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Remarks of ' A Citizen' on the election


New-York, March 16, 1775.

Yesterday polls were opened in the different Wards, for the election of eleven Delegates for this City, to meet Deputies who may be chosen by the Counties to form a Convention, out of whom to elect Delegates for the next Congress at Philadelphia. Of those who voted for this measure, it may with truth be affirmed, there was a great proportion who did it because there was no alternative. The disposition of our fellow-citizens is in favour of Delegates to meet the sister Colonies in Congress, as it is supposed that their principles respecting the unhappy situation we are in, with relation to Great Britain, are so well known, that no violent or unjustifiable measures will be assented to on their part. Sensible that the people were determined to send Delegates, it was the art of those who framed the question, upon which the poll was taken, to state it in such a manner that the electors might be led to think that they would be deprived of Delegates unless they pursued the mode pointed out to them, for when numbers of voters demanded that their votes might be taken for the five Delegates, it was absolutely refused. Had a poll been opened upon fair principles, stating the alternative, concerning which the division of sentiments arose, there is no doubt but the old five Delegates would have been elected almost unanimously, When the warmth of opposition has a little subsided, and those generous, candid, and liberal sentiments are suffered to prevail which have characterized the good people of this City, they will see who have endeavoured to mislead them; they will be shocked to think that they have espoused a measure which is founded upon depriving a very great number of their fellow-citizens of the liberty of declaring their sentiments; and they will suspect that cause which would require such a conduct, and those leaders who could adopt it; they will be alarmed when they consider that they have been instrumental in turning out those very Delegates, of whose ponduct certain folks pretend to be such admirers.

They will see that all this is a scheme to supplant some of them, and to introduce into the Congress a man who has fomented all our intestine divisions for a number of years past, and who, in the course of the last year, so much, disturbed the peace of this City by his presumptuous attempts. They will perceive that if it was only intended to have a Provincial Delegation, five Deputies would have answered as well as eleven on behalf of this City, for they will altogether, make but one vote, as they will doubtless vote by Counties, not individually. Consider, then, what dependence can be placed in those who insidiously pretended that the number eleven was fixed upon, on purpose that the six might have an opportunity of putting in the old five! Consider that these schemes have been the means of depriving us of a Delegate, whose conduct at the last Congress was equally spirited and independent with any other of that body, and in all probability one more of the old Delegates will follow the same example; and then reflect what you have gained by this measure.