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Whereas a majority of the gentlemen belonging to the Committee of Correspondence of this County, at their Convention, holden at Stockbridge, on the 14th and 15th days of December, current, did vote and resolve that they would come into some method whereby the inhabitants of this County shall recommend and nominate to the Council suit able persons to be appointed Judges of the Inferior Court in this County:
2d. That they would not recommend it to the inhabitants of said County to support the Government formed and established within this Colony, agreeable to the recommendation of the Continental Congress, and to assist and support the several Executive Officers in the execution of their offices:
3d. That this Convention recommend it to the Freeholders, and other inhabitants qualified, of the several Towns within this County, that they meet in their respective Towns, Districts, and Plantations, some time before the 1st day of January next; in which meeting they bring in to the Moderator thereof their votes, or ballots, for four persons who, in their esteem, should be commissionated to sustain the offices of Judges of the Pleas for the County; which ballots, or votes, so brought in, shall, in the presence of the Selectmen and Clerk of each respective Town, be enclosed and sealed and subscribed to a Committee appointed by the several Towns and Districts and Plantations in the County, to sort and count the same; which Committee shall meet on the 2d Tuesday of January next, at the house of Samuel Goodrich, Innholder, in Lenox, and then and there shall sort, count, and discover the persons thus nominated by the people; which persons thus chosen by the greatest number of votes shall be, by said Committee, represented to the honourable Council Board, praying that the same may be commissioned to exercise the office of Judges of the County: provided that, if it should so happen that a greater number than four persons should have an equal number of votes, then, and in that case, it is submitted to the honourable Council, that they exercise their pleasure in appointing, out of said number nominated, which four shall officiate:
4th. Voted, That this body do not approve of any civil officer not nominated by the Representatives of the County.
Which Votes and Resolutions we, the subscribers, (being likewise of the Committee of Correspondence,) dissented from and disapproved ofFirst, Because we imagine that they are directly opposed to the present civil Constitution of this Colony, which has been taken up by the people in consequence of, and agreeable to, the advice of the Continental Congress; Secondly, They tend to dissolve all Government, and introduce dissension, anarchy, and confusion, among the people; for when we deviate from the established rules, we are lost in the boundless field of uncertainty and disorder. Therefore, that we may evidence to the people of the several Towns from whence we came, and to all other good people, our great desire for order and good government, our firm adherence to the Resolves of the Continental Congress and the present Constitution of this Colony, agreeable to said Resolves, and an abhorrence of all anarchy and disorder, we hereby manifest our disapprobation of the Votes and Resolves of said Committee of Correspondence aforesaid.
Stockbridge, December 15, 1775.
At a legal Meeting of the Inhabitants of the Town of Stockbridge, held on the 22d day of December, A. D. 1775,
Voted, That this Town do hold the Votes and Resolves of the Convention of the Committees of Correspondence for the County of Berkshire, held at Stockbridge, on the 14th and 15th days of December last, in abhorrence and detestation.
2dly. Voted, That the Town do fully concur with this Protest of the several Committees of Correspondence against the Votes and Resolves of said Convention.
Richmond, December 21, 1775.
The Inhabitants of the Town of Richmond, at a regular meeting, did unanimously concur with their Committee in protesting against the Vote of the Committees of Correspondence, at their Convention in Stockbridge, on the 14th and 15th days of December, current.
Lanesborough, April 3, 1776.
SIR: Permit us to crave your attention, and, if worthy, your advice and assistance, in our present disturbed circum stances in this town, which, briefly as possible, we mean herein to relate; which if we may not lay before you in your judicial capacity, we pray and hope you will attend to as a friend to justice, regularity, and our Continental cause. We have, with the first exertions, manifested a dis position and readiness to adopt all probable measures to assist and support the just cause of America; which our opponents cannot deny, as we were not behind them in any approved measure, as covenanting and adhering to the Continental Congress, the Congress and Council, and House of Representatives of this Colony, and did, and will still, give obedience to the same; which we hope will be manifested on proper occasions. But as some individuals, (we suppose very few,) from sinister designs of self-interest and preferment, though neither qualified nor worthy, have opposed the honourable Continental Congress, and the honourable Council and House of Representatives of this Province, and obtained a considerable number of adherents to join in obstructing the Courts of Justice, and the officers thereof, in the execution of their office; such adherents being, gene rally, misled zealots, or such as were not of an honest disposition with respect to paying their just debts; which proceedings, we apprehend, may be of baneful consequences to our countrys cause; and as the northern part of this County, and this town in particular, are liable to be suspected of being chargeable with such disorderly, illegal, and unjustifiable proceedings, which, we fear, may infect not only this County, but this Province and Continent, by opening a door for anarchy, and every disorder consequent there to; and as we have, on every opportunity, as far as we perceived any expediency, testified our disapprobation of such gross irregularities, we are yet steadily disposed to continue so to do, and, if possible, to exculpate ourselves, and, we presume, the large majority of this town might also be exculpated, as also, to the best of our intelligence, the greatest part of the northern part of this County, especially all persons of understanding, interest, and honesty, and such as have proved themselves steady friends to the just cause of America. And, presuming that our local circumstances have afforded us opportunity to observe the general progress and present state of our disorders, and that it might be of pub lick utility to give proper information, and, if possible, to exculpate ourselves, and others who are innocent, we take this opportunity to inform you of such particulars as we can sufficiently prove. Many particulars that might be proper to insert, we must omit for brevity, unless upon some future occasion it might be, by you or others, advised or counted necessary. If you think these hints may be serviceable, we stand ready to manifest them in a publick manner; and, first, it may be proper to observe, that Ensign (now Colonel) Jonathan Smith, being delegated by us to Congress, and to the House of Representatives, was pretty generally received by us as a warm friend to liberty; but immediately upon the nomination of Judges, Justices, &.c, for this County, he frequently and warmly declaimed and harangued against said nomination and appointment, declaring that the person so nominated were enemies to their country, and had obtained their nominations clandestinely; that they were very obnoxious to this County, as being of arbitrary principles friends to the late Government, and extortive in their practices