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[1774] SECOND GENERAL CONGRESS.

officer, indicted for murder cr other capital offence in Mass., was to be transferred to Nova Scotia or England, -" a bill which gave immunity to soldiers in a defenceless colony."

(9) TROOPS QUARTERED IN BOSTON.

(10) THE QUEBEC ACT. This act "dealt with the recent conquests of England, gave toleration to the Roman Catholics, erected an arbitrary gov't, and extended the bounds of the new province to the Ohio, absorbing the territory of the old colonies, and threatening the possessions of Va. and Penn. . . . the weight of the blow fell upon Mass., in whose fate every province beheld what might with equal fitness come to them. . . . The Port Bill and the Charter Act roused the continent in support of Mass."(Lodge, 488-9; Young, 44-5.)

III. IV.

THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS-DECLARATION OF IN

DEPENDENCE.

Parallel: Story, I. § 198-217; Pitkin, I. 282-384; Young, 46-7; Curtis, I. 10-81; Von Holst., Const. Hist. U. S., I. 1-19; Life of Hamilton, I. 58-120; Tucker, Life of Jefferson, I. 63-90; Austin, Life of Gerry, I. 134-249; Marshall, Life of Washington. I. 28-80; Lodge, 494-500; Life and Works of J. Adams, II. 445-502 (notes on debates).

1774

At the call of Mass., "the second general Congress since the peace of 1763, met at Phila., where all the colonies were represented except Ga. Peyton Randolph, one of the delegates from Va., was Sept. 5 elected president, and Charles Thompson . . . of Phila. was chosen secretary." (Pitkin, I. 282.)

THE DELEGATES WERE CHOSEN IN VARIOUS WAYS: (1) By the popular branch of the Colonial Assembly.

IO MEMBERS-HOW APPOINTED AND INSTRUCTED. [1774] (2) By conventions of the people convened for this purpose.

(3) By county committees, already appointed for intercolonial correspondence.

(4) By popular vote by city wards, as in New York. THEIR INSTRUCTIONS, though not uniform, were in general "to consult together upon the present unhappy state of the colonies, and to form and adopt a plan . . . for obtaining redress of American grievances." (Curtis, I. 18, n.; Pitkin, I. 383.) This congress" the delegates appointed by the good people of these colonies" -organized themselves as a deliberative body (thus differing from the Congress of 1765) by the choice of officers and the adoption of RULES OF PROCEEDING.

(1) "As congress was not then possessed of, or able to procure, proper materials for ascertaining the importance of each colony, each colony or province should have one vote in determining questions."

(2) It was determined to keep their proceedings secret. Immediately a committee of two from each colony was appointed "to state the rights of the colonies in general, the several instances in which those rights had been violated, and the means most proper to be pursued for obtaining a restoration of them." The Com. was restricted to "the consideration of such rights as had been infringed by acts of Parliament since the year 1763." The congress expressed indignation at "the late unjust, cruel, and oppressive acts" against Mass., and recommended to that colony "a perseverance in the same firm and temperate resistance." But most important was the adoption of the second "Declaration of Rights and Grievances:" That the inhabitants of the English colonies in North America, by the immutable laws of nature,

[1774] DECLARATION OF RIGHTS and grievances. II

the principles of the English constitution, and the several charters or compacts, have the following rights: (1) "That they are entitled to life, liberty, and property.

were

(2) "That our ancestors.. at their emigration . . . entitled to all the rights. . . of free and natural-born subjects, within the realm of England.

(3) "That by such emigration they by no means lost any of those rights.

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(4) "That the foundation of English liberty and of all free gov'ts, is a right of the people to participate in their legislative councils: and as the English colonists . . . cannot properly be represented in the British parliament, they are entitled to . . . an exclusive power of legislation. . . in all cases of taxation and internal policy, subject only to the negative of their sovereign But from the necessities of the case and a regard to the mutual interests of both countries, we cheerfully consent . . . to the regulation of our external commerce (by the British parliament). excluding every idea of . raising a revenue on the subjects in America, without

their consent.

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(5) "That the respective colonies are entitled to the common law of England. . . .

(6) "That... (they) are likewise entitled to all the immunities and privileges granted . . . by royal charters or secured by. provincial laws.

(7) "That they are entitled to the benefit of such of the English statutes as existed at the time of their colonization. . .

(8) "That they have a right peaceably to assemble, consider of their grievances, and petition the king. . .

(9) "That the keeping of a standing army in the colonies in times of peace (without their consent) is against law.

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[1775]

(10) "... (It is necessary to good gov't and in accord with the British constitution) that the constituent branches of the legislature be independent of each other; that, therefore, the exercise of legislative power, in several colonies, by councils appointed, during pleasure, by the crown is unconstitutional . . . and destructive of the freedom of American legislation."

This declaration, though much like that of 1765, was more forcible, because it was adopted deliberately and followed up by the adoption of measures of resistance to be employed if no redress were granted. To secure its proper consideration it was "resolved to pursue the following peaceable measures:

(1) To enter into a non-importation (and non-exportation) association.

12

SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS.

(2) To prepare an address to the people of Great Britain and a memorial to the inhabitants of British America and (3) To prepare a loyal address to his majesty." Benj. Franklin was delegated to bring these measures before the English gov't.

1775

It must be noted that this congress was not a gov't; for it neither possessed nor exercised the powers of a gov't. No redress of grievances being obtained, in accordance with a recommendation of the last ConMay to gress, a new Continental Congress assembled at Phila. Peyton Randolph was again elected president, but, dying soon afterward, he was succeeded by John Hancock.

The people in the colonies rather than the colonial gov'ts were represented in this congress, for the delegates were mostly chosen by conventions of the people in the various colonies, and even where at first they were elected by the popular branch of the legislature, these elections were afterward ratified by conventions of

[1775]

13

the people. All the delegates except those of N. Y. had
been chosen before the battle of Lexington.
Hence their instructions were to endeavor to Apr.
restore harmony with England as well as to recover
and establish American rights. (Curtis, I. 29.) Never-
theless, "the circumstances under which the congress
assembled placed it in the position, and cast upon it the
powers, of a revolutionary gov't. War had actually com-
menced, and.... the congress necessarily became at
once the organ of the common resistance of the colonies."
(Ibid.)

By the following ACTS OF SOVEREIGNTY, Congress assumed sovereign powers:

(1) Exports to other English colonies in America were prohibited.

ACTS OF SOVEREIGNTY.

(2) In order to put the colonies in a state of defence, the raising of troops was authorized, Washington was appointed Commander-in-chief, and commissioned in the name of the delegates of the "United Colonies" (-a term here first used); and rules for the government of the army were adopted.

(3) The issuing of $2,000,000 in bills of credit was authorized, and the faith of the colonies was pledged for their redemption.

(4) Addresses to the king, to the people of England, and of British America were again drawn up.

(5) A general post-office was created.

(6) N. H., Va., and S. C., at their request, were advised to adopt suitable forms of local gov't.

(7) The creation of prize courts in each colony, with the right of appeal to congress, was recommended.

(8) Reprisals were authorized, as also were the fitting out of privateers, of other war vessels, and of marine

corps.

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