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‘ [392] measures.’ The empress queen, in her turn, expressed
Chap. LXV.} 1776. June.
a very hearty desire to see obedience and tranquillity restored to every quarter of the British dominions.

When the congress met on Monday, Edward Rutledge, without much expectation of success, moved that the question should be postponed three weeks, while in the mean time the plan of a confederation and of a treaty might be matured. The whole day until seven in the evening was consumed in the discussion. The desire of attaining a perfect unanimity and the reasonableness of allowing time for the delegates of the central colonies to consult their constituents, induced seven colonies against five to assent to the delay, but with the further condition, that, to prevent any loss of time, a committee should in the meanwhile prepare a declaration in harmony with the proposed resolution. On the next day, Jefferson, John Adams, Franklin, Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were chosen by ballot to prepare the declaration; and it fell to Jefferson to write it, both because he represented Virginia from which the proposition had gone forth, and because he had been elected by the largest number of votes.

On the twelfth the office of digesting the form of a confederation to be entered into between the colonies, was referred to a committee of one member from each colony; and as if the subject had not been of transcendant importance, the appointment of the committee was left to the presiding officer. Among those whom Hancock selected are found the names of Samuel Adams, Dickinson, and Edward Rutledge: it could have been wished that the two Adamses had changed places, though probably the result would at

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