Slike strani
PDF
ePub

grounds, rocks, slates, and all and singular other commodities, jurisdictions, royalties, privileges, franchises, preheminances and hereditaments, whatsoever, within the said tract, bounds, lands and islands, aforesaid, or to them or any of them belonging, or in any wise appertaining : to have and to hold the same, unto the said Governor and Company, and their successors, forever, upon trust, for the use and benefit of themselves and their associates, freemen of the said Colony, their heirs and assignis, to be holden of us, our heirs and successors, as of the Manor of East-Greenwich, in our county of Kent, in free and common soccage, and not in capite, nor by knight service; yielding and paying therefor, to us, our heirs and successors, only the fifth part of all the ore of gold and silver which, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, shall be there gotten, had or obtained, in lieu and satisfaction of all services, duties, fines, forfeitures, made or to be made, claims and demands whatsoever, to be to us, our heirs or successors, therefor or thereout rendered, made or paid; any grant, or clause in a late grant, to the Governernor and Company of Connecticut Colony, in America, to the contrary, thereof in any wise notwithstanding; the aforesaid Pawcatuck river having been yielded, after much debate, for the fixed and certain bounds between these our said Colonies, by the agents thereof; who have also agreed, that the said Pawcatuck river shall be also called alias Norrogansett or Narrogansett river; and, to prevent future disputes, that otherwise might arise thereby, forever hereafter shall be construed, deemed and taken to be the, Narragansett river in our late grant to Connecticut Colony mentioned as the easterly bounds of that Colony. And further, our will and pleasure is, that in all matters of public controversy which may fall out between our Colony of Providence Plantations, and the rest of our Colonies in New-England, it shall and may be lawful to and for the Governor and Company of the said Colony of Providence Plantations to make their appeals therein to us, our heirs and successors, for redress in such cases, within this our realm of England: and that it shall be lawful to and for the inhabitants of the said Colony of Providence Plantations, without let or molestation, to pass and repass, with freedom, into and through the rest of the English Colonies, upon their lawful and civil occasions, and to converse, and hold commerce and trade, with such of the inhabitants of our other English Colonies as shall be willing to admit them thereunto, they behaving themselves peaceably among them; any act, clause or sentence, in any of the said Colonies provided, or that shall be provided, to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding. And lastly, we do, for us, our heirs and successors, ordain and grant unto the said Governor and Company, and their successors, by these presents, that these our letters patent shall be firm, good, effectual and available in all things in the law, to all intents, constructions and purposes whatsoever, according to our true intent and meaning herein before declared; and shall be construed, reputed and adjudged in all cases most favorably on the behalf, and for the best benefit and behoof, of the said Governor and Company, and their successors; although express mention of the true yearly 'value or certainty of the premises, or any of them, or of any other gifts or grants by us, or by any of our progenitors or predecessors, heretofore made to the said Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in the Narragansett Bay, New-England, in America, in these presents is not made, or any statute, act, ordinance, provision, proclamation or restriction, heretofore had, made, enacted, ordained or provided, or any other matter, cause or thing whatsoever, to the contrary thereof in anywise notwithstanding. In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness ourself at Westminster, the eighth day of July, in the fifteenth year of our reign. By the King :

HOWARD.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. In Congress, July 4, 1776.The unanimous Declaration of

the Thirteen United States of America. 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 unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted 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 new government, laying its foundations 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 shewn, 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

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 mean time exposed to all the danger of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

civil power.

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.

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

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

He has erected a multitude of new offices; and sent hither swarms of of. ficers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

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

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the

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 :

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States :

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world :
For imposing taxes on us without our consent :
For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offences :

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 :

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

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

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

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

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.

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.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian

savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished 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 settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the

ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connexions and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, 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 Congress assembled, 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, solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connexion between them and the state of Great-Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved ; and that as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. And for the support 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 sacred honor.

NEW HAMPSHIRE.

DELAWARE.

The foregoing declaration was, by order of Congress, engrossed, and signed by the following members:

JOHN HANCOCK.

JAMES SMITH, JOSIAH BARTLETT,

GEORGE TAYLOR, WILLIAM WHIPPLE,

JAMES WILSON,
MATTHEW THORNTON.

GEORGE ROSS.
MASSACHUSETTS BAY.
SAMUEL ADAMS,

CÆSAR RODNEY,
JOHN ADAMS,

GEORGE READ, ROBERT TREAT PAINE,

THOMAS MÄKEAN.
ELBRIDGE GERRY.

MARYLAND.
RHODE-ISLAND, &c.

SAMUEL CHASE,
STEPHEN HOPKINS,

WILLIAM PACA,
WILLIAM ELLERY.

THOMAS STONE,
CONNECTICUT.

CHAS. CARROLL, of Carrollton. ROGER SHERMAN,

VIRGINIA. SAMUEL HUNTINGTON,

GEORE WYTHE, WILLIAM WILLIAMS,

RICHARD HENRY LEE,
OLIVER WOLCOTT.

THOMAS JEFFERSON,
NEW-YORK.

BENJAMIN HARRISON,
WILLIAM FLOYD,

THOMAS NELSON, Jr., PHILIP LIVINGSTON,

FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE, FRANCIS LEWIS,

CARTER BRAXTON.
LEWIS MORRIS.
NEW JERSEY.

WILLIAM HOOPER,
RICHARD STOCKTON,

JOSEPH HEWES, JOHN WITHERSPOON,

JOHN PENN. FRANCIS HOPKINSON,

SOUTH-CAROLINA. JOHN HART,

EDWARD RUTLEDGE,
ABRAHAM CLARK.

THOMAS HEYWARD, Jr.,
PENNSYLVANIA.

THOMAS LYNCH, Jr.,
ROBERT MORRIS,

ARTHUR MIDDLETON.
BENJAMIN RUSH,
BENJAMIN FANKLIN,

BUTTON GWINNETT,
JOHN MORTON,

LYMAN HALL, GEORGE CLYMER,

GEORGE WALTON.

NORTH-CAROLINA.

GEORGIA.

STATE OF RHODE-ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS.

In General Assembly, July Session, 1776. This General Assembly, taking into the most serious consideration the resolution of the most honorable the General Congress of the United States of America, of the 4th instant, declaring the said States free and independent States, do approve the said resolution; and do most solemnly engage that we will support the said General Congress, in the said resolution, with our lives and fortunes.

STATE OF RHODE-ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS.

In General Assembly, July 12, 1776, It is voted and resolved, That the resolution of the General Congress, declaring the United Colonies free and independent States, and the act of this Assembly approving said resolution, be published by the Secretary tomorrow, in Newport, at 12 o'clock, in presence of both Houses of the General Assembly : That thirteen cannon be discharged at Fort Liberty, upon reading the said proclamation : And that the brigade be drawn up on the parade, in thirteen divisions, and immediately after the discharge of the cannon, make a discharge of musketry, each division firing one volley in succession.

It is further voted and resolved, That the said resolution and act be published in Providence, on Thursday next, at 12 o'clock, in such manner as his Honor the Governor shall think fit; and that thirteen cannon be discharged on the occasion.

And it is further voted and resolved, That the said resolution and act be read in the several town-meetings to be holden on the last Tuesday in August next; and that the Secretary seasonably furnish the necessary copies,

ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION. TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME, We, the undersigned, Delegates of the States affixed to our

names, send greeting : Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled, did, on the fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven, and in the second year of the Independence of America, agree to certain articles of confederation and perpetual union between the States of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, NewJersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, SouthCarolina and Georgia, in the words following, viz:

[ocr errors]
« PrejšnjaNaprej »