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proper to be pursued for obtaining a restoration of them. А committee was also appointed to examine and report the several statutes which affected the trade and mar.ufactures of the colonies.
The Congress was opened by prayer, a reverential formality that was subsequently observed ; and, by an order of the directors of the Library Company of Philadelphia, of the 31st of August preceding, the delegates were allowed the use of such of the books of that institution as they might have occasion for during their sitting.
On the 14th of September, delegates from North Carolina took their seats. On the 19th of September, it was unanimously resolved that the Congress request the merchants and others, in the several colonies, not to send to Great Britain any orders for goods, and to direct the execution of all orders already sent to be delayed or suspended until the sense of the Congress on the means to be taken for the preservation of the liberties of America should be made public.
On the 24th of September, Congress resolved that the delegates would confine themselves to the consideration of such rights as had been infringed by acts of the British Parliament after the year 1763, postponing the further consideration of the general state of American rights to a future day.
On the 27th of September, the Congress unanimously resolved that, from and after the 1st of December, 1774, there should be no importation into British America, from Great Britain or Ireland, of any goods, wares, or merchandise, exported therefrom; and that they should not be used or purchased if imported after that day. On the 30th of September, it was further resolved that, from and after the 10th of September, 1775, the exportation of all merchandise, and every commodity whatsoever, to Great Britain, Ireland, and the West Indics, ought to cease, unless the grievances of America should be redressed before that time.
On the 6th of October, it was resolved to exclude from importation, after the 1st of December following, molasses, coffee, or pimento, from the British plantations, or from Dominica; wines from Madeira and the Western Islands; and foreign indigo. In consequence of a letter received from the Committee of Correspondence, at Boston, on the 6th of October, Congress, on the 7th, resolved to appoint a committee to prepare a letter to General Gage, representing
that the town of Boston, and province of Massachusetts Bay, were considered, by all America, as suffering in the common cause, for their noble and spirited opposition to oppressive acts of Parliament, calculated to deprive the American people of their most sacred rights and privileges, &c. On the 8th of October, it was resolved that the Congress approve the opposition of the inhabitants of the Massachusetts Bay to the execution of the obnoxious acts of Parliament; and if the same should be attempted to be carried into execution by force, in such case all America ought to support them in their opposition; and on the 11th of October, the letter of remonstrance to General Gage, ordered on the 7th, was brought in and signed by the president. On the 11th, likewise, a memorial to the people of British America, stating the necessity of adhering to the measures of Congress, and an address to the people of Great Britain, were unanimously resolved on. On the 14th of October, Congress made a declaration, and framed resolves, relative to the rights and grievances of the colonies.
On the same day, Congress unanimously resolved, “that the respective colonies are entitled to the common law of England, and more especially to the great and inestimable privilege of being tried by their peers of the vicinage according to the course of that law.” They further resolved, “ that they were entitled to the benefit of such of the English statutes as existed at the time of their colonization, and which they have, by experience, respectively found to be applicable to their several and local circumstances.” They also resolved, that their ancestors, at the time of their immigration, were “ entitled to all the rights, liberties, and immunities, of free and natural-born subjects within the realms of England.”
On the 20th day of October, the non-importation, nonconsumption, and non-exportation agreement was adopted and signed by the Congress. This agreement contained a clause to discontinue the slave trade, and a provision not to import East India tea from any part of the world. In the article respecting non-exportations, the sending of rice to Europe was excepted In general, the association expressed a determination to suppress luxury, encourage frugality, and promote domestic manufactures. The agreement was dated the 24th of October. On the 21st, the address to the people of Great Britain was approved, as was the memorial to the
inhabitants of the British colonies, on the same day. Both these state papers contain a representation of the grievances, and a justification of the conduct, of the colonies. determined that an address should be prepared to the people of Quebec, in like manner, and letters be sent to the colonies of St. John's, Nova Scotia, Georgia, and East and West Florida. On the 22d of October, Peyton Randolph being unable to attend, on account of indisposition, Henry Middleton was chosen to supply his place as president of Congress. On the same day, a letter to the colonies of St. John's, &c., was reported, approved, and signed. It recommended an immediate adoption of the measures pursued by the Congress. On the 25th of October, a petition to the king was adopted, and was ordered to be enclosed in a letter to the several colony agents, in order that the same might be by them presented to his majesty, which letter was approved and signed by the president, on the day following. This petition recited the grievances of the colonies, and asked for a redress of them. On the 26th of October, the address to the inhabitants of Quebec was adopted and signed. It set forth the rights of the British colonists, breathed a spirit of sympathy in suffering, and invited a spirit of union in resist
The Congress was then dissolved, having, on the 22d of October, passed a resolution recommending delegates to meet again at Philadelphia, on the 10th of May, 1775.
On the 10th of May, 1775, according to the recommendation of the preceding Congress, the delegates from the same several colonies, with the exception of Rhode Island, assembled at the State House, in Philadelphia ; when Peyton Randolph was, a second time, unanimously elected president, and Charles Thomson unanimously chosen secretary. On the 13th of May, Lyman Hall was admitted to a seat in Congress, as a delegate from the parish of St. John's, in the colony of Georgia ; but not considering himself as the representative of that colony, he declined voting, except on occasions when the Congress did not vote by colonies. On the 15th of May, Lemuel Ward, a delegate from Rhode Island, appeared and took his seat. On the 16th of May, Congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole, on the state of America. On the 17th of May, it was unanimously resolved that all exportations to Quebec, Nova Scotia, the Island of St. John's, Newsoundland, Georgia, (except
the parish of St. John's,) and to East and West Florida, immediately cease, and that no provision of any kind, or other necessaries, be furnished to the British fisheries on the American coasts, until it be otherwise determined by the Congress. On the 24th of May, Peyton Randolph, then president of Congress, being under a necessity of returning home, the chair became vacant, and John Hancock was unanimously elected president. On the 26th of May, Congress resolved, that the colonies be immediately put in a state of defence; that a fresh petition to the king, with a view to reconcile differences, be prepared ; and that a letter to the people of Canada be reported. This letter was approved the day following, and ordered to be signed by the president. It solicits the friendship of the Canadians, calls upon them to assert their rights, and exhorts them against hostilities. On the 29th of May, a committee was appointed to consider the best means of establishing posts for conveying letters and intelligence through the continent.
On the 2d of June, Congress resolved, that no bill of exchange, draught, or order, of any officers in the British army or navy, their agents or contractors, be received, or nego. tiated, or any money supplied to them, by any person in America ; that no provisions, or necessaries of any kind, be furnished or supplied to or for the use of the British army or navy in the colony of Massachusetts Bay; and that no vessel employed in transporting British troops to America, or from one part of North America to another, or warlike stores, or provisions for said troops, be freighted or furnished with provisions, or other necessaries, until further orders from the Congress. On the 3d of June, committees were appointed to draw a petition to the king, and to prepare addresses to the inhabitants of Great Britain and the people of Ireland ; to bring in the draught of a letter to the inhabitants of Jamaica ; and to bring in an estimate of the money necessary to be raised by the colonies. On the 7th of June, it was resolved, that the 20th day of July following should be observed throughout the twelve United Colonies, as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer. On the 9th of June, in consequence of a letter from the Convention of Massachusetts Bay, which had been previously under consideration, Congress resolved, that the governor and lieutenant-governor of that colony were to be considered as absent, and their offices
vacant; and it was recommended to the Provincial Convention to write letters to the inhabitants of the several places which were entitled to representation in Assembly, requesting them to choose such representatives; and that the Assembly, when chosen, should elect counsellors, and that such Assembly, or Council, should exercise the
government, until a governor of his majesty's appointment would consent to govern the colony according to its charter. On the 10th of June, several resolutions were passed for the collection of saltpetre and sulphur, and the manufacture of gunpowder. On the 14th of June, Congress resolved to raise several companies of riflemen, by enlistment, for one year, to serve in the American Continental army, established the pay of the officers and privates, and appointed a committee to prepare rules and regulations for the government of the army. On the 15th of June, it was resolved, that a general should be appointed to command all the Continental forces, raised, or to be raised, for the defence of American liberty; and, proceeding to the choice of a general, by ballot, George Washington was unanimously elected. On the preceding day, it was resolved to appoint major-generals, brigadiergenerals, and other officers, necessary for the organization of a regular army. These warlike measures were the result of continued deliberations on the state of America, and the consequence of the military proceedings of the British at Lexington, in the province of Massachusetts Bay, on the 19th of April preceding; of the burning of Charlestown, near Boston ; and of the various indications, on the part of Great Britain, of an intention to compel the colonies to submit by force of arms. Several military steps had been previously taken by the colonists, among which were the occupation of the posts of Crown Point and Ticonderoga. A commission for George Washington was made out, and signed by the president of Congress, on the 19th of June, in the following words :
" In Congress. The delegates of the United Colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, — To George Washington, Esquire: We, reposing especial trust and confidence in your patriotism, conduct, and fidelity, do, by these presents, constitute and appoint you to be general and commander-in-chief of the army of the United Colonies, and of all the forces raised or to be raised by them, and of all