Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: March 12, 1776

March 12, 1776

After dealing with sundry issues, petitions, and letters, Congress “resumed the consideration of the instructions to the commissioners going to Canada and after some time spent thereon,” postponed further consideration until Wednesday.  Congress also postponed consideration of the destruction of property claims against Colonel Hazen. Samuel Ward inspires his son who was a prisoner of war.

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolved, That an order be drawn on the treasurers in favor of James Mease.

A petition from Edmund Custis, and a letter from the committees of Accomac and Northampton, were presented and read:

Resolved, That the same be referred to the committee of the whole.

A letter from sundry inhabitants of Westmoreland, and a petition from Dr. Hall Jackson were presented, read, and Ordered, To lie on the table.

The Congress resumed the consideration of the instructions to the commissioners going to Canada, and after some time spent thereon, postponed further consideration until tomorrow.

The Committee to whom the letter from Colonel Moses Hazen, and the report of persons appointed to state the account of losses and damages sustained by him in Canada, were referred, delivered their report and, after consideration, Congress Resolved, That the commissioners who are going to Canada appoint proper persons to examine the loss and damage Colonel Hazen sustained in his property and possessions in Canada, by the forces of the United Colonies, and report the same, with any special matters they may think fit, to Congress; annexing to their report the estimates, examinations of witnesses, and other relevant papers.

Resolved, That if any of the field officers in the four battalions in New York are sent to Canada, and that others be elected to replace them.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.

Samuel Ward to Samuel Ward, Jr.

The great object of Creation was human Happiness, The Path and the only Path which leads to it Virtue, all History as well as Reason confirms this Truth. I will mention only one Instance out of many. (Your favorite Study) the Roman History, while temperate, frugal, just & virtuous what Wonders did they perform, with what amazing Velocity They rose to Glory and Empire. It is true that after this happy Period their Exertions were vast & their Empire immensely extended but these Efforts were like the violent throws of a Person in a convulsion & Fits than the steady yet vigorous exertions of a Man of a good constitution in high health & the Empire like the unhappy sick Man after being torn to Pieces by violent Convulsions sunk under them & is no more. Your own Reading will furnish innumerable Instances of this Kind & young as you are you must often have observed the fatal Effects of Vice. Shun therefore my dear Son as inevitable Ruin, Luxury & Vice of every Kind & endeavor to impress deeply upon your Heart the Love of God, of Mankind & of Country, in one Word every moral, social & relative Virtue, next to these endeavor to acquire every useful & amiable Accomplishment; if you spend your Time in this, a truly glorious Employ, it may be very happy for you that you was taken a Prisoner. May the eternal Fountain of Wisdom lead you in the Way in which you should go.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.