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21 This seems strange ; for, as stated, he appears to have been in Philadelphia for some days : see p. 5.

22 See p. 140.

.

23 John Adams writes : “ Alsop is a merchant, of a good heart, but unequal to the trust in point of abilities, Mr. Scott thinks.” After he himself met Alsop, he described him as “a soft, sweet man.”

24 John Adams writes : “ Mr. Dickinson has been subject to hectic complaints. He is a shadow; tall, but slender as a reed; pale as ashes; one would think at first sight that he could not live a month; yet, upon more attentive inspection, he looks as if the springs of life were strong enough to last many years."

25 On account of indisposition, he was superseded, October 22d, by Middleton.

26 See note 6, chapter IV.

27 See Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry. The statement seems scarcely supported by what were Henry's later (though, perhaps, more deeply considered) views (See note 77, chapter III), following the receipt of a letter (See note 4, chapter IV) from R. H. Lee. See also a letter from Madison to Jared Sparks dated January 5, 1828, in Letters and other Writings of James Madison, etc.

28 See Traditions and Reminiscences chiefly of the American Revolution in the South, etc., (1851).

CHAPTER II

1 Timothy Dwight, in Travels; in New-England and New York (1821), says: “... in the month of July, 1775, I urged, in conversation with several Gentlemen of great respectability, firm Whigs, and my intimate friends, the importance, and even the necessity of a declaration of independence . . . and alleged

for this measure the very same arguments, which afterwards were generally considered as decisive; but found them disposed to give me, and my arguments, a hostile, and contemptuous, instead of a cordial, reception ... These gentlemen may be considered as representatives of the great body of thinking men in this country. A few may perhaps be excepted; but none of these durst at any time openly declare their opinions to the public.”

Jay writes, to George Alexander Otis, January 13, 1821 : “[NE] During the course of my Life, and until after the second Petition of congress (in 1775), I never did hear any American, of any class, or of any Description, express a wish for the Independence of the colonies . . It has always been, and still is, my Opinion and Belief, that our country was prompted and impelled to Independence by necessity and not by choice.”

John Adams writes, also to Otis, February 9th of the same year: “[NE] I cannot refrain from the pleasure I have received from the reasoning of Mr. Jay, upon the passage from Botta [See note 24, chapter IV]—“That anteriour to the Revolution there existed in the Colonies a desire of Independence.' There is great ambiguity in the expression, there existed in the Colonies a desire of Independence - it is true there always existed in the Colonies a desire of Independence of Parliament, in the articles of internal Taxation, and Internal policy but there never existed a desire of Independence of the Crown, or of general regulations of Commerce, for the equal and impartial benefit of all parts of the Empire. - It is true there might be times and circumstances in which an Individual, or few Individuals, might entertain and express a wish that America was Independent in all respects, but these were rari nantes in gurgite vasto.' ... That there existed a general desire of Independence of the Colonies in any part of America before the Revolution, is as far from the truth, as the Zenith is from the Nadir.” Bartlett, at Philadelphia, writes thence to Langdon, January

13, 1776: “[BT] This morning I see in the newspaper, (which by the way is almost the only way I hear from our Colony) that Portsmouth has appointed Mess" Cutts Sherburne and Long, to represent that town in Provincial Convention, and by the instructions I find the town is very much affraid of the idea Conveyed by the frightful word Independence! This week a pamphlet on that subject was printed here, and greedily bought up and read by all ranks of people - I shall send you one of them which you will please to lend round to the people; perhaps on Consideration there may not appear any thing so terrible in that thought as they may at first apprehend if Britain should force us to break off all Connections with her.”

For Samuel Adams' comment on these instructions, see his letter to John Adams of January 19, 1776, in The Life and Works of John Adams.

8 The action of the Provincial Congress may be found at p.41. 4 Taken from The Pennsylvania Gazette (N) of March 1, 1775.

5 Taken from The Pennsylvania Gazette (N) of February 22, 1775.

6 Josiah Quincy, Jr., however, writes, from London, November 27, 1774 (See Memoir of the Life of Josiah Quincy, Junior, etc.): “ Dr. Franklin is an American in heart and soul. You may trust him : his ideas are not contracted within the narrow limits of exemption from taxes, but are extended upon the broad scale of total emancipation."

For Franklin's letters of May 16th and December 9th (1775), see p. 33

On July 23d (1775), John Adams writes to his wife: “[Ad) Dr. Franklin ... thinks us at present in an odd state, neither in peace nor war, neither dependent nor independent; but he thinks that we shall soon assume a character more decisive. He thinks that we have the power of preserving ourselves; and that even if we should be driven to the disagreeable necessity of

assuming a total independency, and set up a separate state, we can maintain it.”

7 For his letter of May 7th, see p. 33.

8 Many Englishmen even recognized the folly of the measures adopted by their country.

A letter from London dated March 10th says: “Our political madness is still in its zenith, and we are consequently taking the most effectual measures that the wit or folly of man can devise to render America totally independent of this country.” Indeed, Rush writes, under the heading “[Rid] 1785 Conversations with D' Franklin ” : “Dined with the DP w D' Ramsay — M', Rittinhouse &c ... He said in 1756. when he went to England he had a long conversation with M' Pratt (afterwards Lord Camden) who told him that Britain would drive the Colonies to Independance. This he said first led him to realise its occurring shortly.”

9 The date of the Raleigh (North Carolina) Register from which this was taken is April 30, 1819. M.O. Sherill, Librarian of the Library Department of North Carolina, writes us, under date of November 20, 1899, that there is a copy in the Library Department at Raleigh.

10 Joseph Gales was the printer; and he evidently is meant.

11 The “ following documentitself (which had “ lately come in the hands of the editor") is stated later (See p. 22) to have been “a ... copy of the papers . . . left in my [J. M’Knitt's: Dr. Joseph M'Knitte Alexander's, see note 18, post] hands by [and evidently in the handwriting of] John Matthew (John M'Knitte: see note 14, post] Alexander, deceased.” (See, however, note 16, post.)

No one is now able to locate, as we understand, either the copy” (which was very likely destroyed by the editor”) or the “papers ” left in the hands of Dr. Joseph M'Knitte Alexander from which it is stated to have been copied.

#

13, 1776: “[BT] This morning I see in the newspaper, (which by the way is almost the only way I hear from our Colony) that Portsmouth has appointed Mess" Cutts Sherburne and Long, to represent that town in Provincial Convention, and by the instructions I find the town is very much affraid of the idea Conveyed by the frightful word Independence! This week a pamphlet on that subject was printed here, and greedily bought up and read by all ranks of people - I shall send you one of them which you will please to lend round to the people; perhaps on Consideration there may not appear any thing so terrible in that thought as they may at first apprehend if Britain should force us to break off all Connections with her.”

For Samuel Adams' comment on these instructions, see his letter to John Adams of January 19, 1776, in The Life and Works of John Adams.

3 The action of the Provincial Congress may be found at p.41. 4 Taken from 'The Pennsylvania Gazette (N) of March 1, 1775.

5 Taken from The Pennsylvania Gazette (N) of February 22, 1775.

6 Josiah Quincy, Jr., however, writes, from London, November 27, 1774 (See Memoir of the Life of Josiah Quincy, Junior, etc.): “ Dr. Franklin is an American in heart and soul. You may trust him : his ideas are not contracted within the narrow limits of exemption from taxes, but are extended upon the broad scale of total emancipation.”

For Franklin's letters of May 16th and December 9th (1775), see p. 33.

On July 23d (1775), John Adams writes to his wife: “[Ad] Dr. Franklin ... thinks us at present in an odd state, neither in peace nor war, neither dependent nor independent; but he thinks that we shall soon assume a character more decisive. He thinks that we have the power of preserving ourselves; and that even if we should be driven to the disagreeable necessity of

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