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without having committed said Persons to Goal, returned to your Petitioner with an application from them signifying their penitence & a desire of being then admitted to take said Oath, which application was accompanied by a Letter from Charles Cushing Esq" & another from Jonathan Bowman Esq' two principal Gentlemen of the County, who gave it as their opinion that your Petitioner would be justifyable in admitting said persons to said Oath, even in the then advanced Stage of the proceedings; but though your Petitioner placed great confidence in the opinion of said Gentlemen, & ielt himself disposed to adopt every legal Measure for the liberation of said Persons, as it appeared they were then in a state of humiliating contrition and ready to do anything rather than go to Goal, yet a superior regard to the Laws of this Country, which he invariably considered, as the rule of his conduct joined to the exclamations of the people against said Persons whom they viewed as dangerous enemies, induced your Petitioner to consult the Committee of said Town before he took a step of so much importance as the Manumission of said Persons; accordingly the said Committee were convened, & after great consultation & debate a Majority advised that said Persons might be admitted to take said Oath upon the following Conditions Viz 1— that they should give Bonds for the due observance of the Laws — that they should not depart without the limits of Boothbay and Bristol without permission from the Militia Officers of either of said Towns & that they should pay all Costs that had then arisen — this determination of the Committee was no sooner communicated to said Persons by your Petitioner than they readily acquiesced therein - gave Bonds for the performance of said Conditions, and their Notes of hand for the payment of said Costs amounting in the whole to the sum of £121.10 each the same being equal to £ specie, which same Notes they sometime afterwards severally took up and discharged, & thus matters rested, until through the prevailing influence of the British Garrison at Bagwaduce, upon the opinions & practice of many people in this County who might form the Jury said Persons thought a favourable opportunity now offered of compelling your petitioner under colour of Law to refund the Money they paid on said Notes; accordingly the said Thomas McGuire brought his action for money had & received to his use against your Petitioner at September Term 1781, by way of experiment, whose example in case of success, was to be followed by the said Patrick MoGuire & Fullerton but on trial of the cause the same Term, your Petitioner recovered Costs against the said Thomas M Guire, who appealed to the next Supreme Court for said County; but in the mean time, while the said appeal was depending your Petitioner & the said Thomas M'Guire, Patrick M Guire & Ebenezer Fullerton left all said matters in dispute between them to Arbitration & at the same time agreed that no Attorney should be employed on either side before the arbitrators, but afterwards when the Arbitrators met to decide upon the matters submitted to them an Attorney appeared on the part of said Persons, at which your Petitioner was much surprized and immediately represented the injustice of the proceedure to the Arbitrators, but as the said Attorney insisted notwithstanding the so agreement on arguing the matter before the Arbitrators, your Petitioner was obliged to employ a person to go near 20 miles in quest of another Attorney who happened to be previously engag'd and could not therefore attend the arbitration; upon this the said Arbitrators used many persuations to induce your Petitioner to come to a hearing without an Attorney on his part to which he at length consented upon this condition that they would not suffer the said Attorney to have an undue influence over their judgments — the Parties then went to a hearing during which the said Attorney debated the matter very fully & expatiated largely on the injustice of the said Act while your Petitioner unaided by Counsel & unskilled in the science of pleading did nothing more than barely produce the Law upon which said persons were committed & mentioned some of the leading facts relative to the transaction & then submitted his defence to the arbitrators, who on the 30th day of August last published their several awards by which they ordered that your Petitioner should pay to the said Thomas MoGuire the sum of £37.. 13..7, to the said Patrick M Guire £10..1.. & to the said Ebenezer Fullerton £10..1.. —amounting in the whole to the Sum of £57.. 15.. 7 lawful Money in specie at which your Petitioner could not but be greatly shocked & asked the Arbitrators how it was possible for him to avoid committing said Persons as the Law was so clear & explicit to which the Chairman after hesitating some time answered that said Act was a very loose one, that there were several Acts of the General Court which he thought did more hurt than good & that for his part he would be always very cautious of them — from this explanation, your Petitioner conceives it must be apparent to every impartial observer that said Awards were founded principally on the supposed injustice of said Act with which if true, it is evident that your Petitioner as an Executive Officer, whose business it is to obey the Laws of the state without inquiring into the justice or injustice of them, had nothing to do, and of this the Arbitrators must have been sensible if they had not suffered them selves to be strangely & unaccountably led away by the Arts of the said Attorney
As your Petitioner acted intirely in obedience to the Laws in committing said Persons, and as the determination of the Arbitrators in the present instance is therefore palpably erroneous unjust & cruell your Petitioner humbly prays that your Honours would be pleased to vacate said Awards & revive the said Thomas M Guire's action against him
so that he may have a fair & impartial Tryal at the next Supreme judicial Court by a Jury of his unbiased fellow Citizens, which is all he wishes or aspires to — & your Petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray &c
W M'Cobb Boothbay Jan' 10th 1783
Resolve on Foregoing.
In Senate June 11th 1783 —
Read again and no answer appearing thereupon Orderd, that Charles Turner Esq' with such as the Honble House shall join be a Committee to take this Petition together with the papers accompanying the same into consideration & report that may be proper to be done thereon Sent down for Concurrence
S Adams Presid' In the House of Representatives June 16th 1783
Read & concurred & Mr Childs of Pittsfield & Mr Lovell are joined
Tristram Dalton Spk"
Petition Settlers on Sandy River.
To the Hon ble Senate and The Hon ble House of Representa
tives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Petition of a Number of Settlers on a Tract of Land lying on Sandy River (so called) in the County of Lincoln Humbly Sheweth,
That your Petitioners, drove by Personal and Family wants and invited by the Goodness of the Soil, have adventured into the Wilderness and made Settlements on a Tract of Land Lying on Sandy River, next above a Township on the same River, at present, known by the name of Colburn's Town; That it is forty miles and upwards from the nearest water-Carriage to the said Tract of Land; That hence we have encountered and gone through many Difficulties, Hardships and Fatigues in making this Beginning and been at considerable Cost in clearing a Road from the Inhabitants in Colburn's Town to our Settlements, That what we have already done would be a great Encouragement to the speedy Settlement of the Lands thereabout provided, a valid Title was obtainable and That the uncertain and precarious Tenure by which we, at present, hold Our Possessions is a great Discouragement to us and hindrance to the Growth of the Settlement: Your Petitioners therefore pray your Honors to take Our present Situation under your wise and serious Consideration, and (if in your great Wisdom you should think fit) To Order a Town-ship to be laid out on Sandy River Six miles square — that is to say to begin and be Bounded on the upper Line of Colburn's Town (so Called) and, extending three Miles on each Side of the River, to run up said River Six Miles; and, with said Order, to Grant and Confirm unto us your Honors Humble Petitioners (now dwelling on Lands within said Bounds) the Lots (containing Two Hundred Acres each) which we have severally laid out and began improvements upon, On some Conditions which your Honors shall think fit to prescribe: And we pray your Honors, in adjusting the Terms on which we are to hold our Possessions, to take into your wise Consideration the many Difficulties and Hardships, which unavoidably attend Beginning a Settlement, so far into the Wilderness and at so great a Remove from Navigation.— Further, to urge Our Request, we beg Leave to represent to your Honors, that as the Soil of the proposed Township is very Good, if it was laid out in Lots, and to be sold, it may reasonably be presumed, that the Sale