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Petition to the King, March 5, 1771


To the King' s Most Excellent Majesty.

The Petition of the Representatives of the Freemen of the Province of PENNSYLVANIA, most humbly showeth:

That we, your Majesty' s faithful subjects, the Representatives of the Freemen of Pennsylvania, in General Assembly met, humbly ask permission to offer to your Royal wisdom our dutiful supplications.

In our last Petition to your Majesty, we prayed relief of a grievance which the good people of this Province suffered, by duties being imposed upon them by act of Parliament, for the solo purpose of raising a revenue; and, though that act has been repealed, as to part of these taxes, yet the duties on Tea, and other enumerated goods not made in Great Britain, but from thence exported to these Colonies, are still retained, with intent, as we have great reason to fear, of establishing thereby a precedent for repeating such taxations upon us hereafter. Thus we lose the possession of our property, and the title to the remainder becomes extremely precarious; for, as we cannot, from our situation be, in any manner, represented in Parliament, your Royal wisdom will perceive, that we can call nothing our own which others assume a right to take from us without our consent.

The aggrievance still continuing, notwithstanding the late repeal, our confidence in your Majesty' s transcendent goodness induces us to hope, that, through your gracious interposition, we may yet obtain redress.

If we attempted to promote innovations, we might deserve censure. We only endeavour to avoid them. We presume not to request the grant of any new right in our favour, nor any diminution of the Royal prerogative, but only to be restored to that which we constantly, till of late, enjoyed: the invaluable, exclusive privilege of demonstrating our affection for pur Sovereign, and our duly to his Government, as heretofore, by voluntary gifts of our property to him. This privilege, repeatedly recognised by your Majesty, and former Kings and Parliaments, our ancestors transmitted inviolate to us; we possessed it without abuse, and have lost it without offence; for, we beg leave to assure your Majesty, that none of your subjects are, or can be, more affectionately and firmly attached to your Majesty' s person, family, and Government, than your faithful people, the inhabitants of Pennsylvania.

Most gracious Sovereign: Fully confiding that your Majesty will always make the preservation of the constitutional rights of your subjects a principal object of your attention, and that your Royal disposition


delights in the freedom and happiness of your people, we most humbly and earnestly implore your Majesty, by your Royal authority, influence, and recommendation, to procure us relief from the grievance now most respectfully represented.

Signed, by order of the House, JOSEPH GALLOWAY, Speaker.

PHILADELPHIA, March 5, 1771.

A true copy from the Journals:

CHARLES MOORE, Clerk of Assembly.