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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 1


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Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0181

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1775-09-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My Dear

This is the first Time, that I have attempted to write, since I left you. I arrived here in good Health, after an agreable Journey, last Wednesday; There had not been Members enough to make a House, several Colonies being absent, so that I was just in Time. The next day, an adequate No. appeared, and Congress has sat ever since.1
Georgia is now fully represented, and united to the other Twelve.
Their Delegates are Dr. Zubly, a Clergyman of the independant Perswasion who has a Parish in that Colony and a good deal of Property. He is a Native of Switzerland, is a Man of Learning and Ingenuity. It is said he is Master of several Languages, Greek, Latin, French, Dutch and English. In the latter it is said, he writes tolerably. He is a Man of Zeal and Spirit, as We have already seen upon several occasions.
{ 281 }
However, as he is the first Gentleman of the Cloth who has appeared in Congress, I can not but wish he may be the last. Mixing the sacred Character, with that of the Statesman, as it is quite unnecessary at this Time of day, in these Colonies, is not attended with any good Effects. The Clergy are universally too little acquainted with the World, and the Modes of Business, to engage in civil affairs with any Advantage. Besides those of them, who are really Men of Learning, have conversed with Books so much more than Men, as to be too much loaded with Vanity, to be good Politicians.
Mr. Bullock is another of the Georgian Delegates, a sensible Man, a Planter I suppose. Mr. Houstoun is the third, a young Lawyer of Modesty as well as sense and Spirit which you will say is uncommon.
Mr. Jones and Dr. Hall are not yet arrived.
Mr. Henry is made a General in Virginia, and therefore could not come. Mr. Pendleton and Coll. Bland excused them selves on Account of Age and ill Health. Messrs. Nelson, Wythe, and Lee, are chosen and are here in the Stead of the other three. Wythe and Lee are inoculated. You shall hear more about them. Altho they come in the Room of very good Men, We have lost nothing by the Change I believe.2—Remember me in the tenderest Language, to all our little Folks.—I am yours.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Adams Braintree”; endorsed: “Sepbr. 17.”
1. JA and Samuel Adams traveled together from Watertown and arrived in Philadelphia on 12 Sept., a week after the day to which Congress had adjourned; for their itinerary see JA 's Account with Massachusetts, printed in his Diary and Autobiography , 2:168–169. A quorum was obtained and Congress proceeded to business on 13 Sept. ( JCC , 2:240 ff.).
2. In his Diary entry for 15 Sept. JA had more to say about the new delegates: John Joachim Zubly, Archibald Bulloch, and John Houstoun of Georgia; and Thomas Nelson Jr., George Wythe, and Francis Lightfoot Lee of Virginia ( Diary and Autobiography , 2:172–173).

Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0182

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1775-09-21

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

As soon as the Letter1 of my Beloved friend reached my Hand, I immediately set down to Congratulate her on the Recovery of her Lovely Boy. May Returning Health Enliven the Countenance of Each one of your family, and Every Blessing Alight on your Habitation. I have been very solicitous about you since I left you. Hearing several times [ . . . ] transiently that you and the Little flock about you were { 282 } very Ill, it is a great relief to my mind to be informd that so many of them are in better Health. I hope poor Patty may yet recover Notwithstanding your apprehensions.
The Letter you sent is not the one in question. There is still another somewhere. However am obliged and will Return them all, safe. As to the Copy of another I had much Rather you should dispose of It as you please than suspect any want of Confidence in your Friend.2
I have not seen the paraphrase you Mention nor is it Likely I shall unless you procure it for me, for I have not yet seen the Letters so much talked off. I was in hopes you would have sent me the Copies. Should be Glad you would send both when you have oppertunity.
You ask my opinion of the petition, the Remonstrance and the Irish Conduct &c. I think they discover that there are some people in England who have sense Enough to Discern that Impending Ruin Hangs over the Nation, and a few that may be Influenced by the Love of justice and Humanity And a Regard to their American Brethren but I believe there are many matters to be Adjusted before a setlement will be made. The silence of a Great personage may Indicate an obstinate perseverance in Error but perhaps it may be best. Negotiation under Certain Circumstance is but building on a Fabric so shatered by the Recent storm, that it is in Danger of falling under the Hands of the Workmen on the first Rude Blast which shall attack it.
I hear our Good Friend Mrs. Lincoln is Returned. I Wish she would make it Certain by a signal from her own Hand. With my affectionate Compliments to her and the Family do remind her of this Request.
I hope you will have your Drooping spirits Revived Ere Long by a Letter from a Gentleman, I Esteem (I belive I shall not be very wide from the truth) if I say Next to one I hope for the Happiness of seeing before this Reaches the Hand of the agreable Portia, from one who will Indulge so far in the Romantic stile as to subscribe once more by the Name of Your affectionate
[signed] Marcia
1. Not found.
2. These allusions remain obscure.