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Who has given us a most strik Whạt does he represent our coning picture of this debating assem
dition, if Britain should be suc bly?
cessful ? Who was then president of Con What powers did we need to
resist the arm of England ? Of what town? Boston.
On whose constancy, did the obWhat character is represented jector think, they could not rely? as being then on the floor?
Whose sympathy, was he afraid How does the objector com of losing, in case of declaring inde mence ?
pendence ? ed not at independence. But there's gers of war, as well as the political a Divinity which shapes our ends. hazards of the times, we promised The injustice of England has driv to adhere to him, in every extrem. en us to arms; and blinded to her ity, with our fortunes and our lives? own interest for our good, she has I know, there is not a man here, obstinately persisted, till indepen- who would not rather see a condence is now within our grasp: Alagration sweep over the land, or We have but to reach forth to it, and an earthquake sink it, than one jot it is ours. Why then should we or tittle of that plighted faith fall to defer the declaration ? Is any man the ground. For myself, having, So weak, as now to hope for a 12 months ago, in this place, moved reconciliation with England, which you, that George Washington be shall leave either safety to the coun appointed commander of the forces, try and its liberties, or safety to his raised or to be raised, for defence own life and his own honor? Are of American liberty, may my sight not you, Sir, who sit in that chair, hand forget her cunning, and my is not hé, our venerable colleaguet tongue cleave to the roof of my near you, are you not both already mouth, if I hesitate or waver, in the proscribed and predestined ob the support I give him. The war, jects of punishment and of ven then, must go on. We must fight geance ?. Cut off from all hope of it through. And if the war must Royal clemency, what are you, go on, why put off longer the Decwhat can you be, while the power laration of Independence? That of England remains, but outlaws ? measure will strengthen us. It will If we postpone independence, do give us character abroad. The we mean to carry on, or to give up,
nations will then treat with us, which the war? Do we mean to submit, they never can do, while we acto the measures of parliament, knowledge ourselves subjects, in Boston Port Bill and all? Do we arms against our sovereign. Nay, mean to submit, and consent, that I maintain, that England herself, we ourselves shall be ground to will sooner treat for peace with us powder, and our country and its on the footing of Independence, rights trodden down in the dust ? than consent by repealing her acts, I know we do not mean to submit, to acknowledge, that her whole We never shall submit. Do we conduct towards us has been a intend to violate that most solemn course of injustice and oppression. obligation ever entered into by men, Her pride will be less wounded, by that plighting before God, of our submitting to that course of things, sacred honor to Washington, when which now predestinates our inputting him forth to incur the dan- dependence, than by yielding the
points in controversy to her rebel+ Samuel Adams.
lious subjects. The former she
What, was he afraid, would be Who had made the motion for established over posterity?
Washington's appointment ? What did he fear for the mem What, did A. say, must go on? bers of Congress ?
Why was independence thought Who is represented as replying
desirable in relation to other nato these objections ?
tions ? — to England ? First sentence of A.'s reply? What comfort did he draw,when Whose injustice drove us to
he considered the possibility of Arms ?
failure ? What obligation did he caution What more did he say of fail. them against
violating ? would regard as the result of for. pit ; religion will approve it, and lune; the latter she would feel as ihe love of religious liberty will her own deep disgrace. Why
cling, round it, resolved to stand then, why then, Sir, do we not as with it, or fall with it. Send it to soon as possible, change this from the public halls; proclaim it there; a civil to a national war ? And let ihem hear it, who beard the since we must fight it through, why
first roar of the enemy's cannon; not put ourselves in a stale to enjoy let them see it, who saw their all the benefits of victory, if we gain
brothers and their sons fall on the the victory?
field of Bunker Hill, and in the 'If we fail, it can be no worse for streets of Lexington and Concord, us. But we shall not fail. The and the very walls will cry out in cause will raise up armies; the
its support: cause will create navies. The peo 'Sir, I know the uncertainty of ple, the people, if we are true to
human affairs ; but see, I see them, will carry us, and will carry clearly, through this day's business. themselves, gloriously through this You and I, indeed, may rue it. struggle.
care not, how fickle We may not live to the time, when other people have been found. I this declaration shall be made good. know the people of these colonies ; We may die; die colonists; die and I know, that resistance to Brit slaves; die, it may be, ignominiish
aggression is deep and settled in ously, and on the scaffold. Be it their hearts, and cannot be eradi. so. Be it so. If it be the pleasure cated. Every colony, indeed, has of Heaven, that my country shall expressed its willingness to follow, require the poor offering of my life, if we but take the lead. Sir, the the victim shall be ready, at the declaration will inspire the people appointed hour of sacrifice, come with increased courage. Instead
when that hour may. But while I of a long and bloody war for resto do live, let me have a country, or ration of privileges, for redress of at least the hope of a country, and grievances, for chartered communi that a free country. ties, held under a British king, set
But whatever may be our fate, before them the glorious object of
be assured, be assured, that this entire independence, and it will
declaration will stand. It may cost breathe into them anew the breath treasure ; and it may cost blood; of life. Read this declaration at but it will stand; and it will richly the head of the army; every sword compensate for both. Through the will be drawn from’ils scabbard, thick gloom of the present, I see and the solemn vow uttered, to
the brightness of the future, as the maintain it, or to perish on the bed
sun in heaven. We shall make of honor. 'Publish it from the pul- this a glorious, an immorta. day
What did he say the cause of independence would be afterwards independence would raise up ? - regarded ? create ?
What was he willing to stake What calculation did he make upon independence ? upon the people, in case Congress How did he conclude ? should be true to them ?
Of what, may these speeches be What, did he think, might pos considered as exhibiting a specisibly be the effect to himself and men? Of the views and feelings others?
of many others. What if such should be his fate What part of the people were
How, did he think, the day of then opposed to independence ? When we are in our graves, our the powers of the earth, the sepachildren will honor it. They will rate and equal station, to which the celebrate it, with thanksgiving, with
laws of nature and nature's God festivity, with bonfires, and illu entitle them, a decent respect to minations. On its annual return, the opinions of mankind, requires, they will shed tears, copious, gush- that they should declare the causes, ing tears, not of subjection and which impel them to the separaslavery, not of agony and distress, tion. but of exultation, of gratitude, and
We hold these truths to be selfof joy. Sir, before God, I believe evident; that all men are created the hour is come. My judgment equal; that they are endowed by approves this measure, and my their Creator with certain unalienwhole heart is in it. All that I able rights; that among these are have, and all that I am, and all life, liberty, and the pursuit of hapthat I hope, in this life, I am now piness; that to secure these rights, ready here to stake upon it; and I governments are instituted among leave off, as I begun, that live or men, deriving their just powers die, survive or perish, I am for the from the consent of the governed • declaration. It is my living senti
and whenever any form of government, and by the blessing of God, ment becomes destructive of these it shall be my dying sentimentiends, it is the right of the people to independence, now; and inde alter or abolish it, and to institute PENDENCE FOREVER.'
a new government, laying its foun. On the 4th of July, the whole dation on such principles, and orDeclaration received the final ap- ganizing its powers in such form, probation and sanction of Congress.
as to them, shall seem most likely With this declaration, drawn by to effect their safety and happiness. the pen of Mr. Jefferson, every Prudence indeed will dictate, that American citizen should be famil- governments long established, iarly acquainted. It is what Mr. should not be changed for light and Webster happily calls it, THE transient causes; and accordingly,
all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suf
fer, while evils are sufferable, than Declaration of Independence.
to right themselves by abolishing
the forms, to which they are accusWben in the course of human tomed: but when a long train of events, it becomes necessary for abuses and usurpations, pursuing one people to dissolve the political invariably the same object, evinces bands, which have connected them a design to reduce them under abwith another, and to assume among | solute despotism, it is their right, it
TITLE-DEED OF THEIR LIBER-
Mention two or three self-evident tenth.
political truths. When did the Declaration of In Grand object of human governdependence receive the sanction ments ? of Congress ?
From whose consent, do rulers By whom was the Declaration derive all their just powers ? spec drafted ?
In what case, may a people What does Mr. Webster call it ? change or abolish their governWhen colonies declare them ment? When the government be.. selves independent, what requires comes destructive of its proper them to publish the reasons ?
ends. is their duty, to throw off such gov- manly firinness, his invasions on the ernment, and to provide new guards rights of the people. for their future security. Such has He has refused, for a long time been the patient sufferance of these after such dissolution, to cause othcolonies, and such is now the ne ers to be erected, whereby the lecessity, which constrains them to gislative powers, incapable of amnialter their former systems of gov
hilation, have returned to the people ernment. The history of the
the at large for their exercise,
present king of Great Britain is a his state remaining in the mean time, tory of repeated injuries and usur exposed to all the dangers of inpalions ; all having in direct object
vasion from without, and convul. the establishment of an absolute sions within. tyranny over these states: To
He has endeavored to prevent prove this, let facts be submitted the population of these states ; for to a candid world.
that purpose, obstructing the laws He has refused his assent to laws, for naturalization of foreigners, rethe most wholesome and necessary
fusing to pass others to encourage
their migrations hither, and raising He has forbidden his
the conditions of new appropriations pass laws of immediate and of lands. pressing, importance, unless sus
He has obstructed the adminis. pended in their operation, till his
tration of justice, by refusing his assent should be obtained; and
assent to laws for establishing judiwhen so suspended, he has utterly ciary powers. neglected to altend to them.
He has made judges dependent He has refused to pass other
on his will alone for the tenure of laws, for the accommodation of their offices, and the amount and large districts of people, unless payment of their salaries. those people would relinquish the
He has erected a multitude of rights of representation in the le new offices, and sent hither swarms gislature ; a right inestimable to of officers, to harass our people, them, and formidable to tyrants
and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times He has called together legislative
peace, standing armies, without bodies at places unusual, uncom
the consent of our legislatures. fortable, and distant from the de He has affected to render the mil. pository of their public records, for itary independent of, and superior the sole purpose of fatiguing them to, the civil power. into compliance with his measures. He has combined with others, to
He has dissolved representative subject us to a jurisdiction, foreign houses repeatedly, for opposing with to our constitution, and unacknowl.
for the public good.
What is the duty of a people, Why had he erected new offices who have long suffered the abuses and sent over many officers ? and usurpations of government?
How had he endangered our libWhat had then been the history erties in times of peace ? of George III. in relation to these What power had he attempted to colonies ?
render superior to civil power ? To what kind of laws, had he To what jurisdiction, had he refused his assent?
combined with others, io subject Why had he repeatedly dissolved us! representative Houses ?
With whom, had he com ed ? on what, had he made judges His ministers and parliament. dependent ?
Can you mention the objects of edged by our laws, giving his assent He is at this time, transporting to their pretended acts of legisla- large armies of foreign mercenaries, tion :
to complete the works of death, For quartering large bodies of desolation, and tyranny, already armed troops among us;
begun with circumstances of cruelFor protecting them, by a mock !y and perfidy, scarcely paralleled trial, from punishment for any mur in the most barbarous ages, and ders, which they should commit on totally unworthy the head of a the inhabitants of these states : civilized nation.
For cutting off our trade with all He has constrained our fellow parts of the world :
citizens, taken captive on the high For imposing taxes on us without seas, to bear arms against their our consent :
country, to become the executioners For depriving us, in many cases, of their friends and brethren, or to of the benefit of trial by jury: fall themselves by their hands.
For transporting is beyond seas, He has excited domestic insurto he tried for pretended offences : rections amongst us, and has en
For abolishing the free system deavored to bring on the inhabitof English laws in a neighboring ants of our frontiers, the merciless province, establishing therein an Indian savages, whose known rule arbitrary government, and enlarg- of warfare is an undistinguished ing its boundaries, so as to render destruction of all ages, sexes, and it at once an example and fit in- conditions. strument for introducing the same In every stage of these oppresabsolute rule into these colonies : sions, we have petitioned for re
For taking away our charters, ress, in the most humble terms: abolishing our most valuable laws, our repeated petitions have been and altering fundamentally the answered only by repeated injury. forms of our governments :
A prince, whose character is thus For suspending our own legisla- marked by every act, which may lures, and declaring themselves in define a tyrant, is unfit to be the vested with power to legislate for ruler of a free people. us in all cases whatsoever.
Nor have we been wanting in He has abdicated government attention to our British brethren. nere, by declaring us out of his pro We have warned them, from time tection, and waging war against us. to time, of attempts by their legis
He has plundered our seas, rav lature, to extend an unwarrantable aged our coasts, burnt our towns, jurisdiction over us; we have reand destroyed the lives of our minded them of the circumstances people.
of our emigration and settlement