Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: April 12, 1776

April 12, 1776

Established Committees receive issues and deliver reports.  And new committees are created. John Adams seeks an answer to the question what does independence mean?  The ports being open or/and the creation of governments?  He expresses mixed feelings about Common Sense.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

A letter from William H. Drayton, president of the convention of South Carolina, of the 21 of March, with a copy of the act of parliament prohibiting all trade and commerce with the American colonies.

A letter from Colonel John Haslet, of April 10th enclosing an account of an engagement and a request for more troops in Lewis were presented to Congress.

Request granted.

Resolved, That two commissions recommended by The Committee on Qualifications be granted.

Congress took into consideration the report of the Committee on the means of supplying the troops in Canada.

Resolved, That the Treasurers be directed to pay to Mr. Price, of Canada.

Resolved, That the further consideration of the report be postponed, and that the Committee inform Mr. Price of the resolution passed.

Resolved, That Congress proceed to the election of a chief Engineer, in the continental Army in Canada.

A Petition from Colonel James Easton was presented to Congress and read:

Resolved, That it be referred to a Committee of three. The members chosen: Carter Braxton, James Duane, and Robert Alexander.

Resolved, That the assemblies, conventions, committees or councils of safety of the colonies follow the resolutions of Congress concerning prisoners.

Resolved, That Robert Alexander be appointed a member of the Marine Committee, in place of Samuel Chase, who is absent.

A memorial from the Scotch hostages was presented to Congress, read, and referred to the Committee of Claims.

The Committee of Claims reported that a claim is due to Henry Holler.

Resolved, That the claim be paid.

Resolved, That tomorrow be assigned for taking into consideration the report of the Committee on General Washington’s letter of the 24 of March.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.

John Adams to Abigail Adams

You will see by the Papers, the News, the Speculations and the Political Plans of the Day.  The Ports are opened wide enough at last, and Privateers are allowed to prey upon British Trade. This is not Independency you know.  What is?  Why Government in every Colony, a Confederation among them all, and Treaties with foreign Nations, to acknowledge Us a Sovereign State, and all that.  When these Things will be done, or any of them, Time must discover.  Perhaps the Time is near, perhaps a great Way off.

John Adams to William Tudor

You talk about Common Sense and Say it has been attributed to me. But I am as innocent of it as a Babe. The most atrocious literary sins have been imputed to me these twelve years….

I could not reach the Strength and Brevity of his Style, nor his elegant Simplicity, nor his piercing Pathos. But I really think in other Respects, the Pamphlet would do no Honor even to me.  The old Testament Reasoning against Monarchy would have never come from me.  The Attempt to frame a Continental Constitution, is feeble indeed-it is poor and despicable.  Yet this is a very meritorious Production.

In Point of argument there is nothing new.  I believe every one that is in it, had been hackneyed in every Conversation public and private, before that Pamphlet was written.

The Ports are open you see, and Privateering is allowed.  Is this Independency?

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.