As James Smith’s legal business grew, his surveying activities decreased, but it was an excellent background for understanding land record descriptions, and the transfer of real property from one owner to another. About the early 1760’s Smith began an iron foundry, but the business did not prosper, not because there was no market for iron—there certainly was; but he had placed the enterprise in the hands of two partners, who were, as Smith reported, “… one of who was a knave, and the other a fool.” So, James Smith lost a good bit of money on this venture.
Becoming more widely known in the area, James Smith, by the early 1770’s was quite concerned about the widening rift between the colonists and the Mother Country. He attended a provincial assembly in 1774, where he offered a paper he had written, entitled, Essay on the Constitutional Power of Great Britain over the Colonies in America. In that paper, Smith recommends that the colonies boycott all British goods, feeling that this method of hurting the British merchants in their pockets will force the Parliament to back away from some of their oppressive laws, that were stifling American trade. Such a move is exactly what transpires as the First Continental Congress adjorned in Philadelphia in the Fall of 1774.
This serves no one except radicals on both sides. With rabid 24-hour satellite channels seizing upon every cross-border attack or perceived diplomatic affront, jingoism is on the rise. Indian strategists talk loosely of striking across the border in the event of another Mumbai-style terrorist attack; Pakistani officials speak with disturbing ease of responding with tactical nuclear weapons. From their safe havens in Pakistan meanwhile, the Taliban have launched one of the bloodiest spring offensives in years in Afghanistan, even as . forces prepare to draw down there. If he truly hopes to break the deadlock on the subcontinent, Modi needs to do something even Gandhi could not: give Pakistan, a nation born out of paranoia about Hindu dominance, less to fear.
Francis Lewis represented New York in the Continental Congress, and shortly after he signed the Declaration of Independence his Long Island estate was raided by the British, possibily as retaliation for his having been a signatory to that document. While Lewis was in Philadelphia attending to congressional matters, his wife was taken prisoner by the British after disregarding an order for citizens to evacuate Long Island. Mrs. Lewis was held for several months before being exchanged for the wives of British officials captured by the Americans. Although her captivity was undoubtedly a hardship, she had already been in poor health for some time and died a few years (not months) later.