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Meeting at New York

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

October 16. –This morning, at ten o’clock, the members of his Majesty’s council, the judges, and all the other well affected citizens, who were not driven away by the hand of violence, or sent prisoners to other provinces, met at the City Hall in New York, when a decent and respectful address to Lord Howe and General Howe, the King’s commissioners for restoring peace to America, was read, representing the firm attachment of the inhabitants to our rightful and gracious sovereign, George the Third, and their sense of the constitutional supremacy of Great Britain over these colonies; lamenting the interruption of that harmony which formerly subsisted between them, and praying that the city and county might be restored to his Majesty’s peace and protection. The address was unanimously approved and adopted, and it was agreed that the inhabitants should all sign it. But the number assembled being too great to sign at that time, two respectable citizens were appointed to attend at a public house, adjoining the City Hall, from ten o’clock a. m., to two o’clock p. m., every day, to take subscriptions till all had signed. As this measure was the first step which was necessary to be taken on our part towards effecting a reconciliation with Great Britain, joy was lighted up in every countenance, at the prospect of returning peace and union with the parent state. The populace expressed the feelings of their hearts by loud acclamations and shouts of applause.

After this, an affectionate address to his Excellency William Tryon, Esq., our worthy governor, was read, “requesting him to present the above address to the commissioners, and otherwise to exert himself that the prayer of it might be granted.” This address was also unanimously approved and agreed to; and the honorable Mr. Chief Justice Horsmanden was desired to sign and deliver it to his Excellency, in behalf of the inhabitants.

The well-known humanity of the commissioners, and the tender regard they have manifested for the welfare of America in their several declarations, afford the most flattering hopes that the address to them will be productive of the desired effect. And it is most devoutly to be wished, that the continent may follow the example of this city–that the Americans in general may avail themselves of his Majesty’s clemency and paternal goodness, in offering to restore them to his royal protection and peace. Those who continue deaf to such benevolence, and thereby prolong the present destructive and unnatural rebellion, will be utterly inexcusable in the sight of God and man. Their obstinacy must be detested by the wise and virtuous; the inevitable ruin attending it will be unpitied by all, and posterity will execrate their memories. 1


1 New York Gazette, October 21.

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