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than in the Words of Coll. Doane 1 to me, last Evening - Balch 2 should repeat them. The worst that can happen, I think, says he in Consequence of it, will be that the Province must pay for it. Now, I think the Province may pay for it, if it is burn'd as easily as it is drank- and I think it is a matter of indifference whether it is drank or drowned. The Province must pay for it, in either Case. But there is this Difference. I believe it will take them 10 Years to get the Province to pay for it - if so, we shall Save 10 Years Interest of the Money. Whereas if it is drank it must be paid for immediately. thus He. However, He agreed with me that the Province would never pay for it, and also in this, that the final Ruin of our Constitution of Government, and of all American Liberties, would be the certain Consequence of Suffering it to be landed.
Governor Hutchinson and his Family and Friends will never have done with their good services to Great Britain and the Colonies! But for him, this Tea might have been Saved to the East India Company. Whereas this Loss if the rest of the Colonies should follow our Example, will in the opinion of many Persons bankrupt the Company. However, I dare say, that the Governors, and Consignees, and Custom House Officers, in the other Colonies will have more Wisdom than ours have had, and take effectual Care that their Tea shall be sent back to England untouched. if not it will as surely be destroyed there as it has been here.
Threats, Phantoms, Bugbears, by the million, will be invented and propagated among the People upon this Occasion. Individuals will be threatned with Suits and Prosecutions. Armies and Navies will be talked of and military Execution. Charters annull'd, Treason, Tryals in England and all that. But these Terms are all but Imaginations. Yet if they should become Realities they had better be Suffered, than the great Principle of Parliamentary Taxation given up.
The Town of Boston was never more Still and calm of a Saturday night than it was last Night. All Things were conducted with great order, Decency and perfect Submission to Government. No Doubt, we all thought the Administration in better Hands, than it had been.
Please to make Mrs. Adams's most respectfull Compliments to Mrs. Warren and mine. I am your Friend,
1 Elisha Doane (1732).
2 Nathaniel Balch.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 1
PLYMO., July 1, 1774
MY DEAR SIR, Beware of the Ides of March was a Caution given to Cesar and his Neglect of it afterwards regretted by his Friends. let me Intreat you not to Neglect the Cautions given by your Friends. his rid the world of a Tyrant and yours may deprive your Country of the Wisdom and vertue of a distinguished Patriot. I feel the Emotions of a Friend when I Consider the hazard you and some others may be Exposed to. we have Just received the Spy of yesterday with the Extraordinary Proclamation, which will save me some trouble in one way if it Occasion some in Another. We have been Embarrassed with a division about the Covenant, but I think this will remove the Difficulties and believe we shall get it signed by Tomorrow. Mr. Thomas 3 waits and can add no but desire you to be referred to him for further perticulars. You will find him a young Gentleman after your own Heart, which from me is a warm recommendation. I am with great sincerity your Friend, etc. JAS: WARREN
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 4
PLYMO., July the 10th, 1774
MY DEAR SIR, - The day after I wrote to you by Mr. Thomas we had a very full meeting of the Inhabitants and after a debate voted (by a large Majority) to adopt the Covenant as it came to us, with only a very small Alteration, when about seventy signed it. since which by the Intrigues of our Friend Spooner chiefly it has been at a stand, and difficulties have multiplied upon us. it is now takeing a start and the Number of signers has Increased to about a hundred. I hope finally we shall retrieve our Credit and I shall be able to give a good Account of my Town. Experience has often taught you the difficulty of reasoning People into measures for their own Happiness, and the Ease with which they may be Intimidated and drove from them. Little Ned Winslow (one of my Cousins) with a few other Insignificant Tories appeared at the meeting and played their Game by holding up the Terrors of the Governor's Proclamation which rather served us than themselves. from these Gentry in this Town we have little to fear. it is the Wolves in Sheeps Cloath
I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
2 Gage's Proclamation for discouraging certain illegal combinations, issued at Salem, June 29, 1774:
3 Perhaps Isaiah Thomas publisher of the Massachusetts Spy.
4 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
ing who do the mischief, principally by persuadeing people that great difficulties will Ensue by breaking up of Intercourse with non-Signers; but as I consider the Articles as material shall Endeavour to preserve it. great Enquiries are made what is done at Marblehead, Salem, Newberry Port, etc. shall be glad if you would Enable me to answer the queries, which I cant do at present for want of Intelligence. and when your hand is in you may mention Boston and tell me what you do with the Covenant there. I congratulate you on the Compleat Victory obtained at your last Meeting.1 Custom House Officers and the Tories here were greatly Elated with the sure and certain Expectation of your defeat which they seemed to Entertain no doubt of and were of course greatly disconcerted. last Week our Court of Sessions sett here, Voted and made Addresses to the present Governor and his predecessor. I cant give you a perticular Account, not haveing been able to see or hear either of them, as the whole matter Except the motion and the Choice of the Committee was conducted in private. however by what I can learn the first is a humble Imitation of Worcester, and the other of your Boston Addressers, and each of them aiming to Excel in Adulation and Servility the Copy. A proper Committee for the purpose of Copying and fawning was appointed. Coll. Edson and my two Cousins, Pelham and Ned Winslow, Junr., tho' the last had never qualified himself as a Justice and therefore not properly of their Body. but his Impudent and as they think shineing Talents were thought necessary to supply what their modesty seemd to suppose their own Stupidity could not perform. Mr. Sever would not unite with them in the motion for the first Address which was made by Foster, was not present when the second was moved by Mr. Winslow, Introduced with most Extravagant Encomiums on Hutchinsons Vertues and Administration; but took Care to be present at the report and made with Mr. Cotton and Mayhew a resolute, firm and well supported Opposition. but nine poor Tools Carried it against them. A Number of others were against the motion when first made, but as the report was delayed to the last of the Court they were gone, and there is reason to suppose (servile as a Court of Sessions are) they would hardly have Obtained a vote if it had been made before a large Number were gone. so much for Plymouth Intelligence. I add no more but that I wish to hear from you and agreable to your promise to see you here before you go on your Tour. I am with Compliments to your good Lady Your Friend and Countryman, JAS: WARREN
I Probably the Town Meeting of June 28, in which, by a vast majority, the Committee of Correspondence was upheld. Boston Rec. Com. xvIII. 178.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS1
PLYMO., Jan. the 1, 1775
DEAR SIR,This is designed principally to Inform you that the last Storm cast away about nine or ten miles from hence a Sloop from Virginia, haveing on Board among other things a considerable donation for your suffering Town. as soon as that Circumstance was known here, a number of the Inhabitants of this Town, about twenty, took a Sloop and went down with a determination to assist the Master, and more especially to secure and bring up as much of the donation as could be saved, but returned as they went, without Effecting anything, the Master absolutely refuseing to let them take any Articles, telling them it was his design to have the whole Cargo sold on the Beach. his Conduct is very strange, but as we dont know the Man, we are unable to Conjecture whether it proceeds from Weakness or Wickedness, or from Evil Concellors. it is said he has put himself under the direction of one or two Marshfield Tories. the donation Consists (as I hear) of Corn, flour, wheat Bread, pork, and some Butter.2
I hear nothing from you of late more than I should if you was Apprehended, Transported, Tryed, and Executed on the Statutes of Harry the 8th or George the Third. I sincerely wish this may prove a happy year to you, tho' I am Inclined to think it will be a Troublesome one to both of us. I should be glad of a [illegible] of your Conjectures on that subject. Your Company will be much desired on our Anniversary and not a little Expected. I am much engaged in military matters to prepare for the opening of the Campaign in the Spring. The Tories that return from Boston report that foreign Troops are to be sent over, that our new Treasurer refuses to receive any money, etc., etc., and of late seem to prick up their Ears. Ruggles' Impudence is an Example for them and the publication of Massachusettensis are read with more devotion and Esteem than Holy writt. we have no News. have Established a Post that leaves Boston on Thursday Noon. desire a Line from you. I am, with Compliments to your good Lady, your sincere Friend and Humble Servt.
Brackets or Mortons I know not which the Post may be seen at. I think the late Movements of the Troops in their Excursions into the Country a piece of Generalship. this practised without Exciting the Apprehensions of the People will enable him to surprise them one day with I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library. 2 See 4 Collections, IV. 161. 3 Henry Gardner.
an Important Blow, struck when they had no Expectation. when I was at Cambridge I should have tho't such a movement would have made more noise.
JAMES WARREN TO HARRISON GRAY1
PLYMO., Jany. 20th, 1775
SIR, I Received yours of the 27th of December and have observed the Contents with that Care and Attention which their Extraordinary Nature seems to demand. I do not use myself to analyse with a Critical Exactness Letters I Receive, unless necessary to discover the Temper and disposition of Mind, The Governing Principles, or the Ends proposed by the Writer. Whether Resentment, Disappointment in the part you have Unhappily taken in Government, or the feeble Policy of the Party, mark most strongly your Letter, I shall not undertake to determine, but I have no difficulty in assuring you that if you expect by any or all of these to Intimidate or drive me from the Paths I have walked in to those devious Tracks which neither Honour or Conscience lead to or Countenance, you have mistaken your Man. I have long since fortified myself against either Allurements, or Threats. I am now perfectly satisfyed with the part I have taken in Government both from its rectitude and the prospect of Success attending it. Whether you are so or not with that you have taken, or what kind of Ideas you have formed of Treason, is not my Business at present to Enquire. But if I may presume to advise on this Occasion it should be, that Policy might so far prevail over resentment as to make you very spareing of your Charges of Treason, or even Ingratitude, against any man, and much more so against Bodies of Men, respectable for their Numbers, Fortunes, Abilities and publick Virtues. The production or winding up of a piece of small Witt, however satisfied you might be with the little Fondling, can by no means Ballance the Hazard of a Recrimination. The Connection in our Family 2 makes it very painful to me to Address you in this manner. had you Confined yourself to the proper subject of your Letter, without Unnecessarily and even wantonly Insulting both me and my Friends, I should have Addressed you in a very different Stile. I am very sensible that I owe you money, and that every Man has a right to Call for his Debts; but then I think every man should give a little warning, and not (by a sudden Transition from a full satisfaction of the security already had and without any
I From the New York Public Library.
2 Mrs. Warren's brother, Samuel Allyne Otis, married for his first wife Elizabeth, only daughter of Harrison Gray.