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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0289

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-10-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Mr. Colman goes off for Boston Tomorrow.
I have seized a Moment, to congratulate you on the great and glorious Success of our Arms at the Northward, and in Delaware River. The Forts at Province Island and Red Bank have been defended, with a Magnanimity, which will give our Country a Reputation in Europe.
Coll. Green repulsed the Enemy from Red bank and took Count { 361 } Donop and his Aid Prisoners. Coll. Smith repulsed a bold Attack upon Fort Mifflin, and our Gallies disabled two Men of War a 64 and 20 Gun ship in such a Manner, that the Enemy blew them up. This comes confirmed this Evening, in Letters from Gen. Washington inclosing Original Letters from Officers in the Forts.1
Congress will appoint a Thanksgiving, and one Cause of it ought to be that the Glory of turning the Tide of Arms, is not immediately due to the Commander in Chief, nor to southern Troops. If it had been, Idolatry, and Adulation would have been unbounded, so excessive as to endanger our Liberties for what I know.
Now We can allow a certain Citizen to be wise, virtuous, and good, without thinking him a Deity or a saviour.
1. Washington's letter of 24 Oct. informing Congress of the bitter (and, so far, successful) fighting cn 21–22 Oct. to keep control of Forts Mifflin and Mercer on the Delaware below Philadelphia, with large extracts of his enclosures, are printed in Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 9:422–424. They were read in Congress on the 27th (JCC, 9:841). Col. Christopher Greene, of the 1st Rhode Island regiment, was voted a sword by Congress on 4 Nov. (same, p. 862).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0290

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-10-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have been three days, soaking and poaching in the heavyest Rain, that has been known for several Years, and what adds to the Gloom is the Uncertainty in which We remain to this Moment, concerning the Fate of Gates and Burgoigne.—We are out of Patience. It is impossible to bear this suspence, with any Temper.
I am in comfortable Lodgings, which is a Felicity that has fallen to the Lott of a very few of our Members. Yet the House where I am is so thronged, that I cannot enjoy such Accommodations as I wish. I cannot have a Room as I used, and therefore cannot find Opportunities to write as I once did.
The People of this Country, are chiefly Germans, who have Schools in their own Language, as well as Prayers, Psalms and Sermons, so that Multitudes are born, grow up and die here, without ever learning the English.—In Politicks they are a Breed of Mongrels or Neutrals, and benumbed with a general Torpor.
If the People, in Pensylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Jersy had the Feelings and the Spirit of some People that I know, Howe would { 362 } be soon ensnared in a Trap, more fatal than that in which, as it is said, Burgoigne was taken.
Howe is compleatly in our Power, and if he is not totally ruined it will be entirely owing to the Aukwardness and Indolence of this Country.
Fighting however, begins to become fashionable. Coll. Green has exhibited a glorious Example, in the Defence of Red bank. But this must be done by a New Englandman at the Head of two N. England Regiments, Rhode Islanders.
Coll. Smith however, is a Marylander, from Baltimore. He has shewn another Example of Magnanimity, which gives me the most agreable Hopes. Commodore Hazelwood too, has behaved in a manner that exceeds all Praise. This Spirit will be caught by other Officers, for Bravery is epidemical and contagious as the Plague.
This Army suffers much for Want of Blanketts and Shoes.
I celebrated the 25th. of this Month, in my own Mind and Heart, much more than I shall the 30th.—because I think the first a more fortunate day than the last.1
My Duty to your Father and my Mother—to Unkles and Aunts. Love to Brothers and sisters—but above all, present all the Affection that Words can express to our dear Babes.
1. The 25th was his wedding anniversary; the 30th was his birthday, according to the New Style calendar.
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/