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Providence (Rhode-Island) Committee



At a meeting of the Committee of Inspection of the several Towns in the County of Providence, at Providence, on Friday, the 6th of October, 1775:

Whereas there has been great suspicion among the inhabitants in this County, as well as in the Towns of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay, that our cruel and unnatural enemies, from time to time, receive supplies of butter, cheese, and other provisions, by reason of the large quantities carried to the Town of Newport, &c˙, under pretence of supplying that place, Nantucket, &c. And whereas, whilst it is our duty to have our friends, wherever they may be, reasonably supplied, it is equally our duty to prevent our enemies from receiving succours of any kind. It is therefore the opinion of this Committee, that no Butter, Cheese, or any other articles of Provisions, be hereafter transported, either by land or water, to Rhode-Island, except under the following regulations, viz:

Those persons who may have the beforementioned articles to dispose of, shall, before they proceed to market,


procure a certificate or certificates from the Committees of the respective places where such articles are laden, of the quantities of each article they may carry, and that they are persons friendly to the cause of American freedom, which shall serve as a pass through the respective Towns to the market: and provided that the said Provisions are destined for Rhode-Island, that they carry the same, together with the certificate, to John Collins, Esquire, Chairman of the Committee of Inspection in the Town of Newport, or to some person by him to be appointed; whereupon, they may dispose of their Butter or other articles, to such persons as the said John Collins, or his substitute, may recommend to be friends to their Country, and to none other. And upon their return from the market they shall deliver certificates, signed by the said John Collins, Esq˙, or his substitute, as aforesaid, of the quantity disposed of, and to whom, unto such persons from whom they received their certificates; and the same shall discharge them from all cause of suspicion with their Town and countrymen. And all persons travelling with Butter, Cheese, &c˙, in any considerable quantities, without such certificate and certificates, shall be liable to be detained, and their goods, &c˙, stopped, until, at their expense, such certificates are procured, or until the order of the Committee of Inspection of such District where the same may be stopped, be taken thereupon.

And whereas the honourable General Assembly of the Massachusetts-Bay have taken particular order with respect to the transportation of Provisions to Nantucket; and it is altogether unnecessary, and may be very prejudicial, to attempt to supply that island from any part of this Colony, by water; therefore, it is

Resolved, That no Provisions of any kind be suffered to pass through any sea-port Town of this Colony, under pretence of sending them to Nantucket; but all such Provisions shall be stopped, until the matter may be inquired into by the Committee of Inspection of the District where they may be stopped, and such order taken thereon as they shall see fit.

Resolved, That all persons who shall endeavour to elude these Resolutions, or in anywise counteract them, shall, upon conviction, have their names published in the Newspapers, in order that they may be avoided, as enemies to their Country.

Voted. That the above and foregoing Resolutions be immediately printed in the Providence Gazette.

Voted, That Captain Solomon Owen, Messrs˙ John Brown, Joseph Russell, Job Manchester, and Noah Mathewson, be a Committee to receive any complaints that may be exhibited to them, and lay the same before this Committee at their next meeting, which stands adjourned to the house of the Widow Waterman, in Smithfield, on the second Tuesday in November next, at ten o' clock, A˙ M.

Whereas there have been many complaints of such as are venders of Goods and Merchandise in this County, for selling them at higher prices than settled by the Association Agreement of the Continental Congress, under pretence of buying them at a higher rate, which we deem a breach and violation of said Association: We do hereby forewarn all persons from selling any Goods at a higher price than they were usually sold at before said Association took place, on any pretence whatever, as they will thereby incur the just censure of this Committee; and their names will be published to the world accordingly.

Clerk of the County Committee.