<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<TITLE>The Project Gutenberg etext of The Declaration Of Independence</TITLE>
<H3 align="center">The Project Gutenberg E-Text Of</H3>
<H1 align="center"><SPAN href="#main">The Declaration Of Independence</SPAN></H1>
Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing
this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.
This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project
Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the
header without written permission.
Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the
eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is
important information about your specific rights and restrictions in
how the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a
donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**
*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****
Title: The Declaration of Independence
Release Date: December, 1971 [EBook #1]
[Most recently updated: November 25, 2004]
Character set encoding: ASCII
<P>All of the original Project Gutenberg Etexts from the 1970's were produced in ALL CAPS, no lower case. The computers we used then didn't have lower case at all.</P>
<P>This is a retranscription of one of the first Project Gutenberg Etexts, officially dated December, 1971-- and now officially re-released on December 31, 1993--</P>
<P>These original Project Gutenberg Etexts will be compiled into a file containing them all, in order to improve the content ratios of Etext to header material.</P>
<P>The United States Declaration of Independence was the first Etext released by Project Gutenberg, early in 1971. The title was stored in an emailed instruction set which required a tape or diskpack be hand mounted for retrieval. The diskpack was the size of a large cake in a cake carrier, cost $1500, and contained 5 megabytes, of which this file took 1-2%. Two tape backups were kept plus one on paper tape. The 10,000 files we hope to have online by the end of 2001 should take about 1-2% of a comparably priced drive in 2001.</P>
<P>This file was never copyrighted, Sharewared, etc., and is thus for all to use and copy in any manner they choose. Please feel free to make your own edition using this as a base.</P>
<P>In my research for creating this transcription of our first Etext, I have come across enough discrepancies [even within that official documentation provided by the United States] to conclude that even "facsimiles" of the Declaration of Indendence will NOT going to be all the same as the original, nor of other "facsimiles." There is a plethora of variations in capitalization, punctuation, and, even where names appear on the documents [which names I have left out].</P>
<P>The resulting document has several misspellings removed from those parchment "facsimiles" I used back in 1971, and which I should not be able to easily find at this time, including "Brittain."</P>
<P>[JT, Apr 05: "Brittish", however, is spelled as in the original.]</P>
<H3 align="center">The Project Gutenberg E-Text Of</H3>
<H1 align="center">The Declaration of Independence of The United States of America</H1>
<P>IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776</P>
<P>The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America</P>
<P>When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for
one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected
them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth,
the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and
of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions
of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which
impel them to the separation.</P>
<P>We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,
it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute
new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing
its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect
their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments
long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;
and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed
to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing
the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and
usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce
them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw
off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now
the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated
injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment
of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts
be submitted to a candid world.</P>
<P>He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary
for the public good.</P>
<P>He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate
and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation
till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended,
he has utterly neglected to attend to them.</P>
<P>He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of
large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish
the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right
inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.</P>
<P>He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,
uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their
Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them
into compliance with his measures.</P>
<P>He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing
with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.</P>
<P>He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions,
to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers,
incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large
for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed
to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.</P>
<P>He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States;
for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners;
refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither,
and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.</P>
<P>He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent
to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.</P>
<P>He has made judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure
of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.</P>
<P>He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of
Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.</P>
<P>He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies
without the Consent of our legislatures.</P>
<P>He has affected to render the Military independent of
and superior to the Civil Power.</P>
<P>He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction
foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws;
giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended legislation:</P>
<P>For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:</P>
<P>For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders
which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:</P>
<P>For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:</P>
<P>For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:</P>
<P>For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:</P>
<P>For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:</P>
<P>For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring
Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government,
and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once
an example and fit instrument for introducing the same
absolute rule into these Colonies:</P>
<P>For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws,
and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:</P>
<P>For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves
invested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.</P>
<P>He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection
and waging War against us.</P>
<P>He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns,
and destroyed the lives of our people.</P>
<P>He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries
to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun
with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the
most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized nation.</P>
<P>He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas
to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of
their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.</P>
<P>He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has
endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers,
the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare,
is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.</P>
<P>In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress
in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered
only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked
by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler
of a free People.</P>
<P>Nor have We been wanting in attention to our Brittish brethren.
We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their
legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.
We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and
settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice
and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our
common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably
interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been
deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore,
acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them,
as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.</P>
<P>We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America,
in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of
the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name,
and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies,
solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are,
and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;
that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown,
and that all political connection between them and the State
of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved;
and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to
levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce,
and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may
of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm
reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge
to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.</P>
End of The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Declaration of Independence
******This file should be named when12h.htm or when12h.zip******
Corrected EDITIONS of our eBooks get a new NUMBER, when13.txt
VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, when12a.txt
This etext was produced by Michael S. Hart.
Project Gutenberg eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the US
unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we usually do not
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.
We are now trying to release all our eBooks one year in advance
of the official release dates, leaving time for better editing.
Please be encouraged to tell us about any error or corrections,
even years after the official publication date.
Please note neither this listing nor its contents are final til
midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement.
The official release date of all Project Gutenberg eBooks is at
Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the stated month. A
preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion, comment
and editing by those who wish to do so.
Most people start at our Web sites at:
<SPAN href="http://gutenberg.net">http://gutenberg.net</SPAN> or
These Web sites include award-winning information about Project
Gutenberg, including how to donate, how to help produce our new
eBooks, and how to subscribe to our email newsletter (free!).
Those of you who want to download any eBook before announcement
can get to them as follows, and just download by date. This is
also a good way to get them instantly upon announcement, as the
indexes our cataloguers produce obviously take a while after an
announcement goes out in the Project Gutenberg Newsletter.
<SPAN href="http://www.ibiblio.org/gutenberg/etext03">http://www.ibiblio.org/gutenberg/etext03</SPAN> or
Or /etext02, 01, 00, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, 94, 93, 92, 92, 91 or 90
Just search by the first five letters of the filename you want,
as it appears in our Newsletters.
Information about Project Gutenberg (one page)
We produce about two million dollars for each hour we work. The
time it takes us, a rather conservative estimate, is fifty hours
to get any eBook selected, entered, proofread, edited, copyright
searched and analyzed, the copyright letters written, etc. Our
projected audience is one hundred million readers. If the value
per text is nominally estimated at one dollar then we produce $2
million dollars per hour in 2002 as we release over 100 new text
files per month: 1240 more eBooks in 2001 for a total of 4000+
We are already on our way to trying for 2000 more eBooks in 2002
If they reach just 1-2% of the world's population then the total
will reach over half a trillion eBooks given away by year's end.
The Goal of Project Gutenberg is to Give Away 1 Trillion eBooks!
This is ten thousand titles each to one hundred million readers,
which is only about 4% of the present number of computer users.
Here is the briefest record of our progress (* means estimated):
eBooks Year Month
1 1971 July
10 1991 January
100 1994 January
1000 1997 August
1500 1998 October
2000 1999 December
2500 2000 December
3000 2001 November
4000 2001 October/November
6000 2002 December*
9000 2003 November*
10000 2004 January*
The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation has been created
to secure a future for Project Gutenberg into the next millennium.
We need your donations more than ever!
As of February, 2002, contributions are being solicited from people
and organizations in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut,
Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South
Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West
Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
We have filed in all 50 states now, but these are the only ones
that have responded.
As the requirements for other states are met, additions to this list
will be made and fund raising will begin in the additional states.
Please feel free to ask to check the status of your state.
In answer to various questions we have received on this:
We are constantly working on finishing the paperwork to legally
request donations in all 50 states. If your state is not listed and
you would like to know if we have added it since the list you have,
While we cannot solicit donations from people in states where we are
not yet registered, we know of no prohibition against accepting
donations from donors in these states who approach us with an offer to
International donations are accepted, but we don't know ANYTHING about
how to make them tax-deductible, or even if they CAN be made
deductible, and don't have the staff to handle it even if there are
Donations by check or money order may be sent to:
Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
1739 University Ave.
Oxford, MS 38655-4109
Contact us if you want to arrange for a wire transfer or payment
method other than by check or money order.
The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation has been approved by
the US Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization with EIN
[Employee Identification Number] 64-622154. Donations are
tax-deductible to the maximum extent permitted by law. As fund-raising
requirements for other states are met, additions to this list will be
made and fund-raising will begin in the additional states.
We need your donations more than ever!
You can get up to date donation information online at:
If you can't reach Project Gutenberg,
you can always email directly to:
Michael S. Hart <email@example.com>
Prof. Hart will answer or forward your message.
We would prefer to send you information by email.
**The Legal Small Print**
***START**THE SMALL PRINT!**FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN EBOOKS**START***
Why is this "Small Print!" statement here? You know: lawyers.
They tell us you might sue us if there is something wrong with
your copy of this eBook, even if you got it for free from
someone other than us, and even if what's wrong is not our
fault. So, among other things, this "Small Print!" statement
disclaims most of our liability to you. It also tells you how
you may distribute copies of this eBook if you want to.
*BEFORE!* YOU USE OR READ THIS EBOOK
By using or reading any part of this PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm
eBook, you indicate that you understand, agree to and accept
this "Small Print!" statement. If you do not, you can receive
a refund of the money (if any) you paid for this eBook by
sending a request within 30 days of receiving it to the person
you got it from. If you received this eBook on a physical
medium (such as a disk), you must return it with your request.
ABOUT PROJECT GUTENBERG-TM EBOOKS
This PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm eBook, like most PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm eBooks,
is a "public domain" work distributed by Professor Michael S. Hart
through the Project Gutenberg Association (the "Project").
Among other things, this means that no one owns a United States copyright
on or for this work, so the Project (and you!) can copy and
distribute it in the United States without permission and
without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth
below, apply if you wish to copy and distribute this eBook
under the "PROJECT GUTENBERG" trademark.
Please do not use the "PROJECT GUTENBERG" trademark to market
any commercial products without permission.
To create these eBooks, the Project expends considerable
efforts to identify, transcribe and proofread public domain
works. Despite these efforts, the Project's eBooks and any
medium they may be on may contain "Defects". Among other
things, Defects may take the form of incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged
disk or other eBook medium, a computer virus, or computer
codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment.
LIMITED WARRANTY; DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES
But for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described below,
 Michael Hart and the Foundation (and any other party you may
receive this eBook from as a PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm eBook) disclaims
all liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including
legal fees, and  YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE OR
UNDER STRICT LIABILITY, OR FOR BREACH OF WARRANTY OR CONTRACT,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE
OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE
POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
If you discover a Defect in this eBook within 90 days of
receiving it, you can receive a refund of the money (if any)
you paid for it by sending an explanatory note within that
time to the person you received it from. If you received it
on a physical medium, you must return it with your note, and
such person may choose to alternatively give you a replacement
copy. If you received it electronically, such person may
choose to alternatively give you a second opportunity to
receive it electronically.
THIS EBOOK IS OTHERWISE PROVIDED TO YOU "AS-IS". NO OTHER
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE TO YOU AS
TO THE EBOOK OR ANY MEDIUM IT MAY BE ON, INCLUDING BUT NOT
LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A
Some states do not allow disclaimers of implied warranties or
the exclusion or limitation of consequential damages, so the
above disclaimers and exclusions may not apply to you, and you
may have other legal rights.
You will indemnify and hold Michael Hart, the Foundation,
and its trustees and agents, and any volunteers associated
with the production and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm
texts harmless, from all liability, cost and expense, including
legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of the
following that you do or cause:  distribution of this eBook,
 alteration, modification, or addition to the eBook,
or  any Defect.
DISTRIBUTION UNDER "PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm"
You may distribute copies of this eBook electronically, or by
disk, book or any other medium if you either delete this
"Small Print!" and all other references to Project Gutenberg,
 Only give exact copies of it. Among other things, this
requires that you do not remove, alter or modify the
eBook or this "small print!" statement. You may however,
if you wish, distribute this eBook in machine readable
binary, compressed, mark-up, or proprietary form,
including any form resulting from conversion by word
processing or hypertext software, but only so long as
[*] The eBook, when displayed, is clearly readable, and
does *not* contain characters other than those
intended by the author of the work, although tilde
(~), asterisk (*) and underline (_) characters may
be used to convey punctuation intended by the
author, and additional characters may be used to
indicate hypertext links; OR
[*] The eBook may be readily converted by the reader at
no expense into plain ASCII, EBCDIC or equivalent
form by the program that displays the eBook (as is
the case, for instance, with most word processors);
[*] You provide, or agree to also provide on request at
no additional cost, fee or expense, a copy of the
eBook in its original plain ASCII form (or in EBCDIC
or other equivalent proprietary form).
 Honor the eBook refund and replacement provisions of this
"Small Print!" statement.
 Pay a trademark license fee to the Foundation of 20% of the
gross profits you derive calculated using the method you
already use to calculate your applicable taxes. If you
don't derive profits, no royalty is due. Royalties are
payable to "Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation"
the 60 days following each date you prepare (or were
legally required to prepare) your annual (or equivalent
periodic) tax return. Please contact us beforehand to
let us know your plans and to work out the details.
WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO?
Project Gutenberg is dedicated to increasing the number of
public domain and licensed works that can be freely distributed
in machine readable form.
The Project gratefully accepts contributions of money, time,
public domain materials, or royalty free copyright licenses.
Money should be paid to the:
"Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."
If you are interested in contributing scanning equipment or
software or other items, please contact Michael Hart at:
[Portions of this header are copyright (C) 2001 by Michael S. Hart
and may be reprinted only when these eBooks are free of all fees.]
[Project Gutenberg is a TradeMark and may not be used in any sales
of Project Gutenberg eBooks or other materials be they hardware or
software or any other related product without express permission.]
*END THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN EBOOKS*Ver.02/11/02*END*