<br /> Lee Letter: n340_0013

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Samuel Adams
Recipient: Arthur Lee

My dear Sir

It has been altogether from a Regard to your Safety that I have restraind
myself from continuing on My part that Correspondence which you were
obliging enough to indulge for several years. I know very well that
your Avowal of and warm Attachmt to the Cause of Justice and truth, had
renderd you exceedingly obnoxious to the Malice of the British King
& his Ministers, and that a Letter written by a zealous Asserter of
that Cause, and addressed to you, while you was in their Power would,
if intercepted, have brought upon you the Resentment of that cruel
& vindictive Court. But I cannot omit this opportunity of writing
to you after so long a Silence, to assure you that I am still most
heartily engagd according to my small Ability in supporting the Rights
of America and of Mankind. In my last Letter to you near two years
ago,1 I ventured to give you my
opinion, that if the British Troops then in Boston should attempt to
march out in an hostile Manner, it would most surely effect a total and
perpetual Separation of the two Countrys. This they did in a very short
time, and the great Event has since taken place, sooner indeed than I
expected it would, though in my opinion, not so soon as in Justice it
might, & in sound Policy it ought. But there is a Timidity in our
Nature which prevents our taking a decisive Part in the critical time
and very few have fortitude enough to tell a Tyrant they are determind
to be free. Our Delay has been dangerous to us; yet it has been
attended with one Advantage. It has afforded to the World a strong
Proof that oppressed & Insulted as we were, we were willing to give
Britain time to recollect herself, and correct her own Errors. We are
now enduring in the sharp conflict, confiding that righteous Heaven
will not look with an indifferent Eye upon a Cause so manifestly just,
and so interesting to Mankind. You are now called to act in a still
more enlarged Sphere. Go on my Friend in the support of Liberty Virtue.
You already have the Applause of virtuous Men, and may be assured of
the Smiles of Heaven. Your Brother Mr. R H Lee will give you a
particular Account of our Affairs in America. Nothing therefore remains
for me to add but that I am,

Your very affectionate friend,


File copy, New York Public Library.

1 See Adams to Arthur Lee, March 4, 1775.