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Address from the County of Worcester, in Massachusetts, to Governour Gage



To his Excellency THOMAS GAGE, Esquire, Governour of his Majesty' s Province of MASSACHUSETTS BAY, and Commander-in-chief of the King' s Forces in NORTH AMERICA.

May it please your Excellency:

The people of the County of Worcester being earnestly solicitous for the peace and welfare of the Province in general, cannot view the measures now pursuing by your Excellency but with increasing jealousy, as they apprehend there has not, nor does at present exist, any just occasion for the formidable hostile preparations making on the Neck, leading to our distressed capital.

It is a matter of such notoriety, that your Excellency must be sensible there was not the least opposition made to obstruct the introduction of the King' s Troops at their first landing, nor have the people since that time discovered any intention to disturb them, till your Excellency was pleased to order the seizure of the Powder in the Arsenal at Charlestown, in a private manner, which occasioned the report that a skirmish had happened between a party of the King' s Troops and the people at Cambridge, in which several of the latter fell; this caused the people to arm and march from divers parts of the country; but no sooner was that report proved false than they returned peaceably to their respective homes.

The inhabitants of the Province in general, and Town of Boston, have never given cause for those cruel and arbitrary Acts for blockading their Harbour and subverting the Charter, by altering the Civil Government of the Province, which, however, this people are determined, by the Divine favour, never to submit to but with their lives, notwithstanding they are aggrieved at the King' s displeasure against them, through the instigation of artful and designing men.

This County finds it difficult to comprehend the motives for the present hostile parade, unless it be in consequence of some preconcerted plan to subject the already greatly distressed Town of Boston to mean compliances or military contributions. They are equally at a loss to account for your Excellency' s conduct towards the County of Suffolk, as in your Answer to their Address, remonstrating against fortifying the only avenue to the Town, which by that means may, in some future time, be improved to cut off the communication between town and country, and thereby reduce the miserable inhabitants to the greatest straits, your Excellency is pleased, in answer, to observe, that you had not made it easier to effect this, than what nature has made it; if so, the country cannot conceive why this expense and damage of the Town to no purpose.

Your Excellency is likewise pleased to take notice of the general good behaviour of the Soldiers, but at the same time pass over that part, complaining of the detention of private property, and proceed to answer by way of quere, to which you would not permit a reply. This County are constrained to observe, they apprehend the people justifiable in providing for their own defence, while they understood there was no passing the Neck without examination, the Cannon at the North Battery spiked up, and many places searched, where Ammunition was suspected to be, and if found, seized; yet as the people have never acted offensively, nor discovered any disposition so to do, till as above related, the County apprehend this can never justify the seizure of private property.

It is with great anxiety this County observes the wanton exercise of power in the Officers of the Customs at Salem, and on board the King' s ships, respecting the article of Fuel destined for the use of the inhabitants of Boston, who are obliged to have it with the additional charge of landing and reloading at Salem, before it can proceed; when your Excellency must be sensible the Act, which is the professed rule of conduct, expressly excepts Fuel and Victuals, which may be brought to Boston by taking on board one or more Officers at Salem, (without the aforesaid charge) while that destined for the Troops proceeds direct, free from the same. There are many other things which bear extremely hard on the inhabitants, while they are prohibited


from transporting the smallest article from one part of the Town to another, water-borne, without danger of a seizure, or to get hay, cattle, &c˙, from any of the islands, notwithstanding there is no other way of transportation.

Your Excellency, we apprehend, must have been greatly misinformed of the character of this people to suppose such severities tend either to a submission to the Acts, or reconciliation with the Troops; and the County are sorry to find the execution of the Acts attempted with an higher hand than was intended, unless the Acts themselves should be thought too lenient.

Bringing into the Town a number of Cannon from Castle William, sending for a further reinforcement of Troops, with other concurring circumstances, strongly indicating some dangerous design, has justly excited in the minds of the people apprehensions of the most alarming nature, and the authors must be held accountable for all the blood and carnage made in consequence thereof. Therefore this County, in duty to God,, their country, themselves, and posterity, do remonstrate to, and earnestly desire your Excellency, as you regard the service of the King, and the peace and welfare of the Province, to desist from any further hostile preparations, and give the people assurances thereof by levelling the Intrenchments and dismantling the Fortifications, which will have a tendency to satisfy their doubts, and restore that confidence so essential to their quiet and his Majesty' s service.

By order of the Convention of Committees for the County of Worcester.