of Rights of the
The members of this congress, sincerely devoted, with the warmest
sentiments of affection and duty to His Majesty's person and government,
inviolably attached to the present happy establishment of the Protestant
succession, and with minds deeply impressed by a sense of the present
and impending misfortunes of the British colonies on this continent;
having considered as maturely as time would permit, the circumstances of
said colonies, esteem it our indispensable duty to make the following
declarations, of our humble opinions, respecting the most essential
rights and liberties of the colonists, and of the grievances under which
they labor, by reason of several late acts of Parliament.
1st. That His Majesty's subjects in these colonies owe the same
allegiance to the crown of Great Britain that is owing from his subjects
born within the realm, and all due subordination to that august body,
the Parliament of Great Britain.
2d. That His Majesty's liege subjects in these colonies are entitled to
all the inherent rights and privileges of his natural born subjects
within the kingdom of Great Britain.
3d. That it is inseparably essential to the freedom of a people, and the
undoubted rights of Englishmen, that no taxes should be imposed on them,
but with their own consent, given personally, or by their
4th. That the people of these colonies are not, and from their local
circumstances cannot be, represented in the House of Commons in Great
5th. That the only representatives of the people of these colonies are
persons chosen therein, by themselves; and that no taxes ever have been
or can be constitutionally imposed on them but by their respective
6th. That all supplies to the crown, being free gifts of the people, it
is unreasonable and inconsistent with the principles and spirit of the
British constitution for the people of Great Britain to grant to His
Majesty the property of the colonists.
7th. That trial by jury is the inherent and invaluable right of every
British subject in these colonies.
8th. That the late act of Parliament entitled, "An act for granting and
applying certain stamp duties, and other duties in the British colonies
and plantations in America, etc.," by imposing taxes on the inhabitants
of these colonies, and the said act, and several other acts, by
extending the jurisdiction of the courts of admiralty beyond its ancient
limits, have a manifest tendency to subvert the rights and liberties of
9th. That the duties imposed by several late acts of Parliament, from
the peculiar circumstances of these colonies, will be extremely
burthensome and grievous, and, from the scarcity of specie, the payment
of them absolutely impracticable.
10th. That as the profits of the trade of these colonies ultimately
center in Great Britain, to pay for the manufactures which they are
obliged to take from thence, they eventually contribute very largely to
all supplies granted there to the crown.
11th. That the restrictions imposed by several late acts of Parliament
on the trade of these colonies will render them unable to purchase the
manufactures of Great Britain.
12th. That the increase, prosperity, and happiness of these colonies
depend on the full and free enjoyment of their rights and liberties, and
an intercourse, with Great Britain, mutually affectionate and
13th. That it is the right of the British subjects in these colonies to
petition the king or either house of Parliament.
Lastly, That it is the indispensable duty of these colonies to the best
of sovereigns, to the mother-country, and to themselves, to endeavor, by
a loyal and dutiful address to His Majesty, and humble application to
both houses of Parliament, to procure the repeal of the act for granting
and applying certain stamp duties, of all clauses of any other acts of
Parliament whereby the jurisdiction of the admiralty is extended as
aforesaid, and of the other late acts for the restriction of the