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Signatures on the Petition of the First Continental Congress, 26 October 1774

The simmering resentment of the American revolutionaries against the British colonialists during the mid-18th century found expression in the First Continental Congress. This was held in Carpenters Hall, Philadelphia, in September 1774 and comprised delegates from twelve colonies. The delegates were by no means unanimous in asserting independence from Britain: those from New England, Virginia and South Carolina were the most extreme, while those from New York and New Jersey were the most moderate. Many still hoped that, if America's grievances were clearly stated in a petition to King George III, Britain would give way and restore the situation to the way it had been in 1763, before the imposition of new taxes. The delegates drafted and signed a petition to this end, which was presented to the King.

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