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Chapter 65:

The Virginia proposition of independence.

May—June, 1776.

while Virginia communicated to her sister col-
Chap. LXV.} 1776. May.
onies her instruction to her delegates in congress to propose independence, Washington at New York freely and repeatedly delivered his opinion: ‘A reconciliation with Great Britain is impracticable and would be in the highest degree detrimental to the true interest of America; when I first took the command of the army, I abhorred the idea of independence; but I am now fully convinced that nothing else will save us.’ The preamble and the resolves of congress, adopted at Philadelphia on the same day with the Virginia instructions at Williamsburg, were in themselves the act of a self-determining political body. The blow which proceeded from John Adams, felled the proprietary authority in Pennsylvania and Maryland to the ground. Maryland, more happy than her neighbor, kept her ranks unbroken, for she had intrusted the direction of the revolution to a convention

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