Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: November 20, 1775

November 20, 1775

Congress reads letters, hears petitions, reviews contracts, and pays bills. Francis Lightfoot Lee interprets the King’s response to the Congressional Petition as a “design of establishing arbitrary Government in America.”

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Sundry letters from General Washington and Governor Trumbull, with sundry intercepted letters, were read.

Two petitions were presented to Congress and read.

Captain John Hulbert, authorized by General Schuyler, attended and reported on the proceedings and the disposal of the prisoners.

Resolved, That Thomas Lowry, of New Jersey, be reimbursed for furnishing the two battalions raised in New Jersey etc.

Ordered, That Robert Morris confer with Lowry about recompense.

Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to advertise, receive proposals, and secure contracts for supplying the battalions.

That this be referred to the Committee appointed to contract for supplying the battalion raised in Pennsylvania.

Congress elected Alexander Clough as an Adjutant for the New Jersey battalion.

Resolved, That General Schuyler revisit the place where the lead was found at Crown Point and Ticonderoga, and that as much as can be spared be sent immediately to the Camp at Cambridge.

Resolved, That the Secret Committee be able to contract for the importation of Lead.

Resolved, That intercepted letters be referred to the Committee of Seven, appointed on the 17th, in order to recommend such parts as it may be proper to publish.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.

Francis Lightfoot Lee to Landon Carter (Richmond County Committee)

The transports from Ireland with five Regiments complete have arrived at Boston, a fishing boat with 6 muskets took a schooner belonging to the fleet loaded with provisions for the officers, in her were many letters by which we learn that the Roman Catholic Lords, Bishops & Gentry are extremely active in procuring recruits; the Protestants very averse to the business, many recruiting parties driven out of their towns, and even the lower class of Catholics show great dislike to it, but with the high premiums given by the Popish towns &c many recruits are raised, & it is expected as many will be raised as will complete the number intended for the next campaign, which they say is 22,000….

I will not anticipate your reflection upon these infamous proceedings of the Ministry, but I think he must be blind indeed who does not see the design of establishing arbitrary Government in America; and unworthy the name of man, who does not oppose it, at all hazard. The establishment of Popery will no doubt, be the reward of the exertions of the Roman Catholics. We do not think the whole of these raw Irish will make a dinner for our troops. Our only fear is the want of ammunition, but we hope to be relieved from that before next spring….

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.