Congress implements measures to outfit armed vessels and Nova Scotia applies for admission to the Association. Congress 1) creates five new committees including a Committee of Five to reflect on the Nova Scotia Petition and a Committee of Three to purchase 3,000 felt hats etc. for the Army and 2) postpones the consideration of a number of letters, petitions, and memorials. Samuel Ward is ecstatic with the arrival of the King’s Proclamation for suppressing Rebellion & Sedition. Doubt and confusion over whether to reconcile or seek independence are, it appears, are gone. We are “Brother Rebels” Ward declares.
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
The Committee of Claims reported that several claims are due.
Ordered that the claims be paid.
Resolved that the Committee appointed to carry into execution the resolves of Congress for fitting out four armed vessels, receive adequate funding and hiring authority. As an encouragement to officers and seamen the Committee be able to offer one half of all ships of war and one-third of all transport vessels captured as prizes.
The Inhabitants of Passamaquoddy in Nova Scotia, have chosen a committee of Safety, and applied to Congress to be admitted into the association of the North Americans, for the preservation of their rights and liberties.
Resolved, That a Committee of Five be appointed to consider the Nova Scotia petition, and report what steps it will be proper to take for the preservation of the liberties of America. The members chosen: Silas Deane, John Jay, Stephen Hopkins, John Langdon, and John Adams.
Resolved, That the delegates have liberty to transmit to their respective committees of safety, a copy of the resolutions passed yesterday.
That the resolution for shutting the ports until March 1st be published.
A Memorial respecting Lieutenant Symes from of the committee of Safety of Pennsylvania, a letter from Gunning Bedford, the report of The Committee to consider the instructions given to the delegates of New Hampshire, a petition from John Rains, of Bermudas,
Ordered, to lie on the table.
Resolved, That a Committee of Three be appointed to repair to the northward, to confer with General Schuyler, and pursue such instructions as may be given them in charge by the Congress. The members chosen: John Langdon, Robert Treat Paine, and Eliphalet Dyer.
Resolved, That a Committee of Five be appointed to draw up instructions for the Committee of Three: Thomas Lynch, John Jay, Richard Henry Lee, Silas Deane, and John Adams.
Resolved, That 3,000 felt hats, 3,000 worsted caps, 3,000 pair of buckskin breeches, 3,000 pair of shoes, and 3,000 pair of yarn stockings, and 3,000 waistcoats, suitable for the season, be immediately purchased and sent to the Army, under the command of General Schuyler, to be sold to the soldiers at prime cost, including charges of carriage, and 5 percent to the quarter Master, by whom the goods are to be sold.
Resolved, That those goods be sold to those soldiers only, who will re-enlist in the continental Army, and to the new recruits.
Resolved, That as much duffels or Kersey, as will make up three hundred watch coats, be purchased and sent to General Schuyler, with needles and thread, to be made into watch coats, and that these be charged to the Continent, and kept for the use of the sentries.
Resolved, That a Committee of Three– John Alsop, Francis Lewis, and Roger Sherman–be appointed for purchasing the foregoing articles.
Ordered, That the Committee apply to the committee of inspection of this city and liberties of Philadelphia, for their Assistance in purchasing the above articles.
Resolved, That the Congress will tomorrow consider the state of South Carolina.
That the state of the Army at Cambridge be referred until tomorrow.
The Committee appointed to repair to the Camp at Cambridge, having returned, delivered a report that will be read tomorrow.
Resolved, That Saturday next be assigned for taking into consideration the report of the committee, and the state of the army at Cambridge.
Resolved, That the petition of Messrs. Sears and Randall, be referred to Monday next.
Adjourned to ten o’Clock tomorrow.
Samuel Ward to Henry Ward
The Evening before last two Ships arrived from England. The Advices which they bring (amongst which is a Proclamation for suppressing Rebellion & Sedition) are of immense Service to [us]. Our Councils have been hitherto too fluctuating; one Day measures for carrying on the War was adopted, the next nothing must be done that would widen the unhappy Breech between G. B. & the Colonies; as these different Ideas have prevailed our Conduct has been directed. Had We at the opening of the Congress in May immediately taken proper Measures for carrying on the War with Vigor We might have been in Possession of all Canada undoubtedly & probably of Boston. Thank God the happy Day which I have long wished for is at length arrived. The southern Colonies no longer entertain Jealousies of the northern, they no longer look back to G. Britain, they are convinced that they have been pursuing a Phantom and that their only Safety is a vigorous determined Defense.
One of the Gentlemen [Editor’s Note. Samuel Chase] who has been most sanguine for pacific measures & very jealous of the N.E. Colonies addressing Me in the Style of Brother Rebel told me he was now ready to join Us heartily. We have got says He a sufficient Answer to our Petition; I want nothing more but am ready to declare Ourselves independent, send Ambassadors &c & much more which Prudence forbids me to commit to Paper. Our Resolutions will henceforth be spirited, clear and decisive. May the supreme Governor of the Universe direct & prosper them. The Pleasure which this Unanimity gives Me is inexpressible. I consider it as a sure Presage of Victory, My Anxiety is now at an End. I am no longer worried with contradictory Resolutions but feel a calm cheerful Satisfaction in having one great & just Object in View & the Means of obtaining it certainly by the divine Blessing….
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.