Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: October 16, 1775

October 16, 1775

Self-defense is today’s theme. A Committee of Three is created to report on the letters from the New Jersey Convention, and a Committee of Five considers additional ways and means of promoting the manufacture of saltpeter. General Schuyler’s letter receives considerable attention. John Hancock writes to the New York Provincial Convention that Schuyler “is in great distress for want of powder.”

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Two letters from the Convention of New Jersey, dated 13th and 14th were read.  

Resolved, That a Committee of three be appointed to report on the letters. John Rutledge, John Dickinson, and William Livingston were chosen.

A letter from General Schuyler, with sundry papers, dated 5th October, were read.

Resolved, That the sum of 200,000 dollars be sent to the deputy pay master general for the northern army. That the delegates of Pennsylvania do immediately count and send forward the above sum under a guard.

Resolved, That the ton of powder forwarded last week to New York, be immediately forwarded to General Schuyler.

Resolved, That a Committee of five members be appointed to consider further ways and means of promoting the manufacture of saltpetre. Peyton Randolph, Henry Wisner, Samuel Chase, John Rutledge, and John Morton were chosen.

Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to all persons, who are possessed of salt petre lately removed from Turtle bay, on the Island of New York, forthwith to send the same to the President of the convention of New York, to be manufactured into Gun powder, for the use of the continental army.

Resolved, that Peyton Randolph and Stephen Hopkins join John Rutledge to wait on John McPherson, and confer with him on the subject contained in his letter.

Ordered, That John Langdon, Eliphalet Dyer, and John Adams, inquire what quantity of powder has been sent to the northern army, and report by whom sent.

Adjourned to 9 o’Clock tomorrow.

John Hancock to the New York Provincial Convention

By some late advices from General Schuyler, we understand that he is in great distress for want of powder. And as so much depends on the success of that expedition-indeed as the safety of all America depends upon it-the Congress have unanimously agreed that the ton of powder forwarded to you last week from Philadelphia be, with all possible expedition, dispatched to General Schuyler. In the meantime the Congress will fall upon all the measures in their power to furnish you with what they possibly can.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.