Gentlemen, and meet them himself as such, at such place as they should appoint.
That he in conjunction with General Howe, had full Powers, to compromise the dispute between Great Britain and America upon terms Advantageous to both; the Obtaining of which delayed him near two months in England, and prevented his Arrival at this place, before the declaration of Independancy took place:
That he wished a compact might be settled at this time, when no decisive blow was struck, and neither party could say they were compelled to enter into such Agreement.
That in case Congress were disposed to treat, many Things, which they had not as yet asked, might and ought to be granted them; and that, if, upon the Conference, they found any probable ground of Accommodation, the Authority of Congress must be afterwards Acknowledged, otherwise the Compact would not be compleat."
In this written Statement of the Message it ought to be observed that General Sullivan has not inserted, what he had reported verbally, that Lord Howe had told him "he would sett the Act of Parliament wholly aside, and that Parliament had no right to tax America or meddle with her internal Polity."
The Board of War brought in a report, which was read, and a number of Resolutions adopted upon it, which see in the Journal.
Wednesday September 4, 1776.
Resolved that the board of War be directed to call in the several Recruiting Parties of the German Battalions, and to have them formed and armed with all possible Expedition, and forwarded to New York, taking measures, and giving proper directions to have the battalion recruited to the full Compliment of men as soon as the same can conveniently be done.
Resolved, that the proposal made by General Howe, as delivered by General Sullivan, of exchanging General Sullivan for General Prescott, and Lord Sterling for Brigadier General [McDougal?] McDonald be complied with.
Congress took into Consideration, the Report of the Board of War, and after some time spent thereon
Resolved that the farther Consideration thereof be postponed, till tomorrow.
Thursday September 5. 1776.
A Petition referred to the Board of War.
Resolved That General Prescot, and Brigadier General McDonald be sent by the Board of War, under an Escort, to General Washington, to be exchanged for General Sullivan and Lord Sterling.
Congress resumed the Consideration of the Report of the Board of War, whereupon
Resolved, That General Sullivan be requested to inform Lord Howe that, this Congress, being the Representatives of the free and independent States of America, cannot with propriety send any of its members, to confer with his Lordship in their private Characters, but that, ever desirous of establishing peace, on reasonable terms, they will send a Committee of their body, to know whether he has any Authority to treat with persons, authorized by Congress for that purpose in behalf of America, and what that Authority is, and to hear such propositions as he shall think fit to make respecting the same:
That the President be desired to write to General Washington and Acquaint him, that it is the Opinion of Congress, no proposals for making peace between Great Britain and the United States of America ought to be received or attended to, unless the same be made in Writing and Addressed to the Representatives of the said States in Congress, or persons authorized by them: And if application be made to him, by any of the Commanders of the British forces on that Subject, that he inform them, that these United States, who entered into the War, only for the defence of their Lives and Liberties, will chearfully agree to peace on reasonable terms, whenever such shall be proposed to them in manner aforesaid.
Resolved That a Copy of the first of the two foregoing resolutions, be delivered to General Sullivan, and that he be directed to repair immediately to Lord Howe.
Resolved That tomorrow be assigned for electing the Committee.
Fryday September 6. 1776.
Resolved that General Sullivan be requested to deliver to Lord Howe, the Copy of the Resolution givento him.
Resolved that the Committee, "to be sent to know whether Lord Howe has any Authority to treat with persons authorized by Congress for that purpose in behalf of America, and what that Authority is, and to hear such propositions as he shall think fit to make respecting the same" consist of three:
Congress then proceeded to the Elections, and the ballots being taken,Mr. Franklin, Mr. John Adams, and Mr. Rutledge were elected.
Letters from Generals Washington, Schuyler, Gates and Mercer, referred to the Board of War.
The Board of War brought in a Report -- Resolutions upon it.
Saturday September 7. 1776.
A Letter of the 5th. from Charles Preston, Major of the 26th. Regiment a Prisoner, was read and referred to the Board of War.
Resolved, that a Copy of the Resolutions passed by Congress, on the Message brought by General Sullivan, and the names of the Committee appointed, be sent to General Washington.
Congress resumed the Consideration of the Report of the Board of War whereupon
Resolved, that all Letters to and from the Board of War and ordinance or the Secretary of the same, be free of all Expence in the Post office of the United States. &c.
Monday September 9, 1776.
Resolved, that in all Continental Commissions, and other Instruments where heretofore the Words, "United Colonies," have been used, the Stile be altered for the future to the United States.
The Board of War brought in a report, which was read.
On this day, Mr. Franklin
, Mr. Edward Rutledge and [illegible] Mr. John Adams
proceeded on their journey to Lord Howe
on Staten Island, the two former in Chairs and the last on Horseback; the first night We lodged at an Inn, in New Brunswick. On the Road and at all the public Houses, We saw such Numbers of Officers and Soldiers, straggling and loytering
, as gave me at least, but a poor Opinion of the Discipline of our forces and excited as much indignation as anxiety. Such thoughtless dissipation at a time so critical, was not calculated to inspire very sanguine hopes or give great Courage to Ambassadors: I was nevertheless determined that it should not dishearten me. I saw that We must be chastised into order
and had no doubt but We should be chastised into order in time.
The Taverns were so full We could with difficulty obtain Entertainment. At Brunswick, but one bed could be procured for Dr. Franklin and me, in a little Chamber little larger than the bed, without a Chimney and with only one small Window. The Window was open, and I, who was an invalid and afraid of the Air in the night blowing upon me, shut it close. Oh! says Franklin dont shut the Window. We shall be suffocated. I answered I was afraid of the Evening Air. Dr. Franklin replied, the Air within this Chamber will soon be, and indeed itisworse now worse than that without Doors: come! open the Window and come to bed, and I will convince you: I believe you are not acquainted with my Theory of Colds. Shutti Opening the Window and leaping into Bed, I said I had read his Letters to Dr. Cooper in which he had advanced, that Nobody ever got cold by going into a cold Church, or any other cold Air: but the Theory was so little consistent with my experience, that I thought it a Paradox: However I had so much curiosity to hear his reasons, that I would run the risque of a cold. The Doctor then began an harrangue, upon Air and cold and Respiration and Perspiration, with which I was so much amused that I soon fell asleep, and left him and his Philosophy together: but I believe they were equally sound and insensible, within a few minutes after me, for the last Words I heard were pronounced as if he was more than half asleep. . . . I remember little of the Lecture, except, that the