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The Massachusetts spy, or, Thomas's Boston journal. [volume] (Boston [Mass.]) 1772-1775, February 18, 1773, Image 2

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SATURDAY. February IJ.
Ht a meeting ♦/ the fee hoi tiers and other inhi
bit anti of theTowo of SHEFFi ELD,
legally warned and affrnblef at the meet
ing-house, on the 1773*
Chlonel John \shlst, chosen moderator.
“ VO FEJ, To chute a committee to
corfil of eleven persons, to take into con*
G deration the grievances which Americans
in general, ar,d the inhabitants of this pro*
vince in particular, labour under ; and to
make a draught of such proceedings as they
think are neceflary for this town, in these
critical circumlances, to enter into.—- The
following perfms were for that pirpde no
mieated and chosen, viz. Mr. Fh**odore
SrJgwick, Deacon Silas Kellog, Col. Ash
Jky, Lemuel Bernard, Mr. Aaron
R x>t, M. jnr John Fellows, Mr Pnilip Cal
lender, Capt. William Day, Deacon Ebe
nezer Smith, Cipt. Nathaniel Aulin, and
Capt. Stephen Dewey; then voted, that this
meeting be adjourned to the 1 ath day of
January current.”
At a meeting of the fieeho’ders and other
inhabitants of the town of Sheffield, by ad
inurnment, at the meeting house, on the
nth day of January, 1773. Ordered, That
the comm'ttee appointed by this meeting on
the s'h day of January current, make ry
port of the doings of said committee; where
upon the chairman of Gid committee made
report as follows, viz.
“ THE committee of this town, appoin
ted to take into confederation the grievances,
which Americans in general, and the i»hi
bitants of this province in particular, labour
under, and to make a draught of such pro
ceedmgs as they think are necettary for this
town, in these critical citcumlhnces, to en
ter into, report as follows, viz.
“ That this town taking into their seri
ous consideration, and deeply lamenting the
unhappy situation, to which Americans in
general, and his M jelly’s m ill faithful fub
jed* the inhabitants of this province in par
ticular, are reduced, owing to the Jealous
eye with which America hath been viewed
by several British administrations since the
accession of his prefentmoft gracious Majes
ty to the throne, and viewing with the deepest
furrow the design of Great B.itain, (which
is but too apparent to every virtuous lover
of his country) gradually to deprive us of
those inva’uab’e rights and privileges, which
were tranfnitted to us by our worthy and
independent ancestors, at the mol laborious
aid dangerous expence ; fhou'd esteem our
fclves greatly wanting in the du’y we owe
ourselves, our country and p >fterity, ca'ed
upon as we are by our brethren, the refpeSt
able town of 80/ion, fhju'd we ncgecl with
the utmost fi miffs and freedom, to express
the sense we have of our p’efent dangerous
fixation, a'wap proftffing, as with truth
we do, the molt inviolab e regard and at
tachment, to our molt gracious sovereign,
and the protestant fucc f firm as by law es
tablished, we have, wi h that deference and
refpecl due to the country on which we a e
and always hope to be dependent, entered
into the following votes and relolvea, viz,
. “ RESOLVED, That mankind in a state
of nature are equal, free, and independent of
each other, and have a right to the undis
turbed enjoyment of their lives, their liberty
and property.
“ Rfalved, That the great end of politic
cal society, is to secure in a more tfiditual
manner those rights and privileges wherewith
God and nature have made us free.
“ Resolved, That it hath a tendency to
subvert the good end for which fociery was
instituted, to have in any part of the legis
lative body an interest separate from and tn
dependent of the rterett of the people in ge
“ Rfolved, ’’’hat affixing a stipend to the
office ol ihe Governor of this province, to be
pa’d by money taken from the people with
out their consent, crea’es in him an interest
{epet ate from and independent of, the inte
left of the peonle in general.
“ Resolved, That the* peaceful enjoyment
of any privileges, to the people of ‘his pro
vince, in a great meafurr (under God) de
pends upon the uorightneL and independen
cy of th- executive officers in general, and
of the J of the Superior Court in parti
cular. *
<« Resolved, That if Salaries are affixed to
the dikes <*f the Judges of the Superior
Court, rendering them independent of the
peop'e and dependant on the crown for their
support; (which we have too much reason
to think is the case) it is a precedent that
may hereafter, confi ’ering the depravity of
human nature, be improved to pu poles,
b.gwidi Uw must obviuu* and fatal
MASSAC H-U 6 3 S’ 5 sr «.
quences, to the good people of th:s.pxovinc*‘
“ Resolved, That Americans in general,
(and his M-jrfty’s fubje&s the inhabitants of
this province in particular, by their (barter)
are intided to all the libertiet, privileges and
immunities of natural born British fubjcis.
“ Resolved, That it is a well known
and undoubted privilege, of the British con
ftitu ion, that every fubjeft, hath not only
a right to the free and uncontrouled er joy
ment, use and improvement, of his estate
or property so long as he Shall continue in
possession of it, butthat he Shall not in any
manner be deprived thereof, in the whole or
in part, until his content, given by himfelf
or his rep efenfative, hath been pievioufly,
for that purpose, expressly obtained.
“ Resolved, That the late ads of the par
liament of Great-Britain,for the express pur
pose of railing and regulating the collecting
a revenue in the colonies, are unconstituti
onal, as thereby the just earnings of our la
bour and industry, without any regard to
our consent, are by mere power savifhed
from us, and the Unlimited power by said
ads (and commissions) put into the hands
of ministerial hirelings and the deprivation
of our inestimable and constitutional privi
lege, a trial by jury, the determination of
our property by a single judge paid by one
party, by money illegal’y taken from the o
jher for that purp fe, and the infuking
d.ffeience made between British and Ame
rican fubje&s are matters truly grievous, and
clearly evince a disposition to rule us with
the iron rod rs power.
“ Rjfdvtd, That the introduction, of civil
officers, unknown tn the charter of this pro
vince, with powers which render the proper
ty, domettic fecutity and enjoyment- of the
inhabitants, altogether insecure, is a very
great grievance.
“ Reflved, That it is the right of every
subj ft of Great-Britain, to be tried by the
power of the vicinity, when charged with any
crime, that any ait of the parliament of
Great- Britain, fordtftroying this privilege
and tearing away fubjeils from their connec
tions, friends, business and the possibility of
evincing their innocence, and carrying them
on bear fofpicion, to the distance of thoulands
of miles, for a trial, is an intolerable grie
“ Resolved, That the Great and Geneph
Court of this province, have it not in dfeft
power in consequence of inftruftions fwm
the ministry only, to exempt any man
body of men refilling within and receiving
protedion from the laws of this province,
from contributing their equal proportion to
wards the fopport of government within the
fame, nor can any such instructions or orders
from the ministry of Great Britain juftify
such proceedings, should this be the case,
it will follow <>f consequence, that the whole
province tax may be laid on one or moie
persons as (hall belt suit with the caprice of
the m'niftry.
“ Resolved, That any determination nr
adjudication of the King in Council, with
regard to the limits of provinces in America,
whereby private properry is or may be affec
ted, is a great grievance already very severe
ly felt by great numbers, who after purchas
ing lands of the only persons, whom they
could suppose had any right to convey, have
on a sudden, by such an adjudication, been
deprived of their whole property, and from a
Hate of affluence reduced to a Bate of
“ Resolved, That the Great and General
Court of this province only, can constituti
onally make any laws or regulations, obliga
tory upon the inhabitants thereof residing
within the fame.
“ Fated, That the Town Clerk duly re
cord the proceedings of this Meeting, and
make a true and attested copy theieof as
fiKin as may be. and forward the fame to
DWiD INGERSOL, jun. Esq ; the Re
present .tive of this town, at the Great and
General Court at Boston, whois hereby re
quested to conftder the above resolves as the
sense of his conftituents,the town of Sheffield,
w and to use every conftitutiona! means in his
pnwer that the grievances complained of
may be redressed ; and whereas the province
of New-York, oy the most unjuftifiable pro
ceedings, have by a late a<H ot their General
Affrmb'y, extended the limits of the coupty
< f Albany, east as far as ConneSicut River,
and under pretence of having by that act, the
legal jurildidion within that part of this pro
vince, by said adt included within the coun
ty of Albany, have exercised aAual jurif
dichon, and the officers of the coun
ty of Albany, without the least pretence of
any precept from the authority on this Gde
the line, by co’our of a warrant executed in
that county, upon suspicion that a man had
been guilty of a crime in this county, uken
him and conveyed him to A baqy for examt’
nation. In indictments crimes have been
said to have been committed at Sheffield in
the enunty of Albany, Mr. Ingersoll, is
hereby requested to use his utmost influence,
that the alarming confluences, from such
proceedings dreaded, may be prevented, and
that the fears of the people may be quieted by
a speedy determination of that unhappy con
tr over fy.
•• And whereas it has been reported that the
support given by the Great and General
Court, to the Judges of the Superior Court,
hath been inadequate to the services perfor
med, Mr. Inger 10l is hereby rtqueflcd that
(if this report (hall appear to be founded in
truth) he use his irfluw ce, that their fabrics
may be augmented to such sums, as (ha I be
(efficient to support the dignity of the of
“Which being twice read diftmd’y it was
put to vote paragraph by paragraph, whether
the town wou d accept of taio report ? It
pafltd in the affi mative nemine contia
A true copy,
Attest. Stephen Diwcy, Town Clerk.’’
MOND AY, February 15.
At a meeting of the town of Gorham, re
gularly a(Ttmbled,W-the meeting houte in
said town, on ThuWday the 7th of January,
A. D. 1773» by adjournment from the 31st
day of December last. Ihe committee who ,
were chosen at hat meeting to cor.fider wha<
is belt for the town to do, and to report a
draught of such votes and resolves as they
may think it best for them to come into re
pored in the words following.
“ WE find that it is esteemed an argu
ment of terror to a set of rhe basest of men,
who are attempting to er (lave us, and who
defue to wallow'n luxury upon our eamir gs,
that this country was purchafcd by the blood
of our renowned forefathers, who, flying
from the unrelenting rag" of civi' ai d re igi
ous tyranny in their native land, fettled
themfe ves in this howling wiideri efs: But
the people of this town of Gotham have an
argument ftnl nearer at hand : Not only
may we fay that we enjoy an ioheiiiance
puicha/ed by the blood of our futefathers,
but tbiskown was fettled at the expence of
our ow/ blood ! We have those amorgft us;
hjylfcjf b'ood flreaming ficm their own
wounds wateied the foil tion? which we earn
our bread 1 Our ears have heard the infer
nal yells of the native savage murdeiers.
Our eyes have seen our young children wd
tetingin their gore,in ouiown houfes,and our
deateft friends carried into captivi'y, by men
more savage than the savage bcafts them
selves I We many of us have been used to
earn our daily bread with our weapons in
our hands—therefore we cannot be luppofed
to be fully acquainted with the myflenes of
court policy ; but we look upon ourfeives a
ble to judge so far concerning our rights as
men, as chiiftians, and as fubjeds of
British government, as to declare that we ap
prehend ihofe rights, as fettled by the
good people of the- town of Boston; do be
long to us, and that we lock with honor
and indignation on the violation of them.
We only add that our old Captain is ft ill liv
ing, who for many years has been our chief
officer to rally the inhabitants of this town
from the plough or the sick e, to defend
their wives, iheir children, and all that was
dear from thefavages. Many of our fami
lies have been inurc-d to the danger and fa
tigue cf flying to garrison —1 imber of our j
fort is yet to be seen, and many of our watcb
boxes are still in being; some of our women J
have been used to handle the ca. rtidge and i
lead the mufquct, and the swords which we j
whet and brightened for our enemies arc not
yet grown rusty.
“ 1 herefore,7?e/s/vr<Z, That the inhabitants
of this town are as loyal and dutiful as any of 1
his Maj.tty’s fubjedb in Great Britain or the ;
plantations, and bold themselves always in |
readiness <0 assist his majesty with their lives
and fortunes in his defence and the rights
and privileges of his fubjt&s.
*• Revived, We appiehend that the grie
vances we juttiy complain of are owing to
the corruption of the late minittry, in not
feffeiing the repeated petitions frem this
province, &c. to reach the royal ear.
“ Resolved, That through the channel of
said corruption the parliament of Great Bri
tain have patted several ads, in the executi
on of which the American fubjeds are bur
thened with unconttitutional taxes.
“ Resolved, That from the fame source a
board of commissioners is ereded in this pro
vince,with such comm flion as strips the ho
..eft labourer of the fruits of bis u.duft.y and
his Jomeftic security, which is againtt alkthe
principles of the com nod law.
“ Rfolved, That it is clearly the opimon
of this town the parliament of Great Britain
have no more right to take our money with
out our consent than they have to take money
from theinhabitautsof France or Spain.
“ Rfolved, That the extent of
granted to the Court of Admiralty is a great
and intolerable grievance.
“ Resolved, That to render the Gover
nor, and Judges of the Superior Comt of this
province, independent of the grants of the
General Aflembly, is an innovation and an
intradion on ths* cunttitution and charter
rights, as it destroys that check which
should ever remain in the hands ot the peo
ple. r • .
“ Resolved, That it ii clearly the opinio*
of this town, that rhe rights of the coiomfts,
and the several infringements of those righ s
are fairly and j iftly stated by the inhabitants
of Boston, in their printed pamphlet (ent to
the several towns.
“ Refolded That the thar.ks of the town
cf Goihkm be given to rhe town cf Boston,
foe their vigilance and patriotic z j al shewn in
the defence of our conttituiionai and charter
Rfolved, That it is’he opinion of this
town, tnat it is better to rfk our -lives and
fortunes in the defence of our rights civil and
religious, than to die by pace meals in
“ Resolved, That the foregoing rtfolves
and proceedings be regitttoed tn the Fown
! Clerk’s office, as a Handing memorial of the
value that the inhabitants of this town put
upon their righ.s and piivileges,
Sclo. Lombard,
John Phinney,
Wm Gorham,
Briant Morten,
Nathan Whu net
• Edm. Phinney,
Josiah Davis,
Caleb <
•* Committee of Correfpon«nce.
“ A true copy, - Attest.
“ Amos Whiteny, Town Cctk.”
1 U E S D A Y, February t 6.
On Friday last the Honourable House of
Representatives sent the following mdiage
to the Governor.
May it please your Extellency,
YOUR m.ffage of the inftanf in
forms this house, that his Majesty has
been pleated to order that salaries (hall be
allowed to the justices of the Superior Court
of this province.
We conceive that no judge who has a
due regard to justice, or even to h«s own
character, wou'd chute to be placed under
such an undue biafs as they mutt be under,
in the opinion of this house by accepting of
and becoming dependant for their salaries
upon the crown.
Had not his Majesty been mifinformed
with refped to the constitution and appoint
ment of out judges by ihofe who advised to
this measure, we are prifoaded he would
never have p.fl’ed such an order ; as he was
pleated to dec are upon his accrffion to the
throne, that he locked upon the independence
and uprightness of the judges as eflcntial to
the impartial administration of justice, as one
of the best fecuriiies of the righ s and liber
ties of his fu! j ds, and as mutt conducive
to the honor of the crown.
Yuus Excellency’s precaution to prevent
all claim from the province for any services,
for which the justices may also be entitled to
> a (alary from the King, is comparatively us
i very (mail consideration with us.
j When we confider the many attempts
that have been made, effectually to render
null and void those clautes in our charter, -
■ upon which the freedom of ouf constitution
‘ depends, we (hall be loft to all public feeling
; (hould we not maniteft a just refentmenr.
We are more and more convinced, that it
‘ has been the design of administration, totally
to subvert the constitution, and introduce an
arbitrary government into this province -■
And we cannot wonder that the apprehe.:-'
fions of this people are thoroughly awakened.
We wait with impatience to know, and
hope your Excellency will very soon be able
to allure us, that the justices will utterly re
fute ever to accept of support, in a manner
so justly obnoxious to the disinterested and
judicious part of the good people of this pro
vince ; being repugnant to the charter, and
utterly inconfiflent with the fafety us the
rights, liberties and properties of the peop'e.
There were 9 1 member} present when thii mtf
fage was brought into the bouf, ant it paf
fd by a majority of eighty one.
reoruary tS.

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