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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3


This note contained in document ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0178
2. Col. James Wilson, an officer in the “flying camp” at Amboy, had written to Pres. Hancock, 22 Aug. 1776, proposing that Congress offer rewards to the officers of the German mercenary troops encamped on Staten Island if they would desert the British service (Force, Archives, 5th ser., 1:1110). The first proposal of this kind had been made in Congress on 21 May (see under that date in JA's Autobiography, above), and Congress had more recently put into effect an ingenious scheme to suborn the German troops themselves (JCC, 5:640, 653–655). The report of the present committee, written by Jefferson and brought in on 27 Aug., recommended that free land be offered to officers on a graduated scale according to their rank; it is printed in Jefferson's Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:509–510. On this whole curious episode see L. H. Butterfield, “Psychological Warfare in 1776: The Jefferson-Franklin Plan to Cause Hessian Desertions,” Amer. Philos. Soc., Procs., 94 (1950):233–241.
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/