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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


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Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0175

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This is King Tammany's Day. Tammany was an Indian King, of this Part of the Continent, when Mr. Penn first came here. His Court was in this Town. He was friendly to Mr. Penn and very serviceable to him. He lived here1 among the first settlers for some Time and untill old Age and at last was burnt.
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Some say he lived here with Mr. Penn when he first came here, and upon Mr. Pens Return he heard of it, and called upon his Grandchildren to lead him down to this Place to see his old Friend. But they went off and left him blind and very old. Upon this the old Man finding himself forsaken, he made him up a large Fire and threw himself into it. The People here have sainted him and keep his day.2
RC (Adams Papers). There is nothing to prove beyond question that this letter was addressed to AA , and from its tone one might plausibly suppose it was addressed to one of the Adams children, perhaps AA2 . But lacking evidence to the contrary, the editors believe, with only the slightest shadow of doubt, that AA was the intended recipient.
1. MS : “he.”
2. On the history of the St. Tammany Society in Philadelphia, founded in the early 1770's and similar in its politics to the Sons of Liberty in New York and Boston, see a rambling serial article by Francis von A. Cabeen, “The Society of the Sons of Saint Tammany of Philadelphia,” PMHB , 25 (1901):433–451; 26 (1902):7–24, 207–223, 335–347, 443–463; 27 (1903):29–48. The Society was named for a chief of the Delaware tribe who had died many years before but was endowed with all possible virtues by his admiring followers, particularly the virtue of being indisputably all-American, unlike the legendary patrons of such societies as those of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick. See DAB under Tammany.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0176

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We have promoted Arnold, one Step this day, for his Vigilance, Activity, and Bravery, in the late Affair at Connecticutt.1—We shall make Huntingdon a Brigadier, I hope.2
We shall sleep in a whole Skin for some Time I think in Philadelphia, at least untill a strong Reinforcement arrives.
I want to learn, where Sir William Erskine with his Two Thousand Men, went after his Exploit at Danbury.—Perhaps to Newport.
1. See JCC , 7:323.
2. Jedediah Huntington; see same, p. 347 (12 May).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0177

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Inclosed with this you have an Evening Post, containing some of the tender Mercies of the Barbarians to their Prisoners.
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If there is a Man, Woman or Child in America, who can read these Depositions, without Resentment, and Horror, that Person has no soul or a very wicked one.
Their Treatment of Prisoners, last Year added to an Act of Parliament, which they have made to enable them to send Prisoners to England, to be there murthered, with still more relentless Cruelty, in Prisons, will bring our Officers and Soldiers to the universal Resolution to conquer or die.
This Maxim, conquer or die, never failed to raise a People who adopted it, to the Head of Man kind.
An Express from Portsmouth last night brought Us News of the Arrival of Arms and ordnance enough to enable Us to take Vengeance of these Foes of Human Nature.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure (missing): presumably a copy of the Pennsylvania Evening Post for 3 May 1777; see JA to AA , 27 April, above, and note 1 there.