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PREFACE.

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CORRECT Edition of the Conftitutions of the Confederated States of North-America being propofed, it was judged an object of utility to incorporate other authentic papers relatively connected with the fubject. However well-informed the present age may be, pofterity will be curious to examine, not only the code of Continental Laws, but also to trace thofe progreffive fteps by which dependent Colonies afcended to the rank of Sovereign States. To affift impartial investigation in this particular, a felection of the most confequential records is fubmitted to the Public, difpofed in fuch a feries as to bear the mutual relation to each other of cause and effect.

The Papers now exhibited acquire additional importance from the recognition of the Independence of America on the part of GreatBritain. All offenfivenefs in the matter is obliterated. What was formerly treason, is

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now juftifiable affertion; and even the famous Declaration of Independence, fo pointed against an exalted Perfonage, is no more than republican complaint furnishing the ground-work of fovereignty. Offended with Royalty, Congress renounce allegiance; and, confeffing by implication that the offence was well-founded Majefty fanctions every iota in the Declaration of Independence; generously acquiefces in the cenfures it contains, and deigns to confider the authors as the fovereigns of an extenfive empire! The annals of Christian forgiveness cannot produce a parallel.

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With respect to the American Conftitutions, it is obfervable that they differ in many particulars, fome participating more, others lefs, of the nature of a pure democracy; but they are all valuable, becaufe all favourable to Liberty. The Legiflators feem to have been feduloufly attentive to avoid the defects, and to adopt the excellencies of the English Conftitution; and, in proportion as this has been accomplished, America may promise herself duration of empire. Thinking, with honest Henry Marten," one man not wife enough to

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govern them all," the Amèrican's framed Conftitutions for the government of themfelves; and, as their councils have hitherto been actuated by the fpirit of wisdom, not a doubt can exift of their attaining the fummit of political happiness.

It would be obtrufive on the good fenfe of the reader, to anticipate the reflections that will naturally occur, on a perufal of the following pieces. In them may be traced the origin of a destructively inglorious war, which began in tyranny, and ended in the unhappy dismemberment of the empire. By a retrospective view of past calamities, future evils may be avoided; and, the Petition brought over by Mr. Penn, the Declaration of Independence, but, above all, the humiliating Treaties fubjoined to this work, may ferve as admonitory cautions to Monarchs and Minifters how they reject the Petitions, provoke the refentments, or infringe the liberties of a brave and free people.

The arm of refiftance fhould ever prevail, when directed against the heart of tyranny.

**I do not think one man wife enough to govern us all." HENRY MARTEN to EDWARD HYDE.

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WT

AMERICAN

-STATE PAPER S. ITHOUT infringing the province of History, by entering into the origin of the unhappy rupture with America, the measures adopted by the Colonies after the difpute commenced, may be thus concifely ftated.

On the 5th of September, 1774, a Continen tal Congrefs, confifting of Deputies from the respective Colonies, affembled at Philadelphia; and on the 10th of October, they agreed on the following

DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.

THE good people of the feveral Colonies of New Hampshire, Maffachusetts-Bay, RhodeIfland, and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jerfey, Pennfylvania, Newcastle, Kent, and Suffex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, alarmed at the arbitrary proceedings of the British Parliament and Administration, having feverally elected deputies to meet and fit in General Congrefs in the city of Philadelphia, and thofe deputies to chofen being affemBled on the 5th day of September, after fettling feveral neceffary preliminaries, proceeded to take into their oft ferious confideration the best means of attaining the redrefs of grievances. In the first place, they, as Englifhmen, their ancestors, in like cafes, had ufually done, for afferting and vindicating their rights and liberties, DECLARE,

That the inhabitants of the English Colonies in North America, by the immutable laws of nature, the principles of the English Conftitution, and the feveral Charters or Compacts, have the following Refolved,

RIGHTS:

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Refolved, nem. con. 1. That they are entitled to life, liberty, and property; and have never ceded, to any fovereign power whatever, a right to dispose of either without their confent.

Refolved, n. c. 2. That our ancestors were, at the time of their emigration from the Mother-Country, entitled to all the rights, liberties, and immunities, of free and natural-born fubjects within the realm of England.

Refolved, n. c. 3. That, by fuch emigration, they neither forfeited, furrendered, nor loft, any of thofe rights.

Refolved, 4. That the foundation of English liberty, and of all free government, is a right in the people to participate in their Legiflative Council; and as the English Colonifts are not reprefented, and, from their local and other circumftances, cannot properly be reprefented in the British Parliament, they are entitled to a free and exclufive power of legiflation, in their feveral Provincial Legiflatures, where their right of reprefentation can alone be preferved, in all cafes of taxation and internal polity, fubject only to the negative of their Sovereign, in fuch manner as has been heretofore used and accustomed: but, from the neceffity of the cafe, and a regard to the mutual interefts of both countries, we chearfully confent to the operation of fuch Acts of the British Parliament as are, bona fide, reftrained to the regulation of our external commerce, for the purpose of fecuring the commercial advantages of the whole Empire to the Mother-Country, and the commercial benefits of its refpective members, excluding every idea of taxation, internal or external, for raifing a revenue on the fubjects in America without their confent.

Refolved, n. c. 5. That the refpective Colonies are entitled to the Common Law of England, and, more especially, to the great and inestimable privilege of being tried by their peers of the vicinage, according to the courfe of that law.

Refolved,

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