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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (June 28, 1901)
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Vol. i. No. 23.
Lincoln, Nebraska, June 28, 1901.
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DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
As this is tiio last issue of The Commokeb
before the Fourth of July the Declaration of
Independence is re-produced in order that it
may he re-read on the one hundred and twenty
fifth anniversary of its adoption. One year
ago, it was read and amid great enthusiasm en
dorsed as a part of the democratic national
.platform. This document, the most remark
able state paper ever penned, was written by
Thomas Jefferson and to its maintainance ho
and his co-patriots pledged their lives, their
fortunes and their sacred honor. And yet, in
a higher and broader sense it was not the work
of human hands. It was rather a bow of prom
ise which the sunlight of truth, shining
through tears, cast upon the clouds. It as
sured the world that the waters of despotism
had reached their flood and were receding.
God grant that they may never rise again!
To prove this let facts bo submitted to a candid
Ho has refused his assent to laws the most
wholesomo and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass laws
of immediate and pressing Importance, unless sus
pended in their operation till his assent should bo
obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly
neglected to attend to them.
Ho has refused to pass other laws for the ac
commodation of large districts of people, unless
those people would relinquish the jight of repre
sentation in tho legislature; a right inestimable
to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at
places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from
the depository of their public records, for tho sole
measure of fatiguing them Into compliance with
'He has dissolved representative houses repeat
edly for opposing, with manly firmness, his inva- ,
sions on the rights of tho people.
Ho has refused, for a long time after such dis-
lnstrumont for Introducing tho same absolute rulo
into theso colonies.
For taking away our charters, abolishing our
most valuablo laws, and altering fundamentally
the powers of our government.
For suspending our own legislatures, and de
claring themselves invested with power to legis
late for us in all cases whatsoever.
Ho has abdicated government here, declaring
us out of his protection, and waging war against
Ho has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts,
burnt our towns, and destroyed tho lives of our
He is at this time transporting large armies of
foreign mercenaries to complete tho work of death,
desolation and tyranny, already begun, with cir
cumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paral
leled in tho most barbarous ages, and totally un
worthy the head of a civilized nation.
is, .-. Ho has constrained our fellow citizens, taken
Jcapttyo on tho high 'seas, to bear arms against
their country, to become tho executioners of their
,' JfA DECLARATION BY THE REPRESENT A-"., solution, to cause others to be elected; whereby- ndf and brth r, to f fall tnemgjWe; ljy
(TIvJinBrOh-H!M-,TJNT'T'T' fyrAtrwH 1110 a m I'jh.ii:a uio'ioiuuvo iiuwera, iiiuajmuiu ui uumuimuuu,
IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED.
When, in the course of human events, it be
comes necessary for one people to dissolve tho
political bands which have connected them with
another, and to assume among tho powers of tho
earth, the separate and equal station to which the
laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a
decent respect to the opinions of mankind re
quires that they should declare the causes which
impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that
all men are created equal: that they are endowed
by their Creator with certain inalienable rights:
that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness. That to secure these rights, govern
ments are instituted among men, deriving their
just powers from the consent of thp governed;
that, whenever any form of government becomes
destructive of these ends, it is the right of the
people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a
now government, laying its foundations on such
principles, and organizing its powers in such form,
as to them shall seem most likely to effect their
safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dic
tate that governments long established should not
be changed for light and transient causes; and ac
cordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind
are more disposed to suffer, while evils are suf
ferable, than to right them by abolishing the forms
to which they are accustomed. But when a long
train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing in
variably the same object, evinces a design to re
duce them under absolute despotism, It Is their
right, It is their duty to throw off such govern
ment, and to provide new guards for their future
security. Such has been the patient sufferance of
these colonies, and such is now the necessity
constrains them to alter their former systems of
government. The history of the present King of
Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and
usurpations, all having In direct object the estab
lishment of an absolute tyranny over these states.
have returned- to tho people at largo for tiQr. .-MRC0& amonSst
exercise; tho state remaining in tho meantime
exposed to all the danger of invasion from with
out and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population
of these states; for that purpose, obstructing the
laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to
pass others to encourage their migration hither,
and raising the conditions of new appropriations of
Ho has obstructed the administration of jus
tice, by-refusing his assent to laws for establish
ing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will
alone, for the tenure of their offices, and tho
amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and
sent hither swarms of officers to harrass our peo
ple, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us in times of peace, stand
ing armies, without the consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military inde
pendent of, and superior to, the civil power.
He has combined with others, to subject us to
a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unac
knowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their
acts of pretended legislation.
For quartering large bodies of armed troops
For protecting them, by a mock trial, from
punishment for any murders which they should
commit on the Inhabitants of these states.
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the
For imposing taxes on us without c:..' consent:
For depriving us, In many cases, of the benefits
of trial by jury.
For transporting us beyond the seas to bo
tried for pretended offenses.
For abolishing the free system of English laws
in a neighboring province, establishing therein an
arbitrary government, and enlarging Its boundar
ies, so as to render it at once an example and fit
usfahd has endeavored' to brlngon "the inhabi
tants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages,
whose known rulo of warfare is an undistinguished
destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions v. a have pe
titioned for redress, in the most humblo terms;
our repeated petitions have been ansvored only by
repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus
marked by every act which may define a tyrant, Is
unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attention to our
British brethren. Wo have warned them from
time to time, of attempts made by their legisla
ture to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over
us. Wo have reminded them of the circumstances
of our emigration and settlement hero. Wo havo
appealed to their native justice and magnanimity
and we have conjured them, by the ties of our
common kindred to disavow these usurpations,
which would inevitably interrupt our connections
and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to
tho voice of justice and consanguinity. We must,
therefore, acquiesce In tho necessity which de
mands pur separation, and hold them as we hold
the rest of mankind, enemies In war, in peace,
We, therefore, the representatives of the
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL
CONGRESS assembled, appealing to the Supreme
Judge of the World for the rectitude of our inten
tions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the
good people of these colonies, solemnly publish
and declare: That these United Colonies are,
and of right ought to be FREE AND INDEPEN
DENT STATES; that they are absolved from all
allegiance to the British crown, and that political
connections between them and the State of Great
Britain Is, and ought to be totally dissolved; and
that, as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES,
they have full power to levy war, conclude peace,
contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all
other acts and things which INDEPENDENT
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