there can be no liberty, no happiness, no security,
nor even the idea of property.
Life itself would become intolerable.
We proceed with propriety and boldness to inform the Commons of Great Britain
, who, to their infinite honor, in all ages asserted the liberties of mankind, that the people of this colony nobly disdain the thought of claiming that exemption as a privilege.
They found it on a basis more honorable, solid, and stable; they challenge it, and glory in it as their right. * * The thought of independency upon the supreme power of the parliament we reject with the utmost abhorrence. * * The authority of the parliament of Great Britain to model the trade of the whole empire, so as to subserve the interest of her own, we are ready to recognise in the most extensive and positive terms; but the freedom to drive all kinds of traffic, in subordination to, and not inconsistent with the British
trade, and an exemption from all duties in such a course of commerce, is humbly claimed by the colonies, as the most essential of all the rights to which they are entitled as colonies, and connected in the common bond of liberty with the free sons of Great Britain
For, with submission, since all impositions, whether they be internal taxes, or duties paid for what we consume, equally diminish the estates upon which they are charged, what avails it to any people by which of them they are impoverished?’
And they deprecated the loss of their rights as likely ‘to shake the power and independence of Great Britain
The people of Rhode Island
, headed by Stephen Hopkins
, the governor of their own choice, proceeded more calmly and on a better foundation.