January of 1776
January 1. 1776
Upon learning of an impending British expedition against the southern colonies, Congress requests that the provinces cooperate on defense and security. North and South Carolina and Georgia are instructed to occupy St. Augustine.

January 2. 1776
The Continental Congress passes a resolution calling on colonial committees to indoctrinate those "honest and well-meaning, but uninformed people" by expounding to them the "origin, nature and extent of the present controversy." The body also calls for confirmed tories to be disarmed and confined, if necessary.

January 3. 1776
In Norfolk, Virginia, an officer aboard the British sloop Otter writes home: "I have the pleasure to assure you that this rebel town . . . is in ashes. It is glorious to see the blaze of the town and shipping. I exult in the carnage of these rebels. . . ."

January 4. 1776
Washington promises Congress that he will attack Boston at his first opportunity.

January 5. 1776
New Hampshire establishes a colonial government in accordance with the recommendation of the Continental Congress.

January 6. 1776
The Council of Safety in South Carolina advises its counterpart in Georgia that British warships leaving the Charleston harbor are likely headed for Savannah. The South Carolina council asks Georgia to return their Governor, Lord Campbell, if he is apprehended.

January 7. 1776
In Philadelphia, Samuel Adams writes that the idea of a confederation among the colonies "is not dead, but sleepeth."

January 8. 1776
Local merchants in Glasgow, Scotland, who profit from the selling of American tobacco in Holland and France, are encouraged to "stimulate [their] correspondents and agents [in Virginia and Maryland] . . . to side with the King. . . "

January 9. 1776
Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense appears in today's session of the Continental Congress.

January 10. 1776
North Carolina Governor Martin, aboard the warship Scorpion, issues a proclamation calling on the King's loyal subjects to raise an armed force to combat the rebels, raise the royal standard, and restore the province to "its former glorious freedom."

January 11. 1776
The County Committee in Tryon County, New York, sends an urgent appeal to General Schuyler for men and arms to repress an impending attack by loyalists.

January 12. 1776
Congress allows the expense of two dollars per week for the board and lodging of officers taken prisoner, the total to be repaid by the officers before they are released from captivity.

January 13. 1776
British Admiral Shuldham reports to First Lord of the Admiralty Lord Sandwich that he will be "surprised to learn how fast the armed vessels of the rebels have multiplied lately, how many of our storeships and victuallers they have taken, and how successfully they have defeated all our force."

January 14. 1776
Washington writes from Cambridge that army enlistment problems continue: "Our total number upon paper amounts to about ten thousand five hundred; but as a large portion of these are returned not joined, I never expect to receive them . . ."

January 15. 1776
The New York Committee of Safety orders all ship pilots to avoid the entrance to the harbor at Sandy Hook; the committee also forbids pilots from boarding any enemy warship or troop transport.

January 16. 1776
Boston loyalist Peter Oliver reports that the old North Meeting House is pulled down for fuel for the loyalist Associators. The meeting house had been abandoned by the Reverend John Lathrop and his patriot congregation, most of whom had left Boston.

January 17. 1776
The Virginia Convention orders the jailing of all African Americans who carried arms in Dunmore's service. They are then to be appraised and sent to the West Indies or Bay of Honduras to be sold.

January 18. 1776
In Savannah, Georgia, Governor Wright is arrested and confined to his house.

January 19. 1776
Washington and other patriot generals agree that troops cannot be spared for service in Canada and that Boston must be attacked before Howe received reinforcements.

January 20. 1776
The Virigina Convention declares that best method of opposing British oppression would be to open all ports to international trade from every country except England.

January 21. 1776
Washington directs each regiment to send out two officers to purchase weapons for their unit. Soldiers enlisting with their own firearms are promised one dollar for its use and reimbursement if the weapon is lost during the campaign.

January 22. 1776
The South Carolina Council of Safety resolves "that able-bodied negro men be taken into the public service, and enrolled and employed, without arms for the defence of the several batteries in Charles-Town, Fort Johnson and other batteries, at the rate of two to each gun, . . . That they be in constant pay at the rate of ten shillings per day, and the public to find them provisions. . . . suitable rewards shall be given to those slaves, who behave well in time of action."

January 23. 1776
Washington writes in a letter to Joseph Reed, "I have often thought how much happier I should have been if, instead of accepting of a command under such circumstances, I had taken my musket upon my shoulder, and entered the ranks . . ."

January 24. 1776
The Continental Congress approves a letter to the Canadians promising a renewal of efforts to expel the British and urging the Canadians to associate with the Americans by appointing delegates to the Congress.

January 25. 1776
The Continental Congress authorizes a memorial in honor of General Richard Montgomery who was killed at Quebec on December 31, 1775.

January 26. 1776
The Connecticut Committee of Safety learns that enlistments for service in a regiment to be raised in the western counties of the colony would suffer if the designated colonel for the regiment came from an eastern county; they therefore accepted the resignation of the colonel.

January 27. 1776
In an attempt to maintain the friendship and trust of Indian tribes, Congress votes to allow the import of £40,000 worth of their trade goods.

January 28. 1776
In Virginia, the Committee of Sussex County pledges to help the inhabitants of Norfolk find shelter and land to cultivate.

January 29. 1776
Congress agrees to Washington's request that regiments be raised in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut for service in Canada, the cost to be underwritten by the Continental Congress.

January 30. 1776
The Continental Congress directs that no apprentices be enlisted for military service without the written consent of their master or mistress. Persons under the age of 21 could secure a discharge from service within twenty-four hours of enlisting by refunding any money or supplies received from the recruiting officer.

January 31. 1776
In the absence of credentials from the Massachusetts Assembly, Congress decides to accept the current delegates from that body on the basis of newspaper accounts of their appointments.

February of 1776
February 1. 1776
In Salem, North Carolina, the Moravians, a pacifist religious group, decline to obey Governor Martin's proclamation to join the King's standard.

February 2. 1776
King George confers exclusive command over naval operations in North America to Admiral Richard Howe.

February 3. 1776
In Annapolis, Maryland, the Council of Safety authorizes the Baltimore Committee to expend £6,200 for harbor defenses, including a triple boom across the entrance and a permanent fortification with a battery, barracks, and powder magazine.

February 4. 1776
The general order for the day at the American camp in Cambridge calls for the colonel of each regiment to identify the number of fire arms needed by his men and a method for obtaining them.

February 5. 1776
Great Britain and Germany sign an agreement providing the British with 660 German infantrymen.

February 6. 1776
Congress alerts the southern colonies that General Clinton is headed in their direction.

February 7. 1776
Congress adopts resolutions to quarter British prisoners in private facilities in Trenton, New Jersey.

February 8. 1776
In Exeter, New Hampshire, the Provincial Legislature asks the Continental Congress to raise a military force to defend the colony's seacoast.

February 9. 1776
Upon the arrival of 200 British troops in New York, General Lee requests that Congress send the city a battalion of troops from Philadelphia to assist in the construction of fortifications.
February 10. 1776
From Philadelphia, the North Carolina delegation to the Continental Congress warns that all accounts from England indicate an upcoming attack on the colony.

February 11. 1776
In Savannah, Georgia, Governor Wright escapes from his residence to one of the British warships anchored at the mouth of the river.

February 12. 1776
In North Carolina, patriots and tories continue to mobilize their forces. The Committee of Safety orders the militia to assemble in the districts north of Cross Creek.

February 13. 1776
Congress adopts a resolution allowing the individual provinces to import naval stores from North Carolina and elects Patrick Henry colonel of the first Virginia battalion.

February 14. 1776
In Salem, North Carolina, the Moravians note that in Cross Creek "the Governor's party was very strong, and . . . the King's Standard had been raised. From Richmond, Virginia we hear that Minute Men, are being divided into Companies, and are preparing to march to Guilford and beyond against the Governor, etc. All is alarm and confusion . . . "

February 15. 1776
In Halifax, Governor Legge reports to London that traitorous elements in Cumberland, Nova Scotia, had contacted George Washington to express their sympathy for the rebel cause and invite him to invade the province.

February 16. 1776
Congress spends most of the day considering "the propriety of opening the ports, and the restrictions and the regulations of the trade of the colonies" after March 1. Because Great Britain controlled the seas, some members stress the need to enter into treaties with other foreign powers in order to protect American trade.

February 17. 1776
The eight-vessel American navy sails today on its first "ocean-going cruise." Although the navy's mission is to protect American shipping and capture and destroy enemy warships, the first voyage is to the Bahamas in search of gunpowder.

February 18. 1776
From Norfolk, Virginia, Lord Dunmore dispatches a note to Lord Dartmouth expressing his "inexpressible Mortification" upon learning that General Clinton has been ordered to the "insignificant province of North Carolina to the neglect of this the richest and powerfully important province in America."

February 19. 1776
In Charleston, South Carolina, the Provincial Convention, apprehensive of a British attack, votes to summon militia to defend the city.

February 20. 1776
In Williamsburg, Lord Dunmore offers to go to England to negotiate a peaceful reconciliation. The Virginia Committee of Safety responds that they are "neither empowered nor inclined to intermeddle with the mode of negotiation; that we looked to the Congress for management of this important matter." They urge him to demonstrate his intentions by suspending hostilities.

February 21. 1776
In Philadelphia, Congress spends most of the day considering "the number and denominations of the bills in which the four millions of dollars, directed by Congress to be issued, ought to be emitted . . . "

February 22. 1776
Many members of Congress question New York's failure to mobilize troops; the body resolves to request the province to explain what efforts had been made to raise the four battalions for their own defense.

February 23. 1776
A resident of New York writes, "I forbear to mention the distressed state of this once happy city. To see the vast number of homes shut up, one would think the city almost evacuated. Women and children are scarcely to be seen in the streets. Troops are daily coming in; they break open and quarter themselves in any houses they find shut up. Necessity knows no law. Private interest must give way to the public good."

February 24. 1776
A British agent informs London that American vessels entered Bilbao and Santander, Spain. "Their business can only be to load gunpowder and other warlike stores, perhaps not in the ports of Spain, but very probably at sea, where it is believed they are supplied by the Dutch."

February 25. 1776
Washington receives information that the British had taken over every ship in the harbor at Boston for government service. All signs point to an evacuation of the city in the near future.

February 26. 1776
The Spanish government orders its West Indies fleet to establish a patrol in order to observe the conduct and movements of the British squadrons, and under the guise of preventing smuggling, detain British vessels and try to obtain information on the whereabouts of warships. The intelligence was to be exchanged with French authorities.

February 27. 1776
At Moores Creek, North Carolina, North Carolina patriots defeat loyalists at the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge. The defeat ends Governor Martin's hopes of regaining control of the colony for the British crown.

February 28. 1776
Washington's troops prepare to move ahead on the proposed occupation of Dorchester Heights. He writes in a letter, "We are preparing to take possession of a post which will, it is generally thought, bring on a rumpus between us and the enemy."

February 29. 1776
In London, the House of Commons approves treaties with German principalities supplying Great Britain with German troops.

March of 1776
March 1. 1776
Congress supersedes a previous resolution sending General Charles Lee to Canada; he is ordered instead to take immediate command of the continental forces in the south where a British attack is expected.

March 2. 1776
American artillery bombard Boston from a redoubt at Lechmere Point.

March 3. 1776
Silas Deane travels to France on a secret mission. He is instructed by the Committee of Secret Correspondence that if he meets with French Foreign Minister Vergennes he is to stress America's need for military stores and assure him that the colonies are moving toward "total separation."

March 4. 1776
King George concurs with Parliament that mercenaries fighting for Britain be dressed in British uniforms and not those of their home country.

March 5. 1776
A British Council of War decides to evacuate from Boston.

March 6. 1776
A committee of the New York Provincial Congress instructs Major William Malcolm to dismantle the Sandy Hook lighthouse, telling him to "use your best discretion to render the light-house entirely useless."

March 7. 1776
In Cambridge, all soldiers and officers observe a day of fasting, prayer, and humiliation.

March 8. 1776
Congress passes a resolution prohibiting the enlistment of Indians without the prior permission of both Congress and the national council of the tribe to which they belong.

March 9. 1776
In Philadelphia, the Congress resolves to prohibit military officers from imposing loyalty oaths on the inhabitants of any colony.

March 10. 1776
A resident of New Bern, North Carolina, writes that Governor Martin threatened to burn the city of Wilmington in the colony if it did not furnish him with supplies. The city refused and was prepared to fight. The colony of North Carolina had 9,400 armed men in the southern part of the province; the three southern colonies of Georgia and North and South Carolina had a force of 20,000 men prepared to fight General Clinton if he landed on the coast.

March 11. 1776
The British Admiralty orders a convoy of ships with seven infantry battalions and a hospital ship to the St. Lawrence River to establish British authority in Quebec.

March 12. 1776
In Baltimore, Maryland, a public notice announces: "The necessity of taking all imaginable care of those who may happen to be wounded in the country's cause, urges us to address our humane ladies, to lend us their kind assistance in furnishing us with linen rags and old sheeting, for bandages . . . "

March 13. 1776
In anticipation of the departure of the British from Boston, the general order for the day in Cambridge reads: "If upon the retreat of the enemy any person whatsoever, is detected in pillaging, . . . the severest punishment will be his lot—The unhappy Inhabitants of that distress'd town have already suffer'd too heavily from the Iron hand of Oppression!—their Countrymen surely will not be base enough to add to their misfortunes."

March 14. 1776
Congress resolves to send 8,000 men to New York for the colony's defense.

March 15. 1776
Congress requests authorities in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey to hold their militias in readiness to march in defense of New York.

March 16. 1776
The Admiralty informs British Admiral Shuldham that American vessels are loading military supplies in three Spanish ports: Corruna, St. Andro, and Bilbao.

March 17. 1776
The British begin their evacuation of Boston.

March 18. 1776
Washington visits Boston where he is impressed by the strength of the fortifications in the city. He writes that "[t]he town, although it has suffered greatly, is not in so bad a state as I expected to find it."

March 19. 1776
Washington's Quartermaster General estimates that the amount of booty recovered by the British evacuation of Boston amounted to £25,000 or £30,000.

March 20. 1776
General Clinton informs Georgia Governor Wright that he cannot protect loyalists in the province.

March 21. 1776
General Howe reports that a combination of adverse factors led to the British evacuation of Boston: the fortifications on Dorchester Heights, a lack of supplies and tonnage, the need to preserve his army, and the non-strategic value of the city.

March 22. 1776
The Acting Governor of the Bahamas writes that a rebel fleet removed the militia stores from two local forts and kidnapped the Governor.

March 23. 1776
The South Carolina Provincial Congress instructs its delegation in Philadelphia "to concert, agree to, and execute, every measure," which it and the Continental Congress shall "judge necessary, for the defence, security, interest or welfare of the Colony in particular, and America in general."

March 24. 1776
In Paris, the Count de Vergennes, French Foreign Minister, directs his ambassador in London to deny charges that French agents had met with Washington and the Continental Congress. In fact, two French "merchants" had met Washington on December 14 and Congressional delegates on December 30, 1775.

March 25. 1776
Congress votes to present their thanks and those of the colonies to Washington and his troops for their "wise and spirited conduct in the siege and acquisition of Boston," and to give the General a gold medal commemorating the event.

March 26. 1776
The Provincial Congress of South Carolina approves a new constitution and government for the province. The legislature is now the General Assembly of South Carolina; the group elects John Rutledge as President, Henry Laurens as Vice President, and William Henry Drayton as Chief Justice.

March 27. 1776
Upon the final departure of the British from Boston, Washington decides to send a brigade under General Sullivan to New York.

March 28. 1776
Congress appoints Jeremiah Dugan to command 300 rangers in Canada.

March 29. 1776
Washington appoints Major General Putnam commander of the troops in New York; he is to concentrate on the execution of all plans for the defense of the city and its waterways.

March 30. 1776
In Jamaica, attorneys claim that American vessels and their crews captured by British warships prior to January 1, 1776, when the Trade Prohibitory Act became effective could not be detained.

March 31. 1776
Abigail Adams urges her husband John to "Remember the Ladies" in making laws for the new nation, an important early plea for women's rights.

April of 1776
April 1. 1776
The Continental Congress establishes a permanent treasury office and proposes the appointment of an auditor general.

April 2. 1776
The South Carolina General Assembly empowers its new president, John Rutledge, to design and have made a Great Seal of South Carolina.

April 3. 1776
The Continental Congress gives privateers permission to "by force of arms, attack, subdue, and take all ships and other vessels belonging to the inhabitants of Great Britain."

April 4. 1776
In New York, American Quartermaster General Thomas Mifflin informs the Committee of Safety that within ten days a total of 12,000 troops would be in the city.

April 5. 1776
General Charles Lee arrives in Williamsburg, Virginia, and writes Washington that he fears the British will attack the defenseless city.

April 6. 1776
Congress resolves to allow exports from the colonies to any part of the world not under British rule. They also vote to allow the importation of any goods except those grown, produced, or shipped from any country under the King's rule.

April 7. 1776
Captain John Barry, commander of the sloop of war Lexington, makes the first U.S. Navy capture of a British warship, the sloop Edward, under battle conditions.

April 8. 1776
In Friedberg, North Carolina, several members of the Moravian congregation are forced to participate in military drills.

April 9. 1776
The South Carolina General Assembly votes to establish a Court of Admiralty in all cases of the capture of British ships by armed American vessels.

April 10. 1776
General Wooster informs John Hancock that the patriot situation in Canada is not improving. Only half of the two or three thousand soldiers in Quebec were fit to serve.

April 11. 1776
Writing to her husband from Braintree, Massachusetts, Abigail Adams states, "I miss my partner, and find myself unequal to the calls which fall upon me; I find it necessary to be the directress of our Husbandery and farming. . . I hope in time to have the Reputation of being as good a Farmeress as my partner has of being a good Statesmen."

April 12. 1776
The Provincial Congress in North Carolina empowers its delegates to the Continental Congress to concur with delegates from other colonies in declaring independence. They are the first colony to do so.

April 13. 1776
George Washington arrives in New York with General Gates.

April 14. 1776
John Adams addresses his wife Abigail's concerns about women's rights writing, "We have been told that our Struggle has loosened the bands of Government every where . . . that schools and colledges were grown turbulent—that Indians slighted their Guardians . . . But your Letter was the first Intimation that another Tribe more numerous and powerfull than all the rest were grown discontented."

April 15. 1776
Congress resolves that New England colonies fortifying their ports should write and request Washington to send a proper person to examine the ports. A Congressional committee would do likewise for ports between New York and Chesapeake Bay.

April 16. 1776
John Hancock writes the Maryland Council of Safety advising them to seize Robert Eden, governor of the colony. The request is made as a result of information received by Congress that Eden was carrying on a correspondence with the British Ministry "highly dangerous to the liberties of America."

April 17. 1776
Martha Washington arrives in New York from Cambridge.

April 18. 1776
The Irish transport ship Isabella arrives in Cape Fear, North Carolina, and is greeted by American militiamen.

April 19. 1776
The New York Committee of Safety orders all persons be prohibited from holding any intercourse with British ships under penalty of being considered enemies of the cause.

April 20. 1776
Germany and Britain arrange to have more troops sent from Germany to America, including 670 infantrymen.

April 21. 1776
British Governor James Wright of Georgia arrives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, aboard the HMS Scarborough.

April 22. 1776
In Williamsburg, Virginia, General Charles Lee instructs regimental recruiting officers to enlist no natives of Great Britain or Ireland unless they have been longtime residents of America, have dependents in the country, or can provide a strong recommendation.

April 23. 1776
Congress accepts the resignation of General Artemus Ward and resolves that an expedition should be undertaken against Detroit.

April 24. 1776
The Shawnee tribe writes to Congress, "the road between us has been opened and lately cleared, we desire it may remain open and clear for our young men and yours to pass and repass whenever they please. . ." The road was the Wilderness Trail over the Cumberland Gap.

April 25. 1776
As of this date, 10,192 soldiers of the United Army had been stationed in New York.

April 26. 1776
Virginia militiaman John Page writes to Thomas Jefferson asserting that the citizens of the various colonies should be commended for maintaining order while they were "free from the Restraint of Laws."

April 27. 1776
Lord Germain informs General William Howe that the first division of Hessian troops were preparing to sail to America.

April 28. 1776
From Savannah, Georgia, Colonel Lachlan McIntosh informs Washington that he is pleased with recruitment efforts in the colony. He concludes, however, that because the South has so little manufacturing, making the price of needed goods two or three times higher than in the North, procurement of clothing and arms was difficult.

April 29. 1776
In Brussels, Belgium, an ordinance is passed prohibiting the trade of munitions or articles of war with the American colonies.

April 30. 1776
Samuel Adams writes of his hopes for another battle between British and American troops, stating his belief that it "would do more towards a declaration of independency than a long chain of conclusive arguments in . . . Continental Congress."

May of 1776
May 1. 1776
In London, King George issues a proclamation extending the bounties for encouraging enlistments in the Royal Navy.

May 2. 1776
King Louis XVI of France agrees to loan one million livres to Hortalez & Cie., a company specifically organized to provide funds and military stores to the American cause, thereby establishing secret aid to the patriots.

May 3. 1776
British Commodore Parker and General Cornwallis arrive in North Carolina with twenty transports.

May 4. 1776
From Williamsburg, Virginia, General Charles Lee, commander of the southern military department, informs Washington that "we want arms, medicines, and blankets, most cruelly; indeed we want some battalions." He also asks Washington to request that Congress raise the salaries of military engineers in order to engage qualified individuals for that service.

May 5. 1776
In North Carolina, General Clinton issues a proclamation denouncing the "wicked rebellion" and recommending that the inhabitants return to their duty to the King. He offers full pardon to all persons, except General Robert Howe and Cornelius Harnett.

May 6. 1776
In Providence, Rhode Island, Governor Cooke sends Washington a copy of an act discharging the inhabitants of the colony from allegiance to the King. In Williamsburg, Virginia, the House of Burgesses meets for the last time; in its place, the General Convention of Delegates from the Counties and Corporations convenes and elects Edmund Pendleton President.

May 7. 1776
Congress authorizes North Carolina to raise a sixth battalion for the continental service and to direct the appropriate committee to furnish the colony with twelve field guns, three tons of powder, and a medicine chest for each battalion. The body also takes measures to protect Philadelphia from the threat of two British warships in the Delaware River.

May 8. 1776
Patriot vessels attack the British warships Roebuck and Liverpool on the Delaware River. Both sides suffer minimal damage.

May 9. 1776
Washington urges General Ward, commander of the Continental troops in Boston, to continue working on the defenses for the city. He feared the British might return to the city.

May 10. 1776
Congress recommends to the colonial assemblies and conventions, "where no government sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs have been hitherto established, to adopt such government as shall . . . best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and America in general."

May 11. 1776
In a letter to Congress, Washington recommends raising companies of Germans to send among the Hessians fighting for Britain when they arrive. The purpose would be "for exciting a spirit of disaffection and desertion. If a few trusty, sensible fellows could get with them, . . . they would have great weight and influence with the common Soldiery, who certainly have no enmity towards us, having received no Injury, nor cause of Quarrell from us."

May 12. 1776
The King of France instructs a naval squadron to patrol the coastal waters and English Channel to secure information on the positions and activities of British warships. The squadron is directed to maneuver so as to discourage the seizures of American merchantmen and neutral shipping carrying supplies to the patriots.

May 13. 1776
From Antigua, British Admiral Young relays intelligence to Admiral Gayton at Jamaica that American vessels plan to intercept homeward bound West India ships.

May 14. 1776
The Continental Congress's Committee of Secret Correspondence receives information that King George demanded and received from the Queen of Hungary a pledge to ban exports of military stores to America.

May 15. 1776
The Virginia Convention instructs its delegates to the Continental Congress to propose "to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent states, absolved from all allegiance to, or dependence upon, the crown or parliament of Great Britain . . . "

May 16. 1776
Congress asks George Washington to come to Philadelphia to consult with that body "upon such measures as may be necessary for the carrying on the ensuing campaign."

May 17. 1776
In London, an Order in Council extends the ban on exports of gunpowder, saltpetre, and any type of arms or ammunition; the order also bans the transportation of those products to the coast without the previous permission of the King or his privy council.

May 18. 1776
A resolution in Congress requests the Committee of Secret Correspondence to dispatch vessels to the French West Indies to purchase at least 10,000 muskets and to learn, if possible, whether the large French military force concentrated there would act "for or against the colonies."

May 19. 1776
Conservatives and the radical local Committee become involved in a bitter struggle for control of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly. The Assembly had ordered its delegation in Congress to desist from voting for independence.

May 20. 1776
Lyman Hall and Button Gwinnett of Georgia take their seats in the Continental Congress with instructions to use their own judgment in voting on any measures.

May 21. 1776
The Maryland Convention adopts resolutions stating that: the people had the "sole and exclusive right to regulate internal affairs and police" of the colony; the Convention could reject oppressive acts of Parliament; all royal authority was now totally abolished; and the people no longer had to take an oath of allegiance to Great Britain. The recently reelected delegation to Congress, however, was instructed to abstain from any measures leading to independence without the express authority of the Convention.

May 22. 1776
Congress votes to give General Schuyler authority to take any measures for supplying the troops in Canada with provisions.

May 23-24. 1776
From Boston, representatives to the General Assembly are instructed to advise the Massachusetts delegation in Congress that the colony will support a declaration of independence "with their lives and the remnant of their fortunes."

May 24. 1776
After conferring with Washington, Gates, and Mifflin, Congress votes to inform the commanding officer in Canada to "contest every foot of the ground" and especially prevent the enemy from ascending the St. Lawrence River.

May 25. 1776
In Pennsylvania, a resolution passes calling for a popularly elected provincial convention to draw up a new form of government.

May 26. 1776
Edmund Pendleton, President of the Virginia Convention warns Maryland that Lord Dunmore's fleet has "turned up the bay and passed the mouth of the York rivers."

May 27. 1776
Indian deputies of the Six Nations hold an audience with Congress. The delegates stage a military parade with Continental troops and soldiers from the local Association.

May 28. 1776
The London Post prints portions of Common Sense; the publisher deleted all abusive and insulting references to the King.

May 29. 1776
A sloop from St. Eustatius arrives in Charleston, South Carolina, with 10,000 pounds of powder. The master of the vessel states that the French West Indies ports are now open to the Americans and French warships are protecting the rebel vessels.

May 30. 1776
British General Clinton agrees to undertake an effort to capture the city of Charleston, South Carolina.

May 31. 1776
Expresses sent from Christ Church Parish in South Carolina warn authorities in Charleston that a large British fleet has been observed off Dewee's Island, about twenty miles north.

June of 1776
June 1. 1776
In Philadelphia, Congress agrees to raise 6,000 militia "to reinforce the army in Canada, and to keep up communication with that province;..." Meanwhile in Charleston, South Carolina, President Rutledge received intelligence that a fleet of 50 or more vessels were anchored north of Sullivan's Island.

June 2. 1776
Like many of the men under his command, American Major General John Thomas dies of smallpox near Sorel, in Quebec, Canada.

June 3. 1776
To protect the middle colonies, Congress resolves to reinforce troops in New York with 13,800 militia and set up a special mobile force of 10,000. Meanwhile, at Sullivan's Island in South Carolina, Colonel William Moultrie informs President Rutledge that a British landing is imminent, and vows to "make the best defense I can with what I have got."

June 4. 1776
John Hancock exhorts the colonies to exert "every Nerve to distinguish yourselves. Quicken your Preparations and stimulate the good people of your Government and there is no Danger, notwithstanding the mightly Armament with which we are threatened, but you will be able to lead them to Victory, to Liberty, and to Happiness."

June 5. 1776
In Philadelphia, Congress requires monthly status reports from all non-combat or supply departments of the floundering Army in Canada. In Massachusetts, a traitor examiner recommends that all suspected persons should be sent inland at least 10 miles from the coast.

June 6. 1776
From the HMS Sovereign comes a Proclamation from British General Clinton to the people of Charleston, South Carolina, "to return to their Duty to our common Sovereign, and to the Blessings of a free Government, as established by law..." In Philadelphia, Samuel Adams writes: "tomorrow a Motion will be made, and a Question I hope decided, the most important that was ever agitated in America."

June 7. 1776
Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduces to Congress three resolutions: total independence from Great Britain, the formation of foreign Alliances, and preparation of a plan of the colonial confederation. John Adams seconds the resolutions.

June 8. 1776
While the Philadelphia Congress considers Lee's resolutions of the previous day, in South Carolina, Colonel Moultrie receives notice that General Clinton has landed troops on the Southern tip of Long Island; Moultrie in turn orders American troops to occupy the northern part of Sullivan's Island.

June 9. 1776
John Adams writes to William Cushing: "We are in the very midst of revolution, the most complete, unexpected, and remarkable, of any in the history of nations." In Loudon County, VA, small tenant farmers petition the Convention for relief. Unable to sell their harvests of wheat to foreign markets, many are becoming destitute.

June 10. 1776
In Philadelphia, Congress stops short of declaring "total independence" from Britain, but calls for a committee to prepare a declaration based on the premise: "That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown: and that all political connexion between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

June 11. 1776
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Philip Livingston comprise a committee chosen to prepare the declaration of independence. Jefferson is chosen to prepare the first draft.

In New York, residents roam the streets and attack suspected Tories

June 12. 1776
In Philadelphia, Congress creates "A Board of War and Ordnance," inspired in part by the failing Canadian campaign.

In Williamsburg, Virginia, George Mason and the Virginia Convention adopt A declaration of rights.

June 13. 1776
In Boston, General Benjamin Lincoln directs the placement of cannon around the harbor. A short cannonade convinces the British to weigh anchor, inspiring Lincoln to write "Thus is the port of Boston again opened by our own authority, after being closed during two years vy virtue of an act of the British Parliament."

June 14. 1776
Congress orders General Philip Schuyler to confer with the Six Nations Indians - Mohawk; Oneida; Tuscarora; Onondaga; Cayuga; Seneca - and "engage them in our interest upon the best terms that can be procured" and to procede to erect a fortification at Fort Stanwix (NY).

Meanwhile, General Sullivan decides to evacuate Canada and make a stand at Fort Ticonderoga (NY).

June 15. 1776
In Burlington New Jersey, the New Jersey Provincial Congress brands Governor William Franklin "an enemy to the liberties of this country..."

The New HampshireProvincial Congress instructs its delegation to join the other colonies by "Solemnly Pledging our Faith and Honor, that we will on our parts support the measure with our Lives and Fortunes...".

June 16. 1776
In Boston, General Benjamin Lincoln directs the placement of cannon around the harbor. A short cannonade convinces the British to weigh anchor, inspiring Lincoln to write "Thus is the port of Boston again opened by our own authority, after being closed during two years by virtue of an act of the British Parliament."

June 17. 1776
Congress orders General Philip Schuyler to confer with the Six Nations Indians - Mohawk; Oneida; Tuscarora; Onondaga; Cayuga; Seneca - and "engage them in our interest upon the best terms that can be procured" and to procede to erect a fortification at Fort Stanwix (NY).

Meanwhile, General Sullivan decides to evacuate Canada and make a stand at Fort Ticonderoga (NY).

June 18. 1776
In Burlington New Jersey, the New Jersey Provincial Congress brands Governor William Franklin "an enemy to the liberties of this country..."

The New Hampshire Provincial Congress instructs its delegation to join the other colonies by "Solemnly Pledging our Faith and Honor, that we will on our parts support the measure with our Lives and Fortunes...".

June 19. 1776
Benedict Arnold notifies General Sullivan of his garrison's successful movement out of Montreal, along with some spirits and molasses siezed in that town.

In Boston Harbor, an armed Connecticut vessel along with several schooners sieze two British ships and take 200 sailors and soldiers prisoner.

June 20. 1776
Congress requests additional soldiers from Connecticut to be sent to Canada.

In Watertown, the Massachusetts Assembly resolves to ban the export by water of all produce except for Jamaica or pickled fish, unless the items are used to to supply armed American vessels or colonial inhabitants.

June 21. 1776
In Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson shows his first draft of "a declaration of independence" to John Adams and other members of Congress.

In Burlington, New Jersey, Governor Franklin appears before the New Jersey Provincial Congress but refuses to answer any questions on the grounds that body was an illegal instrument which usurped the powers of the rightful government. He was declared a dangerous enemy to American liberties and ordered confined in such place and manner as the Continental Congress may direct.

June 22. 1776
At La Prairie, Canada, General Baron Riedesel reports to the Duke of Brunswick that the British had recovered Canada and only the lack of shipping prevented a rapid advance into the rear of the American colonies.

In New York, a resolution by the Provincial Congress recommends that residents of the sea coast sell their fit cattle to the army.

June 23. 1776
In Philadelphia, the Provincial Conference of Committees urges the people to "elect qualified patriots to the Convention, who shall know the ideas and sentiments of their constituents. And, above all, assure the timid and fearful of the high purposes of the Convention."

Meanwhile, off the coast of Charleston, SC, Commodore Parker notifies General Clinton that he would land on the mainland tomorrow on the flood tide if the wind was from the south. Parker and his fleet were thwarted by a sandbar for nearly two weeks.

June 24. 1776
Congress resolves that New Jersey's Governor Franklin - son of Benjamin Franklin - be sent under guard to Connecticut. Congress also appoints an investigative committee to "enquire into the cause of the miscarriages in Canada."

The County Committee of Bergen, New Jersey, votes to raise troops and observe the movements of the enemy. It also asked the people of the county to "aid and assist the families of those brave men who are necessarily abroad in defence of their country, in getting in their harvest, that their wives and families may not suffer by their absence."

June 25. 1776
The Conference of Committees urges its more pacifist associates to military action by declaring that they were fighting for "permanent liberty, to be supported by your own government, derived from you, and organized for all and not for the benefit of one man or class of men."

Off the coast of South Carolina, after spending three weeks getting his fleet across a sandbar, Commodore Parker's plans to bombard the fort on Sullivan's Island are canceled by unfavorable wind and tidal conditions.

June 26. 1776
In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams complains that the Congress was giving him "more business than I am qualified for, and more than, I fear, that I can go through, with safety to my health. In the same letter, he attributes the Army's failure in Canada to the outbreak of Small pox.

From Gwynn's Island in Virginia, Governor Dunmore reports to Lord Germain in England that the Island is his new base, and that if the fever had not killed most of the slaves that flocked to his banner, we would have stayed on the mainland.

June 27. 1776
Congress resolves to organize rifle regiments in Virginia, New York, and Maryland. In addition, the members vote to to form a battalion of Germans.

Off the coast of South Carolina, Commodore Parker gives the signal to to get under way towards Sullivan's Island, but is again halted when the wind suddenly shifts to the opposite quarter.

June 28. 1776
Convicted of mutiny and sedition, Thomas Hickey, former Life Guard for George Washington, was hanged near Bowery Lane in New York in front of 20,000 spectators.

Charleston, SC: About 10 am, Commodore Parker's squadron opens fire on Fort Sullivan. To the surprise of the British, the fort's palmetto log wall absorbs the British shot like a sponge, preventing typical splinter injuries to the garrison. More surprising is the accurate and effective fire directed by Colonel Moultrie at the British fleet. Their two largest warships suffer extensive damage and severe crew losses; Commodore Parker suffers painful physical injuries and the embarrassing loss of his breeches; HMS Sphinx looses its bowsprit; the Actaeon runs aground; smaller British frigates are damaged. Moultrie's attack costs Parker 261 injured and dead. American casualties are slight.

June 29. 1776
Contrary to most of his colleagues in Congress, Edward Rutledge of South Carolina advocates patience in regards to declaring independence. In a letter to John Jay of New York, Rutledge worries whether he and other conservatives can "effectually oppose" such a resolution.

Meanwhile, on Staten Island in New York, signals indicate the appearance of General Howe's fleet from Halifax, prompting Samuel Webb to declare "a warm and Bloody Campaign is the least we may expect; may God grant us victory and success..."

Inspired by his stunning success in repulsing Commodore Parker's naval squadron, a William Logan sends a gift of a hogshead of old Antigua rum to Colonel Moultrie.

June 30. 1776
Now heading the newly created Board of War, John Adams asserts how military stores are of the utmost importance: "I cannot think that Country safe, which has not within itself every Material necessary for War, and the Art of making Use of those Materials. I shall never be easy, then, until We shall have made Discoveries of Salt Petre, Sulphur, Flynts, Lead, Cannon Mortars, Ball, Shells, Musquetts, and Powder in sufficient Plenty, so that We may always be sure of having enough of each."

On Gwynn's Island, VA, Maryland's Royal Governor Robert Eden joins Governor Dunmore in self-imposed exile from the mainland.

July of 1776
July 1. 1776
George Washington's letter of June 29 is read to Congress. In it he announces the arrival of the British fleet in New York. Shortly thereafter, the Continental Congress approves Richard Henry Lee's resolution of respecting independence, but South Carolina delegates postpone determination by the entire house until July 2.

A committee from the Virginia Convention informs Patrick Henry of his election as Governor under the new constitution.

In honor of Colonel William Moultrie, the state legislature of South Carolina renames Fort Sullivan "Fort Moultrie."

July 2. 1776
Congress formally adopts Lee's resolution for independence, asserting that the "United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." The vote is unanimous with only New York abstaining.

Arriving at Crown Point, NY, General John Sullivan writes to John Hancock about his experience in Canada: ""to give you a particular account of the miserable State of our Troops there and the numbers which Daily kept Droping in there Beds and Graves would rather Seem like The effect of Imagination than a history of facts."

After landing at New York, British Captain Archibald Robertson reports on "The Rebels" he encountered, and notes how they "fired musquetry at the nearest ships without effect...Lucky for us the Rebels had no cannon here or we must have suffered a good deal."

July 3. 1776
In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams writes: "Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men..."

During the same day, Congress considers Jefferson's "Declaration" for independence, and decides to continue their examination at the next session.

In New York, troops requested from the colonies to the south begin to arrive with General Nathaniel Heard and his New Jersey Militia.

At Crown Point, Army Doctor Lewis Bebe notes in his journal that "Since I have been writing, one more of our men has made his exit. Death visits us almost every hour."

July 4. 1776
In Philadelphia, Jefferson's Declaration of Independence is adopted and signed by the appropriate parties.

Meanwhile, on Staten Island in New York, George Washington expresses dismay that many islanders are "too favourably disposed" to join the British.

And at Crown Point, NY, Dr. Bebe writes that "The Capts and Subs may generally be found at the grog shops, the soldiers either sleeping, swimming, fishing, or cursing and swearing most generally the Latter."

July 5. 1776
On this day, British prisoners of war become an issue. In New York, George Washington requests to move prisoners from the city to a safer place in the country. In New Jersey, That colony's Convention requests that Congress provide for the removal of prisoners because they were causing dissension by ridiculing the Congress and the American army.

At Willamsburg, VA, the Virginia Convention resolves to omit prayers acknowledging the authority of the English King from their services.

July 6. 1776
From Philadelphia, John Hancock sends the Declaration of Independence to the New York Convention meeting in White Plains with a letter which closes "The important consequences to the American States from this Declaration of Independence, considered as the ground and foundation of a future Government, will naturally suggest the propriety of proclaiming it in such a manner that the people may be universally informed of it.

He sent the same letter to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

At a conference at Fort Pitt, PA, a Mingo chief, just returned from a meeting at Niagara, advised the Virginians and Pennsylvanians that the Indians did not wish to fight but would prevent either the English or Americans to cross their lands.

July 7. 1776
At Crown Point, NY, General Schuyler withdraws his Northern Army and moves toward Ticonderoga.

George Washington writes to New York's Governor Trumbull: "The Situation of our Affairs calls aloud for the most Vigorous Exertions and nothing else will be sufficient to avert the Impending blow...General Howe has already about ten Thousand men."

July 8. 1776
In Philadelphia, Committee member Christopher Marshall writes how "...in the presence of a great concourse of people, the Declaration of Independence was read by John Nixon. The company declared their approbation, by three repeated huzzas. The King's arms were taken down in the Court Room, State House, same time."

July 9. 1776
A New York newspaper reports: "The Equestrian Statue of George III, erected in the year 1770, was thrown from its Pedestal and broken in Pieces; and we hear the Lead wherewith this Monument was made, is to be run into Bullets."

On Gwynn's Island off the coast of Virginia, Dunmore and his men are routed, leaving control of the island to the patriots.

July 10. 1776
The Virginia Gazette, reporting on the rout at Gwynn's Island, writes: "His Lordship (Dunmore) lost his china by a double-headed shot, and it is said he himself was wounded in the leg by a splinter The fleet is drove off without water; and although they have plenty of prize flour, there is not a biscuit on board."

July 11. 1776
Boston's Major General Artemus Ward sends "73 Fire Arms, 60 Bayonets, 73 Bayonet belts, 73 Slings, 73 Shot Pouches, 50 Cartridge boxes, 73 Knapsacks" to New York.

July 12. 1776
In Philadelphia the Congress, concerned about the regions around the Great Lakes, directed General Schuyler to order the construction of gallies to protect Lake Ontario and sought to establish how large a naval force would be necessary to secure Lake Erie.

July 13. 1776
Abigail Adams received John's letters from the 3rd and 4th as well as a copy of the declaration. "Nor am I a little Gratified when I reflect that a person so nearly connected with me has had the Honour of being a principal actor, in laying a foundation for its (the country's) future Greatness. May the foundation of our new constitution, be justice, Truth and Righteousness."

In Salem, NC, in April, the North Carolina Congress passed a resolution that since the Moravians, "do not bear arms their guns shall be taken,...but they themselves shall not be forced into service." However, they noted in their journal on this day that, "Brethern have been called for service, so the question is one whose authority it has been?"

The Declaration of Independence arrives in Rhode Island.

July 14. 1776
Anticipating a British attack on New York, the Congress asked the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety to send any available musket-cartridges and balls to the "Flying-Camp" and militia in New Jersey. At the same time, they requested that all British officers being held prisoner in Philadelphia be transferred to various interior places.

In New York,General Washington's aide,Colonel Samuel Webb recorded in his journal that he had refused a truce flag and letter delivered from Lord Howe. The letter concerned a meeting for presentation of Admiral Howe's offer of reconciliation which become only a pardon for all who would return their former loyalty to the King.

July 15. 1776
Castle Island, Massachusetts Bay: Private David How reported that, "This Day our Regt. Had orders to march to New York."

In Annapolis, Maryland, the Council of Safety received information that Lord John Dunmore had appeared off George's Island in the mouth of the Potomac River. Two of the boats from the fleet, infected with smallpox, had been driven onto the mainland shore. Fearing an invasion of the colony, the Council requested that a Captain Hindman and his troops come to Annapolis rather than proceed to Philadelphia as originally ordered.

July 16. 1776
John Adams learned for the first time yesterday that his wife intended to undergo a smallpox inoculation with their children. Today he wrote, "It is not possible for me to describe, nor for you to conceive my Feelings upon this Occasion. Nothing, but the critical state of our Affairs should prevent me from flying to Boston, to your Assistance… I shall feel like a Savage to be here while my whole Family is sick at Boston."

The New York Mercury reported that a second flag of truce from Lord Howe addressed to George Washington, Esq. was rejected, "for the same Reason as the former."

In Exeter, NH, the letter of July 6 from John Hancock transmitting the Declaration of Independence reached there today.

July 17. 1776
The Continental Congress, learning of Washington's refusal to accept Howe's misaddressed dispatch, asserted that the commander-in-chief "acted with a dignity becoming his station," and directed all American commanders to receive only letters addressed to them "in the characters they respectively sustain."

Northampton, MA: In a letter to Eldbridge Gerry, Major Joseph Hawley advocated death for all Tories - "Can we subsist - did any State every subsist, without exterminating traitors?...No one thing made the Declaration of Independence indispensably necessary more than cutting off traitors."

July 18. 1776
In Boston, loyalist lawyer William Lynchon of Salem wrote, "At noon the Congress Declaration of Independence of the Colonies on Great Britain was read in the balcony of the Town house; a regiment under arms, and artillery Co. in King Street, and the guns at the several batteries were fired, three cheers given, bells ringing, etc.; (in the) afternoon the King's arms were taken down and broken to pieces in King Street, and carried off by the people."

Virginia Governor Patrick Henry receives the official report of the Declaration of Independence.

July 19. 1776
The Congress resolved to publish in "several gazettes," a copy of the circular letter and enclosed declaration with Lord Howe had sent to former Royal Governors Franklin, Penn, Eden, Dunmore, Martin, and Wright. They hoped that in publishing the Commission's terms "the few, who still remain suspended by a hope founded in justice or moderation of their late King, may now, at length, be convinced, that the valour alone of their country is to save its liberties."

Off the coast of Charleston, British General Henry Clinton sailed from here with his troops convoyed by the one frigate that Commodore Peter Parker had in condition to go to sea. He would join Howe on Staten Island on August 1, 1776.

July 20. 1776
The Convention of the State of Pennsylvania elected nine new delegates to the Continental Congress. The new control of the State of Pennsylvania had been effected; the formal constitution would be completed in September.

In Paris, Silas Deane, American Emissary to France, informed the committee of Secret Correspondence in Congress of his progress in achieving a trade alliance with France.

July 21. 1776
In New York, General Nathaniel Greene informed Washington that a, "negro, belonging to one Strickler," had reported that eight hundred negroes had assembled on Staten-Island and were forming a regiment.

Benjamin Franklin, who had received a copy of the Peace Commission's circular letter and declaration, wrote and thanked Lord Howe, but expressed regret that the dispatch was nothing more than "offers of pardon upon submission."

July 22. 1776
Congress, sitting as a committee of the whole, considered the printed draft of John Dickinson's "Articles of Confederation." They would be adopted in November, 1777.

The correspondence from John Hancock transmitting the Declaration arrives in Halifax, North Carolina.

July 23. 1776
Congress informed Washington that their "confidence in his judgment" was such that they will give him no direction on the disposition of troops in and about New York.

St. George's Island, MD: Major Thomas Price, in a letter to the Maryland Council of Safety wrote that they had captured several prisoners, but that most had the smallpox.

July 24. 1776
In a letter to General Phillip Schuyler, Congress President John Hancock asserted that the Congress was "concerned to find there should be a necessity of recommending harmony to the officers and troops of different States under your command…nothing can show greater weakness or wickedness that to throw provincial reflections on one another, which must have direct tendency to impede publick service, and weaken the union of the American States."

July 25. 1776
Congress was in the midst of discussing the first draft of Dickinson's "Articles of Confederation." Among other things, they discussed the boundaries of the thirteen states. Jefferson believed all Indian lands should be immediately bought and that Congress should in no way fix state borders. Others, Samuel Chase and James Wilson among them, disagreed, setting the stage for later debate.

Near St. George's Island, VA., the diary of British prisnor Miguel Antonio Edwards revealed that the British fleet headed Southward, "having learned that General Lee had arrived with the Troops that had forced them recently to retire from Gwin Island (Virginia)."

July 26. 1776
Congress discussed Article XVIII of the confederation proposal which granted Congress the power of "regulating the Trade, and managing all Affairs with the Indians."

News of the Declaration of Independence reached the post of Ticonderoga, New York.

July 27. 1776
Silas Deane wrote a letter to the Congress Committee that he had been successful beyond his expectations in France. One affluent Frenchmen had even offered the colonies credit for one million livres. However, Deane also wrote that negotiations for arms and supplies could not proceed until Independence, "in the most full and explicit terms" was declared." Word of Congress' July 4 action had not yet reached Paris.

The Massachusetts Council directed Captain John Lambert, schooner Diligent, to transport a Francis Shaw and the "Indians now under his care" to St. Johns River in Nova Scotia. Lambert was then to return to Watertown with "any Indians he may Inlist into the Service of the United States."

July 28. 1776
New York: Colonels' Sargent and Hutchinson with their Continental troops from Boston as well as several British ships arrived at Horn's Hook, New York on this day.

In Ticonderoga, New York, the Declaration of Independence was read by Colonel Arthur St. Clair and when he read, 'God save the free independent States of America' the Army manifested their joy with cheers. "It was remarkably pleasing to see the spirits of the soldiers so raised, after all their calamities; the language of every man's countenance was, Now we are people; we have a name among the Sates of this world."

July 29. 1776
In his letter to Abigail of this day, John Adams, remarking on his wife's love of "picking a political Bone," posed this question "If a Confederation should take Place, one great Question is how shall we vote. Whether each colony shall count one? Or whether each shall have a Weight in Proportion to its Numbers, or Wealth, or Exports and Import, or compound Ration of all?"

In the North Carolina frontier, to discourage a reported Indian alliance with the British, troops from Virginia, North and South Carolina invaded Cherokee territory and began a campaign which would ultimately destroy 32 Indian towns and villages.

July 30. 1776
Debate on the "Articles of Confederation" continued. On the subject of voting in Congress, Dr. Franklin believed that for the smaller colonies to have an equal vote, they should have to give equal money and men." John Witherspoon (NJ), however, feared that "smaller states will be oppressed by the great ones."

In New York, General Washington informed General William Howe that Congress had authorized a "General Exchange of Prisoners...for those of equal rank...Soldier for Soldier, Sailor for Sailor and Citizen for Citizen." A particular mention, he noted, was made of Col. Ethan Allen who would be exchanged for any officer.

July 31. 1776
John Hancock wrote General Washington that he had explained to General John Sullivan the reasons General Horatio Gates was promoted over him. Sullivan withdrew his resignation and Congress had assigned him to Washington in New York.

Also in New York, Major General Henry Clinton and Cornwallis with their troops transported by a part of Commodore Peter Parker's fleet arrived at Sandy Hook from Charleston.

August of 1776
August 1. 1776
The Congress continued consideration of two troublesome issues relative to the Articles of Confederation; namely, how much money individual states would contribute to the central government and the number of votes allocated to each.

On Staten Island, the bulk of Henry Clinton's troops and Peter Parker's warships arrived from their ill-fated expedition against Charleston, S.C.

In Ninety-Six, South Carolina, James Cresswell reported that Indian raids had converted the community into a frontier settlement. "Plantations lie desolate-and hopeful cropps are going to ruin. In short, dear Sir, unless we get some relief, famine will overspread our beautiful country."

August 2. 1776
Members of Congress affixed their signature to the engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence. John Dickinson, Pennsylvania; James Duane, New York; John Jay, New York; and Robert Livingston, New York refused to sign. Carter Braxton, Virginia; Robert Morris, Pennsylvania; George Reed, Delaware; and Edward Rutledge, South Carolina; opposed the document but signed in compliance with their instructions. Five delegates were absent; Generals Washington, Sullivan, Clinton and Gasden and Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia.

In Charleston, South Carolina, news of the Declaration of Independence arrived there today.

August 3. 1776
In New York, American row gallies tried but failed completely to capture or destroy the two British warships which had ascended the Hudson River to Tappen Zee.

In view of the serious British threat to New York and its own shores, the State Convention in New Brunswick, New Jersey, resolved to fine all able-bodied men who refused to bear arms.

In German-Flats, N.Y., General Horatio Gates felt reassured that the energetic Benedict Arnold would be responsible for building and commanding the fleet in order to oppose the inevitable invasion from Canada.

August 4. 1776
Colonel Joseph Reed in New York, an astute member of Washington's staff, observed to a friend that although Admiral Howe spoke convincingly of "peace and accommodation," his written communications fail to disclose any "serious intention of relinquishing one jot of their despotic claim over this country." He also revealed that Washington had considered an attack on Staten Island where the British troops were garrisoned but a lack of men and boats forced him to abandon the idea.

During July and August the entire frontier from Virginia to Georgia was thrown into a turmoil by Indian attacks, instigated by British agents. Colonel Andrew Williamson reports to President Rutledge that his state militia had fought its way out of an Indian ambush and on the following day crossed the Kenowee River to destroy four Indian towns.

August 5. 1776
On Long Island, General Nathanael Greene proposed to Washington that he withdraw the army from New York and burn the city; thus depriving the British of an excellent base, barracks, and a general market which would attract American trade in direct violation of the "law of their country." Greene could not see on advantage in preserving the city. Washington himself had considered this drastic step but instead decided to fight for the possession of this strategic community.

August 6. 1776
The Congress directed General Phillip Schuyler to contact British General John Burgoyne for the purpose of entering a prisoner of war exchange agreement. By now the members were convinced that Howe would assault New York.

In Perth Amboy, NJ, Elizabeth, the wife of exiled Governor William Franklin wrote to her father-in-law Benjamin: "My troubles do indeed lie heavily on my mind, tho' many people may suffer still more than I do, yet that does not lessen the weight of mine,...but allow me, dear sir, to mention that it is greatly in your power to relieve them (my afflictions)." She asked Franklin to secure the release of her husband from confinement in Litchfield, Conn. There is no record that the plaintive note was acknowledged.

August 7. 1776
The College of New York (formerly King's, now Columbia) agreed to turn its telescope over to Washington for his use, " in discovering the arrangements and operations of the enemy." Upon viewing the growing strength of the British forces under the Howe Brothers, Joseph Reed, Washington's aide, felt that the "whole world seems leagued against us. Enemies on every side, and no new friends arise. But our cause is just, and there is a Providence which directs and governs all things."

August 8. 1776
On Board the H.M.S. Eagle: Ambrose Serle, Admiral Howe's secretary confided in his journal: "I almost wish that the colonies had never existed. They have weakened our national Force; and are now a Force turned against us. They have wasted our Treasures and laid upon us a heavy Dept for their Protection; and are plunging us into Expences to keep them under that Protection."

In New York, Washington is alarmed by the rapid of expansion of British forces and seeks desperately to secure additional militia from neighboring states. "The New Levies are so incomplete, the Old Regiments deficient in the Compliment, and so much Sickness, that we must have an immediate Supply of Men."

August 9. 1776
On Staten Island, Guy Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, just arrived here back from England. He reassured Lord George Germain that the six nations would cooperate with the royal troops as soon as Howe and Burgoyne initiated the "grand operation." The Americans, he felt, could depend only on those Indians who came under the influence of New England missionaries, which was a small fraction of the total number of Indians in the northern provinces.

August 10. 1776
The New York Convention in Harlem resolved this day that all males between 16 and 50, residing in any county more than 14 days, should be enrolled in the militia of that county. This was designed to prevent people from moving from place to place in order to avoid military duty.

In Savannah, GA, the town held a day-long celebration in honor of the Declaration of Independence. The celebration was concluded that evening with the burial of an effigy of King George III.

August 11. 1776
General orders prohibited furloughs or discharges to officers and soldiers without the knowledge and consent of General Washington.

In Boston, the Declaration of Independence was read in all the local Churches today.

August 12. 1776
Washington wrote to General Lee that his situation had deteriorated what with small pox and desertion. He now feared that the superior British navy might blockade New York thus isolating the city from communications with all the adjacent states.

In a communication to the Connecticut Assembly, Ethan Allen in Halifax, Nova Scotia, predicted that France and Spain would react to the Declaration of Independence by accelerating their military assistance and eventually entering into an alliance with the Americans.

Today in Charleston, SC, President John Rutledge issued a call to the members of the General Assembly to convene on September 17. South Carolina had successfully resisted the attack of General Clinton and Admiral Parker. It was in a state of war.

August 13. 1776
In New York, the Provincial Convention empowered Washington to convert some 12 private residence into a general hospital. Having decided that Howe would attack in the very near future, Washington packed all his important papers and ordered them to be forwarded to Philadelphia for safe keeping.

The French Ambassador in London reported to Paris that, "the government has not thought it necessary to take notice of it (Declaration of Independence) and indeed I do not see that this uprising causes any sensation here."

August 14. 1776
Congress today resolved to offer all foreign deserters from the British army a secure refuge, including religious liberty, the investment of the rights, privileges and immunities of natives, "as established by the laws of the states;" and 5 1/4 acres of unappropriated lands.

In Boston the city observed the 11th anniversary of the popular resistance which prevented the execution of the Stamp Act in Boston. The Sons of Liberty erected a pole at the site of the original liberty tree.

August 15. 1776
In New York, General Greene informed Washington that on the previous evening the Hessian troops had disembarked on Staten Island. His own troops, busy removing livestock and grain and dismantling mills, were, he felt, in excellent spirits and confident of putting up a good fight. Without doubt, the most ominous information for Washington was the fact that Greene, a most promising General, had fallen victim to a raging fever.

August 16. 1776
On the H.M.S. Eagle off Staten Island, Lord Admiral Howe, in a letter to his "worthy friend" Benjamin Franklin, insisted that although the supremacy of the king was a necessity in any arrangement for reconciliation, he possessed that authority to negotiate and "effect a lasting peace and reunion between the two countries," if the Americans genuinely desired a restoration of their former relationship with the mother country.

On this night in New York, two fire-boats launched a desperate but unsuccessful attack on two British frigates anchored in the Hudson. One enemy tender was destroyed and the warships abandoned the river.

August 17. 1776
Members of the Maryland Convention on motion of Congressional Delegate Samuel Chase, "Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to prepare a Declaration and Charter of Rights, and a plan of Government, agreeable to such rights as will best maintain peace and good order, and most effectually secure happiness and liberty to the people of this State."

With Admiral Howe's permission, Lord Drummond, sent a packet of letters containing both Howe's and his own proposals for settling the current difficulties. Washington accused Drummond of violating of his parole; refused to see him but promised to forward the correspondence to the Congress.

August 18. 1776
Washington issued a General Order to dismissl rumors that a reconciliation was in the works. The troops were urged to remain mentally and physically prepared for the attack which would come with the first favorable wind and tide.

August 19. 1776
The Congress revised its policy on Indian Affairs. The prime objective was to secure strict neutrality rather than armed support from the tribes. The various agents were directed to urge the principal chiefs and sachems to visit Congress for consultations; particularly the headman of the Creeks, whom the Cherokees were pressuring to join in the war raging on the southern frontier.

John Adams and others confessed that the members of Congress for some time had avoided considering the Articles of Confederation. There were strong feelings about the loss of power by the states.

August 20. 1776
Washington appointed General John Sullivan to succeed the ailing General Greene. Captain Nathan Hale informed his brother: "For about 6 or 8 days the enemy have been expected hourly, whenever the wind and tide in the least favored. We keep a particular look out for them this morning. The place and manner of attack time must determine. The place and manner of attack time must determine. The event we leave to Heaven...We hope, under God, to give a good account of the Enemy whenever they choose to make the last appeal."

On Board the H.M.S. Eagle Ambrose Serle entered into his journal: "Every thing now begins to look extremely serious..."

August 21. 1776
On Staten Island, Stephen Kemble, British Adjutant General for intelligence wrote in his journal: "Embarkation of the whole Troops completed. Embark about Eleven thousand eight hundred and fifty English Foot, Near five hundred Artillery and about 12 Light Horse, with fifteen hundred Foreigners under Col. Donop."

Although Washington now possessed an accurate account of the British troop embarkation, he notified Congress: "The Situation of the Armies being the same as when I had the pleasure of addressing you last, I have nothing special to communicate on that Head, nor more to add." He believed the major attack would be against New York.

August 22. 1776
Corporal Thomas Sullivan related in his journal the arrival of the British on Long Island between Gravesen and New Utrecht, "After our being on board ship a day & two nights, waiting for the weather, which was wet, to clear up; the whole Army got ready for landing on Long Island. The Light-Infantry and Grenadiers embarked in the morning at 6'oclock on board the Flat-bottomed Boat. The British and Hessian troops, dropt down the River, and ranged in order under cover of the Men of War; Our Brigade i.e. the 2d. was under cover of the Eagle and Centurion of 50 guns...The whole Army were ready together in Flat-boats; the sight of which was very beautiful and delightful to any English Solider or Subject, to see near twenty four thousand men ready to land in a moment." (His estimate was high.)

August 23. 1776
Washington reported to the Congress that the British had landed on Long Island, to which sector he had detached six battalions as a reinforcement, "which are all that I can spare at this Time, not knowing but the fleet may move up with the remainder of their Army and make an Attack here on the next flood Tide."

August 24. 1776
Washington informed Congress that he had visited Long Island and had sent additional troops, but was still concerned over an enemy landing in New York. He also requested Governor Trumbull to send 1,000 Connecticut militia to the eastern part of Long Island.

General Charles Lee informed the Congress that Georgia was more valuable than he had originally suspected. Its salubrious climate, crops of rice, numerous harbors and rivers, livestock and proximity to the West Indies made it mandatory to keep this state out of enemy hands. To safeguard Georgia, Lee recommended additional reinforcements.

August 25. 1776
John Adams, like Abigail, had an observation: If we survive this year, "We shall have more and better Soldiers. We shall be better armed. We shall have a greater Force at Sea. We shall have more Trade. Our Artillery will be greatly increased, our Officers will have more Experience, and our Soldiers more Discipline-our Politicans more Courage and Confidence and our Enemies less Hope."

August 26. 1776
Now confident that the British would not attack New York, Washington poured additional reinforcements into the lines around Brooklyn Heights. "The papers designed for the foreign (Hessian) Troops, have been put into several Channels, in order that they may be conveyed to them, and from the Information I had yesterday, I have reason to believe many have fallen into their Hands." The papers contained inducement to the Hessian troops to desert.

August 27. 1776
In an effort to encourage German officers to desert, Congress resolved to offer unappropriated lands in quantities ranging from 1,000 acres to a colonel to 100 acres to non-commissioned officers.

On Long Island, General Clinton's troops began to roll up the unprotected American left flank and General Sullivan was pinned down by frontal attacks until he was forced to surrender. On the right, General Grant was surrounded on three sides and he orders his soldiers to retreat to Brooklyn Heights. The British Victory was rapid and complete.

August 28. 1776
During the day on Long Island, the opposing forces kept up a brisk fire. However, General Putnam's hopes that Howe would repeat his tactics at Bunker Hill were not realized. This time he proposed to advance by siege trenches. In anticipation of their need, Washington directed General Heath to assemble all craft capable of transporting personnel.

August 29. 1776
A council of War, summoned by Washington, voted to fall back across the East River to New York. Washington spent the night riding between forts and the shore encouraging and directing his men. Fortunately the wind, tide, and weather assisted the Americans and equallyfortunate was the failure of Admiral Howe to order his numerous warships to block the retreat.

August 30. 1776
In Savannah, GA, General Charles Lee, in a letter to the Governor of Haiti, described the vast economic and political benefits which would go to France if America maintained its independence. It therefore, was in its own best interest to assist this country by sending military stores, machines, accouterments, clothing and artillerymen.

In New York, Washington listed three reasons for the American retreat, the need to reunite his forces, the extreme fatigue of the soldiers and the lack of proper shelter from the weather. General Sullivan also visited Washington with General Howe's proposals for reconciliation and desire to meet with members of Congress. Washington refused to accept the papers but gave Sullivan the permission to deliver them to Philadelphia.

August 31. 1776
The British moved from Long Island north to Newton (opposite present day 34th street) and established their headquarters.

General Washington in a letter to Congress, reported that the retreat had been made without loss of men or ammunition. He also explained the justifications to the Council of War for evacuating Long Island.

September of 1776
September 1. 1776
New Hampshire delegate Josiah Bartlett wrote: "We have not had the particulars of the engagement…on Long Island (August 27 - 30), but believe it was very sharp and bloody. I believe the enemy out-generalled our people, by decoying them out of their entrenchments, and them surrounding them;..."

In New York, General Washington reorganized his army into three divisions under Putnam; Heath and Spencer. Putnam's troops occupied the lower part of the city, Heath's the northern end of the island at Kin's Bridge. Spencer's division was considered a mobile force, prepared to reinforce the other divisions.

September 2. 1776
On board the Eagle, Captain James Wallace expressed a view held by many British officers, "America has grown rich at the Expense, & not to the Advantage of G. Britain; that the northern American in particular are rather Rivals to our trade than Merchants in it..."Now was the time to smash the rebels since reconciliation would merely delay an inevitable and more formidable "storm."

"Our situation is truly distressing." wrote Washington Hancock. The militia, "dismayed, intractable and impatient to return (home)," were deserting in droves and "with the deepest concern I am obliged to confess my want of confidence, in the generality of the troops. Only a permanent, standing army can now guarantee our liberties."

September 3. 1776
A resolution in Congress on this day directed Virginia, North Carolina and Rhode Island to send troops to reinforce Washington. A second resolve directed Washington to refrain from any damage to New York if obliged to retire.

President John Hancock wrote to the assemblies of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, urging the return of delegates to Congress. The matters before Congress were "of the utmost importance to the welfare of America" and the States should be fully represented.

September 4. 1776
British Ambassador to Versailles, Lord David Stormont, sent a gloomy report to London that a powerful French fleet would soon sail for the West Indies. The capable, energetic Governor of St. Domingo, M. Dennery, had agreed to serve one more year and would no doubt pursue his pro-American policies.

On Board the Dunmore, Lord Dunmore notified Lord Germain that the lack of watering places and the ravages of disease which reduced his force to 108 effective rank and file forced him to abandon Virginia and move to New York where he could provide the Howe Brothers with intelligence on the southern states. London authorities were highly critical of Dunmore's conduct since the eruption of the colonial difficulties, especially the policy of enlisting Negro slaves as soldiers.

September 5. 1776
It was reported in Boston that the Governor of Nova Scotia banned publication of the Declaration of Independence, except one excerpt from the final clause. He feared that it may gain over to them (the Rebels) many converts, and inflame the minds of his Majesty's loyal and faithful subjects of the Province.

The State Convention in New York, requested that Washington arrange for the removal of all the bells in the various churches and public buildings and to transport the same to Newark, New Jersey, so that they not fall into the hands of the enemy. If required, the bells were to be recast into cannons.

September 6. 1776
In Congress, delegates elected John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Edward Rutledge a committee to confer with Lord Howe. "This day, I think has been the most remarkable of all," wrote John Adams to his wife, Abigail. He doubted whether the conference would produce any tangible results but felt obliged to undertake the assignment since the same committee "will be directed to inquire into the Sate of the Army, at New York."

First use of submarine in war. The "American Turtle" unsuccessfully attacks British fleet off Staten Island.

September 7. 1776
A Council of War recommended to Washington that the American Army remain in New York and fight to hold the city. Washington ordered Col. Thomas Knowlton to organize a picked unit of rangers, to be used chiefly on scouting duties. Among the volunteers was a genteel, young officer named Nathan Hale who later would undertake an espionage assignment to determine British activities on Long Island.

September 8. 1776
On the ever of his departure to confer with Lord Howe, John Adams wrote, "I presume his Lordship cannot see us, and I hop he will not; but if he should, the whole will terminate in nothing." He stressed that his initial reluctance to accept the assignment evaporated under pressure of the "solicitation of the firmest men in Congress, and the particular advice of my own colleagues;" namely John Hancock and Elbridge Gerry.

September 9. 1776
Name 'United States of America adopted by Congress on this day: "Resolved, That in all continental commissions, and other instruments, where, heretofore, the words 'United Colonies' have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the "United States.'

William Lee in London, informed C.F.W. Dumas in Paris, that the Declaration of Independence had "totally changed the nature of the contest" and for Britain military effort, the Americans required more military stores and experienced officers.

September 10. 1776
After seven weeks the Pennsylvania Convention completed a draft to a constitution and printed it for review. Christopher Marshall wrote, "was published the proposed Plan or Frame of Government for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (printed for consideration), in twelve small pages, folio, containing forty-nine Sections."

September 11. 1776
General Howe met with the Congress committee in the Billop Mansion. Howe urged peace, but admitted he could not recognize Congress or an independent America. Franklin and Adams replied that independence was now an established fact from which the states would not retreat. Aware of the mood of the King and the Ministry, Howe refused to transmit to London their proposals regarding independence.

September 12. 1776
The Maryland Convention resolved that no vessel, owned by a resident of that state could sail without a license from the Council of Safety and that they must take an oath that no part of the cargo belonged to a subject of King George.

A petition, signed by 7 generals, urged Washington to summon a Council to reconsider the decision to stay and fight for possession of the city. He did so and the Council of War voted that withdrawal was "not only prudent but absolutely necessary."

September 13. 1776
A resolution by the Massachusetts Legislature ordered one-fifth of the militia to assist Washington.

September 14. 1776
Congress finally focused attention on the northern military department and voted to send large quantities of flints, lead and cartridge paper to General Gates. General Schuyler was ordered to erect suitable winter quarters for the soldiers.

In Watertown, MA: Informed that two Negroes, captured by a privateer, were offered for sale in Salem, the General Court resolved that all persons concerned with said Negroes are forbidden to sell them or treat them differently than white prisoners. Any sale of Negroes is null and void for the present and future.

September 15. 1776
The British, under General Clinton's command, landed in New York on Kipps's Bay (present day 34th Street).

September 16. 1776
30 Americans were killed today in the Battle at Harlem Heights, NY. General Washington wrote that the troops behaved with "bravery and intrepidity."

Congress voted to raise without delay 88 battalions to serve for the duration of the war. Each state received a quota, ranging from 15 battalions each from Massachusetts and Virginia to one each from Georgia and Delaware. To spur enlistments, soldiers were offered bounties which included $20 an 100 acres of land.

September 17. 1776
Silas Deane in Paris promised Robert Morris that he would forward to America vast quantities of military stores in October, including clothing for 20,000 troops.

Congress adopted a plan of a treaty to be proposed to the king of France by the American Commissioner to that country.

The Maryland Convention completed a draft of a Bill of Rights and Constitution.

September 18. 1776
In Washington's report toCongress, he praised the conduct of his troops in the skirmish at Harlem Heights even though his orders were not obeyed implicitly.

Today the Congress granted commissions to two French volunteers as officers in the Continental army and thePennsylvania Gazette reported that several other French officers arrived from Martinique also to offer their services to America.

September 19. 1776
The British released a Declaration which urged the inhabitants of New York to return to their former loyalty to the King and in return the King would revise all obnoxious orders to his royal governors and concur with any reform measures by Parliament.

Washington assured the Congress that the army was hurriedly constructing a strong defense line north of New York to withstand an impending attack.

September 20. 1776
Congress adopted a new body of Articles of War which were formulated to resolve the problems of discipline, administration, organization, recruitment, etc. which had persistently plagued Washington.

The New Jersey legislature voted an act to make both the Continental money and that of New Jersey legal tender and set punishment by death for counterfeiting either bills.

September 21. 1776
A letter arrived in London from Paris describing the debate in the French Cabinet on the question of entering a treaty with America. Many Ministers were opposed to the idea but the Queen (Marie Antoninette) sided with the rebels.

In Charleston, General Robert Howe on his way north from Georgia warned the authorities of that state that the islands off their coast were indefensible and urged every effort be made to remove the livestock to prevent seizure by the British. Stripping the islands of livestock and all other property would be the most effective deterrent to enemy occupation.

September 22. 1776
The British executed Captain Nathan Hale for espionage, creating America's first widely acclaimed martyr.

In a letter to his brother, Washington wrote: "The Dependence which the Congress had placed upon the Militia, has already greatly injured, and I fear will totally ruin our Cause."

September 23. 1776
Congress ordered the German Battalion raised in Maryland and Pennsylvania to join Washington immediately.

In London, Arthur Lee observed that a military defeat at New York would be fatal to the the British but not for America. He was not disturbed by the hatred and suspicion directed against him by the followers of the Ministry since he believed in the expression that that "enmity of bad men is the most desirable testimony of virtuous merit."

September 24. 1776
In Newbury, NH: A deserter from the Canadian Royal Emigrants Regiment informed Colonel Bayley and Governor Carleton he had assembled an army of regulars, French-speaking Canadians and Indians to assist the Colonists.

Congress prepared instruction for the guidance of those agents who would be appointed to negotiate a treaty with France.

September 25. 1776
Congress spent the day approving payments to individuals and adopting resolves intended to increase the supply of winter clothing for the army. John Adams wrote: "This was another measure I constantly urged...,convinced that nothing short of the Roman and British discipline could possibly save us..."

September 26. 1776
Congress elected Franklin, Jefferson and Silas Deane commissioners to France and ordered the strictest secrecy to be observed on all aspects of Franco-American negotiations.

The Pennsylvania Assembly declared illegal and dangerous the Convention's ordinances which taxed non-associators and permitted judges to imprison without a jury trial.

September 27. 1776
The South Carolina House sent a report to President Rutledge that opposed the idea of forcing captured Indians into slavery. They argued that the idea would hurt future relations and encourage Indians to retaliate in a similar fashion.

Washington transmitted to Congress the British military forces in Canada: 8,000 men, one 18-gun ship, two brigs, three scooners, gondolas, batteaus and artillery companies with about 100 cannon, the finest ever sent form England.

September 28. 1776
In New York, Generals Howe and Washington were preparing strong defensive positions.

The State Convention of Pennsylvania adopted a Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Constitution featured two distinct features which were, a unicameral legislature and the election of a Board of Censors every 7 years to determine if the Constitution had been violated.

September 29. 1776
Abigail Adams wrote to her husband: "Vast numbers are employed in that way (privateers). If it is necessary to make any more drafts upon us, the women must reap the harvest. I am willing to do my part. I believe I could gather corn and husk it, but I should make a poor figure at digging potatoes.

British Secretary of State to the Colonies, Lord George Germain ordered the suspension of all shipments of supplies to Virginia when he learned that Lord Dunmore had abandoned the state and joined General Howe in New York.

September 30. 1776
Spanish authorities expressed concern over reports of an increase in British naval strength, which indicated to them a possible war with countries other than the Colonies.

General Washington, in a letter to Lund Washington, his nephew in charge of Mt. Vernon, he blamed the reliance on the militia as the chief root of his problems. Washington complained that the militia were not "worth the bread they ate...I tell you that I never was in such an unhappy, divided state since I was born."

October of 1776
October 1. 1776
Benjamin Franklin and Robert Morris received information that the French were going to purchase arms and ammunition in Holland and send them to the West Indies for the Americans.

Silas Deane, American agent in France, wrote Congress pleading for information, "...For Heaven's sake, if you mean to have any connection with this kingdom (France), be more assiduous in getting your letters here."

Americans occupy the three strong points in New York: Harlem Heights, King's Bridge and Mt. Washington.

October 2. 1776
Thomas Jefferson resigned his seat in Congress to return to Virginia to be a member of the new House of Delegates.

In Lebanon, CT: The supply of salt was so short that the Council of Safety ordered ships to sail at state expense, to buy salt wherever it was available.

October 3. 1776
Two British ships Phoenix and Roebuck sailed up the North River.

The Maryland Convention reassembled to continue drafting a Bill of Rights and Constitution.

October 4. 1776
John Adams writing his wife observed the new governments emerging. "We live on an age of political experiments. Among many that will fail, some, I hope will succeed."

Washington wrote Congress that its political establishment of a new permanent army had not provided enlistments.

October 5. 1776
In Savannah, GA: The first Constitutional Convention met to draft a plan of government for the state. It was adopted in 1777.

Congress following up on the committee's report on the Army in New York ordered the continental agents to turn over all salt in their hands to the commissary general.

General and Admiral Howe both went to Long Island to find out the ability to land in Westchester County to get in the rear of Washington and his Army.

October 6. 1776
Since the Battle of Harlem Heights on September 16, Howe concentrated on constructing a line across Manhattan from Bloomingdale to Hell Gate and Washington built three lines at Harlem Heights.

October 7. 1776
The New York Mercury, now safely British, reported "His Majesty's Forces are now now in Possession of the City of New York with all the Harbour and Sound, of Long and Staten-Island."

The new Virginia State Senate and House of Delegates convened on this day.

October 8. 1776
Congress moved to enlist more soldiers for the duration of the war and urged each state to send a committee to the camps to appoint officers and encourage enlistments.

For several months, 297 Charleston citizens had been doing militia duty to protect the town now find that it has "injured their fortunes." They petition the Assembly to establish one or more watch companies to guard the town.

October 9. 1776
The British ships, the Phoenix and the Roebuck landed in New York near Blommingdale.

October 10. 1776
Salem, NC: Moravians recorded: "All day soldiers marched through, returning from the expedition with Gen. Rutherford. Col. Armstrong, who had been with the General, was also here. According to him they burned the Middle Towns of the Cherokee, ruined about 2000 acres of corn, and killed some of the Indians and took others prisoner."

Because of General Guy Carleton release of American prisoners in Canada, Congress released all the Canadian prisoners.

October 11. 1776
Congress urged Washington to obstruct the Hudson River and hold the British at Fort Washington on New York and Fort Lee in New Jersey.

On Lake Champlain, NY, the British fleet under General Carleton surprised the American fleet lying near Valcour Island.

October 12. 1776
Thomas Jefferson: "obtained leave to bring in a bill declaring tenants in tail to hold their lands in fee simple." The laws of entail allowed transfer of land to an heir of body, not wives or adopted child and led to large land holding interests.

British General Henry Clinton led a force of 4000 men up the East River at Throg's Neck. Washington sent a force, not to oppose but to remove the bridge that connected the neck with the mainland.

October 13. 1776
At Throg's Neck, the wind kept the remainder of Howe's forces from crossing over from Long Island.

General Carleton's British fleet caught up with the American fleet moving south to Crown Point. General Waterbury was captured and Benedict Arnold escaped with only 3 of his 15 boats.

October 14. 1776
Congress dispatched 500,000 dollars to New York to pay a bounty to all soldiers would would reinlist.

Salem, NC: The Moravain diary recorded, "Tomorrow is the Election of Delegates to the next Congress. Since last February we gave the commission a written declaration that we did not meddle in political affairs we have decided to abide by it."

October 15. 1776
In Salem, NC, this day was the election day for the delegates to the Provincial Congress.

The Virginia Navy Board ordered seven state galleys "to proceed immediately with their said Vessels from their present stations to Portsmouth in Order to Assist in Transporting the Carolina Troops up to the Head of Elk who are on their March to New Jersey."

October 16. 1776
Washington called a Council of War to determine whether to stay on Manhattan Island in the face of Howe's moves at Throgg's Point. All except General Clinton voted to move north.

In Saratoga, NY: General Phillip Schuyler wrote to Berkshire County, Massachusetts to send militia immediately for anticipation of an attack on Fort Ticonderoga.

October 17. 1776
Charleston, SC: It was reported to the South Carolina and American Gazette that the sailing men of War had left North Carolina and were on their way to New York. It was probable that there were no British ships between Pennsylvania and East Florida.

The proposed new Pennsylvania constitution as considered unsatisfactory by many. Christopher Marshall wrote: "Past six, went to Philosophical Hall, being called here by invitation printed tickets, where met a large number of respectable citizens in order to consider of a mode to set aside sundry improper and unconstitutional rules laid down by the late Convention, in what they call their Plan or Frame of Government."

October 18. 1776
St. Augustine, FL: Governor Patrick Tonyn wrote to Lord Germian, Secretary for the American Colonies, "There are numbers of fugitives from the Neighboring Provinces, many of whom, without a little assistance have not where withal to support themselves; there a number of Negroes from Georgia...and twenty eight prisoners taken by Lord Dunmore, I have committed them to the Fort until these unhappy differences terminate."

The South Carolina Assembly approved the revision this day of the Constitution adopted March, 1776.

October 19. 1776
Thomas Warton, Jr., President of the Council of Safety wrote to Colonel John Cadwallader, "Frequent complaints having been made to this Board that the officers who have received the pay of the privates do withhold their money from them, to the great injury of the service, as it tends to discourage the soldiery and unfit them for duty, and is certainly an unjust, base conduct, beneath the character of good officer and an honest man."

October 20. 1776
The William Morris & Co. wrote this day that the American coast was quite clear (of British ships) "so that the spirits of enterprize has seized most People and they are making or trying to make Fortunes."

Rev. William McKay gave a sermon at Fort Ticonderoga in which he begged them not to be be weak and afraid, but to "do yourselves honor by using the weapons of your warfare with that heroism, firmness, and magnanimity which the cause requires."

October 21. 1776
The Secret Committee of Congress pleaded with merchants in Martinique to send woolen goods for winter use, "they are already much wanted."

October 22. 1776
Congress elected Arthur Lee of London as Commissioner to France. "Mr. (Thomas) Jefferson having informed Congress that the state of his family will not permit him to accept the honour of going as their Commissioner to France." Benjamin Franklin was the second Commissioner chosen.

October 23. 1776
Washington moved his headquarters from Harlem Heights to White Plains.

The Maryland Convention reported that inhabitants of Caroline County had marched into Dorchester County and in a "violent manner" taken and carried away salt from the local inhabitants.

October 24. 1776
The Secret Committee of Congress retained the Ship Reprisal, Captain Lambert Wickes, to carry Benjamin Franklin to Nantes, France.

October 25. 1776
King George issued a proclamation encouraging seamen to enlist in the Navy. Only two days later the Navy impresses a thousand seamen from the boats on the Thames. The King also placed an embargo on all meats, cheeses and on provisions for export from Ireland.

October 26. 1776
Benjamin Franklin accompanied by his grandsons, Temple Franklin, 17 and Benjamin Franklin Bache 7, departed from Philadelphia for France. It carried a cargo of indigo to pay the expenses of the mission of Franklin, Arthur Lee and Silas Deane.

The Maryland Convention resolved that "the last will of any young man in the service" aged sixteen or over who dies shall have the same force and effects "as if he was of the full age of twenty-one."

October 27. 1776
White Plains, NY: From Washington's General Order for this day, "...the army seems unacquainted with the enemy's Horse;...any party attaching them may be sure of doing it to advantage in the woods by the roads or along stone walls." One hundred dollars was offered for every "Trooper" captured.

October 28. 1776
White Plains, NY: American Private David Howe wrote, "This Day the Enimy's Main Body all Advanced as Far as the W Plains Within 1 Mile of our Camps and Pitch there tents there Some Part of our Army Engaged them on their March Killed a good many on both Sides."

October 29. 1776
This night the British troops diverted from White Plains occupied Fort Independence on the heights (Bronx) above King's Bridge. The Americans on Manhattan were now cut off from the mainland.

October 30. 1776
The Congress recognized the difficulty of recruitment for the continental Navy because of the more profitable service on privateers. It approved the sharing of one half the prize money from vessels captured by naval ships after November 1, 1776.

October 31. 1776
At the opening of Parliament on this da,y the King's speech was not a confident one. He "alluded with triumphant hope to the victory on Long Island, but informed his Parliament that, notwithstanding the fair prospect, it was necessary to prepare for another campaign."

Private David How was on the Commissary guard but reported, "The Regulars (British) have been Building Breast Work for To Play upon Use Here."

November of 1776
November 1. 1776
On October 28, Howe forced his way to Chatterton's Hill and from it dominated Washington's position.

November 2. 1776
London: Former Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts received word of Howe's landing in New York on September 15.

An American officer deserted to Lord Hugh Percy and took with him the plans fro Fort Washington on Manhattan Island.

November 3. 1776
The Maryland Convention passed "The Declaration of Rights" and considered the final draft of the constitution.

In the General Order for the day, Washington made both a plea and then order against desertion, which was widespread.

November 4. 1776
Congress received a letter from George Mason, Fairfax County, Virginia transmitting a resolution that if the State did not appoint officers for the new, long term Army, that Washington would be ordered to commission his own officers and recruit men.

November 5. 1776
Benjamin Harrison arrived in Philadelphia to replace Thomas Jefferson who had resigned to serve as a delegate for Virginia.

The Committee of Charlton, Massachusetts asked advice from the State legislature on their authority to take action to prevent loyalists property from vandalism. The local people had been stripping the land for crops and timber from people like William Brown, a King's Councilor, of Salem who had fled.

November 6. 1776
Lord Germain, Secretary of State for America, wrote two letters to Admiral Howe. The first acknowledged his report of the capture of New York. The second letter reminded Howe that the King wanted him to engage the Southern Indians through John Stuart, Superintendent of Indians.

At an American Council of War, it was agreed that Howe would move his troops to New Jersey. Therefore, Washington would go to New Jersey and three thousand men were to be posted at Peekskill.

November 7. 1776
The Congress chose Richard Bache to succeed his father-in-law,Benjamin Franklin as Postmaster General. Franklin had sailed for France last month.

The Americans had drawn into Fort Washington on upper Manhattan.

Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull issued a proclamation laying an embargo "upon the exportation out of this State, by land or water, (without a permit from the Governor) of wheat, rye, Indian corn, pork, salt, peas, beans, bread, flour, and every kind of meal, except necessary stores for vessels outward-bound; likewise all kind of Cloths, Linen and Woolen, fit and suitable for clothing for the Army."

November 8. 1776
Washington wrote General Greene at Fort Lee, " I am therefore inclined to think it will not be prudent to hazard the men and store at Mount Washington; but as you are on the spot, leave it to you to give such orders as to evacuate Mount Washington as you judge best. Greene chose to remain at Fort Washington.

The new Pennsylvania Constitution gave citizens the right to hold public meetings to instruct their representatives in the legislature. Christopher Marshall reports: "past six, went to the Philosophical Hall; called there by notices, to consider a Set of Instructions to be handed to a town meeting, which was concluded to be called on Third day next."

November 9. 1776
The citizens of Rochester, NY pleaded for aid from the New York Convention. "The town of Rochester is in great need for salt, as the season of the year is now for killing their winter provision and pork for next summer, and when they can't get a supply of salt, they will be obliged soon to turn their fat hogs out of the pen, and their fat cattle among their other, to a great loss of several poor families.

November 10. 1776
Christopher Marshall recorded that reports on the Battle of White Plains, October 28 began to arrive in Philadelphia. There were estimates on killed and wounded, prisoners taken and the plundering of Howe's army. The reports were that Howe might march through New Jersey to Philadelphia.

November 11. 1776
Congress ordered the Board of War to confer with the Council of Safety for Pennsylvania on plans to defend Philadelphia should it be attached by General Howe.

The Maryland Convention ordered that copies of the new constitution be sent to all the counties. The Maryland Constitution provided for a bicameral legislature, with the senators elected by an electoral college method, only property owners could vote; office holders had to have property too.

November 12. 1776
The British fleet sailed for England today. It consisted of the empty transports which had brought Howe's army from England.

North Carolina elected 169 delegates to the Fifth Provincial Congress. Out of this a committee of 8 was chosen to draw up a Bill of Rights and Constitution.

November 13. 1776
Washington reached Fort Lee on this day and learned that the New Jersey militia were not coming out.

Connecticut Governor Trumbull replied to Washington's request for militia from the New England states. He called the legislature in session for Novemeber 19th to take action on the matter.

November 14. 1776
The St. James Chronicle in London, carried an item stating, "The very identical Dr. Franklyn (Benjamin Franklin), whom Lord Chatham so much caressed, and used to say he was proud in calling his friend, is now at the head of the rebellion in North America.

Reports in Congress that a British fleet was sailing south caused concern in the Congress. The ship was actually headed back to England but the Board of War authorized the Marine Committee to defend the Delaware River.

November 15. 1776
On this night the British working party constructed batteries to cover the crossing of the Harlem River and the attack on Ft. Washington.

In Philadelphia, salt was in such short supply that Congress ordered half the public supply distributed there.

November 16. 1776
Washington was at Fort Lee with General Greene and Putnam trying to get reinforcements to Fort Washington. They were too late and stayed at Fort Lee.

Congress recommended on this day that North Carolina station General Maurice Moore with regular troops in such an area that they can be available to oppose the British in either North Carolina and South Carolina.

November 17. 1776
The Rev. Jacob Bailey, the Episcopal Missionary in Powalborough, MA., was required to post bond after he refused to read the Declaration of Independence because he had taken an oath to King George II in 1760.

The British were busy removing stores from Fort Washington which they captured yesterday. Howe controlled the entire island that is now Manhattan.

November 18. 1776
In honor of the Hessian troops, Howe renamed Fort Washington, Fort Kuyphausen.

Samuel Kirkland, Missionary to the New York Indians translated a speech of Ojistatale, the Grasshopper, in which he related that the British force at Niagara would not move against New York this winter. He reported that the Senacas "had agreed to side with the King of Great Britain."

November 19. 1776
Congress reminded, "the several States, how indispensable it is to the common safety, that they pursue the most immediate and vigorous measures to furnish their respective quotas of Troops for the new Army, as the time of service for which the present Army was enlisted, is so near expiring.

At opening of the Virginian legislature in October, Thomas Jefferson introduced a bill, among others to disestablish the Episcopal Church. "For although the majority of our citizens are dissenters," Jefferson wrote "a majority of the legislature were churchmen." The latter reported out a bill this day that would only exempt dissenters from financial support of the Church. It would become law in December.

November 20. 1776
Christopher Marshall wrote that the reports on Fort Washington were at first believed only by the enemies and the timid, but today, "The reduction of Ft. Washington is confirmed."

General Cornwalis had departed by boats with one division of his force to cross to New Jersey where he landed about 9:00 am on this day. His second division marched by land up the Hudson, crossed the river, and "were landed with their cannon by ten o'clock."

November 21. 1776
Washington wrote General Lee in Westchester County, New York to report the loss of Ft. Lee and to order Lee to bring his forces to New Jersey. Lee wanted to stay in New York.

November 22. 1776
In order to expedite enlistments for the new army on January 1st, Congress sent Washington a supply of blank commissions to issue at headquarters.

British General Orders assigned troops for winter residence; ordered the outlines of old Ft. Washington leveled and usable construction materials to be sent to New York.

November 23. 1776
Washington wrote Congress that he had 5,410 troops with him. Enlistments for 2,060 would expire on December 1; 950 more January 1. He pleaded for more troops and money to pay the Flying Camp, many of whom might stay of paid.

November 24. 1776
A prize ship on a voyage from Barbados to Liverpool, captured by the Continental Sloop Independence, came in today. She had on board "Twenty Thousand (Dollars), two tons and a half of ivory and one hundred bars of iron!"

Dr. John Pine sent to the Maryland troops at White Plains as a regimental surgeon arrived without medicine. He wrote the Council of Safety that Dr. Morgon, Continental Surgeon, told him "he had nothing to say to the Maryland troops and suggested he go to New York to get the drugs. I told him by the time I went there and got back, that the most of the Maryland troops would be expired."

November 25. 1776
British Col. Guy Johnson, Indian Superintendent in New York, reported to Lord Germain in England that the Indians had kept their promises to him of last year and that he had sent an officer in disguise to the Six-Nations.

William Franklin wrote a on letter to his wife in Perth Amboy, NJ. Regarding their son going to Paris with his father Benjamin, "if the old gentlemen has taken the boy with him, I hope it is only to put him in some foreign university, which he seemed anxious to do when he spoke to me last about his education."

November 26. 1776
A British fleet left Staten Island to transport General Clinton with 6,000 troops to Newport, RI. to start a campaign into New England. Clinton had led the British at Long Island, and into Westchester County but he an General Howe were often at odds. General Cornwalis now led the British in New Jersey.

The body of Peyton Randolph was returned to Williamsburg, VA. on this day for services. He died in October, 1775 while presiding as the first President of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

November 27. 1776
From Newark, NJ. Washington wrote General Lee in Westchester urging him to join him in New Jersey. "I confess I expected you would have been sooner in motion. The force here when joined by yours, will not be adequate to any great opposition; at present it is weak, and it has been more owing to the badness of the weather that the enemy's progress has been checked, than any resistance we could make. They are now pushing this way."

November 28. 1776
John Adams who had been at home in Braintree, MA since October 13th, was summoned to attend the House of Representatives in Boston.

Orders to the American forces to move from here were issued yesterday evening with the march south to begin about 7:00am. General Cornwalis' column was reported to be four miles north of Newark and it did enter the city later this day.

November 29. 1776
The Congress continued to approve support for the Northern Army. This day the members ordered medicines for scurvy, continued the hospital for contagious diseases at Fort George and ordered that there be a garden near the generally hospital for growing fresh vegetables.

A newspaper in Waterbury, CT. carried an account of a militia company made up of local volunteers who marched to New York. "It consists of 24 men; their ages, added together, are a thousand years. They are all married men, and when they came from home, left behind their wives, with 149 children and grandchildren...A worthy example of patriotism. Let others go and do likewise."

November 30. 1776
Admiral Richard Howe and General William Howe, "The King's Commissioners for restoring Peace," issued a proclamation promising pardon to those who will within 60 days subscribe to a declaration that they will desist from "treasonable Actings and Doings."

The New York Convention on this day authorized that a chain be built at Fort Constitution across the Hudson River to obstruct passage. The Fort was opposite West Point on the east side of the Hudson.

December of 1776
December 1. 1776
Washington wrote to Congress on this day that he did not have the troops to stop the enemy at the Raritan River and had started moving stores toward Philadelphia.

British Corporal Thomas Sullivan heard that Conrwallis' Vanguard had reached New Brunswick and found the bridge destroyed and was unable to follow the "enemy" to Princeton.

December 2. 1776
In an air of emergency, the Congress ordered funds for enlisting units in the armies', a crew for the Ship,Randolph, and removal of 2,000 barrels of beef to Christian Bridge, Delaware.

Washington arrived in Princeton, NJ. from New Brunswick.

December 3. 1776
Washington reported to Congress that he had much of the Army stores and baggage across the Delaware. If the boats arrived from Philadelphia, the move would be finished by the next night. He had also received General Lee's letter from November 30 that he was about to cross into New York near Peekskill.

December 4. 1776
Washington wrote to the Board of War not to bring three ranking British prisoners to Trenton for passage to New York because they would report to General Howe the condition of the American Army.

December 5. 1776
In New York, a British officer writes of the 5000 prisoners held there. "...many of them are such raggamuffins, as you never saw in your life; I cannot give you a better idea of them than by putting you in mind of Falstaff's recruits, or poor Tom in King Lear; and yet they had strained every neve to cover their nakedness, by dismantling all the beds."

Washington writes to Congress that he was moving supplies and men across the Delaware to Pennsylvania protected by a rear guard at Princeton, commanded by Lord William Striling and General Adam Stephens. He then made a long plea for a standing army instead of the militia.

December 6. 1776
Major General Robertson orders that "Soldiers are not to pull down House, Fence, or injure the Property of any Person whatever, under several penalty."

December 7. 1776
Benjamin Franklin arrived in Nantz, France on this day.

President John Hancock wrote the four New England states urging troops be sent to reinforce General Schuyler in northern New York.

December 8. 1776
From the Falls of the Delaware, across from Trenton, NJ, Washington reported his further retreat to Congress.

December 9. 1776
Connecticut Governor Trumbull: "Is America to be lost?" He opened a strong plea to Massachusetts urging the New England States to meet to discuss their finances, defense and "to bring about a general reformation of the people." In the meantime, the State began moving militia and supplies to Rhode Island to counter the arrival of the British fleet.

General Henry Clinton in Newport, RI., informed Lord Germain in London that he had landed his troops and was in possession of this city, "without the least opposition."

December 10. 1776
The Congress prepared and published an address to the American people. It was a plea for military support aganist the advancing British army. " What a pity it is then that the rich and populous city of Philadelphia should fall into the enemy's hands."

Trenton Falls: Washington was uncertain whether Cornwallis would cross the Delaware above here or down river form Trenton. He also wrote to General Lee at Chatham, New Jersey once more to join him to save Philadelphia.

December 11. 1776
Congress' resolution to go to Baltimore if it had to abandon Philadelphia, apparently became known for the rumor spread that the Congress was about to disperse. The members asked General Washington to issue an order denying it, be he declined to do so. The situation was serious.

December 12. 1776
The North Carolina committee preparing a constitution for the state, submitted a Bill of Rights to the Provincial Congress.

Congress gives Washington dictatorial powers to raise forces, then abandon Philadelphia as British advance, return in March 1777.

December 13. 1776
In London: Former loyalist Governor Thomas Hutchinson, Massachusetts, wrote, "A Fast on account of the American war, observed with strictness and great external devotion, the churches crowded more than ever known on Sundays, and shops everywhere shut, and few people to be seen in the streets."

Governor Cooke of Rhode Island wrote both Massachusetts and Connecticut asking for a Council of Was to oppose the British force of some 6 to 8,000 that landed in Newport on December 8, 1776.

December 14. 1776
British General Conrwallis returned to Trenton after a short march to inspect the Delaware and "the weather having become too severe to keep the field...the troops marched to their respective stations in the Neighborhood."

Lord Stirling wrote Washington, "If our troops were not so much worn out I would propose...that about twelve hundred good men cross over at Tinicum and come down on them suddenly from the north."

December 15. 1776
From information beginning to come back from spies sent across the Delaware, Washington surmised that the British were beginning to pull back the supply forces for their troops and they showed no signs of forcing a river crossing.

Captain John Paul Jones arrived in Boston on this day. He was blown off course from Newport, RI. by the British.

December 16. 1776
Bethlehem, PA: John Trumbull wrote his father Governor Trumbull of Connecticut that he had crossed the Delaware to this city with General Gates. "But I despair of joining General Washington, His Army is still inferior to the enemy and the country is quite stupid...My situation is droll, but I cannot desert in so critical a time."

Robert Morris wrote John Hancock that Congress may have been better advised to have stayed in Philadelphia. He also asked for help in the form of a committee of delegates in Philadelphia to act for the Congress.

December 17. 1776
The Council of Safety in Philadelphia, "respecting the Militia who refuse to do their duty in the present occasion" authorized Washington to issue orders in Bucks and Northampton counties to disarm every person who does into obey the summons.

Washington wrote to General Howe and his own officers to compile the names of captured Americans in order to expedite exchanges.

December 18. 1776
Exeter, England: Ex-patriot Samuel Curwen's journal for this day read, "It piques my pride, I confess, to hear us called our Colonies, our Plantations, with such airs as if our property and persons are absolutely theirs, like the villains of the old feudal system."

December 19. 1776
The Virginia Assembly approved unanimously a resolution to require the departure of all persons who were "partners with factors, agents, storekeepers or clerks for a merchant or merchants in Great Britain." Exceptions would be made for those with a "friendly disposition to the American cause" or housewives and children here.

From Thomas Paines' "The American Crisis," published on this day in the Pennsylvania Gazette: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of this country."

December 20. 1776
Benjamin Franklin arrived in Versailles on this day.

Congress met in Baltimore and acted to improve the quarters in which prisoners were held and to provide provisions and clothing. They also asked General Howe concerning the conditions under which General Lee was held in New York.

December 21. 1776
Robert Morse received a shipment of blankets and cloth on a Continental sloop and sent the blankets off to Washington. There were 16 bales, 856 blankets, intended for the recruits but "as the inclemency of the weather and the exceeding severe duty of the troops now with him entitles them to every comfort we can afford."

December 22. 1776
Congress received reports from the Northern Army in Ticondergoa, NY. that were no better than those from Philadelphia. "The poor creatures is now (what's left alive) laying on the cold ground, in poor thin tents, and some none at all, and many down with the pleurisy. No barracks, no hospitals to go in. The barracks is at Saratoga. If you was here, your heart wooed melt. At present we have not one pair of shoes nor blanket in the store."

December 23. 1776
Franklin, Deane and Lee called on the Count de Vergennes to inform him they had been "empowered by the Congress of the United States of America to propose and negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce between France and The United States."

December 24. 1776
Congress requested the President to inform the New England States of the "critical state" of the Fort at Ticonderoga and the threat of invasion from General Carlton of Canada and the need of 4500 men to fill the militia quotas.

Washington's army was issued ammunition and provisions for three days in preparation to march the next day at noon to McKonkey's Ferry on the Delaware.

December 25. 1776
Washington had given his orders for march this day. He wrote a few letters, including one to Robert Morris which closed, "I hope the next Christmas will prove happier than the present to you and Dear Sir."

December 26. 1776
Battle at Trenton, first major U.S. victory.

December 27. 1776
In Philadelphia spirits rose. The militia came to life. Christopher Marshall noted, "News brought this day of our troops under General Washington's attacking Trenton yesterday morning, having beat the enemy and drove them out of town."

December 28. 1776
In Congress on this day, much of the day was taken up on plans for strengthening the Northern Army that for the last year in Canada had been neglected. The Army would be supplied under the same regulations and by the same committees as the other Continental armies.

December 29. 1776
Congress spent much of this Sunday in a Committee of the Whole discussing a plan for obtaining foreign assistance.

On this day, Washington published the "list of Pennsylvania Associators who not entered into the service under the command of his Excellency, General Washington." There were 238 names on the list.

December 30. 1776
General Phillip Schuyler, impatient with no action on his requests for supplies, clothing, arms and men, admitted that the action in New Jersey took the attention of Congress. Nevertheless, he continued to write Congress and the New England states for needed militia.

December 31. 1776
Congress read Washington's letter reporting his success in the attack on Trenton the morning of December 26.

Washington persuades majority of force due for discharge to re-enlist.

The Battle of Princeton would begin the afternoon of January 1 and continue January 2 with Cornwallis stopped as Washington moved into winter quarters at Morristown.