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WILLIAMSBURGH, (Virginia) May 17.
In CONVENTION,
Present 112 Members.

Wednesday, May 15, 1776.

FORASMUCH as all the endeavours of the
United Colonies, by the most decent representations
and petitions to the King and Parliament of Great
Britain, to restore peace and security to America
under the British government, and a re union
with that people upon just and liberal terms, in-
stead of redress of grievances, have produced,
from an imperious and vindictive administration,
increased insult, oppression and a vigorous at-
tempt to effect our total destruction. By a late
act all these colonies are declared to be in rebel-
lion, and out of the protection of the British
Crown, our properties subjected to confiscation,
our people, when captivated, compelled to join
in the murder and plunder of their relations
and countrymen, and all former rapine and op-
pression of Americans, declared legal and just.
Fleets and armies are raised, and the aid of fo-
reign troops engaged to assist these destructive
purposes. The King's representative in this co-
lony hath not only witheld all the powers of go-
vernment from operating for our safety, but ha-
ving retired on board an armed ship, in carrying
on a piratical and savage war against us, tempt-
ing our slaves by every artifice to resort to him,
and training and employing them against their
masters. In this state of extreme danger, we
have no alternative left but an abject submission
to the will of those over bearing tyrants, or a to-
tal separation from the crown and government
of Great-Britain, uniting and exerting the strength
of all America for defence, and forming alliances
with foreign powers for commerce & aid in war:
Wherefore appealing to the SEARCHER OF
HEARTS
for the sincerity of former declarations,
expressing our desire to preserve the connection
with that nation and that we are driven from
that inclination by their wicked councils, and the
eternal laws of self preservation.

RESOLVED unanimously, That the Delegates
appointed to represent this Colony in General
Congress be instructed to propose to that respec-
table body, TO DECLARE THE UNITED
COLONIES FREE AND INDEPENDENT
STATES
, absolved from all allegiance to, or
dependence upon, the Crown or Parliament of
Great Britain; and that they give the assent of
this Colony to such declaration, and to whatever
measures may be thought proper and necessary
by the Congress for forming foreign alliances,
and A CONFEDERATION OF THE COLO-
NIES
, at such time, and in the manner, as to
them shall seem best. Provided, that the power
of forming government for, and the regulations
of the internal concerns of each Colony, be left to
the respective Colonial Legislatures.

RESOLVED unanimously, That a Committee
be appointed to prepare A DECLARATION
OF RIGHTS
, and such a plan of government,
as will be most likely to maintain peace and or-
der in this colony, and secure substantial and e-
qual liberty to the people.

EDMUND PENDLETON, President.
(A Copy)

JOHN TAZEWELL, Clerk of the Convention.
In consequence of the above resolution, univer-
sally regarded as the only door which will lead
to safety and prosperity, some gentlemen made a
handsome collection for the purpose of treating
the soldiery, who next day were paraded in Wal-
ler's grove, before Brigadier General Lewis, at-
tended by the gentlemen of the Committee of
Safety, the members of the General Convention,
the inhabitants of this city, &c. &c. The reso-
lution being read aloud to the army, the follow-
ing toasts were given, each of them accompanied
by a discharge of the artillery and small arms,
and the acclamations of all present.
1. The American independent states.
2. The Grand Congress of the United States,
and their respective Legislatures.

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3. General Washington, and victory to the Ame-
rican Arms

The UNION FLAG of the American States
waved upon the Capitol during the whole of this
ceremony, which being ended, the soldiers par-
took of the refreshment prepared for them by the
affection of their countrymen, and the evening
concluded with illuminations, and other demon-
strations of joy; every one seemingly pleased
that the dominion of Great Britain was now at
an end, so wickedly and tyrannically exercised
for these twelve or thirteen years past, notwith-
standing our repeated prayers and remonstrances
for redress.