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Congress of Safety to Massachusetts Congress



In Committee of Safety, Cambridge, June 28, 1775.

Whereas, the Honourable Provincial Congress did, on the 26th instant, pass a Resolve, "That all the small-arms


that are or may be procured by the above order (mentioned in said Resolve) be delivered to the Committee of Safety at Cambridge, they to give their receipt for the same to the person from whom they receive them; that the same be delivered out to such officers as shall produce orders there for from the Hon˙ General Ward," &c.

And whereas, the Honourable General Ward, in consequence of that part of the above quotation which is scored, has this day issued General Orders, in which are the words: "And the Committee of Safety are hereby ORDERED to deliver out arms to such commanding officers as make application to them for the same:"

And whereas, this Committee apprehend that said Resolve does not empower the Generot to order them to deliver said arms, but only to order his officers to receive from this Committee such arms as they are ordered by the honourable Congress to deliver to the General' s orders to Us officers.

And whereas, the Committee apprehend, that it is of vast importance that no orders are issued by the military, or obeyed by the civil powers, but only such as are directed by the honourable representative body of the people, from whom all military and civil power originates: And though this Committee are satisfied that General Ward has misunderstood said Resolve, and does not mean or intend to set up the military power above the civil; yet, lest this order of the General' s should be adduced as a precedent in future, we think it our indispensable duty to protest against the General' s said order; notwithstanding which protest, we also think it our indispensable duty to deliver said arms, agreeable to the spirit of said Resolve, and as the exigency of the publick requires; and submit our conduct to the honourable Congress.


To the Hon˙ Provincial Congress at Watertown.