Primary tabs

Petition of John Grout



To the Gentlemen Committee of the town OF CHARLESTOWN, in the Province of NEW-HAMPSHIRE:
The Petition of JOHN GROUT, OF CHESTER, in the State of NEW-YORK, most humbly sheweth:

That a wicked conspiracy has lately been formed in the said County by a part of the people (the notorious Charles Phelps at the head of the conspiracy) to disunite the States of America, and to set them to quarreling among themselves at this time when harmony and friendship is so necessary for our common defence.

The conspirators began by denying the jurisdiction of the State of New-York over the County of Cumberland, and claiming to put themselves under the jurisdiction of the State of Massachusetts-Bay, and for this purpose procured a majority of a small part of the County Committee to write and send such claim to the General Convention of the State of New-York; which extraordinary procedures justly alarming that Convention, they made some spirited resolves thereon, which your petitioner hereunto annexes, and begs leave to refer you. These resolves being sent to the County Committee, they, at a full Committee met at Westminster on the first Tuesday of November last, fully rescinded said claim, and made, in the name and behalf of the people of the said County, a full, ample, and formal submission to the jurisdiction and authority of the State of New-York. To which submission a small part of the said County Committee entered their dissent, and withdrew themselves. But finding that the virtuous people of the State of Massachusetts-Bay would give them no aid in the quarrel they have begun with the State to which they belong, they are now endeavouring to effect their wicked designs of disturbing the union and harmony that now exists among the United States by making a quarrel at this all-important day between the States of New-Hampshire and New-York; and for this purpose have procured an inhabitant of New-Hampshire, one David Currier by name, to complain of your petitioner for an assault; and your petitioner having by Chester Committee been adjudged to be guilty, they have ordered that your petitioner be delivered to said Currier in New-Hampshire, to be by him there imprisoned until your petitioner shall pay and make such satisfaction as said Currier shall arbitrarily impose on him, (a copy of which unprecedented and arbitrary judgment is hereunto annexed,) from which judgment your petitioner appealed to the General Committee of the said County of Cumberland, agreeable to the laws and rules


established in such cases by the Convention of the said State of New-York; but the said Committee of Chester avowing a full revolt from that State, in high contempt of the said Convention, and breach of the rights of your petitioner as a member of that State, have absolutely refused to allow such appeal, and your petitioner is now in custody of one William Atwood, to be delivered here to said Currier for the purposes aforesaid. Your petitioner flatters himself that the virtuous Committee of the town of Charlestown will protect your petitioner from all wrongs and violences from the hands of said Currier within their district, and will give a full proof of their design to cultivate and improve the good understanding now existing between the two States, by protecting your petitioner, and delivering him from the unconstitutional imprisonment he is under within your district, and that you will give the Convention of New-York a pleasing proof that the Committee of Charlestown, in New-Hampshire, will discountenance all violences which shall be offered to the peaceable subjects of that State, contrary to their just rights and the true dignity of New-York, by any and every contentious person who may seek the destruction of the friendship that exists between the said States.

Your petitioner, therefore, most humbly prays that you would please to order him safely to be returned to the County of Cumberland, where he belongs, and delivered to the Chairman of the said County Committee, that so he may prosecute his appeal there agreeable to his rights as a member of the State of New-York, and according to the rules and regulations by the Convention or Assembly of that State in such case lately made and provided; and your petitioner shall ever pray, &c.


Charlestown, in the State of New-Hampshire, December 27, 1776.

P˙ S˙ December 27th, 1776, seven o' clock, p˙ m˙ —Mr˙ Atwood has delivered the petitioner to Mr˙ Currier, and he is now in Mr˙ Carrier' s custody.