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John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776
sheet 34 of 53, 23 March - 10 April 1776

be granted, and being libelled and prosecuted in any Court erected for the Tryal of maritime Affairs in any of these Colonies, shall be deemed and adjudged to be lawfull Prize; and after deducting and paying the Wages which the Seamen and Mariners onbord board of such captures as are Merchant Ships and Vessels, shall be entitled to, according to the terms of their contracts, untill the time of the Adjudication, shall be condemned to and for the Use of the Owner or Owners, and the Officers, Marines and Mariners of such Armed Vessel, according to such Rules and proportions as they shall agree on; provided always that this Resolution shall not extend to any Vessel bringing Settlers, Arms, Ammunition and warlike Stores to and for the Use of these Colonies, or any of the Inhabitants thereof, who are Friends to the American Cause, or to such Warlike Stores, or to the Effects of such Settlers.
Resolved That all Ships &c. belonging to any Inhabitant of Great Britain as aforesaid, which shall be taken by any of the Vessells of War of these united Colonies, shall be deemed forfeited; one third after deducting and paying the Wages of Seamen and Mariners as aforesaid to the Officers and Men on aboard, and two thirds to the Use of the United Colonies.
Resolved that all Ships &c. belonging to any Inhabitants of Great Britain as aforesaid, which shall be taken by any Vessell of War, fitted out by and at the Expence of any of the United StatesColonies, shall be deemed forfeited, and divided, after deducting and paying the Wages of Seamen and Mariners as aforesaid, in such manner and proportions as the Assembly or Convention of such Colony shall direct.
Resolved that all Vessells &c. and Cargoes, belonging to the Inhabitants of Great Britain as aforesaid, and all Vessells which may be employed in carrying Supplies to the ministerial Armies, which shall happen to be taken near the Shores of any of these Colonies, by the People of the Country, or detachments from the Army, shall be deemed lawful Prize; and the Court of Admiralty within the said Colony is required on condemnation thereof, to adjudge that all Charges and Expences which may attend the Capture and Tryal, be first paid

out of the monies arising from the Sales of the Prize, and the Remainder equally among all those who shall have been actually engaged and employed in taking the said Prize. Provided, that where any detachments of the Army shall have been employed as aforesaid, their part of the Prize Money, shall be distributed among them in proportion to the Pay of the Officers and Soldiers so employed.
Resolved that a Committee of five be appointed to consider of the fortifying one or more ports on the American Coast, in the strongest manner for the Protection of our Cruisers, and the reception of their Prises; that they take the Opinion of the best Engineers on the manner and Expence and report thereon to Congress. The Members chosen Mr. Harrison, Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Hewes, Mr. R. Morris and Mr. Whipple.
Resolved that this Congress will on Monday next resolve itself into a committee of the whole to take into Consideration the Trade of the United Colonies; and that sundry Motions offered by the Members from Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, and Virginia be referred to said Committee.
Here is an Instance, in addition to many others, of an extraordinary Liberty taken by the Secretary, I suppose at the Instigation of the Party against Independence, to suppress, by omitting on the Journals the many Motions that were made disagreable to that sett. These motions ought to have been inserted verbatim on the Journals, with the names of those who made them.
I made a Motion and laid it in Writing on the Table in these Words
Resolved That the Thanks of this Congress, in their own Names and in the Name of the thirteen United Colonies, whom they represent be presented to his Excellency General Washington and the Officers and Soldiers under his Command, for their wise and spirited Conduct in the Seige and Acquisition of Boston; and that a Medal of Gold be struck in Commemoration of this great Event, and presented to his

Excellency; and that a Committee of three be appointed to prepare a Letter of Thanks, and a proper device for the Medal. The Members chosen Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Jay and Mr. Hopkins.
Congress were informed of the Death of Governor Ward and on
they attended his Funeral in mourning for a Month. In this Gentleman who died of the Small Pox, We lost an honourable, a conscientious, a benevolent and inflexible Patriot.
a Multitude of details but no Committee of the whole house.
More Trifles but no Committee of the whole.
A Measure of Great Importance was adopted a Treasury Office with an Auditor and a sufficient Number of Clerks. Mr. Duane and Mr. Gerry were on the Committee of the Treasury. On the 17th. of February 1776 Congress had Resolved that a standing Committee of the Treasury of five be appointed for superintending the Treasury. Their duties pointed out and Mr. Duane, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Gerry, Mr. Smith and Mr. Willing were chosen on the Committee.
On this day April 1. 1776. The Treasury was much improved in its System. No order of the day.
The Committee appointed to prepare a Letter of Thanks to General Washington, and the Officers and Soldiers under his command brought in a draught which was read and agreed to: Ordered that it be transcribed, signed by the President and forwarded. -- But the Letter a great part of the Compliment of which would have lain in the Insertion of it in the Journal, was carefully secluded. Perhaps the Secretary or the President or both, chose rather to conceal the Compliment to the General than make one to the  [illegible Member who made the motion and the Committee who prepared it. I never troubled myself about the Journals, and should never have known the Letter was not there, if I had not been called to peruse them, now after twenty nine Years have rolled away.

great Things were done. The Naval System made great Progress.
We did great Things again.
Agreable to the order of the Day, the Congress resolved itself into a Committee of the whole to take into Consideration the Trade of the United Colonies, and after some time spent thereon, the President resumed the Chair and Mr. Harrison reported that the Committee had taken into Consideration the matters referred to them and had come to sundry Resolutions, which he was ordered to deliver in. The Resolutions agreed to by the Committee of the whole Congress being read, Ordered to lie on the Table.
Good Fryday.
Congress resumed the consideration of the Report, from the Committee of the whole, and the same being twice read, and debated by paragraphs, was agreed to. These Resolutions are on the Journal, and amount to something. They opened the Ports and sett our Commerce at Liberty: But they were far short of what had been moved by Members from Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia. There is one Resolution I will not omit.
Resolved that no Slaves be imported into any of the thirteen Colonies.
I will not omit to remark here, the manifest Artifice, in concealing in the Journal the Motions which were made and the Names of the Members who made them, in these daily Committees of the whole. The Spirit of a Party which has been before exposed can alone Account, for this Unfairness.
Resolved that the Remainder of the report be postponed. A Letter from General Washington of the 27th. of March. And a Letter from Brigadier General Heath being received and read,
Resolved that the Letter from General Washington, with the Papers inclosed, be referred to a Committee of the whole Congress.
No Committee of the whole.
Resolved that the Letters from General Washington be referred to a Committee of the whole Congress.

Cite web page as: John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776, sheet 34 of 53 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, John. John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776. Part 1 is comprised of 53 sheets and 1 insertion; 210 pages total. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Butterfield, L.H., ed. Diary and Autobiography of John Adams. Vol. 3. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1961.
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