Appendix 1


    To his Excellency General Gage Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s Forces in America

    The Address of the Subscribers Members of his Majesty’s Council of the Province of Massachusetts Bay


    A General Council being held yesterday gives the distant members of it, together with the members in the Town and neighbourhood, the pleasure of Addressing you.

    We take this first opportunity of doing it; and at the same time to pay our Compliments to your Excellency.

    In this time of Public distress, when the General Court of the Province is in a state of dissolution; when the Metropolis is possessed by Troops, and surrounded by Ships of War; and when more troops are daily expected, it affords a general Satisfaction that your Excellency has visited the Province, and has now an opportunity of knowing the state of it by your own observation and enquiry.

    Your own observation will give you the fullest evidence that the Town and Province, are in a peaceful state: your own enquiry will satisfy you, that tho’: there have been disorders in the Town of Boston, some of them did not merit notice; and that such as did, have been magnified beyond the truth.

    Those of the 18th: of March and 10th: of June are said to have occasioned the abovementioned Armament to be ordered hither.

    The first was trivial, and could not have been noticed to the disadvantage of the Town, but by persons inimical to it: especially as it happened in the Evening of a day of recreation.

    The other was Criminal, and the Actors in it were guilty of a riot: but we are obliged to say it had it’s rise from those persons who were loudest in their Complaints about it, and who by their overcharged representations of it have been the occasion of so great an armament ^being^ ordered hither.— We cannot persuade ourselves to believe they have sufficient evidence to support such representations: which have most unjustly brought into question the Loyalty of as Loyal a People as any in his Majesty’s Dominions.

    This misfortune has arisen from the accusation of interested Men, whose Avarice having Smothered in their breasts every Sentiment of humanity towards this Province, has impelled them to oppress it to the utmost of their Power; and by the consequences of that oppression essentially to injure Great Britain.

    From the Candor of your Excellency’s Sentiments we assure ourselves you will not entertain any apprehension, that we mean to justify the disorders and riotous proceedings that have taken place in the Town of Boston. We detest them, and have repeatedly and publickly expressed that detestation; and the Council have advised Governor Bernard to order the Attorney General to prosecute the perpetrators of them: but at the same time we are obliged to declare in justice to the Town, that the disorders of the 10th: of June last, occasioned by a Seizure made by the Officers of the Customs, appear to have originated with those, who ordered the Seizure to be made. The hour of making the Seizure (at or near Sun Set) the Threats and Armed Force used in it, the forcibly carrying the Vessel away and all in a manner unprecedented, and calculated to irritate, justify the apprehension that the Seizure was accompanied with those extraordinary Circumstances in order to excite a riot and furnish a plausible pretence for requesting Troops. A day or two after the ^Riot^ and as if in prosecution of the last mentioned purpose, notwithstanding there was not the least insult offered to the Commissioners of the Customs either in their persons or property, they thought fit to retire, on the pretence of Security to themselves, on board the Romney Man of War, and afterwards to Castle William: And when there, to keep up the idea of their being still in great hazard procured the Romney and several other Vessels of War to be stationed as to prevent an Attack upon the Castle: which they affected to be afraid of.

    These proceedings have doubtless taken place to induce a belief among the Officers of the Navy and Army, as they occasionally came hither, that the Commissioners were in danger of being Attacked; and to procure from those Officers representations co-incident with their own, that they really were So. But their frequent landing on the Main, and making excursions into the Country, where it would have been easy to have Seized, if any injury had been intended them, demonstrates the insincerity of their declarations, that they immured themselves at the Castle for Safety.

    This is rather to be accounted for, as being an essential part of the Concerted plan for procuring Troops to be quartered here: in which they and their Coadjutors have succeeded to their wish: but unhappily, to the mutual detriment and uneasiness of both Countries.

    We thought it absolutely necessary, and our duty to the Town and Province required us, to give your Excellency this detail, that you might know the Sentiments of this People; and that they think themselves injured: and injured by men to whom they have done no injury. — From the justice of your Excellency we assure ourselves your mind will not admit of impressions to their disadvantages from persons who have done the injury.

    Your Excellency in your Letter to Governor Bernard of the 12th: of September1 gave Notice, that one of the Regiments from Halifax was ordered for the present to Castle William, and the other to the Town: but you was pleased afterwards to order both of them into the Town.

    If your Excellency when you know the true State of the Town, which we can assure you is quite peaceable, shall think his Majesty’s Service does not require those Regiments to continue in the Town, it will be a great ease and Satisfaction to the Inhabitants, if you will please to order them to Castle William, where Commodious barracks are provided for their reception, or to Point Shirley, in the neighbourhood of it: in either of which or in both they can be well accommodated. As to the two Regiments expected here from Ireland, it appears by Lord Hillsborough’s Letter of the 30th: of July,2 they were intended for a different part of North America.

    If your Excellency shall think it not inconsistent with his Majesty’s Service, that they should be sent to the place of their first destination, it will contribute to the ease and happiness of the Town and Province, if they might be ordered thither.

    As we are true and faithful Subjects of his Majesty, have an affectionate regard for the Mother Country, and a tender feeling for our own, our duty to each of them makes us wish, and we earnestly beg your Excellency to make a full enquiry into the disorders abovementioned; into the cause of them and the representations that have been made about them: in doing which your Excellency will easily discover who are the persons that from lucrative views have combined against the Peace of this Town and Province: Some of whom it is probable have discovered themselves already by their own letters to your Excellency.

    In making the Enquiry, tho’ many imprudences and some criminal proceedings may be found to have taken place we are persuaded from the Candor, Generosity and Justice that distinguish your Character, your Excellency will not charge the doings of a few individuals, and those of an Inferior Sort upon the Town or Province: and with regard to those individuals, if any circumstances shall appear justly to extenuate the Criminality of their proceedings your Excellency will let them have their Effect.

    On the same Candor Generosity and Justice we can rely, that your Excellency’s representations of this Affair to his Majesty’s Ministers will be such as even the Criminals themselves shall allow to be just.

    S. Dexter3

    N Sparhawk

    Samuel Danforth

    John Hill

    Harrison Gray

    Isaac Royall

    James Russel

    John Erving

    John Bradbury

    Royal Tyler

    James Bowdoin

    Samuel White

    Gaml Bradford

    James Pitts

    Thos: Hubbard

    Boston Octor: 27: 1768

    Ms, RC     CO 5/86, ff 220-222.

    Endorsed: In Major Genl. Gage’s (No 18) of 31. Octr. 1768. Enclosed in Thomas Gage to the earl of Hillsborough, Boston, 31 Oct. 1768, CO 5/86, ff 214-219. The signatures are autographs; dates of Council membership are given in the notes. Variants: Bowdoin and Temple Papers, Loose MSS (AMs, AC); Add 35912, ff 126-129 (Ms, LbC); M-Ar.: Council Executive Records, GC3-327, 16: 369-370 (transcript, RbC); CO 5/757, f 519 (newspaper, PC). Printed in the province newspapers: Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser4 and Boston Evening-Post, 31 Oct. 1768; Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News-Letter, 3 Nov. 1768; Letters to Hillsborough (1st ed.), 66-68; Letters to Hillsborough (repr.), 129-134. Copies of the address and letter were presented to Parliament on 20 Jan. 1769.