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He has excited domestic insurrections amongst 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 injury. 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 attention 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 connections and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and 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 peacc, 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. Signed by order and in behalf of the Congress.
JOHN HANCOCK, President. ATTESTED, CHARLES THOMPSON, Secretary.
New Hampshire. FRANCIS HOPKINSON, JOSIAH BARTLETT,
JOHN HART, WILLIAM WHIPPLE,
BENJAMIN RUSH, JOHN ADAMS,
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, ROBERT TREAT PAINE, JOHN MORTON, ELBRIDGE GERRY.
CÆSAR RODNEY, SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, GEORGE READ, WILLIAM WILLIAMS,
WILLIAN PACA, PHILIP LIVINGSTON,
THOMAS STONE, FRANCIS LEWIS,
CHARLES CARROLL, of CarLEWIS MORRIS.
THOMAS JEFFERSON, BENJAMIN HARRISON, THOMAS NELSON, JR., FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE, CARTER BRAXTON.
South Carolina. EDWARD RUTLEDGE, THOMAS HEYWOOD, JR., THOMAS LYNCH, JR., ARTHUR MIDDLETON.
Georgia. BUTTON GWINNETT, LYMAN HALL, GEORGE WALTON,
North Carolina. WILLIAM HOOPER, JOSEPH HEWES, JOHN PENN.
THE UNITED STATES.
We, the People of the United States, in order to form
a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domes-. tic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
ARTICLE I. Sect. I. - All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
SECT. II. – 1. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States ; and the electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislature.
2. No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. 15
shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of the State in which he shall be chosen.
3. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each State shall have at least one representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three; Massachusetts, eight; Rhode Island and Provedence Plantations, one ; Connecticut, five; New York, six; New Jersey, four; Pennsylvania, eight; Delaware, one; Maryland, six; Virginia, ten; North Carolina, five; South Carolina, five; Georgia, three.
4. When vacancies happen in the representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
5. The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers, and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
Sect. III. - 1. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from each State, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each senator shall have one vote.
2. Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided, as equally as may be, into three classes. The seats of the