Page:American Archives, Series 4, Volume 2.djvu/1014

1871
1872
CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, JULY 8, 1775.

contending parties, we think ourselves required by indispensable obligations to Almighty God, to your Majesty, to our fellow-subjects, and to ourselves, immediately to use all the means in our power, not incompatible with our safety, for stopping the further effusion of blood, and for averting the impending calamities that threaten the British Empire.

Thus called upon to address your Majesty on affairs of such moment to America, and probably to all your Dominions, we are earnestly desirous of performing this office with the utmost deference for your Majesty; and we therefore pray, that your Majesty's royal magnanimity and benevolence may make the most favourable constructions of our expressions on so uncommon an occasion. Could we represent in their full force the sentiments that agitate the minds of us your dutiful subjects, we are persuaded your Majesty would ascribe any seeming deviation from reverence in our language, and even in our conduct, not to any reprehensible intention, but to the impossibility of reconciling the usual appearances of respect with a just attention to our own preservation against those artful and cruel enemies who abuse your royal confidence and authority, for the purpose of effecting our destruction.

Attached to your Majesty's person, family, and Government, with all devotion that principle and affection can inspire; connected with Great Britain by the strongest ties that can unite societies, and deploring every event that tends in any degree to weaken them, we solemnly assure your Majesty, that we not only most ardently desire the former harmony between her and these Colonies may be restored, but that a concord may be established between them upon so firm a basis as to perpetuate its blessings, uninterrupted by any future dissensions, to succeeding generations in both countries, and to transmit your Majesty's name to posterity, adorned with that signal and lasting glory that has attended the memory of those illustrious personages, whose virtues and abilities have extricated states from dangerous convulsions, and, by securing happiness to others, have erected the most noble and durable monuments to their own fame.

We beg leave further to assure your Majesty, that notwithstanding the sufferings of your loyal Colonists during the course of this present controversy, our breasts retain too tender a regard for the kingdom from which we derive our origin, to request such a reconciliation as might, in any manner, be inconsistent with her dignity or her welfare. These, related as we are to her, honour and duty, as well as inclination, induce us to support and advance; and the apprehensions that now oppress our hearts with unspeakable grief, being once removed, your Majesty will find your faithful subjects on this Continent ready and willing at all times, as they have ever been, with their lives and fortunes, to assert and maintain the rights and interests of your Majesty, and of our Mother Country.

We therefore beseech your Majesty, that your royal authority and influence may be graciously interposed to procure us relief from our afflicting fears and jealousies, occasioned by the system before-mentioned, and to settle peace through every part of our Dominions, with all humility submitting to your Majesty's wise consideration, whether it may not be expedient, for facilitating those important purposes, that your Majesty be pleased to direct some mode, by which the united applications of your faithful Colonists to the Throne, in pursuance of their common counsels, may be improved into a happy and permanent reconciliation; and that, in the mean time, measures may be taken for preventing the further destruction of the lives of your Majesty's subjects; and that such statutes as more immediately distress any of your Majesty's Colonies, may be repealed.

For such arrangements as your Majesty's wisdom can form for collecting the united sense of your American people, we are convinced your Majesty would receive such satisfactory proofs of the disposition of the Colonists towards their Sovereign and Parent State, that the wished for opportunity would soon be restored to them, of evincing the sincerity of their professions, by every testimony of devotion becoming the most dutiful subjects, and the most affectionate Colonists.

That your Majesty may enjoy a long and prosperous reign, and that your descendants may govern your Dominions [1872]with honour to themselves and happiness to their subjects, is our sincere prayer.

John Hancock

 New-Hampshire, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ John Langdon, Thomas Cushing. Massachusetts, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine. Rhode-Island, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Stephen Hopkins, Samuel Ward, Eliphalet Dyer. Connecticut, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Roger Sherman, Silas Deane. New-York, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Philip Livingston, James Duane, John Alsop, Francis Lewis, John Jay, Robert Livingston, Jr., Lewis Morris, William Floyd, Henry Wisner. New-Jersey, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ William Livingston, John De Hart, Richard Smith. Pennsylvania, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ John Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, George Ross, James Wilson, Charles Humphreys, Edward Biddle. Delaware Counties, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Cæsar Rodney Thomas McKean, George Read. Maryland, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Matthew Tilghman, Thomas Johnson, Jr., William Paca, Samuel Chase, Thomas Stone. Virginia, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Patrick Henry, Jr., Richard Henry Lee, Edmund Pendleton, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Jefferson. North-Carolina, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ William Hooper, Joseph Hewes. South-Carolina, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Henry Middleton, Thomas Lynch, Christopher Gadsden, John Rutledge, Edward Rutledge.

The Committee appointed to prepare a Letter to the Lord Mayor, &c., reported the same; which was read.

On motion, Resolved, That the above Committee prepare a Letter to Mr. Richard Penn, and the Colony Agents by name in England.

The Congress resumed the consideration of the Address to the Inhabitants of Great Britain; which being read, and debated by paragraphs, was approved, and is as follows:

The Twelve United Colonies, by their Delegates in Congress, to the Inhabitants of Great Britain:

Friends, Countrymen, and Brethren! By these, and by every other appellation that may designate the ties which bind us to each other, we entreat your serious attention to this our second attempt to prevent their dissolution. Remembrance of former friendships, pride in the glorious achievements of our common ancestors, and affection for the heirs of their virtues, have hitherto preserved our mutual connexion; but when that friendship is violated by the grossest injuries; when the pride of ancestry becomes our reproach, and we are no otherwise allied than as tyrants and slaves; when reduced to the melancholy alternative of renouncing your favour or our freedom, can we hesitate about the choice? Let the spirit of Britons determine.

In a former address we asserted our rights, and stated the injuries we had then received. We hoped that the mention of our wrongs would have roused that honest indignation which has slept too long for your honour, or the welfare of the Empire. But we have not been permitted to enter-