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[350] colony, risked their fortunes, the peace of their fami-
Chap. LXII.} 1776. Apr.
lies, and their lives, from sympathy with a distant colony with which they had no similarity of pursuits, no considerable commerce, and no personal intimacies, they had in their rear a population still attached to the crown as well as hostile Indian tribes; in their houses and on their estates numerous bondsmen of a different race; along the sea an unprotected coast, indented by bays, and inlets, and rivers. But their spirit rose with danger: in words penned by Drayton and Cotesworth Pinckney, the assembly condemned the British plan of sending commissioners to treat with the several colonies, as a fraudulent scheme for subverting their liberties by negotiations, and resolved to communicate with the court of Great Britain only through the continental congress.

When, on the eleventh of April, they closed their session, Rutledge, knowing well that the wished-for accommodation with Great Britain could never be obtained, and willing to sacrifice every temporal happiness to establish and perpetuate the freedom of Carolina, cheered them on towards the consciousness of having formed an independent republic.

‘On my part,’ said he,

a most solemn oath has been taken for the faithful discharge of my duty; on yours, a solemn assurance has been given to support me therein. Thus, a public compact between us stands recorded. I shall keep this oath ever in mind; the constitution shall be the invariable rule of my conduct; our laws and religion, and the liberties of America, shall be maintained and defended to the utmost of my power: I repose the most perfect confidence in your engagement. And now, gentlemen,

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