On this day in 1775, the Second Continental Congress adopts the Olive Branch Petition. So, they send a letter directly to King George III, expressing hope for reconciliation with Great Britain. This was the final attempt to avoid a war of independence.
Among those who signed the Olive Branch letter were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. In the image below, you will almost certainly recognize the famous signature of another signer.
Congress shipped the letter by boat on July 8, 1775. King George III received it six weeks later.
…[W]e therefore pray, that your Majesty’s royal magnanimity and benevolence may make the most favourable constructions of our expressions on so uncommon an occasion.”
He summarily dismissed the petition, and the rebellion soon became a world war.
Here’s a longer excerpt:
“Knowing to what violent resentments and incurable animosities civil discords are apt to exasperate and inflame the contending parties, we think ourselves required by indispensable obligations to Almighty God, to your Majesty, to our fellow-subjects, and to ourselves, immediately to use all the means in our power, not incompatible with our safety, for stopping the further effusion of blood, and for averting the impending calamities that threaten the British Empire.”