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‘ [368] necessary for the support of any government
Chap. LXIII.} 1776. May.
under the crown of Great Britain, and that it was necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority under the crown should be totally suppressed, and all the powers of government exerted under the authority of the people of the colonies for the preservation of their peace and their defence against their enemies.’

These words, of which every one bore the impress of John Adams, implied a complete separation from Britain, a total, absolute independence of the parliament, the crown, and the nation. It was also a blow dealt directly against the proprietary governments, especially that of Pennsylvania, whose members of assembly had thus far continued to take the oaths and affirmations, which reason and conscience were now invoked to condemn. Duane sounded the alarm; the preamble, in his view, openly avowed independence and separation; but before changing the government of the colonies, he wished to wait for the opinions of the inhabitants, who were to be followed and not driven on. After causing the instructions from New York to be read, he showed that the powers conferred on him did not extend so far as to justify him in voting for the measure without a breach of trust; and yet, if the averments of the preamble should be confirmed, he pledged New York to independence. Sherman argued, that the adoption of the resolution was the best way to procure the harmony with Great Britain, which New York desired. Mackean, who represented Delaware, thought the step must be taken, or liberty, property, and life be lost. ‘The first object of New York,’ said Samuel Adams, ‘is ’

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