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PREFACE. - Daniel Leonard, Massachusettensis 
Massachusettensis: or a Series of Letters, containing a faithful State of many important and striking facts, which laid the Foundation of the Present Troubles in the Province of Massachusetts-Bay (Boston: J. Matthews, 1776).
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THIS excellent pamphlet was published in a series of letters, which first appeared in one of the weekly news-papers at Boston, and afterwards in the form of a pamphlet, entitled Massachusettensis, in the course of the last winter. It has been thought, that a republication of a detail and discussion of facts and circumstances, which were unanswerable upon the spot, might at least silence the clamors of those people at home, who, without proper evidence or information, but with an excess of terror for our public liberties, have persuaded themselves, that the cause of America and true patriotism is one and the same, and that, therefore, the constitution of this country must at all events submit to the ruinous pretensions of her colonies. To enlarge upon the merits of the piece itself, either respecting the intimate knowledge it contains of the subject, or the force, acumen and justice of the author’s reasonings (whatever room the editor may suppose there is for encomiums), is purposely omitted, in deference to the public, who will undoubtedly render the approbation it may be found to deserve. It is necessary, and only necessary, to say, that these letters were written by a gentleman of honor, rank and learning, who saw what he describes, and who knows the truth of what he avers. The reflections, which he has made (and reflections, justly made, constitute, as M. Rollin observes, “the very soul of history”), are natural and solid deductions from the state of things under his own observation. They need only a candid and impartial perusal to be both admitted and admired; though, to the disgrace of human nature, it must be owned, in the words of a very ingenious writer, that weak is the effect of eloquence (and, I may add, even of reason and truth itself) on the prædeterminations of party* . In a word, his facts and arguments not only seem incontestable; but there appears, throughout the whole, that spirit of philanthropy and concern for the welfare of his misguided countrymen, which recommends the author as much to the heart, as his good sense does his book to the understanding.
The reader, however, ought to be apprized of the author’s meaning in the use of the words Whig and Tory, which frequently occur in the letters. These terms have very different significations in Old and New England. In America, the word Tory now implies a friend to the supremacy of the British constitution over all the empire; and the word Whig,an asserter of colonial independence, or (what is just the same) of legislations, distinct and divided from British legislation, in all the several provinces. In this sense, and in this sense alone, are the terms applied throughout the letters (as the author himself explains them at page 115.), and have no sort of reference to the odious distinctions which formerly prevailed, but have now happily subsided, in this country, upon the notion of a separate interest between the King and People. In the present controversy, the King and People of the British islands have, and can have, but one interest; which American independence, aiming first at the unity of our constitution, then at the extent of our commerce, and lastly at the dignity of our power, attempts to destroy. Yet this is the mock-patriotism of the day—a patriotism, founded on the ignorance of some, urged by the artifices of others, and tending to the ruin of all. To be a patriot in mode, is to aim at a separation of the state into twenty or thirty different parcels, instead of seeking a consolidation of several provinces into one empire. People of this stamp are for saving our enemies the trouble of enforcing the difficult part of their motto — divide & impera — by attempting the first for them. Happily, the good sense of the nation has begun to detect the imposture; and, ’tis hoped, that, in a little time, the well-disposed Americans will perceive, that Britons, detesting tyranny in all its forms, and always willing to rescue even foreign nations from the yoke of bondage, have no thoughts of imposing it upon their children. They have ever been too brave to be slaves themselves, and too generous to make slaves of others. They never had more liberty in their persons, properties, religion, speech, writings, and actions, than in the present reign: I had almost said, they cannot have more, without an abrogation of all order and government. These invaluable blessings can only be secured by the preservation of their happy constitution. In a word, let their enemies name the monarchy or republic upon earth, which can boast their noble zeal for true liberty, or an equal possession of public freedom!
And what has America obtained by her revolt from the constitution of Britain? I speak not of that province, which is at present the seat of war; but of those, who are yet unmolested in the exercise of their new prerogatives, and of their boasted natural rights. What oppressions have not these endured from the arbitrary dictates of a lawless congress, or the savage determinations of an insolent mob? Peaceable subjects, merely for being peaceable, have been haled away to prison, forced into their army, or stripped of their possessions. Men, who have remonstrated against such brutal proceedings, have been still more ignominiously treated, and, without either the appearance of legal decision or the forms of legal punishment, have been exposed to all the indecent resentments of an abandoned multitude. Clergymen, of the established church, have been driven from their cures, upon no other account than for not omitting the prayer for the King and royal family, in the common use of divine service. These are some of the choicest blessings, which congresses and committees have bestowed: Let me ask, if such can possibly be expected from the King and parliament of Great-Britain?
[* ]Principles of Penal Law. c. v.