Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 2, 1776

On Jan. 2, 1776, Congress acknowledged reports that "honest and well meaning" people were "deceived and drawn into erroneous opinions, respecting the American cause," and the likely result of American efforts:

"Resolved, That it be recommended to the several Committees, and other friends to American liberty in the said colonies, to treat all such persons with kindness and attention, to consider them as the inhabitants of a country determined to be free, and to view their errors as proceeding rather from want of information, than want of virtue or public spirit...."

Congress recommended that friends to liberty "explain...the orgin, nature and extent of the present controversy" and the fate of numerous humble petitions, from state assemblies as well as from the Continental Congress, to his majesty for a redress of grievances.

Since opposition Members of Parliament in Britain opposed the military efforts against American colonists, Congress recommended, "to all Conventions and Assemblies in these colonies, liberally to distribute among the people, the proceedings of this [the Second] and the former [the First Continental] Congress. the late speeches of the great patriots in both houses of parliament relative to American grievances, and such other pamphlets and papers as tend to elucidate the merits of the American cause..." Congress was "fully persuaded that the more out right to the enjoyment of our ancient liberties and privileges is examined, the more just and necessary our present opposition to...tyranny will appear."

Congress did recommend that state conventions and assemblies, and town and county committees or councils of safety to "frustrate the mischievous machinations" and "restrain the wicked practices" of those men who actively misrepresented "the conduct and principles of the friends of American liberty...." Congress also authorized the indivudual colonies to call for the assistance of the Continental Army in these efforts.
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