Farmar, Eliza Halroyd

“determined to be free”

Eliza Halroyd Farmar, the English wife of Dr. Richard Farmar, who came to Philadelphia ca. 1767, was dismayed by the actions of the British ministry in 1775, as this letter to her nephew Jack Halroyd, a clerk at the East India Company in London shows.

June 28th, 1775My Dear Jack—
We have nothing going on now but preparations for war … there is hardly a man that is not old but is leaving, except the Quakers; and there is two Companys of them, all in a Pretty Uniform of Sky blue turn’d up with white. There is Six or Seven different sorts of Uniforms beside a Company of light Horse and one Rangers and another of Indians: these are all of Philadelphia; besides all the Provinces arming and Training in the same Manner for they are all determined to die or be Free. It is not the low Idle Fellow that fight only for pay, but Men of great property are Common Soldiers who secretagogue hgh say they are fighting for themselves and Posterity. There is accounts come that they are now fighting at Boston and that the Army set Charles Town on fire in order to land the Troops under cover of the Smoak. …
The People are getting into Manufacture of different Sorts particularly Salt Peter and Gunpowder; the Smiths are almost all turned Gunsmiths and cannot work fast enough. God knows how it will end but I fear it will be very bad on both sides; and if your devilish Minestry and parliment don’t make some concesions and repeal the Acts, England will lose America for, as I said before, they are determined to be free.

The letter is from In the Words of Women, Chapter 4, page 94. “View of the Attack on Bunker’s Hill with the Burning of Charlestown,” engraving after Millar in Edward Bernard, The New, Comprehensive and Complete History of England (London: Alex. Hogg, 1783), Early Printed Collections, The British Library (47).

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