Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: December 18, 1775

December 18, 1775

A Committee of Three is created to recommend a response to four letters sent by General Schuyler. Congress deals with the treatment of prisoners and the boundary dispute between Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Richard Smith shows how the “Chief Part of the Day [was] spent on the Dispute between Pennsylvania & Connecticut.”

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

The Committee appointed to confer with Major Preston, reported their proceedings, and also reported that they had not come to a conclusion.

Resolved, That Major Preston be permitted to go with Captain Motte to Lancaster, and to remain there up to ten days.

Resolved, That a copy of the resolutions of Congress, relative to the disposal of the prisoners, and of the parole to be signed by the officers, be sent to the committee of inspection of Lancaster; and that they take the parole of the officers there, and transmit the same to Congress.

Resolved, That an order be drawn on the treasurers in favor of Captain Edward Motte.

Sundry affidavits from Wyoming, relative to disturbances there, between the people of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, being laid before Congress. They were read and debated. Resolved, That the consideration of this matter be referred until tomorrow.

Letters from General Schuyler, dated 19, 20, 24 November and 8 December with sundry enclosed papers were read and referred to a committee of three: William Hooper, Thomas M’Kean, and Thomas Jefferson.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.

Richard Smith’s Diary

Chief Part of the Day spent on the Dispute between Pennsylvania & Connecticut, various Resolutions were penned by the Delegates of each Colony but the matter was at last postponed. The Chief Point was Whether Pennsylvania shall have the Jurisdiction over the disputed Territory, She agreeing & her Delegates to pledge themselves for it, that private Property shall not be affected. They declared explicitly that they would not abide by the Determination of Congress unless this was conceded.
An Express arrived from Montreal with Letters from General Montgomery, Colonel Arnold & others. Eleven Vessels are taken near Montreal by our people who have also seized Brigadier Prescot who had caused all the Powder to be thrown overboard, but the Ships contain plenty of Provision. Ethan Allen is sent to England in Irons. Colonel James Livingston is about to raise a Regiment of Canadians in our pay for One Year. Arnold is near Quebec but has not Men enough to surround it & his Powder so damaged, that he has only 5 Rounds apiece. Montgomery’s Soldiers very disobedient & many of them come Home without Leave. Frauds discovered in some of his Officers. General Washington in great Want of Powder & most of the Connecticut Troops have left his Army. Accounts of a Skirmish in Virginia and great Preparations in England for an Invasion of Us in the Spring. We sat from 10 o’clock until the Dusk of the Evening.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.