|You are here: Home >> American Archives|
to Tuesday, the twenty-sixth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six.
A Constitution, or form of Government, agreed to and resolved upon by the Representatives of South-Carolina.;
Resolved, That Michael Kalteisen, Esq., while he continues to discharge the duties of Commissary of Military Stores for the Regular Forces, be allowed a pay of forty Shillings per day for that service.
The Committee to whom the Memorial of sundry inhabitants on Savannah-River, Great Rocky-Creek, and places adjacent, was referred, delivered in a Report.
And the said Report being taken into immediate consideration, was agreed to.
Resolved, That Fort Royal, about eighteen miles above Fort Charlotte, on Savannah River, on the frontiers of this Colony, is advantageously situated for the security of the inhabitants, in case of an Indian war, either with the Creeks or Cherokees. That Major Williamson, Captain Bowie, Captain Andrew Pickens, Adam Crain Jones, Esquire, and Mr. Rapley, be, and they are hereby, appointed Commissioners, they, or a majority of them, to view the said Fort, and to report, upon oath, at the next meeting of Congress or General Assembly, the state thereof, the expense of building it, and the damage done to the owner of the land.
Resolved, That the Paymaster to the two Regiments of Riflemen, be allowed a daily pay of three Pounds ten Shillings.
Ordered, That the engrossed copy of the Constitution or form of Government, with the Title prefixed, be now read. And the same being read, is as follows:
In a Congress, begun and holden at Charlestowm, on Wednesday, the first day of November, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and continued, by divers adjournments, to Tuesday, the twenty-sixth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six.
A Constitution, or form of Government, agreed to, and resolved upon, by the Representatives of SOUTH-CAROLINA.
Whereas the British Parliament, claiming of late years a right to bind the North-American Colonies by law, in all cases whatsoever, have enacted statutes for raising a revenue in those Colonies, and disposing of such revenue as they thought proper, without the consent, and against the will of the Colonists. And whereas, it appearing to them, that (they not being represented in Parliament) such claim was altogether unconstitutional; and, if admitted, would at once reduce them from the rank of freemen to a state of the most abject slavery; the said Colonies, therefore, severally remonstrated against the passing, and petitioned for the repeal of those actsbut in vain. And whereas the said claim being persisted in, other unconstitutional and oppressive statutes have been since enacted, by which the powers of the Admiralty Courts in the Colonies are extended beyond their ancient limits, and jurisdiction is given to such Courts in cases similar to those which in Great Britain are triable by jurypersons are liable to be sent to, and tried in, Great Britain, for an offence created and made capital by one of those statutes, though committed in the Colonies; the Harbour of Boston was blocked up; people indicted for murder in the Massachusetts-Bay, may, at the will of the Governour, be sent for trial to any other Colony, or even to Great Britain; the chartered Constitution of Government in that Colony is materially altered; the English Laws, and a free Government, to which the inhabitants of Quebeck were entitled by the Kings Royal Proclamation, are abolished, and French Laws are restored; the Roman Catholick Religion (although before tolerated and freely exercised there) and an absolute Government are established in that Province, and its limits extended through a vast tract of country, so as to border on the free Protestant English settlements, with design of using a whole people, differing in religious principles from the neighbouring Colonies, and subject to arbitrary power, as fit instruments to overawe and subdue the Colonies. And whereas the Delegates of all the Colonies on this Continent, from Nova-Scotia to Georgia, assembled in a General Congress at Philadelphia, in the most dutiful manner, laid their complaints at the foot of the throne, and humbly implored their Sovereign, that his royal authority and interposition might be used for their relief from the grievances occasioned by those statutes, and assured his Majesty, that harmony between Great Britain and America, ardently desired by the latter, would be thereby immediately restored, and that the Colonists confided in the magnanimity and justice of the King and Parliament for redress of the many other grievances under which they laboured. And whereas, these complaints being wholly disregarded, statutes still more cruel than those above-mentioned have been enacted, prohibiting the intercourse of the Colonies with each other, restricting their trade, and depriving many thousands of people of the means of subsistence, by restraining them from fishing on the American coast. And whereas, large Fleets and Armies having been sent to America, in order to enforce the execution of those laws, and to compel an absolute and implicit submission to the will of a corrupt and despotick Administration, and in consequence thereof, hostilities having been commenced in the Massachusetts-Bay, by the Troops under command of General Gage, whereby a number of peaceable, helpless, and unarmed people, were wantonly robbed and murdered; and there being just reason to apprehend that like hostilities would be committed in all the other Colonies, the Colonists were therefore driven to the necessity of taking up arms to repel force by force, and to defend themselves and their properties against lawless invasions and depredations. Nevertheless, the Delegates of the said Colonies, assembled in another Congress at Philadelphia, anxious to procure a reconciliation with Great Britain upon just and constitutional principles, supplicated his Majesty to direct some mode by which the united applications of his faithful Colonists might be improved into a happy and permanent reconciliation; that, in the mean time, measures might be taken for preventing the further destruction of their lives; and that such statutes as immediately distressed any of the Colonists might be repealed. And whereas, instead of obtaining that justice to which the Colonists were, and are, of right entitled, the unnatural civil war into which they were thus precipitated, and are involved, hath been prosecuted with unremitted violence; and the Governours, and others bearing the Royal commission in the Colonies, having broken the most solemn promises and engagements, and violated every obligation of honour, justice, and humanity, have caused the persons of divers good people to be seized and imprisoned, and their properties to be forcibly taken and detained, or destroyed, without any crime or forfeiture; excited domestick insurrections; proclaimed freedom to servants and slaves; enticed or stolen them from, and armed them against their masters; instigated and encouraged the Indian nations to war against the Colonies; dispensed with the law of the land, and substituted the law-martial in its stead; killed many of the Colonists; burned several towns, and threatened to burn the rest; and daily endeavour, by a conduct which has sullied the British arms, and would disgrace even savage nations, to effect the ruin and destruction of the Colonies. And whereas a statute, hath been lately passed, whereby, under pretence that the said Colonies are in open rebellion, all trade and commerce whatsoever with them is prohibited; vessels belonging to their inhabitants trading in, to, or from, the said Colonies, with the cargoes and effects on board such vessels, are made lawful prize, and the masters and crews of such vessels are subjected, by force, to act on board the Kings ships, against their country and dearest friends; and all seizures and detention, or destruction of the persons and properties of the Colonists, which have at any time been made, or committed, for withstanding or suppressing the said pretended rebellion, and which shall be made in pursuance of the said act, or for the service of the publick, are justified; and persons suing for damages in such cases, are, on failing in their suits, subjected to payment of very heavy expenses. And whereas, large reinforcements of troops and ships have been ordered, and are daily expected in America, for carrying on war against each of the United Colonies, by the most vigorous exertions. And whereas, in consequence of a plan recommended by the Govemours, and which seems to have been concerted between them and their Ministerial masters, to withdraw the usual officers, and thereby loosen the bands of Government, and create anarchy and confusion in the Colonies, Lord William Campbell, late Governour, on the 15th day of September