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Meeting at Talbot Court House


Talbot Court House, Maryland, May 24, 1774.

Alarmed at the present situation of America, and impressed with the most tender feelings for the distresses of their brethren and fellow-subjects in Boston, a number of gentlemen having met at this place, took into their serious consideration the part they ought to act, as friends to liberty, and to the general interests of mankind.

To preserve the rights, and to secure the property of the subject, they apprehend is the end of Government. But when those rights are invaded — when the mode prescribed by the laws for the punishment of offences, and obtaining justice, is disregarded and spurned; when, without being heard in their defence, force is employed, and the severest penalties are inflicted; the people, they clearly conceive, have a right not only to complain, but likewise to exert their utmost endeavours to prevent the effect of such measures as may be adopted by a weak or corrupt Ministry to destroy their liberties; deprive them of their property; and rob them of their dearest birth-right as Britons.

Impressed with the warmest zeal for, and loyalty to their most gracious Sovereign; and with the most sincere


affection for their fellow-subjects in Great Britain, they are determined calmly and steadily, to unite with their fellow-subjects in pursuing every legal and constitutional measure, to avert the evils threatened by the late Act of Parliament for shutting up the port and harbour of Boston; to support the common rights of America; and to promote that union and harmony between the mother country and her Colonies, on which the preservation of both must finally depend.