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Jersey, I will not assent to any law, vote, or proceeding, which shall appear to me injurious to the public welfare of said Colony, nor that shall annul or repeal that part of the third section in the charter of this Colony, which establishes that the elections of members of the Legislative Council and Assembly shall be annual, nor that part of the twenty-second section in said charter, respecting the trial by jury, nor that shall annul, repeal, or alter any part or parts of the eighteenth or nineteenth sections of the fame."
And any person, or persons, who shall be elected as aforesaid, is hereby impowered to administer to the said members the said oath or affirmation.
Provided always, and it is the true intent and meaning of this Congress, that if a reconciliation between Great-Britain and these Colonies should take place, and the latter be taken again under the protection and government- of the Crown os Britain, this charter shall be null and void, otherwise to remain firm and inviolable. In Provincial Congress, New-Jersey, Burlington, July 2, 1776. By order of Congress, SAM. TUCKER, Pref. Extract from the Minutes, W.PATERSON, Sec.
O F T H E
COMMONWEALTH Of PENNSYLVANIA,
AS ESTABLISHED BY THE GENERAL CONVEN. TION, ELECTED FOR THAT PURPOSE, AND HELD AT PHILADELPHIA, JULY 15,-1776, AND CONTINUED BY ADJOURNMENTS TO SEPTEMBER 28, 1776.
WHEREAS all government ought to be instituted and supported for the security and protection of the community as such, and to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and the other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed upon man; and whenever these great ends of government are not obtained, the people have a right, by common consent, to change it, and take such measures as to them may appear necessary to promote their safety and happiness. And whereas the inhabitants of this Commonwealth have, in consideration N 2 of of protection only, heretofore acknowledged allegiance to the King of Great Britain, and the said King has not only withdrawn that protection, but commenced, and still continues to carry on, with unabated vengeance, a most cruel and unjust war against them, employing therein not only the troops of Great Britain, but foreign mercenaries, savages, and slaves, for the avowed purpose of reducing them to a total and abject submission to the despotic domination of the British Parliament, with many other acts of tyranny, (more fully set forth in the Declaration of Congress) whereby all allegiance and fealty to the said King and his successors, are dissolved and at an end, and all power and authority derived from him ceased in these Colonies: And whereas it is absolutely necessary for the welfare and safety of the inhabitants of said Colonies, that they be henceforth free and independent States, and that just, 'permanent, and proper forms of Government exist in every part of them, derived from and founded on the authority of the people only, agreeable to the directions of the Honourable American Congress: We, the Representatives of the freemen of Pennsylvania, in General
ConConvention, met for the express purpose of framing such a Government, confessing the goodness of the Great Governor of the Universe (who alone knows to what degree of earthly happiness mankind may attain, by perfecting the arts of Government) in permitting the people of this State, by common consent, and without violence, deliberately to form for themselves such just rules as they shall think best for governing their future society; and being fully convinced, that it is our indispensible duty to establish such original principles of government as will best promote the general happiness of the people of this State, and their posterity, and provide for future improvements, without partiality for, or prejudice against, any particular class, sect, or denomination of men whatever, do, by virtue of the authority vested in us by our constituents, ordain, declare, and establish the following Declaration Of Rights, andFRAME Of GovERNMENTtobethe ConstiTution of this Commonwealth, and to remain in force therein for ever, unaltered, except in such articles as shall hereafter on experience be found to require improvement, and which shall by the same authority of the people, fairly deleN 3 gated gated as this Frame of Government directs, be amended or improved for the more effectual obtaining and securing the great end and design of all government, herein before mentioned.
• • •.
INHABITANTS of the STATE of PENNSYLVANIA.
I. THAT all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
II. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences and understanding: and that no man ought,