The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies. It governed the colonies before and during the American Revolution and met three times from 1774 to 1789.
In the First Continental Congress, delegates from twelve colonies (all but Georgia) met in September 1774 because of the Coercive Acts imposed by the British Parliament on Massachusetts to answer the Boston Tea Party and other resistance to new taxes. The following men served as the president of the First Continental Congress:
- Peyton Randolph (September 5, 1774 – October 21, 1774)
- Henry Middleton (October 22, 1774 – October 26, 1774)
The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania starting in May of 1775. It was made up of representatives from all 13 colonies. On July 4, 1776 the Congress approved the United States Declaration of Independence, which was mostly written by Thomas Jefferson. The Second Continental Congress was formed partly to manage the colonial troops fighting the Revolutionary War. Troops fighting for the colonies were known as the militia army led by George Washington.
The following men served as president of the Second Continental Congress:
- Peyton Randolph (May 10, 1775 – May 23, 1775)
- John Hancock (May 24, 1775 – October 31, 1777)
- Henry Laurens (November 1, 1777 – December 9, 1778)
- John Jay (December 10, 1778 – September 27, 1779)
- Samuel Huntington (September 28, 1779 – March 1, 1781)