Diary of John Adams, volume 3

[Monday the 25 of March 1776] JA


[Monday the 25 of March 1776] Adams, John
Monday the 25 of March 1776

On Monday the 25 of March 1776 I made a Motion and laid it in Writing on the Table in these Words

Resolved That the Thanks of this Congress, in their own Names and in the Name of the thirteen United Colonies, whom they repre-376sent be presented to his Excellency General Washington and the Officers and Soldiers under his Command, for their wise and spirited Conduct in the Seige and Acquisition of Boston; and that a Medal of Gold be struck in Commemoration of this great Event, and presented to his Excellency; and that a Committee of three be appointed to prepare a Letter of Thanks, and a proper device for the Medal. The Members chosen Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Jay and Mr. Hopkins.1


On 2 April this committee “brought in a draught [of a letter], which being read, was agreed to: Ordered, That it be transcribed, signed by the president, and forwarded” ( JCC , 4:248, followed by the text of the letter from the original in DLC: Washington Papers; see also entry on 2 April and note, below). As for “a proper device for the Medal,” JA waited on Pierre Eugène Du Simitière, the Swiss-born artist and antiquarian then living in Philadelphia, and described Du Simitière's idea for it in a letter to AA, 14 Aug. (Adams Papers; JA-AA, Familiar Letters , p. 210–211). Du Simitière executed sketches, which remain among his papers in the Library Company of Philadelphia, and Congress on 29 Nov. authorized payment to him in the amount of $32, but his design was not used, and the commission was finally executed after the war by the French artist Duvivier ( JCC , 6:991; PMHB , 13 [1889–1890]:357, 482–483; 69 [1945]:322). See illustrations in this volume.

[Tuesday March 26, 1776.] JA


[Tuesday March 26, 1776.] Adams, John
Tuesday March 26, 1776.

Tuesday March 26, 1776. Congress were informed of the Death of Governor Ward and on

[Wednesday March 27 1776] JA


[Wednesday March 27 1776] Adams, John
Wednesday March 27 1776

Wednesday March 27 1776 they attended his Funeral in mourning for a Month. In this Gentleman who died of the Small Pox, We lost an honourable, a conscientious, a benevolent and inflexible Patriot.1


See also JA to AA, 29 March (Adams Papers; JA-AA, Familiar Letters , p. 147–148); Dr. Thomas Young to Henry Ward, 27 [26] March (Samuel Ward, Correspondence, ed. Bernhard Knollenberg, Providence, 1952, p. 201–203).

[Thursday March 28. 1776] JA


[Thursday March 28. 1776] Adams, John
Thursday March 28. 1776

Thursday March 28. 1776 a Multitude of details but no Committee of the whole house.

[Friday March 29. 1776.] JA


[Friday March 29. 1776.] Adams, John
Friday March 29. 1776.

Friday March 29. 1776. More Trifles but no Committee of the whole.

[Saturday March 30. 1776.] JA


[Saturday March 30. 1776.] Adams, John
Saturday March 30. 1776.

Saturday March 30. 1776. Ditto.

[Monday April 1st.] JA


[Monday April 1st.] Adams, John
Monday April 1st.

Monday April 1st. A Measure of Great Importance was adopted—a Treasury Office with an Auditor and a sufficient Number of Clerks. On the 17th. of February 1776 Congress had Resolved that a standing Committee of five be appointed for superintending the Treasury. Their duties pointed out and Mr. Duane, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Gerry, Mr. Smith and Mr. Willing were chosen on the Committee.

On this day April 1. 1776. The Treasury was much improved in its System. No order of the day.

[April 2. 1776.] JA


[April 2. 1776.] Adams, John
April 2. 1776.

April 2. 1776. The Committee appointed to prepare a Letter of Thanks to General Washington, and the Officers and Soldiers under his command brought in a draught which was read and agreed to: Ordered that it be transcribed, signed by the President and forwarded. 377 —But the Letter a great part of the Compliment of which would have lain in the Insertion of it in the Journal, was carefully secluded. Perhaps the Secretary or the President or both, chose rather to conceal the Compliment to the General than make one to the Member who made the motion and the Committee who prepared it. I never troubled myself about the Journals, and should never have known the Letter was not there, if I had not been called to peruse them, now after twenty nine Years have rolled away.1


The omission from the Journal of the text of the congratulatory letter to Washington was surely a dereliction on Thomson's part, and the sole case among many cited by JA that appears indefensible (see p. 365, above, and note 2 4 there). But oversight is far more likely to have been the cause of this lapse than the insidious motive assigned by JA.