Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: January 27, 1776

January 27, 1776

Congress creates several committees to consider war related issues.  Congress also lays down very specific rules and regulations for trading with the Indian tribes. 

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

A letter from General Washington, 19th January with 4 enclosures, along with letters from other people, was referred to Thomas Lynch, George Wythe, Roger Sherman, Samuel Ward and Samuel Adams. 

A committee of 2—Samuel Adams and James Duane–was appointed to confer with Colonel Hazen:

Congress agreed with The Committee of Claims to reimburse Colonel Cornelius Wynkoop for transporting prisoners from St. John’s and directed that prisoners elsewhere be given food and clothing appropriate to their military rank.

Resolved, That a committee of five–George Wythe, Robert Treat Paine, James Wilson, James Duane, and John Rogers–consider the report of the Commissioners for Indian affairs in the middle department, and the state of the Indians in said department, and report back to Congress.

“Resolved, That a commission issue to Cayashota, giving him the rank of a colonel, and that a silver gorget be presented to him.”

Congress responded in a very detailed manner to granting special trade indulgences in “the peculiar circumstances” relating to Monsignor Jugé of Maryland.

A committee of 3–Samuel Ward, Robert Alexander, and George Wythe—consider a memorial from Henry Keppele and John Steinmetz.

Resolved that Thomas Mc’Kean, Robert Treat Paine, and George Wythe be a committee of 3 consider the matter of the enlistment of apprentices and persons in debt.

Congress laid down very specific rules and regulations dealing with exclusive trading with the Indian tribes.  For example: “Resolved, That in order to preserve the friendship and confidence of the Indians, and to prevent their suffering for want of the necessaries of life, a suitable assortment of Indian goods, to the amount of £40,000 sterling, be imported…[and]… divided among the different departments,” in designated proportions decided by the Secret Committee and “be delivered to the commissioners of Indian affairs for the respective departments…in the proportions before mentioned” and at a price fixed by the respective commissioners., or such of them as can conveniently assemble for that purpose, shall, as the goods arrive, fix a price, adding to the first cost, interest, the charge of insurance, and all other charges.”  And there are more restrictions and restraints.  “That the trade with the Indian nations shall be carried on at such posts or places only, as the commissioners for each department shall respectively appoint.”

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock on Monday

Richard Smith’s Diary

On Motion of Wilson (an Indian Commissioner for the Middle Department) One of the Indian Chiefs was constituted a Colonel & is to be presented with a Gorget. The Matter of enlisting Apprentices and small Debtors was committed to McKean, Paine & myself….

Duane from a Committee reported on the Indian Treaty at Albany & it was accepted & the Secret Comee. directed to import a large Quantity of Indian Goods for that & the other Two Departments.

The Indian Treaty at Pittsburg and Proceedings as returned by the Middle Commissioners were consigned to a Committee of 5….

McKean moved on Behalf of Col. Hazen that he may have the rank of first Col. in Canada otherwise he declines the Service. This was opposed and a Committee. of 2. appointed to confer with Hazen on the Subject.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.