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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 officers 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 legislature.

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

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 powers 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 parallelled 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 attention 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 interrupt our connexions and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and 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 Endependent 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 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 sacred honor.

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

New Hampshire.

Josiah Bartlett,


William Whipple,

Matthew Thornton.
Massachusetts Bay.

Samuel Adams,
John Adams,

Robert Treat Paine,
Elbridge Gerry.
Rhode Island.
Stephen Hopkins,
William Ellery.

Roger Sherman,
Samuel Huntington,
William Williams,
Oliver Wolcott.

New York.
William Floyd,

Philip Livingston,
Francis Lewis,
Lewis Morris.

New Jersey.
Richard Stockton,
John Witherspoon,

New Jersey.
Francis Hopkinson,

John Hart,

Abraham Clark.

Robert Morris,

Benjamin Rush,

· Benjamin Franklin,

John Morton,
George Clymer,
James Smith,
George Taylor,
James Wilson,
George Ross.

Cæsar Rodney,
George Read,
Thomas M'Kean.

Samuel Chase,

William Paca,

Thomas Stone,

Charles Carroll, of Carroll


George Wythe,
Richard Henry Lee,
Thomas Jefferson,

Benjamin Harrison,
Thomas Nelson, jun.
Francis Lightfoot Lee,
Carter Braxton.

North Carolina.
William Hooper,
Joseph Hewes,

North Carolina.
John Penn.

South Carolina.
Edward Rutledge,

Thomas Heyward, jun.
Thomas Lynch, jun.
Arthur Middleton.


Button Gwinnett,
Lyman Hall,

George Walton.

Resolved, That copies of the Declaration be sent to the several assemblies, conventions, and committees, or councils of safety, and to the several commanding officers of the continental troops; that it be proclaimed in each of the United States, and at the head of the army.


Appointment of George Washington to be commander-in-chief of the army, by the Congress of the Confederation, on the 15th June, 1775.

THURSDAY, June 15, 1775.

Agreeable to order, the Congress resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, and, after some time, the President resumed the chair, and Mr. Ward reported that the committee had come to some farther resolutions, which he was ordered to report.

The report of the committee being read and considered,

Resolved, That a general be appointed to command all the Continental forces raised, or to be raised, for the defence of American liberty.

That five hundred dollars, per month, be allowed for the pay and expenses of the general.

The Congress then proceeded to the choice of a general, by ballot, and George Washington, esq., was unanimously elected.

FRIDAY, June 16, 1775.

Met according to adjournment. [The Delegates from the Colenies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware counties, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, being present.]

The President informed Colonel Washington that the Congress had yesterday unanimously made choice of him to be general and commander-in-chief of the American forces, and requested he would accept of that employment; to which Colonel Washington, standing in his place, answered:


"Though I am truly sensible of the high honor done me, in this appointment, yet I feel great distress, from consciousness that

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