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Extract of a Letter from London, Dated February 10, 1775



My DEAR FRIEND: I have waited in great hopes I could find something to write to encourage you; but, to my great grief, worse and worse: it is impossible to describe the alarming situation of our affairs. While the debate was in Parliament I still had some small hopes, but this morning, at two o' clock, the death warrant was passed, and the Colonies declared Rebels. The Petitions and all attempts have failed. The efforts of Manchester, Rockingham, Richmond, and all the thirty-two Lords, could not prevent the fatal infatuation from taking place. An Address to the King has passed both Houses, to give the King power to call you Rebels, and to proceed against you on the late Acts, and direct to put them in force against the Congress, and to support the King against the Colonies, with their lives and fortunes. Nothing on earth can equal the consternation of all who have heard of it, and in their usual way now begin to see, when too late, the bad effects of their silence. The worthy Doctor Fothergill, Mr˙ Barclay, and Rachael Wilson have written to the King; but no answer. Two worthy women of the Friends have desired to speak to the King; but he will not see them. Oh! that the Lords would turn their hearts! But now you are to be left to your own prudence; your own wisdom will tell you no longer to depend on England to help you. I had twenty gentlemen this day called on me, and all say, pray write to your friends to declare those Rebels who will not fight for their country; for there is gone down to Sheerness seventy-eight thousand Guns and Bayonets, to be sent to America to be put into the hands of the Negroes, the Roman Catholicks, and the Canadians; and all the wicked means on earth used to subdue the Colonies. I don' t write this to alarm you, but you must not any longer be deceived. Orders have now gone out to take up Mr˙ Hancock, Adams, Williams, Otis, and six of the head men in Boston. I have now a copy of the proceedings before me. My heart aches for Mr˙ Hancock. Send off expresses immediately that they intend to seize his estate, and have his fine house for General ******. They have ordered five commanding officers, General Howe, General Burgoyne, General Clinton, General M' Kay, and General Drogheda, from Ireland, for the Dragoons, or Horse. A troop of Light Horse is now actually embarking, and will land before this corner, to hand. — You' ll see by the newspapers, and I know it to be so; I saw the Generals, and I know of sending the fifteen hundred chests of Arms, part


of which are for New-York, and to be distributed among such of the inhabitants who are willing to take up Arms against you. A Proclamation is to be given out, that it is only the four Governments of New England; but depend upon it all the Colonies are to be treated in the same manner. General Burgoyne says that he will not let New-York know his intentions, but dance and sing with the ladies, and coax the inhabitants to submit by giving money and protection to those who will fight for the King against the country. Warn your people of their danger; put your Militia in good order; call the Delegates together, who will all be safe at Philadelphia. Act wisely, and if possible save Old England. Thirty-two Lords and Dukes, the richest and best men in the Kingdom, are your friends, and of opinion that America must save England.

Tell the Printers immediately to advertise for young men to go to Boston and bring Hancock and his brave men away; and if Gage refuses, seize him. Such a step as this will alarm England, and it is what they all wish you would do, and expect it. I pray you mind what I say: a Bill of Attainder is to be passed against them; the King is determined to make you submit; — the People are determined you shall not; the People are determined to break the Bank, and it will break before the first of April; so only hold out and exercise your men; watch your enemies, and all will be done for you. Let no head man be taken; take care of your Delegates; encourage your Committee to do their duty. It is hard for men to stand forward for their country, and then to be destroyed. For shame! Let it never be said in the House of Lords, that New-York will stand neuter. The shameless letters have disgraced the City; but as there are only a few rogues, you have not much to fear from them. Shame and cowardice will stop them, and the goodness of the cause make you act like men. Arm yourselves, and be ready at all times, for well I know that it will prevent bloodshed; but if you sit tamely and silent, you will not only be cut off, but despised by all good men. What a pleasure it is to see England roused. What a different temper has this week produced. Every day nothing is talked of but mobs; they say what I dare not write; guess what alterations since Captains Lawrence and Falconer sailed; indeed, the people are not the same. Since yesterday morning thousands from the country are coming up, and letters sent down to get Birmingham to rise and come up to stop the Address, but too late; and now you must trust to your own prudence and the God of your salvation to save you. With most tender love to all, and more particularly to those who are near and dear to you, remember me with affection. Great pain taken to find out who writes to America, and inform them of the proceedings of the Court. With the greatest confidence, I am your old faithful friend.