Baltimore’s Solidarity with Distressed Boston

in by Warren

 Joseph Warren to the Baltimore Committee of Correspondence

“Boston, June 16, 1774.

GENTLEMEN, -We last evening received your generous and affectionate letter, 3d instant, enclosing your noble and spirited resolves.

Nothing gives us a more animating confidence of the happy event of our present struggle for the liberties of America, or offers us greater support under the distress we now feel, than the assurances we receive from our brethren of their readiness to join with us in every salutary measure for preserving the rights of the colonies, and of their tender sympathy for us under our sufferings. We rejoice to find the respectable county of Baltimore so fully alarmed at the public danger, and so prudent and resolute in their measure to secure the blessings of freedom to their country. Our general assembly is now sitting at Salem, about twenty miles from this town; we expect that members for a general congress will speedily be elected by them; we hope by the next post to send you a full account of their proceedings. Post just going off, we can only add, that we are, gentlemen, with the most unfeigned respect and esteem.

P.S. – We think your caution of inclosing your letter to a friend is extremely just at this crisis of our affairs, and we shall follow your example.

To Mr. Samuel Purviance, jun., in Baltimore, to be communicated to the Committee of Correspondence there.”

Source:  Richard Frothingham, Life and Times of Joseph Warren. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co, 1865, pp. 318-319. Original ms probably in Samuel Adams Papers 1635-1826, Wells and Bancroft Collection, New York: New York Public Library, 1635-1826 among Committee of Correspondence documents.

Commentary:  Joseph Warren provided an active and effective pen to the Boston Committee of Correspondence. In this instance he communicates appreciation for a letter of support received from Patriots in Baltimore, Maryland.  Massachusetts Patriots had called for assistance from other provinces in marshaling coordinated resistance to the Boston Port Bill.  That spirit of cooperative assertion of American Liberty would take, following a summer of politicking in each British North American province, the form of a Continental Congress.

Also noteworthy is distrust of sending these letters by way of the Royal Post, instead relying on sympathetic friends and associates to deliver the letters by hand and without reliance on intermediaries.  The concern and solution is attributed by Warren to his Baltimore correspondents.  Conveying news in this fashion would deliver vital information to distant Patriot committees prior to its arrival by newspaper or filtering through Loyalist hands. It constitutes an early step toward a postal service independent of Royal control.

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