337 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
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On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island became the first of the American colonies to repeal by official legislative act its allegiance to King George III of England.
An Act repealing an Act entitled “An Act for the effectual securing to His Majesty the Allegiance of His Subjects in this His Colony and Dominion of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” and altering the Form of Commissions of all Writs and Processes in the Courts, and of the Oaths prescribed by Law.
Whereas George the Third King of Great Britain entirely departing from the Duties and Character of a good King instead of protecting is endeavouring to destroy the good People of this Colony and of all the United Colonies by sending Fleets and Armies to America to confiscate our Property and spread Fire Sword and Desolation throughout our Country in order to compel us to submit to the most debasing and detestable Slavery And whereas Protection and Allegiance are reciprocal, the latter being only due in Consequence of the former:
And Be it further Enacted by this General Assembly, and by the Authority thereof It is Enacted that in all Commissions for Offices Civil and Military and in all Writs and Processes in Law whether original, judicial or executory civil or criminal ^ wherever the Name and Authority of the said King is made Use of the same shall be omitted and in the Room thereof the Name and Authority of the Governor and Company of this Colony shall be substituted in the following Words to wit: “The Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” That all such Commissions Writs and Processes shall be otherwise of the same Form and Tenor as they nor considered as heretofore were: That the Courts of Law be no longer entitled ^ the Kings Courts: And that no Instrument in Writing of any Nature or Kind, whether publick or private, shall in the Date thereof mention the Year of the said King’s Reign: Provided nevertheless, That nothing in this Act contained shall render void or vitiate any Commission, Writ, Process or Instrument, heretofore made or executed, on Account of the Name and Authority of the said King being therein inserted. or Engagements And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Oaths ^ to be administered to the Officers appointed in this Colony shall be as follows, to wit General Officers
“You being by the free Vote of the Freemen of this Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations elected unto the Place of do solemly engage to be true and faithful unto this said Colony, and in your said Office equal Justice to do unto all Persons, poor and rich, within this Jurisdiction, to the utmost of your Skill and Ability, without Partiality, according to the Laws established, or that may be established, by the General Assembly of this Colony, as well in Matters military as civil: And this Engagement you make and give upon the Peril of the Penalty of Perjury.”
[The next two paragraphs are the replacement for the stricken out paragraph in the original document. These replacement paragraphs appear on a separate page in the original document.]
Whereas in all States existing by Compact Protection and allegiance are reciprocal the latter being only due in Consequence of the former: And Where as George the Third King of Britain forgetting his dignity, regardless of the Compact most solemly entered into ratified & confirmed to the Inhabitants of this Colony by his illustrious Ancestors- and till of late fully recognized by him and entirely departing from the duties and Character of a good king- instead of Protecting is endeavoring to destroy the good people of this Colony, and of all the united Colonies confiscate our Property and by sending Fleets and Armies to America ^ to spread Fire, Sword and Desolation throughout our Country in order to compel us to submit to the debasing and detestable Tyranny and it becomes our highest Duty whereby we are obliged by necessity ^ to use every means with which God and Nature have furnished us, in support of our invaluable rights, & privileges to opposed that Power which is exerted only for our destruction Be it therefore Enacted by this General Assembly and by the Authority thereof it is Enacted that an Act entitled “An Act for the more effectual securing to His Majesty the Allegiance of his Subjects in this His Colony and Dominion of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” be and the same is hereby repealed.