Proceedings of the Congress at New-York.
Stamp Act Congress

October 26, 1765.


WE had the Honour to be appointed by the House of Representatives of the Province of Maryland, a Committee, to meet Committees of the Members of Assembly of the other Colonies, on this Continent, at New-York, the First of this Instant, to join in a general, and united, duti|ful, loyal, and humble Representation of the Condition of those Colonies, to his Majesty and the Parliament, and to implore Relief from the grievous Burthens lately laid upon our Trade, and the Taxes and Duties lately im|posed on us, especially by the STAMP-ACT.

Accordingly Members from Nine Colonies met, to wit, from the Mas|sachusetts-Bay, Connecticut, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations▪ New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Government of the Counties of New-Castle, Kent, and Sussex, upon Delaware, Maryland, and South-Carolina, but Page  27 as you'll find the Address, &c. Signed only by Members from Six of those Colonies, it may be proper to acquaint you with the Reasons why they did not all Sign, tho' they all concurr'd with the Proceedings.

The Lieutenant Governor of New-York Prorogued their Assembly from Time to Time, so that their House had not an Opportunity of appointing Members with full Powers to join, and Sign the Address, &c. Yet the Assembly of New-York, having at their last Meeting, appointed Five of their Members as a Committee, not only to Correspond with their Agent at Home, but also during the Recess of the House, to write to, and corres|pond with, the several Assemblies, or Committees of Assemblies on this Continent, on the subject Matter of the several late Acts of Parliament, so Grievous and Dangerous to their Colonies, it was thought proper to admit this Committee to join in the Conferences, and they agreed to what was done, and promised to use their Endeavours with their Assembly to concur also whenever they should be permitted to meet.

The South-Carolina Assembly, not rightly viewing the Proposal (which Originally came from the Assembly of the Government of the Massachusetts-Bay,) as it was intended that the several Committees, when met, should Frame and Sign an Address to his Majesty, and Memorial and Petition to the Parliament, to be immediately Dispatch'd by the Congress, Instructed their Members (Messrs. Lynch, Rutledge, and Gadsden,) to return their Pro|ceedings to them, for Approbation. The Connecticut Assembly made the same Restrictions in their Instructions. The Assembly also of New-Hamp|shire wrote, that they had Resolved, That notwithstanding they were Sensi|ble such a Representation ought to be made, and approved of the proposed Method for obtaining thereof, yet the present Situation of their Govern|mental Affairs, wou'd not permit them to appoint a Committee to attend such Meeting, but shou'd be ready to join in any Address to his Majesty and the Parliament they might be honoured with the Knowledge of, probable to answer the proposed End: And the Speaker of the Assembly of Georgia wrote, that a Majority of their Members had applied to the Governor to call their Assembly, and he did not think it Expedient, which was the Rea|son they did not send a Committee as proposed, but requested us to transmit a Copy of our Proceedings to them (which will be done) and that their Assembly wou'd meet about this Time, and he did not doubt but they shou'd Act so as to convince the Sister Colonies of their inviolable Attach|ment to the Common Cause: We also understood the North-Carolina, and we know the Virginia Assembly, was Prorogued, whereby they cou'd not have the Opportunity of joining us; so that we doubt not but the Colonies who have not Signed, will very speedily transmit similar Addresses, &c. if their Assemblies should not be hindered from Meeting: And to this Pur|pose, we hope you'll soon hear from the Assembly of South-Carolina. By the Gentlemen of that Colony we were favoured with a Sight of your late Letters, and inform'd of your careful and spirited Conduct with Regard to the Interests of that Colony, and that, together with your Declaration, which we find in those Letters, that you enjoy an independant Seat in the British Parliament, induced us (as we have no established Agent at present. for this Province, nor have yet been able to obtain a Law to Tax ourselves Page  28 for that Purpose) to trouble you with our Request, that you will Present the inclosed Address to his Majesty, and Memorial and Petition to the Houses of Parliament, and exert your utmost Interest and Abilities in behalf of this poor distress'd Country, and of this Province in particular.

We hope as there is a Change in the Ministry, and as the Gentlemen in the House of Commons, may at their next Meeting, take a more enlarged View of the true Interest of Great-Britain, and her Colonies, they will find it to be in supporting the Rights and encouraging the Trade of the lat|ter, and that the Happiness of the Mother Country and her Colonies must be inseparable, and that we shall obtain Relief.

The several Committees agreed to recommend it to their respective Colo|nies to appoint Special Agents on this Occasion, and to instruct them to unite their utmost Interest and Endeavours for that Purpose. One Ad|dress, &c. was transmitted by the Gentlemen of the Massachusetts Govern|ment, immediately to their Agent (Mr. Jackson we understood) and we expect the other Colonies will have Duplicates sent to their Agents, and we hope will all unite in Expence and Instructions, to have able Counsel before both the Lords and Commons, as our Petitions pray.

We were intrusted with the Disposition of some Money upon this Occa|sion, and inclose you a Bill of Exchange, on Messrs. Capel and Osgood Han|bury, for One Hundred and Fifty Pounds Sterling, as a Compensation for your Trouble and Expence in this Affair. We doubt not our Assembly will approve of what we do in this Matter; and as they are to meet the last of this Month, we shall lay our Proceedings before them, and 'tis probable they will write you more fully, and furnish you with such further Instruc|tions and Arguments, as may appear to them to be proper to be given and urged on this Occasion, in Behalf of the Colonies.

We are, Your most obedient Servants.