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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0005-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-06-22

1771. Saturday. June 22nd.

Spent this Week at Ipswich in the usual Labours and Drudgery of Attendance upon Court. Boarded at Treadwells. Have had no Time to write.
Landlord and Landlady are some of the grandest People alive.1 Landlady is the great Grand Daughter of Governor Endicott, and has all the great Notions, of high Family, that you find in Winslows, Hutchinsons, Quincys, Saltonstals, Chandlers, Leonards, Otis's, and as you might find, with more Propriety, in the Winthrops. Yet she is cautious, and modist about discovering of it. She is a new Light—continually canting and whining in a religious Strain. The Governor was uncommonly strict, and devout, eminently so, in his day, and his great grand Daughter hopes to keep up the Honour of the family in hers, and distinguish herself among her Contemporaries as much.— “Terrible Things, Sin causes.” Sighs and Groans. “The Pangs of the new Birth.” “The death of Christ shews above all things the heignous Nature of sin!” “How awfully Mr. Kent talks about death! How lightly and carelessly. I am sure a Man of his Years who can talk so about Death, must be brought to feel the Pangs of the new Birth here, or made to repent of it forever.” “How dreadfull it seems to me to hear him—I, that am so afraid of death, and so concerned lest I ant fit and prepared for it.—What a dreadfull Thing it was, that Mr. Gridley died so—too great, too big, too proud to learn any Thing. Would not let any Minister pray with him. Said he knew more than they could tell him— asked the News and said he was going where he should hear no News,” &c.
Thus far Landlady. As to Landlord, he is as happy and as big, as proud, as conceited, as any Nobleman in England. Always calm and good natured, and lazy, but the Contemplation of his farm, and his Sons and his House, and Pasture and Cows, his sound Judgment as he thinks and his great Holiness as well as that of his Wife, keep him as erect in his Thoughts as a Noble or a Prince. Indeed the more I consider of Mankind, the more I see, that every Man, seriously, and in his Conscience believes himself, the wisest, brightest, best, happiest &c. of all Men.
I went this Evening, spent an Hour, and took a Pipe with Judge Trowbridge at his Lodgings. He says, “you will never get your Health, till your Mind is at ease. If you tire yourself with Business, but especially with Politicks, you wont get well,” I said, I dont meddle with Politicks, nor think about em.—“Except, says he, by Writing { 39 } in the Papers.”—I'le be sworn, says I, I have not wrote one Line in a Newspaper these two Years, &c.—The Judge says, he had an Hint, that Foster Hutchinson was appointed Judge because of the Judgment of the Court in the Case of Spear vs. Keen.2 The Merchants took the Alarm, and said that instead of Lawyers they ought to have Merchants upon the Bench, and Mr. Hutchinson being both a Lawyer and a Merchant he was the Man, vs. the Governors Determination, a little time before.—But this is one Instance among 1000 of the Governors Disguise, before those that he induces to believe has his entire familiarity and Confidence. He made Mr. Goffe understand he intended to make Worthington or some other Lawyer, a Judge, when he fully designed to make his Brother, not indeed to please the Merchants, or because Foster was a Merchant, but because he was his Brother and that the family might have a Majority in that Court. He is impenetrable to those who dont desire to reach any Imperfection in him, and who are determined not to fathom him, where they may. The Bigotted, the Superstitious, the Enthusiastical, the Tools, the Interested, the Timid, are all dazzled with his Glare, and cant see clearly, when he is in the Horizon.
1. Capt. Nathaniel and his (2d) wife, Hannah (Endicott) Treadwell (Thomas F. Waters, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Ipswich, 1917, 2:75, 81–84).
2. Foster Hutchinson, brother of the Governor, was appointed an associate justice of the Superior Court on 21 March (Whitmore, Mass. Civil List, p. 70). The case of Nathan Spear v. Josiah Keen concerned a debt of Keen to Spear for molasses and coopering. Spear won a judgment in the Inferior Court in January, but Keen appealed, and the Superior Court in February reversed the decision, JA serving as Keen's counsel. In 1773 Spear obtained a writ of review and Keen unaccountably defaulted. (Superior Court of Judicature, Minute Books 91, 95, 98; Records, 1771, fol. 211; 1773, fol. 105; Early Court Files, &c., Nos. 101970, 102329.) The bearing of the case on Foster Hutchinson's appointment nowhere appears.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0005-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-06-23

Sunday June 23d.

In the Morning my Horse was gone. Went to Meeting all day and heard old Mr. Rogers—a good, well meaning man, I believe. After Meeting rode to Newbury, and visited Brother Lowell, Brother Farnham, and then went and supped with Mr. Jonathan Jackson, in Company with Capt. Tracy, Mr. Hooper, Mr. Williams, Mr. Frasier1 and Brother Lowell. Then went and lodged with Lowell.
1. Moses Frazier, a merchant of Newburyport. His daughter Mary was to have an important connection with the Adams family as the girl who principally inspired JQA's poem “The Vision,” written in 1788. See JQA, Life in a New England Town, passim; Currier, Newburyport, 2:540–547; Bemis, JQA, 1:24 and note, with references there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0005-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-06-24

Monday. June 24. 1771.

Reached Portsmouth with Lowell, and walked half an Hour with him on the Town House Floor, with Mr. Livius and Mr. Jona. Warner, &c. Put up at Tiltons, and intend to visit the Governor this afternoon.
Had a good deal of Chat with Lowell on the Road. He practises much in New Hampshire, and gave me an Account of many strange Judgments of the Superior Court at Portsmouth—that an Infant, if allowed to trade by his Parents, is bound by his Contract, &c. And he gave me an Account also of the Politicks of the Province. A Controversy is arising or has arisen in the Wentworth Family. The old Governor by his Will gave all his Estate to his Wife, and she is since married to one Michael Wentworth, which has a little disappointed the Governor,1 and he not long since asked the Advice of his Council whether he might not reassume the Lands which were formerly granted by the late Governor to himself, or at least reserved to himself, in each Grant of a Township, and grant them over again to a 3d. Person from whom he might take a Conveyance of them to himself. All the Council except Livius, advised him to the Reassumption, He having laid before them the Opinion of S. Fitch of Boston, that the Governor could not grant Land to himself. Livius dissented and entered his Protest and gave his Reasons, for which the Governor has displaced him, as a Judge of one of their Courts.
At Tiltons in Portsmouth I met with my Cousin Joseph Adams, whose Face, I was once as glad to see as I should have been to see an Angel. The Sight of him gave me a new feeling. When he was at Colledge, and used to come to Braintree with his Brother Ebenezer, how I used to love him.2 He is broken to Pieces with Rheumatism and Gout now. To what Cause is his Ruin to be ascribed?
After Dinner a Gentleman came to Tiltons to enquire me out, and it proved to be Mr. Pickering a Lawyer.3 He treated me with great Politeness, and seems a very sensible and well accomplished Lawyer.
After Dinner rode to York and put up at Ritchies, with Lowell and Bradbury.
1. “The old Governor” was Benning Wentworth (1696–1770); his successor was his nephew, John Wentworth, JA's Harvard classmate (DAB, under both names).
2. Joseph (1723–1801), a physician, and his brother Ebenezer (1726–1764) were sons of JA's uncle, Rev. Joseph Adams, of Newington, N.H. (A. N. Adams, Geneal. Hist, of Henry Adams of Braintree, p. 398).
3. Doubtless John Pickering (1737–1805), later a state and federal judge famous for his eccentricities and still more famous for his highly political impeachment by Congress, 1803 (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0005-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-06-25

Tuesday June 25th. 1771.

At York Court, dined with the Judges, and spent the Evening at Ritchies with Bradbury and Hale of Portsmouth, a sensible young Lawyer. Bradbury says there is no need of Dung upon your Mowing Land if you dont feed it in the Fall nor Spring. Let the old Fog remain upon it, and die and rot and be washed into the Ground, and dont suffer your Cattle to tread upon it and so poach and break the soil, and you will never want any Dung.
Recipe to make Manure.
Take the Soil and Mud, which you cutt up and throw out when you dig Ditches in a Salt Marsh, and put 20 Load of it in a heap. Then take 20 Loads of common Soil or mould of Upland and Add to the other. Then to the whole add 20 Loads of Dung, and lay the whole in a Heap, and let it lay 3 months, then take your Spades And begin at one End of the Heap, and dig it up and throw it into another Heap, there let it lie, till the Winter when the Ground is frozen, and then cart it on, to your English Grass Land.—Ten or 20 Loads to an Acre, as you choose.—Rob. Temple learnt it in England, and first practised it at Ten Hills. From him the Gentry at Cambridge have learnt it, and they all Practise it.
I will bring up 20 or 30 Loads, of this Salt Marsh Mud, and lay it in my Cow Yard upon the Sea Weed that is there, bring up that which lies in the Road by James Bracketts as we go to Mr. Quincys. Q[uery]. Would not a Load of fresh meadow Mud, and a Load of Salt Meadow Mud with some Sand, and some dung &c. make a good Mixture.
If I can so fence and secure Deacon Belchers and Lt. Belchers Orchards, as not to feed them at all in the Fall, Winter nor Spring I could get a fine Crop of English Hay from thence. But I must keep up my Fences all Winter to keep off my Neighbours Creatures, Hogs, Horses, Oxen, Cows and Sheep.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0005-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-06-26

Wednesday June 26th: 1771.

Yesterday I had a good deal of Conversation with Judge Trowbridge. He seems alarmed about the Powers of the Court of Probate. He says if Judge Danforth was to die Tomorrow, and the Governor was to offer that Place to him, he would not take it, because he thinks it ought always to be given to some Judge of the Inferiour Court, and then, some one Lawyer might be found in each County who would take { 42 } a Seat upon the Inferiour Bench, if he could be made a Judge of Probate at the same Time. He says he is utterly against Foster Hutchinsons holding the Probate Office in Boston, if he takes his Place upon the Superior Bench—and if the Governor is an integral Part, of the Court of Probate, the Supreme ordinary, i.e. if he is not, with the Members of the Council, only Primus inter Pares but has a Negative upon all their Decrees as Governor Shirley, Govr. Bernard and the late Secretary, were of Opinion, he thinks we may be in great Danger from the Court of Probate, and Judge Russell always opposed every Attempt to extend the Power of the Court of Probate.—He used to say We might have Bishops here, and the Court of Probate might get into their Hands, and therefore We ought to be upon our Guard.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0005-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-06-28

Fryday June 28th. 1771.

At York. Yesterday I spent in Walking, one Way and another, to view the Town. I find that Walking serves me much. It sets my Blood in Motion much more than Riding.
Had some Conversation this Week with Chadburn of Berwick. He says, that Jo. Lee came to him, on the Election day Morning, and said “I know you are a peaceable Man. Why cant you vote for a few Gentlemen who would be agreable to the Governor and then perhaps some Gentlemen may not be negatived who would be agreable to you. Why cant you promote a Coalition?” Chadburn answered, I dont know who would be agreable to the Governor. I have not had a List.—Lee then mentioned Mr. Ropes, Lt. Govr. Oliver, and some of the Judges.—Why cant you choose some of those old Statesmen, who have [been] long and intimately acquainted with the Policy of the Province? &c.— Thus the Governors Emissaries are busy—instilling, insinuating, their Notions, and Principles, &c.
Had a little Chat this Week with Coll. Sparhawk of Kittery. He says “Now you are come away, they are become peaceable. You kept up a shocking Clamour while you was there.”—This he said laughing, but there was rather too much Truth in it, to be made a Jest.—“They do you the Justice to say that no Man ever spoke more freely, than you did, and in Opposition to the rising Sun. But in order to take off from your Virtue, they say there is some private Pique between the Governor and you.”—I told him there was none. He had always treated me well personally. If I had been actuated by private Pique, I would not have left the general Court but I would have remained there on Purpose to plague him. I could at least have been a Thorn in his Side—&c. But { 43 } that I had been fully convinced in my own Mind these 10 Years that he was determined to raise himself and family, at all Hazards, and even on the Ruins of the Province, and that I had uniformly expressed that Opinion these 10 Years.
Sparhawk mentioned the Intrepidity of Sam Adams, a Man he says of great Sensibility, of tender Nerves, and harrased, dependant, in their Power. Yet he had born up against all—it must have penetrated him very deeply, &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-07-02

Tuesday July 2nd. 1771.

At Falmouth, at Mr. Jonathan Webbs, who has removed to an House very near the Court House.
Last Fryday Morning, I mounted with Brother Bradbury and his Brother Bradbury, at York for Falmouth, went over the Sands but could not ford Cape Nettick, and so was obliged to go round over the Bridge, by the Mill. Dined at Littlefields in Wells, drank Tea and lodged at Aliens at Biddeford. Coll. Ting1 and his Son in Law Jo. Tyler came along and lodged there, Tyng being the owner of the House and Farm there 47 Rods wide upon the River and 4 miles and an half long. Next day Saturday it rained, and Jona. Sewall, Mr. Lowell and Mr. Leonard Jarvis came in, and afternoon Judges Lynde and Cushing with their Servants. But the House had not Lodgings for them. The Judges went back to Lads [Ladds], Sewall and Lowell went to James Sullivans. Sunday Morning the Weather was fair, and We set off, for Scarborough, put up at Millikins, went to Meeting forenoon and afternoon, heard Mr. Briggs a young Gentleman and after Meeting rode to Falmouth, and I put up at Webbs where I have been ever since reading the Atchievements of Don Quixotte.
This has been the most flat, insipid, spiritless, tasteless Journey that ever I took, especially from Ipswich. I have neither had Business nor Amusement, nor Conversation. It has been a moaping, melancholly Journey upon the whole. I slumber, and moap, away the Day. Tyng, Tyler, Sewall, Lowell, Jarvis were all Characters which might have afforded me Entertainment, perhaps Instruction, if I had been possessed of Spirits to enjoy it.
Saturday afternoon, I projected making a back Gammon Table, and about it Sewall, Lowell and Jarvis and Jo. Tyler went, got Pieces of Cedar, &c. and while they were playing I went to sleep.
Sunday Jarvis was telling of an Instance of Cruelty and Inhumanity in Hall the Wharfinger in Boston in ordering a poor Widow to be { 44 } taken with a single Writ, when her Daughter was dying, and of his being Bail for her. Sewall said Hall would certainly be damned and you will certainly go to Heaven let you do what you will.
I feel myself weary of this wandering Life. My Heart is at Home. It would be more for my Health to ride to Boston every fair Morning, and to Braintree every fair Afternoon. This would be riding enough and I could there have one Eye to my office, and another to my farm. After my Return I shall try the Experiment.
In the Evening went to the Clubb, or friendly Society as they call themselves, where I found Wm. Cushing, Wyer, with whom I went, i.e. at his Invitation, Mr. Lyde, Child, Symmons, Jarvis, Dr. Coffin, Captn. Wait and Don Webb &c. Conversation decent, but upon Trifles and common Matters.
Saw Mr. Simmons at Court, a Gentleman from England who has been at Falmouth a No. of [years]2 as a Factor for several Merchants in England purchasing Deals.
1. John Tyng, of Boston and Dunstable, “the last of the great magnates of the Massachusetts frontier” (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 7:595–601).
2. CFA's conjecture for a word missing in the MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0006-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-07-04

Thursday. July 4th. 1771.

Dined with D. Wyer, in Company with his Father, Farnum, Sewall, Cushing, Sewall, Lowell &c. Conversation turns upon Revelations, Prophecies, Jews, &c.
Spent the Evening, with the Barr, at Shattucks the Tavern in high Spirits. Agreed unanimously to recommend Tim. Langdon, to be sworn.1 All in good Spirits, very chearfull, and chatty—many good stories, &c. This day Argued the Cause of Freeman and Child, a Suit for £10 Penalty, for taking greater Fees in the Custom House than those allowed by the Province Law.2
1. Timothy Langdon was duly admitted to practice and in the following June term at Falmouth was admitted attorney in the Superior Court (Superior Court of Judicature, Minute Book 92).
2. “An appeal by Child from the judgment of a lower court; the jury again found for Freeman, whose counsel were JA and Wyer (same; also JA's minutes on Freeman v. Child, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 185).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0006-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-07-05

Fryday. July 5. 1771.

Cadwallader Ford came to me this Morning, and congratulated me on the Verdict for Freeman.—Sir, says he, I shall think myself forever obliged to you, for the Patriotick manner in which you conducted { 45 } that Cause. You have obtained great Honour in this County, by that Speech. I never heard a better &c.—All this is from old Cadwallader. Langdon told me, that a Man came running down, when I had done speaking, and said “That Mr. Adams has been making the finest Speech I ever heard in my Life. He's equall to the greatest orator that ever spoke in Greece or Rome”.—What an Advantage it is to have the Passions, Prejudices, and Interests of the whole Audience, in a Mans Favour. These will convert plain, common Sense, into profound Wisdom, nay wretched Doggerell into sublime Heroics. This Cause was really, and in truth and without Partiality, or Affectation of Modesty, very indifferently argued by me. But I have often been surprized with Claps and Plauditts, and Hosannas, when I have spoke but indifferently, and as often met with Inattention and Neglect when I have thought I spoke very well.—How vain, and empty is Breath!

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0006-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-07-06

Saturday July 6. 1771.1

1. Last entry in “Paper book No. 18,” though followed by a large number of blank leaves. For reasons known only to himself JA now returned to “Paper book No. 16,” in which he had written nothing since 16 Feb. 1771, and continued to keep his Diary therein until the end of Nov. 1772.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0006-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-07-20

1771. [ca. 20] July.1

Tuesday went to Boston with my Wife, and the next day to Commencement at Cambridge, was only at 3 Chambers—Palmers, Frenches and Rogers's.
1. Approximately dated from the reference to commencement at Harvard, which took place this year on Wednesday, 17 July.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0006-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-07-22

1771. July 22d. Monday.

After rambling about my Farm and giving some Directions to my Workmen I went to Boston. There soon came into my Office, Ruddock and Story. It seems that Andrew Belchers Widow has sued Story as Deputy Register of the Admiralty under her Husband in his Lifetime, and Ruddock as his Bondsman, upon the Bond given for the faithfull Discharge of his Office. Three or £400 st. of the Kings third of a Seizure is not accounted for and Ruddock is in Trouble. This Ruddock is as unique a Character as any of his Age—a finished Example of self Conceit, and Vanity.—“I am plunged! I never was concerned in any Affair before, that I could not have any Thoughts of my own upon it. I know there are several Laws—by one Law the Sherriffs Bonds are not to be put in Suit, after 2 Years, and the Treasurers are { 46 } limited to 3 Years, but whether these Precedents will govern this Case I cant tell. I consulted Mr. Pratt, once about an Affair: and he advised me to do something. I told him I was of a different opinion. Every Line in his face altered, when I said this.—You are certainly wrong said he.—Well, says I, you'l be my Lawyer, when We come to Court.—Yes said he.—But next Morning he told me ‘Brother Ruddock I have been ruminating your Affair on my Pillow, and I find You was right, and I was wrong.'”1— Thus Mr. Justice Ruddock is mighty in Counsell.
“I told Andrew Belcher, if he would not do so and so, he should never be chosen Counsellor again. He would not do it, and the next Year he was left out. I told him further, that I would not except of any Post in the World to stop my Mouth about Liberty, but I would write home and get away his Post of Register of the Admiralty.”—Thus Squire Ruddock thinks himself powerfull at Court. The Instances of this Mans Vanity are innumerable—his Soul is as much Swollen as his Carcass.
I dined at my Lodgings, came early to my Office, went home and drank Tea at 6 O Clock and returned to my Office, and here I am.— What a Multitude passes my Window every day! Mr. Otis's Servant brought his Horse to the Door at Seven, and he took a Ride. Treasurer Gray stalked along from New Boston,2 where his Daughter Otis lives, down to the B[ritish] Coffeehouse where the Clubb meets, as I suppose about half after Seven.
Spent an Hour or two in the Evening at Mr. Cranch's. Mr. Jo. Greenleaf came in, and Parson Hilyard [Hilliard] of Barnstable—and we were very chatty.
Sister Cranch says, she has had an Opportunity of making many Observations, this Year at Commencement. And she has quite altered her Mind about dancing and dancing Schools, and Mr. Cranch seems convinced too, and says it seems, that all such as learn to dance are so taken up with it, that they cant be students. So that if they should live to bring up Billy to Colledge, they would not send him to dancing School—nor the Misses Betsy and Lucy neither.3—What a sudden, and entire Conversion is this! That Mrs. C. should change so quick is not so wonderfull, But that his mathematical, metaphysical, mechanical, systematical Head should be turned round so soon, by her Report of what she saw at Cambridge is a little remarkable. However the Exchange is for the better. It is from Vanity to Wisdom—from Foppery to Sobriety and solidity. I never knew a good Dancer good for any Thing else. I have known several Men of Sense and Learning, who could dance, Otis, Sewal, Paine, but none of them shone that Way, { 47 } and neither of em had the more Sense or Learning, or Virtue for it.
I would not however conclude, peremptorily, against sending Sons or Daughters to dancing, or Fencing, or Musick, but had much rather they should be ignorant of em all than fond of any one of em.
1. Here and below, Ruddock's monologue has been slightly repunctuated for clarity.
2. The Beacon Hill area, later called the West End (Shurtleff, Description of Boston, p. 125).
3. The Cranches' three children were (1) Elizabeth (1763–1811), who in 1789 married Rev. Jacob Norton of Weymouth (Weymouth Hist. Soc., History of Weymouth, Weymouth, 1923, 4:445); (2) Lucy (1767–1846), who in 1795 married John Greenleaf (Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 240–241); and (3) William (1769–1855), Harvard 1787, for many years chief justice of the federal Circuit Court of the District of Columbia (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0006-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-07-23

July 23d. Tuesday.

The Court sat. Nothing remarkable. Dined at home at Brother Smiths, with Mr. Johnson. No Conversation memorable. Brother has 2 Dogs, 4 Rabbits, Six tame Ducks, a dozen Chickens, one Pidgeon, and some yellow Birds and other singing Birds, all in his little Yard.
It is a pitty that a Day should be spent, in the Company of Courts &c., and nothing be heard or seen, worth remembering. But this is the Case—of all that I have heard from Judges, Lawyers, Jurors, Clients, Clerks, I cant recollect a Word, a Sentence, worth committing to writing.
Took a Pipe in the Beginning of the Evening with Mr. Cranch and then supped with Dr. Warren.
The Indian Preacher cryed good God!—that ever Adam and Eve should eat that Apple when they knew in their own Souls it would make good Cyder.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0006-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-07-24

July 24. Wednesday.

Dined at home, i.e. at my Brother Smiths with one Payson, a Man who now lives at Milton where Coll. Gooch lived, and who married a Sister of David Wyers Wife. He had an Horse to sell, part English Bred, of Brig. Ruggles's raising—a young Horse, very firm and strong—good in a Chaise &c. We tryed him in a Saddle and in a Chaise too. Brother bought him. Spent the Evening at S. Quincys, with Deacon Storer and J. F. and H. Green about their Cases, in Consultation.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0006-0009

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1771-07-25 - 1771-07-26

July 25. and 26. Thursday and Fryday.

Both these Days spent in the Tryal of Mr. Otis's Case vs. Mr. Robinson.1
{ 48 }
1. On 4 Sept. 1769 James Otis had published in the Boston Gazette a card denouncing the Commissioners of Customs in Boston for their abuse of “all true North-Americans, in a manner that is not to be endured.” He was referring to statements by the Commissioners in their memorials and other papers that had recently made their way back to Boston and were soon to be published in Letters to the Ministry from Governor Bernard . . ., Boston, 1769. To this he added another communication saying among other things that if Commissioner John Robinson “misrepresents me, I have a natural right . . . to break his head.” See entries of 2 and 3 Sept. 1769, above. It was Otis' head that got broken, in a fracas with Robinson and his friends at the British Coffee House in the evening of 5 Sept.; see Boston Gazette, 11 Sept. 1769.
Otis promptly engaged three lawyers— JA, S. S. Blowers, and Samuel Fitch— and sued for £3,000 damages. His case came up in the January sitting of the Suffolk Inferior Court but was continued from term to term until July 1771, when (as JA reports in the next entry) the jury awarded him £2,000. Both parties appealed to the Superior Court, Robinson through his father-in-law and attorney, James Boutineau, he himself having long since left Boston for London. The appeals were also continued. But at length in the August term of 1772, Otis in a long statement accepted Robinson's apology in open court in lieu of damages, and required only that Robinson's attorney pay £112 11s. 8d. for “the common costs of court,” Otis' medical expenses, and his lawyers' fees in the amount of £30 each. (This statement is printed in full in Tudor, James Otis, p. 504–506, from Suffolk County Court House, Early Court Files, &c., No. 102135, where other relevant papers will be found.)
In JA's docket of Superior Court actions for this term (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 184) appears the following:
Otisvs. Robinson [and] Robinson vs.Otis
recd. a genteel Fee in these Cases from Mr. Otis in full.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0006-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-07-27

July 27. Saturday.

The Jury this Morning delivered their Verdict, for £2000 Sterling Damages, and Costs.—I have spent this Morning in reading the Centinells. There is a profuse Collection of Knowledge in them, in Law, History, Government, that indicates to me the only Author, I think. A great Variety of Knowledge.1
The Subject of the Governors Independency, is a serious, a dangerous, and momentous Thing. It deserves the utmost Attention.
1. A series of 40 more or less regular weekly essays on current constitutional and political questions appeared in Thomas' Massachusetts Spy, May 1771–March 1772, over the signature of “A Centinel.” Though JA thought he knew who wrote them, no further evidence has yet been found on this point. They parallel JA's own thinking, show substantial learning in law and history, and Gov. Hutchinson evidently suspected that JA was the author (see 2 Feb. 1772, below); but for numerous reasons this is an unacceptable hypothesis.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-08-09

1771. Aug. 8 [i.e. 9?]. Fryday.1

Have loitered at home the most of the past Week, gazing at my Workmen. I set 'em upon one Exploit, that pleases me much. I proposed ploughing up the Ground in the Street along my Stone Wall { 49 } opposite to Mr. Jos. Fields, and carting the Mould into my Cow Yard. A few Scruples, and Difficulties were started but these were got over—and Plough, Cart, Boards, Shovells, Hoes, &c. were collected, and We found it easyly ploughed by one Yoke of Oxen, very easy to shovel into the Cart, and very easily spread in the Yard. It was broke entirely to Pieces, and crumbled like dry Snow or indian meal in the Cow Yard. It is a Mixture of Sand, of Clay, and of the Dung of Horses, neat Cattle, Sheep, Hogs, Geese &c. washed down the whole length of Pens hill by the Rains. It has been a Century a Washing down, and is probably deep. We carted in 8 Loads in a Part of an Afternoon with 3 Hands besides ploughing it up, and 8 Loads more the next forenoon, with 2 Hands. I must plough up a long ditch the whole length of my Wall from N. Belchers to my House, and cart in the Contents. I must plough up the whole Balk from my Gate to Mr. Fields Corner, and cart in the Sward. I must enlarge my Yard and plough up what I take in, and lay on that Sward; I must dig a Ditch in my fresh Meadow from N. Belchers Wall down to my Pond, and cart the Contents into my Yard. I must open and enlarge four Ditches from the Street down to Deacon Belchers Meadow, and cart in the Contents. I must also bring in 20 Loads of Sea Weed, i.e. Eel Grass, and 20 Loads of Marsh Mud, and what dead ashes I can get from the Potash Works and what Dung I can get from Boston, and What Rock Weed from Nat. Belcher or else where. All this together with what will be made in the Barn and Yard, by my Horses, Oxen, Cows, Hogs, &c. and by the Weeds, that will be carried in from the Gardens, and the Wash and Trash from the House, in the Course of a Year would make a great Quantity of Choice manure.
J.Q.2 says Mr. O[tis] was quite wild at the Bar Meeting—cursed the Servants for not putting 4 Candles on the Table, swore he could yet afford to have 4 upon his own—&c.—&c.
1. The 8th was a Thursday; with little doubt JA was writing on Friday the 9th. Except for the final short paragraph, this whole entry was omitted by CFA from his text of the Diary.
2. Doubtless Josiah Quincy Jr. There is no record of this meeting in the Suffolk Bar Book (MHi). Apparently when JA was absent no minutes were kept.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0007-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-08-13

August 13. or 14th. 1771.1

Spent the Evening at Cordis's, the British Coffee house.—In the front Room, towards the long Wharfe, where the Merchants Clubb has met this twenty Years. It seems there is a Schism in that Church— a Rent in that Garment—a Mutiny in that Regiment, and a large De• { 50 } tachment has decamped, and marched over the Way, to Ingersols.2
This Evening The Commissary and Speaker, and Speaker and Commissary, Mr. Cushing was present. The Clerk of the House Mr. Adams, Mr. Otis, Mr. John Pitts, Dr. Warren, Mr. Molineux, Mr. Josa. Quincy, and myself were present.
1. Actually the 13th; see note on next entry.
2. Cordis' British Coffee House and Ingersol's Bunch of Grapes tavern are located and described in Samuel A. Drake, Old Boston Taverns and Tavern Clubs, new edn., Boston, 1917, p. 102, 103–104.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0007-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-08-14

Aug. 14. or 15. Wednesday.1

Slept last Night, at Mr. Cranches, arose about Sunrise, and repaired to my Office. A fine, sweet, fresh Morning.
1. The 14th was a Wednesday.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0007-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-08-20

Aug. 20. 1771. Tuesday.

At the Office.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0007-0005

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1771-08-22 - 1771-08-23

August. 22d. and 23. Thursday and Friday.

At the Office. Mr. Otis's Gestures and Motions are very whimsical, his Imagination is disturbed—his Passions all roiled. His Servant, he orders to bring up his Horse, and to hold him by the Head at the Stone of his Door, an Hour before He is ready to mount. Then he runs into one Door and out at another, and Window &c. &c. &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0008-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-11-05

1771. Novr. 5th. Tuesday.

At Salem. Fine Weather. Deacon Thurston of Rowley came in last Night, a venerable old Man, with his snowy, hoary Locks. Kent and the Deacon soon clashed upon Religion.—Dont you think Sir, says the Deacon, We are here Probationers for Eternity?—No by no means says Kent. We are here Probationers for the next State and in the next We shall be Probationers for the next that is to follow, and so on thro as many States as there are Stars or Sands, to all Eternity. You have gone thro several States already before this, one in the Womb, and one in your fathers Loyns.—Ay, says the Deacon, Where do you get this— dont you believe the Scriptures.
I put in my Oar—He made it Deacon out of the whole Cloth. It never existed out of his Imagination.
Kent. I get it from Analogy.
It is the delight of this Rents Heart to teaze a Minister or Deacon with his wild Conceits, about Religion.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0008-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-11-09

1771. Novr. 9. Saturday.

At Salem, all this Week at Court. Dined one day at C[hief] Justice Lyndes. All the rest of the Week till this day with the Court.
Dined this Day, spent the Afternoon, and drank Tea at Judge Ropes's, with Judges Lynde, Oliver and Hutchinson, Sewal, Putnam, and Winthrop.
Mrs. Ropes is a fine Woman—very pretty, and genteel.
Our Judge Oliver is the best bred Gentleman of all the Judges, by far. There is something in every one of the others indecent and disagreable, at Times in Company—affected Witticisms, unpolished fleers, coarse Jests, and sometimes rough, rude Attacks, but these you dont see escape Judge Oliver.
Drank Tea at Judge Ropes's. Spent the Evening at Colonel Pickmans. He is very sprightly, sensible and entertaining. Talks a great deal. Tells old Stories in abundance—about the Wit[ch]craft—Paper Money—Governor Belchers Administration, &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0008-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-11-10

Sunday Novr. 10. 1771.

Heard Mr. Cutler of Ipswich Hamlet.1 Dined at Dr. Putnams with Coll. Putnam and Lady and 2 young Gentlemen Nephews of the Dr. and Coll.—and a Mrs. Scollay. Coll. Putnam told a Story of an Indian upon Connecticutt River who called at a Tavern in the fall of the Year for a Dram. The Landlord asked him two Coppers for it. The next Spring, happening at the same House, he called for another and had 3 Coppers to pay for it.—How is this, Landlord, says he, last fall you asked but two Coppers for a Glass of Rum, now you ask three.—Oh! says the Landlord, it costs me a good deal to keep Rum over Winter. It is as expensive to keep an Hogshead of Rum over Winter as a Horse.—Ay says the Indian, I cant see thro that, He wont eat so much Hay— may be He drink as much Water .—This was sheer Wit, pure Satyre, and true Humour. Humour, Wit, and Satyr, in one very short Repartee.
Kent brought with him, Utopia, or the happy Republic, a Philosophical Romance, by Sir Thos. More, translated by Bp. Burnet. There is a sensible Preface by the Translator prefixed, and some Testimonies concerning More by great and learned Men of different Nations and Religions. Cardinal Pool [Pole], Erasmus, Jo. Cochleus, Paulus Jovius, Jo. Rivius, Charles 5. &c. The Translation, I think is better than mine, which is by another Hand.2 The Romance is very elegant and ingenious—the fruit of a benevolent and candid Heart, a learned and { 52 } strong Mind. The good Humour, Hospitality, Humanity, and Wisdom of the Utopians, is charming—their Elegance, and Taste is engaging—their freedom from Avarice, and foppery, and Vanity is admirable.
1. This was Manasseh Cutler, Yale 1765, later famous as a botanist and a framer of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. “Nov. 10, Lord's Day. I preached at Salem, at Mr. Barnard's Meeting House. The Superior Court was then sitting. The most of the judges and gentlemen of the law were at that meeting”(William P. and Julia P. Cutler, Life, Journals and Correspondence of Rev. Manasseh Cutler, L.L.D., Cincinnati, 1888, 1:36).
2. No copy of More's Utopia has yet been located among JA's books.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-02-02

1772. Feby. 2d. Sunday.

Have omitted now for 3 months almost to keep any “Note of Time or of its Loss.”
Thomas Newcomb dined with me. He says that Etter, the Stocking Weaver, told him about a fortnight ago, that he saw the Governor within these 3 Months, and told him, he hoped the People would be contented and easy now they had a Governor from among themselves. The Governor said, “there were some Discontents remaining occasioned by continual Clamours in the Newspapers, and that a great Part of those Clamours, came from his (Etters) Town, (Braintree).”
This was partly, I suppose, to pump Etter, and get something out of him, and partly to put Etter upon the right Scent, as the Governor thought, that he might hunt down the seditious Writer at Braintree. This Conversation shews that the Governor is puzzled And wholly ignorant of the real Writers that molest him. The Centinel has puzzled him.
Mr. Thomas Edwards our School Master and Mr. Joseph Crosby, a Senior Sophister at Colledge, spent the Evening with me. Our Conversation was upon Austin, Tudor, Bulkley, Moreton [Morton], Thayer, Angier1—Colonel Thayer, the Settlement of the Militia, Algebra, Fenning, Dr. Sanderson &c. &c. &c.
Edwards is ballancing in his Mind the several Professions, in order to choose one. Is at a Loss between Divinity and Law, but his Inclination is to the latter. Asked me to take him. I only answered there were such Swarms of young ones, that there was no Encouragement.
1. All young lawyers or young men studying for the law.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-02-04

1772. Feby. 4th. Tuesday.

Took a Ride in the Afternoon with my Wife and little Daughter to make a visit to my Brother.1 But finding him and Sister just gone to visit my Mother we rode down there, and drank Tea, altogether. Chat• { 53 } ted about the new Promotions in the Militia, and speculated about the future Officers of this Company, upon supposition that the old Officers should resign—Billings, Brother, &c.&c.
It is curious to observe the Effect these little Objects of Ambition have upon Mens Minds. The Commission of a Subaltern, in the Militia, will tempt these little Minds, as much as Crowns, and Stars and Garters will greater ones. These are Things that strike upon vulgar, rustic Imaginations, more strongly, than Learning, Eloquence, and Genius, of which common Persons have no Idea.
My Brother seems to relish the Thought of a Commission, and if Rawson and Bass resign, I hope he will have one—under Billings.
1. JA's youngest brother, Elihu (1741–1775), who lived on property he had inherited from his father in that part of Braintree later set off as Randolph. In 1765 he had married Thankful White.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-02-09

1772. Feby. 9. Sunday.1

“If I would but go to Hell for an eternal Moment or so, I might be knighted”—Shakespeare.
Shakespeare, that great Master of every Affection of the Heart and every Sentiment of the Mind as well as of all the Powers of Expression, is sometimes fond of a certain pointed Oddity of Language, a certain Quaintness of Style, that is <considered as> an Imperfection, in his Character. The Motto prefixed to this Paper, may be considered as an Example to illustrate this Observation.
Abstracted from the Point and Conceit in the Style, there is Sentiment enough in these few Words to fill <Volumes> a Volume. It is a striking Representation of that Struggle which I believe always happens, between Virtue and Ambition, when a Man first commences a Courtier. By a Courtier I mean one who applies himself to the Passions and Prejudices, the Follies and Vices of great Men in order to obtain their Smiles, Esteem and Patronage and consequently their favours and Preferments. Human Nature, depraved as it is, has interwoven in its very Frame, a Love of Truth, Sincerity, and Integrity, which must be overcome by Art, Education, and habit, before the Man can become entirely ductile to the Will of a dishonest Master. When such a Master requires of all who seek his favour, an implicit Resignation to his Will and Humour, and these require that he be soothed, flattered and assisted in his Vices, and Follies, perhaps the blackest Crimes, that Men can commit, the first Thought of this will produce in a Mind not yet entirely debauched, a Soliloqui, something like my Motto—as if he should say—The Minister of State or the { 54 } Governor would promote my Interest, would advance me to Places of Honour and Profitt, would raise me to Titles and Dignities that will be perpetuated in my family, in a Word would make the Fortune of me and my Posterity forever, if I would but comply with his Desires and become his Instrument to promote his Measures.—But still I dread the Consequences. He requires of me, such Complyances, such horrid Crimes, such a Sacrifice of my Honour, my Conscience, my Friends, my Country, my God, as the Scriptures inform us must be punished with nothing less than Hell Fire, eternal Torment. And this is so unequal a Price to pay for the Honours and Emoluments in the Power of a Minister or Governor, that I cannot prevail upon myself to think of it. The Duration of future Punishment terrifies me. If I could but deceive myself so far as to think Eternity a Moment only, I could comply, and be promoted.
Such as these are probably the Sentiments of a Mind as yet pure, and undifiled in its Morals. And many and severe are the Pangs, and Agonies it must undergo, before it will be brought to yield entirely to Temptation. Notwithstanding this, We see every Day, that our Imaginations are so strong and our Reason so weak, the Charms of Wealth and Power are so enchanting, and the Belief of future Punishments so faint, that Men find Ways to persuade themselves, to believe any Absurdity, to submit to any Prostitution, rather than forego their Wishes and Desires. Their Reason becomes at last an eloquent Advocate on the Side of their Passions, and [they] bring themselves to believe that black is white, that Vice is Virtue, that Folly is Wisdom and Eternity a Moment.
The Brace of Adamsʼs.2
In the Spring of the Year 1771, several Messages passed between the Governor and the House of Representatives, concerning the Words that are <commonly> always used in Acts of Parliament, and which were used in all the Laws of this Province, till the Administration of Governor Shirley, “in General Court assembled and by the Authority of the same.”3 Governor Shirley in whose Administration those Words were first omitted in Consequence of an Instruction to him, saw and read these Messages in the Newspapers, and enquired of somebody in Company with him at his Seat in Dorchester,4 who had raised those Words from Oblivion at this Time?—The Gentleman answered, the Boston Seat.—Who are the Boston Seat? says the Governor.—Mr. Cushing, Mr. Hancock, Mr. Adams and Mr. Adams says the Gentleman.—Mr. Cushing I know, quoth Mr. Shirley, and Mr. Hancock I { 55 } know, but where the Devil this Brace of Adams's came from, I cant conceive.
Q[uery]. Is it not a Pity, that a Brace of so obscure a Breed, should be the only ones to defend the Household, when the generous Mastiffs, and best blooded Hounds are all hushed to silence by the Bones and Crumbs, that are thrown to them, and even Cerberus himself is bought off, with a Sop?
The Malice of the Court and its Writers seems to be principally directed against these two Gentlemen. They have been stedfast and immoveable in the Cause of their Country, from the Year 1761, and one of them Mr. Samuel Adams for full 20 Years before. They have always since they were acquainted with each other, concurred in Sentiment that the Liberties of this Country had more to fear from one Man the present Governor Hutchinson than from any other Man, nay than from all other Men in the World. This Sentiment was founded in their Knowledge of his Character, his unbounded Ambition and his unbounded Popularity. This Sentiment they have always freely, tho decently, expressed in their Conversation and Writings, Writings which the Governor well knows and which will be remembered as long as his Character and Administration. It is not therefore at all surprizing that his Indignation and that of all his Creatures should fall upon those Gentlemen. Their Maker has given them Nerves that are delicate, and of Consequence their Feelings are exquisite, and their Constitutions tender, and their Health especially of one of them, very infirm: But as a Compensation for this he has been pleased to bestow upon them Spirits that are unconquerable by all the Art and all the Power of Governor Hutchinson, and his Political Creators and Creatures on both Sides of the Atlantic. That Art and Power which has destroyed a Thatcher, a Mayhew, an Otis, may destroy the Health and the Lives of these Gentlemen, but can never subdue their Principles or their Spirit. They have not the chearing salubrious Prospect of Honours and Emoluments before them, to support them under all the Indignities and Affronts, the Insults and Injuries, the Malice and Slander, that can be thrown upon Men, they have not even the Hope of those Advantages that the suffrages of the People only can bestow, but they have a Sense of Honour and a Love of their Country, the Testimony of a good Conscience, and the Consolation of Phylosophy, if nothing more, which will certainly support them in the Cause of their Country, to their last Gasp of Breath whenever that may happen.
1. What follows is obviously a draft of an essay intended for a newspaper, but no printing has been found. For apparently related fragments, see entries of { 56 } Jan.? 1770 and Aug.? 1770, above.
2. Another piece evidently intended for newspaper publication but not found in print.
3. This dispute over the phrasing of the laws occurred, not in the spring of 1771, but in Nov. 1770. See Mass., House Jour., 1770–1771, p. 128, 134–135, 145–146, 159–163; Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, 3:225–227.
4. An error for Roxbury. Shirley died there in March 1771 (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-02-10

1772. Feby. 10. Monday.

Went to Boston to the Court of Admiralty, and returned at Night. I went upon the first Appeal that has been yet made and prosecuted before Judge Auchmuty, and as it is a new Thing the Judge has directed an Argument, and a Search of Books concerning the Nature of Appeals by the civil Law. I found Time to look into Calvins Lexicon Title Appellatio and Provocatio, and into Maranta, who has treated largely of Appeals. Borrowed Ayliff, but there is no Table and could find nothing about the Subject. Domat I could not find.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1772-02 - 1772-05

[Notes for an Oration at Braintree, Spring 1772.]1

The Origin, the Nature, the Principles and the Ends of Government, in all Ages, the ignorant as well as the enlightened, and in all Nations, the barbarous as well as civilized, have employed the Wits of ingenious Men.2
The Magi, the Mufti, the Bramins, and Brachmans, Mandarines, Rabbies, Philosophers, Divines, Schoolmen, Hermits, Legislators, Politicians, Lawyers, have made these the subjects of their Enquiries and Reasonings. There is nothing too absurd, nothing too enthusiastical or superstitious, nothing too wild or whimsical, nothing too prophane or impious, to be found among such Thinkers, upon such Subjects. Any Thing which subtelty could investigate or imagination conceive, would serve for an Hypothesis, to support a System, excepting only what alone can support the System of Truth—Nature, and Experience.
The Science of Government, like all other Sciences, is best pursued by Observation And Experiment—Remark the Phenomina of Nature, and from these deduce the Principles and Ends of Government.
Men are the Objects of this Science, as much as Air, Fire, Earth and Water, are the Objects of Phylosophy, Points, Lines, Surfaces and Solids of Geometry, or the Sun, Moon and Stars of Astronomy. Human Nature therefore and human Life must be carefully observed and studied. Here we should spread before Us a Map of Man—view him in different Soils and Climates, in different Nations and Countries, under different Religions and Customs, in Barbarity and Civility, in a { 57 } State of Ignorance and enlightened with Knowledge, in Slavery and in freedom, in Infancy and Age.
He will be found, a rational, sensible and social Animal, in all. The Instinct of Nature impells him to Society, and Society causes the Necessity of Government.
Government is nothing more than the combined Force of Society, or the united Power of the Multitude, for the Peace, Order, Safety, Good and Happiness of the People, who compose the Society. There is no King or Queen Bee distinguished from all others, by Size or Figure, or beauty and Variety of Colours, in the human Hive. No Man has yet produced any Revelation from Heaven in his favour, any divine Communication to govern his fellow Men. Nature throws us all into the World equall and alike.
Nor has any Form of Government the Honour of a divine original or Appointment. The Author of Nature has left it wholly in the Choice of the People, to make what mutual Covenants, to erect what Kind of Governments, and to exalt what Persons they please to power and dignities, for their own Ease, Convenience and Happiness.
Government being according to my Definition the collected Strength of all for the general Good of all, Legislators have devised a Great Variety of forms in which this Strength may be arranged.
There are only Three simple Forms of Government.
When the whole Power of the Society is lodged in the Hands of the whole Society, the Government is called a Democracy, or the Rule of the Many.
When the Sovereignty, or Supreme Power is placed in the Hands of a few great, rich, wise Men, the Government is an Aristocracy, or the Rule of the few.
When the absolute Power of the Community is entrusted to the Discretion of a single Person, the Government is called a Monarchy, or the Rule of one, in this Case the whole Legislative and Executive Power is in the Breast of one Man.
There are however two other Kinds of Monarchies. One is when the supreme Power is not in a single Person but in the Laws, the Administration being committed solely to the Prince.
Another Kind is a limited Monarchy, where the Nobles or the Commons or both have a Check upon all the Acts of Legislation of the Prince.
There is an indefinite Variety of other Forms of Government, occasioned by different Combinations of the Powers of Society, and { 58 } different Intermixtures of these Forms of Government, one with another.
The best Governments of the World have been mixed.
The Republics of Greece, Rome, Carthage, were all mixed Governments. The English, Dutch and Swiss, enjoy the Advantages of mixed Governments at this Day.
Sometimes Kings have courted the People in Opposition to the Nobles. At other Times the Nobles have united with the People in Opposition to Kings. But Kings and Nobles have much oftener combined together, to crush, to humble and to Fleece the People.
But this is an unalterable Truth, that the People can never be enslaved but by their own Tameness, Pusillanimity, Sloth or Corruption.
They may be deceived, and their Symplicity, Ignorance, and Docility render them frequently liable to deception. And of this, the aspiring, designing, ambitious few are very sensible. He is the Statesman qualifyed by Nature to scatter Ruin and Destruction in his Path who by deceiving a Nation can render Despotism desirable in their Eyes and make himself popular in Undoing.
The Preservation of Liberty depends upon the intellectual and moral Character of the People. As long as Knowledge and Virtue are diffused generally among the Body of a Nation, it is impossible they should be enslaved. This can be brought to pass only by debasing their Understandings, or by corrupting their Hearts.
What is the Tendency of the late Innovations? The Severity, the Cruelty of the late Revenue Laws, and the Terrors of the formidable Engine, contrived to execute them, the Court of Admiralty? Is not the natural and necessary Tendency of these Innovations, to introduce dark Intrigues, Insincerity, Simulation, Bribery and Perjury, among Custom house officers, Merchants, Masters, Mariners and their Servants?
What is the Tendency, what has been the Effect of introducing a standing Army into our Metropolis? Have we not seen horrid Rancour, furious Violence, infernal Cruelty, shocking Impiety and Profanation, and shameless, abandoned Debauchery, running down the Streets like a Stream?
Liberty, under every conceivable Form of Government is always in Danger. It is so even under a simple, or perfect Democracy, more so { 59 } under a mixed Government, like the Republic of Rome, and still more so under a limited Monarchy.
Ambition is one of the more ungovernable Passions of the human Heart. The Love of Power, is insatiable and uncontroulable.
Even in the simple Democracies of ancient Greece, Jealous as they were of Power, even their Ostracism could not always preserve them from the grasping Desires and Designs, from the overbearing Popularity, of their great Men.
Even Rome, in her wisest and most virtuous Period, from the Expulsion of her Kings to the Overthrow of the Commonwealth, was always in Danger from the Power of some and the Turbulence, Faction and Popularity of others.
There is Danger from all Men. The only Maxim of a free Government, ought to be to trust no Man living, with Power to endanger the public Liberty.
In England, the common Rout to Power has been by making clamorous Professions of Patriotism, in early Life, to secure a great Popularity, and to ride upon that Popularity, into the highest Offices of State, and after they have arrived there, they have been generally found, as little zealous to preserve the Constitution, as their Predecessors whom they have hunted down.
The Earl of Strafford, in early Life, was a mighty Patriot and Anti-courtier.
Sir Robert Walpole. Commited to the Tower the Father of Corruption.
Harley also, a great and bold Advocate for the Constitution and Liberties of his Country.
But I need not go to Greece or to Rome, or to Britain for Examples. There are Persons now living in this Province, who for a long Course of their younger Years, professed and were believed to be the Guardian Angells of our civil and Religious Liberties, whose latter Conduct, since they have climbed up by Popularity to Power, has exhibited as great a Contrast to their former Professions and Principles, as ever was seen in a Strafford, an Harley, or a Walpole.
Be upon your Guard then, my Countrymen.
We see, by the Sketches I have given you, that all the great Kingdoms of Europe have once been free. But that they have lost their Liberties, by the Ignorance, the Weakness, the Inconstancy, and Disunion of the People. Let Us guard against these dangers, let us be firm and stable, as wise as Serpents and as harmless as Doves, but as daring and intrepid as Heroes. Let Us cherish the Means of Knowl• { 60 } edge—our schools and Colledges—let Us cherish our Militia, and encourage military Discipline and skill.
The English Nation have been more fortunate than France, Spain, or any other—for the Barons, the Grandees, the Nobles, instead of uniting with [the] Crown, to suppress the People, united with the People, and struggled vs. the Crown, untill they obtained the great Charter, which was but a Restoration and Confirmation of the Laws and Constitution of our Saxon King Edward the Confessor.
Liberty depends upon an exact Ballance, a nice Counterpoise of all the Powers of the state.3
When the Popular Power becomes grasping, and eager after Augmentation, or for Amplification, beyond its proper Weight, or Line, it becomes as dangerous as any other. Sweeden is an Example.
The Independency of the Governor, his Salary granted by the Crown, out of a Revenue extorted from this People.
The Refusal of the Governor to consent to any Act for granting a Salary to the Agent, unless chosen by the 3 Branches of the General Court.
The Instruction to the Governor, not to consent to any Tax Bill unless certain Crown Officers are exempted.
The Multiplication of Offices and Officers among Us.
The Revenue, arising from Duties upon Tea, Sugar, Molasses and other Articles, &c.
It is the popular Power, the democraticall Branch of our Constitution that is invaded.
If K[ing], Lords and Commons, can make Laws to bind Us in all Cases whatsoever, The People here will have no Influence, no Check, no Power, no Controul, no Negative.
And the Government we are under, instead of being a mixture of Monarchy, Aristocracy and Democracy, will be a Mixture only of Monarchy and Aristocracy. For the Lords and Commons may be considered equally with Regard to Us as Nobles, as the few, as Aristocratical Grandees, independent of Us the People, uninfluenced by Us, having no fear of Us, nor Love for Us.
Wise and free Nations have made it their Rule, never to vote their Donations of Money to their Kings to enable them to carry on the Affairs of Government, untill they had Opportunities to examine the { 61 } State of the Nation, and to remonstrate against Grievances and demand and obtain the Redress of them. This was the Maxim in France, Spain, Sweeden, Denmark, Poland, while those Nations were free. What Opportunities then shall we in this Province have to demand and obtain the Redress of Grievances, if our Governors and Judges and other Officers and Magistrates are to be supported by the Ministry, without the Gifts of the People.—Consider the Case of Barbadoes and Virginia. Their Governors have been made independent by the imprudent shortsighted Acts of their own Assemblies. What is the Consequence.
1. At the annual town meeting in Braintree, 2 March 1772, it was “Voted, an oration relative to the civil & religious rights & Priviledges of the People be Delivd. on the Day the annual meeting for the choice of a Representative shall be appointed in May next.” Also, “Voted, The Selectmen be desired to wait on John Adams Esqr. with the above vote and request his assistance therein, and in case of his refusal to engage some other Gentleman of the Town to assist in that affair” (Braintree Town Records, p. 435).
The annual election was held 18 May, and Ebenezer Thayer Jr. was reelected (same, p. 435–436), but no further mention of the oration has been found. It is in the highest degree likely, however, that the present notes are JA's first thoughts for the patriotic address the town had invited him to deliver. CFA evidently regarded this material as too fragmentary to preserve in print, but it embodies some very characteristic ideas and expressions. From the blank intervals in the MS, the discontinuity of the thought, and variations in ink, it is clear that the notes were written at different times over an extended period.
2. This opening passage was much reworked in the MS, as were some passages below, but the alterations seem scarcely worth recording.
3. This and the following paragraph were doubtless meant for insertion at some point earlier in JA's development of his theme.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-06-30

Falmouth, Casco Bay. June 30th. 1772. Tuesday.

My Office at Boston will miss me, this day. It is the last day of Arresting for July Court. What equivalent I shall meet with here is uncertain.
It has been my Fate, to be acquainted, in the Way of my Business, with a Number of very rich Men—Gardiner, Bowdoin, Pitts, Hancock, Rowe, Lee, Sargeant, Hooper, Doane. Hooper, Gardiner, Rowe, Lee, and Doane, have all acquired their Wealth by their own Industry. Bowdoin and Hancock received theirs by Succession, Descent or Devise. Pitts by Marriage.1 But there is not one of all these, who derives more Pleasure from his Property than I do from mine. My little Farm, and Stock, and Cash, affords me as much Satisfaction, as all their immense Tracts, extensive Navigation, sumptuous Buildings, their vast Sums at Interest, and Stocks in Trade yield to them. The Pleasures of Property, arise from Acquis[it]ion more than Possession, { 62 } from what is to come rather than from what is. These Men feel their Fortunes. They feel the Strength and Importance, which their Riches give them in the World. Their Courage and Spirits are buoyed up, their Imaginations are inflated by them. The rich are seldom remarkable for Modesty, Ingenuity, or Humanity. Their Wealth has rather a Tendency to make them penurious and selfish.
I arrived in this Town on Sunday Morning, went to Meeting all day, heard Mr. Smith and Mr. Deane. Drank Tea with Brother Bradbury, and spent the Evening with him at Mr. Deanes. Sat in the Pew with Mr. Smith, Son of the Minister in the Morning, and with Wm. Tyng Esq. Sherriff and Rep[resentative] in the Afternoon.
Lodge at Mrs. Stovers, a neat, clean, clever Woman, the Wife of a Sea Captain at Sea.
Have spent my idle Time, in reading my Clasmate Heminways Vindication of the Power, Obligation and Encouragement of the unregenerate to attend the Means of Grace—and The clandestine Marriage by Colman and Garrick.
1. Councillor James Pitts, a Boston land magnate and merchant, had married Elizabeth, a sister of James Bowdoin. Mr. Shipton points out that Pitts by no means acquired all his wealth through his marriage (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 9:76).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-07-01

Wednesday July 1. 1772.

He, who contends for Freedom,

can ne'er be justly deem'd his Sovereign's Foe:

No, 'tis the wretch that tempts him to subvert it,

The soothing Slave, the Traitor in the Bosom,

Who best deserves that name; he is a worm

That eats out all the Happiness of Kingdoms.1

When Life, or Death,

becomes the Question, all Distinctions vanish;

Then the first Monarch and the lowest Slave

on the same Level Stand, in this the Sons

of equal Nature all.

1. Note by CFA: “These lines are taken from a play, now little read: [James] Thomson's Edward and Eleanora, act i. sc. 2, and act ii. sc. 2” (JA, Works, 2:297).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-09-22

1772. Septr. 22.1

At Boston. Paid Doctr. Gardiner and took up my last Note to him. I have now got compleatly thro, my Purchase of Deacon Palmer, Coll. { 63 } Quincy and all my Salt Marsh, being better than 20 Acres, and have paid £250 O.T. towards my House in Boston, and have better than £300 left in my Pockett. At Thirty Seven Years of Age, almost, this is all that my most intense Application to Study and Business has been able to accomplish, an Application, that has more than once been very near costing me my Life, and that has so greatly impaired my Health.
I am now writing in my own House in Queen Street, to which I am pretty well determined to bring my Family, this Fall.2 If I do, I shall come with a fixed Resolution, to meddle not with public Affairs of Town or Province. I am determined, my own Life, and the Welfare of my whole Family, which is much dearer to me, are too great Sacrifices for me to make. I have served my Country, and her professed Friends, at an immense Expense, to me, of Time, Peace, Health, Money, and Preferment, both of which last have courted my Acceptance, and been inexorably refused, least I should be laid under a Temptation to forsake the Sentiments of the Friends of this Country. These last are such Politicians, as to bestow all their Favours upon their professed and declared Enemies. I will devote myself wholly to my private Business, my Office and my farm, and I hope to lay a Foundation for better Fortune to my Children, and an happier Life than has fallen to my Share.
This [is] the last Training Day for the Year—have been out to view the Regiment, the Cadets, the Grenadiers, the Train &c.—a great Show indeed.
Epitaph.3

Algernon Sidney fills this Tomb,

An Atheist for disdaining Rome

A Rebel bold for striving still

To keep the Laws above the Will

Of Heaven he sure must needs despair

If holy Pope be turnkey there

And Hell him ne'er will entertain

For there is all Tyrannick Reign

Where goes he then? Where he ought to go.

Where Pope, nor Devil have to do.

1. There are no Diary entries between 1 July and 22 Sept. 1772. Part of the explanation certainly lies in the press of JA's legal business. His Office Book for 1770–1774 (MS in MQA) shows that he handled 66 cases in the July term of the Suffolk Inferior Court, and his docket of actions in the August term of the Suffolk Superior Court, which ran well over into September, lists no fewer than 78 continued and new cases in which he was concerned (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 183).
2. On 21 Aug. JA bought of Shrimpton { 64 } Hunt for £533 6s. 8d. a brick house and lot in South Queen Street “near the Scaene of my Business, opposite the Court House” (Suffolk Deeds, Liber 122, fol. 7). Late in November his family moved in, and it remained their residence until the summer of 1774. See entries of 21 and 28 [i.e. 27?] Nov., below.
Queen Street was that part of present Court Street which curved around from present Washington Street (formerly Cornhill) to Hanover Street; its name was officially changed to Court Street in 1788 (Boston Streets, &c., 1910, p. 137, 385). JQA used the front room of this house for his own law office when he began practice, 1790–1791 (JQA to JA, 9 Aug. 1790, Adams Papers).
According to a note prepared by HA2 for Samuel F. Bemis (Adams Papers Editorial Files), this property remained in the family until about 1900. After the Civil War the Adams Building, No. 23 Court Street, was erected on the site, and here JQA2 and CFA2 had their Boston offices for many years. The building was torn down when the land passed to the Old Colony Trust Company.
3. Copied into the Diary at some point between 22 Sept. and 5 Oct. 1772. The rudimentary punctuation of the MS has been retained.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-10-05

1772. Octr. 5th. Monday.

Rode to Plymouth with my Sister Miss Betsy Smith.1 Most agreably entertained at the House of Coll. Warren. The Colonel, his Lady and Family are all agreable. They have 5 Sons, James, now at Colledge, Winslow, Charles, Henry and George—5 fine Boys.
1. Elizabeth Smith, youngest sister of AA; she married, first (1777) Rev. John Shaw of Haverhill, and second (1795) Rev. Stephen Peabody of Atkinson, N.H.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0006-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-10

1772. Octr.

At Taunton. This Week has been a remarkable one.1
1. From Tuesday through Friday, 13–16 Oct., JA attended the Superior Court at Taunton. He tried nine cases covering such varied subjects as prescriptive rights, the admissibility of evidence of a lost deed, guardianship, marine insurance, and breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment of real estate. Of these cases, he lost six, including two for verdicts of £91 and £102. (Superior Court of Judicature, Minute Book 84; Suffolk County Court House, Early Court Files, &c., vol. 979.)

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0006-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-10-19

Octr. 19. 1772. Boston.

The Day of the Month reminds me of my Birth day, which will be on the 30th. I was born Octr. 19. 1735. Thirty Seven Years, more than half the Life of Man, are run out.—What an Atom, an Animalcule I am!—The Remainder of my Days I shall rather decline, in Sense, Spirit, and Activity. My Season for acquiring Knowledge is past. And Yet I have my own and my Childrens Fortunes to make. My boyish Habits, and Airs are not yet worn off.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0006-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-10-27

1772. Octr. 27. Tuesday.

At the Printing Office this Morning. Mr. Otis came in, with his { 65 } Eyes, fishy and fiery, looking and acting as wildly as ever he did.—“You Mr. Edes, You John Gill and you Paul Revere, can you stand there Three Minutes.”—Yes.—“Well do. Brother Adams go along with me.”— Up Chamber we went. He locks the Door and takes out the Kee. Sit down Tete a Tete.—“You are going to Cambridge to day”—Yes.—“So am I, if I please. I want to know, if I was to come into Court, and ask the Court if they were at Leisure to hear a Motion—and they should say Yes—And I should say 'May it please your Honours—
“‘I have heard a Report and read an Account that your Honours are to be paid your Salaries for the future by the Crown, out of a Revenue raised from Us, without our Consent. As an Individual of the Community, as a Citizen of the Town, as an Attorney and Barrister of this Court, I beg your Honours would inform me, whether that Report is true, and if it is, whether your Honours determine to accept of such an Appointment?'
“Or Suppose the substance of this should be reduced to a written Petition, would this be a Contempt? Is mere Impertinence a Contempt?”1
In the Course of this curious Conversation it oozed out that Cushing, Adams, and He, had been in Consultation but Yesterday, in the same Chamber upon that Subject.
In this Chamber, Otis was very chatty. He told me a story of Coll. Erving, whose Excellency lies, he says, not in military Skill, but in humbugging. Erving met Parson Morehead [Moorehead] near his Meeting House. You have a fine Steeple, and Bell, says he, to your Meeting House now.—Yes, by the Liberality of Mr. Hancock and the Subscriptions of some other Gentlemen We have a very hansome and convenient House of it at last.—But what has happened to the Vane, Mr. Morehead, it dont traverse, it has pointed the same Way these 3 Weeks.—Ay I did not know it, i'l see about it.—Away goes Morehead, storming among his Parish, and the Tradesmen, who had built the Steeple, for fastening the Vane so that it could not move. The Tradesmen were alarmed, and went to examine it, but soon found that the fault was not in the Vane but the Weather, the Wind having sat very constantly at East, for 3 Weeks before.
He also said there was a Report about Town that Morehead had given Thanks publicly, that by the Generosity of Mr. Hancock, and some other Gentlemen, they were enabled to worship God as genteely now as any other Congregation in Town.
After We came down Stairs, something was said about military Matters.—Says Otis to me, Youl never learn military Exercises.—Ay { 66 } why not?—That You have an Head for it needs no Commentary, but not an Heart.—Ay how do you know—you never searched my Heart.— “Yes I have—tired with one Years Service, dancing from Boston to Braintree and from Braintree to Boston, moaping about the Streets of this Town as hipped as Father Flynt at 90, and seemingly regardless of every Thing, but to get Money enough to carry you smoothly through this World.”
This is the Rant of Mr. Otis concerning me, and I suppose of 2 thirds of the Town.—But be it known to Mr. Otis, I have been in the public Cause as long as he, 'tho I was never in the General Court but one Year. I have sacrificed as much to it as he. I have never got [my]2 Father chosen Speaker and Councillor by it, my Brother in Law chosen into the House and chosen Speaker by it, nor a Brother in Laws Brother in Law into the House and Council by it. Nor did I ever turn about in the House, betray my Friends and rant on the Side of Prerogative, for an whole Year, to get a father into a Probate Office, and a first Justice of a Court of Common Pleas, and a Brother into a Clerks Office.
There is a Complication of Malice, Envy and Jealousy in this Man, in the present disordered State of his Mind that is quite shocking.
I thank God my mind is prepared, for whatever can be said of me. The Storm shall blow over me in Silence.
Rode to Cambridge and made a Mornings Visit to Judge Trowbridge in his solitary, gloomy State. He is very dull, talks about retiring from Court. Says he cant fix his Attention as he could—is in doubt whether he ought to sit in a Capital Case, least he should omit something that is material—&c. &c.
Was inquisitive however, about Politicks and what the Town of Boston was likely to do about the Judges Salaries. Said he heard they were about to choose a Committee to wait upon the Court, to enquire of them &c. &c. Comparing this with Otis's distracted Proposal to me, about a Motion or Petition, I concluded that something of this Kind had been talked of in Town, 'tho I never heard a Hint of it from any but these two.3
Trowbridge thought there never was a Time when every Thing was so out of Joint. Our general Court gave Cushing for a fortnights Work as much as the Judges for a Years. The Ministry gave £600 a Year to the Admiralty Judges, for doing no more Business than the Superior Court did in one Term, 'tho the latter had a Controul over the former. For his Part he could not look upon it in any other Light than as an Affront. This is nearly the same that he said to Coll. Warren.
{ 67 }
Attended Court, all Day, dined with the Judges &c. at Bradishes. Brattle was there and was chatty. Fitch came in blustering when Dinner was half over.
1. Minimum punctuation for clarity has been supplied in the dialogue here and below.
2. MS: “Mr.”
3. For JA's part in the controversy over the judges' salaries, see entry of 4 March 1773, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-11-21

1772. Novr. 21.

Next Tuesday I shall remove my Family to Boston, after residing in Braintree about 19 Months. I have recovered a Degree of Health by this Excursion into the Country, tho I am an infirm Man yet. I hope I have profited by Retirement and Reflection!—and learned in what manner to live in Boston! How long I shall be able to stay in the City, I know not; if my Health should again decline, I must return to Braintree and renounce the Town entirely. I hope however to be able to stay there many Years! To this End I must remember Temperance, Exercise and Peace of Mind. Above all Things I must avoid Politicks, Political Clubbs, Town Meetings, General Court, &c. &c. &c.
I must ride frequently to Braintree to inspect my Farm, and when in Boston must spend my Evenings in my Office, or with my Family, and with as little Company as possible.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0007-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-11-21

Novr. 21st. 1772.

Eleven Years have passed since I minuted any Thing in this Book.1 What an admirable Advantage it would have been if I had recorded every Step in the Progress of my Studies for these Eleven Years.
If I had kept an exact Journal of all my Journeys on the Circuits, of all the Removes of my Family, my Buildings, Purchases, the gradual Increase of my Library, and Family, as well as of the Improvement of my Mind by my Studies, the whole would have composed entertaining Memoirs, to me in my old Age, and to my Family after my Decease.
One Thing in this Book shall be a Lesson to me. The Gentleman to whom the Letter is directed, an extract of which is in the Beginning of this Book, Eleven Years ago I thought the best Friend, I had in the World.2 I loved him accordingly and corresponded with him, many Years, without Reserve: But the Scaene is changed. At this Moment I look upon him [as] the most bitter, malicious, determined and implacable Enemy I have. God forgive him the Part he has acted, both in public and private Life! It is not impossible that he may make the same Prayer for me.
{ 68 }
I am now about removing, a Second Time from Braintree to Boston. In April 1768 I removed to Boston, to the white House in Brattle Square, in the Spring 1769, I removed to Cole Lane, to Mr. Fayerweathers House. In 1770 I removed to another House in Brattle Square, where Dr. Cooper now lives, in 1771, I removed from Boston to Braintree, in the Month of April, where I have lived to this Time. I hope I shall not have Occasion to remove so often for 4 Years and an half to come.
The numerous Journeys and Removes, that I have taken in this Period, have put my Mind into an unsettled State. They have occasioned too much Confusion and Dissipation. I hope to pass a more steady, regular Life for the future in all Respects.
When I chance to meet with any of my own Compositions, of Ten Years old, I am much inclined to think I could write with more Accuracy and Elegance then than I can now, and that I had more Sense and Knowledge then, than I have now. My Memory, and Fancy were certainly better then, and my Judgment, I conjecture quite as good.
1. This entry derives from D/JA/4, JA's desultory record of reading and studies, kept only for a brief period and long since abandoned; in the MS it follows immediately an entry dated 20 Nov. 1761, q.v. above.
2. Jonathan Sewall. The letter in question, at the beginning of D/JA/4, is dated Oct. 1759 (vol. 1:123–124, above).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0007-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-11-27

1772. Novr. 28 [i.e. 27?]. Fryday.1

This Week vizt. last Tuesday my Family and Goods arrived at Boston where we have taken Possession of my House in Queen street where I hope, I shall live as long as I have any Connections with Boston.
This Day Majr. Martin came into the Office and chatted an Hour very sociably and pleasantly. He says that Politicks are the finest Study and science in the World, but they are abused. Real Patriotism or Love of ones Country is the greatest of moral Virtues, &c. He is a Man of Sense and Knowledge of the World. His Observation upon Politicks is just, they are the grandest, the Noblest, the most usefull and important Science, in the whole Circle.
A Sensible Soldier is as entertaining a Companion as any Man whatever. They acquire an Urbanity, by Travel and promiscuous Conversation, that is charming. This Major Martin has conversed familiarly in Scotland, in England, and in America, and seems to understand every Subject of general Conversation very well.
{ 69 }
I have now got through the Hurry of my Business. My Father in Law2 Mr. Hall and my Mother are well settled in my Farm at Braintree, the Produce of my Farm is all collected in, my own Family is removed and well settled in Boston, my Wood and Stores are laid in for the Winter, my Workmen are nearly all paid. I am disengaged from public Affairs, and now have nothing to do but to mind my Office, my Clerks and my Children.
But this Week which has been so agreable to me, in the Course of my own Affairs, has not been so happy for my Friends. My Brother in Law has failed in Trade, is confined to his House, unable to answer the Demands upon him, by some Thousands. A Miserable Prospect before him for himself, his Wife, Children, Father, Mother, and all his Friends.3 Beware of Idleness, Luxury, and all Vanity, Folly and Vice!
The Conversation of the Town and Country has been about the strange Occurrence of last Week, a Piracy said to have been committed on a Vessell bound to Cape Cod, 3 Men killed, a Boy missing, and only one Man escaped to tell the News—a misterious, inexplicable Affair!4 About Wilkes's probable Mayoralty, and about the Salaries to the Judges. These are the 3 principal Topicks of Conversation at present.
My Workmen have this day loaded my Brothers Boat with Horse dung from Bracketts stable. This is the 3d. Freight—the first was 15. Load, the second 12 and this last 11, in all 38 Loads.
1. Friday was the 27th.
2. That is, stepfather.
3. This “Brother in Law” has not been certainly identified.
4. The Ansell Nickerson murder case, an “Affair” in which JA was to be involved as one of Nickerson's counsel and which remains to this day “misterious.” The Boston Evening Post of 23 Nov. 1772 gives the facts as they were first reported:
“On Sunday the 15th Current, Captain Joseph Doane, jun. sailed from Chatham Harbour on the Back of Cape Cod, and soon after, viz. about 10 o'Clock in the Forenoon saw a Schooner with a Signal of Distress, and, going on board, found one Man only in her who appeared to be in a great Fright, and gave the following Account.—That the Day before the said Schooner, Thomas Nickerson, Master, sailed from Boston, bound to Chatham—That about 2 o'Clock the next Morning they saw a Topsail Schooner, who brought them to, and sent a Boat on board, and after questioning them returned again—Soon after four Boats with armed Men came back from the Schooner, and the Man who gave the Account fearing he should be Impressed, got over the Stern and held with his Hands by the Taffarill, with his Feet on the Moulding, under the Cabin Windows. That whilst he was thus hanging over the Stern he judges by what he heard that the Master, with his own Brother, and a Brother-in-Law, named Newcomb, were murdered and thrown overboard, and a Boy named Kent, carried away alive, as they said, in order to make Punch for them— That he heard a Talk of burning the Vessel, but it was finally agreed to leave her to drive out to Sea with her Sails standing. That after perpetrating this inhuman Deed they plundered the Vessel of a considerable Quantity of Cash, knocked out the Head of a Barrel of Rum, and after wasting { 70 } the greatest Part of it, went off with the Money and other Booty; tho' they left behind a Quarter of fresh Beef & a number of small Stores.—That when they left the Vessel he came upon Deck, he found none of the Crew, but saw the Marks of Blood, and supposes they were murdered.”
Nickerson was brought to Boston, examined by the Governor and other officials, and committed to jail pending his trial by a special court of admiralty. Public opinion was soon sharply divided between whigs who, remembering the Corbet case, were willing to believe the British navy was responsible for the atrocity, and tories who, like Hutchinson, found “Every part of [Nickerson's] account . . . incredible” and thought him guilty of a shocking multiple crime for the sake of “the money which the crew had received at Boston” (Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, 3:300–302).
On 16 Dec. the court sat. Nickerson's counsel, JA and Josiah Quincy Jr., requested and obtained a delay in order to gather further evidence. The trial took place in the summer, extending from 28 July to 6 Aug., and the prisoner, who stoutly maintained his innocence throughout, was found not guilty (Boston Gazette, 9 Aug. 1773).
Hutchinson says the verdict was owing to a technicality: Nickerson could be tried in America only for piracy (if for murder, he would have had to be sent to England, where evidence would be impossible to obtain). But four of the eight judges held that in order to prove the piracy, the murders would also have to be proved. Hutchinson did not agree, but the equal division of the judges resulted in acquittal.
JA's civil law authorities and other notes for his argument in the Nickerson case will be found among his legal papers (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 185). In his Autobiography he wrote: “I know not to this day what Judgment to form of his Guilt or Innocence. And this doubt I presume was the Principle of Acquittal.” On 30 July 1773 Nickerson signed a promissory note to JA for his legal fees and expenses in the amount of £6 13s. 4d. lawful money. The note remains in the Adams Papers. It is not receipted.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0008-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-12-16

1772 Decr. 16. Wednesday.1

Dined with the Reverend Mr. Simeon Hayward [Howard] of West Boston, in Company with Dr. Chauncey, Captn. Phillips, Dr. Warren, Mrs. Hayward, Miss Betsy Mayhew and a young Gentleman whose Name I dont know. Had a very agreable Conversation.
Mr. Hayward was silent. Dr. Chauncey very sociable—glories much in his inflexible Adherence to rules of Diet, Exercise, Study, Sleep &c. If he had not lived as regularly as the sun moves in the Heavens, he should long ago have mouldered to dust, so as not to be distinguished from common Earth. Never reads nor studies after 8 O Clock. He would not, for all the Commissions in the Gift of all the Potentates upon Earth, become the Tool of any Man alive. Told us of his Writing to England and Scotland, and of the Politicks he wrote—among the rest that in 25 Years there would be more People here than in the 3 Kingdoms &c—the greatest Empire on Earth. Our Freeholds would preserve us for Interest would not lie. If ever he should give the Charge at an Ordination, he would say We, Bishops, &c. &c. He told us of Mr. Temples keeping a fair Journal of all the Proceedings of the Board of { 71 } Commissioners &c. and that the Ministry provided for him, to prevent his raising a Clamour.
Captn. Phillips would not have got his Appointment, if Mr. Temple had not been his Friend, &c.
Phillips says they are all still and quiet at the southward, and at New York they laugh at Us.
Brother Elihu   10   Cords and   6   feet of Wood  
bought of Crane       6    
brought by Bracket           5      
  12     1    
1. First entry in “Paper Book No. 19” (our D/JA/19), a gathering of leaves stitched into a cover of marbled paper and containing irregular entries through 18 Dec. 1773.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0008-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-12-20

1772 Decr. 20. Sunday.

Heard Dr. Chauncey in the Morning upon these Words “As Paul reasoned of Righteousness, Temperance, and Judgment to come Faelix trembled.” The Dr. dilated upon the Subject of Pauls Discourse, the great moral Duties of Justice and Temperance as they are connected with the future Judgment. Upon the Apostles manner, he reasoned &c., and upon the Effect, that such Reasoning had upon Faelix, it made him tremble.
In the Afternoon Dr. Cooper sounded harmoniously, upon the deceitfullness of Sin. The Drs. Air and Action are not gracefull—they are not natural and easy. His Motions with his Head, Body and Hands are a little stiff and affected. His Style is not simple enough for the Pulpit. It is too flowery, too figurative—his Periods too much or rather too apparently rounded and laboured.—This however Sub Rosâ, because the Dr. passes for a Master of Composition, and is an excellent Man.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0008-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-12-23

1772. Decr. 23. Wednesday.

Major Martin at the Office. He is very gracious with the first Man in the Province. The Governor spoke very handsomely, of all my Council.—“He did you Justice,” &c. &c. The Major is to dine with me tomorrow. He wishes for Warr, wants to be a Colonell—to get 1000 st. a Year for 8 or 10 Years that he may leave Something to his Children, &c. &c.—“An Ensign in the Army is Company for any Nobleman in England. A Colonel in the Army with 1000 a Year will spend an Evening with an Ensign, who can but just live upon his Pay and { 72 } make him pay his Clubb. The Company that the Officers are obliged to keep, makes them poor, as bare as a scraped Carrot”—&c. &c.1
The Manners of these Gentlemen are very engaging and agreable.
Took a Walk this Morning to the South End, and had some Conversation with my old Friends Crafts and Trot. I find they are both cooled—both flattened away. They complain especially Crafts that they are called Tories—&c. &c. Crafts has got Swifts Contests and Dissentions of the Nobles and Commons of Athens and Rome, and is making Extracts from it—about Clodius and Curio, popular Leaders &c. &c.
My Wife says her Father never inculcated any Maxim of Behaviour upon his Children, so often as this—never to speak ill of any Body. To say all the handsome Things she could of Persons but no Evil—and to make Things rather than Persons the Subjects of Conversation.— These Rules, he always impressed upon Us, whenever We were going abroad, if it was but to spend an Afternoon.—He was always remarkable for observing these Rules in his own Conversation.—Her Grandfather Quincy was remarkable for never praising any Body, He did not often speak evil, but he seldom spoke well.
1. Initial quotation marks have been supplied twice in this paragraph.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0008-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-12-24

1772. Decr. 24. Thurdsday.

Major Martin, Mr. Blowers and Mr. Williams dined with me—all agreable.
This Day I heard that Mr. Hancock had purchased 20 Writs <of Mr. Goldthwait>, for this Court, of Mr. S. Quincy.—Oh the Mutability of the legal, commercial, social, political, as well as material World! For about 3 or 4 Years I have done all Mr. Hancocks Business, and have waded through wearisome, anxious Days and Nights, in his Defence.— But Farewell!—

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0008-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-12-28

1772 Decr. 29 [i.e. 28?].

Spent the last Sunday Evening with Dr. Cooper at his House with Justice Quincy and Mr. Wm. Cooper. We were very social and we chatted at large upon Caesar, Cromwell &c.
Yesterday Parson Howard and his Lady, lately Mrs. Mayhew, drank Tea with Mrs. Adams.
Heard many Anecdotes from a young Gentleman in my Office of Admirall Montagu's Manners. A Coachman, a Jack Tar before the Mast, would be ashamed—nay a Porter, a Shew Black or Chimney Sweeper would be ashamed of the coarse, low, vulgar, Dialect of this { 73 } Sea Officer, tho a rear Admiral of the Blue, and tho a Second Son of a genteel if not a noble Family in England. An American Freeholder, living in a log House 20 feet Square, without a Chimney in it, is a well bred Man, a polite accomplished Person, a fine Gentleman, in Comparison of this Beast of Prey.
This is not the Language of Prejudice, for I have none against him, but of Truth. His brutal, hoggish Manners are a Disgrace to the Royal Navy, and to the Kings Service.
His Lady is very much disliked they say in general. She is very full of her Remarks at the Assembly and Concert. Can this Lady afford the Jewells and Dress she wears?—Oh that ever my son should come to dance with a Mantua Maker.1
As to the Admiral his continual Language is cursing and damning and God damning, “my wifes d——d A—se is so broad that she and I cant sit in a Chariot together”—this is the Nature of the Beast and the common Language of the Man. Admiral Montagu's Conversation by all I can learn of it, is exactly like Otis's when he is both mad and drunk.
The high Commission Court, the Star Chamber Court, the Court of Inquisition, for the Tryal of the Burners of the Gaspee, at Rhode Island, are the present Topick of Conversation. The Governor of that Colony, has communicated to the assembly a Letter from the Earl of Dartmouth. The Colony are in great Distress, and have applied to their Neighbours for Advice, how to evade or to sustain the Shock.2
1. The last two sentences are apparently examples of Mrs. Montagu's social chat. CFA supplied quotation marks around them.
2. The Gaspee, a British revenue schooner, was burned by citizens of Providence when she went aground in Narragansett Bay while pursuing a suspected smuggler, 9 June 1772. A naval officer was wounded in the fracas, and a special royal commission was appointed to investigate, with authority to transport any suspect to England for trial. This measure aroused deep indignation throughout the colonies. For the documents see Records of the Colony of Rhode Island, ed. John R. Bartlett, 7 (Providence, 1862):55–192; also Eugene Wulsin, “The Political Consequences of the Burning of the Gaspee,” Rhode Island History, 3:1–11, 55–64 (Jan., April 1944).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0008-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-12-29

1772. Decr. 29. Tuesday.

This Afternoon I had a Visit from Samuel Pemberton Esqr. and Mr. Samuel Adams. Mr. P. said they were a Subcommittee deputed by the Standing Committee of the Town of Boston, to request that I would deliver an Oration in Public upon the ensuing 5th. of March. He said that they two were desirous of it, and that the whole Committee was unanimously desirous of it.
I told them, that the feeble State of my Health rendered me quite { 74 } willing to devote myself forever to private Life. That, far from taking any Part in Public, I was desirous to avoid even thinking upon public Affairs—and that I was determined to pursue that Course, and therefore that I must beg to be excused.
They desired to know my Reasons. I told them that so many irresistable Syllogisms rushed into my Mind, and concluded decisively against it, that I did not know which to mention first. But I thought the Reason that had hitherto actuated the Town, was enough—vizt. the Part I took in the Tryal of the Soldiers. Tho the Subject of the Oration, was quite compatible with the Verdict of the Jury, in that Case, and indeed, even with the absolute Innocence of the Soldiers yet I found the World in general were not capable or not willing to make the Distinction. And therefore, by making an Oration upon this Occasion, I should only expose myself to the Lash of ignorant and malicious Tongues on both Sides of the Question. Besides that I was too old to make Declamations.
The Gentleman desired I would take Time to consider of it. I told them, No, that would expose me to more difficulties—I wanted no Time—it was not a thing unthought of, by me, tho this Invitation was unexpected. That I was clearly, fully, absolutely, and unalterably determined against it, and therefore that time and thinking would answer no End.
The Gentlemen then desired that I would keep this a Secret and departed.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0008-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-12-30

1772. Decr. 30. Wednesday.

Spent this Evening with Mr. Samuel Adams at his House. Had much Conversation, about the State of Affairs—Cushing, Hancock, Phillips, Hawley, Gerry,1 Hutchinson, Sewall, Quincy, &c. &c. Adams was more cool, genteel and agreable than common—concealed, and restrained his Passions—&c. He affects to despize Riches, and not to dread Poverty. But no Man is more ambitious of entertaining his Friends handsomely, or of making a decent, an elegant Appearance than he. He has lately new covered and glased his House and painted it, very neatly, and has new papered, painted and furnished his Rooms. So that you visit at a very genteel House and are very politely received and entertained.
Mr. Adams corresponds with Hawley, Gerry and others. He corresponds in England and in several of the other Provinces. His Time is all employed in the public Service.
{ 75 }
1. Elbridge Gerry, who was to become one of JA's most intimate friends, correspondents, and colleagues, was just coming into political prominence as an active whig leader in Marblehead (DAB). He had recently begun a brisk correspondence with Samuel Adams; see Austin, Gerry, 1:8 ff.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0008-0008

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Macaulay, Catharine Sawbridge
Date: 1772-12-31

1772 Decr. 31. Thurdsday.

To Mrs. Maccaulay.

[salute] Madam

It is so long since I received your obliging Favour, that I am now almost ashamed to acknowledge it.1 The State [of] my Health, obliged me to retreat into the Country, where Nineteen Months Relaxation from Care, and rural Exercises, have restored me to such a State, that I have once more ventured into the Town of Boston, and the Business of my Profession.
The Prospect before me, however, is very gloomy. My Country is in deep Distress, and has very little Ground of Hope, that She will soon, if ever get out of it. The System of a mean, and a merciless Administration, is gaining Ground upon our Patriots every Day. The Flower of our Genius, the Ornaments of the Province, have fallen, melancholly Sacrifices, to the heart piercing Anxieties, which the Measures of Administration have occasioned. A Mayhew, a Thatcher, an Otis to name [no] more, have fallen, the two first by Death and the last by a Misfortune still much worse, Victims to the Enemies of their Country. The Body of the People seem to be worn out, by struggling, and Venality, Servility and Prostitution, eat and spread like a Cancer. Every young rising Genius, in this Country, is in a situation much worse than Hercules is represented to have been in, in the Fable of Prodicus.—Two Ladies are before him: The one, presenting to his View, not the Ascent of Virtue only, tho that is steep and rugged, but a Mountain quite inaccessible, a Path beset with Serpents, and Beasts of Prey, as well as Thorns and Briars, Precipices of Rocks over him, a Gulph yawning beneath, and the Sword of Damocles [over] his Head.— The other displaying to his View, Pleasures, of every Kind, Honours, such as the World calls by that Name, and showers of Gold and Silver.
If We recollect what a Mass of Corruption human Nature has been in general, since the Fall of Adam, we may easily judge what the Consequence will be.
Our Attention is now engaged by the Vengeance of Despotism that [sentence unfinished]
This Evening at Mr. Cranch's, I found that my constitutional or { 76 } habitual Infirmities have not entirely forsaken me. Mr. Collins an English Gentleman was there, and in Conversation about the high Commissioned Court, for enquiring after the Burners of the Gaspee at Providence, I found the old Warmth, Heat, Violence, Acrimony, Bitterness, Sharpness of my Temper, and Expression, was not departed. I said there was no more Justice left in Britain than there was in Hell—That I wished for War, and that the whole Bourbon Family was upon the Back of Great Britain—avowed a thoughrough Dis-saffection to that Country—wished that any Thing might happen to them, and that as the Clergy prayed of our Enemies in Time of War, that they might be brought to reason or to ruin.
I cannot but reflect upon myself with Severity for these rash, inexperienced, boyish, raw, and aukward Expressions. A Man who has no better Government of his Tongue, no more command of his Temper, is unfit for every Thing, but Childrens Play, and the Company of Boys.
A Character can never [be] supported, if it can be raised, without a good a great Share of Self Government. Such Flights of Passion, such Starts of Imagination, tho they may strike a few of the fiery and inconsiderate, yet they lower, they sink a Man, with the Wise. They expose him to danger, as well as familiarity, Contempt, and Ridicule.
1. Dated London, 19 July 1771 (Adams Papers). It is uncertain whether the present partial draft was finished and sent. The next letter from JA that Mrs. Macaulay acknowledged was dated 19 April 1773 and has not been found (Catharine Macaulay to JA, Aug. 1773, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-01-01

1773 January the First, Being Fryday.

I have felt very well and been in very good Spirits all Day. I never was happier, in my whole Life, than I have been since I returned to Boston. I feel easy, and composed and contented. The Year to come, will be a pleasant, a chearfull, a happy and a prosperous Year to me. At least such are the Forebodings of my Mind at Present. My Resolutions to devote myself to the Pleasures, the studies, the Business and the Duties of private Life, are a Source of Ease and Comfort to me, that I scarcely ever experienced before.—Peace, be still, my once Anxious Heart.—An Head full of Schemes and an Heart full of Anxiety, are incompatible with any Degree of Happiness.
I have said Above that I had the Prospect before me of an happy and prosperous Year, and I will not retract it, because, I feel a great Pleasure in the Expectation of it, and I think, that there is a strong Probability and Presumption of it. Yet Fire may destroy my Substance, Diseases may desolate my family, and Death may put a Period to my { 77 } Hopes, and Fears, Pleasures and Pains, Friendships and Enmities, Virtues and Vices.
This Evening my Friend Mr. Pemberton invited me and I went with him, to spend the Evening with Jere. Wheelwright. Mr. Wheelwright is a Gentleman of a liberal Education about 50 Years of Age, and constantly confined to his Chamber by Lameness. A Fortune of about two hundred a Year enables him to entertain his few Friends very handsomely, and he has them regularly at his Chamber every Tuesday and Fryday Evening. The Speaker, Dr. Warren and Mr. Swift were there— And We Six had a very pleasant Evening. Our Conversation turned upon the Distress of Rhode Island, upon the Judges Dependency, the late numerous Town Meetings, upon Brattles Publication in Drapers Paper of Yesterday,1 and upon each others Characters. We were very free, especially upon one another. I told Cushing as Ruggles told Tyler, that I never knew a Pendulum swing so clear. Warren told me, that Pemberton said I was the proudest and cunningest Fellow, he ever knew. We all rallied Pemberton, upon the late Appointment of Tommy Hutchinson to be a Judge of the common Bench, and pretended to insist upon it that he was disappointed, and had lost all his late Trimming, and Lukewarmness and Toryism. Warren thought I was rather a cautious Man, but that he could not say I ever trimmed. When I spoke at all I always spoke my Sentiments. This was a little soothing to my proud Heart, no doubt.
Brattle has published a Narration of the Proceedings of the Town of Cambridge at their late Meeting, and he has endeavoured to deceive the World.
1. See the following entry and note 2 there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-03-04

1773 March 4th. Thurdsday.

The two last Months have slided away. I have written a tedious Examination of Brattle's absurdities. The Governor and General Court, has been engaged for two Months upon the greatest Question ever yet agitated. I stand amazed at the Governor, for forcing on this Controversy. He will not be thanked for this. His Ruin and Destruction must spring out of it, either from the Ministry and Parliament on one Hand, or from his Countrymen, on the other. He has reduced himself to a most ridiculous State of Distress. He is closetting and soliciting Mr. Bowdoin, Mr. Dennie, Dr. Church &c. &c., and seems in the utmost Agony.1
The Original of my Controversy with Brattle is worthy to be comitted { 78 } to Writing, in these Memorandums.—At the Town Meeting in Cambridge, called to consider of the Judges Salaries, he advanced for Law, that the Judges by this Appointment, would be compleatly independent, for that they held Estates for Life in their offices by common Law and their Nomination and Appointment. And, he said “this I averr to be Law, and I will maintain it, against any Body, I will dispute it, with Mr. Otis, Mr. Adams, Mr. John Adams I mean, and Mr. Josiah Quincy. I would dispute it with them, here in Town Meeting, nay, I will dispute it with them in the Newspapers.”
He was so elated with that Applause which this inane Harrangue procured him, from the Enemies of this Country, that in the next Thurdsdays Gazette, he roundly advanced the same Doctrine in Print, and the Thurdsday after invited any Gentleman to dispute with him upon his Points of Law.
These vain and frothy Harrangues and Scribblings would have had no Effect upon me, if I had not seen that his Ignorant Doctrines were taking Root in the Minds of the People, many of whom were in Appearance, if not in Reality, taking it for granted, that the Judges held their Places during good Behaviour.
Upon this I determined to enter the Lists, and the General was very soon silenced.—Whether from Conviction, or from Policy, or Contempt I know not.2
It is thus that little Incidents produce great Events. I have never known a Period, in which the Seeds of great Events have been so plentifully sown as this Winter. A Providence is visible, in that Concurrence of Causes, which produced the Debates and Controversies of this Winter. The Court of Inquisition at Rhode Island, the Judges Salaries, the Massachusetts Bay Town Meetings, General Brattles Folly, all conspired in a remarkable, a wonderfull Manner.
My own Determination had been to decline all Invitations to public Affairs and Enquiries, but Brattles rude, indecent, and unmeaning Challenge of me in Particular, laid me under peculiar Obligations to undeceive the People, and changed my Resolution. I hope that some good will come out of it.—God knows.
1. JA alludes to the bitter dispute between Hutchinson and the House of Representatives over the issue whether “Parliament was our Sovereign Legislature, and had a Right to make Laws for Us in all Cases whatsoever”—a dispute evoked by Hutchinson's speech of 6 Jan., which was answered in an elaborate paper by the House on 26 Jan. For further details, especially on JA's part in the answer, see his Autobiography and his letter to William Tudor, 8 March 1817 (LbC, Adams Papers; inserted by CFA in his text of the Diary, Works, 2:310–313); Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, 3:266–280. The documents are printed in Mass., Speeches of the Governors, p. 336–364.
{ 79 }
2. At a special town meeting in Cambridge, 14 Dec. 1772, Gen. William Brattle opposed the town's vote of instructions condemning the ministerial proposal to have the Superior Court judges paid by the crown and thus rendered independent of the Province. Brattle published his reasons in the Boston News Letter, 31 Dec. JA answered him in the Boston Gazette, 11 Jan. 1773, and followed with six more weekly pieces, citing innumerable British legal authorities from Bracton onward, to Brattle's sole rejoinder in the same paper, 25 Jan. All these articles, preceded by the Cambridge instructions, are reprinted in JA, Works, 3:511–574. The nub of the controversy, as JA phrased it in his Autobiography, was that since “the Judges Commissions were during pleasure” (durante beneplacito), the judges would become “entirely dependent on the Crown for Bread [as] well as office.” The position of Brattle and other tory advocates of the measure was that under the common law the judges held office during good behavior (quamdiu bene se gesserint), and by the proposed mode of payment would be rendered independent of both royal and popular influence.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-03-05

1773. March 5th. Fryday.

Heard an Oration, at Mr. Hunts Meeting House,1 by Dr. Benja. Church, in Commemoration of the Massacre in Kings Street, 3 Years ago. That large Church was filled and crouded in every Pew, Seat, Alley, and Gallery, by an Audience of several Thousands of People of all Ages and Characters and of both Sexes.
I have Reason to remember that fatal Night. The Part I took in Defence of Captn. Preston and the Soldiers, procured me Anxiety, and Obloquy enough. It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested Actions of my whole Life, and one of the best Pieces of Service I ever rendered my Country. Judgment of Death against those Soldiers would have been as foul a Stain upon this Country as the Executions of the Quakers or Witches, anciently. As the Evidence was, the Verdict of the Jury was exactly right.
This however is no Reason why the Town should not call the Action of that Night a Massacre, nor is it any Argument in favour of the Governor or Minister, who caused them to be sent here. But it is the strongest of Proofs of the Danger of standing Armies.
1. The Old South Church, whose minister was John Hunt.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-03-22

1773. March 22d. Monday.

This Afternoon received a Collection of Seventeen Letters, written from this Prov[ince], Rhode Island, Connecticutt and N. York, by Hut[chinson], Oli[ver], Moff[at], Paxt[on], and Rome, in the Years 1767, 8, 9.
They came from England under such Injunctions of Secrecy, as to the Person to whom they were written, by whom and to whom they are sent here, and as to the Contents of them, no Copies of the whole { 80 } or any Part to be taken, that it is difficult to make any public Use of them.
These curious Projectors and Speculators in Politicks, will ruin this Country—cool, thinking, deliberate Villain[s], malicious, and vindictive, as well as ambitious and avaricious.
The Secrecy of these epistolary Genii is very remarkable—profoundly secret, dark, and deep.1
1. The letters were furnished (from a source never divulged) by Benjamin Franklin, London agent of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, in a letter to Speaker Thomas Cushing, London, 2 Dec. 1772 (Franklin, Writings, ed. Smyth, 6:265–268; a variant version, copied in JA's hand, is in the Adams Papers, Microfilms, April 1773, and is printed in JA's Works, 1:647–648). JA also made a copy of the Hutchinson letter that gave greatest offense to whig feelings. It was originally written, as we now know all the purloined letters were, to Thomas Whately, dated at Boston, 20 Jan. 1769, and contained the following passage as copied and attested by JA:
“This is most certainly a Crisis. I really wish that there may not have been the least degree of Severity, beyond what is absolutely necessary to maintain, I think I may say to you, the dependance which a Colony ought to have upon the Parent State, but if no measures shall have been taken to secure this dependance or nothing more than some Declaratory Acts or Resolves, it is all over with Us. The Friends of Government will be utterly disheartned and the friends of Anarchy will be afraid of nothing be it ever so extravagant. . . .
“I never think of the measures necessary for the Peace and good Order of the Colonies without pain. There must be an Abridgment of what are called English Liberties. I relieve myself by considering that in a Remove from the State of nature to the most perfect State of Government there must be a great restraint of natural Liberty. I doubt whether it is possible to project a System of Government in which a Colony 3000 miles distant from the parent State shall enjoy all the Liberty of the parent State. I am certain I have never yet seen the Projection. I wish the Good of the Colony, when I wish to see some further Restraint of Liberty rather than the Connection with the parent State should be broken for I am sure such a Breach must prove the Ruin of the Colony.”
The letters were handed about too freely and over too long a time to be kept a secret, and on 15 June they were by order of the House turned over to the printers (Mass., House Jour., 1773–1774, p. 56). They appeared in a pamphlet published by Edes and Gill under the title Copy of Letters Sent to Great-Britain, by His Excellency Thomas Hutchinson, the Hon. Andrew Oliver, and Several Other Persons, Born and Educated Among Us, 1773, which was several times reprinted in America and England, and they ran all summer serially in Thomas' Massachusetts Spy. They led to a petition by the Massachusetts House for the removal of Hutchinson and Oliver from their posts, to a duel in London, to the famous denunciation of Franklin by Alexander Wedderburn in the Privy Council, and to Franklin's loss of his office as postmaster general in America.
Franklin's account of the affair, published posthumously, is in his Writings, ed. Smyth, 6:258–289; Hutchinson's in his Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, 3:282–298, supplemented by “Additions to Thomas Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts Bay,” Amer. Antiq. Soc, Procs., 59 (1949):60–65. Mr. Malcolm Freiberg in an article entitled “Missing: One Hutchinson Autograph Letter” points out and discusses the significance of the variations between the texts of the critical paragraphs in Hutchinson's letter quoted above as on the one hand printed by his adversaries and as on the other hand preserved in his letterbook in the Massachusetts Archives (Manuscripts, 8:179–184 [Spring 1956]). But it should be noted that Hutchinson himself did not raise questions about the validity { 81 } of the printed text and indeed quoted the most controversial passage of all from that text (Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, 3:293–294).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-04-07

1773. April 7th: Wednesday.

At Charlestown. What shall I write?—say?—do?
Sterility, Vacuity, Barrenness of Thought, and Reflection.
What News shall we hear?

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-04-24

1773 April 24th. Saturday.

I have communicated to Mr. Norton Quincy, and to Mr. Wibird the important Secret. They are as much affected, by it, as any others. Bone of our Bone, born and educated among us! Mr. Hancock is deeply affected, is determined in Conjunction with Majr. Hawley to watch the vile Serpent, and his deputy Serpent Brattle.
The Subtilty, of this Serpent, is equal to that of the old one.
Aunt is let into the Secret, and is full of her Interjections!
But, Cushing tells me, that Powell told him, he had it from a Tory, or one who was not suspected to be any Thing else, that certain Letters were come, written by 4 Persons, which would shew the Causes and the Authors of our present Grievances. This Tory, we conjecture to be Bob. Temple, who has received a Letter, in which he is informed of these Things. If the Secret <should leak>1 out by this means, I am glad it is not to be charged upon any of Us—to whom it has been committed in Confidence.
Fine, gentle Rain last night and this morning, which will lay a foundation for a crop of Grass.
My Men at Braintree have been building me a Wall, this Week against my Meadow. This is all the Gain that I make by my Farm to repay me, my great Expence. I get my Land better secured—and manured.
1. These two words are heavily inked out in the MS without replacement.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0003-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-04-25

1773. Ap. 25. Sunday.

Heard Dr. Chauncy in the Morning and Dr. Cooper this Afternoon. Dr. Cooper was up[on] Rev. 12.9. And the great Dragon was cast out, that old Serpent called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole World: he was cast out into the Earth and his Angells were cast out with him. Q[uery]. Whether the Dr. had not some political Allusions in the Choice of this Text.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-05-25

1773. May 24th [i.e 25th]. Tuesday.1

Tomorrow is our General Election. The Plotts, Plans, Schemes, and Machinations of this Evening and Night, will be very numerous. By the Number of Ministerial, Governmental People returned, and by the Secrecy of the Friends of Liberty, relating to the grand discovery of the compleat Evidence of the whole Mystery of Iniquity, I much fear the Elections will go unhappily. For myself, I own I tremble at the Thought of an Election. What will be expected of me? What will be required of me? What Duties and Obligations will result to me, from an Election? What Duties to my God, my King, my Country, my Family, my Friends, myself? What Perplexities, and Intricacies, and Difficulties shall I be exposed to? What Snares and Temptations will be thrown in my Way? What Self denials and Mortifications shall I be obliged to bear?
If I should be called in the Course of Providence to take a Part in public Life, I shall Act a fearless, intrepid, undaunted Part, at all Hazards—tho it shall be my Endeavour likewise to act a prudent, cautious and considerate Part.
But if I should be excused, by a Non Election, or by the Exertions of Prerogative from engaging in public Business,2 I shall enjoy a sweet Tranquility, in the Pursuit of my private Business, in the Education of my Children and in a constant Attention to the Preservation of my Health. This last is the most selfish and pleasant System—the first, the more generous, tho arduous and disagreable.
But I was not sent into this World to spend my days in Sports, Diversions and Pleasures.
I was born for Business; for both Activity and Study. I have little Appetite, or Relish for any Thing else.
I must double and redouble my Diligence. I must be more constant to my office and my Pen. Constancy accomplishes more than Rapidity. Continual Attention will do great Things. Frugality, of Time, is the greatest Art as well as Virtue. This Economy will produce Knowledge as well as Wealth.
Spent this Evening at Wheelwrights, with Parson Williams of Sandwich, Parson Lawrence of Lincoln, Mr. Pemberton and Swift.
Williams took up the whole Evening with Stories about Coll. Otis and his Son the Major.3 The Major employed the Treasurer and Parson Walter to represent him to the Governor as a Friend to Government, in order to get the Commission of Lieutenant Colonel. The Major quarrells and fights with Bacon.—They come to you lie and you lie— { 83 } and often very near to blows, sometimes quite. The Major has Liberty written over his Manufactory House, and the Major inclosed the exceptionable Passages in the Governors Proclamation in Crotchetts. Col. Otis reads to large Circles of the common People, Aliens Oration on the Beauties of Liberty and recommends it as an excellent Production.—
Stories of Coll. Otis's Ignorance of Law, about Jointenancies— criticizing upon the Word Household Goods in a Will of the Parsons Writing, and saying it was a Word the Law knew nothing of, it should have been Household Stuff.
Coll. Otis's orthodoxy, and yet some Years ago, his arguing in the Strain of Tindal against Christianity.
Yet some Years ago Otis and Williams were very friendly.
These Prejudices against Otis and his Family are very carefully cultivated, by the Tories in that County and by the Judges of the Superior Court. They generally keep Sabbath there. The C[hief] J[ustice] went to spend the Evening with him this Year when I was at Sandwich—in order to keep up his Spirits and fill his Head with malicious stories.
After I got home, my Wife surprized me. She had been to Justice Quincys. Mr. Hancock came in, and gave before a large Company of both Sexes, to Mr. Cooper a particular Account of all the Plans of Operation for tomorrow, which he and many others had been concerting. Cooper no doubt carried it directly to Brattle, or at least to his Son Thomas. Such a leaky Vessell is this worthy Gentleman.
1. Tuesday was the 25th.
2. On the first day of the new General Court, 26 May, JA was elected by the House a member of the Council, but together with Jerathmeel Bowers and William Phillips he was negatived by Gov. Hutchinson (Mass., House Jour., 1773–1774, P. 6, 7; Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, 3:284 and note).
3. Col. James Otis Sr. and Maj. Joseph Otis, of Barnstable, father and brother, respectively, of James Otis the lawyer and orator.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-06-08

1773 June 8th.

Parson Turners Sermon, the spirited Election, Parson Haywards Artillery sermon, the 17 Letters, Dr. Shipleys sermon, the Bp. of St. Asaph, before the Society for propagating the Gospell, discover the Times to be altered. But how long will the Tides continue to set this Way?

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-07-16

1773 July 16.1

Drank Tea at Dr. Coopers with Mr. Adams, Mr. S. Elliot, Mr. T. { 84 } Chase, and with Mr. Miffling [Mifflin], of Phyladelphia, and a French Gentleman. Mr. Miffling is a Grandson, his Mother was the Daughter, of Mr. Bagnall of this Town, who was buried the day before Yesterday. Mr. Miffling is a Representative of the City of Phyladelphia—a very sensible and agreable Man. Their Accademy emits from 9 to 14 Graduates annually. Their Grammar School has from 90 to 100 schollars in all. Mr. Miffling is an easy Speaker—and a very correct Speaker.
1. Perhaps an error for 15 July, since the following entry is correctly dated Friday, 16 July.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0006-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-07-16

1773. July 16. Fryday.

Mr. F. Dana came to me with a Message from Mr. Henry Merchant [Marchant] of Rhode Island—And to ask my Opinion, concerning the Measures they are about to take with Rome's and Moffats Letters.1 They want the originals that they may be prosecuted as Libells, by their Attorney General, and Grand Jury. I told him, I thought they could not proceed without the originals, nor with them if there was any material obliteration or Erasure, 'tho I had not examined and was not certain of this Point, nor did I remember whether there was any Obliteration on Romes and Moffats Letters.
Mr. Dana says the Falshoods and Misrepresentations in Romes Letter are innumerable, and very flagrant.
Spent the Evening with Cushing, Adams, Pemberton and Swift at Wheelwrights—no body very chatty but Pemberton.
1. Thomas Moffatt, a Scottish physician, and George Rome, a loyalist, both of Newport, R.I. Letters written by each of them were among those transmitted by Franklin to Cushing (note by CFA in JA, Works, 2:321; Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, 3:283 and note).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0006-0003

Author: Adams, John
Author: Attucks, Chrispus
Recipient: Hutchinson, Thomas
Date: 1773-07-19
Date: 1773-07-26

1773. July [19 or 26.] Monday.

To Tho. Hutchinson.1

[salute] Sir

You will hear from Us with Astonishment. You ought to hear from Us with Horror. You are chargeable before God and Man, with our Blood.—The Soldiers were but passive Instruments, were Machines, neither moral nor voluntary Agents in our Destruction more than the leaden Pelletts, with which we were wounded.—You was a free Agent. You acted, coolly, deliberately, with all that premeditated Malice, not against Us in Particular but against the People in general, { 85 } which in the Sight of the Law is an ingredient in the Composition of Murder. You will hear further from Us hereafter.
[signed] Chrispus Attucks
1. Doubtless intended for a newspaper, but no printing has been found.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-08-23

August 23d. 1773. Monday.

Went this Morning to Mr. Boylstones, to make a wedding Visit to Mr. Gill and his Lady.1 A very cordial, polite, and friendly Reception, I had. Mr. Gill shewed me Mr. Boylstones Garden, and a large, beautifull and agreable one it is—a great Variety of excellent fruit, Plumbs, Pears, Peaches, Grapes, Currants &c. &c.—a figg Tree, &c.
Mr. and Mrs. Gill both gave me a very polite Invitation, to sup and spend the Evening there with Mr. Linch and his Lady,2 which I promised to do. At Noon, I met Mr. Boylstone upon Change, and he repeated the Invitation, in a very agreable Manner.
In the Evening I waited on my Wife there and found Mr. Linch and his Lady and Daughter, Mr. Smith, his Lady and Daughter, and Miss Nabby Taylor—and a very agreable Evening we had. Mr. Linch is a solid, sensible, tho a plain Man—an hearty friend to America, and her righteous Cause. His Lady has the Behaviour and Appearance of a very worthy Woman, and the Daughter seems to be worthy of such Parents.
1. Moses Gill (1734–1800), afterward lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, married as his 2d wife Rebecca, sister of Nicholas and Thomas Boylston, cousins of JA's mother (Francis E. Blake, History of the Town of Princeton, Mass., Princeton, 1915, 1:270–277).
2. Thomas Lynch Sr. (1727–1776), of South Carolina, a member of the first and second Continental Congresses; his wife was the former Hannah Motte (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0007-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-08-30

Monday. Aug. 30 1773.

Spent the Evening with my Wife at her Uncle Smiths, in Company with Mr. Lynch, his Lady and Daughter, Coll. Howorth, his Sister and Daughter, Mr. Ed. Green and his Wife, &c. The young Ladies Miss Smith and Miss Lynch entertained us upon the Spinnet &c.
Mr. Lynch still maintains the Character. Coll. Howorth attracted no Attention, untill he discovered his Antipathy to a catt.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0008-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-12-17

1773. Decr. 17th.1

Last Night 3 Cargoes of Bohea Tea were emptied into the Sea. This Morning a Man of War sails.
This is the most magnificent Movement of all. There is a Dignity, { 86 } a Majesty, a Sublimity, in this last Effort of the Patriots, that I greatly admire. The People should never rise, without doing something to be remembered—something notable And striking. This Destruction of the Tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid and inflexible, and it must have so important Consequences, and so lasting, that I cant but consider it as an Epocha in History.
This however is but an Attack upon Property. Another similar Exertion of popular Power, may produce the destruction of Lives. Many Persons wish, that as many dead Carcasses were floating in the Harbour, as there are Chests of Tea:—a much less Number of Lives however would remove the Causes of all our Calamities.
The malicious Pleasure with which Hutchinson the Governor, the Consignees of the Tea, and the officers of the Customs, have stood and looked upon the distresses of the People, and their Struggles to get the Tea back to London, and at last the destruction of it, is amazing. Tis hard to believe Persons so hardened and abandoned.
What Measures will the Ministry take, in Consequence of this?— Will they resent it? will they dare to resent it? will they punish Us? How? By quartering Troops upon Us?—by annulling our Charter?—by laying on more duties? By restraining our Trade? By Sacrifice of Individuals, or how.
The Question is whether the Destruction of this Tea was necessary? I apprehend it was absolutely and indispensably so.—They could not send it back, the Governor, Admiral and Collector and Comptroller would not suffer it. It was in their Power to have saved it—but in no other. It could not get by the Castle, the Men of War &c. Then there was no other Alternative but to destroy it or let it be landed. To let it be landed, would be giving up the Principle of Taxation by Parliamentary Authority, against which the Continent have struggled for 10 years, it was loosing all our labour for 10 years and subjecting ourselves and our Posterity forever to Egyptian Taskmasters—to Burthens, Indignities, to Ignominy, Reproach and Contempt, to Desolation and Oppression, to Poverty and Servitude.
But it will be said it might have been left in the Care of a Committee of the Town, or in Castle William. To this many Objections may be made.
Deacon Palmer and Mr. Is. Smith dined with me, and Mr. Trumble came in. They say, the Tories blame the Consignees, as much as the Whiggs do—and say that the Governor will loose his Place, for not taking the Tea into his Protection before, by Means of the Ships of War, I suppose, and the Troops at the Castle.
{ 87 }
I saw him this Morning pass my Window in a Chariot with the Secretary. And by the Marching and Countermarching of Councillors, I suppose they have been framing a Proclamation, offering a Reward to discover the Persons, their Aiders, Abettors, Counsellors and Consorters, who were concerned in the Riot last Night.
Spent the Evening with Cushing, Pemberton and Swift at Wheelwrights. Cushing gave us an Account of Bollans Letters—of the Quantity of Tea the East India Company had on Hand—40,000002 weight, that is Seven Years Consumption—two Millions Weight in America.3
1. Little remains among JA's papers or elsewhere to fill the three-and-a-half-month gap between the preceding Diary entry and this one. In his Autobiography JA says that he spent all his leisure time in the fall, winter, and spring of 1773–1774 collecting “Evidence and Documents” and writing “a State of the Claim of this Province to the Lands to the Westward of New York.” This took the form of a report to the General Court, now lost. What is known of this scholarly investigation, which led JA to ransack the famous Mather and Prince libraries, is summarized in a note on a passage dated Fall 1773 in his Autobiography, Part One, below.
From his legal papers and the Superior Court Minute Books it appears that JA handled cases in that court in its August term in Boston, in its September term in Worcester, and in its October terms in both Taunton and Cambridge, as well as in the Inferior Court at Boston in October.
2. Thus in MS. See William Bollan to the Massachusetts Council, 1 Sept. 1773 (MHS, Colls., 6th ser., 9 [1897]:309–310).
3. Two letters from JA to James Warren, one of the present date and the other of 22 Dec., elaborate JA's views on what has become known as the Boston Tea Party (MHi: Warren-Adams Coll.; printed in JA, Works, 9:333–336).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0003-0008-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773-12-18

1773. Decr. 18. Saturday.

J. Quincy met me this Morning and after him Kent, and told me that the Governor said Yesterday in Council, that the People had been guilty of High Treason, and that he would bring the Attorney General on Monday to convince them that it was so—and that Hancock said, he was for having a Body Meeting1 to take off that Brother in Law of his.2
1. That is, a mass meeting, which anyone could attend (including persons from nearby towns), as distinguished from a town meeting. The term is fully explained in Tudor, James Otis, p. 418, note.
2. This can only mean Jonathan Sewall, the attorney general. Sewall's wife was the former Esther Quincy. Hancock was betrothed to her sister Dorothy.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-02-28

1774. Feby. 28.1

I purchased of my Brother, my fathers Homestead, and House where I was born. The House, Barn and thirty five acres of Land of which the Homestead consists, and Eighteen acres of Pasture in the North Common, cost me 440£. This is a fine addition, to what I had there { 88 } before, of arable, and Meadow. The Buildings and the Water, I wanted, very much.
That beautifull, winding, meandering Brook, which runs thro this farm, always delighted me.
How shall I improve it? Shall I try to introduce fowl Meadow And Herds Grass, into the Meadows? or still better Clover and Herdsgrass?
I must ramble over it, and take a View. The Meadow is a great Object—I suppose near 10 Acres of [it]—perhaps more—and may be made very good, if the Mill below, by overflowing it, dont prevent. Flowing is profitable, if not continued too late in the Spring.
This Farm is well fenced with Stone Wall against the Road, against Vesey, against Betty Adams's Children, vs. Ebenezer Adams, against Moses Adams, and against me.
The North Common Pasture has a numerous Growth of Red Cedars upon it, perhaps 1000, which in 20 years if properly pruned may be worth a Shilling each. It is well walled in all round. The Prunings of those Cedars will make good Browse for my Cattle in Winter, and good fuel when the Cattle have picked off all they will eat. There is a Quantity of good Stone in it too.
1. First entry in “Paper book No. 20” (our D/JA/20), a gathering of leaves stitched into a marbled paper cover and containing irregular entries through 25 June 1774.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-02

1774 March 2d. Wednesday.

Last evening at Wheelwrights, with Cushing, Pemberton and Swift. Lt. Govr. Oliver, senseless, and dying, the Governor sent for and Olivers Sons. Fluker [Flucker] has laid in, to be Lieutenant Governor, and has perswaded Hutchinson to write in his favour. This will make a difficulty. C[hief] J[ustice] Oliver, and Fluker will interfere.
Much said of the Impeachment vs. the C.J.—and upon the Question whether the Council have the Power of Judicature in Parliament, which the Lords have at home, or whether the Governor and Council have this Power?1
It is said by some, that the Council is too precarious a Body to be intrusted with so great a Power. So far from being independent, and having their Dignities and Power hereditary, they are annually at the Will, both of the House and the Governor, and therefore are not sufficiently independent, to hold such Powers of Judicature over the Lives and Fortunes of Mankind. But the answer is this, they may be intrusted with the Powers of Judicature, as safely as with the Powers of Legislature, and it should be remembered that the Council can in no { 89 } Case here be Tryers of Fact as well as Law, as the Lords are at home when a Peer is impeached, because the Council are all Commoners and no more. The House of Representatives are the Tryers of the Facts and their Vote Impeaching is equivalent to a Bill of Indictment, and their Vote demanding Judgment is equivalent to a Verdict of a Jury, according to Selden. Is not the Life, and Liberty and Property of the subject, thus guarded, as secure as it ought to be, when No Man can be punished, without the Vote of the Rep[resentative]s of the whole People, and without the Vote of the Council Board if he can without the Assent of the Governor.
But it is said, that there is no Court of Judicature in the Province, erected by the Charter, only. That in the Charter a Power is given to the general Court to erect Courts. That General Court has not made the Governor and Council a Court of Judicature, and therefore it is not one, only in Cases of Marriage and Probate.
To this it may be answered by enquiring, how the Council came by their Share in the Legislative? The Charter says indeed that the General Court shall consist of Governor, Council and House, and that they shall make Laws, but it no Where says, the Council shall be an integral Part of this General Court—that they shall have a Negative Voice.
It is only from Analogy, to the British Legislative, that they have assumed this Importance in our Constitution.
Why then may they not derive from the same analogy, the Power of Judicature?
About 9 at Night I step'd over the Way, and took a Pipe with Justice Quincy and a Mr. Wendel of Portsmouth. Mr. Wendell seems a Man of Sense and Education, and not ill affected to the public Cause.
1. According to his Autobiography, it was JA who suggested and who furnished the legal authorities for impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Peter Oliver for his willingness to accept his salary from the crown. The proceedings failed in a formal sense but had the effect wanted, which was to exclude Oliver from the bench. See Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 8:748–754, and references there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-05

1774 March 5th.

Heard the oration pronounced, by Coll. Hancock, in Commemoration of the Massacre—an elegant, a pathetic, a Spirited Performance. A vast Croud—rainy Eyes—&c.
The Composition, the Pronunciation, the Action all exceeded the Expectations of every Body. They exceeded even mine, which were very considerable. Many of the Sentiments came with great Propriety { 90 } from him. His Invective particularly against a Prefference of Riches to Virtue, came from him with a singular Dignity and Grace.1
Dined at Neighbour Quincys, with my Wife. Mr. John Dennie and Son there. Dennie gave a few Hints of vacating the Charter and sending Troops, and depriving the Province of Advantages, quartering Troops &c.—But all pretty faint.
The Happiness of the Family where I dined, upon account of the Colls. justly applauded Oration, was complete. The Justice and his Daughters were all joyous.
1. Hancock's Oration was promptly printed, “at the request of the inhabitants of the Town of Boston,” by Edes and Gill and was several times reprinted; Evans 13314–13317. In his AutobiographyJA remembered that “Mr. Samuel Adams told me that Dr. [Benjamin] Church and Dr. [Joseph] Warren had composed Mr. Hancocks oration on the fifth of March, which was so celebrated, more than two thirds of it at least.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-06

1774 Sunday March 6th.

Heard Dr. Cooper in the Morning. Paine drank Coffee with me.
Paine is under some Apprehensions of Troops, on Account of the high Proceedings, &c. He says there is a ship in to day, with a Consignment of Tea from some private Merchants at home—&c.
Last Thursday Morning March 3d. died Andrew Oliver Esquire Lieutenant Governor. This is but the second death which has happened among the Conspirators, the original Conspirators against the Public Liberty, since the Conspiracy was first regularly formed, and begun to be executed, in 1763 or 4. Judge Russell who was one, died in 1766. Nat. Rogers, who was not one of the original's, but came in afterwards, died in 1770.
This Event will have considerable Consequences.—Peter Oliver will be made Lieutenant Governor, Hutchinson will go home, and probably be continued Governor but reside in England, and Peter Oliver will reside here and rule the Province. The Duty on Tea will be repealed. Troops may come, but what becomes of the poor Patriots. They must starve and mourn as usual. The Hutchinsons and Olivers will rule and overbear all Things as usual.
An Event happened, last Fryday that is surprising. At a General Council, which was full as the General Court was then sitting, Hutchinson had the Confidence to Nominate for Justices of the Peace, George Bethune, Nat. Taylor, Ned. Lloyd [Lyde], Benj. Gridly and Sam Barrett—and informed the Board that they had all promised to take the oath.
{ 91 }
The Council had the Pusillanimity to consent by their Silence at least to these Nominations.
Nothing has a more fatal Tendency than such Prostitution of the Council. They tamely, supinely, timorously, acquiesce in the Appointment of Persons to fill every executive Department in the Province, with Tools of the Family who are planning our Destruction.
Neighbour Quincy spent the Evening with me.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-07

1774. Monday March 7.

This Morning brought us News from S. Carolina of the Destruction of the Tea there, and from England of a Duel between Mr. Temple and Mr. Whately, and Mr. Franklins explicit Declaration, that he alone sent the Governors Letters to Boston and that both Temple and Whately were ignorant and innocent of it1—and that 3 Regiments are ordered to Boston and N. York, that the Judges opinions are required, and the Board of Trade in Motion, and great Things are to be laid before Parliament &c. &c. Twenty Eight Chests of Tea arrived Yesterday, which are to make an Infusion in Water, at 7 o Clock this Evening.
This Evening there has been an Exhibition in Kingstreet of the Portraits of the soldiers and the Massacre—and of H——n and C. J. Oliver, in the Horrors—reminded of the Fate of Empson and Dudley, whose Trunks were exposed with their Heads off, and the Blood fresh streaming after the Ax.
1. The duel between John Temple and William Whately (brother and executor of Thomas Whately, recipient of the controversial letters) was reported in the Boston Gazette of this day, where also will be found Franklin's public letter of 25 Dec. 1773 declaring that he alone was “the person who obtained and transmitted to Boston the letters in question.” See entry of 22 March 1773, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-08

1774. Tuesday March 8.

Last Night 28 Chests and an half of Tea were drowned.1
1. On orders, according to the Boston Gazette, 14 March, of “His Majesty OKNOOKORTUNKOGOG King of the Narranganset Tribe of Indians,” whose tribesmen “are now returned to Naragansett to make Report of their doings to his Majesty, who we hear is determined to honour them with Commissions for the Peace.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-09

1774. Wednesday March 9th.

Returned from Charlestown Court with Coll. Tyng of Dunstable, who told me some Anecdotes of Bernard and Brattle, Otis, Hutchinson, &c. Bernard said “he never thought of Pratt”—he would find a Place for { 92 } him now, upon that Bench. Brattle shall be Colonel and Brigadier, &c.—Bernard said—Afterwards this Miff broke out into a Blaze.1
Jemmy Russell was as sociable, and familiar, with Dix and Gorham, and Stone, and All the Members of the House as possible—an Artfull fellow! deeply covered.—He told a saying of the Admiral, at the Funeral Yesterday. “There never was any Thing in Turkey nor in any Part of the World, so arbitrary and cruel as keeping old Mr. Clark, at the Castle all this winter, an old Man, from his family.”2
This day the General Court prorogued in Anger by the Governor.
1. The ambiguous punctuation of the MS has been retained. Presumably Tyng's anecdotes continue through the next paragraph.
2. Richard Clarke, one of the consignees of the tea in Nov. 1773; his daughter Susanne was the wife of John Singleton Copley (Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns., 8 [1906]:78–90).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-11

1774. Fryday March 11th.

Dined at Charlestown with Mr. Thomas Russell, with Mr. Temple,1 Mr. Jacob Rowe, Mr. Nicholls, Mr. Bliss, and several other Gentlemen and Ladies, to me unknown. No Politicks, but Mr. Temples Duell, and the Pieces in the London Papers, relative to it. A young Brother of Mr. Russell came in. Conversation about making Porter here—our Barley, Hops &c.
The Right of private Judgment and the Liberty of Conscience was claimed by the Papists and allowed them in the reign of James 2d.—But has been prohibited by Law ever since. The Advocates for the Administration now in America, claim the Right of private Judgment to overthrow the Constitution of this Province, the Priviledges of all America, and british Liberties into the Bargain—sed Non allocatur.
1. Robert Temple, brother of John Temple the duelist.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-12

Saturday. March 12.

There has been and is a Party in the Nation, a very small one indeed, who have pretended to be conscienciously perswaded, that the Pretender has a Right to the Throne. Their Principles of Loyalty, hereditary Right, and passive obedience have led them to this Judgment, and Opinion. And as long as they keep these Opinions to themselves, there is no Remedy against them. But as soon as they express these opinions publicly, and endeavour to make Proselytes, especially if they take any steps to introduce the Pretender, they become offenders, and must suffer the Punishment due to their Crimes. Private Judgment might { 93 } be alledged in Excuse for many Crimes—a poor Enthusiast [may?] bring himself to believe it lawfull for him to steal from his rich Neighbour, to supply his Necessities, but the Law will not allow of this Plea. The Man must be punished for his Theft.
Ravaillac and Felton probably thought, they were doing their Duty, and nothing more, when they were committing their vile assassinations: But the Liberty of private Conscience, did not exempt them from the most dreadfull Punishment that civil Authority can inflict or human Nature endure.
Hutchinson and Oliver might be brought by their interested Views and Motives, sincerely to think that an Alteration in the Constitution of this Province, and an “Abridgment of what are called English Liberties,”1 would be for the Good of the Province, of America, and of the Nation. In this they deceived themselves, and became the Bubbles of their own Avarice and Ambition. The rest of the World are not thus deceived. They see clearly, that such Innovations will be the Ruin not only of the Colonies, but of the Empire, and therefore think that Examples ought to be made of these great offenders, in Terrorem.
The Enmity of Govr. Bernard, Hutchinson and Oliver, and others to the Constitution of this Province is owing to its being an Obstacle to their Views and Designs of Raising a Revenue by Parliamentary Authority, and making their own Fortunes out of it.
The Constitution of this Province, has enabled the People to resist their Projects, so effectually, that they see they shall never carry them into Execution, while it exists. Their Malice has therefore been directed against it, and their Utmost Efforts been employed to destroy it.
There is so much of a Republican Spirit, among the People, which has been nourished and cherished by their Form of Government, that they never would submit to Tyrants or oppressive Projects.
The same Spirit spreads like a Contagion, into all the other Colonies, into Ireland, and into Great Britain too, from this single Province, of Mass. Bay, that no Pains are too great to be taken, no Hazards too great to be run, for the Destruction of our Charter.
1. Closing quotation marks supplied. The quoted phrase is from Hutchinson's letter to Thomas Whately, 20 Jan. 1769; see entry of 22 March 1773 and note, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-13

1774 Sunday. March 13.

Heard Mr. Lothrop [Lathrop] in the Forenoon and Dr. Cooper in the Afternoon. Last evening Justice Pemberton spent with me. He says that Moses Gill has made many Justices by lending Money.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-28

Monday. March 27 [i.e. 28?]. 1774.

Rode with Brother Josiah Quincy to Ipswich Court. Arrived at Piemonts in Danvers, in good order and well conditioned. Spent the evening, and lodged, agreably. Walked out in the Morning to hear the Birds sing. Piemont says there is a Report that the Sons of Liberty have received some Advices from England which makes them look down—that they have received a Letter from Mr. Bollan that they must submit—and other Letters which they keep secret.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-29

Tuesday March 28 [i.e. 29?]. 1774.

Rode to Ipswich and put up at the old Place, Treadwells. The old Lady has got a new Copy of her GranGranfather Govr. Endicott's Picture, hung up in the House. The old Gentleman is afraid they will repeal the Excise upon Tea and then that we shall have it plenty, wishes they would double the Duty, and then we should never have any more.
The Q[uestion] is who is to succeed Judge Ropes—whether Brown or Pynchon or Lee or Hatch.1 The Bar here are explicit vs. the 2 last, as unfit. Lowell says Pynchon would take it, because he wants to make Way for Wetmore who is about marrying his Daughter.
Pynchon says Judge Ropes was exceedingly agitated all the time of his last Sickness—about the public Affairs, in general, and those of the Superiour Court in particular—afraid his Renunciation would be attributed to Timidity—afraid to refuse to renounce—worried about the Opinion of the Bar, &c.
Mr. Farnum is exceedingly mollified—is grown quite modest, and polite in Comparison of what he used to be, in Politicks. Lowell is so too—seems inclined to be admitted among the Liberty Men.
At a Meeting of the Bar a Doubt of Brother Lowell was mentioned upon the Law of the Prov[ince] for the Relief of poor Prisoners for Debt. Questions were asked whether appealing an Action was not fraud, whether trading without insuring was not fraud &c. A Question also about the Duty of the Sheriff? Whether a Party Plaintiff could controul the Kings Precept, &c., by ordering the Sheriff not to serve it &c. Mr. Wetmore was agreed to be recommended for the Oath &c.
1. Nathaniel Ropes, a justice of the Superior Court, died on 18 March; he was succeeded by William Browne, a classmate of JA's at Harvard (Whitmore, Mass. Civil List, p. 70).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-30

1774. Wednesday. March 30th.

A dull Day. My Head is empty, but my Heart is full. I am wanted { 95 } at my Office, but not wanted here. There is Business there, but none here. My Wife perhaps wants to see me. I am anxious about her. I cannot get the Thoughts of her State of Health out of my Mind. I think she must remove to Braintree—and the Family, at least for the Season.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0002-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-03-31

1774. Thursday March 31.

Let me ask my own Heart, have I patience, and Industry enough to write an History of the Contest between Britain and America? It would be proper to begin at the Treaty of Peace in 1763, or at the Commencement of Govr. Bernards Administration, or at the Accession of George 3d. to the Throne—The Reign, or the Peace.
Would it not be proper, to begin, with those Articles in the Treaty of Peace which relate to America?—The Cession of Canada, Louisiana, and Florida, to the English.
Franklin, Lee, Chatham, Campden [Camden], Grenville and Shelburne, Hilsborough, Dartmouth, Whately, Hutchinson, Oliver, J[udge] Oliver, Barnard [Bernard], Paxton, Otis, Thatcher, Adams, Mayhew, Hancock, Cushing, Phillips, Hawley, Warren, with many other Figures would make up the Groope.1
1. Loosely inserted in the Diary at this point is an itemized bill to JA from an unidentified person for “29 Entries . . . 24 bills,” &c., in the amount of £19 9s. 6d., docketed on the verso: “John Adams Esqe. Accot: for April Ct. 1774.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1774-04 - 1774-06

[Notes on the Name of the Merrimack River, Spring 1774.]1

The River has been universally called and known by the Name of Merrimack and by no other, from the Mouth of it at the Sea, thro Pennicook, Suncook, Nottingham, Litchfield, and all the other Towns and Places, quite up to the Crotch made by Winnipissioke Pond and Pemiggewasset River. Pemiggewasset and Winnipissioke, joining make the Crotch, and from that Crotch to the Sea it has always been called and known by the Name of Merrimack River, and is so to this day, and in all the Records of New Hampshire laying out Towns and Countys and in all Records of Towns and Counties2 and in all Deeds and Conveyances from private Persons of Lands upon this River, it has been uniformly and invariably, called Merrimack and by no other Name.
1. Immediately following the entry of 31 March (except for the inserted receipt mentioned above) is a series of extracts from Massachusetts provincial statutes, 1730–1734, relating mainly to the establishment of towns on the Merrimack River and to the boundary controversy between Massachusetts and New Hampshire which was then current (see Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, { 96 } 2:290–297. In addition there are extracts from three treasury supply acts, 1733–1735, reciting the wages to be paid the garrison “at the Block House above Northfield” in the northwestern part of the Province. Then follows the paragraph concerning the name of the Merrimack River which is printed here.
Probably all this material was put down while JA was investigating Massachusetts' northern and western boundaries for his report to the General Court this spring; see entry of 17 Dec. 1773, note 1, above, and Autobiography, Part One, under Fall 1773, below. All of it except the single paragraph that JA himself may have composed is omitted in the present text.
2. MS: “Countries.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-06-20

June 20th. 1774. Monday.

At Piemonts in Danvers, bound to Ipswich. There is a new, and a grand Scene open before me—a Congress.
This will be an assembly of the wisest Men upon the Continent, who are Americans in Principle, i.e. against the Taxation of Americans, by Authority of Parliament.
I feel myself unequal to this Business. A more extensive Knowledge of the Realm, the Colonies, and of Commerce, as well as of Law and Policy, is necessary, than I am Master of.
What can be done? Will it be expedient to propose an Annual Congress of Committees? to Petition.—Will it do to petition at all?—to the K[ing]? to the L[ords]? to the C[ommon]s?
What will such Consultations avail? Deliberations alone will not do. We must petition, or recommend to the Assemblies to petition, or—
The Ideas of the People, are as various, as their Faces. One thinks, no more petitions, former having been neglected and despized. Some are for Resolves—Spirited Resolves—and some are for bolder Councils.
I will keep an exact Diary, of my Journey, as well as a Journal of the Proceedings of the Congress.1
1. On 13 May Gen. Thomas Gage arrived in Boston to relieve Gov. Hutchinson and to enforce the “Coercive Acts,” passed by Parliament as punishment for the destruction of the tea; Hutchinson sailed for London on 1 June, the day the Boston Port Act went into effect (Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, 3:329). On 25 May the new General Court met, and JA was once again elected by the House a member of the Council, only to be negatived, with twelve others, by Gage next day (Mass., House Jour., May–June 1774, p. 6–7). On instructions from the crown, Gage adjourned the legislature from Boston to Salem, 7 June (same, p. 8). Ten days later the Journal records: “Upon a Motion, Ordered, that the Gallaries be clear'd and the Door be shut,” and a committee on the state of the Province reported that “in Consideration of the unhappy Differences” between Great Britain and the colonies, “it is highly expedient and necessary that a Meeting of Committees from the several Colonies on this Continent be had on a certain Day, to consult upon the present State of the Colonies and the Miseries to which they are reduced by the Operation of certain Acts of Parliament respecting America” (same, p. 44). The House adopted these recommendations in virtually the same language and proceeded to elect “a Committee on the Part of this Province, to consist of five Gentlemen, any three of whom to be a Quorum,” to meet with “Committees or Delegates” from the { 97 } other colonies at Philadelphia or any other suitable place on 1 Sept. Those chosen were James Bowdoin, Thomas Cushing, Samuel Adams, JA, and Robert Treat Paine; £500 was appropriated for their expenses; and Gage immediately, but too late, dissolved the General Court (same, p. 44–45).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-06-25

1774. June 25th. Saturday.

Since the Court1 adjourned without Day this afternoon I have taken a long Walk, through the Neck as they call it, a fine Tract of Land in a general Field—Corn, Rye, Grass interspersed in great Perfection this fine season.
I wander alone, and ponder.—I muse, I mope, I ruminate.—I am often In Reveries and Brown Studies.—The Objects before me, are too grand, and multifarious for my Comprehension.—We have not Men, fit for the Times. We are deficient in Genius, in Education, in Travel, in Fortune—in every Thing. I feel unutterable Anxiety.—God grant us Wisdom, and Fortitude!
Should the Opposition be suppressed, should this Country submit, what Infamy and Ruin! God forbid. Death in any Form is less terrible.
1. Essex Superior Court, sitting at Ipswich.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-10

Boston. August 10. Wednesday.1

The committee for the Congress took their departure from Boston, from Mr. Cushing's house, and rode to Coolidge's, where they dined in company with a large number of gentlemen, who went out and prepared an entertainment for them at that place. A most kindly and affectionate meeting we had, and about four in the afternoon we took our leave of them, amidst the kind wishes and fervent prayers of every man in the company for our health and success. This scene was truly affecting, beyond all description affecting. I lodged at Colonel Buck's.2
1. This entry and the one immediately following (first entry under 15 Aug.) are transcribed from JA, Works, 2:340–341, no MS source for them having been found.
JA's correspondence and Autobiography supply the information that from Ipswich he had gone “for the tenth and last time on the Eastern Circuit” in Maine, where, on a hill above Casco Bay, took place the affecting separation between him and Jonathan Sewall—“the sharpest thorn on which I ever sat my foot” (JA, Preface to Novanglus and Massachusettensis, Boston, 1819, p. vi). By mid-July JA was back in Braintree with his family, but he was soon caught up in work for the distressed town of Boston, being appointed on 26 July to a committee to receive donations for the relief of the inhabitants (which proved a burdensome assignment) and to another committee appointed to consider “proper Measures to be adopted for the common Safety” (Boston Record Commissioners, 18th Report, p. 185).
2. Robert Treat Paine's entry in his Diary (MHi) for this day adds a few details:
“At 11 o'clock the honble. Thos. Cushing Esq. and the other Commission[ers] of Congress for this Province sat out in a Coach and four and four Servants, the honble. James Bowdoin not { 98 } being able to go on Account of the Indisposition of his Family; We dind at Coolidge at Watertown in Company with between 50 and 60 Gentlemen from Boston who rode out to take their leave of us and give us their best Wishes for our Success on the Embassy. Thence we rode to Col. Buckminster at Framingham and lodged, a very hot day.”
JA omits the next three days in his Diary, but Paine recorded that the party set out at 5 in the morning of the 11th, breakfasted at Westborough, and proceeded through Worcester, dining “in good season,” and then on to Spencer, where they lodged. On the 12th they again started at 5, breakfasted at Brookfield, dined at Palmer, and lodged at Springfield. They did not leave Springfield until 10 the next morning, dined at Suffield, and lodged at Hartford, the weather remaining “hot and very dry and dusty.” The 14th being a Sunday, they went to meeting and rested.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-15

15. Monday.

Mr. Silas Deane, of Wethersfield, came over to Hartford to see us. He is a gentleman of a liberal education, about forty years of age; first kept a school, then studied law, then married the rich widow of Mr. Webb, since which he has been in trade. Two young gentlemen, his sons-in-law, Messrs. Webbs, came over with him. They are genteel, agreeable men, largely in trade, and are willing to renounce all their trade.
Mr. Deane gave us an account of the delegates of New York. Duane and Jay are lawyers. Livingston, Low, and Alsop are merchants. Livingston is very popular. Jay married a Livingston, Peter's daughter, and is supposed to be of his side.1
Mr. Deane says the sense of Connecticut is, that the resolutions of the Congress shall be the laws of the Medes and Persians; that the Congress is the grandest and most important assembly ever held in America, and that the all of America is intrusted to it and depends upon it.
1. The New York delegates to the first Continental Congress, chosen by popular election in New York City, 28 July, were John Alsop, James Duane, John Jay, Philip Livingston, and Isaac Low (Force, Archives, 4th ser., 1:320). CFA in a note on this passage points out JA's error concerning Jay's wife; she was the daughter of William Livingston, himself a delegate from New Jersey and a brother of both Peter and Philip.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-15

1774 Aug. 15. Monday.1

Last Evening, after spending the Evening at the Meeting House to hear the Singing, We were invited into Mr. Church's. Mr. Seymour, Mr. Paine [Payne], Lawyers, and Mr. Bull, Merchant, came to see us and invited us to dine with them this Day with the Principal Gentlemen of the Place.
This Morning Mr. Deane, and two young Gentlemen, Messrs. Webbs, came to see us from Weathersfield.—Mr. Deane says there is { 99 } 30,000 Bushells of Flax Seed sent to New York yearly, in Exchange for Salt. That it would be no Loss to stop this, as the Seed may be made into Oil more profitably. They have many Oil Mills in the Colony.
Connecticutt sends great Quantities of Provisions, Cattle and Horses to the West Indies, and bring[s] great Quantities of Rum as well as Sugar and Molasses, to N. York. Some Lumber they send, Staves, Hoops, Heading &c. There is a Stream of Provisions continually running from Connecticutt.
Mr. Deane, and Messrs. Webbs, are intimately acquainted and closely connected with People at N. York.
We dined at the Tavern, with upwards of thirty Gentlemen of the first Character in the Place, at their Invitation. The Secretary Willis [Wyllys], the Treasurer,2 Judge Talcott, Mr. Alsop, Merchant, Mr. Paine and Mr. Seymour Lawyers, two Mr. Bulls, and many others. The Company appeared to be determined to abide by the Resolutions of the Congress.
After Dinner at 4 o Clock We satt out, for Middleton. A Number of Gentlemen in Carriages and a No. on Horse back insisted upon attending us, which they did to our Brother Deanes in Weathersfield. There We stopd, and were most cordially and genteelly entertained with Punch, Wine, and Coffee.
We went up the Steeple of Weathersfield Meeting House from whence is the most grand and beautifull Prospect in the World, at least that I ever saw. Then We rode to Middleton and lodged at Bigelows. There Mr. Hobby and another Gentleman came to see us.
1. Second (and in part duplicative) entry of this date, but the first entry in JA's paper booklet “21,” a gathering of leaves stitched into a marbled paper cover and containing entries through 3 Sept. 1774.
2. John Lawrence.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-16

1774 Aug. 16. Tuesday.

This Morning Dr. Elliot Rawson, Mr. Allsop, Mr. Mortimer, and others the Committee of Correspondence, Mr. Henshaw, and many other Gentlemen, came to pay their Respects to Us, and to assure us that they thought, We had their all in our Hands, and that they would abide by whatever should be determind on, even to a total Stoppage of Trade to Europe and the West Indies.
This morning rode to Wallingford, to Johnsons where We dine.
We wrote a Card to Dr. Dana, to dine with us. He came and informed us that he had wrote some Cards to Us to put up with him this Night. The Doctor dined with us and was very social and agreable.
{ 100 }
At four We made for N[ew] Haven. 7 Miles out of Town at a Tavern We met a great Number of Carriages and of Horse Men who had come out to meet us. The Sherriff of the County and Constable of the Town and the Justices of Peace were in the Train, as We were coming We met others to the amount of I know not what Number but a very great one. As We came into the Town all the Bells in Town were sett to ringing, and the People Men, Women and Children, were crouding at the Doors and Windows as if it was to see a Coronation. At Nine O Clock the Cannon were fired, about a Dozen Guns I think.
These Expressions of Respect to Us, are intended as Demonstrations of the Sympathy of this People with the Massachusetts Bay and its Capital, and to shew their Expectations from the Congress and their Determination to carry into Execution whatever shall be agreed on.
No Governor of a Province, nor General of an Army was ever treated with so much Ceremony and Assiduity, as We have been, throughout the whole Colony of Connecticutt, hitherto, but especially all the Way from Hartford to N. Haven, inclusively.
Nothing shews to me, the Spirit of the Town of New Haven, in a stronger Point of Light, than the Politeness of Mr. Ingersoll Judge of Admiralty for the Pensilvanian middle District, who came over with his Neighbours this Evening, and made his Compliments very respectfully to Tom. Cushing, Sam. Adams, John Adams and Bob. Paine.
The Numbers of Gentlemen who have waited on Us from Hartford to this Place, the Heat of the Weather and the shortness of the Time, have made it impossible for me to learn the Names.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-17

1774 Aug. 17. Wednesday At N[ew] Haven.

We are told here that New York are now well united and very firm.
This Morning Roger Sherman Esqr., one of the Delegates for Connecticutt, came to see us at the Tavern, Isaac Bears's. He is between 50 and 60—a solid sensible Man. He said he read Mr. Otis's Rights &c. in 1764 and thought that he had conceeded away the Rights of America. He thought the Reverse of the declaratory Act was true, vizt. that the Parliament of G.B. had Authority to make Laws for America in no Case whatever. He would have been very willing the Massachusetts should have rescinded that Part of their Circular Letter, where they allow Parliament to be the Supream Legislative, over the Colonies in any Case.1
Mr. Jones, Mr. Douglass, and several other Gentlemen accompanied us, to take a View of the Town. It is very pleasant. There are 3 Con• { 101 } gregational Meeting Houses and one Episcopal Church, near together. Went to view the Grave Stone of Dixwell the Regicide, in the Burying Yard.
Went to Colledge and saw their Library, their Apparatus and Chappell &c.
Mr. Dwight and Mr. Davenport, two of the Tutors, waited on us with great Civility.
We dined with Mr. Douglass, with Mr. Badcock [Babcock], son of Dr. Badcock of Westerly, Mr. Odle [Odell], Mr. Smith, Mr. Sherman and a No. of Ladies. Were very genteelly entertained, and spent the whole Afternoon in Politicks, the Depths of Politicks. Mr. Douglass shew[ed] us his Garden, which is a very good one—fine fruit, and Musk Mellens and Water Mellens such as I never saw before, a Musk Mellen 17 Inches long and a Water Mellen, whose Inside looked as if it was painted.
An Enquiry was started, who were the Members of the H. of Commons who had Plantations in the West Indies, and who were returned by the Interest of the West India Planters?
No one could tell. None could pretend to foresee the Effect of a total Non Exportation to the West Indies.
Jamaica was said to be the most independent Part of the World. They had their Plantane for Bread. They had vast forrests, and could make their own Heading, Staves and Hoops. They could raise their own Provisions.
This Afternoon and Evening We had a plentifull Rain.
1. See entry of 1 July 1770 and note, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-18

1774 Aug. 18. Thursday.

Mr. Badcock is of the same Mind with Major Hawley, that a Non Importation and Non Consumption Agreement will not be faithfully observed—That the Congress have not Power to inforce Obedience to their Laws—That they will be like a Legislative without an Executive.
We had a good deal of Chatt last Evening with Mr. Bears our Landlord. By his Account, the Parade which was made, to introduce Us into Town, was a Sudden Proposal, in order to divert the Populace from erecting a Liberty Pole &c. Ingersols Friends were at the Bottom of it.
Breakfasted at Bryants in Milford, where there are two Meeting Houses and a Church. We visited the burying Yard and the Tomb of Paines Great Grandfather R. Treat 30 years Governor and Deputy { 102 } Governor died 1710, 87 Years of Age. There is an old venerable Monument over him, with an Inscription.
About 10 We passed the Housatonnoc River, at Stratford, a River which runs up 150 Miles and more, tho it is not navigable above 10 miles. We stoped at Curtis's. The People here all say, Boston is suffering Persecution, that now is the Time for all the rest to be generous, and that Boston People must be supported.
Dined at Fairfield, at Bulkeleys. Mr. Elliot [Eliot] the new Minister of this Town came to see us. This is a County Town, and has an elegant Court House, Meeting House and Church, as well as many very elegant private Houses.
Mr. Burr came to see us.
After noon We rode to Quintards of Norwalk, where we are to put up, having rode 36 Miles, and having 50 Miles to N. York.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-19

1774. Aug. 19. Fryday.

Rode to Fitch's of Stamford, where we breakfasted. Rode to Havilands of Rye, the first Town in the Province of N. York. The Barber says that Religion dont flourish in this Town. The congregational Society have no Minister. The Church minister has 45£ from the Society. They have a School for Writing and Cyphering, but no Grammar School. There is no Law of this Province that requires a Minister or school Master.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-20

1774 Aug. 20. Saturday.

Lodged at Cocks at Kingsbridge, a pretty Place—Uncas River running before the Door and verdant Hills all round. This Place is about 15 Miles from N. York. Uncas River is the Bound between the County of Westchester and the County of N. York. This Place is 10 Miles from Hell Gate, which is supposed to be occasioned by a large Cavern under the Rocks, into which the Water rushes at certain Times of the Tide. This Whirlpool is 5 Miles from the City.
We breakfasted at Days, and arrived in the City of New York at 10 O Clock—at Hulls, a Tavern, the Sign the Bunch of Grapes. We rode by several very elegant Country Seats, before we came to the City.
This City will be a Subject of much Speculation to me.
From Hulls We went to private Lodgings at Mr. Tobias Stoutenberg's, in Kings Street, very near the City Hall one way and the French Church the other.1 Mr. McDougal and Mr. Platt came to see us. Mr. Platt asked us to dinner next Monday. Mr. McDougal stayed longer, { 103 } and talk'd a good deal. He is a very sensible Man, and an open one. He has none of the mean Cunning which disgraces so many of my Country men. He offers to wait on us this afternoon to see the City.
After Dinner, Mr. McDougal and Mr. Platt came and walked with Us, to every Part of the City. First We went to the Fort where We saw the Ruins of that magnificent Building the Governors House.2 From the Parade before the Fort you have a fine Prospect of Hudsons River and of the East River or the Sound and of the Harbour—of Long Island, beyond the Sound River, and of New Jersey, beyond Hudsons River. The Walk round this Fort is very pleasant, tho the Fortifications are not strong. Between the Fort and the City is a beautifull Elipsis of Land, railed in with solid Iron, in the Center of which is a Statue of his Majesty on Horse back, very large, of solid Lead, gilded with Gold, standing on a Pedastal of Marble very high.3 We then walked up the broad Way, a fine Street, very wide, and in a right Line from one End to the other of the City. In this rout We saw the old Church, and the new Church. The new is a very magnificent Building—cost 20,000£ York Currency. The Prison is a large and an handsome stone building. There are two setts of Barracks. We saw the New York Colledge which is also a large Stone Building. A new Hospital is building of Stone. We then walked down to a ship Yard, where a Dutch East India Ship is building of 800 Tons burden. Then We walked round thro another Street which is the Principal Street of Business. Saw the several Marketts. After this We went to the Coffee House, which was full of Gentlemen, read the News Papers, &c. Here were introduced to Us Mr. Morine [John Morin] Scott and a Mr. Litchfield, who invited us to Hulls Tavern, where we went and staid till 11 o Clock. We supped together, and had much Conversation. Mr. Scott is a Lawyer, of about 50 years of Age, a sensible Man, but not very polite. He is said to be one of the readiest Speakers upon the Continent. It was he who harrangued the People, and prevailed upon them to discard the Resolves of their Committee of 51, as void of Vigour, Sense and Integrity.
Mr. Scott was censuring McDougal in a friendly free Way for not insisting upon choosing Delegates by Ballot, &c.
Mr. Platt said but little. But McDougal was talkative, and appears to have a thorough Knowledge of Politicks. The two great Families in this Province, upon whose Motions all their Politicks turn, are the Delanceys and Livingstones. There is Virtue and Abilities as well as fortune, in the Livingstones, but not much of either of the three in the Delanceys, according to him.
The Streets of this Town are vastly more regular and elegant than { 104 } those in Boston, and the Houses are more grand as well as neat. They are almost all painted—brick buildings and all.
In our Walks they shewed us the House of Mr. William Smith, one of their Council and the famous Lawyer—Mr. Thomas Smith &c., Mr. Rivington's Store &c.
1. R. T. Paine's Diary (MHi) gives the spelling “Stoutenburgh's” and says that it was “at Corner of Nassau Street.”
2. On 29 Dec. 1773 the Governor's House in Fort George, at the lower end of Broadway, had been gutted by fire (Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island, 3:974; 4:844).
3. A plan of the Fort and of the Bowling Green, in which the statue stood, is in same, 1: pl. 46–A.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-21

1774. Aug. 21. Sunday.

Went to Meeting at the old Presbyterian Society, where Dr. Pemberton formerly preached. We heard Dr. Rogers [Rodgers] on “seek first the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness and all other Things shall be added unto you.” After Service, Mr. Peter Vanbrugh Livingston and Mr. Thos. Smith came to our Lodgings introduced to Us by Mr. McDougall.
Mr. Livingston is an old Man, extreamly Stanch in the Cause, and very sensible. He tells us, that Dr. Chandler and Dr. Cooper and other Episcopal Clergymen, were met together about the Time of the News of the Boston Port Bill, and were employed night and Day writing Letters and sending Dispatches to the other Colonies, and to England. This he thinks was to form an Union of the Episcopal Party thro the Continent in Support of ministerial Measures. He says they never have been able to obtain a Charter for their Burying Yard or the Ground on which their Presbyterian Church stands. They have solicited their Governors, and have solicited at Home, without success.
In the afternoon We went to the same Meeting and heard Mr. Treat from “These shall go away into everlasting Punishment.” Both these Clergymen are good Speakers, and without Notes.
The Psalmody is an exact Contrast to that of Hartford. It is in the Old Way, as we call it—all the drawling, quavering, Discord in the World.
After Meeting Mr. McDougal introduced me and Mr. Paine to Mr. Wm. Smith, the Historian of N. York, a Gentleman a little turn'd of 40—a plain, composed Man to appearance. He very politely invited us to Tea at his House, but we were engaged. He then enquired where we lodged, and said he would wait on us.
After Meeting We went to Mr. McDougals, where we saw his Lady, a charming Woman, and his Daughter an agreable Miss. Mrs. Climer { 105 } [Clymer] was there from Philadelphia, who enquired very kindly after Mr. Hancock and his Aunt and Mr. Jona. Mason and his Family. This is a very facetious and social Lady.—At Mr. McDougals Coll. Folsom and Major Sullivan, the Delegates from N. Hampshire, came to see us. They were hastening over the ferry for fear of the small Pox, neither of them having had that Distemper.
Att Mr. McDougalls, a Number of Gentlemen came to see us. Mr. Low, a Relation of the Delegate from N. York of that Name, Mr. Lamb, Mr. Hewes a School Master, and many others, whose Names I cant recollect.
We then went to Mr. David Vanhorns, who sent his Compliments to Mr. McDougal, and requested him to introduce Us to his House as he was sick and unable to come out. He seems well affected to the public Cause, and speaks very sensibly about it.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-22

1774. Aug. 22. Monday.

This Morning We took Mr. McDougal into our Coach and rode three Miles out of Town, to Mr. Morine Scotts to break fast. A very pleasant Ride! Mr. Scott has an elegant Seat there, with Hudsons River just behind his House, and a rural Prospect all round him.1 Mr. Scott, his Lady and Daughter, and her Husband Mr. Litchfield were dressed to receive Us. We satt in a fine Airy Entry, till called into a front Room to break fast. A more elegant Breakfast, I never saw—rich Plate—a very large Silver Coffee Pott, a very large Silver Tea Pott—Napkins of the very finest Materials, and toast and bread and butter in great Perfection. After breakfast, a Plate of beautifull Peaches, another of Pairs and another of Plumbs and a Muskmellen were placed on the Table.
Mr. Scott, Mr. William Smith and Mr. William Livingston, are the Triumvirate, who figured away in younger Life, against the Church of England—who wrote the independent Reflecter, the Watch Tower, and other Papers.2 They are all of them Children of Yale Colledge. Scott and Livingston are said to be lazy. Smith improves every Moment of his Time. Livingstone is lately removed into N. Jersey, and is one of the Delegates for that Province.
Mr. Scott is an eminent Lawyer. He drew the Answer of the Council to Governor Coldens Reasons in favour of an Appeal in the Case of Forsey vs. Cunningham. He is said to be one of the readyest Speakers on the Continent.
Scott told me that the State of the New York Claim, Massachu• { 106 } setts Claim, N. Hampshire Claim and Canada Claim, which is printed in the Journal of the House in New York 1773, to the Lands contested between Connecticutt and Hudsons River was principally drawn by Mr. Duane who has unhappily involved almost all his Property in those Lands.3 He has purchased Patents of Government and Claims of Soldiers &c. to the amount of 100,000 Acres. Mr. Duane is an Episcopalian, so are all the Delegates from N. York, excepting Mr. Livingston.
Mr. Jay is a young Gentleman of the Law of about 26, Mr. Scott says an hard Student and a good Speaker.
Mr. Alsop is a Merchant, of a good Heart, but unequal to the Trust in Point of Abilities, as Mr. Scott thinks.
Mr. Low, the Chairman of the Committee of 51, they say will profess Attachment to the Cause of Liberty but his Sincerity is doubted.
Mr. Wm. Bayard, Mr. McEvers, and Mr. Beech, are Gentlemen who were very intimate with General Gage when he was here. Mr. Bayard has a son and a Son in Law in the Army, and a son in the Service of the East India Company. These are connected with Mr. Apthorp and his Contracts and are Lookers up to Government for favours—are Correspondents of General Gages—and will favour his Measures, tho they profess attachment to the American Cause.
Mr. McDougal gave a Caution to avoid every Expression here, which looked like an Allusion to the last Appeal. He says there is a powerfull Party here, who are intimidated by Fears of a Civil War, and they have been induced to acquiesce by Assurances that there was no Danger, and that a peacefull Cessation of Commerce would effect Relief.
Another Party he says are intimidated least the levelling Spirit of the New England Colonies should propagate itself into N. York.
Another Party are prompted by Episcopalian Prejudices, against New England.
Another Party are Merchants largely concerned in Navigation, and therefore afraid of Non Importation, Non Consumption and Non Exportation Agreements.
Another Party are those who are looking up to Government for Favours.
About 11 O Clock four of the Delegates for the City and County of N. York came to make their Compliments to us—Mr. Duane, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Low and Mr. Alsop. Mr. Livingston is a down right strait forward Man. Mr. Alsop is a soft sweet Man. Mr. Duane has a sly, surveying Eye, a little squint Eyed—between 40 and 45 I should { 107 } guess—very sensible I think and very artfull. He says their private Correspondence and their Agents Letters (Mr. Bourke) are that the Nation is against us, that we cannot depend upon any Support of any kind from thence, that the Merchants are very much against us, that their Pride is touched and what they call their Rights by our turning away their Ships from our Ports.4
A Question arose whether it was a Prerogative of the Crown at common Law to licence Wharfes. I thought it was by Statutes at home which were never extended to America before the Boston Port Bill. Mr. Duane was of my Opinion. Mr. Livingston thought it was a Prerogative of the Crown at Common Law. Said it had been so understood here—that all the public Wharfes in this Town were by Charter from the Governor. He questioned whether the officers of the Customs were obliged to attend any Wharfes, but licenced ones.
Mr. Morin Scott called upon Us at our Lodgings, and politely insisted upon our taking a Seat in his Chariot, to Mr. Platts. We accepted the Invitation and when We came there were shewn into as elegant a Chamber as ever I saw—the furniture as rich and splendid as any of Mr. Boylstones. Mr. Low, Mr. Peter Vanbrugh Livingston, Mr. Phillip Livingston, Dr. Treat a Brother of the Minister, and Mr. McDougal, Mr. Scott and Mr. Litchfield dined with us and spent the Afternoon.
P. V. Livingston is a sensible Man, and a Gentleman—he has been in Trade, is rich, and now lives upon his Income. Phill. Livingston is a great, rough, rappid Mortal. There is no holding any Conversation with him. He blusters away. Says if England should turn us adrift we should instantly go to civil Wars among ourselves to determine which Colony should govern all the rest. Seems to dread N. England—the Levelling Spirit &c. Hints were thrown out of the Goths and Vandalls—mention was made of our hanging the Quakers, &c. I told him, the very Existence of the Colony was at that Time at Stake—surrounded with Indians at War, against whom they could not have defended the Colony, if the Quakers had been permitted to go on.
1. John Morin Scott's house “stood in (modern) West 43d St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves.” (Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island, 4:864).
2. On these activities see a study that derives its title from an epithet in this paragraph: Dorothea R. Dillon, The New York Triumvirate: A Study of the Legal and Political Careers of William Livingston, John Morin Scott, and William Smith, Jr., N. Y., 1949, ch. 2.
3. The reference is to the protracted and many-sided dispute over the “New Hampshire Grants,” in which Duane was heavily involved both as a land speculator and the principal adviser to the New York government on its title. See Edward P. Alexander, A Revolutionary Conservative: James Duane of New York, N.Y., 1938, ch. 5, especially p. 88, note.
4. Parentheses supplied. Edmund Burke had been agent of the New York Assembly since 1770. The letters from { 108 } Burke alluded to here were probably those of 6 April and 4 May 1774 describing the debates in Parliament on the so-called Intolerable Acts (Ross J. S. Hoffman, ed., Edmund Burke, New York Agent, with His Letters to the New York Assembly ..., Phila., 1956, p. 245–262).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-23

1774 Aug. 23. Tuesday.

We went upon the new Dutch Church Steeple and took a View of the City. You have a very fine View of the whole City at once—the Harbour, East River, North River, Long Island, N. Jersey &c. The whole City is upon a Levell—a Flatt. The Houses in general are smaller than in Boston and the City occupies less Ground.
We breakfasted with Mr. Low, a Gentleman of Fortune and in Trade.1 His Lady is a Beauty. Rich Furniture again, for the Tea Table. Mr. Lott, the Treasurer of the Province, did us the Honour to break fast with us, and politely asked us to dine or to break fast with him—but we were engaged for all the Time we were to stay.
The Conversation turned upon the Constitution of the City; the Mayor and Recorder are appointed by the Governor, the Aldermen and Common Council are annually elected by the People. The Aldermen are the Magistrates of the City and the only ones. They have no Justices of the Peace in the City, so that the Magistracy of the City are all the Creatures of the People. The City cannot tax itself. The Constables, Assessors &c. are chosen annually. They Petition the Assembly every Year to be impowered by Law to assess the City for a certain Sum.
The whole Charge of the Province is annually between 5 and 6000£ York Money. Mr. Cushing says the Charge of the Massachusetts is about 12,000 L.M., which is 16,000 York Currency. The Support of Harvard Colledge, and of Forts and Garrisons and other Things makes the Difference.
About Eleven o Clock Mr. Low, Mr. Curtenius, Mr. Pascall Smith, Mr. Van Shaw [Van Schaack] and others, a Deputation from the Committee of Correspondence from this City, waited on Us, with an Invitation to dine with them Thursday next which we accepted.
One of the Gentlemen said, he was in England at the Time of a former Non Importation Agreement and it was not much felt among the Merchants or Manufacturers. Another of them replyed the true Cause of that was the German Contract and the Demand from Russia.
Mr. Ebenezer Hazard waited on me with a Letter requesting my assistance in making his Collection of American State Papers. I recommended him to Mr. S. Adams, and Dr. Samuel Mather. I advised him { 109 } to publish from Hackluyt, the Voyage of Sebastian Cabot, in this Collection. He thought it good Advice.
Hazard is certainly very capable of the Business he has undertaken—he is a Genius.2
Went to the Coffee House, and saw the Virginia Paper. The Spirit of the People is prodigious. Their Resolutions are really grand.3
We then went to Mr. Peter Vanbrugh Livingstons where at 3 O Clock we dined, with Scott, McDougal, Phillip Livingston, Mr. Thomas Smith, and a young Gentleman Son of Mr. Peter Livingston.
Smith and young Livingston seem to be modest, decent and sensible Men.
The Way we have been in, of breakfasting, dining, drinking Coffee &c. about the City is very disagreable on some Accounts. Altho it introduces us to the Acquaintance of many respectable People here, yet it hinders us from seeing the Colledge, the Churches, the Printers Offices and Booksellers Shops, and many other Things which we should choose to see.
With all the Opulence and Splendor of this City, there is very little good Breeding to be found. We have been treated with an assiduous Respect. But I have not seen one real Gentleman, one well bred Man since I came to Town. At their Entertainments there is no Conversation that is agreable. There is no Modesty—No Attention to one another. They talk very loud, very fast, and alltogether. If they ask you a Question, before you can utter 3 Words of your Answer, they will break out upon you, again—and talk away.
1. This was Cornelius Low, according to R. T. Paine's Diary (MHi) under this date; not Isaac Low, mentioned earlier as one of the New York delegates to the Congress.
2. Hazard, at this time a partner with Garret Noel in a bookselling business in New York (see 25 Aug., below), was just launching his project for a comprehensive collection of documents relating to the early history of America. He circulated printed appeals for aid and suggestions widely among the colonies and ultimately published, by subscription, Historical Collections; Consisting of State Papers ... Intended as Materials for an History of the United States, Phila., 1792–1794; 2 vols. A text of his printed proposals, bearing the very date of the present diary entry, is in DLC: Jefferson Papers, and is reprinted in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:144–145; see also 5:562–563, and Fred Shelley, “Ebenezer Hazard: America's First Historical Editor,”WMQ, 3d ser., 12:44–73 (Jan. 1955).
3. JA was doubtless reading the resolutions or “Association” of the Virginia Convention that had met at Williamsburg, 1–6 Aug., to elect and instruct delegates to the first Continental Congress. This spirited paper was printed in Purdie and Dixon's Virginia Gazette, 11 Aug., and has been reprinted in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:137–140.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-24

1774 Aug. 24. Wednesday.

This Day Cushing and Paine went over to Long Island to dine with { 110 } Phill. Livingston. Adams and I sent our Excuse that we were not very well. It was raw and wett.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-25

1774 Aug. 25. Thursday.

Mr. Mathew Cushing came and escorted Us into Trinity Church and Church Yard. Under the Chancell of this Church Mr. Pratt was buried. This is an old Building. We then went into St. Pauls. This is a new Building which Cost 18,000£ Y[ork] Money. It has a Piazza in Front and some Stone Pillars, which appear grand, but the Building taken all together does not strike me, like the Stone Chappell or like Dr. Coopers Meeting, Either on the Inside or Outside.
We then went to see Mr. Cushing work his new constructed Pumps, which work easier he says, and convey more Water than any other.
We then went to Colledge, were introduced to Mr. Harper [Harpur], who shew[ed] Us the Library, the Books and Curiosities. We were then introduced to Dr. Clossie [Clossy] who was exhibiting a Course of Experiments to his Pupils to prove the Elasticity of the Air.
There is but one Building at this Colledge and that is very far from full of Schollars. They never have had 40 Schollars at a Time.
We then made a Visit of Ceremony to Mr. William Smith, a Councillor at Law, and a Councillor by Mandamus. This Gentleman has the Character of a great Lawyer, a sensible and learned Man and yet a consistent unshaken Friend to his Country and her Liberties. He entertained us with an Account of his Negociating between the Governor (Colden), the General (Gage) and the People in the year 1765, when the People attacked the Fort, to obtain the Stamped Papers—in which he acted an intrepid, an honest and a prudent Part. Mr. McDougal told me of the Part he acted in the Affair of the Prosecution of him for a Libel. The Governor asked him if he would not act for the Crown. Mr. Smith said he would not do the dirty Jobbs of Government—He would not hold any Thing under the Crown upon such Terms.
Mr. Smith expressed his Sentiments of General Gage and his new Station and Character very freely. He said he had a great personal Regard for the General—that he was a good natured, peacable and sociable Man here. But that he was altogether unfit for a Governor of the Massachusetts. That he would loose all the Character he had acquired as a Man, a Gentleman and a General and dwindle down into a mere Scribbling Governor, a mere Bernard, or Hutchinson.
Mr. Smith received us very politely.
We afterwards made a Visit to Friend Holt, the Liberty Printer, and to Noel and Hazards. We afterwards dined in the Exchange Chamber, { 111 } at the Invitation of the Committee of Correspondence, with more than 50 Gentlemen, at the most splendid Dinner I ever saw—a Profusion of rich Dishes &c. &c. I had a great deal of Conversation with Mr. Duane who is a sensible, an Artfull, and an insinuating Man. He talked of Mr. Pratt—said he had the greatest Memory of any Man he ever saw, that he had read a great deal—but that he had not a clear Head. One of the Bar used to say that Mr. Pratt thickened the clear. That he knew Mr. Pratt try 8 criminals in a forenoon, upon different Indictments, and with the same Jury, that he took no Notes, but summed the Evidence with great Exactness, remembered every Circumstance of every Testimony, and the Names of all the Witnesses, altho the Witnesses were dutch People and their Names such as Mr. Prat never could have heard.
After Dinner the Connecticutt Delegates came in. In the Evening several Gentlemen came to our Lodgings and among others Mr. Sears.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-26

1774 Aug. 26. Fryday.

This Morning We went to see the City Hall, the Chamber where the Supream Court sitts, and that where the Mayor and Recorder sit. Afterwards We went down to the new Dutch Church, which is a much more elegant Building than St. Pauls—it is the most elegant Building in the City. The Pillars are smaller than Dr. Coopers, and the Pews are all painted, but the Building is not so handsome. At Nine o Clock We crossed Powlus Hook Ferry, to N. Jersey—then Hackinsack Ferry, then Newark Ferry and dined at Elizabeth Town. After Dinner We rode twenty miles, crossed Brunswick Ferry and put up at Farmers, in the City of Brunswick. That Part of the Province of New Jersey which We have passed is all upon a Level—as fine a Road as ever was trod. Yet the Lands seem to be good.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-27

1774 Aug. 27. Saturday.

Went to view the City of Brunswick, there is a Church of England, a Dutch Church and a Presbyterian Church in this Town, there is some little Trade here—small Craft can come up to the Town. We saw a few small sloops. The River is very beautifull. There is a stone Building for Barracks which is tolerably handsome. It is about the Size of Boston Goal. Some of the Streets are paved and there are 3 or 4 handsome Houses. Only about 150 Families in the Town. Rode ten Miles to Jones's, where We stopped to blow our Horses.
This whole Colony of N. Jersey is a Champaign.
{ 112 }
About 12 O Clock We arrived at the Tavern in Prince Town, which holds out the Sign of Hudibrass, near Nassau Hall Colledge. The Tavern Keepers Name is Hire.
The Colledge is a stone building about as large as that at New York. It stands upon rising Ground and so commands a Prospect of the Country.
After Dinner Mr. Pidgeon a student of Nassau Hall, Son of Mr. Pidgeon of Watertown from whom we brought a Letter, took a Walk with us and shewed us the Seat of Mr. Stockton a Lawyer in this Place and one of the Council, and one of the Trustees of the Colledge.1 As we returned we met Mr. Euston [Houston], the Professor of Mathematicks and natural Philosophy, who kindly invited Us to his Chamber. We went. The Colledge is conveniently constructed. Instead of Entries across the Building, the Entries are from End to End, and the Chambers are on each side of the Entries. There are such Entries one above another in every Story. Each Chamber has 3 Windows, two studies, with one Window in each, and one Window between the studies to enlighten the Chamber.
Mr. Euston then shewed us the Library. It is not large, but has some good Books. He then led us into the Apparatus. Here we saw a most beautifull Machine, an Orrery, or Planetarium, constructed by Mr. Writtenhouse of Philadelphia.2 It exhibits allmost every Motion in the astronomical World. The Motions of the Sun and all the Planetts with all their Satellites. The Eclipses of the Sun and Moon &c. He shewed us another orrery, which exhibits the true Inclination of the orbit of each of the Planetts to the Plane of the Ecliptic. He then shewed Us the electrical Apparatus, which is the most compleat and elegant that I have seen. He charged the Bottle and attempted an Experiment, but the State of the Air was not favourable. By this Time the Bell rang for Prayers. We went into the Chappell, the President3 soon came in, and we attended. The Schollars sing as badly as the Presbyterians at New York. After Prayers the President attended Us to the Balcony of the Colledge, where We have a Prospect of an Horizon of about 80 Miles Diameter. We went into the Presidents House, and drank a Glass of Wine. He is as high a Son of Liberty, as any Man in America. He says it is necessary that the Congress should raise Money and employ a Number of Writers in the Newspapers in England, to explain to the Public the American Plea, and remove the Prejudices of Britons. He says also We should recommend it to every Colony to form a Society for the Encouragement of Protestant Emigrants from the 3 Kingdoms. The Dr. waited on us to our Lodgings and { 113 } took a Dish of Coffee. He is one of the Committee of Correspondence, and was upon the Provincial Congress for appointing Delegates from this Province to the general Congress. Mr. William Livingston and He laboured he says to procure an Instruction that the Tea should not be paid for. Livingston he says is very sincere and very able in the public Cause, but a bad Speaker, tho a good Writer.
Here we saw a Mr. Hood a Lawyer of Brunswick, and a Mr. Jonathan Dickenson Serjeant,4 a young Lawyer of Prince town, both cordial Friends to American Liberty. In the Evening, young Whitwell, a student at this Colledge, Son of Mr. Whitwell at Boston to whom we brought a Letter, came to see us.
By the Account of Whitwell and Pidgeon, the Government of this Colledge is very Strict, and the Schollars study very hard. The President says they are all Sons of Liberty.
1. The home of Richard Stockton, an eminent lawyer and afterward a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was called Morven. It is now the official residence of the governor of New Jersey. See Alfred Hoyt Bill, A House Called Morven, Princeton, 1954.
2. This famous orrery, constructed by David Rittenhouse of Norriton and Philadelphia, was acquired by the College of New Jersey in 1770–1771; it has recently been restored and placed on view in the University Library. See Howard C. Rice Jr., The Rittenhouse Orrery, Princeton, 1954, and illustrations there.
3. John Witherspoon, D.D., president of the College of New Jersey since 1768, and subsequently a signer of the Declaration of Independence from New Jersey.
4. Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant, an active young patriot in New Jersey and closely associated with the College; he afterward moved to Philadelphia (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-28

1774 Aug. 28. Sunday.

Heard Dr. Witherspoon all Day. A clear, sensible, Preacher. Mr. Mason came to see us. We sent a Card to Mr. Serjeant a Lawyer. He dined, drank Coffee and spent the Evening with Us. He is a young Gentleman of about 25 perhaps. Very sociable. He gave us much Light concerning the Characters of the Delegates from N. York, Philadelphia, Virginia &c. and concerning the Characters of the Principal Lawyers, in all these Provinces.
Smith he says is the oracle of New York for Chamber Council. Scott is a Character very much like that of old Mr. Auchmuty. Set up all Night at his Bottle. Yet argue to Admiration next Day. An admirable Speaker according to him. Duane is a plodding Body, but has a very effeminate, feeble Voice. He says the Virginians speak in Raptures about Richard Henry Lee and Patrick Henry—one the Cicero and the other the Demosthenes of the Age. Jo Reed is at the Head of his Profession in Philadelphia. Fisher is next. Walln1 and Dickenson have retired.
{ 114 }
1. Nicholas Waln, a Quaker lawyer who had studied with Joseph Galloway and at the Middle Temple, in 1772 renounced the world in order to live a devotional life (E. Alfred Jones, American Members of the Inns of Court, London, 1924, p. 212–213; Frederick B. Tolles, Meeting House and Counting House, Chapel Hill, 1948, p. 122–123, 238–239).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-29

1774 Aug. 29. Monday.

Rode to Trenton upon Delaware River, to break fast. At Williams's the Tavern at Trenton Ferry, We saw four very large black Walnut Trees standing in a Row behind the House. It seems that these Trees are plenty in these Southern Provinces—all the black Walnut Timber which is used by our Cabinet Makers in Boston is brought from the Southern Provinces.
This Town of Trenton is a pretty Village—it appears to be the largest Town that we have seen in the Jerseys, larger than Elizabeth Town, Brunswick or Prince town.
We then crossed the Ferry over Delaware River to the Province of Pensylvania. We then rode across an Elbow, and came to the Delaware again—a beautifull River navigable up as far as Trenton. The Country on each Side is very level.
We arrived at Bristol about Eleven O Clock, a Village on the Delaware, opposite to which is Burlington. The Scenes of Nature are delightfull here. This is 20 Miles from Philadelphia. Here We saw two or 3 Passage Waggons—a Vehicle with four Wheels contrived to carry many Passengers and much Baggage.
We then rode to the red Lion and dined. After Dinner We stopped at Frankfort [Frankford] about five Miles out of Town. A Number of Carriages and Gentlemen came out of Phyladelphia to meet us. Mr. Thomas Mifflin, Mr. McKean of the Lower Counties, one of their Delegates,1 Mr. Rutledge of Carolina, and a Number of Gentlemen from Philadelphia. Mr. Folsom and Mr. Sullivan, the N. Hampshire Delegates. We were introduced to all these Gentlemen and most cordially wellcomed to Philadelphia.2 We then rode into Town, and dirty, dusty, and fatigued as we were, we could not resist the Importunity, to go to the Tavern, the most genteel one in America.3 There we were introduced to a Number of other Gentlemen of the City—Dr. Shippen, Dr. Knox, Mr. Smith, and a Multitude of others, and to Mr. Linch and Mr. Gadsden of S. Carolina. Here we had a fresh Welcome to the City of Philadelphia, and after some Time spent in Conversation a curtain was drawn, and in the other Half of the Chamber a Supper appeared as elegant as ever was laid upon a Table. About Eleven o Clock we retired.4
{ 115 }
By a Computation made this Evening by Mr. McKean, there will be at the Congress about 56 Members, twenty two of them Lawyers. Mr. McKean gave me an Account this Evening of the Behaviour of Ruggles at the former Congress 1765. He was treated pretty cavalierly, his Behaviour was very dishonourable.
A Gentleman who returned into Town with Mr. Paine and me in our Coach, undertook to caution us against two Gentlemen particularly.5 One was Dr. Smith the Provost of the Colledge, who is looking up to Government for an American Episcopate and a Pair of lawn Sleeves. Soft, polite, insinuating, adulating, sensible, learned, industrious, indefatigable, he has had Art enough and Refinement upon Art to make Impressions even on Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Reed.
1. That is, a delegate from Delaware.
2. According to JA's much later and doubtless somewhat embellished recollections of this meeting, the purpose of the deputation from Philadelphia was to warn the Massachusetts delegates against proposing “any bold measures” or hinting anything in favor of American independence (JA to Timothy Pickering, 6 Aug. 1822, MHi; JA, Works, 2:512, note).
3. Opened in 1773 or 1774 and furnished “in the style of the best London taverns,” the City Tavern stood on the west side of Second Street between Walnut and Chestnut Streets (Scharf and Westcott, History of Philadelphia, 1:291, note).
4. R. T. Paine's Diary (MHi) under this date says, “thence [i.e. from the City Tavern] we went to Mrs. Yards and lodged.” In his AutobiographyJA recalled that Sarah Yard's “Stone House opposite the City Tavern,” from the fact that the Massachusetts delegates lodged there, “was by some Complimented with the Title of Head Quarters, but by Mr. Richard Henry Lee, more decently called Liberty Hall.” For an interval of a few days (31 Aug.–3 Sept.) JA and his colleagues took rooms at Miss Jane Port's in Arch Street between Front and Second, but then moved back to Mrs. Yard's, which was thereafter JA's “Head Quarters” in Philadelphia until the spring of 1777 (entry of 1 Sept. 1774; Account, Jan.–Sept. 1777, below; Paine, Diary, 3 Sept. 1774).
5. This “Gentleman” may with some confidence be identified as Dr. Benjamin Rush. In his Autobiography (p. 110) Rush wrote:
“I went as far as Frankford to meet the delegates from Massachusetts, and rode back into town in the same carriage with John Adams, and two of his colleagues. This gentleman's dress and manners were at that time plain, and his conversation cold and reserved. He asked me many questions relative to the state of public opinion upon politicks, and the characters of the most active citizens on both sides of the controversy.”
This memorable meeting began a friendship between JA and Rush that ended only with the latter's death in 1813.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-30

1774. Aug. 30. Tuesday.

Walked a little about Town. Visited the Markett, the State house, the Carpenters Hall where the Congress is to Sit, &c.—then call'd at Mr. Mifflins—a grand, spacious, and elegant House. Here We had much Conversation with Mr. Charles Thompson [Thomson], who is it seems about marrying a Lady a Relation of Mr. Dickensons with 5000£. st[erling]. This Charles Thompson is the Sam. Adams of Phyladelphia—the Life of the Cause of Liberty, they say.
{ 116 }
A Friend Collins came to see us and invited us to dine on Thursday.
We returned to our Lodgings and Mr. Lynch, Mr. Gadsden, Mr. Middleton, and young Mr. Rutledge came to visit us. Mr. Linch introduced Mr. Middleton to us. Mr. Middleton was silent and reserved, young Rutledge was high enough. A Promise of the King was mentioned. He started, “I should have no Regard to his Word. His Promises are not worth any Thing,” &c. This is a young, smart, spirited Body.
Mr. Blair came to visit us, with another Gentleman. Mr. Smith, an old Gentleman, was introduced to us, by his Son. Another Mr. Smith came in with our Mr. Paine.
The Regularity and Elegance of this City are very striking. It is situated upon a Neck of Land, about two Miles wide between the River De la ware and the River Schuilkill. The Streets are all exactly straight and parrallell to the River. Front Street is near the River, then 2 street, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th. The cross Streets which intersect these are all equally wide, straight and parallell to each other, and are named from forrest and fruit Trees, Pear Street, Apple Street, Walnut street, Chestnut Street, &c.
Towards the Evening, Mr. Thomas Smith, son of the old Gentleman who made us a Visit who is a Brother of Mr. Smith the Minister of Casco Bay, and Dr. Shippen and his Brother and Mr. Reed, went with Us to the Hospital. We saw, in the lower Rooms under Ground, the Cells of the Lunaticks, a Number of them, some furious, some merry, some Melancholly, and among the rest John Ingham, whom I once saved at Taunton Court from being whipped and sold for Horse stealing. We then went into the Sick Rooms which are very long, large Walks with rows of Beds on each side, and the lame and sick upon them—a dreadfull Scene of human Wretchedness. The Weakness and Languor, the Distress and Misery, of these Objects is truely a Woefull Sight.
Dr. Shippen then carried Us into his Chamber where he shewed Us a Series of Anatomical Paintings of exquisite Art. Here was a great Variety of Views of the human Body, whole, and in Parts. The Dr. entertained us with a very clear, concise and comprehensive Lecture upon all the Parts of the human Frame. This Entertainment charmed me. He first shewed us a Set of Paintings of Bodies entire and alive—then of others with the Skin taken off, then with the first Coat of Muscles taken off, then with the second, then with all—the bare bones. Then he shewed Us paintings of the Insides of a Man, seen before, all the Muscles of the Belly being taken off. The Heart, Lungs, Stomach, Gutts.1
{ 117 }
1. When William Shippen Jr. returned home in 1762 from his medical studies in London and Edinburgh, he was put in charge of a “set of Anatomical Paintings & Castings in plaister of Paris representing different views of the Several parts of the Human body,” the gift of the philanthropic Dr. John Fothergill of London to the recently established Pennsylvania Hospital. The paintings were the work of the Dutch medical artist Van Rymsdyk; they were long one of the points of interest for tourists in Philadelphia and are still on display at the Hospital, which remains, though much expanded, on its original site at Pine and 8th Streets. See Betsy Copping Corner, William Shippen, Jr., Pioneer in American Medical Education, Phila., 1951, p. 98–100.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-30

Aug. 30.1

Sent to be washed at Philadelphia. 6 shirts 5 Stocks—2 Caps in [and?] Pair worsted stockings in one silk Handkerchief.
1. This homely entry is on the front flyleaf of the present booklet.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-08-31

1774 Aug. 31. Wednesday.

Breakfasted at Mr. Bayards of Philadelphia, with Mr. Sprout a presbyterian Minister.1
Made a Visit to Governor Ward of Rhode Island at his Lodgings. There We were introduced to several Gentlemen.
Mr. Dickenson, the Farmer of Pensylvania, came to Mr. Wards Lodgings to see us, in his Coach and four beautifull Horses. He was introduced to Us, and very politely said he was exceedingly glad to have the Pleasure of seeing these Gentlemen, made some Enquiry after the Health of his Brother and Sister, who are now in Boston. Gave us some Account of his late ill Health and his present Gout. This was the first Time of his getting out.
Mr. Dickenson has been Subject to Hectic Complaints. He is a Shadow—tall, but slender as a Reed—pale as ashes. One would think at first Sight that he could not live a Month. Yet upon a more attentive Inspection, he looks as if the Springs of Life were strong enough to last many Years.
We dined with Mr. Lynch, his Lady and Daughter at their Lodgings, Mrs. McKenzies. And a very agreable Dinner and Afternoon we had notwithstanding the violent Heat. We were all vastly pleased with Mr. Lynch. He is a solid, firm, judicious Man.
He told us that Coll. Washington made the most eloquent Speech at the Virginia Convention that ever was made. Says he, “I will raise 1000 Men, subsist them at my own Expence, and march my self at their Head for the Relief of Boston.”2
He entertained us with the Scandalous History of Sir Egerton { 118 } Leigh—the Story of his Wifes Sister, and of his Dodging his Uncle, the Story the Girl swore to before the Lord Mayor, and all that.
There is not says Lynch a greater Rascall among all the Kings Friends. He has great Merit, in this Reign.
Mr. Lynch says they shall export this Year 12,000 Wt. of Indigo and 150,000 Tierces of Rice from S. Carolina. About 300 Ships are employed.
Mrs. Lynch enquired kindly after Mrs. Adams's Health, and Mrs. Smith and family and Mr. Boylstone And Mrs. and Mr. Gill &c.
1. James Sproat (1722–1793), a Yale graduate (1741), who was for many years minister of the Second Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia (Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 3:125–129). JA and other New Englanders so often spelled his name “Sprout” as to suggest that it was so pronounced.
2. The story of Washington's “eloquent Speech,” though repeatedly told at this time and later, is according to Douglas Freeman “unfounded” (Freeman, Washington, 3:377 and note).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0005-0021

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1774-08 - 1774-09

[Miscellaneous Expenses, August–September 1774.]1

a Guinea to the lame Man
pd. the Barber 2£:5s:0d. Philadel. 1£:16s. L.M.
6 Dollars.—pd. 2 Washings.—pd. for Leather Straps at Watertown.
1. These items are written inside the front cover of JA's paper booklet “22”; see note on entry of 4 Sept., below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-01

1774 Septr. 1. Thursday.

This Day, We breakfasted at Mr. Mifflins, Mr. C. Thompson came in, and soon after Dr. Smith. The famous Dr. Smith, the Provost of the Colledge. He appears a plain Man—tall, and rather Aukward—there is an Appearance of Art.
We then went to return Visits to the Gentlemen who had visited us. We visited a Mr. Cadwallader a Gentleman of large Fortune, a grand and elegant House And Furniture. We then visited Mr. Powell, another splendid Seat. We then visited the Gentlemen from S. Carolina and about twelve were introduced to Mr. Galloway, the Speaker of the House in Pensylvania. He looks like Ben. Davis the Sandimanian.
We dined at Friend Collins's—Stephen Collins's—with Govr. Hopkins, Govr. Ward, Mr. Galloway, Mr. Rhoades, &c.
In the Evening all the Gentlemen of the Congress who were arrived in Town, met at Smiths the new City Tavern and spent the Evening together. 25 Members were come. Virginia, N. Carolina, Maryland, and the City of N. York were not arrived.
Mr. William Livingston from the Jerseys, lately of New York, was { 119 } there. He is a plain Man, tall, black, wears his Hair—nothing elegant or genteel about him. They say he is no public Speaker, but very sensible, and learned, and a ready Writer.
Mr. Rutledge the Elder, was there, but his Appearance is not very promising. There is no Keenness in his Eye. No Depth in his Countenance. Nothing of the profound, sagacious, brilliant, or sparkling in his first Appearance.
Yesterday We removed our Lodgings to the House of Miss Jane Port, in Arch Street, about half Way between Front Street and Second Street.
I find that there is a Tribe of People here, exactly like the Tribe in the Massachusetts, of Hutchinsonian Addressers. There is indeed a Sett in every Colony. We have seen the Revolutions of their Sentiments. Their Opinions have undergone as many Changes as the Moon. At the Time of the Stamp Act, and just before it, they professed to be against the Parliamentary Claim of Right to tax Americans, to be Friends to our Constitutions, our Charter &c. Bernard was privately, secretly endeavouring to procure an Alteration of our Charter. But he concealed his Designs untill his Letters were detected. Hutchinson professed to be a stanch Friend to Liberty, and to our Charter, untill his Letters were detected—a great Number of good People thought him a good Man, and a Sincere Friend to the Congregational Interest in Religion and to our Charter Priviledges. They went on with this machiavilian Dissimulation, untill those Letters were detected—after that they waited untill the Boston Port Bill was passed, and then, thinking the People must submit immediately and that Lord North would carry his whole System triumphantly, they threw off the Mask. Dr. Smith, Mr. Galloway, Mr. Vaughan and others in this Town, are now just where the Hutchinsonian Faction were in the Year 1764 [1765], when We were endeavouring to obtain a Repeal of the Stamp Act.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-02

1774. Fryday. Septr. 2.

Dined at Mr. Thom. Mifflins with Mr. Lynch, Mr. Middleton, and the two Rutledges with their Ladies. The two Rutledges are good Lawyers. Govr. Hopkins and Govr. Ward were in Company. Mr. Lynch gave us a Sentiment “The brave Dantzickers, who declare they will be free in the face of the greatest Monarch in Europe.”—We were very sociable, and happy.
After Coffee We went to the Tavern, where we were introduced to Peyton Randolph Esqr., Speaker of Virginia, Coll. Harrison, Richard { 120 } Henry Lee Esq., and Coll. Bland. Randolph is a large, well looking Man. Lee is a tall, spare Man. Bland is a learned, bookish Man.
These Gentlemen from Virginia appear to be the most spirited and consistent, of any. Harrison said he would have come on foot rather than not come. Bland said he would have gone, upon this Occasion, if it had been to Jericho.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-03

1774. Saturday. Septr. 3.

Breakfasted at Dr. Shippens. Dr. Witherspoon was there. Coll. R. H. Lee lodges there. He is a masterly Man.
This Mr. Lee is a Brother of the Sherriff of London,1 and of Dr. Arthur Lee, and of Mrs. Shippen. They are all sensible, and deep thinkers.
Lee is for making the Repeal of every Revenue Law, the Boston Port Bill, the Bill for altering the Massachusetts Constitution, and the Quebec Bill, and the Removal of all the Troops, the End of the Congress, and an Abstinence from all Dutied Articles the Means—Rum, Mollosses, Sugar, Tea, Wine, Fruits, &c.
He is absolutely certain, that the same Ship which carries home the Resolution will bring back the Redress. If we were to suppose that any Time would intervene, he should be for Exceptions.
He thinks We should inform his Majesty, that We never can be happy, while the Lords Bute, Mansfield and North are his Confidents and Councillors.
He took his Pen and attempted a Calculation of the Numbers of People represented by the Congress which he made about 2200000, and of the Revenue now actually raised which he made 80,000£ st.
He would not allow Ld. North to have great Abilities. He had seen no symptoms of them. His whole Administration had been blunder.
He said the Opposition had been so feeble and incompetent hitherto that it was Time to make vigorous Exertions.
Mrs. Shippen is a religious and a reasoning Lady. She said she had often thought, that the People of Boston could not have behaved through their Tryals, with so much Prudence and firmness at the same Time, if they had not been influenced by a Superiour Power.
Mr. Lee think's that to strike at the Navigation Acts would unite every Man in Britain against us, because the Kingdom could not exist without them, and the Advantages they derive from these Regulations and Restrictions of our Trade, are an ample Compensation for all the Protection they have afforded us, or will afford us.
{ 121 }
Dr. Witherspoon enters with great Spirit into the American Cause. He seems as hearty a Friend as any of the Natives—an animated Son of Liberty.
This Forenoon, Mr. Caesar Rodney, of the lower Counties on Delaware River, two Mr. Tilghmans from Maryland, were introduced to us.
We went with Mr. Wm. Barrell to his Store and drank Punch and eat dryed smoaked Sprats with him, read the Papers and our Letters from Boston.
Dined with Mr. Joseph Reed the Lawyer, with Mrs. Deberdt and Mrs. Reed, Mr. Willing, Mr. Thom. Smith, Mr. De hart, and &c.
Spent the Evening at Mr. Mifflins with Lee and Harrison from Virginia, the two Rutledges, Dr. Witherspoon, Dr. Shippen, Dr. Steptoe, and another Gentleman. An elegant Supper, and We drank Sentiments till 11 O Clock. Lee and Harrison were very high. Lee had dined with Mr. Dickenson, and drank Burgundy the whole Afternoon.
Harrison gave us for a Sentiment “a constitutional Death to the Lords Bute, Mansfield and North.” Paine gave us “May the Collision of british Flint and American Steel, produce that Spark of Liberty which shall illumine the latest Posterity.”2 Wisdom to Britain and Firmness to the Colonies, may Britain be wise and America free. The Friends of America throughout the World. Union of the Colonies. Unanimity to the Congress. May the Result of the Congress, answer the Expectations of the People. Union of Britain and the Colonies, on a Constitutional Foundation—and many other such Toasts.
Young Rutledge told me, he studied 3 Years at the Temple. He thinks this a great Distinction. Says he took a Volume of Notes, which J. Quincy transcribed. Says that young Gentlemen ought to travel early, because that freedom and Ease of Behaviour, which is so necessary, cannot be acquired but in early Life. This Rutledge is young—sprightly but not deep. He has the most indistinct, inarticulate Way of Speaking. Speaks through his nose—a wretched Speaker in Conversation. How he will shine in public I dont yet know. He seems good natured, tho conceited. His Lady is with him in bad Health.
His Brother still maintains the Air of Reserve, Design and Cunning—like Duane, and Galloway, and Bob Auchmuty.
Caesar Rodney is the oddest looking Man in the World. He is tall—thin and slender as a Reed—pale—his Face is not bigger than a large Apple. Yet there is Sense and Fire, Spirit, Wit and Humour in his Countenance.
He made himself very merry with Ruggles and his pretended Scruples and Timidities, at the last Congress.
{ 122 }
Mr. Reed told us, at dinner, that he never saw greater Joy, than he saw in London when the News arrived that the Nonimportation agreement was broke. They were universally shaking Hands and Congratulating each other.
He says that George Haley is the worst Enemy to America that he knew there—swore to him that he would stand by Government in all its Measures, and was allways censuring and cursing America.
1. William Lee, a Virginia merchant in London and a follower of John Wilkes, was in 1773 elected a sheriff of London (DAB).
2. Closing quotation mark editorially supplied. It would seem a fair assumption that the “Sentiments” which follow were not offered by Paine exclusively but by various members of the party.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-04

1774. Septr. 4. Sunday.1

Went to the Presbyterian Meeting and heard Mr. Sprout in the forenoon. He uses no Notes—dont appear to have any. Opens his Bible and talks away. Not a very numerous, nor very polite Assembly.
Dined at our Lodgings at Mrs. Yards, with Major De boor2 a French Gentleman, a Soldier, Mr. Webb, and another.
Went in the Afternoon to Christ Church, and heard Mr. Coombs [Coombe]. This is a more noble Building, and a genteeler Congregation. The Organ and a new Choir of Singers, were very musical. Mr. Coombs is celebrated here as a fine Speaker. He is sprightly, has a great deal of Action, speaks distinctly. But I confess, I am not charmed with his oratory. His Style was indifferent, his Method, confused. In one Word, his Composition was vastly inferiour to the ordinary Sermons of our How, Hunt, Chauncey, Cooper, Elliot, and even Stillman. Mr. Mifflin spent the Sunday Evening with Us, at our Lodgings.
1. First regular entry in JA's Diary booklet “No. 22” (our D/JA/22), a gathering of leaves stitched into a marbled paper cover and containing entries through 9 Nov. 1774.
2. CFA corrects to “De Bure,” but apparently simply by conjecture. This officer remains unidentified.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-05

1774. Septr. 5. Monday.

At Ten, The Delegates all met at the City Tavern, and walked to the Carpenters Hall, where they took a View of the Room, and of the Chamber where is an excellent Library. There is also a long Entry, where Gentlemen may walk, and a convenient Chamber opposite to the Library. The General Cry was, that this was a good Room, and the Question was put, whether We were satisfyed with this Room, and it passed in the Affirmative. A very few were for the Negative and they were chiefly from Pensylvania and New York.1
{ 123 }
Then Mr. Lynch arose, and said there was a Gentleman present who had presided with great Dignity over a very respectable Society, greatly to the Advantage of America, and he therefore proposed that the Hon. Peytoun Randolph Esqr., one of the Delegates from Virginia, and the late Speaker of their House of Burgesses, should be appointed Chairman and he doubted not it would be unanimous.—The Question was put and he was unanimously chosen.
Mr. Randolph then took the Chair, and the Commissions of the Delegates were all produced and read.2
Then Mr. Lynch proposed that Mr. Charles Thompson a Gentleman of Family, Fortune, and Character in this City should be appointed Secretary, which was accordingly done without opposition, tho Mr. Duane and Mr. Jay discovered at first an Inclination to seek further.3
Mr. Duane then moved that a Committee should be appointed, to prepare Regulations for this Congress. Several Gentlemen objected. I then arose and asked Leave of the President to request of the Gentleman from New York, an Explanation, and that he would point out some particular Regulations which he had in his Mind. He mentioned particularly the Method of voting—whether it should be by Colonies, or by the Poll, or by Interests.
Mr. Henry then arose, and said this was the first general Congress which had ever happened—that no former Congress could be a Precedent—that We should have occasion for more general Congresses, and therefore that a precedent ought to be established now. That it would be great Injustice, if a little Colony should have the same Weight in the Councils of America, as a great one, and therefore he was for a Committee.
Major Sullivan observed that a little Colony had its All at Stake as well as a great one.
This is a Question of great Importance.—If We vote by Colonies, this Method will be liable to great Inequality and Injustice, for 5 small Colonies, with 100,000 People in each may outvote 4 large ones, each of which has 500,000 Inhabitants. If We vote by the Poll, some Colonies have more than their Proportion of Members, and others have less. If We vote by Interests, it will be attended with insuperable Difficulties, to ascertain the true Importance of each Colony.—Is the Weight of a Colony to be ascertained by the Number of Inhabitants merely—or by the Amount of their Trade, the Quantity of their Exports and Imports, or by any compound Ratio of both. This will lead us into such a Field of Controversy as will greatly perplex us. Besides I question whether it is possible to ascertain, at this Time, the Numbers of our { 124 } People or the Value of our Trade. It will not do in such a Case, to take each other's Words. It ought to be ascertained by authentic Evidence, from Records.4
1.
“The City have offered us the Carpenters Hall, so called, to meet in, and Mr. Galloway offers the State House and insists on our meeting there, which he says he has a right to offer as Speaker of that House. The last is evidently the best place, but as he offers, the other party oppose” (Silas Deane to Mrs. Deane [1–3 Sept. 1774], Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:4–5; see also p. 8–10).
Carpenters' Hall was so new that some details in it were not yet completed. The second floor had, however, been rented and occupied by the Library Company of Philadelphia since 1773. The most authoritative historical and descriptive account of Carpenters' Hall is by Charles E. Peterson, in Historic Philadelphia (Amer. Philos. Soc., Trans., 43 [1953]:96–128), which is copiously illustrated.
2. Printed in full in JCC, 1:15–24. The North Carolina delegates had not yet come in, and Georgia sent no delegates to the first Continental Congress.
3. For an account of Thomson's assumption of his duties, supposedly written by Thomson himself, see Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:10, note. Galloway's unhappy comments on the selection of both the meeting place and the secretary are in his letter of this date to Gov. William Franklin (Archives of the State of New Jersey, 1st ser., 10 [1886]: 477–478).
4. This speech was unquestionably made by JA himself.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-06

1774. Septr. 6. Tuesday.

Went to congress again. Received by an express an Intimation of the Bombardment of Boston—a confused account, but an alarming one indeed.—God grant it may not be found true.1
1. R. T. Paine's Diary (MHi) has this account under this date:
“About 2 o Clock a Letter came from Israel Putnam into Town forwarded by Expresses in about 70 hours from Boston, by which we were informed that the Soldiers had fired on the People and Town at Boston, this news occasioned the Congress to adjourn to 8 o Clock pm. The City of Phila. in great Concern, Bells muffled rang all pm.”
This alarm sprang from the bloodless seizure by Gage's troops, in the early hours of 1 Sept., of powder stored in a public magazine in that part of Charlestown which is now Somerville, bordering Cambridge (Commonwealth Hist. of Mass. , 2:548; see entry of 8 Sept., below). The whole countryside from Boston almost to New York City was roused by the report, and the ever-curious Ezra Stiles made an elaborate and valuable investigation of the spread of the false rumor of bloodshed (Stiles, Literary Diary, 1:477–485). See also entry of 6 Nov., below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-06

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress, 6 September 1774.]1

Mr. Henry. Government is dissolved. Fleets and Armies and the present State of Things shew that Government is dissolved.—Where are your Land Marks? your Boundaries of Colonies.
We are in a State of Nature, Sir. I did propose that a Scale should be laid down. That Part of N. America which was once Mass. Bay, { 125 } and that Part which was once Virginia, ought to be considered as having a Weight. Will not People complain, 10,000 <People> Virginians have not outweighed 1000 others.
I will submit however. I am determined to submit if I am overruled.
A worthy Gentleman (Ego)2 near me, seemed to admit the Necessity of obtaining a more Adequate Representation.
I hope future Ages will quote our Proceedings with Applause. It is one of the great Duties of the democratical Part of the Constitution to keep itself pure. It is known in my Province, that some other Colonies are not so numerous or rich as they are. I am for giving all the Satisfaction in my Power.
The Distinctions between Virginians, Pensylvanians, New Yorkers and New Englanders, are no more.
I am not a Virginian, but an American.
Slaves are to be thrown out of the Question, and if the freemen can be represented according to their Numbers I am satisfyed.
Mr. Lynch. I differ in one Point from the Gentleman from Virginia, that is in thinking that Numbers only ought to determine the Weight of Colonies. I think that Property ought to be considered, and that it ought to be a compound of Numbers and Property, that should determine the Weight of the Colonies.
I think it cannot be now settled.
Mr. Rutledge. We have no legal Authority and Obedience to our Determinations will only follow the reasonableness, the apparent Utility, and Necessity of the Measures We adopt. We have no coercive or legislative Authority. Our Constitutents are bound only in Honour, to observe our Determinations.
Govr. Ward. There are a great Number of Counties in Virginia, very unequal in Point of Wealth and Numbers, yet each has a Right to send 2 Members.
Mr. Lee. But one Reason, which prevails with me, and that is that we are not at this Time provided with proper Materials. I am afraid We are not.
Mr. Gadsden. I cant see any Way of voting but by Colonies.
Coll. Bland. I agree with the Gentleman (Ego)3 who spoke near me, that We are not at present provided with Materials to ascertain the Importance of each Colony. The Question is whether the Rights and Liberties of America shall be contended for, or given up to arbitrary Power.
Mr. Pendleton. If the Committee should find themselves unable to ascertain the Weight of the Colonies, by their Numbers and Property, { 126 } they will report this, and this will lay the Foundation for the Congress to take some other Steps to procure Evidence of Numbers and Property at some future Time.
Mr. Henry. I agree that authentic Accounts cannot be had—if by Authenticity is meant, attestations of officers of the Crown.
I go upon the Supposition, that Government is at an End. All Distinctions are thrown down. All America is all thrown into one Mass. We must aim at the Minutiae of Rectitude.
Mr. Jay. Could I suppose, that We came to frame an American Constitution, instead of indeavouring to correct the faults in an old one—I cant yet think that all Government is at an End. The Measure of arbitrary Power is not full, and I think it must run over, before We undertake to frame a new Constitution.
To the Virtue, Spirit, and Abilities of Virginia We owe much—I should always therefore from Inclination as well as Justice, be for giving Virginia its full Weight.
I am not clear that We ought not to be bound by a Majority tho ever so small, but I only mentioned it, as a Matter of Danger, worthy of Consideration.4
1. First entry in D/JA/22A, a collection of loose folded sheets of various sizes in which from time to time JA entered minutes of the debates in the first Continental Congress. These entries are mostly undated but have been inserted below under their most likely dates. Burnett, who prints the present notes in full, gives the evidence for assigning them to 6 Sept. (Letters of Members, 1:14–15).
2-3. This word inserted above the line in MS. Parentheses have been supplied by the editors.
4. Congress resolved this day that since it did not have and could not “at present ... procure proper materials for ascertaining the importance of each Colony,” “each Colony or Province shall have one Vote” (JCC, 1:25).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-07

1774 Septr. 7. Wednesday.

Went to congress again. Heard Mr. Duchè read Prayers. The Collect for the day, the 7th of the Month, was most admirably adapted, tho this was accidental, or rather Providential. A Prayer, which he gave us of his own Composition, was as pertinent, as affectionate, as sublime, as devout, as I ever heard offered up to Heaven. He filled every Bosom present.1
Dined with Mr. Miers Fisher, a young Quaker and a Lawyer. We saw his Library, which is clever.
But this plain Friend, and his plain, tho pretty Wife, with her Thee's and Thou's, had provided us the most Costly Entertainment—Ducks, Hams, Chickens, Beef, Pigg, Tarts, Creams, Custards, Gellies, { 127 } fools, Trifles, floating Islands, Beer, Porter, Punch, Wine and a long &c.
We had a large Collection of Lawyers, at Table. Mr. Andrew Allen, the Attorney General, a Mr. Morris, the Prothonotary, Mr. Fisher, Mr. McKean, Mr. Rodney—besides these We had Mr. Reed, Govr. Hopkins and Governor Ward.
We had much Conversation upon the Practice of Law, in our different Provinces, but at last We got swallowed up, in Politicks, and the great Question of Parliamentary Jurisdiction. Mr. Allen asks me, from whence do you derive your Laws? How do you intitle yourselves to English Priviledges? Is not Lord Mansfield on the Side of Power?
1. This dramatic performance by Jacob Duché, assistant rector of Christ Church and St. Peter's in Philadelphia, following as it did the as yet uncontradicted rumor of the bombardment of Boston, had a profound effect on many besides JA; see Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:19, and references there. What JA called the “Collect” was the thirty-fifth Psalm. JA wrote home at some length about the sensation produced by the eloquence of Duché, who, however, became a loyalist in 1777 and achieved notoriety by urging George Washington to have the Declaration of Independence withdrawn (JA to AA, 16 Sept. 1774, Adams Papers; printed in Works, 2:368, note; DAB, under Duché).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-08

1774. Septr. 8. Thursday.

Attended my Duty on the Committee all Day, and a most ingenious, entertaining Debate We had.1—The happy News was bro't us, from Boston, that no Blood had been spill'd but that Gen. Gage had taken away the Provincial Powder from the Magazine at Cambridge. This last was a disagreable Circumstance.
Dined at Mr. Powells, with Mr. Duché, Dr. Morgan, Dr. Steptoe, Mr. Goldsborough, Mr. Johnson, and many others.—A most sinfull Feast again! Every Thing which could delight the Eye, or allure the Taste, Curds and Creams, Jellies, Sweet meats of various sorts, 20 sorts of Tarts, fools, Trifles, floating Islands, whippd Sillabubs &c. &c.—Parmesan Cheese, Punch, Wine, Porter, Beer &c. &c.
At Evening We climbed up the Steeple of Christ Church, with Mr. Reed, from whence We had a clear and full View of the whole City and of Delaware River.
1. On the 6th Congress voted to appoint a committee “to State the rights of the Colonies in general, the several instances in which these rights are violated or infringed, and the means most proper to be pursued for obtaining a restoration of them” (JCC, 1:26). This committee was named on the 7th and consisted of two delegates from each colony, those from Massachusetts being the two Adamses (same, p. 27–28). Its deliberations are reported by JA from time to time in entries and minutes of debates, beginning this day, below; see especially a note on the entry of 14 Oct., the day on which a “Declaration of Rights” was adopted.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-08

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] Septr. 8. Thursday.1

In the Committee for States Rights,2 Grievances and Means of Redress.
Coll. Lee. The Rights are built on a fourfold foundation—on Nature, on the british Constitution, on Charters, and on immemorial Usage. The Navigation Act, a Capital Violation.
Mr. Jay. It is necessary to recur to the Law of Nature, and the british Constitution to ascertain our Rights.
The Constitution of G.B. will not apply to some of the Charter Rights.
A Mother Country surcharged with Inhabitants, they have a Right to emigrate. It may be said, if We leave our Country, We cannot leave our Allegiance. But there is no Allegiance without Protection. And Emigrants have a Right, to erect what Government they please.
Mr. J. Rutledge. An Emigrant would not have a Right to set up what constitution they please. A Subject could not alienate his Allegiance.
Lee. Cant see why We should not lay our Rights upon the broadest Bottom, the Ground of Nature. Our Ancestors found here no Government.
Mr. Pendleton. Consider how far We have a Right to interfere, with Regard to the Canada Constitution.
If the Majority of the People there should be pleased with the new Constitution, would not the People of America and of England have a Right to oppose it, and prevent such a Constitution being established in our Neighbourhood.
Lee. It is contended that the Crown had no Right to grant such Charters as it has to the Colonies—and therefore We shall rest our Rights on a feeble foundation, if we rest em only on Charters—nor will it weaken our Objections to the Canada Bill.
Mr. Rutledge. Our Claims I think are well founded on the british Constitution, and not on the Law of Nature.
Coll. Dyer. Part of the Country within the Canada Bill, is a conquered Country, and part not. It is said to be a Rule that the King can give a Conquered Country what Law he pleases.
Mr. Jay. I cant think the british Constitution inseperably attached to the Person of every Subject. Whence did the Constitution derive its Authority? From compact. Might not that Authority be given up by Compact.
{ 129 }
Mr. Wm. Livingston. A Corporation cannot make a Corporation. Charter Governments have done it. K[ing] cant appoint a Person to make a Justice of Peace. All Governors do it. Therefore it will not do for America to rest wholly on the Laws of England.
Mr. Sherman. The Ministry contend, that the Colonies are only like Corporations in England, and therefore subordinate to the Legislature of the Kingdom.—The Colonies not bound to the King or Crown by the Act of Settlement, but by their consent to it.
There is no other Legislative over the Colonies but their respective Assemblies.
The Colonies adopt the common Law, not as the common Law, but as the highest Reason.
Mr. Duane. Upon the whole for grounding our Rights on the Laws and Constitution of the Country from whence We sprung, and Charters, without recurring to the Law of Nature—because this will be a feeble Support. Charters are Compacts between the Crown and the People and I think on this foundation the Charter Governments stand firm.
England is Governed by a limited Monarchy and free Constitution.
Priviledges of Englishmen were inherent, their Birthright and Inheritance, and cannot be deprived of them, without their Consent.
Objection. That all the Rights of Englishmen will make us independent.
I hope a Line may be drawn to obviate this Objection.
James was against Parliaments interfering with the Colonies. In the Reign of Charles 2d. the Sentiments of the Crown seem to have been changed. The Navigation Act was made. Massachusetts denyed the Authority—but made a Law to inforce it in the Colony.
Lee. Life and Liberty, which is necessary for the Security of Life, cannot be given up when We enter into Society.
Mr. Rutledge. The first Emigrants could not be considered as in a State of Nature—they had no Right to elect a new King.
Mr. Jay. I have always withheld my Assent from the Position that every Subject discovering Land [does so]3 for the State to which they belong.
Mr. Galloway. I never could find the Rights of Americans, in the Distinctions between Taxation and Legislation, nor in the Distinction between Laws for Revenue and for the Regulation of Trade. I have looked for our Rights in the Laws of Nature—but could not find them in a State of Nature, but always in a State of political Society.
I have looked for them in the Constitution of the English Govern• { 130 } ment, and there found them. We may draw them from this Soursce securely.
Power results from the Real Property, of the Society.
The States of Greece, Macedon, Rome, were founded on this Plan. None but Landholders could vote in the Comitia, or stand for Offices.
English Constitution founded on the same Principle. Among the Saxons the Landholders were obliged to attend and shared among them the Power. In the Norman Period the same. When the Landholders could not all attend, the Representation of the freeholders, came in. Before the Reign of H[enry] 4., an Attempt was made to give the Tenants in Capite a Right to vote. Magna Charta. Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Earls and Barons and Tenants in Capite held all the Lands in England.
It is of the Essence of the English Constitution, that no Law shall be binding, but such as are made by the Consent of the Proprietors in England.
How then did it stand with our Ancestors, when they came over here? They could not be bound by any Laws made by the British Parliament—excepting those made before. I never could see any Reason to allow that we are bound to any Law made since—nor could I ever make any Distinction between the Sorts of Laws.
I have ever thought We might reduce our Rights to one. An Exemption from all Laws made by British Parliament, made since the Emigration of our Ancestors. It follows therefore that all the Acts of Parliament made since, are Violations of our Rights.
These Claims are all defensible upon the Principles even of our Enemies—Ld. North himself when he shall inform himself of the true Principles of the Constitution, &c.
I am well aware that my Arguments tend to an Independency of the Colonies, and militate against the Maxim that there must be some absolute Power to draw together all the Wills and strength of the Empire.4
1. From JA's separate sheets of minutes of debates (D/JA/22A).
2. Thus in MS, but surely an inadvertence and a very curious one. CFA silently corrected the phrase to read: “stating rights....” The committee had been appointed “to State the rights of the Colonies in general,” &c.
3. Editorial conjecture for an omission in the MS.
4. Compare the language and arguments in Galloway's pamphlet, printed prior to the sitting of the Congress but not published, entitled Arguments on Both Sides in the Dispute between Great Britain and Her Colonies, reprinted in Archives of the State of New Jersey, 1st ser., 10 (1886):1478–492, especially p. 484 ff.; and see Julian P. Boyd, Anglo-American Union: Joseph Galloway's Plans to Preserve the British Empire, 1774–1788, Phila., 1941, p. 33–34. Brief as they are, JA's notes show that Galloway's speech in committee was a { 131 } summary of his arguments carefully prepared earlier. See also JA's notes on Galloway's speech in Congress, 28 Sept., below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-09

1774 Septr. 9. Fryday.

Attended my Duty upon Committees.1 Dined at home.
1. “9th. The Committee met, agreed to found our rights upon the laws of Nature, the principles of the English Constitution, and charters and compacts; ordered a Sub-Committee to draw up a Statement of Rights” (Samuel Ward, Diary, Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:27). JA was a member of the subcommittee, whose proceedings he later described at some length but not entirely accurately in his Autobiography. See also Ward's Diary entry of 10 Sept., Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:28.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-10

1774 Septr. 10. Saturday.

Attended my Duty upon the Sub Committee. Dined at home. Dr. Morgan, Dr. Cocks [Cox?], Mr. Spence [ Spencer?], and several other Gentlemen, Major Sullivan and Coll. Folsom dined with us upon Salt Fish. Rambled in the Evening with Jo. Reed, and fell into Mr. Sprouts Meeting where We heard Mr. Spence preach.
Mr. Reed returned with Mr. Adams and me to our Lodgings, and a very social, agreable and communicative Evening We had.
He says We never were guilty of a more Masterly Stroke of Policy, than in moving that Mr. Duchè might read Prayers, it has had a very good Effect, &c. He says the Sentiments of People here, are growing more and more favourable every day.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-11

1774. Septr. 11. Sunday.

There is such a quick and constant Succession of new Scenes, Characters, Persons, and Events turning up before me that I cant keep any regular Account.
This Mr. Reed is a very sensible and accomplished Lawyer of an amiable Disposition—soft, tender, friendly, &c. He is a friend to his Country and to Liberty.
Mr. Reed was so kind as to wait on us to Mr. Sprouts Meeting, where we heard Mr. Spencer. These Ministers all preach without Notes.
We had an Opportunity of seeing the Custom of the Presbyterians in administering the Sacrament. The Communicants all came to a Row of Seats, placed on each Side of a narrow Table spread in the Middle of the Alley reaching from the Deacons Seat to the front of the House. Three setts of Persons of both sexes, came in Succession. Each new sett had the Bread and the Cup given to them by a new { 132 } Minister—Mr. Sprout first, Mr. Treat next and Mr. Spencer last. Each Communicant has a token, which he delivers to the Deacons or Elders, I dont know which they call em.
As We came out of Meeting a Mr. Webster join'd us, who has just come from Boston, and has been a generous Benefactor to it, in its Distresses. He says he was at the Town Meeting, and he thinks they managed their Affairs with great Symplicity, Moderation, and Discretion.1
Dined at Mr. Willings, who is a Judge of the Supream Court here, with the Gentlemen from Virginia, Maryland and New York. A most splendid Feast again—Turtle and every Thing else.
Mr. Willing told us a Story of a Lawyer here, who the other Day, gave him upon the Bench the following Answer, to a Question Why the Lawyers were so increased.

“You ask me why Lawyers so much are increas'd

Tho most of the Country already are fleec'd

The Reason I'm sure is most strikingly plain

The Sheep are oft sheered yet the Wool grows again

And tho you may think e'er so odd of the Matter

The oft'ner they're fleeced, the Wool grows the better

Thus downy-chin'd Boys as oft I have heard

By frequently shaving obtain a large Beard.”

By Mr. Peters, written at the Bar and given to a Judge Mr. Willing, who had asked the Question at Dinner, in Pleasantry.
Mr. Willing is the most sociable, agreable Man of all. He told us of a Law of this Place, that whereas oysters, between the Months of May and Septr. were found to be unwholesome food, if any were brought to Markett they should be forfeited and given to the Poor.
We drank Coffee, and then Reed, Cushing and I strolled, to the Moravian Evening Lecture where we heard soft, sweet Music and a dutchified english Prayer and Preachment.
1. JA's informant was evidently Pelatiah Webster, a Philadelphia merchant and writer on finance and political economy (DAB). In the Boston town meeting of 30 Aug. various projects were discussed and approved “for employing the Poor” who were “now out of Business by the Operation of the Port Bill” (Boston Record Commissioners, 18th Report, p. 188–189).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-12

1774. Septr. 12. Monday.

Attended my Duty on the Committee, untill one O Clock, and then went with my Colleagues and Messrs. Thompson and Mifflin to the Falls of Schuylkill, and viewed the Museum at Fort St. Davids, a great { 133 } Collection of Curiosities.1 Returned and dined with Mr. Dickinson at his Seat at Fair Hill, with his Lady, Mrs. Thompson, Miss Norris and Miss Harrison. Mr. Dickinson has a fine Seat, a beautyfull Prospect, of the City, the River and the Country—fine Gardens, and a very grand Library. The most of his Books, were collected by Mr. Norris, once Speaker of the House here, father of Mrs. Dickinson.2 Mr. Dickinson is a very modest Man, and very ingenious, as well as agreable. He has an excellent Heart, and the Cause of his Country lies near it. He is full and clear for allowing to Parliament, the Regulation of Trade, upon Principles of Necessity and the mutual Interest of both Countries.
1. The Society of Fort St. David was one of several early “fishing companies” or clubs, with a house near the Falls of Schuylkill. Its site and pre-Revolutionary “Museum,” which consisted principally of Indian antiquities, are described in a letter written in 1830 and printed in PMHB 21:417–418 (Oct. 1897).
2. There is an illustrated account of Fairhill, the Norris-Dickinson villa, in Thompson Westcott, The Historic Mansions and Buildings of Philadelphia, Phila., 1877, p. 481 ff. The estate lay between the Frankford and Germantown Roads, north of the city. R. T. Paine, who was one of the party, described it as “a convenient, decent, elegant Philosophical Rural Retreat” (Diary, MHi, 12 Sept. 1774).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-13

1774. Septr. 13. Tuesday.

Attended my Duty all Day, on the Sub Committee. Agreed on a Report.1
1. and 2. Phil. and Mary. C. 10. ss. 7.2
1. To the full committee on stating the rights of the Colonies, &c. See the following entry and note 2 there.
2. The statute cited in this detached note is “An Acte wherby certayne Offences bee made Tresons,” 1554–1555, of which the 7th section is a “General Saving” or exemption: “Saving to every P[er]son and P[er]sones Bodyes Politike and Corporate their heires and successours, other then Thoffendours and their heires and suche P[er]son and P[er]sons as claime to any of their uses, all suche Rightes Titles Interestes Possessions [&c], whiche they or any of them shall have at the day of the committing suche Treasons or at any tyme afore, in as large and ample maner as yf this Acte hadd never bene hadd nor made” (The Statutes of the Realm, London, 1810–1828, 4:257). Members of the first Continental Congress could hardly help exhibiting some interest in the British statutes relating to treason.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-14

1774. Sept. 14. Wednesday.

Visited Mr. Gadsden, Mr. Deane, Coll. Dyer, &c. at their Lodgings. Gadsden is violent against allowing to Parliament any Power of regulating Trade, or allowing that they have any Thing to do with Us.— Power of regulating Trade he says, is Power of ruining us—as bad as acknowledging them a Supream Legislative, in all Cases whatsoever. { 134 } A Right of regulating Trade is a Right of Legislation, and a Right of Legislation in one Case, is a Right in all.—This I deny.1
Attended the Congress and Committee all the forenoon.2 Dined with Dr. Cox. Dr. Morgan, Dr. Rush, Mr. Bayard, old Mr. Smith dined with us. Dr. Rush lives upon Water Street and has from the Windows of his back Room and Chamber, a fine Prospect of Delaware River, and of New Jersey beyond it. The Gentlemen entertained us, with Absurdities in the Laws of Pensylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. This I find is a genteel Topic of Conversation here.—A mighty Feast again, nothing less than the very best of Claret, Madeira, and Burgundy. Melons, fine beyond description, and Pears and Peaches as excellent.
This Day Mr. Chase introduced to us, a Mr. Carrell [Carroll] of Anapolis, a very sensible Gentleman, a Roman catholic, and of the first Fortune in America. His Income is Ten thousand Pounds sterling a Year, now, will be fourteen in two or 3 years, they say, besides his father has a vast Estate, which will be his, after his father.
1. That is, presumably, Gadsden denies it (Parliament's right of legislating for the Colonies in any case whatever). CFA supplied quotation marks around the last three sentences in this paragraph (JA, Works, 2:379).
2. Samuel Ward's Diary is more informative: “14th. The Sub-Committee met, and reported to the great Committee, who appointed next morning for the consideration of the report [on stating the rights of the Colonies]. A SubCommittee appointed to state the infringements of our rights” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:30). On the same day, in Congress: “The delegates from the Province of Massachusetts-bay, agreeable to a request from the joint committees of every town & district in the county of Middlesex ... communicated to the Congress the proceedings of those committees at Concord, on the 30th & 31st days of August last, which were read” (JCC, 1:31). The Middlesex Resolves were printed as a broadside (Ford, Massachusetts Broadsides, No. 1702; Evans 13439); text also available in Force, Archives, 1:750–752.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-15

1774. Sept. 16. Fryday [i.e. Thursday, 15 September].1

Dined with Mr. Wallace, with a great deal of Company at a paultry elegant Feast again.
1. JA clearly dated this entry one day late, since (1) R. T. Paine's Diary (MHi) records dining with “Mr. Wallace” on Thursday the 15th; and (2) Paine and other members record attending “a grand Dinner to the Congress at the State House,” at which “about 500 dind at once,” on Friday the 16th (same; also Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:32). This leaves a gap in JA's record for 16 Sept. According to Samuel Ward's Diary, “16th. The large Committee met, resumed the business and adjourned” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:32; and see note on next entry).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-17

1774. Sept. 17. Saturday.

This was one of the happiest Days of my Life. In Congress We had generous, noble Sentiments, and manly Eloquence. This Day con• { 135 } vinced me that America will support the Massachusetts or perish with her.1
Dined with old Mr. Smith, with much Company. Visited the bettering House, a large Building—very clean, neat, and convenient for the Poor. Viewed the Gardens, &c.
1. On the 16th “Paul Revere arrived Express from Boston” (R. T. Paine, Diary, MHi), bringing the “Resolutions entered into by the delegates from the several towns and districts in the county of Suffolk—” the well-known Suffolk Resolves—which, with other relevant papers, were presented to Congress by the Massachusetts delegates on the 17th, recorded in the Journal, and unanimously approved and supported in resolutions ordered to be printed (JCC, 1:31–40; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:33–35, including extracts from several of JA's letters to AA, the originals of which are in the Adams Papers; the three letters are JA to AA, 16 Sept. and 18 Sept. [1] and [2]).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-18

1774. Septr. 18. Sunday.

Went to Church, and heard Mr. Coombs read Prayers, and Mr. Duchè preach. A fine Preacher, indeed. Dined at home.
Went to Dr. Allisons Meeting in the Afternoon. Heard Mr. —— a very ingenious Preacher, of Benevolence and Humanity. Spent the Evening at home with General Lee, Capt. Dagworthy, Mr. McDougall and others. Wrote many Letters to go by Mr. Paul Revere.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-19

1774 Monday Septr. 19.

Dined with Dr. Rush in Company with Dr. Shippen, and many others. Folsom and Sullivan from N. Hampshire. Mr. Blair &c. &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-20

1774 Tuesday Septr. 20.

Had Cards a Week ago to dine with Mr. Maese [Mease]—but forgot it, and dined at home. After We had dined after 4 O Clock, Mr. Maes's Brother came to our Lodgings after Us. We went, after Dinner, and found Mr. Dickinson, Mifflin, Dr. Rush, Mr. West, Mr. Biddle, and Captn. All and Mr. Maes's Brother—a very agreable Company. Our Regret at the Loss of this Company was very great.
Mr. Dickenson was very agreable.
A Question was started about the Conduct of the Bostonian Merchants since the Year 1770, in importing Tea and paying the Duty. Mr. Hancock it is said has received the Freight of many Chests of Tea. I think the Bostonian Merchants are not wholly justifiable—yet their Conduct has been exaggerated. Their fault and guilt has been magnified. Mr. Hancock I believe is justifiable, but I am not certain, whether he is strictly so. He owned a Ship in Partnership with Geo. Hayley, who is agreed here to be a ministerial Man, and Haley I suppose sent the Tea in the Ship.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-21

1774 Wednesday. Septr. 21.

Captn. Callender came to breakfast with Us. Coll. Dagworthy and his Brother Captn. Dagworthy breakfasted with Us. Mrs. Yard entertained Us, with Muffins, Buck Wheat Cakes and common Toast. Buckwheat is an excellent grain, and is very plenty here.—Attended Congress from 9 to after 3.1—Rode out of Town six Miles to Mr. Hills where we dined with Mr. Hill and Lady, Mr. Dickinson and his Lady, Mr. Thompson and his Lady, old Mr. Meredith, father of Mrs. Hill, Mr. Johnson of Maryland and Mr. To Reed.
1. JA means that he attended the committee on stating the rights of the Colonies, not Congress. According to Samuel Ward's Diary, the committee met on the 19th, 20th, and 21st, while Congress adjourned from day to day, awaiting the committee's report (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:36, 37).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0023

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-22

1774. Thursday. Septr. 22.

Dined with Mr. Chew, Chief Justice of the Province, with all the Gentlemen from Virginia, Dr. Shippen, Mr. Tilghman and many others. We were shewn into a grand Entry and Stair Case, and into an elegant and most magnificent Chamber, untill Dinner. About four O Clock We were called down to Dinner. The Furniture was all rich.1 —Turttle, and every other Thing—Flummery, Jellies, Sweetmeats of 20 sorts, Trifles, Whip'd Syllabubbs, floating Islands, fools—&c., and then a Desert of Fruits, Raisins, Almonds, Pears, Peaches—Wines most excellent and admirable. I drank Madeira at a great Rate and found no Inconvenience in it.
In the Evening General Lee and Coll. Lee, and Coll. Dyer and Mr. Deane, and half a Score friends from Boston came to our Lodgings. Coll. Lee staid till 12 O Clock and was very social and agreable.2
1. Presumably this was Benjamin Chew's town house, Third Street between Walnut and Spruce; not his famous country mansion still standing on Germantown Avenue.
2. On this day “The Committee appointed to state the rights of the colonies &c.” brought in a report, but consideration of it was deferred to the 24th. See entry of 8 Sept., above, and JCC, 1:42.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0024

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-23

1774. Fryday. Sept. 23.

Walked along Second Street Southward, untill I got out of the City into the Country. The Uniformity of this City is dissagreable to some.— I like it.
Dined with the late C[hief] Justice Allen—with all the Gentlemen from North Carolina, and Mr. Hambleton [Hamilton], late Governor— and Mr. Andrew Allen Attorney General.
{ 137 }
We had much Conversation, about Mr. Franklin. The C[hief] J[ustice] and Attorney General had much droll Chat together.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0025

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-24

1774 Saturday. Septr. 24.

Dined with Mr. Charles Thompson, with only Mr. Dickenson, his Lady and Niece in Company. A most delightfull Afternoon we had. Sweet Communion indeed we had—Mr. Dickinson gave us his Thoughts and his Correspondence very freely.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0026

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-25

1774. Sunday. Sept. 25.

Went in the Evening to Quaker Meeting and afterwards went to Supper at Stephen Collins's.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0027

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-26

1774. Monday. Septr. 26.

Dined at old Dr. Shippens with Mr. And Mrs. Blair, young Dr. Shippen, the Jersey Delegates and some Virginians. Afterwards went to the Hospital and heard another Lecture upon Anatomy, from young Dr. Shippen.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0028

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-27

1774. Tuesday. Septr. 27.

Dined at Mr. Bayards, with Dr. Cox, Dr. Rush, Mr. Hodge, Mr. Deane, Coll. Dyer. Dr. Cox gave us a Toast “May the fair Dove of Liberty, in this Deluge of Despotism, find Rest to the Sole of her Foot in America.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0029

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1774-09-26 - 1774-09-27

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress, 26–27 September 1774.]1

Mr. Lee made a Mo[tion] for a Non Importation.
Mr. Mifflin. The ist of Novr. ought to be fixed, for no honest orders were sent after the first of June. Orders are generally sent in April and May. But the Intention was known, of a Non Importation.
Coll. Bland. I think the Time ought to be fixed, when Goods are shipp'd in Great Britain, because a ship may have a long Voyage.
Mr. Gadsden. For the ist of Novr.—We may be deceived and defrauded, if we fix it to the Time when Goods are shipped.
Coll. Lee. Invoices have been antedated.
Mr. John Rutledge. I think all the Ways and Means should be proposed.
Mr. Mifflin. Proposes Stoppage of Flax seed and Lumber to the West { 138 } Indies—and Non Importation of dutied Articles—to commence ist. Aug. 1775.
Mr. Chace [Chase]. Force, I apprehend is out of the Question, in our present Enquiry.
In 1770, the annual Tax was 13 millions. Last Year it was only 10 millions.
Land Tax, Malt Tax, perpetual Funds, amount to only 10 millions. They are compelled to raise 10 millions in time of Peace.
The Emigrations from G. Britain prove that they are taxed as far as they can bear.
A total Non Import and Non Export to G. Britain and W. Indies must produce a national Bankruptcy, in a very short Space of Time.
The foreign Trade of G. Britain is but four Million and an half. As great a Man as ever Britain produc'd, calculated the Trade with the Colonies at two Millions. I believe the Importation to the Colonies now represented, may be three millions.
A Non Exportation amounts to 3 millions more, and the Debt due to four Million. Two thirds in the Colonies, are cloathed in British Manufactures. Non Exportation of vastly more importance than a Non Importation—it affects the Merchants as well as Manufacturers, the Trade as well as the Revenue.
60 thousand Hdds. of Tobacco—225 british Ships employed.
I am for a Non Exportation of Lumber to W. Indies immediately.
The Importance of the Trade of the West Indies to G. Britain almost exceeds Calculation.
The Sugar carries the greatest Revenue—the Rum a great deal.
If you dont stop the Lumber immediately, you cant stop it at all. If it takes Place immediately, they cant send home their next Years Crop.
A Non Exportation at a future day, cannot avail us.
What is the Situation of Boston and the Massachusetts.
A Non Exportation at the Virginia Day, will not opperate before the fall 1766 [1776].
I [It?] would not affect the Trade of the Colonies to the Mediterranean or other Parts of the World.
I am for a more distant Day than the first of November.
Mr. Linch. We want not only Redress, but speedy Redress. The Mass, cant live without Government I think one Year. Nothing less than what has been proposed, by the Gentleman last speaking, will put the Colonies in the State I wish to see them in. I believe the Parliament would grant us immediate Relief. Bankrupcy would be the Consequence if they did not.
{ 139 }
Mr. Gadsden. By saving our own Liberties, we shall save those of the West Indies. I am for being ready, but I am not for the sword. The only Way to prevent the sword from being used is to have it ready.
'Tho the Virginians are tied up, I would be for doing it without them.
Boston and New England cant hold out—the Country will be deluged in Blood, if We dont Act with Spirit. Dont let America look at this Mountain, and let it bring forth a Mouse.
Mr. Chace. We cant come into a Non Exportation immediately without Virginia.
Mr. Cushing. For a Non Importation, Non Exportation and Non Consumption, and immediately.
Coll. Bland. It has been our Glory [sentence unfinished]
Mr. Hooper. We make some Tobacco. I was instructed to Protest vs. Petitioning alone.
Tar, Pitch, and Turpentine We can ship nowhere but to Great Britain. The whole of the Subsistence of the People in the Southern Parts, are from naval Stores.
G. Britain cannot do without Naval Stores, from N. Carolina.
Mr. Ed. Rutledge. A Gentleman from the other End of the Room talked of Generosity. True Equality is the only public Generosity. If Virginia raises Wheat instead of Tobacco they will not suffer. Our Rice is an enumerated Commodity. We shall therefore loose all our Trade.
I am both for Non Im and Exportation to take Place immediately.
Mr. Henry. We dont mean to hurt even our Rascalls—if We have any. I move that December may be inserted instead of November.
Mr. Jay. Negociation, suspension of Commerce, and War are the only three things. War is by general Consent to be waived at present.
I am for Negociation and suspension of Commerce.
Coll. Lee. All Considerations of Interest and Equality of Sacrifice should be laid aside.
Produce of the other Colonies, is carried to Markett, in the same Year when it is raised, even Rice.
Tobacco is not untill the next Year.
Mr. Sullivan. We export Masts, Boards, Plank, Fish, Oil and some Potash. Ships, we load with Lumber for the West Indies, and thence carry Sugar to England and pay our Debts that Way.
Every kind of Lumber, We export to West Indies.
Our Lumber is made in Winter. Our Ships sale in Jany. or Feby. for W. Indies.
{ 140 }
Coll. Dyer. They have now drawn the Sword, in order to execute their Plan, of subduing America. And I imagine they will not sheath it, but that next Summer will decide the Fate of America.
To withdraw all Commerce with Great Britain at once, would come upon them like a Thunder Clap. By what I heard Yesterday, G. Britain is much more in our Power, than I expected—the Masts from the Northward—the Naval Stores from N. Carolina.
We are struggling for the Liberties of the West Indies and of the People of G. Britain as well as our own—and perhaps of Europe.
Stopping the Flax Seed to Ireland would greatly distress 'em.
Govr. Ward.
Mr. Cushing. Whoever considers the present State of G. Britain and America must see the Necessity of spirited Measures. G.B. has drawn the sword against Us, and nothing prevents her sheathing it in our Bowells but Want of Sufficient Force.
I think it absolutely necessary to agree to a Non Importation Non Exportation immediately.
1. This entry is from JA's loose sheets of minutes of debates (D/JA/22A). Though undated, it clearly pertains to the discussion of “the means most proper to be pursued for a restoration of our rights,” first taken up in Congress on Saturday, 24 Sept., resumed on Monday and Tuesday the 26th and 27th, when a resolution was unanimously adopted not to import or consume British goods “from and after” 1 Dec. 1774, though the details remained to be worked out. Several more days were required to reach an agreement not to export goods to Great Britain and the West Indies. This was voted on 30 Sept., but for the benefit of the southern Colonies it was not to go into effect for a year. The present minutes obviously belong to the first stage of the debate, and since they cover two successive days must pertain to speeches made on 26–27 Sept. See JCC, 1:42–43, 51–52; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1148; also JA's Notes under 6 Oct., below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0030

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-28

1774. Wednesday. Sept. 28.

Dined with Mr. R. Penn. A magnificent House, and a most splendid Feast, and a very large Company.1 Mr. Dickinson and General Lee were there, and Mr. Moiland [Moylan], besides a great Number of the Delegates.—Spent the Evening at Home, with Coll. Lee, Coll. Washington and Dr. Shippen who came in to consult with us.2
1. The house of Richard Penn, grandson of the founder of Pennsylvania, was on the south side of High (later Market) Street between Fifth and Sixth. It became the headquarters of Sir William Howe during the British occupation of Philadelphia and of Benedict Arnold while military governor of the city; after the Revolution it was the residence of Robert Morris, who largely rebuilt it after a fire. Considered “the best Single house in the City,” it was acquired by the City Corporation to serve as an executive mansion when Congress moved to Philadelphia in 1790, and was consequently the Philadelphia home of President and Mrs. Washington, 1790–1797, and of President and Mrs. Adams, 1797–1800. See an illustrated article by Harold D. Eberlein, “190, High Street (Market Street { 141 } below Sixth),” Amer. Philos. Soc, Trans., 43 (1953):161–178.
2. George Washington's Diary has the following entry under this day: “Dined at Mr. Edward Shippen's. Spent the afternn. with the Boston Gentn.” (The Diaries of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, Boston and N.Y., 1925, 2:165). To this first intimate contact between JA and his fellow delegates on the one hand, and the silent member from Virginia on the other, much has been attributed, probably justly. With little doubt it markedly influenced Washington's view of the conduct of the leaders of the patriotic movement in Massachusetts. See Washington's letter to Robert Mackenzie, a British officer in Boston, 9 Oct. 1774 (Writings, ed., Fitzpatrick, 3:244–247), and a communication by CFA on the background of Washington's nomination as commander in chief, in MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 4 (1858–1860):68–75.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0031

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-28

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress, 28 September 1774.]1

Mr. Galloway. The Proposal I intended to make having been opposed, I have waited to hear a more effectual one. A general Non Importation from G. Britain and Ireland has been adopted, but I think this will be too gradual in its Operation for the Relief of Boston.
A General Non Exportation, I have ever looked on as an indigested Proposition. It is impossible America can exist, under a total Non Exportation. We in this Province should have tens of Thousands of People thrown upon the cold Hand of Charity.—Our Ships would lie by the Walls, our Seamen would be thrown out of Bread, our Shipwrights &c. out of Employ and it would affect the landed Interest. It would weaken us in another Struggle which I fear is too near.
To explain my Plan I must state a Number of facts relative to Great Britain, and relative to America.
I hope no facts which I shall state will be disagreable.
In the last War, America was in the greatest Danger of Destruction. This was held up by the Massa[chusetts] and by the Congress in 1754. They said We are disunited among ourselves. Their is no indifferent Arbiter between us.
Requisitions came over. A No. of the Colonies gave most extensively and liberally, other[s] gave nothing, or late. Pensylvania gave late, not for Want of Zeal or Loyalty, but owing to their Disputes, with Proprietors—their disunited State.
These Delinquencies were handed up to the Parent State, and these gave Occasion to the Stamp Act.
America with the greatest Reason and Justice complained of the Stamp Act.
Had they proposed some Plan of Policy—some Negociation but set afoot, it would have terminated in the most happy Harmony between the two Countries.
{ 142 }
They repealed the Stamp Act, but they passed the declaratory Act.
Without some Supream Legislature, some common Arbiter, you are not, say they, part of the State.
I am as much a friend of Liberty [as] exists—and No Man shall go further, in Point of Fortune, or in Point of Blood, than the Man who now addresses you.
Burlamaqui, Grotius, Puffendorf, Hooker.—There must be an Union of Wills and Strength. Distinction between a State and a Multitude. A State is animated by one Soul.
As We are not within the Circle of the Supream Jurisdiction of the Parliament, We are independent States. The Law of Great Britain dont bind us in any Case whatever.
We want the Aid and Assistance and Protection of the Arm of our Mother Country. Protection And Allegiance are reciprocal Duties. Can We lay claim to the Money and Protection of G. Britain upon any Principles of Honour or Conscience? Can We wish to become Aliens to the Mother State.
We must come upon Terms with G. Britain.
Some Gentlemen are not for Negociation. I wish I could hear some Reason against it.
The Minister must be at 20, or 30 millions [expense]2 to inforce his Measures.
I propose this Proposition. The Plan.—2 Classes of Laws. 1. Laws of Internal Policy. 2. Laws in which more than one Colony were concerned, raising Money for War.—No one Act can be done, without the Assent of Great Britain.—No one without the Assent of America. A British American Legislature.
Mr. Duane. As I mean to second this Motion, I think myself bound to lay before the Congress my Reasons. N. York thought it necessary to have a Congress for the Relief of Boston and Mass.—and to do more, to lay a Plan for a lasting Accommodation with G. Britain.
Whatever may have been the Motive for departing from the first Plan of the Congress, I am unhappy that We have departed from it.— The Post Office Act was before the Year 1763.—Can we expect lasting Tranquility. I have given my full Assent to a Non Im and Exportation Agreement.
The Right of regulating Trade, from the local Circumstances of the Colonies, and their Disconnection with each other, cannot be exercised by the Colonies.
Mass, disputed the Navigation Act, because not represented, but made a Law of their own, to inforce that Act.
{ 143 }
Virginia did the same nearly.
I think Justice requires that we should expressly ceed to Parliament the Right of regulating Trade.
In the Congress in 1754 which consisted of the greatest and best Men in the Colonies, this was considered as indispensable.
A civil War with America, would involve a national Bankruptcy.
Coll. Lee. How did We go on for 160 Years before the Year 1763? —We flourished and grew.
This Plan would make such Changes in the Legislatures of the Colonies that I could not agree to it, without consulting my Constituents.
Mr. Jay. I am led to adopt this Plan.
It is objected that this Plan will alter our Constitutions and therefore cannot be adopted without consulting Constituents.
Does this Plan give up any one Liberty?—or interfere with any one Right.
Mr. Henry. The original Constitution of the Colonies, was founded on the broadest and most generous Base.
The Regulation of Our Trade, was Compensation enough for all the Protection we ever experienced from her.
We shall liberate our Constituents from a corrupt House of Commons, but thro them into the Arms of an American Legislature that may be bribed by that Nation which avows in the Face of the World, that Bribery is a Part of her System of Government.
Before We are obliged to pay Taxes as they do, let us be as free as they. Let us have our Trade open with all the World.
We are not to consent by the Representatives of Representatives.
I am inclined to think the present Measures lead to War.
Mr. Ed. Rutledge. I came with an Idea of getting a Bill of Rights, and a Plan of permanent Relief.
I think the Plan may be freed from almost every objection. I think it almost a perfect Plan.
Mr. Galloway. In every Government, Patriarchal, Monarchical, Aristocratical or democratical, there must be a Supream Legislature.
I know of no American Constitution. A Virginia Constitution, a Pensylvanian Constitution We have. We are totally independent of each other.
Every Gentleman here thinks, that Parliament ought to have the Power over Trade, because Britain protects it and us.
Why then will we not declare it.
Because Parliament and Ministry is wicked, and corrupt and will { 144 } take Advantage of such Declaration to tax us—and will also Reason from this Acknowledgment, to further Power over us.
Answer. We shall not be bound further than We acknowledge it.
Is it not necessary that the Trade of the Empire should be regulated by some Power or other? Can the Empire hold together, without it— No.—Who shall regulate it? Shall the Legislature of Nova Scotia, or Georgia, regulate it? Mass, or Virginia? Pensylvania or N. York. It cant be pretended. Our Legislative Powers extend no farther than the Limits of our Governments. Where then shall it be placed. There is a Necessity that an American Legislature should be set up, or else that We should give the Power to Parliament or King.
Protection.—Acquiescence. Mass. Virginia.
Advantages derived from our Commerce.
1. From JA's loose sheets of minutes of debates (D/JA/22A). The speech by Galloway proposing a plan for a union between Great Britain and the Colonies, here minuted by JA, was published by Galloway himself in his pamphlet, Historical and Political Reflections on the Rise and Progress of the American Rebellion, London, 1780, and is reprinted from that source in JCC, 1:44–48. Julian P. Boyd has pointed out the discrepancies—inevitable under the circumstances—between the speech as minuted by JA in 1774 and as written up and published by its author in 1780 for a very different audience (Anglo-American Union: Joseph Galloway's Plans to Preserve the British Empire, 1774–1788, Phila., 1941, p. 35–36). For the plan itself and its eventual rejection by Congress (22 Oct. 1774), see JCC, 1:48–51; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:51–59, 80.
2. Word omitted in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0032

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-29

1774. Thursday. Sept. 29.

Dined at Home, with the Delegates from North Carolina and a No. of other Gentlemen.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0033

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-30

1774 Fryday [30 September].

Dined at Mr. Jonathan Smiths—Dr. Allison, Mr. Sprout and many other Gentlemen.1
1. On this day Congress adopted, in principle, a nonexportation agreement, to go into effect on 10 Sept. 1775. (JCC, 1:51–52). On the same day JA introduced a series of resolves in support of Massachusetts' resistance to royal authority. Among them was one calling for an immediate cessation of exports if “Hostilities should be further pursued against that Province.” These resolves are not mentioned in the Journal, but some of their language was incorporated in similar resolves adopted on 7 and 8 Oct. (same, p. 57–58). The MS of JA's motion, endorsed, apparently in the hand of Charles Thomson, “J. Adams' Motion Sept. 30th,” is in the Adams Papers under that date. The text is printed in JA, Works, 2:391, note, which, however, omits some important matter that is canceled in the MS but will be printed in Series III of the present work.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0034

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1774-09 - 1774-10

[Notes on Measures to Be Taken Up by Congress, September–October 1774.]1

Non Importation, Non Consumption, Non Exportation to Britain, and W. Indies.
Petition to the King—Address to the People of England—Address to the People of America.
Societies of Arts and Manufactures in every Colony.
A Militia Law in every Colony. Encouragement of Militia and military Skill.
Raising 500,000£ st. and 20,000 Men.
Offering to raise a sum of Money, and appropriate it to the Support of the Navy.
Sending home Agents from the Congress to negociate—and propose an American Legislature—<to impose>2
Petitions
1. Petition to the King.—<Send> Agents to carry it.
2. Offers to raise Money 200,000£ say, and appropriate it to the Support of the Navy.
Agents to negotiate this—and propose an American Legislature— to lay Taxes in certain Cases and make Laws in certain others.
Addresses
3. Address to the People of England—and America—commercial Struggle
4. Societies of Arts and Manufactures, in every Colony. Auxiliary to.3
5. N. Importation, N. Consumption, N. Exportation.
Preparations for War, procuring Arms and Ordnance, and military Stores
6. Raising Money and Men.
7. A Militia Law in every Colony. Encouragement of Militia and military skill.
1. These two undated and hitherto unpublished lists are separated from each other by several intervening pages in JA's loose notes of debates in the first Continental Congress (D/JA/22A). The items in the first list (up to the subhead “Petitions” in this entry) are obviously simply rearranged in a classified form in the second, but in view of JA's clerical caprices their respective locations in the MS provide no real clues as to when they were written. It is very likely, however, that the first list was inspired by the debate “on the means most proper to be pursued for a restoration of our rights,” which began on 24 Sept., was { 146 } continued on the 26th and 27th, was taken up again on 6 Oct., and from that point on was blended with plans for both an “Association” (approved 18 Oct., and signed 20 Oct.) and a “Declaration of Rights” (agreed to on 14 Oct.). See JCC, 1:42, 43, 55, 63–73, 75–81.
JA's proposed measures for action by Congress include some that were already in train in September, others that were taken up in October, and—most significantly—still others that were far too bold for this Congress to consider at all but that were evidently in the forefront of JA's mind, e.g. an intercolonial navy, an intercolonial army, “an American Legislature” vested with power to raise funds for a war chest, &c. Presumably he hoped that these positive steps could be added to the three measures, only one of which proceeded beyond mere assertions of principle and protest, at the end of the Declaration of Rights (JCC, 1:73). See JA to William Tudor, 7–9 Oct. 1774 (MHi: Tudor Papers; printed in MHS, Colls., 2d ser., 8 [1826]:311–313).
2. Possibly “impress.”
3. Thus in MS. The intent of this fourth measure was included in the Association of 20 Oct. (JCC, 1:78).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-01

1774. Saturday [1 October].

Dined with Mr. Webster. Spent the Evening with Stephen Collins. Went to see the Election at the State House. Mr. Dickinson was chosen.1
1. As one of the representatives of Philadelphia co. to the Pennsylvania Assembly, which in turn, 15 Oct., elected him to the Continental Congress. In a letter to AA of 7 Oct.JA wrote at some length on the favorable turn of the Pennsylvania elections for the patriotic party (Adams Papers; printed in JA-AA, Familiar Letters, p. 44–45).
In Congress this day JA was chosen to a committee to prepare “a loyal address to his majesty ... dutifully requesting the royal attention to the grievances that alarm and distress his majesty's faithful subjects in North-America” (JCC, 1:53; see also p. 102–104, 113, 3:115–122>, and entry of 11 Oct., below).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-02

1774. Sunday. Octr. 2.

Went to Christ Church and heard Mr. Coombs upon “Judge not according to the Appearance, but judge righteous Judgment.” Went to Mr. Sprout's in the Afternoon and heard Mr. Tenant [Tennent].
Spent the Evening at home with Mr. Macdougal, Mr. Cary of Charlestown, Mr. Reed and Coll. Floyd.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-03

1774 Monday Octr. 3. 1774.

Breakfasted at home with Coll. Dagworthy of Maryland, Captn. Dagworthy his Brother, Major De Bois, Mr. Webb, Dr. Clopton &c. The hurry of Spirits I have been in, since my Arrival in this City, has prevented my making Remarks in my Journal as I wished to have done. The quick Succession of Objects, the Variety of Scenes and Characters, have rendered it impracticable. Major De Bois says he will drink Dispute this Morning. The Congress not come to Decision, yet.
{ 147 }
Dined at home. This Day Charles Thompson and Thos. Mifflin were chosen Burgesses for this City. The Change in the Elections for this City and County is no small Event. Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Thompson, now joined to Mr. Mifflin, will make a great Weight in favour of the American Cause.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-04

1774 Tuesday. Octr. 4.

Dined with Mr. Alexander Wilcox, with all the Delegates from N. York, and several other Gentlemen.—This Evening General Lee came to my Lodgings and shewed me an Address from the C[ongress] to the People of Canada which he had.1
1. It was not, however, until 21 Oct. that Congress resolved to prepare an address to the people of Quebec, which was brought in by a committee (on which JA did not serve) two days later, debated, and recommitted; a new draft was brought in, read, debated, amended, and approved on 26 Oct., the last day of the session (JCC, 1:101, 103, 105–113).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-05

1774. Wednesday Octr. 5th.

Dined with Dr. Cadwallador, in Company with Governor Hamilton, Gen. Lee, Mr. Henry, Mr. Pendleton, Mr. De Hart, and many others —Mr. Maese and others—Spent the Evening at Home with Mr. McDougal, and Mr. Sherman—in sad and solemn Consultation about the Miseries and Distresses of our dear Town of Boston.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-06

1774 Thursday. Octr. 6.

Dined with Mr. Hodge, Father in Law to Mr. Bayard.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-06

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress, 6? October 1774.]1

Mr. Gadsden. There are Numbers of Men who will risque their all. I shudder at the thought of the Blood which will be spilled, and would be glad to avoid it.
Mr. Pendleton. How is the Purchaser to know whether the Molosses, Sugar, or Coffee, has paid the Duty or not? It cant be known. Shant We by this hang out to all the World our Intentions to smuggle?
Don't We complain of these Acts as Grievances, and shant we insist on the Repeal.
But this will give an Advantage to the West Indians and will make it their Interest to oppose our obtaining Redress.
Coll. Dyer. This Subject as every Part of our Deliberations are { 148 } important. The Q[uestion] is how far to extend the Non Importation of dutiable Articles.
Mr. Chace. I am against the Question before you.—What are the Ways and Means of obtaining Redress. In the manner it is penn'd it would not answer the End. How shall the Buyer know whether the Duties have been paid or not.
Our Enemies will think that We mean to strike at the Right of Parliament to lay duties for the Regulation of Trade.
I am one of those who hold the Position, that Parliament has a Right to make Laws for us in some Cases, to regulate the Trade—and in all Cases where the good of the whole Empire requires it.
My Fears were up when We went into the Consideration of a Bill of Rights. I was afraid We should say too little or too much.
It is said this is not a Non Importation Resolution. But it is, for there is no Importation of goods but according to the Law of the Land.
Mr. Linch. I came here to get Redress of Grievances, and to adopt every Means for that End, which could be adopted with a good Conscience.
In my Idea Parliament has no Power to regulate Trade. But these Duties are all for Revenue not for Regulation of Trade.
Many Gentlemen in this Room know how to bring in Goods, sugars and others, without paying Duties.
Will any Gentleman say he will never purchase any Goods untill he is sure, that they were not smuggled.
Mr. Mifflin. We shall Agree I suppose, to a Non Exportation of Lumber to the West Indies. They cannot send their Sugars to England, nor to America. Therefore they cant be benefited.
Mr. Low. Gentlemen have been transported by their Zeal, into Reflections upon an order of Men who deserve it the least of any Men in the Community.
We ought not to deny the just Rights of our Mother Country. We have too much Reason in this Congress, to suspect that Independency is aimed at.
I am for a Resolution against any Tea, Dutch as well as English.
[We] ought to consider the Consequences possible as well as [pro]bable of every Resolution We take and provide ourselves [with] a Retreat or Resource.2
[Wha]t would be the Consequence of an Adjournment of the [Con]gress for 6 months? or a Recommendation of a [new] Election of another to meet at the End of 6 Months? [Is not it] possible they may make it criminal, as Treason, [Mi]sprision of Treason, or Felony { 149 } or a Praemunire? [Bo]th in the Assemblies who choose and in the Mem[bers] who shall accept the Trust.
[Wou]ld the assemblies or Members be intimidated? [Wou]ld they regard such an Act?3
Will, Can the People bear a total Interruption of the West India Trade? Can they live without Rum, Sugar, and Molasses? Will not their Impatience, and Vexation defeat the Measure?
This would cutt up the Revenue by the Roots—if Wine, Fruit, Molasses and Sugar, were discarded, as well as Tea.
But, a Prohibition of all Exports to the West Indies, will annihilate the Fishery—because, that cannot afford to loose the West India Fish4—and this would throw a Multitude of Families in our fishing Towns into the Arms of Famine.
1. From JA's loose minutes of debates in the first Continental Congress (D/JA/22A). Though the principles of nonimportation and nonexportation had been agreed on by the end of September, the specific terms of what came to be called the Continental Association remained subject to debate until the adoption of that paper on 18 Oct. (JCC, 1:75). From the language in a resolve of 6 Oct. (same, p. 57), it is likely though by no means certain that JA is here reporting the debates of that day.
2. Missing words and parts of words, lost through the crumbling of the paper along one edge, have been supplied from CFA's printed text (JA, Works, 2:394).
3. In the MS a substantial space follows this paragraph, which ordinarily indicates a shift from one speaker to another. The substance of the remarks that follow also suggests that a New Englander rather than a New Yorker was speaking, but the question cannot now be resolved.
4. CFA silently but no doubt rightly altered this word to “market.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-07

1774 Fryday Octr. 7.

Dined with Mr. Thos. Smith, with a large Company, the Virginians and others.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-08

1774 Saturday Octr. 8.

Dined with Mr. George Clymer—Mr. Dickinson and a large Company again.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-09

1774. Sunday [9 October].

Went to hear Dr. Allison, an Aged Gentleman. It was Sacrament Day and he gave us a sacramental Discourse. This Dr. Allison is a Man of Abilities and Worth, but I hear no Preachers here like ours in Boston, excepting Mr. Duchè. Coombs indeed is a good Speaker, but not an original, but a Copy of Duchè.
{ 150 }
The Multiplicity of Business and Ceremonies, and Company that we are perpetually engaged in, prevents my Writing to my Friends in Mass, as I ought, and prevents my recording many Material Things in my Journal.
Phyladelphia with all its Trade, and Wealth, and Regularity is not Boston. The Morals of our People are much better, their Manners are more polite, and agreable—they are purer English. Our Language is better, our Persons are handsomer, our Spirit is greater, our Laws are wiser, our Religion is superiour, our Education is better. We exceed them in every Thing, but in a Markett, and in charitable public foundations.
Went in the Afternoon to the Romish Chappell and heard a good discourse upon the Duty of Parents to their Children, founded in Justice and Charity. The Scenery and the Musick is so callculated to take in Mankind that I wonder, the Reformation ever succeeded. The Paintings, the Bells, the Candles, the Gold and Silver. Our Saviour on the Cross, over the Altar, at full Length, and all his Wounds a bleeding. The Chanting is exquisitely soft and sweet.1
1. JA set down his reflections on this experience at greater length in a letter to AA of this date (Adams Papers; printed in JA-AA, Familiar Letters, p. 45–47).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-10

1774 Monday. Octr. 10th.

The Deliberations of the Congress, are spun out to an immeasurable Length. There is so much Wit, Sense, Learning, Acuteness, Subtilty, Eloquence, &c. among fifty Gentlemen, each of whom has been habituated to lead and guide in his own Province, that an immensity of Time, is spent unnecessarily.
Johnson of Maryland has a clear and a cool Head, an extensive Knowledge of Trade, as well as Law. He is a deliberating Man, but not a shining orator—His Passions and Imagination dont appear enough for an orator. His Reason and Penetration appear, but not his Rhetoric.
Galloway, Duane, and Johnson, are sensible and learned but cold Speakers. Lee, Henry, and Hooper [are]1 the orators. Paca is a deliberater too. Chase speaks warmly. Mifflin is a sprightly and spirited Speaker. John Rutledge dont exceed in Learning or oratory, tho he is a rapid Speaker. Young Edward Rutledge is young, and zealous—a little unsteady, and injudicious, but very unnatural and affected as a Speaker. Dyer and Sherman speak often and long, but very heavily and clumsily.
1. MS: “and.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-11

1774 Tuesday Octr. 11.

Dined with Mr. McKean in Markett Street, with Mr. Reed, Rodney, Chace, Johnson, Paca, Dr. Morgan, Mr. R. Penn, &c.
Spent the Evening with Mr. Henry at his Lodgings consulting about a Petition to the King.1
Henry said he had no public Education. At fifteen he read Virgill and Livy, and has not looked into a Latin Book since. His father left him at that Age, and he has been struggling thro Life ever since. He has high Notions. Talks about exalted Minds, &c. He has a horrid Opinion of Galloway, Jay, and the Rutledges. Their System he says would ruin the Cause of America. He is very impatient to see such Fellows, and not be at Liberty to describe them in their true Colours.
1. See entry of 1 Oct., note, above. The committee to prepare an address or petition to the King brought in its report on 21 Oct., but after debate it was recommitted and John Dickinson, who had come into Congress as recently as 17 Oct., was added to the committee (JCC, 1:102; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:lix). A revised draft was reported on 24 Oct. and approved the next day (JCC, 1:103–104). There is good reason to believe that JA was very dissatisfied with the version adopted, though he signed it with the other delegates on the 26th, the last day of the session (same, p. 113, 115–122). Dickinson later claimed the authorship of the approved text wholly for himself, saying that “the draft brought in by the original committee was written in language of asperity very little according with the conciliatory disposition of Congress” (Stillé, Dickinson, p. 140–148). See also JA to Jefferson, 12 Nov. 1813, where the original, rejected draft is said to have been composed by R. H. Lee (DLC: Jefferson Papers; printed from LbC, Adams Papers, in JA, Works, 10:78–80).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-12

1774. Wednesday. Octr. 12.

Dined with Captn. Richards with Dr. Coombs.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-13

1774 Thursday. Octr. 13.

Dined with Mr. Dickenson with Chase, Paca, Low, Mifflin, Mr. Penn and General Lee, at six O Clock.
From 10 O Clock untill half after four, We were debating, about the Parliamentary Power of regulating Trade. 5 Colonies were for allowing it, 5. against it, and two divided among themselves, i.e. Mass, and Rhode Island.1
Mr. Duane has had his Heart sett upon asserting in our Bill of Rights, the Authority of Parliament to regulate the Trade of the Colonies. He is for grounding it on Compact, Acquiescence, Necessity, Protection, not merely on our Consent.
{ 152 }
1. This vote does not appear in the Journal of Congress. The fullest account of the debates of 12–13 Oct., mainly concerned with what came to be called the Declaration of Rights, is in Duane's Notes, printed in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:72–74, 75.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-14

1774. Fryday. Octr. 14.

Went in the Morning to see Dr. Chevott [Chovet] and his Skelletons and Wax Work—most admirable, exquisite Representations of the whole Animal Aeconomy.
Four compleat Skelletons. A Leg with all the Nerves, Veins and Arteries injected with Wax. Two compleat Bodies in Wax, full grown. Waxen Representations of all the Muscles, Tendons &c., of the Head, Brain, Heart, Lungs, Liver, Stomack, Gutts, Cawl-Bladder, Testicles. This Exhibition is much more exquisite than that of Dr. Shippen, at the Hospital. The Doctor reads Lectures, for 2 half Jos. a Course, which takes up Four Months. These Wax Works are all of the Drs. own Hands.1
Dined with Dr. Morgan, an ingenious Physician and an honest Patriot. He shewed us some curious Paintings upon Silk which he brought from Italy which are Singular in this Country, and some Bonesof an Animal of enormous Size, found upon the Banks of the River Ohio. Mr. Middleton, the two Rutledges, Mr. Mifflin and Mr. Wm. Barrell dined with Us. Mrs. Morgan is a sprightly, pretty lady.2
In the Evening We were invited to an Interview at Carpenters Hall, with the Quakers and Anabaptists. Mr. Bacchus is come here from Middleborough, with a design to apply to the Congress, for a Redress of the Grievances of the Antipaedobaptists in our Province. The Cases from Chelmsford, the Case of Mr. White of Haverhill, the Case of Ashfield and Warwick, were mentioned by Mr. Bacchus.
Old Israel Pemberton was quite rude, and his Rudeness was resented. But the Conference which held till 11 O Clock, I hope will produce good.3
1. On Abraham Chovet (1704–1790) see DAB; also Peter Stephen Du Ponceau's reminiscences of Chovet and his anatomical waxworks PMHB, 63:323–329 (July 1939).
2. On this day Congress adopted a Declaration of Rights, one of the ultimate products of the committee “to State the rights of the Colonies in general,” appointed 7 Sept. (see entry of 8 Sept., above), and of the discussions in Congress, beginning 24 Sept., of “the means most proper to be pursued for a restoration of our rights” (JCC, 1:42). An undated committee (or subcommittee) draft of this declaration, with a caption reading “Heads of Grievances and Rights,” is in the Adams Papers under the assigned date of 14 Oct. 1774[ante 9 September? 1774]; it was correctly identified by CFA and printed in JA, Works, 2:535–542; but the usual attribution of it to John Sullivan (same, p. 377 and note; JCC, 1:63) cannot be corroborated. The paper is not in Sullivan's hand, though neither has the hand so far been identified as { 153 } that of any other member of the committee on rights. The report as submitted, or at any rate as approved by Congress, varies widely from the so called Sullivan draft, containing among other alterations a new and important paragraph written by JA, denying Parliament any authority over the Colonies except, “from the necessity of the case, ... the regulation of our external commerce” (JA, Works, 2:538–539). This paragraph, numbered “4,” was the subject of long and vigorous debate; see same, 2:374–375; JA to Edward Biddle?, 12 Dec. 1774 (Dft, Adams Papers, printed in Works, 9:350); JCC, 1:63–73; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:72–75. Writing from memory in his Autobiography, JA said that “When Congress had gone through the Articles, I was appointed to put them into form and report a fair Draught for their final Acceptance.” This may very well have been so, but there is no contemporary evidence to verify JA's statement unless his mention of staying home on Sunday to put “the Proceedings of the Congress into Order” (entry of 16 Oct., below) alludes to this assignment.
3. In his Autobiography JA elaborates from memory on this conference of the Massachusetts delegates with certain Baptist leaders from New England and several prominent Philadelphia Quakers. But the fullest account is in Alvah Hovey, A Memoir of the Life and Times of the Rev. Isaac Backus, A.M., Boston, 1859, chs. 15–16. James Manning, president of the newly established Rhode Island College (now Brown University), and Isaac Backus (somewhat quaintly spelled “Bacchus” by JA), Baptist minister at Middleborough, Mass., had been sent to Philadelphia by an association of their churches to see what could be done for the relief of Baptists who under Massachusetts law were obliged to pay taxes for the support of “established” ministers not of their own choosing—or who at any rate had great difficulty obtaining exemption from such taxation. On the advice of conservative Quakers, who were not disinclined to embarrass the radical Massachusetts delegates, Manning and Backus requested the conference JA describes. Backus' Diary (quoted by Hovey) gives the names of many who attended and reports the proceedings in full. The discussion was warm and lasted four hours. Backus and Manning pointed out that in a number of instances the Baptists in Massachusetts had been victims of taxation without representation, and Backus recorded that at one point Robert Treat Paine remarked, “There was nothing of conscience in the matter; it was only a contending about paying a little money” (Hovey, Backus, p. 211). Paine's Diary (MHi) is, as usual, laconic on the incident, but on his way home later this month Paine told Ezra Stiles about it, and from this and other evidence Stiles concluded that the Baptists, and Manning especially, were in alliance with the Anglicans and hostile to the patriotic cause (Stiles, Literary Diary, 1:168–170, 472–475, 491, 528; 2:23, 51).
The most protracted of the cases of religious scruple mentioned by JA, all of which can be traced in the histories of the towns concerned, was that of Ashfield. In 1767 certain Baptists of that “new plantation” refused to contribute to the building of a Congregational meetinghouse where they had settled first and had their own place of worship. When property of theirs was distrained to satisfy the tax requirement, they petitioned the General Court and ultimately carried their case to the King in Council. A mass of petitions, legislative acts and resolves, and other documents concerning the troubles in Ashfield from 1767 to 1774 will be found in Mass., Province Laws, 4:1015–1016, 1035–1046; 5:111–113, 143, 228–230, 278–279, 331–334, 371–375; 18:333–334, 450–451. Despite his lack of sympathy with the Baptists' position, Ezra Stiles acknowledged in a long and informative letter of 20 Nov. 1772 that injustice had been done at Ashfield (Literary Diary, 1:472, note). Backus' account of the Ashfield case was published in an anonymous pamphlet entitled An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, Boston, 1773, p. 33 ff., and copies of this tract were handed out to those who attended the conference at Carpenters' Hall. Chagrined as they were by the surprise sprung upon them by the Baptist and Quaker lobbyists, the Massachusetts delegates promised to do what they could { 154 } to redress the grievances complained of, but on their own ground, i.e. in Massachusetts. Accordingly, in Nov. 1774, Backus submitted a memorial of grievances to the Provincial Congress sitting in Cambridge. A Baptist leader who obtained his information from one of the members reported: “It was generally agreed not to do anything about it, but throw it out; when Mr. Adams got up and said, he was apprehensive, if they threw it out, it might cause a division among the provinces; and it was his advice to do something with it” (Hezekiah Smith to James Manning, 20 Jan. 1775, Hovey, Backus, P. 222). The action taken, however, consisted only of a resolution, 9 Dec. approving of religious liberty for all denominations and advising the petitioners to lay their complaints before the next “general assembly [when it] shall be convened in this colony” (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 65, 67).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-15

1774 Saturday. Octr. 15.

Dined at Mr. Wests with the Rutledges and Mr. Middleton. An elegant House, rich furniture, and a splendid Dinner.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-16

1774 Sunday. Octr. 16.

Staid at Home all day. Very busy in the necessary Business of putting the Proceedings of the Congress into Order.1
1. That is, the final version of the Declaration of Rights? See entry of 14 Oct., note 2, above. So far as the Journal shows, the Declaration had been approved on 14 Oct., but there is evidence to show that some points relative to it were debated in Congress as late as the 17th; see Duane's Notes in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:77–79; and JA's Notes on the “Canada Bill,” under 17? Oct., below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-17

1774. Monday Octr. 17.

Dined at Home.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-17

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress, 17? October 1774.]1

CANADA BILL.
Proof of Depth of Abilities, and Wickedness of Heart.
Precedent. Lords refusal of perpetual Imprisonment.
Prerogative to give any Government to a conquered People.
Romish Religion.
Feudal Government.
Union of feudal Law and Romish Superstition.
Knights of Malta. Orders of military Monks.
Goths and Vandals—overthrew the roman Empire.
Danger to us all. An House on fire.
1. From JA's loose sheets of minutes of debates (D/JA/22A). In the MS these undated notes follow minutes of debates on Galloway's plea for a plan of union (Debates, 28 Sept., above), but their physical location is a very doubtful { 155 } clue to their date. The question of including the “Canada Bill” (Quebec Act) among the colonists' grievances was repeatedly debated, but the parallels in substance and even in phrasing between the present rough notes and Duane's Notes tentatively assigned by Burnett to 17 Oct. strongly suggest that both pertain to the same day's debate. See JCC, 1:66; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:77–79. It seems likely that JA's notes are the heads of his own arguments exclusively, but Duane's summary of JA's speech is too meager and cryptic to make this conjecture certain.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-18

1774 Tuesday. Oct. 18.

Dined at Stephen Collins's.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-19

1774 Wednesday. Octr. 19.

Dined at Home.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-20

1774 Thursday Octr. 20.

Dined with the whole Congress at the City Tavern, at the Invitation of the House of Representatives of the Province of Pensylvania, the whole House dined with Us, making near 100 Guests in the whole—a most elegant Entertainment. A Sentiment was given, “May the Sword of the Parent never be Stain'd with the Blood of her Children.” Two or 3 broadbrims,1 over against me at Table—one of em said this is not a Toast but a Prayer, come let us join in it—and they took their Glasses accordingly.2
1. Quakers.
2. On this day the Association of the Colonies, or nonimportation and nonexportation agreement, was read in Congress and signed by the members, including JA (JCC, 1:75–81, 127–128 [Nos. 2–5], and facsimile of the Association as signed, in pocket of back cover of that volume).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0023

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-21

1774 Fryday. Oct. 21.

Dined at the Library Tavern with Messrs. Marcoo's [Markoes] and a dozen Gentlemen from the W. Indies and N. Carolina. A fine bowling Green here—fine Turtle, and admirable Wine.1
1. On this day Congress approved an “address to the people of Great-Britain” and a “memorial to the inhabitants of the British Colonies”; and Galloway, McKean, JA, and Hooper were named “a committee to revise the minutes of the Congress” (JCC, 1:81–101). The committee to prepare an address to the King also reported, but its report was recommitted; see entry of 11 Oct. and note, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0024

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-22

1774. Saturday. Octr. 22.

Dined in the Country, with Mr. Dickinson, with all the Delegates from N. England. Mr. Duane, Mr. Reed, Mr. Livingstone &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0025

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-23

1774. Sunday. Octr. 23.

Heard Mr. Piercy, at Mr. Sprouts. He is Chaplain to the Countess of Huntingdon. Comes recommended to Mr. Cary of Charlestown, from her, as a faithful servant of the Lord. No Genius—no Orator.
In the Afternoon I went to the Baptist Church and heard a trans Alleganian—a Preacher, from the back Parts of Virginia, behind the Allegany Mountains.1 He preached an hour and an half. No Learning—No Grace of Action or Utterance—but an honest Zeal. He told us several good Stories. One was, that he was once preaching in Virginia and said that those Ministers who taught the People that Salvation was to be obtained by good Works, or Obedience, were leading them to ruin. Next Day, he was apprehended, by a Warrant from a Magistrate, for reviling the Clergy of the Church of England. He asked for a Prayer Book and had it. Turned to the 18 or 20th. Article, where the same sentiment is strongly expressed. He read it to the Magistrate. The Magistrate as soon as he heard it, dash'd the Warrant out of his Hand, and said sir you are discharged.
In the Evening I went to the Methodist Meeting and heard Mr. Webb, the old soldier, who first came to America, in the Character of Quarter Master under Gen. Braddock. He is one of the most fluent, eloquent Men I ever heard. He reaches the Imagination and touches the Passions, very well, and expresses himself with great Propriety. The Singing here is very sweet and soft indeed. The first Musick I have heard in any Society, except the Moravians, and once at Church with the organ.
Supped and spent the Remainder of the Evening, at Mr. Jo. Reeds with Coll. Lee, Dr. Shippen, Mr. Cary, Dr. Loring &c.
1. His name is given in R. T. Paine's Diary (MHi) as “Fristo”; probably William Fristoe, a self-taught Baptist preacher of western Virginia, of whom there is a brief account in Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 6:125, note.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0026

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-24

1774. Monday. Octr. 24.

In Congress, nibbling and quibbling—as usual.1
There is no greater Mortification than to sit with half a dozen Witts, deliberating upon a Petition, Address, or Memorial. These great Witts, these subtle Criticks, these refined Genius's, these learned Lawyers, these wise Statesmen, are so fond of shewing their Parts and Powers, as to make their Consultations very tedius.
Young Ned Rutledge is a perfect Bob o' Lincoln—a Swallow—a Sparrow—a Peacock—excessively vain, excessively weak, and excessively variable and unsteady—jejune, inane, and puerile.
{ 157 }
Mr. Dickinson is very modest, delicate, and timid.2
Spent the Evening at home. Coll. Dyer, Judge Sherman and Coll. Floyd came in and spent the Evening with Mr. Adams and me. Mr. Mifflin and General Lee came in. Lee's Head is running upon his new Plan of a Battallion.
1. On this day Congress heard, debated, and recommitted the proposed address to the people of Quebec, and heard a revised draft of the address to the King, which was agreed to next day (JCC, 1:103–104).
2. This comment was probably evoked by Dickinson's diluted revision of the address to the King; see entry of 11 Oct. and note, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0027

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-25

1774 Tuesday [25 October].

Dined with Mr. Clymer. General Lee &c. there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0028

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-26

1774. Wednesday [26 October].

Dined at Home. This Day the Congress finished. Spent the Evening together at the City Tavern—all the Congress and several Gentlemen of the Town.1
1. Among other things Congress this day debated and approved the address to the people of Quebec, signed the address to the King, voted a resolution of thanks to the Pennsylvania Assembly “for their politeness to this Congress,” and “then dissolved itself” (JCC, 1:104–114). It had already, on 22 Oct., arranged for the printing of its Journal and resolved “that another Congress should be held on the tenth day of May next, unless the redress of grievances, which we have desired, be obtained before that time,” recommending Philadelphia as the best meeting place (same, p. 102).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0029

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-27

1774. Thursday. Octr. 27.

Went this Morning with Mr. Tudor to see the Carpenters Hall, and the Library, and to Mr. Barrells and Bradfords, and then to the State House to see the Supream Court sitting. Heard Mr. Wilcox and Mr. Reed argue a Point of Law concerning the Construction of a Will. Three Judges, Chew, Willing and Moreton.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0030

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-28

1774. Fryday. Octr. 28.

Took our Departure in a very great Rain, from the happy, the peacefull, the elegant, the hospitable, and polite City of Phyladelphia.—It is not very likely that I shall ever see this Part of the World again, but I shall ever retain a most greatefull, pleasing Sense, of the many Civilities I have received, in it. And shall think myself happy to have an opportunity of returning them.—Dined at Andersons,1 and reached Priestly's of Bristol at Night, twenty miles from Phyladelphia, where We are as happy as We can wish.
{ 158 }
1. The Red Lion, in the rural community then called Byberry, now part of Philadelphia City. See R.T. Paine, Diary (MHi), under this date.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0031

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-29

1774. Saturday. Octr. 29.

Rode to Prince Town, where We dine, at the sign of Hudibrass.— Vacation at Nassau Hall. Dr. Witherspoon out of Town. Paine recollected the Story of Mr. Keiths Joke upon him at Howlands of Plymouth, the Time of the Stamp Act. Paine said he would go to making brass Buckles. Keith said he might do that to great Advantage for his Stock would cost him nothing.
Lodged at Farmers in Brunswick.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0032

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-30

1774. Sunday. Octr. 30.

My Birthday. I am 39 Years of Age.—Rode to Elizabeth Town in New Jersey, where We are to dine. Rode down to Elizabeth Town Point, and put our Carriage and all our Horses into two Ferry Boats. Sail'd or rather rowed, Six Miles to a Point on Staten Island where We stoped and went into a Tavern. Got to Hulls in New York, about 10 O Clock, at night.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0007-0033

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-10-31

1774 Monday. Oct. 31.

Mr. McDougall, Mr. Scott, Captn. Sears, Mr. Platt, Mr. Hewes came to see us. All but the last dined with us. Walked to see the new Hospital, a grand Building. Went to the Coffee House. Mr. Cary and Dr. Loring dined with us.
The Sons of Liberty are in the Horrors here. They think they have lost ground since We passed thro this City. Their Delegates have agreed with the Congress, which I suppose they imagine, has given additional Importance to their Antagonists.1
1. CFA provides a useful interpretive note on this paragraph, too long to quote here (JA, Works, 2:402).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0008-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-11-01

1774. Tuesday. Novr. 1.

Left Brother Paine at New York to go by the Packett to New Port. Rode to Cocks at Kings bridge to break fast, to Havilands at Rye to Dinner, and to Knaps at Horse Neck in Greenwich to lodge.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0008-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-11-02

1774. Wednesday. Novr. 2.

Rode to Bulkleys at Fairfield to dinner, and to Captn. Benjamins of Stratford to lodge.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0008-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-11-03

1774. Thursday. Novr. 3.

We design to Great Swamp to day. 42 miles.
At Newhaven, Coll. Dyer, Deane and Sherman, Mr. Parsons, the new Speaker Williams, Mr. Trumbull and many other Gentlemen came to see us at Beers's as soon as we got in. Coll. Dyer presented the Compliments of the Governor and Council to the Massachusetts Delegates and asked our Company, to spend the Evening. I begged Coll. Dyer to present my Duty to the Governor and Council, and my Gratitude for the high Honour they did us, but that We had been so long from home and our affairs were so critical, We hoped they would excuse us if we passed thro the Town as fast as possible.
Mr. Sherman invited us to dine, but Mr. Babcock claimed a Promise, so we dined with him.
2 or 3 Carriages accompanied us, a few Miles out of Town in the Afternoon.
We had the most pressing Invitations from many Gentlemen to return thro N. London, Windham &c. &c. &c., but excused ourselves. The People had sent a Courier to N. Haven on Purpose to wait for our Arrival and return to inform the People we were coming.
Twenty miles from Middletown We met two Gentlemen from thence who came on Purpose to meet us and invite us to dine tomorrow at Middletown. We excused ourselves with great Earnestness.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0008-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-11-04

1774. Fryday. Novr. 4.

Dined at Hartford, at Bulls, where we had the Pleasure of seeing Mr. Adams's Minister Mr. How, who is supposed to be courting here. Lodged at Dr. Chafy's [Chaffee's] in Windsor. Very cordially entertained.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0008-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-11-05

1774 Saturday. Novr. 5.

Break fasted at Austins of Suffield. Went to see a Company of Men exercising upon the Hill, under the Command of a green coated Man, lately a Regular. A Company of very likely stout men.
Dined at Parsons's of Springfield. Captn. Pynchon and another Pynchon, and Mr. Bliss, came in to see Us, and at last Coll. Worthington. Worthington behaved decently and politely. Said he was in Hopes we should have staid the Sabbath in Town and he should have had the Pleasure of waiting on us, &c.
Captn. Pynchon was of the late provincial Congress and gave us some Account of their Proceedings.
{ 160 }
Arrived, about 7 O Clock at Scotts of Palmer alias Kingston, where We are to lodge. Scott and his Wife are at this instant, great Patriots. Zealous Americans. Scotts faith is very strong that they will repeal all the Acts, this very winter. Dr. Dana told Us all America, and G. Britain and Europe ow'd us Thanks and that the Ministry would lay hold of our Consent that they should regulate Trade, and our Petition and grant us Relief this Winter.—But neither the Doctors nor Scotts Faith are my Faith.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0008-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-11-06

1774. Sunday. Novr. 6.

Went all day to hear Mr. Baldwin a Presbyterian Minister at Kingston. We put up at Scotts. Mr. Baldwin came in the Evening to see us.
Hor. B. 3. O. 2. Pueros ab ineunte AEtate assuefaciendos esse rei militari et Vitae laboriosae.1
We walked to Meeting above 2 Miles at Noon. We walked 1/4 of a Mile and staid at one Quintouns an old Irishman, and a friendly cordial Reception we had. The old Man was so rejoiced to see us he could hardly speak—more glad to see Us he said than he should to see Gage and all his Train.—I saw a Gun. The young Man said that Gun marched 8 Miles towards Boston on the late Alarm. Almost the whole Parish marched off, and the People seemed really disappointed, when the News was contradicted.2
1. Not a quotation from Horace's Book III, Ode ii, but a comment on it. In effect: “[Horace says] that boys from an early age should be accustomed to military activity and a strenuous life.”
2. See entry of 6 Sept. and note, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0008-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-11-07

1774. Monday. Novr. 7.

Dined at Rice's of Brookfield. Major Foster came to see us, and gave us an Account of the Proceedings of the Prov[incial] Congress.
Lodged at Hunts in Spencer.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0008-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-11-08

1774. Tuesday. Novr. 8.

Breakfasted at Coll. Henshaws of Leicester. Dined at Woodburns of Worcester. Furnival made the two young Ladies come in and sing Us the New Liberty Song.
Lodged at Coll. Buckminsters of Framingham.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0008-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-11-09

1774. Wednesday. Novr. 9.

Breakfasted at Reeve's of Sudbury.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-04-30

[1775. April 30th. Sunday.]1

Heard Mr. Strong all Day. At Night, a Man came in and inform'd us of the Death of Josa. Quincy.—Proh Dolor!2
1. First diary entry in a stitched booklet with marbled paper covers labeled by JA: “Account. 1775.” Not numbered by CFA in the sequence of JA's MS Diaries, this booklet has been assigned the number D/JA/22B by the present editors. It contains only two diary entries (30 April, 3 Sept. 1775) among numerous account entries, mostly for travel expenses during the period May–Dec. 1775, with two detached pages of travel expenses for Jan.–Feb. 1777 laid in.
No diary entries survive for the period 10 Nov. 1774–29 April 1775. On 23 Nov. 1774 JA was “desired to favor” the Provincial Congress, then sitting in the Cambridge meetinghouse, “with his presence, as soon as may be” (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 49). Five days later he was elected as an additional delegate from Braintree to that body (Braintree Town Records, p. 453). Presumably he attended from that time until the Congress dissolved itself, 10 December. JA was not a member of the second Provincial Congress, which convened at Cambridge on 1 Feb., but on 6 March he was elected a selectman of Braintree and named on a committee to “prepare a covenant similar to the association of the Continental Congress,” to be adopted by the town “if they think proper” (same, p. 455); for the “covenant” as adopted, 15 March, see same, p. 457–461.
JA's principal activity during the early months of 1775 was the composition of his newspaper essays signed “Novanglus” in reply to the loyalist essays of “Massachusettensis,” who JA long believed was Jonathan Sewall but who was actually Daniel Leonard of Taunton. Leonard's first essay appeared in Mills and Hicks' Boston Post Boy (at the time called the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post Boy), 12 Dec. 1774. Sixteen more numbers followed, the last being published on 3 April 1775. Several collected editions were published later. JA's answers were printed in Edes and Gill's Boston Gazette, 23 Jan.—17 April, and were discontinued then only because the outbreak of hostilities caused the Gazette to suspend publication for a time. Only fragments of the “Novanglus” papers survive in MS and are published in JA, Papers, (vol. 2:216-387). The history of the collected editions, the last of which appeared in 1819, is complex. See JA's account in his Autobiography, his preface to Novanglus and Massachusettensis.... (Boston, 1819), and CFA's note preceding the “Novanglus” essays as reprinted in JA, Works, 4:4.
On 2 Dec. 1774 the Provincial Congress, sitting in Cambridge, had reelected JA and his three colleagues in the first Continental Congress (Samuel Adams, Thomas Cushing, and R. T. Paine) to the next Congress, and had added John Hancock to the delegation in the place of James Bowdoin, who had never attended (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 55; see also 86). JA probably set off from Braintree on 26 April; he traveled with one servant and arrived in Hartford on the 29th, where the present entry was written and where he joined the other Massachusetts delegates, who then traveled together the rest of the way. Paine's Diary (MHi) has the following entry under 10 May:
“Proceeded [from Bristol] to Philadelphia, met 5 Miles out of Town by a Great No. of Gentlemen and military Companys, one of Rifle Men escorted by Music to City Tavern, dind at Mrs. Yards where we put up. PM met in Congress at the State House, Chief of the Members arrived. Chose a President Mr. Randolph, and Secr[etar]y.”
The Salem tory Samuel Curwen, who was about to sail from Philadelphia for England, left a much fuller account of the arrival of the Massachusetts delegates in the city (Curwen, Journal and Letters, 4th edn., 1864, p. 29).
It is extremely unfortunate that JA appears to have kept neither a personal diary nor any minutes of the debates of this session of Congress, which lasted until 1 Aug. 1775. One must suppose that extreme pressure of business was the primary cause of this neglect. In his correspondence JA repeatedly re- { 162 } marked that he and the other delegates had far more than they could possibly do. “We have been all so assiduous . .. in this exhausting debilitating Climate,” he told his wife just before adjournment, “that Our Lives are more exposed than they would be in Camp” (30 July, Adams Papers). His own health was poor and his spirits depressed throughout most of the session. His letters complain of “Smarting Eyes” and other ailments for which he could find no real relief, and still more often of “The Fidgets, the Whims, the Caprice, the Vanity, the Superstition, the irritability of some of us” (to AA, 24 July, Adams Papers). Yet during these few summer weeks Congress established an army, appointed and instructed a commander in chief and a corps of general officers, began the long struggle to organize an adequate supply system, issued the first Continental money, established a postal system, and at least proposed a plan of confederation among the colonies. All this and more business was actually transacted besides issuing various declarations of principle appealing to American, British, and world opinion, including one document that nearly rent Congress asunder, the second or “Olive Branch” Petition to the King, signed by all the members on 8 July (see JCC, 2:158–162), but by some with reluctance and by a few with disgust. JA was one of these few. In his Autobiography he characterized this project of John Dickinson's as a “Measure of Imbecility [that] embarrassed every Exertion of Congress,” and it is clear that this was his view of it from the outset. His feelings about Dickinson as a man and his conciliatory program overflowed in a letter addressed to James Warren on 24 July that fell into British hands, was published, and raised a small tempest; see note on entry of 16 Sept., below.
It would be inappropriate here, even if feasible, to list JA's numerous committee assignments and reports during the May-July session of Congress. They must be traced in the Journal (JCC, vol. 2), which is supplemented by JA's contemporary correspondence and the retrospective narrative in his Autobiography (which is, however, to be used with caution because constructed largely from memory and colored by later political events). Special attention may be drawn to his role in the selection, 15 June, of Washington as commander in chief. See JCC, 2:91; note on entry of 28 Sept. 1774, above; Burnett's note and references in Letters of Members, 1:130–132 (which reprints JA's account); and Freeman, Washington, vol. 3: ch. 18.
2. Josiah Quincy died within sight of Gloucester, Mass., 26 April 1775, on his return from a mission to England, the purpose of which was to explain the position of the American patriots to the British government. See Josiah Quincy, Josiah Quincy, Jr., p. 287–288. In reporting this “melancholy Event” to JA, 4 May, AA said that Quincy “wrote in minuts which he left behind that he had matters of concequence intrusted with him, which for want of a confident must die with him” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Massachusetts General Court
DateRange: 1775-04 - 1775-08

[Account with Massachusetts as a Delegate to the Continental Congress, April–August 1775.]1

Mass. Bay Dr. to John Adams
  £   s   d  
To the Hire of two Horses at £10 each   20:   0:   0  
To the Hire of a Sulky £8:0s:0d2   8:   0:   0  
To the Wages of a servant from the 26 of April to the 14th. of August at £3 per Month 10:16:0   10:   16:   0  
To Cash paid Mrs. Yard in Philadelphia for Board and Lodging for myself and Servant &c. Pensylvania Currency £38:13s:6d3   30:   18:   10  
To Cash paid Hannah Hiltzheimer for keeping my Horses   4:   16:   3  
To Cash paid Dibley & Stringer for keeping my Horses Pen. Currency £8:13s:8 1/2d   7:   0:   0  
To Cash paid Messrs. Marshalls for Sundry Medicines   0:   8:   0  
  79:   19:   14  
{ [facing 162] } { [facing 163] } { 163 }
Cr.
By Cash recd.   100:   0:   0  
carried with me, when I went   50:   0:   0  
borrowed out of Money for the Sufferers, at one Time5   31:   0:   0  
at another   12:   0:   0  
To Cash paid Daniel Smith for Sundries as pr Rect.   2:   8:   06  
To Cash paid J Young for Sundries   3:   0:   07  
To Cash paid at Horse Neck for a Saddle8   3:   0:   0  
To cash paid for a light Suit of Cloaths   4:   0:   0  
To Cash paid for my Expences, keeping two Horses and a servants Expences, upon the Road from Braintree to Philadelphia, and from thence to Braintree together with Sundry miscellaneous Expences, while there   26:   12:   11  
To 2 Days Spent, in riding after Mr. Cushing before I went away, to get the Money granted me for my Expences Self and Horse   0:   18:   09  
To the Hire of an Horse and Man to go to Providence, after my Money which Mr. Cushing said was carried there10        
To the Hire of the second Horse and Man to the same Place for the same Purpose, not having obtaind it the first Time.        
To Cash paid Mr. Joseph Bass for a Surtout and Pair of Leather Breeches before I went—the Breeches were not brought out of Boston, the 19th of April and there they now are in Mr. Whitwells shop as he told me at Hartford   [3:]   [16:]   [0]11  
To Cash pd. the owner of a sulky for the Damage { 164 } done to it, by the Horse taking fright and running vs. a Rock and dashing the Top in Pieces   [12:]   [0:]   [0]12  
1. From D/JA/22B, as are the other accounts which follow in 1775 unless otherwise indicated. This is JA's running record of expenses; he later prepared a fair copy and submitted it to the General Court, together with a file of receipted bills as vouchers, in order to obtain reimbursement. The fair copy, which is in M-Ar: vol. 210, varies in some respects from the rough record; see the notes below. The supporting vouchers are also in M-Ar: vol. 210, but in disorder. Since they throw some light on modes of travel and living on the eve of the Revolution, and since we have no diary entries for this period, the more interesting among them are printed below as separate entries, usually under the dates they were receipted.
2. Fair copy in M-Ar adds: “from April to December.” The sulky belonged to AA's father, Rev. William Smith, and met with an unhappy fate. See last entry in the present document, and JA to AA, 8 May 1775 (Adams Papers; JA-AA, Familiar Letters, p. 54–55).
3. The ratio of Philadelphia currency to New England “lawful money” was as 5 is to 4. This must be kept in mind when comparing the receipted bills below with the corresponding account entries.
4. Error for £81 19s. id.
5. JA had been a member of the committee to receive donations for the sufferers under the Boston Port Act since the summer of 1774; see note on entry of 10 Aug. 1774, above. Returning from Philadelphia in Aug. 1775, he brought with him donations from Berks and Bucks cos., Penna., in the amount of £208 15s. lid.; see his receipt from Moses Gill, 12 Sept. 1775 (Adams Papers).
6. Fair copy has, instead, £3 0s. od. Smith's receipted bill, printed below under 10 July, is in the amount of £2 17s. 2d., Philadelphia currency, so that neither figure given by JA is exactly right.
7. This item is omitted in the fair copy, though JA submitted a supporting voucher for it, printed below under 31 July.
8. Fair copy adds: “after my Sulky was overset and destroyed.”
9. This entry does not appear in the fair copy. The entries that follow are separated from those that precede by a blank page in the MS, and no sums are attached to them.
10. This and the following entry obviously repeat the preceding entry in more specific language; neither of them is in the fair copy.
11. The figure is supplied from the fair copy.
12. The figure is supplied from the fair copy, which also has a total, £134 8s. od., followed by the signed statement: “A true Account, Errors excepted John Adams.” This is correct for JA's account as he submitted it for payment. For the settlement, see JA's Account for Aug.– Dec. 1775, below, and note 4 there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0002-0002

Author: Smith, Daniel
Recipient: Adams, John
DateRange: 1775-05-13 - 1775-07-10

[Daniel Smith's Bill for Entertainment.]1

Jno. Adams Esqr.
To Daniel Smith  
Dr.  
1775       £    s   d  
May   13th.   To Bottle Brandy     2   6  
  26.   To Bottle do.     2   6  
July   10.   To Quart Spirits     2   6  
      £0   7   6  
    To 5 dinner Clubs with the Delegates   2   9   8  
      2   17   2  
[signed] Recd. the Contents Danl. Smith
{ 165 }
1. M-Ar: vol. 210. Endorsed by JA: “Mr. Smiths Acct.” See JA's Account with Massachusetts, April–Aug. 1775 above, and note 6 there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0002-0003

Author: Young, J. Jr.
Recipient: Adams, John
DateRange: 1775-06-14 - 1775-07-31

[J. Young Jr.'s Bill for Riding Equipment.]1

John Adams Esqr. B[ough]t of J. Young Junr.  
1775            
June   14.   To a new Pad and Double raind Curb Bridle   £    14   6  
  15.   Mendg. an old Bridle     1    
July   3.   To a Cover for sword Scabboard     3    
  14.   To a small pad for housings     2    
  31.   To a Portmanteau & Strap's   1   7    
    To a Pair Pistol Bags   1      
    To a Male pylion     6    
      £3:   13:   6  
[signed] Recd. the Contents in full J. Young jr.
1. M-Ar: vol. 210.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0002-0004

Author: Yard, Sarah
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-08-01

[Sarah Yard's Bill for Board.]1

Mr. John Adams  Dr.  To Mrs. Yard.  
1775          
Augt. 1st.   To your Board & Lodging from the 10th May to this day 11 1/2 Wks.à 30s. per Wk.   £17:   5    
  To your Servants Board for 7 Wks. 4 days à 15s.   5:   12:   6  
  To your Proportion to the Parlour and Candles 11 1/2 Wks. à 4s.   2:   6    
  To your proportion of the Liquor   13:   10    
    £38:   13:   6  
[signed] Receiv'd the Above in full—Sarah Yard
  38   13   6    
  7   14   8   1/2  
  £30.   18.   9   1/2  
L.M.   £30:   18s:   10d  
39:   2    
38:   13:   6  
  8:   6  
1. M-Ar: vol. 210. The arithmetic at the foot of the paper is in JA's hand.
According to its Journal, Congress adjourned on 1 Aug. to meet again on 5 { 166 } Sept. (JCC, 2:239). But it should be noted that R. T. Paine's Diary (MHi) has under 1 Aug. only the notation “Very hott,” but on the following day: “D[itt]o. Congress adj[ourne]d. ... 1/2 past 12 Clock Sat out, Stopt at Red Lyon. ... thence to Trenton. Lodged.” Clearly Congress met at least briefly on the 2d; see also Francis Lewis to Philip Schuyler, 2 Aug. (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:187). From Paine's use of the second person plural in entries recording his return to Massachusetts, it seems likely that the other delegates accompanied him, but there is nothing to confirm that JA did so, and he certainly reached Braintree well before Paine reached Taunton on the 10th, because on that day JA attended a meeting of the Massachusetts Council, to which he had been elected by the new House on 21 July (Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 1st sess., 6:60). See also the following entry and note.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0002-0005

Author: Dibley, William
Recipient: Adams, John
DateRange: 1775-06-28 - 1775-08-03

[Dibley & Stringer's Bill for Care of John Adams' Horses.]1

John Adams Esqre. Dr. to Wm. Dibley & Stringer
1775       £   s   d    
June   28   To hay for two Horses 3/ Oats 2/     5:      
  29   To Ditto to July 2d. 3 days hay 9/ Oats 9/     18:      
July   2   To hay 3/ Oats 1/4     4:   4    
  3   To ditto 3/ Oats 1/4     4:   4    
  4   To Shoeing     4:   6    
  4   To hay 5 days to July 9th. at 3/ a day     15:      
    To Oats 5 days to July 9th. at 1/4     6:   8    
  5   To Triming Horse     5:      
  9   To hay 1/6 to Oats 1/6     3:      
  10   To hay 10 days to 20 July at 3/   1:   10:      
    To Oats 10 days to 20 July at 1/4     13:   4    
  20   To hay 4 days to 24 July at 3/     12:      
    To Oats 4 days to 24 July at 2/     8:      
  24   To Oats 8       8    
  30   hay 3/ Oats 3/     6:      
  31   To hay 3/ Oats 3/ Aug. 1 to hay 3/ Oats 3/     12:      
Aug.   2   To hay 3/ Oats 3/     6:      
Aug.   32   To Oats     1:      
    To Mr. Wrights Bill for Pasture.     10:   4   1/2  
      £8:   5:   2   1/2  
    Shoeing     8:   6    
      8:   13:   8   1/2  
[signed] Wm. Dibley
1. M-Ar: vol. 210. Endorsed by JA: “Dibley & Stringers Acct.”
2. If this date is correct, JA did not leave Philadelphia until 3 Aug., which would make his return to Braintree, where he evidently arrived on the 9th, a fast trip indeed. See note on Mrs. Yard's Bill, preceding.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0002-0006

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bass, Joseph
DateRange: 1775-04-26 - 1775-08-14

[Account with Joseph Bass.]

    £   s   d  
May 31. 1775   pd. Jos. Bass a Dollar   0:   6:   0  
  pd. him before 2 Dollars   0:   12:   0  
  pd. him before at Braintree a Guinea   1:   8:   0  
Jos. Bass Dr. to John Adams
Aug. 14. 1775.        
To ballance of your Acct. left at Philadelphia, as you recollect it if wrong to be rectified   2:   8:   0  
To a Guinea paid you before we went away from Braintree   1:   8:   0  
To Cash left with Mrs. Yard to pay Dr. Shippen for innoculating you   2:   0:   0  
To Cash paid you this Day   5:   0:   0  
  10:   16:   0  
By your Service from 26th. of April to the fourteenth of Aug. 1775.   10:   16:   0  
Braintree Aug. 14. 1775.1 Received of John Adams Five Pounds lawfull Money, which together with five Pounds sixteen shillings of lawfull Money received before, is in full for my Service from the 26th. of April to this day.
[signed] Joseph Bass jr.
1. The itemized accounts with Bass above are in D/JA/22B. The receipt, in JA's hand and signed by Bass, is in M-Ar: vol. 210.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0002-0007

Author: Cooke, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-08-24

[Samuel Cooke's Bills for Board.1]

The Honble. John Adams Esqr. to Saml. Cook   Dr.  
1775        
Augst. 24th.   To Boarding your Lady & Self 3 days   £0:   12:  
  To 3 days Keeping yr. Horse     3:  
    £0:   15:  
[signed] Received the Contents in full for my Brother Saml. Cooke
The Honble. John Adams to Samll. Cooke junr.   Dr.  
To boardg: 6 days @ 2/   £0:   12.   0  
To breakfasting & dining 4 persons @ 9/     3.    
To keeping your horse 4 nights @ 1/     4.    
  £0.   19    
[signed] Received the above in full Saml. Cooke junr.
{ 168 }
1. M-Ar: vol. 210, where it is followed by the second (undated) bill from Cooke, printed here without a separate caption. Cooke's was presumably in Watertown, where JA was attending the Massachusetts Council. AA was with him there from the 22d through the 24th (AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 27 Aug., MHi). In a list of Council members and their expenses authorized for payment on 11 Sept. JA is stated to have attended Council nine days during the first session of the new General Court (M-Ar: vol. 164).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0002-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-08-28

1775. Aug. 28.1

Took with me £70:0:0 consisting in £62:10 Pen. Currency in Paper Bills and £20 L.M of Mass, in silver and Gold.
1. This was the day JA set off from Braintree, but he went only as far as Watertown, where he stayed until at least the 30th, attending Council, before starting for Philadelphia. See Mass. Council Records, 17:61, 68, 69 (M-Ar). With Samuel Adams he left Watertown probably on 1 Sept., since they spent Sunday the 3d in Woodstock, Conn.; see entry of that date, below. In a letter to James Warren, 17 Sept., JA described at length and in his own inimitable manner his cousin Sam's ungainly horsemanship (MHi; printed in Warren-Adams Letters, 1:110–111).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0002-0009

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Massachusetts General Court
DateRange: 1775-08-28 - 1775-12-21

[Account with Massachusetts as a Delegate to the Continental Congress, August-December 1775.]1

1775 Aug. 28th.   £   s   d  
pd. at Davis's at Roxbury for Oats   0:   0:   8  
pd. at Watertown for Horses Servant &c   1:   14:   2  
pd. at Baldwins for Oats   0:   0:   8  
pd. at Buckminsters at Framingham   0:   5:   0  
pd. at Bowmans at Oxford   0:   2:   4  
pd. at Shermans in Grafton at Breakfast   0:   1:   8  
Septr. 4. pd. at Hides in Woodstock for board and Lodgings for Selves and Servants and Horse keeping from Saturday to Monday.   1:   13:   0  
pd. at Clarks at Pomfret   0:   2:   0  
pd. at Carys of Windham   0:   7:   4  
pd. at Lebanon Grays   0:   9:   10  
pd. at Taynters in Colchester   0:   6:   0  
pd. at Smiths of Haddam   0:   4:   0  
pd. at Camps in Durham   0:   8:   6  
pd. at Beers's of N. Haven   0:   6:   0  
pd. at Bryants of Milford   0:   8:   10  
pd. at Stratford Ferry   0:   2:   0  
pd. at Stratfield for Oats   0:   0:   6  
pd. at Penfields of Fairfield   0:   14:   7  
pd. at Betts's of Norwalk   0:   6:   0  
{ 169 }
pd. at Fitch's of Stamford   0:   6:   11  
pd. at Knaps of Horse Neck   0:   16:   0  
pd. at Bulls of White Plains   0:   3:   8  
pd. at Jasper   the Ferryman, at Dobbs Ferry for Dinners and Ferryge   0:   4:   0  
pd. at Mrs. Watsons at Hackin Sack   0:   8:   10  
pd. at Piersons of Newark   0:   2:   10  
pd. at Elizabeth Town for Shewing Horse   0:   0:   10  
pd. at Grahams Elizabeth Town   0:   18:   4  
pd. for Man and Horse to Newark after our Men and to the Horsier   0:   5:   8  
pd. at Woodbridge Dawsons   0:   1:   6  
pd. at Brunswick, Farmers, and at the Ferry   0:   8:   0  
pd. at Jones's at Ten mile run   0:   0:   10  
pd. at Princetown   0:   8:   6  
pd. at Trenton   0:   3:   0  
pd. at Priestly's in Bristol   0:   12:   0  
pd. at Wilsons'   0:   2:   8  
pd. at Shammony [Neshaminy] Ferry   0:   0:   6  
Cr.
Recd. of Mr. S. Adams, for his Share of our Expences on the Road from Woodstock to Philadelphia2   5:   6:   4  
1775   Sept. 14.   pd. for Paper Wax &c   0:   2:   0  
  Octr.   pd. for Tavern Expences on Committees   0:   6:   0  
1775   Octr. 16.   pd. for Papers, Pamphlets Wax, mending a Pistoll, a Bridle &c   0:   12:   0  
    pd. for Tobacco, Plans of Boston Harbour, &c &c   0:   14:   0  
1775   Nov. 1.   pd. Mr. John Wright his Account for pasturing my Horses, 9 dollars   2:   14:   0  
  Nov. 13.   Cash paid for Sundry Medicines   0:   12:   0  
  Novr. 15.   pd. Mr. McLane for a Leathern Breeches and Waistcoat   2:   16:   0  
  Novr. 27.   pd. Mrs. Lucy Leonard for Mrs. Yard £20 P. Curren[cy]   16:   0:   0  
Decr. 8 1775.   pd. Mr. Aitkens Acct.   0:   16:   0  
    pd. Washerwoman   1:   4:   0  
{ 170 }
    pd. John Stille's Acct.   3:   0:   0  
    pd. Mr. Marshalls Acct   0:   4:   0  
    pd. James Starrs Acct   0:   8:   10  
    pd. Mr. Smiths Acct   0:   10:   4  
    pd. Bass   2:   8:   0  
    pd. Lucy Leonards Acct   0:   16:   0  
    Mr. Wm. Barrells Acct.   2:   3:   0  
    Hiltsheimers Acct.   0:   8:   0  
    Joseph Fox's Acct.   0:   10:   0  
    Wm. Shepards Acct.   10:   14:   0  
    one Pr. of Gloves   0:   6:   0  
    Mrs. Yards Acct.   23:   18:   63  
Decr. 9. 1775. borrowed of the Hon. Saml. Adams Esqr. for which I gave him my Note of Hand   25:   0:   0  
1779 [i.e. 1775].   Decr. 9. pd. at Andersons the red Lyon   0:   3:   4  
    pd. at Bassinetts at Bristow   0:   8:   2  
Decr.   10.   pd. at Shammony Ferry and at Trenton Ferry   0:   1:   6  
    pd. at Williams's   0:   3:   0  
    pd. at Hiers Princetown   0:   11:   8  
    pd. at Farmers   0:   4:   0  
    pd. at Ferry   0:   1:   6  
Decr.   12.   pd. at Dawsons at Woodbridge   0:   7:   6  
    pd. at Grahams Elizabeth Town   0:   3:   0  
    pd. at Piersons Newark   0:   3:   0  
    pd. at Hackinsack, Phillipsborough and White Plains including the Ferriage of North River   1:   04:   0  
Decr.   13.   pd. at Knaps at Horse Neck   0:   6:   0  
  14.   pd. at Betts's Norwalk   0:   8:   0  
    pd. for shewing Horses at White Plains and this Place   0:   4:   0  
    pd. at Fairfield for Horse shewing Dinner &c   0:   7:   0  
Decr.   16.   pd. at Bryants Milford   0:   8:   6  
    pd. at Bears's N. Haven   0:   5:   0  
    pd. at Robinsons Wallingford and at another Tav. for Oats   0:   6:   0  
{ 171 }
    pd. at Colliers in Hartford for Entertainment and Horse shoeing   0:   11:   0  
    pd. Mr. Nicholas Brown for a Girt and for transporting my wrecked Sulky from Horse Neck to Hartford 90 miles   1:   5:   6  
    pd. for Oats and Hay at Woodbridges East Hartford   0:   1:   0  
    pd. at Fellows, Bolton for Dinners Oats and Hay &c   0:   2:   6  
    pd. at Windham for Horse shewing and Entertainment   0:   7:   0  
    pd. at 2 Taverns for Oats   0:   1:   4  
    pd. at Providence for Entertainment   0:   12:   4  
    pd. at Moreys Norton   0:   2:   8  
Decr. 21st. pd. at Coll. Howards Bridgewater   0:   6:   0  
pd. Bass's Accounts' first   1:   7:   0  
     2d.   1:   11:   6  
     3d.   11:   5:   0  
Hire of one Horse from Aug. to 21. Deer.        
Hire of another for the Same Time4        
1. This is JA's running record of his expenses for his service in the third session of the Continental Congress. A fair copy, containing rather negligible differences in phrasing, was prepared and submitted by JA to the legislature in order to obtain reimbursement; this is in M-Ar: vol. 210 and is supported by receipted bills for many of the charges listed. The more interesting of these bills (filed in the same volume) are printed below under the dates they were receipted.
2. They arrived in Philadelphia on 12 Sept.; Congress, which had been adjourning from day to day for want of a quorum, met for business on 13 Sept. (Ward, Diary, in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:192–193).
3. As shown in Mrs. Yard's receipted bill (printed below under 9 Dec), this amount is in Pennsylvania currency, which JA should have converted to New England lawful money when entering it here. The fair copy of JA's expense account in M-Ar has the correct amount £19 2s. 9d. inserted by another hand at this point. See the following note.
4. The fair copy enters the cost of these last two items as £20 and reckons the total amount expended as £127 7s. 10d. It then subjoins two “credit” items —the £5 6s. 4d. borrowed of Samuel Adams, and “By Cash reed, of the Treasurer,” £130—making a total credit of £135 6s. 4d., so that JA found the “Ballance due to the Colony” to be £7 18s. 6d. (The Treasurer's warrant is recorded in the Minutes of the Council, 22 Aug., in M-Ar: vol. 86.) This “Ballance” was deducted when JA's still outstanding account for April-Aug. 1775 (q.v. above) was at length settled, 16– 18 Sept. 1776, together with a further deduction of £4 15s. 9d., owing to an “Error of Mrs. Yard's Balance Deer. 1775” (see note 3 above), so that he was finally reimbursed in the amount of £121 13s. 9d. (M-Ar: vol. 210, p. 290, 280–280 A; Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 3d sess., p. 175, 196, 281; same, 1776–1777, p. 104, 108).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-03

1775 September 3d.

At Woodstock. Heard Mr. Learned [Leonard] from Is. 32:16. The Work of Righteousness is Peace, and the Effect of Righteousness, Quietness and assurance forever.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-15

1775. Septr. 15. Fryday.1

Archibald Bullock and John Houstoun Esquires, and the Revd. Dr. Zubly, appear as Delegates from Georgia.2
Dr. Zubly is a Native of Switzerland, and a Clergyman of the Independent Perswasion, settled in a Parish in Georgia. He speaks, as it is reported, Several Languages, English, Dutch, French, Latin &c. —is reported to be a learned Man. He is a Man of a warm and zealous Spirit. It is said that he possesses considerable Property.
Houstoun is a young Gentleman, by Profession a Lawyer, educated under a Gentleman of Eminence in South Carolina. He seems to be sensible and spirited, but rather inexperienced.
Bullock is cloathed in American Manufacture.
Thomas Nelson Esquire, George Wythe Esqr., and Francis Light-foot Lee Esq. appeared as Delegates from Virginia.
Nelson is a fat Man, like the late Coll. Lee of Marblehead. He is a Speaker, and alert and lively, for his Weight.
Wythe is a Lawyer, it is said of the first Eminence.
Lee is a Brother of Dr. Arthur, the late Sheriff of London,3 and our old Friend Richard Henry, sensible, and patriotic, as the rest of the Family.
Deane says, that two Persons, of the Name of De Witt of Dutch Extraction, one in Norwich the other in Windham, have made Salt Petre with Success—and propose to make a great deal. That there is a Mine of Lead at Middletown, which will afford a great Quantity. That Works are preparing to smelt and refine it, which will go in a fortnight. There is a Mine at Northampton, which Mr. W. Bowdoin spent much Money in working, with much Effect, tho little Profit.
Langdon and Bartlett came in this Evening, from Portsmouth. 400 Men are building a Fort on Pierce's Island to defend the Town vs. Ships of War.
Upon recollecting the Debates of this Day in Congress, there appears to me a remarkable Want of Judgment in some of our Members. Chace is violent and boisterous, asking his Pardon. He is tedious upon frivolous Points. So is E. Rutledge. Much precious Time is indiscreetly expended. Points of little Consequence are started, and debated [with] { 173 } warmth. Rutledge is a very uncouth, and ungracefull Speaker. He shruggs his Shoulders, distorts his Body, nods and wriggles with his Head, and looks about with his Eyes, from side to side, and Speaks thro his Nose, as the Yankees Sing. His Brother John dodges his Head too, rather disagreably, and both of them Spout out their Language in a rough and rapid Torrent, but without much Force or Effect.
Dyer is long winded and roundabout—obscure and cloudy. Very talkative and very tedious, yet an honest, worthy Man, means and judges well.
Sherman's Air is the Reverse of Grace. There cannot be a more striking Contrast to beautifull Action, than the Motions of his Hands. Generally, he stands upright with his Hands before him. The fingers of his left Hand clenched into a Fist, and the Wrist of it, grasped with his right. But he has a clear Head and sound Judgment. But when he moves a Hand, in any thing like Action, Hogarths Genuis could not have invented a Motion more opposite to grace. It is Stiffness, and Aukwardness itself. Rigid as Starched Linen or Buckram. Aukward as a junior Batchelor, or a Sophomore.
Mr. Dickinsons Air, Gate, and Action are not much more elegant.
1. First entry in booklet “24” as numbered by CFA (our D/JA/24), the first of a series of small memorandum books bound in red-brown leather covers, presumably purchased from Robert Aitken in Philadelphia (see his receipted bill, 8 Dec., below), in which JA kept his Diary and notes of debates for a year. D/JA/24 contains entries through 10 Dec. 1775.
2. The Georgia delegates had actually appeared in Congress on 13 Sept., and their credentials were read that day (JCC, 2:240–242). The present entry is therefore at least in part retrospective.
3. The “late [i.e. former] Sheriff” was still another brother, William Lee; see entry of 3 Sept. 1774, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-16

1775 Sept. 16. Saturday.

Walking to the Statehouse this Morning, I met Mr. Dickinson, on Foot in Chesnut Street. We met, and passed near enough to touch Elbows. He passed without moving his Hat, or Head or Hand. I bowed and pulled off my Hat. He passed hautily by. The Cause of his Offence, is the Letter no doubt which Gage has printed in Drapers Paper.1
I shall for the future pass him, in the same manner. But I was determined to make my Bow, that I might know his Temper.
We are not to be upon speaking Terms, nor bowing Terms, for the time to come.
This Evening had Conversation with Mr. Bullock of Georgia.—I asked him, whether Georgia had a Charter? What was the Extent of the Province? What was their Constitution? How Justice was ad- { 174 } ministered? Who was Chancellor, who Ordinary? and who Judges?
He says they have County Courts for the Tryal of civil Causes under £8.—and a C[hief] Justice, appointed from Home and 3 other Judges appointed by the Governor, for the decision of all other Causes civil and criminal, at Savanna. That the Governor alone is both Chancellor and Ordinary.
Parson Gordon of Roxbury, spent the Evening here.—I fear his indiscreet Prate will do harm in this City. He is an eternal Talker, and somewhat vain, and not accurate nor judicious. Very zealous in the Cause, and a well meaning Man, but incautious, and not sufficiently tender of the Character of our Province, upon which at this Time much depends. Fond of being thought a Man of Influence, at Head Quarters, and with our Council and House, and with the general Officers of the Army, and also with Gentlemen in this City, and other Colonies.—He is a good Man, but wants a Guide.2
1. That is, JA's letter to James Warren, Philadelphia, 24 July 1775, which brought more notoriety to its writer than anything else he had yet written. Entrusted (with others) to a well-meaning but meddlesome young Boston lawyer, Benjamin Hichborn, it was captured by a British naval vessel at a ferry crossing in Rhode Island. JA had written the letter in a mood of exasperation with John Dickinson's “pacific System” and alluded to Dickinson as “A certain great Fortune and piddling Genius [who] has given a silly Cast to our whole Doings”(Tr, enclosed in Gage to Lord Dartmouth, 20 Aug. 1775, Dartmouth MSS, deposited in William Salt Library, Stafford, England). This and other reckless expressions in the same letter and in another of the same date to AA, amounting, as some thought, to “an Avowal of Independency,” and likewise intercepted, amused and outraged the British by turns. Literally dozens of MS copies of the letters are recorded in the Adams Papers Editorial Files, but the originals, supposedly sent by Vice-Admiral Samuel Graves to the Admiralty Office in London, have never come to light. Nor did JA himself retain copies. In consequence there is no way of knowing whether or how far the texts were tampered with, as JA asserted, when they were printed in Margaret Draper's Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News Letter, 17 Aug. 1775. From this source they were widely reprinted. The most readily available published texts are in JA, Works, 1:178–180; also at 2:411, note, from early transcripts in the Adams Papers. The story of the interception, Hichborn's escape from a British vessel in Boston Harbor, his efforts to clear himself with JA and others, and the sensation produced by the published letters both in America and England, is too long to tell here and more properly belongs elsewhere. But see, besides JA's account in his Autobiography, Warren-Adams Letters, 1:88–89, 106, 118; Gage, Corr., 1:412–413; Stiles, Literary Diary, 1:650–652 (an acute analysis of the offending passages in JA's letters); Hichborn to JA, 28 Oct., 25 Nov.–10 Dec. 1775, 20 May 1776 (Adams Papers); Jeremy Belknap, “Journal of My Tour to the Camp,” MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 4 (1858–1860): 79–81. Allen French deals incidentally but helpfully with the Adams letters in his article “The First George Washington Scandal,”MHS, Procs., 65 (1932–1936) : 460–474, a study of Benjamin Harrison's letter to Washington, 21–24 July 1775, which was also captured on the person of Hichborn and which, when published, was embellished with a forged paragraph on “pretty little Kate the Washer-woman's Daughter.”
Despite the buzzing of tongues and waggling of ears that ensued, it was JA's considered opinion that the inter- { 175 } ception and publication of his letters “have had no such bad Effects, as the Tories intended, and as some of our shortsighted Whiggs apprehended: so far otherwise that I see and hear every day, fresh Proofs that every Body is coming fast into every political Sentiment contained in them” (to AA, 2 Oct. 1775, Adams Papers). To Hichborn, who was still offering abject apologies, JA wrote on 29 May 1776 that he (JA) was not “in the least degree afraid of censure on your Account,” and indeed thought his own aims had been more promoted than injured by Hichborn's gaucherie (LbC, Adams Papers).
2. William Gordon, a dissenting clergyman who had come from England and was settled as minister of the third Congregational society in Jamaica Plain (Roxbury). Appointed chaplain to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, he was an incurably political parson, corresponded widely with military and political leaders, and began at an early date to collect materials for a history of the Revolution. The four-volume work which resulted, entitled The History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment, of the Independence of the United States (London, 1788), though suffering from defects common to its kind, notably plagiarism, is more valuable than has sometimes been recognized, because Gordon knew many of the persons he wrote about and made the earliest use of the manuscript files of Washington, Gates, and others. See DAB; “Letters of the Reverend William Gordon” (including some from the Adams Papers), ed. Worthington C. Ford, MHS, Procs., 63 (1929–1930):303–613. JA's marginalia in his own copy of Gordon's History (in the Boston Public Library) have been printed by Zoltán Haraszti in the Boston Public Library Quarterly, 3:119–122 (April 1951).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0004

Author: Beninghove, Jacob
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-16

[Jacob Beninghove's Bill for Tobacco.]1

Mr. John Adams To Jacob Beninghove  
  s   d  
To 1 Carrot pigtail Tobacco   2   6  
To 6 lb. Cutt Do. @ 12d per [lb.]   6   0  
To Earthen pott   0   4  
  8   10  
1. M-Ar: vol. 210; accompanied by a duplicate; neither is receipted.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-17

1775 Septr. 17th. Sunday.

Mr. Smith, Mr. Imlay and Mr. Hanson, breakfasted with us. Smith is an Englishman, Imlay and Hanson N. Yorkers.
Heard Sprout [Sproat], on 3 Tit. 5. Not by Works of Righteousness, which We have done, but according to his Mercy he saved us, through the Washing of Regeneration and the Renewing of the holy Ghost.
There is a great deal of Simplicity and Innocence in this worthy Man, but very little Elegance or Ingenuity.—In Prayer, he hangs his Head in an Angle of 45° over his right Shoulder. In Sermon, which is delivered without Notes, he throws himself into a Variety of indecent Postures. Bends his Body, Points his Fingers, and throws about his Arms, without any Rule or Meaning at all. He is totally destitute { 176 } of the Genius and Eloquence of Duffil [Duffield], has no Imagination, No Passions, no Wit, no Taste and very little Learning, but a great deal of Goodness of Heart.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-18

1775 Septr. 18. Monday.

This Morning John McPherson Esq. came to my Lodging, and requested to speak with me in Private. He is the Owner of a very handsome Country Seat, about five Miles out of this City: is the Father of Mr. McPherson, an Aid de Camp to General Schuyler. He has been a Captain of a Privateer, and made a Fortune in that Way the last War. Is reputed to be well skilled in naval Affairs.—He proposes great Things. Is sanguine, confident, positive, that he can take or burn every Man of War, in America.—It is a Secret he says. But he will communicate it to any one Member of Congress upon Condition, that it be not divulged during his Life at all, nor after his Death but for the Service of this Country. He says it is as certain as that he shall die, that he can burn any Ship.1
In the afternoon Mr. S.A. and I made visit at Mrs. Bedfords to the Maryland Gentlemen. We found Paca and Chase and a polite Reception from them. Chase is ever social and talkative. He seems in better Humour, than he was before the Adjournment. His Colony have acted with Spirit in Support of the Cause. They have formed themselves into a System and enjoyned an Association, if that is not an Absurdity.
1. On Capt. McPherson and his scheme, see JCC, 3:296, 300, 301; Samuel Ward, Diary, 20 Oct. 1775, in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:238, with references there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-19

1775 Septr. 19. Tuesday.

This Morning Mr. Henry Hill with his Brother Nat. Barrett came to visit us. Paine introduced him to Mrs. Yard as one of the Poor of Boston. He is here with his Wife, on a Visit to her Brother. P. cries You H. Hill, what did you come here for? Who did you bring with you? ha! ha! ha!

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-20

1775. Septr. 20. Wednesday.

Took a Walk in Company with Govr. Ward, Mr. Gadsden and his Son, and Mr. S. Adams, to a little Box in the Country, belonging to old Mr. Marshall, the father of three Sons who live in the City.1 A fine facetious old Gentleman, an excellent Whigg. There We drank { 177 } Coffee. A fine Garden. A little Box of one Room. Very chearfull and good humoured.
1. This was Christopher Marshall (1709–1797), the well-known Philadelphia diarist and patriot. See Extracts from the Diary of Christopher Marshall, ... 1774–1781, ed. William Duane, Albany, 1877, p. 43.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-21

1775. Septr. 21. Thursday.

The famous Partisan Major Rogers came to our Lodgings to make Us a Visit.1 He has been in Prison—discharged by some insolvent or bankrupt Act. He thinks We shall have hot Work, next Spring. He told me an old half Pay Officer, such as himself, would sell well next Spring. And when he went away, he said to S.A. and me, if you want me, next Spring for any Service, you know where I am, send for me. I am to be sold.—He says the Scotch Men at home, say d——n that Adams and Cushing. We must have their Heads, &c. Bernard used to d——n that Adams—every dip of his Pen stung like an horned Snake, &c. Paxton made his Will in favour of Ld. Townsend, and by that Maneuvre got himself made a Commissioner. There was a great deal of Beauty in that Stroke of Policy. We must laugh at such sublime Strokes of Politicks, &c. &c. &c.
In the Evening Mr. Jona. Dickinson Sergeant of Prince Town, made a Visit to the Sec.2 and me. He says he is no Idolater of his Name Sake. That he was disappointed when he first saw him. Fame had given him an exalted Idea: but he came to N. Jersey upon a particular Cause, and made such a flimsy, effeminate, Piece of Work of it, that he sunk at once in his Opinion.
Serjeant is sorry to find a falling off in this City—not a third of the Battalion Men muster, who mustered at first.
D. he says sinks here in the public opinion. That many Gentlemen chime in with a spirited Publication in the Paper of Wednesday, which blames the conduct of several Gentlemen of Fortune, D., Cad., R., and J. Allen &c.3
1. On the advent and intentions of Rogers in Philadelphia, see references in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:201, note, and the notice of Rogers in DAB.
2. Samuel Adams had been elected secretary of state by the new Massachusetts government in August (Wells, Samuel Adams, 2:321).
3. Probably John Dickinson, []Cadwalader, Samuel Rhoads, and James Allen. The “Publication in the Paper of Wednesday” appeared in the Pennsylvania Journal, 20 Sept., and was a long unsigned account and defense of a demonstration, 6 Sept., by a group of “Associators” who wished to punish a tory lawyer, Isaac Hunt, and a violently tory physician, the younger John Kearsley. Certain “men of fortune” interfered with these proceedings, and, according to Christopher Marshall, Mayor Samuel Rhoads ordered out troops to disperse the crowd (Extracts from the Diary of Christopher Marshall, ... 1774–1781, ed. William Duane, Albany, 1877, p. 41–42).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-22

1775. Fryday. Septr. 22.

Mr. Gordon spent the Evening here.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-23

1775. Saturday. Septr. 23.

Mr. Gordon came and told us News, opened his Budget.—Ethan Allen with 500 green mountain Boys, were entrenched half Way between St. Johns and Montreal, and had cutt off all Communication with Carlton, and was kindly treated by the French. A Council of War had been held, and it was their opinion that it was practicable to take Boston and Charlestown: but as it would cost many Lives, and expose the Inhabitants of Boston to destruction it was thought best to postpone it for the present.
Major Rogers came here too this Morning. Said he had a Hand and an Heart: tho he did not choose by offering himself to expose himself to Destruction.
I walked, a long Time this Morning, backward and forward, in the Statehouse Yard with Paca, McKean and Johnson. McKean has no Idea of any Right or Authority in Parliament. Paca contends for an Authority and Right to regulate Trade, &c.
Dyer and Serjeant of Princetown, spent the Evening here. S. says that the Irish Interest in this City has been the Support of Liberty. Maes [Mease] &c. are leaders in it. The Irish and the Presbyterian Interest coalesce.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-23

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] 1775. Saturday. Sept. 22d. [i.e. 23d].1

S[amuel] A[dams] moved, upon Mifflins Letter, that a Sum be advanced from the Treasury for Mifflin and Barrell.2
Mr. E. Rutledge wished the Money might be advanced upon the Credit of the Qr. Mr. General. Wished that an Enquiry might be made whether Goods had been advanced. If so, it was against the association.
Lynch wish'd the Letter read.—S. Adams read it.
Jay. Seconded the Motion of E. Rutledge that a Committee be appointed to enquire if Goods are raised vs. the association.
Gadsden wished the Mo[tion] put off. We had other Matters of more importance.
Willing. Thought that Goods might be purchased upon four Months Credit. We should not intermix our Accounts.
Paine. We have not agreed to cloath the Soldiers, and the Qr. Mr. { 179 } Genl. has no Right to keep a Slop Shop any more than any Body else. It is a private Matter. Very indigested Applications are made here for Money.
Deane. The Army must be cloathed, or perish. No preaching vs. a Snow Storm. We ought to look out, that they be kept warm and that the Means of doing it be secured.
Lynch. We must see that the Army be provided with Cloathing. I intended to have moved this very day that a Committee be appointed to purchase woolen Goods in this City and N. York, for the use of the Army.
E. Rutledge. I have no objection to the Committee. I meant only that the poor Soldiers should be supplied with Goods and Cloathing as cheap as possible.
Lewis. Brown of Boston bought Goods at N. York and sent em up the North River, to be conveyed by Land to Cambridge.
Dyer. Wanted to know whether the Soldiers would be obliged to take these Goods. Goods cheaper in York than here.
Sherman. The Sutlers, last War, sold to the Soldiers who were not obliged to take any Thing. Many will be supplied by Families with their own Manufacture. The Qr. Mr. General did not apply to Congress, but to his own private Correspondents.
Deane. The Soldiers were imposed on by Sutlers last War. The Soldiers had no Pay to receive.
Lynch. A Soldier without Cloathing is not fit for Service, but he ought to be cloathed, as well as armed, and we ought to provide as well as it can be done, that he may be cloathed.
Nelson. Moved that 5000£ st. be advanced to the Qr. Mr. Genl. to be laid out in Cloathing for the Army.
Langdon. Hoped a Committee would be appointed.
Sherman liked Nelsons motion with an Addition that every Soldier should be at Liberty to supply himself in any other Way.
Reed. Understood that Mass. Committee of Supplies had a large Store that was very full.
Sherman. For a Committee to enquire what Goods would be wanted for the Army, and at what Prices they may be had and report.
Gadsden. Liked that best.
Johnson. Moved that the Sum might be limit[ed] to 5000£ st. We dont know what has been supplied by Mass., what from Rhode Island, what from N. York, and what from Connecticutt.
S. Adams. Liked Nelson's Motion.
Ward. Objected to it, and preferred the Motion for a Committee.
{ 180 }
Nelson. The Qr. Mr. is ordered by the General to supply the Soldiers, &c.
Paine. It is the Duty of this Congress to see that the Army be supplied with Cloathing at a reasonable Rate. I am for a Committee. Qr. Mr. has his Hands full.
Zubly. Would it not be best to publish Proposals in the Papers for any Man who was willing to supply the Army with Cloathing, to make his offers.
Harrison. The Money ought to be advanced, in all events. Content with a Committee.
R. R. Livingston.
Willing. Proposed that We should desire the Committee of this City, to enquire after these Goods and this will lead them to an Enquiry, that will be beneficial to America.
Chase. The City of Philadelphia has broke the association by raising the Price of Goods 50 per Cent. It would not be proper to purchase Goods here. The Breach of the association here is general, in the Price of Goods, as it is in N. York with Respect to Tea. If We lay out 5000£ here we shall give a Sanction to the Breaches of the association. The Breach is too general to be punished.
Willing. If the Association is broke in this City, dont let us put the Burden of Examining into it upon a few, but the whole Committee. N. York have broke it, entirely. 99 in 100 drink Tea. I am not for screening the People of Philadelphia.
Sherman. I am not an Importer, but have bought of N. York Merchants for 20 years, at a certain Advance on the sterling Cost.
R. R. Livingston. Thought We ought to buy the Goods where they were dearest, because if We bought em at N. York where they were cheapest, N. York would soon be obliged to purchase in Phil, where they are dearest and then the loss would fall upon N. York. Whereas in the other Way the Loss would be general.
Jay. We had best desire the Committee of this City to purchase the Quantity of Goods at the Price stated by the Association and see if they were to be had here at that Price.
This Debate terminated in a Manner that I did not foresee.—A Committee was appointed to purchase 5000£ st.s worth of Goods, to be sent to the Qr. Mr. and by him be sold to the Soldiers at first Cost and Charges. Qr. Mr. to be allowed 5 Pr. Cent for his Trouble.
Mr. Lynch, and Coll. Nelson and Coll. Harrison indulged their Complaisance and private Friendship for Mifflin and Washington so far as to carry this.
{ 181 }
It is almost impossible to move any Thing but you instantly see private Friendships and Enmities, and provincial Views and Prejudices, intermingle in the Consultation. These are degrees of Corruption. They are Deviations from the public Interest, and from Rectitude. By this Vote however, perhaps the poor Soldiers may be benefited, which was all I wished, the Interest of Mr. Mifflin being nothing to me.
1. First entry in booklet “23” as labeled by CFA (our D/JA/23), a small memorandum book bound in red-brown leather, containing exclusively notes on the proceedings of Congress, from the present date through 21 Oct. 1775. All accounts of debates through the latter date derive from this booklet, though in the present text they have been interspersed chronologically among JA's regular diary entries.
Saturday fell on 23 Sept. 1775, and there is other evidence to show that the debate recorded here occurred on the 23d. See JCC, 3:260, and Samuel Ward, Diary, 23 Sept., in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:205.
2. Thomas Mifflin had been appointed Continental quartermaster general on 14 Aug. (DAB). His letter under discussion has not been found in the Papers of the Continental Congress or in any other likely repository.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-24

1775. Septr. 24. Sunday.

Dyer is very sanguine that the 2 De Witts, one of Windham, the other of Norwich, will make Salt Petre in large Quantities. He produces a Sample, which is very good.
Harrison is confident that Virginia alone will do great Things from Tobacco Houses. But my faith is not strong, as yet.
Ld. North is at his old Work again. Sending over his Anodynes to America—deceiving one credulous American after another, into a Belief that he means Conciliation, when in Truth he means nothing but Revenge. He rocks the cradle, and sings Lullaby, and the innocent Children go to Sleep, while he prepares the Birch to whip the poor Babes. One Letter after another comes that the People are uneasy and the Ministry are sick of their Systems. But nothing can be more fallacious. Next Spring We shall be jockied by Negociation, or have hot Work in War. Besides I expect a Reinforcement to Gage and to Carlton, this fall or Winter.
Heard Mr. Smith of Pequay [Pequea], at about 40 Miles towards Lancaster, a Scotch Clergyman, of great Piety as Coll. Roberdeau says: The Text was Luke 14:18. And they all with one Consent began to make excuse.—This was at Duffills Meeting. In the afternoon, heard our Mr. Gordon, in Arch Street. The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon him.
Call'd upon Stephen Collins who has just returned.
{ 182 }
Stephen has a Thousand Things to say to Us, he says. A Thousand observations to make.
One Thing he told me, for my Wife, who will be peeping here, sometime or other, and come across it. He says when he call'd at my House, an English Gentleman was with him, a Man of Penetration, tho of few Words. And this silent, penetrating Gentleman was pleased with Mrs. Adams, and thought her, the most accomplished Lady he had seen since he came out of England.—Down Vanity, for you dont know who this Englishman is.
Dr. Rush came in. He is an elegant, ingenious Body. Sprightly, pretty fellow. He is a Republican. He has been much in London. Acquainted with Sawbridge, McCaulay, Burgh, and others of that Stamp. Dilly sends him Books and Pamphletts, and Sawbridge and McCaulay correspond with him.1 He complains of D[ickinson]. Says the Committee of Safety are not the Representatives of the People, and therefore not their Legislators; yet they have been making Laws, a whole Code for a Navy. This Committee was chosen by the House, but half of them are not Members and therefore not the Choice of the People. All this is just. He mentions many Particular Instances, in which Dickenson has blundered. He thinks him warped by the Quaker Interest and the Church Interest too. Thinks his Reputation past the Meridian, and that Avarice is growing upon him. Says that Henry and Mifflin both complained to him very much about him. But Rush I think, is too much of a Talker to be a deep Thinker. Elegant not great.
In the Evening Mr. Bullock and Mr. Houstoun, two Gentlemen from Georgia, came into our Room and smoked and chatted, the whole Evening. Houstoun and Adams disputed the whole Time in good Humour. They are both Dabbs at Disputation I think. H. a Lawyer by Trade is one of Course, and Adams is not a Whit less addicted to it than the Lawyers. The Q. was whether all America was not in a State of War, and whether We ought to confine ourselves to act upon the defensive only. He was for acting offensively next Spring or this fall if the Petition was rejected or neglected. If it was not answered, and favourably answered, he would be for acting vs. Britain and Britains as in open War vs. French and frenchmen. Fit Privateers and take their Ships, any where.
These Gentlemen give a melancholly Account of the State of Georgia and S. Carolina. They say that if 1000 regular Troops should land in Georgia and their commander be provided with Arms and Cloaths enough, and proclaim Freedom to all the Negroes who would join his Camp, 20,000 Negroes would join it from the two Provinces { 183 } in a fortnight. The Negroes have a wonderfull Art of communicating Intelligence among themselves. It will run severall hundreds of Miles in a Week or Fortnight.
They say, their only Security is this, that all the Kings Friends and Tools of Government have large Plantations and Property in Negroes. So that the Slaves of the Tories would be lost as well as those of the Whiggs.
I had nearly forgot a Conversation with Dr. Coombe concerning assassination, Henry 4., Sully, Buckingham &c. &c. Coombe has read Sullys Memoirs with great Attention.
1. See L. H. Butterfield, “The American Interests of the Firm of E. and C. Dilly, with Their Letters to Benjamin Rush, 1770–1795,” Bibliog. Soc. Amer., Papers, 45 (1951):283–332.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-25

1775. Septr. 25. Monday.

Rode out of Town and dined with Mr. Macpherson. He has the most elegant Seat in Pensilvania, a clever Scotch Wife and two pretty daughters. His Seat is on the Banks of Schuylkill.1
He has been Nine Times wounded in Battle. An old Sea Commander, made a Fortune by Privateering. An Arm twice shot off, shot thro the Leg. &c—He renews his Proposals of taking or burning Ships.
Spent the Evening with Lynch at the City Tavern. He thinks the Row Gallies and Vesseau de Frize inadequate to the Expence.2
1. In what is now Fairmount Park. See “Mount Pleasant and the Macphersons,” in Thomas A. Glenn, Some Colonial Mansions and Those Who Lived in Them, 2d ser., Phila., 1900, p. 445–483
2. These were defenses of Philadelphia on the Delaware River; see entry of 28 Sept. and note, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-24

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] 1775 Monday. Sept. 24[i.e. 25].

An Uneasiness, among some of the Members concerning a Contract with Willing & Morris, for Powder, by which the House, without any Risque at all will make a clear Profit of 12,000£ at least.
Dyer and Deane spoke in public, Lewis to me in private about it. All think it exorbitant.
S. Adams desired that the Resolve of Congress, upon which the Contract was founded might be read: he did not recollect it.1
De Hart. One of the Contractors, Willing, declared to this Congress that he looked upon the Contract to be that the first Cost should be insured to them, not the 14£ a Barrell for the Powder.
{ 184 }
R. R. Livingston. I never will vote to ratify the Contract in the sense that Morris understands it.
Willing. I am as a Member of the House, a Party to that Contract, but was not privy to the Bargain. I never saw the Contract, untill I saw it in Dr. Franklins Hand. I think it ensures only the first Cost. My Partner thinks it ensures the whole. He says that Mr. Rutledge said at the Time, that Congress should have nothing to do with Sea risque. The Committee of this City offered 19£. I would wish to have nothing to do with the Contract: but to leave it to my Partner, who is a Man of Reason and Generosity, to explain the Contract with the Gentlemen who made it with him.
J. Rutledge. Congress was to run no Risque only vs. Men of War and Customhouse officers. I was surprized this Morning to hear that Mr. Morris understood it otherwise. If he wont execute a Bond, such as We shall draw, I shall not be at a loss what to do.
Johnson. An hundred Ton of Powder was wanted.
Ross. In Case of its Arrival Congress was to pay £14. If Men of War, or Custom house officers, should get it, Congress was to pay first Cost only as I understood it.
Zubly. We are highly favoured. 14£ We are to give if We get the Powder: and 14£ if We dont get it. I understand Persons enough will contract to supply Powder at 15£ and run all risques.
Willing. Sorry any Gentleman should be severe. Mr. Morris's Character is such that he cannot deserve it.
Lynch. If Morris will execute the Bond, well, if not the Committee will report.
Deane. It is very well that this matter has been moved and that so much has been said upon it.
Dyer. There are not Ten Men in the Colony I come from, who are worth so much Money as will be made clear2 by this Contract.
Ross. What has this Matter to [do with] the present debate, whether Connecticutt Men are worth much or no. It proves there are no Men there whose Capital or Credit are equal to such Contracts. That is all.
Harrison. The Contract is made and the Money paid. How can We get it back?
Johnson. Let us consider the Prudence of this Contract. If it had not been made Morris would have got 19£, and not have set forward a second Adventure.
Gadsden. Understands the Contract as Morris does, and yet thinks it a prudent one, because Morris would have got 19£.
J. Adams. ——&c. &c. &c.
{ 185 }
Cushing. I move that We take into Consideration a Method of keeping up an Army in the Winter.
Gadsden. Seconds the Motion and desires that a Motion made in Writing some days ago, and postponed may be read as it was. As also Passages of G. Washingtons Letter.
S. Adams. The General has promised another Letter in which We shall have his Sentiments. We shall have it tomorrow perhaps.
Lynch. If We have, We shall only loose the Writing of a Letter.
J. Adams moved that the Generals Advice should be asked concerning Barracks &c. and that a Committee be appointed to draught a Letter. Lynch seconded the Motion.
A Committee was appointed. Lynch, J. Adams, and Coll. Lee the Men.3
Sherman moved that a Committee be appointed of one Member from each Colony, to receive, and examine all Accounts.
S. Adams seconded the Motion.
Harrison asked is this the Way of giving Thanks?
S. Adams. Was decent to the Committee for Rifle Mens Accounts, meant no Reflections upon them, was sorry that the worthy Gentleman from Virginia, conceived that any was intended. He was sure there was no foundation for it.
Paine. Thought that Justice and Honour required that We should carefully examine all Accounts, and see to the Expenditure of all public Monies.
That the Minister would find out our Weakness, and would foment divisions among our People.
He was sorry that Gentlemen could not hear Methods proposed, to settle and pay Accounts in a manner that would give Satisfaction to the People, without seeming to resent them.
Harrison. Now the Gentlemen have explained themselves he had no Objection, but when it was proposed to appoint a new Committee in the Place of the former one, it implied a Reflection.
Deane. ——.
Willing. These Accounts are for Tents, Arms, Cloathing, &c. as well as Expences of the Riflemen, &c.
Nelson moved that 20,000 dollars be voted into the Hands of the other Committee to settle the Accounts.
S. Adams. Seconded the Motion, but still hoped that some time or other, a Committee would be appointed of one Member from each Colony, to examine all Accounts because he thought it reasonable.4
{ 186 }
1. See JCC, 2:253–255.
2. “made clear” here means “cleared.”
3. See JCC, 3:261, which indicates that two letters from Washington were involved, apparently those dated 4 and 31 Aug. (Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:390–399, 461–463). The committee reported a draft answer on 26 Sept., which was agreed to and sent over Pres. Hancock's name the same day (JCC, 3:263; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:207–209).
4. According to the Journal, such a committee was in fact appointed this day (JCC, 3:262).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-26

1775 Septr. 26. Tuesday.

Wrote to Mrs. A. and Mr. and Mrs. W.1
1. The letter to AA is in the Adams Papers and is unpublished; those to James and Mercy Warren are in MHi and are printed in Warren-Adams Letters, 1:115–118.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-27

1775. Septr. 27. Wednesday.

Mr. Bullock and Mr. Houstoun, the Gentlemen from Georgia, invited S.A. and me to spend the Evening with them in their Chamber, which We did very agreably and socially. Mr. Langdon of N. Hampshire was with us.
Mr. Bullock after Dinner invited me to take a ride with him in his Phaeton which I did. He is a solid, clever Man. He was President of their Convention.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-27

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] 1775. Septr. 27.

Willing in favour of Mr. Purveyances Petition.1Harrison vs. it.
Willing thinks the Non Exportation sufficiently hard upon the Farmer, the Merchant and the Tradesman, but will not arraign the Propriety of the Measure.
Nelson. If We give these Indulgences, I know not where they will end. Sees not why the Merchant should be indulged more than the Farmer.
Harrison. It is the Merchant in England that is to suffer.
Lynch. They meant gain and they ought to bear the Loss.
Sherman. Another Reason. The Cargo is Provisions and will probably fall into the Hands of the Enemy.
R. R. Livingston. There is no Resolve of Congress vs. exporting to foreign Ports. We shall not give Licence to deceit, by clearing out for England.
Lynch. Moves that the Committee of this City, be desired to enquire whether Deans Vessell taken at Block Island and another at Cape Codd, were not sent on Purpose to supply the Enemy.
{ 187 }
Recd. The Committee of this City have enquired of the owners of one Vessell. The owners produc'd their Letter Books, and were ready to swear. The Conduct of the Captain is yet suspicious. Thinks the other Enquiry very proper.
Lee. Thinks Lynches Motion proper. Thinks the conduct detestible Parricide—to supply those who have Arms in their Hands to deprive us of the best Rights of human Nature. The honest Seamen ought to be examined, and they may give Evidence vs. the guilty.
Hancock. Deane belongs to Boston. He came from W. Ind[ies] and was seized here, and released. Loaded with flour and went out.
1. A memorial of Samuel and Robert Purviance, the well-known Baltimore merchants, is summarized under this date in JCC, 3:264. It was tabled.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0003-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-28

1775. Sept. 28. Thursday.

The Congress, and the Assembly of this Province were invited to make an Excursion upon Delaware River in the new Row Gallies built by the Committee of Safety of this Colony. About Ten in the Morning We all embarked. The Names of the Gallies are the Washington, the Effingham, the Franklin, the Dickenson, the Otter, the Bull Dog, and one more, whose Name I have forgot. We passed down the River by Glocester where the Vesseau de Frize are. These a[re] Frames of Timber to be fill'd with Stones and sunk, in three Rowes, in the Channell.1
I went in the Bull Dog Captn. Alexander Commander. Mr. Hillegas, Mr. Owen Biddle, and Mr. Rittenhouse, and Capt. Faulkner [Falconer] were with me. Hillegas is one of our Continental Treasurers, is a great Musician—talks perpetually of the Forte and Piano, of Handell &c. and Songs and Tunes. He plays upon the Fiddle.
Rittenhouse is a Mechannic, a Mathematician, a Philsosopher and an Astronomer.
Biddle is said to be a great Mathematician. Both are Members of the American Philosophical Society. I mentioned Mr. Cranch to them for a Member.
Our Intention was to have gone down to the Fort2 but the Winds and Tide being unfavourable We returned by the City and went up the River to Point no Point, a pretty Place.3 On our Return Dr. Rush, Dr. Zubly and Counciller Ross, Brother of George Ross, joined us.4
Ross is a Lawyer, of great Eloquence, and heretofore of extensive Practice. A great Tory, they say, but now begins to be converted. He said the Americans were making the noblest and firmest Resistance to Tyranny that ever was made by any People. The Acts were founded in { 188 } Wrong, Injustice and Oppression. The great Town of Boston had been remarkably punished without being heard.
Rittenhouse is a tall, slender Man, plain, soft, modest, no remarkable Depth, or thoughtfullness in his Face—yet cool, attentive, and clear.
1. JA had furnished a brief description of the “Row Gallies” or “gondolas” in a letter to Col. Josiah Quincy, 29 July (MHi; printed in JA, Works, 9:362). Immediately after the evacuation of Boston by the British, JA wrote to Cotton Tufts advising that vaisseaux de frise be used to defend Boston Harbor: “They are large Frames of great Timber, loaded with stone and sunk—great Timbers barbed with Iron, pointed and feathered, are placed in such a Posture as to intangle a Vessell, and shatter her, and sink her” (29 March 1776, NhHi). See drawings in PMHB, 65 (1941):354; also David B. Tyler, The Bay and River Delaware, Cambridge, Md., 1955, P. 32–33.
2. Later named Fort Mifflin and located on Mud (sometimes called Fort) Island, just below the mouth of the Schuylkill.
3. Near the mouth of Frankford Creek in the region called Richmond. JA described it in detail in a letter to AA, 25 May 1777 (Adams Papers; printed in JA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1:230–231).
4. Rush gave his recollections of this jaunt on the Delaware in a letter to JA, 13 April 1790 (Adams Papers; printed in Benjamin Rush, Letters, 1:545).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-04

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] Oct. 3 [i.e. 4].1

Johnson. I should be for the Resolutions about Imports and Exports, standing, till further order.
I should be vs. giving up the Carriage. The Grower, the Farmer gets the same, let who will be the Exporter. But the Community does not. The Shipwright, Ropemaker, Hempgrower, all Shipbuilders, the Profits of the Merchant are all lost, if Foreigners are our sole Carriers, as well as Seamen, &c. I am for the Report standing, the Association standing.
J. Rutledge. The Question is whether We shall shut our Ports entirely, or adhere to the Association. The Re[solutions] we come to, ought to be final.
Lee. N. Carolina is absent. They are expected every Hour. We had better suspend a final Determination. I fear our determination to stop Trade, will not be effectual.
Willing. N.C. promised to put themselves in the same situation with other Colonies.2N. York have done the same. Our Gold is lok'd up, at present. We ought to be decisive. Interest is near and dear to Men. The Committee of Secrecy3 find Difficulties. Merchants dare not trade.
Deane. Sumptuary Laws, or a Non Imp[ortation] were necessary, if We had not been oppressed. A N[on] Export[ation] was attended with Difficulty. My Colony could do as well as others. We should have acquiesced in an immediate Non Export. or a partial one. Many voted { 189 } for it as an Object in Terrorem. Merchants, Mechanicks, Farmers, all call for an Establishment.
Whether We are to Trade with all Nations except B[ritain], Ireland and West Indies, or with one or two particular Nations, We cannot get ammunition without allowing some Exports, for The Merchant has neither Money nor Bills, and our Bills will not pass abroad.
R. R. Livingston. We should go into a full Discussion of the Subject. Every Gentleman ought to express his Sentiments. The 1st Q. is how far we shall adhere to our Association—What advantages we gain, What Disadvantages we suffer, by it. An immediate Stoppage last year would have had a great Effect: But at that time the Country could not bear it. We are now out of Debt, nearly.
The high Price of Grain in B. will be an advantage to the Farmer. The Price of Labour is nearly equal in Europe. The Trade will be continued and G.B. will learn to look upon America as insignificant. If We export to B. and dont import, they must pay Us in Money. Of great Importance that We should import. We employ our Ships and Seamen. We have nothing to fear but Disunion among ourselves. What will disunite us, more than the Decay of all Business. The People will feel, and will say that Congress tax them and oppress them worse than Parliament.
Ammunition cannot be had unless We open our Ports. I am for doing away our Non Exportation Agreement entirely. I see many Advantages in leaving open the Ports, none in shutting them up. I should think the best way would be to open all our Ports. Let us declare all those Bonds illegal and void. What is to become of our Merchants, Farmers, Seamen, Tradesmen? What an Accession of Strength should We throw into the Hands of our Enemies, if We drive all our Seamen to them.
Lee. Is it proper that Non Export. Ag[reemen]t should continue. For the Interest4 of Americans to open our Ports to foreign Nations, that they should become our Carriers, and protect their own Vessells.
Johnson. Never had an Idea that We should shut our Export. Agreement closer than it is at present. If We leave it as it is, We shall get Powder by Way of N. York, the lower Counties and N. Carolina. In Winter our Merchants will venture out to foreign Nations. If Parliament should order our Ships to be seized, We may begin a Force in Part to protect our own Vessells, and invite Foreigners to come here and protect their own Trade.
J. Rutledge. We ought to postpone it, rather than not come to a decisive Resolution.
{ 190 }
Lee. We shall be prevented from exporting if B. Power can do it. We ought to stop our own Exports, and invite foreign Nations to come and export our Goods for Us.
I am for opening our Exportations to foreigners farther than We have.
Willing. The Gents, favorite Plan is to induce foreigners to come here. Shall We act like the Dog in the Manger, not suffer N.Y. and the lower Counties and N. Carolina to export because We cant. We may get Salt and Ammunition by those Ports. Cant be for inviting foreigners to become our Carriers. Carriage is an amazing Revenue. Holland and England have derived their maritime Power from their Carriage. The Circulation of our Paper will stop, and [lose?] its Credit without Trade. 7 Millions of Dollars have been struck by the Continent and by the separate Colonies.
Lee. The End of Administration will be answered by the Gentns. Plan. Jealousies and Dissensions will arise and Disunion and Division. We shall become a Rope of Sand.
Zubly. The Q. should be whether the Export should be kept or not.
Chace. I am for adhering to the Association and think that We ought not to determine these Questions this day. Differ from R. Livingston,5 our Exports are to be relaxed except as to Tobacco and Lumber. This will produce a Disunion of the Colonies. The Advantage of cultivating Tobacco is very great. The Planters would complain. Their Negro females would be useless without raising tobacco.
That Country must grow rich that Exports more than they import. There ought not to be a partial Export to Great Britain. We affect the Revenue and the Remittance, by stopping our Exports. We have given a deadly Blow to B. and Ireland, by our Non Export. Their People must murmur, must starve. The Nation must have become Bankrupt before this day if We had ceased Exports at first. I look upon B., I. and W.I. as our Enemies, and would not trade with them, while at War.
We cant support the War and our Taxes, without Trade. Emissions of Paper cannot continue. I dread an Emission for another Campaign. We cant stand it without Trade.
I cant agree that N.Y., the lower Counties and N. Carolina, should carry on Trade. Upon giving a Bond, and making Oath, they may export. I am vs. these Colonies trading according to the restraining Act. It will produce Division. A few Weeks will put us all on a footing. N. York &c. are now all in Rebellion as the Ministry call it, as much as Mass. Bay.
We must trade with foreign Nations, at the Risque indeed. But We may export our Tobacco to France, Spain or any other foreign Nation. { 191 } If We treat with foreign Nations, We should send to them as well as they to Us.
What Nation or Countries shall We trade with. Shall We go to there Ports and pay duties, and let them come here and pay none.
To say you will trade with all the World, deserves Consideration.
I have not absolutely discarded every Glimpse of a Hope of Reconciliation. Our Prospect is gloomy. I cant agree, that We shall not export our own Produce. We must treat with foreign Nations upon Trade. They must protect and support Us with their Fleets.
When you once offer your Trade to foreign Nations, away with all Hopes of Reconciliation.
E. Rutledge. Differs with all who think the Non Exportation should be broke, or that any Trade at all should be carried on.
When a Commodity is out of Port, the Master may carry it where he pleases.
My Colony will receive your Determination upon a general Non Export. The People will not be restless. Proposes a general Non Export, untill next Congress.
Our People will go into Manufactures, which is a Source of Riches to a Country. We can take our Men from Agriculture, and employ them in Manufactures.
Agriculture and Manufactures cannot be lost. Trade is precarious.
R. R. Livingston. Not convinced by any Argument. Thinks the exception of Tobacco and Lumber, would not produce Disunion. The Colonies affected can see the Principles, and their Virtue is such that they would not be disunited.
The Americans are their own Carriers now, chiefly. A few British Ships will be out of Employ.
I am vs. exporting Lumber. I grant that if We trade with other Nations, some of our Vessells will be seized and some taken. Carolina is cultivated by rich Planters—not so in the northern Colonies. The Planters can bear a Loss and see the Reason of it. The northern Colonies cant bear it.
Not in our Power to draw People from the Plough to Manufactures.
We cant make Contracts for Powder, without opening our Ports. I am for exporting where B. will allow Us, to Britain itself. If We shut up our Ports, We drive our Sailors to Britain. The Army will be supplied, in all Events.
Lee makes a Motion for 2 Resolutions. The Trade of Virginia and Maryland may be stopped by a very small naval Force. N. Carolina is badly off. The Northern Colonies are more fortunate.
The Force of G.B. on the Water being exceedingly great, that of { 192 } America, almost nothing—they may prevent allmost all our Trade, in our own Bottoms.
G.B. may exert every Nerve next Year, to send 15, 20, or even 30,000 Men to come here.
The Provisions of America, are become necessary to several Nations. France is in Distress for them. Tumults and Attempts to destroy the Grain in the Year [Ear], England has turned Arable into Grass—France into Vines. Grain cant be got from Poland, nor across the Mediterranean. The Dissentions in Poland continue. Spain is at War with the Algerians, and must have Provisions. It would be much safer for them to carry our Provisions than for Us. We shall get necessary Manufactures and Money and Powder.
This is only a temporary Expedient, at the present Time, and for a short Duration—to End when the War ends. I agree We must sell our Produce. Foreigners must come in 3 or 4 Months. The Risque We must pay, in the Price of our Produce. The Insurance must be deducted. Insurance would not be high to foreigners on account of the Novelty. It is no new Thing. The B. Cruizers will be the Danger.
1. The debates recorded here, in the next entry, and in others farther on, took place in a committee of the whole on “the state of the trade of the thirteen Colonies,” which sat repeatedly during this session to discuss a report of a committee on American trade appointed 22 September. From time to time the committee of the whole reported recommendations for action but as late as 23 Dec. had not finished its deliberations. See JCC, 3:259, 268–269, 276, 291–293, 307–308, 314–315, 361–364, 455. JA's own views on the momentous questions at issue (e.g. the problem of obtaining powder and other essential munitions, of commercial relations with foreign powers, of building a navy) do not appear in his notes of the debates, but he wrote frequently to James Warren about them while the debates were going on; see his letters of 7, 19 (bis), 20, and 28 Oct. (MHi; printed in Warren-Adams Letters, 1:126–129, 145–147, 155–156, 166–167). Since JA took these notes hastily and never revised them, there are passages among them that remain cryptic. For example, Samuel Chase's rambling speech appears to argue on both sides of more than one of the questions at issue.
2. The ports of New York, Delaware (“the three lower Counties”), North Carolina, and Georgia had not been closed by the so-called Restraining Acts of March–April 1775 (15 Geo. 3, chs. 10, 18). But as Chase predicted in the course of this debate, they were soon to be (by the Prohibitory Act of Dec. 1775; 16 Geo. 3, ch. 5), and all the mainland colonies “put ... on a footing.” Thus much of the warm discussion in committee of the whole was irrelevant and immaterial.
3. The committee agreed to and appointed, 18–19 Sept., “to contract and agree for the importation and delivery” of powder and other munitions (JCC, 2:253–255).
4. That is, “It is for the Interest...”
5. Here supply “who holds that” or some equivalent phrase.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-05

[Notes of Debates, Continued] Octr. 5.

Gadsden. I wish we may confine ourselves to one Point. Let the { 193 } Point be whether We shall shut up all our Ports, and be all on a footing. The Ministry will answer their End, if We let the Custom houses be open, in N.Y., N.C., the lower Counties and Georgia. They will divide us. One Colony will envy another, and be jealous. Mankind act by their feelings. Rice sold for £3—it wont sell now for 30s. We have rich and poor there as in other Colonies. We know that the excepted Colonies dont want to take Advantage of the others.
Zubly. Q. whether the Custom houses be stopped, and the Trade opened to all the World. The object is so great that I would not discuss it, on Horse back, riding Post haste. It requires the debate of a Week. We are lifting up a Rod—if you dont repeal the Acts, We will open our Ports.
Nations as well as Individuals are sometimes intoxicated. It is fair to give them Notice. If We give them Warning, they will take Warning. They will send Ships out. Whether they can stop our Trade, is the Question. N. England I leave out of the Question. N.Y. is stopped by one Ship. Philadelphia says her Trade is in the Power of the fleet. V[irginia] and Maryland, is within the Capes of Virginia. N. Carolina is accessible. Only one good Harbour, Cape Fear. In G[eorgia] We have several Harbours, but a small naval Force may oppose or destroy all the naval Force of Georgia.
The Navy can stop our Harbours and distress our Trade. Therefore it is impracticable, to open our Ports.
The Q. is whether we must have Trade or not. We cant do without Trade. We must have Trade. It is prudent not to put Virtue to too serious a Test. I would use American Virtue, as sparingly as possible lest We wear it out.
Are We sure one Cano will come to trade? Has any Merchant received a Letter from Abroad, that they will come. Very doubtfull and precarious whether any French or Spanish Vessell would be cleared out to America. It is a Breach of the Treaty of Peace. The Spaniards may be too lazy to come to America. They may be supplied from Sicily. It is precarious, and dilatory—extreamly dangerous—and pernicious.
I am clearly vs. any Proposition to open our Ports to all the World. It is not prudent to threaten.
The People of England will take it we design to break off, to separate. We have Friends in Eng. who have taken this up, upon virtuous Principles.
Lee. I will follow Mr. Gadsden and simplify the Proposition, and confine it to the Q. whether the Custom houses shall be shut? If they are open, the excepted Colonies may trade, others not, which will be { 194 } unequal. The Consequence Jealousy, Division and Ruin. I would have all suffer equally. But We should have some Offices, set up, where Bond should be given that Supplies shall not go to our Enemies.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-06

[Notes of Debates, Continued] Octr. 6.

Chase. I dont think the Resolution goes far enough.1 Ld. Dunmore has been many Months committing Hostilities vs. Virginia, and has extended his Piracies to Maryland.2 I wish he had been seized, by the Colony, Months ago. They would have received the Thanks of all North America.
Is it practicable now? Have the Committee any naval Force? This order will be a mere Piece of Paper. Is there a Power in the Committee to raise and pay a naval Force? Is it to be done at the Expence of the Continent. Have they Ships or Men.
Lee. I wish Congress would advise Virginia and Maryland to raise a Force by Sea to destroy Ld. Dunmores Power. He is fond of his Bottle and may be taken by Land, but ought to be taken at all Events.
Zubly. I am sorry to see the very threatening Condition that Virginia is likely to be in. I look on the Plan We heard of yesterday to be vile, abominable and infernal—but I am afraid it is practicable. Will these Mischiefs be prevented by seizing Dunmore. Seizing the K's Representatives will make a great Impression in England, and probably Things will be carried on afterwards with greater Rage.
I came here with 2 Views. One to secure the Rights of America. 2. A Reconciliation with G. Britain.
Dyer. They cant be more irritated at home than they are. They are bent upon our Destruction. Therefore that is no Argument vs. seizing them. Dunmore can do no Mischief in Virginia3—his Connections in England are such that he may be exchanged to Advantage. Wentworth is gone to Boston. Franklyn is not dangerous. Pen is not. Eden is not.4
Johnson. Dunmore a very bad Man. A defensive Conduct was determined on, in the Convention of Virginia. I am for leaving it to Virginia.
We ought not to lay down a rule in a Passion. I see less and less Prospect of a Reconciliation every day. But I would not render it impossible. If We should render it impossible, our Colony would take it into their own Hands and make Concessions inconsistent with the Rights of America. N.C., V., P., N. York, at least have strong Parties, each of them of that Mind. This would make a Disunion. Five or six Weeks will give Us the final Determination of the People of G. Britain. Not a Governor in the Continent has the real Power, but some have { [facing 194] } { [facing 195] } { 195 } the Shadow of it. A Renunciation of all Connection with G.B. will be understood by a step of this Kind. 13 Colonies connected with G.B. in 16 Months have been brought to an Armed Opposition to the Claims of G.B. The line We have pursued has been the Line We ought to have pursued. If what we have done had been proposed two Years ago, 4 Colonies would not have been for it.
Suppose we had a dozen Crown Officers in our Possession. Have We determined what to do with them? Shall we hang them.
Lee. Those who apply general Reasons to this particular Case will draw improper Conclusions. Those Crown Officers who have advised his Lordship vs. his violent Measures, have been quarrell'd with by him.
Virginia is pierced in all Parts with navigable Waters. His Lordship knows all these Waters and the Plantations on them. Shuldam is coming to assist him in destroying these Plantations. We see his Influence with an abandoned Administration, is sufficient to obtain what he pleases.
If 6 Weeks may furnish decisive Information, the same Time may produce decisive destruction to Maryland and Virginia. Did We go fast enough when We suffered the Troops at Boston to fortify.
Zubly. This is a sudden Motion. The Motion was yesterday to apprehend Govr. Tryon.5 We have not yet conquered the Army or Navy of G.B. A Navy, consisting of a Cutter, rides triumphant in Virginia. There are Persons in America who wish to break off with G.B. A Proposal has been made to apply to France and Spain—before I agree to it, I will inform my Constituents. I apprehend the Man who should propose it would be torn to pieces like De Wit.
Wythe. It was from a Reverence for this Congress that the Convention of Virginia, neglected to arrest Lord Dunmore. It was not intended suddenly, to form a Precedent for Govr. Tryon. If Maryland have a Desire to have a Share in the Glory of seizing this Nobleman, let them have it.
The 1st. objection is the Impracticability of it.—I dont say that it is practicable, but the attempt can do no harm.
From seizing Cloathing in Delaware, seizing the Transports &c., the Battles of Lexington, Charlestown, &c., every Man in Great Britain will be convinced by Ministry and Parliament that We are aiming at an Independency on G.B. Therefore We need not fear from this Step disaffecting our Friends in England. As to a Defection in the Colonies, I cant answer for Maryland, Pensylvania, &c. but I can for Virginia.
Johnson. I am not vs. allowing Liberty to arrest Ld. Dunmore—there { 196 } is Evidence that the Scheme he is executing was recommended by himself. Maryland does not regard the Connection with G.B. as the first good.
Stone. If We signify to Virginia, that it will not be disagreable to us, if they secure Ld. Dunmore, that will be sufficient.
Lewis moves an Amendment, that it be recommended to the Council of Virginia, that they take such Measures to secure themselves, from the Practices of Lord Dunmore, either by seizing his Person, or otherwise as they think proper.
Hall. A Material Distinction between a peremptory order to the Council of Virginia, to seize his Lordship, and a Recommendation to take such Measures as they shall judge necessary, to defend themselves against his Measures.
Motion to export Produce for Powder.6
Sherman. I think We must have Powder, and We may send out Produce for Powder. But upon some Gentlemens Principles We must have a general Exportation.
Paine. From the observations some Gentlemen have made I think this Proposition of more Importance than it appeared at first. In Theory I could carry it further, even to Exportation and Importation to G.B. A large Continent cant Act upon Speculative Principles, but must be govern'd by Rules. Medicines, We must have—some Cloathing, &c. I wish We could enter upon the Question at large, and agree upon some System.
Chase. By that Resolution We may send to G.B., Ireland and W. Indies.
Lee. Suppose Provisions should be sold in Spain for Money, and Cash sent to England for Powder.
Duane. We must have Powder. I would send for Powder to London, or any where. We are undone if We hant Powder.
Dean. I hope the Words “Agreable to the Association” will be inserted. But I would import from G.B. Powder.
R. R. Livingston. We are between Hawk and Buzzard. We puzzle ourselves between the commercial and warlike opposition.
Rutledge. If Ammunition was to be had from England only, there would be W[eigh]t in the Gentlemans Arg[ument].—The Captn. Reed7 told us Yesterday that he might have bro't 1000 Blls. of Powder. Why? Because he was not searched. But if he had attempted to bring Powder, he would have been search'd.—I would let the Ass[ociation] stand as it is, and order the Committee to export our Provisions consistent with it.
{ 197 }
Lee. When a Vessell comes to England vs. our Association, she must be observed and watched. They would keep the Provisions, but not let us have the Powder.
Deane. I have not the most distant Idea of infringing the Association.
Duane. The Resolution with the Amendment amounts to nothing. The Committee may import now consistent with the Association. I apprehend that by breaking the Association We may import Powder, without it not. We must have Powder. We must fight our Battles in two or three Months, in every Colony.
J. Rutledge. They may export to any other Place and thence send Money to England.
New York Letter, concerning a Fortification on the high Lands, considered.8
Dyer. Cant say how far it would have been proper to have gone upon Romains Plan in the Spring, but thinks it too late now. There are Places upon that River, that might be thrown up in a few days, that would do. We must go upon some Plan that will be expeditious.
Lee. Romain says a less or more imperfect Plan would only be beginning a Strong hold for an Enemy.
Deane. An order went to N. York. They have employed an Engineer. The People and he agree in the Spot and the Plan. Unless We rescind the whole, We should go on. It ought to be done.
1.
Resolved, That it be recommended to the several provincial Assemblies or Conventions, and councils or committees of safety, to arrest and secure every person in their respective colonies, whose going at large may, in their opinion, endanger the safety of the colony, or the liberties of America” (JCC, 3:280).
2. The activities of John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, last royal governor of Virginia, after his expulsion from Williamsburg in June 1775, are documented in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, vol. 1; see the index under Dunmore.
3. This passage is cryptic. Dyer may have said (or meant) that Dunmore could do no more mischief in Virginia in consequence of an order to seize him than he was already doing.
4. John Wentworth, governor of New Hampshire; Sir William Franklin, governor of New Jersey; John Penn, lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania; Robert Eden, governor of North Carolina.
5. William Tryon, of New York Province.
6.
Resolved, That the Committee appointed by this Congress for the importation of powder, export, agreeable to the continental Association, as much provisions or other produce of these colonies, as they shall judge expedient for the purchase of arms and ammunition” (JCC, 3:280).
7. Probably Thomas Read, brother of the Delaware delegate George Read and a naval officer in the service of Pennsylvania. See Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:216 and note.
8. The letter was from the New York Committee of Safety, 19 September. The New York Provincial Congress had engaged the engineer and cartographer Bernard Romans to draw plans for fortifications on the Hudson at the Highlands above New York City. See JCC, 2:59–60; 3:280–282; Force, Archives, { 198 } 4th ser., 3:732, 1279–1280; Romans' plans are reproduced in same, following col. 736. See also JA's Notes of Debates, 7 Oct., below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-07

[Notes of Debates, Continued] Octr. 7.

Chase. It is the maddest Idea in the World, to think of building an American Fleet.1 Its Latitude is wonderfull. We should mortgage the whole Continent. Recollect the Intelligence on your Table—defend N. York—fortify upon Hudsons River.
We should provide for gaining Intelligence—two swift sailing Vessells.
Dyer. The Affair of Powder from N. York should be referr'd to the Committee.
Hopkins. No Objection to putting off the Instruction from Rhode Island, provided it is to a future day.
Paine. Seconds Chace's Motion, that it be put off to a future day Sine die.
Chace. The Gentleman from Maryland never made such a Motion. I never used the Copulative. The Gentleman is very sarcastic, and thinks himself very sensible.
Zubly. If the Plans of some Gentlemen are to take Place, an American Fleet must be a Part of it—extravagant as it is.
Randolph moves that all the orders of the day should be read every Morning.
Deane. I wish it may be seriously debated. I dont think it romantic, at all.
J. Rutledge. Move that some Gentn. be appointed to prepare a Plan and Estimate of an American Fleet.
Zubly seconds the Motion.
Gadsden. I am against the Extensiveness of the Rhode Island Plan, but it is absolutely necessary that some Plan of Defence by Sea should be adopted.
J. Rutledge. I shall not form a conclusive opinion till I hear the Arguments. I want to know how many Ships are to be built and what they will cost.
S. Adams. The Committee cant make an Estimate untill they know how many Ships are to be built.
Zubly. Rhode Island has taken the lead. I move that the Delegates of R.I. prepare a Plan, give us their opinion.
J. Adams. The Motion is entirely out of order. The Subject is put off for a Week, and now a Motion is to appoint a Committee to consider the whole subject.
{ 199 }
Zubly, Rutledge, Paine, Gadsden, lightly skirmishing.
Deane. It is like the Man that was appointed to tell the Dream and the Interpretation of it. The Expence is to be estimated, without knowing what Fleet there shall be, or whether any att all.
Gadsden. The design is to throw it into Ridicule. It should be considered out of Respect to the Colony of R. Island who desired it.
Determined against the appointment of a Committee.
Report of the Committee for fortifying upon Hudsons River considered.
J. Rutledge. I think We should add to the Report, that they take the most effectual Measures to obstruct the Navigation of Hudsons River by Booms or otherwise.
Gadsden seconds the Motion.
Deane doubts the Practicability of obstructing it with Booms, it is so wide.
The Committee said 4 or 5 Booms chained together, and ready to be drawn across, would stop the Passage.2
The Congress of N.Y. is to consult the Assembly of Connecticutt and the Congress of N. Jersey, the best Method of taking Posts and making Signals, and assembling Forces for Defence of the River.
Gadsden. Moves that all the Letters, laid before us from England, should be sent to the Convention of N. York. Tryon is a dangerous Man, and the Convention of that Colony should be upon their guard.
Lee. I think the Letters should by all means be sent.
Rutledge. Dr. F. desired they might not be printed. Moves that Gen. Wooster with his Troops may be ordered down to N. York.
Duane. Moves that Woosters Men may be employed in building the Fortifications.
Dyer 2ds the Motion allowing the Men what is usual.
Sherman. Would have the order conditional, if Schuyler dont want them. Understands that N.Y. has the best Militia upon the Continent.
R. Livingston. They will be necessary at the Highlands.
Dyer thinks they ought to have the usual allowance for Work.
S. Adams. Understands that the Works at Cambridge was done without any Allowance, but that G[eneral] W[ashington] has ordered that for future works they be allowed half a Pistareen a day.
Langdon would not have the order to Wooster, but to Schuyler for he would not run any risque of the northern Expedition.
{ 200 }
Rutledge thinks Schuyler cant want them. He waited only for Boats to send 500 Men more.
Sherman. Would it not be well to inform Schuyler of our endeavours to take the Transports and desire him to acquaint Coll. Arnold of it.
Rutledge. He may cooperate with Arnold in taking the Transports. I hope he is in Possession of Montreal before now.
Deane. I wish that whatever Money is collected, may be sent along to Schuyler.
E. Rutledge. We have been represented as beggarly fellows, and the first Impressions are the strongest. If We eat their Provisions and dont pay, it will make a bad Impression.
Ross. Produces a Resolve of the Assembly of Pensylvania that their Delegates lay the Connecticutt Intrusion before Congress, that something may be done to quiet the Minds.3
J. Rutledge moves that the Papers be referr'd to the Delegates of the two Colonies.
Willing. Thinks them Parties and that they must have an Umpire.
Sherman. Thinks they may agree on a temporary Line.
Lee. Moves that Parliamentary or ministerial Post may be stopp'd, as a constitutional Post is now established from N.H. to G.4
Langdon 2d[s] the Motion.
Willing. Thinks it is interfering with that Line of Conduct which we have hitherto prescribed to ourselves—it is going back beyond the Year 1763.
Lee. When the Ministry are mutilating our Correspondence in England, and our Enemies here are corresponding for our ruin, shall We not stop the ministerial Post.
Willing. Looks upon this to be one of the offensive Measures which are improper at this Time—it will be time enough to throw this aside when the Time comes that we shall throw every Thing aside—at present We dont know but there may be a Negociation.
Dyer. We have already superceeded the Act of Parliament effectually.
Deane is for a Recommendation to the People to write by the constitutional Post, not forbid a Man to ride.
S. Adams thinks it a defensive Measure, and advising People not to write by it, looks too cunning for me. I am for stopping the Correspondence of our Enemies.
{ 201 }
Langdon. Administration are taking every Method to come at our Intentions, why should not we prevent it.
Duane. I shall vote vs. it. It may be true that We are come to the Time when We are to lay aside all. I think there should be a full Representation of the Colonies. N.C. should be here.
Deane 2d[s] the Motion for postponing it.
Zubly. The Necessity of this Measure does not appear to me. If We have gone beyond the Line of 1763 and of defence without apparent Necessity it was wrong, if with Necessity right. I look upon the Invasion of Canada [as] a very different Thing. I have a Right to defend myself vs. Persons who come vs. me, let em come from whence they will. We in G. have gain[ed] Intelligence by the K's Post that We could not have got any other Way. Some Gentlemen think all Merit lies in violent and unnecessary Measures.
S. Adams. The Gentlemans Argument would prove that We should let the Post go into Boston.
Moreton. Would not this stop the Packett. Would it not be ordered to Boston. Does the Packett bring any Intelligence to Us that is of Use?
Lee. No Intelligence comes to Us, but constant Intelligence to our Enemies.
Stone. Thinks it an innocent Motion, but is for postponing it, because he is not at present clear. He thinks that the setting up a new Post has already put down the old one.
Paine. My opinion was that the Ministerial Post will die a natural death. It has been under a Languishment a great while. It would be Cowardice to issue a Decree to kill that which is dying. It brought but one Letter last time, and was obliged to retail Newspapers, to bear its Expences. I am very loath to say that this Post shall not pass.
Lee. Is there not a Doctor Ld. North who can keep this Creature alive.
R. R. Livingstone. I dont think that Tory Letters are sent by the Royal Post. I consider it rather as a Convenience than otherwise. We hear 5 times a Week from N.Y.
The Letters upon our Table advise us to adopt every conciliatory Measure, that we may secure the Affections of the People of England.
1. On 3 Oct. “One of the Delegates for Rhode Island laid before the Congress a part of the Instructions given them by the House of Magistrates, Aug. 26, 1775,” stating that “this Assembly is persuaded, that the building and equipping an American fleet, as soon as possible, would greatly and essentially conduce to the preservation of the lives, liberty and property of the good people of these Colonies,” and urging, therefore, that such a fleet be built “at the Continental expence” (JCC, 3:274). This momentous proposal was debated for the first time on 7 Oct., and in the present notes JA has recorded the earli• { 202 } est formal discussion of the idea of an American navy. The time not yet being quite ripe, Congress deferred further discussion until the 16th, and continued to postpone action until mid-December (same, p. 281, 420). Meanwhile a very urgent practical problem arose, and though it bore directly on the question of establishing a naval armament, Congress for a time kept the general and the particular problems strictly separate. The particular problem sprang from the news, received 5 Oct., that two vessels loaded with powder and munitions had sailed from England for Quebec. A committee of three was immediately appointed “to prepare a plan for intercepting” these valuable prizes; it brought in recommendations which were adopted the same day; and next day it brought in further recommendations (for a pair of swift armed vessels) which were adopted on 13 Oct. (same, p. 276–279, 293–294). Still no “navy”! The Journal does not name the members of the committee that prepared these reports, but in his Autobiographyand elsewhere JA says they were Silas Deane, John Langdon, and himself; see especially JA to Langdon, 24 Jan. 1813 (LbC, Adams Papers; printed in JA, Works, 10:27–28). A new committee was appointed on the 13th to carry out the resolutions adopted that day; it consisted of Deane, Langdon, and Gadsden (JCC, 3:294). But on the 30th Congress enlarged both the membership and duties of the committee and named JA as one of the additional members (same, p. 311–312). At first called the committee to fit out armed vessels, it was soon referred to as “the naval committee,” because it was actually organizing a naval force; see List of Persons Suitable for Naval Commands, Nov. 1775, below, and note there. In his Autobiography JA left a graphic account of the sessions of this committee, held every evening “in a public house in the City” and constituting, JA thought, “the pleasantest part of my Labours for the four Years I spent in Congress.” Early in 1776 the nominally limited functions of this special committee were absorbed by the new and permanent Marine Committee, which in December had developed out of the Rhode Island instruction quoted at the beginning of this note. The Marine Committee consisted of one member from each colony, and since JA was absent when it was formed he was not a member.
Dry as these details are, they are essential for understanding and correcting JA's various accounts of the origins of the American navy and for filling in the gaps left by the meager record in the Journal. For further clarification and references see Charles O. Paullin, The Navy of the American Revolution, Cleveland, 1906, chs. 1 and 3; and two exhaustively documented notes in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:216, and 2:318. The pertinent documents will be published in The Naval Documents of the American Revolution, in preparation by the Office of Naval History of the United States Navy, under the editorship of William Bell Clark.
2. See JCC, 3:282. It is by no means clear from the MS whether or not this and the following paragraph are part of Deane's speech.
3. The Pennsylvania Assembly's resolve, 30 Sept. 1775, is printed in JCC, 3:283. It was at first referred to the Pennsylvania and Connecticut delegates in Congress, but nothing conclusive came of it. On the Wyoming Valley controversy at this stage, see Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:248, and references there.
4. Nothing on this subject appears in the Journal under this date, but just possibly (as suggested by CFA) the discussion arose in connection with a paragraph in the report of the committee on fortifying the Hudson recommending the establishment of posts “to be ready to give intelligence to the country, in case of any invasion” (JCC, 3:282).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-10

[Notes of Debates, Continued] Octr. 10.

Who shall have the Appointment of the Officers in the 2 Battallions to be raised in New Jersey?1
{ 203 }
Sherman. Best to leave it to the Provincial Conventions.
Ward seconds the Motion.
Chace. This is persisting in Error in Spight of Experience. We have found by Experience that giving the Choice of Officers to the People, is attended with bad Consequences. The French Officers are allowed to exceed any in Europe, because a Gentleman is hardly entituled to the Smiles of the Ladies without serving a Campaign. In my Province, We want Officers. Gentlemen have recommended Persons from personal Friendships, who were not suitable. Such Friendships will have more Weight, in the Colonies.
Dyer. We must derive all our Knowledge, from the Delegates of that Colony. The Representatives at large are as good Judges and would give more Satisfaction. You cant raise an Army if you put Officers over the Men whom they dont know. It requires Time to bring People off from ancient Usage.
E. Rutledge. We dont mean to break in upon what has been done. In our Province we have raised our Compliment of Men in the Neighbouring Colonies. I am for it that We may have Power to reward Merit.
Ward. The Motion is intended for a Precedent. In the Expedition to Carthagena and Canada, the Crown only appointed a Lieutenant in my Colony. The Men will not enlist. When the Militia Bill was before Us. I was vs. giving the Choice to the Men. I dont know any Man in the Jerseys.
Duane. A Subject of Importance—a Matter of Delicacy. We ought to be all upon a Footing. We are to form the grand Outlines of an American Army—a general Regulation. Will such a Regulation be salutary? The public Good alone, will govern me. If We were to set out anew, would the same Plan be pursued. It has not been unprecedented, in this Congress. Mr. Campbell, Allen, Warner, were promoted here. We ought to insist upon it. We shall be able to regulate an Army better. Schuyler and Montgomery would govern my Judgment. I would rather take the opinion of Gen. Washington than of any Convention. We can turn out the unworthy and reward Merit. The Usage is for it.
Governors used to make Officers—except in Con. and Rhode Island. But We cant raise an Army? We are then in a deplorable Situation indeed. We pay. Cant We appoint with the Advice of our Generals.
Langdon. Looks upon this [as] a very extraordinary Motion, and big with many Mischiefs.
Deane. It is the Peoples Money, not ours. It will be fatal. We cant sett up a Sale for Offices, like Lord Barrington.
{ 204 }
E. Rutledge. The appointment hitherto has been as if the Money belonged to particular Provinces not to the Continent. We cant reward Merit. The Governor appointed Officers with Us.
Ross. My Sentiments coincide with those of the Gentlemen from N.Y. and C[arolina] and would go farther and appoint every Officer, even an Ensign. We have no Command of the Army! They have different Rules and Articles.
Jay. Am of opinion with the Gentleman who spoke last. The Union depends much upon breaking down provincial Conventions. The whole Army refused to be mustered by your Muster Master.
1. On 9 Oct. Congress recommended to the New Jersey Convention that it immediately raise two battalions “at the expence of the Continent,” but did not mention the appointment of any field officers. During the two following days the question was debated whether New Jersey or the Continental Congress should appoint these officers. The matter was finally settled on 7 Nov., when Congress elected precisely the officers nominated by the Convention. See JCC, 3:285–286, 287, 288, 335; William Livingston to Alexander Stirling, 8 Nov. 1775 (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:250).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-12

[Notes of Debates, Continued] Oct. 12.

Report, on Trade, considered in a Committee of the whole.1
Lee. It has been moved to bring the debate to one Point, by putting the Q. whether the Custom houses shall be shut up, and the officers discharged from their several Functions. This would put N. York, N.C., lower Counties and Georgia upon the same Footing with the other Colonies.
I therefore move you, that the C[ustom] Houses be shut, and the officers discharged. This will remove Jealousies and Divisions.
Zubly. The Measure, We are now to consider, extreamly interesting. I shall offer my Thoughts. If We decide properly, I hope We shall establish our Cause—if improperly, We shall overthrow it, altogether.
1st Prop[osition]. Trade is important. 2. We must have a Reconciliation with G.B. or the Means of carrying on the War. An unhappy day when We shall2
A Republican Government is little better than Government of Devils. I have been acquainted with it from 6 Years old.
We must regulate our Trade so as that a Reconciliation be obtained or We enable[d] to carry on the War.
Cant say, but I do hope for a Reconciliation, and that this Winter may bring it. I may enjoy my Hopes for Reconciliation, others may enjoy theirs that none will take Place.
A Vessell will not go, without Sails or Oars. Wisdom is better than { 205 } Weapons of War. We dont mean to oppose G.B. merely for Diversion. If it is necessary that We make War, and that we have the Means of it, This Continent ought to know what it is about. The Nation dont. We ought to know what they mean to be about. We ought to have Intelligence of the Designs. K. of Prussia and Count Daune march'd and counter march'd untill they could not impose upon Each other any more. Every Thing We want for the War are Powder and Shot.
2d Thing necessary that We have Arms and Ammunition.
3. We must have Money. The Cont[inent']s Credit must be supported. We must keep up a Notion that this Paper is good for Something. It has not yet a general Circulation. The Mississippi Scheme in France and the South Sea Scheme in England were written for our Learning. An hundred Million fell in one day. 20 Men of War may block up the Harbour of N. York, Del[aw]are River, Cheasapeak Bay, the Carolinas and Georgia.
Whether We can raise a Navy is an important Question. We may have a Navy—and to carry on the War We must have a Navy. Can We do this without Trade? Can we gain Intelligence without Trade. Can We get Powder without Trade? Every Vessell you send out is thrown away. N. England where the War is may live without Trade. [The?] Money circulates there—they may live. Without Trade our People must starve. We cannot live. We cannot feed or cloath our People. My Resolution was that I would do and suffer any Thing rather than not be free. But I resolved not to do impossible Things.
If We must trade, We must trade with Somebody, and with Somebody that will trade with us, either with foreigners or G.B. If with foreigners, We must either go to them or they must come to us. We cant go to them if our Harbours are shut up. I look upon the Trade with foreigners as impracticable. St. Lawrence being open is a Supposition.
N. England People last War went to C[ape] Francois.
Spaniards are too lazy to come to Us.
If We cant trade with foreigners we must trade with G. Britain. Is it practicable. Will it quit cost. Will it do more hurt than good. This is breaking our Association. Our People will think We are giving Way and giving all up. They will say one mischivous Man has overset the whole Navigation. I speak from Principle. It has been said here that the Association was made in terrorem.
Gadsden. 2ds. Lees Motion, and affirms that We can carry on Trade from one End of the Continent to the other.
Deane. Custom house Officers discharged! Were they ever in our { 206 } Pay, in our service. Let em stand where they are. Let this Congress establish what Offices they please. Let the others die. I think that all the Colonies ought to be upon a footing. We must have Trade. I think We ought to apply abroad. We must have Powder and Goods. We cant keep our People easy without.
Lee. The Gentleman agrees that all ought to be upon a Footing. Let him shew how this can be done without shutting the Customhouses.
Jay. This should be the last Business We undertake. It is like cutting the Foot to the shoe, not making a shoe for the Foot. Let Us establish a System first.
I think We ought to consider the whole, before We come to any Resolutions. Now Gentlemen have their Doubts whether the N. Exportation was a good Measure. I was last Year, clear vs. it. Because the Enemy have burn'd Charlestown, would Gentlemen have Us burn N. York? Let us lay every Burden as equal on all the Shoulders that We can. If Prov[idence] or Ministry inflict Misfortunes on one, shall We inflict the same on all? I have one Arm sore—why should not the other Arm be made sore too? But Jealousies will arise. Are these reasonable? Is it politick? We are to consult the general Good of all America. Are We to do hurt to remove unreasonable Jealousies. Because Ministry have imposed hardships on one, shall We impose the same on all. It is not from affection to N. York, that I speak. If a Man has lost his Teeth on one side of his Jaws, shall he pull out the Teeth from the other that both sides may be upon a Footing? Is it not realizing the Quarrell of the Belly and the Members? The other Colonies may avail themselves of the Custom houses in the exempted Colonies.
Lee. All must bear a proportional share of the Continental Expence. Will the exempted Colonies take upon themselves the whole Expence. V. pays a sixth Part, the lower Counties an 80th.—yet lower Counties may trade, V. not. The Gentleman exercised an Abundance of Wit to shew the Unreasonableness of Jealousies. If this ministerial Bait is swallowed by America another will be thrown out.
Jay. Why should not N.Y. make Money, and N. Jersey not. One Colony can cloath them.
McKean. I have 4 Reasons for putting the favoured Colonies upon a footing with the rest. 1st. is to disappoint the Ministry. Their design was insidious. 2. I would not have it believed by Ministry or other Colonies that those Colonies had less Virtue than others. 3. I have a Reconciliation in View, it would be in the Power of those Colonies, it might become their Interest to prolong the War. 4. I believe Parlia• { 207 } ment has done or will do it for us, i.e. put us on the same footing. I would choose that the exempted Colonies should have the Honour of it. Not clear that this is the best Way of putting them upon a Footing. If We should be successfull in Canada, I would be for opening our Trade to some Places in G.B., Jamaica, &c.
J. Rutledge. Wonders that a Subject so clear, has taken up so much Time. I was for a general Non Exportation. Is it not surprizing, that there should so soon be a Motion for breaking the Association. We have been reproached for our Breach of Faith in breaking the Non Imp[ortation]. I have the best Authority to say that if We had abided by a former Non Imp. We should have had redress. We may be obliged hereafter to break the Association, but why should We break it before We feel it. I expected the Delegates from the exempted Colonies would have moved to be put upon the same footing.
Dont like shutting the C. Houses and discharging the Officers—but moves that the Res[olution] be, that People in York, N. Car., Georgia and lower Counties dont apply to the Custom house.
Zubly. Georgia is settled along Savanna River, 200 miles in Extent, and 100 mile the other Way. I look upon it the Association alltogether will be the Ruin of the Cause. We have 10,000 fighting Indians near us. Carolina has already smuggled Goods from Georgia.
Chase. I will undertake to prove that if the Revd. Gentlemans Positions are true and his Advice followed, We shall all be made Slaves. If he speaks the Opinion of Georgia I sincerely lament that they ever appeared in Congress. They cannot, they will not comply!—Why did they come here? Sir We are deceived. Sir We are abused! Why do they come here? I want to know why their provinc[ial] Congress came to such Resolutions. Did they come here to ruin America. That Gentlemans Advice will bring Destruction upon all N. America. I am for the Resolution upon the Table. There will be Jealousies, if N.Y. and the other exempted Colonies are not put upon a footing.
It is not any great Advantage to the exempted Colonies. What can they export that will not be serviceable to G.B. and the West Indies.
The exports of N. Car. are of vast Importance to G.B. If these Colonies are in Rebellion, will not their Effects be confiscated, and seized even upon the Ocean.
Arms and Ammunition must be obtained by what is call'd Smuggling. I doubt not We shall have the Supply. Leaving open N. York &c. will prevent our getting Arms and Ammunition.
Houstoun. Where the Protection of this Room did not extend, I would not set very tamely.
{ 208 }
Chase. I think the Gentleman ought to take offence at his Brother Delegate.
Wythe. Agrees with the Gentleman from N. York that We dont proceed regularly. The Safety of America depends essentially on a Union of the People in it. Can We think that Union will be preserved if 4 Colonies are exempted. When N. York Assembly did not approve the Procedings of the Congress it was not only murmured at, but lamented as a Defection from the public Cause. When Attica was invaded by the Lacedemonians, Pericles ordered an Estate to be ravaged and laid waste because he tho't it would be exempted, by the Spartan King.
Nothing was ever more unhappily applied, than the fable of the Stomach and the Limbs.
Sherman. Another Argument for putting [sentence unfinished]
1. This and the following entry continue the debate on trade policy of which JA had recorded earlier stages in his Notes of Debates, 4 and 5 Oct., above.
2. No punctuation in MS, but the meaning is clear: “... when we shall have those means.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-13

[Notes of Debates, Continued] Octr. 13.

R. Livingston. Hopes the whole Matter will be putt off. Is willing as it seems the general sense, that all should be put upon a Footing.
Gadsden. Hopes it will not be putt off. S. Carolina will be in the utmost Confusion if this matter is not decided. Let the Continent determine.
Stone. Can see no particular Inconvenience to Carolina. 2ds. the Motion of Mr. Livingston, for postponing the Question, and gives his Reasons.—The Powder Committee must take Clearances. If they are allowed to take Clearances, and no other, then whenever they take a Clearance it will be known, that it is for Powder, and the Vessell will be watched.
Lee. I see very clearly, that the best Time for putting a Question is when it is best understood. That Time is the present. As to Powder, Time may be allowed for the Committee to clear Vessells.
J. Rutledge. Thinks this Motion extraordinary. This Subject has been under Consideration 3 Weeks. It is really trifling. The Committee may have Time allowed to clear Vessells for Powder. But I had rather the Continent should run the Risque of sending Vessells without clearances. What Confusion would ensue if Congress should break up without any Resolution of this sort. The Motion seems intended to defeat the Resolution entirely. Those who are against it, are for postponing.
{ 209 }
Jay. We have complied with the restraining Act. The Question is whether we shall have Trade or not? And this is to introduce a most destructive Scheme, a scheme which will drive away all your Sailors, and lay up all your Ships to rot at the Wharves.1
1. JA's notes of this debate are continued under 20 Oct., below, the next time Congress sat as a committee of the whole on “the state of the trade of the confederated colonies.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0008

Author: Tyler, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-16

[John Tyler's Bill for Repairing A Pistol.]1

To Cleaning a pistol   0:   2:   0  
To one side pin   0:   0:   9  
To two small screws to the Lock   0:   1:   0  
To a new tumbler to ..... Do.   0:   3:   0  
  £0:   6:   9  
[signed] Pr me Jno. Tyler
1. M-Ar: vol. 210. Endorsed by JA. Date supplied from an entry in JA's Account with Massachusetts, Aug.-Dec. 1775, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-20

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] Oct. 20.1

Deane. Their Plunder only afforded one Meal of fresh meat for the privates. All the rest was reserved for the Officers and their Friends among the Inhabitants. I would have Traders prohibited from importing unnecessary Articles, and from exporting live Stock, except Horses.
Gadsden. If we give one leave when there is 100 who have an equal Right, it will occasion Jealousy. Let each Colony export to the Amount of so many thousand Pounds, and no more.
Chase. We have Letters, from Guadaloupe, Martinique and the Havanna that they will supply us with Powder for Tobacco.
Gadsden. France and Spain would be glad to see G.B. despotic in America. Our being in a better State than their Colonies, occasions complaints among them, Insurrections and Rebellions, but these Powers would be glad We were an independent State.
Chase. The Proposition is for exporting for a special Purpose, importing Powder. I would not permit our Cash to go for Rum. Live Stock is an inconsiderable Part of our Cargoes.
{ 210 }
I dont wish to intermix any Thing in this debate. I would restrain the Merchant from importing any Thing but Powder &c.
Molasses was an Article of importance in the Trade of the Northern Colonies. But now they cant carry on the African Trade, and the Rum is pernicious. If you give a Latitude for any Thing but Arms and Ammunition, We shant agree what Articles are necessary and what unnecessary. Each Colony should carry on this Trade, not individuals. I would not limit the Quantity of Ammunition to be imported by each Colony. An 100 Ton a Colony would supply the W. Indies mediately and the Army and Navy. 20 Ton would be a considerable Adventure for a Colony. Debts are due from the B[ritish] W. India Islands to the Inhabitants of these Colonies. I am not for permitting Vessells to go in Ballast and fetch Cash. I wish to import Cash from every Place as much as possible.
Deane. It cannot be done with secrecy or dispatch. I rather think it would be as well to leave it to Traders.
Zubly. It is of great Weight that there be no favourites.
Dyer. There will be such continual Applications to the Assemblies, by their Friends among the Traders, it will open a compleat Exportation. It would compleatly supply the W. Indies.
Jay. We have more to expect from the Enterprise, Activity and Industry of private Adventurers, than from the Lukewarmness of Assemblies. We want French Woolens, dutch Worsteds, Duck for Tents, German Steel, &c. Public Virtue is not so active as private Love of Gain. Shall We shutt the Door vs. private Enterprise.
Lee. The Gentleman may move for those Things as Exceptions to the general Rule.
Randolph. We are making Laws contradictory in Terms. We say nobody shall export and yet Somebody shall. Against all Rule.
Lee. It is a common Rule in making Laws, to make a Rule and then make a Proviso for special Cases.
Dyer. The Rule and the Proviso are passed at once in the same Act, 'tho. If I give my Voice for an Unconditional Proposition, what security have I that the Condition or Proviso will be added afterwards. The greatest Impropriety, in the World.
Chase. Both Sides are right, and it arises from this, that one Proposition is to be made public the other kept secret. We have very little Confidence in each other.
Zubly. If half the Law is to be public and the other half secret, will not half the People be governed by one half and the other half by the other. Will they not clash?
{ 211 }
Jay. Least your Produce falls into the Hands of your Enemies, you publish a Law that none go from the Continent. Yet to get Powder, We keep a secret Law that Produce may be exported. Then comes the Wrangles among the People. A Vessell is seen loading. A fellow runs to the Committee.
Lee. The Inconvenience may arise in some Measure, but will not the People be quieted, by the Authority of the Conventions. If We give public Notice, our Enemies will be more active to intercept Us. On the Contrary the People may be quieted by the Committees of Safety.
Wythe. The only Persons who can be affected by this Resolution are those, whom on the other side the Water will be called Smugglers. Consider the danger these Smugglers will run—lyable to seizure by C. House officers, by Men of War at Sea, and by Custom house officers in the Port they go to. What can they bring. Cash, Powder, or foreign Manufactures. Cant see the least Reason for restraining our Trade, as little can be carried on. My Opinion is We had better open our Trade altogether. It has long been my Opinion, and I have heard no Arguments vs. it.
Zubly. We cant do without Trade. To be, or not to be is too tariffing a Question for many Gentlemen. All that Wise Men can do among many Difficulties, is to choose the least.
Stone. Cannot agree to the Proposition made by the gentleman from Maryland. Not for binding the People closer, than they are bound already. The Proposition is the same with that which was made that our Vessells should be stopp'd and foreigners invited to come here for our Produce and protect their own Trade. This appears to be a destructive System.
It was a laborious Task to get America into a general Non Exportation to G.B., I., and W. Indies.
Shall We now combine with Britain, to distress our People in their Trade, more than by the Association. People have look'd up to this, and are unwilling to go further. The restraining Bill a most cruel, unjust, unconstitutional Act: Yet We are going to greater Cruelties than they. We are all to be in the same Circumstances of Poverty and Distress. Will the West Indies be supplied by a circuitous Trade. I think not. How can the West Indies get Supplies from France, Holland or Spain? The whole Produce will not be carried. It is said the Men of War will take the Produce. This Argument will operate against exporting for Powder. The Army will be supplied. It is impossible to prevent their getting Supplies at least of Bread. It appears to me, this is not a temporary Expedient, but will have a perpetual Influence. It is { 212 } a destructive, ruinous Expedient and our People never will bear it. Under the faith that your Ports would be kept open to foreigners, People have made Contracts with foreigners. You are giving a Sanction to the Act of Parliament, and going further. Under such a Regulation We never can exist.
I would export Produce to foreign W. Indies, or any where for Powder. But the Mode of doing it, will defeat it. The Assemblies never will turn Merchants successfully. I would have private Adventurers give Bond, to return Powder, or the Produce itself.
Chase. Differs from his Colleague. A different Proposition from that for restraining our People and inviting foreigners. This Proposition invites your People.
If you carry on your Exports, without the Protection of a foreign Power you destroy America.
If you Stop Provisions and not other Produce you create a Jealousy. If you export Provisions and not other Produce you create a Jealousy. Dont think the Risque will prevent Supplies to the W. I. Islands.
We must prevent em Lumber as well as Provisions. Great Quantities will be exported, notwithstanding the Risque. All the fleet of B. cannot stop our Trade. We can carry it all on. We must starve the W. I. Islands and prevent em exporting their Produce to G.B. There will be great Quantities of Provisions and Lumber exported. It will enhance the Expence to carry em to Spain or France first and thence to the W. Indies, but the Price will be such that the W. Indies will get em.—I hold it clearly We can do without Trade. This Country produces all the Necessaries, many of the Conveniences and some of the Superfluities of Life. We cant grow rich. Our Provisions will be cheap. We can maintain our Army and our Poor. We shant loose our Sailors —The Fishermen will serve in another Capacity. We must defend the Lakes, and Cities.
Merchants will not grow rich—there is the Rub. I have too good an opinion of the Virtue of our People to suppose they will grumble.
If We drop our commercial System of Opposition We are undone.— We must fail.—We must give up the Profits of Trade or loose our Liberties.
Let the Door of Reconciliation be once shutt, I would trade with foreign Powers and apply to them for Protection.
Leave your Ports open, and every Man that can will adventure. The Risque will not prevent it.
It was strongly contended at the first Congress that Trade should be stopp'd to all the World, that all Remittances should cease. You would have saved a civil War if you had, but it could not be carried—the Gen• { 213 } tleman from S. Carolina could not prevail to stop our Exports to B., I. and W.I.
Our Vessells will all be liable to Seizure—our Trade must be a smuggling Trade. Yet We can trade considerably, and many Vessells will escape. No Vessell can take a Clearance. Many Vessells will go out unless you restrain them. All America is in suspence. The common sense of the People have pointed out this Measure. They have stopped their Vessells.
Lee. We possess a fine Climate and a fertile Soil. Wood, Iron, Sheep &c. We make 11. or 12,00000 thousand2 Pounds Worth of Provisions more than is necessary for our own Consumption. Dont think it necessary to combat the Opinion of some Gentlemen that We cannot live without Trade.
Money has debauched States as well as Individuals, but I hope its Influence will not prevail over America vs. her Rights and dearest Interests.
We shall distress the W. Indies so as immediately to quit Coin for Corn. 4 Millions go yearly from the W. Indies to B. and a Million at least returns. If our Provisions go from these Shores, then they will go where the best Price is to be had. W. Indies and our Enemies will get em.
If it was not proper a year ago, it may be now. This Proposition is not perpetual. When We get Powder We may make ourselves strong by sea and carry on Trade.
J. Rutledge. A Question of the greatest Magnitude that has come before this Congress. If it is necessary to do without Trade our Constituents will submit to it. The Army will be supplied with Flower from England, where it is now cheaper than here. But they would be supplied here, if they were to demand it, upon Pain of destroying our Towns. W. Indies are supplied and have laid up Stores, and some of them have been raising Provisions on their own Lands. It will bear hard upon the Farmer as well as the Merchant. Dont think the Reasons the same now as last Year. It would then have destroyed the Linen Manufactory, and the W.I.—but now they have had Notice of it they are prepared against it.
1. This and the following entry continue the debates in the committee of the whole on the state of American trade; see entries of 4, 5, 12, 13 Oct., above, and 21, 27 Oct., below.
2. Thus in MS. Corrected by CFA, no doubt properly, to “eleven or twelve hundred thousand.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-21

[Notes of Debates, Continued] Octr. 21.

Zubly. We cant do without Powder, Intelligence, Druggs. Georgia { 214 } must have an Indian War, if they cant supply the Indians. The Creeks and Cherrokees are in our Province. We must have Indian Trade. Four Millions have been spent in 6 Months. We have been successfull. But We have gain'd little. All the Power of G.B. it is true, has gained very little. N. England has been at great Expence, so has N. York. Pensylvania has spent hundred thousand Pounds of their Money to fortify their River. Virginia as much. N. Carolina a great deal. S. Carolina have issued a Million.
18 Millions of Dollars is an enormous Sum of Money. Whenever your Money fails, you fail too. We are to pay Six Millions, now, 12 Millions more presently, and have no Trade. I would bear the Character of a Madman, or that of an Emissary of Lord North, rather than believe it possible to pay 18 Millions of Dollars without Trade. Can We make bricks without Straw? We can live upon Acorns, but will We?
Wythe. The Rule that the Question should be put upon the last Motion that is made and seconded—this is productive of great Confusion in our Debates—6 or 7 Motions at once.
Commerce, whether we consider it, in an Economical, a moral, or political Light appears to be a great Good. Civility and Charity, as well as Knowledge are promoted by it. The Auri Sacra Fames is a fine Subject for Philosophers and Orators to display themselves upon. But the abuse of a Thing is not an Argument vs. it. If the Gentleman was possessed of Philosophers Stone or Fortunatus's Cap, would he not oblige the Continent with the Use of it.
Why should not America have a Navy? No maritime Power, near the Sea Coast, can be safe without it. It is no Chimaera. The Romans suddenly built one in their Carthaginian War. Why may We not lay a Foundation for it. We abound with Furs [Firs], Iron ore, Tar, Pitch, Turpentine. We have all the materials for construction of a Navy. No Country exceeds us in Felicity of Climate or Fertility of Soil. America is one of the Wings upon which the British Eagle has soared to the Skies. I am sanguine, and enthusiastical enough to wish and to hope, that it will be sung that America inter Nubila condit. British Navy will never be able to effect our Destruction. Before the days of Minus, Natives round the Archipelago carried on piratical Wars. The Moors carry on such Wars now, but the Pillars of Hercules are their Ne Plus ultra. We are too far off, for Britain to carry on a Piratical War. We shall sometime or other rise superiour to all the difficulties they may thro in our Way.—I wont say there is none that doeth good in Britain, no not one, but I will say she has not righteous Persons enough to save { 215 } their State. They hold those Things honorable which please em and those for just which profit em.
I know of no Instance where a Colony has revolted and a foreign Nation has interposed to subdue them. But many of the Contrary. If France and Spain should furnish Ships and Soldiers, England must pay them! Where are her Finances. Why should We divert our People from Commerce and banish our Seamen.
Our Petition may be declared to be received graciously, and promised to be laid before Parliament. But We can expect no success from it. Have they ever condescended to take Notice of you. Rapine, Depopulation, Burning, Murder. Turn your Eyes to Concord, Lexington, Charlestown, Bristol, N. York—there you see the Character of Ministry and Parliament.
We shall distress our Enemies by stopping Trade. Granted. But how will the small Quantities we shall be able to export, supply our Enemies. Tricks may be practised.
If desire of Gain prevails with Merchants so does Caution against Risques.
Gadsden. I wish We could keep to a Point. I have heard the two Gentlemen, with a great deal of Pleasure. I have argued for opening our Ports, but am for shutting them untill We hear the Event of our Petition to the King, and longer untill the Congress shall determine otherwise. I am for a Navy too, and I think that shutting our Ports for a Time, will help us to a Navy. If We leave our Ports open, warm Men will have their Ships seized, and moderate ones will be favoured.
Lee. When you hoist out a Glimmering of Hope that the People are to be furnished from abroad, you give a Check to our own Manufactures. People are now everywhere attending to Corn and Sheep and Cotton and Linen.
Chase. A Glove has been offered by the Gentleman from Georgia and I beg leave to discharge my Promise to that Gentleman to answer his Arguments.
My Position was this—that that Gentlemans System would end in the total destruction of American Liberty. I never shall dispute self evident Propositions.
The present State of Things requires Reconciliation, or Means to carry on War. Intelligence We must have. We must have Powder and shot. We must support the Credit of our Money.
You must have a Navy to carry on the War. You cant have a Navy says the Gentleman. What is the Consequence? I say, that We must submit.
{ 216 }
G.B. with 20 ships can distroy all our Trade, and ravage our sea Coast—can block up all your Harbours—prevent your getting Powder. What is the Consequence? That We should submit. You cant trade with nobody, you must trade with Somebody. You cant trade with any Body but G.B.—therefore I say We must submit. We cant trade with foreigners, the Gentleman said. The whole Train of his Reasoning proved that We must break our whole Association as to Exports and Imports. If We trade with G.B. will she furnish us with Powder and Arms.
Our Exports are about 3 Millions. Would B. permit us to export to her, and receive Cash in return? It would impoverish and ruin G.B. They will never permit a Trade on our Side without a Trade on theirs!
Gentn. from N. York, would not permit Tobacco and Naval Stores to be sent to G.B.—nothing that will support their naval Power or Revenue. But will not this break the Union? Would 3 Colonies stop their Staple when the other Colonies exported theirs.
1500 Seamen are employed by the Tobacco Colonies—125 Sail of british Ships.
But you may drop your Staple, your Tobacco. But it is difficult to alter old Habits. We have a great Number of female Slaves, that are best employed about Tobacco. N.C. cannot, will not give up their Staple.
The Gentleman from G. was for trading with G.B. and all the World. He says We cant trade with any Nation but Britain, therefore We must trade with B. alone.
What Trade shall we have, if We exclude B., I., W.I., british and foreign. Eastern Provinces may carry it on with a small Fleet, if their Harbours were fortified. S[outhern] Colonies cannot. Eastern Colonies cant carry on their Trade to that Extent without a naval Power to protect em not only on the Coast but on the Ocean, and to the Port of their Destination. The same force, that would assist the Eastern Colonies, would be of little service to us in summer Time. It must be a small, narrow and limited Trade.
The best Instrument We have is our Opposition by Commerce. If We take into Consideration G.B. in all her Glory—Commons voted 18.18.20 milions1 last War, 80,000 seamen, from her Trade alone. Her strength is all Artificial—from her Trade alone.
Imports from G.B. to the united Colonies are 3 Millions per annum—15 Millions to all the World—1/5th. 3/4 is british Manufactures.
A Thousand british Vessells are employed in American Trade. 12 Thousand Sailors—all out of employ. What a Stroke! I dont take into view I[reland] or W. Indies.
{ 217 }
Colonies generally indebted about one years Importation. The Revenue of Tobacco alone half a Million, if paid. N[orth] Britain enter less than the Quantity and dont pay what they ought. It employs a great Number of Manufacturers. Reexported abroad is a Million. It is more. 80,000 Hdds. are reexported and pays british Debts. The Reexport employs Ships, Sailors, Freight, Commissions, Insurance.
Ireland. The flaxseed 40,000£ st. Linen brought 2,150000£ from I. to England. Yard 200,000. Ireland can raise some flaxseed, but not much.
W. Indies. Glover, Burk, and other Authors. They depend for Indian Corn and Provisions, and Lumber, and they depend upon Us for a great Part of the Consumption of their Produce. Indian Corn and Fish are not to be had but from the Colonies, except Pilchards and Herrings. Jamaica can best provide for her Wants, but not entirely. Ireland can send em Beef and Butter but no Grain. B. can send em Wheat, Oats not Corn, without which they cannot do.
Stop Rum and Sugar, how do you affect the Revenue and the Trade?
They must relax the Navigation Act to enable foreign Nations to supply the W. Indies. This is dangerous as it would force open a Trade between foreigners and them.
Britain can never support a War with Us, at the Loss of such a valuable Trade.
Affrican Trade dependent upon the W. India Trade.—700,000£.
25,000 Hdds. of Sugar are imported directly into these Colonies and as much more, from Britain, manufactured.
Jamaica alone takes 150,000£ st. of our Produce.
National Debt 140,0000,2 ten Millions the Peace Establishment. 20 Million the whole Current Cash of the Nation. Blackstone. I never read any Body that better understood the subject. For the State of the Revenue, He calculates the Taxes of Ireland and England.
Taxes of B. perpetual and annual. Funds three—the Aggregate, general and South Sea. Taxes upon every Article of Luxuries and Necessaries. These funds are mortgaged for the civil List 800,000 as well as the Interest of the Debt.
1. Thus in MS. JA may have meant to write “18 or 20 millions.” The erratic punctuation and capitalization in this paragraph make it impossible to follow Chase's thought with certainty, and the editors' slight regularization of the passage may not be absolutely correct.
2. Thus in MS. CFA corrects to “one hundred and forty millions.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-25

Octr. 25th. 1775. Wednesday.

Mr. Duane told me at the Funeral of our late virtuous and able President1 that he, Mr. Duane, had accustomed him self to read the { 218 } Year Books. Mr. De Lancey who was C[hief] J[ustice] of N. York he said advised him to it, as the best Method of imbibing the Spirit of the Law. De Lancey told him that he had translated a Pile of Cases from the Year Books, altho he was a very lazy Man.
Duane says that Jefferson is the greatest Rubber off of Dust that he has met with, that he has learned French, Italian, Spanish and wants to learn German.2
Duane says, he has no Curiosity at all—not the least Inclination to see a City or a Building &c.
That his Memory fails, is very averse to be burthened. That in his Youth he could remember any Thing. Nothing but what he could learn, but it is very different now.
Last Evening Mr. Hewes of N. Carolina, introduced to my Namesake and me, a Mr. Hog from that Colony, one of the Proprietors of Transylvania, a late Purchase from the Cherokees upon the Ohio. He is an associate with Henderson who was lately one of the Associate Judges of N. Carolina, who is President of the Convention in Transylvania.
These Proprietors have no Grant from the Crown nor from any Colony, are within the Limits of Virginia and North Carolina, by their Charters which bound those Colonies on the South Sea. They are charged with Republican Notions—and Utopian Schemes.3
1. “This Ev'ning the honble. Peyton Randolph Esqr. late President of the Congress died suddenly of a paryletick fit at the house of Mr. Henry Hill near Schuylkill” (R. T. Paine, Diary, MHi, 22 Oct. 1775; see also Samuel Ward to Henry Ward, 24 Oct., in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:240). Next day (Monday) Congress appointed a committee “to superintend the funeral,” which took place on Tuesday the 24th, with Jacob Duché delivering a sermon at Christ Church and the entire Congress attending as mourners.
2. Though this is the first mention of Jefferson in JA's Diary, it by no means implies that the two men were unacquainted. They had served together in Congress for about six weeks in the preceding summer and had been colleagues on one important committee, that which prepared a reply to Lord North's conciliatory proposal in July 1775; see Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:225–233, and notes there. But since JA kept no diary during that session, we do not have his first impressions of the Virginia delegate whose career was to be so closely entwined with his own.
3. James Hogg had just arrived as a “delegate” representing the Transylvania Company, which, having purchased a vast tract of land from the Cherokee Indians, was endeavoring to establish a fourteenth colony in what is now Kentucky and Tennessee. Hogg's very interesting report on his “embassy” to Philadelphia is printed in Force, Archives, 4th ser., 4:543–546; see especially col. 544 on his meeting with “the famous Samuel and John Adams.” See also additional references in a footnote on the present entry as printed by Burnett in Letters of Members, 1:210, under the erroneous date of 28 Sept.—an error that must be nearly unique in this invaluable work but that is attributable to the inconspicuousness of the date headings in JA's Diary as printed by CFA.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-27

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] 1775. Octr. 27.1

R. R. Livingston. Cloathing will rise tho Provisions will fall. Labourers will be discharged. One Quarter Part of R. Island, N. York, and Pensylvania depend upon Trade, as Merchants, Shopkeepers, Shipwrights, Blockmakers, Riggers, Smiths, &c. &c. &c.
The 6 Northern [Colonies]2 must raise 9 millions of Dollars to support the Poor.
This Vote will stop our Trade for 14 months, altho it professes to do it only to the 20th of March. For the Winter when the Men of War cannot cruise upon the Coast is the only Time that We can trade.
Wealthy Merchants, and monied Men cannot get the Interest of Money.
More Virtue is expected from our People, than any People ever had. The low Countries did not reason as We do about speculative opinions, but they felt the oppression for a long Course of Years, rich and poor.
Zubly. Concludes that the Sense and Bent of the People, is vs. stopping Trade by the Eagerness with which they exported before the 10th. of September.
We cant get Intelligence, without Trade. All that are supported by Trade, must be out of Business.
Every Argument which shews that our Association will materially affect the Trade of G.B. will shew that We must be affected too, by a Stoppage of our Trade.
G.B. has many Resources. I have bought 2 Barrells of Rice in Carolina for 15s. and Negro Cloth was 3s. instead of 18d.
The W. Indies will get supplies to keep soul and Body together. The ingenious Dutchmen will smuggle some Indian Corn from America.
Is it right to starve one Man because I have quarelled with another. I have a great Scruple whether it is just, or prudent. In Decr. 1776, We shall owe between 20 and 30 Millions of Money.
J. Rutledge. Am for adhering to the Association and going no further. The Non Export, in Terrorem—and generally agreed.
The Consequences will be dreadfull, if We ruin the Merchants.
Will not the Army be supplied if Vessells go from one Province to another.
We may pass a Resolution that no live Stock shall be exported.3
1. First entry in booklet “25” as numbered by CFA (our D/JA/25). This is a memorandum book with red-brown leather covers containing a handful of scattered entries in 1775–1776, the last being dated 13 Oct. 1776, followed by notes on French grammar and vocabulary and a list of Philadelphia ad• { 220 } dresses of delegates to the Continental Congress.
The present entry concludes JA's notes of debates in committee of the whole on American trade. See 4, 5, 12, 13, 20, 21 Oct., above.
2. MS: “Dollars”—an obvious inadvertence.
3. Congress sat again on 31 Oct. as a committee of the whole on the state of American trade and agreed to “certain resolutions.” Three of these were adopted and the rest deferred on 1 Nov. (JCC, 3:314–315; see also an earlier version of the committee's report, same, p. 292–293).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-29

1775. Octr. 29. Sunday.

Paine brought in a large Sample of Salt Petre, made in this City, by Mr. Ripsama. It is very good, large and burns off, when laid upon a Coal like moist Powder. I tried it.
Heard Mr. Carmichael, at Mr. Duffils, on “Trust in the Lord and do good, so shall you dwell in the Land and verily thou shallt be fed.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0004-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-30

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] 1775. Octr. 30th. Monday.1

Ross. We cant get Seamen to man 4 Vessells. We could not get Seamen to mann our Boats, our Gallies.
Wythe, Nelson, and Lee for fitting out 4 Ships.
1. From D/JA/25, which then has a gap until 24 Jan. 1776. The present fragment is from a debate on resolutions, agreed to this day, to fit out four armed vessels for Continental service. Another resolution added JA to the committee to execute this business. See JCC, 3:311–312, and entry of 7 Oct. and note, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0005-0001

Author: Smith, William (Philadelphia apothecary)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-11-13

[William Smith's Bill for Sundry Medicines.]1

Mr. John Adams
Bought of William Smith.
 At the Rising Sun in Second Street between Market and Chestnut Streets.  
2 ozs. Cinnamon   £0:   6:   0  
1 oz. Turkey Rhubarb     2:   6  
1 oz. Cloves     2:    
1 oz. Pink Root     1:    
  £    11:   6  
[signed] Recd. the Contents for Dr. Wm. Smith per Malachy Salter Junr.
1. M-Ar: vol. 210. A printed form filled in.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0005-0002

Author: Smith, Ann
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-11-29

[Ann Smith's Bill for Laundry. ]1

John Adams Esqr. to An Smith Dr.
{ 221 }
    £   s   d  
Novr. 29   For washing of Seven doz. and 4 pieces of Lining at 3/6 per doz   1   5   4  
  For mending   0   3   9  
    1   9   1  
[signed] Received the Contents per Me Ann Smith
1. M-Ar: vol. 210. Endorsed by JA.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0005-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-11

[List of Persons Suitable for Naval Commands, November 1775]1

Captn. Isaac Sears
Thos. Randall
John Hanson
Christopher Miller
John Harrison.
Dudley Saltonstall
Eseck Hopkins.
Abraham Whipple.
[]Souther.
James Dougherty
Thomas More.
[]Reed.
Charles Alexander.
Michael Corbitt.
[]Davinson.
Clement Lempriere. S.C.
[]Obrian.
[]Carghill.
John Lawrence.
[]Alexander2
[]Faulkner.
Simeon Sampson. P.3
1. This list, not printed by CFA in his edition of the Diary, was written inside the back cover of D/JA/24. Since the names were obviously put down at different times, the list may be supposed a running memorandum of persons suggested for commands in the naval force for which Congress was being forced to plan in the last months of 1775; see entries of 7 and 30 Oct. and notes, above.
On 2 Nov. Congress voted $100,000 for the work of the committee on armed vessels or “naval committee,” and authorized it “to agree with such officers and seamen, as are proper to man and command said vessels” (JCC, 3:316). Probably the present list of qualified officers was begun at that moment. On 5 Nov.JA wrote to Elbridge Gerry, a member of the Massachusetts House: “I must ... intreat you to let me know { 222 } the Names, Places of Abode, and Characters, of such Persons belonging to any of the seaport Towns in our Province, who are qualified for Officers and Commanders of Armed Vessells” (NHpR). Gerry must have brought this and JA's related inquiries before the House, for a partial copy of his letter is among the papers of that body, docketed “Mr. Speaker Mr. Gerry Colo. Orne,” evidently a committee to whom it was referred (M-Ar: vol. 207). On the same day (5 Nov.) JA had addressed a very similar appeal to James Warren, speaker of the House (MHi; Warren-Adams Letters, 1:174–175), and Warren replied in detail on 14–16 Nov., naming Simeon Sampson and Daniel Souther as good officer candidates (Adams Papers; same, p. 181–186). Souther was well up on JA's list, but Sampson is the last name there and may have been added upon receipt of Warren's letter. If this is so, it fixes an approximate closing date for the list, say soon after 20 November.
On 22 Dec. the committee reported to Congress the names of the officers it had already appointed (JCC, 3:443). Of the five senior officers—Ezek Hopkins, “commander in chief of the fleet,” and Saltonstall, Whipple, Biddle, and John Burroughs Hopkins, captains—three are on JA's list. Others from that list obtained Continental commands later on, and still others served as privateers or in state naval forces, but detailed annotation of these names must be left to naval historians.
2. Doubtless a repeated entry for Charles Alexander, above.
3. An alphabetical arrangement, with the names filled in and corrected and the colonies with which they were associated, follows. Since many of the names are common ones, some of the identifications must be considered tentative: Charles Alexander, Penna. James? Cargill, Mass. Michael Corbet, Mass. Samuel Davison, Penna. James Dougherty, probably Penna. Nathaniel Falconer, Penna. John Hanson, Md. John Harrison, Md. Ezek Hopkins, R.I. John Lawrence, probably Conn. Clement Lempriere, S.C. Christopher Miller, N.Y. Thomas Moore, Md. Jeremiah O'Brien, Mass. Thomas Randall, N.Y. or Penna. Thomas Read, Del. Dudley Saltonstall, Conn. Simeon Sampson, Mass, (the “P.” following his name must stand for Plymouth, his home port.) Isaac Sears, Mass. Daniel Souther, Mass. Abraham Whipple, R.I.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0006-0001

Author: Stille, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-06-24
Date: 1775-11-07
Date: 1775-12-07

[John Stille's Bill for Clothing.]1

John Adams Esqr. To John Stille   Dr.  
1775 June 24th.          
 To makeing Suit of Nankeen   0:   6:   0    
 3 3/4 Y[ard]s of Linnen @ 3/6   0:   13:   1   1/2  
 Buttons   0:   2:   7    
 Thread 1/6 Silk 3/ hair 2/ Buckram /3 Staying 1/6   0:   8:   3    
  £2:   9:   11   1/2  
Novem 7th.          
 To makeing 2 pair of Draws   0:   4:   0    
 3 Y[ard]s of Superfine White flannel at 7/   1:   1:      
  £3:   14:   11   1/2  
[signed] John Stille
1. M-Ar: vol. 210. Endorsed by JA.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0006-0002

Author: Aitken, Robert
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-12-08

[Robert Aitken's Bill for Books]1

John Adams Esqr. Bought of R. Aitken        
1775          
Decr. 8   To 3 red Memdm. books @ 1/32     3   9  
  To 2 Sticks Sealing wax 1/     2    
  To Marshall Saxe's Reveries I paid to Mrs. Hall for you     13    
  <To 1 Sett political Disquisitions 3 Vols.>   <1>   <10>   <>  
    0   18   9  
[signed] Frans: Sellers
N.B. I am not certain whither it was the Political Disquisitions or some other book you had from me, when you got them you proposed paying me but for want of Change at that time, it was not done, & I omitted setting any of your Accot. down in my book. I therefore beg you will set the matter right.
[signed] R. Aitken
.3
1. M-Ar: vol. 210.
2. These are doubtless the three booklets in red-brown leather covers (D/JA/23–25) in which, for the most part, JA kept his Diary from Sept. 1775 to Sept. 1776.
3. James Burgh, author of Political Disquisitions ..., London, 1774–1775, had already presented to JA an inscribed set of the first two volumes of this work critical of British political institutions. The inscription is dated 7 March 1774. When the third volume was published in the following year, Burgh sent JA a complete set, inscribing this also. Both sets survive in the Boston Public Library. See JA to Burgh, 28 Dec. 1774 (Adams Papers, an incomplete draft; printed in JA, Works, 9:350–352).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0006-0003

Author: Smith, Daniel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-12-08

[Daniel Smith's Bill for Entertainment.]1

Jno. Adams     Dr.  
      s   d  
1775   To Club Venison Dinner     10   10  
  2 Bottles Cyder     2    
    S   12   10  
[signed] Danl. Smith
1. M-Ar: vol. 210. Date supplied from an entry in JA's Account with Massachusetts, Aug.–Dec. 1775, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-12-09

1775. Decr. 9th.1

Having Yesterday as[ked and] obtained Leave of Congress to go home, this Morning I mounted, with my own Servant only, about { 224 } twelve O Clock, and reached the red Lyon about two where I dine. The Roads very miry and dirty, the Weather pleasant, and not cold.2
1. This is the first regular entry since 29 Oct. in JA's Diary. Why he failed to keep a record of either personal or congressional affairs during the last six weeks he attended Congress is unexplained except by the number of committees on which he sat and the amount of writing that some of them, notably the so-called naval committee, required. His correspondence also fell off. On 25 Nov. he wrote to Mercy Warren:
“I wish it was in my Power to write to you oftener than I do, but I am really engaged in constant Business [from] seven to ten in the Morning in Committee, from ten to four in Congress and from Six to Ten again in Committee. Our Assembly is scarcly numerous enough for the Business. Every Body is engaged all Day in Congress and all the Morning and evening in Committees” (Adams Papers).
In respect to JA's activities in Congress the gap in the Diary is at least partially supplied by his Autobiography, which states that he sought a leave at this time because he was “worn down with long and uninterrupted Labour.”
2. JA's itinerary and expenses on this return trip from Philadelphia are recorded in meticulous detail in his Account with Massachusetts, Aug.-Dec. 1775, q.v. above. He arrived in Braintree on 21 December.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0007-0002

Author: Yard, Sarah
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-12-09

[Sarah Yard's Bill for Board.]1

John Adams to Mrs. Yard Dr.
To Board from Septr. 12 to Decr. 8 at 30s. per Week   18:   17:   0  
To a Servants Board for same Time at 15s. per Week   9:   8:   6  
To Clubb in Punch and Wine at Dinner and in your own Room   11:   0:   0  
To Sperma Ceti Candles at .05s. per Week   3:   0:   0  
To Firewood for 8 Weeks at 7s: 6 per Week   1:   10:   0  
To Cash paid for the Post   0:   3:   0  
  43:   18:   6  
  20:   0:   0  
  23:   18:   6  
[signed] By Cash recd, the Above in fool Sarah Yard
>
1. M-Ar: vol. 210. In JA's hand except the dated acknowledgment of payment, which was written and signed by Mrs. Yard. At foot of page are some arithmetical calculations by JA, apparently irrelevant, and a highly relevant notation by the legislative committee appointed to report on JA's accounts converting £23 18s. 6d. Philadelphia currency to £19 2s. gd. lawful money; see JA's Account with Massachusetts, Aug.–Dec. 1775, above, and note 3 there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0007-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-12-10

1775. Decr. 10. Sunday.

Rode from Bristol to Trenton, breakfasted, rode to Princetown, and dined with a Captain Flahaven, in Ld. Sterlings Regiment, who has been express to Congress from his Lordship.
{ 225 }
Flahaven's Father lives in this Province. He has lived in Maryland. Says that the Virginia Convention granting the Scotch Petition to be neutral has done all the Mischief and been the Support of Lord Dunmore. He says the Scotch are in some Parts of Virginia powerfull—that in Alexandria he has heard them cursing the Congress and vilifying not only their public Proceedings but their private Characters. He has heard them decrying the Characters of the Maryland Delegates particularly Chase and the Virginia Delegates particularly Lee, Henry and Washington.
Last Evening, when I dismounted at Bristow, the Taverner shewed me into a Room, where was a young Gentleman very elegantly dress'd, with whom I spent the Evening. His name I could not learn. He told me, he had been an Officer in the Army but had sold out. I had much Conversation with him and some of it very free.
He told me, We had two valuable Prizes among the Prisoners, taken at Chambly and St. Johns—a Mr. Barrington Nephew of Lord Barrington, and a Captain Williams who he says is the greatest Officer in the Service. He gives a most exalted Character of Williams as a Mathematician, Phylosopher, Engineer, and in all other Accomplishments of an Officer.
In the Evening Mr. Baldwin came to see me. We waited on Dr. Witherspoon the President of the Colledge where we saw Mr. Smith and two other of the light Horse from Philadelphia going to the Camp with a Waggon.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0007-0004

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bass, Joseph
Date: 1775-12-21

[Joseph Bass' Bills to John and Samuel Adams.]1

John Adams Esqr. to Joseph Bass Dr.
AD 1775                  
Sepr. 11   For bording at Mr. Dibleys   0:   8:   5          
Oct.   For one pr. of Quality binding   0   4   0          
  Paid to the Sadler   0   2:   3          
  Paid for triming of the horses   0   5:   0          
  For one Quir of paper   0   3:   6          
  For one Dito   0   3:   6          
  For one stick of sealing wax   0:   1:   0          
  For one Comb   0   2   6          
  For one Quier of paper   0   3:   6          
            £   s   d  
  Pen. Curr.   £1   13   8   =   1:   7:   0  
              L.M.    
[signed] Recd. the above Joseph Bass
{ 226 }
Mr. Adamses bill
Mr. Adams Dr. to Joseph Bass
  £   s   d  
To my Wages from 28th. Aug. to 21. Deer. 1775 @ £3 per Month   11:   5:   0  
[signed] Recd. the above in full Joseph Bass
Honl. Samuel Adams, & John Adams Esqr. to Joseph Bass Dr.
AD 1775     £   s   d  
Nor. 8   For travling Charges to Philidelpha   19:   18:   0  
  To one doz of pipes   0:   15:   0  
  For hors hier   1:   3:   9  
Nor. 28   For one doz of pipes   0:   18:   0  
  To half a doz Dito   0:   3:   0  
  To two pound of tobacow   0:   18:   0  
  Old Ten[or]   £23:   15:   9  
Recd. one half of Mr. J. Adams £1:1 is: 6 L.M.
[signed] Joseph Bass
1. M-Ar: vol. 210. Endorsed by JA.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-03

1776 Jany. 3d. Wednesday.1

1. This heading without text is the last entry in D/JA/24.
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 in M-Ar: 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.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-24

1776. January 24. Wednesday.1

Began my Journey to Phildelphia, dined at C[olonel] Mifflins at { 227 } Cambridge with G. Washington, and Gates and their Ladies, and half a Dozen Sachems and Warriours of the french Cocknowaga Tribe, with their Wives and Children. Williams is one, who was captivated in his Infancy, and adopted. There is a Mixture of White Blood french or English in most of them. Louis, their Principal, speaks English and french as well as Indian. It was a Savage feast, carnivorous Animals devouring their Pray. Yet they were wondrous polite. The General introduced me to them as one of the Grand Council Fire at Philadelphia, upon which they made me many Bows, and a cordial Reception.2
1. First entry in D/JA/25 since 30 Oct. 1775. The following entries, through 29 Jan., are from the same booklet.
On 15 Dec. 1775 the General Court elected the two Adamses, Hancock, and Paine to another year's term as delegates to the Continental Congress, but replaced Thomas Cushing with Elbridge Gerry—an action that disturbed conservatives both in Massachusetts and in Congress. See Mass., House Jour, 1775–1776, 3d sess., p. 44; Samuel Adams to James Warren, 8 March 1776, Warren-Adams Letters, 1:211–212. But JA was pleased by it and had the company of Gerry on the road to Philadelphia, where the two arrived on 8 Feb. and took their seats in Congress next day (JA to AA, 11 Feb. 1776, Adams Papers; see also JCC, 4:122).
2. On the Caughnawagas, who had come to offer their services to the Americans, see Washington to Philip Schuyler, 27 Jan. 1776 (Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 4:280–281).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-25

1776. Jany. 25. Thursday.

About 10 Mr. Gerry called me, and we rode to Framingham, where We dined. Coll. Buckminster after Dinner shewed us, the Train of Artillery brought down from Ticonderoga, by Coll. Knox.1 It consists of Iron—9 Eighteen Pounders, 10 Twelves, 6. six, four nine Pounders, Three 13. Inch Mortars, Two Ten Inch Mortars, one Eight Inch, and one six and an half. Howitz,2 one Eight Inch and an half and one Eight.
Brass Cannon. Eight Three Pounders, one four Pounder, 2 six Pounders, one Eighteen Pounder, and one 24 Pounder. One eight Inch and an half Mortar, one Seven Inch and an half Dto. and five Cohorns.
After Dinner, rode to Maynards, and supped there very agreably.
1. The documents relative to Knox's transportation of the great train of artillery from Fort Ticonderoga to the American camp outside Boston are printed by Alexander C. Flick in N.Y. State Hist. Assoc., Quart. Jour., 9:119–135 (April 1928). They include Knox's own inventory of the guns, with which JA's list closely corresponds and which has been helpful in interpreting JA's confusing punctuation in this passage.
2. A singular or plural form according to OED. Knox's list has the more conventional term “Howitzers.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-26

1776 Jany 26. Fryday.

Stopped at Sternes's [Stearns's] in Worcester, and dined with Mr. { 228 } Lincoln at Mr. Jonathan Williams's.1 In Putnams Office where I formerly trimm'd the Midnight Lamp, Mr. Williams keeps Laws Works and Jacob Behmens, with whose Mistical Reveries he is much captivated.2
1. This Jonathan Williams (d. 1780), Harvard 1772, had been a law clerk in JA's office. He was a cousin of the better-known Jonathan Williams (1750–1815), Benjamin Franklin's great-nephew, who a little later crossed JA's path when serving as American agent at Nantes and who became first superintendent of the military academy at West Point; see DAB. On JA's law clerk see “Suffolk Bar Book,” MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 19 (1881–1882):151; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; John Thaxter to JA, 7 Aug. 1780, Adams Papers.
2. William Law, author of A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, 1728, and other religious works, was an English disciple of the German mystic Jakob Boehme or Behmen; see DNB under Law.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-28

1776. Sunday. Jany. 28.

Mr. Upham informs that this Town of Brookfield abounds with a Stone, out of which Allum, Coperas and Sulphur are made. Out of one Bushell of this Stone, he made five Pounds of Coperas. He put the Stone into a Tub, poured Water on it, let it Stand 2 or 3 days, then drew it off, and boiled the Liquor away—let it stand and it shot into a Kind of Christals. Adding Chamberly1 and Alkaline Salts to the Coperas and that makes Allum.
We made some Sulphur, by Sublimation. We put 4 Quarts of the Stone into an Iron Kettle, laid a Wooden Cover over the Kettle leaving an Hole in the Middle. Then We put an Earthern Pot over the Top of the Kettle, and cemented it with Clay—then made a fire under the Kettle, and the Sulphur sublimated. We got about a Spoonfull.2
We have found a Bed of yellow Ocre in this Town. I got 12,00 Wt. We make Spanish Brown by burning the yellow Ocre.
1. Chamber-lye (variously spelled, 1500–1800): “Urine; esp. as used for washing, etc.” (OED).
2. JA could hardly have participated in these experiments, and so it must be assumed that this and the following paragraph are direct discourse by Upham. CFA supplied quotation marks around this passage.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-29

1776 Monday. Jan. 29.

Rode to Springfield, dined at Scotts. Heard that the Cannon at Kingsbridge in N. York were spiked up. That dry Goods, English Goods were sent round to N. York from Boston, and from N. York sold all over N.E. and sent down to Camp. That Tryon has issued Writs for the Choice of a new Assembly, and that the Writs were likely to be obeyed, and the Tories were likely to carry a Majority of Members.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-02-16

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] 1776. Feb.[16]1

In Committee of the whole.
Cant we oblige B. to keep a Navy on foot the Expence of which will be double to what they will take from Us. I have heard of Bullion Sp[anish] Flotas being stoppd least they should be taken—But perishable Commodities never were stopped. Open your Ports to Foreigners. Your Trade will become of so much Consequence, that Foreigners will protect you.2
Wilson. A Gentleman from Mass, thinks that a middle Way should be taken. That Trade should be opened, for some Articles, and to some Places, but not for all Things and to all Places.
I think the Merchants ought to judge for themselves of the danger and Risque. We should be blamed if We did not leave it to them.
I differ from the Gentleman of Massachusetts. Trade ought in War to be carried on with greater Vigour. By what means did B. carry on their Tryumphs last War? The United Provinces their War vs. Spain.
If We determine that our Ports shall not be opened, our Vessells abroad will not return. Our Seamen are all abroad—will not return, unless We open our Trade. I am afraid it will be necessary to invite Foreigners to trade with Us, altho We loose a great Advantage, that of trading in our own Bottoms.
Sherman. I fear We shall maintain the Armies of our Enemies at our own Expence with Provisions. We cant carry on a beneficial Trade, as our Enemies will take our Ships. A Treaty with a foreign Power is necessary, before We open our Trade, to protect it.
Rutledge.3
Harrison. We have hobbled on, under a fatal Attachment to G.B. I felt it as much as any Man but I feel a stronger to my Country.
Wythe. The Ports will be open the 1st. March. The Q. is whether We shall shutt em up. Faece Romuli non Republica Platonis. Americans will hardly live without Trade. It is said our Trade will be of no Advantage to Us, because our Vessells will be taken, our Enemies will be supplied, the W.I. will be supplied at our Expence. This is too true, unless We can provide a Remedy. Our Virginia Convention have resolved, that our Ports be opened to all Nations that will trade with us, except G.B., I. and W.I. If the Inclination of the People, should become universal to trade, We must open our Ports. Merchants will not export our Produce, unless they get a Profit.
{ 230 }
We might get some of our Produce to Markett, by authorizing Adventurers to Arm themselves, and giving Letters of Mark—make Reprisals.
2d. by inviting foreign Powers to make Treaties of Commerce with us.
But other Things are to be considered, before such a Measure is adopted. In what Character shall We treat, as subjects of G.B.—as Rebells? Why should We be so fond of calling ourselves dutifull Subjects.
If We should offer our Trade to the Court of France, would they take Notice of it, any more than if Bristol or Liverpool should offer theirs, while We profess to be Subjects.—No. We must declare ourselves a free People.
If We were to tell them, that after a Season, We would return to our Subjection to G.B., would not a foreign Court wish to have Something permanent.
We should encourage our Fleet. I am convinced that our Fleet may become as formidable as We wish to make it. Moves a Resolution.4
1. First entry in booklet “26” (our D/JA/26), a pocket memorandum book stitched in red-brown leather covers and containing scattered notes of debates in Congress from February to April (possibly early May) 1776.
The day on which the present debate took place can be assigned with some confidence because Richard Smith summarized in his Diary under 16 Feb. a debate of “4 or 5 Hours ... in Grand Comee. [committee of the whole] on Trade,” which corresponds at essential points with JA's fragmentary notes (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:350–52; see JCC, 4:154). See note 4, below.
2. JA does not indicate whose speech this was.
3. Following [Edward] Rutledge's name there is a blank in the MS amounting to two-thirds of a page. JA probably intended to supply notes on Rutledge's speech but failed to do so.
4.
“Wyth ... offered Propositions whereof the first was that the Colonies have a Right to contract Alliances with Foreign Powers, an Objection being offered that this was Independency there ensued much Argument upon that Ground. a leading Question was given Whether this Proposn. shall be considered by the Comee. it was carried in the Affirmative 7 Colonies to 5. then it was debated and postponed” (Richard Smith, Diary, 16 Feb., Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:350–351).
See also JA's Memorandum of Measures to Be Pursued in Congress, Feb.? 1776, following.
From this point until he sailed for France in Feb. 1778, JA's Diary is so fragmentary that it is scarcely practical to indicate, even in summary form, the events in his personal and political life which he failed to record. In compensation, however, one may turn to his Autobiography, where the record for the year 1776 is remarkably full, for when he came to deal with that climactic year he read the published Journals of Congress closely, quoted from them copiously, and commented on them with characteristic freedom. (His own extensive collection of the Journals, Phila., 1777–1788, and early reprints, survives in the Boston Public Library; see Cat. of JA's Library, p. 60–61.) What is more, he occasionally dipped into his files of old correspondence, as he had not done at all up to this point in the Autobiography, to support his commentary. The result is { 231 } that about half of the entire text of Part One of the Autobiography is devoted to the first ten months of 1776 alone, ending with his departure from Congress in October of that year.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-02

[Memorandum of Measures to Be Pursued in Congress, February? 1776.]1

Mem.
The Confederation to be taken up in Paragraphs.2
An Alliance to be formed with France and Spain.3
Embassadors to be sent to both Courts.
Government to be assumed in every Colony.4
Coin and Currencies to be regulated.5
Forces to be raised and maintained in Canada and New York. St. Lawrence and Hudsons Rivers to be secured.
Hemp to be encouraged and the Manufacture of Duck.6
Powder Mills to be built in every Colony, and fresh Efforts to make Salt Petre.7
An Address to the Inhabitants of the Colonies.8
The Committee for Lead and Salt to be fill'd up, and Sulphur added to their Commission.
Money to be sent to the Paymaster, to pay our Debts, and fullfill our Engagements.
Taxes to be laid, and levied, Funds established. New Notes to be given on Interest, for Bills borrowed.
Treaties of Commerce with F. S. H. D. &c.9
Declaration of Independency, Declaration of War with the Nation, Cruising on the british Trade, their East India Ships and Sugar Ships.10
Prevent the Exportation of Silver and Gold.
1. Regrettably it is impossible to date this important memorandum with certainty. In the MS (D/JA/25) it appears on two facing pages between the entries of 26 and 28 Jan. 1776, which, disregarding other considerations, should indicate that it was written during JA's return journey to Philadelphia. This may be the case, but for reasons pointed out elsewhere the editors have learned to distrust the physical position of undated entries in the Diary as clues to their dates of composition. JA's list displays such familiarity with issues current in Congress that it is extremely doubtful that he could have prepared it on his way back to Philadelphia. It is far more likely that he drew it up after he had resumed his seat on 9 Feb. and had tested the temper of his fellow delegates and, through them, the temper of the country, especially those sections of it beyond New England — which he now felt certain, to use Jefferson's phrase, was ready to fall “from the parent stem” (Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:313). What he found was that, except for Virginia, most of the other colonies were not matured to that point of ripeness, and his task was, in conjunction with others of his mind in Congress, to bring them to that point. As the notes below indicate, many of the measures listed can be identified as resolutions introduced in Congress by JA and other leaders of the independence party during the weeks { 232 } immediately following his return; others were not put forward until late spring or early summer, or at least did not get beyond the talking stage and so are not recorded in the Journal.
The most plausible supposition is that JA compiled his list of agenda, which has the appearance of being composed at one sitting, after conferring with Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee, and others with advanced views and agreeing with them on what measures should be pressed, soon after taking his seat, very probably between 10 and 15 Feb. and certainly before 23 Feb. (see note 7, below). If this is a sound conjecture, this paper may be regarded as minutes of a caucus among members who favored American independence.
2. On 21 July 1775 Franklin had laid before Congress a draft plan of “Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union,” but the subject was so touchy that no record of it was made in the official Journal. Copies of Franklin's plan circulated in the colonies and even reached print, but without noticeable effect (Burnett, Continental Congress, p. 91–92; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:179–180). On 23 Dec. 1775 Jefferson, as chairman of a committee to ascertain the unfinished business before Congress, entered the “Report of the Proposed Articles of Confederation (adjourned from August last)” as the first item, but it was struck from his list, probably by the committee before reporting (JCC, 3:454–456; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:274–275). According to Richard Smith's Diary there were “considerable Arguments” on the floor of Congress, 16 Jan. 1776, “on the Point Whether a Day shall be fixed for considering the Instrument of Confederation formerly brought in by a Comee. it was carried in the Negative [and so not recorded in the Journal]. Dr. Franklin exerted Himself in Favor of the Confederation as did Hooper, Dickinson and other[s] agt. it” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:313; and see Samuel Adams to JA, 15–16 Jan. 1776, Adams Papers; same, p. 311–312). The Journal of Congress is silent on this subject until 7 June, when the Virginia Resolutions “respecting independency” were brought in, one of which proposed “That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation,” and after debate extending over several days a committee was appointed “to prepare and digest the form of a confederation to be entered into between these colonies” (JCC, 5:425, 431, 433). For later developments see entries of 25 July and following, below.
3. A proposal approaching this was made by George Wythe on 16 Feb. 1776; see JA's Notes of Debates of that date, preceding, and note 4 there.
4. JA's main objective (and accomplishment) in the spring of 1776. See his Notes of Debates, 13–15 May, below, and notes there.
5. On 19 April 1776 a committee, of which JA was a member, was appointed by Congress “to examine and ascertain the value of the several species of gold and silver coins, current in these colonies, and the proportions they ought to bear to Spanish milled dollars” (JCC, 4:294). Its report, largely the work of George Wythe, was brought in on 22 May and tabled (same, p. 381–383). For its later history see Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:511–518).
6. This proposal was introduced by JA and adopted by Congress in an enlarged form in March; see JA's Draft Resolutions for Encouraging Agriculture and Manufactures, Feb.–March, below.
7. These proposals, together with the next but one in the present list of agenda, emerged in a series of four important resolutions, adopted by Congress on 23 Feb., to promote the production of military supplies, and ordered to be published (JCC, 4:170–171). Richard Smith in his Diary noted that “these were presented by John Adams” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:361). They were printed in the Pennsylvania Gazette of 28 Feb. 1776.
8. A committee of five members had been appointed on 24 Jan. to draft such an address (JCC, 4:87). All of its members were conservatives (Dickinson, Wilson, Hooper, Duane, and Alexander), and the draft they submitted on 13 Feb., largely the work of Wilson, was a conservative paper that disavowed independence as an American aim (same, p. 134–146; C. Page Smith, James Wilson, Founding Father, 1742–1798, Cha• { 233 } pel Hill, 1956, p. 74–76). This address was in fact part of a campaign by conservative leaders, begun two weeks earlier, to smoke out those in Congress who were secretly working for independence; see Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:304, 311, 326, 334, 348. Proceeding on the assumption that the present notes were the product of a caucus of delegates determined on strong measures, this item could appear among their agenda only because they wished either to alter the proposed address drastically or to suppress it entirely. When it was presented on 13 Feb., they succeeded in tabling it, and it was never resurrected. But while these facts are all consonant with the date of mid-February suggested for JA's memorandum, they do not help to date it any more precisely.
9. France, Spain, Holland, Denmark.
10. On 23 March Congress after some days of debate passed a series of resolutions authorizing “the inhabitants of these colonies ... to fit out armed vessels to cruize on the enemies of these United Colonies” and establishing regulations concerning prizes taken by such privateers (JCC, 4:229–233). The committee that reported a draft of these resolutions (in the form of a “Declaration”) consisted of Wythe, Jay, and Wilson, but their report was amended in Congress, and JA with little doubt contributed to its final form as published (except for a secret paragraph) in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 27 March; see his Autobiography under 19, 22, 23 March 1776. On the day of its adoption JA told a friend that it amounted to at least “three Quarters of a war” against Great Britain (to Horatio Gates, NHi; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:405–406).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-02

[Draft Resolves Concerning the Secret Committee of Correspondence and a Plan of Confederation, February? 1776.]1

Resolved that the Committee of Secret Correspondence be directed to lay their Letters before this Congress.
Resolved that [] be a Committee to prepare a Draught of firm Confederation, to be reported as soon as may be to this Congress, to be considered and digested and recommended to the several Assemblies and Conventions of these united Colonies, to be by them adopted, ratified and confirmed.
1. It is impossible to date with certainty these draft resolutions, which JA perhaps introduced in an unrecorded session of a committee of the whole. In the MS they follow his notes of debates assigned to 16 Feb. and precede the quotation from Jeremiah which follows the present entry. But it was not until 10 May that Congress “Resolved, That the Committee of Secret Correspondence be directed to lay their proceedings before Congress on Monday next, withholding the names of the persons they have employed, or with whom they have corresponded” (JCC, 4:345). And it was not until 11–12 June (as a result of the Virginia Resolutions of 7 June) that a committee was agreed to and appointed to prepare a plan of confederation (same, 5:431, 433; see Memorandum of Measures to Be Pursued in Congress, preceding, and note 2 there).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-02

[February? 1776.]

3. Jer. 12. Go proclaim these Words towards the North. Return thou { 234 } backsliding Israel and I will not cause my anger to fall upon you, for I am merciful and will not be angry forever.1
1. On 17 Feb. Congress “Resolved, That a committee of three be chosen to prepare instructions for the committee appointed to go to Canada”; and the members chosen were JA, Wythe, and Sherman (JCC, 4:159). They reported a draft on 9 March, which after amendments and additions was finally adopted and spread on the Journal on 20 March (same, p. 193, 215–219). Doubtless JA recorded this appropriate Scriptural passage while engaged in this assignment, which he considered to be of the utmost importance; see his Autobiography under 17 Feb., 20 March 1776.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0002-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-02

[February? 1776.]

Any Goods or Commodities, except Staves for Sale, may be exported, from the united Colonies to any other Part of the World, not subject to the Crown of G.B.1
1. Written on an otherwise blank front leaf in D/JA/26, this is evidently tentative phrasing for an article in the report of the committee of the whole on American trade. From 16 Feb. on, this committee discussed from time to time the opening of American ports, and on 6 April Congress voted certain regulations including the present one, though in different language (JCC, 4:154, 257).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1776-02 - 1776-03

[Draft Resolutions for Encouraging Agriculture and Manufactures, February–March 1776.]1

Resolved, That it be recommended to the several Assemblies, Conventions, Councils of Safety and Committees of Correspondence and Inspection, that they use their utmost Endeavours, by all reasonable Means to promote die Culture of Flax, Hemp, and Cotton and the Growth of Wool in these united Colonies.
Resolved That it be recommended to the Assemblies, Conventions, and Councils of Safety, that they take the earliest Measures for erecting in each and every Colony a Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and that a