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[373]

Chapter 64:

Virginia Proclaims the rights of man.


May—June, 1776.

on the sixth day of May forty-five members of
Chap. LXIV.} 1776. May.
the house of burgesses of Virginia, met at the capitolin Williamsburg pursuant to their adjournment; but as they were of the opinion that the ancient constitution had been subverted by the king and parliament of Great Britain, they dissolved themselves unanimously, and thus the last vestige of the king's authority passed away.

The delegates of Virginia, who on the same morning assembled in convention, were a constituent and an executive assembly. They represented the oldest and the largest colony, whose institutions had been fashioned on the model recommended by Bacon, and whose inhabitants for nearly a hundred and seventy years had been eminently loyal, and had sustained the church of England as the establishment of the land.

Its people, having in their origin a perceptible but never an exclusive influence of the cavaliers, had sprung

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