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Declaration of Marblehead


A Declaration of MARBLEHEAD, relative to the Address from sundry Inhabitants of the town to Governour HUTCHINSON.

Be it known to the whole world, its present generation, and every future one:

That the town of Marblehead now legally assembled, pursuant to appointment, taking into consideration an Address which appeared in the last Essex Gazette, from sundry inhabitants of this town, to the late Governour Hutchinson is clearly of opinion,

1st. That as the Address did originate since the commencement of this meeting, and as the warrant for the meeting enabled the inhabitants to take any suitable steps upon the present critical situation of public affairs, whether by addressing instructions, or otherwise, the Addressers, by the secret and clandestine manner in which they have conducted this Address, have manifested a disposition to destroy the harmony of the town in its public affairs, and thus planted the seeds of dissensions, animosities and discords.

2d. That a public address to a person just leaving a high and public office in the Province, who is not only neglected by the two honourable branches of the present Legislature of it, but has likewise been censured by both Houses of a former Assembly as an inveterate enemy to the liberties of the Province, is such an indignity offered to those branches of the Government, as this town is in duty and gratitude bound to bear testimony against; more especially as it conceives itself under lasting obligations to them for their steady and virtuous attachment to the liberties and true interest of the Province, which they have strenuously contended for.

3d. That the Addressers have, to the utmost of their power, strengthened the hands of a subtle enemy to the Province by their Address; and this instrument, although but a fantastical shadow of public respect, will be naturally improved by Mr˙ Hutchinson to justify his own conduct, and raise, still higher the prejudices which so unjustly rage against this injured Province and Continent.

4th. That the Address aforesaid is not only in substance exceptionable, but insulting and affrontive to this town; as the Addressers, first say to Mr˙ Hutchinson, "In your public administration we are fully convinced that the general good was the mark you ever aimed at," (which, however, this town could never believe, and having been fully convinced of the contrary, hath publicly declared it.) And then they go on to assert, that this, their sentiment, is likewise the opinion of all "dispassionate thinking men within the circle of their observation, notwithstanding many publications would have taught the world to think the contrary." By which paragraph this town conceives that the Addressers have plainly adjudged all the inhabitants of it who are not, in this their opinion relative to Mr˙ Hutchinson, to be passionate thoughtless men; and at least nineteen-twentieths of the inhabitants, must fall under this indecent censure.

5th. That the thirty-three Inhabitants of this town who could publicly pass such an encomium on an opinion of their own which appears to the town both flattering and absurd, "as that it is likewise the opinion of all dispassionate thinking men;" who could not only declare themselves, and those, in their opinion, entitled to the characters mentioned, but that no other persons in the community of which they were a part, were deserving of them; and who could in, the public papers appear subscribers of such a conduct, have exposed themselves to be censured by the world as persons in this instance both vain and inattentive.

6th. That the Addressers have needlessly agitated the matter of "fishermen paying hospital money;" which being an affair that nearly affects many considerable towns in this Province, could not with propriety have been taken up so publicly by any particular town, without consulting the other towns, as it has been by the Addressers, and without noticing an error in the Address, Mr˙ Hutchinson is told by the signers, "that they believe it is owing to his representation of the matter that we are hitherto free from the burthen." By which clause the Government of Great Britain may have great reason to think that a demand of hospital money from the fishery is expected here, and should the poor men who can now scarcely support themselves and families alive by fishing, have an


increased burthen of hospital money brought upon them hereafter, they may have great reason to condemn this impudent measure of the Addressers. This town cannot but express, on the present occasion, a great satisfaction at the unanimity which appears in the collective body of this Province with respect to its enemies. The number addressing Mr˙ Hutchinson, compared with the body of freeholders in the Province, are but as a drop in the bucket. May it continue to be the fixed principle of the latter, "that the persons who are declared by the righteous Government of a people to be their inveterate enemies, ought so to be esteemed and treated by them; and may we heartily join with our brethren in this Province in supporting the honour and dignity of our General Assembly, by treating with neglect and contempt those persons who are or may be under just censures."

The preceding is a true copy of a Declaration this day unanimously voted at a legal meeting of this town, and published by its order.


Marblehead, June 3, 1774.