Diary of John Adams, volume 2

1774 Monday. Octr. 10th.

1774. Wednesday. Octr. 12.

151 1774 Tuesday Octr. 11. JA


1774 Tuesday Octr. 11. Adams, John
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.


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).