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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3


From Joshua Green

8 July 1776

From Joshua Howell

10 July 1776
Extract from the Minutes of the Continental Congress
RTP Jefferson, Thomas Hancock, John
Wednesday, July 10, 1776

The committee appointed to draw up rules and orders for the government of this house, brought in their report, which was read:

The committee appointed to draw up Rules and Orders for the Government of this House beg Leave to report as their Opinion have agreed to the following report:

III. That No Member shall read any printed Paper in the House during the sitting thereof without Leave of the Congress.

VII. That no Member shall speak more than twice in any one Debate without Leave of the House.

IX. That no Motion shall be made debated until the same be seconded.

X. That when a Motion shall be made and seconded it shall be reduced to writing, if desir’d by the President or any Member; delivered in at the Table, and read by the President before the same shall be allowed to be debated.

XI. When a Motion is made and seconded the Matter of the Motion shall receive a Determination by the Question, or be laid aside by general Consent, or postponed by the previous Question, before any other Motion be received.

XIV. When the Question is put by the Chair every Member in the House colony present shall give his Voice one way be counted on one side or the other, unless it’s delegates be divided.

IV. No Member in coming into the House or in removing from his Place shall pass between the President and the Member then speaking.  


V. When the House is speaking sitting no Member shall speak or whisper to another, so as to interrupt any Member who may be speaking in the Debate.

III. When two Members rise together the President shall name the Person to speak.

II. No Member shall leave depart from the service of the Place House during the sitting thereof without Permission of the House Congress, or order from his constituents. If by the withdrawing of the said Member he shall break the Representation of the Colony from whence the said Member came.

XVI. No Person shall be appointed to any office of Profit unless he shall have the Consent of Seven Colonies. Nor shall any Ballot be counted unless the Person for whom the Ballot shall be given be first named to the House, before the balloting be gone into.

VI. Every Person shall speak from his Chair seat, and when not speaking shall continue in his seat therein. See the Amendment.

XII. If in a debate there arise more Questions than one, and it be controverted which Question shall be first put, the Question first moved and seconded shall be put first, unless it be laid aside by general Consent.

XIII. If a Question upon in a Debate contain more parts than one, any Member may have the same divided into as many Questions as parts.1

XV. No person shall enter walk in the house while the question is putting, nor shall any one give his vote who was not present when the question was put.

I. The roll of the house shall be called over by the secretary every day within minutes after the hour to which it was adjourned, before any other thing is done in Congress; and all absentees without leave shall be noted on the roll by the Secretary, and a copy of so much of the said roll as relates to any one colony shall be sent to the Convention or assembly of such colony once in every three months. 2

1. That so soon as nine Colonies are present in the House the House the Congress proceed to Business.3

Ordered, To lie on the table.

Printed in Journals of the Continental Congress, 5:532–533.


To this point, the report is in the handwriting of RTP.


These two paragraphs are in the handwriting of Thomas Jefferson.


This paragraph is in the handwriting of John Hancock.