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resolved to prevent her receiving so continual and formidable an accession of wealth and strength, by checking the growth of these settlements, from which they were to be derived,
In the prosecution of this attempt, events so unfavourable to the design took place, that every friend to the interest of Great-Britain and these Colonies, entertained pleasing and reasonable expects tions of seeing an additional force and extension immediately given to the operations of the union hitherto experienced, by an enlargement of the dominions of the Crown, and the removal of ancient and warlike enemies to a greater distance.
At the conclusion, therefore, of the late war, the most glorious and advantageous that ever had been carried on by British arms, your loyal Colonies, having contributed to its success by such repeated and strenuous exertions as frequently procured them the diltingutfhed approbation of your Majesty, of the late King, and of Parliament, doubted not bat that they should be permitted, with the rest of the empire, to sliare in the blessings of peace, and the emoluments of victory and conquest. While these recent and honourable acknowledgements of their merits remained on record in the Journals and Acts of that august legislature, the Parliament, undefaced by the imputation, or even the suspicion, ot any offence, they were alarmed by a new system of statutes and regulations, adopted for the administration of the Colonies, that filled their minds with the most painful fears and jealousies; and to their inexpressible astonishment perceived the dangers of a foreign quarrel quickly succeeded by domestic dangers, in' their judgement of a more dreadful kind.
Nor were their anxieties alleviated by any tendency in this system to promote the welfare of the Mother-Country; for though its effects were more immediately felt by them, yet its influence appeared to be injurious to the commerce and prosperity of Great Britain.
We shall decline the ungrateful talk of describing the irksome variety of artifices practised by many of your Majesty's Ministers, the delusive pretences, fruitless terrors, and unavailing severities, which have from time to time been dealt out by them in their attempts to execute this impolitic plan, or of tracing through a series of years past the progress of the unhappy differences between Great Britain and these Colonies, which have flowed from this satal source. Your Majesty's Ministers persevering in their measures, and proceeding to open hostilities for enforcing them, have compelled us to arm in our own defence, and have engaged us in a controversy so peculiarly abhorrent from the affections of your still saithful Colonists, that when we consider whom we must oppose in this contest; and if it continues, what may be the consequence; our own particular misfortunes are accounted by us only as parts of our distress.
Knowing to what violent resentment and incurable animosities civil discords are apt to exasperate and inflame the contending parties, we think ourselves required by indispensable obligations to Almighty God, to your Majesty, to our fellow-subjects, and ourselves, immediately to use all the means in our power, not incompatible with our safety, for stopping the further effusion of blood, and for averting the impending calamities that threaten the British Empire. Thus Called upon to address your Majesty on affairs of such moment to America, and probably to all your dominions, we are earnestly desirous of performing this office with the utmost deference to your Majesty; and we therefore pray that your Royal magnanimity and benevolence may make the
most most favourable construction of our expressions on so uncommon an occasion. ■>
Could we represent, in their full force, the sentiments which agitate the minds of us, your dutiful subjects, we are persuaded your Majesty would ascribe any seeming deviation from reverence, in our language, and even in our conduct, not to any reprehensible intention, but to the impossibility of reconciling the usual appearances of respect with a just attention to our preservation against those artful and cruel enemies, who abuse your Royal confi-' dence and authority for the purpose of effecting our destruction.
Attached to your Majesty's person, samily, and government, with all the devotion that principle and affection can inspire; connected with Great Britain by the strongest ties that can unite societies, and deploring every event that tends in any degree to weaken them,, we solemnly assure your Majesty, that we not only most ardently desire the former barmany between her and these Colonies may be restored, but that a concord may be ejlablified between them• upon, so firm a basis as to perpetuate its blessings uninterrupted by any future dissentions to succeeding generations in both countries; and to transmit your Majesty's name to posterity, adorned with that signal and lasting glory that has attended the memory of those illustrious personages whose virtues and abilities have extricated states from dangerous convulsions, and by securing happiness to others, have erected the most noble and durable monuments to their own same. .'.■
We beg leave further to assure your Majesty, that notwithstanding the sufferings of your loyal Colonists, during the course of the present controversy, our breasts retain too tender a regard for the kingdom from which we derive our origin, to request such a conciliation as might in any manner be inconsistent with her dignity or her welfare. These, related as we are to her, honour and duty, as well as inclination, induce us to support and advance; and the apprehensions that now oppress our hearts with unspeakable grief, being once removed, your Majesty will find your saithful subjects on this Continent ready and willing, at all times, as they have ever been, with their lives and fortunes to assert and maintain the rights and interests of your Majesty and of our MotherCountry.
We therefore beseech your Majesty, that your Royal authority and influence may be graciously interposed, to procure us relief from our afflicting fears and jealousies, occasioned by the system before mentioned, and to settle peace through every part of your dominions; with all humility submitting to your Majesty's wife consideration whether it may not be expedient, for sacilitating these important purposes, that your Majesty be pleased to direct some mode by which the united applications of your faithful Colonists to the throne, in pursuance of their common councils, may be improved into a happy and permanent reconciliation; and that in the mean time measures may be taken for preventing the further destruction of the lives of your Majesty's subjects, and. that such statutes as more immediately distress any of your Majesty's Colonies be repealed. For by such arrangements, as your Majesty's wisdom can form, for collecting the united sense of your American people, we are convinced your Majesty would receive such,satissactory proofs of the disposition of the Colonists towards their Sovereign and the Parent State, that the wistied-for opportunity would soon be restored to them, of evincing the sincerity of their professions, by every testimony of devotion becoming the most dutiful subjects, and the most affectionate Colonists.
That your Majesty may enjoy a long and prosperous reign, and that your descendants may govern
the dominions, with honour to themselves and happiness to their subjects, is our sincere and fervent prayer.
R. Livingston, jun*
Colony Of New Hamp-
The marked disdain with which this Petition was treated, precluded every hope of a reconciliation.