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Meeting of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the County of Frederick



At a Meeting of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the County of Frederick, in Virginia, and gentlemen practising at the bar, held at the town of Winchester, the 8th day of June, 1774, to consider of the best mode to be fallen upon to secure their liberties and properties, and also to prevent the dangerous tendency of an Act of Parliament, passed in the fourteenth year of his present Majesty' s reign, entitled, "An Act to discontinue in such manner, and for such time as are therein mentioned, the landing and discharging, lading and shipping of goods, wares, and merchandise at the town and within the harbour of Boston, in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, in North America, evidently has to invade and deprive us of the same."

The Reverend CHARLES M˙ THURSTON Moderator.

A Committee of the following gentlemen, viz: the Reverend Charles M˙ Thurston, Isaac Zane, George Rootes, Angus McDonald, Alexander White, George Johnson, and Samuel Beall, 3d, were appointed to draw up Resolves suitable to the same occasion, who, withdrawing for a short time, returned with the following votes, viz:

Voted, 1st. That we will always cheerfully pay due submission to such Acts of Government as his Majesty has a right by law to exercise over his subjects, as Sovereign of the British Dominions, and to such only.

2d. That it is the inherent right of British subjects to be governed and taxed by Representatives chosen by themselves only; and that every Act of the British Parliament respecting the internal policy of North America, is a daring and unconstitutional invasion of our said rights and privileges.

3d. That the Act of Parliament above mentioned is not only in itself repugnant to the fundamental law of natural justice, in condemning persons for a supposed crime unheard, but also a despotic exertion of unconstitutional power, calculated to enslave a free and loyal people.

4th. That the enforcing the execution of the said Act of Parliament by a military power, will have a necessary tendency to raise a civil war, thereby dissolving that union which has so long happily subsisted between the mother country and her Colonies; and that we will most heartily and unanimously concur with our suffering brethren of Boston, and every other part of North America, that may be the immediate victims of tyranny, in promoting all proper measures to avert such dreadful calamities, to procure a redress of our grievances, and to secure our common liberties.

5th. It is the unanimous opinion of this meeting, that a joint resolution of all the Colonies to stop all importations from Great Britain, and exportations to it, till the said Act shall be repealed, will prove the salvation of North America and her liberties. On the other hand, if they continue their imports and exports, there is the greatest reason to fear that fraud, power, and the most odious oppression, will rise triumphant over right, justice, social happiness, and freedom.

6th. That the East India Company, those servile tools of arbitrary power, have justly forfeited the esteem and regard of all honest men; and that the better to manifest our abhorrence of such abject compliance with the will of a venal Ministry, in ministering all in their power an increase


of the fund of peculation; we will not purchase tea, or any other kind of East India commodities either imported now, or hereafter to be imported, except saltpetre, spices, and medicinal drugs.

7th. That it is the opinion of this meeting that Committees, ought to be appointed for the purpose of effecting a general Association, that the same measures may be pursued through the whole Continent. That the Committees ought to correspond with each other, and to meet at such places and times as shall be agreed on, in order to form such General Association, and that when the same shall be formed and agreed on by the several Committees, we will strictly adhere thereto; and till the general sense of the Continent shall be known, we do pledge ourselves to each other and our country, that we will inviolably adhere to the votes of this day.

8th. That Charles M˙ Thurston, Isaac Zane, Angus McDonald, Samuel Beall, 3d, Alexander White, and George Rootes, be appointed a Committee for the purposes aforesaid; and that they, or any three of them, are hereby fully empowered to act.

Which being read, were unanimously assented to and subscribed.



* On Monday, the 6th instant, tickets were posted up in different parts of Frederick County, Virginia, signed by the friends of liberty, requesting the gentlemen, merchants, freeholders, and other inhabitants of the comity to meet at the Court House, on the ensuing Wednesday, at three o' clock in the afternoon, to consider of the most proper measures to prevent the fatal consequences apprehended from the Act of Parliament mentioned in the votes, and to defend and secure the rights and liberties of America. In consequence of which, (though the notice did not exceed forty-eight hours,) a great concourse assembled at the time and place appointed. The Court House being too small to contain the company, they adjourned to the Church, where the above votes were unanimously agreed to. The general opinion of the people there seems to be, that the Boston scheme of non-importation from Great Britain, and exportation to it, is the only probable means to obtain redress of our grievances, and show great eagerness that it may be universally adopted.