Colonial Hall -- Biographies of America's Founding Fathers

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Page 3

Caesar Rodney


   This address, according to the agent who presented it, was kindly received by his majesty, who expressed his pleasure by reading it over twice.

   Unfortunately for the British government, but perhaps fortunately in the issue for the America colonies, the repeal of the stamp act was followed by other oppressive measures, which caused a renewal of the former excitement in the American colonies, and led to that revolution, which deprived Great Britain of one of her fairest possessions. The inhabitants of Delaware were for a long time anxious for reconciliation between the mother country and the American colonies; still they understood too well their unalienable rights, and had too high a regard for them, tamely to relinquish them. In a subsequent address, prepared by the same gentlemen who had drafted the former, they renewed their protestations of loyalty; but at the same time took the liberty of remonstrating against the proceedings of the British parliament:

   "If our fellow-subjects of Great Britain, who derive no authority from us, who cannot in our humble opinion represent us, and to whom we will not yield in loyalty and affection to your majesty, can at their will and pleasure, of right, give and grant away our property; if they enforce an implicit obedience to every order or act of theirs for that purpose, and deprive all, or any of the assemblies on this continent, of the power of legislation, for differing with them in opinion in matters which intimately affect their rights and interests, and every thing that is dear and valuable to Englishmen, we cannot imagine a case more miserable; we cannot think that we shall have even the shadow of liberty left. We conceive it to be an inherent right in your majesty's subjects, derived to them from God and nature, handed down from their ances-tors, and confirmed by your royal predecessors and the constitution, in person, or by their representatives, to give and grant to their sovereigns those things which their own labors and their own cares have acquired and saved, and in such proportions and at such times, as the national honor and interest may require. Your majesty's faithful subjects of this government have enjoyed this inestimable privilege uninterrupted from its first existence, till of late. They have at all times cheerfully contributed to the utmost of their abilities for your majesty's service, as often as your royal requisitions were made known; and they cannot now, but with the greatest uneasiness and distress of mind, part with the power of demonstrating their loyalty and affection to their beloved king."

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