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Charles Cushing to Samuel Freeman

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CHARLES CUSHING TO SAMUEL FREEMAN.

Pownalborough, November 16th, 1776.

SIR: I here enclose you copies of the records of the Committee of Correspondence, &c˙, of this town, relating to the Rev˙ Jacob Bailey,


the Episcopal itinerant Missionary here, who is declared an enemy to the rights of America by said Committee, in order that the General Court may take the matter into consideration, and take such effectual measures thereon as the Court in their wisdom shall think proper for discountenancing such dangerous principles and practices as he has been adjudged guilty of by said Committee.

The reason he gave why he would not read the Declaration was, because that he had taken the oath of allegiance in the year 1760 to King George the Second; and he said that the same oath was still binding upon him to pay the same allegiance to George the Third; and he further said that if the King should break his oath, by which he was bound to govern his subjects agreeable to law, yet his subjects who were under the oath of allegiance were still bound by the same, to pay him the same allegiance as though the King had governed his subjects strictly agreeable to law and his oath, and nothing could absolve the subject from their allegiance, let the King' s conduct be as bad as possible.

If this doctrine be just, what becomes of all the old officers in the United States that have taken the oaths of allegiance? Have they all incurred the guilt of perjury? If they have, it would have been belter to have worn fetters and chains, and endured the greatest tyranny that George the Third, his Ministers, and the devil could impose. But those sentiments are erroneous and false, and have no foundation in truth and righteousness. And I dare say that the General Court will take care that such divinity should not prevail. If they are connived at, the States sapped in their foundation.

Amongst the enclosed are a copy of his reasons which he signed, for not reading the Declaration. But he was not so particular as to say that the oath he was under was made to King George the Second, for which reason I thought proper to observe the same to you as aforesaid, (the oath of allegiance is not to the King and his successor,) together with what he said upon his examination. You will see by the resolves that he was charged with praying for the King. The evidence in support of that was his own confession. Further, he did not duly observe the days of fasting. He had a proclamation last May, two Sabbaths before the fast, but never read it to his people. He met with his people on the day, but what they fasted for, they could not tell, and he did not inform them; and it is certain he did not observe the contents of the proclamation. He never prayed for the success of our arras as therein directed. It was on

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account of those clauses in the proclamation in favour of our land, that he did not read it, I conclude. He never failed of reading proclamations from the Governour, when they came in season, and proclamations before that from the Congress he treated with contempt. He would not even observe the day. He gave bond agreeable to the third resolve, which bond I here enclose you. Should be glad you would deliver it to the Treasurer, and in case he should not appear agreeable to the last resolve, that then he may be cited to appear agreeable to the conditions of the bond, if the Court should think proper to send for him. Also you have enclosed an account of the Committee leasing out an estate.

The part that Colonel Lithgow and you and I were to take care of, some of them want to be piled up anew. Should be glad you would consult Colonel Lithgow, and write down orders to Luke Lombard, who lives near to them, to do it.

I am, sir, your most humble servant,

CHARLES CUSHING.

To Samuel Freeman, Esq.

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