“Wyth ... offered Propositions whereof the first was that the Colonies have a Right to contract Alliances with Foreign Powers, an Objection being offered that this was Independency there ensued much Argument upon that Ground. a leading Question was given Whether this Proposn. shall be considered by the Comee. it was carried in the Affirmative 7 Colonies to 5. then it was debated and postponed”
See also JA's Memorandum of Measures to Be Pursued in Congress, Feb.? 1776
From this point until he sailed for France in Feb. 1778, JA's Diary is so fragmentary that it is scarcely practical to indicate, even in summary form, the events in his personal and political life which he failed to record. In compensation, however, one may turn to his Autobiography, where the record for the year 1776 is remarkably full, for when he came to deal with that climactic year he read the published Journals of Congress
closely, quoted from them copiously, and commented on them with characteristic freedom. (His own extensive collection of the Journals
, Phila., 1777–1788, and early reprints, survives in the Boston Public Library; see
Cat. of JA's Library
, p. 60–61.) What is more, he occasionally dipped into his files of old correspondence, as he had not done at all up to this point in the Autobiography, to support his commentary. The result is
that about half of the entire text of Part One of the Autobiography is devoted to the first ten months of 1776 alone, ending with his departure from Congress in October of that year.