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Adams Family Papers : An Electronic Archive
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John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776
sheet 39 of 53, 15 - 31 July 1776


to Congress, asked me if I had seen the Constitution of New York? I answered him, that I had. He then asked me if it was not agreable to my Ideas, as I had published them in my Letter to Mr. Wythe. I said I thought it by far the best Constitution that had yet been adopted.
The dayly referrences to the Board of War, rendered it necessary for me to spend almost my whole time in it, on Mornings till Congress met and on Evenings, till late at night. The Journals will shew some of the results of the tedious details. There is one Report, which may be mentioned here.
The Board of War to whom the Letter from General Washington of the 14th was referred brought in their report which was read taken into consideration; whereupon
Resolved That General Washington, in refusing to receive a Letter, said to be sent from Lord Howe, addressed to George Washington Esqr., acted with a Dignity becoming his Station; and therefore the Congress do highly approve the same; and do direct, that no Letter or Message be received on any Occasion whatsoever from the Enemy, by the Commander in Chief or others the Commanders of the American Army but such as shall be directed to them in the Characters they respectively sustain.
Resolved that Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Harrison and Mr. Morris be a Committee to bring in a Resolution for subjecting to Confiscation, the Property of the Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, and particularly of the Inhabitants ofGreat Britain of the British West Indies Islands taken on the high Seas or between high and low Water Mark.
Resolved that a Member be added to the Board of War. The Member chosen Mr. Carrol, an excellent Member, whose Education, Manners and Application to Business and to Study did honour to his Fortune, the first in America.
The Committee appointed to prepare a Plan of Treaties to be entered into, with foreign States and Kingdoms, brought in their report, which was read. Ordered to lie on the Table.
The Board of War brought in a report, which was taken into Consideration whereupon Resolved. See the Resolutions in the Journal.


The Committee appointed to prepare a Resolution for subjecting to Confiscation the property of the Subjects of Great Britain &c. brought in the same which was read: Ordered to lie on the Table, and that the same be taken into consideration on Monday next.
The committee to whom the Letters from Lord Howe to Mr. Franklin &c. were referred, brought in a report, which was taken into Consideration whereupon
Resolved That a Copy of the Circular Letters, and the declaration inclosed from Lord Howe to Mr. William Franklin, Mr. Penn, Mr. Eden, Lord Dunmore, Mr. Martin, and Sir James Wright, which were sent to Amboy by a flagg, and forwarded to Congress by General Washington, be published in the several Gazettes, that the good People of these United States may be informed, of what nature are the Commissioners, and what the terms, with expectation of which the insidious court of Britain has endeavoured to amuse and disarm them, And that the few, who still remain suspended by a hope founded either in the justice or moderation of their late King, may now, at length be convinced, that the valour alone of their Country, is to save its Liberties.
Resolved that the Letter from General Lee with the papers inclosed, which were received and read Yesterday be referred to the Board of War.
A Petition and memorial of Monsieur Pellissier was presented to Congress and read.
Resolved that it be referred to the Board of War.
Resolved that the Plan of Treaties be printed for the Use of the Members, under the Restictions and regulations prescribed for printing the Plan of Confederation; and that, in the printed copy, the names of Persons, places and States be omitted.
The Board of War, brought in a report, which was taken into Consideration; whereupon Resolved, as in the Journal.
The Delegates of Pennsylvania produced Credentials of a new Appointment made on the 20th. of July 1776. See their names in the Journal.

Among them are those of Franklin, Clymer, Morris, Wilson, and Rush.
Resolved, that Dr. Franklin may, if he thinks proper, return an Answer to the Letter, he received from Lord Howe.
The Congress resolved itself into a Committee of the whole, to take into consideration the Articles of confederation, and after some time the President resumed the Chair, and Mr. Harrison reported, that the Committee have made some progress in the matter to them referred, but not having come to a conclusion, desire leave to sit again.
Resolved that this Congress will tomorrow again resolve itself into a Committee of the whole to take into their further Consideration, the Articles of Confederation.
was employed in making Referrences to the Board of War, and in receiving, and considering and adopting their reports, as may be seen in the Journal.
Also in a Committee of the whole on the Articles of Confederation.
A Letter from Lieutenant Colonel William Allen was laid before Congress and read; requesting Leave to resign his Commission. Resolved that Leave be granted.
About this time it was that, the Gentlemen in the Pennsilvania Proprietary Interest generally left Us.
A Petition from George Kills [Kitts] was presented to Congress and read.
Resolved that it be referred to the Board of War.
The Congress took into Consideration the Report of the Committee appointed to prepare a resolution for confiscating the Property of the Subjects of Great Britain. Whereupon
Resolved That all the Resolutions of Congress passed on the twenty third day of March last, and on the third day of April last, relating to Ships and other Vessels, their tackle, Apparel and furniture, and all goods, Wares and Merchandizes, belonging to any inhabitant or inhabitants of Great Britain taken on the high Seas, or between high and low Water mark, be extended

to all Ships and other Vessels, their Tackle, Apparel and furniture, and to all goods, Wares and Merchandizes, belonging to any Subject or Subjects of the King of Great Britain; except the Inhabitants of the Bermudas, and Providence or Bahama Islands.
The Board of War brought in their report, which was taken into Consideration whereupon resolved, as in the Journal. Among the number I select with great pleasure, the two following, vizt.
Resolved that Colonel Knox's plan for raising another battalion of Artillery be approved and carried into Execution as soon as possible.
Resolved That General Washington be impowered to agree to the exchange of Governor Skene for Mr. James Lovell.
A Committee of the whole on the Articles of Confederation but no progress.
Then a List of Letters from General Washington and others, referred to the Board of War.
A memorial from sundry Officers, who served in Canada, referred to the Board of War.
Committee of the whole on the Articles of Confederation.
Letter from General Washington inclosing a Letters from Governor Trumbull, and [the] Committee of Safety of New Hampshire, referred to the board of War.
Committee [of the whole], on the Articles of the Confederation, Mr. Morton in the Chair.
A long List of Refferences to the Board of War from of Letters from Washington, Schuyler, Reed, Trumbull, Convention of New Jersey, Council of Massachusetts &c. &c.
The Board of War brought in a report, which was taken into Consideration, whereupon resolved as in the Journal.
Committee of the whole on the Articles of Confederation, Mr. Morton in the Chair.
Two reports from the Board of War, with Resolutions in consequence of them as in the Journal.
Committee [of the whole] on the Articles of Confederation, Mr. Morton in the Chair.
The Board of War brought in a report, which was


Cite web page as: John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776, sheet 39 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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