. 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
would have seen the original language as an important step toward unification.