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Gentlemen, The evils which we have long foreseen are now come upon this town and province ...

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GENTLEMEN,

THE evils which we have long forseen are now come upon this town
and province, the long meditated stroke is now given to the civil
liberty of this country? How long we may be allowed the enjoyment
of our religious liberty is a question of infinite moment. Religion
can never be retained in it's purity where tyranny has usurped the place of
reason and justice. The bill for blocking up the harbour of Boston is replete
with injustice and cruelty, thousands of innocent men, besides women and
infants, are by it reduced to the indegence and distress; and though we in this
town more immediately feel this distress, yet our brethren in the other towns
of this province, and all the other colonies, must see that we suffer in the
common cause, and that they themselves must soon realize the suffer-
ings under which we now labour, if no means are discovered for our re-
lief. But if any should think that this town alone is to groan under the
weight of arbitrary power, we are now furnished by our enemies with a
still more glaring evidence of a fixed plan of the British administration
to bring the whole continent into the most humiliating bondage. A
bill has been brought into parliament apparently for the purpose
of taking away our charter rights, wherein it is to be enacted that
the counsellors shall be appointed by mandamus from the king, that our
justices of the superior court, justices of our inferior courts, and justices of
the peace, shall be all appointed by the governor alone, without the advice
of the council, and all of them, excepting the justices of the superior
court be removeable by him at his pleasure, that our juries shall not be
chosen by the freeholders,as they heretofore have been, but by the sheriff
of the county, and that this sheriff shall not be appointed by the gover-
nor and council as heretofore, but by the governor alone, so that
our lives and properties are to be decided upon by judges appointed by
the governor alone, and by juries chosen by a sheriff who must be en-
tirely under the influence of the governor as he is appointed by him, and
is removeable by him alone, whenever he shall discover a reluctance to
conform to the will of the governor. Surely if we suffer these things we are
the most abject slaves. If a favorite of a perverse governor should pretend
a title to our lands, or any other part of our property, we need not doubt
but a very small degree of evidence in support of the claim, would be
judged sufficient, especially as the bill makes provision, that upon the mo-
tion of either of the parties, it shall be lawful to try the cause in another coun-
try than that in which the action was brought, so that a man is to be car-
ried into a distant part of the province, instead of having his cause tried
in his own country, and to be tried by strangers with whom the good or
bad characters of the parties or of the witnesses can have no weight, con-
trary to the very spirit of magna charta. Of what value are our lands or
estates to us, if such an odious government should be established among
us? Can we look with pleasure on the inheritance left by our ancestors,
or on the fields cultivated by our industry? When we reflect that all our
labours have made them only a more inviting prey to our enemies, will
not hte vine-yard of Naboth be ever in our minds? But lest any thing
should be wanting to compleat our misery, another bill is also prepared,
which enables the governor to save any person or persons, who, under


the pretext of supporting or carrying into execution the late or other
acts of the British parliament, shall murder and destroy the people of this
country, from being tried in this province (even if they should be indict-
ed by such grand jurors as shall be chosen by the sheriff of the county in
the same manner that we have mentioned that petty jurors are to be
returned) but the person indicted with such witnesses as he and the pro-
secutor (which will be the crown) shall judge proper, shall be sent to
either of the other colonies, or eve to Great Britain, to be tried for mur-
dering the inhabitants of the Massachusetts-Bay. And provision is also
made to prevent our meeting together in our corporate capacity as
a town, unless it be once in the month of March for the election of the
town officers, except the matter or business of the meeting is laid before
the governor, and his leave in writing is obtained for a meeting of the
town.

There is but one way that we can conceived of, to prevent what is to
be deprecated by all good men, and ought by all possible means to be pre-
vented, viz, The horrors that must follow an open rupture between Great
Britain and her colonies; or on our part, a subjection to absolute sla-
very: And that is by affecting the trade and interest of Great Britain, so
deeply as shall induce her to withdraw her oppressive hand. There can
be no doubt or our succeeding to the utmost or our wishes if we univer-
sally come into a solemn league, not to import goods from Great Britain,
and not to buy any goods that shall hereafter be imported from thence,
until our grievances shall be redressed. To these, or even to the least
of these shameful impositions, we trust in God, our countrymen never
will submit.

We have received such assurances from our brethren in every part of the
province of their readiness to adopt such measures as may be likely to save our
country, that we have not the least doubt of an almost universal agreement
for this purpose; in confidence of this, we have drawn up a form of a
covenant to be subscribed by all adult persons of both sexes; which we
have sent to every town in the province, and that we might not give our
enemies time to counteract us, we have endeavoured that every town
should be furnished with such a copy on or before the fourteenth day of
this month, and we earnestly desire that you would use your utmost en-
deavours that the subscription paper may be filled up as soon as possible,
that so they who are in expectation of over throwing our liberties may
be discouragd from prosecuting their wicked designs; as we look upon
this the last and only method of preserving our land from slavery with-
out drenching it in blood, may God prosper every undertaking which
tends to the salvation oof his people. We are, &c.

Signed by order and in behalf of the
Committee of Correspondence for
Boston.
William Cooper Clerk

BOSTON, JUNE 8, 1774.

From
The Committee of Correspondence
for
Charlestown