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Address of the Committee to Lieutenant-Governour Colden


To the Honourable CADWALLADER COLDEN, Esquire, Lieutenant-Governour and Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty' s Colony of NEW-YORK, and the Territories thereon depending, in AMERICA, &c˙:

The Humble ADDRESS of the General Committee of Association for the City and County of NEW-YORK:

May it please your Honour:

It frequently happens, under every form of Government, that the measures of Administration excite the just jealousies of the people, and that the same measures pursued divest them of all confidence in those in whose hands the ordinary executive powers are lodged. In such a state of things it is natural for the people to cast their eyes upon those of their fellow sufferers on whose abilities and integrity they can rely, and to ask their advice and direction for the preservation of all that is, dear and valuable to them.

That such is the frame and temper of our inhabitants, you have had the fullest opportunity to know in the course of that residence with which you have lately honoured us.

This City and County, as well as the rest of the Colony, have exercised the greatest patience in waiting, though in vain, for a redress of the many unconstitutional and oppressive burdens under which this whole Continent has groaned for several years past. To their inexpressible grief they have found that the most dutiful applications for redress have not only been rejected, but have been answered by reiterated violations of their rights.

You cannot, therefore, wonder, Sir, that at this most interesting crisis, when their all is at stake, and when, under the authority of Administration, the sword has been drawn, though unsuccessfully, against their brethren of the Massachusetts, for asserting those invaluable rights which are the common inheritance of Britons and Americans, that the City and County of New- York have proceeded to associate in the common cause, and to the election of a Committee and Delegates in Congress, to represent them in their claims, and to direct their counsels and conduct for the preservation of those inestimable privileges to which the great Creator, the order of their being as rational creatures, and our happy Constitution, have given them an undoubted title.

To this important end they have unanimously invested us, their Committee, with a trust, which we are determined, with the best of our abilities and most faithfully to discharge; and in the execution of which we think it our indispensable duty to declare:

That our constituents, while they cheerfully yield that the Legislature of the Parent State may make provisions in their nature merely calculated to regulate the Trade of the Empire; yet they claim as their indefeisible birthright a total exemption from all taxes, internal and external, by authority of Parliament, and from every aid to the Crown, but on royal requisitions to their Representatives in Assembly, constitutionally convened, and freely deliberating and determining upon every such requisition.

That they never can, nor will submit to the establishment of unconstitutional admiralty jurisdictions; but will ever regard them as engines that may be employed for the most tyrannical purposes.

That they are determined never to part with their precious, and lately invaded right, of trial by peers of their vicinage, in any case whatsoever.

That they look with the utmost dread on every expedient by authority of Parliament, or otherwise, that may tend to secure from condign punishment offenders against


the most essential rights of human nature, by removing them for their trial to places distant from the scene of perpetration, at the discretion of a Governour or Commander-in-Chief.

That they esteem, and therefore will by every lawful means oppose the late oppressive restraints upon Commerce, as subversive in their nature of the liberties of America.

That they regard the hostile blockade of the Port of Boston, the attack upon the venerable Charter rights of the Massachusetts, the extension of the bounds of Quebeck, the establishment of Popery and an arbitrary form of Government in that Province, and the exclusive privileges virtually given to it in the Indian trade, as so many steps of an ill-judging Administration, that most eminently endanger the liberty and prosperity of the whole Empire.

That they view with inexpressible horrour, the bloody standard erected in the Eastern parts of the confederated Colonies, and feel, as in their own bodies, every stroke which their brave compatriots have received from the hand of their fellow-subjects cruelly and unnaturally armed against them by mistaken ministerial severity.

In short, that they are determined to equip themselves for maintaining, with successful bravery and resolution, the unquestionable rights of Englishmen.

Permit us at the same time, Sir, to assure you in their behalf, that though they are arming with great diligence and industry, it is not with design to oppose, but to strengthen Government in the due exercise of constitutional authority. It is to be in a state of readiness to repel every lawless attack by our superiours, and to prevent the anarchy and confusion to which ministerial misconduct has evidently paved the way. It is to defend the liberties of the subject, and to enable your Honour, and those in office under you, efficaciously to administer the just Government of this Colony.

Your Honour cannot but see the sudden transition of the inhabitants of this Capital from a state of tumult, occasioned by hostilities committed against their brethren, to tranquillity and good order, as the consequence of our appointment. It is our ardent wish, Sir, that the same tranquillity and good order may be permanent. We look forward, therefore, with deep concern at the expected arrival of Troops from Great Britain; an event that will probably be attended with innumerable mischiefs. Their presence will doubtless revive the resentment of our inhabitants at the repeatedly avowed designs of subjugating the Colonies by military force. Mutual jealousies may break out into reciprocal violence. Thousands will, in that case, be poured in upon us from our other Counties and the neighbouring Colonies, who, we are well assured, have resolved to prevent this City from being reduced to the present situation of Boston. Thus, instead of being a secure garrison-town and place of arms, as is vainly expected by some, the streets of New-York may be deluged with blood. Such a destructive evil, we are well assured, your Honour will do every thing in your power to avert. Permit us then, Sir, to beseech you to apply to Great Britain for orders that such Troops as may arrive from Great Britain or Ireland do not land or encamp in this City and County; and in case of their arrival before your Honour shall receive the General' s answer, to solicit their commanding officer to the same purpose.

Give us leave, Sir, to conclude by assuring you, that we are determined to improve that confidence with which the people have honoured us, in strengthening the hands of the civil Magistrate, in every lawful measure calculated to promote the peace and just rule of this Metropolis, and consistent with that jealous attention which, above all things, we are bound to pay to the violated rights of America.

We are, Sir, with the greatest respect, your Honour' s most obedient and humble servants.

Ordered unanimously by the Committee:

HENRY REMSEN, D˙ Chairman.

New-York, May 11, 1775.