We therefore the Trusty and well beloved Brothers, and friends, to each other, of Bute County North Carolina, being deeply impressed with the sense of our distressed brethren in the Northern provinces, who are now defending the General rights of mankind, against the arbitrary, and dispotick power of a Corrupt Ministry, by enforcing Laws on us, where we are not represented, depriving us of the Constitution, which we were born and bred under, as free Subjects, Privileges highly worthy the spiling the hearts blood of every American, doe most seriously, Religiously, Join our hearts and hands in embodying ourselves into an Independent Company of free Men to be in readyness to defend ourselves against any violence that may be exerted against our persons and properties to stand by and Support to the utmost of our Power the Salvation of America. And do most humbly beseech our Lord Jesus Christ of his great Goodness,a, as the provinces northward are much more populous and in all proberbility better supplyed with arms & ammunition &c. than this. But we will coincide with the majority of the Compy (shld we be ever called for by the Commanding officer of the American army) being now Cheerfully Inlisted in this Independent Compy of Brothers, neighbors and friends, do engage to stand by Each other with life and fortune, and through whatever fate should befall either, to Cherish each other in sickness and in Health. And doe furthermore most cordially promise to each other, under all the Tyes of Virtue and humanity, that should either of us survive the dreadful Calamities of War, that we will Religiously Cherish and support to the utmost of our power each other's desolate and loving wife, and tender affectionate Children, being poor orphans, from poverty and want, and for the faithful proformence, of this our Brotherly and friendly Covenant, which we mean to proforme So help us God.
1 [Note.—There is no date to this paper, but tradition has always assigned the Bute Association to the year 1774.—Editor.]