Portrait of Peyton Randolph.

Peyton Randolph was the first President of the First Continental Congress.

First Continental Congress External Links

September 5, 1774–October 26, 1774

External Links for First Continental Congress

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First Continental Congress

The First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia's Carpenters Hall on September 5, 1774. The idea of such a meeting was advanced a year earlier by Benjamin Franklin, but failed to gain much support until after the Port of Boston was closed in response to the Boston Tea Party.

First Continental Congress

The first Continental Congress met in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia, from September 5, to October 26, 1774. Carpenter's Hall was also the seat of the Pennsylvania Congress. All of the colonies except Georgia sent delegates. These were elected by the people, by the colonial legislatures, or by the committees of correspondence of the respective colonies. The colonies presented there were united in a determination to show a combined authority to Great Britain, but their aims were not uniform at all. Pennsylvania and New York sent delegates with firm instructions to seek a resolution with England.

Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress

Original text of the Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress, passed on October 14, 1774.

The Continental Congress Broadside Collection

The Continental Congress Broadside Collection, consisting of 256 titles, includes material relating to the work of Congress, dating from 1774 to 1788. Items are predominantly extracts of the journals of Congress, resolutions, committee reports, proclamations, treaties, and other congressional proceedings. These broadsides provide a significant supplement to the Journals of the Continental Congress. Some of the broadsides trace the evolution of congressional measures at specific stages of consideration and differ significantly from the modified resolutions finally adopted by Congress. Some items contain manuscript annotations not recorded elsewhere that offer insight into the delicate process of creating consensus. In many cases, multiple copies bearing manuscript annotations are available to compare and contrast. Not every major topic considered by Congress is represented by this collection; the bulk of the material dates from 1781 to 1788.

Journals of the Continental Congress

The First Continental Congress met from September 5 to October 26, 1774. The Second Continental Congress ran from May 10, 1775, to March 2, 1789. The Journals of the Continental Congress are the records of the daily proceedings of the Congress as kept by the office of its secretary, Charles Thomson. The Journals were printed contemporaneously in different editions and in several subsequent reprint editions. None of these editions, however, includes the "Secret Journals," confidential sections of the records, which were not published until 1821.

Letters of Delegates to Congress

The twenty-six volumes of the Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789 aims to make available all the documents written by delegates that bear directly upon their work during their years of actual service in the First and Second Continental Congresses, 1774-1789. This work builds on an earlier eight-volume edition of Letters of Members of the Continental Congress edited by Edmund C. Burnett. The Ford Foundation and the United States Congress, through the American Revolution Bicentennial Office of the Library of Congress, provided funding and additional support for the completion of this project.

Journals of the Continental Congress 1774-1789, Selected Documents

Original text of selected documents from the Journals of the Continental Congress

The Events of the First Continental Congress of 1774

There were great differences of opinion among the members of the Congress as to the real state of the case, and the proper duties to be performed. This was foreshadowed by remarks of Henry and Jay, at the beginning. The former declared that an entirely new government must be founded. Jay said all government had not come to an end, and that they had not assembled to frame an American constitution, but to correct the faults of the old one. But in one important matter there was, from the first, much unity of feeling, namely, that the whole continent ought to support the people of Massachusetts in resistance to the unconstitutional change in their charter. At the opening of their business, they appointed a committee to state the rights of the colonists in general, the several instances in which those rights had been violated or infringed, and the means most proper to be pursued for obtaining a restoration of them.

First Continental Congress – Consequent Parliamentary Proceedings

The Congress, destined to change the face of America, met at Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia, on the 5th of September, 1774. They determined that their deliberations should be secret, that the results should be given to the world as unanimous, and no difference of opinion allowed to transpire. A committee was immediately appointed to report upon the rights violated, the injuries sustained, and the means of redress. Separate ones were afterwards named to prepare addresses to the people of Great Britain, to the king, to the, colonists, and to the Canadians.

First Continental Congress

The First Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from twelve British North American colonies that met in 1774, early in the American Revolution. Called in response to the passage of the Intolerable Acts by the British Parliament, the Congress was held in Philadelphia, attended by 55 members appointed by the legislatures of the Thirteen Colonies, except for the Province of Georgia, which did not send delegates. The Congress met briefly to consider options, organize an economic boycott of British trade, publish a list of rights and grievances, and petition King George for redress of those grievances.

Continental Congress, 1774-1781

The Continental Congress was the formal means by which the American colonial governments coordinated their resistance to British rule during the first two years of the American Revolution. The Congresses balanced the interests of the different colonies and also established itself as the official colonial liaison with Great Britain. As the war progressed, the Congress became the effective national government of the country, and, as such, conducted diplomacy on behalf of the new United States.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title First Continental Congress External Links
  • Coverage September 5, 1774–October 26, 1774
  • Author
  • Keywords first continental congress
  • Website Name American History Central
  • URL
  • Access Date March 29, 2020
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 25, 2018

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