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Sophronia (pseudonym, fl. 1769-1770) to Catharine Macaulay [with draft response]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01797.01.01 Author/Creator: Sophronia (pseudonym, fl. 1769-1770) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 25 April 1769 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 22.6 x 18.2 cm.

Summary of Content: "Sophronia" recalls the original goals and hardships of the first settlers of the New England colonies and offers her services in providing information to Macaulay. Draft of response letter comments on Sophronia's sentiments of public liberty. Macaulay looks forward to future correspondence and publications from America relative to the present dispute.

Full Transcript: Boston April 25. 1769.
Madam
Eminent Abillities employed in Usefull Services are entitled to uncommon Respect; the more important the Services, and the more general the Benevolence, whence they Spring, the greater ...Respect is Due. - The Noble Zeal you have exerted in the Sacred Cause of Liberty & the Rights of Mankind, demand the Tribute of Gratitude from every Mind capable of those Glorious Sentiments, and ev'ry heart that glows with this generous Ardor. Permit the Innocent Boldness of the meanest of your readers who admires the Patriotic Spirit of Mrs. Macaulay, and venerates her as One raised up, accomplished, and inclined by Heav'n to tranfuse the benign emanation to Various Realms.
New England, the Land of [inserted: my] Nativity (A Privilege I glory in!) was First settled on the plan of Civil & Religious Freedom. Worthy Men, and Patriots all were those who Formed this Civil Community. Their lives were spent, their talents employed, their estates consumed, they suffered hunger and thirst, and cold and weariness, and labour and toil, - They Jeoparded [2] their lives amidst numerous tribes of savage Barbarians; and all this, that they and their Posterity might enjoy the right of thinking, of Judging, and Acting for themselves; and the Blessing of sitting each one under his own vine, and have no Arbitrary Power to molest their humble repose. - We as their Descendants possess as Yet the Fruits of the Generous Adventure; we venerate their Names, and Aim to Maintain the same Cause; Nor negligently loose, nor timidly yield [sic], nor basesly [sic] barter, the dear bought purchase, the inestimable Boon. -

Forbid it Gracious Heav'n, that we ere change
The Glorious name of Men, for that of Slaves;
Apostates; Paricides of Liberty,
Of Reason, and the Dignity of Man!
First let us cease to be!
It is with Pleasure Madam, I hear of your design to treat of the settlement of these Northern Collonies. I hope you will have the aid of the most accurate peices [sic] that give Light on the Subject. - Not one of all the Historians who have attempted this have done Justice to the Theme. - Emulous to throw in a Mite to Your Treasury I beg leave to present You the Beginning of the Chronological Annals of New England. Alass for my Country that only the beginning is Extant. The remainder died with the Author.
When I reflect on the Quallities You are endowed with for Works of this Nature, I feel regret that you are not on the Field where the history was Acted; for give me leave [3] to say, no Person can form a full Idea of the American Spirit & Love of Liberty, but those who dwell in or visit the Clime; - it is in-wrought in their Frame; transpires in every breath; and beats in every Pulse; but of those ignoble Souls (and such exist in ev'ry Country) whose private interest, and sordid Avarice, wou'd sacrifice the Wellfare of Kingdoms and Countries to their Lust of Domination and Wealth! The Disgrace of Human Nature, and the Plague of Society these!
If Madam, You are in want of Intelligence on any Subject of Former or Later American Affairs, & will please to signify the Articles; the assistance of our ablest Patriots in Boston (with whom I have the honour of a Personal Acquaintance,) will not be wanting when ever you make the Requisition. - In this Case a Line Directed to me Under Cover to Mr. Moses Gill, Merchant in Boston, will come safe to me. -
I Blush on recollecting to whom I thus vent myself. From these things only do I expect forbearance, that the Theme will dignify the Writer, (who is an illiterate Woman) and that Condescention and Clemency are Essentials in a Mind Truly Great, and this I conceive is characteristic of the Lady I have the honor to Address. - To that Condescention and Goodness I consign these Lines, and crave Allowance to profess myself, on my own, my fellow-Subjects account
Madam,
Your very respectfull,
obliged, and truly
Devoted Servant,
Sophronia.

Mrs Macaulay.

Mr Vaughan presents his respectful Compliments to Mrs Macaulay. He has seen Mr Sawbridge who goes out of Town on Saturday, therefore appointed Friday, for having the pleasure of dining with Mrs Macaulay, at which time Mr Vaughan will do himself that Honour -
27 June 1769
[response]
Madam
Just sentiments on the rights of Nature and society [struck: are] [inserted: with] Generous feelings for public liberty are so uncommon in our sex that it was with singular [sic] pleasure [struck: that] I received the bright example which your [struck: letter contains] very elegant and polite letter contains I do assure you [inserted: Madam] that the Patriots in this Island sympathise very tenderly with our American Brethren on the wrongs and oppressions which they sustain and very cordialy mingle their cause in the defence of our own privileges when ever I treat of the American settlements I hope to find an opportunity to [struck: treat as] [inserted: assert] the natural and constitutional rights of the Natives and should be very [struck: happy] glad to be possesed of all which has been published in America relative to the [2] the Dispute between our Government and the Colonists I shall be much indebted to you Madam for [struck: as many illegible of this kind as you may be enabled to procure] the procuring me any pieces of this kind and remain with great gratitiude for the high esteem which you do me the honor to profess for me
Madam
Your very much obliged
And very humble servant

[address leaf:]
To Mrs Catharine Macaulay Burney Street Middlesex Hospital
[docket:]
25 April 1769 Letter from Sophronia to Cath Macaulay
Letter from [struck: Mrs illegible] Sophronia and answer Boston 1769-70
See More

People: Sophronia
Graham, Catharine S. Macaulay, 1731-1791

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Women's HistoryLiterature and Language ArtsGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyFreedom and IndependenceRevolutionary War

Sub Era: Road to Revolution

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