Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Samuel Adams
Chantilly 29th. July 1776My Dear Sir,
I am much obliged to you for your favor by last post, and with you sincerely regret the unhappy state of our affairs in Canada. It appears to me that the small pox has hurt us more in that country than all our own misconduct, considerable as that has been. But even this, nor the pestilence itself, can be of greater injury than the discord you suggest. Nothing can prevent, as experience fully shews, the evils arising from the last, but seperating the Commanders, and this I wish were done let the consequence be what it may. The enemy, are at length, strongly pursuing their best interest, which is to secure Hudsons and St. Laurence rivers, but from this they must be prevented at every hazard. The union that has accompanied the declaration will gladden the heart of every true friend to human liberty, and when we have secured this, by a wise and just confederation, the happiness of America will be secured, at least as long as it continues virtuous, and when we cease to be virtuous we shall not deserve to be happy. I hope no time will be lost in dispatching Ambassadors; to foreign Courts, especially to France, whose interest it so clearly is to support the new Confederacy. When the Court of France has publicly received our Ambassadors as from Independent States, most of the other European powers will, I apprehend, quickly follow the example. I think that our want of commerce and a few strong ships cannot much longer be dispensed with, and therefore, no delay should be suffered to obstruct this salutary measure. The Storm thickens at N. York, may it burst with destructive powers on the guilty foes of human rights - What mean the Jersey Convention by the last clause of their new Charter - Shall we never cease to be teazed with the Bugbear Reconciliation, or must we ["]hang for ever on the 'haggard' breast of G. Britain"? This clause is realy detestable now that the declaration of Congress is published & the two ought not to appear together, lest the world shd. think we have no consistency, no firmness in our Councils - You say we are forever parted, that we are independent, the Jerseymen are contemplating the former subjection, and seem to consider their present state as a transient thing! I wish you happy dear Sir
being affectionately yours.
Richard Henry Lee
P.S. Four ships of Dunmores fleet have been lately up for fresh water in this river (Potomac) & burnt a Gentlemans valuable seat near the Shore.
I hope to be with you soon after the middle of August.
adieu & remember me to all our friends -
Samuel Adams PapersLenox Library
Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 - 1778, pp. 211 - 12.