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that we mean not in any wise to did not embody a soldiery to comaffect that union with them in mit aggression on them; we did which we have so long and so hap- not raise armies for glory or for pily lived and which we wish so conquest; we did not invade their much to see again restored: that island carrying death or slavery necessity must be hard indeed to it's inhabitants. We took arms which could may force upon us in defence of our persons and this desperate measure, or induce properties under actual violation, us to avail ourselves of any aid we have taken up arms we took up which their enemies of Great arms; when that violence shall be Britain might proffer. We took removed, when hostilities shall up arms to defend in defense of cease on the part of the aggresour persons and properties under sors, hostilities shall cease on our actual violation: when that vio- part also. The moment they with lence shall be removed, when hos- draw their armies, we will disband tilities shall cease on the minis ours. For the atchievment of terial the ministerial party there this happy event, we call for and fore shall cease be suspended hos confide in the good offices of our tilities on the part ministeriał of fellow subjects beyond the Atthe aggressors, hostilities they lantic. Of their friendly disposhall be suspended cease on our sitions we do not yet cease to hope; part also; when the moment they aware, as they must be, that they withdraw their armies we will dis- have nothing more to expect from band ours.
next to 4 vigourous the same common enemy, than the exertion of ourown intomal foree, humble favour of being last dewe throw ourselves for towards voured. And we devoutly implore we did not embody men a soldiery the assistance of Almighty god to to commit aggression on them; we conduct us happily thro’ this great did not raise armies for mareh te conflict, to dispose the minds of orto glory glory or for conquest; his majesty, his ministers, and parwe did not invade their island, liament to reasonable terms reconproffering carrying death or slav- ciliation with us on reasonable ery to it's inhabitants Towards terms, and to deliver us from the the atchievement of this happy evils of a civil war. event we call for and confide on in Q. If it might not be proper to the good offices of our fellow sub- take notice of Ld. Chatham's Plan jects beyond the Atlantic. Of and its being rejected, mentioning their friendly dispositions we een his great abilities.' fide we hope with justice reason Q. If it might not be proper to
This paragraph is in the writing of Dickinson.
can not yet cease to hope and as take notice how many great Men sure them they are aware as they in Parlt. and how many considermust be that they have nothing able Cities and Towns in England more to expect from the same have acknowledg’d the Justice of common enemy than the humble our Cause.? favour of being last devoured. Q. Ld. North's Proposal." JOHN DICKINSON'S DRAFT.
FINAL FORM. A Declaration by the Repre- A declaration by the Represensentatives of the United Colonies of tatives of the United Colonies of North America now sitting met in North America, now met in GenGeneral Congress at Philadelphia, eral Congress at Philadelphia, setting forth the Causes and Neces- setting forth the causes and nesity of their taking up Arms. cessity of their taking up arms.
If it was possible for Beings who If it was possible for men, who entert feel a proper Reverenee for exercise their reason, to believe, endued with Reason to believe that that the Divine Author of our exthe Divine Authorof their Exist istence intended a part of the enee Men, who exercise their Rea- human race to hold an absolute son in contemplating the works of property in, and an unbounded Creation, to believe, that the Di- power over others, marked out by vine Author of our Existence, in- his infinite goodness and wisdom, tended a Part of the human Race as the objects of a legal dominato hold an absolute property in tion never rightfully resistible, and an unbounded Power over however severe and oppressive, others, mark'd out by his infinite the Inhabitants of these Colonies Merey Goodness and Wisdom, as might at least require from the the legal Objects of a Domination Parliament of Great Britain some never rightfully to be resistable, evidence, that this dreadful auhowever severe and oppressive, thority over them, has been granted the Inhabitants of these Colonies to that body. But a reverence for would might with at least with our great Creator, principles of hupropriety at least require from manity, and the dictates of common the Parliament of Great Britain sense, must convince all those who some Evidence, that this dreadful reflect upon the subject, that govAuthority was rested in that Body ernment was instituted to promote Authority over them has been the welfare of mankind, and ought granted to that Body. But since to be administered for the attainRefleeti Considerations-trawn# ment of that end. The legislature
* These paragraphs are in the writing of Dickinson.
due Roverence a Reverence for of Great Britain, however, stimu
great Creator, Sentimonts lated by an inordinate passion for Principles of Humanity and the a power, not only unjustifiable, Dietates of Reason have convinced but which they know to be pecuthe wise and good and the Dic- liarly reprobated by the very contates of Common Sense, have must stitution of that kingdom, and convince all those who will reflect desperate of success in any mode upon the Subject, that Govern- of contest, where regard should ment was instituted to promote be had to truth, law, or right, have the Welfare of Mankind, and at length, deserting those, atought to be administered for the tempted to effect their cruel and Attainment of that End, since impolitic purpose of enslaving these generous and noble Prinei these Colonies by violence, and ples have on no Part of the Earth have thereby rendered it necessary been so well asserted vindicated for us to close with their last apand enforeed As in Great Britain, peal from Reason to Arms.-Yet, the Legislature of that Kingdom however blinded that assembly hurried on by an inordinate pas may be, by their intemperate rage sion for Power, of Ambition fora for unlimited domination, so to Power' which their own most att slight justice and the opinion of mired Writers and their very fon mankind, we esteem ourselves stitution, demonstrate to be un bound, by obligations of respect just; and which they know to be to the rest of the world, to make inconsistent with theirown polit known the justice of our cause. ical Constitution the Legislature of Great Britain stimulated by an inordinate Passion for a Power not only generally pronoune'él held to be unjust, but unjustifiable, but which they know to be peculiarly reprobated by the very Constitution of that Kingdom, and desperate of Success in + Mode of Cont test in any Mode of Contest, where Any a Regard should be had to Truth, or Justice, or Reason, have at last-appeald ength Law or
* An alternative phrase, also rejected, was here interlined: “Passion for a Power manifestly unjust and which ”
?“ be reprobated by the very,” was here inserted, but struck out.
Right, have at length attempted to effect their cruel and impolitic Purpose by Violence, and have thereby rendered it necessary for us to change close with their last Appeal from Reason to Arms. Yet however blinded they that Assembly may be by their intemperate Rage, yet we esteem ourselves bound by Obligations of Respect to the rest of the World, to make known the Justice of our Cause.
Our Forefathers, inhabitants of Our forefathers, inhabitants of the Island of G. B. left their native the island of Great Britain, left Land, to seek in the distant and their native land, to seek on these inhospitable Wilds of America on shores a residence for civil and inhospitable Wilds of America on religious freedom.
At the exthese Shores, a Residence for civil pence of their blood, at the hazard and religious Biberty Freedom. of their fortunes, without the least To describe the Dangers, Difficul- charge to the country from which ties and Distresses, the Exponee they removed, by unceasing labor, of Blood and Fortune, Treasure and an unconquerable spirit, they they were obliged to encounter in effected settlements in the distant executing their generous Resolu- and inhospitable wilds of America, tions, would require Volumes. It then filled with numerous and warmay suffice to observe, that, at the like nations of barbarians. SocieExpence of their Blood, to the ties or governments, vested with Ruin of their Fortunes, and every perfect legislatures, were formed Prospeet of Advantage in their under charters from the crown, native Country without the least and an harmonious intercourse Charge to the Country from which was established between the colthey removed, with by unceas- onies and the kingdom from which ing Labor and an unconquerable they derived their origin. The Spirit, they effected Settlements in mutual benefits of this union bethe distant and inhospitable Wilds came in a short time so extraorof America, then filled with nu- dinary, as to excite astonishment. merous and warlike Nations of It is universally confessed, that Barbarians. Societies or Govern- the amazing increase of the wealth, ments, vested with perfect legisla- strength, and navigation of the tures within them, were formed realm, arose from this source; and under Charters from the Crown, the minister, who so wisely and and sueh an harmonious Inter- successfully directed the measures course and Union was established of Great Britain in the late war, between the Colonies and the King- publicly declared, that these coldom from which they derived their onies enabled her to triumph over Origin. The mutual benefits of her enemies.
Towards the conthis Union that some occasional clusion of that war, it pleased our Assumptions of The mutual Bene- sovereign to make a change in his fits of this Union became in a short counsels.-From that fatal moTime so extraordinary as to ex- ment, the affairs of the British cite the Astonishment of other empire began to fall into confusion, Nations. Every British Writer and gradually sliding from the of Eminence, who has treated of summit of glorious prosperity, to the Subjeet Politics for near a Cen- which they had been advanced by tury past, has uniformly asserted the virtues and abilities of one that the amazing Increase of the man, are at length distracted by Wealth, Strength and Navigation the convulsions, that now shake it of that Kingdom the Realm, arose to its deepest foundations. The from this Source; and the Minis- new ministry finding the brave ister who so gloriously presided foes of Britain, though frequently ably wisely and successfully di- defeated, yet still contending, took rected the Couneils, Affairs, Meas- up the unfortunate idea of grantures of Great Britain during in ing them a hasty peace, and of then the last War, publickly declared, subduing her faithful friends. that these Colonies had enabled enabled her to triumph over her Enemies.
At Towards the Conclusion of that War, it pleased our Sovereign to make a Change in his Counsels. From that fatal Moment, the Affairs of the British Empire began to slidte fall into Confusion, that sinee has been continually enerensing and how has produeed the most alamming Effects and gradually feelining sliding from that splendid Summit of glorious Prosperity to which they had been ear