an excerpt from our revolutionary times
To the honorable the representatives of the counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex, in general assembly met, 14th March, 1775. The petition of the inhabitants, freemen of Kent county, most humbly sheweth:
That we conceive a well regulated militia, composed of the gentlemen freeholders and other freemen, to be not only a constitutional right, but the natural strength and most stable security of a free government, from the exercise of which a wise people will not excuse themselves even in time of peace. That happily secure in the affectionate protection of our mother country, we have for some time past been carelessly negligent of military art and discipline, and are therefore the more exposed to the insult and ravages of our natural enemies at this unhappy time, when we have lost our interest in the esteem and affection of our parent state.
We therefore pray your honors to take our case into your most serious consideration, and, by passing an act of assembly establishing a militia throughout this government, grant us relief in the premises, and your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.