Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: October 25, 1775

October 25, 1775

Congress gets back to work after the funeral. Letters are read, committees provide reports, claims are paid, decisions postponed, secret enemy instructions discovered, and delegates are reminded to arrive on time. Reverend John Zuby wishes “never to see the day when the Issue whether we ought to Separate Should be agitated.” Josiah Bartlett describes the long working days and short exercising hours, but hopes “I Shall be at home Sometime in December.”

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

A Letter from General Washington, dated 30th September and two from Governor Trumbull, dated 9th and 17th October and one from the Convention of New York, 20th October, were read.

The Committee appointed to prepare an answer to the letters from the Convention of New Jersey, of the 13th and 14th Inst, brought in a draft, which was read and debated.

Resolved, the following to be inserted as part of the answer:

Congress 1) are of opinion the public service makes it necessary that the Jersey battalions be levied with all possible expedition, but as 2) the Congress are waiting the return of their Committee from Camp in order to establish permanent regulations for all continental forces, they 3) postpone a determination on the question about the appointment of regimental field officers.

The letter was agreed to and the President Ordered to forward it.

The Committee of Claims reported three claims due.

Ordered, That the claims be paid.

The Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania laid before the Congress sundry papers, being enclosed, instructions given by General Gage to one Duncan Campbell of Duchess County New York, and an examination of sundry persons on board vessels being cast away on Brigantine Beach.  These were seized by order of the Committee of Safety and are now in safe custody in this city.

The Instructions to Captain Duncan Campbell from General Gage which were found, were read, and ordered to be published.

Also the examination of Campbell and others was read.

Ordered, That a copy of them be forwarded to the Convention of New York with a recommendation to them to seize a Mr. Grant, who, it is said, is employed in raising recruits in that Colony.

Resolved, That Joseph Hewes be added to the Committee of Claims.

The other matters referred to this day postponed.

Ordered, that the Messenger go around to the Members and request them to be punctual in their attendance at 10 o’Clock.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.

Reverend John Zubly’s Diary

A Separation from the Parent state I would dread as one of the greatest evils & should it ever be proposed will write, pray & fight against it. Some good Men may desire it but good Men do not always Know what they are about. I have more than a little thought on this Matter, & being born & bred in a Commonwealth should not be unacquainted with republican Government but wish never to see the day when the Issue whether we ought to Separate Should be agitated. Hints of this Kind arm our friends & Enemies in G. B. against us & are pernicious in the highest degree….

Secret Committee Minutes of Proceedings

[Editor’s Note.  The following entry is to assist in the construction of an Attendance Record. At a meeting of the Committee. Present: Samuel Ward, John Langdon, Silas Deane, John Alsop, & Thomas McKean, a Quorum of said Committee.]

Josiah Bartlett to Mary Bartlett

I am by the Goodness of God in a Good State of health; have got my Strength and have not so much of the Headache as usual. When I Shall be able to Return I Cannot inform you But am in hopes I Shall be at home Sometime in December. I Expect it will be very Difficult going Such a journey in the winter; As Soon as Business will admit you may be assured I Shall Return with all Speed.

I Begin to fear I Shall Soon want Exercise as we are obliged to Set Every Day Except Sunday from 9 in the morning till near 4 in the afternoon and by that time we have Dined or Supped Call it which you please it is night and So have no time for Riding out.

Last Sunday Mr Randolph member of Congress from Virginia & late President of the Congress was taken at table with an Apoplexy & Died in a few hours and was yesterday Buried attended by the Congress, the Assembly of this Province, the ministers of all Denominations in this City, 3 Regiments Consisting of about 2000 men in their Regimentals with Drums muffled &c and it is thought 12 or 15 thousand other Inhabitants; in Short it is Supposed to be much the greatest funeral that Ever was in America.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.