[Farmingdell, Va., December 1, 1774]
The Humble Address of the Merchants, inspectors, and [Pa]rtners, and other dependants on the Merchants and warehouses in the Town of Blandford and parts adjacent to the Right Honble Lord North, Genl Gage &c. &c.
We your Lordships most Humble admirers, and dutifull adherents having taken into our most [careful] consideration, Your Lordships & his excellency's [many] noble Virtues, and the bold and Laudable strid[es you have] lately made, to Arbitrary Government; and [industrious] and enterprising encroachments you have ma[de upon] the rights and prerogatives of the Crown; of grea[t Bri]tain; the Salutary and wholesome Corruption your lordship has, by your Wisdom, brought about in the British Parliament; and the noble attempts of your excellency (under the specious pretence of Personating the Best of Kings,) to fix on his Majesties Loyal & foolish Subjects of this Conduct [sic! continent] the Shackles of despotism; do think it prudent and Politic at this time when such general detestation and abhorrence is shewn by all other ranks of People; to shew our gratitude, and offer up our unfeigned thanks to you; for the prudent, Lenient, and steady measures you have undertaken, and are now pursuing to overturn the British Constitution, in England [and Ame]rica to its very foundation. We heartily a[gree] with you in your Laudable plan for th[is accomplishment] in hopes that your Lord[ship] & excellency [will] have effectuated your Laudable purpose, w[ill look upon] us with an eye of benignity and generosity, [and] graciously considering the eminent service [we] have endeavourd to do to you [in heartily concurring and testifying our approbation in] your Plan and at the risque of the Good opin[ion] of the People of the Country wherein we reside, disdaining every application to us, to embrace their Sentiments or abet their Cause, tho evident by our interes[t] to do. And when it shall please the Devil for we disdain it [pleas'd you] to have [foiled] every attempt of the People of America; to establish and maintain their liberties & the Glorious Standard of Despotism shall be effectually planted & the free constitution of great Britain & America shall be overturnd [so] that then Yr Lordship, an[d] excellency, will amply [re]wa[rd] us and our posterity with such employment & [as m]ay enable us to demonstrate (if possible) to you [how] much we are devoted to your purpose.
We cannot, Help testifying, our great Surprise and utter abhorence; That a Certain John Tabb, a Mercht in a Neighbouring Town, & a Certain Nathaniel Burns Inspector in Blandford; shd (tho reputed men of the greatest honor and integrity,) have openly & foolishly disavowed these our Principles, and in the face of day, have Signed a factious, and Violent instrument, called the [asso]ciation, by which they forego all intercourse a[nd] commercial Connection not only with us your Lordships & Excellencys Friends; but also (after a c[er]tain time) with Great Britain herself. We heartily lament, these and all Similar steps which have been, and are daily, taken in this infatuated Country, nay even by those we imprudently deputed to represent us, in a Convention and a congress of all the Colonies, whom we foolishly deemed the wisest and ablest men of this Colony; and in a Congress of all the Colonies whom we [little] thought would have been guilty [of] such a gross mistake as to prefer, a lasting Good to present profit.
After such assurances to which we have with the greatest pleasure, Signed our names, you cannot, doubt our friendly attachment, hoping therefore; that, you will soon subdue the factious and rebellious adherents to the British constitution in the Town of Boston, we ar[e led to] expect, that we may, be favord with a small deta[ch]ment, of Troops; and if it shall be found inconvenient to send any Part of the Officers of the Customs from Boston, that we or as many of us as shall be thought proper, may be appointed Commissioners, Cashiers, Land waiters, tide water messengers, Searchers, [in]spectors &.c. of his majesties Customs, for w[e] apprehend that the Lucrative employmen[t we] now hold under the Tobacco Law will [come to] an end Firmly relying on your Lordsh[ip & Excel]lencies powerfull & irresistible protection, [ar]dently desiring to cooperate with your lordship [in] removing every obstacle that this infatuated Colo[ny] has thought proper to throw in the way of your Success, we humbly hope that when the prom[oters] of those measures inimical to your wise plans of Government, are, stigmatized and Branded to the British Parliament as rebels; We may be [appoint]ed, as peaceable, subjects, well effected to the constitution of our Country, and firm supporters of British liberty, that so we may be rewarded [ ] according to our deserts, and discord and faction be driven from the face of this Colony, with [Mili]tary Chastisement & Severest con[sequences.]
Then May your Excellency return to your [home] Land, Loaded with the Spoils of America [and] with the Laurels of this Continent; and [that an amu]let of the fairest of them, be born along [also] to encircle the Ministerial Brow of the [illustrious] Lord North.