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a thing without example, that the British govern- glorious a destiny. There are some wbo seert 13 ment will forget past offences and perform its dread the effects of this resolution. But will Eng. promiees; can we imagine, that, after so long dis. land, or can she, manifest against us greater vi. sentions, after so many outrages, so many com. gour and rage than she has already displayed? She bats, and so much bloodshed, our reconciliation deems resistance against oppression no less rebel. could be durable, and that every day, in the midst liou than independence itself. And where are those of so much hatred and rancour, would not afford formidable troops that are to subdue the Americans? some fresh subject of animosity? The two nations What the English could not do, can it be done by Ger. are already seperated in interest and affections; the mans? Are they more brave or better disciplined? one is conscious of its ancient strengh, the other the number of our enemies is increased; but our has become acquainted with its newly exerted own is not diminished, and the battles we have suis. force; the one desires to rule in an arbitary manner, tained have given us the pratice of arms and the es. the other will not obey even if allowed its privil. perience of war. Who doubts then that a declaration eges. In such a state of things, what peace, what of independence will procure us allies? All nations concord, can be expected. The Americans may are desirous of procuring, by commerce, the pro. become faithful friends to the English, but subjects, duction of our exuberant soil; they will visit our never. And even though union could be restored ports hitherto closed by the monopoly of insatia. withour rancou-, it could not without danger.—ble England. They are no less eager to contemThe wealth and power of Great Britain should in. plate the reduction of her hated power; they all spire prudent men with fears for the future. Hav- loathe her barbarous dominion; their succours will ing reached such a height of grandeur that she has evince to our brave countrymen the gratitude they no longer any thing to dread from foreign powers, bear them for having been the first to shake the foun. in the security of peace the spirit of her people dation of this Colossus. Foreign ponces wait only will decay, manners will be corrupted, ber youth for the extinction of all hazard of reconciliation to will grow up in the midst of vice, and in this state throw off their present reserve. If this measure of degeneration, England will become the prey of a is useful, it is no less becoming our dignity. Ame. foreign enemy, or an ambitious citizen. If we re. rica has arrived at a degree of power which assigns main united with her, we shall partake of her cor- her a place among independent dations; we are not ruptions and misfortunes, the more to be dreaded less entitled to it than the English themselves. If as they will be irreparable; seperated from ber, on they bave wealth, so also have we; if they are brave, the contrary, as we are, we should neither have to so are we; if they are mure numerous, our populafear the seductions of peace nor the dangers of tion, through the incredible fruitfulness of our war. By a declaration of our freedom, the perils chaste wives, will soon equal theirs; if they bave would not be increased; but we should add to the men of renown as well in peace as in war, we likeardour of our defenders, and to the splendour of wise have such; political revolutions usually provictory. Let us then take a firm step and escape duce great, brave, and generous spirits. From what from this labyrinth; we have assumed the sovereign we have already achieved in these painful beginpower, and dare not confess it, we disobey a king, nings, it is easy to presume what we shall bear. and acknowledge ourselves bis subjects; wage war after accomplish, for experience is the source of sage against a people, on whom we incessantly protest counsels, and liberty is the mother of great men. our desire to depend. What is the consequence of Have you not seen the enemy driven from Lexing. so many inconsistencies? Hesitation paralyzes all ton by thirty thousand citizens armed and assemour measures; the way we ought to pursue is not bled in one day! Already their most celebrated marked out; our generals are neither respected nor generals have yielded in Boston to the skill of oursi obeyed; our soldiers have neither confidence nor already their seamen, repulsed from our coasts, zeal; feeble at bome, and little considered abroad, wander over the ocean, where they are the sport of foreign princes can neither esteem por succour so tempest, and the prey of famine. Let us hail the timid and wavering a people. But independence favorable omen, and fight, not for the sake of know. once proclaimed, and our object avowed, more man ing on what terms we are to be the slaves of Eng. ly and decided measures will be adopted, all minds land, but to secure to ourselves a free existence, to will be fired by the greatness of the enterprize, found a just and independent government. Anima. the civil magistrates will be inspired with new zeal, ted by liberty, the Greeks repulsed the innumerathe generals with fresh ardour, and the citizens ble army of Persians; sustained by the love of iowith greater constancy, to attain so high and so dependence, the Swiss and the Dutch humbled the
power of Austria by memorable defeats, and con- in which the debates and disprates upon the quesquered a rank among nations. But the sun of tion of independence were marry and vehement. America also shines upon the heads of the brave; John Dickinson, one of the deputies of the pro. the point of our weapons is no less formidable than vince to the general congress, a man of prompt theirs; here also the same union prevails, the same genius, of extensive influence, and one of the most contempt of dangers and of death in asserting the zealous partizans of American liberty, restricted cause of country.
however to the condition of union with England, “Why then do we longer delay, why still delib- harangued, it is said, in the following manner erate? Let this most happy day give birth to the against independence: American republic. Let her arise, not to devas "It too often happens, fellow citizens, that men, tate and conquer, but to re-establish the reign of heated by the spirit of party, give more importance peace and of the laws. The eyes of Europe are in their discourses, to the surface and appearance of fixed upon us! she demands of us a living example objects, than either to reason or justice; thus evin. of freedom, that may contrast, by the felicity of cing that their aim is not to appease tumults, but to the citizens, with the ever increasing tyranny which excite them; not to repress the passions, but to indesolates her polluted shores. She invites us to Aame them, not to compose ferocious discords, but prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find so. to exasperate and imbitter then more and more. lace, and the persecuted, repose. She intreats us They aspire but to please the powerful, to gratify to cultivate a propitious soil, where that generous their own ambition, to flatter the caprices of the mul. plan, which first sprung up and grew in England, titude, in order to captivate their favour. Accord. but is now withered by the poisonous blasts of ingly in popular commotions, the party of wisdom Scottish tyranny, may revive and flourish, shelter. and of equity is commonly found in the minority; and, ing under its salubrious and interminable sbade all perhaps, it would be safer, in difficult circumstances, the unfortunate of the buman race. This is the to consult the smaller instead of the greater number, end presaged by so many omens, by our first vic. Upon this principle I invite the attention of those tories, by the present ardour and union, by the who hear me, since my opinion may differ from that Aghi of Howe, and the pestilence which broke out of the majority; but I dare believe it will be sbared amongst Dunmore's people, by the very winds by all impartial and moderate citizens, who con. which baffled the enemy's feets and transports, and demn this tumultuous proceeding, this attempt to that terrible tempest which ingulfed seven hundred coerce our opinions, and to drag us, with so much vessels upon the coast of Newfoundland. If we precipitation to the most serious and important of are not this day wanting in our duty to country, decisions. But, coming to the subject in controthe names of the American legislators will be pla. versy, I affirm, that prudent men do not abandon ob. 'ced, by posterity, at the side of those of Theseus, of jects which are certain, to go in pursuit of those Lycurgus, of Romulus, of Numa, of the three Wil. which offer only uncertainty. Now, it is an establiams of Nassau, and of all those whose memory bas lished fact, that America can be well and happily
been, and will be, forever dear to virtuous men and governed by the English laws, under the same king · good citizens.”
and the same parliament. Two hundred years of Lee had scarcely ceased speaking, when no dubi. happiness furnish the proof of it; and we find it ous signs of approbation were manifested on all also in the present prosperity, which is the result of parts. But the deputies of Pennsylvania and Mary. these venerable laws and of this apcient union. It is land not being present, and the congress desirous, not as independent, but as subjects; not as republic, by some delay, to evidence the maturity of their debut as monarchy, that we have arrived at this deliberations, adjourned the futher consideration of gree of power and of greatness. the subject to the first of July. Meanwhile the “What then is the object of these chimeras, hatchpatriots babored strenuously to induce the two dised in the days of discord and of war? Shall the senting provinces also to decide for independence. transports of fury have more power over us than the They employed the most earnest persuasions, to experience of ages? Shall we destroy, in an mowbich they added also threats, intimating that not ment of anger, the work cemented and tested by only would the other colonies exclude them from time? the confederation, but that they would immediately "I know the name of liberty is dear to each one treat them as enemies. The provincial asser'ıly of of us; but havejwe not enjoyed liberty even under Pennsylvania remained inflexible. At length, the the English monarchy? Shall we this day renounce inhabitants of Pennsylvania formed a convention, tbat to go and seek it in I know not what forın of
republic, which will soon change into a licentious moment when our separation shall iake place, every anarchy and p pular tyranny? In the human body thing will assume a contrary direction. The nation the head only sustains and governs all the members, will accustom themselves to look upon ns with dis. directing them, with admirable harmony, to the dain; even the pirates of Africa and Europe will full same object, which is self.preservation and happi upon our vessels, will massacre our seamen, or lead ness; so the head of the body politic, that is the them into a cruel and perpetual slavery. king, in concert with the parliament, can alone
“There is in the human species, often so inexplimaintain the union of the members of this empire,
cable in their affections, a manifest propensity to lately so flourishiog, and prevent civil war by obvi. ating all the evils produced by variety of opinions oppress the feeble as well as to Aatter the power.
ful. Fear always carries it against reason, pride and diversity of interests. And so firm is my persuasion of this, that I fully believe the most cruel against moderation, and cruelty against clemency. war which Great Britain coulil make upon us, would
"Independence, I am aware, bas attractions for be that of not m. king any; and that the surest all mankind; but I maintain, that, in the present means of bringing us back to her obedience, would quarrel, the friends of independence are the probe that of employing none. For the dread of the moters of slavery, and that those who desire to se. English arms once removed, provinces would rise parate us, would but render us more dependent, if up against provioces, and cities against cities; and independence means the right of commanding, and we should be seen to turn against ourselves the not the necessity of obeying, and if being depen. arms we have taken up to combat the common dent is to obey, and not to command. If, in ren.
dering ourselves independent of Englar!, suppos. enemy.
ing, however, that we should be able to effect it, "Insurmountable necessity would then compel us
we might be so, at the same time, of all oiber 1.8. to resort to the tutelary authority which we should
tions, I should applaud the project; but to chalige have rashly abjured, and if it consented to receive us again under its egis, it wouid be no longer as
the condition of English subjects for that of slaves free citizens, but as slaves. Still inexperienced, counselled liy insanity. If you would reduce your
to the whole world, is a step that could only be and in our infancy, what proof have we given of our
selves to the necessity of obeying, in all things, the ability to walk without a guide? none, and, if we
mandates of supercilious France, who is now kind. judge the future by the past, we must conclude that! our concord will continue as long as the danger, dent. If
, to British liberty, you prefer the liberty of
ling fire under our feet, declare yourselves indepen. and no longer.
Holland, of Venice, of Genoa, or of Ragusa, declare "Even when the powerful hand of England sup yourselves independent. But, if we would not ported us, for the paltry motives of territorial limits change the signification of words, let us preserve and distant jurisdictions, have we not abandoned and carefully maintain this dependence, which has ourselves to discords, and sometimes even to vio- been, down to this very hour, the principle and lence? And what must we not expect now that source of our prosperity, of our liberty, of our real minds are beated, ambitions soused, and arms in independence. the hands of all!
“But here I am interrupted, and told that no one "If, therefore, our union with England offers us questions the advantages which America derived at so many advantages for the maintenance of internal first from her conjunction with England; but that peace, it is no less necessary to procure us, with fo- the new pretensions of the ministers have changed reign powers, that condescension and respect which all, have subverted all. If I should deny, that, for is 80 essential to the prosperity of our commerce, the last twelve years, the English government has to the enjoyment of any consideration, and to the given the most fatal direction to the affairs of the accomplisbment of any enterprize. Hitherto, in colonies, and tbat its measures towards us savor of our intercourse with the different nations of the tyranny, I should deny not only what is the mani. world, England has lent us the support of her name fest truth, but even what I have so often advanced and of her arms: we have presented ourselves in all and supported. But is there any doubt that it ale the ports and in all the cities of the globe, not as ready feels a secret repentance? These arms, these Americans, a people scarcely beard of, but as Eng. soldiers, it prepares against us, are not designed to lish; under the shadow of this respected name, establish tyranny upon our shores, but to vanquish every pert was open to us, every way was smooth, our obstinacy, and to compel us to subscribe to every demand was heard with favor. From the conditions of accommodation. In vain is it asserted
that the ministry will employ all means to make tories, they will invade our fisheries and obstruct
“There are many persons who, to gain their ends, vening seas, the continual increase of our popula- estol the advantages of a republic over monarchy. tion, our warlike spirit, our experience in arms, the I will not here undertake to examine which of these lakes, the rivers, the forests, the detiles which
two forms of government merits the preference. I abound in our territory, are our pledges that Eng. know, however, that the English nation, after bav. land will always prefer to found her power upon ing tried them both, has never found repose except moderation and liberty, rather than upon rigour in monarchy. I know, also, that in popular repuband oppression. An uninterrupted succession of
lics themselves, so necessary is monarchy to cement victories and of triumphs could alone constrain Eng. human society, it has been requisite to institute land to acknowledge American independence; monarchical powers, more or less extensive, under wbich, whether we can expect, wboever knows the the names of archons, of consuls, of doges, of gone instability of fortune can easily judge.
faloniers, and finally of kings. Nor should I bere "If we have combated successfully at Lexington omit an observation, the truth of which appears to and at Boston, Quebec and all Canada have witnes.
me incontestable: the English constitution seems to sed our reverses. Every one sees the necessity of be the fruit of the experience of all anterior time; opposing the extraordinary pretensions of the min in which monarchy is so tempered, that the monarch isters; but does every body see also that of fight. finds himself checked in his efforts to seize abso. ing for independence!
lute power; and the authority of the people is so re. "It is to be feared, that, by changing the object of
gulated, that anarchy is not to be feared. But for the war, the present harmony will be interrupted,
us it is to be apprehended, that when the counterthat the ardour of the people will be chilled by ap- poise of monarchy shall no longer exist, the demoprehensions for their new situation. By substitu- cratic power may carry all before it, and involve ting a total dismemberment to the revocation of the the whole state in confusion and ruin. Then an am. Jaws we complain of, we should fully justify the bitious citizen may arise, seize the reins of power, ministers; we should merit the infamous name of and annihilate liberty forever; for such is the ordirebels, and all the British nation would arm, with
nary career of ill-balanced democracies, they fall an unanimous impulse, against those who, from op into anarchy, and thence under despotism. pressed and complaining subjects, should have be. come all at once irreconcılable enemies. The Eng “Such are the opinions which might have been lish cherish the liberty we defend; they respect the offered you with more eloquence, but assuredly not dignity of our cause; but they will blame, they will with more zeal or sincerity. May heaven grant that detest, our recourse to independence, and will such sinister forebodings be not one day accomplishunite with one consent to combat us.
ed! May it not permit tbat, in this solemn con
course of the friends of country, the impassioned “The propagators of the new doctrine are pleas
language of presumptuous and ardent men should ed to assure us, that, out of jealously towards Eng.
have more influence than the pacific exhortations land, foreign sovereigns will lavish their succours up
of good and sober citizens; prudence and modera. on us, as if these sovereigns could sincere by applaud
tion found and preserve empires, temerity and prerebellion; as if they had not colonies, even here in America, in which it is important for them to main. sumption occasion their downfall." tain obedience and tranquillity. Let us suppose, The discourse of Dickinson was heard with at. however, that jealousy, ambition or vengeance, tention; but the current flowed irresistibly strong should triumph over the fear of insurrections; do in a contrary direction, and fear acting upon inany you think these princes will not make you pay dear more powerfully even than their opinion, the mafor the assistance with which they flatter you? Who jority pronounced in favor of independence. The bas not learnt, to his cost, the perfidy and the cu. deputies of Pennsylvania were accordingly authorpidity of Europeans? They will disguise the rized to return to congress, and to consent that the avarice under poinpous words; under the most be confederate colonies should declare themselves free nevolent pretexts they will despoil us of our terri.land independent states.