declared in Parliament, that were the banners of rebellion once spread in America, England would be a ruined people. And many of the most sensible Britons have given it as their opinion, that Great Britain and her Colonies must stand or fall together. They are therefore often calling upon us to stand firm and united in our virtuous opposition; adding, that thereby we shall save ourselves and them. This is doubtless true; and it is allowed by friends and foes, that out danger principally, if not wholly lies in our being divided among ourselves. What punishment, therefore, is adequate to their guilt, who use every vile artifice to deceive and divide us, and thereby ruin the whole Empire? And yet, these same traitorous vermin would cloak all their foul conduct under the specious pretence of loyalty, and curse the honest Whigs for traitors; whose loyalty, in fact, is the very thing that vexes them. Would it then be any wonder, if under such provocations, the friends of the Constitution should, in some instances, through their zeal for the publick good, go beyond the line of duty.
The Americans are, of all His Majesty' s subjects, the greatest admirers of the British Constitution; because they esteem it the grand charter of the liberties, civil and religious, which they love as they do their lives; and their loyalty to the present reigning family is as pre-eminent as their love of liberty, and always has been; because they esteem that family as the proper guardians of the Constitution on which alone their throne is built, and under the protection of which we hold our liberties. In this view of things, no wonder if we should esteem those traitors to the King who are using their utmost efforts to undermine his throne by destroying its basis the Contitution. Hence loyalty itself justifies us in opposing such men and such measures.
This view justifies all the military preparations now making in America. The stronger we are in these, the safer is the Empire. We mean to act only on the defensive. We ought by no means to strike the first blow, nor to provoke those who would. This is certainly a great point to carry against those who call us Rebels, and would make us so if they could. I know you will strictly adhere to the wise directions of our loyal Congress, according to which, while you encourage the doubtful and instruct the ignorant, you will punish the guilty, and thereby greatly oblige your humble friend,