Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: October 9, 1775

October 9, 1775

Congress returns to Independence Hall. General Schuyler, Canada, gold and silver, additional battalions, and the creation of new committees are the concerns of the day. Rhode Island delegates write home that “it clearly appears that Administration is determined upon the most sanguinary & violent Measures.”

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Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

A letter from Joseph Trumbull, Commissary General, dated 23rd September, 1775, was read, requesting that money be paid to Mr. Tracy, for money by him advanced to Colonel Arnold, for the use of the Continent.

Resolved, That the request be approved.

As the success of the expedition to Canada depends upon supplying General Schuyler with a quantity of Gold and Silver;

Resolved, that the delegates of this province immediately request the treasurer to deliver to the continental treasurers the gold and silver in his hands.

Resolved That Mr. Duane be appointed to apply to the Committee of Safety of this Province and request them to lend one ton of gun powder, which is to be sent to New York, and send on what can be spared to General Schuyler.

A number of Letters from General Schuyler, with an enclosed letter from General Montgomery, and sundry other papers enclosed were read.

Resolved, That a Committee of Five be appointed to consider the letters and enclosures from General Schuyler and deliver a report.  The following were chosen: John Adams, Jonathon Rutledge, Samuel Chase, Robert R. Livingston, and Silas Deane.

The Delegates of Pennsylvania and Connecticut, being ready to report on the matter referred to them,

Resolved, That they bring in their report on Wednesday next.

Resolved that the delegates for Pennsylvania receive from the treasurers what sum of gold and silver they have collected, and forward the same tomorrow morning to General Schuyler and to apply for two of the light horse well armed to accompany him and assist in carrying the money.

Resolved, That it be recommended to the Convention of New Jersey, that they immediately raise, at the expense of the Continent, two Battalions consisting of eight companies each, and each company of 68 privates, officered with one Captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, four sergeants, and four corporals.

That the pay of the Officers be the same as that of the officers in the present continental army.

Resolved, that this Congress will tomorrow resolve itself into a committee of the whole to take into consideration the trade of these colonies.

A Letter from the Convention of New York enclosing a proposal for procuring powder was taken into consideration.

Resolved, that the same be referred to the Secret Powder Committee.

Adjourned till 9 o’Clock tomorrow.

Rhode Island Delegates to Nicholas Cooke (Governor of Rhode Island)

By a Number of Letters from England & the public Papers it clearly appears that Administration is determined upon the most sanguinary & violent Measures. We ought to be prepared for the worst….

The ministry depends much upon Canada. Their Plan by the best Intelligence is to take Possession of New York, Hudson’s River & Albany keep open a Communication with Canada, cut off all Intercourse between New England & the other Colonies, set the Canadians & Indians upon our Frontiers, and arm all our domestic Enemies against Us…. Things grow daily more serious, Our Enemies are making their greatest Efforts, let not this discourage but animate Us to double our Vigilance & exert every Nerve in the Service of our Country.

Upon Motion that it should be recommended to the Convention of Virginia to arrest & secure Lord Dunmore….This as to our Colony is a matter of great Delicacy especially in Newport. Some Letters advise to the seizing all Governors & crown officers on the Continent as the surest Way to preserve our maritime Towns. Whether such a measure would have that happy Effect or precipitate an Attack upon them You who are upon the Spot & well acquainted with the State of the Colony in all Respects can best determine. New Hampshire some time since seized the Money in the public Treasury. She has lately disarmed all the Tories & crown officers. Connecticut disarmed two whole Towns, other Colonies have seized public Money’s & Supplied them to provincial Uses. We are clear that such measures when necessary for the public Safety are perfectly justifiable. As to this particular Matter We submit it wholly to your Honor only suggesting whether it will not be best to keep the enclosed matter Secret save from a few trusty Friends until the next assembly, & then communicate it under the strongest Injunctions of Secrecy that our Enemies may get no Knowledge of it & that such Measures may be taken as the public Safety shall require. May infinite Wisdom direct & prosper all your Councils.

Members of the Secret Committee Contract

Be it remembered that it is agreed by & between the following persons to wit Philip Livingston, John Alsop and Francis Lewis of the city of New York, merchants, and Samuel Ward, John Langdon, Silas Deane, Thomas Willing & Thomas M’Kean Esquires a Quorum of the Committee of Secrecy appointed by the Honorable Continental Congress for the Thirteen United Colonies of North America that a voyage or voyages shall be forthwith undertaken.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.