Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: October 21, 1775

October 21, 1775

Congress continues to consider the state of the trade of the colonies, John Adams writes that the “Continental association is most rigidly and sacredly observed,” and we “must set up Works at the public Expense.”  Henry Lightfoot Lee informs Landon Carter about Lord Dunmore’s “plot” to bring ruin to America.

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole to consider the state of the trade of the Colonies, and after some time, Samuel Ward reported that the Committee had considered the matter referred to them but not having yet come to a conclusion, wished “leave to sit again.”

A letter from General Washington dated 12 Oct., with sundry enclosures, was laid

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock on Monday.

John Adams to William Tudor

The Continental association is most rigidly and sacredly observed, throughout the Continent in all material Branches of it. Not a vessel puts to Sea anywhere….

John Adams to James Warren

We must bend our Attention to Salt Petre. We must make it. While B. is Mistress of the sea, and has so much Influence with foreign Courts, We cannot depend upon a Supply from abroad.  It is certain that it can be made here because it is certain that it has been formerly and more latterly. …

Every Colony My Friend must set up Works at the public Expense.  I am determined never to have Salt Petre out of my Mind but to insert some stroke or other about it in every Letter for the future. It must be had.

Francis Lightfoot Lee to Landon Carter (House of Burgesses)

It gives me concern to hear that you are withdrawing from public business; upon my word, this is not a time for men of abilities with good intentions to be only spectators, if we can’t do all the good we could wish, let us at least endeavor to prevent all the mischief in our power. Your good friend Ld. Dunmore is endeavoring to raise all the powers on earth to demolish poor Virginia. We have advice, that at his earnest solicitation a fleet may be expected this fall to ravage our defenseless plantations & burn our little Towns. And we have lately discovered a plot of his & Conolly’s, which is to be executed in the following manner. Conolly despairing of getting up the Country through Virga. or the Carolina’s, is to go to St. Augustine from thence to the Creeks & Cherokees, and through all the tribes to Detroit; by General Gage’s commission he is to have the Garrison & Cannon of that place, & the assistance of the French at that settlement. With all these he is to form an army in the spring, & march to Pittsburgh, from thence to Alexandria, proclaiming freedom to all servants that will enlist; there he is to be joined by Dunmore with the fleet & troops from England & march through the Country. He has Captains commissions from Dunmore for Cornstalk & White Eyes. We have given the earliest intelligence of these schemes to our Committee of Safety, & hope with their endeavors assisted by the Carolinas & Georgia, that Conolly may be intercepted this fall or winter.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.