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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 1


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Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0143

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1775-06-07

John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Dr. sir

Two days ago, I was very agreably surprized by a Letter from you,1 which was acceptable both for the important public Intelligence it contained and as it informed me of your Escape from Boston. I had suffered much Anxiety, on Account of yourself and your Family, supposing you were confined in Town and subject to I knew not what Inconveniences or Indignities.
I cant yet learn that Mr. Boylstone, or Mrs. Gill2 are suffered to leave the Town.
News, We have none at this Place. The Proceedings of the Congress, are all secret, but such few Votes as you see in the public Papers. The N. Foundland British Fishery We had taken Care of before I had the Honour of your Letter: and you may depend upon it, that not a Pound of flour, or Bread or Meat goes from any of these Colonies, to supply that fishery.
We have here a most glorious Season, plenty of Rain and as fine a Prospect of Crops as ever Was known. This is in a kind Providence our Security against Famine, and the amazing military Ardor That now prevails, through every Colony upon the Continent, We hope will secure our Country against the Swords of our Enemies.
There are in this City, Three large Regiments, raised, formed, armed, trained, and uniformed under Officers consisting of Gentlemen of the very first Fortune and best Character in the Place. All this has started up, since 19th. April. They cover the Common every Day in { 213 } the Week, Sundays not excepted. There is a Company of young Quakers. This Spirit is not confined to the City, but runs through the Province, and through all the neighbouring Colonies. Saturday afternoon I made a little Excursion down to Wilmington. Every little Village We passed thro, had Companies of Men exercising.
My Duty to my Aunt, my Love to your two sons and to Miss Polly and Miss Betcy and Regards to all friends.3

[salute] I am, sir your most huml sert,

[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi: Elizabeth Smith Scrapbook); addressed: “To Isaac Smith Esqr. Merchant in Salem favd. by Dr. Church”; endorsed: “Philaa. June 7. 1775—John Adams Esqr.”
1. Not found.
2. Thomas Boylston (1721–1798), Boston merchant and (as things turned out) a loyalist, and his sister Rebecca (Boylston) Gill (1727–1798), wife of Moses Gill. Both were first cousins of JA 's mother; see Adams Genealogy.
3. For Smith's children see Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0144

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1775-06-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear

Dr. Church returns to Day, and with smarting Eyes, I must write a few Lines to you. I never had in my Life, such severe Duty to do, and was never worse qualified to do it. My Eyes depress my Spirits and my Health is quite infirm. Yet I keep about and attend Congress very constantly.
I wish I could write freely to you my Dear, but I can not. The Scene before me, is complicated enough. It requires better Eyes and better Nerves than mine. Yet I will not despond. I will lay all Difficulties prostrate at my feet....1 My Health and Life ought to be hazarded, in the Cause of my Country as well as yours, and all my friends.
It is impossible to convey to you any adequate Idea of the Embarrassments, I am under. I wish that you and our Friends may not be in greater Distress than I am. I fear you are. Pray let me know as often as possible. Our Friends write to Mrs.——2 not to me, this time. They dont let us know the State of Boston People, nor the State of the Army in Boston, so exactly as I could wish.
Two days ago, We saw a very wonderfull Phoenomenon in this City—a field Day, on which three Battallions of Soldiers were reviewed, making full two thousand Men. Battallion Men, Light Infantry, Grenadiers, Rifle Men, Light Horse, Artillery Men, with a fine train, all in { 214 } Uniforms, going thro the manual Exercise and the Maneuvres, with remarkable Dexterity. All this has been accomplished in this City, since the 19th. of April. So sudden a formation of an Army never took Place any where.
In Congress We are bound to secrecy: But, under the Rose, I believe, that ten thousand Men will be maintained in the Massachusetts, and five thousand in New York at the Continental Expence.
We have a Major Skeene, just arrived from London with a Commission to be Governer of Crown Point and Ticonderoga, and Surveyor of the Woods &c., close Prisoner.3 He must dispute for his Government with Arnold and Allen.—My Love and Duty, where due.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree”; endorsed: “C No 8.”
1. Suspension points in MS .
2. Thus in MS . “Mrs.” may represent “Messrs.” or it may be a mistake for “Mr.”
3. On “Governor” Philip Skene in Philadelphia, see Burnett, ed., Letters of Members , 1:114 and note, with references there.