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He has refused for a long time after such dissolutions to cause others to be elected, whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise, the State remaining, in the meantime, exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of new officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us in times of peace standing armies without the consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to the civil power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitutions and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us; for protecting them by a mock trial from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States ; for cutting off our trade with all parts of the world; for imposing taxes on us without our consent; for depriving us in many cases of the benefits of trial by jury; for transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences; for abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies; for taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws; and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments; for suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated government here by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow-citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, and to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections among us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injuries.
A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here: we have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connection and correspondence. . They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war; in peace, friends.
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, for the rectitude of our intentions, do in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace,
, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.
And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
THE EXECUTION OF A MADMAN IS
WILLIAM H. SEWARD
William Henry Seward, lawyer, anti-slavery agitator, and statesman, was born in the town of Florida, Orange County, New York, May 16, 1801, and died at Auburn, New York, October 10, 1872. He won distinction as a lawyer, but drifted into the more congenial field of politics. He served as State senator, governor, United States senator, and secretary of state in the cabinets of Lincoln and Johnson. He was a consistent and logical opponent of slavery and the first to base his opposition to its continuance on the purely political and economic reason that it injured not only the race held in slavery, but also the one that enslaved.
Seward's oratory is convincing because it is clear, direct, and pregnant with truth. His thoughts and words flow freely and with a continuity that never permits the listener to lose the main thought, although he interjects many secondary thoughts, but this is done in such a masterly manner as to strengthen instead of weaken the principal one. His speeches show clearly that they consist of spoken words, as they are impregnated with the force that reflects the living voice, and denote the orator in every line as distinguished from the mere writer. His statements are clear, his arguments logical, and his conclusions convincing.
66MHOU shalt not kill,” and “ Whoso shed
deth man's blood by man shall his blood be shed," are laws found in the code of that people