To [Unknown]

    Philadelphia        19 May 1794

    Dear Sir—

    Should you see the debates of our house as they are published in some of the papers of this City, you will tremble for the Liberties of America—because you will find them hanging upon the most trifling things imaginable—& such too as have no stability—One moment they are to be lost by means of the stamp on certain papers—the next day they are certainly to be snuffed away by the noses of a few old women who have contracted a pleasing habit of inhaling the dust of Tobacco—Again we are told the Liberties of America depend on a strict observance of the Constitution, & that is about to be broken by an excise on Carriages—because this is a direct Tax—& ought to be laid according to the numbers of Inhabitants in each State as the Constitution points out, & not as an excise1—Then we are threatned with Slavery & degradation by a navy that engine of oppression, & which we have laid the foundation of—[Henry] Knox & the war office are terrible scourges to America And unless the first is killed & the other burnt, away go the Liberties of the people—

    Thus, my dear Sir, you will see how extremely precarious is the Tenure of the Rights of man—Alas everything is afloat—I forgot to mention one or two other doors through which Tyranny is about to enter—These are the Funding System, & the Bank of the United States—which according to the predictions of some very zelous men, will not fail, in their natural operation, to involve the Liberties of the people in utter woe & misery in less time than a child can learn the alphabate—

    What shall we say to all these things? They exhibet a dredfull picture of our politicle situation; but I comfort myself in believing the calm good sense of the people will enable them to turn all this kind of wisdom into foolishness—And we shall yet live to see all these freightfull predictions turn out like the dreams of a distempered imagenation—

    The Town of Boston have had a Meeting, & expressed their approbation of Congress in laying the embargo—& express further their entire confidence that they will continue it so long as to them it shall seem necessary & no longer—very important—

    But all that carries the marks of singularity in their proceedings is—that while one copy only of these resolutions was directed & forwarded to Mr. [Benjamin] Goodhue, or any other Representative for the district of Suffolk There were directed & forwarded three copies to three of the Representatives of Virginia2—This is a fact that presents many curious reflections, on the nature of parties—the power of resentment, & the mode by which pretended patriots decieve themselves, & impose upon the honesty of others—Is it possible that the people of Boston should put more confidence in Josiah Parker of Virginia than in Fisher Ames or Saml. Dexter? can this be a fact? no—the people of Boston are duped by rogues—they are led astray be false patriots—God has for a time drawn a veil over their eyes—

    Adieu, yours &c

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    ALS, TFP