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DEAR SIR : Your two last favors are with me ; and for them both, I give you many thanks. Ere this reaches you, our resolution for separating from Britain will be handed you by Col. Nelson. Your sentiments as to the necessary progress of this great affair correspond with mine. For may not France, ignorant of the great advantages to her commerce we intend to offer, and of the permanency of that separation which is to take place, be allured by the partition you mention ? To anticipate therefore the efforts of the enemy by sending instantly American Ambassadors to France, seems to me absolutely necessary. Delay may bring on us total ruin. But is not a confederacy of our states previously necessary ? If that could be formed, and its objects for the present be only offensive and defensive, and guaranty respecting Colonial Rights, perhaps dispatch might be had, and the adjustment of Representation, and other lesser matters, be postponed without injury. May not the Fishery be a tempt ing object ? I think from the great French force now in West Indies some person of eminent rank must be there to guide it. The Mississippi should be tho t of. I thank you for the hint of the back lands. I gave an opinion, as a lawyer, to Brent, on the subject of his and Croghan's purchase, and not withstanding solicitations from every great land company to the West, I've refused to join them. I think a general confiscation of Royal and British property should be made. The Fruits would be great, and the measure in its utmost latitude warranted by the late act of Parliament.
The grand work of forming a constitution for Virginia is now before the convention, where your love of equal liberty and your skill in public counsels, might so eminently serve the cause of your country. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I fear too great a bias to Aristocracy prevails among the opulent. I own my self a Democrat on the plan of our admired friend, J. Adams, whose pamphlet I read with great pleasure. A performance from Philad is just come here, ushered in, I m told, by a colleague of yours, B and greatly recommended by him. I don t like it. Is the author a whig ? One or two expressions in the Book make me ask. I wish to divide you, and have you here, to animate by your manly eloquence the sometimes drooping spirits of our country, and in Congress, to be the ornament of your native Country, and the vigilant determined foe of Tyranny. To give you colleagues of kindred sentiments is my wish. I doubt you have them not at present. A confidential acc't of the matter to Col. Tom, desiring him to use it according to his discretion, might greatly serve the public, and vindicate Virginia from suspicions. Vigor, animation, and all the powers of mind and body, must now be summoned and collected together into one grand effort. Moderation, falsely so called, hath nearly brought on us final ruin. And to see those ; who have so fatally advised us, still guiding, or at !i least sharing our public counsels, alarms me. Adieu my dear Sir ; present me to ray much esteemed F.L.L. and believe me.
Yr. very affect, and obliged,
Pray drop me a line now and then.
P.S. Our mutual friend the General will be hampered if [Obliterated] not taken. Some Gentry throw out alarms that a Cong power has swallowed up everything. My all to 1 1 know how to feel for him.
- Patrick Henry