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To the Publick



Committee of Inspection Chamber,

Falmouth, Mass˙, April 10, 1775.

To hold a man up as an object of general detestation, to deprive him of the benefits that result from society, is disagreeable, is painful; but, on the other hand, to neglect the interest of our Country, to disappoint the just expectations of our constituents, is dishonourable and base. The Committee of inspection for the Town of Falmouth, therefore, come forward, to discharge the duty they owe the publick, and the trust reposed in them by their fellow-citizens.

On Thursday, the 2d ult˙, the Sloop John and Mary, Henry Hughes, master, arrived here from Bristol, supposed to have goods on board for Captain Thomas Coulson, of this place; and as the late Continental Congress had, by their Association prohibited the importation of any goods from Great Britain after the first day of February last, this Committee, chosen by the said Town of Falmouth to observe the conduct of all persons in said Town touching said Association, immediately convened, and after employing some persons to see that nothing was taken out of said Sloop during their debates, they proceeded to consider the circumstances of the case; and being informed by Captain Coulson that said vessel had on board sundry Rigging, Sails, and Stores, sent him by Mr˙ Garnet, Merchant in Bristol, for a new Ship lately built here by said Coulson for said Garnet, the said Committee, after a full and serious consideration of them matter, gave it as their opinion, that his taking said Rigging and Sails out of the vessel in which they arrived, and appropriating them to rig his new Ship, in order to send her to England, would be a violation of the Continenial Association, and therefore that the said Rigging, Sails, and Stores, ought forthwith to be sent back again without breaking any of the packages thereof.

Of this opinon the said Coulson had due notice, but not making any preparations to comply therewith, the said Committee again convened on Tuesday following, viz: the 7th ult˙ Captain Coulson then attended, agreeable to the desire of this Committee, and being asked why he had not sent away the goods, agreeable to the opinion of this Committee, founded on the aforesaid Association, he said, because it was not for his interest; and further said that the vessel wanted repairs, and therefore was unfit to go to sea, and that he did not choose to procure another, or to send back the said Rigging and Sails, otherwise than by rigging


his said new Ship with them, and thus to send them back in the said new Ship; but that he would consent to have them stored at the Committee' s risk until the vessel was repaired, and that then he would re-ship them, and send them out of the harbour. But being asked whether he would send them back to Bristol, he declined giving the Committee any assurance that he would, though he was willing to send back the two hogsheads of Lines, which game in said vessel.

This Committee then sent for a Committee of Carpenters, Riggers, and Caulkers, who had been on board to view her, at the request of a number of the inhabitants of this Town, and they informed us that the vessel wanted some repairs, but that, in their opinion, she might be repaired, fit to return, in about two days, without taking out the goods. Upon which the Committee passed the following Resolve, and sent a copy of it to Captain Coulson, viz:

"That seven days be allowed said Coulson, from this time, to repair said vessel, and to make the necessary preparations for sending her back; and if he does not, at the end of that term, (wind and weather permitting,) send said vessel out of this harbour to proceed to Bristol, this Committee will forthwith cause the truth of the case, to be published, agreeable to the Continental Association."

At the expiration of said term, viz: on the evening of the I4th ult˙, the Committee met again, and although a deposition, signed by several persons, some of whom were merchants, masters of vessels, and ship-carpenters, was then banded in to this Committee, purporting that said vessel was unfit to go to sea until the goods were taken out, and she thoroughly repaired, yet it appeared that Captain Coulson had not taken due care to get said Sloop repaired, nor had endeavoured to procure another, in which to reship the goods to Bristol, and would give the Committee no assurance that he would send them back, in any other manner than he at first proposed. The Committee then adjourned to the 15th ult˙, and then passed the following Vote, viz:

"That if Captain Coulson will reship the aforesaid goods in some other vessel, and send them back immediately, with out breaking any of the packages, it will be satisfactory to this Committee."

To this Captain Coulson (who was again desired to attend, to hear the Committee' s determination) would not consent, though one of this Committee offered him a vessel gratis, to carry them to Halifax or Newfoundland,

We, the said Committee of Inspection, do therefore, agreeable to the directions of the said Continental Congress, as expressed in the said, Eleventh Article of their Association, hereby publish the name of the said Thomas Coulson, as a violator of the Continental Association.

By order of the Committee;