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Letter from William Cooper to Israel Putnam



Boston, September 7, 1774.

GENTLEMEN: Your kind letters of the 4th current, came yesterday to hand by your envoys. We immediately transmitted them to a Congress of our county, then to sit, where they had their effect. Nothing can alleviate the distresses of our brethren in this State prison, more than the countenance and assistence which on all occasions we receive from our generous fellow-countrymen. How soon we may need their most effectual support, we cannot determine; but agreeable to your wise proposal, shall give you authentick intelligence by express on such emergency.


Our military enemies in this place, by the request of the civil destroyers of our Constitution, are now with all diligence erecting a fortification at the south entrance of the town, which is the only avenue to it by land. Application has been made to the General to know his design, and to urge him to desist; informing him the people were greatly alarmed at being made prisoners within the walls of the town, and the communication of the country cut off by means of this fortress; he replied, that his design was for the protection of his Majesty' s troops, and his good subjects, from the people who were rising in the county; and as he thought such defence necessary, he should not desist upon their application, but was determined to prosecute his intention. This, as it reasonably may, has produced a great ferment and uneasiness here; insomuch that a number of the most timorous seemed inclined to desert the town, while the unconstitutional Counsellors, Officers of the Customs, addressers, sycophants, and betrayers of all denominations, are flocking in.

We wait with impatience for the decision of the Congress. Another application will speedily be made to his Excellency concerning this formidable preparation, the result of which you will speedily be advised. We learn by private letters from England, that prodigious quantities of goods are now shipping for the Colony of Rhode Island, New-York, and Philadelphia. Can there be such base deserters of their country in America? Your non-consumption agreement must be diligently prosecuted and rigidly adhered to. Thus shall we defeat the selfish and ruinous designs of a detested cabal of traitors.

Thirteen transports set sail this morning for Quebec, to bring the troops from thence to Boston, and others are said to be gone to New-York to bring two regiments more from thence, and the Jerseys. Still more and more menace.

We are last evening informed that Governour Gage told a person embarking for England that he seized the powder in Charlestown Magazine on purpose to bring the people to an insurrection. It is more than probable he may repent the hasty experiment, as the late insurrection may eventually produce a glorious revolution.

We cannot but admire at the generous, brave, and patriotick spirit which actuated our noble friends in Connecticut on this occasion. The hour of vengeance comes lowering on; repress your ardour, but let us adjure you do not smother it. We wait with equal impatience to make a serious demand of right and justice, which if obtained in no other way must be thundered from the tongue of Mars, which shall penetrate the ears of Monarchs.

We are with due affection and esteem, your friends, &c.

Signed by order, and in behalf of the Committee of Correspondence for Boston,


To Colonel Israel Putnam, Chairman of the Committee of Correspondence for Brooklyn, in the town of Pomfret.