UC Continental Congress Journals

Journals of the Continental Congress
United Colonies of America

Charles Thomson, Secretary

September 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776


The First United American Republic
Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents 
Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776

September 5, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 26, 1774
May 20, 1775
May 24, 1775
May 25, 1775
July 1, 1776

September 5, 1774, Meeting of the Delegates chosen and appointed by the several Colonies and Provinces, in North America, to hold a Congress at Philadelphia, Members present from the several Colonies, Peyton Randolph elected President, Credentials read and approved, For New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode-Island, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Charles Thomson elected Secretary September 6, 1774, Richard Henry Lee, from Virginia, attended, Rules of Order adopted, Reverend Mr. Duché requested to open the Congress with Prayers, Thomas Johnson, Jun., from Maryland attended, September 7, 1774, Committee appointed to state the Rights of the Colonies, the instances in which they are violated, and the means most proper to obtain a restoration of them, Committee appointed to examine and report the several Statutes which affect the Trade and Manufactures of the Colonies, President authorized to adjourn, from day to day, when there is no business, September 12, 1774, Matthew Tilghman, a Delegate from Maryland, attended, September 14, 1774, William Hooper and Joseph Hewes, from North Carolina, attended, Henry Wisner, from Orange County, in New-York, attended, George Ross, from Pennsylvania, and John Alsop, from New-York, attended, Delegates from Massachusetts presented the Proceedings of the Joint Committees of the Towns in the County of Middlesex, at Concord, on the 30th and 31st of August, September 17, 1774, Richard Caswell from North Carolina, attended, Resolutions of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts, on the 6th inst., laid, before the Congress, Resolution of the Congress, approving of the Suffolk County Resolutions, Contributions from all the Colonies for supplying the Sufferers in Boston, should be continued, Report of the Committee appointed to examine the Statutes, brought in and laid on the table, September 19, 1774, Referred to the Committee appointed to state the Rights of the Colonies, September 22, 1774, Merchants and others in the several Colonies requested not to send to Great Britain any orders for Goods, Report of Committee on the Rights of the Colonies, brought in and read, Copy of the Report made out for each Colony, September 24, 1774, The Report considered, Congress will now consider only such Rights as have been infringed since 1763, postponing the consideration of the General Rights of America to a future day, Committee appointed to state the Rights, brought in a Report of the Infringements and Violations of American Rights, Consideration of the Report deferred, Congress, in the meanwhile, to deliberate on the Means to be pursued for a restoration of our Rights, September 26, 1774, John Herring, from Orange County, New-York, attended, Consideration of the Means for restoring Rights, resumed, September 27, 1774, Further considered, Importation of all Goods, Wares, and Merchandise, whatsoever, from Great Britain, or Ireland, prohibited after first of December next, None exported from Great Britain, or Ireland, after that day, shall be used or purchased in the Colonies, September 28, 1774, Resolution offered by Mr. Galloway, declaring the Colonies hold in. abhorrence the idea of being considered Independent Communities, Mr. Galloway's Plan for a proposed union between Great Britain and the Colonies, Means of restoring the Rights, considered, September 29, 1774, Galloway Plan Further considered, September 30, 1774, Galloway Plan Further considered, Exportation of all Merchandise whatsoever, from the Colonies to Great Britain, Ireland, and the West Indies, prohibited after the 1st of September, 1775, unless American Grievances are redressed before that time, Committee to prepare a Plan to carry into effect the Non-Importation, Non-Consumption, and Non-Exportation resolved on,

President Peyton Randolph

October 1, 1774, Simon Boerum, from King's County, New-York, attended, Means of restoring the Rights, further considered, Committee to prepare an Address to the King, requesting a Redress of Grievances, October 3, 1774, Instructions to the Committee on the Address, Matters proper to be contained in the Address considered, October 4, 1774, Address to the King Further considered, October 5, 1774, Address to the King Further considered, Instruction to the Committee on the Address, Address from William Goddard received, October 6, 1774, Means for restoration of American Rights further considered, Letter from the Boston Committee of Correspondence laid before Congress, Letter to be considered tomorrow, Consideration of means for restoration of Rights, resumed, Instruction to Committee appointed to prepare the form of an Association, October 7, 1774, Letter from Boston Committee considered, Committee to prepare a Letter to General Gage, October 8, 1774, Letter from Boston further considered, Opposition of the Inhabitants of Massachusetts to late Acts of Parliament approved by Congress, If the Acts are attempted to be enforced by Arms, all America ought to support them in their opposition, October 10, 1774, Letter from Boston further considered, Removal of the People from Boston, so important in its consequences as to require the utmost deliberation, If absolutely necessary, they should be recompensed by all America, People of Massachusetts advised to submit to a suspension of the administration of justice, where it cannot be procured under the Charter, Any Person who shall act under any authority derived from the Act of Parliament, altering the Government of Massachusetts, to be held in detestation, as a wicked tool of the despotism, which is preparing to destroy the Rights of America, October 11, 1774, Letter from the Congress to General Gage, People of Boston advised to conduct themselves peaceably towards General Gage and the Troops, Committee to prepare a Memorial to the People of British America; and an Address to the People of Great Britain, October 12, 1774, Plan for carrying into effect the Non-Importation, Non-Consumption, and Non-Exportation Agreement, reported by the Committee, Consideration of the Rights and Grievances of the Colonies resumed, October 13, 1774, Further considered, October 14, 1774, Further considered, Resolutions declaring the Rights and Grievances of the Colonies, Letter from several Gentlemen, in Georgia, read, October 15, 1774, Plan of Association further considered, October 17, 1774, John Dickinson, from Pennsylvania, attended, Plan of Association further considered, October 18, 1774, Plan further considered, amended, and ordered to be transcribed, to be signed by the Members, Address to the People of Great Britain reported, October 19, 1774, The Address considered, amended, and recommitted, Memorial to the Inhabitants of the Colonies reported, October 20, 1774, The Association read and signed, Facsimile of the Signatures to the Association, Opposite Memorial to the Inhabitants of the Colonies further considered, October 21, 1774, Address to the People of Great Britain, Memorial to the Inhabitants of the Colonies, Committee to prepare an Address to the People of Quebeck, and Letters to the Colonies of St. John's. Nova-Scotia, Georgia, and East and West Florida, Committee to revise the Minutes of Congress, Address to the King considered, recommitted, and Mr. Dickinson added to the Committee, The seizing a Person, in America, to transport him beyond the Sea, for Trial, declared to be against the Law, and ought to meet with resistance and reprisal, 

President Henry Middleton
Painting by Benjamin West 

October 22, 1774, Peyton Randolph unable to attend the Congress, Henry Middleton chosen President, Address from Christopher Tully received, Journal ordered to be printed, A Congress to be held on the 10th of May next, unless redress of Grievances should be sooner obtained, recommended, Letter from Congress to the Colonies of St. John's, &c., October 24, 1774, Address to the People of Quebeck reported, considered, and recommitted, Address to the King reported, October 25, 1774, Address considered, approved, and ordered to be engrossed, To be sent to the Colony Agents, to be presented to his Majesty; and the Agents requested to call in the aid of such Noblemen and Gentlemen as are firm friends to American Liberty, Committee to prepare a Letter to the Agents, Thanks of Congress to the patriotick Advocates of Civil and Religious Liberty who have espoused the cause of America, both in and out of Parliament, October 26, 1774, Letter to the Colony Agents, Address to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebeck, Address to the King, List of the Colony Agents, List of the Delegates who attended the Congress, Congress Dissolves itself

President John Hancock

1775  May 10 Second Continental Congress convenes at Pennsylvania State House; reelects President Peyton Randolph and Secretary Charles Thomson. May 17 Resolves to ban exports to British colonies failing to join the Association. May 18 Receives news of the capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point. May 24 Elects John Hancock President of the Continental Congress. May 26 Resolves to send a second petition to the king and to put "these colonies . . . into a state of defense.”  June 1 Resolves against an "expedition or incursion" into Canada. June 2 Receives Massachusetts proposal to take up civil government. June 7 Resolves to observe July 20 as a Fast Day. June 9 Endorses assumption of civil authority in Massachusetts by the provincial convention. June 10 Resolves to organize a Continental Army. June 15 Appoints George Washington commander in chief of the army. June 22 Resolves to emit $2 million in Continental currency. June 27 Approves invasion of Canada.

July 5 Approves petition to the king. July 6 Approves "Declaration on Taking Arms." July 8 Approves address to inhabitants of Great Britain. July 12 Organizes three departments for Indian affairs. July 21 Ignores Benjamin Franklin's proposed Articles of Confederation. July 27 Resolves to establish a system of military hospitals. July 31 Adopts response to Lord North's Conciliatory Resolution.  August 2 Adjourns to September 5.

September 13 Archives quorum and reconvenes; Georgia fully represented for first time. September 19 Appoints Secret Committee to purchase military supplies abroad. September 22 Appoints committee to consider "the state of the trade of America." September 27 Orders publication of corrected journals of Congress. September 29 Appoints Committee of Conference to confer with General Washington and various New England executives.

October 3 Receives Rhode Island proposal for building an American fleet. October 5 Recommends to General Washington a plan to intercept British supply ships. October 6 Recommends that provincial governments arrest persons deemed a danger to "the liberties of America." October 7 Adopts report on fortification of the Hudson River October 13 Resolves to fit out armed vessels; appoints Naval Committee. October 17 Appoints John Morgan director general of hospitals, replacing Benjamin Church upon his arrest for correspondence with the enemy; appoints committee to estimate damages inflicted by British arms. October 24 Adjourns to attend funeral of Peyton Randolph. October 26 Publishes resolution authorizing exports in exchange for arms. October 30 Increases naval authorization and expands Naval Committee.

November 1 Reaffirms general embargo on exports, extended explicitly to March 1, 1776; commends provincial authorities for ignoring parliamentary trade exemptions designed to undermine American unity. November 2 Appoints Committee to the Northward to confer with General Schuyler; receives report of Committee of Conference. November 3 Recommends formation of new provincial government in New Hampshire. November 4 Adopts resolutions for reconstitution of General Washington's army in Massachusetts, and for defense of South Carolina and Georgia. November 9 Adopts new oath of secrecy; publishes report of king's refusal to receive Olive Branch Petition. November 10 Adopts plan for promoting manufacture of saltpetre; orders enlistment of first two battalions of marines. November 13 Orders publication of new "Rules and Regulations" for Continental Army. November 15 Receives account of capture of St. Johns. November 16 Adopts resolves to improve delegates' attendance in Congress. November 17 Adopts regulations pertaining to prisoners of war. November 22 Authorizes exemptions to ban on exports to Bermuda. November 23 Adopts resolves to improve peaceful relations with the Six Nations. November 25 Adopts regulations pertaining to prize cases. November 28 Adopts "Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies"; adopts measures for the defense of North Carolina. November 29 Appoints Committee of Secret Correspondence; resolves to emit $3,000,000 in Continental currency; receives account of capture of Montreal.

December 2 Sends Benjamin Harrison to Maryland to promote defense of the Chesapeake. December 4 Recommends formation of new provincial government in Virginia; appoints committee to dissuade New Jersey Assembly from separately petitioning king. December 6 Publishes response to king's August 23 proclamation declaring colonies in state of rebellion. December 8 Resolves to confine John Connolly for plotting with Lord Dunmore against western Virginia. December 13 Authorizes construction of 13 ships for Continental Navy. December 14 Appoints Marine Committee. December 15 Receives plan for creation of committee to sit during recess of Congress. December 20 Recommends cessation of hostilities between Connecticut and Pennsylvania settlers in Wyoming Valley. December 22 Authorizes an attack on Boston; appoints Esek Hopkins commander in chief of Continental Navy. December 26 Adopts plan for redemption of Continental bills of credit. December 29 Adopts resolutions for importing and manufacturing salt. December 30 Recommends Secret Committee negotiations with Pierre Penet and Emanuel de Pliarne for European arms and ammunition.

1776 - January 1 Recommends "the reduction of St. Augustine." January 3 Recommends a quarantine of Queens County, N.Y., for refusal to send deputies to the New York Convention. January 6 Adopts regulations for the division of marine prizes. January 8 Orders reinforcements to Canada; receives news of the king's speech from the throne (October 27, 1775) and of the destruction of Norfolk, Va. January 11 Resolves that any person refusing to accept Continental currency "shall be. . . treated as an enemy of his country. " January 16 Limits black recruitment to the reenlistment of "free negroes who have served faithfully in the army at Cambridge. " January 17 Receives news of General Montgomery's defeat at Quebec; appoints a committee to prepare regulations for opening American ports on March 1, 1776. January 19 Orders additional reinforcements to Canada in response to General Montgomery's defeat. January 24 Orders publication of a public statement on the repulse at Quebec and of a new "Letter to the Inhabitants of the Province of Canada." January 25 Orders preparation of a monument and delivery of a funeral oration in tribute to the memory of General Montgomery. January 26 Appoints a committee "to repair to New York, to consult and advise ... respecting the immediate defence of the said city." January 27 Directs the Secret Committee to import goods for use of the commissioners of Indian affairs "in order to preserve the friendship and confidence of the Indians." January 31 Forbids enlistment of prisoners of war.

February 5 Recommends that additional efforts be made to instruct and convert the Indians. February 13 Exempts inter-colonial trade in naval stores from general trade restrictions; tables draft "address to the inhabitants of these Colonies." February 15 Appoints a committee to proceed to Canada to promote support for the American cause. February 17 Appoints the Treasury Committee; resolves to emit additional $4 million; appoints Gen. Charles Lee to the Canadian command. February 23 Appoints committees to promote the manufacture of firearms and the production of salt petre, sulphur, and powder. February 26 Prohibits sailing of vessels loaded for Great Britain, Ireland, or the British West Indies. February 27 Establishes separate military departments for the middle and southern colonies. February 29 Receives General Washington's letter on Lord Drummond's peace mission.

March 1 Appoints Gen. Charles Lee to command of the southern department. March 2 Committee of Secret Correspondence appoints Silas Deane agent to France to transact business "commercial and political." March 4 Removes the sailing ban on vessels loaded for Great Britain, Ireland, or the British West Indies and desiring to import arms and ammunition. March 6 Appoints Gen. John Thomas to the Canadian command. March 9 Appoints a committee to study the "state of the colonies in the southern department"; denies military officers authority to impose test oaths. March 14 Adopts resolves on defending New York and disarming the "notoriously disaffected" in all the colonies. March 16 Declares May 17 "a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer. " March 20 Adopts instructions for the commissioners appointed to go to Canada. March 23 Adopts a declaration and resolutions on privateering, subjecting British ships to seizure as lawful prizes. March 25 Adopts a report on augmenting the defenses of the southern department. March 27 Attends the funeral of Samuel Ward. April 1 Establishes the Treasury Office.

April 2 Commends General Washington and his troops for conducting the successful siege and forcing the evacuation of Boston. April 3 Adopts "Instructions" for privateers. April 6 Opens the trade of the colonies "to any parts of the world which are not under the dominion of the [King of Great Britain]"; prohibits the importation of slaves. April 11 Delivers a speech to Captain White Eyes of the Delaware Indians. April 15 Urges cultivation of harmony between the Connecticut and Pennsylvania settlers in the Wyoming Valley. April 16 Requests the Maryland Council of Safety to arrest Gov.William Eden. April 23 Appoints Continental "agents for prizes in the several colonies"; instructs the commissioners to Canada "to publish an Address to the people of Canada." April 29 Instructs a committee "to prepare a plan of an expedition against Fort Detroit." April 30 Appoints the Indian Affairs Committee.

May 6 Postpones prescribing procedures for receiving peace commissioners rumored to be en route to America; re solves to raise $10 million "for the purpose of carrying on the war for the current year" and appoints a "ways and means" committee. May 9 Resolves to emit an additional $5 million. May 10 Recommends that the colonies "adopt such government as shall, in the opinion of the representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents." May 15 Adopts a preamble to its May 10 resolution on establishing new governments, asserting the necessity of suppressing "the exercise of every kind of authority" under the British crown. May 16 Requests General Washington's presence in Philadelphia to consult on forthcoming campaign. May 17 Adjourns to observe Fast Day. May 21 Receives news of George III's negotiations for nearly 17,000 German mercenaries to be sent to America. May 22 Adopts measures to bolster American forces in Canada; resolves to emit additional $5 million in bills of credit. May 24 Begins consultations with Generals Washington, Gates, and Mifflin on forthcoming campaign. May 25 Resolves "that it is highly expedient to engage the Indians in the service of the United Colonies." May 27 Holds audience with deputies of the Six Nations; receives instructions directed to the North Carolina and Virginia delegates pertaining to independence.

June 1 Requests 6,000 militia reinforcements for Canada. June 3 Requests nearly 24,000 militia reinforcements for General Washington at New York. June 7 Receives Richard Henry Lee's resolution respecting independence, foreign alliances, and confederation. June 10 Postpones debate on independence resolution; appoints committee to prepare a declaration of independence. June 11 Receives Indian delegation; receives report from commissioners to Canada. June 12 Appoints committees to prepare "the form of a confederation" and "a plan of treaties to be proposed to foreign powers"; creates Board of War and Ordnance. June 14 Recommends "detecting, restraining, and punishing disaffected and dangerous persons" in New York; embargoes salt beef and pork. June 17 Adopts general reform of the forces in Canada. June 19 Recommends seizure and confinement of Gov. William Franklin. June 21 Orders inquiry into the causes of miscarriages in Canada. June 24 Adopts resolves on allegiance and treason and recommends legislation for punishing counterfeiters in the several colonies; suspends enlistment of Mohegan and Stockbridge Indians. June 26 Adopts bounty for three-year enlistments. June 28 Reads draft declaration of independence.

July 1 Debates the Resolution of Independence, Resolved, That a Brigadier General, acting in a separate department, be allowed an aid de camp.

 The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America 

Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents 
Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776

September 5, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 26, 1774
May 20, 1775
May 24, 1775
May 25, 1775
July 1, 1776

Commander-in-Chief United Colonies & States of America

George Washington: June 15, 1775 - December 23, 1783

Continental Congress of the United States Presidents 
July 2, 1776 to February 28, 1781

July 2, 1776
October 29, 1777
November 1, 1777
December 9, 1778
December 10, 1778
September 28, 1779
September 29, 1779
February 28, 1781

Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to March 3, 1789

March 1, 1781
July 6, 1781
July 10, 1781
Declined Office
July 10, 1781
November 4, 1781
November 5, 1781
November 3, 1782
November 4, 1782
November 2, 1783
November 3, 1783
June 3, 1784
November 30, 1784
November 22, 1785
November 23, 1785
June 5, 1786
June 6, 1786
February 1, 1787
February 2, 1787
January 21, 1788
January 22, 1788
January 21, 1789

Presidents of the United States of America

D-Democratic Party, F-Federalist Party, I-Independent, R-Republican Party, R* Republican Party of Jefferson & W-Whig Party 

 (1881 - 1881)
*Confederate States  of America

Chart Comparing Presidential Powers Click Here

United Colonies and States First Ladies

United Colonies Continental Congress
18th Century Term
09/05/74 – 10/22/74
Mary Williams Middleton (1741- 1761) Deceased
Henry Middleton
05/20/ 75 - 05/24/75
05/25/75 – 07/01/76
United States Continental Congress
07/02/76 – 10/29/77
Eleanor Ball Laurens (1731- 1770) Deceased
Henry Laurens
11/01/77 – 12/09/78
Sarah Livingston Jay (1756-1802)
12/ 10/78 – 09/28/78
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
09/29/79 – 02/28/81
United States in Congress Assembled
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
03/01/81 – 07/06/81
07/10/81 – 11/04/81
Jane Contee Hanson (1726-1812)
11/05/81 - 11/03/82
11/03/82 - 11/02/83
Sarah Morris Mifflin (1747-1790)
11/03/83 - 11/02/84
11/20/84 - 11/19/85
11/23/85 – 06/06/86
Rebecca Call Gorham (1744-1812)
06/06/86 - 02/01/87
02/02/87 - 01/21/88
01/22/88 - 01/29/89

Constitution of 1787
First Ladies
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
Martha Wayles Jefferson Deceased
September 6, 1782  (Aged 33)
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
December 22, 1828 (aged 61)
February 5, 1819 (aged 35)
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
April 4, 1841 – September 10, 1842
June 26, 1844 – March 4, 1845
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
February 22, 1862 – May 10, 1865
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
January 12, 1880 (Aged 43)
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
March 4, 1889 – October 25, 1892
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
March 4, 1913 – August 6, 1914
December 18, 1915 – March 4, 1921
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
January 20, 2009 to date

Capitals of the United Colonies and States of America

Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
September 27, 1777
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
October 6, 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
Dec. 6,1790 to May 14, 1800       
Washington DC
November 17,1800 to Present

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The United Colonies of North America Continental Congress Presidents (1774-1776)
The United States of America Continental Congress Presidents (1776-1781)
The United States of America in Congress Assembled Presidents (1781-1789)
The United States of America Presidents and Commanders-in-Chiefs (1789-Present)

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