“the distress it has ocationed is Past my discription”

Jane Mecom kept up a correspondence with her brother Benjamin Franklin throughout her life. In the following excerpt she describes for Franklin, recently returned from Britain, the situation in Boston after the battles of Lexington and Concord. She was so alarmed by developments that she and her granddaughter accepted an invitation from friends to take refuge in Rhode Island. [Mecom’s letter is as she wrote it, replete with her creative spelling, punctuation and captalization. Reading it aloud will help to understand it.]

Warwick 14 May 1775My Ever Dear & Much Hond Brother
God be Praised for bring you saif back to America & soporting you throw such fatuges as I know you have sufered while the minestry have been distresing Poor New England in such a cruil maner. yr last … Advises me to: keep up my curidg & that faul wither does not last all ways in any country. but I beleve you did not then Imagin the Storm would have Arisen so high as for the Generl to have sent out a party to creep out in the night & Slauter our Dear Brethern for Endevering to defend our own Property, but God Apeard for us & drove them back with much Grater Lose than they are willing to own, there countenances as well as confeshon of many of them shew they were much mistaken in the people they had to Deal with, but the distress it has ocationed is Past my discription. the Horror the Town was in when the Batle Aprochd within Hearing Expecting they would Proceed quite in to town, the comotion the Town was in after the batle ceasd by the Parties coming in bringing in there wounded men causd such an Agetation of minde I beleve none had much sleep, since which we could have no quiet, as we under stood our Bretheren without were determined to Disposes the Town of the Regelors, & the Generol shuting up the town not Leting any Pass out but throw such Grate Dificulties as were allmost insoportable, but throw the Goodnes of God I am at last Got Saif Hear & kindly Recved by Mr Green & His wife. …
Affectionat Sister

The excerpts are from In the Words of Women Chapter 1, page 33, and The Letters of Benjamin Franklin and Jane Mecom edited by Carl Van Doren (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950), pages 155-56. See other posts by Mecom HERE and HERE and HERE.

posted September 16th, 2013 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Battles, Boston, British soldiers, Mecom, Jane, Patriots, Resistance to British, Violence

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