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In Their Own Words

April 07, 1775

Letter Described Revolutionary Fervor

Writing to friends and business associates in London, Savannah merchant James Habersham expressed his concern over the growing revolutionary movement in America. Though he did not wish to see open rebellion, neither did he agree with recent British policies. He correctly foretold the outcome of the situation in this letter, penned just eleven days before the Battles of Lexington and Concord:

“…The fiery patriots in Charleston have stopped all Dealings with us, and will not Suffer any goods to be landed there from Great Britain; and I suppose the Northern Provinces will follow their Example… .The People on this Continent are generally almost in a State of Madness, and Desperation, and should conciliating Measures take Place on your Side, I know not what may be the Consequence, I fear, an open Rebellion against the parent State, and consequently among ourselves. Some of the inflamatory resolutions and Measures taken and published in the Northern Colonys I think too plainly portend this; however I must, and do upon every occasion declare, that I would not chuse to live here longer, than we are in a State of proper Subordination to, and under the protection of Great Britain, altho’ I cannot altogether approve of the steps she has lately taken, and do most cordially wish, that a permanent Line of Government was drawn, and persued, by the Mother and her Children, and may God give your Senators Wisdom to do it, and heal this Breach; otherwise I cannot think of this event but with Horror and Grief. Father against Son, and Son against Father, and the nearest relations and Friends combatting with each other, I may Perhaps say with Truth, cutting each others throats,dreadfull to think of much less to experience… .”

Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1904), pp. 235-236.