Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 13

Address of the Grand Jury of Burlington County, New Jersey, to Judge Samuel Tucker, 13 Nov. 1776:

"Having for some time past witnessed an interruption of the free enjoyment of our civil liberties by the hand of British tyranny and usurpation, the Grand Jury for the County of Burlington cannot forbear expressing their unfeigned satisfaction at the opening of the Supreme Court of the State of New-Jersey. The Constitution, as lately formed by the honourable Convention of this State, gives us the utmost satisfaction, and, as we believe, the County we represent. We flatter ourselves that, in due season, under the Divine protection, we shall be enabled to baffle the designs of our cruel enemy, and reap the benefits thereof. Conscious, however, of the goodness of our cause, and the rectitude of our intentions, the Grand Jury for the County of Burlington are determined to do their part for the support and relief of their much-injured country.

We congratulate you, sir, on your appointment as one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of this State. We have no doubt of your integrity and assiduity, and can only wish your country had called you to so important an office in times less perilous and dangerous. But, sir, let the peril and difficulty of the times be a criterion to distinguish who are real friends to their country and who are not.

Answer from Judge Samuel Tucker, 13. Nov. 1776:

Gentlemen:

I most cordially thank you for your address.

Your firmness in the cause of freedom is very agreeable to me, and am happy to find the Grand Jury for the opulent County of Burlington are determined to support their rights as freemen under our new and happy Constitution, in which they may rely on every assistance in my power.

Your good opinion of me affords me sensible pleasure, and hope my future conduct will be such as will meet with the approbation of every freeman in the State of New-Jersey.

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