A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at the house of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, No. 28 Newbury Street, Boston, on Thursday, 20 December, 1923, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the President, Fred Norris Robinson, Ph.D., in the chair.

    The Records of the Annual Meeting in November were read and approved.

    The Corresponding Secretary reported the death on the twenty-ninth of November of Charles Francis Jenney, a Resident Member.

    The Rt. Rev. Charles Lewis Slattery of Boston, and Mr. Frank Brewer Bemis of Beverly, were elected Resident Members.

    The President announced his appointment of Mr. Archibald Cary Coolidge as a delegate from this Society to the annual Conference of Historical Societies to be held in Columbus this month in connection with the meeting of the American Historical Association.

    The President submitted an account of the Henry Herbert Edes Memorial Fund and a list of contributors. The Fund now stands:

    Total subscriptions


    Interest on deposit


    Total receipts


    Less amount paid to rebuild chancel in First Church in Boston as a memorial to Mr. Edes


    Balance of Fund, November 1, 1923


    The following is a list of the subscribers to the Fund

    Alfred Lawrence Aiken

      Frederick Lawton
      Francis Randall Appleton
      Henry Lefavour
      William Sumner Appleton
      Henry Cabot Lodge
      Walter Austin
      Charles Francis Mason
      Thomas Willing Balch
      Albert Matthews
      William Keeney Bixby
      Edward Percival Merritt
      George Nixon Black
      Samuel Lyman Munson
      Roger Blaney
      Charles Lemuel Nichols
      Clarence Saunders Brigham
      Grenville Howland Norcross
      Frederick Channing Bowditch
      James Atkins Noyes
      Howard Nicholson Brown
      Miss Sarah Cushing Paine
      Augustus George Bullock
      Charles Edwards Park
      Samuel Chester Clough
      James Parker Parmenter
      Archibald Cary Coolidge
      Stephen Willard Phillips
      Miss Clara Rachel Corliss
      Mrs. William Veazie Pratt
      Henry Winchester Cunningham
      Edward Kennard Rand
      Elbridge Gerry Cutler
      Fred Norris Robinson
      Frederick Dodge
      Mrs. Fred Norris Robinson
      Charles Francis Dowse
      James Hardy Ropes
      William Bradford Homer Dowse
      Arthur Prentice Rugg
      John Henry Edmonds
      Mrs. Charles Robert Sanger553
      Charles William Eliot
      John Singer Sargent
      Alfred Walter Elson
      Frederick Cheever Shattuck
      John Whittemore Farwell
      William Simes
      Allan Forbes
      Franklin Bache Stephenson
      Arthur Foote
      Miss Mary Goddard Storer
      Robert Hallowell Gardiner
      Edmund Channing Stowell
      Charles Hall Grand gent
      Mrs. Edmund Channing Stowell
      Morris Gray
      Richard Clipston Sturgis
      Charles Montraville Green
      Mrs. Robert Noxon Toppan
      Chester Noyes Greenough
      Harry Walter Tyler
      Francis Russell Hart
      Winthrop Howland Wade
      George Henry Haynes
      Charles James White
      James Melville Hunnewell
      Miss Gertrude Richardson White
      Alfred Johnson
      James Benjamin Wilbur
      Nathaniel Thayer Kidder
      Samuel Williston
      Charles Rockwell Lanman

    Mr. Francis T. Bowles made the following communication:


    Local historians have noted with evident reluctance that the town of Barnstable declined to instruct its representative in the colonial assembly for independence in 1776, and naturally have not enlarged upon circumstances which indicated a close and varying division of opinion in the town between loyalty to the king and devotion to the patriot cause. It has been stated554 that Barnstable was the only town in the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay which failed to instruct for independence, but this is difficult to verify, as the province records do not show a return of the action of the towns.

    This memoir is an attempt to ascertain the leadership of those who so often in the town affairs thwarted the revolutionists and continued loyal to the mother country. The facts indicate that Edward Bacon of Barnstable—selectman, judge, representative, deacon—was the active political force.

    On May 9, 1776, the House of Representatives adopted and sent up for concurrence the following resolution:

    Resolved, That it be, and hereby is recommended to each Town in this Colony, who shall send a Member or Members to the next General Assembly, fully to possess him or them with their Sentiments relative to a Declaration of Independency of the United Colonies on Great-Britain, to be made by Congress, and to instruct them what Conduct they would have them observe with Regard to the next General Assembly’s instructing the Delegates of this Colony on that subject.

    Sent up for Concurrence.555

    On May 10 the Council non-concurred,556 upon which the House immediately passed the following resolution:

    Resolved, As the Opinion of this House that the Inhabitants of each Town in this Colony, ought in full Meeting warned for that Purpose, to advise the Person or Persons who shall be chosen to Represent them in the next General Court, whether that if the honorable Congress should, for the Safety of the said Colonies, declare them Independent of the Kingdom of Great-Britain, they the said inhabitants will solemnly engage their Lives and Fortunes to Support the Congress in the Measure.

    Ordered, That Mr. Cooper557 get the foregoing Resolve printed in the several News-Papers, as soon as possible.558

    To the next House it was manifest, in spite of the publication of the above resolve “in the public News-Papers,”559 that “some Towns . . . were not so seasonably favoured with the said Prints, as to have it in their Power to instruct their Representatives, agreeable to Advice in said Resolve (had they been so minded);” and on June 7 it was resolved “That such Towns as have not complied with the Resolve aforesaid . . . duly warn a Town-Meeting for such Purpose, as soon as may be,” and that handbills “be forthwith Printed, and sent to such Towns, for the Purpose aforesaid.”560

    The records of the town of Barnstable show that at a meeting held on June 25, of which Nymphas Marston was chosen moderator, in response to this resolve it was “Voted not to give any instructions to the Representative with Respect to Independence.” The failure of the majority of citizens to offer their lives and fortunes for independence aroused a strong remonstrance. On the same day (June 25) Joseph Otis and fourteen others signed a protest;561 and on the next day (June 26) a second protest was signed by Joseph Otis and twenty-two others.562 The first of these protests drew from Captain Sturgis Gorham a letter dated July 9 defending the action of the town meeting.563 To this Joseph Otis replied in a letter dated July 18,564 and a rejoinder by Captain Gorham was printed in a Boston paper of August 8.565

    Meanwhile, these protests and the press comments resulted in a town meeting on July 23, with Nymphas Marston again moderator. The record of the meeting of June 25 was read, also the protest dated June 26 and a letter of Captain Gorham, and the following resolutions were adopted:

    Voted to read Capt. Gorham’s request to the publick.

    Voted to give the thanks of the town to Capt. Sturgis Gorham for his Care in Vindicating the566 News papers desiring the publick to Suspend their opinions of this town till the truth might be known.

    Voted that this town in their meeting of the 25th of June last the Question was put whether the town would instruct their Representative with Respect to Independence it passed in the Negative.

    Voted The true intent & meaning of the Town was that they would Leave the matter to their Representative when at the general Court.

    At the afores’d Meeting July 23d, 1776.

    Voted that the piece published in the Watertown news paper567 of July the 8th Cur’t Called a protest of a number of Respectable inhabitants of the town of Barnstable Signed by Joseph Otis Esq. & fourteen Others is a Wrong and Injurious Representation of the proceeding of the town of Barnstable.

    The intense feeling in the town arising over this affair of independency had originated some time before on matters of the patriot cause and finally culminated three years later when the leader of the loyal faction, Edward Bacon, was excluded from the House.

    From a letter written by Samuel Adams to James Otis on March 19, 1773, it would appear that friction had arisen at a town meeting held just before, for Adams states that in an anonymous letter received by William Molineux “mention is made of some rude Aspersions cast upon the character of himself and several others of our Committee by your Representative Mr Bacon in a public meeting in your Town.”568

    The town records also give some indication of the trouble. It was evidently a patriots’ meeting that was held on October 12, 1774, with James Otis569 as moderator, when a Committee of Correspondence was appointed, consisting of James Otis, Joseph Otis, Daniel Davis, Dr. Abner Hersey, Eli Phinney, Joseph Hallett, and George Lewis, all of whom were adherents of the patriot side.570

    Edward Bacon had previously opposed the appointment of the committee, as is shown by the affidavit of Joseph Otis, dated October 9, 1778. Otis avers that he took down Bacon’s words at a town meeting, which was presumably that held in March, 1773, where, in referring to the Boston committee with which the local committee was invited to correspond, Bacon said:

    Some of Said Committee were the Vilest of men, that it was Scandalous to Correspond With them, and on being checked for the Aspersion (by Some one) he made an Apology with regard to my Brother and Particularized Mr. Mollineaux Mr. Dennie & Dr. Young as men of very bad Characters (as near as I can Remember), Intimating one was an Atheist, one Never Went to Meeting, and the Other was Incontinent . . . and Strenuously Opposed Chuseing a Committee which by his Influence was Carried in the Negative.571

    On January 4, 1775, a town meeting was held of which Edward Bacon was chosen moderator. Votes were passed directing the constable not to collect the province rate for the year, or to pay the province tax for the past year or current year to the province treasurer. It was also voted not to buy any small arms nor ammunition for the town’s use. The record contains these sentences: “In respect of encouraging Minute men the town declined acting,” and “The town declined sending any person to the provincial Congress.”572 It is evident that the loyalists were in charge of this meeting; but the results were not agreeable, for shortly after another town meeting was held, on January 24, when James Otis was chosen moderator and the only business transacted was the election of Daniel Davis, a patriot, as representative to the Provincial Congress to be held at Cambridge in the following February.

    On April 20th nineteen soldiers were privately mustered at Barnstable and started for Boston. They are said to have taken part in the battle at Bunker Hill.573 The patriots were now aroused. A town meeting was held on April 25, 1775, with James Otis as moderator, and it was voted to purchase 120 small arms with ammunition. Daniel Davis, Joseph Otis, and Eli Phinney were the committee to buy the ammunition and dispose of it. It was also voted that three military watches be established under three captains, James Davis, Benjamin Lumbert, and Ebenezer Jenkins, but without any charge to the town. The plan to buy arms was rescinded at a subsequent meeting, but later carried through.

    The events of the year 1777 brought great distress to Barnstable and other Cape towns from the requisitions for men, clothing, and food which they were unable to furnish. This condition probably influenced the town of Barnstable in its election of Edward Bacon its representative in the State Assembly for 1778, which occurred at a town meeting held on May 12, 1778, at which Daniel Davis was moderator. This action of the town brought to light the antagonisms generated by the earlier events and made Edward Bacon the subject of a public controversy extending over the two following years and ending in his expulsion from the State Assembly, to which he was elected on May 20, 1779, Nymphas Marston moderator.

    Edward Bacon is thus referred to in a manuscript memoir of the Bacon family:

    Honorable Edward Bacon, youngest son of Deacon Samuel Bacon and Sarah Taylor Allyn was born Jany 23rd 1714–15. He was a distinguished man in his time, and occupied for many years a prominent place in the town, county and Colony. He held many important offices and performed his various public duties with signal ability. He was sometime town clerk, a deacon of the church eight years a selectman, a representative to the General Court in 1773–4–8–9 and 80,574 a delegate to the convention in Cambridge for forming a new Constitution in 1779, and continued in office as a Judge of the Common Pleas and General sessions from his appointment in 1764 to the Revolution. During the Revolution and in the active times immediately preceding it, he took an active part. His patriotism was at one time doubted; but the resolutions passed by the town and recorded vindicate his character as a patriot and a man.575

    The following paragraph, written by Julian Sturgis, gives probably the current opinion of his political attitude:

    So little indeed was there of hostility between the friends of the king and the opponents of his governor, that even in 1773, when the distinctions had been drawn far more sharply by mere force of circumstances, and when Mrs. James Perkins—the daughter of our good Mr. Peck, and widow of James Perkins who was a prominent patriot and had signed the remonstrance to Governor Hutchinson—thought it best to retire from Boston, it was a noted loyalist, Squire Bacon (and the more noted because loyalists were very few outside the limits of Boston), who welcomed her and her eight children.576

    The election of Edward Bacon to the State Assembly of 1778 brought forth a petition from Joseph Otis and others under date of May 22, 1778, alleging—

    that whereas a Majority of a Meeting, though not a Majority of the Town voted Edward Bacon Esqr their Representative by which a Man uniformly & openly as well as invariably an Abetter of Bernard & Hutchinsons wicked Measures, an avowed Opposer of Congresses Colonial & Continental & a professed Enemy to the Independency of America, is got into power at a Season the most critical this or any Country ever knew, and appears the Representative of this Town, wherefore as in Duty bound to your Honors ourselves & the glorious Cause of Liberty, we . . . take this Method . . . to enter our protest against a Representation by the said Edward Bacon Esqr being a Man unfriendly to the common Cause, of arbitrary & dangerous principles, and intreat your Honors to take effectual measures to exclude the said Edward Bacon from the publick Councils for ever.577

    This petition was read in the House on October 14, 1778, and referred for trial to the next session.578

    To assist him before the General Court, Bacon and his friends arranged for a special town meeting, held on December 16, 1778. The moderator was his staunch supporter, Squire Marston. The town record579 shows that the meeting was held for the sole purpose of considering the petition of Joseph Otis and 28 others to the House of Representatives praying for the exclusion of Edward Bacon from the public councils forever. A committee reported and the meeting approved seven resolutions, saying that reflections in the petition were unjustifiable to both Edward Bacon and the “loyal inhabitants;” that he was properly elected; that the charges proceeded from a family quarrel and were the result of envy; that the petition was unjust and surreptitious; that there was no backwardness in the present war on Bacon’s part; that the petition was a malicious libel; and praying the General Court to dismiss it.

    The votes of this town meeting have been regarded by Freeman and others580 as Bacon’s complete vindication, but would appear to-day as the declamatory efforts of a dwindling faction.

    A hearing duly took place on the appointed day, January 13, when a further hearing was assigned to February 3.581 On January 18, however, it was announced that an agreement had been reached and consideration was assigned to January 21,582 on which day Bacon’s resignation was accepted and a precept for a new election was issued,583 he having agreed to resign and to go home, compose all difficulties and convince all that he was a good friend to his country. The negotiations in this affair are well set forth in an affidavit of Joseph Otis and Ebenezer Jenkins of April 1, 1779.584 Bacon returned to Barnstable and was immediately re-elected to the Assembly by a town meeting on March 18, 1779, of which Nymphas Marston was moderator. Evidently he had not composed the trouble in the town, for a petition was promptly filed against him by Daniel Davis and others on the following day.585 This petition was not acted upon, because Bacon did not enroll for the remainder of this session.

    On May 20, 1779, Edward Bacon was elected by Barnstable as its representative in the General Court and on the same day a petition was largely signed against seating him.586 He appeared in the House May 31, 1779, but was not allowed to take his seat pending a hearing on the petition set for June 1st.587 On that day Bacon was admitted to the House and, after a dilatory motion made by him and a motion to reconsider were voted down 74 to 53 and 64 to 61,588 the depositions produced by the petitioners were read and oral testimony of several persons taken. A motion followed to appoint a committee to bring in a resolve expelling Edward Bacon, and it was passed by a majority of 95 members out of 100.589 On June 2 Bacon’s petition590 for reconsideration was read and dismissed.591 On June 3, 1779, the House read and accepted the report of its committee as follows:

    WHEREAS Edward Bacon, Esq; who has been returned by the town of Barnstable, to represent them in the Great and General Court the present year, has been charged with a disqualification to set in said House; and after a motion of the said Edward Bacon for postponing the consideration of said charges had been considered and determined in the negative; it appearing to the House that the said Edward Bacon, Esq; was returned a member from the said town of Barnstable for the year last past, and that Joseph Otis, Esq; and others, on the l4th day of October last, remonstrated against his holding a seat in the said House; that the second Wednesday of the then next session was assigned for a hearing of the same: And Ordered, That the said Edward Bacon, Esq; should be served with a copy of said remonstrance, at which time, viz: On the 13th of January last past, on motion, the 3d day of February next was assigned for a further hearing; that on the 18th of said January, be agreed that he was ready for his trial, and the 21st of said January was assigned, for the same, at which time the said Edward Bacon, Esq; resigned his seat in that House; that the present remonstrance refers to the former one for the articles of charge, and contains no new matter: And the said Edward Bacon has not mentioned any new evidence he wanted to procure, who could testify any thing which appeared to the House essential to his defence. The House have proceeded to a full enquiry into the evidences in support of said charges; and after a full and impartial hearing, do resolve, That whereas it appears to this House that Edward Bacon, Esq; of Barnstable, who is returned as chosen by that town to represent them in the Great and General Court the ensuing year, was in the administration of the late Governor Bernard, Hutchinson and Gage, adherent to them and to the measures of the British ministry against this then province, and set himself zealously and uniformly in opposition to the endeavors of the good people of this government to resist them and obtain a redress of the same; and that the said Edward Bacon, Esq; hath been inimical to the revolution of the government and independency of this State, and of the other United States of America, and to their measures to support and establish the same; and that he still continues inimically disposed towards them: And whereas it is unlawful, dangerous and unnecessary, more especially at so critical a period, that a person of such principles, disposition and conduct should hold a seat in the House of Representatives of this State: Therefore,

    Resolved, That the said Edward Bacon, Esq; be, and he hereby is excluded from taking or holding a seat in this House.592

    In an appendix I have brought together the depositions taken, the petitions presented, and other documents relating to the career of Edward Bacon.593 All the petitions against Bacon make substantially the same charges: that he was an open abettor of Bernard and Hutchinson; that he opposed colonial and Continental Congresses; that he was an enemy to independence; and that he was unfriendly to the common cause and of arbitrary and dangerous principles. The affidavits of persons, fourteen from Barnstable594 and five from neighboring towns,595 sustain the specific charges.

    Bacon was a Judge of the Common Pleas Court from 1764 and a member of the General Court in 1757, 1758, 1759, 1772, 1773, 1774, 1778, 1779, and 1780.596 Stephen Nye of Sandwich, a fellow-member of the General Court, says that Bacon opposed selecting delegates to the Continental Congress, that he favored a petition to the king, and that he always defended the proceedings of Hutchinson and Bernard in everything that was brought before the House. Nye also testified that he believed that Edward Bacon’s influence was the principal cause of all the opposition in the county to measures affecting the affairs of the colonies, that he always sustained the character of a high tory, and that his election to the House of 1778 was a cause of great uneasiness to the people.597

    Bacon’s townsmen testify (in such numbers that we may reasonably accept their statements as facts) that at the town meeting on January 4, 1775, Bacon, as moderator, having obtained permission to express his views, said that, instead of raising money to buy arms and ammunition and choosing a man to go to Congress, we had better petition the king while he was far off, for the time was coming when he would set up his standard and we should fly to use it with trembling hands and aching hearts. It was also testified that he possessed and circulated copies of the Howes’ proclamations, that he advocated their terms, that he opposed the draft and actively persuaded men not to enlist in the army, that he actively opposed independence at a town meeting, that his conscience would not permit him to fight against the king, and that he was opposed to the war.

    It seems to be clearly established that prior to the Revolution Edward Bacon did and said all those things that a loyal servant of the king might be expected to do, but that after the Revolution was under way his convictions of loyalty continued to be expressed and acted upon in ways that elsewhere in the colony would not have been tolerated. Only his local political ascendancy saved him from exile and the confiscation of his property.

    It was not long after he was excluded from the General Court that Edward Bacon decided to bring his accusers before the Church. This he must have done with some care and deliberation, because, for some time before his complaint was made against twelve fellow-members of his church, he had withdrawn from communion and from performance of his duties as deacon. The full record of his complaint begins under date of June 22, 1780. The pastor read the complaint, by Edward Bacon, against twelve of the brethren whom he charged “had brought against him sundry railing accusations in petitions presented to the General Court . . . and had . . . treated him in a manner inconsistent with truth, sincerity, brotherly kindness and charity recommended and enjoined in the gospel.” The twelve brethren in writing very cogently argued that the church had no jurisdiction over a civil or political matter, and the church sustained them by a large majority.

    Bacon obtained no satisfaction, but after some time reluctantly returned to his duties as deacon at the unanimous request of the church. This church record is one of much interest from the care and deliberation displayed as well as the action taken, which is good evidence that the community was not then (if ever) ruled by a theocracy.598

    Among some papers given in 1836 by the Rev. Dr. James Freeman to the Massachusetts Historical Society was a bundle containing depositions, petitions, and other documents relating to the case of Edward Bacon.599 As these seemed to be the property of the Commonwealth, in 1879 they were turned over to the Secretary of State and are now in the Massachusetts Archives at the State House.600 Among these papers is the original of a petition of Edward Bacon dated June 2, 1779, the date of his trial, praying for delay.601 Also there are voluminous notes602 for a speech by Edward Bacon, but no record as to whether the address was made at his trial for which it was evidently prepared. There is also a curious manuscript603 signed by Edward Davis, May 28, 1779, who represented himself to Edward Bacon as an English spy and implicates him in a plot to carry off the principal liberty men on the Cape. Davis was apparently a patriot spy, and while his statements are very-circumstantial other testimony is naturally preferred now, although it might have carried weight at the time.

    How these papers came into the possession of the Rev. Dr. James Freeman has not been ascertained, nor is it known whether they had ever been consulted by the Rev. Frederick Freeman, author of the History of Cape Cod.604 It is certain, however, that if they were known to Mr. Freeman he suppressed them in his History of Cape Cod, as he also concealed the names of tories who were disciplined in 1774 by an orderly assemblage known as the Body of the People.605 Their proceedings were described by their principal leader, Dr. Nathaniel Freeman of Sandwich, afterward Colonel and Judge. This memoir606 of Dr. Nathaniel Freeman’s was in the possession of the Rev. Frederick Freeman, and probably perished in the Boston Fire with the manuscript of his History of Cape Cod. Edward Bacon was an associate Judge of the Common Pleas with Colonel James Otis as Chief Justice, and whose court was prevented from holding session at Barnstable by the Body of the People in 1774, and one is led to suspect from Freeman’s account that Edward Bacon was one of those it sought to discipline.607 This inference is somewhat strengthened by the affidavit of Stephen Nye.608

    It seems established that Edward Bacon was an active tory and a loyalist; his political skill was such that he maintained the support and confidence of the community, for it elected him to the State Constitutional Convention on July 22, 1779. Edward Bacon died in Barnstable in 1783 and his tombstone in the churchyard of the East Parish records the family view of his life as follows:

    Here Lies interred the remains of Edward Bacon Esq. who having served his generation according to the will of God died greatly lamented March 16, 1783. Aged 68 yrs. He sustained sundry places of honor & profit and it may justly be said of him that he was one of great abilities, very free in conversation and always ready to help the needy. He is justly and truly lamented by all that knew him and was an ornament to the church till his death. He was the obliging neighbor, the faithful friend, the pleasant companion, the indulgent master, the tender Father, the affectionate husband, and a friend to mankind in general.


    1. 1 Samuel Adams to James Otis, March 19, 1773
    2. 2 Barnstable Town Records, October 12, 1774, January 4, 1775
    3. 3 Broadside, June 7, 1776
    4. 4 Protest of Joseph Otis and others, June 25, 1776
    5. 5 Protest of Joseph Otis and others, June 26, 1776
    6. 6 Letter of Sturgis Gorham, July 9, 1776
    7. 7 Letter of Joseph Otis, July 18, 1776
    8. 8 Letter of Sturgis Gorham, August 8, 1776
    9. 9 Petition of Joseph Otis and others, May 22, 1778
    10. 10 Deposition of Solomon Freeman, October 7, 1778
    11. 11 Deposition of Joseph Otis, October 9, 1778
    12. 12 Deposition of Stephen Nye, October 10, 1778
    13. 13 Barnstable Town Records, December 16, 1778
    14. 14 Deposition of James Hawes, January 5, 1779
    15. 15 Deposition of Nathaniel Lewis, January 5, 1776
    16. 16 Deposition of Ebenezer Lothrop and Joseph Annable, January 5, 1779
    17. 17 Deposition of William Taylor, January 5, 1779
    18. 18 Deposition of Jonathan Hallett, January 6, 1779
    19. 19 Deposition of Rowland Hallett, January 6, 1779
    20. 20 Deposition of Prince Bearse, January 6, 1779
    21. 21 Deposition of Elkanah Higgins, January 6, 1779
    22. 22 Petition of Daniel Davis and others, March 19, 1779
    23. 23 Deposition of Ebenezer Baker, April 1, 1779
    24. 24 Deposition of Thaddeus Brown, April 1, 1779
    25. 25 Deposition of Lot Crowell, April 1, 1779
    26. 26 Deposition of Thomas Gorham, April 1, 1779
    27. 27 Deposition of Nathaniel Howland, April 1, 1779
    28. 28 Deposition of Joseph Otis and Ebenezer Jenkins, April 1, 1779
    29. 29 Deposition of Solomon Freeman, April 2, 1779
    30. 30 Petition of Daniel Davis and others, May 20, 1779
    31. 31 Deposition of Edward Davis, May 28, 1779
    32. 32 Petition of Edward Bacon, June 2, 1779
    33. 33 Speech of Edward Bacon, June, 1779
    34. 34 Accounts of Ebenezer Jenkins, January 21, June 2, 1779
    35. 35 Records of the East Parish Congregational Church, Barnstable, June 22,
    36. 36 August 2, 30, 1780
    37. 37 Confessions, Declarations, and Recantations, September-October. 1774


    Samuel Adams to James Otis, March 19, 1773609

    Boston, March 19th 1773


    I have the honor of joining with my brethren the Committee of Correspondence for the town in a letter to you, which the bearer of this is charged with & will deliver to you.

    The occasion is somewhat singular. Our Brother Mr William Molineux, a few days ago receiv’d an anonymous letter dated Barnstable &.c, in which mention is made of some rude Aspersions cast upon the characters of himself and several others of our Committee by your Representative Mr Bacon in a public meeting in your Town. As the intelligence was thus uncertain the Committee would fain hope that it was impossible for one of Mr Bacon’s station in life to act so unjustifiable a part; especially after the handsome things which he had the credit of saying of every one of the Committee upon a late occasion in the House of Representatives. Admitting however, that this might be the case, they thought it prudent to address you, as the Moderator of your meeting, and it is their desire, if you judge there is a proper foundation for this letter and not otherwise, to obtain the consent of the Town that it should be openly read in the meeting at the ensuing adjournment. This the Committee refer to your known discretion, as they cannot place a full dependence upon an anonymous letter, although there are some circumstances that may seem to corroborate it.

    As there is no measure which tends more to disconcert the Designs of the enemies of the public liberty, than the raising Committees of Correspondence in the several towns throughout the Province, it is not to be wondered at that the whole strength of their opposition is aim’d against it. Whether Mr B. is of this character is a question in which his Constituents ought certainly to satisfy themselves beyond a reasonable doubt. A man’s professions may be as he pleases; but I honestly confess I cannot easily believe him to be a sincere friend to his Country, who can upon any consideration be prevail’d upon to associate with so detestable an enemy to it as I take a Boston born (I cannot say educated) Commissioner of Customs to be.610 . . .

    P.S. If there is not foundation for what is asserted in the anonymous letter, we desire that you will not only not read our letter in your meeting, but also not let the original or a copy of it go out of your hands, but return it by the first opportunity.


    Barnstable Town Records, October 12, 1774, January 4, 1775

    At a town meeting Legally warned and held at the west meeting house in Barnstable on the 12th day of Oct. A. D. 1774. The Hon’ble James Otis Esqr. was Chosen Moderator. The town Voted to Chose a Committee to Join with the Committee of other Towns in this County to Consult on measures to prevent Disorder in the same.

    Voted That seven be Chosen by papers & four to make a Quorum—Then were Chosen for the above purpose—The Hon’ble James Otis Esq. Major Otis, Daniel Davis Esq. D’t. Abnor Hersey Messrs. Eli Phinney, Joseph Hallett & George Lewis.

    Voted That Said Committee be a Committee of Correspondence.

    Voted Not to act with regard to Israel Butler’s Legacy.

    At a town meeting Legally warned & held at the west meeting house in Barnstable on the 4th day of January A. D. 1775, Col. Edward Bacon was Chosen Moderator.611

    Then the town proceeded to the business agreable to the warrant.

    Voted Not to pay any Money into the hands of Harrison Gray612 Esq. that was raised for the last province tax till further order of this town.

    Voted Not to pay any money that was raised the Current year to Henry Gardner613 Esq. till further order of this town.

    Voted When the Assessors deliver the bills to the Constables for this year the Constables shall be directed not to Collect any of the province rate till further order of this town & the town will Endemnify Sd. Constables.

    Voted That the Assessors make Return to Harrison Gray Esq. as usual. Voted That the former Constables who have any money in their hands for a province tax which was made before March 1774 that they shall keep the same in their hands till further order of this town & the town will Endemnify Sd. Constables.

    The Question being put whether the town will purchase any small arms for the Towns use and it passed in the Negative.

    The Question being put whether the town will provide any further Supply of ammunition but what is already provided & it passed in the Negative. (In Respect of encourageing Minute men the town declined acting).

    Voted to Chose a Committee of inspection to see that the association of the Continental Congress be Carried into execution so far as it respects Imports & Exports only they acting according to the Several times fixed in Sd. association.

    Then were Chosen for the above purpose Col. James Otis, Col. Bacon, Esq. Davis, Esq. Marston, & Major Otis.

    Voted to Refer the approbation of the County Congress’s resolves to next March meeting.

    The town declined sending any person to the provencial Congress.


    Broadside, June 7, 1776614

    In the House of REPRESENTATIVES,
    June 7th, 1776.

    A RESOLVE of the late House of Representatives passed on the 10th of May, 1776, That the Inhabitants of each Town in this Colony ought in full Meeting warned for that Purpose, to advise the Person or Persons who should be chosen to represent them in the next General Court—Whether, should the honorable CONGRESS, for the Safety of the said Colonies, declare them Independent of the Kingdom of Great-Britain, they the said Inhabitants will solemnly engage, with their Lives and Fortunes, to support them in the Measure.

    And whereas said Resolve, though published in the public News-Papers, get it has since been manifest to the present House, that some Towns in the said Colony were not so seasonably favoured with the said Prints, as to have it in their Power to instruct their Representatives, agreeable to Advice in said Resolve (had they been so minded) so that the present General Assembly are unable to collect the Sentiments of many Towns in the said Colony, on so interesting and important a Subject. And as Towns who had seasonable Notice, have given their Representatives Instructions to comply fully with the late House aforesaid, whose Numbers, to the Honor of their Constituents, are very numerous; and as some of the United Colonies have of late, bravely refused to subject themselves to the Tyrannical Yoke of Great-Britain any longer, by declaring for Independence:

    Therefore, Resolved, as the Opinion of this House, That such Towns as have not complied with the Resolve aforesaid, whether they are represented or not, duly warn a Town-Meeting for such Purpose, as soon as may be, that their Sentiments may be fully known to this House, agreeable to the former Resolve of the late House of Representatives: And that One Hundred and Fifty Hand-Bills be forthwith Printed, and sent to such Towns, for the Purpose aforesaid.

    By Order of the House,

    J. WARREN, Speaker.


    Protest of Joseph Otis and Others, June 25, 1776615

    At a Town Meeting held at Barnstable, June 25, 1776

    THE Question being put, agreeable to the Resolve of the General Court,—Whether if the Continental Congress should judge expedient to declare the United Colonies Independent, they the Inhabitants of the Town of Barnstable would support the Measure at the Hazard of Life and Estate?—It pass’d in the Negative.

    Upon which a Number of respectable Inhabitants, whose Names are under written, judging such Procedure would have a Tendency to disunite the Colonies, and to injure the Cause of their Country, did at said Meeting, publickly Protest against it, hoping thereby to avoid the Imputation of Acquiescence in so dishonorable a Measure.

    • Thos. Annable616
    • James Davis
    • Joseph Jenkins
    • Benj. Smith
    • Binna Baker
    • Job Howland
    • Eben. Lothrop
    • David Smith
    • Nathan Bassett
    • Nath Howland
    • Joseph Otis
    • Joseph Smith
    • John Crocker jun.
    • Zac’s. Howland
    • Freeman Parker


    Protest of Joseph Otis and Others, June 26, 1776617

    Mr. EDES,

    Please to give the following a Place in your Paper.

    WE the subscribers, inhabitants of the town of Barnstable, protest against the proceedings of said town, at their meeting held on Tuesday 25th of June instant, respecting the giving their Representative instructions, with regard to the Independency of the Colonies, as it was recommended to the several towns in this colony, by way of resolve, from the Hon. House of Representatives: and as a vote was put in said meeting to know whether the town would proceed to give any instructions to their Representatives, agreeable to the aforesaid recommendation; which was carried in the negative.—

    And judging it to be our duty to protest against said vote, we do it for the following reason—we think such a measure as propos’d in said resolve, to be the most salutary that can be gone into for the safety and well being of the Colonies, under our present opprest situation.—And as it is the duty of every individual to give his voice in favor of the aforesaid recommendation; in case the Hon. Continental Congress see cause to declare these Colonies entirely Independent: We are ready and willing to stand by such a declaration, (if it should take place) to the uttermost of our power, with our Lives and Estates—And being very unwilling that the aforesaid Vote should be past over in silence, for fear of offending our own consciences, in being thought to acquiesce in so strange a Vote of the town, and of offending our countrymen and brethren in other towns, who may go into contrary measures, entirely abhorring any principles, but what are for the good of the United Colonies of America, and detesting these arguments brought by some men in said meeting, to dissuade the people from complying with said recommendation; we take this method of letting the public know our dissent from the aforesaid proceedings of the town, having no other way to make our sentiments known. We request that this protest may be entered in the town book, to let posterity know that there were a few in this town who dared to stand forth in favor of an injured and oppressed country, treated with every species of wickedness used by tyranny to enslave mankind; and it is a matter of great grief to us, that the cause of Liberty is treated with such indignity by some of the inhabitants of the town of Barnstable.

    • Thomas Annable618
    • Jonathan Hallet
    • Cornelius Lovell
    • Binney Baker
    • Edmund Hawes
    • Joseph Otis
    • Nathan Bassett
    • Job Howland
    • Freeman Parker
    • John Blish
    • Nath Howland
    • John Russel
    • Charles Conant
    • Zacheus Howland
    • Benjamin Smith
    • Benoni Crocker
    • Joseph Jenkins
    • David Smith
    • John Crocker, Jun.
    • Ebenezer Lothrop
    • Joseph Smith
    • Joseph Smith
    • Seth Lothrop
    • James Davis

    Barnstable, June 26th, 1776.


    Letter of Sturgis Gorham, July 9, 1776619

    Messieurs Printers,

    Please to give the following a place in your next, and you will oblige a friend, and help to vindicate the injured.

    IN the Watertown paper of last Monday,620 I then being in Boston, had the mortification to see a piece most artfully dressed up in form of a protest, against the proceedings of the town of Barnstable, in a late meeting of their’s, which was held to choose a representative, in the room of that (truly) honorable Gentleman lately admitted to the Board.621

    These respectable Gentlemen, (as the protestors are pleased to call themselves) have endeavoured to make it appear, by their representation of the matter, that the town of Barnstable, in voting not to instruct their representative, did positively give their sentiments, as a town, against the measure of independency, even if the Congress should see fit to adopt it; and that they did thereby absolutely refuse to support such a determination, however necessary it may appear to the wisdom of the Continent.—The subscriber to this, being an inhabitant of the town of Barnstable, and present at the said meeting, humbly requests the candid public, that they would just for the present suspend their judgment of this matter, (which, as it has been represented, must appear in a most unfavourable light) until such time as an attested copy of the above-mentioned proceedings can be procured and made public; when he hopes it will appear, not that the late protest was designed as a malevolent aspersion of the town, but that the representation therein exhibited, has not the truth for its foundation; in the mean time, I am,

    The respectable protestors humble servant,


    Boston, July 9, 1776.


    Letter of Joseph Otis, July 18, 1776622

    Mr. EDES,

    BY Powars and Willis’s paper of 11th July, I find an inhabitant of the town of Barnstable, greatly mortified at a piece in your paper, dressed up in form of a protest, and with a sneer at the persons whose names were annexed to the account, “beging the candid public to suspend their judgment.” Who dressed up the piece that gave him so much mortification, I pretend not to say—But surely he shewed but little address, in taxing the protesters against a proceeding of town meeting with “artfully misrepresenting” in an article of intelligence, and which he insinuates was a “malevolent aspersion of their town,” when the protestors were to a man, unacquainted with the piece, until it appeared in your paper.—Nor has he the truth for his foundation, when he says the “protestors call themselves respectable gentlemen,” for in truth the protestors have hitherto been silent, and the paragraph in your paper only stiles them “respectable inhabitants”.—An unfortunate advocate for truth and candor this, to appear in the first part of his performance destitute of both—I pronounce the account of our Town meeting neither true or false, nor do I determine, whether all circumstances considered, a negative upon the question of instructing, relative to independence, was a negative upon the question of Independence—Tho’ if the inference was natural, was unavoidable; the account of our Town-meeting in your paper “had the truth for its foundation”—But if the question was mistaken, or even “artfully” stated, I see not how the protesters are responsible—As a protestor, an inhabitant of Barnstable, and one at the meeting, I join issue with this “mortified” young man, state facts & leave the public to draw their inferences.

    After it was debated largely, whether the town would give any Instructions to their Representatives, the question was put by yeas and nays, 30 appeared for Instructing, 35 against it: there was a long debate about declaring Independency, one said “It was down right rebellion;” another a staunch friend of Gov. Hutchinson said “Our trade was as free as if we were Independent,” and these were violently against the motion: and such like weighty arguments, I suppose obtain’d a majority against instructing, of which number, our quandam Captain under Governor Hutchinson was one—The protesters I am sure for one, were far from rejoicing that the vote was carried as it was, and am as certain, they have no desire of aspersing the town, though if exculpating themselves, and stating facts “mortifies” a part of the town, and our candid sneerer at the protestors amongst the rest, I am little solicitous about that consequence—I have no wish to set the town in a less reputable light. It is my opinion, if a certain party had not by their boisterous, illeberal behavior, intimidated the major part not to act, (for of 140 voters at the meeting 65 only voted upon the question) the question would have been carried in favor of Instructing, and the town would have saved its credit at least in this affair.

    The unprovoked attack upon me, and the protesters, has drawn me into the view of the public upon this occasion, supposing my silence would be deemed a tacit acknowledgment of wrong which its all my inducement to answer; for the sneers of a little emissary of a desperate cabal are as contemptible as their unremitting malice and abuse. Happy in conscious integrity, through the love of my country, and my efforts in her service, have opened upon me the throats of deep mouthed mastiffs, as well as occasioned the barking of lesser curs—This unprovoked attack, will I hope apologize for publishing the protest, as it was hastily drawn up; and submitting to the judgment of the impartial publick

    I am their humble servant,


    Barnstable, 18th July, 1776.


    Letter of Sturgis Gorham, August 8, 1776623

    Messieurs Powars and Willis,

    ACCORDING to my promise in a late paper of yours, I here present to public view an attested copy of that vote, which Mr. Otis, supported by his respectable adherents, had been pleased to represent in the most obnoxious point of light; together with the proceedings of another meeting, legally warned and properly held, in order to examine and fix the true meaning of their former vote, which was accordingly done; and of which transactions the following is a true copy.

    At a town meeting, legally warned, and held at Barnstable, on the 25th day of June, A. D. 1776, Nymphas Marston, Esq; being chosen moderator, the town voted not to give an instruction to the representative with respect to independence.

    A true copy from the record.

    Attest. Josiah Crocker, Town-Clerk.

    At a town meeting legally warned, and held at Barnstable, on the 23d day of July, A. D. 1776, to explain the vote of the town of the 25th of June last, respecting giving their representative instruction relative to independency—Nymphas Marston, Esq; moderator,

    Voted, That this town in their meeting of the 25th of June last, the question being put, whether the town would instruct their representative with respect to independency, it passed in the negative.

    Voted, That the true intent and meaning of the town was, that they would leave that matter to their representative when at the General Court.

    Voted, That the piece published in the Watertown news-paper of July the 8th current, called a protest of a number of respectable inhabitants of the town of

    Barnstable, signed by Joseph Otis, Esq; and fourteen others, is a very wrong and injurious representation of the proceedings of the town of Barnstable.

    True extract from the minutes. Attest.

    JOSIAH CROCKER, Town Clerk.

    Mr. Otis, I find, has since been pleas’d to give us some account of the debate, in one of these meetings.—One article was, that some body said he thought it “downright rebellion to declare independency”—another, that a certain gentleman (whom he means to point out) should say, that “our trade was as free as if we were independent”—these he seems to think, and arguments like these frighted the whole town,—at least a greater part of it, from voting what they ought to!

    For my own part I don’t recollect any such frightful argument; but if such were really the cause of our supposed unpatriotic proceedings, I should think that cowardice was not our least reproach!

    Fortunately secure,—many of Mr. Otis’s observations, or arguments or whatever he intended them for, are altogether, unintelligable, inexplicable, and consequently unanswerable:—But it’s plain (especially from his new replenish’d protest) that he means to augment and confirm, those illiberal, abusive charges and insinuations, with which he had before stigmatized his native town, and that with equal imprudence, ingratitude, and falsehood.

    As to that part of his cunning, which is level’d against myself—I equally disregard the abuse and it’s author.—I know not what redress Mr. Otis expects from the public for the grievance he complains of, in bombostic stile of being assaulted by “deep mouth’d mostiffs, and bark’d at by little curs:”—But would advise him as a friend, if he desires to escape such a vexing evil, to divest himself of that obnoxious character, which is generally the cause of the misfortune he complains of, under that ingenious Simile;—‘till which his high pretensions to exalted patriotism, will do him no honor, but where his political conduct is happily less known, than it is to the respectable inhabitants of his much abused town, Barnstable, the just right of which and of his country shall ever be defended by their friend and humble servant,



    Petition of Joseph Otis and Others, May 22, 1778624

    To the Honourable House of Representatives for the State of Massachusetts Bay—

    The Petition of a Number of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Barnstable humbly sheweth that whereas a Majority of a Meeting, though not a Majority of the Town voted Edward Bacon Esqr their Representative by which a Man uniformly & openly as well as invariably an Abetter of Bernard & Hutchinsons wicked Measures, an avowed Opposer of Congresses Colonial & Continental & a professed Enemy to the Independency of America, is got into power at a Season the most critical this or any Country ever knew, and appears the Representative of this Town, wherefore as in Duty bound to your Honors ourselves & the glorious Cause of Liberty, we your Petitioners take this Method in the most publick & explicit Manner to enter our protest against a Representation by the said Edward Bacon Esqr being a Man unfriendly to the common Cause, of arbitrary & dangerous principles, and intreat your Honors to take effectual Measures to exclude the said Edward Bacon from the publick Councils for ever & as in Duty bound shall ever pray

    Ebenezer Bacon625

    Nathaniel Crocker

    Joseph Jenkins

    Binney Baker

    Benjamin Goodspeed

    Nathaniel Jenkins

    Nathan Bassett

    Rufus Goodspeed

    Zacheus Jenkins

    Churchill Blossom

    Micah Hamlen

    Jedediah Jones

    Peter Blossom

    Nathaniel Hinckley 3d

    Timothy Jones

    Asa Conant

    Ansell Howland

    Benjamin Lovell

    Chas Conant

    Job Howland

    Joseph Otis

    Edmond Croaker

    Nathel Howland

    Isaiah Parker

    Benjamin Crocker

    Zacs Howland

    Benjamin Smith

    Edwd Crocker

    Ebeneze Jenkins

    Barnstable 22d May 1778

    In the House of Representatives Oct. 14th 1778 This Petition was read—& The House assigned the second Wednesday of the next Session for hearing the Petitioners in support of their Petition and the said Bacon in his Defence thereof—and Orderd That the Clerk serve the Parties with a Copy of this Order & Mr Bacon with a Copy of this Petition

    Att. SamL Freeman Clerk626


    Petition from Joseph Otis of Barnstable Oct. 1778 2d Wedy


    Deposition of Solomon Freeman, October 7, 1778627

    I Solomon Freeman of Harwich in the County of Barnstable of Lawful age do Hereby testify & say That in the month of Novr 1774 I was at the House of Edward Bacon Esqr at Barnstable and he the Said Bacon in Conversation told me He did not Like The asociation of the Continential Congress it was a Bad thing & it woul never do & Said he would Draw another asociation himself & Send it Down to Harwich in order to get a Number There To Sign it or words to that purpose. But I have Reason to Believe that Esqr Bacon was soon after made Better acquainted with my political Carecter which was the Reason of my hearing no more of His Asociation & further Saith not.

    Solon Freeman

    Barnstable ss. On the 7th Day of October A. D. 1778 Personally appeared Solomon Freeman Esqr abovenad and made Oath to the above written by him subscribed before me.

    Thomas Paine Justice of the Peace


    Solon Freemans Deposition


    Deposition of Joseph Otis, October 9, 1778628

    Joseph Otis of Barnstable, in the County of Barnstable Esqr Testifieth; and Saith, That being at a Town Meeting in Said Town, to Choose a Member for Provincial Congress; I heard Edward Bacon Esqr Say, that the time Would Soon Come, the Kings Standard Would be sett up and I took it he meant the King of England’s Standard, When we (The People) Would be Glad to Come With trembling hands, and aching hearts, Which Was Uttered With a threatening voice, and Menacing Posture. At another Town Meeting Since the Battle of Lexington, I heard Said Bacon Say, he did not Understand paying Taxes to two Bodyes, the Congress & State, that he Meant to Comply with Congress, So far as to Leave a hole to Creep out at, this Last was also Said in Publick Town Meeting When he was Argueing against the Opposition made to great Britain in their Present Tyrannical System, Which has Always been his practice at all Publick Meetings of the Town, to Oppose the Measures Recommendd Either by the Congress or General Court of this State; I have also in Publick heard him Say, the Measures against Britain was Wrong, that we Ought to Petition, that he Said he wished he was Invested with power, he could make peace, that he Could Settle the matter by Petitioning, and has always Invariably and Steadily been of that principle, to the best of my Observation, has in my Opinion by his Actions been at the head of the Opposition, to the measures of these States in this Town, and County, have good Reason to think that he Recommendd a Stranger,629 who told him he Came from General Pigott, by Giving the Names of Two men to him, Who have Always been Stiled, and have Acted, as those people Called Tories, Which Names I saw in Writing & am Positive they were hand Writing of Said Bacon.

    Also further Say when this Town, was Wrote to by the Committee of Correspondence of Boston, to Correspond With them, we had a town Meeting, and Said Bacon Expressed himself in the following manner which I Immediately Committed to Writing, that Some of Said Committee were the Vilest of men, that it was Scandalous to Correspond With them, and on being checked for the Aspersion (by Some one) he made an Apology with Regard to my Brother,630 and Particularized Mr Mollineaux631 Mr Dennie632 & Dr Young633 as men of very bad Characters (as near as I can Remember), Intimating one was an Atheist, one Never Went to Meeting, and the Other was Incontinent, but Said Some of the Committee might be good men, he did not know them all, and Strenuously Opposed Chuseing a Committee which by his Influence was Carried in the Negative, also he Opposed in town Meeting in Jany 1775 the paying the town Tax to Henry Gardner Esqr which Money I think is Still Unpaid and is in the hands of the Collector, also at the Same Meeting Said Bacon Opposed the Purchasing of Arms, Ammunition, and the Encouraging of Minute Men.

    Also Said Bacon, in Town Meeting Violently Opposed Sending any Member to the Provincial Congress, which by his Influence was Carried in the Negative, at another time Said Bacon in Town Meeting, Strongly Opposed the town’s Voting for Indepency.

    And it is my firm belief, that Said Edward Bacon Esqr has been the principal Means of Keeping An Opposition to the Measures of the United States for years back to this day, and According to my best Observation has taken Unwearied Pains in Said Opposition, in this Town and County Which has Caused us Much Trouble and Difficulty.

    Joseph Otis

    Barnstable October 9th 1778.

    Barnstable ss: on ye 1st Day of April A D 1779 Personally appeared the before-named Joseph Otis Esqr and being carefully Examined and duly Cautioned to Testifie the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth made solemn Oath to the Truth of ye foregoing Deposition by him Subscribed taken at the request of Hon. Daniel Davis Esqr & others Petitioners against Edward Bacon Esqr in Support of sd Petition to be used in ye House of Representatives, the Deponent living & being more than Thirty miles from the Place of Trial is ye Cause of taking this Deposition the sd Edwd Bacon Esqr was notified but did not attend before me

    Solomon Freeman

    Justice Peace for the County of Barnstable


    Deposition of Stephen Nye, October 10, 1778634

    I Stephen Nye of Sandwich in ye County of Barnstable testifie and declare that I was a member of ye House of Representatives in the year 1774 at the Time that we Chose members for a Congress & Governor Gage dissolved ye Court, Edward Bacon Esqr then a member came to me as soon as ye Court was dissolved and Said you are all distracted you have done that which will ruin ye Continent in Choosing a Congress if the other Colonies should do as we have done we shall be ruined & undone; if we had petitiond we should have had what ever we wanted, but in this way, says he you have undone your selves you may depend upon it. I f[urther] Say that the sd Edward Bacon always appeared to while I was a member of Court with him to be a great friend to Hutchinsons & Bernards arbitrary measures & always joind to defend their proceedings in every thing that was brought before the House while I was present. I also declare that I saw the sd Edwd Bacon at Sandwich in the year 1775 who sent for People to come in & see him at ye House of Mr Fessendens, & told them in my hearing that these Congresses have undone the Country if we go on in that way with Congresses ye Country will be ruined ye only way is to petition if there was a petition now & I could go home with it I’d risk my Life I could have everything as ye People desire said he was in a hurry then but would set a time when he would come back & desired ye People might be got together and he would Spend a night & a Day with them to Convince them the way they was going on would ruin ye Country seemd to very earnest to have ye People meet for if he could see them, He knew he could convince them of their Error—I also declare that I verily believe that the sd Edwd Bacons influence hath been ye principal Cause of all ye opposition that hath been made against ye measures of ye Country in this County as he hath always been at the Head of ye Tory Faction in this County hath always sustained the Charracter since ye Contest with Great Brittain, of a high Tory and an inveterate Enemy to this Country, in this County, and that this is ye Character he still Sustains according to my best knowledge & Judgement—and I further declare that it gives very great uneasiness to People in General this way who are friendly to the Country that such [a per]son is returnd a member of ye House of Repre[sen]tatives. Particularly I remember after Governor Hutchinson had his Salary from Home it was tried to get a vote in ye House of Representatives to repair ye Province House for him which ye sd Bacon endeavoured to procure and came to me and told me if I would vote for it he would warrant me any Commission I should desire. I told him I was against it & did not want a Commission. He said if I would go with him to yc Govrs He could convince me it was reasonable, and if I would be for it And did not Choose to have a Commission myself I should have one for any friend I wanted to Oblige and further at present dont recollect

    Stephen Nye

    Sandwich October 10th 1778

    Barnstable ss: 10th Octob. 1778 personally appeard Stephen Nye Subscriber of ye above Declaration & being examined & Duly Cautiond to testifie the truth & nothing but ye truth made Solemn Oath that the abovesd Declaration is the truth—taken at the desire of Micah Hamblin Esqr to be used in the House of Representatives in support of a Petition against Edwd Bacon Esqr the Deponent living more than 30 miles from ye place where the sd House of Representatives Sit is the Cause of the taking this Deposition, & the sd Edwd Bacon being in Boston & more than 30 miles from ye place of Caption was not notified nor present. before me

    Seth Freeman Jus peace

    Barnstable ss: April 6, 1779 The above named Stephen Nye Personally appearing and being duly examined & cautiond to testifie ye truth & nothing but the truth made Solemn Oath to ye truth of ye foregoing Deposition by him subscribed taken at ye request of Joseph Otis Esqr & others Petitioners to ye Honorable House of Representatives against Edwd Bacon Esqr to be used in Support of sd petition the Deponant living more ye 30 miles from ye place of trial is ye Cause of taking this Deposition, adverse party notified, but not present

    Seth Freeman Jus Peace

    The within Deposition of Mr Stephen Nye taken at yt request of Micah Hamblin Esqr to be used in the House of Representatives of the State of Massachusetts Bay was taken & sworn to the 10th Day of October A D 1778 before me ye Subscriber and Seald up at the same Time by me Also April 6, 1779 taken a new & Seald up by me

    Seth Freeman Jus peace


    Stephen Nye not to be read


    Barnstable Town Records, December 16, 1778

    At a Town meeting legally warned at Barnstable at the East meeting on ye 16th day of December A. D. 1778 Nymphas Marston Esq. was chosen Moderator—then the Town proceeded to the business agreable to the warrant.

    Voted to act on the request of a Number of Freeholders relative to a petition exhibited to the general court against Edward Bacon Esq. representative of this Town.

    Voted to chuse a Committee to draw up some votes relative to the above Sd request.

    Voted to have three on Sd Committee, then were chosen Capt. Samuel Crocker, Lieut. Joseph Blish and Mr. Joseph Hallett for the above Said purpose. The above Sd Committee reported and the town voted to accept of their report, and the town Clerk was directed to record the same and give their Representatives a copy thereof attested in order for them to lay the same before the Honorable house of Representatives. They reported as follows:

    At a town meeting legally warned and held at Barnstable on the 16th day December A. D. 1778 the town taking up the subject matter of an attested copy of a paper purporting a remonstrance and petition against Edward Bacon Esq. addressed to the Honorable House of Representatives praying, he the said Edward Bacon Esq. may be excluded from the public Councils for ever to which paper is affixed the Names of Joseph Otis Esq. and twenty eight others after fully hearing all parties and duly and maturely considering the same that we are of opinion that the following votes ought to be passed thereon.

    Voted first that it is the opinion of Committee that the said paper contains the most unjustafiable and injurious reflections not only on the political character of Edward Bacon Esq. but on the loyal inhabitants of the town of Barnstable.

    Voted second it appears to this Committee that the said Edward Bacon Esq. was elected to represent said town in as fair, free and full a manner as is usual in this, or can possibly be in any other, town in the State and in as full a town meeting as is common on such occasions he having a large majority of the suffrages of the people present at said meeting.

    Voted third that if we had imagined that the said Edward Bacon Esq. deserved the approbious character given him in said paper we should have been much readier to have prosecuted him on the law of this State as an enemy to his Country then to have elected him as our Representative.

    Voted fourth that it appears to this Committee that the several charges contained in said paper proceeded rather from an old family quarrel and was the effect of envy rather than matters of truth and sobriety or any view to the public good.

    Voted 5th that it appears to this Committee that the said petition was very unjustly and surreptitiously obtained.

    Voted that it does not appear to this Committee that from the beginning of the present war to this day there has been any backwardness but on the Contrary the said Edward Bacon Esq. has appeared as forward for raising men and money for the purposes of raising men for public services as any other person in town and many times more so if possible when the public demand has been very urgent. Voted seventh that it is the opinion of the Committee that the subject matter in said petition contained is a malicious and injurious libel on the political character of the said Edward Bacon Esq. and calculated meerly to stir up strife, animosity and discord in this town and County and if possible totally to destroy his usefulness in the same, and therefore humbly pray the Honorable House of Representatives to dismiss the same as groundless scandalous and vexatious—

    Samuel Crocker,

    Joseph Blish, Jr.,

    Joseph Hallett,



    Deposition of James Hawes, January 5, 1779636

    Barnstable Janvary 5th 1779

    I James Hawes of lawfull age Testify and Say That being Severall times in Company Where Edward Bacon Esqr of Barnstable was Since the Batle at Lexington) have heard Said Edward Bacon Esqr in Conversation approve of the measures (in Generall) which Great Britain was then acting against the now vnited States and very much Disapprove of the opposition which Said States were then Making against Great Britain. Q. have you heard him talk in this manner since ye Declaration of independence? Answer I believe it is near two year since Eqr Bacon & I have had any Political Conversation.

    James Hawes


    Barnstable ss: Jany 5. 1779 The within named James Hawes personally appeared & being Examined & duly caution’d to testifie the Truth ye whole Truth & nothing but ye Truth made Solemn Oath to the Truth of ye within Deposition by him subscribed taken at ye request of Joseph Otis Eqr & others to be in the House of Representatives in Support of a Petition against Edward Bacon Esqr the sd Deponent living more than thirty miles from ye place of Trial is ye Cause of taking this Deposition Adverse Party Notified & present before us

    Danie Davis

    Nathl Freeman




    Deposition of Nathaniel Lewis, January 5, 1779637

    I Nathl Lewiss of Barnstable in the County of Barnstable shipwright of Lawfull Age to give Evidence Testifie & declare that Since these Times took place I have Generally attended Town meetings from first to last when they was about choosing a member in this Town for Provincial Congress Esq’ Bacon opposed it & talk’d near half an Hour upon it—spoke against the measures that was taken it could not be for ye Good of the Country—I remember the meeting in the Court House I think it some time last Spring. He Esqr Bacon was one that was not for drafting the men, was for hiring them—but the men was neither hired or drafted the men were never raised.

    I was coming by his House one Day Just in ye Evening when ye news came about our fleet in the Lakes being defeated, a person was telling ye news that some of our fleet was taken or defeated, sd Bacon said that there was quite enough of them left it was no matter, as near as I can remember the expression, meaning as I then took it in way of rejoicing, I thought that He acted upon principle that He thought that Brittish troops was in the right, & that we were a disobedient People and ought to be punish’d—Q do you remember hearing him say he gloried in the Name of a Tory?638 no I dont remember it, He always appear’d to resent being call’d a Tory, for that meant an Enemy to his Country & he thought that bore too hard upon him—Q. whether his General Conduct hath been that of opposing the measures taken by ye Country for its defence? A. I always thought he did not look upon the measures of the Country to be right & therefore Acted against them upon Principle Q. according to your own observation & Judgement can you upon Oath say that His General Conduct has been in opposition to the measures taken for the defence of ye Country? A. I know of his appearing against a provincial Congress & ye Confederation in Town meeting.

    Nathaniel Lewis

    Barnstable Jany 5. 1779.


    Barnstable Jany 5th 1779 Personally appeared the within Named Nath Lewiss and being carefully Examined & cautioned to Testifie the truth ye whole Truth & nothing but the Truth made Solemn Oath to the Truth of the within Deposition by him subscribed taken at the request of Joseph Otis Esqr & others to be used in the House of Representatives and support of a Petition against Edward Bacon Esq’ the sd Deponent living more than thirty Miles from the Place of Trial was the Cause of taking this Deposition the Adverse Party was Notified & present before us

    Daniel Davis

    Nathl Freeman


    Nath Lewis read


    Deposition of Ebenezer Lothrop and Joseph Annable,

    January 5, 1779639

    We the Subscribers of Lawful age to give Evidence do testify, and say, that on January 1775640 at a Town Meeting at the West end of Town for the purpos of chusing a Man to go to the provincial Congress, and to raise money to buy arms, and aminition, Esqr. Bacon was chose Moderator, he the said Esqr. Bacon asked liberty of the Town to express his mind, and went on to say; that instead of raising money to buy arms & aminition, & chusing a Man to go to the Congress, we had better petition to the King while he was far of; for the Time was coming when he would set up his Standard, & we should fly to it with Trembling hands; & akeing hearts, to sign your doom.

    EbenezR Lothrop

    Joseph Annable

    Jany 5, 1779 Barnstable ss The above named Ebenr Lothrop & Joseph Annable Personally appead & made oath to ye truth of ye above Deposition by them subscribed Adverse party notified & present before

    Nathl Freeman Jus Pac.


    Ebenr Lothrop & Joseph Annable


    Deposition of William Taylor, January 5, 1779641

    William Taylor of Barnstable in ye County of Barnstable yeoman gives the following Deposition viz

    Question was asked by the Petitioners Whether you ever Heard Edwd Bacon Esqr oppose choosing a Member for the Provincial Congress in Town meeting? A. Yes. Q. What reasons did He give? According to the best of my remembrance He said we should soon be brot with trembling Hands & along Hearts to subscribe to the Kings Standard Q. Dont you remember He opposed the raising minnute men? A. at some meetings I thought he seemd to Contrive about the best methods of raising the men and at other Times Seemd to be backward about it. At a meeting adjourned from ye Court House to ye meetg House there were a Number of men ordered by the Court to be raisd & there was a penalty upon the selectmen if they did not raise them. He opposed the raising men at that meeting strongly. Q. Dont you remember that He proposed to ye Town to indemnifie ye Selectmen if they did not raise them? A I remember there was such talk in ye meeting but dont particularly remember that sd Bacon said So. Q. How long ago was this meeting? A. I think it was last June. Q. dont you remember that Capt Jenkings desired some directions of ye Town How to proceed when ye Time come that the men must be raisd and Esqr Marston said He Jenkings was so fond to raise them He wishd the Town would appoint Him to raise the whole that Esqr Bacon Said that the sd Jenkings had been forward to raise men yet now ye weight was got in tother scale? dont remember ye purticalar expressions but that Bacon & Marston & that party made violent opposition to ye raising ye men—Q. Whether when a Recommendation from the Provincial Congress for pay ye money to Henry Gardener Esq’ came to Town that Bacon opposed it violently? Answer Yes.

    Q. did you ever Heard Esqr Bacon say any thing against the independence of America? A. Yes—the rim of his discourse pretty much was that it would undo ye Country & we never should obtain it & that the Country would be better with out it Q. please to relate that Conversation you had with sd E Bacon Esq’ at the Time of Falmouth Alarm about last September?642 I Joind him in ye morning to go to South Sea to get Bread out of a Vessel for ye Soldiers & He & I rode up together it was natural to talk of Politicks at such a time when ye Enemy were burning & destroying & we fell into discourse I said to sd Bacon I was sorry they had not made us these Generous offers one year sooner (meaning ye Commissioners offers &c) for the war would have been over by then. He answered me in this way if I remember Right, that if these offers had been made then they would not have accepted of it and if they were to offered us independence they would not accept of it for they were a parcel of Tyrants and what they aimed at was Posts of Honor & proffit. Q. who did you Suppose He had reference to when He said Tyrants? A. I supposd He meant ye Congress I could not suppose He meant anybody else for He was Speaking of the offers the Commissioners had made the Congress. Q. Has not Esqr Bacons General Conduct been that of opposing the opposition by the Country to Great Brittain according to your best Observation & Judgement? A. I think it has.

    The sd Taylor further Says that in the Time of ye afore sd Alarm The sd Esqr Bacon showed himself forwd in promising ye Bread out of ye Vessel & procuring a cart & forwarding it to the Troops at Falmouth

    William Taylor.

    Barnstable Jany 5 1779

    Barnstable ss: Jany 5th 1779 The above named William Taylor Personally appeared and being duly Caution’d to tell the Truth the whole Truth & nothing but the Truth made Solemn Oath to the Truth of ye above Deposition by him Subscribed taken at the request of Joseph Otis Esqr & others Petitioners to the Honorable House of Representatives of the State of Massachusetts Bay against Edward Bacon Esqr to be used before sd House in Support of sd Petition, the sd Deponent living more than Thirty Miles from the place of Trial is ye Cause of taking ye sd Deposition and the Adverse party was notified & present at ye Caption before us

    Daniel Davis

    N Freeman



    Capt Wm Taylor read


    Deposition of Jonathan Hallett, January 6, 1779643

    Jonathan Hallet of Barnstable in the County of Barnstable Testifies & says—I bought a cask of melosses of him about two year ago this fall of Edwd Bacon Eqr I come to pay him off for the melosses there was a thirty Dollar Bill there was some dispute about its being a Counterfeit Bill. Esqr Bacon said it made no odds whether it was Counterfeit or not or did not know as it made any odds or not so I paid him the money & he took ye money. Q. did he give any reason why there was no odds or say anything further about the paper money? There was a considerable deal of talk but dont remember ye particular words.

    Jonathan Hallet

    Barnstable Jany 6, 1779


    Deposition of Rowland Hallett, January 6, 1779644

    Rowland Hallet of Barnstable in ye County of Barnstable Testifies & says, that He can remember but little about it was so long ago. there was something said about ye Bill mentioned in the bove deposition I think it Esqr Bacon askd if it was counterfeit, but however the sd Bacon said it made no odds whether it was Counterfeit or not & so took the Bill is all that I can remember about it about two years ago this last month as near as I can remember. Further say not.

    Rowland Hallet

    Barnstable Jan 6, 1779


    Deposition of Prince Bearse, January 6, 1779645

    Prince Bears of Barnstable in ye County of Barnstable testifies & saysthat He was present at the Time above Something was said about the Hardness of the Times—I think Mr Jona Hallet said He did not seebut the Times was as good as ever they was—He could pay his debts& live as well as He used to—the Company was making observationor Complaint How much money it took to buy this melasses Esqr Bacon makes reply & said we need to be thankfull we was not obliged to Carry our money about in Corn Baskets—Further Say not.

    Prince Bears

    Barnstable Jany 6. 1779.

    Barnstable ss: Jany 6, 1779 The above and within Nam[ed] Prince Bears Jonathan & Rowland Hallet Severally Per[so]nally appeared & being Cautioned to testifie the Truth th[e] whole Truth & nothing but the Truth Severally made Sole[mn] oath the the above & within Depositions by them respecti[vely] subscribed taken at the request of Joseph Otis Esqr & others Petitioners to the Honorable House of Representatives [of] the State of Massachusetts Bay to be used before said Hous[e] in support of sd Petition against Edward Bacon Esqr the Deponents living more than Thirty miles from ye Place of Trial was ye Cause of taking sd Depositions the Adverse party Notified but not present, before us

    Daniel Davis

    NathL Freeman


    Prince Bears Jonn Hallet Rowld Hallet



    Deposition of Elkanah Higgins, January 6, 1779646

    I Elkanah Higgins of Eastham in the County of Barnstable of Lawful age do Hereby Testify & Say that on the Last of Decemr, 1776 or first of Jany 1777 I was at the Dwelling House of Edward Bacon Esqr at Barnstable & he the said Bacon Enquired of me what the people had Done at Eastham Conserning Lord Hows proclamation and Said Bacon further Said Lord Hows proclamation ought to be heard too or Took into Consideration and the Said Bacon Further Said if the County (or Country) did nothing he Should Think they were Stupid & further Saith not.

    Elkanah Higgins

    Barnstable ss on the 6th day of Jany 1779 Then the above Named Elkannah Higgins personally Apeard & Being Cautioned To Tesfied the whole Truth made Solemn oath to the Truth of the above Deposition By him Subscribed according to the Best of His memmory taken at the Request of Joseph Otis Esqr & others to be used in the House of Representative in Support of a petition against Edward Bacon Esqr& sd deponants Living more than 30 miles miles from the place of trial is the is the Cause of Taking this Deposion & the Said Edward Bacon Living more than twenty miles from the place of Caption was not Notified nor present Before me

    Solon Freeman

    Justice peace for sd County of Barnstable


    Elkanah Higgins Deposition


    Petition of Daniel Davis and Others, March 19, 1779647

    To the Honble the House of Representatives for the State of the Massachusetts Bay

    The Petition of a Number of the Inhabitants of the Town of Barnstable Humbly Sheweth

    That at the Session of the Honble Court in October last, there was a Petition exhibited to your Honours; by Joseph Otis Esqr and a Number of the Inhabitants of this town; against Edward Bacon Esqr chosen last May, by a Majority of a Town Meeting to represent this Town; at the General Court of this State, which petition your Honours Sustained, and Ordered the Petitioners to appear at Boston in January last Before the General Court, to Enforce said petition against said Edward Bacon Esqr, which they did; and set forth in their petition, that said Edward Bacon Esqr was a person Unfriendly to the United States of America; and a person of Dangerous Principles &c; and praying your Honours to dismiss him from the Publick Councils of this State; as may appear at large by said Petition; and the said Edward Bacon Esqr at the Sessions of the Honble Court in said January Last, asked leave of your Honours to resign his Seat as a Member of Court; which your Honours are Sensible was Granted him, and a precept was Ordered to this Town to choose a Member in his Room; to represent them for the remaining part of this year; since which, the said Edward Bacon Esqr has been reelected by a Majority of a Town Meeting met for the purposes aforesaid; and as the Objections are Still the same against the said Edward Bacon Esqr as set forth in the former petition against him herewith Enclosed we in Conjunction with said petitioners most humbly Beseech your Honours to give said Joseph Otis Esqr us, and Others a hearing on said petition, and their Evidences, and others now ready to be produced against said Edward Bacon Esqr so that he may be Excluded from a Seat, in the House of representatives aforesaid; if said Charges are true; or Otherwise to take the matter up in such way as your Honours in your Wisdom shall think best; This we do not from any Sinister views or private prejudice, but from a sence of duty; to the Cause and Interest of our Beloved Country; that her publick Councils may not be Embarrassed; by designing Inimical persons; who with so much Earnestness endeavour to push themselves into power, and Least that Confidence in the Legislature; which is Necessary to the well being of the Community; should be Lessened by the Admission of persons, who have Openly opposed the Cause of our Country—and your petitioners as in duty Bound shall ever pray &c

    Andrew Allen648

    Jonathan Davis Jur

    Nathl Jenkings Jr

    Andrew Allen Jr

    Eli Fuller

    Zacc. Jenkings

    Nathl Allin

    Zacc. Fuller

    Jedediah Jones

    Joseph Annable

    Lot Gage

    Nye Jones

    Benjamin Baker

    Benjn Goodspeed

    David Lewes Jur

    Ebenezer Baker

    Lewis Gorham

    George Lewis

    Samuell Baker

    Prince Gorham

    John Lewis

    Daniel Basset

    Silvanus Gorham

    Josiah Lewis

    Nathan Bassett

    Thomas Gorham

    Nathaniel Lewis

    Churchill Blossom

    John Gray

    Benjamin Lothrop

    Joshua Bramhall

    Jonathan Hallet

    Ebenezer Lothrop

    Seth Carsley

    Rowland Hallett

    John Lothrop

    Ebenezer Claghom

    Micah Hamblin

    Nathanael Lothrop

    Beniamin Cobb

    Adino Hinckley

    Seth Lothrop

    Eleazer Cobb

    Nathl Hinckley

    Jacob Louell

    Ebenezer Colman

    Elisha Holmes

    Benja Lovil

    James Colman

    Thomas Homer

    Cornel. Lovil

    James Colman Jr

    Barns Howes

    Cornel. Lovil Jr

    Asa Conant

    Ansil Howland

    William Lovil

    Samuel Cottle

    Job Howland

    Jonathan Lumbert

    Bama Crocker

    Nathl Howland

    James Otis

    Edwd Crocker

    Zacc. Howland

    John Otis Jr

    Nathl Crocker

    Ebenzr Jenkings

    Joseph Otis

    William Crocker

    Jos Jenkings

    Solomon Otis

    Daniel Davis

    Nathl Jenkings

    Isaiah Parker

    Timothy Pheney

    Jethro Thacher

    Anthony Thatcher

    Benjn Smith

    John Thacher

    Elisha Thatcher

    Joseph Smith

    John Thacher Juner

    Edward Lloyd Whittemore

    William Sturgis

    Barnstable March 19th 1779


    The Petition of Daniel Davis Esqr & 84 others against Edwd Bacon Esqr


    Deposition of Ebenezer Baker, April 1, 1779649

    I Ebenezer Baker of Barnstable in ye County of Barnstable Declare that sometime in March A D 1777 in ye Evening after a Town meeting at the House of Mrs Chipman inholder in sd Barnstable—being in Company with Edwd Bacon Esqr and divers othir persons belonging to sd Town after conversing of the meeting & how it was Caryied on He said we have got into a poor way of fighting He said he reckoned it would be best to except of the Howes Proclamations, I askd him what he meant by Howes Proclamations—he says, did you never see any of them I told him no—he said I have one of thim in my House now if you come that way I’ll show it to you—Said if there was a petition Drawd & he could go with it He would pawn his Life he would settle ye Peace upon good Terms I further Declare that it is my Opinion that it is by the sd Bacons influence there are so many Tories in this County that He appears to be pretty much at ye Head of them and I always Supposed by his Conversation & conduct that He was upon the Kings Side of ye Question and that He is Still & I verily believe if it was in his Power He would set up a Kings Government yet

    Ebenezer Baker

    Barnstable ss on the 1st day of April 1779 the within named Ebenezar Baker personally apeared & Being Examined & duly Cautioned to Testify the Truth & Nothing but the truth made Solemn oath to the truth of the Within Deposion By him subscribd taken at the Request of the Honole Daniel Davis Esqr & others petitioners to the House of Representatives against Edward Bacon Esq’ to be used in sd House of Representatives in support of said petition the said Deponant Living more than thirty miles from the place of Holding Said Court or House of Representatives was the Cause of taking this Declaration & the said Bacon was Notified But Did not attend Before me

    Solomon Freeman

    Justice Peace for the County of Barnstable


    Ebenr Baker


    Deposition of Thaddeus Brown, April 1, 1779650

    I. Thaddeus Brown of Barnstable in ye County of Barnstable Testifie and declare, that some time Since the present War with Great Brittain I heard Edwd Bacon of sd Barnstable Esq’ say that He could not fight in this War for it was against his Conscience to take up Arms against the King; I can’t recollect particularly every thing He said at that Time, nor ye particular Time; but according to my best remembrance it was at the House of Mr Thomas Homer & a considerable Number of Persons Present, and He was talking against our Prosecuting the War against the King. I also declare that the winter before this last at the House of Mr Cornelius Crocker in sd Barnstable I heard ye Sd Bacon say (upon its being mentiond that John Adams was gone to France by some of the Company) that the Congress had been sending an Interest to France ever since the war begun, had been making a great Interest there, and He said He believed the Congress would all be Glad to Flee there by & by. That Hancock & Adams had not spoke to one another for six weeks before He went away. He said they had got a great Interest in France and Adams was gone there already & He believed they would all be Glad to go there yet. And I further say that I always took the sd Bacon to be inimical to the Country the above is according to my best remembrance

    ThadES Brown

    April 1st 1779.

    Barnstable ss on the 1st day of April 1779 the above Named Thadius Brown personally apeared & Being Examined & duly Cautioned to Testify the truth and nothing But the Truth made Solemn oath to the truth of the above Declaration by him Subscribd Taken at the Request of the Honole Daniel Davis Esqr & others petitioners to the House of Representatives against Edward Bacon Esqr to Be used in Said house of Representatives in Support of Said petition the Said Deponant Living more than thirty miles from the place of the Setting of sd house of Representatives was the Cause of taking this Declaration and the Said Bacon was Notified But did not attend before me

    Solomon Freeman

    Justice Peace for the County of Barnstable


    Thad. Brown


    Deposition of Lot Crowell, April 1, 1779651

    I Lot Crowel of Yarmouth in the County of Barnstable Captain of a Millitary Company in sd Town, Testifie that a year or more ago I cant

    be Certain as to the Time, as I was passing by Col. Edward Bacons of Barnstable the sd Bacon called to me and desired that I would call at his House as I came back; I told him I would. Accordingly as I came back to call at his House, Just before I got to the Gate I saw the sd Col. Bacon & his Son Edwd Bacon Junr talking together at the Gate or near it. The sd Edwd Bacon Junr came up to me, and according to my best Judgment within hearing of his Father the sd Edwd Bacon Junr told me He wanted I should go back to his House with him and He would give me the Howes Proclamation’s, which He has got He thought was reasonable and ought to be Complied with, He would have me take them and Publish among the People, I understood him He had given out Sundry of them among the People, and He wanted they Should be Spread abroad & published

    He gave me two of them one Dated at Staten Island the 14th of July A D 1776 the other Dated New York Sept’ 19th 1776, both signd Howe W. Howe.652 I went then to the sd Col. Bacon’s, and saw there Thomas Gorham & another Person I cant recollect who, who were disputing with ye sd Col. Bacon about the Public disputes between the Colonies & Great Brittain. Bacon seemd to hold that we was wrong in beginning this war—I cant remember every thing He Said the sd Col. Bacon had no Business with me; But I thought then & still think, that He wanted to give me those Proclamations; and to talk with me about them, but I Supposed the Company present prevented it. Since that He has been at my House and said that we was not right in beginning this war, I told him we did not begin it. He said we did, because we did not Petition as we ought and send over Agents & dimand our rights which if we had done, they would not have dared to have refused, and if they had He would have fought to his knees in Blood. He said we should be undone this way in a few years time.

    Our Children would be Slaves for we should be more Tyrannized over by the People Here, our Neighbours than ever we was by Lord North. He said He was a Tory but not an Enemy to his Country. Said we had not plannd Matters right, we should never have come to the Sword if we had, or begun the war. He said He was determined not to go to Fight; but if they Landed & come to destroy his House, He did not know what He should do. I told him we had engaged in the war & could not go back. He said Yes we could it was not too late we could make up the matter now. the above is according to the best of my remembrance as near as I can recollect.

    Lot Crowell

    Barnstable ss on the 1st day of April 1779 the afore named Lot Crowel personally apeard and Being Examined and duly Cautioned to Testify the truth & Nothing But the truth made Solemn oath to the truth of the before going Declaration by him Subscribed taken at the Request of the Honole Daniel Davis Esqr and others petitioners to the House of Representatives against Edward Bacon Esq’ to Be used in the House of Representatives in Suppor of said petition the Sd Deponant Living more than thirty miles from the place of Holding Said Court or House of Representatives was the Cause of Taking this Declaration and the Said Bacon was Notified But Did not attend Before me

    Solomon Freeman

    Justice Peace for the County of Barnstable


    Lot Crowel Deposition


    Deposition of Thomas Gorham, April 1, 1779653

    I Thomas Gorham of Barnstable in the County of Barnstable Testifie and declare, that I have heard Edward Bacon Esq’ say several Times, that we was wrong in contending with Great Brittain—For if they was to blame we was more so than they was; for our Petitions that we had sent Howe was not Legal was not Signd by the Governor—He said we was wrong in destroying the Tea at Boston—I told Esq’ Bacon I was not Capable of talking about them things—that I could not see Just as He did—there were three Quarters of the Country and the Congress for resisting them—Sd Bacon replied there was Hancock & Adams Adams was worth but little if his Debts was paid and it was for his interest to contend with them in this way in order to get a Living—• He Signified Hancock had got low in ye world too and it was for his Interest likewise—Esqr Bacon said He reckoned we was wrong & we should be subdued He could not be willing to resist them, viz Great Brittain—for he reckoned we was wrong and we should be overcome and it would be worse for us—He Said if we made out to Support our independence it would be worse for us—for there was Holland it was more difficult for them than if they had not revolted

    He said he reckoned it would be better for us, and He had rather, be at the Mercy of the People tother side of the water & Lord North than of the People of this Country for after the Congress had answered their Ends they would use us as bad if not worse, and He reckoned we had better Submit to them, and make as good Terms as we could with them, He reckoned it would be better for us,

    He Said He had rather have a master Three Thousand miles off than here so near to us This Conversation above I have heard Several Times, the first was about two years ago & Several Times since

    That Seemd to be his general Talk pretty much I have heard him talk so since the declaration of independance and for that reason I said to him that He had better not Speak his mind So freely about it, discourageing them that was a mind to go into the Service as People was so generally for resisting them, He had better let them go that were a mind to and them that was not to Say but little about it—He Said he reckoned it was his Duty to discourage them if He thought it was wrong and He always said from first to last that He did not think as others did. He should be willing to Contend with them if we was right in taking the measures we had against them but He did not but this last was before the declaration of independence But I have heard him talk as before mentioned within a year or fifteen months since the Alliance with France, and I have heard Him say the French would be of no service to us, they was not to be trusted, they was not to be depended upon as the People in England was, He Said England had Established Popery in Canada and our People found fault with it, and now they allowed them to come to Boston654 & He reckoned there was danger of the French being a Dammage to our religion and I have heard him talk in this manner since He was chosen a member of Court in last May. I further declare that I frequently attend & vote in Town meetings and it always appeard to me that He generally opposed the measures taken by the Country for its defence; but like enough He thought He was right. I have heard him Say that the Congress was not willing that the Common People should know the best Terms the Howes (speaking of their Proclamations) offered us. I also Say that I am so intimately acquainted with the sd Esqr Bacon as I live near him & am often in Company with Him and have had a long acquaintance with Him, that I have not the least doubt of his being ye Person I have had this Conversation with, notwithstanding I am Blind, no more than if I had seen him, as I know Persons I have been acquainted with heretofore as soon as I hear them speak as quick as I used to by Sight.

    and I further Say that I have heard the said Bacon say He believed That ye Congress had it in their Hearts for several years past to Quarrel with Great Brittain in order to help themselves & their families and there was no dependence upon them. He said he reckoned we had better choose some Body to go & treat with the Howes for ye Congress would not let us know the right of their offers.

    Thomas Gorham

    Barnstable April 1 1779

    Barnstable ss: on the lst Day April A D 1779 Personally Appeared the above named Thomas Gorham and being carefully Examined and duly Cautioned to testifie the whole truth and Nothing but the Truth made Solemn Oath to the Truth of the foregoing Deposition by him Subscribed, taken at the request of ye Honble Daniel Davis Esqr and others Petitioners against Edwd Bacon Esqr to be used in the House of Representatives in Support of sd Petition, the Deponent living & being more than Thirty Miles from ye Place of Trial is ye Cause of taking this Deposition the sd Edwd Bacon Notified but did not attend, before me

    Solomon Freeman

    Justice Peace for the County of Barnstable


    Thos Gorham


    Deposition of Nathaniel Howland, April 1, 1779655

    I Nathl Howland of Barnstable in ye County of Barnstable Testifie and declare that sometime in march or beginning of April AD 1777 I cant be certain which in the Evening after a Town meeting at the House of Mrs Elisabeth Chipman in sd Barnstable being in Company with Edwd Bacon Esqr Capt. Ebenr Baker & divers other persons belonging to sd Town I heard the said Edward Bacon say we have got into a poor way of fighting, He reckoned it would be best to accept of Howes Proclamations He said to Capt. Baker did you never see any of them Baker told him no; Bacon says I have got one of them at my House if you will call I will show it to you—And asked me if I had seen them. I told him I had seen enough of them & did not want to see any more of them. He sd Bacon said if there was a petition drawed & He could go with it He would pawn his Life He would settle the Peace upon good Terms. I further declare that it is my Opinion that it is by the sd Bacons means there is so many Tories in this County, that He appears to be pretty much at the Head of them & I always supposed by his Conversation & Conduct that He was upon the Kings Side of the Question & that He is still & I verily believe if it was in his Power He would set up a Kings Government yet I have Several Times since those Public disputes heard him threaten the Kings Standard would be soon set up, and we should all be Glad to repair to it. Also when the sd Edwd Bacon was taken & brought before the Honorable Daniel Davis Esqr Brigd’ Otis & Col. Freeman, I heard the sd Bacon Say when He first come up, that now we will see who & who is of a side and I understood by some People present He had been down to the other end of ye Town to muster all the Tories He could.

    Nathel Howland

    Barnstable April 1. 1779

    Barnstable ss on the 1st day of april 1779 the within Named Nathl Howland personally apeard & Being Examined & duly Cautioned to Testify the truth and Nothing but ye Truth made Solemn oath to the truth of the within Decaration By him Subscribed Taken at the Request of the Honle Daniel Davis Esqr & others petitioners to the House of Representatives against Edward Bacon Esqr to Be used in the sd House of Representatives in Support of Said petition the said Deponant Living more than thirty miles from the place of Holding Said Court & House of Representatives was the Cause of taking this Deposition & the said Bacon was Notified But did not attend. Before me

    Solomon Freeman

    Justice Peace for the County of Barnstable


    N Howland


    Deposition of Joseph Otis and Ebenezer Jenkins,

    April 1, 1779656

    We657 The top of the sheet is marked “N° 1.” Joseph Otis Esqr and Ebenr Jenkins both of Barnstable, in the County of Barnstable, Testifie, and declare, that in January last when we attended the House of Representatives in support of a petition against Edward Bacon Esqr of the same Town, and then there Representative, a little after the Honorable House had adjourned the Trial of the said Edward Bacon Esqr to the third day of February in Order for some Depositions to be taken over again—Colo Nathll Freeman of Sandwich then one of the Representatives of that Town mentioned to us that the sd Edwd Bacon Esqr had desired him to let us know, that he would Consent to the sd Depositions being admitted and have the Trial then come on if we was willing, and that he desired to Speak with us about it as soon as he could have an Oppourtunity, and that the sd Colo Freeman advised us to have the Trial come on then as he thought, he said that it would be best for both parties. Accordingly we saw and Convers’d with the said Edward Bacon upon the Subject after that, divers times, before we could agree to the Trials coming on them; the dispute between us was whether the Depositions should be Considered as ex parte Evidences or not, which the sd Bacon was for, and we against—but we finally agreed for ye papers to be admitted and the Trial to come on the then next Wednesday or as soon after as might be as near as we can remember. But after this the said Bacon made several Applications to us and proposed to us for us to put of the Trial again untill the third day of February or to a longer time, in Order that we might all go home, and make peace in the Town—which the said Edward Bacon said he could easily do—and that he could still all the Difficulties in Barnstable relative to the Militia, and that would throw up the thoughts of an Independant Regiment; and urged very hard that we should Settle all Disputes and make friends. He also urged us to withdraw the petition & not prosecute it any further, this he talk’d with us about severall Times, and at one time he proposed it when several members of the County were together at the Golden Ball; we all along Declined it and told him we, was sorry we were under an Obligation from a Sense of duty to prosecute it against him; but we could not see it Consistent with our duty to withdraw it—nor to put it off, till the third of February—but we asked the Opinion of the members present what they advised to who generally said they could not see clear to advise to the Measures—upon which we told the sd Colo Bacon that we should not Consent to it by any means, but that if he would resign his seat we did not want to prosecute the petition against him—But he said he had Rather run his chance to be expelled than to do that; and was Determined not to resign unless the House turn’d him out, let the Consequence be what it would, this was the Night before the Trial was to come on: and we parted having Determined and agreed on both sides to go to Trial the then next morning and went to our Several Lodgings

    Next morning as we came in upon exchange floor and were going up in Order to Support the petition on the Hearing it being the time of Day assigned by the House for that Purpose, we met the said Bacon on the Exchange floor, and likewise Colo Freeman whom I the said Otis parted with but a Minute or two before in ye Clerks office where he had been with me the said Otis the sd Bacon proposed to us the Necessity of Going home and Making peace; instead of raking up all we could; against each other, and desired Colo Freeman to ask the Question or to talk with us upon the matter, the said Freeman spoke at a Little Distance from the said Bacon and said he would not advise us one way or the other, but that the sd Bacon had thoughts of Resigning in case we would engage not to petition again in case of his ye Said Bacon’s reelection, the said Freeman told us to act our own principles and he was easy he would not advise us either way, we Signified to the sd Freeman that it would not do to make any such promises. Freeman says you had better be together when you talk & Determine soon for ye House was waiting—upon this the said Bacon & we the sd Deponants and Colo Freeman stood all together and no Body else present and Colo Freeman then put to us the Following Questions—Vizt in Case Colo Bacon will resign his Seat will you Consent to withdraw your petition against him and engage not to Petition against him in case he is relected, Upon which we Answered to this purpose that we petitioned upon principles and could make no such Agreement, for tho we did wish to hurt him; yet if he was chosen again and we Lookd upon him Inimical to the Country as we now did, we must Certainly think it would be our duty to Petition again as much as we did before, the said Bacon was very urgent upon which Colo Freeman then asked us if the said Bacon resign’d his Seat and was not chose till Another year, whether we would withdraw our petition and engage not to petition again, to which we replied that we could make no such promises, for so long as we viewed him as an Enemy to his Country we must petition in Case he was chose the sd Bacon said whatever he had been heretofore he was now Determined to be a friend to his Country, and that in three Weeks time after he got home he could Convince us all that he was as good a friend to his Country as any in it—and that if he could not do that he would never attempt to come to the General Court again, and he further said he would warrant that in three Weeks time after he got home he would make peace in the Town of Barnstable, and all things easy and he would engage the Militia should be peaceably organized in the regiment, upon which the said Otis replied and said to the said Bacon, You cant Kill them Crockers Sam & Nell658 if you was to die, the sd Bacon replied and said he knew they was the two worst or most noisy, but he would engage to still them & all the rest; only Colo Freeman must Condescend to divide Cap’ Lothrops Company, to which the said Freeman said there would be no Difficulty as to Dividing the Company if they desire it with a Design to Belong to the regiment. The said Bacon then said I will tell you what I will do then I will resign my Seat without your Promising not to petition again; in Case you will withdraw your Petition; and there shall be a new precept go to659 Barnstable only it shall be Lodged three Weeks in Colo Freemans hand, before the Selectmen have it, in which time I shall either convince you all that I am a friend to my Country; and you will have no Objection to me or we shall peaceably agree about chosing a member, and if not we will then try to agree to something else—To this I the said Jenkins said I did not know that we could withdraw the Petition with Honour to ourselves or Justice to the House and feared We should be blamed by the House for Smuggling the matter—Colo Freeman said that he thought if Colo Bacon resign’d his Seat first as all we had petitioned for was to prevent his having a Seat if he prevented it himself by resigning he thought there could be no Objection by yc House or any Body else, especially as we had reserved Liberty to petition again in Case of his being reelected, and thought we had better consent to upon this I the said Otis told the said Bacon I would not withdraw the petition unless he would engage to still all ye Difficulty’s in Wellfleet & Barnstable too, so as to have no more Difficulty in the Brigade, To this the said Bacon said I will engage to and you may depend upon it, and I will withdraw the petition for an Independant regiment only Colo Freeman shall not Lay ye Officers memorial with his papers Before the Council nor prosecute any of those of Capt Lothrop’s Company who did not appear at ye Muster for their Fines. sd Freeman said he would not till ye said Bacon had been home and had Oppourtunity to make peace, nor till he had been home himself, and when he Freeman came home if the Disaffected in Capt Lothrops Company desired it upon application to him, if it was not Disagreeable to the Officers which he presumed it would not he would make such Division & either Lead them to a New choice or petition Council ye Officers which they had chosen should be Commissioned, as he was willing to do what he could to Oblige them in Case they peaceably Join’d the Regiment; and he told Colo Bacon he must enter upon this Business of making peace in that Company as soon as he got home, which the said Bacon sd he would do, We also declare that Both parties agreed to this, and this was the whole of ye Agreement that we knew any thing about, nor was there a word mentioned at this time of any person to be appointed or to resign any Office or Commission, nor have we any reason to think from any thing we see or heard all the time we was in Boston, that there was any such Agreement, we suppos’d if Colo Bacon acted the part he promis’d that It would be a means of restoring peace, and that there would probably be further attempts by some future Consultation to make other matters as easy as they could upon Honourable principles be done; and we also testify that we and Colo Bacon agreed that Colo Freeman should go into ye House and give the Information of what we had Concluded upon (and we agreed to it If it was agreeable to the House); while Colo Bacon was in ye House and we in the Galleries, which was done Accordingly: the Foregoing is the Truth as near as we can remember—Except I the said Jenkins dont Particularly remember about what Relates to Cap’ Lothrops Companyes being divided and What Said Otis said to Bacon about Samll Crocker and Nell and Bacons Reply to Said Otis upon that

    Joseph Otis

    Ebenezer Jenkins

    Barnstable April 1. 1779

    Barnstable ss: on the 1st of April A D 1779 Personally Appeared Joseph Otis Esqr and Ebenezer Jenkings before Named and being carefully Examined & duly Cautioned to Testifie the whole Truth & nothing but the Truth made solemn Oath to the Truth of the foregoing Deposition by them subscribed and Containd on two sheets660 of Paper No 1 & No 2. taken at the request of the Honble Daniel Davis Esqr & others Petitioners against Edwd Bacon Esqr to be used in support of sd Petition in the House of Representatives The Deponents living & being more than Thirty miles from the Place of Trial is the Cause of the taking this Deposition and the sd Edwd Bacon Esqr was notified but did not attend before me

    Solomon Freeman

    Juse peace for the County of Barnstable


    Brigadr Otis & Capt Jenkins


    Deposition of Solomon Freeman, April 2, 1779661

    I Solomon Freeman of Harwich in the County of Barnstable Esq’ Testifie and say, that some time in Jany last while I attended the House of representatives as a member, and while ye Petition of Joseph Otis Esqr & Others Against Edwd Bacon Esqr was depending, after the House had put off ye Trial, of the sd Edwd Bacon Esqr to ye 3d of ye then next Feby in order for some Depositions to be taken over again; the sd Edwd Bacon frequently desired me to attend at a meeting of the members of the County to see if we could not agree upon some Plans to restore Peace in ye County (which however according to my Judgement then & now Generally prevails in ye County except in the Town of Barnstable) I accordingly met the members who attended several Times at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern & at the Golden Ball in Boston at which meetings, in order to talk Freely and know one anothers opinion & expectations it was agreed that nothing which was there said in the Course of, such Consultations should be considered as obligatory or to be taken any Advantage of or be claimed as making any concessions, both by the said Edwd Bacon Esqr and other Members. The said Edwd Bacon Esqr proposed that if some of the old Civil Officers were re appointed it would be for the Peace of ye County Which no one contradicted as I remember, The sd Bacon mentioned several, some of which were agreable & others were objected to—Doctr Smith and David Thatcher were mentioned I remember Col. Freeman said that He was willing the sd Smith should be appointed as a Justice of ye Peace, if it was agreable, and to take place of him on the Pleas, or to be at the Head of the Pleas in Case the Honorable Daniel Davis Esqr did not accept, and the sd Thatcher He was desirous should be appointed, to these I heard no objection but thought would be agreable, only I dont remember that the sd Bacon appeared to be so forward about the sd Thatcher. I remember that Col. Gorham and Nymphas Marston Esqr were mentioned and were objected to their being Appointed, particularly by Col. Freeman Joseph Nye Esqr and I think others, the sd Col. Freeman mentd particularly as to Col. Gorham that He had lately lied so like the Devil He did not think him fit for a Justice, tho the sd Freeman said He had been in favor of him Heretofore. I dont remember that any Body proposed the reappointment of the sd Edwd Bacon Esqr nor did I think any Body had any notion of it, I think I heard the said Bacon say He did not want any Office but I cant be so certain as to that he said so. The sd Bacon nor any one else, did not in my Hearing propose the resignation of any Officer in ye County but own’d Col. Freeman had made large sacrifices of his interest in favour of his Country and I thought that the sd Bacon appeared to be Satisfied with the sd Freemans offices. Barnabas Freeman was also proposed & no objection to it Some other new ones were talk’d of, but nothing in all these meetings was agreed or Concluded upon, as we apprehended it necessary before we come to any determination respecting it to have further Consultation with others in the County, but all Seemd disposed to make things as easy as we could upon Honorable terms. I dont remember any thing said at these meetings about the Petition of Joseph Otis Esqr & others against the sd Bacon Esqr, as that was not the Business of those meetings, except the last meeting we had, which was at ye Golden Ball the evening before the Trial was to come on the sd. Otis & Jenkings being present together with the sd Bacon, they went into a room by themselves after which the sd Bacon came out and said they could agree upon nothing the Petitioners was cruel the Question was asked the members (I think by the sd Otis) whether they would advise to putting off the Trial to a longer Time as the sd Bacon had proposed, to which the members did not incline to advise but thought the Trial had better come on then.

    Soon after this we broke up and the Petitioners and ye sd Bacon concluded their negotiation and agreed to go to Trial ye next morning, Esqr Greenough told me after I came out & we walkd together to our Lodgings, that the Petitioners would not take up with any thing short of Bacons resignation, which Bacon would not do and they must come to trial the next morning in Spight of Fate. I heard the sd Col. Freeman in the Course of Free Conversation say that He had thought’s of moving out of ye County, and that he had thought of resigning his Military Commission, but He was determine! to do neither till he had got ye regiment and things in ye County pretty peaceably Settled and the oppisition over and till He had had one regiment at muster But this was nothing proposed by others nor mentioned as any Terms of accommodation

    Solomon Freeman

    Barnstable April 2, 1779

    Sworn to before N. Freeman Jus. Pac.


    Sol Freeman


    Petition of Daniel Davis and Others, May 20, 1779662

    To the Honourable the House of Representatives for the state of Massachusetts Bay.

    The petition of us the Subscribers Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the town of Barnstable Humbly Sheweth that your Honrs petitioners with a Number of other Inhabitants of Said town presented a petition to the Late Honble House of Representatives of this State against Edward Bacon Esqr who was Chose to Represent this town in the General Court Last year, which petition was Sustained by Said House, and the petitioners ordered to Attend and prosecute the same which they did, and Said Edward Bacon Esqr for Reasons best Known to himself, Resigned his Seat in Said house, before he came to a trial with Said petitioners, on which there was a precept ordered to Said town, to Elect a Member, in said Edwd Bacon Esq. Room, and Said town Reelected Said Edward Bacon Esqr again to Serve the Remainder of Last year in the General Court of this State and your former petitioners with others prepared a Second petition to lay before the said house with their Evidences, to Shew that the Said Edward Bacon Esqr in their Opinion was Unfriendly to to the United States of America as Sett forth in their petition but the Said Edward Bacon Esqr did not attend at Said Court Agreeable to the Choice of Said Town the Second time he was Chose as aforementioned, Since which on the 20th Instant the Said town by a Majority of votes at a town Meeting of Said town Elected the Said Edward Bacon Esqr to represent them in the General Court of this State for the present year and as the reasons Still Subsist against the Said Edward Bacon Esqr in the minds of your petitioners as Sett forth in the two former petitions we Humbly pray your Honours to take up the two former petitions therewith presented with the Evidences attending them taken in a Legal way at a great Expence and give your petitionrs a hearing against the Said Sd Edward Bacon Esqr who they apprehend ought not to be allowed a Seat in the General Court of this State, this we do not from any Sinister Views of our own but from a Sincere Regard to our Country, that our publick Councells May not at this Critical period, be Embarrassed with persons Inimical to our Just Rights and Liberties, we therefore pray that the Said Edward Bacon Esqr may not be permitted to have a Seat in the house of Representatives, or to take the Matter up in Such way as your Honours in their wisdom Shall think best and yr petitioners as in duty bound Shall Ever pray &c.

    Joseph Annable663

      Silvanus Gorham
      John Lothrop
      Ebenr Baker
      John Gray
      Benjn Lovel
      Samuell Baker
      Micah Hamblin
      Cornel. Lovil
      Nathan Bassett
      Nathl Hinkly Jr
      Jacob Lovil
      Churchil Blossom
      Thomas Homer
      Thos Lumber
      Ebenr Claghorn
      Ansil Howland
      Jonathan Lumbert
      ben Cobb
      Nathl Howland
      James Otis
      Eleazer Cobb
      Zacc. Howland
      John Otis Jr
      John Coffey
      Ebenr Jenkings
      Jos Otis
      Ebenr Colman
      Jos Jenkings
      Solomon Otis
      James Colman
      Nathl Jenkins
      Isaiah Parker
      James Colman Jr
      Nathl Jenkings Jr
      Timothy Pheney
      Samll Cottle
      Zacch. Jenkings
      Benjn Smith
      Nathl Crocker
      David Lewis Jnr
      William Sturgis
      Wm Crocker 3d
      George Lewis
      Jethro Thacher
      Daniel Davis
      John Lewis
      John Thacher
      Jonathan Davis Jur.
      Josiah Lewis
      John Thacher Junr
      T. Davis Freeman
      Peter Lewis
      Anthony Thatcher
      Benja Goodspeed
      Benjamin Lothrop
      Elisha Thatcher
      Lewis Gorham
      Ebenr Lothrop
      Jos Totman
      Prince Gorham

    Barnstable May 20th 1779


    Petit, of Daniel Davis Esqr & others vs Edwd Bacon Esqr


    Deposition of Edward Davis, Mat 28, 1779664

    I Edward Davis of Boston testifie & declare that the beg[inning of] last march a twelve month ago I was in company with one Simeon Cain who took me to belong to the Convention troops and in Conversation told me that Burgoins men were gitting into our army to deceive us and that he the said Cain wanted to git some body to send as an Express to his friends in several places and see how many they could get to Join General Pigot665 and what provisions they could procure for him and bring the Returns to him and then to git a Holow Cane and cary his Express to General Pigot on Rhode island and to General howe in Philadelphia I mentioned this to General hencock666 accordingly after I was provided with a Continantal sute & a horse I went to the sd Cane to marshfield and agread with him I was to go to dartmouth first to one foster and he would give me Directions. I was to Git the List of those who would Join Pigot—of those head whigs they wanted taken up & sent to Rhode island and when I came back from Rhode island to bring off Counterfit money in order to be spread about I went to the sd fosters and saw at a Old House near there two men who caled them selves Elisha and Edward Bourn of sandwich who said they were going to Rhode island and foster & sd Bourns directed me to major Bourn of sandwich and some others to Edward Bacon Esqr of Barnstable and doct fessenden of harwich who lived in Different parts of the county of Barnstable who would assist me to sd Lists and tell me who Else it would do to applye to. The sd Bourns said they would come back to sandwich with forces and take up and carry off the head whigs that they Left Sandwich because they would not swear allegiance to the americans and others they sopposed were gon to Goal sunday night I set out and went to sandwich and called at a house by the way agreable to my directions saw the man who freely came into the measures went to major Bourns introduced my business to him and told him I had seen Elisha Bourn & had an errand to his wife upon telling the major that Pigot was a going to send troops there to take up the head whigs and distress the Inhabitants he Expressed Great Joy and Got his hors and went with me to Elisha Bourns there I was provided with a new horse to go down the Cape to see the sd Esqr Bacon and doct fessenden and after some conversation went back and staid at the majors that night I saw them one Raymont who I was also desired to see Conversed freely with the major his dafter and Raymont Raymont said he should have gone of to the Regulars long ago if it had not ben for his family the times was got to be so hard that he could git nothing but smock money swor one womans smock would pay of a Regiment of these yankees he had some Raggs he had a notion to have made up All the halves said he had smock money Enough and would not do any wourk that he always took up the kins side & always Intended to stand upon his side never took up armes against him and never would before he would obey the Laws of the Country he would Run off to the Regulars Said he would assest any time in taking up the head Ringleaders and carry of to Rhode island and aspecially Col freeman & many other things he said and the major and he contrived about a Vessal that lay down below the Porck House to carry off the whigs in and if they could not git her off they would git boats—the major told me he had a Son gone off to Rhode island and number of men from tha Neighbourhood and had sense ben back and ben secreted a fortnight together had been at his house they had been home several times and carried off Provition that a neighbour of his sent a Quantity of venison to General pigot the major or Raymont I think it was the major told me when these men came from Rhode island they brought home counterfit money to spread about and disstress the whiggs somfe of said was Left with Seth perry and told me if I wanted I might have Enough of it at Gibbes the major agreed to send in his name and his families as friends to the King and to write a letter to his son and Give directions where the troops should land bade me charge his son to come with them some were to Come in below his house but the Heaviest partatt a Harbour I think hianas his Reasons was because it would draw the attention of Plimouth and Rochester and wareham down that way while the rest landed above & Cut of the Communication said the night should be fixed upon when they should Coax away Col freeman and some others he mentioned and take them and put them aboard the boat and send thim to Rhod island in irons the major said the whiggs never mestrusted these mens being at home they came in a boat in the night said there was but 2 or 3 families in monument but what would not fight against the king and that if the troops Came in below at Barnstable they would have the most of them to fight for them he recommended me to doctor Smith as a friend to the king who it would do to trust and gave me a letter to him advised me to see th[e p]risoners especially he advised me to Esq bacon who he said was a substantial fr[iend] to the King wh[o    d] against the Congress & stood it out to the Last and he sopposed he was of the same mind yet and in the mean time he would git the List prepared the writings ready and the plan concerted for the troops landing advised me to call at no taverns except one he discribed where the tories met to consert their plans nor to let Col freeman see me and to call and loge at his house when I came back I went to doctr Smiths gave him the letter said he liked the plan and would see me when I came back advised me to Esqr bacon and others said I should meet with no difficulty with Esq bacon and that he would contrive for me to see the prisoners when I got to Barnstable I went to Esqr bacons in the Evening had some conversation with him as he stood in the Entry he asked my business I told him I was advised to him by major bourn and dcot Smith and my business was as a Spy from General pigot I was contriveing about taking up the liberty men he told me he had company in the house and said he liked the plan and wanted to talk further with me and advised me to old mr Crockers tavern & to call and see him in the morning I went back to mr Crockers and stade there next morning I conversed freely with mr crocker some time in the barn and after wards with him and otis Loring in the barn who he sent for on purpose they came fully into the plan Crocker said all that he desired and prayed for was that the kings troops might prevail that we might live in quietness and peace as we used to under the kings laws for we had no business to Rebell against the measures the king had put out agread to see me when I came back and to send in his and his families names and a number of others to the kings officers and Loring agread to the same in every particular he said he longed to see the day when the Read Coats (meaning the kings troops) were in this County for the people here was tearing one another to peaces and taking away their Entrest because they would not go into the servis and it was no better then stealing said if old Coll otis Brigad otis & Davis was took up and carried off they could do well Enough in Barnstable and many other things much to the same purpose they said they advised me to go over and consult Esqr bacon and his son and Isaac bacon and some others and the prisoners who they hoped would stand true & not take the oath Loring agread to go forward to Esqr bacons and talk with him first and pave the way for me accordingly when Loring had ben gon a little I went over to sd bacons road up to the door Bacon came out I told him I was the person that called Last night and now called again as he desired he told me he was well acquainted with major bourn and docter Smith and lately seen them told me mr loring was in the house and let me into the whole of your plans and he liked them much and should do all that he could to carry it on that he had always ben upon that side my mind is that way and if I can do any thing to serve it depend upon it I will said he was one stiled inimical to his Country because he would not fall in with the Leaders in the Cause wished me success said the bigger part of the people in that town was friends to the king [     ] but a fue hot headed men that thought other ways he took me back of the house said there was some folkes in the house that he did not choose should here us talk said he would have me go down as far as doctr fessendens at Harwich and Capt Gideon Batyes at Eastham whose Names he gave me in writing and told me they was harty friends to the King I might not be affraid to say any thing to them they are substantial friends we see one another often there is no nead of my writing only tell them that I advised you to them & and as a token tell them that I had quitted my notion of the office I spoke to them about and they will know that you have seen me and and that I sent you to them told me to be very carefull and keep secret and fessenden and Baty would tell me who it would do to trust and to call and see him as I came back and to be sure to come in the Night and to stay at his house it should cost me nothing for me and my horse charged me to come in the night which was to be friday night said he would send in his name and his families and git the writing all ready against I came back he asked me about the troops landing and where they were to come I told him to hianis and Buzzards bay he said they would have a number to joyn them if they did come hed warrant said that there was a number of good hearty friends to the Regulars down along the Cape & in that town said he knew me as soon as he see me coming for loring told him if he see a man coming with a Read great coat a fur cap and but one legg I might go out and speak with you he said Loring is the principle hand to carry on private matters and I need not be afraid to trust him wished me success told me I might depend on fessenden and Baty and we parted I then went to doc’r fessenden and Revealed the business to him he agread fully in the plans and Entertained me all night told me of a man he had Secreted at his house who was Going off to the Regulars and sence gone and wanted to send a letter to him agread to go with me to Batys next morning & to assist all in his powr advised one Stone to take a commission under the King who consented and much other conversation we had but was prevented from making any further discovery at that time by Reason of being taken by an officer in Consequence of which I was Commited to Goal while in goal the sd Loring & old mr Crocker visited Repeatedly Charged me to stand true to my trust told me Esq bacon wanted to know if I had destroyed the paper he gave me told me they would assist me to git me out that Esq bacon and they had Contrived it and that he loring would mak[e] a fals key and send his son to Let me out his son Came accordingly to let me out but the lock was shifted which prevented it after I left the Goal and had ben to plymouth I Returned in the night and was secreted by one Josiah Goodspeed at his house who furnished me with a list of his and a number of his neighbours names as friends to General pigot and another list of persons to take up and told me he had agread to purchase beaf of some of his neighbou[rs] for the King and was a going aboard one of the Kings ships as a pilot and intended to pilot them to Barnstable said that all hands had agread to stand by one another and Git Esqr bacon Choose select man and Repre[senta]tive for all any business and if they could git him at the head of affairs [ ] should do well Enough

    Edward Davis

    Boston May. 28, 1779.


    Petition of Edward Bacon, June 2, 1779667

    To the Honble House of Representitives, of the State of Massachusetts Bay

    On his Bended knees before this Honble House your distrest Petitioner most Humbly Shews,

    That he was taken by surprize, before this Honble House, on the 31st of May; and as he was not sworn as a Member of the same from the motive of modesty only; as he was not call’d upon by any of the Honble members He imagined he had no Right to speak—when a petition and Remonstrance was Read containing in it, & two former petitions, to which it Referd, the Highest Charges against your memorilist for the Blackest crimes; one of which former Petitions, as well as the Latter one your memorialist, had never seen the Honble House will Please to Remember that, without Call’d upon me to know if I was Ready to answer to those Very Important and all interesting Charges to your unhappy memorialist at so Early a period as the next Day, appointed that time for his tryal—at which time After Leave first obtained from the Honble House, your memorialist with the most serious truth Solomnly Declair’d himself wholly unprepair’d for so important and all interesting a tryal and most humbly pray’d for the Indulgence of a future Day in order to git himself prepair’d for the solomn Event, of which however he had the most mortifying unhappyness to be Denied, by a small majority of the Honble House who proceeded to a hearing on the part of the petitioners, while your unhappy Respondand, was not in a Capasity to make his Defence—your Humble petitioner, therefore with profound Veneration most Humbly prays, that the Honble House the only Guar-dines of the Deareest and all interesting Rights of a people would take his unhappy case into their wise just & paternal consideration & be pleased to Reconsider the Votes of yesterday Relateing to the premises and yet Grant your Humble petitioner Leave to answer for himself & by the oaths of Good and Lawfull men in order to place his character in such a point of view as it Justly merits and if found worthy of Bonds imprisonment or Even Death it self after after a fair & full hearing, he Refusees not But is Ready Even to Die & as in Duty &c Shall Ever Pray

    Edwd Bacon

    Dated at Boston June ye 2d 1779


    Petition of Edward Bacon Esqr dismiss’d June 2d 1779


    Speech of Edward Bacon, June (?), 1779668

    MR Speaker

    in times of Publick Calamity Such as are the present it is peculiarly unhappy to have the ill will of any Even the Least Member of the Society of which any one Allso is a member, but it must be much more Dreadfull and Alarming Even Beyond Conception When the man or any Number of men hapen to be in power who for many Preceeding years have Born the most malavolent will to the Devoted Victim and are Determined at all Events by the Blackest Calumny to Make him a Sacrifice to their Ambitious purposes I Say Sir when that is the Case the Scituation of the unhappy man is Beyond the power of Language fully To Express—Especialy in times when popular prejudices may hapen to arise to Such Enormous heights that a florid and well Conceived Charge to answer A particular purpose may be taken for such proofs as may Induce those that are to Decide thereon to proceed so far as To pass a Censer on the Supposed Culprit while yet unheard

    Your Honors Respondent Begs to be understood that he Does not at present Suppose that To be his Unhappy Case—who is again Called upon to answer before this Honorable House—to Certain high Charges and misdemeaners in the memorial and petition Contained the Bare mention of which may Seem Sufficient at first View to make the most Inocent tremble for the Dreadfull Consequences Charges Sir, which upon the Closest Reflection he cannot find the most Distant Idea Resting upon his mind: but Supported by the most noble fortitude ariseing from the Contemplation of the Integrity of his Soul in political matters and the wisdom and Justice of this Honorable House has the happiness to Injoy some Good Degree of tranquility of mind Even when Cruelly Atackt by unrelenting persecutors669—from this Honorable House I Dare Venture to say with the Strongest Assurance that all preconceived prejudices will be totally Banisht and that I shall be fully and Candidly heard and finally Receive Such a Determination as shall allways Reflect Honor on your Decision: by its Consistency with the natural Legal and Constitutional Rights of free men and in Suport of the Rights of all free Elections & in full Confidence of the foregoing Sentiment: I beg Leave to Lay before this Honorable House (without any Reserve) the whole of my political principles my Sentements at the Begining of the present unhappy Contest (if Required) and the Rule of my Conduct upon that principle and if in any Instance I have Deviated from the Character of a peaceable & Loyal Subject in any unguarded Expression or from that of a Good Citizen and worthy member of Society (of all which I am not at present concious) it must be oweing intirely owing to my unhappy feelings consequent upon the unkind unjust & insuportable Treatment not only your unhapy Respondent but others of his fellow Citizens have Repeatedly Recd from those who with their family Connections & their Dependents are the patrons and promoters of that cruel and unkind and I Beg Leave to say I think Impolitick Remonstrance & petition against me

    for I cannot Easelyly be persuaded to beleive it the most Consumate policy to Disafect or Drive any from the Bosom of a State (nobly Contending for Liberty) that would wilingly & Cheerfully pay the most profound & faithfull allegiance to it meerly Because they have acted the part of a Genuine English man: and conformable to the Duty of an ancient Athenian when (if I mistake not) Solon was at the head of the Civil Government when Every Citizen was obliged in times of publick Danger To Speak his Sentiments thereon or be Banisht from the State freedom of Speech in an American House of Representitives I never did and I hope never shall View as a Crime in Such an Assembly while Siting at Salem in the year 1774 I Endeavoured with a modest & Generous freedom to Speak my Sentements upon political affairs and I most Seriously Declare before this Honble House and Before God and the World the Sentiments were my own not borrowed from or Influenced by a Bernard or Hutchinson or any other Govenor place man Pentioner or Mandamus Counciler or any other person of that obnoctious tribe neither have I ever been actuated by the baneful influence of either of them as that injurious Remonstrance So artfully Sugests in the first place with Respect to political principle: I aprehend it to be the indispensable Duty if not of Every individual yet of all those that are Called to act as Representitives of the people to offer their own Sentiments on publick affairs with a modest zeal and freedom of speech

    2d I hold it as a Setled fixt and invariable princeple that when the majority of the State of which I am a Citizen have taken their part: that is to say have fixt & Setled any plan or form of Government which they may have adjudged to be most for the peace Safety and Benefit of the whole, Each & Every member of that Society ought of Duty to God and his Country to Behave as A Good peaceble & worthy member of the same Submitting to all Reasonable Laws Statutes and ordinances for the the Safety & Good Government thereof: and further if it should So happen that Such Laws Should be Enacted as in the opinion of Individuals might in their operation Prove prejudicial to the State—I confess I Canot at present See but that each individual may with modesty & Decency Endeavor to Convince the majority of their mistake allways Guarding against Every thing that may have a tendency to Break or Disturb the publick peace & tranquility or Indanger the Safety of the State of which he is a member—

    3d I hold it as an alowable principle in Government that if I am not Easey and Content under the Adminestration of the Government imediately over me So as to Behave my Self as a peaceble & Good Subject of the Same I ought to Remove my Self from it but not to the Enemy—if in time of war but to Some Neutral State or Kingdom

    4th I hold it as my indispensable Duty to Bear All Good faith and true Allegiance to the State of the Massachusetts Bay (the Government imediately over me) and to Do all in my power to Support & Defend the Same: as well as other and all the united State of North America, against all invaders and all other their Enemies of all Hanks & Denominations whatsoever: Even if I had not taken the oath of allegiance to the same all which I most seriously Declare to have been the Steady & Invariable Rule of my Conduct without being Conscious to my Self of any the Least Variation of action therefrom: from the Time of the Battle of Lexinton to the present Day: and if Ever I have Deviated or Seemed to Deviate from the foregoing principle by any Word that may have inadvertently Escapt me: I Beg Leave to assure this Honorable House that it Did not proceed from any bad Disposition of mind against this: or any other of the United States of America: but from some Sudden Ebulition of the Mind Either imediately on the Receipt of the most Cruel and insulting treatment from those persons their connections and abettors: who for years before the present unhappy war have seemed to bear the most setled malice and ill will against me: and who have ever since Even to the present Day been pursueing & persecuting me with such unremiting Vigor as if nothing short of my uter Distraction could satisfy their unhappy Disposition to Ruin me, or at Least wholly To prevent the Little usefulness I might be of in Life to my Country my family my fellow Citizens and friends deprived of which I Confess I can see but Little Remaining for which Even Life it Self Can appear Very Desirable.

    But if in the Course of this Process any evidence should appear against me as it is Verey possible their may in matters of so long Standing Especially where the prosecutor and witness are the same person that any words have at any time been uttered by me in the course of five or six years which can be Suposed to Reflect the Least Dishoner on any Respectable personages In this or any other the United States of America I not only ask their pardon but the pardon of this Honble House for the same: Your Honor is Sensible and this Honble House Doubtless will Recolect, that the wisdom of our worthy ancestors Limited the Time for all actions for Slanderous words Spoken to be brought within one year from the Time they were uttered the Utility and Justice whereof is to Conspicuous (I Aprehend Can need Little or no Comment) for the frailty of humane nature is Such that in any Considerable Length of time the whole of the Conversation is Easerly forgoten—Sentences are Very Liable to be abridged tortured Cut and mangled and particular words are Liable to be selected therefrom which may and often Does Wrest & intirely pervert the intention of the Speaker by which he may be unjustly Exposed to the utmost Danger and Distress—

    with Respect to myself personally so far as I can comprehend the Rules of Conduct Proper to be observed by the Loyal Subject in all free States I feel the Consoleing Pleasure (amidst the most Greivious trials) of an Aplauding Concience High Sounding words and iliberal Censure on the one hand and the Harsh & unkind treatment I have unhapily felt on the other or any other Consideration whatever shall never Drive me from my Setled firm and unshaken friendship for and Allegiance To my native Country—for the Defence and Support Whereof I shall allways hold myself under the most sacred obligations So long as I Can injoy protection from the Same—I am not in the least Sensible at present that I have any thing To ask of meer favor. I ask for nothing personaly but of Right and a Right I have no Doubt the Honble House will adjudge me to have to a fair & full hearing as well as a Suiatable & Convenient time to prepare for my Defence I being at present altogether unprepared therefor

    But with Respect to the Loyall inhabitants of the Town who have Repeatedly Hond me with their free Sufrages As Their Representitive (unsought for by me) I most Humbly Petition the Honble House that they (if not by a Representitive yet in some other Constitutional way) may have opertunity Given them to Excuse or aquit themselves from the unjust aspersions and misrepresentation which they have so long Laboured & even Groaned under—it Gives me aditional pain to be further tedious to the Honble Court—as I observed above I am alltogether unprepared at present for my Defence I therefore Humbly ask leave as I live in a Remote part of the State to hav the time assigned for a final hearing in matters So peculiarly Intresting as the present is for three or four weeks at Least if the Honble House be then Siting or at the Begining of the next Siting of the Genll Court & that Joseph Nye & Solomon freeman Esqrs of Harwich may be Specialy appointed with full power To Summons witnesses and take Depositions Relative to the affair if the Honble House may Judge proper—

    I Should not have presumed to have made any nomination to the Honble House but as those Gentlemen were agreed on and appointed the Last Winter670 in the Same affair I would only add at present that as I have had no Opertunity to Speak in my own Vindication before the Honble House: that I may be indulged a few words for that purpese and allso with the reading of two or three papers that I hapen to have in my present possession in order to my Standing in not Quite So unhapy a point of Light with the Honble House & in the publick view in Genl as it is Likely I must (if not thus indulged) untill my final tryal I shall not take up your Honors time in saying much to the present petition (it being alltogether new to me) it at present appeares Plausible & popular at Such a Critical Day as the present is but if indulged by the Honble House with a future Day as above Requested for my Vindication I Doubt not but that my inocency & Loyalty to this State will apear to this Honorable House and to all other Judicious persons without Doors in a pretty Clear point of Light and that the unhapy Causes of the Several Petitions and other the Difficulties at present Subsisting in that once happy Town: Do not proceed intirely from a Generous Zeal for the publick welfare and Safety: but from other Causes—Even the most excentric from those that are at present pretended, all which with Respect To Conduct your Honors Respondet Doubt not but he Can fully prove beyond Reasonable Doubt


    Accounts of Ebenezer Jenkins, January 21, June 2, 1779

    Accompt of the Expences of Ebenr Jenkins upon the Petition vs Edwd Bacon Esqr

    To oats at Fessendens 2/. Supper & oats at Ellis’s 15/. Horse keepg Lodgg & Breakfast at Cornishes 23/6 Oats at Bartlets 3/




    To Dinner & oats at Halls 12/. Oats 3/




    To Lodg Supper & Horse keepg671




    To Breakfast & Oats 15/ fixg Horse 18/




    To Shaving 7/. Horse keepg in Boston 12.18/




    To Expences to Deadham after a witness




    To Expences going home




    To Tavern Expence







    To Boarding in Boston







    EbenR Jenkins672

    Boston Jany 21st 1779

    State of Massa Bay Dr to Ebenr Jenkings For attending the General Court on the Petition against Edward Bacon Esqr viz:—

    June 2d 1779

    To my time coming to & attendg Court with a Day to go Home is Six Days a 36/ pr. Day




    To Boarding & Expences comg 60/ pr Day & going home




    To cash paid witnesses 24/ 40/




    To Horse hire till I got to ye Vessel 12 miles




    To keeping the Horse 6 Nights




    To cash paid Lot Crowel a witness 36/




    To Solomon Freeman Esqrs Accot for takg Depositions




    To Col. Freeman 3 Days Horse hire & expence taking Depositions




    To Joseph Otis time & Expence




    To Sherriffs Bill for Subpeng




    To Ditto Subpeng Evidences on former Petitn




    To Shaving & petty Expences while in Boston




    To Seth Freeman Esqr takg Deposition







    Errors Excepted

    Ebenezer Jenkins673


    Records of the East Parish Congregational Church, Barnstable, June 22, August 2, 30, 1780

    A church meeting warned the preceding Sabbath to consider a complaint against twelve of the Brethren. The meeting opened with prayer. A complaint was exhibited by the Pastor signed Edward Bacon against the following brethren Daniel Davis Esq; Silvanus Gorham, Seth Lathrop, Jonathan Lumbard, John Thacher, Jethro Thacher, Nath Lathrop, John Lewis, George Lewis, Nath Lewis, Timothy Phinney & James Colman setting forth that these brethren had bro’t against him sundry railing accusations in certain petitions presented to the General Court sometime since and had by said petitions treated him in a manner inconsistent with the truth, sincerity, brotherly kindness and charity recommended and enjoined in the gospel. Dn Bacon produced the said petitions in support of his complaint and had a very full and fair hearing upon the matter. The twelve brethren then presented a written memorial which was also read by the Pastor setting forth that a Ch being an ecclesiastical body have no right to call their members to an account for action of a civil or political nature, that in signing petitions against Dn Bacon they exercised their just rights as men and subjects of a free state; and that in their apprehension when they entered into a Ch state they did not give up any of their civil rights; that they did not charge the Dn with any immorality but that in his religious character stood as fair in their minds when they signed the petition as before; that if they were chargeable with any overt acts of wickedness a breach of their covenant engagement they were willing to answer it to the Ch and to make Christian satisfaction, but that as to political controversies they begged leave to refer them to a civil tribunal.

    After serious consideration and hearing all the parties had to offer the Ch came to the following votes

    Vote 1 That it is the opinion of this Ch that it does not properly fall within their jurisdiction to judge and determine upon the complaint of Dn Bacon against twelve of the Brethren on account of their presenting certain petitions against him at the General Court or on account of any matters contained therein—This passed by a great majority.

    Voted unanimously 2. That the Ch do desire and request Dn Bacon who has for sometime withdrawn from their communion to return to his privilege and duty and the discharge of his office in sd Ch.

    The meeting was adjourned to the Lecture day after this.

    Aug. 2 The Ch met according to adjournment and Dean Bacon signified in writing that he could not see his way to return to the communion and the discharge of his office without some satisfaction from the petitioners and also made a formal resignation of his office; but upon some intimations being given from some of the brethren with whom he was offended, that they had no design to injure him and that if they had tho’t so much difficulty would have arisen they should not have signed the petition, it was moved and seconded by several of the brethren that a committee should be appointed to attempt a reconciliation and accordingly it was voted that a Committee of three be appointed to visit with the Dn and the several brethren stiled petitioners and if possible settle the controversy. Capn W. Taylor, Isaac Lewis, Joseph Hallett were appointed. The meeting adjourned to the next Lecture day.

    Aug. 30. The Ch met by adjournment and the committee reported that the affair between Dn Bacon and the brethren stiled petitioners was happily accomodated and the Dn declared that he wd return to his duty and the discharge of his office.

    The meeting dismissed.674


    Confessions, Declarations, and Recantations, September–October, 1774675

    BARNSTABLE, October 10, 1774.

    ON Tuesday the 27th ult. the Time for the Court of General Sessions of the Peace, and Inferior Court of Common Pleas for this County to sit, a great number of People from this, and the neighbouring Counties of Plymouth and Bristol, being assembled before the Court-House door in this Town; after choosing a Moderator, Voted and Resolved, That it was inexpedient for said Courts to sit, under the present situation of our public affairs, until the opinion of the Continental or of a Provincial Congress could be known; and therefore chose a Committee, viz. Dr. Nathaniel Freeman and Mr. Stephen Nye, of Sandwich, Capt. Daniel Crocker of Barnstable, Capt. Noah Fearing of Wareham, and Dr. John Pitcher of Rochester, to present the following Address to the Justices of said Court, then convened at the House of Mr. Crocker, Inn-holder in this Town.

    To the Honorable Justices of his Majesty’s Inferior Court of Common Pleas, and Court of General Sessions of the Peace, for the County of Barnstable. May it please your Honors.

    THE Inhabitants of this Province, being greatly alarmed at the late unconstitutional Acts of the British Parliament, considering them as calculated to establish tyranny and oppression instead of the once happy constitution of this Province; in consequence of which many respectable Counties in the same have prevented the sitting of the Inferior Courts, as well as Superior; we judge, not from an apprehension, merely, that they were not constitutional; but, from a supposition, that there might be appeals from them to the Superior Court, the Chief Justice of which receiving his support from the Crown, Independent of the grants of the People, cannot fail to have an unhappy bias in favor of said unconstitutional Acts; and two others, of the superior Judges, having sworn to carry the same Acts into execution; and judging, that by proceeding upon appeals from a Court friendly to the Constitution, and zealous for their Country’s cause, to the said Superior Court, we might in this way, if no other, open a door for the said Chief Justice and his assistants to execute their Commissions on the plan of the said oppressive Acts.

    Wherefore a great number of the Inhabitants of the County of Barnstable, being now convened, with several others from the several Counties in Old Plymouth Colony, taking into serious consideration the necessity of using every precaution to prevent the operation of said Acts, & believing the following one necessary, do humbly request your Honors to desist from all business in said Courts, and from holding any Sessions thereof, till the minds of the Continental, or of a Provincial Congress, be obtained:—And that your Honors would assure this body, that you will not, in any manner, assist in carrying said unconstitutional Acts into execution, nor hold any commission in consequence of said Acts, and upon the new establishment, or in any manner conform thereto; but that you will use your utmost endeavors to prevent the same from taking place.

    Barnstable, Sept. 27, 1774.

    N. Freeman,

    A Committee chosen by the Body of the People to present this Address to your Honors in their Name.

    S. Nye,

    D. Crocker,

    N. Fearing,

    T. Pitcher,676

    The Address being presented accordingly, the Justices after taking the same into consideration, returned the following Answer, viz.

    TO Nathaniel Freeman, John Pitcher, Stephen Nye, Daniel Crocker, and Noah Fearing, a Committee, as they say, chosen by the Body of the People, to present an Address, this 27th of September, 1774, to the Honorable Justices of his Majesty’s Inferior Court of Common Pleas, and Court of General Sessions of the Peace.—Said Address being presented to the Justices of said County, or at least as many as are present: The said Justices in answer thereto, say, That they are as much concerned at the late unconstitutional Acts of the British Parliament, as the Body of the People are; but apprehend, that the People’s embodying this Day, to hinder the said Court’s sitting, as usual, will not help the matter; especially as said Court was about to sit in the same constitutional way as we have always done ever since we have been a County; and had said Court been suffered to have been open’d, they would have proceeded in the same regular manner as usual; and as to appeals, should there be any, they will be to the next Superior Court of Judicature, &c. and they can’t possibly be tried, till we have a constitutional one.—And we are sorry that we are interrupted, for unless we can proceed to open said Courts and adjourn, we can be in no capacity to proceed when we hear the opinion of the general Congress, or a Provincial one; and as to the assurance you request, that we would not assist in carrying said unconstitutional Act into execution, you may be fully assured, that there is not one of the said Justices, that incline to do it, or to hold any commission in consequence thereof; and shall do all that is in our power in a constitutional way, to prevent said Act from taking place—Therefore, we the said Justices, express our utmost concern that said courts of justice, in this, or any other county, should be turned out of their ordinary, or constitutional course, by the people of this province, until the minds of the continental or a provincial congress can be fully known, as we can by no means apprehend that any ill consequences can attend the setting of said Courts, until this month expires.

    james otis,

    David Thatcher,

    Kenelm Winslow,

    Thomas Smith,

    Daniel Davis,

    Joseph Otis,

    Edward Bacon,

    Meletiah Bourn,

    Isaac Hinkley,

    David Gorham,

    Shearjashub Bourn.

    Nymphas Marston,

    Solomon Otis,677

    The answer being communicated to the people, after taking the same into consideration and thoroughly deliberating thereon, two of the Justices of said court678 having sign’d an address to the late governor Hutchinson, upon his departure from the province; one of them an old Rescinder,679 two, voters against the General Congress, one or more aiding and assisting in vending the East-India company’s Tea last winter, another concern’d in endeavouring to procure a mob to destroy private property, on purpose, as is apprehended, to bring an odium on the friends of liberty; these considerations with others, evinced the necessity of some better assurance, that they would hold no commissions in consequence of said acts, than barely saying they did not incline to do it. And considering, that if causes were tried by the Inferior Court, appealed and then, no final issue, till we have a constitutional Superior court, it might be attended with more difficulty, cost and damages to the parties, than to suspend any process at all, till such court can be had; as in case of process and appeal, the plaintiff must not only lay out of the principal, but of an additional bill of costs.—Besides in case of final issue, it might be only making work for unconstitutional sheriffs; these apprehensions, added to the great indignation of the people, towards some tools of ministerial corruption and oppression, who never can give satisfaction, while in office, induced them to resolve and vote, that notwithstanding what the court had offered, they still thought it inexpedient for them to set, and that their answer should be immediately returned them, as being by no means satisfactory in any particular. A committee of the body accordingly returned it, and informed the Justices, that the people desired to know whether they determined to set or not as a court; the Justices then told the Committee they should not.—A committee then waited on them, by order of the people, and desired them to sign a solemn declaration, that they would not accept of any commission, in consequence of the late acts of the British parliament, or do any business, in their respective. offices, in conformity thereto; they also waited on the high sheriff, to desire the same of him; and on David Gorham and Shearjashub Bourn, Esq’r; to acquaint them of the resentment and just indignation of the people towards them for addressing the late infamous governor Hutchinson, upon his departure from this province, whereby they used their endeavours to support, encourage and applaud, a known Traitor, and inveterate Enemy, to the country. That said address was, in the apprehension of the people, no less false and designing, than flattering and fulsome, and discovered the unparallelled vanity, insolence and audacity of the addressors, in daring, openly, to contradict the united express’d sentiments of both houses of the General Court, as well as of all America; by which conduct, they have forfeited the esteem of the public, and enlisted under the banners of said Hutchinson, as enemies to the cause of liberty; for which they ought immediately to make satisfaction to the offended public.

    The Justices and Sheriff signed the respective declarations, and the Addressors the respective confessions enclosed herewith, which were voted satisfactory. [But the Publication of them, for want of Room, must be deferr’d till next Week.]

    The body of people then voted and resolved, That the Military officers, holding commissions under a Captain-General, at the head of forces raised against the Rights and Properties, and consequently the Lives of the inhabitants of this country and who is constantly making hostile preparations against it, must themselves be considered as enemies to the country likewise, unless they immediately resign their commissions: And therefore a committee was chosen to apply to, and acquaint them herewith, and to desire them to resign accordingly; and also to apply to the deputy-sheriffs for them to sign a declaration, respecting said oppressive acts, suitable to their offices.

    The body of the people also voted to address the honorable James Otis, Esq; of this Town, as one of the constitutional Councellors of the Province, and pray his Honor’s Attendance at the General Court, to be holden at Salem on the 5th Day of October next—The whole body accordingly marched in procession to him, and presented to him the following Address, viz.

    To the Honorable James Otis, Esq;

    May it please your Honour,

    THE body of people assembled from the several counties of Barnstable, Plymouth and Bristol, on the 28th day of Sept. 1774, at or near the court house in Barnstable, beg leave to address your Honour, as one of his Majesty’s constitutional council of this province; and to assure you that we entertain a very high and grateful sense of that integrity, and of those abilities, which have long distinguished you, as in every important trust reposed in you by the public, so especially in the capacity we now consider you.

    And whereas his Excellency the Governor of this Province,680 hath issued writs for electing a new house of representatives, to meet at Salem, on the 5th day of October next, and notwithstanding a number of councellors have been appointed by mandamus from his Majesty, in consequence of a late act of the British parliament; but presuming the representatives of this people, yet determined to be free, never will, or ought, to consent to do any business with them, and as we look upon the council chose last May by the great and general court, according to charter, to be the only constitutional council of this Province; we do therefore pray your Honour, that you would attend the great and general court at Salem the next sessions, in said capacity; and that you would continue those endeavours to obtain a redress of the grievances so justly complained of by the People, which have long distinguished you as an able defender of our constitution and liberties: And now wishing your Honour the support of Heaven in your advanced age, that you may much longer remain a blessing to this Province, and enjoy the happiness of seeing those Rights restored, which have been most injuriously wrested from us, we beg leave to subscribe ourselves, your Honour’s most obedient humble Servants,

    Barnstable, Sept. 28. 1774.

    Nath’l Freeman,

    A Committee in Behalf of the People.

    Stephen Nye,

    Jos. Haskel, 3d.

    Noah Fearing,

    John Pitcher,

    To the above Address Colonel Otis was pleased to return the following Answer, viz.


    YOUR very complaisant Address to me as a constitutional Councellor of this Province, desiring me to attend my Duly at Salem on the 5th of October, the Time when the General Court is to set, 1 am obliged to you for, and for putting me in Mind of my Duty; and I am determined to attend at Salem at that Time, in case my Health permits. I am, Your very humble Servant.

    Barnstable, Sept. 28. 1774.     JAMES OTIS.

    The People expressed their high esteem of that honourable Gentleman, the grateful sense of his past Services, their sanguine expectation of his future exertions, and hearty approbation of his obliging answer to their address, by giving him three cheers, and then march’d back in procession to the court-house.

    The People voted and resolved, that as the town of Boston was now suffering in a common cause, they would use their endeavours to relieve them, by encouraging and procuring donations for their support—that they would immediately provide themselves with arms and ammunition, and hold themselves in readiness to assist, in defending the town of Boston, and the rights and liberties of this country, which they never would give up, but with their lives and fortunes—that they would not import any more goods from Great-Britain, or purchase any imported by others, after that time, till the port of Boston be opened and the late oppressive acts repealed—that they would use their endeavours to suppress common pedlars, &c. And that this body have not met together in a riotous, wanton or disorderly manner, with a design of injuring the person or property of any body, nor passed the above votes and resolutions in opposition to good government, or disloyalty to our Sovereign; but from a painful necessity of exerting ourselves, in a serious, steady and determined manner, to prevent the total extirpation of liberty, justice and religion from our land. And we do express our abhorrence and detestation of all riotous and disorderly proceedings, our determination to use our utmost endeavours to keep the peace, to prevent and suppress all mobs, riots and tumults, and to procure a due submission to the laws of the land.

    Information being make to the People, that the towns of Barnstable, Yarmouth and Eastham (whose late representatives681 voted against the grand continental Congress) in their late election had left out those persons, and chosen others to represent their respective towns, whose attachment to the cause of their country was too well known not to excite joy on such a happy change, the People testified their hearty approbation thereof by three cheers. And after finishing their business with the utmost decency and good order, the People dispersed to their respective homes.682

    • The following are the Declarations & Confessions of the Justices, Sheriff, Addressors, &c. omitted last Week in the Proceedings of the County of Barnstable for want of Room, viz.

    WHEREAS there have been of late several Acts of the British Parliament tending to introduce an unjust and partial Administration of Justice, to change our free Constitution to a state of Slavery and Oppression, and to introduce Popery into some Parts of British America: We do therefore engage and declare that we the Subscribers will not accept of any Commission in Consequence of or in Conformity to said Acts of Parliament, or upon any unconstitutional Regulation, and that if either of us are required to do any Business in our respective Offices in Conformity to said Acts, or any Ways contrary to the Charter of this Province, that we will refuse to do it, although we may thereby lose our Commissions. As Witness our Hands at Barnstable on the 27th Day of September, A. D. 1774.

    James Otis,

    Kenelm Winslow,

    Richard Bourn,

    Thomas Smith,

    David Thatcher,

    Chil. Foster,

    Edward Bacon,

    Daniel Davis,

    Thomas Winslow,

    Solomon Otis,

    Melatiah Bourn,

    David Gorham,

    Joseph Otis,

    Shearja. Bourn,

    Thomas Bourn

    Nymphas Marston,

    Isaac Hinkley,

    R. Cotton.

    The Declaration of the Sheriff of the County of Barnstable.

    WHereas there have, of late, been passed several Acts of the British Parliament tending to introduce an unjust and partial Administration of Justice in this Province, to alter its free Constitution to a Slate of Slavery and Oppression, and to establish or encourage Popery in some Parts of British America: I the Subscriber do therefore hereby declare that I will not take a Commission as High Sheriff, or any other Commission in Consequence of or in Conformity to said Acts, or any unconstitutional Plan; that I will not be in any manner aiding or assisting in executing said Acts; and further, that I have never received any new Commission since the passing said Acts. As Witness my Hand at Barnstable, this 28th Day of Sept. 1774.


    Shearjashub Bourn, and David Gorkam, Esq’rs, Confession as Addressors to the late Governor Hutchinson.

    WHereas the Subscriber signed an Address to the late Governor Hutchinson, upon his departure from this Province, which hath given great Offence to the Public, I do now freely declare that I am very sorry I signed it, that I was very sorry soon after I did it, and that if it was to do again I should refuse it, and do hereby ask forgiveness of the offended Public, and do consent and desire that this Paper may be published in the Boston News-Papers.

    Barnstable, Sept. 27, 1774.     SHEARJASHUB BOURN.683

    DAVID GORHAM, Esq;684 another Addresser of the late Governor Hutchinson, the same Day signed a Confession similar to the above.

    The Declaration of the military Officers of the Town of Sandwich.

    WHereas Application hath this Day been made to us military Officers of the Company of Militia in the Town of Sandwich, by certain Gentlemen said to be appointed by the Body of the People to apply to us to resign our military Commissions, we hereby promise and engage that we will by the first Opportunity transmit our Resignations of our respective Commissions to the Chief Colonel of the Regiment, to be by him transmitted to the Captain General; and that we will not by any Way or Means assist in carrying into Execution the late Acts of Parliament, and that we will not accept of any Commission in Consequence of or in Conformity to said Acts, or under any unconstitutional Regulations. As Witness our Hands, this 3d Day of October, A.D. 1774.

    John Smith, Lieut.

    Silas Bourn, Capt.

    Elisha Bourn, Capt.

    Cornelius Toby, jun. Ensi.

    Micah Blackwell, Lieut.

    Major Bourn’s Declaration.

    WHereas Application hath been made to me, a Field Officer of the first Regiment of the Militia in the County of Barnstable, by certain Gentlemen appointed by the Body of the People to request me to resign my military Commission as Major; I do hereby promise and engage by the first Opportunity to transmit a Resignation of my Commission to the Captain-General of the Province; and I also promise and engage that I will not hereafter accept of any Commission whatever under any unconstitutional Regulation.

    Sandwich, Octo. 5, 1774.     THO. BOURN.685

    Deputy Sheriffs Declaration.

    WHEREAS there have lately been passed by the British Parliament several oppressive Acts tending to obstruct the impartial Administration of Justice, destroy the Constitution, and introduce Slavery instead of Liberty, among the People; also to introduce Popery in some Parts of the British America, we do therefore solemnly Declare, that we will never accept of, or take a Deputation from any Sheriff, who is or may be appointed in conformity to said Acts; and that we will never Act or Execute any Business in Conformity to said Acts. Witness our Hands at Sandwich, the 3d Day of Oct. 1774.

    Nath. Freeman,

    Seth Freeman.

    Edwd. Bouen.

    Job Howland.

    The Confession of the Destroyers of Liberty Pole in SANDWICH.

    Messieurs PRINTERS,

    • As a warning to other Villains to avoid the like iniquitous Practices, please to Publish the following.     Y’rs. A. Z.

    WHEREAS we the Subscribers have most Wickedly, Maliciously and Injuriously, (being instigated by the Devil and our own evil Hearts) Destroyed the Liberty Pole in Sandwich, in the Night of the 26th Day of September current, whereby we have justly offended all the Friends of Liberty, Justice and Virtue, and have discovered our Enmity to the Rights and Liberties of the People:—We do therefore hereby humbly confess that we did the Fact and our hearty Sorrow and Shame for it, and do Promise never to do so any more, or any more to oppose the Cause of Liberty, and we do humbly ask Forgiveness of the Town of Sandwich and of all Men and especially of the People who erected said Pole.—As Witness our Hands this 28th Day of Sept. A. D. 1774.

    Joseph Otis,

    Nath. Freeman,

    Sami. Freeman,

    Benj. Fish,

    Benj. Toby,

    John Jennings.686

    Upon Signing the above Declaration, which was to be Publish’d, and paying the Sum of Five Pounds Lawful Money, Damages, the above Offenders were forgiven—Since which a New and very beautiful Pole is erected in said Town.

    Doct. Bourn’s Recantation as a Tea Seller.

    Sandwich, Octob. 5, 1774.

    WHEREAS I the Subscriber, contrary to the general Sentiments of the Community expressed in a great Variety of Ways, and in defiance of the Prohibition of the People, the Source of all Power and Authority, have continued the Sale of Teas, a practice under the present Situation of Things not only Injurious but Fatal to the Liberties and most important Interests of America, to make all the Atonement in my Power, I declare my hearty Sorrow for and Detestation of the aforesaid iniquitous Conduct, and solemnly Promise that for the future I will not Purchase or Sell any India Teas howsoever Imported, till a final decision of the Controversy between Great-Britain and the Colonies, but will in all Respects behave as a good Citizen and an inviolate Friend to the Cause of Liberty and my Country.

    Benja. Bourn.687

    Barnstable, October 21, 1774.

    WHEREAS Application hath this Day been made to us, Field Officers of the Militia, in the County of Barnstable, by certain Gentlemen said to be a Committee appointed by the Body of the People for this Purpose, to desire us to resign our respective Commissions in the Militia:—We the Subscribers do hereby solemnly promise and declare, that we will immediately transmit the Resignation of our respective Commissions to the Governor or Captain General of the Province; and do engage that we will not hold, or ever after this accept any Commission under any unconstitutional Regulation, or any unconstitutional Officers, or in Consequence of the late oppressive Acts of the British Parliament.

    As Witness our Hands, &c.     David Gorham,

    Edward Bacon,

    Shearjashub Bourn.

    Barnstable, October 22, 1774.

    WHEREAS Application hath this Day been made to me the Subscriber, an Officer in Col. David Gorham’s Regiment, in the County of Barnstable, by certain Gentlemen, said to be a Committee appointed by the Body of of the People for this Purpose, to desire me to resign my Commission in the Militia:—I do therefore hereby solemnly promise and declare that I will immediately transmit my Resignation of my Commission to Col. David Gorham; and I do engage that I will not take any Commission under any unconstitutional Regulations, or in Consequence of the late oppressive Acts of the British Parliament, As Witness my Hand,

    Sturges Gorham.

    Barnstable, October 7, 1774

    WHEREAS Application hath this Day been made to us, Officers of the Militia in the County of Barnstable, by certain Gentlemen said to be a Committee appointed by the body of the People for that Purpose, to desire us to resign our respective Commissions in the Militia:—We the Subscribers do therefore hereby solemnly promise and declare, that we will immediately transmit the Resignation of our respective Commissions to the Governor and Captain General of the Province, or to our respective Chief Colonel, to be by him transmitted to the Governor; and do engage that we will not any longer hold, or ever after this accept any Commissions under any unconstitutional Regulations, or under any unconstitutional Officers, or in Conformity to, or in Consequence of the late oppressive Acts of the British Parliament.

    As Witness our Hands, &c.     Anthony Thatcher, Lieutenant.

    Jethro Thatcher, Ensign.

    Micah Hamblen, ditto.

    Jacob Lovel, ditto.

    Josiah Hamblen, Captain.

    Daniel Crocker, ditto.

    Joseph Blisk,688 jun. Lieutenant.

    In the discussion which followed the reading of this paper, Mr. George P. Anderson made the following remarks:

    The picture of the struggle between loyalist and patriot groups in Barnstable makes it clear that the loyalists spurned advances made by the Committee of Correspondence of Boston. This organization from the time of its creation in November, 1772, until the actual outbreak of the Revolution, was the backbone of the Boston opposition to the crown authorities. The three members of that committee whom Edward Bacon singled out as being the vilest of men—namely, William Molineux, William Dennie, and Dr. Thomas Young—were three of its most active and militant members. The chairman of that committee, James Otis, the orator, was the son of James Otis of Barnstable, and in criticizing this committee Bacon trod on dangerous ground. It will be observed that he was obliged to retract that part of his criticism which applied to Otis. He even admitted that some members of the committee were good men, but he named the three before mentioned members as being especially vile.

    Bacon’s opinion of the committee was no more harsh than that of Governor Hutchinson, who, in a letter to former Governor Thomas Pownall dated November 13, 1772, described it “as in part composed of ‘deacons,’ ‘atheists,’ and ‘black-hearted fellows whom one would not choose to meet in the dark.’”689 Bacon, we are told, often took his cue from Hutchinson, and apparently he concurred in the Governor’s estimate of the character of the committee. With this difference, however, Bacon was specific, while Hutchinson was general.

    Of these three men Dr. Young probably was the one described as an atheist, although he was not in fact an atheist but a Deist and would be described in terms of modern theology as a Unitarian. In his day, however, some of his enemies charged him with being an atheist,690 but the Doctor’s life and conduct marked him merely as a liberal in theological matters. It is possible that the reference to the atheist applied to Molineux, and Dr. Young in that case would be the one described as never going to meeting. It is quite certain that Dr. Young while living in Boston never attended church. In early life he was a Presbyterian. The Doctor’s private life was above reproach, so the reference to incontinence does not apply to him. As to this charge of incontinence for one of the three, if there is no more substance behind it than can be found to support the other two charges, it can safely be disregarded. Whatever their religious views or private life may have been, all three men—Molineux, Young, and Dennie—were as sound patriots as were Adams, Warren, or Hancock. They were, of course, considerably less prominent.

    In this connection it is interesting to quote from an article on tea drinking written by Dr. Thomas Young in which he speaks of Barnstable. He says in that article:

    I Observe that in the Political Essays in the Papers concerning TEA, it is commonly called by the names of pernicious drug, baleful Weed, &c. It is doubtless by some people believed that these epithets are thrown out barely to dissuade people from buying it, that the tribute imposed upon it may by that means be diminished or perhaps annihilated. But the sober truth is, that Tea is really a slow poison. . . . Every one knows the tremor of the nerves, induced by it on young and studious persons, who drink it strong. The inhabitants of the Town of Barnstable have been noted for an extravagant use of it, & perhaps there is not in the Province a like number of persons affected with nervous and consumptive disorders. Mr. Bourne,691 a gentleman of the Law in that Town, informed me that from the effects of the Tea on his own person he suspected it of a corrosive quality: To determine this, he made a strong infusion of it, and filling a vial with it he immersed a ten penny nail in the liquor, and in less than a month found the nail nearly dissolved. Tissot, Short, and other eminent writers notice that since its introduction into Europe the whole face of disease is changed. . . .

    I was knowing to an able farmer’s wife in the town692 I was born in, whose ambition to ape high life, prompted her to drink Tea so strong and unmixed, that in three or four years she lost the use of her limbs, and died in a miserable condition. Her case was remarked by every one, and universally ascribed to the Tea. I have myself been rheumatically affected from my infancy, and in special at the annual changes of spring and autumn had defluxions on the jaws, teeth or other parts, till the Tea became politically poisoned, and then however much I admired it, leaving it totally off I have gained a firmness of constitution unexperienced before from my infancy. My substitute is chamomile flowers. Any thing agreeable, and meerly harmless must excel a real poison.693

    This article by Dr. Young was printed about seven weeks before the Boston Tea Party occurred. It is said that both Dr. Young and Mr. Molineux participated in the actual throwing overboard of the tea. This may be true, but it is certain that Dr. Young was one of the speakers at the Old South Meeting House the afternoon of December 16, 1773, when the fate of the tea was being considered. It is possible, of course, that after speaking, knowing what was about to happen, he hurried to Griffin’s wharf and assisted in the destruction of the tea.

    Dr. Young closes the article on tea, which already has been quoted, with these words:

    If every one duly considered these obvious and important truths, there need be little anxiety among the Sons of Liberty to prevent the landing or sale of the expected Tea: for it would be of little importance whether it rotted in warehouses on this or the other side the atlantic.

    What Dr. Young says about tea drinking in Barnstable in pre-Revolutionary times fits into Admiral Bowles’s vivid picture of Barnstable as a town in which loyalists were in control, or nearly in control. His letter was written about six months after the Committee of Correspondence had made its application to Barnstable for cooperation, and received a rebuff. Patriots would not drink tea, but loyalists would, and when Dr. Young spoke of the town as being noted for the extravagant use of tea, he was adroitly calling attention to the fact that Barnstable was loyalist in its trend.

    Mr. Worthington C. Ford read the following paper:


    In 1656 the colony of Massachusetts Bay passed a law intended to cope with what the authorities believed a dangerous attack upon the state—the coming of Quakers. Even before that time the magistrates and clergy had acted vigorously against any person or combination which showed a restiveness under the too rigid rules of church organization and church doctrine they had laid down. The record is not a pleasant one to read and full use has been made of it by critics and historians of New England. The period of persecution lasted for nearly two generations, and gave rise to many situations, here and in England, which need not be touched on in this place. New England gained an unlovely repute for her cruelty and the dark side of such a reputation is drawn darker than was deserved. In proof of this the following incident may be given.

    In 1673 there appeared in London a tract of six pages with the title:

    Mr. Baxter Baptiz’d in Bloud, or, a sad History of the Unparall’d Cruelty of the Anabaptists in New-England. Faithfully Relating the Cruel, Barbarous, and Bloudy Murther of Mr. Baxter an Orthodox Minister, who was kill’d by the Anabaptists, and his Skin most cruelly flead off from his Body. With An Exact Account of all the Circumstances and Particularities of this barbarous Murther. Published by his mournfull Brother Benjamin Baxter Living in Fen-Church-Street, London. With Allowance. London, Printed in the Year, 1673.

    That reads fair enough. It was only natural for a brother to have the interest to publish an event so near to him, and confidence follows his giving his full name and London residence. The words “With Allowance” suggested that the matter had been submitted to the official censors of the press and had been properly licensed, as was the fact.

    The writer of the tract opens with a general paragraph on persecution and at once plunges into the case in hand. Josiah Baxter in 1661 went to Virginia on the invitation of some Virginia merchants under a desire to be a worker in the vineyard there, effecting some good upon the Indians as well as upon the white settlers. After living eleven years in that colony he found that his health was affected and thought of removing, “especially seeing he had such a fair opportunity as the most courteous and loving Invitation of M. T. M. G. and M. O. very considerable Merchants in New-England, and his ancient and intimate Friends and Acquaintance.”694 In 1672 he with his wife and family left Virginia and settled himself in a solitary house about a mile and a half distant from Boston. He was received by the good people of Boston and his region with all the kindness and tenderness imaginable.

    His learning, diligent preaching and great zeal made him acceptable to all good Christians, but all was not smooth to the new comer. Before many months had passed he understood that there was—

    a notorious Sectarian by name Richard Batt (who formerly had been a Taylor in Coventry, but some two years after the happy Restauration of his Majesty, under pretence of a tender Conscience he left Coventry, and came to New-England.) This Batt was a fellow of a prodigious confidence, a good wit, a voluble tongue, and an insinuating carriage and comportment.

    Baxter, recognizing him as a moral danger, determined to oppose this son of Belial and preached roundly against the Anabaptists. His language was not particularly nice, saying, for example, that the waters wherein Batt dipt his followers were not the pure waters of Jordan, but the “stinking and prophane waters of Egypt wherein none but Babylons children were dip’t and prophan’d.” This showed imagination, for Batt and Baxter drew their waters from the same, but their interpretations from widely differing sources. As to Anabaptists as a whole, Baxter’s denunciation was as whole hearted as could be desired. More than that he was aggressive and hungered to convert these misbelievers. He challenged Batt to a public dispute and conference, but Batt somewhat truthfully held that such disputes and debates were unprofitable, nor were they sanctioned by Scripture, and, in any event, tended to incense Christians one against the other. He suggested that more could be gained by an endeavor for peace and mutual love, by every man enjoying the liberty of his conscience. Baxter could not admit the reasonableness of such a suggestion, pressed for a dispute and obtained it, most learnedly confuting by unanswerable arguments deduced from Holy Scripture the tenets of Batt on infant baptism—that most profitable subject of controversy, profitable, that is, to those intent upon forcing a fight. We are asked to believe that the overthrow of the Anabaptists was so complete that many brought their children to be baptized by Baxter. Cheered by his success that zealous servant of the Lord pressed his advantage and denounced the Anabaptists and all their works in comminatory terms. War and not peace was his aim. He got what he wanted. What followed I give in the words of the tract.

    On Feb. the 4th about 11. of the clock in the fore-noon there came four Ruffians to Mr. Baxters house (the solitariness of the house gave too much opportunity to these hellish Designs;) They had vizors upon their faces; as soon as they were entered, they severely charg’d them under pain of death not to cry out, or cause any disturbance: hereupon they bound Mrs. Baxter and her three daughters (for this was all Mr. Baxters family.) When they had done this, they went to Mr. Baxter, and rudely tore the clothes from his back, when he was stript they most cruelly whipt him. Then they told him he must die. He desired some time for prayer, and also that he might be permitted the liberty to speak to his wife and children before he died. All which they deny’d, and told him that ‘twas in vain for him to pray, or think on heaven, for that was a place appointed for the Elect, but he was a vile Reprobate, and from eternity destin’d to damnation. You are, said they, a most wicked villain and have done much hurt in these parts, your sins cry to heaven for vengeance, & God has sent us to punish you; you have been an Incendiary, you have endeavour’d to persecute good men with fire and faggot; you have been a most bitter persecutor of Gods servants, who have left their native Country for their Conscience, these poor souls you have persecuted to death, you must therefore for these ungodly practices submit your self to Justice. When they had said these words, like so many Hell-hounds, they most barbarously fell upon this innocent Lamb, and with knives cut open his belly, and violently tore off his skin from his body. And when this holy Martyr by reason of his torments cryed out in a most dreadful manner, they said, ‘twas excellent Musick. One of them said, now the Rascal is urging the point against the Baptists. When they had perpetrated this most execrable villany they fled. Oh! what a sad house is here? The Good man is flead alive, bleeding and crying out in the midst of his anguish and pain, the house swimming in bloud, the wife and children bound, and roaring out to see this poor Martyr wallowing in his bloud, and they not able to afford him any assistance. Things continued in this doleful posture until three of the clock in the evening: and then by a signal providence one Thomas Smith of Boston came to the house, he unbound Mrs. Baxter and her three daughters. The youngest of the three was so consternated with horrour, that she fell into Convulsion-fits, and dyed the next day. About six of the clock at night this holy Martyr dyed, and was carried to Abrahams bosome. And this is a full sad Account of this mans sufferings and martyrdom for his Zeal for the true Religion.

    The Murtherers are not yet found, but we hope that heaven will not let such horrid villanies goe unpunish’d long. The Anabaptists were examin’d, but did deny the Fact, and have since publisht a Writing, endeavouring thereby to perswade the world of their Innocence, and that this Fact was done by the Indians. But ‘tis utterly improbable, that these Assassines were Indians, for had they been strangers, what needed any disguise? And ‘tis more than probable, that they were some of M. Batts party by their reproachful words to M. Baxter: And this is the general opinion of New-England. The Widdow and her daughters were forthwith removed, and kindly entertain’d at the Ministers house, until further care is taken of them.

    That reads like a straight story, much such a story as may be found in newspapers of to-day when the doings of the K. K. K. are related. It so happens that there was a Batt family in Boston and at this very time Timothy Batt was a tailor there, son of a Christopher Batt who in 1638 had come from Salisbury, Wiltshire, not Coventry, as the tract stated of its Anabaptist Batt, also a tailor. No clergyman named Baxter is given by Savage, but that authority is not final. Smith is a safe name to use, attached to any surname. The account is worked up with reportorial skill, and details are skilfully introduced, such as the publication of a disclaimer by the alleged attackers. The only weak points are the nature of the crime—that is, the flaying of the victim—the possibility of such an Indian or other outbreak so near to Boston, and the assumption that Anabaptists were so numerous or vindictive as to perpetrate such a monstrous crime. A Londoner, and it was written for Londoners, could not be expected to know that Indians had long ceased to be a menace to Boston; nor would he know that the presence of an Anapabtist in Massachusetts was as welcome as that of the arch enemy of man—perhaps even less so; for church and state—the keys and the sword, to use the phrase of the day—believed themselves capable of keeping the Devil at a respectful distance, while they confessed the greater difficulties of meeting the more immediate presence of a hostile human agent, active or passive.

    The pamphlet appeared in London about May, 1673, and gave occasion to a reply entitled:

    Forgery Detected, and Innocency Vindicated. Being A faithful Account of the seasonable Discovery of an Horrid and Detestible Slander raised on the Anabaptists of New-England, in that Diabolical Pamphlet, entituled, Mr. Baxter baptiz’d in Blood; designing so maliciously the Reproach and Exposure of all under that Denomination. . . . London, Printed by J. D. For Fr. Smith at the Elephant and Castle in Cornhil, near the Royal Exchange, and at the same Sign first Shop without Temple-Bar, 1673.

    It exposes the falsity of the relation and the details are not without interest. A Lawrence Savill asserted that Benjamin Baxter in March “insinuated into” his acquaintance on Grays Inn Walks and a coffee-house in Holborn, and seemed an ingenious person, a good scholar and an orthodox member of the church of England. Hating the Anabaptists he violently harangued against them and had composed a history of the sect, the publication of which he offered to Savill and held out a promise of a profit of no less than one hundred pounds from the book. What followed must be told in Savill’s words, for it would be unkind to paraphrase so good a version of the old, old confidence game.

    So the Business was concluded, and I every Day expected this Elaborate Work for the Press. I saw him no more for eight Dayes together (at which I much wondred) but one Evening at Grays-Inn I met him in a most heavy and disconsolate Condition: after I had prest him to discourse the Causes of his Grief, he told me his Sorrows were unexpressible, that his dear Brother that was formerly gone to Virginia he heard was kill’d by the Anabaptists; and then in a great Passion he flung me three Letters, and bad me read them; He said he was resolved to immortalize the Fact, and let it stand for ever as an Eternal Memorial against that Party. I was much troubled at the sad Fate of his Brother, and so we parted. Some three Dayes after we met again, and then he shewed me the Copy of this Pamphlet, and told me he came just then from Lambeth, and that Doctor Parker had Licensed it, for (said he) I shewed Doctor Parker the three Letters, and could not forbear Weeping. Could you your self have doubted of the reality of the business, if you had seen the License to it, his Tears and passionate expressions, and also the three Letters? So at last I condescended to do it. The next day I went to Mr. Darby, and desired him to print it; he took a view of the Copy, and said he was not satisfied of the truth of it: But he would recommend me to a Cavalier Printer (as he expressed it) in Jewen-Street, who would readily perform the business. I deferred the publishing for seven or eight dayes, expecting to hear some Objection against it, but meeting not with any, I published it. Mr. Baxter constantly met me every day, and always urged the expedite and sudden publication of the Narrative. I told him it was coming forth. He told me I should command what money I desired, for this and several other Books he had to come forth. I replied, that none was wanting yet, but when it was printed, the Printer was to be paid. Upon May 15 I shewed him a proof-sheet; he said he was glad the business was so forward, he would go to the Goldsmith to Morrow; for, said he, that will be soon enough for the Printer; But in the mean time, sayes he, pray let me have 4 or 5 Guineys till to Morrow. I told him I had not so much about me, but what I had he should have: So I let him have 40 s. So we parted. The next Day I expected him, but he came no more, neither have I ever seen or heard from him since.

    Formerly when I asked him concerning his Lodging; he said he lived in Fen-Church-street, but he was seldom at home, and it was impossible for me to meet with him: He said he was an Atturney, and had good imployment that way. Thus has this Fellow put me upon a business, and now unworthily deserted me. And now I begin too late to perceive him either to be a Cheat, or to be grosly cheated and gull’d with false Letters; . . . unless Baxter appears in his own Defence, and pay me the Mony I lent him, I shall certainly conclude him a Cheat.

    What is noticeable is the prompt exposure of Savill’s agency in the publication, for he had shown a proof sheet to the supposed Baxter on the fifteenth of the month and within a period of five days the pamphlet was in print and Savill discovered. Other evidence had providentially been obtained, even more direct on the incident. A vessel from New England, the Blossom of Boston, sailing more than twenty days after the supposed murder, would be expected to bring information of so shocking an occurrence. But Richard Martin, the master of the ship, and Henry Mountfort a merchant of Boston, testified that they had for years lived in or near Boston but had never heard of a minister named Josiah Baxter, or of disputes with the Anabaptists, or of the murder, and they characterized the pamphlet as “an absolute Pamphlet, and a very great falsehood.” This affidavit, made May 21, led the Lord Mayor “not only to interdict the vending the said scandalous Pamphlet, but to seize it in the hands of the Hawkers and Mercuries that sold the same, and to suppress a second Impression thereof in the Press, committing also to Prison several of the Publishers.”

    Not content with that the officers of the two Wards in which Fen-Church-street lay—Aldgate and Langbourne Wards—instituted an enquiry and church wardens, overseers and beadles certified on May 27 that no such man as Benjamin Baxter “doth or hath within our memory lived” in the wards named. It is true they did find a William Baxter, a packer, living in Fen-Church-street, but he roundly declared that he never had a brother at Virginia or New-England, had never heard of Josiah Baxter, a minister, and knew nothing of the story, its writing or its publication.

    Armed with this letter and certificate those interested in disproving the story carried the matter to the Privy Council. Dr. Parker admitted his mistake and “too sudden Credulity” in licensing so strange a pamphlet, but said, in explanation, that Savill in applying for a license “did really produce to the Licenser Letters and Testimonials under the hands (as he pretended) of several Persons in New-England,” giving the particular circumstances and asserting the truth of them. The Council, on May 30, or fifteen days after Savill had shown to Baxter the proof-sheet of the tract, found the whole matter “altogether False and Fictitious.” In poetic justice the same Dr. Parker licensed this second tract, June 5, 1673. Its publisher, sometimes known as “Elephant” Smith from his place of business and sign, sought to make profit from the matter. For he advertised to the reader:

    That since the detestible Pamphlet hath so designed, not only to reproch and villifie the Professors of Baptism by this his villanous attempt, but the Profession it self also, as guilty of much Ignorance, Wickedness and Sacrilegious Impiety; He hereby signifies to the impartial Reader, that if he desires Information into the Principle or Practice of that reproached Truth, he can furnish him with most of the judicious Treatises written upon that Subject, and amongst them of most Note,

    The learned Treatises of Mr. John Tombes.

    The Works of Mr. Samuel Fisher, in Folio.

    A judicious Piece, by Henry Lawrence, Esq.

    And a Treatise of Baptism, by H. D [anvers] (lately come forth) wherein that of Believers and that of Infants is examined by the Scriptures. With the History of both out of Antiquity.

    Which suggests that the whole plan and execution may have been devised to further the sale of works on infant baptism—a publisher’s “blurb” of an early date. Boston was the victim in reputation.

    At the Annual Meeting in November Mr. William C. Lane exhibited two manuscripts connected with the Harvard Commencement of 1759. One, the original manuscript of the Salutatory Oration spoken by Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut, a member of the graduating class; and the other, the text of Paine Wingate’s defence of the thesis assigned him, “Calorest de essentia Lucis.” On behalf of Mr. Lane, the following remarks were communicated:

    Jonathan Trumbull of 1759, the son of Governor Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut who had graduated from Harvard in 1727, was himself afterwards a member of the State Senate, aide-de-camp and secretary to Washington during the Revolutionary War, a member of Congress from 1789 to 1795, United States Senator in 1795–1796, Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Connecticut from 1796 to 1809. The Latin Salutatory, which opened the Commencement exercises in those days as it still does to-day, was of much the same character as the present performance. The first paragraphs of Trumbull’s oration deal with the debt of gratitude which the student owes to his parents and teachers, especially to the latter as “animorum nostrorum parentibus.” He greets the President (Edward Holyoke) in affectionate terms, he salutes the “Professores Hollisianos,” the two Hollis professors, Edward Wigglesworth and John Winthrop, being the only professors in the College; he addresses the “Tutores Academiae dignissimi” and in particular Domine Kneeland, under whose instruction in all departments the class of 1759 had been placed for more than a year. He pays his respects to the Magistrates and holds forth good advice to his fellow-students or Juniores Sophistae. It is to be noticed that he has nothing to say to the “puellae” in the audience, though there is evidence that they had not been passed over on other occasions, for the Overseers on May 6, 1760, condemned the “practice . . . of addressing the female sex in the orations on commencement days” as “exceptionable and improper.”695 Owing to the resignation of one of the other tutors, William Symmes, the class of 1759 enjoyed the somewhat uncommon experience of having been taught by two teachers during its college course, by William Symmes from 1755 to the spring of 1758 and by William Kneeland from the spring of 1758 to the summer of 1759.

    Trumbull returned three years later when the master’s degree was conferred on members of his class and delivered the Valedictory Oration which in accordance with custom closed the Commencement exercises. Two letters from President Holyoke, one inviting and the other urging him to deliver the Valedictory, are in the Harvard Library and were printed in our Publications.696

    The other parts delivered at the Commencement of 1759, all of them in Latin, were in defence of the following theses:

    • Omne quod est Intellectu prius fuit in Sensu.
    • Calor est de essentia Lucis.
    • Non datur Astrologia judiciaria.
    • Historia Creationis mosaica Terram solum modo spectat.
    • Gradus meridianorum terrestrium caelestibus respondentium sunt inaequales.

    The brief manuscript of what was said in regard to the second subject is preserved in the Harvard Library and was delivered by Paine Wingate, another member of the class to achieve distinction in later life, being member of Congress in 1787 and again from 1793 to 1795, a United States Senator from 1789 to 1793, and a Judge of the Superior Court of New Hampshire from 1798 to May, 1809. The text of his defence shows that the corpuscular theory of light was still accepted; it takes for granted that the heat which was considered an essential of light was developed by the rapid motion of the particles of light. It is an arid piece of reasoning cast in arbitrary logical form, worth printing only as an illustration of how Commencement theses were treated.

    On the sheet of Commencement theses the names of the students who spoke the parts delivered in the presence of the company are never recorded, so that it is only by accident, as in this instance, that they are known. Few of these early Commencement parts have been preserved; it is a curious coincidence that two of those delivered in 1759 should have found their way to the Library—Trumbull’s, given anonymously by a Yale alumnus who bought it at the Sturges sale in New York in January, 1923, and Wingate’s, presented by the New York book dealer, Walter R. Benjamin, in 1901. The letters from President Holyoke to Trumbull mentioned above were given to the Library in 1905 by Grosvenor S. Hubbard of New York, a great-grandson of Governor Trumbull.

    The only other papers of the same kind which I have found in the archives of the University are the Latin Salutatory of 1703, copied out by President Leverett (in two volumes labelled “Discourses”) with sermons of his own and orations by Nathaniel Rogers, Urian Oakes, Samuel Whiting, and others,697 the Latin Valedictory of 1736, the English Salutatory Oration of 1796, and the Valedictory of 1799, the last two both by Leonard Woods of the class of 1796. John Davis’s Poetical Essay delivered at Commencement in 1781 is well known. Apparently many copies were made of it, there being no less than four that have found their way into the College archives.

    The oration and the defence of the thesis follow:


    Cursu nostro literato non infseliciter (ut sperem) confecto, Socij mei charissimi Sensu, quo decet, Beneficiorum, quae a Vobis, Harvardinates, acceperunt, meo Ore, Ritus hosce annuos grati jam perficere exoptant. Atq: illud mihi lætandum Jure esse pu to quod Officium Academise tale sum expleturus, quale ipsa imponeret Gratitudo et vendicaret; in quo Oratio Nemini haud ingrato ullo Modo déesse potest: non enim jam necesse est ut Vultus fingam, et blandis utar Verbis aut Gestibus adulatoriis, sat erit si simplices, sinceros Animi Sensus exprimam.

    Nemo fere est aut a Pietate tam remotus, qui non confiteatur sui non potis esse Parentibus Gratias Beneficiis Meritisq: eorum pares referre: aut tam ingratus qui habere saltern et reddere quantas possit maximas non cupiat.

    Multa quidem et magna sunt quae a Parentibus in Liberos Bénéficia hunt, verum si non paria non longe certe inferiora sunt ea quae a Doctoribus nostris in Nos Conferuntur quotidie.—Parentes sunt Vitae nostra? Auctores: Doctores non solum ut vivamus, verum etiam laudabiliter honeste beatq: vivamus efficiunt. Parentes magnis Laboribus Opes Nobis acquirunt ac relinquunt: Doctores aptos monstrant et idoneos earum Usus. Et (ut multa paucis comprehendam) cuncta alia quae a Parentibus Bona Nobis relinquuntur, aut aliunde acquiruntur, ejusmodi sunt, ut Doctrina si desit et Eruditio parum vel nihil prosunt.

    Horum recordantes, Viris honorandis hujus Academies Doctoribus, Animorum nostrorum Parentibus, Gratias non quidem quantas debemus sed quantas possumus jam agere velimus.

    Tibi vero imprimis, Praeses révérende plurimum et honorande, Salutationes et Gratiarum Actiones nostras Jure debentur. Accipias, quæsumus, gratâ Mansuetudinis tuae memoriâ exortas. Institutionem tuam gravem et constantem mitem tamen et blandem uno Ore agnoscimus. Memoriam tuam charissimam semper colemus: de Beneficiis a te acceptis nunquam tacebimus: prospéra omnia tibi de Caelo unde derivantur nunquam non precabimur. Tecum, Vir reverendissime, Filiâ dilectâ et amabili orbato condolemus. Valetudinem tuam istâ Afflictione acerbâ labefactam confirmet optimus ille et maximus Deus cui tam flagranti Studio servis. Diu vivas Academiæ in Honorem et post longam et placidam Senectutem, ad Praemia boni et iidelis Servi a Domino tuo et nostrum omnium Immortalitate exultans admittaris.

    Vos proximo Professores hollisianos salutat Oratio—Viri docti et politi salvete—quos omni Laude ac Honore dignos et habemus semperq: sumus habituri. Exultant omnes qui de Ingeniis et Doctrinâ aliquid judieare possunt, quiq: fausta Academiae precantur, dum Amicorum ejus Munificentiam in Viros tam bene meritos faeliciter adeo collatam vident; qui Creationis Leges etnaturales et morales Laboribus indefessis investigatis inventasq: explicatis. Diu vivatis ambo et valeatis, Matri huic nostrae totiq: adeo Literarum Reipublicas Ornamenta vix non illustrissima, et in Caelum, O serius, evehamini Gaudium universale dispargentes.

    Vos quoque, Tutores Academiae dignissimi, nostra jam salutat Oratio, Vobisq: sinceras agit Gratias pro Beneficiis in Nos collatis débitas. Pergatis Viri docti ut antehae Reipublicæ inservire, in excolendis solita vestrâ Diligentiâ Juvenum Ingeniis. Et (quod Vos ipsi maximum Laborum judicaretis Fructum) vestris Præceptis formates vestrisq: Exemplis excitatos Juvenes, Viros doctes bonosq: Cives & regiæ Majestati fideles Subditos hinc egressos videatis.

    Tibi vero precipue, Domine Kneeland, Salutationes nostrae debentur. Annum paulo plus te audientes in docendo facilem perspicuum et familiârem invenĭmus, in Reprehensionibus blandem novimus et mansuetum. Perplurimis Nos tibi devinxisti, quorum Memoriam in Animis nostris infixam nulla unquam delebit Oblivio; Te Observantiâ et Æstimatione debitâ semper prosequemur.

    Vobis quoq: Viri magistrali Gradu ornati, Vobisq: Baccalaurei, qui nostrum hocce Solenne présentes exornatis Salutem quam plurimam dicimus.

    Vos juniores Sophistae caeteriq:, qui in hoc Cursu Literarum Juvenes versamini, quorumq: Consuetudine suavi ac jucundâ usi fuimus, fraterno jam Amore et Voluntate benevolâ quâ nos semper proscecuti estis, compellamus; eandem hanc Benevolentiam cum ex Academiâ egressi fuerimus mutuam spondeamus. Interea Literis tali Vos Studio incumbatis quali consueverint ij qui sibiipsis Honori; Parentibus Gaudio; Sanguine junctis Voluptati; aliis Reiquepublicæ toti Usui magno Emolumentoq: esse cupiant. Studiis nobiscum ardentibus enitamini, ut Doctrinâ, Moribus inculpatis, Vitæque Claritate, Academiæ inserviamus Existimationi et efnciamus ut ilia, que adhuc Lux Nov. Angliæ fulsit, non Modo non extinguatur, sed auctis eluceat Splendoribus.

    Vale Præses reverende et honorande.

    Valete Vos Professores ac Tutores dignissimi.

    Tuq: præcipue Tutor noster amande.

    Vobis omnibus deniq: Auditores, reverendi et honorandi, docti et amandi, jam valedicimus, et Salutem Fælicitatemq: et presentem et æternam vovemus.

    Dixi 29mo Junij 1759.


    Calor est de Essentia Lucis.


    Calor cum sit Terminus relativus, et Corpus Calidum et frigidum sit eodem Tempore, Respectu ad Corpora Calore discrepantia, nostrum est, quid volumus per Calorem imprimis enuntiare. Per Calorem in Questione accipimus quendam Caloris Gradum, in respectu ad extremum frigiditatis gradum; In hoc sensu Vocis Igitur Questionem sic definimus. Existentiam Caloris in omni particula Lucis ad earn constituendam talem Qualis est, esse necessariam, ad Veritatem Propositionis sic definitæ perspicuam reddendam; sequentia sunt Consideranda.—Quod Calor ad Constituendas Lucis pa[r]ticulas tales Quales sunt, est necessarius, Manifestum est. Nisi separari possit ab Istis Particulis sine lucidæ Qualitatis Particularum istarum Destructione. aliter id Quo sublato Res existere Nequit ad Constituendam Rem talem qualis est. Non est Necessarium, Quod Manifeste falsum est. at Calor ab Istis particulis sine Lucidse Qualitatis istarum particularum Destructione seperari Nequit. Si particulse Lucis sine lucidse Qualitatis particularum istarum Destructione Non possunt esse ad extremum Gradum frigidæ; Necesse est enim particulas Lucis quodam modo Calidas esse in respectu ad extremum gradum frigiditatis aut frigidse ad extremum gradum. at particulse lucis sine lucidæ Qualitatis particularum istarum Destructione non possunt esse ad extremum gradum frigidse. Particulas enim Lucis a Velocitate pro sua lucida Qualitate omnino pendent, et hsecce Velocitas Quendam Caloris gradum In respectu ad extremum frigiditatis gradum necessario producit. Quod Calor est solummodo Effectum ex Velocitate Particularum Calidi Corporis oriens et augmentatione Velocitatis particularum istarum, istas particulas fieri lucidas, a frequenti Observatione est Manifestum.—Atque Igitur Ubicunque sit talis Velocitas particularum. Ibi erit quidam Caloris Gradus in respectu ad extremum frigiditatis gradum. hisce premissis concludere possumus, Calorem esse de Essentia Lucis.


    In June, 1779, Edward Bacon asked for a delay and that Joseph Nye and Solomon Freeman of Harwich be appointed to take depositions, adding that “those Gentlemen were agreed on and appointed the Last Winter in the Same affair” (p. 332, above). The reference is to the action of the House on January 13, 1779, when Joseph Nye, Jr., and Solomon Otis of Harwich were appointed (House Journal, p. 96; quoted in full in note 4, pp. 273–274, above). There was apparently no Solomon Otis at Harwich. Solomon Otis of Barnstable is several times mentioned (pp. 308, 322, 337, 341, above), but he died January 2, 1778 (Freeman, History of Cape Cod, ii. 317). The person appointed was unquestionably Solomon Freeman (see pp. 297, 306 note, 309, 310, 319, 321, 333, above). No doubt the error in the Journal was due to unconscious cerebration, the scribe writing Solomon Otis because the name of Joseph Otis occurred in the previous sentence.—Editor.