FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS The First Continental Congress

The First Continental Congress met in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia, from September 5, to
October 26, 1774. All of the colonies except Georgia sent delegates. The Congress voted to
cut off colonial trade with Great Britain unless Parliament abolished the Intolerable Acts. It
approved resolutions advising the colonies to begin training their citizens for war. The colonies
presented there were united in a determination to show a combined authority to Great Britain,
but their aims were not uniform at all. Pennsylvania and New York sent delegates with firm
instructions to seek a resolution with England. The other colonies voices were defensive of
colonial rights, but pretty evenly divided between those who sought legislative equality, and the
more radical members who were prepared for separation and war.
Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress, October 1774
A. “That they have a right peaceably to assemble, consider of their grievances, and petition the King; and that
all prosecutions, prohibitory proclamations, and commitments for the same, are illegal.”
B. “That the keeping a Standing army in these colonies, in times of peace, without the consent of the
legislature of that colony in which such army is kept, is against law.”
C. “That by such emigration they by no means forfeited, surrendered, or lost any of those rights, but that
they were, and their descendants now are entitled to the exercise and enjoyment of all such of them, as their
local and other circumstances enable them to exercise and enjoy.”
D. “That the foundation of English liberty, and of all free government, is a right in the people to participate in
their legislative council: and as the English colonists are not represented, and…cannot properly be
represented in the British parliament, they are entitled to a free and exclusive power of legislation in their
several provincial legislatures…”