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Letter from Hannah Fayerweather Winthrop to Mercy Otis Warren, 27 September 1774

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My dear Friend

Long before this should I have acknowledgd your
animating Favor of August the 10th had I not been calld to attend my youngest
Son at Boston who has been Lingering under the painfull pressure of a Slow
Fever, Seizd in the Vigor of Blooming Youth, laid Prostrate & strengthless
till that dispiriting enemy had taken its Career & thro'ly emaciated the poor
helpless Carcase & by a slow internal heat had nearly dried up those Salubrious
fluids that give life & existance to the mortal frame. But hitherto shallt
thou go & no further, was the Divine permission. Returning health thro
Divine goodness seems to be taking place. My Son is able to return
to Cambridge for perfecting his health & by daily riding gains strength.
The young woman who was maid in my Brother's Family has since died.

The Frequent manuvers of an arbitrary G.l. with his disciplind Troops
which spread alarms thro the Country & occasion great commotion
among a poor oppressd devoted tho I hope determind People, often
fill a Female heart with Fears. The preparations on Boston neck,
the Assembled multitude lately at Cambridge, with many other Circumstances
give me a painful Idea of the Horrors of Civil war, & with you
I cant help anticipating the distresses Consequent thereon; but that


Centre of all Consolation to which you point me, That grand Superintendent
of the Universe is the only firm Foundation for us to Build our hopes
upon, our Cause is righteous. Let us Possess our Souls in Patience

By Capt. Scot who has Lately arrivd, we are told by the repre
sentations of Mr. H-n the people of England are made to believe
we are perfectly acquiescent under the new model of Government,
& other Cruel acts. How can this Insulted People any longer forbear
bursting forth with rage & desperation? Must not that heart
be truly Infernal that could Meditate such Acts of barbarity, &
even persuade people to believe they are Acts of Mercy &
goodness? After this what is not the heart of man capable of?

The merchants of London are pouring in Loads of English goods.
If the united Virtue of American Delegates is not exerted for our
help, we are, we must be ruind. The dissolution of all Government
gives a dreadful Prospect, the fortifying Boston neck, the huge
Canon now mounted there, the busy preparations, the agility of the
Troops give an Horrid prospect of an intended Battle. Kind
Heaven Avert the Storm! I hope Coll. Warren intends to meet
the General Assembly. I hear the Constitutional Council
intend to Resume their seats.

I hinted to you an intended converse with Baron Bielfield, Secretary to the
King of Prussia whom I always lookd upon in no better Light than a murtherer
of Mankind. How many fine Cities has he ransackd & ruind? how many thousands
deprivd of existance, to gratify, I always tho't, the ambition of a Lofty Soul. But to
deal impartially, I must own, He represents him as possesing a Tender Sensibility & often
commiserating the aflictions of his friends. Perhaps it may give you some Idea
of that Luxurious splendor with which this mighty Monarch sits enthrond, if I
give you an Anecdote of a royal wedding, The Prince of Prussia with the Princess
Royal of Brunswick for a fortnight before was one continued scene of diversion
& Torrent of pleasure. Berlin crouded with strangers among whom were 14 Sovereign
Princeses. Every thing that could possibly contribute to their entertainment was
done by his Majesty's Command, every day distinguishd by some royal Feast
or new kind of diversion till the happy day arrivd. When the whole Court
assembled at the royal palace, In the presence chamber which is very elegantly
ornamented & most magnificently furnished, all the rooms highly illuminated.
In a grand Hall under a Canopy of Crimson velvet embroiderd with gold was
placd the Alter where the illustrious pair were to perform the sacred rites.
The dress of the whole Court was amazingly superb & Brilliant, on every
side was seen the glitter of gold & diamonds. The King, the Queen enterd
the Hall robd in Velvet & Ermine, attended with a majestick Train glittering
with a prodigious Quanty of Diamonds pearls & Lace. The illustrious pair
appeard dressd in brocade of white & silver, the folds ornamented with gold
point espange blazing with diamonds her train born by Ladies of
Honor. When the company had formd themselves into an half Circle,


The Prince & Princess approachd the alter accompanyd by the King & Qeen,
Prince & Princeses and there recievd the solmn consecration of their Nuptials
from the hands of his Majestys first Chaplin. the moment their hands
were joynd was heard the thunder of the Canon placd in the garden of the
palace answerd by a Triple discharge of Canon on the ramparts proclaiming
this happy Event. But were I to describe the Process & Conclusion of this
grand solemnity I should tire your patience. And what is all this
empty pagentry for? to gratify which, empires, are overturnd, kingdoms
depopulated & thousands made miserable. We may bless ourselves
we were not born in purple, nor heirs to the third diamond in Europe.
I have lately recieved great pleasure from an ingenious satire on
that Female Foible Love of dress in the Royal American Magazine.
I have heard the author guessd to be Miss Mercy Scollay and the
Gentleman who requested it, Dr. Warren. I am not enough acquainted
with that Ladys Poetic Talents to judge whether they are equal
to that elegant production. Mr. Winthrop joyns in the sincerest
regards to Coll Warren & you. I subscribe, Your Affectionate

Hannah Winthrop

[Dateline at bottom of page:]

Cambridge Septr. 27, 1774

[Endorsement]

[Aligned with folded edge of page ] Mrs. Winthrop Sepr 27th 1774