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Proceedings at a meeting of the Inhabitants of the City and Liberties of Philadelphia


Philadelphia, May 20, 1776.

At a meeting at the State-House, of a very large number of the inhabitants of the City and Liberties of Philadelphia, upon due notification, Major John Bayard, as Chairman of the Committee of Inspection and Observation of the City and Liberties, informed the people that the meeting was called at the request of a considerable number of respectable citizens; whereupon, Colonel Daniel Roberdeau was appointed to and seated in the chair. And it was moved that the resolve of Congress, of the 15th instant, be read; whereupon it was read in the following words:

"In Congress, May 15, 1776.

"Whereas his Britannick Majesty, in conjunction with the Lords and Commons of Great Britain, has, by a late act of Parliament, excluded the inhabitants of these United Colonies from the protection of his Crown: And whereas no answer whatever to the humble Petitions of the Colonies for redress of grievances and reconciliation with Great Britain, has been or is likely to be given, but the whole force of that kingdom, aided by foreign mercenaries, is to be exerted for the destruction of the good people of these Colonies: And whereas it appears absolutely irreconcilable to


reason and good conscience for the people of these Colonies now to take the oaths and affirmations necessary for the support of any Government under the Crown of Great Britain; and it is necessary that the exercise of any kind of authority under the said Crown should be totally suppressed, and all the powers of Government exerted under the authority of the people of the Colonies, for the preservation of internal peace, virtue, and good order, as well as for the defence of their lives, liberties, and properties, against the hostile invasions and cruel depredations of their enemies:

"Therefore Resolved, That it be recommended to the respective Assemblies and Conventions of the United Colonies, where no Government sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs has been hitherto established, to adopt such Government as shall, in the opinion of the Representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and America in general.

"By order of Congress:

"JOHN HANCOCK, President."

The people, in testimony of their warmest approbation, gave three cheers.