Primary tabs

To the Inhabitants of the Province of New-Hampshire



BRETHREN: When we consider the unhappy condition to which you and your American brethren are reduced; when we reflect that for near ten months past you hare been deprived of any share in your own Government, and of those advantages which flow to society from Legislative Assemblies; when we view the lowering clouds, charged with Ministerial vengeance, fast spreading over this extensive Continent, ready to burst on the heads of its inhabitants, and to involve the whole British Empire in one common ruin; at this alarming juncture, duty to Almighty God, to our country, ourselves, and posterity, loudly demands our most strenuous exertions to avoid the impending danger.

Such are the measures adopted by the British Ministry for enslaving you, and with such incessant vigilance has their plan been prosecuted, that Tyranny already begins to waive its banners in your borders, and to threaten these once happy regions with infamous and detestable slavery.

Shall we, knowing the value of freedom, and nursed in the arms of Liberty, make a base and ignominious surrender of our rights, thereby consigning succeeding generations to a condition of wretchedness, from which, perhaps, all human efforts will be insufficient to extricate them?

Duty to ourselves, and regard for our country, should induce us to defend our liberties, and to transmit the fair inheritance unimpaired to posterity.

Should our restless enemies drive us to arms in defence of every thing we hold dear, we should be reduced to a state, dreadful even in contemplation; for, should we prove victorious, the blood of our brethren shed in the unhappy contest, would cause the laurels to wither on our brows, and make the conquerors mourn with the vanquished. But should our enemies be successful, they will thereby rivet the chains of slavery upon us and our posterity.

Thus surrounded with dangers and distresses on every side, it behoves us to adopt and pursue such peaceable measures, as under God, will be most likely to prevent those dreadful calamities with which we are threatened.

Fully sensible, that to point out, with any degree of certainty, the methods by which you may shun the threatening evils, would require more than human wisdom, we can only recommend such measures as appear to us most likely to answer that desirable end, and best calculated to restore to you that peace and harmony so ardently wished for by every good and honest American. We therefore earnestly recommend,

1st. That you discountenance and discourage all trespasses and injuries against individuals and their property, and all disorders of every kind; and that you cultivate and maintain peace and harmony among yourselves.

2d. That you yield due obedience to the Magis rates within this Government, and carefully endeavour to support the laws thereof.

3d. That you strictly adhere to the Association of the


late Continental Congress, and deal with the violators of it in the manner therein recommended.

4th. That you endeavour particularly to enforce the laws of the Province against Hawkers, Pedlars, and Petty Chapmen.

5th. That you abstain from the use of East India Tea, whenever, or by whatever means it has or may be imported.

6th. That you encourage and support your several Committees of Correspondence and Inspection, in discharging the very important trust you have reposed in them.

7th. That in case any inhabitant of these Colonies should be seized, in order to be transported to Great Britain, or other parts beyond Seas, to be tried for offences supposed to be committed in America, you conduct yourselves agreeable to the advice of the late Continental Congress.

8th. That in your several stations you promote and encourage the Manufactures of this country, and endeavour, both by precept and example, to induce all under you, and with whom you are connected, to practice economy and industry, and to shun all kinds of extravagance.

9th. That the Officers of the several Regiments strictly comply with the laws of this Province for regulating the Militia; and as the Militia upon this Continent, if properly disciplined, would be able to do great service in its defence, should it ever be invaded by his Majesty' s enemies, that you acquaint yourselves with the manual exercise, particularly that recommended and enjoined by the Captain General, the motions being natural, easy, and best calculated to qualify persons for real action; and also to improve themselves in those evolutions which are necessary for infantry in time of engagement.

10th. That, as your enemies are using every art to impoverish and distress you, in order to induce submission to their arbitrary mandates, you carefully shun those measures which may have a tendency to distress your brethren and fellow-sufferers, and avoid all unnecessary law suits, and endeavour to settle disputes between you in the most amicable and least expensive manner. That all debtors exert themselves in discharging their just debts, and all creditors exercise such lenity as their circumstances will admit of.

11th. That as the inhabitants of the Town of Boston, in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, are now labouring under a load of Ministerial vengeance, laid upon them to enforce obedience to certain arbitrary and unconstitutional acts, which, if once submitted to, must involve all America in slavery and ruin; conscious that all these Colonies are largely indebted to the virtue and fortitude of those patriotick assertors of freedom, we heartily recommend a continuation of your contributions, for the relief of that oppressed people; and that you keep yourselves in constant readiness to support them in their just opposition, whenever necessity may require.

Lastly. We earnestly entreat you, at this time of tribulation and distress, when your enemies are urging you to despair, when every scene around is full of gloom and horrour, that in imitation of your pious forefathers, with contrition of spirit, and penitence of heart, you implore the Divine Being, who alone is able to deliver you from your present unhappy and distressing situation, to espouse your righteous cause, secure your liberties, and fix them on a firm and lasting basis; and we fervently beseech him to restore to you, and your American brethren, that peace and tranquillity so ardently desired, and earnestly sought for, by every true friend to liberty and mankind. By order of the Convention.

J˙ WENTWORTH, President.