The other took an early, decided and active Part in Support of the great Cause. In London he had a great Share in the open Opposition made to the Tyranny of the British Court & their Measures respecting America. There he turnd his Attention from the Practice of Physick to which he had been regularly educated in Edinburgh, to the Study of the Law. This he did by the Advice of some of the most able Advocates for the Liberties of America, from an Opinion they had conceivd of his promising Usefulness to that Cause in that Way. He answerd their Prospects. He constantly aided your Agent the late Mr De Berdt2 to whom his Knowledge of Affairs renderd his Services essential. That his Pen was employd for America in General, his Junius Americanus abundantly testifies; and that, and his other Publications witness his Attachments to Massachusetts Bay & South Carolina in particular. His private Letters to his Friends are written with that Freedom as well as Zeal which would have exposd him to the Risque even of his Life from the Resentment of an unprincipled & nefarious Court, if any of them by Accident or Design had fallen into their Hands. This I know to be true. I must conclude at present with giving it to you as my fix’d Opinion, founded on particular observations, that there is a joynt Combination of political & commercial Men to exclude all vigilant Patriots from publick Councils & Employments knowing that Vigilance & unimpeachd, unsuspected Fidelity will be an effectual Bar to the carrying such politico commercial Plans into Execution. I will write to you again by the first good Opportunity. In the mean time I am with perfect Esteem,
Yr affectionate Friend,
1Arthur Lee and Silas Deane.
2 Cf. Vol. I., page 89 et seq.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library,]
Philade Jan 6 -79
In your last you desire to know how Matters have operated since the Recall. I will answer this Question at another Time when I have more Leisure; and at present only say, that Mr Dean arrivd here, I think in July, and in August he was admitted into the House, or to use his own Phrase had an Audience, in which, with as much Vanity as I ever saw in a Man of Sense, he assumd to himself almost the whole Merit of all the Services which had been renderd at least by Americans in France; as if he would have it to be believd that one of his Colleagues had done but little if any thing, the other worse than Nothing, himself every thing. And with as much Spleen & ill Nature he would even go out of the regular Path of Decency & Propriety to draw in Invective and diminish the Characters of the two Mr Lees & Mr Izard.1 In short the publication which you have seen is a Specimen of his Narrative. I have before given you my opinion of that Performance,