Графични страници
PDF файл

all parts of the empire may enjoy their particular, when you are assured, that previous to my taking rights, honors, and immunities: Certainly, this is these steps, such were ike open threats, and such an event most devoutly to be wished for; and will the warlike preparations throughout this province, it not be consistent with your duty to suspend the as rendered it my indispensible duty to take every operation of war on your part, and enable us on precaution in my power, for the protection of his ours, to quiet the minds of the people, at least, till majesty's troops under my command, against all the result of some further deliberations may be bostile attempts. The intelligence you seem to known? The importance of the occasion will, we have received, relative to the late excursion of a doubt not, sufficiently apologize for the earnest. body of troops into the country, is altogether injuness with which we address you, and any seeming rions and contrary to the true state of facts; the impropriety which may attend it, as well as induce troops disclaim, with indignation, the barbarous you to give us the most explicit and favorable an- outrages of wbich they are accused, so contrary to swer in your power.

their known humanity. I have taken the greatest I am, with great esteem and respect, in behalf pains to discover if any were committed, and have

found examples of their tenderness, both to the of the general assembly, sir, &c. (Signed) JONATHAN TRUMBULL.

young and the old, but no vestige of cruelty or His excellency, Tuomas Gage, esq.

barbarity: It is very possible, that in firing into

houses, from whence they were fired upon, that old His excellency general Gage's answer to the forego- people, women, or children, may have suffered, but ing letter, dated

if any such thing has happened, it was in their de. Boston, May 3, 1775.

fence, and undesigned. I have no command to S18: I am to acknowledge the receipt of your ravage and desolate the country, and were it my letter of the 28th of April last, in behalf of the intention, I have had pretence to begin it upon the general assembly of your colony, relative to the sea ports, who are at the mercy of the fleet. For alarming situation of public affairs in this country, your better information, I inclose you a narrative and the late transactions in this province: that this of that affair, taken from gentlemen of indisputasituation is greatly alarming, and that these trans. ble honor and veracity, who were eye witnesses of actions are truly unfortunate, are truths to be re. all the transactions of that day. The leaders bere gretted by every friend to America, and by every bave taken pains to prevent any account of this af. well-wisher for the peace, prosperity, and happi- fair getting abroad, but such as they have thought ness of this province. The intimate connection, proper to publish themselves; and to that end, the and strong ties of friendship between the inhabi. post has been stopped, the mails broke open, and tants of your colony, and the deluded people of letters taken out; and, by these means, the most this province, cannot fail of inducing the former to injurious and inflammatory accounts have been interpose their good offices, to convince the latter spread throughout the continent, which bas served of the impropriety of their past conduct, and to to deceive and inflame the minds of the people. persuade them to return to their allegiance, and to seek redress of any supposed grievancce, in those

When the resolves of the provincial congress decent and constitutional methods in which alone, breathed nothing but war, when those two great they can hope to be successful.

and essential prerogatives of the king, the lerying

of troops, and disposing of the public monies, That troops should be employed for the purpose

were wrested from him; and wiien magazines were of protecting the magistrates in the execution of

forming by an assembly of men, unknown to the their duty, when opposed with violence, is not a

constilution, for the declared purpose of levying new thing in the English, or any other government:

war against the king, you must acknowledge, it was that any acts of the British parliament are uncon. stitutional or oppressive, I am not to suppose; if my duty, as it was the dictate of humanity, to pre

vent, if possible, the calamities of civil war, by any such there are, in the apprehension of the peo

destroying such magazines. This, and this alone, ple of this province, it had been happy for them if

I attempted. You ask, why is the town of Boston they had sought relief, only in the way which the

now shut np? I can only refer you, for an answer, constitution, their reason, and their interest, point.

to those bodies of armed men, who now surround ed out.

the town, and prevent all access to it. The bos. You cannot wonder at my fortifying the town of tile preparations you mention, are such as the conRoston, or making any other military reparations, Iduci of the people of this province las rendered

it prudent to make, for the defence of those under Letter from the committee of New York, to the lord my command.

mayor, aldermen, and common council of London, You assure me, the people of you colony abhor laid before the court of common council by the mayor, the idea of taking arms against the troops of their on the 23rd of June, 1775. sovereign; I wish the people of this province, for their own sakes, could make the same declaration.

NEW.YORK, May 5, 1775.

} You enquire, is there no way to prevent this un

My lord and gentlemen, Distinguished as you are, happy dispute froig coming to extremities? Is there by your noble exertions in the cause of liberty, and no alternative but absolute submission, or the de. deeply interested in the expiring commerce of the solations of war? I answer, 1 hope there is; the king empire, you necessarily command the most reand parliament seem to hold out terms of recon- speciful attention. The general committee of asciliation, consistent with the honor and interest of sociation, for the city and county of New York, beg Great Britain, and the rights and privileges of the leave, therefore, to address you, and the capital colonies; they have ruutually declared their readi. of the British empire, through its magistrates, on ness to attend to any real grievances of the colo. the subject of American wrongs. Born to the nies, and to afford them every just and reasonable bright inheritance of English freedom, the inhabiindulgence, which sball, in a dutiful and constituants of this extensive continent, can never submit tional manner, be laid before them; and his Majes.

to the ignominious yoke, nor move in the galling ty adds, it is his ardent wish that this disposition fetters of slavery. The disposal of their own promay have a happy effect on the temper and conduct perty, with perfect spontaniety, and in a manner of his subjects in America: I inust add likewise, wholly divested of every appearance of constraint, the resolution of the 27th of February, on the grand

is their indefeasible birthright. This exalted bles.' dispute of taxation and revenue, leaving it to the sing, they are resolutely determined to defend with colonies to tax themselves, under certain condi.

their blood, and transfer it, uncontaminated, to tions; here is surely a foundation for an accommo.

their posterity. dation, to people who wish a reconciliation, rather You will not, then, wonder at their early jealousy than a destructive war, between countries so nearly of the design, to erect in this land of liberty, a desconnected, by the ties of blood and interest; but I potism scarcely to be parallelled in the pages of fear, that the leaders of this province bave been, antiquity, or the volumes of modern times; a des. and still are, intent only on shedding blood. potism, consisting in power, assumed by the repre

I an much obliged, by your favorable sentiments, sentatives of a part of his majesty's subjects, at of my personal character, and assure you, as it has their sovereign will and pleasure, to strip the rest been my constant wish and endeavor bitherto, so l of their property;—and what are the engines of shall continue to exert my utmost efforts to pro-administration to execute this destructive project? tect all his majesty's liege subjects under my care, The duty on tea; oppressive restraints on the comin their persons and property. You ask, whether merce of the colonies; the blockade of the port of it will not be consistent with my duty, to suspend Boston; the change of internal police in the Mas. the operations of war, on my part? I have com- sachusetts, and Quebec; tho establishment of popemenced no operations of war but defensive; such ry in the latter; the extension of its bounds; the you cannot wish me to suspend, while I am sur- ruin of our Indian commerce, by regulations calcu. rounded by an armed country, who have already lated to aggrandize that arbitrary government; un. begun, and threaten farther to prosecute an offen- constitutional admiralty jurisdiction throughout sive war, and are now violently depriving me, the the colonies; the invasion of our right to a trial, in king's troops, and many other of the king's sub- the most capital cases, by a jury of the vicinage; jects, under my immediate protection, of all the the horrid contrivance to screen from punishment conveniences and necessaries of life, with which the bloody executioners of ministerial vengeance; the country abounds; but it must quiet the minds and not to mention the rest of the black catalogue of all reasonable people, wben I assure you that I of our grievances, the hostile operations of an arbave na disposition to injure and molest quiet and my, who have already shed the blood of our counpeaceable subjects; but on the contrary, shall es trymen. The struggles excited by the detestable - teem it my greatest happiness to defend and pro- stamp act, have so lately demonstrated to the world tect them against every species of violence and that Americans will not be slaves; that we stand oppression. I am, sir, &c.

astonished at the gross impolicy of the minister.(Sigoed)

THOMAS GAGE. Recent experience had evinced, that the possessors

of this extensive continent would never submit to, ment to the welfare of his realm and comicions, # tax, by pretext of legislative authority in Britain; Permit us further to assure you, that America is disguise, therefore, became the expedient. In pur. grown so irritable, by oppression, that the least suit of the same end, parliament declared their ab- shock, in any part, is by the most powerful and solate supremacy in attempting to raise a revenue, sympathetic affection, instantaneously felt through under the specious pretence of providing for their the whole continent. Tbat Pennsylvania, Mary. good government and defence. Administration, land, and New York, have already stopped their to exhibit a degree of moderation, purely ostensi. exports to the fishing Islands, and those colonies, bie and delusory, while they withdrew their hands which at this dangerous juncture, have refused to from our most necessary articles of importation, unite with their brethren in the common cause; determined with an eager grasp to hold the duty and all supplies to the navy and army at Boston; on tea, as a badge of their laxative power. Zea- and that probably the day is at hand, when our lous on our part, for an indissoluble union with the continental congress will totally shut up our ports. parent state, studious to promote the glory and The minions of power here, may now infora ad. bappiness of the enpire, impressed with a just ministration, if they can ever speak the language sense of the necessity of a controlling authority to of truth, but this city is as one man in the cause regulate and harmonize the discordant commercial of liberty; that to this end, our inbabitants are al interests of its varioue parts; we cheerfully subnuit most unanimously bound by the inclosed associa. to a regulation of commerce, by the legislature of tion; that it is continually advancing to perfection, a parent state, excluding, in its nature, every idea by additional subscriptions; that they are resoluteof laxation.

ly bent on supporting their committee, and the in.

tended provincial and continental congresses; that Whither, therefore, the present machinations of

there is not the least doubt of the efficacy of their arbrirary power infallibly iend, you may easily example in the oiher colonies: In short, that while judge; if uoremittedly pursued, as they were inhu.

the whole continent are ardenily wishing for peace manly devised, they will, by a fatal necessity, ter.

on such terms as can be acceded to by Englishminate in a total dissolution of tbe empire.

men, they are indefatigible in preparing for the The subjects of this country will not, we trust, last appeal. That such are the language and conbe deceived by any measures conciliatory in ap- duct of our fellow citizens, will be further manipearance, while it is evident that the minister aims fested by a representation of the lieutenant gover. at a sordid revenue, to be raised by grievous and nor and council of the 1st inst. to general Gage, oppressive acts of parliament, and by fleets and at Boston, and to bis Majesty's ministers by the armies employed to enforce the execution. They packet. Assure yourselves, my lord and gentle. never wilt, we believe, submit to an auction on the men, that we speak the real sentiments of the concolonies, for the more effectuai augmentation of federated colonies on the continent, from Nova Sco. the revenue, by holding it up as a remplation to tia to Georgia, when we declare, that all the bor. then, that the bighest bidder sball enjoy the great. rors of a civil war, will never compel America to est sbare of government favor. This plan, as it submit to taxation, by authority of parliament. would tend to sow the seeds of discord, would be A sincere regard to the public weal, and the far more dungerous than hostile force, in which we cause of humanity; in hearty desire to spare the hope the king's troops will ever be, as they have further effusion of buman blood; our loyalty to already been, unsuccessful. Instead of those unu. our prince, and the love we bear to all our fellow sual, extraordinary, and unconstitutional modes of subjects in his majesty's realm and dominions; a procuring levies from the subjects, should bis M. full conviction of the warmest attachment in the jesty graciously be pleased, upon suitable emergen- capital of the empire, to the cause of justice and cies, to make requisitions in ancient form, the co-liberty, have induced us to address you on this lonies have expressed their willingness to contri momentous subject, confident that the same cogent bute to the support of the empire-but to contri motives will induce the most vigorous exertions bute of their yoluntary gift, as Englishmen; and of the city of London to restore union, mutual when our unexampled grievances are redressed, confidence, and peace to the whole empire. our prince will find bis American subjecis testify. We have the honor to be, my lord and gentle. ing, on all proper occasions, by as ample aids asmen, your most obedient and affectionale fellow. their circumstances will permit, the most unshak- subjects, and humble servanis, eu fidelity to their sovereign, and inviolable attach

ISAAC LOW, Chairman.


John Jay, Frederick Lewis, John Alsop, Philip ous struggle for American liberty, and the fullest
Livingston, James Duane, E. Duyckorch, William assurances, that wbenever this important contest
Seton, William W. Ludlow, Cornelius Clopper, shall be decided, by that fondest wish of each
Abm. Brinkerhoff, Henry Remsen, Robert Ray, American soul, an accommodation with our mother
Ever. Bancker, Joseph Totten, Abm. P. Lott, David country, you will cheerfully resign the important
Buckman, Isaac Rooswelt, Gabriel H. Ludlow, Wm. deposit committed into your bands, and reassume
Walton, Daniel Phenix, Frederick Jay, Samuel the character of our worthiest citizen.
Broome, Jno. De Lancey, Alexander M.Dougall, Jno.

By order,
Reade, Joseph Bull, George Janeway, John White,

P. V. B. LIVINGSTON, Pres't.
Gab. W. Ludlow, John Lasber, Theoph. Anthony,
Thomas Smith, Richard Yates, Oliver Templeton, To the above address, his excellency returned the
Jacobus Van Landby, Jeremiah Platt, Peter S. Cur-

following answer: tenius, Thos. Randall, Aug. V. Horne, Ab. Duryee,

Gentlemen: At the same time that with you Samuel Verplanck, Rudolphus Ritzeman, Jobni deplore the unbappy necessity of such an ap. Morton, Joseph Ilellett, Robert Benson, Abraham pointment, as that with which I am now honored, I Brasher, Leonard Lispenard, Thomas Marstory, cannot but feel sentiments of the bighest grati. Nicholas Hoffman, P. V. B. Livingston, Lewis Pin. tude for this affecting instance of distinction and tar), John Imlay, Eleazer Miller, jun. John Broom, regard. John B. Moore, Nicholas Bogert, Jobn Anthony,

May your warmest wishes be realized in the Victor Bicker, William Goforth, Hercules Mulli.

success of America, at this important and interest. gen, Nich. Roosevelt, Cora. P. Low, Francis Bas. ing period; and be assured, that every exertion of set, James Beckman, Thomas Ivers, William Den my worthy colleagues and myself, will be equally ning, John Berrien, Banjamin Helme, William W. extended to the re-establishment of peace and Gilbert, Dan. Dunscomb, John Lamb, Rich. Sharp, harmony, between the mother country and these John Morin Scott, Jacob Vanvoorstis, Comfort colonies: as to the fatal but necessary operations. Sands, Edward Fleming, Lancaster Burling, Benj. of war, when we assumed the soldier, we did not Kissauv, Jacob Lefferts, Ant. Van Vane, Abraham lay aside the citizen, and we shall most sincerely Walton, Hamilton Young, Peter Goelet, Gerret rejoice, with you, in that happy bour, when the Kilettas, Thomas Buchanan, James Desbrosses, jun. establishment of American liberty, on the most Petrus Byvanck, Laurence Embren.

firm and solid foundations, shall enable us to reTo the right honorable the lord mayor, the al- turn to our privale stations, in the bosom of a free,

dermen, and common council of the city of peaceful, and happy country. London.


[ocr errors]

NEW YORK, July 3, 1775.

To the honorable the delegates elected by the several 'The following address of the provincial congress

counties and districts within the government of Nezo of the colony of New York, was presented on the York, in colonial congress convened. 26th ult. to his excellency George Washington, The respectful address of the mechanics in union, generalissimo of all the forces in the confederated for the city and couoty of New York, represented colonies of America.

by their general committee.

Elected delegates-With due confidence in the "May il please your eccellency:-At a time when the most loyal of his majesty's subjects, from a

declaration wbich you lately made to the chairman regard to the laws and constitution, by which be of our general committee, that you are at all times

ready and willing to attend to every request of sits on the throne, feel themselves reduced to the unhappy necessity of taking up arms to defend your constituents, or any part of them; we, the

mechanics in union, though a very inconsiderable ibeir dearest rights and privileges; while we de.

part of your constituents, beg leave to represent, plore the calamities of this divided empire, we re.

that one of the clauses in your resolve, respecting juice in the appointment of a gentleman, from

the establiahment of a new form of government, whose abilities and virtue, we are taught 10 espect is erroneously construed, and for that reason may both security and peace.

serve the most dangerous purposes; for it is well "Confiding in you, sir, and in the worthy gene. known how indefatigable the emissaries of the rals immediately under your command, we have British parliament are in the pursuit of every the most Aattering hopes of success in the glori- scheme which is likely to bring disgrace opun our


rulers, and ruin upon us all. At the same time, misconstruction, conceive that we ought to i forn we cheerfully acknowledge that the genuine spirit you in due time that it has alarmed many zealous of liberty which animates the other part of that friends to the gen-ral cause which the United resolve, did not permit us to interpret it in any Colonies are defending with their lives and fortunes other sense than that which is the most obvious,

As the general opinion of your uprightness de. and likewise the most favorable to the natural

pends, in a great measure, on your explanation of rights of man. We could not, we never can be.

that matter; and it being self-evident that the lieve you intended that the future delegates, or

political happiness op misery of the people under yourselves, should be vested with the power of

your government, must be deeply affected by the framing a new constitution for this colony; and

measures which they may adopt in consequence of that its inhabitants at large should not exercise

such explanation, we trust that you will receive the right wbicb God has given them, in common

this respectful address with indulgence, and that with all men, to judge whether it be consistent

all our brethren in this, and the other colonies in with their interest to accept or reject a constitu

the union, will do us the justice to beileve, that it tion framed for that state of which they are mem

was dictated by the purest sentiments of unconfined bers. This is the birthright of every man to what.

patriotism. ever state he may belong. There he is, or onght to be by inadmissible right, a collegislator with all

The resolve which contains the obnoxious clause the other members of that community.

already mentioned, is, together with the introduc

tion to it, in the following words, to wit: Conscious of our own want of abilities, we are,

“And whereas doubts have arisen, wbether this alas! but too sensible that every individual is not

ress are invested with sufficient power and qualified for assisting in the framing of a constitu. con tion: but, that share of common sense which the authority to deliberate and determine on so it. Almighty has bountifully distributed amongst man- portant a subject as the necessity of erecting and kind in general, is sufficient to quicken every one's constituting a new form of government and internal feeling, and enable him to judge rightly what police, to the exclusion of all foreign jurisdiction,

dominion and control whatever. And whereas it degree of safety, and what advantages he is likely to enjoy, or, be deprived of, under any constitution appertains of right, solely to the people of this

colony to determine the said doubts. Therefore, proposed to him. For this reason, should a preposterous confidence in the abilities and integrity

Resolved, That it be recommended to the of our future delegates, delude us into measures electors in the several counties in this colony, by which might imply a renunciation of our inaliena. election in the manner and form prescribed for ble right to ratify our laws, we believe that your the election of the present congress, either to wisdom, your patriotism, your own interest, nay, authorise, (in addition to the powers rested in your ambition itself, would urge you to exert all this congress) their present deputies, or others the powers of persuasion you possess, and try every in the stead of their present deputies, or either method which, in your opinion, could deter us from of them, to take into consideration the necessity perpetrating that impious and frantic act of self- and propriety of instituting such new government destruction; for, as it would precipitate us into a

as in and by the said resolution of the continental state of absolute slavery, the lawful power which, congress is described and recommended: And if till now, you have received from your constitu. the majority of the counties, by their deputies in ents, to be exercised over a free people, would be

provincial congress, shall be of opinion that sucha annihilated by that unnatural act. It might proba.

new government ought to be instituted and estab bly accelerate our political deatb; but it must im. lished; then to institute and establish such a go. mediately cause your own.

vernment as they shall deem best calculated to

secure the rights, liberties, and happiness, of the The continued silence of the bodies wbich are,

good people of this colony, and to continue in force by election, vested with an authority subordinate

until a future peace with Great Britain shall render to that of your house, would strike us with amaze.

the same unnecessary.” ment, should we suppose that, in their presence, your resolve ever was ioterpreted in a sense that We cannot forbear expressing our astonishmet was not favorable to the free exercise of our at the existence of the doubts alluded to in the is. inalienable rights. But we, who daily converses Iroduction just quoted. But when in compassion with numbers who have been deceived by such to those weak minds wbich gave them birth, you

« ПредишнаНапред »