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...the document was the draft of an urgent plea for reconciliation from the Continental Congress. It was addressed to the people of Britain, not King George III and his government, and began by mentioning “the tender ties which bind us to each other” and “the glorious achievements of our common ancestors.”
That was followed by a long list of complaints about the infringement of colonists’ rights, the restrictions on trade and the “rigorous acts of oppression which are daily exercised in the Town of Boston.”
“That once populous, flourishing, commercial Town is now Garrisoned by an army sent not to protect, but to enslave its inhabitants,” the document said.
The following year, Congress tapped Livingston to draft the Declaration of Independence along with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Roger Sherman. Livingston went on to swear in Washington as the first president. Other historians who have reviewed the document Ms. Gruchow found say her discovery explains why he was chosen. It could also change the perception of Livingston’s role in the push for independence because it had always been assumed that the document at the mansion was the work of another prominent colonial figure, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.