Page:American Archives, Series 4, Volume 1.djvu/535
CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, OCTOBER 26, 1774.
ment to your Majesty's person, family, and Government, we too dearly prize the privilege of expressing that attachment by those proofs that are honourable to the Prince who receives them, and to the People who give them, ever to resign it to any body of men upon earth.
Had we been permitted to enjoy, in quiet, the inheritance left us by our forefathers, we should, at this time, have been peaceably, cheerfully, and usefully employed in recommending ourselves, by every testimony of devotion, to your Majesty, and of veneration to the state, from which we derive our origin. But though now exposed to unexpected and unnatural scenes of distress by a contention with that Nation in whose parental guidance on all important affairs, we have hitherto, with filial reverence, constantly trusted, and therefore can derive no instruction in our present unhappy and perplexing circumstances from any former experience; yet, we doubt not, the purity of our intention, and the integrity of our conduct, will justify us at that grand tribunal before which all mankind must submit to judgment.
We ask but for Peace, Liberty, and Safety. We wish not a diminution of the prerogative, nor do we solicit the grant of any new right in our favour. Your Royal authority over us, and our connection with Great Britain, we shall always carefully and zealously endeavour to support and maintain.
Filled with sentiments of duty to your Majesty, and of affection to our parent state, deeply impressed by our education, and strongly confirmed by our reason, and anxious to evince the sincerity of these dispositions, we present this Petition only to obtain redress of Grievances, and relief from fears and jealousies, occasioned by the system of Statutes and Regulations adopted since the close of the late war, for raising a Revenue in America—extending the powers of Courts of Admiralty and Vice Admiralty—trying persons in Great Britain for offences alleged to be committed in America—affecting the Province of Massachusetts Bay—and altering the Government and extending the limits of Quebec; by the abolition of which system the harmony between Great Britain and these Colonies, so necessary to the happiness of both, and so ardently desired by the latter, and the usual intercourses will be immediately restored. In the magnanimity and justice of your Majesty and Parliament we confide for a redress of our other grievances, trusting, that, when the causes of our apprehensions are removed, our future conduct will prove us not unworthy of the regard we have been accustomed in our happier days to enjoy. For, appealing to that Being, who searches thoroughly the hearts of his creatures, we solemnly profess, that our Councils have been influenced by no other motive than a dread of impending destruction.
Permit us then, most gracious Sovereign, in the name of all your faithful People in America, with the utmost humility, to implore you, for the honour of Almighty God, whose pure Religion our enemies are undermining; for your glory, which can be advanced only by rendering your subjects happy, and keeping them united; for the interests of your family depending on an adherence to the principles that enthroned it; for the safety and welfare of your Kingdoms and Dominions, threatened with almost unavoidable dangers and distresses, that your Majesty, as the loving Father of your whole People, connected by the same bands of Law, Loyalty, Faith, and Blood, though dwelling in various countries, will not suffer the transcendent relation formed by these ties to be farther violated, in uncertain expectation of effects, that, if attained, never can compensate for the calamities through which they must be gained.
We therefore most earnestly beseech your Majesty, that your Royal authority and interposition may be used for our relief, and that a gracious Answer may be given to this Petition.
That your Majesty may enjoy every felicity through a long and glorious Reign, over loyal and happy subjects, and that your descendants may inherit your prosperity and Dominions till time shall be no more, is, and always will be, our sincere and fervent prayer.
Henry Middleton, President
|Massachusetts Bay,||Thomas Cushing,
Robert Treat Paine.
John De Hart,
|Delaware Government,||Cæsar Rodney
Thomas Johnson, Junr.
|Virginia,||Richard Henry Lee,
|North Carolina,||William Hooper,
|South Carolina,||Thomas Lynch,
Resolved, That the Thanks of this Congress be given to the Honourable House of Representatives of the Colony of Pennsylvania, for their politeness to this Congress; and that the Delegates for this Colony be a Committee to communicate this Resolution to the said Honourable House.
Agents to whom the Address to the King is to be sent:
For New Hampshire, Paul Wentworth, Esq.; Massachusetts Bay, William Bollan, Esquire, Doctor Benjamin Franklin, Doctor Arthur Lee; Rhode-Island, none; Connecticut, Thomas Life, Esq.; New-Jersey, Doctor Benjamin Franklin; Pennsylvania, Doctor Benjamin Franklin; New-York, Edmund Burke; Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, none; South Carolina, Charles Garth, Esq.
Wednesday, 26th, sent an Address to the King, and under cover to Doctor Franklin, directed to the above Agents. Thursday, 27th, sent per Mr. H. Middleton, two letters to Georgia, one directed to Glenn, the other to Lyman Hall and others; also one to East Florida, and one to West Florida. Same day, sent per Mr. S. Adams, a letter to Nova Scotia, and one to St. Johns.
November 6th, sent the second copy of the Address to his Majesty, by Captain Falconer.
The Address to the People of Quebec, being translated by Mr. Simitier, two thousand copies were struck off, of which three hundred were sent to Boston, by Captain Wier, 16th November.
A List of the Deputies or Delegates who attended tho Congress held at Philadelphia, September 5, 1774.
From New Hampshire.—Major John Sullivan, Colonel Nathaniel Folsom.
From Massachusetts Bay.—The Hon. Thomas Cushing, Esquire, Mr. Samuel Adams, John Adams, Esquire, Robert Treat Paine, Esquire.
From Rhode-Island.—The Honourable Stephen Hopkins, Esquire, the Honourable Samuel Ward, Esquire.