Home > Back to Search Results > Congress responds to the King's Proclamation that the colonies are in open rebellion...
Click image to enlarge 687385
Hide image list »

Congress responds to the King's Proclamation that the colonies are in open rebellion...

Item # 687385

December 21, 1775

THE NEW-ENGLAND CHRONICLE or the ESSEX GAZETTE, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dec. 21, 1775  

* King George III of England
* American colonies in rebellion
* U.S. Congress addresses conflict
* American Revolutionary War

Certainly the most historic content is found on page 3, being Congress' response to the King's proclamation of August 23 in which he refused to receive the conciliatory Olive Branch Petition and proclaimed that the American colonies were in a state of open rebellion.
 This response is dated at Congress, December 6, 1775 and begins: "We the Delegates of the Thirteen United Colonies in North America have taken into our most serious consideration a Proclamation issued from the Court of St. James' on the 23rd day of August last...".
A few items in the document include: "...We are accused of 'forgetting the allegiance which we owe to the power that has protected and sustained us.'...what allegiance is it that we forget? Allegiance to Parliament? We never owed--we never owned it. Allegiance to our King? Our words have ever avowed it--our conduct has ever been consistent with it. We condemn, and, with arms in our hands--a resource with freemen will never part with--we oppose the claim & exercise of unconstitutional powers to which neither the Crown nor Parliament were ever entitled...It is alleged that 'we have proceeded to an open & avowed rebellion.' In what does this rebellion consist?...We know of no laws binding upon us..." and so much more. This is a terrific address signed in type: Charles Thomson, Secretary of Congress.
The King's response to the colonists' Olive Branch Petition was a slap in the face to the Americans. That Petition assured the king that the Americans would remain his loyal subjects and had no desire for independence as long as their grievances were satisfactorily addressed.
But the King's document of August 23 changed everything, and the text here is Congress' response to it. The furtherance of the war was inevitable. A very historic document.
The front page is mostly taken up with an address: "To the Electors of Great Britain" which begins: "The mischiefs which have already arisen, and the greater calamities which are threatened, from the unnatural war excited in America by the arbitrary & inexorable spirit of his Majesty's ministers and advisers, have impressed our minds with alarms & apprehensions which occasion this address to you...".
This is a terrific letter spelling out the temper of Boston citizens at the time, detailing the oppressions they have been subjected to by the British and the determination to stand up to further loss of their liberties. 
Page 2 begins with over a full column: "Speech of his Excellency William Franklin to the General Assembly of New Jersey", he being the son of Ben Franklin, although becoming a Loyalist which would strain his relationship with his father throughout his life.
This is followed by a report from London beginning: "A bill for settling an unalterable compact between this country and America, for the future government & tranquility of the latter country, is now under the consideration of the cabinet..." with much on this.
A report from Williamsburg notes a skirmish involving Governor Dunmore's soldiers with the colonists being the Battle of Great Bridge.
More war-related reports in this issue as well, several seen in the photos provided. 
Four pages, never-trimmed margins a bit of foxing, nice condition.

Category: Revolutionary War