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ported, to be stored at the wish of the importer, until the Non-Importation Agreement shall cease, or be sold under the direction of the Committee aforesaid; and in the last mentioned case, the owner or owners of such Goods shall be re-imbursed out of the sales the first cost and charges; the profit, if any, to be applied towards relieving and employing such poor inhabitants of the Town of Boston as are immediate sufferers by the Boston Port Bill; and a particular account of all Goods so returned, stored, or sold, to be inserted in the publick papers, and if any Goods or Merchandises shall be imported after the said first day of February, the same ought forthwith to be sent back again, without breaking any of the packages thereof.

Eleventh. That a Committee be chosen in every County, City, and Town, by those who are qualified to vote for Representatives in the Legislature, whose business it shall be attentively to observe the conduct of all persons touching this Association; and when it shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of the majority of any such Committee, that any person within the limits of their appointment has violated this Association, that such a majority do forthwith cause the truth of the case to be published in the Gazette, to the end that all such foes to the rights of British America may be publickly known, and universally contemned as the enemies of American Liberty; and thenceforth we respectively will break off all dealings with him or her.

Twelfth. That the Committee of Correspondence in the respective Colonies, do frequently inspect the Entries of their Custom Houses, and inform each other, from time to time, of the true state thereof, and of every

other material circumstance that may occur relative to this association.

Thirteenth. That all Manufactures of this country be sold at reasonable prices, so that no undue advantage be taken of a future scarcity of Goods.

Fourteenth. And we do further agree and resolve that we will have no Trade, Commerce, Dealings, or Intercourse whatsoever with any Colony or Province in North America, which shall not accede to, or which shall hereafter violate this Association, but will hold them as unworthy of the right of freemen, and as inimical to the liberties of this country.

And we do solemnly bind ourselves and our constituents under the ties aforesaid, to adhere to this Association until such parts of the several Acts of Parliament passed since the close of the last war, as impose or continue duties on Tea, Wine, Molasses, Syrups, Paneles, Coffee, Sugar, Pimento, Indigo, Foreign Paper, Glass, and Painters' Colours, imported into America, and extend the powers of the Admiralty Courts beyond their ancient limits, deprive the American subjects of Trial by Jury, authorize the judge's certificate to indemnify the prosecutor from damages that he might otherwise be liable to from a trial by his peers, require oppressive security from a claimant of Ships or Goods seized, before he shall be allowed to defend his property, are repealed. And until that part of the act of the 12th George III. ch. 24, entitled, "An act for the better securing his majesty's DockYards, Magazines, Ships, Ammunition, and Stores," by which any person charged with committing any of the offences therein described, in America, may be tried in any Shire or County within the realm, is repealed-and until the four Acts passed in the last session of Parliament, viz.: that for stopping the Port and blocking up the Harbour of Boston-that for altering the Charter of Government of the Massachusetts Bay—and that which is entitled “An Act for the better Administration of Justice,” etc.—and that for extending the Limits of Quebec, etc., are repealed. And we recommend it to the Provincial Conventions, and to the Committes in the respective Colonies, to establish such farther Regula

tions as they may think proper for carrying into execution this Association.

The foregoing Association being determined upon by the Congress, was ordered to be subscribed by the several Members thereof; and thereupon, we have hereunto set our respective names accordingly.

In Congress, Philadelphia, October 20, 1774,




This was adopted by a convention that met at Williamsburg, May 6, 1776. The Bill was drafted by George Mason and was slightly changed in one clause at the instance of James Madison. “Other colonies had framed bills of rights in reference to their relations with Britain ; Virginia moved from charters and customs to primal principles; from a narrow altercation about facts to the contemplation of immutable truth. She summoned the eternal laws of man's being to protest against all tyranny.” (Bancroft.) This bill of rights was inserted unchanged in the Virginia State constitution of 1830, 1850–51, 1864, and, with some modification, in that of 1870.

Consult Bancroft's U. S., ist ed., VIII., 378; cen. ed., V., 254; last ed., IV., 416; Frothingham's Rise, 511 ; Cooke's Va., 439.


Made by the Representatives of the good People of

Virginia, assembled in full and free Convention, which rights do pertain to them and their posterity as the basis and foundation of government.

I. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot by

any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

II. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

III. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that, when a government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

IV. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community but in consideration of public services, which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator or judge to be hereditary.

V. That the legislative, executive and judicial powers should be separate and distinct; and that the members thereof may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burthens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain and regular elections, in which all, or any part of the former members to be again eligible or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.

VI. That all elections ought to be free, and that all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to the community, have

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