|~by James Still~|
In June 1775, Congress appointed a committee to write a “Declaration” to be proclaimed by General Washington “upon his Arrival at the Camp before Boston.” This proclamation was called the “Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms”.
“… a reverence for our Creator, principles of humanity, and the dictates of common sense, must convince all those who reflect upon the subject, that government was instituted to promote the welfare of mankind… Our forefathers, inhabitants of the island of Great-Britain, left their native land, to seek on these shores a residence for civil and religious freedom… Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them, if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them.
… the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties… We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies…
With an humble confidence in the mercies of the supreme and impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe, we most devoutly implore his divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.” Journals of Congress, Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, July 6, 1775
James Still (Nov 2015), RetraceOurSteps.com
“… in defense of the freedom that is our birthright, and… for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our fore-fathers and ourselves… we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease… and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before.” Journals of Congress, Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, July 6, 1775
“[General Gage and]… His troops have butchered our countrymen, have wantonly burnt Charlestown… and he is exerting his utmost power to spread destruction and devastation around him.” Journals of Congress, Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of Taking Up Arms, July 6, 1775
“Should we wander from [The Founding Principles]… let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.” Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801