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Letter to the Boston Committee


New-York, May 23, 1774.

The Committee met at the Coffee House, at 8 o' clock, in the evening, pursuant to adjournment: Present,

Isaac Low, Chairman,
Philip Livingston,
Charles McEvers,
Nicholas Hoffman,
Henry Remsen,
Peter T˙ Curtenius,
Isaac Sears,
Abraham P˙ Lott,
Abraham Walton,
James Duane,
John Broome,
Abraham Duryee,
Thomas Marston,
Richard Sharpe,
Jacobus Van Zandt,
Peter V˙ B˙ Livingston,
Abraham Brasher,
Peter Van Schaack,
James Jauncy,
John Jay,
David Johnston,
William Walton,
Edward Laight,
Miles Sherbrook,
William Bayard,
Hamilton Young,
Gerardus Duyckinck,
Charles Nicholl,
Theophilact Bache,
Gabriel H˙ Ludlow,
John Moore,
Peter Goelet,
Leonard Lispenard,
Alexander McDougall,
Gerard W˙ Beekman,
Charles Shaw,
John De Lancey,
Thomas Randall.

The Committee appointed this morning to prepare a draft of a Letter in answer to those received from Boston,


presented a draft to the Committee, which was unanimously approved of, and ordered to be signed by the Chairman, and transmitted to the Committee of Correspondence, at Boston; in the words following:

New-York, May 23,1774.

GENTLEMEN: The alarming measures of the British Parliament relative to your ancient and respectable town, which has so long been the seat of freedom, fill the inhabitants of this city with inexpressible concern. As a sister Colony, suffering in defence of the rights of America, we consider your injuries as a common cause, to the redress of which it is equally our duty, and our interest to contribute. But what ought to be done in a situation so truly critical, while it employs the anxious thoughts of every generous mind, is very hard to be determined.

Our citizens have thought it necessary to appoint a large Committee, consisting of fifty-one persons to correspond with our sister Colonies on this and every other matter of public moment, and at ten o' clock this forenoon, we were first assembled. Your letter, enclosing the vote of the town of Boston, and the letter of your Committee of Correspondence, were immediately taken into consideration.

While we think you justly entitled to the thanks of your sister Colonies for asking their advice on a case of such extensive consequences, we lament our inability to relieve your anxiety by a decisive opinion. The cause is general, and concerns a whole Continent, who are equally interested with you and us; and we foresee that no remedy can be of avail unless it proceeds from the joint act and approbation of all; from a virtuous and spirited union which may be expected while the feeble efforts of a few will only


be attended with mischief and disappointment to themselves and triumph to the adversaries of our liberty.

Upon these reasons we conclude that a Congress of Deputies from the Colonies in general is of the utmost moment; that it ought to be assembled without delay, and some unanimous resolution formed in this fatal emergency, not only respecting your deplorable circumstances, but for the security of our common rights. Such being our sentiments, it must be premature to pronounce any judgment on the expedient which you have suggested. We beg, however, that you will do us the justice to believe that we shall continue to act with a firm and becoming regard to American freedom, and to co-operate with our sister Colonies in every measure which shall be thought salutary and conducive to the public good.

We have nothing to add, but that we sincerely condole with you, in your unexampled distress, and to request your speedy opinion of the proposed Congress, that if it should meet with your approbation, we may exert our utmost endeavours, to carry it into execution.

We are, &c.

Ordered, That the Chairman send a copy of this Letter to the Committee at Boston, and to the Committee of Correspondence at Philadelphia, acknowledging the receipt of a copy of their Letter to Boston, and approving the sentiments contained in it.

The Committee adjourned to the Exchange, to meet on the 30th of May, inst˙, at 6 o' clock, in the evening.