Life Of Benjamin Franklin: Footnote 62

See an account of these proceedings in Sparks's edition of Washington's Writings, Vol. III. p. 133.

It was probably about this time, that Dr. Franklin drew up the following resolves, which have been found in his handwriting. It is uncertain whether they were adopted in Congress, but they were published, except the last paragraph, with considerable modifications, and were reprinted in England.

"Resolved, that from and after the 20th of July, 1776, being one full year after the day appointed by a late act of the Parliament of Great Britain for restraining the trade of the confederate colonies, all the custom-houses in the said colonies shall be shut up, and all the officers of the same be discharged from the exercise of their several functions; and all the ports of the said colonies are hereby declared to be thenceforth open to the ships of every State in Europe, that will admit our commerce and protect it who may bring in and expose to sale, free of all duties, their respective produce and manufactures, and every kind of merchandise, excepting teas and the merchandise of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British West India Islands.

"Resolved, that we will, to the utmost of, our power, maintain and support the freedom of commerce for two years certain, after its commencement, and as much longer as the late acts of Parliament for re- straining the commerce and fishery, and altering the laws and charters of any of the colonies, shall continue unrepealed.

"And whereas, whenever kings, instead of protecting the lives and properties of their subjects, as is their bounden duty, do endeavour to perpetrate the destruction of either, they thereby cease to be kings, become tyrants, and dissolve all ties of allegiance between themselves and their people; we hereby further solemnly declare, that whenever it shall appear clearly to us, that the King's troops and ships now in America, or hereafter to be brought there, do, by his Majesty's orders, destroy any town or the inhabitants of any town or place in America, or that the savages have been by the same orders hired to assassinate our poor out-settlers and their families, we will from that time renounce all allegiance to Great Britain, so long as that kingdom shall submit to him, or any of his descendants, as its sovereign."

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