The Virginian Declaration of Rights, said, in the French work above quoted, to have been enacted the 1st of June, 1776, is not inserted in the publication entitled The Constitutions of the several independent states of America, &c. Published by order of Congress: Philadelphia printed. Reprinted for Stockdale and Walker, London, 1782: though that publication contains the form of government enacted in the same convention, between the 6th of May and the 5th of July in the same year.
But in that same publication is contained a Declaration of Rights, of the province of Massachusetts, dated in the years 1779 and 1780, which in its first article is a little similar: also one of the province of Pennsylvania, dated between July Isth and September 28th, in which the similarity is rather more considerable.
Moreover, the famous Declaration of Independence, published by Congress July 5th, 1776, after a preambular opening, goes on in these words: We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal: that they are enduedby the creator with certain unalienable rights: that amongst those are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The Virginian Declaration of Rights is that, it seems, which claims the honour of having served as a model to those of the other Provinces, and in respect of the above leading article at least, to the above-mentioned general Declaration of Independence. see Recherches, &c., i.197.
Who can help lamenting, that so rational a cause should be rested upon reasons, so much fitter to beget objections, than to remove them?
But with men, who are unanimous and hearty about measures, nothing so weak but may pass in the character of a reason: nor is this the first instance in the world, where the conclusion has supported the premises, instead of the premises the conclusion.IPML Chapter 17 Section 2 Note 7