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The following letters are reproduced from a MS. volume of Eden correspondence presented to the Maryland Historical Society by Richard D. Fisher, Esq. Interesting particulars relating to this valuable acquisition will be found infra, under “Correspondence.”



Extract of a Letter from Governor Eden to his
Brother, dated Annapolis, 28th April 1775.

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“ You must not be angry with me for (at this Time) being apparently negligent in my Intelligence to Lord Dartmouth, for it is impossible to give any positive Intelligence or Information on Affairs here. We are at this Time, as you will judge by the inclosed, in a State of thorough Confusion. I had set apart Wednesday, yesterday, and this Day (Friday) for writing fully on the Affairs of this Country, which I would not do sooner, from some well-grounded Hopes I had of seeing a total Change here, on what I remarked at our receiving the Intelligence of your preparing the Armament, against America ; which, if it did not immediately cause an Alteration among the Sentiments, did in the Avowals of our staunchest Patriots, and gave me great Room to hope we should return into a Channel of regular Submission to the Laws

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of Great Britain. When lo! on Wednesday at 1 P. M. the
inclosed No 1 appeared. I openly disavowed every Probability of
Truth in the Accounts; but the Alarm you may easily conceive
not to be small here.

In the Afternoon I was waited on by six Gentlemen of
respectable Character, requesting me, that as, in Consequence of
this News, they were under great Apprehensions of some Attempt
being made by the Servants or Slaves for their Liberty, they
hoped I would commit the Custody of the Arms and Ammunition
to the Freemen of the Country, for that otherwise they would not
answer for Consequences from an Insurrection. I expostulated with
them-advised them—and tried to convince them they were only
going to accelerate the Evil they dreaded from their Servants and
Slaves. In vain, however, altho' I agreed, by the Advice of the
Council, to commit the Care of the Arms to the Custody of such
Gentlemen of the Militia (regularly appointed by inyself) as they
must place Confidence in. They expressed great Satisfaction with
this; but, the next Day (yesterday) applied to me, under the
Militia Act of this Province, for Arms, for the Purposes above-
mentioned : and, by Advice of the Council, then sitting at my
House, I agreed to furnish four Counties (whose Colonels made a
regular Application) with Arms &c. such as they are; and
perhaps each County (of those four) will get 100 Stand, which
their Colonels give Receipts for, and are to share with the Counties
that have not had Time to apply. I thought this a better mode
of proceeding, than refusing, as the Event shews: For, altho, last
Night, they took away the Powder (which has been here 20 years,
and is useless) except five Barrels of mine in the Magazine, they
were, last Night, and this Morning, prohibited by Capt. Hyde's
Company, belonging to this City, from taking the Arms; who,
to shew the strangeress of our Conduct, had, on Wednesday,
paraded to assist them in taking them away, should I have refused
to grant them; a Dilemma this that puzzled them ! And Hyde's
Company have so far succeeded (the others cool and unconcerned
Spectators, in Scarlet, lined with Buff) as to claim, and take, this
Afternoon, their Proportion of the Arms &c. except Powder.
This must, I suppose, mortify the Convention, some of whom

think that I have engaged to support that Company with the Friends I can rely on, and with whom I defeated some former Combinations.

“ You need be under no Uneasiness about me: I am well supported, and not obnoxious to any unless it be to some of our infernal Independents, who are in League with the Bostonians.

“Writing in such a Hurry, and so straitened for Time, I forgot to say that, about ten this morning, No 2, or rather the Original of it, came to Town; but I cannot, (tho' alarmed on hearing it with many added Circumstances) give Credit to it. It comes thro' an independent Channel, and I rather think it intended to draw in the other Colonies, that they may share in the Punishment of the Bostonians, or, by being entitled to it, mitigate it. In this Province, there are very many, I really believe a Majority of Friends to Government; and we have talked American Treason openly in this Town for some Time. I will write more fully by a safe Conveyance, the Sophia, on Monday or Tuesday; you must see I have not Time now. I hourly expect an uproar of some Sort or another, but am calm enough, considering I am not endowed with Patience.

I will just add, on behalf of the Gentlemen from the several Counties, who instructed the others in the Application made to me, that their Behaviour was exceedingly respectful; much more so than I expected considering the Intelligence from the Northward they had received and credited.

I must trust to you for making proper Excuses to Lord Dartmouth for my not writing. I could not do it, without detaining the mail, which would give an Alarm, enough of which we have already. You will please to communicate all, or as much of this as is necessary, with proper Apologies. His Majesty has not a Governor on this Continent, who would more freely expose both his Fortune and his Life in His Service than I would. That is well known here, and contributes not a little to keep the dissolute in order : and I have a few faithful and resolute Adherents, whom I can trust to on an Emergency.

“You will probably hear fully from me by Richardson's Ship,

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before you get this. I will then write to Lord Dartmouth. Please to present my most respectful Compliments to His Lordship.

You will have heard of Lord Dunmore's having removed the Powder from Williamsburg. We have no King's Ship here, should I have thought such a Step to be expedient, had our Powder been worth removing. I hear the Northern Neck Militia (Lord Fairfax's) are on their March, as Light Horse, to Williamsburg. Adieu, I hear Musquetry, exercising only, I hope, for they fire regularly in Platoons.

[This letter incloses :

Printed leaf containing Advice from the Committee of Correspondence of Worcester and forwarded by the Committee of Brookline, Norwich &c, dated from Watertown, and received at Philadelphia 24 April 1775 ; also Letter from Eb. Williams to Col. Ob. Johnson, fo. 381. Printed in Force's American Archives 4th series II. 363.

Printed letter from James Lockwood dated 24 April 1775. folio 383. Same as that printed in the Pennsylvania Packet, No 184. 1 May 1775 fo. 403; and also in Force's American Archives 4th series, II 365. It is followed, as in Force, by the receipts of the different places and committees to which it was forwarded.]


Annapolis 5 May 1775.

My Lord

I have the Honor of acknowledging the Receipt of your Lordehips circular Letter of the 3rd March, and the Parliamentary Resolves and shall do all in my Power to promote in this Province the much to be desired End therein recommended to my Attention. Sorry I am, my Lord, to see a continuance of this unnatural Dissension betwixt Great Britain and Her Colonies, but the Time is not far distant, I hope, when Peace and Harmony will be restored and Confidence re-established on a permanent Basis. The Continental Congress is to meet on Wednesday next at Philadelphia, I need not inform your Lordship how impossible it would be for me to prevent Delegates from hence attending. The Attempt would have been vain, and only have sent them thither in ill Humour. On the Contrary, I think I can affirm that the Delegates of Maryland (or a very great Majority of them) go from


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