Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: April 9, 1776

April 9, 1776

The Committee on Prisoners is hard at work.  Joseph Hewes expects “something looking towards independency,”will be inserted in the trade bill, and Francis Lightfoot Lee writes that independency is close.

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolved, That the sum of two hundred thousand dollars be sent to New York, for the use of the continental forces there.

Major Zedwitz returned a list of prisoners brought by him from Canada.

A letter from John Nelson, and related matters were referred to the Committee on Prisoners.

The Congress considered the report of the Committee on Prisoners.

Resolved, That Captain Thomas Gamble be not exchanged, at present, there being no cartel settled.

Resolved, That Captain Duncan Campbell be permitted to reside with his wife and family in the city of Burlington, in the western division of New Jersey.

Resolved, That the Committee on Prisoners be directed to write to General Schuyler, and take his opinion whether Allan M’Donald, and the other hostages taken in Tryon county, be permitted to return to their respective homes on their parole.

Resolved, That a list of the prisoners of war in each colony be made out and transmitted to the house of assembly, convention, council, or committee of safety of such colonies respectively, and that they be authorized and requested to cause a strict observance of the terms on which such prisoners have been enlarged, and also to take especial care that none of those confined by order of the Congress, be suffered to escape; and also, that the allowance to each prisoner be punctually paid by the president of the convention, or of the council or committee of safety of the colony in which he resides; and where there are no conventions, by the speakers of assembly; which said presidents or speakers are hereby authorized, from time to time, to draw for the sums advanced in pursuance of this resolution, upon the president of Congress.

Resolved, That Brigadier General Prescot, upon subscribing the parole ordered, when offered by the committee be enlarged from his present confinement.

The Committee of Claims reported, that there are fifteen claims due.

Ordered, That fourteen accounts be paid.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.

Joseph Hewes to Samuel Johnston

Congress has agreed to open the Trade as you will See by the enclosed paper.  Some other resolutions I am told are preparing by some Members respecting trade in which I expect will be inserted something looking towards independency, as I have not seen them I can say nothing further of them.

Francis Lightfoot Lee to Landon Carter

Who in the name of Heaven, could tell you, that Independency had been 3 times thrown out of Congress? You may be assured, the Question has never been before the Congress, and it is probable they will wait till the people brings it before them; which event is not far off, from the best accounts, from the different parts of the Continent; for your information, with respect to the disposition of the northern people is as erroneous as the other. Of this I am very confident, having made it my business to be informed. It is not improbable but that even the Colony of N. York will step foremost in this great Question.

It makes me uneasy to find from your Letter that licentiousness begins to prevail in Virginia though I have always expected it, from the mismanagement of the [old one] & no new one substituted in its stead; Anarchy must be the consequence.

The Congress foresaw this, & therefore recommended it to Virginia & the Southern Colonies to establish such Government as would best secure their peace & happiness.  [Editor’s Note. See Journal, December 4, 1775] 

I forgot to tell you that a Pamphlet written against Common Sense was burnt in the temperate City of New York by a vast majority of its inhabitants.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.