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Letter from John Scollay


Ordered, That Mr˙ Gill, Mr˙ Pickering, and Mr˙ Woodbridge, be a Committee to consider a Letter from Mr˙ John Scollay, relative to the Poor of the Town of Boston. The Letter is as follows, viz:

"Boston, July 8, 1775.

"SIR: His Excellency the Governour having, by Mr˙ Secretary Flucker, sent a message to the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, and Committee of Donations, respecting the removal of the poor, and other inhabitants of the Town of Boston, they attended the same, and after deliberating on the matter, presented to Mr˙ Secretary their doings thereon, a copy of which is here enclosed, to which his Excellency has been pleased to accede.

"As there has of late been an interruption of the inhabitants, with their effects, passing out of the Town into the Country, perhaps the matter may have dropped with you, and proper accommodations may not have been provided for the reception of any more of the Poor of the Town than have already left it; and as the state of the inhabitants is really distressing, we shall be glad an immediate attention be given to the above, and that we, as soon as may be, know your resolutions thereon. As many of these poor unhappy people are not in a condition to be removed by land carriage, therefore, we should think, that the place of their destination might be as near water carriage as may be convenient. If it would not be thought assuming, we would beg leave to suggest the Towns of Salem or Marblehead, as proper places for the above purpose.

"His Excellency does expect, that whatever vessels or other carriages may be employed in this business, ample security be given that they shall be safe from any detention, and that they, and the persons that occupy them, be permitted to return without hindrance or molestation.

"I am, in behalf of the Committee, your most humble servant,


"To James Warren, Esquire."

"The Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, and Committee of Donations, having received a message from his Excellency the Governour, by Mr˙ Secretary Flucker, respecting the removal of the poor, and other inhabitants of the Town, and attended the same, with all proper deference and respect, beg leave to represent; that the number of the poor in the Alms-house, amounts to about two hundred, of which they suppose that one hundred and sixty or one hundred and seventy may be removed, for which the Selectmen, Overseers, and Committee aforesaid, will make all proper provision, his Excellency providing boats and carriages for transportation by water or land, as may be thought best, and allowing such quantities of provisions, bedding, clothing, and medicine, as may be necessary and proper. The few unhappy persons that may be unable to be removed, must left, and are earnestly recommended to his Excellency' s well-known humanity.

"As to the poor, and other inhabitants of the Town, who if not already, will soon be reduced to the greatest distress, the Selectmen, Overseers, and Committee apprehend, that by far the greatest part, if not the whole, would immediately remove themselves, with the small assistance


they might receive from the Committee of Donations, provided they could obtain his Excellency' s permission.

"The Selectmen, Overseers, and Committee, previous to their removal, beg for leave to write to such persons in the country as may be empowered to take care of, and provide for the poor, that these destitute persons may find such assistance and relief as their particular circumstances may require."