[The preceding text was added in the handwriting of Charles Francis Adams]
Inside Front Cover
Archibald Bullock and John Houstoun
Esquires, and the Revd. Dr. Zubly, appear as Delegates from
Dr. Zubly is a Native of
Switzerland, and a Clergyman of the Independent Perswasion, settled in a Parish
in Georgia. He speaks, as it is reported, Several Languages,
English, Dutch, French, Latin &c. -- is reported to be a learned Man. He is
a Man of a warm and zealous Spirit. It is said that he possesses considerable
Houstoun is a young Gentleman, by Profession a Lawyer,
educated under a Gentleman of Eminence in
South Carolina. He seems to be sensible and spirited, but rather
Bullock is cloathed in American
Thomas Nelson Esquire, George Wythe Esqr., and Francis Lightfoot Lee Esq. appeared as Delegates from
Nelson is a fat Man, like the late Coll. Lee of Marblehead. He is a
Speaker, and alert and lively, for his Weight.
Wythe is a Lawyer, it is said of the first Eminence.
Lee is a Brother of Dr. Arthur, the late
London, and our old Friend Richard Henry,
sensible, and patriotic, as the rest of the Family.
Deane says, that two Persons, of the Name
of De Witt of Dutch Extraction, one in
Norwich the other in
Windham, have made Salt Petre with Success -- and propose to
make a great deal. That there is a Mine of Lead at
Middletown, which will afford a great Quantity. That Works are
preparing to smelt and refine it, which will go in a fortnight. There is a Mine
Northampton, which Mr. W. Bowdoin spent much
Money in working, with much Effect, tho little
Langdon and Bartlett came in this Evening,
Portsmouth. 400 Men are building a Fort on
Pierce's Island to defend the Town vs. Ships of War.
Upon recollecting the Debates of this Day in Congress, there appears to me a
remarkable Want of judgment in some of our Members. Chace is
violent and boisterous, asking his Pardon. He is tedious upon frivolous Points.
So is E. Rutledge. Much precious Time is indiscreetly
expended. Points of little Consequence are started, and
warmth. Rutledge is a very
uncouth, and ungracefull
Speaker. He shruggs
his Shoulders, distorts his Body, nods and wriggles
with his Head, and looks about
with his Eyes, from side to side,
and Speaks thro
his Nose, as the Yankees Sing. His
dodges his Head too, rather
, and both of them Spout out their
Language in a rough and rapid Torrent, but without much Force or Effect.
Dyer is long winded and roundabout -- obscure and cloudy.
Very talkative and very tedious, yet an honest, worthy Man, means and judges
Sherman's Air is the Reverse of Grace. There cannot be a
more striking Contrast to beautifull Action, than
the Motions of his Hands. Generally, he stands upright with his Hands before
him. The fingers of his left Hand clenched into a Fist, and the Wrist of it,
grasped with his right. But he has a clear Head and sound judgment. But when he
moves a Hand, in any thing like Action, Hogarths
Genuis could not have invented a Motion more opposite to grace. It is
Stiffness, and Aukwardness itself. Rigid as
Starched Linen or Buckram. Aukward as a junior Batchelor, or a Sophomore.
Mr. Dickinsons Air, Gate, and Action are not much more
SEPT. 16. SATURDAY.
Walking to the Statehouse this Morning, I met Mr.
Dickinson, on Foot in
Chesnut Street. We met, and passed near enough to touch Elbows.
He passed without moving his Hat, or Head or Hand. I bowed and pulled off my
Hat. He passed hautily by. The Cause of his Offence, is the Letter no doubt
which Gage has printed in Drapers Paper.
I shall for the future pass him, in the same manner. But I was determined to
make my Bow, that I might know his Temper.
We are not to be upon speaking Terms, nor bowing Terms, for the time to
This Evening had Conversation with Mr. Bullock of
Georgia. -- I asked him, whether
Georgia had a Charter? What was the Extent of the Province? What
was their Constitution? How justice was ad ministered? Who was Chancellor, who
Ordinary? and who judges?
He says they have County Courts for the Tryal of
civil Causes under 8. -- and a C. [Chief] Justice,
appointed from Home and 3 other judges appointed by the Governor, for the
decision of all other Causes civil and criminal, at
Savanna. That the Governor alone is both Chancellor and
Parson Gordon of
Roxbury, spent the Evening here. -- I fear his indiscreet Prate
will do harm in this City. He is an eternal Talker, and somewhat vain, and not
accurate nor judicious. Very zealous in the Cause, and a well meaning Man, but
incautious, and not sufficiently tender of the Character of our Province, upon
which at this Time much depends. Fond of being thought a Man of Influence, at
Head Quarters, and with our Council and House, and with the general Officers of
the Army, and also with Gentlemen in this City, and other Colonies. -- He is a
good Man, but wants a Guide.
1775 SEPTR. 17TH.
Mr. Smith, Mr. Imlay and Mr.
Hanson, breakfasted with us. Smith is an
Englishman,Imlay and Hanson N. Yorkers.
Heard Sprout [Sproat], on 3 Tit. 5. Not
by Works of Righteousness, which We have done, but according to his Mercy he
saved us, through the Washing of Regeneration and the Renewing of the holy
There is a great deal of Simplicity and Innocence in this worthy Man, but
very little Elegance or Ingenuity. -- In Prayer, he hangs his Head in an Angle
of 45 over his right Shoulder. In Sermon, which is delivered without Notes, he
throws himself into
a Variety of indecent Postures. Bends his Body,
Points his Fingers, and throws about his Arms, without any Rule or Meaning at
all. He is totally destitute of the Genius and Eloquence
of Duffil [Duffield]
, has no Imagination, No
Passions, no Wit, and very little
no Taste and very little Learning,
but a great deal of Goodness of Heart.
1775 SEPTR. 18.
This Morning John McPherson Esq. came to my Lodging, and
requested to speak with me in Private. He is the Owner of a very handsome
Country Seat, about five Miles out of this City: is the Father of Mr.
McPherson, an Aid de
Camp to General Schuyler. He has been a Captain of a
Privateer, and made a Fortune in that Way the last War. Is reputed to be well
skilled in naval Affairs. -- He proposes great Things. Is sanguine, confident,
positive, that he can take or burn every Man of War, in
America. -- It is a Secret he says. But he will communicate it
to any one Member of Congress upon Condition, that it be not divulged during
his Life at all, nor after his Death but for the Service of this Country. He
says it is as certain as that he shall die, that he can burn any Ship.
In the afternoon Mr. S.A.
and I made visit
at Mrs. Bedfords to the
Maryland Gentlemen. We found Paca
and Chase and a polite Reception
is ever social and talkative. He
seems in better Humour
, than he was before the
Adjournment. His Colony have acted with Spirit in Support of the Cause. They
have formed themselves into a System and enjoyned
Association, if that is not an Absurdity.
1775 SEPTR. 19.
This Morning Mr. Henry Hill with his Brother Nat. Barrett came to visit
us.Paine introduced him to Mrs. Yard as one
of the Poor of
Boston. He is here with his Wife, on a Visit to her Brother. P.
cries You H. Hill, what did you come here for? Who did you
bring with you? ha! ha! ha!
Took a Walk in Company with Govr. Ward, Mr.
Gadsden and his Son, and Mr. S. Adams, to
a little Box in the Country, belonging to old Mr. Marshall,
the father of three Sons who live in the City. A fine facetious old Gentleman,
an excellent Whigg. There We drank Coffee. A fine Garden. A little Box of one
Room. Very chearfull and good humoured.
The famous Partisan Major Rogers came to our Lodgings to
make Us a Visit. He has been in Prison -- discharged by some insolvent or
bankrupt Act. He thinks We shall
have hot Work, next Spring. He
told me an old half Pay Officer, such as himself, would sell well next Spring.
And when he went away, he said to S.A.
and me, if
you want me, next Spring for any Service, you know where I am, send for me. I
am to be sold.
He says the Scotch Men at home, say d--n that Adams and Cushing. We must have their Heads,
&c.Bernard used to d -- n that Adams -- every dip of his Pen stung like an horned Snake,
&c. Paxton made his Will in favour of Ld. Townsend, and by that
Maneuvre got himself made a Commissioner. There was
a great deal of Beauty in that Stroke of Policy. We must laugh at such sublime
Strokes of Politicks, &c. &c. &c.
In the Evening Mr. Jona. Dickinson Sergeant of
Prince Town, made a Visit to the
Sec. and me. He says he is no Idolater of his Name Sake. That he was
disappointed when he first saw him. Fame had given him an exalted Idea: but he
N. Jersey upon a particular Cause, and made such a flimsy,
effeminate, [illegible] Piece of Work of it, that he sunk at once
in his Opinion.
Serjeant is sorry to find a falling off in this City -- not a third of the
Battalion Men muster, who mustered at first.
he says sinks here in the public
opinion. That many Gentlemen chime in with a spirited
in the Paper of Wednesday, which blames the conduct of several Gentlemen of
and J. Allen
Mr. Gordon spent the Evening here.
SATURDAY. SEPTR. 23.
Mr. Gordon came and told us News, opened his Budget.
--Ethan Allen with 500 green mountain Boys, were entrenched
half Way between
St. Johns and
Montreal, and had cutt off all
Communication with Carlton, and was kindly treated by the
French. A Council of War had been held, and it was their opinion that it was
practicable to take
Charlestown: but as it would cost many Lives, and expose the
Boston to destruction it was thought best to postpone it for the
Major Rogers came here too this Morning. Said he had a Hand
and an Heart:tho he did not choose by offering
himself to expose himself to Destruction.
I walked, a long Time this Morning, backward and forward, in the Statehouse
Yard with Paca,
McKean and Johnson. McKean has
no Idea of any Right or Authority in Parliament. Paca contends
for an Authority and Right to regulate Trade, &c.
Dyer and Serjeant of
Princetown, spent the Evening here.
S. says that the Irish Interest in this City has been the Support of
Liberty.Maes [Mease ]&c. are leaders in
it. The Irish and the Presbyterian Interest coalesce.
Dyer is very sanguine that the 2 De
Witts, one of
Windham, the other of Norwich, will make Salt
Petre in large Quantities. He produces a Sample, which is very good.
Harrison is confident that
Virginia alone will do great Things from Tobacco Houses. But my
faith is not strong, as yet.
Ld. North is at his old Work again. Sending over his
America -- deceiving one credulous American after another, into
a Belief that he means Conciliation, when in Truth he means nothing but
Revenge. He rocks the cradle, and sings Lullaby, and the innocent Children go
to Sleep, while he prepares the Birch to whip the poor Babes. One Letter after
another comes that the People are uneasy and the Ministry are sick of their
Systems. But nothing can be more fallacious. Next Spring We shall be jockied
by Negociation, or have hot Work in War. Besides
I expect a Reinforcement to Gage and
to Carlton, this fall or Winter.
Heard Mr. Smith of
Pequay [Pequea], at about 40 Miles towards
Lancaster, a Scotch Clergyman, of great Piety as Coll. Roberdeau says: The Text was
Luke 14:18. And they all with one Consent began to make excuse. -- This was
at Duffills Meeting. In the afternoon, heard our Mr.
Gordon, in Arch Street. The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon
Call'd upon Stephen Collins who has just returned.
Stephen has a Thousand Things to say to Us, he says. A
Thousand observations to make.
One Thing he told me, for my Wife, who will be peeping here, sometime or
other, and come across it. He says when he call'd at
my House, an English Gentleman was with him, a Man of Penetration,tho of few Words. And this silent, penetrating Gentleman
was pleased with Mrs. Adams , and thought her, the
most accomplished Lady he had seen since he came out of
England. -- Down Vanity, for you dont know who this Englishman
came in. He is an elegant,
ingenious Body. Sprightly, pretty fellow. He is a Republican. He has been much
Burgh, and others of that Stamp.Dilly sends
him Books and Pamphletts
Sawbridge and McCaulay correspond with him. He
complains of D. [Dickinson]
Committee of Safety are not the Representatives of the People, and therefore
not their Legislators; yet they have been making Laws, a whole Code for a Navy.
This Committee was chosen by the House, but half of them are not Members and
therefore not the Choice of the People. All this is just. He mentions many
Particular Instances, in which Dickenson
has blundered. He thinks him warped by the Quaker Interest and the Church
Interest too. Thinks his Reputation past the Meridian, and that Avarice is
growing upon him. Says that Henry
Mifin both complained to him very much about him.
I think, is too much of a Talker
to be a deep Thinker. Elegant not great.
In the Evening Mr. Bullock and Mr.
Houstoun, two Gentlemen from
Georgia, came into our Room and smoked and chatted, the whole
Evening. Houstoun and Adams disputed the whole
Time in good Humour. They are both Dabbs at
Disputation I think. H. a Lawyer by Trade is one of Course,
and Adams is not a Whit less addicted to it than the Lawyers.
The Q. was whether all
America was not in a State of War, and whether We ought to
confine ourselves to act upon the defensive only. He was for acting offensively
next Spring or this fall if the Petition was rejected or neglected. If it was
not answered, and favourably answered, he would be
for acting vs.
Britain and Britains as in open War vs. French and frenchmen. Fit Privateers and take their
Ships, any where.
These Gentlemen give a melancholly Account of
the State of
S. Carolina. They say that if 1000 regular Troops should land
in Georgia and their commander be provided with Arms and Cloaths enough,
and proclaim Freedom to all the Negroes who would join his Camp, 20,000 Negroes
would join it from the two Provinces in a fortnight. The Negroes have a wonderfull Art of communicating Intelligence among
themselves. It will run severall hundreds of Miles in a Week or Fortnight.
They say, their only Security is this, that all the Kings Friends and Tools
of Government have large Plantations and Property in Negroes. So that the
Slaves of the Tories would be lost as well as those of the Whiggs.
I had nearly forgot a Conversation with Dr.
Coombe concerning assassination,Henry
4.,Sully, Buckingham &c.
&c.Coombe has read Sullys Memoirs with
Rode out of Town and dined with Mr. Macpherson. He has the
most elegant Seat in
Pensilvania, a clever Scotch
Wife and two pretty daughters. His Seat is on the Banks of
He has been Nine Times wounded in Battle. An old Sea Commander, made a
Fortune by Privateering. An Arm twice shot off, shot thro the Leg. &c. -- He renews his Proposals of taking
or burning Ships.
Spent the Evening with Lynch at the City Tavern. He thinks
the Row Gallies and Vesseau de Frize inadequate to the Expence.
1775 SEPTR. 26.
Wrote to Mrs. A. and Mr. and Mrs. W.
Mr. Bullock and Mr. Houstoun, the
Georgia, invited S.A. and me to
spend the Evening with them in their Chamber, which We did very agreably and socially. Mr. Langdon of
N. Hampshire was with us.
Mr. Bullock after Dinner invited me to take a ride with him
in his Phaeton which I did. He is a solid, clever Man. He was President of
SEPT. 28. THURSDAY.
The Congress, and the Assembly of this Province were invited to make an
Delaware River in the new Row Gallies built by the Committee of
Safety of this Colony. About Ten in the Morning We all embarked. The Names of
the Gallies are the Washington, the Effingham, the Franklin, the Dickenson, the
Otter, the Bull Dog, and one more, whose Name I have forgot. We passed
up down the River by
Glocester where the Vesseau de
Frize are. These are Frames of Timber to be fill'd with
Stones and sunk, in three Rowes, in the Channell.
I went in the Bull Dog Captn.
Alexander Commander. Mr.
Mr. Owen Biddle, and
Mr. Rittenhouse, and Capt.
were with me.
Hillegas is one of our Continental Treasurers, is a great
Musician -- talks perpetually of the Forte and Piano, of
Handell &c. and Songs and Tunes. He plays upon the
Rittenhouse is a Mechannic, a
Mathematician, a Philsosopher and an Astronomer.
Biddle is said to be a great Mathematician. Both are
Members of the American Philosophical Society. I mentioned Mr.
Cranch to them for a Member.
Our Intention was to have gone down to the Fort but the Winds and Tide
being unfavourable We returned by the City and
went up the River to Point no Point, a pretty Place. On our Return Dr. Rush,Dr. Zubly
and Counciller Ross, Brother
of George Ross, joined us.
Ross is a Lawyer, of great Eloquence, and heretofore of
extensive Practice. A great Tory, they say, but now begins to be converted. He
said the Americans were making the noblest and firmest Resistance to Tyranny
that ever was made by any People. The Acts were founded in Wrong, Injustice and
Oppression. The great Town
Boston had been remarkably punished without being heard.
Rittenhouse is a tall, slender Man, plain, soft, modest, no
remarkable Depth, or thoughtfullness in his
Face -- yet cool, attentive, and clear.
25TH. 1775. WEDNESDAY.
Mr. Duane told me at the Funeral of our late virtuous and
able President that he, Mr. Duane, had accustomed him self to
read the Year Books. Mr. De Lancey who was
C. [Chief] J. [Justice] of N.
York he said advised him to it, as the best Method of imbibing the
Spirit of the Law. De Lancey told him that he had translated a
Pile of Cases from the Year Books, altho he was a
very lazy Man.
Duane says that Jefferson is the greatest
Rubber off of Dust that he has met with, that he has learned French, Italian,
Spanish and wants to learn German.
Duane says, he has no Curiosity at all -- not the least
Inclination to see a City or a Building &c.
That his Memory fails, is very averse to be burthened. That in his Youth he
could remember any Thing. Nothing but what he could
learn, but it is very different now.
Last Evening Mr. Hewes of
N. Carolina, introduced to my Namesake and me, a Mr. Hog from that Colony, one of the Proprietors of
Transylvania, a late Purchase from the Cherokees upon
the Ohio. He is an associate
with Henderson who was lately one of the Associate Judges of
N. Carolina, who is President of the Convention in
These Proprietors have no Grant from the Crown nor from any Colony, are
within the Limits of
North Carolina, by their Charters which bound those Colonies on
the South Sea. They are charged with Republican Notions -- and Utopian
Oct. 29. Sunday.
Paine brought in a large sample of salt petre, made in this
City, by Mr. Ripsama. It is very good, large and burns off,
when laid upon a Coal like moist Powder. I tried it.
Heard Mr. Carmichael, at Mr. Duffils, on
"Trust in the Lord and do good, so shall yo dwell in the Land and verily thou
shallt be fed."
Having Yesterday [asked and] obtained Leave of Congress
to go home, this Morning I mounted, with my own Servant only, about twelve o
Clock, and reached
the red Lyon about two where I dine The Roads very miry and
dirty, the Weather pleasant, and not cold.
1775.DECR. 10 Sunday
Trenton, breakfasted, rode to
Princetown, and dined with
a Captain Flahaven, in Ld. Sterlings
Regiment, who has been express to Congress from his Lordship.
Flahaven's Father live in this Province. He has lived in
Says that the
Virginia Convention granting the Scotch Petition to be neutral
has done all the Mischief and been the Support of Lord
Dunmore. He says the Scotch are in some Parts of
Virginia powerfull -- that not only
their public Proceedings but their private Characters. He has heard them
decrying the Characters of the
Maryland Delegates particularly Chase
Virginia Delegates particularly Lee,Henry and Washington.
Last Evening, when I dismounted at
Bristow, the Taverner shewed me into a
Room, where was a young Gentleman very elegantly dress'd, with whom I spent the Evening. His name I could
not learn. He told me, had been an Officer in the Army but had sold out. I had
much Conversation with him and some of it very free.
He told me, when We had two valuable Prizes among the
Prisoners, taken at
St. Johns -- a Mr. Barrington Nephew
of Lord Barrington, and a Captain
Williams who he says is the greatest Officer in the Service. He gives a
most exalted Character of Williams as a Mathematician,Phylospher, Engineer, and in all other Accomplishments
of an Officer.
In the Evening Mr. Baldwin came to see me. We waited
on Dr. Witherspoon the President of the Colledge where we saw Mr. Smith and two
other of the light Horse from
Philadelphia goin to the Camp with a Waggon.
Pages 24 - 59
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Inside Back Cover
[LIST OF PERSONS SUITABLE FOR NAVAL COMMANDS,
Captn. Isaac Sears
Clement Lempriere. S.C.
Simeon Sampson. P.
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