America Must and Will be Free

in by Warren

“To Arthur LEE, Esq., London.

Boston, April 3, 1775.

Dear Sir, Your favor of the 21st of December came opportunely to hand, as it enabled me to give the Provincial Congress, now sitting at Concord, a just view of the measures pursued by the tools of the Administration, and effectually to guard them against that state of security into which many have endeavored to lull them. If we ever obtain a redress of grievances from Great Britain, it must be by the influence of those illustrious personages whose virtue now keeps them out of power. The king never will bring them into power until the ignorance and frenzy of the present Administration make the throne on which he sits shake under him. If America is an humble instrument of the salvation of Britain, it will give us the sincerest joy; but, if Britain must lose her liberty, she must lose it alone. America must and will be free. The contest may be severe; the end willbe glorious. We would not boast, but we think, united and prepared as we are, we have no reason to doubt of success, if we should be compelled to the last appeal; but we mean not to make that appeal until we can be justified in doing it in the sight of God and man. Happy shall we be if the mother-country will allow us the free enjoyment of our rights, and indulge us in the pleasing employment of aggrandizing her.

The members for the Continental Congress are almost all chosen by the several colonies. Indeed, if any colony should neglect to choose members, it would be ruinous to it, as all intercourse would immediately cease between that colony and the whole continent.

The first brigade of the army marched about four miles out of town, three days ago, under the command of a brigadier-general [i.e. Earl Percy]; but, as they marched without baggage or artillery, they did not occasion so great an alarm as they otherwise would. Nevertheless, great numbers, completely armed, collected in the neighboring towns ; and it is the opinion of many, that, had they marched eight or ten miles, and attempted to destroy any magazines or abuse the people, not a man of them would have returned to Boston. The congress immediately took proper measures for restraining any unnecessary effusion of blood; and also passed proper resolves respecting the army, if they should attempt to come out of town with baggage and artillery.

I beg leave to recommend to your notice Mr. Dana, the bearer hereof (a gentleman of the law), a man of sense and probity, a true friend to his country, of a respectable family and fortune.

May Heaven bless you, and reward your labors with success! I am, sir, with great respect, your most obedient humble servant,

Jos. Warren.”

Source:  Transcribed in Richard Frothingham, The Life and Times of Joseph Warren, Boston: Little, Brown & Co., pp. 447-448. Also in the Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii, p. 265.

Commentary: Joseph Warren, as president pro tem of the second Massachusetts Provincial Congress, keeps colonial agent Arthur Lee apprised of the unstable situation in Massachusetts in early April of 1775.

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