Background of the American Revolution
Following the Battle of Bunker Hill the Continental Congress—meeting in Philadelphia—sends one final petition to the king. Richard Penn and Arthur Lee present it to the House of Lords Sepetember 4, 1775, where, after debate, Lord Dartmouth said no answer would be given.
We shall decline the ungrateful task of describing the irksome variety of artifices, practised by many of your majesty’s ministers, the delusive pretences, fruitless terrors, and unavailing severities, that have, from time to time, been dealt out by them, in their attempts to execute this impolitic plan, or of tracing, through a series of years past, the progress of the unhappy differences between Great Britain and these colonies, that have flowed from this fatal source.
Second Petition to the King.
The Congress met according to adjournment. The Petition to the King being engrossed, was compared, and signed by the several members,—SATURDAY, July 8, 1775.
To the King’s most Excellent Majesty:
Most Gracious SOVEREIGN,
WE, your majesty’s most faithful subjects, of the colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, in behalf of ourselves and the inhabitants of these colonies, who have deputed us to represent them in general Congress, entreat your majesty’s gracious attention to this our humble petition.
The union between our mother country and these colonies, and the energy of mild and just government, produced benefits so remarkably important, and afforded such an assurance of their permanency and increase, that the wonder and envy of other nations were excited, while they beheld Great Britain rising to a power the most extraordinary the world had ever known.
Her rivals, observing there was no probability of this happy connexion being broken by civil dissensions, and apprehending its future effects, if left any longer undisturbed, resolved to prevent her receiving such continual and formidable accessions of wealth and strength, by checking the growth of those settlements from which they were to be derived.