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John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776
sheet 48 of 53, 13 - 20 September 1776

I return to the Journal of Congress.
Two Letters of the 7th. and 11. from General Washington, one of the Eighth from General Green, and a resolution of the Committee of Safety of Pennsilvania of the 13th were read, and referred to the Board of War.
Two Letters of the 8th, from General Schuyler, with sundry Papers enclosed; one of the 7th. from Walter Livingston, and one of the 12th. from Brigadier General Armstrong were read -- referred to the Board of War.
A Committee of the whole to take into Consideration, a report of the Board of War. Mr. Nelson reported no resolution.
A Letter from R. H. Harrison, Secretary to General Washington, was read. Four French Officers, who arrived in the Reprisal Captain Weeks, being recommended to Congress, Resolved that they be referred to the Board of War.
The Board of War brought in a Report, which was taken into Consideration, whereupon Several Nine Resolutions were adopted. See the Journal.
A Letter of the 9th. from General Lee to the Board of War, was laid before Congress and read.
A Letter of the 14th. from General Washington, One of the 9th. from General Schuyler, inclosing a copy of one from General Gates, dated the 6th., and one of the 2d, from General Gates with sundry Papers inclosed, were read, and referred to the Board of War.
A Committee of the whole, on a report of the Board of War. Mr. Nelson reported sundry Amendments and Congress adopted the Resolutions with the Amendments. The Resolutions, which may be seen in the Journal, contain the whole Plan of an Army of Eighty Eight Battalions, to be inlisted as soon as possible, to serve during the War.
Resolved that tomorrow be assigned for taking into Consideration the Articles of War.

Sundry Resolutions being moved and seconded, in Addition to those passed Yesterday, relative to the New Army. After debate, Resolved that they be referred to the Board of War.
A Letter of the 10th. from Brigadier General Lewis, was read: Also a Letter from James Forrest was read, and referred to the Board of War.
Congress took into Consideration the Plan of treaties to be proposed to foreign nations, with the Amendments agreed to by the Committee of the whole, and the same was agreed to.
This is all that I can find in the public Journal relative to this one of the most important Transactions, that ever came before Congress. A Secret Journal was prepared, in which all the Proceedings on this Business, were entered, which has never been published. If that Journal was honestly and faithfully kept, the progress of the Plan of Treaties and the Persons chiefly concerned with it, will there appear.
The Board of War, brought in a report, which was taken into Consideration and six resolutions adopted, from it, which appear on the Journal. The Remainder of the Report postponed.
Resolved that the Board of War be directed to prepare a resolution for enforceing and perfecting Discipline in the Army.
Congress took into Consideration the Instructions to the Commissioners &c.
These I suppose, were the Ministers to France, and other Courts in Europe.
The Board of War brought in a report, which was taken into Consideration, and five Resolutions adopted from it, which see in the Journal. The last of these, is in these Words.
That the Commander in Chief of the forces of these States in the several departments, be directed to give possitive orders, to the Brigadier Generals and Colonels, and all other Officers in their several Armies, that the Troops under their command may every day be called together, and trained in Arms, in order that Officers and Men may be perfected in the manual

manual Exercises and Manoeuvres, and inured to the most exemplary discipline, and that all Officers be assured, that the Congress will consider Activity and Success, in introducing discipline into the Army, among the best recommendations for promotion.
This Resolution was the Effect of my late journey, through the Jersies to Staten Island. I had observed such dissipation and Idleness, such Confusion and distraction, among Officers and Soldiers, in various parts of the Country as astonished, grieved and allarmed me. Discipline, Discipline had become my constant topick of discourse and even declamation in and out of Congress and especially in the Board of War. I saw very clearly that the Ruin of our Cause and Country must be the Consequence if a thoughrough Reformation and strict Discipline could not be introduced. My Zeal on this Occasion was no doubt represented, by my faithfull Ennemies, in great Secrecy however, to their friends in the Army, and although it might recommend me to the Esteem of a very few, yet, it will be easily believed that it contributed nothing to my Popularity, among the many.
A Memorial from the Chevalier Dorre was read. Ordered that it be referred to the Board of War.
Congress resumed the Consideration of the Articles of War, and, after some time, the farther Consideration thereof was postponed.
This was another Measure, that I constantly urged on with all the Zeal and Industry possible: convinced that nothing short of the Roman and British Discipline could possible save Us. Yet the Upright Hamilton ch with his usual Veracity, charges me, with being an Ennemy to a regular Army.
Congress resumed the Consideration of the Articles of War, which being debated in Paragraphs, were agreed to as follows.
Resolved that from and after the publication of the following Articles, in the respective Armies of the United States, the Rules and Articles, by which the said Armies have heretofore been governed, shall be, and they are hereby repealed. The Articles are inserted in the Journal of this day, and need not be transcribed, they

are the System which I persuaded Jefferson to agree with me in reporting to Congress. They fill about sixteen Pages of the Journal. -- In Congress Jefferson never spoke, and all the labour of the debate on these Articles, Paragraph by Paragraph, was thrown upon me, and such was the Opposition, and so indigested were the notions of Liberty prevalent among the Majority of the Members most zealously attached to the public Cause, that to this day I scarcely know how it was possible, that these Articles could be carried. They were Adopted however, and have governed our Armies, with little variation to this day, the 7th. of June 1805.
Ordered that the foregoing Articles of War be immediately published.
Ordered that the Resolutions for raising the new Army be published, and copies thereof sent to the Commanding Officers in the several departments, and to the Assemblies and Conventions of the several States.
These were for raising Eighty Eight Battalions, with a Bounty for inlisting the Men during the War, granting Lands &c. which may be seen page 357 and 358 of the Journal of 1776.
Here again the Honesty of Hamilton appears. The Articles of War and theInstitution of the Army during the War, were all my Work, and yet he represents me as an Ennemy to a regular Army. Although I have long since forgiven this Arch Ennemy, yet Vice, Folly and Villany are not to be forgotten, because the guilty Wretch repented, in his dying Moments. Although David repented, We are no where commanded to forget the Affair of Uriah: though the Magdalene reformed, We are not obliged to forget her former Vocation frailty: though the Thief on the cross was converted, his Felony is still upon Record. The Prodigal Son repented and was forgiven, yet his Harlots and riotous living, and even the Swine and the husks that brought him to consideration, cannot be forgotten. Nor am I obliged by any Principles of Morality or Religion

Cite web page as: John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776, sheet 48 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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