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Samuel Huntington First President of The United States in Congress Assembled - by Stanley L. Klos

Samuel Huntington
1st President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to July 6, 1781
Signer of the Declaration of Independence

President of the Continental Congress
September 28, 1779 to February 28, 1781
By: Stanley L. Klos

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON was born on July 16, 1731 at Scotland, Connecticut, the son of a Puritan farmer. The date of July 16th differs from the official Congressional Biography as during the restoration of the tomb a 207 year old plaque was discovered with the bodies stating:

His Excellency
Samuel Huntington Esq.
Governor of the State of Connecticut
was born July 16th AD 1731
and died January 5th AD 1796
aged 64 years

Both Martha and Samuel Huntington were re-interred on November 24, 2003 Old Norwichtown Cemetery, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut (see editorial below).

President Huntington was a self-educated man who at age sixteen, was apprenticed to a cooper. He taught himself Latin at night and devoured every book on law he could find. At twenty-seven he was admitted to the bar, then moved to Norwich, a larger town offering more opportunity. After a year, however, he married Martha Devotion the local minister's daughter, and set up what would eventually become a most lucrative law practice.

In 1764, Huntington was elected to the provincial assembly, and in quick succession became a justice of the peace, the king's attorney for Connecticut, and a member of the colony's council. He was elected and served in the second Continental Congress of the United Colonies of America representing Connecticut at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Huntington worked hard and long for independence, however quietly. A fellow delegate wrote:

He is a man of mild, steady, and firm conduct and of sound methodical judgment, tho' not a man of many words or very shining abilities. But upon the whole is better suited to preside than any other member now in Congress.

After signing the Declaration, Huntington served in the Continental Congress for three more years when, on September 28, 1779, he was elected President. Huntington presided over the Confederation Congress during a critical period in the War for Independence. His commitment to Independence and his Presidency is renowned among scholars as his unwavering leadership held our nation together during a succession of military losses, sedition and defections:

October 10th, 1779 - American attempt to recapture Savannah, GA fails. Winter of 1779-80 - was the coldest of the war and provisions for Washington and his army were scarce Morristown, NJ. causing a mutiny. May 12, 1780 - British capture Charleston, SC. May 1780 - Former Continental Congress President Henry Middleton pledges his allegiance to the crown after the Fall of Charleston. May 29, 1780 - British crush Americans at Waxhaw Creek. August 16, 1780 - British rout Americans at Camden, SC. September 25, 1780 - Major General Benedict Arnold's plans to cede West Point to the British discovered.
January 1, 1781 - Mutiny of unpaid Pennsylvania soldiers.
January 14, 1781 - Benedict Arnold burns Richmond. March 15, 1781 - British win costly victory at Guilford Courthouse, NC. April 25, 1781 - General Greene defeated at Hobkirk's Hill, SC. May 15, 1781 - Cornwallis clashed with Greene at Guilford Courthouse, NC. June 6, 1781 - British hold off Americans at Ninety Six, SC . July 6, 1781 - General Anthony Wayne repulsed at Green Springs Farm, VA

By the fall of 1780 three years had elapsed since Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga. The fortunes of the Americans, instead of improving, had grown worse to the point of desperation. France’s aid had thus far proved to be quite minor, the southern army had been annihilated, US paper money, the Continental had become worthless, US credit abroad hinged on the dwindling fortunes of patriots like Robert Morris and Haym Salomon. The founding Articles of Confederation which were to form the perpetual Union of the United States of America, after four years, had yet to be ratified. Legally, the nation that sought foreign recognition and aid was not a united country as its own "constitution" was no ratified by all 13 states. Prospects of the United State's survival were far past bleak as the country had never been formed!

The army, clothed in rags, half-starved and not paid, was ripe for the mutiny and desertions to the British lines averaged more than 100 a month. Samuel Huntington's Presidential Predecessor, former Continental Congress President Henry Middleton betrayed his fellow patriots and declared a renewed loyalty to King George III. Even George Washington wrote that "he had almost ceased to hope."

In the summer of 1780 the spirit of desertion now seized Washington's greatest General, Benedict Arnold, with whom the British commander had for some time tampered through the mediation of John Andre and an American loyalist, Beverley Robinson. Stung by the injustice he had suffered, and influenced by history surroundings, Arnold made up his mind to play a part like that which General Monk had played in the restoration of Charles II to the British throne. By putting the British in possession of the Hudson river at West Point, Arnold would deliver the British all that they had sought to obtain by the campaigns of 1776-'77. Once West Point was secured the American cause would thus become so hopeless that an occasion would be offered for negotiation.

In July, 1780, General Arnold, who like President Huntington was a Norwich, Connecticut son, obtained command of West Point from George Washington in order to surrender it to the enemy. In September, when his scheme was detected by the timely capture of Andre, Arnold fled to tile British at New York, a disgraced and hated traitor. As the winter of 1781 approached and the British advanced northward towards Virginia desperation seized Washington's troops and resulted in a mutiny on January 1, 1781. Benedict Arnold conducted a plundering expedition into Virginia even burning Richmond on January 14, 1781.

Want to know about Samuel Huntington and the 9 other US Presidents before George Washington?

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President Who?
Forgotten Founders
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In this landmark work on Early Presidential History, Historian Stanley L. Klos unravels the complex birth of the US Presidency while providing captivating biographies on the Four Presidents of the Continental Congress and ten Presidents of the United States before George Washington. The book is filled with actual photographs of Pre-Constitutional letters, resolutions, treaties, and laws enacted by the Confederation Congress and signed by the Presidents of the Confederation Congress as “President of the United States.”

From the United Colonies Birth in 1774 to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 the author clearly and concisely maps out the role and duties of the Presidents who led the fledging nation through the Revolutionary War and the formation of the United States under the Articles of Confederation. Accounts include the birth of the Presidency and the United Colonies in Philadelphia’s City Tavern (Yes the first “convening” of the Continental Congress occurred in a tavern), the US Capitol “road show” as it moved from town to town fleeing the British Military Forces, the 1781ratification of the Articles of Confederation in Philadelphia forming the first US Presidency, the entire US Government being held hostage in Independence Hall in 1783 by its own Military, the near collapse of Confederation Government in 1786 due to its failure to govern under the threat of Shay’s Rebellion, the rebirth of the United States under the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 called to revise the Articles of Confederation and finally President Abraham Lincoln’s use of the Articles of Confederation as his central legal argument to “Preserve the Perpetual Union of the United States of America” in 1861.

President Who? Forgotten Founders brings to life the Presidential Personalities from 1774 to 1788 and most importantly sets the historical record straight on Who, Samuel Huntington not George Washington, was the First US President and which State, Virginia not Delaware, was the first to form the Perpetual Union of the United States of America.

Click Here to View Norwich Bulletin Feb. 19, 2004 Story

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President Who? Forgotten Founders

This is a brilliant and most enjoyable book which helps us to rediscover our rich history and heritage. Stan Klos clearly establishes that Virginia -- not Delaware -- became the first State in the Perpetual Union of the United States America ... because it was the first to ratify the Articles of Confederation (1779). You too will want to read his documentation complete with photographs and facsimiles of primary source documents of our lively and enlightening Americana history.

-- G. William Thomas, Jr., President,
James Monroe Memorial Foundation

A well-written and extremely thought provoking piece of historical scholarship. By using extensive primary source materials, Stan Klos effectively proves his point that from 1781 to 1789 ten men served as President of the United States in Congress Assembled. Mr. Klos does not wish to displace George Washington as "Father of Our Country." Rather, Mr. Klos is seeking recognition for Washington's predecessors. A must read for anyone interested in American Presidential history.

-- Greg Priore
Archivist, William R. Oliver Special Collections Room
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

It is a masterpiece in defining presidential history. Stanley Klos clearly presents the historic path of the presidency beginning with the first President of the United States in Congress Assembled Samuel Huntington, to the eleventh President, George Washington. It is a must read for any serious student of American History.

-- Senator Bill Stanley
President of the Norwich Historical Society

… a thought provoking argument for “righting” our history books about the very early years of our democracy. Samuel Huntington, His Excellency the President of the United States in Congress Assembled, indeed!

- Lee Langston-Harrison, Curator
James Madison’s Montpelier

Despite this, through painstaking diplomacy, encouragement and a firm commitment to independence Huntington was successful in persuading the 13 states to meet their quotas of men, dollars and provisions enabling Washington and his Generals to conduct what most 18th Century Americans believed to be a lost war for freedom. On September 10, 1780 Samuel Huntington, determined to achieve the ratification necessary to from the United States, brokered this legislation and sent this circular letter to each of the states:

Your Excellency will receive herewith enclosed an Act of Congress of the 6 Instant, adopting the report of a Committee; together with Copies of the several Papers referred to in the report.

I am directed to transmit Copies of this report and the several Papers therein mentioned to the Legislatures of the several States, (1) that they may all be informed of the Desires & Endeavours of Congress on so important a Subject, and those particular States which have Claims to the Western Territory, & the State of Maryland may adopt the Measures recommended by Congress in Order to obtain a final ratification of the Articles of Confederation.

Congress, impressed with a Sense of the vast Importance of the Subject, have maturely considered the same, and the result of their Deliberation is contained in the enclosed report, which being full & expressive of their Sentiments upon the Subject; without any additional Obervations: it is to be hoped, and most earnestly desired, that the Wisdom, Generosity & Candour of the Legislatures of the several States, which have it in their Power on the one Hand to remove the Obstacles, and on the other to complete the Confederation, may direct them to such Measures, in Compliance ...

Samuel Huntington, President

On the 30th of January, 1781, succumbing to Samuel Huntington's proofs that the enemies of the United States were taking advantage of the circumstance to propagate opinions of an inevitable dissolution of the Union, the Maryland legislature passed an act to empower their delegates to subscribe and ratify the Articles of Confederation. Finally amidst all this Revolutionary War chaos on March 1, 1781 President Huntington accomplished what Continental Congress Presidents John Hancock, Henry Laurens and John Jay failed to do; he achieved the unanimous ratification of the Articles of Confederation. After four long years of ratification consideration, from 1778 to 1781, the Perpetual Union known as the United States of America became a legal reality:

"Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia."

I. The Stile of this Confederacy shall be "The United States of America".

II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever ..." (for the entire text please visit

By virtue of this ratification the ever fluid Continental Congress ceased to exist and on March 2nd "The United States in Congress Assembled" was placed at the head of each page of the Official Journal of Congress. The United States of America which was conceived on July 2, 1776 had finally been born in 1781 under the watch of President Samuel Huntington.

The New Journal of the United States in Congress Assembled reported on March 2, 1781:

The ratification of the Articles of Confederation being yesterday completed by the accession of the State of Maryland: The United States met in Congress, when the following members appeared: His Excellency Samuel Huntington, delegate for Connecticut, President ...

The March 2, 1781 circular letter that President Samuel Huntington sent to each of the states stated:

By the Act of Congress herewith enclosed your Excellency will be informed that the Articles of Confederation & perpetual Union between the thirteen United States are formally & finally ratified by all the States.

We are happy to congratulate our Constituents on this important Event, desired by our Friends but dreaded by our Enemies.

Samuel Huntington, President

The office, President of the United States in Congress Assembled was now established by the Articles, and the term was limited to one year by the appointment (election) of the delegates:

to appoint one of their members to preside, provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than one year in any term of three years;

A form of this method of election was later incorporated into the US Constitution of 1787 with the people of each state voting for electors (delegates). The Electors, in turn, vote for the President of the United States which in 2000 resulted in George W. Bush winning the US Presidency despite loosing the popular vote.

In 1781 Samuel Huntington, had already served as President of the Continental Congress for 17 months. The Articles, the first US Constitution, limited all presidencies to a term of one year. Since their was no operating constitution prior to 1781 Huntington was eligible to serve one year as President under the Articles. Upon the urging of his fellow delegates he agreed to accept the new office President of the United States in Congress Assembled.

The First use of the title President of the United States in the Journals of Congress was by the Treasury Department:

Treasury Office March 12th. 1781. The Board of Treasury to whom was referred the letter from the Honble. the Minister of France to Samuel Huntington his Excellency the President of the United States in Congress assembled on the subject of the affairs of the late Monsieur De Coudray dated the 4th. instant beg leave to report as follows ........

Four score years later on July 4, 1861 President Abraham Lincoln would use the Articles of Confederation's language against South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia's attempt to secede from the United States. It was the unanimous "Perpetual Union" verbiage in the Articles that provided President Lincoln with the legal authority, not granted in the US Constitution, to Preserve the Union.

"The express plighting of faith by each and all of the original thirteen in the Articles of Confederation, two years later, that the Union shall be perpetual is most conclusive." - Abraham Lincoln's Address to Congress in Special Session 4 July 1861.

Lincoln, a student of history, must have gained great strength during the dark days of the Civil War from President Samuel Huntington's perseverance. One can only imagine the embarrassment and pressure that ensued from his Presidential predecessor, Henry Middleton, declaring his loyalty to King George III after the fall of Charleston. One can only imagine the pressures that were placed upon President Huntington when his fellow Norwich Revolutionary sold out to the British after the fall of the Southern States in 1781. In September of the same year Benedict Arnold was actually sent to attack New London, in order to divert Washington from his southward march against Cornwallis. One can only imagine the overtures that must have been made by the British through Arnold's Norwich Family of amnesty, rank, land and money if President Huntington would declare allegiance to the crown. President Huntington remained true to independence presiding over the ratification ceremonies and like Abraham Lincoln preserved the Perpetual Union of the United States of America.

Sara (Huntington) Abbott writes of this period in President Huntington's life:

How true to this hazardous declaration, of his principles, Mr. Huntington subsequently proved; how intelligently and fearlessly he met all the responsibilities involved in it; how, step by step, he showed himself more and more indispensable to its efficient maintenance; how he won for himself, from the leaders of that day, the place and honor of leadership over even themselves, is abundantly attested by their vote of September 28,1779, in which he is chosen their PRESIDENT, with a unanimity as honorable to them as to him. Nor did he fail in this trying office, an office which called for the highest qualities both of the jurist and statesman. From the date of his election, until his resignation, July 6, 1781, he was most incessantly and acceptably engaged in the engrossing cares of his office. Perhaps no one of those honored men who were called to that eminent post during the formative period of our government, occupied it with more credit than he. Certainly never did congress show sincerer reluctance than when, from utter exhaustion of his strength, he was forced to ask either for a temporary, or a final retirement from the office. For two months they delayed seeking for a successor, hoping that meanwhile he might so far recover as to justify his continuance. But such had been the tax upon his strength that be was compelled to insist upon his resignation, about a month before the close of his second year. The resignation was accepted, and a hearty vote of thanks testified to the confidence which congress reposed in him as the chief executive of the nation, and their gratitude for his impartial and able administration.

An example of one daunting challenge Huntington faced can be found in this letter to Caesar Rodney. The letter is dated Philadelphia, PA, 13 November 1780 only 6 months after General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered to British Forces in Charleston, South Carolina. The British, who now effectively controlled the Carolinas and Georgia, were making liberal use of papers and clearances that they took from this great southern “prize.” In this letter a beleaguered President Huntington asks Caesar Rodney of Delaware to support his resolution, adopted at the urging of Minister of France, to deal with the problem of British Spys and their disruption of our trade with France and other allies.

To View the actual letter to Caesar Rodney from President Huntington click here and here.


Circular, Philadelphia November 13, 1780


Congress having received Information from the Honorable the Minister of France, of Inconveniencies & Injuries received by our Allies, resulting from the Abuse the British make of Papers & Clearances they take in American Prizes, by personating the Officers & Commanders named in such Papers, being fully acquainted with the Language & Manners of our Officers & Seamen &c.

In Compliance with the request of the Minister of France, Congress have adopted the enclosed Resolution in Order to detect such Abuses in future; and I am to request your Excellency's Attention to the necessary Measures for carrying the same into effectual Execution.

I have the Honor to be with the highest Respect

your Excellency's most obedient and very humble Servant

Sam. Huntington President.

His Excellency

The President of Delaware State

Huntington's accomplishments as President didn't end with the Articles' ratification. On April 5, 1781 Huntington's Congress passed an ordinance, which declared Congress' "sole and exclusive right and power (inter alia) of appointing courts for the trial of piracies..." and empowering "the justices of the supreme or superior courts of judicature, and judge of the Court of Admiralty of the several and respective states, or any two or more of them" to hear and try offenders charged with such offences. Huntington sent this circular letter on April 19th, 1781 to all the states:

Your Excellency will receive herewith enclosed, an Ordinance for establishing Courts for the Trial of Piracies and Felonies committed upon the high Seas, passed in Conformity to Articles of Confederation.
I have the Honor to be &c, &c,

Samuel Huntington
, President

By May 1781 Samuel Huntington strongly supported Robert Morris's financial plan for the maintenance of the army, which was ready to be disbanded by their own act. It was perceived by many states that the Congress had no power to enforce taxation. Morris proposed the establishment of a Bank at Philadelphia with a capital of four hundred thousand dollars, the promissory notes of which should be a legal-tender currency to be received in payment of all taxes, duties and debts, due the United States. The plan was approved by the Congress:

Resolved, That Congress do approve of the plan for establishing a national bank in these United States, submitted to their consideration by Mr. R. Morris, the 17 day of May, 1781; and that they will promote and support the same by such ways and means, from time to time, as may appear necessary for the institution and consistent with the public good:

That the subscribers to the said bank shall be incorporated agreeably to the principles and terms of the plan, under the name of The President, Directors and company of the bank of North-America, so soon as the subscription shall be filled, the directors and president chosen, and application for that purpose made to Congress by the president and directors elected.

So it was resolved in the affirmative.

With the able guidance of Mr. Morris, who was the Secretary of the Treasury, that corporation furnished adequate means for saving the Continental army from disbanding. He collected the taxes, and he used his private fortune freely for the public welfare.

Much about Samuel Huntington's accomplishments and the inner workings of the United States Government during this period of revolution is lost. The historical record is severely fragmented because the Congressional delegates, the Secretary of War, Secretary of State, Minister of Finance, Secretary of the United States, and President of the United States Samuel Huntington were all bound by an oath of secrecy not to publish or record the debates and intrigues of the new Confederation Government. The Journals of The United States in Congress Assembled record only resolution outcomes and a minuscule amount of official correspondence that were deemed necessary to enter into the official record. Only now, as institutions, libraries, foundations and private individuals upload their rare private and official Pre-Washington presidential letters to the internet, is the full nature of the US President's office coming to light.

What we are learning from these letters and the official Journals of Congress is that Samuel Huntington and the other nine Presidents under the Articles of Confederation issued orders, ratified treaties, executed military commissions, received foreign dignitaries, called for Congressional sessions, held councils of War and signed foreign loans as both President of Congress and President of the United States depending on the situation. Treaties, for instance, were signed as President of the United States while resolutions of Congress were signed as President of Congress (for examples of both please visit

One only needs to visit the Journals of United States in Congress Assembled on-line and search . Here are a few examples of official documents issued as President of the United States in Congress Assembled found in the search:

Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled --THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 178;MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1782; SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1782;MONDAY, JUNE 2, 1783;FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 1784;FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 1784; FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 1786.

A Founding
U.S. Presidential Library

April 18, 2005


The Chronology of Samuel Huntington's Presidency in both the Continental Congress and United States in Congress Assembled is as follows:

Journals of the Continental Congress:

1779 - September 28
Elects Samuel Huntington president of Congress; adopts commissions and instructions for John Adams and John Jay.

October 1 Orders preparation of a plan for reorganizing the conduct of naval affairs. October 2 Requests Vermont claimants to authorize Congress to settle Vermont claims. October 4 Adopts instructions for minister to Spain (John Jay). October 6 Admonishes Benedict Arnold on treatment of Pennsylvania officials. October 7 Calculates and apportions 1780 state fiscal quotas. October 9 Adopts circular letter to the states on meeting fiscal quotas. October 13 Authorizes Arthur Lee to return to America. October 14 Commends John Sullivan for conduct of expedition against the Indians; resolves to emit an additional $5 million; sets day of thanksgiving. October 15 Adopts instructions for minister to Spain; resolves to seek a loan in Holland. October 20 Adopts thanksgiving day proclamation. October 21 Appoints Henry Laurens to negotiate Dutch loan. October 22 Rejects appeal for Continental intervention against state taxation of Continental quartermasters. October 26 Adopts instructions for negotiation of Dutch loan and treaty of amity and commerce. October 28 Creates Board of Admiralty, ending management of naval affairs by congressional committee. October 30 Urges Virginia to reconsider decision to open land office for sale of unappropriated lands.

November 1 Appoints Henry Laurens to negotiate Dutch treaty of amity and commerce. November 2-3 Adjourns because of expiration of President Huntington's credentials as Connecticut delegate. November 5 Notified of evacuation of Rhode Island; appoints committee to plan an executive board to supervise Continental officials. November 8 Requests correspondence files of former presidents of Congress. November 9 Elects Treasury officers. November 10 Orders deployment of three frigates to South Carolina. November 11 Orders reinforcement of southern department; observes funeral of Joseph Hewes. November 13 Rejects resignation of Gen. John Sullivan; approves parole of Gens. William Phillips and Baron Riedesel of the Convention Army. November 16 Undertakes care of Spanish prisoners held at New York, rejects Massachusetts' appeal to retain Continental taxes to defray Penobscot expedition costs; recommends that states compel persons to give testimony at Continental courts-martial. November 17 Holds audience with the newly arrived French minister, the chevalier de La Luzerne; resolves to emit an additional $10 million. November 18 Gives General Washington free hand to coordinate operations with the French armed forces. November 19 Recommends state adoption of price regulations. November 23 Resolves to draw bills of exchange to £100,000 sterling each on John Jay and Henry Laurens. November 25 Adopts new regulations for clothing Continental Army; discharges committee for superintending the commissary and quartermaster departments. November 26 Appoints Admiralty commissioners. November 29 Commemorates General Pulaski's death- resolves to emit an additional $10 million; accepts resignation of commissary general Jeremiah Wadsworth. November 30 Appoints committee to confer with Washington at headquarters; accepts resignation of Gen. John Sullivan.

December 2 Receives notification of Spanish declaration of war against Britain; appoints Ephraim Blaine commissary general of purchases. December 3 Resolves to move Congress from Philadelphia at the end of April 1780; appoints Admiralty commissioners. December 6 Reinforces armed forces in southern department. December 9 Observes day of thanksgiving. December 15 Recommends that states extend provisions embargo to April 1780. December 16 Authorizes Gen. Benjamin Lincoln to coordinate southern operations with Spanish officers at Havana. December 20-24 Debates proposal to borrow $20 million abroad. December 24 Authorizes use of depositions of witnesses at courts martial in non-capital cases. December 27 Recommends moratorium on granting lands in region of Pennsylvania-Virginia boundary dispute; orders Post Office to institute twice-weekly in place of weekly deliveries. December 28 Authorizes Continental reimbursement of militia expenses incurred defending Connecticut against invasion. December 31 Endorses Board of War plan to employ greater secrecy to reduce procurement expenses.

1780 - January 3 Postpones decision on selecting a new site for Congress. January 4-8 Debates plan for creating a court of appeals. January 8 Reorganizes Georgia's Continental regiments. January 10 Dismisses Charles Lee, second ranking Continental general; debates plan for reducing the army to curtail expenses. January 12 Sends emergency appeal to the states for provisioning the army; abolishes mustermaster's department. January 13 Adopts new regulations for negotiation of prisoner exchanges. January 14 Recommends that states make provision for guaranteeing the privileges and immunities of French citizens recognized in the Franco-American treaty of amity and commerce. January 15 Creates Court of Appeals in admiralty cases. January 17 Endorses export of grain to French forces by the French agent of marine. January 18 Resolves to print the journals of Congress monthly, but ends practice of printing the yeas and nays. January 20 Orders investigation into the expenses of the staff departments; abolishes barrackmaster's department. January 22 Elects judges to Court of Appeals. January 24 Adopts new measures for recruitment of Continental troops. January 25 Halts pay of inactive naval officers. January 26 Appoints committee to confer with the French minister on joint Franco-American operations. January 27 Authorizes inflation adjustment in the salaries of Continental officials. January 31 Pledges to wage a vigorous campaign in conjunction with French forces during 1780.

February 4-5 Debates Continental Army quotas for 1780. February 9 Sets state quotas and adopts recruitment measures for an army of 35,000 by April 1, 1780. February 11 Affirms commitment to the re-conquest of Georgia. February 12 Confirms sentence in the court-martial of Gen. Benedict Arnold. February 16-24 Debates proposals for a system of in-kind requisitions from the states. February 22 Debates congressional privilege issue arising from the complaint of Elbridge Gerry. February 25 Adopts system of in-kind requisitions from the states. February 28 Postpones decision on selecting a new site for Congress.

March 2 Postpones debate on Vermont controversy. March 3 Sets "day of fasting, humiliation and prayer." March 4 Commends John Paul Jones and crew of Bonhomme Richard for victory over Serapis. March 8 Orders reinforcements for the southern department. March 13-18 Debates proposals for fiscal reform. March 18 Repudiates Continental dollar, adopting measures for redeeming bills in circulation at the ratio of 40 to 1. March 20 Recommends state revision of legal tender laws. March 21 Postpones debate on Vermont controversy. March 24 Observes Good Friday. March 26 Observes funeral of James Forbes. March 27 Rejects proposals for a new site for Congress; receives plan for reorganizing quartermaster department. March 29-31 Debates proposals for adjusting Continental loan office certificates for inflation.

April 1 Debates plan for reorganizing quartermaster department. April 3 Rejects motion to hear Elbridge Gerry appeal. April 4 Authorizes defense of New York frontier at Continental expense. April 6 Resolves to send a committee to confer with Washington at headquarters. April 8 Authorizes partial reimbursement to Massachusetts for Penobscot expedition expenses. April 10 Authorizes depreciation allowances for Continental troops. April 12 Adopts instructions for Committee at Head quarters. April 13 Appoints Committee at Headquarters. April 15 Appoints Joseph Ward commissary general of prisoners. April 17 Rejects proposal to appoint a "resident" at the Court of Versailles. April 18 Authorizes depreciation allowances for holders of Continental loan office certificates; authorizes issuance of commissions to Delaware Indians. April 20 Resolves to draw bills of exchange on John Jay in Spain. April 21 Adopts measures for the relief of prisoners of war. April 24 Adopts appeal to the states to meet fiscal quotas. April 28 Appoints Cyrus Griffin to Court of Appeals, William Denning to Board of Treasury.

May 2 Revises commissions, bonds, and instructions for privateers. May 5 Doubles rates of postage. May 10 Adopts regulations for replacing destroyed loan office certificates. May 15 Three Georgia delegates attend, representing the state for the first time in more than a year. May 17 Considers Committee at Headquarters report presented by John Mathews. May 18-20 Debates La Luzerne memorial on Franco American cooperation. May 19 Urges states to remit quota payments immediately. May 20 Urges states to meet troop quotas immediately. May 22 Urges Delaware to extend provisions embargo indefinitely. May 23 Debates Vermont controversy. May 26 Requests states to receive Continental certificates in payment of taxes. May 29 Debates Vermont controversy. May 30 Rescinds Committee at Headquarters instruction on the propriety of reducing the-Continental Army.

June 1 Adopts measures for defense of New York and New Hampshire frontiers. June 2 Censures Vermont settlers and pledges final de termination of the Vermont controversy when ever nine "disinterested" states are represented in Congress. June 5 Adopts plans for cooperating with anticipated French forces. June 6 Orders arms for southern defense. June 9 Postpones Vermont inquiry to September 12. June 12 Orders restrictions on the issuance of Continental rations; creates two extra chambers of accounts to facilitate settlement of staff department accounts. June 13 Appoints Horatio Gates to southern command. June 14 Adopts measures for the defense of the southern department. June 15 Issues circular letter to the states to reinforce the appeals of the Committee at Headquarters. June 19 Adopts measures to prevent and punish counterfeiting. June 20 Empowers John Adams to seek Dutch loan. June 21 Reaffirms commitment to Franco-American military cooperation; appoints an agent to transact U.S. affairs in Portugal. June 22 Endorses plan to establish a private bank for provisioning and supplying the Continental Army. June 23 Orders inquiry into the fall of Charleston, S.C.; reaffirms support for Georgia and South Carolina. June 28 Adopts plan for paying depreciation allowances to holders of Continental loan office certificates.

July 3 Orders Admiralty Board to implement intelligence gathering plan. July 5-6 Debates plan to reform quartermaster department. July 7 Endorses La Luzerne's request to permit the shipment of provisions to Spanish forces in the West Indies. July 11 Orders publication of Congress' May 1778 resolution requesting that Articles 11 and 12 of the Franco-American treaty of commerce be revoked. July 13 Orders Washington to seek the exchange of General du Portail, chief of engineers. July 15 Reorganizes quartermaster department; continues Nathanael Greene in office as quarter master general. July 17 Receives announcement of arrival of French fleet at Rhode Island. July 19 Opens debate on the court-martial of Dr. William Shippen, Jr., director general of hospitals. July 20 Suspends deputy quartermaster Henry Hollingsworth . July 25 Appoints Charles Pettit assistant quartermaster general. July 26 Orders deployment of Continental frigates to cooperate with French fleet; orders reforms in the department of military stores. July 27 Transfers responsibility for issuing privateer commissions and bonds to the office of the secretary of Congress.

August 2 Lifts restrictions on Washington's operational authority; chides Committee at Headquarters. August 3-4 Debates Quartermaster Greene's resignation request. August 5 Appoints Timothy Pickering quartermaster general to succeed Nathanael Greene; orders Washington to confer with French officers to plan the expulsion of the enemy from Georgia and South Carolina. August 7 Instructs Washington on exchanging prisoners of war and on reinforcing the southern department. August 9 Authorizes drawing bills of exchange on Benjamin Franklin for the relief of the southern department. August 11 Dismisses Committee at Headquarters. August 12 Reforms department of military stores; responds to general officers' grievances. August 17 Commends General Rochambeau and the conduct of the French forces. August 18 Confirms court-martial acquittal of William Shippen, Jr. August 22 Orders punishment of abuses in the staff departments. August 23 Adopts regulations for the issuance of certificates in the commissary and quartermaster departments; authorizes drawing additional bills of exchange on Benjamin Franklin. August 24-25 Extends additional benefits to general officers. August 26 Exhorts states to implement Congress' March 18 resolves for exchanging Continental currency. August 29 Appoints committee to plan a "new arrangement of the civil executive departments." August 31 Receives news of General Gates' defeat at Camden,

September 1 Receives informal invitation to trade with Morocco. September 5 Authorizes issuance of loan office certificates to $1 million specie value at 6 percent interest. September 6 Urges states to cede western land claims and Maryland to ratify Articles of Confederation. September 8 Orders reinforcement of southern military department. September 13 Sets salary schedule for the Continental establishment. September 14 Reopens debate on Vermont dispute. September 15 Appoints Abraham Skinner commissary general of prisoners; adopts plan to supply meat to Continental Army. September 19 Convenes evening session to continue Vermont dispute debate. September 21 Approves enlistment of troops for one year in absence of sufficient "recruits enlisted for the war. " September 22 Authorizes drawing additional bills of exchange on Benjamin Franklin. September 25 Adopts new plan for the inspecting department, consolidating mustering functions under the inspector general. September 26 Resolves to instruct commanders of ships to observe principles conforming to the Russian declaration on neutral rights. September 27 Postpones Vermont dispute debate. September 28 Resolves to limit presidential terms to one year. September 30 Receives account of the treason of Gen. Benedict Arnold; adopts new plan for the medical department.

October 2 Authorizes drawing additional bills of exchange on Franklin and John Jay. October 3 Adopts new establishment for the Continental Army. October 4 Adopts instructions for John Jay on navigation of the Mississippi River and southwestern boundaries. October 6 Elects officers for hospital department. October 10 Adopts Virginia proposal to reimburse state expenses related to cession of western lands and to require that ceded lands "be disposed of for the common benefit of the United States." October 13 Appoints Daniel Morgan brigadier general; creates third chamber of accounts. October 14 Votes memorial for Baron de Kalb; commends various officers and troops for bravery at the battle of Camden. October 16 Receives proceedings of the Hartford convention of New England states. October 17 Adopts letter of instruction for John Jay. October 18 Instructs John Adams on peace negotiations; sets day of prayer and thanksgiving. October 21 Endorses proposal to receive Cherokee delegation; revises Continental Army establishment. October 23 Receives report on the victory at King's Mountain .

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