August 22, 1774
Volume 09, Pages 1038-1041
Proceedings of Freeholders in the Town of Halifax, 22d August, 1774.
At a General Meeting of the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the Town of Halifax on Monday the 22nd day of August, 1774, John Webb, Esqre being chosen
Moderator, the following Resolves were unanimously agreed to, viz,
1. Resolved, That we will bear true and faithful allegiance to His Majesty King George the third, and that we will ever at the expence of our lives and
fortunes, defend and protect his sacred person, and the succession of the Crown to his Royal Issue.
2. Resolved, That the Bill for altering the Administration of Justice in certain criminal cases within the Province of Massachusetts Bay, if passed into
an Act of Parliament, is subversive of the end and design of good Government, unconstitutional and oppressive as a Law, big with the greatest injustice,
productive of the most dangerous consequences, and has the greatest tendency to ill in respect to the British Subjects in America, as the execution of
that Law would deprive them of their ancient and established Privilege of Trial by their Peers, and the indigent circumstances of the Americans could not
support, at so great a distance, those persons who might attest their innocence or justify their conduct, therefore the accused party would innocently
fall a victim to the greatest rigour and injustice.
3. Resolved, That the Boston Port Act is an illegal exertion of arbitrary Power, that it is destructive of our happiness, therefore contrary to the law of
nature, which Law being coeval with mankind, and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other; that it is an encroachment on
private Property, a proceeding highly derogatory of the mildness of the British Government which no law, usage or custom can justify, warrant or defend.
4. Resolved, That the Bill for changing the Constitution of Massachusetts Bay, now founded on Charter, is greatly injurious to the Liberties of the People
in that Province in particular, and to America in general.
5. Resolved, That the Americans can be taxed only by those persons who legally represent them; that the distance between Great Britain and America is so
considerable that it would be impracticable for our Representatives to sit in Parliament, therefore the power assumed by the British Parliament over the
Colonies, is an invasion of those rights, which, as free People, we have enjoyed Time immemorial, and that it tends only to oppress & enslave us.
6. Resolved, That Principles of Justice, Honour and gratitude, as well as interest, ought to direct our conduct on this important occasion.
7. Resolved, That all dissipation, luxury and extravagance be discouraged, that industry, frugality and economy, are the only means to enable us to
discharge those debts we owe in Britain; that the breed of sheep and manufacture of wool be encouraged, and that every person apply himself with assiduity
to his Art in labour or occupation in life.
8. Resolved, That we continue our exports to Great Britain until the debts due from America are fully discharged, and hereby recommend it most heartily to
the several Counties in this Province, as the most elligible plan to secure to us the affections of our Mother Country, in as much as by that we shall
convince her of the uprightness and honesty of our intentions, most warmly recommend ourselves to those who have trusted us on the common faith and Credit
of the Country, and will magnify our firmness, patriotic virtue and Public spirit.
9 Resolved, That the trade to the British West Indies be continued, for tho' they are not a part of the Continent of America, still as British Colonies
are liable to the same impositions, & without our useless commodities, would be reduced to the greatest necessity and want; in return we may receive the
several productions of their climate, which long habit has made almost necessary to sustain life, and by their riches strengthen the sinews of our
Constitution; for 'tis freedom of Trade that adds to the happiness of the People, and without it indolence and ignorance will accompany our abject State.
10. Resolved, That after the twentieth day of September next ensuing we import no Article directly or indirectly, from Great Britain, nor purchase any
Commodity from those who do import, until the duty on tea be taken off, except those Articles for which Orders are already sent and those now mentioned,
viz: Artificers and workmen's tools of all sorts, Kendal or Negro Cotton, medicines, nails of all sorts, for the purpose of building, woolen and cotton
cards; nor will we import or buy any of those articles, if a duty should hereafter be laid on them by the British Parliament, for the Purpose of raising a
Revenue in America.
11, Resolved, That the East India Company has greatly insulted the Americans, by acting as tools of Administration, and sending over to this Continent a
quantity of that detested article tea, contrary to the avowed inclinations of the Americans; therefore we resolve never to purchase directly or indirectly
or use in any of our families (except what we now have) any East India commodity whatever, until the duty on tea be suspended.
12. Resolved, That for the common good, every difference, division, party or faction and the cause thereof subside; that peace, unanimity and concord,
should subsist throughout this Province.
13. Resolved, That the several Courts of Law and Justice within this Province do still continue to exercise their Jurisdiction, as their declining would
appear to proceed from a principle of dishonesty.
14. Resolved, That as Joseph Montfort Esqr our worthy Representative, from his present indisposition cannot possibly attend the General Meeting at Newbern
on the 25th of this instant, we hereby constitute and appoint John Geddy Esqre as our Representative in his stead, then and there to act as to him for our
welfare, shall seem expedient.
15. Resolved, That a copy of these resolves be inserted in the Newbern Gazette.
(Colonial and State Records of North Carolina)