History of the United States Marine Corps
The history of the United States Marine Corps begins with the founding of the Continental Marines on 10 November 1775 to conduct ship-to-ship fighting, provide shipboard security and discipline enforcement, assist in landing forces. Its mission evolved with changing military doctrine and foreign policy of the United States. Owing to the availability of Marine forces at sea, the United States Marine Corps has served in nearly every conflict in United States history, it attained prominence when its theories and practice of amphibious warfare proved prescient, formed a cornerstone of the Pacific Theater of World War II. By the early 20th century, the Marine Corps would become one of the dominant theorists and practitioners of amphibious warfare, its ability to respond on short notice to expeditionary crises has made and continues to make it an important tool for U. S. foreign policy. In February 1776, the Continental Marines embarked on their maiden expedition; the Continental Marines were disbanded at the end of the war, along with the Continental Navy.
In preparation for the Quasi-War with France, Congress created the United States Navy and the Marine Corps. The Marines' most famous action of this period occurred in the First Barbary War against the Barbary pirates. In the Mexican–American War, the Marines made their famed assault on Chapultepec Palace, which overlooked Mexico City, their first major expeditionary venture. In the 1850s, the Marines would see service in Panama, in Asia. During the U. S. Civil War the Marine Corps played only a minor role after their participation in the Union defeat at the first battle of First Bull Run/Manassas, their most important task was blockade duty and other ship-board battles, but they were mobilized for a handful of operations as the war progressed. The remainder of the 19th century would be a period of declining strength and introspection about the mission of the Marine Corps. Under Commandant Jacob Zeilin's term, many Marine customs and traditions took shape. During the Spanish–American War, Marines would lead U.
S. forces ashore in the Philippines and Puerto Rico, demonstrating their readiness for deployment. Between 1900 and 1916, the Marine Corps continued its record of participation in foreign expeditions in the Caribbean and Central and South America, which included Panama, Veracruz, Santo Domingo, Nicaragua. In World War I, battle-tested, veteran Marines served a central role in the United States' entry into the conflict. Between the world wars, the Marine Corps was headed by Major General John A. Lejeune, another popular commandant. In World War II, the Marines played a central role, under Admiral Nimitz, in the Pacific War, participating in nearly every significant battle; the Corps saw its peak growth as it expanded from two brigades to two corps with six divisions, five air wings with 132 squadrons. During the Battle of Iwo Jima, photographer Joe Rosenthal took the famous photo Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima of five Marines and one naval corpsman raising a U. S. flag on Mount Suribachi. The Korean War saw the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade holding the line at the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, where Marine helicopters made their combat debut.
The Marines played an important role in the Vietnam War at battles such as Da Nang, Huế, Khe Sanh. The Marines operated in the northern I Corps regions of South Vietnam and fought both a constant guerilla war against the Viet Cong and an off and on conventional war against North Vietnamese Army regulars. Marines went to Beirut during the 1982 Lebanon War on 24 August. On 23 October 1983, the Marine barracks in Beirut was bombed, causing the highest peacetime losses to the Corps in its history. Marines were responsible for liberating Kuwait during the Gulf War, as the Army made an attack to the west directly into Iraq; the I Marine Expeditionary Force had a strength of 92,990 making Operation Desert Storm the largest Marine Corps operation in history. The earliest lineal predecessor of the modern Marine Corps was the creation and evolution of marines dating back to the European naval wars, during the Second Hundred Years' War of the 17th and 18th century the Second Anglo-Dutch War; the European powers all contended with each other in naval power.
James II of England, the brother of King Charles II, was confirmed as Lord High Admiral, an office that had authoritative command over the English Royal Navy. The position at this time was exercised by a single person an admiral to oversee the structure and institution of naval affairs; as France and the Netherlands were opting to train seamen for infantry combat, England instead in 1664 formed a special regiment, the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot known as the "Lord High Admiral's Regiment", the progenitors of the modern Royal Marines. This maritime infantry regiment was directed to be under the complete control of the Admiralty; the Lord High Admiral's Regiment saw action in the Franco-Dutch War, the Third Anglo-Dutch War. However, due to the Glorious Revolution of 1688, King James II was overthrown by British Parliament, leading to the disbandment of the regiment. Two years two new regiments were formed, the 1st and 2nd Regiment of Marines, their functions assumed the same roles as the subsequent marine regiments in the past.
The general military service type of "marines" first appeared throughout the Dutch and French wars, but the majority of the marine infantry
George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R
James Wilson was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Wilson was elected twice to the Continental Congress, where he represented Pennsylvania, was a major force in drafting the United States Constitution. A leading legal theorist, he was one of the six original justices appointed by George Washington to the Supreme Court of the United States. Born near Leven, Scotland, Wilson immigrated to Philadelphia in 1766, becoming a teacher at the College of Philadelphia. After studying under John Dickinson, he set up a legal practice in Pennsylvania, he wrote a well received pamphlet arguing that Parliament's taxation of the Thirteen Colonies was illegitimate due to the colonies' lack of representation in Parliament. He was elected to the Continental Congress and served as president of the Illinois-Wabash Company, a land speculation company. Wilson was a delegate to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, served on the Committee of Detail, which produced the first draft of the United States Constitution.
Along with Roger Sherman, he proposed the Three-Fifths Compromise, which counted slaves as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of representation in the United States House of Representatives. He proposed the Electoral College. After the convention, he campaigned for the ratification of the document, his "speech in the statehouse yard" was reprinted in newspapers throughout the country, he played a major role in drafting the 1790 Pennsylvania Constitution. In 1789, Wilson became one of the first Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, he became a professor of law at the College of Philadelphia. Wilson suffered financial ruin from the Panic of 1796–97 and was imprisoned in a debtors' prison on two occasions, he suffered a stroke and died in August 1798, becoming the first U. S. Supreme Court justice to die. Wilson was born at Carskerdo, near Ceres, Scotland on September 14, 1742, he was the fourth of the seven children of Alison Landall and William Wilson, a Presbyterian farming family. He studied at the universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh, but never obtained a degree.
While he was a student, he studied Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, including Francis Hutcheson, David Hume and Adam Smith. He played golf. Imbued with the ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in British America in 1765, carrying letters of introduction that enabled him to begin tutoring and teaching at The Academy and College of Philadelphia, he was awarded an honorary Master of Arts several months later. In 1790, the university awarded him the honorary degree of LL. D. While tutoring and teaching, Wilson began to read the law at the office of John Dickinson, he attained the bar in Philadelphia in 1767, established a practice in Reading, Pennsylvania. His office was successful and he earned a small fortune in a few years. By he had a small farm near Carlisle, was handling cases in eight local counties, became a founding trustee of Dickinson College, was lecturing at The Academy and College of Philadelphia. Wilson's religious beliefs evolved throughout his life, have been the subject of some dispute, as there are writings from various points of his life from which it can be argued that he leaned towards Presbyterianism, Thomism, or Deism, although it has been deemed that he favored some form of Christianity.
On November 5, 1771, he married daughter of William Bird and Bridget Hulings. Rachel died in 1786, in 1793 he married Hannah Gray, daughter of Ellis Gray and Sarah D'Olbear. After Wilson's death, Hannah married Thomas Bartlett, M. D. In 1774, Wilson published "Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament." In this pamphlet, Wilson argued that the Parliament had no authority to pass laws for the American colonies because the colonies had no representation in Parliament. It presented his views. Yet, he wrote that the people owed their allegiance to the English king: "A denial of the legislative authority of the British parliament over America is by no means inconsistent with that connexion, which ought to subsist between the mother country and her colonies." Scholars considered his work on par with the seminal works of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams of the same year. However, it was penned in 1768 the first cogent argument to be formulated against British dominance.
Some see Wilson as a leading revolutionary while others see him as another reluctant, elite revolutionary reacting to the stream of events determined by the radicals on the ground. In 1775, he was commissioned Colonel of the 4th Cumberland County Battalion and rose to the rank of Brigadier General of the Pennsylvania State Militia; as a member of the Continental Congress in 1776, Wilson was a firm advocate for independence. Believing it was his duty to follow the wishes of his constituents, Wilson refused to vote until he had caucused his district. Only after he received more feedback did he vote for independence. While serving in the Congress, Wilson was among the leaders in the formation of French policy. "If the positions he held and the frequency with which he appeared on committees concerned with Indian affairs are an index, he was until his departure from Congress in 1777 the most active and influential single delegate in laying down the general
Committee of Five
The Committee of Five of the Second Continental Congress was a group of five members who drafted and presented to the full Congress what would become America's Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776. This Declaration committee operated from June 11, 1776, until July 5, 1776, the day on which the Declaration was published; the members of this group were: John Adams, representative of Massachusetts, who became the second U. S. President Thomas Jefferson, representative of Virginia, who became the third U. S. President Benjamin Franklin, representative of Pennsylvania, known as one of the most famous of the Founding Fathers and the first U. S. Minister to France Roger Sherman, representative of Connecticut, the only person to sign all four of the U. S. state papers: the Continental Association, the Declaration, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution Robert Livingston, representative of New York, who negotiated the Louisiana Purchase as the Minister to France The delegates of the United Colonies in Congress resolved to postpone until Monday, July 1, the final consideration of whether or not to declare the several sovereign independencies of the United Colonies, proposed by the North Carolina resolutions of April 12 and the Virginia resolutions of May 15.
The proposal, known as the Lee Resolution, was moved in Congress on June 7 by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. During these allotted three weeks Congress agreed to appoint a committee to draft a broadside statement to proclaim to the world the reasons for taking America out of the British Empire, if the Congress were to declare the said sovereign independencies; the actual declaration of "American Independence" is the text comprising the final paragraph of the published broadside of July 4. The broadside's final paragraph repeated the text of the Lee Resolution as adopted by the declaratory resolve voted on July 2. On June 11, the Committee of Five was appointed: John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Robert Livingston of New York, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia; because the committee left no minutes, there is some uncertainty about how the drafting process proceeded—accounts written many years by Jefferson and Adams, although cited, are contradictory and not reliable.
The committee, after discussing the general outline that the document should follow, decided that Jefferson would write the first draft. With Congress's busy schedule, Jefferson had limited time to write the draft over the ensuing 17 days, he consulted with the others on the committee, who reviewed the draft and made extensive changes. Jefferson produced another copy incorporating these alterations. Among the changes was the simplification of the phrase Life and the pursuit of Happiness, which Jefferson had phrased "preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness"; this was a return to wording closer to John Locke's original description of private property as a natural right, in the phrase "life and estate". On June 28, 1776, the committee presented this copy to the "Committee of the Whole" Congress, commemorated by one of the most famous paintings in US history; the title of the document was "A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled".
Although not noted, the estimated time was 18:26 LMT for the recording of this historic vote. The Congress heard the report of the Committee of the Whole and declared the sovereign status of the United Colonies the following day, during the afternoon of July 2; the Committee of the Whole turned to the Declaration, it was given a second reading before adjournment. On Wednesday, July 3, the Committee of the Whole gave the Declaration a third reading and commenced scrutiny of the precise wording of the proposed text. Two passages in the Committee of Five's draft were rejected by the Committee of the Whole. One was a critical reference to the English people and the other was a denunciation of the slave trade and of slavery itself; the text of the Declaration was otherwise accepted without any other major changes. Jefferson wrote in his autobiography, of the two deleted passages: The pusillanimous idea that we had friends in England worth keeping terms with still haunted the minds of many. For this reason, those passages which conveyed censures on the people of England were struck out, lest they should give them offense.
The clause, reprobating the enslaving the inhabitants of Africa was struck out in complaisance to South Carolina and Georgia, who had never attempted to restrain the importation of slaves, who, on the contrary, still wished to continue it. Our Northern brethren I believe, felt a little tender under these censures, for though their people had few slaves themselves, yet they had been pretty considerable carriers of them to others; as John Adams recalled many years this work of editing the proposed text was completed by the time of adjournment on July 3. However, the text's formal adoption was deferred until the following morning, when the Congress voted its agreement during the late morning of July 4; the draft document as adopted was referred back to the Committee of Five in order to prepare a "fair copy", this being the redrafted-as-corrected document prepared for delivery to the broadside printer, John Dunlap. And so the Committee of Five convened in the early evening of July 4 to complete its task.
Historians have had no documentary means by which to determine the identity of the authenticating party. It is unclear whether the Declaration was authenticated by the Committee of Five's signature, or the Committee submitted the fair copy to President Hancock for his authenticating signature, or the authe
The XYZ Affair was a political and diplomatic episode in 1797 and 1798, early in the administration of John Adams, involving a confrontation between the United States and Republican France that led to the Quasi-War. The name derives from the substitution of the letters X, Y and Z for the names of French diplomats Hottinguer and Hauteval in documents released by the Adams administration. An American diplomatic commission was sent to France in July 1797 to negotiate a solution to problems that were threatening to break out into war; the diplomats, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, Elbridge Gerry, were approached through informal channels by agents of the French Foreign Minister Talleyrand, who demanded bribes and a loan before formal negotiations could begin. Although such demands were not uncommon in mainland European diplomacy of the time, the Americans were offended by them, left France without engaging in formal negotiations. Gerry, seeking to avoid all-out war, remained for several months after the other two commissioners left.
His exchanges with Talleyrand laid groundwork for the eventual end to diplomatic and military hostilities. The failure of the commission caused a political firestorm in the United States when the commission's dispatches were published, it led to the undeclared Quasi-War. Federalists who controlled the government took advantage of the national anger to build up the nation's military, they attacked the Jeffersonian Republicans for their pro-French stance, Elbridge Gerry for what they saw as his role in the commission's failure. In the wake of the 1789 French Revolution, relations between the new French Republic and the American administration of President George Washington became strained. In 1792, France and the rest of Europe went to war, a conflict in which Washington declared American neutrality. However, both France and Great Britain, the major naval powers in the war, seized ships of neutral powers that traded with their enemies. With the Jay Treaty, ratified in 1795, the United States reached an agreement on the matter with Britain that angered members of the Directory that governed France.
The French Navy stepped up its efforts to interdict American trade with Britain. By the time John Adams assumed the presidency in early 1797, the matter was reaching crisis proportions. In March 1797, not long after assuming office, President Adams learned that Charles Cotesworth Pinckney had been refused as U. S. minister because of the escalating crisis, that American merchant ships had been seized in the Caribbean. Popular opinion in the United States on relations with France was divided along political lines: Federalists took a hard line, favoring a defensive buildup but not advocating war, while Republicans expressed solidarity with the Republican ideals of the French revolutionaries and did not want to be seen as cooperating with the Federalist Adams administration. Vice President Thomas Jefferson, who had lost the contentious 1796 election to Adams, looked at the Federalists as monarchists who were linked to Britain and therefore hostile to American values. In late May 1797 Adams' cabinet met to discuss French relations and to choose a special commission to France.
Adams proposed that John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry join Pinckney on the commission, but his cabinet objected to the choice of Gerry because he was not a strong Federalist. Francis Dana was chosen instead of Gerry, but he declined to serve, Adams, who considered Gerry one of the "two most impartial men in America", submitted his name to the United States Senate in Dana's stead without consulting his cabinet. Adams, in introducing the matter to Congress, made a somewhat belligerent speech in which he called for a vigorous defense of the nation's neutrality and expansion of the United States Navy, but stopped short of calling for war against France. Congress approved this choice of commissioners, Adams instructed them to negotiate similar terms to those, granted to Britain in the Jay Treaty; the commissioners were instructed to refuse loans, but to be flexible in the arrangement of payment terms for financial matters. Marshall left for Europe in mid-July to join Pinckney, with Gerry following a few weeks later.
The political divisions in the commission's makeup were reflected in their attitudes toward the negotiations: Marshall and Pinckney, both Federalists, distrusted the French, while Gerry was willing to be flexible and unhurried in dealing with them. The French Republic, established in 1792 at the height of the French Revolution, was by 1797 governed by a bicameral legislative assembly, with a five-member Directory acting as the national executive; the Directory was undergoing both internal power struggles and struggles with the Council of Five Hundred, the lower chamber of the legislature. Ministerial changes took place in the first half of 1797, including the selection in July of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand as foreign minister. Talleyrand, who had spent a few years in the United States, was concerned about the establishment of closer ties between the U. S. and Britain. The Directory not well-disposed to American interests, became notably more hostile to them in September 1797, when an internal coup propelled several anti-Americans into power.
These leaders, Talleyrand, viewed President Adams as hostile to their interests, but did not think that there was significant danger of war. In part based on advice imparted to French diplomats by Jefferson, Talleyrand decided to adopt a measured, slow pace to the negotiations; the American commission arrived in Paris
Constitution of Massachusetts
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the fundamental governing document of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the 50 individual state governments that make up the United States of America. As a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1779, John Adams was the document's principal author. Voters approved the document on June 15, 1780, it became effective on October 25, 1780, remains the oldest functioning written constitution in continuous effect in the world. It was the first constitution anywhere to be created by a convention called for that purpose rather than by a legislative body. Only the Constitution of San Marino has sections still in force; the Massachusetts Constitution was written last of the original states' first constitutions. Rather than taking the form of a list of provisions, it was organized into a structure of chapters and articles, it served as a model for the Constitution of the United States of America, drafted seven years which used a similar structure.
It influenced revisions of many other state constitutions. The Massachusetts Constitution has four parts: a preamble, a declaration of rights, a description of the framework of government, articles of amendment, it has been amended 120 times, most in 2000. In the spring of 1775, Adams took the position that each state should call a special convention to write a constitution and submit it to a popular vote, he told the Continental Congress that: We must realize the theories of the Wisest Writers and invite the People, to erect the whole Building with their own hands upon the broadest foundation. That this could be done only by conventions of representatives chosen by the People.... Congress ought now to recommend to the People of every Colony to call such Conventions and set up Governments of their own, under their own Authority; the legislative body of Massachusetts, known as the Massachusetts General Court, instead drafted its own version of a constitution and submitted it to the voters, who rejected it in 1778.
That version did not provide for the separation of powers, nor did it include a statement of individual rights. The General Court organized the election of delegates from each town to participate in a convention that would draft a constitution and submit their work to a popular vote with the understanding that its adoption would require approval by two-thirds of the voters; the constitutional convention met in Cambridge in September 1779. The convention sat from September 1 to October 30, 1779, its 312 members chose a committee of thirty members to prepare a new constitution and declaration of rights. That committee asked Adams to draft a declaration of rights, it appointed a subcommittee of James Bowdoin, Samuel Adams, John Adams to draft the constitution and that trio delegated the drafting to John Adams alone. He wrote that he constituted a "sub-sub committee of one". An article on religion was referred to members of the clergy, which resulted in a form of religious establishment unlike that adopted at the federal level.
Adams advocated for an end to that establishment when revisions to the constitution were considered in 1820 and his views were adopted in 1832. Adams's draft declaration of rights read in part: "All men are born free and independent..." Before being adopted by the constitutional convention it was revised to read: "All men are born free and equal..." At the insistence of Adams, the document referred to the state as a "commonwealth."Male voters 21 years or older ratified the constitution and declaration of rights at the convention on June 15, 1780, it became effective on October 25, 1780. The preamble of the constitution bears some resemblance to the United States Constitution's in a few phrases near the end, it reads: The end of the institution and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, to protect it, to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquillity their natural rights, the blessings of life: and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, to take measures necessary for their safety and happiness.
The body politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: it is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. It is the duty of the people, therefore, in framing a constitution of government, to provide for an equitable mode of making laws, as well as for an impartial interpretation, a faithful execution of them. We, the people of Massachusetts, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original and solemn compact with each other. "Part the First: A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts" consists of thirty articles. The first states: Article I. All men are born free and equal, have certain natural and unalienable rights.
Benjamin Harrison V
Benjamin Harrison V was an American planter and merchant from Charles City County, Virginia, a revolutionary leader, a Founding Father of the United States. He received his higher education at the College of William and Mary and was a representative to the Virginia House of Burgesses for Surry County and Charles City County, he was a Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1777 and a signer of the Declaration of Independence during the Second Continental Congress. He served as Virginia's fifth governor from 1781 to 1784, his direct descendants include two Presidents: his son William Henry Harrison and his great-grandson Benjamin Harrison. Harrison was the oldest of ten children born to Benjamin Harrison IV and Anne Carter, a grandson of Robert Carter I; the first Benjamin Harrison is said to have arrived in the colonies around 1630. British historian F. A. Inderwick contends that Benjamin IV is descended from Thomas Harrison, a participant in the regicide of Charles I, but this is disputed.
Benjamin IV and Anne built the manor house at Berkeley Plantation in Virginia, he served as a Justice of the Peace and represented Charles City County in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Benjamin V was described in his youth as "tall and powerfully built", with "features that were defined, a well-shaped mouth above a strong pointed chin", his brother Carter Henry became a leader in Cumberland County. Brother Nathaniel settled in Prince George County, became sheriff, was elected to the House of Burgesses. Brother Henry fought in the French and Indian War and settled at Hunting Quarter in Sussex County. Brother Charles joined the rose to the rank of brigadier general. Harrison's father was struck by lightning while shutting an upstairs window on July 12, 1745 at age 51, he and daughter Hannah were killed. Benjamin inherited the bulk of his father's estate, including the family home Berkeley and a number of surrounding plantations, he assumed ownership and responsibility for the manor house's equipment and numerous slaves.
His siblings inherited another six plantations and slaves, as the father chose to depart from the tradition of leaving the entire estate to the eldest son. Harrison's father prohibited any splitting of slave families in the distribution of his estate. Harrison followed his father in representing the counties of Charles City and Surry in the House of Burgesses, he served as a county justice, he was among the first signers in 1770 of an agreement among Virginia lawmakers and merchants boycotting British imports until the British Parliament repealed its taxes on tea. He joined in sponsoring a bill which declared that laws were illegal if Parliament passed them without the consent of the colonists; the Boston Tea Party occurred in 1773 and the British Parliament enacted punitive measures which Colonists called the Intolerable Acts. Harrison and 88 members of the Virginia Burgesses signed a new association on May 24, 1774 condemning the action of the Parliament, they invited other colonies to convene a Continental Congress.
Harrison was selected on August 5, 1774 as one of seven delegates to represent Virginia at the Congress. He set out that month, leaving his home state for the first time, arrived in Philadelphia on September 2, 1774 for the First Continental Congress. Harrison gravitated to the older and more conservative of his fellow delegates in Philadelphia, was more distant with the New Englanders and the more radical John and Samuel Adams. John Adams described Harrison in his diary as "another Sir John Falstaff", "obscene", "profane", "impious", but he recalled Harrison saying that he was so eager to participate in the Continental Congress that "he would have come on foot." Their dislike for one another was due to differences in personality and party factionalism. The First Congress concluded in October with finalization of a Petition to the King, signed by all delegates including Harrison, requesting the King's attention to the colonies' grievances and restoration of harmony with the crown; the Second Continental Congress convened in May 1775.
Harrison resided in a house in north Philadelphia during the Congress with Peyton Randolph and George Washington. He remained there alone after Washington assumed command of the Continental Randolph died. Harrison was in attendance to the session's end in July 1776, serving as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole in the Congress, he presided over the final debates on the Lee Resolution offered by Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee, he presided over the debates and amendments to the final Declaration of Independence. The Committee of Five presented Jefferson's draft of the Declaration on June 28, 1776, the Congress resolved on July 1 that the Committee of the Whole should discuss its content; the Committee amended it on July 2 and 3 adopted it in final form on Thursday, July 4. Harrison duly reported this to the Congress, who unanimously resolved to have the Declaration engrossed and signed by those present. Harrison was known for his sense of humor. Elbridge Gerry had taken Harrison's place at the table to sign the Declaration, the rotund Harrison quipped: "I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing.
From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes and be with t