22 December 1774668

    London Decr. 22d 1774

    My very dear friend,

    I have wrote you lately so many Letters, that there is the less need of my now reassuming the pen, but the ship by which I have written several Letters being unexpectedly delayed, I embraced the opportunity of saying a few words more.

    I this day have spent six hours with four very influential members of the House of Commons. I have as yet heard or seen nothing to alter my sentiments of the duty of my Countrymen, since I so fully wrote my opinion of the part they ought to act. But the facts which the before mentioned gentlemen assured me of, were the infinite perplexities of the ministry and the general connection now beginning to take place among the merchants and Manufacturers. Indeed, if it was not for the treachery and base designs of certain merchants trading to the Colonies, the manufacturers would long ago have been clamorous in your favor. I was shown two Letters to two of the first manufacturing towns written by three members now in Parliament, which I have his promise to give a copy of in a few days. As soon as I receive,669 I shall transcribe the copies; they will give you great insight into the commotions now beginning to take place.

    Only be men of common sense and common integrity, and you can do wonders. People here have no idea, that any body of men can be virtuous, but surely you have common sense. And if you have, pride will keep you from any infraction of your agreements.

    You see I write so much in haste,670 that I can only hint a sentiment, and must leave you to collect the full of what, if I had time and leisure, I would be glad to say. But I would be glad my friends would be deliberating (and corresponding) upon what part to take in case Parliament suspend all the Acts enumerated by the Congress, or repeal the Tea Act and the three acts relative to the Massachusetts bay and Boston.

    Your Parliamentary friends say, snatch the opportunity for peace and reconcilliation. Your sanguine and warm partizans say, You are united and inspired now: circumstances that may never happen again. Seize the happy, glorious opportunity for establishing the freedom and social felicity of all America. There is a tide in the affairs of men.

    GOD direct you,

    Henry Ireton

    PS. If you should hear of any honourable and advantageous offers to induce my settlement in this Island, don’t be concerned. My heart and happiness are as much centered and bound up in America as ever. My health was never better.