Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: July 15, 1776

July 15, 1776

News from 1) New York arrives confirming support for Independence and 2) the former colonies about the creation of republican governments. Congress creates “flying camps.”

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolutions from the convention of New York meeting in White Plains on July 9th were received.

Resolved unanimously, That the reasons assigned by the Continental Congress for declaring the United Colonies Free and Independent States, are cogent and conclusive; and, that while we lament the cruel necessity which has rendered that measure unavoidable, we approve the same, and will, at the risk of our lives and fortunes, join with the other colonies in supporting it.

Resolved, That a copy of the said declaration and the foregoing resolution be sent to the chairman of the committee of the county of Westchester with orders to publish the same with beat of Drum, at this place, on Thursday next, and to give directions, that it be published with all convenient speed in the several districts of the county; that copies also be sent to the chairman of the several counties within the state of New York with orders to cause the same to be published in the several districts.

Resolved unanimously, That the delegates of this state, in the Continental Congress, be, and they hereby are authorized to concert and adopt all such measures as they may deem conducive to the happiness and welfare of the United States of America.

Resolved, That the letters from the convention of New York, with the papers enclosed, and recent letters, be referred to the Board of War:

Resolved, That the case of the officers ordered from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, be referred to the Board of War, and that they be directed to examine into the conduct of said officers, and their servants; and to order them to such places, and to be disposed of in such manner, as they shall think proper.

Resolved, That Henry Sherburne be reimbursed for expenses from June 6th, the time he left Canada, to today, plus an allowance of eight days to join his regiment.

Resolved, That two members be elected for the Board of Treasury, to replace two who are absent.  The members chosen, Philip Livingston and George Read.

A letter from an officer of Colonel Hazen’s battalion, was read and referred to the committee appointed to inquire into the causes of the miscarriages in Canada.

A petition and memorial of Captain James Ross, was laid before Congress and read:

Resolved, That the same be referred to the Committee of Claims.

Resolved, That it be recommended to Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, to give orders for sending certain ships to sea.

Resolved, That a committee, to consist of one or more members of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, be appointed to consider the propriety and means of augmenting the flying camp: Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Stone, George Read, John Morton, and Richard Stockton. 

That the commissioned officers of the several companies, be appointed by the committee of the county in which they are to be raised.

Resolved, That tomorrow be assigned for appointing the field officers of new  battalions and of the German battalion.

Resolved, That a chief physician be appointed for the flying camp:  William Shippen, Junior was elected.

Resolved, That tomorrow be assigned for the appointment of a commissary of military stores, and deputy adjutant general for the flying camp.

Resolved, That Thursday morning be assigned for taking into consideration the report of the committee of ways and means.

Resolved, That Alexander M’Donald, son of Captain M’Donald, be liberated on his parole, and allowed to reside with his father.

Resolved, That the petition from John Hannum and accompanying papers be referred to the Secret Committee.

Adjourned to 9 o’Clock tomorrow.

John Adams to Abigail Adams

My very deserving Friend, Mr. Gerry, sets off, tomorrow, for Boston, worn out of Health, by the Fatigues of this station. He is an excellent Man, and an active able statesman. I hope he will soon return hither. I am sure I should be glad to go with him, but I cannot. I must write to have the Guard relieved….Independence is at last unanimously agreed to in the New York Convention. You will see by the Newspapers enclosed what is going forward in Virginia, and Maryland and New Jersey.

Josiah Bartlett to John Langdon

The Congress and people here are engaged in making preparation for the reception of the British fleet and army in the neighborhood of New York. Lord Howe with the Germans &c is hourly expected. I pray God we may be able to give a good account of them. The confederation is agreed to by the Committee and is before Congress; when they will finish it is uncertain….

The Colony of New York have fully acceded to the Declaration of Independency so that it now has the sanction of the thirteen United States; the unparalleled conduct of our enemies have united the Colonies more firmly than ever. The Convention of this Colony are to meet here this day who will form a Constitution for the Colony and take upon them its Government.

In the meantime the constitutions of Virginia and New Jersey are in this city. I shall send them forward, and the constitutions of the other Colonies as they are formed as possibly something may be taken from them to amend our own.

P.S. Colonel Dickinson, Colonel McKean and Colonel Gadwallader are gone with their regiments to the Jerseys….This day an artillery company of militia consisting of 57 men with 2 brass field pieces and every necessary accoutrement marched for the same place.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.