Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams, 13 August 1777 Smith, Isaac Sr. JA Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams, 13 August 1777 Smith, Isaac Sr. Adams, John
Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams
Mr. Adams Boston August the 13th. 77

I wrote you the post before last to which refer you.1 In your last2 you mention the prize price of Salt, which am very sorry to see was so high. I had a little parcel lately which I retaild Out att 12/ a single 311bushel, and sold a Gentleman from the Jerseys who are deprived from geting that Article and to compasionate there case let him have itt att 10/ tho was offerd 20/ for itt, but as he wanted a considerable quantity more his southward friends who had salt here in a prize sold him theres att 30/ which was sorry itt should get to.—You Ask why the Merchants cant get in those Articles now as when the Elicet trade was carried On and Men of War &c. were here. The case is very differant for more than half the Vessells that have been fited Out this Winter have been taken and we have had Three ships for Near Two Months past Cruseing in the bay and come up so near the Lighthouse as that the Flagg att the Castle has been hoisted for them, and the many Captures in the West Indies has risen Insurance near double. Inded there is hardly geting any done att any rate, and itts very dificult to get hands to go, to give 50 Per Cent Insurance you must pay as much as your Vessell and Cargo is worth to cover your Interest but to give 75 PC still Inhances the Value which is to be laid with all Other Charges On the bare Cargo, and there is Nothing of any Value of the produce of this Province that can be bought to send but that itt must sink 100 PC and we have no Other way to get any Cargo that will any ways Answer than by sending to the southward which makes the Insurance the Voyage round very great.—I have several Vessells tho small I purpose sending that way when itt comes a little later in the season but am put to dificulty of geting money to the southward, without being att the Charge of sending on purpose. I want to get about 8. or 10.000 Dls. lodged that way. I have talkt with Mr. Hewes and find itt very dificult to have any Exchange of money that way.—Mr. Hewes is gone to Piscataque. I have Askt him Once or twice to dine with me, but has been engaged. When he returns I expect he will.

A Commite of Ours and the Other States have met to Consider of what method to take in order to Establish the Currency or rather to prevent itts further deprecasion.3 I wish some method could be found Out but itt Appears to be a thing that is very dificult.—I was Agoing to give you my sentiments sometime Ago when I heard you had Orderd several large ships to be built, but, as you was the best judges of the Motives of your doing itt, Omited itt as itt could not have any Other merit than a private sentiment. The money to be made to carry on and Compleat these Ships must be immence. I reckon itt will require a Wagon load to be sent Once a Month and such a sum to be made which is the Means of the depresasion, and not to have any benifit Ariseing from itt Appears to me they had never been thought off 312for I will Venture to say they wont get to see sea unless we can make Men this six Years, and to have the Frigates that are building got to see likewise. Frigates I Apprehend would be more servisable, Altho we have lost One, not to exceed 36 or 40 Gun ships, under proper regulations.

I am Sr. Your hum. servant, Isaac Smith

PS I dont mean by any thing I have said to be Only my private sentiments to you.4

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Smith.”


Smith to JA, 28–31 July, above.


Not found.


This convention of delegates from four New England states and New York was held at Springfield, Mass., on 30 July–6 Aug.; its proceedings are printed in The Public Records of the State of Connecticut, Hartford, 1894–1953, 1:599–606.


Smith probably meant just the opposite of what he wrote: he wished his views as here expressed to be considered as no other than “private sentiments.”

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams, 14 August 1777 Warren, Mercy Otis AA Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams, 14 August 1777 Warren, Mercy Otis Adams, Abigail
Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams
Plymouth, ante 14 August 1777 1

Most sincerly do I Congratulate My Friend on her Restoration to Health after pain, peril and Disappointment. May she Long be spared to her Family and Friends, And be happy in Domestic Life, Though the political sky Looks Dark and Lowry and the Convulsions of War! shake the Lower Creation.

You ask My opinion with Regard to affairs in the North. All I Can say is I am Mortifyed and Chagrind at the surrender of Ti, but suspend my Resentment till Those who have a better Right than myself have scrutinized, judged and Condemned.

I have not Yet been able to purchase any Coffe. Shall Remember you when I do. My son has had no Returns from France. I begin to fear the Vessels on which he Ventured have fallen into the hands of the Enemy.

I think you desired me to Let you know if I met with any thing suitable for Childrens wear. I have 2 peaces of Blue and White striped French Cottons the one 5 quarters the other, 6 in Width. Very Good and very pretty for boys or Girls, but the price is somewhat Modernized, though not to the Extent of the Fashion, only 20/ £2 per yard. If you Incline to have any of it Let me know and I will keep it till I have an opportunity to send it. What is become of the sagathe3 313&c. I only inquire Least you may have sent it forward by some hand that has Neglected to Deliver it to your Friend unfeignedly,

M Warren

I wish you would let your Neghbour the stoken Weaver know I Could not send him the Cotton but intend to send him some Worsted Work as soon as I can Get it spun.

Do Give me the Inteligence from Mr. Lees Letter.4 Mr. Lothrop has forgot Every Word.

If you are in want of a Little Nice Black Russel5 for shew, Let your Friend know it.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree”; at head of text in CFA's hand: “July 1777.”


It is clear from several allusions in this letter that it is a reply to one from AA that has not been found; and it is equally clear that AA's letter to Mrs. Warren, dated 14–16 Aug., following, is a reply in turn to the present letter—in all likelihood a prompt reply.


Thus in MS.


Sagathy, variously spelled, was a woolen fabric somewhat like serge ( OED ).


A copy of a letter from Arthur Lee sent on earlier by JA to AA; perhaps Lee's letter of 18 March, mentioned by JA in his letter of 1–2 July, q.v. above.


Russel, variously spelled, was also a woolen fabric, “formerly used for articles of attire, esp. in the 16th century” ( OED ). But Mrs. Warren may mean the apparently more elegant “Russell cord . . . a ribbed or corded fabric, usually made with a cotton warp and woollen weft” (same). See AA's answer, following.