Lapas attēli

riably the fame object, evinces a defign to reduce them under abfolute defpotifm, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off fuch government, and to provide new guards for their future fecurity. Such has been the patient fufferance of these Colonies; and fuch is now the neceffity which constrains them to alter their former fyftems of government. The hiftory of the present king of Great-Britain is a hiftory of repeated injuries and ufurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an abfolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be fubmitted to a candid world.

He has refused his affent to laws the moft wholesome and neceffary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pafs laws of immediate and preffing importance, unless fufpended in their operation till his affent fhould be obtained; and when fo fufpended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refufed to pafs other laws for the accommodation of large diftricts of people, unless thofe people would relinquish the right of reprefentation in the legiflature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and diftant from the depofitory of their public records, for the fole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has diffolved representative houfes repeatedly, for oppofing with manly firmness his invafions on the rights of the people.

He has refufed, for a long time after fuch diffolutions, to caufe others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercife; the state remaining in the mean time exposed to all the danger of invafion from without, and convulfions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obftructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refufing to pafs others to encourage their migrations hither; and raifing the conditions of new appropriations of lands. He has obftructed the adminiftration of juftice, by refufing his affent to laws for eftablifhing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices and the amount and payment of their falaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and fent hither fwarms of officers to harrafs our people and eat out their fubftance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, ftanding armies, without the confent of our legiflatures.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and fuperior to, the civil power.

He has combined with others to fubject us to a jurifdiction foreign to our conftitution, and un-acknowledged by our laws; giving his affent to their acts of pretended legislation :



- For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us :

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they fhould commit on the inhabitants of these ftates :

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For impofing taxes on us without our confent:

For depriving us, in many cafes, of the benefits of trial by jury: For tranfporting us beyond feas to be tried for pretended of

fences :

For abolishing the free fyftem of English laws in a neighbouring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit inftrument for introducing the fame abfolute rule into these


For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments : For fufpending our own legiflatures, and declaring themfelves invested with power to legiflate for us in all cafes whatsoever. He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection, and waging war against us.

He has plundered our feas, ravaged our coafts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is, at this time, tranfporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, defolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumftances of cruelty and perfidy fcarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has conftrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high feas, to bear arms againft their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themfelves by their hands.

He has excited domestic infurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the mercilefs Indian favages, whofe known rule of warfare is an undiftinguished deftruction of all ages, fexes, and conditions.

In every ftage of thefe oppreffions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been anfwered only by repeated injury. A prince whofe character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts made by their legiflature to extend an unwarrantable jurifdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumftances of our emigration and fettlement here. We have appealed to their native juftice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to difavow thefe ufurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correfpondence. They, too, have

B 2


been deaf to the voice of juftice and confanguinity. We muft, therefore, acquiefce in the neceffity which denounces our feparation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congrefs affembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, folemnly publish and declare, That thefe United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE and INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are abfolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of GreatBritain is, and ought to be, totally diffolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent ftates may of right do. And for the fupport of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our facred honour.









Jofiah Bartlett,
William Whipple,
Matthew Thornton.
Samuel Adams,
John Adams,

Robert Treat Paine,
Elbridge Gerry.
S Stephen Hopkins,
{William Ellery.

Roger Sherman,
Samuel Huntington,
William Williams,
Oliver Walcott. \
William Floyd,
Philip Living fton,
Francis Lewis,
Lewis Morris.
Richard Stockton,
John Witherspoon,
Francis Hopkinfon,
John Hart,
Abraham Clark,



Robert Morris,

Benjamin Rufh, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith,

George Taylor,

James Wilson,

George Rofs.







Cafar Rodney, George Read. Samuel Chafe, William Paca, Thomas Stone,

Charles Carroll, of Carollton.

[George Wythe,

Richard Henry Lee,

Thomas Jefferson,
Benjamin Harrifon,
Thomas Nelfon, jun.
Francis Lightfoot Lee,
Carter Braxton.
William Hooper,
Jofeph Hewes,
John Penn.
Edward Rutledge,
Thomas Hayward, jun.
Thomas Lynch, jun.
Arthur Middleton.
Button Gwinnett,

Lyman Hall,
George Walton.






The States of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island, and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia.

Article I. TH

HE ftile of this confederacy fhall be, “United
States of America.”

Art. II. Each ftate retains its fovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation exprefsly delegated to the united states in congrefs affembled.

Art. III. The faid ftates hereby feverally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the fecurity of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to affift each other against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, fovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.

Art. IV. The better to fecure and perpetuate mutual friendfhip and intercourfe among the people of the different states in this union, the free inhabitants of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from juftice excepted, fhall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the feveral ftates; and the people of each ftate fhall have free ingrefs and regrefs to and from any other ftate, and fhall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, fubject to the fame duties, impofitions, and restrictions, as the inhabitants thereof refpectively, provided that fuch reftrictions fhall not extend fo far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any ftate to any other state of which the owner is an inhabitant; provided alfo that no impofition, duties, or reftriétion, fhall be laid by any state on the property of the united states, or either of them.

If any perfon guilty of or charged with treason, felony, or other high mildemeanour in any ftate, fhall flee from juftice, and be found in any of the united states, he fhall, upon demand of the governor or executive power of the ftate from which he fled, be


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