Journals of the Continental Congress

First Continental Congress: October 8, 1774

October 8, 1774

Congress debates what should be done about the “possession of the town of Boston by General Gates.” Galloway and Duane on one side. Richard Henry Lee on the other side.

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

“Resolved, That this Congress approve of the opposition by the Inhabitants of the Massachusetts-bay, to the execution of the late acts of Parliament; and if the same shall be attempted to be carried into execution by force, in such case, all America ought to support them in their opposition.” 

Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., Journal of Congress Note

Joseph Galloway and Duane opposed this resolution, were outvoted, but wished to have their protests entered on the record.  Their request was refused.  “When we returned from Congress we gave each other a certificate, declaring our opposition to that question, as we thought it a treasonable one.”  Richard Henry Lee made the following motion on the 7th or 8th: “Resolved, That the Congress are of opinion, that it is inconsistent with the honor and safety of a free people to live within the control, and exposed to the injuries of a military force, not under the government of the civil power, and as General Gage has thought proper to take possession of the town of Boston with an armed force, and is converting that once free city, into a military garrison, that Congress advise from every motive of honor, safety and wisdom, that the free citizens of Boston, no longer expose themselves to the dangerous consequences of the military manoeuvering carrying on against the town, but quit the place, and find an asylum among their hospitable countrymen, who will no doubt, on this trying occasion, display that virtuous humanity, which may be so deservedly exercised towards their brethren and oppressed fellow citizens; and it is earnestly recommended to all British America, from time to time to supply apply these, their distressed and deserving countrymen.”  This motion was rejected.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.