Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting in the spring of 1775 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia between September 5, 1774, October 26, 1774; the Second Congress moved incrementally towards independence. It adopted the Lee Resolution which established the new country on July 2, 1776, it agreed to the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776; the Congress acted as the de facto national government of the United States by raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, making formal treaties such as the Olive Branch Petition. The Second Continental Congress came together on May 11, 1775 reconvening the First Continental Congress. Many of the 56 delegates who attended the first meeting were in attendance at the second, the delegates appointed the same president and secretary. Notable new arrivals included John Hancock of Massachusetts.
Within two weeks, Randolph was summoned back to Virginia to preside over the House of Burgesses. Henry Middleton was elected as president to replace Randolph. Hancock was elected president on May 24. Delegates from twelve of the Thirteen Colonies were present when the Second Continental Congress convened. Georgia had not participated in the First Continental Congress and did not send delegates to the Second. On May 13, 1775, Lyman Hall was admitted as a delegate from the Parish of St. John's in the Colony of Georgia, not as a delegate from the colony itself. On July 4, 1775, revolutionary Georgians held a Provincial Congress to decide how to respond to the American Revolution, that congress decided on July 8 to send delegates to the Continental Congress, they arrived on September 13. The First Continental Congress had sent entreaties to King George III to stop the Coercive Acts; the Second Continental Congress met on May 10, 1775 to plan further responses if the British government had not repealed or modified the acts.
For the first few months of the war, the Patriots carried on their struggle in an ad-hoc and uncoordinated manner. They had seized arsenals, driven out royal officials, besieged the British army in the city of Boston. On June 14, 1775, the Congress voted to create the Continental Army out of the militia units around Boston and appointed George Washington of Virginia as commanding general. On July 6, 1775, Congress approved a Declaration of Causes outlining the rationale and necessity for taking up arms in the Thirteen Colonies. On July 8, they extended the Olive Branch Petition to the British Crown as a final attempt at reconciliation. Silas Deane was sent to France as a minister of the Congress, American ports were reopened in defiance of the British Navigation Acts; the Continental Congress had no explicit legal authority to govern, but it assumed all the functions of a national government, such as appointing ambassadors, signing treaties, raising armies, appointing generals, obtaining loans from Europe, issuing paper money, disbursing funds.
The Congress had no authority to levy taxes and was required to request money and troops from the states to support the war effort. Individual states ignored these requests. Congress was moving towards declaring independence from the British Empire in 1776, but many delegates lacked the authority from their home governments to take such a drastic action. Advocates of independence moved to have reluctant colonial governments revise instructions to their delegations, or replace those governments which would not authorize independence. On May 10, 1776, Congress passed a resolution recommending that any colony with a government, not inclined toward independence should form one that was. On May 15, they adopted a more radical preamble to this resolution, drafted by John Adams, which advised throwing off oaths of allegiance and suppressing the authority of the Crown in any colonial government that still derived its authority from the Crown; that same day, the Virginia Convention instructed its delegation in Philadelphia to propose a resolution that called for a declaration of independence, the formation of foreign alliances, a confederation of the states.
The resolution of independence was delayed for several weeks, as advocates of independence consolidated support in their home governments. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee offered a resolution before the Congress declaring the colonies independent, he urged Congress to resolve "to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances" and to prepare a plan of confederation for the newly independent states. Lee argued that independence was the only way to ensure a foreign alliance, since no European monarchs would deal with America if they remained Britain's colonies. American leaders had rejected the divine right of kings in the New World, but recognized the necessity of proving their credibility in the Old World. Congress formally adopted the resolution of independence, but only after creating three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a Model Treaty, the Articles of Confederation; the Declaration announced the states' entry into the international
Congress of the Confederation
The Congress of the Confederation, or the Confederation Congress, formally referred to as the United States in Congress Assembled, was the governing body of the United States of America that existed from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789. A unicameral body with legislative and executive function, it was composed of delegates appointed by the legislatures of the several states; each state delegation had one vote. It was preceded by the Second Continental Congress and governed under the newly adopted Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, which were proposed in 1776–1777, adopted by the Continental Congress in July 1778 and agreed to by a unanimous vote of all thirteen states by 1781, it was held up by a long dispute over the cession of western territories beyond the Appalachian Mountains to the central government led by Maryland and a coalition of smaller states without western claims. The plan was introduced by Maryland politician John Hanson and was referred to as'The Hanson Plan'; the newly reorganized Congress at the time continued to refer itself as the Continental Congress throughout its eight-year history, although modern historians separate it from the earlier bodies, which operated under different rules and procedures until the part of American Revolutionary War.
The membership of the Second Continental Congress automatically carried over to the Congress of the Confederation when the latter was created by the ratification of the Articles of Confederation. It had the same secretary as the Second Continental Congress, namely Charles Thomson; the Congress of the Confederation was succeeded by the Congress of the United States as provided for in the new Constitution of the United States, proposed September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia and ratified by the states through 1787 to 1788 and into 1789 and 1790. The Congress of the Confederation opened in the last stages of the American Revolution. Combat ended in October 1781, with the surrender of the British after the Siege and Battle of Yorktown; the British, continued to occupy New York City, while the American delegates in Paris, named by the Congress, negotiated the terms of peace with Great Britain. Based on preliminary articles with the British negotiators made on November 30, 1782, approved by the "Congress of the Confederation" on April 15, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was further signed on September 3, 1783, ratified by Confederation Congress sitting at the Maryland State House in Annapolis on January 14, 1784.
This formally ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the thirteen former colonies, which on July 4, 1776, had declared independence. In December 1783, General George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, journeyed to Annapolis after saying farewell to his officers and men who had just reoccupied New York City after the departing British Army. On December 23, at the Maryland State House, where the Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber, he addressed the civilian leaders and delegates of Congress and returned to them the signed commission they had voted him back in June 1775, at the beginning of the conflict. With that simple gesture of acknowledging the first civilian power over the military, he took his leave and returned by horseback the next day to his home and family at Mount Vernon near the colonial river port city on the Potomac River at Alexandria in Virginia. On March 1, 1781, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were signed by delegates of Maryland at a meeting of the Second Continental Congress, which declared the Articles ratified.
As historian Edmund Burnett wrote, "There was no new organization of any kind, not the election of a new President." The Congress still called itself the Continental Congress. Despite its being the same exact governing body, with some changes in membership over the years as delegates came and went individually according to their own personal reasons and upon instructions of their state governments, some modern historians would refer to the Continental Congress after the ratification of the Articles as the Congress of the Confederation or the Confederation Congress; the Congress had little power and without the external threat of a war against the British, it became more difficult to get enough delegates to meet to form a quorum. Nonetheless the Congress still managed to pass important laws, most notably the Northwest Ordinance of 1787; the War of Independence saddled the country with an enormous debt. In 1784, the total Confederation debt was nearly $40 million. Of that sum, $8 million was owed to the Dutch.
Of the domestic debt, government bonds, known as loan-office certificates, composed $11.5 million, certificates on interest indebtedness $3.1 million, continental certificates $16.7 million. The certificates were non-interest bearing notes issued for supplies purchased or impressed, to pay soldiers and officers. To pay the interest and principal of the debt, Congress had twice proposed an amendment to the Articles granting them the power to lay a 5% duty on imports, but amendments to the Articles required the consent of all thirteen states: the 1781 impost plan had been rejected by Rhode Island and Virginia, while the revised plan, discussed in 1783, was rejected by New York. Without revenue, except for meager voluntary state requisitions, Congress could not pay the interest on its outstanding debt. Meanwhile, the states failed, or refused, to meet the requisitions requested of them by Congress. To that end, in September 1786, after resolving a series of disputes regarding their common border along the Potomac River, delegates of Maryland and Virginia called for a larger assembly
Stamp Act Congress
The Stamp Act Congress, or First Congress of the American Colonies, was a meeting held between October 7 and 25, 1765, in New York City, consisting of representatives from some of the British colonies in North America. Parliament had passed the Stamp Act, which required the use of specially stamped paper for legal documents, playing cards, calendars and dice for all business in the colonies, was going into effect on November 1, 1765; the Congress was organized in response to a circular letter distributed by the colonial legislature of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, consisted of delegates from nine of the eighteen British colonies in North America. All nine of the attending delegations were from the Thirteen Colonies that formed the United States of America. Although sentiment was strong in some of the other colonies to participate in the Congress, a number of royal governors took steps to prevent the colonial legislatures from meeting to select delegates; the Congress met in the building now known as Federal Hall, was held at a time of widespread protests in the colonies, some of which were violent, against the Stamp Act's implementation.
The delegates discussed and united against the act, issuing a Declaration of Rights and Grievances in which they claimed that Parliament did not have the right to impose the tax because it did not include any representation from the colonies. Members of six of the nine delegations signed petitions addressed to Parliament and King George III objecting to the Act's provisions; the extra-legal nature of the Congress caused alarm in Britain, but any discussion of the congress's propriety were overtaken by economic protests from British merchants whose business with the colonies suffered as a consequence of the protests and their associated non-importation of British products. These economic issues prompted the British Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act, but it passed the Declaratory Act the same day, to express its opinion on the basic constitutional issues raised by the colonists. In the aftermath of the French and Indian War, the British Parliament sought to increase revenues from its overseas colonies, where the cost of stationing troops had become significant.
Parliament first passed the Sugar and Currency Acts in 1764 aimed at raising money for the Crown, through the tighter regulation of colonial trade. These acts had brought protests from colonial legislatures, but had skirted the idea of direct taxation by structuring their revenues as trade-related excise duties. Prime Minister George Grenville noted at the time of the Sugar Act's passage that a stamp tax might be necessary raising concern and protest in the colonies. With the Stamp Act of 1765, Parliament attempted to raise money through direct taxation on the colonies for the first time; the act required that all sorts of printed material carry a stamp to show that the tax had been paid. Use of the stamped paper was required for newspapers, court documents, commercial papers, land deeds, almanacs and playing cards; the revenue was to help finance the operations of the empire, including the cost of stationing troops in the colonies, without seeking revenue through the established colonial assemblies.
In June 1765, the Massachusetts Assembly drafted a letter, sent to the legislatures of "the several Colonies on this Continent" to "consult together on the present circumstances of the colonies". Nine colonies selected delegates to attend the congress: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and South Carolina. All of the delegates selected were members of their colonial legislative bodies; the methods by which delegates were selected were in some cases unorthodox. In Delaware known as the "Three Lower Counties" of the Penn proprietors, assembly members held informal meetings in each of the three counties, in each case selecting the same three delegates. In New York, the assembly had been prorogued and was judged unlikely to be summoned by Lieutenant Governor Colden to consider the Massachusetts letter; the assembly's committee of correspondence, consisting of its New York City delegates, discussed the letter and decided under the circumstances to assume the authority to represent the colony.
New Jersey's assembly politely declined to send delegates before adjourning in late June, but after political sentiment against the Stamp Act became more pronounced, Speaker Robert Ogden called an extra-legal assembly in late September that chose three delegates. Governor William Franklin was upset at this action, but took no action beyond protesting the unusual meeting. Maryland's assembly, prorogued because of a smallpox outbreak, was called into session by Governor Horatio Sharpe to consider the Massachusetts letter on September 23, delegates were chosen; the colonies that were not represented at the congress did not send delegates for a variety of reasons. The Virginia and Georgia assemblies were deliberately prevented from meeting by their governors. New Hampshire chose not to send delegates due to an ongoing financial crisis in the colony. North Carolina Lieutenant Governor William Tryon had prorogued the assembly for other reasons, there was apparently
First Continental Congress
The First Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from twelve of the Thirteen Colonies who met from September 5 to October 26, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, early in the American Revolution. It was called in response to the Intolerable Acts passed by the British Parliament, which the British referred to as the Coercive Acts, with which the British intended to punish Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party; the Congress met to consider options, including an economic boycott of British trade and drawing up a list of rights and grievances. The Congress called for another Continental Congress in the event that their petition was unsuccessful in halting enforcement of the Intolerable Acts, their appeal to the Crown had no effect, so the Second Continental Congress was convened the following year to organize the defense of the colonies at the onset of the American Revolutionary War. The delegates urged each colony to set up and train its own militia; the Congress met from September 5 to October 26, 1774.
Peyton Randolph presided over the proceedings. Charles Thomson, leader of the Philadelphia Committee of Correspondence, was selected to be Secretary of the Continental Congress; the delegates who attended were not of one mind concerning. Conservatives such as Joseph Galloway, John Dickinson, John Jay, Edward Rutledge believed their task to be forging policies to pressure Parliament to rescind its unreasonable acts, their ultimate goal was to develop a reasonable solution to the difficulties and bring about reconciliation between the Colonies and Great Britain. Others such as Patrick Henry, Roger Sherman, Samuel Adams, John Adams believed their task to be developing a decisive statement of the rights and liberties of the Colonies, their ultimate goal was to end what they felt to be the abuses of parliamentary authority, to retain their rights, guaranteed under both Colonial charters and the English constitution. Roger Sherman denied the legislative authority of Parliament, Patrick Henry believed that the Congress needed to develop a new system of government, independent from Great Britain, for the existing Colonial governments were dissolved.
In contrast to these ideas, Joseph Galloway put forward a "Plan of Union" which suggested that an American legislative body be formed with some authority, whose consent would be required for imperial measures. In the end, the voices of compromise carried the day. Rather than calling for independence, the First Continental Congress passed and signed the Continental Association in its Declaration and Resolves, which called for a boycott of British goods to take effect in December 1774, it requested that local Committees of Safety enforce the boycott and regulate local prices for goods. These resolutions adopted by the Congress did not endorse any legal power of Parliament to regulate trade, but consented, nonetheless, to the operation of acts for that purpose. Furthermore, they did not repudiate control by the royal prerogative, explicitly acknowledged in the Petition to the King a few days later; the Congress had two primary accomplishments. The first was a compact among the Colonies to boycott British goods beginning on December 1, 1774.
The West Indies were threatened with a boycott unless the islands agreed to non-importation of British goods. Imports from Britain dropped by 97 percent compared with the previous year. Committees of observation and inspection were to be formed in each Colony to ensure compliance with the boycott. All of the Colonial Houses of Assembly approved the proceedings of the Congress, with the exception of New York. If the Intolerable Acts were not repealed, the Colonies would cease exports to Britain after September 10, 1775; the boycott was implemented, but its potential for altering British colonial policy was cut off by the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The second accomplishment of the Congress was to provide for a Second Continental Congress to meet on May 10, 1775. In addition to the Colonies which had sent delegates to the First Continental Congress, the Congress resolved on October 21, 1774, to send letters of invitation to Quebec, Saint John's Island, Nova Scotia, East Florida, West Florida.
However, letters appear to have been sent only to Quebec. None of these other colonies sent delegates to the opening of the Second Congress, though a delegation from Georgia arrived the following July. List of delegates to the Continental and Confederation congresses Papers of the Continental Congress Timeline of United States revolutionary history Bancroft, George. History of the United States of America, from the discovery of the American continent. Vol 4-10 online edition Burnett, Edmund C.. The Continental Congress. Greenwood Publishing. ISBN 0-8371-8386-3. Henderson, H. James. Party Politics in the Continental Congress. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8191-6525-5. Launitz-Schurer, Loyal Whigs and Revolutionaries, The making of the revolution in New York, 1765-1776, 1980, ISBN 0-8147-4994-1 Ketchum, Divided Loyalties, How the American Revolution came to New York, 2002, ISBN 0-8050-6120-7 Miller, John C. Origins of the American Revolution online edition Puls, Samuel Adams, father of the American Revolution, 2006, ISBN 1-4039-7582-5 Montross, Lynn.
The Reluctant Rebels. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-389-03973-X. Primary sourcesPeter Force, ed. American Archives, 9 vol 1837-1853, major compilation of documents 1774-1776
John Hancock was an American merchant and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, he is remembered for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence, so much so that the term "John Hancock" has become a synonym in the United States for one's signature. Before the American Revolution, Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in the Thirteen Colonies, having inherited a profitable mercantile business from his uncle, he began his political career in Boston as a protégé of Samuel Adams, an influential local politician, though the two men became estranged. Hancock used his wealth to support the colonial cause as tensions increased between colonists and Great Britain in the 1760s, he became popular in Massachusetts after British officials seized his sloop Liberty in 1768 and charged him with smuggling. Those charges were dropped. Hancock was one of Boston's leaders during the crisis that led to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775.
He served more than two years in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, he was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence in his position as president of Congress. He returned to Massachusetts and was elected governor of the Commonwealth, serving in that role for most of his remaining years, he used his influence to ensure that Massachusetts ratified the United States Constitution in 1788. John Hancock was born on January 23, 1737 in Braintree, Massachusetts in a part of town that became the separate city of Quincy, he was the son of Col. John Hancock Jr. of Braintree and Mary Hawke Thaxter, from nearby Hingham. As a child, Hancock became a casual acquaintance of young John Adams, whom the Reverend Hancock had baptized in 1735; the Hancocks lived a comfortable life, owned one slave to help with household work. After Hancock's father died in 1744, John was sent to live with his uncle and aunt, Thomas Hancock and Lydia Hancock. Thomas Hancock was the proprietor of a firm known as the House of Hancock, which imported manufactured goods from Britain and exported rum, whale oil, fish.
Thomas Hancock's successful business made him one of Boston's richest and best-known residents. He and Lydia, along with several slaves, lived in Hancock Manor on Beacon Hill; the couple, who did not have any children of their own, became the dominant influence on John's life. After graduating from the Boston Latin School in 1750, Hancock enrolled in Harvard College and received a bachelor's degree in 1754. Upon graduation, he began to work for his uncle, just as the Indian War had begun. Thomas Hancock had close relations with the royal governors of Massachusetts and secured profitable government contracts during the war. John Hancock learned much about his uncle's business during these years and was trained for eventual partnership in the firm. Hancock worked hard, but he enjoyed playing the role of a wealthy aristocrat and developed a fondness for expensive clothes. From 1760 to 1761, Hancock lived in England while building relationships with customers and suppliers. Upon returning to Boston, Hancock took over the House of Hancock as his uncle's health failed, becoming a full partner in January 1763.
He became a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew in October 1762, which connected him with many of Boston's most influential citizens; when Thomas Hancock died in August 1764, John inherited the business, Hancock Manor, two or three household slaves, thousands of acres of land, becoming one of the wealthiest men in the colonies. The household slaves continued to work for John and his aunt, but were freed through the terms of Thomas Hancock's will. After its victory in the Seven Years' War, the British Empire was in debt. Looking for new sources of revenue, the British Parliament sought, for the first time, to directly tax the colonies, beginning with the Sugar Act of 1764; the earlier Molasses Act of 1733, a tax on shipments from the West Indies, had produced hardly any revenue because it was bypassed by smuggling, seen as a victimless crime. Not only was there little social stigma attached to smuggling in the colonies, but in port cities, where trade was the primary generator of wealth, smuggling enjoyed considerable community support, it was possible to obtain insurance against being caught.
Colonial merchants developed an impressive repertoire of evasive maneuvers to conceal the origin, nationality and content of their illicit cargoes. This included the frequent use of fraudulent paperwork to make the cargo appear legal and authorised, and much to the frustration of the British authorities, when seizures did happen local merchants were able to use sympathetic provincial courts to reclaim confiscated goods and have their cases dismissed. For instance, Edward Randolph, the appointed head of customs in New England, brought 36 seizures to trial from 1680 to the end of 1682 – and all but two of these were acquitted. Alternatively merchants sometimes took matters into their own hands and stole illicit goods back while impounded; the Sugar Act provoked outrage in Boston, where it was viewed as a violation of colonial rights. Men such as James Otis and Samuel Adams argued that because the colonists were not represented in Parliament, they could not be taxed by that body.
Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania
Lower Merion Township is a township in Montgomery County and part of the Philadelphia Main Line. As of the 2016 U. S. Census, the township had a total population of 58,288. Lower Merion has the 5th highest per-capita income and the 12th highest median household income in the country with a population of 50,000 or more; the name Merion originates with the county of Merioneth in north Wales. Merioneth is an English-language translation of the Welsh Meirionnydd. Lower Merion, along with Upper Darby, Cheltenham together form as the major inner ring suburbs of Philadelphia. Lower Merion Township was first settled in 1682 by Welsh Quakers who were granted a tract of land by William Penn. In 1713, Lower Merion was established as an independent Township with about 52 landholders and tenants. In 1900, the Township was incorporated as a Township of the First Class. Lower Merion is home to the oldest continuously used place of worship in the United States, the Merion Friends Meeting House, used continuously since 1695.
The Mill Creek Historic District, Seville Theatre are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Green Hill Farms was added in 2011. In 2010, the township received national media attention when a student filed a lawsuit — Robbins v. Lower Merion School District — after a school administrator used the webcam of a school-issued laptop to spy on the student while the student was in his home; the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief in support of the student. In 2012, the Federal Highway Administration modified the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices in a way that would have required the replacement of Lower Merion's historic street signs, some of which date back to the early 1910s. After some campaigning by local residents and by Senator Pat Toomey, the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners declared, via an ordinance, the entire Lower Merion as a historic district and received a waiver from Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 23.9 square miles, of which, 23.7 square miles of it is land and 0.2 square miles of it is water. The Township is bounded by the Wynnefield Heights, Belmont Village and Overbrook communities in the city of Philadelphia; the Borough of Narberth, a separate political entity of one-half square mile, is surrounded by the Township. Forming the Township's southern border is City Avenue separating it from the City of Philadelphia. Along City Ave, starting with the Schuylkill Expressway and continuing on to Lord & Taylor at Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd, is what is known as the "Golden Mile" which includes the radio and television studios of WCAU, the Exxon Building, the Fox Building and the Germantown Savings Bank Building. In back of these buildings are the Bala Cynwyd Plazas; the Township's eastern border is along the Schuylkill River, paralleled by the Schuylkill Expressway, a limited access roadway that connects to Philadelphia and the Valley Forge Interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The famed Mid-County Interchange is located just outside the Township. Other highways serving the Township are U. S. Route 30 and Pennsylvania Routes 23 and 320. Before European settlement, Lower Merion's dense forest was home to bears, wolves, otters, weasels, grouses, woodland bison and bald eagles; when Europeans arrived, they began chasing away much of the wildlife. After World War Two, Lower Merion transformed from a farming township to a suburban one, wildlife changed accordingly. Today, red foxes, white-footed mice, horned owls, raccoons, songbirds and white-tailed deer populate the township. Ardmore Bala Cynwyd Belmont Hills Bryn Mawr Gladwyne Haverford Merion Overbrook Hills Pencoyd Penn Valley Penn Wynne Roseglen Rosemont Villanova Wynnewood As of the 2010 census, the township was 85.7% White, 5.6% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 6.0% Asian, 1.9% were two or more races. 3.0% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry. As of the census of 2000, there were 59,850 people, 22,868 households, 15,024 families residing in the township.
The population density was 2,526.1 people per square mile. There were 23,699 housing units at an average density of 1,000.3/sq mi. The racial makeup of the township was 90.30% White, 4.50% African American, 0.08% Native American, 3.42% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.60% of the population. There were 22,868 households, out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.3% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals, 12.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.99. In the township the population was spread out, with 21.7% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64 and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years.
For every 100 females, there were 83.5 males. For every 100 women aged 18 and over, there were 78.7 males. The median
The Lee Resolution was the formal assertion passed by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776 which declared the establishment of a new country of United Colonies as independent from the British Empire, creating what became the United States of America. News of this act was published that evening in the Pennsylvania Evening Post and the next day in the Pennsylvania Gazette; the text of the document formally announcing this action was the Declaration of Independence, approved two days on July 4, 1776, celebrated as Independence Day. The resolution is named for Richard Henry Lee of Virginia who proposed it to Congress after receiving instructions from the Virginia Convention and its President Edmund Pendleton. Lee's full resolution had three parts which were considered by Congress on June 7, 1776. Along with the independence issue, it proposed to establish a plan for ensuing American foreign relations, to prepare a plan of a confederation for the states to consider. Congress decided to address each of these three parts separately.
Some sources indicate that Lee used the language from the Virginia Convention's instructions verbatim. Voting was delayed for several weeks on the first part of the resolution while state support and legislative instruction for independence were consolidated, but the press of events forced the other less-discussed parts to proceed immediately. On June 10, Congress decided to form a committee to draft a declaration of independence in case the resolution should pass. On June 11, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston were appointed as the Committee of Five to accomplish this; that same day, Congress decided to establish two other committees to develop the resolution's last two parts. The following day, another committee of five was established to prepare a plan of treaties to be proposed to foreign powers; the committee appointed to prepare a plan of treaties made its first report on July 18 in the writing of John Adams. A limited printing of the document was authorized, it was reviewed and amended by Congress over the next five weeks.
On August 27, the amended plan of treaties was referred back to the committee to develop instructions concerning the amendments, Richard Henry Lee and James Wilson were added to the committee. Two days the committee was empowered to prepare further instructions and report back to Congress; the formal version of the plan of treaties was adopted on September 17. On September 24, Congress approved negotiating instructions for commissioners to obtain a treaty with France, based on the template provided in the plan of treaties. Alliance with France was considered vital if the war with England was to be won and the newly declared country was to survive; the committee drafting a plan of confederation was chaired by John Dickinson. Long debates followed on such issues as sovereignty, the exact powers to be given the confederate government, whether to have a judiciary, voting procedures; the final draft of the Articles of Confederation was prepared during the summer of 1777 and approved by Congress for ratification by the individual states on November 15, 1777, after a year of debate.
It continued in use from that time onward, although it was not ratified by all states until four years on March 1, 1781. When the American Revolutionary War began in 1775, few colonists in British North America advocated independence from Great Britain. Support for independence grew in 1776 after the publication of Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense in January of that year. In the Second Continental Congress, the movement towards independence was guided principally by an informal alliance of delegates known as the "Adams-Lee Junto", after Samuel Adams and John Adams of Massachusetts and Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. On May 15, 1776, the revolutionary Virginia Convention meeting in Williamsburg, passed a resolution instructing Virginia's delegates in the Continental Congress "to propose to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent States, absolved from all allegiance to, or dependence upon, the Crown or Parliament of Great Britain". In accordance with those instructions, on June 7, Richard Henry Lee proposed the resolution to Congress and it was seconded by John Adams.
Resolved, That these United Colonies are, of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, ought to be dissolved. That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances; that a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation. Congress as a whole was not yet ready to declare independence at that moment, because the delegates from some of the colonies, including Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, had not yet been authorized to vote for independence. Voting on the first clause of Lee's resolution was therefore postponed for three weeks while advocates of independence worked to build support in the colonial governments for the resolution. Meanwhile, a Committee of Five was appointed to prepare a formal declaration so that it would be ready when