Dear Sir,

We had hear’d of the Lords flight before your letter came, and we apprehend it to be for fear of reprisal, as we suppose one part of the Ministerial plan has been already executed in Boston. by seizing the Massachusetts proportion of the proscribed Americans, of which there are 32. Some Virginians are in the black list. Manuscript intelligence from London 11 Feby. from our most vigilant sensible & well informed friends, put the determined hostility of Ministry beyond doubt – They have to a Man both publickly & privately, solemnly avowed it. The notorious practise of this profligate Administration being to deceive with lies and flattering appearances in the very moment of determined vengeance would render belief in any thing they say or do, sottish in the extreme – When they offer any thing favorable, a wise American should say with the cautious Trojan [“]’Timeo Donaos et dona ferentes” – Unluckily for the Liverpool news, that Greenwood who conveys it, is a Ministerial Agent, and his name is here among those Villains who were Securities for the safety of the Ministerial Tea sent to S. Carolina. You may be assured Sir that the Ministry and all their Agents will lie, deceive, and blind by all manner of means; well knowing they have no chance for success but by such infamous ways, and by putting their Adversaries off their Guard. We propose sending a Pilot boat immediately for Gun Powdr and she can bring the Richmond quantity if their Cash is quickly collected – But of this no mention should be made but to the most trusty and secret Gentlemen for fear that some Capt. Collins may be waiting to intercept it. You may be assured that the plan of Ministry is fixed to Compel immediate submission by force of Arms, well knowing that if our Association has time to work, that their ruin is infallible.

God put us into the hands of better men and better times, which will surely be the case if we provide ourselves immediately with Arms & Ammunition, learn the discipline, behave like Men, and stick close, religiously close to the Association. I am dear Sir

Yr. Affect friend.

R. H. Lee
NOTES:

Lee Papers, Virginia Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 132 – 34. Carter endorsed the letter: “Rich <mutilated> April 1775 Containing the Vigilance of frienship in London wch has at last got into the Cabinet held agst america, and often for a disguise in a certain <St>ableyard, where Vigilance had at last got intelligence, and by their own modes I do suppose a bribery got into <their> Secrets One of wch is a Black list of Proscribed Americans 32 in Number and as, Some of them are Virginians, the reason for his Ldshps flight is plain The Continental Congress had on an application from Suffolk County COnvention Massachusetts governmt resolvd that in any case of a <r>emoval of one man of not reprisals would be Justifiable. But yet from Ld Dunmores letters sen into Virg of a Malicious nature I do conclude the <e>ra of harmony is near at hand or North who refusd it in Parliamt wod not have <illegible> the Author of those letters wch he laid on the table only in theire extracts – ”