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Committee of Observation and Inspection for Freehold, New-Jersey



Freehold, March 6, 1775.

Although the Committee of Observation and Inspection for the Township of Freehold, in the County of Monmouth, New-Jersey, was constituted early in December last, and the members have statedly and assiduously attended to the business assigned them ever since, yet they have hitherto deferred the publication of their institution, in hopes of the general concurrence of the other Townships in the choice of a new County Committee, when one publication might have served for the whole; but finding some of them have hitherto declined to comply with the recommendation of the General Congress in that respect, and not knowing whether they intend it at all, they judge it highly expedient to transmit the following account to the Press, lest their brethren in distant parts of the Colony should think the County of Monmouth altogether inactive at the present important crisis.

"In pursuance of the recommendation of the Grand Continental Congress, and for the preservation and support of American freedom, a respectable body of the Freeholders, inhabitants of the Township of Freehold, met at Monmouth Court-House, on Saturday, December 10th, 1774, and unanimously elected the following gentlemen to serve as a Committee of Observation and Inspection for the said Town, viz: John Anderson, Esquire, Captain John Covenhoven, Messrs˙ Peter Forman, Hendrick Smock, Asher Holmes, David Forman, and John Forman, Doctor Nathaniel Scudder, and Doctor Thomas Henderson, who were instructed by their constituents to endeavour, to the utmost of their knowledge and power, to carry into execution the several important and salutary measures pointed out to them by the American Congress; and, without favour or affection, to make all such diligent inquiry as shall be found conducive to the accomplishment of the great and necessary purposes held up by them to the attention of America."

At an early meeting of said Committee, a pamphlet, entitled Free Thoughts on the Resolves of the Congress, by A˙ W˙ Farmer, was handed in to them, and their opinion of it asked by a number of their constituents then present. Said pamphlet was then read, and, upon mature deliberation, unanimously declared to be a performance of the most pernicious and malignant tendency; replete with the most specious sophistry, but void of any solid or rational argument; calculated to deceive and mislead the unwary, the ignorant, and the credulous; and designed, no doubt, by the detestable; author, to damp that noble spirit of union, which he sees prevailing all over the Continent, and, if possible, to sap the foundations of American freedom. The pamphlet was afterwards handed back to the people, who immediately bestowed upon it a suit of tar and turkey-buzzard' s feathers; one of the persons concerned in the operation justly observing that although the feathers were plucked from the most stinking fowl in the creation, he thought they fell far short of being a proper emblem of the author' s odiousness to every advocate for true freedom. The same person wished, however, he had the pleasure of fitting him with a suit of the same, materials. The pamphlet was then, in its gorgeous attire, nailed up firmly to the pillory-post, there to remain a monument of the indignation of a free and loyal people against the author and vender of a publication so evidently tending both to subvert the liberties of America, and the Constitution of the British Empire.

At a subsequent meeting of said Committee it was resolved, unanimously, that, on account of sundry publications in the pamphlet way, by James Rivington, Printer, of New-York, and also a variety of weekly productions in his paper, blended, in general with the most glaring falsehoods, disgorged with the most daring effrontery, and all


evidently calculated to disunite the Colonies, and sow the seeds of discord and contention through the whole Continent, they do esteem him a base and malignant enemy to be liberties of this Country, and think he ought justly to be treated as such by all considerate and good men. And they do, for themselves, now publickly declare, (and recommend the same conduct to their constituents,) that they will have no connection with him, the said Rivington, while he continues to retail such dirty, scandalous, and traitorous performances; but hold him in the utmost contempt, as a noxious exotick plant, incapable either of cultivation or improvement in this soil of freedom, and only fit to be transported.

This Committee did early make application to every other Township in the County, recommending the election of Committees; and they soon had information that those of Upper Freehold, Middletown, and Dover, had chosen theirs, and were resolved to enforce the measures of the Congress.

N˙ B˙ A very considerable number of the inhabitants of Freehold have formed themselves into Companies, and chosen Military Instructors, under whose tuition they are making rapid improvement.

Signed by order of the Committee,