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gress, and John Hart, Abraham Clark and Dr. John Witherspoon all of whom had been elected Deputies
Three days later, Sergeant writes (from Burlington), to John Adams: “[Qy] Jacta est Alea. — We are passing the Rubicon & our Delegates in Congress on the first of July will vote plump. — The Bearer is a staunch Whigg & will answer any Questions You may need to ask. I have been very busy here & have stole a Minute from Business to write this [.]” The election was held sometime after
3 o'clock on the afternoon of the 22d — Sergeant ', Cooper, Hart, Clark and Witherspoon still being present. Five new Dele
Richard Stockton Clark 19, Hart 10, Francis Hopkinson 10 and Witherspoon were elected.
Sergeant writes, on the 24th, to Samuel Adams: “[SA] I have declined to be appointed anew to the Continental Congress for Reasons which I have no Room to explain (this being the only white Piece of Paper in Bristol). I am confident that it is better that I stay in the Colony for the present than in the Continental Congress The People of this Colony were quite in the dark as to the Sentiments of their Delegates until lately. — Our new ones I trust will not deceive us; but lest they should I wish I could promptly learn their conduct whenever they may by any means be found tripping.”
Samuel Adams, in a letter to R. H. Lee, dated July 15th, says 12 : “[A] All of them appear to be zealously attached to the American Cause--"
The Delegates were empowered and directed, as shown by the Journal of Congress, “in the name of this colony
to join with the delegates of the other colonies . . . in the most vigorous measures for supporting the just rights and liberties of America & if
shall judge it necessary or expedient for this purpose we impower you to join with them in declaring the united colonies independant
Britain”. Six days later (the 28th), the Journal of Congress tells us,“ Francis Hopkinson 13 Esquire one of the Delegates for New Jersey attended & produced the credentials of their appointment
M:Kean 14 (though it is possible — but not probable - that Rodney 16 also was instrumental) seems to have assumed the brunt of the battle in Delaware. On June 14th, he “delivered in at the Chair" in the House of Representatives, at Newcastle, a certified copy of the resolution 16 of Congress of the 15th of May; and, on the 17th (evidently !?), John Adams writes to Chase: “[QyC] M Kean has returned from the Lower Counties with Full Powers. Their Instructions are in the same Words with the new ones to the Delegates of Pensilvania. — "
Maryland too came into line, though more slowly 19. On June 11th — the day following the postponement - Tilghman, Stone and Rogers 20 wrote, from Philadelphia, to their Council of Safety, at Annapolis : "[MD] This postpone was made to give an opportunity to the Delegates from those Colonies, which had not as yet given Authority to adopt this decisive measure, to consult their constituents ; It will be necessary that the Convention of Maryland should meet as soon as possible to
give the explicit sense of the Province on this point . We wish to have the fair and uninfluenced sense of the People we have the Honour to represent ... and
it would be well if the Delegates to Convention were desired to endeavour to collect the opinion of the people at large in some manner or other previous to the meeting of Convention. We shall attend the Convention whenever it meets if it is thought proper we should do so. The approaching Harvest will perhaps render it very inconvenient for many Gentlemen to attend the Convention. This however must not be regarded when matters of such momentous Concern demand their deliberation . . The question for postponing the declaration of Independence was carried by seven Colonies against five: [.]”
This letter - strangely enough - passed on the road one (dated the ioth) from the Council, stating “[Md] we have resolved 21 that a Convention be held at Annapolis on Thursday the 20th instant, at which time we shall be glad to see as many of you as can be spared from Congress.”
To the letter from the Council (received on the 14th), Stone and Rogers replied, on the 15th : "[MD] We wrote you a few days ago requesting a call of the Convention to deliberate upon matters of the last Importance, and we are glad that an earlier meeting than we expected will afford an opportunity to our constituents to communicate to us the sense of the Province upon the very interesting subjects mentioned in our Letter. The session will be a very important one and we wish to attend, tho we know not whether it will be agreeable
to our constituents to leave the Province unrepresented in Congress
We shall wait to hear from you and them upon this head, indeed we can't quit the Congress without Leave which will not be given here unless our attendance in Convention is desired. M' Tilghman left us yesterday, M' Paca 22 is here.”
This reply and a second letter from the Council — Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, chairman, William Hayward and Thomas B. Hands seeming to have been present - also passed on the road. The latter, dated Annapolis, June 14th, reads: "[Md] Your favour of the 11th inst we recd at 10 °Clock this morning – We have already complied with almost every thing you request', and we wish we had time to collect the fair and uninfluenced sense of our people on the most important point of Independence before the meeting of the Convention; but as the assembling of that body is already fixed on the 20th of this month, it will be impossible to make the necessary enquiry before that time. We presume the first business of the Convention will be regulating the movement of the militia, and that if necessary in the mean time the several committees of observation may be directed fairly to collect the sense of the Province on the subject of Independence, and make report thereof to the Convention. Any mode their Representatives may think proper to point out would be better relished by the people, than for us to put them in a violent ferment in a way that might not be approved of — 'tis a point of great magnitude, and we think it's best, the shortness of the time considered, to leave it untouched until the meeting of the Convention on
thursday next. M' Paca no doubt is with you before now, Mess" Johnson 22 and Goldsborough 22 still with their families we hear — we wish to have you all down when the grand question is decided, we leave it, however to yourselves to judge whether you can be spared from Congress, and hope whatever is done will be generally agreed to."
On the day (June 11th) on which Tilghman, Stone and Rogers wrote their letter, though doubtless later in the day 23, Chase and Charles Carroll of Carrollton appeared in Congress. They, with Franklin 24, had been appointed 25 commissioners to Canada and (they) had just returned.
Three days later (Friday, the 14th), as we have seen, a letter from the Council of Safety arrived, stating that the 20th had been set for a meeting of the Convention, and Tilghman set out for Maryland.
Probably on the same day, Chase penned the following note to John Adams: “[Qy] M! Chase will excuse the late Neglects and Inattention of M! John Adams to him, upon the express Condition, that in future he constantly communicate to M'Chase every Matter relative to persons or Things. M' Chase flatters himself with seeing M! Adams on Monday or Tuesday fortnight with the Voice of Maryland in favor of Independance and a foreign Alliance, which are, in M' Chases Opinion, the only and best Measures to preserve the Liberties of America — direct to Annapolis 29 [.]”
Adams in his reply — dated the 14th 2, though we think that it was not sent nor the latter part at least of it written until the 17th 29 — says: “[QyC] M' Bedford