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Adams Family Papers : An Electronic Archive
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John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776
sheet 37 of 53, 25 May - 12 June 1776


Resolved that a Committee be appointed to confer with his Excellency General Washington, Major General Gates, and Brigadier General Mifflin, and to concert a Plan of military Operations for the ensuing Campaign. The Members appointed Mr. Harrison, Mr. R. H. Lee, Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Wilson, Mr. R. R. Livingston,Mr. Whipple, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. W. Livingston, Mr. Read, Mr. Tilghman, Mr. Hewes, Mr. Middleton and Mr. Hall.
Congress took into Consideration the Report of the Committee on the Letter from General Washington of 11 May, the Letter from Gen. Schuyler of the third &c. which was in part agreed to, as may be seen on the Journal.
Resolved that the Consideration of the first Paragraph in said report be postponed, and that the third and fifth Paragraphs be referred to the Committee appointed to confer with the Generals.
Resolved that the several Reports on General Washingtons Letters, not yet considered, and the Generals Letters, which were referred to a Committee of the whole Congress, be committed to the Committee appointed to confer with the Generals.
Thus as Postponement and Embarassment had been for Many Months, the Object, We were now had all our Business to go over again.
A Number of Deputies from four of the six Nations of Indians, having Arrived in Town and notified Congress, that they are desirous of an Audience.
Resolved That they be admitted to an Audience on Monday next at Eleven O Clock.
Agreable to order, the Indians were admitted to an Audience.
The Committee appointed to confer with the Generals brought in a Report which was read and considered, Resolved that the farther Consideration of the Report be postponed till tomorrow.
Congress took into Consideration the Report of the Committee appointed to confer with the Generals. Resolved that it be referred to a Committee of the whole Congress. Mr. Harrison reported one Resolution, relative to the defence of New York. Leave to sit again.
The Committee of Conference brought in a farther report which was read. Resolved that it be referred to the Committee of the whole Congress. Mr. Harrison reported a request to sit again. Granted.
Colonel Joseph Read resigned his Office of Secretary to General Washington.


Committee of the whole again. Mr. Harrison reported some resolutions. Leave to sit again.
Committee of the whole. Mr. Harrison reported sundry resolutions. Leave to sit again.
Committee of the whole. Mr. Harrison reported more resolutions. Leave to sit again. Resolutions reported postponed.
Congress took into Consideration the report of the Committee of the whole; whereupon resolved, That a Committee of five be appointed to consider what is proper to be done with Persons giving Intelligence to the Ennemy or supplying them with provisions.
The Members chosen Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Rutledge, Mr. Wilson and Mr. R. Livingston.
Resolved that Robert Hanson Harrison Esq. have the Rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental Army. The Generals Secretary as I suppose. Joseph Reed Esqr. was elected Adjutant General.
Certain Resolutions respecting Independency being moved and seconded. Resolved That the Consideration of them be referred till tomorrow morning; and that the members be enjoyned to attend punctually at ten O Clock, in order to take the same into their consideration.
It will naturally be enquired why these Resolutions and the Names of the Gentlemen who moved and seconded them, were not inserted in the Journals? To this question I can give no other Answer than this. Mr. Hancock was President,Mr. Harrison Chairman of the Committee of the whole House. Mr. Thompson the Secretary was cousin to Mr. Dickinson. And Mr. R. H. Lee, Mr. John Adams Mr. Adams Principles were no favourites of either.
Resolved that the Resolutions respecting Independency be referred to a Committee of the whole Congress. Mr. Harrison reported no Resolution. Leave to sit again.
Committee of the whole. Mr. Harrison reported

a Resolution. The Resolution agreed to in the Committee of the whole Congress being read,
Resolved that the Consideration of the first resolution be postponed to the first day of July next; and in the mean while, that no time be lost in Case the Congress agree thereto, that a Committee be appointed to prepare a declaration to the effect of the first Resolution, which is in these Words, "That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent States; that they are absolved, from all Allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved."
Resolved that a Committee of three be appointed to consider of a Compensation to the Secretary for his services. The Members chosen Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Rutledge and Mr. Hewes.
Resolved that the Committee for preparing the declaration consist of five. The Members chosen Mr. Jefferson, Mr. John Adams, and Mr. Franklin,Mr. Sherman and Mr. R. R. Livingston. Jefferson was chairman because he had most votes, and he had most votes because We united in him, to the Exclusion of R. H. Lee in order to keep out Harrison.
Resolved that a Committee be appointed to prepare a Plan of Treaties to be proposed and digest the form of a Confederation to be entered into between these Colonies.
That a Committee be appointed to prepare a plan of Treaties to be proposed to foreign Powers.
Resolved that the Committee to prepare and digest the form of a confederation, to be entered into between these Colonies, consist of a Member from each Colony. The Members appointed Mr. Bartlet, Mr. S. Adams, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Sherman, Mr. R. R. Livingston, Mr. Dickenson, Mr. McKean, Mr. Stone, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Hewes, Mr. E. Rutledge and Mr. Gwinnet.
Resolved that the Committee to prepare a Plan of Treaties to be proposed to foreign Powers consist of five.
The Members chosen Mr. Dickenson, Mr. Franklin, Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Harrison and Mr. R. Morris.


Congress took into Consideration the Report of the Committee on the War Office, whereupon
Resolved That a Committee of Congress be appointed by the Name of a board of War and Ordinance, to consist of five Members.
In order to shew the insupportable Burthen of Business, that was thrown upon me, by this Congress, it is necessary that to transcribe from the Journal an Account of the Constitution, Powers and Duties of this Board.
It was resolved that a Secretary and one or more Clerks be appointed by Congress, with competent Salaries, to assist the said Board, in executing the Business of their department.
That it shall be the duty of the said Board to obtain and keep an Alphabeticall and accurate Register of the Names of all Officers of the Land Forces of the United States in the Service of the United Colonies, with their Rank and the dates of their respective Commissions; and also regular Accounts of the State and distribution of the Troops in the respective Colonies, for which purpose the Generals and Officers commanding the differentComman Departments and Posts, are to cause regular returns to be made into the said War Office.
That they shall obtain and keep exact Accounts of all the Artillery, Arms, Ammunition and warlike Stores, belonging to the United Colonies and of the manner in which, and the Places where the same shall from time to time be lodged and employed; and that they shall have the immediate Care of all such Artillery, Arms, Ammunition and Warlike Stores, as shall not be employed in actual Service; for preserving whereof, they shall have Power to hire proper Magazines at the public Expence:
That they shall have the care of forwarding all dispatches from Congress to the Colonies and Armies, and all Monies to be transmitted for the public Service by order of Congress; and of providing suitable Escorts and Guards for the safe Conveyance of such dispatches and Monies, when it shall appear to them to be necessary.
That they shall superintend the raising, fitting out, and dispatching all such Land Forces as may be ordered for the Service of the United Colonies.


Cite web page as: John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776, sheet 37 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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