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Colony of New-Hampshire



To the Honourable Congress of the United Colonies of NORTH AMERICA:

The Committee of Safety of said Colony, pursuant to an order of the Council and Assembly, beg leave to lay before you some difficulties that have arisen among them, and request your determination thereon, being assured that your opinion on the premises will quiet the minds of those dissatisfied, and that all will acquiesce therein. We are very sorry that any misunderstandings among ourselves, should lay us under the necessity of diverting your minds from the important concerns which engross your attention. But no expedient could be found to satisfy many among us, but the laying the whole matter before your Honours. Soon after the commencement of hostilities by the King' s troops at Lexington, the people in several of our Counties were so enraged against many of the Executive officers, supposing them inimical to the liberties of the country, that they would not suffer the Courts to sit, so much as to try criminal offenders. And the Congress, in the Summer past, finding the Courts, under the officers in commission, could not be held, and many complaints coming before them, against persons for high crimes, agreed to instruct their Delegates to request some direction from your Honours, relative to the regulating our Civil Police. Before the dissolution of the Congress, and previous to the reception of your recommendation about Government, a general plan of Representation was agreed on, to consist of eighty-nine persons, and precepts issued in consequence thereof; a copy of which we transmit herewith. After the meeting of the new Congress, the members appeared to agree in the necessity of assuming Government, but differed in the mode, after setting fifteen days, viz: On the 5th of January, the Resolve for assuming Government, passed by a majority of near two to one, a copy of which accompanies this, and the next day chose the number proposed for a Council, who look their seat, and proceeded on business according to the plan. A number of the members of the House being dissatisfied with the measures adopted, protested against them, a copy of which we also send herewith. Our brethren in the town of Portsmouth were also much concerned lest the proceedings should hurt the common cause; disaffect our friends in Great Britain — as savouring of independency. They wrote circular letters to a great number of towns, expressing their fears of the consequence of our taking up Government: soon after which, the towns of Portsmouth, Dover, Rochester, Newington, Greenland, Rye, Stratham, Northampton, Kensington, New-Market, with a number of individuals in the town of Brentwood, petitioned the General Court, setting forth, that they were greatly alarmed at the proceedings of the Congress in taking up Government, supposing it looked too much like setting up for independency; were exceeding fearful of the consequence; that we should lose the assistance of our friends abroad, and create a disunion among ourselves, and prayed that the two Houses would reconsider the Resolve for taking up Government, and proceed to business as the late Congress had done. The House of Representatives thinking it absolutely necessary, for the well being of the Colony, to proceed agreeable to the Resolves concluded to let the petitions lay. But, at the request of the Petitioners, it was agreed to have the proceedings laid before your honourable body. And this Committee under real expectation that your determination will settle the difference of opinion among us, humbly request you to transmit the same.

I have the honour to be, gentlemen, your most humble servant,

By order of the Committee: