Resolves of Hanover - 4 Jun 1774
The discussions which ensued upon the Paxtang boys' affair may truly be said to have sown the seeds of the Revolution; and in a letter of Governor John Penn to his brother in England, written at this time, he thus alludes to inhabitants of Paxtang: 'Their next move will be to subvert the government and establish one of their own."
No wonder, then, when the first mutterings of the storm was heard, that the people of this entire section were ripe for revolution. The love of liberty was a leading trait of the people who settled this delightful valley. The tyranny and oppression of Europe drove them to seek an asylum among the primeval forests of America. Persecution for conscience' sake compelled alike the Scotch-Irish and the German of the Palatinate to come hither and rear their altars to God and freedom to man. With them independence was as much their dream as the realization. Their isolated position - placed on the frontiers, unprotected by the Provincial authorities - early instilled into their minds those incentives to action, that when the opportune moment arrived they were in the van. Two years before the declaration by Congress the people had assembled at their respective places of rendezvous, and heralded forth their opinions in plain and unmistakable language, while the citizens of the large towns were fearful and hesitating.
As early as the spring of 1774 meetings were held in the different townships, the resolves of only two of which are preserved to us. The earliest was that of an assembly of the inhabitants of Hanover, Lancaster Co., (present day Dauphin County) held on Saturday, June 4, 1774. Col. Timothy Green, chairman, to express their sentiments on the present critical state of affairs, and it was unanimously resolved, -
1st. That the recent action of the Parliament of Great Britain is iniquitous and oppressive.
2nd. That it is the bounden duty of the people to oppose every measure which tends to deprive them of their just prerogatives.
3rd. That in a closer union of the colonies lies the safeguard of the liberties of the people.
4th. That in the event of Great Britain attempting to force unjust laws upon us by the strength of arms, our cause we leave to heaven and our rifles.
5th. That a committee of nine be appointed, who shall act for us and in our behalf as emergencies may require.
The committee consisted of Col. Timothy Green, James Caruthers, Josiah Espy, Robert Dixon, Thomas Koppenheffer, William Clark, James Stewart, Joseph Barnett, and John Rogers.
The foregoing declarations are worthy of perpetual record. They struck the key-note of the proceedings which eventuated in the separation of the colonies from England. It is worthy of remark in this connection that, while Philadelphia and the lower counties were hesitating and doubting, the Scotch-Irish districts were firm yet dignified in their demands for justice and in the denunciation of British tyranny and wrong. These Hanover resolves preceded those of the Mecklenburg Convention, showing that the liberty loving Scotch-Irish of Pennsylvania were the head and front of the American rebellion of 1776.
Author: William Henry Egle, M.D., M.A., History of Dauphin County, 1883
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