The Fairfax County Resolves



                                 [INLINE]
                                      
                          Fairfax County Resolves
                                      
                              (July 18, 1774)
                                      
   At a general Meeting of the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the County
    of Fairfax on Monday the 18th day of July 1774, at the Court House,
   George Washington Esquire Chairman, and robert Harrison Gent. Clerk of
                             the said Meeting--
                                      
      1. Resolved that this Colony and Dominion of Virginia can not be
     considered as a conquered Country; and if it was, that the present
      Inhabitants are the Descendants not of the Conquered, but of the
                                Conquerors.
                                      
    That the same was not setled at the national Expence of England, but
    at the private Expence of the Adventurers, our Ancestors, by solemn
     Compact with, and under the Auspices and Protection of the British
   Crown; upon which we are in every Respect as dependant, as the People
   of Great Britain, andine same Manner subject to all his Majesty's
   just, legal, and constitutional Prerogatives. That our Ancestors, when
   they left their native Land, and setled in America, brought with them
      (even if the same had not been confirmed by Charters) the Civil-
   Constitution and Form of Government of the Country they came from; and
        were by the Laws of Nature and Nations, entitled to all it's
     Privileges, Immunities and Advantages; which have descended to us
    their Posterity, and ought of Right to be as fully enjoyed, as if we
              had still continued within the Realm of England.
                                      
    2. Resolved that the most important and valuable Part of the British
        Constitution, upon which it's very Existence depends, is the
    fundamental Principle of the People's being governed by no Laws, to
     which they have not given their Consent, by Representatives freely
   chosen by themselves; who are affected by the Laws they enact equally
      with their Constituents; to whom they are accountable, and whose
   Burthens they share; in which consists the Safety and Happiness of the
     Community: for if this Part of the Constitution was taken away, or
     materially altered, the Government must degenerate either into an
    absolute and despotic Monarchy, or a tyrannical Aristocracy, and the
                   Freedom of the People be annihilated.
                                      
   3. Resolved therefore, as the Inhabitants of the american Colonies are
    not, and from their situation can not be represented in the British
   Parliament, that the legislative Power here can of Right be exercised
   only by {our} own Provincial Assemblys or Parliaments, subject to the
    Assent or Negative of the British Crown, to be declared within some
    proper limited Time. But as it was thought just and reasonable that
   the People of Great Britain shou'd reap Advantages from these Colonies
   adequate to the Protection they afforded them, the British Parliament
      have claimed and exercised the Power of regulating our Trade and
   Commerce, so as to restrain our importing from foreign Countrys, such
       Articles as they cou'd furnish us with, of their own Growth or
      Manufacture, or exporting to foreign Countrys such Articles and
    Portions of our Produce, as Great Britain stood in Need of, for her
   won Consumption or Manufactures. Such a Power directed with Wisdom and
       Moderation, seems necessary for the general Good of that great
    Body-politic of which we are a Part; altho' in some Degree repugnant
    to the Principles of the Constitution. Under this Idea our Ancestors
     submitted to it: the Experience of more than a Century, during the
   government of the reciprocal Benefits flowing from it produced mutual
   uninterrupted Harmony and Good- Will, between the Inhabitants of Great
       Britain and her Colonies; who during that long Period, always
   considered themselves as one and same People: and tho' such a Power is
   capable of Abuse, and in some Instances hath been stretched beyond the
   ornal Design and Institution. Yet to avoid Strife and Contention
    with our fellow-Subjects, and strongly impressed with the Experience
    of mutual Benefits, we always Chearfully acquiesced in it, while the
   entire Regulation of our internal Policy, and giving and granting our
        own Money were preserved to our own provincial Legislatures.
                                      
   4. Resolved that it is the Duty of these Colonies, on all Emergencies,
       to contribute, in Proportion to their Abilities, Situation and
   Circumstances, to the necessary Charge of supporting and defending the
   British Empire, of which they are Part; that while we are treated upon
         an equal Footing with our fellow Subjects, the Motives of
   Self-Interest and Preservation will be a sufficient Obligation; as was
   evident thro' the Course of the last War; and that no Argument can be
        fairly apl to the British Parliament's taxing us, upon a
   Presumption that we shou'd refuse a just and reasonable Contribution,
      but will equally operate in Justification of the Executive-Power
         taxing the People of England, upon a Supposition of their
         Representatives refusing to grant the necessary Supplies.
                                      
   5. Resolved that the Claim lately assumed and exercised by the British
    Parliament, of making all such Laws as they think fit, to govern the
   People of these Colonies, and to extort from us our Money with out our
   Consent, is not only diametrically contrary to the first Principles of
   the Constitution, and the original Compacts by which we are dependant
     upon the British Crown and Government; but is totally incompatible
      with the Privileges of a free People, and the natural Rights of
   Mankind; will render our own Legislatures merely nominal and nugatory,
    and is calculated to reduce us from a State of Freedom and Happiness
                           to Slavery and Misery.
                                      
      6. Resolved that Taxation and Representation are in their Nature
   inseperable; that the Right of withholding, or of giving and granting
      their own Money is the only effectual Security to a free People,
   against the Incroachments of Despotism and Tyranny; and that whenever
      they yield the One, they must quickly fall a Prey to the other.
                                      
   7. Resolved that the Powers over the People of America now claimed by
    the British House of Commons, in whose Election we have no Share, on
   whose Determinations we can have no Influence, whose Information mush
   be always defective and often false, who in many Instances may have a
      seperate, and in some an opposite Interest to ours, and who are
    removed from those Impressions of tenderness and compassion arising
   from personal intercourse and Connections, which soften the Rigours of
    the most despotic Governments, must if continued, establish the most
   grievous and intollerable Species of Tyranny and Oppression, that ever
                        was inflicted upon Mankind.
                                      
    8. Resolved that it is our greatest Wish and Inclination, as well as
     Interest, to continue our Connection with, and Dependance upon the
    British Government; but tho' we are it's Subjects, we will use every
   Means which Heaven hath given us to prevent our becoming it's Slaves.
                                      
   9. Resolved that there is a premeditated Design and System, formed and
   pursued by the British Ministry, to introduce an arbitrary Government
   into his Majesty's American Diminions; to which End they are artfully
         prejudicing our Sovereign, and inflaming the Minds of our
    fellow-Subjects in Great Britain, by propagating the most malevolent
    Falsehoods; particularly that there is an Intention in the American
    Colonies to set up for independant States; endeavouring at the same
      Time, by various Acts of Violence and Oppression, by sudden and
     repeaedssolutions of our Assemblies, whenever they presume to
    examine the Illegality of ministerial Mandates, or deliberate on the
     violated Rights of their Constituents, and by breaking in upon the
       American Charters, to reduce us to a State of Desperation, and
   dissolve the original Compacts by which our Ancestors bound themselves
   and their Posterity to remain dependant upon the British Crown: which
    Measures, unless effectually counteracted, will end in the Ruin both
                     of Great Britain and her Colonies.
                                      
   10. Resolved that the several Acts of Parliament for raising a Revenue
   upon the People of America without their Consent, the creating new and
   dangerous Jurisdictions here, the taking away our Trials by Jurys, the
     ordering Persons upon Criminal Accusations, to be tried in another
   Country than that in which the Fact is charged to have been committed,
   the Act inflicting ministerial Vengeance upon the Town of Boston, and
      the two Bills lately brought into Parliament for abrogating the
    Charter of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and for the Protection
    and Encouragement of Murderers in the said Province, are Part of the
   above mentioned iniquitous System. That the Inhabitants of the Town of
    Boston are now suffering in the common Cause of all British America,
   and are justly entitled to it's Support and Assistance; and therefore
    that a Subscription ought imediatly to be opened, and proper Persons
   appointed, in every County of this Colony to purchase Provisions, and
        consign them to some Gentleman of Character in Boston, to be
             distributed among the poorer Sort of People there.
                                      
   11. Resolved that we will cordially join with our Friends and Brethren
    of this and the other Colonies, in such Measures as shall be judged
   most effectual for procuring Redress of our Grievances, and that upon
     obtaining such Redress if the Destruction of the Tea at Boston be
    regarded as an Invasion of private Property, we shall be willing to
   contribute towards paying the East India Company the Value: but as we
   consider the said Company as the Tools and Instrument of Oppression in
    the Hands of Government and the Cause of our present Distress, it is
    the Opinion of this Meeting that the People of these Colonies ho
   forbear all further Dealings with them, by refusing to purchase their
   Merchandize, until that Peace Safety and Good- order, which they have
   disturbed, be perfectly restored. And that all Tea now in this Colony,
     or which shall be imported into it shiped before the first Day of
       September next, shou'd be deposited in some Store-house to be
       appointed by the respective Committees of each County, until a
     sufficient Sum of Money be raised by Subscription to reimburse the
    Owners the Value, and then to be publickly burn'd and destroyed; and
   if the same is not paid for and destroyed as aforesaid, that it remain
    in the Custody of the said Committees, at the Risque of the Owners,
     until the Act of Parliament imposing a Duty upon Tea for raising a
   Revenue in America be repealed; and imediatly afterwards be delivered
      unto the several Proprietors thereof, their Agents or Attorneys.
                                      
      12. Resolved that Nothing will so much contribute to defeat the
     pernicious Designs of the common Enemies of Great Britain and her
   Colonies as a firm Union of the latter; who ought to regard every Act
   of Violence or Oppression inflicted upon any one of them, as aimed at
   all; and to effect this desireable Purpose, that a Congress shou'd be
   appointed, to consist of Deputies from all the Colonies, to concert a
      general and uniform Plan for the Defence and Preservation of our
    common Rights, and continueing the Connection and Dependance of the
   said Colonies upon Great Britain under a just, lenient, permanent, and
                     constitutional Form of Government.
                                      
   13. Resolved that our most sincere and cordial Thanks be given to the
    Patrons and Friends of Liberty in Great Britain, for their spirited
     and patriotick Conduct in Support of our constitutional Rights and
  Privledges, and their generous Efforts to prevent the present Distress
                          and Calamity of America.
                                      
   14. Resolved that every little jarring Interest and Dispute, which has
     ever happened between these Colonies, shou'd be buried in eternal
    Oblivion; that all Manner of Luxury and Extravagance ought imediatly
     to be laid aside, as totally inconsistent with the threatening and
    gloomy Prospect before us; that it is the indispensable Duty of all
      the Gentlemen and Men of Fortune to set Examples of Temperance,
     Fortitude, Frugality and Industry; and give every Encouragement in
      their Power, partiuly by Subscriptions and Premiums, to the
    Improvement of Arts and Manufactures in America; that great Care and
   Attention shou'd be had to the Cultivation of Flax, Cotton, and other
       Materials for Manufactures; and we recommend it to such of the
   Inhabitants who have large Stocks of Sheep, to sell to their Neighbors
   at a moderate Price, as the most certain Means of speedily increasing
                 our Breed of Sheep, and Quantity of Wool.
                                      
        15. Resolved that until American Grievances be redressed, by
   Restoration of our just Rights and Privileges, no Goods or Merchandize
      whatsoever ought to be imported into this Colony, which shall be
   shiped from Great Britain or Ireland after the first Day of September
    next, except Linnens not exceeding fifteen Pence {per} yard, coarse
    woolen Cloth, not exceeding two Shillings sterling {per} Yard, Nails
        Wire, and Wire-Cards, Needles & Pins, Paper, Salt Petre, and
   Medecines; which may {which three Articles only may} be imported until
     the first Day of September, one thousand seven hundred and seventy
      six; and if any Goods or Merchandize, othe[r] than those hereby
   excepted, shou'd be ship'd from Great Britain, {or Ireland} after the
   time aforesaid, to this Colony, that the same, immediately upon their
   Arrival, shou'd either be sent back again, by the Owners their Agents
     or Attorn[ey]s, or stored and deposited in some Ware- house, to be
   appointed by the Committee for each respective County, and there kept,
   at the Risque and Charge of the Owners, to be delivered to them, when
    a free Importation of Goods hither shall again take Place. And that
   the Merchants and Venders of Goods and Merchandize within this Colony
   ought not to take Advantage of our present Distress b[u]t continue to
    sell the Goods and Merchandize which they now have, or wicay be
     shiped to them before the first Day of September next, at the same
   Rates and Prices they have been accustomed to do, within one Year last
   past; and if any Person shall sell such Goods on any other Terms than
   above expressed, that no Inhabitant of this Colony shou'd at any time,
      for ever thereafter, deal with him, his Agent, Factor, or Store
                   keepers for any Commodity whatsoever.
                                      
       16. Resolved that it is the Opinion of this Meeting, that the
     Merchants and Venders of Goods and Merchandize within this Colony
        shou'd take an Oath, not to sell or dispose of any Goods or
     Merchandize whatsoever, which may be shiped from Great Britain {or
    Ireland} after the first Day of September next as afoes, except
   the {three} Articles before excepted, and that they will, upon Receipt
   of such prohibited Goods, either send the same back again by the first
      Opportunity, or deliver them to the Committees in the respective
    Countys, to be deposited in some Warehouse, at the Risque and Charge
     of the Owners, until they, their Agents or Factors be permitted to
    take them away by the said Committees: the Names of those who refuse
   to take such Oath to be advertized by the respective Committees in the
    Countys wherein they reside., And to the End that the Inhabitants of
       this Colony may know what Merchants, and Venders of Goods and
      Merchandize have taken such Oath, that the respective Committees
   shou'd grant a Certificate thereof to every such Person who shall take
                                 the same.
                                      
    17. Resolved that it is the Opinion of this Meeting, that during our
   present Difficulties and Distress, no Slaves ought to be imported into
      any of the British Colonies on this Continent; and we take this
   Opportunity of declaring our most earnest Wishes to see an entire Stop
          for ever put to such a wicked cruel and unnatural Trade.
                                      
      18. Resolved that no kind of Lumber shou'd be exported from this
        Colony to the West Indies, until America be restored to her
   constitutional Rights and Liberties if the other Colonies will accede
      to a like Resolution; and that it be recommended to the general
      Congress to appoint as early a Day as possible for stopping such
                                  Export.
                                      
      19. Resolved that it is the Opinion of this Meeting, if American
      Grievances be not redressed before the first Day of November one
    thousand seven hundred and seventy five, that all Exports of Produce
   from the several Colonies to Great Britain {or Ireland} shou'd cease;
   and to carry the said Resolution more effectually into Execution, that
       we will not plant or cultivate any Tobacco, after the Crop now
      growing; provided the same Measure shall be adopted by the other
     Colonies on this Continent, as well those who have heretofore made
    Tobacco, as those who have n[o]t. And it is our Opinion also, if the
   Congress of Deputies from the several Colonies shall adopt the Measure
    of Non- exportation to Great Britain, as the People will be thereby
       ised from paying their Debts, that no Judgements shou'd be
      rendered by the Courts in the said Colonies for any Debt, after
          Information of the said Measure's being determined upon.
                                      
     20. Resolved that it is the Opinion of this Meeting that a solemn
   Covenant and Association shou'd be entered into by the Inhabitants of
   all the Colonies upon Oath, that they will not, after the Times which
    shall be respectively agreed on at the general Congress, export any
   Manner of Lumber to the West Indies, nor any of their Produce to Great
   Britain {or Ireland}, or sell or dispose of the same to any Person who
     shall not have entered into the said Covenant and Association; and
     also that they will no import or receive any Goods or Merchandize
   which shall be ship'd from Great Britain {or Ireland} after the first
   Day of September next, other than the before enumerated Articles, nor
    buy or purchase any Goods, except as before excepted, of any Person
        whatsoever, who shall not have taken the Oath herein before
   recommended to be taken by the Merchants and Venders of Goods nor buy
      or purchase any Slaves hereafter imported into any Part of this
    Continent until a free Exportation and Importation be again resolved
    on by a Majority of the Representatives or Deputies of the Colonies.
    And that the respective Committees of the Countys, in each Colony so
      soon as the Covenant and Association becomes general, publich by
      Advertisements in their several Counties {and Gazettes of their
     Colonies}, a List of the Names of those (if any such there be) who
    will not accede thereto; that such Traitors to their Country may be
                       publickly known and detested.
                                      
   21. Resolved that it is the Opinion of this Meeting, that this and the
    other associating Colonies shou'd break off all Trade, Intercourse,
   and Dealings, with that Colony Province or Town which shall decline or
     refuse to agree to the Plan which shall be adopted by the general
                                 Congress.
                                      
   22. Resolved that shou'd the Town of Boston be forced to submit to the
    late cruel and oppressive Measures of Government, that we shall not
      hold the same to be binding upon us, but will, notwithstanding ,
  be concerted by the general Congress, for the preservation of ourshall
                       Lives Liberties and Fortunes.
                                      
     23. Resolved that it be recommended to the Deputies of the general
    Congress to draw up and transmit an humble and dutiful Petition and
    Remonstrance to his Majesty, asserting with decent Firmness our just
      and constitutional Rights and Privileg[es,] lamenting the fatal
    Necessity of being compelled to enter into Measur[es] disgusting to
   his Majesty and his Parliament, or injurious to our fellow Subjects in
      Great Britain; declaring, in the strongest Terms, ou[r] Duty and
    Affection to his Majesty's Person, Family [an]d Government, and our
      Desire to continue our Dependance upon Great Bri[tai]n; and most
       humbly conjuring and besecching his Majesty, not to reduce his
       faithful Subjects of America to a State of desperation, and to
    reflect, that from our Sovereign there can be but one Appeal. And it
        is the Opinion of this Meeting, that after such Petition and
   Remonstrance shall have been presented to his Majesty, the same shou'd
    be printed in the public Papers, in all the principal Towns in Great
                                  Britain.
                                      
     24. Resolved that George Washington Esquire, and George Broadwater
      Gent. lately elected our Representatives to serve in the general
   Assembly, be appointed to attend the Convention at Williamsburg on the
   first Day of August next, and present these Resolves, as the Sense of
   the People of this County, upon the Measures proper to be taken in the
            present alarming and dangerous Situation of America.



Back To The Index.

Back To The Top.

Back To The Political Page.


Mail to:

drupal statistics