Page:American Archives, Series 4, Volume 1.djvu/518

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CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, OCTOBER 10, 1774.

Colonies that harmony so necessary to the happiness of the British Empire, and so ardently desired by all America. Agreed, That Mr. Lee, Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Henry, and Mr. J. Rutlcdge, be a Committee to prepare an Address to his Majesty. Monday, October 3, 1774. The Congress met according to adjournment, and after some debate, Resolved unanimously, That it be an Instruction to the Committee, who are appointed to draw up an Address to the King: Whereas Parliamentary taxes on America have been laid, on pretence of defraying the expenses of Government, and supporting the administration of justice, and defending, protecting, and securing the Colonies. That they do assure his Majesty, that the Colonies have or will make ample provision for defraying all the necessary expenses of supporting Government, and the due administration of justice in the respective Colonies; that the Militia, if put on a proper footing, would be amply sufficient for their defence in time of peace; that they are desirous to put it on such a footing immediately; and that in case of war, the Colonies are ready to grant supplies for raising any further forces that may be necessary. The remainder of this day and the day following was taken up in deliberating and debating on matters proper to be contained in the Address to his Majesty. Wednesday, October 5, 1774. The Congress resumed the consideration of the subject in debate yesterday, and after some time spent thereon, Resolved, That the Committee appointed to prepare an Address to his Majesty, be instructed to assure his Majesty that in case the Colonies shall be restored to the state they were in at the close of the late war, by abolishing the system of laws and regulations for raising a revenue in America for extending the powers of Courts of Admiralty for the trial of persons beyond sea for crimes committed in America for affecting the Colony of the Massachusetts Ray and for altering the Government, and extending the limits of Canada, the jealousies which have been occasioned by such Acts and Regulations of Parliament, will be removed, and commerce again restored. An Address from William Goddard to the Congress was read, and ordered to lie on the table. Thursday, October 6, 1774. The Congress met according to adjournment, and resumed the consideration of the means proper to be used for a restoration of American rights. During the debate, an Express from Boston arrived with a Letter from the Committee of Correspondence, dated the 29th of September, which was laid before the Congress. In this the Committee inform the Congress, that they " expected some regard would have been paid to the Peti" tions presented to their Governour, against fortifying their " Town in such a manner as can be accounted for only " upon the supposition that the Town and Country are to " be treated by the Soldiery as declared enemies that the " entrenchments upon the Neck are nearly completed that " Cannon are mounted at the entrance of the Town that it " is currently reported, that Fortifications are to be erected " on Corpse Hill, Beacon Hill, and Fort Hill, Sic., so " that the Fortifications, with the ships in the Harbour may " absolutely command every avenue to the Town both by " sea and land that a number of Cannon, the property of " a private gentleman, were a few days ago seized and taken " from his wharf by order of the General that from several " circumstances mentioned in the Letter, there is reason to " apprehend that Boston is to be made and kept as a gar" risoned Town that from all they can hear from Britain, " Administration is resolved to do all in their power to force " them to a submission that when the Town is enclosed, it " is apprehended the inhabitants will be held as hostages for " the submission of the Country, they apply therefore to " the Congress for advice how to act that, if the Congress " advise to quit the Town, they obey if it is judged that " by maintaining their ground they can better serve the " publick cause, they will not shrink from hardship and[908] danger finally, that as the late Acts of Parliament have made it impossible that there should be a due administration of justice, and all law therefore must be suspended that as the Governour has by Proclamation prevented the meeting of the General Court, they therefore request the advice of the Congress." Ordered, That this Letter be taken into consideration to-morrow morning. The Congress then resumed the consideration of the means, Sic. Resolved, That the Committee appointed to prepare the form of an Association, be directed to adopt the following clause, viz: That from and after the 1st day of December next, no Molasses, Coffee, or Pimento from the British Plantations or from Dominica, or Wines from Madeira and the Western Islands, or foreign Indigo, be imported into these Colonies.


Friday, October 7, 1774.

The Congress resumed the consideration of the Letter from the Committee of Correspondence in Boston, and after some debate,

Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to prepare a Letter to his Excellency General Gage, representing "that the Town of Boston, and Province of Massachusetts Bay are considered by all America as suffering in the common cause for their noble and spirited opposition to oppressive Acts of Parliament calculated to deprive us of our most sacred rights and privileges." Expressing our concern, that while the Congress are deliberating on the most peaceable means for restoring American liberty, and that harmony and intercourse which subsisted between us and the Parent Kingdom, so necessary to both, his Excellency, as they are informed, is raising Fortifications round the Town of Boston, thereby exciting well-grounded jealousies in the minds of his Majesty's faithful subjects therein, that he means to cut off all communication between them and their brethren in the country, and reduce them to a state of submission to his will, and that the Soldiers under his Excellency's command are frequently violating private property, and offering various insults to the people, which must irritate their minds, and if not put a stop to, involve all America in the horrours of a civil war. To entreat his Excellency from the assurance we have of the peaceable disposition of the inhabitants of the Town of Boston and of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, to discontinue his Fortifications, and that a free and safe communication be restored and continued between the Town of Boston and the Country, and prevent all injuries on the part of his Troops, until his Majesty's pleasure shall be known after the measures now adopting shall have been laid before him.

Mr. Lynch, Mr. S. Adams, and Mr. Pendleton, are appointed a Committee to prepare a Letter agreeable to the foregoing Resolution.


Saturday, October 8, 1774.

The Congress resumed the consideration of the Letter from Boston, and upon motion, Resolved, That this Congress approve the opposition of the inhabitants of the Massachusetts Bay, to the execution of the late Acts of Parliament; and if the same shall be attempted to be carried into execution by force, in such case all America ought to support them in their opposition. Monday, October 10, 1774. The Congress, resuming the consideration of the Letter from Boston, Resolved, unanimously, That it is the opinion of this body that the removal of the people of Boston into the Country, would be, not only extremely difficult in the execution, but so important in its consequences, as to require the utmost deliberation before it is adopted; but, in case the Provincial Meeting of that Colony should judge it absolutely necessary, it is the opinion of the Congress, that all America ought to contribute towards recompensing them for the injury they may thereby sustain; and it will be recommended accordingly. Resolved, That the Congress recommend to the in