25 November 1774606

    Boston Novr. 25th 1774

    Dear Sir

    I imagine I may by this Time congratulate you upon a general Change in the Prejudices of the People of England with Regard to us Americans and our Claims. Be that as it may, I can certainly call on you to rejoice at the firm Continuance of that heaven-inspired Union of the Colonies, which you saw formed before you left us. I think it would not now be in the Power of the whole mercantile Interest of America, joined together in Devotion to the ministerial System of Tyranny, to beguile the country Yeomanry. The Multiplication of Committees out of the Sea-Ports, to see to the Execution of the Resolutions of the General Congress, gives a finishing Damp to the Spirits of Messers. the Importers under the former Combination. When Jackson and Taylor607 can’t see a Door of Escape open, we may safely conclude that the Eye of every other Son of Trafick will search in vain even for a Crevice.

    Our private Accounts are such from Quebec as to make us think that Administration cannot possibly receive even from Governor Guy,608 such strong Assurances of the blood thirsty Disposition of the Canadians as at least Lord North’s Heart longs for.609 Heaven appears to continue its Patronage of our Cause, and to defeat the Expectations of our Enemies in every Quarter.

    Sewall,610 Auchmuty and such like have led the General to pursue the stupid Thought that the People have no Right to attempt the Preservation of the publick Liberty but just in that Road which is effectually blocked up by the late Mandamus. Hence an Attack upon the Provincial Congress by a ridiculous Proclamation, which will prove as impotent as a former one respecting the nonConsumption Covenant, or as H. Gray’s Advertisement in Regard to the Treasury.611 The Congress are again together at Cambridge to receive the Report of Messrs. the 4 Delegates, who, except J. A. Esq. are Members of this Assembly. A Voice more familiar to the Ears of 7/8th of them than Dr. Warren’s will I dare say often try its Efficacy upon them this Session.612

    Cowardice and Insolence hold a divided Empire in the Breasts of Tyrants.613 I have it through so direct a Channel as a Colonel that, in the Heat of the County and Provincial Remonstrances against the Work on the Neck, as the probable Cause of provoking the Spirits of the People to an immediate violent Decision, it was determined to stop Hands and to compleat the Work in the Spring. But just at that critical Period the Advice of the continental Congress came to restrain Violence except upon downright Necessity; which Necessity was known to mean the taking up of Individuals. Upon this the Works went on magnanimously even to polishing off with Whitewash; and now tis boasted they are as strong as those of Gibralter. Nor will it be strange if you see displayed in London an Account most pompous of the military Genius of Gage in Return for the following Compliment upon, somebody in England, in a Letter which the Philadelphians say is damned as authentic, and which we here believe to be so, from its exact Conformity to the whiffling Conduct we were Witnesses of at G[age]’s first Arrival.* Here must have been Cash to such poor Wretches as Nat[haniel] Ray, and Promises of Place to other Traytors.

    You will make yourself Master of the strenuous Efforts that some Villains will make by this Opportunity for the Continuance of a Garrison in Boston. How could London, Bristol or any mercantile City there endure the Fife and Drum of 11 Regiments in its Streets at several Times each Day?614 Here they are, mangled by Twenties for Drunkeness, while Virginia is going through all that bloody Scene which the Massachusetts’s sustained a Century upon their Frontiers without the least Aid from England. We had not indeed then the Mortification of thinking the english Ministry set the Savages upon us, because we had not then such a Foundation to build upon as the stirring up of the french catholicks of Canada against us. We used to conclude both moved by the same Agents; and was not that a natural Conclusion?

    I appeal to the Framers of the Quebec Bill.615 Do, my Friend, be very attentive to the plausible Pretences which may be formed for fixing Troops here in Case of Relief in other Matters. Englishmen will lose their Priviledges, only when they are in good Humour. My Fears for America have always been greatest when Britain appeared most condescending. A Courtier Minister will be likely to do more with us than all the Bullies on both Sides the Tweed united. But I will hope even the former cannot accomplish our Ruin at this Period of our Society; for it is not analogous to the divine Proceedings to destroy growing States but to spare them till they reach mature Corruption like that of Rome or _________. I wish you Health and all Happiness, being your affectionate Friend

    and very humble Servant,

    Jas. Lovell

    *Extract: “I have, my Lord, to the utmost Extent of my Power, executed those private Matters given to me in Charge by your Lordship and by their success am still more confirmed in your Lordship’s profound political Researches and extensive Knowledge of Mankind in general.”616