Friday, March 07, 2008

"or by furnishing or supplying those engaged in Rebellion, or their Adherents with Arms, Ammunition"


By His Excellency JOSIAH MARTIN, His Majesty's Captain General, Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the said Province.


WHEREAS great Numbers of his Majesty's Subjects within this Province, as in many other of the Colonies of North-America, have been incited and deluded by the flagitious Artifices of certain wicked, ill-designing, and traiterous Incendiaries, to array themselves in Arms, to levy rebellious War against the KING, and to deny, oppose, and resist the Laws and Constitutional Rights and Authority of His Majesty and the Parliament of Great-Britain, notwithstanding the most gracious and indulgent Invitations and Inducements, which His Majesty in his great Goodness, has been pleased from Time to Time to hold forth to them to engage them to return to their Duty, and to the enjoyment of those envied Rights*, and that inestimable Happiness which so pre-eminently distinguish the Condition of British Subjects from that of all other People of the known World; AND WHEREAS, this infatuated People instead of being reclaimed to their Duty by such Manifestations of His Majesty's tender Forbearance to punish, and of His Royal Disposition to Mercy and Forgiveness, have been impelled by the Delusions of their traiterous Leaders, rashly and insultingly to reject all the generous Advances to Accommodation that have flowed from the Justice, Moderation, and Tenderness of the KING, and His Parliament, and ungratefully as absurdly to ascribe the same to Weakness and Want of Power to chastise their Disobedience, and to maintain the Constitutional Rights heretofore claimed or exercised over the said Colonies: And whereas they have proceeded in a Succession of Violence beyond Detail to wage War, and to involve themselves in all the complicated Guilt of Treason and Rebellion against their Sovereign and the State, it is become the indispensible Part, and is therefore the determined Purpose of Government, to pursue the most vigorous and effectual Measures for the Suppression of such unnatural, and unprovoked Rebellion.

The Revolt of this Province and so many other of His Majesty's American Colonies, at first glossed over with shallow Pretexts of procuring Redress of imaginary Grievances, and marked with lavish Professions of Duty and Loyalty to the KING, now past all Disguise as to its End and Object, is declared by every violent Act of open Rebellion, and the Design of the flagitious Conspirators who have fomented this unnatural Rebellion manifested, if not avowed, is to sever these Colonies from their Relation to, and Dependance on the Imperial Crown and State of Great-Britain, with vain Intent to establish independant Empire; and in Prosecution of this attrocious Attempt, no Illusion, no Art of Seduction has been left unpractised, no Violence undone.

An illegal, monstrous Body called a Congress at Philadelphia has dared to usurp, and exercise every power of Government, over this Province and Twelve more of his Majesty's Colonies; it has proceeded to the Extravagance of raising Armies within the same for the express Purpose of opposing the KING's Authority, and in the Impotence of Weakness has uttered a creditless Paper Currency, as visionary as the Rest of their ill-digested System, to the nominal Value of Nine Millions of Dollars, for the Support thereof presuming in the fulness of its Power, to pledge the Substance of the People in the several Colonies for the Redemption of this ill devised Phantom of Money of such vast Amount, which is forced upon the Acceptance of the People, who find themselves equally exposed to Ruin, by the Refusal, or Receipt of it; the former Case subjecting them to the heaviest Penalties denounced by that Arbitrary Assembly, and the latter to the utter Loss of that Property which they barter for this imaginary Money during its Circulation; the Whole exhibiting a Plan of Republican Despotism, more weak, and more wicked, than ever Fraud and Rebellion attempted to impose on a Deluded People.

The Machinations above recited, and the other innumerable Artifices, too successfully practised upon the ignorant and credulous People, have been accompanied with every Act of open Hostility at Land and Sea; and Britain, brave, long-forbearing, generous Britain, challenged to Arms by her too kindly fostered and ungrateful Colonists, is at last compelled RELUCTANTLY to employ Her Might and Force in Chastisement of those, who have so lately owed to Her Guardian Power and Protection, their very existence as a free People; thus ungratefully requited, it now only remains to that Great Nation to prove that Tenderness and Affection, and not Want of Power hath so long suspended her just Indignation at her Recreant Colonists, and preserved them from the woful Experience of the Horrors of War, which they have so wantonly and so injuriously provoked. To the End therefore, That His Majesty's loyal and faithful Subjects within this Province, which I have Reason to compute in great Number, may be prepared for the Part to which their own good Principles lead, and their Duty calls them in this Extremity, and that the People thereof in General, may have Opportunity to avail themselves of His Majesty's Royal Disposition to receive his misled Subjects, in Tenderness and Mercy, when they shall become sensible of their Error and return to their Duty. I have thought proper to issue this my Proclamation, hereby to represent to them the dangerous Crisis to which a Set of wicked and desperate
republican Spirits on this Continent, have urged and exposed them. And I do hereby in real Tenderness to the Inhabitants of this Country, most earnestly exhort and conjure Them, as they regard their dearest Interests, to rouse from the Infatuation with which they have been possessed, that has led Them blindly to bend their Necks to the intolerable Yoke of republican Despotism, which under specious Pretences of preserving their Liberty, has at this Moment reduced them to the violent State of Bondage, and by a prompt and immediate return to their Duty to their Sovereign, laying down their Arms, and renouncing the usurped Authority of Congresses, Committees, and all other the monstrous and unlawful Combinations engendered by the evil Spirit of Rebellion, entitle themselves to the effectual Securities of civil and religious Liberty, to be found only in the British Constitution.

And for the Encouragement of His Majesty's loyal and faithful Subjects to be aiding and assisting as far as in them lies, in the Suppression of the said unnatural Rebellion according to their bounden Duty and obvious Interests. I do hereby in the King's Name and by His Majesty's Royal Authority offer, promise and assure, to each and every Person or Persons, who shall join His Majesty's Forces and bear Arms against the Rebels in this Province (besides the Pay, and every other Encouragement allowed by His Majesty to his regular Troops) a Grant or Grants of Land in Proportion to their Circumstances, Merit and Pretensions without Charge, and with an Exemption of Quit-rent during ten Years from the respective Date of such Grant or Grants. And I do on the other Hand hereby proclaim all and all Manner of Persons who shall in any Wise aid, abet, or assist the present unnatural Rebellion against the King, either by bearing Arms against His Majesty's Forces, or by furnishing or supplying those engaged in Rebellion, or their Adherents with Arms, Ammunition, Money, Provisions, Cattle, Horses, Carriages, or any other necessary for Subsistence or Offence, or who shall hold any Correspondence with them open or secret, by Letter, Message, Signal, or otherwise, or in any Manner protect or conceal them, to be Rebels and Traitors, and to be treated accordingly with all the Rigour that such Enemies to the State are liable to by Law.

The very recent Instance of the ready Acceptance in Parliament of the Overtures of the loyal and dutiful Colony of Nova-Scotia, and the Resolutions of the House of Commons thereupon, evince the Disposition of that August Body to receive with the tenderest Consideration every Advance of the American Colonies; and cannot fail to excite Regret in every Well-wisher of this Country, as well as {Omitted text, 1w} , ?hat it did not pursue alike dutiful Conduct, instead of withstanding, and frowardly rejecting the reasonable Invitations to Peace, and Accommodation that were indulgently held forth to the Colonies by the Resolutions of the House of Commons in the last Session of Parliament,--while yet its Commerce flourished, was favoured, and unrestrained: In the former Case this Province had enjoyed the fulness of Peace and Prosperity, and now the chosen, fatal alternative of Rebellion, marks it for the Scourge of War, whose certain Consequences must bring the People to rue the dire Election to which they have been duped and deluded by their traiterous and flagitious Leaders. And it behoves the People of this Country at this critical Period, to consider well how they may retrieve the fair Opportunities they have lost, by giving the first Example among the Colonies in Rebellion, of an earnest Disposition to return to their Duty, to the King, and Obedience to the Laws;--and it cannot be doubted that the Colony which shall signalize Itself by such seasonable Example, will meet with every due Regard and Attention from the Grace of Majesty.

In the present most alarming State of Affairs, the People invited by their Sovereign on the one Hand to Freedom, Peace and Happiness, under the mildest of all Governments, and on the other threatened by Rebellion, Anarchy, Tyranny and Despotism, that must expose their Country to Desolation, and themselves to the forfeiture of Life, and Property, have yet a Choice of Happiness, by immediate and dutiful Submission to their lawful and rightful Sovereign, and Reliance on the Royal unbounded Clemency and Magnanimity of a most Gracious Prince.
This Opportunity those who neglect will rue the Consequence! Here then let the mis-guided Pause! In this instant awful Crisis, without a Moment Delay, while yet Felicity is attainable, and that they have experienced only some of the Inconveniences, without the Horrors of War, let them calmly compare their late unequalled Prosperity with their present self-made, deplorable, wretched, desperate State: and I am confident that every conspiring Motive of regard to Life, Liberty, and Property, will recal them to a just Sense of their Duty to their offended Sovereign, and the Laws of their Country, and unite the Strength of Thousands of the deluded people to those numerous, faithful, and loyal Subjects of the King in this Province, whose glorious and undaunted Spirits undismayed, and unsubdued by all the Power and Oppression of Rebellion, have given such recent Proof of Attachment to their Sovereign, and Affection to their late happy Constitution of Government, principled in perfect Freedom, and founded in certain Law: as leaves no Room to doubt they will come forth with redoubled Confidence to the Deliverance of their Country, and that supported by His Majesty's Troops, they will speedily, with the assistance of the ALMIGHTY, accomplish the Restoration of the public Tranquility, and change the horrid Face of War to grateful smiling Peace.

AND WHEREAS, The Regular Administration of Justice, and the Course of Law is obstructed and overthrown by the Machinations of Rebellion in this Province, and that many of the titular Magistrates therein lawfully appointed, are now leagued with the Rebels, and may and do employ the Power and Authority with which they are invested by their Offices to the Perversion of Justice, and the Oppression of His Majesty's Liege Subjects. And whereas it is expedient in the present State of Things to obviate the Mischiefs that may accrue from the Pervertion of Justice by the Civil Magistrates now in Office, and for the Maintainance of Order as well as to support the Measures, necessary to be taken for the Suppression of the present horrid and unnatural Rebellion, that some Mode be established for the Distribution of Justice and for the Protection of the Innocent, and Punishment of the Guilty. I Do hereby in Virtue of the Power and Authority in me vested by His Majesty's Royal Commission, under the Great Seal of Great-Britain, publish, proclaim, and order the Use and Exercise of the Law Martial, within and throughout this Province, for so long Time as the present unhappy State of Disorder shall necessarily require; whereof all Persons are hereby required to take Notice and govern themselves accordingly, as well to maintain Order, and Regularity, among the peaceable Inhabitants of this Province, as to resist encounter and subdue all REBELS and TRAITORS within the same.

Given under My Hand, and the Great Seal of the said Province on board the Snow Peggy, in Cape-Fear River, this Seventh Day of April 1776, and in the Sixteenth Year of His Majesty's Reign...........(Signed)..........JOSIAH MARTIN.

GOD save the King.

EXTRACT from the VOTES of the HOUSE of COMMONS of 29th November, 1775.

SIR Grey Cooper reported from the Committee of the whole House, to whom it was referred to consider of the Letter communicated to this House by Mr. Speaker upon the 26th Day of October last, dated, Halifax, Nova-Scotia, July 4th, 1775, and signed "William Nesbitt, Speaker," together with a Paper inclosed therein, entituled, "The Address, Petition, and Memorial, of the Representatives of the Freeholders of the Province of Nova Scotia, in General Assembly," the Resolutions which the Committee had directed to be reported to the House; which he read in his Place, and afterwards delivered in at the Table, where the same were read, and are as followeth, viz.

Resolved, that it is the Opinion of this Committee, that the Proposition contained in the Address, Petition, and Memorial, of the House of Assembly of the Province of Nova-Scotia, of granting His Majesty, in perpetuity, a duty on Poundage ad Valorem, upon all Commodities imported into the Province of Nova-Scotia, not being the Produce of the British Dominions in Europe and America (Bay Salt excepted) the said Duty to be disposed of by Parliament, is fit to be accepted, and that the Amount of the said Duty should be Eight Pounds per Centum, upon all such Commodities.

Resolved, that it is the Opinion of this Committee, that when and as soon as an Act, or Acts, shall have been passed by the General Assembly of the said Province of Nova-Scotia, conformable to the forgoing Resolution, and His Majesty shall have given his Royal Approbation to such Act or Acts, all and every Duty, Tax, and Assessment, upon any Goods, Wares, or Merchandize, imported into the said Province, and which Duty, Tax, and Assessment, hath been imposed and levied within the said Province, by any Act or Acts of Parliament now in Force, ought to cease and be discontinued; and that, for so long as Act or Acts of Assembly for granting to His Majesty the said Poundage Duty shall continue in Force, no other of further Duties, Taxes, or Assessments, ought to be imposed or levied by Act of Parliament, within the said Province, except such Duties only, as it may be expedient to continue to levy, or to impose for the Regulation of Commerce, the nett produce of the Duties last-mentioned to be carried to the Account of the said Province.

Resolved, that it is the Opinion of this Committee, that it will be adviseable to admit a direct Importation into the Province of Nova-Scotia, by His Majesty's Subjects, in Ships and Vessels qualified by Law, of all Wines, Oranges, Lemons, Currants, and Raisins, the Growth and Produce of any foreign Country whatsoever; provided such Wines, Oranges, Lemons, Currants, and Raisins, be imported directly from the Place of their Growth and Produce; and provided also, that the said Commodities be not imported into any other Port or Place within the said Province except the Port of Halifax.

Then the said Resolutions, being read a second Time, were agreed to by the House.

Ordered, that a Bill be brought in, upon the said Resolution; and that the Lord North, Lord George Germain, Mr. Charles Townshend, the Lord Beauchamp, Mr. Cornwall, Mr. Attorney General, Mr. Solicitor General, Sir Grey Cooper, and Mr. Robinson, do prepare, and bring in the same.

* - Here's one of those "envied Rights":
That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law...



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