The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.
. This observation is borne out by the proceedings of the General Court. In Oct. 1778,
seven delegates had been elected (or reelected) to serve for the year 1779 in the
Continental Congress: Samuel Adams, Francis Dana, Timothy Edwards, Elbridge Gerry,
John Hancock, Samuel Holten, and James Lovell. But three of these did not attend at
all in 1779, namely Dana, Edwards, and Hancock, leaving four delegates to represent
the state in Philadelphia through the first half of the year. On 2 June, Edwards resigned
from a delegation in which he had never served, and in mid-June Samuel Adams took
leave for a visit home.
Much of June was therefore spent by the General Court in trying to strengthen its
delegation during a period when its interests were very much at stake. On the 4th,
Artemas Ward was elected in the place of Edwards, resigned; but ten days later Ward
declined to serve. Meanwhile, on the 10th, the House passed a resolve “directing one
of the gentlemen who are members of Congress for this State, and now within the same,
to repair to Congress without delay; and empowering two delegates to represent the
State therein.” On the 16th it elected James Warren in Ward's place, but he declined
next day, whereupon George Partridge was chosen. After much hesitation and reconsideration,
Partridge finally accepted on 29 June. All this did relatively little to strengthen
the Massachusetts delegation. See Mass., House Jour.
, May–Oct. 1779, p. 21, 23, 28, 37–38, 48, 50, 56, 72–73; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members
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.