Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3
The Bearer is Benjamin Cuzens, a Poor but Honest Man, of this Town, who had two hhd. of Melasss. pasing from Bedford to this Town, was siezed by
your the Committe of Attlebury, and has ben Unjustly held from him for About two months past and he being Informd it was to be reported at your Taunton Court this day and a Stranger at Taunton Apply’d to me for Direction in the Matter. As I am knowing to your Principles of Justice and Zeal to Oppose every appearance of Arbitrary & Unjust Measure. Have recomended him to you for Assissance as an Attorney to see him righted. I am Sertainly know’g to sum of the Attlebury Committe having a Wicked design of Depriving people of there Just property under pretents of having Law of there side, and at the same Time Igorant of there own State Laws, willing to take all advantages of Others. I was Consern’d in Three Vessels to Phia: for Flour 2 out of 3, was taken. In the Other I had a parcel of Flour though the graitest Chance amaginable of being taken & Escapeing Landed my flour at Nantucket from whence part of it was brot to Bedford & in Casting through to this State had 20 bbls. Seiz’d in Attlebury Abot. two months Ago, wch. suppose is now sour & spoilt. I once made personal application to the for Chearman, and wrote twice besides to the Committe, but have not ben Able as yet to get it from them. There pretents now is, that I did not make oath within 30 Days According to Your Laws, and they Acknowledge they had no knowledge of your States Act for Allowing any of the Other States people to bring any Goods though your State and never till within a few days Requird any Oath about it. However to prevent there holding my Goods so very unjustly have made Oath to the 387property of the flour but they still demand of me to pay there Cost. I could wish Any way Could be formd that I Could make them pay for there unjust Intention. My flour I sold, or permitted the Carters Sell & supply the peop make amply Satisfy you or if any way to punish them should be glad to do it. Though I Thing our wont of Emnity abroad for bid all Diputes amongst. our selves in the Country. I am Hond. Sr. Your most Esteamd. Humle. Servt.
I wrote you sum days ago at the request of Mr. Benja: Cuzens, who went on purpose to see you at Taunton on Monday last, But you did not happen to be at home. The Letr. refer’d to if you have recd: it, will give you sum hint of 2 hhds. Melass. belonging to sd. Cuzens, & 20 bbls. flour belonging to me all wch. was siez’d by the Comte: of Attlebury as it was bringing from Bedford to this Town. We have both Made proof on Oath of the Property, & delvd. it to the Chairman of sd. Comte. Since Cuzens returned from Taunton we have ben Inform’d, sd. Comte. reported the Goods to Court, and are Determined to Injure us all they Can by way of Expense if they Cant get it Condemned to them, as they have sd. they thought the flour not worth my Attention at Court & that Cuzens being a poor man they Could Manage at Pleasure.
I think Sr. this Comte. have Acted a very Strange & Suspissious part, & appear to me to have a Wicked design of holding the Goods. For I my self, after Sum time found the Boston papers wch. Contained the Act Allowing us to Transport Goods thro’ your State &c. and presented to the Comte. of Rehobath sum time ago who on sight of it (as they say’d they had no knowledge of sd. Act before) give up a parcel of Flour & other Goods they had seiz’d. Afterwards I sent sd. Act to the Comte. of Attlebury, and they also 388Declar’d they had no knowledge of it but still pretend they have found sumthing by wch. we are lyable wch. is an Oath we was to give in According to sd. Act within 30 Days of the Siezour—which we Could have done in season if we had not Intrusted them with the Law which they did not return us According to promise for want of wch. we have Overrun the Time. I hope your Courts will not suffer the People of these neighbouring States to be Tricked out of there Just property by such Ignorant Designing men.
Pray Sir is there no way to get Satisfaction for this sort of Treatment; if there is, by Law, we shall be glad to Imploy you to get Justice done us & to Punish those Persons. But we are Informed they give out that you had Undertaken for them & Enterd the Information to your Court &c. Nevertheless I am fully perswaded from your well known Charactor, That you will not ingage to support Such Wicked & Designing men. Your Assistance to Mr. Cuzens (as the 2 hhds. Melasss. is of much Importance to him) will not only Tend to Save the Credit of your Whole state but much Oblige him who is needy, and your very Esteem’d Humle. Servt.
P.S. This is the Same flour wch. I mention in a Letr. to Brother John Brown while in Boston, sum time ago & wch. he then gave you Sum notice about. I doubt not but the flour by this Time is much Damaged, and not near the Value it wod be if Good & Sweet for wch. the Holders of it ought to make Good at least the Damagable.