The Conference of Committees urges its more pacifist associates to military action by declaring that they were fighting for “permanent liberty, to be supported by your government, derived from you, and organized for all and not for the benefit of one man or class or men.”
Off the coast of South Carolina, after spending three weeks getting his fleet across a sandbar, Commodore Peter Parker’s postponed plans to bombard the fort on Sullivan’s Island due to unfavorable wind and tidal conditions.
Benedict Arnold informs General Washington of the continued bad news from Canada and the necessity of retreat: “By this express, you will receive advice From Genl Schuyler of our evacuateing Canada, an event which I make no doubt (from our distressed situation) you have some time expected, the particulars of Genl Thompsons repulse, & Captivity, as nearly as could be ascertained, have ben transmitted, you. on advice of which, very direct Intelligence that the Enemy were greatly superior to us In numbers, I advised Genl Sullivan to secure his retreat by retireing to St Johns. he was determined to keep his Post at Sorell, If posible & did not retire untill the 14th Inst. at which time the Enemy were as high up with their Ships as the Sorell—The 15th at Night when the Enemy were at Twelve Miles distance from me I quitted Montreal, with my little Garrison of Three hundred Men[.] The whole Army with their Baggage & Cannon, (except three heavy peices left at Chamble), Arived at St Johns the 17th & at the Ile Aux Noix the 18th previous to which it was Determined by a Counsil of Warr, at St Johns that in Our distressed Situation, (One half of the Army Sick & allmost the whole, destitute of Cloathing & every necessary of Life except Salt Pork & Flour) It was not only Imprudent but Impracticable to keep Possession of St Johns.”
In Philadelphia, congress receives continued requests from the Maryland delegation that the vote on Independence be delayed. Writing to Sam Chase, who continues to try to drum up support for independence, John Adams writes, “Don’t be angry with me,” but informs him that it is not possible for Congress to delay the July 1 discussion of independence. Such a delay “would hazard Convulsions and dangerous Conspiracies.” Meanwhile, New York too continues to push for delay. New York is divided between radicals who agree with Sam Adams and more conservative members who continue to hope for reconciliation. To many New Yorkers, any declaration of independence is a dangerous and unnecessary step.
To hear the whole story of the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the manner in which this paper defines not only the war effort but what it will mean to be an American, join Bow Tie Tours on July 4th for our 7-hour July 4th Extravaganza! (You will see the room where the Declaration of Independence was written, and the room where it was signed!) Or let us take you to Valley Forge (or one of the nearby battlefield sites) to learn from a battlefield expert how a motley crew of disorganized farmers and merchants defeated the greatest empire in the world!