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edited by Mr. Samuel Hazard, a work which contains on its modest pages more curious matter with reference to local and revolutionary history than is to be found anywhere else. I am glad of the occasion to do full justice to Mr. Hazard's valuable labours. To my friends Mr. Thomas Sergeant, Mr. E. D. Ingraham, Mr. C. C. Biddle, Mr. J. Francis Fisher, Mr. John Jordan, Doctor Elwyn, Mr. "William A. Irvine, Doctor Darlington, Mr. Isaac Wayne, Mr. William P. Foulke, and Mr. "W. Duane, I am under great obligations.
To friends at a distance, I have much gratitude to express, especially to Professor Sparks, whom I have always found ready and able to assist me, and to Mr. Bancroft, who, when in this country, kindly furnished me with much that was interesting and original with reference to the British Commission of 1778, and who since his residence abroad has continued his good offices. His predecessor, Mr. M'Lane, was instrumental in securing me access to the family archives of the Dartmouth family, and the vexatious accident which has deprived me of the use of the papers to which I refer, does not in any way diminish my gratitude to him, and the present Earl of Dartmouth, for the facilities they have been so good as to afford me. Mr. Force's valuable collection at Washington, the most complete probably in this country, as well as that of the Historical Society of New York, has been at all times open to me. To Mr. Charles F. Adams of Boston, Charles Carter Lee of Virginia, and the family of General Greene, I am also much indebted.
Whilst these volumes were in the press, I received from the office of the coast survey at Washington an engraved and a manuscript map made from topographical examination of the military operations in West Jersey and Long Island. They were prepared under the immediate supervision of Lieutenant A. A. Humphreys of the U. S. Topographical Corps, to whom and to Mr. A. D. Bache I am happy to return my most sincere thanks. It is a matter of regret that circumstances beyond my control have prevented me from using the materials thus kindly furnished.
This work is written under one predominant sentiment, that of grateful reverence for the memory of our revolutionary men, and in rational and patriotic pride in their example. There never was a purer cause, or one sustained in a more manly spirit. It was not merely fierce and stubborn in its resistance, but it was the spirit of reasoning humanity, which could define and comprehended every right that was asserted. It was the spirit which Mr. Burke seventy years ago, speaking of America said, he did not wish to break, "because it is the spirit that has made the country." For those who have no sympathy with this sentiment, these volumes will have few attractions.
As this Preface is passing through the press, I have succeeded in recovering the missing package of copies furnished to me by Lord Dartmouth. They were found in the Post Office Department at Washington, having been accidentally misdirected. They correspond generally with the draughts in my possession. One letter only is added to the series, that of the 18th July, 1774, which is as follows.
MR. REED TO THE EARL OF DARTMOUTH.
Philadelphia, July 18, 1774. My Lord,
Every week seems to bring with it some new event so interesting to your Lordship's Administration and the public concern, that I apprehend the earliest intelligence cannot but be acceptable. Since I had the honour of addressing my last letter, the project of establishing a new Post Office in opposition to that of Government has been attempted, but it met with such instant discouragement and rejection that your Lordship may be assured no such measure will receive any countenance here, unless indeed there should be an interference of Government, so as to affect public or private correspondence. I have taken some pains to discover how this project met with such notice in other Provinces, and have the utmost reason to believe that very undue methods were taken to persuade one town and Province that others had warmly engaged in it; thus they were used to draw in each other. The distress of Boston, and the apprehension that each Province may suffer the like calamity, has kindled a spirit in this country that I fear will render your Lordship's Administration a very troubled scene. The failure of the last NonImportation Agreement to procure the whole relief expected, has upon this occasion produced a new mode of operation more likely to be lasting, and prejudicial to the Mother Country. Instead of calling upon merchants to enter into this agreement, the application is to the farmers and consumers of goods. When the difficulty of engaging persons in this rank of life in subjects of this kind, or of their sufficiently understanding them, is considered, I really thought it would have been insuperable. But Deputies have come down to this City from the several Counties, forming a sort of Provincial Convention, who declare the sentiments of the inhabitants to be for a general Non-Importation and Non-Exportation to Great Britain, and that they will form associations for this purpose. Some Resolutions have been framed by this Convention as expressive of the sense of the Province, which I hoped to have been able to have sent you by this conveyance. Several of them I make no doubt will sound strangely from this Province, which has hitherto been distinguished for its moderation. As I had an opportunity of opposing them in that Assembly, I thought it my duty to do so, but it was in vain. It must be left to time, and the wisdom of future councils in England and America, to reduce propositions adopted in the first stage of opposition to a more cool and proper consistency. An attempt is making here to draw what is called the necessary and equitable line between the Mother Country and the Colonies, to be conveyed under the form of instructions to the Representatives in Assembly. It proposes to offer an equivalent for the obnoxious taxes, to procure a renunciation from the Mother Country of the right of taxation, of internal legislation, the withdrawing the forces, and the relief of Boston. But as it seems rather to advance the Colonial claims than diminish them, I fear, if it should be adopted by the Congress, it would meet with an unkind reception. As soon as it is perfect I will forward it to your Lordship; it being the work principally of the gentlemen who wrote the Farmer's Letters, its ingenuity will doubtless deserve attention, though it will not secure success.
The General Assembly meet here this day, and I shall endeavour to give your Lordship as early information as possible of such occurrences as may be material. . In the mean time I remain, with great respect,
Your Lordship's most obliged
And obedient humble servant,
CONTENTS OF VOL. I.