Report on the Resolutions of the Continental Congress, of May 15, read and adopted, Committee to frame the Report into Resolutions to be published


The Order of the Day being read, the Congress proceeded to hear the Report of the Committee on the Resolution


of the Continental Congress of the 15th of May relating to a new form of Government. The same was read, and being again read by paragraphs, is in the words following, to wit:

1st. That your Committee are of opinion that the right of framing, creating, or remodelling Civil Government is and ought to be in the People.

2dly. That as the present form of Government by Congress and Committees in this Colony originated from, so it depends on, the free and uncontrolled choice of the inhabitants thereof.

3dly. That the said form of Government was instituted while the old form of Government still subsisted, and, therefore, is necessarily subject to many defects, which could not then be remedied by any new institutions.

4thly. That by the voluntary abdication of the late Governour, Tryon, the dissolution of our Assembly for want of due prorogation, and the open and unwarrantable hostilities committed against the persons and properties of the inhabitants of all the United Colonies in North-Americaby the British Fleets and Armies, under the authority, and by the express direction and appointment of, the King, Lords, and Commons of Great Britain, the said old form of Government is become, ipso facto, dissolved; whereby it hath become absolutely necessary for the good people of this Colony to institute a new and regular form of internal Government and Police, the supreme Legislative and Executive power in which should, for the present, wholly reside and be within this Colony, in exclusion of all foreign and external power, authority, dominion, jurisdiction, and pre-eminence whatsoever.

5thly. That doubts have arisen whether this Congress are invested with sufficient authority to frame and institute such new form of internal Government and Police.

6thly. That those doubts can, and of right ought to, be removed by the good people of this Colony only.

7thly. That until such new form of internal Police and Government be constitutionally established, or until the expiration of the term for which this Congress was elected, this Congress ought to continue in the full exercise of their present authority, and, in the mean time, ought to give the good people of each several and respective County in this Colony full opportunity to remove the said doubts, either by declaring their respective Representatives in this Congress, in conjunction with the Representatives of the other Counties respectively, competent for the purpose of establishing such new form of internal Police and Government, and adding to their number, if they shall think proper, by electing others in the stead of the present Members, or any or either of them, and increasing (if they should deem it necessary) the number of Deputies from each County, with the like powers as are now vested in this Congress, and with express authority to institute and establish such new and internal form of Government and Police as aforesaid.

8thly. That therefore this House take some order, to be publickly notified throughout the several Counties in this Colony, whereby the inhabitants of each County respectively, on a given day to be appointed in each of them respectively by this Congress for the purpose, may, by plurality of voices, either confirm their present Representatives respectively in this Congress in their present power, and with express authority, in conjunction with the Representatives in this Congress for the other Counties, to institute a new internal form of Government and Police for this Colony, suited to the present critical emergency, and to continue in full force and effect until a future peace with Great Britain shall render the same unnecessary, or elect new Members for that purpose to take seat in Congress, in place of those Members respectively who shall pot be so confirmed. The whole number to be capable of such addition or increase in each respective County as aforesaid.

By order of the Committee:


The said Report being considered, was accepted.

Mr˙ Covenhoven and Mr˙ Jeremiah Vanderbilt dissent from said fourth paragraph and the seventh and eighth paragraphs.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Scott, Mr˙ Jay, and Mr˙ Haring, be a Committee to take said Report and frame it into Resolutions to be published.