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CONFEDERATION OF THE ORIGINAL STATES.
ON Monday, the 5th of September, 1774, there were assembled at Carpenter's Hall, in the city of Philadelphia, a number of men who had been chosen and appointed by the several colonies in North America to hold a Congress for the purpose of discussing certain grievances imputed against the mother country. This Congress resolved, on the next day, that each colony should have one vote only. On Tuesday, the 2d July, 1776, the Congress resolved, "That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, Free and Independent States," etc., etc.; and on Thursday, the 4th July, the whole Declaration of Independence having been agreed upon, it was publicly read to the people. Shortly after, on the 9th September, it was resolved that the words "United Colonies" should be no longer used, and that the "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" should thenceforward be the style and title of the Union. On Saturday, the 15th November, 1777, "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union of the United States of America" were agreed to by the State delegates, subject to the ratification of the State legislatures severally. Eight of the States ratified these articles on the 9th July, 1778; one on the 21st July; one on the 24th July; one on the 26th November of the same year; one on the 22d February, 1779; and the last one on the 1st March, 1781. Here was a bond of union between thirteen independent States, whose delegates in Congress legislated for the general welfare, and executed certain powers so far as they were permitted by the articles aforesaid. The following are the names of the Presidents of the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1788:
Peyton Randolph, Virginia..
.5th Sept., 1774. 22d Oct., 1774.
.10th May, 1775.
The seat of government was established as follows: At Philadelphia, Pa., commencing September 5, 1774, and May 10, 1775; at Baltimore, Md., December 20, 1776; at Philadelphia, Pa., March 4, 1777; at Lancaster, Pa., September 27, 1777; at York, Pa., September 30, 1777; at Philadelphia, Pa., July 2, 1778; at Princeton, N. J., June 30, 1783; at Annapolis, Md., November 26, 1783; at Trenton, N. J., November 1, 1784; and at New York City, N. Y., January 11, 1785.
On the 4th March, 1789, the present Constitution, which had been adopted by a convention and ratified by the requisite number of States, went into operation.