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  • John Rutledge, Governor, Signer of the US Constitution, 2nd Chief Justice of the United States (c.1739 - 1800)
    John Rutledge (September 17, 1739 – July 23, 1800) was an American statesman and judge. He was the first Governor of South Carolina following the signing of the Declaration of Independence. For a time,...
  • Judge Nathaniel Pendleton (1756 - 1821)
    A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA with the rank of AIDE-DE-CAMP. DAR Ancestor #: A088375 Red Flagged: "THIS LINE MAY NOT BE USED FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE DAR." Pendleton, Nathaniel (1756...
  • Judge John Sitgreaves (c.1757 - 1802)
    John Sitgreaves (1757 – March 4, 1802) was a British-born American lawyer and jurist from New Bern, North Carolina. He was a delegate for North Carolina to the Continental Congress in 1785. He was Sp...
  • John Collins (1717 - 1795)
    Continental Congressman, Rhode Island Governor. Elected to represent Rhode Island as a Delegate to the Continental Congress from 1778-to 1780 and 1782 to 1782. Also served as Governor of Rhode Island f...
  • Col. John Lewis Gervais, S.C. State Senator (1741 - 1798)
    John Lewis Gervais was representative to Continential Congress fron 1782 to 1783. The main street of Columbia, S.Carolina is named Gervais Street after him. He introduced the bill that resulted in the ...


The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution. The Congress met from 1774 to 1789 in three incarnations. The leader, moderator or presiding member was not officially given the title of President until the Articles of Confederation were ratified.

The First Continental Congress This met in Philadelphia on September 4, 1774. All colonies but Georgia were represented. Each colony had equal voting power. The Congress adopted a Declaration of Rights on October 14, 1774, and claimed that each colonial assembly had the right to make laws governing everything except foreign trade.

The Second Continental Congress This met in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775, not quite a month after the battles at Lexington and Concord. This body adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 2, 1776, after which it drew up the Articles of Confederation. These were the operating basis for government during the Revolution, but due to significant disagreements over the boundaries between the states they were not fully ratified until February, 1781.

The Congress of the Confederation The Articles of Confederation were in force from March 1, 1781, until the Constitution (ratified on June 21, 1788 by the ninth state, New Hampshire, giving the required 2/3 majority) went into effect on March 4, 1789.

George Washington took office as the first President of the United States on April 30, 1789, thus ending the role of President of the Continental Congress.

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Presidents of the Continental Congress

  1. Peyton Randolph
  2. Henry Middleton
  3. Peyton Randolph
  4. John Hancock
  5. Henry Laurens
  6. John Jay
  7. Samuel Huntington
  8. Thomas McKean
  9. John Hanson
  10. Elias Boudinot
  11. Thomas Mifflin
  12. Richard Henry Lee
  13. John Hancock
  14. Nathaniel Gorham
  15. Arthur St. Clair
  16. Cyrus Griffin


For a complete list of the 342 attending delegates and the 90 delegates who were elected but did not attend, visit these sites:

  1. Benjamin Franklin
  2. Alexander Hamilton
  3. Edmund Pendleton