Enclosure: Resolution Appointing Massachusetts Delegates to the Continental Congress
In Council Jany 18 17761
Whereas John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, and Elbridge Gerry Esqrs. have been chosen by joint Ballot of the two houses of Assembly to represent the Colony of Massachusetts Bay in New England in the American Congress untill the first day of January A.D. 1777—
Resolved that they or any one or more of them are hereby fully impowered, with the delegates from the other American Colonies to concert, direct and order such further measures as shall to them appear best calculated for the Establishment of Right and Liberty to the American Colonies upon a Basis permanent and secured against the power and arts of the British administration And guarded against any future Encroachments of their Enemies with power to adjourn to such times and places as shall appear most conducive to the publick Safety and advantage.
Read and accepted, sent down for Concurrence,
John Lowell Dpy: Secy: pro tem
Read and concurred, And the Secretary is hereby directed as soon as may be to signify to each of those Gentlemen their Appointment, with an attested Copy of this Order.
Sent up for Concurrence,
J Warren Spkr:
Read and concurred,
John Lowell Dpy Secy: pro-tem
RC (Adams Papers); with enclosure, which is docketed: “a true Copy Attst Perez Morton Dpy Secr”; docketed by JA: “Morton 1776.”
1. Actual election of these delegates had taken place on 15 Dec. 1775, but over a month’s delay occurred before the two houses agreed upon the form of instructions and commission; moreover, through oversight the list of Council choices does not include either Gerry or Cushing on 15 Dec. (Mass., House Jour. description begins Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts [1715- ], Boston, reprinted by the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1919- . (For the years for which reprints are not yet available, the original printings are cited, by year and session.) description ends , 1775–1776, 3d sess., p. 44, 74, 83, 158, 164–165; Force, Archives description begins [Peter Force, ed.,] American Archives: Consisting of a Collection of Authentick Records, State Papers, Debates, and Letters and Other Notices of Publick Affairs, Washington, 1837–1853; 9 vols. description ends , 4th ser., 4:1235–1236). The Boston Gazette of 25 Dec. 1775, however, lists the names of all five men as having been elected “Last Week.” See JA’s Service on the Council, 26 Dec. 1775 – 24 Jan. 1776, Editorial Note (above).