Papers of John Adams, volume 2

From Samuel Cooper, 16 October 1774 Cooper, Samuel JA From Samuel Cooper, 16 October 1774 Cooper, Samuel Adams, John
From Samuel Cooper
16th Oct. 1774

Having just been informed that Mr. Tudor is going to Philadelphia,1 I take this opportunity to thank you for the obliging favor of your letter of 29th September.2 The struggle, as you justly observe, between fleets and armies and commercial regulations, must be very unequal: We hope, however, the congress will carry this mode of defence as far as it will go, and endeavor to render it as early effectual as it can be, since the operation of it must necessarily be slow—were we at ease we would wait— but being first seized and griped by the merciless hand of power, we are “tortured even to madness,” and yet, perhaps, no people would give a greater example of patience and firmness, could the people be sure of the approbation and countenance of the continent; in consolidating themselves in the best manner they are 190able, they should have, they say, fresh spirits to sustain the conflict. The report of an uncommon large quantity of British goods sent to New York and Philadelphia, naturally carries our thoughts to a non-consumption—Nothing could more thoroughly embarrass these selfish importers, and none ever deserved more such a punishment.

Our provincial congress is assembled; they adjourned from Concord to Cambridge. Among them and through the province the spirit is ardent. And I think the inhabitants of this town are distracted to remain in it with such formidable fortifications at its entrance. Besides the regiments expected from the southward and Canada, we have several companies from Newfoundland, of which we had no apprehension until they arrived.3 The tories depend that the administration will push their point with all the force that they can spare, and this I think we ought to expect and take into our account.

MS not found. Reprinted from extract in (Niles, Principles and Acts ), p. 323–324.


See AA to William Tudor, 15 Oct. 1774, Adams Family Correspondence , 1:170–171, note 2.


Not found.


Apparently the troops came from Newfoundland without advance notice to Gage, for he wrote Lord Dartmouth on 17 Oct. that “Commodore Shuldham receiving Intelligence at Newfoundland of the extraordinary Commotions in this Country, sent the Rose Man of War immediately here, with two Companies of the 65th Regiment, stationed at St. Johns, desiring only that they might be replaced in the Spring” (Gage, Corr. , 1:378–379).

From James Warren, 16 October 1774 Warren, James JA From James Warren, 16 October 1774 Warren, James Adams, John
From James Warren
My Dear Sir Boston Octr the 16th: 1774

I Recd yours of the 18th Sepr1 with A pleasure and satisfaction that render my Negligence in not Answering it before almost Inexcusable. I shant trouble you at this Time with any Apologies, but leave your Candour to Excuse me till I have an Opportunity to do it on A Social Evening att Braintree or Plymouth and Improve the Short Time I now have in Another way. Great has been my Anxiety since you left us not only for the publick determinations of your August Body but for your Health on such a Journey in a Season not the most favourable. I am however relieved by finding the last in A good State and by hopes that the first would be as I could Wish. That America will save the Massachussets or Perish with her,2 is a Resolution worthy of the Greatest Assembly that ever met on this Continent, and such an one as you can easily suppose I wish to see Carried into Execution, and more especially at a Time when Indeed 191our Affairs and Circumstances are such as require not only Great but Immediate support. It can be no longer A question whether any People ever subsisted in A State of Nature. We have been and still remain in that Situation, with this Additional Misfortune, that we dare not Attempt to Form A Civil Constitution or redress our Inconveniencies, least our Attempts should be disapproved of at Philadelphia and that perhaps made A Pretence to Justine our being left to the Mercy of our Enemies. You will Learn by the Bearer of the Meeting of our Provincial Congress at Concord on last Tuesday and their proceedings.3 We are A Large and I think A Respectable Body, but in perfect Leading strings, Intirely and professedly dependent on you for Motion if not for Being. I am Sensible of your many difficulties. I pity and pray for you. We are not without ours, our Constituents forming great Expectations from us, while we are Embarrassd by a Multitude of—difficulties from all quarters. We are all Sensible of the necessity of A Military Force to Oppose the Encroachments and Insults of our Enemies and that to Form support and Controul them, A Civil Goverment is necessary. But how the first is to be Established or the last Formed is a question which is left to Ourselves. We should be perhaps divided in Sentiment about it.4 What shall be the model of the last is certainly the most Interesting. We Impatiently wait for Revere5 who we flatter Ourselves will bring us some decisions on that Subject not only to Animate but Unite us. But as I write in A hurry and under disadvantages I must leave this Subject to your Other Friends and Correspondents who have not only more leisure but Abilities to handle it. Mrs. Warren is here and Joins heartily in Wishes for your Health and Success in your Undertakings. We Called on Mrs. Adams in our way here and had the pleasure to find her well. You will Undoubtedly hear from her by this Opportunity. She has Engaged to go to Plymouth with Mrs. Warren this week, who Cant wait for the Riseing of our Body. Though my Hopes from Philadelphia are somewhat damped by what I have seen and heard since I came to Town, I will hope for A happy Issue however that be I hope to see you in due Time and Am with Great Respect Your Sincere Friend and Humb. Servt.,

Jas. Warren

My Compliments and regards to Mr. Cushing and Paine and my Friend Mr. Adams tho' he has forgot me. I suppose he cant see or think of a small Man while in such an Elevated Station. I need not if I could, tell you how much pleasure a Line from you would give me.


RC (PHi:Gratz Coll.); endorsed: “James Warren Oct 16. 74,” and by JA in a later hand: “The Husband of the curious Historian!”; Tr (DLC:Force Transcripts, Misc. Corr.); endorsed: “Copied from the original in the possession of Mr. Deeth, Sept. 17. 1852. The original is to pass into the hands of Hon. V. L. Pruyn, Albany.” Except when otherwise noted, letters and words in brackets are taken from the Force Transcript where the RC is stained.


Not found, but see William Tudor to JA, 26 Sept. 1774, note 1, above.


This phrase appears in the letter to Richard Cranch of 18 Sept. and was published in the Boston Gazette, 26 Sept. See William Tudor to JA, 26 Sept., note 1, above.


On the First Provincial Congress, see William Tudor to JA, 22 Sept. 1774, note 2, above. Warren represented Plymouth.


Editorially supplied.


Paul Revere, who regularly carried messages between Massachusetts and the Continental Congress, left Philadelphia on or about 11 Oct., according to an entry of that date in Samuel Ward's diary: “Met, finished the resolves relative to the Massachusetts, and dismissed the Express” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members , 1:71).