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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-06-02-02-0013-0005

Author: Adams, John
Author: Boston Town Meeting
Date: 1774-07-19

Report of the Committee on Ways and Means

19 July 1774. Report of the Committee on Ways and Means. No Dft found. printed: Boston Record Commissioners, 18th Report, p. 181.
John Adams had returned home by 17 July, for he wrote to James Warren on that date from Braintree. How much part he played in the committee's deliberations is problematical.
“The Committee on Ways and Means Reported verbally, that they had been considering of the best Methods to Employ the Poor; and informed the Town, 'That the building a Wharff from the South End, leading to Dorchester Neck, and a House or Two on the Town's Lands, at that Part of the Town was what they thought might be of Service: That they had other Proposals to make in some future Time; but that for the present, the Comittee desired the Sense of the Town, with Respect to the Expediency of employing a Number of Inhabitants now out of Employ, in Carrying on a Wharff.'”
In the morning session, the town voted to accept the committee's recommendation to build a wharf, laying down certain conditions. In the afternoon, however, the town voted to reconsider its vote, decision being post poned to another meeting.

Docno: ADMS-06-02-02-0013-0006

Author: Adams, John
Author: Boston Town Meeting
Date: 1774-08-09

Report of the Committee on Ways and Means

9 August 1774. Report of the Committee on Ways and Means. No Dft found. printed: Boston Record Commissioners, 18th Report, p. 187–188.
The committee's recommendation that the poor of Charlestown who were affected by the closing of Boston's port should share in the donations being made to Boston was promptly accepted by the town, which voted to allow them a share of 7 percent.
The committee “reported further, 'That they had thought it expedient to erect a House at the South Part of the Town, on the Town's Land, for the Employment of Tradesmen, and now out of Work, provided the Town will furnish the Materials wanted for such a Building, upon Condition, that the Committe on Ways and Means defray the whole Amount of the Labour, out of the Donations they have received.'” The motion to accept the report and order the town treasurer to borrow money for buying building materials was voted down. A second motion to permit the Committee on Ways and Means to purchase a piece of town land for its appraised value also failed to pass.
No Dft found. Printed (Boston Record Commissioners, 18th Report, p. 187–188).

Docno: ADMS-06-02-02-0014

Author: Gage, Thomas
Author: Massachusetts, Governor of
Date: 1774-05-25

Elected Council Members Negatived by Governor Thomas Gage

Boston, 25 May 1774. MS (M-Ar): 50, p. 520–521. Of the twenty-eight councilors elected by joint ballot of the House of Representatives and outgoing Council, John Adams was one of thirteen rejected by Gage on 26 May. The others were James Bowdoin, Samuel Dexter, John Winthrop, Timothy Danielson, Benjamin Austin, William Phillips, Michael Fawley, James Prescot, Norton Quincy, Jerathmeel Bowers, Enoch Freeman, and Jedediah Foster.
MS (M-Ar: 50, p. 520–521.)

Docno: ADMS-06-02-02-0015

Author: Nicolson, Mary
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1774-05-26

From Mary Nicolson

[salute] Dear Sir

I have this moment been enformd that You and a Number of Worthy Gentlemen, have been Honorably negatived, by Our new Governer.1 I most sincerely give you Joy of it, for “when impious men bear sway, the Post of Honor is a private Station.”2 I could have wish'd you had, at this critical Season, been one of the Honble. Council, but your Abilities, can nevertheless be of service to your Country. May they ever be exersized in its interest! This will procure you a more lasting Glory than all the Titles in the gift of any Tool of Tyranny. I am Sir, after my tenderest wishes for your Ladys restoration to confermd health, Your Affectionate Friend and Humle. Servt.,
[signed] MNicolson3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “John Adams Esqr Present”; docketed in a later hand.
{ 97 } { 98 }
1. For JA's wry comments on his exclusion from the Council by the last two royal governors, see Diary and Autobiography, 3:325.
2. The sentiment is adapted from Joseph Addison, Cato, Act IV, scene iv: “When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway.”
3. Mary Nicolson (1739–1775?) was part of the Adams-Smith-Cranch circle (Boston Record Commissioners, 24th Report, p. 237). For references to her as “Arpasia” in the JA–AA courtship correspondence, see Adams Family Correspondence, 1:26–27, 29–30, 42. By the late 1760's, she was earning her living as a seamstress in Boston, where her friendship with the Adamses continued. (See her bill for sewing to Isaac Smith, 19 Aug. 1769, MHi:Smith-Carter Papers.) Her brother Capt. Thomas Nicolson (1748–1798) served as a courier for the Adamses and the Warrens in 1776 (Adams Family Correspondence, 2:119).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2016.