Proceedings of the Congress at New-York.
Stamp Act Congress

TUESDAY, October 22, 1765, A. M.

The Congress met according to Adjournment.

The Address to his Majesty being Ingrossed, was Read and Compared, and is as follows, viz.

To the King's most Excellent Maiesty.

The PETITION of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Mas|sachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island, and Providence Plantations, _____ , _____ , New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Government of the Counties of New-Castle, Kent, and Sussex, upon Delaware, Province of Maryland,

Most humbly Sheweth,

THAT the Inhabitants of these Colonies, Unanimously devoted with the warmest Sentiments of Duty and Affection to your Majesty's Sa|cred Person and Government, Inviolably attached to the present Happy Establishment of the Protestant Succession in your Illustrious House, and deeply sensible of your Royal Attention to their Prosperity and Happiness, Page  18 humbly beg Leave to approach the Throne, by representing to your Ma|jesty, That these Colonies were Originally Planted by Subjects of the British Crown, who, animated with the Spirit of Liberty, encouraged by your Majesty's Royal Predecessors, and confiding in the Public Faith for the En|joyment of all the Rights and Liberties essential to Freedom, emigrated from their Native Country to this Continent, and by their successful Per|severance in the midst of innumerable Dangers and Difficulties, together with a Profusion of their Blood and Treasure, have happily added these vast and valuable Dominions to the Empire of Great-Britain. That for the Enjoyment of these Rights and Liberties, several Governments were early formed in the said Colonies, with full Power of Legislation, agreeable to the Principles of the English Constitution.

That under those Governments, these Liberties, thus vested in their An|cestors, and transmitted to their Posterity, have been exercised and enjoyed, and by the inestimable Blessings thereof (under the Favour of Almighty GOD), the inhospitable Desarts of America have been converted into Flourishing Countries; Science, Humanity, and the Knowledge of Divine Truths, diffused through Remote Regions of Ignorance, Infidelity, and Barbarism; the Number of British Subjects wonderfully Increased, and the Wealth and Power of Great-Britain proportionably Augmented.

That by Means of these Settlements, and the unparallelled Success of your Majesty's Arms, a Foundation is now laid for rendering the British Empire the most Extensive and Powerful of any Recorded in History. Our Connection with this Empire, we esteem our greatest Happiness and Secu|rity, and humbly conceive it may now be so established by your Royal Wis|dom, as to endure to the latest Period of Time; This, with most humble Submission to your Majesty, we apprehend will be most effectually Accom|plished, by fixing the Pillars thereof on Liberty and Justice, and securing the inherent Rights and Liberties of your Subjects here, upon the Principles of the English Constitution. To this Constitution these Two Principles are essential, the Right of your faithful Subjects, freely to grant to your Ma|jesty, such Aids as are required for the Support of your Government over them, and other Public Exigencies, and Trials by their Peers: By the One they are secured from unreasonable Impositions; and by the Other from Ar|bitrary Decisions of the executive Power.

The Continuation of these Liberties to the Inhabitants of America we ardently Implore, as absolutely necessary to Unite the several Parts of your wide extended Dominions, in that Harmony so Essential to the Preservation and Happiness of the Whole. Protected in these Liberties, the Emolu|ments Great-Britain receives from us, however great at present, are incon|siderable, compared with those she has the fairest Prospect of acquiring. By this Protection she will for ever secure to herself the Advantage of con|veying to all Europe, the Merchandises which America furnishes, and of Supplying through the same Channel, whatever is wanted from thence. Here opens a boundless Source of Wealth and Naval Strength; yet these immense Advantages, by the Abridgment of those invaluable Rights and Liberties, by which our Growth has been Nourished, are in Danger of Page  19 being for ever Lost; and our subordinate Legislatures, in Effect, rendered useless, by the late Acts of Parliament imposing Duties and Taxes on these Colonies, and extending the Jurisdiction of the Courts of Admiralty here, beyond its antient Limits: Statutes by which your Majesty's Commons in Britain undertake, absolutely to dispose of the Property of their Fellow Subjects in America, without their Consent, and for the enforcing whereof, they are subjected to the Determination of a single Judge in a Court un|restrained by the wise Rules of the Common Law, the Birthright of Eng|lishmen, and the Safeguard of their Persons and Properties.

The invaluable Rights of Taxing ourselves, and Trial by our Peers, of which we implore your Majesty's Protection, are not, we most humbly conceive Unconstitutional; but confirmed by the Great CHARTER of English Liberty. On the First of these Rights the Honourable the House of Com|mons Found their Practice of Originating Money Bills, a Right enjoyed by the Kingdom of Ireland, by the Clergy of England, until relinquished by themselves, a Right, in fine, which all other your Majesty's English Subjects, both within, and without the Realm, have hitherto enjoyed.

With Hearts therefore impressed with the most indelible Characters of Gratitude to your Majesty, and to the Memory of the Kings of your Illustrious House, whose Reigns have been Signally distinguished by their Auspicious Influence on the Prosperity of the British Dominions, and convinced by the most affecting Proofs of your Majesty's Paternal Love to all your People, however distant, and your unceasing and benevolent Desires to promote their Happiness, We most humbly beseech your Majesty, that you will be gra|ciously pleased to take into your Royal Consideration, the Distresses of your faithful Subjects on this Continent, and to lay the same before your Ma|jesty's Parliament, and to afford them such Relief, as in your Royal Wis|dom their unhappy Circumstances shall be judged to require.

And your Petitioners as in Duty bound will pray.

The Memorial to the Lords in Parliament, was Read and Compared, and is as follows, viz.

To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual, and Temporal of Great-Britain, in Parliament assembled.

The MEMORIAL of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Mas|sachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island, and Providence Plantations, _____ , _____ , New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Government of the Counties of New-Castle, Kent, and Sussex, upon Delaware, Province of Maryland,

Most humbly Sheweth,

THAT his Majesty's Liege Subjects in his American Colonies, tho' they acknowledge a due Subordination to that August Body the BritishPage  20 Parliament, are entitled, in the Opinion of your Memorialists, to all the inherent Rights and Liberties of the Natives of Great-Britain, and have ever since the Settlement of the said Colonies, exercised those Rights and Liberties, as far as their local Circumstances would permit.

That your Memorialists humbly conceive one of the most essential Rights of these Colonies, which they have ever, till lately, uninterruptedly en|joyed, to be Trial by Jury.

That your Memorialists also humbly conceive another of these essential Rights to be the Exemption from all Taxes, but such as are imposed on the People by the several Legislatures in these Colonies, which Right also they have, till of late, freely enjoyed.

But your Memorialists humbly beg Leave to represent to your Lordships, That the Act for granting certain Stamp Duties in the British Colonies in America, &c. fills his Majesty's American Subjects with the deepest Concern, as it tends to deprive them of the Two fundamental and invaluable Rights and Liberties above mentioned, and that several other late Acts of Parlia|ment, which extend the Jurisdiction and Powers of Courts of Admiralty in the Plantations, beyond their Limits in Great-Britain, thereby make an unnecessary and unhappy Distinction as to the Modes of Trial, between us and our Fellow Subjects there, by whom we never have been excelled in Duty and Loyalty to our Sovereign.

That from the natural Connection between Great-Britain and America, the perpetual Continuance of which your Memorialists most ardently de|sire, they conceive that nothing can Conduce more to the Interest of both, than the Colonists free Enjoyment of their Rights and Liberties, and an affectionate Intercourse between Great-Britain and them. But your Me|morialists (not waving their Claim to these Rights, of which with the most becoming Veneration and Deference to the Wisdom and Justice of your Lordships, they apprehend they cannot Reasonably be deprived) humbly Represent, That from the peculiar Circumstances of these Colonies, the Duties imposed by the aforesaid Act, and several other late Acts of Parlia|ment, are extremely Grievous and Burthensome, and the Payment of the said Duties will very soon, for want of Specie, become absolutely impracti|cable; and that the Restrictions on Trade by the said Acts, will not only greatly distress the Colonies, but must be extremely detrimental to the Trade and true Interest of Great-Britain.

Your Memorialists therefore, impressed with a just Sense of the unfor|tunate Circumstances of the Colonies, and the impending destructive Con|sequences which must necessarily ensue from the Execution of those Acts, animated with the warmest Sentiments of filial Affection for their Mother Country, most earnestly and humbly entreat, That your Lordships will be pleased to Hear their Counsel in Support of this Memorial, and take the Premisses into your most serious Consideration, and that your Lordships will also be thereupon pleased to pursue such Measures for Restoring the just Rights and Liberties of the Colonies, and preserving them for ever inviolate▪ Page  21 for redressing their present, and preventing future Grievances, thereby pro|moting the 〈◊〉 Interest of Great-Britain and America, as to your Lord|ships in your great Wisdom shall seem most Conducive and Effectual to that important End.

And your Memorialists as in Duty bound will ever pray.