September 5, 1774 – October 24, 1774
320 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
As decided at City Tavern on September 1st, 1774, deputies representing eleven colonies assembled at 10 am at the tavern. According to Delegate James Duane:
The Members of the Congress met at Smith's [Sic City] Tavern. The Speaker of the Pensylvania Assembly having offerd the Congress the use of the State house; & the Carpenters the use of their Hall, It was agreed to take a View of each. We proceeded to the Carpenter's hall. Mr .Lynch proposed the Question whether as that was in all respects Suitable it ought not to be fixed upon without further Enquiry.
I observed that if the State house was equally convenient it ought to be preferred being a provincial & the Carpenter's Hall a private House. And besides as it was tenderd by the Speaker it seemed to be a piece of respect which was due to him, at least to enquire whether the State House was not equally convenient. The Question was however called for; & a great Majority fixed upon the Carpenters hall.
Monday. At ten the delegates all met at the City Tavern, and walked to the Carpenters' Hall, where they took a view of the room, and of the chamber where is an excellent library; there is also a long entry where gentlemen may walk, and a convenient chamber opposite to the library. The general cry was, that this was a good room, and the question was put, whether we were satisfied with this room ? and it passed in the affirmative. A very few were for the negative, and they were chiefly from Pennsylvania and New York. 
The Names of the Members were then called over; After which Mr Lynch proposed that we shoud elect a President or Chairman and named Mr Peyton Randolph Speaker of the Assembly of Virginia, who was unanimously approvd & placed in the Chair. A Question was then put what Title the Convention should assume & it was agred that it should be called the Congress. Another Question was put what shoud be the Stile of Mr Randolph & it was agreed that he should be called the President.
The next point was to fix on a Clerk or Secretary. Mr Thompson was proposd by Mr Lynch.Mr. Jay observed that he had Authority to say that one of the members of the Congress was willing to accept the Office & he conceivd the preference was due to him [him being James Duane]. To which it was answerd that such an appointment woud deprive the Congress of a Member as he woud be too much incumberd by the Duties of a Clerk to attend to the Trust for which he was chosen. The Objection being thought Reasonable Mr Thompson was appointed by the Stile of Secretary of the Congress.
By his polical connections, his long tenure of office, and his executiove and legislative functions, Thomson influenced the course of congressional and Revolutionary affairs. “Secretary” was the title given to British to their executive department heads and Thomson was Secretary in that sense and not in sense of a record keeper or file clerk.
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.
|President Peyton Randolph|
|President Henry Middleton|
Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
September 27, 1777
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
Nov. 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
December 6,1790 to May 14, 1800
November 17,1800 to Present
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