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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10

This foot note contained in document ADMS-06-10-02-0198
1. This letter, as well as those of 8 Nov. [i.e. Dec.] , 22 and 26 Dec. (all below), are notable for Digges' attempt to conceal his identity because of his concern over the arrest of John Trumbull for treason (see note 6). He tried to produce a letter that clearly was not by an American, and certainly not by Thomas Digges. Opening his letter with “Dear Cozen,” he refers to the English as “my Countrymen” and England as “my Country,” implies that Trumbull is unknown to him, and even lists “Mr. Digs” among those questioned about Trumbull's activities. Digges had reason to be apprehensive. Newspaper accounts of Trumbull's arrest mentioned Digges as a sympathizer, and possible agent, for the American cause and the person who, under the alias of Mr. Waters, forwarded at least one of the letters seized from Trumbull (London Morning Post and Daily Advertiser, 24 Nov. and 1 Dec.; London Chronicle, 21–23 Nov.). Digges' role in this affair is unclear, but he surely had some direct or indirect contact with Trumbull and his three December letters indicate that he probably helped John Steele Tyler escape from England.