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 impofing 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 neighbouring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit inftrument for introducing the fame 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 hards.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian favages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, fexes, 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 to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts made 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 inierrupt our connections and correspondence. They, too, have


B 2

been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the neceflity 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 re&titude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publiMh and declare, That thele 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 GreatBritain is, and ought to be, totally diffolved ; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract allianees, establish 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 Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our facred honour.

[blocks in formation]





Fofiah Bartlett,
William Whipple,
Matthew Thornton,
Samuel Adams,
Fobn Adams,
Robert Treat Paine,
Elbridge Gerry.
Stephen Hopkins,
William Ellery.
Roger Sherman,
Samuel Huntington,
William Williams,
Oliver Walcott. 1
William Floyd,
Philip Living Along
Francis Lewis,
Lewis Morris.
Richard Stockton,
John Witherspoon,
Erancis Hopkinfon,
John Hart,
Abraham Clark.




r Robert Morris,
Benjamin Rush,
Benjamin Franklin,

John Morton,

George Clymer,
James Smith,
George Taylor,
James Wilson,

George Ross.

S Cafar Rodney,

George Read
Samuel Chase,

William Paca,

Thomas Stone,
Charles Carroll, of Carollton.
George Wythe,
Richard Henry Lees

Thomas Jefferson,

Benjamin Harrison,
Thomas Nelson, jun.
Francis Lightfoot Lely
LCarter Braxton.

William Hooper,


Yohn Penn.
Edward Rutledge,

Thomas Hayward, jun.

Thomas Lynch, jun.
Arthur Middleton.

Button Gwinnett,

Lyman Hall,
George Walton.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The States of New Hampshire, Masachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island,

and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New. York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Article I. HE ftile of this confederacy shall be, “United America." Art. II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the united states in congress assembled.

Xit. ill. The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general wel. fare, binding themselves to allist each other against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.

Art. IV. The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendfhip and intercourse among the people of the different states in this union, the free inhabitants of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each ftate shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the fame duties, impofitions, and restrictions, as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restrictions shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any state to any other state of which the owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties, or restriction, Hall be Jaid by any state on the property of the united states, or either of them.

If any person guilty of or charged with treason, felony, or other high misdemeanour in any state, shall fee from justice, and be found in any of the united states, he shall, upon demand of the governor or executive power of the state from which he Aed, be


[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

at any


[ocr errors]

delivered up and removed to the state having jurisdiction of his offence.

Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these states to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts and magic, ftrates of every other state.

Art. V. For the more convenient management of the general interests of the united states, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each state shall direct, to meet in congress on the first Monday in November of every year, with a power reserved to each state to recal its delegates, or any of them,

time within the year, and to send others in their stead, for the remainder of the

year. No state shall be represented in congress by less than two, nor more than seven, meinbers; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years, in any term of fix years ; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the united states, for which he, or any other for his benefit, receives any falary, fees, or emolument, of any

Each state shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the ftates, and while they act as members of the committee of the states.

In determining questions in the united states in congress assembled, each state shall have one vote.

Freedom of speech and debate in congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of congress, and the members of congress Thall be protected in their persons from arrests and imprisonments during the time of their going to and from and attendance on congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.

Art. VI. No state, withodt the consent of the united states in congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance, or treaty, with any king, prince, or state ; nor shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the united states, or any of them, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state; nor shall the united states in congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility,

2. No two or more states shall enter into any treaty, confede. ration, or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the united states in congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.

3. No state shall lay any imposts or duties which may interfere with any ftipulations in treaties, entered into by the united states in congress assembled, with any king, prince, or state, in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by congress to the courts of France and Spain,

4. No

« ForrigeFortsett »