Cambridge,10 December 1774. printed
: Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours.
, p. 69–72. Prepared by a committee appointed 12 October, originally composed of fifteen
members: John Hancock, Joseph Hawley, Joseph Warren, Samuel Dexter, Artemas Ward,
James Warren, William Heath, Jeremiah Lee, Benjamin Church, Samuel Holten, Elbridge
Gerry, John Tyng, Lemuel Robinson, Jedediah Foster, Nathaniel Gorham (same
, p. 16–17). Eventually all four delegates from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress
were added to this committee.
Although the address to the people expressed “confidence in the wisdom, justice, and
goodness” of the King, it expressed fear that the future policies of the British government
would bring no relief because enemies had managed “to fill the court and kingdom of
Great Britain with falsehoods and calumnies” against Massachusetts. It was thought
virtually certain that the impact of the measures against Britain recommended by the
Continental Congress, if carefully enforced, would bring relief in time, but not without
a concerted effort by the mother country to divide Americans. Meanwhile, a well supplied
and disciplined militia must not be neglected if an “arbitrary ministry” was not to
destroy American rights.
By order of the congress, the address was printed in the Boston newspapers (first
appearing in the Boston Gazette
, 12 December) and in broadside form (Evans
, No. 13422).