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'Manly Opposition to Uncontroulable Tyranny'
Declaration of the Association of the Freemen of Maryland, July 26, 1775

The long premeditated, and now avowed design of the British Government, to raise a revenue from the property of the colonists without their consent, on the gift, grant and disposition of the Commons of Great Britain; the arbitrary and vindictive statutes passed under color of punishing a riot, to subdue by Military force, and by famine, the Massachusetts Bay; the unlimited power assumed by parliament to alter the charter of that province, and the constitution of all the colonies, thereby destroying the essential securities of the lives, liberties and properties of the colonists; the commencement of hostilities by the ministerial forces, and the cruel prosecution of the War against the people of the Massachusetts Bay, followed by General Gage’s proclamation, declaring almost the whole of the Inhabitants of the united colonies, by name or description, rebels and traitors are sufficient causes to arm a free people in defence of their liberty, and to justify resistance, no longer dictated by prudence merely, but by necessity, and leave no alternative but base submission or manly opposition to uncontroulable tyranny.

The Congress chose the latter, and for the express purpose of securing and defending the united colonies, and preserving them in safety, against all attempts to carry the above-mentioned acts into execution by force of arms.

Resolved, that the said colonies be immediately put into a state of defence, and now supports, at the joint expence, an army to restrain the further violence, and repel the future attacks of a disappointed and exasperated enemy.

We therefore inhabitants of the Province of Maryland, firmly persuaded that it is necessary and justifiable to repel force by force, do approve of the opposition by Arms to the British troops, employed to enforce obedience to the late acts and statutes of the British parliament, for raising a revenue in America, and altering and changing the charter and constitution of the Massachusetts Bay, and for destroying the essential securities for the lives, liberties and properties of the subjects in the united colonies. And we do unite and associate, as one band, and firmly and solemnly engage and pledge ourselves to each other, and to America, that we will to the utmost of our power, promote and support the present opposition, carrying on, as well by Arms, as by the continental association, restraining our commerce.

And as in these times of public danger, and until a reconciliation with Great Britain, on constitutional principles is effected (an event we most ardently wish may soon take place) the energy of government may be greatly impaired, so that even zeal unrestrained, may be productive of anarchy and confusion; We do in like manner unite, associate, and solemly engage in maintenance of good order, and the public peace, to support the civil power in the due execution of the laws, so far as may be consistent with the present plan of opposition; and to defend with our utmost power all persons from every species of outrage to themselves or their property, [0] and to prevent any punishment, from being inflicted on any offenders, other than such, as shall be adjudged by the civil magistrate, continental congress, our convention, council of safety, or committees of observation.

Mat. Tilghman

John Reeder Junr


The Signatories below will be compared with escaped servants in the Maryland Appendices to determine the ratio of escaped servants that made it into the propertied class.

Richd Barnes

Jereh Jordan

Jn. A. Thomas

W. Smallwood

Danl Jenifer

R. Hooe

J. H. Stone

Will. Harrison

S. Hanson of Sam.

Jno. Dent

Edwd Gantt

Samuel Chew

Edwd Reynolds

Benj. Mackall 4th

Josia Beall

Robt. Tyler

Rhos Contee

Joseph Sim

Turbutt Wright

Jas. Tilghman of Annapolis

Th. Wright

Jas Hollyday

Rd Earle

Soln Wright

Jas Loyd Chamberlaine

Nic. Thomas

Edwd Lloyd

Peregrine Tilghman

Wm Hindman

R. Tilghman Jun.

Rams Benson

F. Baker

Benn Hall

John Contee

W. Bowie

O. Sprigg

Jos. Beall

Thos Gantt Junior

Walter Bowie

David Crauford

Stephen West

Tho. Sim Lee

J. Rogers

Samuel Chase

Th. Johnson Junr

Brice B. Worthington

Rezin Hammond

J. Hall

William Paca

Matthias Hammond

Chas. Carroll

Chas. Carroll of Carrollton

Ephraim Howard of Hy

Thomas Dorsey

Robert Goldsborough

Henry Hooper

James Murray

Thos Ennalls

Nath. Potter

Will, Richardson

Richd Mason

Joshua Clark

Peter Adams

John Stevens

Wm Hopper

Henry Dickinson

Wm Waters

Wm Rolleston

George Dashiell

John Waters

Gustavus Scott

H. Griffith

Th. Sprigg Wootton

Richd. Brooke

John Hanson Jr

Joseph Chapline

Thos. Cramphin Jr

Upton Sheredine

Benj. Nicholson

Wm. Buchanan

J. Toy Chase

John Cradock

Thomas Harrison

Darby Lux

John Moale

Robt Alexander

Chas Ridgely son of Wm

Saml. Handy

Sadok Purnell

Wm. Morris

Thos Stone

Benect Edwd Hall

Ths Bond

Richd Dallam

Ignatius Wheeler Jr.

Wm. Webb

John Veazey Junr

Jno. D. Thompson

John Cox

Peter Lawson

Nat. Ramsey

William Currer

Chas Rumsey

W. Ringgold Junr

Thos Smyth

Joshh Earle

Th. B. Hands

Thos Ringgold

J. Nicholson Jr.


0. Two thirds of humans in Maryland were listed as property, not as citizens. For details see 3 and 4 below.

1. The 110 signatories, based on the surviving record from Harford County, would represents roughly 2/3rds of what would by 160-170 leading men, or freemen, people regarded as sufficiently propertied or of high enough social standing not to be subject to forced labor.

2. The signatories represent roughly—almost exactly 10% of the free population of Maryland, which was 17,100 men and women who owned households and were responsible for dependent children and bound people. Assuming three children per household and rounding up we arrive at 70,000 free Marylanders.

3. The population of Maryland is said to have stood as high as 300,000, but the 1770 census counted 202,599, suggesting that the 1776 population was no more than 250,000 and probably far less. For this analysis I will estimate a population of 210,000, as a minimum, with the maximum free Marylanders at 70,000 making the most optimistic ratio of free to un-free Marylanders at 1 in 3.

4. By 1755 40% of Marylanders were "black," though white slaves for life were counted as black, as well as Asians, and mixed race people by this method. To declare anymore than 35% of Marylanders black at this period is a gross exaggeration. Working with such politicized numbers the best conclusion for the period between the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars for Maryland is that Maryland was split into three roughly equal demographics, free whites, un-free whites and un-free blacks, with small numbers of free blacks.


Kinard, June, ed. Maryland, Colonial Census, 1776 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.

Original data: Taken from Maryland Colonial Census, 1776 held by the Maryland State Archives.

The following source is patently false in some regards, suggesting that conditions for whites in Europe improved in the 1640s and African imports were used to fill the gap. This is a criminal abolition of facts:

The Lies That Bind Us

The Foundational Falsehoods of the American Dream

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PRSeptember 6, 2017 10:47 PM UTC

Our first national anthem was, "Let Tyrants Shake Their Iron Rod" by William Billings.