Sunday, November 19, 2006

"We were resolved never to resign our Rights but with our Lives", Feb. 5, 1775....

Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 1
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Samuel Chase to James Duane
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Dear Sir Annapolis. Febry. 5th. 1775....
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"...From an entire & perfect Approbation of the Resolve of the Congress, that if the late Acts of Parliamt. relative to the Massachusetts Bay should be attempted to be carried into Execution by force, that in such Case all America ought to support that Colony in her Opposition; From the Declaration by the Congress to the Throne, that our accumulated Injuries were too severe to be any longer tolerable, & that our Militia would protect Us in Time of Peace; From a Concurrence with the Sentiments expressed to the Inhabitants of Quebec, that We were resolved never to resign our Rights but with our Lives, and to the People of G. Britain, that We never would submit to be Hewers of Wood or Drawers of Water for any Ministry or Nation in the World; In Compliance with the advice of the Congress, to extend our Views to the most unhappy Event, & to be in all Respects prepared for every Contingency; From the Consideration of our defenceless State, unable to protect Ourselves, or assist our Friends; From a firm persuasion that a Militia was the proper military force, & Arms and Ammunition the only Means, to defend & secure our Liberties; From a Conviction that to be prepared for a Civil War, is the finest & most effectual Means to prevent one, and for many other Reasons, our provincial Convention passed the Resolutions, which I enclosed You in my last Letter...."
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"We must either resist or infamously submit. If We are resolved to resist, & to defend our Liberties at the Risque of our Lives, a military force & Arms and Ammunition are the only Means. To resolve to resist, without making the necessary Preparations for Resistance, appears to Me to be weak, & a Deception to ourselves & our Friends...."
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"...If the Question was to be decided by Justice or Policy, I should not doubt, that our indubitable Rights would be restored, our Capital Grievances redressed, and peace and Harmony once more established with the Mother Country; but when I reflect on the enormous Influence of The Crown, the System of Corruption introduced as the Art of Government, The Venality of the Electors (the radical Source of every other Evil) the open & repeated Violations, by Parliament, of the Constitution, at Home, The regular, arbitrary System of Colony administration, The several Acts relative to the Massachusetts, The Quebec Bill, and The Re-election of the Members of the last Parliament, I have not the least Dawn of Hope in the Justice, Humanity, Wisdom or Virtue of the British Nation. I consider them as one of the most abandon'd & wicked People under the Sun. They openly sell themselves & their Posterity to their Representatives, who as openly traffic their Integrety & Honor to The Minister. The Roman Senate in the Reigns of Claudius Caesar, Domitian or Nero, were not more servilely wicked, than the present House of Commons. They no longer regard even the Appearance of Virtue. Our Dependance must be on God & ourselves...."
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"...The martial Ardor prevails very generally here. Above 100 Companies, of 81 Men each, are already formed on the western Shore of this Province.
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Colo. Washington in a Letter of 6th Jany, writes "In this County, Prince William, Loudoun, Faquier, Berkely, & many others round about them, a noble Ardour prevails. Men are forming themselves into independent Companies, chusing their officers, arming, Equipping, & training for the worst Event. The last Appeal!"....

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