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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0243

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-04-06

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

[salute] Mr. Adams

I wrote you a post or two Ago, of being informd Mr. Gearey had wrote his brother to procure a Cargo or two of fish, to ship to Europe and had Applyed to me for some I have by me, but as I have sundry Vessells of my Own lying by should be glad to have them imployed, { 373 } and iff the Congress wants to purchase I would let them have mine and would see to the loading of her and to follow there directions. Suppose I may have from 10 to 1200 Q[uintals] of good fish and a friend of mine 6 or 700 more, probable Enough to make up two fishing schooner Cargo's. I should be Oblidged to you to write me Answer by the retarn of this post iff you may not have done itt. Your Compliance will Oblidge Your frd. and hume. servt.,
[signed] Isaac Smith
Ps Commodore Manleys fleet has taken a brigantine bound to Halifax on board of which is Bill Jackson and all his Effects and itt's said she has a large quantity of the Stolen goods—and there is on board likewise One Greenbrush, receiver general of the stolen goods and has distinguisht himself in that way by demanding People's propaty from them. Itts said he came from Y[ork]1 and itts said those Carpenters and runagarders from that way has behaved worse than any Others.2—A sloop is on shore at the Cape, beleive nothing very Valuable on board but itt Appears they (the inhabitants)3 went away in a most dismal Cituation, not haveing even Water sufficient and crowded and some sick with the small pox.
Boston Doctr. Cooper Preacht Yesterday for the first time att the Old brick a sermon proper to the Occasion which hope will be printed. Preacht from 2 Saml. 7 Chap. 10 V.—sung the first part 9 Psalm, and 126.
The small pox being in Town and am Apt to think will spread as so many people and soilders are in Town, which will be a hindrance of the Inhabitants coming to tarry att present. We have two to have itt. Iff there should be liberty to Innoculate should Advise Mrs. Adams and the Children to come.

[salute] I am Yrs.,

[signed] IS
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To the Honble. John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia”; postal marking: “Prov Free”; endorsed: “Mr. Smith,” with date of letter added in hand of William Gordon(?).
1. MS torn by seal. Smith undoubtedly meant New York.
2. The vessel taken by Manley's squadron was the Elizabeth, a straggler from the British fleet evacuating Boston. She was loaded with a great quantity of goods looted from Boston warehouses during the last days of the siege, and was brought into Portsmouth on 4 April (William Bell Clark, George Washington's Navy, Baton Rouge, 1960, p. 130–132, 137–138). Among the captives was the tory merchant William Jackson (d. 1810), who was brought to trial in Boston for misappropriation of patriot property. His statement in self-defense provides a vivid picture of events in Boston just before and during the evacuation (Jackson to the Mass. Council, 12 June 1776, contemporary copy, MHi: Hancock { 374 } Papers). On Jackson and his misfortunes see also Isaac Smith to JA, 16 April 1776 (Adams Papers), and Jones, Loyalists of Mass., p. 178. The captive mentioned by Smith as “Greenbrush” was Crean Brush, an Irish adventurer who was a member of the New York Assembly and whose daughter had married Ethan Allen. Appointed by Howe to superintend the removal of property and stores from Boston, Brush used strong-arm methods that made him quickly and thoroughly disliked. He was tried in Boston and imprisoned until Nov. 1777, when he escaped and made his way to New York, where he died the following year. See Rowe, Letters and Diary, p. 301–302; Clark, as cited above; French, First Year, p. 666–667, 672–673; Jones, Loyalists of Mass., p. 288 and note. For an anonymous tract by Crean Brush attacking the Continental Congress, see T. R. Adams, “American Independence,” No. 154.
3. Parentheses supplied around two words written above the line in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-01-02-0244

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-04-07

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I Received two Letters from you this week one of the 13 and the other the 19 of March.1 I know not where one of my Letters is gone, unless you have since Received it. I certainly wrote you in Febry. and the first Letter I wrote I mention that I had not wrote before. I have write2 four Letters before this. Believe I have Received all yours Except one you mention writing from Framingham which I never heard of before.3
Have Received all the papers you sent, the oration and Magizines. In the small papers I some times find peices begun and continued, (for instance Johnstones Speach) but am so unlucky as not to get the papers in order and miss of seeing the whole.
The Removal of the Army seem's to have stoped the current of news. I want to know to what part of America they are now wandering. Tis Reported and creditted that Manly has taken a schooner belonging to the Fleet richly Laden with money, plate and english Goods with a Number of Tories. The particuliars have not yet Learnt.
Yesterday the Remains of our Worthy General Warren were dug up upon Bunker Hill and carried into Town and on monday are to be interred with all the Honours of War.
The Dr. was Buried on monday the Masons walking in procession from the State House, with the Military in uniforms and a large concourse of people attending. He was carried into the Chaple, and their a funirel Dirge was played, an Excellent prayer by Dr. Cooper, and an oration by Mr. Morton which I hope will be printed.4 I think the Subject must have inspired him, a young fellow could not have wished { 375 } a finer opportunity to have displayed his talents. The amiable and heroick virtues of the disceased recent in the minds of the Audience, the noble cause to which he fell a Martir, their own Sufferings and unparrelled injuries all fresh in their minds, must give weight and energy to whatever could be deliverd upon the occasion, the Dead Body like that of Caesars before their Eyes, whilst each wound, “like dumb mouths did ope their ruby lips, and beg the voice and utterance of a Tongue.”

“Woe to the Hands that shed this costly blood;

A curse shall light upon their line;

Domestick fury, and firce civil Strife

Shall cumber all the parts of Britton.”5

I take my pen and write just as I can get time, my Letters will be a strange Mixture. I really am cumberd about many things and scarcly know which way to turn myself. I miss my partner, and find myself uneaquil to the cares which fall upon me; I find it necessary to be the directress of our Husbandery and farming. Hands are so scarce, that I have not been able to procure one, and add to this that Isaac has been sick with a fever this fortnight, not able to strick a Stroke and a Multiplicity of farming Business pouring in upon Us.
In this Dilemma I have taken Belcher into pay, and must secure him for the Season, as I know not what better course to stear. I hope in time to have the Reputation of being as good a Farmeress as my partner has of being a good Statesmen.—To ask you any thing about your return would I suppose be asking a Question you cannot answer.
Retirement, Rural quiet, Domestick pleasure, all all must give place to the weighty cares of State. It would be meanly poor in Solitude to hide an honest Zeal unwarp'd by party Rage—

“Though certain pains attend the cares of State

A Good Man owes his Country to be Great

Should act abroad the high distinguish'd part

And shew at least the purpose of his Heart.”

I hope your Prussian General will answer the high Character which is given of him. But we who have been bread in a land of Liberty scarcly know how to give credit to so unjust and arbitary a Mandate of a Despot—to cast of a faithfull Servant only for being the unhappy bearer of ill news degrades the Man and dishonours the prince.
The Congress by imploying him have shewn a Liberality of Senti• { 376 } ment not confined to colonies or continents, but to use the words of common Sense, have carried their Friendship on a Larger Scale, by claiming Brotherhood with every European christian, and may justly triumph in the Generosity of the Sentiment.
Yesterday was taken and carried into Cohasset by 3 whale Boats who went from the Shore on purpose a Snow from the Grenades, laiden with 354 puncheons of W.I. Rum, 43 Barrels of Sugar, 12,500 weight coffe, a valuable prize. A Number of eastern Sloops have brought Wood into Town since the Fleet saild. We have a Rumour of Admiral Hopkings6 being engaged with a Number of Ships and tenders off Road island—are anxious to know the event. Be so good as to send me a List of the vessels which sail with Hopkings, their Names, Weight of Mettal and Number of Men—all the News you know &c.
I hear our jurors refuse to serve because the writs are issued in the Kings Name. Surely they are for independance.
Write me how you do this winter. I want to say many things I must omit, it is not fit to wake the Soul by tender strokes of art, or to Ruminate upon happiness we might enjoy, least absence become intolerable. Adieu Yours.
I wish you would burn all my Letters.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “To The Honble. John Adams Esqr. In Philadelphia To the care of Col Warren”; endorsed: “Ap. 7.”
1. That of the 19th is above. No letter of the 13th has been found, but AA almost certainly meant JA's letter of 17 March, above, to one topic in which she alludes in the present letter.
2. Altered by overwriting from “wrote.”
3. All of AA's letters are printed above. For JA's supposed letter from Framingham see his letter to AA of 19 March and note 1 there.
4. Perez Morton, An Oration; Delivered ... April 8, 1776, on the Re-interment of the Remains of ... Joseph Warren, Boston, 1776; reprinted in New York and Philadelphia; T. R. Adams, “American Independence,” No. 221a–d.
5. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 1, slightly adapted to AA's purpose.
6. Ezek Hopkins, first commander of the Continental Navy (DAB).
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/