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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0141

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10

To James Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

What think you of a North American Monarchy? Suppose We should appoint a Continental King, and a Continental House of Lords, and a Continental House of Commons, to be annually, or triennially or Septennially elected? And in this Way make a Supreme American Legislature? This is easily done you know by an omnipotent Continental Congress, and When once effected, His American Majesty may appoint a Governor for every Province, as his Britannic Majesty used to do, and Lt. Governor and secretary and judge of Admiralty—Nay his Continental Majesty may appoint the Judges of the Supream Courts &c. too—or if his American Majesty should condescend to permit the provincial Legislatures, or Assemblies [to] nominate two three or four Persons out of whom he should select a Governor, and 3 or 4 Men for Chief Justice &c. out of whom he should choose one, would not this do, nicely?
To his Continental Majesty, in his Continental Privy Council, Appeals might lie, from all Admiralty Cases, and from all civil Causes personal at least, of a certain Value and all Disputes about Land, that is about Boundaries of Colonies should be settled by the Continental { 267 } King and Council, as they used to be by the British K. and Council. What a magnificent System?
I assure you this is no Chimaera of my own. It is whispered about in Coffee Houses, &c. and there are [those] who wish it.
I am inclined to think it is done, as one Artifice more to divide the Colonies. But in vain. It would be very curious to give you an History of the out a Door Tricks for this important End of dividing the Colonies. Last Fall the Quakers and Antipoedobaptists were conjured up to pick a Quarrell with Massachusetts.1 Last Spring the Land Jobbers were stimulated to pick a Quarrell with Connecticutt for the same End.2 The Quakers and Anabaptists were hushed and abashed, or rather the reasonable conscientious Part of them were convinced in one Evening. The Land Jobbers will meet no better success.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “Hon. James Warren Esqr Speaker of the House Watertown”; docketed: “Mr. J A Lettr Octr 1775.”
1. The Massachusetts delegation met with Quakers and Baptists at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia on 14 Oct. 1774. For the origin of the confrontation and its outcome, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:152–154, note 3, and 3:311–313.
2. The dispute between Pennsylvania and Connecticut over the claims of the Susquehannah Company in the Wyoming Valley once again broke out into armed conflict in the fall of 1775. For the action of the congress and the background of the dispute, see JCC, 3:283, 285, 287–288, 295, 297, 321, 335–336, 377, 435, 439–440; Julian P. Boyd and Robert J. Taylor, eds., The Susquehannah Company Papers, 11 vols., Ithaca, 1962–1971, 5:xlvi–lii.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/