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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 2

Address to Gov. Thomas Gage
Massachusetts House of Representatives Gage, Thomas
June 14–30, 1774

On Thursday last the following Address1 from the Justices of his Majesty's Court of General Sessions of the Peace and Inferior Court of Common Pleas for the County of Bristol, was presented to his Excellency THOMAS GAGE, Esq; Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over this Province.

May it please your EXCELLENCY, The Justices of his Majesty's Courts of General Sessions of the Peace and Inferior Court of common Pleas for the County of Bristol, beg leave to embrace this first Opportunity of presenting to your Excellency their dutiful Respects on your Appointment to the Chair of this Government, of congratulating you on your safe Arrival, and expressing their Loyalty to our most gracious Sovereign.

When we find a Gentleman possessed of such Abilities and amiable Qualifications appointed to the chief Command among us, it gives us Occasion to hope that your Excellency will remove such Calamities from this People as lay in your Power, and alleviate such as you cannot prevent.

It is our most sincere desire and hopes that your Excellency's Administration of this Government may redound to the Honor of the Crown, your own Reputation and the Prosperity of this People, that you may be a happy Instrument in the Hand of Providence of relieving us from the Distresses we now endure, and establishing the much desired Harmony between Great Britain and this Colony; and we assure your Excellency that nothing shall be wanting in our Department to produce these valuable Effects.


Gentlemen, I Beg you to receive my sincere Acknowledgments for your kind Address, on my Advancement to the Chair of this Government. Nothing is more to be lamented, than the unhappy Differences subsisting betwixt Great Britain and the Colony, and as it shall be my Study to effect a Reconciliation, and repair the Breach, so I am to hope, the People in general will give me their Assistance in it, and not make it wider by new Excesses and Provocations.

You are called upon as Magistrates, and I doubt not equally led by Inclination,541 as Duty, to keep Peace and good Order, and prevent the People being misled by the various Falsehoods daily spread abroad, to intimidate and deceive them.

Printed in The Massachusetts Gazette: and the Boston Weekly News-Letter, July 7, 1774.


RTP and Col. George Leonard were among the committee appointed by the Bristol Co. court to write an address of welcome to Governor Gage. As RTP noted in his "Narrative of Proceedings of General Court 1774" [After April 20, 1795] (printed below), the address "by the desire of the Committee was drafted by Mr. Paine, on principles of political politeness & consistency as the State of Government then was."