Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: July 19, 1776

July 19, 1776

Congress orders the Declaration engrossed and “signed by every member of Congress.”  Several Committees provide Reports and the delegates continue their consideration of the Articles of Confederation. Samuel Chase warns General Schuyler that he has many enemies in Congress.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolved, That two months pay be advanced to Colonel Kirmovan.

Resolved, That an order for 400 dollars, be drawn on the treasurers, in favor of David S. Franks, in full of Brigadier General David Wooster’s draft, on Jonathan Trumbull.

Resolved, That the rank of the German battalion officers be established by Congress.

The committee of safety of Pennsylvania, recommended twelve people for the four German companies raised in Pennsylvania.  Congress approved.

Resolved, That the Declaration passed on the 4th, be fairly engrossed on parchment, with the title and stile of “The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America,” and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress.

The Board of War brought in a report, which was taken into consideration:

Resolved, That General Schuyler inquire into the complaints of the soldiers under his command, to secure harmony within the ranks under his command, and to suppress all provincial reflections and ungenerous jealousies of every kind, and to promote, by every possible means, discipline, order, and zeal in the public service.

That the resolution of Congress, prohibiting any officer from holding more offices than one, be sent to General Schuyler:

Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to the convention of Pennsylvania, to hasten, with all possible expedition, the march of the associators into New Jersey, agreeable to a former request of Congress.

Resolved, That the delegates of Maryland be directed to inform the commanding officer of the Maryland troops, that the Congress expect he will immediately march with his troops to New York.

The committee to prepare a resolution for the confiscation of the property of the subjects of Great Britain delivered their Report which was read and postponed until Monday.

The Congress proceeded to elect a deputy adjutant general for the flying camp. Samuel Griffin was elected and given the rank of colonel.

Resolved, That the Secret Committee be empowered to contract with Mr. Mirtle.

That the Marine Committee be empowered to purchase a swift sailing vessel, to be employed by the Secret Committee in importing said goods.

The committee appointed to enquire into the causes of the miscarriages in Canada, brought in a report, which was read and postponed.

The committee, to whom the letters from Lord Howe to William Franklin, &c. were referred, brought in a report, which was considered: Whereupon,

Resolved, That a copy of the circular letters, and of the declarations they enclosed from Lord Howe be published in the several gazettes so that the good people of these United States may be informed of what nature are the commissioners, and what the terms, with the expectation of which, the insidious court of Britain has endeavored to amuse and disarm them, and that the few, who still remain suspended by a hope founded either in the justice or moderation of their late King, may now, at length, be convinced, that the valor alone of their country is to save its liberties.

[Printed in the Pennsylvania Gazette, July 24th, 1776.]

The Congress proceeded to the election of commissioners for settling the accounts of New York.

A letter from General Lee dated July 2, enclosing sundry papers, was read.

Ordered, That an extract of General Lee’s letter be published.

Resolved, That the committee appointed to contract for the making cannon, be empowered to contract with Messrs. Hughes for one thousand tons of cannon.

Adjourned to 9 o’Clock to Morrow.

Samuel Chase to Philip Schuyler

Our Confederation, and plan of a foreign Treaty engages all our attention. I am afraid our military Operations have been too much neglected.

I am anxious to know the Situation of our affairs with you. On our Return We informed Congress of the abuses & Misconduct the want of Discipline & the Condition of the Army, & our observations & the Methods to be adopted to remedy in some Measure the Grievances, & to defend the Entrance into these Colonies, if expelled Canada, which we then suspected would happen….

I cannot help intruding a few Questions to your Consideration. Would it not be advisable to separate the infected with small pox & to remove them some considerable Distance from the Camp? Would it not be prudent to fling the Southern & eastern Troops into different Brigades?….

I am sorry to find how egregiously You have been represented to the Members of Congress. You have many Enemies.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.