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The Congress in the mean time continued to act with vigour. Articles of confederation, and perpetual 'union were drawn up, and solemnly agreed to; by which they bound themselves and their posterity for eyer, as follows.
1. Each colony was to be independent within itself, and 'to retain an absolute sovereignty in all domestic affairs.
3. Delegates to be annually elected, to meet in Congress, at such time and place as should be enacted in the prece. ding Congress.
3. This assembly, should have the power of determining war, or peace, making alliances; and in short, all that power which sovereigns of states usually claim as their own.
4. The expenses were to be paid out of the common trea. sury, and raised by a pole-tax on males between 16 and 60, the proportion to be determined by the laws of the colony.
5. An executive council to be appointed to act in place of the congress during its recess. r
6. No colony to make war with the Indians without consent of Congress.
7. The boundaries of all the Indian lands to be ascertained and secured to them ; and no purchases of lands were to be made by individuals, or even by a colony, without consent of Congress.
8. Agents appointed by Congress should reside among the Indians, to prevent frauds in trading with them, and to relieve, at the public expense, their wants and distresses.
9. This confederation to last until there should be a reconciliation with Britain ; or if that event should not take place, it was to be perpetual.
After the action of Bunker's-hill, however, when the power of Great Britain appeared less formidable to the Americans than before, Congress proceeded to justify their proceedings, in a declaration drawn up in terms more expressive, and well calculated to excite attention. “ Were it possible (said they) for men who exercise their reason, to believe that the divine author of our existence intended a part of the human race to hold an absolute property in, and unbounded power over others, marked out by his infinite goodness as the objects of a legal domination, never to be resisted however severe and oppressive. The inhabitants of these colonies, might at least require from the parliament of Great Britain, some evidence that this dreadful authority over them had been granted to that body; but a reverence for our great Creator, principles of humanity, and the dictates of common sense must convince all those who' reflect on the subject, that government was instituted to promote the welfare of mankind, and ought to be administered to the attainment of that end. · The legislature of Great Britain, stimulated by an inordinaté passion for power, not only unjustifiable, but which they know to be peculiarly repugnant to the constitution of that 'kingdom, and despairing of success in any mode of contest where regard should be had to law, 'truth, or right, have at length, deserting thosé, attempted to effect their cruel and impolític purpose of enslaving these colonies, by violence; and have thereby rendered it necessary for us to close with their last appeal from 'reason, to arms. Yet, however blind that assembly may be, by their inteinperate rage for unlimited domination, so to slight justice in the opinion of mankind, we esteem ourselves bound by obligations to the rest of ihe world, to make known the justice of our cause." • After taking notice of the manner in which their ancestors left Britain, the happiness attending the mutual and friendly intercourse betwixt that country and her colonies, and the remarkable success in the late' war; they proceed as follows : “ The new ministry finding the brave foes of Britain, though frequently defeated, yet still contencing, look up to the unfortunate idea of graniing them a hasty peace, and of then subduing her faithful friend.
These devotext colonies, were judged to be in such a state as to prevent victories without bloodshed, and all the easy emolument of ståtutable plunder. The uninterrupted tenor of their peaceable and respectful behaviour, for the beginning of their colonization ; their dutiful, zealous, and useful services, during the war, though so recently and, ainply acknowledged in the most honourable manner, by, his Majesty, the late king, and by parliament; could not save them from the intented innovations. Parliament was influenced to adopt the pernicious project;
and assuming a new power over them; has, in the course of eleven years, given such decisive specimens of the spirit and consequences attending this power, as to leave no doubt of the effects of acquiescence under it.
They have undertaken to give, and grant our money without our consent ; though we have ever exercised an exclusive right to dispose of our own property. Statutes have been passed for extending the jurisdiction of the courts of admiralty, and vice admiralty, beyond their ancient limits; for depriving us of the accustomed and inestimable rights of trial by jury, in cases affecting both life and property ; for suspending the legislature of one of our colonies ; for interdicting all commerce to the capital of another; and for altering fundamentally the forin of government established by charter, and secured by acts of its own legislature, and solemnly 'confirmed by the crown ; for exempting murderers from legal trial, and in effect from punishment; for erecting in a neighbouring province, acquired by the joint arms of Great Britain and America, a disposition dangerous to our very existence; and for quartering soldiers upon the colonists in times of profound peace. It has also been resolved in parliament, that colorists, charged with committing certain offences, shall be transported to England to be tried. But why should we enumerate our injuries into detail ? ' . By one statute it was declared, that parliament can, of right, makc laws to bind us in all cases whatever. What is to defend us against so enormous, so unlimited a power ? Not a single person who assumes it, is chosen by us, or is subject to our control, or influence; but on the contrary, they are all of them exempt from the operation of such laws ; and an American revenue, if nof diverted from the ostensible purposes for which it is raised, would actually lighten their own burdens in proportion as it increases ours.
We saw the misery to which such despotism would re. duce us. We for ten years incessantly and ineffectuali y besieged the throne as supplicants ; we reasoned, we remonstrated with parliament, in the most mild and decent language ; but administration, sensible that we should regard these measures as freemen ought to do, sent over Reets and arınies to enforce them.
• We have pursued every temperate, every respectful measure ; we have even proceeded to break off all cominercial intercourse with our fellow subjects, as our last peaceable admonition, that our attachment to no nation on earth would supplant our liberty'; this we flattered ourselves was the ultimate step of the controversy ; but subscquent events have shown how vain was this hope of finding moderation in our enemies !
The lords and commons in their address in the month of February, 1775, said, that a rebellion at that time actually existed in the province of Massachusetts Bay ; and that those concerned in it had been countenanced and encouraged by unlawful combinations, and engagemints entered into by his majesty's subjects in several of the colonies ; and therefore they besought his majesty that he would take the most effectual measures to enforce due obedience to the laws and authority of the supreme legislature. Soon after, the commercial intercourse of those colonies with foreign countries was cut off by an act of par. liament ; by another, several of them were entirely prohibited from the fisheries in the seas near their coasts, on which they always depended for their subsistence ; and large reinforcements of ships and troops were immediately sent over to general Gage. Fruitless were all the entreaties, arguments, and eloquence, of an illustrious band of the most distinguished peers and commoners, who nobly and strenuously asserted the justice of our cause, to stay, or even to migitate, the heedless fury with which these accumulated outrages were hurried on. Equally fruitless' was the interference of the city of London, of Bristol, and of many other respectable towns in our favour.
After having reproached parliament, general Gage, and the British government, in general, they proceed thus, • We are reduced to the alternative of chusing an unconditional submission to tvranny, or resitance by force. The latter is our choice. We have counted the cost of this contést, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary | slávery. Honour, justice, and humanity, forbid us tameJy to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity, have a right to receive from us. Our cause is just ; our union is
perfect ; our internal resources are great ; and if necessa: ry, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable. Ve fight not for glory or conquest; we exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than' servitude or death. In our native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birthright, for the protection of our property, ác. quired by the honest industry of our forefathers, and our own, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms; we shall lay them down when hostilities shall . cease on the part of our aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed......and not be. fore."
These are some of the most striking passages in the declaration of congress on taking up arms against Great Britain. Without enquiring whether the principles on which it is founded are right or wrong, the determined spirit which it shows; ought to have convinced the ministry that the conquest of America was an event not reasonably to be expected. , In every other respect an equal spirit was shown; and the rulers of the British nation had the mortification to see those whom they styled rebels and traitors, succeed in negociations in which they themselves were utterly foiled. In the passing the Quebec bil the ministry had flattered themselves that the Canadians would be so much attached to them on account of restoring the French laws, that they would readily join in any attempt against the colonists, who had reprobated' that bill in such strong terms; but in this, as in every thing else, they found themselves much mistaken, ".
The Canadians having been subject to the British go. vernment for a period of fifteen years, and being thus made sensible of the superior advantages of the laws of that country, received the bill' with eviderit marks of disapprobation ; so far that they reprobated it as tyrannical and oppressive.
A scheme had been formed for general Caricion, governor of the province, to raise an army of Canadians wherewith to act against the Americans ; and so sanguine were the hopes of administration, in this respect, thai they had sent twenty thousand stands of arms and a great