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"WE HOURLY EXPECT A BRITISH ARMY IN THIS COLONY TO ENSLAVE US" (AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1776.) Election circular for the New York Constitutional Convention reading "At this time of imminent danger. . ." Printed handbill, 8 1/2 x 7 inches, with contemporary manuscript notes; minor wear, short closed tear just touching text; uncut. New York: John Anderson, 15 June 1776
an unrecorded patriotic election circular, issued just weeks before the declaration of independence. In June of 1776, Howe's large British army was en route to New York. An election of delegates to the New York Provincial Congress was planned, with an important agenda: declaring independence from Great Britain and drafting a new state constitution. An unidentified patriot wrote up this prox ballot on 15 June to ensure that the city sent only its most committed delegates to the convention: "At this Time of imminent Danger, when we hourly expect a British Army in this Colony to enslave us, it is hoped that all true Friends to the United Colonies will exert themselves, and endeavor to remove from our Congress any lukewarm or suspected Members. To that Effect, the following List is recommended to their Votes at the Election of Members of Provincial Congress, to be invested with the Powers expressed in their Resolve of the 31 of May last, respecting the Framing of a new Form of Government." The text is followed by the names of 21 candidates, headed by ardent patriots John Jay, James Duane, and Philip Livingston. Isaac Roosevelt (great-great-grandfather of Franklin) also makes an appearance. This document was intended for use as a ballot. The voter could cast it as published, or make his own adjustments. This copy was apparently cast in the election, as it includes manuscript edits which number the candidates, cross out Daniel Dunscomb and William Denning, restore Dunscomb's name, and add that of Jacobus Van Zandt. The election was held four days after this list was published, with all 21 of the printed candidates gaining election. Not in Evans or ESTC, with the text being apparently unrecorded.
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