Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: April 4, 1776

April 4, 1776

The well-being of the trade “of the United Colonies” and the war effort in Canada are debated.  Robert Morris replaces Samuel Ward, deceased, as Chairman of the Secret Committee.

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolved, That the treasurers be directed to see that Colonel Belestre’s bills be drawn on some of his friends or correspondents in Canada, and not upon General Carleton.

Ordered that the recommendation of The Committee of Claims Report concerning the claim of John De Hart be adopted.

Resolved, That an order for 100 dollars be drawn on the treasurers in favor of Monsr. Le Fontaine, for his services in Canada.

Congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole, and considered the trade of the United Colonies, and, after some time spent thereon, the president resumed the chair, and Benjamin Harrison reported that the Committee had agreed to sundry resolutions. The Report was read and ordered to lie on the table.

The committee, to whom the memorial from James M’c Knight, prize master of the sloop Sally, and the letter from Alexander M’c Donald, George Gillespie, and J. W. Sanders, recently arrived in New Jersey from the British West Indies were referred, brought in their Report, which was read and settled.

The committee appointed to consider the best ways and means of supplying the army in Canada delivered their second report. It was read and Ordered, To lie on the table.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock on Saturday next. [April 5 was Good Friday.]

Robert Morris, Chairman, Secret Committee to John Langdon

[Editor’s Note.  Langdon signed contracts with the Secret Committee on November 8, 1775 and February 20, 1776 to deliver clothing and ammunition.]

Your letters of the 14 [and] 19th Ulto directed to the late Samuel Ward are now before me & have been read to the Secret Committee by whose order I now answer them.

As as things now stand we must expect many more losses…& think ourselves happy if a sufficient number does but return to keep the Continent supplied with Arms, Ammunition & necessary Clothing.

We rejoice however to find by your Second letter that Captain Peverly was returned with 6 to 7000 lbs of Powder, which you were lodging in the magazine….

You will find before this gets to hand, that the Congress have met your Wishes and granted Licenses for Privateering on our Enemies but they have stopped rather short of the Mark, by not including West India Property….

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.