May 1774270

    Boston May 1774

    Mr. Draper:

    Having this day received (from the British Coffee house) an anonymous letter, in which the author “warns me of the eminent hazard, which he considers me to be in, of the Loss of Life, and of confiscation of my estate.” I desire through the channel of your paper to acknowledge the receipt of it, and in turn communicate my own sentiments to the Author.

    The good or ill design of the writer being problematical, I suspend my censure, and he will surely not expect my thanks. Had he (instead of concealing himself beyond the power of Discovery) desired a conversation with me in person, his frankness would have been an evidence of his sincerity, and my cordiality on the occasion should have testified my gratitude.

    The danger and the wrongs of my country are to me equally apparent. In all my public exertions I feel a sense of right and duty, that not only satisfies my conscience, but inspires my zeal. While I have this sentiment, I shall persevere, till my understanding is convinced of its error:—a conviction that will not be wrought by the arm of power, or the hand of the assassin.

    Threats of impending danger communicated by persons who conceal their name and character ought never to deter from the path of our duty; but exciting contempt, rather than fear, they will determine a man of spirit to proceed with new vigour and energy in his public conduct.271

    My place of abode is well known, and I am easily found. The author of the letter referred to, if he will favor me, with a visit, shall receive the best civilities of my house; and if he will appoint a meeting I will give him my presence either alone or in company:—till which time he surely will not expect that I shall endeavour to point out his mistakes, or flatter himself that anonymous papers will answer the end he professes to have in view.272