October 19, 1765
The Members of this Congress, sincerely devoted, with the warmest Sentiments of Affection and Duty to his Majesty’s Person and Government, inviolably attached to the present happy establishment of the Protestant Succession, and with Minds deeply impressed by a Sense of the present and impending misfortunes of the British Colonies on this continent; having considered as maturely as Time will permit, the Circumstances of the said Colonies, esteem it our indispensable Duty to make the following Declarations, of our humble Opinion, respecting the most Essential Rights and Liberties of the Colonists, and of the Grievances under which they labor, by Reason of several late Acts of Parliament.
1st. That his Majesty’s subjects in these Colonies, owe the same Allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain, that is owing from his Subjects born within the Realm, and all due subordination to that August Body, the Parliament of Great Britain.
2nd That his Majesty’s Liege Subjects in these Colonies are entitled to all the inherent Rights and liberties of his Natural born Subjects within the Kingdom of Great Britain.
3rd That it is inseparably essential to the Freedom of a People, and the undoubted Rights of Englishmen, that no taxes should be imposed on them, but with their own Consent, given personally, or by their Representatives.
4th That the people of these colonies are not, and from their local circumstances cannot be, Represented in the House of Commons in Great Britain.
5th That the only Representatives of the People of these Colonies, are Persons chosen therein by themselves and that no taxes ever have been, or can be Constitutionally imposed on them, but by their respective Legislatures.
6th That all supplies to the crown, being free gifts of the people, it is unreasonable and inconsistent with the Principles and Spirit of the British Constitution, for the People of Great Britain to grant to his Majesty the Property of the Colonists.
7th That TRIAL by Jury is the inherent and invaluable Right of every British subject in these Colonies.
8th That the late Act of Parliament, entitled, an Act for granting and applying certain Stamp Duties, and other Duties in the British colonies and plantations in America, etc., by imposing taxes on the inhabitants of these Colonies, and the said Act, and several other Acts, by extending the Jurisdiction of the Courts of Admiralty beyond its ancient Limits, have a manifest Tendency to subvert the Rights and Liberties of the Colonists.
9th That the Duties imposed by several late Acts of Parliament, from their peculiar circumstances of these Colonies, will be extremely Burthensome and Grievous, and from the scarcity of Specie, the Payment of them absolutely impracticable.
10th That as the Profits of the Trade of these Colonies ultimately centre in Great Britain, to pay for the Manufactures which they are obliged to take from thence, they eventually contribute very largely to all Supplies granted there to the crown.
11th That the Restrictions imposed by several late Acts of Parliament, on the Trade of these Colonies, will render them unable to purchase the Manufactures of Great Britain.
12th That the increase, prosperity and happiness of these Colonies, depend on the full and free enjoyment of their Rights and Liberties, and an Intercourse, with Great Britain, mutually affectionate and Advantageous.
13th That it is the Right of the British subjects in these Colonies, to Petition the King of either House of Parliament.
Lastly, that it is indispensable duty of these Colonies to the best Sovereigns, to the Mother Country, and to themselves, to endeavor by a loyal and dutiful address to his Majesty, and humble Application to both Houses of Parliament, to procure the repeal of the act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, of all clauses of any other acts of Parliament, whereby the jurisdiction of the admiralty is extended as aforesaid, and of the other last acts for the restriction of the American commerce.