Following the American losses in the fall of 1776 and prior to the victory at Trenton, several States issued addresses in an effort to encourage their citizens. Among the addresses given was one to the citizens of New York written by John Jay. (John Jay became the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1789.) After reading a copy of this address, Congress “earnestly recommended”it to all American citizens and ordered it “printed at the expense of the continent.”
“You and all men were created free, and authorized to establish civil government, for the preservation of your rights against oppression, and the security of that freedom which God hath given you… It is, therefore, not only necessary to the well-being of Society, but the duty of every man, to oppose and repel all those… who prostitute the powers of Government to destroy the happiness and freedom of the people over whom they may be appointed to rule…
But you are told that their armies are numerous, their fleet strong, their soldiers valiant, their resources great; [and] that you will be conquered… It is true that some [of our] forts have been taken, that our country hath been ravaged, and that our Maker is displeased with us. But it is also true that the King of Heaven is not like the King of Britain… If His assistance be sincerely implored, it will surely be obtained. If we turn from our sins, He will turn from His anger.
… [Therefore] let universal charity, public spirit and private virtue be inculcated [taught], encouraged and practiced; unite in preparing for a vigorous defense of your country, as if all depended on your own exertions; and when you have done these things, then rely upon the good Providence of Almighty God for success, in full confidence, that without His blessing all our efforts will evidently fail.” John Jay, Address of the Convention of the Representatives of the State of New York to their Constituents, December 23, 1776