20 May 1776
[salute] Dear Sir
I wrote You soon after I arrived here a Letter1
which I hope You received; but which you have not yet acknowledged.
The many studied Embarrassments thrown in the Way of the Canada-Expedition have at
last in a great Measure answered the Purpose for which I fear they were all along
Ever since I have seen the Inside of the Congress I have trembled. Nothing short of
a radical Change in the Councils of our Middle Colonies can, I am persuaded, by any
Means save us. I preach this Doctrine continually; but I cannot make so many Proselytes
as Parson Whitefield. With us the old Demagogues I fear are against us. Next Week
is our Election. I wish I may obtain a seat in the Convention; but am not over sanguine
in my Hopes: tho I believe I could easily accomplish it by going out of my present
County into the one I came from.2
However am in Hopes they will chuse good Men there.
After the Election I expect to pay You a Visit for a short Time; but am determined
that I will not continue to attend along with my present Colleagues any longer than
I cannot avoid. At present several little Circumstances will form an Excuse for my
This Campaign I suppose will be a most awful one. I could yet abide the prospect of
it if we were possessed of more Unanimity and Vigour. I wish People knew their Men
better and the Steps they are taking; but alas! I fear they are betrayed with out
I should be highly pleased and think myself greatly honoured by a Line from You on
the present posture of Affairs. If they do not mend I will try to get a Commission
in the Army that I may get knocked on the Head betimes. This I think would be more
eligible than to live to be a Spectator of our Country reduced to Submission.
I intended when I begun only to ask the Favour of a Line from You; but when I am writing
to a Person I can speak openly to I can hardly forebear the Reflections I have made.
Have only to add that Doctor Witherspoon will be the Bearer of this and You may send
an Answer safely by him. I am Your sincere Friend and humble Servant