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most wealthy. Relate to them the various, unjust, may, by the permission of Heaven, lay waste our and cruel statutes, which the British parliament, towns, and ravage our country, it can never claiming a right to make laws for binding the eradicate from the breasts of freemen, those princolonies in all cases whatsoever, have enacted; and ciples which are ingrafted in their very nature.the many sanguinary measures which have been, Such men will do their duty, neither knowing, nor and are daily pursued and threatened, to wrest regarding consequences; but submitting them, fron them those invaluable benefits, and to enforce with humble confidence, to the omniscient and such an unlimited and destructive claim. To the omnipotent arbiter and director of the fate of em
which most illiterate it must appear, that no power on pires, and trusting that his Almighty arm, earth can, of right, deprive them of the hardly has been so signally stretched out for our defence, earned fruits of their honest industry, toil and will deliver them in a righteous cause. Jabor-even to them, the impious attempt to pre
The eyes of Europe, nay of the whole world, are vent many thousands from using the means of
on America. The eyes of every other colony are subsistence provided for man by the bounty of his
on this; a colony, whose reputation for generosity Creator, and to compel them, by famine, to sur. and magnanimity, is universally acknowledged. I render their rights, will seem to call for Divine trust, therefore, it will not be diminished by our vengeance. The endeavors, by deceit and bribery, future conduct; that there will be no civil discord to engage barbarous nations to embrue their hands here; and that the only strife amongst brethren in the innocent blood of helpless women and child will be, who shall do most to serve and to save an ren, and the attempts by fair but false promises, oppressed and injured country. to make ignorant domestics subservient to the
John RUTLEDGE. most wicked purposes, are acts at wbich humanity
April 11, 1776. must revolt.
To his excellency John Rutledge, esq president and Shew your constituents, then, the indispensable
commander in chief in and over the colony of South necessity which there was for establishing some Carolina. mode of government in this colony; the benefits The address of the legislative council and general of that, which a full and free representation has
assembly. established; and that the consent of the people is
May it please your ercellencythe origin, and their bappiness the end of govern- We, the legislative council and general assembly ment, Remove the apprehensions with which bonest of South Carolina, convened under the authority and well-meaning, but weak and credulous, minds of the equitable constitution of government estabmay be alarmed, and prevent ill impressions by lished by a free people in congress, on the 26th ult. artful and designing enemies. Let it be known beg leave, most respectfully, to address your excel. that this constitution is but temporary, till an ac- lency. commodation of the unhappy differences between Great Britain and America can be obtained; and
Nothing is better known to your excellency than
the unavoidable necessity which induced us, as that such an event is still desired by men who yet remember former friendships and intimate connec
members of congress, on the part of the people, to tions, though, for defending their persons and resume the powers of government, and to establish
some mode for regulating the internal polity of properties, they are stigmatized and treated as
this colony; and, as members of the legislative rebels.
council and general assembly, to vest you, for a Truth, being known, will prevail over artifice time limited, with the executive authority. Such and misrepresentation - In such case no man, who constitutional proceedings, on our part, we make is worthy of life, liberty, or property, will, or can, no doubt will be misconstrued into acts of the refuze to join with you, in defending them to the greatest criminality by that despotism, which, lost last extrmity, disdaining every sordid view, and 10 all sense of justice and humanity, bas already the mean paltry considerations of private interest pretended that we are in actual rebellion. But, and present emolument, when placed in competi. sir, when we reflect upon the unprovoked, cruel, tion with the liberties of millions; and seeing that and accumulated oppressions under which Ame there is no alternative but absolute, unconditional frica, in general, and this colony in particular, has submission, and the most abject slavery, or a de. long continued; oppressions which, gradually in. fence becoming men born to freedom, he will not creasing in injustice and violence, are now, by the besitate about the choice. Algiqugh superior force/inexorable tyranny perpetrated against the uniteil
Colonies, under the various forms of robbery, con- Whereas, the honorable the continental congress Aagrations, massacre, breach of public faith, and bath resolved, "that, in the present situation of open war; conscious of our natural and unalienable affairs, it will be very dangerous to the liberties rights, and determined to make every effort in our and welfare of America, if any colony should power to retain them, we see your excellency's separately petition the king or ei her house of elevation from the midst of us, to govern this parliament." and whereas no step should be left country, as the natural consequence of such out. unessayed to promote the general welfare: and rages.
whereas the sending commissioners from Great
Britain to treat with the difierent colonies, is By the suffrages of a free people you, sir, have been chosen to hold the reins of government, an
dangerous to the stability of the liberties of Ame
rica: Therefore, event es honorable to yourself as beneficial to the public. We fi mig trust that you will make the Resolved, That it is the opinion of this house, constitation the great rule of your conduct; and, ibat no measures should be left unessayed to in the most solemn manner, we do assure your establish the liberties of America, and to place excellency that, in the discharge of your duties, them as far as may be, out of the reach of fraudulent under that constitution which looks forward to an schemes te subvert them by negociation; and that accommodation with Great Britain (an event which, this colony should not enter into any treaty or corthough traduced and treated as rebels, we still respondence with the court of Great Britain, or Earnesly desire,) we will support you with our lives with any person or persons under that authority, and fortunes.
but through the medium of the continental conIn tbe legislative council, the 3d day of April, gress. 1776. George GABRIEL POWELL, speaker.
Resolved also, That it is the opinion of this In tbe general assembly, the 3d day of April,
house, that if any person or persons sent from 1776. By order of the house,
Great Britain to treat with the sev eral colonies, JAMES PARSONS, speaker.
shall arrive in this colony by water, such person
or persons, and their retinue or company, should His excellency's answer.
not, upon any pretence, be allowed to land, or to Honorable gentlemen of the legislative council, Mremain in the colony longer than forty-eight hours,
Speaker, and gentlemen of the general assembly. wind and weather permitting; or while so remain
My most cordial thanks are due, and I requesting, to hold any communication with any person in that you will accept ibem, for this solean engage this colony, but through his excellency the presi. ment of support, in discharging the duty of the dent; and if any such persons shall arrive by land, honorable station to which, by your favor, I have they should be forthwith escorted out of the colonys been elected.
and not permitted to hold conference with any perBe persuaded, that no man would embrace a
son not for that purpose authorized by the presijust and equitable accommodation with Great Brident, and that for the mere purpose of accommoda.
tion. tain more gledly than myself; but, until so desi. rable an object can be obtained, the defence of my New Jersey. In Provincial congress. country, and preservation of that constitution
Burlington, June 14, 1776. which, from a perfect knowledge of the rights, Resolved, That, in the opinion of this congress, and a luudable regard to the happiness of the peo- the proclamation of William Franklin, esq. late ple, you bave so wisely framed, shall engross my governor of New Jersey, bearing date the thirtieth whole attention.
day of May last, in the name of the king of Great To this country I owe all that is dear and value. Britain, appointing a meeting of the general assemble, and would, with the greatest pleasure, sacri bly, to be held on the twentieth of this instant, fice every temporal felicity lo establish and per.
June, ought not to be obeyed. petuate her freedom.
J. RUTLEDGE. Resolved, That, in the opinion of this congress, In general assembly, April 6, 1776.
the said William Franklin, esq. by such, his declaraOrdered, That the following resolutions beforth lion, has acted in direct contempt and violation of with printed and made public.
the resolve of the continental congress of the 15th By order of the house,
day of May last. PETEN TIMOTAY, clerk G. A. Resolved, That, in the opinion of this congress,
all payments of money on account of salary or, disunite their efforts by land, which are of necessity, otherwise, to the said William Franklin, esq. as liable to interruption from the enemy's feet by governor, ought from henceforth to cease; and that sea. It is scarce worth while to add, that this the treasurer or treasurers of this province, shall province, by its vicinity, would then be exposed account for the monies in their hands to this con. to the cruel depredations of the enemy, who, hap. gress, or to the future legislature of this colony, pily, hitherto have been able to do us little or no , By order of the congress,
mischief but by theft and rapine. It would seem SAMUEL TUCKER, president. to carry unjust suspicion of you to say any more A true copy,
on our own private interest, as we hope every WILLIAM PATTERSON, secretary.
honest man is chiefly concerned for, and will strain
every nerve in support of, the common cause of the An address to the inhabitants of New Jersey.
united colonies. Countrymen and friendsThis province has been requested by the con
We cannot help putting you in mind how signally tinental congress to send, without delay, from their Almighty God has prospered us hitherto, and militia, three thousand three hundred men to New. crowned our virtuous efforts with success. The York, in consequence of authentic information that expulsion of the enemy from Boston, where they the grand attack of our common enemy this sum
first took possession, and began their oppressive mer, which will probably prove the decisive cain. measures, was an event as disgraceful to them, as paign, is to be upon that city; and that their force it was advantageous to the public cause, and
bonorable to that brave and resolute army by may be expected there in a few days. Your re. presentatives in this congress have, with all the which it was accomplished. It will certainly be despatch in their power, and with the utmost una
no small encouragement to those who shall now nimity, prepared an ordinance for raising the num. proceed to the place of danger, tliat they shall ber called for, as equally from the different parts join with many of the same soldiers, who have of the province as possible. They have determined gained immortal honor by their past conduct, as to raise the men by voluntary enlistment in the well as serve under that wise and able leader, several counties, in full confidence that, in this wbose prudence, firmness and attention to bis great war, they will be raised most speedily, as well as
charge, have procured him the most unlimited consist of persons of the greatest spirit and alacrity
confidence, both of those who direct the public
counsels, and of those who are in aras under his for the important service. Filled with the same zeal for the defence of their country, they apply
command. to you by this short address-and, in the most
We must not forget the activity and success of earnest and affectionate manner, entreat you not the inhabitants of the southern colonies. They run to sully the reputation acquired on all former oc. to arms in thousands the moment they heard of an casions; but to give a new proof to the public of attack, both in Virginia and North Carolina. God your courage and intrepidity, as men, of your was pleased, in both cases, to reward their alacrity, unalterable attachment to the liberties of America, for they obtained a complete victory over their and the sincerity of your unanimous resolutions enemies with so little loss of blood, as was not from the beginning of this contest. Were there barely wonderful, but scarcely credible. At the time to draw up a long discourse in this hour of battle of Moor.Creek Bridge, there were but few danger, the arguments that might be used are men killed, and at Norfolk Great-Bridge we did innumerable; and as some of them are of the most not lose a single life. urgent, so (blessed be God) others are of the most
Time does not permit us to enlarge on the past encouraging and animating kind.
events of this war, in which the kindness of Pro. The danger is not only certain, but immediate vidence is so clearly to be seen. We therefore only and imminent. It does not admit of a moment's further observe, tbat, by the preparations in Bridelay, for our unjust and implacable enemy is at tain for this campaign, and by all the intelligence hand. Tbe place where the attack is expected received from Europe, it is plain that not lionor is of the last importance; not only a city of great and advantage only, but absolute necessity requires extent, the interest of whose numerous inhabitants us to exert our utmost efforts, for our all is at must be exceedingly dear to us, but situated in stake. Every one now is obliged to confess what tbe middle of the colonies, and where the success many saw long ago, that entire and unconditional of the enemy would separate the provinces, and submission is the point to which our enemies are
determined to bring us, if in their power; so that this choice is free, and the representation equal, it is nothing remains for us but either the abject slavery the people's fault if they are not happy: we there. of tributary states, or to maintain our rights and fore instruct you to devise some means to obtain liberties by force of arms, and band down the fair an equal representation of the people of this coinheritance to our posterity, by a brave and deter-lony in the legislature:-but care should be taken mined defence.
that the assembly be not unwieldy; for this would
be an approach to the evil meant to be cured by We desire and espect, that, in such a situation
representation. The largest bodies of men do not of things, all particular difference of small mo
always despatch business with the greatest expediment, arising from whatever cause, whether religi. tion, nor conduct it in the wisest manner. ous denominations, rivalship of different classes of
It is essential to liberty, that the legislative, men, scarcity of some articles of commerce, or any judicial, and executive powers of government be, other, may be entirely laid aside. The present
as nearly as possible, independent of, and separate danger requires the most perfect union. Let every from each other; for where they are united in the enemy perceive, that the representatives of the
same persons, or number of persons, there would colonies, as soon as they determine upon any mea. be wanting that mutual check which is the princisure, are able to bring out the whole strength of pal security against the making of arbitrary laws, this vast country to carry it into execution.
and a wanton exercise of power in the execution That you may be under no apprehension either of them. It is also of the highest importance, that of inequality in the burden, or that our own coasts every person in a judiciary department employ the will be left unguarded by the destination of this greatest part of his time and attention in the duties brigade, we have thought it best to inform you, of bis office; we therefore further instruct you, to that the continental congress have amply provided procure the enacting such law or laws, as Bhall for the defence of this province, and have made make it incompatible for the same person to hold such arrangement of the continental army for the a seat in the legislative and executive departments ensuing campaign, as lays an equal burden on the of goverament, at one and the same time: that shall inhabitants of the different colonies; in particular, render the judges, in every judicatory through the that a flying camp of ten thousand men is now colony, dependent, not on the uncertain tenure of forming for the protestion of the middle colonies, caprice or pleasure, but on an unimpeachable which, we are credibly informed, is to have its deportment in the important duties of their station, chief station in this province. We add no more, for their continuance in office; and to prevent the but that we trust and hope, that, while every multiplicity of offices in the same person, that such province is making the most spirited efforts, New salaries be settled upon them as will place them Jersey in its place and duty will be second to none.
above the necessity of stooping to any indirect or Signed in name, and by appointment of con
collateral means for subsistence. We wish to gress, at Burlington, June 15, 1776.
avoid a profusion of the public monies 'on the one SAMUEL TOcken, president.
hand, and the danger of sacrificing our liberties A true copy,
to a spirit of parsimony on the other. Not doubt. WM. PATTERSON, secretary.
ing of your zeal and abilities in the common cause
of our country, we leave your discretion to prompt Extract from the instructions to the representatives of
such exertions, in promoting any military operathe town of Boston, 1776.
tions, as the exigencies of our public affairs may Gentlemen-Touching the internal police of this require: and in the same confidence of your fervor colony, it is essentially necessary, in order to pre.
and attachment to the public weal, we readily serve harmony among ourselves, that the con.
submit all other matters of public moment, that stituent body be satisfied that they are fairly and may require your consideration, to your own wis-. fully represented. The right to legislate is origi.
dom and discretion. nally due to every member of the community: Al a legal meeting of the inhabitants of the town of which right is always exercised in the infancy of Malden, (Mass.) May 27, 1776, it was voted un& state: bui, wben the inhabitants are become animously, that the following instructions be given numerous, it is not only inconvenient, but im- to their representative, viz. practicable, for all to meet in one assembly; and
To Mr. Ezra Sargeant. bence arose the necessity and practice of legislat- SIR-A resolution of the hon. house of repreing by a few, freely chosen by the bany. When )sentatives, calling upon the several towns in this colony to express their minds with respect to the that the sword of their country should avenge their important question of American independence, is wrongs. We long entertained hopes that the spirit the occasion of our now instructing you. The of the British nation would once more induce them time was, sir, when we loved the king and the peo to assert their own and our rights, and bring to ple of Great Britain with an affection truly filial; condign punishment the elevated villains who have we felt ourselves interested in their glory; we trampled upon the sacred rights of men, and shared in their joys and sorrows; we cheerfully affronted the majesty of the people. We hoped poured the fruit of all our labors into the lap of in vain; they have lost their love to freedom; they our mother-country, and without reluctance ex. have lost their spirit of just resentment; we therepended our blood and our treasure in their cause.
fore renounce with disdain our connexion with a
kingdom of slaves; we bid a final adieu to Britain. These were our sentiments towards Great Bri.
Could an accommodation 'be now effected, we tain while she continued to act the part of a parent
have reason to think that it would be fatal to the state; we felt ourselves happy in our connection
liberties of America; we should soon catch the with her, nor wished it to be dissolved; but our
contagion of venality and dissipation, which bath sentiments are altered, it is now the ardent wish of our souls that America may become a free and subjected Britons to lawless domination. Were
we placed in the situation we were in 1763: were indeper.dent state.
the powers of appointing to offices, and command. A sense of unprovoked injuries will arouse the ing the militia, in the hands of governors, our arts, resentment of the most peaceful. Such injuries trade and manufactures would be cramped; nay, these colonies have received from Britain. Un more than this, the life of every man who has justifiable claims have been made by the king and been active in the cause of his country would be his minions to tax us without our consent; these endangered. claims have been prosecuted in a manner cruel
For these reasons, as well as many others which and unjust to the highest degree. The frantic
might be produced, we are confirmed in the opj. policy of administration bath induced them to send
nion, that the present age will be deficient in their Meets and armies to America; tbal, by depriving us
duty to God, their posterity and themselves, if of our trade and cutting the throats of our brethren, they do not establish an American republic. This they might awe us into submission, and erect a sys- is the only form of government which we wish to tem of despotism in America, which should so far
see established; for we can never be willingly sub. enlarge the influence of the crown as to enable it
lject to any other King than he who, being possessed to rivet their shackles upon the people of Great of infinite wisdom, goodness and rectitude, is alone Britain.
fit to possess unlimited power. This plan was brought to a crisis upon the ever
We bave freely spoken our sentiments upon this memorable nineteenth of April. We remember important subject, but we mean not to dictate; we the fatal day! the expiring groans of our country. have unbounded confidence in the wisdom and men yet vibrate on our ears! and we now bebold uprightness of the continental congress: with pleathe flames of their peaceful dwellings ascending sure we recollect that this affair is under their to Heaven! we hear their blood crying to us from direction: and we now instruct you, sir, to give the ground for vengeance! charging us, as we value them the strongest assurance that, if they should the peace of their manes, to have no further con- declare America to be a free and independent renection with who can unfeelingly hear of the public, your constituents will support and defend slaughter of and composedly sleep with their the measure, to the last drop of their blood, and blood upon his soul. The manner in which the the last farthing of their treasure. war had been prosecuted hath confirmed us in
Attest. these sentiments; piracy and murder, robbery and
SAM. MERRIT, town-clerk. breach of faith, have been conspicuous in the con. duct of the king's troops: defenceless towns bave Extracts from the Journal of the Provincial congress been attacked and destroyed: the ruins of Charles
of South Carolina. town, which are daily in our view, daily reminds us
In congress, Feb. 8, 1776. of this: the cries of the widow and the orphan Resolved, That Mr. President do signify the demand our attention; they demand that the hand approbatiod of this congress, and present their of pity should wipe the tear from their eye, and thanks to the hon. Henry Middleton, and Jolin