Diary of John Adams, volume 2

219 [Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] 1775. Octr. 27.<a xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0" href="#DJA02d256n1" class="note" id="DJA02d256n1a">1</a> JA [Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] 1775. Octr. 27. Adams, John
Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress 1775. Octr. 27.1

R. R. Livingston. Cloathing will rise tho Provisions will fall. Labourers will be discharged. One Quarter Part of R. Island, N. York, and Pensylvania depend upon Trade, as Merchants, Shopkeepers, Shipwrights, Blockmakers, Riggers, Smiths, &c. &c. &c.

The 6 Northern Colonies 2 must raise 9 millions of Dollars to support the Poor.

This Vote will stop our Trade for 14 months, altho it professes to do it only to the 20th of March. For the Winter when the Men of War cannot cruise upon the Coast is the only Time that We can trade.

Wealthy Merchants, and monied Men cannot get the Interest of Money.

More Virtue is expected from our People, than any People ever had. The low Countries did not reason as We do about speculative opinions, but they felt the oppression for a long Course of Years, rich and poor.

Zubly. Concludes that the Sense and Bent of the People, is vs. stopping Trade by the Eagerness with which they exported before the 10th. of September.

We cant get Intelligence, without Trade. All that are supported by Trade, must be out of Business.

Every Argument which shews that our Association will materially affect the Trade of G.B. will shew that We must be affected too, by a Stoppage of our Trade.

G.B. has many Resources. I have bought 2 Barrells of Rice in Carolina for 15s. and Negro Cloth was 3s. instead of 18d.

The W. Indies will get supplies to keep soul and Body together. The ingenious Dutchmen will smuggle some Indian Corn from America.

Is it right to starve one Man because I have quarelled with another. I have a great Scruple whether it is just, or prudent. In Decr. 1776, We shall owe between 20 and 30 Millions of Money.

J. Rutledge. Am for adhering to the Association and going no further. The Non Export, in Terrorem—and generally agreed.

The Consequences will be dreadfull, if We ruin the Merchants.

Will not the Army be supplied if Vessells go from one Province to another.

We may pass a Resolution that no live Stock shall be exported.3


First entry in booklet “25” as numbered by CFA (our D/JA/25). This is a memorandum book with red-brown leather covers containing a handful of scattered entries in 1775–1776, the last being dated 13 Oct. 1776, followed by notes on French grammar and vocabulary and a list of Philadelphia ad-220dresses of delegates to the Continental Congress.

The present entry concludes JA's notes of debates in committee of the whole on American trade. See 4, 5, 12, 13, 20, 21 Oct., above.


MS: “Dollars”—an obvious inadvertence.


Congress sat again on 31 Oct. as a committee of the whole on the state of American trade and agreed to “certain resolutions.” Three of these were adopted and the rest deferred on 1 Nov. ( JCC , 3:314–315; see also an earlier version of the committee's report, same, p. 292–293).

1775. Octr. 29. Sunday. JA 1775. Octr. 29. Sunday. Adams, John
1775. Octr. 29. Sunday.

Paine brought in a large Sample of Salt Petre, made in this City, by Mr. Ripsama. It is very good, large and burns off, when laid upon a Coal like moist Powder. I tried it.

Heard Mr. Carmichael, at Mr. Duffils, on “Trust in the Lord and do good, so shall you dwell in the Land and verily thou shallt be fed.”

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] 1775. Octr. 30th. Monday.<a xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0" href="#DJA02d258n1" class="note" id="DJA02d258n1a">1</a> JA [Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] 1775. Octr. 30th. Monday. Adams, John
Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress 1775. Octr. 30th. Monday.1

Ross. We cant get Seamen to man 4 Vessells. We could not get Seamen to mann our Boats, our Gallies.

Wythe, Nelson, and Lee for fitting out 4 Ships.


From D/JA/25, which then has a gap until 24 Jan. 1776. The present fragment is from a debate on resolutions, agreed to this day, to fit out four armed vessels for Continental service. Another resolution added JA to the committee to execute this business. See JCC , 3:311–312, and entry of 7 Oct. and note, above.