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Petition of a Number of Inhabitants of Pownalborough


Monday, December 11, 1775.

Present in Council: Honourables William Sever, Benjamin Greenleaf, Walter Spooner, Caleb Cushing, Joseph Gerrish, John Whetcomb, Jedediah Foster, James Prescott, Eldad Taylor, Benjamin Lincoln, Charles Chauncy, Joseph Palmer, Samuel Holten, Jabez Fisher, Moses Gill, John Taylor, Benjamin White, Esquires.

Petition of a number of the Inhabitants of the Town of Pownalborough, setting forth, "that there is a difference subsisting between the Committee of Inspection for the East Parish and the Committee of Correspondence of this Town, arising from the conduct of Abiel Wood, who the Committee of Inspection have, as we think, justly published as an enemy to this country, and the Committee of Correspondence have endeavoured to make the world believe he is a friend, by publishing him as such; and as we have no reason to think the Committee of Inspection have done wrong, and the dispute, if continued, may be of dangerous consequences, not only to the town, but to the County, we humbly pray that your Honours would take the matter into consideration, and order the said Wood to appear before the Court for trial, and the Committee of Inspection to proriuce their evidence against him, that he may be either acquitted or condemned, and thereby this town may be restored to peace."

In the House of Representatives: Read, and thereupon Ordered, That Mr˙ Wood, Mr˙ Cushing, and Mr˙ Gardner, with such as the honourable Board shall join, be a Committee to consider the same, and report.

In Council: Read, and concurred, and John Taylor and Benjamin White, Esquires, are joined.

The Committee of both Houses, appointed to consider the Petition of the Committee of Inspection for the East part of the Town of Pownalborough, praying the Committee of Correspondence of said town might be called on to answer for their conduct relative to Abiel Wood and Jonathan Williamson, and that they, the said Wood and Williamson, may be removed from that place to prevent their deceiving the people; and the Petition of Roger Smith, and sixteen others, Inhabitants of said town, praying that said Wood and Williamson may be brought before this Court, and that the Committee of Inspection, the petitioners, be called upon to produce their evidences, that justice may be done, and the town thereby restored to peace: Your Committee, on the strictest examination, find this unhappy dispute run very high between the parties, and that many other persons in the County of Lincoln, and, particularly in the Town of Pownalborough, are interested in the event. Said Wood also desires the liberty of producing some evidence to vindicate his character and conduct, which he, at this time, is not possessed of. Therefore, that no unjust method may be taken, and that strict and equal justice may be done, your Committee beg leave to report unanimously, by way of Resolve, viz: that three Justices from the County of Cumberland, viz: David Mitchell, John Lewis, and Nathaniel Purringion, Esquires, or any two of them, be directed to repair to the Town of Pownalborovgh, first notifying the Committee of Inspection, on the East side of the Town of Pownalborough, Abiel Wood, Jonathan Williamson, and the Committee of Correspondence for said town, at least seven days beforehand, of the time, place, and intention of said meeting, by posting up a copy of said Petitions and this Order of Court thereon, at the Court-House, in said Pownalborough; and the said Justices, or either of them, summons all persons to appear before them, who shall be named to them, or either of them, by either of the parties concerned, as evidences in this unhappy dispute, and that the said Justices take the several testimonies, seal them up, transmit them to, and lodge them in the Secretary' s Office by the first Tuesday in February next, and that the parties attend this Court, if they see cause, on the second Tuesday of the next session, for the determination of this Court thereon; and the cost of taking said testimonies shall be paid as the General Court shall hereafter order; and that the Secretary be directed to furnish said Justices with an attested copy of said Petitions and this Order, forthwith.

In Council: Read, and accepted.

In the House of Representatives: Read, and non-concurred, and ordered to be recommitted.

In Council: Read, and concurred, and ordered to be recommitted.