Massachusetts Historical Society
Thomas Jefferson Papers: an electronic archive
Declaration of Independence [manuscript copy], page 2
by Thomas Jefferson


he has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them, & formidable to tyrants only.

he has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, & distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

he has dissolved Representative houses repeatedly & continually, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

[He has] refused for a long time after such dissolutions, to [cause] others to be elected, whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise, the state remaining in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, & convulsions within.

he has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither; & raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

he has suffered the administration of justice totally to cease in some of these states; refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

he has made our judges dependant on his will alone, for the tenure of his offices, & the amount & paiment of their salaries.

he has erected a multitude of new offices by a self-assumed power, & sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people & eat out their substance.

he has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies & ships of war without the consent of our legislatures.

he has affected to render the military independant of, & superior to, the civil power.

he has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitutions and unacknoleged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us; for protecting them by a mock trial from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states; for cutting off our trade with all parts of the world; for imposing taxes on us without our consent; for depriving us of the benefits of trial by jury; for transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences;