‘Why should we enumerate our injuries in detail
By one statute it is declared that parliament can of right make laws to bind us in all cases whatsoever.
July What is to defend us against so unlimited a power?
Not a single man of those who assume it, is chosen by us; and an American revenue would lighten their own burdens in proportion as they increase ours.’
Lord North's proposition for conciliation they condemned as insidiously designed to divide the colonies, and leave them nothing but ‘the indulgence of raising the prescribed tribute in their own mode.’
After enumerating the hostile acts at Lexington
, and other places, the seizure of ships, the intercepting of provisions, the attempts to embody Canadians, Indians
, and insurgent slaves, they closed their statement in words of their new member, Jefferson
: ‘These colonies now feel the complicated calamities of fire, sword, and famine.
We are reduced to the alternative of choosing an unconditional submission to irritated ministers, or resistance by force.
The latter is our choice.
We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery.
Our cause is just, our union is perfect, our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable.
Before God and the world we declare, that the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will employ for the preservation of our liberties; being, with one mind, resolved to die freemen rather than live slaves.
We have not raised armies with designs of separating from Great Britain
and establishing independent states.
Necessity has not yet driven us into that desperate measure.