The Age of George III

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A letter written by a British soldier from Charleston, South Carolina, in the spring of 1781

I wish our ministry could send us a Hercules to conquer these obstinate Americans, whose aversion to the cause of Britain grows stronger every day.

If you go into company with any of them occasionally they are barely civil, and that is, as Jack Falstaff says, by compulsion. They are in general sullen, silent and thoughtful. The King's health they dare not refuse, but they drink it in such a manner as if they expected it would choke them.

The assemblies which the officers have opened, in hopes to give an air of gaiety and cheerfulness to themselves and the inhabitants, are but dull and gloomy meetings; the men play at cards, indeed, to avoid talking, but the women are seldom or never to be persuaded to dance. Even in their dresses the females seem to bid us defiance; the gay toys which are imported here they despise; they wear their own homespun manufactures, and take care to have in their breasts knots, and even on their shoes something that resembles their flag of the thirteen stripes. An officer told Lord Cornwallis not long ago, that he believed if he had destroyed all the men in North America, we should have enough to to to conquer the women. I am heartily tired of this country, and wish myself at home.

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Last modified 12 January, 2016

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