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Alexander M' Dougall to Josaih Quincy, Jun.



New-York, April 6, 1775.

DEAR SIR: Your favours of the 17th and 19th of December last, enclosing letters for the friends of the common cause in Boston and Philadelphia, arrived here the 10th ultimo; but they were not handed to me before the 25th, owing to their being in a package belonging to a gentleman who was absent when they arrived. Your directions respecting them were strictly observed, and they were forwarded the 27th by safe conveyances. I shall take great pleasure in transmitting your future communications to your friends.

I wrote you by the March Packet under cover to Mr˙ Thomas Bromfield, in which I informed you of the progress then made by our House of Assembly on American grievances. The assurances I gave you, that what


remained of the "Report of the Committee of Grievances" not then considered by the "Committee of the House," would rather be more in favour of liberty than the "Report," has since been confirmed; the particulars of which you have in the enclosed printed proceedings of the House. After the "Statement of Grievances" was agreed to, and approved of by the House, several of the members who were warm friends to the cause of liberty, having attended the Assembly two months, and their families being very remote from the Capital, and argent business demanding their return, and considering the most important transactions of the sessions finished, went home. This gave an opportunity to the wicked and designing members of the House, contrary to all order, to depart from the spirit of the "List of Grievances," in a "Petition to the King," "Memorial to the Lords," and "Remonstrance to the Commons." But the "Statement of Grievances" agreed to by the fullest House during the sessions, must be considered as the basis of all their proceedings on the American controversy. If any regard is to be paid to the sense of the legal Representatives, that sense is the "Statement of Grievances" agreed to in a full House; and therefore, whatever difference appears in the "Petition," &c˙, from that "Statement of Grievances" is a mere nullity. If the Ministry make any dependance on the "Petition," &c˙, as declarative of the sense of this Colony, they will find themselves most egregiously mistaken. This City will publickly disavow the vile, slavish sentiments contained in the "Petition," &c˙, the moment they make their appearance. So far as they are now known, they are condemned, and the patrons of them despised. And if the Provincial Convention, who are to meet here on the 20th instant, to elect Delegates for the Continental Congress, do not disavow the "Petition," &c˙, which I have reason to conclude they will, they will certainly join with the Continental Congress in doing it.

During the Ship Beulah' s stay in our Bay she was continually watched by a Sub-Committee, and did not enter. But while she lay at the Hook waiting for a fair wind, the night before she departed threatened a storm; and as the Boat, on board of which the Sub-Committee attended, was not so well provided with ground-tackling as the Ship, the Boat was obliged to go into a cove of safety, at some distance from the Ship. The owners, who had some goods on board, having previously meditated a plan to land them, availed themselves of this opportunity, and effected it in the night. Of this they were suspected, and our Sub-Committee of Observation, and the Committee of Elizabethtown, having got a clue to a discovery, the owners confessed the matter upon oath. Our citizens were so enraged at them for the horrid deed, that it was with great difficulty they were prevailed upon not to banish them. The fearful apprehensions of these persons, and the terms on which they are suffered to abide here, are fully expressed in the printed papers which you have herewith. This is the only violation of the Association we have had since it took place. The punishment they now, and will endure, is sufficient to deter any man, however base, from another breach.

The friends of the Association, and the great cause, are daily increasing; so that you have no reason to fear a defection of this Colony. Time will not permit me to be more particular. I shall continue to enclose you all the printed papers which I may judge of importance to you, regardless of the postage, until you direct me to the contrary.

I am, dear sir, in great haste, but with great respect, your humble servant,


Josiah Quincy, Jun˙, London.

P˙ S. As my political character may tempt the tools of Government to open letters to me, please to cover your favours to me to Samuel Broome & Co˙, Merchants, in New-York.