I am doing genealogy work (not a genealogy question) and noticed my ancestors on a list regarding who would agree to fight the Britain in the American Revolutionary War.

The document is from people near Boston, MA where it looks like the government sent out a "circular" to collect signatures from those who agreed or refused to support the Revolution.

It looks my ancestor made it on the "lets fight" list but it appears to me that the "refuse" list is empty? Was this a printing/formatting error or does it look like no one refused the cause? I would think at least some colonists would remain loyal to the crown.

Also, I'm not sure of the line I highlighted in the text. What does "Extract from the Minutes" mean? Perhaps the "refuse" list is outside of this document?

The content I am describing is from page 330-336 in the link below.

Picture 2


2 Answers 2


Your list of signers goes on for several pages. The 'refused to sign' section is at its end, on pg 336. enter image description here

  • Oh shoot how didn't I see this! Thanks! Aug 22, 2017 at 5:18
  • It must have taken very great bravery to refuse to sign this document.
    – fdb
    Aug 23, 2017 at 11:07
  • ^agreeing with you there! Aug 23, 2017 at 14:12

Most of your exhibit is a "cover letter" for the circular. Then there are several pages that list the signatories.

The "refuse" list at the end of the document is very short. It does not cover even a single page, and therefore doesn't look like a list. Instead, it consists of half a paragraph with about 15 names. It's not "empty," but it is very nearly so.

Apparently the Boston region was very much pro Revolution, with the "refusers" very much the exception, and amounting to a "handful." Which is why the Revolution started there, and not somewhere else.

  • Good analysis Tom! Pretty interesting document in an exciting time in history. Aug 23, 2017 at 14:11

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