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Address Presented to General Gage



To his Excellency THOMAS GAGE, Esquire.

May it please your Excellency:

We his Majesty' s loyal subjects, Selectmen of the several Towns of Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Pembroke, Hanover, and Scituate, deeply affected with a sense of the increasing dangers and calamities which menace one


of the most promising countries upon earth with political exition, cannot but lament that while we are endeavouring to preserve peace and maintain the authority of the laws, at a period when the bands of government are relaxed, by violent infractions on the Charter of the Province, our enemies are practising every insidious stratagem to seduce the people into acts of violence and outrage.

We beg leave to address your Excellency on a subject which excites our apprehensions extremely; and in the representation of facts, we promise to pay that sacred regard to truth, which, had our adversaries observed, we flatter ourselves it would have precluded the necessity of our addressing your Excellency on this occasion.

We are informed from good authority that a number of people from Marshfield and Scituate, have made application to your Excellency, soliciting the aid of a detachment of his Majesty' s Troops, for the security and protection of themselves and properties. That their fears and intimidation were entirely groundless; that no design or plan of molestation was formed against them, or existed, but in their own imaginations, their own declarations, and their actions, which have a more striking language, abundantly demonstrate. Several men of unquestionable veracity, residing in the Town of Marshfield, have solemnly called God to witness, before one of his Majesty' s Justices of the Peace, that they not only never heard of any intention to disturb the complainants, but repeatedly saw them, after they pretended to be under apprehensions of danger, attending to their private affairs without arms, and even after they had lodged their arms a few miles distant from their respective houses.

They frequently declared in conversation with, the deponents, that they were not apprehensive of receiving any injury in their persons or properties; and one of them, who is a minor, (as many of them are) being persuaded to save his life by adjoining himself to the petitioners, but afterwards abandoning them by the request of his father, deposeth in the like solemn manner, that he was under no intimidation himself, nor did he ever hear any of them say that he was. It appears as evident as if written with a sun-beam, from the general tenor of the testimony, (which we are willing to lay before your Excellency, if desired,) that their expressions of fear were a fallacious pretext, dictated by the inveterate enemies of our Constitution, to induce your Excellency to send Troops into the County, to augment the difficulties of our situation, already very distressing; and what confirms this truth, (if it need any confirmation,) is the assiduity and pains which we have taken to investigate it; we have industriously and impartially scrutinized into the cause of this alarm, and cannot find that it has the least foundation in reality.

All that we have in view in this Address, is to lay before your Excellency a true state of facts, and to remove that opprobrium which this movement of the military reflects on this country; and as a spirit of enmity and falsehood is prevalent in the country, and as every thing which comes from a gentleman of your Excellency' s exalted station, naturally acquires great weight and importance, we earnestly entreat your Excellency to search into the grounds of every report previous to giving your assent to it.

Signed by a number of Selectmen.

Pembroke, February 7, 1775.