Resolutions adopted by the House of Representatives



In the House of Representatives of the ENGLISH Colony of CONNECTICUT.

This House, taking into their serious consideration sundry Acts of the British Parliament, in which their power and right to impose duties and taxes upon his Majesty' s subjects in the British Colonies and Plantations in America, for the purpose of raising a revenue, are declared, attempted to be exercised, and in various ways enforced and carried into execution; and especially a very late Act, in which pains and penalties are inflicted on the capital of a neighbouring Province, a precedent justly alarming to every British Colony in America, and which being admitted and established their lives, liberties, and properties, are at the mercy of a tribunal where innocence may be punished upon the accusation and evidence of wicked men, without defence, and even without knowing the accuser; a precedent calculated to terrify them into silence and submission whilst they are stripped of their invaluable rights and liberties — do think it their duty and expedient at this time, to renew their claim to the rights, liberties and immunities of freeborn Englishmen, to which they are justly entitled by the laws of nature, by the Royal Grant and Charter of his late Majesty King Charles the Second, and by long and uninterrupted possession; and thereupon do declare and resolve as follows, viz:

1st˙ In the first place, we do most expressly declare, recognise and acknowledge his Majesty King George the Third to be the lawful and rightful King of Great Britain, and all other his Dominions and Countries; and that it is the indispensable duty of this Colony, as being part of his Majesty' s dominions, always to bear faithful and true allegiance to his Majesty, and him to defend to the utmost of their power, against all attempts upon his person, crown and dignity.

2d˙ That the subjects of his Majesty in this Colony ever have had, and of right out to have and enjoy, all the liberties immunities and privileges of free and natural born subjects within any of the Dominions of our said King, his


heirs and successors, as fully and amply as if they, and every of them, were born within the Realm of England. That they have a property in their own estate, and are to be taxed by their own consent, only given in person, or by their Representatives, and are not to be disseized of their liberties and free customs, sentenced or condemned, but by lawful judgment of their peers; and that the said rights and immunities are recognised and confirmed by the inhabitants of the Colony, by the Royal Grant and Charter aforesaid, and are their undoubted right, to all intents, constructions and purposes whatsoever.

3d˙ That the only lawful representatives of the freemen of this Colony, are the persons they elect to serve as members of the General Assembly thereof.

4th˙ That it is the just right and privilege of his Majesty' s liege subjects of this Colony to be governed by their General Assembly in the article of taxing, and internal police, agreeable to the powers and privileges recognised and confirmed in the Royal Charter aforesaid, which they have enjoyed for more than a century past, and have neither forfeited nor surrendered, but the same have been constantly recognised by the King and Parliament of Great Britain.

5th˙ That the erecting new and unusual Courts of Admiralty, and vesting them with extraordinary powers above, and not subject to, the controul of the Common Law Courts in this Colony, to judge and determine in suits relating to the duties and forfeitures contained in said Acts, foreign to the accustomed and established jurisdiction of the former Courts of Admiralty in America, is, in the opinion of this House, highly dangerous to the liberties of his Majesty' s American subjects, contrary to the great Charter of English liberty, and destructive of one of their most darling rights, that of trial by juries, which is justly esteemed one chief excellence of the British Constitution, and a principal branch of English liberty.

6th˙ That the apprehending and carrying persons beyond the sea to be tried for any crime alleged to be committed within this Colony, or subjecting them to be tried by Commissioners, or by any court constituted by Act of Parliament, or otherwise within this Colony, in a summary way, without a jury, is unconstitutional, and subversive of the liberties and rights of the free subjects of this Colony.

7th˙ That any harbour or port duly opened and constituted, cannot be shut up and discharged but by an Act of the Legislature of the Province or Colony in which such harbour or port is situated, without subverting the rights and liberties, and destroying the property of his Majesty' s subjects.

8th˙ That the late Act of Parliament inflicting pains and penalties on the town of Boston, by blocking up their harbour, is a precedent justly alarming to the British Colonies in America, and wholly inconsistent with, and subversive of, their constitutional rights and liberties.

9th˙ That whenever his Majesty' s service shall require the aid of the inhabitants of this Colony, the same fixed principle of loyalty, as well as self-preservation, which have hitherto induced us fully to comply with his Majesty' s requisitions, together with the deep sense we have of its being our indispensable duty, (in the opinion of this House,) will ever hold us under the strongest obligations which can be given or desired, most cheerfully to grant his Majesty, from time to time, our further proportion of men and money, for the defence, protection, security, and other services of the British American Dominions.

10th˙ That we look on the wellbeing and greatest security of this Colony, to depend (under God) on our connection with Great Britain, which it is ardently wished may continue to the latest posterity; and that it is the humble opinion of this House that the Constitution of this Colony being understood and practised upon, as it has, ever since it existed, (till very lately,) is the surest bond of union, confidence, and mutual prosperity of our mother country and us, and the last foundation on which to build the good of the whole, whether considered in a civil, military, or mercantile light; and of the truth of this opinion we are the more confident, as it is not founded on speculation only, but has been verified in fact, and by long experience found to produce, according to our extent, and other circumstances, as many loyal, virtuous, industrious and well governed subjects, as any part of his Majesty' s Dominions; and as truly


zealous of, and as warmly engaged to promote the best good and real glory of the grand whole, which constitutes the British Empire.

11th˙ That it is an indispensable duty which we owe to our King, our country, ourselves, and our posterity, by all lawful ways and means in our power, to maintain, defend and preserve, these our rights and liberties, and to transmit them entire and inviolate to the latest generations; and that it is our fixed, determined, and unalterable resolution, faithfully to discharge this our duty.

At their Sessions at Hartford, on the second Thursday of May, 1774, in the fourteenth year of his Majesty' s reign, the foregoing Resolutions, reported to the House by their Committee, were unanimously voted, and ordered to be entered on their Journal or Record.