Pennsylvania delegate Thomas Willing informs Congress that he showed Benjamin Franklin a letter reputedly to be a proposal by Lord North for reconciliation and that Franklin verified its authenticity.
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
The Cooper-Willing Letter
That it is earnestly hoped by all the real friends of the Americans, that the terms expressed in the resolution of the 20th of February last, will be accepted by all the colonies, who have the least affection for their King and country, or a just sense of their own interest.
That these terms are honorable for Great Britain, and safe for the colonies.
That if the colonies are not blinded by faction, these terms will remove every grievance relative to taxation, and be the basis of a compact between the colonies, and the mother country.
That the people in America ought, on every consideration to be satisfied with them.
That no further relaxation can be admitted.
The temper and spirit of the Nation are so much against concessions, that if it were the intention of administration, they could not carry the Question.
But administration have no such intention, as they are fully and firmly persuaded, that further concessions would be injurious to the colonies as well as to Great-Britain.
That there is not the least probability of a change of administration.
That they are perfectly united in opinion and determined to pursue the most effectual measures, and to use the whole force of the Kingdom, if it be found necessary, to reduce the rebellions and refractory provinces and colonies.
There is so great a spirit in the nation against the Congress, that the people will bear the temporary distresses of a stoppage of the American trade.
They may depend on this to be true.
The Congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole to further consider the state of America, and after some time spent therein Samuel Ward reported from the Committee that they had proceeded in the consideration of the business referred to them, but not having yet come to a conclusion moved “for leave to sit again.”
Resolved, That the Congress will tomorrow again resolve itself into a committee of the whole to take into their further consideration the State of America.
Adjourned till to Morrow at 9 o’Clock.
Samuel Ward’s Diary
Mr. Willing presented the purport of a Conversation between Lord North & a Gentleman now in this City reduced to Writing by Mr. Cooper Under Secretary to the Treasury.
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.