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Peter Oliver to His Brother

Dear Brother,

We learn by the Cerberus man-of-war, which arrived last Thursday the 25th of May, that you have done with the thoughts of coming to Boston at present, which rejoices your friends.

I received yours dated at Bath, and am much obliged to you.

Our situation here, without any exaggeration, is beyond description almost; it is such as eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor hath it ever entered into the heart of men to conceive Boston ever to arrive at.

We are besieged this moment with 10 or 15,000 men, from Roxbury to Cambridge; their rebell sentrys within call of the troops’ sentrys on the Neck. We are every hour expecting an attack by land or water. All marketing from the country stopt ever since the battle. Fire and slaughter hourly threatened, and not out of danger from some of the inhabitants within, if setting the town of [on] fire. All the interest the Judge and I ouned [owned] in Middleborough exposed to the ravage of a set of robbers, Mr. Conant at the head of them. Poor Jenny and Phoebe, and children, we can’t hear of, or get any word to; whether they are all living or not, or whether the works and buildings are left standing is rather a doubt with me, for we have heard since the battle that a number set out to destroy and burn our interest, but that the selectmen interposed and saved them.

You seem in England to be entirely ignorant of the temper of our people. They are as much determined from Florida to Halifax to oppose you at home, do what you will, as I hear the Ministry are determined to pursue their plan. I am in no doubt but you will be able to conquer America at last, but a horrid bloody scene will be opened here as never was in New England before. What comfort or satisfaction do you think we take now, or can take, when the dreadful scene opens?

Your wife is in Plymouth, yet we can’t get any intelligence of her, good or bad.

It is said by the rebels at Roxbury that Col. Watson has given his quota to support the people.

Good God! Do thou avert the impending calamity that threatens this former happy land, and turn the hearts of those deluded wretches from the power of sin and Satan to thy unerring precepts, and then, and then only, shall we be once more a happy people favoured of Heaven…..

O tempora! O mores! Yrs as usual,
Peter Oliver Junr.

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