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" At a time, when our lordly masters in Great Britain will be satisfied with nothing less than the deprivation of American freedom, it seems highly necessary that something should be done to avert the stroke, and maintain the liberty, which we have derived from our ancestors. But the manner of doing it, to answer the purpose effectually, is the point in question. That no man should scruple, or hesitate a moment, to use arms in defence of so valuable a blessing, on which all the good and evil of life depends, is clearly my opinion. Yet arms, I would beg leave to add, should be the last resource, the dernier resort. Addresses to the throne, and remonstrances to Parliament, we have already, it is said, proved the inefficacy of. How far, then, their attention to our rights and privileges is to be awakened or alarmed, by starving their trade and manufacturers, remains to be tried "

Letter to George Mason | Wednesday, April 05, 1769

Editorial Notes

This letter details Washington's positive opinion of implementing nonimportation policies against the British.  Washington believes boycotts are a potentially useful strategy at the moment; he notes that previous addresses to the king and Parliament were ineffective, yet he is hesitant to take up arms against the British at this time.

From George Washington to George Mason, 5 April 1769