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Adams Family Papers : An Electronic Archive
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John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776
sheet 40 of 53, 31 July - 12 August 1776


taken into Consideration: whereupon Resolved as in the Journal.
A Committee of the whole on the Articles of Confederation Mr. Morton in the Chair.
Letters from General Mercer and General Roberdeau referred to the Board of War.
Committee of the whole on the Articles of Confederation, Mr. Morton in the Chair.
Letters from General Washington, General Schuyler and Col. Dubois referred to the Board of War.
The Board of War brought in two Reports, which were accepted as in the Journal.
The Board of War brought in a report, which was accepted as in the Journal.
The Marine Committee brought in a report, on the Conduct of Commodore Hopkins.
Committee of the whole on the Articles of Confederation, Mr. Morton in the Chair.
A Letter from Neil McLean, referred to the Board of War.
Two Letters from General Washington; one from the Council of Virginia, with sundry Copies of Letters from North Carolina And South Carolina inclosed; one from E. Anderson; and sundry Resolutions passed by the Convention of Pennsylvania, were laid before Congress and read. Referred to the Board of War.
The Board of War brought in a report; which was taken into consideration: whereupon
Resolved, that the Commanders of all Ships of War, and armed Vessels in the Service of these States, or any of them, and all Letters of Marque and Privateers, be permitted to inlist into Service on board the said Ships and Vessels, any Seaman who may be taken on board any of the Ships and Vessels of our Ennemies, and that no such Seamen be intitled to receive the Wages due to them, out of the said Prizes, but such as will so inlist

and that all other Seamen so taken, be held as prisoners of War, and exchanged for others taken by the Enemy, whether on board Vessels of War, or Merchantmen, as there may be Opportunity.
The Lieutenant Colonel Rufus Putnam be appointed an Engineer with the Rank of Colonel and pay of sixty dollars a month.
A Petition from Commodore Hopkins, for a hearing &c.
Ordered that the Board of War furnish the Committee of Treasury, with the names of the British Officers and other Prisoners, who are entitled to the Allowance made by Congress of two dollars a Week, with the times of their Captivity and the places where they are quartered.
Resolved that the Pay of an Assistant Clerk to the Board of War be 266 dollars and two thirds a Year.
A Petition from Lewis de Linkensdorf, referred to the Board of War.
A Letter of the 5th. from General Washington, enclosing copies of Letters between him and General Howe, respecting the Exchange of Prisoners, and sundry other Letters and Papers: Also one from Brigadier General Mercer of the 4th. were laid before Congress and read:
Resolved that they be referred to the Board of War.
A Committee of the whole on the Articles of Confederation, Mr. Morton in the Chair.
A Letter from George Measam referred to the Board of War.
A Report from the Board of War, as in the Journal.
A Committee of the whole on the Articles of Confederation, Mr. Morton in the Chair.
The Board of War directed to see certain Resolutions carried into Effect.
Resolved that the Board of War be directed to take into immediateConsideration, the State of the Army in the Northern department, and our naval force on the Lakes; and that Mr. Chace be directed to attend the said Board, and give them all the Information in his Power; and that Mr. Williams be desired to furnish the said Board with an Extract of the Letter he has received from Governor Trumbull, relative to the said Army and naval force; and that the said Board report thereon as soon as possible.


Resolved that tomorrow be assigned for electing four Major Generals And six Brigadier Generals.
A Committee of the whole on the Articles of Confederation, Mr. Morton in the Chair.
The Board of War, brought in theira report. Ordered to lie on the Table.
Resolved that the Secret Committee be directed to deliver to the order of the Board of War such Articles in their possession, belonging to the Continent, as, in the Opinion of the said Board of War, are Necessary for the Deleware Battalion.
William Heath, Joseph Spencer, John Sullivan, Nathaniel Green Esqrs. chosen Major Generals.
James Read, John Nixon, Arthur St. Clair, Alexander McDougal, Samuel Holden Parsons and James Clinton Esqrs., Brigadiers.
Resolved that the hearing of Commodore Hopkins be postponed to Monday next at Eleven O Clock, and that Captain Jones be directed to attend at the same time.
The Board of War brought in a Report, which was taken into Consideration: Whereupon
Resolved, That Commissions be made out, and sent to General Washington to be delivered to the several Officers recommended in the List exhibited by the said Board, to fill the Vacancies mentioned in the said List, excepting those Persons recommended to fill the Vacancies occasioned by Officers being in Captivity; which ought not to be filled, but to be left open, untill those Officers shall be redeemed, and excepting the Case of Lieutenant Colonel Tyler, who is to have a Commission for Colonel of the Regiment lately commanded by Colonel Parsons, promoted: and that Lieutenant Colonel Durkee have a Commission of Colonel of the 20th. Regiment and that Major Prentice be made Lieutenant Colonel of the Regiment in which he is now Major; and Major Knowlton Knolton Lieutenant Colonel of the 20th. Regiment.
Resolved that William Tudor, Judge Advocate General, have the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army of the United States; and that he be ordered immediately to repair to the discharge of his duty at New York.


A Letter from General Washington of the 8th. with sundry Papers enclosed, and one from General Mercer, with one inclosed to him from Colonel Dickinson, were read:
Resolved that the Letter from General Washington, with the Papers inclosed, be referred to the Board of War.
Commodore Hopkins had his hearing, as in the Journal. On this Occasion I had a very laborious task, against all the Prejudices of the Gentlemen from the southern and middle States, and of many from New England. . . . I thought, however that Hopkins had done great Service and made an important beginning of Naval Operations.
The Record in the Journal stands as follows.
Agreable to the order of the day, Commodore Hopkins attended and was admitted, when the examination taken before the marine Committee, and the report of the said Committee in consequence of it thereof, were read to him; and the Commodore being heard in his own defence, and having delivered in some farther answers to the questions asked him by the marine Committee and two Witnesses being at his request introduced and examined, he withdrew.
Congress then took into Consideration, the Instructions given to Commodore Hopkins, his examination and Answers to the Marine Committee and the report of the marine Committee thereupon; also the farther defence by him made, and the Testimony of the Witnesses; and after some debate the farther Consideration thereof was postponed.
It appeared to me, that the Commodore was pursued and persecuted by that Anti New England Spirit, which haunted Congress in many other of their proceedings, as well as in this Case and that of General Wooster. I saw nothing in the Conduct of Hopkins, which indicated Corruption or Want of Integrity. Experience and Skill might have been deficient, in several Particulars: But where could We find greater Experience or Skill? I knew of none to be found. The other Captains had not so much, and it was afterwards found, they had not more Success.
I therefore entered into a full and candid Investigation of the whole Subject, considered all the Charges and all the Evidence: as well as his Answers


Cite web page as: John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776, sheet 40 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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