Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: October 19, 1775

October 19, 1775

Congress receives reports from three committees and sends a request to the provincial convention of New York.  Samuel Adams writes “Our Affairs are at this Moment in a critical Situation.” He has Canada in mind. John Adams informs Abigail that “When I shall come home I know not. We have so much to do, and it is so difficult to do it right, that We must learn Patience.”

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

The Committee of Claims reported two claims.

Ordered, That they be paid.

The Committee appointed to consider the method proposed by the commissary general for supplying the army with provisions, brought in their Report which was read.

A petition for Mr. Sears, and Mr. Randal, was laid before the Congress, and read.

After some debate, Resolved, That further consideration be deferred a fortnight.

The committee appointed to wait upon Captain John Macpherson reported that the scheme he mentions is feasible and that he proceed to the camp and confer with General Washington.

Resolved, That the provincial convention of New York send to Congress, a copy of any order or proceeding of theirs, or of the Mayor and corporation in consequence of Governor Tryon’s letter to the Mayor, published in a New York paper, dated the16th.

Adjourned to 9 o’Clock tomorrow.

Samuel Adams to James Warren

Our Affairs are at this Moment in a critical Situation. I am impatient to hear from Schuyler and Arnold. By Accounts received last Evening from Quebec, the Lieutenant Governor of that Colony (Carleton being absent) had raised a Number of Companies of Canadians to defend the Country. There was however no Expectation of an Expedition to Quebec at that time viz the 28th September.

John Adams to Joseph Palmer

There is another Thing of great Importance…. Some Representation of the Expenses which our Province has subjected itself to in the common Cause, that We may endeavor to obtain a Reimbursement, before the Continental Treasury shall be exhausted, which I fear will be Sooner than any one can imagine.

Congress has appointed a Committee to collect a Narration of the Violences and Depredations, the Rapine and Plunder of the Army and Navy, with affidavits to support it, for the Information of this Generation and all Posterity. This Committee will write to your general Court and to you particularly very soon requesting your assistance….

We are in hourly Expectation of being overwhelmed all at once, with Floods of Intelligence from England, Quebec, St. Johns, Cambridge, and twenty other Places. But at present it is as dead as Midnight.

John Adams to Abigail Adams

When I shall come home I know not. We have so much to do, and it is so difficult to do it right, that We must learn Patience. Upon my Word I think, if ever I were to come here again, I must bring you with me. I could live here pleasantly if I had you, with me. Will you come and have the small Pox here? I wish I could remove all the Family, our little Daughter and Sons, and all go through the Distemper here. What if We should? Let me please myself with the Thought however.

Congress has appointed Mr. Wythe, Mr. Deane and me, a Committee to collect an Account of the Hostilities committed by the Troops and Ships, with proper Evidence of the Number and Value of the Houses and other Buildings destroyed or damaged, the Vessels captivated and the Cattle, Sleep, Hogs &c. taken. We are about writing to all the general assemblies of New England, and to many private Gentlemen in each Colony to assist Us in making the Collections.

The Gentlemen with me are able Men. Deane’s Character you know. He is a very ingenious Man and an able Politician. Wythe is a new Member from Virginia, a Lawyer of the highest Eminence in that Province, a learned and very laborious Man: so that We may hope this Commission will be well executed. A Tale of Woe it will be! Such a scene of Distress, and Destruction and so patiently and magnanimously born. Such a Scene of Cruelty and Barbarity, so unfeelingly committed. I mention this to you my dear, that you may look up and transmit to me a Paper, which Colonel Palmer lent me containing a Relation of the Charlestown Battle, which was transmitted to England by the Committee of Safety. This Paper I must have, or a Copy of it.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.