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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0123

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-05-21

[Tuesday May 21. 1776.]

Tuesday May 21. 1776. Three Letters from General Washington, inclosing Letters and Papers of Intelligence from England, and a Copy of the Treaties made by his Britannic Majesty with the Duke of Brunswick for 4084 of his Troops; and with the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel for 12,000 of his Troops; and with the Count of Hanau for 668 of his Troops.
A Letter from William Palfrey with a Copy of his Weekly Account,
A Letter from John Langdon to General Washington
A Petition from Samuel Austin, John Rowe, S. Patridge [Partridge], Samuel Dashwood and John Scollay of Boston:
Resolved that the said Letters and Papers and Petition be referred to a Committee of five; that the said Committee be directed to extract and publish the Treaties, and such parts of the Intelligence as they think proper: also to consider of an Adequate reward for the Person who brought the Intelligence; and that they prepare an Address to the foreign Mercenaries, who are coming to invade America.
The Members chosen Mr. John Adams, Mr. William Livingston, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. R. H. Lee and Mr. Sherman.1
The Committee to whom the Letter of the 10th from General { 390 } Lee was referred brought in their report, which was read, and after some Debate
Resolved that the farther Consideration thereof be postponed till the Arrival of General Washington.
The Committee to whom the Letters from General Washington, Major General Schuyler, and the Commissioners in Canada were referred, brought in their report which was read.
Resolved that the Consideration thereof be postponed till tomorrow.
1. For the letters in question see JCC , 4:369, note. Those of Washington (18, 19, 20 May) are printed in his Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 5:56–57, 58, 62. The publication by the committee is in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 22 May, and later in other papers. The committee reported to Congress on 30 May and 4 and 17 June, its third report being in JA 's hand (PCC, No. 22; see JCC , 4:405, 415; 5:458–459). These did not complete the duties assigned to the committee; for example, it issued no address to the German mercenaries; but JA was later to have a part in such an address; see under 26, 27 Aug., below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0124

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-05-23

[Thursday May 23 1776.]

Thursday May 23 1776. Resolved That a Committee of five be appointed to confer with General Washington, Major General Gates, and Brigadier General Mifflin, upon the most speedy and effectual means of supporting the American Cause in Canada. The Members chosen, Mr. Harrison, Mr. R. H. Lee and Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Rutledge.1
1. This “committee of conference” brought in a report next day which had been prepared by Benjamin Harrison and which was approved by Congress; at the same time Robert R. Livingston was added to the committee and it was given further duties; on the 25th it brought in a report written by Edward Rutledge ( JCC , 4:387–388, 394–396).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0125

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-05-24

[Fryday May 24. 1776.]

Fryday May 24. 1776. The Committee appointed to confer with his Excellency General Washington, Major General Gates and Brigadier General Mifflin brought in their report. The Resolutions reported and adopted may be seen on the Journal.
Agreable to order, General Washington attended in Congress, and after some Conference with him, Resolved that he be directed to attend again tomorrow.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0126

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-05-25

[Saturday May 25. 1776.]

Saturday May 25. 1776. Resolved that a Committee be appointed to confer with his Excellency General Washington, Major General Gates, and Brigadier General Mifflin, and to concert a Plan of military Operations for the ensuing Campaign. The Members appointed Mr. Harrison, Mr. R. H. Lee, Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Wilson, Mr. R. R. Livingston, Mr. Whipple, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. W. Livingston, Mr. Read, Mr. Tilghman, Mr. Hewes, Mr. Middleton and Mr. Hall.1
Congress took into Consideration the Report of the Committee on the Letter from General Washington of 11 May, the Letter from { 391 } Gen. Schuyler of the third &c. which was in part agreed to, as may be seen on the Journal.2
Resolved that the Consideration of the first Paragraph in said report be postponed, and that the third and fifth Paragraphs be referred to the Committee appointed to confer with the Generals.
Resolved that the several Reports on General Washingtons Letters, not yet considered, and the Generals Letters, which were referred to a Committee of the whole Congress, be committed to the Committee appointed to confer with the Generals.
Thus as Postponement and Embarassment had been for Many Months, the Object, We now had all our Business to go over again.
A Number of Deputies from four of the six Nations of Indians, having Arrived in Town and notified Congress, that they are desirous of an Audience.
Resolved That they be admitted to an Audience on Monday next at Eleven O Clock.
1. The history of this larger committee of conference is too complex to warrant a detailed account here. Its successive reports in the last days of May and early days of June (none of them, so far as the inadequate records show, written by JA ) were taken up almost simultaneously in committees of the whole, and on 15 June Congress appointed a committee (of which JA was not a member) “to digest and arrange the several resolutions reported” as a result of recommendations by these and other committees that had been concurrently at work during the preceding crucial weeks in the military as well as political history of the Revolution ( JCC , 5:446). See the draft reports prepared by Jefferson for the committee of review, in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:389–396, and the editorial notes there.
2. JCC , 4:391–392.