9 December 1774639

    Dec. 9th 1774

    Dear Sir,

    Several Days after Callahan had sailed the inclosed was returned to Mr. Bromfield with some of his own, which had been given to the Care of a negligent Salemite. I hope your other Friends here have not been careless of writing by Mr. Blowers,640 who will certainly have had Honor enough to deliver any Charges of that Kind, however widely he may differ from you in political Sentiment or the Intentions of his Voyage. We do not expect any great Favor from his or the immense Mr. Bliss’s Representations.641

    The Scarborough’s and the Asia’s Arrival have not given those tip Top Spirits to the traitorous Band now Prison-cooped in this Town, which on many late Occasions they had discovered. They appear to be beginning to conceive that Great Britain will not maintain a Resolution to hazard the Profit of all nor commercial Intercourse with America barely on their Account.

    It is certain that Gage himself is in great Complacency on his past Conduct being approved by the Ministry; and, we know, that very Conduct has fallen vastly short of the bloody Expectations of those Villains who surround him, in a mock Council and as fugitive Martyrs in the Cause of Government, so they count themselves. If any Credit is to be given to the public Assertions of a General sent on so vile an Errand as Gage was when he professes a benevolent mediational Intention, we are intitled to believe from his Pleasure upon the late Pacquet that he finds he may exercise his benevolence with Safety to his Commission. All his past Conduct proves that he judged the Dispute cannot be settled by a Coup de Main,642 and he must be an Idiot indeed to desire to beat the Bush for some future General’s Profit and Glory. You will readily see that such Secresy is observed upon the Scarborough’s Errand that we go wholly upon Conjecture, and you may have Sagacity enough to pick out of the confused Manner in which I have expressed myself, that I do not believe the Ministry have signified an Intention to oblige us to take the Field. But, while such is my Belief, I assure you the general Current is otherwise, and especially in the provincial Congress now sitting. And I further assure you that there appears as full and cool a Resolution to draw the Sword upon Necessity as to celebrate a Day of Thanksgiving upon our happy Reunion; but I cannot add “either with equal Pleasure”; no, I cannot cast such a Slur upon common humanity, much less can I upon that habitual Affection of Englishman to Englishman, which some notoriously abandoned Men-in-Power have done so much of late years to destroy utterly, though, God be praised! they have done it hitherto in vain. What an Aceldama643 would this Province have now been, had no more Humanity ruled in the Hearts or Prudence in the Heads of some of the Executors than what Those can possibly pretend to who were Framers of the late execrable Acts? Perhaps it may be some Solace to those vile Spirits to know that, if the Sword they have sent among us is not vigorously executive, this abused City will in the Spring be filled with Pestilence and a consequent Degree of Famine.

    You know it has even been the Progress of the Small Pox to lurk through the Winter and make rapid Strides in the Spring. Besides those mentioned in the Gazettes Colonel Hamilton (too good a Man and Christian for the present vile Expedition) has given Notice Today of a fresh Eruption and the Soldier is sent to the Pest House at the Westward of the Town. But the most alarming Circumstance is that a regimental Doctor said if the Soldier who was moved Yesterday had the true small Pox 40 others had been thoroughly exposed. He has it, and, Sexton Barret says, he cannot live through it.644

    The most resolute Determinations are made here as well as in the other Colonies to execute the grand Association Plan.645 We have a large Town Committee but Salem and Marblehead will give us no Opportunity to act, unless the polite and sagacious Graves should make this Harbour the Asylum of refugee Ships, as the General has made the Town one for refugee Traytors.646 Mr. Solicitor and his Like at Club last Evening thought Shayler would be admitted, being refused the Use of any Wharfe at Salem. They will conduct themselves at the said Port in respect to Arrivals between December 1st and February 1st as directed by the Congress, though they will continue every palliative till January 1st.

    Some busy Enemies will doubtless expose the Quiet of this Town by importing in the Transports by which you receive this. The Captain has offered his Assistance to one or two of his Friends as I am well informed, and probably to more. If you cannot give us a Clue to trace the Importers by, the Country Committees will in Time do it, and I think great Woe will be all the Profit of such clandestine Importations.

    While the Tories here say “the Congress have not made any Offers on the Part of the Colonies, so that it is quite impossible for the Ministry to alter their late Plan”,647 I feel confident that their Moderation will surprise both Enemies and Friends in Great Britain after the many misrepresentations that have been made of our Designs. I am far from certain that it will not surprise you.

    Health and Happiness attend you,

    Yours sincerely,

    Jas. Lovell