Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: April 27, 1776

April 27, 1776

Congress continues to receive committee reports and to create new committees. John Adams writes to Horatio Gates, “I think with you, that it requires a Faith, which can remove Mountains, to believe that Liberty and Safety can ever hereafter be enjoyed by America, in any Subjection to the Government of Great Britain.” He praises South Carolina for creating a republican government; that is how “Toryism will be disarmed of its Sting.”

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolved, That an order be drawn on the treasurers for Mr. Edy and Mr. Beaudreau.

Sundry letters and papers from North Carolina were laid before Congress and read, viz.

An affidavit of Thomas Higgins and James McClery on the capture of Captain Ginn’s brig.

A letter from Samuel Johnson, president of the convention of North Carolina, of the 10 instant, enclosing resolves of the convention and an extract of a letter from General Moore.

Resolved, That the affidavit be delivered to the Secret Committee:

That the other papers be referred to a committee of three: The members chosen were James Duane, Roger Sherman, and Robert Alexander.

The Congress then elected a pay master general, in place of Mr. Warren, whose resignation was accepted.

Resolved, That a muster master be elected in place of Edmund Randolph, whose resignation was accepted.

The Congress elected a deputy commissary general for supplying the troops in Virginia with rations &c.

Resolved, That Cæsar Rodney and George Read be added to the committee appointed to contract for supplying the troops in Philadelphia, and the battalion in Delaware.

A memorial from the committee of safety of Pennsylvania was presented to Congress and read.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock on Monday.

John Adams to Horatio Gates (American Army General)

Was you idle enough to read the Tales in the London Papers and Magazines, a few years ago concerning the Cock Lane Ghost, and the others concerning a Man of six-feet high who leaped into a Quart Bottle and corked himself up? Do you remember that a great Part of the Nation, perhaps a Majority, believed these marvelous stories to be true? If you recollect these Things, you will not wonder that the Tales of Commissioners to treat with Congress should have gained Credit with many in America nor will you wonder that many pretend to believe them who do not.

I think with you, that it requires a Faith, which can remove Mountains, to believe that Liberty and Safety can ever hereafter be enjoyed by America, in any Subjection to the Government of Great Britain. Dependence and Subordination to Great Britain, always indeterminate and nonsensical Expressions, if they mean any Thing must now mean perpetual Animosity, Discord, Civil War, Encroachment and Usurpations on one side, and Discontent, Mutiny, Sedition, Riot and Resistance on the other. Hence it terminates in downright submission, and that beyond all doubt would be followed with Persecution and Imprisonment, Scorn & Insult, Blocks, Halters, etc….

That we have been a little tardy in providing for Canada is true. Owing to innumerable difficulties, however We have been roused at last, and I hope have done pretty well. If you think We have not, let me know it, and whatever you may think further necessary, if it is not done it shall not be my Fault….

[I]Am Sorry to Learn that there are so many Tories where you are. They must be watched. But there is one Measure, which I think would lessen the Number of them. If the Provincial Congress and Committee of Safety could be convinced of the Propriety, Utility and Necessity of following the virtuous and glorious Example of South Carolina, in instituting a complete Government in that Colony I think there would be a great Revolution of Sentiment in the City and through the whole Province, and most of their Divisions and Distractions removed. The Tories will have a pernicious Influence, and will be indefatigable in their Intrigues, Insinuations and Cabals, in every Colony while anyone of them holds an office under a King. When “Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Powers,” in the Language of Milton, are excluded from their Ideas of Government, Toryism will be disarmed of its Sting.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.