Congress, finally, decides on an import-export policy. Samuel Ward writes that the text of the King’s Speech of August 23rd just arrived. “We are all declared to be Rebels… this has a most happy Effect here for those who hoped for Redress from our Petitions now give them up & heartily join with us in carrying on the War vigorously.”
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
A letter from General Washington received by express, was read, containing an account of the burning of Falmouth.
Ordered, That a copy be forwarded by the delegates to their respective assemblies, conventions, or councils of safety.
A letter from the Committee of Conference, together with the minutes of their conference, were read.
Ordered, To lie on the table for the perusal of the members.
The Congress, then considered the report from the Committee of the Whole.
Resolved, That no produce of the United Colonies be exported, (except from colony to colony, under the direction of the Committees of Inspection and Observation, and except from one part to another of the same colony) before the first day of March next, without the permission or order of this Congress:1 provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to vacate the resolutions of Congress for the importation of arms, ammunition, &c.
Resolved, That New York, the lower Counties on Delaware, North Carolina, and Georgia, ought not to avail themselves of the benefit allowed to them by the late restraining act, and therefore, that no persons should apply at the custom houses in those colonies for clearances or other documents, which other colonies are deprived of by said restraining act, for securing the navigation of vessels with cargoes from their ports: provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed to vacate the resolutions of July 15th and 26th. of this Inst. for the importation of ammunition, &c.
And that the President transmit to the Assemblies or Conventions of those colonies, copies of this resolution, with the thanks of this Congress, for not having taken advantage of the exemptions in the Act of Parliament.
Resolved, That no Rice be exported under the exception contained in the 4th Article of the Association, from any of the United Colonies to Great Britain, Ireland, or the islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Aldernay, or Man, or any other European Island, or settlement within the British Dominions.
That no livestock, (necessary sea stores, at the discretion of the committees, and horses excepted) be exported from these colonies, or water borne, except in rivers, bays, and sounds.
On motion made, Ordered, that the Delegates for South Carolina and Georgia have a copy of the above resolutions to forward to their conventions.
The further consideration of the report postponed, and also the other matters referred to this day, and the order of the day renewed,
Adjourned to ten o’Clock tomorrow.
Samuel Ward to Deborah Ward
We have nothing to expect but War and I think We are in a Way to carry it on with the greatest Success. Gentlemen who a few months since could not bear the Idea of War now cheerfully concur with us in the most spirited Measures. In one Word my Dear We are determined to spare neither Men nor Money; May God of his infinite Goodness direct & Prosper all our Measures & in his own due Time restore Peace, Liberty & Safety to this Continent.
I am engaged in a Committee in the mornings always & often in an Evening which with attending constantly upon Congress leaves Me little or no Time for necessary Relaxation & Exercise….
P.S. Two Ships have arrived from London. They bring over amongst other Things a Proclamation dated 23rd August for suppressing Rebellion & Treason in the Colonies. [Editor’s Note. This is also called the King’s Speech] We are all declared to be Rebels in effect though not in express Terms, this has a most happy Effect here for those who hoped for Redress from our Petitions now give them up & heartily join with us in carrying on the War vigorously.
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.