Boston July 13th: 1770


It affords very great Satisfaction to the Town of
Boston to find that the Narrative of the horrid Massacre perpetrated
here on the 5th: of March last which was transmitted to London, has had
the desired effect; by establishing truth in the Minds of honest Men, and
in some Measure preventing the Odium being cast on the Inhabitants,
as the Aggressors in it. We were very apprehensive that all
attempts would be made to gain this Advantage against us: and as
there is [no r ]eason to think, that the Malice of our Enemies is in th [e]
least degree abated, it has been thought necessary that our friends on
your side the Water, should have a true State of the Circumstances of
the Town, and of every thing which has Materially occured, since
the removal of the Troops to the Castle. For this purpose we
are appointed a Committee: But the time will not admit of our
writing so fully by this Conveyance, as we intend by the next,
in the mean time we intreat your further friendship for the
Town, in your Endeavours to get the Judgment of the Public
Suspended, upon any Representation that may have been made by the
Commissioners of the Customs and others, until the Town can have the
Opportunity of knowing what is alleged against it, and of answering
for itself. We must confess that we are astonished to hear that the
Parliament had come to a determination, to admit Garbled extracts
from such Letters as may be received from America by Administration
and to Conceal the Names of the Persons who may be the Writers of
them. This will certainly give great Encouragement to Persons of
wicked Intentions to Abuse the Nations to abuse the Nation & injure
the Colonies in the grossest manner with Impunity, or even without
detection. For a Confirmation hereof we need to recur no further
back than a few Months, when undoubtedly the Accounts & Letters

Carried by M. Robson would have been attended with very Unhappy
if not fatal effects, had not this Town been so attentive as to have
Contradicted those false Accounts by the depositions of many credible persons
under Oath, But it cannot be supposed that a Community will be so
Attentive but upon the most Alarming Events: In general Individuals are
following their private Concerns; while it is to be feared, the Restless –
Adversaries are forming the most dangerous Plans for the Ruin of
the Reputation of the People, in order to build their own Greatness on
the Distruction of their liberties – This Game they have been long
playing; and tho' in some few instances they have had a loosing hand,
yet they have commonly Managed with such Art, that they have
so far succeeded in their Malicious designs as to [involve] the Nation [and]
the Colonies in Confusion and distress. This it is presumed they never
could have accomplished had not those very letters been kept from the
View of the Public, with a design perhaps to Conceal the falshood of
them the discovery of which would have prevented their having any
mischievous Effects. This is the Game which we have reason to believe
they are now playing; With so much Secrecy as may render it
impossible for us fully to detect them on this Side of the Water; How
deplorable then must be our Condition, if Ample Credit is to be given
to their Testimonies against us, by the Government at home, and if
the Names of our Accusers are to be kept a profound Secret, and the
World is to see only such parts or parcells of their Representations as
Persons, who perhaps may be interested in their favor, shall think
proper to hold up – such a Conduct, if allowed, seems to put it into
the Power of a Combination of a few designing Men to deceive a Nation
to its' Ruin. The Measures which have been taken in Consequence
of Intelligence Managed with such Secrecy, have already to a very
great degree lessened that Mutual Confidence which had ever
Subsisted between the Mother Country and the Colonies, and must
in the Natural Course of things totally alienate their Affections
towards each other and Consequently weaken, and in the End destroy
the power of the Empire. It is in this extended View of things that
our Minds are affected – It is from those Apprehensions that
    we we earnestly wish that all Communication between the two Countries
of a public Nature may be unvailed before the public. With the
Names of the persons who are Concerned therein. then and not till
then will American Affairs be under the direction of honest Men,
who are never affraid or Ashamed of the light. And as we have
abundent Reason to be jealous that the most mischievous and
virulent Accounts have been lately sent to Administration
from Castle William*, we earnestly intreat that you would use
your utmost influence to have an Order passed that the whole of
the packetts sent by the Commissions of the Customs and others under
the care [of] one Mr. Bacon late an Officer of the Customs in
Virginia, who took his passage the last Week in the Brigantin [e]
Lydia Joseph Wood Commander may be laid before his Majesty
in Council – If the Writers of those Letters shall appear to be
innocent, no harm can possibly arise from such a Measure;
if otherwise, it may be the Means of explaining the true Cause
of the National and Collonial Malady, and of affording an
easy Remedy, and therefore the Meaure must be justified &
applauded by all the World. –

We have observed in the English Papers, that the most
notorious falsehoods published with an apparent design to give the World
a prejudice against this Town, as the Aggressions in the unhappy
Transaction of the 5th: of March, but no account has been more
repugnant to the truth, than a paper printed in the public

[This text runs up the left side of the page in the margin] * where the Commissioners have again retreated for no reason that we can conceive but after their former manner
to misrepresent and injure this To [wn] & Province.–

Advertiser of the 20th: of April which is called the Case of Capt.
Preston, As a Committee of this Town We thought ourselves
bound in faithfulness to wait in Capt. Preston to enquire of him
whether he was the Author – he frankly told us that he had
drawn a State of his Case, but that it had passed thro'. different
hands and was altered at different times, and finally the Publication in the Advertiserwas varients
with from that which he sent home as his own, We then desired him to
let us know whether several parts which we might point to him
and to which we took exception were his own, but he declined
Satisfying us herein, saying tha the Alterations were made by
Persons who he supposed might Aim at Serving him, though
he feared they might have a Contrary effect, and that his
discriminating to us the parts of it which were his own from
those which had been altered by the others might displease his
friends at a time when he might stand in need of their
essential Service, this was Substance of the Conversation
between us, whereupon we retired and wrote to Capt. Preston
a Letter the Copy of which is now inclosed.

The next day not receiving an Answer from Capt. Preston
at the time we proposed, we sent him a Message desiring to
be informed whether we might expect his Answer to which
he replyed by a Verbal Message as ours was that he had
nothing further to add to what he had said to us Yesterday
the day before, as you'l please to observe by the inclosed

As therefore Capt: Preston has utterly declined to
make good the Charges against the Town in the Paper
called his Case or to let us know to whom we may
apply as the Author or Authors of those parts which he
might have disclaimed, and especially as the whole of

his Case thus State directly Militates not only with his own
Letter published under his hand in the Boston Gazette, but
with the depositions of others annexed to our Narrative which
were taken, not behind the Curtain as some may have been,
but openly and fairly; after notifying the Parties interested,
and before Magistrates to whose Credit the Governor of the
Province has given his full Attestation under the Province Seal,
we cannot think that the Papers called the Case of Capt. Thomas
Preston, or any other Paper of the like import can be deemed
in the opinion of the Terrible and impartial part of Mankind
as Sufficient, in the least degree to prejudice the Character
of the Town. It is therefore altogether needless for us to
point out the many falsehoods contained in this Paper; nor
indeed would there be time for it at present for the reason
above mentioned – We cannot however omit taking Notice
of the Artifice made use of by those who drew up the Statement
in insinuating that it was the design of the People to plunder
the Kings Chest; and for the more easily effecting that to
Murder the Centinel posted at the Custom House where the
Money was lodged. This intelligence is said to have been
brought to Capt. Preston by a Townsman, who assured him
that he heard the Mob declare they would Murder the
Centinel. – the Townsman probably was one
Greenwood a Servant to the Commissioners whose deposition
Number 96. is inserted among others in the Narrative of the
Town and of whom it is observed in a Marginal Note that.
"Thr'ough the whole of his examination he was so incon-
-sistent, and so frequently Contradicted himself, that all
"present were Convinced that no Credit out to be given to
    his"his deposition, for which reason it would not have been
"inserted had it not been known that a deposition was taken
"relating to this affair, from this Greenwood by Justice Murray
"and carried home by Mr. Robinson," and further "this deponent
"is the only person, out of a great Number of Witness examined,
"who heard any thing mentioned of the Custom house." Whether
this part of the Case of Capt: Preston was inserted by himself or
some other person we are not told: It is very much to be questioned
whether the information was given by any other than Greenwood
himself, and the Sort of Character which he bears is so we [ll]
known to the Commissioners and their Connections some of whom
probably assisted Capt: Preston is Stating his Case, as to have
made them ashamed if they regarded the truth, to have given
the least credit to what he said. – Whoever may have helped
them to this intelligence, we will venture to say, that it never
has been and never can be supported by the Testimony of any
Man of a tolerable reputation. We shall only observe upon this
occasion, how inveterate our Enemies here are, who, rather than
omit what they might think a lucky opportunity of Slandering
the Town, have wrought up a Narrative not only unsupported by,
by Contrary to the Clearest evidence of facts and have even
prevailed upon an unhappy Man under pretence of friendship
of to him, to adopt it as his own: Though they must have known
with a common share of understanding, that it's being published
to the world as his own, must have injured him, under his
present Circumstances, in the most tender point, and so shoked
was Capt: Preston himself, at its appearing in the light on this
side of the Water, that he was immediately apprehensive
so glaring a falsehood would raise the indignation of a
    people people to such a pitch as to prompt them to some Attempts
that would be dangerous to him, and he accordingly applyed
to Mr. Sheriff Greenleaf for special protection on that Account:
But the Sheriff assuring him there was no such disposition
appearing among the People (which is an undoubted truth) Capt.
Preston s fears at length Subsided: And he still remains in safe
Custody, to be tried by the Superior Count of Judicature, at the next
term in August; unless the Judges shall think proper further
to postpone the Trial, as they have done for one whole term, since
he was indicted by the Grand Jury.

Before we conclude it may not be improper to obser [ve]
that the removal of the troops was in the Slowest order, insomuc [h]
that eleven days were spent in Carrying the two Regiments to
Castle Island, which had before landed in the Town in less
than forty eight hours; yet in all this time, while the number
of the Troops was daily lessoning, not the least disorder was
made by the inhabitants, tho' filled with a just indigna-
-tion and horror at the blood of their fellow Citizens So
inhumanly Spilt! And since their removal the Common
Soldiers, have frequently and even daily come up to the Town
for necessary provisions, and some of the officers, as well as
several of the families of the Soliders have resided in the To [wn]
and done business therein without the least Molestation: yet
so hardy have our Enemies been as to report in London that
the enraged populace had hanged up Capt: Preston.

The strange and irreconcileable conduct of the
Commissioners of the Customs since the 5th: of March.–
their applying for leave to retire to the Castle so early
as the tenth, and spending their time in making excursions

into the Country 'till the 20th: of June following, together
with other material Circumstances, are the Subject of our
present enquiry; the result of which you will be made
acquainted with by the next Conveyance. In the mean
time we remain with strict truth.

Your much Obliged
and most Obedient Servants
Thomas Cushing
R Dana
Saml Adams
John Hancock
Wm: Phillips
WMolineux x x
Ebenezer Storer
Wm Greenleaf

Benjamin Franklin Esq

[These xx's refer to Molineux's name in the list of signers.] x x Molineux

Comtee of Boston about
abuse of ye Town in England