Joseph Reed to Josiah Quincy, Junior, Esquire:
"I hope this will find you safely arrived in Great Britain, a country wherein I have spent many happy hours, before she began to play the tyrant over America. The cloud which hung over the Colonies, at the time of your departure, begins to disperse. Instead of divided counsels and feeble measures, which at one time there was too much reason to apprehend, all now is union and firmness; and I trust we shall exhibit such a proof of publick virtue and enlightened zeal, in the most glorious of all causes, as will hand down the present age with the most illustrious characters of antiquity."
Quincy, who was co-counsel with John Adams in the defense of British soldiers accused of their involvement in the Boston Massacre, journeyed to England to meet with British friends of the American cause. On March 15, 1775, Quincy boarded the Boston Packet to return to home, already ill with consumption. On April 25, 1775, the Boston Packet arrived in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
The April 25-May 2 Essex Gazette (of Salem, Mass.) reported from Gloucester that Quincy, "our good Friend and worthy Patriot...was immediately visited by one of the Physicians of this Place, and other respectable Persons--but as he appeared to be actually expiring, no Assistance could be afforded him, & a few Hours put an End to a valuable Life."