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Letter from the Selectmen of the town of Minden to the Massachusetts Council



Minden, August 20, 1776.

SIR: Soon after the arrival of the Scotch officers at this town, pursuant to the order of the honourable Board, we wrote a few lines to your Honour, requesting a solution of certain questions relative to the manner of conducting ourselves with regard to said officers and their servants. One of the Selectmen was ordered to sign said letter in the name of the rest, but it seems inadvertently omitted it, which we suppose might be the reason of our not being favoured with an answer; and, by way of excuse, we must say, that we were not apprized of the above-mentioned omission (at least most of us) till a few hours ago. And as the same difficulties still remain on our minds, we are under a necessity of troubling your Honour with another epistle on the subject.

As we observed in our former letter, two large roads pass through this town, one of which leads from Worcester to Providence, Rhode Island, and the other from New York and Connecticut to Boston. The latter of these has for many years been called the Middle Post Road. Now, these officers (at least some of them) are desirous of boarding in the centre of the town, where these great roads intersect each other; the Selectmen are not willing to gratify them in this respect, thinking it would not be altogether agreeable to the spirit of the resolves of Congress. The officers take it as an abridgement of the liberty granted them, and insist that they have a right to board where they like in any part of the town. We beg to be instructed in this matter.

Another difficulty has arisen with regard to these officers' servants or waiters; they have brought five men servants and two women, wives, they say, of two of the men servants. The resolve of Congress makes no provision for servants; nor did your Honour mention anything concerning them in your letter to the Selectmen. The officers refuse to pay for their board; and we cannot find any one willing to trust to any pay. A difference having arisen between one of said officers and his servant, the officer has left the house where he used to board, and he left his servant behind, refusing to pay his board; the entertainer, to secure his pay, detains the officer' s trunk and part of his clothing. We must entreat your Honour to explain our duty to us in these matters.

We are, with great respect, your Honour' s most obedient, humble servants.

In the name and by the order of the Selectmen of the Town of Minden: