the beginnings

Back in November of 1775, the Congress had established a Secret Committee to “correspond with our friends in Great Britain, Ireland, and other parts of the world,” but whose most immediate task would be to quietly test the waters about the likelihood of obtaining useful foreign alliances. Initially composed of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Johnson, John Dickinson and John Jay, the committee later added the wealthy and worldly Philadelphian Robert Morris, who perhaps knew the world of international commerce better than any other American. It has been argued with considerable persuasiveness that this Secret Committee was, in effect, the beginning of what we now call the Department of State.

–          Our Lives, Our Fortunes, & Our Sacred Honor – The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776 by Richard R. Beeman

continental congress-e


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