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Letter from Thomas Young to Hugh Hughes, 21 December 1772

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Boston 21 Decbr. 1772

Dear Sir

Your kind favor to the 5th inst came p Post.
You cannot imagine the pleasure it gives me to think I have regained
your correspondence. I now labor between two opinions respecting you.
I would fain have you nigh me that we might take sweet counsel
together on many occasions, but, then say I, shall I altogether give up
my native Province and not so much as hear from her again? Poor New York.
I grieve, I mourn -- I lament thee! You blame us for succumbing under
the ignominious imposition of a pension'd slave in room of a constituti
onal Governor of this Province. You are certainly precipitate my friend.
We have neither yielded nor mean to relinquish one iota of our just
claims in this or any other regard, till we have regained every punc
tilio of our ravished rights and privileges should the contest endure
the remainder of the current century. If we must come to blows at
least we can lose nothing by defering the combat till our forces are
well disciplin'd and all mankind possessed with the justice of our
cause. In neither case do we observe the least stirring among you.

You complain of the ignorance of the common people, you may
as well complain of the roughness of a desert! Our people would
have known as little as yours had we taken as little pains to instruct
them. In such arduous enterprizes as these the motions must be
slow, but, with us they are consistent, and determined. We need not
spill the blood even of mistaken enemies, if we can otherwise re
duce them to reason, and make them our friends. We have many
advantages for this of which you are deprived, and we diligently
avail ourselves of them.

The maintainance of the freedom of the press against the severe
and repeated attacks made upon it has not been effected without some
peril as well as much pains. We have had a subtle artful and hy-
pocritical Tyrant to deal with, whose guise of philantropy, justice
and religion had endeared him to many considerable persons in
every part of the Province. Power still remaining in his hands
and an indefatigable industry to learn where every gratification in
his gift might be most advantageously bestowed, he had of consequence
a considerable party. You are sensible my friend, that it requires
some time to convince the bulk of the people that an apostle
can be a thief and a traitor.

Instead of chiding us for proceeding so slowly and bringing no
more to pass you owe us many Thanks; our enemies can testify that our industry, intrepidity
and perseverance have exceeded every idea they could form to themselves
on the occasion, and when our plan is completed and explain'd you
will join the general voice in proclaiming the Bostonians the sa-
viors of America. Our people are quite different in their manners
from our brethren in the southern Colonies. They must see thro'
the matter to its utmost termination; they must be satisfied how
many ways it may probably terminate, and compute the chances
with the nicety of a De Moivre, before they will engage in
any thing dangerous. When they are satisfied they will proceed
gently, but with constancy, and finally attain their end, probably
with as little danger as they now subject themselves to in their
almost unimpeachable resolves and declarations. When I say unimpeach-
able, you are to understand they are so modestly expressed that tho' the Tories grin
at them they dare not directly attack any part of them.

The reflections cast upon us for our infidelity in the nonimportation agree-
ment were very injurious. Our condition was disadvantageous to the last. We
had the mighty board of Commissioners, some already connected, others immedi-
ately forming connexions; we had a navy and army, the provision for either
or both of which were alluring baits. Mercenary wretches who regarded only
money found countenance and protection in this force and company. To our
Port was shipped goods for both Hampshire and Rhode Island, and tho they
say that was done on the bottoms of our chief Patriots, a refusal of them
would not have altered the case otherwise than in appearance, as others stood
ready to deliver them here, the same hour perhaps, if they refused. But even
in this case our Merchants were less to blame than is generally believed; as
their correspondents for the reasons above did transcend their orders. However,
that chance is over and it behoves wise men to make the best improvement of every
one that remains. I cannot omit another material consideration, Entries at
the Port of London are made in a very general and [indeterminate] manner.
This our defamers well knew and set that infamous tool Mein to work
to make all the show possible of every thing imported here; even stores
for the troops &c. &c. We appointed a Committee at that time to set
these matters in their true light on which were the worthy Willm.
Whitwell, Esqr. Mr Cooper and myself. Mr Whitwell was taken
ill, and remained so long incapable of going thro so tedious an ex-
amination that the agreement was broken thro before we were rea-
dy to report. However so many abominable falsehoods appeared in
Mein's publications that I have often thought a publication of the
real facts, tho out of all season, might not be impertinent. I never
can bear to hear the bulk of the people here stigmatized as canting
hypocrites and designing knaves, while I believe them to be as fair
and honest a society as inhabit any part of the British Empire.

We can never forgive the desertion of your writers. Your neglect in
this point is inexcuseable! Can a people as ignorant as the inhabitants
of Negroland ever be safer than these are, either from external insults
or internal abuses and usurpations. You will ever find matters grow worse
with you the longer you neglect them. We have wished even to see
some smart things copied from our papers; but alas! a calm, a calm
in politics as deep as in 1752.

Would you even publish extracts from our letters we would write
you largely. You see we always publish yours.

I hope Rhode Island affairs will fire you; if not I could at
most wish our noble admiral would go and fire on yourselves.

I have enclosed the pamphlet of our doings to Mr. Holt
who will hand it you.

I have now finished eight long letters, a draught of resolves
and inscribed enclosed and directed half a dozen pamphlets since
saturday evening, therefore fatigued to death,

I for this time bid you
Thos Young


Hugh Hughes
N York