A Committee is created to respond to the New York Committee of Safety. Silas Deane writes about his non-renewal to Congress. And Josiah Bartlett hears that Portsmouth, New Hampshire “is very much afraid of the idea conveyed by the frightful word Independence! This week a pamphlet on that Subject was printed here, and greedily bought up and read by all ranks of people. [Editor’s Note. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense]
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
A letter from General Washington, dated 4 January; also a letter from the committee of safety of New York, dated January 3d, 1776, were read.
A committee of five– Robert Treat Paine, Eliphalet Dyer, Thomas Lynch, George Wythe, and William Livingston– was appointed to consider the letter from the committee of safety of New York and report to Congress.
Congress supported the findings the Report of the Secret Committee “respecting the purchase of the salt petre lately imported.”
Congress promoted John Morgan “to the rank of first lieutenant, in the first Pennsylvania battalion.”
Adjourned to 10 o’Clock on Monday.
Silas Deane to Elizabeth Deane
It is not in my power, though I hope to leave This in about a FortNight after the Arrival of my Successors for whom I am now most impatiently looking out, & am happy that the Assembly did not Continue Us, in Our present Station. You know the dismission never fretted Me, indelicate as it was, & I have every Day had less & less cause to be uneasy on Account of it. As to those who meant to humble Me or Mortify my Vanity by that Measure, they have only given Me an Opportunity of knowing myself, by experience, & of showing the World, how much I was their Superior, by letting them & others know that my Character stands above the reach of their Malice, though a fair Object for their Envy. I long to see You all. Is Sister Molly with you? I hope so, & therefore pray to be remembered to her.
Now past Two o’Clock at Night, but will only wish, & pray Your Sleeping & Waking hours may be forever happy. Good Night.
Josiah Bartlett to John Langdon
Sir, Philadelphia January 13th 1776. I wrote you 9th inst per post informing you of a contract for importing goods for the use of the Army to the amount of ten thousand dollars which the Secret Committee are willing to make with you which letter I hope will come safe to your hands, and that you will answer it as soon as may be….
This morning I see in the newspaper (which by the way is almost the only way I hear from our Colony) that Portsmouth had appointed Messrs Cutts, Sherburne and Long, to represent that town in Provincial Convention, and by the Instructions I find the town is very much afraid of the idea conveyed by the frightful word Independence! This week a pamphlet on that Subject was printed here, and greedily bought up and read by all ranks of people. [Editor’s Note. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense] I shall send you one of them, which you will please to lend round to the people; perhaps on consideration there may not appear anything so terrible in that thought as they might at first apprehend, if Britain should force us to break off all connections with her. Give my compliments to Colonel Whipple who I see is left out by the Town in their choice of Delegates for the Provincial Convention.
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.