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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0028-0002

Author: Hancock, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-07-16

Enclosure: John Hancock to John Adams

[salute] Sir

On a Visit to Mrs. Yard this Evening I was inform'd by her that your Lady and Children propos'd to go into Boston, with an intention of Taking the Small Pox by Inoculation, and as the Season is warm, and the present process of Treating that Disorder, requires all the Air that can possibly be had, and as my Scituation in Boston is as much Bless'd with a free Air as most others, I make a Tender of my house and Garden for their use if you Choose to improve it, and by a Signification of your Consent I will write by this Express to that purport. The fruit in the Garden shall be at their Controul, and a maid Servant and the others in the House shall afford them every Convenience that appertains to the House.—It will give me pleasure to be any way instrumental, however small, in adding to their Convenience.1

[salute] I am Sir Your very hum sert.,

[signed] John Hancock
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To the Honl. John Adams Esqr. At Mrs. Yard's.” Enclosed in JA to AA of this date, preceding.
1. The mansion of John Hancock, built by his uncle Thomas Hancock in 1737, stood on the southern slope of Beacon Hill, overlooking the Common, on the grounds of the present west wing of the Massachusetts State House. Its gardens and orchards were extensive, and the house became a Boston landmark not only because of its conspicuous site and opulence but because it was visited by so many eminent persons (including JA and AA upon their return from Europe in June 1788) and was described by everyone who wrote about the city. Its grounds were greatly reduced by the building of Bulfinch's State House not long after Hancock's death, and in the 1850's the house itself was threatened with destruction to make way for more modern dwellings. Attempts by the State to acquire it as a governor's residence, and by the City to remove and preserve it as “an historical cabinet” or museum of antiquities, failed. Though many relics were preserved, the house was demolished in 1863. The dwellings which replaced it were razed when the west wing of the State House was added in the present century. See City of Boston, Report of Committee on the Preservation of the Hancock House, 1863; Chamberlain, Beacon Hill, ch. 11, with { 52 } illustrations; and Walter Kendall Watkins, “The Hancock House and Its Builder,” Old-Time New England, 17:3–19 (July 1926), which is admirably illustrated.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0029

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1776-07-17

John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Sir

Your Letter of the Eighth contains Intelligence of an interesting Nature to the Public as well as to me, and my Family in particular.—The Small Pox is so terrible an Enemy that it is high Time to subdue it.—I am under the greatest Obligation to you, Sir, and Mrs. Smith for your kind Offer of the Accommodations of your House to Mrs. Adams and my Children. I shall be very, very anxious, untill I hear further, and if it was possible I would be in Boston as soon as an Horse could carry me. But this is the most unlucky Time, that ever happened. Such Business is now before Us, that I cannot in Honour and in duty to the public, stir from this Place, at present. After a very few Months, I shall return: But in the mean Time, I shall suffer inexpressible distress, on Account of my Family. My only Consolation is that they have no small Number of very kind Friends.
We are in hourly Expectation of some important Event at New York. We hope there will be a sufficient Number of Men there, to give the Enemy a proper Reception. But am sorry the Massachusetts have not sent along some of their Militia, as requested. My most affectionate Regards to Mrs. Smith and the family. I am yr.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0030

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-07-20

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I cannot omit the Opportunity of writing you, a Line, by this Post. This Letter will I suppose, find you, in some degree or other, under the Influence of the Small Pox. The Air is of very great Importance. I dont know your Phisician, but I hope he wont deprive you of Air, more than is necessary.
We had Yesterday, an express from General Lee, in Charlestown South Carolina, with an Account of a brilliant little Action between the Armament under Clinton, and Cornwallis, and a Battery on Sullivans Island. Which terminated very fortunately for America. I will endeavour to inclose, with this a printed Account of it.1 It has { 53 } given Us good Spirits here and will have an happy Effect, upon our Armies at New York and Ticonderoga. Surely our northern Soldiers will not suffer themselves to be outdone by their Brethren so nearly under the Sun. I dont yet hear of any Massachusetts Men, at New York. Our People must not flinch, at this critical Moment, when their Country is in more danger, than it ever will be again perhaps. What will they say, if the Howes should prevail against our Forces, at so important a Post as New York for Want of a few Thousand Men from the Massachusetts?
I will likewise send you, by this Post, Lord Howes Letter and Proclamation, which has let the Cat out of the Bag.2—These Tricks deceive no longer. Gentlemen here, who either were or pretended to be deceived heretofore, now see or pretend to see, through such Artifices. I apprehend, his Lordship is afraid of being attacked upon Staten Island, and is throwing out his Barrells to amuse Leviathan, untill his Reinforcement shall arrive.
RC and LbC (Adams Papers). Enclosures, if actually sent, not found, but see notes below. Though not recorded in the JCC “Bibliographical Notes,” there is a broadside printing, without imprint, of the Lee and Howe documents mentioned in JA's letter, in MHi: Broadsides, under date of 19 July 1776.
1. Gen. Charles Lee's letter from Charleston, 2 July, was read in Congress on 19 July and an extract ordered printed (JCC, 5:593).
2. Lord Howe's letter was a circular to the colonial governors, dated from his ship off Massachusetts on 20 June and enclosing a proclamation of the same date which announced his powers, jointly with his brother, to grant pardons to Americans who would return to their allegiance. These were read in Congress on 18 July and the next day were ordered printed (JCC, 5:574–575, 592–593). Texts will be found in Force, Archives, 4th ser., 6:1001–1002.
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, 2018.