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Resolutions of the Committee of Inspection for Newport, Rhode-Island



At a Meeting of the Committee of Inspection, for the Town of Newport, held in the Council Chamber, on Wednesday, March 1, 1775,

Mr˙ JOHN TANNER in the Chair.

Resolved, That the freedom of the Press is of the utmost importance to civil society; and that its importance consists, "besides the advancement of truth, science, morality, and arts in general, its diffusion of liberal sentiments on the administration of Government, its ready communication of thoughts between subjects, and its consequential promotion of union among them, where, by oppressive Officers, are shamed or intimidated into more honourable and just modes of conducting affairs;" and therefore it is the duty of every friend of Civil Government to protect, and preserve from violation, that invaluable right, that noble pillar, and great support of Public Liberty; and to countenance and encourage the Press, so long as it shall be employed in promoting those beneficial purposes. But when, instead thereof, a Press is incessantly employed and prostituted, to the vilest uses; in publishing the most infamous falsehoods; in partial or false representations of facts; in fomenting jealousies, and exciting discord and disunion among the people; in supporting and applauding the worst of men, and worst of measures and in vilifying and calumniating the best of characters and the best of causes; it then behooves every citizen, every friend to truth, science, arts, liberality of sentiment, to that union between subjects, upon which Depends their security against oppression, to discountenance and discourage every such licentious, illiberal, prostituted Press.

And whereas, a certain James Rivington, a Printer and Stationer in the City of New-York, impelled by the love of sordid pelf, and a haughty domineering spirit, hath, for a long time, in the dirty Gazetteer, and in pamphlets, if possible still more dirty, uniformly persists in publishing every falsehood which his own wicked imagination, or the imaginations of others of the same stamp, as ingenious perhaps in mischief as himself, could suggest and fabricate, that had a tendency to spread jealousies, fear, discord, and disunion through this country; and by partial and false representations of facts, hath endeavoured to pervert truth, and to deceive and mislead the incautious into wrong conceptions of facts reported, and wrong sentiments respecting the measures now carrying on for the recovery and establishment


of our rights, and the supporters of those measures; and particularly hath disgorged from his infamous Press, the most virulent, foul abuse, on the Members of the late Continental Congress — characters which, for wisdom, integrity, fortitude, and publick virtue, deserve, and have received, the applause of every inhabitant of this wide extended Continent, excepting a very few venal tools of a corrupt Administration.

And all this profusion of scurrility, abuse, and falsehood, this insidious, profligate Printer hath cast out, in order, if it were possible, to subvert the Association which all the American Colonies have approved, and for carrying of which into execution the General Assembly of this Colony have recommended Committees to be chosen: — Wherefore, we think it our bounden duty to hold up that infamous paracide, James Rivington, to the Continent in this odious light.

Resolved, therefore, That it is the opinion of this Committee, that no further dealings or correspondence ought to be had with the, said James Rivington; and we recommend it to every person who takes his Paper, called Rivington' s Gazetteer, immediately to drop the same; and also take the liberty to recommend a similar conduct towards him to the other Towns in the Colony.

Resolved, That this Resolution be printed in the next Newport Mercury.

By order of the Committee,