Journals of the Continental Congress

First Continental Congress: September 17, 1774

September 17, 1774

Congress receives the 19 Suffolk Resolves that the British blockade of Boston harbor, among other actions, violate “the laws of nature, the British Constitution, and the charter of the province.” The suggested remedy is “the withholding of commercial intercourse with Great Britain” et al. Central to the story of the First Congress is the unpacking of these three reasons for action and with economic sanctions are sufficient.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Richard Caswell, from North-Carolina took his seat.

The 19 “Suffolk Resolutions” agreed to by the delegates of Suffolk county Massachusetts, on Tuesday the 6th, and their address to Governor Gage, dated the 9th, were laid before the Congress.  Resolution 1 “cheerfully acknowledge[s] … George the Third to be our rightful sovereign, and that said covenant is the tenure and claim on which are founded our allegiance and submission.” Resolution 3 claims that by blocking Boston Harbor, altering the “established form of government,” of Massachusetts, and violating legal trial by jury, the British have violated rights protected by “the laws of nature, the British Constitution, and the charter of the province.”  The delegates, therefore, in Resolution 4 reject “the attempts of a wicked administration to enslave America.”

Resolution 14 proposes “That until our rights are fully restored to us, we will, to the utmost of our power, and we recommend the same to the other counties, to withhold all commercial intercourse with Great-Britain, Ireland, and the West-Indies, and abstain from the consumption of British merchandise and manufactures, and especially of East-Indies, and piece goods, with such additions, alterations, and exceptions only, as the General Congress of the colonies may agree to.”

The Congress agreed unanimously with the tone and content of the Resolves and Ordered that they be published in the newspapers.

The [Second] Committee appointed to examine the several statutes which affect the trade and manufactures of the colonies, “brought in their report, which was ordered to lie on the table.”

Adjourned till Monday morning.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.