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Letter from Brother (1788)

The following was a letter written to Bernardus Lagrange by his brother Omie who lived in America. The letter is rendered in its original form. Read the letter to find out the fate of Mr. Lagrange.

Bernardus Lagrange Esq. at No. 19 Marsham Street, Westminster, London

My Dear Brother,July 21, 1788

I reviewed your favour of the 16th April last which gave me infinite pleasure to hear of you, and your families welfare as me and my family are all present blessed be good for the same. I am exceeding happy to hear that you are content with your present condition of life, but am likewise sorry to hear that you never more intend to visit your Native Country, but indeed I think you have determined wisely for at present, there is nothing but anarchy and confusion, produce of all kind, exceeding low, no money, and taxes very high and like to be higher, ten states, contrary to all expectations have adopted the new Constitution and its most likely the others will follow this example, whether it will be for the better or the worse time can only discover...My dear brother you will omit no opportunity to me, my wife and children join me in our sincerest wishes for you happiness and to you and all your family. I remain my dear brother yours sincerely.

Omie Lagrange

Letter from the Bernardus Lagrange folder, Rutgers Special Collection and University Archives.

From this document, answer the following questions.

  • Are you surprised at Lagrange's chosen path? Why?
  • Why do you think Lagrange moved to England? Do you feel it was a wise choice?
  • What do you think his life will be like in England?
  • Was Lagrange loyal to his country? What do you think London citizens thought of him?
  • What should England do for such a man, considering he gave up his house, property, and financial success to remain loyal to Britain? What do you think Britain will do?
  • Having faced such a difficult situation in New Jersey, what events in Lagrange's life do you feel he is proud of? What events do you feel he regrets?

Please click on Letter to Parliament (1780's) to find out how Lagrange fared in England.