Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 7 March 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 7 March 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Philadelphia March 7. 1777

I am returned in tolerable Health to this Town—have received but one Letter from you since I left you, that which you sent by Mr. Rice.1

If you send Letters to Coll. Warren, or your Unkle Smith, they will be conveyed, with safety. I hope the Post Office will be upon a better footing soon.

An Army is gathering in the Jerseys. They have frequent Skirmishes, and the Enemy generally come off second best.—Whether We shall stay long here is uncertain. If We remove it will not be far.

This will go by Dr. Jackson one of the Managers of the Lottery. I hope it will find you all well.

I conjecture you have cold Weather and snow enough. We had at Baltimore last Saturday and Sunday a deep Snow and very sharp frost, such as froze over the Susquehannah, and obliged Us to ride up 15 miles, to cross the River at Bald fryars.2 We found a deep snow all the Way to this Place.

Maryland and Pensilvania, have at last compleated their Governments. Mr. Johnson is Governor of the first and Thomas Wharton Jur. of the other.

The Delaware State too have finished theirs. Mclnlay is Governor.3 They have also chosen new Delegates to Congress. So have S. Carolina—so has Pensilvania. So has Maryland.

There is indeed every where a more chearfull Face upon Things than there was.

South Carolina is said to have a great Trade and a plenty of Things. 169Salt comes in frequently and there is a Prospect of supply, though dear.

Our national Revenue is now the most delicate and important Object We have to regulate. If this could be put upon a proper footing, We should be happy.

Money comes in fast upon Loan, which is one great Step—but We must take others.

I sent you from Baltimore, by Captn. Harden, to the Care of your Unkle a Barrell of Burr flour.4 I hope it will not be taken, but you know I am not lucky in trade.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. John Adams's Braintree favoured by Dr. Jackson. To be left at Mr. Isaac Smiths Queen street Boston.”


Dated 26 Jan. and printed above.


Just south of the Pennsylvania-Maryland boundary, near the present Conowingo. See James Lovell's MS map reproduced as an illustration in this volume. JA's companion was William Whippie, a New Hampshire delegate. They had left Baltimore on 2 March and had arrived in Philadelphia on the 5th; see JA's Diary and Autobiography , 2:253, 257.


The first governor of the State of Maryland was Thomas Johnson (whose niece, Louisa Catherine, daughter of Joshua Johnson, was to marry JQA in 1797; see Adams Genealogy). After great difficulty in organizing the government under the new constitution, Thomas Wharton Jr. had on 4 March been elected president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. Delaware's chief executive officer was also called a president, and the first to hold the post was Dr. John McKinly.


Flour ground with burr-stones (see OED ), which were the best kind of millstones and produced “superfine” flour. The flour and barrel, bought from the Purviances, cost JA £2 13s. 1d. Pennsylvania currency; see his Diary and Autobiography , 2:253, 256. Isaac Smith reported its arrival in Boston in a letter to JA of 22 March, below.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 7 March 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 7 March 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Philadelphia March 7. 1777

The President who is just arrived from Baltimore, came in a few Minutes ago and delivered me, yours of Feb. 8, which he found at Susquehannah River, on its way to Baltimore.

It gives me great Pleasure to find that you have received so many Letters from me, altho I knew they contained nothing of importance. I feel a Restraint in Writing like that which you complain of, and am determined to go on trifling. However, the Post now comes regularly, and I believe you may trust it.

I am anxious and impatient to hear of the March of the Massachusetts Soldiers for the new Army. They are much wanted.

This City is a dull Place, in Comparason of what it was. More than 170one half the Inhabitants have removed into the Country, as it was their Wisdom to do—the Remainder are chiefly Quakers as dull as Beetles. From these neither good is to be expected nor Evil to be apprehended. They are a kind of neutral Tribe, or the Race of the insipids.

How may possibly attempt this Town, and a Pack of sordid Scoundrels male and female, seem to have prepared their Minds and Bodies, Houses and Cellars for his Reception: but these are few, and more despicable in Character than Number. America will loose nothing, by Hows gaining this Town. No such Panick will be spread by it, now as was spread by the Expectation of it in December.

However, if We can get together Twenty thousand Men by the first of April, Mr. How will scarcly cross Delaware River this Year. New Jersey may yet be his Tomb, where he will have a Monument very different from his Brothers in Westminster Abbey.1

I am very uneasy that no Attempt is made at Rhode Island. There is but an handfull left there, who might be made an easy Prey. The few invalids who are left there are scattered over the whole Island, which is Eleven Miles in length and three or four wide. Are New England Men such Sons of Sloth and Fear, as to loose this Opportunity 2

We may possibly remove again from hence, perhaps to Lancaster or Reading. It is good to change Place—it promotes Health and Spirits. It does good many Ways—it does good to the Place We remove from as well as to that We remove to—and it does good to those who move.

I long to be at Home, at the Opening Spring, but this is not my Felicity.—I am tenderly anxious for your Health and for the Welfare of the whole House.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree Mass. Bay”; franked: “free John Adams”; postmarked; “PHILA. MARCH 12 Free”; added on the cover in the hand of Isaac Smith Sr.: “Yrs. IS.”


George Augustus, 3d Viscount Howe, older brother of Richard and William Howe, was killed in an action against the French on Lake George in 1758; the Province of Massachusetts Bay voted to erect a monument to him in Westminster Abbey ( DNB ).


MS torn by seal.