Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: June 14, 1776

June 14, 1776

Congress deals with matters ranging from supplying kettles to the troops and prohibiting the export of salted beef.  John Adams keeps score on the adoption of independence in each state.  He tells Samuel Chase that “Maryland now stands alone.”  John Hancock brings George Washington up to date on the activities of Congress.  He is particularly happy that a War Board was recently created.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolved, That an order for 1500 dollars be drawn on the treasurers in favor of George Evans, commissary, for the use of the continental troops in Delaware.

Letters dated June 10 from the committee of safety of Maryland and May 16, from the commissioners in Canada, recommending Major Dubois for promotion were laid before Congress and read. And a letter and enclosure from W. Livingston was referred to the committee appointed to inquire into and remedy the complaints of the powder made at Mr. Eve’s mill.

Letters and enclosures from George Washington and the convention of New York of June 9th and 10th were sent to the standing committee on Indian affairs.

Resolved, That it be recommended to the convention of the colony of New York, to make effectual provision for detecting, restraining, and punishing disaffected and dangerous persons in that colony, and to prevent all persons from having any intercourse or correspondence with the enemy; and that General Washington afford his aid therein, when necessary.

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee that it be recommended to the Assemblies, Conventions or Council or Committees of Safety in the respective Colonies, to prohibit the exportation of salted Pork, and Beef, and such other Articles of provision as may be wanted for the use of the Army.

Resolved, That when Brigadier General Wooster arrives at New York he be employed where the Commander in Chief shall judge his services may be most useful.

Resolved, That no salted beef or pork, except as much as may be necessary for the use of the crew, be exported from any of the United Colonies, in any vessel, under any pretense whatever, until the farther order of this Congress.

The committee appointed to consider of a compensation to the secretary, Charles Thompson, for his services, brought in their report, which was agreed to

The committee to whom General Washington’s letter of the 15th, and General Schuyler’s of the 8th, were referred, considered their report.

Resolved, That General Schuyler and the other commissioners for Indian affairs in the northern department be directed immediately to hold a conference with the Six Nations; to engage them in our interest upon the best terms that can be procured, and treat with them on the principles and in the decisive manner mentioned in his letter:

That General Schuyler’s preparations for immediately taking post at Fort Stanwix, and erecting a fortification there, be approved of; and that General Washington be instructed to give him directions for carrying that measure into execution.

Resolved, That the Committee on Spies be directed to revise the rules and articles of war, and to make such additions and alterations as they may judge proper, and lay the same before Congress for their consideration.  A petition from Mrs. Gardner was referred to the Committee on Spies.

Resolved, That the committee of safety of Pennsylvania be empowered, at the continental expense, to erect the redoubt, and to fix the boom, or other obstructions, on the New Jersey side of the Delaware river.

Congress secured sheet iron needed to supply the continental troops with camp kettles.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock to Morrow.

John Adams to Samuel Chase

Of all the Animals on Earth, that ever fell in my Way, your Trimmers, your double tongued and double minded Men, your disguised Folk, I detest most. The Devil I think has a better Title to those, by half, than he has to those who err openly, and are bare faced Villains.

Mr Adams ever was and ever will be glad to see Mr Chase, but Mr Chase never was nor will be more welcome than, if he should come next Monday or Tuesday fortnight, with the Voice of Maryland in Favor of Independence, and a foreign Alliance. I have never had the Honor of knowing many People from Maryland, but by what I have learnt of them and seen of their Delegates they are an open, sincere and united People-a little obstinate to be sure, but that is very pardonable when accompanied with frankness, from all which I conclude, that when they shall be convinced of the Necessity of those Measures, they will all be convinced at once, and afterwards be as active and forward as any, perhaps more so than most….

McKean has returned from the Lower Counties with full Powers. Their Instructions are in the same Words with the new ones to the Delegates of Pennsylvania. New Jersey have dethroned [Governor William] Franklin, and in a Letter which is just come to my Hand from indisputable Authority, I am told that the Delegates from that Colony will “vote plump.” Maryland now stands alone. I presume She will soon join Company-if not she must be left alone.

John Hancock to George Washington

I am extremely happy to have it in my Power to assure you that the several Matters referred to Congress in your Letters, will receive a speedy Determination….

The establishing a War Office is a new and great Event in the History of America, and will doubtless be attended with essential Advantages when properly conducted & inspected. I hope the Committee will be ready in a few days to enter upon the Execution of their Duty. You will see the Outlines of this Office in the enclosed Resolves. Some further Regulations, it is more than probable, will be necessary in the Course of Time. The Congress have only laid a Foundation at present. It still remains, in a great Measure, to erect a System of Rules and Laws that will enable us to carry on our military operations with more Knowledge, Certainty, and Dispatch….

The shameful Inactivity of our Fleet for some Time past, the frequent Neglect or Disobedience of Orders in Commodore Hopkins, the numberless Complaints exhibited to the Marine Committee agt. him, and also against Captains Saltonstal and Whipple, have induced the Congress, in Consequence of a Representation from the Marine Committee, to order them to repair immediately to this City to answer for their Conduct…. I have sent the Resolves to the Convention of New York, which relate to them. The Prohibition on salted Beef and Pork, I have given Orders to be printed in all the Papers to the Eastward.

The Resolves respecting the Indians, I must ask the Favor of you to forward to Genl. Schuyler, with such Directions as you shall judge necessary….

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.