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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 3


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Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0159

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Ward, Joseph
Date: 1775-11-14

To Joseph Ward

[salute] Sir

I had yesterday the pleasure of your letter of the 4th instant by Captain Price, for which, as well as a former kind letter,1 I heartily thank you.
{ 297 }
The report you mention, that Congress have resolved upon a free trade, is so far from being true that you must have seen by the public papers before now that they have resolved to stop all trade untill next March.2 What will be done then time will discover. This winter I hope will be improved in preparing some kind of defence for trade. I hope the Colonies will do this separately. But these subjects are too important and intricate to be discussed in a narrow compass, and too delicate to be committed to a private letter.
The report that Congress has resolved to have no more connections, &c., untill they shall be indemnified, for the damages done by the tyranny of their enemies, will not be true so soon as some expect it. Verbal resolutions accomplis nothing. It is to no purpose to declare what we will or will not do in future times. Let reasoning Men infer what we shall do from what we actually do.
The late conduct, in burning towns, so disgraceful to the English name and character, would justify anything, but similar barbarity. Let us preserve our temper, our wisdom, our humanity and civility, though our enemies are every day renouncing theirs. But let us omit nothing necessary for the security of our cause.
You are anxious for Arnold. So are we, and for Montgomery too, untill this day, when an express has brought us the refreshing news of the capitulation of St. Johns, for Arnold I am anxious still. God grant him success. My compliments to Gen. Ward and his Family. I am with respect, Your very humble servant,
[signed] John Adams
Tr (DLC).
1. Ward to JA , 23 Oct. (above).
2. On 1 Nov. the congress voted to end exportation outside the colonies until 1 March ( JCC , 3:314–315).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0160

Author: Hawley, Joseph
Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-11-14

From Joseph Hawley, with Notation by John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

En passant. As Church said in his letter to the Regulars, Remember I Never deceived you. If your Congress don't give better encouragement to the Privates, than at present is held forth to them, You will have No Winter Army. There must be some small bounty given them on the inlistment. A Strange Mistaken Opinion Obtains among the Gentlemen of the Army from the Southward and if I mistake Not in your Congress, that our Privates have too high wages and the officers too low. Another thing I just hint, That if your Congress go About { 298 } to repeal or explain away the resolutions of the 18th of July last respecting the Method of Appointing Military officers and vest our Council solely with that power, It will throw the colony into the Utmost Confusion and end in the destruction of the Council. I have wrote Mr. S. Adams on the last head. I am with great regards your Obedt. Servt.,
[signed] Joseph Hawley
Received this Letter at Dinner 4 O Clock Saturday November 25. 1775. Yesterday Morning i.e. Fryday Novr 24. Paul Revere, went off from this Place with my Letter to the Board,1 in which I gave it as my opinion that the Council might give up the Point in Dispute with the House about the Appointment of Militia officers, and that the Resolution of Congress mentioned in this Letter was so clear that We need not apply to that Assembly for any Explanation.2
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To the Honble John Adams Esqr at the American Congress Philadelphia”; written in red ink above the address: “4.16”; below the address: “Poste. fees paid by the Writer”; docketed: “Major Hawley Novr 14. 1775.” JA 's notation is on the reverse of the first page.
1. JA 's message to the Council is contained in his letter to James Otis of 23 Nov. (below).
2. The Council had already expressed its hope that the congress would not instruct it to act contrary to popular wishes (Council to Massachusetts Delegates, 11 Nov., above). For JA 's detailed reply to Hawley, see 25 Nov. (below).