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Full text of "Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England"

UNIVERSITY 
OF PITTSBURGH 






'78-1 

LIBRARY 



ft/.^. -^^^^^^^^^^-^ — 



l^kocie. Jela-vii C^Uv^y) 

RECORDS 



COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 



P R V I D E N C E P L A I T A T 1 N S 



NEW ENGLAND. 




fEINTED BY ORDER OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. 

EDITED BY 

JOHN RUSSELL BARTLETT, 

SECRETARY OF STATE. 

VOL. VII. 



1770 TO 1776. 



PRO VIDEN CE: 

A. CRAWFORD GREENE, STATE PRINTER. 

1862. 



V. 7 



? 



PREFACE 



The present volume includes but seven years of the Colonial 
Records. It begins with the year 1770 and ends with the ses- 
sion of September, 1776. So voluminous are the proceedings 
of the General Assembly of the latter year (that of the Declara- 
tion of Independence), that it was found impossible to include 
them all in this volume, without increasing its size much beyond 
that of the previous volumes. 

The events which took place in the colony immediately pre- 
ceding the Declaration of Independence, are of deep interest, 
and are given at length in the volume, accompanied by the 
letters and documents connected therewith. The most impor- 
tant of these, is the destruction of His Britannic Majesty's 
schooner Gaspee, Lieutenant Dudingston, in Narragansett Bay, 
on the night of the 9th of June, 1772. The history of this in- 
teresting event, accompanied by the correspondence which 
grew out of it, the action of the General Assembly thereon, and 
the of&cial journal of the proceedings of the commission of in- 
s^quiry, appointed by King George the Third, upon the same, 
are given at length. The documentary portion of this history, 
is more complete than any before published. For several of 
these, the Secretary is indebted to the kindness of the Hon. 



IV. PREFACE. 

George Bancroft, who furnished him copies from those in his 
possession, which are transcripts from the originals in Her 
Majesty's State Paper office, in London. These copies, to- 
gether with the original documents referred to, are bound to- 
gether among the public archives in the Secretary of State's 
oflQce, Providence. j^ ^ j^ 

Providence, January, 1862. 



RHODE ISLAND RECORDS. 



RHODE ISLAND RECOUDS. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at South Kings- 
town, on the last Monday in February, 1770. 

The lion. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 



ASSISTANTS. 



Mr. Peleg Thurston, 
Mr. Job Bennett, 
Mr. Solomon Drown, 
Mr. David Harris, 
Mr. Weston Hix, 



Mr. Thomas Wickes, 
Mr. Jonathan Randall, 
Mr. John Congdon, 
Mr. Joseph Hazard, 
Mr. William Richmond, Jr. 



DEPUTIES. 



Newport. 
Mr. Nicholas Easton, 
Mr. John Wanton, 
Mr. George Hazard, 
Capt. Samuel Carr, 
Capt. William Read, 
Mr. Thomas Freebody. 



Providence. 
Mr. Daniel Jenckes, 
Mr. Moses Brown, 
Mr. Benoni Pearce, 
Mr. Job Smith. 



RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 



[1770. 



Portsmouth. 
Mr. Metcalfe Bowler, 
Mr, Benjamin Hall, 
Mr. Jeremiah Lawton, 
Mr. John Almy. 

Warwick. 
Mr. Philip Greene, 
Col. James Arnold, 
Mr. Stephen Arnold, 
Mr. Thomas Rice. 
Westerly. 
Capt. Edward Saunders, 
Mr. Joseph Clarke, Jr. 

New Shoreham. 
Mr. Paul Niles. 

North Kingstown. 
Mr. Ezekiel Gardner, 
Mr. John Northup. 

South Kingstoivn. 
Mr. William Potter, 
Mr. Stephen Hazard. 
East Greenvnch. 
Maj. Preserved Pierce, 
Mr. William Pierce. 

Jamestown. 
Mr. Oliver Haszard, 
Capt. William Haszard. 

Smithfield. 
Mr. Caleb Aldrich, 
Mr. Daniel Mowrey, Jr. 

Scituate, 
Mr. Job Randall, 
Mr. Benjamin Slack. 



DEPUTIES. 

Glocester. 
Mr. Thomas Owen, 
Maj. Rufus Smith. 
Charlestoiun. 
Mr. Gideon Hoxie, 
Mr. Job Taylor. 

West Greenwich- 
Mr. Benjamin Tillinghast, 
Mr. Isaac Johnston. 

Coventry. 
Mr. Stephen Potter, 
Mr. John Rice. 
• Exeter. 

Mr. Daniel Barber, 
Mr. Daniel Sunderlin. 
Middletown. 
, Mr. John Barker, 
Mr. Thomas Coggeshall. 

Bristol. 
Col. Simeon Potter, 
Mr. William Bradford. 

Tiverton. 
Mr. Samuel Durfee, 
Mr. WiUiam Cooke. 
Little Compton. 
Mr. Thomas Church, 
Mr. Nathaniel Searle, Jr. 

Warreii. 
Mr. Cromel Child, 
Maj. Samuel Allen. 
Cumberland. 
Mr. Jeremiah Whipple, 
Mr. David Brown. 



1770.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 



DEPUTIES. 

Richmond. Johnston. 

Mr. Edward Perry, Mr. Henry Harris, 

Mr. Joshua Clarke. Mr. Abraham Belknap. 

Cranston. North Providence. 

Mr. Gideon Comstock, Mr. Thomas Olney, 

Capt. Richard Searle. Mr. Job Olney. 

Hopkinton. 
Mr. Thomas Wells, Jr., 
Mr. Abel Tanner. 

The Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, speaker; Mr. Wm. Ellery, clerk. 
Mr. Henry Ward, secretary. 
Mr. Oliver Arnold, attorney general. 
Mr. Joseph Clarke, general treasurer. 

James Helme, Esq., chief justice of the superior court of 
judicature, court of assize and general jail delivery. 

SHERIFFS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Mr. Walter Chaloner. Providence county 
— Mr. Paul Tew. Kings county — Mr. Beriah Brown. Bris- 
tol county— Mr. Richard Smith. Kent county — Mr. Henry 
Rice. 

FIELD OFFICERS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Benjamin Sherburne, Esq., colonel; Wm. 
Cooke, Esq., of Portsmouth, lieutenant colonel; Isaac Dayton, 
Esq., major. 

Providence county — Knight Dexter, Esq. , colonel ; Abra- 
ham Winsor, Esq., lieutenant colonel; Chad Brown, Esq., 
major. 

Kings county — John Crandall, Esq., colonel ; Moses Bar- 
ber, Esq., lieutenant colonel ; Sylvester Gardner, Esq., 
major. 



6 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1770. 

Bristol county — Simeon Potter, Esq., colonel ; Samuel 
Allen, 2d, lieutenant colonel ; John Waldron, Esq., major. 

Kent county — John Waterman, Esq., colonel ; James Ar- 
nold, son of Elisha, Esq., lieutenant colonel ; William Matte- 
son, Esq., major. 

Whereas, Messrs. John Jenckes, Moses Brown, John 
Brown, David Harris, William Smith, John Updike, Knight 
Dexter, Ebenezer Thompson, Joseph Lawrence, Zephaniah 
Andrews, Elijah Bacon, Noah Mason, John Smith, Jonathan 
Ellis, Jonathan Hamman, Thomas Greene and James Lovett, 
in behalf of themselves and their associates, preferred a peti- 
tion, and represented unto this Assembly, that from a regard 
to the instruction of youth, in the most necessary parts of 
learning, they, with the town of Providence, have caused to be 
built within the said town, a commodious brick school house, two 
stories high ; the upper part of which, containing two rooms, 
belongs to them and their associates ; that, for the better car- 
rying their design in building the said rooms into execution, 
they have formed themselves into a society, known by the 
name of the Proprietors in the Town School House ; and 
thereupon, for the well ordering and governing the said school, 
in the upper part of said house, and for the better establishing 
the rules and orders already made ; and also all future regu- 
lations respecting the same, they pray this Assembly to grant 
and extend to the said society, their heirs and assigns, a full 
and ample power, at all times hereafter, to order, ordain and 
enact all such rules and regulations, as may from time to time, 
appear to them necessary for the well ordering all prudential af- 
fairs of the said society; and that all rules, acts, orders and reg- 
ulations so made, as may (not repugnant or disagreeable to the 
1 iws of this colony, or the acts and orders of the said town of 
Providence), be, to all intents and purposes, valid and binding 
upon the said society, and each individual thereof; on consider- 
ation whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 



1770.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 7 

thority thereof it is enacted, that the prayer of the petitioners, 
in the foregoing petition contained, be, and the same is hereby, 
granted. 

At the special request of the inhabitants of the town of 
Providence, made by their representatives, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the inhabitants of the said 
town of Providence, be, and they are hereby, permitted and 
authorized to sell all kinds of spirituous liquors, in any quanti- 
ties not less than one quart ; provided, that the same be not 
drank in the house of the retailer ; any law of this colony to 
the contrary, in any wise, notwithstanding. 

It is voted and resolved, that the petition preferred to this 
Assembly, praying that all that part of the town of Provi- 
dence, lying westward of Weybosset Bridge, and the harbor or 
bay, may be set off and incorporated into a new township, be 
referred to the next session ; and that, in the mean time, the 
town of Providence be cited to appear and show cause (if any 
they have), why the same should not be granted. 

Whereas, Mr. John Greene and others, preferred a petition, 
and represented unto this Assembly, that Nathaniel Greene and 
Company, John Greene and Company, Griffin Greene and Chris- 
topher Greene, have been at a very great expense in erecting and 
building dams, forges, anchor works and saw mills upon the south 
branch of Pawtuxet river, in providing a very considerable stock, 
and employing a great number of hands, to prosecute the 
business ; the emolument arising from which, is the principal 
support of themselves and their dependants, amounting to up- 
wards of one hundred in number ; that there is a law of this 
colony, directing that suitable fish-ways be made and kept 
open on the said south branch of said river, from the 21st 
of April to the 1st of June, annually ; that if the said law be 
carried into execution, it wall render it almost impossible for 
them to pursue their business ; that the number of fish coming 
up to those dams, is so small and contemptible, that the bene- 
fit arising from them, is by no means to be compared with the 
great advantages derived to the public from their works ; and 



8 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1770. 

thereupon, they prayed this Assembly, that the dams above 
enumerated, standing on the said south branch of Pawtuxet 
river, may be established by act of government, and totally ex- 
empted from preparing and providing fish-ways, in the same 
manner as the dams on the north branch of the same river are 
now established, and exempted from preparing and providing 
fish- ways ; on consideration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the prayer of the petition- 
ers, in the foregoing petition contained, be, and the same is 
hereby, granted. 

Whereas, Moses Brown, presented the following memorial 
unto this Assembly, to wit : 

Memorial of Moses Brown, relative to the Northern Boundary 
Line of Rhode Island. 

To the Honorable the General Assembly : 

Gentlemen : — Agreeably to the vote of this Assembly, at their last session, I re- 
ceived and have taken copies of the plats and papers respecting the northern boun- 
dary line of this colony ; by which papers, it appears that the colony had made ap- 
plication in conjunction with the colony of Connecticut, to Mr. Partridge, then 
agent for both colonies, to pursue the settlement of the said line ; and it appears 
that this colony, in the month of April, 1753, formed a petition to His Majesty, upon 
this subject ; whether it was forwarded or not, or what further was done, does not ap- 
pear by the papers I have yet been able to collect ; but am informed by one of the 
commissioners, who conferred with the commissioners of the colony of Connecticut, 
upon this matter, in April, 1752, that the two colonies agreed to prosecute the case 
jointly ; and as this government had expended a considerable sum in running the 
line,procuring evidence, and fitting the case to go home, Connecticut was to pur- 
sue it at home until they had laid out the same sum that we had ; after which, the ex- 
pense for any more, should be necessary, was to be paid by both governments 
equally. 

This being the case, and it appearing clear to me, that the colony had a just right 
to a strip of four miles and fifty-six rods ; the width of the colony being about 
twenty-two miles, I propose and desire this Assembly to appoint some proper per- 
son or persons to make application to the Governor or secretary of the colony of 
Connecticut, and procure information how the case was left ; and if they are unable 
to inform us, to write to the agent of this colony, who, about the time this matter 
was in agitation in England, lived with Mr. Partridge, and without doubt, hath the 
papers respecting this matter, that belong to the colony, and request him to exam- 
ine the papers, and inform us of the circumstances this affair was under at the 



1770.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 9 

commenccmeut of llio late war ; which I suppose was the occasion of its uot being 
determiued. 

As Joseph Harrison, Esq., one of this colony's committee to run the line ; and 
Col. Lyman, who was one of Connecticut's comoaittee, are both in London, and are 
acquainted with all the circumstances of this case, I apprehend a more favorable 
opportunity for the colony to get information in this matter, could not liappen. 

I am obliged to the General Assembly for their confidence in depositing the pa- 
pers in iny hands, and herewith return them. 

I am, gentlemen, &c., &c., 

MOSES BROWN. 

On consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said memorial be ac- 
cepted ; that Moses Brown, be, and he is hereby, appointed to 
make the inquiry therein mentioned ; and when he shall have 
obtained the best information he can procure, that he make re- 
port thereon, to the General Assembly. 

Whereas, Esther Sachem (calling herself queen of the tribe 
of Indians in this colony), Thomas Sachem, her husband, and 
Henry Harry, with others, as her council, who preferred a pe- 
tition unto this Assembly, praying that she, with her husband 
and council, and James Helme, Joseph Ilaszard and Sylvester 
Eobinson, Esqs., (who were a committee appointed by this As- 
sembly, to dispose of the estate of Thomas Ninegret, deceased, 
late sachem of said tribe, for the payment of his debts,) may 
make a deed or deeds of the estate of the said Thomas Nine- 
gret, for the payment of his just debts in the same manner as 
the said Thomas Ninegret, in his life time, with his council, 
and the said committee, by. act of Assembly, might have done ; 
and whereas, Samuel Niles and others (calling themselves a 
council, appointed by said tribe, for transacting their public 
affiiirs), did appear before this Assembly, and for the settle- 
ment of the disputes and differences subsisting in said tribe, 
did mutually agree that the Hon. Joseph Wanton, Esq., the 
Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq. and Joseph Haszard, Esq., or any 
two of them (by their consent, and by order of this Assembly), 
should be empowered to inquire into the subject matter of 
their disputes, and in particular to ascertain and to set off 
all the lands which shall, upon inquiry and exainination, 
appear to them to have been the lands or estates of the said 

VOL. VII. 2 



10 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1770. 

Thomas Ninogret, deceased, for the payment and satisfaction 
of the debts dae to his creditors and to his heirs, after such debts 
as are paid and satisfied ; that the expense of such inquiry and 
examination be equally paid by the said two parties ; and that 
that the said report be made to this Assembly at the next ses- 
sion ; and the premises being duly considered, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that t'^e above recited agreement 
be, and hereby is, approved ; and that the said Joseph Wan- 
ton, Stephen Hopkins and Joseph Haszard, or any two of them, 
be empowered to do, and transact every thing submitted to 
them, by said agreement. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the above named James Helme, Joseph Haszard and Sylvester 
Robinson, or any two of them, be empowered to take into their 
care and possession, all such lands as shall be set off as the es- 
tate of the said Thomas Ninegret, deceased, and the same to 
improve, in such manner as they shall think most for the inter- 
est of his heirs and creditors, until so much of them shall be 
disposed of, as will be sufiQcient to satisfy and pay his just 
debts. 

God save the Kino;. 



The Earl of Hillshorovgh to the Governor and Company of 
Rhode Island. 

No. 20.] Whitehall, February IT, 1770. 

Gentlemen : — As it is necessary that the King should be duly informed of all acts 
and proceedings of government in all His Majesty's colonies in America, I am com- 
manded to desire you will punctually transmit to me, to be laid before His Majesty^ 
as well the journals and proceedings of every meeting of the General Assembly of 
the colony of llhode Island, as copies of the laws enacted by such Assembly ; and I 
am to acquaint you, that those which have been already sent, are not continued 
down lower than the seventh year of His Majesty's reign. 

I am, gentlemen, &c., &c., 

HILLSBOROUGH. 

To the Governor and Company of Rhode Island. 



1770.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 



11 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at JSeivport, the 
first Wednesday of May, 1770. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

The following officers, declared elected, were duly engaged : 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Dt^puty Governor. 



ASSISTANTS. 



Mr. Nicholas Easton, 


Mr. 


Thomas Wickes, 


Mr. Samuel Dyre, 


Mr. 


Jonathan Randall,* 


Mr. Solomon Drown, 


Mr. 


John Congdon, 


Mr. David Harris, 


Mr. 


Joseph Haszard, 


Mr. Weston Hix, 


Mr. 

DEPUTIES. 


William Richmond, 


Newport. 




Portsmouth. 


Mr. Thomas Cranston^ 


Mr. 


Metcalfe Bowler, 


Mr. John Wanton, 


Mr. 


Thomas Brownell, 


Mr. George Hazard, 


Mr. Jonathan Freeborn, 


Capt. Samuel Carr, 


I\lr. 


John Almy. 


Capt. William Read, 




Warwick. 


Mr. Thomas Freebody. 


Mr. 


Philip Greene, 


Providence. 


Mr. 


Benjamin Greene, 


Mr. Daniel Jenckes, 


Mr. 


Stephen Arnold, 


Mr. Moses Brown, 


Mr. 


Paul Greene. 


Mr. Benjamin Man, 






Mr. Stephen Hopkins. 







12 



RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 



[1770. 



Westerly. 
Mr. James Rhodes, 
Mr. Oliver Babcock. 
New Shoreham. 
Mr. Paul Niles. 

North Kingstown. 
Mr. Ezekiel Gardner, 
Mr. John Northup. 

South Kingstown. 
Mr. Rowland RoLinson, 
Mr. Samuel Rodman. 
East Greenvnch. 
Maj. Preserved Pierce, 
Mr. William Pierce. 

Jamestown. 
Mr. John Eldred, 
Capt. William Haszard. 

Smithfield. 
Mr. Caleb Aldrich, 
Mr. Daniel Mowrey, Jr 

Scituate, 
Mr. William West, 
Mr. Job Randall. 

Glocester. 
Maj. Rufus Smith, 
Mr. Moses Cooper. 
Charlestown. 
Mr. Gideon Hoxie, 
Capt. Joseph Stanton. 
West Greenwich- 
Mr. William Nichols, 
Mr. Thomas Rogers. 

Coventry. 
Mr. Stephen Potter, 
Mr. Nathaniel Greene. 



DEPUTIES. 

Exeter. 
Mr. Daniel Barber, 
Mr. George Pearce. 
Middletown. 
Mr. Thomas Coggeshall, 
Mr. Thomas Peckham. 

Bristol. 
Mr. Christopher Ellery, 
Mr. William Pearce. 

Tiverton. 
Mr. Samuel Durfee, 
Mr. William Cooke. 

Little Compton. 
Mr. Thomas Church, 
Mr. Nathaniel Searle, Jr. 

Warren. 
Mr. Ebenezer Cole, 
Maj. Samuel Allen. 
Cumberkmd. 
Mr. Jeremiah Whipple, 
Mr. John Dexter. 

Richmond. 
Mr. Robert Stanton. 

Cranston. 
Mr. Caleb Potter, 
Capt. Matthew Manchester. 

Hopkinton. 
Mr. Thomas Wells, Jr., 
Capt. Abel Tanner. 

Johnston. 
Col. John AVaterman, 
Mr. John Beverly. 

North Providence. 
j\Ir. Elisha Brown, 
Capt. Joseph Olney. 



1870.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 13 

The Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, speaker ; Mr. Josias Lyndon, 
clerk. 

Mr. Henry Ward, secretary. 

Mr. Oliver Arnold, attorney general. 

Mr. Joseph Clarke, general treasurer. 

Stephen Hopkins, Esq., chief justice of the superior court 
of judicature, court of assize and general jail delivery. 

SHERIFFS OP THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Mr. Walter Chaloner. Providence county 
— Mr. Paul Tew. Kings county — Mr. Beriah Brown. Bris- 
tol county — Mr. Simeon Munro. Kent county — Mr. Henry 
Rice. 

FIELD OFFICERS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Daniel Dunham, Esq., colonel ; Joseph 
Belcher, Esq., lieutenant colonel ; John Forrester, Esq., 
major. 

Providence county — Knight Dexter, Esq., colonel ; Abra- 
ham Winsor, Esq., lieutenant colonel ; Chad Brown, Esq., 
major. 

Kings county — John Crandall, Esq., colonel ; Moses Bar- 
ber, Esq., lieutenant colonel ; Sylvester Gardner, Esq., 
major. 

Bristol county — Simeon Potter, Esq., colonel; Nathaniel 
Martin, Esq., lieutenant colonel ; Thomas Gray, Esq., major. 

Kent county — John Waterman, Esq., colonel ; Isaac Greene, 
Esq., lieutenant colonel ; Benjamin Vaughan, Esq., major. 

It is voted and resolved, that the petition for dividing the 
town of Warren into two towns, be, and the same is hereby, 
referred to the next session ; and that the inhabitants of the 
said town be served with a copy of the said petition, and cited 
to appear then (if they shall think fit), to answer the same. 

[No business of a public nature, except the election, was 
done at this session.] 

God save the King. 



14 EECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1770* 



Proceedings (f the General Assembli/, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, on 
the second Monday in June, 1770. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Moses Brown, be, and he 
is hereby, requested to import from England, for the use of this 
colony, seven boxes of Bristol or Newcastle crown sash glass, 
to wit : 

Three boxes, of twelve by sixteen ; three, of eleven by fif- 
teen ; and one, of twelve by seventeen ; to contain seven hun- 
dred feet in the whole : that the same be shipped as soon as 
conveniently maybe, after the duty upon glass ceases, and the 
other governments generally import that article ; and that the 
general treasurer pay for the same, according to the common 
advance upon such goods. 

It is voted and resolved, that all such sum and sums of 
money, as remain unpaid of the rates assessed by this colony, 
be paid into the general treasury within forty days, from and 
after the rising of this Assembly ; that the general treasurer 
be, and he is hereby, directed to issue an execution for princi- 
pal and interest, against every collector of rates who shall be 
delinquent, returnable in ten days after the expiration of the 
said forty days; excepting the collector of rates for the town of 
South Kingstown ; against whom, no execution shall be issued 
until after the next session of this Asssembly. 

Whereas, Esther Sachem, and Thomas Sachem, preferred 
the following petition unto this Assembly, to wit : 



1770.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 15 

Petition of Esther Sachem, and her husband, to the General As- 
seinbly, relative to Thomas Ni?iegret, late Sachem of the Nar- 
ragansett tribe of Indians. 

To the Honorable General Assembly, to be holden at Newport, in the county of 

Newport, on the second Monday of June, A. D. 1770 : 

Humbly show, Esther Sachem, of Charlestown. in Kinoes county, who is heir at 
law to Thomas Ninegret, sachem of the Narragansett tribe of Indians, together with 
her husband, Thomas Sachem, that the General Assembly did take the affairs of her 
decased brother into their care, long before his death, and appointed a committee 
to take an account of his debts, and dispose of so much of his lands, as v/ould dis- 
charge the debts against him ; who proceeded so fap as to take an account of his 
debts, and to dispose of a small part of his lands ; when the General Assembly inter- 
posed, and appointed a new committtee, to set off what did belong to the sachem, 
that should be sold to discharge the debts against the estate ; which said committee 
have done nothing ; that, as the affair hath been several years in this situation, the 
creditors to said estate are uneasy, and the principal part of said estate is under a 
heavy mortgage, and unless the General Assembly orders something to be immedi- 
ately done, all the creditors will sue at the August court ; and that the mortgage is 
now in suit, and hath been continued two terms, and must be yielded up at the rising 
of the August court, unless the affair can be settled before; besides, the debts are 
upon interest, and increase fast, which, with the charges of two law suits, will swal- 
low up the whole estate, if speedy remedy be not taken. 

Therefore, they humbly pray the General Assembly to take their distressed cir^ 
cumstauces into consideration, and order the last appointed committee to proceed 
immediately, and set off what lands shall be sold ; and upon their setting off said 
land, that the former committee immediately proceed to dispose of the lands, and 
pay the demands against the estate, so far as the General Assembly have ordered 
them to be paid. 

And they, as in duty bound, will ever pray. 

ESTHER SACHEM, her ^ mark, 

July 11, 1770. THOMAS SACHEM, his y^ mark. 

On consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the foregoing petition be, and 
hereby is, granted. 

An Act for incorporating the west part of the town of Warren, 
into a township, to be distinguished and known by the name 
of Barrington. 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the town of Warren be, and 
the same is hereby, divided into two distinct and separate 
towns ; that the bounds between them, be as the river between 



16 RECORbS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1770. 

Bristol ;md Riimstick extends itself northerl_^ to Miles's Bridge ; 
that all the lands on the westerly side of the said river, be, and 
they are hereby, erected and made into a township, to be dis- 
tinguished, called and known by the name of Barrington ; and 
that the mhabitants thereof shall choose two deputies to repre- 
sent them in the General Assembly ; and shall have, hold and 
enjoy all and singular the liberties, privileges and immunities 
which the other towns in this colony have, enjoy and are en- 
titled to. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
all debts due, and money belonging to the town of Warren, be- 
fore the division thereof, by this act made, shall be divided ac- 
cording to the last tax ; that all debts due from the said town, 
bef )re the division, shall be settled and made in the same man- 
ner ; and that the poor of the said town be divided between 
the said two towns in proportion to their taxes and debts. 

AnI be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
all and every of the justices of the peace, and military officers, 
who were chosen and appointed for the town of Warren, and 
live in that part thereof which is now made Barrington, be, 
and they are hereby, continued in their respective offices, with 
as fall power and ample authority, in every particular, as they 
had in consequence of their being chosen into, and commis- 
sionated for, the offices by them respectively sustained ; and 
that James Brown, Esq., be, and he is hereby, authorized and 
fully empowered, to issue a warrant and call the freemen of 
the town of Barrington, to meet together at such time and 
place, within said town, as he shall think fit, on or before the 
8th day of July next, in order to choose and appoint all officers 
necessary for managing and conducting the prudential affairs 
of said town, agreeably to the laws of this colony. 

And be it further enacted l)y the authority aforesaid, that 
the said town of Barrington shall send three grand and two 
petit jurors to each of the su[)erior and inferior courts, which 
shall be holden in the county of Bristol ; and that the town of 
Warren shall send three grand and four petit jurors to each of 
the said courts. 



1770.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 17 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
Nathaniel Fales, Thomas Throop and Daniel Bradford, Esqs., 
all of Bristol, be, and they are hereby, appointed a committee, 
to settle and proportion the debts and poor of said town, agree- 
ably to the last tax of said town. 

God save the King. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly^ held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at East Green- 
wich, on the second Monday in September, 1770. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

Whereas, the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq. and Joseph Has- 
zard, Esq., presented unto this Assembly, the following report, 
to wit : 

Report of the Committee appointed by the General Assembly, re- 
lative to the affairs of the Narragansett tribe of Indians. 

We, the subscribers, being appointed a committee, by the General Assembly, to 
n quire into some disputes subsisting among the Narragansett tribe of Indians, and 
to endeavor to settle the same, do report : 

That we repaired into the Indian country, convened all the principal Indians therC^ 
before us, and prevailed with them all to agree, that as much of tlieir land may be 
sold as will pay the late Sachem Thomas's debts ; provided, that no land be sold for 
that purpose, but such as the tribe shall appoint; and that the General Assembly 
pass an act, that no more of the Indian lands may be sold afterwards, upon any pre- 
tence, whatsoever. 

The Indians requested that the committee, appointed to adjust the Sachem 
Thomas's debts, may be empowered to examine for what the debts became due, not- 
withstanding they may now be reduced to mortgages, bonds, notes, &.C., suggesting 
great impositions therein. 

The Indians further requested, that the General Assembly would appoint two of 
them to be justices of the peace, for punishing drunkenness, breach of the peace, 
and other offences amongst themselves. 

Then the Indians pointed out the following parcels of land to be sold : 
VOL. VII. 3 



18 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1770. 

1. The large house, the late Sachem Thomas lived iu, with twenty-six acres of 
land adjacent to it. 

2. The house the late Sachem George tlwelt in, with about sixty acres of 
and about it. 

3. A tract of land, heretofore sold at vendue, to Isaac Xye, but not yet mea" 
sured, nor any deed given. 

4. A small piece of land, in possession of James Perry. 
6. A small piece of land, iu possession of Joseph Hoxsie. 

6. Nine acres and an half of land lying by a place called Welshare. 

And lastly, as much of the Cedar Swamp, as will complete the payment of 
Thomas's debts. 

Finally, the Indians did agree and promise to provide as good a support for the 
remaining branches of the royal family, as the small remains of their public lands' 
and the loyal affections of a poor people can admit. 

All which agreements and requisitions we promised the Indians to recommend to 
the General Assembly, as fit to be confirmed and granted. And we do accordingly 
recommend them as worthy the notice and approbation of the General Assembly, 
and presume to subscribe ourselves. Their faithful servants, 

STEPHEN HOPKINS, 

East Greenwich, Sept. 10, 1770. JOSEPH HASZARD. 

And the said report being duly considered, — 
It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
accepted and approved ; excepting that part thereof, recom- 
mending it to the General Assembly to appoint Indian justices 
of the peace, which is disapproved by this Assembly. 

It is farther voted and resolved, that the several pieces and 
parcels of land and estates, mentioned in the said report, be 
sold for paying the late Sachem Thomas's debts ; and that no 
other of the Indian lands be thereafter sold on any pretence, 
whatever. 

It is further voted and resolved, that the committeB appoint- 
ed to adjust the said Sachem Thomas's debts, and to sell the 
lands for payment thereof, be, and they are hereby, empow- 
ered to examine how the debts became due, notwithstanding 
they may now be reduced to mortgages, bonds, notes or judg- 
ments of court which have been obtained by default ; that no 
more of said debts be paid, than shall appear to be justly due ; 
and that the said committee be, and they are hereby, empow- 
ered to defend against all actions that have been, or shall be, 
brought against the late Sachem Thomas's estate ; and that all 



1770.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 19 

expenses and costs, attending the defending in any action, 
brouglit, or that may be brought against the said estate, shall 
be defrayed out of the said estate. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that the Hon. Stephen 
Hopkins, Esq., be, and he is hereby, added to the committee 
appointed to adjust the debts of the said Thomas, to examine 
how they became due, and to sell and dispose of the lands for 
the payment thereof. 

Whereas, the deputies of the town of Newport, by order and 
in behalf of said town, represented unto this Assembly, that 
Job Bennett, Esq. and Mr. John Wanton, son of Gideon, pre- 
sented a remonstrance to said town, in town meeting assenir 
bled, praying the town to pay them the money due to them, 
for carrying on the building of the market house and granary 
in said town, so far as the same is done ; and thereupon, the 
said deputies prayed this Assembly to appoint Joseph Wan- 
ton, Jr., Esq., Mr. Samuel Lyndon, Jr., Joseph Wanton, 
Esq., son of Gideon ; Mr. Thomas Freebody, Daniel Dun- 
ham, Esq. and Charles Spooner, Esq., directors, to carry on a 
lottery or lotteries, to finish said building ; and also, to pay the 
said Job Bennett and John Wanton, the money due to them, 
out of the first money that shall be raised by said lottery or 
lotteries ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said Joseph Wanton, Jr., 
Samuel Lyndon, Jr., Joseph Wanton, son of Gideon ; Thomas 
Freebody, Daniel Dunham and Charles Spooner, be, and they 
are hereby, appointed directors of the said market house and 
granary lotteries, to be carried on for raising money to pay 
the late committee appointed to build the said market house 
and granary, and for finishing and completing the same ; and 
that the same be done without any expense to the colony, 
God save the King. 



20 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1770. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on 
the last Monday in October, 1770. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

An Act to incorporate certain persons by the name of the Be- 
nevolent Congregational Society, in the town of Providence, 
in this colony. 

Whereas, clivers persons have petitioned this Assembly, for 
an act of incorporation, whereby they may be enabled to pro- 
mote certain purposes set forth in their petition, and hereinaf- 
ter mentioned ; — 

Therefore, be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by 
the authority thereof, it is enacted, that Darius Sessions, 
Ephraim Bowen, Sam'l Nightingale, Benj. Bowen, Jabez Bow- 
en, Jacob Wightman, Jona. Badger, John Foster, Jr., Charles 
Keen, Nathaniel Greene, Eleazer Harding, Benjamin West, 
Amos Throope, Nathaniel Frothingham, Samuel Nightingale, 
Jr., Stephen Dexter, William Dexter, Elihu Robinson, Joseph 
Manning, Levi Hall, Nathaniel Metcalf, James Greene, Eze- 
kiel Burr, Joshua Hacker, Nehemiah Sweet, Paul Allen, John 
Carpenter, Jonathan Arnold, Amos Atwell, Jonathan Russell, 
Jonathan Ellis, Alexander Sampson, Joseph Nightingale, 
William Bowen, Henry Stirling and Timothy Gladding, to- 
gether with such others, as they shall elect from time to time, 
shall be, forever hereafter, a body corporate and politic, in fact 
and name, by the name of the Benevolent Congregational So- 
ciety, in the town of Providence, in the colony of Rhode Is- 
land and Providence Plantations, in New England, for the pur- 
pose of raising a fund, by free and voluntary subscriptions, 
contributions, legacies and donations, for the support of public 



1770.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 21 

worship in the Congregational Society, in the town of Provi- 
dence, aforesaid, of which the Reverend David Shearman Row- 
land, is at present minister. 

[Here follows the act of incorporation.] 

Whereas, Jeremiah Whipple and John Dexter, Esqs., depu- 
ties for the town of Cumberland, preferred a petition, and rep- 
resented unto this Assembly, that the great bridge built over 
Pawtucket river, between the towns of Smithfield and Cum- 
berland, called Whipple's Bridge, is so out of repair, that it is 
almost impassable, and if not soon repaired, will be entirely 
useless ; and thereupon pray, that a lottery may be granted, 
to raise the sum of $400, in one or more classes, as the direc- 
tors shall think best, to be applied for repairing said great 
bridge; and that Jeremiah Whipple, Esq., Capt. Benjamin 
Tower, Mr. David Dexter and Mr. Elisha Waterman, may be 
appointed directors of said lottery ; they giving bond according 
to custom ; on consideration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the prayer of the said peti- 
tion be, and the same is hereby, granted ; provided^ that no 
expense arises to the colony thereby. 

Whereas, a number of the inhabitants of the town of Crans- 
ton, preferred a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, 
that there is a considerable number of people in that, and the 
neighboring towns, who are religiously inclined, of the sect 
called Baptists, whose principles are contained in Hebrews, 
chapter six, and first and second verses, who are willing to de- 
vote a part of their time to the public worship of God ; that 
there being no meeting house within a convenient distance of 
the place where the greatest part of that church or society 
live ; meetings have been kept up in said place, for upwards 
of thirty years, at private houses, until about two years past, 
they have hired a house at the corner where two roads meet, 
near the Reverend Elisha Greene's, in said Cranston, for a 
place of public worship ; that the said house and lot are now to 
be sold, and it being a very convenient and commodious place 
for a meeting house, they are inclined to purchase it for that 



90. 



RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1770. 



purpose, for the church that is uuder the care and direction of 
the said Elisha Greene ; but that the said society is not able to 
purchase the same by subscription, and repair it ; and there- 
fore, they prayed this Assembly to grant them a lottery, to 
raise the sum of $300, to be applied towards purchasing and 
repairing the said house and lot ; and that Messrs. Joseph 
Stone, Elisha Greene, Jr., Zerobabel Westcot and Nehemiah 
Knight, all of Cranston, aforesaid, may be appointed directors 
or managers of said lottery ; on consideration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the prayer of the foregoing 
petition be, and the same is hereby, granted ; that the direc- 
tors give bond to the general treasurer, and be engaged for the 
faithful performance of their trust ; and that the said lottery 
be divided into such and ho many classes as they shall think 
proper. 

Whereas, this Assembly is informed that His Majesty's jail, 
in the county of Kings county, was, in the night of the 3d day 
of this instant November, broken open by a number of people 
in disguise, and several of the prisoners, to wit : William Rey- 
nolds, Thomas Clarke, Elisha Reynolds and Samuel Casey 
(the said Casey being under sentence of death), were set at 
liberty ; — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that Ilis Honor the Gov- 
ernor be, and he is hereby, requested to issue a proclamation 
immediately for apprehending the perpetrators of that atrocious 
crime, and therein promise a reward of £-50, lawful money, and 
an indemnification to any person or persons who shall discover 
any one or more of the persons who were aiding or assisting in 
breaking open said jail (excepting those already discovered), 
so that such person or persons be convicted ; and also £50, 
lawful money, to any person or persons, who shall apprehend 
and bring the said Samuel Casey before legal authority, in this 
colony, so that he may be committed. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Governor, be, 
and he is hereby, requested to send home all the acts of the 
General Assembly, that have not yet been sent, agreeably to 



1770.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 23 

His Majesty's requisition, signified to the colony, by a letter 
from the Right Honorable the Earl of Hillsborough. 

It is voted and resolved, that the town of Providence be, 
and they are hereby, empowered and directed to tax the sev- 
eral owners or possessors of the lands westward of the eastern 
banks of the river or bay, from the boundary of the colony on 
Bullock's Neck, northward, to the line of North Providence ; 
and that in defeult of payment of such tax, so assessed, the 
salt grass sedge or thatch, growing thereon, be annually sold 
for the payment thereof. 

It is also resolved, that the town of North Providence tax 
the owners or possessors of the lands, tenements and other es- 
tate, lying westward of the colony's boundary, near the east 
butment of Pawtucket Bridge, and from thence southerly, as 
far as the range of the north line of Providence ; and that the 
assessors and collectors have the same power over such estates, 
as they have over the estates on the west side of Seekonk 
river ; the said eastern shore being clearly comprehended with- 
in the charter of this colony. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that the monies arising 
from the estates, herein ordered to be taxed, be lodged in the 
general treasury, to be applied towards keeping up and sup- 
porting Pawtucket Bridge. 

It is voted and resolved, that the petition for dividing the 
town of Westerly, be, and the same is hereby, referred to the 
next session; and that the said town be served with a copy there- 
of, and cited to appear at the next session, to answer the same. 

Whereas, this Assembly, at their session in October, 1767, 
passed an act, appointing Matthew Robinson, Esq., to draw a 
deed, to be executed by Thomas Ninegret, late sachem of the 
Narragansett tribe of Indians in this colony, and five of his 
council, to the secretary, of an island in Charlestown, for the 
use of a school, for the said tribe of Indians, and to see the 
same executed, &c., as by the said act will appear ; and 
whereas, the said Thomas Ninegret hath since deceased, with- 
out having executed the said deed, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that the said act be re- 
vived, and that the present queen of said tribe, with five 



24 RECORDS OP THE COLOI^Y OP RHODE ISLAND [1770. 

of her council, be, and they are hereby fully empowered to 
make, execute and give such a deed, as in the said act is 
mentioned. 

God save the King. 

Public Acts passed during the year 1770. 

[The following laws will be fouud at length in the printed " Schedules," or actg 
and resolves of the General Assembly, for the year 1770.] 

An Act for the breaking up disorderly houses, kept by negroes and mulattoes ; and 

for putting out such negroes and mulattos to service. (February.) 
An Act to prevent the introduction of contagious diseases among the cattle in this 

colony. (February.) 
An Act for the more equal distribution of intestate e?tates. (February.) 
An Act in addition to the acts now in force, regulating elections, and the adraisssion 

of freemen into this colony. (June.) 
An Act for calling in and sinking all the old tenor bills of public credit, that are 

outstanding, and now passing in this colony. (September.) 
An Act to prevent frauds in the tare of butter-firkins and tubs. (September.) 
An Act for the more effectual governing of Indian, mulatto and negro servants and 

slaves, in the town of Newport, and further regulating the manumission of slaves 

in that town. (September.) 
An Act for assessing, upon the inhabitants of this colony, a rate or tax of £12,000, 

lawful money. (September.) 

The Earl of Hillsborough to the Governor and Company of 
Rhode Island. 

Whitehall, llth December, 1770. 
Gentlemen :— The House of Commons having voted an augmentation to the 
King's forces, consisting (among other particulars) of an additional light company 
to every battallion, and of twenty men to every company on the British establish- 
ment, and it being of great importance in the present situation, that the several bat- 
tallions now serving in America, should be completed as soon as possible, I am com- 
manded to signify to you His Majesty's pleasure, that you should exert your utmost 
endeavors to give efficacy and dispatch to this plan ol" augmentation, by assisting 
His Majesty's officers to raise such a number of recruits as shall be sufficient for that 
purpose, giving every encouragement in your power, that may induce His Majesty's 
faithful subjects to engage in a service so essential to their security and defence ; and 
I think fit to press this matter with the greater urgency, as nothing has happened 
since my secret and confidential letter of the 28th of September, to strengthen the 
hopes 1 then expressed, that the peace might still be preserved ; and consequently 
every motive for a vigilant attention to the security of every part of His Majesty's 
dominions still exists in its full force. I am, etc., 

HILLSBOROUGH. 
To the Governor and Company of Rhode Island. 



1771.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 



25 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode hland and Providence Plantations, at Newport, the 
first Wednesday of May, 1771. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

The following officers, declared elected, were duly engaged : 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 



ASSISTANTS. 




Mr. Nicholas Easton, 


Mr. 


Thomas Wickes, 


Mr. Samuel Dyre, 


Mr. 


Jonathan Randall, 


Mr. Solomon Drown, 


Mr. 


John Congdon, 


Mr. David Harris, 


Mr. 


Joseph Haszard, 


Mr. John Almy, 


Mr. 

DEPUTIES. 


William Richmond. 


Newport. 




Portsmouth. 


Mr. Thomas Cranston, 


Mr. 


Metcalfe Bowler, 


Mr. John Wanton, 


Mr. 


John Almy, 


Mr. George Hazard, 


Mr. 


Jonathan Freeborn, 


Mr. Joseph Wanton, Jr 


Mr. 


Thomas Brownell. 


Capt. William Read, 




Warwick. 


Mr. Thomas Freebody. 


Mr. 


Benjamin Greene, 


Providence. 


Col 


. James Arnold, 


Mr. Daniel Jenckes, 


Mr. 


Jacob Greene, 


Mr. Moses Brown, 


Mr. 


Christopher Greene, 


Mr. Benjamin Man, 






Mr. Stephen Hopkins. . 






VOL. VII. 4 







26 



RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 



[ITTL 



DEPUTIES. 


Westerly. 


Middletown. 


Mr. James Rhodes, 


Mr. Thomas Coggeshall, 


Mr. Phineas Clark. 


Mr. John Holmes. 


North Kingstown. 


Bristol. 


Mr. Ezekiel Gardner, 


Mr. Christopher Ellery, 


Mr. John Northap. 


Mr. William Pearce. 


South Kingstown. 


Tiverton. 


Mr. William Potter, 


Mr. Edward Gray, 


Mr. Rowland RoLinson. 


Mr. Oliver Cook. 


East Greenvnch. 


Little Comptoni 


Mr. Sylvester Sweet, 


Mr. Philip Taylor, 


Mr. Joseph Fry. 


Mr. John Peckham. 


Jamestown. 


Warren. 


Mr. George Tew, 


Mr. Cromel Child, 


Mr. John Gardner. 


Mr. Daniel Cole. 


SmithfieU. 


Cumberland. 


Mr. Caleb Aldrich, 


Mr. Jeremiah Whipple, 


Mr. Daniel Mowrey, Jr. 


Mr. John Dexter. 


Scituate, 


Richmond. 


Mr. William West, 


Mr. Stephen Hoxsie, 


Mr. Charles Harris. 


Mr. Edward Perry. 


Glocester. 


Cranston. 


Mr. Timothy Wilmarth, 


Mr. James Harris, 


Mr. Zebedee Hopkins, Jr. 


Mr. Gideon Comstock. 


Charlestoion. 


Hopkinton. 


Mr. John Congdon, 


Mr. Thomas Wells, Jr.^ 


Mr. Sylvester Robinson. 


Capt. Abel Tanner. 


West Greenwich. 


Johnston. 


Mr. William Nichols, 


Col. John Waterman, 


Mr. Samuel Hopkins, Jr. 


Mr. Daniel Manton. 


Coventry. 


North Providence^ 


Mr. Nathaniel Greene, Jr., 


Capt. Eseck Hopkins, 


Mr. Ichabod Borden. 


Mr. Thomas Whipple. 


Exeter. 


Barrington. 


Mr. George Pearce, 


Mr. Josiah Humphrey, 


Mr. Hopson Wilcox. 


Mr. Samuel Allen, 2d. 



1771.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 27 

The Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, speaker ; Mr. Josias Lyndon, 
clerk. 

Mr. Henry AVard, secretary. 

Mr. Henry Marchant, attorney general. 

Mr. Joseph Clarke, general treasurer. 

Stephen Hopkins, Esq., chief justice of the superior court 
of judicature, court of assize and general jail delivery. 

SHERIFFS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Mr. Walter Chaloner. Providence county 
— Mr. Paul Tew. Kings county — Mr. Beriah Brown. Bris- 
tol county — Mr. John Brown. Kent county — Mr. Henry 
Rice. 

FIELD OFFICERS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Mr. Daniel Dunham, colonel ; Mr. Isaac 
Dayton, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. John Forrester, major. 

Providence county — Mr. Knight Dexter, colonel ; Mr. 
Abraham Winsor, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Chad Brown, 
major. 

Kings county — Mr. John Crandall, colonel ; Mr. Moses 
Barber, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. John Allen, son of Jonathan, 
major. 

Bristol county — Mr. Simeon Potter, colonel ; Mr. Nathaniel 
Martin, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Thomas Gray, major. 

Kent county — Mr. John Waterman, colonel ; Mr. Aaron 
Bowen, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Benjamin Vaughan, major. 

Whereas, Henry Marchant, Esq., designs in a short time to 
proceed to London, — 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Deputy Gov- 
ernor, the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq., George Hazard, Esq. 
and William Potter, Esq., be, and they are hereby, appointed 
a committee, to prepare a bill, requesting and fully empower- 
ing him to join with Joseph Sherwood, Esq., our present 
agent, in applying for the money due from the crown to this 



28 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1771. 

colony, and in every other affair that may concern the colony, 
daring his residence in Great Britain ; and that they lay the 
same before this Assembly as soon as may be. 

It is voted and resolved, that the petition, preferred to this 
Assembly, by divers inhabitants of the town of Barrington, 
praying that they may be set off to the town of Warren, be, 
and the same is hereby, referred to the next session ; and 
that, in the mean time, the said town of Barrington be notified 
to appear at the next session, if they shall think fit, to answer 
the same. 

It is voted and resolved, that the time for paying in the last 
colony rate, be lengthened to the next session of this Assem- 
bly ; and that the rate gatherers collect the interest until 
that time, as well as the principal, and pay the same into the 
general treasury. 

It is voted and resolved, that §85, be allowed to the chief 
justice of the superior court of judicature, &c. ; and $75, to 
each of the other justices of the said court (including the allow- 
ance already made), for their extraordinary time and trouble 
at the terms of the said court, held in Kings county, in October 
and April last, in trying the criminals for counterfeiting gold 
and silver coins, and for breaking open His Majesty's jail in 
said county, and releasing the prisoners ; and that the addi- 
tional sum now allowed, being "foS, to the chief justice, and 
$37, to each of the assistant justices, be paid out of the fines 
of the said criminals, when a sufficient sum shall be collected, 
and paid into the general treasury. 

It is voted and resolved, that the consideration of the letter 
from General Gage, to His Honor the Governor, requesting 
that quarters, &c., may be provided for His Majesty's 64th 
regiment, in this colony, be referred for the present ; that, if 
the said regiment shall arrive before the next session, and re- 
quire any supplies from the colony. His Honor the Governor, 
be, and he is hereby, requested to call the General Assembly, 
if he shall find it necessary. 

Whereas, the General Assembly did heretofore appoint the 
Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq., James Ilelme, Esq., Joseph 



1771.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 29 

Hazard, Esq. and Sylvester Robinson, Esq., a committee, they, 
or the major part of them, to settle and adjust the accounts and 
demands of the creditors of Thomas Ninegret, late sachem of 
the Narragansett tribe of Indians, in this colony, and to assist 
in the sale of so much of his lands as would discharge his 
debts, and the necessary expenses attending said affair ; and 
whereas, the said sachem is since deceased, and proper deeds 
of sundry tracts of land bargained and sold for that purpose, 
were not in the life time of said sachem, duly made and exe- 
cuted to the purchasers of said lands, — 

Beit therefore enacted by this Generar Assembly, and by 
the authority of the same it is enacted, that the aforesaid com- 
mittee, or the major part of them, together with the council of 
the said late sachem, or the major part of them, make and ex- 
ecute deeds of so much of the lands of said sachem, as will be 
sufficient for the purpose aforesaid. 

An Act appointing Henry Marchant, Esq., joint agent with 

Joseph Sherwood, Esq., for this colony, at the court of 

Great Britain. 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority of the same it is enacted, that Henry Marchant, Esq., 
be, and he is hereby, appointed joint agent with Joseph Sher- 
wood, Esq., for this colony, at the court of Great Britain, to 
act in all matters and things, which are now pending, or that 
may hereafter arise, in which this colony is, or may be inter- 
ested, during his residence in Great Britain, or until furlher 
orders from this Assembly ; and in a more special manner, to 
apply for, if they shall apprehend it fit and necessary, and 
procure payment of the monies reported, by the secretaries at 
war and paymaster genera^, in Great Britain, to be due to this 
colony, for the provisions, artillery stores, &c., supplied to His 
Majesty's troops, in the year 1766. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
His|HonorJhe Governor be, and he is hereby, requested to 
cause copies of all such letters and papers, as are in his pos- 
session, respecting the said matters, to be delivered to the said 



30 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1771. 

Henry Marchant ; that the secretary also furnish him with 
copies of all such papers and records, as are in his office, respect- 
ing the same ; and that the secretary be, and hereby is, ap- 
pointed to prepare a draught of a letter of agency to the said 
Henry Marchant, for the purposes aforesaid, and lay the same 
before this Assembly, as soon as may be. 

Whereas, the secretary presented unto this Assembly, the 
following draught of a letter of agency to Henry Marchant, 
Es(|., which was approved, to wit : 

Letter of Agency, by the Governor of Rhode Island, to Henry 
Marchant, appointing him Joint Agent for tJie Colony, in 
London. 

By the Honorable Joseph Wanton, Esq., Governor, Captain General and Com- 
mander in Chief, of and over the English Colony of Rhode Island and Provi- 
dence Plantations, in New England, in America. 

To all unto whom these presents shall come ; greeting : 

Whereas, the Governor and Company of the colony, aforesaid, in General Assem- 
bly, convened at Newport, in the said Colony, on the first Wednesday in this instant 
May, did pass an act, choosing and appointing Henry xMarchant, of Newport, afore, 
said, Esq., jointly with Joseph Sherwood, of the city of London, in the kingdom of 
Great Britain, Esq., agent and attorney for the said Governor and Company, in 
Great Britain, aforesaid, with full power and authority, with the said Joseph Sher- 
wood, to act, transact, accomplish and finish, all matters and things whatsoever^ 
pending, or that may be pendent, in Great Britain, for or against the said Govern, 
or and Company, during his residence there ; more especially to obtain the monies 
claimed by the said Governor and Company from the crown, for provisions, artillery 
stores, &c., supplied for His JVIajesty's service, for the expedition against Crown 
Point, in the year 1756, or upon any other account, whatever ; and requested me, 
for the purposes aforesaid, to make and execute a fall and ample letter of agency 
and attorney to him, the said Henry Marchant, under my hand, and the seal of this 
colony. 

Now know ye, that I, the Governor above mentioned, by force and virtue of the 
afore recited act, in behalf of the said Governor and Company, have constituted, 
ordained and appointed, and by these presents, do constitute, ordain and appoint 
him, the said Henry Marchant, during his residence in Great Britain, jointly with 
the said Joseph Sherwood, absolute and lawful agent and attorney, for the said 
Governor and Company in Great Britain ; and in their names and stead to appear 
before His Majesty in Council, and either or both Houses of Parliament, or any 
court or courts, judge or judges, minister or ministers of justice, as shall have juris- 
diction, cognizance or power to hear, adjudge, determine, sentence or decree, in, or 
upon, any cause or causes, moved or pending, or to be moved or pendent, in Groat 
Britain, by, for, or against, the said Governor and Company, whether by memorial, 
petition, claim, demand, appeal, complaint, or otherwise ; and there, in the name, 



1771.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 31 

stead and behalf, of the said Governor and Company, jointly with the said Joseph 
Sherwood, to say, do, act, transact, accomplish and finish, all and every matter and 
matters, thing and things, needful, requisite and expedient, for obtaining right and 
justice, in behalf of the said Governor and Company ; more especially by petition, 
memorial, or by any other lawful ways and means whatsoever, in their name and 
stead, and to their use, to obtain and receive all such sums of money as the said 
Governor and Company claim from the crown, for provisions, artillery stores, &c., 
supplied for His Majesty's service, for the expedition against Crown Point, in the 
year of our Lord 1756, or upon any other account, whatever ; and upon receipt of 
the same, or any part thereof, jointly with the said Joseph Sherwood, to give proper 
acquittances and lawful discharges. 

And I do hereby, for the said Governor and Company, covenant, promise and 
en"-age to ratify and confirm, and to hold for ratified and confirmed, all and whatso-' 
ever the said Henry Marchant, jointly with the said Joseph Sherwood, shall lawfully 
do or cause to be done, in or about the i^remises, by virtue of these presents. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and the seal of the said 

colony, at Newport, aforesaid, this day of May, in the eleventh year of 

the reign of His Most Sacred Majesty George the Third, by the grace of 
God, King of Great Britain, &c., Anno Domini 1771. 

JOSEPH WANTON. 
By His Honor's command. 
HENRY WARD, Secretary. 



Whereas, the town of Warwick preferred a petition unto this 
Assembly, and represented that the large bridge, commonly 
called Capt. Green's Bridge, over Pawtuxet river, about six 
miles above the falls, was, in March last, carried away by a large 
flood ; that the said bridge stood upon a road very much fre-- 
quented ; and the loss of it is a very great damage to the pub- 
lic ; and that the said town of Warwick is greatly burthened 
with bridges, having many other large ones to maintain ; and 
thereupon, they prayed this Assembly to grant a lottery, for 
re-building the said bridge, agreeably to the scheme that fol- 
lows ; and that Messrs. Benjamin Arnold and Thomas Holden, 
both of said Warwick ; and Elisha Greene, Jr. and Nehemiah 
Knight, both of Cranston, may be appointed directors of the 
said lottery ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the foregoing 
petition be, and the same is hereby, granted. 

It is voted and resolved, that the petition for erecting a new 
town, to be called Pawtuxet, to be taken off from Warwick 



32 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLxiND [1771. 

and Cranston, be, and the same is hereby, referred to the next 
session ; and that, in the mean time, the said towns of War- 
wick and Cranston, be notified to appear at the next session, 
if they shall think proper, to answer the same. 

Whereas, a number of the inhabitants of the towns of War- 
wick and Cranston, preferred a petition unto this Assembly, 
and represented that the bridge, called Pawtuxet Bridge, was 
carried away by a great flood, in March last, and wholly de- 
stroyed ; and thereupon, prayed that a sufficient sum may be 
granted them, out of the general treasury, to re-build the said 
bridge ; which being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the sum of $200, and no more, 
be allowed and paid out of the general treasury, towards re 
pairing the said bridge. 

God save the King. 



Proceedings uf the General Assembly^ held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, on. 
the second Monday in June, 1771. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The lion. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

It is voted and resolverl, that George Hazard, Esq., William 
Brooks Simpson, Esq., Mr. William EUery and the secretary, 
be, and they, or the major part of them, are hereby, appoint- 
ed a committee, to prepare a bill for the relief of insolvent 
debtors ; and that they present the same to this Assembly, at 
the next session. 

Whereas, the church and congregation, worshipping in 
Clarke street, [known as the Second Congregational Church], 
in Newport, preferred a petition unto this Assembly, praying 
that a bill, by them presented, with the said petition, for the 



1771.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 33 

incorpomtion of the said church, may be passed into an act of 
this Assembly ; on consideration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the prayer of the said peti- 
tion be, and the same is hereby, granted. 

It is voted and resolved, that no person or persons, whatso- 
ever, shall hereafter be allowed or permitted to appeal to His 
Majesty in Council, in Great Britain, from the judgment of 
the superior court of judicature, in this colony, for any matter 
or thing whatsover, unless the matter or thing in controversy, 
be of the value of £300, lawful money, to be valued by the 
court, where the appeal shall be prayed ; any law, custom or 
usage to the contrary, hereof, in any wise, notwithstanding. 

Whereas, there is a sentence or judgment, in favor of the 
colony, against William Reynolds, on the records of the supe- 
rior court of judicature, court of assize and general jail de- 
livery, in the county of Kings county, for the sum of $1,000, 
and cost, as a fine for counterfeiting the public coin, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that upon the payment of 
$300, immediately, and $300, on or before the 25th day of 
December next, and the remainder of said judgment on or be- 
fore the 25th day of December, A. D. 1772, into the general 
treasury, the colony shall, and will, release, and quit all their 
right, title, interest, claim and demand of, in and to, all the 
real estate of the said William Reynolds. 

It is voted and resolved, that all persons who are possessed 
of any of the lawful money bills, emitted in the year 1760, or 
any of the notes given by the general treasurer for such bills, 
bring all such bills and notes into the general treasury, within 
six weeks from and after the rising of this Assembly, in order 
to l»e exchanged for silver and gold; and that after the ex- 
piration of said time, no interest be allowed thereon ; and that 
the general treasurer give public notice of this vote, by an ad- 
vertisement in the Newport and Providence newspapers. 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, thf^t no seine be drawn, or net be 
cast, for the catching the fish between ihe 1st day of March 

VOL. VII. 5 



34 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1771. 

and last day of May, annually, in Barrington River, between 
the water-lot of Daniel Kinnicut, and the Meeting House 
Point, under the penalty of d£lO, lawful money ; one half to 
the informer, and the other half to and for the use of the said 
town of Barrington. 

It is voted and resolved, that the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, 
Esq., John Dexter, Esq., Mr. Moses Brown and Matthew 
Robinson, Esq., be, and they are hereby, appointed a commit- 
tee, to draw a state of the case of the northern boundary line 
of this colony, and deliver the same to Henry Marchant, Esq., 
to carry with him to Great Britain ; who, in concurrence with 
Joseph Sherwood, Esq., is to take such counsel and advice 
thereon, as they may Ihink proper, respecting the obtaining an 
order from His Majesty, for commissioners to settle the line, 
agreeably to the charters of the Massachusetts Bay and this 
colony. 

It is voted and resolved, that the general treasurer be, and 
be is hereby, directed not to put forth the colony's executions 
against the town of South Kingstown, till after the next ses- 
sion of this Assembly ; and that the treasurer empower said 
town to collect the sums due upon said executions, by issuing 
his warrants therefor, when said town shall have assessed said 
sums, so due, upon the inhabitants of said town. 

It is voted and resolved, that forty days longer be allowed 
to the several delinquent towns to pay in their respective 
rates, they paying interest for the same, up to the time of 
payment ; and that, at the expiration of said time, the general 
treasurer be, and he is hereby, directed and fully empow- 
ered, to issue his warrants against all those that shall be then 
deficient. 

God save the King. 

The Earl of Hillsborough to the Governor and Company of 
Rhode Island. 

No. 2 1 .] Whitehall, July 1 9th, 1771. 

Gentlepaen : — The lords commissioners of His ]\Iajesty's treasury have communi- 
cated to me, several papers received from the commissioners of the customs, in 
America, relative to certain outrages committed on their officers, and the neglect of 



1771.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 35 

the governors and civil magistrates, in giving them assistance and protection ; and 
tlieir lordships have desired that I would take such measures as I shall judge most 
expedient, to prevent in such governors and civil magistrates, the like neglect of 
their duty, for the future. 

From these papers, it appears, that some of the most violent of these outrages have 
been committed at Newport, in Rhode Island ; particularly, in April last, when the 
collector of His Majesty's customs at that port, was, in the execution of his duty, 
assaulted, and grossly ill-treated, even to the danger of his life, by a number of the 
inhabitants, without any protection being given him ; that in general, the officers of 
the customs have received no support or countenance from that government, and 
have in vain applied to the superior court for writs of assistance in cases wliere such 
writs were judged necessary. 

It has given me great concern, to receive complaints, of such a nature, against a colo- 
ny for which I have a great regai'd, and fi-om which, 1 have received such strong pro- 
fessions of loyalt}- and duty to the King ; but, after the repeated signification of the 
King's pleasure to the governors of all His Majesty's colonies, that they should use their 
most strenuous efforts, and exert themselves in the most effectual manner, for the sup- 
jiort of the- commissioners of the customs, and their officers, and for enabling them to 
carry the laws of trade into due execution ; any further exhortation on that subject 
would be useless ; and it must remain with those, to whom the powers of government 
in Rhode Island, arc entrusted, to consider what must be the consequences, if, after 
such repeated admonition, the laws of this kingdom are suffered to be trampled 
upon, and violences and outrages of so reprehensible a nature, are committed with 
impunity. I have the honor to be, &c., &c., 

HILLSBOROUGH. 

To the Governor of Rhode Island. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations ^ at East Greenwich j 
on the third Monday in August, 1771. 

The Hon. Joseph. Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

It is voted and resolved, that a rate or tax, of ^12,000, 
lawful money, be assessed and levied upon the inhabitants of 
the several towns in this colony ; £10,000, thereof, to be ap- 
propriated towards sinking the outstanding lawful money bills, 
emitted in the year 1762, and such treasurer's notes as have 
been given for said bills ; and the other £2,000, for the sup- 



36 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1771. 

ply of the treasury ; and that Rowse J. Helme and Joseph 
Aplin, Esqs., be, and they are hereby, appointed a committee 
to prepare a bill for that purpose ; and that they lay the same 
before this Assembly, as soon as may be. 

It is voted and resolved, that if the town of Westerly shall 
pay one half of what remains unpaid of the said town's propor- 
tion of the last colony tax, the general treasurer be, and he is 
hereby, directed to receive the same, and issue out an alias ex- 
ecution for the remainder, returnable in six weeks, with the 
interest accruing thereon. 

It is voted and resolved, that no part of the bills of public 
credit of the old tenor, now in the general treasury, be burnt, 
until further orders from this Assembly. 

Whereas, divers inhabitants of the town of Providence, pre- 
ferred a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that the 
street leading from the court house to the Main street, hath 
been, by the late heavy rains, so gullied and worn, as to ren- 
der it almost impassable, and endanger the foundation of the 
court house, so that unless it be repaired, it must inevitably 
fall to the ground ; and that the inhabitants of the said town, 
as well as those of the adjacent country, suffer many inconven- 
iences for the want of a market house ; provisions being often 
almost spoiled by being carried about the streets through wet 
and heat ; and fish rendered more scarce than it would other- 
wise be, if they had a proper place to expose them for sale ; 
and therefore prayed, that they may have liberty to raise a suf- 
ficient sum of money, by way of lottery, to pave and secure 
the said Court House street ; and also to build a public mar- 
ket on the town's land, near the bridge ; on consideration 
whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the foregoing petition be, and 
the same is hereby, granted ; and that Messrs. Moses Brown, 
William Russell, Amos Atwell, James Lovet and Benjamin 
Gushing, Jr., be appointed directors of the said lottery ; they 
giving bonds in the usual manner, as soon as the sum to be 
raised, shall be ascertained ; provided, that no expense accrue 
to the colony, thereby. 



1771.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. S7 

It is voted and resolved, that if the town of Portsmouth shall 
pay into the general treasury the sum of £420, lawful money, 
of what remains due of the said town's proportion of the last 
colony rate ; and the town of North Kingstown shall pay 
£100, lawful money, the said towns shall be allowed one 
month to pay the remainder ; and that the town of Jamestown 
be allowed the same time, to pay in the remainder of their 
proportion of their said rate ; the said towns paying interest 
for the same. 

God save the King. 

From Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts., to the Governor 
of Rhode Island. 

Boston, 2d St'jJtember, 1771. 
Sir : — Having lately received His Majesty's instructions for my conduct in the 
administration of government, it is incumbent on me, to transmit an exti-act from 
them, to the colony of Rhode Island, which I shall enclose to you ; and being, as I 
suppose, nothing diiferent from what hath been transmitted by my predecessors, 
since the royal charter, I have no occasion to make any remarks. I have only to 
add, that I am, witli very great regard, &e., &c., 

THO. HUTCHINSON. 
To the Hon. Joseph Wanton, Esq., Governor of Rhode Island. 

Extracts from the King's Instructions to Thomas Hutchinson, 
Esq., Governor of Massachusetts Bay. 

" Whereas, we have thought fit, by our commission, under our great seal, of Great 
Britain, bearing date the day of , to constitute and appoint you, our cap- 
tain general and governor in chief in and over our province, of the Massachusetts 
Bay ; and likewise captain general and commander in chief of the militia, and of 
all our forces by sea and land, within the colony of Rhode Island and Providence 
Plantations, and the Narragansett Country, or Iviug's Province, in New England, 
and of the forts and places of strength, within the same ; you are, therefore, duly to 
observe the following instructions, viz. : 

You are to cause notification to be given, if not already done, to our colonies of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and the Narragansett Country, of the 
powers wherewith you are entrusted, concerning the militia forces and forts within 
the said colonies and country, as aforesaid." 

A true copy : THO. HUTCHINSON. 



RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1771. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at South Kings- 
town, on the last Wednesday i?i October, 1771. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

Whereas, Messrs. Jerehiiah Y/hipple^ Benjamin Tower, Da- 
vid Dexter and Elisha Waterman, preferred a petition, and 
represented unto this Assembly, that at the session of this As- 
sembly, held in October, A. D. 1770, they were appointed 
directors of a lottery, to raise a sum of money, to re-build the 
bridge over Pawtucket River, between the towns of Smithfield 
and Cumberland, called Whipple's Bridge ; that they did 
raise the sum of $400, with which, and an additional sum by 
them advanced, they have made the said bridge passable at 
present ; and that one half of said bridge is covered with 
plank almost worn out, so that they can last only a few 
months ; and therefore, they prayed this Assembly, to em- 
power them to raise $100 more, by way of lottery, to com- 
plete said bridge, and reimburse them the money ihey have 
advanced, and to appoint a committee to audit their accounts; 
and that in case there should be a small sum remaining, after 
the raising the said sum of $100, that it may be appropriated 
to the use of said bridge ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the foregoing 
petition be, and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual 
restrictions of giving bond, &c. 

Whereas, divers of the inhabitants of the town of North 
Providence, preferred a petition, and represented unto this As- 
sembly, that the road or highway from Providence to Smith- 
field, leading by the dwelling houses of Capt. Eseck Hopkins 
and Isaiah Hawkins, Esq. ; and a branch of the road to the 
eastward of the dwelling house of Mr. Jonathan Whipple, is. 



177 J.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 39 

by reason of the wetness of the land, for about one hundred 
and fifty rods, so muddy and miry, that at some seasons of the 
year it is ahiiost impassable ; that the said road is much 
wanted to be used in passing through the colony ; and that 
the inhabitants in that district are but few, which renders it 
very difficult to keep said road in repair ; and therefore, they 
prayed the Assembly to grant a lottery, for raisiiig the sum of 
£60, lawful money, to be laid out in repairing the said road, 
under the direction of Thomas Whipple, Esq., Capt, Enoch 
Ang'ell, Mr. Daniel Clark and Mr. Hope Angell ; on consid- 
eration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the foregoing pe- 
tition be, and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual re- 
strictions of giving bond, &c. 

Whereas, Messrs. John Smith and John Innis Clark, war- 
dens of the Episcopalian Church, in Providence, preferred a 
petition, and represented to this Assembly, that the congrega- 
tion hath been at a very great expense in repairing the church, 
so that they are unable to build a steeple and procure a 
clock, which are much wanted, and will prove ornamental and 
serviceable to the town ; and therefore, they prayed this As- 
sembly to grant them liberty to raise the sum of $600, by a 
lottery, for the purpose, aforesaid ; and that the said John In- 
nis Clark, John Smith, and Messrs. Ebenezer Thompson and 
Joseph Nash, may be appointed directors, to carry on the 
same ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the foregoing pe- 
tition be, and the same is hereby, gnnited, under the usual re- 
strictions ; and that in case either or any of the directors 
shall refuse to serve, that another or others shall be appointed 
in his or their room, by the society of the church, he or they, 
w^ho shall be so appointed, giving bond, as usual. 

Whereas, the Hon. Darius Sessions, Esq., Ephraim Bo wen, 
Esq., Samuel Nightingale, Esq., Mr. Jacob Whitman and Mr. 
James Greene, the committee of the Presbyterian or Congre- 
gational Society, in Providence, preferred a petition, and rep- 
resented unto this Assembly, that at the session of this Assem- 



40 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1771. 

bly, held in February, A. D. 1763, a lottery was granted, for 
raising the sum of £560, lawful money, to be applied to pur- 
chasing a parsonage for the use of said society, necessary 
charges for carrying the same into CKecation, being first deduct- 
ed ; that the said lottery, by reason of many unforseen difficul- 
ties, hath hitherto been delayed ; that almost all the managers 
have declined'proceeding therein ; and that the scheme of said 
lottery is not thought so eligible as some other ; and thereup- 
on, prayed this Assembly to give liberty to adopt a new 
scheme for raising the said sum of .£560, lawful money, for 
the purpose, aforesaid ; that Jabez Bowen, Esq., Messrs. Na- 
thaniel Greene, Samuel Nightingale, Jr., Charles Keen and 
Paul Allen, may be appointed managers or directors thereof; 
and that the whole may be under the same regulations and re- 
strictions, as in the aforesaid grant ; on consideration where- 
of- 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the foregoing pe- 
tition, be, and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual 
restrictions ; and that in case either, or any of the directors 
shall refuse to serve, that another, or others, shall be appointed 
in his or their room, by the said society ; he, or they, who 
shall be so appointed, giving bond, as usual. 

It is voted and resolved, that a new jail be built in the town 
of Newport. 

It is voted and resolved, that the new prison house, to be 
built in Newport, be thirty-six feet wide, and not exceeding 
forty-five feet in length ; that Mr. Oliver Ring Warner, Mr. 
Thomas Freebody, Walter Chaloner, Esq., Job Bennett, Esq. 
and Mr. John Wanton, son of Gideon, be a committee, to 
procure materials for building the same, at cash price ; that 
nothing be purchased but by agreement of the major part of 
the committee ; that they be empowered to draw money out of 
the general treasury, for that purpose ; and that the said com- 
mittee inquire into the value of the old prison house, and en- 
deavor to find the best place in Newport to erect the new one 
upon. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Benjamin Man, be, and 



1771.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 41 

he is hereby, appointed to finish the court house in Provi- 
dence ; and to draw a suC&cient sura of money out of the gen- 
eral treasury, for that purpose. 

It is voted and resolved, that William Greene and Thomas 
Aldrich, Esqs., be, and they are hereby, appointed to finish the 
court house in East Greenwich ; and to draw a sufficient sum 
of money out of the general treasury, for that purpose. 

Whereas, the deputies of the towns of Warwick, North 
Kingstown and East Greenwich, preferred a petition unto this 
Assembly, praying that a lottery may be granted, for raising 
$150, to build the abutments of the bridge, ordered to be built 
over Hunt's River, (the overplus, if any, to be appropriated as 
this Assembly shall think fit) ; and that said lottery may be 
managed by William Greene, William Hall, John Northup and 
Sylvester Sweet, Esqs., or any three of them ; on considera- 
tion whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the foregoing 
petition be granted, under the usual restrictions of giving 
bond, &c. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Governor, be, 
and he is hereby, requested to cause two fair copies of the 
draught of the letter to the Earl of Hillsborough, now lying 
before this Assembly, to be made, and transmit them to His 
Lordship ; and also to transmit two copies, thereof, to the 
agent. 

It is voted and resolved, that the act for the more effectual 
repairing the highways in this colony, be immediately pub- 
lished in the Newport Mercury and Providence Gazette. 

God save the King. 

Public Ads passed during the year 1771. 

[The following laws will be found at length in the printed " Schedules," or acts 
and resolves of the General Assembly, for the year 1771.] 

An Act incorporating the Second Congi-egational Church, in Newport. (June.) 
An Act to prevent hogs going at large in the compact part of the towns of East 

Greemvich and Warwick, adjoining. (August.) 
An Act for the relief of insolvent debtors. (August.) 
An Act for assessing a rate or tax, of £12,000. (August.) 
An Act for the more effectual repairing of the highAvays in this colony. (October.) 

VOL. VII. 6 



42 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1771. 



The Governor of Rhode Island to the Earl of Hillsborough. 

J^o. 36.1 Rhode Island, November 2, 1771. 

My Lord :— Your Lordship's letter, dated at AVhitehall, the 19th day of July last, I 
have received, and communicated to the General Assembly, of this colony, who have 
directed me to return a particular answer to the several charges against the colony, 
and its officers, therein contained. 

Your Lordship observes, that bj' the papers "received from the commissioners of 
the customs, in America, it appears that some of the most violent of these outrages 
have been committed at Newport, on Rhode Island ; particularly in April last, when 
the collector of His ]\Iajesty's customs at that jiort, was in the execution of his duty, 
assaulted, and grossly ill-treated, even to the danger of his life, by a number of the 
inhabitants, without any protection being given him ; that in general, the officers of 
the customs have received no support or countenance from that government ; and 
have in vain apphed to the superior court, for writs of assistance in cases when such 
writs were judged necessary." 

To this, I answer, that Mr. Dudley, collector of the customs at Newport, in Api-il 
last, in the dead time of the night, singly and alone, went on board a vessel lying at 
one of the wharves in Newport, where he met with a number of persons, supposed 
to be drunken sailors, and was cruelly and scandulously abused h\ them ; that Mr. 
Dudley never applied to any civil authority for protection or assistance, until after 
the abuse had happened. Then application was made to me, by the officers of the 
customs ; and what ensued upon that application, will best appear by the letters that 
passed between these officers and myself, at that time; copies of which, are here- 
with ' ] ansmitted, for Your Lordship's satisfaction. 

Th.it Mr. Dudley, or any other persons, never afterwards made any application 
to a y of the authority in this colony, for apprehending those persons that had thus 
abu:^; d him ; which, had he done, the government would have exerted itself in the 
most vigorous manner for bringing to justice and punisliing those atrocious offend- 
ers ; that it does not evidently appear, that any one of the inhabitants of the colony 
were concerned in or privy to thej abuse offered to Mr. Dudley ; but it is appre- 
hended, it was wholly perpetrated by a company of lawless seamen. 

As to that part of the complaint against the superior court, for refusing writs of 
assistance, the General Assembly, Avilling to know, the truth of that matter, called 
the justices of the superior court before them, to give an account of what applica- 
tion had been made to them for writs of assistance, and what was the occasion they 
refused to give the officers of the customs that protection the law required them to 
give ; that all the justices of the superior court declared upon their honors, to the 
Assembly, that no kind of application Avhatsoever, had been made to them, or any 
of them, by any officers of the customs, for any writ of assistance or other protection, 
of any kind, for several years last past ; and the justices of the superior court, further 
said, that when any application should be made to them, by the custom house offi- 
cers, tor writs of assistance or other protection, that they would readily and cheer- 
fully give them every assistance in the execution of their duty, Avhich the laAv puts 
in the power of the superior court to give. 

And now My Lord, permit me, in my turn, to complain of the officers of His 
Majesty's customs in America, for their abusing and misrejjresenting the colony of 
Rhode Island and its officers ; for how unkind and ungentlemanly-like, is it for offi- 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 43 

cers, sent abroad by the crown, to reside in the colonies, by every means in their 
power, to traduce and even falsely accuse His Majesty's faithful subjects of this 
colony, to their sovereign and his ministers of state. 

I am now to thank Your Lordship for the kind concern you are pleased to ex- 
press for this colony and its safety, and hope that Your Lordship will transfer your 
reprehensions from the innocent colony of Rhode Island, to those guilty officers who 
have so shamefully misinformed you in all those matters contained in Your Lord- 
ship's letter. I am, &c., &c., JOSEPH WANTON. 

To the Right Honorable the Earl of Hillsborough. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, the 
first Wednesday of May, 1772. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

The following officers, declared elected, were duly engaged : 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

ASSISTANTS. 

Mr. Samuel Dyre, Mr. Thomas Wickes, 

Mr. James Barker, Mr. Jonathan Randall, 

Mr. Solomon Drown, Mr. John Congdon, 

Mr. David Harris, Mr. Rowland Robinson. 

Mr. John Almy, Mr. William Richmond, 

DEPUTIES. 

Newport. Providence. 

Mr. Thomas Cranston, Mr. Stephen Hopkins. 

Mr. John Wanton, Mr. Thomas Greene, 

Mr. George Hazard, Mr. Benjamin JMan, 

Mr. Joseph Wanton, Jr., Mr. John Jenckes, 
Mr. Oliver R. Warner, 
Mr. Thomas Freebody. 



44 



KECORBS OF THE COLONY OF HHODE ISLAND 



[177: 



DEPUTIES. 



Portsmouth. 
Mr. Metcalfe Bowler, 
Mr. John Jepson, 
Mr. Joseph Cundall, 
Mr. Jonathan Brownell. 

Warwick. 
Mr. Benjamin Greene, 
Mr. Samuel Aborn, 
Mr. Jacob Greene, 
Mr. Christopher Greene. 

Westerly. 
Mr. James Rhodes, 
Mr. Phineas Clark. 

North Kingstown. 
Mr. Peter Phillips, 
Mr. John Northup. 

South Kingstown. 
Mr. John Rose, 
Mr. Samuel Babcock. 
East Greenvnch. 
Mr. Sylvester Sweet, 
Mr. Thomas Tillinghast. 

Jamestown. 
Mr. John Gardner, 
Capt. Samuel Slocum. 

Smithfield. 
Mr. Welcome Arnold. 

Scituate, 
Mr. Ezekiel Cornell, 
Mr. Rufus Hopkins. 

Glocester. 
Mr. Abraham Waterman, 
Mr. Thomas Wood. 
Charlestown. 
Mr. Samuel Kinyon, 
Mr. Benjamin Hoxsie, Jr. 



West Greenwich. 
Mr. William Nichols, 
Mr. Thomas Gorton. 

Coventry. 
Mr. Natlianiel Greene, Jr., 
Mr. Ichabod Bowen. 

Exeter. 
Mr. George Pearce, 
Mr. Jeffrey W^ilcox. 
Middletovm. 
Mr. Joshua Barker, 
Mr. Isaac Smith. 
Bristol, 
Col. Simeon Potter, 
Mr. William Bradford. 

Tiverton. 
Mr. Edward Gray, 
Mr. Oliver Cook. 

Little Compton. 
Mr. Thomas Church, 
Mr. George Pearce. 

Warren. 
Mr. Sylvester Child, 
Mr. Nathan Miller. 
Cumberland. 
Mr. John Dexter, 
Mr. Joseph Brown. 
Richmond. 
Mr. Edward Perry, 
Mr. Robert Stanton. 

Cranston. 
Mr. John Andrevrs, 
Mr. William Dexter. 

Hopkinton. 
Mr. Thomas Wells, Jr., 
Capt. Abel Tanner. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 45 

DEPUTIES. 

Johnston. Barrington. 

Mr. Peleg Williams. Mr. Nathaniel Martin. 

North Providence. 
Capt. Eseck Hopkins, 
Mr. Jonathan Jenckes, Jr. 

The Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, speaker ; Mr. Josias Lyndon, 
clerk. 

Mr. Henry Ward, secretary. 

Mr. Henry Marchant, attorney general. 

Mr. Joseph Clarke, general treasurer. 

Stephen Hopkins, Esq., chief justice of the superior court 
of judicature, court of assize and general jail delivery. 

SHERIFFS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Mr. Walter Chaloner. Providence county 
— Mr. Paul Tew. Kings county — Mr. Beriah Brown. Bris- 
tol county — Mr. John Brown. Kent county — Mr. Henry Rice. 

FIELD OFFICERS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Mr. Daniel Dunham, colonel ; Mr. Isaac 
Dayton, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. John Forrester, major. 

Providence county — Mr. Knight Dexter, colonel ; Mr. 
Abraham Winsor, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Chad Brown, 
major. 

Kings county — Mr. Thomas Gardner, colonel ; Mr. Moses 
Barber, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Jonathan Vaughan, major. 

Bristol county — Mr. Simeon Potter, colonel ; Mr. Nathaniel 
Martin, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Thomas Gray, major. 

Kent county — Mr. John Waterman, colonel ; Mr. Aaron 
Bowen, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Benjamin Vaughan, major. 

It is voted and resolved, that the committee appointed to 
•build the new jail, in Newport, proceed to build the same, 



46 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

agreeably to the plan presented to this Assembly, excepting 
that the front be made two feet longer than was before ordered, 
and the entry be ten feet wide ; and that no money be drawn 
out of the general treasury, without the consent of the major 
part of the committee. 

Whereas, Henry Harry, Christopher Harry, James Daniel, 
Samuel Niles, James Niles, Ephraim Coheas, Thos. Lewis, John 
Shattock and Joseph Tucky, the council for the tribe ofNarragan- 
sett Indians, in this colony, represented unto this Assembly, that 
they are all of opinion, it will be best to sell the little house, 
and the two acre lot, and the wood lot, (the exact quantity not 
being ascertained), and as much of Fort Neck, as will pay all 
Thomas Ninegret's just debts ; and that they are all of one 
mind, to sell so much of Fort Neck, as will pay those debts, 
and to reserve the lands which will be left, to support all their 
poor ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the committee appointed to 
sell a part of the real estate of Thomas Ninegret, the late sa- 
chem, for the payment of his debts, proceed to do the same, 
agreeably to the above mentioned proposal. 

It is voted and resolved, that the sum of £90, lawful 
money, be allowed and paid out of the general treasury, to- 
wards re-building Pawtucket Bridge ; provided, the inhabit- 
ants of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, raise money, and 
build one of the abutments ; and that Messrs. Eseck Hopkins 
and Stephen Jenckes, be, and they are hereby, appointed a 
committee, and empowered to draw the said sum out of the 
general treasury, and to lay out the same, for the purposes, 
aforesaid ; and that they procure the materials at cash price. 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority of the same it is enacted, that the act passed by this 
Assembly, at the session held at East Greenwich, on the third 
Monday in August, A. B. 1771, entitled " An act for the re- 
lief of insolvent debtors," be, and it is hereby, repealed, and 
rendered null and void for the future. 

Whereas, Mrs. Catharine Earl, exhibited unto this Assem- 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 47 

bly, an account by her charged against the colony, for billet- 
ing a party of His Majesty's troops, passing through this colo- 
ny ; and the said account being duly examined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed ; and that £0 Qs., lawful money, being the amount 
thereof, be paid the said Catharine Earl, out of the general 
treasury. 

It is voted and resolved, that the draught of a letter to 
Admiral Montagu, be approved ; that His Honor the Gov- 
ernor, be, and hereby is, requested to transmit the same to the 
admiral ; and also, to transmit to the secretary of state, as 
soon as may be, a narrative containing all the proceedings re- 
ferred to in the said letter, together with a copy of the Ad- 
miral's letter, and the said answer ; and to lay a copy thereof, 
before this Assembly, at the next session.* 

It is voted and resolved, that the several collectors of taxes 
within this colony, be, and they are hereby, empowered to col- 
lect interest for all the taxes now unpaid, from the individuals 
who have not paid the same. 

Whereas, complaint hath frequently been made to this As- 
sembly, that, through the combination of the inhabitants of the 
island of New" Shoreham, no writ of mesne process or execu- 
tion, can be served upon any of the said inhabitants ; who do, 
thereby, in a great measure, evade justice. 

For remedy, whereof, this Assembly have thought proper 
that some more effectual laws, than are now in force, be made, 
particularly for the inhabitants of said island ; and that the 
said town may have a full hearing, before any such laws be 
made, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the clerk of the lower house, 
be, and he is hereby, directed to issue forth a notification to 
the inhabitants of the said island of New Shoreham, to appear 
before this Assembly, at the next session, to be held by ad- 
journment, at Newport, on the third Monday in August next, 
to show cause, if any they have, why more effectual laws 

* This relates to events which led to the destruction of the Gaspeo ; all the particulars 
and documents relative to which, are inserted at the close of the following August session. 



48 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

should not be made, particularly for the inhabitants of New 
Shoreham, for bringing them to justice. 
God save the King. 



Proceedings cf the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport^ on 
the third Monday in August, 1772, 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The lion. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

Whereas, divers inhabitants of the town of Newport, pre- 
ferred a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that at 
the session of this Assembly, held in February, A. D. 1768, a 
lottery was granted, to raise the sum of $500, to be applied 
towards the paving of King street, in Newport, aforesaid ; 
that the directors have accordingly raised the said sum, but find 
it insufficient for that purpose, owing to the situation of the 
street, which rendered the making a large common sewer ne- 
cessary ; the charge, whereof, was much greater than it was 
estimated at ; and that the finishing the said street, upon the 
plan proposed, will not only make it very elegant, but ex- 
tremely useful to the inhabitants of the said town, in general ; 
and thereupon, prayed this Assembly to enable them to raise 
a further sum of money, sufficient to complete the paving and 
other necessary repairs of the said street, by a lottery, to con- 
sist of one or more classes, as the directors shall think most 
prudent ; that the present directors may be continued, and 
empowered to perform the said business ; and that if any of 
them shaH refuse, the town of Newport may appoint one or 
more directors in his or their stead, refusing ; the person or 
persons so to be appointed, giving bond in the usual manner ; 
on consideration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the aforesaid petition 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 49 

be, and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual restric- 
tions ; provided, that the colony incur no expense in con- 
sequence thereof. 

It is voted and resolved, that John Dexter, Esq., Mr. Oliver 
Ring Warner and Mr. Rufus Hopkins, be, and they are here- 
by, appointed a committee, to prepare a bill to empower the 
several town councils, in this colony, to lay out drift ways, as 
well as highways. 

It is voted and resolved, that John Jepson, Esq. and Mr. 
John Jenckes, be, and they are hereby, appointed a commit- 
tee to prepare a bill for destroying barberry bushes, throughout 
this colony. 

Whereas, John Dexter and Joseph Brown, Esqs., deputies 
from the town of Cumberland, preferred a petition, and repre- 
sented unto this Assembly, that the bridge built over Paw- 
tucket River, between the towns of Smithfield and Cumberland, 
aforesaid, near the Furnace Unity, so called, which was first 
built by lottery, hath, by length of time, and the great floods 
in the said river, during the last winter, become almost impas- 
sable, and unless repaired, will very soon become useless ; and 
thereupon, prayed this Assembly to grant them another lottery, 
to raise the sum of £40, lawful money, to repair the said 
bridge ; and that Abner Lapham, Esq. and Capt. John Fisk, 
of said Cumberland, may be appointed managers, thereof; 
on consideration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority of the same it is enacted, that the aforesaid petition 
be, and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual restric- 
tions ; provided, that no expense be incurred by the colony, in 
consequence thereof. 

Whereas, divers of the inhabitants of the town of Barring- 
ton, preferred a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, 
that the Congregational meeting house in said town, is very 
much out of repair ; that the laying out three roads, one to 
the southward, and two to the westward of the said meeting 
house, will greatly accomnjodate the inhabitants and trav-; 
elers towards Fuller's Ferry, and the meeting house ; and 

VOL. VII. 7 



50 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

that their circumstances are such, they cannot effect the same, 
without the interposition of this Assembly ; and therefore 
prayed this Assembly to grant them a lottery, upon such 
scheme as the managers shall think proper, to raise the sum of 
£165, lawful money ; £110, thereof, to be appropriated 
towards repairing the said meeting house, and the remainder 
towards opening or laying out the said highways ; and that 
James Brown, Josiah Humphrey, Nathaniel Martin, Samuel 
Allen and Edward Bos worth, Esqs., may be appointed man- 
agers of the said lottery ; on consideration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the aforesaid petition be, 
and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual restric- 
tions ; provided, that no expense be brought upon the colony 
thereby. 

Whereas, the Hon. Darius Sessions, Esq., exhibited unto 
this Assembly an account, by him charged against the colony, 
for the expenses he was at, in going to Pawtuxet, and taking 
evidences respecting the loss of His Majesty's schooner 
Gaspee ; for cash paid for victualling while on shore, and 
carrying on board the Beaver, the people belonging to said 
schooner, and provisions during their passage ; for cash paid 
for the hire and expenses of an express sent to Newport, to 
His Honor the Governor, with an account of the said affair, 
and copies of the depositions ; and for cash paid for defraying 
the charge of taking up, and securing sundry stores belonging 
to the said schooner ; and the said account being duly ex- 
amined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed ; and that £9 Is. 9d., lawful money, being the amount 
thereof, be paid the said Darius Sessions, out of the general 
treasury. 

Whereas, Mr. Samuel Aborn, exhibited unto this Assembly, 
an account by him charged against the colony, for the ex- 
penses of taking up, and securing the anchors, guns and other 
stores, of His Majesty's schooner, the Gaspee, &c. ; and the 
said accouut being duly examined, — 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 51 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed; and that £11 I85. 2d., lawful money, being the 
balance thereof, be paid the said Samuel Aborn, out of the 
general treasury. 

Whereas, His Honor the Governor, hath laid before this As- 
sembly, a full and particular narrativ^e of the measures he hath 
pursued, in consequence of the burning of His Majesty's 
schooner, the Gaspee ; and of the steps he hath taken to dis- 
cover the perpetrators of that atrocious piece of villainy ; upon 
due consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the whole of His Honor's pro- 
ceedings be approved ; and that His Honor be, and he is 
hereby, requested to transmit a copy thereof, to the agent of 
the colony, in Great Britain ; and to pursue such further mea- 
sures respecting the said affair, during the recess of the 
General Assembly, as shall appear necessary. 

And whereas. His Honor issued a proclamation, promising a 
reward of i^lOO, sterling, to any person or persons who shall 
discover the persons guilty of the said crime ; — 

It is therefore further voted and resolved, that this Assembly 
will make provision for paying the above mentioned reward, 
in case any person or persons shall be entitled thereto. 

And it is farther voted and resolved, that no copies of letters, 
or other proceedings, relating to the above mentioned affair, 
be delivered out by the secretary, to any person or persons, 
whomsoever. 

It is voted and resolved, that the letter from His Honor the 
Governor, to the Right Honorable the Earl of Hillsborough, of 
the 20th of May last, containing a narrative of the procedings 
respecting His Honor's calling Lieutenant Dudingston before 
him, &c., be, and the same is hereby, approved. 

Whereas, Joseph Rhodes, of Cranston, cooper, hath in his 
hand^ the sum of $79, belonging to Lieutenant Dudingston, 
which he refuseth to deliver, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that His Honor the 
Deputy Governor, and the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq., be, 
and they are hereby, requested and empowered to make in- 



52 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

quiry into that affair, and to settle all differences between the 
parties ; and that if the said Rhodes will not comply there- 
with, they advise the said Dudingston to [take] the proper 
method for obtaining his right. 

Whereas, Messrs. John Greene and Company, and Griffin 
Greene, all of Coventry ; and Nathanial Greene and Company, 
preferred a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that 
on the night of the 17th instant, the buildings of the forge, in 
said Coventry, of which they were owners, were entirely con- 
sumed by fire ; that the loss is so great that they cannot repair 
it without assistance ; that some of them are considerably 
indebted, have increasing families to maintain, and by the 
said misfortune are deprived of their principal dependance ; 
that, although they, the petitioners, are the immediate sufferers, 
yet many others must consequently share in the calamity, as a 
considerable part of the country adjacent, were employed by 
means of said forge ; which also furnished a very material 
and expensive article for shipping ; and that, if the said forge 
be not repaired, the anchor works, which still remain, will be 
in a manner useless ; and thereupon, prayed this Assembly to 
grant them a lottery, to raise the sum of $2,500, under the 
direction of Messrs. William Greene, Christopher Greene and 
Charles Holden, they giving bond for the faithful performance 
of the said trust ; on consideration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the aforesaid petition be, 
and the same is hereby, granted. 

Whereas, INIessrs. Nicholas Goddard, Samuel Gorton, Caleb 
Hill, Hopkins Cooke and William Arnold, in behalf of them- 
selves and others, of the denomination of Baptists, in and 
about the town of East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, pre- 
ferred a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that the 
Baptist meeting house, in said town, is very much decayed, 
and cannot be repaired to advantage ; that the number of peo- 
ple who attend religious worship in said house, is increased to 
such a degree, as to make a larger meeting house necessary ; 
and that the poverty of the members renders it impracticable 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 53 

toi^build] a new one, without assistance ; and thereupon, they 
prayed this Assembly to grant them the liberty of raising the 
sum of $1,500, by lottery, to be applied towards erecting a 
Baptist meeting house in the said town ; and that they, the 
petitioners,|may be appointed directors of the said lottery, giv- 
ing bond, as usual, for the faithful discharge of said trust ; on 
consideration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the foregoing petition be, 
and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual restrictions. 

Whereas, divers freemen, inhabitants of the town of War- 
wick, preferred a petition, and represented unto this Assem- 
bly, that the town wharf, in Warwick harbor, is so far gone to 
decay, that it is extremely difficult to land upon said wharf, 
or take off any kind of goods or merchandise, whatever ; and 
therefore prayed this Assembly to grant them a lottery, to raise 
the sum of $500, to be appropriated to the building a wharf 
on the highway laid out to said Warwick harbor, for that pur- 
pose ; which wharf may be freely made use of, by any of the 
inhabitants of this colony, wharfage free ; and that Capt. Ben- 
jamin Gorton, Capt. Thomas Greene and Capt. John Lippitt, 
may be appointed managers in the said business ; on consid- 
eration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the foregoing petition be, 
and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual restrictions. 

Whereas, divers inhabitants of the town of Newport, pre- 
ferred a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that the 
street called Pelham street, in Newport, aforesaid, is so sit- 
uated that it cannot be kept in repair without very great ex- 
pense, unless the same be paved ; and thereupon, prayed this 
Assembly to grant them a lottery, for paving the said street, 
to be divided into classes, at the discretion of the directors, so 
that a sum sufficient for carrying the said design into execu- 
tion, may be raised ; and that Messrs. Simon Pease, Robert 
Stoddard, Charles Handy, John Bannister, Thomas Gordon 
Stelle and Samuel Bours, may be appointed directors of the 



54 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

said lottery, they giving bond for the faithful execution of the 
said trust ; oa consideration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the aforesaid petition be, 
and the same is hereby, granted. 

God save the King. 



Public Acts passed during the year 1772. 

[The following laws will be found at length in the printed " Sc-hedules," or acts 
and resolves of the General Assembly, for the year 1772.] 

An Act incorporating Field's Fountain Society. (May.) 

An additional Act empowering justices of the inferior court of common pleas, or any 

three of them, to constitute and hold special courts of common pleas, on certain 

occasions. (TVIay.) 
An Act for assessing a rate or tax of £12,000, lawful money. (August.) 
An Act to prevent horse stealing, and to punish the persons guilty thereof. 

(August.) 
An Act for destroying barberry bushes throughout this colony. (August.) 
An Act empowering the several town councils in this colony, to lay out drift-ways in 

their respective towns. (August.) 

The Earl of Dartmouth to the Governor and Company of Rhode- 
Island. 

Whitehall, August 14, 1772. 

Gentlemen : — The King ha-ving been graciously pleased to appoint me to be one 
of His Majesty's principal secretaries of state, and to commit to my care, the dis- 
patch of all such business as relates to His Majesty's colonies, I take the earliest op- 
portunity of acquainting you therewith. 

It will give me great satisfaction to be able to fulfill His Majesty's gracious inten- 
tions in this appointment ; and as it is His Majesty's pleasure that your dispatches 
should, for the future, be addressed to me, I shall not fail to lay them immediately be- 
fore the King, and to transmit to you such orders as His Majesty shall tliink fit to 
give thereujjon. I am, &c., &c. 

DARTMOUTH. 

To the Governor and Company of llhode Island. 



A HISTORY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S 
SCHOONER GASPEE, IN NARRAGANSETT BAY, ON THE lOTII 
JUNE, 1772; ACCOMPANIED BY THE CORRESPONDENCE CON- 
NECTED THEREWITH ; THE ACTION OF THE GENERAL ASSEM- 
BLY OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND THEREON, AND THE 
OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE COINLVHS- 
SION OF INQUIRY APPOINTED BY KING GEORGE THE THIRD, 
ON THE SAI^IE. 



54 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

said lottery, they giving bond for the faithful execution of tlie 
said trust ; on consideration whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the aforesaid petition be, 
and the same is hereby, granted. 

God save the King. 



Public Ads passed during the year 1772. 

[Tlie following laws vaW be found at length in the printed '• Schedules," or acts 
and resolves of the General Assembly, for the year 1772.] 

An Act ineorporating Field's Fountain Society. (May.) 

An additional Act empowering justices of the inferior court of common pleas, or any 

three of them, to constitute and hold special courts of common pleas, on certain 

occasions. (]May.) 
An Act for assessing a rate or tax of £ 1 2,000, lawful money. (August.) 
An Act to prevent horse stealing, and to punish the persons guilty thereof. 

(August.) 
An Act for destroying barberry bushes tlu'oughout this colony. (August.) 
An Act empowering the several town councils in this colony, to lay out drift-ways in 

their respective towns. (August.) 

The Earl of Dartmouth to the Governor and Company of Rhode- 
Island. 

AVhitehall, August 14, 1772. 

Gentlemen : — The King having been graciouslj- pleased to appoint me to be one 
of His Majesty's principal secretaries of state, and to commit to my care, the dis- 
patch of all such business as relates to His Majesty's colonies, I take the earliest op- 
portunity of acquainting you therewith. 

It will give me great satisfaction to be able to fulfill His Majesty's gracious inten- 
tions in this appointment ; and as it is His Majesty's pleasure that your dispatches 
should, for the future, be addressed to me, I shall not fail to lay them immediately be- 
fore the King, and to transmit to you such orders as His Majesty shall think lit to 
give thereupon. I am, &c., &c. 

DARTMOUTH. 

To the Governor and Company of Rhode Island. 



A HISTORY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S 
SCHOONER GASPEE, IN NARRAGANSETT BAY, ON THE lOTII 
JUNE, 1772; ACCOMPANIED BY THE CORRESPONDENCE CON- 
NECTED THEREWITH ; THE ACTION OF THE GENERAL ASSEM- 
BLY OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND THEREON, AND THE 
OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMIS- 
SION OF INQUIRY APPOINTED BY KING GEORGE THE THIRD, 
ON THE SAIilE. 



58 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

The records of the proceedings and the correspondence 
of the preceding years, show that an illicit trade had long 
been carried on, not only in Rhode Island, but in the other 
English colonies. They show, too, that efforts had been 
repeatedly made by the commissioners of customs, to put 
a stop to this practice, by placing armed vessels in Narrngan- 
sett Bay, and at other places along the coast, from Casco 
Bay to Cape Ilenlopen, in 1764. Serious riots, too, had, 
in several instances occurred, in consequence of the vigi- 
lance of the custom house officers, in their endeavors to 
check this illicit trade. 

The vessel assigned to this station, in 1764, by the King's 
authority, was the schooner St. John, Lieut. Hill, commander. 
This vessel seized the cargo of a brig, which had discharged 
near Rowland's Ferry, and following her at sea, made a prize 
of her, and brought her to Newport. Other diiTiculties, which 
grew out of her presence, at Newport, led to the fitting out 
of an armed sloop, with the intention of destroying her, which 
was only prevented by the presence of the " Squirrel " man of 
war, in that harbor. Nevertheless, the people on board the 
sloop landed on Goat Island, seized the battery, and discharged 
its guns at the large ship. 

During the same year, another event took place in the har- 
bor of Newport, which tended greatly to exasperate the peo- 
ple. The Maidstone, a vessel belonging to the British navy, 
lay here, several months, and gave great dissatisfaction, by im- 
pressing seamen from vessels entering the harbor, as well as 
in taking them from the boats and small craft in the bay. 
Other ships of the royal navy, which visited Newport, also had 
difficulties with the people there, all of which tended to arouse 
them, and lead to some measures of retaliation. The climax 
was reached, when a brig from Africa, entering the port, was 
boarded by the ofiQcers from the Maidstone, and her entire 
crew pressed into the naval service. The same night, a mob 
of about five hundred men and boys, exasperated by the affair, 
seized one of the boats belonging to the Maidstone, which lay 
at the wharf, pulled her on shore, and after dragging her 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 59 

through the streets to the Common, in front of the court house, 
burnt her, amid the shouts of an immense crowd, which the 
occasion had brought together. The affair was so suddenly 
concocted and carried into effect, that the authorities had no 
time to interfere. 

The next important event in order, in resisting the authority 
of the government in its efforts to suppress illicit trade, was 
the affair of the armed sloop Liberty, Capt. Reid, which the 
commissioners of the customs had sent to Newport, in 1769. 
This officer had exhibited an extraordinary zeal in executing 
the orders he had received, and had greatly annoyed vessels 
entering our ports. 

On the 17th July, while cruising in Long Island Sound, he 
took a brig and a sloop, belonging to Connecticut, which he 
suspected had been engaged in illicit trade, and brought them 
to Newport. The commander of the brig, Capt. Packwood, 
it appeared, had duly reported his cargo at the custom house, 
before sailing, and no proof was exhibited that he had made 
any attempt to evade the revenue. On the 19th, as no 
charges had been made, or prosecution entered against the 
brig, Packwood went on board the Liberty. The captain be- 
ing absent, some difficulty took place, which led to the firing 
of several musket balls at Capt. Packwood's boat on her re- 
turn to the shore. Obtaining no redress for this outrage, the 
people of Newport boarded the obnoxious vessel, cut her cables, 
and suffered her to drift on shore, near Long Wharf. They then 
cut away her masts, threw her armament overboard, when, 
with the first high tide, she drifted over to Goat Island. The 
first night she lay here, a party from Newport, went over and 
burnt her. 

His Majesty's armed schooner, the Gaspee, of eight guns, 
Lieut. Dudingston, accompanied by the Beaver, made their ap- 
pearance in the waters of Narragansett Bay, in March, 1772, on 
duties similar to those of the " St. John " and " Liberty," to 
which allusion has been made, viz.: to prevent breaches of the 
revenue laws, and to stop the illicit trade, so long and so success- 



60 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1772. 

fully carried on in the colony. The commander of the Gaspee 
was quite as exacting as Cnpt. Reid of the Liberty had been. 
lie stopped all vessels, including small market boats, without 
showing his authority for so doing ; and even sent the property 
he had illegally seized, to Boston, for trial, contrary to an act 
of Parliament, which required such trials to be held in the 
colonies where the seizures were made. In these acts, Dudings- 
ton had clearly transcended his powers. Shortly after the Gas- 
pee had commenced her illegal proceedings, the complaints 
from the people of Providence were so numerous to the Deputy 
Governor, Darius Sessions, that he submitted the question to 
Chief Justice Hopkins, who did not hesitate to give his opinion, 
" that no commander of any vessel has a right to use any au- 
thority in the body of the colony, without previously applying 
to the Governor, and showing his warrant for so doing ; and 
also being sworn to a due exercise of his office." Upon re- 
ceiving this opinion, the Deputy Governor, who then resided 
in Providence, addressed the following letter to Governor Jo- 
seph Wanton, at Newport : 

The Deputy Governor to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Providence, March 21, 1772. 

Sir : — The inhabitants of this town, have, of late, been much disquieted in their 
minds, by repeated advices being brought of a schooner, which, for some time past, hath 
cruised in the Narragansett Bay, and much disturbed our navigation. She suffers 
no vessel to pass, not even packet boats, or others of an inferior kind, without a 
strict examination ; and where any sort of unwillingness is discovered, they are com- 
pelled to submit, by an armed force. Who he is, and by what authority he as- 
sumes such a conduct, it is thought needs some inquiry ; and I am requested by 
a number of gentlemen, of this town, on their behalf, to acquaint Your Honor 
therewith, and that you would take the matter into consideration ; and, if the com- 
mander of that schooner has not as yet made proper application, and been duly 
authorized in his proceedings, that some proper measures be taken to bring him 
to account. 

It is suspected he has no legal authority to justify his conduct ; and his com- 
mission, if he has any, is some antiquated paper, more of a fiction than anything 
else ; and this seems to be confirmed by Mr. Thomas Greene, who says he saw it, 
and beheves it to be no other than the commission the famous Reid had, who lost 
his sloop at Newport, or something else, of no validity. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 61 

In consequence of the above mentioned application, I have consulted with Chief 
Justice Hopkins thereon, who is of opinion, that no commander of any vessel has 
any right to use any authority in the body of the colony, without previously apply 
ing to the Governor, and showing his warrant for so doing ; and also, being sworn 
to a due exercise of liis office ; and this, he informs me, has been the common custom 
in this colony. I am, sir, &c., &c., 

DARIUS SESSIONS. 

To Governor Wanton. 

This letter led to the following correspondence between the 
Governor and the commanding officer of the schooner : 

The Governor of Rhode Island to the Commander of the Gaspee. 

Newport, Rhode Island, March 22, 1772. 

Sir : — A considerable number of the inhabitants of this colony have complained to 
me, of your having, in a most illegal and unwarrantable manner, interrupted their 
trade, by searching and detaining every little packet boat pljdng between the sev- 
eral towns. As I know not by what authority you assume this power, I have sent 
off the high sheriff, to inform you of the complaint exhibited against you, and ex- 
pect that you do, without delay, produce me your commission and instructions, if 
any you have, which was your duty to have done when you first came within the 
jurischction of this colon)-. I am your humble serwint, 

J. WANTON. 

To the commanding officer of a schooner near Brenton's Point. 

Lieut. Dudingston to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Schooner Gaspee, Rhode Island, 
March 23, 1772. 

Sir : — Last night I received your letter informing me, that a " number of the in- 
habitants of this colony had complained " to you, of my having, " in a most illegal 
and unwarrantable manner, interrupted their trade, by searching and detaining every 
little packet boat, plj'ing between the several towns." 

In answer to which, I have done nothing but what was my duty ; and their com- 
plaint can only be founded on their ignorance of that. When I waited on you, on 
my arrival, I acquainted you of my being sent to tliis government, to assist the 
revenue. I had my commission to show you, if required, as it Avas ever understood 
by all His Majesty's governors I have had the honor to wait on, that every officer 
conmianding one of His Majesty's vessels, was properly authorized, and never did 
produce it, unasked for. The officer I send, is equally qualified and has been in the 
boats in boarding most of the vessels, and can give any information relative to my 
proceeding. Sir, your humble servant, W. DUDINGSTON. 

To Governer Wanton. 



62 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 



The Governor of Rhode Island to Lieut. Dudi?igston. 

Newport, Illiode Island, March 23, 1772. 

Sir : — Yours, of this day, I have received, Avhlch does not give me that satisfaction 
I had a right to expect ; neither was the bearer of the letter qualified to give me any 
authentic information respecting the legality of that authority you have presumed 
to exercise within tliis colony. I expect that you do, without delay, comply with 
my request of yesterday ; and you may be assured, that my utmost exertions shall 
not be wanting to protect your person from any insult or outrage, on coming 
ashore. I am your humble servant, J. WANTON. 

To Mr. W. Dudingston, of the schooner Gaspee. 

AVith this, the correspondence between Governor Wanton 
and Lieut. Dudingston ended. The lieutenant's sense of pro- 
priety was evidently shocked by the letters from Governor 
Wanton, and of his peremptory demand to exhibit to him his 
commission and instructions. He seems to have believed that the 
authority from which his commission emanated, was paramount 
to that of the colonial governor. He therefore enclosed the 
letters of Governor Wanton, together with his own, to Admiral 
Montagu, at Boston, who was then in command of His Maj- 
esty's fleet on this station. The admiral plainly espoused the 
side of Dudingston, and feeling his own dignity wounded at the 
demand of the Governor on his lieutenant, addressed the inso- 
lent letter, which follows, to Governor Wanton : 

Admiral Montagu to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Boston, 8th April, 17 72. 

Sir: — Lieutenant Dudingston, commander of His Majesty's armed schooner, and 
a pai-t of the squadron under my command, has sent me two letters he received from 
you, of such a nature, I am at a loss what answer to give them, and ashamed to find 
they come from one of His Majesty's governors. He informs me, that he waited 
upon you, and showed }ou the admiralty and my orders for his proceedings ; which, 
agreeably to his instructions, he is to do, that you ma}' be acquainted that he is on 
that station to protect your province from jjirates, and to give the trade all the as- 
sistance he can, and to endeavor, as much as lays in his power, to protect the rev- 
enue officer, and to prevent (if jjossible,) the illicittrade that is carrying on at Rhode 
Island. 

He, sir, has done liis duty, and behaved hke an officer ; and it is your duty, as a 
governor, to give him your assistance, and not endeavor to distress the King's offi- 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 63 

ccrs for strictly complying with my orders. I shall give them directions, that, in 
case they receive any molestation in the execution of their duty, they shall send 
every man so taken in molesting them, to me. I am also informed, the people of 
Newport talk of fitting out an armed vessel to rescue any vessel the liing's schooner 
may take carrj-ing on an ilUcit trade. Let them be cautious what they do ; for as 
sure as they attempt it, and any of them are taken, I will hang them as pirates. I 
shall report your two insolent letters to my officer, to His Majesty's secretaries of 
state, and leave them to determine what right you have to demand a sight of all 
orders I shall give to all officers of my squadron ; and I would advise you not to 
send your sheriff on board the King's ship again, on such ridiculous errands. The 
captain and lieutenants have all my orders, to give you assistance whenever you 
demand it, but further, you have no business with them ; and, be assured, it is not 
their duty to show you any part of my orders or instructions to them. 

I am, sir, &c., &c., J. MONTAGU. 

To Governor Wanton. 

This produced the following dignified and spirited answer: 
The Governor of Rhode Island to Admiral Montagu. 

Rhode Island, May 8, 1772. 

Sir : — Your letter, dated April the 8th, at Boston, I have received. Lieutenant 
Dudingston has done well in transmitting my letters to you, which I sent him ; but 
I am sorry to be informed there is any thing contained in them that should be con- 
strued as a design of gi^^ng offence, when no such thing was intended. But Mr. 
Dudingston has not behaved so well, in asserting to you " he waited on me, and 
showed me the admiralty and your orders for his proceedings, which, agreeably to 
his instructions, he is so to do ;" but in that he has altogether misinformed you ; for 
he, at no time, ever showed me any orders from the admiralty or from j-ou ; and 
positively denied that he derived any authority either from you or the commission- 
ers ; therefore, it was altogether out of my power to know, whether he came hither 
to protect us from pirates, or was a pirate himself You say, " he has done his duty 
and behaved hke an officer." In this, I apprehend you must be mistaken ; for I 
can never believe it is the duty of any officer, to give false information to his supe- 
riors. As to your attempt to ^loint out what was my duty as Governor, please to be 
informed, that I do not receive instructions for the administration of my govern- 
ment, from the King's admiral, stationed in America. 

You seem to assert, that I have endeavored to distress the King's officers, for 
sti'Ictly complying with your orders. In this, you are altogether mistaken ; for I 
have at all times heretofore, and shall constantly for time to come, affiard them all 
the aid and assistance in my power, in the execution of their office. 

The information you have received, " that the people of Newport talked of fitting 
out an armed vessel to rescue any vessel the Ejng's schooner might take carrying on 
an illicit trade," you may be assured is without any foundation, and a scandalous 
imposition ; for, upon inquiring into this matter, I cannot find that any such de- 
sign was ever conceived, or so much as talked of; and therefore, I hope you will 



64 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

not hang any of His ^Majesty's subjects belonging to bis colony, ujion sucb false 
information. 

I am greatly obliged for the promise of transmitting my letters to the secretary of 
state. I am, however, a little shocked at your impolite expression, made use of upon 
that occasion. In return for this good office, I shall also transmit your letter to the 
secretary of state, and leave to the King and his ministers to determine on which 
side the charge of insolence hes. 

As to your advice, not to send the sheriff on board any of your squadron, please 
to know, that I will send the sheriff of this colony at any time, and to any place, 
within the body of it, as I shall think fit. 

In the last jiaragraph of your letter, you are pleased flatly to contradict what you 
wrote in the beginning ; for there you assert that Dudingston, by his instructions, 
was dii'ected to show me the admiralty and your orders to liim ; and here you assert, 
that I have no business with them ; and assure me, that it is not liis duty to show 
me them, or any part thereof. I am, sir, &c., &c., J. WANTON. 

To Admiral Montagu. 

The Governor laid the preceding letter from Admiral Mon- 
tagu, before the General Assembly, at their May session, 1772, 
and the following resolution passed that body, in relation to 
the answer sent to the admiral : 

" Eesolved, that His Honor the Governor, be requested to 
transmit a copy of the letter written to Admiral Montagu ; 
and likewise, that His Honor the Governor, be requested to 
transmit to the secretary of state, a narration, containing the 
proceedings referred to in said letter, together with a copy of 
the admiral's letter, as soon as may be ; and that he present 
a copy thereof, to this Assembly, at the next session of the 
same." 

The letter of the Governor, led to some further correspond- 
ence between the admiral and the lieutenant, of which only the 
following letter is found among the archives : 

Lieut. Dudingston to Admiral Montagu. 

Schooner Gaspee, Rhode Island, 
May 22, 17 72. 
Sir: — I have received your letters of the 14th and 18th instant, and copy of com- 
sioners' to you. By theirs, I see plainly, I cannot look to them to be supported 
for sending the sloop and rum to Boston, notwithstanding I was assured by their of- 
ficers at tliis port, no seizure could be safe with them. There was only the alterna- 
tive to send her, or remain in this harbor, and guard twelve hogsheads of rmn ; a 



1 

! 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONB. 65 

bait, the inhabitants of this government -would willingly put in my Avay, if that 
could fix the schooner. I was not, at tlie time, ignorant of the statute to the con- 
trary ; but never doubted, if the sloop got safe, I should be supported by them, as I 
informed the board. 

The owner of the rum resided in Coventry, which is but little further from Boston, 
than Newport ; and of course, could, at as little expense, defend this property at the one 
as the other. As I find the exigencies not considered, but law referred to by them, 
for the future shall take care not to act repugnant to it, let what may be the con- 
sequence. If I should have any doubt about that, I will take the opinion recom- 
mended to their officers, relative to the officers in the navy being arrested here by 
the attorney general. I shall also be on my guard, not to put it in their power to 
arrest me, or any officer under my command in this government. 

What passed between the Governor and me, was, as near as I can recollect, what 
follows. The morning after my arrival from Boston, was when I first saw him. 

Lieut. D. — Sir, I command His Majesty's schooner Gaspee, and am ordered into 
this government by Admiral Montagu, to assist the re%'enue. 

Governor — Is it the schooner Capt. Allen commanded ? (meaning the lieutenant 
I superseded). 

Lieut. — Yes. 

Governor — We have had many different schooners here lately ; (mentioning the 
Sultana, St. John and Halifax). 

Lieut. — Yes; and you may remember me here about two years ago, when the 
Colonels Dalrymple and Robinson came with me. (I am not sure whether he said 
he did or not.) 

Governor — What vessel was that which seized the packet ? 

I told him whom she was coimnanded by and belonged to, and my being there at 
the time, and said, it would not have happened had the officer come near the Gas- 
pee, which was his duty, with more on the subject, too trivial for you to hear. He 
then related the conduct of the collector and Mr. Keid, late commander of the 
custom house sloop Liberty, and said it was in their power to have saved her be- 
fore she had received much damage ; and said he would not mind what they repre- 
sented concerning him, if they had tqld facts.* I said I had heard it otherwise men- 
tioned ; but hoped I should meet with no difficulty in the execution of my duty. 

Governor — You may depend on my suppoi-t and assistance. 

I then observed, it was not clear to me, if I made a seizure, it would be safe. 

Governor — I will do all in my power. 

I then instanced what had been the fate of one made by the officers of the port a 
little before ; and added, I did not think if I made one, I should put it to the trial. 

Governor — I suppose you will be much here. I shall always be glad to see you. 

Lieut. D, — I shall be where I find I can best execute the service. I was nur,?h 
obfiged to him. 

Governor— I hope, Captain, we shall have a good understanding. 

I said it was my wish, and should give him as little trouble as possible. Much 
was said about his government and police ; but never did he ask me to show my 
orders, or even mention them. The weather kept me some days in the harbor ; 
and I was in company with some of his friends ; but never heard my authority 
questioned, till I sent the sloop to Boston, on my return here ; at which time, I gave 
him my reason in a letter, (a copy of which, I enclose to you), for not showing my 
VOL. VII. 9 



66 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

orders, as he. till then, had never re(|uired me to do so ; at which time I sent them 
by an oflieer, wliich I informed you of. 

I must now beg leave to observe, if he had asked me to show my orders, is it possi- 
ble I should behave so nnich unlike an officer and gentleman, in telling a falsehood, by 
doino- which, I must lie ruined as au officer, and in reputation forever '? ' The fallacy 
is easily seen, when it is considered, the only thing that makes the schooner respect- 
ed, is said to be denied by me. Had such an assertion come from a private char- 
acter, I should hope for reparation, for an attempt to wound my repvitation as an 
officer. In my present sitnation, I have only to hope my word ^^^ll be respected as an 
officer, as much as his, as a Governor, who can make it appear by no better evidence 
than an old woman and clerk in the naval office, and not in the station of a gentle- 
man ; and I do not think either would be base enough to witness so great a falsehood. 

As to his letter, it cannot be looked upon as his, but the Assembly's, where it was 
put to the vote to answer your letter or not. They were all for the answer ; the 
Governor alone, for sending it to Lord Hillsborough. 

Mr. Greene is one of the house, the owner of the rum. I could expect no 
quarter from people of that stamp. On the 20th, the sloop was condemned. I 
have taken the liberty to enclose my letter to the commissioners for your perusal, 
open ; as it was the intention of the people here, to have the sloop sold in the man- 
ner they have been used to, and which always falls into the old owners' hands, 
without opposition. I hope soon to have the board's answer, to determine her des- 
tination. • I am, sir, &c.. &c., AV. DUDINGSTOK 

To Admiral jMontatru. 



At the next session of the Assembly, which was in August 
following, and to which reference is made in the Colonial Re^ 
cords, Vol. VII, p. 51, Governor Wanton presented a copy of 
his letter to the secretary of state, which was as follows : 

The Governor of Rhode Island to the Earl of Hillsborough. 

Newport, Rhode Island, May 20, 1772. 

]\Iy Lord : — In conformity to a vote of the General Assembly, of tliis colony, I 
herewith transmit Your Lordship a copy of a letter I received from Admiral Mon- 
tagu, and the answer. They have also re(iuested me to transmit to Your Lordship 
a narrative of all the proceedings referred to, ii^ said letter. 

As Admiral INIontagu has endeavored to fix a stigma on my character and admin- 
istration as Governor of this colony, by charging me with attempting to distress the 
Iving's officers from strictly compljiug with his orders. Your Lordship will in- 
dulge me with giving a short account of my proceedings, by which the ungenerous 
accusation of Admiral Montagu, will, I flatter myself, appear not to have the least 
foundation in truth. 

On the 2 1st of INIarch last, a nmiiber of the inhabitants of this colony, gentlemen 
of established character, and Avhose loyalty to their sovereign is not to be ques- 
tioned, exhibited to me a complaiiit in writing, that a certain schooner was cruising 



1772.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 67 



in the Narragansett River, boarding every vessel and boat that passed, and other- 
wise interrupting them in the piu'suit of their lawful business ; and not knowing by 
what autiiority the persons belonging to said schooner exercised that power within 
the body of the colony, requested me to make such inquiry concerning the same, 
as was consistent with law. 

It therefore, became my indispensable duty, in order to satisfy the complaints, to 
demand of the commanding officer of said schooner, the reason of his thus acting, 
and whether he was vested with such powers as would justify liis proceedings, which 
produced my letter to him of the 22d of March. It was answered hy Wm. Dud- 
ingston, of the schooner Gaspee ; but, as he did not give me that satisfaction I 
conceived I had an indisputable right to expect, I wrote another letter ; Avhereupon, 
he sent me, by one of his officers, an order from the lords of tlie admiralty, for his 
commanding the schooner Gaspee ; also, their letter to the commissioners at Boston, 
recpiesting that board to give liim a deputation in the customs, both which, I re- 
turned to the officer in the same hour he brought them, without attempting in the 
least, to distress or oppose him in the execution of his duty. 

This, My Lord, is a true state of facts ; and I believe Your Lordship is con- 
vinced that, in my jjroceedings, I have done notlaing but what was my duty ; and 
that Admiral Montagu's accusation is as groundless as it is illiberal. 

When I wrote my first letter, I do, upon my honor, declare, that I did not know 
whether the schooner complained of, Avas tlie Gaspee or not ; and even if I did, in 
my opinion, I am justifiable, as I was entirely unacquainted with Mr. DucHngston's 
authorit}-, either as an officer in the revenue or navy ; and I do not believe he 
liad any right to ofliciate as a custom house officer within the body of this colony, 
before he had comnuniicated to me, or some proper authority, his commission for so 
doing. 

I must not omit mentioning, that the information which Admiral INIontagu says he 
has received, that the peojile of Newport talk of fitting out an armed vessel to rescue 
any seizures which may be made by the King's vessels, is. Your Lordship may be 
assured, a malicious representation, calculated, by the enemies of our happy con- 
stitution, to injure the colony, and bring upon the inhal)itants his Majesty's dis- 
pleasure. 

I acknowledge it a singular liappiness, that this aftair is brought before Your 
Lordship ; and that your candor and inflexible integrity will fix the charge of insolence 
where it really belongs. I submit the dispute Avitli pleasure, from a thorough con- 
viction^ that Y'our Lordship's opinion thereupon, will be consonant to the strictest 
equity 

It is now my turn to complain of Mr. Dndingston's illegal proceedings, in carrying 
a quantity of rum, he had seized on boarc^ a small boat, Ij'ing witliin the county of 
Kent, in this colony, to Boston, for trial ; notwithstanding, by the 8tli of His 
Ma,jesty, it is expressly declared, that all forfeitures of this kind, shall be tried in 
that colony where the offence is committed. 

To recite every particular of his unwarrantable jn-oceedings, would, ~M\ Lord, be 
too tedious. Let it then suffice, that since the Gaspee and Beaver have been sta- 
tioned in tliis colony, the inhabitants have been insulted without any just cause, with 
the most abusive and contimieUous language ; and, I am sorry that I have reason to 
say, that the principal officers belonging to said vessels, have exercised that power 
with which they are vested, in a wanton and arbitrary manner, to the very great in- 
jury and disturl)ance of the colon}-. 



68 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

I have, My Lord, constantly afforded the King's officers all the assistance in my 
power, in the legal discharge of their trust ; but if any of them, through prejudice, 
ignorance of their duty or voutliful indiscretion, insult this colony, it is my duty, as 
His Majesty's Governor, to remonstrate against it. 

T am, &c., &c., J. WANTOX. 

To the Right Honorable Earl of Hillsborough, one of His ]\Iajesty's principal 
secretaries of state, Whitehall. 

The foregoing letters present an account of the events which 
preceded the memorable night of the 9th of June, when the Gas- 
pee was destroyed. That Dudingston did not act wisely, to say 
the least, in exerting the authority he did, w^ithout first exhibiting 
his commission, is evident. But it is certain, that in sending 
some of the property seized by him, within the jurisdiction of the 
county of Kent, in Rhode Island, to Boston, there to be adjudi- 
cated upon by the court of vice admiralty, he was clearly in the 
wrong; as an act of Parliament expressly declares that such seiz- 
ures shall be adjudicated in the colony where the seizure is made. 
The goods here referred to, consisted of twelve hogsheads of 
rum, and some sugars, which were on board a sloop, bound 
from Greenwich to Newport, and were the property of Jacob 
Greene & Co., of Warwick.* 

Dudingston seems to have been aware that this act was an 
illegal one, as he did not dare to go on shore, having been 
threatened with a suit at law by the owners of the goods. 

Next in order, is the destruction of the Gaspee, the narrative 
of the particulars of which, we shall give, as written by Col. 
Ephraim Bo wen, the last survivor of the party which de- 
stroyed this vessel. 

Narrative of the Capture and Burning of the British Schooner 
Gaspee. 

"In the year 1772, the British government had stationed 
at Newport, Rhode Island, a sloop of war, with her tender, a 
schooner, called the Gaspee, of eight guns, commanded by 
William Dudingston, a lieutenant in the British navy, for 

* The firm consisted of Jacob, William, Elisha, Christopher and Perry Greene. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 69 

the purpose of preventing the clandestine landing of articles, 
subject to the payment of duty. The captain of this schooner 
made it his practice to stop and board all vessels entering or 
leaving the ports of Rhode Island, or leaving Newport for 
Providence. 

On the 10th day of June, 1772, Capt. Thomas Lindsey left 
Newport, in his packet for Providence, about noon, with the 
wind at the north ; and soon after, the Gaspee was under sail, 
in pursuit of Lindsey, and continued the chase as fjir as Nam- 
quit Point, which runs off from the farm in Warwick, about 
seven miles below Providence, now owned by Mr. John Brown 
Francis, our late Governor. 

Lindsey was standing easterly, with the tide on ebb about 
two hours, when he hove about, at the end of Namquit Point, 
and stood to the westwaird ; and Dudingston, in close chase, 
changed his course, and ran on the Point, near its end, and 
grounded. 

Lindsey continued on his course up the river, and arrived 
at Providence about sunset, when he immediately informed 
Mr. John Brown, one of our first and most respectable mer- 
chants, of the situation of the Gaspee. He immediately con- 
cluded that she would remain immovable until after midnight, 
and that now an opportunity offered of putting an end to the 
trouble and vexation she daily caused. 

Mr. Brown immediately resolved on her destruction, and he 
forthwith directed one of his trusty shipmasters to collect eight 
of the largest long boats in the harbor, with five oars to each ; 
to have the oars and row-locks well muffled, to prevent noise, 
and to place them at Fenner's Wharf, directly opposite to the 
dwelling of Mr. James Sabin, who kept a house of board and 
entertainment for gentlemen ; being the same house purchased 
a few years after, by the late Welcome Arnold, one of our en- 
terprising merchants ; and is now owned by, and is the resi- 
dence of Col. Richard J. Arnold, his son.* 



*" This house, then unfinished, was occupied as an inu. It was soon after purchased 
and completed by Welcome Arnold, who resided there, till his death, in 1798. It then be- 
came the residence of his eldest son, Samuel G. Arnold, father of the writer [the Hon 



70 RECORDS OP THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

About the time of the shutting up of the shops, soon after 
sunset, a man passed along the main street, beating a drum, 
and informing the inhabitants of the fact that the Gaspee was 
aground on Namquit Point, and would not float off until three 
o'clock, the next morning ; and inviting those persons who 
felt a disposition to go and destroy that troublesome vessel, to 
repair in the evening to Mr, James Sabin's house. About 
nine o'clock, I took my father's gun, and my powder horn and 
bullets, and went to Mr. Sabin's, and found the south-east 
room full of people, where I loaded my gun, and all remained 
there till about ten o'clock, some casting bullets in the kitchen, 
and others making arrangements for departure, when orders 
were given to cross the street to Fenner's Wharf, and embark ; 
which soon took place, and a sea captain acted as steersman 
of each boat ; of whom, I recollect Capt. Abraham Whipple, 
Capt. John B. Hopkins (with whom I embarked), and Capt. 
Benjamin Dunn. A line, from right to left was soon formed, 
with Capt. Whipple on the right, and Capt. Hopkins on the 
right of the left wing. 

The party thus proceeded, till within about sixty yards of 
the Gaspee, when a sentinel hailed, "Who comes there?" 
No answer. He hailed again, and no answer. 

In about a minute, Dudingston mounted the starboard gun- 
wale, in his shirt, and hailed, " Who comes there ?" No an- 
swer. He hailed again, when Capt. Whipple answered as 
follows : 

" I am the sheriff of the county of Kent, G-d d — n you. 
I have got a warrant to apprehend you, G-d d — n you ; so 
surrender, G-d d — n vou." 



Samuel G. Arnold], and subsequently of his youngest son, Richard J. Arnold, the presen t 
owner, who has altered and enlarged it materially, within a few years. It is now the win- 
ter residence of the author of this history. The house is No. 124, on the east side of South 
Main Street, on the north-east corn r of Planet Street. 

This brief sketch may find an excuse in the rich revolutionary associations that surround 
it. The year before his death. Col. Ephraim Bowen, the last survivor of the Gaspee 
expedition, wrote an account of that affair, which was engrossed by his daughter, and now 
hangs in the dining room of the old mansion ; the identical room in which the plot was 
laid."— JVbte to Arnold's Hist, of liliode Island, Vol. II. p. 312. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 71 

I took my seat on the main thwart, near the huboard row- 
lock, with ray gun by my right side, facing forwards. 

As soon as Dadingston began to hail, Joseph Bucklin, who 
was standing on the main thwart, by my right side, said to me, 
" Ephe, reach me your gun, and I can kill that fellow." I 
reached it to him, accordingly ; when, during Capt. Whipple's 
replying^ Bucklin fired, and Dudingston fell ; and Bucklin ex- 
claimed, " I have killed the rascal," 

In less than a minute after Capt. Whipple's answer, the 
beats were alongside of the Gaspee, and boarded without op- 
position. The men on deck retreated below, as Dudingston 
entered the cabin. 

Assoon as it was discovered that he was wounded, John ]\Iaw- 
ney, who had for two or three years been studying physic and sur- 
gery, was ordered to go into the cabin, and dress Dudingston's 
wound, and I was directed to assist him. On exa-mination, it 
was found the ball took effect about five inches directly below 
the navel. Dudingston called for Mr. Dickinson to produce 
bandages and other necessaries, for the dressing of the wound, 
and Avhen finished, orders were given to the schooner's com- 
pany to collect their clothing, and every thing belonging to 
them, and put them into their boats, as all of them were to be 
sent on shore. 

All were soon collected, and put on board of the boats, in- 
cluding one of our boats. They departed, and landed Dud- 
ingston at the old Still-house Wharf, at Pawtuxet, and put 
the chief into the house of Joseph Rhodes. 

Soon after, all the party were ordered to depart, leaving one 
boat for the leaders of the expedition ; who soon set the vessel 
on fire, which consumed her to the water's edge. 

The names of the most conspicuous actors in this remark- 
able event, are as follows, viz : Mr. John Brown,* Captains 



* John Brown, aud his brother Joseph Brown, were (as Admiral Montagu observes in 
his letter to Governor Wanton,) aniong the most prominent citizens of Providence. This 
family, as is well known to the people of Rhode Island, have ever been among its most dis- 
tinguished citizens. 

The first of tbem, Chad Brown, was one of the five associates of Roger Williams, who 
were tbe earliest founders of the State. John Brown, at the period referred to, was the 



72 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

Abraham Whipple,* John B. Hopkins,! Benjamin Dunn and 
live others, whose names I have forgotten ; and John Maw- 
ney,J Benjamin Page,§ Joseph Bucldin|| and Turpin Smith, 11 

leading merchant in the colony. He was also distinguished as an earnest patron of litera- 
ture and science ; being among the founders of Brown University, and otherwise contribut- 
ing liberally for the encouragement of science. His brother Moses, who died Sept. 6, 1S3G, 
in his 9!tth year, was a distinguished philanthropist and encourager of education. Obadiah, 
his cou.?iu, was the founder of the Friends' Boarding School. 

The descendants of these brothers, have been equally distinguished in commerce, naviga- 
tion and manufactures, r.s well as liberal benefactors of our literary and charitable 
institutions. 

■■■" Abraham Whipplu was captain of a merchantman, in the West India trade. During the 
French war, he commanded the "Game Cock," a celebrated privateer, which, in one cruise, 
took twenty-three prizes. His shrewdness and bravery, led to his selection as captain of the 
party which destroyed the Gaspec. On the breaking out of the revolutionary war, he became 
a commander in the American navy, and rendered his country most important service. 

t John- j5. Hopkins, was a son of Commodore Esek Hopkins, a distinguished officer of the 
revolution, and nephew of Gov. Stephen Hopkins, one of the signers of thedeclaiation of In- 
dependence. He commanded the ship Cabot, one of the fleet that sailed from Rhode Island, 
February 17, 177i"). In au action that took place on this cruise, he was severely wounded. 

i John M.\wnet, was a descendant of one of the Huguenot families, that came to this 
country about the year I7i!0. He was educated to the profession of medicine; though, hav- 
ing inherited an ample estate, he never practised it to a very great extent. He was at one 
time, a colonel in the Rhode Island militia, and afterwards sheriff of the county of Provi- 
dence. He was distinguished for his classical attainments, and to the close of his long life^ 
read with unabated interest, the Greek and Latin poets. He suffered greatly in the public 
esteem, on account of his bold and unblushing irreverence and infidelity. 

It is beliered that there are none of his descendants now living; it is certain that there 
are none in the male line. He died at a great age, on his e?tate, in that part of Cranston, 
now known as Elmwood. 

§ Benjamin Page, was a prominent ship master, and for many years commander of a ship 
in the East India trade. 

1 Joseph Bocklin, was well known in Providence, and kept a prominent restaurant, or 
place of resort, in South Main Street, where gentlemen resorted for their suppers. Here, 
too, they assembled, to discuss politics; and where, possibly, the expedition which de- 
stroyed the Gaspee, was discussed, as well as at Air. Sabins's house, which was near it. 

"i Tltrpin Smith, after the revolution, became a prominent shipmaster; in which pursuit, 
he accumulated a handsome property. After his retirement from maritime life, he lived in 
Providence, greatly respected and beloved, discharging faithfully all the duties of a good 
citizen. He attained to more than four score years, and left to his posterity the rich in- 
heritance of an unspotted na;iie. 

Extract from the Providence Journal, relative to the Gaspee affair, in the celebration of 
the 4th of July, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary. In speaking of the parties in the procession, 
the account says: 

"After these, the four surviving captors of the King's armed schooner Gaspee, rode in an 
elegant barouche, procured by Mr. Blake, of the Franklin House, expressly for this occasion. 
Mr. Blake, himself, appeared on the box, and managed with great dexterity, the four spirited 
horses attached to the carriage. 

It was a matter of most interesting association and recollection, to witness these four sur- 
viving lads, who burnt the Gaspee (as the orator so happily termed them), at the end of 
fifty-four years, riding in a splendid equipage, and receiving the award of a republican tri- 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 73 

my youthful companions ; all of whom are dead, 1 believe, 
every man of the party, excepting myself; and my age is 
eighty-six years, this 29th day of August, 1839. 

EPHRAIM BOWEN."* 

Colonel Bowen is in error as to the day on which the Gaspee 
was destroyed. He gives it as the 10th ; whereas, it is cer- 
tain that it was on the night of the 9th of June. Capt. Lind- 
sey's sloop, called the Hannah, according to the Providence 
Gazette, of June 13, arrived at Newport on Monday the 8th, 
from New York, where she reported her cargo at the custom 
house ; and on the following day, proceeded up the bay, to 
Providence, chased by the Gaspee. The attack was planned 
and carried into execution on the night of the 9th, by the 
burning of the vessel ; but as the destruction was not complete 
until the morning of the lOth, either day is- applicable to the 
event. The proclamation of Governor Wanton, in relation to 
the affair, which is dated on the 12th, says the vessel was de- 
stroyed on "the 9th instant, in the night." Col. Bowen is 
also in error, as to the name of the captain, which was Benja- 
min, and not Thomas Lindsey.f 

Mr. John Mawney, who was one of the party conspicuous 



umph, for a deed, the commission of which, at that time, had well nigh caiised them to ride 
in a cart to Execution Dock, or to be drawn on a hurdle to Tyburn, for high treason ; an 
event they anticipated as vastly more likely, than that in 1826, the jubilee of American free- 
dom, they should become the time honored objects of the greatest interest to an immense 
concourse of citizens, thronging the streets, and crowding to the altar of freedom, to offer up 
the sacrifices and thanksgivings of a great, prosperous and free people. These four veterans, 
Col. Ephraim Bowen, Capt. Benjamin Page, Col. John Mawney and Capt. Turpin Smith, are 
among our most respected citizens; and on this occasion, the spirit that first animated 
them, in 1772, seemed to kindle anew in their still vigorous frames. We believe, from the 
present ages of these veterans, they were all not oyer twenty years of age, at the time of the 
attack upon the Gaspee." 

* The compiler of the present history of the Gaspee affair, was well acquainted with 
the venerable Col. Bowen, and often rode in his chaise with him, between Provi' 
dence and his residence, in Pawtuxet. On these occasions, the Colonel liked to give his 
revolutionary remniscenes ; among which, his connexion with the destruction of the Gas- 
pee, was prominent. The writer also remembers John Mawney and Turpin Smith, who, 
with Col. Bowen, always had a prominent place in the proceedings connected with the 4th 
of July celebrations in Providence. — J. R. B. 

t Arnold's History of Rhode Island. Vol II. p. 320. 
VOL. VII. 10 



74 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

in the affair, published in the Providence Americaii and Ga- 
zette, in the year 1826, a statement, in which some additional 
facts are given. 

After hearing the drum beat, he hastened to Mr. Sabin's, 
the place of rendezvous, where he learned the object of the 
meeting ; and on being urged by some of his acquaintances, 
was induced to accompany them, as surgeon. 

Statement of Dr. John Maiuney. 

*' To this," he says, " I readily consented, and went to 
Corlis' wharf, with Capt. Joseph Tillinghast, who commanded 
the barge, it being the last boat that put off ; and in going 
down, we stopped at Capt. Cooke's Wharf, where we took in 
staves and paving stones ; which done, followed our com- 
mander, and came up with them a considerable distance 
down the river ; after which, we rowed along pretty rapidly, 
till we came in sight of the schooner, when Capt. (the late 
Commodore Whipple.) ordered us to form a line, which was 
instantly compUed with ; after Avhich, we rowed gently 
along, till we got near the schooner ; when we were hailed 
from on board, with the words, ' Who comes there ?' 
Capt. Whipple replied, ' I want to come on board.' 
The reply was, ' Stand off, you can't come on board.' 
On which Capt. Whipple roared out, ' I am the sheriff of 
the county of Kent ; I am come for the commander of this 
vessel, and have him I will, dead or alive; men, spring to 
your oars !' when we were in an instant on her bows. 

I was then sitting with Capt. Tillinghast, in the stern of the 
barge, and sprang immediately forward ; and seeing a rope 
hang down her bows, seized it, to help myself in. The rope 
slipping, I fell almost to my waist in the water ; but, being 
active and nimble, I recovered, and was the first of our crew 
on deck ; when Simeon H. Olney handed me a stave, with 
which, seeing one that I took to be of the crew of the schooner, 
floundering below the windlass, I was in the attitude of lev- 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 75 

elling a stroke, when he cried out, 'John, don't strike." 
Being very intimately acquainted with Capt. Samuel Dunn, I 
knew his voice, left him, and sprang back of the windlass, 
where there was commotion and noise, but which soon sub- 
sided ; the crew jumping down the hold, I immediately fol- 
lowed, when I ordered them to bring cords to tie their hands, 
and told them they should not be hurt, but be sent on shore. 
They brought some tarred strings, with which I tied the hands 
of two behind, when John Brown, Esq., called to me, saying I 
was wanted immediately on deck,- where I was instantly 
helped. 

When I asked Mr. Brown what was the matter, he replied, 
' Don't call names, but go immediately into the cabin, there is 
one wounded, and will bleed to death.' 

I hastened into the cabin, and found Lieut. Dudingston in a 
sitting posture, gently reclining to the left^ bleeding profusely, 
with a thin, white woolen blanket, loose about him, which I 
threw aside, and discovered the effect of a musket ball, in his 
left groin ; and thinking the femoral artery was cut, threw 
open my waistcoat, and taking my shirt b}^ the collar, tore it 
to my waistband, when Mr. Dudingston said, ' Pray sir, 
don't tear your clothes, there is linen in that trunk;' upon 
which, I requested Joseph Bucklin to break open the trunk, 
and tear linen and scrape lint, which he immediately attempt- 
ed ; but finding the linen new and strong, could not make the 
lint. 

I then directed him to place his hands as I had mine, which 
was, the ball of my left hand on the orifice of the wound ; and 
gave him the word to slip his hand under mine, and to press 
hard, to prevent the effusion of blood ; which being done, I 
went to the linen, and attempted to scrape it into lint, but 
found I could not effect it. As daylight was fast coming on, 
and our time short, I then tore the linen into strips, for com- 
presses and the necessary bandages ; which was done, by 
knotting them into long strips, placed the compresses five or 
six deep, and with the ligatures by the lieutenant. 



76 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

All being prepared, I told Bucklin to raise his hands, when 
I instantly placed the compresses on the orifice ; and placing 
the bandage round the thigh, over the wound, and crossing it 
above, drew tight, so that the effusion of blood was stopped. 

During the operation, I was several times called upon at 
the door, but was not ready. When the door was opened, 
many rushed in, and attacked the bottles. I having boots on, 
stamped on them, and requested others to assist, which was 
readily done. During this, Mr. Dudingston was carried out of 
the room, and I never saw him after, notwithstanding I had 
several invitations, through Dr. Henry Sterling. 

When I came on deck, I saw Capt. Tillinghast, and s')me 
others. We got into the boat, and rowed up the river a cer- 
tain distance, and went by land up to town ; when Capt. Til- 
linghast, who was then living with me, after taking breakfast, 
went on the hill to view the smoking ruins of the vessel, which 
was all in flames soon after we left it.* 

JOHN MAWNEY." 

This statement of Dr. Mawney, differs somewhat from that 
of Col. Bowen, though in nothing that is material. It is quite 
natural, that among so many men, incidents might take place 
which all did not observe. The attention of the doctor was 
particularly directed to the wounded officer ; though, it 
would appear that he had been as ready to inflict, as to cure 
wounds. 

" From a subsequent statement of Dr. Mawney, it appears 
that Lieut. Dudingston was not wanting in gratitude to his 
surgeon. After his wound was dressed, he offered Dr. Maw- 
ney a gold stock buckle, as a testimonial of his gratitude. 

* The Providence Gazette, of June 13, 1772, after giving an account of the burning of the 
Gaspee, adds the following : 

" We hear that one Daggett, belonging to the Vineyard, who had served the beforemen- 
tioned schooner, as a pilot, but at the time of her being destroyed, was on board the Beaver 
sloop of war, on going ashore a few days since, at Narragansett, to a sheep-shearing, was 
seized by the company, who cut oS'his hair, and performed on him the operation of shear- 
ing, in such a manner, that his ears and nose were in imminent danger." 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 77 

This was refused ; but a silver one was afterwards offered and 
accepted, and worn by Dr. Mawney, but a little while before 
his death."* 

The first official notice of the destruction of the Gaspee, is 
a letter from Deputy Governor Sessions, to Governor Wanton, 
written the day following that event, after he had paid a visit 
to Lieut. Dudingston, at Pawtuxet. It appears that the first 
act of the Deputy Governor, on hearing of the affair, was to 
see the wounded officer, and endeavor to do all that lay in 
his power to ameliorate his sufferings, and administer to his 
comforts. 

Deputy Governor Sessions to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Providence, June 11, 1772. 

Sir : — A very disagreeable affair has lately happened within this part of the 
colony. Last Tuesday night, as His Majesty's schooner, the Gaspee, lay aground 
on the point of land, called Namquit, a little below Pawtuxet, she was boarded in a 
hostile manner, by a number of persons unknown, who, in the attack, dangerously 
wounded the commander, WiUiam Dudingston, by firing a pistol or musket ball 
through his. arm, from whence it passed and entered near his groin, and is now 
lodged in some part of his body. 

As soon as they had secured the possession of the vessel, they took out the captain, 
with all the people ; the greater jjart being first pinioned, put them into boats, and 
then put them ashore on the main land, near Pawtuxet ; after which, they put fire 
to the schooner, which soon reduced her to ashes, down to the water's edge. 

Upon my receiving the news, I immediately set out for Pcxwtuxet, attended by 
some gentlemen from this town, went directly to Capt. Dudingston, told him if he 
needed any money, surgeons, or a removal of his person to a place more conven- 
ient, I would give him a,\\ the assistance in my power. 

He replied, he wanted no favors with respect to himself, but only desired some 
care might be taken of his people, that they might be collected together, and sent 
either to Boston, to the admiral, or else to the Beaver, at Newport, which I j^rom- 
ised to take care to do. 

I then informed him, that the design of my visit, at that time, was not only to af- 
ford him any rehef his circumstances might require, but also to gain a declaration 
from his own mouth respecting the attack that had been made on his person, and 
the vessel he. conmaanded, that the perpetrators might be brought to justice. 

He answered, he would give me no account of the matter. Fu-st, because of his 
indisposition of body ; and secondly, because it was his duty to forbear any thing of 
the nature till he had done it to his commanding officer, at a court martial, to which, 
if he lived, he must be called ; but if he diecj, he desired it might all die with him. 

* Judge Staples'a Documentary History, p. IC 



78 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OP RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

I then asked him it' he was wilHng I should examine any of his ofiicers and 
people. 

He said he was willing. I then proceeded to examine a number of them, they all 
agreeing nearly to the same thing ; and herewith convey to Your Honor copies of the 
most material of their declarations. The dangerous tendency of this transaction, is too 
obvious, to ]iass it over with the least appearance of neglect ; and thei'efore, doubt 
not Your Honor will give it due attention, and prosecute such measures as wisdom 
and prudence shall dictate. 

It is the prevaiUng opinion of the gentlemen in this quarter, that a proclamation, 
with a large reward, be issued, for apprehending the persons who have thus offended. 
You will please consult the gentlemen your way ; and, in the mean time, I will en- 
deavor to collect the sentiments of the members of the Assembly, and other princiT 
pal gentlemen bv name, and send the same to Your Honor, as soon as may be. 

I am, &c, &c., DARIUS SESSIONS. 

To Governor Wanton. 

Enclosed in this letter, were the following affidavits : 
Affidavit of Bartholomeiu Cheever. 

The examination of Bartholomew Cheever, seaman, lately belonging to His Maj- 
esty's schooner, the Gaspee, taken by Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor of the 
colony of Rhode Island, &c., is as followeth, viz. : 

That the said schooner, being bound from Newport up to Providence^, to take on- 
board some of His Majesty's seamen, that were expected froni Boston, did, on the 
9th of this instant, at about three q'clock, in the afternoon of said day, run aground 
on a point of land, about six miles below the town of Providence, where she, the 
said schooner, lay until twelve o'clock, at night, at which time, he, the said Cheever, 
was called upon deck, to take the watch. About three-quarters of an hour after- 
wards, the schooner j'et being aground, he observed some long boats, about six or 
Kcven in number, full of men, dramng near to the schooner ; upon which, he in- 
formed the commander, Capt. Dudingston, who immediately came on deck, and or- 
dered him to hail them, and bid them stand off, on their peril ; to which they an- 
swered, " D — n you, we have you." 

The captain then ordered him to call all hands on deck, Avhicli he did ; but before 
many of them got up, the boats were alongside, and the crews getting on board ; 
and as they were entering the schooner, he saw the flash and heard the report of a 
musket, and heard the captain cry out, he was a dead man. 

We were then ordered into the hold, and taken out separately, and put into the 
boat alongside, the most of us being pinioned, and then put on shore on the main 
land ; where we had not been long, before we saw the schooner on fire, where she 
continued burning, till the fire reached the water's edge. 

Question — Did you, or do you knoiy, or do you remember, ever to have seen be- 
fore, any of those persons that boarded the schooner at that time ? 

Answer — No, his 

BARTHOLOMEW y. CHEEVER. 
mark. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 79 

Colony of Rhode Island, &c., -» 
AVarwick, June 10, 1772. j' 
The above named Bai-tholomew Cheever was solemnly sworn to the truth of the 
foregoing declaration, to the which he has subscribed as above, before — 

DARIUS SESSIONS, 

Deputy Governor. 

Affidavits of John Johnson and William J. Caple, 

The examination of John Johnson, boatswain of His Majesty's schooner Gaspee, 
commanded by WilHam Dudingston ; together with the examination of Wni. J. Ca- 
ple, a seaman on board said schooner, taken this 10th day of June, in the twelfth 
year of His Majesty's reign, A. D. 1 7 72, before the Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Gov- 
ernor, severally say: 

That on the 9th of June, being bound with said schooner, to the town of Provi- 
dence, in order to take on board some of His Majesty's seamen, which were expected 
from Boston, in order to re-place them on board His Majesty's ship to which they 
belonged, about tliree o'clock in the afternoon of said day, the schooner grounded 
on a point in the Narragansett Bay, about six miles southward of the town of Provi- 
dence ; and about the middle of the night, following, the schooner still being on 
ground, thei'e being but one hand on deck, he discovered seven or eight long boats, 
with a number of persons aboard them ; on which, the person on deck informed the 
commander, Wm. Dudingston, who hailed the boats, and ordered them to keep off ? 
but the persons on board said boats, not regarding the commander's orders, came near, 
in order to board said ^schooner ; on which, the captain or commander, called all 
hands ; but before he was on deck, we heard two small arms or pistols fired ; and 
when coming on deck, the schooner was boarded ; and being in the hatchway, said 
Johnson received several blows with a stick, and as soon as we were on deck, we 
Avere bound, and all the rest of the seamen bound likewise, and put on board their 
boat, and landed on the west side of said bay, together with the captain or com- 
mander, who was much wounded. 

Question — Have you any knowledge of the persons that boarded the schooner ? 

Answer — No. his 

JOHN ^ JOHNSON. 
mark, 
his 
WILLIAM J. X CAPLE. 
mark. 

Colony of Rhode Island, &c., -^ 
Warwick, June 10, 1772. | 
The within John Johnson and William J. Caple made solemn oath to the truth of 
the witliin or foregoing declaration, to which they have subscribed, before — 

DARIUS SESSIONS, 

Deputy Governor. 



80 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OP RHODE ISLAND 1772. 

On the following day, June 12, Governor Sessions addressed 
another letter to Governor Wanton ; the bearer of which, 
probably brought back to him the proclamation of Governor 
Wanton, which follows : 

Deputy Governor Sessions to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Providence, June 12, 1772. 

Sir : — Since I -wrote you yesterday, by Hacker, I have received the advice of all 
the. civil authority in this town, as well as an application in writing, signed by a 
great number of the most reputable inhabitants, who are unanimously of opinion, 
and earnestly desire that Your Honor forthwith issue a proclamation, with proper 
reward, for the apprehending and bringing to justice any and every person that was 
concerned in destroying the schooner Gaspee, or in assaulting and wounthng 
William Dudingston, the commander of said schooner ; and, if Your Honor finds it 
expedient to put forth such a proclamation, it is requested that a copy thereof, may 
be sent by the bearer, who goes express, and has orders to wait until it is deter- 
mined whether a proclamation be issued or not ; and if it be, to bring it back with 
liim timely, that it may be inserted in our newspaper to-morrow. 

Some exceptions are taken at the Gaspee's being called His Majesty's schooner, 
as it is thought by some, she, in fact, really was not, and consequently did not de- 
serve that appellation. 

If the evidence we have in that respect, be suflicient to denominate her a King's 
vessel, she ought to be called so ; if not, then only withqut any compliment, the 
schooner Gaspee ; which is submitted to Your Honor's better knowledge and dis- 
cretion, by— Your Honor's most humble servant, 

DARIUS SESSIONS. 

P. S. — Dr. Sterling, who attends Capt. Dudingston, informed us yesterday that 
he was in a fair way to recover of his wounds. 
To Governor Wanton. 
To the Hon. Joseph Wanton, Esq., at Newport. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 81 



Proclamation of the Governor of Rhode Island, relative to the 
Destruction of the Gaspee. 




By the Honorable Josejih Wanton, Esquire, Governor, Captain General and Com- 
mander in Chief of, and over the English Colony of Rhode Island and Provi- 
dence Plantations, in New England, in America — 

A PROCLAMATION. 

Whereas, on Tuesday, the 9th inst., in the night, a number of people unknown, 
boarded His Majesty's armed schooner the Gaspee, as she lay aground on a point 
of land, called Namquit, a little to the southward of Pawtuxet, in the colony, afore- 
said, who dangerously wounded William Dudingston, the commander, and by force 
took him, -with all his people, put them into boats, and landed them near Pawtuxet, 
and afterwards set fire to the said schooner, whereby she was totally destroyed. 

I have, therefore, thought fit, by and with the advice of such of His Majesty's 
Council as could be seasonably convened, to issue this laroclamation, strictly 
charging and commanding all His Majesty's officers, within the said colony, both 
civil and mihtary, to exert themselves with the utmost vigilance, to discover and ap- 
prehend the persons guilty of the aforesaid atrocious crime, that they may be 
brought to condign punishment. 

And I do hereby offer a reward of one hundred pounds, sterling money of 
Great Britain, to any person or persons, who shall discover the perpetrators of the 
said villainy, to be paid immediately upon the conviction of any one or more of 
them. 

And the several sheriifs in the said colony, are hereby required forthwith to 
cause this proclamation to be posted up in the most public places in each of the 
towns in their respective counties. 

Given under my hand and seal at arms, at Newport, 

this 1 2th day of June, in the twelfth year of the 
reign of His Most Sacred Majesty George the 
Tliird, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, 
and so forth. Anno Dom. 1772. J. WANTON. 

By His Honor's command : 

HENRY WARD, Secretary. 

God save the King. 
VOL. VII. 11 




82 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

Notwithstanding the wound of Lieutenant Dudingston, he 
probably on the morning of the 10th of June, dispatched a mes- 
senger to Admiral Montagu, with the news of the loss of his 
vessel. 

The messenger was doubtless William Dickinson, a midship- 
man ; as the following letter, dated the 1 1th, was received by- 
Governor Wanton, from the admiral, endorsing the deposi- 
tion of Dickinson. 

• 
Admiral Montagu to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Boston, lltla June, 1772. 

Sir : — Enclosed I transmit Your Excellency a deposition taken before me, of the 
piratical proceedings of the people of Providence, in Rhode Island go\ernment, by 
attacking His Majesty's schooner with an armed force, wounding her commander 
in a dangerous manner, and then setting her on fire. 

I am to request Your Excellency will use such methods as you shall think proper, 
for apprehending and bringing the offenders to justice. I am now dispatching a 
sloop to England with the account I enclose to you ; and am, &c., &c., 

J. MONTAGU. 

To His Excellency Governor Wanton. 

The deposition enclosed, was that of William Dickinson, 
which was as follows : 

Deposition of William Dickinson. 

Wilham Dickinson, nudshipman of His Majesty's schooner Gaspee, sayeth : 

That the said schooner was at single anchor about three leagues below Provi- 
dence, in Rhode Island government, 10th of June, 1772, and about half past twelve 
o'clock, in the night or morning, the watch gave the alarm that a number of boats 
were coming down the river, and very near us (being an exceeding dark night), we 
hailed them, and ordered them to keep off. 

They instantly gave us thi-ee cheers ; on which, we fired at them with muskets, 
which they immediately returned with a half a dozen muskets (or thereabouts). 
We then fired our pistols, on which they boarded us upon the starboard bow, and 
fired a number of small arms. Immechatcly Lieutenant Dudingston (her com- 
mander,) cried out, " Good God, I am done for." He was Avounded in his groin and 
arm. 

AVliile we were disputing forward, relative to their boarding us, three other boats 
boarded us, upon the quarter. In the three boats which boarded us upon the c^uar- 
ter, there were thirty or forty men, at least ; and in the whole, I suppose about one 
hundi-ed and fifty in number, on which we thought proper (the lieutenant being 
wounded,) to surrender. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 83 

When they had got possession of the schooner, they used the people very 
ill, by pinioning of them, and throwing them into their boats, and refused the heu- 
tenant and officers any necessai'ies but what they had on, and not even suffered 
the commanding -officer to have his papers, and robbed liis servant of several silver 
spoons, and throwed his linen and apparel overboard. 

We were then sent ashore, in two different boats ; the lieutenant and part of the 
men in one boat, and myself with the rest of the people in the other boat, at the 
distance of about two miles asunder, as we found at daylight. I remained on the 
beach ; and about half past three o'clock, saw the schooner on fire ; and about half 
past four, I saw three boats put off from her, full of xnen, and rowed up towards 
Providence ; and an hour after, another boat came by her, and landed her men at 
Pawtuxet. 

Questions hy Admiral Montar/ii. 

Q. — How long had you been lying in Providence River ? 

A. — We came to an anchor there, at about four o'clock, in the afternoon of the 
Sth of June. 

Q — Had you sent any boat ashore. 

A. — Ko ; but employed sounding the harbor. 

Q. — Had you been at Providence before, during the time you were upon that 
station ? 

A.— No. 

Q. — Do you imagine that the people who boarded you, came from Providence ? 

A. — Yes ; I believe tlie most part, but cannot say all, as one boat landed her men 
at Pawtvixet. 

Q. — ^Yhat distance is Pawtuxet from Providence, by land ? 

A. — Five miles. 

Q. — What distance were the boats from the schooner, when they were first 
seen? 

A. — I was not upon deck at first, myself; but when I saw them, they were about 
one hundred yards. 

Q. — Why did y-ou not fii-e your great guns at them ? 

A. — They boarded us upon the bows, and were so near to us, that we had not 
ti^ to get our guns out at the bow ports. 

Q. — Did any of the j^eople that boarded you, appear hke gentlemen ? 

A. — Yes ; many of them appeared hke men of credit and tradesmen ; and but 
few like common men. 

Q. — Did they make use of any ojDprobrious language ? 

A. — Yes ; by threatening to put the lieutenant to death, and calhng us piratical 
rascals. 

Q. — Where did you leave the Beaver ? 

A. — Off Golden Island, in the mouth of Seaconnet Passage. 

Q. — 'What distance from you ? 

A. — About twenty-five miles. 

Q. — Could she be in sight when this hajjpened ? 

A. — No ; the main laud is between. 

Q. — Is there any thing more that you can recollect ? 

A. — Yes ; one of the people took me by the coUar, and said, " D — n you, where 



84 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

is your pilot Daggett ?" I answered, he was discharged six weeks ago. He an- 
sweredj " D — n your blood, you lie ;" and said they would find him, and tlee him alive. 

Q. — Did they suffer the lieutenant to put on any clothes, after he was 
wounded ? 

A. — No ; he was in his shirt, with his great coat over his shoulders, and a blanket 
round his body. 

Q. — Was any other person wounded, except the lieutenant ? 

A.— Yes ; one in the head- 

And I further declare, that when Lieutenant Dudingston came on deck, I saw him 
go and stand by the starboard foroshrouds, in his shirt, with a pistol in one hand and 
a hano-er in tTie other. After he was wounded, he got aft, and sat down by the 
cabin companion way, when the two ring-leaders, with a number following them, 
came to him, and said : 

" Now, you piratical rascal, we have got you. D — n you, we will hang you all by 
the laws of Great Britain. D — n you, what made you fire, when we answered you 
that the head sheriff was in the boat ?" 

The captain (N. B. The head sheriff and captain are fictitious names that the 
ring-leaders went by) said, " Stand aside, let me dispatch the piratical dog." 

He then lifted a handspike over Mr. Dudingston's head, .who asked " if they 
•would give no quarters ?" 

They answered " No," 

He then desired they would let me bind up his wounds, for he was shot, and 
showed them the wound in his left arm. 

They then said, " D — n your blood, you are shot by your own people." 

He was then taken down into the cabin, by some of the mob. They then pin- 
ioned me, and put me into the boat, where I remained for half an hour ; when one 
of the mob called to their people in the boat to loosen me, for the heutenant wanted 
me. I went down in the cabin to him. He was laid on the after lockers, and 
one of the mob washing and binding up his wounds. The mob then got him on 
deck, and put him into a boat, and put off. 

Soon after, I was ordered into the boat again, and put off. In going on shore, I 
saw a negro with the heutenant's hanger ; being asked by another how he got it, 
he said he took it from the captain. 

Being down in the cabin, with Lieutenant Dudingston, the ring-leaders, and some 
of the principal of the mob demanded his pajiers and orders for his proceedin^n 
such piratical manner. I then showed them the commission from the lords of the 
admiralty, with all his orders and instructions that he had received from the ad- 
miral, which they took and carried away. 

In going ashore, one of the mob that rowed the boat, said, that he and several 
more, would not have been there, but that they were taken out of a house by force, 
and compelled to go ; that they beat a drum round the town of Providence, in the 
evening, to raise a mob. W. DICKINSON. 

Province of the Massachusetts Bay, ") 
Suffolk, sc. Boston, June 11, 1772. > 

The above named William Dickinson, personally appearing, maketh solemn oath 
to the truth of the foregoing deposition, as written upon this and the six preceding 
pages, wliich is taken at the request of the Honorable John Montagu, Esq. 

Before me, EDMUND QUINCY. 



1772.1 AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 89 



The Governor of Rhode Island to Admiral Montagu, in reply. 

Newport, June 12, 1772. 

Sir : — I have this moment received Your Honor's letter, of yesterday, upon the 
destruction of His Majesty's schooner Gaspee. 

Upon the first information of this unhappy affair, which gives me, and every 
friend to government, the highest concern, I called together all the members of 
the General Assembly that I could conveniently, who unanimously advised me to 
publish the proclamation, of which I enclose you a copy. 

I have not, as yet, been able to collect all the circumstances of this daring insult 
upon authority, so as to give you a perfect idea of it ; but by the evidence of three 
of the people of the Gaspee, taken before His Honor the Deputy Governor, copies 
of which, I transmit, you will i^erceive that there is a material difference between 
them and the account given by William Dickinson. 

'You may rely upon the utmost and continued exertions of the officers of 
this colony to detect and bring to justice the perpetrators of this violent 
outrage. 

I have the pleasure to inform you, that Lieutenant Dudingston is in a fair way of 
recovery. I am, sir, &c., &c., J. WANTON. 

To His Honor Admiial Montagu. 

On the 12th, Lieutenant Dudingston had so far recovered, 
as to be able to write a letter to Admiral Montagu, wherein he 
presented his version of the destruction of his vessel. This 
differs but little from those of Col. Bowen and Dr. Mawney, 
as to the attack of the boats, his being wounded and the sur- 
render of his vessel to an overpowering force. 

It will be inferred, however, from the Lieutenant's account, 
that he and his crew were pretty harshly handled, which may 
have been true. He had given great offence to the people, by 
his overbearing conduct, and by his unlawful seizure of prop- 
erty ; so that they were little disposed, in the contest on board 
his vessel, to treat him kindly. But after he had been taken 
to Pawtuxet, wounded, every attention was paid him. 

It is natural, that in stating the case to Admiral Montagu, 
Duding.ston would represent the circumstances as favorable to 
himself and crew as possible. 



86 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 



Lieut. Dudingstoh to Admiral Montagu. 

Pawtuxet, 12th June, 1772. 

Sir : — On "Wednesday morning, about one o'clock, as His Majesty's schooner was 
hdng upon a sjiite of sand called Namcutt, the sentinels discovered a number of 
boats coming down the river, towards us. 

As soon as I was acquainted with it, I came upon deck, and hailed the boats, for- 
bidding them to come near the schooner, or I should order them to be fired upon. 

They made answer, they had the sheriff \\ii\i them, and must come on board. 

I told them, the sheriff could not be admitted on board at that time of night ; on 
which they set set up a halloa, and rowed as fast as they could, towards the vessel's 
bows. I was then using every means in my power, to get the guns to bear upon 
them, which I coidd not affect, as they came right ahead of the vessel, she being 
aground. I then ordered the men to come forward with their small arms, and pre- 
vent them from boarding. 

As I was standing myself to oppose them, and making a stroke with my sword, at 
the man who was attemjiting to come ujj, at that instant I found myself disabled in 
my left arm, and shot through the groin. I then stepjjed from the gunwale, with 
an intention to order them retire to close charters ; but soon saw that most of 
them were knocked down, and myself twice, (after telhng them I was mortally 
wounded). 

They damned me, and said I was not wounded ; if I was, my own i")eople had 
done it. As loss of blood, made me drop down upon deck, they ordered me to beg 
my life, and cormnanded the j)eople to surrender. As I saw there was no possibility 
of defencUng the vessel against such numbers, who were in every respect armed, and 
commanded with regularity, by one who personated the sheriff, I thought it best for 
the people's jjreservation, to propose to them that I would order them to surrender, 
if they assured me they should not be hurt ; which they did. 

I then called out, Avhich was immediately echoed by the peojjle round me, that I 
had given them orders to surrender. They hurried all the people below, and or- 
dered them up, one by one, and tied their hands behind their backs, then ordered 
them into different boats. 

I then begged they would either dispatch me, or suffer m}- wounds to be dressed'; 
upon that, they allowed my servant to be unbound, to get me things for dressing, 
and carried me below. Bnt what was my surprise, when I came down in the cabin, 
two surgeons were ordered clown from the deck, to dress me, who were furnished 
with drojis, and began to scrape hnt for that purpose. 

During this time, I had an opportunity of observing the jiersons of about a dozen, 
who were in the cabin. They appeared to me to be merchants and masters of ves- 
sels, who were at my bureau, reading and examining my papers. They promised 
to let me have the schooner's books, and my clothes ; instead of which, as they were 
handing me up, to go into the boat, they threw them overboard, or into some of the 
boats. I was soon afterwards thrust into a boat, almost naked. 

During the time they were rowing me on shore, I had an opportunity of observing 
the boat ; which appeared to me, to be a very large long-boat. I saw by the man 
who steered her, a cutlass lying by him, and directing the men to have their arms 
ready. As soon as they put off, the sheriff gave them orders to land me on some 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 87 

neck, and the boat to come oiF Immediately ; and told me if I did not consent to 
pay the value of the rum, I must not expect to have any thing belonging to me, 
saved. 

I made answer, whatever reparation the law would give, I was ready and wilhng ; 
as to my tilings, they might do Avith them, as they pleased. They were accordingly 
going to land me on this neck, when I told them they had better throw me over- 
board. One man, who had a little more humanity than any of the rest, said they 
had better land me at the Point of Pawtuxet. As I was unable to stand, they un- 
bound five of the men, and gave them a blanket to carry me up. When I was half 
way on shore, I heard some of the schooner's guns go otF, and heard the people say 
she was on fii-e. 

I had not been carried far, when the people exclaimed, I was on an island, and 
they saw no house ; on which, they laid me do-^yi, and went in quest of one. Soon 
after, they came to acquaint me they saw one, which I was carried to ; a man was 
immediately dispatched to Providence, for a surgeon. A httle after, the people 
joined me, with the midshipman ; all of whom, that I could persuade, arc sent on 
board His Majesty's sloop Beaver. 

The schooner is utterly destroyed, and every tiling appertaining to her, me, and 
the schooner's company. If I li^•e, I am not without hojie of being able to convict 
some of the principal people that were with them. The pain,- with the loss of 
blood, rendered me incapable of informing you before of the particulars. There 
are none of the people any ways wounded, but bruised with handspikes. 

I am, sir, &c., &c., 

W. DUDINGSTON. 

To Admiral Montagu. 



In the above letter, Dudingston says, that m taking him 
ashore, they told him, if he " did not consent to pay the value 
of the rum " he had seized, " he must not expect to have any 
thing saved belonging" to him ; to which, he made answer, 
that he was ready to make " any reparation the law would 
give." 

It appears, by the following letter, from the collector of cus- 
toms, at Providence, that the owners of the goods referred to, 
lost no time in laying their hands on his person. 

William Checkley, to the Cemmissioners of Customs. 

[Pro\ddence], 12th June, 1772. 

Honorable Gentlemen : — Hearing this morning, that the high sherifl" was gone to 
arrest Capt. Dudingston, on the suit of Jacob Greene and others, for goods which 
Capt. Duchngston lately seized in the river, and carried to Boston, I went down im- 
mediately, and found the sheriff had just before arrested him ; a copy of the writ I 
herewith enclose to Your Honors. 

I offered to be security for hmi ; but Capt. Dudingston told me he should not ask 



88 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

any person to be security, as he did not expect to live long, and the sheriff might do 
as he pleased. The surgeons told me he was too ill to be moved ; and as I expect 
the sheriff will use great severity with him, I humbly request Your Honors to give 
me such direction in the matter as to you shall seem necessary.* 

I am, &c., &c., 

WILLIAM CHECKLEY. 
To the Honorable His Majesty's Commissioners of Customs. 

On the receipt of Lieutenant Dudingston's letter, of the 12th 
June, Admiral Montagu addressed the following to Governor 
Wanton. 

The only thing that surprised the admiral in the statement 
of the lieutenant, was, that of his finding two surgeons in the 
cabin of the Gaspee, when he was taken down wounded ; 
whence he doubtless inferred, that the attacking party expected 
to shed blood, and that it was a previously contrived plot. 

Admiral Montagu to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Boston, IStli June, 1772. 

Sir : — By return of express, I am favored with Your Excellency's letter, and am 
much obliged for tlie part you have taken in endeavoring to find out and bring to 
justice, those rebellious, lawless and piratical peoj^le, who were concerned in wound- 
ing the King's lieutenant, and burning his schooner. 

It will not bear a dispute but that they belonged to Providence, as they were 
heard by four or five gentlemen that were in the town, and are now here, beating 
the drum to arms, to raise a body of people to destroy the King's schooner. I have 
perused the depositions which Your Excellency enclosed ; and although they differ 
in words, yet the matter is much to the same purpose. 

I have, since I received yours, received one from Lieutenant Duchngston, whose 
account nearly agrees with the other, with this addition only : that when he was 
carried down to his cabin, after he was wounded, he, to his great surprise, found 
two surgeons, that came off from the shpre in the boats, ready to dress his wounds, 
with drops and scrawling of lint ; and at least a dozen of these people who were in 
the cabin, who were at his bureau reading and examining liis papers, appeared to 
him to be merchants and masters of vessels. 

It gives me pleasure to hear the lieut^iant is in a fair Avay of recovery. 

I am, sir, &c., &c., 

J. MONTAGU. 

To His Excellency Governor Wanton. 

* Jacob Greene & Co., the owners of the rum and sugar, referred to, commenced a suit 
at the July term of the court of common pleas, and recovered judgment against Dudingston, 
for the illegal seizure. 



1772,] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 89 

Admiral Montagu lost no time transmitting to His Majesty's 
secretary of state, the Earl of Hillsborough, an account of this 
affair. His letter is dated on the very day of Go/ernor Wan- 
ton's first letter to him ; and his account of it was given from 
the version as presented to him by Lieutenant Dudingston, or 
some one else from the Gaspee, on the day she was destroyed. 
His account is very brief. 

The deposition referred to, is doubtless that of William Dick- 
inson, a midshipman of the Gaspee, a copy of which, was 
transmitted by the admiral to Governor Wanton, in his letter 
to him, of the 11th June. 

Admiral Montagu to Lord Hillshorovgh. 



Boston, in New Enoland, 



12th June 1772. [ 

My Lord : — I was in liopos I should not have had occasion to trouble Your Lord- 
ship with any public letters, while I have the honor to command on the continent ; 
bjjt the lawless and piratical jieople of Rhode Island obhges rue to vvrite to you. 

By the enclosed deposition, Your Lordship will see that this nest of darin"- smug- 
glers have wounded in a most dangerous manner Lieut. Dudingston, and burnt the 
King's schooner Gaspee, under his command, for no other cause, except his being 
dilligent in the discharge of his duty, by giving every projjer assistance to the fair 
trader, and using every endeavor to suppress the illicit trade that is carried on to a 
great degree, in that province, and which can never be checked unless tliere are 
more men-of-war stationed there, to keep the inhabitants in order. 

I beg leave to refer Your Lordship to the enclosed deposition, for the particulars, 
and wait Your Lordship's instructions for what is to be done. Permit me to add, 
that the lieutenant that is Avounded, is a sober, dilhgent, good officer ; and has most 
strictly done his duty since I have had the honor of commanding here, frequently 
at the hazard of his hfe, in assisting the revenue. Should he survive, which I have 
little hopes of, I beg leave to recommend him to Your Lordshijj's favor and pro- 
tection, I have the honor, &e., &c., 

J. MONTAGU, 



P, S. Herewith I transmit to Your Lordship copies of letters which have 
between me. Lieutenant Dudingston and the Governor of Rhode Island, which I 
did not think necessary to trouble Your Lordship with, until this melancholy affair 
of the schooner happened. J. M. 

VOL, VII. 12 



90 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1772. 

The following is the official account of the destruction of the 
Gaspee> transmitted by Governor Wanton, t«> the Earl of 
Hillsborough. 



The Governor of Rhode Island to the Earl of Hillsborough. 

Newport, Rhode Island, > 
June 16, 1772. > 

My Lord : — I did myself the honor to write to Your Lordship oa the 20th ultimo. I 
am now reduced to the necessity of addressing Your I^ordship irpon a most disa- 
greeable subject ; the destruction of the schooner Gaspee, under the command of 
Lieutenant William Dudingston, by persons unknown. The particulars relating to 
this unwarrantable transaction, so far as I have been able to collect them, are as 
follows : 

On the [)th inst., she run aground on a point of land called Kamquit, a little 
below Pa^v•tux.et,, oa the Narragansett River., within tins colony, Abont three, 
quarters of an hour after twelve o'clock, at night, there being but one hand 
on deck, six or seven boats, full of men, were by him discovered drawing towards 
said schooner ; and before many of her hands had time to get upon deck, was 
boarded by the people in the boats, who, as soon as they had secured the possession 
of the schooner, took out the captain and all the people, and set them ashore on 
the main land ; after wlilch, they set fire to the schooner. In the attack, Mr. Dud- 
ingston was wounded by a ball through his arm, from whence It passed and lodged 
In some part of his body. 

Iklr. Sessions, the Deputy Governor of this colony, immediately upon hearing of 
this unhappy afEaIr,. went to j\L-. Dudingston, and offered him all the help and as- 
sistance in his power ;• but Mr. Dudingston said he wanted no favors for himself. 

The Deputy Governor then told him, that he came not only to offer him any 
relief his distressed circumstances might require, but also to gain a declaration from 
his own mouth respecting the destruction of the schooner under his command, that 
proper and rigorous measui'es might be taken to discover and bring the perpetrators 
to justice. 

]VL'. Dudingston answered, he woidd give him no account, because of his indispo- 
sition ; and also, because It was his duty to forbear any thing of that kind, till he 
had done It to his commanding officer, at a court martial, to which. If he lived, he 
must be called ; but if he died, he desired It might all die with him. 

The Deputy Governor,, with the consent of ]Mi\ Dudingston, then proceeded to 
examine a number of his imen, and, on the 11th, transmitted copies of the most mate- 
rial of the examinations to me ; u,poji the receipt whereof, I Immediately convened 
such of His Majesty's Council and the house of deputies as could be seasonably no- 
tified, and laid before them the proceedings of the Deputy Governor, which they highly 
approved of, and unanimously recoBaiaiiien-tlied my issviing a prwlamatlon, with a re- 
ward of £100, sterling, for the eliscovery of any of the persons concerned In this 
violent insult upon governmentj which I cheerfully comphed with, and sent them 
into the several towns within this colonv. 



1772 ] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 91 

This transaction gives me the utmost imeasiness ; and Your Lordship may be as- 
sured, that the utniost vigilaisce of the civil autliority will not be wanting, to bring 
the perpetrators to exemplary and condign punishment ; and in justice to the inhab- 
itants of the colony, I must not omit mentioning, that the conduct of thos^ who 
committed this outrage, is, by them, universally condemned. 

I wish. My Lord, those officers who have lately been sent into tliis colony, under a 
pretence of assisting trade, had conducted with that temper, prudence and discretion 
which persons entrusted with the execution of the laws ought, upon every occasion, 
to manifest. • 

In my last, I informed Your Lordship, that the inhabitants had been insulted with- 
out any just cause ; and I am extremely sorry that I have still reason to saj", that 
the trade of this colony is Interrupted in a most unprecedented and oppressive man- 
lier, without contributing, hi the least, to the service of the revenue. Inward bound 
vessels have been detained several days, without the least colorable pretext, and 
then delivered up. 

One from South Kingstown, for having on board a small quantity of tobacco, of 
the growth of this colony, which the owner was transporting to Newport, for a mar- 
ket ; another, for having only three or four dozen wine laid in by the captain, for sea 
, stores. The small freight boats, plying between the several towns, with the produce 
of the colony, are^, by the severity of these officers, subjected to great inconvenience, 
which very sensibly affects the whole colony ; and particularly, the town of Newjjort, 
its metropolis, whose inhabitants are principally supplied with the necessaries of life 
by water ; and the obstructions they now experience, haxe contributed not a little 
to enhance the price of fuel and provisions, to the great disadvantage of the town ; 
and in my humble opinion, if such measures are permitted to be pursued, the colony 
will ere long be involved in the deepest calamity. 

These, My Lord, are serious and important truths ; and as Your Lordship, from 
your thorough knowledge of the colony, must be perfectly acquainted with the na- 
ture and extent of our trade, the profits of which, ultimately centering in Great 
Britain, for the purchase of her manufactures, I have no room to doubt of Your 
Lordship's interposition in behalf of this colony, that all cause of comjilaint against 
any of the King's officers stationed here, may be removed, and the inhabitants 
treated with that respect Avhich is due to the subjects of His Britannic Majesty. 

As a proof, My Lord, that the trade of this colony stands upon as fair and legal 
a footing as the trade of any part of His Majesty's dominions, out of two hundred 
sail of vessels which have entered this port since the 1st day of March last, only 
two in that number have been prosecuted and condemned for breach of acts of 
trade, • one of which, belongs to the Massachusetts Bay, notwithstanding they have 
been searched and rummaged with the greatest severity. These two vessels, al- 
though seized and condemned here, were sent by Capt. Linzee, of the Beaver, and 
Lieut. Dudingston, to Boston, for sale, in direct opposition to the orders of the court 
of vice admiralty, within this colony ; and the marshal of the said court prevented 
by force from libelling one of these vessels for payment of the mariners' wages. 

These, My Lord, are but a few of the many grievances which the people of this 
colony have been for months past harrassed and perplexed with ; but as the Gen- 
eral Assembly will soon be convened, I make no doubt they will order a more par- 
ticular remonstrance to be made. 

In the mean tim_e, permit me. My Lord, to implore your attention to the com- 



92 RECORDS OF* THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

plaints of a much abused and injured people, whose loyalty and affection to their 
Sovereign, claims Your Lordship's countenance and patronage.* 

I am, &c., &c., J. WANTON, 

To the Ri<rht Honorable the Earl of Hillsborouffh. 



" There is little room to doubt," as Judge Staples observes, 
"but that Governor Wanton and the officers of the colony 
would have been satisfied that t'he authors of the tiiischief 
should remain undiscovered ; although their duty as officers, 
and their interests, required them to exhibit a great zeal and 
loyalty on the occasion. 

On the other hand, Admiral Montagu and his brother officers 
in the navy and revenue, were sincere in their exertions to 
bring the perpetrators to condign punishment." This appears 
from the following letter, relative to the deposition of the negro 
Aaron, Avhich is often referred to in the proceedings which 
follow. 



* The following extract of a letter, relating to the Gaspee affair, is found with the cor- 
respondence of Admiral Montagu, in the state paper office. It does not appear to whom it 
was written. 



•' Charles Dudley, Esq., to 



Rhode Island, 23d July, 1772. 

* * The attack ilpoa the Gftspee was not the effect of sudden passion and resentment, 
but of cool deliberation and fore-thought. * It had long been determined she should be 
destroyed. 

The paragraph in the enclosed newspaper, under the Newport head, was the prelude to 
the diabolical scene. * * 

The next public step, was a memorial or petition from the merchants in Providence ; first 
laid befoi^e the superior court of jiidicature, then sitting in the town, and afterwards before 
the Governor, praying that the commander of an armed vessel, then cruising in the bay, 
should be called upon by the civil authority, to know by what powers he was authorised to 
search ships and other vessels on the high seas; though it was notorious that the armed 
vessel in question, sailed under British colors, and belonged to His Britannic Majesty. 

The piece from the paper, Newport, February 24, speaks of an armed schooner, that had 
seized ten or twelve hogsheads of rum the first part of last week ; also, last Thursday, 
three hogsheads of molasses, belonging to a poor man. Some say, this piratical schooner 
belongs to King George the Third; but we should think it a little below His Bi-t-n-o 
Majesty, to keep men-of-war employed in robbing some of his poorest subjects." 



1772.1 AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. ' 93 



Admiral Montagu to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Boston, 8th July, 1772. 

Sir : — By express, last niglit, from Capt. Linzee, of His Majesty's sloop Beaver, I 
l-eceived the enclosed account ; and, although it comes from a negro man, it carries 
with it the appearance of truth, as it agrees in many circumstances with Lieutenant 
Dudingston's letter (to me), and also with the deposition of the midshipman of the 
Gaspec ; added to this, a man belonging to the Gaspee, swears to this negro's being 
in the boat that put him ashore, and challenged him as soon as he saw him come 
on board the Beaver. 

These corroborating circumstances, put it out of all doubt with me, that he was 
actually concerned in taking and burning the King's schooner. And as he has im- 
peached several others that were concerned in that piratical act, I am to beg Your 
Excellency Avill get the peojile mentioned in the enclosed account, apprehended, 
that they may be examined before you, in the presence of Lieutenant Dudingston, 
who, I dare say, will remember the person of the surgeon that dressed his wounds ; 
and may possibly recollect the persons of Potter and Brown, who appear to me, to 
have been the ring-leaders in destroying His Majesty's schooner. 

As this affair was transacted in Your Excellency's government, I must totally 
rely on you, to have these people secured, and (if there is sufficient proof against 
them) brought to justice. I doubt not but that you will exert yourself as much as 
is in your power ; and I flatter myself, that, with your assistance, the King will 
have justice done him, and the offenders brought to punishment ; which I hope will 
in future prevent the King's officers from being, upon all occasions, insulted, and 
check the lawless and piratical behaviour of the people of Rhode Island. 

I am, sir, &c., &c., 

J. MONTAGU. 

To His Excellency Governor Wanton. 

P. S. I should be glad if Your Excellency would inform me, whether this act 
was committed on the high seas, or in the body of the county ; if on the former, I 
doubt not but, as one of the commissioners, you will use every proper method to get 
them ajjpreliended, that they may be tried. 

if you should think it proper to take the negro's deposition on oath, I should be 
glad if you would suffer a proper j^erson to go on board the Swan, to take it •, and 
that you will favor me with a copy of it. 

Statement of the Negro Aaron. 

Aaron, a negro man, has declared that he rowed from Providence, the evening 
His Majesty's schooner Gaspee was burnt, towards Warren, where he met a man, 
called Potter, of Bristol, in a rowing boat, with eight men, armed with pistols, guns 
and clubs ; the said Potter desired him to go with him. 

In consequence of Potter's desire, I rowed by his boat, until I came within a 
quarter of a mile of the King's schooner, that was on shore on a spite of land. I 
then got into Potter's boat, by his desire ; he told me, with others, that he was to join 
»ther boats, that were coming doAvn from Providence, in order to burn the King's 



94 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

scliooner, that lay on shore. In about half an hour after, we joined seventeen boats 
from Pro^acience, commanded, as they informed me, by John Brown. 

Immediately after the boats joined company, we rowed towards the schooner ; be- 
fore we came close to the schooner, they hailed the boats, and forbid them coming 
on board ; but notwithstanding the officer of the schoonei- forbidding the boats 
to come on board, we had orders to roAv uji to the schooner ; which we did imme- 
diately, and boarded her. 

I saw Brown fire a musket when in the boat, under the bows ; the captain of 
the schooner immediately fell from the place he Avas standing on ; the surgeon, that 
was ordered to dress the cajitain, was a tall, thin man, called "Weeks, of "Warwick ; 
very soon after we got on board the schooner, the mens' hands, belonging to the 
schooner, were tied behind their backs, and put in boats and put on shore. 

I rowed the bow oar in the boat that the captain came on shore in ; I think there 
were five people belonging to the schooner, in the boat. The captain lay abaft all 
the oars ; Potter, of Bristol, was in the boat, and John Brown, of Providence ; 
Brown steered the boat on shore ; I had on a red and white spotted handkerchief, 
tied on my head, and two frocks on my body. 

A list of five men's names, that were concei'ned in destroying His Majesty's 
schooner Gaspee : 

iJohn Brown and Joseph Brown, principal men of the town of Providence : 

Simeon Potter, of Bristol ; Doctor "Weeks, of "Warwick ; Richmond, of 

Providence. 

N. B. One of the Gaspee's men declared, as soon as he saw the negro, that he 
was the man that rowed the bow oar in the boat he went on shore in ; and that he 
assisted the negro to row the oar. 

Admiral Montagu, at the same time, communicated the par- 
ticulars which he had obtained from Aaron, to the Earl of 
Hillsborough. He also takes the occasion to add remarks rela- 
tive to the character of the leading men supposed to have been 
implicated in the burning of the Graspee, which are not at all 
flattering. Here follows his letter. 

Admiral Montagu to the Earl of Hillsborough. 

Boston, 11th July, 1772. 

My Lord : — Since I had the honor of writing to Your Lordship last, I have re- 
ceived an express from Capt. Linzee, of His Majesty's sloop Beaver, at Rhode Is- 
land, informing me he had discovered and detained an indented black servant, who 
was in one of the boats that boarded the Gaspee schooner; that one of the men now 
on board the Beaver (late of the Gaspee), remembered the man the moment 
he saw liim. 

Enclosed, I transmit to Your Lordship the said black man's deposition (on being 
examined), by which Your Lordship will be able to judge of the people concerned, 
and of the measures necessary to be taken. 

I beg leave to observe to Your Lordship, that I have inquired of many of the 
principal people of this place, who all knew Potter, of Bristol, mentioned in the en- 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS, 95 

closed depositioii, an.d in general agree that he Is a man of fortune, but of tlic most 
infamous character possible to describe ; and has been guilty of almost every vice a 
pirate can be guilty of. The Browns, of Providence, are principal people of that 
place. 

It appears to me, My Lord, that these people Avere the ringleaders in this 
piratical proceeding. 1 have therefore, written to Governor Wanton, of Rhode Is- 
land, and begged his utmost exertions may be used for the apprehension and bring- 
ing to justice the people mentioned in the said deposition, as principals in this pro- 
ceeding ; but the disposition of the people of that government iu general. Is such, 
that I cannot flatter myself with much success, unless some other method is taken 
ibr appehending them. I have the honor to be, &c., &c,, 

J. MONTAGU. 

To the Right Honorable the Earl of Hillsborough. 

It does not appear that Governor Wanton adopted the 
course recommended hy Admiral Montagu, to arrest the par- 
ties charged by the negro Aaron, with being concerned in the 
burning of the Gaspee. Whether he knew they w^ere con- 
cerned in the affair, which is probable, and desired to screen 
them, or whether he disbelieved the statement of Aaron, and 
determined to make it so appear, the reader must judge. But 
it seems he lost no time in obtaining the following affidavits. 

Affidavits going to disprove Aaron's Statement. 

Samuel Thurston, of the island of Prudence, in the township of Portsmoutli, in 
the county of Newport, of lawful age, declareth and salth : 

That Aaron, a mulatto lad, of about sixteen years of age, now on board His 
Majesty's ship, the Swan, conmianded by Capt. Ayscough, is an Indented servant to 
Samuel Tompkins, of Prudence, aforesaid, son-in-law to the said Samuel Thurston ; 
which Samuel Tompkins hath lived In the same house with the declarant for many 
years past, and have jointly managed a farm together ; that he is fully persuaded 
the said Aaron hath not been off from the said island for more than twelve months 
preceding the 2d day of July Instant ; on the night of which, the said Aaron stole their 
boat, and went on board His Majesty's ship, the Beaver ; that particularly on the 
night after the 9th of June last, being the same night that His Majesty's schooner, 
the Gasjiee, was burnt, he Is well assured that the said Aaron remained in his house 
the whole of the night, he having seen him on the evening and early in the morning 
of the 10th, at his work. 

That, at that time, there was but one boat at that end of said Island, which was 
then so much out of repair, that the said declarant thinks she could not swim, and 
then lay bottom upwards in order to be refitted, being the same boat the said 
Aaron stole after she was repaired. 

That he, the declarant, thinks it absolutely Impossible, that the said Aaron 
should have been, that night, any where near the place where the said schooner 
was burnt ; and that the said Aaron remained at home from the s.^id ath of Junei. 



96 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

until the 2d day of July ; and never, during that time, gave liim the least in- 
formation, suggestion or hint of his having any knowledge of the business of the 
said schooner. SAIM'L TIIUKSTON. 

Colony of Rhode Island, &c., ■> 
Newport, July 10, 1772. | 
Personally^appeared Samuel Thurston, (one of the people called Quakers,) and 
on his_ solemn afiirmation, declared that the above written declaration is true, 
before— J. WANTON, 

Governor. 

Samuel Tompkins, of the island of Prudence, in the township of Portsmouth, in 
the county of Newport, on oath declareth and saith : 

That Aaron, amulatto lad of about sixteen years of age, now on board His Maj- 
esty's ship, the Swan, commanded by Capt. Ayscough, is an indented servant to the 
deponent ; that he is fully persuaded the said Aaron hath not been off from the said 
island more than once or twice for twelve months precethng the 2d of July last, in 
the night of which, the said Aaron stole a boat belonging to the deponent and his 
father-in-law, Mr. Sauuiel Thurston, and went on board His Majesty's ship, the 
Beaver. 

That particularly, on the night after the Dtli of June last, being the same night 
that His Majesty's schooner, the Gaspee was burnt, he is well assured that the said 
Aaron remained in his house the whole of the night ; he having seen him about nine 
o'clock, that evening, with the rest of the servants, in the famih", about which time 
they retired to bed ; and, also, very early in the morning of the 10th, the said Aaron, 
according to liis usual custom, brought the cows into the yard, to be milked. 

That, at the time, there was but one boat at that end of the island, which was 
then so much out of repair, that the deponent is confident she could not swim, and 
then lay bottom upwards, in order to be re-fitted, being the same boat the said 
Aaron stole after she was repaired. 

That he, the said deponent, thinks it absolutely impossible that the said Aaron 
should have been that night any where near the j^lace where the schooner Gaspee 
was burnt ; and that he, the said Aaron, remained at home from the said 9th of June, 
imtil the said 2d day of July ; and never, during that time, gave him the least in- 
ibrmation, suggestion or hint of his having any the least knowledge of the destruc- 
tion of the said schooner. SAM'L TOMPKINS. 



Colony of Khode Island, &c., i 
Newport, July 11, 17 72. j 
]VIr. Sauuiel Tompkins personally appeared, and made solemn oath to t ' e truth 
of the above deposition by him subscribed, before — J. AVANTON, 

Governor. 

Somerset, a mulatto, and Jack, a negro, indented servants, living with Samuel 
Thurston and Samuel Tompkins, on the island of Prudence, in the township of 
Portsmouth, in the county of Newport, of lawful age, on o ith severally depose and 
say: 

That to their certain knowledge, AaroD, a mulatto \iid, who is also an indented 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 97 

servant to the said Samuel Tompkins, and now, as they are informed, on board of a 
man-of-war, has not been off from said island for many months preceding the 2d daj'- 
of July instant ; in the night of which, the said Aaron stole a boat belonging to the 
said Samu '1 Thurston and Samuel Tompkins, and went on board a man-of-war. 

That the said Aaron has slept with the deponents in the same bed for several 
years ; and particularly on the night the schooner called the Gaspee, was burnt, the 
said Aaron was at home, at the dwelling-house of the said Thurston and Tompkins, 
and that he, the said Aaron, lay in the same room and bed with the deponents the 
whole of that night ; having retired to bed together, between nine and ten o'clock, 
in the evening. 

And the deponents severally say, that they have never had the least hint or in- 
formation, from the said Aaron, of his having any knowledge of the burning of the 
said schooner Gaspee ; and that they are well assured that he knows nothing of 
the transaction. And the depoi;ents further say not. 

The mark of ^^^ ^. SOMERSET. 
The mark of X JACK. 



Colony of Rhode Island, &c., y 
Newport, July 11, 1772. \ 
In their proper persons came and appeared the above named Somerset and 
Jack ; and after being cautioned to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth, made 
solemn oath to the above deposition, to which they have made their respective 
marks. Before— J. WANTON, 

Governor. 

About the same time, Capt. Linzee, of the Beaver, then 
lying in Newport, caused the following deposition to be 
taken : 

Deposition of Patrick Earle. 

The deposition of Patrick Earle, of lawful age, lately belonging to His Majesty's 
armed schooner, Gaspee, commanded by Lieutenant Dudingston, but now to His 
Majesty's ship, the Beaver, commanded by John Linzee, Esq. This deponent 
saith : 

That after a nmnber of boats boarded the said schooner, as she lay aground, and 
the peoples' hands were tied, he, with several others, was put into the same boat 
that the captain was carried ashore in ; and that he helped a negro man, called 
Aaron Briggs, to row the bow oar, which negro is now on board His Majesty's ship 
Beaver, who hath sworn that he did row ashore with the bow oar ; and further saith 
not. The mark of X PATRICK EARLE. 

Sworn in Newport, 16th July, 1772. Before me — 

CHARLES BARDIN, 

Justice of the Peace. 



VOL. V4I. 13 



98 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

The statement of the mulatto boy Aaron, taken on board the 
Beaver, seemed hardly sufficient to warrant the arrest of the 
respectable parties, which he had endeavored to implicate in 
the transaction, in question. 

Governor Wanton, therefore, very properly desiring that he 
should be examined by the civil authority, conformably to law, 
addressed the following note to the captain of the Beaver. 

The Governor of Rhode Island to Captain Linzee, of His 
Majesty's ship Beaver. 

Xewport, July IGth, 1772. 

Sir : — Ha\'iiig received information from the Honorable Admiral Montagu, that 
Aaron, a mulatto lad, on board His Majesty's ship, the Beaver, under your com- 
mand, has confessed that he was concerned in destroying His Majesty's schooner, 
the Gaspee, as she lay aground on Namquit Point, in the county of Kent, witliin 
this colony ; and as it is highly necessary that this lad should be examined by the 
civil authority, concerning what he knows of that affau", I have directed the sheriff 
to wait upon you, and request that you would dehver Aaron into his custody, in 
order to be brought on shore, that such proceedings may be had and done in this 
matter, as are agreeably to law. 

The King's attorney general will attend the examination ; and I should be glad 
if you, or any of your officers, would likewise attend. 

If you are of opinion that it is most for His INIajesty's service to return Aaron on 
board your ship after he has been examined, instead of committing him to jail, 
you may be assured it shall be done. 

]SIr. Brenton also waits on you, whose opinion on matters of law, may be of 
ser^-ice to you in this important affair. I am, sir, &c., &c., 

J. WANTON. 

To John Linzee, Esq., commanding His Majesty's sliip, the Beaver. 

Warrant to the Sheriff of the County of Neivport, for the Arrest 
of the Negro Aaron. 

Colony of Rhode Island. 

_^ GEORGE THE THIRD, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, 
■] L. S. [■ France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To the sheriff of the 

county of Newport, or his lawfiil dejiuty, greeeting : 

Whereas, I have received information, that Aaron, a mulatto lad, otherwise 
called Aaron Bowler, alias Briggs, now on board His Majesty's ship, the Beaver, 
under the command of Captain John Linzee, in the harbor of Newjiort, aforesaid, 
with divers other malefactors, to me as yet unknown, did, in the night of the 9th of 
June last, unlawfully and riotously assemble and gather together to disturb the 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 99 

peace of our said lord the King ; and being so assembled and gathered together, 
with force and arms, an attack did make upon His Majesty's schooner, the Gaspee, 
under the command of Lieutenant William Dudingston, as she lay aground on a 
point of land, called Namquit, within the township of Warwick, in the county of 
Kent, in the colony aforesaid ; and liim, the said William Dudingston, then and 
there, being in the peace of our said lord the King, did dangerously wound, and the 
said schooner then and there did wickedly, wilfully and feloniously burn and destroy, 
against the peace of our said lord the King, liis crown and dignity. 

Therefore, in the name of our sovereign lord the King, I command and charge 
you, that immediately upon the receipt hereof, you repair on board His Majesty's ship 
Beaver, aforesaid, and make diligent search for the said Aaron ; and if he be by you 
found, to bring him before me, or some other lawful authority within this colony, to 
be examined concerning the premises, that such other jjroceedings may be had and 
done, as to law and justice doth appertain. 

Hereof fail you not, as you will answer the contrary at your peril ; and make true 
retmni of this warrant with your doings thereon. 

Given under my hand and seal, this 16th day of July, in the twelfth year of 
His Majesty's reign. Anno Domini 17 72. 

METCALFE BOWLER, 

Just, of Assize. 

Newport, July 17, 1772. 
By virtue of the within warrant, I waited upon John Linzee, Esq., within men- 
tioned, who refused to deliver up the within named Aaron, in presence of James 
Brenton, Esq. ROBERT LILLIBRIDGE, JR., 

D. Sheriff. 

This request of Governor Wanton, was treated by Capt. 
Linzee with great contempt, and utterly disregarded by him, 
as will appear by the Governor's letter to Admiral Montagu. 

It appears, from the following letter from Lieutenant Dud- 
ingston, to Admiral Montagu, that his fears for his personal 
safety, were not wholly removed. 

Lieutenant Dudingston to Admiral Montagu. 

Brentou's Point, near -^ 
Newport, July 1772. | 
Sir : — This day I received yours of the 8th inst., and am hardly able to give an- 
swer, from the painful situation I am in ; nor is it possible, at present, for me to be of 
the least use in respect to the negro. 

I have no doubt of his being in the boat with me, and it is what I expected, that 
the Governor would say he was an impostor ; and I cannot help telling you, that, 
without I was able to retire to a ship, I should not exist one night on shore, if I was 
capable to make oath to any one of the people mentioned. 



loo RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

I beg this may be private, till I can be moved ; as tbe copy of the former letter, 
being made public to the people by the Governor, puts me in great danger. 

I am, sir, &c., &c., 

W. DUDINGSTON. 
To Admiral Montagu. 

Governor Wanton next communicated to Admiral Montagu^ 
the proceedings he had taken in relation to Aaron ; expresses 
his firm conviction that he was not present at the burning of 
the Gaspee ; and that, from his notoriously bad character, his 
word should not be believed. He also makes known to the 
Admiral his application to Capt. Linzee, for Aaron, and the 
contempt with which he treated his request, which request, it 
seems, was in accordance with the advice of one of the judges 
of the supreme court. 

The Governor of Rhode Island to Admiral Montagu. 

Newport, July 22, 1772. 

Sir : — Your favOr of the 8th inst., I have received, together with the information 
given by one Aaron, a mulatto servant, relative to the destruction of the Gaspee . 
on receiving of which, I pursued every measure in my power to investigate and find 
out the truth of the various assertions comprised in his declaration. 

For which end, I caused to be examined on oath, some of the family with whom 
this declarant lived as a servant ; persons of credit and estabhshed character, who 
were separately examined, and whose testimony perfectly agreed in every circum- 
stance, on such examination ; by which, and from the general bad character of the 
declarant, I was fully convinced that no regard could be had to this information ; that 
the declarant could not be present at the time when this offence was committed ; as 
it is fully proved that he was at home, on an island, near seven miles from the place 
where the disaster happened. 

However, being very solicitous that every inquii-y should be made, that might re- 
flect light on this imhappy affair, I had a conference with one of the judges of the 
superior court, before whom this matter must finally come to be adjudged, who gave 
it as his opinion, that it was absolutely necessary that this declarant should be de- 
livered up to the civil authority, to be properly examined. He therefore issued his 
warrant to take Aaron into his custody. 

At the same time, I wrote Capt. Linzee a letter, requesting him to deliver him to 
the sheriff, in order to his being examined ; both which, were treated by Capt. 
Linzee with great contempt, and by him utterly disregarded. 

What could be his motives or reasons for such his conduct, I am not able to ac- 
count for. It certainly is a gi-eat contempt of the civil authority of this colony, who 
have the only power and jurisdiction to try all and every offence committed within 
the same, to refuse dcUvering up an offender, who, by his own confession, hath ac- 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 101 

knowledged liis guilt, and what is sufficient for his conviction, supposing what he 
hath declared, to be true ; and, if otherwise, he ought to be proceeded against 
agi-eeably to law, and punished according to his offence. 

I have transmitted to you the several depositions, by which, I apprehend you will 
agree with me in opinion, that no dependence can be had on the declaration given 
by the informant, but must wholly be disregarded. Villainy of this kind, is not new. 
We have a recent instance of this sort, at home. Britain and others, conspiring in 
the most horrid manner, to charge the officers of state with a crime that the whole 
world knew they could not possibly be guilty of. 

The schooner, when she was destroyed, lay agi'ound, in a narrow river, near 
thirty miles from the main sea ; and as all ports and havens are infra corpus comi- 
iaius, I am of opinion, that, in this case, the admiral hath no jurisdiction. His 
Honor the Chief Justice, has favored me with his opinion on this matter, which here- 
with I enclose. 

When Aaron is delivered into the hands of the civil authoi'ity, Avhatever is legal 
and necessary, will undoubtedly be done. I have advised with the Iving's attorney, 
whose opinion and advice coincides with what I have written on the subject of 
Aaron's declaration. I am Your Honor's 

Most obedient humble servant, 

J. WANTON. 

To the Honorable Admiral Montagu. 

Admiral Montagu in reply to the Gover?ior of Rhode Island. 



Boston, 1st September, 1772. 

Sir : — I received your letter, dated 2 2d July, with three dej^ositious enclosed. I 
deferred answering it, till I had seen and examined Aaron, the black indented ser- 
vant, who says he was in one of the boats that boarded and burnt the Gasjoee ; and 
it is clear to me, from many corroborating circumstances, that he is no imjaostor. 

Sorry I am, that no regard can be had to his information in your opinion. In my 
opinion, the depositions Your Excellency sent me, prove nothing that confutes any 
thing he has said. 

However, it is not in my power to do more than I have, to bring the offenders to 
justice ; the whole must rest with you, who are upon the s^iot. I fmd the master of 
Aaron, the black, has arrested Capt. Linzee, for the detention of his servant ; therefore, 
as Capt. Linzee has done nothing but by my orders, I have bailed him, and will keep 
the fellow. I did intend sending him. to you, had not his master taken this step. 

I shall not trouble Your Excellency any more on the subject of the Gaspee, but 
leave the result of the whole conduct of His Majesty's good subjects at Khode Island 
to him and his ministers ; and am, sir. 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

J. MONTAGU. 

To Governor Wanton. 

Here ended the proceedings of the colony, and the corres- 
pondence with the English admiral, in relation to this subject, 
previous to the action upon it by the British government. 



102 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

From various references, it appears that under date of the 
4th of September, 1772, Lord Dartmouth addressed a letter to 
Governor Wanton, transmitting the royal proclamation, com- 
mission, instructions, etc. ; which letter, unfortunately, is not 
found in the files of the secretary's office ; nor does it appear 
in the compilation of Judge Staples.* 

In writing to the Earl of Dartmouth, on the 20th February, 
1773, Judge Horsmanden, one of the royal commissioners, 
says on his arrival in Rhode Island, on the 31st December, 
1772, in pursuance of His Lordship's instructions, " he was 
surprised to find that the main object of our errand, was be- 
come public, wiiich, in prudence, was to be kept secret ; nev- 
ertheless, Your Lordship's letter to Governor Wanton, was 
published in the Boston weekly paper, and spread industri- 
ously over all New England. However amazing to us, upon 
inquiry it carae out, that the Governor had communicated it to 
his Assembly, who had got it printed. Upon expostulating with 
the Governor upon it, he said, he was, by law, obliged to com- 
municate ail dispatches from the ministry to his corporation, 
and sworn so to do," etc.f 



* Grovernor Wanton, in his letter to the Earl of Dartmouth, dated December 24, 1772, 
mentions this letter. 

t In a subsequent letter to Governor Wanton, which will be found in the order of its 
date, the Earl of Dartmouth complains of the publication of his letter of the 4th of Septem- 
ber, in the common newspaper, parts of which, were " secret and confidential, and addressed 
personally" to himself. His Lordship fears, too, that this act "cannot be considered as 
entirely corresponding with the assurances given, of paying the strictest attention and 
deference to such orders" as he may transmit to the Governor. 

The following letters from Governor Hutchinson, of Massachusetts, to a gentleman in 
London, are from " The Remembrancer," for the year 1776, Vol. II., p. 59 : 

Governor Hutchinson to Secretary Pownall. 

" Boston, 29th August, 1772. 

Dear Sir :— I troubled you with a long letter the 2lst July. Give me leave now only to 
add one or two things, which I then intended, but to avoid being too tedious, omitted. 

People in this province, both friends and enemies to government, are in great expecta- 
tions from the late affair at Rhode Island, of the buruing the King's schooner ; and they con- 
sider the manner in which the news of it will be received in England, and the measures to 
be taken, as decisive. If it is passed over without a full ioqairy and due resentment, our 
liberty people will think they may with impunity commit any acts of violence, be they 
ever so atrocious, and the friends to government will despond and give up all hopes of being 
able to withstand the faction. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 103 

III the " Massachusetts Spy, or Thomas's Weekly Journal,'' 
published at Boston, on the 31st December, 1772, is the fol- 
lowing, which is doubtless the chief portion of the missing 
letter referred to. 

Extract of a Letter from Lord Dartmouth to the Governor of 
Rhode Island. 

" The follov/ing may be depended upon, as a genuine extract of the letter from 
Lord Dartmouth, to the Governor of Rhode Island, dated Whitehall, September 
4, 1772: 

' The particulars of that atrocious proceeding (referring to the burning the 
Gaspee schooner), have, by the King's command, been examined and considered 
with the greatest attention ; and although there are some circumstances attending 
it, in regard to the robbery and plunder of the vessel, which, separately considered, 
might bring it within the description of an act of piracy, yet, in the obvious view of 
the whole transaction, and taking all the circumstances together, the offence is, 
in the opinion of the law servants of the crown, who have been consulted upon that 
question, of a much deeper dye, and is considered in no other light, than as an act 
of high treason, viz. : levying Avar against the King. 

And, in order that you may have all proper advice and assistance, in a matter of 
so great importance, His Majesty has thought fit, with the advice of his Privy 
Council, to issue his royal commission, under the great seal of Great Britain, noixii- 
nating yourself and the chief justices of New York, New Jersey, and the Massachu- 
setts Bay, together with the judge of the vice admiralty court established at Boston, 
to be His Majesty's conmiissioners for inquiring into, and making report to His 
Majesty, of all the circumstances relative to the attacking, plundering and burning 
the Gasj^ee schooner. 

The persons who were the immediate actors, are men of estate, and property, in the 
colon}'. A prosecution is impossible. If ever the government of that colony is to be re- 
formed, this seems to be the time ; and it would have a happj- eiFect in the colonies which 
adjoin to it. Several persons have been advised by letters from their friends, that as the 
ministry are united, and opposition at an end, there will certainly be an inquiry into the 
state of America, the next session of Parliament. The denial of the supremacy of Parlia. 
ment, and the contempt with which its authority has been treated by the Lilliputian As- 
semblies of America, can never be justified or excused by any one member of either 
House of Parliament." 

Governor Hutchinson to Samuel Hood, Esq. 

"Boston, 2d September, 1772. 

Dear Sir : — Capt. Linzee can inform you of the state of Rhode Island colony better than I 
can do; so daring an insult, as burning the King's schooner, by people who are as well 
known as any who were concerned in this last rebellion, and yet cannot be prosecuted, will 
certainly rouse the British lion, which has been asleep these four or five years. 

Admiral Montagu says that Lord Sandwich will never leave pursuing the colony, until it 
is disfranchised. If it is passed over, the other colonies will follow the example." 



104 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

The King trusts that all jjersons In tlie colony, will pay a due respect to his royal 
commission, and that the business of it will be carried on without molestation ; at the 
same time, the nature of this offence, and the great number of persons who appear 
to have been concerned in it, makes every precaution necessary. Hjs Majesty, has, 
therefore, for their further support In the execution of this duty, thought fit to direct 
me to signify his pleasure to Lieutenant General Gage, that he do hold himself in 
readiness to send troojis into Rhode Island, whenever he shall be called upon by the 
commissioners for that purpose, in order to aid and assist the civil magistrate In the 
suppression of any riot or disturbance, and in the preservation of the public peace. 
I have only to add, upon that head, that His Majesty depends on the vigilance of 
the civil magistrates of the colony, to take the proper measures for the arresting and 
commuting to custody, In order to their being brought to justice, such persons, as 
shall, upon proper information made before them, or before His Majesty's commis- 
sioners, appear to have been concerned in the plundering and dcstroj-Ing the Gaspee 
schooner. 

It is His Majesty's intention, in consequence of the advice of his Privy Council, 
that the persons concerned in the bm-nlng the Gaspee schooner, and In the other 
violences which attended that daring insult, should he brought to England, to he 
tried: and I am, therefore, to signify to you His Majesty's pleasure, that such of the 
said offenders as may have been, or shall be, arrested and committed within the 
colony of Rhode Island, be delivered to the care and custody of Rear Admiral Mon- 
tagu, or the commander in chief of His Majesty's ships In North America, tor the 
time being, or to such officers as he shall appoint to receive them ; taking care that 
you do give notice to the persons accused. In order that they may procure such wit- 
nesses on their behalf, as they shall judge necessary ; which witnesses, together with 
all such as may be proper, to support the charge against them, will be received and 
sent hither with the jirlsoners.' " 

At the August session of the General Assembly, the subject 
of the destruction of the Gaspee, was introduced by the fol- 
lowing communication from the Governor : 

Governor Wanton to the House of Deputies of Rhode Island. 

To the House of Deputies : 

Gentlemen : — The measures which hai* been pursued for discovering the persons 
who were concerned in destroj-Ing the Iving's armed schooner, the Gaspee, as she 
lay aground on a point of land, called Namquit, in this colony, will appear from the 
several papers which I have delivered to ]Mr. Speaker, in order to be laid before 
you, for your Information. 

I have. In consequence of that unhappy transaction, addressed the Right Honora- 
ble the Earl of Hillsborough ; a copy of which, and also what I wrote to the agent, 
upon the same occasion, I have deUvered to Mr. Speaker. 

I thought It my duty, during the recess of the Assembly, to acquaint the secretary 
of state with this affair, lest, by an entire silence, or from misinformation, any im- 
pressions might be made prejudicial to the colony. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 105 

I hope my proceedings will meet your approbation ; and submit to your determi- 
nation what is further necessary to be done, recommending the same to your serious 
and immediate consideration. I have the honor to be, &c., &c., 

Council Chamber, | J. WANTON. 

Newport, August 18th, 1772. ^ 

At the same session, Deputy Governor Sessions presented 
an account for expenses incurred by him in collecting evidence 
rehitinn: to the destruction of the Gaspee ; for subsisting- her 
crew, while at Pawtuxet, and in sending them on board His 
Majesty's ship, the Beaver, which lay in the bay below. 

Mr. Samuel Aborn, of Pawtuxet, also presented a bill for 
securing the stores, anchors, guns and other effects belonging 
to the burnt vessel ; all of which bills, were ordered to be 
paid. 

The following additional proceedings are from the records of 
the session : 

Proceedings of the General Assembly of Rhode Island, relative 
to the Gaspee. 

Whereas, His Honor the Governor, hath laid before this As- 
sembly, a full and particular narrative of the measures he hath 
pursued, in consequence of the burning of His Majesty's 
schooner, the Gaspee ; and of the steps he hath taken to dis- 
cover the perpetrators of that atrocious piece of villainy ; upon 
due consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the whole of His Honor's pro- 
ceedings be approved ; and that His Honor be, and he is 
hereby, requested to transmit a copy thereof, to the agent of 
the colony, in Great Britain ;* and to pursue such further mea- 
sures respecting the said affair, during the recess of the 
General Assembly, as shall appear necessary. 

And whereas, His Honor issued a proclamation, promising a 
reward of £100, sterling, to any person or persons who shall 
discover the persons guilty of the said crime ; — 

* The letter to the agent, in London, is not preserved on the files in the secretary's office. 
It did not probably vary from the letter to the Earl of Hillsborough, before given. 

VOL. VII. 14 



106 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OP RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

It is therefore further voted and resolved, that this As- 
sembly will make provision for paying the above mentioned 
reward, in case any person or persons shall be entitled thereto. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that no copies of let- 
ters, or other proceedings, relating to the above mentioned 
affair, be delivered out by the secretary, to any person or per- 
sons, whomsoever. 

It is voted and resolved, that the letter from His Honor the 
Governor, to the Right Honorable the Earl of Hillsborough, of 
the 20th of May last, containing a narrative of the proceedings 
respecting His Honor's calling Lieut. Dudingston before him, 
&c., be, and the same is hereby, approved. 

AVhereas, Joseph Rhodes of Cranston, cooper, hath in his 
hands the sum of $79, belonging to Lieut. Dudingston, which 
he refuseth to deliver, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that His Honor the 
Deputy Governor and the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq., be, 
and they are hereby, requested and empowered to make inquiry 
into that affair, and to settle all differences between the parties ; 
and that, if the said Rhodes will not comply therewith, they 
advise the said Dudingston to take the proper method for ob- 
taining his right. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 107 



Proclamation of King George III, relative to the Destruction of 

the Gas pee. 




GEORGE R . 

BY THE KING. 

A PROCLAMATION: 

For the discovering and apprehending the persons who plundered and burnt the 
Gaspee schooner, and barbarously Avounded alid ill-treated Lieutenant William 
Dudingston, commander of the said schooner. 
Whereas, we have received information, that, upon the 10th day of June last, 
59etween the hours of twelve and one, in the morning, in the Providence or Narra^- 
gansett River, in our colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, a great 
number of persons, armed with guns and other offensive weajwns, and led by two 
persons, who were called the captain and head sheriff", in several armed boats, at- 
tacked and boarded our vessel called the Gaspee schooner, then lying at single an- 
chor in the said river, commanded by our Lieutenant AVilliam Dudingston, under 
the orders of our Rear Admiral John INIontagu ; and having dangerously wounded 
and barbarously treated the said WilUam Dudingston, took, plundered and burnt 
the said schooner. 

We, to the intent that said outrageous and heinous offenders may be discovered, 
and brought to condign punishment, have thought fit, with the advice of our Privy 
Council, to issue this our royal proclamation. 

And we are hereby graciously pleased to promise, that if any person or persons 
shall discover any person or persons concerned in the said daring and heinous of- 
fences above mentioned, so that he or they may be apprehended and brought to 
justice, such discoverer shall have and receive, as a reward, for such discovery, upon 
conviction of each of the said offenders, the sum of Jive hundred pounds. 

And if any person or persons shall discover either of the said persons who acted 
as, or called themselves, or were called by their said accomplices, the head sheriff"^ 
or the captain, so that they, or either of them, may be apprehended and brought to 
punishment, such discoverer shall have and receive, as a reward for such discovery, 
upon conviction of either of the said persons, the further sum oi'Jioe hundred pounds, 
over and above the sum of Jive hundred pounds, herein before promised, for the dis- 
covery and apprehending any of the other common offenders above mentioned. 

And if any person or persons concerned therein, exce2:)t the two persons who 
were called the head sheriff and captain, and the person or persons who wounded 



108 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

said Lieutenant William Dudingston, shall discover any one or more of tlie said ac- 
complices, so that he or they may be apprehended and brought to punishment, such 
discoverer shall have and receive the said reward or rewards oi five hundred pounds ^ 
or one thousand pounds, as the case may be; and also our gracious pardon for his 
said offence ; and the commissioners for executing the office of treasurer of our 
exchequer, are hereby required to make payment accordingly, of the said rewards. 

And we do hereby strictly charge and command all our governors, deputy gov- 
ernors, magistrates officers and all other our loving subjects, that they do use their 
utmost diligence, in their several places and capacities, to find out, discover and 
apprehend the said offenders, in order to their being brought to justice. 

And we do hereby command that this our proclamation be printed and pub- 
lished, in the usual form, and affixed in the principal jjlaces of our town of New- 
port, and other towns in our said colony, that none may pretend ignorance. 

Given at our Court, at St. James, the twenty-sixth day of August, 17 72, in the 
twelfth year of our reign. 

God save the King. 



Royal Co?nmission to the Commissioners of Inquiry, relative to 
the Destruction of the Gaspee. 

GEORGE THE THIRD, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and 
Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c., to our trusty and well beloved Jo- 
seph Wanton, Esquire, Governor of our colony, called the English colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England, in America ; our 
trusty and well beloved Daniel Horsmanden, Esquire, our chief justice of our 
province of New York ; our trusty and well beloved Frederick Smythe, Es- 
quire, our chief justice of our province of New Jersey ; our trusty and well be- 
loved Peter Oliver, Esquire, our chief justice of our Province of the Massachu- 
setts Bay, in New England ; and otlr trusty and well beloved Robert Auch- 
muty. Esquire, our judge of our vice admiralty court, estabhshed at Boston, 
with jurisdiction in all causes arising within the limits of our colonies of New 
Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Connecticut, greeting : 

Whereas, our armed schooner, called the Gaspee schooner, commanded by Lieu- 
tenant William Dudingston, under the orders of Rear Admiral Montagu, was sta- 
tioned in Providence or Narragansett River, in, or near to our colony of Rhode Is- 
land and Providence Plantations, in New England, the said Lieutenant Dudingston, 
having proper commission and authority, to seize to our use, such prohibited and un- 
accustomed goods, as he should find carried in and on board any sliip, bottom* 
boat or other vessels, contrary to law, whereby the same is forfeited. 

And, whereas, we have been informed that very many ill-disposed persons have 
dared, from time to time, in defiance of our laws and authority, to insult and other- 
wise hinder and obstruct the said Lieutenant William Dudingston, in the perform- 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIOxNS. 109 

ance of liis duty, and their boldness in that respect grew to so desperate an height, 
that on or about the 10th day of June last, great multitudes of people were assem- 
bled in our town of Newport,* and places adjacent, in our said colony, by beat of 
drum, armed with guns and other offensive weapons, and led on by two persons 
whom they called the head sheriff and the captain, and so proceeded in warlike 
manner, with armed boats, to attack our said schooner ; and having dangerously 
wounded the said lieutenant, overpowered the crew, took, plundered and burnt our 
said vessel. 

We, being desirous to be perfectly informed how so daring an attempt could be 
concerted, prepared and carried into execution in the chief town of our said colony, 
the residence of the Governor, and principal magistrates thereof, not only for the 
purpose of bringing the said offenders and their maintainers, aiders and abettors, 
to condign punishment, but also to the end, that fit and speedy order may be 
taken for securing the future peace, obedience, and well government of our said 
colony ; and placing much confidence in yom- wisdom, diligence, loyalty and integ- 
rity, do, by these presents, appoint you, the said Joseph Wanton, Daniel Hors- 
manden, Frederick Smythe, Peter Oliver and Robert Auchmuty, our commissioners, 
to inquire into and report to us a full and true account of all the circumstances rela- 
tive to the attacking, taking, plundering and burning our said schooner ; and to the 
assembling, arming, training and leading the people concerned therein ; and to the 
concerting and preparing the said attack, and of all other insults and obstructions 
which have been given to the said Lieutenant Dudingston, or to our service in gen- 
eral in our said colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and of the 
causes which have occasioned so daring a violation of our laws and authority ; and 
also to inquire and report what measures have been taken or used by the magis- 
trates of our said colony, and other our good subjects therein, respecting the 
same. 

And for the better execution of our royal will and pleasure therein, we do hereby 
give unto you, the said Joseph Wanton, Daniel Ilorsmanden, Frederick Smythe, Peter 
OHver, and Robert Auchmuty, or any three of you, full power and authority to re- 
ceive all such informations and advertisements as shall be brought unto }ou, by or 
from any of our loving subjects or others, touching the premises ; and also, to inquire, 
by the examination of witnesses on oath, which oath we do hereby give you or any 
of you, full power, wan-ant and authority to administer, or by such other ways and 
means as you, or any three of you, shall, in your discretion, tliink fit, into the 
premises, or any of them. 

And we do further give you, or any three of you, full power and authority to send 
for such persons, papers, and records, as shall be useful to you, for the better carry- 
ing on the ser\4ce hereby intended, wiUing and requiring you, the said Governor, 
the Deputy Governor, and all other our magistrates, officers, and loving subjects 
within the said colony, to be in all things helpful, aiding and assisting to you, and 
every of you, in the execution of this, our royal commission. 

And we do further strictly charge and command j'ou, and every of you, that, in 
the execution and performance of the powers and authorities to you hereby given, 



* This is a mistake. It was not in Newport, but in Providence, where the party was 
organized. 



110 RECORDS OP THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

you, and every of you, do carefully observe and conform yourselves to such instruc- 
tions as shall be given and sent unto you, in Avriting, under our sign manual, and to 
report to us a full and true account of your proceedings herein. 

In witness wliereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness 
oursclf, at Westminster, the second day of September, iu the twelfth year of our 
reign. 

By the King himself. 

YORKE. 

Royal Instructions to the Commission of Inquiry, relative to the 
Destructioji of the Gaspee. 

GEOEGE R. 

f ^— >-^ . Instructions to our trusty and well beloved Joseph Wanton, Daniel Hors- 
( ■ ■ I manden, Frederick Smythe, Peter Oliver and Robert Auchmuty, 
Escpiires, our commissioners for in(|uinng into the circumstances relative 
to the attacking, plundering and burning our armed schooner, called 
the Gaspee schooner, Avithin our colony of Rhode Island, in America, 
on the 10th day of June last, and into the causes thereof, and of the 
violences and insults oflcred upon that occasion, to our officers em- 
ployed in our service. 
Given at our court at St. James, the 4th day of September, 1772, in the twelfth 
year of our reign. 

Article 1st. With these our instructions, you will receive our commission, under 
our great seal of Great Britain, constituting and appointing you our commissioners, 
for inquiring into and making report to us of all the circumstances relative to the at- 
tacking, plundering and burning the Gaspee schooner on the 10th of June last, in 
the Narragansett River, within our colony of Rhode Island; and to the assembhng, 
arming, and leading on the persons who made the said attack, and to the concerting 
and preparing the same ; together with all such other powers and authorities as 
are judged necessary for that purpose. You are therefore, to take upon you, the 
execution of the trust reposed in you, and so soon as three or more of you shall 
have been assembled at Newport, within our said colony of Rhode Island, you are 
to cause our said commission to be read and published in such manner and form, 
and with such solemnity as are due to the authority from which it proceeds, and the 
important occasion for which it is issued, using your own discretions as to all such 
other times and places of your meetings, according to what shall appear to you, or 
the major part of j-ou, to be most fit and proper. 

Art. 2d. You are to use your utmost care and dilligence, pursuant to the au- 
thorities and directions contained in our said commission, in making a very full and 
particular inquiry into all the circiunstances relative to the attacking, plundering 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. Ill 

and destroying our armed schooner, the Gaspce, on the 10th of June last, m the 
Narragansett River, within our said colony of Rhode Island, and to the assembling, 
arming and leading on the persons who made the said attack, as also into the causes 
and occasions thereof; and into all the steps that have been taken by the civil 
magistrates in their respective stations, for the discovery and punishment of the per- 
trators of those heinous oifences. And to those ends, you are to summon before 
you, all such persons as you shall think may be able to give any information touching 
the said objects of inquiry ; and hkewise, to order all informations, depositions and 
examinations, which may have been taken and made in writing, touching those 
matters, or authentic copies thereof, to be laid before you, and to make a report to 
us, by one of our principal secretaries of state, of all your joroceedings, and of what 
shall appear to you, respecting the conduct of the magistrates and people of Rhode 
Island, on that occasion. 

Art. 3d. And whereas, the civil magistrates and officers within our said colony 
of Rhode Island, are entrusted with the power and authority to arrest and commit 
to custody such of the persons concerned in the plundering and destroying the 
Gaspee schooner, and in the inhuman treatment of our officer who commanded her, 
against whom any information shall be taken, in order to the said offenders being 
sent to England to be tried for that offence ; it is therefore, our will and pleasure, 
that you do, from time to time, communicate to the said civil officers and maois- 
trates, such information as you shall be able to collect, touching the persons con- 
cerned in that daring attack upon our authority and commission, to the end that 
they may be accordingly arrested and delivered to the custody of the commander in 
chief of our ships and vessels in North America, pursuant to such directions as we 
have thought fit to give for that purpose. 

Art. 4th. And whereas, it is of importance with regard to the mode of proceed- 
ing against the said offenders, that they should be exactly informed of the place 
where the offence was committed, it will, therefore, be your duty to take care in 
all your proceedings upon this inquiry, as well as in your reports thereof to us, by 
one of our principal secretaries of state, to ascertain with the greatest precision, 
whether the offence was committed and done Avithin the body of the colony ; and if 
so, within what county or district thereof; and if not so, in what other place the 
said offence was conmiitted and done. 

Art. 5th. And whereas, there may be reason to apprehend, from the outrages 
which have been committed within our said colony of Rhode Island, by numbers of law- 
less persons, that insults may be offered to you, it is therefore our will and pleasure, 
that if any disturbance shall arise, with a view to obstruct you in the execution of 
your duty, and any violence should in consequence thereof, be offered to you, you 
do, in such case, give immediate notice thereof to the commander in cliief of our 
forces in North America, and require of him to send such a military force into the 
colony, as you shall judge necessary for your protection, and for the aiding the civil 
magistrates in suppressing any tumults or riots, and preserving the pubfic peace. 

Lastly. It is our will and pleasure, that you do take an account, by way of 
journal, of all your acts and proceedings in the execution of the powers and direc- 
tions given to you, and that the reports which you are to make to us, by one of our 



112 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1772. 

ipal secretaries of state, of those proceedings, be in writing, and signed by any 



prmc: 

three or more of you.^ 



G. R. 



* Extract from the Providence Gazette, of Saturday, December 26, 1772 : 

" To be, or not to be, that's the question ; whether our unalienable rights and privileges are 
any longer worth contending for, is now to be determined. Permit me, my co'intrymen, 
to beseech you to attend to your alarming situation. 

The stamp act you opposed with a spirit and resolution becoming those who were truly 
solicitous to transmit to posterity those blessings which our forefathers purchased for us in 
the wilds of America, at an immense expense of blood and treasure. 

But behold, an evil infinitely worse, in its consequences, than all the revenue laws which 
have been passed from the reign of Charles the First, to this time, now threatens this dis- 
tressed, piratically plundered country. 

A court of inquisition, more horrid than that of Spain or Portugal, is established within 
this colony, to inquire into the circumstances of destroying the Gaspee schooner ; and the 
persons who are the commissioners of this new-fangled court, are vested with most exor- 
bitant and unconstitutional power. They are directed to summon witnesses, apprehend 
persons not only impeached, but even suspected ! and them, and every of them, to deliver 
them to Admiral Montagu, who is ordered to have a ship in readiness to carry them to 
England, where they are to be tried. 

Three of the commissioners are a quorum, who are directed to apply to General Gage, for 
troops to protect them in their oiBces, and preserve the colony from riots and disturbances. 
The royal commission for these gentlemen, together with their instructions, is transmitted 
to Admiral Montagu, who, upon being notified that they are convened in conformity to 
their appointment, is to attend them, and then deliver their commission and instructions, 
and to be aiding with his sage counsel and advice, whenever necessary. 

So much has transpired, respecting this alarming star-chamber inquisition. And who 
among the natives of America, can hear it without emotion ? Is there an American, in 
whose breast there glows the smallest spark of public virtue, but who must be fired with 
indignation and resentment, against a measure so replete with the ruin of our free consti- 
tution ? To be tried b}' one's peers, is the greatest privilege a subject can wish for ; and so 
excellent is our coustitatiou, that no subject shall be tried, but by his peers. 

This establishment is the grand barrier of our lives, liberties and estates; and whoever 
attempts to alter or invade this faudamental principle, by which the liberties of the people 
have been secured from time immemorial, is a declared enemy to the welfare and happiness 
of the King and state. The tools of despotism and arbitrary power, have long wished that 
this important bulwark might be destroyed, and now have the impudence to triumph in our 
faces, because such of their fellow subjects in America, as are suspected of being guilty of 
a crime, are ordered to be transported to Great Britain for trial, in open violation of Magna 
Charta. 

Thus are we robbed of our birth-rights, and treated with every mark of indignity, insult 
and contempt ; and can we possibly be so supine, as not to feel ourselves firmly disposed 
to treat the advocates for such horrid measures with a detestation and scorn, proportionate 
to their perfidy and baseness ? 

Luxury and avarice, a more fatal and cruel scourge than war, will ere long ravage Britain 
and ultimately bring on the dissolution ofthat once happy kingdom. Ambition, and a thirst 
for arbitrary sway, have already banished integrity, probity and every other virtue, from those 
who are entrusted with the government of our mother country. Her colonies loudly com- 
plain of the violences and vexations they sufter by having their moneys taken from them, 
without their consent, by measures more unjustifiable than highway robbery ; and ap- 
plied to the basest purposes, — those of supporting tyrants and debauchees. No private house 
is inaccessible to the avarice of custom-house officers ; no place so remote whither the injus- 
tice and extortion of these miscreant tools in power, have not penetrated. 

Upon the whole, it is more than probable, it is an almost absolute certainty, that, ac- 
cording to the present appearances, the state of an American subject, instead of enjoying 



1772.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 113 



These papers were transmitted to Admiral Montagu, and 
sent by him to Governor Wanton, by express. 

Admiral Montagu to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Boston, lltli December, 1772. 
Sir :— Last night an express arrived, with dispatches from the Right Honorable 
My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, by which came under cover to me, the 
packet 1 send to you, herewith. 

the privileges of an Englishman, will soon be infinitely worse than that of a subject of 
France, Spain, Portugal, or any other the most despotic power on earth ; so that, my coun- 
trymen, it behoves you, it is your indispensable duty to stand forth in the glorious cause of 
freedom, the dearest of all your earthly enjoyments j and, with a truly Roman spirit of 
liberty, either prevent the fastening of the infernal chains now forging for you, and your 
posterity, or noblr perish in the attempt. 

To live a life of rational beings, is to live tree ; to live a life of slaves, is to die by inches. 
Ten thousand deaths by the halter, or the axe, are infinitely preferable to a miserable life of 
slavery in chains, under a pack of worse than Egyptian tyrants, whose avarice nothing less 
than your whole substance and income, will satisfy ; and who, if they can't extort that, will 
glory in making a sacrifice of you and your posterity, to gratify their master the devil, who 
is a tyrant, and the father of tyrants and of liars. AMERICANUS. 

Extracts from the Providence Gazette, of Saturday, 
December 26, 1772. 

Newport, December 21, 1772. 

Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Boston, to his friend in this town : 

" I here enclose you an extract of a letter from a gentleman in Eng land, to another in 
Boston. In confirmation of the truth of which, the admiral received a packet by an express 
which arrived in this town on Thursday evening last, ordering the ships to your harbor ; 
in consequence of which order, the ships are now getting ready as fost as possible ; they were 
kept to work all day yesterday, and commanded to be ready to sail on Tuesday afternoon, 
or Wednesday morning, at furthest. 

The admiral is in very high spirits on the occasion, and cheerfully undertakes an expedi- 
tion which promises to gratify his rancor against your colony. It is to be hoped, from his 
avowed disposition towards our Rhode Island brethren, that he will meet with a proper re- 
ception among them. 

I have just received information which you may depend upon : the high commissioned 
court, specially appointed, with novel, unconstitutional and exorbitant powers, for the trial 
of the persons concerned in burning the schoouer, are forthwith to repair to Rhode Island 
for that purpose; and are to be accompanied with His High Mightiness the Admiral. 

The regiment at Castle William, a regiment from New York, and a third regiment, are 
immediately to march for Rhode Island ; and unless you exhibit a gtiantum sujicit of ]^iissiye 
obedience and non-resistance, the same tragedy may be acted in Newport and Providence, 
which makes the 6th of March so memorable at Boston." 

Extract of a letter from a gentleman of character, in England, to his friend, in Boston : 
" Our tyrants in the administration, arc greatly exasperated with the late manoeuvre of 
the brave Rhode Islanders; as a regard to the rights of the subject, and the principles of 
justice, never marked the measures of the present wretched conductors of the wheels of gov- 
ernment, you will not be alarmed when I tell you that they have determined to vacate the 

VOL. VII. 15 



114 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

As it may be of great consequence, I have thought proper to charge Mr. Mon- 
tagu, one of my lieutenants, with it.* 

In my despatches from their Lordships, I am directed to repair to Khode Island, 
to assist you, and the rest of the gentlemen in the commission, which I shall do as 

charter of that colony. To eflfect this purpose, which in their own apprehension, will be 
attended with some difficulty, Admiral Montagu is ordered, with the small craft which are 
with him, to line the harbor of Rhode Island, with positive orders to apprehend the persons 
concerned in the enterprize above mentioned. 

Awed by the formidable appearance of this hectoring commander and his gallant squa- 
dron, these bitter pills are to be crammed down their throats; but the friends of true British 
freedom, are not without hopes that the stomachs of that heroic colony will reject the dose 
prepared for them. 

Be united, our dear suflFering brethren ; be steady, and success awaits you; freedom, glo- 
rious freedom, will be the purchase. We believe that the ancient British spirit of independ- 
ence, which once blest this island, has improved by transplantation, and preserves its 
vigor in the breasts of Americans ; cherish it, my dear friends ! and by relieving yourselves, 
save the small remnant of the virtuous in Britain." 

Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Boston, to his friend, in this town, dated Decem- 
ber 14, 1772: 

" I would have you inform your townsmen, that the admiral has hoisted his flag on board 
one of the frigates, and will sail for Newport, in a day or two ; and is determined to lay 
your town and Providence, in ashes ; he swore by God (some time ago), that he would burn 

the town of Providence to ashes. Mr. P , of this town, will attest to it ; hope you will 

try him for treason. 

It is surmised, that they are going to deprive you of your charter ; hope you will give it 
up peaceably, like true friends to government, and not contend with your superiors, but be 
subject to the higher powers; for the powers that be, are ordained (I believe), of the 
devil." 

* The following is from the Providence Gazette, of December 19, 1772 : 

"By the Cruizer sloop-of-war, Capt. Howe, arrived at New York, from England, His 
Honor the Governor, has received dispatches from the Earl of Dartmouth, secretary of state 
for the American department, relative to the Gaspee armed schooner, destroyed some time 
since, and the very extraordinary measures adopted by government for inquiring into the 
matter, and punishing the offenders. 

For this purpose, we are told that commissioners are to sit at Newport, and examine such 
persons as Admiral Montagu shall direct to be apprehended. These devoted persons, it is 
further said, are to be transported to England, where they are to be tried for high treason. 
The admiral, with a number of ships and tenders, is to be at Newport ; and the com- 
missioners are directed to apply to General Gage for troops, if they shall think them 
necessary. 

In this situation of affairs, every friend to our violated constitution, cannot but be greatly 
alarmed. The idea of seizing a number of persons, under the points of bayonets, and 
transporting them three thousand miles for trial, where, whether guilty or innocent, they 
must unavoidably fall victims alike to revenge or prejudice, is shocking to humanity, repug- 
nant to every dictate of reason, liberty and justice ; and in which, Americans and freemen 
ought never to acquiesce." 

Extract from the proceedings of a town meeting held at Dorchester, in the Massachusetts 
Bay, January 4, 1773 : 

" Resolved, that at a time when open attacks upon our happy constitution are multiplied, 
it is incumbent upon the people to be watchful ; and especially at this time, when we are 
alarmed with a new and unheard of grievance, in a late act passed by the British Parlia- 
ment, whereby the crown is empowered, so that persons supposed to be guilty of certain 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 115 

soon as you inform me that you are ready, with the commissioners, to proceed to 
business, and deliver the commission, and the King's instructions to you. 

In the meantime. Captain Keeler, in His Majesty's ship Mercury, has my orders 
to assist you, and receive any prisoners or jiersons you may send him. Permit me 
to say, I should think it advisable to have the persons apprehended that I sent you 
an account of some months ago, which the indentured mulatto informed of, and has 
sworn against. The mulatto remains on board with the captain, and shall be ready 
to attend the commission, whenever he is called for. 

As I find Caj^t. Keeler is often made a prisoner, from frequent arrests he meets 
with, as well as insults when he comes on shore, I am to desire, in case the commis- 
sion should at any time want him, you will direct his person to be secured from in- 
sults or arrests. 

Whenever you will favor me with your commands, you will find me ready to co- 
operate with you in every thing for the King's service. 

I have the honor to be, sir, &c., &c., 

J. MONTAGU. 

To Governor Wanton. 

P. S. I must beg leave to recommend to you, as first in the commission, to ap- 
point a time for the first meeting, and to give notice to the other gentlemen named 
in the commission and me ; and that you will make the time as short as you can, 
consistent with proper notice, for particular reasons. 

This led to the following correspondence before the opening 
of the session of the commissioners : 



The Governor of Rhode Island to Admiral Montagu. 

Newport, December 14, 1772. 

Sir : — I am favored with yours, by Mr. Montagu, together with dispatches from 
the Right Honorable the Earl of Dartmouth, respecting the destruction of the 
Gaspee. 

I shall appoint a time for meeting the commissioners authorized to inquire into 

crimes, may be hurried away from any county in North America, where such crime may be 
supposed to have been committed, to b-^ tried in any county in England, ivhere His Majesty 
or his successors shall judge proper ; which appears to us to come little short of any court 
of inquisition, and appears plainly to us destructive of the main pillar of the British 
constitution." 

Extract from the proceedings of a town meeting, held at Ipswich, in the Massachusetts 
Bay, December 17, 1772 : 

" Resolved, that we have been of late greatly alarmed at the appointment of commis- 
sioners, in consequence of a late act of Parliament, entitled ' An act for the better persei'v- 
ing His Majesty's dockyards, magazines, ships, ammunition and stores, and to inquire after 
the persons concerned in burning His Majesty's schooner, the Gaspee, at Providence ;' 
which, though a very unjustifiable act, yet we apprehend this method of proceeding, an in- 
fringement upon the liberty of the subject, and of the most dangerous consequence, as the 
constitution has already provided a rnethod for the trial of those, and all other offenders." 



116 EECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

the cii'cumstances of that transaction, as soon as may be', and give you the earhest 
intelligence thereof, in conformity to His Majesty's orders. His Majesty's procla- 
mation I shall cause to be printed without delay, and sent into the several towns 
within the colony. I am, &e., &c., 

J. WANTON. 
To the Honorable J. INIontagu. 

The Governor of Rhode Island^ to Peter Oliver^ Esq., Chief 
Justice oj Massachusetts. 

Newport, December 14, 1772. 
Sir : — By express from Admiral Montagu, I have this moment received a letter 
from the Earl of Dartmouth, advising of your being one of the commissioners for in- 
quiring into the circumstances of burning the schooner Gaspee. I have thought 
proper to give you this information, and that I shall fix upon a time for meeting the 
commissioners, and give you and the other gentlemen named in the commission, 
notice thereof, without delay. I am, &c., &c., 

J. WANTON. 
To the Honorable Peter Oliver, Esq. 

The Governor of Rhode Island to Robert Auchmuty, Esq., Judge 
of the Vice Admiralty Court , Boston. 

Itoxbury, December 11, 1772. 
Sir : — I embrace this opportunity of acquainting you, that I have received His 
Majesty's orders to attend you and the other gentlemen, commissioners for examining 
into the business and plundering the schooner Gaspee. In obedience to which, I 
shall, on notice, with all convenient dispatch, attend you on that aifair. I shall be 
glad to know when you think the gentlemen can be got together ; and am. 

Your Honor's '^nost obedient servant, 

ROBERT AUCH^IUTY. 
To Governor Wanton. 

The Governor of Rhode Island to Judge Auchmuty. 

Newport, December 14, 1772. 
Sir : — I have received your favor by Mr. Montagu. I shall fix upon a time for 
meeting the commissioners, appointed to inquire into the circumstances of destroying 
the Gaspee schooner, and give you and the other gentlemen, mentioned in the com- 
mission, the earliest intelligence thereof. I am, &c., &c., 

J. WANTON, 
To the Hon. Robert Auchmuty. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 117 

Circular of the Governor of Rhode Island to Judges Oliver and 
Auchmuty. 

Newport, December 24, 1772. 

Sir : — When I received the Earl of Dartmouth's letter of the 4th of Sep- 
tember, and in consequence thereof, wrote you on the 14th inst., I was preparing to 
set out for the Assembly, who were adjourned to meet that day at Providence, and 
therefore I had not then time to attend so maturely to His Lordship's letter as its ' 
importance required. 

The letter I received from Admiral IMontagu, by the same express which brought 
me the dispatches from Lord Dartmouth, induced me to suppose I was authorized 
to appoint a time for the first meeting of the commissioners ; but as Lord Dartmouth 
has signified to me, that my associates in the commission, are directed to rejiair to 
Newport, and by a vessel this day from Nevv^ York, I am informed that the chief 
justice of that province, and the chief justice of New Jersey have engaged their pas- 
sage^, and will be here some time next week. 

I thought it proper to give you this information, and that I am ready to meet you, 
agreeably to the royal instructions, whenever it may suit your convenience to attend. 
As soon as a quorum can be got together, I shall, without loss of time, notify Ad- 
miral Montagu, in obedience to the liing's command. 

I am, sir, &c., &c., 

J. WANTON. 

Circular to the Judges Oliver and Auchmuty. 

The Governor of Rhode Island to the Sheriffs of the several 
Counties. 

Newport, December 22, 1772. 
Sir : — In obedience to the King's command, signified to me, by the Right Honora- 
ble the Earl of Dartmouth, one of liis principal secretaries of state, I have caused to 
be printed His Majesty's proclamation for discovering and apprehending the per- 
sons who plundered and burnt the Gaspee schooner; copies of which, I send you by 
express, which you are forthwith to affix in the most pubhc places of the several 
towns within your colony. I am, sir, &c., &c., 

J. WANTON. 
Circular to the sheriffs of the several counties. 

The Governor of Rhode Island to Admiral Montagu. 

Newport, December 24, 1772. 
Sir : — ^By a vessel tliis day from New York, I am informed that the Judges Hors- 
manden and Smythe, have engaged their passages in the sloop Lydia, John Free- 
body, master, and will probably be here in about a week. I give you this informa- 
tion, for your governmeqt. I am, sir, &c., &c., 

J, WA??TON. 
To Admiral Montagu. 



118 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 



Admiral Montagu to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Boston, 28tli December, 1772. 

Sir : — I am favored with your letter, informing me that the Judges Horsmanden and 
Smythe are expected at Rhode Island in the course of the week. If you will be 
pleased to inform me when you are readj^ to receive His Majesty's commission, I 
will take care to have it delivered agreeably to my instructions. 

I shall be glad to know whether you intend to proceed to business, or adjourn to 
any particular time, that I may conduct myself relative to His Majesty's service 
here, accordingly. I am, sir, &c., &c., 

J. MONTAGU. 

To His Honor Governor Wanton. 

The Governor of Rhode Island to Admiral Montagu. 

Newport, January 1, 1773. 
Sir : — The Judges Horsmanden and Smythe arrived here last evening, from New 
York, and are ready to proceed immediately upon business. A number sufticient 
to constitute a quorum, are now assembled at Newjjort, waiting to receive from you 
the royal commission and iiistructions, of which I have thought it proper to give yoi; 
this information, by express. 

I shall be glad to wait upon you, at Newport; and am, sir, &c., &c., 

J. WANTON. 
To Admi)-al Montagu. 

The Governor of Rhode Island to Judge Aiichmuty. 

Newport, January 1, 1773. 

Sir : — The Judges Horsmanden and Smythe arrived last evening from New 
York. This will be delivered you by express I send to the Admiral ; and hope I 
shall have the pleasure of waiting on you this week, if your health will permit. 

My letter to Judge Oliver, you have, without doubt, sent him. I am, therefore, 
jn expectation of seeing liim, every Lour. I have only to add the compliments of 
the season ; and am, sir, &c., &c., J. WANTON. 

To Judge Auchmuty. 

The Governor of Rhode Island to Capt. Robert Keeler, of His 
Majesty's Ship Mercury. 

Newport, January 4, 1773. 
Sir : — The commissioners meet at twelve o'clock this day, at the colony house ; at 
which time, I expect the return of the express, vfhen it is probable it will be deter- 
mined whether it is proper to defer opening the conmiission until the admiral ar- 
rives. Your attendance will be necessary. I am yours, &c. , &c., 

J. WANTON. 
To Captain Robert Keeler. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 119 



Admiral Montagu to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Boston, 2d January, 1773, -i 
at 3 o'clock, afternoon. j 

Sir : — I am this moment favored with your letter, by express, acquainting me 
that the Judges Horsmanden and Smythe are arrived at Newport, and ready to pro- 
ceed immediately upon business, and are therefore ready to receive His Majesty's 
royal commission, wliich, by my instructions, I am to cause to be delivered to 
them. 

I beg leave to inform you, that my captain left this place yesterday morning, 
charged with the commission to be given to Captain Keeler, the senior officer of His 
Majesty's shijjs at Rhode Island, Avho has my orders to wait on you, and know your 
pleasure, when he shall wait upon the commissioners with it. 

He is also directed to give the conomissioners all the assistance in his power, and 
to receive such persons, either prisoners or witnesses, as they shall send to him. 

He has likewise my directions to inform the commissioners that he has some peo- 
ple on board that can give infomiation relative to the burning the Gaspee, as well 
as of the persons concerned in that affair ; and he is directed to send them to the 
commissioners whenever they are pleased to demand them. 

As the season of the year does not admit of my coming to Rhode Island with my 
flag, and such ships as shall be necessary to assist the commissioners, agreeably to 
my instructions ; yet, if the commissioners shall think it right, and for the good of 
the service they are upon, that my presence is necessary, I shall be ready to set out 
the moment I receive such notice from them. But I flatter myself they will be able 
to do so, without me, as I have nothing to do but to receive such persons as may be 
sent from them. I am, &c., &c., 

J. MONTAGU. 

To Governor Wanton. 



120 RECORDS OF TIIE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION, FOR 
INQUIRING INTO THE CIRCUMSTANCES RELA- 
TIVE TO THE TAKING AND BURNING OF IIIS 
MAJESTY'S SCHOONER GASPEE. 

The commissioners met at the state house, in Newport, on 
the 5th day of January, 1773. 

Present — the Hon. Joseph Wanton, Daniel Ilorsmanden, 
Esquire, Frederick Smythe, Esquire, Peter Oliver, Esquire, 
and Robert Auchmuty, Esquire. 

Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations : 

Proceedings had and taken by virtue of a royal commission, 
under the seal of Great Britain, directed to the Honorable 
Joseph Wanton, Esq., Governor of the English colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New Eng- 
land, in America ; Daniel Horsmanden, Esq., chief justice 
of the Province of New York ; Frederick Smythe, Esq., 
chief justice of the Province of New Jersey ; Peter Oliver, 
Esq., chief justice of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, in 
New England ; Robert Auchmuty, Esq., judge of the vice 
admiralty court, established at Boston, with jurisdiction in 
all causes arising within the limits of the colonies of New 
Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Connec- 
ticut, commissioners appointed for inquiring into and re- 
porting to His Majesty a full and true account of all the 
circumstances relative to the attacking, taking, plundering 
and burning His Majesty's armed schooner, called the Gas- 
pee, commanded by Lieutenant William Dudingston, within 
the colony of Rhode Island, in America, on the 10th day of 
June, A. D. 1772 ; and for other purposes therein men- 
tioned, at the colony house, at Newport, in Rhode Island, 
Tuesday, the 5th day of January, A. D. 1773, the above 
commissioners being present. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 121 

His Majesty's said royal commission, witli instructions to 
said commissioners, under Ilis Majesty's signet and sign 
manual, were delivered to the said commissioners, by Robert 
Keeler, Esq., commander of His Majesty's ship ISIercury, 
which said commission was publicly read and proclaimed. 

On the perusal of said instructions, the commissioners con- 
ceived that the presence of Rear Admiral Montagu, com- 
mander in chief of His jMajesty's ships and vessels employed 
in North America, was necessary, for the furtherance of the 
present service. 

The following letter was thereupon written, and delivered 
by James Clarke, one of the secretaries to the commissioners, 
to Captain Symonds, to be by him immediately conveyed to 
Admiral Montagu : 

The Commissioners of Inquiry, c^c, to Admiral Montagu. 

Xewport, January o, 1773. 
Sir : — We, His IMajesty's commissioners, for inquiring into the attacking, burning 
and plundering His Majesty's schooner, the Gaspee, &c., being met at this place, in 
order to prevent the delay of business, thought proper to receive the royal commis- 
sion and instructions, from Capt. Keeler, -whicli, until yours of the •2d inst., we con- 
eluded would have been delivered by you. 

This day the commission was ojiened and published, and the instructions carefully 
perused ; in one, of which, we find the following words : " To the end that they may 
be accordingly arrested, and deli^■ered to the custody of the commander In chief ot 
our ships and vessels in North America, pursuant to such directions as we have 
thought fit to give for that purpose." 

By virtue of these words, we conceive, that In case any person or persons should 
be arrested for the above mentioned crime, you are the only person to whom such 
prisoners can regularly be delivered for safe custody ; therefore, we think your at- 
tendance at Newport, is absolutely necessary. We are sorry to give you this 
trouble ; but our duty, as we apjjrehend, obliges us to do it. 
We are, sir, with great respect. 

Your most humble and obedient servants, 
JOSEPH WANTON, FREDERICK SMYTIIE, 



DANIEL HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER, 

ROBERT AUCHMUTY, 



Commissioners. 



To Admiral IMontagu. 
VOL. VII. 16 



122 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1772. 

The commissioners tlien proceeded to take the usual state 
oaths, which were administered first by Daniel Horsmanden, 
Esq., to Joseph Wjinton, Esq., and afterwards by him, to the 
other commissioners. 

The commissioners then appointed James Brenton .and 
James Clarke, Esqs., joint secretaries, who were accordingly 
sworn truly and lailhrully to execute the duties of tlieir 
office. 

The following is the form of the oath taken by the com- 
missioners : 

The form of the Oath taken hy the Commissioiiers. 

We do soletonly and jiiueeroly, in the presence of God, profess, testify and de- 
clare, that we do believe, that in the sacrament of the Lord's snipper, there is not any 
transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, 
at or after the consecration thereof, by any person, whatsoever ; and that the invoca- 
tion or adoration of the Virgin Marj^, or any other saint, and the sacrifice of the mass, 
as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous. And 
we do solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify and declare, that we do 
make this declaration and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the 
words read unto us, as they are commonly understood by English Protestants, 
without any evasion, equivocation or mental reservation, whatsoever ; and without 
any dispensation already granted us for this purpose by the Pope, or any other au- 
thority or person, vvdiatsoever ; or without any hope of any such dispensation from 
any person or authority, whatsoever ; or without thinking that we are, or can be 
accpiitted before God or man, or al;solved of this declaration, or any part thereof, 
although the Pope, or any other })erson or persons, or power, whatsoever, shall 
dispense with, or annul tlie same, or declare that it v.'as null and void, from the 
beginning, J. WAXTOX, FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER. 

ROBT. ALTHMUTY, 

We do truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess, testify and declare, in our con- 
sciences, before God and the world, that our sovereign lord, George the Third, is 
the lawful and rightfiil King of this realm, and all other His Majesty's dominions 
thereunto belonging. And we do solemnlj- and sincerely declare, that we do be- 
lieve, in our consciences, that not any of the descendants of the person who pre- 
tended to be Prince of Wales during the life of the late King James the Second, 
and since his decease pretended to be, and took upon himself the style and title of 
King of England, by the name of James the Third ; or of Scotland, by the name of 
James the Eighth ; or the style and title of King of Great Britain, hath any right 
or title, whatsoever, to the crown of this realm, or any other the dominions thei-e- 
unto belonging. And we do renounce, refuse, and alijure any allegiance or obedi- 



1772.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATiONt 



12: 



c'liec to anj- of tlicm. And wc do sv/ear, that we will bru" faithful and true aUeg;- 
anco to His Majesty King George the Third, and him will (leiend to the utmost of our 
power, against all traitorous conspiracies and attcmpl,-, whatsoever, whicli shall be 
made against his person, crown or dignity. And we \--iil do our utmost endeavor to 
disclose and make known to His Majestj', and his successors, all treason and trai- 
torous conspiracies which we shall ]^now to be against him or any of them. And 
we do faithfull}' promise to the utmost of our po^vcr, to support, maintain and de- 
fend the succession of the crown against the descendants of the said James, and 
against all other persons, Avhatsoevcr ; which succession, by an act entitled " An act 
for the further limitation of the crown, and l)etter securing the rights and liberties 
of the subject," is, and stands limited to the princess Sophia, clectoress and duchess 
dowager of Hanover, and the heirs of her body, being Protestants. And all these 
tilings we do plainly and sincerely ackuovfledgc and swear, according to these ex- 
press -sVords by us spoken, and according to the plain and comnjon sense and under- 
standing of the same words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret 
reservation, whatsoever. And v/e do make this- recognition, acknowledgment, al)- 
jin'ation, renunciation and promise lieartily, v.-illingly and truly, upon the true faith 
of a Chi-istian. So hel]) us God. 

J. WANTON, FRED. SMYTIIE, 

DAN. HOKSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER. 

ROBT. AUC:HMUTY. 



We do sv.-ear, that we do, fi-om 
our hearts, abhor, detest and ab- 
jure, as impious and heretical, that 
damnable doctrine and position, 
that princes excommunicated or 
deprived by the Pope or an}- au- 
thority of the See of Rome, may 
be deposed or murdered by their 
subjects, or any other, whatsoever. 
And we do declare, that no foreign 
prince, person, prelate, stale, or 
potentate, hath, or ought to have, 
any jurisdiction, power, suj^eri- 
ority, pre-eminence or authoriiy, 
ecclesiastical or spiritual, within 
this realm. So help us God. 








^ /^^^A^^^-^<^ 



124 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

The proceedings of the said commission were then Jidjourned 
till to-morrow, at 11 o'clock, then to meet at the colony house, 
aforesaid. 

Wednesday, January G, 1773. 

The commissioners met, according to adjournment. 

Tiie commissioners determined that it was necessary that an 
advertisement be published in the next Newport Mercury, 
giving notice that the said commissioners had assembled, and 
were now daily sitting at the colony house, in Newport, for 
the purpose of proceeding upon, and duly executing the said 
commission ; and that they are ready to receive information 
relative to the attacking, taking, plundering and burning the Gas- 
pee schooner, on the 10th of June last past ; in consequence of 
which resolutions, the following advertisement was ordered to 
be published : 

Advertisement in the Neivport Mercury, of the meetings of the 
Commissioners. 

" CoLOXY ov Rhode Island axd Pkovidexce Plaxtatioxs : 

The i:)ublic arc hereby informed, lliat the honorable the commissioners, appointed 
under the seal of Great Britain, for inquiring into the circumstances of attacking, 
plundering and burning His Majesty's schooner Gaspee, under the command of 
Lieutenant WilHam Dudingston, on the 10th of June last, are now convened, and 
continue to sit every day, Sundays excepted, at the colony house, in Newport, in 
conformity to His Majesty's instructions. 

Wljercfore, all persons who can give any information to the said commissioners, 
relative to the assembling, arming and leading on the j^ersons who made the said 
attack, and the directing and preparing the same, are requested forthwith to give 
information thereof, to said commissioners at the above mentioned place. 

By order of the commissioners,— JOSEPH BRENTON, 

JA]\n<:S CLARKE, 

Secretaries." 

The proceedings on said commission, were then adjourned 
till to-morrow, at 10 o'clock ; then to meet at the colony 
house, aforesaid. 

Thursday, January 7, 1773. 
The commissioners met, according to adjournment. 
Present — Joseph Wiinton, Esq., Frederick Smythe, Esq., 
Peter Oliver, Esq., Robert Auchmuty, Esq. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 125 

Governor Wanton laid before the commissioners four letters, 
which had passed between him, Admiral Montagu and Lieu- 
tenant Dudingston ; also, one other letter, signed by Governor 
Wanton, and transmitted by him, by order of the General As- 
sembly, of the colony, aforesaid, to Rear Admiral jMontagu ; 
which letters, are prior in date, to the attacking and burning 
His Majesty's schooner Gaspee, which were read, and ordered 
to be put on fde. 

Sundry papers, letters and depositions, to the number of 
twenty, containing the proceedings of the Governor and 
Deputy Governor of the colony, aforesaid, relative to the burn- 
ing the schooner, were delivered by Governor Wanton to the 
commissioners, which were also read, and ordered on file. 

Governor Wanton informed the commissioners, that Mr. 
Sessions, Deputy Governor of the colony, was in Newport, 
and ready to attend the commissioners, to give them an ac- 
count of the steps he had taken, in order to discover the per- 
sons who destroyed His Majesty's schooner Gaspee. 

A message was sent to Mr. Sessions, requesting his attend- 
ance ; who accordingly came before the commissioners, and 
was by them requested to give in writing, upon oath, a full 
and particular account of the measures he had taken, in order 
to the discovery of the persons who perpetrated the aforesaid 
crime ; which he assured the commissioners he would do, 
without loss of time. 

Stephen Hopkins, Esq., Chief Justice of said colony, also 
appeared before the commissioners, and assured them he was 
ready and willing to aid and assist the commissioners in the ex- 
ercise of the power and authority with which they are in- 
vested, for discovering the persons who destroyed the Gaspee 
schooner, &c. 

The commissioners then requested Mr. Hopkins to give them, 
in writing, a full and particular account of all the proceedings 
had and done by him, for discovering and bringing to justice 
the persons who committed the aforesaid offence ; and also 
what knowledge or information he had obtained of the assem- 



126 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

bling, arming and leading on the persons who perpetrated the 
same ; which he also promised to do, without loss of time. 

The proceedings on the commission were then adjourned till 
to-morrow, at lU o'clock before noon ; then to meet at the 
colony house, aforesaid. 

Friday, Jonuarij 8, 1773. 

The commissioners met, according to adjoumment. 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esrj., Daniel Horsmanden, Esq., 
Frcdeiick Smythe, Esq., Peter Oliver, Esq., Robert Auch- 
muty, Esq. 

Mr. Brenton, one of the secretaries under the present com- 
mission, v^as examined by the commissioners, touching the ob- 
struction to the execution of a warrant issued by Metcalfe 
Bowler, Esq., on the 17th of July hist, in order to apprehend 
the negro Aaron, then on board His Majesty's slup, the 
Beaver ; which examination, was reduced to writing, sworn 
to before the commissioners, an<l ordered to be filed. 

Deposition of James Brenton. 

James Brenton, now residing: in Xewport, in the colony of Rhode Island, in North 
America, Esi|., Leing of full age, duly sworn upon tiie lioly evarigelists, deposes and 
saith: 

That, upon the 1 7tli day of July last, he was requested by the Hon. Joseph Wan- 
ton, Esq., Governor of the colony of Rhode Island, aforesaid, to attend Robert Lilli- 
bridge, one of the deputy sheriffs in the county of Newport, in said colony, who was 
ordered with a warrant from Metcalfe Bowler, Esq., one of the justices of assize, in 
said colony, to repair on board His Majesty's ship, the Beaver, and to make diligent 
search for one Aaron, a mulatto lad, charged with being concerned (with others un- 
known), in attacking and burning His Majesty'.j scliooner, the Gaspee, on the 10th 
of June last ; and upon finding the said Aaron, to take him before the said Metcalfe 
Bowler, or some other lawful authorit}', in order that the said Aaron might be ex- 
amined relative to the said transaction, and bo 2-sroccedcd against, according to 
law. 

That this deponent, about 1 o'clock, in the afternoon, of the said 17th day of July, 
went with the said deputy sheriff, from said Newport, in order to go on board His 
Majesty's ship, the Beaver, then lying in the harbor of Newport ; that, when the boat 
in which this deponent and the said deputy sheriff were, came near the said ship, 
they were forbidden by the sentinel, upon the ship's gangway, from going on board. 

This deponent then acquainted a person, v/ho appeared to be the commanding 
officer, upon the deck of the said ship, that he, this deponent, with your said deputy 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 127 

sheriff, wove then come to dcmund tliat Aaron, a mulatto lad, who was charged -with 
being concerned in the attacking and hurning the schooner Gaspee, and who, tliey 
were informed, was then on board said ship, might be delivered, to the deputy 
sheriff, in pursuance of a warrant for that purpose. 

That the said ofiicer then on deck, answered this deponent, that Captain Linzee, 
the commander of the said ship, was not on board ; and that he, the said oflicor, 
could do nothing without orders. The said officer further acquainted them, that 
Capt. Linzee was then on shore, at Brenton's Point. 

That, this deponent then, together with the said deputy sherifl', went on shore, at 
the farm of Jahleel Brenton ; where, at the said Jahleel Brenton's house, this de- 
ponent sa,w the said Capt. Linzee, and acc[uaintcd him that he came to attend the 
deputy sheriff with a v.'arrant, in order to demand of him, the said Capt. Linzee, 
that he would deliver up to the civil magistrate a mulatto boy, called Aaron (who, 
they were informed, was on board the Beaver man-of-vv^ar, under his command), in 
order for his examination and commitment ; and at the same time, this deponent 
showed to the said Capt. Linzee, the said warrant, and he was then and there re- 
quested to deliver up said mulatto, in consequence thereof. 

To which, the said Capt. Linzee then answered, that it was true that he had the 
said mulatto then on board His Majesty's said ship, the Beaver ; but that he would 
not dehver him to any cl\-il authority, whatever, in the said colony. 

Tliis deponent then told Capt. Linzee, that he, this deponent, canie to Avait upon 
the said Capt. Linzee, at the particular request of Governor Wanton, the chief mag- 
istrate of said colony, in order to explain to him, if necessary, the nature of the war- 
rant, and the impropriety of Capt. Linzee's conduct, in withholding a man charged 
with a capital crime, from the civil power. 

To which, Capt. Linzee replied, that he knew no civil authority, in said colony • 
that, in regard to the Governor, he ^vas a damned rascal, and that Admiral Mon- 
tagu's power was the only povver he knew in America, and without his orders ho 
should not deliver the said rnulatto. 

The deponent then asked him, the said Capt. Linzee, if he had any doubt about 
the legality of the warrant, which this deponent held in his hand ? 

To which, Capt. Linzee, looking carelessly upon it, said, it mioht be "-ood for 
what he knew ; but that he did not regard it any more than if it was a piece of 
blank paper. 

This deponent further saith, that the deputy sheriff (who was with this deponent, 
at Jahleel Brenton's farm,) did not go into the house where Capt. Linzee was, but 
waited without doors, as Capt. Linzee (being at that time suspicious of bein-i' ar- 
rested by civil process, on account of some seizures which had been made by him,) 
would not consent that the deputy sheriff should see him. And further this depo- 
nent saith not. j. BRENTON. 

Newport, January 8, 1773. 

Sworn to, before the commissioners, — 

J. WANTON, FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. IIORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER. 

ROBT. AUCimUTV, 



128 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

The commissioners thought it advisable to defer the exami- 
nation of any of the witnesses respecting the burning of the 
Gaspee, &c., until the arrival of Admiral Montagu, at New- 
port ; or they receive an answer from him, to their letter writ- 
ten the 5th inst., and transmitted by Capt. Symonds. 

The proceedings on the commission then adjourned till to- 
morrow, at 10 o'clock, in the forenoon, then to meet at the 
colony house, aforesahl. 

Saturday, January 9, 1773. 

The commissioners met, according to adjournment. 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esq., Daniel Horsmanden, Esq., 
Frederick Smythe, Esq., Peter Oliver, Esq. and Robert 
Auchmuty, Esq. 

Darius Sessions, Esq., Deputy Governor of the colony of 
Rhode Island, attended the commissioners, with a declaration 
in writing, containing a full and particular account of the 
measures he had taken, in order to make a discovery of the 
persons concerned in the attacking and burning the Gaspee 
schooner ; which was read, sworn to, and ordered to be filed. 

Deposition of Deputy Governor Darius Sessions. 

Colony of Rhode Islaxd, &c. : 

Be it remomborc'd, that at Newport, in said colony, on the 9tli day of January, in 
the year of our Lord 1773, betbre the commissioners appointed by a commission un- 
der the great seal of Great Britain, for inquiring into and reporting unto His Majesty, 
all the circumstances of burning His Majesty's schooner Gaspee, &c., on the 10th 
of June last, in his proper jierson, came and ajipeared the Hon. Darius Sessions, 
Esq., of Providence, and Dejiuty Governor of the colony, aforesaid ; who being 
duly sworn upon the holy evangelists of Almighty God, testifieth and saith : 

That in the 9th of June last, at about 9 o'clock, he heard a drum beat in the 
street, opposite to his house. Soon after he went to his window and looked out, 
and saw the drum sui-rounded by a number of hoys, at some chstance from the 
house, going up street ; in a short time afterwards, he heard the drum returning ; 
whereupon, he went back to his window, where he remained until it passed his 
house ; and, as the moon shone very bright, he could plainly discover they were 
only a company of boys, not exceeding ten or twelve in number ; two or three of 
which, appeared to be about thirteen or fom-teen years of age ; the others about ten 
or twelve ; and concluding they were gathered together for no other design than to 
divert themselves with the drum, he retired from his window, without savino- anv- 



1772.] AND TROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 129 

thing to the boys ; soon aftei' which, the noise of the drum ceased ; the remaining part of 
tliat night, he heard not the least noise or disturbance in the streets, or in any other 
part of the town, nor received any the least liint, suggestion, intimation or information of 
■ any riot, outrage or tumultuous assembling of the people, nor intention thereof; 
neither did he then know there was an armed Vessel in the river, nearer than the 
town of Newport, which is thirty miles from Providence ; had he known, or even 
suspected any riot, liis utmost endeavors would have been exerted in surpress- 
ing it. 

The next morning, one of his neiglibors came and told him the Gaspee was burnt, 
and the captain wounded ; and that an express had arrived in town ibr a siu'geon, 
to dress the wounds of the officer, who lay then at Pawtuxet, about five miles from 
^l■o^■idence. 

Innnediacely upon liearlng this disagreeable news, he set out vrith a design to examine 
into the affiur ; and when he reached Pawtuxet, he saw the schooner on fire, lying 
on a point of land, called and known by the name of Namquit Point, about two miles 
from Pawtuxet, in the town of Warwick, in the county of Kent, and colony, aforesaid, 

lie made inquiry if any of the offenders were known, but could get no informa- 
tion ; he then went to a small house by the shore, where he heard Lieutenant Dud- 
ingston v^as lodged, and there found liim in dangerous circumstances. 

He told Lieutenant Dudingstou if he wanted money, surgeons, or better lodgings, 
or any kind of assistance, he should have every relief in his power. 

Mr. Dudlngston replied, that he had saved his money, which was about one hun- 
dred dollars, and therefore wanted no favors for liimself ; but desired that some care 
might be taken of his people, that they might be collected together, and sent to the 
admiral, at Boston, or on board the Beavei', at Newport, v.-hich the deponent prom- 
ised he would do. 

He then told Mr. Dudlngston the design of his visit at that time, was not only to 
afford him any assistance he might need, but also to procure such a declaration from 
his own mouth, respecting the attack that had been made on his person, and the 
vessel he commanded, that the offenders might be brought to justice. 

Mr. Dudlngston ausAvered, that he would give him no account of the matter. 
First, because orhis indisposition of body ; and second, because it was liis duty to 
forbear any thing of thatf nature, until he had done it unto a court martial, unto 
wliich, if he lived, he would be called by his commanding officer. 

The deponent then asked him, if he was willing he should examine his ofiicers 
and people ; which, after some refusal, he consented to ; and they all agreeing 
nearly to every thing material relative to the destruction of tlio sclsoojier, he forth- 
v/ith transmitted copies of their examinations to the Governor. 

The deponent then gave orders that the seamen should be collected together, and 
provided with victuals and lodgings, and that a boat should be got ready by the next 
morning, to carry them on board the Beaver ; all which, was executed with care 
and expedition. 

The deponent also gave orders that tlie stores and remains sliould be collected 
and lodged in a warehouse, which A\as done, and soon after delivered to Capt. 
Linzee, of the Beaver. 

He also desired a gentleman, who lived near Mr. Dudlngston, to supply said Dud- 
lngston with any thing he wanted ; and also that he would lodge and entertain any 
surgeons or others, who might come to visit him ; and which the deponent verily be- 
VOL. VII. 17 



130 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

Hevcs he verily complied with. These expenses were recommended by the depo- 
nent, to the General Assembly, who ordered payment out of the pubhc treasury. 

The deponent consulted w^ith the Chief Justice, and most of the civil au- 
thority in that jiart of the colony where he resides, who highly disapproved of the 
riot ; and universally declared they were ignorant of any of the proceedings, and 
gave it as their opinion that measures ought to be pursued for discovering and 
bringing to justice the perpetrators. 

A proclamation was soon after issued by the Governor, which was posted up in 
all the towns near where the offence was committed ; but as yet, the deponent has 
not received any information of any of the persons concerned in that offence ; nei- 
ther has he ever heard that information has been made to any of the civil authority 
within the colony. And further this deponent saith not. 

DARIUS SESSIONS. 

N. B. The words, " nor intention thereof," on the fifth line of the second page ; 
" and colony, aforesaid,"' on the eighteenth line of the same page ; " which, after 
some refusal, he consented to, and they," in the nineteenth hue of the third page ; 
" relative to the destruction of the schooner," in the twentieth line of the same 
page, were interlined before the above deposition was signed and sworn to. 

Sworn to, at Newport, this 9th day of January, before us, — 

J. WANTON, ' FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER. 

ROBT. AUCHMUTY. 



A letter was delivered to the commissioners, about two o'- 
clock, P. jM., then sitting at the colony house, by express, in 
answer to their letter of the 5th instant, and forwarded by 
Capt. Symonds, which was read, and ordered to be filed. 

Admiral Montagu to the Commissioners, ^c. 

Boston, 8th January, 1773, 1 
1 o'clock, P. M. j>" 

Gentlemen : — I was last night favored with your letter, by Capt. Symonds ; and 
as you are so desirous of having me at Rhode Island, I shall, without you alter your 
opinions, set out on Monday next. 

At the same time, give me leave to observe to you, that my coming at the time, 
is attended with a great delay to His Majesty's service here, and at Halifax, and can 
answer no purpose, as I have fully and properly directed the conunanding officer at 
that place in what manner he is to act, relative to his assisting the commissioners 
and receiving the prisoners.. 

You say, by your instructions, you are directed to deliver to the custodj" of the com- 
mander in chief of His Majesty's ships and vessels in North America, all such prisoners 
as may be apjirehended ; and therefore, you are of opinion, that in that case, if any 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 131 

person or persons sLould be arrested for the crime set forth in your commission, I am 
the only person to whom such prisoners can regularly be delivered, for safe custody. 

In answer to which, I beg leave to refer you to the sixth paragraph of My Lord 
Dartmouth's letter, to Governor Wanton, where you will see, " The prisoners are to 
be delivered to the care and custody of Rear Admiral Montagu, or the commander 
in chief in North America, for the time being, or to such officer as he shall appoint 
to receive them." 

By my instructions from the lords of the admiralty, I am directed to repair to 
Rhode Island, as soon as conveniently may be, with such of His Majesty's ships and 
vessels under my connnand, as I shall judge proper, and give all the aid and assist- 
ance in my power, for discovering and bringing to justice the offenders. 

The winter season is so far advanced, as prevents my complying with that part 
of my orders, as it is very improper to move so large a ship as the Captain, at this 
time of the year ; and without her, it is impossible for me to carry on the service. 

I flatter myself, there has been no delay of business, owing to my not coming with 
the commission ; for had I been there, I should have tendered it in the same man- 
ner I have done, as by my instructions, I am directed, when the commissioners are 
ready to 1-eceive itj to cause it to be delivered to them. 

I shall certainly set out on Monday next, if I can complete my business here, and 
be ready to give you every assistance in my power. 
I am, with respect, gentlemen, 

Your most obedient, and most humble servant, 

J. MONTAGU. 

To His Majesty's commissioners, at Rhode Island. 

The commissioners immediately ngreed to an answer ; which 
was written accordingly, and sent off about three o'clock, by 
the same express. 

Monday, January 11, 1773. 

The commissioners met, according to adjournment. 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esq., Daniel Horsmanden, Esq., 
Frederick Smythe, Esq., Peter Oliver, Esq., and Robert Auch- 
muty, Esq. 

The commissioners received a letter from Metcalfe Bowler, 
Esq., one of the justices of assize, in the colony of Rhode Is- 
land, tendering his services in aid of the commission, which 
was read ordered to be filed. 



132 EECORDS OF THE COLONY OF HIIODE ISLAND [1772. 



Justice. Metcalfe Bowk?- to the Commissioners^, §'C. 

Isewpori, Jaiuiarv 11, 17 73. 

Gentlemen : — In obedience to His Mnjesty'.s command, signified by Lord Dartmouth, 
to His Honor tiie Governor, dated Wbiteliall, September 4th, 1772, wliich was laid be- 
fore tlie General Assembly, wherein His Lordship expressed His Majesty's depend- 
ence upon the care dud vigilance of the civil magistrates of the colony, to -take the 
prosier measures for arresting and committing to custody, in order to tlieir being 
brought to justice, such persons as shall, upon proper inlbrmation belbre them, or 
before His Majesty's commissioners, appear to have been concerned in the plunder- 
ing and destro}-ing His Majesty's schooner Gaspec, and dangerously wounding and 
ill-treating His Majesty's oiiieer who commanded her, &c. 

As a civil magistrate, and one of His Majesty's justices of assize, in and throughout 
the colony, impressed with a regard for the dignity of the crown, and the welfare of 
the colony, I now tender my assistance, whenever it shall be necessary ; and when 
called upon by the commissioners, or otherwise, will exert every authority which the 
colony has invested me with, towards the apprehending any persons against whom 
information may be lodged, of being concerned in the destruction of His Majesty's 
schooner, the Gaspee, or may aj)pear to have been any ways aiding or assisting in 
tbat most daring insult offered against His Majesty's crown and dignity, within the 
colony, on the 10th of June last. 

I am, with the greatest respect. 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

JVIETCALFE BOWLER 

To tlie Honorable His jSIaiestv's Commissioners. 



The commi.ssioiier3 issued <a summons for bringing before 
them Stephen GuUey, ;i witnes.s, relative to the taking and 
burning of the Gaspee schooner, in order to be examined be- 
fore them, at 11 o'clock, to-morrow morning. 

Tuesday, Januarij 12. 

The commissioners met, according to adjournment. 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esq., Daniel Horsraanden, Esq., 
Frederick Smythe, Esq., Peter Oliver, Esq., and Robert Auch- 
muty, Esq. 

Stephen Gulley, who was summoned to give evidence to the 
commissioners, of what he knew concerning the attacking and 
burning the Gaspee, &c., appeared before them, and was ex- 
amined upon oath ; which examination was reduced to writ- 
ing, signed by the deponent, and ordered to be filed. 



1772.1 AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 133 



The Deposition of Stephen Gidtei/. 

The examination on oatli, of Stephen GuUey, before the honorable commissioners, 
this 12th clay of January, A. D. 1773. 

Question — What is your name and oeeupation V 

Answer — Stephen Gulley, is my name, and & huslxmdman, my occupation. 

Q. — What age are you '? 

A. — Aged fort}'-oue years. 

Q. — Where is your place of abode ? 

A. — At Smithfield, in the county of Providence, in tlie colony of Rhode Island. 

Q. — Have you lately been on board any of His IMajesty's ships ? What ship ? 
Hov/ long have j^ou been on board '? 

A. — That he has been on board His Majesty's ghip, tlie Lizard, ever since Tues- 
day last ; and that he went voluntarily on board for his own personal safet}-. 

Q. — What reason had you to suppose you was imsafe ? 

A. — On Monday night, the Sth inst., he went into the public house, at the ferry, 
on Rhode Island side, where he sat down and called for some da-ink, which they 
gave him ; he then called foi' supper, and had it ; afterwards, he rose from the table 
and sat down near the fire-place, by the master of the house, wdien a fflan, unknown 
to him, came and sat down by his side. 

I asked where he was bound ; he said to Newport. Tlie man told him he would 
not get there ; he asked him for what reason he thought so ; he replied, there were 
about twenty armed men in the road, one of them, with two brass pistols ; who, 
he said, were come to take him alive or dead, to cai-ry him back to Providence ; 
that he, said man, went out into the other room. 

The landlord then spoke to the deponent, and told him he would give him a word 
of advice ; he said there were about twenty armed men, that said they would have 
him, the deponent ; and that he did not know but they would tear his house down, 
if he stayed there. 

He then called his children, and, he believes, his wife, into the room, and gave 
them a strict charge to tell the men, if they inquired after this deponent, that he 
was gone out with the landlord, to talk together ; and that this happened about 
eight o'clock, in the evening. 

The landlord then told him he Avould show him a way where he might escape tlieir 
hands, that they might know nothing wdiere he was gone. The landlord then went 
with him about a quarter of a mile, he thinks from said house, in sight of a pond, 
and they then parted, the landlord first directing him to the road to Newport. 

Q. — What do you know relative to the attacking and burning the Gaspee 
schooner, on the said 10th of June last ? 

A. — As to my own knowledge, I know nothing about it ; but that some time 
about the last of December last, he was told by Capt. William Thayer, of Mendon, 
in the Province of Massachusetts, that Saul Ramsdale, late of Mendon, who was a 
shoemaker, at woi'k at Providence, at the time the Gaspee was burnt, told him and 
one of his sons, he knew who the persons were, who were concerned in that affair ; 
nd that he, the said Ramsdale, was in company with them, before they went off 
from Providence, but did not go himself; upon which, this deponent went immedi- 
ately to Ramsdale, who was then at Mendon. 



134 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

lie found a young fellow with him ; but upon this deponent teUIng Ramsdale that 
he wanted a private conversation with him, the young man went away ; this depo- 
nent then asked him about the burning of said Gaspee schooner, and whetlier he 
had any knowledge of that matter. 

Ramsdale then asked liim who told him that he, Ramsdale, knew any thing of 
that matter. 

He told him he did not choose to say who gave liim that intelligence ; he, said 
deponent, then told him, if he would give this deponent any intelligence about 
the burning the Gaspee schooner, he would be a good friend to him. 

Ramsdale then told him he did know something about the thing; that he 
knew the heads of the gang that went down the river vv'ith that intention ; that he 
saw two men with guns under their anns ; and one of them swore with a very high 
oath, that he would be revenged upon the affair he was going upon, before he re- 
turned ; and that he, the said Ramsdale, was jiicked for one of the gang to go with 
them ; but being faint-hearted and discouraged, he did not go. 

This deponent then asked him whether some of the Browns were not con- 
cerned. 

Ramsdale answered yes ; but does not remember that he mentioned his Christian 
name. 

He, this deponent, then ' asked him how many in number there were ; if there 
were two hundred. 

He said more. 

He then asked him, if there were four hundred. 

He said not so many. 

He then asked himv if tliere were three hundred. 

He said yes. 

He then asked him, if there were any more. 

He said yes ; something upwards. 

He then parted with said Ramsdale, and this deponent then went to Boston. 
This deponent further saith, that he had been acquainted v/itli said Ramsdale many 
years ; that he told said Ramsdale that he would be sent for, and Ramsdale begged 
he would not discover him. , STEPHEN GULLEY. 

Newport, 12th January, 1773. 

Sworn to, before us,— 

J. WANTON, FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER. 

ROBT. AUCHMUTY, 

The commissioners were of opinion, that it was necessary to 
issue a summons to Saul Ramsdale, William Thayer and Jo- 
seph Borden. 

A summons was accordingly issued, and delivered to Samuel 
Clarke, who was sent off express, at 2 o'clock. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 135 

Wednesdaij^ Januanj 13, 1773. 

The commissioners met, according to aeljoiirnment. 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esq., Daniel Horsmanden, Esq., 
Frederick Smythe, Esq., Peter Oliver Esq., and Robert Auch- 
muty, Esq. 

Joseph Borden, of Portsmouth, inn-holder, pursuant to sum- 
mons, appeared before the commissioners, and w;is examined 
upon oath ; which examination, was taken in writing, and or- 
dered to be filed. 

The Deposition of Joseph Borden. 

Colony of Rhode Island, ] 
Ne-wport, ss. January IStli, 1773. ) 

Joseph Borden, of Portsmonth, in the county of Newport, in the colony of Rhode 
Island, &c., landholder, of lawful age, appeared before the honorable commissioners 
for Inquiring into the circumstances of burning the Gaspee, &c. ; and being sworn 
upon the holy evangelists of Almighty God, deposeth and saith : 

That some time in the beginning of last week, a man came to his house, in Ports- 
mouth, who called himself Stephen Gulley ; he appeared to be in litjuor, and re- 
quested that he might have supper and lodgings, which the deponent told liim he 
might have. 

Before supper, he went from the deponent's house, in company with one Thomas 
Aylesbury ; and as they had both been noisy and used very bad language, the de- 
ponent fastened the doors of his house, in order to keep them out. 

After some time, this Stephen Gulley returned, and knocked at the door ; upon 
"which, he let him in, and told him his supper was ready in the back room ; and 
while he was eating his supper, Aylesbury returned, and said to Gulley, " My friend, 
I believe you are upon some bad design, as I understood, by your talk, you are going 
to Newport to give information about the burning the Gaspee." 

To which, Gulley replied, that " It was nobody's business but his own." 

Then Aylesbury told him, he would not get to Newport, as there Avere a number 
of Indians, with brass pistols, in the road, who would take care of him. 

But this deponent in fact sayeth, that he did not know, neither has he any reason 
to believe, there were any Indians in the road leading to Newpoi-t ; and the depo- 
nent supposed that Aylesbury told his story to Gulley, with no other design but to 
frighten him. 

After Aylesbury left the room, Gulley asked the deponent what he should do ; 
and as he recollected Aylesbury was in liquor, and did not know but there might 
be some disturbance between him and Gulley, he, the deponent, told Gulley there 
was a lower road that he might go in, by which he might avoid that which Ayles- 
bury had told him the Indians Avere in ; and if he would pay his reckoning, he would 
go and direct him to that road. 

On which, he asked the deponent if he would not take a weapon with him. 

Whereupon, he replied, that he should not take a weapon with him, as he did not 



13G RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

believe any body would hurt him, the deponent, oi' the said Gullcy ; and then im- 
mediately proceeded to show him the road, by going with him, as far as his barn, 
which is about twenty rods from the deponent's house ; and showed him a pond, near 
to which, was a road ; and directed him to take that road, and steer southward, till 
he came into the main road, which he would soon do. The deponent then left 
Gulley, and returned to his dwelling house, where he saw nobody but his own 
fomily, either in the house or about it, and every thing remained quiet. 

And this deponent further saith, that while he was in the kitchen, soon after 
Gullcy came to his liouse, and before Aylesbury had told Gulley he believed he was 
upon some bad design, he heard a person reading the King's proclamation for dis- 
covering the persons Tv^ho burnt the Gaspee schooner ; upon which, Gulley said it 
was a line reward, and he intended to have it ; and the deponent believes that 
Aylesbury was then in the room ; and further, this deponent saith not. 

JOSEPH BORDEN. 

Sworn to, at Newpoi't, the day and year before written, before us, — 

J. WANTON, FRED. S:MYTIIE, 

DAN. IIORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER. 

ROBT. AUCIIMUTY, 

Thursday, Januartj 14, 1773. 

The commissioners met, according to adjournment. 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esq., Daniel Horsmanden, Esq., 
Frederick Smythe, Esq., Peter Oliver, Esq. and Robert Auch- 
muty, Esq. 

Aaron, the mulatto, appeared before the couimisssioners, 
and was examined upon oath, relative to the burning the Gas- 
pee, which was taken in writing, and filed. 

Deposition of the Negro Aaron Briggs. 

The examination of Aaron, a mulatto, upon oath, taken this 14t]i day of January, 
A. D. 1773. 

Aaron Briggs, aged eighteen years, or thereabout, declares, that at the age of five 
years, he was bound by the town of Portsmouth, an ajjprentice to Capt. Samuel 
Tompkins, of Prudence Island, until he should arrive at the age of twenty-four 
years ; from which time, until he went on board the man-of-war, he was constantly 
in the service of the said Capt. Tompkins, as a laborer, on his form. 

That his master kept a two-mast boat, in which to transport his farm pi-oduce to 
market ; which was the only sail-boat within five miles of his master's farm, at the 
time the Gaspee was burnt. 

That, at that time, one Remington, who lived about one mile from Avhere the de- 
ponent lived, had a row-boat, large enough for six hands to row ; also, one Ephraim 
Peirce, at about a mile and a half distaiuee, had a two-mast boat ; and that the sails 
of his master's boat, had been taken off some time before the night on which the 
Gaspee was burnt ; and she leaked in such a manner, that she could not sail. 

That a little after sunset, on the night on which the Gaspee was burnt, he left the 



1772.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 137 



island of Prudence, but does not know the day of the week, or the day of the 
month ; that he went off the island in a httle fisliing-boat, of two oars, which boat 
lay just before the house ; that before sunrise, and about an hour after day-break, 
he returned to his master's house, from the shore Avhere they landed the people be- 
longing to the Gaspcf ; which shore, was about a mile above said Gaspee ; and the 
Gaspee about six miles from his master's house ; and that it was about four or five 
miles from his master's, to the place where they lauded the Gaspee people ; that he 
found the oars in the boat, that he went off said island in. 

That the reason he Avent off the island, was to carry the boat round to the east 
side of said island, to carry a man named Samuel Faulkner, a hired man, to Bristol 
the next night ; and that this young man told the deponent, that he Avould ask his 
master's leave, for that purpose. 

That going round said island, at about half a mile from said shore of said island, 
he met a boat and one Potter, whose Christian name he does not know, and whom 
he, in company with Faulkner, abovenamed, had once seen on a wharf, at Bristol, 
and there heard him called by the name of Potter. 

And further says, that said Faulkner told him, that that was the person who 
owned the rope-walk at Bristol, which they had been in ; that when he met said 
Potter, as above mentioned, he was in a boat which was rowed with eight oars ; that 
the time he met the said Potter, was about half an hour after he, this deponent left 
the island, and he, said Potter, was about five miles from Bristol ; that there were 
eleven men in said boat; said Potter was in the stern sheets; that the Aveather was 
cloudy ; that Avhen Potter hailed him, they were about fifteen rods distant. 

The first Avords Potter spoke, Avas by asking Avho Avas in that boat. 

The deponent answered, he was in there. 

Potter told him to come that way, he wanted to speak to him. 

Upon which, he Avent to him ; and Potter told him he Avanted this deponent to 
go up Avith him, about a mile, and that he Avould be back in an hour. 

This deponent said he could not ; he was in a hurry to go home. 

To which. Potter replied, he must go with him. 

The deponent ansAvered, he could not ; he must go home, or his master Avould 
pimish him ; and this deponent then began to row aAA^ay. 

Potter told him he wanted this deponent to go with him, to fetch something doAvn, 
Avhieh this deponent had forgotten ; and that he would pay him for so doing. 

This deponent said he had rather go home, for if his master should miss him, he 
Avould say he Avas out all night, and flog him. 

Upon AAdiich, Potter said, there is no can't in the matter ; you must go along with 
me ; Ave shall be back in an hour ; and further said, give me your painter, you need 
not roAv, we Avill carry you up there. 

Upon Avhich, this deponent gave them the painter ; that he, this djeponent, being 
in his OAvn boat, Avas roAved up by Potter's boat, till they came Avithin half a mile pf 
the schooner. 

Potter then said to this deponent, get into my boat ; that he got into the boat ; 
Potter then told him, they were going to burn the manrofrwar schooner, and that 
he, this deponent, must go AvIth him. 

To Avhich he repUed, that it Avas hard for him to be brought there, where he 
might lose his life. 

Potter then said, they were all upon their lives. 

Tliis deponent still repeated, it Avas hard for him to go. 

VOL. VIX. IS 



138 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

But Potter said he must go, now he was there ; that they would give him a wea- 
pon, and he must do as they did, knock them down, and not let them kill him, if he 
could help it, and gave him a handspike ; the rest were armed some with caitlasses, 
some with muskets; this happened at about 10 o'clock, at night. 

Potter further told this deponent, that they expected sixteen or seventeen more 
boats from Providence. 

In about an hour afterwards, thej- met eight boats, about half a mile from the 
schooner, which appeared to be pretty full of people. 

Upon their meeting. Potter and two men, called Brown by the people, whom this 
deponent did not know, talked about how they should board the schooner. One of 
these person?, called Brown, got into Potter's boat, on which they were hailed from 
the Gaspee, and told to stand off; upon Avhich, Brown said row up. 

Inmiediately after, he, this deponent, saw the captain of the schooner come upon 
deck, in his breeches, and fired a pistol into one of the boats, and wounded one of 
the men in the thigh ; that he saw a man who was iii the boat with Potter, and who 
was called Brown, fire a musket, which wounded the captain; after which, there 
was no more firing ; but they instantly boarded the schooner ; that the captain of 
the schooner, when he was wounded, he thinks, stood by the foreshrouds, upon the 
left hand side. 

When they got on board, there were about four of the schooner's men on deck, 
and the rest were coming up out of the hold ; and somebody said, " Knock 'em 
down and kill them ; no matter what you do with them." 

That this deponent did not know the Browns, nor hear them called bv their 
Christian names ; and further declares, that it was John Brown, who shot the cap- 
tain ; and that he hath never seen either of the Browns since. 

That after they got possession of the vessel, they took the hands belonging to the 
schooner, and threw them down the hold ; and this happened about 3 o'clock, in the 
morning. 

Then the people searched the vessel, took the captain's jiapers, which he desired 
they would give him ; but they refused, tore them, and threw them overboard. Then 
they took the Gaspee's people, tied their hands, and j^ut them into the boat, and 
carried them ashore, this deponent going with them. 

By the time they got half way ashore, the schooner was on fire ; that before they 
went ashore, a doctor, whom they called Weeks, from one of the boats, dressed the 
captain's wounds ; that when they had landed the people, they untied their hands, 
and let them go, and the captain of the schooner they carried up to a house. 

After they had landed the men, they put oiF to return, and Potter told them he 
would give him two dollars for what he had done, which he accordingly did ; ujjon 
which, this deponent set off" in his own boat, and rowed home ; that it was about 
four o'clock, when they had landed the schooner's people ; that it was a moonli"-ht 
night, but sometimes cloudy ; that soon after the people had boarded the schooner, 
they hoisted the top-sails, her head laying up towards Providence ; and he saw nothing 
further done to her, or her sails ; that the schoooner, when they boarded her, was 
aground ; that the person who acted as surgeon, he thinks he has seen at his mas- 
ter's house ; but is not sure it was the same person. 

This deponent further says, that the person to whom he first gave an account of 
the above affair of burning the Gaspee, was Capt. Linzee, of the Beaver. 

Some time after the burning of the schooner, he went on board the Beaver, in his 
master's said boat ; that immecUately upon his going on board, they put him in irons, 



1772.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 139 



because iliey Imagined he intended to run away from his master ; it was about 10 
o'clock, at night, when the deponent was put in irons, and was released about 10 
o'clock, the next day, and then they were going to flog him. 

After he was tied up to the mast, one of the Gaspee's men, called Paddy Alls, 
jumped up, and told the captain, that he thought he, this deponent, was one that 
was aboard the schooner Gaspee. 

About this time, the deponent had.said nothing about the burniug of the schooner^ 
nor had made no discovery relating to what he knew. 

The captain asked the man if he was sure of It. 

He said yes. 

The captani asked what clothes he had on. 

The man said two frocks. 

Then the captain told the man to examine what clothes he had, which they found 
were two frocks. 

There was no mention made of any other clothes. The next day, Paddy Alis, 
and the deponent, were called up before the captain, who asked Paddy if he was 
sure that this deponent was one concerned in the attack on the schooner. 

He said yes. 

He further asked him, if he could swear to it. 

He answered yes. 

That the captain then administered an oath to the said Paddy, upon the Bible, 
who swore that this deponent was there. 

The captain then said to this deponent, " My lad, you see this man has declared 
you was there ; and if you don't tell who was there with you, I will hang you at the 
yard arm, immediately ; and if you do, you shall not be hurt." 

Upon which, this deponent told the captain all the heads that were there ; the 
captain saying he did not want to know any thing about the poor people, but only 
the heads. 

This deponent further says, that he never spoke to any of the Beaver's crew till 
he got on board ; that his master's boat, in which this deponent went on board the ship, 
Ills master went on board and received again ; that this deponent went on board said 
man-of-war with an intention not to return again to his master ; that he, tliis depo* 
nent, never was christened, and that he should have told Capt. Linzee all he knew 
relating to the Gaspee, immediately upon his going on board, if they had not put 
him in iro'ns. 

The deponent further says, that the morning after the burning of the schooner, 
when he returned to his master's, he went to bed with two black servants, with whom 
he usually slept ; he lay there a little while, and upon his master's knocking, he got 
up, and went to fetch the cows. 

That when he first returned to his master's house, he got in at a lower window, 
on the south-west part of the house, which opens into the middle room ; that during 
the whole transaction on said night the schooner was burnt, no man called this de- 
ponent by his name, or knew liim. his 

AARON 'A BRIGGS. 
mark. 

Sworn to, tins 14th day of January, A. D. 1773, at the council chamber, in New- 
port, before us — 

J. WANTON, FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER. 

ROBT. AUCHMUTY, 



140 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1772. 

The commissioners issued a summons for Patrick Earle, to 
appear before them, on Friday, the 15th inst., to give evi- 
dence of what he knows respecting the burning of the Gas- 
pee, &c. 

The commisssioners received a letter from Admiral Mon- 
tagu, acquainting them of his arrival at Newport. 

Admiral Montagu to the Commissioners^ ^"C. 

NcAvport, Rhode Island, > 
14th January, 1773. > 
Gentlemen :— At your request (although at a A'ery unseasonable time of the year, 
and not in the manner I am directed by my instructions from my lords commission- 
c»3 of the admiralty), I am come to this place, and have hoisted my flag on board 
the Lizard. 

I shall be glad, therefore, that you will inform me what service I can render to 
you, in the execution of your commission. 

I flattered myself I had given Captain Keeler (the senior officer of His Majesty's 
ships here,) such orders as would not have required my attendance, until I was able 
to have come in a proper manner, with the sliips under my command, and at a 
proper season of the year, I doubt not but that he would have faithfvilly put his 
orders in force, and have given yon the same assistance I can possibly do, now I am 
come. 

I have ordered Aaron, the negro, to be brought to the wharf, agreeably to your 
summons, Avho will be dehvered to your officer ; and I am to desire, when you have 
done with him, the civil officers may be directed to see him safe to the boat again. 
I am, gentlemen, 

Your most obedient and humble servant, 

J. MONTAGU. 
To His Majesty's commissioners, at Ncw]3ort. 

The commissioners received from Admiral Montagu, the 
deposition of Patrick Earle, taken the 16th of July last, before 
a justice of the peace, in the town of Newport. 

The commissioners adjourned till to-morrow morning, at 10 
o'clock. 

Friday, January 15. 
The weather being extremely cold and violently stormy, the 
commissioners did not meet. 



1772.1 AND PROVIDENCE PLANl'ATIONS. 141 



Sa turd a I/, January 16. 

The commissioners met, according to adjournment. 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esq., Frederick Smythe, Esq., 
Peter Oliver, Esq. and Robert Auchmuty, Esq. 

Patrick Earle, a mariner, on board His Majesty's ship, the 
Lizard, pursuant to summons, appeared before the commis- 
sioners, and was examined upon oath ; which examination 
was taken in writing, and ordered to be filed. 

Deposition of Patrick Earle. 

The examination of Patrick Earle, taken on oath, this 16th of January, 1773 : 

Patrick Earle, of full age, a mariner, on board His Majesty's ship the Lizard, 
commanded by Capt. Inglis, being duly sworn, deposeth and saith : 

That he was a sailor on board the Gaspee schooner ; on the 1 0th of June last 
when she was run aground on a spit of land, that between 1 and 2 clock, the captain 
called all hands on deck ; and this deponent coming up with the rest of the sea- 
men, when he saw a number of armed men, with two or three muskets and clubs ; 
that he saw those persons break open the arm-chest, and furnish themselves with 
cutlasses. 

Soon after this, this deponent was knocked down Avith a club, and pitched into 
the hold ; and in about a quarter of an hour, was called upon deck, where his arms 
were tied behind him, and shoved into a boat, which, with about six others, was 
laying alongside the schooner ; that as soon as the deck was cleared of all the officers 
and sailors belonging to the Gaspee, and put into the boats, they were rowed to a 
small village, towards Providence, about three miles distant from the schooner, 
Ivhere they were landed. 

This deponent further saith, that Lieutenant Dudingston was placed in the stern 
of the same boat, in which he, the deponent, came on shore ; and that he, in their 
passage to the shore, contrived to unloose his arms, and took an oar from a negro 
man, at the bow of the boat, whom he verily believes to be the negro Aaron, noAV 
on board the Lizard, and helped him to row the boat ; and that, to the best of liis 
belief, it was about 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, when he, with the captain and the 
others, were landed. 

This deponent also saith, that he well remembers, that while the persons were at- 
tacking the sailors on board the gchooner, he heard the name of Potter mentioned. 

That one of the people said, " Potter, it is the best way to set the men on shore ; 
for that it was not their fault, but the officers." 

To which, a person, then standing on the quarter-deck, to whom the above ex- 
pression was dii-ected, who was a tall, shm man, with a long, sharp nose, in light 
colored long clothes, liis hair tied behind, who looked more like a shoreman, than a 
seaman, answered, " Let it be so." 

He also saith, that after he was landed, he saw the boats return towards the 



142 RECORDS OP THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

schooner ; and in about half an hour after, he saw the scliooner on fire, and the 
guns blowing off; that it was cloudy and calm weather. 

And this deponent further sailh, that on the morning after the negro Aaron came 
on board the Beaver, at 8 o'clock, he saw him in irons, in the galley, and immedi- 
ately recollected him as the same person whom he assisted to row the boat as above 
mentioned ; but did not speak to him, but directly told one John Johnson, the boat- 
swain of the schooner, that he well knew the negro was one of the persons Avho 
rowed the boat on shore with him. 

That on the next day, Capt. Linzee, commander of the Beaver, gave directions 
to his boatswain to get some spun-yarn, to tie up the negro, and give him two or 
three dozen, to find out what he came on board for, or if he knew any thing con- 
cerning the burning the schooner ; that he was stripped in order to be punished ; 
upon which, the boatswain of the Gaspee then called out, " One of the men knew 
him to be one of the persons who rowed the captain on shore, and was concerned in 
burning the schooner." 

Upon which, the captain asked which of the men knew him ; that he called out 
to tliis deponent, and asked him if he knew any thing of the negi'o, and cautioned 
him to be careful in his answers. 

That the negro was then ordered in irons again, and the deponent called into the 
cabin and ordered by the captain to describe the negro's dress when on board the 
boat, which he did, to wit : 

A spotted or checked handkerchief round his head, a frock, a pair of long trow- 
sers, no shoes, and his hair tied behind not longer than an inch, or an inch and a 
half. 

Soon after, the captain sent for a justice from the town ; which justice swore him, 
and he confirmed the above account he had given under oath, relative to the negro. 

The deponent first saw the schooner on fire about breakfast time, which was about 
6 o'clock, when he was ashore, when he heard the guns of the schooner blow ofi", but 
did not see her from the time he first left her, till he saw her on fire. 

He sat alongside of the negro in the boat, from the time the boat put off 
from the schooner, until she struck the shore where he landed;- and that 
while rowing ashore he was cold, and asked the negro to let liim row to warm 
himself, which he did ; and as they sat together, asked him, the negro, for a chew 
of tobacco, Avhich he gave him. 

And this dejwnent further saith, that he never saw the said negro, before he saw 
him in the boat. • his 

PATRICK ^ EARLE. 
mark. 

Sworn to, at Newport, on the 16th day of January, A. D. 1773, before— 

J. WANTON, .' FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER. 

ROBT. AUCIESIUTY, 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 143 

A* letter was delivered to the commissioners, by the ad- 
miral's clerk, at about half past 11 o'clock, from Admiral 
Montagu, which was ordered to be filed. 

Admiral Montagu to the Commissioners^ &c. 

Ills Majesty's ship Lizard, Kewport, harbor, -\ 
Ititli January, 1773. j" 

Gentlemen : — As I am informed there is a ship bound to England, I shall em- 
brace the opportunity of writing to my lords commissioners of the admiralty, ac- 
quainting them of my proceedings ; as also of the improbability of my remaining 
here, to assist the commissioners, until I can come in a proper manner, and at a 
proper season of the year. 

I shall be glad if you will inform me, whether you think the presence of Captain 
Dudingston is necessary, that I may apply to their lordships for his being sent out 
as soon as convenient. 

As the business of the naval department is totally at a stand, and cannot be car- 
ried on, without I have my ships here, I propose returning to Boston on Wednesday 
next, and shall, at a convenient time of the year repair to this place again, agreea- 
bly to my instructions from their lordships. 

In the meantime, I shall take care to leave such orders with the senior officer of 
His Majesty's ships, as will answer every purpose of my staying. 

I shall, before I go, lay before you, the names of some persons who can give you 
information, relative to the assembling of the people concerned in burning the 
King's schooner. 

I must beg your answer, as I cannot close my letter to the admiralty until I re- 
ceive it. • I am, gentlemen. 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

J. MONTAGU. 

To His Majesty's commissioners, assembled at Newport. 

John Andrew, Esq., judge of the court of vice admiralty, within the colony of 
Ehode Island ; Mr. Arthur Fenner, clerk in the supreme court, in the county of 
Providence ; Messrs. John Cole, George Brown and Daniel Hitchcock, attor- 
neys at law, in the town of Providence ; James Sabin, vintner, in the town of 
Providence. 

It is the desire of Admiral Montagu, that the above named persons may be siun- 
moned, and examined before the commissioners, relative to the assembling of peo- 
ple in the town of Providence, in the evening of the 9th of June last, as a measure 
necessary, towards the discovery of the persons concerned in the burning of His 
Majesty's schooner, the Gaspee. J. MONTAGU. 



144 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

The commissioners immediately agreed to an answer, as 
well to this letter, as to the letter received from the admiral, 
on the 14th inst., in the following words : 

The Commissioners, ^c, to Admiral Montagu. 

Council Chamber, Newjsort, -» 
January IG, 1773. ^ 

Sir : — Yours, of the 14th instant, Ave should have answered yesterday, but the 
weather was so extremely bad, as to prevent the commissioners from meeting. 

You remark to us your coming here at a very unseasonable time, and not in the 
manner as you are directed by your instructions ; to which, you are sensible we 
are not utter strangers, nor was it our intention in writing to you, to infringe in the 
least, upon the same. 

As Ave have already informed you Iioav oiir instructions are Avorded, Ave omit a re- 
petition of the same ; but beg leave to refer you to the last paragraph in the com- 
mission, by Avhich you will perceive that we are expressly charged to conduct our- 
selves by such instructions as Ave should receive under the signet and sign manual, 
and agreeably to which, Ave have acted. 

We have no doubt but that Capt. Keeler would have punctually obeyed Aour or- 
ders. The difficulty did not arise on that head, but from a couAiction of the irregu- 
larity of departing from our instructions. 

We shall be much obliged to you, when convenient, if you Avould attend us as a 
board, having some questions to ask you, relative to the information Lieutenant 
Dudingston gave you, concerning the burning and destroying the Gaspee. 
We are, sir, Avith great respect. 

Your most humble and obedient servants, 
J. WANTON, FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER. 

ROBT. AUCHMUTY, 

Commissioners. 
To the Honorable Admiral Montagu, commander in chief 
of His Majesty's ships, &c., in North America. 

The Commissioners, (^c, to Admiral Montagu. 

Council Chamber, Newport, ■\ 
January IG, 1773. j 
Sir : — After repeatedly informing you of our instructions ; and also in our last, of 
a certain paragraph in our commission, copies of both Avhich you have, and our 
sense of the same, we submit the construction of your orders from the lords commis- 
sioners of the admiralty, entirely to you. 

In our last, and before Ave received yours of this day, Ave had desired your at- 
tendance, in order to give us an account of Avhat Lieutenant Dudingston had related 
to you, concerning the burning and destroying the Gasi^ee. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 145 

We shall be always ready to ^ecei^'e any information from you, relative to the 
business we are met on ; and are, sir. 

Your most obedient, humble servants, 
J. WANTON, FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER. 

ROBT. AUCMUTY, 

Commissioners. 
To the Honorable Admiral Montagu, commander in cliief 
of His Majesty's ships in North America. 

Which letters were delivered to J. Brenton, Esq., one of the 
secretaries, who attended the admiral with them, and delivered 
them to the admiral's secretary, the admiral being abroad ; 
with the following message from the commissioners, that they 
were now sitting, and would be glad to see the admiral at the 
board at any time this day before 2 o'clock, in the afternoon ; 
or on Monday or Tuesday next, if convenient to him. 

At 2 o'clock, a message was received by the commissioners, 
from Admiral Montagu, acquainting them he would wait on 
them on Monday morning next. 

[While the commissioners were in session, other officers of 
the colony were, by force of circumstances, impelled to take 
certain evidence, and hold certain correspondence, which, as 
the papers containing them, were before the commissioners, 
are here inserted.] 

Deposition of Rufus Greene, Jr. 

I, Rufus Greene, Jr., of East Greenwich, in the colony of Rhode Island, mariner, 
depose and say : 

That some time in February last, I was on board of, and commanded the sloop 
Fortune, lying at anchor in the Nai'ragansett Bay, off North Kingstown ; having a 
quantity of rum on board, belonging to Nathaniel Greene & Co., when one Dundas, 
an officer of the schooner Gaspee, under the command of Lieutenant Dudingston, 
came on board, and asked this deponent if he would take any freight on board. 

To which, this deponent answered no. 

He then ordered this deponent to unlay the hatches ; and this deponent telling 
the said Dundas that said hatches were unlaid, he then ordered him into the cabin. 

And being demanded by what authority he thus did, rephed : 

" If you do not go into the cabin, I'll let you know," drawing his sword. He then 
caught this deponent by the collar, and pushed him into the cabin. 

This deponent then came out of said cabin, and went forward, to prevent the an- 
chor's being weighed. 

VOL. vn. 19 



146 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

He then clenched upon this deponent again, thrust him into the cabin, jammed 
the companion leaf upon his head, knocked him down upon a chest in said cabin, 
and confined him there for a considerable time. 

After this, the deponent entreating the said Duudas to let kirn free, he did so 
and made a seizure of said vessel and cargo (as he said), and put the letter "B" 
upon her hatches ; then towed said sloop to said schooner (it being calm), with 
three boats. 

This deponent being commanded aboard the schooner, aforesaid, obeyed ; went 
before said Lieutenant Dudingston, and after some conversation, was ordered from 
his presence, and confined in the gangway. 

This deponent asked said Dudingston, if he had a commission to seize, &c. 

To which, said Dudingston answered, that he liail a good commission from His 
Majesty ; but showed none. 

The next day, this deponent was put on board another vessel ; and further saitli 
not. RUFUS GREENE, JR. 

Kent, ss. East Greenwich, January 14, 1 773. 

Personally appeared the above deponent, Rufus Greene, Jr. ; and being cautioned 
to speak the truth, made solemn oath upon the evangelists of Almighty God, that 
the before going nari-ative is true in all its parts. 

Coram, HOPKINS COOKE, 

Justice Peace. 

I do hereby certify, that the above deponent is of a respectable family, sober life, 
and ought to be credited. H. COOKE, 

Justice Peace. 



Deputy Governor Sessions to Governor Wanton, relative to 
Capt. William Thayer, and Saul Ramsdale. 

Providence, January 15, 1773. 

Sir : — This forenoon came to my house, Capt. William Thayer, of Mendon, and 
informed me that he had been cited by the honorable commissioners at Newport, 
to appear before them this day, and declare what he knew relative to the destruc- 
tion of the Gaspee. 

He tells me he is near seventy years of age, grievously afHicted with the rheuma- 
tism, attended with many symptoms of a paralysis ; and that riding yesterday in the 
cold, stormy weather, has revived and so much increased his disorder, that he wpg 
unable to proceed to Newport, but must endeavor to return home as soon as possi- 
ble ; besides, he declared he knew nothing of the aflfair for which he was sum- 
moned and soUcited me very much to take his examination, and transmit it to the 
commissioners. 

I at last yielded to his request, and have enclosed to Your Honors his deposition 
which, if vou think proper, may be laid before the commissioners. 

I have known Mr. Thayer for many years past, and have always understood that 
he was a man of good character. He says, if the gentlemen who cited him, had 
any idea of the villainy of the fellows who informed them, neither he, nor any one 
else, he believes, had been troubled by them. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 147 

And this evening, another person (one Ramsdale) came to me, who said he also 
was smnmoned to Newport, upon some occasion, and that he knew nothing respect- 
ing the matter for which he was cited ; and urged me very much to take his depo- 
sition to that purpose, that he might be dismissed ; but as he appeared to be a 
young, healthy man, and lest the commissioners might conceive I was too officious, 
in previously examining their witnesses, I advised him to deliver what he had to 
say, to the commissioners. 

I am, sir, with the greatest respect. 

Your Honor's most obedient and humble servant, 

DARIUS SESSIONS. 
To Governor Wanton. 

P. S. Since I wrote the above, I received a deposition from Greenwich, which 
I have also enclosed to Your Honors. 



Deposition of Capt. William Thayer, of Mendon. 

Colony of Rhode Island, &c. : 

The examination of Capt. William Thayer, of Mendon, in the county of Worces- 
ter, in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, innholder, taken in Providence, in the 
colony aforesaid, this 15th day of January, in the thirteenth year of His Majesty's 
reign, Anno Domini 1773, by Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor of said colony. 

Question-^Do you know any circumstances relative to the attacking, taking, 
plundering and burning His Majesty's schooner, called the Gaspee, and to the as- 
sembling, arming, training, and leading on the people concerned therein ; and to 
the concerting and jireparing said attack ? 

Answer — No. 

Q. — Where was you, when said schooner was destroyed, which was on the 10th 
day of June last '? 

A. — At home, in Mendon. 

Q. — How far is that from Providence ? 

A. — About twenty-two miles. 

Q. — How long a time after the schooner was destroyed, before you was in 
Providence ? 

A. — I was not there until the latter end of June, or the beginning of July. 

Q. — Did you hear any person say, when you was in Providence, or at any other 
time or place, that they knew any of those persons that were concerned in that 
affair ? 

A.— No. 

Q. — Did you ever hear the names of any persons suspected to be concerned in 
that matter ? 

A. — I heard the names of one Potter and Brown or Browns, but did not know 
them, nor where they lived. I don't recollect any other. 

Q. — Do you remember who mentioned those names ? 

A. — No ; it being only some rumor which I heard among the people in my house, 
it being a pubUc one. WILLIAiM THAYER. 



148 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

On the day and year abovesaid, William Thayer, the subscriber to the above ex- 
amination, made solemn oath to the truth of the several answers annexed to the 
foregoing interrogations, before— DARIUS SESSIONS, 

Deputy Governor. 

Deposition of Daniel Vavglian. 

I, Daniel Yaughan, of Newport, in the colony of Rhode Island, being of lawful 
age, do depose and say : 

That some time in the summer last past, being in a sloop, taking out some old 
iron from the wreck of the Gaspee, and afterwards going down to Newport, in said 
sloop, in company with Capt. Linzee, in His Majesty's ship, the Beaver, one morn- 
ing, not far from the island of Prudence, I saw a small boat alongside the Beaver, 
and immediately told the people on board the sloop, that somebody had gone on 
board the Beaver that night. 

A few days afterwards, as the Beaver lay at Newport, near the fort, I was oi'- 
dered to haul the sloop I was in, alongside the schooner, which then lay alongside 
the Beaver, in order to take out some sugar ; and going on board the Beaver, I saw 
a mulatto fellow under the forecastle, in irons. 

I said unto him, " So you are one of the rogues that have been burning the 
Gaspee." 

He rephed, " He never saw her, nor knew any thing about her." 

I then asked him what he came there for. 

He answered, " His master had used him badly, and he was determined to leave 
him." 

Two or three days afterwards, being on board said schooner, I heard Capt. 
Linzee order said mulatto to be carried out of the Beaver, on board said schooner, 
and then to be tied up to the mast and whipped ; and after he was laid hold on, 
and they were about to tie him up to the mast, he began to declare he knew some 
of the people that burnt the Gaspee ; and that Simeon Potter, John Brown and 
others (whose names I have forgotten), were concerned therein. 

Upon this confession, he was released from a whipping, sent on board the Beaver, 
where I afterwards saw him in irons, on the quarter deck. 

DANIEL VAUGHAN. 

Providence sc. Providence, January 16, 1773. 

Daniel Vaughan appeared in person, and made solemn oath to the truth of the 
foregoing declaration, unto which he has subscribed, before — 

DARIUS SESSINONS, 

Deputy Governor. 

The commissioners then adjourned the business of the com- 
mission to Monday morning, at 10 o'clock. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 149 

Monday, January 18. 

The commissioners met, according to adjournment. 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esq., Daniel Horsmanden, Esq. 
Frederick Smythe, Esq., Peter Oliver, Esq., and Robert Auch- 
muty, Esq. 

The Hon. Admiral Montagu waited upon the commissioners, 
agreeably to his message of Saturday last. 

The admiral laid before the commissioners, letters which he 
had received from Lieutenant Dudingston, during his resi- 
dence at Pawtuxet and Newport, after the destroying of the 
schooner Gaspee. 

The admiral also delivered to the commissioners, a list of 
persons who reside in Providence, as material witnesses, rela- 
tive to the assembling of the people, prior to the attacking the 
Gaspee ; in consequence of which, they ordered a summons to 
be issued for John xindrews, Esq., John Cole, Esq., Daniel 
Hitchcock, Esq. and George Brown, attorneys at law, and 
Arthur Fenner and James Sabin, to attend on Wednesday 
next, at 11 o'clock, which was issued accordingly. 

The summonses were delivered to Samuel Clarke, who was 
sent as express, by the commissioners, at twenty minutes after 
3 o'clock. 

Deputy Governor Sessions to Governor Wanton, relative to 
Barzillai Richmond, Joseph Brown, John Brown and Daniel 
Vaughan. 

Providence, January 18, 1773. 

Sir : — In consequence of an application made unto me, in writing, signed by Bar- 
zillai Richmond, Joseph Brown and John Brown, I summoned Daniel Vaughan, 
and took his deposition relative to what he knew respecting the treatment of the 
mulatto Aaron, on board the Beaver, and I herewith enclose it to Your Honor. 

I had not done it, but our river is fast shut up, and it is very uncertain when Mr. 
Vaughan will reach Newport. 

I choose Mr. Vaughan should give his deposition before the commissioners, if he 
arrives in season for that purpose ; but if he doth not, and you think proper to make 
use of what I now send, you have liberty to improve it in any way you thinlc it may 
promote truth and justice. 

I am, sir, your humble servant, DARIUS SESSIONS. 

To Governor Wanton. 



150 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772, 

Deputy Governor Sessions to Governor Wanton, relative to the 
Deposition of the Negro Aaron Briggs, &c. 

Pro\-idenee, January 18th, 1773. 

Sir : — Having been informed by a person, who came from Newport last Satur- 
day, that the mulatto had been examined, and that a report prevailed, that his 
e-vidence carried many marks of truth with it ; and as it is impossible (as I think,) 
that there can be a word of truth in it, and as I look upon it as my duty to protect 
the innocent, as well as punish the guilty, I thought it my duty to let Your Honor 
know of some circumstances that may throw some light on this affair. 

I took notice in the mulatto's declaration of his having a red and white handker- 
chief about his head at the time he was on board the Gaspee, and when he rowed 
the boat ashore. 

I suppose he was told to relate this circumstance, that some of the Gaspee's peo- 
ple might, with the greater a^Dpearance of truth, swear to his being on board the 
schooner that night. 

The day after the Gaspee was destroyed, I examined several of her people, viz. : 
Bartholomew Cheever, John Johnson, William J. Caple, Joseph Bowman, Patrick 
Whaler, Patrick Earle and Patrick Reynolds ; who, although the cjuestions and 
answers were not set down in writing, yet I can depose that they were jDut ver- 
bally. The answers given by some of them (the rest agreeing thereto), are as fol- 
lows, viz. : 

Question — Was the moon down ? 

Answer — Yes. 

Q.— Was it dark ? 

A.— Yes. 

Q. — Was there any light on board of the schooner, when she was boarded by the 
boats •? 

A. — Yes ; but it was immediately put out before we got on deck. 

Q. — Was there no other light afterwards struck up ? 

A. — Xot that they saw ; though they believe there was one lighted up in the 
cabin, to dress the lieutenant's wounds. 

Q. — Were the people who came on board unmasked, or in disguise ? 

A. — Some of tliem were either blacked or negroes ; but It Avas so dark, we could 
not tell which. 

The above questions put to any of the Gaspee's people, who pretend to establish 
the negi'o's evidence, by swearing to the identity of him, I think, must convince any 
one, that then- testimony is absolutely false. 

The midshipman at Boston, swore that it was a very dark night ; and how is it 
possible that the features and dress of a negro could be sworn to, a month 
afterwards ? 

I am requested by some persons in this town, to Inform Your Honor, that one 
David James, a young man, who served his time in this town, and Is properly an in- 
habitant thereof, was last week Impressed out of a sloop belonging here, Joseph Til. 
hnghast, master, and carried on board the schooner Halifax. 

The young man was born in , In Virginia, where he had left him, by his 

father, some estate in land ; which, by several letters of a late date from his brother, 
and his guardian, appears to be sold, and that the money thereof, will be sent to him 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 151 

very soon, by a schooner, that is now gone there. I have seen the letters myself, 
tliis day, and make no doubt but they are genuine. 

If Your Honor will interpose so far as to use your endeavors to get him dis- 
charged, you will do a singular favor to the young man, and to his actiuaintances 
here. If he remains in confinement, there Avill be nobody to take care of his money 
or goods that may be sent him from his jiatrimony, which will be his total ruin. 
I am, sir, )'our most obedient and humble servant, 

DARIUS SESSIONS. 
To Governor Wanton. 

The commissioners adjourned till to-morrow, at 10 o'clock. 

Tuesday^ January 19. 

The commissioners met, according to adjournment. 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esq., Daniel Ilorsmanden, Esq., 
Frederick Smythe, Esq., Peter Oliver, Esq., and Robert Auch- 
muty, Esq. 

Peter May attended the commissioners, pursuant to sum- 
mons, and was examined upon oath ; which examination was 
reduced to writing, and ordered to be filed. 

Deposition of Peter May. 

The examination of Peter May, taken upon oath, this 19th day of January, 
A. D. 1773: 

Peter May, of lawful age, being duly sworn, deposoth and saith : 

That he was late a mariner on board Plis Majesty's schooner Gaspee ; and that 
some time last summer, as they Avere going in said schooner, towards Providence, 
about 2 or 3 o'clock, in the afternoon, they struck aground, upon a point of land, 
about a musket shot from the land ; that she lay so dry, that they walked around 
her, and scraped her bottom, the water being about one foot on one side, and about 
two feet on the otber. 

That they got an anchor out, and endeavored to get her off; but after striving 
till sunset, they desisted from any further attempts ; all but the watch, which con- 
sisted of three, were ordered by Lieutenant Dudingston, to go to sleep. 

That between 12 and 1 o'clock, the schooner was attacked by a number of boats 
with people on board, armed some with clubs, some with other weapons. 

That this deponent was below at the time the people boarded the schooner ; and 
■when he came upon deck, he saw Lieutenant Dudingston discharge a jiistol ; but 
whether it wounded anybody, he cannot tell ; immecliately after, he saw a man in 
the bow of one of the boats fire a musket, and wound the lieutenant ; upon which, 
the lieutenant cried out, " Lord, have mercy upon me ; I am done for !" 

That immediately after this, the deponent was knocked down the hatchway, and 



152 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

recovering himself, went into the steerage, in order to get some clothes, and from 
thence stepped into the cabin, and there heard the lieutenant desire the people not 
to haul and pull him about, as they did, but to assist him ; on which, they said they 
had no doctors, but would send him, as soon as they could, to a place where they 
could get one. 

He soon after, when the lieutenant Avas on deck, heard several people ask him 
whether he would make amends for the rum which he had seized out of the sloop ; 
and if he would, they would return him the schooner ; one of which people, was 
named Greene, whom he saw in the cabin of the Gaspec, the day after they had 
seized a sloop, of which he appeared to be the owner, and out of which, he took 
some rakes. 

This deponent saith, that the said Greene is a tall, slender man ; wearing his own 
hair, of a brown color. 

This deponent further saith, that after they had taken possession of the Gaspee, 
the hands belonging to the Gaspee, were put into a boat, and row£d ashore at a 
place about a mile distant, between 3 and 4 o'clock, in the morning, and that he saw 
the schooner on fire when they were about half way to the shore, and the fire began 
upon the quarter deck. And further this deponent saith not. his 

PETER y, MAY. 
mark. 

Sworn to, at Newport, on the 19th day of Januai-y, A. D. 1773, at the council 
chamber, Newport, before — ■ 

J. WANTON, FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER, 

ROBT. AUCHMUTY, 



Robert Masters, who was also summoned, appeared, and 
upon examination on oath, there appearing nothing material 
in his testimony, he was discharged, without making any depo- 
sition. 

The commissioners received a letter from Admiral Montagu, 
which was read, and ordered to be filed. 

An answer was immediately ordered ; which was accord- 
ingly written in the following words, and delivered to the ad- 
miral, by . 

Admiral Montagu to the Commissioners, Sfc. 

Newport, U»th January, 1773. 

Gentlemen :— As an opportunity offers, for sending to England, I am wiUing to 
embrace it, to inform my lords commisioners of the admiralty of my arrival and pro- 
ceedings at this place. 

As you were pleased to signify to me your intention of writing upon the subject 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 153 

of adjourning your court, I shall be glad to receive it as soon as possible, that I may 
close my public letters, as I pi-opose leaving this place to-morrow morning. 
I am, with respect, gentlemen. 

Your most obedient, and most humble servant, 

J. MONTAGU. 
To His Majesty's commissioners, &c., at Newport. 



The Commissioners, ^c, to Admiral Montagu. 

Council Chamber, Newport, 7 
January 19th, 1773. ) 
Sir : — In our last conversation with you, you were pleased to inform us that by re- 
port, Capt. Dudingston had made such declarations at Boston, relative to his recollec- 
tion of the persons concerned in the destruction of the Gaspee, that his testimony would 
be very material in our present inquiry ; and from the language of Mr. Dudingston's 
letter to you, which you laid before us, we must be of the same opinion, as it is our 
determined resolution to do all in our power faithfully to execute the commission 
His Majesty has thought fit to honor us with. We must request of you to take such 
measures as you think proper, to get Capt. Dudingston to America, in order that he 
may be examined. 

In the same conversation, you also informed us, that at this inclement season ot 
the year, it was unpossible for you properly to execute your orders relative to the 
aifair we are now met on, and that the other duties of your department must suffer 
if you did not very soon return to Boston ; and and therefore it was your determi- 
nation to go thither to-morrow, or next day, if possible. 

Your absence from us, you are sensible, as we construe our instructions, and as 
we yesterday informed you, must make an adjournment of this board necessary. 
Indeed, without this difficulty, it is highly probable we should soon find ourselves 
under a necessity of adopting the same measure, for the want of Capt. Dudingston, 
and from the extreme rigor of the season, which renders it almost imjiossible to get 
witnesses who are at any distance from us. 

We are, with the greatest respect, 

Your most obedient humble servants, 
J. WANTON, FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER, 

ROBT. AUCHMUTY, 

Commissioners. 
To the Honorable Admiral Montagu, commander in chief 
of His Majesty's ships, &c., in North America, 

P. S. Though the time to which the commissioners will adjourn, is not absolutely 
fixed, yet it seems to be their opinion, that it must be on or about the 26th of May 
next ; which, they hope, will be agreeable to you. 

VOL. VII. 20 



154 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

The commissioners also received another letter from the ad- 
miral, enclosing the deposition of Aaron Briggs, taken the 
day of , which was ordered to be filed. 

[According to the preceding journal of the commissioners, 
two or three letters, which passed betw^een them and the ad- 
miral, are wanting, to complete the file of their correspondence. 
During their session, they examined several witnesses, and 
held correspondence with several others.] 

Arthur Fenner to Governor Wanton, relative to the Gaspee. 

rrovidcnco, January 19, 1773. 
Honorable Sir : — I received a citation, signed by you, and a number of other gen- 
tlemen, commanding my attendance at the colony house, in Newport, on the 20th 
day of January instant, to give in evidence to what I know relative to the attacking, 
taking and plundering His Majesty's schooner, called the Gaspee, &c. 

In consequence of which, I now inform you, that I am a man of seventy-four 
years of age, and very infirm ; and at the time said schooner was taken and plun- 
dered, I was in my bed, and I knew nothing of it until the next day ; and as for 
my not attending, as commanded, I must plead my age and infirmity in excuse. 
From your most obedient friend and humble servant, 

ARTHUR FENNER. 
To the Honorable Joseph Wanton, Esq. 

James Sabin to the Commissioners, ^c. 

Providence, January 19th, 1773. 
To the honorable the commissioners appointed to inquire into the circumstances 
relative to the destroying the schooner Gaspee. 

Gentlemen : — I now address you, on account of a summons I received from you, 
requiring my attendance at the council chamber, in Newport, on Wednesday, 20th 
instant. 

Now, gentlemen, I beg leave to acquaint you, what renders me incapable of at- 
tending. In the first place, I am an insolvent debtor ; and therefore, my person 
would be subject to an arrest by some one or other of my creditors ; and my health 
has been on decline these two months past, and it would be dangerous should I 
leave my house. 

And further, were I to attend, I could give no information relative to the assem- 
bling, arming, training and leading on the people concerned in destroying the 
schooner Gaspee. 

On the 9th day of June last, at night, I was employed at my house, attending 
company ; who were John Andrew, Esq., judge of the court of vice admiralty, John 
Cole, Esq., Mr. Hitchcock and George Brown, who supped at my house and stayed 



1112.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 155 



there until two of the clock, in the morning following ; and I have not any know- 
ledge relative to the matter on which I am summoned ; which I am 1-eady to make 
oath to, before any justice of the peace. 

I am, gentlemen, most respectfully. 

Your most humble servant, 

JAMES SABIN. 
To the Honorable Commissioners. 



The commissioners adjourned till to-morrow, at 10 o'clock. 



Wednesday, January 20. 

The commissioners met, according to adjournment. 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esq., Daniel Horsmanden, Esq., 
Frederick Smythe, Esq., Peter Oliver, Esq., Robert Auch- 
muty, Esq. 

The commissioners directed copies of the several letters 
which have passed' between them and Admiral Montagu, 
to be made out, in order to be transmitted to the Earl of 
Dartmouth. 

George Brown, to the Commissioners, ^c. 

East Greenwich, January 20th, 1773. 

May it please Your Honors : — Late last night, I received a summons from Provi- 
dence, to appear at the council chamber, in NeAvport, before Your Honors, there to 
give evidence of what I know concerning the burning of the schooner Gaspee ; and 
I should have waited on Your Honors, accordingly ; but, as the court of common 
pleas was then sitting in the county of Kent, and being concerned in several cases 
then pending in said court, I could not possibly attend according to summons ; 
therefore, I hope you will excuse my not attending. 

It has long been a custom for the attorneys, upon the concluding evening of 
filing pleas to the court, to meet together, to spend the evening. 

That night, the said schooner was burnt, happened to be the concluding evening 
of fihng pleas ; accordingly, the gentlemen of the bar, together with myself, met 
at the house of James Sabin, in Providence, that being a public house of enter- 
tainment. 

Some time after, I being there, heard a drum beat ; I asked the reason of said 
drum beating ; I was answered by some one of the companj^, that there was a num- 
ber of boys met together, they supposed, to divert themselves. 

I knowing it to be no uncommon thing, thoiight no more about it ; and do sol- 
emnly declare, that I have no knowledge, directly or indirectly, of any plot being 



156 RECORDS OF THE COLO!^Y OF RHODE ISLAND 1Y72. 

laid, or person concerned in perpetrating so vile a crime, and shall be ready at all 
times, when in ray power, to appear and answer any question relating to said 
affair, if required. I am, gentlemen, 

Your Honors' most obedient and humble servant, 

G. BROWN. 
To the Honorable Commissioners. 



John Andrews^ to the Commissioners, ^c. 

Pro\'idence, January 20, 1773. 
Gentlemen : — I this day received a sununons at 12 o'clock, requesting, my attend- 
ance at 11 o'clock, this day, at the court house, in Newport, in order to give evi- 
dence before Your Honors to that knowledge I have, relating to the burning and 
destropng His Majesty's schooner, called the Gaspee ; and to the assembling, arm- 
ing, training and leading the people concerned therein. 

I should have cheerfully obeyed said summons, had my health permitted ; but I 
have been confined for a week past, with a swelling in my hand, which hath ren- 
dered me unable to stir out of doors. 

But as soon as I am able, I shall wait upon Your Honors, and inform you of all 
I know, relating to that matter, which Your Honors will judge just nothing at all 
to the purpose. 

I am, with great regard. 

Your Honors' most obedient and most humble servant. 



JOHN ANDREWS. 



To the Honorable Commissioners. 



P. S. I have judged proper to inform Your Honors of all particulars of know- 
ledge I have, relating to the burning His Majesty's schooner, called the Gaspee, in 
the Narragansett River. 

I was in Providence town the evening before the mischief was done, and in com- 
pany with a number of gentlemen ; I heard a disturbance in the street, and in- 
quired into the cause, and was answered that it had been a training day, and they 
were breaking up their frolic ; and I heard nothing fui-ther that evening, relative 
thereto, but went to bed ; and nigh morning, was surprised with the news of the 
said schooner's being burned and destroyed. 

I then waited upon the Deputy Governor immediately ; and he, with me, repaired 
to the spot, where we found ]VIi\ Dudingston badly wounded, and the said schooner 
appeared at a distance to be on fire, and burned down to the water. 

And the Deputy Governor inquired of Mr. Dudingston if he had any knowledge 
of any of the trespassers. 

And he made answer, that he should give no account about the matter, before he 
■was brought before the court martial, where he expected his trial ; but was willing 
that his people should declare all they knew of the matter ; and were sworn before 
the Deputy Governor, accordingly. 

I INli-. Dudingston afterwards, and desired him, if he had any 

knowledge of any of the persons who did the mischief, he would inform me thereof, 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 157 

that they may be brought to condign punishment ; but alwaj's decHned saying any- 
thing at all. 

And this is the substance of the knowledge I have of the matter ; which I am 
ready to swear to. JOHN ANDREWS. 

To the Honorable Commissioners. 



Daniel Hitchcock to the Commissioners, %-c. 



East Greenwich, January 20, 1773. 

May it please Your Honors : — Late last night, I had a citation from Providence, 
to appear before you, this day, at 11 o'clock, in the forenoon, to give evidence with 
regard to the burning the schooner Gaspee. 

And as I detest all such open violations of the law, should have been willing to 
have waited upon Your Honors, to let you know every thing within the compass of 
my knowledge relative to that matter, had not my engagements at Kent court, in 
this place, absolutely forbid my attendance ; and therefore, hope Your Honors will 
pardon me, on that account ; but every thing I know, touching that matter, I am 
ready to relate. 

It has been, may it please Your Honors, a long custom in this colony, for the attor- 
neys at the concluding of filing of pleas for court, to meet some Avhere together* 
and spend the evening ; that night the schooner was burnt, happened to be the con- 
cluding evening. 

We met at Mr. Sabins's, by ourselves ; and about 8 o'clock, I went to the door, 
or, finally, kitchen, and saw a number of people in the sti-eet, but paid no attention 
to them, as that place was a place of public resort. 

Some time after 9 o'clock, I heard a drum beat, and was asked by somebody in 
the room, what was the occasion of the beating of that drum ; and it was answered 
by somebody, that it was beat by some boys, which quieted all further inquiry by 
me ; neither did I imagine that anything of that nature was about being perpe- 
trated, till after it was in fact done. 

This, may it please Your Honors, is every thing that I know, or has come to my 
knowledge, relative to that transaction, and which I am willing, on solemn oath, to 
state before any of the civil authority in Providence ; to which place, I shall in a 
day or two, return. 

I am Your Honors's most obedient, humble servant, 

D. HITCHCOCK. 

To the Honorable Commissioners. 



John Cole to the Commissioners, ^c. 

East Greenwich, January 20th, 1773. 

May it please Your Honors : — Late last evening, I received by the way of Provi- 
dence, a citation to appear before Your Honors, at 1 1 o'clock, this forenoon, to give 
evidence of what I know relative to the burning and destroying the schooner 
Gaspee. 

As the court of common pleas is now sitting here, and a number of clients depend- 
ing upon my assistance in their several cases, I hope Your Honors will dispense with 



158 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

my attendance at the council chamber at the time appointed. I am disposed to give 
Your Honors all the information that has come to my knowledge concerning the 
affair, which is extremely small. 

The evening preceding the burning of the Gaspee, I spent at Mr. James Sabius's 
tavern, in company with several gentlemen ; about 7 or 8 o'clock, hearing a noise in 
the street, I pulled back the shutters of one of the windows next the street, and saw 
several j^eople collected together, but did not know any of them ; upon which, I 
made inquiry of the gentlemen in the room if they knew the occasion. 

And w-as answered by some of the company, but by whom I cannot particularly 
recollect, that he hoped they were not designed for mischief 

To which, I replied, I believed not ; if they were, they would not be so public. 

Some time afterward, a drum was beating along the street ; upon which, I again 
opened the shutter, and saw three or four boys with a drum, and no other persons. 

And this, may it please Your Honors, is all I know, relative to this affair ; and 
which I am ready to make oath to, before any of the civil authority in Providence, 
to which place I shall return to-morrow or next day. 
I am, with all deference. 

Your Honors's most obedient and most humble servant, 

JOHN COLE. 

To the Honorable Commissioners. 



The commissioners adjourned till to-morrow, at 10 o'clock. 

Thursday, January 21. 

The commissioners met, according to adjournment. 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esq., Frederick Smythe, Esq., 
Peter Oliver, Esq. and Robert Auchmuty, Esq. 

Samuel Clarke, who was charged with the delivery of the 
several summonses issued by the commissioners, on the 18th 
inst., made return upon oath of his service thereof, which 
was ordered to be filed. 

Samuel Clarke exhibited his account to the commissioners, 
for performing two journeys for them ; one to Mendon, and 

the other to Providence ; which amounted to , and was 

paid by the commissioners. 

The commissioners agreed to address the Earl of Dart- 
mouth ; whereupon, a letter was drafted in the following 
words : 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 159 



The Commissioners, ^c, to the Earl of Dartmouth. 

Newport, Rhode Island, \ 
January 21, 1773. 3 
My Lord : — In obedience to His Majesty's commands, signilied to us, by Your 
Lordship's letter of the 14th of September last, we, with the utmost dispatch in our 
power, repaired to Newport, where, on the 5th day of January inst.. His Majesty's 
commission, under the great seal of Great Britain, was delivered to us in the council 
chamber, at Newport, by Capt. Keeler, commander of His Majesty's ship, the Mercury, 
and the commanding officer in the naval department at tliis place ; upon which, we 
immediately ordered the same to be publicly read and proclaimed ; which was ac- 
cordingly done, before a great concourse of j^eople, who, on the occasion, behaved 
ynt\\ great decency. 

This being done, we proceeded, with all the dispatch in our power, to business ; and 
found in the last clause in our commission, that in the execution and performance 
of the power and authority thereby given us, we are strictly charged and com- 
manded carefully to observe and conform ourselves to such instructions as Ave should 
receive in writing, under the King's sign manual. 

Whereupon, we applied ourselves to the careful examination of those instructions ; 
in one of which, are the words, " To the end that they may accordingly be arrested 
and delivered to the custody of the commander in chief of our ships and vessels in 
North America, pursuant to such directions as we have thought fit to give for that 
purpose." 

Being convinced that the above charge given us by His Majesty, in our commis- 
sion, referring to the instructions under the sign manual, could not be dispensed 
with, we wrote to Rear Admiral Montagu, that we were fully of opinion that his 
attendance at Newport was necessary, in order if there should appear evidence 
against any person sufficient to arrest him upon, he must be delivered to the ad- 
miral, according to our instructions, from which we could not depart, notwithstand- 
ing Your Lordship's letter of the 4th of September last, to Governor Wanton, 
wherein you inform him that " such offenders as may have been, or shall be arrested 
and committed witliin the colony of Rhode Island, be delivered to the care and cus- 
tody of Rear Admu-al Montagu, or the commander in chief of His Majesty's ships in 
North America, for the time being, or to such officer as he shall appoint to receive 
them." 

We here beg leave to assure Your Lordship, that we had not the least inclination 
to deviate from Your Lordship's letter, had we not been fully convinced that the 
express words of our commission, obliged us to do it. 

Several letters passed between us and the admiral, on this subject ; wherein we 
explained to him the necessity, according to our commission and instructions, of his 
being here in person. 

Though we did not agree on tliis head, he thinking that, according to his instnic- 
tions and Your Lordship's last mentioned letter, his presence was not at all neces- 
sary; yet he was polite enough to come to Newport on the 14th day of the month; 
and meeting us at the council chamber on the I8th inst., he informed us that he 
believed from the information he had received from others, Capt. Dudingston would 
be able to make such declaration relative to the business we are on, as would prove 
very material ; and at this inclement season of the year, it was impossible fqr him 



160 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

properly to execute his orders from the lords commissioners of the admiralty, rela- 
tive to the business we are now upon ; also, that the other duties of his department, 
at this time, absolutely required his attendance at Boston, and therefore, in a very 
days he must return. 

Taking all these matters into consideration, and the extreme rigor of the season, 
which renders it almost impossible to procure Avitnessess who are at any distance 
from us, without waiting a very unreasonable time for them, we thought an ad-' 
jdurnment to May next, necessary for His Majesty's service ; and accordingly no- 
tified Admiral Montagu that we should adjourn to on or about the 26th of that 
month, when he will undoubtedly be here. 

Copies of the lettei's passing between the admiral and us, on these subjects, are 
herewith transmitted to Your Lordship. 

We have jiroceeded to examine such witnesses as we could obtain ; and also care- 
fully to look into all papers which Governor Wanton has laid before us, relative to 
the conduct of the magistrates of this government, in the business we are upon ; but 
find it totally impossible at jjresent to make a report, not having all the evidence 
we have reason to expect. We therefore hope, for these reasons, that our omitting 
it, will not be disagreeable. 

In short, we have hitherto, My Lord, exerted ourselves to our utmost abilities in 
the execution of our trust. His Majesty has been pleased to honor us with ; and 
Your Lordship may rely on our future endeavors to discharge ourselves with that 
fidehty which the nature of so important a commission demands. 
We are, with the utmost respect. My Lord, 

Your Lordship's most obedient and most humble servants, 

J. WANTON, FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER. 

ROBT. AUCHMUTY, 

To the Earl of Dartmouth. 

Joseph Wanton, Esq., Governor of the colony, made oath of 
what he knew respecting the Gaspee, &c. 

Deposition of Joseph Wanton, Esq., Governor of Rhode Island. 

Joseph Wanton, Esq., Governor of the English colony of Rhode Island, on oath 
declares and says : 

That at an interview he had with Lieutenant Dudingston, late of the schooner 
Gaspee, he asked him whether he had any authority from the commissioners at Bos- 
ton, or from Admiral Montagu. 

To which, he repUed, he had not ; but received liis authority from the lords 
of the admiralty ; and that he was come into the colony of Rhode Island by virtue 
of that power, and no other, whatever. 

The deponent then asked how long it was probable he should continue in the 
colony. 

To which, he answered, at present he was in the colony ; but how long he should 
continue, was uncei-tain. 

And this deponent saith, that he does not remember that he hath since that time, 
seen the said Lieutenant Dudingston. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 161 

On, or about the 20th of March last, a complaint was transmitted to the depo- 
nent, by the Deputy Governor of the colony, signed by sundry persons, residing in 
and near the town of Providence, that an armed schooner was cruising in the Nar- 
ragansett Bay, interrupting their legal commerce, by searching and unnecessarily 
detaining the freight boats, &c. ; and therefore, requested the deponent to make 
such inquiry as was necessary, for obtaining information, whether the persons be- 
longing to said schooner, were duly authorized to exercise that power, within the 
body of the colony. 

Upon receiving the complaint, the deponent conceived it was his duty, in order to 
satisfy the complainants, and at the same time to give the persons complained of, an 
opportunity of exculpating themselves from the several charges and accusations 
which were exhibited against them, to pursue such measures as were prudent and 
legal ; and thereupon, wrote a letter to the commanding officer of said schooner, ad- 
vising him of the information the deponent had received, respecting his conduct, 
and proceedings, since his arrival within this colony, and requesting that he would 
produce his commission and authority. 

This letter was answered by Lieutenant Dudingston ; which, not being satisfac- 
tory, the deponent wrote him another letter, on the 23d of March. 

In consequence whereof. Lieutenant Dudingston sent to the deponent, by one of 
his officers, Avhose name was Dundas, an order from the lords of the admiralty, for 
his commanding the schooner Gaspee ; also, their letter to the commissioners at Bos- 
ton, requiring them to give a deputation from the commissioners at Boston, directed 
to the said Dundas ; all which, the deponent, after he had read and examined, re- 
turned to the said Dundas, who had the charge of them, without the least delay or 
interruption, whatever. 

The deponent took this opportunity to remonstrate to the officer against the 
impropriety of Mr. Dudlngston's jji-oceedings. In sending a quantity of rum, he 
had seized in the county of Kent, within this colony, for Illegal importation, to 
Boston, for trial ; It being, in the deponent's opinion, repugnant to an act pf Par- 
liament, made and passed in the eigth year of His Majesty's reign, as there was a 
court of vice admiralty established within this colony ; and that if he persevered in 
such measures, he must expect that a process would be issued against him. 

A short time after this, another complaint was brought against Mr. Dudingston, 
by one Faulkner, of Portsmouth, In this colony, and proprietor of a certain island, 
called Gould Island, within the said colony, who alleged that the people belonging 
to said schooner Gaspee, had been upon said island, and committed a trespass and 
waste thereon, by cutting down thirty or more trees, and carrying the same from off 
said island. 

The deponent recommended to the complainant to make application to said Dud- 
ingstom and demand such satisfaction as was adequate to the damage he had sus- 
tained, and If possible, to avoid a law suit, which, he said, he had been urged to 
commence. 

After which, he was Informed by said Faulkner, that lylejatenant Dudingston had 
paid him about fifteen dollars on account of the above named trespass and waste ; 
with which he appeared satisfied. 

On the 11th of June, the deponent received from Dariys Sessions, Esq., of Provi- 
dence, and Deputy Governor of the colony, an account of the destruction of His 
Majesty's schooner, the Gaspee ; upon which, he immediately called together such 
of His Majesty's Council and members of the General Assembly as could be seasoua' 

VOL. vii. 21 



162 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

bly notified, and communicated to them the disagreeable intelHgence, who unani- 
mously recommended a proclamation, with a projaer reward, for discovering the of- 
fenders ; which was thereupon issued, and sent into the several towns, within the 
colony. 

Admiral Montagu, on the 8th of July, transmitted to the deponent the declaration 
of a mulatto lad, called Aaron, impeaching several persons therein named, with 
being concerned in burning the aforesaid schooner. 

As this declaration Avas not made before any of the civil authority, either in this 
or any other colony, the deponent was of opinion, that it was highly necessary that 
Aaron should be taken into custody ; and therefore directed one of the judges of 
the Superior Court, to issue his warrant for Aaron, that he might be legally ex- 
amined ; and as he was then in the care of Capt. Linzee, wrote him a letter, dated 
the 16tli of July (which letter accompanied the warrant), requesting that he would 
deliver the said Aaron to the sheriff, that he might be examined respecting what he 
knew of attacking and burning the Gaspee. 

But Capt. Linzee refused to deliver up the witness, and treated the letter and 
warrant with the highest contempt, as the deponent was informed by James Bren- 
ton, Esq., who waited upon Capt. Linzee, with the letter, at the deponent's request. 
If Aaron had any knowledge of burning the said schooner, it was out of the power 
of the deponent to obtain it, through the unjustifiable conduct of the said Capt. 
Linzee. 

The deponent communicated to Admiral Montagu, in a letter, dated the 23d of 
July, the steps he had taken for obtaining Aaron's declaration, in full expectation 
that he would have given jiositive orders for the delivery of Aaron into the custody 
of the civil authority ; especially, as the deponent had assured Capt. Linzee that 
after his examination, he should be returned on board the King's ship. 

The dejionent cited Mi-. Samuel Thurston and Mr. Samuel Tompkins, of the 
island of Prudence, the gentlemen with whom Aaron had lived as an indented ser- 
vant, to give evidence of what they knew of the destruction of the Gaspee, &c. ; and 
also two servants, who lived in the same house with Aaron, at the time the said 
schooner was burnt, who agreed in their several testimonies, that Aaron was a run- 
away, and could not, for the reasons given in their depositions, have any knowledge 
of that transaction ; coj^ies of which testimonies, the deponent transmitted to Ad- 
miral Montagu. 

This deponent further declares, that the several letters and papers he has deliv- 
ered to the commissioners, contain a full and particular account of all the knowledge 
he hath of the destruction of the said schooner Gaspee, and the measures which 
have been pursued for discovering the offenders. J. WANTON. 

To His Majesty's commissioners, at Rhode Island. 

Sworn to, at Newport, on the 25th day of January, 1773, before us, — 

FRED. SMYTHE, 
PETER OLIVER, 
ROBT. AUCm^IUTY. 

An adjournment* being determined upon, Mr. Auchmuty and 
Mr. Oliver signified their intention of returning liome, and took 
leave of the other commissioners, accordingly. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 163 

Friday, January 22. 

The commissioners met, according to adjournment. ^ 

Present — Joseph Wanton, Esq., Daniel Horsmanden, Esq. 
and Frederick Smythe, Esq. 

Samuel Clarke, who was charged with the service of sum- 
mons on the 12th inst., for two persons at Mendon, made re- 
turn upon oath of his service thereof, which was ordered to be 
filed. 

The commissioners received a letter from Arthur Fenner, at 
Providence, excusing his attendance in obedience to a sum- 
mons of the 18th.* 

Also, a letter from James Sabin, excusing his attendance 
in obedience to a summons of the same date ; which were or- 
dered to be filed. 

The commissioners adjourn all further proceedings, until the 
26th day of May next, then to meet at Newport. 

The commissioners accordingly adjourned to meet on the 
26th day of May, 1773, at Newport. The journal of their pro- 
ceedings, if any was kept, is not among the papers. 



* See page 154. The letters of Arthur Fenner, James Sabin and others, addressed to the 
commissioners, excusing their non-attendance, not referred to in the journal of the pro- 
ceedings of the commission, are inserted in their chronological order elsewhere in this 
volume. 



164 RECORDS OP THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF 
INQUIRY, &c., CONTINUED. 



To" remove the difBculties between Admiral Montagu and 
the commissioners, relative to his personal attendance at New- 
port, the board of admiralty in England, dispatched him spe- 
cial orders, as follows : 

The Lords of the Admiralty to Admiral Montagu, relative to 
his personal attendance upon the Commissioners, ^c, at 
Newport. 

By the Commissioners for executing tlie office of Lord High Admiral of Great 
Britain and Ireland, &c. 

Whereas, you represented to us, by your letter of the 19th of January last, from 
Rhode Island, as the season of the year was so far advanced as to render it hazard- 
ous for you to proceed thither with the ships under your command, agreeably to our 
instructions of the 7th of September last, you had given Capt. Keeler, of the Mer- 
cury, the senior officer of the King's ships at that island, to whom, you had before 
dispatched His Majesty's commission for inquiring into the circumstances relative to 
the burning of the Gaspee schooner, orders to aid and assist the commissioners 
therein named, in the same manner as you should have done, had you been there ; 
but, as the said commission expressly directs the prisoners to be delivered to you, 
the commissioners did not choose to proceed to business until your arrival. 

That, in consequence of receiving such information, you had proceeded thither 
by land, and had hoisted your llag on board the Lizzard ; and that the commis- 
sioners had examined some few persons. 

And whereas, you further represented to us, by jour said letter, that if you are 
obliged to attend the commissioners at Rhode Island, the naval business at Halifax 
and Boston will be greatly retarded, as it will be impossible for you to attend to 
those and your other duties ; and have therefore desired, the senior officer of His 
Majesty's ships at Rhode Island, who will, in your opinion, in every respect, answer the 
purposes there, as well as yourself, that you may receive our directions to remain at 
Boston, with your flag, unless there appears to be an absolute necessity for your 
being at Rhode Island. 

And whereas, the Earl of Dartmouth, one of His Majesty's principal secretaries 
of state, to whom we sent an extract of so much of your letter, as related to this 
business, for His Majesty's information, hath, by his letter of the 20th instant, ac- 
quainted us that His Majesty is pleased to approve that the execution of His Maj- 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 165 

esty's orders respecting the service at Rhode Island, should be entrusted to the 
senior captain of such of his ships of war as may, from time to time be stationed at 
that colony. 

You are therefore, hereby required and directed to entrust the execution of His 
Majesty's said orders to such senior captain, accordingly. 

Given under our hands, the 26th day of March, 1773. SANDWICH, 

J. BULLER, 

LISBURNE. 
By command of their lordships : 
CHAS. STEPHENS. 

To John Montagu, Esq., Rear Admiral of the Blue, and 
commander in chief of His Majesty's ships and vessels 
in North America, at Boston. 

Previous to the reception of these orders, the following let- 
ters passed between the commissioners and the officers of the 
navy, stationed in New England : 

Admiral Montagu to the Commissioners., Sj-c. 

Boston, 24th May, 1773. 

Gentlemen : — As I understood you are soon to meet to proceed on business, I am 
to inform you, I have ordered to Capt. Keeler, of His Majesty's ship Mercury, Wil- 
liam Dickinson, late midshipman of the Gaspee, and Bartholomew Cheever, one of 
her seamen, two evidences sent out of England, by the right honorable the lords 
commissioners of the admiralty. 

As they were on board, when Captain Dudingston was wounded, these people (if 
the men called the head sheriff and captain can be found), can swear to their per- 
sons. You will be the best judges what use to make of them, when they appear 
before you. 

I -expect the Captain man-of-war will return from Halifax in ten days, when I 
shall lose no time in repairing to Rhode Island ; but if, in the meantime, you should 
think my presence absolutely necessary, I will set out by land, although it will be 
attended with great inconvenience to me. 

Capt. Keeler has my orders to give you every assistance in his power ; and I 
doubt not but that he will faithfully execute them. 
I am, gentlemen. 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

J. MONTAGU. 

To His Majesty's Commissioners, at Newport. 



166 RECORDS OF TEE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 



Capt. Robert Keeler to the Commissioners, (^c. 

His Majesty's sliip Mercury, Kbode Island Harbor, ] 
May 27, 1773. I 

Sir : — Admiral ]\Iontagu finding the King's commissioners meeting at Newport, 
he has sent me an officer and one seaman, lately belonging to the Gaspee, and just 
arrived from England, to give information of the persons that were concerned in 
the burning of said schooner. 

Likewise a letter, directed to His Majesty's commissioners at Rhode Island, with 
du'ections to me, to deliver to you, when sitting. 

But, as I am detained on board, on account of a writ being issued out against me, 
I am to desire you will give me notice in writing, when you meet, that the letter 
may be sent by a proper officer ; and of the time you choose to have the evidences 
on shore, to be examined. I am, sir. 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

R. KEELER. 
To Hon. Joseph Wanton, Esq., president of His Majesty's 
commission, at Newport. 

The Commissioners, ^c, to Capt. Keeler. 

Newport, May 27, 1773. 
Sir : — Though there are three commissioners met at Newport, yet, as the other 
two gentlemen are daily expected, it is thought most conducive to His Majesty's ser- 
vice, not to proceed on business till they join us ; at which time we shall acquaint 
you, when the witnesses yon mention to us, may be examined, and Admiral Mon- 
tagu's letter delivered, and in the interim, are, 

Yom- most obedient, humble servants, 
J. WANTON, 
PETER OLIVER, 
ROBT. AUCIBIUTY, 

Commissioners. 
To Capt. Robert Keeler. 

The Commissioners, ^c, to Capt. Keeler. 

Newport, May 31, 1773. 
Sir : — The gentlemen commissioners are now arrived from the southward ; there- 
fore we are ready to receive Admiral Montagu's letter, mentioned in yours of the 
27th inst. ; and to-mon-ow morning shall also be ready to take the depositions of 
those witnesses you inform us are arrived from England. 

The commissioners will attend such examination to-morrow morning, at 10 
o'clock ; and are. Your most obedient and humble servants, 

J. WANTON, 
PETER OLIVER, 
ROBT. AUCHIVIUTY, 

Commissioners. 
To Capt. Robert Keeler. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 167 



The Commissioners, SfC, to Admiral Montagu. 

Newport, June 2, 1773. 
Sir : — Three of the commissioners met at this place on the 26th ult. ; but as the 
gentlemen from the southward Avere not arrived, and daily expected, it was thought 
by those present, most conducive to His Majesty's service, to delay entering on busi- 
ness till they were joined by their brethren. Your not receiving an answer sooner, 
to your favor of the 24th of last month, was owing to that reason. 

The gentlemen being now on the spot, beg leave to observe to you, that the wit- 
nesses you mention, have been examined ; and that it will be very agreeable to them 
to have the pleasure of your comjjany at Newport, whenever it will comport with 
His Majesty's service in general ; but at present, see no immediate occasion for your 
coming without your shijjs ; and are, with the greatest respect, sir. 

Your most obedient, humble servants, 
J. WANTON, FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER, 

ROBT. AUCHMUTY, 

Commissioners. 
To John Montagu, Esq. 

Admiral Montagu to the Commissioners , ^c. 

Boston, 14th June, 1773. 
Gentlemen : — In answer to your letter of the 2d. which I received the 12th, I beg 
leave to inform you, that as the service will not admit of my being at Rhode Island, 
this summer, I have sent orders to Capt. Keeler, of His Majesty's ship INIercury, to 
render you every service in his power, in the execution of your commission, agree- 
ably to His Majesty's directions, signified to me, by my lords commissioners of the 
admiralty, by their order of the 26th of March, 1773, a duplicate of which, I here- 
with enclose to you ; and am, with respect, gentlemen. 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

J. MONTAGU. 
To His Majesty's Commissioners, at Rhode Island. 

The following evidence was submitted to the commissioners, 
at this session : 



Deposition of William Dickinson. 

The examination of William Dickinson, late midshipman of His Majesty's 
schooner, taken on oath, at Newport, in the colony of Rhode Island, this 1st day of 
June, A. D. 1773, who saith : 

That on the 10th day of June, in the year 1772, between the hours of 12 and 1, 
in the morning, the said schooner, then working in her dock, on Namquit Pointy 
about two miles below Pawtuxet, and not able to get off ; the watch being on 



168 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772- 

deck, as he supposed, ga\e the alarm that a number of boats were coming down the 
river. 

Upon which, Lieutenant Dudingston went on deck, and hailed the boats, and or- 
dered them to keep off, or he would fire into them ; but, as they refused to keep off, 
we fired at them, and they returned the fire, whereby Lieutenant Dudingston was 
wounded in the left arm, and in the groin. 

They then boarded us, and used us very ill, by beating and knocking down the 
people ; and afterwards by tying them, and throwing them into their boats, the cap- 
tain of the gang swearing he would give no quarters. 

The captain of the gang ordered Lieutenant Dudingston on his knees, and to beg 
his fife. 

He said he could not, he was wounded. 

Whereupon, the said captain answered, " D — n your blood, you are shot by your 
own people." 

Then thej' took him into the cabin, where two men dressed his wounds ; who, by 
their behavior, appeared to have some skill in surgery. 

And this examinate further saith : that while Lieutenant Dudingston's wounds 
were dressing, those two persons who assumed to be the head sheriff and the captain, 
demanded the papers belonging to the vessel, which he delivered by Lieutenant 
Dudingston's order to them ; consisting of the lieutenant's commission from the lords 
of the admiralty ; Admiral JNIontagu's instructions, letters, and other papers ; and 
upon his particularizing those papers as he dehvered them, they damned him, and 
told him they did not come there to receive any instructions from liim, but would 
examine the papers at their leisure, which they put into their pockets, and then 
carried Lieutenant Dudingston on shore, about two miles from the schooner. 

The examinate after this continued on board said schooner about three quarters of 
an hour ; and was told by the captain of the gang, that unless he quitted the 
schooner, he would throw him overboard ; during this time, they continued plun- 
dering the schooner. 

The examinate was landed in one of their boats on the shore opposite' to the 
schooner, where he remained some time ; and that within an hour after he was landed, 
he saw the said schooner on fire ; and it being then daylight, he saw three of their 
boats put off from the schooner, full of men ; one of which, landed the people at 
Pawtuxet, and the other two, rowed towards Providence. 

This examinate further saith : that the schooner when she was burnt, lay about 
eight or ten miles, to the best of his judgment, from the north end of the island of 
Prudence ; and that several negroes were on board the said schooner ; and also 
rowed the boats which boarded the schooner ; but he does not know their names ; 
and he cannot recollect that he saw any of those negroes enter the cabin. 

And he also saith, that he does not know the names of any of the persons who 
boarded and destroyed said schooner, or wounded Lieutenant Dudingston ; but that 
the captain, who was called the captain of the gang, was a well set man, of a swar- 
thy complexion, full face, hoarse voice, and wore a white caji, was well dressed, and 
appeared rather above the common rank of mankind ; and that the greater part of 
those he saw on board the schooner, and in the cabin, were persons well dressed ; 
many of them with ruffled shirts, and appeared as store-keejiers, merchants or mas- 
ters of vessels. 

The person who was called the head sheriff, was a tall, genteel man, dressed in 
blue clothes, his hair tied behind, and had on a ruffled shirt. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 169 

One of the jDersons who acted as surgeon in dressing Lieutenant Dudingston's 
wounds, appeared to be about eighteen years of age, very much marked with 
the small pox ; light brown hair, tied behind ; about five feet, five or six inches 
high. 

The other, was a very genteel man ; appeared to be about twenty-two years of 
age ; his hair tied behind, a thin person, and about five feet, eight or nme inches 
high. 

This examinate further saith : that after he returned from Boston to Providence, 
a few days after the schooner Avas destroyed, the first described surgeon met him in 
one of the streets in Providence, and asked him whether he knew how Lieutenant 
Dudingston did ; but the examinate did not know his name ; and further saith not. 

W. DICKINSON. 

Sworn to, at Newport, on the daj' and year abovesaid, before — 

J. WANTON, FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER, 

Commissioners. 

Deposition of Bartholomew Cheever. 

The examination of Bartholomew Cheever, mariner, and late a seamen on board 
His Majesty's schooner, the Gaspee, taken on oath, at Newport, in the colony of 
Rhode Island, on the 1st day of June, 1773, who saith: 

That on the 9th day of June last, the schooner Gaspee run aground, on her pas- 
sage to Providence, on a point of land about two or three miles below a small town, 
and about five miles from the town of Providence. 

That about three-quartei-s after 12 o'clock, the next morning, being the 10th of 
June, he was standing upon the quarter deck of said schooner, as a sentry ; every 
other person belonging to said schooner, being below, he saw a number of boats 
coming towards said schooner, which he hailed, but no answer was returned ; he 
then immediately gave notice to Lieutenant Dudingston and the midsliipman, who 
instantly came upon deck. 

The boats were again hailed, and the answer returned by some of the people in 
said boats was, " D — n your blood, we have you now !" 

The captain ordered them to keep off"; and told them if they did not, he would 
fire into them. 

They answered, they did not care ; they would be aboard directly. 

The captain then ordered all hands on deck ; but the people who were in the 
boats, boarded the schooner ; and as they were entering said schooner, they shot the 
captain ; and afterwards tied the people belonging to said schooner, and carried 
them on shore, nearly opposite to the schooner ; they then broke open the arm- 
chest, and took possession of the small arms. 

And after they had landed all the Gaspee's people, he saw the said schooner on 
fire ; but he knoweth not the names of any of the persons who were concerned in 
destroying said schooner ; and that those who acted as principals, were called the 
head sheriff and the captain ; and one of them was called constable. 

And this examinate further saith : that while he was attending upon Lieutenant 

VOL. vii. 22 



170 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

Dudingston at a town cailed Pawtuxet, he saw two of the persons who were concerned 
in destroying- said schooner ; but did not know their names. his 

BARTHOLOMEW 'A CHEEVER. 
mark. 

Sworn to, at New2:)ort, on the day and year, abovesaid, before— 

J. WANTON, ' FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER, 

Commissioners. 

Deposition of John Cole. 

The examination of John Cole, of Providence, in the colony of Rhode Island, 
Esq., taken on oath in Newport, in said colony, this 3d day of June, A. D. 1773, 
■who saith : 

That the evening preceding the burning the Gaspee, I spent at Mr. James Sa- 
bins's tavern, in Providence, aforesaid, in company with several gentlemen. 

About 7 or 8 o'clock, hearing a noise in the street of said town, I pulled back the 
shutter of one of the windows next the street, and saw several men, about twelve, 
as I apprehend, but did know one of them, collected together. Upon which, I made 
inquiry of the gentlemen in the room, if they knew the occasion ; and was answered 
by one of the company, but whom, I cannot particularly recollect, that he hoped 
they were not upon any design of mischief 

To which, I replied, " I believed not ; if they v.-ere on such a design, they woidd 
not be so public." 

Some short time after, I heard a drum beat in the street ; upon which, I again 
opened the shutter, saw three or four boys passing along with the drum, and no 
other persons. 

Between 11 and 12 o'clock, in the same evening, I left the said tavern ; at which 
time, I found the street clear and still ; I then observed, that I believed if any mis- 
chief was intended, they had thought better of it, and gone home. 

Early in that evening, and before I first opened the shutter, I heard, but whether 
after I joined the company or in the street going to said tavern, I cannot recollect, 
that the Gaspee was then run on shore ; neither do I remember the person giving 
me that information ; I never heard any intimation of an intention to burn the Gas- 
pee ; nor do I know any person or persons concerned in that transaction, or ever 
heard who they were. 

The place where the said Gaspee was burnt, was in the township of Warwick, in 
the county of Kent, in the colony of Rhode Island. 

From the cove near ]\Ir. Samuel Tompkins's house, to the place where the Gaspee 
schooner was burnt, is, according to the best judgment I can form, near, if not quite, 
four leagues ; and further, this deponent saith not. JOHN COLE. 

Taken, and sworn to, at Newport, on the dav and year before written, before — 
J. WANTON, ' FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER, 

ilOBT. AUCHMUTY, 

Commissioners. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 171 



Deposition of John Andreius. 

The examination of John Andrews, Esq., of Cranston, in the colony of Rhode Is- 
land, taken on oath, at Newport, in said colony, on the 5th day of June, 1773, who 
declares and says : 

That he was in the town of Providence the night that the schooner Gaspee was 
destroyed, at a tavern, where he spent the evening with a number of gentlemen i 
and after supper, he heard a drum beat in the street, and inqviired into the cause 
thereof; and received for answer, that it had been training day, and the people 
were breaking up their frolic ; about 12 o'clock, he repaired to his lodgings, it being 
very dark, and went to bed. 

The next morning, the sun about half an hour high, was surprised with hearing 
some persons say to each other, that the said schooner was burnt ; upon which, he 
opened the Avindow, and saw on the other side of the street, Uvo lilack fellows and 
one white man, talking together. 

I inquired what was the matter ; and received for an answer from the Avhite man, 
that some people in the night had burned the man-of-war schooner. 

Upon which, he immediately dressed himself, and waited upon the Deputy Gov- 
ernor ; and he informed him he had heard the news, and sent for his horse, in order 
to repair to the spot, and inquire of Capt. Dudingston and his people, and find, if 
possible, the persons that had done the mischief. 

We j^rocured a horse, as soon as possible, and went to Pawtuxet, where we found 
Mr. Dudingston badly wounded ; and we saw the said schooner on shore, about a 
mile and a half distant, wdiich appeai-ed by the smoke, to be on fire, and burnt down 
almost to the water's edge. 

The Deputy Governor, in his hearing, inquired of JNIr. Dudingston, if he had any 
knowledge of the persons that committed this trespass. 

He made answer, that he should render no account about the matter, until he 
appeared before a court martial, where he expected to be tried, if he survived his 
wounds, and such account might be made use of, to his advantage ; but was willing 
that his people should be sworn ; and had them called in, and cautioned them to 
swear to the truth. 

He then, as His Majestj^'s commissary for the colony, conferred wtth Mr. Dud- 
ingston, concerning saving such guns and stores as could be saved, and agreed to 
save all that was possible to be saved, and procured a- man to undertake the 
business. 

And he likewise requested that his people might be taken ^ care of, and sent on 
board His Majesty's sloop, called the Beaver, then at Newport, and procured a small 
vessel, to carry them on purpose. 

He visited Mr. Dudingston, several times, and requested of him, if he had any 
knowledge of such persons as had done the mischief, that he would inform him there- 
of, that the persons might be brought to condign punishment ; but he always de- 
chned saying anything in the affair. 

And further, that early in the morning, after the said schooner was destroyed, he 
met with Daniel Jenckes, Esq., chief justice of the court of common pleas, in the 
county of Providence, who said that he had informed the Deputy Governor of what 
had happened the preceding night, respecting the Gaspee ; and then urged that the 



172 KECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

Deputy Governor and tkis examinate, -n-ould repair immediately to Pawtuxet, and 
examine such of the Gaspee's men as could be found, while it was fresh in their 
memories, that the villains miirht be discovercjd, and not the whole colony blamed, 

JOHN ANDREWS. 

The foregoing examination was taken and sworn to, at Newport, on the day and 
year afore written, before — 

J. WANTON, PETER OLIVER, 

DAN. IIORSMANDEN, ROBT. AUCHMUTY, 

Commissioners. 



Deposition of Justice Helme. 

The examination of James Helme, Esq., of South Kingstown, in the county of 
•Kings county, and colony of Rhode Island, &c., taken on oath, at Newport, in said 
colony, this 5th day of June, A. D. 1773, who saith : 

That in October following the burning the schooner Gaspee, the superior court 
of judicature, &c., for said colony, sat at East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, at 
■which court I presided, being the eldest justice of the same, present. 

Before the sitting of said court, I had heard of the said schooner's being burnt, and 
of Lieutenant Dudingston's being wounded. I did not give any charge to the grand 
jury at that court ; nor is it usual in this colony to give either general or special 
charges to grand juries. 

But before the meeting of said com^t, I informed my brethren, that if I presided 
at said court, I fully intended to give the affair of burning the said schooner and 
wounding the lieutenant, in charge to the jury ; but having been nearly two months 
on the circuit, it entirely went out of my mind, when the grand jury was emjjan- 
nelled ; and there being no business laid before said jury, they were soon dismissed. 
Immediately after, I recollected the omission of what I intended ; and then men- 
tioned to some of the other judges of the court, that I had entirely forgotten to give 
the business of destroj-ing the Gaspee and wounding Lieutenant Dudingston, in 
charge to the grand jury, which I had designated ; and further, this deponent saith 
not. JAMES HELME. 

Taken, and sworn to, at Newport, on the day and year first within written, before — ■ 
J. WANTON, ' ERED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER, 

ROBT; AUCIBIUTY, 

Commissioners. 



Deposition of George Brown. 

The examination of George Brown, of Providence, in the colony of Rhode Island, 
Esq., taken on oath, at Newport, in said colony, this 5th day of June, A. D. 1773, 
who saith : 

That the evening preceding the burning of the schooner Gaspee, he, with several 
other gentlemen, met at the house of JVIr. James Sabin, in Providence, aforesaid, it 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 173 

being a public house, to spend the evening together. Abgut 10 o'clock, as I sup- 
pose, I heard a drum beat in the street ; I asked the reason of said drum beating ; 
on Tsvhich, some one of the company, but whom, I do not recollect, answered, that 
there were some boys beating the drum, which was common for two or three years 
past, in summer evenings, in said town ; it is also usual for the young people to as- 
semble, to learn to beat a drum, and other military exercises. 

Before sunset, that evening, I had heard that the said schooner was aground ; but 
had not then the least suspicion that any mischief was intended to be done to said 
schooner, or any body on board of her ; not having heard any intimation to that 
purpose. 

And I further declare, that I have not any knowledge, directly or indirectly, of 
any plans being laid, to burn or otherwise destroy said schooner, or of any person 
concerned in so vile a crime, or wounding Lieutenant Dudingstou. 

Some time after I heard the drum, I had occasion to go to the door, when 1 
plainly saw about ten or a dozen boys, with a drum ; and am confident there was 
not at that time one man among them; nor had I, during that evening, any concep- 
tion of any mischief intended. 

The place where said schooner was burnt, is in the township of Warwick, in the 
county of Kent, in the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. From 
the dwelling house of Mr. Samuel Tompkins to the place where said schooner was 
burnt, is, according to my judgment, about nine miles ; and further, this deponent 
saith not. G. BROWN. 

Taken, and sworn to, at Newport, on the day and year above written, before^ 
J. W^ ANTON, ' FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER, 

ROBT. AUCHMUTY, 

Commissioners. 



Deposition of Samuel Faulkner, relative to the Negro Aaron 
Briggs. 

The examination of Samuel Faulkner, of Bristol, in the colony of Rhode Island, 
and laborer, taken upon oath, at Newport, the 11th day of June, 1773, who saith: 

That he lived with ]\Ir. Samuel Tompkins, of the island of Prudence, in said 
colony, from the 1st of April, 1772, to the last of July, following, and knoweth a 
negro fellow named Aaron, who lived with said Tompkins part of said time ; and, as 
he understood, was an indented servant to said Tompkins. 

That several persons came over from Bristol, to said island, and said that the 
Gaspee schooner was burnt two or three days before, which was the first time he 
heard of it. 

That he never requested the said Aaron to go with him from Prudence to Bristol, 
in any part of the aforementioned time of his living with the said Samuel Tompkins, 
having then no occasion to go to Bristol. 

That when the people of Bristol gave an account of the burning of said schooner, 
Aaron was present ; ^and did not either at that time, or at any other time after- 
wards, discover that he had any knowledge of the destroying of said schooner. 

That when the people from Biistol gave said account, they mentioned the par- 



174 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1772. 

ticular niglit on which said schooner was burnt ; and to the best of his recollection, 
Aaron milked the cows after sunset that night, and was at home early the next 
morning ; and therefore concluded that Aaron was at his master's house the whole 
of that night. 

That he does not remember his telling the said Aaron he would a?k his master to 
let him go with him to Bristol, in any part of the above mentioned time of his living 
with said Tompkins ; but well remembers that tlie summer before, when he also 
lived with the said Tompkins, that he asked him once or twice to let Aaron go with 
him to Bristol. 

That he ne'\ er was in company with Aaron, when Mr. Potter, of Bristol, was 
present ; but has been in Mr. Potter's rope-walk in Bristol, in company with Aaron ; 
neither was he ever on a wharf in Bristol, with Aaron, nor at any time pointed out 
Mr. Potter to said Aaron ; and he does not recollect that when he was in ]\Ir. 
Potter's rope-walk, as aforesaid, that he told said Aaron whose it was; and that 
when they went to Bristol together the summer before the Gaspee was burnt, they 
landed on the shore. 

That when Aaron ran away from his said master, he stole his small boat, which 
lay on the shore, and went away in her ; and that when the peojjle from Bristol 
brought the said news of the Gaspee's being burnt, she was then lying on the shore, 
with her seams much opened ; that some time after this, and before Aaron stole her, 
she was repaired. 

That he does not remember that the people from Bristol mentioned any persons's 
names of being concerned in destroying said schooner ; and he does not know any 
of the persons who burnt said schooner. 

And this examinate further saith : that the said Aaron was looked upon by the 
people where he worked, as a person much addicted to lying. 

SAMUEL FAULKNER. 

Taken, and sworn to, at Newport, on the day and year, above mentioned, 
before— J. WANTON, 

FRED. SMYTHE, 
ROBT. AUCmiUTY', 

Commissioners. 

Deposition of Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

Darius Sessions, Esq., of Providence, on oath declares and says : 

That, in the month of March, A. D. 1772, or thereabouts, sundry of the principal 
inhabitants of the town of Pro-s-idence, made application to the deponent, in writing, 
representing that there was, and had been for some time past, a schooner crusing in 
the Narragansett River, that disturbed all the vessels and boats that were passing 
therein, by chasings firing at and searching them ; and often treating the people 
aboard of them, Avith the most abusive language ; and that the commander showed 
no commission, to support such proceedings. 

They therefore, requested me to inform the Governor thereof, that if he knew not 
who he was, or if he had not been acquainted with his commission and authonty, he 
would be pleased to make inquiry therein. 

Soon after I received said writing, hearing that the Chief Justice was in the 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 175 

court house, near by, I wrote a line on the back of said paper, and sent it to him, 
desiring his opinion in the afFair ; it was soon returned, with something written under 
mine, to this pin-pose, viz. : that it was his opinion, that for any person, whatever, to 
come into the colony, and in the body thereof, to exercise any authority by force of 
arms, or otherwise, without showing his commission to the Governor ; and (if a cus- 
tom house officer,) without being sworn into his office, was guilty of a trespass, if not 
piracy ; all which proceedings, to the best of my remembrance, I afterwards sent to 
the Governor. 

And to the best of his remembrance, the aforesaid complaint was signed by the 
following persons : JOHN BROWN, AMBROSE PAGE, 

NATHAN ANGELL, DARIUS SESSIONS, 

JOSEPH NIGHTINGALE, JAMES LOVETT, 
JOB SMITH, NICHOLAS BROWN. 

THOMAS GREENE, 
Newport, June 12th, 1772. 

Sworn to, before— J. WANTON, Governor. 

On the 7th of June, the commissioners requested the per- 
sonal attendance of the justices of the Superior Court, of the 
colony. 

The design of the commissioners, will appear in the follow- 
ing papers : 



The Justices of the Superior Court of the Colony of Rhode 
Island^ to the Commissioners, ^c. 

The honorable the commissioners, appointed by royal commission, for examining 
into the attacking and destroying His Majesty's armed schooner, the Gaspee, 
commanded by Lieutenant Dudingston, and wounding the said lieutenant, having 
laid before us, justices of the Superior Court of Judicature, court of assize, &c., 
within and throughout the colony of Rhode Island, two examinations of Aaron 
Briggs, two examinations of Patrick Earle, the examination of Peter May, 
the examination of William Dickinson, the deposition of Samuel Tompkins, 
Samuel Thurston ; and of Somerset and Jack, indented servants, for our advise- 
ment thereon : 

It appeareth to us, from our consideration had thereupon, that no particular per- 
son or persons are made mention of, as being concerned in that atrocious crime, 
except in the examination of Aaron Briggs, a negro ; and of Peter May, one of the 
Gaspee's people. 

The confession of the said Aaron, upon his first examination, was made in conse- 
quence of illegal threats from Capt. Linzee, of hanging him (the said Aaron) at the 
yard arm, if he would not discover who the persons were, that destroyed the Gas- 
pee ; and besides, most of the circumstances and facts related in both of his exam- 
inations, are contradictions repugnant to each other ; and many of them, impossible 
in their nature. . 



176 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

It is e\'ident from the depositions of Tompkins, Thurston and Aaron's two fellow 
servants, that he was at home the whole of that night on which the Gaspee was at- 
tacked ; especially, as there was no boat on that part of the island, in which he 
could possibly pass the bay, in the manner by him described. 

In short, another circumstance which renders the said Aaron's testimony ex- 
tremely suspicious, is Capt. Linzee's absolutely refusing to deliver him up to be ex- 
amined by one of the justices of the Superior Court, when legally demanded. 

Peter May, in his deposition, mentions one person only by the name of Greene ; 
whom, he saj's, he saw before, on board the Gaspee ; but the family of Greene being 
verv numerous in this colonj^, and the said Peter not giving the Christian name, or 
describing him in such a manner as he could be found out, it is impossible for us to 
know, at present, the person referred to. 

Upon the whole, we are all of opinion, that the several matters and things con- 
tained in said depositions, do not induce a probable suspicion, that the persons men- 
tioned therein, or either or any of them, are guilty of the crime, aforesaid. 

It is, however, the fixed determination of the Superior Court to exert every 
legal aflfort in detecting and bringing to condign punishment, the persons concerned 
in destroying the schooner Gasjiee. 

And if the honorable commissioners are of a different sentiment, we should be 
glad to receive their opinion, for our better information. S. HOPIvINS, 

Chief Justice. 

J. HELME, -) ^ ■ , ^ 

^ Assistant 



M. BOWLER, 
J. C. BENNETT, 

To the Honorable His Majesty's Commissioners. 
Pvhode Island, June 11, 1773. 



( Justices. 



The Commissioners, &c., to the Justices of the Superior Court 
of Rhode Island. 

Newport, June 12, 1773. 
Gentlemen : — We, the commissioners, appointed by His Majesty for inquiring into 
the attacking, plundering and burning His Majesty's schooner, called the Gaspee, 
and wounding the lieutenant, late commandant of said schooner, received your re- 
port on the examinations by us laid before you. 

In the conclusion of the same report, you are pleased to say, if Ave differ from you 
in sentiment, you should be glad to receive our opinion, for your better information. 
As by our instructions, we are required to lay before the civil magistrates all such 
informations as we shall receive ; and as it is your proper office to judge and act 
thereupon, in such manner as you conceive most likely to answer the ends of pubfic 
justice, therefore, we decline giving any sentiment or ojiinion in the mattter ; and 
are, with much respect, gentlemen, 

Your most obedient, humble servants, 

J. AVANTON, FRED. SMYTHB, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, PETER OLIVER, 

ROBT. AUCHMUTY, 

Commissioners. 
To the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq., and the three assistant justices. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 177 

The following request of Chief Justice Smythe, was thought 
worthy of preservation : 

- Chief Justice Smijthe to the Commissioners, &jc. 

Newport, June 23d, 1773. 
Gentlemen : — I desire the enclosed, may be inserted in the journal of our proceed- 
ings. I am sorry it is not iii my power to meet you, this morning. As this minute 
contains only the plain facts, I hope there will be no objection to the request of — 

Gentlemen, youi-s, most heartily, • 
FRED. SMYTHE. 
To the commissioners. Gov. Wanton, Mr. Horsmanden and Mr. Auchmuty. 

" June 21. — Chief Justice Smythe requested the board that some particulars of an 
attack of an ai-med schooner, called the St. John, by the gunner of Fort George, in 
this colony, in consequence of an order signed by two magistrates, dated July, 
1764, had been imparted to him on Saturday last; and conceiving that great irregu- 
larltjr, violence and disorder, accompanied that transaction, and might be considered 
as a leading cause to the destruction of the Gaspee, requested the board to take the 
affair into consideration, and receive such information as might be procured on the 
subject. 

Whereupon, Gov. Wanton accjuainted the board that his son was Deputy Gov- 
ernor of the colony at the time of the above transaction, and could fully explain the 
affair ; that the said gunner of the fort was in town, and might be called upon ; then 
the board agreed to take the matter into consideration to-morrow morning. 

June 22. — The board being reminded by Mr. Smythe of his motion yesterday, 
produced the original order, signed by the magistrates ; and inquiring if the Gov 
ernor's son, or the gunner, had been applied to, for information on the subject. 

Mr. Auchmuty proposed that the sense of the board should first be taken whether 
the affair should be at all inc|uired into, or not. 

Whereupon, Gov. Wanton and Chief Justice Horsmanden were of opinion, that 
no notice whatever of the attack of the schooner St. John, ought to be taken by this 
board. 

Mr. Smythe, on the contrary, was of opinion, that a strict Inquiry ought to be 
made on the subject, and inserted in the repoi-t. Mr. Auchmuty doubted." 

The commissioners probably closed their labors on the 23d of 
June ; on which the following letter, enclosing the report of 
their proceedings, was sent home : 



The Commissioners ^-c, to Lord Dartmouth. 

Newport, June 22, 1773. 
My Lord : — So much time being necessarily spent in the business of His Maj- 
esty's royal commission, renders our return to our several colonies highl_y expedient;, 

VOL. VII. 23 



178 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

and having executed the same to the utmost of our abilities, we beg leave to enclose 
to Your Lordship, a report thereon. 

Your Lordship is very sensible that for the execution of the trust His Majesty hath 
been graciously pleased to honor us with, it was strictly necessary to have the assist- 
ance of secretaries, messengers to summon witnessess, or go express on the business? 
some constant attendants and station^y. No particular mode having yet been 
pointed out to us, for defrajing these expenses by government, Ave have discharged 
the same, except the secretaries, Mr. Brenton and Clarke ; but at this, our second 
meeting, we found one of those gentlemen sufficient for the same. 

Mr. Oliver would have joined us in the report to His Majesty, if the duty of his 
office had not indispensably recpiired him to take his leave of us a few days since. 

i\Iy Lord, as we have used the utmost assiduity, and made the strongest possible 
efforts to the thorough accomplishment of the end and design of the commission f 
though not attended with that success most ardently wished for by all, yet we hum- 
bly hope His Majesty will be graciously pleased to accept of our services and en- 
deavors therein, which will reflect the greatest honor on — 

Your Lordship's most respectful, and most obedient humble servants, 
J. WANTON, FRED. SMYUTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, ROBT. AUCHMUTY, 

Commissioners. 

To the Eai-1 of Dartmouth. 



The Report of the Commissioners^ c^^c, to the King, 

" To the King's Most Excellent Majesty : 

May it please Y'our Majesty : — In obedience to your royal commission and in- 
structions, and from a due sense of the duty therein enjoined on us, we have used 
our utmost care and diligence for the purpose of inquiring into, and reporting to 
Your Majesty, all the circumstances relative to the attacking, ijlundering and burn- 
ing the schooner Gaspee, wounding Lieutenant Dudingston, and all other matters 
in the same commission and instructions contained. 

We now beg leave, most humbly, to report to Your Majesty, that on the earliest 
intelligence of Your jMa.jesty's commands, Ave, Avith the utmost dispatch in our 
poAver, repaired to NeAvport, where, on the otli of January last, Y'our Majesty's 
royal commission was ijublished in the jiresence of a large number of people ; Avho, 
on the occasion, behaved with great j^ropriety. 

We next proceeded to give public notice of the subject matter of the commission, 
and our being assembled for the execution thereof; requesting all persons Avho 
could give us any information relative to such matters, forthwith so to do. 

We beg leave to obserA^e to Your Majesty, that the place Avhere the Gaspee Avas 
destroyed, is, at least, tAventy-three miles from Newport, and the accident of her 
running aground but a fcAv hours before the attack, takes away all possibility of the 
inhabitants of the toAvn being instrumental in, or priA-y to, the destruction of her ; 
nor have we any evidence, even of the slightest kind, to induce suspicion to the 
contrary. 

We further beg leave humbly to represent to Your Majesty, that in the jiart of 
our duty contained under the inquiry ipto the assembling, arming and leading on 
the people to attack the Gaspee ; also, the concerting and preparing the same, Ave 
have been particularly attentive. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 179 

But after our utmost efforts, we are not able to discover any evidence of either ; 
and therefore, are humbly of opinion, both from the unforeseen event of the Gas2)ee's 
running on shore, the suddenness of the undertaking and its accomplishment, and 
total want of evidence of even an intention to destroy her, though many witnesses 
of credit, as well inhabitants of Providence as other places, were strictly examined 
on this head, that the Avhole was conducted suddenly and secretly. 

On the lOtli of June last, about 1 in the morning, a number of armed people, 
many of whom, by their dress, appeared much above the rank of common people, 
and were accompanied by several negroes and others, boarded the schooner Gaspee, 
then on shore, on a point of land, called Namquit, which is within the township of 
Warwick, and county of Kent, in this colony, and about six miles from the town of 
Pro\4dence ; and after wounding the lieutenant, and using the crew with great bar- 
barity, first plundered and then burnt the schooner, taking the lieutenant and his 
people on shore, to a place called Pawtuxet, about two miles distant. 

With respect to the conduct of the magistrates, on the morning of the 11th of 
June. The Deputy Governor, being infoi-med of the destruction of the GasjDec, the 
lieutenant being wounded on shore, at Pawtuxet, first inquired if any of the offend- 
ers were known; and receiving no information of such, immediately lepaired to the 
place, and finding the heutenant in a dangei'ous condition, oftered him every proper 
assistance ; to which the lieutenant replied, he wanted no favors for himself, but de- 
sired his people might be taken care of, and sent on board the Beaver ; which was 
accordingly done. 

The Dejiuty Governor then told the lieutenant the design of his visit, was not 
only to afford him any assistance, but to procure such a declaration from his own 
mouth, respecting, the transaction, that the offenders might be brought to justice. 

To which, the lieutenant answered, he Avould not give him any account of the 
matter. First, because of his indisposition ; and, secondly, it was his duty to forbear 
any thing of that nature, until he had done it unto a court martial. 

The Deputy Governor then asked the lieutenant if he was willing that his ofiicers 
and men should be examined ; to which, after some refusal, he consented. They 
were accordingly examined on oath, but were not able to give information against 
an}' person in particular. 

]Mr. Andrews, judge of the court of vice admiralty, in this colony, attended the 
Dejiuty Governor, and behaved very properly on the occasion. 

The same day, the Dejiuty Governor, by letter, informed the Governor of what 
had happened, and of every step he had taken as a magistrate, and sent him all the 
depositions. In another letter, of the 12th of June, he further informed the Gov- 
ernor, it was the unanimous opinion of a great number of the most respectable in- 
habitants of Providence, that a proclamation, with a proper reward, should, by the 
Governor be issued, for the apprehending and bringing to justice the persons con- 
cerned ; which was accordingly done. 

In July, following, a warrant was granted, for apprehending one Aaron Briggs, a 
negro, then on board Your Majesty's ship, the Beaver, commanded by Capt. Linzee, 
for being concerned in burning the Gaspee, and wounding the lieutenant. The same 
was delivered to a sheriff; who, after making his business known, was refused ad- 
mittance into said ship ; but the captain was not then on board. Very soon after 
such refusal, the captain was informed of said warrant, and requested to deliver up 
the negro, whom he acknowledged was on board ; but treated the civil authority in 
a most contemptuous and unjustifiable manner. 



180 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

Here the civil magistrates ceased their endeavors to discover the oftenders ; for, 
though there was a superior court, held in, and for the county of Kent, in October 
following the burning the Gaspee, at which the second justice presided, the chief 
justice being absent, not any charge was given to the grand jury, to inquire into 
that atrocious breach of law, nor any information thereof, by the then acting attor- 
ney general ; nor was any thing done thereon, that we can discover. 

Having now laid before Your Majesty, the substance of the proofs relative to the 
destruction of the Gaspee, the barbarity and insolence exercised upon the com- 
mander and seamen belonging to her, with other necessary matters, we proceed, in 
obedience to Your Majesty's directions, to assign some probable causes, which we 
conceive, might lead to so bold a violation of Your Majesty's lav/s and authoi'ity. 

The great impatience of some people, in this colony, under any restraint of trade, 
however illicit ; the check ^vhich Your Majesty's navy officers have put to such 
trade, by the necessary aid and assistance which they have aiiorded the revenue of- 
ficers ; the plundering and burning a slooj), called the Liberty, in this harbor, in 
July. 1769, then employed in Your Majesty's revenue service, and commanded by 
William Reid, liberating a vessel and cargo, then under seizure by said commander, 
and in a violent and outrageous manner assaulting and detaining him in this town, 
in duress, till the accomplishment of the above facts ; the same night, dragging two 
boats, belonging to said sloop, through the streets, and burning them ; and the per- . 
petrators of the above outrage, escaped with impunity ; not one person being so 
much as apprehended on this occasion. 

It must be further, with humble submission to Your Majesty, remarked, that it 
does not appear to us, that any complaint or information Avas given to any peace 
officer or other magistrate, against any person, Avhatever, as concerned in the above 
transaction, excepting four depositions, taken before a single magistrate ; and which 
do not appear to have been laid before the Governor and Council, or to have had 
any effect. 

Certain persons, principal inhabitants of the town of Providence, in March, pre- 
ceding the biu-ning of the Gaspee, complained to the Deputy Governor, also an in- 
habitant of that place, against the conduct of Lieutenant Dudingston, for disturbing 
and obstructing their vessels and boats, firing at and searching them, without show- 
inof any commission for so doing ; and requested the Deputy Governor to inform 
the Governor thereof, that he might inquire into the said lieutenant's authority ; 
on which, the Deputy Governor laid the same before the Chief Justice, also an in- 
habitant of the town of Providence, for his opinion, how to conduct in the affair ; to 
which, he soon returned an answer, to the following purpose : it was his opinion, 
" that for any person, whatever, to come into this colony, and in the body thereof, to 
exercise any authority by force of arms, or otherwise, without showing his commis- 
sion to the Governor, and if a custom house officer, without being sworn into his of- 
fice, was guilty of a trespass, if not piracy." 

But what effect such opinion might have on the minds of the perpetrators of the 
crime, we must most humbly submit. If Lieutenant Dudingston, on his first arrival 
in the harbor of Newport, had waited on the Governor, acquainting him with his 
power and authority, and thereby early made his duty a matter of notoriety, he 
would, at least, have acted a prudent part ; but whether his duty obliged him so to 
do, we do not presume to determine. 

There is also too much reason to believe, that in some instances Lieutenant Dud- 
ingston, from an intemperate, if not a reprehensible zeal to aid the revenue service, 
exceeded the bounds of his duty. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 181 

After exerting ourselves to the utmost of our abilities, to collect evidence against 
the persons concerned in burning the Gaspee, and wounding the lieutenant, and 
judging that we had got all there was any probability of obtaining, we laid such be- 
fore the Deputy Governor, the Chief Justice of the colony, and three of his asso- 
ciates ; among which testimonies, was Aaron's, the negro ; Avherein, some persons 
are expressly named and charged as guilty ; and Mv. Dickinson's, late midshipman 
of the Gaspee, and on board at the time she was destroyed, very particularly de-- 
scribed others. 

The justices were then informed, that the same witness was now present, and 
might be by them re-examined. 

Soon afterwards, at the request of the judges, we also delivered them otlier depo- 
sitions, which had been laid before us 'by the Governor, and which tended to dis- 
credit the testimony of said Aaron. The day following, we received their report in 
the words following : 

" The honorable the commissiouers, appointed by royal commission, for examining into 
the attacking and destroying His Majesty's armed schooner, tlie Gaspee, commanded by 
Lientenant Dudingston, and wounding the said lieutenant, having laid before us, justices 
of the Superior Court of Judicature, court of assize, &c., within and throughout the colony 
of Rhode Island, two examinations of Aaron Briggs, two examinations of Patrick Earle, the 
examination of Peter May, the examination of William Dickinson, the depositions of Samuel 
Tompkins, Samuel Thurston, and of Somerset and Jack, indented servants, for our advise- 
ment thereon : 

It appeareth unto us, from due consideration had thereupon, that no particular person or 
persons are made mention of as being concerned in that atrocious crime, except in the ex- 
amination of Aaron Briggs, a negro, and of Peter May, one of the Gaspee's people. 

The confession of the said Aaron, upon his first examination, was made in consequence 
of illegal threats from Capt. Linzee, of hanging him (the said Aaron) at the yard arm, if he 
would not discover who the persons were, that destroyed the Gaspee ; and besides, most of 
the circumstances and facts related in both of his examinations, arc contradictions repug- 
nant to each other, and many of them impossible in their nature. 

It is evident from the depositions of Tompkins, Thurston, and Aaron's two fellow ser- 
vants, that he was at home the whole of that night on which the Gaspee was attacked ; es- 
pecially, as there was no boat on that part of the island, in which he could pass the bay in 
the manner by him described. 

In short, another circumstance which renders the said Aaron's testimony extremely sus- 
picious, is Capt. Linzee's absolutely refusing to deliver him up to be examined by one of 
the justices of the said Superior Court, when legally demanded. 

Peter May, in his deposition, mentions one person only, by the name of Greene, whom, he 
says, he saw before on board the Gaspee ; but the family of Greene being very numerous in 
this colony, and the said Peter not giving the Christian name, or describing him in such a 
manner as he could be found out, it is impossible for us to know at present, the person 
referred to. 

Upon the whole, we are all of opinion, that the several matters and things contained in 
said depositions, do not induce a probable suspicion, that the persons mentioned therein, 
or either or any of them, are guilty of the crime, aforesaid. 

It is, however, the fixed determination of the Superior Court, to exert every legal effort in 
detecting and bringing to condign punishment, the persons concerned in destroying the 
schooner Gaspee. 

And if the honorable commissioners are of a different sentiment, we should be glad to re- 
ceive their opinion, for our better information." 

To the latter part of which, we answered : 

" That, by our instructions, we were commanded to lay before the civil magistrates all 
such information as we should receive ; and as it was their proper office to act thereupon, in 
such manner as they conceive most likely to answer the ends cf public justice, we declined 
giving any sentiment or opinion in the matter." 



182 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

Touching the depositions of Aaron, the negro, we humbly conceive it our duty to 
declare to Your Majesty, that the conduct of Capt. Linzee tended too strongly to 
extort from a weak or wicked mind, declarations not strictly true ; that some parts 
of said depositions falsify others ; that allowing the account he gave of the time he 
left the island called Prudence, the place of his residence, on the night the Gaspee 
Avas burnt, and his return thither, to be true, or even near the truth, must render 
his being at the taking and destroying her, totally impossible ; the distance being so 
great between Namquit Point and said island. 

In addition to all which, there is full and satisfactory evidence, to prove him, the 
whole of that night, to have been at home ; and the request which he deposed was 
made him, to carry a person off said island that night, and which he declared was 
the occasion of his going from home, jjroved, on the examination of the very person, 
to be an absolute falsehood; and therefore, we are most humbly of opinion, no credit 
is due to said Aaron's testimony. 

May it please Your Majesty, the civil magistrates being entrusted with the power 
of apprehending and committing ; and having determined against both, upon the 
evidence before them, and there being no probability of our procuring any further 
light on the subject, determines our inquiry. 

All which, is submitted to Your Majesty's ro}-al wisdom. 

J. WANTON, ' FRED. SMYTHE, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN, ROBET. AUCHMUTY, 

To His Majesty. Commissioners. 

Newport, Rhode Island, June 22, 1773. 



Chief Justice Horsmanden to the Eart of Dartmouth, 

New York, 20th February, 1773. 

My Lord: — On the 21st of January hist, I had the honor of addressing Your 
Lordship, in conjunction with the rest of the commissioners, at Rhode Island, giving 
some account of our proceedings, and the reasons that induced us to adjourn to the 
26th of May next. 

On my arrival at that i)lace, on the 31st of December, I was sui-prised to find 
that the main object of our errand was become public, Avhich, in prudence, was to 
be kejit secret ; nevertheless. Your Lordship's letter to Governor Wanton, was pub- 
lished in the Boston weekly paper, and spread industriously over all New England. 

However amazing to us, upon inquiry, it came out, that the Governor had commu- 
nicated it to his Assembly, who had got it printed ; upon expostulating with the 
Governor upon it, he said, he by law was obliged to communicate all dispatches 
from the ministry to liis corporation, and sworn so to do ; that such dispatches were 
usually directed to the Governor and Company. 

Upon inquiry how Your Lordship's packet was directed, neitlicr he, nor his sec- 
retary could inform us ; the superscription, they said, was mislaid, and not to be 
found ; but that this was not so directed, as the Governor said, I inferred from its 
being addressed to him (sir). 

My Lord, as to the Government (if it deserves that name), it Is a downright de- 
mocracy ; the Governor is a mere nominal one, and therefore a cipher, without 



1772.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 183 



power or authority ; entirely controlled by the populace, elected annually, as all other 
magistrates and officers whatsoever. 

The Governor treated the commissioners Avith great decency and respect ; and to 
do that gentleman justice, behaved with great propriety, as a commissioner, except 
his communicating Your Lordship's letter to the corporation ; which, indeed, he 
seemed constrained to do, under the above circumstances. 

To show that the Governor has not the least power or authority, he could not 
command the sheriff or constable to attend us ; he prevailed Avith them, indeed ! 
but in expectation of being paid their daily wages by the commissioners, so that they 
were hired for this service, at our expense ; and even for expresses sent to summon 
witnesses, the commissioners found it necessary to advance their own money ; also for 
the very fire-wood expended for our accommodation in the council chamber, on this 
occasion. This, My Lord, we readily disbursed, and all other contingences, relying 
upon the honor of government. 

We found, My Lord, that the Governor, upon the first notice of this piece of ^nl- 
lainy, had issued a proclamation, offering £100 rewai'd, for a discovery, but without 
effect. 

My Lord, it is suggested in the commission, that the people assembled upon this 
adventure, in the town of Newport, and the places adjacent, by beat of drum, the 
which was intimated, doubtless, through misinformation ; for it comes out, that it was at 
Providence, on the Narragansett River, about thirty miles from Newport, and seven 
or eight from the place Avhere the Gaspee was aground. The news of which, was 
soon communicated to that town ; and there it is supposed, the people asscmljled and 
soon formed their scheme, to man six or seven boats on purpose to attack her at 
that disadvantage. 

My Lord, the colony of Rhode Island is branched out into three divisions ; New- 
port, on Rhode Island ; Providence and Warwick, more inland, adjoining to the 
Massachusetts colony. At these three places, the Assembly is held, alternately ; 
but Newport is reputed the seat of government ; between the two former, there is 
an emulation, with respect to their trade, and a kind of enmity, likewise ; so that 
they do not generally correspond cordially. Providence is thirty miles distant from 
it, so that it seems most unlikely that the people of Newport could be concerned in 
so sudden and precipitate an enterprise ; nor was the fact known at Rhode Island, 
till the day after the treason was committed. 

My Lord, as to the negro evidence, which seems to be the foundation of this in- 
quiry, it is much to be suspected, though his story is told with much plausibility, and 
he pertinaciously repeated it upon examination before the commissioners ; and a 
sailor of the crew of the Gaspee, swore he was one of the negroes after the attack, 
that rowed the boat wliich landed part of the Gaspee's crew, near ProAidence. 

But to countervail this information, it was asserted, that the master of this negro, 
from whom he had escaped on board the man-of-war, with intent to run away, who 
is a person of undoubted credit, would swear that about 9 o'clock that night the 
Gaspee was destroyed, he ordered this negro to bed, and that he saw him go, ac- 
cordingly, with his two other negroes, with whom he usually slept ; and it was said 
that these negroes would also depose, that he lay with them all night, till his master 
called hira up in the morning, on business. 

My Lord, the commissioners did not enter upon counter evidence, though I, my- 
self, was inchned to do it, as we proceeded ; and bring the witnesses face to face, 



184 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

considering tho commission required we should report all the circumstances attend- 
ing the affair. 

Captain Dudingston had been plying upon his business in the Narragansett Eiver, 
for some time ; he had not communicated his commission to the Governor, on his 
arrival, as Mr. Wanton informed us ; Mr. Dudingston had made several seizures of 
prohibited goods on that station ; and on seizing their traffic, might probablj- have 
treated the boatmen with severity, roughness and scurrillous language, by which, 
the people of that place might be provoked to this daring insult and resentment ; 
and not knowing Dudingston bore the King's commission of what he had done, they, 
as they gave out, looked upon him as pirate, and treated him as such. For, as the 
Governor informed us, upon complaint of his abuses, as they pretended, he exiDOS- 
tulated with Mr. Dudingston, and demanded he would satisfy him as to the commis- 
sion upon which he acted, wdiich at length he did. 

From these three different branches of government. My Lord, there arise three 
different factions ; their election of the chief officers being annual, sometunes one 
party ])revails, perhaps the next year, a different. 

1 was told by a gentleman of the law there, he had known a land cause of consid- 
erable value that had judgment reversed different ways seven or eight times; pro- 
perty being thus rendered wholly insecure, no wonder that persons of property and 
best sense and most sincerity, among them, have long wished for a change of gov- 
ernment, and to be under His Majesty's more immediate protection. 

Though by their charter, they are inhibited from passing laws contrary to those 
of England, but to be near as may be, agreeable to them, yet they seem to have paid 
little regard to that injunction, as may sufficiently appear upon inspection of the 
printed book of them ; they have never transmitted them for the royal approbation 
nor indeed, by their charter were they obhged to do so. 

Under these circumstances. Your Lordship will not wonder that they are in a 
state of anarchy ; and I assure Your Lordship, that their sister colony Connecticut, 
is in the same condition in all respects ; justice has long since fled that coun- 
try. I have had an opportunity of being more intimately acquainted with the people 
of that colony for about thirty years past ; having bad the honor of attending there 
twice, upon two i-oyal commissions for determining a controversy between the cor- 
poration and a tribe of Lidians and the family of the Masons. 

Major Mason, a gallant officer of the army, a principal person among the first of 
the Eno-lish, who first landed in these parts, fought their battles with the savages, 
conquered several tribes, became the foster father to the colony ; acted with so 
much generosity, humanity and j^i'udence towards the natives, and so conciliated 
their friendship and esteem, that, after they had, through his persuasion, granted 
away great tracts of their lands, to form the newly proposed colony, and to make a 
sufficient plantation or settlement, the natives prudently thought of falling upon 
a method of reserving and secviring for the future, a sufficiency for the subsistence 
of their tribe ; and putting entire confidence ip Major Mason, as their patron and 
friend (who had treated them with great generosity and humanity), requested that 
corporation or government, that they might, with their approbation, invest the re- 
mainder of their lands in Major Mason and his heirs, as the guardians and trustees 
of the INIohegan tribe ; and that in future, they should be restrained from seUing 
more of their lands without the advice and consent of that family. 

Some were afterwards, from time to time, sold, with the consent of the Masons ; 



1772.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 185 



■and to preserve the fidelity of the ^Mason?, tlie family was to have an interest In the 
lands so to be conveyed, coupled with the trust. 

For this purpose, My Lord, a deed was executed with solemnity, and by the de- 
K^lared approbation of the corporation, entered upon their records. 

Notwithstanding this solemn engagement, so recorded, the heads of tliis corporation, 
■did, from time to time afterwards, unknown to the Masons, inveigle the Indians to con- 
vey to them several tracts of very valuable reserved lands, without the consent of 
the Masons, and divided them among themselves ; and this was the ground of their 
complaint, upon which those special commissions Issued. 

Upon the whole. My Lord, I was, and am still of opinion, that the devices in con- 
sequence of them, In favor of the corporation, were unjust; for It appeared to me, 
that the corporation had most shamefull}' prostituted the good faith and honor of 
government, by ungratefully and fraudulently wresting many large and valuable 
tracts from that tribe, and the Masons ; and becoming the Instruments of Impover- 
ishing that honest and worthy family (whose ancestors first founded the colony), in 
prosecuting and maintaining their rights, at their own expense, for thirty years past, 
and hitherto in vain ; for the matter still lies before His Majesty and Council, waiting 
a determination. 

Those two colonies. My Lord, commenced their settlements nearly at the same 
time ; their charters bear date one year after the other ; and they adjoin each other ; 
the charters are similar ; each has a grant of " all royal mines, minerals and precious 
stones," which may be thought a privilege of too much Importance for a subject to 
enjoy. 

My Lord, these colonies united, which as times are so alike in featiu-es, temper 
and disposition, that it were a pity they should remain separate. For, from my 
knowledge of the people, and credible information from many In each, I am fully 
persuaded, that the better sort of them have long groaned under their motley admin- 
istrations, and wish for a deliverance ; to be taken more immediately under the 
protection of the crown. These two, consolidated, might become as respectable a 
royal government, as any on the continent. The country in both, has a rich soil, 
abounds in timber lit for ship-building ; the country, upon the whole, in my esteem, 
Is superior to any I have seen in my travels, from Boston to Virginia. 

But it must be confessed, as to the people, it Avould require a gentleman of very 
extraordinary qualifications and abilities, to adventure upon the first arduous task, 
for modeUIng them into due subordination and decorum. 

I humbly entreat Your Lordship's pardon for trespassing thus much upon Your 
Lordship's time and patience. I flattered myself that some account of the present 
as well as former temper and circumstances of these two colonies, might not be un- 
acceptable to you, in Your Lordship's high department ; and conclude with the as- 
surance that I am, with the most profound respect. My Lord, 

Your Lordship's most obedient and obliged humble servant, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN. 

To the Earl of Dartmouth. 

VOL. VII. 24 



186 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 



The Earl of Dartmouth to the Governor of Rhode Island, 

Whitehall, April 10, 1773. 

Sir:— I have, received your letters to me, of the ir»th of October, and 30th of 
January- last. 

I am very much obliged to you. for the favorable sentiments you are pleased to 
express for me, in the first of those letters ; but I must not omit to observe to you, 
that the publication in the common newspapers, of j^arts of my secret and confiden- 
tial dispatch, of the 4th of September last, addressed personally to yourself, cannot, 
I fear, be considered as entirely corresponding with those assurances you give me, 
of paying the strictest attention and defierence to such orders as you shall receive 
from me. 

I am sensible, that you could not do otherwise than communicate the substance of 
that dispatch to the other parte of jour corporation ; but I refer it to your candor, 
whether it was proper to give copies of it. 

I sincerely hope that it will appear by the report of the commissioners for in- 
quiring into the aifair of the Gaspee schooner, that no part of the corporation of the 
colony of Rhode Island has tailed in obedience due to the laws and authority of this 
kingdom ; in the meantime, the King is graciously pleased to approve of the respect 
shown to his royal commission, and the decency and order with which it was pro- 
claimed. T am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 

DARTMOUTH. 

To the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Chief Justice Horsmanden to the Earl of Dartmouth* 

New York, 23d July, 1773,. 

My Lord : — Your Lordship's favor of the 10th of April last, I was honored with, 
on my return hither, on the 13th inst. ; after the close of our commission, at Rhode 
Island, concerning the affair of the Gaspee. 

It gives me gi-eat pleasure, that my representation of the 20th of February, has 
the honor of Your Lordship's approbation ; and now beg leave to observe to Your 
Lordship, what has occurred to me, after finishing our report. For waiting some 
days at Newport, tor a passage, wind and weather, I was accidentally inforRied of a 
piece of evidence, which, had it come to light sooner, would most probably have cut 
our business shorter. 

An officer of a man-of-war, stationed at Newport, to Avliom the negro Aaron was 
turned over, informed me that upon liis examining the fellow one day, before his 
master, and his two negrges who came on board, and interrogating face to face, the 
fellow prevaricated much ; but still persisted in the main of his story, notwithstand- 
ing confronted by the master, and his two negroes, who declare that he slept wthi 
them all that night, on which the Gaspee was destroyed. 

The master and his negroes being dismissed, the otficer, upon what he had heard, 
from the master and bis negroes, and had observed from the conduct of Aaron, upon 
the occasion, concluded he was an impostor, and charged him home, as guch, and 

* New York Colonial Documents, Vol. VIH. ; from British State Paper Office, 165. 



1772.] AND TROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 187 

told him he was convinced lie was no more concei-ned in that affair than he himself 
was ; and conjured him to tell the truth ; and at length, he confessed it was all a 
fiction, which he was constrained to, for saving himself fronl the punishment thi'eat- 
ened him on board the other man-of-war, as they had charged him so positively with 
being one concerned ; and therefore thought he must confess himself guilty, and 
name some principal people as accessories. 

My Lord, a few days after the Gaspee was burnt, one of the shi]is stationed at 
Newport, went and anchored close by the island called Prudence, where the master o( 
Aaron lived, about seven miles from where the Gaspee lay, and Aaron jjurposing 
to run away from his master, Went on board in a small canoe ; and they rightly 
guessed of his intention, and threatened to whip him ; but on second thoughts, 
charged him as a confederate in destroying the Gaspee ; and if he did not confess 
and make discovery, they would whip him, and hang him up at the yard arm. 

And thus. My Lord, this forced confession of the negro Aaron has Ijeen held up by 
the marine, as a hopeful and sure clue to unravel this mystery of iniquity. The fellow 
might probably have heard the names of the most noted and principal traders at 
Providence, and other trading towns in that neighborhood, though he might not 
know their pei-sons ; and one Dr. Weeks, inserted in hi? list, he might know per- 
sonally, as an attendant upon his master's fariiil} . 

But my sentiments upon the whole are, that this daring insult was committed by 
a number ol!' bold, daring, rash enterprising sailors, collected suddenly from the 
neighborhood, who banded themselves together, upon this bold enterpriz,; • by whom 
stimulated for the purpose, I cannot conjecture. They clmningly calculated the at- 
tack at a time of night, under the Gaspee's disadvantage, agi-oiind, when it was 
probable the crew would be below deck, and asleep ; as was the case, only one seii'- 
try on deck ; and thus, by surprise, easily boarded and jilundered her. 

My Lord, I have been twovdyages of four hundred nliles each, upon this occasion, 
at great expense ; and no small fatigue, for a person of my age, viz. ; seventy-six ; 
and I assure Your Lordship, I am already upwards of £ 200, out of pocket ; and am 
still liable for my proportion with the other commissioners, for the pay of the clerks 
we found necessary to attend us upon the service ; and though we have not had 
the wished lx)r success, we hope His Majesty will graciously accept our sincere 
endeavors. 

My Lord, I have lately received advice that His Majesty has been graciouslv 
jfileased to sign a warrant for my salary, as chief justice, which further adds to the 
obligations Your Lordship has conferred upon me, which I cannot but esteem with 
the utmost gratitude. 

I am, with profound respect. My Lord, 

Your Lordship's most obliged and dutiful, humble servant, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN. 

To the Earl of Dartmouth. 



The following letter , which is printed in the New York colo- 
nial documents, is here inserted to show that Chief Justice 
Horsmanden, of New York, one of the royal commissioners, to 
inquire into the destruction of the Gaspee, had not, in 1777, or 



188 Records of the colony of rhode island [1772. 

five years after the commission was held in Newport, been paid 
his expenses for that service. 



Chief Justice Horsmandm to Governor Tnjon. 

!Xew York, 19th April, 177 7, 

Honored Sir : — Your Excellency -vvell remembers what circumstances you found 
me in, on your arrival in this government ; that I was then chief justice of the pro- 
vince, and had been so for eight or ten years (as my memory serves me), and had 
no other allowance on the Assembly for the support of the dignity of that office, 
than a miserable pittance of £300 a year, this currency, and the fees of the office, 
triffing and insignificant ; but upon Your Excellency's recommendation home, His 
Majesty was pleased to allow me £oOO, sterling, a year, which I was to receive half 
yearly, on the commissioners of trade at Boston ; which I did. to the time of theii- 
removal to Halifax ; since which, has incurred one year and a half, the beginning of 
this month : but I am much at a loss how to apply for it ; but as the commissioners 
are now in London, I have written to them for information. 

When the duties arisen by trade, fell, the commissioners had directions from the 
lords of the treasury, to give drafts upon them for the salaries of the officers of gov- 
ernment, of which I have had two, the salaries being payable half yearly. 

Your Excellency well remembers that three or four years ago (I think), the 
King's special commission was sent over by Lord Dartmouth, then secretary of state, 
empowering the persons therein named (of which I was one), to inquire into the 
aifair of the destruction of His Majesty's schooner, the Gaspee, at Rhode Island. 

Your Excellency knew the state of health I was in, at the time I embarked for 
Newport, much enfeebled by the rheumatism, the time of year in December, when 
it is generally expected the river is full of ice. Myself unable to walk without he>pf 
and at a time of life drawing near to four-score ; but as Lord Dartmouth's directioiis 
were to proceed immediately to that place, in order to execute that commission, I 
did not hesitate to undertake it; but was obliged to take with me my wife, carriage 
and two horses, without Avhich, I could have been of no use. 

After passing several Aveeks there, and doing little to the purpose, the commis- 
sionei-s found it necessary to adjourn over to the next year, which occasioned a 
second voyage, under the like circumstances ; and at length the commissioners were 
obliged to close the commission, having not been able to make any discovery, to an- 
swer the intent of the commission ; upon which occasion, I expended upwards of 
£200, of my own money, which remains out of pocket to this day: and hitherto, my 
trouble for nothing. 

Upon the proceedings of the commissioners being sent home. Lord Dartmouth di- 
rected the commissioners to send home their accounts of the expenses they had been 
at. It was imagined with a view to compel Rhode Island government to discharge 
them; but if that was the intent, the alterations of the circumstances of that government 
in this time of confusion, that expectation is at an end; and in the anarchy and dis- 
traction which now surrounds us, and the great difficulty in getting money amongst 
us, which is our due, Your Excellency knows how needful it is to be solicitous for it, 
where it is due in other quarters. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 189 

I must humbly entreat Your Excellency to represent my caJsC to Lord George 
Germain, hoping, from his clemency and goodness, to have a iifethod pointed out, 
by which I may have satisfaction made in the foregoing particulars. 
I am, with the greatest respect, sir, 

Your Excellency's most devoted, obedient, humble servant, 

DAN. HORSMANDEN. 
(Referred to the Right Honorable Lord George Germain, 
" by William Tryon). 



The meeting of the royal commission at Newport, the pro- 
ceedings of which have been given, attracted great attention 
throughout the English colonies. The extracts we have print- 
ed from the Boston newspapers, but speak the minds of the 
whole people. 

The House of Burgesses, of the colony of Virginia, took of- 
ficial notice of it, and on the ]2th of March, 1773, passed resolu- 
tions appointing "a committee of correspondence and in- 
quiry," consisting of eleven persons ; among which, were 
Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Peyton Randolph and Rich- 
ard Henry Lee. 

The preamble sets forth that " His Majesty's faithful sub- 
jects have been much disturbed by various rumors and reports of 
proceedings, tending to deprive them of their ancient, legal and 
constitulional rights." The committee were instructed; " to 
obtain the most early and authentic intelligence of all such acts, 
and resolutions of the British Parliament, or proceedings of the 
administration, as may relate to, or affect the British colonies 
in America ; and to keep and maintain a correspondence with 
our sister colonies, respecting these important considerations ; 
and the result of such their proceedings from time to time, to 
lay before the House." 

They were further instructed " to inform themselves particu- 
larly of the principles and authority on which was constituted a 
court of inquiry, said to have been lately held in Rhode Island, 
with power to transport persons accused of offences committed 
in America, to places beyond the sea, to be tried." 



190 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1772. 

The resolutions were transmitted by Peyton Randolph, by or- 
der of the House of Burgesses, to Metcalfe Bowler, speaker of 
the House of Assembly of Rhode Island. Mr. Randolph asks 
that they be laid before that body at an early day, with the 
request that they '• appoint some of their body to communi- 
cate from time to time with the corresponding committee of 
Virginia."* 

Rhode Island, in May, 1773, passed a resolution, appointing 
the following persons, viz. : Stephen Hopkins, Metcalfe Bow- 
ler, Moses Brown, John Cole, William Bradford, Henry Mar- 
chant and Henry Ward, as their committee of correspondence. 
The General Assembly requested the Governor to furnish the 
committee with a copy of his commission, as one of the judges 
of the court of inquiry ; and of all other papers which were 
laid before that court. The Assembly further requested the 
speaker to write to all the legislative assemblies in North 
America, informing them of the proceedings of the colony^ 
*' reLiting to the preservation of the rights of the colonies." 

The other British colonies acted promptly in the matter ; 
appointed their committees of correspondence, and passed 
resolutions similar to those of Virginia. Among the colonies 
which responded, was that of Nova Scotia. 

We close this publication, with the remarks of Judge Sta- 
ples, inasmuch as they contain the legal opinion of an eminent 
jurist, who had carefully examined the testimony ; and who, 
as a diligent historian, is familiar with all the events connected 
with the Gaspee afl'air : 

" In reviewing the report of the commissioners, our surprise is not so much excited 
at the conclusion to which they came from the evidence before them, as at the small 
amount of testimony they collected. 

It -would be doing great injustice to the memories and characters of Governor 
Wanton, Judges Horsmanden, Oliver and Auchmuty, to suppose that they sup- 
pressed any evidence, or did not exert themselves to the utmost to procure testi- 
mony. The course they afterwards took in the war of the revolution, when they 
joined the ministerial party in the country, is a sufficient guaranty thst they were, 



* The correspondence of the several colonies, together with the resolutions, passed by 
them, in accordance with the desires of Virginia, is printed at length in this volume. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 191 

by no means, lukc-warm in the service of His Majesty. They were surrounded, too, 
at the time of their sessions, by the oIKcers of the crown, and individuals hijjjh in 
rank and standing, who were eager in the chase of those who insulted their sover- 
eign, in the person of liis representative, Lieut. Dudingston. 

Under these circumstances, it is passing strange, that no persons could be found, 
who could identify those engaged in the enterprise, or that the great reward offered 
on the occasion, should not have induced some one to have turned informer. That 
the enterprise was suddenly conceived, there can be no doubt ; but every circum- 
stance shows, that no great care was used to preserve secresy. They were called 
together by the beating of a drum in the streets. The collecting of the ])oats, the 
assembling at a public house, the embarking from a public wharf, all must have at- 
tracted the notice of the inhabitants, The parties assumed no disguise of any kind, 
but went in their usual dress. 

Among them, were some, little conscious of the crime they were committing, and 
the penalty they were incurring. Mr. John Howland says, that on the morning 
after the affair, Justin Jacobs, a young man, was parading himself on " the Great 
Bridge," then the usual place of resort, with Lieutenant Dudingston's gold laced 
beaver on his head, detailing to a circle around him, the particulars of the transac- 
tion, and the manner in which he obtained the hat from the cabin of the Gaspee. 
It required sharp words to induce him to retire and hold his peace. There Avere 
others, probably, equally indiscreet; and yet not an individual could be found, who 
knew anything about the affair." 

The following song, composed afc the time, on the occasion, 
is attributed to Capt. Swan, of Bristol. 

" He richly deserves the thanks, not only of his cotempora- 
ries, but of posterity ; not so much for the sweet poetry of his 
song, as for the ballad shape in which he invested the transac- 
tion. Undoubtedly some tune was found, at the time, to match 
it, notwithstanding the limping gait of some of the stanzas ; 
and as it was sung in the circle of boon companions, they re- 
called the light of the burning Gaspee to their recollection, and 
hailed it as being, what subsequent events have shown it to be, 
the dawning light of freedom, whose mid-day effulgence now 
overspreads the land." 

SON Gr. 

'Twas in the reign of George the Third, 
Our public peace was much disturbed 
By ships of war, that came and laid 
Within our ports, to stop our trade. 
Seventeen hundred and seventy-two, 
In Newport harbor lay a crew, 
That played the part of pirates there, 
The sons of freedom could not bear, 



192 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

Sometimes they weighed and gave them chase. 

Such actions, sure were very base. 

No honest coaster could pass by 

But what they would let some shot fly ; 

And did provoke, to high degree. 

Those true born sons of liberty ; 

So that they could not longer bear 

Those sons of Belial staying there. 

But 'twas not long 'fore it fell out. 

That William Dudingston, so stout, 

Commander of the Gaspee tender. 

Which he has reason to remember, ' 

Because, as people do assert, 

He almost had his just desert ; 

Here, on the tenth day of last June, 

Betwixt the hours of twelve and one. 

Did chase the sloop, called the Hannah, 

Of whom, one Lindsay, was commander. 

They dogged her up Pro\ndence Sound, 

And there the rascal got aground. 

The news of it flew that very day. 

That they on Namquit Point did lay. 

That night, about half after ten 

Some Narragansett Indian men, 

Being sixty-four, if I remember. 

Which made the stout coxcomb surrender ; 

And Avhat was best of all their tricks, 

They in his breech a ball did fix ; 

Then set the men upon the land. 

And burnt her up, we understand ; 

Which thing provoked the King so high 

He said those men shall surely die ; 

So if he could but find them out. 

The hangman he'll employ, no doubt ; 

For he's declared, in his passion. 

He'll have them tried a new fashion. 

Now, for to find these people out, 

King George has offered very stout ; 

One thousand pounds to find out one 

That wounded William Dudingston. 

One thousand more, he says he'll spare, 

For those who say the sheriffs were ; 

One thousand more, there doth remain 

For to find out the leader's name ; 

Likewise, five hundred pounds per man. 

For any one of all the clan. 

But let him try his utmost skill, 

I'm apt to think he never will 

Find out any of those hearts of gold, 

Though he should offer fifty fold. 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 193 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantation^ at Pr evidence , 
on the last Wednesday in October, 1772. 

The Hon. Joseph Wj^nton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

Whereas, the deputies of the town of Hopkinton, by order 
and in behalf of said town, preferred a petition, and repre- 
sented unto this Assembly, that some years ago, there was an 
highway laid out in said town, by order of the General Assem- 
bly, beginning at an highway which runs across said town from 
Richmond, westward to the colony line ; and from said high- 
way, southerly, to Benjamin Maxson's Mills ; and further 
southerly, to Crandall's Mills, at the lower end of the said town 
of Hopkinton. 

And that the said highways hath not been cleared or mend- 
ed, nor can be, without doing great damage to several of the 
proprietors of the lands through which it passeth ; and there- 
fore prayed this Assembly to empower the town council of the 
said town of Hopkinton, to alter or exchange the said high- 
way, so that the public may be better served, and the owners 
of said land suffer less damage ; and the said petition being 
duly considered,-— 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
granted. 

Whereas, a number of the inhabitants of East Greenwich, 
of said denomination of Christians called Presbyterians, or Con- 
gregationalists, preferred a petition, and represented unto this 
Assembly, that they have, for a long time, labored under the 
disadvantage of having no house to meet in, for the public wor- 
ship of God ; and that they are unable of themselves, to build 
one ; but have great encouragement from their brethren, in 

VOL. VII. 25 



194 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

the neighboring governments, that they will assist, in case they, 
the petitioners, can ol)tain the grant of a lottery for that pur- 
pose ; and therefore, prayed this Assembly to grant them a 
lottery, for raising the sum of §1,500, for building a Presby- 
terian or Congregational meeting house in said town ; and 
that Messrs. William Johnston, Gideon Mumford, James Searle 
and Archibald Crarey, may be appointed managers or direc- 
tors of the same ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the aforesaid petition be, and 
the same is hereby, granted under the usual restrictions. 

Provided, that the said lottery do not take place until the 
1st day of May, A. D. 1773 ; and that the colony incur no 
expense thereby. 

It is voted and resolved, that the gunner of Fort George, 
be, and he is hereby, directed to fire a royal salute (at the 
expense of the colony,) on each of the following days, to wit : 
on the birth day of Ilis Majesty ; on the birth day of his royal 
consort ; on the day of His Majesty's accession ; on the day 
of coronation ; and on the day of the election of general offi- 
cers for this colony. 

Whereas, a petition, signed by a great number of subscrib- 
ers, was presented to this Assembly, setting forth, that there 
is an highway laid out in the north part of the town of Glo- 
cester, from the colony line, at a place known by the name of 
Allum Pond Hill ; and leading thence southerly, to the mills^ 
called Cook's Mills ; about the distance of five miles, crossing 
the river, called Clear River ; and at the north end, meeting 
an highway laid out in the Massachusetts Bay, which leads 
from Oxford to Providence. That if the said road be put into 
good order, it will be greatly beneficial to the public ; and 
that there are but few inhabitants in that part of the town, 
who are unable to make and keep the said road good ; and 
praying this Assembly to grant a lottery, to raise the sum of 
$400, to be appropriated to the building a bridge over the 
said river, and the clearing the said highway, and making it 
good for traveling ; and that Messrs. Jonathan Harris, Enoch 
Whipple, Thomas Herrenden, William Ross and John How- 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 195 

land, Jr., may be appointed directors of the said lottery ; on 
consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the aforesaid petition be, and 
and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual restrictions. 

Provided, that the said lottery do not take place until the 
1st day of April, A. D. 1773 ; and that no expense accrue to 
the colony, thereby. 

Whereas, a petition, signed by a great number of subscrib- 
ers, was preferred to this Assembly, representing that the 
meeting house in the town of Johnston, is indebted upwards of 
c£l,500, old tenor, for what hath already been done upon it ; 
which sum hath been due ever since the year 1764 ; and that 
the said meeting house is yet unfinished, and unfit for the pur- 
pose for which it was designed ; and praying this Assembly to 
grant a lottery, for raising $500, agreeably to a scheme 
with the said petition presented, to be appropriated for the 
purposes of paying the said debt, and finishing the said meet- 
ing house ; and that Messrs. Andrew Aldrich and Jeduthnu 
Belknap, may be appointed directors and managers of the said 
lottery ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the aforesaid petition be, and 
the same is hereby, granted, under the usual restrictions. 

Provided, that the said lottery do not take place until the 
1st day of February, A. D. 1773 ; and that the colony incur 
no expense thereby. 

It is voted and resolved, that the petition now before this 
Assembly, praying that a duty may be imposed upon ship 
timber, exported out of this colony, in shipping called rafts, 
be referred to the next session ; and that in the mean time 
public notice be given thereof, in the Newport Mercury and 
Providence Gazette. 

Whereas, at the General Assembly, held in October, A. D. 
1771, an act was passed, granting a lottery for raising the 
sum of $600, for building a steeple, and purchasing a clock, 
for the use of King's Church, in Providence ; which lottery 
hath been since drawn, and the steeple built. 



t> 



196 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

And whereas, the congregation of said church, have repre- 
resented unto this Assembly, that the sum raised by said lot- 
tery, is by no means adequate to the expenses they have been 
at, and must still be at ; and prayed that another class of a 
lottery may be granted them, for the raising a further sum 
of $1,000 ;— 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that another lottery be 
granted, for raising the said sum of $1,000, for the finishing 
said church, under the same regulations as the former lottery 
ranted them ; and that Messrs. John Smith, John Innis 
Clarke, Ebenezer Thompson and John Updike, all of said 
Providence, be, and they are hereby, appointed directors 
thereof. 

It is voted and resolved, that James Barker, Esq., the Hon. 
Stephen Hopkins, Esq., Mr. Moses Brown, Mr. Benjamin 
West, Mr. William EUery, and the secretary be, and they are 
hereby, appointed a committee, to inspect the accounts of 
Doctor Thomas Moffatt and Martin Howard, Jr., Esq., this 
day exhibited to this Assembly, relative to the losses respec- 
tively sustained by them in the riots, in the town of Newport, 
in the year 1765 ; that they expunge any charges made by 
the said sufferers, or either of them, for expenses upon their 
voyage to, while at, and in their return from, Great Britain ; 
and for any consequential damages they may have charged ; 
that they make deductions from their respective accounts, for 
the value, as nearly as may be, of such books, goods and ef- 
fects, as may appear to have been saved, and may be in the 
hands of the said sufferers, their friends or others, according 
to the best light the said committee may obtain, from any de- 
positions heretofore taken, by order of this Assembly, or from 
such other depositions and proofs as they may obtain. 

That the said committee be, and hereby are, empowered to 
summon any persons before them, and to examine them, upon 
oath, for the obtaining the best knowledge of the real loss sus- 
tained by said sufferers, during the said riot ; that they con- 
sider no charge, but for such effects as were absolutely lost, 



1772.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 197 

damaged or destroyed, during the said riot ; and that they 
make report of their doings to this Assembly, as soon as 
may be. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that the attorney gen- 
eral attend upon the said committee, to assist them in their in- 
spection and examination of the said accounts. 

It is voted and resolved, that the committee appointed at 
this session, to inspect the accounts of Doctor Thomas Mof- 
fatt and Martin Howard, Jr., Esq., do not take into consider- 
ation the account, at this session exhibited by Joseph x\plin, 
Esq., in behalf of the said Martin Howard ; as it appears upon 
examination, to be the same account which was heretofore 
presented to this Assembly, and rejected, as being charged in 
gross and not containing the particulars of the loss sustained 
by him, in the riots in Newport, in the year 1765. 

It is further voted and resolved, that when the said Martin 
Howard shall, by himself or his agent, present an account of 
the particulars of his said loss, the same shall be considered 
by a committee, then to be appointed for that purpose. 

It is further voted and resolved, that whereas, Augustus 
Johnston, Esq., hath not, at this session, applied to this 
Assembly, for their consideration of his loss, by the said riots ; 
that, whenever he shall, there shall be the same consideration 
had thereof; and that a copy of this vote be by the secretary 
delivered, or sent, to the said Martin Howard and Augustus 
Johnston. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that His Honor the 
Governor, be, and he is hereby, requested to write to the lords 
of the treasury, in Great Britain, and inform them how far this 
Assembly have proceeded upon the petitions of the sufferers by 
said riots ; and respecting the moneys due from the crown, to 
this colony, requesting that the same may not be delayed fur- 
ther than the next session of Parliament ; and also, to the 
agent for this colony, upon the same subject. 

Whereas, the conduct of Henry Marchant, Esq., as agent 
for this colony, in Great Britain, merits the approbation of 



198 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

this Assembly, this Assembly do therefore, as a testimonial 
thereof — 

Vote and resolve, that they fully approve of, and return hiin 
their thanks for, his prudent conduct in the said department. 

Whereas, the ministers, church ^Vardens, vestry and a 
number of the congregation of King's Church, in Provi- 
dence, in behalf of said church, preferred a petition, and 
represented unto this Assembly, that they have been at very 
great expenses, in repairing said church ; and that they have 
labored under many difficulties, in raising moneys, from among 
the members of said church, to make such necessary repairs ; 
owing to their not being authorized, by any law of this colo- 
ny, to carry into execution such regulations as might be agreed 
to by the majority of the congregation ; and thereupon prayed 
this Assembly, that an act may be passed, to incorporate them 
into a body politic, by the name of The Minister, Church War- 
dens, Vestry and Congregation of King's Church, in Provi- 
dence ; giving them^ and their successors, full power to make 
and ordain all such laws, rules and ordinances, as they, or the 
major part of them, shall agree to, for the better regulating 
the affairs of said church ; and that a charter may be granted 
them accordinci'ly ; on consideration whereof,—-^ 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the prayer of the said 
petition, be granted ; and that the following charter be grant- 
ed to the petitioners. 

[Here follows the charter.] 

God save the King. 



1772. 1 AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 199 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, 
on the second Monday in December, 1772. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

Whereas, divers persons preferred a petition, and represent- 
ed unto this Assembly, that the road leading from Uxbridge to 
Providence, commonly called the Wonscut Road, is for about 
six miles, very rocky, and in many places wet and miry, so 
that to put it in good order, will require a much greater ex- 
pense than the inhabitants, near the said road, can possibly 
bear ; and thereupon, prayed this Assembly to grant a lottery, 
to raise the sum of $500, to be laid out in mending the said 
road ; and that Mr. Joseph Olney, of North Providence ; Mr. 
Sylvanus Sayles and Mr. Amos Keech, Jr., both of Smithfield, 
may be appointed directors thereof, they giving bond for the 
faithful performance of their duty, and completing the same, with- 
out any expense to the colony ; on consideration, whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said petition be, and the 
same is hereby, granted, under the usual restrictions. 

Whereas, Augustus Johnston, Esq., Mr. Nathaniel Mum- 
ford, Mr. John G. Wanton, Mr. John Collins and Henry Ward, 
Esq., in behalf of, and by direction from the town of Newport, 
preferred a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that 
the hospital upon Coaster's Harbor, hath been found, at sev- 
eral times, too small for the reception of persons having the 
small pox ; and thereupon prayed this Assembly lo grant a 
lottery, for raising a sufficient sum of money, to erect a new 
hospital, at said Coaster's Harbor, upon such a plan as shall be 
approved of by said town ; that Messrs. John Collins, John G. 
Wanton, Nathaniel Mumford, Simon Pease, John Malbone, 



200 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHOI>E ISLAND [17721. 

John Warren and Robert Stevens, Jr., may be appointed di- 
rectors of the said lottery, with power to carry on the same,, 
in one or more classes, and in such manner, as they shall think 
most prudent ; and that in case any one or more of the direc- 
tors shall refuse to serve, the said town of Newport may ap- 
point another or others, in his or their room ; on consideration 
whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said petition be, and the 
same is hereby, granted, under the usual restrictions. 

It is voted and resolved, that the account exhibited unto^ 
this Assembly, by Augustus Johnston, Esq., at the present 
session, be delivered to the committee, appointed at the last' 
session, to consider and report upon the account of Doctor 
Thomas Moffatt ; that the said committee, or a major part of 
them, consider and examine what loss the said Augustus John- 
ston sustained by the riots in the town of Newport, in the 
months of August and December, A. D. 1765, and what sum 
said loss amounted to ; and that the said committee, or the 
major part of them, make report to this Assembly as soon as 
may be. 

It is voted and resolved, that it was the sense of this As- 
sembly, that the major part of the committee,, appointed at the 
last session, to examine Doctor Thomas Moffatt's accounts, 
should inspect into, and report upon the same. 

Whereas, the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq., James Barker, 
Esq., Mr. William Ellery and Mr. Benjamin West, presented 
unto this Assembly, the following report, to wit : 

Report of the Committee appointed by the General Assembly^, 
relative to Dr. Thomas Moffatfs Accounts against the Colo- 
ny, claiming compensation for alleged losses sustained by him^ 
in the Riots , in the year Newport » in 1765. 

We, the subscribers, Ixnug appointed a committee, by the Geiiei'al Assembly, to 
^aspect the account of Doctor Thomas Moffatt, relative to his loss sustained by riots, 
in the town of Newport, in the year 1765, as by the vote and order of the General 
Assembly, hereto annexed, may appear ;. have, in compliance therewith, met and 
examined many persons, respecting the same, and considered the depositions here- 



1772.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 201 



tofore. taken, by order of tlie General Assembly ; and having fully beard Avbat the 
said Doctor Thomas Moffatt had to offer in that behalf, do report as follows : 

And first, as to his loss in books. 

It appears, by the deposition of Joseph G. Wanton and his wife, and Charles Coz- 

zens and his wife ; and upon a full examination of the said Joseph and Charles, that 

a great number of books, sufficient to fill the bodies of two large carts, were saved 

in their houses, and delivered to Dr. Moffatt's friends and agents. 

Mr. Cozzens, upon examination, also informs us, that he was present at the whole 

transaction ; and is well assured that there were not more than fifty books lost. 

And upon inspection of some of the books saved, it appears to us, that some sets 

were broken, but that very few had received damage. We are therefore of opinion, 

Sterling^ 
£ .V. 'ii. 

that the damage sustained in the books, does not exceed — - - 30 00 

In philosophical instruments. 

We find that a telescope, and a thermometer and barometer, in one 
frame or table, and a shding thermometer, were saved ; and the loss 
and damage in the other articles, we compute at - - - 17 14 

In furniture. 

We find a fine mahogany book-case totally destroyed ; value, by the 

maker's account - - - - - - - 19 02 6 

A book-case lost, and a desk damaged - - - - G 14 

Eight mahogany chairs saved ; of which, three or four, Avere damaged - 3 00 

His black walnut and AVindsor chairs saved. 

Bedsteads — one saved, and one damaged - - - 3 OO 

Damage in mahogany tables, several being saved entire - - 4 00 

His china all saved. 

Three looking-glasses, or mirrors saved. 

Kitchen furniture, chiefly saved. 

Table, bed and body linen, mostly saved. 

Four paintings, and thirty-four prints, framed and glazed, saved. 

Loss in kitchen and other household furniture, in bed and bedding, 
body, bed and table linen, in paintings, prints, charts, drawings, ana- 
tomical and botanical preparations, ores, fossils, reptiles, insects, an- 
cient coins, and other rarities - - - - - - 72 00 

Loss in manuscripts, letters, common-place books and observations in his 

possession, &c, - - - - - - - 9 00 

Loss in wearing apparel - - - - - - 1.5 00 



£179 10 6 

From the examination of the said Joseph G. Wanton, and Charles Cozzens, and 

Caleb Gardner, upholsterer, it appears to us, that the articles of the said Doct. Thomas 

Moffatt's household furniture were very few ; and excepting his book-case, and 

two or three other articles, very indifferent. 

And in this opinion, we are the more confirmed, from the small ness of tlie house 
the doctor then lived in, and from an examination of his whole ratable personal es- 
tate, exhibited, on oath, by himself, in the year 1761, amounting to only £l07 14s., 
sterling money. 

VOL. VII. 26 



202 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1772. 

And from a comparison of the value of many of his boooks, as charged in his ac- 
count, with several printed catalogues and invoices, it appeared lie had rated some 
double, and others treble of the real value. 

The foregoing is submitted to the General Assembly, by — 

STEPHEN HOPKINS, " WILLIAM ELLERY, 
JAMES BARKER, BENJAMIN WEST. 

And the said report being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
accepted ; that the said sum of c£l79 10s. Gd., sterling, be 
granted to Doctor Thomas Moffatt, as a full compensation for 
the damage he sustained by the riots in the town of Newport, 
in the year 17G5 ; to be paid when, and as soon as, the Gen- 
eral Assembly shall receive information that the money due 
from the crown, to the colony, for their services in the expedi- 
tion against Crown Point, in the year 175G, shall be received 
by the agent for this colony, in Great Britain. 

That thereupon, the general treasurer of this colony be, and 
he is hereby, empowered and directed, in behalf of this colony, 
to draw a bill or bills upon the colony agent, payable to the 
said Thomas Moffatt, for the abovesaid sum, so granted as 
aforesaid ; and that His Honor the Governor, be, and he is 
hereby, requested to send home a fair copy of this report and 
vote, with all other papers relating thereto. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Deputy Gov- 
ernor, the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq., Mr. Moses Brown and 
John Cole, Esq., be, and they are hereby, appointed a com- 
mittee, to prepare a draught of a letter, in answer to Lord 
Dartmouth's letter, and lay the same before this Assembly, at 
the next session.* 

Whereas, two of the council of the Narragansett tribe of In- 
dians, in this colony, are dead, and William Sachem (one of 
the said council), refuseth to sign the deeds, for the sale of the 
lands of Thomas Ninegret, deceased, late sachem of the said 
tribe, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that the committee ap- 
pointed to settle the estate of the said Thomas Ninegret, with 

* This letter is not found in the public archives. 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 203 

two of the surviving council of the Indians, make and execute 
a deed or deeds of the lands they have already sold, or may 
hereafter sell, to pay the said Ninegrets's debts ; and that such 
deed or deeds be as good and valid, to all intents and pur- 
poses, as though the said deed or deeds had been made and 
executed by the committee, and all the Indian council. 
God save the King. 

Public Acts passed during the year 1772.* 

[The following laws will be found at length in the printed " Schedules," or acts 
iand resolves of the General Assembly, for the year 1772.] 

An Act incorporating Eawson's Fountain Society. (October.) 

An Act for disposing of certain lands and tenements belonging to the colony. 

(October.) 
An Act to incorporate Eng's Church, in Providence. (October.) 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at East Green- 
ivich, on the second Monday in January, 1773. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions^ Deputy Governor. 

[There was no business of a public nature, transacted at this 
session of the Assembly.] 

* Continued from page 54. 



204 



RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 



1773. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, the 
first Wednesday of May, 1773. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

The following officers, declared elected, were duly engaged : 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 



ASSISTANTS. 



Mr. Samuel Dyre, 
Mr. James Barker, 
Mr. Solomon Drown, 
Mr. David Harris, 
Mr. John Almy, 



Mr. Thomas AVickes, 
Mr. Jonathan Randall, 
Mr. John Congdon, 
Mr. Rowland Robinson. 
Mr. William Richmond. 



DEPUTIES. 

Newport. 

Mr. Thomas Cranston, Mr. 

Mr. John Wanton, Mr. 

Mr. George Hazard, Mr. 
Mr. Joseph Wanton, Jr., 

Mr. John Read, Mr. 

Mr. Thomas Freebody. Mr. 

Providence. Mr. 

Mr. Stephen Hopkins, Mr. 
Mr. Benjamin Man, 

Mr. John Jenckes, Mr. 

Mr. John Smith. Mr. 



Portsmouth. 
Metcalfe Bowler, 
John Jepson, 
Jonathan Brownell. 

Warwick. 
Benjamin Greene, 
William Greene, 
Jacob Greene, 
John Low. 

Westerly. 
Joshua Babcock, 
James Rhodes. 



1773. 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 



205 



New Shoreham. 
Mr. John Littlefield, 
Mr. John Sands. 

North Kingstown. 
Mr. Peter Phillips, 
Mr. John Northup. 

South Kingstown. 
Mr. John Rose. 
Mr. Daniel Rodman. 

East Greenv)ich. 
Mr. Preserved Pearce, 
Mr. Thomas Tillinghast. 

Jamestown. 
Mr. John Gardner, 
Capt. Samuel Slocum. 

Smithfield. 
Mr. Daniel Mowry, Jr., 
Capt. Jonathan Arnold. 

Scituate, 
Mr. William West, 
Mr. Rufus Hopkins. 

Glocester. 
Mr. Solomon Owen, 
Mr. Caleb Arnold. 
Charlestown. 
Mr. Sylvester Robinson, 
Mr. Stephen Perry. 

West Greenwich- 
Mr. William Nichols, 
Mr. Thomas Gorton. 

Coventry. 
Mr. Israel Bowen, 
Mr. Caleb Vaughan. 

Exeter.' 
Mr. Jeffrey Wilcox. 



DEPUTIES. 

Middletown. 
Mr. Nicholas Easton, 
Mr. Isaac Smith. 
Bristol. 
Col. Simeon Potter, 
Mr. William Bradford. 

Tiverton. 
Mr. Edward Gray, 
Mr. Thomas Cory. 

Little Compton. 
Mr. Thomas Church, 
Mr. Daniel Wilbur. 

Warre?i. 
Mr. Sylvester Child, 
Mr. Nathan Miller. 
Cumberland. 
Mr. John Dexter, 
Mr. Nathaniel Shepperdson.. 

Richmond. 
Mr. Robert Stanton, 
Mr. Caleb Barber. 
Cranston. 
Mr. Richard Searle, 
Mr. Christopher Lippitt. 

Hopkinton. 
Mr. Zaccheus Reynold,. 
Mr. Jesse Maxson. 

Johnston. 
Mr. Richard Eddy, 
Mr. Caleb Harris. 

North Providence. 
Capt. Eseck Hopkins, 
Mr. Thomas Olney. 
Barrington. 
Mr. Nathaniel Martin, 
Mr. Thomas Allen. 



206 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

The Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, speaker ; Mr. Josias Lyndon^ 
clerk. 

Mr. Henry Ward, secretary. 

Mr. Henry Marchant, attorney general. 

Mr. Joseph Clarke, general treasurer. 

Stephen Hopkins, Esq., chief justice of the superior court 
of judicature, court of assize and general jail delivery. 

SHERIFFS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county— Mr. Walter Chaloner. Providence county 
— ^Mr. Paul Tew. Kings county — Mr. Beriah Brown. Bris- 
tol county — Mr. John Brown. Kent county — Mr. Henry Rice. 

FIELD OFFICERS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Mr. Daniel Dunham, colonel ; Mr. Isaac 
Dayton, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. John Forrester, major. 

Providence county — Mr. Knight Dexter, colonel ; Mr. 
Abraham Winsor, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Chad Brown, major. 

Kings county — Mr. Thomas Gardner, colonel ; Mr. Moses 
Barber, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Jonathan Vaughan, major. 

Bristol county — Mr. Simeon Potter, colonel ; Mr. Nathaniel 
Martin, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Thomas Gray, major. 

Kent county — Mr. John Waterman, colonel ; Mr. Aaron 
Bowen, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Benjamin Vaughan, major. 

Whereas, many of the inhabitants of the town of Provi- 
dence, preferred a petition unto this Assembly, and represent- 
ed that the steeple of the Presbyterian, or Congregational 
meeting house in the said town, is in so ruinous a condition, that 
it must immediately be taken down ; and the said meeting house 
stands in need of many other great repairs and alterations, which 
the society of themselves are utterly unable to make ; and 
that the situation of the meeting house is such, that if a tower 
and steeple, with a clock, be erected at the west end, thereof, 
it will answer extremely well for a town clock, and be also 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 207 

beneficial to the people who come from the adjacent country, 
to market; and thereupon prayed, that a lottery may be 
granted, for raising the sum of £700, for the purpose of taking 
down the old steeple, and erecting a tower and steeple, with a 
clock, at the west end of the said meeting house ; and also, 
for the making any other alterations, additions and repairs to, 
and upon, the said house ; that Messrs. James Greene, Samuel 
Nightingale, Jr., Charles Keen, Paul Allen and Nathaniel 
Metcalf, all of Providence, may be appointed directors of the 
said lottery ; and that in case of the death or refusal of any of 
the said directors, the standing committee, for ihe time being, 
of the said Presbyterian or Congregational Society, in said 
Providence, may be empowered to appoint other directors in 
their stead and room ; and also, be further empowered to au^ 
dit the accounts of, settle with, and discharge such directors, 
upon the completion of the said lottery ; on consideration 
whereof, — 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the aforesaid petition be, 
and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual restrictions ; 
the directors giving bond for the faithful performance of their 
trust ; provided, that the colony incur no expense in conse- 
quence thereof. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Governor, be, 
and he is hereby, requested to write to the agent of this colony, 
and inform him, that Mr. Benjamin Mason, in behalf of Mr. 
Kalph Inman, hath presented to this Assembly, a bill of ex- 
change, drawn by the agent, on the Governor and Company of 
this colony, payable to said Ralph Inman, for the sum of £200, 
sterling ; but that no advice, respecting the said bill, is yet 
come to hand ; and that His Honor the Governor, be also re- 
quested to transmit to the agent, a copy of his last account, as 
settled by this Assembly, in the year 1770, and desire him to 
acquaint the colony, whether he hath received the balance, in 
full satisfaction of said account ; and also, to desire him to 
transmit to this colony, his accotintj commencing from his said 



208 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

last account ; and to assure him, that the balance which shall 
appear to be justly due to him, shall be punctually paid. 

It is voted and resolved, that the possessors of any lawful 
money bills, emitted by this colony, or treasurer's notes given 
for such lawful money bills, be, and they are hereby, directed 
to bring them into the general treasury, in order to be dis- 
charged within one month from the rising of this Assembly ; 
that no interest upon such bills and notes, shall be allowed af- 
ter that time ; and that the general treasurer immediately give 
public notice of this vote in the Newport Mercury and Provi- 
dence Gazette. 

It is voted and resolved, that the time for paying in the last 
colony rate, be lengthened to the next session of this Assem- 
bly ; and that the rate gatherers collect the interest, as well as 
the principal, until paid, and pay the same into the general 
treasury. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Oliver Ring Warner be, 
and he is hereby, appointed to repair all the platforms for the 
guns at Fort George, agreeably to the directions of John Jep- 
son, Esq., and Capt. Eseck Hopkins ; that he also procure six 
new carriages for the cannon that belonged to the colony sloop ; 
and that he draw the money out of the general treasury, to pay 
for the same. 

Whereas, the following petition was presented unto this As- 
sembly, to wit : 

Petition of the Town of New Shoreham, to the General Assem- 
bly^ for assistance to make a Harbor, kc, there. 

To the Honorable the General Assembly of the colony of Rhode Island and Pro\i- 
dence Plantations, in New England, in America, to be holden at ]S^<^^vport, on the 
first Wednesday in May, A. D. 17 73. 

The subscribei's, deputies from the town of New Shoreham, in behalf of, and by 
direction from, the said town, humbly show : 

That the inhabitants of the said island, have, for a number of years past, labored 
under the greatest difficulties and inconveniences, for want of an harboi', at the 
said island J they having no other way to ship off their fat cattle, horses and sheep,, 
^han by swimming them into the sea, where there is geuerallv a large surf, and then- 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 209 

hoisting tliem into a vessel ; whereby, it frequently happens that some of them aro 
drowned, and others so much bruised, as to be unlit for market. 

That these disadvantages are greatly increased by the large freight they arc 
obhged to pay upon evei'y thing brought to the island, for their own use, or trans- 
ported from thence for sale ; for, as there is no safe harbor, very few vessels go to 
the island with, or for, freight ; and those who follow that business, lose so much 
time, by being often forced to leave the island upon the approach of a storm, before 
the freight they carry is unladed, or the freight they go for, taken in ; and to make 
an harbor upon the continent, where they must wait for another wind, andmeet with 
so many other hardships and dangers, that they ask double the freight which is 
given in other parts of the colony, for the transportation of the like articles the same 
distance. 

That they also suffer greatly, by the loss of the codfishery ; which formerh-, 
while a channel was kept open between the sea, and a large salt pond, on the west 
side of the island, Avas so considerable, that they used to catch fish enough for their 
own consumjition, and to supply Newport, and divers other places, with fresh fish, 
besides exporting large quantities of cured fish ; but that the channel being now 
filled, the small fish or bait, which used to go into the pond, have left the island, and 
the codfish with them ; so that at present, the inhabitants cannot get near enough 
for their own eating. 

That these inconveniences have such an effect upon the real estates on the island, 
that land wiU not sell, or rent, for more than half the sum which land of the like 
quahty will sell, or rent for, in other parts of the colony ; and the island, conse- 
quently, in a general estimation of property, is not worth above half so much to the 
colony, as it otherwise would be. 

That these are some of the many evils, that the inhabitants continually sufier ; be- 
sides which, there are others, arising from the want of an harbor, at the said island, 
which greatly affect the commerce of the whole colony, and of a great part of the 
continent ; many vessels, for want of such an harbor, being blown of the coast, or 
forced to a different port, from that to which they were bound, or perliaps ship- 
wrecked, or foundered, to the loss of the fives and properties of many. 

That a most effectual remedy, for all these evils, may be provided, by cutting a 
channel from the sea, into the aforementioned pond, which is large enough to con- 
tain the whole British navy, and deep enough for any vessels in this colony. 

That between the sea, and the pond, there is a sand bank, about twenty rods wide, 
and on the pond side, ten feet of water, within two rods of the bank, which soon in- 
creases to thirty feet ; and on the side of the sea there is also a very fine bold shore ; 
that a channel was formerly cut through the said bank, and became so navigable, 
that vessels of seventy and eighty tons burthen have actually sailed into the pond ; 
but the place where the said channel was formed, not being properly defended on 
the sea-side, it filled up with sand. 

That the place now proposed for opening a communication with the sea, is about 
a quarter of a mile southward from the old channel, where the water is much 
deeper, and the channel will be secured by a point of rocks that lies to the south- 
ward ; which affords the greatest prospect of obtaining an effectual and lasting 
harbor. 

That the benefit resulting to the inhabitants of the said island, to the colony in 
general, and to the neighboring governments, from such an harbor, will be very 
VOL. VII. 27 



210 EECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

great, as the real value of the island Avill be much enhanced, and the ratable estate 
of the colony proportionably increased, a most extensive codfishery may be earned 
on, to the great emolument of the colony, and an harbor, into which, vessels driven 
near the island, by stress of weather, may run and be safe from every wind that 
blows, and thereby preserve the lives and properties of many. 

And that the said inhabitants, although they are willing to exert themselves to 
the utmost, in completing so beneficial a design, are, by reason of their poverty, 
utterly unable to accomplish it. 

The i^etitioners hope that, as the inhabitants of the said island, have at all times 
contributed in full as large a proportion as any other town, towards building and 
repairing court houses, jails, bridges and other conveniences, without having re- 
ceived any grant from the General Assembly, for the particular benefit of the said 
island for nearly forty years past, they may, with modesty, ask the assistance of the 
public upon this occasion. And they do humbly request that the General Assembly 
will take this matter into consideration, and appoint some suitable persons to exam- 
ine the pond, and the situation of the place proposed for the channel, and report their 
opinion of the practicabHty of the project, and an estimate of the expense. 

And in case, upon their report, it shall appear advisable to open such a commu- 
nication, they humbly pray that such a sum of money may be granted out of the 
general treasury, as will be sufficient to purchase timber, and provide stones for be- 
ginning, and, in some measure, carrying on, the work ; and that the remainder may 
be raised by lotteries ; which, considering the utility of such an harbor, they have 
reason to hope will meet with great encom-agement ; and, as in duty bound, will 
ever pray, &c. JOHN LITTLEFIELD, 

JOHN SANDS. 

On consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that Stephen Hopkins, Esq., Thos. 
Cranston, Esq., Mr. Eseck Hopkins, Joseph Wanton, Jr., 
Esq., and Mr. Joseph Brown, be, and they, or the major part 
of them, are hereby appointed, a committee to go to New 
Shoreham, and inspect into the circumstances of the premises 
mentioned in the said petition ; and that they make report to 
this Assembly, at the next session. 

God save the King. 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 211 



Proceedings of the General Assemhly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, on the 
third Monday in August, 1773. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The lion. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

Whereas, a number of the inhabitants of the county cf 
Providence, preferreil a petition, and represented unto this As- 
sembly, that the road, commonly called Plainfield Koad, is 
one of the largest that leads into the town of Providence ; that 
the bounds thereof, are mostly lost and unknown ; and that 
several persons have made encroachments on said road, so 
that, in many places, it is almost impassable, especially in the 
winter season ; and thereupon, they prayed this Assembly to 
appoint a committee, to revise the said road, from a birch tree, 
standing in a brook, called Bennett's Brook (a known boundary 
of said road), westerly, as far as Scituate line, with powder to 
make such alterations as they shall think necessary ; and the 
said petition being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, 
Esq., Job Randall, Esq. and Charles Harris, Esq., be, and 
they, or the major part of them, are hereby, appointed a com- 
mittee, to revise the aforesaid highway ; that the charge, there- 
of, be equally paid by the towms of Providence, Cranston and 
Johnston. 

And that the said committee be, and they are hereby, em- 
powered to make such alterations in said highway, as they 
shall think proper, agreeably to law. 

It is voted and resolved, that the time for the payment of 
what remains due, of the last colony tax, be lengthened to the 
10th day of October next ; that it be upon interest until paid ; 
and that the general treasurer issue his warrants against the 



212 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

several town treasurers, for the sums that shall be due from 
them, respectively, on the 10th day of October, returnable in 
ten days. 

It is voted and resolved, that a tax of £4,000, lawful 
money, be assessed, and levied, upon the inhabitants of this 
colony, and paid into the general treasury, on or before the 1st 
day of May next ; one half thereof, to be appropriated to the 
payment of the debts, now due from the colony, and the other 
half to the supplying of the treasury ; that the said tax be ap- 
portioned unto the several towns in the same proportion as the 
last colony tax was done ; and that Joshua Babcock, Esq., 
Daniel Rodman, Esq., and Mr. John Low, be, and they are 
hereby, appointed a committee, to draw up j^n act accordingly, 
of the same tenor (excepting the necessary alterations) of the 
act, apportioning the last colony tax. 

Whereas, the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq., Capt. Eseck 
Hopkins and the Hon. Joseph Wanton, Jr., Esq., presented 
unto this Assembly, the following report, to wit : 

Report of the Committee appointed by the General Assembly, rela- 
tive to New Shoreham. 

We, the subscribers, togetber with Thomas Cranston, Esq. and Mr. Joseph 
Brown, being apjjointed a committee, to go to New Shoreham, and inspect into the 
circumstances set forth in the petition of a number of the inhabitants of New Shore- 
ham, do report : 

That we have been to Block Island ; have Aiewed and examined the place pro- 
posed for making a harbor ; have sounded the water both on the sea and pond 
sides ; have observed both the height and distance of the land-between them ; and, 
on the whole, are of opinion, that a channel may be made, secured and kept open 
between the sea and the pond, sufficient to admit small vessels of forty or fifty toDg 
burthen ; which, when in the pond, will be in as safe a harbor, as any can be ; and 
also restore and perpetuate much the most considerable and beneficial fishery in the 
colony, which will be altogether lost, without such a channel be cut and kept open. 

We further report that, as things are at i:)resent, there is no lauding, nor taking off 
any creatures or goods at Block Island, but by putting them afioat in the surf; and 
even passengers cannot land in the smoothest time, as we ourselves experienced, 
without wading in the water above their knees, or being carried by those that do. 

And lastly, we do report, that although the making and securing such a. harbor 
as we have spoken of, be so extremely necessary, and will be, when made,, so ex- 
tensively beneficial to the inhabitants of Block Island, yet we think the burthen of 
doing it wholly at theii* own expense, will be too great for them to bear ; and, as 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 213 

not tlicy, only, but the colony in general, avIII be benefited by its being done, Ave are 
of opinion the colony will do well to assist them in doing it. 

STEPHEN HOPKINS, 
ESECK HOPKINS, 
Newport, Aug. 18, 1773. JOSEPH WANTON, JR. 

And the said report being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
accepted. 

Whereas, a number of merchants in this colony, preferred a 
petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that they have, 
for several years past, been concerned in prosecuting that valu- 
able branch of business, the codfishery, in and near the Gulf 
of St. Lawrence ; by which, a great number of industrious 
poor have been employed and supported, and an advantageous 
circulation of specie promoted ; and that the permission 
granted by His Majesty to his subjects, to carry on the said 
fishery, being not sufficiently explicit, the same is thereby ren- 
dered precarious ; and is particularly greatly endangered by a 
certain bill before a committee of the Honorable House of 
Commons, of Great Britain, for encouraging the fishery, afore- 
said, &c. 

And thereupon, they prayed this Assembly, to interpose in 
their behalf, with His Majesty's ministers, and procure their 
cause so to be represented to His Majesty, that they may> by 
royal indulgence, be permitted to prosecute their fishing busi- 
ness in its full extent, at Isle Bonaventure, Isle Pierre, Point 
St. Peter, and elsewhere, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, without 
obstruction or hindrance ; and that the fishery in those parts 
may by no means be converted into private property, or mo- 
nopolized by a company ; and the said petition being duly 
considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that Messrs. Aaron Lopez, George 
Gibbs and William Vernon, be, and they, or the major part of 
them, are hereby, appointed a committee, to prepare the 
draught of a letter, respecting the matters set forth in the said 
petition, to be sent to His Majesty's secretary of state ; and 
that they lay the same before this Assembly, 



'214 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

Whereas, the following petition, signed by forty-three In- 
dians, of the Narragansett tribe, in this colony, was presented 
unto this Assembly, to wit : 

Petition of the Narragansett Tribe of Indians to the General 
Assemblij. 

To the Honorable the General Assembly of His Majesty's colony of Rhode Island, 
holden at iJewport, the third Monday of August, 1773. 

The petition of us, the subscribers, Indians of the Narragansett tribe, in said 
colony, humbly showeth : 

That some of our late sachems, through extravagance and indiscretion, had here- 
tofore run themselves largely in debt ; and for the discharging those debts, we have 
consented to the sale of the greatest part of the most valuable lands belonging to 
the tribe ; so that there now remaineth but a small tract, compared with what they 
once possessed ; and that they have remaining only one small piece of Fort Neck, by 
which they can get to the salt water, from which they fetch great part of the sup- 
port of themselves and families. 

And being informed by the honorable committee, appointed by the Assembly, to 
settle the accounts, and discharge the debts of the late Sachem Thomas Ninegret 
deceased, that they apprehend that they, with our consent, have sold lands sufficient 
to discharge the whole of said debts : we therefore humbly petition this Honorable 
Assembly, to pass an act, to secure to the said tribe, forever, as well the said small 
part of Fort Neck, as all the other lands now of right belonging to them ; and that 
the same be not, for the future, liable to the payment of debts. 

"We would further represent to this Honorable Assembly, that when the late Sa- 
chem Ninegret, by his deed of the 28th of March, 1709, in consideration of the pro- 
tection of the colony, resigned to the Governor and Company of said colony, the 
lands then called the vacant lands, he, by the same deed, excepted and reserved to 
himself, for the use of the tribe, a certain tract of land, bounded on the east, as fgl- 
loweth ; that is to say : 

" Beginning at the brook where Joseph Davil's mill standeth, and runs into 
the Great Salt Pond ; and so, from said brook on a straight line, northerly, to Pasr 
queset Pond, and by the brook that runs out of Pasqueset Pond, into Pawcatuck 
Hiver." 

That soon after, and wliile the intent of tlie parties was well known, by order and 
direction of the late Col. Joseph Stanton, and others of tlie committee, appointed 
by the General Assembly, to oversee the Indian affairs, the line was run from the 
said brook to Pasqueset Pond, and bounds made. 

That afterwards, some persons, who claimed lands to the eastward of said line, 
caused another line to be run from one of the most westernmost parts of said bi'ook, 
viz. : Cross's Mill Dam, to Pasqueset Pond. By the running of which last men- 
tioned line, as well the burying ground and graves of our ancient sachems and fa- 
thers, as also several hundred acres of land, which were not intended to be granted 
by the deed, aforesaid, are claimed, and, against right, held from the Indians, by 
.sundry persons in Charlestown. 

We, therefore, hmnbly pray this Honorable Assembly, to authorize and empower the 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS; 215 

committee for settling the affairs of the late Sa,chem Thomas Ninegret, or some one 
or more of them, to cause an exact survey of the said lines, and so much of the brook 
and Pasqueset Pond, as may be necessary to illustrate the facts, to be taken ; and 
that a draught thereof, be laid before this Honorable Assembly, for their advisement 
thereon. 

And we do, on this occasion, approach the General Assembly Avith the greater 
confidence, because we look upon them as our guardians and protectors, agree- 
ably to the consideration of the deed of the sachem Ninegret. 

The granting our prayer will oblige your petitioners, as in duty bound, ever to 
pray, &c. 

And the said petition being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
granted ; that all the lands now of right belonging to the said 
tribe, be secured to them ; and that the same, or any part 
thereof, shall not, for the future, be liable to the payment of 
any debts. 

That James Helme, Esq., or some other of the committee, 
appointed for settling the accounts of the late Sachem Thomas 
Ninegret, cause a survey of the lines of the lands claimed by 
the said tribe, and the lands claimed by some other persons in 
Charlestown, and held from the said tribe (as it is said in the 
said petition), against right ; that a draught of the same be 
laid before this Assembly at the next session ; that he be, and 
hereby is, empowered to summon and swear witnesses respect- 
ing the same. 

That the secretary cause notifications to be set up in one or 
more public places in Charlestown, notifying the persons 
claiming said lands, to appear before the next session of As- 
sembly, to be then heard, thereon ; and that the colony be 
at no charge respecting this affair, but that the charge, thereof, 
be paid by said tribe. 

Whereas, James Barker, Esq., the Hon. Stephen Hop- 
kins, Esq., William Ellery, Esq. and Henry Ward, Esq., who 
were appointed a committtee, to audit the accounts of Martin 
Howard, Jr., Esq., laid before this Assembly an account, ex- 
hibited to them by Mr. Simon Pease, attorney to the said 
Martin Howard, together with their report thereon, as follows, 
to wit : 



216 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 



Estimate of damage sustained by Martin Howard, by the Riot 
at Newport, Rhode Island, August 27, 1765. 

My house, Avliicli was repaired, and but just finlslied ; cost Sterliiif/. 
me nearly ------ £450 00 

Sold for, at vendue, by Mr. Rome, deducting all charges, 210 00 £ s. d. 

240 00 

It is impossible to be particular, as to the loss and damage of my furniture, 
as I cannot recollect all the articles, which are lost and missing. What 
follows are the chief I can remember. 
A shagreen case of knives and forks, almost new . . - 

A scrutoire and book-case, with glass doors, damaged and brokenj - 
A large mahogany table, broken to pieces _ - - - 

A small desk lost ------- 

A red cedar desk, and book-case, cut to pieces 

A small tea-table ------- 

A couch frame lost .--._-- 

Four large family pictures, gilt frames ; one, by Sir Peter Lely 
Several mezotinto ditto, damaged and broken - - - - 

An escutcheon, or coat of arms, of Mr. Kay - - - 

A jappiinned tea-table, and tea-board, destroyed 

A close stool, with a pewter pan _ - - - - 

A glass lantern ------- 

Two large chairs ------- 

A jappanned high case of di-awers, broken and lost - - - 

A jappanned dressing table . - - - . 

Two leather buckets ------- 

A large demijohn ------- 

Sundry books lost, kitchen furniture destroyed, china, empty bottles 

baskets, &c., broken and lost, at least to the value of 
A cask of old sherry wine, put in bottles, a little while before the riot. 
Cider, provisions in the store and cellar 

A large press book-case, in my office - - - . 

A common writing desk ------ 



I submit it to the consideration of the gentlemen of the committee, appointed to 
examine the aforegoing account, whether they will not think it reasonable to allow 
interest upon such sum as they shall find due to me. MARTIN HOWARD. 

Newbern, North Carohna, Dec. 26, 1772. 



1 


10 





2 


00 





2 


05 





1 


10 





3 


10 







10 







10 





35 


00 







15 







10 





1 


10 







15 







05 





2 


05 





4 


00 





2 


10 







10 







08 





15 


00 





5 


00 





3 


00 





1 


05 







03 





£324 


13 






1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 217 



Report of the Committee appointed by the General Assembly, to 
examine the foregoing Account. 

We, the subscribers, being appointed to examine the loss of Martin Howard, Jr., 
Esq., by the riot in Newport, in August, 1765, do report: 

That we have examined the above account, and considered several evidences re- 
specting his loss ; that we find that the real damage sustained in the house, did not 
exceed £60, sterhng; it having been actually repaired and put into better order, 
than before the riot, for that sum or less; and have accordingly deducted £180, 
sterling, from that charge. 

And that we have also deducted £32 15.5., sterhng, which appears to us to have 
been overcharged in the pictures, and some other articles. 

So that his loss, as estimated by us, amounts to £111 18s., sterling ; which we 
submit. JAMES BARKER, WILLIAM ELLERY, 

STEPHEN IIOPiaNS, HENRY WARD. 

And the premises being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the aforegoing report be, and 
the same is hereby, accepted ; that the sum of £111 18^., 
sterling, be granted to the said Martin Howard, Jr., as a full 
compensation for the damage he sustained by the riots, in the 
town of Newport, in the year 1765 ; to be paid when, and as 
soon as, the General Assembly shall receive information, that 
the money due from the crown, to the colony, for their services 
in the expedition against Crown Point, in the year 1756, shall 
be received by the agent of this colony, in Great Britain. 

That thereupon, the general treasurer of this colony, be, and 
he is hereby, empowered and directed, in behalf of this colony, 
to draw a bill or bills upon the colony agent, payable to the 
said Martin Howard, for the abovesaid sum, so granted, as 
aforesaid ; and that His Honor the Governor be, and he is 
hereby, requested to send home a fair copy of this report and 
vote, with all other papers, relating thereto. 

Whereas, James Barker, Esq., the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, 
Esq., William Ellery, Esq. and Henry Ward, Esq., who were 
appointed a committee, to audit the accounts of Augustus 
Johnston, Esq., laid before this Assembly, an account, by him 
exhibited to them, together with their report thereon, as fol- 
loweth, to wit : 

VOL, VII. 28 



218 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1773. 



An Account of the Losses sustained by Augustus Johnston, in the 
Riots in Newport, in August and December, 1765. 

Lmrful Money. 

£ s.d. 

Two broadcloth jackets, and one pair of breeches, half -n-orn - - 2 16 

Four pair of fine sheets - - - - - - 3 00 

Eleven new shirts ; the eloth cost me £.355 8a\, old tenor, which, with 

the making, is - - - - - - - 18 09 

Four shirts, about one-third worn - - - - - 6 00 0- 

Three yards of New Holland, which cost £ 10, old tenor, per yard - 1 05 8 

About eighteen fine cravats - - - - - 2 08 

One beaver hat, worn but two or three times - - - - 1100 

Two wigs, (one quite new,) which cost me 48.<;. - - - 2 14 

About nine pair of worsted stockings, very fine and good - - 1 04 

About five pair of thread stockings - - - - 10 

All the clothes belonging to three children (one, about eight years old), 
besides what they had on, when taken out of bed, to be carried to a 
place of safety - - - - - - . lO 00 

Sundry men's caps, at least a dozen - - - - 1 00 

Five pair of fine pillow-cases - - - - - - 3 00 

At least one dozen fine napkins, and one dozen fine table-cloths - 10 16 

At least two dozen homespun towels - - - - -2 08 

A number of women's shifts, aprons, caps and cambric handkerchiefs, 10 00 

A case of old Jamaica rum, a large old cheese, hams, and other provisions, 5 00 
Molloy de Jure Maritimo, quite new - - - - 1160 

Holt's Reports, a large folio, and almost new - - - - 3 00 

First and seventh volumes of Swift's works ; the sett being eight vol- 
umes, cost me 405., sterling. 
One volume of Madam de Maintenon's Letters; the thi-ee cost me 13.9. 

6fZ., lawful money. 
Pope's Works, in eight or ten volumes (T forget which), neatly bound 

and gilt ; they cost me - - - - - - 2 08 

Five volumes of Dryden's works ; I can't find what they cost me ; but 

the five could not be worth less than - . . - 

Life of Count Saxe, three volumes . . . - . 

Two volumes of The World ; the sett being six volumes, cost me 
One volume of Campbell's Lives of the Admirals ; the four cost me 
Mrs. Rowe's works, two volumes, 95. ; Henrietta, two volumes, 95. ; Hap- 
py Orphans, 95. - 
Luportance of the African Expedition, 35. ; Delincourt on Death, 9s. 
Third, fourth and sixth volume Compendium Voyages ; the sett being 
six volumes, cost me a little time before . - _ - 

One volume Bolingbroke's works ; the two cost me 
The damage done my furniture, as appraised by the committee 



1 


08 







14 





1 


08 





1 


10 


0. 


1 


07 







12 







40 







20 





9 


06 





£108 


09 


it 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 219 

N. B. Since extiblting my last account, I have found some few of my books, that 
■were charged in that account ; and have left them out of this. 

Newport, August 19, 1773. AUGUSTUS JOHNSTON. 

Report of the Committee, apppointed hy the General Assembly, to 
examine the foregoing Account. 

We, the subscribers, being appointed a committee, to examine into the losses 
sustained by Augustus Johnston, Esq., by the riots in Newport, in the 1705, do 
report : 

That he exhibited to us an account of the particulars of his loss, under oath ; 
which we have examined, together with several other evidences, respecting his loss ; 
and, after making some small deductions, have settled it at £76 10.s-., sterling. 
Which account, with this report, we submit to the General Assembly. 

JAMES BARKER, HENRY WARD, 

STEPHEN HOPKINS, WILLIAiM ELLERY. 

And the premises being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the foregoing report be, and 
the same is hereby, accepted ; that the sum of £76 lO^., ster- 
ling, be granted to the said Augustus Johnston, as a full com- 
pensation for the damages he sustained by the riots in the town 
of Newport, in the year 1765, to be paid when, and as soon 
as, the General Assembly shall receive information that the 
money due from the crown, to the colony, for their services in 
the expedition against Crown Point, in the year 1756, shall be 
received by the agent of this colony, in Great Britain. 

That thereupon, the general treasurer of this colony be, and 
he is hereby, empowered and directed, in behalf of this colony, 
to draw a bill or bills upon the colony agent, payable to the 
said Augustus Johnston, for the abovesaid sum, so granted, as 
aforesaid ; and that His Honor the Governor, be, and he is 
hereby, requested to send home a fair copy of this report and 
vote, with all other papers relating thereto. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Governor, be, 
and he is hereby, requested to transmit to the Right Honorable 
the Earl of Dartmouth, the letter presented to this Assembly, 
respecting the codfishery, in the Eiver St. Lawrence ; he 
making such alterations therein, as he shall think proper. 

It is voted and resolved, that no money be drawn out of the 



220 RECOKDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

general treasury by virtue of any general act or order of this 
Assembly, heretofore made or passed, without further orders 
from this Assembly. 

It is voted and resolved, that £300, lawful money, be paid 
out of the general treasury, to Mr. Oliver Ring Warner, for 
carrying on the repairs at Fort George. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Governor, be, 
and he is hereby, requested to acquaint the Right Honorable 
the Earl of Dartmouth, that the assurance His Lordship hath 
given the Governor and Company of this colony, of his desire 
of serving them, respecting their demand upon the crown, is 
very flattering to their just expectations, of at length obtaining 
the moneys so long due, for their most ready and faithful 
services. 

That the colony is the more encouraged in this, as the Gen- 
eral Assembly have, they doubt not, answered the expectations 
of His Majesty, in their consideration of the sufferers, recom- 
mended to them by His Majesty. 

And that the General Assembly desire His Lordship's more 
particular attention hereto, as they have just received advice 
of the death of their late agent ; and are, at present, destitute 
of an agent that might repeat their application to the treasury. 

God save the King. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at South Kings- 
town, on the last Wednesday in October, 1773. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

Whereas, Daniel Commins, of Coventry, in the county of 
Kent, yeoman, for, and in behalf of, a religious society of peo- 
ple, in said Coventry, of the Baptist profession, preferred a pe- 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 221 

tition, and represented unto this Assembly, that the societjj 
aforesaid, have not been able, by reason of their poverty, to 
build a house for public, social worship, in said town, for the 
edification of themselves and others, whose sentiments corres- 
pond with theirs. 

And thereupon, prayed this Assembly to grant them the lib- 
erty of raising $500, by lottery, under the direction of John 
Kice, Thomas Matterson and Nehemiah Potter, all of said Cov- 
entry, Esqs. ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said petition be, and the 
same is hereby, granted, under the usual restrictions. 

Provided, that no charge arise to the colony, thereby. 

It is voted and resolved, that the Honorable Stephen Hop- 
kins, Esq., George Hazard, Henry Ward and Henry Marchant, 
Esqs., be, and they, or the major part of them, are hereby, ap- 
pointed a committee, to consider of the queries sent to this 
colony, by the Earl of Dartmouth, and to form an answer to 
them ; and that they lay the same before this Assembly, at 
the next session. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Governor, be, 
and he is hereby, requested to write a letter to the Earl of 
Dartmouth, advising him of the receipt of the queries ; and 
that the same were laid before the General Assembly, who 
have appointed a committee to inspect into and answer the 
same. 

Also, to request His Lordship, as this colony hath not any 
agent appointed at the court of Great Britain, that he will still 
be a protector to the colony, until an agent shall be appointed. 

And also to solicit His Lordship, that he will make applica- 
tion to the treasury board, for the moneys due to the colony. 

God save the King* 



222 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 



Publk Ads passed during the year 1773. 



[The following laws will be found at length in the printed " Schedules," or acts 
and resolves of the General Assembly, for the year 1773.] 

An Act for the more effectual repairing of highways in this colony. (January.) 
An Act to prevent fish being interrupted in their course up Mill Cove, in Warwick. 

(January.) 
An Act empowering the towns of Providence and North Providence, to repair their 

liighways, by a town tax. (January.) 
An Act making it latvflil to break down and blow up the rocks at Pawtucket Falls, 

to let fish pass up. (January.) 
An Act empowering the church and society of the people called Baptists, or Anti- 

Pedobaptists, in Providence, to sell their lot of land, in Providence. (August.) 
An Act to prevent fish from being hindered in their courses of going into Point 

Judith Pond, and Petaquamscut River. (August.) 
An Act for assessing a tax of £4,000. (August.) 
An Act to naturalize Thomas Courtain. (October) 
An Act incorporating Cook's Fountain Society. (October.) 



The Governor of Rhode Island to Lord Dartmouth. 

Newport, Rhode Island, February 16, 1773. 

My Lord : — I have the honor to address Your Lordship upon the subject of a 
demand of this colony upon the crown. 

Before I enter upon the narrative of this aSair, I would just observe to Your 
Lordshij), that in the cause of the last war, the colony gi-eatly distinguished them- 
selves by their exertions against the enemy ; which was repeatedly acknowledged by 
His Majesty's ministers and commanders ; and notwithstanding the Parliamentary 
grants made them at different times (which they remember Avith gratitude) , incurred 
a very heavy debt, which the colony hath not yet been able to discharge. 

Mr. Secretai-y Fox, in his letter of the 13th of March, 1756, informed the colony 
that nothing more than the raising the men ; their pay, arms and clothing would be 
expected from the colony, who had the preceding year furnished their quota of military 
stores and provisions. But this letter was not received until after the colony had 
provided their quota of stores and provisions ; and the principal part of which, were 
really expended in the service, and the remainder taken into the King's magazines. 

This, ]\Iy Lord, was also the case of the other northern colonies, all of whom, 
have been reimbursed their expenses upon that account, excepting the colony of 
Rhode Island. The Province of New Hampshire, indeed, received theirs by a grant 
from Parliament,but the session before the last. 

By the miscarriage of letters in a time of war, or by some other accident, 
the accounts from the colony for those expenses, were not laid before the lords of 
the treasuary until the year 1759; which, being so long after the supphes were 
granted by the colony, was a very unfavorable cu-cumstance, and I imagine was the 
sole reason why payment was not made. 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 223 

The lords of the treasury referred the accounts, amounting to £4,211 7s. Id., to 
the secretary of war and paymaster general, who reported the sum of £3,002 bs. Id.^ 
sterling, to be due to the colony; having deducted the sum of £1,209 14s., which 
was charged in the accounts for the subsistence of the regiment, until their arrival 
at Albany, and upon their return home, after they were discharged. 

The affair remained in this situation, for some considerable time, when the lords 
of the treasury, upon a second application, agaift referred the consideration of it to 
the secretary at Avar, and the paymaster general ; who made another considerable 
deduction, for several articles charged in the accounts, as not being strictly military 
stores, and then reported the sum of £2,672 18s. 11(/., to be due and payable. 

As the colony had really advanced the sum of £4,211 7s. Id., and as the other 
colonies for the same services, had been reimbursed in a larger proportion, they 
conceived themselves greatly aggrieved at these deductions. But even this sum, so 
reduced, from what they thought they had a right to expect, hath never yet been 
paid. 

In the year 1765, considerable confusion and tumults arose in all the North 
American colonies. And it is confessed, that this colony was not exempt from 
these disorders ; although the injury done to private propei'ty, was inconsiderable. 

Doctor Moffatt, Mr. Howard and Mr. Johnston, however, represented themselves 
to the administration, as very great sufferers. In consequence of Avhich, His Maj- 
esty was pleased to recommend them to the colony, for a compensation for their losses. 
The General Assembly, altogether from motives of obedience to the royal recom- 
mendation, immediately came to a resolution that they would make them full com- 
pensation for their real losses ; upon which, the gentlemen exhibited to the General 
Assembly accounts, consisting altogether of general charges ; such as no persons 
coiild judge of, and amounting to within about £20, sterling, of the above sum re- 
ported to be due to the colony. 

This naturally gave reason to suspect that the gentlemen flattered themselves with 
the hopes of obtaining all that money. The General Assembly ordered that they 
should exhibit an account of the particulars of their losses ; and in the mean time 
instructed Joseph Sherwood, Esq., their agent, to apply to the lords of the treasury, 
to obtain their recommendation of this matter to Parliament, for a grant of these 
moneys so long due to the colony. Mr. Sherwood informed the colony, that it was 
intimated to him (though it was not openly declared), that the lords of the treasury 
chose to postpone doing any thing in the affair, until they should be acquainted 
with the measures adopted by the colony, with respect to the sufferers. 

The colony. My Lord, could not see any reasonable connection between that de- 
;mand upon the crown, and the claims of these gentlemen. They also esteemed 
.themselves affected in a tender point ; that any of His Majesty's ministers should 
think the withholding these moneys a necessary measure to induce the colony to a 
due respect to the royal recommendation. It was not from so unworthy a motive, 
that the colony undertook to pay the sufferers their losses, but altogether in compH- 
ance with the recommendation of their gracious sovereign, who never had occasion 
to call their duty and ready obedience in question. That sum, distressed as the 
colony hath been, and still is, would never be an inducement. 

The General Assembly again instructed their agent to renew his application to 
the lords of the treasury. The colony also addressed their lordships and the Earl of 
Hillsborough upon the subject. And His Lordship was pleased to inform the General 



224 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

Assembly, that they might depend upon his attention to it ; and that the sufferers 
were enjoined to exhibit such accounts of their losses as were required by the Gen- 
eral Assembly. 

Still, My Lord, those gentlemen did not comply with this most reasonable requi- 
sition of the General Assembly. Although the colony is informed that Doctor Mof- 
fatt hath acquainted the lords of the treasury that he really offered such an account 
to the Assembly, but was refused an hearing ; which I must assure Your Lordship 
was not the case. That gentleman not only seems to hold the colony in defiance, 
but also to have been unwearied in his misrepresentations of it. 

The colony, nevertheless, from the disposition they have perceived in the present 
lords of the treasury, together with the hopes of Your Lordship's patronage, flatter 
themselves that at length they will have justice done them. 

Joseph Sherwood and Henry Marchant, Esqs., agents for the colony, did the last 
year present a memorial to the lords of the treasury upon this subject ; who were 
pleased, by their secretary, Grey Cooper, Esq., to give the following answer : 

" June 11, 1772. I am authorized to inform you, that, at a board held last week, Mr.. 
Stewart, as agent for Dr. MofiFatt, and Mr. Howard, r.gain attended the board, by their 
lordships' order, upon Dr. Moftatt's affair ; and accordingly instructed Mr. Stewart strongly 
to recommend to the Doctor, to present as soon as possible, an account of his losses to the 
General Assembly of the colony of Rhode Island ; but to omit in such account, the charge 
he had made in his former account, of his expenses upon his voyage to Great Britain, and 
of any consequential damages; and to exhibit an account only of such effects as were abso- 
lutely lost, damaged or destroyed, during the riot ; and that he should consent to accept in 
part of his compensation, any goods or effects that were saved, and are now remaining in 
the hands of any of his friends or others; and the lords suppose that, upon such an account 
being exhibited, the Asserobly will act upon it in such manner, as to give satisfaction to 
■the board. 

And should the doctor refuse, in a reasonable time, to exhibit such an account, the lordi 
will proceed to a final settlement of the inatter in dispute." 

Doctor Moffatt, hereupon saw fit so far to comply, as to exhibit another account 
of his losses, less general, indeed, than he had before presented, but by no means so 
particular as he could easily have given, and the colony had a right to expect J 
twelve hundred volumes of books being one article, and others made in gross,, to a 
very large amount. The General Assembly, however, immediately received it, and 
appointed a committee to consider it. 

The Doctor still made no deduction for any of the articles saved ; although the 
greater part of his books, furniture, &c., had been deposited in the hands of his most 
inlimate friends and agents ; and even went so far as to declare before the conunit- 
tee, that he was utterly ignorant that any articles were saved ; until the committee 
showed him, by incontestlble evidence, that not only many articles Avere saved, but 
led him to the spot where they still were. 

He also charged a very round sum for china ; when it appeared, that the smaU 
quantity he had, had been carried from his house and placed with a friend, several 
days before the riot, upon the apprehension that there might be one ; and remained 
unpacked until it was shown to the Doctor. The committee, upon the examina- 
tion of the matter, reported the Doctor's loss at £l 79 10s. 6d., sterhng. The General 
Assembly received the report, and granted him that sum. 

But the Doctor, by his attorney, in the face of the General Assembly, refused to 
accept it in writing, under his hand. 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 225 

I enclose Your Lordship copies of the Doctor's account, the appointment and re- 
port of the committee, &c. ; and flatter myself, it will appear to Your Lordship, that 
the colony have fully complied with the royal recommendation, and with the ex- 
pectation of the lords of the ti-easur}-, respecting the Doctor's demand. 

Mr. Johnston hath since exhibited an account of his losses, which the Assembly 
have referred to the same committee. Mr. Howard, who lives in a remote province, 
hath not yet had an opportunity of exhibiting his account ; wliich, as soon as he 
does, will meet with due consideration. 

I must mention to Your Lordship, that I have certain information, that the Doctor 
hath taken a number of evidences, in a very indirect manner, without giving any 
one of the committee, or any other person, an opportunity of appearing, on the part 
of the colony, to cross-examine the witnesses. These evidences, instead of passing 
through the proper offices, to be authenticated in the manner that such things have 
been constantly and invariably done, and annexed to the certificate, are secreted, to 
prevent the colony from knowing the purport of them, and from justifying them- 
selves by setting matters in a true light. And the Doctor hath taken a general cer- 
tificate, that certain persons are officers, without any reference to their particular 
acts or attestations. What weight ought to be allowed to such depositions, I submit 
to Your Lordship's judgment. 

His Majesty has the highest reason to expect loyalty and obedience from his 
faithful subjects of this colony, who have demonstrated it, not only by the most 
•sincere professions and declarations, but by cheerfully expending their blood and 
treasure upon every requisition from the crown. 

May not, My Lord, the colony have reason to expect that the administration will 
see the royal promise to the colony complied with ? If under a former administra- 
tion, they have been disappointed, they will not despair of the present. And from 
the answer which the lords of the treasury were the last year pleased to give to the 
■memorial then presented to them, from the justness of their demand, and from the 
hopes they conceive of Your Lordship's friendship and countenance, they will not 
doubt but a grant, at this present session of Parliament, will be made at least for 
the sum reported to be due and payable, with the interest thereof. 

I beg Your Lordship's patronage of this cause, in which the colony hath been so 
long delayed, and am, may it please Your Lordship, 

Your Lordship's most obedient and most humble servant, 

JOSEPH WANTON, 

To the Earl of Dartmouth. 

Peyton Randolph to the Governor of Rhode Island, transmitting 
certain proceedings of the House of Burgesses, of Virginia. 

Virginia, March 19th, 1773. 

Sir : — I have received the commands of the House of Burgesses of this colony, to 
transmit to you a copy of the resolves entered into by them on the 12th instant, 
which they hope will prove of general utility, if the other colonies shall think fit 
to adopt them. 

They have expressed themselves so fully as to the motives that led to these reso- 
Jutions, that I need not say any thing on that point ; and shall only beg you will lay 

VOL. vn. 29 



226 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OP RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

them before your Assembly as early as possible, and request them to appoint some 
of their body to communicate from time to time with the corresponding committee of 
Virginia. I am, -with great respect, &c., 

PEYTON RANDOLPH. 
To the Governor of Rhode Island. 



Extracts from tKe Journal of the Proceedings of the House of 
Burgesses^ of Virginia. 

" Friday, the 12th of March, ^ 
13th George in., 1773. | 

Upon a motion made, — 

The House resolved itself into a committee of the whole House, ujwn the state of 
the colony. 

Mr. Speaker left the chair. 

Mr. Bland took the chair of the committee. 

Mr. Speaker resumed the chair. 

Mr. Bland reported from the committee that they had directed him to make the 
following report to the House, viz. : 

' Whereas, the minds of His Majesty's faithful subjects, in this colony, have been 
much disturbed by various rumors and reports of jiroceedings, tending to deprive 
them of their ancient, legal and constitutional rights ; — 

And whereas, the affairs of this colony are frequently connected with those of 
Great Britain, as well as of the neighboring colonies, which renders a communica- 
tion of sentiments necessary ; in order, therefore, to remove the uneasiness, and to 
quiet the minds of the people, as well as for the other good purposes above men- 
tioned, — 

Be it resolved, that a standing committee of correspondence and inquiry, be ap- 
pointed, to consist of eleven persons, to wit : the Hon. Peyton Randolph, Esq., Robert 
Carter Nicholas, Richard Bland, Richard Henry Lee, Benjamin Harrison, Edmund 
Pendleton, Patrick Henry, Dudley Digges, Dabney Carr, Archibald Carey and 
Thomas Jefferson, Esqs., any six of whom, to be a committee, whose business it shall 
be, to obtain the most early and authentic intelligence of all such acts and resolu- 
tions of the British Parliament, or proceedings of the administration, as may relate 
to, or affect the British colonies in America ; and to keep up and maintain a cor- 
respondence and communication with our sister colonies, respecting these imjiortant 
considerations ; and the result of such their proceedings, from time to time to lay 
before this House. 

Resolved, that it be an instruction to said committee, that they do, without delay, 
inform themselves particularly of the principles and authority, on which was con- 
stituted a court of inquiry, said to have been lately held in Rhode Island, with 
powers to transport persons accused of offences committed in America, to places be- 
yond the seas, to be tried.' 

The said resolutions being severally read a second time, were, upon the questions 
severally put thereupon, agreed to, by the House, nemine contradicente. 

' Resolved, that the speaker of this House do transmit to the speakers of the dif- 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 227 

ferent Assemblies of the British colonies on this continent, copies of the said resolu- 
tions, and desire that they will lay them before their i-espective Assemblies ; and re-^ 
quest them to appoint some person or persons of their respective bodies, to commu- 
nicate from time to time, with the said committee.' 

By the House of Burgesses of the colony of Virginia. ] G. "WYTHE, 

Extracted from the journal. ) C. H. B.' " 

Metcalfe Bowler, Speaker of the House of Representatives, of 
Rhode Island, to the Speaker of the House of Burgesses, of 
Virginia. 

Newport, May 15th, 1773, 

Sir : — Having received a letter from the speaker of the House of Burgesses, of 
Virginia, enclosing the resolutions of that patriotic and illustrious Assembly, of the 
12th of March last ; and also a letter, from the committee of correspondence and in- 
quiry, by them appointed. 

I took the earhest opportunity of laying them before the House of Deputies of 
this colony, Avho immediately entered into the consideration of them ; and persuad- 
ed that nothing less than a firm and close union of the colonies in the most spirited, 
prudent and consistent measures can defeat the designs of those who are aiming to 
deprive them of their inestimable rights and privileges, passed nemine contradicetUe, 
the resolutions of which I have the honor to enclose you a copy.* 

I beg the favor of you to lay them before your House of Representatives as soon 
as possible. I am, with great respect, &c., &c., 

METCALFE BOWLEE. 

To the Speaker of the House of Burgesses, of Virginia. 



Resolutions of the House of Representatives of Rhode Island, 
relative to the foregoing Correspondence. 

Whereas, this House hath appointed a committee of cori'espondence with commit- 
tees of the other colonies in North America, respecting the rights and privileges of 
the colonies, &c. : it is therefore — 

Resolved by this House, that His Honor the Governor, be requested to deliver 
the said committee a copy of his commission as one of the judges of the court of 

* The printed Schedules, or proceedings of the General Assembly, for May, 1773, do not 
contain these very important resolutions, relative to the measures proposed bv the House 
of Burgesses, of Virginia ; although it is certain the subject was acted on by the Assembly, 
at this session. 

On referring to the manuscript acts and resolves of this period, four blank pages are 
found ; and as the next minutes of the proceedings of the Assembly, under date of the 7th 
May, 1773, contain these resolutions, it is evident that the clerk omitted to complete the 
record, for which the blank pages were left. The sudden breaking off of the manuscript 
acts and resolves, show that it was intended to make additions; and that, for some reason, 
perhaps to the incompleteness of some papers, the imperfect copy was sent to the printer». 
The correspondence growing out of these resolves, appears to be complete. — J. E. B. 



228 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

inquiry, constituted from home, and said to be held in this colony ; and of all such 
other papers, which were laid before said court, as may be consistent with his honor 
as Governor of this colony. 

Resolved, that the speaker of this House be requested to write to the Speaker of 
the House of Burgesses, in Virginia, and to all other speakers of Assemblies in 
[North America, informing them of the proceedings of this House relating to the 
preservation of the rights of the colonies. 

Resolved, that a standing committee of correspondence and inquiry, to be ap- 
pointed, to consist of seven persons, to wit : the Honorable Stephen Hopkins, Esq., 
Metcalfe Bowler, Moses Brown, John Cole, William Bradford, Henry Marchant 
and Henry Ward, Esqs. ; any four of whom, to be a committee, whose business it 
shall be, to obtain the most early and authentic intelligence of all such acts and reso- 
lutions of the British Parliament, or proceedings of the administration as may relate 
to, or affect the British colonies, in America ; and to keep and maintain a corres- 
pondence and communication with the other colonies, respecting those important 
considerations ; and the result of their proceedings, from time to time, to lay before 
this House. 



/. Wentworth, of New Hampshire, to the Speaker of the House 
of Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, ^ 
27th May, 1773. | 

Sir : — Having received a letter from the committee of the House of Burgesses, of 
Virginia, enclosing their resolves of the 1 2th of March last, a few days before the 
receipt of yours, of the 15th May inst. ; which resolves, the House have duly consid- 
ered, and agree in substance with them ; and you may be assured, that this House 
wiU readily concur with you, and all the American colonies, in all constitutional 
measures, to obtain the desired redress. 

In behalf of the House, I pray the favor of a copy of the commission of inquiry 
whenever obtained. I have the honor to be, &c., &c., 

J. WENTWORTH. 
To the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Rhode Island. 

Resolutions of the House of Representatives of New Hampshire, 
relative to certain Resolutions of the Colonies of Virginia and 
Rhode Island. 

In the House of Representatives, ^ 
May 27th, 1773. } 

ProTince of New Hampshire : 

Resolved and voted, that a standing committee of correspondence and inquiry, be 
appointed, to consist of seven persons, viz. : the Hon. John Wentworth, Esq., John 
Sherburne, William Parker, John Giddinge, Jacob Sheape, Christopher Toppan 
and John Pickering, Esqs., any four of Avhom, to be a committee, whose business it 
shall be, to obtain the most early and authentic intelligence of all such acts and 
resolutions of the British Parliament, or proceedings of the administration, as may 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 229 

relate to, or affect the British colonies, in America ; and to keep up and maintain a 
correspondence and communication with our sister colonies, respecting these impor- 
tant considerations ; and the result of such their proceedings from time to time to 
lay before this House. Attest : WILLIAM PARKER, Clerk. 

Extracted from the journal of the House of RcpresentatiY( 
of the Province of New Hampshire. 



"} 



Extract from the proceedings of the House of Representatives 

of Massachusetts. 

In the House of Representatives, ■> 
May 28th, 1773. j" 

Whereas, the speaker hath communicated to this House a letter from the truly 
respectable House of Burgesses, in His Majesty's ancient colony of Virginia, enclos- 
ing a copy of the resolves entered into by them on the 1 2th of March last^ and re- 
questing that a committee of this House may be appointed, to communicate from 
time to time, with a corresponding committee then appointed by the said House of 
Burgesses, of Virginia. 

And whereas, this House is fully sensible of the necessity and importance of an 
union of the^several colonies in America, at a time when it clearly appears that the 
rights and liberties of all are systematically invaded, in order that the joint wisdom 
of the whole may be employed in consulting their common safety, — 

Resolved, that this House have a very grateful sense of the obligations they are 
under to the House of Burgesses, in Virginia, for the vigilance, firmness and wisdom, 
which they have discovered at all times in support of the rights and liberties of the 
American colonies ; and do heartily concur with them in their said judicious and 
spirited resolves. 

Resolved, that a standing committee of correspondence and inquiry, be appointed^ 
to consist of fifteen members, any eight of whom, to be a quorum ; whose business it 
shall be, to obtain the most early and authentic intelligence of all such acts and 
resolutions of the British Parliament, or proceedings of the administration, as may 
relate to, or affect the British colonies in America ; and to keep up and maintain a 
correspondence and communication with our sister colonies, respecting these im- 
portant considerations ; and the result of such their proceedings, from time to time, 
to lay before the House. 

Resolved, that it be an instruction to the said committee, that they do, without de- 
lay, inform themselves particularly of the principles and authority on which was 
constituted a court of inquiry, held in Rhode Island ; said to be vested with powers 
to transport persons accused of offences committed in America, to places beyond the 
seas, to be tried. 

Resolved, that the said committee be further instructed to prepare and report to this 
House, a draft of a very respectful answer to the letters received from the speaker 
of the honorable House of Burgesses, of Virginia, and tho speaker of the Honorable 
House of Representatives of the colony of Rhode Island ; also, a circular letter to the 
speakers of the several other Houses of Assemblies, on this continent, enclosing the 
aforesaid resolves ; and requesting them to lay the same before their respective As- 



230 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

semblies, in confidence that they Tvill readily and cheerfully comply with the wise 
and salutary resolves of the House of Burgesses, of Virginia. 

Then the House immediately made choice of the following gentlemen, to be the 
committee of correspondence and communication with the other colonies, viz. : 

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Samuel Adams, Hon. John Hancock, Esq., Mr. William Phil- 
lips, Capt. William Heath, Hon. Joseph Hawley, Esq., Hon. James Warren, Esq., 
Richard Derby, Jr., Esq., Mr. Elbridge Gerry, Jerathmeel Bowers, Esq., Jedediah 
Foster, Esq., Daniel Leonard, Esq., Capt. Thomas Gardner, Capt. Jonathan Green- 
leaf and James Prescott, Esq. 

A true copy: SAJVI'L ADAJVIS, Clerk. 

John Cruger, of New York, to the Speaker of the House of Rep- 
resentatives, of Rhode Island, 

New York, May 29, 1773. 
Sir : — I had the honor, this day, to receive your letter, directed to the speaker of 
the House of Representatives of this province, together with the resolves entered into 
by the honorable House of Deputies of Rhode Island, which shall be laid before the 
General Assembly of this colony, so soon as they are convened ; which will not be, 
before the latter end of this, or the beginning of the next year, unless they are called 
on some extraordinary occasion. 

I am, with great respect, &c., &c., JOHN CRUGER. 

To the Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, Esq. 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Massachu- 
setts, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Rhode 
Island. 

Province of the Massachusetts Bay, ^ 
June 3, 1773. J 

Sir : — The House of Representatives, of this province, being earnestly attentive to 
the controversy between Great Britain and the colonies ; and considering that the 
authority claimed and exercised by Parhament, on the one side ; and by the Gen- 
eral Assemblies of this continent, on the other, greatly miUtates, and so is productive 
of this unhappy contention ; think it of the utmost importance to the welfare of both 
and particularly of the colonies, that the constitutional rights and powers of each, be 
inquired into, delineated and fully ascertained. 

That His Majesty's subjects of America, are entitled to the same rights and lib- 
erties, as those of Great Britain ; and that these ought, in justice by the constitution, 
to be as well guaranteed and secured to the one as to the other, are truths too appa- 
rent to be denied. 

It is by this House, humbly conceived to be likewise undeniable, that the authority as- 
sumed and now forcibly exercised by Parliament over the colonies, is utterly subver- 
sive offreedom in the latter ; and that while His Majesty's loyal subjects in Ameri- 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 231 

ca, have the mortification daily to see new abridgments of their rights and Hberties, 
they have notthe least security for those which at present remain. 

Were the colonists only affected by a legislature, subject to their control, they 
•would even then have no other security than belongs to them by the laws of nature 
and the English constitution ; but, should the authority now claimed by Parliament, 
be fiilly supported by power, or submitted to by the colonies, it appears to this 
House, that there will be an end to hberty in America, and that the colonists will 
then change the name of freemen, for that of slaves. 

The magnanimous House of Burgesses, of Virginia, having, in order to adjust and 
settle these important concerns, proposed a method for uniting the councils of its 
sister colonies, which appears to this House, to be a measure very wise and salutary. 

It has, for many years, been the policy of the administration, to disunite, in order 
to govern the colonies ; and this House is well assured, that had the firm and lasting 
union now in prospect, taken jilace early in the controversy, Great Britain and the 
colonies would at this day have harmonized most happily together. 

The same effects are yet to be expected from such a union. It was, therefore, 
with inexpressible pleasure, that this House received your letter, and the resolves 
of the patriotic House of Deputies, of the colony of Rhode Island, corresponding 
with those of Virginia. And the first business of the House in this session, was to 
pass the enclosed resolves. 

In the name, and by order of the House, I have the honor, &c., &c., 

THOMAS GUSHING, 

To the Speaker of the Honorable House of Representatives ) Speaker, 

of the colony of Rhode Island. j 

Ebenezer Silliman, of Connecticut, to the Speaker of the House 
of Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

Fairfield, in Connecticut, 25th June, 1773. 

Sir : — I have received the commands of the House of Representatives, of this 
colony, to acknowledge the receipt of your favor, of the 15th of May last, which I 
received while the Assembly of this colony was sitting. 

I without delay communicated it to the House, who had before received dispatches 
from the speaker and committee of the House of Burgesses, in Virginia, and had 
taken the subject matter thereof, into consideration, and came into a complete con- 
currence with the sentiments of that patriotic House ; and fully adopted the mea- 
sures by them proposed. 

In consequence whereof, the House of Representatives of this colony made sundry 
resolves, and appointed a committee of correspondence to keep up and maintain a 
strict and happy union with our sister colonies ; and constantly to correspond, 
touching any thing that may affect the general interests of the British colonies on 
the continent. 

I am conunanded to transmit a copy of said resolves to you, which I here enclose; 
and in the name and behalf of said House, request you to improve the earliest op- 
portunity to lay them before the House of Representatives of the colony of Rhode 
Island. I have the honor to be, &c., &c., 

EBENEZER SILLIMAN, 

To the Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives, } 
of the colony of Rhode Island. ^ 



232 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 



Proceedings, ^-c, in the Commons House of Assembly, of South 
Carolina. 



In the Commons House of Assembly, ■» 
tbeSthof July, 1773. | 

South Carolina. 

Mr. Speaker reported to the House, that he had received a letter from the speaker 
of the Honorable House of Burgesses, of Virginia, enclosing several resolutions of 
that House ; and the said resolutions being read, were unanimously approved of, by 
the House. 

Kesolved, that Mr. Speaker, and any eight of the other members of the standing 
committee of correspondence, be a committee, to inquire for, and obtain intelligence 
upon the several matters mentioned in the said resolutions ; and to correspond with 
the committee appointed by the said House of Burgesses, and committees appointed, 
or to be appointed, in our other sister colonies, respecting the same. 

Resolved, that Mr. Speaker do transmit the thanks of this House, to the speaker 
and members of the said House of Burgesses, of Virginia, for communicating the said 
resolutions to this House, as well as for their steady attention to the general interests 
of America. 

Mr. Speaker also reported to the House, that he had received a letter from the 
committee mentioned in the resolutions of the House of Burgesses, of Virginia, en- 
closing him a copy of an act of the General Assembly, of Virginia, to prevent the 
counterfeiting the paper money of other colonies. And the said letter and act being 
read to the House, — 

Ordered, that leave be given to bring in a bill, to prevent the counterfeiting the 
^paper money of other colonies. And it is referred to Mr. Eutledge, Capt. Gadsden 
.and Col. Pinckney, to prepare and bring in the said bill. 

A true copy from the journal : THOS. FARR, JR., Clerk. 

Raw. Lowndes, of South Carolina, to Metcalfe Bowler, of 
Rhode Island. 

Charleston, South CaroHna, ^ 
22d July, 1773. ^ 

.Sir : — I am to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of the 15th day of May last, 
enclosing a copy of the resolves of your House of Deputies, of the 7th of the same 
month, respecting the measures proposed by the House of Bui gesses, of Virginia. 

You may assure yourself, sir, that I shall take the first opportunity, after our 
House meets, which stands prorogued to the 9th of next month, to lay your letter, 
before them. 

The resolutions of the House [of Burgesses] of Virginia, have been transmitted' 
here, and our House have adopted the wise expedient recommended by that truly 
respectable senate. I take the'hberty to enclose you an extract from our journals 
of what we have done, relative to that matter ; and also, to the proposition for pre- 
venting fthe counterfeiting the paper money of other colonies. 

As a close and firm union of the colonies is most certainly necessary for the gen- 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 233 

eral welfare, so ought the general endeavors of the whole to be exerted in averting 
the dangers threatened to any part. The novel, unconstitutional court of inquiry, 
set up in your province, is truly alarming ; and requires the united etForts of the 
colonies to prevent its baneful etfects and influence. 

You will do an acceptable service to our House, if you will be pleased to furnish 
me (if practicable) with a copy of the commission and instructions, by which the 
judges are to be governed in the exercise of the most extravagant powers they are 
said to be vested with ; and of their proceedings in consequence thereof 

I have the honor to be, &c., &c., 

RAW. LOWNDES. 

The Hon. Met<j^lfe Bowler, Esq. 



The Governor of Rhode Island to Lord Dartmouth. 

Providence, Rhode Island, Aug. 20, 1773. 

My Lord : — I am requested by the General Assembly of this colony, to transmit 
to Your Lordship the enclosed copy of a petition preferred to them by a very con- 
siderable number of respectable inhabitants, concerning the fishery, at, and within, 
the River St. Lawrence, a matter of public utihty and general concern. 

Permit me. My Lord, to inform Your Lordship, that for several years past, the fish- 
ermen from this colony have erected, at their own cost, and improved certain houses, 
buildings and stakes upon most or all of the places mentioned in the petition referred 
to ; of which some of the inhabitants of His Majesty's province of Canada, the spring 
past, forcibly took possession, and the same detained against right, until awed by 
numbers. 

I am also requested to desire Your Lordship will please to communicate the subject 
matter of that petition to His Majesty, that his royal pleasure therein, may be known ; 
and humbly to entreat His Majesty, in behalf of the poor fishermen, from this, his 
loyal colony, that they may uninterruptedly prosecute their business, as well at the 
several places in the said petition specified, as elsewhere within the Gulf of St. Law- 
rence ; provided they conduct themselves inoifensively toward others. 

I am, My Lord, &c., &c., 



JOSEPH WANTON. 



To the Right Honorable the Earl of Dartmouth. 



Proceedings, ^c, in the Commons House of Assemblijy of 
Georgia. 

Commons House of Assembly, -\ 
Friday, the 10th September, 1773. | 
Georgia. 

Mr. Speaker laid before the House, two letters that he had received from the 
speaker of the House of Burgesses, of Virginia ; and also, of the House of Deputies^ 
of Rhode Island, enclosing resolutions of their respective Houses ; and abo, the copy 
of an act to prevent counterfeiting the paper currency of other colonies ; Avhich said 
resolutions being severally read, were unanimously approved of 

Resolved, nem con, that Mr. Speaker, and any five of the committee of correspond- 

VOL. VII. 30 



234 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

ence, be a committee to inquire for, and obtain, the earliest intelligence of the many 
important matters contained in the said several resolutions ; and that they likewisa 
do, from time to time, correspond with the respective committees that now are, or. 
may be, appointed by the houses of representatives, on this continent. 

Resolved, nem con, that the thanks of this House be transmitted to the honorable 
the speaker, and members of the House of Burgesses, of Virginia; and also, the 
honorable the speaker and members of the House of Deputies, of Rhode Island, for 
communicating their intentions firmly to support the rights and privileges of His 
Majesty's faithful and loyal subjects in America ; and also, to the Honorable Peyton 
Randolph, Esq., Robert Carter Nicholas and Dudley Digge, Esqs., for transmitting 
to this House a copy of the above mentioned act. ^ 

A true copy, taken from the original journals, and examined by — 

RICHARD CUNNINGHAISI CROOKE, Clerk. 

To the speaker of the House of Representatives of Rhode Island. 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Fennsylvania, 
to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Rhode 
Island. 

PhiladeljAia, September 25th, 1773. 
Sir: — I embraced the earUest opportunity, to communicate your favor of the 19th 
of March, with the resolves of the House of Burgesses, of the colony of Virginia, to 
the Assembly of this province ; and I have it in command from them, to assure your 
honorable House, that they esteem it a matter of the greatest importance, to co- 
operate with the representatives of the other colonies, in every wise and prudent 
measure whicli may be proposed for the preservation and security of their general 
rights and liberties ; and that it is highly expedient and necessary a correspondence 
should be maintained between the Assemblies of the several colonies. 

But, as the present Assembly must in a few days be dissolved by virtue of the 
charter of the provif ,'e, and any measures they might adopt at this time, be ren- 
dered, by the dissolution, ineffectual, they have earnestly recommended the subject 
matter of the letter and resolves of the House of Burgesses, of Virginia, to the consid- 
eration of the succeeding Assembly. 

In the name, and by order of the House, 

I have the honor to be, &c., &c., 

JOSEPH GALLOWAY, 

Speaker. 
To the Honorable the Speaker of the House of Deputies, ) 
of the colony of Rhode Island. j 

Proceedings, ^-c, of the Lower House of Assembly, of Maryland. 

By the Lower House of Assembly, ) 
Friday, October 15th, 1773. 1 
The order of the day being read, the House took into consideration the 
several letters, and other papers, communicated to this House by the honorable 
speaker, and addressed to him, by the honorable the speakers of the several colonies 
of Virginia, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut and Rhode Island ; and — 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 235 

Eesolved unanimously, that this House most cordially accept the invitation to a 
mutual correspondence and intercourse with our sister colonies. 

Resolved, unanimously, that a standing committee of correspondence and inquiry, 
be apppointed, to consist of eleven persons, to wit : the Honorable Matthew Tilgh- 
man, Esq., speaker ; .Tohn Hall, Thomas Johnson, William Paca, Samuel Chase, 
Edward Lloyd, Matthias Hammond, Josias Beall, James Lloyd Chamberlaine, Brice 
Thomas, Beale Worthington and Joseph Sim, Esqs. ; any five of whom, to be a com- 
mittee, whose business it shall be, to obtain the most early and authentic intelligence 
of all such acts and resolutions of the British Parliament, or proceedings of the ad- 
ministration as may relate to, or affect the British colonies, in America ; and to keep 
up and maintain a correspondence and communication with our sister colonies, re- 
specting these important considerations ; and the result of such their proceedings, 
from time to time, to lay before this House. 

Resolved, unanimously, that the speaker of this House transmit to the speakers of 
the different Assemblies of the British colonies, on this continent, copies of the 
above resolutions. JNO. DUCKETT, 

Clerk of the Lower House. 

Extracted from the journal of the Lower House of Assembly, ^ 
of the Province of Maryland. I 

Proceedings, ^x. , in the House of Representatives, of Delaware. 

Counties on Delaware, in the House of Representatives, ) 
Saturday, October 23d, 1773. A. M. J 

On motion of ]\Ir. Read, — 

Ordered, that the several letters, from the respective speakers of the House of Bur- 
gesses, in the colony of Virginia ; the House of Deputies, in the colony of Rhode Island ; 
and the House of Representatives, in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay ; with 
the several resolves enclosed, be read the second time ; which was done, accordingly. 

And the House, taking the same into consideration, resolved itself into a grand 
committee of the whole House. • 

The speaker left the chair. 

]\Ir. M'Kean took the chair of the committee. 

Mr. Speaker resumed the chair. 

Mr. M'Kean reported from the committee, that they had directed him to make 
the following report to the House, viz. : 

Whereas, the speaker of the late Assembly, presented to the House, several 
letters, which he received during the recess of the House ; one, from the truly 
patriotic House of Burgesses, of His Majesty's ancient dominion of Virginia, enclos- 
ing a copy of certain resolutions entered into by them, on the 12th of March last . 
one, from the honorable House of Deputies, of the colony of Rhode Island and 
Providence Plantations, enclosing certain resolutions entered into by them, on 
the 7th of May last ; and one, from the free and spirited House of Representa- 
tives, of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, enclosing certain resolutions, 
entered into by them, on the 28th of May last; and requesting that a committee of 
this House may be appointed, to communicate, from time to time, with the corres- 
ponding committees, appointed by the said Assemblies, and named in the said respec- 
tive resolves. 

And, whereas, this House is of opinion, that the measures adopted by the aforesaid 



236 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1773. 

Assemblies, and proposed to this, are very salutary, and bighly necessary at this 
time, when the rights and liberties of all appear to be systematically invaded. 

Resolved, that this House have a very grateful sense of the obligations they are 
under to the House of Burgesses, in Virginia, for the vigilance, firmness and wis- 
dom, which they have discovered at all times, in support of the rights and Hberties 
of the American colonies; and do heartily concur with them in their said judicious 
and spirited resolves. 

Resolved, that a standing committee of correspondence and inquiry, be appointed, 
to consist of five members, any three of whom, to be a quorum ; whose business it 
shall be, to obtain the most early and authentic intelligence of all such acts and 
resolutions of the Bi'itish Parliament, or pi-oceedings of the administration, as may 
relate to, or affect the British colonies in America ; and to keep up and maintain a 
correspondence and communication with our sister colonies, respecting these Im- 
portant considerations ; and the result of such their proceedings, from time to time, 
to lay before the House. 

Resolved, that it be an Instruction to the said committee, that they do, without de- 
lay, inform themselves particularly of the principles and authority on Avhich was 
constituted a court of Inquiry, held In Rhode Island ; said to be vested with powers 
to transport persons accused of offences committed In America, to places beyond the 
seas, to be tried. 

Resolved, that the said committee be further Instructed to prepare and report 
to this House, drafts of very respectful answers to the letters above mentioned ; 
also, a circular letter to the speakers of the several other Houses of Assembly, on 
this continent, enclosing the aforesaid resolves ; and requesting them to lay the same 
before their respective Assemblies, In confidence that they will readily and cheer- 
fully comply with the well-concerted and wise resolves of the House of Burgesses, 
in Virginia. 

To which said resolves, the House agreed, nemine contrmliccnte. 

Then the House Immediately made choice of the following gentlemen to be the 
committee of correspondence and communication with the other colonies, viz. : 

Mr. Speaker, George Read, Thomas JM'Kean, John ]M'KInly and Thomas Robln^ 
son, Esqs. 

I do hereby certify, that the above and foregoing, is a true copy of the minutes of 
Assembly. DAVID THOMPSON, 

Clerk Ibid. 



Cccsar Rodney, Speaker of the House of Representatives, of 
Delaware, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of 
Rhode Island. 

Newcastle, on Delaware, October 25th, 1773.. 
Sir : — I am ordered by the House of Representatives, of this government, to ac^ 
knowledge the receipt of your letter of the lath of May last, addressed to the 
speaker of the late Assembly here, enclosing a copy of the resolves, entered into by 
the House of Deputies, of your colony; and to inform you, that the same were laid 
before this House, the first time they met, after receiving them. 



1773.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 237 

And I now have tlie pleasure of transmitting to yon, a copy of their minutes and 
proceedings on this occasion : which are so expressive of their sentiments of the 
measures adopted and recommended by your House, that nothing need be added 
thereto. 

In the name, and by the order of the House, 

I am, with the greatest respect, &c., &c., 

CiESAR RODNEY, Speaker. 
To the Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives, ] 
of the colony of Rhode Island. i 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Georgia, to the 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

Savannah, in Georgia, 20th November, 1773. 
Sir : — Your esteemed favor, enclosing several resolutions of the House of Depu- 
ties, of the colony of Rhode Island, has duly come to hand ; and I took an opportu- 
nity of laying them before the Commons House of Assembly, of this province, who 
immediately entered into some ; of which, I have the pleasure, by order of the 
House, to enclose you a copy. 

By them, you will see that the representatives of the people are not backward in 
any thing that may have a tendency to promote the general welfare of America ; a 
the same, to testify their abhorrence of measures that strike ultimately at the de- 
struction of our liberties and privileges. 

I have the honor to be, sir, &c., &c., 

WILLIAM YOUNG. 
To the Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, Esq. 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Georgia, to tha 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

Savannah, in Georgia, 20th November, 1773. 
Sir : — I have the honor to transmit the thanks of the Commons House of Assem- 
bly, of this province, to you, sir, and the other members of the House of Deputies, of 
Rhode Island, for communicating your intentions firmly to support the rights and 
liberties of America. I am, respectfully, sir, &c., &c., 

WILLIAM YOUNG. 
To the Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, Esq. 

The Speaker of the House of Delegates, of Maryland, to the 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

Maryland, December G, 1773. 
Sir : — Having received your letter of the 15th May last, together with the resolu-. 
lions of your House of Deputies, I took the earliest opportunity of laying them be- 
fore the House of Delegates, of this province ; who, sensible of the great utihty of a 



238 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1773. 

perfect union amongst tlie colonies, most readily concurred in the measure proposed 
by the House of Burgesses, of Virginia ; and came to the resolutions I have now the 
honor to enclose, and which I have it in command to transmit to you ; requesting 
you will lay them before your House of Deputies, at their next meeting. 

I am, sir, with great respect, &c., &c., 

MAT. TILGHMAN. 
To the Speaker of the House of Deputies, of Rhode Island. 

Proceedings, SfC, of the House of Representatives of North 
Carolina. 

In the Assembly, 18th December, 1773. 
North Carolina. 

Upon the speaker's communicating to this House, a letter from the truly patriotic 
House of Burgesses, of His Majesty's ancient dominion of A^irginia, enclosing a 
copy of certain resolves entered into by them, upon the 12th of March last, and re- 
questing that this House would appoint a committee, to communicate from time 
to time, with a corresponding committee by them then appointed ; and also letters 
from several of our sister colonies, expressing the high approbation of, and concur- 
rence with so salutary a measure ; this House — 

Resolve, that the vigilance which the honorable House of Burgesses, of Virginia, 
have displayed in attending to every encroachment upon the rights and liberties of 
America, and the wisdom and vigor with which they have always opposed such en- 
croachments, are worthy the imitation and merit the gratitude of all their sister 
colonies ; and in no instance more particularly, than the measure proposed for ap- 
pointing corresponding committees in every colony, by which such harmony and 
communication will be established among them, that they Avill at all times be ready- 
to exert their united efforts, and most strenuous endeavors to preserve the just rights 
and hberties of the American colonies ; which appear of late, to be so systematically 
invaded, that we heartily concur with their spirited resolves. 

Resolved, that a standing committee of correspondence and inquiry, be ap- 
pointed, to consist of nine persons, to wit : Mr. Speaker, Mr. Howe, Mr. Harnell, 
Mr. Hooper, Mr. Caswell, Mr. Vail, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Hewes and Mr. Samuel John- 
ston, any five of whom, to be a committee, whose business it shall be, to obtain 
the most early and authentic intelligence of all such acts and resolutions of the 
British Parliament, or proceedings of the administration as may relate to, or affect 
the British colonies, in America ; and to keep and maintain a correspondence and 
communication with the other colonies, respecting those important considerations ; 
and the result of their proceedings, from time to time, to lay before this House. 

Resolved, that it be an instruction to said committee, that they do, without delay, 
inform themselves particularly of the principles and authority, on which Avas con- 
stituted a court of inquiry, said to have been lately held in Rhode Island, with 
powers to transport persons accused of oflences committed in America, to places be- 
yond the seas, to be tried. 

Resolved, that the speaker of this House write respectful answers to the letters 
above mentioned ; and also, a circular letter of thanks to the speakers of the several 
Houses of Assembly, who have so spiritedly adopted the patriotic resolutiojis and 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 239 

measures of the truly respectable House of Burgesses, of Virginia , and for their 
obliging communication thereof to this House, enclosing a copy of our proceedmgs 
and requesting them to lay the same before their respective Assemblies. 

By order: JAS. GREENJBIELK. 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, of North Carolina, 
to the Speaker of the House Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

North Carolina, December 2Cth, 1773. 
Sir : — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your much esteemed favor 
of the loth of May, accompanying the resolves of the House of Deputies, which I 
lost no time in laying before the House of Assembly, of this colony ; who very cheer- 
fully received and adopted them. 

I have it in command, to transmit you the resolutions entered into by our House, 
which you will herewith receive ; and am. 

With great respect and esteem, sir, &c., &c., 

JOHN HARVEY. 
To the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Rhode Island. 



Proceedings of the General Assemhly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, the 
first Wednesday of May, 1774. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

The following officers, declared elected, were duly engaged . 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

ASSISTANTS. 

Mr. John Collins, Mr. Thomas Wickes, 

Mr. Peleg Barker, Mr. Jonathan Randall, 

Mr. David Harris, Mr. John Congdon, 

Mr. John Sayles, Jr., Mr. William Potter, 

Mr. John Almy, Mr. William Richmond. 



240 



RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 





DEPUTIES. 




Newport. 




East Greenv;ich. 


Mr. Thomas Cranston, 


Mr. 


, Preserved Pearce, 


Mr. John Wanton, 


Mr, 


, William Pearce. 


Mr. George Hazard, 




Jamestown. 


Mr. John Bours, 


Mr. Edward Hull, 


Mr. John Read, 


Mr. 


Daniel Weeden, Jr. 


Mr. Thomas Freebody. 




SmithfieU. 


Providence. 


]Mr. 


Israel Wilkinson, 


Mr. Stephen Hopkins, 


i\Ir. 


William Winsor. 


Mr. John Jenckes, 




Scituate. 


Mr. John Smith, 


Mr. 


Ezekiel Cornell, 


Mr. John Matthewson. 


Mr. 


Rufus Hopkins. 


Portsmouth. 




Glocester. 


Mr. Metcalfe Bowler, 


Mr. 


Silas Williams, 


Mr. John Jepson, 


Mr. 


Chad Brown. 


Mr. Joseph Brownell, 




Charlestoion. 


Mr. John Shearman. 


Mr. 


Sylvester Robinson^ 


Warivick. 


Mr. 


Jesse Champlin. 


Mr. Benjamin Greene, 




West Greenwich- 


Air. William Greene, 


Mr. 


Benjamin Tillinghast, 


Mr. Jacob Greene, 


Mr. 


Thomas Gorton. 


Mr. John Low. 




Coventnj. 


Westerly. 


Mr. 


Israel Bowen, 


Mr. Joshua Babcock, 


Mr. 


Caleb Vaughan. 


]Mr. Stephen Saunders. 




Exeter. 


New Shoreham. 


Mr. 


George Pierce, 


Mr. John Sands, 


Mr. 


John Chapman. 


Mr. Walter Rathbun. 




Middletown. 


North Kingstown. 


Mr. 


Nicholas Easton, 


Mr. Peter Phillips, 


Mr. 


Isaac Smith. 


Mr. John Northup. 




Bristol. 


South Kingstown. 


Col. 


Simeon Potter, 


Mr. John Potter, 


Mr. 


William Bradford. 


Mr. Carder Hazard. 







1774.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 



241 



DEPUTIES. 


Tiverton. 


Cranston. 


Mr. Edward Gray, 


Mr. Joseph Rhodes, 


Capt. John Gooke. 


Mr. Thomas Potter. 


Little Compton. 


Hoplcinton. 


Mr. Thomas Ghurch, 


Mr. Thomas Wells, Jr., 


Mr. Daniel Wilbur. 


Mr. Jesse Maxson. 


Warre?i. 


Johnston. 


Mr. Sylvester Ghild, 


Mr. Edward Fenner, 


Mr. Nathan Miller. 


Mr. Jeduthun Belknap. 


Cumberla?td. 


North Providence. 


Mr. John Dexter, 


Gapt. Stephen Jenckes, 


Mr. Nathaniel Shepperdson. 


Mr. Thomas Olney. 


Richnmd. 


Barringlon. 


Mr. Robert Stanton, 


Mr. Nathaniel Martin, 


Mr. Galeb Barber. 


Mr. Thomas Allen. 



The Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, speaker ; Mr. Josias Lyndon, 
clerk. 

Mr. Henry Ward, secretary. 

Mr. Henry Marchant, attorney general. 

Mr. Joseph Glarke, general treasurer. 

Stephen Hopkins, Esq., chief justice of the superior court 
of judicature, court of assize and general jail delivery. 

SHERIFFS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Mr. Walter Chaloner. Providence county 
— Mr. Paul Tew. Kings county — Mr. Beriah Brown. Bris- 
tol county — Mr. John Brown. Kent county — Mr, Henry Rice. 



FIELD OFFICERS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Mr. Daniel Dunham, colonel ; Mr. Isaac 
Dayton, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. John Forrester, major. 

Providence county — Mr. James Angell, colonel ; Mr. Gha(^ 
Brown, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Jabez Bowen, major, 

VOL. VII. 31 



242 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

Kings county — Mr. Moses Barber, colonel ; Mr. James 
Babcock, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Jonathan Vaughan, major. 

Kent county — Mr. John Waterman, colonel ; Mr. John Low, 
lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Joseph Fry, major. 

Whereas, Mr. Abial Brown, of South Kingstown, preferred 
a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that on the 
6th instant, his house, and the principal part of his furniture, 
were accidentally consumed by fire ; by which misfortune, he,, 
■with his wife, and four small children, are reduced to a state 
of poverty and distress ; and thereupon, prayed this Assembly 
to grant him a lottery, for raising the sum of $500, in such 
and so many classes as the directors shall think best, to be ap- 
plied to his relief ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the foregoing 
petition, lie, and the same is hereby, granted, upon the usual 
conditions ; provided, that no charge accrue to the colony ; 
and that Messrs. Robert Potter, Abijah Brown and John Gard- 
ner (son of John), all of South Kingstown, be appointed directors 
of the said lottery. 

Whereas, a number of the inhabitants of East Greenwich, 
preferred a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that 
there is, at present, but one school house in the compact part 
of the said town ; and that another is necessary for the educa- 
tion of youth ; and thereupon prayed this Assembly, that a 
lottery may be granted, to raise the sum of :^G00, to be ap- 
plied towards the purchasing a lot, and building a public 
school house in the said town ; and that Preserved Pearce, 
Esq., Mr. Oliver Arnold and Mr. John Reynolds, all of East 
Greenwich ; and Silas Casey, Esq. and Mr. Isaac Tripp, Jr., 
both of Warwick, may be appointed directors of the said 
lottery ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the foregoing pe- 
tition be, and the same is hereby, granted, on the usual condi- 
tions ; provided, that no charge accrue to the colony, thereby. 

Whereas, Mr. GriCfm Greene, of Coventry, forge-master, 
preferred a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that. 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. , 243 

at the session of this Assembly, held in August, A. D. 1772, 
a lottery was granted, to raise the sum of $2,500, for repair- 
ing a loss sustained by the forge, in Coventry, aforesaid, being 
burnt ; that Messrs. William Greene, Christopher Greene and 
Charles Holdon, Jr., of Warwick, were appointed directors; 
that, in conformity thereto, two classes of said lottery have been 
drawn, for raising the sum of §500, only ; that the greatness 
of the plan, hath proved an insurmountable obstacle to its fur- 
ther progress ; that Messrs. Nathaniel Greene and Company, 
parties concerned, are willing to relinquish their interest in said 
lottery, with respect to any further gain ; and that he is, and 
hath been, a great sufferer, and stands in need of assistance ; 
and thereupon, the said Griffin Greene prayed this Assembly, 
that the mode of said lottery may be altered ; and that he may 
be permitted to raise the sum of $500, by one or more classes, 
under the direction of the above named directors ; they 
complying with the usual requisitions; on consideration 
whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the aforesaid pe- 
tition be, and the same is hereby, granted. 

It is voted and resolved, that the number of families and 
persons in this colony be taken ; specifying the number of 
whites, Indians and blacks, both male and female ; and ascer- 
taining the number above, and under, the age cf sixteen ; and 
that the persons whose names are set down in the subsequent 
list, be, and they are hereby, appointed to take the account in 
their respective towns, to wit : 

Persons appointed by the General Assembly, to make an Enu- 
meration of the Inhabitants of the Colony. 

Newport— Mr. Edward Thurston, Jr., South Kingstown — Mr. Nath'l Hawkins. 

William Coddington, Esq. East Greenwich — "William Pierce, Esq. 

Providence — James Angell, Esq. Jamestown — Benj. Underwood, Esq. 

Portsmouth — John Shearman, Esq. Sraithfield — Daniel Mowry, Jr., Esq. 

Warwick — Mr. Anthony Low. Scituate — Mr. Rufus Hopkins. 

Westerly — Joseph Crandall, Esq. Glocester — Zebedee Hopkins, Jr., Esq. 

New Shoreham — Mr. John Sands. Charlestown — i\Ir. Jonathan Hassard. 

North Kingstown — Peter Phillips, Esq. West Greenwich — Job Spencer, Es^- 



244 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

Coventry — Mr. Abel Bennett. Cumberland — John Dexter, Esq. 

Exeter — George Peirce, Esq. Richmond — Robert Stanton, Esq. 

Middletown — John Barker, Esq. Cranston — Thomas Potter, Esq. 

Bristol — Richard Smith, Esq. Hopkinton — Thomas Wells, Jr., Esq. 

Tiverton — Walter Cooke, Esq. Johnston — Edward Fenner, Esq. 

Little Compton — Thomas Church, Esq. North Providence — Hope Angell, Esq. 

Warren — William Turner IMiller, Esq. Barrington — Mr. Thomas Allen. 

It is farther voted and resolved, that, in case any of the 
above named persons shall refuse, or by any casualty be ren- 
dered unable to serve, then the deputies in the respective 
towns be, and they are hereby, empowered to appoint others 
in their stead. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that the secretary 
transmit, by express, as soon as possible, a copy hereof, to the 
persons above appointed ; and also, furnish each person with a 
proper roll, with ruled columns, to take the numbers ; and thafc 
the persons so appointed, make return thereof, to this Assem- 
bly, at the next session. 

It is voted and resolved, that the thanks of this Assembly be 
given to the Hon. Darius Sessions, Esq., Deputy Governor of 
this colony, for his spirited conduct in exerting his authority 
for the honor of the colony, in issuing a proclamation for appre- 
hending Daniel Willson, a criminal, under sentence of death, 
who had broken out of the jail in Providence. 

And that the sheriff of the county of Providence, present an 
account of the expenses and charges of apprehending the said 
Willson, to this Assembly, at the next session. 

God save the King. 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 245 



Proceedings cf the General Assembhj, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, on 
the second Monday in June, 1774. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

Whereas, Mr. Benjamin Greene, one of the owners of the 
iron works, in Coventry, called Greene's Iron Works, preferred 
a petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that a lottery 
was heretofore granted to the owners of the said iron works, to 
enable them to re-build them, alter they had been consumed 
by fire ; that the said owners have received but small benefit 
from the said lottery ; that the expense of re-building them, 
hath been very great, and particularly heavy upon him ; and 
that, as the said branch of business is exceedingly advantag- 
eous to the public, he is greatly encouraged to hope that a lot- 
tery, for his relief, will be soon filled ; and thereupon, the said 
Benjamin Greene prayed this Assembly to grant him a lottery, 
to raise the sum of $600, towards discharging the expenses of 
re-building the said iron works ; and that Capt. David Bray- 
ton, of Coventry ; Mr. Daniel Hall, of North Kingstown ; and 
Mr. John Greene, (son of David,) of Warwick, be appointed 
directors thereof ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the aforesaid 
petition be, and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual 
conditions and restrictions ; provided, no charge accrue to the 
colony, thereby. 

It is voted and resolved, that William Potter, Esq., be, and 
he is hereby, appointed to procure a new court house to be 
built, in the county of Kings county, upon the place where the 
old court house now stands, agreeably to the plan presented to 
this Assembly, by the committee, appointed for that purpose ; 



246 RECORDS OP THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

that he sell the old court house for what it will fetch, and ap- 
ply the money, arising from the sale thereof, towards building 
the new court house ; and that the said old house remain in 
the condition it is now in, until after the sitting of the superior 
court in April next. 

This Assembly taking into the most serious consideration, 
several acts of the Sritish Parliament, for levying taxes upon His 
Majesty's subjects, in America, without their consent, and par- 
ticularly an act lately passed, for blocking up the port of Boston ; 
which act, even upon the supposition that the people of Boston 
had justly deserved punishment, is scarcely to be paralleled in 
history, for the severity of the vengeance executed upon them ; 
and also considering to what a deplorable state this, and all the 
other colonies are reduced, when, by an act of Parliament, in 
which the subjects in America have not a single voice, and 
without being heard, they may be divested of property, and 
deprived of liberty ; do, upon mature deliberation, — 

Resolve, 1st. That it is the opinion of this Assembly, that 
a firm and inviolable union of all the colonies, in councils and 
measures, is absolutely necessary for the preservation of their 
rights and liberties ; and that, for that purpose, a convention 
of representatives, from all the colonies, ought to be holden, in 
some suitable place, as soon as may be, in order to consult up- 
on proper measures to obtain a repeal of the said acts ; and to 
establish the rights and liberties of the colonies, upon a just 
and solid foundation. 

2d. That the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, and the Hon. Samuel 
Ward, Esqs., be, and they are hereby, appointed by this As- 
sembly, to represent the people of this colony, in a general 
congress of representatives, from the other colonies, at such 
time and place, as shall be agreed upon by the major part of 
the committees appointed, or to be appointed, by the colonies 
in general. 

3d. That they consult and advise with the representatives 
of the other colonies, who shall meet in such congress, upon a 
loyal and dutiful petition, and remonstrance, to be presented to 
His Majesty, as the united voice of his faithful subjects in 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 247 

America, setting forth the grievances they labor under, and 
praying hi.s gracious interposition for their relief ; and that in 
case a major part of the representatives of all the colonies shall 
agree upon such petition and remonstrance, they be empowered 
to sign the same, in behalf of this colony. 

4th. That they also consult and advise upon all such rea- 
sonable and lawful measures, as may be expedient for the 
colonies, in an united manner, to pursue, in order to procure a 
redress of their grievances ; and to ascertain and establish 
their rights and liberties. 

5th. That that they also endeavor to procure a regular, an- 
nual convention of representatives from all the colonies, to con- 
sider of proper means for the preservation of the rights and lib- 
erties of the colonies. 

6th. That the speaker of the lower house transmit, as soon 
as may be, copies of these resolutions, to the present or late 
speakers of the respective houses of representatives of all the 
British colonies upon the continent. 

An Act establishing an independent company, by the name of 
The Light Infantry, for the county of Providence. 

[Here follows the charter.] 

At the request of the persons formed into a company, by the 
name of The Light Infantry, for the county of Providence, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the following persons be, and 
hereby are, appointed the first commissioned officers for the 
said company, to wit : 

John Matthewson, captain ; Jonathan Ellis, first lieutenant ; 
Thomas Truman, second lieutenant ; Asa Franklin, ensign. 

Whereas, a number of the inhabitants of towns of Warwick 
and Cranston, preferred a petition, and represented unto this 
Assembly, that they have built a meeting house for the church 
and congregation of the Baptist denomination, at Pawtuxet ; 
and that there is still wanting, in the said place, a parsonage house 
<and lot, for the settlement and dwelling of the minister of the 



248 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

said congregation ; and therefore prayed this Assembly to 
grant a lottery, for raising the sum of £300, lawful money, 
for the purpose of purchasing a parsonage lot, and building a 
parsonage house, to be, and remain, forever hereafter, to and 
for the use of the minister of the said congregation, at said 
Pawtuxet ; and that Anthony Aborn, Esq. and Mr. Nehemiah 
Rhodes, both of Cranston, aforesaid ; and Robert Rhodes, 
Esq. and Mr. Benj. Arnold, both of Warwick, aforesaid, may 
be appointed directors of the said lottery, to raise the said sum 
of money, for the purpose aforesaid, as soon as conveniently 
may be ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the said petition 
be, and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual condi- 
tions and restrictions ; provided, that no charge accrue to the 
colony, thereby. 

Whereas, the General Assembly, at their session held in Au- 
gust, A. D. 1773, passed an act, entitled "An act making it 
lawful to break down and blow up the rocks at Pawtucket 
Falls, to let fish pass up ;" through a misunderstanding of 
which act, many disadvantages have happened, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that the Hon. Stephen 
Hopkins and the Hon. Darius Sessions, Esqs., and Mr. Moses 
Brown, be, and they are hereby, appointed a committee, with 
power to see the said act truly executed ; and that no rocks 
be blown up, nor any thing done, by virtue of said act, but 
by the direction or permission of the said committee, or any 
two of them. 

Whereas, Messrs. Nicholas Brown, Joseph Brown, John 
Brown, Benjamin Thurber, Daniel Cahoone, Daniel Tilling- 
hast, Edward Thurber, William Russell, Nathaniel Wheaton, 
Christopher Sheldon, Ephraim Wheaton and John Jenckes, the 
committee of the Baptist or Anti-Pedobaptist society, in the 
tow^n of Providence, did, in behalf of said society, prefer a pe- 
tition, and represent unto this Assembly, that the said society 
hath purchased a convenient lot, to build a meeting house up- 
on, for the public worship of Almighty God, and holding the 
ublic commencements in ; and that the purchase of the said 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 249 

lot, together with the bnikVing a proper house for the purposes, 
aforesaid, will be attended with very great expense ; and 
thereupon prayed that a lottery may be granted, to raise the 
sum of o£2,000, to enable the said society to carry their pious 
designs into execution ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the said petition 
be, and the same is hereby, granted under the usual restric- 
tions and conditions ; provided, that no charge accrue to the 
colony, thereby ; and that the first class of the said lottery 
be not drawn until the 1st day of October next. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that Messrs. Nicholas 
Brown, John Jenckes, Benjamin Thurber, Daniel Tillinghast, 
William Russell, Edward Thurber, Nathaniel Wheaton, James 
Arnold, William Holroyd and Nicholas Power, be, and they 
are hereby, appointed directors of the said lottery. 

Y/hereas, a certain act of the British Parliament, for stop- 
ping up the harbor of Boston, is now in its full operation, to the 
great distress of that town in particular, and of the Province 
of the Massachusetts Bay, in general. 

And whereas, it nppears to this Assembly, that the said act 
is in direct violation of the rights and liberties of that people ; 
and, as such, is truly alarming to every colony upon the con- 
tinent of British America, with a sense whereof, this Assem- 
bly is deeply impressed. 

And whereas, the Supreme Being, upon account of our mani- 
fold sins, may have permitted the present invasions of Ameri- 
can liberty, and every public evil with which we are threat- 
ened, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that Thursday, the 30th 
day of this instant June, be set apart as a day of public fast- 
ing, prayer and supplication, throughout this colony, to be- 
seech Almighty God to grant us sincere repentance ; to avert 
every threatened judgment from us, and restore us to the full 
enjoyment of our rights and privileges ; and, in particular, 
that he would appear for the relief and recovery of the town 
of Boston, from their present distressed situation ; and that 

VOL. VII. 32 



250' RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

His Honor the Governor, be, and he is hereby, requested to 
issue a prochimation accordingly, recommending a decent and 
due observance thereof, by all public religious societies, as well 
as individuals. 

It is voted and resolved, that this Assembly hath a tender 
commisseration for the poor in Boston, and will, at a future 
session, cheerfully assist towards their support, as their neces- 
ities may require, and the abilities of the colony afford. 

Whereas, Gideon Almy, of Tiverton, in the county of New- 
port, trader, preferred a petition, and represented unto this 
Assembly, that the last fall he laid out every shilling he was 
worth in fitting out two-third parts of the sloop Sally, on a 
whaling voyage ; that the said sloop, meeting with success, 
had got on board one hundred and twenty barrels of oil, by the 
latter end of January last ; and that the said sloop being 
obliged, in a gale of wind, to come to an anchor under Ilis- 
paniola, was seized by a French frigate, carried into Port-au- 
Prince, and there, with her whole cargo, condemned as a law- 
ful prize ; by which misfortune, he hath totally lost upwards 
of $2,000, being the whole what he was worth, and had 
scraped together, by his unwearied diligence and industry, and 
is deprived of the means of putting himself into any way of 
business, to support a wife and seven children. 

And thereupon, the said Gideon Almy prayed this Assembly 
to grant him a lottery, under the direction of Messrs. Edward 
Gray, Joseph Wanton, Jr., John Cooke and Isaac Corey, for 
raising the sum of $1,200, to help him forward in business 
again ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the aforesaid pe- 
tition be, and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual 
conditions and restrictions ; provided, that no charge accrue to 
the colony, thereby. 

It is voted and resolved, that the attorney general, Mr. John 
Read and Mr. Thomas Freebody, be, and they are hereby, ap- 
pointed a committee, to prepare a bill to prevent the introduc- 
ing and passing, false copper money in this colony ; and that they 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 251 

present the same to this General Assembly, as soon as con- 
veniently may be. 

It is voted and resolved, that William Potter, Esq., be, and 
he is hereby, directed to advertise in the public prints, in this 
colony, the dimensions of the court-house, to be built in the 
county of Kings county, and the manner in which it is to be 
built, and finished ; and request the house carpenters in the 
colony to send in to him their proposals for building the same, 
in writing, sealed up. 

That he contract by the great, with such carpenter or car- 
penters, as shall appear skillful, and will undertake the busi- 
ness upon the best terms. 

That he do the same, with regard to masons, and other 
workmen. 

And that the said William Potter be, and he is hereby, em- 
powered to draw out of the general treasury, the sum of £300, 
lawful money, towards carrying on the said building. 

An Act prohibiting the importation of Negroes into this Colony. 

Whereas, the inhabitants of America are generally engaged 
in the preservation of their own rights and liberties, among 
which, that of personal freedom must be considered as the 
greatest ; as those who are desirous of enjoying all the advan- 
tages of liberty themselves, should be willing to extend per- 
sonal liberty to others ; — 

Therefore, be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by 
the authority thereof it is enacted, that for the future, no negro 
or mulatto slave shall be brought into this colony ; and in case 
any slave shall hereafter be brought in, he or she shall be, and 
are hereby, rendered immediately free, so far as respects per- 
sonal freedom, and the enjoyment of private property, in the 
same manner as the native Indians. 

Provided, nevertheless, that this law shall not extend to ser- 
vants of persons travelling through this colony, who are not in- 
habitants thereof, and who carry them out with them, when 
they leave the same. 

Provided, also, that nothing in this act shall extend, or be 



252 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

deemed to extend, to any negro or mulatto slave, belonging to 
any inhabitant of cither of the British colonies, islands or plan- 
tations, who shall come into this colony, "with an intention to 
settle or reside, for a number of years, therein ; but such ne- 
gro or mulatto, so brought into this colony, by such person in- 
clining to settle or reside therein, shall be, and remain, in the 
same situation, and subject in like manner to their master or 
mistress, as they were in the colony or plantation from Vvdience 
they removed. 

Provided, nevertheless, that if any person, so coming into 
this colony, to settle or reside, as aforesaid, shall afterwards 
remove out of the same, such person shall be obliged to carry 
all such negro or mulatto slaves, as also all such as shall be 
born from them, out of the colony with them. 

Provided, also, that nothing in this act shall extend, or be 
deemed to extend, to any negro or mulatto slave brought from 
the coast of Africa, into the West Indies, on board any vessel 
belonging to this colony, and which negro or mulatto slave 
could not be disposed of in the West Indies, but shall be 
brought into this colony. 

Provided, that the owner of such negro or mulatto slave give 
bond to the general treasurer of the said colony, within ten 
days after such arrival in the sum of d£lOO, lawful money, for 
each and every such negro or mulatto slave so brought in, that 
such negro or mulatto slave shall be exported out of the col- 
ony, within one year from the date of such bond ; if such 
negro or mulatto be alive, and in a condition to be removed. 

Provided, also, that nothing in this act shall extend, or be 
deemed to extend, to any negro or mulatto slave that may be 
on board any vessel belonging to this colony, now at sea, in her 
present voyage. 

And to prevent any slave or slaves from being clandestinely 
brought into this colony, in order that they may be free, and 
liable to become chargeable, — 

Be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that all 
persons, so offending, shall be liable to, and pay, a fine of 
£100, lawful money, for each and every one so brought in, to 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 253 

and for the use of the colony, to be rGcoverecl in the same man- 
ner that other fines and forfeitures usually are, by the laws of 
this government 

And also, all persons who shall be convicted of receivings 
harboring, or concealing, any such negro or mulatto slave, 
within this colony, he or they, so offending, shall be liable to 
the like penalty, to be recovered and applied in the same man- 
ner ; and such negro or mulatto shall be sent out of the colo- 
ny, as other poor persons are, by law. 

It is voted and resolved, that Messrs. Carder Hazard, Ben- 
jamin Greene and John Read, be, and they, or any two of 
them, are hereby, appointed a committee to audit the accounts 
of all the persons wdio, according to appointment, have taken 
an account of the number of people in this colony ; and that 
they make report to this Assembly, at the next session. 

It is voted and resolved, that the petition from divers of the 
inhabitants of Middletown, praying that the act granting an 
excise on wine and other strong liquors, in said town, may be 
repealed, be, and the same is hereby, referred to the next ses- 
sion ; and that in the mean time, the town treasurer of the said 
town of Middletown, be cited to appear then, to answer the same. 

Whereas, Mr. Edward Thurston, Jr., presented unto this As-- 
sembly, the following report, to wit : 

Report of the Committee, appointed by the General Assembly, to 
take the number of the Inhabitants of the Colony. 

Pursuant to the appointment of the honorable House, I have 
completed the lists from the several towns, of the numbers of 
families and persons ; and find the colony of Rhode Island and 
Providence Plantations, contains 9,449 families ; and 59,678 
inhabitants ; of which, 54,435 are whites ; 1,482 are Indians, 
and 3,761 are blacks, agreeably to the list herewith presented. 
Which is submitted by — 

Your Honors' humble servant, 

EDWARD THURSTON, JR. 

To the Honorable the House of Deputies. 



254 EECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

And the said report being duly considered, — 
It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
accepted ; that the secretary insert in the schedule of the acts 
and orders of this Assembly, the list, with the said report pre- 
sented ; and that six shillings, lawful money, be allowed, and 
paid the said Edward Thurston, Jr., out of the general treasu- 
ry, for his above mentioned service. 
God save the Kino;. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly^ held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations^ at East Green- 
ivich, on the fourth Monday in August, 1774. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

Whereas, this Assembly granted a lottery, for raising a sum 
of money, to be applied towards building a Baptist meetiog 
bouse, in the town of Providence ; and some time in the 
month of October next, was appointed for drawing the same. 

And wdiereas, the directors of the said lottery have repre- 
sented unto this Assembly, that they have disposed of all the 
tickets in the first class ; — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, at the request of the said 
directors, that they may draw the said lottery forthwith, or as. 
soon in this month, or as early in September next, as they can 
get ready. 

Whereas, Mr. Joseph Burrill exhibited unto this Assembly, 
an account by him charged against the colony, for a large 
speaking-trumpet, for Fort George ; and the said account be- 
ing duly examined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed ; and that twelve shillings, lawful money, being the 
amount thereof, be paid the said Joseph Burrill, out of the 
general treasury. 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 255 

It is voted and resolved, that £60, lawful money, be al- 
lowed, and paid out of the general treasury, to the Hon. Ste- 
phen Hopkins, Esq. ; and the like sum to the Hon. Samuel 
Ward, Esq., the delegates appointed by this colony, to meet 
the commissioners from the other colonies, in general congress, 
to defray their present exigences ; and that they account for 
the same, to this Assembly. 

Whereas, it hath been represented to this Assembly, by Col. 
Benjamin Wickham, that the lottery granted to him by an act 
of this Assembly, passed in August, A. D. 1773, for the dis- 
posal of his real estate, to enable him to discharge his debts, 
hath met with discouragements, so that there appears but little 
prospect, at present, of its being filled and drawn. 

And whereas, the colony obtained an execution against the 
said Benjamin Wickham, for upwards of £G0, lawful money, 
which was returned, unsatisfied, to tlie last inferior court of 
common pleas, held at Newport ; in order to further the re- 
covery of the said sum, for the colony, as well as to encourage 
the said lottery, and thereby to relieve the said Wickham, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the general treasurer be, and 
he is hereby, directed to purchase of the directors of the said 
lottery, on the account and risk of the colony, as many tickets 
in the said lottery as the debt and cost of the said execution 
amount to ; on this condition, that the said execution be not 
discharged until the said lottery be drawn. 

It is voted and resolved, that Messrs. Thomas Freebody and 
John Smith, be, and they are hereby, appointed a committee, 
to divide and set off to the county of Providence, their propor- 
tion of the colony's arms, now in the town of Newport, accord- 
ing to their proportion of the last colony tax. 

That they deliver them to such person as shall be appointed 
by His Honor the Deputy Governor, to receive them, he giv- 
ing a receipt therefor. 

And that the said arms, so delivered, be always kept clean, 
and in good order, at the charge of the town of Providence, be 
lodged in the colony house, in Providence, and be returned 
when demanded by this Assembly. 



256 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1774. 

Whereas, William Ilolden, of Warwick, in the county of 
Kent, presented a petition, and represented unto this Assem- 
bly, that he, some years ago, exerted himself to the utmost of 
his abilities, and, with great labor and expense, erected a dam 
across Pawtuxet River, and thereon erected a grist mill, which 
su}tplied many of the neighboring towns, especially when many 
other mills failed for want of water. 

That the last winter, the upper part of said dam was carried 
away by a great flood. 

That he hath been so reduced, by the sickness of himself 
and family, that he is unable to repair the said dam ; and that 
if it be not repaired, it will not only be a heavy loss to him, 
but prove very detrimental to many of the inhabitants of the 
colony. 

And thereupon, the said William Holden prayed this As- 
sembly to grant him a lottery, to raise about £50, lawful 
money, to enable him to repair and secure the said dam ; on 
consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved^ that the said petition be, and the 
same is hereby, granted, under the usual conditions and 
restrictions ; provided, that no charge accrue to the colony, 
thereby. 

And that Capt. William Potter and Mr. John Wickes, son of 
Robert, both of AVarwick ; and Mr. Anthony Holden, of East 
Greenwich, be, and they are hereby, appointed directors of the 
said lottery. 

Whereas, a proclamation was issued by His Honor the 
Deputy Governor, promising a reward of .£100, lawful money, 
to any person or persons who should apprehend Daniel Will- 
son, a criminal, under sentence of death, who broke out of the 
jail, in Providence ; in pursuance of which, he was taken up by 
eighteen persons ; of whom, four belonged to this colony, and 
the other fourteen, to the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, 
whose names are as follows, to wit : George Bruce, Otis Whip- 
ple, George Whipple, Jonathan Whipple, Philip Amadown, 
Levy Willard, AVilliam Drown, Andrew Peters, Calvin Smith, 
Increase Thayer, David Daniels, Jr., Ichabod Hay ward, Ar- 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 257 

temas White and Jacob Aldrich, who have applied for their 
part of the said reward ; — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that one-eighteenth part 
of the said reward be paid to each of the above named persons, 
out of the general treasury. 

It is voted and resolved, that the members of the lower 
House, before the next session, lay before their constituents 
the vote of this Assembly, at a former session, and the pro- 
ceedings of the lower House, at the present session, respecting 
the granting a sum of money to our suflering, poor brethren in 
the town of Boston. 

That they collect the sentiments of their constituents, re- 
specting the subject matter thereof, and obtain instructions for 
the members, who may be elected for the next session ; and 
their approbation, if it may be, of a grant to be made, out of 
the general treasury, of a sum of money for that purpose. 

And also, for the recommending a general subscription, 
throughout the colony, to give an opportunity for a further ex- 
ertion of the generous and benevolent mind. 

God save the King. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on 
the last Wednesday in October, 1774. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

It is voted and resolved, that Joseph Nightingale, John 
Matthewson, James Angell, Henry Marchant and James 
Mitchel Varnum, Esqs., be, and they are hereby, appointed a 
a committee, to take into consideration the several petitions 
presented to this Assembly, for establishing an independent 
company in the town of Newport ; an independent company 
in the towns of East Greenwich, Warwick and Coventry ; and 

VOL. VII. 33 



258 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

a grenadier company in the town of Providence ; and that 
they make report to this Assembly, as soon as conveniently 
may be. 

It is voted and resolved, that a tax be assessed upon the in- 
habitants of this colony, of £4,000, lawful money, to be paid 
into the general treasury by next May ; that d^2,000, thereof, 
be appropriated to the discharging the lawful money notes 
given for sinking the old tenor debts of this colony ; and that 
the remainder be lodged in the general treasury, to defray the 
incidental charges of government. 

Whereas, Messrs. Joseph Nash and Christopher Whipple, 
owners of the sloop Two Follies, and her cargo, in behalf of 
themselves, and the insurers on said sloop and cargo, preferred 
a memorial and petition unto this Assembly, setting forth that 
at Providence, in this colony, on or f^bout the 1st day of Oc- 
tober, A. D. 1773, they shipped on board the said sloop 
(Ephraim Carpenter being master), a cargo of goods for the 
River Mississippi, with intent to dispose of the same to the 
settlers on that river. 

That they, the said Joseph Nash and Christopher Whipple, 
sailed from Rhode Island, in the sloop Hope, in November fol- 
lowing, for the said river, where they safely arrived in Decem- 
ber, and found the said sloop Two Pollies. 

That about two leagues below the town of New Orleans, 
they left the said sloop Hope, and went on board the sloop Two 
Pollies, and took with them, from the said sloop Hope, goods 
to a very considerable amount, with intent to proceed up the 
river, in order to dispose of the same. 

That while the said sloop Two Pollies was lying at anchor, 
about two miles above the town of New Orleans, early on Sun- 
day morning, being the 20th day of February, A. D. 1774, the said 
sloop Two Pollies was boarded by a party of Spanish soldiers, 
with their swords drawm, and bayonets fixed ; who, declaring 
they had orders from the Spanish governor, took possession of 
the said sloop, by force, and carried her to the said town of 
New Orleans ; where, as soon as she arrived, they stripped off 
her rigging and sails, opened her cabin door, and went imme- 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 259 

cliately to unlading her cargo ; part of which, was carried into 
the King's store, and part was stolen and carried off by the 
soldiers. 

That on the evening of the same day, the said Joseph Nash 
(who was on board the said sloop, when she was so taken), 
with the said Ephraim Carpenter, and Benjamin Pitcher, the 
mate of the said sloop, were sent to prison, where they re- 
mained a considerable time. 

That upon application made by the said Joseph Nash, to the 
governor and judge, setting forth the most flagrant and open 
breach of the treaty of Paris, committed in taking the said 
sloop and cargo (of which, the governor and his auditor, were 
convinced), every thing was ordered to be restored to the said 
Joseph Nash. 

And that, although, by virtue of the said decree, they re- 
ceived $3,535, yet they are still great sufferers, to the amount 
of upwards of $5,500 ; as will appear by a copy of an account 
annexed to a remonstrance made to the said governor of New 
Orleans, after the said decree ; wherein they represented, that, 
in justice, every thing ought to be restored, with damages, and 
prayed that the same might be done ; with which request, the 
said governor refused to comply. 

And thereupon, the said Joseph Nash and Christopher Whip- 
ple, prayed this Assembly, to take the premises into consideration, 
and in order that they may receive that satisfiction which the 
justice of their cause requires, represent their case to the Earl 
of Dartmouth, and request him to lay the same before His 
Majesty, that their injuries may be redressed by the court of 
Spain ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that Nicholas TilUnghast, John Fos- 
ter, Paul Tew and Benoni Pearce, Esqs., be, and they, or the 
major part of them, are hereby, appointed a committee to take 
the said memorial and petition into consideration ; and that 
they make report to this Assembly of the damages the said Jo- 
seph Nash and Christopher Whipple shall appear to have sus- 
tained, by means of the premises, as soon as may be. 



260 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

An Act establishing an independent company, in the county of 
Newport, by the name of the Newport Light Infantry. 

An Act establishing a company, in the town of Providence, to 
be called, and known by the name of the Providence Grena- 
dier Company. 

An Act establishing an independent company, by the name of 
the Kentish Guards. 

An Act establishing an independent company, by the name of 
the Pawtuxet Rangers. 

Whereas, Benoni Pearce, John Foster, Nicholas Tillinghast 
and Paul Tew, Esqs., presented unto this Assembly, the fol- 
lowing report, to wit : 

Report of the Committee appointed hy the General Assemhly, 
relative to the seizure of the sloop Two Follies, by the Span- 
iards, on the Mississippi River. 

We, whose names are hereto subscribed, being a committee, appointed by the 
Honorable the General Assembly of the colony of Rhode Island, to take into con- 
sideration the memorial and jietition of Joseph Nash and Christopher Whipple, and 
to make report of the damages they have sustained by reason of the seizure of the 
sloop Two Follies, and her cargo, by the Spanish governor of New Orleans, in the 
River Mississijipi, having duly inspected and considered the several papers and evi- 
dences, authenticated at said New Orleans, containing the proceedings relative to 
said seizure, do report : 

That, by the seventh article of the treaty of Paris, subsisting between His Britan 
nic Majesty, and His Most Christian Majesty, " The navigation of the River Mis- 
sissippi shall be equally free, as well to the subjects of Great Britain, as to those of 
France, in its whole breadth and length, from its source to the sea ; and expressly, 
that part which is between the said island of New Orleans, and the right bank of 
that river, as well as the passage both in and out of its mouth. 

It is further stipulated, that the vessels belonging to the subjects of either nation 
shall not be stopped, visited, or subjected to the payment of any duty, whatsoever." 

That the subjects of llis Most Cathohc Majesty, at said New Orleans, hold and 
enjoy their right to trade and commerce, in and by the said river, subject to the 
limits and regulations of said treaty. 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 261 

That it appears to iis, that the said seizure is a flagrant breach of said treaty ; and 
appears to have been so considered by the said governor of New Orleans, in and by 
his decree, acquitting the said Joseph Nash, his said sloop and cargo, and ordering 
every thing that had been seized, to be restored to him. 

It further appears to us, that the said decree hath not been duly complied with- 
That although, by virtue of said decree, the said Joseph Nash had $3,535, restored 
to him ; yet, by the account of the said Joseph, exhibited before the said governor 
of New Orleans, and duly sworn to, and authenticated before the governor of Pen- 
sacola, that the said JosejA and Christopher have sustained damage, by means of 
the said seizure, to the amount of $5,591, over and above what they had restored to 
them. All which, is humbly submitted, by — 

BENONI PEARCE, NICHOLAS TILLINGHAST, 
JOHN FOSTER, PAUL TEW. 



And the said report being duly considered, — 
It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
accepted ; and that His Honor the Governor, be, and he is 
hereby, requested to transmit a statement of the said affair to 
His Majesty's secretary of state, for the American department, 
at the expense of the memorialists. 



An Act for dividing the regiment in the county of Providence 
into three distinct regiments, each regiment to be a bat 
talion : and for forming; the whole into one brisrade. 



An Act establishing an independent company, by the name of 
The Company of Light Infantry, of the town of Glocester. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Governor, be, 
and he is hereby, requested to call the General Assembly to-- 
gether, as soon as he shall think proper, within one week after 
the arrival of the delegates of this colony, from the general 
congress. 

God save the Kin^. 



262 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 



Proceedings of tJie General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on 
the first Monday in December, 1774. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

An Act establishing a military company, by the name of the 
Scituate Hunters. 

It is voted and resolved, that Col. James Angell, Col. Jo- 
seph Nightingale, Col. John Matthewson, Major Daniel Hitch- 
cock and Mr. Nathaniel Greene, Jr., be, and they are hereby, 
appointed a committee to revise the militia laws of this colony ; 
and that they make report to this Assembly, at the present 
session, as soon as may be. 

It is voted and resolved, that all the cannon now at Fort 
George (excepting two eighteen-pouuders and one six- 
pounder), and all the powder, shot and stores, thereto be- 
longing (excepting so much powder and ball as are sufficient 
for the cannon to be left at said fort), be immediately removed 
to the town of Providence ; that Col. Joseph Nightingale, be, 
and he is hereby, appointed to see the same done. 

That the commanding officer of the said fort be, and he is 
hereby, ordered to deliver the same to the said Joseph Night- 
ingale ; who is hereby directed to keep the cannon, ball, &c., 
in his possession, until further orders from this Assembly. 

It is voted and resolved, that the copies of the letter from 
the Earl of Dartmouth, to this colony, and of the order therein 
enclosed, now lying before this Assembly, be immediately sent 
by the speaker of the lower House, to Thomas Gushing, Esq., 
the late speaker of the House of Representatives of the Prov- 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 26S 

ince of the Massachusetts Bay, to be communicated to the 
provincial congress, in that colony. 

An Act for establishing a military company, by the name of 
the Train of Artillery, in the county of Providence. 

Whereas, the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq., and the Hon. 
Samuel Ward, Esq., delegates for this colony, in the conti- 
nental congress, held at Philadelphia, in the province of Penn- 
sylvania, the 5th day of September, 1774, this day made report 
of the proceedings and resolutions of said continental congress,* 
consisting of the bill of rights, list of grievances, occasional 
resolves, the association, an address to the people of Great 
Britain, a memorial to the inhabitants of the British American 
colonies, an address to the Canadians, &c. ; all which, being 
read, and maturely considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
accepted and approved. 

It is further voted and resolved, that the thanks of this As- 
sembly be, and they are hereby, given to the said delegates of 
this colony, in particular, and to the members of the said con- 
tinental congress, in general, for the wise, spirited and faithful 
discharge of the important trust reposed in them. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that it be, and hereby 
is, recommended to the several towns in this colony, to choose 
committees, agreeably to the eleventh article of the said asso- 
ciation, for the purposes therein expressed. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that the secretary be, 
and he is hereby, directed to send printed copies of the said 
bill of rights, list of grievances, the association, addresses and 
memorial ; and also of this vote, to each member of both 
houses of this Assembly, and to all such other officers, within 
this colony, as the schedules are by law transmitted to. 

Whereas, Nathaniel Stoddard, of Little Compton, in the 



* The report of the proceedings of the coutineutal congress, are among the public ar- 
chives of the State, in the secretary's office. 



264 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

county of Newport, trader, preferred a petition, and repre- 
sented unto this Assembly, that in the fall of the year 1773, 
he laid out every shilling he was worth, in fitting out one- 
third part of the sloop Sally, on a whaling voyage ; that 
the said sloop, meeting with success, had got on board 
one hundred and twenty barrels of oil, by the latter end 
of January following ; and that the said sloop being obliged, 
in a gale of wind, to come to an anchor under Hispaniola, 
was seized by a French frigate, carried into Port-au-Prince, 
and there, with her whole cargo, condemned as a lawful 
prize ; by which misfortune, he hath totally lost upwards 
of $1,000, being the whole what he was worth, and had 
scraped together, by unwearied diligence and industry, and 
that he is thereby deprived of the means of putting himself 
into any business, to support a wife and seven children. 

And thereupon, prayed this Assembly to grant him a lottery, 
for raising the sum of $000, to help him forward in business 
again ; and that the same be under the direction of Messrs. 
Nathaniel Searle, Jr., Benjamin Richmond, John Wood and 
Walter Wilbur ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said petition be, and th& 
same is hereby, granted, under the usual conditions and 
restrictions ; provided, that no charge accrue to the colony > 
thereby. 

An Act establishing a military company, by the name of the 
Providence Fusiliers. 

It is voted and resolved, that the captain of the company, 
called The Train of Artillery, for the county of Providence, be, 
and he is hereby, empowered and directed, to purchase at the 
expense, and for the use of the colony, four brass cannon, four- 
pounders, with carriages, implements and utensils, necessary 
for exercising them ; and that they be lent to the said com- 
pany, to improve them in the exercise of cannon, until further 
orders from this Assembly. 

It is voted and resolved, that the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 265 

Esq., and the Hon. Samuel Ward, Esq., be, and they are 
hereby, chosen and appointed delegates, to represent this colo- 
ny at the continental congress, to be holden at Philadelphia, 
on the 10th day of May, 1775. 

It is voted and resolved, that Henry Marchant, Esq., Mr. 
Joseph Brown and William Ellery, Esq., be, and they are 
hereby, appointed a committee to draw up instructions to be 
given to the delegates, appointed to represent this colony in 
general congress ; and lay the same before this Assembly. 

Whereas, the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq., one of the dele- 
gates of this colony in the continent il congress, on the 5th day 
of September last, exhibited unto this Assembly, an account, 
by him charged against the colony, for his expenses on his 
journey to Philadelphia, during his residence there, and on his 
return home, &c., amounting to £51 lid., lawful money. 

And also prayed an allowance fur eighty-one days spent in 
the said service, with a servant, two horses, and a carriage ; 
and the premises being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the saiil account be allowed ; 
that £72 18s-., lawful money, be also allowed, for his above- 
mentioned service, and for his servant, horses and carriage ; 
and that <£133 I85. lid., lawful money, being the amount of 
the said two sums, be paid the said Stephen Hopkins, out of 
the general treasury ; deducting therefrom d£60, lawful money, 
already received by him, as one of the delegates from this colo- 
ny, out of the general treasury. 

Whereas, the Hon. Samuel Ward, Esq., one of the delegates 
from this colony, in the continental congress, held at Philadel- 
phia, on the 5th day of September last, exhibited unto this As- 
sembly an account, by him charged against the colony, for his 
expenses on his journey to Philadelphia, during his residence 
there, and on his return home, &c., amounting to £49 135. 
1^., lawful money. 

And also prayed an allowance for seventy-two days, by him 
spent in the said service, with a servant and two horses ; and 
the premises being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said accouiit be allowed ; 

VOL. vn. 34 



266 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1774. 

that ££64 I65. lawful money, be also allowed for his above- 
mentioned service, and for his servant and horses ; and that 
£114 Qs. Id., lawful money, being the amount of the said two 
sums, be paid the said Samuel Ward, out of the general trea- 
sury ; deducting therefrom, ^£60, lawful money, already re- 
ceived by him, as one of the delegates from this colony, out of 
the general treasury. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. John Read, Mr. John 
Jenckes and Simeon Potter, Esq., be, and they are hereby, 
appointed a committee, to purchase as soon as may be, at the 
expense and for the use of the colony, three hundred half- 
barrels of pistol powder, each to contain fifty weight ; three 
tons of lead and forty thousand flints, to be deposited in such 
place or places as the Hon. Darius Sessions, Esq., Deputy 
Governor of this colony, shall direct, and to be delivered to 
the several colonels of the militia, and the colonels of the inde- 
pendent companies in this colony; so that each soldier, 
equipped with arms, according to law, may be supplied with 
such quantities thereof, as by law is directed ; he or they pay- 
ing for the same, at the prime cost given by the colony ; that 
the remainder thereof, be distributed as occasion may require. 

That the said Darius Sessions be appointed, and he is here- 
by, authorized and empowered, to have the care of the said 
magazine ; and to deliver the powder, lead and flints, as here- 
in directed, he taking receipts for what may be delivered out. 

And that the said committee be, and they are hereby, em- 
powered to draw on the general treasury, for such sums of 
money, as may be necessary for the purpose, aforesaid. 

And in case of a deficiency in the general treasury, the gen- 
eral treasurer is hereby directed and empowered to hire a suffi- 
cient sum of money for said purpose, and to give his note or 
notes therefor, with interest, in behalf of the colony. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that there be no firing 
of cannon upon any public occasion, or of small arms; espe- 
cially by the militia, or incorporated companies, on days of ex- 
ercising, excepting only for perfecting themselves as marks- 
men, under the immediate direction of the commanding officer 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 267 

for the day ; and that it be, and hereby is, recommended to all 
the inhabitants of this colony, that they expend no gun powder 
for mere sport and diversion, or in pursuit of game. 

Whereas, the American Continental Congress, held in the 
city of Philadelphia, on the 5th day of September last, recom- 
mended to the several colonies to choose deputies, as soon as 
possible, to attend a general congress, to be holden on the 10th 
day of May next, in the said city of Philadelphia, unless the 
redress of American grievances be obtained before that time ; 
and whereas, this Assembly, having the greatest regard to the 
recommendation aforesaid, and being determined to co-operate 
with the other colonies in every proper measure for obtaining 
a redress of the grievances, and establishing the rights and 
liberties of all the colonies, upon an equitable and permanent 
foundation, have unanimously chosen and appointed the Hon. 
Stephen Hopkins, Esq., and the Hon. Samuel Ward, Esqs., 
delegates to represent this colony. 

It is therefore unanimously voted and resolved, 1st. That 
the said Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward, Esqs., be. and 
they are hereby, fully authorized and empowered to represent 
this colony in a general congress of delegates, or representa- 
tives, of the several colonies, to be holden at the time and 
place above mentioned ; or at such other time and place as 
shall be agreed upon by the major part of the committees from 
the several colonies. 

2d. That they be, and hereby are, fully authorized and 
empowered to consult and advise with the representatives of 
the other colonies, and in conjunction with them, or the major 
part of them, to enter into, and adopt, in behalf of this colony, 
all reasonable, lawful, and proper measures for the support, de- 
fence, protection and security of the rights, liberties and privi- 
leges, both civil and religious, of all the said colonies, or any 
of them. 

3d. That they be, and hereby are, authorized and empow- 
ered to adjourn, from time to time, and at any time, within the 
space of one year, to be computed from the said 10th day of 
May next, and at any place which they shall think proper. 



268 RECORDS OP THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

4th. That they be, and hereby are, directed to endeavor to 
procure a regular annual convention of delegates, or represen- 
tatives, from all the colonies, to be holden at such time and 
place, as shall be by the delegates agreed upon, for the pro- 
motion and establishment of the peace, welfare and security of 
the said colonies. 

It is voted and resolved, that the fire-arms in Newport, be- 
longing to the colony, be distributed among the several coun- 
ties which have not yet received their share of the same, in 
proportion to the rate paid by each county. 

That they be delivered to the colonel of the regiment of 
each respecti/e county, he giving his receipt therefor ; who is 
hereby directed to deliver to each town in the county, its pro- 
portion of the same, taking security of each town therefor. 

That the said guns, before they are delivered to the several 
colonels, be branded with the colony arms, upon the breech. 

That Mr. Thomas Freebody be, and he is hereby, appointed 
to deliver the said arms to the several colonels. 

And that all expenses which have arisen, or may arise, in 
consequence of their being removed from Newport, be paid by 
their respective towns. 

And whereas, the county of Providence hath already received 
its part of the said fire-arms, — 

It is voted and resolved, that each tow^n in the said county 
shall receive its proportion of the said fire-arms, in manner as 
above mentioned ; each town paying its proportion of the 
charge which hath accrued by cleaning them. 

An Act incorporating a military company, by the name of the 
North Providence Rangers. 

It is voted and resolved, that William Greene, Esq. and Mr. 
Nathaniel Greene, Jr., be, and they are hereby, appointed a 
committee, to inquire into the circumstances of the affair which 
iiaused the Cadet Company, and the company of Light In- 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 269 

fantiy, to march from Providence to the town of East Green- 
wich, and into the charges which arose thereon ; and that 
they make report to this Assembly, at the next session. 

An Act for appointing a mnjor general of the forces of this 
colony, annually. 

Be it enacted by this General A.ssembly, and by the au- 
thority aforesaid it is enacted, that a mjijor general of the 
colony's forces be annually appointed, by the Governor and 
Company, and be commissioned accordingly. 

It is voted and resolved, that Simeon Potter, Esq., be, and 
he is hereby, appointed major general of the colony's forces. 

An Act in addition to, and amendment of, an act, entitled 
" An act regulating the militia of this colony.'' 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that for the future, each en- 
listed soldier, who shall not be provided with a sufficient gun, 
or fuzee, as directed in the said act, shall be fined two shil- 
lings, lawful money, for each deficiency ; and also, that every 
soldier be provided with a good bayonet fixed on his gun, 
upon the penalty of four pence, lawful money, for each default. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the captain, or, in his absence, the next superior officer of each 
respective company, shall warn and call together the company 
under his command, one day in every month, and exercise the 
same in martial discipline, aacording to the mode establised by 
His present Majesty, in the year 1764. 

That the first warning be by warrant under the hand and 
seal of such officer, issued within ten days before such training or 
exercising ; and that all succeeding warnings be given verbally 
by the commanding officer for the day, at the head of the com- 
pany, while under arms. 

Provided, nevertheless, that in the towns of Providence and 
Bristol, the captain, or other commanding officer, may warn 



270 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

their companies by beat of drum, as in the said act is permitted 
in the town of Newport. 

An J be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
within ten days after each penalty shall be incurred, the cap- 
tain, or other superior officer, shall issue his warrant therefor, 
returnable to himself, within twenty days ; and that twelve- 
and-an-half per cent, only, be allowed for collecting such fines. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the fines of all those who, being exempted from appearing on 
the days of training, are notwithstanding, obliged to be pro- 
vided with arms and other accoutrements, shall be the same for 
every deficiency, as the fines of the enlisted soldiers ; and that 
the examination and survey, appointed by the said act, shall 
be made by the sergeants of the company in whose district 
they live, by warrant from the captain, on the first Monday in 
February, and on the last Monday in April. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
no town officer shall be exempted from doing military duty, as 
an enlisted soldier, excepting the members of the town council, 
the town treasurer, the town clerk and the town sergeant. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
there be a general muster and review of each regiment or bat- 
tallion, twice in every year, to wit : on the first Monday in 
April, and on the first Monday in October ; and that there be 
a general muster and review of brigade, once in two years. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the captain general, lieutenant general and major general, or 
any two of them, be, and they are hereby, fully authorized and 
empowered to direct and order when, and in what manner, the 
forces within this colony shall march to the assistance of any of 
our sister colonies, when invaded or attacked ; and also in 
what manner the said forces shall be provided and supplied ; 
and also to direct and make use of the cannon belongine^ to 
the colony, either in or out of the colony, as they may deem 
expedient. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 271 

the said forces, whenever they shall be called out of the colony, 
shall be under the immediate command and direction of the 
major general. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the secretary forthwith cause this act to be published in the 
Newport Mercury and Providence Gazette. 

Whereas, Mr. Jeremiah Hopkins, of Coventry, preferred a 
petition, and represented unto this Assembly, that he suffi- 
ciently understands the business of a gunsmith, so as to make 
guns, or small arms, with advantage to himself, and to others, 
by whom guns are much wanted at this time, when they can- 
not be imported from Great Britain ; but that he is unable to 
furnish himself with such works, tools and instruments, as are 
necessary for carrying on the said business. 

And thereupon, the said Jeremiah Hopkins prayed this As- 
sembly to grant him the benefit of a lottery, for raising the sum 
of |200, to be appropriated and applied towards procuring said 
w^orks, tools and instruments, and for no other purpose ; and 
to appoint Christopher Lippitt, of Cranston ; Jeremiah Olney 
and George Dorrance, Jr., of Scituate ; and John Stewart, of 
Yoluntown, managers and directors of said lottery ; on con- 
sideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that th^e said petition be, and the 
same hereby is, granted, under the usual conditions and restric- 
tions ; provided that no charge accrue to the colony, thereby. 

God save the King. 



Public Acts passed during the year 1774. 

[The following laws will be found at length in the printed " Schedules," or acts 
and resolves of the General Assembly, for the year 1774.] 

An Act incorporating certain persons by the name of the Charitable Baptist Society, 

in the town of Providence. (May.) 
An Act to naturahze Augustus Newman, a native of Saxony. (May.) 
An Act incorporating the First Congregational Church, in Newport. (June.) 
An Act to amend the charter of the Artillery Company, in Providence. (Juqc.) 



272 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

An Act explaiiatorv of an act granting reviews of real and personal actions. 

(June.) 
An Act incorporating the Congregational Church, in East Greenwich. (August.) 
An Act to amend " An act for the maintenance and support of insolvent debtors." 

(October.) 
An Act assessing a rate or tax of £4,000. (October.) 



DOCUMENTS RELATIVE TO THE ACTION OF RHODE ISLAND, 
FOR RESISTING THE ACT OF THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT, IM^ 
POSING A DUTY ON TEA; AND FOR OTHERWISE RAISING A 
REVENUE IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES. 



Proceedings of the People of Providence, in Town Meeting. 

At a town meeting of the town of Providence, especially called and held at the court 
house, the 19th day of January, A. D. 1774. Jabez Bowen, Esq., moderator. 

Inasmuch as the British Parliament have undertaken to raise a revenue in the 
American colonies, b}- a duty upon tea : we, the freemen of the town of Providence, 
legally assembled in meeting, cannot be silent on so interesting and alarming an occa- 
sion. Should we, in this case, omit to assert and express the firmest resolutions to 
vindicate our rights, it might be construed as a cession of them into the hands of 
those who have wantonly invaded them in this instance. 

We do, therefore, in justice to ourselves, our posterity, and the sister colonies, 
openly and publicly make the following declarations ; hoping that by a vigorous ex- 
ertion, in conformity thereto, we may in some measure contribute towards escaping 
the dreadful train of evils which must be the consequence of a tame submission to 
any invasions of American freedom. 

We lament any seeming acquiesence which hath at any time heretofore been 
made in these colonies, under parliamentary usurpations of our liberties ; but as any 
such tacit concessions were made through fear, inattention, or without a due consid- 
eration of our rights, we strongly protest against any precedent being made thereby, 
to our disadvantage. 

When we consider that many of our ancestors removed from Britain, and planted 
themselves here ; that tlie religion, language and customs of the two countries are 
mostly similar, and that there hath been a long intercourse of trade and commerce 
between them, we arc willing, and even desirous, of a continuance of connexion be- 
tween the colonies and Britain, if it may be had on terms in any measure equal. 

Upon full consideration of the matter, upon which we have met, we do resolve, — 

I. That the disposal of their own property is the inherent right of freemen ; that 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 273 

tlicre can be no property in that, wliich another can, of right, take from us without 
our consent ; that the chiim of Parliament to tax America, is, in other words, a 
claim of right to levy contributions on us, at pleasure. 

II. That the duty imposed by Parliament upon tea, landed in America, is a tax 
on the Americans, or levying contributions on them, without their consent. 

III. That the express purpose for which the tax is levied on the Americans) 
namely, for the support of government, administration of justice, and defence of His 
Majesty's dmninions, in America, has a direct tendency to render Assembhes useless, 
and to introduce arbitrary government and slavery. 

IV. That a virtuous and steady opposition to this ministerial plan of governing 
America, is absolutely necessary, to preserve even the shadow of liberty ; and is a 
duty which every freeman in America owes to his country, to himself, and to his 
posterity. 

V. That the resolution lately entered into by the East India Company, to send 
out their tea ti> America, subject to the payment of duties on its bemg landed here, 
is an open attempt to enforce this ministerial plan, and a violent attack upon the 
liberties of America. 

VI. That it is the duty of every American to oppose this attempt. 

VII. That whoever shall, directly or indirectly, countenance this attempt, or in 
any wise aid or abet in unloading, receiving, or vending the tea sent, or to be sent 
out by the East India Company, while it remains subject to the payment of a duty 
here, is an enemy to his country. 

VIII. That no tea belonging to the East India Company, or any other persons? 
subject to a duty, or dutied tea, shall be unladed here, or brought to land. 

IX. That this town Avill co-operate with the other towns in this colony, and with 
all the other colonies, in a resolute stand, as well against every other unconstitutional 
measure, calculated to enslave America, as the tea act in particular. 

X. That Samuel Nightingale, Esq., Jabez Bowen, Esq. ; and Messrs. John 
Brown, John Updike, John Jenckes, John Matthewson and Daniel Cahoou, or the 
major part of them, be a committee, to correspond with the towns in this, and the 
neighboi-ing governments, on all such matters as shall be thought to affect the liber- 
ties of America. 

Voted, that this town highly approve of the proceedings of their brethren of 
Boston, Philadelphia and New York, in their spirited and resolute opposition made 
to the introduction of tea, while subject to a duty laid by Parhament ; and that our 
thanks be given them for the same. 

Voted, that the committee wait on all the importers of English goods, in this town, 
sand inform them of the resolutions which the town have entered into, respecting tea, 
while subject to a duty ; and if any of them have ordered any tea to come next 
pring, that they be desired to send counter orders immediately. 

Voted, that the foregoing proceedings be published in the next Providence 
Gazette. JAJ^IES ANGELL, 

Town Clerk. 

Immediately after this meeting was dissolved, the gentlemen of the committee ap_ 
plied themselves to the discharge of their important trust, by waiting on the several 
importers, and had the satisfaction to find that only one chest of tea had been or- 
dered for this town, next spring ; which was countermanded previous to the meeting- 

VOL. VII. 35 



274 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774, 

"We are authorized to assure the pubhc, from the best authority, that there have 
been but nine chests of tea imported into this town (on which the 3d. duty has beers 
paid), since the memorable non-importation agreement. 

Proceedings of the People of Newport, in Town Meeting. 

At a very full town meeting, held at Newport, on the 12th January, 1774, mea- 
sures were adopted, in substance, similar with the foregoing. 

The gentlemen of the committee for that town are. Col. Joseph Wanton, Jr., 
Henry Ward, John Mawdtley, John Collins and William Ellery, Escjs. 

Proceedings of the People of Bristol, in Town Meeting. 

At a town meeting, held at Bristol, in the colony of Rhode Island, by adjourn- 
ment, February 28, 1774. Col. Simeon Potter, moderator. 

The committee chosen by the town, to consider and report what measures may be 
thought proper for the town to take, relative to the attempts of the administration tc 
deprive us of our invaluable rights and liberties ; especially, in permitting the East 
India Company to import tea in America, subject to a duty, reported the following 
resolves, which were voted to be the genuine sentiments of the town : 

Resolved, 1. That our ancestors were neither felons, nor out-laws ; but their' 
emigration from their native land, and all that was dear and valuable to them there, 
was the effect of tyranny and oppression. 

2. That arriving in America, and purchasing the soil of the natives, who were 
sole lords and proprietors of it, they had a right of jurisdiction, independent of the 
parent state. 

3. That in their feeble state, being unable to support that right, they put them- 
selves under the allegiance and protection of the crown of England; who, to encou- 
rage their perseverance, in subduing a wilderness, which has since been a great 
emolument to the British crown, stipulated to secure their natural, civil and religious- 
ri"-hts, both to them and their posterity, by charter ; concernmg which, the late 
Bishop of Salisbury (Dr. Burnet,) was pleased to say^ that there was a greater sa- 
credness in the charter of New England, than in those of the corporation of Eng- 
land ; because those were only acts of grace ; whereas, the charter of New England, 
was a contract between the King and the first patentees; 

4. That our privileges have been invaded, and several attempts made to deprive 
us of them ; especially by a late act of Parhament, empowering the East India 
Company to import tea, subject to a duty, &c. 

It is therefore resolved, that whoever is either aiding or assisting in landing, un- 
loadino-, vending or purchasing any of the said tea, or any other dutied tea, shall ba 
deemed an enemy to his country. 

5. Considerino- the vast addition of territory, wealth and power, that the planta- 
tions in North America are to the crown of Great Britain ; that it was obtained by 
our ancestors, without any expense to the crown, with the toil of their lives, and ex- 
pense of their blood and treasure ; considering also, our own exertions for the 
crown, in the late wars ; especially, in the reduction of Louisbourg, in the year 1745, 
Tvhich purchased a peace for the whole nation, then involved in a calamitous war ; 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 275 

Tve say, considering these things, to invade our privileges, is the most cruel ingrati- 
tude. For although the charges of that expedition have been in part reimbursed by 
the crown ; yet, what restitution has been, or can be made, for the flower of the 
land, who were slain in battle ? and the charges consequent thereon, have been, and 
still are, a burthen to this town ; as there are several widows of those who were either 
slain in battle, or died in the service of their King and country, who have, and still 
are, supported by the town. 

6. That to invade our privileges, is as impolitic as it is cruel, as several millions 
of good subjects are thereby disaifected, and may in time be provoked to renounce 
their allegiance, and assert an independency. 

7. That Avhich makes our grievances intolerant, is, that so many unnecessary of- 
ficers are supported by the earnings of honest industry, in a life of dissipation and 
ease ; who, by being properly employed, might be useful members of society. 

8. Instead of exploring another asylum, with the blood of our ancestors oosing 
from our veins, we are determined to join our brethren on the continent, in all lawful 
measures, to defend our rights and privileges in this good land, which our fathers 
have transmitted to us, their posterity, as a token of their dearest affection. 

9. That, whilst we assert our own freedom, we would by no means deprive 
others of theirs ; and that a difference in sentiment, under the influence of reason 
and virtue, ought by no means to produce an alienation of affection, or interrupt a 
friendly intercourse, or mutual exchange of good oflices. 

10. Some may apprehend there is danger from another quarter, generally un- 
foreseen and unsuspected ; that, that anarchy and confusion, which may prevail, will 
as naturally establish tyranny and arbiti-ary power, as one extreme leads to an^ 
other ; many, on the side of liberty, when they see it degenerating into anarchy, fear- 
ing their persons are not safe, nor their property secure, will be likely to verge to the 
other extreme ; of which, those that envy us our happiness and prosperity, Avill avail 
themselves, to carry their designs into execution ; our determinations, therefore, are 
as firm for the support of government, agreeably to our excellent constitution, as 
for the defence of our own rights and privileges. 

11. That, as we have hitherto approved ourselves loyal subjects to our gracious 
.sovereign, George the Third, so we take this opportunity to express our allegiance, 
and entire confidence in the rectitude of his intentions ; being persuaded, if the 
wicked were taken from before the throne, an happy era would commence ; that our 
petitions would be heard, and our complaints eased ; that the wisdom, justice and 
clemency of the administration, would conciliate the affections of the colonies ; which 
under the smiles and protection of the parent state, by increasing in wealth and 
power, would be a further addition to the strength and glory of Great Britain. 

Voted, that the thanks oft his meeting be given to the towns of Boston and New>. 
port, and the other patriotic towns on the continent, for their virtuous and spirited 
opposation to the measures of the administration, and their noble exertions in de- 
fence and support of our invaluable rights and privileges. 

By order of the committee— JOSEPH EUSSELL, 

Town Clerk. 



276 RECORDS OY THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 



Proceedings of the People of Richmond^ in Town Meeting. 

At a town meeting, especially called and held at Richmond, in Kings county, and 
colony of Rhode Island, at the house of George Webb, Esq., the 28th of February 
1774. ]\Iajor Richard Bailey chosen moderator for said meeting. 

This town, taking into their most serious consideration, an act passed in the Par- 
liament of Great Britain, for levying duties upon tea, sent by the East India Com- 
pany, to North America, to be paid in America, — 

Do resolve, 1. That the first adventurers, settlers of His Majesty's dominions, in 
British America, brought with them, and transmitted to their posterit^^ and all other 
His Majesty's subjects since inhabiting in His Majesty's said dominions, all the privi- 
leges and immunities that have at any time been enjoyed and possessed by the peo- 
ple of Great Britain. 

2. That by the charter granted to this colony, it is declared that the inhabitants 
thereof, are entitled to all the privileges and immunities of natural born subjects, tos 
all intents and purposes, as if they had been born within the realm of England ; and 
are, by the said charter, entirely exempted from all " services, duties, fines, forfeit- 
ures, claims and demands, whatever ; except a fifth part of all the ore of gold and 
silver, found at all times in the colony ;" which is reserved in lieu of those duties. 

3. That the act of Parliament, allowing the East India Company to export tea 
into America, subject to a duty, payable here ; and the actual sending tea into the 
colonies, by the Company, is an attempt to enforce the revenue acts, and is un- 
doubtedly designed to. make a precedent for establishing taxes in America, in order 
that a general tax upon all the necessaries of life, and lands, may take place. 

4. That the act of Parhament, levying duties or taxes in America, is a violation 
of the liberties and privileges of America ; and hath a tendency to render the Gen- 
eral Assemblies useless. 

5. That the General Assembly of this colony hath the sole exclusive right of 
levying taxes upon the inhabitants thereof; and that every attempt to vest that, 
power in any other person or persons, whomsoever, is unconstitutional, and hath a 
manifest tendency to destroy the Uberties of the colony. 

6. That it is the duty of every American, by all due and legal means, to op- 
pose every attempt Avhich is made, to destroy the liberties and privileges of America - 
and particularly, the importation of tea, subject to a duty, to be paid here. 

7. That the inhabitants of this town, ever have been, and still are, ready on any 
occasion, whatever, to demonstrate their love and loyalty to His Majesty and our 
mother country ; and it is with the greatest regret that we look back upon the un- 
happy measures that have been adopted by the Parliament and ministry. 

8. And we are still ready, when called upon in a constitutional wa}-, to grant 
such aids and assistance to the crown, as the necessity of the case may require, and 
our abilities admit ; and are ready to sacrifice our hves and fortunes for the honor 
and dignity of His Majesty, and the parent state, with a fii-m attachment to our 
natural and free-born rights and privileges, which ai-e dearer to us, than our lives ; 
and are a blessing, under God, that we will not give up to any power on earth ; and 
this town will join Avith, and to the utmost of our power, support our sister colonies, 
in all legal measures for the preservation of the rights and privileges of North. 
America. 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 277 

Voted, that Edward Perry, Esq., Major Richard Bailey and Mr. David Nichols, 
Jr., .be a committee of correspondence, to correspond with the other committees, ap- 
pointed in this colony. . THOMAS LILLIBRIDGE, 

Town Clerk. 



Proceedings of the People of New Shoreham, in Town Meeting. 

At a town meeting held at New Shoreham, March 2, 1774. John Sands^ 
Esq., moderator. 

Whereas, there has been sent to this town, a copy of the resolves entered into by 
the town of Newport, and a request to lay the same before this town, with a design 
that said town would unite with the Qther towns in this colony, in supporting their 
just rights and liberties. 

1. Therefore, we, the inhabitants of this town, being legally convened in town 
meeting, do firmly resolve, as the opinion of said town, that the Americans have g, 
good right to be as free a people as any upon the earth ; and to enjoy at all times 
an uninterrupted possession of their rights and properties. 

2. That the act of the British Parliament, claiming the right to make laws bind- 
ing upon the colonies, In all cases, whatsoever, js Inconsistent with the natural, con- 
stitutional and charter rights and privileges of the Inhabitants of this colony. 

3. That the express purpose for which the tax Is levied on the Americans, 
namely, for the support of government, adnnmstratlon of justice and defence of His 
Majesty's dominions in America, has a direct tendency to render Assemblies useless, 
and to introduce arbitrary government and slavery. 

4. That a tax on the inhabitants of America, without their consent. Is a measure 
absolutely destructive of their freedom, tending to enslave and Impoverish all who 
tamely submit to it. 

5. That the act allowing the East India Company to export tea to America, 
subject to a duty payable here ; and the actual sending tea into the colonies, by 
said company, Is an open attempt to enforce the ministerial plan, and a violent at- 
tack upon the liberties of America. 

6. That it is the duty of every American to oppose this attempt. 

7. That whosoever shall, directly, or indirectly, countenance this attempt, or In 
any wise aid or assist in running, receiving or unloading any such tea, or In piloting 
any vessel, having any such tea on board, while It remains subject to the payment 
of a duty here, Is an enemy to his country. 

8. That we will heartily unite with our American brethren, in suppoi'ting the 
inhabitants of this continent, in all their just rights and privileges. 

9. That Joshua Sands, Caleb Littlefield and John Sands, Esqs. ; and Messrs. 
Walter Rathbun and Edward Sands, Jr., or the major part of them, be appointed a 
committee for this town, to correspond with all other committees appointed by any 
town in this colony ; and said committee is requested to give the closest attention to 
eveiy thing which concerns the liberties of America; and if any tea, subject to a 
duty here, should be landed in this town, the committee is directed and empo\vered 
to call a town meeting, forthwith, that such measures may be taken, as the public 
safety may require. 

10. And we return our hearty thanks to the town of Newport, for their patriotic 



278 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

resolutions, to maintain the liberties of their country ; and the pi-udent measures^ 
thev have taken to induce the other towns in this colony, to come into the same 
generous resolutions. WALTER RATHBUX, 

Town Clerk. 



Proceedings of the People of Cumberland, in Town Meeting. 

At a town meeting, held at Cumberland, in the county of Providence, specially 
called, and legally assembled, at the house of Captain John Fisk, innholder, March 
18, 17 74; Mr. Nathaniel Staples, chosen moderator. 

At a time when the enemies of America are continually misrepresenting us to the 
mother country, and incessantly laboring to extinguish in her the few remaining 
gparks of parental affection , it must aflford sensible pleasure to all who wish for the 
preservation of our invaluable constitutional rights and liberties, to find such an 
union take place in America, as may enable us, by the blessing of God, to support 
our just rights, hberties and privileges, wherewith God, nature, and our happy con- 
stitution, have made us free. 

The town taking into consideration, certain intelligence, received from the com- 
mittee of correspondence at Newport, the following resolves were passed nem. con. 

1. That it is one of the natui-al rights of man, to dispose of the fruits of his honest 
industry himself 

2. That every British subject in special, in whatever part of the extensive 
British empire he is settled, has eminently, by our happy constitution, as well as by 
nature, the sole right to dispose of his own property, either by himself or repre- 
sentative. 

3. That some violent attacks have been made by the administration on the rights 
and privileges of British subjects, in the colonies ; that the retaining the duty on tea, 
for the express purpose of raising a revenue in America, and impowering the East 
India Company to send their tea here for sale, Avhile subject to said duty, is a strik- 
ing instance of their determination to persevere in their attacks, and thereby reduce 
us to the most abject state of wretchedness and slavery. 

4. That Avhoever shall, directly or indirectly, countenance this attempt, or in 
any wise aid or abet in unloading, receiving or vending the tea sent, or to be sent 
out by the East India Company, while it remains subject to the payment of a duty 
here, shall be deemed by us inimical to the rights of his country, and as endeavoring 
to counteract the designs of those who are zealous for its true interests. 

5. That we do, in this way, stand forth in the cause of liberty, in union with 
other towns, and do pay our tribute of thanks to the leading, spirited, pat- 
riotic towns of Newport and Providence, and other towns adjacent, for the firm- 
ness and intrepidity so conspicuous in them, by discovering to the world a true 
sense of the blessings which our constitution affords, and a noble resoluion to defend 
them. 

6. That we are sorry for the unhappy disagreement between this and the mother 
country ; and earnestly wish to see harmony restored. 

7. That John Dexter and Joseph Davis, Esqs. ; Messrs. Nathan Staples, Ezekiel 
Ballou and Janies Dexter, Esqs., or the major part of them, be a committee, to cor- 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 219 

respond with the towns in this and the neighboring governments, in all laudable 
measures for the preservation of the rights and liberties of America. 

Voted, that the foregoing proceedings be published in the Providence Gazette. 
Witness : .JOHN DEXTER, 

Town Clerk. 



Proceedings of the People of Barring/ on, in Town Meeting. 

At a meeting of the freemen of the town of Barrington, in the colony of Rhode 
Island, held the 21st day of March, 1774, by adjournment. James Brown, Esq., 
moderator. 

The inhabitants of this town being justly alarmed at the several acts of Parlia- 
ment, made and passed for raising a revenue in America • and more especially, the 
act empowering the East India Company to export their tea into America, subject to 
a duty, payable here, for the purpose of raising a revenue in America, with many 
other unconstitutional acts (which, having been duly considered by a number of our 
sister towns in this colony, we think it needless to enumerate), and being sensible of 
the dangerous situation of the colonies, occasioned by wicked and designing men, do 
enter into the following resolves : 

1. That the inhabitants of this town ever have been, and now are, loyal and 
dutiful subjects to the King of Great Britain. 

2. That we highly approve of the resolutions of our sister colonies, and the noble 
stand they have made in defence of the liberties and privileges of the colonies. We 
likewise thank the worthy author of The Rights of Colonies Examined, for his spirited 
jDcrformance, in support of the liberties of America. 

3. That the act empowering the East India Company to export their tea to 
America, subject to a duty, payable here, is designed as a precedent for establishing 
taxes, duties and monopolies, in America, that our property may be taken from us 
at pleasure, and we be thereby reduced to a state of abject slavery. 

4. That we will neither buy, sell, nor receive as a gift, any dutied tea, nor 
have any dealings with any person or persons that shall buy, sell, give, receive, or 
trade in said tea, directly or indirectly, knowing or suspecting it to be such ; but 
will consider all persons concerned in introducing dutied tea, into this town, or any 
town in America, as enemies to their country, and unworthy the society of freemen. 

.5. That it is the duty of every man in America to oppose, by all proper mea^ 
sures, to the utmost of his power and abilities, every attempt upon the liberties of his 
country ^ especially, those mentioned in the foregoing resolves ; and to exert him- 
self to the utmost of his power, in obtaining a redress of tlie grievances the colonies 
now groan under. We do, therefore, solemnly resolve, — 

6. That we will heartily unite with the town of Newport, and the other towns in 
this, and all the other sister colonies, and exert our whole force in support of the 
just rights and privileges of the American colonies. 

7. That James Brown, Samuel Allen, Josiah Humphrey, Edward Bosworth, 
Nathaniel Martin, Moses Tyler and Thomas Allen, or a major part of them, be a 
committee, to correspond with all the other committees, appointed by any town in 
this and the neighboring governments ; and the committee is desired to give then* 
attention to every thing that concerns the liberties of America ; and if any of the 
obnoxious tea should be brought into tliis town, or any other attempt made on the 



280 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

liberties of the inhabitants thereof, the committee is directed and empowered to call 
a town meeting, forthwith, that such measures may be taken as the public safety may 
require. 

8. That we heartily unite in, and resolve, to support the foregoing resolves, Atith 
our lives and fortunes. 

Voted, that the above resolves be published in the Providence Gazette. 
A true copy. Witness: SOLOMON TOWNSEXD, JR., 

Town Clerk. 

Proceedings of the People of Providence, in Town Meeting. 

At a town meeting, held at Providence, on the 17th day of May, 1774 ; called by 
'\varrant. 

Resolved, that this town will heartily join with the Province of the Massachusetts 
Bay, and the other colonies, in such measures as shall be generally agreed on by 
the colonies, for the protecting and securing their invaluable natural rights and 
privileges, and transmitting the same to the latest posterity. 

That the deputies of this town be requested to use their influence at the approach- 
ing session of the General Assembly of this colony, for promoting a congress, as 
soon as may be, of the representatives of the General Assemblies of the several colo- 
nies and provinces of North America, for establishing the firmest union ; and adopts 
ing such measures as to them shall appear the most effectual to answer that im- 
portant purpose ; aild to agree upon proper methods for executing the same. 

That the committee of correspondence of this town be desired tO' assure the town 
of Boston, that we consider ourselves greatly interested in the present alarming con- 
duct of the British Pai'liament towards them ; and view the whole English Amerl- 
oan colonies equally concerned in the event ; and that we will, with the utmost firm- 
ness, act accordingly, whenever any plan shall be agreed on. In the mean time, we 
are of opinion, that an universal stoppage of all trade with Great Britain, Ireland-,. 
Africa and the West Indies, until such time as the port of Boston shall be re- 
instated in its former privileges, &c., will be the best expedient in the case ; and that 
a proper time should be generally agreed on for the same universally to take place. 

Whereas, Jacob Schoemaker, late of Providence, died Intestate, and hath left six: 
negroes, four of whom are Infants ; and there being no heir to the said Jacob, ia 
this town or colony, the said negroes have fallen to this town, by law, provided no 
heir should appear. Therefoi-e — 

It Is voted by this meeting, that It is iinbecomlng the character of freemen to 
enslave the said negroes ; and they do hereby give up all claim of right or property 
in them, the said negroes, or either of them ; and it is hereby recommended to the 
town council to take the said negroes under their protection, and to bind the small 
children to some proper masters and mistresses ; and in case they should not be per- 
sonal estate of the said Jacob Schoemaker, sufficient to pay his just debts. It Is fur- 
ther recommended to said council, to bind out either or both of the adult negroes 
for that purpose. 

Whereas, the inhabitants of America are engaged in the preservation of their 
rights and liberties ; and as personal liberty is an essential part of the natural 
rights of mankind, the deputies of the town are directed to use their endeavors to 
obtain an act of the General Assembly, prohibiting the importation of negro slaves. 



1Y74.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 281 

into this colony ; and that all negroes born In the colony, should be free, after at- 
taining to a certain age. 

Voted, that James Angell, Esq., be added to the committee of correspondence, of 
this town, and that he sign their letters as clerk. 

A true copy: JAMES ANGELL, 

Town Clerk. 

Proceedings of the People of Newport, in Town Meeting. 

At a town meeting, called, and held at Newport, in the colony of Rhode Island, 
the 20th day of May, 1774. Henry Ward, Esq., moderator. 

Voted, that we have the deepest sense of the injuries done to the town of Boston, 
by the act of Parliament, lately passed, for putting an end to their trade, and de- 
stroying the port ; and that we consider this attack upon them, as utterly subversive 
of American liberty ; for the same power may at pleasure desti'oy the trade, and 
shut up the ports of every colony in its turn ; so that there will be a total end of all 
property. 

Voted, that we will unite with the other colonies in all reasonable and proper 
measures to procure the establishment of the rights of the colonies, upon a just and. 
permanent foundation ; and particularly, in case the other colonies shall, upon this 
alarming occasion, put a stop to their trade to Great Britain and the West Indies 
that we will heartily join with them in the measure. 

Voted, that the committee of correspondence, for this town, immediately transmit 
a copy of these resolutions to the committee of correspondence, for the town of 
Boston. 

Voted, that the committee of correspondence, of this town, Immediately send a 
copy of the above resolutions to each town in this colony. 

WILLI AJ^I CODDINGTON, 

Town Clerk. 

The above votes were passed in a very full meeting ; and it is with great jileasure 
we Inform the public, that there never appeared a more universal spirit, firmness and 
determined i-esolution to stand by, and support our brethren of Boston, against the 
diabohcal ministerial plan of slavery ; there being but one or two held up, against 
every thing bearing the least imaginable appearance of liberty. 

It Is proposed that a number of gentlemen Immediately form a company for car- 
rying on the woolen manufacture In this colony, In the most extensive manner ; there 
being quite wool enough raised here, to clothe all the Inhabitants. — Prov. Gazette. 

Proceedings of the People of Providence, in Town Meeting. 

At a town meeting, held at Providence, Rhode Island, convened by warrant, on 
the 12th day of August, 1774. Benjamin Man, Esq., moderator. 

INSTRUCTIONS TO THE DEPUTIES OF THIS TOWN, IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY. 

Gentlemen : — The sufferings and distresses of the people of the town of Boston, 
occasioned by a relentless execution of that cruel edict for blocking up the port, 

VOL. VII. 36 



282 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

awakens our attention and excites our compassion. Their cause is our cause ; and 
unless aid and succor be afforded them, they may be discouraged into a hurtful sub- 
mission, and ministerial vengeance may be next directed against this colony ; and 
in the end, alight upon all. 

You are therefore, requested to use your endeavors, at the next session of the 
General Assembly, to procure a grant to be made from this colony, of such sum of 
money as they may think fit, towards reheving and mitigating the difficulties and 
distresses which that town must experience from the operation of that most unright- 
eous inhibition, the hostile manner of carrying the same into force, and a general 
arrest of their hberties. 

Permit us to observe, that in doing this, it will be evidenced, that as a community, 
we would do unto others as we would that they should do unto us, in a like circum- 
stance ; and that it will be a greater testimony of unanimity in the general concern- 
ments of Amei-ica, in this day of struggle and danger, than private contributions, and 
far more equal. Jj\JMES A^GELL, 

Town Clerk. 

Proceedmgs of the People of Providence, in Toivn Meeting. 

At a town meeting, held at Providence, on the last Tuesday of August, 1774. 
The Honorable Darius Sessions, Esq., moderator. 

Whereas, at the last session of the Assembly, an order was passed, that John 
Smith would receive the quota of the arms belonging to the county of Providence, 
and deliver them to His Honor the Deputy Governor. 

Whereupon, it is by this meeting voted, that John Smith be appointed to procure 
the said small arms to be cleaned and made fit for use, and to procure proper chests 
for the same ; all of which expenses, to be paid by this town, after his accounts 
have passed the town audit. 

It is i-esolved by this meeting, that this town ought not to be made the asylum of 
any person or persons, of whatever town, place or city, Avithin the British dominions, 
whose principles and practices being inimical to the liberties of our country and its 
happy constitution, have rendered, or shall render them obnoxious to the inhabit- 
ants of such place or places from which they may emigrate ; and that all such ought 
to be discouraged by every prudent and legal measure. 

And the honorable town council are hereby requested to exert themselves for the 
removal and ejection of all such persons, so far as by law they may be warranted ; 
as they being admitted among us, may tend greatly to endanger the peace, order 
and tranquility of the town, as by recent instances have been manifested. 

Voted, that the above resolve be Inserted in the Providence Gazette. 

A true copy : JAjVIES ANGELL, 

Town Clerk. 

Proceedings of tfie People of Providence, in Town Meeting. 

At a town meeting, held in Providence on the 31st day of August, 1774; called 
by a warrant. The Hon. Darius Sessions, chosen moderator. 

Whereas, on the evening of the 30th of August instant, a number of persons im- 
pudently and tumultuously assembled themselves together, in a manner that did 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 283 

disturb the peace and order of tlie town ; and as sucli proceedings are of evil ex- 
ample, and repugnant to the good and wholesome laws of this town and colony, 
which if executed, we deem sufficient to support .the quiet and tranquility thereof; 
and such doings being ever derogatory to the honor of the town, and subversive of 
our rights and liberties to their very foundation, this town do protest against such 
proceedings ; and desire the civil magistrates, therein, to exert themselves to their 
utmost, to prevent and suppress all such unhappy disturbances in future ; in doing 
which, they may rely upon the aid and support of the freemen and well-disposed in- 
habitants of this town, at all times. 

Voted, that this vote be published (together with the resolve of yesterday), in the 
next Providence Gazette. 

The meeting was then dissolved. JONA. ARNOLD, 

Deputy Clerk. 



Proceedings of the People of Scituate, in Town Meeting. 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Scituate, in the colony of Ehode Is- 
land, legally warned and duly assembled, on Monday, the 26th day of September, 
1774. William West, Esq., moderator. 

Having taken into our consideration, the dark and gloomy clouds that seem to 
threaten a total destruction of the liberties of this, our native country, in general ; 
the distressing circmnstances of the town of Boston, in particular ; their harbor 
blockaded ; the inhabitants cut off from all trade and commerce by sea, on which 
great numbers of them depended for a supply of bread ; principles adopted for the 
government of that once flourishing province, unconstitutional, oppressive and en- 
forced by military power ; every artful means used to hasten its destruction ; char- 
ters which we once doated on, which we considered as unalterable as the laws of the 
Medes and Persians, and gloried in as the bulwark of the constitution of these colo- 
nies, now seem failing to protect the liberty of the subject, and altering at pleasure ; 
taxes levying, revenues raising without our consent obtained, or even asked ; in 
short, slavery herself, protected and guarded by tyi-anny, advancing with hasty steps 
towards this land of freedom and liberty. 

With the attention which such a subject demands, and at the same time we hope 
with all that calmness and candor so horrid a scene will possibly admit of, we have 
thought proper to come to the following resolve, viz. : 

That we will choose a committee of correspondence, to meet the committees chosen 
in the neighboring towns, that they may consult and agree on some general plan, 
that may have a tendency, under the blessing of Heaven, to insure to us our inval- 
uable rights and privileges; for which purpose, the following gentlemen were elected 
and chosen, viz. : Job Randall, Benjamin Slack, William West, Ezekiel Cornell, 
Esqs. ; Capt. Rufus Hopkins, Messrs. Peter Cooke and Stephen Sheldon, Jr. ; any 
four of whom, to represent this town in any meeting of corresspondence with the 
other committees, and to make a report of their proceedings to this town. 

Voted, that a committee be chosen, to collect donations for the relief of the poor 
of Boston, now suffering in the glorious cause of liberty ; and that Capt. Rufus Hop- 
kins and Ezekiel Cornell, Esq., receive said donations of said committee, and trnsmit 



284 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAKD [1774. 

the value thereof, in fat sheep, to the selectmen of the town of Boston, for the use, 
aforesaid. 

Toted, that the foregoing proceedings be pnbHshed in the Providence Gazette. 
A true copy : GIDEON HARRIS, 

Town Clerk. 

Proceedings of the People of Providence, in Town Meeting. 

At a town meeting, hold at Providence, Rhode Island, on the 21st day of Novem, 
ber, 17 74, A. M., called by warrant, to order a town tax, &c. Nicholas Brown 
Esq., moderator. 

Voted, that the committee of correspondence, for this town, be hereby empowered 
to receive of the town treasury the sum of £125, lawful money, and to transmit the 
same to the committee in the town of Boston, for receiving donations for the dis- 
tressed inhabitants of the town of Boston and Charlestown ; and the treasurer is 
hereby ordered to pay said sum out of the first money he shall receive of the tax now 
ordered. JAMES ANGELL, 

Town Clerk. 

Proceedings of the Committee of Correspondence of the Town of 
Providence. 

Providence, November 24, 1774. 

The committee of correspondence of the town of Providence, having met together 
this day, and taking under consideration an article in the association, made at the 
late American Continental Congress, relative to improving the breed of sheep, in- 
creasing their number, kiUing them as sparingly as may be ; especially, those of the 
most profitable kind, and not exporting them to the West Indies, do earnestly en- 
treat and exhort all persons within this town, to conform themselves exactly to this 
good and wise regulation ; as it will have a manifest tendency to bring about and 
secure that freedom and hajipiness which we so greatly contend for. 

We would observe, in particular, that those who shall so fer act in opposition to 
the united sentiments of all America, collected in general congress, as to kill any 
lambs, or young sheep, without the most evident necessity, or export any sheep at all 
to the West Indies, ought to be discountenaced, as persons who counteract the gen- 
eral welfare. 

Signed by order, and in behalf of the committee, JAMES ANGELL, Clerk. 

Providence {Rhode Island), Committee. Proceedings of the People 
of Providence, in Toivn Meeting. 

At a town meeting, held at Providence, Rhode Island, on the 1 7th day of Decem- 
ber, A. D. 1774, by adjournment and warrant. Nicholas Brown, Esq., moderator. 

Voted, that the following persons, to wit : William Earle, Nicholas Cooke, Esq. 
Benjamin Man, Zephaniah Andi-ews, Ai-thur Fenner, Jr., Ambrose Page, Nicholas 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 285 

Power, George Corlis, Paul Allen, David Lawrence, Joscpli Russell, Job Sweeting 
Joseph Bucklin, Jonathan Arnold, Bernard Eddy, Aaron Mason, Joseph Brown and 
Nathaniel Wheaton, together with the present committee of correspondence of this 
town, be, and hereby are, appointed a committee of inspection, to see that the associa- 
tion entered into by the general Continental Congress, be strictly adhered to, by all 
persons within this town, agreeably to the eleventh article of said association ; and 
that any seven of them make a quorum, who are' to meet monthly, to wit : on the 
thn-d Wednesday of every month, at the council chamber, at five of the clock, P. M. • 
and that the town sergeant duly attend said committee ; and that all the proceed- 
inss of said committee, be lodged on file at the town clerk's office. 



Proceedings of the People of Providence, in Town Meeting. 

Providence, December 24, 1774. 

At a town meeting, held here, on Saturday last, the following gentlemen were ap- 
pointed a committee, to see that the association agreement, entered into at the late 
Continental Congress, be faithfully and inviolably adhered to, in this town, viz. : 

WiUiam Earle, Nicholas Cooke, Benjamin Man, Zephaniah Andrews, Arthur Fen- 
ner, Jr., Ambrose Page, Nicholas Power, George Corlis, Paul Allen, David Law- 
rence, Joseph Eussell, Job Sweeting, Joseph Bucklin, Jonathan Arnold, Bernard 
Eddy, Aaron Mason, Joseph Brown and Nathaniel Wheaton. The committee is to 
meet on the third Wednesday, of every month, at the council chamber. 

A committee was last week appointed at Newport, for the same purpose. 

Report of the Committee of Inspection, for the Town of 
Providence. 

At a meeting of the committee of inspection, for the town of Providence, ap- 
pointed to observe the conduct of all pei-sons, touching the association entered into 
by the American Continental Congress, held at Philadelphia, the 5th day of Sep- 
tember, 1774: — 

We, the committee of inspection, for the town of Providence, with a vicAv of pre- 
venting as much as we can, any violation or departure from the agreement and as- 
sociation of the Continental Congress, aforesaid, have agreed to represent to the in- 
habitants of this town, in brief, such particulars contained in the said association, as 
will be incumbent on them all to observe. 

1. That they do not import any goods from Great Britain or Ireland, or from 
any other place, any such goods as shall have been exported from Great Bi'itain or 
Ireland ; nor any India tea from any part of the world ; nor any molasses, syrups 
paneles, coffee or pimento, from the British ^plantations, or from Dominica ; nor wines 
Irom Madeira, or the Western Islands ; nor foreign indigo. 

2. That they do not import or purchase any slave imported since the 1st of De- 
cember inst., and that they wholly discontinue the slave trade. 

3. That they do not purchase or use any tea, imported on account of the East 
India Company, or any on which a duty has been paid ; and that, from and after 
the 1st day of March next, they do not purchase or use any East India tea' 
whatever. 



286 RECORDS OP THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

4. That on the 10th day of September next, they suspend all exportation td 
Great Britain, Ireland and the West Indies ; except rice, to Europe. 

5. That such merchants as have sent orders to Great Britain or Ireland, for 
goods, do immediately countermand the same, according to the fifth article of the 
association agreement. 

6. That owners of vessels give orders to their captains or masters not to receive 
on board any goods prohibited by the non-importation agreement. 

7. That they use their utmost endeavors, to improve the breed of sheep, and in^ 
crease their number to the greatest extent ; that, to that end, they kill them as 
sparingly as may be, especially those of the most profitable kind ; that they do not 
export any to the West Indies, or elsewhere ; and those who are, or may be, over- 
stocked with, or can conveniently spare any sheep, do dispose of them to their 
neighbors ; especially the poorer sort, on moderate terms. 

8. That they encourage frugality, economy and industry ; and promote agriculture, 
arts and the manufactures of this country ; especially, that of wool ; discountenance 
and discourage horse-racing, gaming, cock-fighting, expensive shows, plays and 
diversions; that, on the death of a friend, they do not go into any fuither mourning 
than a black crape or ribbon, on the arm or hat, for gentlemen ; and a black ribbon 
OT.' necklace, for ladies; and discontinue the giving of gloves and scarfs, at funerals. 

9. That such as are venders of goods or merchandize, will not take advantage of 
the scarcity of goods that may be occasioned by the association ; but that they sell 
the same at the rates they have been respectively accustomed to do, for twelve 
months past ; and if any vender of goods or merchandize, shall sell any such goods 
on higher terms, or shall in any manner, or by any device, whatsoever, violate or 
depart from this agreement, no person ought, nor will any of us deal with such 
person, or his or her factor, or agent, at any time thereafter, for any commodity, 
whatever. 

10. That any goods or merchandize, imported after the 1st day of December, 
and before the 1st day of February, be, at the election of the owner, either re-shipped, 
or delivered to the committee, to be stored or sold, agi-eeably to the tenth ai'ticle of 
the association. 

11. That all manufoctures of this country be sold at reasonable rates, so that no 
undue advantage be taken of a future scarcity of goods. 

In all and every of which matters, we request all persons in this town, to yield 
the strictest conformity ; and in general, a full observance of every thing at large, 
in the proceedings of the congress ; as they would avoid such contempt and incon*. 
venience, as otherwise they would incur ; recommending a frequent perusal of the 
said proceedings, tq the end that they may fully know their duty with respect to 
said agreement entered into, as a great means for extricating this country from im- 
pending ruin and slavery. 

And we earnestly request all persons, both in town and country, who deal or trade 
in this place, and all othei's, to give us information of the names of such as shall 
violate any part of the association, that they may meet with such discouragement as 
the congress have directed. 

Voted, that all persons, who shall in future, bring goods into this town, either by 
land or water, shall produce a certificate from the committee of inspection, for the 
place from whence the goods may be brought, of their being imported before the 
1st day of December ; or, that they were bought at vendue, according to the regu- 
lation of the American Congress, as contained in the tenth article. 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 287 

Voted, that tlie chairman of this committee, or any three of the members, be em- 
powered to give certificates to any person who shall apply, for goods imported into 
this town, a<];reeably to the regulations of the congress. 

NICHOLAS COOKP; 

Chairman. 



CORRESPONDENCE AVITH, AND PROCEEDINGS OF, THE COLONIES, 
RELATIVE TO THE ENCROACHMENTS OF PARLIAMENT, ON 
THEIR LIBERTIES. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly of New York. 

City of New York, 20th January, 1774. 

The House, according to order, resolved itself into a committee of the whole 
House, upon the letters received from the speakers of several of the Houses of 
Assembly on this continent, enclosing the resolutions entered into by them re- 
spectively. 

After some time sj^ent therein, Mr. Speaker resumed the chair, and Col. Seaman 
reported from the committee, that they had directed him to report to the House the 
following resolutions, to wit : 

Resolved, nemine contradlcente^ that it is the opinion of this committee, that a stand- 
ing committee of correspondence and inquiry be appointed, to consist of the following 
persons, to wit : John Cruger, Esq., speaker ; James DeLancey, James Jauncey, Jacob 
Walton, Benjamin Seaman, Isaac Wilkins, Frederic Phillips, Daniel Kissam, Zebulon 
Seaman, John Rapalje, Simon Boemm, John Denoyellis and George Clinton, Esqs. 
or any seven of them, whose business it shall bo, to obtain the most early and au- 
thentic intelligence of all such acts and resolutions of the British Parliament, or pro- 
ceedings of the administration, as do, or may relate to, or affect, the liberties and 
privileges of His Majesty's subjects in the British colonies in America ; and to keep 
up and maintain a correspondence and communication with our sister colonies, re- 
specting these important considerations ; and the result of their proceedings to lay 
before the House. 

Resolved also, nemine contradicenle, that it is the opinion of this committee, that 
the speaker of this House prepare draughts of letters to the speakers of the Assem- 
blies on the continent of America, enclosing these resolutions, and requesting 
them to lay the same before their respective Assemblies ; and that he do return 
the thanks of this House to the Burgesses of Virginia, for their early attention to 
the liberties of America. 

Which resolutions, having been read a second time, — 

Resolved, that this House doth agree with the committee in the said resolutions. 
By order of the General Assembly, for the colony of New York. 

GERARD BANCKER, 

Assistant Clerk. 



288 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1774. 



Proceedings of the House of Assemhhj of New Jersey. 

House of Assembly, ) 

New Jersey. Tuesday, February 8th, 1774. j 

The House resumed the consideration of the several letters and resolutions of the 
other Houses of Assembly, on the subject matter of the common rights and liberties 
of the colonies. And — 

The House resolved itself into a committee of the Avhole House, upon the mat- 
ters aforesaid ; and after some time spent therein, Mr. Speaker resumed the chair ; 
and Mr. Crane, chairman of the committee, by order of the House, reported the 
resolutions of the committee, as follows, viz. : 

1. Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, that the House should 
heartily accept of the invitation to a mutual correspondence and intercourse with 
our sister colonies. 

To which, the House agreed nemine contradicenie, 

2. Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, that a standing committee of 
correspondence and inquiry, be appointed, to consist of the following persons, to 
wit : James Kinsey, Stephen Crane, Hendrick Fisher, Samuel Tucker, John Weth- 
erill, Robert Friend Price, John Hinchman, John Mehelm and Edward Taylor, 
Esqs., or any five of them, whose business it shall be, to obtain the most early and 
authentic intelligence of all acts and resolutions of the Parliament of Great Britain, 
or the proceedings of the administration, that may have any relation to, or may 
affect the liberties and privileges of His Majesty's subjects in the British colonies in 
America ; and to keep up and maintain a correspondence and communication with 
our sister colonies, i-especting those important considerations ; and that they do oc- 
casionally lay their proceedings before the House. 

To which, the Hou$e agreed nemine contradicenfe. 

3. Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, that the said committee of 
correspondence do write letters to the several speakers of the Assemblies on the con- 
tinent of America, enclosing these resolutions, and requesting them to lay the same 
before their respective Assemblies ; and that they do return the thanks of the House 
to the Burgesses of Virginia, for their early attention to the liberties of America. 

To which, the House agreed nemine contradicenfe. 

A true copy, from the journals. RICHARD S:\nTH, 

Clerk of the Assembly. 



John Cruger, Speaker of the House of Representatives, of New 
York, to Metcalfe Bowler, Speaker of the House of Deputies, 
of Rhode Island. 

New York, March 1st, 1774. 
Sir : — Your letter, of the 1 5th of INIay last, together with the resolves of the Honorable 
House of Deputies, of the colony of Rhode Island, which they entered into on the 7th 
May last, enclosed therein, I laid before the General Assembly, of this colony, at the 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 289 

opening of the present session ; who being sensible that they arc of the utmost im- 
portance to the rights and liberties of the American colonies, came to the enclosed 
resolutions, which they directed me to communicate to you ; and to desire that you 
will lay them before your House of Deputies, at their next meeting. 

I am. sir, &c,, &c., 
JOHN CRUGER, Speaker. 
To the Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, Esq., ■» 

Speaker of the House of Deputies, of the colony of Rhode Island, j 

The Committee of Correspondence^ of New Jersey, to the Speaker 
of the House of Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

Burlington, March 16th, 1774. 
Sir : — The representatives of this colony having received a letter from the truly 
patriotic House of Burgesses, in Virginia, enclosing their resolutions to obtain the 
most early intelligence of all such acts and resolutions of the Bi-itish Parliament, or 
proceedings of the administration, as may relate to, or ntfect the British colonies 
and to maintain a mutual correspondence and communication, concerning these im- 
portant considerations, have come to the enclosed resolutions, which we have the 
honor to send you. 

The utility of the plan proposed, at a time when claims are made on the colonies 
to which they cannot give their assent, appeared so evident, that they unanimously 
and cheerfully adopted the design of uniting in every prudent and constitutional 
measure, necessary to defeat every attempt to deprive them of the inestimable rights 
and privileges of British subjects. 

The committee of correspondence request the favor of you, to direct any intelli- 
gence which your Honorable House may conceive necessary, to be communicated to 
the colony, to James Klnsey, Esq., in the city of Burlington, New Jersey. 

AVe are, with great respect, &c., &c., 
J. KINSEY, J. WETHERILL, 

SAM. TUCKER, JN. HINCHMAN. 

HEND'K FISHER, 
The Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, Esq. 

The Committee of Correspondence, of Westerly, to the Committee 
of Correspondence, at Boston. 

Westerly, May 19, 1774. 

Gentlemen : — With mingled concern and indignation, the committee of corres- 
pondence for this town, have seen an act for blocking up the harbor of Boston. 

Rome, designing to destroy the city of Carthage, barbarously required of the Car- 
thagenians that they should forsake their city, and remove their habitations twelve 
miles from the sea. The consideration of the inveterate hatred, occasioned by the 
long and bloody wars which had subsisted between Rome and Carthage ; the re- 
membrance of several hundred thousand Romans killed in those wars, and several 
hundred towns plundered by the Carthagejiians, are some excuse for the Roman 

VOL. VII. 37 



290 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

severity ; but the cruel and unnatural treatment which the town of Boston has re- 
ceived from Great Britain, will admit of no palliation. 

The metropolis of a most affectionate and loyal colony, which in all the wars of 
Great Britain hath gloriously supported the British interest in America ; and even 
by their wise and vigorous efforts made a conquest which gave peace to Europe, is 
now threatened with destruction, for no other cause, but because the people have 
bravely determined not to become slaves. 

We have long felt for the town of Boston ; we heartily sympathize with our breth_ 
ren upon this alarming occasion ; we are much pleased with the noble firmness with 
which this cruel edict is received in Boston. 

We highly approve the measures taken by the town ; and are entirely of opinion, 
that the joint resolution of the colonies, to stop all importations from, and exporta- 
tions to, Great Britain and the West Indies, uniil the act is repealed, will infallibly 
produce the desired effect. 

The country which we possess, blessed be God ! affords every necessary of life. 
We are morally certain, that, with the common blessings of Heaven upon our in- 
dustry and frugality, we can live comfortably, without importing a single article 
from Great Britain or the West Indies ; and we are equally certain, that neither 
England nor the West Indies can subsist long without us ; their own preservation, 
therefore, will compel them to do us justice. 

This horrid attack upon the town of Boston, we consider not as an attempt upon 
that town singly, but upon the whole continent. 

We are therefore, determined to use our whole influence for the support of the 
town of Boston, in the same manner as if the attack had been made on the metrop- 
olis of this colony ; and we doubt not but the other colonies will consider this arbi- 
trary and tyrannical edict in the SBme light, and heartily unite with the friends of 
liberty in Boston, in support of the common cause. 

That infinite Avisdom may direct and preserve all the colonies, is the ardent 
prayer of, &c., &c. 

The Committee of Correspondence of Newport, to the Committee 
of Correspondence of Boston. 

Newport, May 20th, 1774. 
Gentlemen : — Your letters, together with one from Mr. Adams, upon the late 
most alarming occasion of shutting up the port of Boston, was considered in a full 
meeting of the freemen of the town, legally assembled this day ; and the enclosed 
resolutions entered into, with not more than two or three dissenting voices. 

AVe have no doubt but an hearty union of the colonies in the measures necessary 
to be taken in this important crisis, will open the eyes of our fellow subjects in Great 
Britain, and operate effectually to the redress of the grievances of the colonies. 

We deplore the present unhappy situation of our brethren in Boston, and assure 
you that every consolation and relief in the power of Newport, may be expected and 
depended upon. We are, gentlemen, &c., &c., 

Signed by— JOHN COLLINS, AVILLIAM VERNON, 

SAMUEL FOWLER, HENRY WARD, 

Committee of Correspondence. 
To the Committee of Correspondence, of Boston. 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 291 



The Committee of Correspondence^ of Boston, to the Committee 
of Correspondence, of Newport. 

Boston, May—, 1774. 

Gentlemen : — We have just received the copy of an act of the British Parhament, 
passed the present session, whereby the town of Boston is treated in a manner the 
most ignominious and unjust. 

The ParHament have taken upon them, from the representation of our Governor, 
and other persons, inimical to, and deeply prejudiced against the inhabitants, to try, 
condemn, and by an act, to punish them unheard ; which would have been in viola- 
tion of natural justice, even if they had an acknowledged jurisdiction. 

They have ordered our port to be entirely shut up, leaving us barely so much of 
the means of subsistence, as to keep us from perishing with cold and hunger; and 
it is said that a fleet of British ships of war is to shut up our harbor, until we shall 
make restitution to the East India Company for the loss of tlieir tea, Avhich was de- 
stroyed therein, the winter past ; obedience paid to the laws and authority of Great 
Britain, and the revenue is duly collected. 

This act fills the inhabitants with indignation. The more thinking part of those 
who have hitherto been in favor of the measures of the British government, look 
upon it as not to have been expected even from a barbarous state. 

This attack, though made immediately upon us, is doubtless designed for every 
other colony, who will not surrender their sacred rights and liberties into the hands 
of an infamous ministry. 

Now therefore, is the time, when all should be united, in opposition to this viola- 
tion of the liberties of all. Their grand object is to divide the colonies. 

We are well informed, that another bill is to be brought into Parliament, to dis- 
tinguish this from the other colonies, by repealing some of the acts which have been 
complained of, and ease the American trade ; but, be assured, you will be called 
upon to surrender your rights, if ever tjiey should succeed in their attempts to sup- 
press the spirit of liberty here. 

The single question then is, whether you consider Boston as now suffering in the 
common cause, and sensibly feel and resent the injury and affront offered her ? If 
you do (and we cannot believe otherwise), may we not, from your approbation of 
our former conduct in defence of American hberty, rely on your suspending your 
trade Avith Great Britain, at least ; which, it is acknowledged, will be a great but 
necessary sacrifice to the cause of hberty, and will effectually defeat the designs of 
this act of revenge. If this should be done, you will please to consider it will be 
thought a voluntary suffering, greatly short of what we are called to endure under 
the immediate hand of tyranny. 

We desire your answer, by the bearer ; and after assuring you, that, not in the 
least intimidated by this inhuman treatment, we are still determined, to the utmost 
of our abiUties, to maintain the rights of America, 
We are, gentlemen, 

Your friends and fellow countrj-men, 

WILLIAM COOPER, Clerk. 

Signed by order, and in behalf of the Committee of Correspondence, for Boston. 



292 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

N. B. The above was -(vritten witli the concurrence of the committee of corres- 
pondence of the towns of Charlestown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Roxburj', 
Dorchester, Lexington and Lynn. 

The Committee of Correspondence, of Virginia, to the Committee 
of Correspondence, of Rhode Island. 

"Williamsburg, Virginia, ) 
May 28th, 1774. j" 
Gentlemen : — The enclosed papers will explain to you our present political state 
here, with respect to the unhapp}' dispute with our mother country. 

The propriety of appointing deputies from the several colonies of British America, 
to meet annually in general congress, appears to be a measure extremely important and 
extensively useful, as it tends so effectually to obtain the united wisdom of the 
whole, in every case of general concern. 

We are desired to obtain your sentiments on the subject, which you will be 
pleased to furnish us with. Being veiy desirous of communicating to you, the 
opinion and conduct of the late representatives on the present posture of American 
aflairs, as quickly as possible, we beg leave to refer you to a future letter, in which 
we shall more fully express our sentiments on these subjects. 

"We are, with great respect, gentlemen, &c., &c., 

PEYTON RANDOLPH, 
K C. NICHOLAS, 
DUDLEY DIGGE, 
Committee of Correspondence, &c. 
To the Committee of Correspondence, for Rhode Island. 

Resolution of the House of Representatives, of Massachusetts, 
relative to the Closing of the Port of Boston. 

Province of Massachusetts Bay, •> 

In the House of Representatives, May 26th, 1774. \ 
Resolved, that the committee of correspondence be, and they hereby are, directed 
to write to the committees of correspondence of all the British colonies on this con- 
tinent, enclosing a copy of an unprecedented act of the British Parliament, for 
shutting up the port of Boston, and otherwise punishing the inhabitants of that 
town; and desire their immediate attention to an act, designed to suppress the 
spirit of hberty in America. 
A true copy, attest- 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 293 

The Committee, of Correspondence of Massachusets, to the 
Committee of Correspondence, of Rhode Island, relative to 
certain -proceedings of the House of Representatives, of that 
Colony. 

Province of the Massachusetts Bay, i 
May 28th, 1774. | 

Gentlemen : — By order of tlie House of Representatives, of this Province, we en- 
close you an act passed in the late session of the British Parliament, entitled " An 
act to discontinue in such manner, and for such time, as are therein mentioned, the 
landing and discharging, lading or shipping of goods, wares and merchandize, at the 
town, and within the harbor of Boston, in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, in 
North America." 

We think that the archives of Constantinople might be in vain searched for a par^ 
allel. To reason Upon such an act, would be idleness. You will doubtless judge 
every British American colony deeply concerned in it, and contemplate and deter- 
mine upon it, accordingly. We are, with great regard. 

Your friends and fellow countrymen, 
THOMAS GUSHING, THOS. GARDNEPt, 

SAMUEL ADAMS, JOSEPH HAWLEY, 

JAS. WARREN, WM. HEATH, 

Committee of Correspondence, &c. 
To the gentlemen the Committee of Correspondence, appointed by the Honorable 
House of Deputies, in the colony of Rhode Island. 

^' J i n or Die!" 

The act of Parliament, for blocking up the harbor of Boston, in order to reduce 
its spirited inhabitants to the most servile and mean compliances ever attempted to 
be imposed on a free people, is allowed to be infinitely more alarming and danger- 
ous to our common liberties, than even that hydra, the stamp act (which was de- 
feated by our firmness and union), and must be i-ead with a glowing indignation, by 
every real friend of freedom in Europe and America. 

Though the town of Boston is now intended to be made a victim to ministerial 
wrath ; yet the insult and indignity offered to our virtuous brethren in that capital, 
who have so nobly stood as a barrier against slavery, ought to be viewed in the same 
odious light as a direct, hostile invasion of every province on the continent, Avhose 
inhabitants are now loudly called upon, by interest, honor and humanity, to stand 
forth, with firmness and unanimity, for the relief, support and animation of our 
brethren in the insulted, besieged capital of Massachusetts Bay. 

The generals of despotism are now drawing the lines of circumvallation around 
our bulwarks of liberty ; and nothing but unity, resolution and perseverance, can 
save ourselves and posterity from what is worse than death — slavery I 

Newport, Rhode Island, May 30, 1774. 



294 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 



The Committee of Correspondence^ of Connecticut, to the Com- 
mittee of Correspondence J of Boston. 

Hartford, June 3d, 1774. 

Gentlemen : — The lower House of Assembly, at their session, at this place, 
which closes this day, came into sundry resolutions, relative to their rights and 
privileges ; an extract from which, you have enclosed, which we take the earliest 
opportunity of sending you; and on the important subject, take the liberty to add, as 
our opinion, that a congress is absolutely necessary, previous to almost every other 
measure. Since, as the injury is general, the mode taken for redress, ought to be 
commensurate ; which can be, by no means, short of a general conference and 
union. 

The resolves of merchants, in any individual town or province, however gener- 
ously designed, must be partial ; and when considered in respect to the whole of the 
colonies, in one general view, at best defective ; while on the other hand, every 
measure recommended, every resolve come into, by the whole united coh nies, must 
carry weight and influence on the minds of the people, and efTectually silence those 
base insinuations which our enemies aro ever ready to throw out, of interested mo- 
tives, sinister views, unfair practices and the like; for the vile purposes of sowing 
the seeds of jealousy between the colonies, to divide and render abortive all our de- 
signs in favor of the liberties of America. 

We conceive that little, or nothing, need be added on this subject, as the pro- 
priety and utility of the measure, is acknowledged by all. The time and place seems 
only to be fixed on, for the first ; the earlier, consistent with having the principal 
provinces notified and present, the better ; — say the last Wednesday in July, or first 
in August ; by which time, all, as far as Virginia, may be informed of, and invited to 
attend it. 

For the place. New York is as near the center ; but the season of the year makes 
us prefer some agreeable town to a city, in which there will be more avocations, be- 
ides its being disagreeable in these months. Norwalk or Fairfield, are towns in which 
gentlemen men may be well accommodated, in this colony. But we submit this, as 
well as the time, to your opinions, which we shall expect as soon as possible. 

We conceive, as a committee of correspondence and inquiry are appointed in 
every considerable colony, by their Assemblies, they are the proper persons to at- 
tend, or to appoint others for that business. 

But of this, the gentlemen in your colony are the proper judges; and we hint 
this, as the Assemblies of some of the most respectable colonies will hardly have an 
opportunity of meeting again until next winter, and consequently will not be able to 
appoint in any season. 

We have only to add, that we are sensibly affected with your distressed situation. 
We are, gentlemen. 

Your friends, and fellow countrymen, 

SILAS DEAN, 
Signed per order of the Committee of Correspondence, for Connecticut. 

P. S. Yours, of the 31st ultimo, in reply to ours, of the 26th, is before us. The 
situation of the town of Boston, particularly of the poor, and such as must now be 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 296 

deprived of employ and reduced to straits, was considered by both Houses of As- 
sembly, and a resolution come into, to contribute to their relief, which passed both 
the Houses of Assembly ; but the time and mode for carrying it into execution, is 
deferred, until they hear more directly from you ; which doubtless they will, before 
their next meeting. 

To the Committee of Correspondence, for Boston. 

The Committee of Correspondence, of Connecticut, to the Com- 
mittee of Correspondence, of Newport, 

Hartford, June 4th, 1774. 
Gentlemen : — You have, enclosed, the copy of our letter to the committee of cor- 
respondence, at Boston, of even date, herewith. 

Confident you have not been inattentive to the present alarming proceedings, re- 
specting the colonies, we shall not detain you, by attempting to suggest any thing 
new, on the subject ; but to desire, if you are of the same sentiment with us, in the 
enclosed, that you will give us seasonable notice of the measures you take, in car- 
rying the proposal into execution. 

We are, with great regard, gentlemen. 

Your friends, and fellow countrymen, 

SILAS DEAN, 
Signed per order of the Committee of Correspondence, for Connecticut. 
To the Committee of Correspondence, Newport, Rhode Island. 

The Committee of Correspondence, of Massachusetts, to the Com- 
mittee of Correspondence, of Rhode Island. 

Province of the Massachusetts Bay, ■> 
Boston, June 4, 1774. | 

Gentlemen : — We take the earliest opportunity to enclose you copies of two bills 
brought into Parhament, and before this time, probably enacted, which we have just 
received by a vessel, in thirty-six days from Bristol. 

It is also confidently reported, that a third bill is to be brought into Parliament, 

for the better regulating the governments of the other provinces in North America , 

Tliese edicts, cruel and oppressive as they are, we consider as but bare specimens 

of what the continent are to expect from a Parliament, who claim a right to make 

laws binding us in all cases, whatsoever. 

We are your friends and fellow countrymen, 
THOMAS GUSHING, JOSEPH HAWLEY, 

SAMUEL ADAMS, THOMAS GARDNER, 

Committee of Correspondence. 
To the gentlemen the Committee of Correspondence, appointed by the House of 
Deputies, of the colony of Rhode Island. 



296 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 



CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE SEVERAL COLONIES, WITH RESO. 
LUTIONS RELATIVE TO THE MEETING OF A GENERAL CON- 
GRESS OF THE COLONIES IN PHILADELPHIA. 



The Speaker of the House of Representatives^ of Massachmetts^ 
to the Speaker of the House of Representatives^ of Rhode 
Island. 

Province of the Massachusetts Bay, "i 
June 17th, 1774. ) 

Sir : — Agreeably to the directions of the House of Representatives, of this 
Province, I have the honor to transmit you a copy of certain resolves they entered 
into, in their present session ; by which, you will perceive that it is their opinion tha* 
a meeting of committees from the several colonies on this continent, is highly expe- 
dient and necessary ; and that they propose that such meeting be at the city of Phil- 
adelphia, on the 1st day of September next; and that, for the purposes mentioned 
in said resolves, they have appointed a committee of five, on the part of this 
Province, whom they have directed to repair to Philadelphia, at the time before- 
mentioned. 

This appears to be a measure absolutely necessary for the establishment of the 
rio-hts and liberties of the colonies, upon a just and solid foundation ; and for the re- 
storation of union and harmony between both countries. 

It is not doubted, but it will be agreed to in your colony, if it should, it is desired 
that as early notice as possible might be transmitted to — 

Sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 

THOMAS CUSHING, 

Speaker. 
To the Honorable the Speaker of the Honorable House of Deputies, of the colony 
of Rhode Island. 

P. S. If this letter cannot be communicated seasonably to your Honorable House, 
it is desired it may be communicated to their committee of correspondence. 

Resolutions of the House of Representatives, of Massachusetts. 

Province of the Massachusetts Bay, ^ 

In the House of Representatives, June 17th, 1774. ) 

This House having duly considered, and being deeply affected with, the unhappy 
differences which have long subsisted and are increasing between Great Britain and 
the American colonies, — 

Do i-esolve, that a meeting of committees from the several colonies on this conti- 
nent, is highly expedient and necessary, to consult upon the present state of the 
colonies, and the miseries to which they are, and must be, reduced by the operation 
of certain acts of Parliament, respecting America ; and to deliberate and determine 
upon wise and proper measures, to be by them recommended to all the colonies, for 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 297 

the recovery and establishment of their just rights and hberties, civil and religious ; 
and the restoration of union and harmony between Great Britain and the colonies, 
most ardently desired by all good men. 

Therefore, resolved that the Hon. James Bowdoin, Esq., the Hon. Thomas 
Cushing, Esq., Mr. Samuel Adams, John Adams and Robert Treat Paine, Esqs., be, 
and they are hereby, appointed a committee, on the part of this Province, for the 
purposes, aforesaid ; any three of whom, to be a quorum, to meet such committees or 
delegates from the other colonies, as have been, or may be, appointed, either by 
their respective Houses of Burgesses, or Representatives, or by convention ; or by 
the committees of correspondence, appointed by the respective Houses of Assembly, 
jn the city of Philadelphia ; or any other place that shall be judged most suitable by 
the committees, on the 1st day of September next ; and that the speaker of the 
House be directed, in a letter to the speakers of the Houses of Burgesses, or Repre- 
sentatives, in the several colonies, to inform them of the substance of these resolves. 
A true copy, attest : SAMUEL ADAMS, Clerk. 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Rhode Island, 
to the several British Colonies, in North America. 

Newport, June 20, 1774. 
Sir : — Agreeably to the directions of the General Assembly, I have the honor to 
enclose you a copy of certain resolutions entered into by them, respecting the very 
alarming situation of the colonies. 

I have also to inform you, that, upon this occasion, the Assembly have adjourned 
to the fourth INIonday in August next. 

I am, with very great regard, sir, 

Your most humble servant, 
METCALFE BOWLER, Speaker.* 

The Committee of Correspondence, of New York, to the Com- 
mittee of Correspondence, of Connecticut. 

New York, June 24th, 1774. 

Gentlemen: — We have your letter of June 4th, before us, enclosing the resolves 
■of your Assembly, and a letter to the committee of correspondence, of Boston ; and 
we agree with you, that at this alarming juncture, a general congress of deputies 
fi-om the several colonies, would be a very expedient and salutary measure. 

Such a congress, consisting of men of coolness, prudence and understanding, 
would, we conceive, be the best means, under Providence, of restoring that jieace 
and harmony between Great Britain and her colonies, which is the surest foun- 
dation of happiness to both ; and which every good man, every well-wisher to his 
(country fought to labor strenuously to establish. 

We are sorry, therefore, that we are not sufficiently empowered to take any steps 
in relation to so salutary a measure ; for we are a committee of correspondence, 

* The resolutions, referred to, which were transpaitted to the several British colonies, will 
be found on page 246 . 

VOL. VII. 38 



298 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

and cannot consistently with good order and jDropriety, interfere in a matter of 
such importance, without the appointment and concurrence of our whole House of 
Representatives. 

After what has been said, it would be needless to mention any thiuo- about the 
place of meeting ; only this, that, if the other colonies, who may have authority for 
so doing, should meet in congress, in or near this city, we shall most gladly and wil- 
lingly assist with our advice, &c., if necessary ; which, circumstanced as we are at 
present, is all we are enabled to do. 

We should be glad, however, to know before we come to any final determination 
on this matter, what steps will be taken by the other colonies, who are in the same 
situation with us, by not having an opportunity of knowing the sentiments of their 
Houses of Representatives, when the measures proposed to be adopted by them, 
shall be communicated to us, we shall be better able to judge what plan will be 
most likely to procure a redress of om' present grievances, and promote the union 
and prosperity of the mother country and the colonies ; and we expect daily to re- 
ceive accounts of these matters, of which we shall send you the most early intelh- 
gence. We are, Avith great esteem, gentlemen. 

Your most obedient servants, 
JOHN CRUGER, JOHN RAPALJE, 

JA. JAUNCEY, DANIEL KISSAM, 

FRED'K PHILIPSE, ZEB. SEAMAN, late 

JA]\IES DeLANCEY, ZEB. WILLIAMS, 

JACOB WALTON, BENJMIESI SEAMAN, 

SBION BOEMM, Committee, &c. 

To the Con^mittee of Correspondence, of the General Assembly, of Connecticut. 

John Cruger, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of 
New York, to Metcalfe Bowler, Speaker of the House of Rep- 
resentatives, of Rhode Island. 

New York, June 27, 1774. 

Sir : — Your letter of the 20th of June, enclosing the resolutions of your House of 
Representatives, respecting the alarming situation of the colonies, was received the 
day after our committee of correspondence broke up, and the members returned to 
the country. 

The enclosed letter, to the conunittee of correspondence, of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, of the colony of Connecticut, will convey to you their sentiments of the 
propriety of a general congress, and of the power wliich they conceive given to 
them, by the General Assembly of this colony. 

W^e shall doubtless soon receive accounts of the delibei-ations of the colony of 
Virginia and the other Southern colonies, on these important matters, when we 
shall again call together our committee, and communicate to you their resolutions 
thereon. I have the honor to be with great regard, sir. 

Your most obedient servant, 

JOHN CRUGER. 

To the Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, Esq. 



1774.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 



299 



Census of Rhode Island, taken in June, 1774 ; as published in 
the Providence Gazette, July 2, 1774. 

The number of inhabitants in this colony, according to the hsts given in by the 
several towns, at the late session of Assembly, is as follows : 



County of NeiL'port. 
Newport . . . . 
Portsmouth - - - 
Jamestown - - - - 
IVIiddletown - . - 
Tiverton . . - - 
Little Compton - 
NcAV Shoreham 



Kings County. 

9,209 North Kingstown - - - 2,472 

1,512 South Ivingstown - - - 2,835 

563 Westerly ----- 1,812 

881 Charlestown - - - - 1,821 

1,957 Exeter 1,864 

1,232 Richmond - . - - 1,257 

575 Hopkinton ----- 1,805 



15,929 

County of Kent 
County of Providence. AVarwick ... 

Providence - - - - 4,321 West Greenwich - 
Smithfield 2,888 East Greenwich 



Scituate - 
Glocester - 
Cranston 
Cumberland 
Johnston - 
North Providence 



3,601 Coventry 

- 2,945 
1,834 

- 1,756 

1,031 Bristol - 

- [830 Warren 

Barrington 

19,206 



County of Bristol. 



13,866 

2,438 
1,764 
1,663 
2,023 

7,888 

1,209 
979 
601 

2,789 



Whites 
Indians 
Blacks 



Total 



54,435 
1,482 
3,761 

59,678 



Proceedings of the House of Representatives, of New Hampshire, 
July 21, 1774. 



Province of New Hampshire. 

At a meeting of deputies, appointed by the several towns, in this province, held at 
Exeter, in the county of Rockingham, 21st of July, 1774, for the election of dele- 
gates, on behalf of this province, to join the general congress proposed. 

Present, eighty-five members. 

The Hon. John Wentworth, Esq., in the chair. 



300 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

It being moved from the chair, whether it was expedient to send delegates on the 
part of this province, to the general congress, — 

Resolved vmanimously, that, under the present perplexed situation of the public 
affairs of the colonies, it is expedient and necessary, to send such delegates to the 
general congress. 

Voted, that Col. Nathaniel Folsom and Major John Sullivan, Esqs., be appointed 
and empowered, as delegates, on the part of this province, to attend and assist in the 
general congress of" delegates from the other colonies, at such time and place as may 
be appointed, to devise, consult and adopt such measures as may have the most 
likely tendency to extricate the colonies from their present difficulties ; to secure and 
perpetuate their rights, liberties and privileges, and to restore that peace, harmony 
and mutual confidence, which once happily subsisted between the parent country, 
and her colonies. 

Voted, that the £200, lawful money, generously contributed by the several towns, 
and sent by their respective deputies, agreeably to the recommendation of the mem- 
bers of the late House of Representatives, be paid to the treasurer that may be ap- 
pointed to receive the same, to defray the expense of sending the delegates. 

A^oted, that John Giddinge, Esq., be appointed treasurer to receive the same 
money or any other, that may be given for that purpose ; and to pay the same to the 
delegates, and take their receipts therefor. 

Voted, that the Hon. John Wentworth, Esq., the Hon. Meseach Weare, Col. Jo- 
siah Bartlett, Col. Christopher Toppau and John Pickering, Jr., Esqs., be a com- 
mittee, in behalf of the deputies appointed by the several towns, to give general 
instructions to the delegates, chosen in behalf of this province ; that the same com- 
mittee be invested with fuU power, by, and in behalf of, the deputies present, in case 
one or both the delegates elected, should be providentially hindered from going to 
the general congress, to elect other delegate or delegates in his or their room ; 
and that the delegate shall account with the committee, for the money received. 

Voted unanimously, that the deputies recommend it to their respective towns, to 
take into consideration the distressed, unhappy condition of the town of Boston, and 
liberally to contribute towards the relief of the poor of that town, according to the 
noble and laudable example of their sister colonics. 

Proceedings of the House of Representatives, of Pennsylvania. 

In Assembly, ^ 

Pennsylvania. July 22d, 1774. A.M. ^ 

The House taking into their most serious consideration, the unfortunate differ- 
ences which have long subsisted between Great Britain and the American colonies, 
and have been greatly increased by the operation and effects of divers late acts of 
the British Parliament, — 

Resolved, that there is an absolute necessity that a congress of deputies from the 
several colonies, be held as soon as conveniently may be, to consult together upon 
the present unhappy state of the colonies; and to form and adopt a plan for the 
purposes of obtaining a redress of American grievances, ascertaining American 
rights upon the most sohd and constitutional principles, and for establishing that 
union and harmony between Great Britain and the colonies, which is indispensably 
necessary to the welfare and happiness of both ; therefore— 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 301 

Resolved, that the Hon. Josej^h Galloway, speaker ; Samuel Rhoads, Thomas 
lliffliu, Charles Humphreys, John Morton, George Ross and Edward Biddle, Esqs., 
be, and they are hereby, appointed a committee, on the part of this jwovince, for 
the purposes, aforesaid ; and that they, or any four of them, do meet such commits 
tees or delegates, from the other colonies, as have been, or may be, appointed, either 
by their respective Houses of Representatives, or by convention, or by the provin- 
cial or colony committees, at such time and jjlace, as shall be generally agreed on 
by such committees ; and that the speaker of this House be directed, in a letter to 
the speakers of the Houses of Representatives, of the other colonies, to inform 
them of these resolves. 

Extract from the journals : CHARLES MOORE, 

Clerk of Assemblv. 



The Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Pennsylvania, 
to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Rhode 
Island. 

Philadelphia, July 24th, 1774. 
Sir : — By order of the House of Representatives, of Pennsylvania, I have the 
honor to enclose a copy of certain resolutions entered into by them, respecting the 
present alarming state of the colonies ; and appointing a committee, to meet the 
committees of the other colonies, in congress. 

I am, with great respect, sir, your most obedient servant, 

JOSEPH GALLOWAY, Speaker. 
To the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

The Committee of Correspondence, of North Carolina, to the 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

North CaroUna, 28th July, 1774. 
Sir : — We are favored with your letter of the 20th of June, directed to the 
speaker of late House of Assembly, of this province. 

The Governor, some time before we had notice of the proceedings of the British 
Parliament, relative to the town of Boston, dissolved the Assembly of this province, 
and has not hitherto thought proper to convene the members, who have been since 
elected. 

We are now endeavoring to procure a meeting of the representatives as soon as 
possible ; and doubt not but they will agree in sentiment, and adopt similar resolu- 
tions with your Assembly. We are, with the greatest respect, sir. 

Your most obedient servants, 
JOHN HARVEY, WILL. HOOPER, 

EDWARD VAIL, SAM'L JOHNSTON, 

JOHN ASHE, JOSEPH HEWES, 

Committee, &c., &c. 
To the speaker of the House of Representatives of Rhode Island. 



302 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 



The Committee of Correspondence, of Delaware, to the Speaker 
of the House of Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

Kewcastle-upou-Delaware, ) 
August 2d, 1774. \ 

Sir : — "We are ordered by the representatives of the freemen of the government of 
the counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex, upon Delaware, who assembled here yes- 
terday, at the request of the said freemen, and adjourned until this day, to inform you 
that they have unanimously appointed Cffisar Kodney, Thomas M'Kean and George 
Read, Esqs., or any two of them, dejiuties, in behalf of this colony, to attend at the 
much expected congress, for the British colonies at Philadelphia, on the first Mon- 
day of September next, or at such other time and place, as shall be generally 
agreed on. 

As the time and place agreed upon, have been proposed by many of the other 
provinces, we hope they will prove agreeable. 

We are, sir, with the utmost regard, the committee of correspondence, for said 
govei-nment, appointed by the House of Assembly, — 

And your most obedient, humble servants, 
CiESAR RODNEY, JNO. M. IQNLY, 

GEO. READ, THOS. ROBINSON. 

THO. M'KEAN, 
To the Honorable the Speaker of the House of Assembly, of the colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, to be communicated to the Commit- 
tee of Correspondence. 

The Committee of Correspondence, of New Hainpshire, to the 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

Province of New Hampshire, ^ 
August 8th, 1774. ^ 

Sir : — We have had, some time since, the pleasure of receiving your favor of the 
20th June, containing the resolutions of your colony, upon the alarming situation of 
the American governments ; and have now the satisfaction to enclose you the pro- 
ceedings of this province, upon the same important matters. 

From the unanimity in sentiments and measures, which prevail in aU the colonies, 
we are constrained to flatter ourselves, that a firm and steady perseverance therein, 
win soon work out our political salvation. 

We are, sir, with the greatest regard. 

Your most humble servants, 

SA3IUEL CUTTS. 
Signed per order of the Committee of Correspondence, } 
for the Province of New Hampshire. ) 

To the Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, Esq. 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 303 



Subscription for the Relief of the Inhabitants of Boston and 
CharJestown, in the town of East Greenwich. 

East Greenwich, August 29, 1774. 
We, the subscribers, inliabitants of the town of East (Greenwich, in the colony of 
Rhode Island, taking into the most serious consideration the present alarming situa- 
tion of our brethren in the towns of Boston and Charlestown, in the Province of the 
Massachusetts Bay, occasioned by the late crixel, mahguant and worse than savage 
acts of the British ParUament ; and whereas, a tame submission to the first ap- 
proaches of lawless power, will undoubtedly involve this extensive continent in one 
scene of misery and servitude, than which, a glorious death, in defence of our un- 
questionable rights, is far more eligible ; convinced likewise, that the only true 
glory and unfading grandeur of the British monarch consists in governing his ex- 
tensive empire with equal and impartial laws, founded in reason, and rendered 
sacred by the wisdom of ages ; and that every attempt to impair that noble constitu- 
tion, which hath ever been the envy and terror of Europe, constitutes the blackest 
treason — from the most unfeigned loyalty to our sovereign — from the most settled 
abhorrence to the deep laid schemes of his prime minister, whom we esteem th^ 
most determined foe to royalty ; and from an ardent love to our country, which 
nothing but death can abate, we do promise and engage to pay, by the 1st day of 
October next, the respective sums to our names annexed, to James Mitchell Varnum, 
Esq. ; Messrs. Preserved Pearce, A. Mumford and WiUiam Pearce, to be laid out 
and expended in such articles of provisions, for our said distressed brethren, as the 
majoi-ity of us shall agree upon, to be sent to the committee of ways and means for 
employing the poor In Boston, by the first conveyance. — Providence Gazette. 

Declaration of Stephen Arnold, of East Greenwich , relative to 
certain tumultuous proceedings, in the Town of Providence. 

Providence, September, 1774. 

At 2 o'clock, in the morning, on Tuesday last, an express arrrived in this town, 
from East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, with advice that a mob was raised, 
consisting of some hundreds of people, who threatened, and were hourly expected 
to come and destroy said town of East Greenwich, in order to show their resent- 
ment of the injury which they said had been offered to Stej)hen Arnold, of War- 
wick, Esq., one of the justices of the inferior covn-t of common pleas In that county, 
who had been charged with industriously jiropagatlng principles unfriendly to 
American liberty, and had been hung In effigy, by some of the people at East 
Greenwich. 

This inteUigence was immediately communicated to His Honor the Deputy Gov- 
ernor, who ordered the sheriff, with the companies of Cadets and Light Infantry of 
this town, and others of the militia, to arm themselves, and proceed immediately to 
East Greenwich, to assist the sheriff of said county In dispei'sing said mob. 

The companies of militia accordingly armed, marched immediately, and arrived 
there by 9 o'clock, the same morning, where a committee was appointed and sent to 
the mob, about two miles distant from the town, to Avarn them of the bad conse- 



304 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1774. 

quences of their unlawful proceedings, and to demand some of the principal person s 
among them, to come immediately into town, and settle the aflfair. 

Whereupon, the said Stephen Arnold, Esq., and some others, came from the mob, 
and met the militia ; and a great number of peojile convened at the court house, 
■where, after being made acquainted with their resolute determination, he signed 

the following declaration and confession: 

Confession. 

" Whereas, I, the subscriber, having lately in this town, received great indignity, by 
being hung in effigy, by some evil minded persons, to me unknown ; and from many 
reports which have been circulated in the country, I was led to think my person and 
family unsafe ; and being actuated by the motives of fear and resentment, without 
maturely considering the consequences, have been concerned, by officiating with 
diij^ers people of this country, with the intention of repairing to this town, and mak- 
ing a declaration of that right, which as a subject, I apprehended I was entitled to. 

And whereas, the said assembly, was unlawful, which hath occasioned much fear 
and distress to the inhabitants of this town in particular, and many others, in 
general ; for all which, I do hereby express my hearty sorrow, and wish to obtain 
the favorable opinion of this public assembly ; especially, as I am a friend to the 
liberty of my country, and disapprove of those measures which have been calculated 
to tax America, without her consent. STEPHEN ARNOLD." 

"East Greenwich, September 13, 1774. 
P. S. I do further declare, that I will discourage to the utmost of my power, all 
such unlawful assemblies for the future, and that already assembled in particular. — 
Providence Gazette. STEPHEN ARNOLD." 

Samuel Ward to the Governor of Rhode Island. 

Philadelphia, October 3, 1774. 

Sir: — We should, with pleasure, have communicated to you, the proceedings of the 
congress from time to time, but the resolution to let nothing transpire without expressi 
direction, would not admit it ; but we may, with propriety, we beheve, observe, that 
from the resolutions unanimously come into by the congress, upon the resolves of the 
county of Suffialk, whicJi were immediately pubhshed with those resolves, some esti- 
mate may be formed of the general sentiments of the congress. 

We take this early opportunity of acquainting Your Honor, that a non-importa-. 
tion from Great Britain and Ireland, is agreed upon, to take place the 1st day of 
December next, and a general non-exportation on the 10th day of September next. 
Non-exportation of several commodities to different parts, to commence immediately, 
or very soon, is under consideration, and we think will probably be resolved upon. 

Whenever any measures are adopted, the communication of which, will either give 
pleasure to the colony, or promote its interest, we shall (the moment we are at 
liberty,) give you the earliest intelligence of them. 

The magnitude of the subjects before the congress, the peculiar circumstances of 
delicacy and intricacy in which they are involved, the danger of taking a false step 
in a matter of such vast importance, and the necessity of adopting of every proper 
measure, cannot fail to lengthen the session. 

What has been done, we hope will be honored with the approbation of the colony., 



1774.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 305 

Much still remains to be done ; and however striking the ideas of our friends and 
connexions at home may be, after a long absence, wo shall cheerfully continue hei-e 
as long as the service of our country requires it ; and we hope foithfully to exert our 
utmost endeavors in this arduous undertaking for the common good of America. 
We are, with regard, 

Your Honor's most obedient, and most humble servants, 

SAM. WARD. 
To the Hon. Joseph Wanton, Esq.. 

P. S. When the above was written, Mr. Hopkins was expected in town ; but 
not being yet returned, and the vessel ready to sail, I am forced to write singly. 

Lord Dartmouth to the Governor and Company of Rhode Istand. 

Circular.] Whitehall, 19th October, 1774. 

Gentlemen : — His Majesty having thought fit, by his order in Council, this day, to 
prohibit the exjiortation from Great Britain, of gunpowder, * « * * * 
or any sort of arms or ammunition, I herewith enclose to you a copy of the order ; 
and it is His Majesty's command, that you do take the most effectual measures for 
arresting, detaining and securing any * * * gunpowder, or any sorts of 
arms or ammunition, which may be attempted to be imported into the province 
under your government, unless the master of the ship, having such military stores on 
board, shall produce a license from His Majesty, or the Privy Council, for the ex- 
portation of the same, from some of the ports of this kingdom. 

I am, gentlemen, your most obedient, humble servant, 

DAPtTMOUTH. 

To the Governor and Company of Rhode Island. 

Lord Dartmouth to the Governor of Rhode Istand. 

Circular.] Whitehall, November 2, 1774. 

Sir : — The lords commissioners for trade and plantations, having complained that 
they are frequently put under great difficulties from the Governors of His Majesly's 
colonies neglecting to transmit, at regular periods, returns of the state of their re- 
spective Councils, I am commanded by the King, to signify to you. His Majesty's 
pleasure, that you do regularly, every three months, or oftener, transmit to their 
lordships a list of the names of the Council of the province under your government ; 
noting such as are absent, for vphat time they have been absent, and with what license. 
I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 

DARTiAIOUTH. 

To Governor Wanton. 

Lord Dartmouth to the Governor of Rhode Istand. 

Circular.] ^^Tiitehall, December ^Q, 1774. 

Sir : — Enclosed, I send you, by His Majesty's commands, printed copies of His, 
Majesty's most gracious speech to his Parliament, and of the address and answer 
thereto, which were passed in both Houses, by a very great majca"ity. 

VOL. VII. 39 



306 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1774. 

The declaration which His Majesty has been most graciously pleased to make, of 
his firm and steadfast resolution to -withstand every attempt to weaken or impair the 
authority of the supreme legislature over all His Majesty's dominions ; the I'esolution 
of both Houses, to support those great constitutional principles by which His Maj- 
esty's conduct hath been governed, and their entire approbation of the steps His Maj- 
esty has taken, for carrying into execution the laws passed in the last session, will, I 
trust, have the efi'ect to remove those false impressions which have been made upon 
the minds of His Majesty's subjects in America, and jKit an end to those expecta- 
tions of support in their unwarrantable pretensions, which have been held forth by 
artful and designing men. 

I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 

DARTMOUTH. 

To Governor Wanton. 

Extract of a letter from Captain Wallace, to Vice Admiral 
Graves^ dated on board His Majestfs ship Rose, at Neivport, 
Rhode Island, December 12, 1774. 

" Yesterday I arrived in this port, with His Majesty's ship under my command, 
from New London, on a- cruise, of which I had the honor to acquaint you, the 8th. 
instant. 

Since my absence from tliis place, I find tlie inhabitants (they say here of Provi- 
dence) have seized upon the King's cannon that was upon Fort Island, consisting of 
six twenty-four pounders, eighteen eighteen-poundei-s, fourteen six-pounders and six 
four-pounders (the latter, they say, formerl)- belonged to a jirovince sloop they had 
here), and conveyed them to Providence. 

A procedure so extraordinary, caused me to wait upon the Governor, to inquire 
of him, for your information, why .such a step had been taken. He very frankly 
told me, they had done it to prevent their falling into the hands of the King, or any 
of liis servants ; and that they meant to make use of them, to defend themselves 
against any power that shall offer to molest them. 

I then mentioned, if, in the course of carrying on the King's service here, I 
should ask assistance, whether I might expect any from him, or any others in the 
government. 

He answered, as to himself, he had no power ; and in respect to any otlicr part 
of the government I should meet with nothing but opposition and difficulty. So 
much from Governor Wanton. 

Then I endeavored to get the best information of what they were at, from all 
quarters, and enclosed I send it to you. Among some of their votes, you will find 
they intend to procure powder and ball and mihtary stores of all kinds, whenever 
they can get them." 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 307 



[The speaker of the House of Representatives, of Rhode Island, received the fol. 
lowing letter from Messrs. Bollan, Franklin and Lee, three of the colony agents.] 

William Bollan, Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee, Agents in 
London for the Colony of Rhode Island, to Metcalfe Bowler, 
Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

London, December 24, 1774. 
Sir : — This is just to inform you, that, having received the petition of the General 
Congress, to the King, we immechately communicated the same to Lord Dartmouth? 
secretary of state, for the American department, as the regular oflicial method, and 
that by which only we could have expectation of obtaining an answer. 

His Lordship this day informed us, that he had laid the same before the King ; 
that His Majesty had been pleased to receive it very graciously, and to say it was of 
so great importance, that he should, as soon as they met, lay it before his two 
Houses of Parliament. We can only add, that — 
We are, Avith great respect, sir, 

Your most obedient, and most hmnble servants, 
WILLIAM! BOLLAN, 
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, 
ARTHUR LEE. 
To the Honorable the (Speaker of the lo\ver House of Assembly, of the colonj' of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, 
on the 22d day of April, 1775. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Thomas Freebody and 
William Greene, and Joshua Babcock, Esqs., be, and they are 
hereby, appointed a committee to proportion to the several 
towns in this colony two thousand five hundred pounds of the 
powder, and one quarter part of the lead, bullets and flints, be-- 
longing to the colony ; and that the following persons be, and 



308 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

hereby are, appointed to procure and receive each town's pro- 
portion thereof, to wit : 

For Newport, Mr. Thomas Freebody ; for Providence, Col. 
John Mathewson ; for Portsmouth, Metcalfe Bowler, Esq. ; 
for Warwick, Mr. Samuel Tillinghast ; for Westerly, ]Mr. Da- 
vid Maxson ; for New Shoreham, the town treasurer for that 
town ; for North Kingstown, Mr. Benjamin Davis ; for South 
Kingstown, William Potter, Esq. ; for East Greenwich, Mr. 
Gideon Mumford ; for Jamestown, the town treasurer for that 
town ; for Smithfield, Mr. Arnold Pain ; for Scituate, Col. 
Ezekiel Cornell ; for Glocester, Jonah Steere, Esq. ; for 
Charlestown, Mr. Joseph Hoxsie ; for West Greenwich, Mr. 
Nathaniel Brown ; for Coventry, Mr, James Waterman ; for 
Exeter, John Chapman, Esq. ; for Middletown, Mr. John Bar- 
ker ; for Bristol, Mr. John Howland ; for Tiverton, Capt. 
John Cooke ; for Little Compton, Mr. George Wood ; for 
Warren, Mr. Shubael Burr ; for Cumberland, Mr. John Dex- 
ter ; for Richmond, George Webb, Esq. ; for Cranston, Mr. 
Peter Burlingame, 3d ; for Hopkinton, Mr. Jesse Maxson ; 
for Johnston, Edward Fenner, Esq. ; for North Providence, Mr. 
Joseph Oluey ; for Barrington, Mr. Thomas Allen. 

Whereas, the Company of the Train of Artillery, and the 
Company of Fuziliers, and other inhabitants of the town of 
Providence, preferred a petition unto this Assembly, praying 
that the charter, with the said petition presented, for uniting 
the said companies into one, may be granted ; that Daniel Til- 
linghast, Esq., may be appointed colonel; Daniel Hitchcock, 
Esq., lieutenant colonel ; John Crane, Esq., major ; and Levi 
Hall, captain of the said united company ; and that £40, 
lawful money, may be granted to the said company, for fur- 
nishing pioneers, to draw the cannon, or field pieces ; and the 
said petition being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the sam.e be, and hereby is, 
granted ; and that the sum of £40, therein mentioned, be paid 
out of the general treasury to, and be under the direction of, 
the officers of the said company. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 309 



An Act for establishing a military company, by the name of 
the United Company of the Train of Artillery, in the town 
of Providence. 

Whereas, the committee appointed to proportion the powder, 
&c., to the several towns, reported the following proportion to 
each town, to wit : 

Report of the Committee appointed to proportion the Powder^ §x\, 
to the several Towns. 

Lbs. powder. Lbs. lead. Flints. Lbs. powder. Lbs. lead. I'liuts. 



Newport 


389 


623 


2492 


Coventry 


56 


90 


360 


Frovidence 


148 


237 


948 


Exeter - 


60 


97 


388 


Warwick 


110 


190 


760 


Middletown - 


81 


130 


520 


Portsmouth 


115 


184 


738 


Bristol - 


68 


108 


422 


Westerly 


i\d 


110 


440 


Tiverton 


89 


142 


568 


New iShoreliam 


31 


49 


196 


Little Compton 


78 


125 


500 


North Kingstown 


120 


180 


480 


Warren 


24 


38 


152 


South Kingstown, 


2 -27 


372 


1488 


Cumberland - 


44 


71 


284 


East Greenwich, - 


59 


95 


380 


Richmond - 


44 


71 


284 


Jamestown 


50 


80 


320 


Cranston - 


83 


132 


528 


Smithfield 


121 


194 


776 


Hopkinton - 


58 


93 


372 


Scituate 


90 


143 


572 


Joluis^ton - 


34 


54 


216 


Glocester - 


77 


123 


492 


North Providence, 


29 


47 


188 


Charlestown - 


57 


91 


370 


Barringtou 


26 


42 


168 


West Greenwich - 


42 


67 


268 











And the said report being duly considered, — 
It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
accepted. 

It is voted and resolved, that the 11th day of May next, be 
set apart as a day of fisting, prayer and humiliation ; and that 
His Honor the ^Governor, be, and he is hereby, rec^uested to 
issue a proclamation, accordingly. 

It is voted and resolved, that the Hon. Samuel Ward, Esq. 
and William Bradford, Esq., be, and they are hereby, ap- 
pointed a committee, to wait on the General Assembly of the 



'310 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

colony of Connecticut, to consult with them, upon measures for 
the common defence of the four New England colonies ; and 
that they make report to this Assembly, at the next session. 

It is voted and resolved, that Col. James Angell, Col. John 
Mathewson and Col. Joseph Nightingale, be, and they, or the 
major part of them, are hereby, appointed a committee, to take 
the care and have the direction of all the cannon, powder and 
all other warlike stores, in the magazine, at Providence ; and 
to deliver the same out, agreeably to the orders of the General 
Assembly. 

It is voted and resolved, that the trustees appointed in the 
several towns, to receive the powder, lead and flints, be, and 
they are hereby, authorized to deliver the same out to the 
captain or commanding officer of each company, in their re- 
spective towns, taking receipts for the quantities so delivered ; 
and that the captain or commanding officer of each company 
distribute the same amongst the soldiery, as occasion may re- 
quire ; he keeping a regular account thereof, and holding his- 
-company accountable for all such quantities as are not con- 
sumed in the government's service ; which shall not be ac- 
counted for in value, but in the articles themselves. 

At this very dangerous crisis of American affairs ; at a time 
when we are surrounded with fleets and armies, which threaten 
our immediate destruction ; at a time when the fears and 
anxieties of the people, throw them into the utmost distress, 
and totally prevent them from attending to the common occu- 
pations of life ; to prevent the mischievous consequences that 
must necessarily attend such a disordered state, and to restore 
peace to the minds of the good people of this colony, it appears 
absolutely necessary to this Assembly, that a number of men 
be raised and embodied, properly armed and disciplined, to 
continue in this colony, as an army of observation, to repel any 
insult or violence that may be offered to the inhabitants. 

And also, if it be necessary for the safety and preservation of 
any of the colonies, to march out of this colony, and join and 
co-operate with the forces of the neighboring colonies. 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that fifteen hundred men 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 311 

be enlisted, raised and embodied, as aforesaid, with all the 
expedition and dispatch, that the nature of the thing will ad- 
mit of. 



Protest of Governor Wanton, and others, against the above 
Resolution. 

We, the subscribers, professing true allegiance to His Majesty King George the 
Third, beg leave to dissent from the vote of the House of Magistrates, for enlisting, 
raising and embodying an army of obesrvation, of fifteeen hundred men, to repel 
any insult or violence that may be offered to the inhabitants ; and also, if it be ne- 
cessary for the safety and preservation of any of the colonies, to march them out of 
this colony, to join and co-operate with the forces of the neighboring colonies. 

Because we are of opinion that such a measure will be attended with the most 
fatal consequences to our charter pri^dleges ; involve the country in all the horrors 
of a civil war ; and, as we conceive, is an open violation of the oath of allegiance 
which we have severally taken, upon our admission into the respective offices we now 
hold in the colony. JOSEPH WANTON, THOMAS WICKES, 

DARIUS SESSIONS, WILLIAM POTTER. 

In the LTpper House, "i 

Providence, April 25, 1775. \ 

It is voted and resolved, that all the small arms belonging to 
the colony, dispersed and being in the several towns, be forth- 
with repaired, and fitted with bayonets, at the charge of the 
colony.. 

That all such persons who have, at their own expense, so 
repaired any of the colony arms, upon bringing in their bills, 
shall be paid therefor, out of the general treasury ; and that 
the same persons who are appointed to receive each town's 
proportion of powder, &c., take care to procure said arms to be 
fitted up. 

It is voted and resolved, that the military officers throughout 
the colony, or any other gentlemen who shall be willing, do 
forthwith enlist fifteen hundred good, effective men, for the 
service of the colony ; and that each man who shall enlist, 
shall receive a bounty of $4, and be entitled to the monthly 
wages of £1 I65. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Nathaniel Greene, be, anci 
he is hereby, appointed in the room of the Hon. Samuel Ward, 



312 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

Esq. (who is going to the Continental Congress), to wait on 
the General Assembly of the colony of Connecticut, to consult 
upon measures for the common defence of the four New Eng- 
land governments. 

Inasmuch, as there is a most apparent urgent occasion, that 
the Greneral Assembly should be holden in some place, other 
than the town of Newport, at the approaching annual election, 
for the year 1775 ; — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that the General Assem- 
bly, for the election of general officers, and for the transacting 
such business as may be laid before them, on the first Wednes- 
day in iMay next, be held at the colony house, in Providence ; 
and that the secretary publish a copy of this vote in the next- 
Newport Mercury and Providence Gazette. 

God save the King. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly , held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, 
the first Wednesday of May, 1775. 

The Hon. Joseph Wanton, Governor. 

The Hon. Darius Sessions, Deputy Governor. 

The following officers, declared elected, were duly engaged : 

The Hon, Nicholas Cooke, Deputy Governor. 

ASSISTANTS. 

Mr. Samuel Dyre, Mr. James Arnold, 

Mr. John Collins, Mr. Jonathan Randall, 

Mr. Ambrose Page, Mr. Peter Phillips, 

Mr. John Sayles, Jr., Mr. Joseph Hazard, 

Mr. John Jepson, Mr. Thomas Church, 



1775.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 



3i: 



Newport. 
Mr. John Wanton, 
Providence. 
Mr. Stephen Hopkins, 
Mr. John Jenckes, 
Mr. John Smith, 
Col. John Matthewson. 

Portsmouth. 
Mr. Metcalfe Bowler, 
Mr. Jonathan Freeborn, 
Mr. Job Durfee. 

Warwick. 
Mr. Jacob Greene, 
Mr. Thomas Holden, 
Mr. John Low. 

Westerly. 
Mr. Joshua Babcock. 
North Kingstown. 
Mr. John Northup, 
Mr. Sylvester Gardner. 

South Kingstoion. 
Mr. John Potter, 
Mr. Carder Hazard. 

East Greenvnch. 
Mr. Job Gardner, 
Mr. Allen Johnson. 

Smithfield. 
Mr. Daniel Mowry, Jr., 
Mr. Stephen Whipple. 

Scituate. 
Mr. Ezekiel Cornell, 
Mr. Rufus Hopkins. 

Glocester. 
Mr. Silas Williams, 
Mr. Daniel Owen. 
VOL. VII. 40 



DEPUTIES. 

Charlestoiun. 
Mr. Joseph Hoxsie, 
Mr. Samuel Kinyon. 
West Greenwich- 
Mr. William Nichols, 
Mr. Thomas Gorton. 

Coventry. 
Mr. John Rice, 
Mr. Nathaniel Greene, Jr. 

Exeter. 
Mr. George Pierce, 
Mr. Jeffrey Wilcox. 

Bristol. 
Maj. Gen. Simeon Potter^ 
Mr. William Bradford. 

Tiverton. 
Capt. John Cooke. 

Little Compton. 
Capt. Thomas Brownell, 
Mr. William Richmond. 

Warren. 
Mr. Cromwell Child. 

Cumberland. 
Mr. John Dexter, 
Mr. Jeremiah Whipple. 

Richmond. 
Mr. George Webb, 
Mr. Richard Bailey, Jr. 

Cranston. 
Capt. Richard Searle, 
Mr. William Field. 
Hopkinton. 
Capt. Abel Tanner, 
Mr. Thomas Wells, 3d. 



314 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 



DEPUTIES. 

Johnston. Barrington. 

Mr. Emrnor Olney, Col. Nathaniel Martin, 

Mr. Ebenezer Sprngue. Mr. Thomas Allen. 

North Providence. 
Mr. Joseph Olney, 
Major Thomas Olney. 

The Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, speaker ; Mr. Josias Lyndon, 
clerk* 

Mr. Henry Ward, secretary. 

Mr. Henry Marchant, attorney general. 

Mr. Joseph Clarke, general treasurer. 

Stephen Hopkins, Esq., chief justice of the superior court 
of judicature, court of assize and general jail delivery. 

SHERIFFS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

Newport county — Mr. Jabez Champlin. Providence county 
— Mr. Paul Tew. Kings county — Mr. Beriah Brown. Bris- 
tol county — Mr. Eichard Smith. Kent county — Mr. Henry 
Rice. 

FIELD OFFICERS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES. 

William Bradford, Esq., major general of the forces of this 
colony. 

Newport county — Mr. John Malbone, colonel ; Mr. George 
Champlin, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. John Cooke, major. 

Providence county, first regiment of militia — Mr. James 
Angell, colonel ; Mr. Jabez Bowen, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. 
John Innis Clark, major. 

Second regiment — Mr. Chad Brown, colonel ; Mr. Elisha 
Mowrey, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. John Fisk, major. 

Third regiment — Mr. Christopher Lippitt ; Mr. John Col- 
well, Jr., lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Joseph Knight, major. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 315 

Kings county, first regiment — Mr. Joseph Noyes, colonel ; 
Mr. Jesse Champlin, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Jesse Maxson, 
major. 

Second regiment — Mr. Robert Brown, colonel ; Mr. George 
Peirce, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Joshua Davis, major. 

Kent county, first regiment — Mr. John Waterman, colonel; 
Mr. John Low, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Joseph Fry, major. 

Second regiment — Mr. Stephen Potter, colonel ; Mr. Na- 
thaniel Brown, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Archibald Kasson, 
major. 

Bristol county — Mr. Nathaniel Martin, colonel ; Mr. Thomas 
Gray, lieutenant colonel ; Mr. Benjamin Bos worth, major. 

It is voted and resolved, that the general treasurer remove, 
with the colony's treasure, to the town of Providence ; and 
that, for the charge of his removing, together with the extra- 
ordinary trouble he is likely to have in doing the business of 
the said office, during the present year, he be allowed the sum 
of <£90, lawful money, including his annual salary. 

Whereas, the secretary hath removed the colony's records, 
and his office, to the town of Providence, and prayed this 
Assembly, in case the removal be approved, to order the ex- 
pense thereof to be paid out of the general treasury ; on con- 
sideration w^hereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said removal of the colo- 
ny's records, be, and it is hereby, approved ; and that an ac- 
count of the expense thereof, be laid before this Assembly. 

It is voted and resolved, that the Hon. Metcalfe Bowler, 
Esq., be, and he is hereby, appointed to receive the town of 
Portsmouth's proportion of the colony's arms, in the room of 
the town treasurer, whose religious principles will not admit of 
his receiving the same. 

It is voted and resolved, that that part of the militia act, 
obliging the companies to train once in every month, be, and 
the same is hereby, suspended for three months, fron; and aftev 
the rising of this Assembly, 



816 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1775. 

It is voted find resolved, that Col. James Mitchel Varnum, 
Col. Daniel Hitchcock and Col. John Mathewson, be, and they 
are hereby, appointed a committee, to prepare a bill for the 
regulation of the army, ordered to be raised for the defence of 
the colony. 

That they also prepare the form of a commission for the offi- 
cers of the said army ; and that they lay the same before this 
Assembly. 

Whereas, the collector of taxes, for the town of South 
Kingstown, hath refused to serve in the said office ; and the 
time limited for the payment of the said town's proportion of 
the last colony's tax is expired, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that the general treasurer 
be, and he is hereby, empowered and directed to issue his 
warrant to such collector as shall be appointed by the said 
town, to collect the said tax, with the interest, in as full and 
ample a manner as though such warrant had been timely 
granted. 

It is voted and resolved, that each of the gentlemen ap- 
pointed delegates, to represent this colony in the Continental 
Congress, to be holden in the city of Philadelphia, on the 10th 
instant, draw the sum of £60, lawful money, out of the general 
treasury, to bear their expenses. 

V/hereas, Daniel M'Cann, of Providence, in the county of 
Providence, tailor, preferred a petition, and represented unto 
this Assembly, that on the 13th day of September, A. D. 
1774, he was committed to His Majesty's jail, in the county, 
afores?id, by virtue of a mittimus, signed by the judges of His 
Majesty's superior court, charging him with felony, in maiming 
and wounding Joseph Nightingale, Esq., in which jail he hath 
been confined ever since. 

That, at the court of assize, held in said county, in March, 
A. D. 1775, he was indicted, not for the felony he was charged 
with, in the mittimus, but for a a riot, and was fined £o, and 
ordered to stand committed, until he should pay the same, to- 
gether with all the charges of prosecution ; and that, by his 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 317 

being so long confined, he is reduced to an absolute state of in- 
digence, and rendered utterly incapable of paying the said fine 
and cost. 

And thereupon, the said Daniel M'Cann prayed this Assem- 
bly, to give him relief, either by remitting the said fine and 
cost, or by letting him go at large, whereby, he may be ena- 
bled to earn the money to pay the same ; and the said petition 
being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be granted, upon 
condition that the petitioner, with his family, leave this colony 
immediately, under the conduct of an officer ; and that, if he 
be found in the colony, after the officer shall leave him, he be 
re-committed to jail. 

An Act for embodying, supplying and paying, the army of 

observation ordered to be raised for the defence of the 

colony. 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority of the same it is enacted, that the fifteen hundred men 
ordered to be raised by this colony, be formed into one brig- 
ade, under the command of a brigadier general ; and consist of 
three regiments, each of which shall be commanded by one 
colonel, one lieutenant colonel, and one major. 

That there be one adjutant of brigade, or adjutant-major, for 
such purposes as appertain to that office. 

That there be one adjutant, one surgeon, one surgeon's 
mate, and one quartermaster, to each regiment. 

That each regiment consist of eight companies ; each field 
officer's company to be commanded, under such field officer, by 
one captain-lieutenant, one lieutenant and one ensign ; and 
each of the other companies by one captain, one lieutenant and 
one ensign ; and that one of the companies be a train of ar- 
tillery, and have the use of the colony's field pieces. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
each regiment be placed in the said brigade upon the flanks, 
and in the center, by rotation, so that a perfect equality in 
rnnk, be preserved ; and that a similar equality be preserved 



318 



RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 



[1775. 



among the field officers of the different regiments, by the briga- 
dier general, in all the duties of a campaign. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
each able bodied, effective man, who shall enlist into the ser- 
vice, and find himself a small arm, bayonet and other accou- 
trements, shall be allowed and paid forty shillings, as a bounty ; 
and each able bodied, effective man, not finding himself a small 
arm, bayonet and other accoutrements, shall receive twenty- 
four shillings, as a bounty. 

And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that 
each ofiicer and soldier shall receive the following monthly 
wages, while in the service, to wit : 





£ s. 




£ 5. 


Each colonel 


15 00 


Each adjutant of a reg- 




" lieutenant colonel. 


12 00 


iment 


5 10 


" major 


10 00 


" surgeon 


7 10 


The adjutant of brig- 




" surgeon's mate 


4 00 


ade, or adjutant ma- 




" quartermaster 


3 00 


jor, - 


9 00 


" sergeant 


2 08 


Each captain and cap- 




" corporal - 


2 04 


tain-] ieutenant. 


6 00 


" drummer and fifer 


2 04 


" lieutenant 


4 00 


" each private man 


40 


" ensign 


3 00 







And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
each field officer be allowed ten shillings per week, and each 
other officer and soldier, six shillings per week, for billet, 
while in this colony, after enlistment, and before the regi- 
ments are embodied ; and each soldier shall also have a blanket 
and knapsack, given him by the colony. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
each officer and soldier be paid his wages, and the weekly 
billet that shall be due, as soon as may be ; and that one 
month's wages be paid in advance, before the troops march out 
of the colony. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 319 

each soldier be enlisted, by signing the following enlistment, 
to wit : 

Form of the Oath of Enlistment. 

" Ij the subscriber, hereby solemnly engage and enlist my- 
self as a soldier in His Majesty's service, and in the pay of the 
colony of Rhode Island, for the preservation of the liberties of 
America, from the day of my enlistment, to the last day of De- 
cember next, unless the service admit of a discharge sooner, 
which shall be at the discretion of the General Assembly ; and 
I hereby promise to submit myself to all the orders and regula- 
tions of the army, and faithfidly to observe and obey all such 
orders as I shall receive from time to time, from my officers." 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
no officer or soldier be arrested, prosecuted, or detained in jail, 
for any debt, whatsoever, less than d£l5, lawful money, due to 
one creditor ; and that every apprentice who shall enlist into 
the said army, shall be entitled to the whole of the bounty, 
and one half of his wages ; his master receiving the other 
half. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that, 
for supplying the troops with arms, provisions, &c., five hun- 
dred barrels of flour, three hundred barrels of pork, one hun- 
dred barrels of beef, fifteen hundred blankets and knapsacks, 
and fifteen hundred small arms and bayonets, with suitable ac- 
coutrements, be immediately procured on the colony's account. 

And, that the said troops may be supplied with clothing 
and other necessaries, — 

It is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that a com- 
missary be appointed, who shall go suttler to the troops, and 
have one and an half per cent, upon all the business he shall 
transact. 

And such commissary is hereby directed and required to de- 
liver unto the soldiers such things as the colony shall send, for 



320 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

the use of the regiments, at the prime cost, including all 
charges that may accrue thereon. 

Provided, that the said officer deliver nothing to any soldier, 
M^thout an order from the captain* or commanding officer of 
the company, for the time being, to which such soldier 
belongs ; and the officers are hereby restricted and forbid 
drawing any order or orders on the commissary, exceeding the 
monthly wages due to the soldier that applies for the same. 

And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
whoever shall be appointed commissary and sutler, shall give 
security to the general treasurer, in the penal sum of £2,000, 
for the faithful performance of his duty ; and shall not carry 
with him, on his own account, any necessaries of the same 
kind with those that shall be sent by the government. 

And as such commissary may want assistance, he is hereby 
authorized to appoint a deputy or deputies under him ; he be- 
ing accountable for the conduct of his deputies. 

And for the purposes aforesaid, — 

Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that a com- 
mittee of safety, be chosen by this Assembly ; one of whom, 
shall reside in each county, excepting the county of Provi- 
dence, which shall have two, to furnish and pay the officers 
and soldiers in such county ; and that each committee-man 
shall give bond, with surety, to the general treasurer, in the 
sum of £1,000, lawful money, for the faithful discharge of his 
trust. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the said committee provide arms, tents, provisions and every 
other accoutrement, necessary for the army ; and that they be 
allowed one and an half per cent, for transacting the business. 

And for supplying the general treasury, — 

Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the 
sum of £20,000, lawful money bills, be immediately printed 
and signed by the Honorable Metcalfe Bowler, Esq., Henry 
Ward, Joseph Clarke, John Cole and Thomas Greene, Esqs. ; 
that all bills under five shillings, be signed by one of the com- 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 321 

mittee, and all the other bills, by two of the committee ; that 
the same shall be a lawful tender, in discharge of all contracts, 
debts, dues and demands, whether of a public or private na- 
ture ; that one-half of the said bills shall be redeemed within 
two years, and the other half within five years from the time of 
the emission ; together with the interest thereon accruing, at 
the rate of two and an half per cent, per annum, by a general 
tax, to be levied on the inhabitants of this colony ; and that 
the bills shall be of the following value, to wit : 

2,000 bills, of forty shillings, each - - £4,000 

" - - - 6,000 

4,000 

" - - - 2,000 

1,000 

" - - - 800 

600 

" - - - 600 

500 

" - - - 300 

200 



4,000 




thirty " 


4,000 




twenty " 


4,000 




ten 


4,000 




five " 


4,000 




four " 


4,000 




three " 


6,000 




two " 


10,000 




one " 


8,000 




nine pence 


8,000 




six 



£20,000 



Which bills, shall be of the following form : 

" The possessor of this bill^ shall be paid, by the treasurer' of the 

colony of Rhode Island, -, lawful money, at the rate oj 

six shillings and nine pence for one ounce of silver, within five 
years from the date hereof, ivith interest at two and an half per 
cent, per annum, until paid. By order of Assembly. 

Providence, the od day of May, 1775." 

And on the said bills, there shall be the same impression and 
motto as on the lawful money bills, heretofore emitted. 

It is voted and resolved, that the committee of safety be, 
and they are hereby, appointed to receive the colony's arms, 

VOL. VII. 41 



322 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

and distribute them where they are wanted, amongst the sol- 
diers that shall enlist into the army of observation. 

That the said committee, or any four of them, be, and they 
are hereljy, appointed and fully empowered, during the recess 
of the General Assembly, to fill up all vacancies that shall hap- 
pen amongst the officers that shall be appointed by the General 
Assembly for the said army ; and that they procure all neces- 
saries not particularly mentioned in the act for raising said 
army. 

Both houses being joined in a grand committee, chose the 
followino; officers, to wit : 



•G 



Names of the Committee of Safety. 

For the county of Newport — William Richmond, Esq. 
For the county of Providence — Mr. John Smith and Daniel 
Tillinghast, Esq. 

For the county of Kings county — John Northup, Esq. 
For the county of Bristol — William Bradford, Esq. 
For the county of Kent — Mr. Jacob Greene. 

Names of the Officers rf the Armu of Observation. 

Nathaniel Greene, Jr., Esq., brigadier general. 

Peter Phillips, Esq., commissary. 

Thomas Church, Esq., colonel ; William Turner Miller, Esq., 
lieutenant colonel; and John Forrester, Esq., major of the 
regiment of the counties of Newport and Bristol. 

Daniel Hitchcock, Esq., colonel ; Ezekiel Cornell, Esq., 
lieutenant colonel ; and Israel Angell, Esq., major of the regi- 
ment of the county of Providence. 

James Mitchell Varnura, Esq., colonel ; James Babcock, 
Esq., lieutenant colonel ; and Christopher Greene, Esq., major 
of the regiment of King's county and Kent. 

John Crane, captain ; and Joseph Batch, captain-lieutenant, 
of the Train of Artillery. 

William Ladd, captain-lieutenant ; Nathaniel Church, lieu- 
tenant ; and Cornelius Briggs, ensign of the colonel's com- 
pany, of the regiment of Newport and Bristol. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 323 

Matthew Allen, captain-lieutenant ; James Smith, lieuten- 
ant ; and James Brown, Jr., ensign of the lieutenant colonel's 
company, of the regiment of Newport and Bristol. 

John Topham, captain-lieutenant ; George Tenant, lieuten- 
ant ; and Stephen Tripp, ensign, of the major's company, of 
the regiment of Newport and Bristol. 

Sion Martindale, captain ; Benjamin Diamon, lieutenant ; 
and James Child, 2d, ensign of a company in the regiment of 
Newport and Bristol. 

Thomas Tew, captain ; Jonathan Simmons, lieutenant ; and 
Christopher Bennett, ensign of a company in the regiment of 
Newport and Bristol. 

Jonathan Brownell, captain ; Sylvanus Shaw, lieutenant ; 
and Godfrey Brown, ensign, of a company in the regiment of 
Newport and Bristol. 

Benjamin Seabury, captain ; Gilbert Manchester, lieuten- 
ant ; and Israel Church, ensign, of a company in the regiment 
of Newport and Bristol. 

Simeon Thayer, captain-lieutenant ; John Spurr, lieuten- 
ant ; and William Potter, ensign, of the colonel's company of 
the regiment of Providence. 

Stephen Kimball, captain-lieutenant ; Jonathan Smith, 
ieutenant ; and George Dorrance, Jr., ensign, of the lieu- 
tenant colonel's company of the regiment of Providence. 

John Field, captain-lieutenant ; David Richmond, lieu- 
tenant ; and Samuel Black, ensign, of the major's company of 
the regiment of Providence. 

Andrew Waterman, captain ; William Aldrich, lieutenant ; 
and David Dexter, Jr., ensign, of a company in the regi- 
ment of Providence. 

John Angell, captain ; Coggeshall Olney, lieutenant ; and 
Stephen Olney, ensign, of a company in the regiment of 
Providence. 

Christopher Olney, captain; Ephraim Bowen, Jr., lieuten- 
ant ; and Cyprian Sterry, ensign, of a company in the regi- 
ment of Providence. 

Jeremiah Olney, captain ; Levi Tower, lieutenant ; and 



324 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775* 

Nathaniel Field, ensign, of a company in the regiment of 
Providence. 

Nathaniel Blackmar, captain ; Samuel Thornton, lieuten- 
ant ; and Abraham Tourtellot, ensign, of {i company in the 
resfiment of Providence. 

Archibald Crary, captain-lieutenant ; and John Singer 
Dexter, lieutenant, of tho colonel's company of the regiment 
of Kings county and Kent. 

John Iloxie, captain-lieutenant; Jonathan Bates, Jr., lieu- 
tenant ; and Joseph Hollo way, ensign, of the lieutenant colo- 
nel's company of the regiment of Kings county and Kent. 

Edmund Johnson, captain-lieutenant ; John Reynolds, lieu- 
tenant ; John Ilolden, son of Charles, ensign, of the major's 
company of the regiment of Kings county and Kent. 

Thomas Holden, captain ; Joseph Barton, lieutenant ; and 
Joseph Arnold, son of Caleb, ensign, of a company in the 
regiment of Kings county and Kent. 

Samuel Ward, Jr., captain ; Elijah Lewis, lieutenant ; and 
Joshua Collins, ensign, of a company in the regiment of Kings 
county and Kent. 

James Gardner, captain ; Thomas Phillips, lieutenant ; and 
Samuel Bissell, ensign, of a company in the regiment of Kings 
county and Kent. 

Christopher Gardner, Jr., captain ; Nathaniel Hawkins, 
lieutenant ; and William Potter, son of Ichabod, ensign, of a 
company in the regiment of Kings county and Kent. 

John Randall, captain ; Oliver Clarke, lieutenant ; and Ste- 
phen Wells, ensign, of a company in the regiment of Kings 
county and Kent. 

It is voted and resolved, that the committee of safety in the 
several counties, be, and they are hereby, appointed muster- 
masters of the troops now ordered to be raised for their respec-^ 
tive counties. 

Whereas, the ministry and Parliament of Great Britain, 
sacrificing the glory and happiness of their sovereign, and the 
good of Britain and the colonies, to their own ambitious and 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 325 

lucrative views, have entered into many arbitrary, illegal reso- 
lutions, for depriving His Majesty's subjects in America of 
every security for the enjoyment of life, liberty and property ; 
and sent, and are still sending, troops and ships of war into 
these colonies, to enforce their tyrannical mandates ; and have 
actually begun to shed the blood of the innocent people of these 
colonies ; in consequence whereof, this Assembly, at the session 
held on the 22d day of April last, passed an act for raising fif- 
teen hundred men, as an army of observation, and to assist any 
of our sister colonies. 

And whereas, the Honorable Joseph Wanton, Esq., then 
Governor of this colony, did enter a protest against the said 
act, conceived in such terms as highly to reflect upon the Gen- 
eral Assembly, and upon the united opposition of all America, 
to the aforesaid tyrannical measures. 

And whereas, the said Joseph Wanton, Esq., hath neglected 
to issue a proclamation for the due observation of Thursday, 
the 11th of May, instant, as a day of fasting and prayer, agree- 
ably to an act passed at the said session. 

And whereas, the said Joseph AVanton, Esq., hath been 
elected to the office of Governor of this colony, for the present 
year, and been duly notified thereof, by this Assembly ; not- 
withstanding which, he hath not attended at this General As- 
sembly, and taken the oath required by law. 

And whereas, the said Joseph Wanton, Esq., hath positively 
refused to sign the commissions for the officers appointed to 
command the troops so ordered to be raised ; by all which, he 
hath manifested his intentions to defeat the good people of 
these colonies, in their present glorious struggle to transmit 
inviolate to posterity, those sacred rights they have received 
from their ancestors. 

Be it therefore enacted by this General Assembly, and by 
the authority thereof it is enacted, that the Deputy Governor 
and assistants be, and they are hereby, forbidden to administer 
the oath of office to the said Joseph Wanton, Esq., unless in 
free and open General Assembly, according to the unvaried 



326 RECORDS OF TEE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

practice in this colony, and with the consent of such Assem- ' 
bly j that until the said Joseph Wanton, Esq., shall have 
taken the oath of office, as aforesaid, it shall not be lawful for 
him to act as Governor of this colony, in any case, whatever ; 
and that every act done by him, in the pretended capacity of 
Governor, shall be null and void in itself ; and shall not ope- 
rate as a warrant or discharge to any person acting by his or- 
ders, cr under his authority.* 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
Henry Ward, Esq., secretary of the colony, be, and he is 
hereby, directed, and fully authorized and empowered, to sign 
the commissions for all officers, civil and military, chosen by 
this Assembly, as well those going in the service, abovesaid, as 
others ; he receiving therefor, out of the general treasury, two 
shillings and eight pence, for each commission. 

And that such commission, so signed, with the colony seal 
affixed, shall be as full and eftectual warrant and warrants to 
every and all such officer and officers so chosen, for the faithful 
discharge of his and their duty, as if the same were signed by 
a Governor of this colony, duly elected and engaged, according 
to law ; any law, custom or usage, to the contrary, hereof, 
in any wise, notwithstanding. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
His Honor the Deputy Governor, be requested, and fully au- 
thorized and empowered, to call the General Assembly to- 
gether, upon any emergency, to meet at such time and place 
as he shall think most for the interest of the colony. 

Whereas, the Hon. Joseph Wanton, Esq., who is elected 
Governor of this colony, for the present year, hath not attended 
this Assembly, and taken the oath of office, and cannot there- 
fore appoint a naval officer, until he shall be sworn in before 
the General Assembly ; — 

Be it therefore enacted by this General Assembly, and by 
the authority thereof it is enacted, that the naval office be kept 
by James Clarke, Esq., who hath for some time past kept it, 

* See documents printed at the close of the proceedings of this session. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE plant'ations. 327 

until further orders from this Assembly ; and that he account 
to this Assembly. 

It is voted and resolved, that the committee of safety be, 
and they are hereby, directed to make out the account of the 
expenses of raising and equipping the fifteen hundred men or- 
dered to be raised by this colony, as an army of observation, 
and for the assistance of any of the neighboring colonies, as soon 
as the said troops are fully equipped, and transmit the same to 
the delegates of this colony, at the Continental Congress, to be 
by them laid before the Congress ; that the colonies which have 
not been, or shall not be, at a proportionate expense, in the 
defence of our common rights, may contribnte their proportion 
towards reimbursing this colony such part of the expenses of 
raising and equipping the said fifteen hundred men, as shall 
be more than this colony's proportion towards the common 
defence. 

It is voted and resolved, that the sheriff of the county of 
Newport, be, and he is hereby, directed to deliver to William 
Richmond, Esq., who is one of the committee of safety for the 
said county, all the colony arms, pistols, cutlasses, &c., which 
are in the town of Newport. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. John Carter be, and he is 
hereby, empowered to receive of the general treasurer, the 
plates, escutcheons and other ornaments, for printing bills of 
credit ; that he draw money out of the general treasury, for 
purchasing paper for that purpose. 

And that David Wilkinson, Esq., and Mr. Ebenezer Thomp- 
son, be appointed, one or the other of them, to attend the press 
continually, during the time the bills are printing. 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that the lieutenant general, briga- 
dier general, and the committee of safety, be, and they, or the 
major part of them, are hereby fully authorized and empow- 
ered, to order and direct when and in what manner the forces, 
or any part thereof, shall march out of this colony, to the as- 
sistance of any colony in distress. 

It is voted and resolved, that the brigadier general draw up 



328 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775, 

the several regiments to be raised in this colony, either singly 
or together ; and that the captains of the several companies, 
not belonging to the field officers, thereof, shall draw lots for 
their places and stations in the regiments, aforesaid. 

It is voted and resolved, that the form of a commission to a 
colonel of a regiment, in the army of observation, now laid be- 
fore this Assembly, be, and the same is hereby, approved ; and 
that similar commissions, mutatis mutandis, be issued to the 
other officers of said army. 

It is voted and resolved, that the speaker of the lower House 
be, and he is hereby, requested to transmit to the speaker of 
the House of Assembly of the colony of Connecticut, and to 
the committee of inspection for the city of New York, copies 
of the proceedings of this Assembly, relative to the present 
disputes between Great Britain and the colonies. 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that any military officer, commis- 
sioned to command any part of the army of observation, be re- 
moved for any misbehavior, or neglect of duty ; and another 
appointed in his stead, by a general court martial, to be holden 
for that purpose. 

It is voted and resolved, that Joshua Babcock, Esq., be re- 
quested to carry the proceedings of this General Assembly, re- 
specting the raising an army of observation, &c., to the Gen- 
eral Assembly of the colony of Connecticut ; and to request of 
them to transmit to this Assembly their proceedings and trans- 
actions, relative to the present alarming crisis of affairs. 

It is voted and resolved, that the following monthly wages 
shall be allowed and paid, unto the following respective officers 
and men, in the army of observation ; that is to say : 

£ s. d. 

To the brigadier general, in the Train of Artillery, 20 00 

captain - - - - _ _ 9 00 

" captain-lieutenant 7 04 

'* first lieutenant - - - - _ 5 08 
^' second lieutenant 3 12 



e 


s. d. 


3 


12 


2 


14 


2 


08 


2 


06 


2 04 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS, 329 



To the lieutenant fire-worker . • - - 

" two bombardiers, each - _ _ 

" two sergeants, each _ _ - _ 

'' four gunners, each - - - - 

" privates and fifers _ _ _ _ 

This Assembly do vote and resolve, that an embargo be set 

on all provisions going out of this colony, excepting what shall 

be necessary for victualing vessels sailing out of this colony, 

find for the use of the army ; and that this act be in force 

immediately. 

God save the King. 

Address of both Houses of Parliament^ to the King, 
February 7, 1775. 

Most gracious sovereign : — We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, 
tlie ********** Commons, in Parliament assembled, return 
Your Majesty our most humble thanks for having been graciously pleased to com- 
municate to us, the several papers relating to the present state of the British colo- 
nies in America, Avhich, by Your Majesty's commands, have been laid before us. 

We have taken them into our most serious consideration ; and Ave find that a part 
of Your Majesty's subjects, in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, have pro- 
ceeded so far to resist the authority of the supreme legislature, that a rebellion 
at this time, actually exists within the said Province ; and Ave see, with the utmost 
concern, that they have been countenanced and encouraged by unlawful combina- 
tions and engagements entered into by Your Majesty's subjects in several of the 
other colonies, to the injury and oppression of many of their innocent fellow sub- 
jects, resident within the kingdom of Great Britain, and the rest of Your IMajesty's 
dominions. 

This conduct, on their part, appears to us the more inexcusable, when we consider 
with how much temper Your Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament have acted 
in support of the laAvs and constitution of Great Bi-itain. 

AVe can never so far desert the trust reposed in us, as to relinquish any part of 
the sovereign authority over all Your Majesty's dominions, which, by law, is vested 
in Your Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament; and the conduct of many per- 
sons in several of the colonies, during the late disturbances, is alone sufficient to con- 
vince us hoAv necessary this power is, for the protection of the lives and fortunes of 
all Your Majesty's subjects. 

We have ever been, and always shall be, ready to pay attention and regard to 
any real grievances of any of Your Majesty's subjects which shall, in a dutiful and 
constitutional manner, be laid before us ; and whenever any of the colonies shall 
make a proper application to us, we shall be ready to afford them every just and 
reasonable indulgence. 

VOL. VII. 42 



330 EECORDS OF THE COLONY OF KHODE ISLAND [1775. 

At the same time, we eonsider it as oiu- indispensable duty, Immbly to beseech 
Your Majesty, that vou will take the most efiectual measures to enforec due obedi- 
ence to the laws and authority of the supreme legislature ; and we beg leaye, in the 
most solemn manner, to assure Your Majesty, that it is our fixed resolution, at the 
hazard of our lives and properties, to stand by Yoin- Majesty against all rebellious 
attempts in the maintenance of the just rights of Your Majesty, and the two Houses 
of rarliameni. 

The King's Ansiccr to the Address. 

« 

My Lords and Gentlemen : — I thank you for this vei'y dutiful and loyal address, 
and for the affectionate and solemn assurances }ou gi\e me of your support In main, 
taining the just rights of my crown, and of the two Houses of Parliament ; and you 
may depend on my taking the most speedy and effectual measures for enforcing due 
obedience to the laws and the authority of the supreme legislature. 

Whenever any of my colonics shall make a proper and dutiful a})plication, I shall 
be ready to concur with you In affording them every just and reasonable indulgence; 
and it is my ardent wish that this disposition may have a liappy eff(>ct on the temper 
and conduct of my subjects in America. 

Resolution of the House of Commons, Februarij 27, 1775. 

Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, that when the governor, council, 
and assembly, or general court, of any of His Majesty's provinces or colonies, in 
America, shall propose to make provision, according to the condition, circumstances 
and situation of such pro^•ince or colony, for contributing their proportion to the 
common defence (such proportion to be raised under the authority of the general 
court, or general assembly of such province or colony, and disposable liy Parlia- 
ment), and shall engage to make provision also for the support of the civil govern- 
ment, and the administration of justice, in such province or colony, it will be proper 
if such proposal shall be approved by His Majesty and the two Houses of Parlia- 
ment ; and for so long as such provision shall be made accordingly, to forbear, in re- 
spect of such province or colony, to levy any duty, tax, or assessment, or to impose 
any fui-ther duty, tax, or assessment, except only such duties as may be expedient 
to continue to levy or to Impose for the regulation of commerce ; tlie nett pro- 
duce of the duties last mentioned, to be carj-ied to the account of such province or 
colony, respectively. 

The Earl of Dartmouth to the Governor and Company of 
Rhode Island. 

Circular.] Whitehall, 3d March, 1775. 

Gentlemen : — You will Iiave seen in the King's answer to the joint address of both 
Houses of Parliament on the 7th of February (which address and answer, have al- 
ready been transmitted to you), how much attention His Majesty Avas graciously 
pleased to give to the assurance held out in that address, of the readiness of Pai'lia- 
meut to afford every just and reasonable indulgence to the colonies, whenever they 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 331 

sliould make a proper application on the -jround of any real grievance they might 
have to complain of; and therelbre, I have the kv<s occasion now to enlarge upon 
the satisfaction it hath given His ]\Iajesty to see that address followed by the en- 
closed resolution of the House of Commons ; which, whatever may be the effect of it 
(I trust a happy one), will for ever remain an evidence of their justice and modera- 
tion ; and manifest the temper which lias accompanied their deliberations upon that 
question, which has been the source of so much disquiet to His ^Majesty's subjects 
in America, and the pretence for acts of such criminal disorder and disobedience. 

His Majesty, ardently Avishing to see a reconciliation of the unhappy differences 
which haA'e produced those disorders, by every means through which it may be ob- 
tained, without prejudice to the just authority of Parhament, which His Majesty will 
never suffer to be violated, approves the resolution of his faithlul Conmions, and 
commands me to transmit It to you, not doubting that this happy disposition to coin- 
ply Avith every just and reasonable wish of the Ivlng's subjects In America, will meet 
with such a return of duty and affection on their part, as will lead to a happy Issue 
of the present disputes, and to a re-establishment oi' the public tranquility on those 
grounds of ecjuity, justice and moderation which this resolution holds forth. 

The King has the greater satisfaction in this resolution, and the greater couh- 
<lence in the good effects of It, from having seen, that, amidst all the Intemperance 
Into which a people, jealous of liberties, have been unfortunately misled, they have 
nevertheless avowed the justice, and the propriety of subjects of the same state, con- 
tributing according to their abilities and situation, to the public burthens ; and I think 
I am warranted in saying, that this resolution holds no proposition beyond that. 

I am unwilling to suppose that any of the King's subjects In the colonies, can 
have so far forgotten the benefits they have received from the parent state, as not to 
acknowledge that It Is to her support, held forth at the expense of her blood and 
ti-easure, that they principally owe that security wiiieh has raised them to their pre- 
sent state of opulence and Imj)ortance. 

In this situation, therefore, justice requires that they should In return contribute 
according to their respective abilities to the common defence ; and their own welfare 
and Interest demand that tlieir civil establishment should be supported with a be- 
coming dignity. 

It has been the care, and I am persuaded it is the firm determination, of Parlia- 
ment, to see that both these ends are answered ; and their wisdom and moderation 
have suggested the propriety of leaving to each colony to judge of the ways and 
means of making due provision for those purposes ; reserving to tliemselves a discre- 
tionary power of approving or disapproving what shall be offered. 

The resolution neither points out what the civil establishment should be, nor de- 
mands any specific sum, In aid of the public burthens ; in both these respects, It 
leaves full scope for that justice and liberality, which may be expected from colo- 
nies, that, under all their prejudices have never been wanting in expressions of an 
affectionate attachment to the mother country, and a zealous regard for the general 
welfare of the British empire. 

And therefore, the King trusts that the provision they will engage to make for 
the support of the civil government, will be adecjuate to the rank and station of every 
necessary ofhcer ; and that the sum to be given In contribution to the common de- 
fence, will be offered on such terms, and proposed In such a way, as to Increase or 
diminish, according as the public burthens of this kingdom are, from time to time, 
augmented or reduced. In so far as those burthens consist of taxes and duties, which 
are not a security for the national debt. 



332 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1*775. 

Bv such a mode of contribution, the colonies will have full security that they can 
never be required to tax themselves without Parliament's taxing the subjects of this 
kingdom in a far greater proportion. 

And there can be no doubt that any pi-oposition of this nature, made by any of 
the colonies, and accompanied with such a statement of their facilities and abilities 
as mav evince the equity of the proposal, will be received with every possible indul- 
gence ; ])rovided. it be at the same time unaccompanied with any declarations, and 
unmixed with any claims which will make it impossible for the King, consistent with 
his own dignity, or for Parliament, consistent with their constitutional rights, to re- 
ceive it. 

But I will not suppose that any of the colonies will, after this example of the tem- 
pei* and moderation of Parliament, adopt such a conduct. On the contrary. I will 
cherish the pleasing hope, that the public peace will be restored, and that the colo- 
nies, forgetting all other trivial and groundless complaints, wliicli ill humor hath 
produced, will enter into the consideration of the resolution of the House of Com- 
mons, with that calmness and deliberation which the importance of it demands ; and 
with that good will and inclination to a reconciliation, Avhich are due to the candor 
and justice with which Parliament has taken up this business, and at once declared 
to the colonies what will be ultimatelj' expected from tliem. 

I have already said that the King entirely appror^es the resolution of tlje House 
of Commons ; and His Majesty commands me to say, that a compliance therewith, 
by the General Assembly of Ehode Island, will be most graciously considered by 
His Majesty, not only as a testimony of their reverence for Parliament ; but also, as 
a mark of their <luty and attachment to their sovereign, who has no olyect nearer 
to his heart, than the peace and ])i'ospcrity of his subjt'cts in every ])art of his 
dominions. 

At the same time. His Majesty considers himself as boinul by every tie, to exert 
those means the constitution has placed in his hands, for preserving that constitution 
entire, and to resist with firmness every attempt to violate the rights of Parliament, 
to distress and obstruct the lawful commerce of his subjects ; and to encourage in the 
colonies ideas of indi-pendence, inconsistent with their connection with this kingdom. 
I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 

DARTMOUTH. 

To the Governor antl Company of llhode Island. 

Message of Governor Wanton to the General Assemblij of Rhode 
Island. 

Z^ewport, May 2d, 1775. 
To the General Assembly of the English colony of Rhode Island, &c., to be 
holden at Providence, within and for said colony, on the third Wednesday in 
I\Iay, 1775: 

Gentlemen : — As indisposition prevents my meeting you in General Assembly, 
that candor which I have so often experienced from the repi-esentatives of the free- 
men of this colony, encourages me to hope that you will excuse my personal attend- 
ance at this session. 

Since the last session of the General Assembly, at Providence, I have had the 
honor of receiving a letter from the Earl of Dartmouth, one of His Majesty's princi- 
al secretaries of state, dated Whitehall, the 3d March; 1775, enclosing the resolu- 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 333 

tion of the House of Commons, respecting the jirovision which they expect each 
colony or province, in America, to make for the oonmion defence ; and also for the 
support of the civil government, and the administration of justice in such colony 
both Avhich, I have directed to be laid before you ; and also a letter from the com- 
mittee of the provincial congress, which are all the public letters I have received 
during the recess. 

As the dispute between Great Britain and the colonies, is now brought to a most 
alarming, dangerous crisis, and this once happy country threatened with all the 
horrors and calamities of a civil war, I consider myself bound by every tie of duty 
and affection, as well as from an ardent desire to see a union between Britain and 
her colonies, established upon an ecjuitable, permanent basis, to entreat }ou to enter 
into the consideration of the resolution of the House of Commons; and also His 
Lordship's letter, which accompanied that resolution, with that temper, calmness and 
deliberation which the importance of them demands ; and with that inclination to a 
reconciliation with the parent state, which will recommend your proceedings to His 
Majesty and both Houses of Parliament. 

The prosperity and happiness of this colony, is founded in its connexion with 
Great Britain ; ''for if once Ave are separated, where shall we find another Britain 
to supply our loss V Torn from the body to which we are united by religion, liberty, 
laws and commerce, we must bleed at every vein." 

Your charter privileges are of too much importance to be forfeited ; aou wih 
therefore duly consider the interesting matters now before you with the most atten. 
tive caution, and let me entreat you not to suffer your proceedings for accommodat- 
ing those disputes, which have already too long subsisted between both countries, to 
have the least appearance of anger or resentment ; but that a kind, respectful be- 
havior towards His Majesty and both Houses of Parliament, accompany all vour 
deliberations. 

I shall always be ready to join with you, in every measure which will secure the 
full possession of our invaluable charter privileges to the latest posterity, and pre- 
serve the good people of this colony from that ruin and destruction, which, in my 
opinion, some of the orders of the late Assembly, must invariably involve them in 
if they are not speedily repealed ; for besides the fatal consequences of levying war 
against the King, the immense load of debt that will be incurred, if the late resolu- 
tions for raising an army of observation of fifteen hundred men within this colony, 
be carried into execution, will be insupportable, and must unavoidably bring on 
universal bankruptcy throughout this colony. 

If I have the honor of being re-elected, I shall, as I ever have done, cheerfully unite 
with you in every proceeding (which may be consistent with that duty and allegi- 
giance which I owe to the King and the British constitution), for increasing the 
welfare and hajopiness of this government. 

I am, with great respect, and esteem, gentlemen. 

Your most humble servant, 

J. WANTON. 

To the General Assembly. 



S34 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 



Metcalfe Bowler, Speaker of the House of Representatives, of 
Rhode Island, to Governor Wanton. 

Providence, May Sd, 1775. 

!Sir: — 1 am reiiuested l)y tlic General Assembly, to inform Your Honor that you 
are. by the neneral eleetlnn, lieM here this day, chosen Governor of tlie colony; and 
to desirt' yuu -would return liiein au innnediate answer Avhether you will accept of 
the oHice of (iiivernur of tlie colony or not; and if you accept, you would be pleased 
lo attend the Assemlily, as soon as possible. 

This }ou will receive jjer ^h\ Tears, wlio is dispatched express tor Your Honor's 
answer. I am, with due regard, Your Honor's, &c., 

METCALFE BOWLER, Speaker. 

To the Hon. Joseph Wanton, Esq. 

Governor Wanton to Metcalfe Bolder, Speaker of the House of 
Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

Newport, 4th May, 17 75. ' 
Sir: — 1 recei\ed your favor Ijy Mi-. Tears; and in answi-r thereto, say: that the 
honor done me, by the freemen of the colony, in I'C-eleeting me their chief magis- 
trate, I shall accept of, as I wrote the Asssembly of the 2d instant ; but cannot pos- 
sibly attend this session, on account of my indisposition, unless should be better than 
at present. 

I am, with regards to the gentlemen of the Assembly, theirs, and — 

Youi- friend, and humble servant, 

J. AVANTOX. 
To the Hon. .Metcalfe Bowler, Es(i. 

Metcalfe Boioler, Speaker of the House of Representatives of 
Rhode Island, to Governor Wanton. 

Providence, May the 5th, 1775. 
Sir : — f am ref[ueste'l by the General Assembly, to transmit to Your Honor, the 
form of a blank connnission, proposed to be given to the commissioned officers of 
the troops that are already voted to be raised by this colony, as an army of observa- 
tion, and rerjuest A'our Honor's immediate answer wdiether Your Honor will sign, 
as commander in chief of this colony, such commissions, when they are presented to- 
Your Honor, for that purpcjse V 

This is sent express, per Mr. Tears, who is ordered to riiturn immediately with 
Your Honor's answer ; as this Assembly does not propose to rise before the return 
of this ex})rcss. 

1 am, with regard, Y(jur Hrmor's most ol)edient servant, 

METCALFE BOWLER, Speaker. 
To the Hon. Joseph Wanton, Escp 



1775.] AND TROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 335 



Governor Wanton, to Metcalfe Bowler, Speaker of the House of 
Representatives, of Rhode Island. 

Newport, .Jth ]May, 1775. 
Sir : — Tn answer to your favor of this date, reqiiestinu' to know whethor I would 
sign, as commander in chief of this colony, the commissions of the olficers of the 
army about to be raised, say : that 1 cannot comply with it ; having heretofore pro- 
tested against the vote for raising men, as a measure inconsistent witli my duty to 
the King, and repugnant to the true and real interest of this government. 
I am, with regards to the gentlemen of the. Assembly, theirs, and — • 

Your friend, and humble servant, 

J. WANTON. 
To tlie lion. ^Metcalfe Bowler, Esq. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colon// of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at East Green- 
wich, on the second Monday in June, 1775. 

The Hon. Nicholas Cooke, Deputy Governor. 

Whereas, Job Randall, Stephen Hopkins and Charles Har- 
ris, Esqs, who were appointed a committee to revise the road 
called Plainfield Road, presented unto this Assembly, a plan 
of the said road, as revised by them, and the following report, 
to wit : 

Report of the Committee, appointed by the General Assembly, 
relative to the Plainfield Road. 

In pursuance of our appointment, by the General Assembly, 
we have revised the road, called Plainfield Road, from a black 
birch pole, in Bennett's Brook, near Jonathan Olney's, to the 
Seven Mile Line, or to Scituate east boundary ; and do pre^ 
sent this as a plan, thereof. JOB RANDALL, 

STEPHEN HOPKINS, 

Providence, Dec. 10, 1774. CHARLES HARRIS. 



336 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND. [1775. 

And the said report being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
accepted. 

This Assembly, at the session held at Providence, on the 
first Wednesday in May last, having passed an act prohibiting 
His Honor the Deputy Governor, and assistants, from admin- 
istering the oath of office to the Honorable Joseph Wanton, 
Esr[., who was elected Governor of this colony, fur the present 
year ; and declaring all acts by him done in the pretended ca- 
pacity of Governor, null and void, until he shall be engaged in 
open General Assembly, and with the consent of the General 
Asembly, &c ; and the said Joseph Wanton having appeared 
before this Assembly, and demanded that the oath of office be 
administered to him ; and this General Assembly having taken 
the same into consideration, — 

Do vote and resolve, and it is voted and resolved, that the 
said Joseph Wanton hath not given satisfaction to this Assem- 
bly ; that the said recited act, passed at the last session, con- 
tinue and be in force until the rising of the General Assembly 
at the next session ; and that this act be immediately pub- 
lished, by inserting a copy, thereof, in the Newport ^Mercury, 
and Providence Gazette,* 

* Governor Wanton to the General Assembly of Rhode Island. 

East Greenwich, June iSth, 1775. 

Gentlemen: — The charter of this colony, granted by His Majesty King Charles the 
Second, expressly ordains, "that all and every Governor, elected and chosen by virtue of 
that charter, shall give his engagement before two or more of the assistants of the colony, 
for the time being ;" notwithstanding which, I observe, by an act of 3-ours, passed at the ses- 
sion, at Providence, on the first Wednesday in May, and published in the ^'ewport Mercury, 
you have thought fit to forbid the Deputy Governor or assistants to administer the oath of 
office to me, until I appear in open Assembly; and even then, not without your consent. 

As I had the honor of being choSen Governor of this polony at the election held at Provi- 
dence, on the first Wednesday in May ; but through indisposition could not attend at that 
session, I now appear, in order to take the oath of office prescribed by law, and request that 
you would give the necessary directions for the due administering of the same. 

As you have been pleased to arraign my administration, by charging me with manifest- 
ing an intention to defeat these colonies in their struggles for the preservation of their 
rights, I shall here take the freedom to answer the several allegations you have exhibited 
against me, with as much conciseness as possible. 

I have ever cpnsidered it as the distinguishing privilege of an Englishman, to give his 
opiuiou ypon any public transaction, wherein the welfare and happiness of the community 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 337 

An Act for dividing the First Company of Trained Bands in 
Scituate, in the County of Providence, into two. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Deputy Gov- 
ernor be, and he is hereby, requested to write to James Wal- 
lace, Esq., commander of His Majesty's ship Rose, now in the 
harbor of Newport, and demand of him the reason of his con- 
duct towards the inhabitants of this colony, in stopping and de- 



to which he belonged, was immediately concerned, without incuiring a public censure 
therefor. 

Upon this principle, I presumed to exercise the right of private judgment, when I pro- 
tested against the vote for raisin'- troops within this colony ; for I conscientiously believed 
it was a measure replete with the most injurious consequences to the good people of this 
government ; and therefore, from an anxious concern for their happiness, bore my public 
testimony against it. I cannot conceive that in so doing, I have been guilty of any misde- 
meanor, and consequently not reprehensible for that, which ought only be considered by 
those of a different sentiment, as an error in judgment. 

As to the second allegation, for not issuing a proclamation for the due observance of the 
11th of May, as a day of fasting and prayer throughout the colony, I shall only observe that 
the proclamation was begun and would have been published and sent into the colony, on 
Monday, the 8th of May, had you not, by your own vote, on the 7th, divested me of that 
power which might have been thought necessary for enjoining the due observation thereof 
I had no design to counteract your intentions in that matter ; for in a time of such universal 
distress, it is mv opinion, we cannot act a more proper and rational part, than confessing 
our manifold sins before Almighty God, and deprecating his judgments. 

The third allegation, you have thought proper to adduce against me, of non-attendance at 
the session, in Providence, is without the least colorable pretext, after having twice in- 
formed you, during that session, that indisposition prevented my attending; I again con- 
firm it, and am extremely sorry to find, by any of your proceedings, it should be doubted. 

To the fourth allegation, you have been pleased to exhibit against me, of not signing the 
commissions for the officers appointed to command the troops to be raised by this colony, 
the following observation, I imagine, if considered with candor, will be a sufficient justifi- 
cation of my conduct, ia that affair. 

The vote for raising of men, upon very mature deliberation, I had considered, as a mea- 
sure pregnant with the most fatal consequences to the good people of this colony; upon 
that principle, I protested against the vote ; it would, therefore, have been highly improper 
jn me to have given commissions for the execution of a measure, which, in my opinion, was 
subversive of the true interest of this government. 

Upon the strictest examination into my past administration, I cannot impeach myself 
with the least intention of having designedly executed any measure, which might prove 
detrimental to the rights of this colony. 

I am closely united to the inhabitants, by every endearing tie ; and their happiness I con- 
sider as inseparably connected with mine ; I shall therefore, whether in public or pri- 
vate life, constantly pursue such a line of conduct, as, in my opinion, will have a tendency 
to increase the reputation and felicity of every part of this once happy colony. 

I am, gentlemen, your sincere friend and humble servant, 

J. WANTON. 

To the Hon. the General Assembly of Rhode Island, &c., i 
now sitting at East Greenwich. ) 

VOL. VII. 43 



3S8 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

taining their vessels ; and also to demand of him the packets 
which he detains.* 

Whereas, Mr. John Carter exhibited unto this Assembly, 
an account, by him charged against the colony, for printing 
fifty-eight thousand lawful money bills, one thousand six hun- 
dred inlistments for the army of observation, the proceedings 

* The Deputy Governor of Rhode Island, to Capf. James Wallace, 
Commander of His Majesty's Ship Rose. 

East Greenwich, June 14th, 1775. 

Sir :— Long have the good people of this colony been oppressed by your conduct, in in- 
terrupting their lawful trade, and preventing the importation of the provisions necessary 
for their subsistence. 

The acts of the British Parliament, already filled with restrictions of trade, oppressive in 
the highest degree, seem by you, to be thought too lenient. 

Not controlled by those you atfect to call your masters, you have detained the persons and 
taken away the properties of His Majesty's American subjects, without any warrant from 
the acts of trade ; by which, you have greatly impeded the intercourse between this and the 
other colonies, as well as between the different parts of this colony. The inhabitants, ex- 
pecting the interposition of the lawful authority of the colony, have borne these outrages 
with a patience almost criminal. 

The Legislature have heard their complaints, and in consequence of an act passed b}' the 
General Assembly this day, I demand of you the reason of your conduct towards the inhab- 
itants of this colony, in stopping and detaining their vessels. And I also demand of you> 
that you immediately restore the two packets, belonging to some inhabitants of the town of 
Providence; and all other vessels belonging to the inhabitants, of this colony which you 
have taken and unjustly detained. 

So long as you remain in the colony, and demean yourself as becomes your otEce, j-ou 
may depend upon the protection of the laws, apd every assistance for promoting the public 
service, in my power. And you may also be assured that the whole power of this colony 
will be exerted to secure the persons and properties of the inhabitants against every lawless 
invader. 

An immediate answer is requested to this letter. 

I am, sir, your most humble servant, 

NICHOLAS COOKE. 

To Capt. James Wallace. 

Copt. James Wallace, of His Majesty's Ship Rose, to the Deputy 
Governor of Rhode Island. 

His Majesty's Ship Rose, i 
Rhode Island, June 15, 1775. ) 
Sir : — I have received your letter of the 14th inst. ; although I am unacquainted with you, 
or what stction you act in ; suppose you write in behalf of some body of people; therefore, 
previous to my giving an .inswer, I must desire to know whether or net, you, or the people 
on whose behalf j-ou write, are not in open rebellion to your lawful sovereign, and the acts 
of the Britiish legislature! 

I am, sir your most humble and most obedient servant, 

J AS. WALLACE. 
To Nicholas Cooke, Esq. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 339 

ings of this Assembly, at the sessions in April and May last, 
&c. ; and the said account being duly examined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed ; and that £59 los. ^d., lawful money, being the 
amount thereof, be paid the said John Carter, out of the gen^ 
eral treasury. 

It is voted and resolved, that no soldier belonging to the ar- 
my of observation, raised by this colony, be allowed to take up 
of the commissary any more than one-third part of his monthly 
wages for his own use ; and that whatever more the commis- 
sary shall supply or pay to the soldiers, shall be at his own 
risk. 

An Act dividing the Company of Militia, in the town of John- 
ston, into two companies. 

It is voted and resolved, that the allowance to the soldiers in 
camp, be as folio weth to wit : 

One pound of bread, one pound of beef or pork, a half 
penny for vegtables, half a gill of rice, one pint of milk, one 
quart of beer per day, and one pint of molasses, per week. 

That once a week, instead of meat, they have a pound of 
fish, an ounce of butter and half a pint of vinegar ; that if they 
have no milk, they be allowed a gill and an half of rice per 
day ; that if the half penny per day, for vegetables, be not 
sufficient, the brigadier general be empowered to increase the 
same to a sufficient allowance ; and that the commissary furnish 
them with the same quantity of soap as is allowed by the colo- 
ny of the Massachusetts Bay, to their troops. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. William Blodget be, and 
he is hereby, appointed secretary to the army of observation 
raised by this colony ; and that he be allowed the wages of 
c£4 IO5., lawful money, per month. 

It is voted and resolved, that the following rules and orders, 
for regulating the army of observation, raised by this colony, 
be, and they are hereby, approved ; and that the secretary 



340 RECORDS OP THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

procure the siime to be printed, and supply the brigadier g-en- 
eral, each field officer, the commissary and each commissioned 
officer, with a copy thereof. 

Rules and Orders of the Army of Observation, of the Colony of 
Rhode Island. 



Whereas, the lust of power, which of old oppressed, persecuted and exiled our pious 
And virtuous ancestors, from their fair possessions in Britain, now pursues, with tenfold 
severity, us, their guiltless children, who are unjustly and wickedly charged with 
licentiousness, sedition, treason and rebellion ; ahd being deeply impressed with a 
sense of the almost incredible fatigues and liardships our venerable progenitors en- 
countered, who fled from oppression for the sake of civil and religious liberty for 
themselves and their oflTspring, and began a settlement hero on bare creation, at 
their own expense. 

And having seriously considered the duty we owe to God, to the memory of such 
invincible worthies, to the King, to Great Britain, our country, ourselves and pos- 
terity, do think it an indispensable duty, by all lawful ways and means in our power, 
to recover, maintain, defend and preserve, the free exercise of all those civil and 
1-eligious rights and liberties, for which many of our forefathers fought, bled and 
died ; and to hand them down entire, for the free enjoyment of the latest posterity. 

And whereas, the keeping a standing army in any of these colonies, in times of 
peace, without the consent of the legislature of that colony, in which such an army 
is kept, is against law. 

And whereas, such an army, with a large naval force, is now ])laced in the harbor 
of Boston, for the purpose of subjecting us to the power of the British Parliament. 

And whereas, we are frequently told by the tools of the administration, dupes to min- 
isterial usurpation, that Great Britain will not, in any degree, relax in her measures, 
until we acknowledge her " right to make laws binding upon us, in all cases, Avhat- 
soever ;" and that if we refuse to be slaves ; if we persist in our denial of her claim, the 
dispute must be decided by arms, in which it is said by our enemies, " we shall have 
no chance, being undisci])lined, cowards, disobedient, impatient of command, and 
possessed of that spirit of levelling, which admits of no order, subordination, rule or 
government." 

And whereas, from the ministerial army and fleet now at Boston, the large rein- 
forcement of troops expected, the late circular letters to the governors upon the 
continent, the general tenor of intelligence from Great Britain, and the hostile pre- 
parations making here; as also from the threats and frequent insults of our enemies, 
we have reason to apprehend that the sudden destruction of this colony is in contem- 
plation, if not determined upon. 

And whereas, the great law of self preservation hath required our raising and 
keeping an army of observation and defence, in order to prevent or repel any far- 
ther attempts to enforce the late cruel and oppressive acts of the British Parha- 
ment, which are evidently designed to subject us, and the whole continent, to the 
most ignominious slavery. 

And whereas, in keeping such an army, it will be necessary that the officers and 
soldiers in the same, be fully acquainted with their duty ; and that the articles, rules, 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. ' 341 

and regulations thereof, be made as plain as possible ; and having great confidence 
n the honoi' and public virtue of the inhabitants of this colony, that they wiU 
i^eadily obey their officers, and -will cheerfully do their duty, when known, without 
any sucll severe articles and rules (except in capital cases), and cruel punishments, 
as are usually practised in standing armies, and will submit to all such rules and 
regulations as are founded in reason, honor and virtue. 

It is therefore resolved, that the following articles, rules and regulations, for the 
army, raised by this colony, for the defence and security bf our lives, liberties and estates, 
be, and hereby are, established, and required to be strictly adhered to, by all offi- 
cers, soldiers and others concerned, as Ihey regard their own honor, and the public 
good ; and upon the penalties and forfeitures hereinafter mentioned. 

Ai'ticle 1. All officers and soldiers, not having just impediment, shall diligently 
frequent divine service and sermon, in the places appointed for assembling of the 
regiment, troop, or company, to which they belong ; and such as wilfully absent 
themselves, or being present, behave indecently or irreverently, shall, if commis- 
sioned officers, be brought before a regimental coui-t martial, there to be publicly 
and severely reprimanded by the president ; if non-commissioned officers or sol- 
diers, every person so offending, shall, for his first oflfence, forfeit one shilling, to be 
deducted out of his wages ; for the second offence, he shall not only forfeit one shil- 
ling, but be confined, not exceeding twenty-four hours ; and for every like offence, 
shall suffer and pay in like manner ; which money, so forfeited, shall be applied to 
the use of the sick soldiers of the troop or company to which the offender belongs. 

Art. 2. "Whatsoever non-commissioned officer, or soldier, shall use any unlawful 
oath or execration, shall incur the penalty of six pence ; and if a commissioned officer 
be thus guilty of profane cursing and swearing, he shall forfeit and pay for each and 
every such offence, the sum of nine pence, lawful money. 

Art. 3. Any officer or soldier, who shall behave himself with contempt or disre- 
spect towards the general or generals, or commander in chief of the Ehode Island 
f orces, or shall speak words tending to his or their hurt or dishonor, shall be pun- 
ished according to the nature of his offence, by the judgment of a general court 
martial. 

Art. 4. Any officer or soldier, who shall begin, excite, cause, or Join in any mutiny 
or sedition, in ihe regiment, troop, or company, to which he belongs, or in any other 
regiment, troop, or company, of the Rhode Island forces, either by land or sea, or 
in any party, post, detachment, or guard, on any pretence, whatsoever, shall sutler 
such punishment as by a general court martial shall be ordered. 

Art. 5. Any officer, non-commissioned officer, or soldier, who being present at 
any mutiny, or sedition; does not use his utmost endeavors to suppress the same ; or 
coming to the knowledge of any mutiny, or intended mutiny, does not, without delay, 
give information thereof, to the commanding officer, shall be punished by order of a 
a general court martial, according to the nature of his offence. 

Art. 6. Any officer or soldier, who shall strike his superior officer, or draw, or offer 
to draw, or shall lift up any weapon, or offer any violence against him, being in the' 
execution of his office, on any pretence, whatsoever, or shall disobey an}' lawful com- 
mands of his superioi^ officer, shall suffer such punishment as shall, according to the 
nature of his offence, be ordered by the sentence of a general court martial. 

Art. 7. Any non-commissioned officer, or soldier, who shall desert, or without 
leave of his commanding oflicer, absent himself from the troop or company to which 



S42 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1775. 

he belongs, or from any detachment of the same, shall, upon being convicted 
thereof, be punished according to the nature of his offence, at the discretion of a 
general court martial. 

Art. 8. What.-;oever officer or soldier, shall be convicted of having advised or 
persuaded anv other ofticer or soldier to desert, shall suffer such punishment as 
shall be ordered by the sentence of a general court martial. 

Art. 9. All officers, of what condition soever, shall have power to part and quell 
all quarrels, frays, and disorders, though the persons concerned should belong to an- 
other regiment, troop, or company, and either order officers to be arrested, or non- 
commissioned officers or soldiers to be confined and imprisoned, till their proper su- 
perior officers shall be acquainted therewith ; and whoever shall refuse to obey such 
officer (though of an inferior rank), or shall draw his sword upon him. shall be pun- 
ished at the discretion of a general court martial. 

Art. 10. No officer or soldier shall use any reproachful or provoking speeches or 
gestures to another ; nor shall presume to send a challenge to an^' person, to fight 
a duel ; and whoever shall knowingly and willingly suffer any person, whatsoever, to 
go forth to fight a duel ; or shall second, promote, or carry any challenge, shall be 
deemed as a principal ; and whatsoever officer or soldier shall Upbraid another foi' 
refusing a challenge, shall also be considered as a challenger ; and all such offenders, 
in any of these or such like cases, shall be punished at the discretion of a general 
court matial. 

Art. 11. Every officer, commanding in quarters, or on a march, shall keep good 
order, and, to the utmost of his power, redress all such abuses, or disorders, which 
may be committed by any officer or soldier under his command; if upon any com- 
plaint made to him, of officers or soldiers, beating, or otherwise ill-treating any per- 
son, or <of committing any kind of riot, to the disquieting of the inhabitants of this 
continent ; he, the said commander, who shall refuse or omit to see justice done on 
the offender or offenders, and reparation made to the party or parties injured, as far 
as the offender's wages shall enable him or them, shall, upon due proof thereof, be 
punished as ordered by a general court martial, in such manner as if he himself had 
committed the crimes or disorders complained of. 

Art. 12. If any officer shall think himself to be wronged by his colonel, or the 
commanding officer of the regiment, and shall, upon due application made to him, 
be refused to be redressed, he may complain to the genei-al, or conmiander in chief 
of the Rhode Island forces, in order to obtain justice, who is hereby required to ex- 
amine into said complaint, and see that justice be done. 

Art. 13. If any inferior officer or soldier, shall think himself wronged by his 
captain or other officer, commanding the troop or company to which he belongs 
he is to complain thereof, to the conmianding officer of the regiment, who is hereby 
required to summon a regimental court martial, for the doing justice to the com- 
plainant; from which regimental court martial, either party may, if he thinks him- 
self still aggrieved, appeal to a general court martial ; but if, upon a second hearing, 
the appeal shall a])pear to be vexatious and groundless, tlie person so apijealing, 
shall be punished at the discretion of the general court martial. 

Art. 14. Whatsoever non-commissioned officer, or soldier, shall be convicted, at a 
regimental court martial, of having sold, or designedly, or through neglect Avasted the 
anununition, arms or provisions, or other military stores, delivered out to him, to be 
employed in the service of this colony, shall, if an officer, be reduced to a private sen- 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 343 

tinel ; and if a private soldier, shall sufler such punishment as shall be ordered l3y a 
reyiim?ntal court martial. 

Art. 1.5. All non-commissioned officers and soldiers, shall be allowed the limits of 
one mile from the jilace of encampment, unless the commander in chief shall think 
proper to mark out shorter limitations. Every officer or soldier, found Avithout 
those limits, without leave in writing, shall suffer such punishment as shall be iiv 
flicted bv a retrimental court martial. 

Art. 1(3. No officer or soldier, shall lie out of his quarters or camp, without leave 
from the commanding officer of the regiment, upon penalty of being punished ac- 
cording to the nature of his offence, by order of a regimental court martial. 

Art. 1 7. Every non-commissioned officer and soldier, shall retire to his quarters, 
or tent, at the beating of the retreat ; in default of which, he shall be punished ac- 
cording to the nature of his offence, by order of the commanding officer. 

Art. 18. No officer, non-commissioned officer or soldier, shall fail of repairing, at 
the time fixed, to the place of parade or exercise, or other rendezvous, appointed by 
the commanding officer, if not prevented by sickness, or some other evident neces- 
sity ; or shall go from the said place of rendezvous, or from his guard, without leave 
fi'om his conimandiiig officer, before he shall be regularly dismissed or relieved, on 
penalty of being punished according to the nature of his offence, by the sentence of 
a regimental court martial. 

Art. 19. Whatsoever commissioned officer, shall be found drunk on his guard, 
party or other duty, under arms, shall be cashiered for It ; any non-commissioned 
officer or soldier, so offending, shall suffer such punishment as shall be ordered by 
the sentence of a regimental court mai'tial. 

Ai't. 20. Whatsoever sentinel shall be found sleeping upon his post, or shall leave 
it before he shall be regularly relieved, shall suffer such punishment as shall be 
ordered by the sentence of a general court martial. 

Art. 21. Any person belonging to the Rhode Island army, who, by discharging 
of fire-arms, beating of drums, or by any other means, whatsoever, shall occasion 
false alarms, in 'lamp or quarters, shall suffer such punishment as shall be ordered 
by the sentence of a general court martial. 

Art. 22. Any officer or soldier, who shall, without urgent necessity, or without 
leave of his superior officer, quit his platoon or dlvisliji, shall be punished according 
to the nature of his offence, by the sentence of a regimental court martial. 

Art. 23. No officer or soldier, shall do violence, or offer any insult or abuse, to 
any person, who shall bring provisions or other necessaries, to the camp or quarters 
of the Rhode Island army ; any officer or soldier, so offending, shall, upon complaint 
being made to the commanding officer, suffer such punishment as shall be ordered 
by a regimental court martial. 

Art. 24. Whatsoever officer or soldier, shall shamefully abandon any post com- 
mitted to his charge, or shall speak words inducing others to do the like, in time of 
an engagement, shall suffer death immediately. 

Art. 25. Any person belonging to the Rhode Island army, who shall make 
known the watch-word to any person who is not entitled to receive it, according to 
the rules and discipline of war, or shall presume to give a parole or watch- word, dif- 
ferent from what he received, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall 
be ordered by the sentence of a geiieral court martial. 

Art. 26. Whosoever, belonging to the Rhode Island army, shall relieve the enemy 



344 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

with money, victuals or amnuiiiitiou ; or shall knowingly harbor or protect an enemy, 
shall suffer such punishment as by a general court martial shall be ordered. 

Art. 27. Whosoever, belonging to the Rhode Island army, shall be couvicred of 
holding cori-espondence with, or of giving intelligence to, the enemy, either directly 
or indircctlv, s^iall suffer such punishment as by a general court martial shall be 
ordered. 

Art. 2>!. All jtublic stores, taken in the enemy's camp or magazines, -whether of 
artillery, ammunition, clothing or provisions, shall be secured for the use of the colony 
of lllioile Island. 

Ai-t. 2;>. If any officer or soldier shall leave his post or colors, in time of an engage- 
ment, to go in search of plunder, he shall, upon being convicted thereof, before a 
general cciuit martial, suffer such piuiishment as by said court martial shall be 
ordered. 

Art. 30. If any commander of any post, entrenchment or fortress, shall be com- 
pelled, by the officers or soldiers under his command, to give it up to the enemy, or 
to abandon it, the commissioned officer, non-commissioned officers or soldiers, who 
shall be convicted of having so offended, shall suffer death, or such other punishment 
as may be inflicted upon them, by the sentence of a general court martial. 

Art. .31. All sutlers and retailers to a camp, and all persons, whatsoever, serving 
with the Rhode Island army, in the field, though not enlisted soldiers, are to be sub- 
ject to the articles, rules and regulations, of the Rhode Island army. 

Art. 32. No general court martial shall consist of a less number than thirteen ; 
none of Avhich, shall be under the degree of a commissioned officer ; and the presi- 
dent shall be a field officer ; and the president of each and every court martial, 
whether general or regimental, shall have power to administer an oath to every wit- 
ness, in order to the trial of offenders ; and the mernbers of all courts martial, shall 
be duly sworn by the president ; and the next in rank on the court martial, shall ad- 
minister the oath to the president. 

Art. 33. The members, both of general and regimental courts martial, shall, 
when belonging to different corps, take the same rank which they hold m the army ; 
but when courts martial shall be composed of one corps, they shall take their ranks 
according to their commissions, by which they are mustered in the said corps. 

Art. 34. All the members of a court martial, are to behave with calmness, de- 
cency and impartiality; and in the giving of their votes, are to begin with the 
youngest or lowest, in the commission. 

Art. 35. No field officer shall be tried by any person under the degree of cap- 
tain ; nor shall any proceedings or trials be carried on, excepting between the hours 
of eight in the )nornIng, and three in the afternoon ; except in cases which require 
an immediate example. 

Art. 36. The commissioned officers of every regiment, may, by the appointment 
of their colonel, or commanding officer, hold regimental courts martial, for the in- 
quiring into such disputes, or criminal matters, as may come before them, and for 
the inflicting corporeal punishments for small offences ; and shall give judgment by 
the majority of voices ; but no sentence shall be executed till the commanding officer 
(not being a member of the court martial,) shall have confirmed the same. 

Art. 3 7. No regimental court martial shall consist of less than five officers ; ex- 
cepting in cases where that number cannot be conveniently assembled, when three 
may be sufficient ; who are lil^evyise to determine upon the sentence by the ma- 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. S45 

jorlty of voices ; whicli sentence, is to be confirmed by the commanding officer, not 
being, a member of the court martial. 

Art. 38. Every officer, commanding in any fort, castle or barrack, or elsewhere, 
where the corps under his command consists of detachments from diffiirent regi- 
ments, or of independent companies, may assemble courts martial for the trial of of- 
fenders, in the same manner as if they were regimental, whose sentence is not to 
be executed till it shall be confirmed by the said commanding officer. 

Art. 39. No person whatsoever, shall use menacing words, signs or gestures, in 
the presence of a court martial, then sitting, or shall cause any disorder or riot, so 
as to disturb their proceeding, on the penalty of being punished at the discretion of 
the said court martial. 

Art. 40. To the end that offenders may be brought to justice ; whenever any 
officer or soldier shall commit a crime deserving punishment, he shall, by his com- 
manding officer, if an officer, be put in arrest ; if a non-commissioned officer, or sol- 
dier, be imprisoned, till he shall be either tried by a court martial, or shall be law- 
fully discharged by proper authority. 

Art. 41. No officer or soldier, who shall be put in arrest or imprisonment, shall 
continue in his confinement, more than eight days, or till such time as a court mar" 
tial can be conveniently assembled. 

Art. 42. No officer commanding a guard, or provost marshal, shall refuse to re- 
ceive or keep any prisoner committed to his charge, by an officr belonging to the 
Rhode Island forces ; which officer shall at the same time deliver an account in 
writing, signed by himself, of the crime with which the said prisoner is charged. 

Art. 43. No officer commanding a guard, or provost marshal, shall presume to 
release any prisoner committed to his charge, without proper authority for so doing i 
nor shall he suffer any prisoner to escape, on the penalty of being punished for it, 
by the sentence of a general court martial. 

Art. 44. Every officer, or provost marshal, to whose charge prisoners shall be 
committed, is hereby required, within twenty-four hours after such commitment, or 
as soon as he shall be relieved from his guard, to give in writing to the colonel of 
the regiment to Avhom the prisoner belongs (where the prisoner is confined upon the 
guard belonging to the said regiment, and that his offence only relates to the neg- 
lect of duty in his own corps), or to the commander in chief, their crimes, and the 
names of the officers who committed them, on the penalty of being punished for his 
disobedience or neglect, at the discretion of a general court martial. 

Art. 45. And if any officer under arrest, shall leave his confinement before he 
is set at liberty by the officer who confined him, or by a superior power, he shall be 
cashiered for it. 

Art. 46. Whatsoever commissioned officer shall be convicted, before a general 
court martial, of behaving in a scandalous, infamous manner, such as is unbecom- 
ing the character of an officer and a gentleman, shall be discharged from the 
service. 

Art. 47. All officers, conductors, gunners, matrosses, drivers, or any other per- 
sons, whatsoever, receiving pay or hire, in the service of the Rhode Island artillery, 
shall be governed by the aforesaid rules and articles ; and shall be subject to be 
tried by courts martial, In like manner with the officers and soldiers of the Rhode 
Island troops. 

Art. 48. For differences arising amongst themselves, or in matters relating 
solely to their own corps, the courts martial may be composed of their own officers ; 

VOL. VII. 44 



S46 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

but 'whei'e a number sufficient of such officers cannot be assembled, or in matters 
wherein other corps are interested, the officers of artillery shall sit in courts martlalj 
with the officers of the other corps. 

Art. 49. All crimes not capital, and all disorders and neglects which officers and 
soldiers may be guilty of, to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, 
though not mentioned in the articles of war, are to be taken cognizance of, by a 
general or regimental court martial, according to the nature and degree of the of- 
fence, and be punished at their discretion. 

Art. 50. Xo coui-ts martial shall order any otTender to be whipped, or receive 
more than thirty-nine stripes for any one offence. 

Art. .")1. The field officers of each and every regiment, are to appoint some 
suitable person, belonging to such regiment, to receive all such fines as may arise 
within the same, for any breach of any of the foregoing articles ; and shall direct 
the same to be carefully and properly applied to the relief of such sick, wounded, or 
necessitous soldiers as belong to such regiment ; and such person shall account with 
such officer for all fines received, and the application thereof 

Art. 52. All members sitting in coui*ts martial, shall be sworn by the president 
of said courts ; which president, shall himself be sworn by the officer in said court, 
next in rank. The oath to be administered, previous to their proceeding to the 
trial of any offender, in form following, to wit : 

" You, A. B., swear that you ivill well and truly try, and impartially determine, the 
cause of Ihe prisoner now to be tried, according to the rules for reyulating the Rhode 
Island army. So help you God." 

Art. 53. All persons called to give evidence in any case, before a court martial 
who shall refuse to give evidence, shall be punished for such refusal, at the discre- 
tion of such court martial ; the oath to be administered in the form following, to 
wit: 

'■ You swear the evidence you shall glee, in the case now in hearing, shall be the 
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help you God."' 

It is voted and resolved, that the committee of safety be, 
and they are hereby, directed to charter two suitable vessels, 
for the use of the colony, and fit out the same in the best man- 
ner, to protect the trade of this colony. 

That the said vessels be at the risk of the colony, and be 
appraised, before they are chartered, by Messrs. Joseph An- 
thony, Rufus Hopkins and Cromell Child, or any two of them ; 
who are also to agree for the hire of the said vessels. 

That the largest of the said vessels be manned with eighty 
men, exclusive of officers ; and be equipped with ten guns, 
four-pounders ; fourteen swivel guns, a sufficient number of 
small arms, and all necessary warlike stores. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. o47 

That the small vessel be manned with a number not exceed- 
ing thirty men. 

That the whole be included in the number of fifteen hundred 
men, ordered to be raised in this colony, and be kept in pay 
until the 1st day of December next, unless discharged before, 
by order of the General Assembly. 

That they receive the same bounty and pay as the land 
forces, excepting that the first and second lieutenants, and 
master, receive the same pay as the first lieutenant of the land 
forces ; and the under or petty officers the same as the ser- 
geants of the army. 

And that the lieutenant general, brigadier general and com- 
mittee of safety, or the major part of them, have the power of 
directing and ordering said vessels ; and, in case it shall ap- 
pear to them that the officers and men of the said vessels can 
be more serviceable on shore, than at sea, to order them on 
shore, to defend the sea-ports in this colony. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that the following offi- 
cers be, and are hereby^ appointed to command the said ves- 
sels, to wit : of the largest vessel, — 

Abraham Y/hipple, commander, with the rank and power of 
commodore of both vessels. 

John Grimes, first lieutenant. 

Benjamin Seabury, second lieutenant. 

William Bradford, of Providence, master. 

Ebenezer Flagg, quartermaster, at the wages of £4, lawful 
money, per month. 

Of the smallest vessel, Christopher Whipple, commander. 

William Rhodes, lieutenant. 

Whereas, William Potter, Esq., presented unto this Assem- 
bly, the following memorial, to wit : 

Memorial of William Potter, to the General Assembly, relative 
to his Protest, S^x. 

To the Honorable General Assembly, of tlie colony of Rhode Island, at the session 
to be holden in East Greenwich, on the second ]\Ionday in June, A. D. 1775. 
I, William Potter, of South Kingstown, in the county of King's county, in the 

«olony aforesaid, humblv show : 



S48 RECORDS OP THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

That a session of the General Assembly, lield at Providence, on the 22d day of 
April last, an act was passed for the raising, with all expedition and dispatch, fifteen 
hundred men, as an army of observation, to repel any insult or violence that might 
be offered to the inhabitants. 

And also, if necessary for the safety and preservation of the colonies, to march out 
of this colony, ajid join and co-operate Avith the forces of the neigliboring colonies 5 
ao-ainst which act, I, as one of the upper house of Assembly, together with Joseph 
AVanton, Esq., the then Governor ; Darius Sessions, Esq., the then Deputy Gov- 
ernor ; and Tliomas Wickes, Esq., then also one of the same upper house, did enter 
my jjrotest ; which hath given much uneasiness to the good people of this colony. To 
remove which, so far as respects myself, and as far as in me lieth, I beg leave to 
observe : 

That a rough draught was drawn up, and delivei-ed to a person to be corrected ■ 
which protest, as the same now stands, appears to me to be of a different import 
from my meaning at that time ; and which, through the hurry attending the business 
before the House, was not so properly attended to, as it might have been, and in 
that haste was signed. 

It is true, I was against the passing of the said act at that time, as I conceived the 
trade, and particularly the town of Newport, would be gi'eatly distressed, which a 
little longer time might prevent ; and because it was known that the very respecta- 
ble Assembly of the colony of Connecticut would soon sit, of Avhose wise deliberations 
we might greatly avail ourselves. These were the true reasons of my conduct, 
however the contrary may appear from the protest signed. 

No man hath ever been more deeply impressed with the calamities to which 
America is reduced, by a most corrupt administration, than mjself No man hath 
more exerted himself in private and public life, to reheve ourselves from our oppres- 
sions ; and no man hath held himself more ready to sacrifice his hfe and fortune 
in the arduous struggles now making throughout America, for the preservation 
of our just rights and liberties ; and in these sentiments, I am determined to live 
and die. 

Sorry I am, if any of the good people of this colony should have conceived other- 
wise of me; and I greatly lament, that the unguarded expressions in that protest, 
should give cause therefor. Should I from thence, lose the confidence, just hopes 
and expectations of my countrymen, of my future conduct in the arduous American 
struggles, it might create an uneasiness of mind, for which nothing can ever com- 
pensate. 

But sliould this public declaration case the minds of friends, and the friends of 
liberty, and convince them of my readiness to embark, to conflict with them in every 
difliculty, and against every opposition, until our glorious cause shall be estabhshed 
upon the most firm and permanent basis, it will be a consideration that will afford 
me the highest satisfaction that human nature is capable of enjoying.* 

I am Your Honors' most humble servant, 

WILLIAM POTTER. 

And the said memorial being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be accepted ; that it 



See page 311. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 349 

is satisfactory ; and that the said William Potter be, and he 
is hereby, reinstated in the favor of this General Assembly. 

An Act dividing the regiment of militia in the county of Kings 
county into two regiments. 

An Act dividing the regiment of militia in the county of Kent 
into two regiments. 

Officers to command the several Trained Bands, or Companies of 
Militia, in the Colony. 

Portsmouth : first company — Burrington Anthony, captain ; 
David Gifford, lieutenant ; Stephen Borden, ensign. 

Warwick : first company — Abraham Lockwood, captain j 
Sylvester Wickes, lieutenant ; Job Randall, ensign. 

Second company — Reuben Wightman, captain ; Squire 
Mil ward, lieutenant ; James Jarauld, ensign. 

Third company — Thomas Rice, sou of Thomas, captain 5 
Anthony Holden, son of Charles, lieutenant ; Stukely Staf- 
ford, Jr., ensign. 

Westerly : first company — Thomas Thompson, captain ; Jo- 
seph Pendleton, lieutenant ; Joshua Pendleton, ensign. 

Second company — John Gavet, captain ; Stephen Saunders, 
Jr., lieutenant ; William Bliven, ensign. 

New Shoreham company — John Sands, captain ; Samuel 
Rathbun, Jr., lieutenant ; William Littlefield, ensign. 

North Kingstown : first company — Thomas Clarke, captain ; 
John Manchester, lieutenant ; William Reynolds, ensign. 

Second company — Thomas Cole, captain ; Charles Dyre, 
lieutenant ; William Taylor, ensign. 

Third company — Thomas Bissell, Jr., captain ; Timothy 
Deane, lieutenant ; Robert Potter, ensign. 

South Kingstown : first company-^-^Samuel Sengar, captain j 
Gideon Babcock, lieutenant ; Daniel Williams, ensign. 



350 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

Second company — Abial Brown, captain ; James Parker, 
lieutenant ; Barber Peckbam, ensign. 

East Greenwicb : first company — Natbaniel Gardner, cap- 
tain ; Ebenezer Spencer, lieutenant ; William Hall, ensign. 

Second company — Allen Jobnston, captain ; Michael Spen- 
cer, lieutenant ; Stephen Greene, ensign. 

Scituate : first company — Peleg Fisk, captain ; Nathan 
Relph, lieutenant ; Nathan Bates, ensign. 

Third company — Stephen Kimball, captain ; Joseph Davis, 
lieutenant ; James Williams, ensign. 

Fourth company — Jeremiah Davis, captain ; Isaac Hop- 
kins, lieutenant ; Oziel Smith, ensign. 

Fifth company — Samuel Wilbur, captain ; Thomas Field, 
lieutenant ; William Potter, ensign. 

Glocester : first company — Benajah Whipple, captain ; Si- 
mon Smith, lieutenant ; John Eddy, ensign. 

Second company — Samuel Mayes, captain ; Ezekiel Phet- 
tiplace, lieutenant ; Daniel Mathewson, ensign. 

Third company — Abraham Winsor, captain ; Stephen Pain, 
lieutenant ; Ptichard Lewis, ensign. 

Fourth company — Stephen Winsor, captain ; Aaron Arnold, 
lieutenant ; Isaac Ross, ensign. 

Charlestown company — Thomas Sheffield, captain ; Jona- 
than Macomber, lieutenant ; Caleb Crandal, ensign. 

West Greenwich : first company — Eleazar Carr, captain ; 
Abel Greene, lieutenant ; Abel Mathewson, 2d, ensign. 

Second company — Jeremiah Austin, captain ; Benjamin 
Gorton, lieutenant ; Joseph Weaver, ensign. 

Third company — John Mathewson, Jr., captain ; Josiah 
Mathewson, lieutenant ; Samuel Reynolds, ensign. 

Exeter : first company — Christopher Champlin, captain ; 
Abel Fowler, lieutenant ; Isaiah Wilcox, ensign. 

Second company — John Hoxsie, captain ; George Sweet, 
lieutenant ; Eber Shearman, ensign. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 351 

Bristol company — Jeremiah Ingraham, captain ; Stephen 
Smith, lieutenant ; Ilezekiah Munro, ensign. 

Tiverton : first company-^Christopher Manchester, cap- 
tain ; Isaac Cooke, lieutenant ; Philip Manchester, ensign. 

Second company — Benjamin Durfee, captain ; Ebenezer 
Slocum, lieutenant ; Jonathan Deval, ensign. 

Little Compton company — George Simmons, captain ; Sam- 
uel Gray, lieutenant ; David Cooke, ensign. 

Warren company — Amos Haile, captain ; John Ornisbee, 
lieutenant ; Smith Bo wen, ensign. 

Cumberland : first company — Enoch Weatherhead, captain ; 
Elisha Waterman, lieutenant ; Benjamin Wilkinson, ensign. 

Second company — Levi Tower, captain ; Elias Philbrook, 
lieutenant ; Levi Ballou, ensign. 

Cranston : first company — John King, Jr., captain ; Antho- 
ny Potter, lieutenant ; Josiah Potter, ensfgn. 

Second company — Frederick Williams, captain ; Nathaniel 
Carpenter, lieutenant ; John Harris, ensign. 

Third company — Edward Knight, captain ; William Field, 
2d, lieutenant; Joseph Potter, ensign. 

Hopkinton : first company— Barker Wells, captain ; Oliver 
Babcock, Jr., lieutenant ; Elnathan Wells, ensign. 

Second company — George Thurston, Jr., captain ; Matthew 
Randall, lieutenant ; Randall Wells, ensign. 

Johnston : first company — Richard Thornton, captain ; 
Richard Fenner, Jr., lieutenant ; Daniel Sprague, Jr., ensign. 

Second company — Emmor Olney, captain ; Daniel Angell, 
lieutenant ; Laban Waterman, ensign, 

North Providence company — Job Olney, captain ; Charles 
Olney, Jr., lieutenant ; Eleazar Jenckes, ensign. 

Barrington company — Thomas Allen, captain ; Samuel Bos- 
worth, lieutenant ; Vial Allen, ensign. 

It is voted and resolved, that this General Assembly will 



352 RECORDS OF THE COLOISY OP RHODE ISLAND 1775. 

join with the other colonies in establishing post offices and post 
riders, in order to preserve an intercourse between the different 
colonies, which will prove so beneficial to the public, as well as 
to individuals ; and that this colony will, for the present, de- 
fray the expense of post riders throughout tliis colony, upon 
the usual post road. 

It is further voted and resolved, that post offices be, and 
hereby are, established at the following places, to wit : at 
Newport, Providence, Bristol, Warren, Tower Hill, in South 
Kingstown and Westerly ; and that the following persons be,- 
and hereby are, appointed post masters, to wit : 

For Newport, Mr. Nathaniel Otis ; Providence, Mr. John 
Carter ; Bristol, Mr. Jonathan Russell ; Warren, Mr. Shubael 
Burr ; Tower Hill, Mr. Ray Sands ; Westerly, Mr. Joshua 
Babcock. 

It is further voted and resolved, that the rates and du'ties for 
postage of letters, be as follows, to wit : 

Rates of Postage in the Colony of Rhode Island. 



For any distance not exceeding sixty miles 
" sixty miles, and not exceeding one hundred miles 
" one hundred miles, and not exceeding two hundred miles 
" two hundred miles, and not exceeding three hundred miles 
" three hundred miles, and not exceeding four hundred miles - 
" four hundred miles, and not exceeding five hundred miles 
" five hundred miles, and not exceeding six hundred miles 
" six hundred miles, and not exceeding seven hundred miles 
" seven hundred miles, and not exceeding eight hundred miles - 
" eight hundred miles, and not exceeding nine hundred miles 
" nine hundred miles, and not exceeding one thousand miles 

The above rates to be paid in lawful money, of this colony, and are for the post- 
age of a single letter. They are to be doubled for all double letters, trebled for all 
treble letters ; and for every ounce weight, four times so much is to be charged as 
for a single letter. 

It is further voted and resolved, that Mr. Peter Mumford be, 
and he is hereby, appointed the post rider from Newport to 
Providence ; and Mr. Benjamin Mumford the post rider from 
Newport to New London ; and that they neither receive nor 



£ s. 


d. 





51-4 





8 





101-4 


1 


1 


1 


4 


1 


6 1-4 


1 


9 


2 





2 


2 1-2 


2 


5 


2 


8 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE pla:ntations. " '353 

deliver any letters from any post office heretofore establislied 
in this colony. 

It is further voted and resolved, that Messrs. Joshua Bab- 
cock, John Jenckes, William Bradford and Joseph Anthony, 
be, and they are hereby, appointed a committee, to agree with 
the post masters and post riders, for their service ; and to 
give directions for the setting off and returns of the post rid- 
ers ; and that the post masters account to the said committee 
for what they shall receive. 

It is further voted and resolved, that all letters which the 
post rider for the time being, may receive, directed for the 
town of Boston, shall be first post paid, and submitted to the 
examination of the commander in chief of the American forces, 
at Cambridge, or of a committee that may be appointed by the 
provincial congress of the Massachusetts Bay, before they are 
permitted to go into Boston ; and that all letters coming out of 
Boston, be submitted to the like examination. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that this act shall con- 
tinue in force until this Assembly shall make some further order 
relative to the same. 

It is voted and resolved, that the letter written by His 
Honor the Deputy Governor, to James Wallace, Esq., com- 
mander of His Majesty's ship Rose, and Capt. Wallace's an- 
swer, be published in the next Newport Mercury, and Provi- 
dence Gazette. 

It is voted and resolved, that £10,000, in lawful money 
bills of credit, be struck off, for the use of the colony ; that the 
same proportion of the different bills be printed ; that they be 
signed by the same persons who signed the former emission, and 
in the same manner ; that they be completed and lodged in 
the general treasury, as soon as may be ; and that the comr 
mittee for signing the bills, procure the paper. 

An Act to prevent desertion from the army of observation. 

An Act dividing the First Trained Band, or Company of Mi- 
litia, in the town of Coventry, into two companies. 

VOL. VII. 4^ 



354 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

An Act dividing the Second Trained Band, or Company of 
Militia, in the town of Coventry, into two companies. 

Whereas, Thursday, the 20th day of July next, is recom- 
mende d by the Honorable the Continental Congress to be ob- 
served as a day of public fasting and prayer throughout the 
colonies, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that His Honor the 
Deputy Governor be, and he is hereby, requested to issue a 
proclamation, to be published in the Newport Mercury, and 
Providence Gazette, earnestly recommending the same to be 
religiously observed by the inhabitants of this colony. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Deputy Gov- 
ernor be, and he is hereby, requested to write an fuiswer to the 
letter from the delegates of this colony at the Continental 
Congress ; and to transmit to them a copy of the proceedings 
of this Assembly. 

God save the Kinsr. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations^ at Providence, 
on Wednesday, the 2Sth day of June, 1775. 

The lion. Nicholas Cooke, Deputy Governor. 

It is voted and resolved, that six companies, consisting of 
sixty men each, including officers, be immediately raised in 
this colony, in addition to those already ordered to be raised ; 
that they be equipped with arms, ammunition and all other 
necessaries ; that two companies be added to each regiment 
now in the service of this colony, and encamped near Boston , 
that as soon as twenty men in a company shall be raised, they 
be sent forward, under the care of one commissioned officer, 
and the whole as soon as possible. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 355 

That the same bounty and wages be allowed to them, as to 
those already raised ; and that, to defray the expense thereof, 
£10,000, in lawful money bills, be emitted and signed in the 
same manner and proportion as the first emission ; excepting 
that the bills now ordered to be emitted, be signed in the fol- 
lowing manner, to wit : all the bills of five shillings, and up- 
wards, by three signers ; and all under, by two signers. 

An Act to repeal an act, entitled " An act for regulating ap- 
peals to His Majesty in Council, in Great Britain." 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof it is enacted, that the act entitled " An act for 
regulating appeals to His Majesty in Council, in Great Brit- 
ain," be, and the same is hereby, repealed. 

It is voted and resolved, that the act to prevent the Hon- 
orable Joseph Wanton, Esq., from acting as Governor of this 
colony, until the oath of office shall be administered to him in 
open General Assembly, with the consent of the Assembly, &C.5 
which was passed at the session held on the first Wednesday in 
May last, and continued by an act passed at the session held on 
the second Monday in June instant, be continued, and remain 
in force, until the rising of this Assembly, at the next session ; 
and that a copy of this act be inserted in the Newport Mer- 
cury, and Providence Gazette. 

Whereas, it is absolutely necessary, for the well governing 
and exerting the force of an army, that the same should be 
under the direction of a commander in chief, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that the army of observa- 
tion raised by this colony, during the operations of the present 
campaign, be under the command and direction of the com- 
mander in chief of the combined American army, stationed in 
the Province of the Massachusetts Bay ; and that the secretary 
transmit a copy of this act to the commander in chief of the 
combined American army ; and to the brigadier general of the 
Rhode Island troops. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Deputy Gov- 



356 ' RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

ernor be, and he is hereby, requested to \vnte an answer to the 
letter from the Governor of Connecticut ; and to the speech of 
the Oneida tribe of Indians to the four New England colonies. 

It is voted and resolved, that Messrs. Jabez Champlin, 
James Angell, Metcalfe Bowler, John Waterman, James 
Rhodes, John Sands, Sylvester Gardner, John Hawkins, Allen 
Johnson, Benjamin Underwood, Elisha Mo wry, Jr., Rufus 
Hopkins, Asa Kimball, Joseph Stanton, Jr., Thomas Gorton, 
Stephen Potter, George Pierce, John Barker, Benjamin Bos- 
worth, John Cooke, Thomas Brownell, Cromell Child, John 
Dexter, George \Vebb, Richard Searle, Abel Tanner, Emmor 
Olney, Thomas Olney and Thomas Allen, be, and they are 
hereby, appointed and directed to take an account, as soon as 
may be, of the powder, arms and ammunition, in the several 
towns in this colony, in which they respectively dwell, includ- 
ing private as well as public stock. 

That they be, and hereby are, directed and empowered to go 
to the house of each person in their respective towns, to take 
an account of the powder, arms and ammunition. 

That they make report to His Honor the Deputy Governor, 
that he may transmit an account thereof, to the Continental 
Congress ; and also make report to this Assembly, at the next 
session. 

And that in case any of the persons hereby appointed, shall 
refuse to serve, the members of the General Assembly, of the 
town in which the person so refusing dwells, appoint another 
in his stead, who will undertake. 

It is voted and resolved, that the committees of inspection in 
the several towns in this colony, be, and they are hereby, ap- 
pointed to collect all the saltpetre and brimstone in the respec- 
tive towns wherein they dwell, at the charge of the colony, and 
send the same with all possible dispatch, to the committee of 
inspection for the town of Providence, by them to be immedi- 
ately forwarded to the Provincial Congress, at New York. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Charles Bowler be, and he 
is hereby, appointed baker to the army of observation raised by 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 357 

this colony, and stationed near Boston ; and that he be paid 
five shilhngs, lawful money, for every hundred weight of flour 
he shall bake ; he findin"; the fuel for baking the bread. 

It is voted and resolved, that Capt. Joseph Stanton, Jr., be, 
and he is hereby, appointed one of the committee of safety, for 
the county of Kings county, in respect to the soldiers now or- 
dered to be raised by this Assembly. 

That he be empowered to pay off the soldiers heretofore 
raised in the towns of Westerly, Charlestown and Hopkinton, 
all such wages as they have not yet received, and be allowed 
therefor, half per cent. 

That John Northup, Esq., be allowed one per cent, for the 
same. 

And that the said Joseph Stanton, Jr., receive of the said 
John Northup, the accounts he hath against the soldiers now 
in the service of the colony, who were raised in the said three 
towns, in order to settle with the soldiers, and to stop what 
shall appear to be due from them to the said John Northup. 

It is voted and resolved, that the gunner, and all the sol- 
diers at Fort George, be immediately discharged. 

That Mr. Thomas Freebody have the care of the buildings on 
Goat Island, and let them out ; that he haul up the fort-boat, 
take particular care of her, and preserve her for the use of the 
colony ; that he procure the cannon to be brought over from 
the fort to Newport ; and that he advertise the guns Avhich 
were stolen from the fort. 

Both Houses being joined in a grand committee, chose the 
following ofiQcers, to wit : 

Officers to Command the Six Additional Companies to the Arimj 
of Observation. 

Ebenezer Flagg, captain ; Joseph Perry, lieutenant ; and 
Noel Allen, ensign, of the eighth company, to be raised in the 
counties of Newport and Bristol. 

Thomas Grey, captain ; Lemuel Bailey, lieutenant ; William 



358 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1775.] 

Southwortli, ensign, of the ninth company, to be raised in the 
counties of Newport and Bristol. 

Levi Tower, captain ; Silas Talbot, lieutenant ; Reuben 
Sprague, ensign, of the ninth company, to be raised in the 
county of Providence. 

Israel Gorton, captain ; James Williams, lieutenant ; Jo- 
seph Harris, ensign, of the tenth company, to be raised in the 
county of Providence. 

Ethan Clarke, captain ; Thomas Cole, lieutenant ; John 
Woodmansie, ensign, of the ninth company, to be raised in the 
counties of Kings county and Kent. 

Christopher Smith, captain ; Thomas Sweet, lieutenant ; 
Oliver Tefft, ensign, of the tenth company, to be raised in the 
counties of Kings county and Kent. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Job Watson be, and he is 
hereby, appointed a post at Tower Hill, to give intelligence to 
the northern counties, in case any squadron of ships should be 
seen off; that in case of an alarm, the northern counties be, 
and they are hereby, ordered to march to the town of 
Providence. 

That a proclamation be immediately issued by His Honor 
the Deputy Governor, commanding every man in the colony, 
able to bear arms, to equip himself completely with arms and 
ammunition, according to law. 

And that the town of Pi evidence fix a beacon on the hill to 
the eastward of the said town, to alarm the country, in case of 
an invasion. 

An Act for enlisting one-fourth part of the militia of the colony, 
as minute men. 
Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that one-quarter part of the mili- 
tia of this colony be enlisted as minute men, to meet together, 
and exercise themselves in military discipline, half-a-day, once 
in every fortnight. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 359 

And that the following persons be, and hereby are, appointed 
in the several towns to enlist them, to wit : 

Names of Persons appointed by the Gcnerat Assemhlij as En-^ 
listing Officers^ in the Colony. 

Newport — The captains of the several companies of militia. 

Providence — Messrs. John Demont and Nathaniel Froth- 
in gh am. 

Portsmouth — Mr. Burrington Anthony. 

Warwick — Messrs. Malachi Hammet, Reuben Wiglitman 
and Thomas Rice, son of Thomas. 

Westerly — Messrs. George Sheffield, Benjamin Hull and Jo- 
seph Stillman. 

New Shoreham — The captain of the company of militia. 

North Kingstown — Messrs. Charles Tillinghast, Jonathan 
Vaughan and Ezekiel Gardner, Jr. 

South Kingstown — Messrs. Peleg Babcock and John Wait. 

East Greenwich — Messrs. Allen Johnston and Wm. Arnold, 

Jamestown — The captain of the company of militia. 

Smithfield — Messrs. Andrew Waterman, Lnke Arnold and 
Peleg Arnold. 

Glocester — Messrs. John Wells, Gideon Burgess, Aaron 
Winsor and Samuel Mayes. 

Charlestown — Messrs. Augustus Stanton and Beriah Lewis. 

West Greenwich — Messrs. Eleazar Carr, Jeremiah Austin 
and John Mathewson, Jr. 

Coventry — Messrs. Archibald Kasson, Yelverton Wait, 
Stutely Hudson and Benjamin Greene. 

Exeter — Mr. George Pierce. 

Middietown — The captain of the company of militia. 

Bristol — Mr. Benjamin Bosworth. 

Tiverton — Messrs. Joseph Almy and Pardon Cooke. 

Little Compton — Mr. Peres Richmond. 

Warren — Mr. William Barton. 

Cumberland — Messrs. Elisha Waterman and Elias Philbrook. 

Richmond — Mr. Simeon Clarke, Jr. 



360 RECORDS OP THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

Cranston — Messrs. Andrew Harris, William Potter and the 
capiain of the third company. 

Hopkinton — Messrs. Thomas Wells, 3d, and Oliver Davis. 
Johnston — Messrs. William Hawkins and Joseph Waterman. 
North Providence — Mr. Job Olney. 
Barrington — Mr. Luther Martin. 

And be it farther enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
in case any of the persons hereby appointed, shall refuse to 
serve, the deputies of the several towns to which they belong, 
be, and they hereby are, empowered to appoint others in their 
stead. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the following be the form of the enlistment for the said minute 
men, to wit : 

Colony of Rhode Island, 8fc. 
We, the subscribers, voluntarily enlist ourselves to serve as 
minute men, in the service of this colo?iy, to be under the imme- 
diate command of our superior officers, and subject to the law of 
this colony, for regulating the minute men. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the persons who are hereby appointed to enlist the said minute 
men, return the names of the persons they shall so enlist, unto 
the deputies who live within their respective regiments. 

That the said deputies, or the major part of them, be, and 
hereby are, empowered to form them into companies, each to 
consist of as many men as they shall think proper and direct ; 
and also to appoint officers over them ; and that they return 
the names of the officers they shall appoint, to His Honor the 
Deputy Governor, to be commissioned by the secretary, in the 
same manner that the other officers have been commissioned. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the said minute men march for the defence of the colony, when 
and as often as they shall be called upon by the colonel of the 
re.£jiment to which they respectively belong. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 361 

And that the lieutenant general and major general of the 
colony be, and they are hereby, authorized and empowered to 
march them out of the colony, whenever they, or either of 
them, shall think it necessary. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the following wages bo allowed and paid out of the general 
treasury, to the said officers and men, to wit : 

For every time they shall meet and exercise, each captain 
shall receive two shillings and sixpence, lawful money. 

Each lieutenant and ensign, two shillings, lawful money ; 
and each other person one shilling, lawful money. 

And when they march for the defence of the colony, or out 
of the colony, each captain shall receive six shillings, lawful 
money, per day. 

Each lieutenant, five shillings, lawful money, per day ; each 
ensign, four shillings, lawful money, per day ; and each other 
person, three shillings, lawful money, per day ; and shall also 
be billeted at the charge of the colony. 

And that the commanding officer make his return once a 
month to the committee of safety, and draw the money. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the several independent companies in this colony, or such of 
them as shall think proper, form themselves into companies of 
minute men, under the same regulation and command as above 
mentioned, and exercise and do duty in the same manner ; and 
that they receive the same pay and allowance. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the secretary, as soon as may be, transmit copies of this act to 
the several sheriffs in the colony, who are hereby directed to 
forward them by the first safe hands, to the persons appointed 
to enlist the said minute men in their respective counties. 

It is voted and resolved, that Capt. John Grimes be, and he 
is hereby, appointed commander of the small sloop, chartered 
by the colony, in the room of Capt. Christopher Whipple, who 
refused. 

That all other vacancies, in either of the sloops, chartered 
by the colony, be filled up by the committee of safety ; and 

VOL. VII. 46 



362 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RflODE ISLAND [1775. 

that the officers be commissioned by the secretary of this 
colony. 

It is voted and resolved, that when the places of any com- 
missioned officers in the army of observation, raised by this 
colony, shall happen to be vacant, the brigadier general of the 
said army, with the advice of the field officers, thereof, fill up 
all such vacancies with officers ; who shall have fall power to 
act by virtue of such appointment, until His Honor the 
Deputy Governor shall send them commissions, signed by the 
secretary. 

God save the King. 



Proceedings of the General Assembhj, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on 
the third Monday in August, 1775. 

The Hon. Nicholas Cooke, Deputy Governor. 

It is voted and resolved, that all the neat cattle and sheep 
upon New Shoreham, excepting a sufficiency for the inhabit- 
ants, be brought off as soon as possible, and landed upon the 
continent ; that two hundred and fifty men be sent upon that 
island, to secure the stock until it can be taken off. 

That the remainder of the two companies raised in the coun- 
ties of Kings county and Kent, which have not yet marched to 
join the army of observation, be employed in the said service ; 
that to complete the number, one hundred and ninety men be 
immediatelv enlisted, who shall be allowed wages at the rate of 
three shillings a day, and be billeted. 

That Mr. James Rhodes be the chief commander of the said 
men, and Gideon Hoxsie, Esq., the second in command. 

That the said James Rhodes and Gideon Hoxsie, and George 
Sheffield, be, and they are hereby, empowered, at the expense 
of the colony, to take the most prudent and effectual measures 
for removing the said stock to some place upon the continent ; 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 363 

that the committee of safety supply the said men with the ne- 
cessary arms, ammunition and provisions. 

That the following persons be appointed to enlist men for 
the said service, — 

Thomas Wells, 2d ; Thomas Tefft, and in case of his refusal^ 
Richard Bailey, Jr. ; Stephen Sheldon, Ebenezer Sprague, 
Elisha Waterman, Andrew Waterman, James Albro, Abial 
Brown, Jonathan Haszard, Joseph Pendleton and George 
Peirce ; who shall be allowed wages, at the rate of six shiU 
lings a day, and shall have the command of the men by them 
respectively raised, subordinate to their superior officers above 
named ; that no one of the above named persons raise more 
than twenty men. 

That each person appointed to enlist men, set out for the 
places of rendezvous, with the men he shall enlist, on Satur- 
day next, at eight of the clock in the morning, which are as 
follows : 

Those raised in the towns of Richmond and Charlestown, to 
rendezvous at Jesse Champlin's, in Charlestown. 

Those raised in North Kingstown, South Kingstown, John- 
ston, Cumberland, Exeter and Smithfield, at John Potter's, 
Esq. 

Those raised in the other towns, at Elias Thompson's, in 
Y/esterly. 

That the said James Rhodes, Gideon Hoxsie and George 
Sheffield, or any two of them, be appointed to appraise the 
said stock, which is to be transported at the expense and risk 
of the colony. 

That His Honor the Deputy Governor be requested to issue 
orders to the said two companies, belonging to Col. Varnum's 
regiment, to proceed to New Shoreham, and obey the orders of 
the said James Rhodes and Gideon Hoxsie during the said 
service. 

That the said James Rhodes and Gideon Hoxsie be commis- 
sioned, mutatis mutandis, in the same manner as the officers of 
the army of observation are ; and that Mr. James Rhodes draw 



364 EECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775 

out of the general treasury £200, lawful money, for the pur^ 
poses, aforesaid. 

In Council, was read the return of officers' names, chosen 
to command the Independent Company of Cadets, in Provi- 
dence, viz. : 

Joseph Nightingale, captain ; William Ptussell, first lieu- 
tenant ; Nathaniel Greene, second lieutenant ; Ebenezer 
Thompson, ensign. 

Which being considered in Council,— 

It is voted and resolved, that the said officers be, and they 
are hereby, approved. 

An Act to punish persons, who shall pilot any armed vessels in 
or out of any of the harbors, rivers or bays, in this colony, 
excepting vessels belonging to some one of the British colo- 
nies in America, or the inhabitants thereof. 
Be it enacted by this General Assembly,' and by the au-* 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that any person, being an inhab- 
itant of any of the British colonies in America, who shall act 
as a pilot on board any armed ship or vessel, and pilot them in 
or out of any of the harbors, rivers or bays, in this colony, ex- 
cepting vessels in the service of some one of the said colonies, or 
of the inhabitants thereof, shall, upon conviction thereof, by bill, 
plaint or inlormation, before the superior court of judicature, 
court of assize and general jail delivery of this colony, be pun- 
ished at the discretion of the said court, by fine and imprison- 
ment not exceeding a fine of ^500, lawful money, nor more 
than twelve months imprisonment. 

It is voted and resolved, that William Potter, Esq., be al- 
lowed to draw out of the general treasury the sum of £270 
85. 7 3-4c?., for carrying on the building a new court house in 
Kings county. 

It is voted and resolved, that this colony will purchase all 
the gunpowder that shall be imported here from parts beyond 
sea, before the 1st day of April next, at the rate of three shil-' 
lings, lawful money, a pound. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 365 

It is voted and resolved, that the twenty-nine minute men, 
raised by Mr. Andrew Waterman, proceed with him immedi- 
ately to New Shoreham ; and that they all be paid according 
to the act for raising men for the same purpose. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Deputy Gov- 
ernor, the members of the upper house, who live in the county 
of Providence ; the deputies of the town of Providence, Met- 
calfe Bowler, William Bradford, John Dexter, Joseph Antho- 
ny, Daniel Mowry, Jr. and Joshua Babcock, Esqs., or the 
major part of them, together with such other members of the 
General Assembly, as may be present, be, and they are hereby, 
appointed a committee, during the recess of the General As- 
sembly, to act upon any sudden important emergency ; with 
full power of taking all prudent and necessary measures for the 
safety of this colony, and the colonies in general. 

That they be particularly empowered to employ the two 
armed vessels in the service of this colony, or either of them, 
in such manner, arid upon such voyage, as they shall think 
conducive to the public interest ; and that this act continue 
in force until the next session of Assembly. 

Whereas, the ensigns in the respective companies of the 
Rhode Island forces, encamped on Prospect Hill, represented 
unto this Assembly, that by a resolve of the Provincial Con- 
gress of the Massachusetts Bay, the ensigns of the several bat- 
talions of that colony were advanced, and made second lieu- 
tenants, and their wages enhanced ten shillings a month ; and 
prayed that this Assembly would, in conformity to that resolve, 
make the same regulation respecting the ensigns in the Rhode 
Island forces ; on consideration whereof, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the prayer of the said petition 
be granted ; that the said ensigns be advanced to equal rank 
and station with their brethren in the Massachusetts forces ; 
and that their wages be increased ten shillings a month. 

It is voted and resolved, that the gentlemen mentioned in 
the following list, be, and they are hereby, chosen to serve in 
the offices, to their names respectively ascribed, to wit : 



366 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

Nani.es of Persons chosen to the respective Militarij Offices, in the 
Colony, herein mentioned. 

Joseph Belcher, Esq., colonel; John Cooke, Esq., lienten- 
ant colonel ; and William Channing, Esq., major, of the regi- 
ment of militia, in the county of Newport. 

Charles Dyer, Esq., major j of the regiment of militia, in 
Kings county. 

William Barton, Esq., adjutant, of the first regiment of mi- 
litia, in the county of Providence. 

Samuel Pearce, Jr., captain ; William Allen, son of William^ 
lieutenant ; and George Allen, ensign, of the second company 
of militia, in Portsmouth. 

William Taylor, captain ; John Cole, lieutenant ; and 
James Albro, ensign, of the second company of militia, in 
North Kingstown. 

William Arnold, Esq., major of the regiment of militia, in 
the county of Kent. 

Benjamin Underwood, captain ; John Carr, lieutenant ; 
and Benjamin Carr, Jr., ensign, of the company of militia, in 
Jamestown. 

Samuel Hill, captain ; Thomas Jenckes, lieutenant ; and 
Samuel Day, ensign, of the first company of militia, in 
Smithfield. 

James Smith, lieutenant, of the third companj/ of militia, in 
Smithfield. 

Joseph Whipple, captain ; Joseph Kinyon, lieutenant ; and 
Asaph Bennett, ensign, of the fourth company of militia, in 
Coventry. 

Thomas Peckham, captain ; Samuel Bailey, lieutenant ; 
and Elisha Barker, ensign, of the company of militia, in Mid- 
dle town. 

Ezra Ormsbee, captain, of the company of militia, in 
Warren. 

Vial Allen, lieutenant ; and Daniel Kinnicutt, ensign, of 
the company of militia, in Barrington. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 367 

It is voted and resolved, that two row-gallies be forthwith 
built and equipped at the expense of this colony, for its protec- 
tion and defence ; that they be of a suitable bigness to carry 
sixty men, each ; to row with fifteen oars on a side, and to 
mount one eighteen-pounder in the bow, and a number of 
swivel guns ; and that they be built in such further and par- 
ticular form, model and construction, as shall be judged most 
suitable and fitting, by the committee hereafter named, for an- 
swering the design and purpose of their building. 

And that Ambrose Page, Esq., be the person for the above 
purpose, and that he be empowered to draw out of the general 
treasury, a sum not exceeding £300, to enable him to prose- 
cute the building. 

Whereas, the post rider hath been stopped by the ships of 
war in the harbor of Newport, and the mail hath been actually 
taken from him, by violence, which renders it necessary that 
the route be altered, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that Mr. John Lasell be 
employed as a post rider, to go the old post road, from Provi- 
dence to New London ; that he set out from Providence for 
New London on every Tuesday, immediately upon the arrival 
of the post from Cambridge, and return as soon as possible ; 
that he be allowed from this colony at the rate of $185, a 
year, and in that proportion for any lesser time, he finding 
good horses, and paying his own expenses. 

That Mr. Benjamin Mumford be employed as a post rider 
from Newport to Cambridge ; that he set out from Newport on 
Monday afternoon at 3 o'clock, to carry the Newport mail for 
the westward to Providence, and proceed immediately to Cam- 
bridge, with the mails for that post office, and set off from 
thence on Thursday, in the afternoon, for Providence ; and 
there take the mail from the westward, and proceed immedi- 
ately to Newport ; that he be allowed for his services at the 
same rate as hath heretofore been allowed to the post rider be- 
tween Newport and Boston ; and that the post rider pay the 
port of every letter to such office nearest to which he shall re-* 



368 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

ceive it, and be under oath for the faithful performance of his 
trust. 

That this act continue in force until further orders from this 
Assembly. 

That Ilis Honor the Deputy Governor be requested to write 
to and transmit a copy of this act to the Governor of Connec- 
ticut, and speaker of the House of Representatives, of the Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, requesting them to pay their proportions of 
the expense of the post riders, as usually practised. 

It is voted and resolved, that Messrs. Nathaniel Mumford, 
Thomas Greene, Carder Hazard, Nathan Miller and Gideon 
Mumford, be, and they, or the major part of them, are hereby 
appointed a committee to audit the accounts of the committee 
of safety, who are hereb}^ directed to pay off the troops to the 
last day of this month, and to close their accounts on the 8tli 
day of September next. 

That the committee hereby appointed, meet at Providence, 
on the 15th day of September, to proceed upon the said busi- 
ness, and make report to this General Assembly, at the then 
next succeeding session. 

And thiit His Honor the Deputy Governor, transmit the said 
accounts, as soon as may be, after they shall be audited, to the 
Honorable the Continental Congress. 

"Whereas, notwithstanding the humble and dutiful petition of 
the last Congress to the King, and other wise pacific measures 
taken for obtaining a happy reconciliation between Great 
Britain and the colonies ; the ministry, lost to every sentiment 
of justice, liberty and humanity, continue to send troops and 
ships of war into America, which destroy our trade, plunder 
and burn our towns, and murder the good people of these col- 
onies, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that this colony most ar- 
dently wish to see the former friendship, harmony and inter- 
course, between Britain and these colonies restored, and a 
happy and lasting connection established between both coun- 
tries, upon terms of just and equal liberty ; and will concur 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 369 

with the other colonies in all proper measures for obtaining 
those desirable blessings. 

And as every principle, divine and human, require us to 
obey that great and fundamental law of nature, self-preserva- 
tion, until peace shall be restored upon constitutional princi- 
ples ; this colony will most heartily exert the whole power of 
government, in conjunction with the other colonies, for carrying 
on this just and necessary war, and bringing the same to a 
happy issue. 

And omongst other measures for obtaining this most desira- 
ble purpose, this Assembly is persuaded, that the building and 
equipping an American fleet, as soon as possible, would greatly 
and essentially conduce to the preservation of the lives, lib- 
erty and property, of the good people of these colonies ; and 
therefore instruct their delegates, to use their whole influence, 
at the ensuing Congress, for building, at the Continental ex- 
pense, a fleet of sufficient force, for the protection of these col- 
onies, and for employing them in such manner and places as 
will most effectually annoy our enemies, and contribute to the 
common defence of these colonies. 

And they are also instructed to use ail their influence for 
carrying on the war in the most vigorous manner, until peace, 
liberty and safety, be restored and secured to these colonies 
upon an equitable and permanent basis. 

It is voted and resolved, that the delegates for this colony, 
to the Congress, to be holden by adjournment, at Philadelphia, 
on the 5th day of September next, bo, and they are hereby, 
fully authorized and empowered to receive of the Continental 
treasurer, the money due from the United Colonies, to this 
colony, for the several sums of money advanced, for raising of 
forces, purchasing arms, tents, provisions, clothing and warlike 
stores, for the defence of the said United Colonies ; and trans- 
mit the same to the general treasurer of this colony, by such 
faithful person or persons, as they can trust, and under such 
guard as they shall judge expedient and necessary. 

Whereas, the Honorable Samuel Ward, Esq., one of the del- 
egates from this colony, to the Congress, held at Philadelphia, 

VOL. VII. 47 



370 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

on the 10th day of May last, hath made a report unto this As- 
sembly, of many of the proceedings and resolves of the said 
Congress, consisting of measures by them taken for defending 
the United Colonies against the attacks of our cruel and un- 
natural enemies, measures for the security of the frontiers, the 
preservation of peace and friendship with the people of Canada 
and the Indian nations, the emission of a Continental currency 
for defraying the expenses of the war, a petition to the King, 
an address to the people of England, an address to the people of 
Ireland, a letter to the lord mayor of London, a letter to the 
Assembly of Jamaica, the establishment of a general post office, 
and some occasional resolutions 

It is thereupon voted and resolved, that the said report be, 
and the same is hereby, accepted and approved, and that the 
thanks of this Assembly be given to the delegates of the Con- 
tinental Congress, in general, and to the delegates of this col- 
ony, in particular, for their Avise, spirited, and faithful dis- 
charge of the important trust reposed in them. 

It is voted and resolved, thai the delegates from this colony, 
to the Congress, to be holden at Philadelphia, by adjournment, 
on the 5th day of September next, be, and they are, empow- 
ered to apply to their own respective uses $200, each, of the 
money which they may receive of the Continental treasurer in 
behalf of this colony, on account of their expenses and services 
at the Congress ; and that they be severally accountable to the 
colony therefor. 

It is voted and resolved, that the Continental currency emit- 
ted by the Congress, at their last session in Philadelphia, on 
the 10th day of May last, be, and it is hereby, made a lawful 
tender, at the rate of six shillings, lawful money on a dollar, and 
in the same proportion as to gold and silver, in all payments, 
whatsoever, whether of a public or private nature ; and whether 
due in lawful money, dollars, gold or silver coin, sterling money, 
bills of exchange, or any other currency, whatsoever. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that whosoever shall coun- 
terfeit the said Continental currency or bills, or pass the same in 
this colony, knowing the same to be counterfeit, such person or 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. • 371 

persons, upon legal conviction thereof, shall be liable to, and 
suffer the same pains, penalties and punishments, as by law 
persons counterfeiting the lawful money bills of this colony are 
liable to. 

It is voted and resolved, that eight field pieces be provided 
and prepared for the use of the colony ; and that Mr. Nicholas 
Power be, and he is hereby, appointed to provide and prepare 
six of said field pieces, and Mr. Jacob Greene, the other two ; 
and that the said Nicholas Power put in order the carriages of 
the colony guns, placed in the Providence battery. 

It is voted and resolved, that a bounty of three shillings a 
pound, be allowed, and paid out of the general treasury, on 
every pound of saltpeter that may be made in this colony, by 
the 26th day of August, A. D. 1776, suitable to be manufac- 
tured into gunpowder ; and three shillings a pound for every 
pound of such saltpeter, exclusive of said bounty. 

And that Mr. Joseph Brown, Jabez Bowen, Esq. and the 
secretary of this colony, be, and they are hereby, appointed in- 
.spectors and provers of the quality thereof ; and that no person 
be entitled to said bounty and value, until he shall have first 
made oath before the secretary, that the saltpeter offered for 
inspection was actually made in this colony ; and that in order 
to its being so proved, that the manufacturers thereon convey 
the same to the town of Providence ; and that the same be de- 
livered to, and deposited with the general treasurer. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Deputy Gov- 
ernor, be requested to write a letter to His Excellency General 
Washington, informing him of the steps this colony have taken 
to secure the stock upon the islands lying within this jurisdic- 
tion ; and to request His Excellency to use his authority, that 
such of said stock as may be fit for market, be received by the 
commissary general, for the use of the army. 

It is voted and resolved, that the monthly wages of Abraham 
Whipple, captain of the colony sloop, be raised from £7 IO5., 
to £9, from the time he entered on board said sloop. 

It is voted and resolved, that Messrs. James Rhodes, Gideon 
Hoxsie, George Shefiield, Joshua Babcock, Abel Tanner, Jo- 



372 . RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1775. 

seph Hoxsie and William Potter, be, and they, or any three of 
them, are hereby, appointed a committee to take possession of 
the stock that may be brought off from New Shoreham, by order 
of this Assembly ; and such of said stock as may be fit for a mar- 
ket, immediately to send to the army ; that such of said stock as 
may not be fit for a market, they immediately sell and dispose 
of to the best advantage, either at public or private sale, unless 
the owners of said stock shall choose to take their own stock 
into possession at their own risk ; and that they make report 
thereof, to the next General Assembly. 

An Act dividing the Second Company, or Trained Band, in the 
town of Scituate, into two companies, appointing officers, &c. 

It is voted and resolved, that the act to prevent the Hon. 
Joseph Wanton, Esq., from acting as Governor of this colony, 
until the oath of office shall be administered to him in open 
General Assembly, with the consent of the Assembly, &c., 
which was passed at the session held on the first Wednesday in 
May last, and continued by an act passed at the session held on 
the second Monday in June last, and further continued by an 
act passed at the session held on Wednesday, the 28th day of 
the same June, be still continued, and remain in force, until 
the rising of this Assembly, at the next session. 

It is voted and resolved, that the Honorable Stephen Hop- 
kins, Esq., one of the delegates of this colony, at the Conti- 
nental Congress, be empowered to receive £80, lawful money, 
out of the general treasury, on account of his expenses and 
services at said Congress, from the time he last set out for 
Philadelphia, to the time of the last adjournment of said Con- 
gress ; and that he be accountable to the colony. 

Whereas, the Honorable Samuel Ward, Esq., one of the 
delegates for this colony, at the Continental Congress, exhib- 
ited unto this Assembly an account, by him charged against the 
colony, for his services at said Congress ; and sundry expenses 
in going to, during his residence at, and returning from, Phil- 
adelphia ; and the said account being duly examined, — 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 373 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, al- 
lowed ; and that the balance thereof, being =£83 19s. od., law- 
ful money, be paid the said Samuel Ward, out of the general 
treasury. 

It is A^oted and resolved, that the late proceedings of the 
members of the committee of inspection of South Kingstown, 
and several other towns, respecting the stopping and regulating 
the passing of a number of neat cattle over the ferries to New- 
port from South Kingstown, belonging to George Irish, be ap- 
proved of; and that it is expected and requested, that the 
committees of inspection for the towns, do, at all times, use 
their utmost endeavors that stock be not suffered to pass over 
any of the ferries to Newport, in larger numbers than two at a 
time, except sheep, and of those but five at a time, while any 
danger may remain of their being taken by our enemies ; and 
that the proprietors of the ferries and their ferrymen, govern 
themselves accordingly. 

It is voted and resolved, that Col. Samuel Aborn, Col. John 
Low, Richard Smith, Esq., Mr. Benjam"n Bosworth, Sylvester 
Gardner, Esq. and Mr. Benjamin Gardner, be, and they are 
hereby, appointed a committee, to cause all the cattle and 
sheep, that are fit to be killed, to be forthwith removed and 
carried off all the islands in this colony, Rhode Island except- 
ed ; and Block Island, for which provision hath already been 
made. 

To this end, the committee are to request the owners to re- 
move them, and to give them assistance ; and if the owners 
refuse, then this committee are to cause them to be appraised 
by proper persons of their appointment, and to transport them 
to the main land, to be sent to the camp and sold, for which 
the owners shall be indemnified. 

That the stock on Prudence and Hog Islands be removed to' 
Bristol, by the said Richard Smith and Benjamin Bosworth. 

And the stock on Jamestown be removed to South Kings- 
town, by the said Sylvester Gardner and Benjamin Gardner. 

That said committee be empowered to take such assistance, 



874 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

vessels and boats, as they shall think necessary, and all at the 
expense of the colony. 

And the said committee are also empowered to order the 
two armed vessels belonging to the colony, to assist in remov- 
ing said cattle and sheep ; that William Bradford, Esq., send 
those cattle and sheep to the camp, that may be brought to 
Bristol ; and that John Northup, Esq., send those cattle and 
sheep to the camp, that may be brought to South Kingstown 
or North Kingstown. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Deputy Gov- 
ernor, with the advice of the committee appointed to transact 
public matters during the recess of the Assembly, be requested 
to write an answer to the letter from the Council of the colony 
of Massachusetts Bay, dated August 18, 1775, to the Deputy 
Governor, and to take such orders respecting the prisoners 
therein referred to, as they shall think proper. 

It is voted and resolved, that if any person or persons shall 
refuse to take the paper money emitted by this colony, the pa- 
per money emitted by the Continental Congress, or by any of 
the American colonies, in payment for any debt, duty or de- 
mand of a pecuniary nature, he shall incur the displeasure of 
this General Assembly ; and ought to be held and esteemed as 
an enemy to its credit, reputation and happiness ; and totally 
destitute of that regard and obligation he is under to his 
country and the cause of liberty, which they are deeply en- 
gaged to support and defend ; and that the good people of this 
colony and America ought to withdraw all communication from 
such person or persons. 

God save the King. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 375 



Proceedings of the General Assembly., held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantation?,, at Providence, on 
Tuesday, the olst day of October, 1775. 

The Hon. Nicholas Cooke, Deputy Governor. 

Whereas, Edward Cole, Esq., presented unto this Assembly 
the following petition and declaration, to wit : 

Petition of Edward Cole, to the General Assembly. 

To the Honorable General Assembly of the colony of Rhode Island, &c., now sitting 
at Providence, hnmbly showeth Edward Cole, of Newport,— 

That he is called by business of great importance to himself, to Carlisle, in the 
province of Pennsylvania. 

That having, some time past, in common conversation, spoken in such a manner 
as to induce many people to think he was inimical to this, his native country (al- 
though he never, in any way, whatever, either by giving information or intelligence, 
or otherwise, did any thing to the prejudice of America), he thought proper to ap- 
ply to His Honor the Deputy Governor, to give him a pass to proceed through the 
country, lest from the prejudice, aforesaid, he might meet with some interruption in 
his intended journey ; who did not choose to comply with his request, unless by the 
advice of the comnn'ttee. 

That the committee being empowered to act only during the recess of the General 
Assembly, he is under the necessity of applying to Your Honors. He begs leave to 
represent, that he hath no other intention in pursuing his said journey, than trans- 
acting his own private business ; and to assure Your Honors, that during the course 
of it, he Avill, in every resjject, conduct himself as a real well wisher and a hearty 
friend to his country, as he in truth, is, and will abide by, and be governed by, the 
resolutions of the Continental Congress. 

He therefore humbly prays Your Honors to request His Honor the Deputy Gov- 
ernor, to grant him a pass or certificate, that he may pursue his said journey, Avith' 
out danger of interruption from misapprehension of his principles or intentions. 

And, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c. EDWARD COLE, 

Declaration of Edward Cole, to the General Assembly. 

I, the subscriber, dreading censure from my countrymen, on the score of what 
mistakenly may have been apprehended to be my political principles, now seriously 
declare and avow my principles to be the foUovying, to wit : 



:376 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

That I solemnly declare, that I justify and voluntarily adopt the resolutions of this 
General Assembly, in using force against force, at or near to Boston, in opposing 
the ministerial troops ; and that we, of this colony, have good cause toAvithstand, and 
to our utmost, oppose the mandatory edicts of the British Parliament, to enslave the 
inhabitants of this country, and compel them by force to submit to vassalage ; and, 
in consequence of which, an army has been sent into Boston, and is now there ; and 
from henceforward I (If needed,) will co-operate with my countrymen in their op- 
position, &c. EDWARD COLE. 

And the said petition and declaration being duly con- 
sidered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said declaration be accept- 
ed by this Assembly ; and that His Honor the Deputy Gov- 
ernor, be requested to grant the petitioner a pass, agreeably to 
the prayer of his petition. 

It is voted and resolved, that five hundred good and effective 
men, be immediately raised, as soldiers for the defence of the 
colony, for one year, unless dismissed before ; that proper offi- 
cers be appointed to command them ; and that John Sayles^ 
Jr., Eseck Hopkins and Henry Marchant, Esqs., be, and 
they are hereby, appointed a commitiee to prepare an act ac- 
cordingly. 

It is voted and resolved, that John Dexter, William Greene^ 
Paul Mumford and Thomas Church, Esqs., be a committee, to 
examine the prisoners taken into custody by General Hopkins, 
and make report to this Assembly, as soon as may be ; and 
that General Hopkins be requested to attend said committee. 

It is voted and resolved, that the soldiers on Jamestown, be 
reinforced with a suGficient number of men, to be immedi- 
ately raised by John Northup, Esq., if necessary, with the as- 
sistance of Col. Brown. 

And that Col. Brown send such officer or officers to com-, 
mand such men, as he shall think proper; and that said 
troops be under the commanding officer no\v on Jamestown. 

It is voted and resolved, that the conduct of General Hop- 
kins, in respect to taking into his possession, in behalf of the 
colony, the estates of George Rome, Benjamin Brenton, the 
heirs of Andrew Oliver, Esq., deceased; Jahleel Brenton and 
Thomas Hutchinson, as persons inimical to the true interest of 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 377 

the colony, be approved of ; and that the said estates bo kept 
ill the possession of those persons appointed by the general, in 
behalf of the colony ; and that they j^ccount to the colony for 
the back and future rents, and profits thereof. 

It is voted and resolved, that the sheriff of the county of 
Kings county, be, and he is hereby, directed to take posses- 
sion, in behalf of the colony, of a certain farm on Point Judith j 
in the county of Kings county, in the possession of Silas Niles, 
and of the stock of every kind thereon, belonging to Samuel 
Sewall, now in Boston ; and that the said farm and stock be 
let out ; that the said Silas Niles account for all back rents due 
to the said sheriff, in behalf of the colony. 

That the said sheriff be, and lie is hereby, ordered to take 
into possession a certain farm in Exeter, in said county, be- 
longing to the said Samuel Sev^all, with all the stock thereon, 
belonging to the said Sewall, and to let out the same in behalf 
of the colony, and account therefor, on demand ; that David 
Austin, the present tenant account with Ihe said sheriff, in be- 
half of the colony, for all back rents due. 

That the said farms be rented to the present tenants, they 
giving bond to the general treasurer, for the payment to the 
said general treasurer, of the rents back, and the rents hereaf- 
ter arising. 

And that in like manner the said sheriff take into his pos- 
session the estate of Dr. Thomas Moffatt, situate in North 
Kingstown, in said county, now in possession of Charles Dyer ; 
and that he act and do therewith, as above ordered, respecting 
the estate of the said Samuel Sewall. 

It is voted and resolved, that the real estate lately belonging 
to John Borland, late of Cambrid.Eje, in the Province of the 
Massachusetts Bay, deceased, lying in the county of Bristol, 
in this colony, with the stock thereon, be forthwith taken into 
possession by the sheriff of said county of Bristol, in behalf of 
this colony ; and that he rent the same to the present tenant, 
provided he will give as high rent for the same, as any other 
person ; and that he give bond to the general treasurer for the 
payment of all back rents, and for all rents hereafter arising. 

VOL. VII. 48 



378 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

That the sheriff of the county of Kings county, take into his 
possession all such real estate in that county, lately belonging 
to the said John Borland, with such stocks as may belong to 
the heirs of the said John Borland ; and that he rent the same 
to the present tenants, provided they will give as much there- 
for, as any other person, and give bond to the general treasurer 
for the payment of all back rents due, and for such rents as 
shall hereafter arise. 

It is voted and resolved, that this Asseuibly, having a due 
sense of the spirited conduct of Col. Robert Brown, of South 
Kingstown, in his late exertions for the relief of the town 
of Jamestown, do hereby present him the thanks of this 
Assembly. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that he be requested to 
give his attendance before this Assembly for their further in- 
formation. 

It is voted and resolved ^ that a messenger be immediately 
dispatched to Lieut. Col. Pierce, and to Capt. Simeon Clarke, 
Jr., of Richmond, requiring their immediate attendance on this 
Assembly. 

An Act dividing the First Trained Band, or Company of 
Militia, in the town of South Kingstown, into two com- 
panies. 

It is voted and resolved, that the further consideration of 
the bill for freeing negro slaves, now pending before this As- 
sembly, be referred to the next session. 

That in the mean time, a copy thereof, be published in the 
Newport and Providence newspapers. 

And that the deputies of each town in the colony, lay the 
same before their constituents, in town meeting, and obtain 
their opinions thereon, and present the same to this General 
Assembly, at their next session. 

Whereas, Messrs. James Rhodes and Gideon Hoxsie, who 
were appointed a committee to remove all the stock from Block 



1775.] 



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 



379 



Island, exhibited unto this Assembly an account of the stock 
taken from said island, belonging to sundry persons, together 
with the valuation, thereof, as follows, to wit : 

Account of Sheep and Lambs taken by the Colony^ from Block 
Island, September 2, 1775. 



Giles Pierce, two hundred and forty-one f;it sheep and lambs, at £G IO5., 
per score ---.-.-. 

John Paine, seventy-eight sheep, at £G lC\s-., per score 

Walter Rathbun, seventeen " u u u . „ . 

Abel Franklin, thirty-two " " " " _ 

John Littlefield, sixty-two " » a (t ... 

Capt. John Sands, one hundred and five sheep, at £6 10s., pe: 

Edward Sands, Jr., twenty - " " 

Joshua Sands, Esq., five - - " '• 

Henry Willis, Jr. fifteen - - " " 

Samuel Rathbun, four - - " '' 

John Barber, ninety-six - - " " 

Thomas Dickens, eleven - - " " 

John Mott, two lambs - - - - " 

Hezeklali Dodge, three lambs- - - " 

Benjamin Sheffield, six " - - - " 

Henry Littlefield, two " - - - '' 

John ^litchell, fivo " - - - " 

Thomas Mitchell, nine " - - - " 

Jeremiah Mitchell, one " - - - " 

John Littlefield, forty three lambs - - " 

Capt. John Sands, one hundred and sixty-nine store sheep and lambs, at 
£5, per score --.._. 

John Littlefield, one hundred and forty-eight sheep, at £5, per score, 

John Barber, one hundred and seventy-five '' " " 

Thomas Mitchell, twenty-seven - " " " 

John Mitchell, ten - - u n « 

Jonathan Mitchell, ten - . " (^ u , 

Joseph Mitchell, three - - . " " " . 

George Franklin, eight - - a- n u 

Henry Littlefield, five - . f u u . 

Nathaniel Littlefield, twelve - " " " 

Edward Sands, Jr., twenty-nine - " " " 

Joshua Sands, four - - u u u 

Ezekiel Sheffield, fourteen - . u u u . 

Henry Willis, two - - u u u 

John Mott, one - - -"«'». 

Giles Pierce, four hundred and forty-one " " " 

Abel Franklin, twenty-eight - " " " 

John Paine, t^enty-thi-ee - . " u u 



78 


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180 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 



Walter Rathbun, nine slieep, at £5, per score 
Nathaniel Littlefield, Jr., six sheep, at £5, per score 
Henry Willis, Jr., ten " " " 

Tonnut Rose, six - " " «' . 

Daniel Mott, four - " " " 

Jeremiah ^Mitchell, three " " " . 

Ezekiel Rose, four - " " " 

Total sheep and lamljs, one thousand nine h.undred and eight. 



And the said account being duly examined, — 
It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed ; and that the amount thereof, being £534 ds. 6d, 
lawful money, be paid out of the general treasury to the per- 
sons to whom the same is respectiv^ely due, as mentioned in 
said account. 

Whereas, Mr. Sylvester Gardner and Benjamin Gardner, 
who were appointed a committee, to remove the stock from 
Jamestown, and to appoint a committee to appraise the same, 
presented unto this Assembly the following account of the 
stock removed from the said island, and appraisement there- 
of, to wit : 

Account of Stock taken by the Colony ^ from Jamestown, 
August 30, 1775. 

£ 5. d 

Samuel Carr, one ox, one cow and twelve shee]) - - - 20 10 

£ s. <L 

Isaac Ilowland, six oxen, two heifers - - 64 04 

" '• thirty-four sheep and one lamb, at 9s. 5 l-2(/., l(i 10 t) 80 14 9 

Pain Hammond, four oxen and two bulls - - - - 45 00 

Joseph and Benjamin Underwood, two oxen and one cow - 21 00 

" " " seventeen sheep, at 8s. M. - 7 00 3 28 00 3 

Daniel Weeden, Jr., one heifer and one steer - - 8 08 

" " twenty-five sheep - - - - 12 16 3 21 04 3 

Edward Carr, two oxen and one cow - - ^ 28 04 

Nicholas Carr, two oxen - - - - -21100 

Benjamin Carr, two oxen - - - - 15 18 

'■ " twenty-one sheep, at 9s. - - - 9 09 25 07 

George Tew, one ox - - - - - 11 08 

John Eldred, one cow - - - - 7 1 7 G 

" twenty-four sheep, at 9s. - - - 101G018136 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 381 





£ 


.>>•. 


(L 


£ 


s. d. 


Isaac Pierce, four oxen, one cow, four heifers and one steer, 


OS 


IS 









" " one cow . . - - 


c 


00 









" " one hundred and twenty-five slieep, at 9,s\ 


- 56 


05 





131 


03 


Gei-shom Remington, two oxen . _ . 








21 


00 


Hazard Knowles, three oxen and two heifers 


- ;i.i 


17 









" " three heifers, two steers and one bull 


1!) 


10 









" " twenty-nine sheep, at 8s. 3(7. 


- 11 


19 


3 


CO 


12 9 


Daniel Carpenter, five heifers 


24 


OO 









" " two oxen 


- 1!) 


Ot.) 









" " one hundred sheep, at 9s. 


45 


00 





88 


00 


James Carr, Jr., two oxen . . - 


- IS 


00 









" " three heifers 


9 


12 





27 


12 


Josiah Arnold, Esq., one cow, four heifers and two bulls 








35 


09 


John Howland, two oxen - ,- - - 


19 


10 









'• " twenty-six sheep - - - 


- 11 


14 





31 


11 


William Battey. two oxen - - - - 




- 




21 


00 


Thomas Fowler, two heifers and one steer 


- 12 


IS 


(t 






" " one cow . - - - 


5 


05 









" " twenty sheep, at 9s. 


9 


0<» 





27 


03 


James Carr, two oxen . . . . 


14 


17 









" " ten sheep - - - 


- 4 


1(1 





19 


7 


Daniel Weeden, two oxen - - - - 


24 


00 









" " one cow - - - 


- 5 


10 









" " one heifer - - - - 


5 


00 





34 


10 


Abraham Chace, two oxen . - - 


- 19 


04 









" " one heifi'r 


3 


OO 





22 


10 


John Martin, two oxen 








23 


12 




?850 


09 



And the said account being duly considered, — 
It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed ; and that the amount thereof, being £850 9s., lawful 
money, be paid out of the general treasury, to the several per- 
sons to whom the same is respectively due, as mentioned in 
siiid account. 

Whereas, the town council of the town of Newport, pre- 
sented a memorial to this Assembly, setting forth the distressed 
situation of the town, occasioned by the withholding from the 
ministerial fleet, stationed in the harbor of Newport, their 
usual supplies of fresh beef, beer, &c. ; in consequence of 
which, the ferry boats, market boats, fish boats and wood ves- 
sels, are prevented from coming to the town with their usual 
supplies of provisions and fuel, for the use of the inhabitants ; 



382 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

by means, whereof, together with a stagnation of trade, they 
are now exposed to all those dreadful consequences which 
must inevitably arise through the want of the common neces- 
saries of life. 

And thereupon prayed this Assembly to take into their most 
serious consideration, the truly affecting state of that once 
happy town, and to grant them such relief in the premises, as 
shall be thought proper, consistently with the common inter- 
est ; and this Assembly taking the subject matter of the said 
memorial into their most serious consideration, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the town of Newport may, for 
the safety thereof, as far as may consist with the general 
safety, negotiate with Capt. Wallace, for the supplying the 
ships there with beef, beer, &c., as heretofore, upon his stipu- 
lating that the ferry boats, wood boats, with their passengers, 
&c., pass and repass unmolested, with the common supplies for 
the town, of the common and usual necessaries of life. 

That the commander in chief upon the said island, be in- 
structed to permit said negotiation, and regulate the supplies 
for said ships. 

And that he, from time to time, remove the troops under his 
command, from place to place, as he shall think may best tend 
to the general safety, and the peace and happiness of the town 
of Newport ; paying the greatest attention to, and having 
the tenderest concern for, the true and lasting peace, support 
and relief, thereof ; still having an eye and just preference to 
the general safety, and the common cause of America. 

It is voted and resolved, that the declaration made by Col. 
Edward Cole, and by him signed before this Assembly, be 
printed in the Providence newspaper. 

It is voted and resolved, that £200, lawful money, be al- 
lowed for the relief of the poor of the town of Newport, and 
paid out of the general treasury, to the overseers of the poor of 
said town of Newport. 

That the moneys be first applied towards the immediate re- 
moval of such of the poor as are not now chargeable, and are 
not able, but are willing, to remove from the town ; and that 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 383 

the remainder be appropriated for the support of such poor per- 
sons as may choose to remain there. 

That William Vernon and John Read, be added to the over- 
seers, to assist about the removal of such poor. 

That those poor persons who shall be immediately removed, 
carry a certificate with them ; and if they become chargeable 
in such towns, that they be maintained by the colony. 

An Act establishing an independent company in the county of 

Kings county, by the name of the Kingstown Reds. 

[See printed Schedule, for this act.] 

An Act establishing an independent troop of horse in the 
county of Providence, by the name of the Captain General's 
Cavaliers, for the county of Providence. 

[See printed Schedule, for this act.] 

It is voted and resolved, that the Honorable Nicholas Cooke, 
Esq., Ambrose Page, Esq., James Arnold, Jr., Esq., Jonathan 
Randall, Esq., John Sayles, Jr., Esq. and Henry Ward, Esq. ; 
Metcalfe Bowler, Joseph Anthony, William Bradford, Joshua 
Babcock, John Jenckes, John Smith, John Mathewson, John 
Dexter, Job Olney, Stephen Whipple, William Greene, Paul 
Mumford and John Potter, Esqs., or any seven of them, to- 
gether also with all such members of the General Assembly, as 
shall be present, be, and they are hereby, appointed a commit- 
tee to act during the recess of the General Assembly, upon 
any sudden important emergency, with full power to take all 
prudent and necessary measures for the safety of the United 
Colonies in general, and this colony, in particular. 

That they be empowered to employ the two armed vessels, 
and the whole force of the colony, in such manner as they shall 
think the public interest and safety shall require ; and that this 
act continue in force until the next session of the Assembly. 

Complaint being made to this Assembly, that divers people, 
taking an undue advantage of the consternation and distresses 
of the town of Newport, have exacted most exorbitant prices 



384 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

for' the removal and wharfage of the goods of the inhabitants of 
said town ; — 

It is therefore resolved, that William Richmond, John Cooke, 
Samuel Dyer, John Barker and John Jepson, Esqs., or the 
majer part of them, be, and hereby are, appointed a committee 
to state the price for every cart load of goods from the said 
town to the different parts of the island ; and also of the 
wharfage and transportation, thereof, over any of the ferries 
from Rhode Island. 

That any one of the said committee be, and hereby are, em- 
powered to press carts and teams for the removal of the goods 
of the said inhabitants. 

And that in case any person shall demand a greater price 
than shall be so fixed, for the removal of goods, he or they, so 
offending, shall forfeit and pay, as a fine (one half to the in- 
former, and the other half to and for the use of the town where 
the offence shall be committed), the sum of £3, law^ful money, 
to be recovered by the town treasurer, before any justice of the 
peace in the county of New^port. 

An Act for embodying, supplying and paying a regiment, 
consisting of five hundred men, for the defence of the 
United Colonies in general, and of this colony, in par- 
ticular. 

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au- 
thority thereof, it is enacted, that five hundred men, field and 
commissioned officers included, be enlisted, raised and em- 
bodied, with all expedition and dispatch, and be formed into 
one regiment, under the command of one colonel, one lieuten- 
ant colonel and one major ; that there be one adjutant and one 
(partermaster. 

That each field ofiicer's company be commanded, under such 
field officer, by one captain -lieutenant, one lieutenant and one 
ensign ; and each of the other companies, by one captain, one 
lieutenant and one ensign ; and that said regiment consist of 
eight companies. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 



f 


s. 


- 15 


00 


12 


GO 


- 10 


00 


6 


00 


^ 4 


00 


3 


10 


- 5 


10 


3 


00 


2 


08 


2 


04 


and that bis 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 385 

each able bodied man, who shall enlist into the service, and 
find himself a small arm, bayonet and other accoutrements, 
shall be allowed and paid sixteen shillings, therefor. 

And be it farther enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
each officer and soldier shall receive the following monthly 
wages, Avhile in the service, to wit : 

The colonel _ - „ _ 

" lieutenant colonel 

" major . _ _ _ 

*' captain-lieutenants and each captain 

" lieutenant ^ _ . _ 

*' ensign - » - - 

" adjutant . _ _ „ 

" quartermaster - - - 

^' sergeant - _ . » 

" corporal, drummer and fifer 
Each private man, forty shillings per month 
first month's wages be advanced at the time of his enlistment. 

And be it farther enacted, that each soldier shall have a 
blanket and knapsack given him by the colony. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
each soldier be enlisted by signing the following enlistment, 
to wit : 

For?n of Enlistmejit. 

I, the subscriber, hereby solemnly engage and enlist myself as 
a soldier, in the pay of the colony of Rhode Island, for the pre- 
servation of the liberties of America, and the defence of the United 
Colonies in general, and of this colony in particidar, from the 
day of my enlistment for one year, unless the service admit of a 
discharge sooner, ivhich shall be at the discretion of the General 
Assembly ; and 1 hereby promise to submit myself to all the or- 
ders and regulations of the army, and faithfully to observe and 
obey all such orders as 1 shall receive from timc^ to time, from m,y 
officers. 

VOL. VII. 49 



386 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

And be it farther enacted, that no officer or soldier be ar- 
rested, prosecuted or detained in jail, for any debt, whatsoever, 
less than £15, lawful money, due to one creditor. 

And that every apprentice who shall enlist into the said 
regiment, shall be entitled to three-quarters of his wages, he 
finding his own clothes ; and his master the other quarter ; 
provided, he deliver to such enlisted apprentice all the wearing 
apparel he shall then be possessed of ; but in case he shall not 
do so, that then the said apprentice shall take the whole of his 
wages. 

And be it further enacted, that Eseck Hopkins, Esq., be, 
and he is hereby, appointed commander in chief of said regi- 
ment, and the regiments of militia in the county of Newport, 
with the title and rank of brigadier general. 

That he be empowered to fdl up all vacancies of commis- 
sioned officers, till further order of the General Assembly ; and 
that he be allowed the sum of £20 per month. 

And be it further enacted, that said regiment be embodied 
for tw^elve months, from the rising of the General Assembly, 
unless sooner disbanded. 

It is voted and resolved, that Messrs. John Jenckes and 
John Potter be a committee to purchase of Mr. John Brown, 
for the use of the colony, all the powder he has to sell. 

It is voted aud resolved, that the sheriff of the county of 
Providence, forthwith take into possession the shop and house, 
situate, lying and being in the town of Providence ; being the 
estate of Gilbert Deblois, of Boston, in the county of Suffolk, 
in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, merchant ; together 
with all other interest and estate of the said Gilbert Deblois, in 
the county of Providence. 

That he lease the same to the present tenant, he paying as 
much therefor, as any other person, and giving security to the 
general treasurer for the payment of all rents now due, and 
that may hereafter arise. 

That the said sheriff take into his possession all the goods in 
said shop, together with the books of accounts of James Hill ; 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 387 

notifying him to attend this House, forthwith, that he may be 
examined touching the property of the said Gilbert Deblois. 

And that the said sheriff take into his possession the shop of 
John and Jonathan Simpson, of said Boston, situate in said 
Providence, and lease the same to the present tenants, they 
giving as much therefor, as any other person ; and giving 
security to the general treasurer for the payment of all rents 
already due, and for such as shall become due, to the said gen- 
eral treasurer. 

An Act dividing the Company of Militia in the town of Rich- 
mond, into two companies. 
[See printed Schedule, for this act.]' 

It is voted and resolved, that the sheriff of the county of 
Newport, take into his possession the house and estate of Ralph 
Inman, situate in Newport, now in possession of the widow 
Partridge ; and that he lease the same to the present tenant, 
she paying therefor as much as any other person, and giving 
security to the general treasurer for the payment of all rents 
due, and that may hereafter arise. 

Whereas, Messrs. Joseph Dennison, 2d, and Company, 
exhibited unto this Assembly, an account by them charged 
against the colony, for the amount of the schooner Polly, taken 
by the enemy while in the colony's service, removing stock 
from Block Island ; and also for the amount of the charter of 
the sloop Hector, employed in the abovementioned service, and 
charges of provision, v^^ages, &c. ; and also for sundries sup- 
plied the soldiers, who went on Block Island in said service ; 
and the said account being duly examined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed ; and that the amount thereof, being £374 Is. 10c?., 
lawful money, be paid to the said Joseph Dennison, 2d, and 
Company, out of the general treasury. 

Whereas, Mr. Benjamin Bosworth, who was appointed to re- 
move the stock from the island of Prudence, belonging to sun- 



388 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

dry persons, and to cause the same to lie valueii, presented unto 
this Assembly an account and valuation thereof, as follows, 
to wit : 

[The total i'.ppraisement, in lawful money, amounted to 
£530 65. lOd.] 

An Act for the punishment of persons who shall be iound guilty 
of holding a traitorous correspondence with the ministry of 
Great Britain, or any of their officers or agents ; or of sup- 
plying the ministerial army or navy, that now is, or may be, 
employed in America, against the United Colonies, with 
provisions, cannon, arms, ammunition, warlike or naval 
stores, or of acting as pilots on board any of their ships and 
vessels. 

Whereas, the ministry of Great Britain, have, for several 
years last past, steadily pursued a plan for subjecting the in- 
habitants of the British colonies, in America, to an absolute, 
unconditioned state of slavery ; and have proceeded at length 
to the burning of our towns, and spreading desolation and 
slaughter, as far as it hath been in their power, through the 
country, in a manner totally inconsistent with the practice of 
civilized nations, and unworthy of the reputation formerly sus- 
tained by British troops. 

And whereas, the aforesaid colonies have been reduced to 
the fatal necessity of taking up arms, in defence of those ines- 
timable rights and liberties, which they derive from the un- 
erring laws of nature, and the fundamental principles of the 
British constitution ; and which they cannot resign, but with 
their lives. 

And whereas, several of the inhabitants of the said colonies, 
lost to every generous sentiment of liberty, of love to their 
country, and posterity, have kept up a traitorous correspond- 
ence with, and supplied the ministerial troops and navy ; and 
some of them have acted as pilots on board their ships and 
vessels, whereby the safety and liberties of the said colonies 
may be greatly endangered. 

Be it therefore enacted by this General Assembly, and by 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIO:vS. 389' 

the authority thereof, it is enacted, that if any of the inhabit- 
ants of the said colonies, within this colony, or any of the in- 
habitants of this colony, Avithin any other colony, shall be found 
guilty of holding a traitorous correspondence with the ministry 
of Oreat Britain, or any of their officers or agents ; or of sup- 
plying- the ministerial army or navy, that now is, or may be,, 
employed in America, against the United Colonies, with provi- 
sions, cannon, arms, ammunition, warlike or naval stores ; or of 
acting as pilots on board any of their ships or vessels, he or they, so 
offending, shall suffer the pains of death, as in cases of felony ; 
and shall forfeit his lands, goods and chattels, to the colony, to- 
be disposed of by the General Assembly, as they shall think 
fit ; all necessary charges of prosecution, condemnation and 
execution, being first deducted. 

And that all offences against this act, shall be cognizable be- 
fore the superior court of judicature, court of assize and gen- 
eral jiiil delivery of this colony. 

Provided, nevertheless, Ihat the negotiation and treaty of the 
town council with Gapt. Wallace, respecting the supplying the 
ships of war stationed in the harbor of Newport, and the regu- 
lations thereof, by the commanding officer, .allowed of by this 
General Assembly, at this present session, be, and the same is 
hereby, excepted out of this act. 

And be it further enacted by this General Assembly, that 
this act be in force in ten days after the rising of this Assem- 
bly ; and that a copy, thereof, be published in the Newport 
Mercury and Providence Gazette. 

it is voted and resolved, that .^20,000, lawful money bills, 
be immediately printed, to supply the treasury, for paying oflf 
and discharging all the colony's debts, whether on security or 
otherwise ; and that the bills be signed by Metcalfe Bowler, 
Henry Y/ard, Joseph Clarke, John Cole, Thomas Greene, John 
G. Wanton and John Dexter, Esqs. 

That all bills under five shillings, be signed by two of the 
committee, and all the other bills by three of the committee. 

That the same shall be a lawful tender in discharge of all 



390 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775^ 

contracts, debts, dues and demands, whether of a public or 
private nature ; tliat said bills carry no interest. 

That the whole of said bills be redeemed in five years from 
the time of emission, by a general tax, to be levied on the in- 
habitants of this colony ; and that said bills shall be of the fol- 
lowing value, to wit : 

1,500, of forty shillings, each, is 

3,000, " thirty " '' . . 
4,000, " twenty " 

5,000, " ten c. ,. _ . 

6,000, " five " " - 

8,000, " three " '' . . 

12,000, " two cc .. _ 

20,000, " one •* ^^ . . 

16,000, " nine pence " - 

20,000, " six " " - - 

Total - - - - £20,000 

Which bills, shall be of the following form : 

The possessor of this bill shall be paid, bi/ the general treasurer 

of the colony of Rhode Island, • , laicful money, within 

Jive years from the date hereof. By order of the General As- 
sembly. Providence, the Qth day of November, A. D. 1775. 

And on the said bills, there shall be the same impression aAd 
motto, as on the lawful money bills, heretofore emitted ; and 
that said bills shall be redeemed at the rate of one silver Spanish 
milled dollar for every six shillings, or other silver and gold 
equiv.'dent, agreeably to the law of this colony, declaring what 
shall be lawful money. 

And that said bills be signed in the council chamber, in 
Providence, and not elsewhere. 

"Whereas, the Viper sloop of war, took the sloop Polly, 



£3,000 


4,500 


4,000 


2,^00 


1,500 


1,200 


1,200 


1,000 


60O 


500 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 391 

Samuel Barnes, master, belonging to New York, bound from 
Antigua to New York, and put a midshipman as prize master, 
with several hands, on board, with orders to proceed with the 
said vessel and cargo to Boston ; and also put on board Isaac 
Eslick, of Bristol, in this colony, as pilot of said sloop ; prom- 
ising the said Eslick, that in case he piloted the said sloop 
fjiithfully into the harbor of Boston, they would deliver up ta 
him a boat taken from him, with the goods on board her, then 
in the possession of one of the enemy's ships. 

But the- said Eslick, with two of the men belonging to said 
sloop, who were left on board, having with great address 
brought the said sloop into Seaconnet River, so that she, with 
her cargo, were recovered out of the hands of the enemy, and 
taken into the possession and care of General Eseck Hopkins, 
and thereby the said Isaac Eslick hath lost all hopes of recov- 
ering his said boat and goods ; and, as in justice and equity, 
satisfaction and encouragement, in such cases, ought to be 
made and given, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the sum of $250, be paid to 
the said Isaac Eslick, and $50, to each of the other persons, 
instrumental in saving the said sloop and cargo out of the 
enemy's hands, out of the value of the said sloop and cargo, in 
proportion to the properties of the several owners. 

And that, upon the payment of the said sum, together with 
all the costs and charges that have arisen upon the said sloop 
and cargo, since her being in the possession of the said Eseck 
Hopkins, and upon proof of their respective properties, the said 
Eseck Hopkins deliver the said sloop and cargo to the owners 
of the same, respectively; David Currie, one of the principal 
freighters of the goods on board the said sloop, having appeared 
before this House, and declared himself satisfied with the above 
order. 

It is voted and resolved, that the inhabitants of Nantucket, 
upon producing certificates from the committee of correspond- 
ence, of Falmouth, specifying any particular articles of provi- 
sions and necessaries, with the quantities, may purchase and 
ship from any town in this colony, such articles, first applying 



392 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF EHODE ISLAND [1775. 

to the committee of correspondence ; and having inserted in 
the certificate, the quantity of each article, and giving his or 
their security, in double the value of the goods, to transmit to 
the said committee of Falmouth, within four months from re- 
ceiving the same, an account, thereof, with a certificate from 
the selectmen of Nantucket, that the same "^^as landed there^ 
and was necessaiy for the internal consumption of the in- 
habitants. 

It is voted and resolved, that Ambrose Page, Esq., be re- 
quested to procure the two row gallies, belonging to the colony^ 
to be immediately completed fit for service ; and that he draw 
out of the general treasury, the sum of .-£400, lawful inoneyy 
for the purpose, aforesaid. 

Whereas, a number of accounts were laid before this Assem- 
bly, by sundry persons, charged against the colony, for their 
respective services, and sundries by them supplied, for the use 
of the troops who went to Bristol, on the alarm of the 7th inst. ; 
and the said accounts being duly examined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and are hereby, 
allowed ; and that the several sums by them charged, be paid 
out of the general treasury, to the persons to whom the same 
are due respectively. 

Whereas, a number of persons, considering the distressed 
situation of their debtors, occasioned by the restrictions of 
trade, have not commenced suits against them, for the re- 
covery of their just debts ; and thereby, if the statute of limi- 
tations in personal actions, should continue in force, may lose 
the same ; — 

Be it therefore enacted by this General Assembly, and by 
the authority thereof, it is enacted, that the statute of limita- 
tations in personal actions, be, and the same is hereby, re- 
pealed. 

An Act declaring the office of Governor of this colony, vacant. 

Whereas, this General Assembly, at the session held at 

Providence, on the first Wednesday in May last, made and 

passed an act (for divers weighty reasons therein mentioned,) 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 393 

to prevent the Honorable Joseph Wanton, Esq., who was 
ehosen Governor of this colony, at the general election held on 
the said first Wednesday in May, from acting in the said office ; 
which act hath been continued from session to session, until 
now, without proceeding to declare the said office vacant, from 
a tender regard to the said Joseph Wanton ; and in order to 
give him an opportunity of making due satisfaction for his 
former conduct, and of convincing this General Assembly of his 
friendly disposition to the United Colonies, in general, and to 
this colony, in particular. 

And whereas, the said Joseph Wanton, by the whole course 
of his behaviour, since the passing of the said act, hath con- 
tinued to demonstrate that he is inimical to the rights and lib- 
erties of America, and is thereby rendered totally unfit to sus- 
tain the said office. 

And whereas, the calamities of the present times, make it 
necessary for this General Assembly to avail themselves of the 
advantages given them by charter, and the fundamental prin- 
ciples of the constitution ; — 

This General Assembly do therefore resolve and declare, and 
by the authority thereof, it is resolved and declared, that the 
said Joseph Wanton hath justly forfeited the office of Governor 
of this colony ; and that thereby the said office is become 
vacant. 

Whereas, sundry persons laid before this Assembly, ac- 
counts by them charged against the colony, for billeting a 
number of persons who went to the assistance of the town of 
East Greenwich, to disperse the rioters assembled with Ste- 
phen Arnold, Esq., in September last ; and the said accounts 
being duly considered by this Assembly, — 

It is voted and resolved, that upon the said Stephen Ar- 
nold's paying £15, lawful money, of said expense, the follow- 
ing sums be paid out of the general treasury, to wit : 

£ s. d. 
To William Arnold - - - - 10 00 03 

Preserved Pearce - - - - 5 05 07 

Oliver Arnold - - ^ - - 4 01 00 

VOL. VII. 50 



894 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1775. 

£ s. d. 
Richard Mathewson - - - - 11 07 10 

Caleb Arnold - - - - 1 05 05 

Whereas, Henry Ward, Esq., exhibited unto this Assembly, 
an account by him charged against the colony, for his attend- 
ance upon His Honor the Deputy Governor, at Cambridge, to 
assist the committee appointed by the Continental Congress, 
to confer with General Washington, upon the best methods for 
forming, establishing and regulating a Continental army ; and 
the said account being duly examined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed ; and that the amount thereof, being =£7 45., lawful 
money, be paid the said Henry Ward, out of the general 
treasury. 

It is voted and resolved, that any and all deeds or convey- 
ances of any of the real estates of George Rome, Jahleel 
Brenton and Benjamin Brenton, all of Newport ; of Ralph In- 
man, Gilbert Deblois and Samuel Sewall, all of Boston ; of 
Thomas Hutchinson, late of Boston ; of Thomas Moffatt, now 
or late of New London ; of the heirs of Andrew Oliver and 
John Borland, both late of Boston, deceased, lying and being 
within this colony, made and executed by any of them since 
the 5th day of October last past, and not placed to record at or 
before that time ; or that hereafter may be made, be, and the 
same are hereby, declared void, to all intents and purposes, 
whatever. 

It is voted and resolved, that the rules and orders for regu- 
lating the army of observation, raised by this colony, made and 
passed by the General Assembly, at the session held at East 
Greenwich, on the second Monday in June last, be, and the 
same are hereby, extended to the regiment now ordered to be 
raised and embodied for the defence of this colony ; and that 
said regiment be governed thereby. 

It is voted and resolved, that all the mortgage deeds, bonds 
and other securities, belonging to the grand committee's office, 
be immediately removed from the town of Newport, to the 
town of Providence, by the keeper of the said office ; and in 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 395 

€ase that he shall decline removing the same, it be clone by 
the sheriff of the county of Newport ; and that they be lodged 
in the secretary's office, until further orders from the General 
Assembly. 

Whereas, Mr. Benjamin Crane, presented unto this Assembly 
the following confession and declaration, to wit : 

Confession and Declaration of Benjamin Crane^ to the General 
Assembly. 

To the Honorable General Assembly of the colony of Rhode Island, iiow sitting in 
Providence : 

Some time about the 12th instant, I was on board a sloop, near Hope Island, that 
formerly belonged to Mr. John Brown, of Providence, and then in the care ot 
Thomas Gilbert. 

The reason I went on board said sloop was, that I heard said Gilbert was on board, 
and thonght he might be serviceable to me, in getting some money Avhich I have due 
in Boston ; and when I was about to return home, I was persuaded by said Gilbert 
to take a number of letters to his friends in the country ; and I acknowledge I am 
heartily sorry I have been guilty of so imprudent a conduct, as it since appears to 
me to be ; and I heartily beg foi'giveness of Your Honors, and promise that my 
future conduct shall be agreeable to my confession, as I am fully determined to risk 
my life and fortune in the cause of American liberty. 

These are the free and voluntary sentiments of Your Ilonors's most humble 
gei-vant,— BENJAMIN CRANE. 

And the said confession and declaration being duly con- 
sidered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be satisfactory to this 
General Assembly, and therefore the said Benjamin Crane is 
discharged from his confinement ; and that his boat be delivered 
to him, he paying all the charges of his being apprehended, and 
of his confinement. 

Whereas, Mr. Ambrose Cleveland presented unto this As- 
sembly, the following confession and declaration, to wit : 

Confession and Declaration of Ambrose Cleveland, to the Gen- 
eral Assembly. 

To the Honorable General Assembly of the colony of Rhode Island, now sitting at 
Providence : 

AVhereas, the memorial of Ambrose Cleveland, acknowledges he is -wi'ong in sign- 
ing Brigadier Ruggles's Association, under Colonel Gilbert, and training under said 



396 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

Gilbert for two days, and going to Boston, and Avorking at the King's works ; and like- 
wise of my saying I could pilot the fleet as far as Bowers's ; all which, I am heartily 
sorry for, and for the future 1 am determined to stand for the rights and liberties of 
my country, as far as lies in my power. 

I therefore beg the Honorable House will forgive me, and pray that I may be re- 
ceived as a friend to my country. 

I am, with regard, Your Honors' most obedient, humble servant, 

AMBROSE CLEVELAND. 



And the said memorial being duly considered by this 
Assembly, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said Ambrose Cleveland 
be discharged from his confinement, upon condition that he im- 
mediately proceed to Freetown, of which he is an inhabitant ; 
and that he does not, on any pretence, remove out of said 
town for one year from the date hereof, and paying all the 
charges of his being apprehended, and his confinement. 

It is voted and resolved, that Messrs. Joseph Brown and 
Eseck Hopkins, be, and they are hereby, appointed a commit- 
tee, to go through this colony, and determine in what places it 
may be necessary to erect batteries or entrenchments for the 
defence of this colony ; and in what towns to provide field 
pieces, specifying the number, the bore and the weight of 
metal ; and also whether any fire ships are necessary, and 
what number, and in what places it will be proper to sink 
hulks, &c. 

That the said committee make report to the grand committee 
of safety, appointed to act during the recess of the General 
Assembly. 

That the commander in chief of this colony call the said 
grand committee together, to consider of the said report, by 
advertising them, and all the members of the General Assem- 
bly, of the time and place of meeting, by an advertisement to 
be inserted in the Newport Mercury (if continued to be pub- 
lished,) and Providence Gazette, one week before the time of 
meeting. 

That the said grand committee take the same into considera- 
tion ; and in case they shall approve the said report, or any 
part thereof, the said Joseph Brown and Eseck Hopkins be 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 397 

empowered to carry the same into execution ; and, under the 
direction of the said grand committee, to draw such sums of 
money out of the general treasury, as shall, from time to time 
be necessary for the said purposes ; and that the troops ordered 
at this session to be raised, be employed in the aforesaid ser- 
vice, as much as may be. 

Whereas, Mr. George Wightman, Jr., presented unto this 
Assembly, the following petition and declaration, to wit : 

Petition and DeclaroMon of George Wightman, to the General 
Assemhlij. 

To the Honorable the General Assembly of the colony of Rhode Island, &e., now 
sitting at Providence : 

Whereas, Your Honors have been pleased to admit of my presence, wherein I en- 
deavored to relate the plain truths respecting my being accused of supplying the 
enemy, and now have no just reason to imagine that I have deviated from it, except 
that I am too apt to speak with an unbecoming warmth, in justification of my own 
conduct. 

Therefore, I pray Your Honors may forgive and consider my weakness fiild ina_ 
bility to address such a number of worthy members, who are constituted to represent 
this our unhappy colony, and again be entreated to hear patiently your humble pe- 
titioner's present unhappy situation, with those of my aged and honored parents, 
wife and children. 

I hereby acknowledge that I have heretofore, from time t5 time, as opportunity in 
public and private may have offered, been inimical to the just rights and privileges 
of this, my native country, and was fully persuaded that the right and power of His 
present Majesty, and all the laws enacted by him and his ministers, were and ought 
ever to be binding in all cases on every subject in Britain and America ; but Your 
Honors may be, and are hereby, assured that I never have supplied or agreed to 
supply, any ship or vessel belonging to His Majesty, except by compulsion, notwith- 
standing I was of this sentiment. 

And seeing the present destruction and calamities of my country in general, anil 
this colony, in particular, with the cruel and horrid exertions of His Majesty's forces 
put in execution against us, I utterly deny and abhor these their proceedings ; and 
if Your Honors may be entreated to suffer me again to be admitted to your flxvors, 
and to the favor of all my distressed countrymen, I hereby heartily engage, from a 
just conviction of my erroneous sentiments, that I willj for the time to come, lend all 
my reasonable assistance in endeavoring to oppose the present proceedings of His 
Majesty's ministers against this once happy country, and do liereby sincerely implore 
the forgiveness of this Honorable General Assembly. 

And that I may be restored to their favors, I do hereby promise that my future 
conduct shall be subservient to the rules of the Honorable the Continental Congress, 
and the orders of this Honorable Assembly. GEORGE WIGHTMim, JR. 



398 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

And the said memorial being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be satisfactory to this 
General Assembly ; and that the petitioner be discharged, upon 
condition that he does not go a freighting in his own boat or 
any other, for the term of six months from the date hereof ; 
and pay all charges which have arisen upon his being appre- 
hended and confined. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Nathaniel Mumford, Thos. 
Greene and Gideon Mumford, Esqs., be, and they are hereby, 
appointed to wait on the Honorable the Continental Congress 
as soon as conveniently may be, to receive of the said Congress 
what is due from the United Colonies, to this colony, and to 
give discharges ; and that they carry all the accounts and 
vouchers with them. 

It is voted and resolved, that the delegates of this colony at 
the Continental Congress, and Mr. Nathaniel Mumford, Thomas 
Greene and Gideon Mumford, Esqs., who are appointed a com- 
mittee to receive the money due from the United Colonies, to 
this colony, or any three of them, are hereby fully empowered 
finally to adjust the accounts carried by the said committee, 
and to make such deductions therefrom, as shall appear to 
them contrary to the allowances made to the other colonies, and 
reasonable. 

Whereas, the Honorable Darius Sessions, Esq., presented 
unto this Assembly, the following memorial, to wit : 

Memorial of Darius Sessio?is, to the General Assemblij. 

To tlie Honorable General Assserably of the colony of Uliode Island, to be liolden 
at Providence, the 31st day of October, A. D. 17 75 : 

The memorial of Darius Sessions, of said Providence, humbly showeth : 
That at a session of the General Assembly, in April last, an act passed for raising 
and embodying fifteen hundred men, for the defence of the colony, &c. ; against 
which, your memorialist entered a protest,* expressed in terms which greatly dis- 
pleased the General Assembly and the good people of the colon}-, for which he is 
very sorry, and now craves their forgiveness ; and as he is in principle a friend to 

" See page 311. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 899 

the liberties of America, it is his determination to unite and co-operate with his 
countrymen in defending all our invaluable rights and pi'ivileges. 

I am, gentlemen, your humble servant, 

DAEIUS SESSIONS. 

And the said memorial being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be accepted ; that it 

is fully satisfactory to this General Assembly ; and that the 

Honorable Darius Sessions, Esq., be received into their favor 

and friendship. 

The return of the choice of officers, for the United Artillery 

Company, in the county of Providence, was read in Council, 

and is as follows, to wit : 

Names of. the Officers of the Providence United Company of 
Artillery, 

Levi Hall, was chosen lieutenant colonel, in the room of 
Daniel Hitchcock. 

Elihu Robinson, major, in the room of John Crane. 
Robert Taylor, captain, in the room of Elihu Robinson. 
Daniel Stillweli, lieutenant fire-worker. 

Which being duly considered by the Council, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby are, 

approved. 

Whereas, Mr. John Dennis presented unto this Assembly, 

the following memorial, to wit : 

Memorial of John Dennis, to the General Assembly. 

To the Honorable the General Assembly of the colony of Rhode Island, &c., now 
sitting at Providence : 

The humble representation and memorial of John Dennis, of Prudence Island, in 
the township of Portsmouth, in said colony, merchant, humbly showcth : 

That your memorialist deems it his greatest happiness to have been born and edu- 
cated in a covmtry where the love of liberty, to an eminent degree, is the character- 
istic of its inhabitants ; and rejoices that he is allowed the favor of making applica- 
tion to this Honorable Assembly, who have nobly exerted themselves, in a most just 
and patriotic opposition to that system of tyranny and despotism designed for en- 



400 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

slaving the American colonies. He lias ever gloried in being a freeman of this 
colony, and a warm friend and well wisher to the liberties of America. 

He has always justified the measures of the Continental Congress, in opposition to 
the British ministry, and is ready to contribute his full proportion, and give all rea- 
sonable assistance, towards prosecuting the present war, justly undertaken in defence 
of the United American colonies. 

That these have been his general sentiments, he appeals to those who have been 
conversant and acquainted with him ever since this unhappy dispute subsisted be- 
tween Great Britain and the colonies ; but, humanam est errare ; it is peculiar to 
mankind to commit errors, and the best may slip at an unguarded hour. 

It is a great grief to your memorialist, that he has by any means given cause for any 
to suspect him -as inimical to his country ; he prays liberty to represent the circum- 
stances which have occasioned this suspicion. 

It is true, some conversation passed between him, Mr. Aaron Chace and Mr. 
Thomas Dennis, as contained in the evidence ; he never thought of supplying the 
least article to our enemies, until it was accidentally mentioned in that discourse ; 
but the prospect of a very great profit arising therefrom, and not properly minding 
that which chiefly ought to have been considered, the inestimable value of the 
American cause, the cause of our country, ourselves and posterity, led him foolishly 
to entertain discourse respecting the matter so far as he did. 

But upon the reception of Mr. Chace's advice, and when he came seriously to re- 
flect upon the folly and wickedness of supplying our inveterate enemies, although the 
gain might b; ever so great, he was immediately sorry that he had expressed any 
thing that might have a tendency that way, and never did any thing in consequence 
of that conversation. 

With respect to the eviden-;e given in by Mr. Thomas Dennis, your memorialist 
saith, that he had been apphed to by several gentlemen in Newport, to procure 
them potatoes, for the use of their respective families ; and therefore he applied to 
him to freight them to Newport. 

In regard to those potatoes which he has now by him at Prudence, he solemnly 
declares that he had not the least view or intention of selling them for the use of the 
British army or navy, or any of our enemies, or of putting them in such a situation 
that they Avould probably fall in their way ; but that he purchased them with a sole 
view of sending them to Carolina ; to these facts, he is ready to make solemn oath. 

These are the circumstances which have caused a suspicion, that he is inimical to 
the American colonies ; a suspicion, which gives him the greatest anxiety, because 
he is conscious of his innocency, and is very loth to incur the displeasure of the 
public. 

He can have no ill design against his country ; it would be contrary to his interest 
and principles ; his expressions in his conversation, have never favored of disaffec- 
tion or malice to the liberties of his countrymen ; he has si^oken two orations in their 
favor, at public commencements in this town ; he has only offended in the afore- 
mentioned instance, for which he is extremely sorry ; and as he wishes well to the 
American cause, and is heartily willing to do his best endeavors to assist in support- 
ing it, he hopes that Your Honors will not be severe against him for that offence ; he 
is extremely sorry that his Imprudence has given Your Honors this trouble. 

He prays for your clemency and compassion ; and that if Your Honors are sat- 
isfied with this, his declaration, which he solemnly afllrms to be true, that you Avould 
be pleased to dismiss him from his present arrest ; and as in duty bound, will ever 
pray, &c. -TOHN DENNIS. 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 401 

And the said memorial being duly considered by this As- 
sembly, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
accepted ; that it is satisfactory, and that therefore the peti- 
tioner be discharged. 

Whereas, Mr. Arthur Dennis presented unto this Assembly, 
the following petition, &c., to wit : 

Petition of Arthur Dennis, to the General Assembly. 

To the Honorable the General Assembly of the colony of Rhode Island, &c., now 
sitting at Providence : 

Arthur Dennis, of Prudence Island, humbly showeth : 

That some time in the month of July last past, he was informed that Mr. Samuel 
Pearce had said that he, the said Arthur, had given intelligence to Capt. Wallace, 
respecting the packet Avhich was taken by Capt. Abraham Whipple, of which the 
said Arthur was entirely innocent. 

This caused him to enter into conversation with the said Pearce about the matter, as 
mentioned in his evidence now before Your Honors ; when he told him that he possibly 
might have an opportunity of conveying intelligence, and making much thereby ; but 
that he scorned doing such a thing; but upon being threatened to be confined on 
board Captain Whipple's privateer, and other conversation passing, the said Arthur 
was put in a violent passion, which caused him to express himself in a very indecent, 
unbecoming manner, as mentioned in Mr. Pearce's evidence. 

Soon after, Mr. William Pearce told him that the said Samuel Pearce designed to 
have him put on board Capt. Whipple's sloop ; which made the said Arthur very 
imprudently express himself in the manner as mentioned in said William Pearce's 
evidence, respecting giving intelligence to said Wallace, in order that he might take 
the said Samuel Pearce. 

But he, the said Arthur, never did give any such intelligence ; and has since, al- 
though much unwell, appeared under arms in defence of the colony, when the town 
of Bristol was inhumanly attacked and fired upon by the ships of war. 

He, the said Arthur, also did imprudently express himself to Capt. Angell and 
Samuel Olney, as in their several evidences before Your Honors, owing to passion 
and sudden surpi-ise. 

But, be the said Arthur, humbly represents to Your Honors, that although the said 
expressions were rash and unadvised, yet he has always been a friend and well 
wisher to all the measures undertaken in opposition to that system of tyranny, de- 
signed by the British Parliament to the American colonies ; and he is now both in 
principle and inclination, determined to support and maintain the defence of Ameri- 
can liberty by all means in his power, against those unjust and tyrannical measures 
which are now pursuing by the British ministry ; and is determined at the risk of 
his life and fortune, to stand or fall with the Americans, in their present defence. 

He is very sorry for this trouble which he has given Y^our Honors, and the loss of 
his reputation ; but he promises to Your Honors that his future conduct shall be ac- 
cording to the resolutions of the Continental Congress, and this House ; and there- 
VOL. VII. 51 



402 RECORDS OP THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

fore prays Your Honors tliat he may be restored to your favorable opinion and 
protection. 

The said Arthur being now very much unwell, prays Your Honors that he may 
be dismissed ; and, as in duty bound, will ever pray. ARTHUR DENNIS. 

And the premises being duly considered, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said acknowledgment and 
declaration, be, and the same is hereby, accepted ; that it is 
satisfactory to this Assembly, and that therefore the petitioner 
be discharged. 

It is voted and resolved, that the sheriff of the county of 
King's county immediately take possession of those lands and 
estates, lying partly in North Kingstown and partly in Exeter, 
in said county, lately claimed by Samuel Sewall, and now in 
possession of Nicholas Gardner, Esq. ; that he rent the same 
to the present tenant at the rent he now gives ; provided, he 
gives bond to the general treasurer for the rent, as well for the 
back rent as the future. 

It is voted and resolved, that Col. James Arnold, Jr., be 
empowered to procure plank and timber, for making platforms 
for the guns at the battery, at Pawtuxet. 

It is voted and resolved, that Messrs. Joseph Brown, Jabez 
Bo wen and Joseph Snow, Jr., or any two of them, be, and 
they are hereby, appointed a committee, to carry on, at the ex- 
pense and risk of the colony, the manufacture of saltpeter. 

That they collect as great a quantity of materials as they 
think they shall be able to use. 

That they draw the sum of £150, out of the general treasu- 
ry, for the said purpose ; and that this Assembly will make 
them a suitable allowance for their services. 

It is voted and resolved, that General Hopkins have power 
to appoint a secretary for the regiment now raising for the de- 
fence of the colony ; and that he have the same wages as Gen- 
eral Greene's secretary has. 

It is voted and resolved, that there be a commissary and 
sutler appointed for the troops, under the command of General 
Hopkins ; that he be allowed one and a half per cent, commis- 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 40S 

sions ; and that he give bond to the general treasurer, with 
one surety, in the sum of £500. 

It is voted and resolved, that the trained band, or Company 
of Mihtia, in the town of Charlestown, be divided into two 
companies, by a line beginning where the Meadow Brook emp- 
ties itself into the Salt Pond ; and thence running northerly, to 
Quacompaug Pond ; from thence, to the Great Cedar Swamp ; 
and from thence, as the brook runs through the said swamp, 
until it comes to the Great River ; and that the east part of 
said town, be the Second Company. 

Both Houses being resolved into a grand committee, chose 
the following officers, to wit : 

Officers of the Regiment Ordered to be Raised at the present 
Session. 

William Richmond, Esq., colonel ; Gideon Hoxsie, Esq., 
lieutenant colonel ; and Benjamin Tallman, Esq., major. 

Caleb Gardner, captain ; Benjamin Fry, lieutenant ; and 
Jonathan Wallen, ensign, of the first company. 

Peter Church, captain ; Caleb Carr, lieutenant ; and Peleg 
Heath, ensign, of the second company. 

Job Pearce, captain ; Malachi Hammet, lieutenant ; and 
Benjamin Burlingham, ensign, of the third company. 

Thomas Wells, 2d, captain ; Augustus Stanton, lieutenant ; 
and Peleg Berry, ensign, of the fourth company. 

Christopher Manchester, captain ; Walter Palmer, lieuten- 
ant ; and Jonathan Deval, Jr., ensign, of the fifth company. 

William Barton, captain-lieutenant ; and Squire Fiske, en- 
sign, of the colonel's company. 

Peter Wanton, captain-lieutenant, James Wallace, lieuten- 
ant ; and John Rogers, ensign, of the lieutenant-colonel's 
company. 

Charles Dyer, captain-lieutenant ; Zerobabel Westcoat, lieu- 
tenant ; and Royzel Smith, ensign, of the major's company. 

Nathan Miller, commissary and sutler to the troops under 
the command of General Hopkins. 



404 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

Benjamiri Page, captain of the first row-galley, that shall be 
equipped. 

Officers for the Militia. 

Joseph Pendleton, captain ; Joshua Pendleton, lieutenant ; 
and John Pendleton, ensign, of the first company, in Westerly. 

Joseph Case, Jr., captain ; John Mowry, lieutenant ; and 
John Brown, Jr., ensign, of the third company, in North 
Kingstown. 

Amos Greene, Jr., captain ; Beriah Lewis, lieutenant ; and 
Peleg Hoxsie, ensign, of the second company, in Charlestown. 

Thomas Tefft, captain ; Jonathan Maxson, lieutenant ; and 
Newman Herring, ensign, of the second company, in Richmond. 

Smiting Potter, ensign, of the first company, in Richmond. 

William Peckham, ensign, of the first company, in South 
Kingstown. 

Ray Sands, captain ; and Samuel Potter, Jr., lieutenant, of 
the third company, in South Kingstown. 

Joseph Jenckes, captain ; Sylvanus Bucklin, lieutenant ; 
and WiUiam Wilbur, ensign, of the company of minute men, 
in Smithfield. 

The Honorable Nicholas Cooke, Esq., Governor. Engaged. 

The Honorable William Bradford, Esq., Deputy Governor, 
Engaged. 

Joshua Babcock, Esq., major general of the colony's forces. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Governor, be 
requested to write to His Excellency General Washington, re- 
minding him of the forces stationed on New Shoreham, in the 
Continental service, that the time of their enlistment will soon 
be up ; of their want of pay, clothing, &c. ; and whether he 
proposes to take any method for the engaging the officers in 
that deparment, and enlisting the soldiers ; and to advise as to 
their future station on said island, or elsewhere ; and also to 
give His Excellency a statement of the stock there. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Paul Allen be appointed 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 405 

to adjust all the accounts for the supply of the troops, under 
tho, command of General Hopkins, up to the present time ; and 
that, upon the said accounts being passed bj the general, the 
said Paul Allen draw a sufficient sum of money out of the gen- 
eral treasury to pay the same. 

And it is further voted and resolved, that the several cap- 
tains of the said troops make out the muster rolls of their sev- 
eral companies ; which being certified by the general, and 
returned to the respective proper members of the committee of 
safety, shall entitle the officers and men to their wages. 

It is voted and resolved, that Brigadier General Eseck Hop- 
kins be appointed to have the care, charge and management of 
the several estates by him ordered to be taken into the sheriff 
of Newport, until further orders from this Assembly. 

It is voted and resolved, that the regiment now to be raised 
under the command of General Hopkins, have the same allow- 
ances, and be supplied in the same manner, as our troops under 
the command of General Washington. 

It is voted and resolved, with the consent of Mr. John 
Brown, that the colony will purchase the sloop Katy, as she 
now is, with her boats, stores and appurtenances, at the rate of 
$1,250. 

That the said John Brown be allowed the hire of said sloop, 
at the price agreed upon, from the 12th day of June last, to 
this day, out of the general treasury. 

And that in case the said sloop be taken or lost, before this 
day, that then the said John Brown shall receive out of the gen- 
eral treasury the said $1,250, with interest from the said 12th day 
cf June, in full compensation, without any allowance for hire. 

It is voted and resolved, that the committee of safety supply 
and pay the regiment ordered at this session to be /aised. 

That the captains and subalterns of the said regiment shall 
enlist the following number of soldiers, who shall pass muster 
before the respective members of the committee of safety in 
whose district the officer lives, before they receive their com- 
missions, that is to say : 



406 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1775. 

Each captain, twenty men ; and each lieutenant and ensign, 
fifteen men. 

That in case any officer shall not, within twenty days after 
the rising of this Assembly, return into the secretary's office, a 
certificate from the committee of safety, of his having enlisted 
the number of men required of him, he shall forfeit his commis- 
sion, and his place become vacant ; and that each officer, as 
som as he has enlisted the above number, proceed with them 
to the head quarters on Rhode Island. 

It is voted and resolved, that Thursday, the 23d day of No- 
vember, 1775, be observed as a day of thanksgiving, through- 
out this colony ; and that His Honor the Governor be requested 
to issue a proclamation, accordingly. 

It is voted and resolved, that General Hopkins have the 
liberty of carrying from Providence to Rhode Island, two 
eighteen-pound cannon, and two nine-pound cannon, with the 
field carriages, for the defence of the colony ; and that His 
Honor the Deputy Governor, General Hopkins and Mr. Jo- 
seph Brown, put two more eighteen-pounders on field car- 
riages, immediately. 

It is voted and resolved, that the sheriff be instructed to per- 
mit James Hill to make sale of the goods he has now for sale 
on commissions, the property of Gilbert Deblois ; that he ac- 
count and pay monthly, to the general treasurer of this colony, 
for the sale of said goods, at the same rate he was under con- 
tract with, with the said Deblois ; that he render an account 
upon oath, of what money, debts and effects he hath in his 
hands of the said Gilbert Deblois ; and that an inventory be 
taken thereof, by the sheriff. 

It is voted and resolved, that there be the same number of 
officers, and. of the same kind, appointed for the row-gallies, as 
are appointed for the sloop Katy ; that the officers and men of 
the row-gallies receive the same wages as are allowed to the 
officers and men of the sloop Washington. 

That Ambrose Page, Esq., be empowered to enlist the men 
for the said row-gallies, to pay them one month's pay in ad- 



1775.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 407 

vance, and to equip and fit them completely for the service ; 
and that the officers of the row-gallies, not chosen, be ap- 
pointed by Brigadier General Hopkins, and be commissioned, 
accordingly. 

It is voted and resolved, that Capt. Joseph Anthony, Briga- 
dier General Eseck Hopkins and Mr. PaulMumford, be a com- 
mittee to receive of the late Governor, Joseph Wanton, Esq., 
the charter of this colony, the letters and other things in his 
hands belonging to the colony, and deliver the same to His 
Honor Nicholas Cooke, Esq., the present Governor ; and that 
the same committee receive of the late Deputy Governor, Da- 
rius Sessions, Esq., the duplicate of the charter, and such other 
things in his hands as belong to the colony, and deliver the 
same to His Honor William Bradford, Esq., the present Deputy 
Governor. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Governor, Mr. 
John Jenckes and Col. William West, be, and they are hereby, 
appointed a committee to inquire at what price good muskets, 
for the use of the Continental army, can be made in this colo- 
ny ; and that His Honor the Governor be requested to write to 
General Washington, informing him of the price, and desiring 
his farther advice and direction. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Governor, Mr. 
John Jenckes and Col. William West, or any two of them, be 
a committee to inquire at the neighboring furnaces at what 
price the cannon proposed to be procured for the use of the 
colony, can be got ; and that they ma.ke report to the grand 
committee, appointed to act during the recess of the General 
Assembly. 

It is voted and resolved, that Messrs. Paul Mumford, William 
Vernon and John G. Wanton, for the county of Newport ; John 
Brown, James Angell and Henry Ward, for the county of 
Providence ; Joshua Babcock, for Kin^^s county ; Simeon 
Potter and Cromel Child, for the county of Bistol ; and Jacob 
Greene, for the county of Kent, be a committee, to collect a 
well authenticated account of the hostilities committed by the 
ministerial troops and navy within this colony, since March 



408 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1776. 

last, witli proper evidence of the truth of the facts related, the 
number and value of the vessels inward and outward bound 
which have been seized by them since that period, as near as 
the number and value can be ascertained ; and also the stock 
taken by them from different parts of the colony. 

It is voted and resolved, that the commander in chief of the 
forces raised in this colony, and the officer commanding a de- 
tachment or out-post, be, and hereby are, empowered to ad- 
minister an oath, and swear any person or persons to the truth 
of any information or intelligence, or any other matter relating 
to the public service. 

God save the King. 



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on 
the second Monday in January, 1770. 

The Hon. Nicholas Cooke, Governor. 

The Hon. William Bradford, Deputy Governor. 

It is voted and resolved, that a deputy be chosen for the 
town of Providence, in the room of Stephen Hopkins, Esq. ; a 
deputy for the town of Hopkinton, in the room of Capt. Thos. 
Wells ; and a deputy for the town of North Providence, in the 
room of Eseck Hopkins, Esq. ; and that the speaker of the 
House be requested to issue his warrants, accordingly. 

Whereas, William Greene and Joseph Noyes, Esqs., and 
Mr. Ephraim Westcoat, exhibited unto this Assembly, the fol- 
lowing account and report, to wit : 

Colony of Rhode Island to the following persons, inhabit- 
ants of the town of New Shoreham, Dr. 
For a quantity of beef, hides and tallow, delivered for the 
use of said colony, in consequence of an agreement made by 



1776.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 409 

said inhabitants, with William Greene, Joseph Noyes and 
Ephraim Westcoat, the committee specially appointed by the 
general committee, empowered to act during the recess of the 
General Assembly. 

[Here follows an account sales of the beef, hides and tallow 
belonging to the inhabitants of New Shoreham ; with the 
amount due to each. Other returns of the sales of similar 
articles belonging to the inhabitants of other towns, were 
made.] 

Whereas, the Honorable Nicholas Cooke, Esq., presented 
unto this Assembly an account, by him charged against the 
colony, for the time, horse-hire and expenses of himself and 
servant, in going to Cambridge, to assist in a committee of 
Congress, for establishing the army ; for cash paid sundry per- 
sons for going expresses on public business, and for sundry 
other services and expenses ; and the said account being duly 
examined, — ^ 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby 
is, allowed; and that £30 45. Qd., lawful money, being the 
amount thereof, be paid the said Nicholas Cooke, out of the 
general treasury. 

Whereas, Mr. George Peirce exhibited unto this Assembly, 
an account, by him charged against the colony, for lead and 
flints, by him provided for the use of the town of Exeter ; and 
the said account being duly examined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby 
is, allowed ; and that the amount thereof, being £1 Is. 5d., 
lawful money, be paid the said George Peirce, out of the gen- 
eral treasury. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Deputy Gov- 
ernor, the secretary, William EUery, Joseph Brown, Henry 
Marchant, Sylvester Child and Gideon Mumford, or the major 
part of them, be, and they are hereby, appointed a committee, 
to take into consideration the state of this colony, and the mea- 
sures necessary for the defence thereof. 

That they prepare a suitable address to the Honorable the 
Continental Congress, representing the inability of the colony, 

VOL. vn. 52 



410 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1776. 

from its situation, smallness and poverty, to defend itself; and 
praying that we receive assistance. 

That they also consider in what places it will be best to sta,- 
tion the troops now in the service of the colony ; and that they 
make report to this Assembly, as soon as may be. 

It is voted and resolved, that the two nine-pound cannon at 
North Kingstown, be put on field carriages, by John Northup, 
Esq., at the charge of the colony. 

It is voted and resolved, that this colony purchase of Met- 
calfe Bowler, Esq., nine cannon, with the shot and other stores 
belonging to him, now in the government's possession, in the 
fort at East Greenwich ; and that the said Metcalfe Bowler re- 
ceive $450, for the same, out of the general treasury. 

It is voted and resolved, that the present committee for 
signing the last emission of the paper currency, be permitted 
to remove to the dwelling house of Mr. John Carter, printer, 
for signing the same ; any act to the contrary thereof, not- 
withstanding. 

It is voted and resolved, that the commissary of the army on 
Rhode Island, be allowed one and an half per cent, for pur- 
chasing and delivering out the provisions for the said soldiers, 
;and no more. 

It is voted and resolved, that Gapt, John Grimes be com- 
mander of the row-galley, to be fitted out, at the wages of c£9» 
lawful money, per month, to commence from this day ; and to 
be commodore of both row-gallies. 

That the wages of Capt. Benjamin Page be raised to £9^ 
lawful money, per month, commencing from this time. 

That each of the said gallies be manned with fifty men. in- 
cluding oflicers ; and that Thomas Arnold, of East Greenwich, 
be appointed first lieutenant ; Samuel Vial, of Rehoboth, sec- 
ond lieutenant ; and John Kelton, of Providence, master of 
said row-galley. 

It is voted and resolved, that the regiment voted at the last 
session, be augmented to seven hundred and fifty men, exclu- 
sive of the Artillery Company ; and that the same consist of 
twelve companies. 



1776.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 411 

Whereas, Mr. Nathaniel Muraford, Thomas Greene and 
Gideon Mumford, Esqs., presented unto this Assembly the 
following report, to wit : 

Report of fhe Committee appointed by the General Assemblij, 
relative to certain Accounts of the Colony, with the Conti- 
nental Congress. 

In pursuance of the appointment of this Honorable Assembly, to wait upon the 
Honorable Continental Congress, with the accounts of this colony, we proceeded im- 
mediately to Philadelphia ; and on our arrival there, we made known our business 
to the delegates of this colony, who made ajiplication to the Congress, for oi'ders to 
the committee of claims, for the adjustment of the accounts. 

Very soon after opening the papers before that committee, objections were 
made to the charges of small arms and bounties ; and as no accounts had been pre- 
sented by the other New England colonies, we thought it most advisable to wave 
the settlement of the accounts, till the other colony accounts should be brought for- 
ward for adjustment, and to make a demand of a sum in behalf of the colony. 

We consulted our delegates upon that subject, who advised the measure, and we 
adopted it; and obtained an order of Congress for $120,000, which we received; 
and have paid into the general treasury $119,200; which, with $800, the delegates 
took to their own account, make the sum of the order. 

We also received a draught drawn by General Hopkins, for £150, lawful money» 
on Messrs. Hillegas and Clymer, Continental treasurers, which was also paid to us » 
and we have paid that sum also into the general treasury ; for both which sums, we 
have the treasurer's receipts. NATHANIEL MUMFORD, 

THOMAS GREENE, 

Providence, January 8, 1776. GIDEON MUMFORD. 

And the said report being duly considered, — 
It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
accepted. 

It is voted and resolved, that for the future, all persons who 
entertain any of the marching troops in this colony, if they sup- 
ply but three meals of victuals before the troops leave the 
house, they shall be allowed nine pence per meal ; if more 
than three meals, that they be allowed for the whole at the rate 
of nine shillings per week ; that in cold weather, two pence, 
per night, shall be allowed for each soldier's lodging ; that no 
liquor be found them, upon the colony's account ; and that 
this act be published in the Newport Mercury and Providence 
Gazette. 



412 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1776. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Samuel Westcoat be 
chosen and appointed first lieutenant of the row-galley, com- 
manded by Capt. John Grimes, in the room of Thomas Ar- 
nold, who refuses ; and that Mr. Francis Bradfield be ap- 
pointed master of said row-galley, in the room of John Kelton, 
who refuses. 

It is voted and resolved, that the general treasurer be, and 
he is hereby, directed to discharge all accounts of billeting sol- 
diers on Block Island, that are properly authenticated by the 
commanding officers. 

Whereas, Messrs. Samuel and William Vernon exhibited 
unto this Assembly, an account, by them charged against Jacob 
Greene and Company, for six new double -fortified four-pound 
cannon, with their carriages ; together with one hundred and 
thirty round shot, six bags of grape shot, some sliding and bar 
shot, with ladles, rammers, sponges, worms, &c. ; and the said 
account being duly examined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed ; and that the amount thereof, being £100, sterling, 
be paid the said Samuel and William Vernon, out of the gen- 
eral treasury. 

Whereas, Mr. Ezekiel Burr, exhibited unto this Assembly, 
an account, by him charged against the colony, for his time, 
horse hire and expenses, in going express to His Excellency 
General Washington, at Cambridge, by order of His Honor the 
Governor ; and the said account being duly examined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed; and that the amount thereof, being £2 lis., 
lawful money, be paid the said Ezekiel Burr, out of the 
general treasury. 

Whereas, Mr. Ebenezer Coffin, of Nantucket, preferred a peti- 
tion, and represented to this Assembly, that in consequence of 
a permit from the selectmen of Falmouth, he purchased a 
quantity of apples and cider, with a design to lade the same 
on board his said schooner, now in this colony, for Nantucket, 



1776.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 413 

and applied to His Honor the Governor, for a permit for that 
purpose, who was pleased to grant the same, he complying 
with the regulations therein mentioned. 

That having laded the same on board said schooner, and be- 
ing ready to sail, the sherift', by order of His Honor the Gov- 
ernor, took said vessel and effects into his cttstody ; where- 
upon, the petitioner again applied to His Honor the Governor, 
and informed him of all and singular the premises ; who was 
pleased to entrust to his care, a request to the sheriff to permit 
said vessel to sail for Nantucket ; and that nothing be laded on 
board, except apples and cider. 

Yet notwithstanding, two days afterwards, and before the pe- 
titioner could sail, the same sheriff took said vessel and effects into 
his custody, in consequence of a second command from His 
Honor the Governor ; and still holds and detains the same, al- 
though the petitioner hath always demeaned himself irreproach- 
ably, strictly observing and obeying as well the commands of 
His Honor the Governor, as of the several committees, and 
others his superiors, in their several offices and departments, in 
no matter whatever, contravening their commands. 

And that his s-^id cargo and effects are perishable, and have 
in all probability, suffered in the late severe weather, and fur- 
ther detention will ensure great loss, and expose the said 
vessel and cargo to the most imminent danger, especially at 
this rigorous season of the year ; and thereupon prayed this As- 
sembly to take the premises into consideration, and permit him 
to depart in peace with his effects ; and this Assembly having 
taken the premises into consideration, — 

It is thereupon voted and resolved, that the prayer of the 
said petition be, and the same is hereby, granted ; upon con- 
dition that the petitioner give bond, with good sureties, to the 
general treasurer, to deliver the goods mentioned in said peti- 
tion, at Nantucket, and to return to the general treasurer, a 
certificate for the same. 

Whereas, Mr. Benjamin Brenton, who was taken into cus- 
tody, by order of General Hopkins, and his estate and interest 
taken into possession, in behalf of the colony, on account of 



414 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [177G, 

his being inimical to this, his native country, and to the liber- 
ties of America ; and upon a suggestion of his supplying the 
ministerial fleet, stationed in the harbor of Newport, with live 
stock, &c., preferred a petition to this Assembly, asserting his 
innocence, declaring his regard for the liberties of his country^ 
and promising fliat his future conduct shall be agreeable to the 
rules of the Honorable the Continental Congress, and of this 
General Assembly ; and thereupon, prayed that he might be 
reinstated in the friendship and esteem of his countrymen ;' 
that he might be permitted to return to his distressed family ; 
and that his estate and interest might be restored to him ; and 
the premises being duly considered by this Assembly, — 

It is thereupon voted and resolved, that the prayer of said 
petition be, and the same is hereby, granted. 

It is voted and resolved, that Col. Thomas Church be, and 
he is hereby, appointed to repair to the camp, near Boston, 
and collect all the small arms there belonging to the colony, 
and bring them up to this colony. 

That he receive the money due for those arras that w^ere ap- 
praised ; that he inquire after the locks belonging to the colony, 
and bring them up also ; and that he deliver the guns and 
locks to Mr. John Smith, of Providence, to be by him delivered 
to the committee of safety of each county, in proportion. 

It is voted and resolved, that there be an artillery conapany, 
to consist of fourteen men ; each including officers, raised in 
each of the following towns, to wit : 

Providence, Warwick, Cranston, East Greenwich, North 
Kingstown, South Kingstown, Jamestown, Charlestown, Wes- 
terly, Warren, Bristol, Barrington, Portsmouth, Little Comp- 
ton, Tiverton, Newport and Middletown. 

That each of said towns be supplied, at the charge of the 
colony, with two, three or four-pound field pieces, on carriages, 
^Yith other appurtenances excepting the towms of Providence, 
East Greenwich, North Kingstown and Newport, which are 
already supplied. 

That the said companies meet half a day in every week, to 
exercise the cannon, and be allowed one shilling, lawful 



177G.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 415 

money, for their time, each half clay ; and when they are 
called upon to march out to action, to be allowed the same 
wages as the other artillery companies ; that the officers on ex- 
ercising days be allowed as follows : 

The captain, two shillings and sixpence ; and the lieutenant, 
two shillings, lawful money, per half-day ; which officers are 
to be chosen by the respective towns. 

That the several towns proceed to choose the officers, and 
the officers enlist the men, immediately. 

That an ammunition cart be provided for each town ; and 
that the committee of safety, for each county, be directed to 
see that each of the towns be provided with cannon, &c., 
agreeably to this vote. 

It is voted and resolved, that Col. James Angell, William 
Ellery and Henry Marchant, Esqs., be a committee, to prepare 
and draw an act for raising and equipping a body of minute 
men, to be held in readiness, for the better defence of this 
colony. 

And also an act for the encouraging the manufactures of salt-^ 
peter and gunpowder, and make report, thereof, to this session 
of Assembly. 

It is voted and resolved, that another regiment of seven 
hundred and fifty men, including officers, to consist of twelve 
companies, be raised for the defence of this colony, over and 
above what has been already ordered to be raised. 

Whereas, Ambrose Page, Esq., who was appointed to build 
two row-gallies, for the service of the colony, laid before this 
Assembly, an account, by him charged against the colony, for 
materials by him furnished, and for his time in attending said 
business ; and the said account having been duly examined by 
Mr. Nathaniel Mumford, Thomas Greene and Gideon Mum- 
ford, Esqs., who reported a balance of £380 125. 2d., lawful 
money, due to the said Ambrose Page ; which being consid^ 
ered by this Assembly, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said report be, and the 
same is hereby, accepted ; and that said balance be paid the 
said Ambrose Page, out of the general treasury. 



416 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1776. 

Whereas, Capt. Abial Brown laid before this Assembly, an 
account, charged against the colony, by sundry persons, who 
served under him, as minute men, for their services and ex- 
penses in the action on Jamestown ; and the said account hav- 
ing been duly examined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the same be, and hereby is, 
allowed ; and that the amount, thereof, being £43 125., law- 
ful money, be paid to the said Abial Brown, out of the general 
treasury, to be by him, paid to the several persons named in 
said account. 

Whereas, the said Abial Brown laid before this Assem- 
bly, an account, charged against him by sundry persons, for 
damage and loss sustained in their furniture, &c., in the late 
attack on Jamestown ; and the said account being duly exam- 
ined, — 

It is voted and resolved, that ^£12 10s. Id., thereof, and no 
more, be allowed ; and that the same be paid to the said 
Abial Brown, out of the general treasury. 

It is voted and resolved, that Capt. Abial Brown proceed, 
as soon as possible, with his minute company, upon James- 
town, there to remain till further orders from His Honor the 
Governor. 

That His Honor the Governor be requested to write to the 
commander in chief at head quarters, on Rhode Island, re- 
questing him immediately to put as many soldiers or minute 
men on Jamestown, as can be spared, compatibly with the ser- 
vice there ; and that the number of men placed on said island 
do not exceed three hundred. 

Whereas, the town of South Kingstown, has not been fur- 
nished with their proportion of powder ; and have, at sundry 
alarms, sent a considerable quantity to Jamestown, — 

It is voted and resolved, that Col. Mathewson furnish the 
town of South Kingstown with two quarter casks of powder, 
to be delivered to Col. Robert Brown ; and that one hundred 
weight of lead be also delivered to the said Robert Brown, 
for the use of said town. 

It is voted and resolved, that Colonel Daniel Tillinghast 



1776.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 417 

be requested immediately to send one field piece, properly- 
equipped, to Warwick, to be used in the defence of that 
place. 

Whereas, the committee, who were appointed to inquire the 
price of cannon, laid before this Assembly, a memorial ad^ 
dressed to them, from the owners of furnace Hope, which is as 
follows, to wit : 

Report of the Committee^ appointed by the General Assembly^ to 
inquire the price of Cannon. 

Providence, Januaiy 12, 1776. 
Gentlemen : — In consequence of your application to us for heavy cannon, we liavis 
taken pains to inquire for suitable persons to assist in making them, and are now 
putting the furnace in readiness, by building the necessary additional works to carry 
the same into execution. 

And have also made inquiry of the price they can be made for at Philadelphia ; 
and in consequence thereof, we now otier to make what heavy cannon we can, at 
£.35, lawful money, per ton, warranted good ; but in this case, we expect the colony 
to be obliged to take whatever cannon they now agree for, Avhether the war should 
continue or not. 

Under this price, we cannot undertake, as there are no workmen in these parts, 
that can be procured, that ever made heavy cannon ; we must must get them from 
the westward, at a very high rate, and pay their expenses and wages by the day, 
from the time they come from home, and until they return back. 

The government are to be at the expense of proving the cannon ; for which pur- 
pose, they must apjjoint a person to see it done ; but in case anj' fail of proof, we to 
be at the expense of proving such only as fail. 

NICHOLAS BROWN, JABEZ BOWEN. 

JOSEPH BPtOWN, JOHN BROWN, 

RUFUS HOPKINS, 

The commjtte-e appointed to inquire the price of cannon. 

And the premises being considered by this Assembly, — 

It is voted and resolved, that this colony agree with the sub- 
scribers of the foregoing memorial to take of them thirty can- 
non, eighteen-pounders, and thirty twelve-pounders, at the 
price therein mentioned ; provided, they are ready for use by 
the 10th day of May next. 

And that Ambrose Page, Esq. and Coi. John Mathewson, 
be, and they are hereby, appointed a committee, to ascertain 
the bore, dimensions and weight of the cannon. 

VOL. VII. 53 



418 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1776. 

It is voted and resolved, that the £40,000, lawful moneybills, 
emitted by this colony, carrying interest, be brought into the 
general treasiiy within one month, after the rising of this As- 
sembly, to be exchanged for other bills carrying no interest ; 
that no interest be allowed on the first mentioned bills, after 
the end of said month. 

And that £40,000, lawful money bills, be immediately 
struck oiT, carrying no interest ; which, together with the bills 
of credit lately received from the Continental treasury, be im^ 
proved in exchanging the first mentioned lawful money bills, 
and all other debts due from the colony, carrying interest. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Joseph Lawrence be em- 
ployed to proceed to Groton and New London, and purchase 
for the use of the colony, of Messrs. Thomas Mumford and Na- 
thaniel Shaw, Jr., all the powder they have in Providence and 
Bedford ; and that he be empowered to draw upon the general 
treasurer for the amount thereof. 

It is voted and resolved, that £?> l^s. lawful money, be paid 
to Jonathan Pierce, out of the general treasury, for five gun 
locks delivered to Caleb Harris, Esq., for the use of the colony. 

It is voted and resolved, that the head-quarters at Rhode Is- 
land, be immediately supplied with five hundred weight of 
gunpowder, from the government's magazine, at Providence. 

It is voted and resolved, that North Kingstown be supplied 
with one quarter cask of powder, and about one hundred 
weight of lead. 

That East Greenwich be supplied with one quarter cask of 
powder ; that the same be done immediately. 

And that Exeter be supplied with about one hundred weight 
of lead. 

It is voted and resolved, that Col. James Arnold be directed 
and fully empowered to place the two eighteen-pound cannon 
at Pawtuxet, on field carriages, at the expense of the colony. 

Whereas, this General Assembly, at the session held on the 
first Wednesday in May last, ordered £20,000, lawful money, 
to be emitted ; and at the session held on the second Monday 
in June last, ordered £10,000, lawful money, to be emitted ; 



i?T6.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 419 

and at the session held on the 28th day of June last, ordered 
d£lO,000, lawful moneys to be emitted, all which bills carried 
an interest of two and an half per cent, per annum. 

And whereas, the Honorable the Continental Congress, and 
the several provincial Assemblies and conventions, considering 
the distressed situation of the colonies, engaged in a war with 
a powerful nation, for the defence of their lives, liberties, pro- 
perties and everything dear to mankind ; and relying upon the 
manly spirit and zeal of the colonists, have made divers emis- 
sions of bills of credit, without allowing any interest thereon. 

And whereas, the burthens and hardships of this colony are 
so great, that this Assembly have passed an act for redeeming 
the aforesaid emissions of this colony by the Continental bills 
of credit now in the general treasury, and by an emission of 
^40,000, lawful money, to be forthwith made, — 

It is therefore voted and resolved, that the said sura of 
£40,000, be immediately struck off, in bills of the same form 
and tenor with those ordered to be emitted at the last session ; 
that they be signed and lodged in the general treasury ; that 
all bills of five shillings, and upw\ards, be signed by three of 
the committee ; and all bills under five shillings, by two of the 
committee ; and that the bills be of the following denomi- 
nations : 

3,000, of sixty shillings each, is - - - d£9,000 

4,000, " forty *' *c . . . S^qqq 

6,000, " thirty *< *« . „ . g^QOO 

6,000, " twenty " " . - . 6,000 

6,000, *' ten ** « . . . s^qOO 

6,000, " five " ** > . . 1,500 

6,000, " four *c *c „ . . 1^200 

7,500, " three " «« . . . 1,125 

5,000, " two <c .. . . . 500 

6,000, " one *« «« . . . 300 

6,000, " ninepence "... 225 

6,000, " sixpence " - - - 150 

£40,000 



420 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND 1776. 

And be it further enacted, that the said lawful money bills 
be a lawful tender for paying and discharging all debts and de- 
mands, whatsoever ; and that said bills be redeemed within 
five years from the date, thereof. 

It is voted and resolved, that Messrs. John G. Wanton, John 
Dexter, John Cole, Joseph Clarke, Welcome Arnold, Thomas 
Greene and James Congdon, 3d, be, and they are hereby, ap- 
pointed to sign all the lawful money bills of credit, ordered by 
this Assembly to be emitted ; that they be allowed and paid 
out of the general treasury one-quarter per cent, for their 
trouble. 

That Mr. John Carter be employed to print said bills at one 
shilling and fourpence, per hundred ; and that the committee 
appointed to sign said bills, procure paper for the same, at the 
charge of the colony. 

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor the Governor be re- 
quested to write to the delegates of this colony ^ at the Conti- 
nental Congress, and to request them to inform this House 
what information they have hadj respecting any letters that 
have been written by any of the inhabitants of this colony, to 
any person in the city of Philadelphia, respecting the situation 
of the town of Newport, and the supplying of Capt. Wallace 
with provisions ; and of any reflections that have been by such 
letters, cast upon any part of this colony ; and also to inform 
this Assembly of the names of such letter-writers ; and to pro- 
cure and transmit to this Assembly copies of such letters, if 
they can be obtained. 

It is voted and resolved, that the speaker of this House be 
requested to purchase at the charge of the colony, all the three 
and four-pound shot he can find in the town of Newport. 

And that His Honor the Deputy Governor be requested to 
purchase, at the charge of the colony, all the three and four- 
pound shot he can find in the county of Bristol 

It is voted and resolved, that in case the colony shall purchase 
any quantity of powder, of Messrs. Mumford and Shaw, that 



1776.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 421 

five hundred weight, thereof, be sent to the head-quarters, for 
the defence of Rhode Island, over and above what is already- 
ordered. 

It is voted and resolved, that the minute men that have al- 
ready been drawn, continue for three months from the time of 
drawing ; and that as many of them as are willing, may enlist 
as soldiers in either of thl companies. 

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Cromel Child be, and he 
is hereby, empowered to draw out of the general treasury, the 
sum of £30, lawful money, towards paying for removing hay, 
&c., off the island of Prudence. 

And that Mr. Sylvester Gardner draw out of the general 
treasury, the sum of £45, lawful money, towards paying for 
removing hay, &c., off the island of Conanicut. 

Whereas, Mr. George Gracie preferred a petition, and rep- 
resented unto this Assembly, that soon after his first arrival in 
America, he has been employed by Mr. George Rome ; that 
he commenced serving him on the 1st of June, 1773, and con- 
tinued in his service until he was taken into custody, by order 
of General Hopkins, in the absolute execution of said Rome's 
business. 

That a considerable sum of money still remains due to him 
from said Rome ; and thereupon, prayed that this Assembly 
would order him payment out of said Rome's estate, which has 
taken into possession in behalf of the colony. 

And the premises being duly considered by this As- 
sembly, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the petitioner be directed to 
draw out his account against the said George Rome, and send 
it to the commanding officer at head-quarters ; who is re- 
quested to send the same to said Rome, in order to be 
adjusted. 

Whereas, Mr. Joseph Farrish preferred a petition to this As- 
sembly, setting forthj that on the 27th of November last, he 
was taken up by order of Col. Richmond, upon a suspicion of 
his having served the King's ships, stationed at Newport, with 
beer, and of being unfriendly to the the American cause ; and 



422 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1776.- 

nfter bem<^ had before the committee, was committed to jail, 
where he has remained ever since. 

That, as to the charges alleged against him, if he has erred 
in any matter, it was rather from want of judgment, than any 
^vil design ; and that he can say with the strictest truth, that 
he is a hearty well-wisher to the American colonies ; and 
thereupon, prayed this Assembly to tfft<e the premises into con- 
sideration, and release him from the irksome confinement of a 
prison, that he may seek some honest employment for a liveli- 
hood, in the way of his business, which he is ready to accept 
with cheerfulness, and perform with integrity, if it is thought 
fit, in the service of the colony ; and the premises being duly 
considered by this Assembly, — 

It is voted and resolved, that the said petition be granted ; 
that the petitioner have the liberty of sending his account to 
the commanding officer, at head-quarters ; who is requested to 
send the same to George Rome, in order to be adjusted. 

And that the petitioner be forbid going upon any of the 
islands in this colony, on any pretence whatsoever. 

It is voted and resolved, that Col. Thomas Church be di- 
rected, and fully empowered, to pay the ensigns in the service 
of the colony, now at head-quarters, at Cambridge ; and to 
those who are returned from said service, ten shillings, lawful 
money, each per month, from the 1st day of September to the 
31st day of December last, being four months ; and that he 
draw a sufficient sum out of the general treasury, for that 
purpose. 

it is voted and resolved, that in case any body or detach- 
ment of the Continental troo