Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams, 21 May 1777 Warren, Mercy Otis AA Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams, 21 May 1777 Warren, Mercy Otis Adams, Abigail
Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams
Plimouth May 21 1777

I this day Received a few lines1 from my Friend, whose Long silence I have not been able to Account for but suppose her Letters are Directed southward. Have you any Late private Inteligence from that quarter, and do our Friends their Really think we shall be Invaded on all sides, or do they mean only to advise us to be Ready. My heart at times almost dies within me only with the Apprehension that we and our Neighbours May in a few months suffer all the distress the Inhabitants of the Jerseys and its Environs have already felt. I then Rally up my Fortitude, but find Nothing but Confidence in Him by whom kings Reign, Who Can Easily turn the Counsels of the Wiked into Foolishness, Can support my spirits, and give me the Courage Necessary for such a day as this.

I purpose to see you soon if Nothing Exstrordinary Intervenes. Mr. Warren proposes to spend Election week at home, and to look Northward the Monday following when I shall accompany him, and promiss myself the pleasure of spending a few days with my Braintree Friends.

Is Betsey agoing to be Maried. Why has she done writing. Do New acquaintance and New prospects Engross all her Attention. Give her my Love and best Wishes.

How do they do down at the Farms.2 Is Mrs. Lincoln Blind again. Is she Lame or is she Lazy that she Neglects her Friend at Plimouth.

With unfeigned Regards to Yourself and Family Concludes Your Friend, Marcia Warren

Mrs. Lothrops Compliments &c. to Mrs. Adams.


The papers for which I thank You I send now Least I forget it another time.

RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed “papers” (presumably newspapers) not found or identified.


Not found.


“The Farms” was an early name for the region later known as North Quincy. From the reference to “Mrs. Lincoln” that follows, Mrs. Warren probably is inquiring about Col. Josiah Quincy's family and specifically his daughter Hannah, widow of Dr. Bela Lincoln.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 22 May 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 22 May 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
May 22 1777. 4 O Clock in the Morning

After a Series of the souerest,1 and harshest Weather that ever I felt in this Climate, We are at last, blessed with a bright Sun and a soft Air. The Weather here has been like our old Easterly Winds to me, and southerly Winds to you.

The Charms of the Morning at this Hour, are irresistable. The Streakes of Glory dawning in the East: the freshness and Purity in the Air, the bright blue of the sky, the sweet Warblings of a great Variety of Birds intermingling with the martial Clarions of an hundred Cocks now within my Hearing, all conspire to chear the Spirits.

This kind of puerile Description is a very pretty Employment for an old Fellow whose Brow is furrowed with the Cares of Politicks and War.

I shall be on Horseback in a few Minutes, and then I shall enjoy the Morning, in more Perfection.

I spent last Evening at the War-Office, with General Arnold. . . .2 He has been basely slandered and libelled. The Regulars say, “he fought like Julius Caesar.”

I am wearied to Death with the Wrangles between military officers, high and low. They Quarrell like Cats and Dogs. They worry one another like Mastiffs. Scrambling for Rank and Pay like Apes for Nutts.

I believe there is no one Principle, which predominates in human Nature so much in every stage of Life, from the Cradle to the Grave, in Males and females, old and young, black and white, rich and poor, high and low, as this Passion for Superiority. . . . Every human Being compares itself in its own Imagination, with every other round about it, and will find some Superiority over every other real or imaginary, or it will die of Grief and Vexation. I have seen it among Boys and Girls at school, among Lads at Colledge, among Practicers at the Bar, among the Clergy in their Associations, among Clubbs of Friends, 246among the People in Town Meetings, among the Members of an House of Representatives, among the Grave Councillors, on the more solemn Bench of Justice, and in that awfully August Body the Congress, and on many of its Committees—and among Ladies every Where—But I never saw it operate with such Keenness, Ferocity and Fury, as among military Officers. They will go terrible Lengths, in their Emulations, their Envy and Revenge, in Consequence of it.

So much for Philosophy.—I hope my five or six Babes are all well. My Duty to my Mother and your Father and Love to sisters and Brothers, Aunts and Uncles.

Pray how does your Asparagus perform? &c.

I would give Three Guineas for a Barrell of your Cyder—not one drop is to be had here for Gold. And wine is not to be had under Six or Eight Dollars a Gallon and that very bad. I would give a Guinea for a Barrell of your Beer. The small beer here is wretchedly bad. In short I can get nothing that I can drink, and I believe I shall be sick from this Cause alone. Rum at forty shillings a Gallon and bad Water, will never do, in this hot Climate in summer where Acid Liquors are necessary against Putrefaction.

RC (Adams Papers).


Thus clearly in MS.


Here and below, suspension points are in MS.