Primary tabs

Notice by "A Traveller" of the Conduct of the Committee of Portsmouth


Watertown, August 7, 1775.

Since I came out of Boston, where I left all my effects to the mercy of a lawless banditti, to amuse myself have made several excursions into different parts of the country, and with pleasure have observed the firm, steady, and resolute spirit which animates every individual. My last tour was to Portsmouth, where, to my astonishment, and I dare say to the astonishment of all America, I was informed, that the Committee for that Town had voted to supply the Scarborough man-of-war, lying in their river, with from four to six hundred weight of fresh beef weekly. This account, I must confess, appeared to be scarce credible; but on making farther inquiry, found it too true; and the reason assigned for this conduct was owing to the threats of a paltry sloop-of-war to deprive the inhabitants of fresh fish, unless they afforded them such a quantity of beef. Too great a soul I hoped animated the breast of every American to submit to so insolent a demand; and instead of treating it with the contempt such insolence deserved, to the surprise of many of the worthy inhabitants, the Committee passed a vote to supply with provisions those butchers of our countrymen, who are daily pilfering and destroying our property, and exercising every act of cruelty to distress and destroy us, by this unexampled instance submitting to their imperious demands, and, like suppliants, entreating their favour. Such conduct, at so important a crisis, cannot but wring tears from every well-wisher to America. This fact is of so important a nature, that it ought in justice to be made publick; and I hope it will so affect the minds of the worthy inhabitants of that Town, as to exclude from all further service the timid members of a Committee who act in direct opposition to both Continental and Provincial Congresses.