Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: June 15, 1776

June 15, 1776

Several committees are created, Oliver Walcott writes that we are “in the Midst of a great Revolution,” Elbridge Gerry is upset with the “Canadian Expedition,” and the Maryland delegates want to be at home where the action is about to take place.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Sundry letters, including one from General Washington, were laid before Congress, and read. The letter from D. Waterbury, with papers enclosed, was referred to the Committee of Claims.

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to take into consideration the state of Georgia, and report thereon to Congress: Stephen Hopkins, Benjamin Harrison, and Samuel Adams.

The Marine Committee recommended three persons for military positions.

A memorial from the owners of four private ships of war, fitted and fitting out in Philadelphia, was laid before Congress, read, and ordered to lie on the table.

The Committee of Claims reported that there were several claims due. Ordered, That the above accounts be paid.

Resolved, That the case of the abandoned officers in Canada be referred to the Committee of War and Ordnance, who are requested to send a report to Congress.

Resolved, That the president write to Governor Trumbull that he deliver to the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania, the cannon and trucks ordered by Congress.

Resolved, That the letters from Governor Trumbull, and from General Washington and General Schuyler, be referred to the Committee of War and Ordnance.

Resolved, That the report of the committee on General Washington’s letters of the 9th and 10, which was left unfinished, together with the amendments moved and seconded, be referred to the committee of the whole Congress.

The Congress then resolved itself into a committee of the whole, to consider the several reports referred to them; and, after some time spent thereon, Benjamin Harrison reported, that the committee have had under consideration the several reports to them referred, and have come to sundry resolutions.

Resolved, That a committee of four be appointed to digest and arrange the several resolutions reported: Thomas Jefferson, Carter Braxton, Robert Treat Paine, and Arthur Middleton.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock on Monday next.

Oliver Wolcott to Laura Wolcott

We seem at present to be in the Midst of a great Revolution, which will probably be Attended with most important consequences. Every Thing is leading to the lasting Independency of these Colonies.

I hope to Return by the Time I mentioned in my former Letters. By the Blessing of God I have enjoyed more Health than I had Reason to expect since I have been here, considering the confined Life which I am obliged to lead.

Elbridge Gerry to James Warren

Since my last nothing occurs new, save a Continuance of our Difficulties in Canada which are not hitherto abated. To cure them It must be first known what are the Causes; & the State physicians must be fully convinced of them before they can apply a Remedy, or perhaps the Demon will increase, & the saying of the poet will be verified in America “aegrescit medendo.” [The cure is worse than the disease]…. When these Inquiries are answered We shall be possessed of Documents for redressing the great Grievance of these Colonies relative to the Canada Expedition, upon which in my Opinion depends not only the Recovery of our Ground in that Colony but also the Success of our Arms in every Part of America….

Maryland Delegates to The Maryland Council of Safety

We wrote you a few days ago requesting a Call of the Convention to deliberate upon Matters of the last Importance, and We are glad that an earlier Meeting than we expected will afford an Opportunity to our Constituents to communicate to us the Sense of the Province upon the very interesting subjects mentioned in our Letter. The Session will be a very important one and We wish to attend, though we know not whether it will be agreeable to our Constituents to leave the Province unrepresented in Congress, it being a Matter of much Consequence to keep up the representation at this and all other times. We shall wait to hear from You and them upon this head, indeed we can’t quit the Congress without Leave which will not be given here unless our Attendance in Convention is desired. Mr. Tilghman left us yesterday, Mr Paca is here.
T. Stone and J. Rogers.

[Editor’s Note. The Maryland Convention responded on June 21 that the delegates “move Congress for permission to attend here, but that they do not leave the Congress without such permission, and without first having obtained an order that the consideration of the questions of Independence, foreign alliance, and a further Confederation of the Colonies, shall be postponed until Deputies from this Province can attend Congress.” Samuel Chase, Robert Goldsborough, Thomas Johnson, and Matthew Tilghman, all of whom were in Maryland, attended the convention.]

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.