Washington in 1774
[I]t is not the wish, or the interest of the Government, or any other upon this Continent, separately, or collectively, to set up for Independence... I am well satisfyed, as I can be of my existence, that no such thing is desired by any thinking man in all North America; on the contrary, that it is the ardent wish of the warmest advocates for liberty, that peace & tranquility, upon Constitutional grounds, may be restored, & the horrors of civil discord prevented.
-- George Washington to Robert McKenzie, October 1774
Found this in an alternative history "what if?" essay on how the American Revolution could have never happened. In Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals, ed. Niall Ferguson.