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Collection A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates 1774 to 1875

Letters of Delegates to Congress

Letters of Delegates includes all the documents written by delegates that bear directly upon their work during their years of actual service in the First and Second Continental Congresses, 1774-1789, as well as some diaries, public papers, essays, and other documents.

The 26 volumes of the Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789 aims to make available all the documents written by delegates that bear directly upon their work during their years of actual service in the First and Second Continental Congresses, 1774-1789. This work builds on an earlier eight-volume edition of Letters of Members of the Continental Congress edited by Edmund C. Burnett. The Ford Foundation and the United States Congress, through the American Revolution Bicentennial Office of the Library of Congress, provided funding and additional support for the completion of this project.

The current 25 volumes of text include approximately twenty thousand entries gathered from institutions throughout the world, accompanied by a single cumulative index. Although letters from delegates comprise the preponderance of the entries, there are many diaries, public papers, essays, and other documents. Together with the Journals of the Continental Congress, previously published by the Library of Congress and available at this Web site, the volumes provide the means for a comprehensive, in-depth examination of the operations of the Continental Congress during the critical years of the founding of the United States.

Further information on how this edition was assembled, as well as notes explaining features introduced by the editors, may be found in volume 1:

  1. Foreword
  2. General View of the Work
  3. Editorial Method
  4. Guide to Editorial Method Apparatus
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. The Continental Congress, 1774-1775

W. Gawalt, Historical Specialist and Associate Editor of the Letters of Delegates.

Bibliographic Record

Letters of Delegates to Congress is not currently available. We are in the process of digitizing this collection. An archived version is available here.