New York Provincial Congress
The New York Provincial Congress (1775-1777) was an organization formed by colonists in 1775, during the American Revolution, as a pro-American alternative to the more conservative Province of New York Assembly, and as a replacement for the Committee of One Hundred. The Fourth Provincial Congress, resolving itself as the Convention of Representatives of the State of New York, adopted the first Constitution of the State of New York on April 20, 1777.
Committees of correspondenceEdit
The Committee of Fifty-one was a committee of correspondence in the City and County of New York that first met on May 16, 1774. On May 30, the Committee formed a subcommittee to write a letter to the supervisors of the counties of New York to extort them to also form similar committees of correspondence, which letter was adopted on a meeting of the Committee on May 31. In response to the letters from Boston, on July 4, 1774 resolutions were approved to appoint five delegates, Isaac Low, John Alsop, James Duane, Philip Livingston, and John Jay, to the "Congress of Deputies from the Colonies" (the First Continental Congress), and request that the other counties also send delegates. Three counties (Westchester, Duchess, and Albany) acquiesced to the five delegates, while three counties (Kings, Suffolk, and Orange) sent delegates of their own. The First Continental Congress met from September 5 to October 26, 1774.
New York AssemblyEdit
In January and February 1775, the New York Assembly voted down successive resolutions approving the proceedings of the First Continental Congress and refused to send delegates to the Second Continental Congress. New York was the only colonial assembly which did not approve the proceeds of the First Continental Congress. Opposition to the Congress revolved around the opinion that the provincial houses of assembly were the proper agencies to solicit redress for grievances. In March, the Assembly broke with the rest of the colonies and wrote a petition to London, but London rejected the petition because it contained claims about a lack of authority of the "parent state" to tax colonists, "which made it impossible" to accept. The Assembly last met on April 3, 1775.
Provincial Convention (Second Continental Congress)Edit
A Provincial Convention assembled in New York City on April 20, 1775 where delegates were elected to the Second Continental Congress. On March 15, 1775 the Committee of Sixty had issued a call to the counties of New York to send delegates to a Provincial Convention.
Philip Livingston was its chairman. It included the delegates to the first congress and also five new members. All counties other than Tryon, Gloucester, and Cumberland were represented. The scope of the Provincial Convention did not extend beyond electing delegates, and they dispersed on April 22. On April 23, news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord arrived.
First Provincial CongressEdit
The First Provincial Congress was convened in New York City on May 22, 1775 with Peter Van Brugh Livingston as president. The first resolution adopted was obedience to recommendations made by the Continental Congress.
The congress adapted a "plan of Accommodation between Great Britain and America", which it sent to its delegates to the Continental Congress urging extreme caution in the quarrel with England. The plan demanded the English authorities repeal of all unconstitutional laws affecting the colonies and an acknowledgement of the right of the colonies to self-taxation. In return New York promised to contribute to the costs of defence, the maintenance of civil government, and to recognize England's right to regulate imperial trade.
In May, they ordered the militia to stockpile arms, undertake the removal of cannon from Fort Crown Point and Fort Ticonderoga, and the erection of fortifications and defences on Manhattan Island. All loyalists in the province were disarmed. In May, the raising of 3,000 to serve until December 31 was authorized. They condemned the planned invasion of Canada, since they had a plan of reconciliation. When in June the British troops in New York City left to board British ships, Marinus Willett intervened to prevent them taking carts loaded with arms back to the ships. The congress welcomed the return of Governor William Tryon. On June 28, 1775 they authorized the raising of the four regiments of the New York Line. On July 20, 1775, members of the Sons of Liberty and others surprised a guard and captured a British storehouse at Turtle Bay. In August, the congress ordered the removal of the cannon at Fort George and while doing so the British HMS Asia opened fire on the militia. In late 1775, the provincial militia was restructured.
|Low, IsaacIsaac Low||City & County of New York|
|Livingston, Peter Van BrughPeter Van Brugh Livingston||City & County of New York||President|
|McDougall, AlexanderAlexander McDougall||City & County of New York|
|Lispenard, LeonardLeonard Lispenard||City & County of New York|
|Hallett, JosephJoseph Hallett||City & County of New York|
|Walton, AbrahamAbraham Walton||City & County of New York|
|Brasier, AbrahamAbraham Brasier||City & County of New York|
|Roosevelt, IsaacIsaac Roosevelt||City & County of New York|
|De Lancey, JohnJohn De Lancey||City & County of New York|
|Beekman, JamesJames Beekman||City & County of New York|
|Verplanck, SamuelSamuel Verplanck||City & County of New York|
|Yates, RichardRichard Yates||City & County of New York|
|Clarkson, DavidDavid Clarkson||City & County of New York|
|Smith, ThomasThomas Smith||City & County of New York|
|Kissam, BenjaminBenjamin Kissam||City & County of New York|
|Scott, John MorinJohn Morin Scott||City & County of New York|
|Van Cortlandt, JohnJohn Van Cortlandt||City & County of New York|
|Van Zandt, JacobusJacobus Van Zandt||City & County of New York|
|Marston, JohnJohn Marston||City & County of New York|
|Folliot, GeorgeGeorge Folliot||City & County of New York|
|Franklin, WalterWalter Franklin||City & County of New York|
|Yates, RobertRobert Yates||City & County of Albany|
|Yates Jr., AbrahamAbraham Yates Jr.||City & County of Albany|
|Douw, Volkert P.Volkert P. Douw||City & County of Albany||Vice-President|
|Cuyler, JacobJacob Cuyler||City & County of Albany|
|Silvester, PeterPeter Silvester||City & County of Albany|
|Swart, DirckDirck Swart||City & County of Albany|
|Livingston, WalterWalter Livingston||City & County of Albany|
|Van Rensselaer, RobertRobert Van Rensselaer||City & County of Albany|
|Glen, HenryHenry Glen||City & County of Albany|
|Ten Broeck, AbrahamAbraham Ten Broeck||City & County of Albany|
|Nicoll, FrancisFrancis Nicoll||City & County of Albany|
|Brinckerhoff, DirckDirck Brinckerhoff||Duchess County||Chairman|
|Hoffman, AnthonyAnthony Hoffman||Duchess County|
|Platt, ZephaniahZephaniah Platt||Duchess County|
|Montgomery, RichardRichard Montgomery||Duchess County|
|Paine, EphraimEphraim Paine||Duchess County|
|Livingston, GilbertGilbert Livingston||Duchess County|
|Landon, JonathanJonathan Landon||Duchess County|
|Schenck, GysbertGysbert Schenck||Duchess County|
|Smith, MelanctonMelancton Smith||Duchess County|
|Sackett, NathanielNathaniel Sackett||Duchess County|
|Hardenbergh, JohannesJohannes Hardenbergh||Ulster County|
|Clinton, JamesJames Clinton||Ulster County|
|Tappan, ChristopherChristopher Tappan||Ulster County|
|Nicholson, JohnJohn Nicholson||Ulster County|
|Hoornbeck, JacobJacob Hoornbeck||Ulster County|
|Coe, JohnJohn Coe||Orange County|
|Pye, DavidDavid Pye||Orange County|
|Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson||Goshen County|
|Tusten, BenjaminBenjamin Tusten||Goshen County|
|Clowes, PeterPeter Clowes||Goshen County|
|Allison, WilliamWilliam Allison||Goshen County|
|Woodhull, NathanielNathaniel Woodhull||Suffolk County|
|Hobart, John SlossJohn Sloss Hobart||Suffolk County|
|Tredwell, ThomasThomas Tredwell||Suffolk County|
|Foster, JohnJohn Foster||Suffolk County|
|L'Hommedieu, EzraEzra L'Hommedieu||Suffolk County|
|Wickham, ThomasThomas Wickham||Suffolk County|
|Havens, JamesJames Havens||Suffolk County|
|Strong, SelahSelah Strong||Suffolk County|
|Morris, GouverneurGouverneur Morris||Westchester County|
|Graham, LewisLewis Graham||Westchester County|
|Van Cortlandt, JamesJames Van Cortlandt||Westchester County|
|Ward, StephenStephen Ward||Westchester County|
|Drake, JosephJoseph Drake||Westchester County|
|Van Cortlandt, PhilipPhilip Van Cortlandt||Westchester County|
|Holmes, JamesJames Holmes||Westchester County|
|Dayton, DavidDavid Dayton||Westchester County|
|Thomas, Jr., JohnJohn Thomas, Jr.||Westchester County|
|Graham, RobertRobert Graham||Westchester County|
|Paulding, WilliamWilliam Paulding||Westchester County|
|Williams, HenryHenry Williams||Kings County|
|Remsen, JeremiahJeremiah Remsen||Kings County|
|Michean, PaulPaul Michean||Richmond County|
|Journey, JohnJohn Journey||Richmond County|
|Cortelyou, AaronAaron Cortelyou||Richmond County|
|Conner, RichardRichard Conner||Richmond County|
|Lawrence, RichardRichard Lawrence||Richmond County|
Second Provincial CongressEdit
The Second Provincial Congress was organized on December 6, 1775 and sat in New York City, and continued until adjournment on May 13, 1776. In January, 1776, George Washington ordered Major General Charles Lee to prepare New York City for the coming British attack. In February, the provincial congress initially refused Lee's entry, but then agreed and also decided to stop provisioning the British ships in New York harbor.
Third Provincial CongressEdit
The Third Provincial Congress was organized on May 22, 1776. It continued in session until June 30, 1776. It instructed its delegates to the 2nd Continental Congress to oppose independence. On May 31, 1776, the Continental Congress recommended that each of the provinces establish themselves as states. In June, Howe's forces appeared in New York Harbor.
Notable members (partial list):
First Constitutional ConventionEdit
The Fourth Provincial Congress convened in White Plains on July 9, 1776 and became known as the First Constitutional Convention. It declared the independent state of New York on July 9, 1776. On the same day the Declaration of Independence was read by George Washington on the commons of New York City to the Continental Army and local citizens, who celebrated by tearing down the statue of George III in Bowling Green. On July 10, 1776, the Fourth Provincial Congress changed its name to the Convention of Representatives of the State of New York, and "acts as legislature without an executive." On August 1, the convention assigned the task of drafting a constitution to a committee of thirteen and ordered it to report a draft by August 27, but it did not do so until March 12, 1777. While adjourned it left a Committee of Safety in charge.
The Constitution of the State of New York was adopted on April 20, 1777. The governor would be elected and not appointed, voting qualifications were reduced, secret ballots were introduced, and civil rights were guaranteed. On July 9, 1778 the State of New York signed the Articles of Confederation and officially became part of the government of the United States of America, though it had been a part of the nation as representative were signatories to the Declaration in 1776.
List of presidents and chairmenEdit
1st Provincial Congress
- Peter Van Brugh Livingston May 23, 1775
- Nathaniel Woodhull Aug 23, 1775 pro tem
- Abraham Yates Nov 2, 1775 pro tem
2nd Provincial Congress
- Nathaniel Woodhull Dec 6, 1775
- John Haring Dec 16, 1775 pro tem
- Nathaniel Woodhull Feb 12, 1776 pro tem
3rd Provincial Congress
4th Provincial Congress and Representative Convention
- Nathaniel Woodhull Jul 9, 1776
- Abraham Yates Aug 10, 1776 pro tem
- Abraham Yates Aug 28, 1776
- Peter Van Brugh Livingston Sep 26, 1776
- Abraham Ten Broeck Mar 6, 1777
- Leonard Gansevoort Apr 18, 1777
Chairmen of the Committee of SafetyEdit
- Nathaniel Woodhull July 10, 1776 to August 10, 1776
- Abraham Yates August 10, 1776 to September 26, 1776
- Peter Van Brugh Livingston September 26, 1776 to March 6, 1777
- Abraham Ten Broeck March 6, 1777 to April 9, 1777
- William Smith April 9, 1777 to April 11, 1777
- Pierre Van Cortlandt April 11, 1777 to April 18, 1777
- Leonard Gansevoort April 18, 1777 to May 14, 1777
President of the Council of SafetyEdit
- Pierre Van Cortlandt May 14, 1777 to July 30, 1777
- Dawson 1886, pp. 7-10.
- Dawson 1886, p. 20.
- Dawson 1886, p. 24.
- Dawson 1886, p. 29.
- Dawson, Henry (1886). Westchester County, New York, During the American Revolution. p. 61.
- Edward Countryman, "Consolidating Power in Revolutionary America: The Case of New York, 1775–1783." Journal of Interdisciplinary History 6.4 (1976): 645-677. in JSTOR
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
- Google Book The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (page 47; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)]
- Launitz-Schurer pg. 161
- New York (State) Dept. of State (1868). Calendar of Historical Manuscripts, Relating to the War of the Revolution, in the Office of the Secretary of State, Albany, N.Y. Weed, Parsons & Company, Printers. p. 86. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
- Lamb, Martha Joanna (1880). History of the City of New York: Its Origin, Rise, and Progress. A. S. Barnes. p. 31. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
- Albany Institute (1873). Proceedings of the Albany Institute. J. Munsell. p. 321. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
- Schechter, Stephen (1990). "The New York State Constitution, 1777". In Schechter, Stephen. Roots of the Republic: American Founding Documents Interpreted. p. 169. ISBN 1461642795. LCCN 90-6396.