John Dickinson, Illustration

John Dickinson wrote the version of the Olive Branch Petition that was approved by Congress on July 8, 1775 (Image Source: New York Public Library).

Olive Branch Petition Summary

July 8, 1775

The Olive Branch Petition was a letter sent to King George III of England from the Second Continental Congress, attempting to avoid war with Great Britain in the American colonies.

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Summary of the Olive Branch Petition

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson and edited by John Dickinson, the letter was approved by Congress on July 8, 1775. Despite the fact that English and American blood had already been shed at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill, the letter was conciliatory in nature, assuring the King that American colonists remained loyal to the Crown, and imploring him to peacefully redress their grievances. King George III refused to receive the Olive Branch Petition and instead published a proclamation on August 23, 1775, declaring the American colonies to be in a state of rebellion. The Olive Branch Petition was an important document because its rejection strengthened the influence and position of radicals favoring independence.

Primary Source Documents

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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Olive Branch Petition Summary
  • Coverage July 8, 1775
  • Author
  • Keywords Olive Branch Petition, Second Continental Congress
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date May 27, 2022
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update May 6, 2022
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