New York State Provincial Congress Petitions

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

This series consists of petitions submitted to the Provincial Congress, Committee of Safety, or Council of Safety by individuals or local committees requesting appointments of military officers or regimental surgeons; permission to travel; pardon or release of imprisoned or suspected loyalists; permission to export goods; and payment due to militia troops or for other services or goods. The volume is fragile due to burn damage.
0.5 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
Series Number:


Rough chronological.

Administrative History

The First Provincial Congress (also called the Provincial Convention) met in New York City on April 20, 1775 to choose delegates to the Second Continental Congress. The Provincial Congress reconvened several times over the next two years, and appointed committees or councils of safety to govern New York during its adjournments. The Congress also appointed ad hoc committees to consider petitions from citizens or from other Revolutionary bodies. On June 9, 1776, the Fourth Provincial Congress approved the Declaration of Independence and renamed itself the Convention of the Representatives of the State of New York. This body continued to govern New York until the establishment of a constitutional government in 1777.

Scope and Content Note

These are petitions to the Provincial Congress or (during its recesses) the Committee of Safety or Council of Safety, requesting appointments, relief, or other favors. The petitions are from individuals or local committees and make such requests as: for appointments as military officers or regimental surgeons; permission to travel; reimbursements for losses suffered at the hands of soldiers lodged in homes; pardon or release of imprisoned loyalists or suspected loyalists; permission to export goods; election of "deputies" to the Provincial Congress; and payment due to militia troops or for other services or supplies.

These records were severely burned in the State Capitol Fire of 1911, and about one-third of the original series (volume 31), including over half of the 1776 documents, were lost in the fire.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Closed to research due to severe burn damage.

Alternate Formats Available

Some of these documents were published as "Calendar of Historical Manuscripts Relating to the Revolution in the Office of the Secretary of State, Albany, N.Y." (Albany: Weed Parsons and Co., 1868). Available at the New York State Library, Albany, N.Y.

Related Information

Other finding aids

Fragments of index to some 1776 petitions (those previously bound as "Volume 32").

Folder list available to surviving fragments of the records, identifying volume number, date, and petitioner.

Custodial History

These records had been bound by the Secretary of State's Office as volumes 31-33 of "Papers Laid Before the Provincial Congress." Volume 31 was destroyed in the State Capitol Fire of 1911. Extant records represent volumes 32 and 33 only.

Access Terms

Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):