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Message from the Governour to the Assembly


May 2, 1775. — The House met pursuant to adjournment.

The Governour, by Mr˙ Secretary, sent down a written Message to the House, together with a copy of a Resolution of the House of Commons, passed the 20th of February last, which were read by order, and are as they respectively follow, viz:

A Message from the Governour to the Assembly.

GENTLEMEN: I have ordered the Secretary to lay before you a Resolution entered into by the British House of


Commons the twentieth of February last, relative to the unhappy differences subsisting between our Mother Country and her American Colonies. You will perceive by this Resolve not only a strong disposition manifested by that august body to remove the causes which have given rise to the discontents and complaints of His Majesty' s subjects in the Colonies, and the dreadful impending evils likely to ensue from them, but that they have pointed out the terms on which they think it just and reasonable a final accommodation should be grounded.

Let me earnestly entreat you, gentlemen, to weigh and consider this plan of reconciliation held forth and offered by the parent to her children, with that temper, calmness, and deliberation, that the importance of the subject and the present critical situation of affairs demand. Give me leave to observe, that the Colonies, amidst all those complaints which a jealousy of their liberties has occasioned, have never denied the justice or equity of their contributing towards the burdens of the Mother Country, to whose protection and care they owe not only their present opulence, but even their very existence. On the contrary, every state and representation of their supposed grievances that I have seen, avows the propriety of such a measure, and their willingness to comply with it.

The dispute, then, appears to me to be brought to this point: Whether the redress of any grievances the Colonists have reason to complain of, shall precede, or be postponed to the settlement of that just proportion which America should bear towards the common support and defence of the whole British Empire.

You have, in the Resolution of the House of Commons, which I have authority to tell you is entirely approved by His Majesty, a solemn declaration that an exemption from any duty, tax, or assessment, present or future, except such duties as may be expedient for the regulation of Commerce, shall be the immediate consequence of proposals on the part of any of the Colony Legislatures, accepted by His Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament, to make provision, according to their respective circumstances, for contributing their proportion to the common defence, and the support of the civil Government of each Colony.

I will not do you so much injustice, gentlemen, as to suppose you can desire a better security for the inviolable performance of this engagement, than the Resolve itself, and His Majesty' s approbation of it gives you.

As you are the first Assembly on the Continent to whom this Resolution has been communicated, much depends on the moderation and wisdom of your counsels; and you will be deservedly revered to the latest posterity, if, by any possible means, you can be instrumental in restoring the publick tranquillity, and rescuing both Countries from the dreadful calamities of a civil war.


May 2, 1775.