Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: July 9, 1776

July 9, 1776

Reverend Duché is appointed chaplain to Congress, “and that he be desired to attend every morning at 9 o’Clock.” The New Hampshire delegates and Samuel Adams look forward to the next step—creating the Articles of Confederation.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

The Board of War brought in a report, which was taken into consideration; Whereupon, specific appointments were made and appropriations agreed to.

The Congress proceeded to the election of a deputy muster master general for the flying camp, and the militia ordered to rendezvous at Trenton; and, the ballots being taken, Jonathan B. Smith was elected.

Resolved, That an order for 10,000 dollars be drawn on the treasurers, in favor of the Committee of Secret Correspondence, for the purchase of two vessels.

The committee to whom the petition of William Poole was referred, brought in their report: Whereupon,

Resolved, That Poole be paid until regulations are made for the relief of disabled soldiers.

Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. J. Duché be appointed chaplain to Congress, and that he be desired to attend every morning at 9 o’Clock.

Resolved, That the committee of safety of Pennsylvania release Allan M’Donald, on parole, and that he be treated agreeable to former resolutions of Congress.

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to settle a cartel for exchange of prisoners: Carter Braxton, James Wilson, and Benjamin Harrison.

Resolved, That such of the militia as are employed in making gun locks, and such as are employed in making cannon and powder, be detained from marching on the present occasion to New Jersey.

Resolved, That five of the committee, appointed to enquire into the cause of the miscarriages in Canada, be a quorum to proceed to business.

The Committee on the Treasury, to whom the claims of John Walker and Willie Jones, commissioners for Indian affairs for the southern department, were referred, reported, that there is payment due to them. Ordered, That the said account be paid.

A memorial from Ludwick Karcher, was read and referred to the Board of War.

Adjourned to 9 o’Clock tomorrow.

New Hampshire Delegates, Josiah Bartlett and William Whipple to Meshech Weare

Your highly Esteemed favor of the 18 Ulto inclosing Instructions to join with the other Colonies in Declaring these United Colonies, Free & Independent States, came very Seasonably to hand. As we were so happy as to agree in sentiment with our Constituents it gave us the greater Pleasure to Concur with the Delegates of the other Colonies in the enclosed Declaration, which was yesterday Published in form in this City and is to be Published at the Head of the Army at New-York next Thursday

A plan of Confederation is now forming, which when finished will be transmitted to each Colony for their approbation

John Adams to Samuel Chase

The Declaration was yesterday published and proclaimed from that awful Stage in the State House yard, by whom do you think? By the Committee of Safety! The Committee of Inspection, and a great Crowd of people….The Battalions paraded on the common, and gave Us the Feu de Joy, notwithstanding the Scarcity of Powder. The Bells rung all Day, and almost all night. Even the Chimers Chimed away. The Election for the City was carried on amidst all this Luxury, with the Utmost Decency, and order….

As soon as an American Seal is prepared, I conjecture the Declaration will be Subscribed by all the Members, which will give you the opportunity you wish for, of transmitting your Name, among the Votaries of Independence.

Samuel Adams to Joseph Hawley

Business here has been so pressing and important, that I have not thought it consistent with my Duty as yet to absent myself. [Editor’s Note. Samuel Adams left Philadelphia on August 12.]

Our repeated Misfortunes in Canada have greatly chagrined every Man who wishes well to America. I dare not at present communicate to you what I take to have been the real Causes of these Disasters….The Subject is disgusting to me-I will dismiss it….

The Congress has at length declared the Colonies free and independent States. Upon this I congratulate you, for I know your heart has long been set upon it. Much I am afraid has been lost by delaying to take this decisive Step. (It is my opinion that if it had been done Nine months ago, when) we might have been justified (in doing it) in the Sight of God and Man, thos[e] Months ago. If we had done it then, in my opinion Canada would this time have been one of the united Colonies; but “Much is to be endured for the hardness of Men’s hearts.” We shall now see the Way clear to form a Confederation, contract Alliances & send Ambassadors to foreign Powers & do other Acts becoming the Character we have assumed.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.