May 18, 1776


A resolution in Congress requests the Committee of Secret Correspondence to dispatch vessels to the French West Indies to purchase at least 10,000 muskets and to learn, if possible, whether the large French military force concentrated there would act “for or against the colonies.”

Richard Henry Lee sends John Adams the following exciting news:  “Inclosed you have a printed Resolve [calling to ‘declare the United Colonies free and independent states,’ and the convention further resolved that a committee be named to set forth a declaration of rights and draft a plan of government for the colony] which passed our Convention to the infinite joy of our people. The Resolve for Independency has not that peremtory and decided Air I could wish. Perhaps the proviso which reserves to this Colony the power of forming its own Government may be questionable as to its fitness. Would not a Uniform plan of Government prepared for America by the Congress and approved by the Colonies be a surer foundation of Unceasing Harmony to the whole. However such as they are the exultation here was extreme. The british flag on the Capitol was immediately Struck and the Continental hoisted in its room. The troops were drawn out and we had a discharge of Artillery and small arms.”

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