Papers of John Adams, volume 2

From Mercy Otis Warren, 4 April 1775 Warren, Mercy Otis JA From Mercy Otis Warren, 4 April 1775 Warren, Mercy Otis Adams, John
From Mercy Otis Warren
Dear Sir Plimouth April 4th 1775

At the same time that I make my Gratful Acknowledgment, for the instructive sentiments and Friendly hint, Contained in yours of the 15th March I must ask your indulgence so far as to Favour me with your opinion (by my son who will Call on you on Monday Next) of the present dark and Gloomy aspect of public affairs. Is there no hope that the Dread Calamity of Civil Convulsions may yet be Averted, or must the Blood of the Best Citizens be poured out to Glut the Vengeance of the most Worthless and Wicked men Ever Nursed in the Lap of America. You Cannot Wonder sir at my perticuler anxiety and solicitude to know the sentiments of the judicious as Mr. 414Warren is Absent and in such a Remote quarter that I have not heard from him since the news of the late transactions of an August Assembly who I beleive will not stand Recorded in the Latest page of History for their Superiority or sagacity. Their profound policy or incorruptable integrity.1 I have but A few Moments to write as I did not Expect this opportunity. But that will not be Requited by a Gentlemen on whose time the public has so Large a Demand.

I do not Expect the pleasure of seeing you (if we both Live through the Approaching storm) till your Return from the Assembly of the states (Ere which perhaps the Fate of Nations may be Decided and A Mighty Empire trembling to the Centrer) but my Every Wish for your Honour safety and Happiness will Attend you. And may you and your Associates be Directed to those steps which will Redound to the Glory of America, the Welfare of Britain and the promotion of that Equal Liberty which is the Birthright of Man and the only Basis on which Civil society Can Enjoy any durable Tranquility.

With my Affectionate Regards to my much Esteemed Friend Mrs. Adams you will Remind her that if one or two Long Letters Can Bring her in debte she is in Arreares to her and Your unfeigned Friend,

Mercy Warren

P.S. I hope to have it under your Hand that you pardon any Fault in this Hasty Billet.

RC (Adams Papers).


Mercy's husband, James, had written critically about the Second Provincial Congress to JA earlier (20 Feb. 1775, above).

Alexander McDougall to ?, 14 April 1775 McDougall, Alexander UNKNOWN Alexander McDougall to ?, 14 April 1775 McDougall, Alexander UNKNOWN
Alexander McDougall to ?
Dear Sir New York, 14 April 1775

This covers a Letter, and accompanies a Budle, to our mutual Friend John Adams Esqr, which I received by Capt Lawrence from London, to be forwarded to him, by a safe Conveyance.1 I must therefore beg your particular care in Conveying them to him. All the Letters by the late Vessels, which arrived here agree, that the sanguinary measures expressed in the address, of Both Houses to the king were determined to be executed against this distressed and devoted Country.2 But that they were abhored by the Nation; and that riots and Tumults, were daily expected in London. The certainty of these I imagine, induced Lord North from considerations of personal Danger, 415to alter his Plan So haistily. There are no Letters received of so late a date as the Prints, which were received by Capt Lawrence, while he lay wind bound in Portsmouth, so that we are yet in the dark, as to the True motives of the motion made and carried by the minister.

I am Dear Sir in Great Haste Your Humble Servant. Alexr Mdougall3

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in an unidentified hand: “McDougal 1775.”


This letter accompanied the bundle of books and letter from Edward Dilly dated 13 Jan. (above). Actually they were sent later by the Earl of Dunmore, Captain Laurence, bound for New York, rather than by the Paul, Captain Gordon, bound for Salem. Laurence arrived in New York in early April (Rivington's New-York Gazetteer, 13 April 1775). On behalf of JA, AA wrote to Dilly on 22 May, while JA was at the Second Continental Congress. She noted that no package had arrived at Salem and asked about it, but there is no record of another such package from Dilly ( Adams Family Correspondence , 1:200–202).


The address of the two houses of Parliament calling upon the King to declare that Massachusetts was in rebellion (Knollenberg, Growth of the American Revolution, p. 174; Parliamentary Hist. , 18:221–224).


At this time McDougall (1732–1786) was a member of the New York Provincial Congress; his strong whig leadership had early earned him the nickname of the “Wilkes of America.” Later he served as a general in the Continental Army and as a delegate to the Continental Congress ( DAB ).