Boston, February 20, 1775
From American Archives, 4th series, 1:1018.
On reading the account of the battle between the brave Virginians and their savage neighbours, it brought to my mind the keen resentments and mortifying reflections that must naturally kindle in the breasts of an experienced General, brave officers, and intrepid soldiers, to remember that the professed design of Britain, in maintaining Standing Armies in America, was the protection of the Colonies, and yet known at the very moment, the noble Virginians were bleeding, dying, and winning the laurels of victory, they were confined and basking in their tents, to execute one of the most inglorious designs that ever disgraced the name of a British Soldier, viz: enslaving a free Province that has supported itself more than one hundred and fifty years, against her savage foes. These resentments and reflections must still increase, when they feel and know the irresistible conviction this proceeding will give to every honest man in Britain or America, of these two facts: First. That the real design of keeping a Standing Army in America, was not protecting but enslaving the Colonies. The second thing thus demonstrated, is, that the Colonies do not need or desire protection from the Standing Armies, but are able and willing to defend themselves, and therefore they must view their stay in America as useless and burthensome. In this situation it is natural for Americans to imagine the honest, generous souls of the gentlemen of the Army will kindle to such a degree, when their inglorious and base employment is compared with that of the virtuous Virginians, gaining the art of war and glory of victory, that they would rather resign their commissions or lives, than suffer the eternal disgrace of having their names handed down to posterity, with these facts to sully some future page in British or American story. Can we expect less from these generous spirits, than that they let their corrupt employers know the just indignation they feel at this abuse and disgrace that is, and will be fixed eternally on their names, as the dupes of tyranny?