Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: August 1, 1775

August 1, 1775

Congress 1) resolves a number of military distribution issues and financial matters in support of the war effort, 2) resumes, and then postpones, consideration of border disputes between Connecticut and Pennsylvania, 3) underlines the intent to broadly enforce the Association Resolution effective September 10th, 1775 and 4) adjourns until Tuesday, September 5th.

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolved, That the sum of five hundred thousand dollars be immediately forwarded from the continental Treasury, to the paymaster general, to be applied to the use of the army in Massachusetts bay, in such manner, as General Washington, or the commander in chief for the time being, by his warrant, shall limit and appoint; and if the above sum shall be expended before the next meeting of the Congress, then that General Washington, or the commander in chief for the time being, be empowered to draw upon the continental Treasury, for the sum of two hundred thousand dollars, in favor of the paymaster general, to be applied for the use and in the manner above mentioned.

Ordered, That the delegates for Pennsylvania be a committee to receive and count the above sum of 500,000 dollars, and forward the same, under the care of the delegates of Massachusetts, provided so much is now ready in the treasury: If that is not the case, then to receive, count, and forward, by the said delegates, what is ready, and the remainder by the first Opportunity in the safest and best manner.

Resolved, That a sum not exceeding one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars be paid to the provincial Convention of New York, to be applied towards the discharge of the monies advanced and the debts contracted for the public service, by the said provincial convention and the committee of Albany, in pursuance of the directions of this Congress; and that the said provincial convention account to this Congress, at their next meeting, for the application of the sd money.

Resolved, That the treasurers are ordered to pay to the delegates of Connecticut, Eliphalet Dyer, Roger Sherman, and Silas Deane, Fifty thousand dollars, to be by them paid to the Governor and Company of Connecticut.

Resolved, That the sum of one hundred thousand dollars be immediately forwarded from the continental treasury, to the paymaster general, to be applied to the use of the Army in the New York department, in such manner as General Schuyler shall decide.

Resolved, That the sum of sixteen thousand dollars be paid to the delegates of Pennsylvania for the like sum they borrowed on June 3rd. for Continental use.

Resolved, That the sum of two hundred and ninety three dollars be paid to the delegates of South Carolina for the expense and freight of transporting a quantity of powder from South Carolina to this place by order of the Congress.

Resolved, That the sum of ten thousand dollars be placed in the hands of the delegates of Pennsylvania, or any three of them, for contingent services, and that out of the same, be paid the expenses incurred for raising and arming the rifle companies etc. and for expresses and other small charges, of which the Congress have not been able to procure exact Accounts; and that the said committee do lay before the Congress, at their next meeting, an account of their proceeding in that matter.1

Resolved, that from the powder belonging to the continent now in this city, five tons be sent to General Washington in the speediest and safest manner by the delegates of Pennsylvania.

That out of the next that arrives, the delegates of New Jersey be allowed to purchase 1000 lb. for the use of the western parts of their colony, and that the delegates of the lower counties on Delaware be allowed to purchase 1000 lb. for its use.

That one ton be reserved for North Carolina, to be lodged in the Magazine of New York and delivered to the speaker of the Assembly or president of the convention of North Carolina, provided General Washington and General Schuyler approve.

The Congress resumed the consideration of the petitions respecting the disputes between the people of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and after some debate,

Resolved, That further consideration be referred to the next meeting of Congress.

Congress having reconsidered a Resolve passed the 11 July, respecting the employing of fifty Hussars,

Resolved, That the delegates of this province should not execute said resolve, and if any hussars are engaged or enlisted, to discharge them; and that the said delegates settle and pay any expenses already incurred.

Whereas, at a former Congress, it was resolved, that, if certain acts of parliament, in the continental Association enumerated and complained of, should not be repealed on or before the September 10th, 1775, the inhabitants of these United Colonies would not, directly or indirectly, export any merchandize or commodity whatsoever, to Great Britain, Ireland, or the West Indies; and as some doubts have arisen with respect to the true spirit and construction of said resolve; to the end, that such doubts may be removed,

Resolved, That under the prohibition Congress intends to comprise all exportation to, and importation from, the islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Alderney, and Mann, and every European island and settlement within the British dominions; and that under the denomination of West Indies, this Congress means to comprehend all the West India islands, British and foreign, to whatever state, power, or prince belonging, or by whomsoever governed, and also the Summer islands, Bahama Islands, Berbicia and Surinam on the Main, and every island and settlement within the latitude of the southern line of Georgia and the Equator.

[Editor’s Note.  Printed in the Pennsylvania Packet, August 21, 1775.]

Adjourned to Tuesday, September 5th.

The above is a copy of the journal of the proceedings of the Congress, from their meeting on May 10, to this time, except that some resolutions, relative to military operations, carrying on, are omitted.

John Hancock, President.

Charles Thomson, Secretary.

Richard Henry Lee to George Washington

It has been a capital object with us to make your arduous business as easy to you as the nature of things will admit. The business immediately before us being finished, the approaching sickly season here, and the great importance of our presence in the Virginia Convention, have determined a recess of a Month, it standing now, that the Congress shall meet here again on the 5th of September.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.