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powers to give such assent:

That if the delegates of any particular colony had no power to declare such colony independant, certain they were the others could not declare it for them ; the colonies being as yet perfectly independant of each other :

That the assembly of Pennsylvania was now sitting above stairs, their convention would sit within a few days, the convention of New York was now sitting, & those of the Jersies & Delaware counties would meet on the Monday following & it was probable these bodies would take up the question of Independance & would declare to their delegates the voice of their state:

That if such a declaration should now be agreed to, these delegates must now 21 retire, & possibly their colonies might secede from the Union :

That such a secession would weaken us more than could be compensated by any foreign alliance:

That in the event of such a division, foreign powers would either refuse to join themselves to our fortune, or having us so much in their power as that desperate declaration would place us, they would insist on terms proportionally more hard & prejudicial :

That we had little reason to expect an alliance with those to whom alone as yet we had cast our eyes :

That France & Spain had reason to be jealous of that rising power which would one day certainly strip them of all their American possessions :

That it was more likely they should form a connection with the British court, who, if they should find themselves unable otherwise to extricate themselves from their difficulties, would agree to a partition of our territories, restoring Canada to France, & the Floridas to Spain, to accomplish for themselves a recovery of these colonies :

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That it would not be long before we should receive certain information of the disposition of the French court, from the agent whom we had sent to Paris for that purpose :

That if this disposition should be favourable, by waiting the

the present

event of another campaign, which we all hoped would be succesful 2 favourable, we should have reason to expect an alliance on better terms:

That this would in fact work no delay of any effectual aid from such

3. ally, as, from the advance of the season & distance of our situation, it was impossible we could receive any assistance during this campaign :

That it was prudent to fix among ourselves the terms on which we would form alliance, before we declared we would form one at all events :

And that if these were agreed on, & our Declaration of Independance ready by the time our Ambassadour should be prepared to sail, it would be as well, as to go into that Declaration at

this day.

had 26

On the other side it was urged by J. Adams 23, [R. H.] Lee 23 24, Wythe and others 25.

That no gentleman had argued against the policy or the right of separation from Britain, nor had supposed it possible we should ever renew our connection: that they only opposed it's being now declared :

That the question was not whether, by a declaration of independance, we should make ourselves what we are not; but whether we should declare a fact which already exists : 27

That as to the people or parliament of England, we had alwais been independant of them, their restraints on our trade deriving efficacy from our acquiescence only, & not from any rights they



possessed of imposing them, & that so far our connection had been federal only & was now dissolved by the commencement of hostilities :

That as to the king, we had been bound to him by allegiance, but that this bond was now dissolved by his assent to the late act of parliament, by which he declares us out of his protection, and by his levying war on us, a fact which had long ago proved us out of his protection; it being a certain position in law that allegiance & protection are reciprocal, the one ceasing when the other is withdrawn:

That James the IInever declared the people of England out of his protection yet his actions proved it & the parliament declared it:

No delegates then can be denied, or ever want, a power of declaring an existing truth :

That the Delegates from the Delaware counties having declared their constituents ready 28 to join, there are only colonies, Pennsylvania & Maryland whose delegates are absolutely tied up, and that these had by their instructions only reserved a right of confirming or rejecting the measure :

[The following is on the reverse side of page 3 4.

That the instructions from Pennsylvania might be accounted for from the times in which they were drawn, near a twelvemonth ago, since which the face of affairs has totally changed :

That within that time it had become apparent that Britain was determined to accept nothing less than a carte blanche, and that the king's answer to the Lord Mayor Aldermen & common council of London, which had come to hand four days ago, must have satisfied everyone

of this point : That the people wait for us to lead the way: in this = 30

That they are in favour of the measure, tho' the instructions given by some of their representatives are not :

That the voice of the representatives is not alwais conso

with 31

nant to the voice of the people, and that this is remarkably the case in these middle colonies :

That the effect of the resolution of the 15th of May has proved this, which, raising the murmurs of some in the colonies of Pennsylvania & Maryland, called forth the opposing voice of the freer part of the people, & proved them to be the majority, even in these colonies :

That the backwardness of these two colonies might be ascribed partly to the influence of proprietary power & connections, & partly to their having not yet been attacked by the enemy:

That these causes were not likely to be soon removed, as there seemed no probability that the enemy would make either of these the seat of this summer's war:

That it would be vain to wait either weeks or months for perfect unanimity, since it was impossible that all men should ever become of one sentiment on any question :

That the conduct of some colonies from the beginning of this contest, had given reason to suspect it was their settled policy to keep in the rear of the confederacy, that their particular prospect might be better even in the worst event:

That therefore it was necessary for those colonies who had thrown themselves forward & hazarded all from the beginning, to come forward now also, and put all again to their own hazard:

That the history of the Dutch revolution, of whom three states only confe

5. derated at first proved that a secession of some colonies would not be so dangerous as some apprehended :

That a declaration of Independance alone could render it consistent with European delicacy 82 for European powers to treat with us, or even to receive an Ambassador from us : That till this they would not receive our vessels into their ports,

nor acknowlege the adjudications of our courts of Admiralty to be legitimate, in cases of capture of British vessels :

That tho' France & Spain may be jealous of our rising power, they must think it will be much more formidable with the addition of Great Britain ; and will therefore see it their interest 33 to prevent a coalition ; but should they refuse, we shall be but where we are ; whereas without trying we shall never know whether they will aid us or not:

That the present campaign may be unsuccesful, & therefore we had better propose an alliance while our affairs wear a hopeful aspect :

That to wait the event of this campaign will certainly work delay, because during the summer France may assist us effectually by cutting off those supplies of provisions from England & Ireland on which the enemy's armies here are to depend; or by setting in motion the great power they have collected in the West Indies, & calling our enemy to the defence of the possessions they have there :

That it would be idle to lose time in settling the terms of alliance, till we had first determined we would enter into alliance:

That it is necessary to lose no time in opening a trade for our people, who will want clothes, and will want money too for the paiment of taxes :

And that the only misfortune is that we did not enter into alliance with France six months sooner, as besides opening their ports for the vent of our last year's produce, they might have marched an army into Germany and prevented the petty princes there from selling their unhappy subjects to subdue us.

In the evening (of the 8th 34), following the debate, Edward Rutledge writes 34 to Jay: “[Z] The Congress sat till 7 35 o'clock this evening in consequence of a motion of R. H. Lee's rendering ourselves free & independ

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