Second Continental Congress: July 5, 1775
July 5, 1775
Congress passes the Three Part Olive Branch Petition. John Adams admits that “There is some spunk in it,” John Hancock sends George Washington the Rules & Articles passed by Congress for the Government of the Troops, and Thomas Jefferson writes that “Nobody now entertains a doubt but that we are able to cope with the whole force of Great Britain, if we are but willing to exert ourselves.”
Link to date-related documents.
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
Several letters from General Schuyler of the 2d and 3d of July were received and read.
Congress was concerned that “Governor Philip Skene and Mr. Lundy have designs inimical to American liberty” and recommended to the Pennsylvania delegates “to have the order of Congress of the 27 June last, respecting the sending Governor Skene [and now Mr. Lundy] to Hartford in Connecticut, immediately carried into execution.”
The Congress resumed the paragraph by paragraph debate of the Petition to the King written by John Dickinson. It “was agreed to, and ordered to be engrossed.” The delegates reinforced the allegiance to King George III and petitioned for 1) a redress of grievances and 2) reconciliation while at the same time arguing that 3) the colonial resort to taking up arms was in defense of traditional rights of Englishmen against laws passed by Parliament.
[Editor’s Note. One year later Congress declared independence from both King and Parliament. The King was not amused by this July 5 “Olive Branch Petition.”]
Congress adjourned until tomorrow.
John Hancock to George Washington.
Since my last to you by Alexander the Express nothing has Taken place in Congress that particularly Respects your Department. By Direction of the Congress I now Transmit you by Mr. Fessenden our Return Express, the Rules & Articles passed by Congress for the Government of the Troops under your Command. [Editor’s Note. Please see June 30]
John Adams to Joseph Palmer
The bearers of this letter, Mr. Stephen Collins and Mr. John Kaign, are of the peaceable society called Quakers or Friends, yet they are possessed of liberal sentiments, and are very far from being enemies to American principles or practices. They are warm, zealous friends of America….
This day has been spent in debating a manifesto setting forth the causes of our taking arms. There is some spunk in it. It is ordered to be printed, but will not be done soon enough to be enclosed in this letter.
Thomas Jefferson to George Gilmer
Nobody now entertains a doubt but that we are able to cope with the whole force of Great Britain, if we are but willing to exert ourselves. It will indeed be expensive, extremely expensive; but people must lay aside views of building up fortunes during these troubles, and set apart a good proportion of their income to secure the rest. As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also….
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.