Letter from Norwich, in England, to a Gentleman in New-York



Norwich, (in England,) June 13, 1774.

What a scene of misery and distress are the pernicious measures of Administration disclosing in this city! The cries of thousands of poor journeymen weavers, and the clamour of their unemployed masters, with all their numerous dependants of combers, dyers, hot-pressers, &c˙, will ere long reach the ears of the weak, tyrannic Lord that occasioned them, and make his name and memory as odious in Europe as in America. Every manufacturer in the home trade, who, at this time of the year used to receive prodigious orders for coarse camblets, callimancoes, and black and white crapes, from the ware-houses in London for the Colonies, are now entirely at a stand; and when business in the foreign houses decline, our workhouses will be crowded with paupers, and the poor-rates become insupportably high, and numberless families become destitute of bread. It is not many months since a petition was presented to Parliament, by our worthy members, Sir Harbord Harbord, and Edward Bacon, Esquire, setting forth the decay of trade, and the hardships we labour under. But alas! how does a Prime Minister regard the misfortunes he heaps upon others. Instead of protecting and encouraging our commerce, he has taken the most direct means to diminish and destroy it; and for what? To execute his avowed and secret designs, and to gratify his pride, his folly, and his resentment. Because a licentious rabble in Boston destroyed a dutied article, which


one of the wisest men in this nation has proved ought not to have been taxed, and which would not have been destroyed, if the ships that carried it had not obstinately persisted in landing it; for that reason, I say, a whole city, a whole Province, must suffer all the dreadful effects of Ministerial vengeance. The worthy magistrate, the innocent merchant, the honest tradesman, the well disposed poor, all, all must be treated with the most unexampled, the most diabolical rigour, for the outrage of a few, have, like the city of London, their humble petitions and just remonstrances ridiculed and disregarded; their Charter violated; their ports blocked up; their trade removed; their inhabitants dragged three thousand miles for trial; and to complete the tragedy and their slavery, a military Governour and troops sent over to enforce the Ministerial mandate. Excellent measures these to stir up a civil war at home; compel the exasperated Americans to take up arms, and to ruin the trade of the mother country. But whatever gratification such measures may afford to a wrong headed, deluded Minister, they are highly offensive to unemployed and impoverished manufacturers, whose business is their dependence and support, and who are too sensible of the loss, not to curse those who would deprive them and their posterity of it. Happy is it for Lord North that he is not a tradesman, lamenting for orders, and distressed for remittances. Unhappy for him that the Kingdom at large condemn his American measures, and are ashamed of his conduct. In a word, pensioners may flatter, and levees may applaud; but it is too clear, that unless he conciliate the esteem of the Colonies by a repeal of the cruel destructive laws he has framed, and restore the trade he has taken away, that he will kindle a flame he will find himself unable to quench, and load himself with the execrations not only of innumerable poor that may be deprived of employment in the manufactory of this city, Birmingham, Sheffield, and Yorkshire, but those of every sensible and spirited person in the Kingdom.