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Petition and Memorial of the Assembly of Jamaica


Thursday, March 23, 1775.

A copy of the Petition and Memorial of the Assembly of Jamaica to the King' s most Excellent Majesty, was laid before the Convention, and being read, and maturely considered:

Resolved, That the unfeigned thanks, and most grateful acknowledgments of this Convention be presented to that very respectable Assembly, for the exceeding generous and affectionate part they have so nobly taken in the unhappy contest between Great Britain and her Colonies, and for their truly patriotick endeavours to fix the just claims of the Colonists upon the most permanent constitutional principle.

That the Assembly be assured, that it is the most ardent wish of this Colony (and we are persuaded of the whole Continent of North America) to see a speedy return of those halcyon days when we lived a free and happy people.

Resolved, That the President be desired to transmit these Resolutions to the Speaker of the Jamaica Assembly, by the earliest opportunity.

Resolved, That a well regulated Militia, composed of Gentlemen and Yeomen, is the natural strength, and only security of a free Government; that such a Militia in this Colony would for ever render it unnecessary for the Mother Country to keep among us, for the purpose of our defence, any Standing Army of mercenary forces, always subversive of the quiet, and dangerous to the liberties of the people, and would obviate the pretext of taxing us for their support.

That the establishment of such a Militia is at this time peculiarly necessary, by the state of our laws for the protection and defence of the Country, some of which have already expired, and others will shortly do so; and that the known remissness of Government, in calling us together in


a legislative capacity, renders it too insecure, in this time of danger and distress, to rely, that opportunity will be given of renewing them in General Assembly, or making any provision to secure our inestimable rights and liberties from those farther violations with which they are threatened.

Resolved therefore, That this Colony be immediately put into a posture of defence; and that Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Robert Carter Nicholas, Benjamin Harrison, Lemuel Riddick, George Washington, Adam Stephen, Andrew Lewis. William Christian, Edmund Pendleton, Thomas Jefferson, and Isaac Zane, Esquires, be a Committee to prepare a plan for the embodying, arming, and disciplining such a number of men as may be sufficient for that purpose.

Adjourned till to-morrow 10 o' clock.