New York Provincial Congress
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
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.  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.
Second Provincial Congress
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
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
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 Declaration in 1776.
President of Provincial Congress
1st Provincial Congress
- Peter Van Brugh Livingston May 23, 1775
- Nathaniel Woodhull Aug 23, 1775 pro tem
- Abraham Yates Nov 2, 1775 pro tem
2nd Provincial Congress
- Nathaniel Woodhull Dec 6, 1775
- John Haring Dec 16, 1775 pro tem
- Nathaniel Woodhull Feb 12, 1776 pro tem
3rd Provincial Congress
4th Provincial Congress and Representative Convention
- Nathaniel Woodhull Jul 9, 1776
- Abraham Yates Aug 10, 1776 pro tem
- Abraham Yates Aug 28, 1776
- Peter Van Brugh Livingston Sep 26, 1776
- Abraham Ten Broeck Mar 6, 1777
- Leonard Gansevoort Apr 18, 1777
Chairmen of the Committee of Safety
- Nathaniel Woodhull July 10, 1776 to August 10, 1776
- Abraham Yates August 10, 1776 to September 26, 1776
- Peter Van Brugh Livingston September 26, 1776 to March 6, 1777
- Abraham Ten Broeck March 6, 1777 to April 9, 1777
- William Smith April 9, 1777 to April 11, 1777
- Pierre Van Cortlandt April 11, 1777 to April 18, 1777
- Leonard Gansevoort April 18, 1777 to May 14, 1777
President of the Council of Safety
- Pierre Van Cortlandt May 14, 1777 to July 30, 1777
- Google Book The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (page 47; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)]
- New York Department of State, Calendar of Historical Manuscripts, Relating to the War of the Revolution, Volume I, 1868, page 86
- 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