Pennsylvania Convention



Proceedings of the Convention for the Province of PENNSYLVANIA, held at PHILADELPHIA, JANUARY 23, 1775, and continued by adjournments until the 28th: Present,

For the City and Liberties of PHILADELPHIA. — John Dickinson, Esquire, Thomas Mifflin, Esquire, Charles Thompson, Esquire, John Cadwallader, Esquire, George Clymer, Esquire, Joseph Read, Esquire, Samuel Meredith, William Rush, James Mease, John Nixon, John Cox, John Bayard, Christopher Ludwig, Thomas Barclay, George Schlosser, Jonathan B˙ Smith, Francis Wade, Lambert Cadwallader, Reynbold Keen, Richard Bache, John Benezet, Jacob Rush, Esquire, William Bradford, Elias Boys, Thomas Robinson, Manuel Eyre, Owen Biddle, William Heysbram, James Milligan, John Wilcox, Sharp Delany, Francis Gurney, John Purviance, Robert Knox, Francis Hassenclever, Thomas Cuthbert, Senior, William Jackson, Isaac Melchor, Samuel Penrose, Isaac Coates, William Coates, Blathwaite Jones, Thomas Pryor, Samuel Massey, Robert Towers, Henry Jones, Joseph Wetherill, Joseph Copperthwaite, Joseph Dean, Benjamin Harbeson, James


Ash, Benjamin Loxley, William Robinson, Rickloff Alberson, and James Irvine.

County of PHILADELPHIA. — George Gray, Esquire, John Bull, Esquire, Samuel Ashmead, Esquire, Samuel Ervine, Esquire, John Roberts, Thomas Ashton, Benjamin Jacobs, John Moore, Esquire, Samuel Miles, Esquire, Edward Milnor, Jacob Laughlan, and Melchior Wagener.

County of CHESTER. — Anthony Wayne, Esquire, Hugh Lloyd, Richard Thomas, Francis Johnson, Esquire, Samuel Fairlamb, Lewis Davis, William Montgomery, Jos˙ Musgrave, Joshua Evans, and Persifer Frazer.

County of LANCASTER. — Adam Simon Ruhn, Esquire, James Climson, Esquire, Peter Grubb, Sebastian Graaf, David Jenkins, and Bartram Galbraith.

County of YORK. — James Smith, Esquire, Thos˙ Hartley, Esquire, Joseph Donaldson, George Eichelberger, John Hay, George Irwin, and Michael Smyser.

County of CUMBERLAND. — James Wilson, Esquire, and Robert Magaw, Esquire.

County of BERKS. — Edward Biddle, Esquire, Christopher Schultz, Jonathan Potts, Esquire, Mark Bird, Esquire, John Patton, Esquire, Baltazar Gehr, Esquire, and Sebastian Levan.

County of NORTHAMPTON. — George Taylor, Esquire, John Oakley, Esquire, Peter Ruehlain, Esquire, and Jacob Arndt, Esquire.

County of NORTHUMBERLAND. — Wm˙ Plunkett, Esq˙, and Casper Weitsell, Esquire.

The Chairman of the Philadelphia Committee opened the Convention, by explaining the motives which induced said Committee to propose the holding this Convention.

Joseph Read, Esquire, was chosen President of this Convention.

Messrs˙ Jonathan B˙ Smith, John Benezet, and Francis Johnson, Esquire, were chosen Secretaries.

On motion,

Resolved unanimously, That the Committee of the City of Philadelphia, and each County Committee, shall have one vote in determining every question that may come before this Convention.

Resolved unanimously, That this Convention most heartily approve of the conduct and proceedings of the Continental Congress; that we will faithfully endeavour to carry into execution the measures of the Association entered into and recommended by them; and that the Members of that very respectable body merit our warmest thanks, by their great and disinterested labours for the preservation of the rights and liberties of the British Colonies.

On motion,

Resolved unanimously, That it be and it is hereby recommended to the several Members of this Convention, to promote and encourage Instructions or Advice from their several Counties, to their Representatives in General Assembly, to procure a law prohibiting the future Importation of Slaves into this Province.

Resolved unanimously, That in case the Trade of the City and Liberties of Philadelphia shall be suspended, in consequence of the present struggle, it is the opinion of this Convention that the several Counties should, and that the Members of this Convention will, exert themselves to afford all the necessary relief and assistance to the inhabitants of the said City and Liberties, who will be more immediately affected by such an event.

Resolved unanimously, That if any opposition shall be given to any of the Committees of this Province, in carrying the Association of the Continental Congress into execution, the Committees of the other Counties, in order to preserve the said Association inviolate, will give all the weight and assistance in their power to the Committee who shall meet with such opposition.

Resolved unanimously, That it is the most earnest wish and desire of this Convention to see harmony restored between Great Britain and the Colonies; that we will exert our utmost endeavours for the attainment of that most desirable


object; that it is the opinion of this body that the commercial opposition pointed out by the Continental Congress, if faithfully adhered to, will be the means of rescuing this unhappy country from the evils meditated against it. But if the humble and loyal Petition of said Congress to his most gracious Majesty, should be disregarded, and the British Administration, instead of redressing our grievances, should determine, by force, to effect a submission to the late arbitrary Acts of the British Parliament; in such a situation, we hold it our indispensable duty to resist such force, and at every hazard to defend the Rights and Liberties of America.

Whereas, it has been judged necessary, for the preservation of our just Rights and Liberties, to lay a restraint on our Importations; and as the freedom, happiness, and prosperity of a state greatly depend on providing within itself a supply of articles necessary for subsistence, clothing, and defence, a regard for our country, as well as common prudence, call upon us to encourage Agriculture, Manufactures, and Economy; therefore, this Convention do resolve as follows:

Resolved unanimously, That from and after the first day of March next, no person or persons should use in his, her, or their families, unless in cases of necessity, and on no account sell to the Butchers, or kill for the market, any Sheep under four years old; and where there is a necessity for using any Mutton in their families, it is recommended to kill such as are the least profitable to keep.

Resolved unanimously, That we recommend the setting up of Woollen Manufactures in as many different branches as possible, especially Coating, Flannel, Blankets, Rugs, or Coverlids, Hosiery, and Coarse Cloths, both broad and narrow.

Resolved unanimously, That we recommend the raising and manufacturing of Madder, Woad, and such other Dye Stuffs as may be raised in this Province to advantage, and are absolutely necessary in the Woollen Manufactories.

Resolved unanimously, That each person having proper land should raise a quantity of Flax and Hemp, sufficient not only for the use of his own family, but also to spare to others on moderate terms; and that it be recommended to the Farmers to provide themselves early with a sufficient quantity of Seed, for the proposed increase of the above articles of Hemp and Flax.

Resolved unanimously, As Salt is a daily and almost indispensable necessary of life, and the making of it among ourselves must be esteemed a valuable acquisition, we therefore recommend the making of it in the manner used in England, and other countries; and are of opinion it may be done with success in the interiour parts of this Province, where there are Salt springs, as well as on the sea-coasts.

Resolved unanimously, That Saltpetre being an article of great use and consumption, we recommend the making of it, and are of farther opinion it may be done to great advantage.

Resolved unanimously, That the necessity we may be under for Gunpowder, especially in the Indian trade, induces us to recommend the manufacturing that article as largely as possible, by such persons who are or may be owners of Powder-Mills in this Province.

Resolved unanimously, That we recommend the manufacturing of Iron into Nails and Wire, and all other articles necessary for carrying on our Manufactures, evidently in general use, and which, of consequence, should our unhappy differences continue, will be in great demand.

Resolved unanimously, That we are of opinion the making of Steel ought to be largely prosecuted, as the demand for this article will be great.

Resolved unanimously, That we recommend the making of different kinds of Paper now in use among us, to the several Manufacturers; and as the success of this branch depends on a supply of old Linen and Woollen Rags, request the people of this Province, in their respective houses, may order the necessary steps to be taken for preserving these otherwise useless articles.

Resolved unanimously, That as the consumption of Glass is greater than the Glass-Houses now established among us can supply, we recommend the setting up other Glass-Houses, and are of opinion they would turn out to the advantage of the proprietors.

Resolved unanimously, That whereas Wool Combs and


Cards have for some time been manufactured in some of the neighbouring Colonies, and are absolutely necessary for carrying on the Hosiery and Clothing business, we do recommend the establishing such a Manufactory in this Province.

Resolved unanimously, That we also recommend the manufacturing of Copper into Sheets, Bottoms, and Kettles.

Resolved unanimously, That we recommend the making of Tin Plates, as an article worthy the attention of the people of this Province.

Resolved unanimously, That as Printing Types are now made to a considerable degree of perfection by an ingenious Artist in Germantown, it is recommended to the Printers to use such Types in preference to any which may be hereafter imported.

Resolved unanimously, That we recommend the erecting a great number of Fulling-Mills, and Mills for breaking, swingling, and softening Hemp and Flax, and also the making of Grindstones in this country.

Resolved unanimously, That as the brewing of large quantities of Malt Liquors within this Province, would tend to render the consumption of Foreign Liquors less necessary, it is therefore recommended that proper attention be given to the cultivation of Barley; and that the several Brewers, both in City and Country, do encourage it by giving a reasonable and sufficient price for the same.

Resolved unanimously, That we recommend to all the inhabitants of this Province, and do promise for ourselves in particular, to use our own Manufactures, and those of the other Colonies, in preference to all others.

Resolved unanimously, That for the more speedily and effectually putting these Resolves in execution, we do earnestly recommend Societies may be established in different parts, and are of opinion that Premiums ought to be granted in the several Counties, to persons who may excel in the several branches of Manufactory; and we do further engage, that we, in our separate Committees, will promote them to the utmost of our power.

Resolved unanimously, That if any Manufacturer or Vender of Goods and Merchandises in this Province, shall take advantage of the necessities of his country, by selling his Goods or Merchandise at an unusual and extravagant profit, such person shall be considered as an enemy to his country, and be advertised as such by the Committees of the place where such offender dwells.

On motion,

Resolved unanimously, That the Committee of Correspondence for the City and Liberties of Philadelphia, be a Standing Committee of Correspondence for the several Counties here represented; and that if it should at any time hereafter appear to the Committee of the City and Liberties, that the situation of publick affairs render a Provincial Convention necessary, that the said Committee of Correspondence do give the earliest notice thereof to the Committees of the several Counties.

Ordered, That the Proceedings of this Convention be sent to the Press and printed in English and German, under the direction of the President and Messrs˙ Jonathan B˙ Smith and John Benezet.




* To THE PUBLICK. — I think it necessary to say, that the late Convention held at Philadelphia, undeservedly inserted my name in the County Committee list. As I left said Convention before the second Resolve was ended, I think it my duty to recall my name from the said list, as I cannot comply with every resolve made in my absence, and do not intend to meet them again.