Full Title: Secret Journals of the Acts and Proceedings of Congress, from the First Meeting thereof to the Dissoluiton of the Confederation, by the Adoption of the Constitution of the United States. . . . Vol. I. Boston: Printed and Published by Thomas B. Wait, 1821.
The Secret Journals of the Congress of the Confederation, directed by the foregoing resolutions to be published, are at the Department of State in five manuscript volumes. The Journals of Proceedings relating to Domestick Affairs, are in one separate volume, and the History of the Confederation in another. Of the latter, the projected articles presented by Dr. Franklin, on the 21st of July, 1775; those reported int he hand-writing of J. Dickinson, on the 12th of July, 1776, and those reported in a new draft on the 20th of August, 1776, by the committee of the whole, were kept secret, and have never before been published. The proceedings subsequent to the 8th of April, 1777, when this report of the committee of the whole was taken up and debated in Congress, were published from time to time in the publick journals; but never having been collected in one compilation, and being scattered through seveal of the volumes of the publick journals, which are now quite out of print, it has been thought most consistent with the intention of the resolutions to publish the whole of this manuscript. The Journal of Foreign Affairs is at the Department in three volumes; the last of which is not entirely filled, the journal closing on the 16th of September, 1788. On the 13th of the same month the resolution had passed for the organization of the new government, and for the meeting of the Congress under the constitution of the United States on the first Wednesday of the ensuing March. The tenth of October, 1788, was the last day upon which the Congress of the confederation met in numbers sufficient to form a quorum.
Department of State, August, 1820.
NOVEMBER 9, 1775.
Resolved, That every member of this Congress considers himself under the ties of virtue, honour, and love of his country, not to divulge, directly or indirectly, any matter or thing agitated or debated in Congress, before the same shall have been determined, without leave of the Congress; nor any matter or thing determined in Congress, which a majority of the Congress shall order to be kept secret. And that if any member shall violate this agreement, he shall be expelled this Congress, and deemed an enemy to the liberties of America, and liable to be treated as such; and that every member signify his consent to this agreement by signing the same.