After a week in Braintree JA
resumed his seat, 28 Dec., in the Massachusetts Council, which was sitting in Watertown.
A payroll record in the Council Papers (M-Ar
: vol. 164) indicates that he attended sixteen days between then and 24 Jan., the
day before he set out once more for Congress, and was paid £5 10s. 10d. for travel
and services. His work on committees was as intense as it had been in Congress; see
the Council Journal for this session as printed in Force, Archives
, 4th ser., 4:1219–1312. One of his committee assignments led to a very characteristic
composition from JA
's pen, a proclamation “By the Great and General Court of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay,”
dated 23 Jan. 1776 and designed to be read “at the opening of the several Courts of
Justice through this Colony, and at Town-Meetings” (Ford, Mass. Broadsides
, No. 1973, with facsimile facing p. 272; MS
: vol. 138; see Council Journal, Force, Archives
, 4th ser., 4:12–46, 1268–1270; Mass., House Jour.
, 1775–1776, 3d sess., p. 189–92). Others took him to headquarters in Cambridge for
consultations with Gen. Washington and formal councils of war. His surviving correspondence
with Washington, together with the Council Journal, shows that he was repeatedly at
headquarters in January, and the next entry in the Diary records that he dined with
a party of officers, including the commander in chief, and their ladies at Cambridge
on the day before he started for Philadelphia.