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Petition to the House of Lords, of September 22, 1768


To the Right Honourable the Lords, Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament assembled.

The Petition of the Representatives of the Freemen of the Province of PENNSYLVANIA, in Assembly met, humbly showeth:

That your petitioners apprehend, whenever measures are pursued inconsistent with the principles of that freedom on which the British Constitution is founded, it cannot be thought improper to mako application for redress to your Lordships, the hereditary guardians of British liberty, and, therefore, they beg leave to represent to your Lordships the following aggrievance, which greatly affects His Majesty' s most faithful American subjects, and to implore your concurrence with the other branches of the British legislature, in relieving them from their present distress.

That the people of this Province, gratefully sensible of your Lordships' wisdom and justice, in the repeal of the late act of Parliament imposing Stamp duties in America, were led to hope, that, in all future time, they should enjoy the right of granting aids to the Crown by representatives Constitutionally chosen by themselves. That, greatly disappointed in this expectation, they find another act, passed in the seventh year of his present Majesty' s reign, imposing new duties on the people of America, for the purpose of raising a revenue, equally subversive of this right, and tending to render their property most precarious and insecure.

Your petitioners humbly conceive, that it is essential to the liberties of Englishmen that no laws can be made to take away their property without their consent. Upon this equitable principle, the security of the subject' s estate, whether in tho mother country or the Colonies, is most justly founded; nor can British freedom, or publick happiness, without it, any where exist. Hence, the people of this Province, by their Representatives in Assembly, have ever exercised the power of disposing of their own property; and, whenever requisitions have been made by His Majesty, or his Royal predecessors, for the defence of America, they have most cheerfully, and liberally, granted their full proportion of aids for that important purpose. This power being founded on the Constitution of the Government of the Province; and having often received the sanction of the Crown, and full approbation of the British Parliament, your petitioners hope your Lordships will not think any reasons sufficient to deprive His Majesty' s failliful subjects, in this Colony, of a privilege so essential to their security and happiness. They, therefore, humbly pray your Lordships to take the premises into your serious consideration, and that you will also be pleased to pursue such measures as you shall, in your wisdom, think most proper, to relieve them and the people they represent from the aggrievance complained of.

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

PHILADELPHIA, September 22, 1768.

A true copy from the Journals:

CHARLES MOORE, Clerk of Assembly.