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refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers. o “He has made our 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, by a self-assumed power, and sent hither swarms of 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 independent • of and superiour 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 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 neighbouring 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 states [colonies:] - “For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms 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, withdrawing his Governours, and [by] declaring us out of his allegiance and 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, Iscarcely paralleled 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 domestick insurrections among us, and has] endeavoured 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 of existence. “He has incited treasonable insurrections of our

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fellow citizens, with the allurements of forfeiture
and confiscation of our property.
“He has waged cruel war against human nature
itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and
liberty in the persons of a distant people who never
offended him, captivating and carrying them into
slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur misera-
ble death in their transportation thither. This
piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL pow-
ers, is the warfare of the CHR1st IAN King of Great

Britain. Determined to keep open a market where

MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted
his negative for suppressing every legislative at-
tempt to prohibit or to restrain this eacecrable com-
merce. And that this assemblage of horrours might
want no fact of distinguished die, he is now ex-
citing those very people to rise in arms among us,
and to purchase that liberty of which he has depri-
ved them, by murdering the people on whom he also
obtruded them : thus paying off former crimes com-
mitted 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 peti-

tioned for redress in the most humble terms: our re

peated 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 [freel people who mean to be free. Future ages will scarcely believe that the hardiness of one man adventured, within the short compass of twelve

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years only, to lay a foundation so broad and so un-
disguised for tyranny over a people fostered and
fived 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 [an
unwarrantable] a jurisdiction over [us] these our
states. We have reminded them of the circumstan-
ces of our emigration and settlement here, no one of
which could warrant so strange a pretension: that
these were effected at the expense of our own blood
and treasure, unassisted by the wealth or the
strength of Great Britain: that in constituting in-
deed our several forms of government, we had
adopted one common King, thereby laying a foun-
dation for perpetual league and 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 [have] appealed to their native
justice and magnanimity as well as to [and we have
conjured them by the ties of our common kindred, to
disavow these usurpations, which were likely to [would
inevitably] interrupt our connexion and correspond-
ence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice
and of consanguinity; 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-estab-
lished 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
and foreign mercenaries, to invade and destroy us.

These facts have given the last stab to agonizing affection, and manly spirit bids us to renounce for ever these unfeeling brethren. We must endeavour 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 and of freedom, it seems, is below their dignity. Be it so, since they will have it. The Toad to happiness and to glory is open to us too. We will tread it apart from them, and [we must therefore] acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our eternal 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 states, [colonies, reject and renounce all allegiance and subjection to the Kings of Great Britain, and all others who may hereafter claim by, through, or under them; we utterly dissolve all political connerion which may heretofore have subsisted between us and the parliament of Great Britain ; and finally, we do assert [solemnly publish and declare] that these United Colonies are, [and of right ought to be, free and independent 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

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