Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 20 January 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 20 January 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Bethlehem Orange County, State of N. York January 20. 1777

This Morning We crossed the North River at Poughkeepsie, on the Ice, after having ridden many Miles on the East side of it to find a proper Place. We landed at New Marlborough, and passed through that and Newborough Newburgh to New Windsor, where We dined. This Place is nearly opposite to Fish kill, and but little above the Highlands, where Fort Constitution and Fort Montgomery stand. The Highlands are a grand Sight, a range of vast Mountains, which seem to be rolling like a tumbling Sea.—From New Windser, We came to this Place, Where We put up, and now We have a free and uninterrupted Passage in a good Road to Pensilvania.

General Washington with his little Army is at Morris town. Cornwallis with his larger one at Brunswick. Oh that the Continental Army was full. Now is the Time.

My little Horse holds out, finely, altho We have lost much Time and travelled a great deal of unnecessary Way, to get over the North River.

We have Reports of our Peoples taking Fort Washington again, and taking 400 more Prisoners and six more Pieces of Cannon—but as I 148know not the Persons who bring these Accounts I pay no Attention to them.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree”; added on the cover in the hand of Isaac Smith Sr.: “Ys. i.e. Yours IS”; docketed in pencil by AA.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 24 January 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 24 January 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Easton at the Forks of Delaware River in the State of Pensilvania, Jan. 24. 1777

We have at last crossed the Delaware, and are agreably lodged in Easton, a little Town, situated on a Point of Land formed by the Delaware on one Side and the River Lehi, on the other. There is an elegant Stone Church here built by the Dutch People,1 by whom the Town is chiefly inhabited, and what is remarkable because uncommon, the Lutherans and Calvinists united to build this Church, and the Lutheran and Calvinist Minister, alternately officiate in it. There is also an handsome Court House. The Buildings public and private are all of Lime stone.—Here are some Dutch Jews.

Yesterday We had the Pleasure of seeing the Moravian Mills in New Jersey. These Mills belong to the Society of Moravians in Bethlehem in Pensilvania. They are a great Curiosity. The Building is of Limestone four Stories high. It is not in my Power to give a particular Description of this Piece of Mechanism. A vast Quantity of Grain of all sorts is collected here.2

We have passed through the famous County of Sussex in New Jersey, where the Sussex Court House stands and where We have so often been told the Tories are so numerous and so dangerous. We met with no Molestation, nor Insult. We stopped at some of the most noted Tory Houses, and were treated every where with the Utmost Respect. Upon the strictest Inquiry I could make, I was assured that a great Majority of the Inhabitants are stanch Whiggs. Sussex they say can take Care of Sussex, and yet all agree that there are more Tories in that County than in any3 other. If the British Army should get into that County in sufficient Numbers to protect the Tories there is no doubt to be made they would be insolent enough and malicious and revengefull. But there is no danger at present and will be none untill that Event takes Place.

The Weather has been sometimes bitterly cold, sometimes warm, sometimes rainy and sometimes snowy, and the Roads, abominably 149hard and rough, so that this Journey has been the most tedious I ever attempted. Our Accommodations have been often, very bad, but much better and cheaper than they would have been if We had taken the Road from Peeks Kill to Morriston where the Army lies.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree To be left at Isaac Smith Esqrs. Queen Street. Boston”; docketed in pencil by AA.


That is, “Pennsylvania Dutch,” or Germans.


These famous mills were at Hope, near Oxford, in Sussex co., N.J. According to Bishop Kenneth G. Hamilton of the Archives of the Moravian Church, Bethlehem, Penna., “the old stone buildings are still standing, and the grist mill is still a showpiece” (communication to the editors, 6 Aug. 1962).


MS torn by seal.