their backs upon Great Britain, the Americans prepared for inevitable war. They understood the maxim of revolutionists, that "in union there is strength." A spontaneous desire for a continental council was every where manifested. Its proposition by the Massachusetts Assembly was warmly responded to. The people met in primary assemblies, appointed representatives, and on the 5th of September, 1774, forty-three delegates from twelve colonies assembled in convention, in Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia. Others soon came, and the first Continental Congress began its labors.
When the preliminary organization of Congress was completed, and the delegates were assembled on the morning of the 7th, there was great solemnity. After the Rev. Mr. Duché had prayed in behalf of the assembly for Divine guidance, no one seemed willing to open the business of Congress. There was perfect silence for a few minutes, when a plain man, dressed in "minister's gray," arose and called the delegates to action. The plain man