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To Mr. Rivington


New-York, April 19, 1775.

Mr˙ RIVINGTON: Be pleased to insert the following in your Paper, and if any person conceives himself injured by any thing contained in it, the facts shall be publicity proved by the most unexceptionable evidence.

That the tranquility of this City and Province has long given great umbrage to a set of folks among us, must have been evident from the frequent buzzings of these little harmless insects, who have at length made a feeble essay to sting as well as make a noise. Sensible that in a calm they must grovel in the dirt, they have tried to raise a storm, by which they hope to be elevated into notice.

On Wednesday, the 5th instant, the Committee of Inspection published an advertisement, in which they declare, with respect to Nails, "That though the manufactures which have been since (the last non-importation) established, will supply more than sufficient for our own consumption, we apprehend it would be imprudent thus rashly to part with what we have in store; especially as this sudden exportation has given just grounds for sufficient alarm."

No sooner did this notice appear in publick, than a certain set, in consequence of it, (the direction being to the respectable inhabitants,) assembled first at Philips' s Beerhouse, next at Bardin' s, then at the Liberty Pole, and lastly, at Van Der Water' s; at which several meetings (tremble, Lord North, and be dismayed, ye Tories!) Mr˙ Marinus Willet, and Mr˙ John Lamb, were Chairmen.

Having despatched the poor Usticks, by a vote that they were foes, to their Country, entered into upon the motion of Mr˙ James Alner, a new and important subject arose for debate. It was suggested that Mr˙ Ralph Thurman had been employed in packing Straw, and Mr˙ Robert Harding, in purchasing Boards, to be sent to Boston. This was a heinous crime; and a Committee was ordered, from the body assembled on the — instant, to wait on those two traitors to their Country. Mr˙ Harding was out, so that he was spared for that night; but, unfortunately, his daughter was at home, and, terrified at the formidable appearance, fell into fits. This, however, was a trifling consideration to men engaged in the cause of liberty. Mr˙ Thurman, it seems, was so obstinate, and such an inveterate foe to his Country, that he presumed to call in question the power of this body to interfere with his private affairs. Unpardonable impudence!

At this meeting, which was duly notified, very few attended; but although Captain Sears complained that he was deserted while he was engaged in the grand cause, yet ' tis evident that fortune conspired to make his glory the more conspicuous, as if determined that none should deprive him of the honour of a motion he made, which was, that "every man should provide himself with four-and-twenty rounds."

Another meeting, however, was, by adjournment, fixed upon for Saturday, the 15th instant, at the Liberty Pole. Meanwhile, complaint being made of these proceedings, as disorderly and a breach of law, the Magistrates issued a warrant against Captain Sears; he was apprehended and carried before the Mayor. Bail was demanded, but this being a violation of liberty, was refused. A mittimus was therefore issued, and the illustrious prisoner carried towards the Jail. But this was the height of arbitrary power; the very quintessence of toryism; and as it would doubtless have given Lord North great pleasure, it was not to be endured; the Captain was therefore set at liberty from the ofiicers of justice, and led in triumph through the Town. Accompanied by a number of his friends, with colours flying, the Captain proceeded through the Fly, Wall-street, and Broadway, to the Liberty Pole. Among those who were near him, were Mr˙ Ivers, Mr˙ Alner, Mr˙ Richard Livingston, and Mr˙ Roorbach.

At six o' clock, the Captain, attended with a large crowd, mounted a rostrum prepared for him in the Fields, from whence, like the Devil in Milton, "By merit, raised to that bad eminence," he opened the business by a circumstantial recapitulation of facts, of which his own merit, the good he had done, and the evils he had averted, made a considerable part. At length, the following question was put:


"Whether a Son of Liberty ought to give bail or not?" which was carried in the negative. This occasioned three huzzas, in which Captain Alexander McDougall, who was near Captain Sears, bore no small part. It should not be omitted, that when Captain Sears had done, Mr˙ Pardon Burlingham mounted the stage, and harangued the people, and recommended going to the delinquents for satisfaction.

From the Fields they repaired to Thurman' s and Hardings, and endeavoured to extort confessions from them that they had done wrong, and to prevail on them to ask pardon. These gentlemen refused both; insisting, that as they had been guilty of no violation of any law, agreement, or association, they would sooner die than ask pardon.

For fear of being too prolix, I shall omit the exploit to Turtle-Bay, the march to the Transport, in the North River, in consequence of which she was cut off from the wharf, and the huzzaing through the town, and cry of no boards! at the Albany Pier, which being on the evening of Captain Lawrence' s arrival, doubtless proceeded from their joy on the good tidings he brought, and is a mark of their gratitude, and a proof that they are actuated by nothing but the pure dictates of liberty.

The above contains a narrative of the transactions which have disturbed the Town for a fortnight past, and which I desire, Mr˙ Rivington, you will not omit inserting in your paper; for while the most seditious and inflammatory papers are daily published, tending to alienate the minds of the people from our gracious King, (one of which is now circulating about the City, and read with avidity by those who have proscribed your paper, because some of your correspondents presume to think, and write for themselves.) a customer claims it as a right to hold up these matters to the publick. While we are determined to contend against the tyranny of the British Parliament and Ministry, let us not establish the sway of a mob, which includes despotism, the most cruel and severe of all others. Many fellow-citizens have been deluded by the cry of liberty, which has been held up to them as the reason for these violences. They are now undeceived; but so daring a violation of the good order and police of the City, so flagitious an insult on Magistracy, and contempt of the laws, ought not to be passed over with impunity; for let us remember, that the restraints of the law are the security of liberty.




* The Packet Earl of Dunmore, Captain Lawrence, arrived at New-York on Tuesday, April 11, 1775. By this Vessel was received the London Gazette of February 11, containing the Address of the two Houses of Parliament to the King, adopted on the 7th, and presented to the King on the 9th of February.