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THE ACTION OF BOSTON, CHARLESTOWN, DORCHESTER AND ROXBURY ON THE QUESTION OF INDEPENDENCE. .
In Massachusetts, both branches of the Legislature, on the 1st of May, 1776, agreed to an Act providing that all civil processes, instead of being issued in the name of the king, and bearing the date of a reign, should be issued in the name of the government and people of Massachusetts, and bear the date of the year of the Christian era; the act to continue in force until a recommendation of “Congress or act of a general American Legislature, or the local legislature, should otherwise prescribe.”
On the 10th of May the lower branch adopted the following resolve : —
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, May 10, 1776.
Resolved, as the opinion of this House, that the inhabitants of each town in this Colony ought, in full meeting warned for that purpose, to advise the person or persons who shall be chosen to represent them in the next General Court, whether that, if the honorable Congress should, for the safety of said colonies, declare them independent of the kingdom of Great Britain, they, the said inhabitants, will solemnly engage, with their lives and fortunes, to
support them in the measure. - SAMUEL FREEMAN, Speaker.
Attest, WILLIAM STORY, Clerk pro tem.
The following proceedings constituted the response to this vote by the towns now Boston : —
BOSTON. BosTON, ss : To THE CONSTABLE OF THE TOWN OF BOSTON EACH AND EVERY OF THEM — GREETING : —
In the name of the Government and People of the Massachusetts Bay, you are required forthwith to warn all the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Boston (within your respective
Precincts) that have an estate of forty shillings p annum in Freehold in Land within this Province or Territory at the least, or other Estate to the value of Fifty Pound, Sterling, to Convene at Dr. Chauncy’s Meeting House on Thursday the 23" Day of May Instant at 10 O'Clock Fore Noon, then and there to Elect & Depute one or more Persons (being Freeholders & Resident in the Town) according to the number set and limitted by an Act of the General Assemby to serve for and Represent them in the Great & General Court or Assembly appointed to be convened, held and kept for the Government's Service at the Meeting House in Watertown, upon Wednesday the 29" Day of May instant, and so De Die in Diem during their Session or Sessions, according to a Precept under the Hand and Seal of William Greenleaff, Esq. Sheriff of the County of Suffolk bearing date the 29" Day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and seventy six. You are alike required to Warn all the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of said Town qualified as the law directs to meet at the same time and place : To consider whether they will in conformity to a Resolve of the late Hon” House of Representatives, for this Colony, advise our Representatives, “That if the Hon” Continental Congress should for the safety of the Colonies, declare them Independant of the Kingdom of Great Britain, they the said Inhabitants will solemnly engage with their Lives and Fortunes to support them in the measure * — as also what farther Instructions may be necessary for the Representatives that may be chosen, – Whether any measures shall be taken for the borrowing a Sum of Money to answer the present necessities of the Town : To choose such officers as may be wanting, and to act upon all those matters and things that stand referred over to said Meeting. Hereof fail not and make return of this Warrant with your doings therein unto myself one Day at least before the said time of Meeting : — Dated at Boston the 20" Day of May, Anno que Domini 1776. By order of the Selectmen, WILLIAM Cooper, Town Clerk.
BosTON, May 22d 1776.
Pursuant to the within Warrant we the Constables of the Town of Boston have notified the Freeholders and other Inhabitants within our respective wards, to meet at the Time and Place mentioned in said Warrant for the purposes therein expressed.
At a Meeting of the Freeholders & other Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, duely qualified & legally warned, in public Town Meeting assembled, at The Old Brick Meeting House, on Thursday, the 23" day of May, Anno Domini 1776. That Article in the Warrant, Viz. “To consider whether the Town will, in Conformity to a Resolve of the late Hon” House of Representatives for this Colony, advise their Representatives “That if the Hon” Continental Congress should, for the Safety of the Colonies, declare them Independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain, they, the Inhabitants, will solemnly engage, with their Lives and Fortunes to support them in the Measure” — was read & duely considered, & the Question being accordingly put — Passed in the Affirmative unanimously. . That Article in the Warrant, viz.: “To consider what farther Instructions may be necessary for the Representatives that may be chosen o’ — was read — whereupon, Voted that Mr. William Davis, Joseph Greenleaff, Esq., Perez Morton, Esq., Mr. Benjamin Hitchburne, Dr. Charles Jarvis, be a Coñittee to prepare a Draught of Instructions for the Representatives chosen, and to make Report as soon as may be.