The above declaration, respecting the time when the Americans first conceived the idea of independence, is confirmed by the testimony of Washington, John Adams, Jay, Jefferson, Madison, and others who acted a conspicuous part in the Revolution. These all affirm, that, before the commencement of hostilities, they aimed only at a redress of grievances and a restoration to their former rights. See Sparks's edition of Washington's Writings, Vol. II. p. 496.