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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1776-02 - 1776-03

[Draft Resolutions for Encouraging Agriculture and Manufactures, February–March 1776.] 1

Resolved, That it be recommended to the several Assemblies, Conventions, Councils of Safety and Committees of Correspondence and Inspection, that they use their utmost Endeavours, by all reasonable Means to promote die 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 the2 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 they3 consider of Ways and Means of introducing the Manufactures of Duck and Sail Cloth4 into such Colonies where they are not now understood and of5 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 Commerce both foreign and domestic of America, to correspond with the several Assemblies, Conventions, Councils and { 235 } Committees of Safety, Committees of Correspondence and of Observation in these united Colonies upon these interesting Subjects.6
That these be published.
1. The first three of these four resolutions were voted by Congress on 21 March and, as JA wished, were ordered to be published ( JCC , 4:224). They were printed in the Pennsylvania Gazette of 27 March. In copying them into his Autobiography JA said that these were “three Resolutions, which I claim,” though we have no clue as to when they were written or introduced except for the fact that in the MS they immediately precede the entry that JA himself dated 1 March. It should also be noted that well up on his list of Measures to be Pursued in Congress (Feb.? 1776, above) is the item: “Hemp to be encouraged and the Manufacture of Duck.”
2. The text as adopted by Congress inserts at this point: “rich and.”
3. Text as adopted inserts at this point: “forthwith.”
4. Text as adopted inserts at this point: “and steel”— the only substantive change between the resolutions as drafted and as adopted.
5. Text as adopted inserts at this point: “encouraging.”
6. After reporting the adoption of the first three resolutions above, Richard Smith adds in his Diary that “a Clause was erased for a standing Comee. of Congress to correspond with and assist these Societies” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members , 1:402). Thus was defeated the earliest in a long series of proposals by two successive generations of Adamses to associate the American government with the promotion of useful arts.