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All, and each of which, the aforesaid Deputies, in behalf of themselves, and their constituents, do claim, demand, and insist on, as their indubitable rights and liberties, which cannot be legally taken from them, altered or abridged by any power whatever, without their own consent, by their Representatives in their several Provincial Legislatures.

In the course of our inquiry, we find many infringements and violations of the foregoing rights, which, from an ardent desire that harmony and mutual intercourse of affection and interest may be restored, we pass over for the present, and proceed to state such acts and measures as have been adopted since the late war, which demonstrate a system formed to enslave America.

Resolved, that the following Acts of Parliament are infringements and violations of the rights of the Colonists; and that the repeal of them is essentially necessary in order to restore harmony between Great Britain and the American Colonies, viz.:

The several Acts of 4 Geo. III. ch. 15, and ch.34.-5 Geo. III. ch. 25.—6 Geo. III. ch. 52–7 Geo. III. ch. 41, and ch. 46.48 Geo. 22, which impose duties for the purpose of raising a revenue in America, extend the power of the Admiralty Courts beyond their ancient limits, deprive the American subject of trial by jury, authorize the judges' certificate to indemnify the prosecutor from damages, that he might otherwise be liable to, requiring oppressive security from a claimant of ships and goods seized, before he shall be allowed to defend his property, and are subversive of American rights.

Also 12 Geo. III. ch. 24, entitled “An Act for the better securing his Majesty's dock yards, magazines, ships, ammunition and stores,” which declares a new offense in America, and deprives the American subject of a constitutional trial by jury of the vicinage, by authorizing the trial of any person, charged with the committing any offense described in the said Act, out of the realm, to be indicted and tried for the same in any shire or county within the realm.

Also the three Acts passed in the last session of Parliament, for stopping the port and blocking up the harbor of Boston, for altering the Charter and Government of Massachusetts Bay, and that which is entitled “An Act for the better administration of justice," etc.

Also the Act, passed in the same session, for establishing the Roman Catholic religion in the province of Quebec, abolishing the equitable system of English Laws, and erecting a tyranny there, to the great danger (from so total a dissimilarity of religion, law and government) of the neighboring British Colonies, by the assistance of whose blood and treasure the said country was conquered from France.

Also the Act, passed in the same session, for the better providing suitable quarters for officers and soldiers in his Majesty's service, in North America.

Also, that the keeping a standing army in several of these Colonies, in time of peace, without the consent of the Legislature of that Colony in which such army is kept, is against law.

To these grievous acts and measures Americans cannot submit, but in hopes their fellow subjects in Great Britain will, on a revision of them, restore us to that state, in which both countries found happiness and prosperity, we have, for the present, only resolved to pursue the following peaceable measures :

1. To enter into a non-importation, non-consumption, and nonexportation agreement or association.

2. To prepare an address to the people of Great Britain, and a memorial to the inhabitants of British America.

3. To prepare a loyal address to his Majesty, agreeable to resolutions already entered into.


(Adopted in Congress, July 4, 1776.)

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unafferrable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are institised among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States To prove this. let facts be submitted to a candid world:


1 He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

2. He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

3. He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature-a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

4. He has called together legislative bodies at places 'unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

5 He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.

6. He has refused, for a long time after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise ; the State remaining, in the meantime, exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without and convulsions within.

7. He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

8. He has obstructed the administration of justice by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

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

10. He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

11. He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

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

13. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

14. For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;

15. For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States;

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16. For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world ; 17. For imposing taxes on us without our consent;

18. For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;

19. For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses ;

20. For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;

21. For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering, fundamentally, the forms of our governments ;

22. For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring them. selves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases what


23. He has abdicated government here by declaring us out of his protection, and waging war against us.

24. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

25. He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun, with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

26. He has constrained our fellow citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

27. He has excited domestic insurrections among us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistin. guished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince whose 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 in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts, by their legislature, to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and

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