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passage was the only circumstance which reconciled them to it. the vote being past, altho’ further observn on it was out of order, he could not refrain from rising and expressing his satisfaction and concluded by saying “there is but one word, mr President, in the paper
which I disapprove, & that is the word Congress.” on which Ben Harrison rose and said “there is but one word in the paper, mr President, of which I approve, and that is the word Congress [.]””
Indeed, looking backward, many of the words of this Congress seem like anomalies ! Especially is this true of the declaration — the most important measure of the year - setting forth the causes of taking up arms. Though, in effect, a declaration of war, it said: “Lest this declaration should disquiet the minds of our friends and fellowsubjects in any part of the Empire, we assure them that we mean not to dissolve that union which has so long and so happily subsisted between us, and which we sincerely wish to see restored.”
This Congress, during the year, like the 1774, took no action whatever upon the independence.
John Adams writes to his wife, June 1 have found this Congress like the last. came together, I found a strong jealousy England, and the Massachusetts in partis entertained of designs of independenc Republic; Presbyterian principles, a things. Our sentiments were heard great caution, and seemed to make b but the longer we sat, the more necessity of pushing vigorous meas now . . . But America is a great progress must be slow ... Like swiftest horses must be slackened, ened, that all may keep an even
te his Franklin, in a letter of Octol
.ccessary have as yet resolved only on det
of The spirit 73 which prevailed by an incident described by
", in 1776, raphy : “[S] mr Dickinson .
ary 31st, he of reconciliation ... he wa
arguments, as able a one that he was grea
s, added to the who could not feel his scri
ng contained in signal proof of their indulge
cc leave numbers their great desire not to go
f 1 separation "; part of our body, in permi
**2, is described by petition to the king accord
raste been obliged ing it with sca
Wificers " : “ With
which I fight.
I entervery man ain should i tyrant and shake off all ural. This I
words as clear ; and, on April rned to hear of i with you, and in
of independence. oid or our bark will othing but disunion
ently) writes from New 24th : “[SA] As it may u to know General W's nd point of American indeto acquaint you that I have
times lately on the Subject, nion that a reconciliation with cable impolitic, and would be in
nental to the true Interests of he first took the Command of the · Idea of independence but is now .ing
else will save us
e the birth of the new army, we find : New Hampshire “establishing a form
SEVENTEEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX
ANUARY 3, 1776, gave being to the new army
at Cambridge. Washington whose life Robert
Morris, six months later, declared "[U] the most valuable in America” — hoisted the Union flag, in compliment to the united Colonies. On the 30th, he writes thence to the President of Congress : “[Y] The clouds thicken fast; where they will burst, I know not; but we should be armed at all points.”
This was always Washington's appeal.
At no time, so far as we know, did he waste his powers, or invite the refusal of his constant and necessary demands upon Congress, by urging upon it or any of its members a declaration of independence.
To Joseph Reed, however, Washington, in 1776, openly expressed his opinions. On January 31st, he writes : “[Y] A few more of such flaming arguments, as were exhibited at Falmouth and Norfolk, added to the sound doctrine and unanswerable reasoning contained in the pamphlet ‘Common Sense,'' will not leave numbers at a loss to decide upon the propriety of a separation ”; on February 1oth, though his situation, as described by himself, had “[Y] been such, that I have been obliged to use art to conceal it from my own officers ”: “With respect to myself, I have never entertained an idea of an
accommodation, since I heard of the measures, which were adopted in consequence of the Bunker's Hill fight. The King's speech has confirmed the sentiments I entertained upon the news of that affair; and, if every man was of my mind, the ministers of Great Britain should know . . . that, if nothing else could satisfy a tyrant and his diabolical ministry, we are determined to shake off all connexions with a state so unjust and unnatural. This I would tell them, not under covert, but in words as clear as the sun in its meridian brightness"; and, on April 15th”: “[Y] I am exceedingly concearned to hear of the divisions and parties, which prevail with you, and in the southern colonies, on the score of independence. These are the shelves we have to avoid or our bark will split and tumble to pieces Nothing but disunion can hurt our cause."
Indeed, William Palfray (evidently) writes from New York to Samuel Adams, May 24th : “[SA] As it may be of some importance to you to know General W's Sentiments respecting the grand point of American independence I think my duty to acquaint you that I have heard him converse several times lately on the Subject, and delivered it as his opinion that a reconciliation with Great Britain is impracticable impolitic, and would be in the highest degree detrimental to the true Interests of America — That when he first took the Command of the Army he abhorr’d the Idea of independence but is now fully convinced nothing else will save us —
Two days before the birth of the new army, we find the Assembly of New Hampshire “establishing a form