Addressed to the
Inhabitants of America
Man knows no Master save creating Heaven,
Or those whom Choice and common Good ordain.
February 14, 1776
Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently
fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong,
gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in
defence of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
As a long and violent abuse of power, is generally the Means of calling the right of it
in question (and in Matters too which might never have been thought of, had not the
Sufferers been aggravated into the inquiry) and as the King of England hath undertaken
in his own Right, to support the Parliament in what he calls Theirs, and as the good
people of this country are grievously oppressed by the combination, they have an
undoubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally to reject the
usurpation of either.
In the following sheets, the author hath studiously avoided every thing which is
personal among ourselves. Compliments as well as censure to individuals make no part
thereof. The wise, and the worthy, need not the triumph of a pamphlet; and those whose
sentiments are injudicious, or unfriendly, will cease of themselves unless too much pains
are bestowed upon their conversion.
The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Many
circumstances hath, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which
the principles of all Lovers of Mankind are affected, and in the Event of which, their
Affections are interested. The laying a Country desolate with Fire and Sword, declaring
War against the natural rights of all Mankind, and extirpating the Defenders thereof from
the Face of the Earth, is the Concern of every Man to whom Nature hath given the Power
of feeling; of which Class, regardless of Pa