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Message from the Council


The Secretary came into the House with the following Message:

"Council Chamber, November 10, 1775.

"Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:

"How far the honourable House can be justified in saying that they have made such provision for the relief of the Town of Falmouth, and County of Cumberland, as their necessities demand, in the resolve which passed and was sent up the 4th instant, when, at the time of passing that resolve, the honourable House must have known that, consistent with your own explanation of the present Constitution of this Colony, the resolve could not be concurred by the Council, and they discharge their duty to the publick; and how far such provision for the relief of the real wants and necessities of our distressed brethren will exceed that of saying to the naked, be ye clothed, and to the hungry, be ye filled, we leave to the suggestions of your own minds.

"While the Council observe with pleasure a resolution now formed by the honourable House, to afford that necessary succour and defence to any part of this Colony, which is within your province to grant, consistent with the present Constitution thereof, they cannot but lament that


so salutary a resolution had not been formed and received as the rule of action by the honourable House, previous to your adopting those resolves of the 4th current, in which you have attempted to clothe your substitute with that power, and delegate to him that authority which, by the present Constitution of this Colony, is incontestably lodged in another branch of the General Court, and that you should be led to ask the concurrence of the Board therewith, as another line of conduct more consistent with our present Constitution might have prevented all debate on this subject between the honourable Board and the Council, and that anxiety in the minds of the Council, lest a delay, thus effected, to support our distressed brethren in the Town of Falmouth, and in the neighbourhood thereof, should prove their ruin.

"The Council renew their request that the honourable House would commiserate the distresses of our friends in the County of Cumberland, and grant such further relief to them as their necessities require. You may depend on a due concurrence of the Council in such measures, and that they will, not from a conviction that their exclusive claim of appointing Militia officers is erroneous, but from the apparent necessity that immediate provision should be made for the defence and protection of the Town of Falmouth, and County of Cumberland, in this instance (and that it be not considered as a precedent in future) join with the honourable House in appointing by ballot an officer to take the command of the forces raised for the defence of the sea-coast, and, when necessary, call together and command the Militia when assembled in said County."