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Protest of the Committees of Sheffield


Whereas a majority of the gentlemen belonging to the Committee of Correspondence of this County, at their Convention, holden at Stockbridge, on the 14th and 15th days of December, current, did vote and resolve that they would come into some method whereby the inhabitants of this County shall recommend and nominate to the Council suitable persons to be appointed Judges of the Inferior Court in this County:

2d. That they would not recommend it to the inhabitants of said County to support the Government formed and established within this Colony, agreeable to the recommendation of the Continental Congress, and to assist and support the several Executive Officers in the execution of their offices:

3d. That this Convention recommend it to the Freeholders, and other inhabitants qualified, of the several Towns within this County, that they meet in their respective Towns, Districts, and Plantations, some time before the 1st day of January next; in which meeting they bring in to the Moderator thereof their votes, or ballots, for four persons who, in their esteem, should be commissionated to sustain the offices of Judges of the Pleas for the County; which ballots, or votes, so brought in, shall, in the presence of the Selectmen and Clerk of each respective Town, be enclosed and sealed and subscribed to a Committee appointed by the several Towns and Districts and Plantations in the County, to sort and count the same; which Committee shall meet on the 2d Tuesday of January next, at the house of Samuel Goodrich, Innholder, in Lenox, and then and there shall sort, count, and discover the persons thus nominated by the people; which persons thus chosen by the greatest number of votes shall be, by said Committee, represented to the honourable Council Board, praying that the same may be commissioned to exercise the office of Judges of the County: provided that, if it should so happen that a greater number than four persons should have an equal number of votes, then, and in that case, it is submitted to the honourable Council, that they exercise their pleasure in appointing, out of said number nominated, which four shall officiate:

4th. Voted, That this body do not approve of any civil officer not nominated by the Representatives of the County.

Which Votes and Resolutions we, the subscribers, (being likewise of the Committee of Correspondence,) dissented from and disapproved of — First, Because we imagine that they are directly opposed to the present civil Constitution of this Colony, which has been taken up by the people in consequence of, and agreeable to, the advice of the Continental Congress; Secondly, They tend to dissolve all Government, and introduce dissension, anarchy, and confusion, among the people; for when we deviate from the established rules, we are lost in the boundless field of uncertainty and disorder. Therefore, that we may evidence to the people of the several Towns from whence we came, and to all other good people, our great desire for order and good government, our firm adherence to the Resolves of the Continental Congress and the present Constitution of this Colony, agreeable to said Resolves, and an abhorrence of all anarchy and disorder, we hereby manifest our disapprobation of the Votes and Resolves of said Committee of Correspondence aforesaid.

Stockbridge, December 15, 1775.

JOHN ASHLEY, Committee of Sheffield.
THEODORE SEDGWICK, Committee of Sheffield.
MARK HOPKINS, Committee of Great Barrington.
BENEDICT DEAREV, Committee of Great Barrington.
WILLIAM BROWN, Committee of Alford.
JOHN HURLEAT, Committee of Alford.
ELEAZER BARRITT, Committee of Tyringham.
GILES JACKSON, Committee of Tyringham.
BENJAMIN WARREN, Committee of New-Marlborough.
JABEZ WARD, Committee of New-Marlborough.
ELIJAH BROWN, Committee of Richmond.
JOSEPH RAYMOND, Committee of Richmond.
SAMUEL BROWN, JUN˙, Committee of Stock-bridge.
JAH˙ WOODBRIDGE, Committee of Stock-bridge.
ERASTUS SERGEANT, Committee of West-Stockbridge.
ELISHA HOOPER, Committee of West-Stockbridge.