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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 4


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Docno: ADMS-06-04-02-0093

Author: Kent, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-05-26

From Benjamin Kent

[salute] Dr: Sr:

I have written upon Politics, to your Names Sake, upon the grand affair of a Declaration of Independence, and I suppose he will show it to our Continentall Representatives I mean our Representatives of Massachusetts bay If desir'd, for tho I thro the kindness of Providence Sustain no Sort of publick Caracter; yet I concern my self very much in Affairs which Concern the publick. I remember I promised you I would write you when the Continental Arms Should work a Change to give me something to write upon, But the Lord has sent a pannick upon Our Enemies, and by that means, and not the force of our Arms, I am now a resident in Boston. But what I this day hear of the Doings of the Continental Congress induceth me earnestly to ask you if you have releasd that double damnable fellow Ben: Church Junr:, which I am very unwilling to believe, and if so how it came to pass.1 Pope says whatever is is right but there is you know such a thing as right wrong. Hang well and pay well, is a fundamental principle in all good Government, but the releasing him, seems quite Contrary. But if it is so, I wish he would come to Boston. I would affront him in hopes he would offer me Such treatment that I might beat his brains out or cut his Throat and I might escape the Gallows. I assure you I write under great discomposure of Mind on that Account, because I have been so Credibly inform'd you have releas'd him, that I believe it. Pray give me some relief, or you will never receive from me { 215 } a better Letter, and this is of no other Importance than to ease my own Stomach, and to let you know you are beloved by yr. Bror.
[signed] Benj. Kent
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For The Honble: John Adams Esq; of the Continental Congress Philadelphia By Mr. Bant"; docketed: “Mr Kent. May 26. 1776.”
1. In response to a petition from Church and members of his family, the congress on 14 May remanded him to Massachusetts for a trial and requested that until the trial the Council allow him to be free on parole on condition that he not leave the province or correspond with the enemy ( JCC , 4:352). See also William Tudor to JA , 28 Oct. 1775, note 7 (above).