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parallel 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 domestic insurrections among us; and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabi. tants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian sava. ges, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
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 injury. A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a ty. rant, is unfit to be ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time, of attempts made by their legislature, to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connexions and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity. We must therefore acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we
do 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 colonies, 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 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 support 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 sacred honor. Signed by order and in behalf of the Congress.
JOHN HANCOCK, PRESIDENT. Attested, CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.
New Hampshire. Massachusetts Bay. Josiah Bartlett
John Hancock William Whipple
Pennsylvania. Robert Morris Benjamin Rush Benjamin Franklin John Morton George Clymer James Smith George Taylor James Wilson George Ross
Delaware. Thomas McKean Cæsar Rodney
South Carolina. Edward Rutledge Thomas Heyward jr. Thomas Lynch jr. Arthur Middleton
Georgia. Button Gwinnet Lyman Hall George Walton
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
WE, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. [See 1 Wheat. 324. 4 Wheat. 403.1
OF THE LEGISLATURE. SECTION I. All legislative powers, herein granted, shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Sect. II. 1. The House of representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states; and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.
2. No person shall be a representative, who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States,