Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 9: New York Resolves Unanimously

On June 30, 1776, the British fleet under Admiral Richard Lord Howe appeared off Staten Island. The fleet carried the British Army, under the Admiral's brother General Sir William Howe. The Convention of the Representatives of New York, with hundreds of others, left New York City on June 30.

On July 9, 1776, the Convention reconvened in White Plains to consider the Declaration of Independence issued by the Continental Congress. The Convention of the Representatives of New York "Resolved unanimously, That the reasons assigned by the Continental Congress for declaring the United Colonies free and independent States, arc cogent and conclusive; and that while we lament the cruel necessity which has rendered that measure unavoidable, we approve the same, and will, at the risk of our lives and fortunes, join with the other Colonies in supporting it."

The Convention sent a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Convention's resolution to the County Committee of Westchester. The Convention asked the Westchester Committee to publish both documents, "with the beat of drum," at White Plains the following Thursday (July 11). The Convention also resolved that copies be sent "to the other County Committees within the State of New York, with orders to cause the same to be published in the several Districts of their respective Counties."

Brandies historian David Hackett Fischer wrote that George III considered the Howe brothers his cousins. For an interesting account of the Howe brothers and their likely relation to the Hanoverian kings of England, please consult David Hackett Fischer, Washington's Crossing(New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), pages 66-67.
Paul Herbert Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789: Vol. 4: May 16-August 14, 1776 (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1979), page 372 note 1; Peter Force, ed., American Archives, Fourth Series, 6 vols. and Fifth Series, 3 vols. (Washington, D.C.: M. St. Clair and Peter Force, 1837-1853) Series 5, Volume 1: Page 205; David Hackett Fischer, Washington's Cross (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), pages 66-67.
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