There are two great Objects which I think should engage the Attention of Patriots here, & which appear to me to involve every thing else—to preserve entire our political Liberties, & to support our National Faith. To effect either of these Capital Ends, we must counterwork the Designs of Great Britain, who to say the least does not appear to be our most cordial Friend, by her Emissaries amongst us, to ruin both. The internal Enemies of this Country ridiculed our early Ideas of Opposition, embarrassd our Measures through the whole Conflict and prolonged the War. They had nearly broke up our Army in 1782, and they are now practicing the same Arts, by influencing many weak Men to withhold the necessary Aid of Taxes, to destroy the publick Faith. I should therefore think it very impolitick to increase their Number by admitting the Tory Refugees without Discrimination. Jonathan Philanthrop whom you well knew, with many others took a very active Part, & they were very successful in promoting the Designs of the British Government before the War , There are some among them who would be the fittest Instruments to be employed by that Court in tearing up, or rather undermining the Foundations of our newly erected Fabrick.—If you ask, What has thrown me into this Fit of Zeal against the Refugees? I answer, they already have or soon will in my opinion form a dangerous Faction. But I will be more explicit in my next.
This Letter I commit to the care of Mr Benj Austin junr whose Father and Connexions you are not unacquainted with. Adieu & believe me
your affectionate Friend
[Ms , Lee Papers, American Philosophical Society, a draft is in the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library , a text is in W. V Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. in , pp. 251-253]
Boston Decr 3d 1787
I am to acknowledge your several Favours of the 5th and 27 of October, the one by the Post and the other by our worthy Friend Mr Gerry. The Session of our General Court which lasted six Weeks, and my Station there requiring my punctual & constant Attendance, prevented my considering the new Constitution as it is already called, so closely as was necessary for me before I should venture an Opinion. I confess, as I enter the Building I stumble at the Threshold. I meet with a National Government, instead of a Federal Union of Sovereign States. I am not able to conceive why the Wisdom of the Convention led them to give the Preference to the former before the latter. If the several States in the Union are to become one entire Nation, under one Legislature, the Powers of which shall extend to every Subject of Legislation, and its Laws be supreme & controul the whole, the Idea of Sovereignty in these States must be lost.