<br /> Lee Letter: n222

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Samuel Adams
Recipient: Arthur Lee

Describes conditions in Massachusetts.1 “The
Town of Marshfield, have lately applied to G. Gage for Leave to have a
Meeting, according to the Act of Parliament, & have resolvd as you
may observe by the inclosd. They will be dealt with according to the
Law of the Continental Congress. The Laws of which are more observd
throughout this Continent than any human Laws whatever.

“Another Congress will meet at Philadelphia in May next. Every Colony has
appointed its Delegates (I mean those which did before) except N York,
whose Assembly I have just heard have resolvd not to send any. The
People of that City & Colony, are infested with Court Scriblers who
have labord, perhaps with some Success, to divide them; they are
however in general firm, and have with regard to the Arrival of a Ship
from London since the first of February, behaved well. You know their
Parliament is septennial – and therefore must be corrupted. It is best
that the Tories in their house have acted without Disguise. This is
their last Session and the house will, I hope, be purgd at the next
Election.2

“There is a Combination in that Colony of high Church Clergy men &
great Landholders—of the former, a certain Dr
C3 is the head; who knows an American
Episcopate cannot be establishd and consequently he will not have the
pleasure of strutting thro the Colonies in Lawn Sleeves, until the
Authority of parliament to make Laws for us binding in all Cases
whatever is settled. The Latter are Lords over many Slaves; and are
afraid of the Consequences that would follow, if a Spirit of Liberty
should prevail among them. This however is so far the Case that I doubt
not the People will chuse Delegates for the Congress, as they did
before. When that Congress meets, it is expected, that they will agree
upon a Mode of opposition (unless our Grievances are redressd) which
will render the Union of the Colonies more formidable than ever.
Concordia res parva crescunt

“We have lately opend a Correspondence with Canada which, I dare say will
be attended with great and good Effects.”4

Notes:

File copy, New York Public Library. Adams, Writings (Cushing), 3:194 – 98.

1 Adams’ earlier Accounts of Massachusetts affairs in his letters to Lee of
January 29 and February 14, 1775, are in Adams, Writings (Cushing),
3:169 – 72, 179 – 80.

2 New York’s delegates to Congress were not elected until April 22, 1775,
when a provincial convention of representatives from nine of 14
counties chose a 12-man delegation. Am. Archives, 4th ser. 2:358.

3 Myles Cooper, loyalist president of King’s College.

4 Adams had arranged for the Boston Committee of Correspondence to send John
Brown (1744 – 80), Pittsfield, Mass., lawyer and militia colonel, as
agent to Canada to sample sentiment toward the American colonies.
DAB; and Allen French, The First Year of the Armorican Revolution
(New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1934), pp. 145 – 46. For Brown’s
report to the committee, March 29, 1775, see Am. Archives, 4th ser.
2:243 – 45. For Brown’s later appearance at the second Congress, see
Silas Deane’s Diary, May 18, 1775.