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Assembly of Rhode-Island Prohibit Prayers for the King of Great Britain



State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, In General Assembly, July Session, 1776.

Whereas the General Congress of the United States of America, by their Resolution of the 4th instant, after enumerating many of the various acts by which George the Third, King of Great Britain, hath demonstrated his intention to establish an absolute tyranny over the said States, have declared that "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;" and have further declared, that the said States "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:" which said Resolution hath been approved and solemnly published by order, and in presence of this General Assembly:

It is therefore Voted and Resolved, That if any person within this State shall, under pretence of preaching or praying, or in any other way and manner whatever, acknowledge or declare the said King to be our rightful Lord and Sovereign, or shall pray for the success of his arms, or that he may vanquish and overcome all his enemies, shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanour, and shall therefor be presented by the Grand Jury of the County where the offence shall be committed, to the Superior Court of the same County; and upon conviction thereof shall forfeit and pay, as a fine, to and for the use of this State, the sum of £100 lawful money, and pay all costs of prosecution, and shall stand committed to Jail until the same be satisfied. And that a copy of this Act be inserted in the Newport and Providence newspapers.

A true copy. Witness: HENRY WARD, Secretary.