Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: June 5, 1775

June 5, 1775

There is a failure to meet the quorum requirement. Joseph Hewes introduces the theme of “Necessity” as a justification for action.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Several of the colonies not being represented, Congress adjourned until tomorrow at 9 o’Clock. 

Joseph Hewes to Samuel Johnston (North Carolina Provincial Congress)

I would write a much longer [letter] if I was at liberty to mention the business taken up by the Congress, but that I cannot do till the injunction of Secrecy is taken off.  They have much before them, scarce a day passes without the arrival of an express from some quarter, and although Necessity strongly urges that they should be speedy in their determinations, yet they proceed very slowly…. I could say a thousand things to you in my Chamber that I cannot by any means put on paper.  

I am exceedingly uneasy (so are my Colleagues) not that I think we are doing anything but what Necessity will Justify….

I think it will be absolutely Necessary to have a Provincial Convention immediately….An express should be sent to every County with Letters to some of the most popular Men that are friendly to our cause, and great care should be taken to have as full a representation as possible. Some matters will be laid before them that will require the utmost exertions of every friend to American Liberty amongst you.

It has been often proposed by some of our Members out of Doors to Adjourn to Hartford or New haven in Connecticut in Order that we might be near the seat of Action, but some of the Southern Gentlemen have not yet given their Consent, nor do I think they ever will. Hooper and myself are willing. I shall be pleased with the Change, it would afford me an opportunity of Visiting the Camp of the American Army near Boston which I want much to see.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.