Letter from John Penn to [Thomas Person?]
Penn, John, 1740 or 1-1788
Volume 10, Pages 616-617
[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from John Penn, Delegate in Congress at Philadelphia.
Philada, June 28th, 1776.
Agreeable to my promise, I write this in hopes you may receive it, tho' I much fear by the time it gets to hand our army will have left Canada. Our misfortunes there are in a great measure owing to the small-pox, wch has gone through all the Troops. I understand that we shall be able to make a stand at the lakes, should it happen as I suspect. General Burgoyne with several thousands arrived in Canada some time ago. He soon after made Prisoners General Thompson and severall other officers with him, tho' we lost very few men either killed or taken at the time. Thompson was an inhabitant of Pennsylva. A very dangerous plot has lately been
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discovered at New York. The design was to blow up the magazine and kill General Washington. A large number were concerned, some of note; several of the General's guard were bribed. Governor Tryon is at the bottom. We do not know the whole of this affair, as it is not made known yet. The General knew of the design for several days before he apprehnded any of the persons concerned, in order that he might discover the whole end of their views. The principals were all taken at the same time by different officers, so that they were totally unprepared either to escape or make an excuse. The famous Rogers that was so much talked of last war is in confinement. The first day of July will be an era of great importance, as that is the day for debating the great and important question of Independence, and from what I have seen there is no doubt but a total separation between Britain & her Colonies, that were, will take place, as all the Provinces but Maryland are for it, and the Inhabitants there are coming over fast. I wish things may answer our expectation after we are independant. I fear most people are too sanguine relative to commerce; however it is a measure our enemies have forced upon us. I don't doubt but we shall have spirit enough to act like men. Indeed, it could no longer be delayed.
In haste I remain with great respect,
Dear Sir, your mo' obt servt,
Eleven o'clock at night. Should anything happen your way do write, as I wish to hear as often as I can.