London, England (JFK+50) Two centuries and 40 years ago today, September 1, 1775, George III, King of Great Britain, refused to receive a petition for peace with his rebellious American colonies.
The "Olive Branch Petition," had been written by John Dickinson of Pennsylvania and adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 8, 1775 as "an attempt to assert the rights of the colonists while maintaining their loyalty to the...Crown."
The petition, which served as a compromise between the supporters of "all out war" and those who believed it was "their Godly duty to respect the Crown," was presented here in London by American representatives Richard Penn and Arthur Lee.
In the document, the Congress asks for either free trade with taxes equal to those paid by subjects living in Great Britain OR no taxes with strict trade regulations.
Not only did the King refuse to receive the petition, he refused to even read it. The King's response gave fuel to American colonial supporters of revolution against the Mother Country and thus proved to be a step toward the American War for Independence.
The two original copies of the Olive Branch Petition are housed in the Public Record Office in London and the New York Public Library in New York City.
"Pursing Both War and Peace," www.Boundless.com/
"The Olive Branch Petition," Primary Sources, www.learner.org/
"The Olive Branch Petition," The Path to the American Revolution, www.hobart.k12.in.US/