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Speech of Lieutenant Governour Colden to the Council and Assembly


Die Veneris, 10 ho˙, A˙ M˙, the 13th January, 1775.

Seventeen Members appearing in the Assembly Chamber, Mr˙ Speaker took the Chair.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Gale and Colonel Ten Broeck wait on his Honour the Lieutenant-Governour, and acquaint him that a sufficient number of Members are met to proceed upon business, and that they wait his directions.

Colonel Ten Broeck reported, that Mr˙ Gale and himself had waited on his Honour the Lieutenant-Governour, and delivered their message; and that his Honour had been pleased to say, he would come up to the Council Chamber, in the City Hall, immediately, and would then send a Message to the House.


A Message from his Honour the Lieutenant-Governour, by Mr˙ Bayard, Deputy Secretary:
Mr˙ SPEAKER: His Honour the Lieutenant-Governour requires the immediate attendance of this House in the Council Chamber, in the City Hall.

Mr˙ Speaker left the Chair, and with the House, attended accordingly; and being returned, resumed the Chair, and reported that his Honour had been pleased to make a Speech to the House; of which, to prevent mistakes, he had obtained a copy; and the same being read, is as followeth viz:

Gentlemen of the Council and General Assembly:
I think it unnecessary at this time, particularly to recommend to your attention the ordinary business of the Legislature. Whatever may be found conducive to the dignity of his Majesty' s Government, or the happiness of his people in this Colony, I shall cheerfully promote.

Gentlemen of the General Assembly:

The support of his Majesty' s Government, and other allowances for his service, I doubt not you will readily provide for.

Gentlemen of the General Assembly:
We cannot sufficiently lament the present disordered state of the Colonies. The dispute between Great Britain and her American Dominions, is now brought to the most alarming crisis, and fills every humane breast with the deepest affliction. It is to you, gentlemen, in this anxious moment, that your country looks up for counsel; and on you, it in a great measure depends, to rescue her from evils of the most ruinous tendency. Exert yourselves, then, with the firmness becoming your important office. If your constituents are discontented and apprehensive, examine their complaints with calmness and deliberation, and determine upon them with an honest impartiality. If you find them to be well grounded, pursue the means of redress which the Constitution has pointed out. Supplicate the Throne, and our most gracious Sovereign will hear and relieve you with paternal tenderness. But I entreat you, as you regard the happiness of your country, to discountenance every measure which may increase our distress. And anxious for the re-establishment of harmony with that Power with which you are connected by the ties of blood, religion, interest, and duty, prove yourselves, by your conduct on this occasion, earnestly solicitous for a cordial and permanent reconciliation.

Gentlemen of the Council and General Assembly:
In the absence of our most worthy Governour-in-Chief, no less distinguished by his extensive abilities, than his zeal for the honour of the Crown, and his affection for the people of this Province, and at so critical a conjuncture, it gives me great consolation that I can repose the utmost confidence in your wisdom, your attachment to the Constitution, and your regard for the interest of the British Empire. And you may be assured, that my most strenuous efforts shall be exerted to co-operate with you in restoring that tranquility, which must be the ardent desire of every wise, virtuous, and loyal subject.


Ordered, That his Honour' s Speech be forthwith printed.

Resolved, That the same be taken into consideration immediately.

Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to his Honour, in answer to his Speech, and that a Committee be appointed to prepare the said Address; and a Committee was appointed accordingly.

Ordered, That the further consideration of his Honour' s Speech be referred to a Committee of the Whole House, and that the said Committee take the same into consideration on Tuesday next.