July 12, 1776


John Dickinson’s Articles of Confederation are presented to Congress.  This will create a confederation of the states that provides very little central power.  Throughout the course of the war the Congress will find itself begging the states to provide support for the war effort.

The Congress, concerned about the regions around the Great Lakes, directed General Philip Schuyler to order the construction of galleys to protect Lake Ontario and sought to establish how large a naval force would be necessary to secure Lake Erie.

In New York, Admiral Richard Howe arrives on Staten Island with over 100 ships and 11,000 soldiers.  He joins forces with his brother General Sir William Howe.

George Washington writes to John Hancock to inform him of the precarious circumstances in New York:  “The design of this is to inform Congress, that at about half after three oClock this Evening Two of the Enemies Ships of War, one of Forty and the other of Twenty Guns with three Tenders weighed Anchor in the bay opposite Staten Island and availing themselves of a brisk & favourable breeze with a flowing Tide run past our Batteries up the North river without receiving any certain damage that I could perceive notwithstanding a heavy and Incessant Canonade was kept up from our several Batteries here as well as from that at paulus Hook. they on their part returnd and continued the fire as they run by. I dispatched an Express to Brigadr Genl Mifflin at our Encampment towards the upper end of the Island, but have not heard whether they have got by or received any damage. The Account transmitted by this mornings post respecting the Arrival of one of the Fleet seems to be confirmed—Several Ships have come in to day, among them, one this Evening with a St Georges Flag at her Fore topmast head which we conclude to be Admiral Howe from the circumstance of the Flag, and the several and General Salutes that were paid. It is probable they will all arrive in a day or two and immediately begin their operations.  As It will be extremely necessary that the Flying Camp should be well provided with powder and Ball, and It may be impracticable to send supplies from hence on account of our hurry and engagements, besides the communication may be incertain. I must beg the attention of Congress to this matter, and request that they will forward with all possible expedition such a Quantity of Muskett powder and Lead If Balls of different sizes cannot be had, as will be sufficient for the Militia to compose that Camp. By an Express this minute arrived from Genl Mifflin the Ships have past his Works.”

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours.  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets for Independence Hall.  For the true history fan, join us in one of our battle tours, including Washington Crossing to learn the true story of the Battle at Trenton.  And there is always Valley Forge, the birthplace of the army that defeated the English.  Finally, if you are interested in one of our history vacation packages, join us for our Washington or Jefferson trips.


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