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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, and 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 migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices; and sent hither swarms of officers, to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged 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, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond the seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging íts boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering, fundamentally, the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He hạs abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection, and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun, with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has 'constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the bigh seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the

ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connexions and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind-enemies in war,



We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connexion between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things, which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.


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Where and when born.

Age in


1776. Josiah Bartlett, : N. Hampshire,


47 May, 19, 1795 66 William Whipple, N. H. Maine,

1730 40 Nov. 28, 1785 55 Matthew Thornton, Ireland,


62 June 24, 1803 89 John Hancock, Massachusetts, 1737 39 Oct. 8, 1793

56 Samuel Adams, Massachusetts, Sept. 22, 1722 54

2, 1803 81 John Adams, Ms. Massachusetts, Oct. 19, 1735 41 July 4, 1826

91 Robert Treat Paine, Massachusetts,

1731 45 May 11, 1814 83 Elbridge Gerry,


July 17, 1744 32 Nov, 23, 1814 70 Stephen Hopkins, Rhode Island,


March 7, 1707


July 13, 1785
William Ellery,
Rhode Island, Dec 22, 1727

49 Feb. 15, 1820 93 Roger Sherman,


April 19, 1721 55 July 23, 1793 72 Samuel Huntington, Connecticut,


July 2, 1732

Jan. 5, 1796 64
William Williams, Connecticut, April 8, 1731 45 Aug. 2, 1811 81
Oliver Wolcott,

1726 50 Dec. 1, 797 71 William Floyd,

Long Island, Dec. 17, 1734 42 Aug. 4, 1821 87 Philip Livingston, New York,


Jan. 15, 1716 June 12, 1778 62 N. Y. Francis Lewis, South Wales,


63 Dec. 30, 1803 90 Lewis Morris, New York,

1726 50 Jan.

1798 72 Richard Stockton,

New Jersey,

Oct. 1, 1730 46 Feb. 28, 1781 51 John Witherspoon,

Scotland, Feh. 5, 1722 54 Nov. 15, 1794 72 Francis Hopkinson, N.J. Pennslyvania,

1737 39 May 8, 1791 54 John Hart, New Jersey,

1780 Abraham Clark, New Jersey, Feb. 5, 1726 50

1794 68 Robert Morris

England, Jan. 1733 43 May 8, 1806 73 Benjamin Rush,

Pennsylvania, Dec. 24, 1745 31 April 19, 1812 67 Benjamin Franklin, Massachusetts, Jan. 17, 1706 70 April 17, 1790 84 John Morton, Delaware,

1724 52

1777 53 George Clymer, Pa. Pennsylvania,


37 Jan. 23, 1813 74 James Smith, Ireland,

1806 George Taylor,


1716 60 Feb. 23, 1781 65 James Wilson, Scotland,

1742 34 Aug. 28, 1798 56 George Ross, Delaware,

1730 46 July

1779 49 Cæsar Rodney, Delaware,

1730 46

1783 53 George Read,


1734 42

1798 64 Thonjas M'Kean,

Pennsylvania, Mar. 19, 1734 42 June 24, 1817 83 Samuel Chase,

Maryland, April 17, 174] 35 June 19, 1811 70 William Paca, Maryland Oct. 31, 1740 36

1799 59 Md. Thomas Stone, Maryland,

1740 36 Oct. 5, 1787 47 Charles Carroll, Maryland, Sept. 8, 1737 39

1832 93 Gcorge Wythe, Virginia,

1726 50 June 6, 1806 80 Richard 11. Lee,

Virginia, Jan. 20, 1732 44 June 19, 1794 62 Thomas Jefferson, Virginia, April 2, 1743 33 July 4, 1826 83 Benjamin Harrison, Va. Virginia,


1791 Thomas Nelson,

Virginia, Dec. 26, 1738 38 Jan. 4, 1789 51 Francis L. Lee,

Virginia, Oct. :14, 1734 42 April 1797 63 Carter Braxton,

Sept. 10, 1736

40 Oct. 10, 1797 61 William Hooper,

Massachusetts, June 17, 1742 34 Oct., 1790| 48 Joseph Hewes, N.C. New Jersey,

1730 46 Nov. 10, 1779 49 John Penn, Virginia, May 17, 1741 35 Sept.,

1788 47 Edward Rutledge,

South Carolina, Nov. 1749 27 Jan. 23, 1800 51 Thomas Hayward, South Carolina,

1746 30 March, 1809 63 8. C. Thomas Lynch,

South Carolina, Aug. 5, 1749 27 About 1780 31 Authur Middleton, South Carolina,

1743 33 Jan, 1, 1787 44 Button Gwinnett,


1732 44 May 27, 1777 45 Lyman Hall, Geo. Connecticut,

1731 45 About 1790 69 George Walton, Virginia,

1740 36 Feb. 2, 18041 64





WE, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure do mestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, DO ORDAIN AND ESTABLISH this CONSTITUTION for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.


SECTION 1. 1. All legislative powers herein granted, shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

SECTION 2. 1. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states; and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.

2. No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.


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