Edtor’s note: Just a little over nine months before the July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence was issued, the winds of political sentiment were still blowing every which way, indicating just what a tenuous, close run thing the move towards independence was. In this declaration against independence, Chester County, Pennsylvania, officials make clear “their abhorrence even of an idea so pernicious in its nature, as they ardently wish for nothing more than a happy and speedy reconciliation, on constitutional principles, with that State from whom they derive their origin.” A little over a century after the fact, the authors of A History of Chester County Pennsylvania note that “while the desire for expressed for a reconciliation with the mother-country, sounds strange at this day, yet there can be no doubt that up to this late period it was the prevailing sentiment even among those who were most strenuous in their opposition to the measures of the home government.”
Chester County, Pennsylvania Declaration Against Independence
In Committee, Chester County, September 25, 1775.
Whereas some persons, evidently inimical to the liberty of America, have industriously propagated a report, “That the Military Associators of this County, in conjunction with the Associators in general, intend to overturn the Constitution, by declaring an independency, in the execution of which they are to be aided by this Committee, and the Board of Commissioners and Assessors, with the arms now making for this County;” and as such report could not originate but among the worst of men, for the worst of purposes, this Committee have therefore thought proper to declare, and they do hereby declare, their abhorrence even of an idea so pernicious in its nature, as they ardently wish for nothing more than a happy and speedy reconciliation, on constitutional principles, with that State from whom they derive their origin.
By order of the Committee:
ANTHONY WAYNE, Chairman.
Source: American Archives, Vol. 3, Fourth Series, Peter Force, ed., Washington, D.C.: M. St. Claire Clark and Peter Force, 1846, p. 794-795
History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, Vol. 1, J. Smith Futhy, Gilbert Coat, Eds., 1881, (Declaration on p. 62)