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"Address to the inhabitants of Quebec-the first petition to the king-the declaration to the armies the second petition to the king -and the address to the several states,"
EXTRACTED FROM THE JOURNALS OF CONGRESS,
Have always been ascribed to the pen of
Address of Congress
INHABITANTS OF QUEBEC.
Dated October 26th, 1774.*
FRIENDS AND FELLOW-SUBJECTS,
WE, the DELEGATES of the colonies of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the counties of New-Castle, Kent and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina and SouthCarolina, deputed by the inhabitants of the said colonies, to represent them in a general congress at Philadelphia, in the province of Pennsylvania, to consult together, concerning the best methods to obtain redress of our afflicting grievances; having accordingly assembled, and taken into our most
* Vide Journals of Congress, vol. 1, page 58.
On the solid foundation of this principle, Englishmen reared up the fabric of their constitution with such a strength, as for ages to defy time, tyranny, treachery, internal and foreign wars: and as an illustrious author* of your nation, hereafter mentioned, observes," They gave the people of their colonies, the form of their own government, and this government, carrying prosperity along with it, they have grown great nations in the forests they were sent to inhabit."
In this form, the first grand right is that of the people having a share in their own government by their representatives chose by themselves, and in consequence of being ruled by laws, which they themselves approve, not by edicts of men over whom they have no controul. This is a bulwark surrounding and defending their property, which by their honest cares and labours they have acquired, so that no portions of it can legally be taken from them, but with their own full and free consent, when they in their judgment deem it just and necessary to give them for public services, and precisely direct the easiest, cheapest, and most equal methods in which they shall be collected.
THE influence of this right extends still farther. If money is wanted by rulers who have in any manner oppressed the people, they may retain it,