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Declaration by the Delegates of Maryland


Resolved, That the following Declaration be entered on the Journal of this Convention:

A DECLARATION of the Delegates of MARYLAND.

To be exempted from Parliamentary taxation, and to regulate their internal government and polity, the people of this Colony have ever considered as their inherent and unalienable right. Without the former, they can have no property; without the latter, no security for their lives or liberties.

The Parliament of Great Britain has of late claimed an uncontrollable right of binding these Colonies in all cases whatsoever. To enforce an unconditional submission to this claim, the Legislative and Executive powers of that state have invariably pursued for these ten years past a studied system of oppression, by passing many impolitick, severe, and cruel acts for raising a revenue from the Colonists; by depriving them in many cases of the trial by Jury; by altering the chartered Constitution of one Colony, and the entire stoppage of the trade of its Capital; by cutting off all intercourse between the Colonies; by restraining them from fishing on their own coasts; by extending the limits of, and erecting an arbitrary Government in the Province of Quebeck; by confiscating the property of the Colonists taken on the seas, and compelling the crews of their vessels, under the pain of death, to act against their native country and dearest friends; by declaring all seizures, detention, or destruction, of the persons or property of the Colonists, to be legal and just.

A war unjustly commenced hath been prosecuted against the United Colonies with cruelty, outrageous violence, and perfidy; slaves, savages, and foreign mercenaries, have been meanly hired to rob a people of their property, liberties, and lives, — a people guilty of no other crime than deeming the last of no estimation without the secure enjoyment of the former. Their humble and dutiful petitions for peace, liberty, and safety, have been rejected with scorn; secure of and relying on foreign aid, not on his national forces, the unrelenting Monarch of Britain hath at length avowed, by his answer to the City of London, his determined and inexorable resolution of reducing these Colonies to abject slavery.

Compelled by dire necessity either to surrender our properties, liberties, and lives, into the hands of a British King and Parliament, or to use such means as will most probably secure to us and our posterity those invaluable blessings,


We, the Delegates of Maryland in Convention assembled, do declare, that the King of Great Britain has violated his compact with this people, and that they owe no allegiance to him; we have therefore thought it just and necessary to empower our Deputies in Congress to join with a majority of the United Colonies in declaring them free and independent States, in framing such further Confederation between them, in making foreign alliances, and in adopting such other measures as shall be judged necessary for the preservation of their liberties: provided, the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal polity and government of this Colony be reserved to the people thereof. We have also thought proper to call a new Convention, for the purpose of establishing a Government in this Colony. No ambitious views, no desire of independence, induced the people of Maryland to form an union with the other Colonies. To procure an exemption from Parliamentary taxation, and to continue to the Legislatures of these Colonies the sole and exclusive right of regulating their internal polity, was our original and only motive. To maintain inviolate our liberties, and to transmit them unimpaired to posterity, was our duty and first wish; our next, to continue connected with, and dependant on, Great Britain. For the truth of these assertions, we appeal to that Almighty Being who is emphatically styled the Searcher of hearts, and from whose omniscience nothing is concealed. Relying on His divine protection and affiance, and trusting to the justice of our cause, we exhort and conjure every virtuous citizen to join cordially in defence of our common rights, and in maintenance of the freedom of this and her sister Colonies.

Adjourned till three o' clock.