22 March 1770111

    Braintree March 22d 1770

    My dear son

    I am under great affliction at hearing the bitterest reproaches uttered against you, for having become an advocate for those criminals who are charged with the murder of their fellow citizens.—Good God! Is it possible?—I will not believe it.

    Just before I returned home from Boston, I knew indeed, that on the day those criminals were committed to prison a sergeant had inquired for you at your brother’s house, but I had no apprehensions that it was possible an application would be made to you to undertake their defence. Since then, I have been told that you have actually engaged for Captain Preston, and I have heard the discreet reflections made upon the occasion, by men who had just before manifested the highest esteem for you as one destined to be a Saviour of your country.

    I must own to you, it has filled the bosom of your aged and infirm parent with anxiety, and distress, lest it should not only prove true, but destructive of your reputation and interest, and I repeat, I will not believe it unless it be confirmed by your own mouth or under your own hand.

    Your anxious and distressed parent

    Josiah Quincy