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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 4


Docno: ADMS-06-04-02-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Author: Continental Congress
Date: 1776-03-08

II. Resolutions Concerning the Canadian Campaign

Resolved, That the gentlemen who are appointed to go into Canada, be desired to enquire into the cause of the imprisonment of the officers of Militia,2 in that country and others, and take such measures in concert with the commanding officer of the continental forces there, for their enlargement or confinement, as are consistent with the principles of justice, and the safety of the United Colonies.
That the provisions made by General Lee and General Schuyler to supply the army in Canada with pork, the direction given by General Lee to have wheat ground into flour for their use, and his contract with the company of carpenters, be approved of; and that Mr. Peter Zabriskie, of Hackinsack, be employed to transport the pork, to be procured in New Jersey, to Hudson's river, according to General Schuyler's desire.
That when the articles specified, in the rations allowed to the prisoners of war, cannot be procured, the persons who supply them with other provisions, be entitled to eight pence, of New York currency, or one-twelfth of a dollar3 for every prisoner per day:
That Indians be not employed as soldiers in the armies of the United Colonies, before the tribes to which they belong shall, in a na• { 6 } tional council, held in the customary manner, have consented thereunto, nor then, without express approbation of Congress.
That General Schuyler be directed to provide such a number of batteaus for the service in Canada, as shall be sufficient for it.
That General Schuyler be desired to purchase the cloth, which Mr. [John?] Henry, of Albany, hath for tents.
That the committee of inspection and observation for the city and liberties of Philadelphia, be desired to collect all the gold and silver coin they can, to be exchanged for continental bills of credit,4 for the service of Canada.
Reprinted from (JCC, 4:191–192); Dft not found.
1. On 4 March the following letters were referred to the committee elected to prepare instructions to the Commissioners to Canada, which had been chosen on 17 Feb., and which was composed of JA, George Wythe, and Roger Sherman: from Gen. Wooster, of 11 Feb. (with enclosures) and 13 Feb.; from Gen. Arnold, of 1 and 12 Feb.; from Gen. Schuyler, of 15, 20, 21, and 23 Feb.; from the New Hampshire Convention, of 8 Feb.; and from Gen. Lee, of 29 Feb. On 8 March the committee brought in its report, and the congress passed the resolutions reprinted here (JCC, 4:159, 182–183, 190–192). As chairman, JA presented the committee's report, and, according to Richard Smith's Diary, “a long Altercation followed on the first Article of a Report made by John Adams for reconciling the Differences between the Generals Schuyler and Wooster. The Article was at last voted out and other Parts of the Report adopted” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:382–383). The bad feeling between Schuyler and Wooster had persisted for months; its latest manifestation was Wooster's objection to Schuyler's sending back to Canada for what he called humanitarian reasons prisoners of war whom Wooster regarded as dangerous to the American cause. This disagreement provoked disputes over the two generals' interpretations of the kind of orders Schuyler could properly give to Wooster, a commander in the field. For their letters see Force, Archives, 4th ser., 4:851–852, 1001–1004, 1007–1008.
2. See Instructions to the Commissioners to Canada, No. III, note 5 (below).
3. This phrase giving the equivalent in dollars of New York currency was taken by Editor Ford from the “Corrected Journal.”
4. Ford supplied “of credit” from the “Corrected Journal.”
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/