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Letter from the Committee of Philadelphia to the Boston


A Letter from the Committee of the City of Philadelphia to the Committee of Boston, sent by Mr˙ Paul Revere, dated May 21st, 1774:

GENTLEMEN: We have received your very interesting letter, together with another from the town of Boston, and the vote they have passed on the present alarming occasion; and such measures have been pursued thereon as the shortness of the time would allow. To collect the sense of this large city is difficult; and when their sense is obtained they must not consider themselves as authorized to judge or act for this populous Province in a business so deeply interesting as the present is to all British America.

A very respectable number of the inhabitants of this city was, however, assembled last evening, in order to consult what was proper to be done, and after reading the sundry papers you transmitted to us, and also a letter from the Committee of Correspondence at New-York, the enclosed resolves were passed, in which you may be assured we are sincere, and that you are considered as suffering in the general cause. But what further advice to offer on this sad occasion, is a matter of the greatest difficulty, which not only requires more mature deliberation, but also that we should take the necessary measures to obtain the general sentiments of our fellow-inhabitants of this Province, as well as our sister Colonies. If satisfying the East India Company for the damage they have sustained would put an end to this unhappy controversy, and leave us on the footing of constitutional liberty for the future, it is presumed that neither you nor we could continue a moment in doubt what part to act; for it is not the value of the tea, but the indefeasible right of giving and granting our own money; a right from which we never can recede. That is the matter now in consideration.

By what means the truly desirable circumstance of a reconciliation and future harmony with our mother country on constitutional grounds may be obtained, is indeed a weighty question. Whether by the method you have suggested of a non-importation and non-exportation agreement, or by a general Congress of Deputies from the different Colonies, clearly to state what we conceive our rights, and to make a claim or petition of them to his Majesty, in firm, but decent and dutiful terms, so as that we may know by what line to conduct ourselves in future, we now the great points to be determined. The latter, we have reason to think, would be most agreeable to the people of this Province, and the first step that ought to be taken; the former may be reserved as our last resource, should the other fail, which, we trust, will not be the case, as many wise and good men in the mother country begin to see the necessity of a good understanding with the Colonies upon the general plan of liberty as well as commerce.


We shall endeavour, as soon as possible, to collect the sentiments of the people of this Province, and the neighbouring Colonies, on these grand questions; and should also be glad to know your sentiments thereon; in the mean time, with sincere fellow-feelings of your sufferings, and great regard to your persons, we are, gentlemen,

Yours, &c˙, &c.