Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 20 February 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 20 February 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Baltimore Feb. 20th. 1777

This Morning I received yours of the 26th. Ult. It is the first I have received from you, and except one from Gen. Palmer of the 28th.1 it is the first I have received from our State.

Yours made me very happy. Dont be uneasy about my Waiter. He behaves very well to me, and he has not the least Appearance of a Spy or a Deserter. He has not Curiosity, nor Activity nor sense enough for such a Character. He does his Duty extreamly well however in his station. But if he was a Spy he would learn nothing from me. He knows no more, from me, than the Horse he rides, nor shall he know. . . .2 I 165have no Conversation with him upon Politicks, nor shall he come to the Sight of Papers.

I hope our Soldiers for the new Army will be all inoculated at Home before they begin their March. The Small Pox is so thick in the Country that there is no Chance of escaping it in the natural Way. Gen. Washington has been obliged to inoculate his whole Army. We are inocculating soldiers here and at Philadelphia.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. John Adams's Braintree”; docketed in pencil by AA.


In Adams Papers. JA's reply, of the present date, is in NN and is printed in part in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members , 2:268.


Suspension points in MS.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 21 February 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 21 February 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Baltimore Feb. 21. 1777

Yesterday, I had the Pleasure of dining with Mr. Purveyance.

There are two Gentlemen of this Name in Baltimore, Samuel and Robert, eminent Merchants, and in Partnership.1 We had a brillant Company, the two Mrs. Purveyances, the two Mrs. Lees, the Ladies of the two Colonels Richard Henry and Francis, Mrs. Hancock and Miss Katy Quincy, and a young Lady that belongs to the Family. If this Letter, like some other wise ones, should be intercepted, I suppose I shall be call'd to Account for not adjusting the Rank of these Ladies a little better.

Mr. H., the two Coll. Lees, Coll. Whipple, Coll. Page, Coll. Ewing, the two Mr. Purveyances, and a young Gentleman. I fancy I have named all the Company.

How happy would this Entertainment have been to me if I could by a single Volition have transported one Lady about five hundred miles. But alass! this a greater Felicity than falls to my share.

We have voted to go to Philadelphia next Week.

We have made General Lincoln a Continental Major General.

We shall make Coll. Glover a Brigadier.

I sincerely wish We could hear more from General Heath. Many Persons are extreamly dissatisfied with Numbers of the general Officers of the highest Rank. I dont mean the Commander in Chief, his Character is justly very high, but Schuyler, Putnam, Spencer, Heath, are thought by very few to be capable of the great Commands they hold. We hear of none of their heroic Deeds of Arms. I wish they would all resign.


For my Part I will vote upon the genuine Principles of a Republic for a new Election of general Officers annually, and every Man shall have my Consent to be left out, who does not give sufficient Proof of his Qualifications.

I wish my Lads were old enough. I would send every one of them into the Army, in some Capacity or other. Military Abilities and Experience, are a great Advantage to any Character.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree Mass. Bay”; docketed in pencil by AA.


On the Purviance brothers see entry of this date in JA's Diary and Autobiography , 2:260, and note there.