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Petition of Catharine Brinley



To the honourable the Council and the honourable the House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, this 9th day of SEPTEMBER, 1776:

Humbly showeth NATHANIEL BRINLEY, of FRAMTNGHAM, in the County of MIDDLESEX, husbandman:

That your petitioner was, by sentence of a Court of Inquiry specially appointed by this honourable Court, sent to the town of Framinghman, in the County of Middlesex, there to remain for the space of four months; your petitioner would represent to the honourable Court that the only offence alleged against him, and the only thing of which he was found guilty by said Court, was signing an address to General Gage; an address presented to your petitioner while under great indisposition, and suffering the severest bodily pain; he, it is true, being in this distress, to avoid importunity and solicitation, which in such circumstances could


not but add to his sufferings, consented to have his name put to said address; he did not sign it himself, and he is firmly persuaded had he been in health he should not have consented to have had his name thereto, as he always avoided every thing of the kind. Your petitioner would further represent to the honourable Court that he hath accordingly been confined in said town of Framingham for near the space of six weeks; not, as he apprehends, according to the true intent and meaning of the sentence against him. for he is confined to the limits of one farm in said Framingham, viz: Mr˙ Benjamin Eaton' s, and indeed is not allowed to depart said Eaton' s house without the presence of said Eaton; that he is not allowed to converse with any person friendly or unfriendly to the rights of this State, not even with his wife, unless in the hearing of some one of said Eaton' s family; that he is denied the use of pen, ink and paper, and is really apprehensive of loss of life should he even depart the said house; that these apprehensions are grounded on good foundations, for he has been insulted even when in company with said Eaton, and was once struck at when in a chaise with said Eaton, which stroke, your petitioner apprehends, had it not been happily warded off, would have dangerously hurt your petitioner. All these facts your petitioner can make fully appear to the honourable Court when called upon so to do. He therefore prays the honourable Court that after a due consideration of the premises, they would order him to some other inland town in said State, where he may be treated in a manner suitable to a person suffering the penalties adjudged him by the said Court of Inquiry, and where a Committee may not add punishment to punishment already inflicted, and adjudged by the said Court adequate to his offence. And, as in duty bound, shall ever pray.

Signed in behalf of her husband, Nathaniel Brinley aforesaid,