10, 25, 28 October 1774531

    Boston Octr. 10th 1774

    My Dear Sir

    Though a slavish Confinement to one single Spot prevents my being able to acquire a Knowledge, especially an early one, of such Articles of Intelligence as you ought to receive, yet it is by no Means so severe as to become a full Excuse for my intire Silence after having made you a Promise of Writing. Besides, if I was utterly unable to furnish you with a single Line of political Information, or deterred by the Fear of Death from speaking my Opinion upon the Times, yet Nature will not suffer me to be so unfaithful to the sincere Feelings of my Heart as not to let my Pen tell you it’s most affectionate Wishes for your Health, Safety and Prosperity.

    You will receive Facts from the Gazettes, and your numerous intelligent Correspondents, peculiarly in the Way of ascertaining them. The latter will also doubtless make a Variety of Judgment upon each Particular. But be sure to stand ever aware that such Judgment depends in general very much upon the Constitution of the Air and its Influence upon the Nerves of your Correspondent at the Date of his Epistle. For my own Part, being sensible that my nervous System must have had a severe Shock, since my dear Friend Joseph Gardner was induced to wish me dead in the Paroxisms of my Disorder, I determined early in my Recovery to fortify my Mind in such a Manner that my Comfort should not be hazarded by every political Breeze.532 I lay’d it down therefore as undoubted Truth that all the Plots of all the Enemies to our heaven descended Rights would prove abortive in the final Issue. By this Faith I have escaped the Pain of Fear even under Appearances where I have yet been led to counteract traiterous Operators. From this Sketch perhaps you will mark me down as a presumptuous Correspondent. Be it so; I here finish my Porch.

    You will see by the Papers that immediately after you sailed a Proclamation was issued to discharge the Members from Attendance upon that General Court for which Precepts you know had been given out. They judiciously slighted this, sticking to Charter-Rule; and upon finding Mr. Gage did not attend to his proper Duty, they resolved themselves into a Provincial Congress to meet at Concord Tomorrow. They will be strenuous, I expect, in pressing the General to desist from his Fortifications.533 What can the poor Soul do? He cannot declare in plain English that he is only striving to make the Minds of his Officers and Men easy, and yet I believe that to be the Truth and the whole Truth.

    October 25th

    I told you at parting that if I was deceived in my Countrymen and found they turned out Poltroons I would not inform you of it, though such was your Request. Let not that Speech detract from my Credit when I tell you they rise every Day in Character. It is become a downright Task for the warmest Patriots of our Town and County to confine the Spirit of the other Counties to an Attention to the Causes rather than to the Executors of our Wrongs. I am really pained at finding that the Wickedness of ministerial Conduct has brought the Province so generally to make the Idea of an Engagement between fellow Subjects so familiar to their Minds. How would such a Thought have shocked us all a few years go! But the insolent Appearance of the Works upon the Neck has roused the Inclination of the vigorous country Youth to play over again the Niagaral Game of filling Trenches with round Bundles of Hay, under which they advanced as securely as under the Vines of old, though in a more lowly Posture. The Folly and Weakness of the Works may easily be proved to be fully equal to the Insolence. Our Besiegers, sensible how much Nature is against them, talk of employing constantly great Numbers of their Soldiery to break the Ice of the two Bays; little knowing, however, what mighty Reparation will be made in only one of our clinking Nights; and little considering also the non Importance of it’s being broken in Bays which are a dead Flat upon every Ebb. I wish again and again that the Temptations to chastize the Insult were not so glaring; as the Provincial Congress, with all their Efforts to confine the inland Spirit solely to the Defensive, will assuredly fail upon Notice of ministerial Determination to continue hostile. Nothing, I think, but speedy Knowledge of a Change of Measures in England can prevent a capital winter Stroke. They press us to leave the Town in the strongest Manner. Many are for doing it, and others for sending off their most valuable Articles, to be in a Readiness. All agree it is better to sell the Town to the Continent than to have it preserved for a Slave-Pen of Great Britain.

    I have just received a Letter (dated the 13th) from Doctor Loring who lodges in the same House at Philadelphia with our Members. Though every Thing is conducted with Secresy, yet he is satisfied from their uniform Cheerfulness than every Thing goes on to their Wishes.

    Our Friend Molineux overplied in the good Cause and was last Evening laid to rest, where the incomperable Mayhew, and the Brother patriots Dana and Thatcher await the Morning of a glorious Resurrection; and where you and I had nearly gone to rest before him.534 May it not prove unimportant to ourselves and to the Publick that a gracious Providence has been pleased to mark down for us some later Date!

    October 28th

    I am informed that a Letter was Yesterday read in Provincial Congress from Mr. Samuel Adams purporting that Things went in the Continental Congress, without any motion of our Members, as perfectly to his Liking as if he was sole Director, and that in a very few Days he doubted not his Friends here would receive the most Satisfactory Intelligence. Though the King’s fisher has orders to sail, yet the Weather being bad I had Thoughts of risquing the Chance, that I might gain some further Lights concerning this Matter; but finding a general Suspicion of the Insecurity of Conveyance by a King’s Ship, I am led to think most of your Friends will wait other Opportunity. Therefore I close for the present, that you may not think yourself neglected, in Consequence of what I really think an ill-grounded Suspicion. We have London-News so late as Sept. 2d. If the People of England, our Fellow-Subjects will cease obstinately to shut their Eyes upon the Justice of our Cause, we ask no more; Conviction must be the Consequence of a bare Admission of the Light.

    God preserve you, my Friend. I think it will be the Fashion in London to speak well of us long before this reaches you; and when once it is the Fashion, I doubt not it will be in Proportion to its opposite lately prevalent there.

    Your. Friend and obliged humble Servant,

    Jas. Lovell