Forty eight delegates from eleven colonies were present when the Second Congressional Congress met on 10 May at the State House in Philadelphia. Georgia and Rhode Island were not present. There were familiar faces from the First Continental Congress and there were the new faces of John Hancock and Benjamin Franklin. Influential “moderate” delegates from the First Continental Congress such as John Jay from New York and Joseph Galloway from Pennsylvania were not present. But then neither was the “radical” Patrick Henry of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson had not yet arrived.
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
New Hampshire: John Sullivan and John Langdon.
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Thomas Cushing, Samuel Adams, John Adams and Robert Treat Paine.
Connecticut: Eliphalet Dyer, Roger Sherman and Silas Deane.
New York: Philip Livingston, James Duane, and John Alsop.
Pennsylvania: Edward Biddle, John Dickinson, Thomas Mifflin, Charles Humphreys, John Morton, George Ross, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Willing.
Delaware: Cæsar Rodney, Thomas McKean, and George Read.
Maryland: Matthew Tilghman, Thomas Johnson, William Paca, Samuel Chase, and John Hall.
Virginia: Peyton Randolph, George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, Edmund Pendleton, Benjamin Harrison, and Richard Bland.
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, and Richard Caswell.
South Carolina: Henry Middleton, Thomas Lynch, Christopher Gadsden, John Rutledge and Edward Rutledge.
Peyton Randolph was unanimously chosen president and Charles Thomson was unanimously chosen secretary. It was then ordered “That the Revd. Mr. Duché be requested to open the Congress with prayers to Morrow Morning.” The delegates then adjourned until 10:00 am the next morning.
Robert Treat Paine from Massachusetts noted in his Diary that the various delegations, including the vacillating New York delegation, were provided a military escort to the City Tavern where they dined and then proceeded to Independence Hall for their opening session. And Richard Henry Lee noted in a letter to his brother that “there never appeared more perfect unanimity among any set of men than among the delegates….New York is at last alarmed.”
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.