Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: November 24, 1775

November 24, 1775

Existing Committees report and new Committees created. The Committee of Intercepted Letters is busy and the Massachusetts delegation is divided over the right to appoint military officers.

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Resolved, That dispatches be sent to the colony agents in England, by Robert  Morris’s vessel, which will be ready to sail on Monday.

The committee to whom the intercepted letters were referred, brought in their report, which being read and agreed to,

Resolved, That it be recommitted to the same Committee, and that they have the extracts agreed to be published, together with an authentic account of the capture of Chambly and St. John’s, and to have 1000 copies struck off to go with the dispatches.

The Congress proceeded to the choice of an Indian Commissioner to replace Major Hawley. Timothy Edwards was unanimously elected.

Resolved, That a Committee of Three be appointed to take into consideration the state of North Carolina, and report to Congress what in their opinion is necessary to be done for its safety and security. The members chosen: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Jefferson, and William Paca.

The Congress resumed the consideration of the rules of the navy &c., which being again read and debated were agreed to. The report of the Committee on General Washington’s letter being again read and after being debated, referred until tomorrow.

A petition from Downham Newton, was presented and read.

Resolved, That the petition be committed to a Committee of Three. The members chosen: Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Allen, and John Jay.

Resolved, That in case the Committee for promoting the manufacture of salt petre cannot procure persons to go to Virginia for that purpose, then skillful managers be employed to undertake it.

A petition from Captain Dugal McGregor, was presented and read.

Resolved, That the petition be referred to the Committee of Three.

The Committee on the state of the treasury, brought in their report, which was read, and ordered to be taken into consideration tomorrow.

Adjourned to ten o’Clock tomorrow.

John Hancock and Thomas Cushing to the Massachusetts Council

[Editor’s. Note. On November 11, the Massachusetts Council asked the Massachusetts delegation for advice on the right to appoint military officers.  The Massachusetts delegation was divided. John Hancock and Thomas Cushing voted one way; John Adams and Samuel Adams another way.  Robert Paine was in New York on committee business]

The determination of the Question, referred to in that Letter, either one way or the other so nearly affects the Interest of & will be so important in its consequences to the Colony we have the honor to represent, that we dare not venture our opinions what would be the sentiments of Congress upon such a measure as the House proposes and therefore are clearly of opinion the matter ought to be laid before the Congress & their sentiments taken upon the same, but we have been so crowded with the consideration of so many interesting & important matters since Mr. Revere’s arrival that there has been no opportunity for this as yet, and therefore must defer at present giving you the advice you request.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.