820. Petition of the Town of Hallowell, March 17881

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

To the Honble Senate and House of Representatives of said Commonwealth in General Court assembled.

The Memorial of the subscribers Inhabitants of the Town of Hallowell in the County of Lincoln

Humbly sheweth

That satisfied as we are, with our present Government and Constitution; we do not wish for a change, unless we could be assured, it would at least tend in some considerable degree to promote the General happiness of the People and the welfare of the federal Union; but we are apprehensive that the seperation so much wished for by some, in the Counties of York, Cumberland and Lincoln, from the Government of Massachusetts can not at present have the smallest tendency to obtain or secure either of those valuable ends: on the contrary we feel a conviction, that such a separation at this time, must greatly contribute to enervate our federal Government by an unnecessary increase of the number of Petty States, to impoverish the People by an additional weight of taxes, to render the proposed new State weak and contemptible, and in a great measure to destroy the influence and consequence of this Commonwealth in the great Council of the Nation.

Urged by these considerations, we think it our duty to communicate to your Honors, the extraordinary method which a certain Party have taken in this Town, in order to procure a majority of voices in favor of the said seperation—Subscription Papers have been formed under the auspices of a few particular Men, for the ostensible purpose of obtaining the sentiments of the People on this important question; these Papers have been committed to a number of professed and zealous Advocates for the New State, who carried them about the Town, and applied to Individuals seperately, to whom they painted in lively colours, all the imagined advantages of a seperate Government, without any of it’s real inconveniences; and by this means many honest well meaning Persons, have been induced to subscribe to the affirmative of the question, who we are sensible on having it’s true merits impartially stated and explained to them, would never have given their assent to this measure, which we conceive can answer no valuable purpose, unless it be to gratify the ambition and feed the vanity of a few Men, who under the fair guise of public spirit, the general good of the People in those Counties, and an affectation of superior political information are (we fear) only aiming at places of honor and profit for themselves; but as a procedure so evidently partial, and unauthorized by any Legislative act, can never impose upon the wisdom of the honorable Body we address, so we content ourselves with stating facts, without making any comments upon the conduct of a Party who have artfully made the People believe, that their doings in this instance were for the information, and undertaken at the desire of the General Court.—

Joseph North, William Howard, Lazs. Goodwin, Elijah Davis, Geo: Goodwin, Nathl Thwing, Ezekiel Porter, Elias Crage, James Child, James Cocks, Sam Hussey, Nathel. Hearsey, Saml. Colman, Brown Emerson, Daniel Savage, Robert Deniston, Nathan Weston, William Brooks, Brian Fletcher

In the House of Representatives

March 15. 1788

Read & committed to the Committee of both Houses this day appointed upon the Petition from the Convention of Delegates held at Portland, upon the same subject

sent up for concurrence

J Warren Spker  

1. MS, Miscellaneous Legislative Papers, House Files, No. 3028, M-Ar.