Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: December 16, 1775

December 16, 1775

Congress receives several reports and creates new committees. John Hancock addresses Brother Captain White Eyes, Congress introduces a new standing rule, and Eliphalet Dyer sees his “dismissal” as a blessing.

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

A letter from General Washington, dated 7 December, 1775, was read.

A letter from the Convention of New York, dated the 9th, was read, and referred to the Committee on the Continental Currency.

Resolved, That the Delegates for Maryland and Virginia be a committee to prepare instructions for Colonel Irvine.

The Committee appointed to confer with Captain Motte, brought in a report, which was read and debated.

Resolved, That the distribution of officers and the prisoners is approved.

The Committee of Claims reported that there are claims due to Josiah Fessenden and Daniel King.

Ordered, That the same be paid.

Captain White Eyes, a Delaware chief, who returned with the Commissioners for Indian Affairs in the middle department was introduced to Congress, and addressed by the President.

Address of John Hancock to Brother Captain White Eyes

We are glad to see you, and we bid you welcome to this council fire, kindled for all the United Colonies.

We have heard of your friendship for your Brethren, the white people, and how useful you have been in preserving peace and harmony between your nation and us, and we thank you for those services.

We are pleased that the Delawares intend to embrace Christianity. We will send you, according to your desire, a minister and a schoolmaster to instruct you in the principles of religion, and other parts of useful knowledge.

We shall be happy in improving every opportunity that shall offer for convincing your nation, and all the other nations of Indians, of our friendly dispositions towards them.

Before you leave this city, we will give you some particular testimony of our regard for you.

Resolved, That a Committee of Three be appointed to confer with Major Preston to supply the prisoners taken at St. John’s with clothing and other necessaries. The members chosen: Thomas M’Kean, Richard Henry Lee, and Samuel Adams.

Resolved, That it be a standing rule of Congress, that no person be allowed to make any motion after twelve o’Clock, without special leave, until the orders of the day are either determined or put off to another day.

A petition from sundry merchants of Philadelphia, was presented and read:

Resolved, That the petition be referred to a committee of three: Robert Morris, Thomas Jefferson, and William Hooper.

The Committee to whom the petition of David Beveridge was referred, brought in their report, which was read and Ordered, to lie on the table.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock on Monday.

Eliphalet Dyer to Joseph Trumbull

I am really tired. I am so Home sick, that whither I was dismissed out of good will or Envy I rejoice.

[P.S.] Mr Deane presents his Compliments. He is Very busy, one of the Navy Committee.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.