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Letter from Matthew Griswold to Governour Trumbull



Litchfield, August 20, 1774.

SIR: At the present sessions of the Superiour Court in this place, the Attorney General for this county exhibited an information against sundry persons, inhabitants in the Northern part of the County of Litchfield, representing that on the 2d of August, instant, the persons named, with others unknown, did, in Canaan, in said county, riotously and unlawfully assemble together with an intent to disturb the peace of our Lord the King; and being so met, did proceed from thence to Great Barrington, in the County of Berkshire, and Province of the Massachusetts Bay, and there made an assault on the body of David Ingersoll, of said Great Barrington, (Esq˙,) and him carried from thence to said Canaan, and him did falsely imprison and restrain of his lawful liberty for the space of twelve hours against the peace &c.

The Court ordered a warrant to be issued to arrest and bring the persons complained of to answer to the matters in said complaint; which was done accordingly; and the Sheriff yesterday in the afternoon by virtue thereof brought seven of the persons complained of before this Court; who being set to the bar of the Court for the purpose aforesaid, two of the number moved for counsel, which was admitted. The counsel then moved that the process against those two should be continued to the next term; offered his reasons, which the Court judged sufficient, and ordered the continuance; and bail was taken accordingly. The evening coming on the Court adjourned tell this morning, and the five other persons were held in the custody of


the Sheriff, who this morning brought them into Court; they subjected themselves to trial. But the time for holding the sessions of the Court in this county being just expiring, it was impracticable to attend the trial of these persons, without breaking in and interrupting the order of the Circuit Courts of this Colony, as established by law. The Court for that reason ordered the process against the whole to be continued accordingly, and bail was given.

The persons arrested by the Sheriff were attended by about thirty persons of their friends, but no act of hostility was offered or attempted on any person. The spirit of the people in this county in general appears to condemn such disorders, and profess a firm resolution to support the administration of civil Government in this Colony, and avoid disturbances of the publick peace.

It was apprehended expedient to give your Honour early intelligence of the steps taken, and what was done in the affair referred to, which is accordingly done,

By your Honour' s most obedient humble servant,


To the Honourable Jonathan Trumbull, Esq˙, Governour.