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James Warren


James Warren (1726-1808), was the president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, a Major General in the Provincial Militia, a member of the Navy board for the Eastern Department, a member of the Governor's Council, 1792-94, and a presidential elector from Massachusetts, 1804.  He was married to Mercy Warren, 1724-1814, a remarkable author of the Revolutionary period, whose correspondence with numerous founding fathers has granted invaluable insight into our nation's history.  In 1805, she wrote the History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution, in 3 volumes.

It was James Warren who first proposed the famous committees of correspondence to Samuel Adams, which were of inestimable influence in inspiring the spirit of freedom among the Colonies. 

On June 16, 1775, president James Warren and the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts resolved:

"In Provincial Congress, Watertown, June 16th, 1775.

"As it has pleased Almighty GOD in his Providence to suffer the Calamities of an unnatural War to take Place among us, in Consequence of our sinful Declensions from Him, and our great Abuse of those inestimable Blessings bestowed upon us.  And as we have Reason to fear, that unless we become a penitent and reformed people, we shall feel still severer Tokens of his Displeasure.

"And as the most effectual Way to escape those desolating Judgments, which so evidently hang over us, and if it may be obtain the Restoration of our former Tranquility, will be - That we repent and return every one from his Iniquities, unto him that correcteth us, which if we do in Sincerity and Truth, we have no Reason to doubt but he will remove his Judgments - cause our Enemies to be at Peace with us - and prosper the Work of our Hands.

"And as among the prevailing Sins of this Day, which threaten the Destruction of this Land, we have Reason to lament the frequent Prophanation of the Lord's-Day, or Christian Sabbath; may spending their Time in Idleness and Sloth, others in Diversion, and others in Journeying of Business, which is not necessary on said Day:

"And as we earnestly desire that a Stop might be put to this great and prevailing Evil:

"It is therefore RESOLVED, That it be recommended by this Congress, to the People of all Ranks and Denominations throughout this Colony, that they not only pay a religious Regard to that Day, and to the public Worship of God thereon; but that they also use their Influence to discountenance and suppress any Prophanations thereof in others.

"And it is further RESOLVED, That it be recommended to the Ministers of the Gospel to read this Resolve to their several congregations, accompanied with such Exhortations as they shall think proper.

"And whereas there is great Danger that the Prophanation of the Lord's-Day will prevail in the Camp:

"We earnestly recommend to all the Officers, not only to set good Examples; but that they strictly require of their Soldiers to keep up a religious Regard to that Day, and attend upon the public Worship of God thereon, so far as may be consistent with other Duties.

A true Copy from the Minutes,

Attest. Samuel Freeman, Secretary.

By Order of the Congress,

James Warren, President."  - June 16, 1775, in a Resolution of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, James Warren, president.  Copied from original, printed courtesy Essex Institute, Salem, Massachusetts.  Verna M. Hall, the Christian History of the American Revolution (San Francisco, CA: Foundation For American Education, 1976), p. 410.