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To the Respectable Publick



New-York, April 30, 1775.

Johannes Sleght, Chairman of the Committee of Ulster County, has published me as an enemy to my Country for selling Tea, in which is set forth, that all the Merchants and Skippers had signed articles, in which they agreed not to sell Tea. This is absolutely false, for there are more which have not signed for the very reasons I had, and the Committee knew that they had not all signed at the time of publishing this piece of malice. It is known in Kingston, that I was for maintaining the Association, and that I offered to sign the third article, which I would abide by, but that the Committee would not agree to it; moreover, that the Committee in New-York had determined that no Tea should be sold, and that I would quit selling it. It was reported by one of the members of the Committee, on the day of meeting, that he had purchased Tea at my house. Johannes Sleght continued drinking Tea after the 1st of March, in direct violation of the Association; and John Beckman did confess at the meeting, that he had a quantity of Tea, and intended that it should be made use of in his family, contrary to the Association. This I could not but consider as a great piece of chicanery, that the sale of Tea should be prohibited, and others declare that they would continue to use it in their families, when the Association expressly mentions, that they shall not purchase nor use it. I told those gentlemen that I would refer the matter to the consideration of the Committee at New-York, and would firmly adhere to their explanation of the third article of the Association, which I must confess I did not think prohibited the selling of Tea, and that the Non-Consumption Agreement was only intended to preserve the Non-Importation Agreement. The report that I am unfriendly to the cause of liberty, and had given an affront to the Committee of New-York, is a most villanous falsehood. And as it is agreed upon by the well wishers of American liberty, not to purchase nor use any Tea in their families, I am determined to abide by such their agreement.