[The preceding text was added in the handwriting of Charles Francis Adams]
Any Goods or Commodities, except Staves for Sale, may be exported, from the united Colonies to any other Part of the World, not subject to the Crown of G.B.
In Committee of the whole.
Cant we oblige B. to keep a Navy on foot the Expence of which will be double to what they will take from Us. I have heard of Bullion Sp. [Spanish] Flotas being stoppd least they should be taken -- But perishable Commodities never were stopped. Opressing Open your Ports to Foreigners. Your Trade will become of so much Consequence, that Foreigners will protect you.
Wilson. A Gentleman from Mass. thinks that a middle Way should be taken. That Ports should be Trade should be opened, for some Articles, and to some Places, but not for all Things and to all Places.
I think the Merchants ought to judge for themselves of the danger and Risque. We should be blamed if We did not leave it to them.
I differ from the Gentleman of Massachusetts. Trade ought in War to be carried on with greater Vigour. By what means did B. carry on their Tryumphs last War? The United Provinces their War vs. Spain.
If We determine that our Ports shall not be opened, our Vessells abroad will not return. Our Seamen are all abroad -- will not return, unless We open our Trade. I am afraid it will be necessary to invite Foreigners to trade with Us, altho We loose a great Advantage, that of trading in our own Bottoms.
Sherman. I fear We shall maintain the Armies of our Enemies at our own Expence with Provisions. We cant carry on a beneficial Trade, as our Enemies will take our Ships. A Treaty with a foreign Power is necessary, before We open our Trade, to protect it.
Harrison. We have hobbled on, under a fatal Attachment to G.B. I felt it as much as any Man but I feel a stronger to my Country.
Wythe. The Ports will be open the 1st. March. The Q. is whether We shall Shutt em up. F ce Romuli non Republica Platonis. Americans will hardly live without Trade. It is said our Trade will be of no Advantage to Us, because our Vessells will be taken, our Enemies will be supplied, the W.I. will be supplied at our Expence. This is too true, unless We can provide a Remedy. Our Virginia Convention have resolved, that our Ports be opened to all Nations that will trade with us, except G.B., I. and W.I. If the Inclination of the People, should become universal to trade, We must open our Ports. Merchants will not export our Produce, unless they get a Profit.
We might get some of our Produce to Markett, by authorizing Adventurers to Arm themselves, and giving Letters of Mark -- make Reprisals.
2d. by inviting foreign Powers to make Treaties of Commerce with us.
But other Things are to be considered, before such a Measure is adopted. In what Character shall We treat, as subjects of G.B. -- as Rebells?
If We should offer our Trade to the Court of France, would they take Notice of it, any more than if Bristol or Liverpool should offer theirs, while We profess to be Subjects. -- No. We must declare ourselves a free People.
If We were to tell them, that after a Season, We would return to our Subjection to G.B., would not a foreign Court wish to have Something permanent.
We should encourage our Fleet. I am convinced that our Fleet may become as formidable as We wish to make it. Moves a Resolution.
Resolved that the Committee of Secret Correspondence be directed to lay their Letters before this Congress.
Resolved that be a Committee to prepare a Draught of firm Confederation, to be reported as soon as may be to this Congress, to be considered and digested and recommended to the several Assemblies and Conventions of these united Colonies, to be by them adopted, ratified and confirmed.
Resolved, That it be recommended to the several Assemblies, Conventions, Councils of Safety and Committees of Correspondence and Inspection, [illegible] Colonies that they use their utmost Endeavours, by all reasonable Means to promote the Culture of Flax, Hemp, and Cotton and the Growth of Wool in these united Colonies.
Resolved That it be recommended to the Assemblies, Conventions, and Councils of Safety, that they take the earliest Measures for erecting in each and every Colony a Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and that a Correspondence be maintained between such Societies, that the numerous natural Advantages of this Country for supporting its Inhabitants may not be neglected.
Resolved that it be recommended to the said Assemblies, Conventions and Councils of Safety that they consider of Ways and Means of introducing the Manufactures of Duck and Sail Cloth into such Colonies where they are not now understood and of increasing and promoting them where they are.
Resolved that be a Committee, to receive all Plans and Proposals for encouraging and improving the Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures and Commerceboth foreign and domestic of America, to correspond with the several Assemblies, Conventions, Councils and Committees of Safety, Committees of Correspondence and of Observation in these united Colonies upon these interesting Subjects.
That these be published.
Is any Assistance attainable from F.?
What Connection may We safely form with her?
1st. No Political Connection. Submit to none of her Authority -- receive no Governors, or officers from her.
2d. No military Connection. Receive no Troops from her.
3d. Only a Commercial Connection, i.e. make a Treaty, to receive her Ships into our Ports. Let her engage to receive our Ships into her Ports -- furnish Us with Arms, Cannon, Salt Petre, Powder, Duck, Steel.
Whereas, the present State of America, and the cruel Efforts of our Enemies, render theupmost exertions of the strength of and union of the most perfect and cordial Union of the Colonies and the utmost Exertions of their Strength, necessary for the Preservation and establishment of their Liberties, therefore
Resolved. That it be recommended to the several Assemblies and Conventions of these united Colonies, who have limited the Powers of their Delegates in this Congress, by any express Instructions, that they repeal or suspend those Instructions for a certain Time, that this Congress may have Power, without any unnecessary Obstruction or Embarrassment, to concert, direct and order, such further Measures, as may seem to them necessary for the Defence and Preservation, Support and Establishment of Right and Liberty in these Colonies.