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IN COUNCIL OF SAFETY, PHILADELPHIA, DECEMBER 7, 1776. WHEREAS THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF EVERY STATE DEPENDS ON THE VIRTUOUS EXERTIONS OF INDIVIDUALS IN ITS DEFENCE; AND AS SUCH EXERTIONS CAN NEVER BE MORE REASONABLE AND NECESSARY THAN WHEN A PEOPLE ARE WANTONLY INVADED BY A POWERFUL ARMY, FOR THE AVOWED PURPOSE OF ENSLAVING THEM; WHICH IS AT PRESENT THE UNHAPPY SITUATION OF OUR NEIGHBORING STATE, AND WHICH MAY BE HOURLY EXPECTED IN THIS
[Philadelphia: John Dunlap, Dec. 7, 1776].. Broadside, 9 1/2 x 7 1/4 inches. Old folds. Lightly tanned. Near fine. In a half morocco and cloth folding case, leather label. A rare and urgent Revolutionary broadside, issued in the wake of the British capture of Manhattan, and as they were marching through New Jersey toward Pennsylvania. This broadside was published by the Pennsylvania Council of Safety, and gives an immediate sense of the great danger felt in that state over the approach of the British army. The British took control of New York in mid- October, and captured Fort Washington a month later. Cornwallis took Newark on November 28, and pursued Washington's army to New Brunswick. It was not until December 7, the date of this broadside, that Washington moved his forces across the Delaware River. Philadelphia, the home of the Continental Congress and the biggest prize yet to fall, was certainly in the British sights. The text calls on every able-bodied man to take up arms in defense of his state, though an exception is made for those with faith- based objections, such as Quakers: "No excuse ought to be admitted or deemed sufficient against marching with the Militia at this Time, except Sickness, Infirmity of Body, Age, religious Scruples, or an absolute Order from the Authority of this State." A harsh judgement is rendered for anyone who is otherwise unwilling or unable to defend Philadelphia and Pennsylvania: "it is the opinion of this Board, that every Person who is so void of Honor, Virtue, and Love of his Country, as to refuse his Assistance at this Time of imminent public Danger, may justly be suspected of Designs inimical to the Freedom of America. — And where such Designs are very apparent from the Conduct of particular persons, such Persons ought to be confined during the Absence of the Militia." Despite the exceptions allowed for in this broadside, Quakers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere were in fact persecuted for refusing to take up arms in defense of the American cause, most notably in the case of the "Virginia exiles," a group of eighteen Pennsylvania Quakers who were interned in Virginia in 1777-78. General Howe began planning operations against Philadelphia in early 1777, taking the city in September of that year and holding it under British control until the following June. NAIP locates only a single copy of this broadside, at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The American Antiquarian Society has a photostatic facsimile of this copy. Rare, and with an urgent call to arms in defense of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. BRISTOL B4333. SHIPTON & MOONEY 43132. NAIP w011824.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2013-08-01           Check availability:      Biblio    

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