15 November 1774580


    When I parted with you I fully intended to have wrote you before this time. Be assured I have not been unmindfull of you, but public and private business have intirely engrossed my time.

    Your leaving this Country so privately has been matter of generall speculation. Some say you went away through fear, others that you went to make your peace, others that you went charged with important papers from the Continental Congress. Many conjecture you were gone to Holland. Upon the whole it was a nine days wonder. Since you left us there has been a Provincial Congress which consisted of about 250 members, in which matters of the greatest importance were debated. All their proceedings, which I have liberty to communicate, you will see in the prints.

    The Town continues to meet from time to time without molestation and indeed they determine to; there has been frequent affrays between the Inhabitants and Soldiers which have generally ended to the mortification of the latter. The Selectmen and towns’ Committees have frequent interviews with the General. He declares he has no expectations that this People will ever submitt to the late Acts. He converses much freer with the Inhabitants than Hutchinson did on matters of a public nature, though we are not off our guard[,] knowing that it is the part of [a] Generall to deceive. The Inhabitants persisted in refusing to build Barracks for the Soldiers, but have in some measures assisted them in refitting old houses and stores.

    This Fall has been remarkably moderate so that the soldiers are but now entering their Winter quarters. The Main Guard is kept at George Lorings Warehouse in King’s Street. Almost the whole soldiery in America are now collected in this Town. The new erected Fortifications on the Neck are laughed at by our old Louisburgher soldiers as mud walls in compare with what they have subdued, and were it necessary they would regard them no more than a Beaver’s dam.581 The Spirit of the Inhabitants both in Town and Country are as firm as ever, determined to defend their Rights to the utmost. The Grand Continental Congress broke up 26th ultimo and our Members all returned safe last wednesday evening. The Bells rang the whole Evening; an Extract of their proceedings you will doubtless have before this reaches you. It is the universal Voice of this People that they will sacredly observe the injunctions and recommendations of the Grand Congress.

    The Provincial Congress meet by adjournment 23 instant. The Neighbouring Towns and Colonies continue to send in their generous Donations to the Poor of this town. We have our Woolen manufactory in good forwardness, having compleated a considerable quantity of Baizes; and should it be necessary we see that we could easily carry on any branch of woolen or Linnen manufactures.

    We have great expectations from your abilities and attachment to the Rights and Liberties of your country. We are sure you will not be an idle spectator, but will with your usual spirit (if you have health) be an active advocate for truth and justice, which is all we wish to take place in our present unhappy disputes with great Britain. It is said the ministry cannot receed now they have gone so far. I wish they would consult the good Bishop of Asaph who I am sure could put them into an honorable way.582

    W. Molineaux died after short illness about 3 weeks past. All friends that I recollect are well, presume you will receive several Letters from your friends by this opportunity which will doubtless be more entertaining than I can be. Depending upon a line from you as soon as your leisure will permit. I conclude at present with great respect

    Your sincere friend and Humble Servant,

    Nathaniel Appleton