of an independent republic; Virginia
Chap. LXIX.} 1776. July 1.
the fifteenth, the very day on which John Adams
in congress carried his measure for instituting governments by the sole authority of the people, gave her delegates at Philadelphia
the positive direction to propose independence, and by a circular letter communicated her decision to all her sister colonies.
The movement of Virginia
was seconded almost in her words by Connecticut
on the fourteenth of June, New Hampshire
on the fifteenth, New Jersey
on the twenty first, the conference of committees of Pennsylvania
on the twenty fourth, Maryland
on the twenty eighth. Delaware
on the twenty second of March had still hoped for conciliation; but on the fourteenth or the fifteenth of June, from the imperfect state of her records the exact date is unknown, she took off all restraint from her members, and knowing that a majority of them favored independence, encouraged them to follow their own judgment.
The vote of the eleventh of June showed the purpose of New York; but under the accumulation of dangers, her statesmen waited a few days longer, that her voice for independence might have the full authority of her people.
The business of the day began with reading various letters, among others one from Washington
, who returned the whole number of his men, present and fit for duty, including the one regiment of artillery, at seven thousand seven hundred and fifty four.
The state of the arms of this small and inconsiderable body was still more inauspicious; of near fourteen hundred the firelocks were bad; more than eight hundred had none at all; three thousand eight hundred and twenty seven, more than half the whole