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He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, & continually for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time after such dissolutions to cause others to be elected, whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise, the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without & convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, & raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has suffered the administration of justice totally obstructto cease in some of these states refusing his assent to by laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made our judges dependant on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, & the amount & pament of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices by a self-assumed power and sent hither swarms of new officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us in times of peace standing armies and ships of war without the consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the military independant of, & superior to the civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitutions & unacknowledged by our laws, giring 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 [ ] of the benefits of trial by jury; for transporting us beyond seas to be cases tried for pretended offences; for abolishing the free system
of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging it's boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these states; for taking away our
colonies charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments; for suspending
our own legislatures, & declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated government here withdrawing his by do
claring governors, and declaring us out of his allegiance and us out of protection.
tection, He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt and our towns, & destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation & tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy
scarcely [ ] unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
paralHe has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive leled in
the most on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to barbarbecome the executioners of their friends & brethren, or ous ages, to fall themselves by their hands.
& totally He has [ ] endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of excited
domestic our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known insurrecrule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all tion
among ages, sexes, & conditions of existence.
us, & has He has incited treasonable insurrections of our fellow-citizens, with the allurements of forfeiture & confiscation of our property. He has waged cruel war against human nature
itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them : thus
paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of another.
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 injuries.
A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant is unfit to be the ruler of a [ ] people who mean to be free. Future ages will scarcely believe that the hardiness of one man adventured, within the short compass of twelve years only, to lay a foundation so broad & so undisguised for tyranny over a people fostered & fixed in principles of freedom.
Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend a jurisdiction over these our an unstates. We have reminded them of the circumstances Warrantof our emigration & settlement here, no one of which us could warrant so strange a pretension: that these were effected at the expense of our own blood & treasure, unassisted by the wealth or the strength of Great Britain: that in constituting indeed our several forms of government, we had adopted one common king, thereby laying a foundation for perpetual league & amity with them: but that submission to their parliament was no part of our constitution, nor ever in idea, if history may be credited : and, we [ ] appealed to their native justice have and magnanimity as well as to the ties of our common and we
have kindred to disavow these usurpations which were likely conjured to interrupt our connection and correspondence. They them by too have been deaf to the voice of justice & consanguin- evitably
would in. ity, and when occasions have been given them, by the regular course of their laws, of removing from their councils the disturbers of our harmony, they have, by their free election, re-established them in power. At this very time too they are permitting their chief magistrate to send over not only soldiers of our common blood, but Scotch & foreign mercenaries to in. vade & destroy us. These facts have given the last stab to agonizing affection, and manly spirit bids us to renounce forever these unfeeling brethren. We must endeavor to forget our former love for them, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends. We might have been a free and a great people together; but a communication of grandeur & of freedom it seems is below their dignity. Be it so, since they will have it. The road to happiness & to glory is open to us too.
We will tread it apart from them, and we must acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our eternal therefore
and hold separation [ ]!
them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace
friends. We therefore the represent
We therefore the representatives of the United States of atives of the United States of America in General Congress America in General Congress assembled do in the name & assembled, appealing to the suby authority of the good people preme judge of the world for of these states reject & re
the rectitude of our intentions, nounce all allegiance & subjec- do in the name, & by the aution to the kings of Great thority of the good people of Britain & all others who may these colonies, solemnly pubhereafter claim by, through or lish & declare that these united under them: we utterly dis- colonies are & of right ought to solve all political connection be free & independent states; which may heretofore have that they are absolved from subsisted between us & the all allegiance to the British people or parliament of Great crown, and that all political Britain: & finally we do assert connection between them & the & declare these colonies to be state of Great Britain is, & free & independent states, & ought to be, totally dissolved ; that as free & independent & that as free & independent states, they have full power to states they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, con- levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish com- tract alliances, establish commerce, & to do all other acts merce & to do all other acts & things which independent & things which independant states may of right do. states may of right do.
And for the support of this And for the support of this declaration we mutually pledge declaration, with a firm reliance to each other our lives, our on the protection of divine fortunes, & our sacred honor. providence we mutually pledge
to each other our lives, our fortunes, & our sacred honor.
ON FICTION (From a letter to Robert Skipwith, Aug. 3, 1771.) I sat down with the design of executing your request to form a catalogue of books to the amount of about £50 sterl., but could by no means satisfy myself with any partial choice I could make. Thinking therefore it might be agreeable to you, I have framed such a general collection as I think you would wish and might in time find convenient to procure. Out of this you will choose for yourself to the amount you mentioned for the present year, and may hereafter proceed in completing the whole. A view of the second column in this catalogue would, I suppose, extort a smile from the face of gravity. Peace to its wisdom! Let me not awaken it. A little attention, however, to the nature of the human mind evinces that the entertainments of fiction are useful as well as pleasant. That they are pleasant when well written, every person feels who reads. But wherein is its utility ? asks the reverend sage, big with the notion that nothing can be useful but the learned lumber of Greek and Roman reading with which his head is stored.
I answer, everything is useful which contributes to fix in the principles and practice of virtue. When any original act of charity or of gratitude, for instance, is presented either to our sight or imagination, we are deeply impressed with its beauty, and feel a strong desire in ourselves of doing charitable and grateful acts also. On the contrary, when we see or read of any atrocious deed, we are disgusted with its deformity and conceive an abhorrence of vice. Now every emotion of this kind is an exercise of our virtuous dispositions; and dispositions of the mind,