February 18, 1776


From Norfolk, Virginia, Lord Dunmore dispatches a note to Lord Dartmouth complaining of his  his “inexpressible mortification” upon learning that General Sir Henry Clinton has been ordered to the “insignificant province of North Carolina to the neglect of this the richest and powerfully important province in America.”

John Adams writes to James Warren, continuing in his efforts to spread the word  about congressional designs to incorporate Canada in the Revolution:  “My dear Sir:  We have at last hit upon a Plan which promises fair for Success.  Dr. Franklin, and Mr. Chase of Maryland, and Mr. Charles Carroll of Carrollton, are chosen a Committee to go to Canada. I must confess I have very great Confidence, in the Abilities and Integrity, the Political Principles and good Disposition of this Committee.  Franklins Character you know. His masterly Acquaintance with the French Language, his extensive Correspondence in France, his great Experience in Life, his Wisdom, Prudence, Caution: his engaging Address: united to his unshaken Firmness in the present American system of Politicks and War, point him out as the fittest Character, for this momentous Undertaking.  Chase, is in younger Life, under forty: But deeply impressed with a sense of the Importance of securing Canada, very active, eloquent, Spirited, and capable.  Carroll’s Name and Character, are equally unknown to you. I was introduced to him, about Eighteen Months ago in this City, and was much pleased with his Conversation.  He has a Fortune, as I am well informed, which is computed to be worth Two hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling. He is a Native of Maryland, and his Father is Still living. He had a liberal Education in France, and is well acquainted with the french Nation. He Speaks their Language as easily as ours, and what is perhaps of more Consequence, than all the rest, he was educated in the Roman Catholic Religion, and Still continues to worship his Maker according to the Rites of that Church. In the Cause of American Liberty, his Zeal Fortitude and Perseverance have been So conspicuous that he is Said to be marked out for peculiar Vengeance by the Friends of Administration: But he continues to hazard his all: his immense Fortune, the largest in America, and his Life. This Gentlemans Character, If I foresee aright, will hereafter make a greater Figure in America. His Abilities are very good, his Knowledge and Learning extensive, I have seen Writings of his which would convince you of this. You may perhaps hear before long more about them.  These three Gentlemen compose a Committee, which I think promises great Things.  But We have done more. We have impowered the Committee to take with them, another Gentleman of Maryland Mr. John Carroll, a Roman Catholic Priest, and a Jesuit, a Gentleman of learning and Abilities. This Gentleman will administer Baptism to the Canadian Children, and bestow Absolution upon Such as have been refused it by the toryfied Priests in Canada. The Anathema’s of the Church So terrible to the Canadians, having had a disagreable Effect upon them.  In Addition to the whole General Lee is ordered into Canada, to take upon him the Command of the whole Expedition. His address, his Fluency in French, his Activity, his great Experience and Skill, We hope will Succeed.  I long to hear from N. England that the three Regiments are marched. It would damp me, very much to hear that our People continue to hesitate about Bounties, and Trifles.  The Unanimous Voice of the Continent is Canada must be ours Quebec must be taken.”

The weather is beautiful this Washington’s Birthday Weekend!  Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s best historical walking tours.


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