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"ed them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to *' extend an unwanantable jurisdiction over us. We have ro> "minded 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 pur "common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which woulfl "inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.— "They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consaiv "guinity. We must therefore acquiesce in the necessity whicb. "denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the resj "of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends. WE, therefore, *' the Representatives of the United States of America, in ge"neral Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of "the world for the rectitude of our intentions, DO, in the "name, and bv 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 connection between them "and the state of Great-Britain, is, and ought to be totally dis"solved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have "full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, eM stablish commerce, and to 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 DI"VINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other *' our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

The declaration was by order of congress engrossed and signed by the following members, JOHNHANCOCK—N Ew-hampShire, Josiah Bart/el/, William Whipple, Mathers ThorntonMassachusetts-bay, Samu-cl Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Ger)yRhode-island and ProviDence Plantations, Stephen Hopkins, William ElleryConNecticut, Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver WolcottNew-york, William Floyd, Philip Li~ vingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis MorrisNew-jersey, Richard Stockton,John Witherspoon, Francis Ilopkinson, John Hart, Abraham ClarkPennsylvania, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rusk, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George RossDelaware. Ccesar Rodney, George ReadMaryland, Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of CarrolllonVirGinia, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Neilson, jun. Francis Lightfoot Lee, Cartar Braxton—North-carolina, William Hooper,

Joseph

Joseph Hewes, John Perm: South-carolina, Edward

JtuUed^-e, Thomas Hayward, jun. Thomas Lynch, jun, Arthur Middle tori Georgia, Ration Gwinnett, Lyman HaU^ Creorge Walton.

- The declaration of Congress is intended for their act of separation from the crown of Great-Britain ; they therefore no longer regard- that prudential state maxim, the king can do no Wrong in his official character; but, in making their complaints, charge the specified grievances to majesty itself ; by which they Kiean to justify; in the sight of mankind, the renunciation of their former allegiance.' Thus has an event been produced which was not had in contemplation by any of the colonies, or even by any delegate, scarce by Mr. Samuel Adams, as what Was so soon to happen, when congress first met in the year fJl-i. When Lexington engagement had taken place, he and some of his colleagues judged that the contest must then issue in independence,, or slavery ; and therefore laboured to establish the first, that the last might be prevented. But had a serious proposal of separating from the crown of Great-Britain been early introduced into congress, the dissolution of that body would have followed, through the general aversion of the people at large and »f particular colonies to such separation. The Massachusetts delegates had a very nice part to act. The southern colonies were Jealous of their republican-spirit, and of their aiming at independency. These therefore, by a most prudent policy, secured those of the Virginia delegates that verged toward republicanism, with whom they intrusted any favourite measure which they wanted to have earned ; and who brought the same forward and supported it in congress, against the other southern delegates, while theirMassachusetts brethren attended the debates without showing themselves particularly interested, so that the jealousies of such as were most against it were not alarmed. They took occasion also, from the various occurrences that offered, gently to infuse their own sentiments into the minds of such as had before opposed them. Their wise procedure aided, on the one hand ■.by certain trusty friends in congress, and on the other by the persevering blundering politics of the British ministry, have under the direction of Providence produced independency. It remains to be seen whether Providence will give to the same an abiding establishment. The measures which congress have adopted, may be deemed by some presumptuous, considering the weakness of their own army: the strength of the British, assisted by a powerful navy ; and that they have not the least assurance of aid from foreign power. But how could it have been avoided? The people were ripe for it. Prudence dictated a compliance

pliance with their expectations and wishes. A disappointment might have disgusted, and produced disorder. The declaration may give confidence to the timid; and animate the friends of liberty to greater exertions. It may lead France to think that the Americans have resources more than are known, and so incline her to entertain the thought of giving them assistance; while it admits of their applying for the same, with perfect con-, sistency as an independent people. They have nothing worse: to apprehend from the declaration than before. The force de-, stined to act against them proves, that if possible, they are to be> reduced to unconditional submission; the declaration cannot add to the misery of such submission. Beside, the quarrel is in such a stage, that it cannot be ended with safety to the inhabitants, but by their separating from Great-Britain, and becoming independent: any thing short of that must now prove a continual source of dissention and wretchedness. The members of congress have had it for some time rung in their ears, ,. > "The middle way, the best, we sometimes call» "But 'tis in politics no way at all." -1

[July 8.] This day at twelve o'clock, the declaration of in* dependence was proclaimed at the state-house in Philadelphia, amidst the greatest acclamations. The day, in consequence o£ general orders, it was read at the head of each brigade of the continental army at New-York, and every where received with loud huzzas, and the utmost demonstrations of joy. The same evening the equestrian statue of the king was laid prostrate on the ground. The lead of which it is made, is doomed to be run, into bullets. The New-York congress have unanimously resok ved, that they will at the risk of their lives and fortunes, join with the other colonies in supporting the declaration; and have authorised their delegates to adopt all such measures as may be conducive to the happiness of the United States.

The New-Jersey convention have declared their late governor, William Franklin, esq. a virulent enemy to the country, and a person who may prove dangerous, and who ought to be confined in such place and manner as congress may direct; congress have ordered him to be sent under guard to governor. Trumbull of Connecticut, who is to admit him to his parole; but if he refuses to give it, he is to be secured the same as other prisoners. Matters are drawing on to such a crisis, that the; next letter must necessarily contain very interesting intelligence.

LET

LETTER IV.

, Hoxbury, Sept. 16, H76.

LORD Dunmore has at length quitted Virginia and joined the Britjsh forces. He arrived with lord Campbell and Sir Peter Parker off Staten-Island. [August 14.] His lordship continued on the* coast, and in the rivers of Virginia, till the closeness and filth of the small vessels in which the fugitives were crowded, together with the heat of the weather, the badness and scarcity of water and provisions, produced the pestilential fever, which made greathavock, especially among the negroes, many of whom were swept away. When at length every place was shut against him, and neither water nor provisions were to be obtained, but at the expence of blood, it was found necessary, toward the beginning of August, to burn several of the smaller and least valuable vessels, to prev ent their falling into the hands of the Ame-, ricans, and to send the remainder, amounting to between forty and fifty, with the exiled friends of government, to seek shelter in Florida, Bermudas, and the West-Indies; a great number of negroes were sent at the same time to the last of these places for sale. The Virginians lost about 1000 of them in the whole, including those who were killed or died while attached to his lordship's service. Thus have ended the hopes entertained of suppressing the opposition to government in Virginia by employing the negroes—a measure which being rather invidious than powerful, tended infinitely to inflame the discontents of the people without adding to the strength of the royal arms. The New-Jersey congress were so irritated by the plot for destroying the American army, that they used the utmost dispatch informing their constitution, and finished it by the second of July.

Though they knew that the subject of independence was before the continental congress, and that these were upon the point of declaring the United Colonies independent: and though they had empowered their own delegates to join in the declaration, yet that not being made at the time, they closed with saying, "provided always, and it is the true intent and meaning of this congress, that if a reconciliation between Great-Britain and these colonies should take place, and the latter be taken again under the protection and government of the crown of Britain, this charter shall be null and void, otherwise to remain farm and inviolable."

The

The Nez-Jersey legislature, in the following September, chose William Livingston, esq.; a gentleman of the law and of first12te abilitics, to be their governor. There was an equal nunŁcrof votes for him and Mr. Stockton; but the latter having just at that Bioment, refused to furnish his team or horses for the service of the public, and the legislature coming to the knowledge. of it, the choice of Mr. Livingston took place immediateiy. * y {July 5.] The general convention of Virginia agreed upon a constitution. They began their session the fifth of Kłay; and ters days after, when they were present i 12 members, resolved ananimously, that their delegates should be instructed to propose to congress that the United Colonies be by that respectable body declared free and independent states. It might be from a full confidence of receiving such instructions, that Mr. R. Henry Lee gave notice, that he should move for a declaration of indepenecnce. One gentleman of eminence, who was employed in the great work of planning the constitution made it his incessant study so to frame the portrait of government, that a kindred with New-England might be discerned in it. -" Let us now repair to New-York, and the neighbourhood.

Lord Howe arrived off Halifax toward the end of June ; upon learning that the fleet and army had left that port on the 10th, and receiving the letter which the general his brother had left for him, he proceeded to New-York without coming to an anchor, and reached Staten-Island by the 12th of July; from whence He sent ashore by a flag to Amboy, a circular letter, together with a declartion to several of the late governors of the United States, then colonies, acquainting them with his powers, and desiring them to publish the same as generally as possible, for the information of the people. The declaration and letters were forwarded to congress by general Washington; and ordered by them to be published in the several news-papers, that the inhabitants Inight be informed of what nature the commissioners were, and what the terms,with the expectation of which the court of Britain had endeavoured to amuse and disarm them ; and that the few who were still suspended by a hope founded either in the justice or moderation of the partics concerned, might be convinced, that the valor alone of their country was to save its liber

tics. [July 14.] Lord Howe sent up a flag to New-York with a letter, under the subscription of “George Washington, esq.” but which the general refused to receive, as not being directed to him with the title and the stile suitable to his station. Congress applauded him for acting with a becoming dignity; and then di

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