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unanimously nominate and appoint Cæsar Rodney, Thomas M'Kean, and George Read, esqrs. or any two of them, deputies, on the part and behalf of this government, in a general continental Congress, proposed to be held at the city of Philadelphia, on the first Monday in September next, or at any other time or place that may be generally agreed on, then and there, to consult and advise with the deputies from the other colonies, and to determine upon all such prudent and lawful measures, as may be judged most expedient for the colonies immediately and unitedly to adopt, in order to obtain relief for an oppressed people, and the redress of our general grievances.
Signed by order of the convention,
CÆSAR RODNEY, Chairman.
At a meeting of the committees appointed by the several counties of the province of Maryland, at the city of Annapolis, the 22d day of June, 1774, and continued by adjournment, from day to day, till the 25th of the same month: MATTHEW TILGHMAN, esq. in the chair: JOHN DUCKET, clerk:
Resolved, That Matthew Tilghman, Thomas Johnson, jun. Robert Goldsborough, William Paca, and Samuel Chase, esqrs. or any two or more of them, be deputies for this province, to attend a General Congress of deputies from the colonies, at such time and place as may be agreed on, to effect one general plan of conduct, operating on the commercial connection of the colonies with the mother country, for the relief of Boston, and preservation of American liberty.
MONDAY THE 1ST OF AUGUST, in the year of our Lord, 1774.
At a general meeting of delegates from the different counties in this colony, convened in the city of Williamsburgh, to take under their consideration the present critical and alarming situation of the continent of North-America:
Hon. PEYTON RANDOLPH, esq. in the chair:
It was unanimously resolved, That it is the opinion of this meeting, that it will be highly conducive to the security and happiness of the British empire, that a General Congress of deputies from all the colonies, assemble as soon as the nature of their situations will admit, to consider of the most proper and effectual manner of so operating on the commercial connexion of the colonies with the mother country, as to procure redress for the much injured province of Massachusetts-Bay, to secure British America from the ravage and ruin of arbitrary taxes, and speedily to procure the return of that harmony and union, so beneficial to the whole empire, and so ardently desired by all British America.
FRIDAY, August 5, 1774.
The meeting proceeded to the choice of delegates, to represent this colony in General Congress, when the hon. Peyton Randolph, Richard Henry Lee, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Richard Bland, Benjamin Harrison, and Edmund Pendleton, esqrs. were appointed for that purpose.
IN THE COMMONS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, TUESDAY, the 2d day of August, 1774. Colonel Powel acquainted the house, that during the recess of this house, viz: on the sixth, seventh, and eighth days of July last, at a general meeting
of the inhabitants of this colony, they having under consideration the acts of parliament lately passed with regard to the port of Boston and colony of Massachusetts-Bay, as well as other American grievances, had nominated and appointed the honourable Henry Middleton, John Rutledge, Thomas Lynch, Christopher Gadsden, and Edward Rutledge, esqrs. deputies on the part and hehalf of this colony, to meet the deputies of the other colonies of North America, in General Congress, the first Monday in September next at Philadelphia, or at any other time and place that may be generally agreed on, there to consider the acts lately passed, and bills depending in parliament with regard to the port of Boston and colony of Massachusetts-Bay, which acts and bills in the precedent and consequences affect the whole continent of America-also the grievances under which America labours, by reason of the several acts of parliament that impose taxes or duties for raising a revenue, and lay unnecessary restraints and burdens on trade; and of the statutes, parliamentary acts, and royal instructions, which make an invidious distinction between his majesty's subjects in Great-Britain and America, with full power and authority to concert, agree to, and effectually prosecute such legal measures, as in the opinion of the said deputies, and of the deputies so to be assembled, shall be most likely to obtain a repeal of the said acts, and a redress of those grievances: and thereupon moved that this house do resolve to recognize, ratify, and confirm the said appointment of the deputies for the purposes aforesaid.
Resolved, N. C. D. That this house do recognize, ratify, and confirm the appointment of the said deputies for the purposes mentioned in the said motion. ATTESTED, THOMAS FARR, jun. clerk.
TUESDAY, September 6, 1774, A. M.
The Congress met according to adjournment. Present: The same members as yesterday, and moreover, from the colony of Virginia, Richard Henry Lee, esquire.
The Congress, resuming the consideration of rules of conduct to be observed in debating and determining the questions, that come under consideration, Resolved, That in determining questions in this Congress, each colony or province shall have one vote.-The Congress not being possessed of, or at present able to procure proper materials for ascertaining the importance of each colony.
Resolved, That no person shall speak more than twice on the same point, without leave of the Congress.
Resolved, That no question shall be determined the day, on which it is agitated and debated, if any one of the colonies desire the determination to be postponed to another day.
Resolved, That the door be kept shut during the time of business, and that the members consider themselves under the strongest obligations of honour, to keep the proceedings secret, until the majority shall direct them to be made public.
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to state the rights of the colonies in general, the several instances in which those rights are violated or infringed, and the means most proper to be pursued for obtaining a restoration of them.
Ordered, That the appointment of the committee, and the number of which it shall consist, be deferred until to-morrow.
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to examine and report the several statutes, which affect the trade and manufactures of the colonies.
Same order as above respecting the appointment and number of this committee.
Resolved, That the reverend Mr. Duche be desired to open the Congress to-morrow morning with prayers, at the Carpenter's Hall, at nine o'clock. Thomas Johnson, jun. esq. one of the delegates from Maryland, attended and took his seat.
Extract from the minutes of the directors of the Library Company of Philadelphia, dated August 31st, 1774,-directed to the President, was read, as follows:
"Upon motion, ordered,
"That the librarian furnish the gentlemen, who are to meet in Congress, with the use of such books as they may have occasion for, during their sitting, ta king a receipt for them.
Signed by order of the directors,
WILLIAM ATTMORE, Secretary." Ordered, That the tharks of the Congress be returned to the directors of the Library Company of Philadelphia, for their obliging order. Adjourned until nine o'clock to-morrow.
WEDNESDAY, September 7, 1774, A. M.
Agreeable to the resolve of yesterday, the meeting was opened with prayers by the reverend Mr. Duche.
Voted, That the thanks of the Congress be given to Mr. Duche, by Mr. Cushing and Mr. Ward, for performing divine service, and for the excellent prayer, which he composed and delivered on the occasion.
The Congress, taking into consideration the appointment of the committees, a vote was taken on the number of which the first committee should consist, and, by a great majority, resolved that it consist of two from each of the colonies, as follows;
New-Hampshire, Major John Sullivan, and col-Pennsylvania, Mr. Joseph Galloway, and Mr. Edward Biddle.
Massachusetts-Bay, Mr. Samuel Adams, and Delaware government, Mr. Cæsar Rodney, and
Rhode-Island, Mr. Hopkins, and Mr. Ward. Maryland, Mr. Thomas Johnson, and Mr.
New-York, Mr. James Duane, and Mr. John Virginia, Mr. Lee, and Mr. Pendleton.
New-Jersey, Mr. Livingston, and Mr. Dehart.
Agreed, that the second committee consist of one chosen from each colony, as follows:
Ordered, That Isaac Lefevre, and James Lynch, be employed as door-keepers and messengers to this Congress.
Resolved, That the President may adjourn the Congress from day to day, when he finds there is no business prepared to be laid before them, and may, when he finds it necessary, call them together before the time to which they may stand adjourned.
Adjourned until to-morrw morning, nine o'clock.
The President, agreeably to the resolve of the seventh instant, adjourned the Congress from day to day until
The Congress met.
MONDAY, September 12, 1774.
Matthew Tilghman, esq. one of the delegates from Maryland, appeared and took his scat.
No business being prepared for the Congress, the President adjourned it until Tuesday, and from Tuesday until
WEDNESDAY, September 14, 1774, A. M.
William Hooper and Joseph Hewes, esquires, two of the deputies from NorthCarolina, attended the Congress, and produced their credentials, as follows: North-Carolina, at a general meeting of deputies of the inhabitants of this province, Newburn, the 25th day of August, 1774:
Resolved, That we approve of the proposal of a General Congress, to be held in the city of Philadelphia, on the twentieth day of September next, then and there to deliberate upon the present state of British America, and to take such measures, as they may deem prudent, to effect the purpose of describing with certainty the rights of Americans, repairing the breach made in those rights, and for guarding them for the future from any such violations done under the sanction of public authority.
Resolved, That Willian Hooper, Joseph Hewes, and Richard Caswell, esquires, and every of them, be deputies to attend such Congress, and they are hereby invested with such powers, as may make any acts done by them, or consent given in behalf of this province, obligatory in honour upon every inhabitant hereof, who is not an alien to his country's good, and an apostate to the liberties of America.
JOHN HERVEY, Moderator ANDREW KNOX, Clerk.
The above being read and approved, the deputies took their seats. Henry Wisner, a delegate from the county of Orange, in the colony of New-York, appeared at Congress, and produced a certificate of his election. by the said county, which being read and approved, he took his seat in Congress as a deputy for the colony of New-York.
George Ross, one of the delegates for the province of Pennsylvania, and John Alsop, esq. one of the delegates for the colony of New-York, appeared and took their seats in Congress.
Ordered, That William Hooper and Joseph Hewes, esqrs. from North-Carolina, be added to the committee appointed to state the rights of thecolonies. Ordered, That William Hooper, esq. be one of the committee appointed to report the statutes, which affect the trade, &c. of the colonies.
The delegates from the province of Massachusetts-Bay, agreeable to a request from the joint committees of every town and district in the county of Middlesex, in the said province, communicated to the Congress the proceedings of those committees at Concord, on the 30th and 31st days of August last, which were read.
Adjourned until to-morrow at nine o'clock.
No business being prepared, the Congress was adjourned from day to day, until Saturday morning, at nine o'clock.
SATURDAY, September 17, 1774, A. M. The Congress met according to adjournment.
Richard Caswell, esq. one of the deputies from North-Carolina, appeared, and took his seat in Congress.
The resolutions entered into by the delegates from the several towns and districts in the county of Suffolk, in the province of the Massachusetts-Bay, on Tuesday the 6th of September, and their address to his excellency governor Gage, dated the 9th, were laid before the Congress, and are as follows:
At a meeting of the delegates of every town and district in the county of Suffolk, on Tuesday the 6th of September, at the house of Mr. Richard Woodward, of Dedham, and, by adjournment, at the house of Mr.Vose, of Mil
ton, on Friday the 9th instant, Joseph Palmer, esq. being chosen moderator, and William Thompson, esq. clerk, a committee was chosen to bring in a report to the convention, and the following being several times read, and put paragraph by paragraph, was unanimously voted, viz.
Whereas the power but not the justice, the vengeance but not the wisdom of Great-Britain, which of old persecuted, scourged, and exiled our fugitive parents from their native shores, now pursues us, their guiltless children, with unrelenting severity: And whereas, this, then savage and uncultivated desart, was purchased by the toil and treasure, or acquired by the blood and valour of those our venerable progenitors; to us they bequeathed the dearbought inheritance, to our care and protection they consigned it, and the most sacred obligations are upon us to transmit the glorious purchase, unfettered by power, unclogged with shackles, to our innocent and beloved offspring. On the fortitude, on the wisdom and on the exertions of this important day, is suspended the fate of this new world, and of unborn millions. If a boundless extent of continent, swarming with millions, will tamely submit to live, move and have their being at the arbitrary will of a licentious minister, they basely yield to voluntary slavery, and future generations shall load their memories with incessant execrations. On the other hand, if we arrest the hand which would ransack our pockets, if we disarm the parricide which points the dagger to our bosoms, if we nobly defeat that fatal edict which proclaims a power to frame laws for us in all cases whatsoever, thereby entailing the endless and numberless curses of slavery upon us, our heirs and their heirs forever; if we successfully resist that unparalleled usurpation of unconstitutional power, whereby our capital is robbed of the means of life; whereby the streets of Boston are thronged with military executioners; whereby our coasts are lined and harbours crouded with ships of war; whereby the charter of the colony, that sacred barrier against the encroachments of tyranny, is mutilated and, in effect, annihilated; whereby a murderous law is framed to shelter villains from the hands of justice; whereby the unalienable and inestimable inheritance, which we derived from nature, the constitution of Britain, and the privileges warranted to us in the charter of the province, is totally wrecked, annulled, and vacated, posterity will acknowledge that virtue which preserved them free and happy; and while we enjoy the rewards and blessings of the faithful, the torrent of panegyrists will roll our reputations to that latest period, when the streams of time shall be absorbed in the abyss of eternity.-Therefore, we have resolved, and do resolve,
1. That whereas his majesty, George the Third, is the rightful successor to the throne of Great-Britain, and justly entitled to the allegiance of the British realm, and agreeable to compact, of the English colonies in America-therefore, we, the heirs and successors of the first planters of this colony, do cheerfully acknowledge the said George the Third to be our rightful sovereign, and that said covenant is the tenure and claim on which are founded our allegiance and submission.
2. That it is an indispensable duty which we owe to God, our country, ourselves and posterity, by all lawful ways and means in our power to maintain, defend and preserve those civil and religious rights and liberties, for which many of our fathers fought, bled and died, and to hand them down entire to future generations.
3. That the late acts of the British parliament for blocking up the harbour of Boston, for altering the established form of government in this colony, and for screening the most flagitious violators of the laws of the province from a legal trial, are gross infractions of those rights to which we are justly entitled by the laws of nature, the British constitution, and the charter of the province. 4. That no obedience is due from this province to either or any part of the acts above-mentioned, but that they be rejected as the attempts of a wicked administration to enslave America.