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quate powers.

of right solely to the people of this colony to determine the said doubts: Therefore,

Resolved, That it be recommended to the electors in the Recomseveral counties in this colony, by election in the manner and to elect form prescribed for the election of the present congress, either with adeto authorise (in addition to the powers vested in this congress) their present deputies, or others in the stead of their present deputies, or either of them, to take into consideration the necessity and propriety of instituting such new government as in and by the said resolution of the continental congress is described and recommended. And if the majority of the counties, by their deputies in provincial congress, shall be of opinion that such new government ought to be instituted and established, then to institute and establish such a government as they shall deem best calculated to secure the rights, liberties, and happiness of the good people of this colony: and to continue in force until a future peace with Great Britain shall render the same necessary. And,

Resolved, That the said elections in the several counties, Time and ought to be had on such day, and at such place or places, as meeting. by the committee of each county respectively shall be determined. And it is recommended to the said committees, to fix such early days for the said elections, as that all the deputies to be elected have sufficient time to repair to the city of NewYork by the second Monday in July next; on which day all the said deputies ought punctually to give their attendance.

“And whereas the object of the aforegoing resolutions is of the utmost importance to the good people of this colony;

Resolred, That it be, and it is hereby earnestly recommended to the committees, freeholders and other electors in the different counties in this colony, diligently to carry the same into execution.”

AND WHEREAS the good people of the said colony, in pur- Appoint, suance of the said resolution, and reposing special trust and convention. confidence in the members of this convention, have appointed, authorised, and empowered them for the purposes, and in the manner, and with the powers in and by the said resolve specified, declared and mentioned.

AND WHEREAS the delegates of the United American States, Proceedin general congress convened, did on the fourth day of July general now last past, solemnly publish and declare, in the words fol- congress. lowing, viz.

“When in the course of human events, it becomes neces- Declaration sary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have pendence. • connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are Reasons created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with thereof.

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certain unalienable rights; that among these are, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed: that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes, and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former system of government. The history of the present king of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

“He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

“He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

“He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature; a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

“He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

“He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

“He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large, for their exercise; the state remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

“He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturaliza


tion of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

“He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

“He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

“He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

"He has kept among us, in times 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 pretended legislation

“For quartering large bodies of troops among us :

“For protecting them by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders they should commit on the inhabitants 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 benefits 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 goverment, 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 amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, 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 attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time, of 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 connexion 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 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."

AND WHEREAS this convention, having taken this declaration into their most serious consideration, did, on the ninth day of July last past, unanimously resolve that the reasons assigned by the continental congress, for declaring the united colonies free and independent states, are cogent, and conclusive; and that, while we lament the cruel necessity which has rendered that measure unavoidable, we approve the same, and will, at the risk of our lives and fortunes, join with the other colonies in supporting it.


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By virtue of which several acts, declarations, and proceed- Powers of ings, mentioned and contained in the afore-recited resolves or tion. resolutions of the general congress of the United American States, and of the congresses or conventions of this state, all power whatever therein hath reverted to the people thereof, and this convention hath, by their suffrages and free choice, been appointed, and among other things, authorized to institute and establish such a government as they shall deem best calculated to secure the rights and liberties of the good people of this state, most conducive of the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and of America in general:

I. This convention, therefore, in the name and by the All authoriauthority of the good people of this state, DOTH ORDAIN, from the DETERMINE AND DECLARE, That no authority shall, on any pretence whatever, be exercised over the people or members of this state, but such as shall be derived from and granted by them.

II. This convention doth further, in the name and by the Legislative authority of the good people of this state, ORDAIN, DETERMINE AND DECLARE, That the supreme legislative power within this state, shall be vested in two separate and distinct bodies of men ; the one to be called the Assembly of the state of New York; the other to be called the Senate of the state of New York; who, together, shall form the legislature, and meet once at least in every year for the despatch of business.

III. AND WHEREAS laws inconsistent with the spirit of this conncil of constitution, or with the public good, may be hastily and unadvisedly passed : BE IT ORDAINED, That the governor, for the time being, the chancellor and the judges of the supreme court, or any two of them, together with the governor, shall be, and hereby are, constituted a council to revise all bills about to be passed into laws by the legislature. And for that purpose shall assemble themselves, from time to time, when the legislature shall be convened; for which, nevertheless, they shall not receive any salary or consideration under any pretence whatever. And that all bills which have passed the senate and assembly, shall, before they become laws, be presented to the said council for their revisal and consideration; and if upon such revision and consideration, it should appear improper to the said council, or a majority of them, that the said bill should become a law of this state, that they return the same, together with their objections thereto in writing, to the senate or house of assembly, in whichsoever the same shall have originated, who shall enter the objections sent down by the council, at large, in their minutes, and proceed to re-consider the said bill. But if after such re-consideration, two-thirds of the said senate or house of assembly, shall, notwithstanding the said objections, agree to pass the same, it shall together with the objections, be sent to the other branch of the legislature, where it shall also be re-considered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members present, shall be a law.


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