Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: February 26, 1776

February 26, 1776

Congress is heavily involved with the war effort today on a number of fronts both in terms of committee work and in the Committee of the Whole. John Jay is still in New York, Josiah Bartlett conveys the sense of Congress is to make ammunitions, and Samuel Adams tells “a political Anecdote” to Elizabeth Adams.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolved, That a letter from General Lee, dated 22 February, 1776, with 2 enclosures, and a letter from the convention of New Jersey, dated February 24th, 1776 be sent to a committee of three: Thomas Mc’Kean, John Adams, and Lewis Morris.

Resolved, That Carpenter Wharton, for the sum of 6,000 dollars, be paid.

A petition from lieutenant Jocelyn Feltham, a prisoner at Ticonderoga, was presented, read, and his prayer to go to Europe for the recovery of his health was granted.

A representation from the committee of inspection and observation of the city and liberties of Philadelphia, relative to vessels loading with produce for Great Britain, Ireland, and the British West Indies, was and resolved:  none would sail without the permission of Congress. This Resolution was published on 28 February, 1776.

Resolved, That a committee of five– James Duane, Samuel Chase, James Wilson, William Livingston, and George Wythe–be appointed “to examine and report the number and circumstances of the permits, and the destination of the vessels, to which such permits have been granted, for exporting the produce of the colonies, in consequence of the importation of ammunition and warlike stores; and that the representation of the committee of inspection and observation for the city and liberties of Philadelphia, on this subject, be referred to the said committee.

Resolved, Monsignor Mesplet, Printer, be hired to go to Canada.

The order of the day being renewed, adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.

John Jay to Robert R. Livingston

The ridiculous Story of your having been concerned in giving intelligence to Governor Tryon, I once or twice heard, but as I Never met with a single Person who gave the least Credit to it, and as it occasioned general Disgust and Indignation, I did not think it worthy of Notice, and therefore treated it with the Contempt it deserved.  A Report of this Kind relative to Mr. Duane has long been extensive and serious.  It has given him much Concern, and though I believe him to be innocent, every Body does not….

[I] set off Tomorrow or next Day for Philadelphia.

Josiah Bartlett to Meshech Weare (New Hampshire Politician)

The Enclosed order of Congress of the 23d instant I am Directed to transmit to our Colony, and I make no Doubt (if they have not already) they will Speedily Comply with the Recommendations. [Editor’s Note. The congressional resolutions asked the  provincial assemblies and conventions to encourage the manufacture of ammunition]…We have reason to believe that as soon as the Spring opens, our harbors will be much infested by the British Cruisers, who have orders to Seize all American vessels.

Samuel Adams to Elizabeth Adams

I have tarried through the Winter, because I thought myself indispensably obliged so greatly to deny myself. Some of my Friends here tell me that I ought not to think of leaving this City at so critical a Season as the Opening of the Spring, but I am happy in the Return of Mr. Adams with Mr. Gerry and in being assured that my Absence from Duty for a short time may be dispensed with and though I am at present in a good State of Health, the Jaunt may be necessary for the Preservation of it. Whenever I shall have the pleasure of seeing you, to me it will be inexpressible, and I dare say our Meeting, after so long an Absence, will not be disagreeable to you….

I can scarcely find time to write you even a Love Letter. I will however for once give you a political Anecdote.  Dr. Smith, Provost of the College here, by the Invitation of the Continental Congress, lately delivered a funeral Oration on the gallant General Montgomery who fell at the Walls of Quebec.  Certain political Principles were thought to be interwoven with every part of the oration which were displeasing to the Auditory.  It was remarked that he could not even keep their Attention….The next day a Motion was made in Congress for requesting a Copy for the Press.  The Motion was opposed from every Quarter, and with so many Reasons that the Gentleman who made the Motion desired Leave to withdraw it.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.