Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: January 30, 1776

January 30, 1776

Committees report and new committees are created.  Francis Lightfoot Lee writes that “A very critical time is approaching.”  Robert Morris explains why he is an American, even though he is born in England: “I sided with this Country because their claims are founded in Justice.” Accordingly,“I expect to suffer a good deal in Virginia, South Carolina & other places.”

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolved, That Dr. Cadwalader and Dr. W. Shippen, Junior inspect General Prescot’s jail cell, and inquire into the state of his health, and report back to Congress.

The committee appointed to confer with Captain Nelson delivered their report.  Congress “Resolved, That Captain Nelson’s company of riflemen, now raised, consisting of one captain, three lieutenants, four serjeants, four corporals and seventy privates, be enlisted for the service of Canada” with appropriate remuneration and incentives.  “The officers of the said company are, John Nelson, captain; Moses Decker, first lieutenant; Adam Ott, second ditto; and Isaac Newkirk, third lieutenant.”

Congress acted on recommendations made by “the committee, to whom General Washington’s letter of the 14th January, was referred.”

“That it be recommended to the several Assemblies in New England, to assist the general in procuring arms; and the thanks of the Congress be given to such of them as have already done so.”

Resolved, That James Mease work with the committee appointed to purchase clothing &c., namely, Francis Lewis, John Alsop, and Lewis Morris.

The Committee on the Enlistment of Apprentices presented their Report on current and future enlistees.  Among the decisions were that enlistees in debt be protected from creditors.

Resolved, That money be deposited with the pay master general for the use of the United Colonies.

A committee of 5– Samuel Ward, Robert Treat Paine, William Paca, “Mr. Lee,” and Caesar Rodney—was appointed “to take into consideration an application from the committee of safety of New York.”

Resolved, that Robert Morris, be added to the committee of Secret Correspondence.

Resolved, That the committee for fitting out armed vessels be able to withdraw money to discharge contracted debts.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.

Francis Lightfoot Lee to John Page (Virginia Politician)

A very critical time is approaching.  It is expected that the Administration will make some advances towards an accommodation. There are English Papers in this City brought by a Ship from Dunkirk, that mention Mr Penn, who carried the last Petition to the King, being examined before the House of Lords.  His answers were short and clearer and seemed to have weight with some….The Duke of Grafton, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishop of Peterborough have espoused the American cause.  

Robert Morris to Samuel Inglis (Member of Willing, Morris and Company)

Your letters of the 31st December 6 & 7th Inst. have given me infinite Concern.  Before the receipt of them I was prepared to hear of your suffering a Considerable loss of property by the operations at Norfolk, but still had hopes it would not be so great as to approach anything near that point you mention.  I sincerely sympathize with you for the miserable situation of those you are Connected with & lament that they took part with those whom it was & is disgraceful to side with.  For my part I considered this Subject early & fixed on principle the part I should take in the unhappy Contest.  I sided with this Country because their claims are founded in Justice and I wish every Friend to the American Cause may act on the same principle that every Tory would consider it well before they act against it, but I doubt your Friends have only thought the Power of Great Britain insurmountable & founded their Conduct on that belief. This I believe to be the case with most of the Tories in America.

I expect to suffer a good deal in Virginia, South Carolina & other places.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.