I congratulate you on the success which the forces of the United States, have lately had against the hostile Indians. It is my hearty wish that by the blessing of Heaven, an end may be put to this expensive war, by an agreement between the parties, upon the permanent principles of justice, honor, good neighborhood, & true friendship.
The Constitution of this Commonwealth, having provided that the General Court which shall be in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and ninety five, shall issue precepts for collecting the sentiments of the people in regard to its revision.— And as this Court is within the year mentioned, you will be pleased to decide, whether it was intended by the people that this business should be done by the General Court which shall be elected within that year, or whether it is your duty to attend to it.
I will lay before you several papers transmitted to me by the Treasurer and other matters which may occur during the Session by subsequent messages.
1 The “whisky insurrection,” in Pennsylvania.
[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 1st ser., vol. iv., p. 83; a draft is in the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Boston, March 30, 1795.
I received your note, stating what Dr. Kippis had asserted, respecting a recommendation of Dr. Franklin, minister from America in France, in the year 1779, to the American cruisers, to treat Capt. Cook, on his expected return from a voyage of discoveries, as a friend, and not an enemy; assuring them, that in so doing, they would obtain the approbation of Congress. But that the Doctor was mistaken, for that assembly, at least the greater part of them, instantly reversed the order of Dr. Franklin, and directed, that a special order should be taken, to seize Capt. Cook, if an opportunity for doing it occurred.
You request me to give you a certificate respecting the matter, and to express the years when I was in Congress.—I was a member from the first sitting of Congress, in the year 1774, until the Spring of the year 1781. It was my constant practice, once in twelve or fifteen months, to make a short visit to my constituents. In the year 1779, I was detained in Boston a much longer time than usual, by a fit of sickness; in which time, I constantly received from Mr. Lowell, and my other colleagues, information of the most material transactions of Congress. I do now declare to you, that I do not recollect, either while I was present in Congress, or from any of my colleagues, while I was absent, that the orders he (Dr. Franklin) had given to the American cruisers were instantly or ever reversed, or that it was directed by Congress, that a special order should be taken to seize Capt. Cook, if an opportunity for so doing it occurred.