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Agreed, That the Sec? be allowed to employ Timothy Matlack as a clerk he having first taken an oath or affirmation to keep secret and not to poveal any of the transactions (or secrets] of the Congress, that may be intrusted to him, or may come to his knowledge.
The order of the day being read
The president informed the Congress that he had put into his hands this morning a letter from Murray containing a number of papers which he was desired to lay before the congress, the purport of them he did not know as he had not had an opportunity of reading thom.
Ordered to the on the table that the president took thom over (and then lay them] before they aro laid before
The order of the day was then read, after some debate
Resolved, N. 6. D., That the order of the day be post poned.
Resolved, N. C. D., That the congress will tomorrow resolve itself into a committee of the whole to take into consideration the state of Ameriert.
The City and County of New York having through the delegates of that Colony, applied to the congress for their advice how they ought to conduct themselves with regard to the troops expected there,—The congress took the matter into their most serious consideration, during their deliberations it became necessary to take the opinion of the Congress by Colonies, upon which a question arose, whether the Delegate from the Parish of S: John's, in the Colony of Georgia, [Lyman Hall] could be admitted to # vote, after some debate on this question the Delegate from that Parish of S: Johns arose and after observing that the present distressful situation of American affairs had compelled the Colonies induced a necessity of this
Congress, which was composed of Delegates representing whole colonies thought there was no [ law impower ing the delegates to represent their particular provinces, rot inasmuch as; that as he did not represent a whole colony as (was] established by law but only a part of it, he did not desire insist on giving a vote as a colony, but was contented to hear and assist in the debates, and give his vote in all cases except when the sentiments of the Congress were taken by colonies.
The Congress then resumed the consideration of the matter first under debate. During the debate, Samuel Ward, Esq? one of the delegates from Rhode island, appeared and produced his credentials, which being read and approved, he took his seat.
His credentials are as follows
By the honorable the general Assembly of the English colony of
Rhode island and Providence Plantations, in New England,
(L. S.) in America.
To the honorable Stephen Hopkins, Esq" and the honorable Samuel
Ward, Esq" Greeting:
Whereas the general assembly of the colony aforesaid, have nominated and appointed you, the said Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward, to represent the people of this colony, in a general Congress of representatives, from this and the other colonies, to be holden in the city of Philadelphia, on the 10th of May instant, you are therefore hereby authorized to repair to the said city of Philadelphia, and there, in behalf of this colony, to meet, and join with the commissioners, or delegates from the other colonies, in consulting upon proper measures to obtain a repeal of the several acts of the British Parliament, for levying taxes upon his Majesty's subjects in America, without their consent; and upon proper measures to establish the rights and liberties of the colonies, upon a just and solid foundation, agreeable to the instructions given you by the general Assembly.
By virtue of an Act of the general Assembly, I, Henry Ward, Esq!, secretary of the said Colony, have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Seal of the said Colony, this seventh day of May, A. D. 1775, and in the fifteenth year of the reign of his most sacred Majesty George the third, by the grace of God, king of Great Britain, &c. Signed,
HENRY WARD. The matter under consideration being resumed, the Congress came to the following resolution,
1 The original is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, Rhode Island, Credentials of Delegates. With it is a copy of the Instructions, which were as follows:
At the General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England in America begun and holden in Consequence of Warrants issued by his Honor the Governor of Providence within and for the said Colony on the First Monday in December in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy four and Fifteenth of the Reign of His Most Sacred Majesty George the Third by the Grace of God King of Great-Britain &c.
Whereas the American Continental Congress held in the City of Philadelphia on the Fifth Day of September last recommended to the several Colonies to choose Deputies as soon as possible to attend a General Congress to be holden on the Tenth Day of May next in the said City of Philadelphia unless the Redress of American Grievances be obtained before that Time: And whereas this Assembly having the greatest Regard to the Recommendation aforesaid, and being determined to co-operate with the other Colonies in every proper Measure for obtaining a Redress of the Grievances, and establishing the Rights and Liberties of all the Colonies upon an equitable and permanent Foundation have unanimously chosen and appointed the Honble Stephen Hopkins Esq' and the Honble Samuel Ward Esq' Delegates to represent this Colony: It is therefore unanimously Voted and Resolved,
First, That the said Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward Esqrs. be and they are hereby fully authorized and empowered to represent this Colony in a general Congress of Delegates or Representatives of the several Colonies to be holden at the Time and Place above mentioned or at such other Time and Place as shall be agreed upon by the major Part of the Committees from the several Colonies.
Second, That they be and hereby are fully authorized and empowered to consult and advise with the Representatives of the other colonies and in conjunction with them or the major Part of them to enter into and adopt in Behalf of this Colony all reasonable lawful and proper Measures for the Support Defence Protection and Security of the Rights Liberties and Privileges both civil and religious of all the said Colonies or any of them.
Third, That they be and hereby are, authorized and empowered to adjourn from Time to Time and at any Time within the Space of One Year to be computed from the said Tenth Day of May next, and at any Place which they shall think proper.
Fourthly, That they be and hereby are directed to endeavour to procure a regular annual Convention of Delegates or Representatives from all the Colonies to be holden at such Time and Place as shall be by the Delegates agreed upon for the Promotion and Establishment of the Peace Welfare and Security of the said Colonies.
A true Copy duly examined.
HENRY WARD Secry
Resolved, That it be recommended for the present to the inhabitants of New York, that if the troops, wch are expected should arrive, the s' Colony act on the defensive so long as may be consistent with their safety and security: that the troops be permitted to remain in the barracks, so long as they behave themselves peaceably and quietly, but that they be not suffered to erect fortifications or take any steps for cutting off the communication between the town and country; and that if they commit hostilities or invade private property, the inhabitants should defend themselves and their property and repel force by force; that the warlike stores be removed from the town; that places of retreat in case of necessity be provided for the women and children of New York; and that a sufficient number of men be embodied and kept in constant readiness for protecting the inhabitants from insult and injury.'
M-Willing laidd upon the table.
Two memorials, one from S[amuel] Shoemaker, the other from James and Drinker, respecting some cargoes purchased by them, and intended for NfLand, but wch are stopped by the Comm of this City, ||were laid before the Congress, and read, and ordered to lie on the table.||
Resolved, that a committee be appointed to consider what posts are necessary to be occupied in the Colony of New York, and by what number of troops it will be necessary they should be occupied guarded.
[Upon motion, ] 1 This resolution, with a letter of transmittal from the New York Delegates in the Congress, was printed in the Pennsylvania Packet, 22 May, 1775. Bancroft says: “All parties tacitly agreed to avoid every decision which should invite attack or make reconciliation impossible. In conformity with this policy, Jay made the motion for a second petition to the King.”-History of the United States, IV, 192. This motion was seconded by John Dickinson. John Adams, in his Diary [Writings, II, 409), merely states that Dickinson "made or procured to be made” a motion for a petition.