Report and resolutions of a Committee of the House of Burgesses, 1769 May 18.
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Williamsburg, Wednesday, the 17th May, 1769. About 12 o'Clock his Excellency the Governor was pleased, by his Messenger, to command the Attendance of the House of Burgesses in the Council Chamber, whereupon, in Obedience to his Lordship's Command, the House, with their Speaker, immediately waited upon his Excellency, when he thought fit to dissolve the General Assembly. The late Representatives of the People then judging it necessary that some Measures should be taken in their distressed Situation, for preserving the true and essential Interests of the Colony, resolved upon a Meeting for that very salutary Purpose, and therefore immediately, with the greatest Order and Decorum, repaired to the House of Mr. Anthony Hay in this City, where being assembled, it was first proposed, for the more decent and regular Discussion of such Matters as might be taken into Consideration, that a Moderator should be appointed, and, on the Question being put, Peyton Randolph, Esq; late Speaker of the House of Burgesses, was unanimously elected. The true State of the Colony being then opened and fully explained, and it being proposed that a regular Association should be formed, a Committee was appointed to prepare the necessary and most proper Regulations for that Purpose, and they were ordered to make their Report to the General Meeting the next Day at 10 o'clock.
Thursday, May 18. At a farther Meeting, according to Adjournment, the Committee appointed Yesterday, made their Report, which being read, seriously considered, and approved, was signed by a great Number of the principal Gentlemen of the Colony then present, and is as follows: We his Majesty's most dutiful Subjects, the late Representatives of all the Freeholders of the Colony of Virginia, avowing our inviolable and unshaken Fidelity and Loyalty to our most gracious Sovereign, our Affection for all our Fellow Subjects of Great Britain, protesting again, every Act or Thing, which may have the most distant Tendency to interrupt, or in any wise disturb his Majesty's Peace, and the good Order of his Government in this Colony, which we are resolved, at the Risque of our Lives and Fortunes, to maintain and defend; but, at the same Time, being deeply affected with the Grievances and Distresses, with which his Majesty's American Subjects are oppressed, and dreading the Evils which threaten the Ruin of ourselves and our Posterity, he reducing us from a free and happy People to a wretched and miserable State of Slavery; and having taken into our most serious Consideration the present State of the Trade of this Colony, and of the American Commerce in general, observe with Anxiety, that the Debt due to Great-Britain for Goods imported from thence is very great, and that the Means of paying this Debt, in the present Situation of Affairs, are likely to become more and more precarious; that the Difficulties, under which we now labour, are owing to the Restrictions, Prohibitions, and ill advised Regulations, in federal late Acts of Parliament of Great-Britain, in particular, that the late unconstitutional Act, imposing Duties on Tea, Paper, [Glass?] &c. for the sole Purpose of raising a Revenue in America, is injurious to Property, and destructive to Liberty, hath a necessary Tendency to prevent the Payment of the Debt due from this Colony to Great-Britain, and is, of Consequence, ruinous to Trade; that, notwithstanding the many earnest Applications already made, there is little Reason to expect a Redress of those Grievances;