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Claims and Memorials
Letter to Isaac Wilkins

Hanover 7th December 1775


in what terms to address you at this juncture I am at a loss & must candidly acknowledge my inability to the temper of the times, I dare not speak, think, or even dream, how then can I write, & especially to the friend of my bosom? with whom but lately the least appearance of reserve would have been criminal? Gracious heavens!

To what a situation are we reduced- not many months ago did we boast of our happy condition in enjoying every earthly felicity in this new World than even the most extravagant fancy could suggest- the tree of peace seemed to have taken deep root in our fertile soil- our Commerse extending to every known part of the habitable Globe, furnishing us with all the necessarys nay luxurys of life- the Sciences were introduced respected & courted- in Short nothing seemed wanting to conspire to make us a flourishing great & happy people but our own knowledge of it & gratitude to all bountiful heaven for our happy Situation-

how Alas is the scene changed- the streets of our once thriving City that used to throng with the produce of Europe & both the Indias are now filled with the Goods & effects of its deserting inhabitants & instead of the gay & pleasing appearance of our blooming females we have the glittering of Musketts Swords & bayonets under the banners of Rebellion- but Stop I am going too far.

Yesterday being the first leisure time since the increase of my flock I made an Attempt in Company with the two Doctors of Jamaica to pay a visit to Castle Hill-

after waiting ‘till sunset at Abraham’s we were obliged to return as our signal was not observed, it being somewhat blustering, tho’ I had the pleasure to hear that your dear Isa & little ones were all well the day before, this I had from the Coll. whose wife has made him a father as well as a husband.

Present my best regards to the worthy Doctor of Kings, tell him it will afford me great pleasure to have a line from him-

do not forget my Sincerest respects to the Revd. & Capt. late of Shrewsbury in Monmouth New Jersey, they can tell you many things-

& by all means remember me to the Doctor of Elizabeth & the Revd. John of Kings, let the latter know that I am almost convinced of the old proverb, how happy should I be to smoke one social pipe with you all, but that must be deferr’d to a future day, & when that day will arrive neither of us knows.

Our worthy & deservedly esteemed Governor TRYON is soon to leave us to the great regret of every friend to this Country, indeed the Province must sustain an irraparable loss as the whole of his conduct during his administration justly entitles him to the character of a wise Legislator humane Judge and worthy Citizen.

I had the pleasure of spending a day last week with the venerable old Lieut. Governor at his seat- he is in as perfect health & intelects as twenty years past without the least variation, but am apt to conclude he would rather spend his remaining Glass in his peacefull retirement on Nassau Island.

Tis now time to finish & bid you Adieu perhaps (ay perhaps my dear Isaac) for ever- may the King of Kings gaurd us both & ever remind us of the Concius recti: farewell again & may you be happy is the sincere wish of

Your Affectionate friend
P[hilip] V[AN] C[ORTLAND]

N.B.- this is my fourth letter unanswered

Isaac WILKINS Esqr. London

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 54, folio 633-634.

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