Saturday May 25.
Resolved that a Committee be appointed to confer with
his Excellency General Washington
, Major General Gates
, and Brigadier General
Mifflin, and to concert a Plan of military Operations for the ensuing
Campaign. The Members appointed Mr. Harrison, Mr. R. H. Lee
, Mr. J. Adams
Mr. Wilson, Mr. R. R.
,Mr. Whipple, Mr. Sherman,
Mr. Hopkins, Mr. W. Livingston
Mr. Read, Mr. Tilghman, Mr.
Hewes, Mr. Middleton and Mr.
Congress took into Consideration the Report of the Committee on the Letter
from General Washington of 11 May, the Letter from
Gen. Schuyler of the third &c.
which was in part agreed to, as may be seen on the Journal.
Resolved that the Consideration of the first Paragraph in said
report be postponed, and that the third and fifth Paragraphs be referred
to the Committee appointed to confer with the Generals.
Resolved that the several Reports on General
Washingtons Letters, not yet considered, and the Generals Letters,
which were referred to a Committee of the whole Congress, be committed to the
Committee appointed to confer with the Generals.
Thus as Postponement and Embarassment had been for Many Months,
the Object, We were now had all our Business to go over again.
A Number of Deputies from four of the six Nations of Indians, having Arrived
in Town and notified Congress, that they are desirous of an Audience.
Resolved That they be admitted to an Audience on Monday next at Eleven O
Monday May 27.
Agreable to order, the Indians were admitted to an
Wednesday May 29. 1776.
Committee appointed to confer with the Generals brought in a Report which was
read and considered, Resolved that the farther Consideration of the Report be
postponed till tomorrow.
Thursday May 30.
Congress took into Consideration the Report of the
Committee appointed to confer with the Generals. Resolved that it be referred
to a Committee of the whole Congress. Mr. Harrison reported
one Resolution, relative to the defence
New York. Leave to sit again.
Fryday May 31.
Committee of Conference brought in a farther report which was read. Resolved
that it be referred to the Committee of the whole Congress. Mr.
Harrison reported a request to sit again. Granted.
Saturday June 1.
Colonel Joseph Read resigned his Office
of Secretary to General Washington
Committee of the whole again. Mr. Harrison reported some
resolutions. Leave to sit again.
Monday June 3.
Committee of the whole. Mr. Harrison
reported sundry resolutions. Leave to sit again.
Tuesday June 4th.
Committee of the whole. Mr. Harrison
reported more resolutions. Leave to sit again. Resolutions reported
Wednesday June 5th.
Congress took into Consideration the report of the
Committee of the whole; whereupon resolved, That a Committee of five be
appointed to consider what is proper to be done with Persons giving
Intelligence to the Ennemy
or supplying them with
The Members chosen Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Rutledge, Mr.
Wilson and Mr. R. Livingston.
Resolved that Robert Hanson Harrison Esq. have the Rank of
Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental Army. The Generals Secretary as I
suppose. Joseph Reed Esqr. was
elected Adjutant General.
Certain Resolutions respecting Independency being
moved and seconded. Resolved That the Consideration of them be referred till
tomorrow morning; and that the members be enjoyned to attend punctually at ten
O Clock, in order to take the same into their consideration.
It will naturally be enquired why these Resolutions and the Names of the
Gentlemen who moved and seconded them, were not inserted in the Journals? To
this question I can give no other Answer than this. Mr.
Hancock was President,Mr. Harrison Chairman of the
Committee of the whole House. Mr. Thompson the Secretary was
cousin to Mr. Dickinson. And Mr. R. H.
Lee, Mr. John Adams Mr. Adams
Principles were no favourites of either.
Saturday June 8.
Resolved that the Resolutions respecting Independency be
referred to a Committee of the whole Congress. Mr. Harrison
reported no Resolution. Leave to sit again.
Monday June 10.
Committee of the whole. Mr. Harrison
a Resolution. The Resolution agreed to in the Committee of
the whole Congress being read,
Resolved that the Consideration of the first resolution be postponed to the
first day of July next; and in the mean while, that no time be lost in Case the
Congress agree thereto, that a Committee be appointed to prepare a declaration
to the effect of the first Resolution, which is in these Words, "That
these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and
independent States; that they are absolved, from all Allegiance to the British
Crown; and that all political connection between them and the
State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally
June 11. 1776.
Resolved that a Committee of three be appointed to
consider of a Compensation to the Secretary for his services. The Members
chosen Mr. J. Adams
, Mr. Rutledge
and Mr. Hewes.
Resolved that the Committee for preparing the declaration consist of five.
The Members chosen Mr. Jefferson, Mr. John Adams, and Mr.
Franklin,Mr. Sherman and Mr. R. R.
Livingston. Jefferson was chairman
because he had most votes, and he had most votes because We united in him, to
the Exclusion of R. H. Lee in order to keep out
Resolved that a Committee be appointed to prepare a Plan of Treaties to
be proposed and digest the form of a Confederation to be entered into
between these Colonies.
That a Committee be appointed to prepare a plan of Treaties to be proposed
to foreign Powers.
Wednesday June 12.
Resolved that the Committee to prepare and digest the
form of a confederation, to be entered into between these Colonies, consist of
a Member from each Colony. The Members appointed Mr. Bartlet,
Mr. S. Adams
, Mr. Hopkins,
Mr. Sherman, Mr. R. R. Livingston
Mr. Dickenson, Mr. McKean, Mr.
Stone, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Hewes,
Mr. E. Rutledge and Mr. Gwinnet.
Resolved that the Committee to prepare a Plan of Treaties to be proposed to
foreign Powers consist of five.
The Members chosen Mr. Dickenson, Mr.
Franklin, Mr. J. Adams, Mr.
Harrison and Mr. R. Morris.
Congress took into Consideration the Report of the Committee on the War
Resolved That a Committee of Congress be appointed by the Name of a board of
War and Ordinance, to consist of five Members.
In order to shew the insupportable Burthen of Business, that was thrown upon me, by this
Congress, it is necessary that to transcribe from the Journal an
Account of the Constitution, Powers and Duties of this Board.
It was resolved that a Secretary and one or more Clerks be appointed by
Congress, with competent Salaries, to assist the said Board, in executing the
Business of their department.
That it shall be the duty of the said Board to obtain and keep an
Alphabeticall and accurate Register of the Names of all Officers of the Land
Forces of the United States in the Service of the
United Colonies, with their Rank and the dates of their
respective Commissions; and also regular Accounts of the State and distribution
of the Troops in the respective Colonies, for which purpose the Generals and
Officers commanding the differentComman Departments and Posts, are
to cause regular returns to be made into the said War Office.
That they shall obtain and keep exact Accounts of all the Artillery, Arms,
Ammunition and warlike Stores, belonging to the
United Colonies and of the manner in which, and the Places where
the same shall from time to time be lodged and employed; and that they shall
have the immediate Care of all such Artillery, Arms, Ammunition and Warlike
Stores, as shall not be employed in actual Service; for preserving whereof,
they shall have Power to hire proper Magazines at the public
That they shall have the care of forwarding all dispatches from Congress to
the Colonies and Armies, and all Monies to be transmitted for the public
Service by order of Congress; and of providing suitable Escorts and Guards for
the safe Conveyance of such dispatches and Monies, when it shall appear to them
to be necessary.
That they shall superintend the raising, fitting out, and dispatching all
such Land Forces as may be ordered for the Service of the