« PreviousContinue »
In every stage of thefe oppreffions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been anfwered 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 legiflature to extend an unwarrantable jurifdiction over us, We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and fettlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and mag nanimity, and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow thefe ufurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and confanguinity. We muft, therefore, acquiefce in the neceffity which denounces our feparation, and hold them, as we hold the reft of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congrefs affembled, 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, folemnly publish and declare, That thefe United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE and INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are abfolved 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 diffolved; 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 fupport 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 * burb and
MATTHEW THORNTON, .
MASSACHUSETTS-1 JOHN ADAMS,
ROBERT TREAT PAINE,
RHODE ISLAND, &c.
PENNSYLVANIA. GEORGE CLYMER,
CONFEDERATION and PERPETUAL UNION
BETWEEN THE STATES OF
NEW HAMPSHIRE, MASSACHUSETTS-BAY, RHODE. ISLAND and PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS, CON. NECTICUT, NEW-YORK, NEW-JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA, DELAWARE, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, NORTH-CAROLINA, SOUTH - CAROLINA, and
HE ftile of this confederacy fhall be, "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA."
Each State retains its fovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation exprefsly delegated to the United States in Congrefs affembled.
The faid States hereby feverally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the fecurity of their liberties, and
and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to affist each other against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, fovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.
The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this union, the free inhabitants of each of thefe States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from juftice excepted, fhall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the feveral States; and the people of each State shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other State, and fhall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the fame duties, impofitions, and reftrictions, as the inhabitants. thereof respectively, provided that fuch reftrictions fhall not extend fo far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any State to any other State of which the owner is an inhabitant; provided alfo that no impofition duties, or restriction, shall be laid by any State on the property of the United States, or either of them,