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    "A Body of the rebels march'd some time ago against Canada, and we are informe'd (by themselves indeed) that they have taken two forts..."

    Boston Loyalists - T[homas] Bruce Autograph Letter Signed.
    Three pages, 7" x 9", Boston, November 30, 1775, to [Henry Seymour Conway] concerning the ongoing siege of Boston. Written by either a Massachusetts Loyalist or a British officer, the letter embodies some of the more prominent views of the rebellion as the work of a handful of rabble rousers. Though dismissive of the popular passions, the writer still regrets to observe that "...Spirit of opposition appears rather to encrease [sic] than abate, this whole Continent, with perhaps some few exceptions, seems inclin'd to an absolute independance [sic] on England, I don't believe it is entirely from choice, but many, having been unwarily drawn into Rebellion, with a view only of having what they suppos'd their grievances redress'd, are now deter'd thro' a fear of punishment from returning to their duty, and their Leaders, who know that their only security is their unanimity, artfully encourage this notion. They have fitted out some Privateers, and have taken some small craft, our Ships of War not being able to follow them into shallow Water. A Body of the rebels march'd some time ago against Canada, and we are infrome'd (by themselves indeed) that they have taken two forts, Chamby and St. Johns, this news, if true, is a proof that the Canadians have a[d]ded[?] a treacherous part, for without their concurrence that expedition durst [read dared] not have been undertaken..." The Canadian expedition would end badly for the Americans: General Richard Montgomery would be killed in the failed attempt on Quebec and Benedict Arnold was forced to retreat south allowing the British an effective base to launch operations against New York and New England.

    The letter is written to prominent opposition politician Henry Seymour Conway as it was discovered among other related correspondence to him offered in this auction. Conway (1721-95), began his career as a British officer serving in the War of Austrian Secession and the Seven Years' War. Conway sat in the House of Commons from 1741 to 1774 and again from 1775 to 1784. A leading Whig, he opposed the King's actions to suppress John Wilkes in 1763. He was appointed Secretary of State for the Southern Department 1763-5, and for the Northern Department through 1768 where he promoted a policy of moderation toward the colonies supporting the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766. For his efforts, several towns in America were named in his honor. Throughout the war, Conway opposed efforts to suppress the revolution and was partly responsible for the fall of North's government in 1782, paving the way for a peace settlement.

    Toned at usual folds, small chips at top margin, else fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 742

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