Thoughts On The Present State Of American Affairs
In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and
common sense; and have no other Preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will
divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to
determine for themselves; that he will put ON, or rather that he will not put OFF the true
character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day.
Volumes have been written on the subject of the struggle between England and America.
Men of all ranks have embarked in the controversy, from different motives, and with
various designs; but all have been ineffectual, and the period of debate is closed. Arms, as
the last resource, decide this contest; the appeal was the choice of the king, and the
continent hath accepted the challenge.
It hath been reported of the late Mr. Pelham (who tho' an able minister was not without
his faults) that on his being attacked in the house of commons, on the score, that his
measures were only of a temporary kind, replied "THEY WILL LAST MY TIME."
Should a thought so fatal and unmanly possess the colonies in the present contest, the
name of ancestors will be remembered by future generations with detestation.
The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. 'Tis not the affair of a city, a county, a
province, or a kingdom, but of a continent--of at least one eighth part of the habitable
globe. 'Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in
the contest, and will be more or less affected, even to the end of time, by the proceedings
now. Now is the seed-time of continental union, faith and honour. The least fracture now
will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; the
wound will enlarge with the tree, and posterity read it in full grown characters.
By referring the matter from argument to arms, a new aera for politics is struck; a new
method of thinking hath arisen. All plans, proposals, &c. prior to the nineteenth of April,
i. e. to the commencement of hostilities, are like the almanacs of the last year; which,
though proper then are superseded and useless now. Whatever was advanced by the
advocates on either side of the question then, terminated in one and the same point. viz. a
union with Great-Britain: the only difference between the parties was the method of
effecting it; the one proposing force, the other friendship; but it hath so far happened that
the first hath failed, and the second hath withdrawn her influence.
As much hath been said of the advantages of reconciliation which, like an agreeable
dream, hath passed away and left us as we were, it is but right, that we should examine
the contrary side of the argument, and inquire into some of the many material injuries
which these colonies sustain, and always will sustain, by being connected with, and
dependent on Great Britain: To examine that connection and dependence, on the
principles of nature and common sense, to see what we have to trust to, if separated, and
what we are to expect, if dependant.