<br /> Lee Letter: n220

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Samuel Adams

Discusses conditions in Virginia. Continues: “You have no doubt seen the
speech to Parliament, and from thence may judge what our Ministerial
enemies propose for us.

“A letter from London 6th of December says ‘the present intention of the
Ministry is to declare all meetings and associations in America illegal
and treasonable – To guard the Coast against all Traffic and
Communication with Holland, France, and Spain. To corrupt N. York, and
to employ a military force, chiefly from Canada if necessary. Having
their designs before you, your attention will be bent to defeat them
with all earnestness which the greatest question in the world demands.’

“Added to this, I understand they propose to forfiet and confiscate all the
estates of all those who meet, associate, or combine against the
Commerce of Gt. Britain! Should such Acts pass, will it not be proper
for all America to declare them essentially vile and void, and that
whoever takes or claims any Estate so said to be forfieted, shall be
deemed a public Enemy and that it shall be meretorious in any person to
put such Claimant to death? This would probably deter, and defeat the
wicked design. I find the Ministerial Manoeuvre of dissolving the
Parliament, has, notwithstanding the timely warning of Junius, answered
their purpose so far as to rest the matter now on the firmness of our
own virtue, or on the general exertion of the people of England. Tho’
the latter should fail us, I hope the former will be immovable.”

Concludes with plea for news from Massachusetts.

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, New York Public Library. Richard Henry Lee, The Letters
of Richard Henry Lee,
ed. James C. Ballagh, 2 vols. (New York:
Macmillan Co., 1911 – 14), 1:127 – 30.