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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3

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[To James Warren]

“I am going tomorrow Morning, on an Errand to Lord Howe; not to beg [a] Pardon, I assure you, but to hear what he has to say.... He sent Sullivan here, to let Us know, that he wanted a Conversation with some members of Congress.... We are going to hear him; but as Congress have voted, that they cannot send Members to talk with him, in their private Capacities, but will send a Committee of their Body as Representatives of the free and independent States of America; I presume his Lordship cannot see Us, and I hope he will not; but, if he should, the whole will terminate in nothing. Some think it will occasion a delay of military Operations, which they say, We much want.—I am not of this mind... Some think, it will clearly throw the Odium of continuing this War, on his Lordship and his Master.—I wish it may.... Others think it will silence the Tories and establish the timid Whigs.—I wish this also: but dont expect it. But all these Arguments and twenty others, as weighty, would not have convinced me of the Necessity, Propriety or Utility of this Embassy, if Congress had not determined [on] it.... I was totis Viribus, against it, from first to last. But, upon this Occasion, New Hampshire, Connecticut and even Virginia, gave Way.... All Sides agreed in sending me. The staunch and intrepid, such as were Ennimies as much as myself to the measure, pushed for me, I suppose, that as little Evil might come of it, as possible.... Others agreed to vote for me, in order to entice some of our Inflexibles, to vote for the Measure.—You will hear more of this Embassy.—It will be famous enough. Your Secretary, (Mr. Samuel Adams) will rip, about this measure, and well he may. Nothing I assure you but the Unanimous Vote of Congress, the pressing Solicitation of the firmest Men in Congress, and the particular Advice of my own Colleagues, at least of Mr. Hancock and Mr. Gerry, would have induced me to have accepted this Trust.”
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/