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First Continental Congress

The First Continental Congress took place on September 5, 1774, when delegates from 12 of the 13 original colonies met at Carpenters Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

They met in response to the Intolerable Acts which the British had levied against the colonies in response to their rebellion in the Boston Tea Party.

Although they aimed to punish Boston, the acts punished all the colonists and began to raise questions as to why the British were allowed to raise taxes on the colonies when the colonies did not have representation in Parliament.

This had not been the first time that delegates from across the thirteen colonies had met. They had met during the Townshend Acts and Stamp Act.

It was during the Stamp Act Congress that Patrick Henry delivered his passionate speech to Congress which ended with the words “Give me Liberty or Give me death.”

The Stamp Act had given rise to many of the future founders of the new nation and laid the foundation for the First Continental Congress to meet.

The main voices during this Congress was that of Joseph Galloway and Patrick Henry. Henry called for dissolution with Britain while Galloway proposed a plan that would unite the colonies and form a legislative body.

Henry’s idea would be rejected and Galloway’s plan would get the support of Congress. Galloway would later join the Loyalists during the American Revolutionary War.

The Stamp Act would eventually be repealed by Britain as was the Townshend Acts and the First Continental Congress looked to resolve these issues in a similar fashion.

Although there was some who began to ask questions about independence from Britain it was not spoken of and everyone wished to resolve these issues with Britain peacefully.

The delegates wrote a petition to King George III and agreed to meet again to discuss the response of that petition. King George ultimately rejected their petition and the Second Continental Congress was called.

List of Delegates:

Notice Georgia was not present during the First Continental Congress. They were lobbying Britain for military support due to Indian attacks on the frontier.

John Adams Massachusetts Bay
Samuel Adams Massachusetts Bay
Thomas Cushing Massachusetts Bay
Robert Treat Paine Massachusetts Bay
Stephen Hopkins Rhode Island
Samuel Ward Rhode Island
Silas Deane Connecticut
Eliphalet Dyer Connecticut
Roger Sherman Connecticut
John Sullivan New Hampshire
Nathaniel Folson New Hampshire
James Duane New York
John Jay New York
William Floyd New York
Philip Livingston New York
Isaac Low New York
Simon Boerum New York
John Haring New York
Henry Wisner New York
John Alsop New York
Stephen Crane New Jersey
James Kinsey New Jersey
William Livingston New Jersey
Richard Smith New Jersey
John De Hart New Jersey
Edward Biddle Pennsylvania
John Dickinson Pennsylvania
Joseph Galloway Pennsylvania
Charles Humphreys Pennsylvania
Thomas Mifflin Pennsylvania
John Morton Pennsylvania
Samuel Rhoads Pennsylvania
George Ross Pennsylvania
Thomas McKean Delaware
George Read Delaware
Caesar Rodney Delaware
Robert Goldsborough Maryland
Samuel Chase Maryland
William Paca Maryland
Matthew Tilghman Maryland
Richard Bland Virginia
Benjamin Harrison Virginia
Patrick Henry Virginia
Richard Henry Lee Virginia
Edmund Pendleton Virginia
George Washington Virginia
Richard Caswell North Carolina
Joseph Hewes North Carolina
William Hooper North Carolina
Christpher Gadsen South Carolina
Thomas Lynch Jr South Carolina
Henry Middleton South Carolina
Edward Rutledge South Carolina
John Rutledge South Carolina
Thomas Johnson Maryland
Peyton Randolph Virginia

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