Your Favors of 10th Decr & 7th Feb last were severally deliverd to me by Major Gibbs & Dr Town-send. I am sometimes obligd to apologize for omitting to answer Letters in Season. You, I am perswaded, will be ready to believe that necessary Avocations have prevented my writing to you, for there can be no Doubt in your Mind, of the Sincerity of my Professions of Esteem & Friendship. The Present you sent me by Major Gibbs gratified me exceedingly. I intend to transmit it to my Posterity, as a Specimen of Spartan Frugality in an American General Officer. The Citizen & the Soldier are called to the Exercise of Self Denial and Patience, and to make the utmost Exertions in Support of the great Cause we are engagd in. Providence has highly honord our Patriots & Heroes in calling them into Existence at a Time when there is an Object worthy their Views. The Romans fought for Empire. The Pride of that haughty People was to domineer over the rest of Mankind. But this is not our Object. We contend for the Liberty of our Country and the Rights of human Nature. We hope to succeed in so righteous a Contest; and it is our Duty to acquire such Habits, and to cultivate in those who are to come after us such Principles and Manners as will perpetuate to our Country the Blessings which are purchasd with our Toils and Dangers.
I have been expecting your Confidential Letters under the Signature you proposd. Pray let me hear of the Event of the Court Martial, and as many particulars as are expedient—Complts to your Lady.
TO JOHN LOWELL.
[Historical Magazine, 1st ser., vol. i., pp. 260, 261.]
Boston, May 15th, 1782.
My dear sir,—
The General Court was prorogu’d Friday, the tenth instant, previous to which on the same day the Govr sent the Impost Bill to the house of Representatives with his objections and reasons against it stated in form. The house conceiving that the five days to which he was limited by the Constitution, had expired the preceding day, sent it back to him without reading the objections, as being in their opinion to all intent and purposes a law. It seems the bill had been sent to the Governor on Saturday. He excludes Sunday from the 5 days, in which the House differ in opinion. This matter of difference which arises from an incidental circumstance, would have been avoided if his Excellency had thought it convenient to have sent the bill to the House a day sooner. It is a subject of speculation among the political casuists. But how will it affect the great public for whose benefit it was intended? If the bill has become a law, how will it operate? What will be the opinion of Congress concerning it under its present circumstances? I wish to hear from you by return of this post.