Adams Papers

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress, 17? October 1774.]
[from the Diary of John Adams]

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress, 17? October 1774.] 1


Proof of Depth of Abilities, and Wickedness of Heart.

Precedent. Lords refusal of perpetual Imprisonment.

Prerogative to give any Government to a conquered People.

Romish Religion.

Feudal Government.

Union of feudal Law and Romish Superstition.

Knights of Malta. Orders of military Monks.

Goths and Vandals—overthrew the roman Empire.

Danger to us all. An House on fire.

1From JA’s loose sheets of minutes of debates (D/JA/22A). In the MS these undated notes follow minutes of debates on Galloway’s plea for a plan of union (Debates, 28 Sept., above), but their physical location is a very doubtful clue to their date. The question of including the “Canada Bill” (Quebec Act) among the colonists’ grievances was repeatedly debated, but the parallels in substance and even in phrasing between the present rough notes and Duane’s Notes tentatively assigned by Burnett to 17 Oct. strongly suggest that both pertain to the same day’s debate. See JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 1:66; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, Washington, 1921–1936; 8 vols. description ends , 1:77–79. It seems likely that JA’s notes are the heads of his own arguments exclusively, but Duane’s summary of JA’s speech is too meager and cryptic to make this conjecture certain.

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