Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: July 29, 1775

July 29, 1775

Congress wraps up financial and appointment matters in anticipation of an adjournment until September 5, 1775 that Edward Rutledge opposed. The delegates compromise and postpone the issue of taxation and representation. The New York delegation recommends that New York prepare to defend itself, and John Adams is convinced that a revolution seems to be in the designs of providence.

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

The Congress resumed the consideration of the report from the Committee of the Whole.

Resolved, the pay of the commissary general of musters etc.

That the appointment of provost Marshal, wagon master, and master carpenter, be left to the commander in chief of the army, who is to fix their pay, having regard to the pay such receive in the ministerial army, and the proportion that the pay of the Officers in said army bears to the pay of our Officers.

William Tudor was elected Judge Advocate of the army.

Resolved, That Michael Hillegas, and George Clymer be appointed joint treasurers of the United Colonies: that they reside in Philadelphia, and that they shall give bond etc., … to John Hancock, Henry Middleton, John Dickinson, John Alsop, Thomas Lynch, Richard Henry Lee, and James Wilson… in trust for the United Colonies.

That the provincial Assemblies or conventions choose a treasurer for their respective colonies, and take sufficient security for the faithful performance of the trust.

That each colony provide ways and means to sink its proportion of the bills ordered to be emitted by this Congress, in the most effectual way and best adapted to the condition, circumstances, and usual mode of levying taxes in such colony.

That the proportion or quota of each colony be determined according to the number of Inhabitants, of all ages, including negroes and mulattoes in each colony; But, as this cannot, at present, be ascertained, that the quotas of the several colonies be settled for the present, as follows, to undergo a revision and correction, when the list of each colony is obtained….

That each Colony pay its respective quota in four equal annual payments….

The provincial treasurers and collectors are to have such allowances for their respective services, as shall be directed by the several assemblies or conventions, to be paid by their respective province or colony,

That the continental treasurers be paid for their service this year.

Resolved, That the paymaster general, commissary-general, quartermaster general, and every of their deputies, shall take an Oath, truly and faithfully discharge the duties of their respective stations.

Ordered, That the damaged powder now in the State house be delivered to the committee of the city and Liberties of Philadelphia to be made fit for use.

Ordered, That the continental Treasurers pay Colonel William Thompson… for the service of a Battalion of riflemen under his command.

Resolved, That this Congress will, as soon as the public business permits, adjourn to the 5th of September next.

Resolved, That the Congress will, on Monday next, consider of the state of trade, after the 10th of September.

Thomas M’Kean, from the Committee, for that purpose appointed, reported the form of a bond, to be given by the joint continental Treasurers.

Ordered, That the said Committee do inspect into the sufficiency of the sureties.

Adjourned till Monday at 8 o’Clock.

Resolved, That this Congress will, as soon as the public business permits, adjourn to the 5th of September next.

Samuel Adams to James Warren

You were yesterday unanimously chosen Paymaster General…. Dr Church is Director General & chief Physician of the Hospital with the Power of appointing Surgeons &c. I wish my Son could get Employment in the Army.

Edward Rutledge to Philip Schuyler

Yesterday we determined to adjourn . . . until the fifth of September; This was contrary to the unanimous Sense of our Colony; but without Vanity I may say that Numbers in this Instance prevailed over Wisdom.

Five New York Delegates to the New York Committee of Safety

Permit us to recommend to your most serious attention the Necessity of laying your Hands on all the Powder that is, or may be imported into the Colony. We think none should be permitted to go out of the Province, but by the Express Direction of the Congress or your Committee, and that Magazines of that article should be formed in different Parts of the Province & not that the whole be risked in one Place. We hope our Province will depend for Defense on their own Exertions, and without Delay put the Militia on the Footing recommended by the Congress.

Philip Livingston, George Clinton, Lewis Morris, John Jay, and James Duane.

John Adams to Josiah Quincy

Believe me, Sir, nothing is of more importance to me, in my present most arduous and laborious employment, than a constant correspondence with gentlemen of experience, whose characters are known. The minutest fact, the most trivial event, that is connected with the great American cause, becomes important in the present critical situation of affairs, when a revolution seems to be in the designs of providence, as important as any that ever happened in the affairs of mankind….

You tell me, Sir, that General Lee complained that “he did not find things as the Massachusetts delegates had represented them.” What General Lee could mean by this, Sir, I know not. What particular he found different from the representation, I do not know; nor do I know which delegate from the Massachusetts he received a mistaken representation from. I think he should have been particular, that he might not have run the risk of doing an injury. If General Lee should do injustice to two of the Massachusetts delegates, he would commit ingratitude at the same time; for to two of them he certainly owes his promotion in the American army, how great a hazard so ever they ran in agreeing to it. I know him very thoroughly, I think, and that he will do great service in our army at the beginning of things, by forming it to order, skill, and discipline. But we shall soon have officers enough.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.