MINUTES OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS July 1, 1776
The delegates, defirous of avoiding further hoftilities with His Majefty's Government, appointed a committee to negotiate terms by which Independence might be achieved by peaceable means. The principal negotiator, the Rt. Hon. William Morris of New York, reported that the following terms had been difcussed and are now proposed.
The FORMER BRITISH COLONIES (hereafter, the American States) would hereafter be FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, no longer owing any allegiance to His Majefty's Government, except in the cases mentioned in the provisos following:
First, the AMERICAN STATES would agree to tender no challenge to...