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He has kept among us in time of peace standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior 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 pretende legislation.
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us.
For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabi. tants 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 benefit 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 neighboring 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 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, by declaring us out of his 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 scarcely 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 domestic insurrections amongstus, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our fron. tiers, the merciless Indian savages, 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 tyrant, is unfit to be the 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 the attempts 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 connections and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our 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 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 connection 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.
The foregoing declaration, was, by order of Congress engrossed, and signed by the following members:
GEORGE Ross. MATTHEW THORNTON.
Delaware. Massachusetts Bay. CÆSAR RODNEY, SAMUEL ADAMS,
SAMUEL CHASE, Rhode Island. William Paca, STEPHEN HOPKINS,
THOMAS STONE, WILLIAM ELLERY.
CHARLES CARROLL, of
GEORGE WYTHE, WILLIAM WILLIAMS,
Richard HENRY LEE, OLIVER WOLCOTT.
Thomas NELSON, Jr.
FRANCIS LIGHTFoot LER
WILLIAM HOOPER, 7,595 New Jersey.
EDWARD RUTLEDGE, ABRAHAM CLARK.
THOMAS HeYWARD, Jr.
THOMAS Lynch, Jr. ist 9, Pennsylvania
BUTTON GWINNETT, JOHN MORTON,
LYMAN HALL, GEORGE CLYMER,
GEORGE WALTON James SMITH,
WASHINGTON'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS,
APRIL 30, 1789.
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate
and House of Representatives : Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the 14th day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years, a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health, to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence, one, who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature, and unpractised in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiences. In this conflict of emotions, all that I dare aver is, that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty. from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be effected. All I dare hope is, that is in executing this task I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proot' of the confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me, my error will be palliated by the motives which misled me, and its consequences be judged by my country with some share of the partiality with which they originated.
Such being the impressions under which I have, mode dience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe—who presides in the councils of nations and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seems to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.
By the article establishing the executive department, it is made the duty of the President “to recommend to your consideration such measures as he shall judge ne. cessary and expedient." The circumstances under which I now meet you will acquit me from entering into that subject farther than to refer to the great constitutional charter under which you are assembled, and which, in