Monday, December 11, 2006

Journals of the Continental Congress, "...and that Liberty which renders the enjoyment of them secure...", July 8, 1775

The Twelve United Colonies, by their Delegates in Congress, to the Inhabitants of Great Britain.

"...but when the Friendship is violated by the grossest Injuries; when the Pride of Ancestry becomes our Reproach, and we are no otherwise allied than as Tyrants and Slaves..."

"...To confirm this Assertion, let us recal your attention to the Affairs of America, since our last Address. Let us combat the Calumnies of our Enemies; and let us warn you of the dangers that threaten you in our destruction. Many of your Fellow-Subjects, whose situation deprived them of other Support, drew their Maintenance from the Sea; but the deprivation of our Liberty being insufficient to satisfy the resentment of our Enemies, the horrors of Famine were superadded, and a British Parliament, who, in better times, were the Protectors of Innocence and the Patrons of Humanity, have, without distinction of Age or Sex, robbed thousands of the Food which they were accustomed to draw from that inexhaustible Source, placed in their neighbourhood by the benevolent Creator."

"Another Act of your Legislature shuts our Ports, and prohibits our Trade with any but those States from whom the great Law of selfpreservation renders it absolutely necessary we should at present withhold our Commerce. But this Act (whatever may have been its design) we consider rather as injurious to your Opulence than our Interest. All our Commerce terminates with you; and the Wealth we procure from other Nations, is soon exchanged for your Superfluities. Our remittances must then cease with our trade; and our refinements with our Affluence. We trust, however, that Laws which deprive as of every Blessing but a Soil that teems with the necessaries of Life, and that Liberty which renders the enjoyment of them secure, will not relax our Vigour in their Defence."

"We might here observe on the Cruelty and Inconsistency of those, who, while they publicly Brand us with reproachful and unworthy Epithets, endeavour to deprive us of the means of defence, by their Interposition with foreign Powers, and to deliver us to the lawless Ravages of a merciless Soldiery. But happily we are not without Resources; and though the timid and humiliating Applications of a British Ministry should prevail with foreign Nations, yet Industry, prompted by necessity, will not leave us without the necessary Supplies...."

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