Declaration of Rights and Grievances, 1765

Journal of the Stamp-Act Congress

October 19, 1765

We have several times promised to treat our readers with a correct copy of this venerable manuscript, detailing the first movements of the friends of freedom in the new world. It is an official copy, under the signature of John Cotton, Esq. clerk to that illustrious body; and, we have reason to believe, the only one extant. It was handed to the editor by his much respected friend, Caesar A. Rodney, Esq., of Delaware, who found it among the papers of his late revered uncle, the estimable and patriotic Caesar Rodney, one of the delegates, and for many years the great prop and stay of Whiggism in the lower parts of his native state. On a loose piece of paper, in the manuscript book, is a list of the members, with which we have preceded the journal itself, in the hand writing of Mr. C. R. We are thus particular to shew the entire authenticity of the document: which, we are informed, many of our sages have sought for in vain.

In this journal the reader will not find any thing to astonish or surprise him; but there is much to admire. In every line he will discover a spirit of decision and firmness totally irreconcilable with a state of servitude, and highly worthy of imitation at the present day. The difficulties the people encountered in forming this congress, unknown to the laws and opposed by the Royalists invested with power, are honorable to their cause and its agents. With an eye steadily fixed on freedom, they cast behind them the cold maxims of prudence, and nobly resolved to systematize an opposition to the growing tyranny of the "mother country." They did so, and therein generated a spirit of union, that finally brought about the independence of these states, and led to the establishment of our present happy constitution.--Niles’ Weekly Register, of July 25, 1812.