Letter to David Matthews


Thereupon a draft of a Letter to the said David Mathews was read and approved of, and is in the words following, to wit:


"Wednesday Morning, August 28, 1776.

"SIR: The Convention direct mo to inform you that they have received yours to the President, and that they have examined also your letter to Mrs˙ Mathews; that you never Was taken up as a British subject; nor to be considered as a prisoner of war. Your rank, therefore, is immaterial; you well know the cause of that treatment which you deem so cruel. You well know that you stand charged with being concerned in a deep conspiracy against the rights and liberties of America; and however innocent you may be, it is the duty of the Convention that you be secured for trial: that you were privy to it, in a great measure, your own examination evinces. The Convention direct me to remind you, that you are not sent to Connecticut for trial, but for security; that they never heard of bail being taken in similar cases; that your fellow-citizens would, most probably; upon your going at large, have been their own avengers; that you shall have a fair and candid trial, when the exigencies of the State will permit, and that they have too great respect for the liberties of mankind to make any unnecessary inroads upon that sacred ground. What opportunities you may have had to escape, and what reasons to stay, the Convention do not know; but they know the charges against you, and their duty to the publick.

"The Convention do further direct me to assure you, sir, that they have not the least objection to inform not only the British Government, (say Governours and Generals,) but all mankind, that they have taken precautions for their own safety, and confined persons accused of treasonable designs and conspiracies; and they do sincerely wish with you, that America may never lose her liberties, nor her sons meet with oppression. By order.

"To D˙ Mathews, Esq."

Ordered, That the same be engrossed, and signed by the President, and transmitted.