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July 10, 1781 to November 5, 1781
Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200.
March 1, 1781
July 6, 1781
July 9, 1781
July 10, 1781
November 4, 1781
November 5, 1781
November 3, 1782
November 4, 1782
November 2, 1783
November 3, 1783
June 3, 1784
November 30, 1784
November 22, 1785
November 23, 1785
June 5, 1786
June 6, 1786
February 1, 1787
February 2, 1787
January 21, 1788
January 22, 1788
January 21, 1789
National Collegiate Honor’s Council Partners in the Park Independence Hall Class of 2017 students at Independence Hall with Ranger Jay holding the September 1787, American Museum printing of the U.S. Constitution and Ranger Ed Welch holding John Dunlap's 1776 Journals of Congress opened, respectively to the U.S. Constitution of 1787 and Declaration of Independence. They are flanked by National Collegiate Honors Council Students and NCHC President, Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos - – For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website
McKean, likewise, was one of the most active Delegates in securing the Declaration of Independence’s passage two days later. He was present when the final votes were taken but a few days after the vote, he left Congress to command a battalion of troops to assist Washington at Perth Amboy, New Jersey. On his return to Philadelphia, McKean stopped in Delaware where he encountered a committee urging him to prepare a new state constitution. McKean drew up the new constitution on the night of his arrival, and it was unanimously adopted by the Delaware Assembly the following day.
What we do know now is that the "Journals of Congress Containing the Proceedings in the Year, 1776. Published by order of Congress. Volume II. York-Town, Pa., John Dunlap, 1778" which were printed sometime after a May 1778 resolution of the Continental Congress reports the Declaration of Independence listing all the signers without McKean's.
Therefore, we now can now definitively say the McKean signed it sometime after the printing of these Journals in 1778, the year he returned as a delegate to the Continental Congress, bringing us a year and half closer to the 1781 claim.
I. The Stile of this Confederacy shall be "The United States of America".
II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.
On February 22, 1781, it was unanimously resolved by the U.S. Continental Congress that:On the first day of my appearing in Congress, I delivered the Act empowering the Delegates of Maryland to Subscribe the Articles of Confederation &c.! It was read, & entered on the Journals.
The delegates of Maryland having taken their seats in Congress with powers to sign the Articles of Confederation: Ordered, That Thursday next [March 1, 1781] be assigned for compleating the Confederation; and that a committee of three be appointed, to consider and report a mode for announcing the same to the public: the members, [Mr. George] Walton, Mr. [James] Madison, Mr. [John] Mathews.
Thursday, March 1, 1781: "According to the order of the day, the honble John Hanson and Daniel Carroll, two of the delegates for the State of Maryland, in pursuance of the act of the legislature of that State, entitled "An act to empower the delegates of this State in Congress to subscribe and ratify the Articles of Confederation," which was read in Congress the 12 of February last, and a copy thereof entered on the minutes, did, in behalf of the said State of Maryland, sign and ratify the said articles, by which act the Confederation of the United States of America was completed, each and every of the Thirteen United States, from New Hampshire to Georgia, both included, having adopted and confirmed, and by their delegates in Congress, ratified the same, as follows:" [Journals continue with the full printing of the Articles of Confederation and its signers]. Image courtesy of the Historic.us Collection.
March 12, 1781 Treasury letter referring to Samuel Huntington as "His Excellency, President of the United States in Congress Assembled." - Image Courtesy of Historic.us
It was unanimously agreed by the USCA that the Articles of Confederation was in full force and for a State to have a vote in the new Congress, unlike the U.S. Continental Congress, two or more delegates were required in accordance with Article V: "No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor more than seven members."
The Articles of Confederation government was thus deemed to be in full force by the USCA and Samuel Huntington, not John Hanson as claimed by the State of Maryland, was its President. As irrefutable proof that Samuel Huntington's USCA was obliged to comply with the Articles of Confederation below is an image of two different Journals of Congress entries. The first entry is from the December 24th, 1778, Continental Congress vote tally that was taken while President Henry Laurens was presiding. The states of New Hampshire, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Georgia all had only one delegate present, and the States' votes of "ay" were registered as "ay" in the tally.
Thursday, December 24, 1778 Journals of Congress entry of the US Continental Congress vote on " the support of the charge against Brigadier Thompson, be rejected, and that the deposition of Colonel Noarth, produced last night by Brigadier Thompson in his own exculpation from the charge, be also rejected ... passed in the negative" Journals of Congress Containing the proceedings from January 1st, 1779 to Jan. 1st, 1780 PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF Congress, Philadelphia, by David Claypoole, VOLUME V. -- Image courtesy of the Historic.us Collection.
Thursday, MARCH 22, 1781 Journals of Congress entry of the USCA vote "Resolved, That there be one deputy director of the military hospitals,in the Southern district subject to the general control of the director... So it passed in the negative." The Journals of Congress and the United States in Congress Assembled, For the Year 1781, Published By Order of Congress, Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson. -- Image courtesy of the Historic.us Collection.
Wednesday, November 14, 1781 Journals of Congress entry of the USCA vote "That the first Tuesday of December next, be assigned for the consideration of the report of the committee, to whom were referred the cessions of New York, Virginia, Connecticut, and the petitions of the Indiana, Vandalia, Illionois, and Wabash companies.A motion was made by Mr. Smith, seconded by Mr. Varnum, to amend, by adding, "provided that eleven states shall be then represented." On the question to agree to the amendment, the yeas and nays being required by Mr. Varnum, ... So it passed in the negative." The Journals of Congress and the United States in Congress Assembled, For the Year 1781, Published By Order of Congress, Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson. -- Image courtesy of the Historic.us Collection.
On May 8th, however, Huntington applied for official leave as President and Congress designated the 10th of May for electing his successor. No candidate was able to garnish more than two votes and Huntington continued in the chair. On May 19th John Witherspoon wrote Richard Henry Lee about the expected length of Huntington’s tenure as President noting that:
The members, Mr. Mathews, Mr. Carroll, Mr. Sullivan.
USCA Journals 1781 printing open to the July 9 & 10th, 1781 entries recording the elections of Samuel Johnston and Thomas McKean as Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled four months before John Hanson's Presidency. - Image courtesy of the Historic.us Collection.
|President Thomas McKean signs Joseph de L’ Etombe |
Consul General of France U.S. Commission[xiv] – Stan Klos Collection
|President McKean's House in Philadelphia was the former residence of Tory Duche|
Monsieur Piquet has certainly captured twenty four; and it is said, that five more have been picked up by Privateers; the Escort, consisting of a 74, one 64 and two Frigates, with five of the convoy, escaped by their swiftness in sailing. An expedition was in great forwardness at Cadiz, to consist of eight sail of the line besides frigates &c. and eight or ten thousand Land-forces; the destination unknown. They were to sail in July, and conjectured to be for the West-Indies or this Continent.
President Chief Justice Thomas McKean
|October 20, 1781 Military Captain Commission signed by Thomas McKean as President of the United States in Congress Assembled.|
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The United States of America Continental Congress Presidents (1776-1781)
The United States of America in Congress Assembled Presidents (1781-1789)
The United States of America Presidents and Commanders-in-Chiefs (1789-Present)
President Chief Justice Thomas McKean