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Collection Reference Number GLC00983
From Archive Folder Documents Relating to 1765-1774 
Title Caesar Rodney to Thomas Rodney, outlining false rumors regarding British attacks
Date 19 September 1774
Author Rodney, Caesar (1728-1784)  
Recipient Rodney, Thomas  
Document Type Correspondence; Military document
Content Description Written by Rodney, an eventual signer of the Declaration of Independence, as Speaker of the Delaware Assembly to an unknown recipient. Says he wrote recipient on 17 September 1774. Says he was probably concerned about a report of the British firing on Boston. Says Philadelphia's bells rang all day when that news arrived, but that it proved to be false a few days later. When expresses were sent out from Boston to say it was false, the riders came upon 50,000 men in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Says if the men were not armed, they were carrying provisions for others. When they heard the news they went home, but not before sending officers ahead to see if it was true. Claims the rumor was spread by "some of the friends to the Ministerial plan" to prove the valor of the people, which he says there is no doubt of now. Gives a report of a British Captain "that friends to the American Cause are daily increasing on the other side [of] the water." Year inferred from content, but 19 September 1774 was on a Monday according to a calendar.
Subjects Revolutionary War  Global History and Civics  Militia  Military History  Military Provisions  Bravery  Navy  Maritime  Diet and Nutrition  
People Rodney, Caesar (1728-1784)  Rodney, Thomas (1744-1811)  
Place written Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Theme The American Revolution; Creating a New Government
Sub-collection The Gilder Lehrman Collection, 1493-1859
Additional Information A signer of the Declaration of Independence from Delaware, Caesar Rodney (1728-1784) served as a major general in the state militia and as president of Delaware during the Revolution. In this letter, Rodney describes the rumors and paranoia following a false report of a British attack on Boston. He supports the claim of the Friends of Liberty that the rumor may have been started by loyalists to measure the support for the patriots in the countryside.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
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