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[352] do their duty, neither knowing nor regarding conse-
Chap. LXII.} 1776. Apr.
quences; but trusting that the Almighty arm, which has been so signally stretched out for our defence, will deliver them in a righteous cause.

The eyes of the whole world are on America; the eyes of every other colony are on this; a colony, whose reputation for generosity and magnanimity is universally acknowledged. I trust it will not be diminished by our future conduct; that there will be no civil discord here; and that the only strife amongst brethren will be, who shall do most to serve and to save an injured country.

The word which South Carolina hesitated to pronounce, was uttered by North Carolina. That colony, proud of its victory over domestic enemies, and roused to defiance by the presence of Clinton, the British general, in one of their rivers, met in congress at Halifax on the fourth of April, on the eighth appointed a select committee, of which Harnett was the head, to consider the usurpations and violences of the British parliament and king, and on the twelfth, after listening to its report, unanimously ‘empowered their delegates in the continental congress to concur with the delegates of the other colonies in declaring independency and forming foreign alliances.’ At the same time they reserved to their colony the sole right of forming its own constitution and laws.

North Carolina was the first colony to vote an explicit sanction to independence; South Carolina won from all patriots equal praise by her ‘virtuous and glorious example of instituting a complete government.’ When, on the twenty third of April, the courts of justice were opened with solemnity at

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