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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


This foot note contained in document ADMS-04-02-02-0026
7. No letter written by JA on 4 July 1776 is known to the editors. The possibility that he wrote a letter of that date to AA , enclosing in it the copy he had made of Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence (see the following note), and commenting on the revisions made by Congress in the text of that paper—this possibility cannot be ruled out. But it seems to the editors an exceedingly doubtful one. If one supposes that such a letter was written and received, then one must at once explain why no entry for it can be found in JA 's letterbooks, which he was keeping with great fidelity at this time, and how the recipient's copy of a letter of such moment could have disappeared without a trace from the family archives. This supposition, in short, raises more unanswerable questions than it resolves. Since AA mentions “two Letters” rather than three, she is almost certainly referring to the two separate letters JA wrote her during the morning and the evening of 3 July, both printed above; otherwise we must suppose that she failed to acknowledge one of those letters, which are extant.