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Page 5

John Adams

1735-1826


 

Meeting with Lord Howe

About the time of the Declaration of Independence, occurred the disastrous battle of Flatbush on Long Island. The victory thus gained by the British, was considered by Lord Howe as a favourable moment for proposing to Congress an accommodation; and for this purpose, he requested an interview with some of the members. In the deliberations of Congress, Mr. Adams opposed this proposal, on the ground that no accommodation could thus be effected.
   A committee, however, was appointed to wait on Lord Howe, consisting of himself, Dr. Franklin, and Mr. Rutledge. On being apprised of their intended interview, Lord Howe sent one of his principal officers as a hostage, but the commissioners taking him with them, fearlessly repaired to the British camp. On their arrival they were conducted through an army of twenty thousand men, drawn up for the purpose of show and impression. But the display was lost on the commissioners, who studiously avoided all signs of wonder or anxiety. As had been predicted by Mr. Adams, the interview terminated without any beneficial result. On being introduced, Lord Howe informed them that he could not treat with them as a committee of Congress, but only as private gentleman of influence in the colonies; to which Mr. Adams replied, "You may view me in any light you please, sir, except that of a British subject."
   During the remainder of the year 1776, and all 1777, Mr. Adams was deeply engaged in affairs of Congress. He served as a member of ninety different committees, and was chairman of twenty-five committees. From his multiform and severe labours he was relieved in December of the latter year, by the appointment of commissioner to France, in the place of Silas Deane.
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| (1) Birth and Education | (2) Legal Career | (3) Continental Congress | (4) Declaration of Independence | (5) Meeting with Lord Howe | (6) Ambassador to France | (7) Ambassador to England | (8) Vice President and President | (9) Retirement and Death |
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Last modified July 21, 2008