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Petition from the Town of Hopkinton

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To the honourable Senate: & hon.le House of Representatives,
in General Court assembled.

The petition of the Inhabitants of the Town of Hopkinston
humbly Sheweth, That where-as a number of people in the
upper Counties, under the Various denominations of Shays-
men, Insurgents, Regulators &c have in a Riotous, unlaw=
ful manner, assembled in Arms: and have endeavoured to
put a Stop to the due course of Law by violently oppos=
ing the Setting of Several of the Courts of Justice in this
Commonwealth: which Riotous, unlawful proceeding, we
view with the greatest abhorrance, & disaprobation as it
has a direct tendancy to destroy all Law & Government
and plung this People into all the horrors of a Civil-war.

Notwithstanding we have so lively a Sense of the Crimi-
nality of their proceedings, yet, (all circumstances consi=
dered) we cannot but wish, & humbly pray; that, they
may once more have the offer of Pardon with Life
& property extended to as many of them as Shall come
in; in a limited time & take the Oath of allegiance &
promise to be peaceable members of Community for the fu=
ture for we have Reason to believe that the greater part
of them were deluded into this method of proceeding
under the mistaken notion of its being the only way
to obtain redress of certain Grieveances they laboured under; and
not with the intention of destroying Government, but we
believe their eyes are Sufficiently opened & that Government may
rest assured that they would gladly come in could they once more
have the Offer of Pardons with Life & property.- We are not
insensible that granting them this favour now would be
stretching the mercy of Government to a degree they by no means
deserve. But believe at the Same time it would be greatly
to the honour & Interest of the Government to Grant it as
it would thereby Secure the love & Save the lives of many
valuable members of Community that would be inevita-
bly lost if the matter should be decided by Arms.