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"Friday, October 14, 1774. The Congress came into the following Resolutions"

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EXTRACTS
FROM THE
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS
OF THE AMERICAN CONTINENTAL
CONGRESS.

EXTRACTS
FROM THE
VOTES and PROCEEDINGS
Of the AMERICAN CONTINENTAL
CONGRESS,
Held at PHILADELPHIA on the
5th of September 1774.

CONTAINING
The BILL of RIGHTS, a List of GRIEV-
ANCES, Occasional Resolves, the
Association, an Address to the PEOPLE
of GREAT-BRITAIN, and a Memorial
to the INHABITANTS of the BRITISH
AMERICAN COLONIES.

Published by order of the CONGRESS.
PHILADELPHIA:

Printed by WILLIAM and THOMAS BRADFORD,
October 27th, M,DCC,LXXIV.

FRIDAY, October 14, 1774.

The CONGRESS came into the following
Resolutions. --

WHEREAS, since the close of the last
war, the British parliament claiming
a power, of right to bind the people of Ame-
rica, by statute in all cases whatsoever, hath
in some acts expressly imposed taxes on them,
and in others under various pretences, but in
fact for the purpose of raising a revenue, hath
imposed rates and duties payable in these co-
lonies, established a board of commissioners
with unconstitutional powers, and extended
the jurisdiction of courts of admiralty, not
only for collecting the said duties, but for the
trial of causes merely arising within the body
of a country.

AND whereas in consequence of other sta-
tutes, judges, who before held only estates at
will in their offices, have been made depen-
dant on the crown alone for their salaries, and
standing armies kept in time of peace. And
it has lately been resolved in parliament, that
by force of a statute, made in the thirty-fifth
year of the reign of King Henry the eighth,
colonists may be transported to England and

tried there upon accusation for treasons and
misprisions, or concealments of treasons com-
mitted in the colonies; and by a last statute,
such trials have been directed in cases therein
mentioned.

AND whereas in the last session of parlia-
ment, three statutes were made: one entitled,
" An act to discontinue in such manner, and
" for such time as are therein mentioned, the
" landing and discharging, lading or shipping
" of goods, wares and merchandize, at the
" town, and within the harbour of Boston,
" in the province of Massachusetts-Bay, in
" North-America." Another entitled, "An
" act for the better regulating the govern-
" ment of the province of the Massachusetts-
" Bay, in New-England." And another entit-
" led, An act for the impartial administration
" of justice, in the cases of persons questioned
" for any act done by them in the execution
" of the law, or for the suppression of riots
" and tumults, in the province of the Massa-
" chusetts-Bay, in New-England." And an-
other statute was then made, "for making
"more effectual provision for the government
"of the province of Quebec, &c." All which
statutes are impolitic, unjust, and cruel, as
well as unconstitutional, and most dangerous
and destructive of American rights.

AND whereas, assemblies have been fre-
quently dissolved, contrary to the rights of
the people, when they attempted to deliberate
on grievances; and their dutiful, humble,

loyal and reasonable petitions to the crown
for redress, have been repeatedly treated with
contempt by his Majesty's ministers of state.

THE good people of the several colonies of
New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-
Island and Providence plantations, Connec-
ticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania,
New-Castle Kent and Sussex on Delaware,
Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, and
South-Carolina, justly alarmed at these arbi-
trary proceedings of parliament and admini-
stration, have severally elected, constituted,
and appointed deputies to meet and sit in ge-
neral congress in the city of Philadelphia, in
order to obtain such establishment, as that
their religion, laws, and liberties may not be
subverted: Whereupon the deputies so ap-
pointed being now assembled, in a full and
free representation of these colonies, taking
into their most serious consideration the best
means of attaining the ends aforesaid, do in
the first place, as Englishmen their ancestors in
like cases have usually done, for asserting
and vindicating their rights and liberties,
DECLARE,

THAT the inhabitants of the English colo-
nies in North-America, by the immutable
laws of nature, the principles of the English
constitution, and the several charters or com-
pacts, have the following RIGHTS. --


Resolved, N.C.D. I. THAT they are en-
titled to life, liberty, and property: and they

have never ceded to any sovereign power
whatever, a right to dispose of either without
their consent.

Resolved, N.C.D. 2. THAT our ancestors,
who first settled these colonies, were at the
time of their emigration from the mother
country, entitled to all the rights, liberties,
and immunities of free and natural born sub-
jects, within the realm of England.

Resolved, N.C.D. 3. THAT by such emi-
gration they by no means forfeited, surren-
dered, or lost any of those rights, but that
they were, and their descendants now are, en-
titled to the exercise and enjoyment of all
such of them, as their local and other cir-
cumstances enable them to exercise and enjoy.

Resolved, 4. THAT the foundation of Eng-
lish liberty and of all free government, is a
right in the people to participate in their le-
gislative council: and as the English colonists
are not represented, and from their local and
other circumstances cannot properly be re-
presented in the British parliament, they are
entitled to a free and exclusive power of le-
gislation in their several provincial Legislatures,
where their right of representation can alone
be preserved, in all cases of taxation and inter-
nal polity, subject only to the negative of their
sovereign, in such manner as has been hereto-
fore used and accustomed: But from the
necessity of the case, and a regard to the
mutual interests of both countries, we
cheerfully consent to the operation of such

acts of the British parliament, as are bona
fide, restrained to the regulation of our ex-
ternal commerce, for the purpose of securing
the commercial advantages of the whole em-
pire to the mother country, and the com-
mercial benefits of its respective members, ex-
cluding every idea of taxation internal or ex-
ternal, for raising a revenue on the subjects
in America without their consent.

Resolved, N.C.D. 5. THAT the respective
colonies are entitled to the common law of
England, and more especially to the great and
inestimable priviledge of being tried by their
peers of the vicinage, according to the course
of that law.


Resolved, 6. THAT they are entitled to the
benefit of such of the English statutes, as ex-
isted at the time of their colonization; and
which they have, by experience, respectively
found to be applicable to their several local
and other circumstances.

Resolved, N.C.D. 7. THAT these, his Ma-
jesty's, colonies are likewise entitled to all the
immunities and privileges granted and con-
firmed to them by royal charters, or secured
by their several codes of provincial laws.

Resolved, N.C.D. 8. THAT they have a
right peaceably to assemble, consider of their
grievances, and petition the King; and that
all prosecutions, prohibitory proclamations,
and commitments for the same, are illegal.

Resolved, N.C.D. 9. THAT the keeping
a standing army in these colonies, in times of
peace, without the consent of the legislature
of that colony in which such army is kept, is
against law.

Resolved, N.C.D. 10. IT is indispensibly
necessary to good government, and rendered
essential by the English constitution, that the
constituent branches of the legislature be in-
dependant of each other; that, therefore, the
exercise of legislative power in several colo-
nies, by a council appointed, during pleasure,
by the crown, is unconstitutional, dangerous,
and destructive to the freedom of American
legislation.

ALL and each of which, the aforesaid de-
puties in behalf of themselves, and their con-
stituents, do claim, demand, and insist on, as
their indubitable rights and liberties; which
cannot be legally taken from them, altered or
abridged by any power whatever, without
their own consent, by their representatives in
their several provincial legislatures.


IN the course of our inquiry, we find many
infringements and violations of the foregoing
rights; which, from an ardent desire that har-
mony and mutual intercourse of affection and
interest may be restored, we pass over for the
present, and proceed to state such acts and
measures as have been adopted since the last
war, which demonstrate a system formed to
enslave America.


Resolved, N.C.D. THAT the following acts
of parliament are infringements and viola-
tions of the rights of the colonists; and that
the repeal of them is essentially necessary, in
order to restore harmony between Great-Bri-
tain and the American colonies, viz.

THE several acts of 4 Geo. III. ch. 15. and
ch. 34. -- 5 Geo. III. ch. 25. -- 6 Geo. III. ch.
52. --7 Geo. III. ch. 41. and ch. 46. -- 8 Geo.
III. ch. 22. which impose duties for the pur-
pose of raising a revenue in America, extend
the powers of the admiralty courts beyond
their ancient limits, deprive the American sub-
ject of trial by jury, authorise the judges cer-
tificate to indemnify the prosecutor from da-
mages, that he might otherwise be liable to,
requiring oppressive security from a claimant
of ships and goods seized, before he shall be
allowed to defend his property, and are sub-
versive of American rights.

ALSO 12 Geo. III. ch. 24 intituled, "An
" act for the better securing his Majesty's
" dock-yards, magazines, ships, ammunition
" and stores." Which declares a new offence
in America, and deprives the American sub-
ject of a constitutional trial by jury of the vi-
cinage, by authorising the trial of any person
charged with the committing any offence de-
scribed in the said act out of the realm, to be
indicted and tried for the same in any shire or
county within the realm.


ALSO the three acts passed in the last ses-
sion of parliament, for stopping the port and
blocking up the harbour of Boston, for alter-
ing the charter and government of Massachu-
setts-Bay, and that which is intituled, " An
" act for the better administration of justice,"
&c.

ALSO the act passed in the same session for
establishing the Roman catholic religion in the
province of Quebec, abolishing the equitable
system of English laws, and erecting a tyran-
ny there, to the great danger, from so total
a dissimularity of religion, law, and govern-
ment to the neighbouring British colonies, by
the assistance of whose blood and treasure the
said country was conquered from France.

ALSO the act passed in the same session for
the better providing suitable quarters for of-
ficers and soldiers in his Majesty's service in
North-America.

ALSO, that the keeping a standing army
in several of these colonies, in time of peace,
without the consent of the legislature of that
colony in which such army is kept, is against
law.

The CONGRESS, from time to time, passed
the following Resolves:

Resolved, THAT this Congress do approve
of the opposition made by the inhabitants of
the Massachusetts-Bay, to the execution of
the late acts of Parliament; and if the same


shall be attempted to be carried into execution
by force, in such case, all America ought to
support them in their opposition.

Resolved, THAT it is the opinion of this
body, that the removal of the people of Bos-
ton into the country, would be, not only ex-
tremely difficult in the execution, but so im-
portant in its consequences, as to require the
utmost deliberation before it is adopted. But
in case the provincial meeting of that colony
shall judge it absolutely necessary, it is the opi-
nion of this Congress, that all America ought
to contribute towards recompensing them for
the injury they may thereby sustain; and it
will be recommended accordingly.

Resolved, THAT this Congress do recom-
mend to the inhabitants of the colony of the
Massachusetts-Bay, to submit to a suspension
of the administration of justice, where it can-
not be procured in a legal and peaceable man-
ner, under the rules of the charter and the
laws founded thereon, until the effects of our
application for a repeal of the acts, by which
their charter rights are infringed, is known.

Resolved unanimously, THAT every person or
persons whomsoever, who shall take, accept,
or act under any commission or authority, in
anywise derived from the act passed in the last
session of parliament, changing the form of
government and violating the charter of the
province of the Massachusetts-Bay, ought to
be held in detestation and abhorrence by all
good men, and considered as the wicked tools


of that despotism, which is preparing to de-
stroy those rights, which God, nature and
compact have given to America.

Resolved unanimously, THAT the people of
Boston and the Massachusetts-Bay, be advised
still to conduct themselves peaceably towards
his excellency General Gage, and his Majes-
ty's troops now stationed in the town of Bos-
ton, as far as can possibly consist with their
immediate safety and the security of the town;
avoiding and discountenancing every viola-
tion of his Majesty's property, or any insult
to his troops; and that they peaceably and
firmly persevere in the line in which they are
now conducting themselves on the defensive.

Resolved, THAT the seizing, or attempting
to seize, any person in America, in order to
transport such person beyond the sea, for trial
of offences committed within the body of a
county in America, being against law, will
justify and ought to meet with resistance and
reprisal.

SATURDAY, October 22.


Resolved, As the opinion of the congress,
that it will be necessary that a congress should
be held on the 10th day of May next, unless
the redress of grievances, which we have de-
sired, be obtained before that time. -- And we
recommend that the same be held at the city
of Philadelphia, and that all the colonies in
North-America chuse deputies as soon as pos-
sible, to attend such Congress.


TUESDAY, October 25.


Resolved, THAT the Congress in their own
names, and in behalf of all those whom they
represent, do present their most grateful ac-
knowledgments to those truly noble, honor-
able, and patriotic advocates of civil and reli-
gious liberty; who have so generously and
powerfully, tho' unsuccessfully, espoused and
defended the cause of America, both in and
out of parliament.

A COPY of the letter to General Gage was
brought into Congress, and agreeable to order,
signed by the President, and is as follows:

Philadelphia, October 10, 1774

.

SIR,


THE inhabitants of the town of Boston have
informed us, the representatives of his
Majesty's faithful subjects, in all the colonies
from Nova-Scotia to Georgia, that the fortifica-
tions erecting within that town, the frequent
invasions of private property and the repeated
insults they receive from the soldiery, have given
them great reason to suspect a plan is formed
very destructive to them and tending to over-
throw the liberties of America.

YOUR Excellency cannot be a stranger to the
sentiments of America, with respect to the late
acts of Parliament, under the execution of which
those unhappy people are oppressed; the appro-
bation universally expressed of their conduct and
the determined resolution of the colonies, for
the preservation of their common rights, to


unite in their opposition to those acts: -- In con-
sequence of these sentiments, they have appoint-
ed us the guardians of their rights and liberties,
and we are under the deepest concern, that whilst
we are pursuing every dutiful and peaceable
measure to procure a cordial and effectual re-
conciliation between Great-Britain and the co-
lonies, your Excellency should proceed in a
manner that bears so hostile an appearance, and
which even those oppressive acts do not warrant.

WE entreat your Excellency to consider,
what a tendency this conduct must have, to ir-
ritate and force a people, however well disposed
to peaceable measures, into hostilities, which
may prevent the endeavours of this Congress to
restore a good understanding with an parent
state, and may involve us in the horrors of
a civil war.

IN order therefore to quiet the minds, and
remove the reasonable jealousies of the people,
that they may not be driven to a state of despe-
ration, being fully persuaded of their pacific
disposition towards the King's troops, could
they be assured of their own safety, we hope,
Sir, you will discontinue the fortifications in
and about Boston, prevent any further inva-
sions of private property, restrain the irregula-
rities of the soldiers, and give orders that the
communications between the town and country
may be open, unmolested, and free.

Signed by order and in behalf of the General
Congress.


PEYTON RANDOLPH, President.