Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: May 16, 1775

May 16, 1775

The delicate situation in New York encourages delegates to think about what “independency” from Parliament, the Crown, or both might entail? On the other hand, what about reconciliation based on the “restoration” of  traditional principles?

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolved that a committee be appointed to consider what posts are necessary to be occupied and by what number of forces it will be proper they should be guarded.

Matthew Tilghman was unanimously chosen to take the chair. He reported from the committee of the whole that they had taken the matter referred to them into their consideration, debated upon it; but not having come to any resolution, desired him to move for leave to sit again.

Whereupon Resolved, That the Congress will tomorrow again resolve itself into a committee of the whole, to take into their further consideration the state of America.

Adjourned at 6:oo pm until tomorrow at 12 o’Clock.

Silas Deane’s Diary

Col. Lee opens the Debate and reads proposals for raising an Army.
Mr. Lynch seconds him–also Mr. Jonathan Rutledge who insists that previously some other points must be settled, such as do We aim at independency? or do We only ask for a Restoration of Rights & putting of Us on Our old footing–speaks long & well.
Mr. Robert R. Livingston succeeds him in the same way–short.

Mr. John Adams, lengthy, and Argumentative–independence on Parliament is absolutely to be averred in the Americans, but a dependence on the Crown is what We own.
Mr. Dickinson–
1st. a Vigorous preparation for War.
2d. a Vigorous prosecution of it-
3d. To strike out still a further plan for a reconciliation if it is possible–on the last head, he speaks near an hour,–very timid is for giving up entirely the Regulating of Trade, argues smoothly but Sophistically, on the Subject and gives rather disgust.
Mr. Wilson answers him generally, is not lengthy. Mr. E. Rutledge long &c.
Adjourned at 6 o’Clock.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.