Address from the New York Provincial Congress
[New York] June 26th 1775.
May it please Your Excellency
At a Time when the most loyal of his Majesties Subjects, from a Regard to the Laws and Constitution by which he sits on the Throne, feel themselves reduced to the unhappy Necessity of taking up Arms to defend their dearest Rights and Priviledges; While we deplore the Calamities of this divided Empire, We rejoice in the Appointment of a Gentleman from whose Abilities and Virtue we are taught to expect both Security and Peace.
Confiding in you Sir, and in the worthy Generals immediately under Your Command, We have the most flattering Hopes of Success in the glorious Struggle for American Liberty; And the fullest Assurances that whenever this important Contest shall be decided, by that fondest Wish of each American Soul, an Accomodation with our Mother Country; You will chearfully resign the important Deposit committed into Your Hands, and reassume the Character of our worthiest Citizen.
P. V. B. Livingston President1
DS, DLC:GW; Df, N: New York Provincial Congress, Revolutionary Papers.
On the morning of 26 June the New York provincial congress approved this address and appointed Gouverneur Morris and Isaac Low to inquire of GW when the members should wait on him with it. Morris and Low promptly brought word that GW would receive them at 2:30 p.m. A copy of the address was then ordered to be engrossed. After transacting some other business, the provincial congress recessed until 5:00 p.m. and went to meet GW. Upon reconvening, it ordered the address and GW’s reply to be published (N.Y. Prov. Congress Journals description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety of the State of New-York, 1775–1776–1777. 2 vols. Albany, 1842. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 1:55–56). Both documents appear in the New-York Journal; or the General Advertiser, 29 June 1775; Rivington’s New-York Gazette; or the Connecticut, Hudson’s River, New-Jersey, and Quebec Weekly Advertiser, 29 June 1775; and the New-York Gazette; and the Weekly Mercury, 3 July 1775.
1. Peter Van Brugh Livingston (1710–1792), a wealthy New Yorker who had profited greatly from military contracts during the colonial wars, was elected president of the New York provincial congress on its opening day, 23 May 1775, and on 8 July he became its treasurer. He held both positions until 28 Aug. 1775 when he withdrew from all public affairs because of poor health.