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The Declaration of Independence.

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring 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 mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely parallelled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the higii 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 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 attention to our British brethern. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over 11s. 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 connections and our 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 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; and 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 Declaration of Independence.

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.

ЈонN HАNСоск.


Josiah Bartlett,

Step. Hopkins,
Wm. Whipple,

William Ellery,
Matthew Thornton.


Roger Sherman,
Samuel Adams,

Sam'el Huntington,
John Adams,

William Williams,
Robert Treat Paine,

Oliver Wolcott.
Elbridge Gerry.


Samuel Chase,
Wm. Floyd,

Wm. Paca,
Phil. Livingston,

Thos. Stone,
Frans. Lewis,

Charles Carroll,
Lewis Morris.

of Carrollton.

Richd, Stockton,

George Wythe,
Jno. Witherspoon,

Richard Henry Lee,
Fras. Hopkinson,

Th. Jefferson,
John Hart,

Benja. Harrison,
Abra. Clark.

Thos. Nelson, Jr.,

Francis Lightfoot Lee,
Robt. Morris,

Carter Braxton.
Benjamin Rush,

Benj. Franklin,

Wm. Hooper,
John Morton,

Joseph Hewes,
Geo. Clymer,

John Penn.
Jas. Smith,

Geo. Taylor,

Edward Rutledge,
James Wilson,

Thos. Heyward, Junr.,
Geo. Ross.

Thos. Lynch, Junr.,

Arthur Middleton.
Ceasar Rodney,

Geo. Read.

Button Gwinett,
Tho. M'Kean.

Lyman Hall,

Geo. Walton. NOTE--In the facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, as in the original, the whole instrument runs without a break, dashes being freely used to emphasize the several utterances, and to bind them together. In the above copy, the arrangement of paragraphs adopted in the old Congress, and inserted in its journal, and which is also found in the original draft of the Declaration in the handwriting of the author now in the custody of the State Department at Washington, has been followed with care, that the reader may have a correct transcript. The spelling, capitalization, and punetuation is as in the authority referred to.



JULY 9, 1778.




HEREAS the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled did on the 15th day of November in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy

Seven and in the Second Year of the Independence of America agree to certain articles of Confederation and perpetuated Union between the States of Newhampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in the Words following viz.;


ARTICLE I. The Stile of this confederacy shall be “The United States of America."

ARTICLE II. Each state retains its Sovereignty, freedom and independence and every Power, Jurisdiction and Right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled.

ARTICLE III. The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of their Liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon, them or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.

ARTICLE IV. The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different states in this union, the free inhabitants of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from Justice excepted shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each state shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, Act of Confederation.

provided that such restrictions shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into the state, to any other state of which the Owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any state, on the property of the united states, or either of them. If any Person is guilty of, or charged with treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor in any state, shall flee from Justice, and be found in any of the united states, he shall upon demand of the Governor or executive power, of the state from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the state having jurisdiction of his offence.

Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these states to the records, acts and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other state.

ARTICLE V. For the more convenient management of the general interest of the united states, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each state shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power reserved to each state, to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead, for the remainder of the year. No state shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor more than seven members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the united states for which he, or another for his benefit receives any salary, fees or emoluments of any kind.

Each state shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the states, and while they act as members of the committee of the states.

In determining questions in the united states, in Congress assembled, each state shall have one vote.

Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any Court or place out of Congress, and the members of congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and imprisonments, during the time of their going to and from, and attendance on congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.

ARTICLE VI. No state without the Consent of the united states in congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance or treaty with any King prince or state; nor shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the united states, or any of them, accept of any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from any king prince or foreign state; nor shall the united states in congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility,

No two or more states shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the united states

Act of Confederation.

in congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to entered into, and how long it shall continue.

No state shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the united states in congress assembled with any king, prince, or state, in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by congress to the courts of France and Spain.

No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any state, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the united states in congress assembled, for the defence of such state, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any state, in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgment of the united states, in congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defence of such state; but every state shall always keep up a well regulated disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutred, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.

No state shall engage in any war without the consent of the united states in congress assembled, unless such state be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such state, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay, till the united states in congress assembled can be consulted nor shall any state grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the united states in congress assembled, and then only against the kingdom or state and the subjects thereof, against which war has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established by the united states in congress assembled, unless such state be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or until the united states in congress assembled shall determine otherwise.

Article VII. When land forces are raised by any state for the common defence, all officers of or under the rank of colonel, shall be appointed by the legsilature of each state respectively by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as suchi state shall direct, and med vacancies shall be filled up by the state which first made the appointment.

ARTICLE VIII. All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defence or general welfare, and allowed by the united states in congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several states, in proportion to the value of all land within each state, granted to or surveyed for any Person, as such land and the buildings and the improvements thereon

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