Diary of John Adams, volume 3

[Monday. May. 20. 1776.] JA


[Monday. May. 20. 1776.] Adams, John
Monday. May. 20. 1776.

Monday. May. 20. 1776. Lyman Hall and Button Gwinnet appear as Delegates from Georgia: both intelligent and spirited Men, who made a powerful Addition to our Phalanx.


Certain Resolutions of the Convention of South Carolina, respecting the Battalions to be1 raised in that Colony; also certain resolutions passed by the General Assembly of the said Colony, respecting the manner in which Commissioners coming from England are to be received and treated in that Colony, were laid before Congress and read.

Resolved that the Resolutions respecting the Battalions be referred to a Committee of five.

The Members chosen Mr. John Adams, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Floyd, Mr. W. Livingston and Mr. Morton.2

A Committee of the whole: Mr. Harrison reported no Resolution.


JA mistakenly inserted the two preceding words when copying; they are not in the Journals.


This committee reported on 25 May; on 7 June, after debate, Congress recommitted the report; and on 18 June a new report was brought in and a long series of resolutions was adopted ( JCC , 4:393; 5:425. 461–463). No texts of the reports as submitted have been found.

[Tuesday May 21. 1776.] JA


[Tuesday May 21. 1776.] Adams, John
Tuesday May 21. 1776.

Tuesday May 21. 1776. Three Letters from General Washington, inclosing Letters and Papers of Intelligence from England, and a Copy of the Treaties made by his Britannic Majesty with the Duke of Brunswick for 4084 of his Troops; and with the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel for 12,000 of his Troops; and with the Count of Hanau for 668 of his Troops.

A Letter from William Palfrey with a Copy of his Weekly Account,

A Letter from John Langdon to General Washington

A Petition from Samuel Austin, John Rowe, S. Patridge Partridge, Samuel Dashwood and John Scollay of Boston:

Resolved that the said Letters and Papers and Petition be referred to a Committee of five; that the said Committee be directed to extract and publish the Treaties, and such parts of the Intelligence as they think proper: also to consider of an Adequate reward for the Person who brought the Intelligence; and that they prepare an Address to the foreign Mercenaries, who are coming to invade America.

The Members chosen Mr. John Adams, Mr. William Livingston, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. R. H. Lee and Mr. Sherman.1

The Committee to whom the Letter of the 10th from General 390Lee was referred brought in their report, which was read, and after some Debate

Resolved that the farther Consideration thereof be postponed till the Arrival of General Washington.

The Committee to whom the Letters from General Washington, Major General Schuyler, and the Commissioners in Canada were referred, brought in their report which was read.

Resolved that the Consideration thereof be postponed till tomorrow.


For the letters in question see JCC , 4:369, note. Those of Washington (18, 19, 20 May) are printed in his Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 5:56–57, 58, 62. The publication by the committee is in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 22 May, and later in other papers. The committee reported to Congress on 30 May and 4 and 17 June, its third report being in JA's hand (PCC, No. 22; see JCC , 4:405, 415; 5:458–459). These did not complete the duties assigned to the committee; for example, it issued no address to the German mercenaries; but JA was later to have a part in such an address; see under 26, 27 Aug., below.