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But, under our present happy constitution, our / POOREST man may arrive at tue HIGHEST MIGNITY. . executive magistrate arises according to the spirit -On Carolinians! happy would you be under this and letter of holy writ-"their governors shall new constitution, if you knew your happy state. proceed from the midst of them. Thus, the people
Possessed of a constitution of government, foundhave an opportunity of choosing a man intimately acquainted with their true interests, their genius,
ed upon so generous, equal and natural a principle, and their lawe; a man perfectly disposed to de
-a government expressly calculated to make the
people rich, powerful, virtuous and happy, who fend them against arbitrary ministers, and to pro.
can wish to change it, to return under a royal gomote the happiness of that people from among whom he was elevated; and by whom, without the vernment; the vital principles of which are the least difficulty, he may be removed and blended in reverse in every particular! It was my duty to lay
this bappy constitution before you, in its genuine the common mass.
light-it is your duty to understand--to instruct Again, under the British authority it was in others—and to defend it. effect declared, that we had no property; nay that I might here with propriety quit this truly im. . we could not possess any; and that we had not any portant subject, but my anxiety for the public weal of the rights of humanity: For men who knew compels me yet to detain your attention, while I us not, men who gained in proportion as we lost, make an observation or two upon one particular arrogated to themselves a right to BIND us in part of the constitution. ALL CASBS WHATSOEVEN!-But, our constilution is calculated to FREE us from foreign bondage; to
When all the various attempts to enslave Ame
rica by fraud, under guise of law; by military secure to us our property; to maintain to us the rights of bumanity, and to defend us and our po
threats; by famine, massacre, breach of public
faith, and open war: I say, when these things are sterity against British authority, aiming to reduce
considered on the one hand, and on the other, the us to the most abject slavery!"
constitution, expressing that some mode of go. Again, the British authority declared, that we vernment should be established, "until an accom. should not erect slitting-mills—and, to this un."modation of the unhappy differences between just law, we implicitly and respectfully submitted
“ Great Britain and America can be obtained, an so long as, with safety to our lives, we could yield
"event which, though traduced and treated as obedience to such authority-but a resolution of "rebels, we still ardently desire:” I say when congress now grants a premium to encourage the these two points are contrasted, can we avoid construction of such mills. The British authority revering the magnanimity of that great council of discouraged our attempting to manufacture for our the state, who after such injuries could entertain own consumption-but the new constitution, by
such a principle!--But, the virtuous are ever authorising the disbursment of large sums of money generous: We do not wish revenge: We earnestly by way of loan, or premium, encourages the mak wish an accommodation of our unhappy disputes ing of iron, bar-steel, nail-rods, gun-locks, gun.
with Great Britain; for, we prefer peace to war.barrels, sulphur, nitre, gun-powder, lead, woolens, Nay, there may be even such an accommodation cottons, linens, paper and salt.
as, excluding every idea of revenue by taxation or
duty, or of legislation by act of parliaments, may Upon the whole, it has been the policy of the vest the king of Great Britain with such a limited British authority to oblige us to supply our wants dominion over us as may tend, bona fide, to promote at their market, which is the dearess in the known our true commercial interests, and to secure our world, and to cramp and confine our trade so as freedom and safety—the only just ends of any to be subservient to their commerce, our real in- dominion. But, while I declare thus much on the terest being ever out of the question. On the one side, on the other it is my duty also to declare other hand, the new constitution is wisely adapted that, in my opinion, our true commercial interests to enable us to trade with foreign nations, and cannot be provided for but by such a material altera. thereby to supply our wants at the cheapest mar tion of the British acts of navigation as, according kets in the universe; to extend our trade infinitely to the resolve of the honorable the continental conbeyond what it has ever be known; to encourage gress, will "secure the commercial advantages of manufacturers among us; and it is peculiarly " the whole empire to the mother country, and formed, to promote the bappiness of the people, the commercial benefits of its respective memtrom among whom, by virtue and merit, tuel" bers." And that our liberties and safety can.
not be depended upon, if the king of Great Britain THE PRESENTMENTS OF THE JURY. should be allowed to hold our forts and cannon, At a court of GENERAL SESSIONS OF THE PRACE, OYER
AND TERMIXER, ASSIZE AND GENERAL GAOL or to have authority over a single regiment in
LIVERY, began to be holden in and for the district America, or a single ship of war in our ports.-For
of Charleston, at Charleston, in the colony aforesaid, if he hold our forts, he may turn them against us, as on Tuesday the 2311 day of April, in the year of
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventyhe did Boston against her proprietors: If he ac.
sir. quires our cannon, he will effectually disarm the The presentments of the grand jury for the said discolony: If he has a command of troops among us,
trict. even if we raise and pay them, shackles are fixed 1. Fully sensible and thoroughly conviaced, that upon us--witness Ireland and her national army.- to live in a society without laws or a proper esecu. The most express act of parliament cannot give tion of them, to restrain the licentious nature of us security, for acts of parliament are as easily re. mankind, is the greatest misery that can befall a pealed as made. Royal proclamations are not to people, and must render any body of men, in such be depended upon, witness the disappointments of a situation, but little superior to a herd of brutes: the inhabitants of Quebec and St. Augustine. Even and being no less sensible that it was the scheme a change of ministry will not avail us, because of a corrupt nefarious administration in Great Bri. notwithstanding the rapid succession of ministers tain to reduce the good people of this colony to for which the British court has been famous during that wretched situation, from a want of officers to the present reign, yel the same ruinous policy ever execute the laws, those whom they had appointed continned to prevail against America.-In short having refused to act in their respective stations, think it my duty to declare in the awful seat of that, through the evil effects of anarchy and conjustice and before Almighty God, tbat in my opi- fusion, the people might become an easy prey to nion, the Americans can have no safety but by the the cruel designs of their insidious enemies; while Divine favor, their own virtue, and their being so we lament the necessity which bas obliged the prudent as not TO LRAVE IT IN THE POWER OF THE people to resume into their hands thoge powers of BRITISH RULENS TO INJORE THEM. Indeed, the government which were originally derived from ruinous and deadly injuries received on our side; themselves for the protection of those rights which and the jealousies entertained and which, in the God alone bas given them, as essential to their nature of things, must daily increase against us, on happiness, we cannot but express our most unthe other: demonstrate to a mind, in the least given feigned jay in the bappy constitution of governto reflection upon the rise and fall of empires, that ment now established in this colony, which pro. true reconcilement never can exist between Greal mises every blessing to its inhabitants, which a peoBritain and America, the latter being in subjection ple, endued with virtue, and a just regard to the to the former.-The Almighty created America to rights of mankind, could desire. With gratitude be independent of Britain: Let us beware of the to the Divine Ruler of human events, and with the impiety of being backward to act as instruments in most pleasing expectations of happiness from a the Almighty hand, now extended to accomplish constitution so wise in its nature, and virtuous in his purpose; and by the completion of which alone its ends, being founded on the strictest principles America, in the nature of human affairs, can be of justice and humanity, and consistent with every secure against the craft and insidious designs of privilege incident to the dignity of a rational
THIYX HER PROSPERITY AND POWER being, we cannot bul declare we think every opALREADY BY FAR TOO GREAT. In a word, our position to its operations, or disregard to its ant. piety and political safety are so blended, that to thority, the foulest criminality a mortal can be refuse our labors in this Divine work, is to refuse guilty of, highly offensive in the eyes of God and to be a great, a free, a pious and a happy people of all just men, and deserving the most exemplary And now having left the important alternative,
punishment. political bappiness or wretchedness, under God, in
We cannot but deplore the unhappy situation of a great degree in your own bands, I pray the Su. any few amongst the people of this colony who, prene Arbiter of the affairs of men, so to direct through an ignorance of tiveir true interests and your judgment, as that you may act agreeable 10 just rights, and from a want of proper information whal seems to be bis will, revealed in his miraculous of the real truth, may be misled by the artifice works in behalf of America, bleeding at the allar and cunning of their false and designing enemies, of liberty!
from a real sense of those benefits wbich our pre'sent constitution has so amply prorided for: bene.
BER ENEMIES WH
fits which are not confined or limited to any ranks, to the liberties of America and the operations or degrees of men in particular, but generally, of the united colonies amongst us in suffering equally and indiscriminately extending to all, from them to reside here, and be admitted to interthe richest to the poorest, and which time and a courses dangerous to the peace and welfare of this little patient experience must soon evince. colony. Every good citizen must be happy in the con.
IV. We present that the public oaths directed sideration of the choice of those officers, appoint. by an act of the general assembly, passed since ed in the administration of our present govern. the forming of our present constitution, to be adment, as well in the impartial mode of an appoint- ministered to those exercising public offices, trusts, ment arising from the people themselves, and the and professions, are not administered to such of the limited duration of their power, as in their per. clergy as are included in the same. sonal characters as men, justly beloved and revered
V. We present that the times at which the by their country, and whose merits and virtues several parochial committees meet or are appointed entitle them to every pre-eminence.
for their meeting, are not made public; and we do Filled with these sentiments, arising from mature recommend that they do publish the same in the deliberation, and the most impartial enquiry, we public papers, that all persons who are desirous of must further declare, that blessings such as these obtaining leave to sue for debis, may know when we have before enumerated, are too inestimable to to apply. be lost, and that nothing in nature can repay the VI. We present as a great grievance, more parleast violation of them; and although an accom- ticularly at this time, the want of due attention to modation with the power which attempts to de. the roads and ferries in this colony; many of the stroy them may be highly worthy of attention, and, roads not being sufficiently wide and worked upon upon principles truly honorable, of obtaining, yet agreeable to law, and the ferries in general not we think it a sacred duty incumbent upon every having boats sufficient to forward passengers upon citizen to maintain and defend, with his life and any emergent occasion. fortune, what is given and entrusted to him by the hand of Providence, not for his own good only,
VII. We present as a grievance the too frequent but for the lasting happiness of posterity: A trust
forestalling out of the waggons, coming from the
back parts of the country, the many necessaries which no law can ever annul, which is the grand principle of existence, and the source of every
of life, by which the good inhabitants of this town social virtue.
are obliged to pay most exorbitant prices for the
same; and with submission would recommend a II. We present as a grievance intolerable to the place to be appointed for the sale of bacon, flour, spirit of a people born and nurtured in the arms butter, and other such necessaries brought to of freedom, and (though ever submissive to the town in carriages, to be regulated by the market just mandates of legal authority) holding every act. oppression as detestable, the unjust, cruel and
VIII. We present the want of a proper person diabolical acts of the British parliament, not only by law to oblige the sellers of blades and bay, to declaring the good people of the united colonies weigh the same at a public scale. of North America rebels, for defending those
Jonathan Scolt, foreman [L. s.] invaluable rights which no human power can law.
(L. 5.) fully divest them of, but making all murders, ra.
(L. s.] pines, thefts, robberies, and other inhuman op
John Lightwood, pressions, done before the passing of those acts
[L. s.) without authority, and which were, after the passing
(L. s.] the said acts, to be done by the British forces in
Isaac Mazyck, these colonies, legal and warrantable, to the eternal
John Owen, disgrace and indelible infamy of a kingdom, once
(L. s.) renowned for her justice, honor and humanity, but
(L. 5.) now meanly descending to that wanton profligacy
(L. s.] which even savages abhor.
Daniel Lessesne, (L. S.) III. We present as a very great grievance, the
(L. S.) indulgence allowed to all those who are inimical!
John Singeltary, (L. SI
THE CHARGS TO THE GRAND JURT.
ANOTHER-BY JUDGE DRAYTON. beneficial. It is your birth right by the law or na: At a court of GENERAL SESSIONS OF THE PEACE, OYER ture-it is even valid by the fundamental laws of
AXD TERMINER, ASSIZE AND GENERAL GAOL DELIVEnr, begun and holden at Charleston, for the dis your country--pou were placed in possession of it trict of Charleston, on Tuesday, October 15th, in by the band of God!--particulars evidencing a subthe year of our Lord, 1776-Before the lion.ject of the highest import.--Gentlemen of the William Hener Drayton, esq. chief justice, grand jury, it is my duty to mark 10 you the great and his associates, justices of the said court.
lines of your conduct; and so to endeavor to ex. ORDENED, That the charge delivered by his honor, the chief justice, to ihe
grand jury, and their plain the nature of each, that you may clearly see presentments at this sessions, be forth with pub. your way, and thereby be animaied in your progress lisbed.
to discharge those services which are required at By order of the court, JOHN COLCOCK, C. C. S.
your hands. And bence, it is necessary for me to lay before you some observations upon the nature
of the American revolution, which by every tie, Gentlemen of the grand jury.— The last time I had divine and human, you are bound to support. I the honor to address a grand jury in this court, I
shall therefore endeavor to draw your attention to cxpounded to then the constitution of their coun. this great subject, necessarily including the lines try, as established by congress on the 26th day of
of your particular conduct. March last, independent of royal authority. I laid
It is but to glance an eye over the historic page, before them the causes of that important change of our government-a comparison of these, with to be assured that the duration of empire is limited those that occasioned the English revolution of |hy the Almighty decree. Empires bave their rise to 1688—and the law resulting from the injuries in a zenith—and their declension to a dissolution. The each case. I spoke to that grand jury of the late years of a man, nay the hours of the insect on the
bank of the Hypanis, that lives but a day, epito. revolution of South Carolina. I mean to speak to you upon a more important subject-the rise of the mize the advance and decay of the strength and
duration of dominion! One common fate awaits all American empire.
things upon earth-a thousand causes accelerate The great act in March last upon the matter, or delay their perfection or ruin.-To look a constituted our country totally independent of little into remote times, we see that, from the Great Britain. For it was calculated to place in most contemptible origin upon record, Rome be. our bands the whole legislative, executive and ju. came the most powerful state thesun ever saw: The dicial powers of government; and to enable us, in world bowed before her imperial Fasces!-yet, the most effectu il manner, by force of arms, to op having ran through all the vicissitudes of domi. pose, resist and war against the British crown. The nion, her course was finished. Her empire was disact naturally looked forward to an accommoda. solved, that the separated members of it might tion of the unhappy differences between that power arise to run through similar revolutions. and America: In like manner every declaration of
Great Britain was a part of this mighty empire. war between independent states, implies a future
But, being dissolved from it, in her turn she also accommodation of their disputes. But, although extended her dominion:-arrived at, and passed by that act we were upon the inatter made inde.
her zenith. Three and thirty years numbered the pendent, yet there were no words in it specially illustrious days of the Roman greatness-Eight declarative of that independency. Such a decla. ration was of right to be made only by the general in meridian lustre! How few are the days of true
years measure the duration of the British grandeur congress; because the united voice and strength of
glory! The extent of the Roman period is from America were necessary to give a desirable credit
their complete conquest of Italy, which gave them and prospect of stability to a declared state of total
a place whereon to stand, that they might shake separation from Great Britain: And the general the world, to the original cause of their declension, congress, as the only means left by which they their introduction of Asiatic luxury. The British had a chance to avert the ruin of America, bave is.
period is from the year 1738, when they victo. sued a declaration, by which all political connec. riously pursued their enemies into every quarter of tion between you and the state of Great Britain is the globe, to the immediate cause of their decline totally dissolved.
-their injustice displayed by the stamp act.-In Caroliniana! Neretofore you were bound-by the short, like the Roinan empire, Great Britain in her the American revolution you are now free. The constitution of government, contained a poison to cisange is most important-most honorable-most (pring on her decay, and in each case, this poison
was drawn into a ruinous operation by the riches sword of the murderer at their breasts, the Ameand luxuries of the east. Thus, by natural causes ricans thought only of new petitions. It is well and common effects, the American stales are be known there was not then even an idea that the come dissolved from the British dominion.-And independence of America would be the work of is it to be wondered at, that Britain has experiencel ibis generation: For people yet had a confidence the invariable fate of empire! We are not surprised in the integrity of the British monarch. At length when we see youth or age yield to the common subsequent edicts being also passed, to restrain lot of bumanity – Nay, to repine that, in our day, the Americans from enjoying the bounty of Provi. America is dissolved from the British state, is iin- dence on their own coast, and to cut off their piously to question the unerring wisdom of Provi. irade with each other and with foreign statesdence. The Almighty setteth up, and he casteth the royal sworil yet BEEKING with American blood, down: He breaks the scepire, and transfers the and the king still deaf to the prayers of the people dominion: He has made choice of the present gene for "peace, liberty and safety;" it was even so late ration to erect the American empire. Thankful as as the latter end of the last year, before that con. we are, and ought to be, for an appointment of the fidence visibly declined; and it was generally seen kind, the most illustrious that ever was, let each that the quarrel was likely to force America into individual exert himself in this important opera- an immediate state of independence. But such tion directed by Jehovah himself.–From a short an event was not expected, because it was thought retrospec', it is evident the work was not the pre- the monarch, from motives of policy, if not fron sent design of man.
inclination, would heal our wounds, and thereby Nerer were a people more wrapped up in a king, prevent the separation; but it was not wished for, than the Americans were in George the third in because men were unwilling to break off old conthe year 1763. They revered and obeyed the Bri- nections, and change the usual form of govern. tish government, because it protected them—they ment. fondly called Great Britain-hone! But, from that
Such were the sentiments of America until the time, the British counsels took a ruinous turn; arrival of the British act of parliament declaring ceasing to protect-they sought to ruin America. the Americans out of the royal protection, and de. the stamp act, declaratory law, and the duties upon nouncing a general war against them. But cour. tes and other articles, at once proclaimed their in- sels too refined, generally produce contrary and justice, and announced to the Americans, that they unexpected events. So the whole system of Bri. had but little room for bope; infinite space for tish policy respecting America, since the year 1763, fear.-IN VAIN THEY PETITIONED FOR REDRESS! – calculated to surprise, deceive, or drive the peo. Authorised by the law of nature, they exerted the ple into slavery-urged them into independence: inherent powers of society, and resisted the edicts and this act of parliament, in particular, finally which told them that they had no property; and released America from Great Britain. Antece. that against their consent, and by men over whom dent to this, the British king, by his hostilities, they had no control, they were to be bound in had as far as he personally could, absolved Ameriall cases whatsoever.-Dreadful information!-Pa ca from that faith, allegiance and subjection she tience could not but resent them. However re. owed him; because the law of our land expressly gardless of such feelings, and resolved to endeavor declares, these are due only in return for bis proto support those all grasping claims, early in the tection, allegiance being founded on the benefit of year 1774, the British tyranny made other edicts
protection. But God knowing that we are in peril overturn American charters--to suspend by false brethren as well as by real enemies, out or destroy, at the pleasure of the crown, the value of his abundant mercy has caused us to be released of private property—to block up the port of Bos from subjection, by yet a better title than the mere ton in terrorem to other American ports-to give
oppressions of a man in the kingly office. This murder the sar.ction of law-to establish the title is singular in its kind-It is the voluntary and Runa Catholic religion, and to make the king of joint act of the whole British legislature, on the Great Britain a despot in Canada; and as much so twenty first day of December, 1775, releasing the as he then chuse to be in Massachusetts Bay. And faith, allegiance and subjection of America to the genera! Gage was sent to Boston with a considera. British crown, by solemnly declaring the former out ble force , 10 usher these edicts into action, and the of the protection of the latter; and thereby, agreeable Americans into slavery.
io every principle of law, actually dissolving the Their petitions thus answeredeven with the l original contract between king and people.