Papers of John Adams, volume 3

VII. Naval Committee to Dudley Saltonstall

IX. Committee Assignments

10.

Except for the designation of the court which was to have jurisdiction, Art. 24 is a close paraphrase of Art. II, Sect. 7 under 22 Geo. II, ch. 33, passed in 1749 (Danby Pickering, The Statutes at Large, Cambridge, Eng., 1765, 19: 327 [cited hereafter Statutes]). Although the handbook mentions the congress as the power appointing a court for maritime affairs, the rough Journal has “Congress” stricken out and the phrase “the legislatures in the respective colonies” substituted (see note 2, above). Obviously the congress was not yet ready for a central court with this jurisdiction. In the fall of 1775 JA would have seen the original language as an important step toward unification.