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  • Hon. Matthew Clarkson, Mayor of Philadelphia, 1792-1796 (1733 - 1800)
    Matthew Clarkson (April 1733 – October 5, 1800) was the mayor of Philadelphia from 1792 to 1796. He was elected to the Confederation Congress in 1785, but did not attend. Biography Clarkson was born...
  • Charles (Colonel) - Patriot, Statesman & Leader of the American Revolution DeWitt (1727 - 1787)
    DeWitt (April 27, 1727 – August 27, 1787) was an American statesman and miller from the U.S. state of New York. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress.Early lifeDeWitt was born in Kingston...
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    Most Rev. William White, 1st Bishop of Philadelphia (1748 - 1836)
    The Most Reverend William White was the first and fourth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, USA (1789; 1795–1836), the first Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania (1787–1836), and the second Uni...
  • William Gibbons (1726 - 1800)
    Continental Congressman. After studying law in Charleston, South Carolina, he was admitted to the bar and established a practice in Savannah, Georgia. He joined the Sons of Liberty in 1774, and on May ...
  • William Pierce (c.1753 - 1789)
    Pierce or William Pierce, Jr. (1753 – December 10, 1789) was an army officer during the American Revolutionary War and a member of the United States Constitutional Convention of 1787.William Pierce was...


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