May the " Protection of Divine Providence" be with you this Holiday.

                      THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

                         In Congress, July 4, 1776

     The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.

           When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary
      for one people to dissolve the political bands which have
      connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of
      the 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 requires 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 unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty,
      and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights,
      Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just
      powers from the consent of the 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
      new Government, laying its foundation 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 dictate that Governments long established should not be
      changed for light and transient causes;  and accordingly all
      experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to
      suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by
      abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.  But when a
      long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the
      same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute
      Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off
      such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future
      security. -- Such has been the patient sufferance of these
      Colonies; and such is now the necessity which 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
      establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.  To
      prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

           He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and
      necessary for the public good.

           He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate
      and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation
      till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he
      has utterly neglected to attend to them.

           He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of
      large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish
      the right of Representation in the 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 the sole purpose of fatiguing them
       into compliance with his measures.

            He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for
       opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the
       people.

            He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions,
       to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers,
       incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large
       for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time
       exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and
       convulsions within.

            He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these
       States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for
       Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to
       encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions
       of new Appropriations of Lands.

            He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by
       refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

            He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the
       tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their
       salaries.

            He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither
       swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their
       substance.

            He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies
       without the Consent of our legislatures.

            He has affected to render the Military independent of and
       superior to the Civil power.

            He has combined with others to subject us to a
       jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by
      by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended
      Legislation:

           For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

           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 world:

           For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

          For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

          For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended  offences:

          For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a
      neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary
      government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at
      once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same
      absolute rule into these Colonies:

           For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable
      Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

           For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring
      themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases
      whatsoever.

           He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of
      his Protection and waging War against us.

           He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our
      towns, and destroyed the Lives of our people.

           He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign
      mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and
      tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy
      scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally
      unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

            He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on
       the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the
       executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall
       themselves by their Hands.

            He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has
       endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the
       merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an
       undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

            In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for
       Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have
       been answered 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.  We have warned them from time to time of attempts by
      their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over
      us.  We have reminded them of the circumstances of our
      emigration and settlement here.  We have 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 the voice of justice
      and of consanguinity.  We must, therefore, acquiesce in the
      necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we
      hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

           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 intentions,
      do, in the Name, and by 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 Independent
      States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the
       British Crown, and that all political connection 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 to do all other Acts and Things which
       Independent States may of right do.  -- And for the support of
       this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of
       Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives,
       our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
                                                    -- John Hancock
 

   NEW HAMPSHIRE             PENNSYLVANIA             VIRGINIA
     Josiah Bartlett                    Robt. Morris             George Wythe
     Wm. Whipple                      Benjamin Rush            Richard Henry Lee
     Matthew Thornton             Benj. Franklin           Th. Jefferson
                                                 John Morton              Benj. Harrison
   RHODE ISLAND                 Geo. Clymer              Ths. Nelson, Jr.
     Step. Hopkins                     Jas. Smith               Francis Lightfoot Lee
     William Ellery                     Geo. Taylor              Carter Braxton
                                                  James Wilson
  CONNECTICUT                      Geo. Ross                       NORTH CAROLINA
    Roger Sherman                                                            Wm. Hooper
    Sam'el Huntington       MASSACHUSETTS-BAY       Joseph Hewes
    Wm. Williams                Saml. Adams                          John Penn
    Oliver Wolcott               John Adams
                                          Robt. Treat Paine            SOUTH CAROLINA
  NEW YORK                    Elbridge Gerry                 Edward Rutledge
    Wm. Floyd                                                              Thos. Heyward, Junr.
    Phil. Livingston        DELAWARE                         Thomas Lynch, Junr.
    Frans. Lewis              Caesar Rodney                     Arthur Middleton
    Lewis Morris              Geo. Read
                                        Tho. M'Kean             GEORGIA
  NEW JERSEY                                                Button Gwinnett
    Richd. Stockton          MARYLAND              Lyman Hall
    Jno. Witherspoon       Samuel Chase           Geo. Walton
    Fras. Hopkinson        Wm. Paca
    John Hart                  Thos. Stone
    Abra. Clark                Charles Carroll
                                       of Carrollton