Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: June 28, 1776

June 28, 1776

Five new delegates are chosen to represent New Jersey with instructions to pursue independence, confederation, and treaties. A “First Draft,” and a “Final Draft” of the Declaration are delivered by the Committee of Five and laid on the table.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

The Committee of Claims, to whom was referred the petition and accounts of Thomas Thomson, reported and the account was paid.  Payment is also due to Thomas Mayberry.

A petition from Colonel James Easton was presented to Congress, read, and referred to the committee appointed to inquire into the causes of the miscarriages in Canada.

A petition of William Poole was presented to Congress, read, and referred to the committee for making provision for wounded and disabled soldiers.

Francis Hopkinson, a delegate from New Jersey, attended, and produced the credentials of the recently selected delegates on June 22nd from New Jersey: Richard Stockton, Abraham Clark, John Hart, Francis Hopkinson, and Dr. John Witherspoon. 

They were to serve for one Year, unless a new Appointment be made before that Time.  One member had to be present to constitute a quorum.  The delegates were given power to join the other Colonies “in declaring the United Colonies independent of Great Britain, entering into a Confederacy for Union and common Defense, making Treaties with foreign Nations for Commerce and Assistance, and to take such other Measures as may appear to them and you necessary for these great Ends; promising to support them with the whole Force of this Province; always observing, that, whatever Plan of Confederacy you enter into, the Regulating the internal Police of this Province is to be reserved to the Colony Legislature.”

The Board of War recommend that the committee of safety of Pennsylvania be requested to employ Monsieur Le chevalier de Kirmovan in planning and laying out the fortification agreed by Congress on the river Delaware.

Resolved, That Francis Hopkinson be added to the committee for preparing a plan of confederation.

Resolved, That the Secret Committee be directed to sell to the committee of Salem county, in New Jersey, 300 lbs. of powder.

The committee appointed to prepare a Declaration of Independence brought in a draft which was reported, read, and ordered to lie on the table.

[Editor’s Note.  Thomas Jefferson wrote the “First Draft” and this was slightly changed within the Committee of Five, particularly by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.  The Committee then delivered the “Final Draft” to Congress. This draft was then altered on the on the floor of Congress.  For the changes made by Congress see the entries and commentary for July 1-July 4]

A petition from Christopher Champlin was presented to Congress, read and referred to a committee of three: Robert Morris, John Alsop, and Elbridge Gerry.

Resolved, That Henry Wisner, Robert Treat Paine, and William Floyd be a committee to confer with Anthony Mosengeil, on the subject of manufacturing sulphur:

Resolved, That the treasurers advance to the committee of safety of Pennsylvania a sum not exceeding 100,000 dollars.

Resolved, That the committee for superintending the treasury nominate and appoint six persons to oversee the millions of dollars ordered to be struck in small change.

Adjourned to 9 o’Clock on Monday next.

Joseph Hewes to James Iredell

On Monday the great question of Independency and Total Separation from all political intercourse with Great Britain will come on, it will be carried I expect by a great Majority and then I suppose we shall take upon us a New Name.

Theodore Sedgwick to Pamela Sedgwick

Congress this day resolved itself into a committee of the whole house to take into consideration the state of the nation, objects of more importance never came before an assembly. What will be the result God only knows, but unless the Government is reformed I am confident that what is commonly called accident will determine the state of our future existence….

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.