Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 13 July 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 13 July 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
My dearest Friend Philadelphia July 13. 1777

We have a confused Account, from the Northward, of Something Unlucky, at Ticonderoga, but cannot certainly tell what it is.1

I am much afraid, We shall loose that Post, as We did Forts Washington and Lee, and indeed, I believe We shall if the Enemy surround it. But it will prove no Benefit to them. I begin to Wish there was not a Fort upon the Continent. Discipline and Disposition, are our Resources.

It is our Policy to draw the Enemy into the Country, where We can avail ourselves of Hills, Woods, Walls, Rivers, Defiles &c. untill our Soldiers are more inured to War.

How and Burgoine will not be able to meet, this Year, and if they were met, it would only be better for Us, for We should draw all our Forces to a Point too.

If they were met, they could not cutt off the Communication, between the Northern and Southern States. But if the Communication was cutt off for a Time, it would be no Misfortune, for New England would defend itself, and the Southern States would defend themselves.

Coll. Miles is come out of N. York on his Parol. His account is, as I am informed, that Mr. Howes Projects are all deranged. His Army has gone round the Circle and is now encamped on the very Spot where he was a Year ago. The Spirits of the Tories are sunk to a great Degree, and those of the Army too. The Tories have been elated with Prospects of coming to this City, and tryumphing, but are miserably disappointed. The Hessians are disgusted, and their General De Heister gone home, in a Miff.2

RC (Adams Papers).


Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair on 6 July evacuated Fort Ticonderoga in the face of Burgoyne's army advancing from Canada.


Lt. Gen. Leopold Philipp, Freiherr von Heister, commander of the Hessian troops in America, had been out of favor with Sir William Howe and with 282his own sovereign since the American victory at Trenton. He was replaced by Lt. Gen. Wilhelm von Knyphausen and left the army in June 1777. See Edward J. Lowell, The Hessians. . . in the Revolutionary War, N.Y., 1884, p. 113–115.

John Thaxter to John Adams, 13 July 1777 Thaxter, John JA John Thaxter to John Adams, 13 July 1777 Thaxter, John Adams, John
John Thaxter to John Adams
Sir Braintree July 13th. 1777

The day before Yesterday Mrs. Adams was delivered of a daughter; but it grieves me to add, Sir, that it was still born. It was an exceeding fine looking Child.

Mrs. Adams is as comfortable, as She has Just inform'd me, as can be expected; and has desired me to write a few lines to acquaint you that She is in a good Way, which I am very happy in doing.

Every thing in my power that respects her Comfort, or that respects the Children, shall be attended to by Sir, Your most obedient Servt., J. Thaxter Junr.

RC (Adams Papers).

Abigail Adams to John Adams, 16 July 1777 AA JA Abigail Adams to John Adams, 16 July 1777 Adams, Abigail Adams, John
Abigail Adams to John Adams
July 16 1777

Join with me my dearest Friend in Gratitude to Heaven, that a life I know you value, has been spaired and carried thro Distress and danger altho the dear Infant is numberd with its ancestors.

My apprehensions with regard to it were well founded. Tho my Friends would have fain perswaded me that the Spleen1 or 2 the Vapours had taken hold of me I was as perfectly sensible of its discease as I ever before was of its existance. I was also aware of the danger which awaited me; and which tho my sufferings were great thanks be to Heaven I have been supported through, and would silently submit to its dispensations in the loss of a sweet daughter; it appeard to be a very fine Babe, and as it never opened its Eyes in this world it lookd as tho they were only closed for sleep. The circumstance which put an end to its existance, was evident upon its birth, but at this distance and in a Letter which may possibly fall into the Hands of some unfealing Ruffian I must omit particuliars. Suffice it to say that it was not oweing to any injury which I had sustaind, nor could any care of mine have prevented it.

My Heart was much set upon a Daughter. I had had a strong perswasion that my desire would be granted me. It was—but to shew me the uncertanty of all sublinary enjoyments cut of e'er I could call it mine. 283No one was so much affected with the loss of it as its Sister who mournd in tears for Hours. I have so much cause for thankfullness amidst my sorrow, that I would not entertain a repineing thought. So short sighted and so little a way can we look into futurity that we ought patiently to submit to the dispensation of Heaven.

I am so comfortable that I am amaizd at myself, after what I have sufferd I did not expect to rise from my Bed for many days. This is but the 5th day and I have set up some Hours.

I However feel myself weakend by this exertion, yet I could not refrain from the temptation of writing with my own Hand to you.

Adieu dearest of Friends adieu—Yours most affectionately.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed in Richard Cranch's hand: “To the Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia To be left at the Post Office”; endorsed: “Portia.”


MS apparently reads: “Splln.”


This word and one other (in the paragraph preceding AA's leavetaking) have been editorially supplied.