A letter was sent to General Gage seeking a peaceful resolution to the situation in Boston and two committees were formed to draft 1) a Memorial to the people of Britain and 2) a Petition to the People of British America.
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
The following was sent to General Gage.
The Inhabitants of the town of Boston have informed us, the representatives of his Majesty’s faithful subjects in all the colonies from Nova-Scotia to Georgia, that the fortifications erecting within that town, the frequent invasions of private property, and the repeated insults they receive from the soldiery, have given them great reason to suspect a plan is formed very destructive to them, and tending to overthrow the liberties of America.
Your excellency cannot be a stranger to the sentiments of America, with respect to the acts of parliament, under the execution of which, those unhappy people are oppressed, the approbation universally expressed of their conduct, and the determined resolution of the colonies, for the preservation of their common rights, to unite in their opposition to those acts.–In consequence of these sentiments, they have appointed us the guardians of their rights and liberties, and we are under the deepest concern, that whilst we are pursuing every dutiful and peaceable measure to procure a cordial & effectual reconciliation between Great-Britain & the colonies, your excellency should proceed in a manner that bears so hostile an appearance, and which oven those oppressive acts do not warrant….
We hope, Sir, you will discontinue the fortifications in and about Boston, prevent any further invasions of private property, restrain the irregularities of the soldiers, and give orders that the communication between the town and country may be open, unmolested and free.
As the Congress have given general Gage an assurance of the peaceable disposition of the people of Boston and the Massachusetts-bay,
Resolved unanimously, That they be advised still to conduct themselves peaceably towards his excellency General Gage, and his majesty’s troops now stationed in the town of Boston, as far as can possibly be consistent with their immediate safety, and the security of the town; avoiding & discountenancing every violation of his Majesty’s property, or any insult to his troops, and that they peaceably and firmly persevere in the line they are now conducting themselves, on the defensive.
Resolved, unanimously, That a memorial be prepared to the people of British America, stating to them the necessity of a firm, united, and invariable observation of the measures recommended by the Congress, as they tender the invaluable rights and liberties derived to them from the laws and constitution of their country.
Also an address to the people of Great Britain.
Richard Henry Lee, William Livingston, and John Jay are appointed a committee to prepare a draft of the memorial & address.
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.