“Philadelphia, 17th Sept. 1774.
Your Letter of the 11th Instant, directed “To the Honorable Thomas Cushing, Esq; and the other Gentlemen of the Congress, Members for Massachusetts-Bay,” together with the Resolutions entered into by the Delegates of the several Towns in the County of Suffolk, and their Address to his Excellency Governor Gage were communicated to the Congress, whereupon the Congress came into the following unanimous Resolves, which by their Order I transmit to you to be communicated to the Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Boston.
I am, Sir, your most obedient Servant, Peyton Randolph.”
Source: Printed in the Boston-Gazette, September 26, 1774. Original manuscript not found. The resolutions of the First Continental Congress were adopted on September 17th and appear under the date Saturday, September 18, 1774, in the Journals of the Continental Congress, 1: pp. 39-40.
Commentary: The Suffolk Resolves, largely authored by Joseph Warren, were adopted word for word by the First Continental Congress. Peyton Randolph of Virginia, elected president of the Continental Congress, advises Joseph Warren of the vote. Arriving at the Congress in Philadelphia via Paul Revere as express rider, the Resolves galvanized the recently convened delegates into adopting the a strict boycott of British goods and defensive military measures, should Governor-General Thomas Gage’s British Regulars attempt to enforce onerous Ministerial policies by force.
The stirring words of the Resolves and enumeration of grievances compare favorably to the later Declaration of Independence:
“Whereas the power but not the justice, the vengeance but not the wisdom, of Great Britain, which of old persecuted, scourged and exiled our fugitive parents from their native shores, now pursues us, their guiltless children, with unrelenting severity; and whereas, this then savage and uncultivated desert was purchased by the toil and treasure, or acquired by the valor and blood, of those our venerable progenitors, who bequeathed to us the dear-bought inheritance, who consigned it to our care and protection, – the most sacred obligations are upon us to transmit the glorious purchase, unfettered. by power, unclogged with shackles, to our innocent and beloved offspring. On the fortitude, on the wisdom, and on the exertions of this important day is suspended the fate of this New World, and of unborn millions…” Full text here