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Letter to the Committee of Inspection of the County of Bristol



The Committee appointed to take into consideration the application of all the Towns in the County of Bristol, reported; amended, and passed unanimously, and is as followeth, viz:

GENTLEMEN: Your very interesting letter of the 4th instant, directed to the President, has been early laid before us; heartily affected with the matters it contains, this Congress resolved on the immediate consideration of it. The part acted by Colonel Gilbert, respecting the common cause of America, since the commencement of its publick troubles, is sufficiently consonant to the tenour of his ordinary conduct so far as it has been the object, of publick observation, and leaves no American room to hesitate in pronouncing him an inveterate enemy to his country, to reason, justice, and the common rights of mankind; and therefore whoever has knowingly espoused his cause, or takes up Arms for its support does, in common with himself, deserve to be instantly cut off from the benefit of commerce with, or countenance of, any friend of virtue, America, or the human race.

This Congress cannot but rejoice in the satisfactory evidence they have of the patriotism and publick spirit of the County of Bristol, and the vigilance of its inhabitants, over the manoeuvres of the incendiaries among them; we are much pleased with their joint readiness, for their most vigorous exertions in this country' s cause, and earnestly hope that their preparations will be pursued with unabated zeal, as the known resolutions of our publick enemies have at last necessitated the contemplations of a plan of general defence, in support of which the spirit and prowess of the County of Bristol may very soon be called up to the view of mankind.

We earnestly recommend to you, gentlemen, as guardians of the publick interest, to exert yourselves, that the Militia, and especially the Minute-men of your County, be found in the best posture of defence, whenever any exigence may require their aid. But the plans laid for the general good oblige us to request that whatever patience and forbearance it may require for the present, you would act on the defensive only until the further direction of this Congress.

And, therefore, though we could wish that a particular account of the conduct of Colonel Gilbert and his adherents, as well as of the King' s Troops, whilst stationed among you, might be taken on sufficient evidence, in perpetuam rei memoriam, yet we could not advise to any measures, either with respect to said Gilbert and his banditti, or the King' s Troops, that our enemies might plausibly interpret as a commencement of hostilities.

This Congress, however, are clearly of opinion, that whatever Justice of the Peace, or other person, in the County of Bristol, shall be active in providing Quarters or other


supplies for the- said Troops, or any others sent in like manner, will be considered by all America as aiding and assisting in the execution of the oppressive acts of the British Parliament, against which, as fundamentally destructive of the most invaluable rights and privileges of the Colonies, America has unitedly remonstrated.

In Provincial Congress, Concord, April 6, 1775.

Resolved, That the foregoing be signed by the President, in behalf of this Congress, and sent to the Committee of Inspection of the County of Bristol.