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Address of the Grand Jury to his Majesty' s Justices


Address of the Grand Jury to his Majesty' s Justices, assembled at the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace for the City and County of NEW-YORK, February 10, 1775.

GENTLEMEN: While in the faithful discharge of our duty as Grand Jurors, we hand this Honourable Court Indictments against several persons for breaches of the peace, and offences committed against the person of a reputed informer of contraband Goods.

After acknowledging his most gracious Majesty, George the Third, King of Great Britain, &c˙, as our only true and lawful Sovereign, and the British Constitution, as founded on the compact of its Kings with their subjects; the laws made in support of and agreeable to that Constitution, together with our oaths and the dictates of our consciences, the rules of our action.

We cannot pass by this opportunity of publickly joining the general voice of our country in bearing testimony against many oppressive Acts of Parliament passed in his present Majesty' s reign, relative to his American Colonies, and which, at present, are the cause of so much trouble and uneasiness in the minds of his loyal American subjects.

Particularly against the power exercised by the Parliament, of taxing and making laws binding upon the American Colonies in all cases whatsoever; against those Acts which strike at the very foundation of British liberty, the Trial by Juries; such are those by which the powers of Admiralty and Vice Admiralty Courts are extended beyond their ancient limits; the Judges empowered to receive their Salaries and Fees from effects condemned by themselves; the Officers of his Majesty' s Customs empowered to break open and enter Houses without the authority of any Civil Magistrate, founded on legal information; enormous forfeitures incurred for slight offences; vexatious informers exempted from paying damages to which they are justly liable; and oppressive security required from owners before they are allowed to defend their rights; by all which, the lives, liberty, and property of Americans are rendered insecure.