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states. We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies, without any imputation or even suspicion of offence. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death.
In our own native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birthright, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it-for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our fore-fathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before.
With an humble confidence in the mercies of the supreme and impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe, we most devoutly implore his divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.
23. An act to prohibit all trade and intercourse with the colonies of New Hampshire, Massachuset's Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, the three lower counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, during the continuance of the present rebellion within the said colonies respectively; for repealing an act, made in the fourteenth year of the reign of his present Majesty, to discontinue the landing and discharging, lading or shipping, of goods, wares, and merchandize, at the town and within the harbour of Boston, in the province of Massachuset's Bay; and also two acts, made in the last session of parliament, for restraining the trade and commerce of the colonies of the said acts respectively mentioned; and to enable any person or persons appointed and authorized by his Majesty to grant pardons, to issue proclamations, in the cases and for the purposes therein mentioned
Whereas many persons in the colonies of New Hampshire, Massachuset's Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, the three lower counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, have set themselves in open rebellion and defiance to the just and legal authority of the king and parliament of Great Britain, to
1 Pickering, Statutes at Large, vol. 31, pp. 135-154.
which they ever have been, and of right ought to be, subject; and have assembled together an armed force, engaged his Majesty's troops, and attacked his forts, have usurped the powers of government, and prohibited all trade and commerce with this kingdom, and the other parts of his Majesty's dominions: for the more speedily and effectually suppressing such wicked and daring designs, and for preventing any aid, supply, or assistance being sent thither during the continuance of the said rebellious and treasonable commotions, be it therefore declared and enacted by the King's most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That all manner of trade and commerce is and shall be prohibited with the colonies of New Hampshire, Massachuset's Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, the three lower counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia; and that all ships and vessels of or belonging to the inhabitants of the said colonies, together with their cargoes, apparel, and furniture, and all other ships and vessels whatsoever, together with their cargoes, apparel, and furniture, which shall be found trading in any port or place of the said colonies, or going to trade, or coming from trading, in any such port or place, shall become forfeited to his Majesty, as if the same were the ships and effects of open enemies; and shall be so adjudged, deemed, and taken in all courts of admiralty, and in all other courts whatsoever.
II. Provided always, and it is hereby further enacted and declared by the authority aforesaid, That nothing in this act shall extend, or be construed to extend, to such ships and vessels as shall be actually retained or employed in his Majesty's service, or to such ships and vessels as shall be laden with provisions for the use of his Majesty's fleets, armies, or garrisons, or for the use of the inhabitants of any town or place garrisoned or possessed by any of his Majesty's troops, provided the masters of such ships and vessels respectively shall produce a licence in writing, under the hand and seal of the lord high admiral of
Great Britain for the time being, or of three or more commissioners for the time being for executing the office of lord high admiral of Great Britain, or of the commanders of his Majesty's fleets or armies, or of the governor, lieutenant-governor, or commander in chief of any of his Majesty's colonies or provinces not herein before mentioned, specifying the voyage in which such ship or vessel shall be employed, and expressing the time for which such licence shall subsist and be in force, and also expressing the quantity and species of the said stores and provisions on board: and if any goods, wares, or merchandizes, other than stores and provisions for his Majesty's use, or provisions for the use of the inhabitants of any town or place garrisoned and possessed by his Majesty's troops, shall be found on board such ships or vessels (the necessary stores for the ship's use, and the baggage of the passengers, only excepted) in any or either of those cases, the said goods, wares, and merchandizes shall be forfeited, and shall and may be seized and prosecuted in the manner hereinafter directed.
III. And, for the encouragement of the officers and seamen of his Majesty's ships of war, be it further enacted, That the flag officers, captains, commanders, and other commissioned officers in his Majesty's pay, and also the seamen, marines, and soldiers on board, shall have the sole interest and property of and in all and every such ship, vessel, goods, and merchandize, which they shall seize and take (being first adjudged lawful prize in any of his Majesty's courts of admiralty) to be divided in such proportions, and after such manner, as his Majesty shall think fit to order and direct by proclamation or proclamations hereafter to be issued for those purposes.
IV. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful to and for the said flag officers, captains, and commanders respectively, to cause to be taken, or put on board any of his Majesty's ships or vessels of war, or on board any other ships or vessels, all and every the masters, crews, and other persons, who shall be found on board such ship and
ships as shall be seized and taken as prize as aforesaid; and also to enter the names of such of the said mariners and crews upon the book or books of his Majesty's said ships or vessels, as they, the said flag officers, captains, and commanders, shall respectively think fit; from the time and times of which said entries respectively, the said mariners and crews shall be considered, and they are hereby declared to belong to, and to be as much in the service of his Majesty, to all intents and purposes, as if the said mariners and crews had entered themselves voluntarily to serve on board his Majesty's said ships and vessels respectivly; and also, that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said flag officers, captains, and commanders respectively, to detain, or cause to be detained and kept, the masters and other persons, and also such others of the mariners and crews of the said prize-ships as shall not be entered upon the books of his Majesty's ships or vessels of war as aforesaid, in and on board any ship or ships, vessel or vessels whatsoever, until the arrival of such last-mentioned ships or vessels in some port in Great Britain or Ireland, or in any port of America not in rebellion; and upon the arrival of those ships or vessels in any such port, the commanders thereof are hereby respectively authorized and required immediately to set the said last-mentioned mariners and crews, and also the said masters and other persons, at liberty on shore there.
XLI. And whereas, before the passing of this act, and since the commencement of the said unnatural rebellion, divers persons, vessels, cargoes, and other effects, may have been seized, detained, examined, searched, damaged, or destroyed, for the public service, in withstanding or suppressing the said rebellion, be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all such acts shall be deemed just and legal to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever: and if any action or suit shall be commenced or prosecuted against any person or persons for or by reason of any thing so done, or for or by reason of any thing done or acted in pursuance of this act, then, and in every such case,