Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress

(1774)

Glossary

  • common law the system of law, developed in England and transported in large part to the American colonies, based chiefly on the accumulation of judicial precedents
  • courts of admiralty non-common-law courts, typically instituted to try violations of the law on the high seas, which the British used in America to try individuals believed to be guilty of evading duties or smuggling
  • ceded given to another
  • duties tariffs, or taxes, levied on imported goods
  • English constitution not a single written document but a series of accepted practices thought to protect the rights of all citizens
  • indemnify to protect against legal penalty or loss
  • immutable unchangeable
  • indubitable indisputable; not to be doubted
  • laws of nature God-given principles that the colonists thought provided a basis for their rights
  • N.C.D. an abbreviation of the Latin nemine contradicente, meaning “no one contradicting” and thus representing unanimity
  • memorial petition
  • negative of their sovereign power of the English...
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John Sullivan, who prepared the first draft of the Declaration and Resolves (Library of Congress)

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