Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: December 27, 1775

December 27, 1775

Congress hears The Report of the Committee on the state of Virginia, but a vote is postponed. Richard Smith’s Diary indicates that New Jersey invoked the One Colony Rule that permits one colony to postpone further consideration until the next day.

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

A letter from the Committee of Inspection of the town of Lancaster, dated 21st December, 1775, enclosing parole of the officers there, was read.

Resolved, That a Committee of Three be appointed to confer with Captain Motte, and consult with him on the best method of providing the guard under his command with provisions on their return home. The members chosen: Thomas Cushing, Silas Deane, and Thomas Lynch. The committee appointed to confer with Captain Motte, brought in their report, which being read, was agreed to concerning pay and expenses.

Congress considered the report of the Committee on the state of Virginia, and after debate, at the request of a colony, further consideration was postponed until tomorrow.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.

Richard Smith’s Diary

A Motion was made to allow an Importation of Salt into Virginia, an Amendment  offered that the Allowance should be general, this Amendment was strongly opposed by Lynch & others & large Arguments upon it, the further Consideration deferred till Friday.  Report from a Committee that 6 Battalions are necessary to be raised for the Continental Service in Virginia (their Convention request 8 Battalions). It was largely controverted Whether they shall receive the Pay of 6 Dollars and Two Thirds allowed to the Troops in New England, the Two Carolina’s & Georgia, or the reformed Pay of 5 Dollars per month allowed to the Forces raised in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania & the Lower Counties & at length the Determination was postponed by the Interposition of New Jersey according to our Rule that any One Colony may put off the Vote till another Day. Lieutenant Hay allowed to negotiate a Bill of Exchange to pay his Expenses home to Scotland. Complaints of the bad Behavior of Some of the Captive Officers & Captain Motte’s Affidavit ordered to be taken thereon. An Allowance made Of £3 per man for Captain Motte’s Guard on their Return Home to Connecticut. This Day, it is said, the King’s Post finally stopped & the Postmasters shut up the Office.

[Editors Note.  Congress determined that the six Virginia battalions should be paid at the same rate as the Continental troops and that Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina to trade salt]

Samuel Ward to Henry Ward

When I first entered this Contest with Great Britain I extended my Views through the various Scenes which my Judgment or Imagination (say which you please) pointed out to Me, I saw clearly that the last Act of this cruel Tragedy would close in Fields of Blood, I have traced the Progress of the unnatural War through burning Towns, Devastation of the Country & every subsequent Evil, I have realized with Regard to myself the Bullet, the Bayonet & the Halter and compared with the immense Object I have in View they are all less than nothing. No man living perhaps is more fond of his Children [than] I am & I am not so old as to be tired of Life and yet as far as I can now judge the tenderest Connections and the most important private Concerns are very minute objects. “Heaven save my Country” I was going to say is my first, my last and almost my only Prayer.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.