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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 5

Docno: ADMS-06-05-02-0218-0002

Author: Continental Congress
Author: Lee, Richard Henry
Author: Duer, William
Author: Dana, Francis
Date: 1777-12

Enclosure: Congressional Resolution: A State of Facts

A State of Facts
That by the return of ordinance and stores taken from the enemy in the Northern department from the 19 Sept. to 17 Oct. inclusive it appears, there were only 4647 muskets, which are returned “unfit for service,” 3477 bayonets without scabbards, 638 cartouch boxes, 1458 cutlasses without scabbards, 6000 dozen musket cartridges, 1135 ready or fixed shot for 32 peices of cannon, and only 15 barrels grained 2 barrels mealed powder.
That on the 16 Octr. after the preliminary articles were agreed, and the treaty drawn up in due form, and approved by General Burgoyne, and his approbation and ready concurrence in every article signified by Capt. James Henry Craig to Col. Wilkinson, Genl. Burgoyne manifested a disposition to break off and commence hostilities.
That by the 2d. preliminary article of Major Gen. Gates which was agreed to by Lieut. Genl. Burgoyne, the officers and soldiers were permitted to keep the baggage belonging to them: and by the 4th. preliminary article of Lieut. General Burgoyne, agreed to by Major Gen. Gates, “no baggage was to be molested or searched, the lieut. genl. giving his honor, that there are no public stores secreted therein.”
{ 362 }
That notwithstanding this cartouch boxes were carried away.
That at the capitulation of St. Johns on 2d. Nov. 1775, whereby the officers and men were to retain their baggage and effects, and to deliver up their arms, the cartouch boxes and other military accoutrements were delivered up.
That these things being known, Congress issued an order1 to take descriptive lists of the non commissioned officers and privates comprehended in the convention of Saratoga, as a security, that what yet remained of the convention to be fulfilled by them might be complied with. That on the 20th. Novr. Gen. Burgoyne refused those lists, and on the 23d. of the same month justified his refusal; and asserts that Sir Guy Carlton and himself released from Canada many hundred prisoners troops upon their bare parole if not serving against the King 'till exchanged; and that they have since, had no other dependance than that of public faith, that those men have not been indiscriminately employed in arms.
That notwithstanding this assertion, it appears from the original list of the prisoners released from Canada, now lodged with Congress, that the provinces, counties, and towns, to which the prisoners released belonged, were annexed to their respective names; which for the greater security of the conquering party, were in the hand writing of the respective prisoners.
That the fifth preliminary article of Lieut. Genl. Burgoyne viz “upon the march the officers are not to be separated from their men, and in quarters the officers are to be lodged according to rank, and are not to be hindered from roll-callings and other necessary purposes of regularity” was “agreed to” by Major Genl. Gates “as far as circumstances will admit.”
That in his letter of the 14th. Novr. to Major Gen. Gates, Lieut. Genl. Burgoyne complains that “the officers are crouded into barracks, six and seven in a room of about ten feet square, and without distinction of rank” and that “he and Genl. Phillips after being amused with promises of quarters for 8 days together, are still in a dirty small miserable tavern” &c. and concludes with this paragraph and charge “while I state to You Sir this very unexpected treatment, I intirely acquit M. Gen. Heath, and every gentleman of the military department, of any inattention to the public faith engaged in the convention. They do what they can; but while the supreme powers of the State, are unable or unwilling to enforce their authority, and the inhabitants want { 363 } the hospitality or indeed the common civilisation to assist Us without it, the public faith is broke, and we are the immediate sufferers.”2
That application has been made by Lieut. Genl. Burgoyne to Gen. Washington for leave to embark with the troops at Rhode-Island, or some port in the Sound.
That Genl. Howe has sent transports to Rhode-Island to take them in there.
That Genl. Pigot3 in a letter of the 5 Decr., informs Gen. Burgoyne, that the Reasonable man of war with 26 transports from the Delaware, were arrived off the harbour's mouth.
The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume has been moved to the end of the preceding document
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble John Adams Esqr. Braintree”; docketed: “Letter from Mr. Lovell to me. 21 Decr. 1777.” Enclosure docketed: “A State of Facts.”
1. On 8 Nov. (JCC, 9:881).
2. A copy of Burgoyne's letter to Gates of 14 Nov. is in PCC, No. 57, f. 31.
3. Sir Robert Pigot wrote from Newport, R.I., in the full expectation that Burgoyne would be allowed to embark his army from there (same, f. 79, a copy).

Docno: ADMS-06-05-02-0219

Author: Marchant, Henry L.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-12-22

From Henry Marchant

[salute] Dear Sir

Tho' we are withdrawn from the Grand Congress and are about Eighty miles Assunder, yet I would hope to hold a little litterary Congress this Winter. I am retired upon my Farm in the Wood. The Publick Cause however now and then draws me out—but I have not that Chance of knowing how the Ship sails as you have, and I would beg now and then You would give me an Extract from the logbook.
I was somewhat mortified in being left behind You, it seemed an additional one [mortification?], as Mr. Ellery arrived at Congress a few Days after you set out, so that I was just deprived of { 364 } your Company—and had none other but my Servant the whole Journey. I arrived safe however in fourteen Days, The Weather and riding having been generally very good.
We have but a poor Account of the Attempt upon Long Island,1 I fear it will prove more so than we yet hear of. The Addition of the New England Troops to the main Army has not yet proved of that Benefit we could have wished. I expect nothing further will be done this Winter.
Winter Quarters are to be looked for. This will give the Enemy an Opportunity of making Excursions, and gaining Supplies. I could wish New England would Undertake the Work and send 20,000 millitia upon Delaware by March. So that a Home stroke may be early given. This may be done. And by New England it must be done, if at all.
The Sooner the better. It will not do to drag on this War. Pray think. Pray set all into Action.
In the mean Time we hope in this Quarter we shall not be left to be sacrificed by our Brethren. The Time of your Troops on this Station is nearly expired. No Provision is made to replace them. We have wrote your Councill upon the Subject, but nothing is done. 3500 Regular Troops are now upon Rhode Island, about 20 Ships of War in the Harbour. They have doubtless many marines on Board. I must beg your Assistance upon that Subject.
Our Assembly have appointed a Committee to meet at New-Haven the 15th of January agreable to Recommendation of Congress.2 They have also passed the following Resolution.
In the lower House
Decr. 20th. 1777
Resolved that Henry Ward, Henry Marchant, Rows[e] J. Helme, and Wm. Channing Esqrs. be appointed to draft a Bill for confiscating and making Sale of all the Real and personal Estate of such of the Inhabitants of this State and other Persons who have forfeited the same and the Right to the Protection of this State, and to invest the Monies arising from the Sales in Continental Loan office Certificates to be appropriated as shall be hereafter directed by the Legislative Authority of this State agreable to the Recommendation of Congress of the 22d. of Novr. last3 and to make Reports to the next Session of this Assembly.
voted and passed
per Ordr. J. Lyndon Clerk
{ 365 }
In the Upper House
Decr. 21st. 1777
Read and concurred
Copy By order. R.J. Helme D. Secy.4
This my Friend is an Important, as well as a Delicate and to me difficult Subject. I must beg your Assistance in it and that you would make such a Draft and inclose to me, with some Thoughts and Observations upon the Subject.
To work out How the Subject is to be activated, by what Process. The Causes of Confiscation. How far it shall affect Life. How far taint the Blood. How affect entailed Estates. How affect the Heirs &c. of such as have acted an Inimical Part but have died before the passing this Act. Whether such as early left the State and sought Protection with our Enemies shall be liable &c. &c.
I must again urge your kind Assistance, and that as soon your Leisure can possibly permit you.
I have not now Time to add but that I am in Hopes of frequent Lines from you. Let the Sons keep up the sacred Flame.
Youl please to direct to me
near Little Rest
State of Rhode Island &c.
I take it we are still priviledged in the Article of Postage. I am dear Sir, Your sincere Friend,
[signed] H. L. Marchant
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mr Marchant”; in another hand: “December 22nd 1777.”
1. An attempted raid made on 10 Dec. in which two American colonels were captured, one a commander of a continental regiment, the other of a Connecticut militia unit, as well as most of their men when their ship ran aground as it was being chased (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 10:212, note; Howard H. Peckham, ed., The Toll of Independence, Chicago, 1974, p. 45).
2. The congress recommended to each state an amount of money to be raised by a levy on its citizens for the benefit of the United States. Additional recommendations included the ending of emissions of paper and even scaling down the amount in circulation, keeping courts open for the recovery of debts, opening subscription lists for the sale of loan certificates, and meeting in regional conventions for the purpose of controlling wages and prices (JCC, 9:953–958).
3. The provision for the sale of confiscated loyalist property was not added to the resolution begun on 22 Nov. until the 27th (Resolution on Property Confiscation, 27 Nov., note 1, above).
4. See John Russell Bartlett, ed., Records of the Colony of Rhode Island . . ., 10 vols., Providence, 1856–1865, 8:341, where the date of passage is given as 19 Dec.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2016.