Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Museum of History >> Hall of USA >> US Presidents >> Peyton Randolph

Who was the First U.S. President?
There were actually four first Presidents
of the United Colonies and States of America
Click Here

President Who? Forgotten Founders - by Stanley L. Klos Peyton Randolph - Chapter Two --

Peyton Randolph

President Peyton Randolph

First President of the Continental Congress
United Colonies of America
September 5, 1774 to October 22, 1774
and May 20 to May 24, 1775
By: Stan Klos

About The Forgotten Presidents' Medallions

© Stan Klos has a worldwide copyright on the artwork in this Medallion.
The artwork is not to be copied by anyone by any means
without first receiving permission from Stan Klos.

U S Mint and Coin Act - -- Click Here


Click on an image to view full-sized

To View 1773 Autographed Note Click Here

Peyton Randolph was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1721 and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 22 October 1775. After graduation from the College of William & Mary he was admitted into the Inns of Court in London, England at Middle Temple to study law. Upon graduation Randolph returned to Virginia and practiced law. He was appointed King’s Attorney for Virginia in 1748 due to his father, Sir John Randolph's influence, as fellow knight and friend, Sir William Gooch, was the Governor of the Virginia Colony.

Peyton was also chosen as a House of Burgesses representative for Williamsburg in 1748. As the Virginia's chief law officer in 1749 he challenged the apos­tle of Presbyterianism, the Reverend Samuel Davies view on the Toleration Act. This young and influential Reverend claimed that Toleration Act law, like the Act of Uniformity, extended beyond Great Britain to Colony of Virginia. Attorney General Randolph dismissed Davis' assertion and the Act’s enforcement in Virginia. The case was appealed by Davis before the Attorney General in England. In 1751 a ruling in Randolph's favor was applied to all the Colonies. This ruling gained Peyton his initial prominence in the Virginia and the other 12 Colonies.

Peyton's reputation ascended again in 1751 when the newly appointed Virginia Governor Dinwiddie decided to charge a Pistole, a Spanish coin worth about 20 shillings, each time he certified a land patent with his signature. To insure the support of the Attorney General the Governor called, with his family, on Randolphs at their Williamsburg home. As his guest, Dinwiddie turned to business and insisted Randolph support his effort to collect this new "Pistole Fee" tax. Randolph respectfully counseled the Governor that the Virginia House of Burgess must first debate and vote on the measure before the tax could be imposed upon the people. The incensed Governor did not heed the wisdom of his Attorney General choosing, instead, to proceed with collecting "Pistole Fee" on every land-patent executed in Virginia without the approval of the Virginia House of Burgess.

In 1754 Randolph was commissioned by the Virginia House of the Burgesses to appeal the unconstitutionality of the "Pistole Fee" exaction by Governor Dinwiddie to the English ministry in London. In England Peyton engaged the crown lawyers, Campbell and Murray (afterward Lord Mansfield), with marked ability according to London newspaper accounts. The result of his pleading ended with the "Pistole Fee" being removed from all land transfers under one hundred acres but remained for the larger parcels.

Meanwhile, Governor Dinwiddie who did not approve Randolph’s trip was infuriated that the Attorney General left the colony without his consent on a mission authorized only by the Virginia House of the Burgesses. The Governor believed the act to be hostile to the execution of the King's Law. Consequently, when a petition of the Burgesses arrived requesting from the Governor that the office of Attorney General should remain open until Randolph's return, Dinwiddie utilized this opportunity to punish his subordinate. Dinwiddie denied the Virginia House of the Burgesses request and sus­pended Attorney General Randolph, appointing George Wythe in his place. Wythe, a loyal friend of Randolph and supporter of the mission, accepted the office only until Randolph's return.

Randolph's promised compensation for the successful London mission, £2,500, caused a long struggle between the governor and the burgesses, who made the sum a rider to one of £20,000 voted for the General Braddock's doomed campaign against Fort Duquesne. The conflict led to a prorogation of the house (When a legislature is prorogued by a Colonial Governor it is still constituted but all orders of the body bills, motions, etc.. are expunged.) The British Lords of Trade, however, stepped in and ordered the reduction of the "Pistole Fee," and requested the reinstatement of Randolph. The Governor wrote this on Randolph on October 23, 1754:

"You must think y't some w't absurd from the bad Treatm't I have met with. However, if he answers properly w't I have to say to him, I am not inflexible; and he must confess, before this happened he had greater share of my Favs, and Counten'ce than any other in the Gov't."

The English Ministry also sided with the Virginia House of the Burgesses and Peyton Randolph was reinstated. There was a compromise on the final compensation with the new Virginia House of the Burgesses, however, about the money owed to Randolph due to the defeat Major General Edward Braddock near present day Pittsburgh.

On July 9, 1755 General Braddock crossed Monongahela River and heard shots from his advanced scouts led by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gage. 900 French, Canadians and Native Americans attacked the advance unit which after a brief defense retreated back into Braddock's main Army rushing to the Colonel's aide. Crammed on a narrow valley road along the river the two British forces clashed and fell into disorder as the French Canadian militiamen and Native American took elevated positions behind trees and rocks firing into the valley. At the same time the French regulars attacked the British head on in the narrow space and Braddock was unable to expand the battle line to take advantage of his superior numbers. To make matters worst the Colonial Militiamen scampered into the woods taking positions to fire upon the French Regulars. Confused, the British Regulars began firing upon the Colonial Militiamen believing them to be Canadian or Native Americans. The battle raged on for three hours and Braddock, rallying his men time after time, was shot through the right arm and with the mini-ball lodging into his lung.

George Washington carried off the wounded General with another officer, ordered the retreat as the British officers with their gleaming Gorgets were prime targets in the battle with 63 being killed or wounded. Of the 1464 men led by Braddock 456 were killed and 421 wounded. Additionally, of the 47 women that accompanied the British column as maids and cooks, only 4 survived. The losses of 250 French Regulars and Canadian Minuteman were 8 killed and 4 wounded. The Native American Allies numbering nearly 650 loss 15 lives and 12 were wounded.

Washington and the retreating British Army came upon Colonel Dunbar, who was in command of the rear supply unit Dunbar being the ranking British Officer took command of the beleaguered Army. Instead of reorganizing the troops and setting up a defense line to protect the supplies, Dunbar ordered a hasty retreat and the burning about 150 wagons and cannon before withdrawing. The French remained in place where Braddock fell and never pursued the fleeing, still superior, British force. General Braddock died on 13 July 1755, just four days after the battle.

The news of this disastrous defeat overshadowed Randolph’s personal loss of funds granted by the Virginia House of Burgesses. Randolph dropped all claim to the money and turned to from his duties as Attorney General further scaling back his compensation forming an association to deal with the disastrous defeat. The association managed to raise one hundred men and they marched west, under command of Colonel William Byrd, to revive the remnants of Braddock's Army hoping to reengage the French and Native Americans who were responsible for the ambush. Their scouts quickly learned, however, that the enemy had safely retreated to Fort Duquesne, and the British supplies and cannon was burnt by Colonel Dunbar. The Virginians numbers and supplies were not sufficient enough to re-provision the army let alone lay siege to the Fort so they returned to Williamsburg.

As the War for Empire waged in the colonies Randolph turned to his duties as Attorney General and member of the house.. The next few years Peyton Randolph chaired a committee to revise Virginia Colonial Law. In 1758, with the work of the committee completed, his efforts focused on improving and restruc­turing William and Mary College. In 1760 Patrick Henry's law license was rejected by Law-Examiners Wythe and Pendleton. Henry appealed to Randolph for help who spent time investi­gating the Patriot's knowledge of English Law. The Attorney General, along with his brother John, approved Henry's law license after some recommendations of additional reading. Thomas Jefferson wrote:

"The two Randolphs, acknowledged he [Patrick Henry] was very ignorant of law, but that they perceived that he was a man of genius, and did not doubt he would soon qualify himself."

Randolph was one of the few intimate friends of George Washington. In politics, Randolph was Washington's mentor who upon Peyton’s death referred to Peyton as the “Father of Our Country”. Jefferson was also an admirer and a cousin of Randolph. In a letter to his grandson, Jefferson declares that in early life, amid difficulties and temptations, he used to ask himself “How Peyton Randolph would act in such a situation, and what course would meet with his approbation?”

Peyton Randolph was a political conservative in the cause of independence. As chairman of the committee in 1764 Randolph drew up the remonstrance of the burgesses, against the Stamp Act. Patrick Henry, then a burgess, introduced seven amendments to Randolph's resolution. They were radical amendments and culminated with Henry's famous made his "Caesar-Brutus" speech seek­ing their adoption. The following day Randolph had to surrender his presiding chair of the Burgess to returning Speaker John Robinson. By the smallest majority, five of Henry's "treason­able" amendments were passed. A single vote more would have tied the measures and Speaker John Robinson would have cast his vote to defeat Henry's measures. Thomas Jefferson reported to all who listen that Peyton Randolph said in leaving the hall, " By God, I would have given five hundred guineas for a single vote!"

In 1766 Randolph was elected speaker defeating Richard Henry Lee. Randolph resigned his office as king's attorney, devoting his attention to the increas­ing troubles of the country. The burgesses recognized that his legal knowledge and judicial calm­ness was a ballast for the sometimes tempestuous patriotism of the very eloquent Patrick Henry. For this reason, Randolph was placed at the head of all important committees.

In May 1769 the House considered measures to counteract England's Townshend Duties. Once again Patrick Henry introduced the radical resolves and this time Speaker Randolph supported the measures. An enraged Virginia Governor, Lord Botetourt (1768-1770), disapproved and dissolved the assembly. The following day the members gathered at Raleigh Tavern and adopted a com­pact drafted by George Mason. The measure was introduced by George Washington. Peyton Randolph surprised everyone by insisting he be the first to sign as Speaker of the "former representatives of the people."

Speaking of “former representatives of the people,” legislatures were being indiscriminately dissolved by other Governors make communication between the colonies’ representatives quite challenging. In 1772 at the urging of patriot Samuel Adams, a Massachusetts committee was formed that would ignite formal collaboration between the colonies. Samuel Adams moved

"that a Committee of Correspondence be appointed, to consist of twenty-one persons, to state the rights of the colonists, and of this province in particular, as men, as Christians, and as subjects, to communicate and publish the same to the several towns in this province and to the world as the sense of this town, with the infringe­ment and violations thereof that have been, or from time to time may be, made; also requesting of each town a free communication of their sentiments on this subject."

So began the progression towards independence by a host of concerned citizens groups known as the Committees of Correspondence. These Committees were formed throughout the colonies as a method of coordinating grievances against the King. Some were formed by the colonial leg­islatures while others by "private" associations such as the Sons of Liberty. It was the Boston Committee of Correspondence that directed the Boston Tea Party action of December 16, 1773.

The first Committee of Correspondence was established on March 4th 1773 in Virginia when the representatives learned that Britain proposed to transport a band of Rhode Island smugglers to England for trial. Dabney Carr, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Francis Lightfoot Lee, and Thomas Jefferson met at the Raleigh Tavern to discuss the implications for Virginia and other news pouring in from the other colonies. Specifically absent in this initial meeting were Peyton Randolph and Edmund Pendleton who Jefferson did not invite believing that they lacked the zeal for revolution saying "… old and leading members up to the point of forwardness and zeal which the times required."

Thomas Jefferson, however, miscalculated Peyton Randolph's "genteel revolutionary" style who wisely sided with Virginia against the crown and became the Chairman of the Committee of Correspondence between the colonies in May 1773.

It would be a year of mild correspondence until news reached Virginia of Britain closing Boston Harbor in retaliation for its Tea Party. On May 24th, 1774 a Randolph led House of Burgess passed Thomas Jefferson's Fast Day resolution:

"This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension of the great dangers, to be derived to British America, from the hostile Invasion of the City of Boston, in our Sister Colony of Massachusetts bay, whose commerce and harbor are, on the first Day of June next, to be stopped by an Armed force, deem it highly necessary that the said f first day of June be set apart, by the Members of this House, as a day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, devoutly to implore the divine interposition for averting the heavy Calamity which threatens destruction to our Civil Rights, and the Evils of civil War; to give us one heart and one Mind to firmly oppose, by all just and proper means, every injury to American Rights; and that the Minds of his Majesty and his par­liament, may be inspired from above with Wisdom, Moderation, and Justice, to remove from the loyal People of America, all cause of danger, from a continued pursuit of Measure, pregnant with their ruin."

Lord Dunmore, now Governor of Virginia, summoned the Burgess and stated that their Fast Day Resolution "I have in my hand a paper published by order of your House, conceived in such terms as reflect highly upon His Majesty and the Parliament of Great Britain, which makes it necessary for me to dissolve you; and you are accordingly dissolved." The following day 89 burgesses assembled at the Raleigh Tavern to form another association. On May 28th the Virginia Committee of Correspondence proposed a Continental Congress and on the 30th two dozen burgesses met at Peyton Randolph's house and called for a state convention on August 1.

On June 1, 1774 the Williamsburg community gathered at Bruton Parish Church and along with Peyton Randolph prayed for Boston. After the service the Speaker organized key members of the Williamsburg community to gather provisions and cash to be sent to the people of
Boston. July was spent preparing for the August 1st state convention.

Peyton Randolph presided over the Virginia convention of August 1, 1774 and was the first of seven deputies appointed by it to the proposed congress at Philadelphia. The other delegates were Richard Bland, Benjamin Harrison, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Edmund Pendleton, and George Washington. The convention also approved a ban of all exports to Great Britain. On August 10th, 1774 Randolph urged the citizens of Williamsburg to assemble at their court­house, where the proceedings of the State convention were ratified. Instructions were drawn-up for the delegates that focused on the unconstitutionality of British statutes that sought to bind the American colonies to English taxes and duties. For presiding over this meeting Randolph's name was placed on the roll of those to be attainted by parliament, but the bill was never passed.
Peyton Randolph traveled to Pennsylvania with the Virginia delegation in late August of 1774. The first meeting of colonial delegates took place on September 3rd in The City Tavern just down the street from what we now know as Independence Hall (yes the true birthplace of the Continental Congress and the Presidency was in a Philadelphia tavern). The debates at this tavern meeting were signif­icant as the decision was made to hold the First Continental Congress in a private, rather than public hall. Additionally the delegates discussed the formation of the President and a body of rules under which the colonial representatives would deliberate. Congress convened the next day in Carpenter’s Hall, South Carolina delegate Thomas Lynch nom­inated Peyton Randolph to be chairman. Peyton was elected by unanimous vote. Connecticut Delegate Silas Deane wrote of Peyton to Mrs. Deane:

" ... Designed by nature for the business, of an affable, open and majestic deportment, large in size, though not out of proportion, he commands respect and esteem by his very aspect, independent of the high character he sustains ... "

He was but fifty-three years of age in 1774, but was described by a fellow-member as "a venera­ble man," to which is added "an honest man; has knowledge, temper, experience, judgment, above all, integrity--a true Roman spirit." His noble presence, gracious manners, and imperturbable self-possession won the confidence of all. He was constantly relied on for his parliamentary experience and judicial wisdom.

President Peyton Randolph, like many of the founders, was a deeply religious man. Strong reli­gious conviction was the rule and not the exception in the Continental and United States in Congress Assembled governments. At this initial meeting, the practice that still remains an inte­gral part of the Supreme Court, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives today began when the Continental Congress invited the Reverend Jacob Duché rector of Christ Church, to open their sessions with prayer.

The Journals of Congress report on September 7, 1774:

“Agreeable to the resolve of yesterday, the meeting was opened with prayers by the Revd. Mr. Duché. Voted, That the thanks of the Congress be given to Mr. Duché, by Mr. Cushing and Mr. Ward, for performing divine Service, and for the excellent prayer, which he composed and deliver'd on the occasion..”

Samuel Ward's Diary recorded the prayer as:

“Mr. Duchèe read Prayers & Lessons & concluded with one of the most sublime catholic well adapted Prayers I ever heard”.

Silas Deane wrote to Elizabeth Deane :

“The Congress met and opened with a Prayer, made by the Revd. Mr. Deshay which it was worth riding One Hundred Mile to hear. He read the Lessons of the Day which were accidentally extremely Applicable, & then prayed without Book about Ten Minutes so pertinently, with such Fervency, purity, & sublimity of Stile, & sentiment, and with such an apparent Sensibility of the Scenes, & Business before Us, that even Quakers shed Tears. The Thanks of the Congress were most Unanimously returned him, by a Select honorable Committee.”

John Adams wrote to Abigail Adams on September 16, 1774 about the first prayer:

“Having a Leisure Moment, while the Congress is assembling, I gladly embrace it to write you a Line. When the Congress first met, Mr. Cushing made a Motion, that it should be opened with Prayer. It was opposed by Mr. Jay of N. York and Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina, because we were so divided in religious Sentiments, some Episcopalians, some Quakers, some anabaptists, some Presbyterians and some Congregationalists, so that We could not join in the same Act of Worship. Mr. S. Adams arose and said he was no Bigot, and could hear a Prayer from a Gentleman of Piety and Virtue, who was at the same Time a Friend to his Country. He was a Stranger in Phyladelphia, but had heard that Mr. Duchè (Dushay they pronounce it) deserved that Character, and there­fore he moved that Mr. Duchè, an episcopal Clergyman, might be desired, to read Prayers to the Congress, tomorrow Morning The Motion was seconded and passed in the Affirmative. Mr. Randolph our President, waited on Mr. Duchè, and received for Answer that if his Health would permit, he certainly would. Accordingly next Morning he appeared with his Clerk and in his Pontificallibus, and read several Prayers, in the established Form; and then read the Collect for the seventh clay of September, which was the Thirty fifth Psalm. You must remember this was the next Morning after we heard the horrible Rumour, of the Cannonade of Boston. I never saw a greater Effect upon an Audience. It seemed as if Heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that Morning.

After this Mr. Duchè, unexpected to every Body struck out into an extemporary Prayer, which filled the Bosom of every Man pre sent. I must confess I never heard a better Prayer or one, so well pronounced. Episcopalian as he is, Dr. Cooper himself never prayed with such fervour, such Ardor, such Earnestness and Pathos, and in Language so elegant and sublime--for America, for the Congress. for The Province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially the Town of Boston. It has had an excellent Effect upon every Body here.

I must beg you to read that Psalm. If there was any Faith in the sortes Virgilianae, or sortes Homericae, or especially the Sortes biblicae, it would be thought providential. It will amuse your Friends to read this Letter and the 35th. Psalm to them. Read it to your Father and Mr. Wibirt. I wonder what our Braintree Churchmen would think of this? Mr. Duchè is one of the most ingenious Men, and best Characters, and greatest orators in the Episcopal order, upon this Continent--Yet a Zealous Friend of Liberty and his Country.”

Peyton Randolph's Congress first consideration to address their grievances with Great Britain was a placed on the table by Pennsylvania Delegate Joseph Galloway. Delegate Galloway's "Plan of Union" urged the creation of Colonial parliament that would act in concert with the existing British body. On matters relating to America, each was to have veto power over the other's actions:

“A Plan of a proposed Union between Great Britain and the Colonies
That a British and American legislature, for regulating the administration of the general affairs of America, be proposed and established in America, including all the said colonies; within, and under which government, each colony shall retain its present constitution, and powers of regulating and governing its own internal police, in all cases what[so]ever.

That the said government be administered by a President General, to be appointed by the King, and a grand Council, to be chosen by the Representatives of the people of the several colonies, in their respective assemblies, once in every three years. That the several assemblies shall choose members for the grand council in the following proportions, viz.

New Hampshire. Delaware Counties.
Rhode Island. Virginia.
Connecticut. North Carolina.
New-York. South-Carolina.

New-Jersey. Georgia.

Who shall meet at the city of [ ] for the first time, being called by the President-General, as soon as conveniently may be after his appointment.
That there shall be a new election of members for the Grand Council every three years; and on death, removal or resignation of any member, his place shall be supplied by a choice, at the next sitting of the Assembly of the Colony he represented.

That the Grand Council shall meet once in every year, if they shall think it necessary, and oftener, if occasions shall require, at such time and place as they shall adjourn to, at the last preceding meeting, or as they shall be called to meet at, by the President-General, on any emergency.

That the Grand Council shall have power to choose their Speaker, and shall hold and exercise all the rights, liberties and privileges, as are held and exercised by and in the House of Commons of Great-Britain.

That the President-General shall hold his office during the pleasure of the King, and his assent shall be requisite to all acts of the Grand Council, and it shall be his office and duty to cause them to be carried into execution.

That the President-General, by and with the advice and consent of the Grand-Council, hold and exercise all the legislative rights, powers, and authorities, necessary for regulating and administering all the general police and affairs of the colonies, in which Great-Britain and the colonies, or any of them, the colonies in general, or more than one colony, are in any manner concerned, as well civil and criminal as commercial.

That the said President-General and the Grand Council, be an inferior and distinct branch of the British legislature, united and incorporated with it, for the aforesaid general purposes ...”

Galloway provides us with a history of this Plan in his “Candid Examination of the Mutual Claims of Great-Britain and the Colonies and with a Plan of Accommodation on Constitutional Principle,” New York: 1775. The resolution to adopt this Pan of Union was seconded by James Duane. The debates are partly sketched in John Adams’ Works. The plan was entered on the min­utes of the Congress, with an order referring it to future consideration.

William Franklin, the N.J. Colonial Governor and son of Benjamin Franklin wrote to Earl of Dartmouth on December 6th, 1774, "yet they not only refused to resume the Consideration of it, but directed both the Plan and Order to be erased from their Minutes, so that no vestige of it might appear there." Delegate Samuel Ward says, however, that the Plan was "not committed but ordered to lie on the table." Whatever the case, Galloway's Plan of Union was never approved by the First Continental Congress as opinion on his proposal was sharply divided.

In another matter Peyton Randolph sent General Gage a letter protesting his occupation of Boston in his official role as President on behalf of the entire Continental Congress stating among other things the people have “appointed us the guardians of their rights and liberties.”

Philadelphia, October 10, 1774.

SIR: The Inhabitants of the Town of Boston have informed us, the Representatives of his Majesty's faithful subjects in all the Colonies from Nova Scotia to Georgia, that the Fortifications erecting within that Town, the frequent invasions of private property, and the repeated insults they receive from the Soldiery have given them great reason to suspect a plan is formed very destructive to them, and tending to overthrow the liberties of America.

Your Excellency cannot be a stranger to the sentiments of America with respect to the Acts of Parliament, under the execution of which those unhappy people are oppressed, the approbation universally expressed of their conduct, and the determined resolution of the Colonies, for the preservation of their common rights to unite in their opposition to those Acts. In consequence of these sentiments, they have appointed us the guardians of their rights and liberties; and we are under the deepest concern that whilst we are pursuing every dutiful and peaceable measure to procure a cordial and effectual reconciliation between Great Britain and the Colonies, your Excellency should proceed in a manner that bears so hostile an appearance, and which even those oppressive Acts do not warrant.

We entreat your Excellency to consider what a tendency this conduct must have to irritate and force a free people, however well disposed to peaceable measures, into hostilities, which may prevent the endeavours of this Congress to restore a good understanding with our parent state, and may involve us in the horrours of a civil war.

In order therefore to quiet the minds and remove the reasonable jealousies of the people, that they may not be driven to a state of desperation, being fully persuaded of their pacifick disposition towards the King's Troops, could they be assured of their own safety, we hope sir, you will discontinue the Fortifications in and about Boston; prevent any further invasions of private property; restrain the irregularities of the Soldiers; and give orders that the communication between the Town and Country may be open, unmolested, and free.

"Signed by order, and in behalf of the General Congress,


General Gage replied:

Boston, October 20, 1774.

SIR: Representations should be made with candour, and matters stated exactly as they stand. People would be led to believe, from your letter to me of the 10th instant, that works were raised against the Town of Boston, private property invaded, the Soldiers suffered to insult the inhabitants, and the communication between the Town and Country shut up and molested.

Nothing can be farther from the true situation of this place than the above state. There is not a single gun pointed against the Town, no man's property has been seized or hurt, except the King's by the people's destroying straw, bricks, &c., bought for his service. No Troops have given less cause for complaint, and greater care was never taken to prevent it, and such care and attention was never more necessary, from the insults and provocations daily giving to both Officers and Soldiers. The communication between the Town and Country has been always free and unmolested, and is so still.

Two works of earth have been raised at some distance from the Town, wide of the roads, and guns put in them. The remains of old works, going out of the Town, have been strengthened, and guns placed there likewise.—People will think differently, whether the hostile preparations throughout the country, and the menaces of blood and slaughter, made this necessary. But I am to do my duty.

It gives me pleasure that you are endeavouring at a cordial reconciliation with the mother country; which, from what has transpired, I have despaired of. Nobody wishes better success to such measures than myself. I have endeavoured to be a mediator, if I could establish a foundation to work upon; and have strongly urged it to people here to pay for the Tea, and send a proper Memorial to the King, which would be a good beginning on their side, and give their friends the opportunity they seek, to move in their support.

I do not believe that menaces and unfriendly proceedings will have the effect which many conceive. The spirit of the British Nation was high when I left England, and such measures will not abate it. But I should hope that decency and moderation here would create the same disposition at home; and I ardently wish that the common enemies to both countries may see, to their disappointment, that these disputes between the mother country and the Colonies have terminated like the quarrels of lovers, and increased the affection which they ought to bear to each other. I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant,


To the Hon. Peyton Randolph, Esq.

The 2nd most notable piece of legislation was passed on October 14, 1774. It was later called the “Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress” and it addressed the extending of the Catholic province of Quebec borders to the "western frontiers" of the colonies. The Resolves stated:

“And in prosecution of the same system, several late, cruel, and oppressive acts have been passed, respecting the town of Boston and the Massachusetts-Bay, and also an act for extending the province of Quebec, so as to border on the western frontiers of these colonies, establishing an arbitrary government therein, and discouraging the set­tlement of British subjects in that wide extended country; thus, by the influence of civil principles and ancient prejudices, to dispose the inhabitants to act with hostility against the free Protestant colonies, whenever a wicked ministry shall chuse so to direct them..”

The question of religion was paramount in the minds of the Delegates. In fact the amount of time that the Continental Congress and the United States in Congress Assembled would spend on res­olutions and proclamations encouraging the practice of the Judeo-Christian religion in forming the United States is quite remarkable. Although the Articles of Association and later the Confederation Constitution did not officially sanction Congress to concern itself with religion, the citizenry, who were soon to be engaged in a War for Independence, did not object to the open union of church and state. Clearly the record, as we will demonstrate in the chapters of this book, indicates that 18th Century Americans encouraged and embraced both Federal and State led Judeo-Christian activities, resolutions and proclamations. Throughout these chapters you will discover a sampling of resolutions and proclamations that prove both the legislators and the public considered it appropriate for the confederation gov­ernment to ardently promote a nondenominational Judeo-Christianity.

In this author’s opinion the most important piece of legislation passed was the Articles of Association on October 20th.

We, his majesty's most loyal subjects, the delegates of the several colonies of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three lower counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, and South-Carolina, deputed to represent them in a continental Congress, held in the city of Philadelphia, on the 5th day of September, 1774, avowing our allegiance to his majesty, our affection and regard for our fellow-subjects in Great-Britain and elsewhere, affected with the deepest anxiety, and most alarming apprehensions, at those grievances and distresses, with which his Majesty's American subjects are oppressed; and having taken under our most serious deliberation, the state of the whole continent, find, that the present unhappy situation of our affairs is occasioned by a ruinous system of colony administration, adopted by the British ministry about the year 1763, evidently calculated for enslaving these colonies, and, with them, the British Empire. In prosecution of which system, various acts of parliament have been passed, for raising a revenue in America, for depriving the American subjects, in many instances, of the constitutional trial by jury, exposing their lives to danger, by directing a new and illegal trial beyond the seas, for crimes alleged to have been committed in America: And in prosecution of the same system, several late, cruel, and oppressive acts have been passed, respecting the town of Boston and the Massachusetts-Bay, and also an act for extending the province of Quebec, so as to border on the western frontiers of these colonies, establishing an arbitrary government therein, and discouraging the settlement of British subjects in that wide extended country; thus, by the influence of civil principles and ancient prejudices, to dispose the inhabitants to act with hostility against the free Protestant colonies, whenever a wicked ministry shall chuse so to direct them.

To obtain redress of these grievances, which threaten destruction to the lives liberty, and property of his majesty's subjects, in North-America, we are of opinion, that a non-importation, non-consumption, and non-exportation agreement, faithfully adhered to, will prove the most speedy, effectual, and peaceable measure: And, therefore, we do, for ourselves, and the inhabitants of the several colonies, whom we represent, firmly agree and associate, under the sacred ties of virtue, honour and love of our country, as follows:

1. That from and after the first day of December next, we will not import, into British America, from Great-Britain or Ireland, any goods, wares, or merchandise whatsoever, or from any other place, any such goods, wares, or merchandise, as shall have been exported from Great-Britain or Ireland; nor will we, after that day, import any East-India tea from any part of the world; nor any molasses, syrups, paneles, coffee, or pimento, from the British plantations or from Dominica; nor wines from Madeira, or the Western Islands; nor foreign indigo.

2. We will neither import nor purchase, any slave imported after the first day of December next; after which time, we will wholly discontinue the slave trade, and will neither be concerned in it ourselves, nor will we hire our vessels, nor sell our commodities or manufactures to those who are concerned in it.

3. As a non-consumption agreement, strictly adhered to, will be an effectual security for the observation of the non-importation, we, as above, solemnly agree and associate, that from this day, we will not purchase or use any tea, imported on account of the East-India company, or any on which a duty bath been or shall be paid; and from and after the first day of March next, we will not purchase or use any East-India tea whatever; nor will we, nor shall any person for or under us, purchase or use any of those goods, wares, or merchandise, we have agreed not to import, which we shall know, or have cause to suspect, were imported after the first day of December, except such as come under the rules and directions of the tenth article hereafter mentioned.

4. The earnest desire we have not to injure our fellow-subjects in Great-Britain, Ireland, or the West-Indies, induces us to suspend a non-exportation, until the tenth day of September, 1775; at which time, if the said acts and parts of acts of the British parliament herein after mentioned, ate not repealed, we will not directly or indirectly, export any merchandise or commodity whatsoever to Great-Britain, Ireland, or the West-Indies, except rice to Europe.

5. Such as are merchants, and use the British and Irish trade, will give orders, as soon as possible, to their factors, agents and correspondents, in Great-Britain and Ireland, not to ship any goods to them, on any pretence whatsoever, as they cannot be received in America; and if any merchant, residing in Great-Britain or Ireland, shall directly or indirectly ship any goods, wares or merchandize, for America, in order to break the said non-importation agreement, or in any manner contravene the same, on such unworthy conduct being well attested, it ought to be made public; and, on the same being so done, we will not, from thenceforth, have any commercial connexion with such merchant.

6. That such as are owners of vessels will give positive orders to their captains, or masters, not to receive on board their vessels any goods prohibited by the said non-importation agreement, on pain of immediate dismission from their service.

7. We will use our utmost endeavours to improve the breed of sheep, and increase their number to the greatest extent; and to that end, we will kill them as seldom as may be, especially those of the most profitable kind; nor will we export any to the West-Indies or elsewhere; and those of us, who are or may become overstocked with, or can conveniently spare any sheep, will dispose of them to our neighbours, especially to the poorer sort, on moderate terms.

8. We will, in our several stations, encourage frugality, economy, and industry, and promote agriculture, arts and the manufactures of this country, especially that of wool; and will discountenance and discourage every species of extravagance and dissipation, especially all horse-racing, and all kinds of games, cock fighting, exhibitions of shews, plays, and other expensive diversions and entertainments; and on the death of any relation or friend, none of us, or any of our families will go into any further mourning-dress, than a black crepe or ribbon on the arm or hat, for gentlemen, and a black ribbon and necklace for ladies, and we will discontinue the giving of gloves and scarves at funerals.

9. Such as are venders of goods or merchandize will not take advantage of the scarcity of goods, that may be occasioned by this association, but will sell the same at the rates we have been respectively accustomed to do, for twelve months last past. -And if any vender of goods or merchandise shall sell such goods on higher terms, or shall, in any manner, or by any device whatsoever, violate or depart from this agreement, no person ought, nor will any of us deal with any such person, or his or her factor or agent, at any time thereafter, for any commodity whatever.


Click Here

In this powerful, historic work, Stan Klos unfolds the complex 15-year U.S. Founding period revealing, for the first time, four distinctly different United American Republics.  This is history on a splendid scale -- a book about the not quite unified American Colonies and States that would eventually form a fourth republic, with only 11 states, the United States of America: We The People. 

More on Peyton Randolph  Click Here


Start your search on Peyton Randolph.

The Congressional Evolution of the United States Henry Middleton

Unauthorized Site: This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected, associated with or authorized by the individual, family, friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated sites that are related to this subject will be hyper linked below upon submission and Evisum, Inc. review.

Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy


About Us



Image Use

Please join us in our mission to incorporate The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here


Historic Documents

Articles of Association

Articles of Confederation 1775

Articles of Confederation

Article the First

Coin Act

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

Emancipation Proclamation

Gettysburg Address

Monroe Doctrine

Northwest Ordinance

No Taxation Without Representation

Thanksgiving Proclamations

Mayflower Compact

Treaty of Paris 1763

Treaty of Paris 1783

Treaty of Versailles

United Nations Charter

United States In Congress Assembled

US Bill of Rights

United States Constitution

US Continental Congress

US Constitution of 1777

US Constitution of 1787

Virginia Declaration of Rights


Historic Events

Battle of New Orleans

Battle of Yorktown

Cabinet Room

Civil Rights Movement

Federalist Papers

Fort Duquesne

Fort Necessity

Fort Pitt

French and Indian War

Jumonville Glen

Manhattan Project

Stamp Act Congress

Underground Railroad

US Hospitality

US Presidency

Vietnam War

War of 1812

West Virginia Statehood

Woman Suffrage

World War I

World War II


Is it Real?

Declaration of

Digital Authentication
Click Here


America’s Four Republics
The More or Less United States

Continental Congress
U.C. Presidents

Peyton Randolph

Henry Middleton

Peyton Randolph

John Hancock


Continental Congress
U.S. Presidents

John Hancock

Henry Laurens

John Jay

Samuel Huntington


Constitution of 1777
U.S. Presidents

Samuel Huntington

Samuel Johnston
Elected but declined the office

Thomas McKean

John Hanson

Elias Boudinot

Thomas Mifflin

Richard Henry Lee

John Hancock
Chairman David Ramsay]

Nathaniel Gorham

Arthur St. Clair

Cyrus Griffin


Constitution of 1787
U.S. Presidents

George Washington 

John Adams
Federalist Party

Thomas Jefferson
Republican* Party

James Madison 
Republican* Party

James Monroe
Republican* Party

John Quincy Adams
Republican* Party
Whig Party

Andrew Jackson
Republican* Party
Democratic Party

Martin Van Buren
Democratic Party

William H. Harrison
Whig Party

John Tyler
Whig Party

James K. Polk
Democratic Party

David Atchison**
Democratic Party

Zachary Taylor
Whig Party

Millard Fillmore
Whig Party

Franklin Pierce
Democratic Party

James Buchanan
Democratic Party

Abraham Lincoln 
Republican Party

Jefferson Davis***
Democratic Party

Andrew Johnson
Republican Party

Ulysses S. Grant 
Republican Party

Rutherford B. Hayes
Republican Party

James A. Garfield
Republican Party

Chester Arthur 
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland
Democratic Party

Benjamin Harrison
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland 
Democratic Party

William McKinley
Republican Party

Theodore Roosevelt
Republican Party

William H. Taft 
Republican Party

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic Party

Warren G. Harding 
Republican Party

Calvin Coolidge
Republican Party

Herbert C. Hoover
Republican Party

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic Party

Harry S. Truman
Democratic Party

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican Party

John F. Kennedy
Democratic Party

Lyndon B. Johnson 
Democratic Party 

Richard M. Nixon 
Republican Party

Gerald R. Ford 
Republican Party

James Earl Carter, Jr. 
Democratic Party

Ronald Wilson Reagan 
Republican Party

George H. W. Bush
Republican Party 

William Jefferson Clinton
Democratic Party

George W. Bush 
Republican Party

Barack H. Obama
Democratic Party

Please Visit

Forgotten Founders
Norwich, CT

Annapolis Continental
Congress Society

U.S. Presidency
& Hospitality

© Stan Klos





Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum