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The obvious lesson: never throw anything away.

I had never heard of this document (The Twelve United Colonies, by their Delegates in Congress, to the Inhabitants of Great Britain) and consider myself well educated about the story of our country's founding.

“…This document is an important missing piece from the culminating moments in which colonists began to think of themselves not as British subjects but as American citizens.”

Excerpts from the 12 page letter:

“We little imagined that any thing could be added to this black Catalogue of unprovoked Injuries: but we have unhappily been deceived, and the late Measures of the Brash Ministry fully convince us, that their object is the reduction of these Colonies to Slavery and Ruin . . . Shall the Descendants of Britons tamely submit to this–No, Sirs! We never will, while we revere the Memory of our gallant and virtuous Ancestors, we never can surrender those glorious Privileges, for which they fought, bled, and conquered. . . .

On the Sword, therefore, we are compelled to rely for Protection. Should Victory declare in your Favour, yet Men trained to Arms from their Infancy, and animated by the Love of Liberty, will afford neither a cheap or easy Conquest. Of this at least we are assured, that our Struggle will be glorious, our Success certain; since even in Death we shall find that Freedom which in Life you forbid us to enjoy. . . .

Yet give us leave most solemnly to assure you, that we have not yet lost Sight of the Object we have ever had in View, a Reconciliation with you on constitutional Principles, and a Restoration of that friendly Intercourse, which, to the Advantage of both, we till lately maintained.”