The members of this Congress, sincerely devoted,
with the warmest sentiments of affection and duty to His Majesty's Person
and Government, inviolably attached to the present happy establishment
of the Protestant succession, and with minds deeply impressed by a sense
of the present and impending misfortunes of the British colonies on this
continent; having considered as maturely as time will permit the circumstances
of the said colonies, esteem it our indispensable duty to make the following
declarations of our humble opinion, respecting the most essential rights
and liberties of the colonists, and of the grievances under which they
labour, by reason of several late Acts of Parliament.
I. That His Majesty's subjects
in these colonies, owe the same allegiance to the Crown of Great-Britain,
that is owing from his subjects born within the realm, and all due subordination
to that august body the Parliament of Great Britain.
II. That His Majesty's liege subjects in
these colonies, are entitled to all the inherent rights and liberties of
his natural born subjects within the kingdom of Great-Britain.
III. That it is inseparably essential to
the freedom of a people, and the undoubted right of Englishmen, that no
taxes be imposed on them, but with their own consent, given personally,
or by their representatives.
IV. That the people of these colonies are
not, and from their local circumstances cannot be, represented in the House
of Commons in Great-Britain.
V. That the only representatives of the
people of these colonies, are persons chosen therein by themselves, and
that no taxes ever have been, or can be constitutionally imposed on them,
but by their respective legislatures.
VI. That all supplies to the Crown, being
free gifts of the people, it is unreasonable and inconsistent with the
principles and spirit of the British Constitution, for the people of Great-Britain
to grant to His Majesty the property of the colonists.
VII. That trial by jury is the inherent
and invaluable right of every British subject in these colonies.
VIII. That the late Act of Parliament,
entitled, An Act for granting and applying certain Stamp Duties, and other
Duties, in the British colonies and plantations in America, etc., by imposing
taxes on the inhabitants of these colonies, and the said Act, and several
other Acts, by extending the jurisdiction of the courts of Admiralty beyond
its ancient limits, have a manifest tendency to subvert the rights and
liberties of the colonists.
IX. That the duties imposed by several
late Acts of Parliament, from the peculiar circumstances of these colonies,
will be extremely burthensome and grievous; and from the scarcity of specie,
the payment of them absolutely impracticable.
X. That as the profits of the trade of
these colonies ultimately center in Great-Britain, to pay for the manufactures
which they are obliged to take from thence, they eventually contribute
very largely to all supplies granted there to the Crown.
XI. That the restrictions imposed by several
late Acts of Parliament, on the trade of these colonies, will render them
unable to purchase the manufactures of Great-Britain.
XII. That the increase, prosperity, and
happiness of these colonies, depend on the full and free enjoyment of their
rights and liberties, and an intercourse with Great-Britain mutually affectionate
XIII. That it is the right of the British
subjects in these colonies, to petition the King, Or either House of Parliament.
Lastly, That it is the indispensable duty of these
colonies, to the best of sovereigns, to the mother country, and to themselves,
to endeavour by a loyal and dutiful address to his Majesty, and humble
applications to both Houses of Parliament, to procure the repeal of the
Act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, of all clauses of any
other Acts of Parliament, whereby the jurisdiction of the Admiralty is
extended as aforesaid, and of the other late Acts for the restriction of