Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: July 18, 1775

July 18, 1775

Congress continues to direct the war effort and support 1) delegated power in the several Departments, 2) freedom of religion, and 3) decentralized government in the colonies. John Hancock responds to Philip Schuyler.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Congress covered the expenses of the Reverend Samuel Kirkland’s work with the Indians of the Six Nations and recommended “to the Commissioners of the Northern Department to employ the said Mr. Kirkland among the Indians of the Six Nations, in order to secure their friendship and to continue them in a state of Neutrality with respect to the present controversy between Great Britain and these Colonies.”

Congress debated the Report of the Committee on the Militia.   They “recommended” policies for the drafting of the “able-bodied” into a democratically organized Militia.

What about those who, on religious grounds “cannot bear arms in any case?”  “This Congress intend no violence to their consciences, but earnestly recommend it to them, to contribute liberally in this time of universal calamity, to the relief of their distressed brethren in the several colonies, and to do all other services to their oppressed Country, which they can consistently with their religious principles.”

Congress recommended that each Colony appoint a committee of safety, “to superintend and direct all matters necessary for the security and defense of their respective colonies, in the recess of their assemblies and conventions.”

And “at their own expense… as their respective assemblies, conventions, or committees of safety” decide, shall “provide for the protection of their harbors.”

Adjourned until tomorrow at 8 o’Clock.

John Hancock to Philip Schuyler

Your Letter of the 11th Instant has been duly received and laid before the Congress and immediately taken into Consideration.  The Congress desirous of giving you every aid in their power to enable you effectually to execute the trust reposed in you have ordered me to write to General Wooster and direct him to send in the most expeditious manner one thousand of the Connecticut Forces under his Command to Albany there to remain encamped until they shall receive Orders from you, as to their future proceedings.  These Troops when they arrive at Albany will be subject to your Command to march, where you may direct.  The Congress have appointed Mr. Walter Livingston to be Commissary of Stores and provisions for your Department, also Donald Campbell to be Deputy Quarter Master General or a Brigade Major.

The Congress have taken into their Consideration the State of Indian Affairs, and in order to secure the Friendship of the Indians on this extensive Continent they have divided them into three Departments the Northern, Middle and Southern. The Northward to include Indians of the Six Nations and all to the Northward & Eastward of them.  They have also appointed Commissioners to superintend Indian Affairs in these several Departments.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.