Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: January 8, 1776

January 8, 1776

Congress continues to be intimately involved in the financial, military appointment, and procurement dimensions of the war effort, particularly in New York, Canada, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.  A Committee of Three selected to “direct the Canada Campaign.”  Samuel Ward writes that “We shall be undone unless the most spirited Measures are pursued.”

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Congress considered the Report of the Committee on General Schuyler’s letters.

“Resolved, That the first Pennsylvania battalion…and the second New Jersey battalion…be ordered to march immediately to Albany, and there put themselves under the command of General Schuyler.”

William Floyd, Silas Deane, and Thomas Mc’Kean were chosen to be a Committee of Three to direct the Canada campaign.

“Resolved, That the Secret Committee be directed to treat for the purchase of the salt petre, and inquire how it may be most speedily manufactured into powder.”

“Resolved, That the convention or committee of safety of Maryland, be desired to order three companies of the minute men in the service of that colony, to march immediately from thence to the counties of Accomack and Northampton, in Virginia.”

“Resolved, That the committee of safety of Pennsylvania be desired to send five hundred pounds weight of powder to the colony of Virginia, for the use of the forces to be employed in the counties of Accomack and Northampton.”

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.

Secret Committee Minutes of Proceedings

The Committee of Secrecy—Samuel Ward, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas McKean, Josiah Bartlett, and Robert Morris–entered into a contract with Philip Livingston of New York.

Samuel Ward to Henry Ward

I am entirely of your Opinion that We shall be undone unless the most spirited Measures are pursued. You may recollect the Fable of the strong spirited Horse & the lean one which I mentioned to you when at home. We are eternally plagued with that dull Horse, sometimes he pricks up his Ears and goes a little Way & with Spirit, then flags & is a dead Weight upon his Mate. I think however we shall make him useful upon the whole.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.