Second Continental Congress: February 21, 1776
February 21, 1776
Josiah Bartlett writes “ I Believe it is certain the British Parliament has ordered all American vessels to be Seized….We have nothing to Expect from Britain, but war & Bloodshed, notwithstanding the pretense of sending Commissioners here to treat.”
Link to date-related documents.
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
The Committee of Claims reported claims that were due.
Sundry letters from General Schuyler, dated Albany February 10 and 13, were read and referred to a committee of three: George Wythe, Benjamin Harrison, and Samuel Adams.
[ Editor’s Note. According to the recorder, the outcome of the first vote on membership was “Morris, 1; Wythe, 6; Harrison, 5; S. Adams, 5; Smith, 4; Wilson, 5; John Adams, 1; Paine, 3. A second ballot gave Morris, 1; Harrison, 7; S. Adams, 4; Wilson, 4.”]
A letter from the committee of safety for Pennsylvania respecting the prisoners at Lancaster, was read and referred to the Committee on prisoners.
The Committee on the treasury was considered, and agreed to.
Congress accepted the recommendation of Lewis Dunham for surgeon in the continental army.
Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.
Josiah Bartlett to John Langdon
Last Evening the Secret Committee met, Signed the Contract &c which I shall Enclose to you. Yesterday Mr Lynch was taken with an apoplectic fit and was thought to be near his end, but is something better today.
I Believe it is certain the British Parliament has ordered all American vessels to be Seized, as you will see by the public papers…. In short we have nothing to Expect from Britain, but war & Bloodshed, notwithstanding the pretense of sending Commissioners here to treat. I am this Day informed that a petition to the Congress, is Signing fast by the Inhabitants of this City, for Leave to fit out privateers, and make reprisals on all British vessels, to indemnify them for the Losses they have Sustained by the Depredations of British men of war. Indeed it seems very hard that Britain is Seizing all American vessels and the Americans are not permitted to return the Compliment. The late measure has I think (sub-rosa) much altered the minds of the people here and in the Congress too….Parliament has [ordered] the Commissioners to treat each colony separately, which will…unfailingly, destroy the whole, for I am sure no Colony will, at this time, treat separately.
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.