« PředchozíPokračovat »
such a size as to carry fourteen guns, and a proportionate number of swivels and men.
Resolved, that two more vessels be fitted out with all expedition ; the one to carry not exceeding twenty guns, and the other not exceeding thirty-six guns, with a proportionable number of swivels and men, to be employed in such manner, for the protection and defence of the united colonies, as the congress shall direct.
Resolved, that four members be chosen and added to the former committee of three ; and that these seven be a committee to carry into execution with all possible expedition, as well the resolutions of congress passed the 13th instant, as those passed this day, for fitting out armed vessels. The members chosen, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Hewes, Mr. R. H. Lee and Mr. John Adams.
Nov. 2, 1775. Resolved, that the above committee be authorized to draw on the treasury for money, to agree with officers and seamen, &c. See the resolution at large, p. 213.
Nov. 23. The committee reported rules for the government of the navy, &c.
Nov. 25. Congress authorized privateering, &c. See the solemn act at large.
Nov. 28. Congress adopted the rules for the navy. See them in the journal.
Dec. 9. Congress established the pay of the
Dec. 13. Congress resolved, on the report of the committee, to build thirteen ships; five of 32 guns, five of 28, and three of 24; and, Dec. 12th. appointed a committee of thirteen, one from each state, to do the business. I was gone home, by leave of congress; but I presume Barry and Jones were appointed by this committee.
General Heath, in his memoirs, page 30, says, Nov. 4, (1775), the privateers fitted out by the Americans about this time, began to send in a few prizes. Page 31, Nov. 30, he says, “ intelligence was received from Cape Ann, that a vessel from England, laden with warlike stores, had been taken and brought into that place. There was on board one 13-inch brass mortar, 2000 stand of arms, 100,000 flints, 32 tons of leaden ball, &c. &c. A fortunate capture for the Americans ! Dec. 2, the brass 13-inch mortar, and sundry military stores taken in the ordnance prize, were brought to
Pray write to captain John Selman of Marblehead, and pray him to commit his recollections to writing. Broughton and Selman are important characters, and their ten prizes important events; as well as governour Wright. Pray let me have the act and the preamble; curiosities they are. Who was captain Burke and the other ? Campbell and military stores, &c. These facts ought all to be ascertained. Heath was mistaken; privateering was not yet authorized by congress or the state.
JOHN ADAMS. His excellency Elbridge Gerry.
P. S. What might Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island not do, at this day, had they the patriotism of 1775 ?
MR. ADAMS TO VICE-PRESIDENT GERRY.
Quincy, April 14, 1813. Dear Sir, I have received your favours of the 8th and 10th, and the volume of Benjamin Edes's Gazettes printed at Watertown between the 5th of June 1775, and the 9th of December 1776.
I am much obliged to you and to Mr. Austin, for the loan of this precious collection of memorials.
I read last fall and winter, The Scottish Chiefs, Thaddeus of Warsaw and The Exiles of Siberia, and Scott's Lay, Marmion and Lady; and I must say with much interest and amusement; but this volume of Gazettes and the journals of congress for the same period which I have lately ran over, have given me much more heartfelt delight. If these
volumes appear to you as they do to me, how can we wonder at the total ignorance and oblivion of the revolution, which appears every where in the present generation. All the Boston orations on the 4th of July that I have ever read or heard contain not so much of “the manners and feelings and principles which led to the revolution” as these two volumes of Gazettes and Journals.
The act printed in the Gazette of November 13, 1775, “ In the sixteenth year of the reign of George the third, king, &c. an act for encouraging the fixing out of armed vessels to defend the sea coast of America, and for erecting a court to try and condemn all vessels that shall be found infesting the same,” is one of the most important documents in history.* Why may not the Chronicle or the Patriot reprint this law ? Surely this could be no libel. Neither editors nor printers need consult lawyers to know whether chief justice Parsons could find any expression in it, to give in charge to a grand jury.
The best care shall be taken of this volume, and it shall be returned to Mr. Austin, with thanks.
66 Commodore Williams's record of our earliest privateers and prizes” will be received with gratitude : but I should be glad to see them in the Chronicle and Centinel.
* This is the title of the act drawn by Mr. Gerry and Mr. Sullivan as before stated.
Had I not been in congress at the time, and as anxious as Martha about many things, I should be ashamed to acknowledge that I am unacquainted with his person, character and residence.
I can conceive of no possible objection against the publication of these things at this time; except that they do too much honour to vice-president Gerry, and to the memory of the late governour Sullivan.
“ Quorum pars magna fui” might be assumed by them with more propriety, than by your assured friend,
JOHN ADAMS. Vice-president Gerry.