Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 18 July 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 18 July 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Fryday July 18, 1777

The Papers inclosed will inform you, of the Loss of Ticonderoga, with all its Circumstances of Incapacity and Pusillanimity.—Dont you pitty me to be wasting away my Life, in laborious Exertions, to procure Cannon, Ammunition, Stores, Baggage, Cloathing &c. &c. &c. &c., for Armies, who give them all away to the Enemy, without firing a Gun.

Notwithstanding the Mortification arising from such Considerations, yet I can truly say that this Event is a Relief to my Mind, for I have a long Time expected this Catastrophe, and that it would be aggravated by the Loss of the Garrison, which it seems has been happily saved. My only Hope of holding that Post, has been a long Time founded in a Doubt whether the Enemy had Force enough in Canada, to attempt it.

The Design of the Enemy, is now no doubt to attack poor New England on all sides, from Rhode Island, New York and Ticonderoga.

But I believe their Progress will be stopped, for our Army is pretty numerous, and Discipline, upon which alone We must finally depend, under Providence, for Success, is advancing.

Howes Army is in a miserable Condition, by the best Accounts We can obtain.

My Mind runs upon my Family, as much as upon our public Con-285cerns. I long to hear of the Safety and the Health of my dearest Friend.—May Heaven grant her every Blessing she desires.

Tell my Brother Farmer, I long to study Agriculture with him, and to see the Progress of his Corn and Grass.—Sister too, does she make as good a dairy Woman as your Ladyship?

RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspapers not found or precisely identifiable.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 20 July 1777 JA AA John Adams to Abigail Adams, 20 July 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Phila. July 20th. 1777

The little masterly Expedition to Rhode Island has given Us, some Spirits, amidst our Mournings for the Loss of Ti. Barton conducted his Expedition with infinite Address and Gallantry, as Sir Wm. has it.1 Meigs and Barton must be rewarded.2

Although so much Time has elapsed since our Misfortune at Ti, We have no particular Account from General Schuyler or Sinclair St. Clair. People here are open mouthed, about the Disgrace and Disaster in that Quarter, and are much disposed to Censure.—For my Part I suspend my Judgment, untill I know the Facts. I hope the People with you will not be too much dejected at the Loss. Burgoine is a wild Man, and will rush into some inconsiderate Measures, which will put him in our Power, but if not, his Career will be stopped.

The Loss of so many Stores is more provoking than that of the Post.

Before this reaches you, I hope you will be happy in the Embraces of a little female Beauty. God bless her. Pray let me continue to hear from you, every Week. When you cant write, make some other Pen do the Duty.

We have had here a few hot days, when Fahrenheits Mercury was at 88, but the Weather has in general been very cool. Such a July was scarcely ever known, which is a fortunate Circumstance for the Health of our Army.

We have The four Months of August, September, October and November, before Us, for the Armies to Act in. There is Time enough to do a great deal of Business. I hope, that the Enemy will not do so much Mischief as last Year, altho their Exploits then have not done them much Good, nor the united States as a Community, much harm.

The Examples of Meigs, and Barton, will be followed I hope, by Numbers. The Subtlety, the Ingenuity, the Activity, the Bravery, 286the Prudence, with which those Excursions were conducted, are greatly and justly admired.

Connecticutt has the Honour of one, Rhode Island of the other.—Will Mass. be outdone?

RC (Adams Papers).


On 10 July Lt. Col. William Barton with a party of forty Rhode Island militia made a night raid on Maj. Gen. Richard Prescott's headquarters near Newport, captured Prescott and his aide, and almost reached the mainland before an alarm was raised. See Washington to Hancock, 16 July ( Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 8:415–416), and a minutely detailed account, with a map of the terrain, in Frederick Mackenzie, Diary, Cambridge, 1930, 1:148–151.


On 25 July Congress voted that both officers be presented with swords—Meigs for his conduct in the raid on Sag Harbor at the end of May ( JCC , 8:579–580).