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  • Henry Osborne (1751 - 1800)
    Henry Osborne (August 21, 1751 – November 9, 1800) was a public official from Pennsylvania and Georgia. Biography Born in Ireland, he emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1779, where he became a l...
  • Colonel Pierse Long (1739 - 1789)
    Pierse Long (1739 – April 13, 1789) was an American merchant from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He served as a colonel of the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War and served as a New Hampshi...
  • Arthur Lee (1740 - 1792)
    ) Dr. Arthur Lee (20 December 1740 – 12 December 1792) was a physician and opponent of slavery in colonial Virginia in North America who served as an American diplomat during the American Revo...
  • Joseph Gales, Jr. (1786 - 1860)
    Joseph Gales, Jr. (1786 – July 21, 1860) was an American journalist, born in Eckington, Derbyshire, England. His father, Joseph Gales, Sr. (1760–1841), was a printer in Sheffield, w...
  • Ezra Le Hommedieu (1734 - 1811)
    American statesman. A noted patriot of the Revolutionary War era, Federalist Ezra L'Hommedieu represented New York in the Continental Congress during the years 1779, 1781, 1783, 1787 and 1788. He had...


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