To Josiah Tucker
Reverend Sir, London, Feb. 12, 1774.
Being informed by a Friend that some severe Strictures on my Conduct and Character had appeared in a new Book published under your respectable Name, I purchased and read it. After thanking you sincerely for those Parts of it that are so instructive on Points of great Importance to the common Interests of mankind, permit me to complain, that if by the description you give in Page 180, 181, of a certain American Patriot, whom you say you need not name, you do, as is supposed, mean myself, nothing can be farther from the truth than your assertion, that I applied or used any interest directly or indirectly to be appointed one of the Stamp Officers for America; I certainly never expressed a Wish of the kind to any person whatever, much less was I, as you say, “more than ordinary assiduous on this Head.” I have heretofore seen in the Newspapers, Insinuations of the same Import, naming me expressly; but being without the name of the Writer, I took no Notice of them. I know not whether they were yours, or were only your Authority for your present charge. But now that they have the Weight of your Name and dignified Character, I am more sensible of the injury. And I beg leave to request that you would reconsider the Grounds on which you have ventured to publish an Accusation that, if believed, must prejudice me extremely in the opinion of good Men, especially in my own country, whence I was sent expressly to oppose the imposition of that Tax. If on such reconsideration and Enquiry you find as I am persuaded you will, that you have been imposed upon by false Reports, or have too lightly given credit to Hearsays in a matter that concerns another’s Reputation, I flatter myself that your Equity will induce you to do me Justice, by retracting that Accusation. In Confidence of this, I am with great Esteem, Reverend Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant,