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Address to the Inhabitants of the British Empire


Friday, September 8, 1775.

The Congress met according to adjournment.

Resolved, That Mr˙ Willie Jones, Mr˙ Burke, Mr˙ Thomas Person, and Mr˙ Long, be a Committee to state and settle Mr˙ James Davis' s Account, for services done as Printer to this Province.

Mr˙ Hooper laid before the House an Address to the Inhabitants of the British Empire; and the same being read was unanimously received, and is as follows, viz:

FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS: The fate of the contest which at present subsists between these American Colonies, and the British Ministers who now sit at the helm of publick affairs, will be one of the most important epochs which can mark the annals of the British history. Foreign Nations with anxious expectation wait the result, and see with amazement the blind infatuated policy which the present Administration pursues to subjugate these Colonies, and reduce them, from being loyal and useful subjects, to an absolute dependance and abject slavery; as if the descendants of those ancestors who have shed rivers of blood, and expended millions of treasure, in fixing upon a lasting foundation the liberties of the British Constitution, saw with envy the once happy state of this western region, and strove to exterminate the patterns of those virtues which shone with a lustre that bid fair to rival and eclipse their own.

To enjoy the fruits of our own honest industry; to call that our own which we earn with the labour of our hands, and the sweat of our brows; to regulate that internal policy by which we, and not they, are to be affected; these are the mighty boons we ask. And traitors, rebels, and every harsh appellation that malice can dictate, or the virulence of language express, are the returns which we receive to the most humble petitions and earnest supplications. We have been told that independence is our object; that we seek to shake off all connection With the Parent State. Cruel suggestion! Do not all our professions, all our actions, uniformly contradict this?

We again declare, and we invoke that Almighty Being who searches the recesses, of the human heart, and knows our most secret intentions, that it is our most earnest wish and prayer to be restored, with the other United Colonies, to the state in which we and they were placed before the year 1763; disposed to glance over any regulations which


Britain had made previous to this, and which seem to be injurious and oppressive to these Colonies, hoping that at some future day she will benignly interpose, and remove from us every cause of complaint.

Whenever we have departed from the forms of the Constitution, our own safety and self-preservation have dictated the expedient; and if in any instances we have assumed powers which the laws invest in the Sovereign, or his representatives, it has been only in defence of our persons, properties and those rights which God and the Constitution have made inalienably ours. As soon as the cause of our fears and apprehensions are removed, with joy will we return these powers to their regular channels; and such institutions, formed from mere necessity, shall end with that necessity that created them.

These expressions flow from an affection bordering upon devotion to the succession of the House of Hanover as by law established, from subjects who view it as a monument that does honour to human nature — a monument capable of teaching Kings how glorious it is to reign over a free people. These are the heartfelt effusions of men ever ready to spend their blood and treasure, when constitutionally called upon, in support of succession of His Majesty King George the Third, his crown and dignity; and who fervently wish to transmit his reign to future ages as the era of common happiness to his People.

Could these our sentiments reach the throne, surely our Sovereign would forbid the horrours of war and desolation to intrude into this once peaceful and happy land, and would stop that deluge of human blood which now threatens to overflow this Colony - blood too precious to be shed but in a common cause against the common enemy of Great Britain and her sons.

This declaration we hold forth as a testimony of loyalty to our Sovereign, and affection to our Parent State, and as a sincere earnest of our present and future intentions.

We hope hereby to remove those impressions, which have been made by the representations of weak and wicked men, to the prejudice of this Colony, who thereby intended that the rectitude of our designs might be brought into distrust, and sedition, anarchy and confusion spread through this loyal Province.

We have discharged a duty which we owe to the world, to ourselves, and to posterity; and may the Almighty God give success to the means we make use of, so far as they are aimed to produce just, lawful and good purposes, and the salvation and happiness of the whole British Empire.