February 25, 1775
In my last per Falconer I mentioned to you my showing your Plan of Union to Lords
Chatham and Camden. I now hear that you had sent it to Lord Dartmouth. Lord Gower I believe alluded to it, when in the House he censured the Congress severely, as first resolving to receive a Plan for uniting the Colonies to the Mother Country, and afterwards rejecting it and ordering their first Resolution to be erased out of their minutes. Permit me to hint to you that it is whispered here by ministerial people that yourself and Mr. Jay of New York are friends to their measures and give them private intelligence of the views of the popular or country party in America. I do not believe this; but I thought it a duty of friendship to acquaint you with the report. I have not heard what objections were made to the plan in the Congress, nor would I make more than this one, that, when I consider the extream corruption prevalent among all orders of men in this old rotten State, and the glorious publick virtue so predominant in our rising country, I cannot but apprehend more mischief than benefit from a closer union. I fear they will drag us after them in all the plundering wars which their desperate circumstances, injustice and rapacity may prompt them to undertake; and their wide-wasting prodigality and profusion is a gulph that will swallow up every aid we may distress ourselves to afford them. Here numberless and needless places, enormous salaries, pensions, perquisites, bribes, groundless quarrels, foolish expeditions, false accounts or no accounts, contracts and jobs devour all revenue, and produce continual necessity in the midst of natural plenty. I apprehend, therefore, that to unite us intimately will only be to corrupt and poison us also. It seems like
Mezentius’s coupling and binding together the dead and the living. “tormenti genus, et sanie taboque fluentes, Coznplexu in misero, longa sic morte necabat.”
However, I would try any thing, and bear any thing that can be borne with safety to our just liberties, rather than engage in a war with such near relations, unless compelled to it by dire necessity in our own defence. . . .