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opposition to those Acts. In consequence of these sentiments, they have appointed us the guardians of their rights and liberties, and we are under the deepest concern, that, whilst we are pursuing every dutiful and peaceable measure to procure a cordial and effectual reconciliation between Great Britain and the Colonies, yourExcellency should proceed in a manner that bears so hostile an appearance, and which even those oppressive Acts do not warrant. • We entreat your Excellency to consider, what tendency this conduct must have to irritate and force a people, however well disposed to peaceable measures, into hostilities, which may prevent the endeavours of this Congress to restore a good understanding with a Parent State, and may involve us in the horrors of a civil war.
"In order therefore to quiet the minds, and remove the reasonable jealousies of the people, that they may not be driven to a state of desperation, being fully persuaded of their pacific disposition towards the King's troops, could they be assured cf their own safety; we hope, Sir, you will discontinue the fortifications in and about Boston, prevent any further invasions of private property, restrain the irregularities of the soldiers, and give orders that the communications between the town and country may be open, unmolested, and free.
"Signed, by order and in behalf of the General Congress,
PEYTON RANDOLPH, President."
The rights of America being thus asserted, and her grievances enumerated, for the maintenance of the one, and the more effectual redress of the other, the Congress judged it expedient to form a non-importation, non-consumption, and non-exportation agreement, in the subsequent terms.
W E, his Majesty's most loyal subjects, the Delegates of the several Colonies of New-Hampstiire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three Lower Counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, and South-Carolina, deputed to represent them in a. Continental Congress, held in the city of Philadelphia, on the fifth day of September, 1774, avowing our allegiance to his Majesty, our affection and regard for our fellow-subjects in Great-Britain and elsewhere, affected with the deepest anxiety, and most alarming apprehensions at those grievances and distresses with which his Majesty's American subjects are oppressed, and having taken under our most serious deliberation the state of the whole Continent, find, that the present unhappy situation of our affairs is occasioned by a ruinous system of Colony Administration adopted by the Britisli.Ministry about the year 1763, evidently calculated for enslaving these Colonies, and, with them, the Britilh Empire* In prosecution of which system, various Acts of Parliament have been passed for raising a revenue in America, for depriving the American subjects,.In many instances, of the constitutional trial by jury, exposing their lives to danger, by directing a new and illegal trial beyond the seas, for crimes alledged to have been committed in America; and in prosecution cution of the same system, several late, cruel and oppressive Acts have been passed respecting the town ot Boston and the Massachusetts-Bay, and also an Act for extending the province of Quebec, so as to border on the western frontiers of these Colonies, establishing an arbitrary government therein, and discouraging the settlement of British subjects in that wide extended country; thus by the influence of civil principles and ancient prejudices to disposo the inhabitants to act with hostility against the free Protestant Colonies, whenever a wicked Ministry shall chuse so to direct them.
To obtain redress of these grievances, which threaten destruction to the lives, liberty, and property of his Majesty's subjects in North-America, we are of opinion, that a non-importation, non-consumption, and non-exportation agreement, saithfully adhered to, will prove the most speedy, effectual, and peaceable measure: and therefore we do, for ourselves and the inhabitants of the several Colonies whom we represent, firmly agree and associate under the sacred ties of virtue, honour, and love of our country, as follows:
I. That from and after the first day of December next, we will not import into British Ame-:" rica, from Great-Britain or Ireland, any goods, wares, or merchandize whatsoever, or from any other place any such goods, wares, or merchandize, as shall have been exported from Great-Britain or Ireland; nor will we, after that day, import any EastIndia tea from any part of the world; nor any molasses, syrups, paneles, coffee, or piemento, from the British plantations, or from Dominica; nor wines from Madeira, or the Western Islands ; nor foreign indigo.
II. That we will neither import, nor purchase any stave imported, after the first day of December next; after which time, we will wholly discontinue the slave trade, and will neither be concerned in it
ourselves, nor will we hire our vessels, nor fell our commodities or manusactures to those who arc concerned in it.
III. As a non-consumption agreement, strictly adhered to, will be an effectual security for the observation of the non-importation, we, as above, solemnly agree and associate, that, from this day, we will not purchase or use any tea imported on account of the East-India Company, or any on which a duty hath been or shall be paid ; and from and after the first day of March next, we will not purchase or use any East-India tea whatever; nor will we, nor jshall any person for or under us, purchase or use any of those goods, wares, or merchandize, we have agreed not to import, which we shall know, or have cause to suspect, were imported after the first day of December, except such as come under the rules and directions of the tenth article herein after mentioned.
IV. The earnest desire we have not to injure our fellow-subjects in Great-Britain, Ireland, or the West-Indies, induces us to suspend a non-importation, until the tenth day of September 1775; at which time, if the said Acts and parts of Acts of the British Parliament herein after mentioned are not repealed, we will not, directly or indirectly, export any merchandize or commodity whatsoever to GreatBritain, Ireland, or the West-Indies, except rice to Europe.
V. Such as are merchants and use the British and Irish trade, will give orders, as soon as possible, to their sactors, agents, and correspondents, in GreatBritain and Ireland, not to ship any goods to them, on any pretence whatsoever, as they cannot be received in America; and if any merchant, residing in Great-Britain or Ireland, shall directly or indirectly ship any goods, wares, or merchandize, for America, in order to break the said non-importation agreement, or in any manner contravene the same,
on such unworthy conduct being well attested, it "ought to be made public; and, on the same being so done, we will not from thenceforth have any commercial connection with such merchant.
VI. That such as are owners of vessels will give positive orders to their Captains or Masters, not to receive on board their vessels any goods prohibited by the said non-importation agreement, on pain of immediate dismission from their service.
VII. We will use our utmost endeavours to improve the breed of stieep and increase their number to the greatest extent; and to that end, we will kill them as sparing as may be, especially those of the most profitable kind; nor will we export any to the West-Indies or elsewhere: and those of us who are or may become over-stocked with, or can conveniently spare any sheep, will dispose of them to our neighbours, especially to the poorer sort, on moderate terms.
VIII. That we will in our several stations encourage frugality, ceconomy, and industry; and promote agriculture, arts, and the manusactures of this country, especially that of wool: and will discountenance and discourage every species of extravagance and dissipation, especially all horse-racing, and all kinds of gaming, cock-fighting, exhibitions of shews, plays, and other expensive diversions and entertainments. And on the death of any relation or friend, none of us, or any of our samilies will go into any further mourning dress, than a black crape or ribband on the arm or hat for gentlemen, and a black ribband and necklace for ladies, and we will discontinue the giving of gloves and scarfs at funerals.
IX. That such as are venders of goods or merchandize will not take advantage of the scarcity of goods that may be occasioned by this association, but will fell the same at the rates we have been respectively accustomed to do, for twelve months last past.—