A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0133

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1777-03-17

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Charles

How do you do?—I hope you are in fine Health and Spirits. What Subject do your Thoughts run upon these Times. You are a thoughtfull Child you know, always meditating upon some deep Thing or other. Your Sensibility is exquisite too. Pray how are your nice Feelings affected by the Times? Dont you wish for Peace—or do you wish to take a Part in the War?
Have you heard of the ill Nature and Cruelty of the Enemies of your { 180 } Country, in New Jersey, both to their Prisoners and to the Inhabitants, their wickedest Friends, as well as their most honest foes?—If you have I believe your Resentment is so high as to wish yourself grown up, that you might draw your Sword, to assist in punishing them.
But before you are grown up, I hope this War will be over, and you will have nothing to study but the Arts of Peace. If this should be our happy Lott, pray what Course of Life do you intend to steer? Will you be a Lawyer, a Divine, a Phisician, a Merchant, or what? Something very good and usefull I think you will be, because you have a good Capacity and a good Disposition. Dont loose a Moment, in improving these to the best Advantage, which will be an inexpressible Satisfaction to your Mamma, as well as to me.
Are you a Mechanick? Charles? If you are not, ask your Brothers John and Thomas whether they are? Do you make your own Boats, and Whirligiggs, and other Toys? If you have a Genius for these noble Arts, you would be pleased to see what I saw at Bethlehem, a Pump, which has been constantly going for near Twenty Years, by Water, which forces up into the Air, to the Hight of an hundred feet through a leaden Pipe, Water enough to supply the whole Town. After rising to its utmost Hight it is carried by leaden Pipes, round the whole Town and into the very Kitchen of every Family in it. The Water is admirably sweet, soft and pure. It serves to wash and for all other Purposes, and saves a vast deal of labour to the Women, Maids and servants. Ask your Unkle Cranch how such a surprizing thing can be done with so much Ease and at so little Expence. Ask him too whether a similar Pump at New Boston,1 might not be made by means of a Wind Mill to supply that whole Town, which has always hitherto suffered, by bad Water, and very often for Want of Water?—I am your affectionate Father.
1. That is, on Beacon Hill in Boston; the western part of the town was commonly called New Boston at this time (Shurtleff, Description of Boston , p. 125).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0134

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1777-03-20

John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

In an Hand Bill printed at Baltimore the 17th instant1 is as well made a Lye as ever I read. It is in these Words viz. “last night Mr. Charles Cook, arrived here in 12 days from Newbern, in North Carolina, and brings the following important Intelligence, vizt.
{ 181 }
“That the day before he sat out, Capt. Charles Stedman, of the North Carolina Forces, a Gentleman of Credit, just returned from Charlestown, South Carolina, informed him and others, that he there saw a large French Fleet, consisting of 15 Men of War, two of them 80 Gun Ships, and 40 Merchant Men.—That two of the armed Vessells lay within the Bar. That these Vessells had on Board 200 Pieces of Brass Cannon, 30,000 stand of small Arms, and a vast Quantity of dry Goods, for the Use of the American States. Their Destination was said to be for Delaware and Chesopeak Bays.”
When you have read this and the inclosed News Papers, I should be glad if you would send them to my Family.—You are appointed an Arbitrator to settle a Dispute between the Continental Agent and some others, for Want of a Determination of which, the Public suffers. I hope you will accept this Trust, Sir, from Benevolence to the Public. I wish it was a more pleasant Office, but I think your Regard for the Public is such that you will not decline a dissagreable service by which it may be benefited.2 I am &c.
LbC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspapers not found or identified.
1. The editors have not located a copy.
2. No record of this appointment (which was by the Marine Committee of Congress) appears in JCC . Smith accepted, and served with two colleagues, Ebenezer Storer and William Phillips. They reported on 28 July; see JCC , 8:628–629; 9:836. For a fuller discussion of efforts to untangle the accounts of John Bradford, the Continental agent at Boston, see William Bell Clark, George Washington's Navy, Baton Rouge, 1960, p. 203 ff.