Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: October 7, 1775

October 7, 1775

Congress considers The Pennsylvania Resolve, John Adams records a debate where at least 21 delegates discuss military and trade matters. He tells Abigail Adams “The Situation of Things is so alarming.” Silas Deane accepts the grinding daily schedule.

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

Sundry letters from N. York was laid before the Congress and read.

Congress resumed the consideration of the Resolution submitted by the Delegates of Rhode Island, and

Resolved, That an order be drawn on the treasurers, in favor of Francis Lewis, John Alsop, Thomas Willing, Silas Deane, and John Langdon, to pay for the goods they were ordered to purchase for the use of the continental army.

The committee appointed to consider the letter from the Convention of New York, respecting the fortifications ordered to be erected on Hudson’s River, brought in their report, which was agreed to.

Resolved, That orders be sent to General Wooster that he immediately return to the batteries erecting in the highlands, and there leave as many of his troops and that he repair with the remainder to New York.

A member from Pennsylvania [George Ross] laid before the Congress a Resolve passed in their House.

Pennsylvania Resolve, September 30, 1775 [Edited]

The house taking into consideration the several letters sent down yesterday by the Governor, acquainting him with the intrusion of a number of people into this province, under a pretended claim of the colony of Connecticut, to the great annoyance of the good people of this province:

Resolved, That the delegates for this province, be specially directed to lay the same before the Congress, with the mischievous tendency the pursuing such measures will have, and procure the aid of that assembly to quiet the minds of the good people of this province, and prevent further intrusion or extension of settlements under the said claim, until the matter shall be determined by the King and Council, to whom both sides have submitted the dispute.

Resolved, That the same be referred to the delegates from Pennsylvania and Connecticut, and they submit a report on Monday next.

Resolved, that the Congress will on Monday resolve itself into a committee of the whole to take into consideration the state of the trade of America.

Resolved, That the letter from Messrs. Morris and Wilson of the 14th of September, be referred to Monday next.

Resolved, that the Consideration of the resolve of Rhode Island be referred till next Monday week.

Adjourned to nine o’clock on Monday to meet at the State House.

John Adams’s Notes of Debates

[Editor’s Note. Chase, Dyer, Hopkins, Paine, Zubly, Randolph, J. Rutledge, Deane, S. Adams, J. Adams, Gadsden, Franklin, Duane, Sherman, Langdon, Ross, Willing, Lee, Moreton, Paine, R. R. Livingstone debate military and trade matters.]

The Letters upon our Table advise us to adopt every conciliatory Measure, that we may secure the Affections of the People of England.

John Adams to James Warren

The Debates, and Deliberations in Congress are impenetrable Secrets: but the Conversations in the City, and the Chat of the Coffee house, are free, and open. Indeed I wish We were at Liberty to write freely and Speak openly upon every Subject, for their is frequently as much Knowledge derived from Conversations and Correspondence, as from Solemn public Debates.

A more intricate and complicated Subject never came into any Mans thoughts, than the Trade of America. The Questions that arise, when one thinks of it, are very numerous.  If The Thirteen united Colonies Should immediately cease all Trade with every Part of the World, what would be the Consequence?… We shall finally be obliged to depend upon ourselves….

Silas Deane to Elizabeth Deane

I rise at Six, write until Seven dress & breakfast by Eight go to the Committee of Claims until Ten, then in Congress until half past Three or perhaps four-Dine by five, & then go either to the Committee of Secrecy, or of Trade until Nine, then Sup & go to Bed by Eleven. This leaves little Room for diversion, or anything else, and to Tell You the Truth I expect this kind of Life must be my Lot for some time….

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The Situation of Things, is so alarming, that it is our Duty to prepare our Minds and Hearts for every Event, even the Worst. From my earliest Entrance into Life, I have been engaged in the public Cause of America: and from first to last I have had upon my Mind, a strong Impression, that Things would be wrought up to their present Crisis. I saw from the Beginning that the Controversy was of such a Nature that it never would be settled, and every day convinces me more and more. This has been the source of all the Disquietude of my Life. It has lain down and rose up with me these twelve Years. The Thought that we might be driven to the sad Necessity of breaking our Connection with G.B. exclusive of the Carnage and Destruction which it was easy to see must attend the separation, always gave me a great deal of Grief. And even now, I would cheerfully retire from public life forever, renounce all Chance for Profits or Honors from the public, nay I would cheerfully contribute my little Property to obtain Peace and Liberty. But all these must go and my Life too before I can surrender the Right of my Country to a free Constitution. I dare not consent to it.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.