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themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has 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 cf cruelty and perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilised nation.

He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high 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 insurrection amongst us, and has endeavoured 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 hare we been wanting in attention 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 magnamity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections 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, in

peace friends.

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 connection 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.

(Signed) JOAN HANCOCK. And fifty-five other members from the 13 States.

Theory of Government



THE National Government of the United States is a DEMOCRATIC FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC, composed of states, and based on the constitution of 1787.

By the Constitution the power of the government vested in three great departments—the Executive-the Legislative—and the Judicial.


The Executive power is vested in a President. He is the only Executive officer known to the Constitution.

He is elected by an Electoral College, chosen by the popular vote of all the States; the number of electors from each State being equal to the number of senators and representatives which each has in Congress. His term of office is four years, but he is eligible for re-election indefinitely

No person is eligible to the office of President, who is not a native-born citizen of the age of thirty-five years. The President is commander-in-chief of the army and navy, and of the militia in the service of the Union. He has the power of a veto on all laws passed by Congress; but notwithstauding his veto any bill may become a law on its afterwards being passed by two-thirds of both Houses of congress. The President has a salary

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of 25,000 dollars per annum, and the “White House at Washington as a residence during his term of office.

The Vice-President is ex-officio President of the Senate; and in case of the death or resignation of the President, he becomes the President for the remainder of the term.

The elections for President and Vice President are held in all the States on the first Tuesday in November, every four years; and on the 4th of March following the new President elect is inaugurated. Therefore in November, 1864, the election will be held for President, to succeed Mr. Lincoln, whose term of office expires, March 4, 1865.

Since the adoption of the Constitution the offices of Preident and Vice-President have been occupied as follows:


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Terms of Office. 1. George Washington. John Adams. ......30th April, 1789 to 4th March, 1791 2 Do. Do. Do. 4th March, 1793

1793 3 John Adams.... Thomas Jefferson


1807 4 Thomas Jefferson Aaron Burr


1805 5 Do. Do. George Clinton......


1809 6 James Madison Do. Do.


1813 7 Do. Do. Elbr. Gerry


1817 8 James Monroe Dan. D. Tompkins


1821 9 Do. Do,


1825 10 Jon. Quincy Adams John C. Calhoun


1829 11 Andrew Jackson Do.



1833 12“ Do. Do. Martin Van Buren


1837 13. Martin Van Buren Richd. M. Johnson


1841 14 Wm. H. Harrison John Tyler

1841 4th April, 1841 151 J. Tyler (on the death of Gen. Harrison 4th April, 1841 4th March, 1845 16 James K. Polk George M. Dallas ... 4th March, 1845

1849 17 Zachary Taylor...... Millard Fillmore ...

1849 9th July, 1850 18 M. Fillmore

(on death of Gen. Taylor) oth july, 1850 4th March, 1853 19 Franklin Pierce ... Wm. R. King......... 4th March, 1853

1857 20 James Buchanan... J. O. Breckenridge...


1861 21. Abraham Lincoln Hannibal Hamlin ...




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The administrative business of the nation is conducted by several officers, with the title of secretaries, etc., who form what is termed the “ Cabineti' They are chosen by the President. Each of these presides over a separate department, under the authority of the President.

The present Cabinet is as follows:

William H. Seward Salmon P. Chase E. M. Staunton Gideon Wells Caleb B. Smith... Montgomery Blair Edward Bates

Secretary of State*
Secretary of Treasury,
Secretary of War
Secretary of Navy
Secretary of the Interior
Postmaster General
Attorney General


THE LEGISLATIVE. All legislative powers are vested in Congress, which consists of a Senate and House of Reprasentatives. The Senate or Upper House, consists of two members from each State, chosen by the State legislatures for six years. Senators must be not less than thirty years of

age; must have been citizens of the United States for sine years; and be residents of the State for which he is chosen. Each Senator is entitled to one vote.

Besides its ordinary capacity, the Senate is vested with certain judicial functions, and its members constitute a High Court of Impeachment. The judgment only extends to removal from office and disqualification. Representatives have the sole power of impeachment.

The House of Representatives, or Lower House, is composed of members elected every second year by the people of the several States. To ascertain the number to which each State is entitled, a census is taken every ten years, including in the enumeration for this object, three-fifths of the slaves. Each State is entitled to at least one representative. The whole number of representatives for 1863 is 241, or one to every 124,000. Representatives must be not less than twenty-five years age, citizens of the United States for seven years, and be residents in the States from which they are chosen. In addition to the representatives from the States, the House admits a representative from each organised territory, who has a right to debate on subjects in which his territory is interested; but is not entitled to a vote.

* Since the Department of Interior was created in 1849 the business, of Secretary of State is confined to foreign affairs.

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