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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


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Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0141

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

“A Plott! a Plott! an horrid Plott, Mr. A.” says my Barber, this Morning.—“It must be a Plott 1. because there is British Gold in it. 2. because there is a Woman in it. 3. because there is a Jew in it. 4. because I dont know what to make of it.”
The Barber means, that a Villain was taken up, and examined Yesterday, who appears by his own Confession to have been employd by Lord Howe and Jo. Galloway to procure Pilots to conduct the Fleet up Delaware River and through the Chevaux de Frizes. His Confidant { 189 } was a Woman, who is said to be kept by a Jew. The Fellow and the Woman will suffer for their Wickedness.1
1. “The Fellow” was James Molesworth; he was executed three days later. See JA to AA , 31 March, below; William B. Reed, Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed, Phila., 1847, 2:30–33; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members , 2:333, and references in note there.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0142

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1777-03-30

John Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

I have been this Afternoon, to a Place of Worship, which I never attended before. It is the Church of the Scotch Seceeders. They have a tolerable Building, but not yet finished. The Congregation is not large, and the People are not very genteel.
The Clergyman, who officiates here, is a Mr. Marshall, a Native of Scotland, whose Speech is yet thick and broad, altho he has officiated in this Place near Ten Years.1
By his Prayer and several Passages in his sermon, he appears to be a warm American from whence I conclude, that the most of his Congregation are so too, because I generally suppose that the Minister will in a short time bring his People to his Way of thinking, or they will bring him, to theirs—or else there will be a Seperation.
The Grounds and Reasons, of the Secession of this Society from the other Presbyterian Churches, I know not, but intend to enquire.
After service, the Minister read a long Paper, which he called an Act of the Presbytery of Pensilvania, appointing a Fast, which is to be kept next Thursday. It is as orthodox in Politicks, as it is pious, and zealous in point of Religion.2
LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Miss N.” RC not found, but a normalized text of it was printed in AA2, Jour. and Corr. , 2:7.
1. Rev. William Marshall (ca. 1740–1802), minister of the Associate or Scots' Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, 1768–1786, and afterward of a seceding portion of that congregation that organized the Associate Reformed Church (Benjamin Rush, Letters , 2:806–808, and references there).
2. Text printed from missing RC adds a leavetaking and signature: “I am your affectionate father, John Adams.”
{ 190 }