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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0192

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-09-16

[Monday September 16. 1776.]

Monday September 16. 1776.
A Letter of the 14th. from General Washington, One of the 9th. from General Schuyler, inclosing a copy of one from General Gates, dated the 6th., and one of the 2d, from General Gates with sundry Papers inclosed, were read, and referred to the Board of War.
A Committee of the whole, on a report of the Board of War. Mr. Nelson reported sundry Amendments and Congress adopted the Resolutions with the Amendments. The Resolutions, which may be seen in the Journal, contain the whole Plan of an Army of Eighty Eight Battalions, to be inlisted as soon as possible, to serve during the War.1
{ 432 }
Resolved that tomorrow be assigned for taking into Consideration the Articles of War.
1. JCC , 5:762–763. The Board of War's plan for an army of 88 battalions, probably introduced on 9 Sept., had been debated in Congress and in a committee of the whole every day from 10 through 13 Sept. (same, p. 747, 749, 751, 754, 756–757). ( JA was absent on his mission to Staten Island, 9–12 Sept.) As amended and adopted it was spread on the Journal of the 16th, and after further amendment next day it was on the 20th ordered to be printed (same, p. 762–763, 768, 807). In its final form it appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette on 25 Sept. No version has been found in the Reports of the Board of War and Ordnance, PCC, No. 147. In his comments in the entry of 20 Sept. below, JA implies that he had a large part in initiating this plan for a large and permanent army.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0193

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-09-17

[Tuesday September 17. 1776.]

Tuesday September 17. 1776.
Sundry Resolutions being moved and seconded, in Addition to those passed Yesterday, relative to the New Army. After debate, Resolved that they be referred to the Board of War.
A Letter of the 10th. from Brigadier General Lewis, was read: Also a Letter from James Forrest was read, and referred to the Board of War.
Congress took into Consideration the Plan of treaties to be proposed to foreign nations, with the Amendments agreed to by the Committee of the whole, and the same was agreed to.
This is all that I can find in the public Journal relative to this one of the most important Transactions, that ever came before Congress. A Secret Journal was prepared, in which all the Proceedings on this Business, were entered, which has never been published. If that Journal was honestly and faithfully kept, the progress of the Plan of Treaties and the Persons chiefly concerned with it, will there appear.1
1. The “Plan of a Treaty with France,” with appended forms of sea letters and passports, and the instructions (adopted on 24 Sept.) to the commissioners about to be appointed to negotiate a treaty, were printed in the Secret Journals ... of Congress, Boston, 1820, 2:7–30 (in JCC , 5:768–779). On JA 's role in the preparation and adoption of these important papers, see p. 337–338, 393, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0194

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-09-18

[Wednesday September 18. 1776.]

Wednesday September 18. 1776.
The Board of War, brought in a report, which was taken into Consideration and six resolutions adopted, from it, which appear on the Journal. The Remainder of the Report postponed.1
Resolved that the Board of War be directed to prepare a resolution for enforceing and perfecting Discipline in the Army.
Congress took into Consideration the Instructions to the Commissioners &c.
{ 433 }
These I suppose, were the Ministers to France, and other Courts in Europe.
1. JCC , 5:780–781. The recommendations adopted were highly miscellaneous. Those postponed concerned disputes among officers in the northern army and included a resolution of thanks to Gen. Gates for his “Vigilance Prudence and Activity” with respect to these disputes, &c.