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inhabitants of these colonies, who have deputed us to represent them in General Congress, entreat your Majesty's gracious attention to this our humble petition.
The union between our mothercountry and these colonies, and the energy of mild and just government, produced benefits so remarkably important, and afforded such assurance of their permanency and increase, that the wonder and envy of other nations were excited, while they beheld Great Britain rising to a power the most extra ordinary the world had ever known. Her rivals observing that there was no probability of this happy connection being broken by civil dis sentions, and apprehending its future effects, if left any longer undisturbed, resolved to prevent her receiving so continual and formidable an accession of wealth and strength, by checking the growth of these settlements, from which they were to be derived.
In the prosecution of this attempt, events so unfavourable to the design took place, that every friend to the interest of Great-Britain and these colonies, entertained pleasing and reasonable expectations of seeing an additional force and extension immediately given to the operations of the union hitherto experienced, by an enlargement of the dominions of the crown and the removal of ancient and warlike enemies to a greater distance.
At the conclusion, therefore, of the late war, the most glorious and advantageous that ever had been carried on by British arms, your loyal colonies, having contributed to its success by such repeated and strenuous exertions as frequently procured them the distinguished
approbation of your Majesty, of the late King, and of Parliament, doubted not but that they should. be permitted, with the rest of the empire, to share in the blessings of peace, and the emoluments of victory and conquest. While these recent and honourable acknowledgments of their merits remained on record in the journals and acis of that august legislature, the Parliament, undefaced by the imputation,' or even the suspicion of any offence, they were alarmed by a new system of statutes and regulations, adopted for the administration of the colonies, that filled their minds with the most painful fears and jealousies; and, to their inexpressible astonishment, perceived the dangers of a foreign quarrel quickly succeeded by domestic dangers, in their judgment of a more dreadful kind.
Nor were their anxieties alleviated by any tendency in this system to promote the welfare of the mother-country: for though its effects were more immediately felt by them, yet its influence appeared to be injurious to the commerce and prosperity of Great-Britain.
We shall decline the ungrateful task of describing the irksome varicty of artifices practised by many of your Majesty's ministers, the delusive pretences, fruitless terrors, and unavailing severities, which have from time to time been dealt out by them in their attempts to execute this impolitic plan, or of tracing through a series of years past the progress of the unhappy differences between Great-Britain and these colonies, which have flowed from this fatal source. Your Majesty's ministers persevering in their measures, and proceeding to [B]+
open hostilities for enforcing them, have compelled us to arm in our own defence, and have engaged us in a controversy so peculiarly ab. horrent from the affections of your still faithful colonists, that when wé consider whom we must oppose in this contest, and if it continues, what may be the consequence; our own particular misfortunes are accounted by us only as parts of our distress.
Knowing to what violent resent ments and incurable animosities civil discords are apt to exasperate and inflame the contending parties, we think ourselves required by indispensible obligations to Almighty God, to your Majesty, to our fellow-subjects, and ourselves, immediately to use all the means in our power, not incompatible with our safety, for stopping the further effusion of blood, and for averting the impending calamities that threaten the British empire. Thus called upon to address your Majesty on affairs of such moment to America, and probably to all your dominions, we are earnestly desirous of performing this office with the utmost deference to your Majesty; and we therefore pray that your royal magnanimity and benevo lence may make the most favour-` able constructions of our expressions on so uncommon an occasion, Could we represent, in their full force, the sentiments which agitate the minds of us your dutiful subjects, we are persuaded your Majesty would ascribe any seeming deviation from reverence, in our language, and even in our conduct, not to any reprehensible intention, but, to the impossibility of conciling the usual appearances of re
spect with a just attention to our preservation against those artful and cruel enemies, who abuse your royal confidence and authority for the purpose of effecting our destrution.
Attached to your Majesty's person, family and government, with all the devotion that principle and affection can inspire, connected with Great-Britain by the strongest ties that can unite societies, and deploring every event that tends in any degree to weaken them, we solemnly assure your Majesty that we not only most ardently desire the former harmony between her and these colonies may be restored, but that a concord may be established between them upon so firm a basis as to perpetuate its blessings untinterrupted by any future dissentions to succeeding generations in both countries; to transmit your Majesty's name to posterity, adorned with that signal and lasting glory that has attended the memory of those illustrious personages, whose virtues and abilities have extricated states from dangerous convul sions, and by securing happiness to others, have erected the most noble and durable monuments to their own fame.
We beg leave further to assure your Majesty, that notwithstanding the sufferings of your loyal colonists, during the course of the present controversy, our breasts retaia too tender a regard for the kingdom from which we derive our origin, to request such a reconciliation, as might, in any manner be inconsistant, wih her dignity or her welfare. These, related as we are to her, honour and duty, as well as inclination, induce us to
Support and advance; and the apprehensions that now oppress our hearts with unspeakable grief being once removed, your Majesty will find your faithful subjects, on this continent, ready and willing, at all times, as they have ever been, with their lives and fortunes, to assert and maintain the rights and interest of your Majesty and of our mother country.
We therefore beseech your Majesty, that your royal authority and influence may be graciously interposed, to procure us relief from our afflicting fears and jealousies, occasioned by the system before mentioned, and to settle peace through every part of your dominions; with all humility submitting to your Majesty's wise consideration, whether it may not be expedient, for facilitating these important purposes, that your Majesty be pleased to direct some mode by which the united applications of your faithful colonists to the throne, in pursuance of their common councils, may be improved into a happy and permanent reconciliation; and that in the mean time measures be taken for preventing the further destruction of the lives of your Majesty's subjects, and that such statutes as more immediately distress any of your Majesty's colonics be repealed. For by such arrangements as your Majesty's wisdom can form, for collecting the united sense of your American people, we are convinced your Majesty would receive such satisfactory proofs of the disposition of the colonists toward their sovereign and the parent state, that the wished for opportunity would soon be restored to them, of evincing the sincerity of their profes
sions, by every testimony of devotion becoming the most dutiful subjects, and the most affectionate colonists.
That your Majesty may enjoy a long and prosperous reign, and that your descendants may govern the dominions, with honour to them-selves, and happiness to their subjects is our sincere and fervent prayer.
Colonies of New Hampshire. John Langdon, Thomas Cushing. Massachusett’s Bay. Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine.
Rhode Island. Stephen Hopkins, Samuel Ward, Eliphant Dyar. Connecticut Roger. Sherman, Silas Deane.
New York. Philip Levingston, James Duane, John Alsop, Francis Lewis, John Jay, Robert Levingston, junior, Lewis Morris, Wai. Floyd, Henry Wisner. New Jersey. William LevingJohn Deharts,
Pennsylvania. John Dickenson, Benjamin Franklin, George Ross, James Wilson, Charles Wilson, Charles Humphreys, Edward Biddie.
Delaware Counties Cæsar Rodney, Thomas M'Kean, George Read.
Maryland. Matthew Tilghman, Thomas Johnson, junior, William Pace, Samuel Chase, Thomas Stone.
Virginia.. P. Henry, junior, R. Henry Lee, Edmond Fendleton, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Jefferson.
North Carolina. Joseph Hewes.
South Carolina Henry Middle ton, Thomas Lynch, Christopher Gadsden, J. Rutlege, Edward Rut lege.
Speech of his Excellency, Simon, Earl of Harcourt, to both Houses of the Irish Parliament, on Tucsday, the 10th of October, 1775.
My Lords and Gentlemen, OUR distinguished loyalty to the King; your just attention to the honour and dignity of his government; and your well regufated zeal for the peace and happiness of your country; have made so sensible an impression on my mind, during a three years residence amongst you, that, encouraged by the experience of what I have seen, it is with the most sincere satisfaction I meet you again in parliament.
I am persuaded that you enter tain a grateful sense of the blessings you enjoy under the mild and firm government of the best of sovereigns; and his Majesty relies on the known zeal and loyalty of his subjects of Ireland, that, whilst his government is disturbed by a rebellion existing in a part of his American dominions, you will be ready to shew your inviolable at tachment to his person and government, in the assertion of his just rights, and in the support of his legal authority.
Gentlemen of the House of Com
I have ordered the proper accounts and estimates to be laid before you, that you may be enabled to judge of the provisions necessary to be made for the ordinary expences
of his Majesty's establishments, and for discharging an arrear which has been unavoidably incurred.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I am happy to inform you, that, since your last meeting, his Majesty's tender concern for the welfare of this kingdom hath induced him to pass several laws in the British parliament highly beneficial your commerce, your manufac fures, and your agriculture.
By the act which extends the great advantages of British fisheries to Ireland, a source of industry and wealth is opened to you, which has made other nations great and flourishing. Let me therefore recommend to your earnest attention the improvement of advantages tending so obviously to promote your navigation and trade; in the pursuit of which you may depend upon my warmest assistance and support.
The act which allows the cloathing and accoutrements necessary for his Majesty's forces paid from the revenues of this kingdom, to be exported from Ireland, is a particular mark of the royal favour; and even that which allows the importation of rape-seed into Great Britain from this kingdom, under certain regulations, connected with those salutary laws passed in your last session, form such a system of agriculture and improvement as will, I trust, secure riches and plenty to the people of Ireland.
A bounty granted by GreatBritain upon the importation of flax-seed, is so marked a recommendation of the linen manufacture, that it becomes .needless for me to urge the most persevering ap
E your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Gentlemen, Merchants, and Traders of London, beg leave to approach your Majesty with unfeigned assurance of affection and attachment to your Majesty's person and government, and to represent, with great humility, our sentiments on tie present alarming state of public, affairs.
By the operation of divers acts of the British parliament, we behold, with deep affliction, that happy communion of interests and good offices, which had so long subsisted between this country and America, suspended, and an intercourse (which, augmenting, as it grew, the strength and dignity of your Majesty's dominions, hath enabled your Majesty to defeat the natural rivals of your greatness in every quarter of the world) threatened with irretrievable ruin.
We should humbly represent to your Majesty, if they had not been already represented, the deadly wounds which the commerce of this country must feel from these unfortunate measures; that it has not yet more deeply felt them is owing to temporary and accidental causes which cannot long continue.
But we beg your Majesty to cast an eye on the general property of this land, and to reflect what must be its fate when deprived of our American commerce.
It fills our minds with additional grief to see the blood and treasure of your Majesty's subjects wasted in effecting a fatal separation between the different parts of your Majesty's empire, by a war, uncertain in the event, destructive in its consequences, and the object contended for lost in the contest.
The experience we have had of your Majesty's paternal regard for the welfare and privileges of alt your people, and the opinion we entertain of the justice of the British parliament, forbid us to believe, that laws, so repugnant to the policy of former times, would have received their sanction, had the real circumstances and sentiments