A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0138

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-06-11

[June 11. 1776. Tuesday.]

June 11. 1776. Tuesday. Resolved that a Committee of three be appointed to consider of a Compensation to the Secretary for his services. The Members chosen Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Rutledge and Mr. Hewes.1
Resolved that the Committee for preparing the declaration consist of five. The Members chosen Mr. Jefferson, Mr. John Adams, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Sherman and Mr. R. R. Livingston. Jefferson was chairman because he had most votes, and he had most votes because We united in him, to the Exclusion of R. H. Lee in order to keep out Harrison.2
Resolved that a Committee be appointed to prepare and digest the form of a Confederation to be entered into between these Colonies.
That a Committee be appointed to prepare a plan of Treaties to be proposed to foreign Powers.3
1. This committee brought in a report on 14 June, and Congress acted thereon ( JCC , 5:442). The original report has not been found.
2. This sentence was interlined in the MS after the following paragraph was written. It is at least partly an invention of JA 's memory. The real reason why R. H. Lee did not serve on the committee to prepare a declaration of independence was that he wished to be in Williamsburg during “the formation of our new Government” (the Virginia Constitution), and he left Philadelphia for that purpose on 13 June (R. H. Lee, Letters, ed. Ballagh, 1:201, 203). For JA 's accounts of the drafting of the Declaration see p. 335 ff. and p. 337, note 3 1 , above.
3. As JA records below, he was named a member of this committee next day. See also JA 's earlier discussion of this subject in his Autobiography, p. 337–338, above, and notes there, which, taken together, summarize the history of this important measure and JA 's part in it. See also p. 432, below.