1776 February 9 (Friday). Williams takes Elias with him to Sledding. My Son Baldwin (having visited his Wife at Brookfield) returns to the Camp this way. Breakfast here. He delivers me a Proclamation from the General Court, to be read to the public Assembly. My Thoughts are Somewhat exercised upon the 3d Paragraph containing a Maxim etc.
The paragraph to which Parkman objected reads: “It is a Maxim, that in every Government, there must exist somewhere, a supreme, sovereign, absolute, and uncontroulable Power: But this Power resides always in the Body of the People; and it never was, or can be delegated to one Man, or a few; the Great Creator having never given to Men, a Right to vest others with Authority over them, unlimitted either in Duration or Degree.” By the Great and General Court of the colony of Massachusetts-Bay. A proclamation. The frailty of human nature, the wants of individuals, and the numerous dangers which surround them, through the course of life, have in all ages, and in every country, impell’d them to form societies, and establish governments … [Watertown, Mass. : Printed by Benjamin Edes, 1776; Evans 14,839]. The proclamation was dated January 3, 1776.