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came to this town of Boothbay, and, in my presence and hearing, began to rail at the Reverend John Murray, calling said Mr. Murray a liar and mischief-maker; then found fault with the Regulating bill, calling it a Tory bill; then proceeded to damn the General Court. In the next place, said Cargil (as far as his words could) damned all officers who had taken commissions under said honourable Court, in particular Colonel William Jones and myself, for reasons to me unknown; nor were his speeches in private, but in publick company. Therefore, pray your Honours to give some directions concerning said Cargil, as his language may lead many weak minds out of the path of duty.

These are, gentlemen, from your most obedient, humble servant,


Halifax, Nova-Scotia, April 3, 1776.

The first division of the Fleet and Transports from Boston (containing chiefly the inhabitants, &c.) arrived here yesterday, after a passage of only six days; and the second division (containing the Troops) arrived this day, after a passage of only four days. They have little or no provisions, nor can this place supply them with any; neither are there conveniences on shore for this unexpected body of people.

It is fortunate for the King’s Troops that the Provincials did not attack this place last summer, which they certainly intended; but General Preble, who was to have commanded the expedition, and had actually embarked one thousand five hundred New-England Troops in a large number of Marbhhead Schooners for that purpose, hearing that the small-pox was very prevalent here at that time, the scheme was laid aside. The New-England people are incredibly afraid of the small-pox.


Williamsburgh, Virginia, April 4, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: We have this moment received the enclosed packet, and forward it to you with all possible despatch. Its importance will be known by the following extract of the letter which enclosed it to us, dated Newbern, March 30, 1776:

“GENTLEMEN: I take the liberty to enclose to your care a packet from South-Carolina, containing despatches of the utmost importance to the Colonies, which I am directed by the Committee of Safety of that Province to send on to the Committee of Safety of the District of Newbern, requesting that you, gentlemen, will immediately forward it, by express, to the Committee of Safety of Virginia, and desire them to forward it, by express, to the Committee of Safety of Maryland, and to request that Committee to forward it, with the utmost expedition, to Philadelphia. I have given you their request in their own words, which will, no doubt, induce you to comply with their request.” Signed “Cornelius Harriett,” and addressed to the Committee of Safety of Newbern District.

For and by order of the Committee of Safety of Virginia, I am, gentlemen, your most obedient servant,


To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.


New-York, April 4, 1776.

The capital subject of conversation throughout America, for these few weeks past, hath been excited by a pamphlet entitled Common Sense, the author of which endeavours to show the necessity of our final separation from Great Britain, as our rights and privileges cannot be properly secured by any mode of reconciliation whatever. None of the answers given to this ingenious pamphlet have sketched out any plan of settlement by which it might appear that our rights and freedom would be fully secured, though again united and harmonized with Britain. That such a compact or settlement is practicable, I think, ought to be made apparent to the people of America before they can be convinced of the propriety of reconciliation; and unless this can be effected, I never wish to see the union; preferring, beyond all comparison, the toils and dangers of erecting a free and independent fabrick, to the delusive promises of freedom, pregnant with the principles of servitude and oppression. But I think such a compact or act of Parliament may be framed as will secure to Americans the right of free-men, at the same time that it removes from them the horrors of war and the desolations with which even victory must be attended. I think no considerate person will deny that our truly honourable Congress were of opinion such a compact could be formed when they petitioned the King, addressed the people of Britain, and prayed to the Father of Peace for reconciliation with Great Britain, as the greatest blessing these Colonies could enjoy. If such a settlement, in the opinion of the Congress, could so lately have been framed, I think no good reason can be given why it cannot now be effected, since the same wise and salutary regulations which, six months ago, would have secured us against the inroads of tyranny, and the designs of a wicked Ministry, must, at this day, answer the same important purposes. What were the articles of this compact, which our Congress must have thought would be sufficient to secure our liberties, I do not know. It is impossible, therefore, for me to relate them; but sufficient it is, for the purpose of destroying the foundation of independency, to delineate the outlines of a compact which would reconcile us to Great Britain, and, at the same time, secure and preserve our rights and privileges. Such a general plan, or groundwork, is here offered to the publick for their consideration.

1. The British Parliament shall have no power to tax the Colonies.

2. The Parliament shall not intermeddle with the internal police of the Colonies. Let Britain provide for her own internal government, and the Colonies for theirs. By this clause, all disputes about invasion of charters, rights of trial by jury, manufactures of the Colonies, &c., will be rooted up at one stroke.

3. The Crown shall appoint the officers of Government in the Colonies during good behaviour, and the people of the Colonies pay them. By this means the officers become equally dependant upon Crown and people, as they always ought to be.

4. The Parliament shall have the regulation of our trade; but, lest they may lay heavy duties upon articles of our trade, under pretence of regulating it, and so raise a revenue out of the Colonies, they should have no right to the duties, but they should go to, and be for the benefit of, that Colony from which they were raised, to contribute in paying that Colony’s taxes, &c.

5. As it is necessary there should be some general power to superintend and regulate the interest of the Colonies as connected with, and interfering with each other, which no Provincial Legislature is competent to; and as it would be dangerous to give the British Parliament that power, lest tyranny might enter in at so indefinite a passage, there should be a General Convention, consisting of Deputies from the several Colony Assemblies, or from the people, whose business should be to regulate the posts, the general currency, and the proportion of the forces of the Colonies, and all other matters in which the separate Colony Legislatures have not sufficient authority, and which are not contrary to the right herein allowed to the British Parliament. One special business of this Convention should be, to keep a vigilant and careful watch over the designs and transactions of the British Ministry and Parliament, that so, by an early watchword, it may prevent tyranny in its embryo. But, as absolute power might, in time, be assumed by this Congress were it without any check, its acts, therefore, should go home for the Royal assent; the Crown to have no power to reject them, or the Provincial acts, unless done within three years after passing here.

6. For our security against this introduction of British Troops to enslave us in times of tranquillity, when we had forgot the use of arms, a perpetual standing Militia bill should form part of the compact, by which means the people of the Colonies would keep up their martial spirit, and always be prepared against the attack of arbitrary power. But as it would be useful, in case of sudden invasion, to have a small number of troops at all times ready to repel such invasion, the King should have a right to send a certain limited number—for instance, ten or twelve thousand— upon the Continent, whose immediate exertions might be sufficient to prevent an enemy until the Militia could be

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