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t was true of each, that the Colonies, one and all, were free and independent. There was no assumption that the people of the Colonies formed one nation — they formed States, united to make known their common resolve to support the sovereignty which each had reclaimed from a tyrannical government. The Congress of the Colonies was a voluntary league, recognized as an agency, and frequently applied to as a counsellor. Following the advance of public opinion in the colonies, Congress, in May, 1776, passed advisatory resolves, in which they recommended the several colonial governments no longer to consider themselves as exercising any power derived from Great Britain, but to adopt such governments as the people of each should consider most advisable. On the very day on which this resolve finally passed, at Philadelphia, Virginia, acting without concert, took steps to erect her own independent government. It is a curious fact, too, in history, that New Jersey did this even more thor