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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


This foot note contained in document ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0002-0002
10. On 23 March Congress after some days of debate passed a series of resolutions authorizing “the inhabitants of these colonies ... to fit out armed vessels to cruize on the enemies of these United Colonies” and establishing regulations concerning prizes taken by such privateers ( JCC , 4:229–233). The committee that reported a draft of these resolutions (in the form of a “Declaration”) consisted of Wythe, Jay, and Wilson, but their report was amended in Congress, and JA with little doubt contributed to its final form as published (except for a secret paragraph) in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 27 March; see his Autobiography under 19, 22, 23 March 1776. On the day of its adoption JA told a friend that it amounted to at least “three Quarters of a war” against Great Britain (to Horatio Gates, NHi; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members , 1:405–406).