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Protest against the Proceedings of the Town Meeting in Boston


Boston, June 29th, 1771.

Protest against the Proceedings of the Town Meeting in BOSTON, on the 27 th of Jun˙, 1774.

Whereas at a meeting of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of this town, held at Fanueil Hall, the 27th instant, and from thence adjourned to the South Meeting House, copies of certain circular letters, wrote by the Committee of Correspondence, so called, for this town, to the other towns in the Province, and other places on the Continent, and answers thereto from the several towns and Colonies, were read; likewise a certain circular letter, accompanied with a Solemn League and Covenant of a most dangerous nature and tendency, which hath been drawn up by the said Committee of Correspondence, copies whereof have been by them clandestinely dispersed through the Province, without the consent or knowledge of the town, and recommended to the people of the county to execute without loss of time, "least their enemies should defeat its purpose." These points being fully spoke to, with candour and moderation, by gentlemen of different sentiments, it was at length motioned and seconded, that the Committee of Correspondence be censured by the town, and dismissed from any further service in that capacity. After some discussion on the subject, and other letters produced and read, the question was put, and passed in the negative.

Wherefore, we, the dissentients, do now make this public and solemn Protest against the doings of the said Committee, as such, against the Solemn League and Covenant aforementioned, and against the proceedings of the town, so far as they have adopted the illegal proceedings of the said Committee of Correspondence, for the following reasons, viz:

First, because, with regard to the Solemn League and Covenant aforementioned, we look on it to be a base, wicked, and illegal measure, calculated to distress and ruin many merchants, shopkeepers, and others, in this metropolis, and affect the whole commercial interest of this Province; to put a check at once to our industry, by stopping the exportation of all the staple articles of our trade; such as oil, pot and pearl ash, flax seed, naval stores, lumber of all sorts, and likewise codfish, by way of Spain and Portugal, the proceeds of which go to Great Britain as remittances for goods. Also will put an end to a very valuable branch of trade to the Province of ship-builders; to create unhappy divisions in towns and in families; to open a door for the most wicked perjuries, and to introduce almost every species of evil that we have not yet felt, and cannot serve any good purpose.

Secondly, because that the Committee of Correspondence, in many of their letters, held forth principles, which, instead of extricating us from our difficulties, serve, in our opinions, still further to involve us, to which principles we cannot accede.

Thirdly, because that Committee of Correspondence, in some letters that were read from them to New-York, Philadelphia, and other places, particularly two to New-York, of the 28th and 30th May, have falsely, maliciously, and scandalously, vilified and abused the characters of many


of us, only for dissenting from them in opinion; a right which we shall claim so long as we hold any claim to freedom or liberty.

Benjamin Gridley,
Benjamin Clark,
William Taylor,
Gilbert Deblois,
John Taylor,
Benjamin Green, Jr˙,
Thomas Knight,
William Bowes,
Peter Jobonnot,
George Leonard,
Thomas Apthrop,
James Selkrig,
David Greene,
Lewis Deblois,
James Asby,
John Inman,
Richard Sharwin,
Andrew Barclay,
William Knutton,
William Perry,
David Mitchelson,
Richard Hirons,
Nathaniel Coffin, Jr˙,
Samuel Minott,
Archibald Wilson,
Hawes Hatch,
William Codner,
Edward King,
William Burton,
Hopestill Capen,
Gregory Townsend,
Ziphion Thayer,
Henry Lee,
Peter Hughes,
Samuel Hughes,
Benjamin Phillips,
Nathaniel Greenwood,
Job Wheelwright,
John Burroughs, Jr˙,
George Leesh,
William Hunter,
Samuel Greenwood,
William Huitchins,
Francis Greene,
Nathaniel Coffin,
Ezekiel Goldthwait,
Silvester Gardiner,
Byfield Lyde,
Jonathan Simpson,
Gorge Bethune,
Rufus Green,
William Coffin,
Jeremiah Greene,
James Boutineau,
Thomas Gray,
Henry Lloyd,
Samuel Fitch,
William Coffin, 3d,
Joseph Taylor,
Archibald McNeil,
Robert Jarvis,
James Hall,
John Berry,
Hugh Tarbett,
Abraham Ellison,
Patrick McMaster,
Joseph Wilson,
Frederick Roberst,
John Agling,
Benjamin M˙ Holmes,
Henry Leddel,
Jonathan Snelling,
Thoephilus Lillie,
John Semple,
William Dickson,
Henry Laughton,
John Greenlaw,
John Winslow, Jun˙,
Edward Stow,
John White,
Nathaniel Hurd,
William Gazneau,
Martin Gay,
John Haskins,
William Jackson,
William McAlpine,
Harrison Gray,
Joseph Greene,
George Erving,
John Vassall,
John Timmins,
Benjamin Davis,
Benjamin Greene,
Stephen Greenleaf,
Isaac Winslow,
Richard Lechmere,
Joshua Winslow,
Daniel Hubbard,
John Erving, Jun˙,
James Perkins,
Isaac Winslow, Jun˙,
Richard Smith,
John Atkinson,
Nathaniel Cary,
Samuel H˙ Sparhawk,
Edward Foster,
Edward Cox,
Thomas Aylwin,
Ebenezer Bridgham,
John Jarvis,
George Spooner,
William Blair,
Harrison Gray, Jun˙,
James Anderson,
Philip Dumaresq,
John Cotton,
George Brindley,
Thomas Brindley,
John Coffin,
Colborn Barrell,
James Forrest,
William Apthrop,
John Gore,
Adino Paddock,
John Joy,
Joseph Scott,
A˙ F˙ Phillips,
Samuel Rogers,
Joseph Greene.