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Letter from John Cruger and Jacob Walton


A Letter dated New-York, May 3, 1775, from John Cruger and Jacob Walton, Esquires, received and read, and is as follows, viz:

New-York, May 3, 1775.

SIR: At the desire of the gentlemen who presented the Association to us, we have committed to writing our reasons for not signing it, which we have thought proper to communicate to you in order to be laid before the Committee.

It appears to us that signing this paper would involve us in the greatest inconsistency. As we were elected Representatives in General Assembly for this City and County, we conceive that the faithful performance of this important trust requires of us a, free, unbiased exercise of our own judgment. To submit this to the control of any power on earth would, in our opinion, be deserting that trust; but to engage implicitly to approve and carry into execution the regulations of and other body would justly expose us to the reproach of our own conscience, the censure not only of


our constituents but of the whole world. In our legislative capacity we have already transmitted to the King and both Houses of Parliament, representations of our grievances. We have, to the utmost of our power, framed these in such a manner as we thought would be most likely to ensure them success by procuring a redress of our complaints, healing the present unhappy differences, and fixing for the Colonies a permanent Constitution upon principles of liberty and a lasting union with the Mother Country. These representations were a long time in agitation, and a state of our grievances, with the Resolutions of the House thereon, were publickly known to our constituents, and no disapprobation, of our proceedings ever signified to us. Upon mature reflection, and after revolving our conduct with the most impartial deliberation, we cannot but approve what we have done, and will therefore patiently wait for the event, which will, we hope, be productive of much benefit not only to this Colony, but to the cause of American liberty in general; at least we have the fullest testimony of our consciences for the uprightness of our intentions.

We can with the greatest truth declare our approbation of any Association for preserving the peace, and good order of the City and Province, and for the protection of personal safety and private property, and so far are we from giving the least countenance to the claims of Parliament to a right of taxing the Colonies, that we will contribute to the utmost of our power in measures necessary for preventing its being carried into execution. The preservation of the Constitution, which we are convinced gives us a right to an absolute exemption from Parliamentary taxation, we have most ardently at heart, and we shall at all times strenuously co-operate in opposing every violation of it. These reasons, with the publick manifestation of our principles contained in the representation of the General Assembly to the King and Parliament, we are persuaded, must be satisfactory to every reasonable man. But to engage for an indiscriminate approbation of the measures of others, and that before we know them, would be to prejudge matters of the utmost importance, and to preclude us from the exercise of our own judgments, and that, free deliberation without which our legislative powers would be a mere sound, and thereby to betray a trust which, we are under the most solemn engagements to preserve free and inviolate, and of which we cannot he divested until the period of .the dissolution of the House. As the signing of this Association, therefore, would in effect be to deprive ourselves of our legislative powers, we cannot but suppose, from the tenor of it, an exemption of us is implied in it.

With the most anxious concern for the distresses of the inhabitants of the Massachusetts-Bay, and the most sincere wishes for their relief, and the liberty and prosperity of all the Colonies,

We are, Sir, your most humble servants,



To Mr˙ Isaac Low, Chairman of the Committee.