Addressers of Hutchinson
The importance of the following addressers is out of all proportion to their apparent significance. They are an indispensable genesis to the history of the Loyalists. For the next seven years the Addressers were held up to their countrymen as traitors and enemies to their country. In the arraignments, which soon began, the Loyalists were convicted not out of their mouths, but out of their addresses. The ink was hardly dry upon the parchment before the persecution begain against all those who would not recant, and throughout the long year of the war, the crime of an addresser grew in its enormity, and they were exposed to the perils of tarring and feathering, the horrors of Simbury mines, a gaol or a gallows.
— James H. Stark, Boston, 1910.
Address of the Merchants and Others of Boston to Gov. Hutchinson
We, merchants and traders of the town of Boston, and others, do now wait on you, in the most respectful manner, before your departure for England, to testify, for ourselves, the entire satisfaction we feel at you wise, zealous, and faithful administration, during the few years that you have presided at the head of this province. Had your success been equal to your endeavours, and to the warmest wishes of your heart, we cannot doubt that many of the evils under which we now suffer, would have been averted, and that tranquility would have been restored to this long divided province; but we assure ourselves that the want of success in those endeavors will not abate your good wishes when removed from us, or your earnest exertions still on every occasion to serve the true interest of this your native country.
Boston, May 30, 1774.
While we lament the loss of so good a governor, we are greatly relieved that his Majesty, in his gracious favor, hath appointed as your successor a gentleman who, having distinguished himself in the long command he hath held in another department, gives us the most favorable propossessions of his future administration.
We greatly deplore the calamities that are impending and will soon fall on this metropolis, by the operation of a late act of Parliament for shutting up the port on the first of next month. You cannot but be sensible, sir, of the numberless evils that will ensue to the province in general, and the miseries and distresses into which it will particularly involve this town, in the course of a few months. Without meaning to arraign the justice of the British Parliament, we could humbly wish that this act had been couched with less rigor, and that the execution of it had been delayed to a more distant time, that the people might have had the alternative either to have complied with the conditions threin set forth, or to have submitted to the consequent evils on refusal; but as it now stands, all choice is precluded, and however disposed to compliance or concession the people may be, they must unavoidably suffer very great calamities before they can receive relief. Making restitution for damage done to the property of the East India Company, or to the property of any individual, by the outrage of the people, we acknowledge to be just; and though we have ever disavowed, and do now solemnly bear our testimony against such lawless proceedings, yet, considering ourselves as members of the same community, we are fully disposed to bear our proportions of those damages, whenever the sum and the manner of laying it can be ascertained. We earnestly request that you, sir, who know our condition, and have at all times displayed the most benevolent disposition towards us, will, on your arrival in England, interest yourself in our behalf, and make such favorable representations of our case, as that we may hope to obtain speedy and effectual relief.
May you enjoy a pleasant passage to England; and under all the mortifications you have patiently endured, may you possess the inward and consolatory testimonies of having discharged your trust with fidelity and honor, and receive those distinguishing marks of his Majesty's royal approbation and favor, as may enable you to pass the remainder of your life in quietness and ease, and preserve your name with honor to posterity.
[The signers' names have been sorted alphabetically, original spelling preserved. - RWH]
Nathaniel Coffin, jr.
John S. Copley
John Erving, jr.
M. B. Goldthwait
Harrison Gray, jr.
Benjamin Green, jr.
Benjamin M. Holmes
Joshua Loring, jr.
Jas. & Pat. McMasters
A. F. Phipps
Roberts & Co.
Samuel H. Sparhawk
Simeon Stoddard, jr.
Henry H. Williams
Isaac Winslow, jr.
John Winslow, jr.
Address of the Barristers and Attorneys of Massachusetts to Gov. Hutchinson, May 30, 1774.
A firm persuasion of your inviolable attachment to the real interest of this your native country, and of your constant readiness, by every service in your power, to promote its true welfare and prosperity, will, we flatter ourselves, render it not improper in us, barristers and attorneys at law in the province of Massachusetts Bay, to address your Excellency upon your removal from us, with this testimonial of our sincere respect and esteem.
The various important characters of Legislator, Judge and first Magistrate over this province, in which, by the suffrages of your fellow-subjects, and by the royal favor of the best of kings, your great abilities, adorned with a uniform purity of principle, and integrity of conduct, have been eminently distinguished, must excite the esteem and demand the grateful acknowledgements of every true lover of his country, and friend to virtue.
The present perplexed state of our public affairs, we are sensible, must render your departure far less disagreeable to you than it is to us, we assure you, sir, we feel the loss; but when, in the amiable character of your successor, we view a fresh instance of the paternal goodness of our most gracious sovereign; when we reflect on the probability that your presence at the court of Great Britain, will afford you an opportunity of employing your interests more successfully for the relief of this province, and particularly of the town of Boston, under their present distresses, we find a consolation which no other human source could afford. Permit us, sir, most earnestly to solicit the exertion of all your distinguished abilities in favor of your native town and country, upon this truly unhappy and distressing occasion.
We sincerely wish you a prosperous voyage, a long continuation of health and felicity and the highest rewards of the good and faithful.
We are, sir, with the most cordial affection, esteem and respect,
Your Excellency's most obedient and very humble servants,
Sampson S. Blowers
Shearjashub Brown [Bourne]
Jeremiah D. Rogers
From the Essex Gazette of June 1, 1775
Whereare we the subscribers did some time since sign an address to Governor Hutchinson, which, though prompted by the best intentions, has, nevertheless, given great offence to our country: We do now declare, that we were so far from designing by that action, to show our acquiescence in those acts of Parliament so universally and justly odious to all America, that on the contrary, we hoped we might in that way contribute to their repeal; though now to our sorrow we find ourselves mistaken. And we do now further, declare, that we never intended the offence which this address occasioned; that if we had foreseen such an event we should never have signed it; as it always has been and now is our wish to live in harmony with our neighbors, and our serious determination is to promote to the utmost of our power the liberty, the welfare, and happiness of our country, which is inseparably connected with our own.
Salem, May 30, 1775.
In Committee of Safety, Salem, May 30, 1775. The declaration, of which the above is a copy, being presented and read, it was voted unanimously that the same was satisfactory; and that the said gentlemen ought to be received and treated as real friends to this country.
E. A. Holyoke
C. Gayton Pickman
By order of the Committee
Richard Derby, Jr., Chairman.
Address of the Inhabitants of Marblehead to Gov. Hutchinson
His Majesty having been pleased to appoint his Excellency the Hon. Thomas Gage, Esq., to be governor and commander-in-chief over this province, and you, (as we are informed,) begin speedily to embark for Great Britain; We, the subscribers, merchants, traders, and others, inhabitants of Marblehead, beg leave to present you our valedictory address on this occasion; and as this is the only way we now have of expressing to you our entire approbation of your public conduct during the time you have presided in this province, and of making you a return of our most sincere and hearty thanks for the ready assistance which you have at all times afforded us, when applied to in matters which affected our navigation and commerce, we are induced from former experience of your goodness, to believe that you will freely indulge us in the pleasure of giving you this testimony of our sincere esteem and gratitude.
Marblehead, May 25, 1774.
In your public administration, we are fully convinced that the general good was the mark which you have ever aimed at, and we can, sir, with pleasure assure you, that it is likewise the opinion of all dispassionate thinking men within the circle of our observation, notwithstanding many publications would have taught the world to think the contrary; and we beg leave to entreat you, that when you arrive at the court of Great Britain, you would there embrace every opportunity of moderating the resentment of the government against us, and use your best endeavors to have the unhappy dispute between Great Britain and this country brought to a just and equitable determination.
We cannot omit the opportunity of returning you in a particular manner our most sincere thanks for your patronizing our cause in the matter of entering and clearing the fishing vessels at the custom-house, and making the fishermen pay hospital money; we believe it is owing to your representation of the matter, that we are hitherto free from that burden.
We heartily wish you, sir, a safe and prosperous passage to Great Britain, and when you arrive there may you find such a reception as shall fully compensate for all the insults and indignities which have been offered you.
Robert Hooper, jr.
Robert Hooper, 3d
Address to Gov. Hutchinson from his Fellow Townsmen in the Town of Milton
To Thomas Hutchinson Esquire Late Gov. &c.
Sir, We the Select Men, the Magistrates and other principal Inhabitants of the Town of Milton, hearing of your speedy Embarkation for England, cannot let you leave this Town which you have so long honored by your Residence without some publick Expression of our sincere wishes for your health and happiness.
We have been Eye Witnesses, Sir, of your amiable private and useful publick Life; We have with concern beheld you, in the faithful and prudent Discharge of your Duty exposed to Calumnies, Trials and Sufferings, as unjust as severe; and seen you bearing them all with becoming Meekness and Fortitude.
As to ourselves and Neighbours in particular; altho many of us, in future Perplexities will often feel the Want of your skillful gratuitous advice, always ready for those who asked it, we cannot but rejoice for your Sake Sir, at your being so seasonably relieved by an honourable and worthy Successor, in this critical and distressful period from the growing Difficulty of the Government of your beloved native Province. And we see your Departure with the less Regret, being convinced that the Change at present will contribute to your and your Family's Tranquility: possessed as you are of the applause of good men, of the favour of our Sovereign, and the Approbation of a good Conscience to prepare the Way to Rewards infinitely ample from the King of Kings; to whose Almighty protection, We, with grateful hearts commend you and your family.
[Note: Messrs. Davenport, How, Miller and Murray publicly recanted and apologized at a town meeting on 22 Sept. 1774.]
Reply of Governor Hutchinson
I have received innumerable marks of respect and kindness from the Inhabitants of the Town of Milton, of which I shall ever retain the most grateful Remembrance. I leave you with regret. I hope to return and spend the short remains of my life among you in peace and quiet and in doing every good office to you in my power.