Papers of John Adams, volume 5

337 Resolution on Property Confiscation, 27 November 1777 JA


Resolution on Property Confiscation, 27 November 1777 Adams, John
Resolution on Property Confiscation
27 November 1777

Resolved That it be Earnestly recommended to the several States, as soon as may be, to Confiscate and make sale of all the Real and Personal Estate therein, of such of their Inhabitants and other Persons who have forfeited the same, and the right to the Protection of their respective States; and to invest the money arising from the Sales in Continental Loan office Certificates, to be appropriated in Such manner as the respective States shall hereafter direct.

Query How the Persons thus forfeiting shall be described, 2. In what manner the Confiscation shall be Conducted. 3. And whether any Law can be framed to oblige a Person who is suspected to be indebted to any of those Estates and no obligation to be found, or even known to be indebted yet Cannot Ascertain the particular Sum &c.?1

Tr in an unknown hand with queries added (Adams Papers); docketed in an unknown hand: “Resolve of Congress.”


In August, Stephen Hopkins wrote to the congress enclosing a journal produced by a committee, of which he was president, of the New England states and New York. The concern of these states was the need to support the value of paper currency. The letter and journal were referred to a three-man committee, later increased to eight members. Its report, including a long preamble and seven resolutions, was extensively debated on 22 and 26 Nov. The eighth resolution, here printed, was adopted on the 27th ( JCC , 8:650, 731; 9:953–958, 968–970, 971). How the copy of the resolution and queries were acquired by JA is unknown to the editors. The handwriting is of neither James Lovell nor Elbridge Gerry, who was one of those added to the congressional committee.