Page 4107

4107 HISTORIC DOCUMENTS

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high

Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their

Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured 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 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 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