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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8


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Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0103

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1779-09-11

To James Warren

[salute] My dear Friend

I was told in Boston that Mr. Avery and Mr. Wendell had been proposed for Judges of the Inferior Court for the County of Suffolk, in the Room of my Friend Pemberton.1 I said not a Word, but since I have been at home, I have reflected upon this and altho these Gentlemen have amiable Characters I cannot think them So well qualified for this Place as Mr. Cranch, whose great Natural Abilities, and whose late Application to the study of the Law and to public affairs, made him occur to my Mind.2 It is the first Time of my whole Life, that I recollect that I ever proposed a Relation of mine, for a Place,3 and I cer• { 144 } tainly should not have done it in this Case, if he had not been, entirely without my Knowledge untill my Arrival, been brought into public View. If you think as I do, that the public will be as faithfully and ably served by such an Appointment, as by any other, and will mention it to Mr. Sever,4 who is acquainted with him, perhaps it may be proposed in Council. There is but one objection that I know of, and that is, he is my Brother. This may be enough. <My most>

[salute] In haste yours

[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi: Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “The Honourable James Warren Esqr of the Continental Navy Board Boston”; docketed: “Mr. J Adams. Lettr. Sepr. 1779.”
1. Neither John Avery nor Oliver Wendell was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Samuel Pemberton (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:384–389; 13:367–374; 11:161–162).
2. Richard Cranch, married to AA's sister Mary, was then a member of the House of Representatives (Mass., Province Laws, 21:4). Cranch was named to the common pleas court in 1780 (William T. Davis, History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts, Boston, 1900, p. 151).
3. In a letter of 2 May 1775, JA hinted to Joseph Palmer “in Behalf of [his] Brothers, if Either of them should have an Inclination to engage in the Army” (vol. 3:1, and note 7).
4. William Sever was then a Council member (Mass., Province Laws, 21:3).
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/