When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a person to dissolve the political bands which have connected that person with others, and to assume among the powers of the Earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle every person, a decent respect to the opinions of self-aware life requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
I hold these ideas to be self-evident, that all life, conscious or otherwise, is created equal, that life is endowed by its creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life itself, self-awareness, and the pursuit of happiness–that to secure these rights, humans have instituted governments, attempting to derive their just powers from the consent of other governed humans, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of any living entity to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, so that life shall seem most likely to effect its safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for the light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown, that life is more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of me and my people; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government.
The history of the present world leaders, corporations, and the government of the United States is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over people. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
You have refused your assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
You have obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing your assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
You have made judges dependent on the will of corporations alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
You have erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass people, and eat out their substance.
You have kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without our consent.
You have affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power.
You have combined with others to subject my body and the bodies of my family to a jurisdiction foreign to my constitution, and unacknowledged by laws; giving assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;
For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any crimes which they should commit;
For restricting our work and trade with all the parts of the world;
For imposing taxes on us without my consent;
For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;
For trying us for pretended offenses;
For abolishing the free system of laws in our communities, establishing therein arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into all parts of the Earth;
For declaring themselves invested with power to legislate in all cases whatsoever.
You have abdicated government, by declaring us out of your protection and waging war against us.
You have plundered the world’s seas, ravaged its coasts, burnt its cities, and destroyed the lives of all peoples of the Earth.
You are, at this time, transporting large armies of mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation or planet.
You have constrained my fellow people taken captive by fascist corporate market forces to bear arms against their own, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
You have excited domestic insurrections among all, and have endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our communities, the merciless police forces, whose known rule of warfare, is an indistiguished destruction, of all ages, sexes, and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions I have petitioned for regress in the most humble terms: My repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A people, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define tyranny, is unfit to be free.
Nor have I been wanting in attentions to others. I have warned all from time to time of attempts to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over me and my family. I have reminded all of the circumstances of my settlement here. I have appealed to your native justice and magnanimity, and I have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity. I must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold you, as I hold the rest of life in all forms, enemies in war, in peace, friends.
I, therefore, Damon Sicore, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of my intentions, do in the name, and by authority of my self, solemnly publish and declare, that my personal body, is as of right to be, a free and independent organism, that I am absolved from all allegiance to any other organism, and that all political connection between my person and those placed in my care, and any other state or organism, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and as a free and independent organism and family, I have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent organisms may of right to do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, I pledge to all others my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor.
Note: The original PDF can be found here.