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there submit to the payment of such unconstitu- II.--ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF GREAT tional taxes ; and which act most violently and
BRITAIN.* arbitrarily deprives them of their property, in WHEN a nation, led to greatness by the hand wharves erected by private persons, at their own of liberty, and possessed of all the glory that great and proper expense ; which act is, in our heroism, munificence, and humanity can bestow, opinion, a most dangerous attempt to destroy the descends to the ungrateful task of forging chains constitutional liberty and rights of all North for her friends and children, and instead of giving America. It is further our opinion, that as tea, support to freedom, turns advocate for slavery on its importation into America, is charged with and oppression, there is reason to suspect she has a duty imposed by Parliament, for the purpose of ceased to be virtuous, or been extremely negligent raising a revenue without the consent of the peo- in the appointment of her rulers. ple, it ought not to be used by any person who In almost every age, in repeated conflicts, in wishes well to the constitutional rights and liber- | long and bloody wars, as well civil as foreign, ties of British America. And whereas the India against many and powerful nations, against the Company have ungenerously attempted the ruin open assaults of enemies, and the more dangerous of America, by sending many ships loaded with treachery of friends, have the inhabitants of your tea into the colonies, thereby intending to fix a island, your great and glorious ancestors, mainprecedent in favor of arbitrary taxation, we deem tained their independence, and transmitted the it highly proper, and do accordingly recommend rights of men, and the blessings of liberty, to you, it strongly to our countrymen, not to purchase their posterity. or use any kind of East India commodity what- Be not surprised, therefore, that we, who are soever, except saltpetre and spices, until the griev- descended from the same common ancestors; that ances of America are redressed. We are further
We are further we, whose forefathers participated in all the rights, clearly of opinion, that an attack made on one of the liberties, and the constitutions you so justly our sister colonies, to compel submission to arbi- boast of, and who have carefully conveyed the trary taxes, is an attack made on all British same fair inheritance to us, guaranteed by the America, and threatens ruin to the rights of all, plighted faith of government and the most solemn unless the united wisdom of the whole be applied. compacts with British sovereigns, should refuse to And for this purpose it is recommended to the surrender them to men, who found their claims on Committee of Correspondence, that they commu- no principles of reason, and who prosecute them nicate with their several corresponding committees, with a design, that by having our lives and proon the expediency of appointing deputies from the perty in their power, they may, with the greatest several colonies of British America, to meet in facility, enslave you. The cause of America is general congress, at such place, annually, as shall now the object of universal attention : it has at be thought most convenient; there to deliberate length become very serious. This unhappy counon those general measures which the united inter-try has not only been oppressed, but abused and ests of America may from time to time require. misrepresented ; and the duty we owe ourselves A A tender regard for the interest of our fellow- and posterity, to your interest, and the general subjects, the merchants and manufacturers of welfare of the British empire, leads us to address Great Britain, prevents us from going further at you on this very important subject. Know then, this time ; most earnestly hoping, that the uncon- That we consider ourselves, and do insist, that we stitutional principle of taxing the colonies without are and ought to be, as free as our fellow subjects their consent will not be persisted in, thereby to
in Britain, and that no power on earth has a right compel us, against our will, to avoid all com- to take our property from us, without our conmercial intercourse with Britain. Wishing them
sent. That we claim all the benefits secured to and our people free and happy, we are their its subjects by the English constitution, and paraffectionate friends, the late Representatives of ticularly that inestimable one of trial by jury. Virginia.
That we hold it essential to English liberty, that
The 37th day of May, 1774.
* Adopted October 21, 1774.
no man be condemned unheard, or punished for this period, and under the influence of that man, supposed offences, without having an opportunity a plan for enslaving your fellow subjects in Amerof making his defence. That we think the Legis
That we think the Legis- | ica was concerted, and has ever since been pertinalature of Great Britain is not authorized, by the ciously carrying into execution. constitution, to establish a religion, fraught with Prior to this era you were content with drawsanguinary and impious tenets, or to erect an ing from us the wealth produced by our commerce. arbitrary form of government, in any quarter of
You constrained our trade in every way that the globe. These rights we, as well as you, deem would conduce to your emoluments. You exersacred ; and yet, sacred as they are, they have, cised unbounded sovereignty over the sea. You with many others, been repeatedly and flagrantly named the ports and nations to which alone our violated.
merchandise should be carried, and with whom Are not the proprietors of the soil of Great alone we should trade : and though some of these Britain lords of their own property ? Can it be restrictions were grievous, we nevertheless did taken from them without their consent? Will not complain ; we looked up to you as to our they yield it to the arbitrary disposal of any man, parent state, to which we were bound by the or number of men whatever ? You know they strongest ties, and were happy in being instruwill not. Why then are the proprietors of the mental to your prosperity and your grandeur. soil in America less lords of their property than We call upon you yourselves, to witness our you are of yours ? Or why should they submit
Or why should they submit loyalty and attachment to the common interests it to the disposal of your Parliament, or of any of the whole empire : did we not, in the last war, other parliament or council in the world, not of add all the strength of this vast continent to the their election? Can the intervention of the sea force which repelled our common enemy? Did that divides us, cause disparity in rights, or can we not leave our native shores, and meet disease any reason be given why English subjects who and death, to promote the success of British arms live three thousand miles from the royal palace, in foreign climates? Did you not thank us for should enjoy less liberty than those who are three our zeal, and even reimburse us large sums of hundred miles distant from it?
money, which you confessed we had advanced Reason looks with indignation on such distinc- | beyond our proportion and far beyond our abiltions, and freemen can never perceive their pro
ities? You did. priety. And yet, however chimerical and unjust To what causes, then, are we to attribute the such discriminations are, the Parliament assert sudden change of treatment, and that system of they have a right to bind us, in all cases, without slavery which was prepared for us at the restoraexception, whether we consent or not; that they tion of peace ? may take and use our property when and in what Before we had recovered from the distresses manner they please ; that we are pensioners on which ever attend war, an attempt was made to their bounty, for all that we possess, and can
drain this country of all its money, by the oppreshold it no longer than they vouchsafe to permit. sive Stamp Act. Paint, glass, and other commodSuch declarations we consider as heresies in Eng-ities, which you would not permit us to purchase lish politics ; and which can no more operate to of other nations, were taxed ; nay, although no deprive us of our property, than the interdicts of wine is made in any country subject to the British the pope can divest kings of sceptres, which the state, you prohibited our procuring it of foreigners laws of the land and the voice of the people without paying a tax, imposed by your Parliahave placed in their hands.
ment, on all we imported. These and many other At the conclusion of the late warma war impositions were laid upon us most unjustly and rendered glorious by the abilities and integrity of unconstitutionally for the express purpose of raisa minister, to whose efforts the British empire / ing a revenue. In order to silence complaint it owes its safety and its fame; at the conclusion of was, indeed, provided, that this revenue should this war, which was succeeded by an inglorious be expended in America, for its protection and peace, formed under the auspices of a minister of defence. These exactions, however, can receive principles and of a family unfriendly to the Pro- no justification from a pretended necessity of protestant cause, and inimical to liberty : we say, at / tecting and defending us ; they are lavishly
squandered on court favorites and ministerial de- When the design of raising a revenue, from the pendents, generally avowed enemies to America, duties imposed on the importation of tea in Amerand employing themselves by partial represent- ica, had in a great measure been rendered aborations to traduce and embroil the colonies. For tive, by our ceasing to import that commodity, a the necessary support of government here we ever scheme was concerted by the ministry with the were and ever shall be ready to provide. And East India company, and an act passed, enabling whenever the exigencies of the state may require and encouraging them to transport and vend it it, we shall, as we have heretofore done, cheer- in the colonies. Aware of the danger of giving fully contribute our full proportion of men and
success to this insidious manoeuvre, and of permoney. To enforce this unconstitutional and mitting a precedent of taxation thus to be estabunjust scheme of taxation, every fence that the lished among us, various methods were adopted wisdom of our British ancestors had carefully to elude the stroke. The people of Boston, then erected against arbitrary power, has been vio- ruled by a governor whom, as well as his predelently thrown down in America, and the inestim-cessor, Sir Francis Bernard, all America considers able right of trial by jury taken away in cases as her enemy, were exceedingly embarrassed. The that touch both life and property. It was or- ships which had arrived with the tea were, by his dained, that whenever offences should be com- management, prevented from returning. The mitted in the colonies against particular acts, duties would have been paid, the cargoes landed imposing various duties and restrictions upon and exposed to sale; a governor's influence would trade, the prosecutor might bring his action for have procured and protected many purchases. penalties in the courts of admiralty ; by which While the town was suspended by deliberations means the subject lost the advantage of being on this important subject, the tea was destroyed. tried by an honest uninfluenced jury of the vicinage, Even supposing a trespass was thereby committed, and was subjected to the sad necessity of being and the proprietors of the tea entitled to damages, judged by a single man, a creature of the crown, the courts of law were open, and judges, appointed and according to the course of a law, which by the crown, presided in them. The East India exempted the prosecutor of the trouble of proving company, however, did not think proper to comhis accusation, and obliges the defender either to mence any suits, nor did they even demand satisevince his innocence, or suffer. To give this new faction, either from individuals or from the comjudiciary the greater importance, and as if with munity in general. The ministry, it seems, officially design to protect false accusers, it is further pro- made the case their own, and the great council vided, that the judge's certificate of there having of the nation descended to intermeddle with a been probable causes of seizure and prosecution, dispute about private property. Divers papers, shall protect the prosecutors from actions at letters, and other unauthenticated ex parte evicommon law for recovery of damages.
dence were laid before them ; neither the persons By the course of our laws, offences committed who destroyed the tea nor the people of Boston, in such of the British dominions, in which courts were called upon to answer the complaint. The are established and justice duly and regularly ministry, incensed by being disappointed in a administered, shall be there tried by a jury of the favorite scheme, were determined to recur from vicinage. There the offenders and the witnesses the little arts of finesse, to open force and unare known, and the degree of credibility to be manly violence. The port of Boston was blocked given to their testimony can be ascertained. up by a fleet, and an army placed in the town.
In all these colonies, justice is regularly and Their trade was to be suspended, and thousands impartially administered, and yet, by the construc- reduced to the necessity of gaining subsistence tion of some, and the direction of other acts of Par- from charity, till they should submit to pass under liament, offerders are to be taken by force, together the yoke, and consent to become slaves, by conwith all such persons as may be pointed out as wit- fessing the omnipotence of Parliament, and acnesses, and carried to England, there to be tried in quiescing in whatever disposition they might a distant land, by a jury of strangers, and subject think proper to make of their lives and propto all the disadvantages that result from want of erty. friends, want of witnesses, and want of money. Let justice and humanity cease to be the boast
ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF GREAT BRITAIN.
of your nation! Consult your history, examine of greater and more poignant calamities. Now
by their numbers daily swelling with Catholic
trary government, deprived of trial by jury, and the companies, and because the ministry were of when imprisoned, cannot claim the benefit of the opinion, that such high political regulations were habeas corpus act, that great bulwark and pallanecessary to due subordination and obedience to
dium of English liberty ; nor can we suppress their mandates.
our astonishment, that a British Parliament should Nor are these the only capital grievances under ever consent to establish in that country a reliwhich we labor : we might tell of dissolute, weak, gion that has deluged your island in blood, and and wicked governors having been set over us; dispersed impiety, bigotry, persecution, murder, of legislatures being suspended for asserting the and rebellion, through every part of the world. rights of British subjects; of needy and ignorant This being a true state of facts, let us beseech dependents on great men advanced to the seats you to consider to what end they lead. of justice, and to other places of trust and im- Admit the ministry, by the powers of Britain, portance ; of hard restrictions on commerce, and and the aid of our Roman Catholic neighbors, a great variety of lesser evils, the recollection of should be able to carry the point of taxation, and which is almost lost under the pressure and weight reduce us to a state of perfect humiliation and
Such an enterprise would doubtless the close of the last war, and our former harmony make some addition to your national debt, which will be restored. already presses down your liberty, and fills you But, lest the same supineness, and the same inwith pensioners and placemen.
attention to our common interest, which you have also, that your commerce will be somewhat di- for several years shown, should continue, we think minished. However, suppose you should prove it prudent to anticipate the consequences. victorious, in what condition will you then be ? By the destruction of the trade of Boston, the What advantages or what laurels will you reap ministry have endeavored to induce submission to from such a conquest ?
their measures. The like fate may befall us all. May not a ministry with the same armies en- We will endeavor, therefore, to live without trade, slave you? It may be said, you will cease to pay and recur, for subsistence, to the fertility and them; but remember the taxes from America, bounty of our native soil, which will afford us all the wealth, and we may add the men, and parti- | the necessaries, and some of the conveniences, of cularly the Roman Catholics of this vast continent, | life. We have suspended our importation from will then be in the power of
of your enemies
; Great Britain and Ireland ; and, in less than a will you have any reason to expect, that after year's time, unless our grievances should be remaking slaves of us, many among us should refuse dressed, shall discontinue our exports to those to assist in reducing you to the same abject state. | kingdoms and to the West Indies.
Do not treat this as chimerical. Know, that It is with the utmost regret, however, that we in less than half a century, the quit rents reserved find ourselves compelled, by the overruling prinfor the crown, from the numberless grants of this ciples of self-preservation, to adopt measures detrivast continent, will pour large streams of wealth mental in their consequences to numbers of our into the royal coffers; and if to this be added the fellow subjects in Great Britain and Ireland. But power of taxing America at pleasure, the crown we hope that the magnanimity and justice of the will be rendered independent of you for supplies, British nation will furnish a Parliament of such and will possess more treasure than may be neces- wisdom, independence, and public spirit, as may sary to purchase the remains of liberty in your save the violated rights of the whole empire from island. In a word, take care that you do not fall
the devices of wicked ministers and evil couninto the pit that is preparing for us.
sellors, whether in or out of office; and thereby We believe there is yet much virtue, much restore that harmony, friendship, and fraternal justice, and much public spirit in the English affection, between all the inhabitants of his Manation. To that justice we now appeal. You jesty's kingdoms and territories, so ardently wished have been told that we are seditious, impatient for by every true and honest American. of government, and desirous of independency. Be assured that these are not facts, but calumnies. Permit us to be as free as yourselves, and we shall ever esteem a union with you to be our III.-ADDRESS TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE greatest glory and our greatest happiness; we SEVERAL ANGLO-AMERICAN COLONIES. * shall ever be ready to contribute all in our power
We, the delegates appointed, by the good to the welfare of the empire ; we shall consider
people of these colonies, to meet at Philadelphia, your enemies as our enemies, and your interest as
in September last, for the purposes mentioned by our own. But, if you are determined that your
our respective constituents, have, in pursuance ministers shall wantonly sport with the rights of
of the trust reposed in us, assembled, and taken mankind-if neither the voice of justice, the dic
into our most serious consideration, the important tates of the law, the principles of the constitution,
matters recommended to the Congress. Our resonor the suggestions of humanity, can restrain your lutions thereupon will be herewith communicated hands from shedding human blood in such an
to you. But, as the situation of public affairs impious cause, we must tell you, that we will
grows daily more and more alarming ; and as it never submit to be hewers of wood or drawers of water, for any ministry or nation in the world. Place us in the same situation that we were at
Adopted October 21, 1774.
O x W PRACY TAN