The delegates, having passed a Nonimportation Agreement on September 27 and a Nonexportation Agreement on September 30, devote today to discussing the particulars of the Nonimportation Agreement and to rethinking the message to be sent to the King. John Adams records how a discussion of Richard Henry Lee’s motion “to take the Dutied Articles into Consideration” turned into the unreasonable thought that perhaps “Independency is aimed at.”
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
The Congress met according to adjournment, and resumed the consideration of the means proper to be used for a restoration of American rights. The delegates resumed their discussion of what to say to the King and how to say it.
“Resolved, That the committee appointed to prepare the form of an Association, be directed to adopt the following clause, viz.–That from and after the first day of December next, no molasses, coffee or pimento from the British Plantations or from Dominica, or wines from Madeira & the Western Islands, or foreign indigo, be imported into these colonies.”
John Sullivan to John Langdon (New Hampshire Politician)
I should gladly give you an account of our proceedings but am under an obligation of Secrecy. Except with respect to the general non Importation & non Exportation the former to take place on the first of December next, the latter in September following. We have selected those Acts which we determine to have a Repeal of or forever restrain our trade from Great Britain, Ireland & the West Indies; among which Acts is the Canada Bill, in my opinion the most dangerous to American Liberties among the whole train…. [Editor’s Note. The Quebec Act is debated on October 17]
John Adams’s Notes of Debates
Colonel Dyer. This Subject as every Part of our Deliberations are important. The Q[uestion] is how far to extend the Non Importation of dutiable Articles.
Mr. Chace. I am against the Question before you. What are the Ways and Means of obtaining Redress. In the manner it is penned it would not answer the End. How shall the Buyer know whether the Duties have been paid or not.
Our Enemies will think that We mean to strike at the Right of Parliament to lay duties for the Regulation of Trade.
I am one of those who hold the Position, that Parliament has a Right to make Laws for us in some Cases, to regulate the Trade-and in all Cases where the good of the whole Empire requires it….It is said this is not a Non Importation Resolution. But it is, for there is no Importation of goods but according to the Law of the Land.
Mr. Lynch. I came here to get Redress of Grievances and to adopt every Means for that End, which could be adopted with a good Conscience. In my Idea Parliament has no Power to regulate Trade. But these Duties are all for Revenue not for Regulation of Trade….
Mr. Low. Gentlemen have been transported by their Zeal, into Reflections upon an order of Men who deserve it the least of any Men in the Community.
We ought not to deny the just Rights of our Mother Country. We have too much Reason in this Congress, to suspect that Independency is aimed at….
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.