The Continental Congress Kicks Out John Joachim Zubly

The Continental Congress Kicks Out John Joachim Zubly

Any Patriot who turned Loyalist fascinates me.

Personally, I find it just as curious to see what changed a persons mind about the Revolution as I do learning what made them radical in the first place.

John Joachim Zubly is one of these men. He was turned against the Americans because of a meeting he attended…the Second Continental Congress.

“I would use American Virtue, as sparingly as possible lest We wear it out.”

-Zubly according to John Adams’ notes on October 5 1775

John Joachim Zubly

Swiss-born John Joachim Zubly was ordained as a Calvinist pastor before his 20th birthday. Soon thereafter he relocated to Georgia, where his father had moved several years previously.

Georgia, which had only been settled about a decade earlier, offered him the opportunity to assist in the creation of new churches.

By the time of the American Revolution, Zubly had preached throughout Georgia and South Carolina before taking up his final post at a church in Savannah.


When the Stamp Act was passed, Zubly began speaking out immediately.

John began to give sermons which were critical of the new taxes. One was even published as An Humble Enquiry and which helped clarify for the public what the relationship between citizens and the government really were. This and other of his writings are often viewed as the push Georgia needed to join the Revolutionary War.

Although Georgia did not attend the First Continental Congress, they did decide to send representatives to the Second (albeit several months late).

John Joachim Zubly was one of his colony’s original Continental Congressmen.

Continental Congressman

During Zubly’s time in Philadelphia he began to have doubts regarding the direction of Congress.

John made it clear that he disagreed with Britain’s treatment of her colonies and wanted to rectify the situation, but he was far from a supporter of independence. Leaving the most powerful empire on earth did not seem like a recipe for improving life on the Eastern Seaboard.

It was under this pattern of thought that Zubly also disagreed with the boycott of British goods. All the colonies (but especially the under-developed Georgia) would suffer from the lack of trade. This, in turn, would lead to desperation and crime.

This is when is quote about ‘American Virtue’ (above) was documented.


After just two months in Congress, Zubly was being accused of turning his back on his country.

It was discovered that he was still corresponding with an old friend regarding the workings of Congress. It just so happens that this friend was Royal Governor James Wright. From Zubly’s perspective, he was simply discussing the issues of the day with an important and politically powerful ally.

However, if you were in the Continental Congress being chummy with a Royal Governor was simply not acceptable. John was kicked out and swiftly returned to Georgia.

This was the last straw.

During his brief time in Congress, while arguing for what he thought best, John Joachim Zubly had transformed from Rebel to Loyalist.

Do you want to read about other Founders who turned Loyalist?

You might like some of these stories:

Philip Barton Key - The Loyalist Founding Father

Isaac Low Organizes the Committee of Fifty-One

A Founder Lost - The Treason of Dr. Benjamin Church

Zubly’s writings are a really great insight to the thoughts of the Founders on the eve of Revolution.

‘A Warm and Zealous Spirit’ is a collection of his pamphlets and sermons which can help you learn about the feelings of the Founders before the war.

Pick up a copy through the Amazon affiliate link below (you’ll support this site, but don’t worry, Amazon pays me while your price stays the same).

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