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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 3


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0043

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-11

To James Warren

[salute] Hond & Dr Sir

I have the Pleasure of inclosing you, a Declaration. Some call it a Manifesto. And We might easily have occasioned a Debate of half a Day, whether, it Should be called a Declaration or a Manifesto.1
Our Address to the People of Great Britain, will find many Admirers among the Ladies, and fine Gentlemen: but it is not to my { 72 } Taste. Prettynesses Juvenilities, much less Puerilities, become not a great Assembly like this the Representative of a great People.
We have voted twenty two thousand Men for your Army. If this is not enough to encounter every officer and Soldier in the british Army, if they were to send them all from Great Britain and Ireland I am mistaken.
What will N. England do with such Floods of Paper Money? We shall get the Continent nobly in our Debt. We are Striking off our Paper Bills in Nine different sorts. Some of twenty Dollars, some of Eight, 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. We shall be obliged to strike off four Milliens of Dollars I fear.2
Secret as usual. Our Fast has been kept more Strictly and devoutly than any Sunday was ever observed in this City. The Congress heard Duche in the Morning and Dr Allisen in the Evening.3 Good sermons.
By the way do let our Friend Adams's son be provided for as a surgeon.4
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr. J A Lettr July 1775.”
1. See Julian Boyd's penetrating analysis of the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity for Taking Up Arms, in which he demonstrates that, contrary to the usual assumption, the Dickinson draft strengthened the language of Jefferson's draft and made the Declaration more “inflammatory” in some of its points (Jefferson, Papers , 1:187–192). JA thought that the Declaration might well be the basis for bills of attainder against members of the congress ( JA to William Tudor, 6 July, above).
2. The congress had authorized two million paper dollars in June and an additional million was ordered struck off in July. By the end of 1775, six million were issued (E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse, Chapel Hill, 1961, p. 26).
3. For the resolution for a fast day, see JA 's Service in the Congress, 10 May – 1 Aug. (above). On 15 July the congress voted to ask Rev. Jacob Duché to preach in the morning and Rev. Francis Allison to preach in the afternoon ( JCC , 2:185). For an interesting analysis of the implications of the fast resolution, see Perry Miller, “From the Covenant to the Revival,” in The Shaping of American Religion, ed. James Ward Smith and A. Leland Jamison, Princeton, 1961, p. 322–330.
4. Samuel Adams Jr. (1751–1788) was made a surgeon in the army on or about 4 Aug. (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates , 17:334–336).