Sunday, April 29, 2007

"All the means of Self Defence"....

Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 4
John Hancock to the Colonies

Gentlemen, Philada. June 7th. 1776. I am commanded by Congress to transmit you the enclosed Resolves, and to request your immediate Attention to the same.(1)

The Article of Lead is so essentially necessary to us at this Juncture, and is withall so scarce, that no Pains should be spared to procure it. The Situation of the United Colonies will be extremely deploreable if we depend entirely upon the Importation of it. Every People should have, within themselves, all the Means of Self Defence. To the Bounty of Providence we owe it, that America has these in the greatest Plenty. Let us not therefore be wanting to ourselves, but faithfully and dilligently cultivate those Means; and I trust we shall, ere long, baffle the most malicious Schemes of our enraged & implacable Enemies.

You will readily perceive the great Importance of the enclosed Resolve, wherein the Congress earnestly recommend to you to remove every Thing out of the Way, that could enable our Enemies to prosecute their Plans of Violence agt. us. It is indeed so apparently the Advantage of Individuals to remove their Stock & grain, that in this Instance, their Interest, & that of the Public are one & the same. I have the Honour to be, Gentlemen, you most obed. & very hble Svt. J. H. Prest.

LB (DNA: PCC, item 12A). 1 See the June 3 resolves respecting lead mines and the removal of "stocks, grain, and meal" from areas threatened by British invasion in JCC, 4:413-14.

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