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Acts; the Second Continental Congress met on May 10, 1775 to plan further responses if the British government had not repealed or modified the acts.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
Grand Lodge of New York
The Grand Lodge of New York is the largest and oldest independent organization of Freemasons in the U. S. state of New York. It was at one time the largest grand lodge in the world in terms of membership; the Grand Lodge is over 230 years old, having been founded December 15, 1782. GLoNY acts as the coordinating body for many functions undertaken throughout the state, its various committees organize blood drives, the New York Masonic Safety Identification Program - and charitable events around New York. The GLoNY has jurisdiction over 60,000 Freemasons, organized in more than 800 Lodges, most of them located within New York State, it is not known when the first Freemason set foot in the American colony of New York, but the first documented presence dates from the mid-1730s, when Daniel Coxe, Jr. was appointed by the Duke of Norfolk, the Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge of England, to act as a Provincial Grand Master for the provinces of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. As no authenticated records exist of his tenure as Provincial Grand Master, it seems doubtful that he exercised any authority in Masonic endeavors as he died a few years after his appointment.
From 1738 to the 1780s, additional Warrants were issued by GLE to Francis Goelet, to George Harrison and to Sir John Johnson. As Johnson was a supporter of the British during the American Revolution, he is believed to have taken his warrant with him when he fled to Canada, thus leaving the Moderns Lodges without a Provincial Grand Master. To further complicate matters, by the 1750s, the Antient Grand Lodge of England, a rival Masonic Grand Lodge, had created a Provincial Grand Lodge of New York, which subsequently chartered lodges under its own jurisdiction. Additional lodges were chartered in New York by the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Grand Lodge of Ireland; the Ancients retained their charter throughout the Revolution, it was based upon this charter that an independent Grand Lodge of New York was created in 1781, with Robert R. Livingston as Grand Master; the Grand Lodge of New York was organized on December 15, 1782, under the Provincial Grand Warrant dated September 5, 1781, from the “Athol” or Antient Grand Lodge of England.
The Grand Lodge declared its independence and assumed its modern title “Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York” on June 6, 1787. While the "Athol" Charter descended from the "Ancients", Livingston himself was a member of a "Modern" Lodge, thus the two rival Grand Lodge traditions, which in England did not unite until 1813, had merged before that in New York State. St. John's Lodge, chartered in 1757, is the oldest operating Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of New York. St. John's Lodge is the custodian of. On April 30, 1789, it was upon this Bible that George Washington took his oath of office as the first President of the United States. In 2009, the Lodge formed a registered public charity for the purpose of preserving and restoring the George Washington Inaugural Bible. In 2014, the St. John's Lodge No. 1 Foundation, Inc. received recognition as an IRS 5013. GLoNY has a long history of supporting charitable causes. Among the organizations that are rooted in its charitable endeavors are, the Masonic Medical Research Institute, Acacia Village and Masonic Home in Utica.
The Grand Lodge sponsors Child Identification Programs and Alcohol Awareness programs in schools, gives thousands of dollars a day to worthy charities around the State. In May 2012, at its Grand Lodge Session, GLoNY had approved the findings of a Special Committee which has determined that certain Grand Lodges, notably those following the Swedish Rite, restrict their membership to members of the Christian faith; as a consequence of this, the members of the Grand Lodge of New York voted unanimously that non-Christian Masons living in these Grand Jurisdictions will not come under the exclusivity enjoyed by said Grand Lodges. A notice was sent out to all Grand Lodges with which the GLoNY is in amity, that the GLoNY will recognize as Regular any Lodges opened up in these territories by any other regular Grand Lodge. Furthermore, the committee's tenure was continued for an additional two years in order to determine if further measures need to be taken; the Organization of Triangles Inc. is a Masonic youth movement for young women aged between 10 and 21 years old.
The Organization of Triangles Inc. was founded in 1925 by Rose E. Scherer in the State of New York. For over ninety years, the Triangle has provided the young a vibrant and dynamic group where they can make friends and improve; the triangle form the character, is a service-oriented fraternity that builds a basis for its members to develop their life skills and leadership skills, public speaking, the value of teamwork and self-esteem. Members have opportunities to express their opinions, learn how to make their ideas a reality, helping others around them to form friendships with other members, all in a safe and controlled environment; the founder of the Organization of Triangles Inc. Rose E. Scherer was born in the city of New York. Scherer was Great Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star. Scherer conceived the idea of a fraternal group for young daughters of the Order of the Easte
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
John Jay was an American statesman, diplomat, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and signatory of the Treaty of Paris of 1783, second Governor of New York, the first Chief Justice of the United States. He directed U. S. foreign policy for much of the 1780s and was an important leader of the Federalist Party after the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788. Jay was born into a wealthy family of merchants and New York City government officials of French and Dutch descent, he became a lawyer and joined the New York Committee of Correspondence, organizing opposition to British policies in the time preceding the American Revolution. Jay was elected to the Second Continental Congress, served as President of the Congress. From 1779 to 1782, Jay served as the ambassador to Spain, he served as a negotiator of the Treaty of Paris, in which Britain recognized American independence. Following the end of the war, Jay served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, directing United States foreign policy under the Articles of Confederation government.
He served as the first Secretary of State on an interim basis. A proponent of strong, centralized government, Jay worked to ratify the United States Constitution in New York in 1788, he was a co-author of The Federalist Papers along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, wrote five of the 85 essays. After the establishment of the new federal government, Jay was appointed by President George Washington the first Chief Justice of the United States, serving from 1789 to 1795; the Jay Court experienced a light workload. In 1794, while serving as Chief Justice, Jay negotiated the controversial Jay Treaty with Britain. Jay received a handful of electoral votes in three of the first four presidential elections, but never undertook a serious bid for the presidency. Jay served as the Governor of New York from 1795 to 1801. Long an opponent of slavery, he helped enact a law that provided for the gradual emancipation of slaves, the institution of slavery was abolished in New York in Jay's lifetime. In the waning days of President John Adams's administration, Jay was confirmed by the Senate for another term as Chief Justice, but he declined the position and retired to his farm in Westchester County, New York.
The Jays were a prominent merchant family in New York City, descended from Huguenots who had come to New York to escape religious persecution in France. In 1685 the Edict of Nantes had been revoked, thereby abolishing the rights of Protestants and confiscating their property. Among those affected was Jay's paternal grandfather, Augustus Jay, he moved from France with his sister Saint Jay to the Virginia Colonies and New York, where he built a successful merchant empire. Jay's father, Peter Jay, born in New York City in 1704, became a wealthy trader in furs, wheat and other commodities. Jay's mother was Mary Van Cortlandt, in the Dutch Church, they had ten children together. Mary's father, Jacobus Van Cortlandt, had been born in New Amsterdam in 1658. Cortlandt served on the New York Assembly, was twice mayor of New York City, held a variety of judicial and military offices. Two of his children married into the Jay family. Jay was born on December 1745, in New York City. Jay spent his childhood in Rye.
He was educated there by his mother until he was eight years old, when he was sent to New Rochelle to study under Anglican priest Pierre Stoupe. In 1756, after three years, he would return to homeschooling in Rye under the tutelage of his mother and George Murray. In 1760, Jay attended King's College, now known as Columbia University, as an undergraduate, he entered college at the age of 14. During this time, Jay made many influential friends, including his closest, Robert Livingston, the son of a prominent New York aristocrat and Supreme Court justice. Jay took the same political stand as a staunch Whig. In 1764 he graduated from King's College and became a law clerk for Benjamin Kissam, a prominent lawyer and sought-after instructor in the law. In addition to Jay, Kissam's students included Lindley Murray. In 1768, after reading law and being admitted to the bar of New York, with the money from the government, established a legal practice and worked there until he created his own law office in 1771.
He was a member of the New York Committee of Correspondence in 1774 and became its secretary, his first public role in the revolution. Jay represented the conservative faction, interested in protecting property rights and in preserving the rule of law, while resisting what it regarded as British violations of American rights; this faction feared the prospect of "mob rule". He believed the British tax measures were wrong and thought Americans were morally and justified in resisting them, but as a delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1774, Jay sided with those who wanted conciliation with Parliament. Events such as the burning of Norfolk, Virginia, by British troops in January 1776 pushed Jay to support independence. With the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, he worked tirelessly for the revolutionary cause and acted to suppress the Loyalists. Jay evolved into first a moderate, an ardent Patriot, because he had decided that all the colonies' efforts at reconciliation with Britain were fruitles
George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R