Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: April 24, 1776

April 24, 1776

Canada is the center of attention. At home, John Adams says “There is nothing upon which the Salvation of America more depends” than “the institution of a new government” in the former colonies. He is pleased by the progress of the Proprietary States.  South Carolina selects delegates for 1776.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

A memorial from the committee of inspection and observation of the city and liberties of Philadelphia, was presented to Congress, read, and referred to a committee of three: Joseph Hewes, James Duane, and Robert Alexander.

Congress reimbursed Robert Morris for business contracted with James Price.

Resolved, That the committee appointed to confer with Mr. Price, be directed to draw up instructions to work with him.

Resolved, That Mr. Trumbull, the commissary general, be directed to provide and forward to General Schuyler, 2,000 barrels of pork, with all possible dispatch, for the use of the continental Army in Canada.

Resolved, That John Alsop, Roger Sherman, and Francis Lewis be directed to purchase and forward, with all convenient dispatch, to General Schuyler, for the use of the continental Army in Canada, 10,000 pair of shoes, and 10,000 pair of stockings; and that 15,000 dollars be advanced to them for those purposes.

Resolved, That a letter be written to General Schuyler asking him to 1) pursue the best means for furnishing such other necessary articles of clothing and food as maybe wanting for the continental Army in Canada, having regard to such of these as Mr. Price, the commissary in that province, can supply there, 2) inform the president, what quantity of gun powder he has received for Canada since January 1st, and that he continue to give the earliest notice to Congress of his need for further supplies.

Resolved, That the Secret Committee be directed to forward five tons of powder to General Schuyler and then on to Canada.

The Committee of Claims reported, that five payments are due.  Ordered paid.

Thomas Lynch, John Rutledge, Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, were selected by South Carolina to the Continental Congress for 1776.  A quorum of one is sufficient “to concert, agree to, and execute every Measure, which they or he, together with a Majority of the Continental Congress, shall judge necessary for the Defense, Security, Interest, or Welfare of this Colony in particular, and of America in general.”

Resolved, That Edward Rutledge, one of the Delegates from this Colony to the Continental Congress, be excused.

Resolved, That another Delegate be chosen by Ballot by this Congress to represent South Carolina. Thomas Lynch, Junior was appointed a Sixth Delegate from South Carolina Colony to the Continental Congress.

The Congress resolved themselves into a committee of the whole, to take into consideration that part of the letter of General Washington of the 27 of March last, relative to Nova Scotia, and the petition from some inhabitants of that colony; and after some time spent, the president resumed the chair, and Benjamin Harrison reported, the committee had consideredthe matter referred to them, but not having time to go through the same, desired him to move for leave to sit again.

Resolved, That this Congress will, tomorrow, resolve itself into a committee of the whole, to take consider, the letter from General Washington of the 27 of March last, and the petition from the inhabitants of Nova Scotia.

The other matters to this day referred, being postponed,

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock to Morrow.

John Hancock to Moses Hazen (Brigadier General)

Though it appears that some of the continental Troops have behaved in an imprudent Manner towards the Canadians, yet I trust the Evil is not incurable. It is only by cultivating a friendly Intercourse with them, and restraining by exemplary Punishment the (Outrages) Irregularities of the Soldiery, that their Affections can be ever regained. To accomplish This most important Purpose, the Congress have enjoined the Commanding officer in Canada to be very attentive to military Discipline, & to punish severely every Violation thereof.

John Adams to William Tudor (Judge Advocate General, American Army)

It gives me Pleasure to learn that Nw York is put in so good a Posture of Defense….
There is one Event, which I think would essentially alter the political Character and Conduct of those People, and that is the Institution of a new Government.

This Point must be accomplished, in that, and every other Colony. South Carolina has nobly led the Way, and I hope, and from the best Intelligence believe, that North Carolina and Virginia will follow the Example, with equal Wisdom and Magnanimity. The Jerseys too have the Same Thing in Contemplation. This Province and Maryland will be the last-But not the least resolute when they do adopt the Measure.

I wish you would make this a Subject of Conversation as much as you can, both among the Gentlemen of the Army and the Citizens, and convince all, of the Expediency, Practicability and Necessity of this Measure. Believe me there is nothing upon which the Salvation of America more depends….

Besides it would cement the Whigs and discourage the Tories….How it is possible for People to hear the Crier of a Court pronounce G_ d Save the King, and for Jurors to Swear well and truly to try an Issue between our Sovereign Lord the King, and a Prisoner, or to keep his Majesty’s Secrets, in these days I can’t conceive. Don’t the Clergy pray that he may vanquish, and over come all his Enemies, yet? Who do they mean by his Enemies? Your Army? Have People no Consciences, or do they look upon all oaths to be Custom house oaths?

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.