Diary of John Adams, volume 3

[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.

[April 3. 1776] JA [April 3. 1776] Adams, John
April 3. 1776

April 3. 1776 great Things were done. The Naval System made great Progress.1


See JCC , 4:251–254.

[April 4. 1776.] JA [April 4. 1776.] Adams, John
April 4. 1776.

April 4. 1776. We did great Things again.

Agreable to the order of the Day, the Congress resolved itself into a Committee of the whole to take into Consideration the Trade of the United Colonies, and after some time spent thereon, the President resumed the Chair and Mr. Harrison reported that the Committee had taken into Consideration the matters referred to them and had come to sundry Resolutions, which he was ordered to deliver in. The Resolutions agreed to by the Committee of the whole Congress being read, Ordered to lie on the Table.

[April 5. 1776.] JA [April 5. 1776.] Adams, John
April 5. 1776.

April 5. 1776. Good Fryday.

[April 6. 1776.] JA [April 6. 1776.] Adams, John
April 6. 1776.

April 6. 1776. Congress resumed the consideration of the Report, from the Committee of the whole, and the same being twice read, and debated by paragraphs, was agreed to. These Resolutions are on the Journal, and amount to something.1 They opened the Ports and sett our Commerce at Liberty: But they were far short of what had been moved by Members from Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia. There is one Resolution I will not omit.

Resolved that no Slaves be imported into any of the thirteen Colonies.

I will not omit to remark here, the manifest Artifice, in concealing in the Journal the Motions which were made and the Names of the Members who made them, in these daily Committees of the whole. The Spirit of a Party which has been before exposed can alone Account, for this Unfairness.

Resolved that the Remainder of the report be postponed.


A Letter from General Washington of the 27th. of March. And a Letter from Brigadier General Heath being received and read,

Resolved that the Letter from General Washington, with the Papers inclosed, be referred to a Committee of the whole Congress.


See JCC , p. 257–259.