George Washington by Gilbert Stuart

First Continental Congress


On September 5th, 1774, 55 delegates from 12 colonies came together at Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia to form the First Continental Congress. The First Continental Congress was formed in response to the Coercive Acts, which were passed by the British Parliament to punish the colonials for the Boston Tea Party. The Congress affirmed their loyalty to England but denied its right to tax the colonies. Additionally, they called the colonies to boycott trade with England if taxes were not repealed. Lastly, they decided that the Continental Congress would meet again the next year if the Coercive Acts were not repealed. They wrote their petitions down and sent them to King George III, but received no response.

“I am not a Virginian, but an American.”—Patrick Henry, famously stated at the First Continental Congress

“I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”—Patrick Henry, famously stated at the First Continental Congress

Among the 55 delegates were famous names such as George Washington, John Adams, and Patrick Henry.


Georgia was the only state not to send delegates to the Congress, where the royal governor kept delegates from being sent.

Peyton Randolph of Virginia was elected as the President of the First Continental Congress.