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of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin in the legislature; a right inestimable to them, and Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. formidable to tyrants only. He has called together Livingston, was appointed to prepare a decla- legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable

, and distant from the depository of their public ration in accordance with the spirit of the records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into resolution ; Jefferson, as the youngest mem- compliance with his measures. He has dissolved ber, being nominated by his colleagues as representative houses, repeatedly, for opposing with

draughtsman of the important document. manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the 1. The original draft was verbally altered in dissolutions, to cause others to be elected ; whereby

people. He has refused, for a long time after such committee, by Adams and Franklin, and was the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, then reported to the house, and carefully have returned to the people at large for their exerdiscussed; and after some amendments in cise; the state remaining, in the meantime, exposed minor matters of detail, it finally received to all the dangers of invasion from without, and con

vulsions within. He has endeavoured to prevent the sanction of congress in the following the population of these states ; for that purpose form:

obstructing the laws for naturalisation of foreigners;

refusing to pass others to encourage their migraIv CONGRESS, July 4th, 1776.- The Unanimous tions hither, and raising the conditions of new Declaration of the Thirteen United States of appropriations of lands. He has obstructed the adAmerica.

ministration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws " When, in the course of human events, it becomes for establishing judiciary powers. He has made necessary for one people to dissolve the political judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of Į bands which have connected them with another, their offices, and the amount and payment of their į and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the salaries. He has erected a multitude of new offices,

separate and equal station to which the laws of and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our rature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent people, and eat out their substance. He has kept respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without s..ould declare the causes which impel them to the the consent of our legislatureş. He has affected to separation.

render the military independent of, and superior to, • We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all the civil power. He has combined with others to Tien are created equal; that they are endowed by subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitu. their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that tions, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of hap- assent to their acts of pretended legislation ;– for piness. That to secure these rights, governments quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: are instituted among men, deriving their just powers for protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishfrom the consent of the governed. That whenever ment for any murders which they should commit on any form of government becomes destructive of the inhabitants of these states : for cutting off our t! ese ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to trade with all parts of the world: for imposing taxes abolish it, and to institute new govemment, laying on us without our consent: for depriving us, in many its foundation on such principles, and organising its cases, of the benefits of trial by jury: for transporting poters in such form as to them shall seem most us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences : sikely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, for abolishing the free system of English laws in a indeed, will dictate, that governments long estab- neighbouring province, establishing therein an arbi. lished should not be changed for light and transient trary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown, as to render it at once an example and fit instrument that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils for introducing the same absolute rule into these are sufferable, than to righi themselves by abolishing colonies : for taking away our charters, abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.' But when our most valuable laws, and altering, fundamentally, a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing the forms of our governments: for suspending our invariably the same object, evinces a design to own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, He has abdicated government here, by declaring us and to provide new guards for their future security. out of his protection, and waging war against us. Such has been the patient sufferance of these He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt colonies; and such is now the necessity which con- our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. strains them to alter their former systems of govern- He is, at this time, transporting large armies of ment. The history of the present king of Great foreign mercenaries, to complete the works of death, Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpa- desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumtons, all having in direct object the establishment of stances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely paralleled in 30 absolute tyranny over these states. To prove the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the this, let facts be submitted to a candid world." He head of a civilised nation. He has constrained our has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden bear arms against their country, to become the tris governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall is portance, unless suspended in their operation till themselves by their hands. He has excited domestic Lis assent should be obtained ; and, when so sus. insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to pended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merci. He has refused to pass other laws for the accommo- less Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is cation of large districts of people, unless those an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, people would relinquish the right of representation and conditions. In every stage of these oppressions

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we have petitioned for redress in the most humble Boston and at New York, on the 18th and terms: our repeated petitions have been answered 25th of the month—where there were great only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a

public rejoicings. After reading the declaratyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Nor tion at the city hall," the British arms, have we been wanting in attentions to our British over the seat of justice in the court-house, brethren. We have warned them, from time to were taken down, exposed, torn to pieces, time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an and burnt; as also was the picture of unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.

We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration King George III., formerly placed in the and settlement here. We have appealed to their council chamber; which was thrown out, native justice and magnanimity, and we have con- the frame broken, the canvas torn to pieces

, jured třem, by the ties of our common kindred, to and the whole then burnt. Previous to this

, disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connexions and correspondence. They, however, the populace had shown its detesta. too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of con- tion for the king, whom it looked upon as sanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the the author of its wrongs, by overthrowing necessity which denounces our separation, and hold an equestrian statue of that monarch, erected them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in in 1770. This, according to the Archires, war; in peace, friends. We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America in general“ was, by the sons of freedom, laid prostrate congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge in the dirt—the just desert of an ungrateful of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, tyrant: the lead wherewith this monument in the name and by authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that was made, is to be run into bullets, to these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, assimilate with the brain of our infatuated FREE and INDEPENDENT STATES ; that they are adversaries, who, to gain a 'peppercorn,'" absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, have lost an empire.”ť and that all political connexion between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally draft of the Declaration of Independence

It has been observed, that the original dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, was slightly altered in its passage through contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all committee, in matters of mere detail. On other acts and things which independent states may the general principle on which it was conof right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine structed, and which it was intended to Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our assert in the face of the world, there was lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour." little difference of opinion, although all the

states were not prepared to act with instant On the 19th of July, it was resolved, decision on the subject. Thus, in the begin“That the declaration, passed on the 4th, ning of July, but nine colonies had declared be fairly engrossed on parchment, with the in its favour; South Carolina and Penntitle and style of the Unanimous Declaration sylvania voted against it; the New York of the Thirteen United States of America; delegates were in favour of it, but did not and that the same, when engrossed, be vote; and the two members from Delaware signed by every member of congress.' On were divided. This obstruction was, however, the 2nd of August it was laid on the table, soon overcome. The delegates of South Caroand compared with the original draft; and lina, in a few days, declared, that although it was signed by the members present, they continued to think the declaration unfrom all the colonial states, except Mr. Dick- advisable, they would vote for it for the inson, from Delaware.

sake of unanimity; while the Pennsylvanisa On the 8th of July, the Declaration of delegation undertook, by a minority, to give Independence was publicly read at Phila- their signatures as vouchers for its recognidelphia, Trenton, and other places, amidst the tion by that state; and thus the document, most lively demonstrations of popular satis- appearing as the act of the whole people, faction. At the place first named, it is was finally adopted, and signed on the recorded in the Archives, that “Our late 4th day of July, by every member present ! king's coat-of-arms was brought from the at the time, with the exception of Mr. Dickhall in the state-house, where the said inson ; which has ever since been kept king's courts were formerly held, and burnt as a festival by the Americans, and is reamidst the acclamations of a crowd of specta- ferred to by them as the birthday of their tors.' Similar proceedings took place at freedom.

* This alludes to Lord Claro's declaration in the was of more importance than millions without it." House of Commons—"that a peppercorn, in ac- American Archives (Fifth Series), vol. 1, p. 143. knowledgment of Britain's right to tax America, + Ibid,


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And thus we are brought to the decisive it as "a piece of metaphysical refinement, hour when a new empire sprung into being, framed with a design to impose; while the to impress, by its example, new thoughts, arguments in support of it were nothing new desires upon the astonished world; more than a string of sophisms, no less which, since this grand confederacy took wretched in their texture than insolent in rank among its nations, has known no rest their tenor.” He proceeded to say, "he from the awakened impulses of mankind for was no great metaphysician; but knew independence. The example of the thirteen enough of the sciences to be able to detect United States of America infused vitality the manifest falsehoods clothed in the seminto the aspirations for liberty, which, for blance of truth; particularly when the nearly two centuries, had been silent; and, garment was so thin, or the disguise so it would seem, that such rest will return no gross and ill-suited, that further confimore to the great brotherhood of nations, dence in the minister would be madness: until, in some form or other, and by some and remaining in error on American affairs, path—it may be one traced in blood and would be only the effect of the most senseflame-the great lessons of freedom which less stupidity. Imerican liberty inculcates, have been lis- On the subject of a serious war with the tened to, and embodied in action, by every American states, feelings and opinions were nation of the globe.

greatly divided in England. The decisive act by which such important body of the people were, at this time, results have been produced, at once put an through ignorance of the real merits of the end to expectations or even wishes for con question, ranged on the side of the ministry, ciliation. The sword was now unsheathed in and vehemently clamoured for the reduction carnest-the scabbard thrown away. Upon of the refractory colonies by force; while the opening of the parliamentary session of the king himself, with his characteristic Great Britain, on the 31st of October, the obstinacy, resolved to allow no further language of the royal speech was significant attempt at conciliation. On the other hand, of an uncompromising policy, which, by a strong party in parliament, which rallied force alone, should subdue the revolted under the whig leaders (giants, in those colonies, and restore the authority of the days), partly from prudence and a regard for king; who, after expressing the satisfaction justice, and partly, perhaps, from mere he would have had in their announcing the opposition to their rivals in the cabinet, end of troubles that had so long distracted were in favour of conciliatory measures. The bis colonies, said—“So daring and desperate dissenters, now a formidable body, both for is the spirit of their leaders, whose object has numbers and intelligence, were almost unani. always been dominion and power, that they mous on the side of the colonists, to whose have now openly renounced all allegiance cause they were inclined, as well by venerato the crown, and all political connexion tion for the honoured names of liberty and with this country: they have rejected, with independence, as by maxims of sound policy circumstances of indignity and insult, the and comprehensive wisdom. They foresaw, means of conciliation held out to them with some of the wisest and most eloquent under the authority of our commission, and of British statesmen, the inevitable result have presumed to set up their rebellious of the struggle then existing; and some of confederacies for independent states. If their their ablest writers employed their pens in treason be suffered to take root, much mis- advocating the cause of freedom, and the chief must grow from it, to the safety of my right of every people, when oppressed by royal colonies—to the commerce of my distant rulers, to establish such a governkingdoms, and, indeed, to the present system ment as should be best suited to their posiof all Europe. One great advantage, how- tion, circumstances, and social requirements. eter, will be derived from the object of the The position of the North American colorebels being openly avowed, and clearly un- nies of Great Britain was now clearly defined. derstood-we shall have unanimity at home, The bonds which had united them to the founded in the general conviction of the parent state, were resolutely and irreparably justice and necessity of our measures. We severed ; and their people had now before laust prepare for another campaign.” them the arduous task of asserting and

The royal speech was severely commented establishing, in the face of the world, that upon by several peers, and most strongly by independence, of which the foundations were the Earl of Shelburne, who characterised laid by the oppression and obstinacy of their deposed rulers. We have seen, that to give among his countrymen were made resolute; vigour to the contest, to repel danger by the bold became yet more determined ; and decision, and to encourage the hesitating by many who seemed ready to submit to a yoke the firm countenance of an independent and which had become incompatible with the united state, it was suggested that the existence of freemen, were drawn over to several associated colonies should assume the side of liberty. The proposal of indethe status of a republic; and the project, pendence offered to minds thus influenced, after deliberate consideration in each pro- ultimately received the sanction of congress ; vince, was approved of by the legislatures. but the die was cast at a moment when Objections were, it is true, raised by some, the American people were almost without whose judgment and influence gave weight money, without a fleet, without allies; and to their arguments in favour of preserving with no other reliance but upon God, the the subordinate connection with Great Bri- courage of a hastily gathered and undistain ; but the zeal of the advocates of freedom, ciplined army, and the growth of a rising and the energy of its defenders, triumphed. spirit of freedom among the whole people

. Amongst these, none stood more conspicu. The resolve formed upon such grounds ously useful to his country than Benjamin of reliance, was announced in the declaraFranklin, the philosopher and politician, tion of the 4th of July, as recorded in the who, with his powers of mind and clearness present chapter. of judgment, had greatly promoted the spirit Before entering upon the political events of opposition to British rule. By the argu- which immediately followed the above-men. ments and persuasion of this eminent man- tioned decisive step, it will be proper to of whom it was happily said, in allusion to trace briefly the progress of the war by his scientific and political exertions, that which the desired independence was con“he snatched the lightning from heaven, summated : this the reader will find in the and the sceptre from tyrants”-the wavering | next book.

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GENERAL WASHINGTON, _after compelling | Waldeckers. The royal commissioners, before the British to abandon Boston,* had made they commenced military operations, atevery possible preparation for the defence of tempted to effect a reunion between the New York, where he had fixed his head - colonies and Great Britain. Lord Howe quarters. To second his exertions, the con- announced his pacific powers to the principal gress instituted a flying camp, to consist of magistrates of the several colonies. He an intermediate corps between regular sol- promised pardon to all who, in the late diers and militia ; and called for 10,000 times, had deviated from their allegiance, on men from the states of Pennsylvania, Mary- condition of their speedily returning to their land, and Delaware, to be in constant service duty; and, in case of their compliance, to the first day of the ensuing December; and encouraged the expectation of the future for 13,800 of the common militia from favour of their sovereign. In this declaraMassachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and tion, he observed, “ that the commissioners New Jersey. The command of the naval were authorised, in his majesty's name, to force destined to operate against New York declare any province, colony, county, district, was given to Admiral Howe; while his or town, to be at peace with his majesty; brother, Sir William, was entrusted with that due consideration should be had to the the command of the army: and, in addition meritorious services of any who should aid to their military powers, the brothers were or assist in restoring the public tranquillity; appointed commissioners for restoring peace that their dutiful representations should be to the colonies. General Howe, after wait- received, pardons granted, and suitable ening two months at Halifax for expected rein- couragement to such as would promote the forcements from England, sailed with the measures of legal government and peace, in force which he had previously commanded pursuance of his majesty's most gracious in Boston ; and, directing his course towards purposes." New York, arrived, on the 25th of June, off The circular letters which embodied these Sandy Hook. Admiral Lord Howe, with pacific and conciliatory assurances, were part of the reinforcement from England, sent by a flag to Amboy in New Jersey, arrived at Halifax soon after his brother's with directions to the existing authorities departure, and, without dropping anchor, to give all possible circulation to them for followed, and joined him on the 12th of the information of the people. As it hapJuly, at Staten Island. General Clinton pened, they fell into hands by whom they arrived there about the same time, with the were speedily conveyed to General Wash. troops brought back from the expedition ington, who forwarded them to congress for to Charleston, in South Carolina ; Commo- its information. That body at once took dore Hotham also appeared there with the effectual means for the publicity of the terms reinforcement under his escort; and, in a offered by the royal commissioners, that the short time, the British army amounted to people might judge for themselves of the about 24,000 men, English, Hessians, and views entertained by the British govern

* General Washington, writing to General Lee, Boston. Artillery carts, cut to pieces, in one from New York, in May, 1776, says—"General place-gun-carriages in another; shells broke here Howe's retreat from Boston was precipitate beyond-shot buried there ; and everything carrying with anything I could have conceived. The destruction it the face of disorder and confusion, as also of of stores at Dunbar's camp, after Braddock's de- distress : and their misfortunes did not end here." seat, was but a faint image of what was seen at -Archives (Fifth Series), vol. i., p. 98.

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