False Start to the Suffolk Resolves

in about Warren

“Roxbury August 18, 1774


A Meeting of Gentlemen from Every Town & District in the County of Suffolk, Except Weymouth, Cohasset, Needham & Chelsea was Held at Col. Doty’s in Stoughton on Tuesday 16th: Currant to Consult what Measures were Proper to be taken by the People of the County at this Most Important & alarming Crisis of our Public Affairs. But as Several Towns Had not Appointed Delegates for the Spoecial Purposes of a County Meeting they did not Judge Proper to Proceed to Compleat the Business Designed at that Time, but that the Proceedings of Such a Convention might be more Authentic and Valid, they Entered into the following Resolve, and Appointed a Committee to Transmitt the Same to the Several Towns & districts within this County. viz. ——

‘Whereas it appears to us that the Parliament of Great Britain to the Dishonor of the King, in Violation of the faith of the Nation Have in Direct infraction of the Charter of this Province Contrary to Magna Charta the Bill of Rights, the Natural and Constitutional Claims of British Subjects by an act Called the Boston Port Bill, a bill for Amending the Charter of this Province, and another Bill for the Impartial Administration of Justice with all the Parade and ostentation of Law & Justice Attempted to Prejudice this Colony to an unparal[l]eled State of Slavery, and Whereas the Several Colonies Being Justly and Properly Alarmed with this Lawless & Tyranical Exertion of Power has Entered into Combination for our Relief. and have Published Sundry Resolutions which they are Determined to abide by in Support of Common Interest we Earnestly Recommend to our Brethren of the Several Towns & Districts in this County, to appoint Members for to Attend a County Convention for Suffolk at the House of Mr. Woodward Innholder in Dedham on Tuesday the Sixth day of September Next at Ten o’Clock Before Noon, to Deliberate & Determine upon all Such Matters as the Distressed Circumstances of this Province May Require. We therefore Transmitt the Same to you to be Laid Before our Town to Act thereon as they may think Expedient. and we beg Leave to add our Request that the Gentle men who may be Chosen by your Town would be very Punctual to the Hour Proposed for the Convention as it is Probable the Business will take up the Remainder of that day.

We are your Most Obedient Humble Servts

By Order of the Committee N: Patten”

Source: Minutes of Meeting at Doty Tavern, Stoughton. Facsimile manuscript at Milton Historical Society at Milton Public Library, Huntoon Collection, Box 52. Appears to be a contemporary eighteenth century handwritten copy presented to the Milton Historical Society by Eva Vose Huntoon in 1953.

Commentary: The Suffolk Convention, scheduled for August 18, 1775, did not proceed on time for the absence of representatives of several towns. Joseph Warren and the other Patriot leaders evidently decided that all the towns within Suffolk County must be represented. Boston, the largest town within Suffolk County and the Province of Massachusetts, was the epicenter for friction between American Patriots and the British Tory ministry. All eyes were focused on Eastern Massachusetts, where actions were expected to influence the upcoming Continental Congress.

This announcement defers the meeting for three weeks until September 6th in Dedham. As events transpired, the later date would coincide with growing public resentment over the Coercive Acts, protests aimed at the Mandamus Counselors, the Cambridge Powder Alarm, closure of the courts in Worcester, and the imminent convening of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

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