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Fairfield County (Connecticut) Resolutions



At a Meeting of the Delegates from the several Towns in the County of Fairfield, (except Ridgefield and Newtown,) held at the County House, on the 14th day of February, A˙ D˙ 1775:

ROBERT FAIRCHILD, Esquire, in the Chair.

We are happy to find ourselves unanimous in concurring with our constituents in fully adopting and acceding to the Association and Agreement of the Continental Congress, and are determined to enforce a due observance of the same, according to its true spirit and intent; and take this opportunity to express our grateful sense of the good services of those worthy gentlemen who were members of that body.

The Counties of Hartford and New-Haven have given


us the result of their deliberations, and we are ready to concur with their sentiments and proposals with respect to the mode of trying offenders, which is in the words following, viz:

First. To avoid every appearance of precipitation, or partiality in our proceedings,

Resolved, That we will vigilantly discharge our duty as Committees of Observation, and will use our utmost influence to prevent any violation of the Association in our several Districts; but if any person, contrary to our hopes and wishes, shall be accused of any wilful breach of said Association, in any particular, we do agree that the process against him shall be carried on in an open, candid, and deliberate manner, as follows, to wit: A summons or notice in writing, signed by one of the Committee of Observation for that Town, shall be served upon him, expressing the nature and circumstances of the matter laid to his charge, and inviting him, if he see cause, to appear before the Committee of Observation in that Town in which he resides, at a certain day and place, to exculpate himself, if he is able, which day shall be at least six days after service of such summons, at which day and place the Committee shall proceed to examine such charge; and the person accused, and his accuser, shall be openly, fairly, and fully heard, with their witnesses and other proofs; and upon such hearing, the Committee will proceed deliberately and coolly to determine the question, whether the person accused hath violated said Association of not. And in case any one or more of the Committee shall be an accuser or witness, he or they shall not in that case vote in condemning or acquitting the accused; nor shall any one be condemned but upon the fullest, clearest, and most convincing proof; and any person found guilty of a wilful and deliberate violation of said Association, in the calm and regular manner aforesaid, may assuredly expect that we will hold him up to publick view as an enemy to the liberties of his country.

And we also approve of and adopt their rule of advance on European and East India Goods, to be observed by the Venders, which is in the following words, viz:

"Whereas, certain Venders of Goods think they shall be excusable for advancing the prices of certain articles, if they are obliged to give a higher price for them to the importer, than they did last year, Resolved, That although the importer should violate the said Association, by raising his prices, it can by no means exculpate those who deal with him; and that no more certain and intelligible rule can be fixed on this subject, (as the consumers are not, and from their situation cannot be acquainted with the original cost,) than the known and accustomed prices for twelve months next before the sitting of said Congress."

And we join with them in recommending a particular attention to Agriculture, Arts, and Manufactures. We also recommend the improving the breed of Sheep, and increasing their number according to the method pointed out in the seventh article of the Association of the Continental Congress: And as the article of Flax is a very considerable part of the produce of this country, we wish to see the manufacture of that article carried to greater perfection. But we shall for the present dismiss the subject of Manufactures, cheerfully committing it to the patronage of our wise and patriotick Assembly.

We are deeply affected to hear of the defection of two considerable Towns in this County, viz: Ridgefield and Newtown; the former having publickly protested against the Continental Association; and the major part of the Selectmen in the latter, not having virtue enough to give the people a fair opportunity in a constitutional way, to show their sentiments on the present alarming state of the times; but have made use of every artifice to prevent a union in support of their liberty. And here we cannot, consistent with the duty we owe our Honourable House of Representatives, pass over in silence a glaring instance of impudence and contempt cast on that body by one of the Selectmen of Newtown, who had the boldness to set up at vendue and sell for a pint of flip, one or more of the copies of the Addresses and Association, printed by order of the Honourable House of Representatives for the use of the several Towns, and to burn or suppress the rest. It is at the same time with real satisfaction we find some respectable gentlemen who heartily adopt the peaceable measures recommended by the Congress, and have given us satisfactory


evidence of their temperate zeal in the cause; Therefore,

Resolved, As the opinion of this Congress, and it is accordingly strongly recommended to the inhabitants in each of the aforesaid Towns who are warmly attached to the rights of their country, that they, as soon as may be, notify a meeting of said inhabitants, and proceed to choose a Chairman and Clerk, and fully adopt the doings of the Continental Congress, and publish and transmit the same, with their names thereunto affixed, to the several Towns in this County. And it is also recommended to said inhabitants that they have their meetings at least once a month, and that they cordially receive all such as are sincerely willing to join them, and transmit their names to the Committees of Inspection for the several Towns in the County, that they may be known and treated by the other Towns in the County as friends and brethren in the common cause.

It is with reluctance that we proceed to pass sentence against these two Towns who have given such striking evidence of their spirit of opposition, and enmity to every peaceable measure recommended and adopted by the good people of this County in general, and throughout this Colony; but our duty to this distressed County command us to distribute justice impartially to all offenders; and that these two Towns may be brought to a proper sense of their duty, we do now solemnly, in the name of virtue, honour, and love to our country, recommend it to all the good people of this County, and throughout this Colony, to withdraw and withhold all commerce, dealings, and connection from all the inhabitants of those two Towns, except as above excepted and provided for; and also except in cases of absolute necessity, that they may feel the weight of the resentment of their country, which they are attempting to wound in its most tender part.

And we can with sincerity declare, that we recommend this proceeding for the good of our country, and not for the sake of distressing these misguided or obstinate people; and we are sincerely willing to receive them into favour when they return to their duty, and recommend to the Committees of Inspection in the several Towns in this County, to be vigilant in their duty, and take particular care that this sentence be carried into execution.

This Congress taking into consideration the conduct of the House of Representatives in the Province of, New-York, in treating the Continental Association with neglect, and so cowardly avoiding the consideration of that important subject, are struck with surprise; but shall leave that respectable body to the animadversions of our own worthy House of Representatives; at the same time our hearts glow with joy and gratitude towards the worthy and respectable citizens of New-York, who have so gloriously exerted themselves, in a very critical season, when attempts were made to introduce Goods contrary to the Association.

And whereas the conduct of James Rivington, Printer in New-York, as a Printer, has been often animadverted upon, on account of the frequent publications from his Press that are most evidently calculated to injure the liberties and privileges of America, we are of opinion that those animadversions are made with the greatest justice, and we therefore do recommend it to our constituents to guard against the misrepresentations and false colourings in those publications contained.

The above and foregoing passed in Congress, and ordered they be made publick.


The above and foregoing is a true copy examined.

ANDREW ROWLAND, Clerk of the Congress.

The Congress prepared and sent addresses to the Towns of Newtown and Ridgefield, on the subject of their defection, and invited them to adopt the Association of the Continental Congress.