New York Provincial Congress

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The New York Provincial Congress (1775-1777) was an organization formed by colonists in 1775, during the American Revolution, as a pro-American alternative to the more conservative Province of New York Assembly, and as a replacement for the Committee of One Hundred.

First Provincial Congress[edit]

A Provincial Convention assembled in New York City on April 20, 1775 with Philip Livingston as its chairman. All counties other than Tryon, Gloucester, and Cumberland were represented. Delegates were elected to the Second Continental Congress, which included the delegates to the first congress and also five new members. The scope of the Provincial Convention did not extend beyond electing delegates, and they dispersed on April 22. [1] On April 23, news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord arrived.

Notable members (partial list): Abraham Yates, Jr.; Nathaniel Woodhull; James Clinton; Robert Van Rensselaer; Abraham Ten Broeck; Richard Montgomery; Melancton Smith; Walter Livingston; Robert Yates; Henry Glen; Isaac Roosevelt; Gouverneur Morris; Philip Van Cortlandt; Ezra L'Hommedieu; John Sloss Hobart; Isaac Low; Stephen Ward, Patriot; Paul Spooner.[2]

Second Provincial Congress[edit]

The Second Provincial Congress was organized on December 6, 1775 and sat in New York City, and continued until adjournment on May 13, 1776. In January, 1776, George Washington ordered Major General Charles Lee to prepare New York City for the coming British attack. In February, the provincial congress initially refused Lee's entry, but then agreed and also decided to stop provisioning the British ships in New York harbor.

Third Provincial Congress[edit]

The Third Provincial Congress was organized on May 22, 1776. It continued in session until June 30, 1776. It instructed its delegates to the 2nd Continental Congress to oppose independence. On May 31, 1776, the Continental Congress recommended that each of the provinces establish themselves as states. On June 17, the provincial congress called a new election with the delegates vested with the power to declare independence. In June, Howe's forces appeared in New York Harbor.

First Constitutional Convention[edit]

The Fourth Provincial Congress convened in White Plains on July 9, 1776 and became known as the First Constitutional Convention. It declared the independent state of New York on July 9, 1776. On the same day the Declaration of Independence was read by George Washington on the commons of New York City to the Continental Army and local citizens, who celebrated by tearing down the statue of George III in Bowling Green. On July 10, 1776, the Fourth Provincial Congress changed its name to the Convention of Representatives of the State of New York, and "acts as legislature without an executive." While adjourned it left a Committee of Safety in charge.

The Constitution of the State of New York was adopted on April 20, 1777. The governor would be elected not appointed, voting qualifications were reduced, secret ballots were introduced, and civil rights were guaranteed. On July 9, 1778 the State of New York signed the Articles of Confederation and officially became part of the government of the United States of America, though it had been a part of the nation as representative were signatories to the Declartion in 1776.

President of Provincial Congress[edit]

1st Provincial Congress

2nd Provincial Congress

3rd Provincial Congress

4th Provincial Congress and Representative Convention

Chairmen of the Committee of Safety[edit]

President of the Council of Safety[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Google Book The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (page 47; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)]
  2. ^ New York Department of State, Calendar of Historical Manuscripts, Relating to the War of the Revolution, Volume I, 1868, page 86

References[edit]

  • Fernow, Berthold, New York in the Revolution, 1887
  • Launitz-Schurer, Leopold, Loyal Whigs and Revolutionaries, The making of the revolution in New York, 1765-1776, 1980, ISBN 0-8147-4994-1

See also[edit]