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Petition From the Inhabitants of Machias to the Massachusetts Congress



Machias, May 25, 1775.

To the Honourable Congress of the MASSACHUSETTS-BAY: With the highest satisfaction we now consider you as the guardians of this extensive and wealthy Province; and relying on your wisdom, the wisdom of the Continental Congress, the justice of our cause, and the tender mercy of our fathers' God, we promise ourselves, in due time, a happy deliverance from the iron chains of tyranny, which were forming for us, and from servitude equal to Egyptian bondage.

As a part, therefore, of your charge, we, the distressed inhabitants of Machias, beg leave to approach your presence, and to spread our grievances at your feet. We dare not say we are the foremost in supporting the glorious cause of American liberty; but this we can truly affirm, that we have done our utmost to encourage and strengthen the hand of all the advocates for America with whom we have been connected; that we have not even purchased any goods of those persons whom we suspected to be inimical to our Country, except when constrained, by necessity; and that none on the Continent can more cheerfully risk all that is dear to them on earth, when called, in support of those precious privileges which God and our venerable ancestors, as a most invaluable legacy, have handed down to us. We must now inform your Honours, that the inhabitants of this place exceed one hundred families, some of which are very numerous, and that Divine Providence has cut off all our usual resources. A very severe drought last fall prevented our laying in sufficient stores; and had no vessels visited us in the winter, we must have suffered. Nor have we this spring been able to procure provisions sufficient for carrying on our business; our labourers are dismissed, some of our mills stand still, almost all vessels have forsaken us, our lumber lies by us in heaps, and, to complete our misfortunes, all our ports are to be shut up on the first of July next. We must add, we have no country behind us to lean upon, nor can we make an escape by flight; the wilderness is impervious, and vessels we have none. To you, therefore, honoured gentlemen, we humbly apply for relief; you are our last, our only resource; and permit us to say again, you are our guardians, and we rejoice and glory in being subject. Pardon our importunity. We cannot take a denial, for, under God, you are all our dependence; and if


you neglect us, we are ruined. Save, dear Sirs, one of your most flourishing settlements from famine and all its horrours. We ask not for charity; we ask for a supply to be put into the hands of Messrs˙ Smith and Stillman, or any other person or persons your wisdom may point out, who shall obligate themselves to pay the whole amount in lumber, the only staple of our country.

That God may long preserve you, and make you happily instrumental in his hand, in restoring all the sweets of peace and liberty to this much injured Country, and even to Great Britain herself, is the constant and fervent prayer of, gentlemen, your most humble petitioners.

John Longfellow,
Abraham Clark,
James Flinn,
Amos Boynton,
B˙D˙J. Underwood,
John Sinkler,
William Chaloner,
William Albee,
Daniel Hill,
Nathan Longfellow,
James Lyon,
James Elliott,
Timothy Young,
Bradbury Merrill,
Samuel Millberry,
John Watts,
Samuel Barnum,
James Colbroth,
Jonas Farnsworth
Eleazer Hathaway,
Ezekiel Foster,
Solomon Littlefield,
Jacob Libby,
Lodowick Holway,
Micajah How,
Benjamin Gatchell,
Stephen Young,
William Bodwin,
John Chaloner,
Benj˙ Gooch, Jr˙,
Jonathan Brown,
Joseph Clifford,
Joseph Sealey, Jr˙
George Sealey,
John Chase,
Ephraim Chase,
Beriah Rice,
Israel Andrews.