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Letter from Lord Dunmore



Williamsburg, May 29, 1774.

MY LORD: The General Assembly of this Colony met here on the 6th of May, for despatch of the necessary business, and a few days after an account arrived in this country of the Act of Parliament, passed for discontinuing the shipping or discharging goods in the harbour of Boston, which has induced the House of Burgesses again, on this occasion to declare, what they are fond of having it thought always originates with them, a determined resolution to deny and oppose the authority of Parliament. Accordingly Robert Carter Nicholas, the Treasurer of this Colony, made a motion for the order, which passed, and which I herewith transmit to your Lordship.

It was intended by the solemnity of a public fasting and praying to prepare the minds of the people to receive other resolutions of the House, the purport of which I am not informed of, but from such a beginning may naturally he concluded could tend only to inflame the whole country, and instigate the people to acts that might rouse the indignation of the mother country against them; in hopes therefore of preventing the progress of these ill effects by the only means in my power, which I fear will not be effectual, I have with the unanimous consent of the Council, dissolved the Assembly, and I have determined not to issue new writs until I hear from your Lordship, and am informed whether his Majesty shall think it necessary to give me any command in respect to this undutiful part of the Legislature of Virginia.

I have heard from many of the dissolved members, and I hope it is true, that the House in general in the hasty manner the measure was proposed and agreed to, did not advert to the whole force of the terms in which the order I transmit is conceived, and that if it had, it is believed a strong opposition would have been made to it, and probably that it might have met a different fate.

I am, & c˙