The Arrivial of the Second Continental Congress

The May 9, 1775 Pennsylvania Evening Post (Philadelphia) included a short description of the Massachusetts and Connecticut delegates arriving in New York en route to Philadelphia for the Second Continental Congress, which was the congress that managed colonial affairs during the Revolutionary War and declared independence from Britain 14 months later.

Dateline: New York, May 8, 1775

“They were met a few miles out of town by a great number of the principal gentlemen of the place, in carriages and on horseback, and escorted into the city by near a thousand men under arms; the roads were lined with greater numbers of people than were ever known on any occasion before. Their arrival was announced by the ringing of bells, and other demonstrations of joy. They have double centries placed at the doors of their lodging.” See the full article below.

Later in the same issue, under the dateline Philadelphia, May 9, we read about the arrival of the delegates from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, etc.

6 Comments

  1. Robert Martinez
    April 11, 2010

    The syntax of the entire text suggests that the “here” described in the first line is not Philadelphia, but some intermediary overnight stopping point. This interpretation is reinforced by the report of the last paragraph suggesting a morning after departure from “here” for Philadelphia. Curious where exactly the boisterous arrival and overnight stay took place.

  2. raglinen
    April 11, 2010

    Thank you very much, Robert, for pointing that out. The post was published prematurely with only the one photo originally supporting the write-up. After receiving your comment, I pulled out the original and, sure enough, the dateline was New York, May 8. I have made the adjustment.

    Upon reviewing the original newspaper, I found another report of delegates from other states arriving in Philadelphia, so I updated the post to include that too. A great discovery thanks to your comment. Again, thank you.

  3. Robert Martinez
    April 13, 2010

    Happy to assist. I enjoy your work.

  4. Robert Martinez
    April 13, 2010

    Thinking further on the subject, the New York dateline was May 8, 1775, a Monday according to easycalculation.com

    That means the New England crew arrived in NYC on May 6 (“Saturday evening last”) and stayed to Monday. It must have been a good party.

    The Philadelphia story, datelined Tuesday May 9, says the New Englanders are expected to arrive tomorrow (Wednesday) about noon. So the party must have passed through and overnighted in New Jersey on Monday and Tuesday. Were they similarly greeted and where did they stay – in Amboy, New Brunswick, Princeton, or Burlington? Wonder if any newspapers existed in NJ then, reporting on such events.

  5. raglinen
    April 14, 2010

    The May 11, 1775 New-York Journal includes the following: “We hear from Newark, New Jersey, that on Monday last, the Boston, Connecticut, and New-York Delegates, were received at the ferry by a number of Gentlemen from that town. Capt. Allen, at the head of his Troop of Horse; Capt. Rutgers, at the head of his Company of Grenadiers, (which were allowed by the Gentlemen present, to be as complete companies as they had seen.) The whole proceeded to Newark, where an entertainment was provided, and a number of patriotic toasts were drank; after dinner they were escorted to Elisabeth-Town, and on their way were met by the Gentlemen and Militia of that place.”

  6. Robert Martinez
    April 14, 2010

    Nice follow-up! It appears that our crew of New Englanders didn’t get very far on their first day in New Jersey. Elizabeth is about fifteen miles south west of New York City via Newark, and that left another 75+ miles to get to Philadelphia, departing Elizabeth sometime on Tuesday, the 9th. Their route from Elizabeth probably favored New Brunswick and Princeton, since Amboy would have been out of the way by then. And the party rolled on! Wonder where they crashed on Tuesday night.

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