At the meeting of the town held on the fourteenth of March, 1774, James Brown, the fourth, was the first on the committee to draw up resolves to be laid before the meeting respecting the infringements made upon the Americans by certain “ministerial decrees.” These were laid before a meeting held March 21, 1774, and received by the town’s votes, as follows:—
“The inhabitants of this Town being justly Alarmed at the several acts of Parliament made and passed for having a revenue in America, and, more especially the acts for the East India Company, exporting their tea into America subject to a duty payable here, on purpose to raise a revenue in America, with many more unconstitutional acts, which are taken into consideration by a number of our sister towns in the Colony, therefore we think it needless to enlarge upon them; but being sensible of the dangerous condition the Colonies are in, Occasioned by the Influence of wicked and designing men, we enter into the following Resolves;
“First, That we, the Inhabitants of the Town ever have been & now are Loyal & dutiful subjects to the king of G. Britain.
“Second, That we highly approve of the resolutions of our sister Colonies and the noble stand they have made in the defense of the liberties & priviledges of the Colonys, and we thank the worthy Author of ‘the rights of the Colonies examined.’
“Third, That the act for the East India Company to export their Tea to America payable here, and the sending of said tea by the Company, is with an intent to enforce the Revenue Acts and Design’d for a precedent for Establishing Taxes, Duties & Monopolies in America, that they might take our property from us and dispose of it as they please and reduce us to a state of abject slavery.
“Fourth, That we will not buy or sell, or receive as a gift, any dutied Tea, nor have any dealings with any person or persons that shall buy or sell or give or receive or trade in s’d Tea, directly or indirectly, knowing it or suspecting it to be such, but will consider all persons concern’d in introducing dutied Teas ... into any Town in America, as enemies to this country and unworthy the society of free men.
“Fifth, That it is the duty of every man in America to oppose by all proper measures to the uttermost of his Power and Abilities every attempt upon the liberties of his Country and especially those mentioned in the foregoing Resolves, & to exert himself to the uttermost of his power to obtain a redress of the grievances the Colonies now groan under.
“We do therefore solemnly resolve that we will heartily unite with the Town of Newport and all the other Towns in this and the sister Colonies, and exert our whole force in support of the just rights and priviledges of the American Colonies.