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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0059

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-08-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This is the Anniversary of a memorable day, in the History of America: a day when the Principle of American Resistance and Independence, was first asserted, and carried into Action.1 The Stamp Office fell before the rising Spirit of our Countrymen.—It is not impossible that the two gratefull Brothers may make their grand Attack this very day: if they should, it is possible it may be more glorious for this Country, than ever: it is certain it will become more memorable.
Your Favours of August 1. and 5. came by Yesterdays Post. I congratulate you all upon your agreable Prospects. Even my pathetic little Hero Charles, I hope will have the Distemper finely. It is very odd that the Dr. cant put Infection enough into his Veigns, nay it is unaccountable to me that he has not taken it, in the natural Way { 96 } before now. I am under little Apprehension, prepared as he is, if he should. I am concerned about you, much more. So many Persons about you, sick. The Children troublesome—your Mind perplexed—yourself weak and relaxed. The Situation must be disagreable. The Country Air, and Exercise however, will refresh you.
I am put upon a Committee to prepare a Device for a Golden Medal to commemorate the Surrender of Boston to the American Arms, and upon another to prepare Devices for a Great Seal for the confederated States. There is a Gentleman here of French Extraction, whose Name is Du simitiere, a Painter by Profession whose Designs are very ingenious, and his Drawings well executed. He has been applied to for his Advice. I waited on him yesterday, and saw his Sketches. For the Medal he proposes Liberty with her Spear and Pileus, leaning on General Washington. The British Fleet in Boston Harbour, with all their Sterns towards the Town, the American Troops, marching in.2 For the Seal he proposes. The Arms of the several Nations from whence America has been peopled, as English, Scotch, Irish, Dutch, German &c. each in a Shield. On one side of them Liberty, with her Pileus, on the other a Rifler, in his Uniform, with his Rifled Gun in one Hand, and his Tomahauk, in the other. This Dress and these Troops with this Kind of Armour, being peculiar to America—unless the Dress was known to the Romans. Dr. F[ranklin] shewed me, yesterday, a Book, containing an Account of the Dresses of all the Roman Soldiers, one of which, appeared exactly like it.
This Mr. Du simitiere is a very curious Man. He has begun a Collection of Materials for an History of this Revolution. He begins with the first Advices of the Tea Ships. He cutts out of the Newspapers, every Scrap of Intelligence, and every Piece of Speculation, and pastes it upon clean Paper, arranging them under the Head of the State to which they belong and intends to bind them up in Volumes. He has a List of every Speculation and Pamphlet concerning Independence, and another of those concerning Forms of Government.3
Dr. F. proposes a Device for a Seal. Moses lifting up his Wand, and dividing the Red Sea, and Pharaoh, in his Chariot overwhelmed with the Waters.—This Motto. Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.
Mr. Jefferson proposed. The Children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a Cloud by day, and a Pillar of Fire by night, and on the other Side Hengist and Horsa, the Saxon Chiefs, from whom We claim the Honour of being descended and whose Political Principles and Form of Government We have assumed.
I proposed the Choice of Hercules, as engraved by Gribeline in some { 97 } Editions of Lord Shaftsburys Works. The Hero resting on his Clubb. Virtue pointing to her rugged Mountain, on one Hand, and perswading him to ascend. Sloth, glancing at her flowery Paths of Pleasure, wantonly reclining on the Ground, displaying the Charms both of her Eloquence and Person, to seduce him into Vice. But this is too complicated a Group for a Seal or Medal, and it is not original.4
I shall conclude by repeating my Request for Horses and a servant. Let the Horses be good ones. I cant ride a bad Horse, so many hundred Miles. If our Affairs had not been in so critical a state at N. York, I should have run away before now. But I am determined now to stay, untill some Gentleman is sent here in my Room, and untill my Horses come. But the Time will be very tedious.
The whole Force is arrived at Staten Island.
1. For the events in Boston on 14 Aug. 1765, which put an end to any possibility of carrying out the Stamp Act in Massachusetts, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:259–261.
2. It was JA who, on 25 March, had proposed that a medal be presented to Washington for his victory at Boston (JCC, 4:234). For Congress' action, Du Simitière's sketches, and the long-delayed result, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:xii, 375–376, and the illustrations facing p. 257; also Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 16:xxxvi, 69–70, and No. I among the illustrations of medals following p. 52.
3. These materials gathered and compiled by the Swiss-born artist and antiquary Pierre Eugène Du Simitière survive at least in part among the portion of his papers now in the Library of Congress. Other papers and miscellanies of his are calendared in Historical Records Survey, Descriptive Catalogue of the Du Simitière Papers in the Library Company of Philadelphia, Phila., 1940. See also Hans Huth, “Pierre Eugène Du Simitière and the Beginnings of the American Historical Museum,” PMHB, 69:315–325 (Oct. 1945).
4. On 4 July Congress had voted that Franklin, JA, and Jefferson “be a committee, to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America” (JCC, 5:517–518). Somewhat variant versions of Franklin's, Jefferson's, and Du Simitière's proposals, together with the committee's report of 20 Aug., prepared by Jefferson, are printed in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:494–497. It is there pointed out that, the report being at once tabled, it was not revived until 1780, when another committee tried but failed to satisfy Congress, and that not until June 1782 was the Seal of the United States, essentially in the form we know it, adopted. Du Simitière's pencil sketch for the obverse, with the motto E Pluribus Unum (which JA does not mention but which is almost all that survived in 1782 from the various proposals of 1776), is illustrated in same, facing p. 550. See also Gaillard Hunt, The History of the Seal of the United States, Washington, 1909.
JA's proposal for the design of the seal, though it was put forward diffidently and came to nothing, was a revealing and interesting one. The Greek fable of the Choice (or Judgment) of Hercules between Virtue and Vice (or Pleasure) was a popular theme for painters in the 18th century, in part, certainly, because the Earl of Shaftes-bury had devoted to it a short but influential treatise on esthetics in the third volume of his Characteristicks as collected in 1714. Simon Gribelin's engraving of the allegory is reproduced as an illustration in the present volume from the fifth edition of the Characteristicks, printed by Baskerville, Birmingham, { 98 } 1773. JA's own copy of this edition remains among his books in the Boston Public Library. See The “Choice of Hercules,” Proposed by John Adams for the Great Seal following 102Descriptive List of Illustrations.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0060

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-08-17

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Tho I wrote you two Letters yesterday1 one by the Post and one by Mr. Smith, yet I will not omit this by your Worthy Friend Mr. Gerry who has promised to drink tea with me this afternoon; I admire his modesty and his annimatd countanance.
I hope this will meet you upon your return to New england, where I assure you I think you are wanted. If you get back before the last of this month you will be soon enough to attend the Superiour Court if you chuse it which is to sit in your own Town.
As to news we go on Briskly taking prizes. We have a plenty of Sugars. Within these ten days Sugars have fallen from 4 pounds to 3 and 2.8 by the hundred. A Brigg was carried into Newburry this Week, from Antigue laiden with Indigo and hides, and a Jamaca Man carried into Marble Head. Our Men the new Leavies have marched for Canada. Isaac [Copeland] who lived with us is gone as one. I this day Received a Letter from Mr. Rice dated july 27 from Ticondoroga, he give much the same account that you did in a former Letter to me. Their Sufferings have been great indeed. The True Source of these Evils ought to be searched out, and the foul streams cleansed.
As to our Hospital to day, Nabby has not been out of her chamber these 3 Days, neither can she stand or sit her foot to the floor. She has above a thousand pussels as larg as a great Green Pea. She is the Dr. says in a good way tho tis hard to make her think so. Charles complains some to day. I hope tis the Symptoms. I have had a Seige of it, I long for the compaign to be over.
I have really wrote you so much this week that I have little or nothing worth saying or telling you. I have not time to enter upon any subject which requires attention, and can only add that I am ever yours,
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “To the Honble. John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia. (Pr. Favr. of Mr. Geary)”; endorsed: “Portia Aug. 17. 1776.”
1. That is, sent two letters yesterday— the first and secondthose dated 14 Aug., above, but probably written on the 15th and 16th.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0061

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-08-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

My Letters to you are an odd Mixture. They would appear to a Stranger, like the Dish which is sometimes called Omnium Gatherum. This is the first Time, I believe that these two Words were ever put together in Writing. The litteral Interpretation of them, I take to be “A Collection of all Things.”1 But as I said before, the Words having never before been written, it is not possible to be very learned in telling you what the Arabic, Syriac, Chaldaic, Greek and Roman Commentators say upon the Subject.
Amidst all the Rubbish that constitutes the Heap, you will see a Proportion of Affection, for my Friends, my Family and Country, that gives a Complexion to the whole. I have a very tender feeling Heart. This Country knows not, and never can know the Torments, I have endured for its sake. I am glad they never can know, for it would give more Pain to the benevolent and humane, than I could wish, even the wicked and malicious to feel.
I have seen in this World, but a little of that pure flame of Patriotism, which certainly burns in some Breasts.2 There is much of the Ostentation and Affectation of it.3 I have known a few who could not bear to entertain a selfish design, nor to be suspected by others of such a Meanness. But these are not the most respected by the World. A Man must be selfish, even to acquire great Popularity. He must grasp for himself, under specious Pretences, for the public Good, and he must attach himself to his Relations, Connections and Friends, by becoming a Champion for their Interests, in order to form a Phalanx, about him for his own defence; to make them Trumpeters of his Praise, and sticklers for his Fame, Fortune, and Honour.
My Friend Warren, the late Governor Ward, and Mr. Gadsden, are three Characters in which I have seen the most generous disdain of every Spice and Species of such Meanness. The two last had not great abilities, but they had pure Hearts. Yet they had less Influence, than many others who had neither so considerable Parts, nor any share at all of their Purity of Intention. Warren has both Talents and Virtues beyond most Men in this World, yet his Character has never been in Proportion. Thus it always is, has been, and will be.
Nothing has ever given me, more Mortification, than a suspicion, that has been propagated of me, that I was actuated by private Views, and have been aiming at high Places. The Office of C[hief] J[ustice] { 100 } has occasioned this Jealousy, and it never will be allayed, untill I resign it. Let me have my Farm, Family and Goose Quil, and all the Honours and Offices this World has to bestow, may go to those who deserve them better, and desire them more. I covet them not.4
There are very few People in this World, with whom I can bear to converse. I can treat all with Decency and Civility, and converse with them, when it is necessary, on Points of Business. But I am never happy in their Company. This has made me a Recluse, and will one day, make me an Hermit.
I had rather build stone Wall upon Penns Hill, than be the first Prince in Europe, the first General, or first senator in America.
Our Expectations are very high of some great Affair at N. York.
RC (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Sent. by Post Aug. 20th.” LbC contains several revealing revisions and cancellations that are indicated in the notes below.
1. OED cites this passage (from JA-AA, Familiar Letters) for the “Dish” JA alludes to, whatever it may have been; but the expression had been used in other senses in England since at least early in the 16th century.
2. In LbCJA first wrote “which I feel burning in my own Breast,” and then revised his phrasing to read as in RC.
3. LbC here adds a sentence which JA did not cancel but which, intentionally or unintentionally, he did not copy into RC: “There is a great Deal of Selfishness under the Masque and Disguise of it.”
4. LbC here adds the following passage which is there scratched out and was not copied into RC:
“I have been wounded, more deeply than I have been willing to acknowledge, more deeply than the World suspects, by the Conduct of those Persons, who have been joined with me, here. The sordid Meanness of their Souls, is beneath my Contempt. One of them covers as much of it, as ever disgraced a mortal, under the most splendid Affectation of Generosity, Liberality, and Patriotism.—I have acted in Conjunction with such Characters, while it was necessary to do so, but when that Necessity ceases, I will renounce them forever.—I had rather shut myself up in the Cell of an Hermit, and bid adieu to the human Face, than to live in Society, with such People.”
There can be no doubt that in writing this passage which he immediately and very prudently decided not to entrust to the post, JA had John Hancock primarily in mind and, to a lesser extent, Robert Treat Paine. At this date these two men were his only fellow delegates in attendance at Congress, and they had differed with him on one if not both of the two current “Bones of Contention” in Congress, namely whether Gen. David Wooster and Commodore Esek Hopkins should be censured for their conduct. These questions had been decided on the days just preceding the writing of this letter, but only after bitter debates in which JA had defended both officers. See JA to Samuel Adams, 18 Aug. (NN: Bancroft Coll., printed in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:53–54, but perhaps not accurately); JCC, 5:658–659, 661–662, 664–665; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:382, 406, 408–409407–408, 408–409.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0062

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-08-19

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I set down to write you a few lines by the post, because I would not omit one opportunity. I received yours of August 6 but cannot tell what to do for you confined as I am here. I shall know what you would have me do by Mr. A when he returns. At present all my attention is taken up with the care of our Little Charles who has been very bad. The Symptoms rose to a burning fever, a stupifaction and delirium ensued for 48 hours. The Doctor attended him as tho he had been his own child. He has the Distemper in the natural way. A most plentifull Eruption has taken place. Tho every thing has been done to lessen it that could, his face will be quite coverd, many if not all will run together. He is yet a very ill child, tho his Symptoms are lessend.
I would not have allarmed you. I hope he is not dangerous, but we cannot tell the Event. Heaven grant it may be favorable. I will write you by wedensday Post. I shall see then how he is like to be, and can form a better judgment of Him.—Nabby is Cleverly. They are turning fast upon her; and she can walk to day with borrowing my Shooes and Stockings. Adieu the Post will leave me. Dont forget my Herbs for your own sake as well as mine.—Ever yours.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “To the Honble. John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia”; postmarked: “FREE N*York, Aug. 26”; endorsed: “Portia. ans. 27.”
1. This Monday fell on the 19th.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0063

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1776-08-20

Abigail Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Dear Sir

My Little Charles has been so ill that I have not had leisure to day to thank you for your obliging favour1 nor for the present which accompanied it, all of which were very acceptable to us.
After 3 innoculations he has to be sure taken the distemper in the natural way. He has been exceeding ill, stupid and delirious for 48 hours. An exceeding high fever and most plentifull Eruption has succeeded. He will be as full as Miss Becky. You may easily think what a trial it will be both to him and me.
You may think yourself exceeding well of to have had the distemper so lightly. I have had many anxietys about you, and could not help blameing myself for consenting to your going so soon least { 102 } you should be favourd with a second crop, or give the distemper to some of your family, but I hope their is no danger now of either.
All the rest of our Hospital are recoverd, or in a good way. I wish it may be so with Charles, but the poor fellow has several very troublesome Days to pass through if he does well at last. Indeed this Small Pox is no triffel, and we cannot be sufficiently thankfull to our Great Preserver that we are carried so well through so malignant a disease.
You inquire after Mr. Adams. I need not say to you that I rejoice at his return, tho I am sorry for the occasion, but I have long expected it. Inclosed to you is a Letter which will give you a more perticuliar account. You may keep it (till we see each other), to yourself, as the contents will not be agreable to others.
Pray present my Duty to your Worthy Parents and Love to your flock of Sisters not forgeting your Brother. Mr. Cranch and family go out a fryday. I shall be left alone. I long for the day to come when my imprisonment will be over and we can rejoice together at Braintree. Believe me dear sir at all times your affectionate Friend,
[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (MB); addressed: “To: Mr. John Thaxter junr Hingham.” Enclosure not found, but very likely it was one of JA's recent letters telling of his poor health and his determination to return home.
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0064

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-08-20

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yours without a Date, but written, as I suppose about the Twelfth of August came by the Post this Morning. I wish Mrs. Nabby Joy that she has at last a Receipt in full. This is much better than to be in doubt. Charles! never fear, Charles! you will have it yet, and as good a Receipt as any of them.
The Drs. cannot account for the numerous Failures of Inocculation. I can. No Phisician has either Head or Hands enough to attend a Thousand Patients. He can neither see that the Matter is good, nor that the Thread is properly covered with it, nor that the Incision is properly made, nor any Thing else. I wish you had taken Dr. Tufts for your Phisician and no other. I never liked your Man, and I like him now less than ever. I wish you had all come to Philadelphia, and had the Distemper here. Then I should not be uneasy about getting { [fol. 102] } | view { [fol. 102] } { [fol. 102] } { [fol. 102] } { 103 } home.—I beg Pardon for this Flight about your Dr. I may have done him Wrong. But am afraid you have suffered from his being of rather too much Importance, in the present Scarcity of Phisicians.
With Regard to my Health, as the extream Heat of the Weather has abated, I am better than I was, but not well. I am so comfortable however, as to be determined to wait for a servant and Horses. Horses are so intollerably dear, at this Place, that it will not do for me to purchase one, here. And our Representation is so thin, that it will not do for me to leave this Place, untill another comes in my Room.
I have received a very polite Letter from Mrs. Temple, which I shall answer by the next Post.1 I wish that something may be done for her Relief, but it will be attended with such Difficulties, that I can promise nothing. I have the Pleasure of congratulating her upon Mr. Temples Arrival. Congress was informed of it, two days ago by the General, and I suppose by this Time, he is on his Way to Ten Hills.
Lord Howe seems afraid to attack and has got to the old Work of Amusement and Chicanery. But he cannot catch old Birds. They are aware of the snare.
RC (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Sent. by Post. Aug. 23d.”
1. Harriet (Shirley) Temple to JA, 10 Aug. 1776 (Adams Papers). See AA to JA, ca. 12 Aug., above, and note 2 there; also JA to Mrs. Temple, 21 Aug. (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0065

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-08-21

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yesterday Morning I took a Walk, into Arch Street, to see Mr. Peele's Painters Room. Peele is from Maryland, a tender, soft, affectionate Creature. . . .1 He shewed me a large Picture containing a Group of Figures, which upon Inquiry I found were his Family. His Mother, and his Wifes Mother, himself and his Wife, his Brothers and sisters, and his Children, Sons and Daughters all young. There was a pleasant, a happy Chearfulness in their Countenances, and a Familiarity in their Airs towards each other.2
He shewed me one moving Picture. His Wife, all bathed in Tears, with a Child about six months old, laid out, upon her Lap. This Picture struck me prodigiously.
He has a Variety of Portraits—very well done. But not so well as Copeleys Portraits. Copeley is the greatest Master, that ever was in America. His Portraits far exceed Wests.
{ 104 }
Peele has taken General Washington, Dr. Franklin, Mrs. Washington, Mrs. Rush, Mrs. Hopkinson. Mr. Blair McClenachan and his little Daughter in one Picture. His Lady and her little son, in another.
Peele shewed me some Books upon the Art of Painting, among the rest one by Sir Joshua Reynolds, the President of the English Accademy of Painters, by whom the Pictures of General Conway and Coll. Barry [Barré] in Fanuil Hall were taken.
He shewed me too a great Number of Miniature Pictures, among the rest Mr. Hancock and his Lady—Mr. Smith, of S.C. whom you saw the other day in Boston—Mr. Custis, and many others.
He shewed me, likewise, Draughts, or rather Sketches of Gentlemen's Seats in Virginia, where he had been—Mr. Corbins, Mr. Pages, General Washingtons &c.
Also a Variety of rough Drawings, made by great Masters in Italy, which he keeps as Modells.
He shewed me, several Imitations of Heads, which he had made in Clay, as large as the Life, with his Hands only. Among the Rest one of his own Head and Face, which was a great Likeness.
He is ingenious. He has Vanity—loves Finery—Wears a sword—gold Lace—speaks French—is capable of Friendship, and strong Family Attachments and natural Affections.
At this shop I met Mr. Francis Hopkinson, late a Mandamus Councillor of New Jersey, now a Member of the Continental Congress, who it seems is a Native of Philadelphia, a son of a Prothonotary of this County who was a Person much respected. The son was liberally educated, and is a Painter and a Poet.
I have a Curiosity to penetrate a little deeper into the Bosom of this curious Gentleman, and may possibly give you some more particulars concerning him. . . . He is one of your pretty little, curious, ingenious Men. His Head is not bigger, than a large Apple—less than our Friend Pemberton or Dr. Simon Tufts.3 I have not met with any Thing in natural History much more amusing and entertaining, than his personal Appearance. Yet he is genteel and well bred, and is very social.
I wish I had Leisure, and Tranquility of Mind to amuse myself with these Elegant, and ingenious Arts of Painting, Sculpture, Statuary, Architecture, and Musick. But I have not. A Taste in all of them, is an agreable Accomplishment.
Mr. Hopkinson has taken in Crayons, with his own Hand, a Picture of Miss Keys, a famous New Jersey Beauty. He talks of bringing it to Town, and in that Case I shall see it, I hope.
RC (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Sent. by Post Aug. 23.”
{ 105 }
1. Here and below, suspension points are in MS.
2. The thirteen portraits by Peale mentioned by JA in this letter correspond to the following entries in Charles Coleman Sellers, Portraits and Miniatures by Charles Willson Peale, Phila., 1952, and six of them are illustrated therein: No. 617, Peale Family (see Illustration 66); No. 645, “Rachel Weeping” (see illustration 49); No. 896, George Washington (see Illustration 354); No. 278, Benjamin Franklin; No. 953, Martha Washington (see Illustration 374); No. 760, Mrs. Benjamin Rush (see Illustrations 89, 90); No. 387, Mrs. Francis Hopkinson (see Illustration 86); No. 509, Blair McClenachan and Daughter; No. 510, Mrs. Blair McClenachan and Son; No. 351, John Hancock; No. 353, Mrs. John Hancock; No. 804, Benjamin Smith of South Carolina (said by Sellers to be Robert Smith, but see note 3 on JA to AA, 17 May, above, and also JA to AA, 28 Aug., below); No. 170, John Parke Custis.
3. Simon Tufts (1727–1786), Harvard 1744, AA's cousin and an elder brother of Cotton Tufts; he was a physician in Medford. See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0066

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-08-22

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Yours of August 12 came to hand by last Nights post.1 Mr. A[dams] and Coll. W[hipple] are not yet returnd so that I know not what you have wrote by them, but by your Letter of this date I suppose tis something relative to your Return. I shall this morning in consequence of your Letter write to Mr. Bass who I make no doubt will be very ready to come for you. I shall write to my Father to request of him that he would endeavour to procure for you a couple of Horses. I shall try some other Friends and will fix of2 Bass as soon as tis possible to procure Horses for you.
As to the other matters you desired to be informed of, at present I am not capable of acquainting [you] any further than that I do not believe we have a 100 men as soldier[s] in this Town. I now and then see a scattering one, but the Militia are not yet come in. Fort Hill is a Beautiful peice of work, I am told not Eaquel to Dorchester. There are about 15 or 20 fine large peices of cannon mounted with Ball &c. by the side of them. We have spaird 700 Barrels of powder to N.Y. We have 600 left as publick Stores. What force we have else where I know not. I have inquired but find every person I have asked as Ignorant as I am. I can learn more in one hour from General Palmer relative to the state of things than I can from all the rest of the persons I converse with and yet I have inquired of those who I think ought to know.
I hear General L[incol]n is appointed in the room of W[ar]d. Has he Spirit enough, has he activity, has he ambition enough for the place?—I will endeavour to be informd of all you inquire about and write you the best account I can. As to applying to ——3 for { 106 } Horses, I remember the old proverb, he who waits for dead mens shooes may go barefoot. It would only lengthen out the time, and we should be no better of, than before I askd. I will have them if they are to be had at any price, and they may pay for them. I think you have done your part. I am told that they will appoint somebody to releave you but will not release you.
As to one article you ask about I can tell you we have no scarcity of provisions. In Town upon account of the small pox they are very dear. Ever since june there has been no want of rain and as great a vegatition as was ever known. I have been in Town six weeks yesterday.4 Charlly is better. He is exceeding full, but the little creature is as patient as a Lamb. We carry him out into the air all we can, in the Height of dog days a very bad time for small pox; but we think he will do well. I hope to be able to get Home by the Last of Next Week.
I shall rejoice exceedingly.
Nabbys are most all turnd and going of. She looks speckled.
I am in great Haste, Mr. Cranch and family leave me tomorrow.
I will write by mondays post. Adieu ever Yours,
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr; in Philadelphia”; endorsed: Portia ans. Aug. 30.”
1. His second letter of that date, above.
2. Thus in MS, meaning prepare and send off, dispatch.
3. JA had suggested that AA might apply to “some of the Members of the General Court.”
4. A mistake. The date of the present letter appears to be correct, but AA's sixth week in Boston (since Friday, 12 July) was not completed until Friday, 23 August.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0067

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-08-25

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I sent Johnny last Evening to the Post office for Letters. He soon returnd and pulling one from under his Gown gave it me, the young Rogue smiling and watching Mammas countanance draws out an other, and then an other, highly gratified to think he had so many presents to bestow.
Our Friends are very kind. My Father sends his Horse and Dr. Tufts has offerd me an other one he had of unkle Q[uinc]y about 5 year old. He has never been journeys, but is able enough. Mr. Bass is just come, and says he cannot sit out till tomorrow week without great damage to his Buisness. He has been a long time out of Stock, and about a week ago obtaind a Quantity and has engaged 20 pair { 107 } of shooes which will be eaquel to 20 Dollors to him, which he must losse if I will not consent to his tarrying till then. Tho I urged him to sit of tomorrow, yet the Horses will be in a better State as they will not be used and more able to perform the journey. I am obliged to consent to his tarrying till then when you may certainly expect him.
Bass is affraid that the Drs. Horse will not be able to travel so fast as he must go. He will go and see him, and in case he is not your Brother has promised to let one of his go. I only have to regret that I did not sooner make trial of my Friends, and have sent for you 3 weeks ago. I fear you will think me neglegent, and inatentive. If I had been at Home, I should have been sooner in a capacity to have assisted you. I was talking of sending for you and trying to procure horses for you when little Charles who lay upon the couch coverd over with small Pox, and nobody knew that he heard or regarded any thing which was said, lifted up his head and says Mamma, take my Dollor and get a Horse for Pappa. Poor fellow has had a tedious time of it as well as I, but tis now upon the turn, and he is much easier, and better. I hope I shall be able to get out of Town a Saturday next.
Mr. and Mrs. Cranch with their children went out a fryday. I feel rather lonely. Such a change from 1 or 2 and twenty to only 5 or 6 is a great alteration. I took the Liberty of sending my complements to General Lincoln and asking him some questions which you proposed to me, but which I was really unable to answer, and he has promised me a perticuliar reply to them.1
As to provisions there is no Scarcity. Tis true they are high, but that is more oweing to the advanced price of Labour than the Scarcity. English Goods of every kind are not purchasable, at least by me. They are extravagantly high, West india articles are very high all except Sugars, which have fallen half since I came into Town. Our New England Rum is 4 Shillings pr. Gallon, Molasses the same price. Loaf Sugar 2s. 4d. pr. pound, cotton wool 4 Shillings pr. pound, sheeps wool 2 Shillings, flax 1 & 6. In short one hundred pound two year ago would purchase more than two will now.
House Rent in this Town is very low. Some of the best and Genteelest houses in Town rent for 20 pounds pr. year. Ben Hollowell [Hallowell's] has been offerd for 10. and Mr. Shurdens [Chardon's] for 136 & 8 pence.
The privateer Independance which saild from Plymouth about 3 weeks ago has taken a jamaca man laiden with Sugars and sent { 108 } her into Marblehead last Saturday. I hear the Defence has taken an other.
I think we make a fine hand at prizes.
Coll. Q[uinc]y desires me to ask you whether you have received a Letter from him, he wrote you some time ago.2
I like Dr. F[ranklin's] device for a Seal. It is such a one as will please most—at least it will be most agreable to the Spirit of New england.
We have not any news here—anxiously waiting the Event, and in daily Expectation of hearing tidings from New york. Heaven Grant they may be Glorious for our Country and Country men, then will I glory in being an American. Ever ever Yours,
[signed] Portia
PS We are in such want of Lead as to be obliged to take down the Leads from the windows in this Town.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia Aug. 25, 1776.”
1. AA's letter of inquiry to Benjamin Lincoln has not been found, but Lincoln responded directly to JA in a long letter from Boston, 24 Aug. (Adams Papers), concerning the fortifications and the state of supplies and troops in and around Boston.
2. There is a long, unsigned letter from Col. Josiah Quincy to JA, Braintree, 13–25 June, in Adams Papers, to which no answer has been found.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0068

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-08-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The day before Yesterday and Yesterday, We expected Letters and Papers by the Post, but by some Accident, or Mismanagement of the Riders, no Post is arrived yet, which has been a great Disappointment to me. I watch, with longing Eyes for the Post, because you have been very good of late in writing by every one. I long to hear, that Charles is in as fair a Way, thro the Distemper as the rest of you.
Poor Barrell is violently ill, in the next Chamber to mine, of an inflammatory Fever. I hear every Cough, Sigh, and Groan. His Fate hangs in a critical Suspence, the least Thing may turn the Scale against him. Miss [Katharine] Quincy is here, very humanely employed in nursing him. This Goodness does her Honour.
Mr. Paine has recovered of his illness, and by present Appearances, is in better Health than before. I hope it will not be my Fate to be sick here. Indeed I am not much afraid of these acute Dis• { 109 } orders, mine are more chronical, nervous, and slow.—I must have a Ride. I cannot make it do without it.
We are now approaching rapidly to the autumnal AEquinox, and no great Blow has yet been struck, in the martial Way, by our Enemies nor by Us. If We should be blessed this Year, with a few Storms as happy as those which fell out last Year, in the Beginning of September, they will do much for Us. The British Fleet, where they now lie, have not an Harbour, so convenient, or safe, as they had last Year. Another Winter will do much for Us too. We shall have more and better Soldiers. We shall be better armed. We shall have a greater Force at Sea. We shall have more Trade. Our Artillery will be greatly increased, our Officers will have more Experience, and our Soldiers more Discipline—our Politicians more Courage and Confidence, and our Enemies less Hopes. Our American Commonwealths will be all compleatly form'd and organized, and every Thing, I hope, will go on, with greater Vigour.
After I had written thus far the Post came in and brought me, your Favour of the 14 of August.1 Nabby, by this Time, I conclude is well, and Charles I hope is broke out. Dont you recollect upon this occasion, Dr. Biles's Benediction to me, when I was innoculated? As you will see the Picquancy of it, now more than ever you could before, I will tell the Story.
After having been 10 or 11 days innoculated, I lay lolling on my Bed, in Major Cunninghams Chamber, under the Tree of Liberty, with half a Dozen young Fellows as lazy as my self, all waiting and wishing for Symptoms and Eruptions. All of a sudden, appeared at the Chamber Door, the reverend Doctor, with his rosy Face, many curled Wigg, and pontifical Air and Gate. I have been thinking, says he, that the Clergy of this Town, ought upon this Occasion, to adopt the Benediction of the Romish Clergy, and, when we enter the Apartments of the sick, to cry, in the foreign Pronunciation “Pax tecum.” These Words are spoken by foreigners as the Dr. pronounced them Pox take 'em. One would think that Sir Isaac Newton's Discovery of the system of Gravitation did not require a deeper reach of Thought, than this frivolous Pun.2
Your Plan of making our worthy Brother, Professor, would be very agreable to me.
Your Sentiments of the Importance of Education in Women, are exactly agreable to my own. Yet the Femmes Scavans, are contemptible Characters. So is that of a Pedant, universally, how much soever of a male he may be. In reading History you will generally { 110 } observe, when you light upon a great Character, whether a General, a Statesman, or Philosopher, some female about him either in the Character of a Mother, Wife, or Sister, who has Knowledge and Ambition above the ordinary Level of Women, and that much of his Emminence is owing to her Precepts, Example, or Instigation, in some shape or other.
Let me mention an Example or two. Sempronius Gracchus, and Caius Gracchus, two great tho unfortunate Men, are said to have been instigated to their great Actions, by their Mother, who, in order to stimulate their Ambition, told them, that she was known in Rome by the Title of the Mother in Law of Scipio, not the Mother of the Gracchi. Thus she excited their Emulation, and put them upon reviving the old Project of an equal Division of the conquered Lands, (a genuine republican Measure, tho it had been too long neglected to be then practicable,) in order to make their Names as illustrious as Scipios.
The great Duke, who first excited the Portuguese to revolt from the Spanish Monarchy, was spurred on, to his great Enterprize by a most artfull, and ambitious Wife. And thus indeed you will find it very generally.
What Tale have you heard of Gerry? What Mistress is he courting?
RC (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Sent. by Post. Tuesday. Aug. 27. with News Papers inclosed.” Enclosed newspapers not found.
1. Her second letter so dated, above, but perhaps written on the 15th and 16th.
2. Rev. Mather Byles (1707–1778), Harvard 1725, S.T.D., Aberdeen 1765, a nephew of Cotton Mather and minister of the Hollis Street Church; renowned as a wit and punster (DAB; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 7:464–493).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0069

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-08-27

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Within this half Hour, I received yours of the 18 by the Post. I have only Time before the Post goes out again to thank you for it, and to express my Resignation to the Will of Heaven whatever it may be respecting my dear Charles. I think his Fate is very uncertain. I will hope the best, but Symptoms so terrible indicate the Utmost danger. Besides he will be more troublesome than the rest, if he recovers, because his exquisite Feelings make him more impatient.
{ 111 }
You desire me not to forget your “Herbs.” I am totally at a Loss for your Meaning.1 Pray explain—or perhaps your Letter by Mr. Smith,2 which I have not received, Mr. Smith not being as yet come to Town, will explain it.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. Isaac Smiths Queen Street Boston”; franked: “Free John Adams”; postmarked: “PHILA. AUG 27.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. See note 2 on JA's letter to AA of 29 July, above.
2. Her first letter dated 14 Aug., above.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0070

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-08-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Mr. Benjamin Smith of S. Carolina, was kind enough to send forward from New York,1 your Favour of August 14 and it came safely to Hand to day. There is nothing in it, about “your Herbs,” which in your Letter of the Eighteenth instant, you wish me to remember. I am yet at a loss for your Meaning. Mr. Gerry carried a Cannister of India Herb for you, which I hope you received. Pray let me know whether you have or not.
Yours of the Eighteenth has fixed an Arrow in my Heart, which will not be drawn out, untill the next Post arrives, and then, perhaps, instead of being withdrawn, it will be driven deeper. My sweet Babe, Charles, is never out of my Thoughts.—Gracious Heaven preserve him!—The Symptoms you describe, are so formidable, that I am afraid almost to flatter myself with Hope.—Why should I repine? Why should I grieve? He is not mine, but conditionally, and subject to the Will of a Superiour, whose Will be done.
I shall inclose with this a Pamphlet, intituled “The present Method of innoculating for the Small Pox, to which are added, some Experiments instituted with a View to discover the Effects of a similar Treatment, in the natural Small Pox, by Thomas Dinsdale M.D.”2 This Pamphlet is recommended to me, by Dr. Khun,3 an eminent Phisician of this City, as containing the best Method, and that which is practised by the greatest Masters in this City. I send this as a Present to you, but you must lend it to Dr. Tufts. I have not Time to read it.
Every Moment grows more and more critical at New York. We expect every Hour, News of serious Joy, or Sorrow. The two Armies are very near each other, at Long Island.
{ 112 }
RC (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Sent with Dr. Dinsdales Pamphlet [see note 2], and several News Papers.” Enclosed newspapers not found.
1. Preceding three words supplied from LbC.
2. That is, Thomas Dimsdale, a British physician; his tract, first published in 1767, went through numerous editions (DNB). Presumably JA sent the Philadelphia edition, 1771 (Evans 12028).
3. Adam Kuhn (1741–1817), M.D., Edinburgh 1767, professor of materia medica and botany at the College of Philadelphia (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0071

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-08-29

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dearest Friend

I have spent the 3 days past almost intirely with you. The weather has been stormy, I have had little company, and I have amused my self in my closet reading over the Letters I have received from you since I have been here.
I have possession of my Aunts chamber in which you know is a very conveniant pretty closet with a window which looks into her flower Garden. In this closet are a number of Book Shelves, which are but poorly furnished, however I have a pretty little desk or cabinet here where I write all my Letters and keep my papers unmollested by any one. I do not covet my Neighbours Goods, but I should like to be the owner of such conveniances. I always had a fancy for a closet with a window which I could more peculiarly call my own.
Here I say I have amused myself in reading and thinking of my absent Friend, sometimes with a mixture of paine, sometimes with pleasure, sometimes anticipating a joyfull and happy meeting, whilst my Heart would bound and palpitate with the pleasing Idea, and with the purest affection I have held you to my Bosom till my whole Soul has dissolved in Tenderness and my pen fallen from my Hand.
How often do I reflect with pleasure that I hold in possession a Heart Eaqually warm with my own, and full as Susceptable of the Tenderest impressions, and Who even now whilst he is reading here, feels all I discribe.
Forgive this Revere, this Delusion, and since I am debared real, suffer me, to enjoy, and indulge In Ideal pleasures—and tell me they are not inconsistant with the stern virtue of a senator and a Patriot.
I must leave my pen to recover myself and write in an other { 113 } strain.1 I feel anxious for a post day, and am full as solicitious for two Letters a week and as uneasy if I do not get them, as I used to be when I got but one in a month or 5 weeks. Thus do I presume upon indulgance, and this is Humane Nature, and brings to my mind a sentiment of one of your correspondents viz. “That Man is the only animal who is hungery with His Belly full.”
Last Evening Dr. Cooper came in and brought me your favour from the post office of August 18 and Coll. Whipple arrived yesterday morning and deliverd me the two Bundles you sent, and a Letter of the 12 of August. They have already afforded me much amusement, and I expect much more from them.
I am sorry to find from your last as well as from some others of your Letters that you feel so dissatisfied with the office to which you are chosen. Tho in your acceptance of it, I know you was actuated by the purest motives, and I know of no person here so well qualified to discharge the important Duties of it, Yet I will not urge you to it. In accepting of it you must be excluded from all other employments. There never will be a Salery addequate to the importance of the office or to support you and your family from penury. If you possess a fortune I would urge you to it, in spight of all the flears and gibes of minds who themselves are incapable of acting a disintrested part, and have no conception that others can.
I have never heard any Speaches about it, nor did I know that such insinuations had been Thrown out.
Pure and disintrested Virtue must ever be its own reward. Mankind are too selfish and too depraved to discover the pure Gold from the baser mettle.
I wish for peace and tranquility. All my desires and all my ambition is to be Esteemed and Loved by my Partner, to join with him in the Education and instruction of our Little ones, to set under our own vines in Peace, Liberty and Safety.

[salute] Adieu my Dearest Friend, soon, soon return to your most affectionate

[signed] Portia
PS Charlly is cleverly. A very odd report has been propagated in Braintree viz. that you were poisond upon your return at N.Y. Bass sets of on monday.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honbl. John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Portia. Ansd. Septr. 8.”
1. This sentence and the three preceding entire paragraphs were omitted by CFA in printing this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0072

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-08-29

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I have this moment sent of a Letter to the post office when Mr. Bass came in to let me know that he has got ready sooner than he expected and will now sit of. I cannot let him go without a line to tell you I feel a new flow of spirits, hope to be home and well to receive you. Write me by every Post, and let me know when you expect to sit out. My Best wishes attend you ever yours,
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honbl. John Adams Philadelphia”; on cover: “The Barer has Leve to Go to Philidelphia by order of the Comitey John Johnson Cpt. Sept. 3. 1776”; endorsed: “Portia ans. Sept. 5. 1776.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0073

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-08-30

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The two Armies, on Long Island have been shooting at each other, for this whole Week past, but We have no particular Account of the Advantages gained or Losses suffered, on either side. The General and Officers have been so taken up, with their military Operations, that they have not been able to spare Time to give Us any very particular Information, and the Post which ought to come punctually every day, has been very irregular. I fear We have suffered a good deal.
Amidst all my Concern for the Army, my dear Charles is continually present to my Mind. I dont know what to think. A Load of variolous Matter, sufficient to stupify him for forty Eight Hours, and then to break out so thick, as to threaten a Confluence, I fear will be more than his delicate frame can support. Children of his Age, however, are often seen to bear a great deal. If I had foreseen, that he would have been seized so violently, I should have had no Heart to tell you the vain story of Mather Biles, as I did in my Letter of the 25th.
I have been obliged to hire a servant here, to attend me, untill another shall come for me, with my Horses. My Horses I want beyond Measure. I have never been once on Horse back, since I came here, and I suffer, in my Health, for Want of Exercise. Mr. Barrell is thought to be past recovery.
After I had written the above, my Servant came in from the Post Office, which he watches very diligently, and brought me yours { 115 } of the 22d. and if you knew how much Joy it gave me, your Benevolence would be satisfied. It has given me fine Spirits. I feel quite light. I did not know what fast Hold that little Pratler Charles had upon me before. Give my Love to my little Speckeled Beauty, Nabby. Tell her I am glad she is like to have a few Pitts. She will not look the worse for them. If she does, she will learn to prize looks less, and Ingenuity more. The best Way to prevent the Pitts from being lasting and conspicuous, is to keep her out of the sun for some time to prevent her from tanning.
John and Tom, hardy fellows! I have hardly had occasion to feel at all anxious about them.
L[incol]n is not appointed. Ward is requested to continue. I hope he will.
I am much pleased with your Spirit, in resolving to procure me Horses your self and not to wait for a Method, which would be more round about and uncertain.—I think I have a Right and that it is my duty, to take a little Respit and Relaxation. If my Life and Health is of any Use to the Public, it is necessary for the Public as well as for me, that I should take a little rest, in order to preserve them. If they are of none, it is no matter how much rest, I take.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0074

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-08-31

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

You know not How dissapointed I was to Night when the Post came in and I received no Letter from You. Tis the first Saturdays post which has come in since I have been in Town without a Letter from you. It has given me more pain to Night than it would any other time, because of some Falce and foolish reports I hope.
I will not, more than I can help, give way to rumours which I have no reason to believe true. Yet at such a time as this when all the Malice of Satan has possessd our foes, when they have recourse to secret poison, assassanation and every wicked art that Hell can Musture, I own my self allarmd and my fears sometimes overpower me.
But I commit you to the great Gaurdian and protecter of the just, and trust in him that we shall meet and rejoice together, in spight of all the Malice of Earth and Hell.
I hope before this time that Bass has arrived with your Horses, { 116 } and that you are prepairing to return to your own State. How anxiously do I expect you. On Monday I return to my own habitation with our Little Charles who is weak and feeble, and who wants the air and excercise of the Country to restore him. The Little flock have all left me but Him. Mrs. Cranch came into Town yesterday and carried out Nabby and Tommy, the Dr. would not consent to Charles going till Monday. His are but just cleverly turnd. Your Worthy Parent mett them, Mrs. Cranch writes me, upon their return and weept for joy to see them again. I have often pittied her anxiety which I know has been great upon this occasion. My own dear Mother is saved all she would have felt. My Unkle Q[uinc]y has been a parent to us, with us every week, anxious to the greatest Degree about you, solisitious about your return, declared he would sit of for you himself if Bass would not come immediately.
Mr. A did not get here till the 27 of the month, not till I had engaged your Horses and they were ready to come away.
In the Letter by Him1 you say you wonder whether the G[enera]l C[our]t have thought of doing any thing for you, at which I was a Little surprizd.
When I was at P[lymout]h Coll. W[arre]n mentiond some accounts which were left with Him upon which a committe was orderd but he never got them to do any thing. Said C[ushin]g had got all His setled and he reminded them of that, but nothing had been done. He further said that a Member from Road Island wrote to Him to know what was given to the Delegates here and he asked C——g who told him that they were allowd 12s. pr. day and their expences. 18 was allowd at Road Island to theirs. I replied that it must be something which had been lately done for I knew nothing of it. He said no he understood C——g that it had been allowed from the first, that is from last April twelve month. I however believed that you had never Received any thing more than your expences tho I could not absolutely say.2
This I know they will be very willing you should Labour for them as long as your Health and Strength will last, and when they are intirely exausted you may provide for yourself and family as you can.
This is a Beautifull Morning. I see it with joy, and I hope thankfullness. I came here with all my treasure of children, have passd thro one of the most terible Diseases to which humane Nature is { 117 } subject, and not one of us is wanting. I should go home with a much lighter Heart if I had heard from you. I wish you would not miss a Post whilst you tarry tho you write no more than that you are well.
In the Course of the week past we have had many reports of Battles at New York, none of which gain credit. An other peice of Trechery is come to light and as it is in the Military way I hope an Example will be made of the Wretch. What Blindness, what infatuation to suffer the Mayor of the city after having proved himself such a rascel and villan to go at large. To err upon the Leniant Hand is best no doubt, but to suffer such crimes to go unpunished is offensive in the sight of Heaven I doubt not.3
Little Charles stands by and sends Duty to Pappa, says Mamma did you get any Letters a Saturday? No. Then why do you write Mamma.

[salute] Adieu. Ever ever Yours.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “To The Honble. John Adams Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Portia ans. Sept. 14.”
1. Of 10 Aug., above.
2. The information available on JA's payment by the State for service in 1776 does not make clear what his salary was; see his Diary and Autobiography, 2:251. But for his 322 days of service in 1777 he was paid at the rate of 24s. a day besides expenses (same, p. 257, citing Mass., Province Laws, 20:261).
3. These allusions remain obscure. The mayor of New York was David Mathews, but he had been jailed after the “Hickey plot”; see Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island, 4:933–935.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0075

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Mr. G[erry] arrived Yesterday, and brought me yours of August 17. and soon afterwards the Post came in, with yours of the 25. of Aug. Am happy to find you, in so good a Way, and am glad to learn that Horses and a Man are coming. I want them much. But our Affairs having taken a Turn at Long Island and New York, so much to our Disadvantage, I cannot see my Way clear, to return home so soon as I intended. I shall wait here, untill I see some more decisive Event, in our Favour or against Us. The General Court however will appoint some other Gentleman to relieve me, and my Man and Horses will come, and then I can ride a little in a Morning for my Health, and come home as soon as Circumstances will admit. I am obliged to General Lincoln for his Information, concerning the Fortifications, which I hope will be effectually attended to, as I am not clear, that Boston is yet secure from Invasion.
{ 118 }
I hope, the Disasters at Long Island, and New York will not dispirit our People. The Ways of Providence are inscrutable. I have strong suspicions that these Disasters have saved Boston from another Invasion, which I think would have been attempted by the two gratefull Brothers, with their whole Fleet and Army, if they had not obtained Long Island.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0076

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-04

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

Is my Dear Mrs. Adams too Much Engagd with Company, is her Family sick, or is she inattentive to What Gives pleasure to her Friend, that I have not heard a Word from her since I Left the Capital.
How dos my Dear Charles do. I Long to hear if that sweet boy is perfectly Recovered. I felt Great pain in Leaving him so Ill, but as I hear nothing since Conclude he must be better. Has Naby her Health since she Recovered from her Late sprinkling, has she Recoverd her serene and placid Countenence. Tell her she Looked a Little sower upon me when I saw her Last, but I dare say she Never will again for she will have the small pox no more. A sad Enemy this to soft Features, and fine Faces, though I hope Miss Naby will be so Formed both by Example And Education, as to stand in Little Need of any External Accomplishments to Recommend her to the Esteem of the Worthy and Good.
I hope when you Return to Braintree, you will Enjoy the stiller scenes, and take as much Delight in the Cares which Family Oeconemy Require, as one of your Acquaintance at Plimouth dos in her Domestic Circle.
I believe Nothing Gives a Higher Relish to the Calm of Retirement than such a Round of Visits, Visiting, and Visitation as we have Both Lately Experienced.
The Rustling of the Gentle Brezes in my own Little Garden is Music to my Ears, and the Return of my Little Flock from school Marks my Visiting Hour as they are almost the only Guests I have Received. Nor have I Entered any Habitation but my own since my Arrival from the Noisey town. But the frequent Absence of the best of friends prevents to you and to me the full injoyment of the Many Blessings providence has kindly showered Down upon { 119 } us. I sigh for peace yet it Cannot take place. But while the sword and the pestilence pervade the Land, and Misery is the portion of Millions, why should we Expect to feel No interruption of Happiness.
When Mr. Warren Calls on you again you will not forget to send a Number of Useless Copies, in the full Confidence of Friendship Left in your Hands.
Make my Regards to your sisters And their Families. And do Let me know when you Expect Mr. Adams, and whither he Enjoys better health.

[salute] With Every wish for his and your Happiness subscribes your Affectionate Friend,

[signed] Marcia Warren
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree pr. Capt. Nicolson.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0077

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Mr. Bass arrived this Day, with the joyfull News, that you were all well. By this Opportunity, I shall send you a Cannister of Green Tea, by Mr. Hare.1
Before Mr. G[erry] went away from hence, I asked Mrs. Yard to send a Pound of Green Tea to you. She readily agreed. When I came home at Night I was told Mr. G. was gone. I asked Mrs. Y. if she had sent the Cannister? She said Yes and that Mr. G. undertook to deliver it, with a great deal of Pleasure. From that Time I flattered my self, you would have the poor Relief of a dish of good Tea under all your Fatigues with the Children, and under all the disagreabble Circumstances attending the small Pox, and I never conceived a single doubt, that you had received it untill Mr. Gerrys Return. I asked him, accidentally, whether he delivered it, and he said Yes to Mr. S.A.'s Lady.—I was astonished. He misunderstood Mrs. Y. intirely, for upon Inquiry she affirms she told him, it was for Mrs. J.A.
I was so vexed at this, that I have ordered another Cannister, and Mr. Hare has been kind enough to undertake to deliver it. How the Dispute will be settled I dont know. You must send a Card to Mrs. S.A., and let her know that the Cannister was intended for You, and she may send it you if she chooses, as it was charged to me. It is amazingly dear, nothing less than 40s. lawfull Money, a Pound.
{ 120 }
I am rejoiced that my Horses are come. I shall now be able to take a ride. But it is uncertain, when I shall set off, for home. I will not go, at present. Affairs are too delicate and critical.—The Panic may seize whom it will, it shall not seize me. I will stay here, untill the public Countenance is better, or much worse. It must and will be better. I think it is not now bad. Lyes by the Million will be told you. Dont believe any of them. There is no danger of the Communication being cutt off, between the northern and southern Colonies. I can go home, when I please, in spight of all the Fleet and Army of Great Britain.
1. “The Bearer, Mr. Hare, is a Brother of the Gentleman of the same Name in this City, who has made himself so famous by introducing the Brewery of Porter into America. He wants to see our Country, Harvard Colledge, the Town of Boston, etc.” (JA to James Warren, 4 Sept. 1776, Warren-Adams Letters, 1:273||; also printed in Papers of John Adams||).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0078

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-06

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This day, I think, has been the most remarkable of all. Sullivan came here from Lord Howe, five days ago with a Message that his Lordship desired a half an Hours Conversation with some of the Members of Congress, in their private Capacities. We have spent three or four days in debating whether We should take any Notice of it. I have, to the Utmost of my Abilities during the whole Time, opposed our taking any Notice of it. But at last it was determined by a Majority “that the Congress being the Representatives of the free and independent states of America, it was improper to appoint any of their Members to confer, in their private Characters with his Lordship. But they would appoint a Committee of their Body, to wait on him, to know whether he had Power, to treat with Congress upon Terms of Peace and to hear any Propositions, that his Lordship may think proper to make.”
When the Committee came to be ballotted for, Dr. Franklin and your humble servant, were unanimously chosen. Coll. R. H. Lee and Mr. [Edward] Rutledge, had an equal Number: but upon a second Vote Mr. R. was chosen. I requested to be excused, but was desired to consider of it untill tomorrow. My Friends here Advise me to go. All the stanch and intrepid, are very earnest with me to go, and the timid and wavering, if any such there are,1 agree in the request. So I believe I shall undertake the Journey. I doubt whether { 121 } his Lordship will see Us, but the same Committee will be directed to inquire into the State of the Army, at New York,2 so that there will be Business enough, if his Lordship makes none.—It would fill this Letter Book, to give you all the Arguments, for and against this Measure, if I had Liberty to attempt it.—His Lordship seems to have been playing off a Number of Machiavillian Maneuvres, in order to throw upon Us the Odium of continuing this War. Those who have been Advocates for the Appointment of this Committee, are for opposing Maneuvre to Maneuvre, and are confident that the Consequence will be, that the Odium will fall upon him. However this may be, my Lesson is plain, to ask a few Questions, and take his Answers.
I can think of but one Reason for their putting me upon this Embassy, and that is this. An Idea has crept into many Minds here that his Lordship is such another as Mr. Hutchinson, and they may possibly think that a Man who has been accustomed to penetrate into the mazy Windings of Hutchinsons Heart, and the serpentine Wiles of his Head, may be tolerably qualified to converse with his Lordship.3
Yesterdays Post brought me yours of Aug. 29. The Report you mention “that I was poisoned upon my Return at New York” I suppose will be thought to be a Prophecy, delivered by the Oracle in mystic Language, and meant that I should be politically or morally poisoned by Lord Howe. But the Prophecy shall be false.
1. Preceding five words not in LbC, added in RC.
2. As things turned out, the committee was not so instructed.
3. Maj. Gen. John Sullivan had been captured in the action on Long Island, 27 Aug. (and was afterward exchanged for the British general, Richard Prescott). Sullivan presented Lord Howe's request to Congress on 2 and 3 Sept.; the debate and votes that JA reports here took place on the three following days (JCC, 5:723, 730–731, 735, 737–738). See also JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:425; Josiah Bartlett to William Whipple, 3 Sept. 1776 (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:66–67).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0079

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-09-07

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Last monday I left the Town of Boston, underwent the operation of a smoaking at the lines and arrived at my Brother Cranchs where we go for purification; there I tarried till wedensday, and { 122 } then came Home, which seem'd greatly endeard to me by my long absence. I think I never felt greater pleasure at comeing Home after an absence in my Life. Yet I felt a vacuum in my Breast and sent a Sigh to P[hiladelphi]a. I long'd for a dear Friend to rejoice with me. Charlly is Banished yet, I keep him at his Aunt Cranch's out of the way of those who have not had the Distemper, his Arm has many Scabs upon it which are yet very soar. He is very weak and sweats a nights prodigiously. I am now giving him the Bark. He recoverd very fast considering how ill he was. I pitty your anxiety and feel sorry that I wrote you when he was so Bad, but I knew not how it might turn with Him, had it been otherways than well, it might have proved a greater Shock than to have known that he was ill.
This Night our good unkle came from Town and brought me yours of August 20, 21, 25, 27 and 28th for all of which I most sincerely thank you. I have felt uneasy to Hear from you. The Report of your being dead, has no doubt reach'd you by Bass who heard enough of it before he came away. It took its rise among the Tories who as Swift said of himself “By their fears betray their Hopes” but How they should ever take it into their Heads that you was poisond at New York a fortnight before that we heard any thing of that villans Zedwitz plan of poisoning the waters of the City, I cannot tell.2 I am sometimes ready to suspect that there is a communication between the Tories of every State, for they seem to know all news that is passing before tis known by the Whigs.
We Have had many Stories concerning engagements upon Long Island this week, of our Lines being forced and of our Troops retreating to New York. Perticuliars we have not yet obtaind. All we can learn is that we have been unsuccessfull there; having Lost Many Men as prisoners among whom is Lord Sterling and General Sullivan.
But if we should be defeated I think we shall not be conquered. A people fired like the Romans with Love of their Country and of Liberty, a zeal for the publick Good, and a Noble Emulation of Glory, will not be disheartned or dispirited by a Succession of unfortunate Events. But like them may we learn by Defeat the power of becomeing invincible.
I hope to Hear from you by every Post till you return. The Herbs you mention I never Received. I was upon a visit to Mrs. S. Adams about a week after Mr. Gerry returnd, when She entertaind me with a very fine Dish of Green Tea. The Scarcity of the { 123 } article made me ask her Where she got it. She replied her Sweet Heart sent it to her by Mr. Gerry. I said nothing, but thought my Sweet Heart might have been eaquelly kind considering the disease I was visited with, and that [tea] was recommended as a Bracer. A Little after you mention'd a couple of Bundles sent. I supposed one of them might contain the article but found they were Letters. How Mr. Gerry should make such a mistake I know not. I shall take the Liberty of sending for what is left of it tho I suppose it is half gone as it was very freely used. If you had mentiond a single Word of it in your Letter I should have immediately found out the mistake.
Tis said that the Efforts of our Enemies will be to stop the communication between the colonies by taking possession of Hudsons Bay.3 Can it be effected? The Milford frigate rides triumphant in our Bay, taking vessels every day, and no Colony nor Continental vessel has yet attempted to hinder her. She mounts but 28 Guns but is one of the finest sailors in the British Navy. They complain we have not weighty mettle enough and I suppose truly. The Rage for privateering is as great here as any where and I believe the success has been as great.
It will not be in my power to write you so regularly as when I was in Town. I shall not faill doing it once a week. If you come home the Post Road you must inquire for Letters where ever the Post sit out from.
Tis Here a very General time of Health. I think tis near a twelve month since the pestilance raged here. I fear your being seazd with a fever, tis very prevalant I hear where you are. I pray God preserve you and return you in Health. The Court will not accept your Resignation, they will appoint Mr. Dalton and Dana to releave you.

[salute] I am most affectionately Yours.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia ansd. Sep. [21].”
1. In his reply of 21 Sept., below, JA read this date as 9 Sept., and CFA also printed this letter in Familiar Letters with that date. Although AA's 4's, 7's, and 9's are often scarcely distinguishable from each other, the editors believe she intended “7” here.
2. Lt. Col. Herman Zedtwitz of the New York Line was court-martialed, convicted, and cashiered on 25–26 Aug. for attempting to give intelligence to the enemy, specifically for writing a long letter to Gov. William Tryon (dated 24 Aug. and promptly turned in by an agent Zedtwitz had bribed) which contained a hodgepodge of truth and fancy. One of his fancies was that he had seen “4 Fellows at the Generals [Washington's] Hous wich proposed to Spoil the Watering place [on Staten Island where the British were encamped], they brought along 14 Botles of Stof as Black as an Ink it was Tried and Found good as they [ . . . ] The gen: promised Every { 124 } one £1000 if it Stands 6 weeks.” The proceedings of the court martial are printed and a facsimile of Zedtwitz's letter is reproduced in Force, Archives, 5th ser., 1:1159–1162.
3. Thus in MS, but meaning, surely, the Hudson River.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0080

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yesterday Morning I returned with Dr. F. and Mr. R. from Staten Island where We met L[ord] H[owe] and had about three Hours Conversation with him. The Result of this Interview, will do no disservice to Us. It is now plain that his L[ordshi]p has no Power, but what is given him in the Act of P[arliament]. His Commission authorises him to grant Pardons upon Submission, and to converse, confer, consult and advise with such Persons as he may think proper, upon American Grievances, upon the Instructions to Governors and the Acts of Parliament, and if any Errors should be found to have crept in, his Majesty and the Ministry were willing they should be rectified.
I found yours of 31. of Aug. and 2d. of September.1 I now congratulate you on your Return home with the Children. Am sorry to find you anxious on Account of idle Reports.—Dont regard them. I think our Friends are to blame to mention such silly Stories to you. What good do they expect to do by it?
My Ride has been of Service to me. We were absent but four days. It was an agreable Excursion. His L[ordshi]p is about fifty Years of Age. He is a well bred Man, but his Address is not so irresistable, as it has been represented. I could name you many Americans, in your own Neighbourhood, whose Art, Address, and Abilities are greatly superiour. His head is rather confused, I think.2
When I shall return I cant say. I expect now, every day, fresh Hands from Watertown.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. John Adams's Braintree Massachusetts Bay”; franked: “free John Adams”; postmarked: “PHILA. SEP 14.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. A single letter, printed above under its first date.
2. JA's “Ride” to and from Staten Island, with Benjamin Franklin and Edward Rutledge, began on the 9th and ended on the 13th. The interview with Lord Howe occurred on the 11th at the Christopher Billopp house in Tottenville. JA's retrospective account of the journey and interview is justly famous, and is accompanied by pertinent passages from the Journal of Congress and from his own contemporaneous letters (Diary and Autobiography, 3:414–430). Congress published the relevant papers, including the report of the committee, under date of 17 Sept. (broadside in NN; Evans 15168). The best British { 125 } account is by Henry Strachey, secretary to the Howe brothers' commission, whom JA was to encounter again during the negotiations for a preliminary peace with Great Britain in the fall of 1782; Strachey's narrative was first printed accurately (from a MS in NN) by Paul L. Ford in an article entitled “Lord Howe's Commission to Pacify the Colonies,” Atlantic Monthly, 77:758–762 (June 1896); see also Ambrose Serle, American Journal, ed. Edward H. Tatum Jr., San Marino, Calif., 1940, p. 100–101, and various sources cited in Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island, 5:1010. On 19 Sept. the Howes issued in broadside form a further “Declaration,” in which they gave up on Congress but appealed again to all persons disposed to reconciliation with Great Britain; an example in MHi is reproduced as an The Howes' Reconciliation Broadside following 102illustration in this volume.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0081

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-09-15

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I have been so much engaged this week with company that, tho I never cease to think of you I have not had leisure to write to you. It has been High Court week with us, judge C[ushin]g and Lady kept here, the judges all dined with me one day and the Bar an other day. The Court sit till Saturday Night, and then were obliged to continue many causes. The people seem to be pleased and gratified at seeing justice returning into its old regular channel again.1
I this week received two Letters, one dated july 27 and [another] july 29th. Where they have been these two months I cannot conceive, I hear of an other by the Express but have not yet been able to find it. I write now not knowing where to direct to you, whether you are in the American Senate or on Board the British fleet is a matter of uncertainty. I hear to day that you are one of a committee sent by Congress to hold a conference with Lord How. Some say to negotiate an exchange of General Sulivan, others say you are charged with other matters.
May you be wise as Serpents. I wish to hear from you, the 28 of August was the last date. I may have Letters at the Post office. The Town is not yet clear of the small Pox which makes it dificult for me to get a conveyance from there, unless I send on purpose.
I only write now to let you know that we are all well, anxiously longing for your return.

[salute] As this is a child of chance I do not chuse to say any thing more than that I am Sincerely Yours.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at New York or Philadelphia”; franked: “Free”; endorsed (twice): “Portia.”
1. This was the first session of the Superior Court in Suffolk co. closing in Sept. 1774. In Feb. 1776 the General Court had named Dedham and { 126 } Braintree, alternately, as the places of sitting in Suffolk because the British still occupied Boston; and now, although the British had left months ago, the smallpox epidemic in Boston made another meeting place highly advisable. The act of Feb. 1776 was repealed in November, and beginning in Feb. 1777 the sessions returned to Boston. See Mass., Province Laws, 5:455–456, 593–594; Quincy, Reports, p. 341–342.
For more details on this session of the Superior Court in Braintree, see James Sullivan to JA, 22 Sept. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0082

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The Postmaster at N. York, in a Panick, about a fortnight ago fled to Dobbs's Ferry, about 30 Miles above N.Y. upon Hudsons River, which has thrown the Office into disorder, and interrupted the Communication so much that I have not received a Line of yours, since that dated the Second of September.1 Nor have I received a News Paper, or any other Letter from Boston since that date. The same Cause, it is probable has disturbed the Conveyance, to the Eastward, and prevented you from receiving Letters regularly, from me.
One of the Horses, which has been sent me, is very low in flesh. I must wait, some time, I fear for him to recruit.
No new Delegates come yet. I hope to see some in a few days.
We have good News from France and the French West Indies. . . .2 There is great Reason to think they will not always remain inactive.
You commanded me to write every Post, and I obey altho I have nothing in Particular to say, only that I am as usual, not worse in Health, nor yet well, but ever Yours.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. John Adams's Braintree Massachusetts Bay”; franked: “Free John Adams”; postmarked: “PHILA. SEP 16.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. Her letter dated 31 Aug.–2 Sept., above.
2. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0083

Author: Mason, Jonathan Jr.
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-18

Jonathan Mason to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

I was extreemly sorry I could not pay that attention to your son Johnny, as I should wish to have done, had not I been very diligently employed in other business. Should esteem it as a favour that whenever You trust any of them to town, you would direct them to my father's house, and I am repeatedly desired by my sister to request your consent to Miss Nabby's coming into town and tarrying with us { 127 } as long as inclination and improvement can make it agreeable. My mite, I doubt not you are assured will be chearfully contributed to her emolument. I forwarded your last letters by the post the first Opportunity, and have only to beg that whenever occasion calls, you would not hesitate to command me to any task. It would afford me great pleasure to have it in my power to compensate in some measure, for many unexpected, unmerited civilities, I mett with at your house. Inclosed you have a letter just handed me, but I am ignorant by whom.—Had not a liberal mind induced you to mention it in your letter,2 I had notwithstanding determined in my own mind, to have wrote, when Politicks or some other general topic had occurred, and if proper, should be extreemly happy in perusing a return.

[salute] I am with great respect Your hum. Servt.,

[signed] J Mason Jr.3
One Mr. Payne in Boston is a fine tutor for the young ladies.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For Mrs. Adams In Braintree Pr. favour.” Enclosure: probably a recent letter from JA to AA, not now identifiable.
1. MS torn by seal.
2. Not found.
3. Mason, who was nominally still apprenticed to JA as law clerk, had written JA on 12 Aug. (Adams Papers), saying that he had “resolved . . . closely to pursue the science of the Law,” outlining his progress and plans, and asking whether he should accept an invitation to enter Perez Morton's law office. In his reply of 21 Aug. (LbC, Adams Papers), JA suggested further studies and advised Mason to accept Morton's “kind Offer, provided you dont find the Practice of his Office interferes too much with your studies, which I dont think it will.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0084

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-09-20

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I sit down this Evening to write you, but I hardly know what to think about your going to N.Y.—The Story has been told so many times, and with circumstances so perticuliar that I with others have given some heed [to] it tho my not hearing any thing of it from you leaves me at a loss.
Yours of Sepbr. 4 came to hand last Night, our Worthy unkle is a constant attendant upon the Post office for me and brought it me.
Yours of Sepbr. 5 came to Night to B[raintre]e and was left as directed with the Cannister. Am sorry you gave yourself so much trouble about them. I got about half you sent me by Mr. Gerry. Am much obliged to you, and hope to have the pleasure of making the greater part of it for you. Your Letter damp't my Spirits; when I had no expectation of your return till December, I endeavourd to bring { 128 } my mind to acquiess in the too painfull Situation, but I have now been in a state of Hopefull expectation. I have recond the days since Bass went away a hundred times over, and every Letter expected to find the day set for your return.
But now I fear it is far distant. I have frequently been told that the communication would be cut of and that you would not be ever able to return. Sometimes I have been told so by those who really wish'd it might be so, with Malicious pleasure. Sometimes your timid folks have apprehended that it would be so. I wish any thing would bring you nearer. If there is really any danger I should think you would remove. Tis a plan your Enemies would rejoice to see accomplished, and will Effect if it lies in their power.
I am not apt to be intimidated you know. I have given as little heed to that and a thousand other Bug Bear reports as posible. I have slept as soundly since my return not withstanding all the Ghosts and hobgoblings, as ever I did in my life. Tis true I never close my Eyes at night till I have been to P[hiladelphi]a, and my first visit in the morning is there.
How unfealing are the world! They tell me they Heard you was dead with as little sensibility as a stock or a stone, and I have now got to be provoked at it, and can hardly help snubing the person who tells me so.
The Story of your being upon this conference at New york came in a Letter as I am told from R. T. P[aine] to his Brother in Law G[reenlea]fe. Many very many have been the conjectures of the Multitude upon it. Some have supposed the War concluded, the Nation setled, others an exchange of prisoners, others a reconsiliation with Brittain &c. &c.
I cannot consent to your tarrying much longer. I know your Health must greatly suffer from so constant application to Buisness and so little excercise. Besides I shall send you word by and by as Regulus'es steward did, that whilst you are engaged in the Senate your own domestick affairs require your presence at Home, and that your wife and children are in Danger of wanting Bread. If the Senate of America will take care of us, as the Senate of Rome did of the family of Regulus, you may serve them again, but unless you return what little property you possess will be lost. In the first place the House at Boston is going to ruin. When I was there I hired a Girl to clean it, it had a cart load of Dirt in it. I speak within Bounds. One of the chambers was used to keep poultry in, an other sea coal, and an other salt. You may conceive How it look'd. The House is so exceeding damp { 129 } being shut up, that the floors are mildewd, the sealing falling down, and the paper mouldy and falling from the walls. I took care to have it often opened and aird whilst I tarried in Town. I put it into the best state I could.
In the next place, the Lighter of which you are or should be part owner is lying rotting at the wharf. One year more without any care and she is worth nothing. You have no Bill of Sale, no right to convey any part of her should any person appear to purchase her. The Pew I let, after having paid a tax for the repairs of the meeting House.
As to what is here under my more immediate inspection I do the best I can with it, but it will not at the high price Labour is, pay its way.
I know the weight of publick cares lye so heavey upon you that I have been loth to mention your own private ones.
The Best accounts we can collect from New York assure us that our Men fought valiantly. We are no ways dispiritted here, we possess a Spirit that will not be conquerd. If our Men are all drawn of and we should be attacked, you would find a Race of Amazons in America.
But I trust we shall yet tread down our Enemies.
I must intreat you to remember me often. I never think your Letters half long enough. I do not complain. I have no reason to, no one can boast of more Letters than Your
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in an unidentified hand: “1777.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0085

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-09-21

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

I wrote you last Night till my Eyes were almost out by the post, but Mr. Eliot has taken pains to send me word that he would carry a Letter for me, and I cannot omit writing a few lines tho tis only to say that I am well, and to inquire how you do? I have a thousand fears for your Health. How is poor Mr. Barrel, is he gone, or does he yet live?
This Month twelve month was attended with so many melancholy Scenes, that my Heart Bleeds afresh at the recollection. The Image of my Dear Mother seems ever before me, and fresh to my memory. I felt more than common depression of spirits the other day when I enterd the House, nor could I enjoy myself whilst I stay'd, a Train of melancholly Ideas forced themselves upon me and made me very unhappy.
{ 130 }
My Father enjoys better Health than he has for many year, he possesses a vigirous old age. He call'd here the other day comeing of a journey to dine with me having ride forty miles before dinner. I askd him if he was not fatigued. No says he with his useuel sprightlyness thats a triffell for one so young as I am.
Tis a much healther Season than Last year. Our Neighbour Feild is just gone in a consumption, he has been upon the decline ever since the Spring.
Our Worthy Brother and Sister C[ranc]h are well in Health but a good deal embaressed what course to take. Ever since the Removal of the army and the opening of Boston he has not had half Buisness enough to employ him. I am very loth he should remove, but I know not what he will do. He wants much to purchase a little farm in the Country, but he would I think do better in Town. He had considerable Buisness there, when he had the small Pox.
I had something to say [to] you about the state of Harvard Colledge, but I omit it at present.—The Portsmouth Ship has been waiting for Guns these six weeks. Had an unkle of ours and several other merchants I could mention had the care of her I dare say she would have long ago had Guns. Private adventurours can get Guns even for large Briggs.—The Boston formerly the Zechary Baily which was taken as a prize and bought by private persons has been fitted out, her Guns made and purchased long since the other ought to have saild.
So it is we dream away opportunities by misplaceing Buisness. Adieu, Yours.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia ans. Octr. 5th”; docketed in an unidentified hand: “1777.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0086

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-21

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yours of Septr. 9.1 I have received. Septr. 5. I sent you another Cannister by Mr. Hare. I have only Time to tell you I am not worse in Health than I have been. Where are your new Delegates? None arrived here yet. Our People are as lazy and slothfull, as Congress.2
1. 7 Sept., above; see note 1 on that letter.
2. The General Court during its session of Sept.–Oct. 1776 took no action on JA's repeated pleas to enlarge the Massachusetts delegation and to send replacements promptly. On 19 Sept. Speaker James Warren wrote JA from { 131 } Watertown: “We have not yet made an addition to our Delegates, no Body seems to be against it, many are Indifferent about it, and those who wish to have it done, are at a loss where to find the men; so it is procrastinated and left to the next setting” (Adams Papers). JA drafted a reply, 5 Oct., in so angry and bitter a vein that, cooling off almost immediately after he had written it, he appended this note below the text in his letterbook: “not sent, nor fit to be sent.” During its next session the General Court at length, 15 Nov.–10 Dec., reelected JA and his four colleagues and added two more delegates, James Lovell and Francis Dana; and on 4 Feb. 1777 it went a little further by resolving that “any two or more of the said Delegates, Representing this State in Congress, being the major part present, be, and hereby are, vested with all the powers with which any three . . . were vested” previously (Mass., House Jour., 1776–1777, p. 157; JCC, 7:25–26, 169–170).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0087

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-22

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We have at last agreed upon a Plan, for forming a regular Army. We have offered 20 dollars, and 100 Acres of Land to every Man, who will inlist, during the War.1 And a new sett of Articles of War are agreed on.2 I will send you, if I can a Copy of these Resolutions and Regulations.
I am at a Loss what to write. News We have not. Congress seems to be forgotten by the Armies. We are most unfaithfully served in the Post Office, as well as many other Offices, civil and military.
Unfaithfullness in public Stations, is deeply criminal. But there is no Encouragement to be faithfull. Neither Profit, nor Honour, nor Applause is acquired by faithfullness. But I know by what. There is too much Corruption, even in this infant Age of our Republic. Virtue is not in Fashion. Vice is not infamous.
Since I wrote the foregoing Lines, I have not been able to find Time to write you a Line. Altho I cannot write you, so often as I wish, you are never out of my Thoughts. I am repining at my hard Lot, in being torn from you, much oftener than I ought.
I have often mentioned to you, the Multiplicity of my Engagements, and have been once exposed to the Ridicule and Censure of the World for mentioning the great Importance of the Business which lay upon me, and if this Letter should ever see the Light, it would be again imputed to Vanity, that I mention to you, how busy I am. But I must repeat it by Way of Apology for not writing you oftener. From four O Clock in the Morning untill ten at Night, I have not a single Moment, which I can call my own. I will not say that I expect to run { 132 } distracted, to grow melancholly, to drop in an Apoplexy, or fall into a Consumption. But I do say, it is little less than a Miracle, that one or other of these Misfortunes has not befallen me before now.
Your Favours of September 15, 20, and 23d. are now before me. Every Line from you gives me inexpressible Pleasure. But it is a great Grief to me, that I can write no oftener to you.
There is one Thing which excites my utmost Indignation and Contempt, I mean the Brutality, with which People talk to you, of my Death. I beg you would openly affront every Man, Woman or Child, for the future who mentions any such Thing to you, except your Relations, and Friends whose Affections you cannot doubt. I expect it of all my Friends, that they resent, as Affronts to me, every Repetition of such Reports.
I shall inclose to you, Governor Livingstons Speech, the most elegant and masterly, ever made in America.3
Depend upon it, the Enemy cannot cutt off the Communication. I can come home when I will. They have N. York—and this is their Ne Plus Ultra.4
RC and LbC (Adams Papers). Enclosure missing; see note 3 below.
1. This “Plan,” which had occupied JA's thoughts for some time, had been introduced, apparently on 9 Sept., as a report of the Board of War, and was debated on the four following days, principally in committee of the whole. With some amendments it was in large part adopted and spread on the Journal on the 16th. Additional resolutions were proposed and debated next day and again on the 19th. On the 20th Congress ordered that “the resolutions for raising the new army be forthwith published, and copies thereof sent to the commanding officers in the several departments, and to the assemblies and conventions of the respective states.” See JCC, 5:747, 749, 751, 754, 756–757, 762–763, 768, 787, 807. They were printed in the Pennsylvania Gazette on 25 Sept., and also separately as a broadside (JCC, 6:1125, No. 126; Evans, 15167; an example in MHi is reproduced as an illustration in this volume). No MS version has been found in the Adams Papers or in the Reports of the Board of War and Ordnance (PCC, No. 47), but JA later claimed this important plan for a military establishment as his own and a sufficient answer to Alexander Hamilton's charge in 1800 that JA had been “an Ennemy to a regular Army” (Diary and Autobiography, 3:434–435).
2. On 5 June JA, Jefferson, and three others had been named a committee “on Spies” to make recommendations concerning persons furnishing intelligence or provisions to the enemy. To this committee, on 14 June, was assigned the further task of revising the Articles of War. They submitted a report on 7 Aug. which was debated on the 19th and again on 19 and 20 Sept., when the old Articles were repealed and the new ones spread on the Journal. See JCC, 5:417, 442, 636, 670, 787, 788–807; for contemporary printings of the revised Articles see the “Bibliographical Notes” in same, vol. 6:1125–1126, Nos. 127–130; Evans 15187–15190. JA's recollections of this affair, while perhaps not entirely accurate, furnish details not elsewhere to be found; see his Diary and Autobiography, 3:392, 409–410, 433–434. The MS of the Articles in PCC, No. 27, is a copy in Timothy Pickering's hand and offers no clue to their authorship. JA himself believed { 133 } that the new Articles “laid the foundation of a discipline, which in time brought our Troops to a Capacity of contending with British Veterans, and a rivalry with the best Troops of France.” His account of his role in their production and adoption was another part of his answer to Hamilton's charges in 1800.
3. William Livingston (1723–1790) had at the end of August been elected governor of New Jersey under the new state constitution. His first address to the legislature, dated 11 Sept. and greatly admired by JA, was printed in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 1 Oct., and is reprinted in New Jersey Archives, 2d ser., 1 (1901):200–203.
4. This is the last entry in Lb/JA/2, which JA had begun in June and devoted mainly to letters addressed to AA. The greater part of the book is blank.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0088

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-09-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

There are perticuliar times when I feel such an uneasiness, such a restlessness, as neither company, Books, family Cares or any other thing will remove, my Pen is my only pleasure, and writing to you the composure of my mind.
I feel that agitation this Evening, a degree of Melancholy has seazd my mind, owing to the anxiety I feel for the fate of our Arms at New York, and the apprehensions I have for your Health and Safety.
We Have so many rumours and reports that tis imposible to know what to Credit. We are this Evening assurd that there has been a field Battle between a detachment of our Army commanded by General Miflin and a Detachment of British Troops in which the Latter were defeated. An other report says that we have been obliged to Evacuate the city and leave our cannon, Baggage &c. &c. This we cannot credit, we will not Believe it.
Tis a most critical day with us. Heaven Crown our arms with Success.
Did you ever expect that we should hold Long Island? And if that could not be held, the city of New York must lie at their mercy. If they command New York can they cut of the communication between the Colonies?
Tho I sufferd much last winter yet I had rather be in a situation where I can collect the Truth, than at a distance where I am distressd by a thousand vague reports—

War is our Buisness, but to whom is Give'n

To die, or triumph, that determine Heav'n!

I write you an abundance, do you read it all? Your last Letters have { 134 } been very short. Have you buried, stifled or exausted all the—I wont ask the question you must find out my meaning if you can.
I cannot help smileing at your caution in never subscribeing a Letter, yet frank it upon the outside where you are obliged to write your name.
I hope I have a Letter by Saturdays Post. You say you are sometimes dissapointed, you can tell then How I feel. I endeavour to write once a week.
Poor Barrel I see by the paper is dead. So is our Neighbour Feild.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia”; franked: “Free”; docketed in an unidentified hand: “Portia 1776.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0089

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-09-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I have only Time to say, by Mr. Taylor, that I am not worse than I have been—that however, I think, the G[eneral] C[our]t might have sent somebody here, before now—and that it will not be many days before I shall sett off. I shall wait for the Completion of a few Things and then go—perhaps in a Week or ten days.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0090

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1776-09-29

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Not since the 5th of Sepbr. have I had one line from you which makes me very uneasy. Are you all this time confering with his Lordship, is there no communication? or are the post Riders all dismissd.
Let the cause be which it will, not hearing from you has given me much uneasiness.
We seem to be kept in a total Ignorance of affairs at York. I hope you at Congress are more inlightned. Who fell, who wounded, who prisoner or their numbers is as undetermined as it was the day after the Battle. If our Army is in ever so critical a state I wish to know it, and the worst of it—if all America are to be ruind and undone by a pack of Cowards and knaves, I wish to know it. Pitiable is the Lot of their commander. Caesars tenth Leigion never was forgiven. We are told for Truth that a Regiment of Yorkers refused to quit the city and { 135 } that an other Regiment behaved like a pack of Cowardly villans by quitting their posts. If they are unjustly censured it is for want of proper inteligance.
I am sorry to see a Spirit so venal prevailing every where. When our Men were drawn out for Canady a very large Bounty was given them, and now an other call [is made]1 upon us no one will go without a large Bounty tho only for two months, and each Town seem to think their Honour engaged in outbiding one an other. The province pay is forty shilings. In addition to that this Town voted to make it up six pounds.2 They then drew out the persons most unlikely to go and they are obliged to give 3 pounds to Hire a Man. Some pay the whole fine ten pounds; forty men are now draughted from this Town, more than one half from 50 to 16teen are now in the Service. This method of conducting will create a General uneasiness in the Continental Army; I hardly think you can be sensible how much we are thind in this province.
The rage for privateering is as great here as any where. Vast Numbers are employd in that way. If it is necessary to make any more draughts upon us the women must Reap the Harvests. I am willing to do my part. I believe I could gather Corn and Husk it, but I should make a poor figure at diging Potatoes.
There has been a report that a fleet was seen in our Bay yesterday. I cannot conceive from whence, nor do I believe the story.
Tis said you have been upon Staten Island to hold your conference, tis a little odd that I have never Received the least intimation of it from you. Did you think I should be allarmd? Dont you know me better than to think me a Coward? I hope you will write me every thing concerning this affair. I have a great curiosity to know the result.
As to Goverment nothing is yet done about it.3 The Church is opened here every Sunday, and the king prayed for as usual in open defiance to Congress.4 Parker of Boston is more discreet and so is Sargant.5
You have wrote me once or twice to know whether your Brother inclined to go into the Service. I think he wholy declines it. As to mine I have not heard any thing from him since his application to Court. Natll. Belcher goes Capt. and Tertias Bass Lieut. from this Town. They March tomorrow.
Poor Soper we have lost him with a nerveous fever, he died a fryday.6 A great loss to this Town a man of so interprizing a temper, more Especially when we are so destitute of them.
{ 136 }
I should be obliged to you if you would direct Bass to Buy me a Barcelona Hankerchief and 2 oz. of Thread No. 18. Mr. Gerry said Goods were 5 pr. cent dearer here than with you, and by the way I hope you are not charged Eaquelly dear for the last Canister as for the first, the first is the Best of Hyson the other very Good Suchong.
If the next post does not bring me a Letter I think I will leave of writing, for I shall not believe you get mine.

[salute] Adieu yours.

PS Master John has become post rider from Boston to B[raintree].
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia ans. Oct. 8.”
1. Two words editorially supplied.
2. On 23 Sept. the subject of “Encouragement to the Soldiers” was taken up in Braintree town meeting, and it was “Voted, That each soldier that shall engage to go to New York, in Complyance with the Requesition of the Continentiel Congress, shall have six pounds per month including what is allow'd by the Congress during the time of his being in the service”; it was further voted that each soldier so engaging would receive £2 of his pay “previous to his marching” (Braintree Town Records, p. 469–470).
3. Meaning a plan for a state constitution.
4. It was Rev. Edward Winslow who continued to pray for the King at Christ Church in Braintree, but under pressure from Attorney General Benjamin Kent in the following spring Winslow preached a farewell sermon and took refuge with British forces at Newport and, later, New York City (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 11:104–105; see also AA to JA, 2 April 1777, below).
5. Rev. Samuel Parker, Harvard 1764, pastor of Trinity Church in Boston; and Rev. Winwood Serjeant, pastor of Christ Church in Cambridge (Weis, Colonial Clergy of N.E.).
6. Edmund Soper, first major in Joseph Palmer's regiment of Suffolk militia, was serving as a Braintree selectman at the time of his death (Mass. Soldiers and Sailors; Braintree Town Records, p. 464–465).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0091

Author: Adams, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-10-03

Samuel Adams to Abigail Adams

Mr. Samuel Adams sends his affectionate Regards to Mrs. Adams (in which his own Mrs. Adams heartily joyns) and acquaints her that he shall sett off next Week or Monday see'night at the farthest for Philadelphia and is desirous of rendering his best Services to Mrs. A. He wishes to know the State of her Family with Respect to their Health; is very sorry that he has not had the Opportunity of making her a Visit at Braintree, a Pleasure which he has missed of by Reason of constant Avocations, which he begs may excuse him.
He had the pleasure of receiving a Letter from his Friend and Colleague Mr. JA of the 14th of September,1 and supposes he has written to his Lady since that Date. He only adds that the Conduct { 137 } of his Friend at Staten Island affords an additional Reason why his Country should still covet and even demand his further publick Services.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree.”
1. LbC (Adams Papers); printed under the wrong date of 17 Sept. in JA's Works, 9:443–446. ||JA copied the letter into his Autobiography in an “entry” dated 17 Sept. 1776.||

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0092

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-10-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I send you, all the News. When I do not write I suffer more Pain than you do, when you dont receive a Line. I have no greater Pleasure than in Writing to you, but I have not Time.
When I shall come home I dont know. But this you may depend on, I can come when I will. The Communication is open and will remain so. It cannot be cutt off.
The General Court have not appointed any one in my stead. I expected they would—but whether they do or not I shall come home, before long.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0093

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-10-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I am seated, in a large Library Room, with Eight Gentlemen round about me, all engaged in Conversation. Amidst these Interruptions, how shall I make it out to write a Letter?
The first day of October, the day appointed by the Charter of Pensilvania for the annual Election of Representatives, has passed away, and two Counties only have chosen Members, Bucks and Chester.
The Assembly is therefore dead, and the Convention is dissolved. A new Convention is to be chosen, the Beginning of November.
The Proceedings of the late Convention are not well liked, by the best of the Whiggs.—Their Constitution is reprobated and the Oath with which they have endeavoured to prop it, by obliging every Man to swear that he will not add to, or diminish from or any Way alter that Constitution, before he can vote, is execrated.
We live in the Age of political Experiments. Among many that will { 138 } fail some, I hope will succeed.—But Pensilvania will be divided and weakend, and rendered much less vigorous in the Cause, by the wretched Ideas of Government, which prevail, in the Minds of many People in it.1
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree Massachusetts Bay”; franked: “free John Adams”; postmarked: “PHILA. OCT. 4.”
1. This proved a true prophecy. The Pennsylvania constitution of 1776, the work of a convention dominated by political radicals, was adopted on 28 Sept. after only a token submission of its articles to the citizens and with a substantial minority of “moderates” in the convention opposed to it. Worse, the Convention adopted a provision for an oath exacting from every elector a promise that he would, in effect, neither oppose nor criticize anything whatever in the form of government now established. One result was that it took six months to organize a new government in Pennsylvania, and another was that for fourteen years, until a new constitution was adopted in 1790, the state was torn and distracted by political factionalism probably bitterer than that in any other state. See J. Paul Selsam, The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776, Phila., 1936, chs. 4–6; Robert L. Brunhouse, The Counter-Revolution in Pennsylvania, 1776–1790, Harrisburg, 1942, passim.
Among the most vocal critics of the constitution of 1776, both at home and abroad, in public and in private, for many years, was JA, who considered it an epitome of all that was bad in constitution-making and an unadulterated specimen of democratic tyranny. It is not too much to say that his close observation of what happened in Pennsylvania politics in 1776–1777 was one of the principal influences on his mature political thought.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0094

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-10-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Mr. Eliot brought me yours of Septr. 21, this day. My Health is rather better than worse. The cool Weather, in conjunction with my Ride to Staten Island, has braced me up, a little, but I shall soon relax again and must have another ride.
I sympathize with you, in the Recollection of the melancholly scaenes of the last Year; and I rejoice with you, in the vigorous Health of your excellent Father. I hope his Vigour and Vivacity will be long preserved, for the Benefit of all about him. I long to spend one of our social Evenings with him and the Dr., you Girls sitting by and listening to our profound discourse, as you used to do.
I feel a real Sorrow and Affliction at the Loss of my worthy Neighbour Field. His deserving Family have sustained a great Loss. Remember me to them, and tell them that I am an hearty Mourner with them.
I feel as much for my worthy Brother and sister, as I do for my self, and for their family as for mine. Both are going to Wreck, but we shall leave them free tho we leave them poor—And the meanest, { 139 } poorest American scorns the richest slave, at least I would have it so.
I cannot think his scheme of purchasing a Farm will do.—As to H[arvard] Colledge I know nothing of it.
That Business is misplaced is true. I know more of it, than I have yet thought it prudent to tell the World. I was restrained by dangers of various Kinds, but I will not be always restrained. I will renounce the office of <Chief Justice>1 and then I shall be upon equal Ground with other People, and then I will speak and write as freely as my natural Disposition inclines me to do.
I have suffered Indignities to my self, and I have observed without clamouring about Abuses to the Public, when I thought that indulging either public or private Resentment would endanger our Cause—but I will bear it no longer than the public Cause requires this Patience of me.
1. These two words heavily inked out, probably just before the letter was folded and sealed, since there is an inkstain on the facing page.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0095

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-10-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I have been here, untill I am stupified. If I set down to write even to you, I am at a Loss what to write.
We expect General Lee, in Town every Hour, He dined at Wilmington Yesterday. His Appearance at Head Quarters on the Heights of Ha'arlem, would give a flow of Spirits to our Army, there. Some Officer of his Spirit and Experience, seems to be wanted.
The Quarter Master Generals Department, the Adjutant Generals Department, and the Surgion Generals Department, have for sometime past, been in great Confusion. The Army have suffered, in their Baggage, Discipline and Health, from those Causes.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree Mass. Bay”; franked: “free John Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0096

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-10-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I ought to acknowledge with Gratitude, your constant Kindness in Writing to me, by every Post. Your favour of Septr. 29. came by the { 140 } last. I wish it had been in my Power, to have returned your Civilities with the same Punctuality, but it has not.
Long before this you have received Letters from me, and Newspapers containing a full Account of the Negociation. The Communication is still open and the Post Riders now do their Duty and will continue to do so.
I assure you, We are as much at a Loss, about Affairs at New York, as you are. In general, our Generals were out generalled on Long Island, and Sullivan and Stirling with 1000 Men were made Prisoners, in Consequence of which, and several other unfortunate Circumstances, a Council of War thought it prudent to retreat from that Island, and Governors Island and then from New York. They are now posted at Haarlem about 10 or 11 Miles from the City. They left behind them some Provisions, some Cannon and some Baggage.
Wherever the Men of War have approached, our Militia have most manfully turned their backs and run away, Officers and Men, like sturdy fellows—and their panicks have sometimes seized the regular Regiments.
One little skirmish on Montresors Island, ended with the Loss of the brave Major Henley, and the disgrace of the rest of the Party. Another Skirmish, which might indeed be called an Action, ended in the defeat and shamefull flight of the Enemy, with the Loss of the brave Coll. Knowlton on our Part. The Enemy have Possession of Paulus Hook and Bergen Point, Places on the Jersy side of the North River.
By this Time their Force is so divided between Staten Island, Long Island, New York, Paulus Hook and Bergen Point, that, I think they will do no great Matter more this fall, unless the Expiration of the Term of Inlistment of our Army, should disband it. If our new Inlistments fill up, for Soldiers during the War, We shall do well enough.—Every Body must encourage this.
You are told that a Regiment of Yorkers behaved ill, and it may be true, but I can tell you that several Regiments of Massachusetts Men have behaved ill, too.
The Spirit of Venality, you mention, is the most dreadfull and alarming Enemy, that America has to oppose. It is as rapacious and insatiable as the Grave. We are in the Fasce Romuli, non Republica Platonis. This predominant Avarice will ruin America, if she is ever ruined. If God almighty does not interpose by his Grace to controul this universal Idolatry to the Mammon of Unrighteousness, We shall be given up to the Chastisements of his Judgments. I am ashamed of the Age I live in.
{ 141 }
You surprise me with your Account of the Prayers in publick for an Abdicated King, a Pretender to the Crown. Nothing of that Kind is heard in this Place, or any other Part of the Continent, but New York and the Place you mention. This Practice is Treason against the State and cannot be long tolerated.
I lament the Loss of Soper, as an honest, and usefull Member of Society.
Dont leave off writing to me—I write as often as I can.
I am glad Master John has an office so usefull to his Mamma and Pappa, as that of Post rider.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0097

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-10-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I suppose your Ladyship has been in the Twitters, for some Time past, because you have not received a Letter by every Post, as you used to do.—But I am coming to make my Apology in Person. I, Yesterday asked and obtained Leave of Absence. It will take me till next Monday, to get ready, to finish off a few Remnants of public Business, and to put my private Affairs in proper Order. On the 14th. day of October, I shall get away, perhaps. But I dont expect to reach Home, in less than a fortnight, perhaps not in three Weeks, as I shall be obliged to make stops by the Way.1
1. No vote on JA's application for leave, 10 Oct., is recorded in the Journal of Congress. He set off from Philadelphia on Sunday the 13th; see the entry of that date in his Diary and Autobiography, 2:251. But since his itemized accounts have not been found, we do not know his route beyond Trenton; and since his correspondence broke off abruptly upon his departure from Congress, we do not know when he reached Braintree. He had arrived by 5 Nov., however, for on that date he drafted a letter, probably intended for a colleague in Congress, on the problem of currency inflation; this is in Lb/JA/1 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 89), but appears to be incomplete and may not have been sent.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0098

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-10-15

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

Nothing but the Greatest affection for my dear Mrs. Adams Would Induce me to Break over the Avocations of this busey Morning, and to quit the Conversation of my Friends who Leave me tomorrow, to { 142 } scrable over a Hasty Line in Token that I have not Forgot you. Mr. Warren promissed to Make all the Apoligies Necessary for my Long silence. Mine is the Loss and the Mortifycation and on that Consideration I Could Wish you would not be quite so Ceremonious, But would oftener Favour Your Friend with the News from Abroad and the political Speculations at home, as well as the sentiments of Friendship which Glow in the Bosom of the sociable Portia.
When do You Expect to see Mr. Adams. I Really think it A Great tryal of patience and philosophy to be so Long seperated from the Companion of Your Heart and from the Father of your Little Flock. But the High Enthusiasm of a truly patriotic Lady will Cary Her through Every Difficulty, and Lead Her to Every Exertion. Patience, Fortitude, Public Spirit, Magnanimity and self Denial are the Virtues she Boasts. I wish I Could put in my Claim to those sublime qualities. But oh! the Dread of Loosing all that this World Can Bestow by one Costly sacrifice keeps my Mind in Continual Alarm. I own my weakness and stand Corrected yet Cannot Rise superior to Those Attachments which sweeten Life and Without which the Dregs of this Terestial Existence Would not be Worth preserving.
I have it in Contemplation to Call on you again before the seting in of Winter but if I do not you will be kind Enough to Return some papers I have Frequently Mentiond by Mr. Warren. I Rely With Confidence you will [not]1 take nor suffer to be taken any Copies.
Our Friends will tell you all you wish to know about Plimouth. They have made me an agreable Visit, and as this is the Last Day I shall have their Company it will not be quite Civil to Leave them Longer than to subscribe the Name of your Ever Affectionate Friend,
[signed] M Warren
1. This word has been editorially supplied.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0099

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1776-12-01

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

It is A Long time since I had the Happiness of hearing from my Braintree Friends. Dos my dear Mrs. Adams think I am Indebted a Letter. If she dos Let her Recollect A Moment and she will find she is mistaken. Or is she so wholly Engrossed with the Ideas of her own Happiness as to think Little of the absent. Why should I Interrupt for a moment if this is the Case, the Vivacity and Cheerfulness of Portia Encircled by her Children in full health (her kind Companion { 143 } sharing this felicity,) to Look in upon her Friend in this hour of solitude, my Husband at Boston, my Eldest son abscent, my other four at an Hospital Ill with the small pox, my Father on a bed of pain Verging fast towards the Closing scene, no sisters at hand nor Even a Friend to step in and shorten the tedious hour. I feel with the poet, 'poor is the Friendless Master of a World.' But before I quit talking of myself I must tell you that the Lovely Image of Hope still spreads her silken Wing, and Resting on her pinion I sooth myself into tranquility and peace amidst this Group of painful Circumstances. A few days will make a very material Change in the feelings of my Heart. It may be filled with the Highest sentiments of Gratitude for the preservation and Recovery of my Children, with their Father siting by my side partaking the Delight. Or! I May—My pen trembles. I have not the Courage to Reverse the scene. I Leave the Theme, When you in unison with my soul shall Have Breathed a sigh that your Friend may be prepared for Every designation of providence.
I was Greatly Disappointed that you and Mr. Adams did not Come to Plimouth. Can Neither the General, the Marine nor the Superiour Court, Draw him from his own fire side. Well, Let him Indulge there a Little Longer and the Court of Conscience will do more than all, for I know he Reverences Her awful Tribunal. How is his Health, how are his spirits. What dos he think of the surrender of Fort Washington. Twenty other things I want to ask. If you were both to write me a Good Long Letter it would not more than satisfy my Curiosity and my Wishes. But if the acknowlegements of Gratful Esteem will make any Returns you may be assured of them with the most Cordial sincerity from Your unfeigned Friend,
[signed] Mercy Warren
PS I hope Mr. Warren will Return on Wensday by whom you will not Fail to send a Certain Copey of A Letter of no Consequence to any body but your Friend.
Mrs. Lothrop has just steped in and desires her Regards to you. Most of her Connexions in town are at the Hospital. Neer a hundred persons are now under Innoculation.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0100

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-01-09

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dear

The irresistable Hospitality of Dr. Sprague and his Lady has prevailed upon me, and my worthy Fellow Traveller, to put up at his { 144 } happy Seat.—We had an agreable Ride to this Place, and tomorrow Morning We sett off, for Providence, or some other Rout.1
Present my affection, in the tenderest Manner to my little deserving Daughter and my amiable sons.
It was cruel Parting this Morning. My Heart was most deeply affected, altho, I had the Presence of Mind, to appear composed.
May God almightys Providence protect you, my dear, and all our little ones. My good Genius, my Guardian Angell whispers me, that We shall see happier Days, and that I shall live to enjoy the Felicities of domestic Life, with her whom my Heart esteems above all earthly Blessings.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree”; docketed in pencil by AA: “Jan 9.” (These penciled docketings continue on JA's letters through February and were probably made late in March when AA inventoried the letters she had so far received from him; see AA to JA, 26 March, below.)
1. JA's host was Dr. John Sprague, a well-to-do physician and warm patriot who has been mentioned earlier in these letters; on Sprague's house in Dedham see Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 10:241. Accompanying JA were his servant (John Turner) and one of the two recently elected additional Massachusetts delegates, James Lovell. JA's somewhat imperfect account with Massachusetts for his expenses on this journey is printed from the Adams Papers in his Diary and Autobiography, 2:252–253, and his experiences on the way are rather fully described in his letters to AA that follow here. Under the threat of Howe's army in the Jerseys, Congress had adjourned from Philadelphia on 12 Dec. 1776 and reassembled at Baltimore on the 20th (JCC, 6:1027–1028). The travelers took a wide arc around the opposing armies, and their precise itinerary is given in a paper docketed by JA “Mr. Lovells Account,” which is receipted by Lovell to JA and is in the Adams Papers under the assigned date 1776–1777 (but should be Jan. 1777). The itinerary and payments for food, lodgings, &c. (for the whole party of men and horses), are given by Lovell as follows:
Dedham     6:    
Medfield     4:   6  
Medway     7:    
Mendon   1:   1:    
Duglass     2:    
Killingly     4:    
Thompson     9:   4  
Pomfrett     4:    
Kenneday     5:    
Windham     15:   6  
Coventry     6:   8  
East Hartford     10:   6  
Hartford   1:   6:   6  
Farmington     6:    
Southington     15:   6  
Waterbury     5:    
Woodbury     15:   2  
New Milford     7:    
New Fairfield     14:    
Beekman's Precinct     6:    
Fish Kills     16:    
Hackinsac     11:   3  
Pokeepsie   1:   2:    
River N[or]th     3:   7  
New Marlbro'     1:   6  
New Windsor     9:    
Bethlehem     13:   10  
Goshen     5:   8  
Warwick     7:   4  
Hardystown     14:    
Sussex Court House     10:   6  
Log Jail   1:     4  
Oxford Township     9:   4  
Oxford     8:    
Greenwich     4:    
Delaware River     1:   10  
East Town   1:   18:   8  
Bethlehem   2:   16:   11  
Ferry     1:   3  
Chester   1:     3  
{ 145 }
Wilmington     8:    
Newark     14:   6  
Notingham     19:   9  
Susquehannah     12:   10  
Hartford   1:   2:   6  
Godsgraces     18:   7  
  27:   12:   1  
JA's two-thirds share is indicated as £18 8s.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0101

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-01-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The Riding has been so hard and rough, and the Weather so cold that We have not been able to push farther than this Place. My little Colt has performed very well hitherto, and I think will carry me through the Journey, very pleasantly.
Our Spirits have been cheered, by two or three Pieces of good News, which Commissary Trumble1 who is now with me, tells us, he saw Yesterday in a Letter from G[eneral] Washington, who has gained another considerable Advantage of the Enemy at Stonny Brook in the Jersies, as G[eneral] Putnam has gained another at Burlington, and the Jersy Militia a third.2 The Particulars, you will have before this reaches you in the public Prints.
The Communication of Intelligence begins to be more open, and We have no Apprehensions of Danger in the Rout We shall take.
How [Howe] has Reason to repent of his Rashness, and will have more.
My Love to my dear little ones. They are all very good Children and I have no doubt will continue so. I will drop a Line as often as I can. Adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree”; franked: “Free John Adams”; docketed in pencil by AA.
1. Joseph Trumbull (1737–1778), Harvard 1756 (DAB).
2. These were actions in Washington's daring and highly successful winter campaign to drive in the British and Hessian advanced posts in New Jersey, resulting in American victories at Trenton and Princeton. See his letters to Pres. Hancock, 27 Dec. 1776 and 5 Jan. 1777 (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 6:441–444, 467–471).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0102

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-01-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

It is now generally believed here that G. Washington has killed and taken at least two Thousands of Mr. Howes Army since Christmas. Indeed the Evidence of it is from the Generals own Letters. You know I ever thought Mr. Hows march through the Jerseys a rash Step. It has proved so—but how much more so would it have been { 146 } thought if the Americans could all have viewed it in that light and exerted themselves as they might and ought. The whole Flock would infallibly have been taken in the Net.
The little Nest of Hornets in Rhode Island—is it to remain unmolested this Winter? The Honour of N[ew] E[ngland] is concerned—if they are not crushed I will never again glory in being a N.E. man. There are now N.E. Generals, Officers and soldiers and if something is not done, any Man may after that call New England men Poltroons with all my Heart.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree”; docketed in pencil by AA.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0103

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-01-17
Date: 1777-01-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

After a March like that of Hannibal over the Alps We arrived last Night at this Place, Where We found the Utmost Difficulty to get Forage for our Horses, and Lodgings for ourselves, and at last were indebted to the Hospitality of a private Gentleman Coll. Brinkhoff [Brinckerhoff], who very kindly cared for Us.
We came from Hartford through Farmington, Southington, Waterbury, Woodbury, New Milford, New Fairfield, the Oblong, &c. to Fish Kill. Of all the Mountains I ever passed these are the worst.—We found one Advantage however in the Cheapness of Travelling.
I dont find one half of the Discontent, nor of the Terror here that I left in the Massachusetts. People seem sanguine that they shall do something grand this Winter.
I am well, and in good Spirits.—My Horse performs extreemly well. He clambers over Mountains that my old Mare would have stumbled on. The Weather has been dreadfully severe.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree To be left at Isaac Smith Esqrs. in Queen Street Boston”; docketed in pencil by AA: “Jan 16” (though JA had left only a blank space in the dateline for the month and day).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0104

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-01-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

There is too much Ice in Hudsons River to cross it in Ferry Boats and too little to cross it, without, in most Places, which has given Us { 147 } the Trouble of riding up the Albany Road as far as this Place, where We expect to go over on the Ice, but if We should be dissappointed here, We must go up as far as Esopus about fifteen miles farther.
This, as well as Fish-kill is a pretty Village. We are almost wholly among the Dutch—Zealous against the Tories, who have not half the Tranquillity here that they have in the Town of Boston, after all the Noise that has been made about N. York Tories.
We are treated with the Utmost Respect, wherever We go, and have met with nothing like an Insult, from any Person whatever. I heard ten Reflections, and twenty Sighs and Groans, among my Constituents to one here.
I shall never have done hoping that my Countrymen will contrive some Coup de main, for the Wretches at Newport. The Winter is the Time. Our Enemies have divided their Force. Let Us take Advantage of it.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree”; added on the cover in the hand of Isaac Smith Sr.: “Yrs. IS”; docketed in pencil by AA.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0105

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-01-20

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This Morning We crossed the North River at Poughkeepsie, on the Ice, after having ridden many Miles on the East side of it to find a proper Place. We landed at New Marlborough, and passed through that and Newborough [Newburgh] to New Windsor, where We dined. This Place is nearly opposite to Fish kill, and but little above the Highlands, where Fort Constitution and Fort Montgomery stand. The Highlands are a grand Sight, a range of vast Mountains, which seem to be rolling like a tumbling Sea.—From New Windser, We came to this Place, Where We put up, and now We have a free and uninterrupted Passage in a good Road to Pensilvania.
General Washington with his little Army is at Morris town. Cornwallis with his larger one at Brunswick. Oh that the Continental Army was full. Now is the Time.
My little Horse holds out, finely, altho We have lost much Time and travelled a great deal of unnecessary Way, to get over the North River.
We have Reports of our Peoples taking Fort Washington again, and taking 400 more Prisoners and six more Pieces of Cannon—but as I { 148 } know not the Persons who bring these Accounts I pay no Attention to them.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree”; added on the cover in the hand of Isaac Smith Sr.: “Ys. [i.e. Yours] IS”; docketed in pencil by AA.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0106

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-01-24

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We have at last crossed the Delaware, and are agreably lodged in Easton, a little Town, situated on a Point of Land formed by the Delaware on one Side and the River Lehi, on the other. There is an elegant Stone Church here built by the Dutch People,1 by whom the Town is chiefly inhabited, and what is remarkable because uncommon, the Lutherans and Calvinists united to build this Church, and the Lutheran and Calvinist Minister, alternately officiate in it. There is also an handsome Court House. The Buildings public and private are all of Lime stone.—Here are some Dutch Jews.
Yesterday We had the Pleasure of seeing the Moravian Mills in New Jersey. These Mills belong to the Society of Moravians in Bethlehem in Pensilvania. They are a great Curiosity. The Building is of Limestone four Stories high. It is not in my Power to give a particular Description of this Piece of Mechanism. A vast Quantity of Grain of all sorts is collected here.2
We have passed through the famous County of Sussex in New Jersey, where the Sussex Court House stands and where We have so often been told the Tories are so numerous and so dangerous. We met with no Molestation, nor Insult. We stopped at some of the most noted Tory Houses, and were treated every where with the Utmost Respect. Upon the strictest Inquiry I could make, I was assured that a great Majority of the Inhabitants are stanch Whiggs. Sussex they say can take Care of Sussex, and yet all agree that there are more Tories in that County [than in a]ny3 other. If the British Army should get into that County in sufficient Numbers to protect the Tories there is no doubt to be made they would be insolent enough and malicious and revengefull. But there is no danger at present and will be none untill that Event takes Place.
The Weather has been sometimes bitterly cold, sometimes warm, sometimes rainy and sometimes snowy, and the Roads, abominably { 149 } hard and rough, so that this Journey has been the most tedious I ever attempted. Our Accommodations have been often, very bad, but much better and cheaper than they would have been if We had taken the Road from Peeks Kill to Morriston where the Army lies.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree To be left at Isaac Smith Esqrs. Queen Street. Boston”; docketed in pencil by AA.
1. That is, “Pennsylvania Dutch,” or Germans.
2. These famous mills were at Hope, near Oxford, in Sussex co., N.J. According to Bishop Kenneth G. Hamilton of the Archives of the Moravian Church, Bethlehem, Penna., “the old stone buildings are still standing, and the grist mill is still a showpiece” (communication to the editors, 6 Aug. 1962).
3. MS torn by seal.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0107

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-01-26

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Tis a Great Grief to me that I know not how to write nor where to send to you. I know not of any conveyance. I risk this by Major R[ic]e who promisses to take what care he can to get it to you.
I have Received 3 Letters from you since you left me, 2 from H[artfor]d and one from D[edha]m. Tis a satisfaction to hear tho only by a line.
We are told the most dissagreable things by use become less so. I cannot say that I find the truth of the observation verified. I am sure no seperation was ever so painfull to me as the last. Many circumstances concur to make it so—the distance and the difficulty of communication, the Hazards which if not real, my immagination represents so, all conspire [to]1 make me anxious, as well as what I need not [ . . . ] mention.2
I wish to Hear often from you and when a conveniant opportunity offers let me know how you like your waiter. Many reports have been circulated since you went away concerning him none of which I regard as I find no proof to support them. One is that he is a deserted Regular, a Spy &c. I find tis all Suspicion or else told with a design to make me uneasy, but it has not that Effect.
The family are all well, and desire Pappa would write to them.—I rejoice in our late Successes. Heaven grant us a continuation of them.
Your M[othe]r desires to be rememberd to you.
I long to hear of your arrival and to get one Letter from B[altimor]e. The Situation will be new and afford me entertainment by an account of it. At all times remember in the tenderest manner her whose happiness depends upon your Welfare,
[signed] Portia
{ 150 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Baltimore in Maryland”; endorsed: “Portia. Jany. 26.”
1. Here and below, MS is torn by seal.
2. AA was pregnant. On the following 11 July she was delivered of a stillborn daughter. See various letters in June and July, below, especially John Thaxter to JA, 13 July, and AA to JA, 16 July. CFA omitted the present letter from his editions of his grandparents' correspondence and, consistently and silently, all allusions to AA's “Circumstances” in such of the following letters as he did include.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0108

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1777-01

Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] Dear Marcia

Tis so long since I took a pen up to write a line that I fear you have thought me unmindfull of you; I should not have neglected writing to you immediately upon the receipt of your obliging favour especially as you was then under great anxiety. My Eyes ever since the small pox have been great Sufferers. Writing puts them to great pain.—I now congratulate my Friend upon the Recovery of her amiable family from so Malignant a disease and Mr. Winslow in perticuliar who I heard was under some concern and apprehension from it.2
You my Friend then experienced in some measure what I passd through in the Summer past only with this difference that your Friend was within a days ride of you mine hundreds of miles Distant.—O Marcia how many hundred miles this moment seperate us—my heart Bleads at the recollection. Many circumstances conspire to make this Seperation more greivious to me than any which has before taken place. The distance, the difficulty of communication, and the many hazards which my immagination represents as real (if they are not so) from Brittains, Hessians and Tories, render me at times very unhappy. I had it in my Heart to disswade him from going and I know I could have prevaild, but our publick affairs at that time wore so gloomy an aspect that I thought if ever his assistance was wanted, it must be at such a time. I therefore resignd my self to suffer much anxiety and many Melancholy hours for this year to come. I know you have a sympathetick feeling Heart or I should not dare indulge myself in relateing my Griefs.
Many unfortunate as well as prosperious Events have taken place in our publick affairs since I had the pleasure of seeing or writing to you. Lee poor Lee—the loss at fort[s] Washington and Lee together did not affect me eaquelly with the loss of that Brave and Experienced General. He has an unconq[uerable] Spirit, imprisonment must be greivious indeed to him.
{ 151 }
I am apt to think that our late misfortunes have called out the hidden Excellencies of our Commander in chief—“affliction is the good mans shining time.” The critical state of our affairs has shown him to great advantage. Heaven grant that his Successes may be continued to him, tis Natural to estimate the military abilities of a man according to his Successes.
Can you, do you? credit the report that is circulating with regard to the Farmer.3 We may well adopt the words of the Psalmist—

Lord what is Man?

I was mortified the other day when I heard the Colonel passd this House without calling. I hope he will not forget me when he returns. My Regards to Mrs. Lothrope and all the little folks. Pray write to me soon, I will endeavour to be better for the future. Yours,
[signed] Portia
Dft (Adams Papers); dated conjecturally by JQA at head of text: “1776. Novr.,” but see note 1.
1. This undated draft is evidently a reply to Mrs. Warren's “obliging favour” of 1 Dec. 1776, above, but it was not written until some time after JA's departure from Braintree for Baltimore on 9 Jan. 1777. Since it contains one passage nearly identical in phrasing with one in AA to JA, 26 Jan., preceding, it was probably written at about the same time.
2. Winslow Warren (1759–1791) was the 2d son of James and Mercy (Otis) Warren; he traveled in Europe during the 1780's and crossed the Adamses' path several times; he was killed in St. Clair's defeat on the Wabash. See Mrs. Washington A. Roebling, Richard Warren of the Mayflower . . . , Boston, 1901, p. 28; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:402–403; Warren-Adams Letters, passim; Charles Warren, “A Young American's Adventures in England and France during the Revolutionary War,” MHS, Procs., 65 (1932–1936): 234–267, an article based on Winslow Warren's correspondence with his parents in MHi.
3. John Dickinson. What the current “report” about him was does not appear.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0109

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-02-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Last Evening We arrived safe in this Town after the longest Journey, and through the worst Roads and the worst Weather, that I have ever experienced. My Horses performed extreamly well.
Baltimore is a very pretty Town, situated on Petapsco River, which empties itself into the great Bay of Cheasapeak. The Inhabitants are all good Whiggs, having sometime ago banished all the Tories from among them. The Streets are very dirty and miry, but every Thing else is agreable except the monstrous Prices of Things. We cannot get an Horse kept under a Guinea a Week. Our Friends are well.
{ 152 }
The continental Army is filling up fast, here and in Virginia. I pray that the Massachusetts may not fail of its Quota, in Season.
In this Journey, We have crossed four mighty Rivers, Connecticutt, Hudson, Delaware, and Susquehannah. The two first We crossed upon the Ice, the two last in Boats—the last We crossed, a little above the Place where it empties into Cheasapeak Bay.
I think I have never been better pleased with any of our American States than with Maryland. We saw most excellent Farms all along the Road, and what was very striking to me, I saw more sheep and more flax in Maryland than I ever saw in riding a like Distance in any other State. We scarce passed a Farm without seeing a fine flock of sheep, and scarce an House without seeing Men or Women, dressing Flax. Several Times We saw Women, breaking and swingling this necessary Article.
I have been to Meeting, and heard my old Acquaintance Mr. Allison, a worthy Clergyman of this Town whom I have often seen in Philadelphia.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For Mrs. John Adams Braintree To be left at Mr. Isaac Smiths in Queen Street Boston”; docketed in pencil by AA.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0110

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-02-03

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This Day has been observed in this Place, with exemplary Decency and Solemnity, in Consequence of an Appointment of the Government, in Observance of a Recommendation of Congress, as a Day of Fasting. I went to the Presbyterian Meeting and heard Mr. Allison deliver a most pathetic and animating, as well as pious, patriotic and elegant Discourse. I have seldom been better pleased or more affected with a sermon.
The Presbyterian Meeting House in Baltimore stands upon an Hill just at the Back of the Town, from whence We have a very fair Prospect of the Town, and of the Water upon which it stands, and of the Country round it. Behind this Eminence, which is the Bacon [Beacon] Hill of Baltimore, lies a beautifull Meadow, which is entirely incircled by a Stream of Water. This most beautifull Scaene must be partly natural and partly artificial. Beyond the Meadow and Canall, you have a charming View of the Country. Besides the Meeting House there is upon this Height, a large and elegant Court House, as yet unfinished within, and a small Church of England in which an old Clergyman { 153 } officiates, Mr. Chase, Father of Mr. Chace1 one of the Delegates of Maryland, who they say is not so zealous a Whigg as the Son.
I shall take Opportunities to describe this Town and State more particularly to you hereafter. I shall inquire into their Religion, their Laws, their Customs, their Manners, their Descent and Education, their Learning, their Schools and Colledges and their Morals.—It was said of Ulysses I think that he saw the Manners of many Men and many Cities, which is like to be my Case, as far as American Men and Cities extend, provided Congress should continue in the rolling Humour, which I hope they will not. I wish however, that my Mind was more at rest than it is, that I might be able to make more exact Observations of Men and Things as far as I go.
When I reflect upon the Prospect before me of so long an Absence from all that I hold dear in this World, I mean all that contributes to my private personal Happiness, it makes me melancholly. When I think on your Circumstances I am more so, and yet I rejoice at them in spight of all this Melancholly.—God almightys Providence protect and bless you and yours and mine.
RC and LbC (Adams Papers). This day JA resumed his practice of keeping copies of his outgoing letters; the present letter is the third in a new folio letterbook (Lb/JA/3) containing entries for both family and other letters. But he wrote numerous letters from Congress during 1777, to both AA and others, of which he did not keep copies; see descriptive notes on JA to AA, 27 April, 25–27 May, both below.
1. JA long persisted in spelling the name of his friend and fellow delegate Samuel Chase in this way. Samuel's father, an immigrant from England, was Thomas Chase, rector of St. Paul's, Baltimore (DAB, under Samuel Chase).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0111

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-02-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I am at last after a great deal of Difficulty, settled in comfortable Quarters, but at an infinite Expence. . . .1 The Price I pay for my Board is more moderate than any other Gentlemen give, excepting my Colleagues, who are all in the same Quarters,2 and at the same Rates except Mr. H[ancock] who keeps an House by himself.
The Prices of Things here, are much more intollerable than at Boston.
The Attempt of New England to regulate Prices, is extreamly popular in Congress, who will recommend an Imitation of it to the other States: for my own Part I expect only a partial and a temporary Re• { 154 } lief from it. And I fear that after a Time the Evils will break out with greater Violence. The Water will flow with greater Rapidity for having been dammed up for a Time. The only radical Cure will be to stop the Emission of more Paper, and to draw in some that is already out, and devise Means effectually to support the Credit of the Rest.3
To this End We must begin forthwith to tax the People, as largely as the distressed Circumstances of the Country will bear. We must raise the Interest from four to six Per Cent. We must if possible borrow Silver and Gold from abroad. We must, above all Things, endeavour this Winter, to gain farther Advantages of the Enemy, that our Power may be in somewhat higher Reputation than it is, or rather than it has been.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree favoured by Mr. Hall”; docketed in pencil by AA. LbC (Adams Papers).
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. “at Mrs. Ross'es in Markett Street, Baltimore a few Doors below the fountain Inn” (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:257).
3. See JA's speeches in Congress on this subject, 10 and 14 Feb., as recorded in Benjamin Rush's minutes of debates (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:245, 252). On the Massachusetts pricefixing act of Jan. 1777, see AA to JA, 8 Feb., below, and note there.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0112

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-02-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I think, in some Letter I sent you, since I left Bethlehem, I promised you a more particular Account of that curious and remarkable Town.
When We first came in sight of the Town, We found a Country better cultivated and more agreably diversified with Prospects of orchards and Fields, Groves and Meadows, Hills and Valleys, than any We had seen.
When We came into the Town We were directed to a public House kept by a Mr. Johnson, which I think was the best Inn, I ever saw. It belongs it seems to the Society, is furnished, at their Expence, and is kept for their Profit, or at their Loss. Here you might find every Accommodation that you could wish for yourself, your servants and Horses, and at no extravagant Rates neither.1
The Town is regularly laid out, the Streets straight and at right Angles like those in Philadelphia. It stands upon an Eminence and has a fine large Brook flowing on one End of it, and the Lehigh a Branch of the Delaware on the other. Between the Town and the Lehigh are beautifull public Gardens.
{ 155 }
They have carried the mechanical Arts to greater Perfection here than in any Place which I have seen. They have a sett of Pumps which go by Water, which force the Water up through leaden Pipes, from the River to the Top of the Hill, near an hundred feet, and to the Top of a little Building, in the shape of a Pyramid, or Obelisk, which stands upon the Top of the Hill and is twenty or thirty feet high. From this Fountain Water is conveyed in Pipes to every Part of the Town.
Upon the River they have a fine Sett of Mills. The best Grist Mills and bolting Mills, that are any where to be found. The best fulling Mills, an oil Mill, a Mill to grind Bark for the Tanyard, a Dying House where all Colours are died, Machines for shearing Cloth &c.
There are three public Institutions here of a very remarkable Nature. One, a Society of the young Men, another of the young Women, and a Third of the Widows. There is a large Building, divided into many Appartments, where the young Men reside, by themselves, and carry on their several Trades. They pay a Rent to the Society for their Rooms, and they pay for their Board, and what they earn is their own.
There is another large Building, appropriated in the same Manner to the young Women. There is a Governess, a little like the Lady Abbess, in some other Institutions, who has the Superintendence of the whole, and they have elders. Each Apartment has a Number of young Women, who are vastly industrious, some Spinning, some Weaving, others employed in all the most curious Works in Linnen, Wool, Cotton, Silver and Gold, Silk and Velvet. This Institution displeased me much. Their Dress was uniform and clean, but very inelegant. Their Rooms were kept extreamly warm with Dutch Stoves: and the Heat, the Want of fresh Air and Exercise, relaxed the poor Girls in such a manner, as must I think destroy their Health. Their Countenances were languid and pale.
The Society of Widows is very similar. Industry and Economy are remarkable in all these Institutions.
They shewed Us their Church which is hung round with Pictures of our Saviour from his Birth to his Death, Resurrection and Ascention. It is done with very strong Colours, and very violent Passions, but not in a very elegant Taste. The Painter who is still living in Bethelehem, but very old—he has formerly been in Italy, the school of Paints.2 They have a very good organ in their Church of their own make. They have a public Building, on Purpose for the Reception of the dead, to which the Corps is carried as soon as it expires, where it lies untill the Time of Sepulture.
Christian Love is their professed Object, but it is said they love { 156 } Money and make their public Institutions subservient to the Gratification of that Passion.
They suffer no Law suits with one another, and as few as possible with other Men. It is said that they now profess to be against War.
They have a Custom, peculiar, respecting Courtship and Marriage. The Elders pick out Pairs to be coupled together, who have no Opportunity of Conversing together, more than once or twice, before the Knot is tied. The Youth of the two sexes have very little Conversation with one another, before Marriage.
Mr. Hassey,3 a very agreable, sensible Gentleman, who shewed Us the Curiosities of the Place, told me, upon Inquiry that they profess the Augsburg Confession of Faith, are Lutherans rather than Calvinists, distinguish between Bishops and Presbyters, but have no Idea of the Necessity of the uninterrupted Succession, are very liberal and candid in their Notions in opposition to Bigottry, and live in Charity with all Denominations.4
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in pencil by AA. LbC (Adams Papers).
1. This was the Sun Inn, kept by Just Jansen (1719–1790), a native of Jutland and former mariner who had come to Bethlehem in the 1750's (William C. Reichel, The Old Sun Inn at Bethlehem ..., Doylestown, Penna., 1873, p. 23 and note).
2. Thus in both RC and LbC.
3. Brother Johann Christian Hasse (1740–1797), born and educated in Germany, served from 1771 as bookkeeper or secretary for the Moravian Church administration (communication from Bishop Kenneth G. Hamilton, Archives of the Moravian Church, Bethlehem, to the editors, 6 Aug. 1962).
4. A Moravian diary kept at Bethlehem briefly mentions JA's visit there on 25–26 Jan.; see PMHB, 12:397 (Jan. 1889). In September JA visited this Moravian community again and made further observations on it (Diary and Autobiography, 2:266–267; see also an illustration in same, facing p. 163).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0113

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-08

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Before this time I fancy you at your journeys end; I have pittied you the Season has been a continued cold.
I have heard oftner from you than I ever did in any of your former journeys, it has greatly releaved my mind under its anxiety. I have received six Letters from you, and have the double pleasure of hearing you are well, and that your Thoughts are often turnd this way.
I have wrote once by Major Rice. Two Gentlemen set of for B[altimor]e monday or twesday and have engaged to take this Letter. I feel under so many restraints when I sit down to write that I scarcly know what to say to you. The conveyance of Letters is so precarious that I { 157 } shall not trust any thing of consequence to them untill we have more regular passes.
Indeed very little of any consequence has taken place since you left us. We seem to be in a state of Tranquility; rather too much so. I wish there was a little more Zeal shewn to join the Army.
Nothing now but the regulating Bill engrosses their attention. The merchant scolds, the farmer growls, and every one seems wroth that he cannot grind his neighbour.1
We have a report here said to come in two private Letters that a Considerable Battle has taken place in Brunswick in which we have taken 15000 prisoners. I cannot credit so Good News. The Letters are said to be without date.
I rejoice so much when I only receive a few lines from you, just to hear you are well, that I think I shall give eaquel pleasure by writing to you, tho I cannot say I have enjoyed so much Health since you left me as I did in the begining of winter. Johnny has had an ill turn, but is better.
I beg you would write by every opportunity, and if you cannot send so often as you used write and Let them lay by till you make a pacquet.—What is become of the Farmer, many reports are abroad to his disadvantage.
I feel as if you were gone to a foreign Country. Philadelphia seem'd close by but now I hardly know how to reconcile my self to the Thought that you are 500 miles distant. But tho distant you are always near to
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Baltimore in Maryland”; endorsed: “Portia ans. March 7.”
1. The “regulating Bill” was An Act to prevent Monopoly and Oppression, passed 25 Jan. 1777 (Mass., Province Laws, 5:583–589). This long and detailed act hopefully fixed wages for labor and the prices of every sort of commodity, both domestic and imported, very precisely. A supplementary act was passed on 10 May (same, p. 642–647), but the ineffectualness of the legislation is attested by complaints from both buyers and sellers in numerous letters that follow.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0114

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-02-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yesterday, I took a long Walk with our Secretary Mr. Thompson to a Place called Fells Point, a remarkable Piece of Ground about a mile from the Town of Baltimore. It is a Kind of Peninsula which runs out { 158 } into the Harbour, and forms a Bason before the Town. This Bason, within thirty Years, was deep enough for large Tobacco ships to ride in, but since that Time has filled up ten Feet, so that none but small light Vessells can now come in. Between the Town and the Point We pass a Bridge over a small run of Water which empties itself into the Bason, and is the only Stream which runs into it and is quite insufficient to float away the Earth which every year runs into the Bason from the dirty streets of the Town and the neighbouring Hills and fields.1
There are four Men of War just entered Cheasapeak Bay, which makes it difficult for Vessells to go out, and indeed has occasioned an Embargo to be laid here for the present. Your Uncle2 has two Vessells here, both detained—one is now employed as a Transport for a little While. These Men of War will disappoint you of your Barrell of flour. Your Uncle's Vessells would sell very well here. Hardens would fetch 800 Pounds of this Money.3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. John Adams Braintree favoured by [no name given]”; added in the hand of Isaac Smith Sr.: “Postage 6/ Yrs. I Smith”; docketed in pencil by AA. LbC (Adams Papers) is an abstract: “10 Feb. wrote a short Letter to Portia, which I had not Time to transcribe, and sent it by a Hand of Captn. Arnold who is here from the Mass. Board of War.—The Letter contains nothing but an observation or two concerning Fells Point and the Bason before the Town, and one or Two things about her Uncles Vessells.”
1. JA continued this description in his second letter of this day, following. Compare the entry of 9 Feb. 1777 in his Diary and Autobiography, 2:258–259.
2. Isaac Smith Sr.
3. Last two words worn in MS and barely legible. Apparently JA means Pennsylvania currency, the money used in Maryland.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0115

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-02-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Fells Point, which I mentioned in a Letter this Morning, has a considerable Number of Houses upon it. The Shipping all lies now at this Point. You have from it on one side a compleat View of the Harbour, and on the other a fine Prospect of the Town of Baltimore. You see the Hill, in full View and the Court House, the Church and Meeting House, upon it. The Court House makes an haughty Appearance, from this Point. There is a Fortification erected, on this Point with a Number of Embrasures for Cannon facing the Narrows which make the Entrance into the Harbour. At the Narrows they have a Fort, with a Garrison in it.
{ 159 }
It is now a Month and a few days, since I left you. I have heard nothing from you, nor received a Letter from the Massachusetts. I hope the Post Office will perform better than it has done.
I am anxious to hear how you do. I have in my Mind a Source of Anxiety, which I never had before, since I became such a Wanderer. You know what it is. Cant you convey to me, in Hieroglyphicks, which no other Person can comprehend, Information which will relieve me. Tell me you are as well as can be expected.
My Duty to your Papa and my Mamma. Love to Brothers, and Sisters. Tell Betcy I hope She is married.—Tho I want to throw the Stocking. My Respects to Mr. S[haw]. Tell him he may be a Calvinist if he will, provided always that he preserves his Candour, Charity and Moderation.1
What shall I say of or to my N. J. C. and T.?2 What will they say to me for leaving them, their Education and Fortune so much to the Disposal of Chance?—May almighty and allgracious Providence protect, and bless them.
I have this Day sent my Resignation of a certain mighty office.3 It has relieved me from a Burden, which has a long Time oppress'd me. But I am determined, that, while I am ruining my Constitution of Mind and Body, and running dayly Risques of my Life and Fortune in Defence of the Independency of my Country, I will not knowingly resign my own.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For Mrs: Adams at Mr. John Adams's Braintree favd. by Mr. Hall”; docketed in pencil by AA. LbC (Adams Papers) is an abstract: “Wrote another Letter the same day to Portia, about indifferent Things of no Consequence—only informed her of the above Resignation [see note 3 below] and that I was determind that while I was ruining my Constitution both of Mind and Body, and running daily Risques of Life and Fortune in defence of the Independency of my Country, I would not knowingly resign my own.”
1. On the following 16 Oct. AA's sister Elizabeth was to marry Rev. John Shaw at Weymouth. JA did not “throw the Stocking” because he was still attending Congress. AA held very different views of her sister's engagement; see her letter to JA of 8–10 March, below.
2. Nabby, Johnny, Charley, and Tommy. CFA's text in Familiar Letters, p. 244, reads: “my children.”
3. The chief justiceship of Massachusetts. JA's resignation was in a letter to the Massachusetts Council, enclosed in a letter to Deputy Secretary John Avery, both dated this day and both found as letterbook copies in Adams Papers; enclosure printed in JA, Works, 3:25. Besides numerous references to JA's appointment and resignation as chief justice in the present volumes from 31 July 1775 on, see also his Diary and Autobiography, 3:359–363; Avery to JA, 7 March (Adams Papers); and JA to Avery, 21 March (LbC, Adams Papers, printed in Works, 9:457–458).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0116

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-12

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Mr. Bromfield was so obliging as to write me Word that he designd a journey to the Southern States, and would take perticuliar care of a Letter to you. I rejoice in so good an opportunity of letting you know that I am well as usual, but that I have not yet got reconciled to the great distance between us. I have many melancholy Hours when the best company is urksome to me, and solitude the greatest happiness I can enjoy.
I wait most earnestly for a Letter to bring me the welcome tidings of your safe arrival. I hope you will be very perticuliar and let me know how you are after your fatigueing journey. How you are accommodated. How you like Maryland. What state of mind you find the C[ongre]ss in, and what may be communicated relative to their proceedings. You know how little intelegance we received during your stay here with regard to what was passing there or in the Army. We know no better now, all communication seems to be embaressed. I got more knowledge from a Letter wrote to you from your Namesake which I received since you left me,1 than I had before obtaind since you left P[hiladelphi]a. I find by that Letter that six Hessian officers together with Col. Campel had been offerd in exchange for General Lee. I fear he receives very ill Treatment, the terms were not complied with as poor Campbel finds. He was much surprized when the officers went to take him, and beg'd to know what he had been guilty of? They told him it was no crime of his own but they were obliged tho reluctantly to commit him to Concord jail in consequence of the ill treatment of General Lee. He then beged to know how long his confinement was to last, they told him that was imposible for them to say, since it lay wholy in the power of General How to determine it.2
By a vessel from Bilboa we have accounts of the safe arrival of Dr. F——g in France ten day[s] before She saild;3 a French Gentleman who came passenger says we may rely upon it that 200 thousand Russians will be here in the Spring.
A Lethargy seems to have seazd our Country Men. I hear no more of molessting or routing those troops at Newport than of attacking Great Britain.
We just begin to talk of raising our Men for the Standing Army. I wish to know whether the reports may be Credited of the Southern Regiments being full?
You will write me by the Bearer of this Letter, to whose care you { 161 } may venture to commit any thing you have Liberty to Communicate. I have wrote you twice before this, hope you have received them. The Children all desire to be rememberd—so does your
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in an unidentified hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Portia. ans. March 7.”
1. Samuel Adams to JA, Baltimore, 9 Jan. 1777 (Adams Papers), printed in JA, Works, 9:448–450.
2. Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell of the 71st Regiment of Highlanders, a member of Parliament, had been captured when the transport in which he had come out put into Boston harbor just after the British squadron had left there in June 1776 (DNB; William Bell Clark, George Washington's Navy, Baton Rouge, 1960, p. 160 ff.). When placed in a common jail at Concord in retaliation for alleged British mistreatment of Gen. Charles Lee, Campbell appealed to Washington, who wrote the Massachusetts Council a severe letter on the subject, 28 Feb. 1777 (Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 7:207–208).
3. AA commonly spelled Franklin's name “Frankling.” He had sailed from the Delaware on 29 Oct. and arrived at Nantes on 8 Dec. or a day or so before (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:216–217, 221).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0117

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-02-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Mr. Hall, by whom this Letter will be sent, will carry several Letters to you, which have been written and delivered to him, several Days. He has settled his Business, agreably.
I have not received a Line from the Massachusetts, since I left it.
Whether We shall return to Philadelphia, soon, or not, I cannot say. I rather conjecture it will not be long. You may write to me, in Congress, and the Letter will be brought me, wherever I shall be.
I am settled now agreably enough in my Lodgings, there is nothing in this Respect that lies uneasily upon my Mind, except the most extravagant Price which I am obliged to give for every Thing. My Constituents will think me extravagant, but I am not. I wish I could sell or send home my Horses, but I cannot. I must have Horses and a Servant, for Congress will be likely to remove several Times in the Course of the ensuing Year.
I am impatient to hear from you, and most tenderly anxious for your Health and Happiness. I am also most affectionately solicitous for my dear N. J. C. and T. to whom remember Yours.1
We long to hear of the Formation of a new Army. We shall loose the most happy opportunity of destroying the Enemy this Spring, if We do not exert ourselves instantly.
We have from New Hampshire a Coll. Thornton, a Physician by { 162 } Profession, a Man of Humour. He has a large Budget of droll Stories, with which he entertains Company perpetually.
I heard about Twenty or five and twenty Years ago, a Story of a Physician in Londonderry, who accidentally met with one of our new England Enthusiasts, call'd Exh[orters].2 The Fanatic soon began to examine the Dr. concerning the Articles of his Faith, and what he thought of original Sin?
Why, says the Dr., I satisfy myself about it in this manner. Either original Sin is divisible or indivisible. If it was divisible every descendant of Adam and Eve must have a Part, and the share which falls to each Individual at this Day, is so small a Particle, that I think it is not worth considering. If indivisible, then the whole Quantity must have descended in a right Line, and must now be possessed by one Person only, and the Chances are Millions and Millions and Millions to one that that Person is now in Asia or Africa, and that I have nothing to do with it.
I told Thornton the story and that I suspected him to be the Man.3 He said he was. He belongs to Londonderry.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. John Adams's Braintree”; docketed in pencil by AA.
1. JA evidently intended to break off here, but then resumed on a second page.
2. MS torn by seal.
3. That is, the man who answered the exhorter. Dr. Matthew Thornton (ca. 1714–1803) was a delegate to the Continental Congress from New Hampshire, 1776–1777 (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0118

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-02-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

It was this Day determined, to adjourn, tomorrow Week to Philadelphia.1
How, as you know my opinion always was, will repent his mad march through the Jersies. The People of that Commonwealth, begin to raise their Spirits exceedingly, and to be firmer than ever. They are actuated by Resentment now, and Resentment coinciding with Principle is a very powerfull Motive.
I have got into the old Routine of War Office and Congress, which takes up my Time in such a manner that I can scarce write a Line. I have not Time to think, nor to speak.
There is an united States Lottery abroad.2 I believe you had better buy a Tickett and make a Present of it to our four sweet ones, not for• { 163 } getting the other sweet one. Let us try their Luck. I hope they will be more lucky than their Papa has ever been, or ever will be.
I am as well as can be expected. How it happens I dont know nor how long it will last. My Disposition was naturally gay and chearfull, but the <awful> Prospects I have ever had before me, and these cruel Times will make me melancholly. I who would not hurt the Hair of the Head of any Animal, I who am always made miserable by the Misery of every sensible being, that comes to my Knowledge, am obliged to hear continual Accounts of the Barbarities, the cruel Murders in cold Blood, even by the most tormenting Ways of starving and freezing, committed by our Enemies, and continual Accounts of the Deaths and Diseases contracted by our People by their own Imprudence.
These Accounts harrow me beyond Description.3
These incarnate Daemons say in great Composure, [“that]4 Humanity is a Yankey Virtue.—But that they [are] governed by Policy.”—Is there any Policy on this side of Hell, that is inconsistent with Humanity? I have no Idea of it. I know of no Policy, God is my Witness but this—Piety, Humanity and Honesty are the best Policy.
Blasphemy, Cruelty, and Villany have prevailed and may again. But they wont prevail against America, in this Contest, because I find the more of them are employed the less they succeed.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. John Adams's Braintree”; docketed in pencil by AA.
1. That is, Congress was to adjourn at Baltimore on the 25th, but on that day the adjournment was suspended in consequence of letters received from Gen. Washington and Robert Morris. On the 27th Congress adjourned to “Wednesday next [5 March], to meet at the State House in Philadelphia,” but a quorum was not assembled there until 12 March. See JCC, 7:127, 157 and note, 168, 169.
2. Authorized by Congress in Nov. 1776; see Lucius Wilmerding Jr., “The United States Lottery,” N.Y. Hist. Soc., Quart., 47:5–39 (Jan. 1963).
3. MS: “Destription.”
4. Here and below, MS is torn by seal.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0119

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-02-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I shall inclose with this a Newspaper or two.
I am as yet in tollerable Health. My Eyes are somewhat troublesome. I believe I must assume the Appearance of Wisdom, Age and Gravity and put on Spectacles to walk in, about the Streets.
I hear nothing from you, nor from any Part of New England, but { 164 } I am endeavouring to devise some better Regulations of the Post Office, so that I hope that Channell of Communication will be opened.1
We are told that the Air of Baltimore is unhealthy, and I confess I should dread it, if I were to stay here long. But We shall soon remove.
You may write now by the Post. I am very anxious to hear from you, and to know the State of public Affairs, in your Part of the World.
I have written by Mr. Hall a Resignation of an Office. I suppose it will make a Noise. But I hope not much. I cant help it. But should be glad to hear from you, how it is received. I hope they will fill it up soon, that the Talk may be soon over.
I could not be, at the same Time in Maryland and Massachusetts Bay, which was Reason enough for the Measure, if I had no other, but I have many more, and much stronger.
I have not Health enough, and never shall have to discharge such a Trust. I can but just keep myself alive, and in tollerable Spirits when I am master of my own Time and Course of Life. But this is not all.
I am not formal and ceremonious enough for such a stiff Situation.—But you know I have many Reasons more.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in pencil by AA. Enclosed newspapers not found or identified.
1. On 17 Feb. JA was named one of five members of a committee “to revise the regulations of the post office, and report a plan of carrying it on, so as to render the conveyance of intelligence more expeditious and certain” (JCC, 7:127). The committee brought in a report on the 25th, which was read and tabled; the MS is in the hand of the chairman, Thomas Heyward; text printed in same, p. 153–154. For subsequent efforts toward the same end in April and October, see same, p. 258, and vol. 9:816–817.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0120

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-02-20

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This Morning I received yours of the 26th. Ult. It is the first I have received from you, and except one from Gen. Palmer of the 28th.1 it is the first I have received from our State.
Yours made me very happy. Dont be uneasy about my Waiter. He behaves very well to me, and he has not the least Appearance of a Spy or a Deserter. He has not Curiosity, nor Activity nor sense enough for such a Character. He does his Duty extreamly well however in his station. But if he was a Spy he would learn nothing from me. He knows no more, from me, than the Horse he rides, nor shall he know. . . .2 I { 165 } have no Conversation with him upon Politicks, nor shall he come to the Sight of Papers.
I hope our Soldiers for the new Army will be all inoculated at Home before they begin their March. The Small Pox is so thick in the Country that there is no Chance of escaping it in the natural Way. Gen. Washington has been obliged to inoculate his whole Army. We are inocculating soldiers here and at Philadelphia.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. John Adams's Braintree”; docketed in pencil by AA.
1. In Adams Papers. JA's reply, of the present date, is in NN and is printed in part in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:268.
2. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0121

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-02-21

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yesterday, I had the Pleasure of dining with Mr. Purveyance.
There are two Gentlemen of this Name in Baltimore, Samuel and Robert, eminent Merchants, and in Partnership.1 We had a brillant Company, the two Mrs. Purveyances, the two Mrs. Lees, the Ladies of the two Colonels R[ichard] H[enry] and F[rancis], Mrs. H[ancock] and Miss Katy [Quincy], and a young Lady that belongs to the Family. If this Letter, like some other wise ones, should be intercepted, I suppose I shall be call'd to Account for not adjusting the Rank of these Ladies a little better.
Mr. H., the two Coll. Lees, Coll. Whipple, Coll. Page, Coll. Ewing, the two Mr. Purveyances, and a young Gentleman. I fancy I have named all the Company.
How happy would this Entertainment have been to me if I could by a single Volition have transported one Lady about five hundred miles. But alass! this a greater Felicity than falls to my share.
We have voted to go to Philadelphia next Week.
We have made General Lincoln a Continental Major General.
We shall make Coll. Glover a Brigadier.
I sincerely wish We could hear more from General Heath. Many Persons are extreamly dissatisfied with Numbers of the general Officers of the highest Rank. I dont mean the Commander in Chief, his Character is justly very high, but Schuyler, Putnam, Spencer, Heath, are thought by very few to be capable of the great Commands they hold. We hear of none of their heroic Deeds of Arms. I wish they would all resign.
{ 166 }
For my Part I will vote upon the genuine Principles of a Republic for a new Election of general Officers annually, and every Man shall have my Consent to be left out, who does not give sufficient Proof of his Qualifications.
I wish my Lads were old enough. I would send every one of them into the Army, in some Capacity or other. Military Abilities and Experience, are a great Advantage to any Character.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree Mass. Bay”; docketed in pencil by AA.
1. On the Purviance brothers see entry of this date in JA's Diary and Autobiography, 2:260, and note there.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0122

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-01

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

For once I have followed the Example of my Friend, and have Long delayed a Reply to her Letter. And though I Cannot Complain of my Eyes as an Excuse, yet I have other Weaknesses to plead that are more than a Ballence, and to say Nothing of the Intelectual system, the Weakness of my Constitution, the Febleness of my Limbs, and the pains in my [spirits?], for several months past is sufficient to damp the Vigour of thought, And Check the inclination for Literary Employment which has heretofore Excited me to spend my Leasure hours in the use of my pen. And I think that Inclination has brought some of my Friends so far in Arrears that I might Claim a Letter or two Exstraordinary on the score of former accounts if the schedule of the Last Year should not happen to be in my Favour.
I do not wonder at the Regrets you Express at the distance and absence of your Excellent Husband.
But why should not the same Heroic Virtue, the same Fortitude, patience and Resolution, that Crowns the memory of the ancient Matron, Adorn the Character of Each modern Fair who Adopts the signature of Portia. Surely Rome had not severer tryals than America, nor was Cesar in the senate with his Flatterers, and his Legions about him, more to be Dreaded than George the 3d with his parasites in parliment, and his murdering Mercenaries in the Field.
But as I have several other Letters to write this day, I must speedily descend from the Altitudes of Heroism, and talk in the simple stile of the Manufacturer and the Humbler Language of the Domestic Dame: who seeketh Wool and Flax and Worketh Willingly with her hands.
{ 167 }
I would not have you over anxious about the Dispatch of a peice of Bussiness Entrusted to your Care, for though all my household are not Cloathed in scarlet, yet I have not that Reason to be affraid of the snow, with some shivering Mortals at this severe season whose hands perhaps are oftener Layed to the Distaff, but whose Labours at the spindle will not provide fine Linnen for the Merchant, while the Husbandman, who used to Reap the full Grown Ear, and watch the flaxen Harvest is Wading in the Field of Blood.
I do not Exactly Remember how much Wool I sent Forward. It Lies in my mind it was between 94 and 98 weight: but Mr. Warren and his son are Confident it was made up a Neat 100, before it was sent to your Care.
I suppose when it is done we shall be very proud of Braintree Manufactures, more Especially as it is done under the Inspection of one of the Amphyctionic Ladies, to whom the Females of the united states, must in the Future Look up for the Example of Industery and oeconimy, whose manners must Lead the Fashion of the times unless any are so Depraved in Their Taste as to prefer the Modes of Paris, and the Frenchefyed airs of Mademoisel from Varssailles to the Lindsey Woolsey of their own Country, and the simplicity and puritanism of N. England.
I am ashamed to ask my Friend again for a paper of so Little Consequence as one in her hands yet I own if it is not Lost I should be Glad you Would send it Forward by some safe hand And in Return for the trouble I have Given You in a matter so unimportant I will promiss no more to pester you with anything of the like Nature from your sincere & Affectionate Friend,
[signed] M Warren
My Love to miss Naby and the Young Gentlemen.
If Mrs. Adams has not otherways disposed of the wool should like a Little [ . . . ]1 Worsted.
1. Possibly “stolen,” although what this could mean in the present context is not clear.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0123

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-03-03

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I write to Congratulate you upon your arrival in baltimore and hope you will not omit writing to me. I have been very earnest to write to you for some time but could not find a subject we have no news here { 168 } unless telling you that we have had several severe snow storms since you went away and yesterday we had one that banked over the tops of the fences we have not had so much snow before for five years—it has been very cold and severe weather since you left us but very healthy Mamma hears the Post office is a going to be new regulated and then she will be able to write without fear of interruption—if anything a new should arise I shall then be able to write you a longer letter. My Brothers send thier Duty please to accept of the same from your dutifull son,
[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To the Honble John Adams at Baltimore”; docketed in an unidentified hand. JQA's open style of punctuation has been preserved.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0124

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I am returned in tolerable Health to this Town—have received but one Letter from you since I left you, that which you sent by Mr. Rice.1
If you send Letters to Coll. Warren, or your Unkle Smith, they will be conveyed, with safety. I hope the Post Office will be upon a better footing soon.
An Army is gathering in the Jerseys. They have frequent Skirmishes, and the Enemy generally come off second best.—Whether We shall stay long here is uncertain. If We remove it will not be far.
This will go by Dr. Jackson one of the Managers of the Lottery. I hope it will find you all well.
I conjecture you have cold Weather and snow enough. We had at Baltimore last Saturday and Sunday a deep Snow and very sharp frost, such as froze over the Susquehannah, and obliged Us to ride up 15 miles, to cross the River at Bald fryars.2 We found a deep snow all the Way to this Place.
Maryland and Pensilvania, have at last compleated their Governments. Mr. Johnson is Governor of the first and Thomas Wharton Jur. of the other.
The Delaware State too have finished theirs. Mclnlay is Governor.3 They have also chosen new Delegates to Congress. So have S. Carolina—so has Pensilvania. So has Maryland.
There is indeed every where a more chearfull Face upon Things than there was.
South Carolina is said to have a great Trade and a plenty of Things. { 169 } Salt comes in frequently and there is a Prospect of supply, though dear.
Our national Revenue is now the most delicate and important Object We have to regulate. If this could be put upon a proper footing, We should be happy.
Money comes in fast upon Loan, which is one great Step—but We must take others.
I sent you from Baltimore, by Captn. Harden, to the Care of your Unkle a Barrell of Burr flour.4 I hope it will not be taken, but you know I am not lucky in trade.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams at Mr. John Adams's Braintree favoured by Dr. Jackson. To be left at Mr. Isaac Smiths Queen street Boston.”
1. Dated 26 Jan. and printed above.
2. Just south of the Pennsylvania-Maryland boundary, near the present Conowingo. See James Lovell's MS map reproduced as an illustration in this volume. JA's companion was William Whippie, a New Hampshire delegate. They had left Baltimore on 2 March and had arrived in Philadelphia on the 5th; see JA's Diary and Autobiography, 2:253, 257.
3. The first governor of the State of Maryland was Thomas Johnson (whose niece, Louisa Catherine, daughter of Joshua Johnson, was to marry JQA in 1797; see Adams Genealogy). After great difficulty in organizing the government under the new constitution, Thomas Wharton Jr. had on 4 March been elected president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. Delaware's chief executive officer was also called a president, and the first to hold the post was Dr. John McKinly.
4. Flour ground with burr-stones (see OED), which were the best kind of millstones and produced “superfine” flour. The flour and barrel, bought from the Purviances, cost JA £2 13s. 1d. Pennsylvania currency; see his Diary and Autobiography, 2:253, 256. Isaac Smith reported its arrival in Boston in a letter to JA of 22 March, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0125

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The President who is just arrived from Baltimore, came in a few Minutes ago and delivered me, yours of Feb. 8, which he found at Susquehannah River, on its way to Baltimore.
It gives me great Pleasure to find that you have received so many Letters from me, altho I knew they contained nothing of importance. I feel a Restraint in Writing like that which you complain of, and am determined to go on trifling. However, the Post now comes regularly, and I believe you may trust it.
I am anxious and impatient to hear of the March of the Massachusetts Soldiers for the new Army. They are much wanted.
This City is a dull Place, in Comparason of what it was. More than { 170 } one half the Inhabitants have removed into the Country, as it was their Wisdom to do—the Remainder are chiefly Quakers as dull as Beetles. From these neither good is to be expected nor Evil to be apprehended. They are a kind of neutral Tribe, or the Race of the insipids.
How may possibly attempt this Town, and a Pack of sordid Scoundrels male and female, seem to have prepared their Minds and Bodies, Houses and Cellars for his Reception: but these are few, and more despicable in Character than Number. America will loose nothing, by Hows gaining this Town. No such Panick will be spread by it, now as was spread by the Expectation of it in December.
However, if We can get together Twenty thousand Men by the first of April, Mr. How will scarcly cross Delaware River this Year. New Jersey may yet be his Tomb, where he will have a Monument very different from his Brothers in Westminster Abbey.1
I am very uneasy that no Attempt is made at Rhode Island. There is but an handfull left there, who might be made an easy Prey. The few invalids who are left there are scattered over the whole Island, which is Eleven Miles in length and three or four wide. Are New England Men such Sons of Sloth and Fear, as to loose this Opportun[ity?]2
We may possibly remove again from hence, perhaps to Lancaster or Reading. It is good to change Place—it promotes Health and Spirits. It does good many Ways—it does good to the Place We remove from as well as to that We remove to—and it does good to those who move.
I long to be at Home, at the Opening Spring, but this is not my Felicity.—I am tenderly anxious for your Health and for the Welfare of the whole House.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree Mass. Bay”; franked: “free John Adams”; postmarked; “PHILA. MARCH 12 Free”; added on the cover in the hand of Isaac Smith Sr.: “Yrs. IS.”
1. George Augustus, 3d Viscount Howe, older brother of Richard and William Howe, was killed in an action against the French on Lake George in 1758; the Province of Massachusetts Bay voted to erect a monument to him in Westminster Abbey (DNB).
2. MS torn by seal.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0126

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yours of Feb. 12. received this day. I have begged a Bundle of Newspapers, to inclose. They contain some Intelligence.
{ 171 }
I am pretty well, after all my fatiguing Journeys. The C[ongre]ss are in as good a Temper as ever I knew them—more spirited and determined than ever.
The Southern Battallions are not full. But are in a good Way. Rejoice to learn that Measures are taking to send along the Eastern Quotas.
We are raising a large Body of light Horse—a large Troop of them are this Moment passing the Window. Fine Horses and good Men. The trampling of these Creatures is grand.
Dr. Shippen, whom I just now saw, assures me that he has bought an excellent Assortment of Medicines and has the best Prospect of putting the Hospitals in good order, so that the sick will not suffer this year as they did last.1
We have some french Vessells arrived here with Druggs and salt, and other Things.
Let me be remembered by all that I remember. You know who they are.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspapers not found or identified.
1. William Shippen Jr. (1736–1808), College of Jersey 1754, M.D., Edinburgh 1761, professor of surgery and anatomy at the College of Philadelphia, was currently director general of Continental hospitals west of the Hudson; he had recently submitted a plan to Congress, where he had influential connections, for reorganizing the hospital department, and on 11 April he replaced Dr. John Morgan, earlier demoted, as director general of all Continental hospitals—a post in which he served with scarcely more success than his predecessor (DAB; JCC, 6:989; 7:161, 193, 219, 253).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0127

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-03-08

Abigail Adams to John Adams

We have had very severe weather almost ever since you left us. About the middle of Febry. came a snow of a foot and half deep upon a Level which made it fine going for about 10 day's when a snow storm succeeded with a High wind and banks 5 and 6 feet high. I do not remember to have seen the Roads so obstructed since my remembrance; there has been no passing since except for a Horse.
I Have wrote you 3 Letters since your absence but whether you have ever received one of them I know not. The Post office has been in such a Situation that there has been no confiding in it, but I hear Hazard is come to put it upon a better footing.1
We know not what is passing with you nor with the Army, any more than if we lived with the Antipodes. I want a Bird of passage. It has { 172 } given me great pleasure to find by your Letters which I have received that your Spirits are so Good, and that your Health has not sufferd by your tedious journey. Posterity who are to reap the Blessings, will scarcly be able to conceive the Hardships and Sufferings of their Ancesstors.—“But tis a day of suffering says the Author of the Crisis, and we ought to expect it. What we contend for is worthy the affliction we may go through. If we get but Bread to eat and any kind of rayment to put on, we ought not only to be contented, but thankfull. What are the inconveniencies of a few Months or years to the Tributary bondage of ages?”2 These are Sentiments which do Honour to Humane Nature.
We have the Debates of Parliment by which it appears there are Many who apprehend a War inevitable and foresee the precipice upon which they stand. We have a report Here that Letters are come to Congress from administration, and proposals of a treaty, and some other Stories fit to amuse children, but Experienced Birds are not to be caught with chaff. What is said of the english nation by Hume in the Reign of Harry the 8th may very aptly be applied to them now, that they are so thoroughly subdued that like Eastern Slaves they are inclined to admire even those acts of tyranny and violence which are exercised over themselves at their own expence.
Thus far I wrote when I received a Letter dated Febry. 10, favourd by —— but it was a mistake it was not favourd by any body, and not being frank'd cost me a Dollor.3 The Man who deliverd it to my unkle brought him a Letter4 at the same time for which he paid the same price. If it had containd half as much as I wanted to know I would not have grumbld, but you do not tell me How you do, nor what accommodations you have, which is of more consequence to me than all the discriptions of cities, states and kingdoms in the world. I wish the Men of War better imployd than in taking flower vessels since it creates a Temporary famine Here, if I would give a Guiney for a pound of flower I dont think I could purchase it. There is such a Cry for Bread in the Town of Boston as I suppose was never before Heard, and the Bakers deal out but a loaf a day to the largest families. There is such a demand for Indian and Rye, that a Scarcity will soon take place in the Country. Tis now next to imposible to purchase a Bushel of Rye. In short since the late act there is very little selling. The meat that is carried to market is miserabley poor, and so little of it that many people say they were as well supplied in the Seige.
I am asshamed of my Country men. The Merchant and farmer are both alike. Some there are who have virtue enough to adhere to it, but more who evade it.
{ 173 }
I have this day Received a most agreable packet favourd by Mr. Hall,5 for which I return you my most hearty thanks, and which contains much amusement, and gave me much pleasure. Rejoice with you in your agreable situation, tho I cannot help wishing you nearer. Shall I tell you how near? You have not given me any politicks tho, have you so much of them that you are sick of them?
I have some thoughts of opening a political correspondence with your namesake. He is much more communicative than you are, but I must agree with him to consider me as part of one of the Members of Congress. You must know that since your absence a Letter designd for you from him fell into my Hands.6
You make some inquiries which tenderly affect me. I think upon the whole I have enjoyed as much Health as I ever did in the like situation—a situation I do not repine at, tis a constant remembrancer of an absent Friend, and excites sensations of tenderness which are better felt than expressd.
Our Little ones are well and often talk and wish for ——. Master T. desires I would write a Letter for him which I have promissed to do. Your Mamma tenderly inquires after you. I cannot do your Message to B[ets]y since the mortification I endure at the mention of it is so great that I have never changd a word with her upon the subject, altho preparations are making for house keeping. The ordination is the 12th of this month.7 I would not make an exchange with her for the mountains of Mexico and Peru. She has forfeited all her character with me and the world for taste &c. All her acquaintance stand amazd.—An Idea of 30 years8 and unmarried is sufficent to make people do very unacountable things. Thank Heaven my Heart was early fix'd and never deviated. The early impression has for succeeding years been gathering strength, and will out last the Brittle frame that contains it—tis a spark of Celestial fire and will burn with Eternal vigor.

[salute] Heaven preserve and return in safety the dearest of Friends to His

[signed] Portia
I have just now heard that one of my unkle's flower vessels arrived safe yesterday, at which there is great joy. You can scarcly conceive the distress there has been for Bread, it is but a mouthfull. Flower is sold at 4.16 per Barrell not withstanding what has been done. Indeed the risk and the high price it bears with you, no person can send for it without sinking half the Cargo.
{ 174 }
I see by the news papers you sent me that Spado is lost.9 I mourn for him. If you know any thing of His Master pray Let me hear, what treatment he meets with, where he is confined &c.
A considerable number of our 3 Months Militia have returnd, deserted, some belonging both to this Town and Weymouth, and they say others from other Towns. The Story they tell is this, that a great number of the standing Army were under inoculation for the small pox, and they were obliged to do duty where they were constantly exposed to it, that they would have been innoculated but as they had so short a time to tarry were not allowd to, that they applied to their Col. for leave to come of but could not obtain it, that those who had it in the natural way 4 out [of] 5 died with it, and that it was death for any of the Militia to be innoculated. This does not seem to be likely but is told by all of them. What will be the consequence I know not. I hear of but a few in this Town who are in listed for the standing Army. Suppose they will be drawn soon.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. Member in Congress”; endorsed: “Portia ans. Ap. 2. 1777”; docketed in CFA's hand: “March 8th.” RC evidently enclosed letters from JA's children; see his reply, 2 April, below.
1. Ebenezer Hazard (1744–1817), College of New Jersey 1762, a bookseller and antiquarian, was currently surveyor general of the Continental post office and afterward postmaster general (DAB; see also JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:108–110).
2. AA is quoting—a little freely, as was her habit—from Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. II, dated 13 Jan., addressed to Lord Howe, and published as a pamphlet in Philadelphia, 1777. Initial quotation marks have been editorially supplied.
3. JA's first letter dated 10 Feb., above; see descriptive note there.
4. Not found.
5. JA's second letter dated 10 Feb., above.
6. See AA to JA, 12 Feb., above, and note 1 there.
7. The ordination of John Shaw, Betsy Smith's fiancé took place at Haverhill on 12 March (Weis, Colonial Clergy of N.E.).
8. Betsy was in fact a month short of her 27th birthday.
9. Gen. Charles Lee's dog Spada; see AA to JA, 10 Dec. 1775, above, and note 5 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0128

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Congress has been sitting several Days and proceeding upon Business. I have been in Town above a Week and have spent much of my Time, in making Inquiries after the cheapest Places in Town for Board and stabling. I have at last removed my Horses from a stable at six and six Pence a Night, to another at three dollars a Week each. { 175 } So that for the future I am to pay only six dollars a Week for Hay and Oats for my Horses. Oats they must have here, for the Hay is such as our Horses cannot live upon, nor indeed their own.
I am this day to remove my Quarters, from three Pounds a Week for myself and thirty shillings for my servant, to another Place where they vouchsafe to keep me for forty seven and six Pence, and my servant for twenty shillings. I shall then live at the cheapest Lay.1 Cheap indeed!
What will become of you, I know not. How you will be able to live is past my Comprehension, but I hope the Regulation of Prices, will be of Service to you. I dont know whether I have mentioned to you in any former Letter, that I sent you a Barrell of burr flour from Baltimore, by Captn. Harden, in your Uncles Vessell. I hope she is not taken.
I wish to hear often from you. Believe the Post may be now trusted. Believe me to be more yours, and more anxious for your Welfare than any Words can express. The Government of Pensilvania is taking Root downwards, and bearing Fruit upwards, notwithstanding the Squibbs in the News Papers. They are making Treason Laws and Militia Laws, &c.
The Jersy Government is making a Militia Law too. The People of that State will be all soldiers. They are exasperated, to a great degree, at the Treatment they have received, and are panting for Revenge. The Quakers too are inflamed with Resentment. They say, that they were used worse, than any other People.
In a Time of Warr, and especially a War like this, one may see the Necessity and Utility, of the divine Prohibitions of Revenge, and the Injunctions of forgiveness of Injuries and love of Enemies, which We find in the Christian Religion. Unrestrained, in some degree by these benevolent Laws, Men would be Devils, at such a Time as this.
Prattle for me to my little Friends. Give them my best Wishes, Blessings and Prayers.
1. Rate or terms; see OED under Lay, noun, 7 (5).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0129

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The Spring advances, very rapidly, and all Nature will soon be cloathed in her gayest Robes. The green Grass, which begins to shew { 176 } itself, here, and there, revives in my longing Imagination my little Farm, and its dear Inhabitants. What Pleasures has not this vile War deprived me of? I want to wander, in my Meadows, to ramble over my Mountains, and to sit in Solitude, or with her who has all my Heart, by the side of the Brooks. These beautifull Scaenes would contribute more to my Happiness, than the sublime ones which surround me.
I begin to suspect that I have not much of the Grand in my Composition. The Pride and Pomp of War, the continual Sound of Drums and Fifes as well played, as any in the World, the Prancings and Tramplings of the Light Horse numbers of whom are paraded in the Streets every day, have no Charms for me. I long for rural and domestic scaenes, for the warbling of Birds and the Prattle of my Children.—Dont you think I am somewhat poetical this morning, for one of my Years, and considering the Gravity, and Insipidity of my Employment.—As much as I converse with Sages and Heroes, they have very little of my Love or Admiration. I should prefer the Delights of a Garden to the Dominion of a World. I have nothing of Caesars Greatness in my soul. Power has not my Wishes in her Train. The Gods, by granting me Health, and Peace and Competence, the Society of my Family and Friends, the Perusal of my Books, and the Enjoyment of my Farm and Garden, would make me as happy as my Nature and State will bear.
Of that Ambition which has Power for its Object, I dont believe I have a Spark in my Heart. . . .1 There [are] other Kinds of Ambition of which I have a great deal.2
I am now situated, in a pleasant Part of the Town, in Walnutt Street, in the south side of it, between second and third Streets, at the House of Mr. Duncan, a Gentleman from Boston, who has a Wife and three Children.3 It is an agreable Family. General Wolcott of Connecticutt, and Coll. Whipple of Portsmouth, are with me in the same House. Mr. Adams has removed to Mrs. Cheasmans [Cheesman's], in fourth Street near the Corner of Markett Street, where he has a curious Group of Company consisting of Characters as opposite, as North and South. Ingersol, the Stamp man and Judge of Admiralty, Sherman, an old Puritan, as honest as an Angell and as <stanch as a blood Hound> firm <as a Rock> in the Cause of American Independence, as Mount Atlass, and Coll. Thornton, as droll and funny as Tristram Shandy. Between the Fun of Thornton, the Gravity of Sherman, and the formal Toryism of Ingersol, Adams will have a curious Life of it. The Landlady too who has buried four Husbands, one Tailor, two shoemakers and Gilbert Tenant [Tennent], and still is ready for a { 177 } fifth, and well deserves him too, will add to the Entertainment.—Gerry and Lovell are yet at Miss Leonards, under the Auspices of Mrs. Yard.
Mr. Hancock has taken an House in Chesnutt Street, near the Corner of fourth Street near the State House.
We this day received Letters from Dr. Franklin and Mr. Deane.4 I am not at Liberty to mention particulars. But in general the Intelligence is very agreable. I am now convinced, there will be a general War.
LbC (Adams Papers). Though RC is missing (and was missing when CFA first printed this letter, in JA, Letters, Boston, 1841, 1:195–197), its receipt was acknowledged by AA in hers to JA of 17 April, below.
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. At this point, in the space between paragraphs in LbC, JA later made the following revealing insertion: “Note. Literary and Professional, I suppose.—But is not the Heart deceitfull above all Things? April 9. 1776.” There can be no doubt that JA meant to date the insertion 9 April 1777. The handwriting is precisely the same as in the main text (though the ink varies slightly in color); and since JA did not take this letterbook abroad with him, he could not have had access to it on any later 9th of April for more than a decade.
3. In JA's Account with Massachusetts as a delegate to Congress in 1777, his Philadelphia landlord is called Capt. Robert Duncan (Diary and Autobiography, 2:255, 262).
4. Franklin's letter was to Pres. Hancock, was dated at Nantes, 8 Dec. 1776, and reported his arrival there; it was read in Congress on 19 March (JCC, 7:184), and is printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:221–222. Silas Deane wrote numerous letters home from Paris in late November and early December; probably the one alluded to here was that of 28 Nov., printed in same, p. 196–200; see JCC, 7:186.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0130

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1777-03-16

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

There is an observation, which I wish you to make very early in Life because it may be usefull to you, when you grow up. It is this, that a Taste for Literature and a Turn for Business, united in the same Person, never fails to make a great Man. A Taste for Literature, includes the Love of Science and the fine Arts. A Turn for Business, comprehends Industry and Application as well as a faculty of conversing with Men, and managing Affairs.
I hope you will keep these two Objects in View all your Lifetime. As you will not have Property to enable you to pursue your Learning alone, you must apply yourself to Business to procure you the Means of subsistance. But you will find Learning of the utmost Importance to { 178 } you in Business, as well as the most ingenious and elegant Entertainment, of your Life.
You must acquire the Art of mixing Study with Business and even with your Pleasures and Diversions.—Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci.—There is a Bone for you to pick. Ask Mr. Thaxter, after giving my Love to him, to help you Parse this latin Line. Take it Word by Word, and be able when I come home to give me the Construction of the Line, and the Parsing of every Word in it.—I am your affectionate Father.
LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “J.Q.A.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0131

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1777-03-16

John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] Tommy

I believe I must make a Phisician of you. There seems to be a Propriety in your studying Physick, because your Great Great Grandfather after whom you was named, was of that Profession.1 Would it not please you to study Nature, in all her wonderfull Operations, and to relieve your Fellow Creatures under the severest Pains, and Distresses to which human Nature is liable. Is not this better than to be destroying Mankind by Thousands. If you are of this Opinion, you will change your Title from General to Doctor. It requires the Character of rugged and tough, to go through the hardships of riding and walking Night and Day to visit the sick, as well as to take Care of an Army.—I am your affectionate Father.
LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “T.B.A.” Tr, in the hand of LCA and probably from the now missing RC, is in Lb/JA/26, a collection of transcripts of JA's letters made for JQA in 1829 when he was at work on his father's papers.
1. Thomas Boylston (1644?–1696?), JA's mother's grandfather, “a Surgeon and Apothecary who came from London in 1656” and settled in what is now Brookline, Mass. (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:256; see Adams Genealogy).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0132

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1777-03-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

[salute] My dear Daughter

I hope by this Time, you can write an handsome Hand; but I wish you would, now and then, send a Specimen of it, to Philadelphia to your Pappa, that he may have the Pleasure of observing the Pro• { 179 } ficiency you make, not only in your Hand Writing, but in your turn of Thinking, and in your Faculty of expressing your Thoughts.
You have discovered, in your Childhood, a remarkable Modesty, Discretion, and Reserve; I hope these great and amiable Virtues will rather improve, in your riper Years. You are now I think, far advanced in your twelfth Year—a Time when the Understanding generally opens, and the Youth begin to look abroad into that World among whom they are to live.—To be good, and to do good, is all We have to do.
I have seen, in the Progress of my last Journey, a remarkable Institution for the Education of young Ladies, at the Town of Bethlehem, in the Commonwealth of Pensilvania. About one hundred and twenty of them live together under the same Roof; they sleep all together, in the same Garrett every night. I saw one hundred and Twenty Beds, in two long Rows, in the same Room, with a Ventilator about the Middle of the Ceiling, to make a brisk Circulation of the Air, in order to purify it of those gross Vapours, with which the Perspiration of so many Persons would other wise fill it. The Beds and Bed Cloaths were all of them of excellent Quality, and extreamly neat.—How should you like to live in such a Nunnery? I wish you had an opportunity to see and learn the curious Needle Work, and other manufactures, in Flax, Cotton, Silk, silver and Gold which are carried on there. But I would not wish you to live there. The young Misses keep themselves too warm with dutch Stoves, and they take too little Exercise and fresh Air to be healthy.—Remember me, with the tenderest Affection to your Mamma and your Brothers. I am with inexpressible Affection, your Father.
LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Miss Nabby.” RC not found, but a normalized text of it was printed in AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:5–6.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0133

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1777-03-17

John Adams to Charles Adams

[salute] Charles

How do you do?—I hope you are in fine Health and Spirits. What Subject do your Thoughts run upon these Times. You are a thoughtfull Child you know, always meditating upon some deep Thing or other. Your Sensibility is exquisite too. Pray how are your nice Feelings affected by the Times? Dont you wish for Peace—or do you wish to take a Part in the War?
Have you heard of the ill Nature and Cruelty of the Enemies of your { 180 } Country, in New Jersey, both to their Prisoners and to the Inhabitants, their wickedest Friends, as well as their most honest foes?—If you have I believe your Resentment is so high as to wish yourself grown up, that you might draw your Sword, to assist in punishing them.
But before you are grown up, I hope this War will be over, and you will have nothing to study but the Arts of Peace. If this should be our happy Lott, pray what Course of Life do you intend to steer? Will you be a Lawyer, a Divine, a Phisician, a Merchant, or what? Something very good and usefull I think you will be, because you have a good Capacity and a good Disposition. Dont loose a Moment, in improving these to the best Advantage, which will be an inexpressible Satisfaction to your Mamma, as well as to me.
Are you a Mechanick? Charles? If you are not, ask your Brothers John and Thomas whether they are? Do you make your own Boats, and Whirligiggs, and other Toys? If you have a Genius for these noble Arts, you would be pleased to see what I saw at Bethlehem, a Pump, which has been constantly going for near Twenty Years, by Water, which forces up into the Air, to the Hight of an hundred feet through a leaden Pipe, Water enough to supply the whole Town. After rising to its utmost Hight it is carried by leaden Pipes, round the whole Town and into the very Kitchen of every Family in it. The Water is admirably sweet, soft and pure. It serves to wash and for all other Purposes, and saves a vast deal of labour to the Women, Maids and servants. Ask your Unkle Cranch how such a surprizing thing can be done with so much Ease and at so little Expence. Ask him too whether a similar Pump at New Boston,1 might not be made by means of a Wind Mill to supply that whole Town, which has always hitherto suffered, by bad Water, and very often for Want of Water?—I am your affectionate Father.
1. That is, on Beacon Hill in Boston; the western part of the town was commonly called New Boston at this time (Shurtleff, Description of Boston, p. 125).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0134

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1777-03-20

John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.

In an Hand Bill printed at Baltimore the 17th instant1 is as well made a Lye as ever I read. It is in these Words viz. “last night Mr. Charles Cook, arrived here in 12 days from Newbern, in North Carolina, and brings the following important Intelligence, vizt.
{ 181 }
“That the day before he sat out, Capt. Charles Stedman, of the North Carolina Forces, a Gentleman of Credit, just returned from Charlestown, South Carolina, informed him and others, that he there saw a large French Fleet, consisting of 15 Men of War, two of them 80 Gun Ships, and 40 Merchant Men.—That two of the armed Vessells lay within the Bar. That these Vessells had on Board 200 Pieces of Brass Cannon, 30,000 stand of small Arms, and a vast Quantity of dry Goods, for the Use of the American States. Their Destination was said to be for Delaware and Chesopeak Bays.”
When you have read this and the inclosed News Papers, I should be glad if you would send them to my Family.—You are appointed an Arbitrator to settle a Dispute between the Continental Agent and some others, for Want of a Determination of which, the Public suffers. I hope you will accept this Trust, Sir, from Benevolence to the Public. I wish it was a more pleasant Office, but I think your Regard for the Public is such that you will not decline a dissagreable service by which it may be benefited.2 I am &c.
LbC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspapers not found or identified.
1. The editors have not located a copy.
2. No record of this appointment (which was by the Marine Committee of Congress) appears in JCC. Smith accepted, and served with two colleagues, Ebenezer Storer and William Phillips. They reported on 28 July; see JCC, 8:628–629; 9:836. For a fuller discussion of efforts to untangle the accounts of John Bradford, the Continental agent at Boston, see William Bell Clark, George Washington's Navy, Baton Rouge, 1960, p. 203 ff.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0135

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-22

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The Post now comes regularly, once a Week, and brings me the Boston News Papers, but no Letters from Penns Hill or its Environs. How do you do? Anxious, faint, melancholly? Chear up—dont be distressed. We shall see many good days yet, I hope. I derive a secret Pleasure from a Circumstance which I suppose at present occasions the most of your Apprehensions. I wish I could know more particularly, concerning your Health, but I will presume it to be, as well as can be expected.
The little Folk are all happy I hope. May they continue so, to a good old Age. May they enjoy many happy, usefull and honourable Days.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0136

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-03-22

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

[salute] Mr. Adams

Yours of the 25th Ulto.1 I received sometime since by my Schooner and have sent your B[arre]l flour—As likewise a packet of yours by a schooner a few days since. A schooner that came Out with mine charged by Our Commite of Warr (Arnold Master) is suppos'd to be taken. As to my Affairs att Baltemore they fell into the hands of those people not by choice and wish I had known sooner what sort of people they were.
As to all kinds of provissions, and more especially bread kind I know not how the Town will be supplyed, As there will scarce any body Venture Again, and when itt comes there is no satisfaction to the Owner in doing the business. I Offered itt to the Town or any body att 5 PC. profit which in fact is nothing because a factor has that for doing business without any resque, and have sold itt, att that rate and itt comes Out so high that I am sick of itt.
A great many of the present House as well as [ . . . ]2 thinks a person concernd in trade, what he has comes is all gains, or att least One would think so by some conduct. As to trade in this province or rather in this Town I dont know of six Merchants that carries on any and indeed, we have nothing to send to Europe or the West Indies but must be subject to a great loss. In short we have nothing that I can find to send to France or Spain to the Amount of a thousand pounds ster[ling] in the province.—We cant even buy lumber without provission or West India goods which is almost gone in the Country and Armey. Indeed of all the prises [prizes] taken there has not One quarter eenterd in this Town.
I dont know of any more Methods to be taken but what you have done to keep up the Credit of the Currency.—I have heard you are About building some ships of 60. or 70. Guns, which will come to a very large some of money and when built must lay by the Walls. Whether such a sum that must be made for that purpose wont be a further means of lessening the Value of the money. Such a ship can never be got to see from hence, iff we are to judge by the dispatch lesser Ones make. However I wish itt may prove the reverse.—With regard to Our regulation of prises [prices], that Ought to have Originated with the Congress and setled the prises of each states produce, for were there is no controleing power Over the whole itts imposible to put things on an equal footing, and Consequently the Thirteen { 183 } states cant regulate foreign or the West India Markets, a thing never Accomplisht by any Nation. So that to put prises on Articles when itts imposible to know what they may cost the Owners, is a means of preventing those Articles which are Absolutely Nessesary. Indeed there is nothing got by trade excepting the Owner runs his Own resques, for there can be no Insurance to be Obtaind, under 50 PC. the Voyage3 round which is 100. on the Capital, besides the hire of the Vessell, Victualing and Manning—all which are very high more especially the Wages. So that itt is Imposible [to estima]te4 the Value of any commodity before itt Arrives. I have been surprisd my self, att what some Articles have turned Out att, till a Voyage is finisht. I had lately two parcels of Malasses and the Vessells on much easier terms than I can now send them Out att, and the Cargo sent from 10 to 15 PC. under what itt can now be purchast att and the Vessells did as well and much better than Nine tenths of the Vessells that goes to the West Indies, and upon setling the Voyage's itt turnd Out on an Average att 4/4. and as I let Our state have some on consideration of there makeing an Allowance. Otherwise I shall sink from the real cost five pounds L.M. a hhd., and the present regulation as to West India goods the Consequence there will [be] none or but little to be had. N. England Rum would Answer every end for the Armey att 5/ or even 6/ as they must give double for West India.—We have arrived here a french Gen[eral?]5 which you have heard of [nearer?] by this.

[salute] I should be glad of a line when att leisure—& are Yr. hum servt.,

[signed] Isaac Smith
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble. John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia.”
1. Not found.
2. Two interlined words illegible.
3. MS: “VG.”–one of the many devices of Smith's mercantile shorthand, most of which have been silently expanded by the editors.
4. MS torn by seal.
5. Probably Philippe Hubert, Chevalier de Preudhomme de Borre, who held the provisional rank of brigadier in the French army and had recently arrived at Portsmouth (Boston Gazette, 24 March 1777; Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0137

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-03-22

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

You mention, Sir, in the beginning of your Letter,1 that you are indebted to me for several Letters. I shall never presume to consider you indebted in that Respect, or myself entitled whilst the public at large, { 184 } or any Individual of it, has a Title to your Attention in preference to mine.
It was not a Consideration of your being indebted Sir, that has prevented my frequent writing to You, but it was a Restraint which I ever have felt and shall feel in writing to Persons of so distinguished Abilities as Yours.
Your kind Assurances in your Letter deserve my warmest Thanks. The Advice contained in it I shall immediately follow.
Since your Absence, the Sup[erio]r Court has sat in the Counties of Middlesex and Suffolk. In the County of Middlesex there was one Capital Trial, viz. The Trial of a Young woman for the Murder of her Bastard. She was acquitted. Mr. Dana and Mr. Lowell (her Consel) insisted much on two points in their pleadings: 1st That She was insane, and 2dly That the Crime was committed previous to the Declaration of Independence, and during her Allegiance to the King of Great Britain. I did not hear their pleadings; but was informed by a Gentleman who was present that the two points abovementioned were chiefly insisted on.—They admitted She killed the Child; but th[ought?]2 the fact was done during her Insanity.3—The Week the Court sat in that County was mostly taken up in deciding Appeals from the maritime Court.
In Suffolk County there was two Civil Causes bro't up by Demurrer, and several Appeals from the Maritime Court. There was a Man tried at this Court for altering a Bill from the Denomination of one Dollar to that of Ten, and knowingly uttering the same. The Jury found him guilty of knowingly uttering the Bill so altered, but not of the altering of it.
We have very agreeable News indeed from France—The particulars of which I would mention, did not I apprehend they would come to hand before this reaches you.

[salute] I am, Sir, yr. very humble Servant,

[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mr. Thaxter. ansd. April 8. 1777.”
1. Not found.
2. MS torn by seal.
3. The case was that of the Government v. Mary Christopher in the Oct. 1776 term of Middlesex Superior Court. According to witnesses whose testimony survives, the mother, who was from Concord, slit her child's throat. But she was not convicted. See Superior Court of Judicature, Minute Book 96; Records, 1775–1778, fol. 56; Suffolk County Court House, Early Court Files, &c., No. 148226.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0138

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-03-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I have a very good opportunity of writing to you by Major Ward, who sits of tomorrow morning.
I most sincerely rejoice at your return to Philadelphia. I shall now be able to hear from you every week or fortnight. You have had journeying this winter and sufficent exercise for a year.
We have very agreable Intelligence from France which suppose will be communicated to you before this reaches you. Our proportion of Men from this State will be sent along soon, our Continental vessels are not yet ready. I have been told that the person who had the care of Building MacNeals Ship,1 has since built a 20 Gun Ship which has been at Sea some time. Why should a pigmy Build a World?
I yesterday received yours of the 7 of March, with a Bundle of news papers, for which I am much obliged.2
Nor would I omit returning my thanks for the Barrell of flower sent by my unkles vessel. I know not a more acceptable present you could have sent, that whole cargo sold for 2.10 per hundred.
There is not a Bushel of Rye to be had within 60 miles of this Town. The late act will annihilate every article we have, unless they will punish the Breaches of it. This person has nothing and the other has nothing, no Coffe, no Sugar, no flax, no wool. They have been so much accustomed to see acts made and repeald that they are endeavouring by every art to make this share the same fate.
If you have not settled your account with Mr. Barrells Estate the next time I write will inclose one I find in your Book against it. There appears one settlement, but since that there is an account which will amount to near 10 pounds.
You mention a Resignation of an office. I have not heard it mentiond, believe tis not much known as yet.
As to news we have none I think. All our Friends are well and desire to be rememberd. I suffer much from my Eyes—otherways am well as usual—and most affectily. Yours,
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. The Boston, a 24-gun Continental frigate, had been launched in June 1776 at Newburyport but was not yet armed and manned; she undertook her first cruise late in May 1777 under the command of Capt. Hector McNeill, and early in 1778, under the command of Capt. Samuel Tucker, carried JA and JQA from Braintree to Bordeaux (Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:269 ff.).
2. The newspapers accompanied JA's third letter of 7 March, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0139

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-03-23

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I received yours of the 19 of Feb1 and thank you for your perpetual almanack <for> with the assistance of my Mamma I soon found it out and find it is a very useful thing I have been a reading the history of Bamfylde moore carew2 he went through the <biggest> greatest3 part of america twice, and he gives a very pretty Desscription of maryland and philadelphia and new york but though he got a great deal of money yet I do not think he got his living either credibly or honestly for surely it is better to work than to beg and better to beg than to lie, for he addicted himself to so many falsehoods that his charecter is odious to all and a disgrace to human nature my Brothers and Sister all send their duty to you please to accept the same from your dutiful son,
[signed] John Quincy Adams
[In AA's hand:] P S This is a Letter of Mr. Johns own composition.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble. John Adams esq Philidelphia”; endorsed: “ansd. Ap. 8.”; docketed in one or more unidentified hands. The text of this letter is here given with literal fidelity.
1. Not found.
2. Bampfylde Moore Carew (1693–1770?), “king of the beggars,” son of a Devonshire clergyman, ran away from home as a boy and led a career devoted to “swindling and imposture, very ingeniously carried out” (DNB). At one point he was transported to America, escaped, and made his way from Maryland to Connecticut. The veracity of contemporary accounts of his life is, to say the least, subject to question, and their bibliography is complex; see The King of the Beggars: Bampfylde-Moore Carew, ed. C. H. Wilkinson, Oxford, 1931. Since no Adams copy of either Carew's Life and Adventures, first published in 1745, or his Apology, first published in 1749, has been found, one cannot say what version JQA was reading. Very likely it was one of the later and very popular amalgamated editions of the two books.
3. This correction is in AA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0140

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-03-26

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I this morning Received yours of March 7 favourd by Dr. Jackson.1 I rejoice to hear you are so comfortable. Col. Palmer informd me a Sunday that he is going to morrow as far as the Jersies being one of a Committe sent by our assembly to know of the General what proportion of Continental Troops will be allowed to this State; and does not know but he shall be obligd to proceed as far as Philadelphia. I venture to write by Him as he will take good care of a Letter tho he should not { 187 } go farther than the Jersies.2—I fear you will think me neglegent in not writing oftner, but till lately I dare not trust the post office, have sent wholy by private Hands. This Letter is but the sixth that I have wrote since you left me, tho I have to acknowledg the Rec[ei]pt of 20 from you.
We have no news this way except that Manly saild this Morning.—I believe you will not find it difficult to procure Money since you have offerd 6 per cent. I was mentioning the other day to a certain Gentleman in this Town that Congress had agreed to give that, an unusual pleasure lighted up his Countanance immediately, and he instantly replied, they shall have all mine immediately, I only waited for that. You know the Character so perfectly well, that the Speach needs no comment.3
You mention my purchaseing a Ticket. I am determined to do it if I find my self able, after having paid the Rate bill, which tis said will amount to near 30 pounds, so that I must be very parsimonious. I met with the Misfortune of loosing a Cow upon the Ice this winter, Ruggles by name, and [having]4 to make her place good purchased an other which cost me 5 pound's.—You know I have ever made it a Rule not to involve an absent Friend in debt.
I have at last Let the House in Q[uee]n S[tree]t to a Good Tenant at £22 per annum, when he gets in, but a very odd affair happend after it was engaged to him. I advertised the House in G[ill]'s paper,5 and supposing any person would chuse to see it, before they engaged it, desired him to Let them know where the key was to be found. According[ly] Mr. W[illi]s the printer6 applied to me for the House and I Let it to [him]. Upon his return to Boston and applying to Mr. G—ll for the key he found the famous Dr. W—ship7 had taken it and would not deliver it to him, tho He let him know that he had hired the House of me, and this same Genious had the Confidence to remove his family into the House without either writing to me or applying to me in any shape whatever, and then upon the other insisting upon having the House, he wrote to Let me know that he had moved in and would pay his Rent Quarterly, and that he supposed Mr. G—ll had the Letting of the House, which was absolutely falce for Mr. G—ll never gave him any leave, and had no right to. In Reply to him I let him know that I had Let the House to Mr. W——s, that I could do nothing about it, that I had nothing more to do with it than with any other House in Town. He and Mr. W——s must settle the matter between themselves. In this Time Mr. W——s had taken advice upon it and was determind to prosecute him; tis near a Month since they have been disputing the { 188 } Matter, and the Dr. finding Mr. W——s determind has promised if he will not put him to farther Trouble to remove in about a week.
If you should have an opportunity pray purchase me a Box of Dr. Ryans Wafers for worms, and send them.8 T[omm]y is much troubled with them, has lost most all his flesh, you would scarcly know him.
Tis now 26 of March and exceeding cold tho the snow is all gone.
Pray what is become of the F[arme]r—has he sunk into forgetfullness. We can not learn any thing about him. Poor General L[e]e how does he fare?

[salute] Adieu—Yours.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia To be left at Mr. Gills printing Office Queen Street Boston Pr. favor of Genl. Palmer”; franked: “Free”; endorsed: “Portia”; docketed in CFA's hand.
1. JA's first letter of that date, above.
2. Palmer's trip fell through, and the present letter was sent by post; see JA's reply, 8 April, below.
3. Possibly (but by no means certainly) this was Col. Josiah Quincy, who a little later on was in difficulties with the General Court because he refused to accept Massachusetts paper money in payment of debts due him; see Mass., House Jour., 1777–1778, p. 25.
4. MS: “have.”
5. AA's advertisement appeared in John Gill's Boston Continental Journal, 6 and 13 Feb., and read: “To be Let, a House in Queen-Street, Boston, next Door to Powers and Willis's printing-office.—For further Particulars enquire of the printer.”
6. Nathaniel Willis Sr., at this time publisher, with Edward E. Powars, of the Boston Independent Chronicle.
7. Presumably a Dr. Winship, and perhaps the Dr. Amos Winship (or, more correctly, Windship), Harvard 1771, whom JA was to see something of in France and who was later a well-known physician in Boston (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:353 and passim;Thwing Catalogue, MHi). But why so young a man was “famous” (even ironically) does not appear. The letters that AA mentions below have not been found.
8. JA did so. See the entry for 11 April in his Account with Massachusetts for 1777 (Diary and Autobiography, 2:253).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0141

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

“A Plott! a Plott! an horrid Plott, Mr. A.” says my Barber, this Morning.—“It must be a Plott 1. because there is British Gold in it. 2. because there is a Woman in it. 3. because there is a Jew in it. 4. because I dont know what to make of it.”
The Barber means, that a Villain was taken up, and examined Yesterday, who appears by his own Confession to have been employd by Lord Howe and Jo. Galloway to procure Pilots to conduct the Fleet up Delaware River and through the Chevaux de Frizes. His Confidant { 189 } was a Woman, who is said to be kept by a Jew. The Fellow and the Woman will suffer for their Wickedness.1
1. “The Fellow” was James Molesworth; he was executed three days later. See JA to AA, 31 March, below; William B. Reed, Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed, Phila., 1847, 2:30–33; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:333, and references in note there.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0142

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1777-03-30

John Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

I have been this Afternoon, to a Place of Worship, which I never attended before. It is the Church of the Scotch Seceeders. They have a tolerable Building, but not yet finished. The Congregation is not large, and the People are not very genteel.
The Clergyman, who officiates here, is a Mr. Marshall, a Native of Scotland, whose Speech is yet thick and broad, altho he has officiated in this Place near Ten Years.1
By his Prayer and several Passages in his sermon, he appears to be a warm American from whence I conclude, that the most of his Congregation are so too, because I generally suppose that the Minister will in a short time bring his People to his Way of thinking, or they will bring him, to theirs—or else there will be a Seperation.
The Grounds and Reasons, of the Secession of this Society from the other Presbyterian Churches, I know not, but intend to enquire.
After service, the Minister read a long Paper, which he called an Act of the Presbytery of Pensilvania, appointing a Fast, which is to be kept next Thursday. It is as orthodox in Politicks, as it is pious, and zealous in point of Religion.2
LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Miss N.” RC not found, but a normalized text of it was printed in AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:7.
1. Rev. William Marshall (ca. 1740–1802), minister of the Associate or Scots' Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, 1768–1786, and afterward of a seceding portion of that congregation that organized the Associate Reformed Church (Benjamin Rush, Letters, 2:806–808, and references there).
2. Text printed from missing RC adds a leavetaking and signature: “I am your affectionate father, John Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0143

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Charles
Date: 1777-03-30

John Adams to Charles Adams

Yesterday, I took a Walk upon the Wharves, to see the Navigation. The new Frigate called The Delaware, is hawled off, into the stream and is ready to sail. Captain Alexander is to command her. She makes a fine Appearance.—I then went to the House of one Humphreys an ingenious shipwright and found him making a Model of a seventy four Gun Ship. He has nearly compleated it. You see every Part of the Ship, in its just Proportion in Miniature. After this Model the new seventy four Gun Ships are to be built, one at Portsmouth, one at Boston and one here.
I then went to the Foundery of brass Cannon. It is in Front street in Southwark, nearly opposite to the Sweedes Church. This Building was formerly a China Manufactory, but is now converted into a Foundery, under the Direction of Mr. Biers [Byers], late of New York. Here is an Air furnace, in which they melt the Metal. There is a great deep Cavern dugg in the Ground in which they place the Mould into which they pour the melted Metal, and thus they cast the Gun in a perpendicular Position. Several brass six Pounders newly cast, were lying there, and several old ones, to be cast over.
There is another Man, one King, who lives in Front street, at the Corner of Norris's Ally, who casts Patterara's1 and Howitzers.
Thus you see, that a Foundation is laying, in Arts, and Manufactures, of a rising State. May you enjoy the Fruits of it, in greater Tranquility of Mind, than your Father has enjoyed, while it is laying.
LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Charles A.”
1. That is, pedreros, a kind of small cannon, spelled in a wild variety of ways (OED).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0144

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1777-03-30

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

Two ingenious Artificers, a Mr. Wheeler and a Mr. Wiley, under the Direction of a Committee, have been lately employed in making a Field Piece, a three Pounder, of bar iron. They have succeeded beyond Expectation. They have finished off a beautifull Piece of ordnance, which from all the Experiments hitherto made, promises great Things.
{ 191 }
The Weight of it, is two hundred and twenty six Pounds only. It is made by cutting off short Pieces of bar iron, bending them round and welding them1 together into Hoops, and then welding one Hoop upon another, untill the Gun is compleated. After which they bore out the Barrell, with a boring Mill, and grind or file the outside into a smooth Surface, and an handsome Shape.
It has been put to the severest Tryal, and has sustained it, unhurt. It has been discharged Eighteen Times, in a succession which they call, quick firing, and was found to be less heated, than any other three Pounder, whether of Brass, or cast Iron. The only Objection to it, which was discovered, was that it rebounded more: but this it is said may be obviated, by making the Carriages and the Tackling a little stronger.
It turns out a great deal cheaper than Brass, and indeed than cast Iron at present. It is so light, that a few Men may easily draw it, by Hand, which will be an Advantage at Times and in Places, where Horses cannot be had. We are about contracting for a Number of them.2
We have also made another Acquisition, which We think of Importance. An old Gentleman, by the Name of Butler, who served an Apprenticeship and spent all the former Part of his Life, in the British Works, and was employed all the last War, by the Generals3 in America, as their principal Armourer, has been drawn, from the interiour Parts of Pensilvania, where he has a Family and Property, and a Character, and from whence he has sent two sons, as Lt. Collonells into our Army, and has taken upon him the Character of principal Armourer, in the middle Department of the united States. He seems to be a Master in his Art, and very desirous of doing service.4
We are establishing a laboratory, and an Armory, at Carlisle about one hundred and twenty Miles from this Place. We have a brass Foundery here. Such Foundations I hope will be laid as will place our Artillery, in a respectable situation. I am your affectionate Father,
[signed] John Adams
1. LbC: “welding the Ends.”
2. See JCC, 7:193, 228, 272. In LbCJA at this point added a paragraph which he perhaps inadvertently omitted in RC: “Pray give me your Opinion of them.”
3. LbC: “the British Generals.”
4. Thomas Butler had been appointed “public armourer” by Congress on 22 Jan. 1777 (JCC, 7:55, 188).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0145

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-03-31

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I know not the Time, when I have omitted to write you, so long.1 I have received but three Letters from you, since We parted, and these were short ones. Do you write by the Post? If you do there must have been some Legerdemain. The Post comes now constantly once a Week, and brings me News Papers, but no Letters. I have ventured to write by the Post, but whether my Letters are received or not, I dont know. If you distrust the Post, the Speaker or your Unkle Smith will find frequent Opportunities of conveying Letters.
I never was more desirous of hearing frequently2 from Home, and never before heard so seldom. We have Reports here, not very favourable to the Town of Boston. It is said that Dissipation prevails and that Toryism abounds, and is openly avowed at the Coffee Houses. I hope the Reports are false. Apostacies in Boston are more abominable than in any other Place. Toryism finds worse Quarter here. A poor fellow, detected here as a Spy, employed as he confesses by Lord Howe and Mr. Galloway to procure Pilots for Delaware River, and for other Purposes, was this day at Noon, executed on the Gallows in the Presence of an immense Crowd of Spectators. His Name was James Molesworth. He has been Mayors Clerk to three or four Mayors.
I believe you will think my Letters, very trifling. Indeed they are. I write in Trammells. Accidents have thrown so many Letters into the Hands of the Enemy, and they take such a malicious Pleasure, in exposing them, that I choose they should have nothing but Trifles from me to expose. For this Reason I never write any Thing of Consequence from Europe, from Philadelphia, from Camp, or any where else. If I could write freely I would lay open to you, the whole system of Politicks and War, and would delineate all the Characters in Either Drama, as minutely, altho I could not do it, so elegantly, as Tully did in his Letters to Atticus.
We have Letters however from France by a Vessell in at Portsmouth—of her important Cargo you have heard.3 There is News of very great Importance in the Letters, but I am not at Liberty. The News, however, is very agreable.4
1. JA apparently forgot about his brief letter of 28 March, above, of which he had failed to retain a copy and thus supposed his last to AA was that of the 22d, also above. Note that he speaks in the present letter of the spy James Molesworth as if he had not mentioned him before, though his letter of the 28th { 193 } deals exclusively with the Molesworth “Plott.”
2. This word supplied from LbC; probably omitted inadvertently from RC.
3. This was the Mercure, which had brought cannon and other military supplies from Nantes, together with the French officer Preudhomme de Borre; the Mercure arrived at Portsmouth on 17 March (JCC, 7:211–212; Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 2:368; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:352 and note).
4. One of the letters containing this “very agreable” news was the dispatch from Commissioners Franklin, Deane, and Lee in Paris to the Committee of Secret Correspondence, 17–22 Jan., summarized in JA's next letter to AA, 2 April, below, and printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:248–251.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0146

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-04-02

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I sit down to write tho I feel very Languid; the approach of Spring unstrings my nerves, and the South winds have the same Effect upon me which Brydon says the Siroce winds have upon the inhabitants of Sicily.1 It gives the vapours, blows away all their gaiety and spirits and gives a degree of Lassitude both to the Body and mind, which renders them absolutely incapable of performing their usual functions.
He adds that it is not surprizing that it should produce these Effects upon a phlegmatic English constitution; but that he had just had an Instance that all the Mercury of France must sink under the weight of this Horrid Leaden Atmosphere. A smart Parisian marquis came here, (to Naples) about ten days ago; he was so full of animal Spirits that the people thought him mad. He never remained a moment in the same place; but at their grave conversations used to skip from room to room with such amazing elasticity that the Italians swore he had got springs in his shoes. I met him this morning walking with the step of a philosopher; a smelling bottle in his hand, and all his vivacity extinguishd. I asked what was the matter? “Ah! mon ami,” said he “je m'ennui à la mort; moi, qui n'ai jamais sçu L'ennui. Mais cet execrable vent m'accable; et deux jours de plus, et je me pend.”
The natives themselves do not suffer less than strangers. A Neapolitian lover avoids his Mistress with the utmost care in the time of the Siroce, the indolence it inspires, is almost sufficent to extinguish every passion. Thus much for the Siroce or South East wind of Naples, which I am persuaided bear[s] a near resemblance to our Southerly Winds, and thus does the happiness of Man depend upon a blast of wind.
I think the Author of common Sense some where says that no persons make use of quotations but those who are destitute of Ideas of their own. Tho this may not att all times be true, yet I am willing to acknowledg it at present.
{ 194 }
Yours of the 7 of March received by the Post.2 Tis said here that How is meditating an other visit to Philadelphia, if so I would advise to taking down all the doors that the panels may not suffer for the future.
Tis said here that General Washington has but 8 thousand troops with him. Can it be true? that we have but 12 hundred at Ticondorogo. I know not who has the care of raising them here, but this I know we are very dilitory about it. All the troops which were station'd upon Nantasket and at Boston are dismissd this week so that we are now very fit to receive an Enemy; I have heard some talk of routing the Enemy at Newport, but if any thing was designd against them, believe tis wholy laid aside. Nobody seems to consider them as dangerous or indeed to care any thing about them.
Where is General Gates? We hear nothing of him.
The Church doors were shut up last Sunday in consequence of a presentment, a farewell Sermon preached and much weeping and wailing. Persecuted [to]3 be sure but not for righteousness sake. The conscientious parson had Taken an oath upon the Holy Evangelist to pray for His most Gracious majesty as his Sovereign Lord, and having no Father Confesser to absolve him, he could not omit it without breaking his oath.4
Who is to have the command at Ticondorogo? Where is General Lee? How is he treated? Is there a scarcity of Grain in Philadelphia. How is flower sold there by the Hundred?
Are there any stocking weavers needles to be had. Hardwick has been with me, to desire me to write to you, to send Turner to procure 500 and to beg of you to enclose to me 50 or a Hundred at a time as he is in great want of them. Says Turner knows what sort he wants, and if you will send word what the price is he will pay it, and make me a present of the best pair of Brants he gets this year. He is full of work, but almost out of needles.
We are just begining farming Buisness. I wish most sincerely you was Here to amuse yourself with it, and to unbend your mind from the cares of State. I hope your associates are more to your mind than they have been in times past. I suppose you will be joind this month by two from this state.5

[salute] Adieu. Yours.

[signed] Abigail Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia To be left at the Post Office in Boston”; endorsed: “Portia ans. Ap. 27”; docketed in CFA's hand.
1. Patrick Brydone, A Tour through Sicily and Malta; in a Series of Letters { 195 } to W. Beckford, Esq., London, 1773, and later editions (BM, Catalogue). No Adams copy has been found.
2. JA's second letter of that date, above.
3. This word editorially supplied for clarity.
4. Rev. Edward Winslow held his last service in Christ Church, Braintree, on 30 March. See AA to JA, 29 Sept. 1776, above, and note 4 there.
5. An enlargement of the Massachusetts delegation in Congress, though evidently talked of, did not happen.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0147

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yesterdays Post brought me your kind Favour of March 8. 9. 10, with a Letter inclosed for [from] each of my Sons. But where is my Daughters Letter? That is missing. I regret the Loss of it much.1
You think I dont write Politicks enough! Indeed I have a surfeit of them. But I shall give you now and then a Taste, since you have such a Goust for them.
By a Letter of 17. Jany.2 Dr. Franklin, Mr. Deane and Dr. Lee, met in Paris, and on 28. december had an Audience of the Count de Vergennes, Secretary of State and Minister of foreign Affairs; laid before him their Commission, with the Articles of the proposed Treaty of Commerce; were assured of the Protection of his Court, and that due Consideration should be given to what they offered. Soon after they presented a Memorial on the Situation of our States,3 drawn up at the Ministers Request, together with the Articles of general Confederation, and the Demand for ships of War, agreable to their Instructions. Copies of all which Papers, they gave to the Count D'Aranda, the Spanish Ambassador, to be communicated to his Court.
They were promised an Answer from the french Court, as soon as they could know the Determination of Spain, with whom they design to Act with perfect Unanimity. In the mean Time they are expediting several Vessels laden with Artillery, Arms, Ammunition and Cloathing.
The Ports of France, Spain and Florence (that is Leghorne in the Mediterranean) are open to the American Cruizers, upon the usual Terms of Neutrality.
They write for Commissions to be given to Privateers, and for more frequent and authentic Intelligence.
Great Efforts are now making by the British Ministry, to procure more Troops from Germany. The Princes in Alliance with France, have refused to lend any, or to enter into any Guarrantee of Hanover, which England has been mean enough to ask, being apprehensive for that Electorate if she should draw from it, any more of its Troops.
{ 196 }
Four more Regiments (two of them to be light Horse) are raising in Hesse, where there has been an Insurrection, on Account of drafting the People: and now great sums of Money, are distributed for procuring Men. They talk of Ten thousand Men in all to be sent over this Spring.
The Hearts of the French are universally for Us, and the Cry is strong for immediate War with Britain. Indeed every Thing tends that Way, but the Court has Reasons for postponing it, a little longer. In the mean Time, Preparations are making. They have Twenty six sail of the Line manned and fit for the Sea. Spain has seventeen sail in the same State, and more are fitting with such Diligence, that they reckon to have thirty sail in each Kingdom, by April. This must have an immediate good Effect in our Favour, as it keeps the English Fleet at Bay, coops up their Seamen, of whom they will scarce find sufficient to man their next set of Transports, will probably keep Lord Howes fleet more together for fear of a Visit, and leave Us more Sea room, to prey upon their Commerce and a freer Coast to bring in our Prizes, and supplies from abroad.
The Letter then mentions a Circumstance much to our Advantage but this is a secret.4
So strong is the Inclination of the Wealthy, in France to assist Us, that our Ambassadors have been offered a Loan of two Millions of Livres, without Interest, and to be repaid when the united States are settled in Peace and Prosperity. No Conditions or securities are required. They have accepted this noble Benefaction, and one half of it is paid into the Hands of their Banker. On the strength of this supply, they are now in Treaty for some strong ships.
Lee is in N.Y. confined, but otherwise treated well.
1. AA's letter of 8–10 March, above, evidently enclosed, or was intended to enclose, letters from all the Adams children (except TBA?), of which only that from JQA of 3 March, above, has been found.
3. Dated 5 Jan. and in same, p. 245–246.
4. A contract for American tobacco, under the terms of which the Farmers General were to advance a large sum at once for the purchase of French munitions and other military supplies to be sent to America.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0148

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-04-02

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

[salute] Mr. Adams

Yours by Docto. Jackson I received last week,1 he had letters to Others likewise. I waited on him with some Others att his lodgings. { 197 } Mr. Jonathan Williams Offering his servise, itt was not worth while for more to be concerned.2
I recommended him to a person att Salem, and to Our Kindsman Tufts att Newbury, who writes me he has undertaken to dispose of a quantity and whose fidellity may be confided in as any person what ever.3
I have just received One from you for Mrs. Adams—As likewise some News papers by Colo. Moulton: Bradford['s] paper I take weekly, the Other do not, but iff ever the post gets regurarlly Again and you have a mind to send the Other weekly, to Mrs. Adams I can send itt to her.—I Observe in One of your News papers a ship being taken in your bay. Itt has been a little Misterious that such Valuable Vessells should not have some Guns when they come home. I have known many Vessells taken this Year past for want of even a single Gun.
I Observe what you say as to my Appointment on some dispute but have not heard any thing About itt, and wish may not.
Betscy Cranch is in Town. Your family is well.
I am sorry to here Genl. Washington has no larger Armey got to gether yet. By what I can learn we have already raised as many as he has got with him from all the Other Goverments, however hope Ere this he may have double or ttrible the Number.

[salute] I am Sr. Yr. hume. servant,

[signed] Isaac Smith
1. Not found. Since it was sent by Dr. David Jackson, described in JA's first letter to AA of 7 March, above, as “one of the Managers of the Lottery,” it no doubt discussed (as Smith does in his reply) local agents for the sale of lottery tickets.
2. This was Jonathan Williams Sr. (1719–1796), a Boston merchant, a nephew by marriage of Benjamin Franklin and father of Jonathan Williams Jr. (1750–1815), who was with Franklin in France (Franklin, Papers, ed. Labaree, 1:lvii–lviii).
3. Samuel Tufts (1735–1799) was a Newburyport merchant and a younger brother of Dr. Cotton Tufts. See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0149

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-03

John Adams to Abigail Adams

As you seem so inquisitive about Politicks, I will indulge you so far (indulge, I say, observe that Word indulge! I suppose you will say it ought to have been oblige) as to send you a little more News from abroad. As foreign Affairs are now become more interesting to Us than ever, I dare say your political Curiosity has extended itself e'er this all over Europe.1
The Agent of the King of Prussia, has often made Proposals of a { 198 } commercial Nature, to our Agents in France, and expressed a Desire that some American would go to Berlin, at the Instance of his sovereign, who wishes to have a clear Idea of the Nature of our Commerce. You must know, that this Prince has been several Years, dreaming of making his Port of Embden, an Amsterdam.
We cannot as yet, depend that the Dutch Merchants will venture to trade directly to America, at their own Risque. The States2 however have declared, in Answer to a fresh Remonstrance of General York,3 that their Ports are open to all Nations, and that their Trade, to and from their own Colonies, shall be unmolested, their subjects complying with the ordinances issued by their high Mightynesses. Their Prohibition of exporting Warlike stores extends to all British subjects.
Without a very material and apparent success of the British Arms in America, a Loan would be very slowly negotiated for England in Amsterdam. Nothing hinders them now from selling out of the English Funds, but their not knowing what to do with their Money. For that Country may be called the Treasury of Europe, and its Stock of Specie is more or less, according to the Necessities of the different Princes in Europe.
The Credit of France has been very low of late. The Mismanagement of the Finances in the late Kings Reign: The Character of the late Comptroller General, Mr. De Olugny,4 had reduced it so low, that it was impossible to borrow any Thing considerable, on perpetual Funds. By Life Rents, something might be done. Perhaps a Financier, in whose Probity the World have a Confidence, may restore their Credit. The French Stocks rise on the Appointment of Mr. Taboureau. That it is possible for France to borrow, is certain, for at the Time when Mr. Turgot was removed, he was negotiating a Loan, and was likely to succeed, for Sixty Millions of Guilders. The Credit of Spain is extreamly good: That Kingdom may have what Money it will, and on the best Terms. The Emperors Credit is also good, not as Emperor but from his hereditary Dominions. Sweeden and Denmark have good Credit. The first the best. They have Money at four Per Cent, and it is not long since the King of Sweeden borrowed Three Millions of Guilders, at that Interest, to pay off old debts at five Per Cent.—his Interest is paid punctually. Prussia has no Credit but his Treasury is full, by squeezing the last Farthing from his People, and now and then he draws a little Money from Holland, by reviving obsolete Claims. The Credit of the Empress of Russia, is very good, for she has punctually paid the Interest of Twelve Millions of Guilders, which she borrowed in her War with the Turks, and has lately paid off, one Million and an half of the Principal. These are the strongest Recommendations to { 199 } a mercantile People. As to America, in the present state of Affairs, it is not probable, that a Loan is practicable, but should it appear evident, that We are likely to support our Independency, or should either France or Spain acknowledge it: in either of these Cases We might have Money. And when it shall be seen that We are punctual in our first Payments of the Interest, We should have as much as We pleased.
1. The remainder of this letter (though JA nowhere says so) is partly quoted and partly paraphrased from a long letter written by William Carmichael from Amsterdam to the Committee of Secret Correspondence, 2 Nov. 1776, the original of which is in PCC, No. 88, 1, and a printed text in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:184–190. Carmichael, whose name and somewhat shadowy figure will be frequently encountered in JA's later correspondence, was acting strictly as a volunteer in forwarding his information and speculations to Congress from Europe. Born in Maryland, he had been living the life of a well-to-do expatriate in London when the Revolution broke out; then, according to the letter JA abstracted here, he started for Nantes to find passage home but was detained by illness in Paris and “livd with Mr. Deane since his first arrival at Paris” in 1776; he was currently, with Deane's blessing, on his way to Berlin to explore possibilities of developing commercial relations between Prussia and the United States, but had stopped in Amsterdam to see if an American loan could be obtained there. Carmichael spent the rest of 1777 in a similarly busy manner and played a material part in Lafayette's coming to America. On 28 Nov. he was appointed by Congress “secretary to the commissioners at the Court of France” (JCC, 9:975), but before he learned of this appointment he sailed for home, just as JA sailed the other direction to replace Carmichael's patron Deane in Paris. Arthur and William Lee strongly suspected Carmichael's patriotism, and JA was given to believe that Carmichael had “contributed much to the Animosities and Exasperations among the Americans at Paris and Passi” Diary and Autobiography, 2:304; 4:76–77). Nevertheless, Carmichael was soon elected to the Continental Congress and in 1779 was named secretary of legation to John Jay's mission to Spain, where he served (in later years as chargé d'affaires) until his death in 1795. See DAB and references there.
The special interest attaching to the present letter from JA to AA is its indication at so early a date of JA's deep interest in international banking arrangements and the question how the resources of the great Dutch banking houses might possibly be tapped by the United States—an anticipation of his own protracted but successful effort a few years later to do what Carmichael here suggests.
2. The States General of the United Provinces of the Netherlands.
3. Sir Joseph Yorke (1724–1792), veteran British ambassador at The Hague (DNB).
4. That is, de Clugny—a copying error by JA; Carmichael's “C” looks like an “O” in the letter he sent to the Secret Committee.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0150

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-06

John Adams to Abigail Adams

You have had many Rumours, propagated among you, which I suppose you know not how to account for. One was, that Congress, the last Summer, had tied the Hands of General Washington, and would { 200 } not let him fight, particularly on the White Plains. This Report was totally groundless.—Another was, that at last Congress untied the General, and then he instantly fought and conquered at Trenton. This also was without foundation, for as his Hands were never tied, so they were not untied.—Indeed, within a few days past a Question has been asked Congress, to the Surprize I believe of every Member there, whether the General was bound by the Advice of a Council of War? No Member of Congress, that I know of ever harboured or conceived such a Thought. “Taking the Advice of a Council of War” are the Words of the Generals Instructions, but this meant only that Councils of War, should be called and their Opinions and Reasons demanded, but the General like all other Commanders of Armies, was to pursue his own Judgment after all.1
Another Report, which has been industriously circulated, is, that the General has been made by Congress, Dictator. But this is as false as the other Stories. Congress it is true, upon removing to Baltimore, gave the General Power, to raise fifteen Battallions, in Addition to those which were ordered to be raised before, and to appoint the Officers, and also to raise three thousand Horse, and to appoint their Officers, and also to take Necessaries for his Army, at an appraised Value.2 But no more. Congress never thought of making him Dictator, or giving him a Sovereignty.
I wish I could find a Correspondent, who was idle enough to attend to every Report and write it to me. Such false News, uncontradicted, does more or less Harm. Such a Collection of Lyes, would be a Curiosity for Posterity.
The Report you mentioned in your last,3 that the British Administration had proposed to Congress, a Treaty and Terms, is false and without a Colour. On the Contrary, it is now more than ever past a doubt, that their fixed Determination is Conquest, and unconditional Subjugation. But there will be many Words and Blows too, before they will accomplish their Wishes.—Poor abandoned, infatuated Nation.
Infatuation is one of the Causes to which, great Historians ascribe many Events: and if it ever produced any Effect, it has produced this War, against America.4
Arnold, who carries this, was taken in his Passage from Baltimore. He sailed with Harden, for Boston. They took 15 Vessells, while he was on Board the Man of War. Your Flour was highly favoured with good Luck.
{ 201 }
1. See Congress' resolution of 24 March on this subject (JCC, 7:196–197).
2. See resolutions of 27 Dec. 1776 (same, 6:1045–1046).
3. AA to JA, 8–10 March, above.
4. LbC ends at this point.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0151

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-06

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This Evening Major Ward deliverd me Yours of 23d. of March.—It is a great Pleasure to me to learn that your Flour has arrived. I begin to have some opinion of my good Fortune. If I could have been certain, of the Vessells escaping the many Snares in her Way, I would have sent a dozen Barrells.
The Act, my dear, that you were so fond of will do no good.1 Legislatures cannot effect Impossibilities. I detest all Embargoes, and all other Restraints upon Trade.2 Let it have its own Way, in such a Time as this and it will cure its own Diseases. The Paper emitted by the states jointly and separately is too much, it is more than enough to purchase every Commodity and every Species of Labour that is wanted, and this Excess of Quantity is the true Cause of the Artificial Scarcity of Things, but the Price of this will be in Proportion to the Demand, in spite of all Regulations.—To save my self the Trouble of thinking I will transcribe for your Amusement a few observations of Lord Kaims, on the subject of Money, Scarcity, Plenty, and Demand. Read them, compare them with the Increase of Money in America, the Decrease of Goods and Labour, and the Increase of Demand for both, and then judge whether the Regulations and Embargoes can do any good. . . .3
LbC (Adams Papers); note at the foot of the text reads: “Sent. most of it”; but no RC has been found.
1. The Massachusetts act fixing the prices of wages and commodities; see AA to JA, 8 Feb. and note, and 23 March, both above.
2. In Dec. 1776 the General Court had laid an embargo on all private vessels, forbidding them to trade with any but American coastal ports and banning the export of a long list of foodstuffs and other goods from Massachusetts. Though modified in one way or another in the following months, the embargo carried very heavy penalties for violations, was extended in February to goods carried out of the state by land as well as water transport, and (as shown by frequent allusions in letters that follow) was much complained of. See the numerous resolves relating to the embargo, Dec. 1776 – May 1777, in Mass., Province Laws, 19:713–714, 721–722, 773–774. 808–810, 928.
3. The remainder of this very long letter, omitted here, is a transcript of very nearly the entire fourth section, entitled “The Origin and Progress of Commerce,” in Henry Home, Lord Kames' Six Sketches on the History of Man, Phila., 1776 (Evans 14801), the abridged first American edition of his Sketches of the History of Man, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1774. The passage copied { 202 } by JA runs to more than 4,000 words and is taken from Six Sketches, p. 78–96, with a few omissions and JA's usual small copying errors. In it Kames explains wage and price fluctuation in terms of the classical law of supply and demand, drawing examples, as was his way, from all over the known world.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0152

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-04-07

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I hope to receive some Letters from you this week, the date of the last was the 7 of March and now tis the 7 of April. I cannot suppose according to your usual practice but you must have wrote several times since; I sent a Letter to the post office a Saturday, but yesterday hearing of an express I thought to write a few lines by it, just to tell you that the family are well as usual, that I visit you almost every night, or you me, but wakeing the agreable delusion vanishes—“like the Baseless fabrick of a vision.”
I have nothing new to write you. The present Subject of discourse is the unfortunate Daughter of Dr. C[oope]r, who having indiscreetly and foolishly married a Stranger, after finding him a Sot, has the additional1 misery of finding herself the wife of a married Man and the Father of 5 children who are all living. About 3 weeks after he saild for the West Indias a Letter came to Town directed to him which was deliverd to her, and proved to be from his wife, who after condoling with him upon his misfortune in being taken prisoner, Lets him know that she with her 5 children are well, and to add to mortification tis said her complexion is not so fair as the American Laidies.
I most sincerely pitty her unfortunate Father, who having but two children has found himself unhappy in both. This last Stroke is worse than death.2
Let me hear from you by the return of this express, and by every other opportunity.
My Brother is going Captain of Marines on board MacNeal.3 I hear there has been an inquiry at the Counsel Board why he has not saild before? and that the blame falls upon the continental Agent.4
I suppose you are in Bloom in your climate whilst we are yet hovering over a fire and shivering with the cold.

[salute] Adieu. Yours with an affection that knows no bounds,

[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. MS: “additionally.”
2. Rev. Samuel Cooper had two children, both daughters. The elder, Judith, married Gabriel Johonnot, a Boston mer• { 203 } chant, in 1766, and died in 1773; their son Samuel Cooper Johonnot was to accompany JA and JQA on their voyage to Spain in 1779 (NEHGR, 44 [1890]: 57; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:417–418).
Cooper's younger daughter, Abigail (1755–1826), married in Jan. 1777, at Boston, Joseph Sayer Hixon, a well-to-do and well-connected British merchant and slaveowner of Montserrat in the Leeward Islands, who had been captured while on a voyage to London and brought into Boston on a Continental prize ship in Oct. 1776. In the spring of 1777 Hixon went back to Montserrat, but during an insurrection there was captured again and taken to Copenhagen. In 1782 he returned to Boston, was reunited with Abigail, had several children by her, and died in Boston in 1801. (MS letters of Samuel Cooper introducing Hixon to influential friends in France and England, March 1777, in CSmH; NEHGR, 44 [1890]: 157–58; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 11:206.)
3. William Smith did not sail with McNeill in the Boston, but as a captain of marines in the American Tartar, a 24-gun privateer, Capt. John Grimes, and after a successful cruise in the Baltic was captured and carried into Newfoundland (AA to JA, 6–9 May and 16 Nov., both below; MHS, Colls., 77 [1927]: 73).
4. Capt. John Bradford, Continental prize agent for Massachusetts since April 1776 (JCC, 4:301; William Bell Clark, George Washington's Navy, Baton Rouge, 1960, p. 151 and passim). Without much doubt it is to Bradford's conduct as agent that JA alludes darkly in a passage on official peculation in his Diary and Autobiography, 2:402.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0153

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yours of 26 March came by this days Post. Am happy to hear you have received so many Letters from me. You need not fear Writing in your cautious Way by the Post, which is now well regulated. But if your Letters should be intercepted, they would do no Harm.
The F[armer] turns out to be the Man, that I have seen him to be, these two Years. He is in total Neglect and Disgrace here. I am sorry for it, because of the forward Part he took, in the Beginning of the Controversy. But there is certainly such a Thing as falling away, in Politicks, if there is none in Grace.
Lee fares as well as a Man in close Prison, can fare, I suppose, constantly guarded and watched. I fancy, Howe will engage that he shall be treated as a Prisoner of War, and in that Case, We shall all be easy. For my own Part, I dont think the Cause depends upon him. I am sorry to see such wild Panegyricks in your Newspapers. I wish they would consider the Woes1 against Idolatry.
Congress is now full. Every one of the thirteen States has a Representation in it, which has not happened before a long Time.
Maryland has taken a Step which will soon compleat their Quota. { 204 } They have made it lawfull for their Officers, to inlist servants and Apprentices.
The fine new Frigate, called the Delaware, Capt. Alexander, has sailed down the River. I stood upon the Wharf to see the fine figure and Show she made. They are fitting away the Washington, Captn. Reed [Read], with all possible dispatch.
We have at last finished the System of Officers for the Hospitals, which will be printed Tomorrow. As soon as it is done, I will inclose it to you. A most ample, generous, liberal Provision it is. The Expence will be great. But Humanity overcame Avarice.2
1. Thus clearly in LbC. In RC this word might possibly be read as “Wars,” and CFA so rendered it. Neither word makes perfect sense in this context, but the force of the passage is clear enough: JA means “the warnings uttered against idolatry.”
2. Congress' resolutions reorganizing the Continental medical service were adopted on 7–8 April and printed as a broadside by John Dunlap of Philadelphia. See JCC, 7:231–237, 244–246; 9:1083; Evans 15660.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0154

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1777-04-08

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

I received your Letter of 23d. March, and was very much pleased with it, because it is a pretty Composition and your Mamma Assures me it is your own.
The History, you mention of Bamfylde Moore Carew, is worth your Reading altho he was a very wicked Man, because it serves to shew you, what a Variety there is in the Characters of Men, and what Odd, whimsical and extravagant Effects are produced by great Talents, when misapplied, and what Miseries, Dangers and Distresses Men bring themselves into, when they depart from the Paths of Honour, Truth and Virtue.
You, my Son, whom Heaven has blessed with excellent Parts, will never abuse them to bad Purposes, nor dishonour yourself by any Thing unworthy of you. So wishes your1
LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “Mr. J.Q.A.” RC recorded as in possession of Philip D. Sang, Chicago, 1960; not seen by the present editors.
1. LbC breaks off thus at foot of page.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0155

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1777-04-08

John Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Dear Sir

Your kind Favour of March 22. reached me Yesterday. I am much obliged to you for your Account of the Proceedings of the Superiour Court, and wish you to continue to give me a regular Account of their Progress. The Order, and Happiness of the State and even its Safety, depend much upon that Court, and I long to learn that they are fully employed in the Distribution of Justice, both in the civil and criminal Branches.
The Restraint you mention you may wholly lay aside, and write to me with the Utmost Freedom and without Reserve. . . .1 I should be happy, to answer any of your Letters and Enquiries as well as I can at this Distance, and with all my Avocations.
There is one Subject, which I would wish you to turn your Thoughts to, for your Amusement, as soon as possible. It is likely to be the most momentous political Subject of any. It is the Subject of Money. You will find in Mr. Locks Works a Treatise concerning Coins,2 and in Postlethwait, another of Sir Isaac Newton under the Terms, Coin, Money, &c.3
It is a Subject of very curious and ingenious Speculation, and of the last Importance at all Times to Society, but especially at this Time, when a Quantity of Paper more than is necessary for a Medium of Trade, introduces so many Distresses into the Community, and so much Embarrasses our public Councils and Arms.
In the Writings of those great Men you will see the Principles of Commerce and the Nature of Money. And after understanding it perfectly as a Philosopher and a Statesman, I hope you will soon have many honest Opportunities of handling a great deal of it as a Lawyer. I am, sir, with much Esteem your Friend,
[signed] John Adams
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. In JA's own set of The Works of John Locke, Esq., 4th edn., 3 vols., London, 1740 (in MB, vol. 1 missing), are three papers on money and coining, at vol. 2:1–59, 60–66, 67–106.
3. The work to which JA refers was Malachy Postlethwayt's great compendium entitled The Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce, first published in 2 vols., London, 1751–1755, and reissued repeatedly. One would suppose from the present reference that there was a copy of Postlethwayt in JA's library at this time, but the edition among his books in the Boston Public Library is the fourth, 2 vols., folio, London, 1774, which has on the front flyleaf of the first volume “The United States of America” in JA's hand, strongly suggesting that he acquired it during one of his diplomatic missions and charged it to the United States; see his Diary and Autobiography, 2:343. In the Catalogue of JA's Library { 206 } the book is somewhat perversely entered under the name of the original compiler, Jacques Savary, whose work Postlethwayt translated and greatly enlarged. Under the term “Coin” Postlethwayt prints two contributions by Sir Isaac Newton.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0156

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-04-10

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

[salute] Mr. Adams

Yours by post I have received, and with what Armes is Arrived this way, hope will be a full supply, and wish there were an equal Number to make Use of them. Although Our Number is not compleated, yet by what we can learn, we have as many or more than any of the goverments and are marching forward dayly.
The story of the burning the Arsenal att Plymouth wish was more Authenticated, As we have a prize ship here which Arrived sometime since, that left Falmouth the 6 Jany. which knows nothing of itt, tho itt seems there were some damage tho not as has been reported.1
I received a packet directed to me and the Other Gentlemen from the Honble. board of the Marine department, and wish I had been excused in the Matter, but as itt seems to be A Matter of Importance, and haveing two Gentlemen which are better Capacitated, than my self, we shall go on the business immediately, but believe will be a Considerable troublesome Affair.
I wish we were better Able to coape with the enemy att sea, for they have the Advantage of us greatly for they seem to take almost every thing. They have got Bermudas as a place of rendezvous, by which they have all the Advantage possible. I had a Master come by the way of N.York last week, haveing been taken in a brig of mine with 300 hhd. Molasses, [powder?], small Arms and sundry Other Articles, by which shall be a large sufferer.
Bro. Smith and Cousin Betsey is here. Mrs. Adams and family are well—and are in haste Yr. H. S.,
[signed] Isaac Smith
PS. The loss of the Cabot is an Unhappy Affair.2
1. This report doubtless arose from the exploits of James Aitken, the mad incendiary better known as John the Painter, who made repeated but largely abortive attempts during the winter of 1776–1777 to burn the royal dockyards and shipping at Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Bristol, England. See William Bell Clark's engaging and definitive account, “John the Painter,” PMHB, 63:1–23 (Jan. 1939).
2. The Continental brig Cabot, Capt. Joseph Olney, was pursued, beached, and captured in Nova Scotia waters, March 1777 (William J. Morgan, Captains to the Northward . . ., Barre, Mass., 1959, p. 83–85).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0157

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Enclosed with this you have a Correspondence, between the two Generals, concerning the Cartell for the Exchange of Prisoners.
Washington is in the Right, and has maintained his Argument with a Delicacy, and a Dignity, which do him much Honour.1
He has hinted, at the flagitious Conduct of the two Howes, towards their Prisoners, in so plain and clear a manner, that he cannot be misunderstood; but yet a decency and a Delicacy is preserved which is the more to be applauded, because the natural Resentment of such Atrocious Cruelties renders it very difficult to avoid a more pointed Language, in describing them. They might indeed, without much Impropriety, have been painted in crimson Colours of a deeper Die.
If Mr. Howes Heart is not callous, what must be his Feelings, when he recollects the Starvings, the Freezings, the pestilential Diseases, with which, he coolly and deliberate[ly] destroyed the Lives of so many, unhappy Men. If his Conscience is not seared, how will he bear its Lashes when he remembers his Breach of Honour, his Breach of Faith, his offence against Humanity, and Divinity, his Neighbour and his God, if he thinks there is any such Supream Being, in impairing Health that he ought to have cherished, and in putting an End to Lives that he ought to have preserved, and in choosing the most slow, lingering and torturing Death, that he could have devised?
I charitably suppose, however, that he would have chosen the shortest Course and would have put every Man, to the Sword or Bayonett, and thereby have put an End to their Sufferings, at once, if he could have done it without Detection. But this would have been easily proved upon him, both by his Friends and Enemies. Whereas, by Hunger, Frost and Disease, he might commit the Murders, with equal Certainty, and yet be able to deny that he had done it. He might lay it to Hurry, to Confusion, to the fault of Commissaries and other Officers. Nay might deny, that they were starved, frozen and infected.
He was determined to put them out of the Way, and yet to deny it, to get rid of his Enemies, and yet save his Reputation.—But his Reputation is ruined forever.
The two Brothers will be ranked by Posterity with Pizarro, with Borgia, with Alva, and with others in the Annals of Infamy, whose Memories are intituled to the Hisses and Execrations of all virtuous Men.
These two unprincipled Men are the more detestable, because they { 208 } were in the opposition at home, their Connections, Friendships and Interest lay with the opposition, to the opposition they owed their Rise, Promotion and Importance. Yet they have basely deserted their Friends and Party, and have made themselves the servile Tools of the worst of Men in the Worst of Causes.
But what will not desperate Circumstances tempt Men to do, who are without Principle? and who have a strong aspiring Ambition, a towering Pride, and a tormenting Avarice.
These two Howes were very poor, and they have spent the little Fortunes they had in bribery at Elections, and having obtained Seats in Parliament, and having some Reputation as brave Men, they had nothing to do but to carry their Votes and their Valour to Markett, and it is very true, they have sold them at an high Price.
Are Titles of Honour, the Reward of Infamy? Is Gold a Compensation for Vice? Can the one or the other, give that Pleasure to the Heart, that Comfort to the Mind, which it derives from doing Good? from a Consciousness of Acting, upon upright and generous Principles, of promoting the Cause of Right, Freedom and the Happiness of Men.
Can Wealth or Titles, soften the Pains of the Mind upon reflecting that a Man has done Evil, and endeavoured to do Evil to Millions, that he has destroyed free Governments and established Tyrannies!
I would not be an Howe, for all the Empires of the Earth, and all the Riches, and Glories thereof.
Who would not rather be brave, even tho unfortunate, in the Cause of Liberty? Who would not rather be Sydney, than Monk?
However, if I am not deceived, Misfortune as well as Infamy awaits these Men. They are doomed to defeat, and Destruction. It may take Time to effect it, but it will certainly come. America is universally convinced of the Necessity of meeting them in the Field in firm Battallion—and American Fire is terrible.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosures missing, but see note 1.
1. The “Correspondence” in question was between Washington and sundry British officers relative to a plan for exchanging prisoners; the letters were transmitted to Congress in Washington's letter of 10 April, read next day, and ordered to be published (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 7:375–380, 387–389; JCC, 7:253). Presumably JA sent AA a newspaper printing of these papers. “Enclosed is an Evening Post. General Washington's letter [to Sir William Howe, 9 April] is a masterpiece. It has raised his character higher than ever in the opinion of the Congress and his friends” (Benjamin Rush to Mrs. Rush, 14 April, Rush, Letters, 1:138–139).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0158

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I have spent an Hour, this Morning, in the Congregation of the dead. I took a Walk into the Potters Field, a burying Ground between the new stone Prison, and the Hospital, and I never in my whole Life was affected with so much Melancholly.1 The Graves of the soldiers, who have been buryed, in this Ground, from the Hospital and bettering House, during the Course of the last Summer, Fall, and Winter, dead of the small Pox, and Camp Diseases, are enough to make the Heart of stone to melt away.
The Sexton told me, that upwards of two Thousand soldiers had been buried there, and by the Appearance, of the Graves, and Trenches, it is most probable to me, he speaks within Bounds.
To what Causes this Plague is to be attributed I dont know. It seems to me, that the Want of Tents, Cloaths, soap, Vegetables, Vinegar, Vaults &c. cannot account for it all.
Oatmeal and Peas, are a great Preservative of our Enemies. Our Frying Pans and Gridirons, slay more than the Sword.
Discipline, Discipline is the great Thing wanted. There can be no order, nor Cleanliness, in an Army without Discipline.
We have at last, determined on a Plan for the Sick, and have called into the Service the best Abilities in Physick and Chirurgery, that the Continent affords. I pray God it may have its desired Effect, and that the Lives and Health of the Soldiers may be saved by it.
Disease has destroyed Ten Men for Us, where the Sword of the Enemy has killed one.
Upon my Return from my pensive melancholly Walk, I heard a Piece of disagreable News—That the ship Morris, Captain Anderson from Nantz, with Cannon, Arms, Gunlocks, Powder &c. was chased into Delaware Bay by two or three Men of War—that she defended herself manfully against their Boats and Barges, but finding no Possibility of getting clear, she run aground. The Crew, and two French Gentlemen Passengers got on shore, but the Captain, determined to disappoint his Enemy in Part, laid a Train and blew up the ship, and lost his own Life unfortunately in the Explosion.2 I regret the Loss of so brave a Man much more than that of the ship and Cargo. The People are fishing in order to save what they can, and I hope they will save the Cannon. The French Gentlemen, it is said have brought Dispatches from France to the Congress. I hope this is true. If it is, I { 210 } will let you know the Substance of it, if I may be permitted to disclose it.
1. Potter's Field in 18th-century Philadelphia was the open ground at Sixth and Walnut Streets later converted to Washington Square (Joseph Jackson, Encyclopedia of Philadelphia, Harrisburg, 1931–1933).
2. The Morris was a sloop owned by Robert Morris. One of the “French Gentlemen” who escaped was Armand Charles Tuffin, Marquis de La Rouërie, afterward colonel of a French regiment in Continental service (PMHB, 2 [1878]: 4–5; Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 2:454–462).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0159

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-04-14

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sr.

We hear of your being at Philadelphia and wish You a comfortable Session there. The spring is now opening and with this (probably) some grand Important Scenes that will call for the Wisdom of the Politician and the Skill and Bravery of the Warrior. Troops are dayly marching from this State to the several Places of their Destination and were all the Levies compleated from the several States, America would make a respectable Figure and under Providence would be able to give a good Account of her Enemies. What Number of Troops are already raisd in this State I am not able to inform You, but am doubtful whether they exceed much more than half the Number required.
An Act for regulating the Prices of Necessaries hath been made. The Cries of People demanded it. Much Pains was taken in framing it and the Prices were upon the whole judiciously set, and it was hoped that a chearful Compliance would have been paid to it. But to tell You the Truth, We are got into a wretched Hobble.
The Act occasiond a sudden Stagnation of Business. All wholesale Business ceas'd at once, and People stood gaping at one another, waiting for the Operation of the Act—some few provoked, that their Avarice should be bounded, took every Method to defeat it. The Farmer began to complain of the Trader and the Trader of the Farmer and each in his Turn contrived to outwit the other. In the mean Time, no Pains taken to enforce the Act. And in this State We have been for some Time. Upon the whole, from all that appears, it must fall through. I hope no other State will adopt such a Measure, unless they fully acquaint themselves with the operation of this Law and the Difficulties attending such a Regulation any where. All have agreed that [it] is necessary that something should have been done, to prevent Monopoly and oppression. But what that is, is a matter of Dispute. Some { 211 } suppose the lessening of the Medium, would be the most effectual Remedy, and that no other Measure will ever avail. It is of little consequence that You bind the Merchant—in spite of all Laws He will find Means to evade them, and when the Demand for his Goods are great and especially if they are scarce, he will have his Price where Money is plenty. But if Money is scarce, no one will buy but for Necessity and the Merchant will be oblig'd to submit in this Case to such a Price as he can get, and this I suppose will hold good with Respect to the Produce of Lands and other Things.—I am this Moment calld off and must bid You Adieu for the present having only Time to add that all our Families are well and that with the most Ardent Wishes for Your Health and Happiness, I am Yr. Affectionate Friend & H Sert.,
[signed] C.T.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0160

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We are waiting with some Impatience to hear of the Arrival of some of the Massachusetts Troops at Head Q[uarte]rs.
The Lassitude and Torpor, that has seized our New Englandmen, is to me, very surprizing.
Something will happen I believe, to arrouse them from their Lethargy. If they dont go and crush that little Nest of Hornetts at Newport, I shall think them dead to all Sense of Honour, Virtue, Shame, and Love to their Country.
The continental Troops must all march to Fishkill and Ti. . . .1 These are the Places to stop the Progress of the Enemy into New England, which I believe is their Intention, notwithstanding all that they give out about coming to Philadelphia. If they come here, they shall get little but bare Walls. And here they will be starved and drubbed.
1. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0161

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-04-17

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Your obliging favours of March 14, 16 and 22, have received, and most sincerely thank you for them. I know not How I should support { 212 } an absence already tedious, and many times attended with melancholy reflections, if it was not for so frequently hearing from you. That is a consolation to me, tho a cold comfort in a winters Night.
As the Summer advances I have many anxieties, some of which I should not feel or at least should find them greatly alleviated if you could be with me. But as that is a Satisfaction I know I must not look for, (tho I have a good mind to hold You to your promise since some perticuliar circumstances were really upon that condition) I must summon all the Phylosophy I am mistress of since what cannot be help'd must be endured.
Mrs. Howard a Lady for whom I know you had a great respect died yesterday to the inexpressible Grief of her Friends.1 She was deliverd of a Son or Daughter I know not which yesterday week, a mortification in her Bowels occasiond her death. Every thing of this kind naturally shocks a person in similar circumstances. How great the mind that can overcome the fear of Death! How anxious the Heart of a parent who looks round upon a family of young and helpless children and thinks of leaving them to a World full of snares and temptations which they have neither discretion to foresee, nor prudence to avoid.
But I will quit [the]2 Subject least it should excite painfull Sensations in a Heart that I would not willingly wound.
You give me an account in one of your Letters of the removal of your Lodgings. The extravagance of Board is greater there than here tho here every thing is at such prices as was not ever before known. Many articles are not to be had tho at ever so great a price. Sugar, Molasses, Rum, cotton wool, Coffe, chocolate, cannot all be consumed. Yet there are none, or next to none to be sold, perhaps you may procure a pound at a time, but no more. I have sometimes stoped 15 or 20 Butchers in a day with plenty of meat but not a mouthfull to be had unless I would give 4 pence per pound and 2 pence per pound for bringing. I have never yet indulged them and am determined I will not whilst I have a mouthfull of salt meat, to Eat, but the act is no more regarded now than if it had never been made and has only this Effect I think, that it makes people worse than they would have been without it. As to cloathing of any sort for myself or family I think no more of purchaseing any than if they were to live like Adam and Eve in innocence.
I seek wool and flax and can work willingly with my Hands, and tho my Household are not cloathed with fine linnen nor scarlet, they are cloathed with what is perhaps full as Honorary, the plain and decent manufactory of my own family, and tho I do not abound, I am not in want. I have neither poverty nor Riches but food which is conveniant { 213 } for me and a Heart to be thankfull and content that in such perilous times so large a share of the comforts of life are allotted to me.
I have a large Share of Health to be thankfull for, not only for myself but for my family.
I have enjoyed as much Health since the small pox, as I have known in any year not with standing a paleness which has very near resembled a whited wall, but which for about 3 weeks past I have got the Better of. Coulour and a clumsy figure make their appearence in so much that Master John says, Mar, I never saw any body grow so fat as you do.
I really think this Letter would make a curious figure if it should fall into the Hands of any person but yourself—and pray if it comes safe to you, burn it.
But ever remember with the tenderest Sentiments her who knows no earthly happiness eaquel to that of being tenderly beloved by her dearest Friend.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia. ans. 29.”
1. Elizabeth (Clarke) Mayhew Howard, widow of Rev. Jonathan Mayhew and wife of Mayhew's successor in the West Church in Boston, Rev. Simeon Howard. She had died on the 13th (Continental Journal and Weekly Advertiser, 17 April 1777); either AA had been misinformed or else she misdated her letter.
2. MS: “a.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0162

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-19

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We have now an ample Representation from N. York. It consists of Six Delegates, and they are to all Appearance, as high, as decisive, and as determined, as any Men ever were, or can be.
There is a new Hand, a Mr. Duer, who is a very fine fellow—a Man of sense, Spirit and Activity, and is exceeded by no Man in Zeal. Mr. Duane and Mr. Phillip Livingston, are apparently, as determined as any Men in Congress.
You will see by the inclosed Newspaper, that Duane and Jay have arrived at the Honour of being ranked, with the Two Adams's. I hope they will be duely sensible, of the illustrious Distinction, and be sure to behave in a manner becoming it.
This is the Anniversary of the ever memorable 19. April 1775.—Two compleat Years We have maintained open War, with Great Britain and her Allies, and after all our Difficulties and Misfortunes, { 214 } are much abler to cope with them now than We were at the Beginning.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspaper not found or identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0163

Author: Adams, Zabdiel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-04-19

Zabdiel Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

The great Distance that separates us occasions that we can hear of each others welfare but seldom. This therefore ought to induce us, as we were formerly much acquainted, to embrace every opportunity to write in order to perpetuate that friendship and regard that once so eminently subsisted between us. It would to me be highly acceptable could Letters be conveyed backwards and forwards frequently. But as this cannot be, I should be inexcusable to let pass those chances which sometimes present of sending a Letter directly to you. One such, I was favored with about 10 months ago, I embraced it, and had in return a most agreeable Letter from yourself. An Opportunity equally safe and convenient now offers in the person of Nathaniel Gorham Esq: who comes charged with a petition to the Congress from the People of Charlestown, praying for a Compensation for the Damage they sustained in the wanton destruction of their Town.1 This Gentleman now resides in Lunenburg and is one of my nearest neighbors. From an intimate acquaintance with him I can recommend him to you as a person of virtue, patriotism and superior good sense. By him you may receive information of the state of affairs in this part of the Continent. However I cannot forbear to mention a difficulty that is sensibly felt at present, and threatens very great mischief unless a remedy be speedily administered. The difficulty I mean, is the depretiation of our paper currency. The Legislature took up this matter and passed an act regulating the prices of the most essential commodities among us, as you know very well. I hoped this act would have been attended to by the people, and thereby a value given to our circulating medium. My expectations are disappointed. The Prices of the necessary and convenient articles of Life, instead of being lessened are greatly encreasd since the promulgation of that Law. Nitimur in Vetitum. But few persons comply with it. Many things Money will not purchase at all, and those for which it is taken are exorbitantly dear. The extreme plenty of it is doubtless the principal reason of its being so greatly undervalued. Whether this redundancy of cash arises from the too copious emission of it by the Congress and the particular states; or from { 215 } its being counterfeited by our enemies, I cannot tell; tho many worthy persons with whom I converse are ready to impute it chiefly to the latter cause. But let it arise from what quarter soever, it is an evil that deserves the closest attention of those that are in Power. The remedy to be applied I am not competent to point out; neither indeed is it necessary to prescribe or suggest to so wise and discerning a body as the Congress. Doubtless the calling it in plentifully by taxes, and then consuming it so far as redundant, and the making it death to counterfeit it would have a Direct tendency greatly to lessen, if not totally to destroy an evil, which if let alone bids fair to Draw after it more serious and troublesome consequences, than the arms of our enraged foes.
You will excuse my mentioning a thing of this Nature as it appears to me a matter of great importance. Money is the sinews of War; and if our enemies can devise a method by which to destroy the credit of our medium they will as effectually gain their point, as tho they were to conquer the country by dint of Arms. We have much need to be upon our guard not only against their power, but also against their policy and cunning. My Dear Sir, we have enemies both within and without to encounter, and what they want in strength they seem determind to supply by artifice. It is shrewdly suspected by those who are far from being inattentive observers, that many who are called Tories among us are possessed of counterfeit money. I am told that several who were known to be poor before the war began and who have done no business since it took place, now appear in pomp and splendor, ride fine horses, buy gay clothes and purchase farms. If this be so, we have too much reason to think they do not come honestly by their riches. Obsta Principiis is a good maxim and much to be regarded at this day. I hope those in Power will have wisdom to direct [ . . . ]2 in this perplexed state of our affairs.
As to news perhaps I can tell you none. It is a time of general health, and the season at present is promising. Our Forces in this state are recruited but slowly, altho large bounties have by the several towns been given in addition to the Continental and Provincial ones. I hope however we shall be able in tolerable good season to take the field with a Large and well appointed army who shall have it in their power to counteract and disappoint the designs of our unreasonable enemies. America is now in Labor and attended with hard and severe throws but I trust she will sooner or later be delivered, and then remember no more the anguish, on account of having brought forth the fair Daughter, Liberty, under whose gentle and peaceful reign her sons will enjoy affluence and every blessing.
{ 216 }
Permit me Sir, very tenderly to enquire after your health. Your fatigues doub[t]less are great, and situation truly uncomfortable, surrounded as you are by a miscreant host of internal and external foes. But be not discouraged. The time I am firmly persuaded is not very remote when the Congress will be abundantly recompensed for their Noble exertions in their Country's Cause. Go on then with unremitting ardor in the prosecution of the glorious design of extricating your native Land from the worst of all curses, Slavery; and be assured that you are favored with the constant Prayers of by far the greatest part of the people of these united States, that [good?] success may attend you in this important undertaking.
As I Live in a part of the world where we do not receive the earliest intelligence of the movements of the enemy, should take it very kindly if, in answer to this Letter, you would give me the best information of this matter; and let me know what reinforcements the enemy expects this season; where will probably be the seat of the war; how General Washington is supported, and what kind of assistance we are likely to receive from foreign Powers; and whether the honest Quakers are as unfriendly as ever. I have lately been transiently informed that a conspiracy, in which a number of that Denomination were concerned, has been detected. Should be glad to know the certainty of the affair. If you have it in your power to give me information in these particulars it will be pleasing to receive it, but if not, a Letter on any topick from you will be highly acceptable to him who subscribes himself your serious friend & very humble Servant,
[signed] Zabdiel Adams
My Best regards to the Honble. Samll. Adams Esq. and the other Gentlemen the Delegates from this state.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Zabdiel Adams. ansd. May 18”; docketed in CFA's hand. TA's answer of 18 May has not been found.
1. The Charlestown petition, dated 28 Nov. 1776 and brought to Philadelphia by Nathaniel Gorham and Thomas Russell, prayed for compensation by the United States in the amount of £163, 405 3s. 8d. lawful money for losses in real and personal property suffered from the burning of the town and the British occupation which followed (PCC, No. 42, 11), On 14 May it was referred to a committee of three members, none of whom was from Massachusetts (JCC, 7:354). Two days later the committee regretfully reported, and Congress agreed, that the payment by the United States of such claims, however justified, would require sums “which, in the present exigency of their affairs, cannot be spared from the support of the present just and necessary war” (same, p. 365–366). See also JA to AA, 17 May, below, and the long and illuminating letter of explanation sent by the Massachusetts delegates to Speaker Warren on 21 May (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:366–368||; also printed in Papers of John Adams||).
2. A word is here interlined in so fine a hand as to be illegible.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0164

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-04-20

Abigail Adams to John Adams

The post is very Regular and faithfully brings me all your Letters I believe. If I do not write so often as you do be assurd that tis because I have nothing worth your acceptance to write. Whilst the Army lay this way I had constantly something by way of inteligance to write, of late there has been as general a state of Tranquility as if we had no contending Armies.
There seems to be something prepairing against Newport at last. If we are not wise too late it will be well. 2000 Militia are orderd to be Draughted for that place, and last week the independant Company Marchd very generally—expect to tarry six weeks, till the Militia are collected.
Your obliging favours of various dates came safe to Hand last week, and contain a fine parcel of agreable inteligance for which I am much obliged and feel very important to have such a Bugget to communicate.
As to the Town of Boston I cannot give you any very agreable account of it. It seems to be really destitute of the Choice Spirits which once inhabited it. Tho I have not heard any perticuliar charges of Toryism against it, no doubt you had your inteligance from Better authority than I can name. I Have not been into Town since your absence nor do I desire to go till a better Spirit prevails. If tis not Toryism, tis a Spirit of avarice, a Contempt of Authority, an inordinate Love of Gain, that prevails not only in Town, but every where I look or hear from. As to Dissapation, there was always enough of it, in the Town, but I believe not more now than when you left us.
There is a general cry against the Merchants, against monopilizers &c. who tis said have created a partial Scarcity. That a Scarcity prevails of every article not only of Luxery, but even the necessaries of life is a certain fact. Every thing bears an exorbitant price. The act which for a while was in some measure regarded and stemed the torrent of oppression is now no more Heeded than if it had never been made; Indian Corn at 5 shillings, Rye 11 and 12 shilling[s], but none scarcly to be had even at that price, Beaf 8 pence, veal 6 pence and 8 pence, Butter 1 & 6 pence; Mutton none, Lamb none, pork none, Sugar mean Sugar £4 per hundred, Molasses none, cotton wool none, Rum N.E. 8 shilling[s] per Gallon, Coffe 2 & 6 per pound, Chocolate 3 shillings.
What can be done? Will Gold and Silver remedy this Evil? By your accounts of Board, Horse keeping &c. I fancy you are not better of than { 218 } we are Here. I live in hopes that we see the most difficult time we have to experience. Why is Carolina so much better furnishd than any other State? and at so reasonable prices.
I Hate to tell a Story unless I am fully informd of every perticuliar. As it happned <last Night> yesterday, and to day is Sunday have not been so fully informd as I could wish. About 11 o clock yesterday William Jackson, Dick Green, Harry Perkins, and Sergant of Cape Ann and a Carry of Charlstown were carted out of Boston under the direction of Joice junr. who was mounted on Horse back with a Red coat, a white Wig and a drawn Sword, with Drum and fife following; a Concourse of people to the amount of 500 followed. They proceeded as far as Roxbury when he orderd the cart to be timpd1 up, then told them if they were ever catchd in Town again it should be at the expence of their lives. He then orderd his Gang to return which they did immediately without any disturbance. Whether they had been guilty of any new offence I cannot learn. Tis said that a week or two ago there was a publick auction at Salem when these 5 Tories went down and bid up the articles to an enormous price, in consequence of which they were complaind of by the Salem Committee. Two of them I hear took refuge in this Town last Night.2
I believe we shall be the last State to assume Goverment. Whilst we Harbour such a number of designing Tories amongst us, we shall find government disregarded and every measure brought into contempt, by secretly undermineing and openly contemning them. We abound with designing Tories and Ignorant avaricious Whigs.
Have now learnt the crime of the carted Tories. It seems they have refused to take paper money and offerd their goods Lower for Silver than for paper—Bought up articles at a dear rate, and then would not part with them for paper.
Yesterday arrived 2 French vessels, one a 20 some say 36 Gun frigate—dry goods and 400 Stands of Arms tis said they contain. I believe I wrote you that Manly had saild, but it was only as far as Cape Ann. He and Mack Neal [McNeill] both lye at Anchor in the Harbour.

[salute] Adieu ever yours.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. Thus in MS.
2. “Joyce Junior,” as Albert Matthews has explained in two exemplary pieces of antiquarian research, “was the name by which, for a year or two before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the chairman of the committee on tarring and feathering was known, and it was { 219 } he who during the war warned and escorted out of town those of Tory proclivities.” The name itself rose from the fact that a certain George Joyce, a cornet of horse in Cromwell's army, was the officer who captured the fugitive Charles 1 in 1647 and was his reputed executioner. See Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns., 8 (1906):90–104; 11 (1910):280–294.
AA's information on the names of the offending merchants was slightly but not seriously defective. They were the notorious William Jackson, who has been identified earlier; Richard Green, a hardware dealer of Boston and an addresser of Gage in Oct. 1775; James (not “Harry”) Perkins, another Bostonian and an addresser of Hutchinson and Gage; Epes Sargent, a Gloucester shipowner; and Nathaniel Cary, of Boston or Charlestown, also an addresser of Hutchinson and Gage. See Joyce Junior's “Notification” in the Boston Gazette of 21 April 1777, with Matthews' commentary thereon in the first of his articles cited above. On the treatment of Perkins in particular, see Isaac Smith Sr. to JA, 25 April, below.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0165

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-22

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The Post brought me two Letters from you, this Morning, one of the 7th. instant, and one before.
You seem to be in fine Spirits—I rejoice at it.
General Gates has commanded in Philadelphia, untill about a Fortnight ago, he went to Ticonderoga, where he is to command all Summer.
Schuyler is here, where he now commands. We are crouding along Soldiers to the General, as fast as they get well of Inocculation.
I think our N. Englandmen have been rather tardy, but I hope soon to hear of the Arrival of their Men at Morristown. The Army there, and at Ticonderoga too, is too weak.
But Howes Army is weak too. Let the Tories, and Cowardly Whiggs, exagerate, as much as they will, How has not in all America, Ten Thousand Men fit for Duty, nor in my Opinion Seven.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0166

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-23

John Adams to Abigail Adams

My Barber has just left the Chamber. The following curious Dialogue was the Amusement, during the gay Moments of Shaving.
Well, Burn, what is the Lye of the day?—Sir, Mr. []1 just told me, that a Privateer from Baltimore, has taken two valuable Prizes, with Sixteen Guns each. I can scarcely believe it.—Have you heard of the Success of the Rattlesnake of Philadelphia, and the Sturdy Beggar { 220 } of Maryland, Mr. Burn? These two Privateers have taken Eleven Prizes, and sent them into the West India Islands, Nine Transports and two Guinea Men.—Confound the ill Luck, sir, I was going to sea myself on board the Rattlesnake and my Wife fell a yelping. These Wives are queer Things. I told her I wondered she had no more Ambition. Now, says I, when you walk the Street, and any Body asks who that is? The Answer is “Burn the Barbers Wife.” Should you not be better pleased to hear it said “That is Captain Burns Lady, the Captain of Marines on board the Rattlesnake”?
Oh! says she, I had rather be called Burn the Barbers Wife, than Captain Burns Widow. I dont desire to live better, than you maintain me, my dear.
So it is, Sir, by this sweet, honey Language I am choused2 out of my Prizes, and must go on, with my Soap and Razors and Pinchers and Combs. I wish she had more Ambition.—
If this Letter should be intercepted by the Tories, they will get a Booty.—Let them enjoy it. If some of their Wives had been as tender and discreet, as the Barbers, their Husbands Ambition would not have led them into so many Salt Ponds. . . .3 What an Ignis fatuus this Ambition is! How few of either Sex, have arrived at Mrs. Burns pitch of Moderation, and are able to say, I dont desire to live better: and had rather be the Barbers Wife than the Captains Widow.—Quite smart I think as well as Philosophical.
1. Blank in MS.
2. Tricked or cheated (Webster, 2d edn.).
3. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0167

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-04-24

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sr.

I wrote to you last Week by Mr. Thos. Russell who was to set out for Philadelphia on Monday last. In it I gave you some Account of the Bill for regulating Prices &c. (entituled an Act to prevent Monopoly and Oppression) and the curious State we have been in since its Publication; it will not be long before I shall be able to give You a more particular Account of its Effects—something decisive must shortly take Place. Many of the necessaries of Life are not to be purchasd such as Corn, Flax and Wool. Yet no Body starves—nor freezes. Foreign Articles are bought and sold only by those who are daring enough to buy and sell at any Rate or by those whose Necessities compel them to it.
{ 221 }
It is reported that the Committee of Salem have thrown open the Mercantile Stores and obliged the owners to an Observance of the Acts. If this Measure is adopted in all the trading Towns, it is likely the Act will be observed, otherwise I think it will fail.
Some have thought, that a general Regulation of the Articles commonly bought and sold in America, made by Congress and binding on all the States would have been more extensively useful and have met with a more chearful Obedience.
Ought not all matters of Trade that affect the whole be directed by that Body that represents the whole and in whom the supreme Power is lodged? If particular States undertake to meddle with matters of Trade and thereby prejudice other States, what must follow, but Disaffection and Disunion.—I do not indeed wish that the Congress would undertake a Matter of this Kind at present like unto what has been done by the New England States, But wish that all Affairs of Commerce may be under the Guidance of that Body and that all Duties, Customs &c. in Trade might be the same throughout America (and its Money the same) unless some local Circumstances forbid.
We hear that a Number of capital Ships are to be built by order of Congress. With respect to the Expediency of it, May not the following Queries have some Weight.—Suppose a Vessell of 60 Guns to be built in so short a Time as the present Exigencies of our affairs require to render it of Use in the present Contest, what Number of Men are to be employd in building and what will be the expence of the same? Suppose it to be built, what Number of Men are required to man her and where are they to be procurd.—Three Frigates built 12 Months past are not yet equipt for sea. What would be the Condition of a 60 Gun Ship. How long must she lay and how is she to be manned.
It has been our Misfortune to be plungd into more Business than we could possibly conduct with any Degree of Clearness and to enter upon new Business before we had finishd old. Necessity has often compelled us to this. Wisdom points out what is profitable and necessary to be done, but Means are not always at hand. In this Case We must pass on to what is practicable and content ourselves with a Lesser Good where we cant obtain a greater.
Must not a Land Army (under Providence) be our main Security and Dependance? If so Every Measure that materially prevents the raising of Men for that Purpose must necessarily injure us. The greater the Number of Men employ'd at Wages above the Soldiers, the Less Number of Soldiers will be obtaind. Few Men will enter the Service at 2s. per Day when they can get at Home 4s. or 6s. In short must not { 222 } every Thing bend to that one Point Viz. Raising and maintaining an Army sufficient for our Defence. Should we overcome our Enemies, and enjoy Peace, there will at that Time be multitudes thrown out of Business. Perhaps building Capital Ships would answer a good Purpose and prevent a Stagnation frequently attending Peace.
Our Army is not filled up with that Alacrity and Dispatch that might be wishd for. If We enquire into the true Causes, among others We shall find, that the Demand of Men for Shipping of one kind and another, and the high Wages given to Tradesmen, Labourers &c. may be reckond among the capital Causes. I dont mention the plenty of Money as a cause operating on those mentiond for that may rather be considerd as short livd and limited or rather I would feign consider it so and am strongly in the Faith, that it will eer long be scarce and valuable.
My Dear Sir, I have given You a strange Mess of Politics, and will no longer transgress upon your Patience. Leaving you to your better Thoughts I am with much Esteem, Your Affectionate Friend & H Sert.
[In the margin:] Yours and the other Families connected are well.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Honle. John Adams Esq Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Dr. Tufts”; docketed in CFA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0168

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-04-25

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

[salute] [Mr. Adam]s

The bearer is Thomas Russell Esq., who is going to The Congress in order to make Application in behalf of the Town of Charlestown for some temperal releif for the many sufferers amongst which are many widows, more so than in general, and iff any thing could be done for them, under there present dificulties, consistant with the general good I should be glad and hope some method might be found Out for that purpose.
We have two Ships in the bay, and will rain Triumpant As there seems no probabillity of Opozeing them.1—By the Ticonderoga post Yesterday itt seems there were but about Two thousand people and the lake Open for the enemy to come Over. I Am A little affraid they will come Over too soon for us.—We have wrote the Marine board how far we have proceeded in the business Appointed us, but we find itt to be a confused business, some part of itt, att least. However hope to get itt Accomplishd as spedily as we can.
There is a ship built att Piscataque, belonging to Mercer & Co. of { 223 } Phila. which has taken Out of a fleet Three Vessells and was in persute of more, which ship's keyl was not laid, when [ . . . ]2 round here.—We have had some very bad carryings on here lately which cant be justifyed by any person that has any regard to the present cause or either to humanity or justice. One of which of the persons referred to is [Mr.?] Perkins that had a son who had run him in debt and borrowed money unbeknown to his father and behaved badly, run of to NY. some time Ago, and on no Other crime Alledged Against the father who knew nothing of his going. To be seized when seting down to breakfast and ludgd.3 into a Cart with his wife and Children hanging round him, not knowing but he was a going to the Gallows, must be shocking to any One that has the sparks of humanity in them. Nothing more inhumane could have been in Spain or Portugal, to be banesht without even the shadow of an Accuation.4 I dont know but you think I am pleading the cause of the Torey party, but I abhor a real One and such management has a tendancy to make more of that kind of people. Were any person as the case here, have given bonds With good security for there good behavior, and have never offended, the goverment they are under (for there Own honor) Ought to protect them, or else goverment had as good be att an end.
The Counsel sent a Messuage to the house and people were in hopes some good would have come of itt, but beleive itt will all come to nothing.—Yr. &c.
1. These were British frigates. See James Warren to JA, 27 April, for more details (Warren-Adams Letters, 1:318–319||; also printed in Papers of John Adams||).
2. MS torn by seal; two or three words missing.
3. Thus in MS, for “lugged”?
4. Thus in MS. This must have been James Perkins; see AA to JA, 20 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0169

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I have been lately more remiss, than usual in Writing to you. There has been a great Dearth of News. Nothing from England, nothing from France, Spain, or any other Part of Europe, nothing from the West Indies. Nothing from Howe, and his Banditti, nothing from General Washington.
There are various Conjectures that Lord How is dead, sick, or gone to England, as the Proclamations run in the Name of Will. Howe only, and nobody from New York can tell any Thing of his Lordship.
{ 224 }
I am wearied out, with Expectations that the Massachusetts Troops would have arrived, e'er now, at Head Quarters.—Do our People intend to leave the Continent in the Lurch? Do they mean to submit? or what Fatality attends them? With the noblest Prize in View, that ever Mortals contended for, and with the fairest Prospect of obtaining it upon easy Terms, The People of the Massachusetts Bay, are dead.
Does our State intend to send only half, or a third of their Quota? Do they wish to see another, crippled, disastrous and disgracefull Campaign for Want of an Army?—I am more sick and more ashamed of my own Countrymen, than ever I was before. The Spleen, the Vapours, the Dismals, the Horrors, seem to have seized our whole State.
More Wrath than Terror, has seized me. I am very mad. The gloomy Cowardice of the Times, is intollerable in N. England.
Indeed I feel not a little out of Humour, from Indisposition of Body. You know, I cannot pass a Spring, or fall, without an ill Turn—and I have had one these four or five Weeks—a Cold, as usual. Warm Weather, and a little Exercise, with a little Medicine, I suppose will cure me as usual. I am not confined, but moap about and drudge as usual, like a Gally Slave. I am a Fool if ever there was one to be such a Slave. I wont be much longer. I will be more free, in some World or other.
Is it not intollerable, that the opening Spring, which I should enjoy with my Wife and Children upon my little Farm, should pass away, and laugh at me, for labouring, Day after Day, and Month after Month, in a Conclave, Where neither Taste, nor Fancy, nor Reason, nor Passion, nor Appetite can be gratified?
Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0170

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-27

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Your Favours of Ap. 2 and Ap. 7. I have received.
The inclosed Evening Post, will give you, some Idea, of the Humanity of the present Race of Brittons.1—My Barber, whom I quote as often as ever I did any Authority, says “he has read Histories of { 225 } Cruelty; and he has read Romances of Cruelty: But the Cruelty of the British exceeds all that he ever read.”
For my own Part, I think We cannot dwell too much, on this Part of their Character, and Conduct. It is full of important Lessons. If the Facts only were known, in the Utmost Simplicity of Narration, they would strike every pious, and humane Bosom, in Great Britain with Horror. . . .2 Every Conscience in that Country is not callous nor every Heart hardened.
The plainest Relation of Facts, would interest the Sympathy, and Compassion of all Europe in our Favour. And it would convince every American that a Nation, so great a Part of which is thus deeply depraved, can never be again trusted with Power over Us.
I think that not only History should perform her Office, but Painting, Sculpture, Statuary, <Medalling?> and Poetry ought to assist in publishing to the World, and perpetuating to Posterity, the horrid deeds of our Enemies. It will shew the Persecution, We suffer, in defence of our Rights—it will shew the Fortitude, Patience, Perseverance and Magnanimity of Americans, in as strong a Light, as the Barbarity and Impiety of Britons, in this persecuting War. Surely, Impiety consists, in destroying with such hellish Barbarity, the rational Works of the Deity, as much as in blaspheming and defying his Majesty.
If there is a moral Law: if there is a divine Law—and that there is every intelligent Creature is conscious—to trample on these Laws, to hold them in Contempt and Defyance; is the highest Exertion of Wickedness, and Impiety, that Mortals can be guilty of. The Author of human Nature, who gave it its Rights, will not see it ruined, and suffer its destroyers to escape with Impunity. Divine Vengeance will sometime or other, overtake the Alberts, the Phillips, and Georges—the Alvas, the Grislers3 and Howes, and vindicate the Wrongs of oppressed human Nature.
I think that Medals in Gold, Silver and Copper ought to be struck in Commemoration of the shocking Cruelties, the brutal Barbarities and the diabolical Impieties of this War, and these should be contrasted with the Kindness, Tenderness, Humanity and Philanthropy, which have marked the Conduct of Americans towards their Prisoners.
It is remarkable, that the Officers and Soldiers of our Enemies, are so totally depraved, so compleatly destitute of the Sentiments of Philanthropy in their own Hearts, that they cannot believe that such delicate Feelings can exist in any other, and therefore have constantly ascribed that Milk and Honey with which We have treated them to Fear, Cowardice, and conscious Weakness.—But in this they are mis• { 226 } taken, and will discover their Mistake too late to answer any good Purpose for them.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure not found, but see note 1. An important but perhaps not completely accurate memorandum in JA's letterbook (Lb/JA/3) states that on 27 April he “wrote ten Letters,” including “two to Portia. These will go by Captn. Thompson or by next Wednesdays Post.—They are as well worth copying as any others, but I am weary of the Employment.” Only four or five of the letters listed by recipients' names in this memorandum are apparently present or recorded under this date in the Adams Papers Editorial Files, but others in the list may actually exist and be recorded under slightly later dates. There is, however, no indication that a second letter from JA dated 27 April was ever received by AA; see her acknowledgment of the present letter, 18 May, below.
1. On 16 Jan. Congress had appointed a committee of seven members, Samuel Chase chairman, “to enquire into the conduct of the British and Hessian generals and officers towards the officers, soldiers and mariners in the service of the United States, and any other persons, inhabitants of these States, in their possession, as prisoners of war, or otherwise, and also into the conduct of the said generals and officers, and the troops under their command, towards the subjects of these States and their property, more especially of the States of New York and New Jersey” (JCC, 7:42–43). The committee acted energetically in collecting evidence and began its report, which was read in Congress on 18 April, as follows:
“That, in every place where the enemy has been, there are heavy complaints of oppression, injury, and insult, suffered by the inhabitants. . . . The committee found these complaints so greatly diversified, that, as it was impossible to enumerate them, so it appeared exceedingly difficult to give a distinct and comprehensive view of them, or such an account, as would not, if published, appear extremely defective, when read by the unhappy sufferers, or the country in general.
“In order, however, in some degree, to answer the design of their appointment, they determined to divide the object of their enquiry into four parts: First, The wanton and oppressive devastation of the country, and destruction of property: Second, the inhuman treatment of those who were so unhappy as to become prisoners: Third, The savage butchery of many who had submitted or were incapable of resistance: Fourth, The lust and brutality of the soldiers in abusing of women.
“They will, therefore, now briefly state, what they found to be the truth upon each of these heads separately, and subjoin to the whole, affidavits and other evidence to support their assertions” (same, p. 276–277).
Congress immediately accepted the report and ordered it published, “with the affidavits.” The Pennsylvania Evening Post of 24 April devoted its entire front page to the report and continued the supporting affidavits in its issues of 26 and 29 April and 3 May. JA probably sent AA a copy of the issue of 26 April with the present letter, and a copy of that of 3 May with his letter of 4 May, below. On the following 19 July Congress ordered the committee to publish the report and affidavits as a pamphlet, “and that 4,000 copies in English, and 2,000 in German, be struck off and distributed through the several States” (same, 8:565). It is very doubtful if this was done since no copy of a pamphlet printing has been found.
2. Suspension points in MS.
3. Hermann Gessler, the more or less legendary persecutor of the Swiss patriot William Tell.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0171

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

There is a Clock Calm, at this Time, in the political and military Hemispheres. The Surface is smooth and the Air serene. Not a Breath, nor a Wave. No News, nor Noise.
Nothing would promote our Cause more, than Howes March to this Town. Nothing quickens and determines People so much, as a little Smart.—The Germans, who are numerous and wealthy in this state and who have very imperfect Ideas of Freedom, have a violent Attachment to Property. They are passionate and vindictive, in a Degree that is scarce credible to Persons who are unacquainted with them, and the least Injury to their Property, excites a Resentment and a Rage1 beyond Description. A few Houses and Plantations plundered, as many would be, if Howe should come here, would set them all on Fire. Nothing would unite and determine Pensilvania so effectually.
The Passions of Men must cooperate with their Reason in the Prosecution of a War. The public may be clearly convinced that a War is just, and yet, untill their Passions are excited, will carry it languidly on. The Prejudices, the Anger, the Hatred of the English, against the French, contributes greatly to their Valour and Success. The British Court and their Officers, have studied to excite the same Passions in the Breasts of their Soldiers against the Americans, well knowing their powerfull Effect.
We, on the Contrary, have treated their Characters with too much Tenderness. The Howes, their Officers and Soldiers too, ought to be held up to the Contempt, Derision, Hatred and Abhorrence of the Populace in every State, and of the common Soldiers in every Army. It would give me no Pain, to see them burn'd or hang'd in Effigy in every Town and Village.
1. Preceding three words, probably inadvertently omitted in RC, supplied from LbC.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0172

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-29

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This days Post brought me yours of 17th. inst. and Miss Nabbys obliging Favour of the 16.1 This young Lady writes a very pretty Hand, and expresses her Thoughts with great Propriety.
{ 228 }
I shall hardly excuse Miss from writing to me, so long as I have done, now I find she can write so well. I shall carefully preserve her Letter and if she neglects to write me frequently I shall consider this Letter as Proof that it is not Want of Abilities, but Want of Inclination.
The Death of Mrs. Howard I greatly and sincerely lament. She was one of the choice of the Earth.
The Account you give me of the Evasions of your Regulations surprizes me not. I detest the Regulations as well as the Embargo. I find it is necessary for me to resign, for I never, of late, think like my Constituents. I am bound by their Sense in Honour and Principle—But mine differs from them every day. I always knew the Regulations would do more Hurt than good.
The inclosed Speculations upon the Health of the Army, were written I suppose by Dr. Rush,2 as the former ones I know were done by him.
There is a letter of 20 Feb. from Dr. Lee, which says that Boston was to be attacked by Ten thousand Germans and three thousand British under Burgoin.3 But Circumstances since may have altered Cases.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure missing, but see note 2.
1. AA's letter is printed above; AA2's has not been found.
2. This was a remarkable article entitled “Directions for Preserving the Health of Soldiers” which was first printed in the Pennsylvania Packet, 22 April 1777, signed “R.” It was reprinted as a pamphlet, with a long subtitle and textual changes and additions, by order of the Board of War early in 1778 (Lancaster: John Dunlap; Evans 16064). This brief but pioneering essay in military hygiene was reprinted again and again until as late as 1908 and proved one of the most influential among all of Benjamin Rush's voluminous writings. An annotated text will be found in Rush's Letters, 1:140–147.
3. This was clearly some version of Arthur Lee's letter from Bordeaux, 18 Feb., of which a text is printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:272–273.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0173

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-04-30

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We have a fine Piece of News this Morning of the March of 2000 of the Enemy, and destroying a fine Magazine there—and the stupid sordid cowardly torified Country People let them pass without Opposition.1
All New England is petrified, with Astonishment, Horror, and Despair, I believe in my Conscience. They behave worse than any Part { 229 } of the Continent.2 Even in N. Jersy 2000 Men could not have marched so far.
1. The reference is to the destructive raid on the Continental stores at Danbury, Conn., from Long Island Sound, 25–27 April, by a British force under Maj. Gen. William Tryon and Brig. Gen. Sir William Erskine; see Washington's letter to Congress, 28 April, read on the 30th (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 7:490–491; JCC, 7:314); also AA to JA, 6–9 May, below.
2. The punctuation and capitalization of the MS have been retained in this passage, but in all likelihood JA actually intended a full stop after “Despair” and a comma after “Conscience.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0174

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-04

Abigail Adams to John Adams

The young folks desire Mamma to return thanks for their Letters which they will properly notice soon. It would have grieved you if you had seen your youngest Son stand by his Mamma and when she deliverd out to the others their Letters, he inquired for one, but none appearing he stood in silent grief with the Tears running down his face, nor could he be pacified till I gave him one of mine.—Pappa does not Love him he says so well as he does Brothers, and many comparisons were made to see whose Letters were the longest.2
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Portia.”
1. Possibly AA dated this letter, but the seal has torn away part of the top edge of the sheet. On the editors' conjectural date see the following note.
2. The letters to the “young folks” must have been those JA wrote to AA2, CA, and JQAthem on 30 March. Presumably he had received the present letter by 6 May, for on that day he sent TBA an apology for omitting him earlier. On 6 MayAA wrote JA, saying, “Tis ten days I believe since I wrote you a Line.” Very likely the present short letter is the “Line” she meant, for there is no other from her to JA late in April 1777. All the letters mentioned in this footnote are printed under their respective dates above or below.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0175

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This is King Tammany's Day. Tammany was an Indian King, of this Part of the Continent, when Mr. Penn first came here. His Court was in this Town. He was friendly to Mr. Penn and very serviceable to him. He lived here1 among the first settlers for some Time and untill old Age and at last was burnt.
{ 230 }
Some say he lived here with Mr. Penn when he first came here, and upon Mr. Pens Return he heard of it, and called upon his Grandchildren to lead him down to this Place to see his old Friend. But they went off and left him blind and very old. Upon this the old Man finding himself forsaken, he made him up a large Fire and threw himself into it. The People here have sainted him and keep his day.2
RC (Adams Papers). There is nothing to prove beyond question that this letter was addressed to AA, and from its tone one might plausibly suppose it was addressed to one of the Adams children, perhaps AA2. But lacking evidence to the contrary, the editors believe, with only the slightest shadow of doubt, that AA was the intended recipient.
1. MS: “he.”
2. On the history of the St. Tammany Society in Philadelphia, founded in the early 1770's and similar in its politics to the Sons of Liberty in New York and Boston, see a rambling serial article by Francis von A. Cabeen, “The Society of the Sons of Saint Tammany of Philadelphia,” PMHB, 25 (1901):433–451; 26 (1902):7–24, 207–223, 335–347, 443–463; 27 (1903):29–48. The Society was named for a chief of the Delaware tribe who had died many years before but was endowed with all possible virtues by his admiring followers, particularly the virtue of being indisputably all-American, unlike the legendary patrons of such societies as those of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick. See DAB under Tammany.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0176

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We have promoted Arnold, one Step this day, for his Vigilance, Activity, and Bravery, in the late Affair at Connecticutt.1—We shall make Huntingdon a Brigadier, I hope.2
We shall sleep in a whole Skin for some Time I think in Philadelphia, at least untill a strong Reinforcement arrives.
I want to learn, where Sir William Erskine with his Two Thousand Men, went after his Exploit at Danbury.—Perhaps to Newport.
1. See JCC, 7:323.
2. Jedediah Huntington; see same, p. 347 (12 May).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0177

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Inclosed with this you have an Evening Post, containing some of the tender Mercies of the Barbarians to their Prisoners.
{ 231 }
If there is a Man, Woman or Child in America, who can read these Depositions, without Resentment, and Horror, that Person has no soul or a very wicked one.
Their Treatment of Prisoners, last Year added to an Act of Parliament, which they have made to enable them to send Prisoners to England, to be there murthered, with still more relentless Cruelty, in Prisons, will bring our Officers and Soldiers to the universal Resolution to conquer or die.
This Maxim, conquer or die, never failed to raise a People who adopted it, to the Head of Man kind.
An Express from Portsmouth last night brought Us News of the Arrival of Arms and ordnance enough to enable Us to take Vengeance of these Foes of Human Nature.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure (missing): presumably a copy of the Pennsylvania Evening Post for 3 May 1777; see JA to AA, 27 April, above, and note 1 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0178-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-05-06

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Tis ten days I believe since I wrote you a Line,1 yet not ten minuts passes without thinking of you. Tis four Months wanting 3 days since we parted, every day of the time I have mournd the absence of my Friend, and felt a vacancy in my Heart which nothing, nothing can supply. In vain the Spring Blooms or the Birds sing, their Musick has not its formour melody, nor the Spring its usual pleasures. I look round with a melancholy delight and sigh for my absent partner. I fancy I see you worn down with Cares, fatigued with Buisness, and solitary amidst a multitude.
And I think it probabal before this reaches you that you may be driven from the city by our Barbarous and Hostile foes, and the City shareing the fate of Charlestown and Falmouth, Norfolk and Daunbury. So vague and uncertain are the accounts with regard to the Latter that I shall not pretend to mention them. Tis more than a week since the Event, yet we have no accounts which can be depended upon. I wish it may serve the valuable purpose of arousing our degenerated Country Men from that state of security and torpitude into which they seem to be sunk.
{ 232 }
I have been prevented writing for several days by company from Town. Since I wrote you I have received several Letters, 2 of the 13 of April, one of the 19 and one of the 22. Tho some of them were very short, I will not complain. I rejoice to hear from you tho you write but a line. Since the above we have some accounts of the affair at Daunbury and of the loss of General Wocester.2 That they had no more assistance tis said was owing to six expresses being stoped by the Tories. We shall never prosper till we fall upon some method to extirpate that Blood thirsty set of men. Too much Lenity will prove our ruin. We have rumours too of an action at Brunswick much to our advantage but little credit is yet given to the report. I wish we may be able to meet them in the Feald, to encounter and Conquer so vile an Enemy.
The two Continental frigates lie wind bound with 3 brigs of 20 Guns and some others who are all going out in company. We have had a very long season of cold rainy weather, and the trees are not yet out in Blossome, the wind has been a long time at East, and prevented the vessels from going out.—I was mistaken in my Brothers going with MacNeal. He is going in the Tarter a vessel which mounts 24 Guns, is private property but sails with the Fleat.
I cannot write you half so much as I would. I have left company because I would not loose an opportunity of sending this.
The children are well. I cannot say that I am so well as I have been. The disorder I had in my Eyes has in some measure left them but communicated itself all over me and turnd to the salt rhume which worries me exceedingly, and is very hurtfull in my present situation.3 However I am doing what I dare to to carry it of .—Believe me at all times most affectionately yours.
I must add a little more. A most Horrid plot has been discoverd of a Band of villans counterfeiting the Hampshire currency to a Great amount, no person scarcly but what has more or less of these Bills. I am unlucky enough to have about 5 pounds LM of it, but this is not the worst of it. One Col. Farington who has been concernd in the plot, was taken sick, and has confessd not only the Counterfeiting, but says they had engaged and inlisted near 2 thousand Men who upon the Troops comeing to Boston were to fall upon the people and make a General Havock. How much more mercifull God than man, in thus providentially bringing to light these Horrid plots and Schemes. I doubt not Heaven will still continue to favour us, unless our iniquities prevent. The Hampshire people have been stupid enough to let one of { 233 } the principal plotters Col. Holland out upon Baill and he has made his excape.4
1. Probably her letter printed under the assigned date of April 1777, above.
2. Maj. Gen. David Wooster died on 2 May from a wound received in action against the British when they were retreating from Danbury.
3. “Salt rheum” in U.S. usage, according to OED, citing Webster's Dictionary, 1854, was “A popular name for 'almost all the non-febrile cutaneous eruptions which are common among adults, except perhaps ringworm and itch.'”
4. For an account of the career of Col. Stephen Holland of Londonderry, N.H., see Kenneth Scott, Counterfeiting in Colonial America, N.Y., 1957, p. 256–260. He was later caught and jailed in Boston (AA to JA, 8 June, below). Lt. Col. Thomas Farrington of the 5th Massachusetts was cashiered from the army this month for counterfeiting (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 8:112 and note).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0178-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-05-06

Enclosure: List of American Losses at Danbury

1700 Barrells Pork
50 Do: Beef
700 Basketts Wheat
7 Hhds. Rum
6 Do: Bread
11 Tierces Claret
3 Quarter Cask Wine
12 or 1700 Wheat—Rye & Corn
12 Coile Rope
10 Waggons
1600 Tents mostly old
The above is a true State of our Loss, in the affair at Danbury. 20 Men killed. 5 Missing. 17 Houses burnt. A Party that went out to bury the Dead have returned, and Report, that they have buried 62 Regulars.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Portia ans. May 27”; docketed in CFA's hand. Enclosure, in an unidentified hand, printed herewith.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0179

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-06

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We have no News here but what comes from you—except that all is well and quiet at Ticonderoga, that We have four Thousand Troops there, and that they were not afraid of Carlton.
The Connecticutt People have given Sir Wm. Erskine a Concord and Lexington Drubbing. But I am very angry at our People for mak• { 234 } ing a Magazine, so near the Water and among such a Gang of high Church Tories. The Loss however, will not be much felt, as We have many Magazines and a plentifull Supply.
Send our Men along and We shall drubb them yet effectually. Ample Vengeance will be yet taken, of these Disturbers of human Nature. . . .1 There is a chosen Curse, red with uncommon Wrath, yet reserved in the stores of Heaven for these, most mean and most wicked of Men.
1. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0180

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Thomas Boylston
Date: 1777-05-06

John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

[salute] My dear Son Thomas

The only Reason why I omitted to write you when I wrote to your Brothers,1 was because I thought you was as yet too young to be able to read Writing, not because I had less Affection for you than for them: for you may rely upon it, you have as great a share in your Fathers Esteem and Affection as any of his Children.
I hope you will be good and learn to read and write well, and then I shall take a Pride and Pleasure in your constant Correspondence. Give my Love to your Mamma, your worthy Sister, and Brothers, and to all the rest of the Family.
Pray, when you write me a Letter, let me know how many Calves are raising, how many Ducks and Geese, and how the Garden looks. I long to take a Walk with you to see them, and the green Meadows and Pastures. I am your Father,
[signed] John Adams
RC (PPRF); addressed: “Mr. Thomas Adams Braintree.”
1. See AA's letter to JA printed under the assigned date of April 1777, above, and note 2 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0181

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We have no News here, except what We get from your Country. The Privateers act with great Spirit, and are blessed with remarkable Success. Some Merchant ships are arrived this Week from Maryland. They were first chased by Men of War, in attempting to get into Cheasapeak Bay—they run from them and attempted Delaware Bay— { 235 } there they were chased again. Whereupon they again shifted their Course for Cheasapeak and got in safe in spight of all the Men of War could do.
Thus you see We can and will have Trade, in spight of them. . . .1 And this Trade will probably increase fast. It requires Time for The Stream of Commerce to alter its Channell. Time is necessary, for our Merchants and foreign Merchants to think, plan, and correspond with each other. Time is also necessary for our Masters of Vessells and Mariners to become familiar with the Coasts, Ports and Harbours of foreign Countries—and a longer Time still is needfull for French, Spanish, and Dutch Masters and Mariners to learn our Coasts, and Harbours.

[salute] Yours, ever, ever yours.

1. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0182

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The Day before Yesterday, I took a Walk, with my Friend Whipple to Mrs. Wells's, the Sister of the famous Mrs. Wright, to see her Waxwork.1 She has two Chambers filled with it. In one, the Parable of the Prodigal Son, is represented. The Prodigal is prostrate on his Knees, before his Father, whose Joy, and Grief, and Compassion all appear in his Eyes and Face, struggling with each other. A servant Maid, at the Fathers command, is pulling down from a Closet Shelf, the choicest Robes, to cloath the Prodigal, who is all in Rags. At an outward Door, in a Corner of the Room stands the elder Brother, chagrined at this Festivity, a Servant coaxing him to come in. A large Number of Guests, are placed round the Room. In another Chamber, are the Figures of Chatham, Franklin, Sawbridge, Mrs. Maccaulay, and several others. At a Corner is a Miser, sitting at his Table, weighing his Gold, his Bag upon one Side of the Table, and a Thief behind him, endeavouring to pilfer the Bag.
There is Genius, as well as Taste and Art, discovered in this Exhibition: But I must confess, the whole Scaene was disagreable to me. The Imitation of Life was too faint, and I seemed to be walking among a Group of Corps's, standing, sitting, and walking, laughing, singing, crying, and weeping. This Art I think will make but little Progress in the World.
{ 236 }
Another Historical Piece I forgot, which is Elisha, restoring to Life the Shunamite's Son. The Joy of the Mother, upon Discerning the first Symptoms of Life in the Child, is pretty strongly expressed.
Dr. Chevots Waxwork, in which all the various Parts of the human Body are represented, for the Benefit of young Students in Anatomy and of which I gave you a particular Description, a Year or two ago, were much more pleasing to me. Wax is much fitter to represent dead Bodies, than living ones.2
Upon a Hint, from one of our Commissioners abroad, We are looking about for American Curiosities, to send across the Atlantic as presents to the Ladies.3 Mr. Rittenhouse's Planetarium, Mr. Arnolds Collection of Rareties in the Virtuoso Way, which I once saw at Norwalk in Connecticutt,4 Narragansett Pacing Mares, Mooses, Wood ducks, Flying Squirrells, Redwinged Black birds, Cramberries, and Rattlesnakes have all been thought of.5
Is not this a pretty Employment for great Statesmen, as We think ourselves to be? Frivolous as it seems, it may be of some Consequence. Little Attentions have great Influence. I think, however, We ought to consult the Ladies upon this Point. Pray what is your Opinion?6
RC and LbC (Adams Papers). LbC is entered in Lb/JA/3 as two separate letters, the first ending with JA's remarks on Dr. Chovet's anatomical waxworks, and the second containing only the two final paragraphs as found in RC, on “American Curiosities.” Datelines in RC and both LbC entries originally read “April 10.,” but the month was corrected to May by overwriting in all three.
1. Patience (Lovell) Wright (1725–1786), by origin a New Jersey Quaker, gained celebrity as a modeler in wax and has been called the first American sculptor. The Adams ladies were to encounter her in London in the 1780's and to write about her with less than complete admiration. See DAB; Groce and Wallace, Dict. Amer. Artists; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:165, with references there. Mrs. Wright's sister, Rachel (Lovell) Wells, was also a modeler in wax, but none of her work is known to survive (Ethel Stanwood Bolton, American Wax Portraits, Boston and N.Y., 1929, p. 22, 61). It seems likely that the collection JA viewed included pieces executed by both sisters.
2. The anatomical waxworks executed by Dr. Abraham Chovet (1704–1790) were among the principal scientific attractions of Philadelphia at this period. JA was apparently mistaken in supposing that he had described them in an earlier letter to AA, but he had given some account of them in his diary entry for 14 Oct. 1774 (Diary and Autobiography, 2:152).
3. See Silas Deane's letters to the Committee of Secret Correspondence, 28 Nov. 1776, and to John Jay, 3 Dec. 1776, respectively, in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:200, 214. Deane's own list of suggestions in the latter is engaging:
“I must mention some trifles. The queen is fond of parade, and I believe wishes a war, and is our friend. She loves riding on horseback. Could you send me a narrowhegansett horse or two; the present might be money exceedingly well laid out. Rittenhouse's orrery, or Arnold's collection of insects, a phaeton of American make and a pair of bay { 237 } horses, a few barrels of apples, of walnuts, of butternuts, etc., would be great curiosities here, where everything American is gazed at, and where the American contest engages the attention of all ages, ranks, and sexes.”
4. JA saw this natural history collection in the summer of 1774 when on his way to the first Continental Congress, and he afterward found it incorporated in Sir Ashton Lever's private museum in Leicester House, London; see Diary and Autobiography, 3:151.
5. In LbCJA did not at first list two of the items as here given but then immediately added: “And why should not Moose's and Rattlesnakes!”
6. JA began an additional paragraph in RC, but then rubbed it out: “We have at last accom. . . .” See the beginning of the following letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0183

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We have at last accomplished a troublesome Piece of Business. We have chosen a Number of additional Ambassadors. Mr. Ralph Izzard of S. Carolina, a Gentleman of large Fortune, for the Court of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Mr. William Lee, formerly Alderman of London, for the Courts of Vienna and Berlin.1
LbC (Adams Papers). There is no indication that this letter was sent or received. JA perhaps meant to add to it, but did not, and then did not copy and send it. Or perhaps he thought he had included this paragraph in the letter he did send this day, preceding.
1. Izard was appointed on 7 May, and Lee on 9 May (JCC, 7:334, 343).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0184

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-05-12

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

[salute] Mr. Adams

I duly received your several packets for Mrs. Adams which have been forwarded.—I have thoughts of sending a Vessell to Georgia to load with Rice, and as I should have Occasion to send money for the purchase, I should be glad iff you would enquire of the Gentlemen from Georgia, whether the Continental Loan bills would Answer as some Value in them might be easier conseald in case I should send them by the Vessell, but should rather send them by post iff I could do itt with safety which suppose may be done. I should therefore be glad iff you would enquire of the Gentlemen from Georgia, to whom I might with safety send the bills by land to be lodged in some Gentleman's hands Against the Vessell might Arrive and in case the Vessell should Miscarry, they may remain safe till further orders.
I should be glad to know how long the post is going from Phila. to Georgia.—There are two ships On the Carolina Coast, which takes { 238 } many Vessells About a fortnight Ago bound here Amongst which I have One.
We have nothing Arrived lately from Europe. There are several may be lookt for from Bilboa about 3 weeks hence and I expect One from France likewise.

[salute] I am Yr. hum servt,

[signed] Isaac Smith

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0185

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Prices with you are much more moderate than here. Yesterday I was obliged to give Forty shillings Pen. Cur.1 Thirty two L.M. for one Gallon of Rum.
In my station here, I have Business with many Gentlemen who have occasion to visit me, and I am reduced to the Necessity of treating them with plain Toddy and Rum and Water—a Glass of Wine, once in a while to a great stranger, of uncommon Consideration.
The Prices of Beef, Pork, Veal, Mutton, Poultry, Butter, Cheese, Milk is Three Times higher, here than with you.
I live like a Miser, and an Hermit, to save Charges, yet my Constituents will think my Expences beyond all Bounds.—My Love to Dr. Tufts. I have received two agreable Letters from him, which I will answer as soon as I can.
1. Pennsylvania currency, which, as indicated here, had a ratio to New England “lawful money” of 5 to 4.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0186

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-15

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Gen. Warren writes me, that my Farm never looked better, than when he last saw it, and that Mrs. —— was like to outshine all the Farmers.1—I wish I could see it.—But I can make Allowances. He knows the Weakness of his Friends Heart and that nothing flatters it more than praises bestowed upon a certain Lady.
I am suffering every day for Want of my farm to ramble in.—I have been now for near Ten Weeks in a drooping disagreable Way, loaded { 239 } constantly with a Cold. In the Midst of infinite Noise, Hurry, and Bustle, I lead a lonely melancholly Life, mourning the Loss of all the Charms of Life, which are my family, and all the Amusement that I ever had in Life which is my farm.
If the warm Weather, which is now coming on, should not cure my Cold, and make me better I must come home. If it should and I should get tolerably comfortable, I shall stay, and reconcile my self to the Misery I here suffer as well as I can.
I expect, that I shall be chained to this Oar, untill my Constitution both of Mind and Body are totally destroyed, and rendered wholly useless to my self, and Family for the Remainder of my Days.
However, now We have got over the dreary, dismall, torpid Winter, when We had no Army, not even Three Thousand Men to protect Us against all our Enemies foreign and domestic; and now We have got together a pretty respectable Army, which renders Us tolerably secure against both, I doubt not, We shall be able to perswade some Gentleman or other, in the Massachusetts, to vouch safe, to undertake the dangerous Office of Delegate to Congress.
However, I will neither whine, nor croak. The Moment our Affairs are in a prosperous Way and a little more out of Doubt—that Moment I become a private Gentleman, the respectfull Husband of the amiable Mrs. A. of B. and the affectionate Father of her Children, two Characters, which I have scarcely supported for these three Years past, having done the Duties of neither.
1.
“I hope the Court will rise this week and give me a little respite, and time to Study Tull [Jethro Tull, author of Horse-Hoeing Husbandry, first published London, 1731] but after all our Study, I don't know but Mrs. Adams Native Genius will Excel us all in Husbandry. She was much Engaged when I came along, and the Farm at Braintree Appeared to be Under Excellent Management. I tryed to persuade her to make A Visit to her Friend Mrs. Warren but she cant leave Home this Busy Season” (James Warren to JA, 27 April, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0187

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I never fail to inclose to you the News papers, which contain the most of the Intelligence that comes to my Knowledge.
I am obliged to slacken my Attention to Business a little, and ride and walk for the Sake of my Health, which is but infirm.—Oh that I could wander, upon Penns Hill, and in the Meadows and Mountains { 240 } in its Neighbourhood free from Care! But this is a Felicity too great for me.
Mr. Gorham and Mr. Russell are here with a Petition from Charlstown. It grieves me that they are to return without success. I feel, most exquisitely, for the unhappy People of that Town. Their Agents have done every Thing in their Power, or in the Power of Men to do, and the Mass. Delegates have seconded their Efforts to the Utmost of their Power, but all in vain.1
The Distress of the States, arising from the Quantity of Money abroad, and the monstrous Demands that would be made from Virginia, N. Jersy, N. York and elsewhere, if a Precedent should be once set, has determined the Congress, almost with Tears in their Eyes, to withstand this Application at present.
Every Man expressed the Utmost Tenderness and Humanity, upon the Occasion: But at the same Time every Man except the Mass. Delegates expressed his full Conviction of the ill Policy of granting any Thing at present.
1. See Zabdiel Adams to JA, 19 April, above, and note 1 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0188

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-05-18

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I think myself very happy that not a week passes but what I receive a Letter or two, some times more from you; and tho they are longer in comeing than formerly oweing I suppose to the posts being obliged to travel farther round, yet I believe they all faithfully reach me, even the curious conversation between Mr. Burn and your Honour arrived safe and made me laugh very Heartily.
Your Last which I believe came by a private Hand and was dated the 30 of April came to hand in about 12 days which is sooner than any other has reachd me since you came to Philadelphia. Two others accompanied it one of April 26 and 27. In one of them you mention your having been unwell, I hope nothing more than a cold. I feel more anxious than ever for your Health, and must intreat of you if you find it fail in any great measure that you would return during the summer Months; should I hear you were sick the imposibility of my comeing to you would render me misirable indeed.
I think before this time Many of our Troops must have arrived at Head Quarters, for tho we have been dilatory in this and the Neigh• { 241 } bouring Towns, others I hear have done their duty better. Not an Hour in the day but what we see soldiers marching. The sure way to prevent their distressing us Here would be to have a strong Army with the General. Their are a number not more than half I believe tho, of this Towns proportion inlisted. The rest were to be drawn at our May meeting, but nothing was done in that way, they concluded to try a little longer to inlist them.1 The Town send but one Rep. this year and that is Mr. N[ile]s of the middle parish. Give him His pipe and Let him laugh, He will not trouble any body.2 Philalutheris I suppose will be chosen into the Counsel since He finds that His plan for making them Lackies and Tools to the House was not so acceptable as he expected.3

“Then let me Have the Highest post,

Suppose it but an inch at most.”

I should feel more unhappy and anxious than ever if I realizd our being again invaded by the wickedest and cruelest of Enemies. I should not dare to tarry here in my present situation, nor yet know where to flee for safety; the recital of the inhumane and Brutal Treatment of those poor creatures who have fallen into their Hands, Freazes me with Horrour. My apprehensions are greatly increasd; should they come this way again I know [not]4 what course I should take.
Tis an observation of Bishop Butlers5 that they who have lost all tenderness and Fellow-feeling for others, have withall contracted a certain Callousness of Heart, which renders them insensible to all other satisfactions, but those of the grossest kind.
Our Enemies have proved the Truth of the observation in every instance of their conduct. Is it not astonishing what Men may at last bring themselves to, by suppressing passions and affections of the best kind, and suffering the worst to rule over them in their full strength.
Infidelity has been a growing part of the British character for many years. It is not so much to be wonderd at that those who pay no regard to a Supreeme Being should throw of all regard to their fellow creatures and to those precepts and doctrines which require peace and good will to Men; and in a perticuliar manner distinguish the followers of him who hath said by this shall all Men know that ye are my deciples if ye have love one towards an other.
Let them reproach us ever so much for our kindness and tenderness to those who have fallen into our Hands, I hope it will never provoke us to retaliate their cruelties; let us put it as much as posible out of { 242 } their power to injure us, but let us keep in mind the precepts of him who hath commanded us to Love our Enemies; and to excercise towards them acts of Humanity, Benevolence and Kindness, even when they despitefully use us.
And here suffer me to quote an Authority which you greatly Esteem, Dr. Tillotson.6 It is commonly said that revenge is sweet, but to a calm and considerate mind, patience and forgiveness are sweeter, and do afford a much more rational, and solid and durable pleasure than revenge. The monuments of our Mercy and goodness are a far more pleasing and delightfull Spectacle than of our rage and cruelty, and no sort of thought does usually haunt men with more Terror, than the reflexion upon what they have done in the way of Revenge.
If our cause is just, it will be best supported by justice and righteousness. Tho we have many other crimes to answer for, that of cruelty to our Enemies is not chargable upon Americans, and I hope never will be—if we have err'd it is upon the side of Mercy and have excercised so much lenity to our Enemies as to endanger our Friends—but their Malice and wicked designs against us, has and will oblige every State to proceed against them with more Rigor. Justice and self preservation are duties as much incumbant upon christians, as forgiveness and Love of Enemies.
Adieu. I have devoted an Hour this Day to you. I dare say you are not in debt.
Ever remember with the tenderest affection one whose greatest felicity consists in the firm belief of an unabated Love either by years or absence.
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia To be left at the Post Office”; endorsed: “Portia ans. 2. June”; docketed in CFA's hand.
1. From the late fall of 1776 through the following winter and spring, the town had met frequently “To consider and do what the Town may think proper for the Encouragement of Inlisting men for the Continental Army now Required.” Committees were appointed to hire recruits, and various other measures were taken. On 15 May, “There being a prospect of a number of men being hired by the said Committee the Town thought proper not to make any Draft, notwithstanding the orders of the [General] Court.” But at two special meetings in June the committee reported to the town that only ten men had been hired in a month, and further meetings were held in the following months in an effort to fill up the town's quota without resorting to a draft. (Braintree Town Records, p. 473–484.)
2. Samuel Niles (1711–1804), Harvard 1731, deacon, justice and later chief justice of the Suffolk Inferior Court of Common Pleas, moderator of Braintree town meeting, and from time to time representative in the General Court and member of the Council, had occasionally collaborated with JA at the beginning of the latter's career in politics (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 9:71–74; JA, Diary and Autobiography, { 243 } 1:118, 130, 160, 216–217; 3:280, 282).
3. AA is alluding to a five-column communication signed “Phileleutherus” (i.e. a lover of freedom) in the Boston Independent Chronicle for 7 March 1777, which embodied a draft constitution for Massachusetts, a subject which was in the forefront of legislative deliberation and popular discussion at this time. Phileleutherus' draft contained a number of features ultimately incorporated in the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, but it was chiefly remarkable for proposing wholly to subordinate the executive to the legislative branch of government. The “General Assembly” was to elect a “Council of Safety” from its own membership; this council was to serve as a plural executive after the pattern of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776. All legislation was to “originate, and be compleated by” the unicameral assembly, the council acting therein only in an advisory capacity. In three signed letters in later issues of the Chronicle (20, 27 March, 3 April), Rev. William Gordon severely criticized Phileleutherus' plan; in the second of these he quoted (without naming) JA on the dangers of unicameralism as set forth in Thoughts on Government. Gordon tantalizingly says that he knows who Phileleutherus is but will protect his anonymity. AA speaks as if perhaps she also knew, but unfortunately the present editors do not. (The most detailed account available, though hardly a satisfactory one, of the efforts and maneuvers from Sept. 1776 through May 1777 relating to a new constitution is in Harry A. Cushing, History of the Transition from Provincial to Commonwealth Government in Massachusetts, N.Y. 1896, p. 199–207.)
4. This word editorially supplied.
5. Joseph Butler (1692–1752), Bishop of Durham, author of The Analogy of Religion. . . (DNB). For works by Butler owned by JA, see Catalogue of JA's Library.
6. John Tillotson (1630–1694), sometime Archbishop of Canterbury, whose Works (10 vols., Edinburgh, 1759–1760) JA owned and had laboriously studied as a young schoolmaster in Worcester (DNB; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:9–10; Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0189

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-21

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Dont be two much alarmed at the Report of an Attack of Boston. The British Court are pursuing a system which in the End I think they will find impolitick. They are alarming the Fears of the People, every where. Wentworths Letter was contrived to terrify Portsmouth.1 Other Threats are given out against Boston. Others against the Eastern shore of Virginia and Maryland. Now Philadelphia is to be invaded—then Albany. Sometimes New London, at others N. Haven.
After all they will make but a poor Figure this Summer. There is some Reason to think, they have sent to Canada, for the Troops there by Water. Their Reinforcement from Europe, I think will not be great. Our Army is grown pretty strong. Pray let my dear Countrymen turn out, and not let a Man be wanting of their Quota.
The Enemy will find it impollitick to awaken the Apprehensions of so many People. Because when the Peoples Fears subside which most of them will, they will be succeeded by Contempt.
My Eyes are weak again, and I am in bad Health but I keep about. { 244 } I ride every fair Morning and walk every pleasant Evening, so that I cannot write so often as I wish.—Have received no Letter from you by the two last Posts.
The Country here looks most deliciously and the Singing Birds of which Species there is here a great Variety are inspired. The Spring is backward but promised great Fertility, Plenty and Abundance.
I wish I could see your Garden and little Farm.
1. An intercepted letter from former Gov. John Wentworth of New Hampshire, an extract of which was forwarded by Gov. Trumbull of Connecticut, 10 March, read in Congress on the 20th, and referred to “the Committee of Intelligence” (JCC, 7:187).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0190

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-21

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

I this day Received a few lines1 from my Friend, whose Long silence I have not been able to Account for but suppose her Letters are Directed southward. Have you any Late private Inteligence from that quarter, and do our Friends their Really think we shall be Invaded on all sides, or do they mean only to advise us to be Ready. My heart at times almost dies within me only with the Apprehension that we and our Neighbours May in a few months suffer all the distress the Inhabitants of the Jerseys and its Environs have already felt. I then Rally up my Fortitude, but find Nothing but Confidence in Him by whom kings Reign, Who Can Easily turn the Counsels of the Wiked into Foolishness, Can support my spirits, and give me the Courage Necessary for such a day as this.
I purpose to see you soon if Nothing Exstrordinary Intervenes. Mr. Warren proposes to spend Election week at home, and to look Northward the Monday following when I shall accompany him, and promiss myself the pleasure of spending a few days with my Braintree Friends.
Is Betsey agoing to be Maried. Why has she done writing. Do New acquaintance and New prospects Engross all her Attention. Give her my Love and best Wishes.
How do they do down at the Farms.2 Is Mrs. Lincoln Blind again. Is she Lame or is she Lazy that she Neglects her Friend at Plimouth.

[salute] With unfeigned Regards to Yourself and Family Concludes Your Friend,

[signed] Marcia Warren
Mrs. Lothrops Compliments &c. to Mrs. Adams.
{ 245 }
The papers for which I thank You I send now Least I forget it another time.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed “papers” (presumably newspapers) not found or identified.
1. Not found.
2. “The Farms” was an early name for the region later known as North Quincy. From the reference to “Mrs. Lincoln” that follows, Mrs. Warren probably is inquiring about Col. Josiah Quincy's family and specifically his daughter Hannah, widow of Dr. Bela Lincoln.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0191

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-22

John Adams to Abigail Adams

After a Series of the souerest,1 and harshest Weather that ever I felt in this Climate, We are at last, blessed with a bright Sun and a soft Air. The Weather here has been like our old Easterly Winds to me, and southerly Winds to you.
The Charms of the Morning at this Hour, are irresistable. The Streakes of Glory dawning in the East: the freshness and Purity in the Air, the bright blue of the sky, the sweet Warblings of a great Variety of Birds intermingling with the martial Clarions of an hundred Cocks now within my Hearing, all conspire to chear the Spirits.
This kind of puerile Description is a very pretty Employment for an old Fellow whose Brow is furrowed with the Cares of Politicks and War.
I shall be on Horseback in a few Minutes, and then I shall enjoy the Morning, in more Perfection.
I spent last Evening at the War-Office, with General Arnold. . . .2 He has been basely slandered and libelled. The Regulars say, “he fought like Julius Caesar.”
I am wearied to Death with the Wrangles between military officers, high and low. They Quarrell like Cats and Dogs. They worry one another like Mastiffs. Scrambling for Rank and Pay like Apes for Nutts.
I believe there is no one Principle, which predominates in human Nature so much in every stage of Life, from the Cradle to the Grave, in Males and females, old and young, black and white, rich and poor, high and low, as this Passion for Superiority. . . . Every human Being compares itself in its own Imagination, with every other round about it, and will find some Superiority over every other real or imaginary, or it will die of Grief and Vexation. I have seen it among Boys and Girls at school, among Lads at Colledge, among Practicers at the Bar, among the Clergy in their Associations, among Clubbs of Friends, { 246 } among the People in Town Meetings, among the Members of an House of Rep[resentative]s, among the Grave Councillors, on the more solemn Bench of Justice, and in that awfully August Body the Congress, and on many of its Committees—and among Ladies every Where—But I never saw it operate with such Keenness, Ferocity and Fury, as among military Officers. They will go terrible Lengths, in their Emulations, their Envy and Revenge, in Consequence of it.
So much for Philosophy.—I hope my five or six Babes are all well. My Duty to my Mother and your Father and Love to sisters and Brothers, Aunts and Uncles.
Pray how does your Asparagus perform? &c.
I would give Three Guineas for a Barrell of your Cyder—not one drop is to be had here for Gold. And wine is not to be had under Six or Eight Dollars a Gallon and that very bad. I would give a Guinea for a Barrell of your Beer. The small beer here is wretchedly bad. In short I can get nothing that I can drink, and I believe I shall be sick from this Cause alone. Rum at forty shillings a Gallon and bad Water, will never do, in this hot Climate in summer where Acid Liquors are necessary against Putrefaction.
1. Thus clearly in MS.
2. Here and below, suspension points are in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0192

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-24

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We have an Army in the Jersies, so respectable that We seem to be under no Apprehensions at present, of an Invasion of Philadelphia—at least untill a powerfull Reinforcement shall arrive from Europe. When that will be and how powerfull, it is impossible to say: But I think, it will not be very soon, nor very strong.
Perhaps, the Troops from Canada may come round by Water. If they do, the whole Force they can make, with all the Reinforcements from Europe will do no great Things this Year. I think, our Cause will never again be in so low a state as it was last December—then was the Crisis.
There are four Men of War and four Tenders in Delaware Bay. The Roebuck, and a Fifty Gun ship, and two other Frigates, are the Men of War. They come up the River a little Way to get Water sometimes with Fear and Trembling, and dare not come up far enough to get fresh Water, but content themselves with brackish Water.
{ 247 }
They go on shore sometimes to steal some lean Cattle, if any happen to wander into lonely Places, where they dare venture.

[salute] My Love to all.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0193

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

At half past four this Morning, I mounted my Horse, and took a ride, in a Road that was new to me. I went to Kensington, and then to Point No Point, by Land, the Place where I went, once before, with a large Company in the Rowe Gallies, by Water. That Frolic was almost two Years ago. I gave you a Relation of it, in the Time, I suppose.1 The Road to Point No Point lies along the River Delaware, in fair Sight of it, and its opposite shore. For near four Miles the Road is as strait as the Streets of Philadelphia. On each Side, are beautifull Rowes of Trees, Buttonwoods, Oaks, Walnutts, Cherries and Willows, especially down towards the Banks of the River. The Meadows, Pastures, and Grass Plotts, are as Green as Leeks. There are many Fruit Trees and fine orchards, set with the nicest Regularity. But the Fields of Grain, the Rye, and Wheat, exceed all Description. These Fields are all sown in Ridges; and the Furrough between each Couple of Ridges, is as plainly to be seen, as if a swarth2 had been mown along. Yet it is no wider than a Plough share, and it is as strait as an Arrow. It looks as if the Sower had gone along the Furrough with his Spectacles to pick up every grain that should accidentally fall into it.
The Corn is just coming out of the Ground. The Furroughs struck out for the Hills to be planted in, are each Way, as straight as mathematical right Lines; and the Squares between every four Hills, as exact as they could be done by Plumb and Line, or Scale and Compass.
I am ashamed of our Farmers. They are a lazy, ignorant sett, in Husbandry, I mean—For they know infinitely more of every Thing else, than these. But after all the Native Face of our Country, diversified as it is, with Hill and Dale, Sea and Land, is to me more agreable than this enchanting artificial scaene.
The Post brought me yours of May 6th. and 9th.
You express Apprehensions that We may be driven from this City. We have No such Apprehensions here. Howe is unable to do any { 248 } Thing but by Stealth. Washington is strong enough to keep Howe, where he is.
How could it happen that you should have £5 of counterfeit New Hampshire Money? Cant you recollect who you had it of? Let me intreat you not to take a shilling of any but continental Money, or Massachusetts—and be very carefull of that. There is a Counterfeit Continental Bill abroad sent out of New York but it will deceive none but Fools, for it is Copper Plate—easily detected, miserably done.
RC (Adams Papers) and LbC (Adams Papers). LbC does not include the continuation of 27 May. (The present letter is the last to AA entered by JA in Lb/JA/3, which contains only four more entries and breaks off entirely with a copy of a letter written to Nathanael Greene dated 7 July 1777. Thus of the scores of letters he wrote to AA, and the lesser number he wrote to others, during the following summer and fall while still in Congress, JA retained no copies.)
1. JA's account of his “Excursion” to Point-no-Point, “upon Delaware River in the new Row Gallies built by the Committee of Safety,” is in his diary entry of 28 Sept. 1775, not in a letter to AA (Diary and Autobiography, 2:187–188).
2. Obsolete spelling of “swath,” which is the spelling found in LbC.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0194

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-05-28

Abigail Adams to John Adams

This is Election Day, but the news of the day I am not able to inform you of as I have Heard nothing from Town. The House is not so unwealdy a Body this year as the last. Very few Towns have sent more than one, and those are many of them new Members. Whether they have changd for the better time will discover.
I recollect a remark of a writer upon Goverment,1 who says that a single assembly is subject to all the starts of passion and to the caprices of an individual.
We have lately experienced the Truth of the observation. A French vessel came into Boston laiden with a large Quantity of dry goods. The War office had the offer of any thing they chose to take, after which some things were offerd for sale by the captain at a higher rate than the Regulated price, whilst some were offerd for less. Upon this a certain B[osto]n Member who comes under the Denomination of a furious Whigg2 Blusterd about and insisted upon it if he would not comply he ought to be orderd out of the Harbour, and procured a very unanimous vote for it in the House, but upon its being sent up to the Counsel there was but one vote in favour of it.
{ 249 }
I have been interrupted by company from writing farther. I have been happy in receiving a number of Letters from you of various dates, since I wrote last. I have not time to notice them now, I will write by the next post, and be more perticular. We Have no News here of any kind. There has been no stir at Newport yet.
Every method is taking to fill up the continental Army which I hope will be effected soon. Many of the soldiers who have inlisted for this Town, are in the Hospital under innoculation. We have two Hospitals in the upper parish, one just opend. Dr. W[ale]s has had great Success. Since March 200 have had the distemper under his care, and not one died. He has now more than a hundred in it from this and the neighbouring Towns.3 6 or 7 of my neighbours went in yesterday, and one from my own family, Jonathan.4
The Spring in general has been very cold, a few extreem Hot days, the rest of the time you might sit by the fire which I now do.
Our Fleet saild Last week and had several days of fine wind and weather.
I hear your president is upon the road Home with his family—I hope He brings me Letters. Adieu most sincerely yours.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Portia”; docketed in two different hands, one of which is CFA's.
1. JA, in his Thoughts on Government (1776); see his Works, 4:206.
2. A political type that had recently received rough treatment at the hands of a Philadelphia newspaper essayist whose article was reprinted in Boston: “The Furious Whigs injure the cause of liberty as much by their violence as the timid Whigs do by their fears. They think the destruction of Howe's army of less consequence than the detection and punishment of the most insignificant Tory. They think the common forms of justice should be suspended towards a Tory criminal, and that a man who only speaks against our common defence, should be tomahawked, scalped, and roasted alive. Lastly, they are all cowards, and skulk under the cover of an office, or a sickly family, when they are called to oppose the enemy in the field. Woe to that State or Community that is governed by this class of men!” (Continental Journal, 10 April 1777). The particular Boston member and “furious Whigg” to whom AA alludes has not, however, been certainly identified.
3. Dr. Ephraim Wales, Harvard 1768, had settled in the South Precinct of Braintree (now Randolph) about 1770 and was long prominent in town affairs. In March 1777 the town appointed “a Committee to Treat with Doctr. Wales with respect to his Inoculation for the Small pox, contrary to the vote of Town,” and “Restrictions” were accordingly laid upon him. The issue was “the distance from the Hospital to the Road,” which the committee had found to be “one Hundred and fifteen roods,” evidently not enough. However, at its May meeting the town voted, 121 against 70, to permit smallpox inoculation and authorized Dr. Moses Baker and Dr. Ephraim Wales to conduct “Hospitals” for the purpose, “under the Limitation & Regulation of { 250 } the Law & the Selectmen of the Town.” (Ebenezer Alden, The Early History of the Medical Profession in the County of Norfolk, Mass., Boston, 1853, p. 12; Braintree Town Records, p. 478–480, and passim.)
4. A young servant or farm laborer.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0195

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-05-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

An horrid cold Day for Election—warm work however, in the Afternoon, I suppose.1
You will see by the inclosed Papers, among the Advertisements, how the Spirit of Manufacturing grows. There never was a Time when there was such full Employment, for every Man, Woman and Child, in this City. Spinning, Knitting, Weaving, every Tradesman is as full as possible. Wool and Flax in great Demand.
Industry will supply our Necessities, if it is not cramped by injudicious Laws—such as Regulations of Prices &c., Embargoes &c. These discourage Industry and turn that Ingenuity which ought to be employed for the general Good, into Knavery.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspapers not found or identified.
1. That is, in the election, by the new House of Representatives, voting jointly with the members of the old Council, of a new council.
“Yesterday was our Election of Councellors: a large Number of the Representatives, perhaps 20 or 30 from Hampshire, Berkshire &c. would not vote, being for a single Assembly. I hope this Sentiment will not prevail. They could chuse no more than thirteen by nine o'Clock; and then adjourn'd to this Morning” (Samuel Cooper to JA, 29 May, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0196

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-06-01

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I designd to have wrote you by the last Post, but have been so unwell for the week past that I have not been able. We have had very Hot weather which you know never agrees well with me, and greatly distresses me under my present circumstances. I loose my rest a nights, which makes me more unable to bear the Heat of the day. I look forward to the middle of july with more anxiety than I can describe, and the Thoughts of 3 hundreds miles distance are as Greivious as the perils I have to pass through. I am cut of from the privilidge which some of the Brute creation enjoy, that of having their mate sit by them with anxious care during all their Solitary confinement.
You live at an expence however frugal it may be deemed there, { 251 } which will astonish your constituents I suppose and be the occasion of many more gratefull acknowledgments, and speaches. If either of us were in the least avaricious or even parsimonious we should poorly Brook the sacrifice we make of property. One Gentleman of the Bar acknowledged that he had made a thousand pounds sterling since the opening of Buisness by admiralty causes and others, and there are some others who have made more than he; and with how much less fatigue than you have sufferd, you are the best judge. I hope this year will if we are any way successfull put an end to your fatigues and your journeys. If you could be at Home and only earnd a Bare subsistance I should be happeier.
Every thing Here is extravangantly high, but more tolerable than with you. A Dollor now is not eaquel to what one Quarter was two years ago, and their is no sort of property which is not held in higher estimation than money. I have long seen the true causes of this Evil, and have been out of favour, with the regulating act, as I have seen I think that it rather served to raise than lower prices.
I endeavour to live with as great frugality as posible. I am obliged to pay higher wages this year than last; Prince was offerd 8 dollors a month and left me. I found upon trial that I must give 12, and put to great difficulty to hire a Hand even at that price, so I sent for Him again, and he got himself releasd, and is with me for 6 months upon those terms.
I have paid him his 5 pounds for the winter, have paid the Rates which amount to 24 pounds 2 & 3 pence, have also paid your Brother 5 hundred & 50 dollors which with what you paid when at Home and the small sums that were paid before, amount to the whole of the principal and part of the interest.1 I would have taken up the bond, but he chose it should lay as there were Notes of Hand which you have against him and an account to settle which he has against you—and this week I propose to send in to the continental Loan office a hundred pound LM. If I do not explain the matter I fear you will suspect me of being concerned with the Hampshire money makers. You must know then that your sister A[dam]s took up a Note to the amount of a hundred & 27 pounds out of which was oweing to her as you may remember upon the Settlement 45 pounds and about the same time my unkle T[haxte]r2 took up a Note principal and interest amounted to 56 pounds which enabled me to pay your Brother, and a few day[s] ago one Stetson took up a Bond of 20 pounds and Clark one of 30 which with a treasurers Note which is due of 20 pounds more and 24 pounds which I received for the Sale of a Lighter! will come near { 252 } to compleat the Hundred pounds which I propose to send to the office. Every fellow has his pockets full of money and chuses no doubt to pay his debts if he is a good Husband. I have done the best in my power with what I received and hope for your approbation which is always a full compensation to yours—ever yours.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia To be left at the Post Office”; endorsed: “Portia”; docketed in two different hands, one of which is CFA's.
1. Presumably the final payment to Peter Boylston Adams for what is now called the John Adams Birthplace, the farm that went with it, and a large pasture, all of which JA acquired in 1774 at a price agreed on as £440; see his Diary and Autobiography, 2:87–88.
2. John Thaxter Sr. (1721–1802), Harvard 1741, of Hingham; husband of AA's aunt Anna (Quincy) Thaxter and father of JA's law clerk and (later) private secretary John Thaxter Jr.; see Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0197

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-06-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yesterday, I took a ride to a beautifull Hill eleven Miles out of Town. It is called Rush Hill. An old Lady Mrs. Morris and her Daughter Mrs. Stamper, live here with a Couple of servants, and one little Boy, who is left with the Family for Education.1
It is the most airy, and at the same Time the most rural Place in Pensilvania. The good Lady has about sixty Acres of Land, two fine orchards, an excellent Garden, a charming Brook, beautifull Meadows and Clover in Abundance.
This excellent Lady is the Mother of Dr. Rush and Mr. Jacob Rush the Lawyer.2 I went out with the Lawyer, and I relished the Excursion the more because I know the Pleasure of visiting a Mother.—This ride has refreshed me much. I ride every day. A fine growing Season here—plentifull Crops—and at present perfect Peace.
My Love to N. J. C. and Th. Pray how does the other one, or two?
1. The precise location of Rush Hill is not known to the editors. Presiding over it was Benjamin and Jacob Rush's mother, Susanna (Hall) Harvey Rush Morris, whose younger daughter was Mrs. Thomas Stamper, the former Rebecca Rush. See Benjamin Rush, Letters, 1:55, 98, 139–140, 237, and passim.
2. Jacob Rush (1747–1820), College of New Jersey 1765, sometime student at the Middle Temple, and from 1784 to 1806 a prominent judge in the Pennsylvania courts (same, 1:44 and passim).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0198

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-06-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Artillery Election!—I wish I was at it, or near it.
Yours of the 18th. reached me this Morning. The Cause that Letters are so long in travelling, is that there is but one Post in a Week who goes from hence to Peeks Kill, altho there are two that go from thence to Boston.
Riding every day, has made me better than I was, altho I am not yet quite well. I am determined to continue this Practice, which is very necessary for me.
I rejoice to find, that the Town have had the Wisdom to send but one Rep[resentative]. The House last Year was too numerous and unwieldy. The Expence was too great. I suppose you will have a Constitution formed this Year. Who will be the Moses, the Lycurgus, the Solon? Or have you a score or two of such? Whoever they may be and whatever Form may be adopted, I am perswaded there is among the Mass of our People a Fund of Wisdom, Integrity and Humanity, which will preserve their Happiness, in a tolerable Measure.
If the Enemy come to Boston again, fly with your little ones all of them to Philadelphia. But they will scarcely get to Boston, this Campaign.
I admire your Sentiments concerning Revenge.
Revenge, in ancient Days, you will see it through the whole Roman History, was esteemed a generous, and an heroic Passion. Nothing was too good for a Friend or too bad for an Enemy. Hatred and Malice, without Limits, against an Enemy, was indulged, was justified, and no Cruelty was thought unwarrantable.
Our Saviour taught the Immorality of Revenge, and the moral Duty of forgiving Injuries, and even the Duty of loving Enemies. Nothing can shew the amiable, the moral, and divine Excellency of these Christian Doctrines in a stronger Point of Light, than the Characters and Conduct of Marius and Sylla, Caesar, Pompey, Anthony and Augustus, among innumerable others.
Retaliation, we must practice, in some Instances, in order to make our barbarous Foes respect in some degree the Rights of Humanity. But this will never be done without the most palpable Necessity.
The Apprehension of Retaliation alone, will restrain them from Cruelties which would disgrace Savages.
To omit it then would be cruelty to ourselves, our Officers and Men.
We are amused here with Reports of Troops removing from R. { 254 } Island, N. York, Staten Island &c.—Waggons, Boats, Bridges &c. prepared—two old Indiamen cutt down into floating Batteries mounting 32 Guns sent round into Delaware R[iver] &c. &c.1 But I heed it no more, than the whistling of the Zephyrs. In short I had rather they should come to Philadelphia than not. It would purify this City of its Dross. Either the Furnace of Affliction would refine it of its Impurities, or it would be purged yet so as by fire.2
This Town has been a dead Weight, upon Us—it would be a dead Weight also upon the Enemy. The Mules here would plague them more than all their Money.3
1. For Gen. Howe's plans and the movements and countermovements of British and American forces in New Jersey during June, see the succinct and excellent narrative in Leonard Lundin, Cockpit of the Revolution: The War for Independence in New Jersey, Princeton, 1940, p. 313–326, and the map in same, facing p. 6.
2. Thus in MS, though the sense is apparently defective.
3. Thus in MS. Possibly JA's meaning is: “The Mules here [i.e. the Quakers, who continued willing to accept British money, but not inflated American money, for provisions] would plague them more than all their [the British army's] Money [would help them].” But this may be too ingenious an explanation.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0199

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-06-02

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I Love to recieve Letters very well much better than I love to write them, I make but a poor figure at Composition my head is much too fickle, my Thoughts are running after birds eggs play and trifles, till I get vexd with my Self, Mamma has a troublesome task to keep me Steady, and I own I am ashamed of myself. I Have but Just entered the 3d volume of Smollet1 tho I had designed to have got it Half through by this time. I have determined this week to be more diligent as Mr. Thaxter will be absent at Court, and I cannot persue my other Studies I have Set myself a Stent, and determine to read the 3d volume Half out, If I can but keep my resolution I will write again at the end of the week, and give a better account of myself. I wish sir you would give me Some instructions with regard to my time and advise me how to proportion my Studies and my Play, in writing and I will keep them by me and endeavour to follow them I am dear Sir with a present determination of growing better yours,
[signed] John Quincy Adams
PS Sir if you will be So good as to favour me with a Blank book I { 255 } will transcribe the most remarkable occurances I mett with in my reading which will Serve to fix them upon my mind.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble. John Adams esq Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mr. J. Q. Adams.” The writer's punctuation has been left unaltered.
1. JA's copy of Tobias Smollett's A Complete History of England . . ., 16 vols., London, 1758–1765, is in the Boston Public Library and is described in Catalogue of JA's Library. See, further, JQA's letter to his father of 8 June, below, and the Some Books the Adamses Read during the Revolution facing 263Descriptive List of Illustrations in the present volume.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0200

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-06-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I wish I could know, whether your season is cold or warm, wet or dry, fruitfull or barren. Whether you had late Frosts. Whether those Frosts have hurt the Fruit, the Flax, the Corn or Vines, &c. We have a fine season here and a bright Prospect of Abundance.
You will see by the inclosed Papers, in a Letter from my Friend Parsons, a very handsome Narration of one of the prettiest Exploits of this War—a fine Retaliation for the Danbury Mischief. Meigs who was before esteemed a good Officer has acquired by this Expedition a splendid Reputation.1
You will see by the same Papers too, that the Writers here in Opposition to the Constitution of Pensilvania, are making a factious Use of my Name and Lucubrations. Much against my Will, I assure you, for altho I am no Admirer of the Form of this Government, yet I think it is agreable to the Body of the People, and if they please themselves they will please me. And I would not choose to be impressed into the service of one Party, or the other—and I am determined I will not inlist.
Besides it is not very genteel in these Writers, to put my Name to a Letter, from which I cautiously withheld it myself.
However, let them take their own Way. I shant trouble myself about it.2
I am growing better, by Exercise and Air.
I must write a Letter, in Behalf of Mr. Thaxter, to the Bar and Bench in Boston, in order to get him sworn, at July Court.
Will my Brother, when the Time comes, officiate for his Brother at a Christening?
If it is a young Gentleman call him William after your Father—if a young Lady, call her Elizabeth after your Mother, and sister.
{ 256 }
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosures not found, but see the notes below.
1. Both the Pennsylvania Gazette and the Pennsylvania Journal of 4 June printed Gen. Samuel Holden Parsons' letter to Washington, New Haven, 25 May, recounting Lt. Col. Return Jonathan Meigs' destruction of an amphibious British foraging party at Sag Harbor, Long Island. Washington forwarded Parsons' letter to Congress in a letter of 31 May, received on 2 June (Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 8:151; JCC, 8:409).
2. In the Pennsylvania Journal of 28 May (of which a copy must have been enclosed in the present letter), “Ludlow,” in the second of a series of communications bitterly critical of the new constitution of Pennsylvania, publicly disclosed for the first time the authorship of JA's Thoughts on Government (1776). “Ludlow” wrote:
“In order to shew the extreme danger of trusting all the legislative power of a State to a single representation, I shall beg leave to transcribe a few sentences from a letter, written by Mr. John Adams, to one of his friends in North Carolina, who requested him to favour him with a plan of a government for that State above a twelve month ago. This illustrious Citizen, who is second to no man in America, in an inflexible attachment to the liberties of America, and to republican forms of government, writes as follows.”
Here were added four of the objections JA had urged in his Thoughts against unicameralism.
“Ludlow” was actually Dr. Benjamin Rush, who was only one of numerous contributors to the lively newspaper debate then going on over the merits and defects of the new state constitution. See Robert L. Brunhouse, The Counter-Revolution in Pennsylvania, 1776–1790, Harrisburg, 1942, p. 28 ff., 240. Rush's letters were promptly gathered in an anonymous pamphlet entitled Observations upon the Present Government of Pennsylvania. In Four Letters to the People of Pennsylvania, Phila., 1777; Evans 15589. The purpose of the pamphlet was to sound a call for a new constitutional convention, and its titlepage bore two quotations from “Adams on Government.”
In an answer to “Ludlow” in the Pennsylvania Gazette of 4 June, “Whitlocke” (whose real name is not known) declared JA's objections irrelevant:
“In this view of the subject, the opinions of your Adams's, your Montesquieu's, your Harrington's, Milton's, Addison's, Price's and Bolingbroke's are not only trifling but impertinent. . . .
“The worthy American patriot's four reasons against a single assembly are not in point, and therefore you can deduce no solid inference from them. As they form a kind of data, on which you found your observations, pointing out their inapplicability to the case before us destroys the whole force of your reasoning. . . . Every one of this gentleman's reasons derive their force from this supposition, that the whole legislative, executive, judicial and military powers of this State are vested in one body of men. . . . How you could introduce them in the present dispute, I cannot conceive, unless to satisfy the public that you did not understand them.”
This argument led to the reprinting of JA's essay of 1776 in the Pennsylvania Gazette of 11 June, preceded by this note to the printers:
“As two writers in the News-papers have lately quoted Mr. Adams's excellent pamphlet upon a republican form of government, the one to prove that all legislative power should not be lodged in one Assembly, the other to prove that the author meant only that the whole power legislative, executive and judicial, should not be lodged in one Assembly; your publishing the whole of the pamphlet in your paper, will enable the public to judge for themselves. Your's, &c. A.B.”
Interestingly enough, the reprint in the Gazette suppressed the last paragraph of JA's tract as printed in 1776, in which JA had requested George Wythe, the original recipient, to keep the author's name “out of sight.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0201

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-06-04

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

Last Monday Dr. Mather Byles was tried by Virtue of a late Act of this State, and found by the Jury so inimical, as to render his residence in the State dangerous to the Liberties thereof. He is to be sent to some quarter, where his local Situation will deprive him of the power to injure the State.1
Tomorrow some others are to have their Trial—they have engaged Attornies.
The Inferior Court (now sitting) has no great Business to do; most of the Actions are continued, some were called out.
The next Inf[erior] Court sets July the 8th.2 If you think it adviseable for me to take the Oath at the time proposed, I should be much obliged to You, Sir, to write to the Bar respecting it.3
Tho' Sir, unhappy in being deprived of the Advantages of your Company and Instruction, by your absence, yet I should blush to say I lamented the Cause of it. I shall think myself materially benefited in being made a Subject of a firmly establish'd Independence, and shall revere the man to whose Exertions the production of so great an Event was so principally owing as to yours, Sir.
I am Sir, your very hum[ . . . ]4
[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mr. Thaxter”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. By an Act passed on 10 May 1777, persons complained of and convicted in the Court of General Sessions of the Peace as “internal enemies” of the United States, were to be transported out of the country (Mass., Province Laws, 5:648–650). For an account of the trial and conviction of Dr. Mather Byles, see Boston Gazette, 9 June, p. 3, col. 1. His sentence was not, however, carried out; he was merely placed under house arrest for two years (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 7:482–486).
2. This sentence was added in the margin.
3. JA soon afterward wrote letters of recommendation for Thaxter to “the Court and Bar,” and Thaxter received them and was duly admitted attorney in Suffolk Inferior Court (JA to AA, 4 Aug.; AA to JA, 27 Aug.; both below); but the letters have not been found.
4. MS torn by seal.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0202

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-06-08

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I generally endeavour to write you once a week, if my Letters do not reach you, tis oweing to the neglect of the post. I generally get Letters from you once a week, but seldom in a fortnight after they are { 258 } wrote. I am sorry to find that your Health fails. I should greatly rejoice to see you, I know of no earthly blessing which would make me happier, but I cannot wish it upon the terms of ill Health. No seperation was ever more painfull to me than the last, may the joy of meeting again be eaquel to the pain of seperation; I regret that I am in a Situation to wish away one of the most precious Blessings of life, yet as the months pass of[f], I count them up with pleasure and reckon upon tomorrow as the 5th which has passd since your absence. I have some times melancholly reflections, and immagine these seperations as preparatory to a still more painfull one in which even hope the anchor of the Soul is lost, but whilst that remains no Temperary absence can ever wean or abate the ardor of my affection. Bound together by many tender ties, there scarcly wanted an addition, yet I feel that there soon will be an additionall one. Many many are the tender sentiments I have felt for the parent on this occasion. I doubt not they are reciprocal, but I often feel the want of his presence and the soothing tenderness of his affection. Is this weakness or is it not?
I am happy in a daughter who is both a companion and an assistant in my Family affairs and who I think has a prudence and steadiness beyond her years.
You express a longing after the enjoyments of your little Farm. I do not wonder at it, that also wants the care and attention of its master—all that the mistress can do is to see that it does not go to ruin. She would take pleasure in improvements, and study them with assiduity if she was possessd with a sufficency to accomplish them. The season promisses plenty at present and the english grass never lookd better.
You inquire after the Asparagrass. It performs very well this year and produces us a great plenty. I long to send you a Barrell of cider, but find it impracticable, as no vessels can pass from this State to yours. I rejoice at the good way our affairs seem to be in and Hope your Herculian Labours will be crownd with more success this year than the last. Every thing wears a better aspect, we have already taken two Transports of theirs with Hessians on board, and this week a prize was carried into Salem taken by the Tyranicide with 4000 Blankets and other valuable articles on board.1
I do not feel very apprehensive of an attack upon Boston. I hope we shall be quiet. I should make a misirable hand of running now. Boston is not what it once was. It has no Head, no Men of distinguishd abilities, they behave like children.
{ 259 }
Col. Holland the infamous Hampshire counterfeiter was taken last week in Boston and is committed to Jail in Irons. I hope they will now keep a strong guard upon him.2
We are not like to get our now unpopular act repeald I fear. I own I was in favour of it, but I have seen it fail and the ill consequences arising from it have made me wish it had never been made. Yet the House are nearly divided about it. Genell. W[arre]n will write you I suppose. He and his Lady have spent part of the week with me.
I wish you would be so good as to mention the dates of the Letters you receive from me. The last date of yours was May 22. 5 dated in May since this day week.3 I wonder how you get time to write so much. I feel very thankfull to you for every line. You will I know remember me often when I cannot write to you.
Good Night tis so dark that I cannot see to add more than that I am with the utmost tenderness Yours ever Yours.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia To be left at the Post Office”; endorsed: “Portia”; docketed in two hands, one of which is CFA's.
1. The captain of the brig Tyrannicide was Jonathan Haraden of Salem. For his capture of a transport carrying Hessians from Ireland to New York, and of the snow Sally with blankets and other European goods, see Boston Gazette, 9 June, p. 3, col. 1. If, as is probable, AA took these items of news from the Gazette, then she either misdated the present letter or wrote it on more than one day.
2. Col. Stephen Holland, the Londonderry counterfeiter, had escaped from jail in New Hampshire in May and was returned there some days after AA wrote this letter. See Boston Gazette, 9, 16 June.
3. AA means that during the past week she has received five letters from JA dated in May.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0203

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-06-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Upon an Invitation from the Board of War of Pensilvania, a Committee was appointed a few days ago to go down Delaware River and take a View of the Works there, erected with a View to prevent the Enemy from coming up to Philadelphia by Water. Mr. Duer, your humble servant and Mr. Middleton made the Committee.1
Yesterday we went, in three Boats, with Eight Oars each. Mr. Rittenhouse, Coll. Bull and Coll. Deane, went from the Pensilvania Board of War. General Arnold, General De Coudrai, an experienced french officer of Artillery, Monsr. Le Brune, an Engineer, and Mr. Rogers an Aid de Camp of Gen. De Coudray were in Company.2
{ 260 }
We had a Band of Musick in Company which is very agreable upon the Water.
We went first to Billingsport, about 10 Miles down the River on the Jersey side, where the River is obstructed with Vesseaux de Frizes, and where a large Fort is laid out with a great deal of Work done upon it.
We then came back to Fort Island, or Province Island, where the River is obstructed again, and the only Passage for shipps is commanded by a Fort of 18. 18. Pounders. Here lay the Fire ships, Fire Rafts, floating Batteries, Gallies and the Andrew Doria, and the fine new Frigate Delaware.
We then crossed the River and went to Red Point3 on the Jersey side, where Coll. Bull has thrown up the strongest Works that I have ever seen. Here We dined, and after Dinner Coll. Bull ordered out his Regiment upon the Parade, where they went through their Exercises and Maneuvres, very well.
We had a long Passage home and made it 9 o Clock before We reached the Wharf. We suffered much with the Heat, yet upon the whole it was an agreable day.
Upon our Return to Town We expected to hear some News but not a Word had been received. All is quiet still. How long will this Calm continue?
I begin to suspect We shall have an unactive Campaign—that How will shut himself up, in some impregnable Post, and lie still. We shall see, however, and I think We shall trouble him whether he moves or lies still.
1. They were appointed on 3 June “to view the works and defences erected at, and near Billingsport, and report their opinion, whether those works ought to be completed or demolished” (JCC, 8:414). There is an excellent map showing the terrain below Philadelphia and the river and shore defenses in 1777, printed by William Faden, 2d edn., London, 1783, and reproduced in Leonard Lundin, Cockpit of the Revolution, Princeton, 1940, facing p. 336.
2. Philippe Tronson du Coudray, a learned and egotistical French artillery officer who had recently arrived with extravagant promises from Silas Deane, was to prove much the most controversial among all his countrymen who served in America; see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:263–264, and references there. His recommendations for improving the Delaware fortifications are printed in Penna. Archives, 1st ser., 5:360–363. Among the numerous officers who accompanied him to America were two Le Brun brothers and Nicolas Roger (Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 1:278–279; 2:391–394).
3. Red Bank, Gloucester co., N.J., site of Fort Mercer.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0204

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-06-08

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

I promised to write In a week again provided I could give a better account of my conduct. I have according to my resolution been more diligent and frugal of my time and when Mr. Thaxter was absent which was 4 days I applied myself for several hours every day to the reading of Smollet and have got almost half through the 3 vol.1 I find much entertainment in the perusal of history and I must own I am more Satisfied with myself when I have applied part of my time to Some useful employment than when I have Idled it away about Trifles and play.
I have some errants to do for mamma in consequence of Jonathans absence he is broke out and like to have the Distemper lightly—there is nothing remarkable In the news way only that one Davis a printer was catched last week in Boston with a Set of Types to counterfeit our money commonly called The Tobbacco paper or Major Fullers money and was committed to joal2 I am dear Sir with Sincere affection your Son,
[signed] J Q A
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. J. Q. Adams”; at head of text in CFA's hand: “J Q A to his father J.A.” The punctuation of the original has been retained without correction.
1. That is, the third volume.
2. “Saturday last was committed to Goal in this Town, Nathaniel Davis, for counterfeiting the Five Shilling Bills of this State, issued in June 1776” (Continental Journal, 12 June 1777).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0205

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-06-14

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This Week has produced an happy Reconciliation between the two Parties in this City and Commonwealth, the Friends of the new Constitution and those who wish for Amendments in it. . . .1 Mifflin invited the People to assemble in the State House Yard, at the Desire of General Washington, who sent them an Account that the Motions of the Enemy indicated an intention to begin an Expedition, and that every Appearance intimated this City to be their Object.
Mifflin made an Harrangue, in which he applauded the Exertions of the Citizens last December, ascribed the successes of Trenton and Princeton to their Behaviour and exhorted them to the same Spirit, Unanimity and Firmness, upon this occasion. Advised them to choose { 262 } their Officers, under the new Militia Law and meet him in the common on Fryday.
The Citizens by loud shouts and Huzzas, promised him to turn out, and accordingly, they met him in great Numbers Yesterday.
Mean Time, Generals Armstrong, Mifflin and Reed, waited on the Assembly, to interceed with them, to gratify those who wished Amendments in the Constitution with an Appeal to the People.
The Pensilvania Board of War too, applied, for the same Purpose as you will see by one of the inclosed Papers.
The House agreed to it. Thus the Dispute is in a Way to be determined, and a Coalition formed.2
Yesterday We had an Alarm, and News that the Enemy were on their March, towards Philadelphia in two Divisions—one at Shanks Mills 8 miles from Brunswick, the other at Ten Mile Run, about Ten Miles from Brunswick on another Road, a Road that goes to Corells [Coryell's] Ferry.
We feel pretty bold, here.—If they get Philadelphia, they will hang a Mill stone about their Necks. They must evacuate N. Jersey. The Jersey Militia have turned out, with great Spirit. Magistrates and Subjects, Clergy and Laity, have all marched, like so many Yankees.
If How should get over the Delaware River, and We should not have an Army to stop him, Congress I suppose will remove, fifty or sixty Miles into the Country. But they will not move hastily.
Riding and walking, have given me tolerable Health, and I must confess my Spirits, notwithstanding the Difficulties We have to encounter, are very good.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspapers not found or precisely identifiable.
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. An account of these events is in Pennsylvania Gazette, 18 June. See also Kenneth R. Rossman, Thomas Mifflin and the Politics of the American Revolution, Chapel Hill, 1952, p. 87–88.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0206

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-06-14

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sr.

I wrote you some time Ago requesting your Asking some of the Gentlemen of the Congress, belonging to Georgia, whether the Continental Certifycates would Answer to purchase a Cargo of Rice.1
{ [fol. 262] } | view { [fol. 262] } | view { [fol. 262] } | view { [fol. 262] } { 263 }
My friends in Europe often you'st to say when nothing Material turnd up worth Adviseing me, they had nothing worth troubling me with so I may say as to my self for sometime past.—But to day we have a prize (a small brig on private Account) loaded with some Cordage, Duck, Cole &c. sent in by Comodore Manley, who with Capt. McNeil only, the Other part of the fleet being seperated, were left indeavouring to take 2 or 3 more which were under Convoy of the Somerset M[an of] W[ar] of 60 Guns from England and as they could Out sail the Somerset, they kept in there persuit.—We have Advise of the Hessian brig and Capt. Skeema with two prizes, being blockt in att a harbour att Townsend, &c. but think iff they Act prudently or those who have the Management of those Affairs they may be all securd.2 Itt seems on the News of Our fleets sailing A Number of Frigates were immediately ordered Out, from R. Island. Two frigates and a two decker have been in Our bay and are those who have blockt up the Above mentiond Vessells.
I have this day received letters from my Bilboa friends of the 17th. Aprill but dont mention any kind of News. Itt came by two Brigs on the Continent Account which went with fish to purchase salt, but have brought no great quantity, but by order of Mr. Lee who was in Spain have brought a quantity of Cables, Cordage &c. upon the Continant Account which the proper persons for that department will Advise of I suppose. The Capt. tells of a storey which he heard att Bilboa that Capt. Johnson in a brig suppose Capt. Harrey Johnson from Baltimore being in some port of France were lay three ships loaded for England with Wine &c. who gave Out they designd [to] carry him to England iff he went Out with them—he got Out before they and waited there coming, and Accordingly came and he engaged them and took two and was in persute of the third. I wish it may prove true.3—I have an Answer by a schooner fited Out here, formerly One of the privateers, Adams now Master which saild the begining of March for France as I understood as an express by order of Congress, which iff they have not heard of her Arrival, probable may be Agreeable.—We are doing all in Our power to facilitate the settlement of the several [ . . . ] sales of the Cargos of the several prizes ordered by Our Commissions, two of the most Material are compleated, and A third and fourth near being done. Capt. Bartlet of Beverley who is One of the Agents I called on a day or two ago but is confind with the small pox, but as soon as he gets Out itt may be compleated—but by what Appears there will be large ballances due to the Agents as the Continent took much more than there proportion. You may just let the Gentlemen { 264 } of the Marine board know we are not Idle in the trust commited to us as we want very much to get itt compleated as soon as may be.—There was a ship to sail from Bilboa and which I let to the Agents in a short time after those Arrived. Iff any News shall Advise you. I had a Vessell come Out with those Arrived which you may remember I told you I had sent to Virginia to load with Tobacco from France and toucht att Bilboa in her way home. She has something considerable of Value On board which iff taken shall suffer greatly.

[salute] I am Sr. Yr. hum servt,

[signed] Isaac Smith
A Prize with some Irish recruits is arrived into Dartmouth. A Nother from Liverpool in att the Eastward with salt, Linnen and Crockery Ware—am affraid my schooner is gone.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in JA's later hand.
1. Smith to JA, 12 May, above.
2. “Capt. Skeema” was probably John Skimmer, former Boston merchant captain, commanding the Continental schooner Lee. Townshend was a settlement on the Maine coast.
3. Capt. Henry Johnson, commissioned commander of the Continental brig Lexington in Feb. 1777, was in European waters and ports until the Lexington was captured off Ushant in September (JCC, 7:90; Ruth Y. Johnston, “American Privateers in French Ports, 1776–1778,” PMHB, 53 [Oct. 1929]: 359–365).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0207

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-06-14

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

Could I write you any agreable Inteligence I would with pleasure Grasp the pen And Call of my Friends Attention a Moment from her Domestic avocations, but so much Avarice and Venallity, so much Annemosity and Contention, so much pride and Weakness predominate both in the Capital and the Cottage that I fear it will be Long: very Long before good tidings are Wafted on Every Wind and the Halcyon days of peace Return to our Land.
I write for the sake of my promise more than anything Else this Morning, for I am very unable to perform as I have been deprived the use of one Eye Ever since I have been in town. Am now Growing better and shall Endeavour to improve them in Future in some useful way.
Mr. Warren has yet no Letter from Mr. Adams. I am with true affection Your Friend,
[signed] Marcia
{ 265 }
Alas! No Repeal of the Regulati[ng] act, nor of Course the Land Embargo.1
1. On the Massachusetts “Land Embargo” of Feb. 1777, see note 2 on JA's second letter to AA of 6 April, above, and also Mass., Province Laws, 19:808–810.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0208

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-06-15

Abigail Adams to John Adams

This is the 15 of June. Tomorrow our new Edition of the Regulating act takes place, and will I fear add wrath to Bitterness. No arguments which were urgd could prevail upon the court to repeal it. A committee in this Town is chosen to see it inforced, and I suppose in other Towns.1 I am surprizd that when the ill Effects of it are so visible, and the spirit of opposition to it so general and voilent that there should be a determination to enforce it.
There is a very evil spirit opperating and an encreasing Bitterness between the Town and Country. The Town of Boston has lost its leaders, and the respectable figure it once made is exchanged for party squables, for Avarice, venality, Animosity, contention, pride, weakness and dissapation. I wish I could say this spirit was confined to the Capital, but indeed too much of it prevails in the cottage.2
Really we are a most ungratefull people, favourd as we have been with peculiar Blessings and favours to make so poor returns. With the best opportunities for becomeing a happy people, and all the materials in our power, yet we have neither skill nor wisdom to put them together.
The House and Counsel have come to a determination to form a Goverment, and to send it out to the people for their inspection. I expect there will be great difficulty as ninety two Towns I am told have sent no representitives, and the Countys of Worcester and Berkshire make up more than a third of the House. Some have instructed their rep's to form a Goverment, others have directly forbid them.3
There has been a list of Tories belonging to this Town made out, and Deliverd in to the Town 13 in number. I will enclose the list.4 Some of them I believe had as goods have been omitted. It will put them to some expence but the practice is to employ one or two gentlemen of the Bar, who generally make out to get them acquitted. Then I expect they will be returnd to us, more Rancorous than before.
There is a movement of Hows, whether he designs for Boston or Road Island or where is as yet unknown—I hope for neither. I think { 266 } I could not tarry here with safety should he make an attack upon either, and the thought of being driven from my own Habitation at this time is more distressing than ever. If I had only myself to look after it would be less anxiety to me; if you hear of our being invaded this way, I think you must return. I used to have courage, but you cannot wonder at my apprehensions when you consider my circumstances. I can but poorly walk about House; However I am not of an over anxious make; I will trust in providence that I shall be provided for. I think we shall know in a week whether he designs this way, and you I suppose will know as soon as we. I wish you would advise me what I had best do if we should be attacked this way.—We have not a Man either upon the Castle or at Nantasket. I believe our Enimies know it.
Two continental vessels have arrived with Salt from Bilbo in the last week, and four prizes sent in by the Fleet. As they came in a Saturday have not learnt with what they are loaded.
Have received two letters since I wrote last, one of May 24 and one of May 27.5 As to your injuntions with regard to my taking any money but this States and continental, I have strictly adhered to them. I know of whom I received the Hampshire money, and returnd it again. I took it of Sister A[dams] as part of the pay for the Lighter, and she of Vose of Milton. She returnd it the same week to Him, which she took it but He refused to receive it, and tho she has twice sent it to Him, and he does not pretend to say He did not pay it to her, Yet he will not take it again. What can be done? I had several other Bills, but knowing of whom I received them, I found no difficulty in returning them again.—There will no money pass in this State after next month but continental and this States.
How is your cold? Are you better than you was? I feel anxious for your Health. Let me know every time you write How you do. A certain Gentleman was ask'd when he expected to go to Philadelphia. O he did not know. That depended upon some of the others returning. He supposed they would be running Home again in a month or two, as they always were. For his part he had tarried so many months.—A great merrit to tarry from Home when a man loves any place better than home. I am for having them all stay now, to keep him at home as a punishment. Tis of no great importance where he is.6

[salute] Adieu most sincerely yours.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia”; docketed in two different hands, one of which is CFA's. Enclosure not found, but see note 4.
{ 267 }
1. On 9 June the town chose a committee of seven members, “to see that the Act to prevent Monopoly and oppression be not violated in this Town” (Braintree Town Records, p. 482). This was in accordance with the Act as amended on 10 May (Mass., Province Laws, 5:642–647).
2. It may be noted that here, as she did on some other occasions, AA borrowed some of her language from Mrs. Warren. See the preceding letter.
3. On the steps taken by the new General Court to form a new constitution (the abortive Constitution of 1778), see the very informative passages in James Warren's letters to JA of 22 June and 10 July (Warren-Adams Letters, 1:334–335, 341||; also printed in Papers of John Adams||)
4. The enclosed list is missing, but on 9 June, according to the Braintree Town Records (p. 481–482), “the Selectmen presented a list to the Town of those persons they esteemed Inimical to the United States which is a[s] follows, viz. Revd. Edward Winslow, Majr. Ebenezer Miller, John Cheesman, Mr. Joseph Cleverly, James Apthorp, William Veazie, Benj Cleverly, Oliver Gay, & Nedabiah Bent, all which was Voted by the Town to be persons esteemed Inimical. . . . Then the following Persons was Nominated & voted to be added to the aforesaid List . . . viz. Joseph Cleverly second, William Veazie junr. Henry Cleverly & Thomas Brackett.”
5. That is, JA's letters of 24 and 25–27 May, both above.
6. Robert Treat Paine had been reelected a Massachusetts delegate on 10 Dec. 1776 (as he was to be again in Dec. 1777), but he never resumed his seat in Congress. On 12 June 1777 he was elected attorney general of Massachusetts (Mass., House Jour., 1777–1778, p. 23).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0209

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-06-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I had a most charming Packett from you and my young Correspondents, to day.
I am very happy, to learn that you have done such great Things in the Way of paying Debts. I know not what would become of me, and mine, if I had not such a Friend to take Care of my Interests in my Absence.
You will have Patience with me this Time, I hope, for this Time will be the last.
I shall stay out this Year, if I can preserve my Health, and then come home, and bid farewell to great Affairs. I have a Right to spend the Remainder of my days in small ones.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0210

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-06-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We shall have all the Sages and Heroes of France here before long.
Mr. Du Coudray is here, who is esteemed the most learned Officer in France. He is an Artillery Officer.
{ 268 }
Mr. De la Balme is here too, a great Writer upon Horsemanship and Cavalry. He has presented me with two Volumes written by himself upon these subjects, elegantly printed, bound and gilt.1
Mr. De Vallenais is with him, who speaks very good English.2
The inclosed Papers will give you all the News. You get Intelligence sooner and better than We.
We are under no more Apprehensions here than if the British Army was in the Crimea. Our Fabius will be slow, but sure.
Arnold, You see will have at them, if he can.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspapers not found or identified.
1. Augustin Mottin de La Balme (1736–1780), a French cavalry officer and writer on cavalry tactics, had left France against orders from Vergennes by disguising himself as a physician. He bore letters of introduction from Franklin to Hancock and from Deane to Washington. In Philadelphia he presented to JA copies of his Essais sur l'équitation, Amsterdam and Paris, 1773, and Elémens de tactique pour la cavalerie, Paris, 1776, which are still among JA's books in the Boston Public Library; the titlepage of the Essais is reproduced among the illustrations in the present volume. On 8 July 1777 Congress commissioned La Balme colonel and inspector of cavalry (JCC, 8:539), but he did not gain Washington's support in this post and retired from it early in 1778. The next year he campaigned as a volunteer on the Penobscot and elsewhere, and thereafter among the old French settlements in the West; in Nov. 1780 he and his men were massacred near Miami, Ohio, by a party of Little Turtle's Indians. Most of the information above is drawn from Lasseray's excellent sketch of La Balme in Les français sous les treize étoiles, 2:329–336.
2. Of this officer, whose name was spelled in a great variety of ways, little is definitely known beyond an entry in JCC for 8 July 1777 (8:539): “Resolved . . . That Mons. Vallenais be appointed an aid to Mons. de la Balme, with the rank and pay of captain of cavalry.” See also Lasseray, 2:462–463.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0211

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-06-21

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

It would give Pleasure to every Body your Way but the few, unfeeling Tories, to see what a Spirit prevails here.
The Allarm which How was foolish enough to spread by his March out of Brunswick, raised the Militia of [the] Jersies universally, and in this City it united the Whiggs, to exert themselves under their new Militia Law, in such a Degree that nobody here was under any Apprehensions of danger from Hows March. It seemed to be the general Wish that he might persevere in his March that he might meet with certain Destruction.
But the poor Wretches have skulked back to Brunswick.—This is a great Disgrace. It will be considered so in Europe. It is certainly { 269 } thought so by our People, and it will be felt to be so by their own People—the poor Tories especially.
It will dispirit that Army in such a manner, that Desertions will become very numerous.
The Tories in this Town seem to be in absolute Despair. Chopfallen, in a most remarkable Manner. The Quakers begin to say they are not Tories—that their Principle of passive Obedience will not allow them to be Whiggs, but that they are as far from being Tories as the Presbyterians.
The true Secret of all this is, We have now got together a fine Army, and more are coming in every day. An Officer arrived from Virginia, this day, says he passed by Three Thousand continental Troops between Williamsbourg and this Town.—I am with an Affection, that neither Time nor Place can abate, Yours, ever Yours.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0212

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-06-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I have just retird to my Chamber, but an impulce seazes me to write you a few lines before I close my Eye's. Here I often come and sit myself down alone to think of my absent Friend, to ruminate over past scenes, to read over Letters, journals &c.
Tis a melancholy kind of pleasure I find in this amusement, whilst the weighty cares of state scarcly leave room for a tender recollection or sentiment to steal into the Bosome of my Friend.
In my last I expressd some fears least the Enemy should soon invade us here. My apprehensions are in a great measure abated by late accounts received from the General.
We have a very fine Season here, rather cold for a fortnight, but nothing like a drought. You would smile to see what a Farmer our Brother C[ranc]h makes, his whole attention is as much engaged in it, as it ever was in Spermacity Works, Watch Work, or Prophesies. You must know he has purchased, (in spight of the C[olone]ls Threats) that Farm he talkd of.1 He gave a large price for it tis True, but tis a neat, profitable place, 300 sterling, but money is lookd upon of very little value, and you can scarcly purchase any article now but by Barter. You shall have wool for flax or flax for wool, you shall have veal, Beaf or pork for salt, for sugar, for Rum, &c. but mony we will not take, is the daily language. I will work for you for Corn, for flax { 270 } or wool, but if I work for money you must give a cart load of it be sure.
What can be done, and which way shall we help ourselves? Every article and necessary of life is rising daily. Gold dear Gold would soon lessen the Evils. I was offerd an article the other day for two dollors in silver for which they askd me six in paper.
I have no more to purchase with than if every dollor was a silver one.2 Every paper dollor cost a silver one, why then cannot it be eaquelly valuable? You will refer me to Lord Kames I know, who solves the matter. I hope in favour you will not Emit any more paper, till what we have at least becomes more valuable.
Nothing remarkable has occurd since I wrote you last. You do not in your last Letters mention how you do—I will hope better. I want a companion a Nights, many of them are wakefull and Lonesome, and “tierd Natures sweet restorer, Balmy Sleep,”3 flies me. How hard it is to reconcile myself to six months longer absence! Do you feel it urksome? Do you sigh for Home? And would you willingly share with me what I have to pass through? Perhaps before this reaches you and meets with a Return,——I wish the day passt, yet dread its arrival.—Adieu most sincerely most affectionately Yours.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia ansd. July 8.”
1. On 5 May 1777 (though the deed was not recorded until 7 Feb. 1781), Richard Cranch bought of Ebenezer Thayer, Ebenezer Miller, Jonathan Bass, Nathaniel Wales, and Norton Quincy, for £400 lawful money (or £300 sterling), a 32-acre tract of farm land, with the buildings thereon, “being part of the Stoney field so Called”—that is, lying on what is now called Presidents Hill, across the Old Coast Road (now Adams Street) from the Adams National Historic Site in Quincy (Suffolk Registry of Deeds, Boston, vol. 132: fols. 101–102). The name “Cranch Pasture” persisted in this area well into the 19th century, but the farm itself, which abutted on the homestead farm JA purchased in 1787, was bought from Cranch by JA himself in Feb. 1798 (Norfolk Registry of Deeds, Dedham, vol. 8: fol. 77).
As for “the C[olone]ls Threats,” the editors can only conjecture who and what they were. Among the Adamses the epithet “the Colonel” ordinarily meant Col. Josiah Quincy of Mount Wollaston, who may have been one of Richard Cranch's creditors.
2. Thus in MS, though the sense is dubious.
3. Closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0213

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-06-29

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The enclosed Newspapers will communicate to you, all the News I know.
The Weather here begins to be very hot. Poor Mortals pant and { 271 } sweat, under the burning Skies. Faint and feeble as children, We seem as if We were dissolving away. Yet We live along.
The two Armies are now playing off their Arts. Each acts with great Caution. Howe is as much afraid of putting any Thing to Hazard as Washington. What would Britain do, surrounded with formidable Powers in Europe just ready to strike her if Howes Army should meet a Disaster? Where would she find another Army?
How are you?—I hope very well.—Let Mr. Thaxter write, let the Children write, when you cannot. I am very anxious, but Anxiety at 400 Miles distance can do you no more good, than me. I long to hear a certain Piece of News from Home, which will give me great Joy. Thank Mr. John for his kind Letter. I will answer him and all my little Correspondents as soon as I can.
Tell Mr. John, that I am under no Apprehensions about his Proficiency in Learning. With his Capacity, and Opportunities, he can not fail to acquire Knowledge. But let him know, that the moral Sentiments of his Heart, are more important than the Furniture of his Head. Let him be sure that he possesses the great Virtues of Temperance, Justice, Magnanimity, Honour and Generosity, and with these added to his Parts he cannot fail to become a wise and great Man.
Does he read the Newspapers? The Events of this War, should not pass unobserved by him at his Years.
As he reads History you should ask him, what Events strike him most? What Characters he esteems and admires? which he hates and abhors? which he despises?
No doubt he makes some Observations, young as he is.
Treachery, Perfidy, Cruelty, Hypocrisy, Avarice, &c. &c. should be pointed out to him for his Contempt as well as Detestation.
My dear Daughters Education is near my Heart. She will suffer by this War as well as her Brothers. But she is a modest, and discreet Child. Has an excellent Disposition, as well as Understanding. Yet I wish it was in my Power, to give her the Advantages of several Accomplishments, which it is not.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspapers not found or identified.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0214

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

We have no News: a long, cold, raw, northeast Storm has chilled our Blood, for two days past. It is unusual, to have a storm from that { 272 } Point, in June and July. It is an Omen no doubt. Pray what can it mean?
I have so little Ingenuity, at interpreting the Auspices, that I am unable to say whether it bodes Evil to Howe, or to Us.
I rather think it augurs a fine Crop of Wheat, Rye, Barley, Corn, Spelts, Buckwheat, and Grass. It is a Presage of Plenty. Therefore let the Land rejoice. Flax and Cotton will grow, the better for this Weather.
The News Papers, inclosed, with this, will tell you all, that I know concerning the military operations in N. Jersey.
We have a Letter from Arthur Lee, from Spain, giving Us comfortable Assurances of Friendship and Commerce. We may trade to the Havannah and to New Orleans, as well as to Old Spain.1
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspapers not found or identified.
1. Arthur Lee to the Committee of Secret Correspondence, Vitoria, 18 March, read in Congress on 1 July (JCC, 8:514), and printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:292–296.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0215

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-07-02

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I sit down to write you a few lines this morning as I am loth the post should go, without telling you that I am well, as usual. Suppose you will be more anxious for me this month than common. I shall write as often and as long as I am able, tho I do not expect that it will be more than two or 3 weeks more at furthest. You will not fail writing me by every opportunity, receiving Letters once a week from you serves to keep up my Spirits and cheer my Heart, which of late does not feel the gayest. I rejoice to find by your last that your Health is better. I should have known it from the stile of your Letter if you had not told me so. The dates run june the 2d, 4th and 8th. Since I wrote last we have had frequent reports of How's sitting out for Philadelphia. I have not been very uneasy about it. I confess I had rather He should make a visit to you than to me, at this time, more especially since you seem so desirous of it. Our last accounts are of a Skirmish in Brunswick and the burning of that Town and of the Troops retreat to Amboy. I think they make no valient appearence this season.—We have an other account from Halifax, that the Gov• { 273 } ener there has orderd every House to be cleard and Barrack for that he expects them there immediately.
Yesterday our Tories so calld appeard in Boston to be tried before the worshipfull justices Q[uinc]y and Hill; they had engaged counsel Mr. T——r, who soon let the Court know that Mr. Q——y was not qualified to try them as he had never taken the oath since the declaration of independance, and that the recognisances were not signed—so they all marchd back again.1
They are pretty much netled and fear being sent on board the guard ship. Seven are condemnd at Bridgwater.
As to Goverment I can not tell you more than G[e]n. W[arre]n has wrote you. I hope in time we shall be able to sit down quietly—am sorry to see so much bickering about it in Pensilvana.
You inquire how our season is here. We have had a very fine one rather the coldest. There is a prospect of good crops of Grass and Grain. The fruit will suffer much by the frosts. Not much cider I fear.
Pray write to Dr. T[uft]s by the first opportunity. Our young ones are all well. We have enjoyd great Health since the small pox, for which we cannot be sufficently thankfull. Tis very Healthy every where. We have had a vast deal of thunder and lightning this Summer.—Adieu most Sincerely Yours.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia. Ans. July 16.”
1. The justices were Edmund Quincy, identified earlier, and John Hill, Harvard 1756. The counsel who defended the Braintree loyalists was almost certainly JA's former student William Tudor, who had recently left the army to resume his law practice in Boston. There is, however, a little mystification concerning Tudor's resignation, or resignations, from military service. On 10 April Tudor had written to JA from camp in New Jersey: “I am just going to mount my Horse for Boston. The offer made me by Genl. Knox of a Post in the Artillery I have declined, and shall return to my Books once more with Pleasure” (Adams Papers). On the same day Washington's general orders at Morristown stated: “John Laurence [i.e. Laurance] Esqr. is appointed Judge Advocate, in the room of William Tudor Esqr. who has resigned” (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 7:382). No letter of resignation has been found, but that Tudor was in Boston thereafter, and practicing law there, is clear from, among other things, his appointment by the town on 17 May as its agent “to procure Evidence that may be had of the inimical Dispositions, towards this, or any of the United States, of any Inhabitants of this Town” (Boston Record Commissioners, 18th Report, p. 280). Yet all the biographical sketches of Tudor that touch on the matter, and all the compilations on Continental officers' service, record the termination of Tudor's military service as in 1778. Heitman's Register of Officers, for example, gives his resignation as 9 April 1778, just a year after he had left camp—a coincidence so striking as to suggest a mistake. To complicate matters, Tudor was appointed judge advocate in Jan. 1778 specifically for the trial by court martial of Col. David Henley, in Boston, on charges by Gen. Burgoyne; see Tudor's letter to AA, 26 June 1778 (Adams Papers). The explanation appears to be that Tudor's commission as a lieutenant colonel in { 274 } one of the additional Continental regiments, beginning Jan. 1777, ran a year after he originally gave up his post as advocate general in April 1777; see Washington to Heath, 25 March 1778, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 11:144–145.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0216

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1777-07-05

John Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

[salute] My dear Daughter

Yesterday, being the anniversary of American Independence, was celebrated here with a festivity and ceremony becoming the occasion.
I am too old to delight in pretty descriptions, if I had a talent for them, otherwise a picture might be drawn, which would please the fancy of a Whig, at least.
The thought of taking any notice of this day, was not conceived, until the second of this month, and it was not mentioned until the third. It was too late to have a sermon, as every one wished, so this must be deferred another year.
Congress determined to adjourn over that day, and to dine together. The general officers and others in town were invited, after the President and Council, and Board of War of this State.
In the morning the Delaware frigate, several large gallies, and other continental armed vessels, the Pennsylvania ship1 and row gallies and guard boats, were all hawled off in the river, and several of them beautifully dressed in the colours of all nations, displayed about upon the masts, yards, and rigging.
At one o'clock the ships were all manned, that is, the men were all ordered aloft, and arranged upon the tops, yards, and shrowds, making a striking appearance—of companies of men drawn up in order, in the air.
Then I went on board the Delaware, with the President and several gentlemen of the Marine Committee, soon after which we were saluted with a discharge of thirteen guns, which was followed by thirteen others, from each other armed vessel in the river; then the gallies followed the fire, and after them the guard boats. Then the President and company returned in the barge to the shore, and were saluted with three cheers, from every ship, galley, and boat in the river. The wharves and shores, were lined with a vast concourse of people, all shouting and huzzaing, in a manner which gave great joy to every friend to this country, and the utmost terror and dismay to every lurking tory.
At three we went to dinner, and were very agreeably entertained with excellent company, good cheer, fine music from the band of Hes• { 275 } sians taken at Trenton, and continual vollies between every toast, from a company of soldiers drawn up in Second-street before the city tavern, where we dined. The toasts were in honour of our country, and the heroes who have fallen in their pious efforts to defend her. After this, two troops of light-horse, raised in Maryland, accidentally here in their way to camp, were paraded through Second-street, after them a train of artillery, and then about a thousand infantry, now in this city on their march to camp, from North Carolina. All these marched into the common, where they went through their firings and manoeuvres; but I did not follow them. In the evening, I was walking about the streets for a little fresh air and exercise, and was surprised to find the whole city lighting up their candles at the windows. I walked most of the evening, and I think it was the most splendid illumination I ever saw; a few surly houses were dark; but the lights were very universal. Considering the lateness of the design and the suddenness of the execution, I was amazed at the universal joy and alacrity that was discovered, and at the brilliancy and splendour of every part of this joyful exhibition. I had forgot the ringing of bells all day and evening, and the bonfires in the streets, and the fireworks played off.2
Had General Howe been here in disguise, or his master, this show would have given them the heart-ache. I am your affectionate father,
[signed] John Adams
MS not found. Printed from (Journal and Correspondence of Miss Adams, . . . Edited by Her Daughter, New York, 1841–1842, 2:8–10.)
1. Probably should read “ships,” meaning the ships of the Pennsylvania navy. There was no fighting vessel that bore the name Pennsylvania at this time.
2. More detailed accounts of this first and very hurriedly gotten-up anniversary celebration of the Fourth of July appeared in the Philadelphia papers (Penna. Gazette, 9 July; Penna. Journal, same date), but JA's is the fullest account by a participant that is known to the editors. At least one delegate took a much less enthusiastic view of it. William Williams of Connecticut, who had recently resumed his seat, wrote to Gov. Jonathan Trumbull on 5 July:
“Yesterday was in my opinion poorly spent in celebrating the anniversary of the Declaration of Independance, but to avoid singularity and Reflection upon my dear Colony, I thot it my Duty to attend the public Entertainment; a great Expenditure of Liquor, Powder etc. took up the Day, and of Candles thro the City good part of the night. I suppose and I conclude much Tory unilluminated Glass will want replacing etc.” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:401).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0217

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-07

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

Being Necessiated to use a Certain peace of Linnen so Nearly up that I Cannot spare my Friend the bit she Requested I Let her know { 276 } if I Come across any that I think will suit her I shall not forget her.
I Could spare a Yard of very Good Irish Linnen but the price is more than Adequate to the Goodness so do not send it.
If you are able to write yourself do Let me hear from you soon. If you are not Let some other hand transmit me the agreable Inteligence of the Birth of a young patriot.
What think you of the Runaways at the Jerseys. Will they Come here to try the prowess of the New England Boys. I hope not though I dare say my Country men would be Vallient upon the Occassion. Yet I Wish These Brutal Ravagers May Ever be kept at a Distance from Boston, from New England, from America, from You, and from your unfeigned Friend,
[signed] Marcia Warren
My Love to My dear Naby and the Young Gentlemen.
Husbandry Must smile after the Late fine showers. If I was to Cultivate the spirit of Farming it should Certainly be in a Driping season.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0218

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yours of June 23d. have received. I believe there is no Danger of an Invasion your Way, but the Designs of the Enemy are uncertain and their Motions a little misterious. Before this Letter is sealed, which will not be till Sunday next, I hope I shall be able to inform you better.
I rejoice at your fine Season, and <still more> at my Brother Cranches Attention to Husbandry. Am very glad he bought the Farm, and that he likes it so well.
I pant for domestic Life, and rural Felicity like his.
I am better than I have been. But I dread the Heats, which are coming on.
This Day compleats Six Months since I left you. I am wasted and exhausted in Mind and Body, with incessant Application to Business, but if I can possibly endure it, will hold out the Year. It is nonsense to dance backwards and forwards. After this Year I shall take my Leave.
Our Affairs are in a fine prosperous Train, and if they continue so, I can leave this Station with Honour.
Next Month compleats Three Years, that I have been devoted to { 277 } the Servitude of Liberty. A slavery it has been to me, whatever the World may think of it.
To a Man, whose Attachments to his Family, are as strong as mine, Absence alone from such a Wife and such Children, would be a great sacrifice. But in Addition to this Seperation, what have I not done? What have I not suffered? What have I not hazarded?—These are Questions that I may ask you, but I will ask such Questions of none else. Let the Cymballs of Popularity tinckle still. Let the Butterflies of Fame glitter with their Wings. I shall envy neither their Musick nor their Colours.
The Loss of Property affects me little. All other hard Things I despize, but the Loss of your Company and that of my dear Babes for so long a Time, I consider as a Loss of so much solid Happiness.
The tender social Feelings of my Heart, which have distressed me beyond all Utterance, in my most busy, active scaenes, as well as in the numerous Hours of melancholly solitude, are known only to God and my own soul.
How often have I seen my dearest Friend a Widow and her Charming Prattlers Orphans, exposed to all the Insolence of unfeeling impious Tyrants! Yet, I can appeal to my final Judge, the horrid Vision has never for one Moment shaken the Resolution of my Heart.
RC (Adams Papers). Part of the text of this letter is reproduced from the manuscript as an illustration in the present volume.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0219

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-07-09

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I sit down to write you this post, and from my present feelings tis the last I shall be able to write for some time if I should do well. I have been very unwell for this week past, with some complaints that have been new to me, tho I hope not dangerous.
I was last night taken with a shaking fit, and am very apprehensive that a life was lost. As I have no reason to day to think otherways; what may be the consequences to me, Heaven only knows. I know not of any injury to myself, nor any thing which could occasion what I fear.
I would not Have you too much allarmd. I keep up some Spirits yet, tho I would have you prepaird for any Event that may happen.

[salute] I can add no more than that I am in every Situation unfeignedly Yours, Yours.

{ 278 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Portia.” This letter is reproduced from the manuscript as an illustration in the present volume.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0220

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-10

John Adams to Abigail Adams

My Mind is again Anxious, and my Heart in Pain for my dearest Friend. . . .1
Three Times have I felt the most distressing Sympathy with my Partner, without being able to afford her any Kind of Solace, or Assistance.
When the Family was sick of the Dissentery, and so many of our Friends died of it.
When you all had the small Pox.
And now I think I feel as anxious as ever.—Oh that I could be near, to say a few kind Words, or shew a few Kind Looks, or do a few kind Actions. Oh that I could take from my dearest, a share of her Distress, or relieve her of the whole.
Before this shall rea[c]h you I hope you will be happy in the Embraces of a Daughter, as fair, and good, and wise, and virtuous as the Mother, or if it is a son I hope it will still resemble the Mother in Person, Mind and Heart.2
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. The last sentence as it appears in the MS shows the writer's intensity of feeling in a manner that type cannot show. JA evidently wrote: “. . . or if it is a son I hope it will still resemble the Mother in <Mind, in Face and in [illegible]> Person, Mind and Heart.” The words rejected are partly rubbed out by hand and partly scratched out by pen.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0221

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-07-10

Abigail Adams to John Adams

About an Hour ago I received a Letter from my Friend dated June 21: begining in this manner “my dearest Friend.” It gave me a most agreable Sensation, it was a cordial to my Heart. That one single expression dwelt upon my mind and playd about my Heart, and was more valuable to me than any part of the Letter, except the close of it. It was because my Heart was softned and my mind enervated by my sufferings, and I wanted the personal and tender soothings of my dearest Friend, that [ren]derd1 it so valuable to me at this time. I have { 279 } [no] doubt of the tenderest affection or sincerest regard of my absent Friend, yet an expression of that kind will sooth my Heart to rest amidst a thousand anxietyes.
Tis now 48 Hours since I can say I really enjoyed any Ease, nor am I ill enough to summons any attendance unless my sisters. Slow, lingering and troublesome is the present situation. The Dr. encourages me to Hope that my apprehensions are groundless respecting what I wrote you yesterday, tho I cannot say I have had any reason to allter my mind. My spirits However are better than they were yesterday, and I almost wish I had not let that Letter go. If there should be agreable News to tell you, you shall know it as soon as the post can convey it. I pray Heaven that it may be soon or it seems to me I shall be worn out. I must lay my pen down this moment, to bear what I cannot fly from—and now I have endured it I reassume my pen and will lay by all my own feelings and thank you for your obligeing Letters.—A prize arrived this week at Marble Head with 400 Hogsheads of rum a board sent in by Manly.—Every article and necessary of life rises here daily. Sugar has got to [8 pounds?] per hundred, Lamb to I shilling per pound and all ot[her] things in proportion.—We have the finest Season here that I have known for many years. The fruit was injured by the cold East winds and falls of, the Corn looks well, Hay will be plenty, but your Farm wants manure. I shall endeavour to have Sea weed carted every Leasure moment that can be had. That will not be many. Help is so scarce and so expensive I can not Hire a days mowing under 6 shillings.
How has done himself no honour by his late retreat. We fear most now for Tycon[deroga.]2 Tis reported to day that tis taken. We have a vast many men who look like officers continually riding about. I wonder what they can be after, why they do not repair to the army.
We wonder too what Congress are a doing? We have not heard of late.
How do you do? Are you glad you are out of the way of sour faces. I could look pleasent upon you in the midst of sufferings—allmighty God carry me safely through them. There I would hope I have a Friend ever nigh and ready to assist me, unto whom I commit myself.
This is Thursday Evening. It3 cannot go till monday, and then I hope will be accompanied with more agreable inteligance.

[salute] Most sincerely Yours.

I got more rest last night than I expected, this morning am rather { 280 } more ill than I was yesterday. This day ten years ago master John came into this world. May I have reason again to recollect it with peculiar gratitude. Adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. Here and below, MS is torn by seal.
2. AA intended to divide this word between two lines but failed to continue it on the second.
3. This letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0222

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

This Letter will go by the Hand of the Honourable Samuel Hewes Esqr., one of the Delegates in Congress from North Carolina, from the Month of September 1774, untill 1777.1
I had the Honour to serve with him upon the naval Committee, who laid the first Foundations, the Corner Stone of an American navy, by fitting to Sea the Alfred, Columbus, Cabott, Andrew Doria, Providence, and several others. An Honour, that I make it a Rule to boast of, upon all Occasions, and I hope my Posterity will have Reason to boast. . . .2 Hewes has a sharp Eye and keen, penetrating Sense, but what is of much more Value is a Man of Honour and Integrity. If he should call upon you, and you should be about, I hope you will treat him with all the Complaisance that is due to his Character. I almost envy him his Journey, altho he travells for his Health, which at present is infirm. I am yours, yours, yours,
[signed] John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have had no News from Camp for 3 or 4 days. Mr. How, by the last Advices, was maneuvring his Fleet and Army in such a Manner, as [to] give Us Expectations of an Expedition, some where. But whether to Rhode Island, Hallifax, up the North River or the Delaware, is left to Conjecture. I am much in doubt whether he knows his own Intentions.
A Faculty of penetrating into the Designs of an Enemy is said to be the first Quality of a General. But it is impossible to discover the Designs of an Enemy who has no Design at all. An Intention that has no Existence, a Plan that is not laid, cannot be divined. Be his Intentions what they may, you have nothing to fear from him—He has not force to penetrate the Country any where.
{ 281 }
1. JA of course meant Joseph Hewes (1730–1779), a North Carolina delegate from 1774 through 1776 and a signer of the Declaration of Independence (DAB). In a vivid letter written in old age JA credited Hewes with a decisive switch in Congress on the question of independence; see JA to William Plumer, 28 March 1813 (LbC, Adams Papers; printed in JA, Works, 10:35–36).
2. Suspension points in MS. On the work of the committee in question see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:198 ff.; 3:345 ff.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0223

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have a confused Account, from the Northward, of Something Unlucky, at Ticonderoga, but cannot certainly tell what it is.1
I am much afraid, We shall loose that Post, as We did Forts Washington and Lee, and indeed, I believe We shall if the Enemy surround it. But it will prove no Benefit to them. I begin to Wish there was not a Fort upon the Continent. Discipline and Disposition, are our Resources.
It is our Policy to draw the Enemy into the Country, where We can avail ourselves of Hills, Woods, Walls, Rivers, Defiles &c. untill our Soldiers are more inured to War.
How and Burgoine will not be able to meet, this Year, and if they were met, it would only be better for Us, for We should draw all our Forces to a Point too.
If they were met, they could not cutt off the Communication, between the Northern and Southern States. But if the Communication was cutt off for a Time, it would be no Misfortune, for New England would defend itself, and the Southern States would defend themselves.
Coll. Miles is come out of N. York on his Parol. His account is, as I am informed, that Mr. Howes Projects are all deranged. His Army has gone round the Circle and is now encamped on the very Spot where he was a Year ago. The Spirits of the Tories are sunk to a great Degree, and those of the Army too. The Tories have been elated with Prospects of coming to this City, and tryumphing, but are miserably disappointed. The Hessians are disgusted, and their General De Heister gone home, in a Miff.2
1. Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair on 6 July evacuated Fort Ticonderoga in the face of Burgoyne's army advancing from Canada.
2. Lt. Gen. Leopold Philipp, Freiherr von Heister, commander of the Hessian troops in America, had been out of favor with Sir William Howe and with { 282 } his own sovereign since the American victory at Trenton. He was replaced by Lt. Gen. Wilhelm von Knyphausen and left the army in June 1777. See Edward J. Lowell, The Hessians. . . in the Revolutionary War, N.Y., 1884, p. 113–115.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0224

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-07-13

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

The day before Yesterday Mrs. Adams was delivered of a daughter; <but> it grieves me to add, Sir, that it was still born. It was an exceeding fine looking Child.
Mrs. Adams is as comfortable, as She has Just inform'd me, as can be expected; and has desired me to write a few lines to acquaint you that She is in a good Way, which I am very happy in doing.

[salute] Every thing in my power that respects her Comfort, or that respects the Children, shall be attended to by Sir, Your most obedient Servt.,

[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0225

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-07-16

Abigail Adams to John Adams

Join with me my dearest Friend in Gratitude to Heaven, that a life I know you value, has been spaired and carried thro Distress and danger altho the dear Infant is numberd with its ancestors.
My apprehensions with regard to it were well founded. Tho my Friends would have fain perswaded me that the Spleen1[or]2 the Vapours had taken hold of me I was as perfectly sensible of its discease as I ever before was of its existance. I was also aware of the danger which awaited me; and which tho my suffering[s] were great thanks be to Heaven I have been supported through, and would silently submit to its dispensations in the loss of a sweet daughter; it appeard to be a very fine Babe, and as it never opened its Eyes in this world it lookd as tho they were only closed for sleep. The circumstance which put an end to its existance, was evident upon its birth, but at this distance and in a Letter which may possibly fall into the Hands of some unfealing Ruffian I must omit particuliars. Suffice it to say that it was not oweing to any injury which I had sustaind, nor could any care of mine have prevented it.
My Heart was much set upon a Daughter. I had had a strong perswasion that my desire would be granted me. It was—but to shew me the uncertanty of all sublinary enjoyments cut of e'er I could call it mine. { 283 } No one was so much affected with the loss of it as its Sister who mournd in tears for Hours. I have so much cause for thankfullness amidst my sorrow, that I would not entertain a repineing thought. So short sighted and so little a way can we look into futurity that we ought patiently to submit to the dispensation of Heaven.
I am so comfortable that I am amaizd at myself, after what I have sufferd I did not expect to rise from my Bed for many days. This is but the 5th day and I have set up some Hours.
I However feel myself weakend by this exertion, yet I could not refrain [from] the temptation of writing with my own Hand to you.

[salute] Adieu dearest of Friends adieu—Yours most affectionately.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed in Richard Cranch's hand: “To the Honble: John Adams Esqr. at Philadelphia To be left at the Post Office”; endorsed: “Portia.”
1. MS apparently reads: “Splln.”
2. This word and one other (in the paragraph preceding AA's leavetaking) have been editorially supplied.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0226

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your Favour of the 2d. instant reached me on the 14th.
The last Letters from me which you had received, were of the 2d. 4th. and 8th. June. Here were 24 days between the 8th. of June and the 2d. July the date of yours. How this could happen I know not. I have inclosed you the Newspapers and written you a Line, every Week, for several Months past. If there is one Week passes without bringing you a Letter from me, it is because the Post does not its Duty.
After another Week, you will probably write me no more Letters for some Days. But I hope you will make Mr. Thaxter, or somebody write. Miss Nabby or Mr. John may write.
We have another Fort Washington and Fort Lee affair at Ticonderoga. I hope at last We shall learn Wisdom. I wished that Post evacuated Three Months ago. We are Fools if We attempt at present to maintain Posts, near navigable Water.
As to the Tories, I think our General Court would do well to imitate the Policy of Pensilvania, who have enjoyned an Oath to be taken by all the People, which has had an amazing Effect.
The Tories have been tolerated, even to long Suffering. Beings so unfeeling, unnatural, ungratefull, as to join an Enemy of their Coun• { 284 } try so unprincipled, unmerciless1 and blood thirsty, deserve a Punishment much severer than Banishment.
But you should establish an Oath, and outlaw all who will not take it—that is suffer them to hold no Office, to vote no where for any Thing, to bring no Action, to take out no Execution.
I am grieved to hear that our Fruit is injured by the Frost because as Wine and Rum will wholly fail, from the stoppages of Trade, Cyder will be our only Resource.
However We must drink Water, and Milk, and We should live better, be healthier, and fight bolder2 than We do with our poisonous Luxuries.
1. Thus in MS. JA first wrote “merciless,” but then, looking back and carelessly supposing he had written “merciful,” prefixed “un” above the line.
2. Thus apparently in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0227

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-18

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The Papers inclosed will inform you, of the Loss of Ticonderoga, with all its Circumstances of Incapacity and Pusillanimity.—Dont you pitty me to be wasting away my Life, in laborious Exertions, to procure Cannon, Ammunition, Stores, Baggage, Cloathing &c. &c. &c. &c., for Armies, who give them all away to the Enemy, without firing a Gun.
Notwithstanding the Mortification arising from such Considerations, yet I can truly say that this Event is a Relief to my Mind, for I have a long Time expected this Catastrophe, and that it would be aggravated by the Loss of the Garrison, which it seems has been happily saved. My only Hope of holding that Post, has been a long Time founded in a Doubt whether the Enemy had Force enough in Canada, to attempt it.
The Design of the Enemy, is now no doubt to attack poor New England on all sides, from Rhode Island, New York and Ticonderoga.
But I believe their Progress will be stopped, for our Army is pretty numerous, and Discipline, upon which alone We must finally depend, under Providence, for Success, is advancing.
Howes Army is in a miserable Condition, by the best Accounts We can obtain.
My Mind runs upon my Family, as much as upon our public Con• { 285 } cerns. I long to hear of the Safety and the Health of my dearest Friend.—May Heaven grant her every Blessing she desires.
Tell my Brother Farmer, I long to study Agriculture with him, and to see the Progress of his Corn and Grass.—Sister too, does she make as good a dairy Woman as your Ladyship?
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosed newspapers not found or precisely identifiable.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0228

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-20

John Adams to Abigail Adams

The little masterly Expedition to Rhode Island has given Us, some Spirits, amidst our Mournings for the Loss of Ti. Barton conducted his Expedition with infinite Address and Gallantry, as Sir Wm. has it.1 Meigs and Barton must be rewarded.2
Although so much Time has elapsed since our Misfortune at Ti, We have no particular Account from General Schuyler or Sinclair [St. Clair]. People here are open mouthed, about the Disgrace and Disaster in that Quarter, and are much disposed to Censure.—For my Part I suspend my Judgment, untill I know the Facts. I hope the People with you will not be too much dejected at the Loss. Burgoine is a wild Man, and will rush into some inconsiderate Measures, which will put him in our Power, but if not, his Career will be stopped.
The Loss of so many Stores is more provoking than that of the Post.
Before this reaches you, I hope you will be happy in the Embraces of a little female Beauty. God bless her. Pray let me continue to hear from you, every Week. When you cant write, make some other Pen do the Duty.
We have had here a few hot days, when Fahrenheits Mercury was at 88, but the Weather has in general been very cool. Such a July was scarcely ever known, which is a fortunate Circumstance for the Health of our Army.
We have The four Months of August, September, October and November, before Us, for the Armies to Act in. There is Time enough to do a great deal of Business. I hope, that the Enemy will not do so much Mischief as last Year, altho their Exploits then have not done them much Good, nor the united States as a Community, much harm.
The Examples of Meigs, and Barton, will be followed I hope, by Numbers. The Sub[t]lety, the Ingenuity, the Activity, the Bravery, { 286 } the Prudence, with which those Excursions were conducted, are greatly and justly admired.
Connecticutt has the Honour of one, Rhode Island of the other.—Will Mass. be outdone?
1. On 10 July Lt. Col. William Barton with a party of forty Rhode Island militia made a night raid on Maj. Gen. Richard Prescott's headquarters near Newport, captured Prescott and his aide, and almost reached the mainland before an alarm was raised. See Washington to Hancock, 16 July (Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 8:415–416), and a minutely detailed account, with a map of the terrain, in Frederick Mackenzie, Diary, Cambridge, 1930, 1:148–151.
2. On 25 July Congress voted that both officers be presented with swords—Meigs for his conduct in the raid on Sag Harbor at the end of May (JCC, 8:579–580).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0229

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-21

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My best Friend

I have long sought for a compleat History of the Revolution in the low Countries, when the Seven united Provinces seperated from the Kingdom of Spain, but without the Success that I wished, untill a few days ago.
Sir William Temples Account is elegant and entertaining, but very brief and general.1
Puffendorfs, I have not yet seen.2 Grotius's I have seen, and read in Part, but it is in Latin, and I had it not in my Possession long enough, to make myself master of the whole.3
A few days ago, I heard for the first Time, of an History of the Wars in Flanders, written in Italian by Cardinal Bentivoglio, and translated into English by the Earl of Monmouth. The Cardinal was a Spaniard and a Tory, and his History has about as much Candor towards the Flemish and their Leaders as Clarendon has towards Pym and Hampden, and Cromwell. The Book is in Folio, and is embellished with a Map of the Country and with the Portraits of about Thirty of the Principal Characters.4
Mr. Ingersol, who lent me the Book, told me, that in the Year 1765 or 6, being in England, he was invited together with Dr. Franklin to spend a Week in the Country with a Mr. Steel a Gentleman of Fortune, at present an eloquent Speaker in the Society of Arts, descended from Sir Richard Steel.5 Upon that Visit Mr. Steel told them that the Quarrell which was now begun by the Stamp Act would never be reconciled, but would terminate in a Separation between the two Coun• { 287 } tries.—Ingersol was surprized at the Praediction and asked why and how?—I cant tell you how says he, but if you want to know why, when you return to London, enquire at the Booksellers for Bentivoglios History of the Wars in Flanders, read it through, and you will be convinced that such Quarrells cannot be made up.
He bought the Book accordingly and has now lent it to me. It is very similar to the American Quarrell in the Rise and Progress, and will be so in the Conclusion.
1. Observations upon the United Provinces of the Netherlands, London, 1672, a brief work but long the principal authority for most English readers on the history and government of the Netherlands. It went through numerous editions and was translated into several languages. JA could have read it in the first volume of his own copy of Temple's Works, 2 vols., London, 1731, which is among his books in the Boston Public Library.
2. The German jurist Pufendorf (1632–1694) wrote An Introduction to the History of the Principal Kingdoms and States of Europe . . ., which is not among the works by that writer listed in the Catalogue of JA's Library.
3. Hugo Grotius (1583–1645), Annales et historiae de rebus belgicis, Amsterdam, 1657, likewise not entered in the Catalogue of JA's Library.
4. Guido, Cardinal Bentivoglio's History of the Warrs in Flanders was first published in English in this translation by the Earl of Monmouth, London, 1654. Despite his enthusiasm for this book, which led him to copy the entire list of 24 portraits into his letter to JQA of 27 July, below, JA does not seem to have acquired a copy of it, though the Catalogue of JA's Library enters two other works by Bentivoglio.
5. Jared Ingersoll of Connecticut, though a loyalist, was living quietly in Philadelphia at this time; see JA to AA, 16 March, above, and Lawrence H. Gipson, Jared Ingersoll, New Haven and London, 1920, p. 355 ff.Joshua Steele (1700–1791) was an Irishman who lived many years in London, was a friend and correspondent of Franklin, wrote treatises on prosody and music, and spent his last years attempting to ameliorate the condition of the slaves on his estates in Barbados (DNB; Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:100; 3:349).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0230

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-07-23

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Notwithstanding my confinement I think I have not omitted writing you by every post. I have recoverd Health and strength beyond expectation; and never was so well in so short a time before. Could I see my Friend in reality as I often do in immagination I think I should feel a happiness beyond expression; I had pleasd myself with the Idea of presenting him a fine son or daughter upon his return, and had figurd to myself the smiles of joy and pleasure with which he would receive it, but [those?]1 dreams are buried in the Grave, transitory as the morning Cloud, short lived as the Dew Drops.
{ 288 }
Heaven continue to us those we already have and make them blessings. I think I feel more solicitious for their welfare than ever, and more anxious if posible for the life and Health of their parent. I fear the extreem Heat of the season, and the different temperament of the climate and the continual application to Buisness will finish a constitution naturally feeble.
I know not in what manner you will be affected at the loss, Evacuation, sale, giving up—which of the terms befits the late conduct at Tycondoroga. You may know more of the reasons for this conduct (as I hear the commanding officer went immediately to Congress) than we can devine this way; but this I can truly say no Event since the commencement of the War has appeard so allarming to me, or given me eaquel uneasiness. Had the Enemy fought and conquerd the fort, I could have borne it, but to leave it with all the stores before it was even attackd, has exited a thousand Suspicions, and gives room for more wrath than despondency.
We every day look for an attack upon us this way. The reports of this week are that a number of Transports with Troops have a[rriv]ed at Newport. Some expresses went through this Town yesterday.
Yours of June 302 reach'd me last week. I am not a little surprizd that you have not received Letters from me later than the 9 of June.3 I have never faild for this two months writing you once a week. Tho they contain matters of no great importance I should be glad to know when you receive them.
We have had a remarkable fine Season here, no drought this summer. The Corn looks well, and english Grain promiseing. We cannot be sufficently thankfull to a Bountifull providence that the Horrours of famine are not added to those of war, and that so much more Health prevails in our Camps than in the year past.
Many of your Friends desire to be rememberd to you. Some complain that you do not write them. Adieu. Master Tom stands by and sends duty—he often recollects How par used to put him to Jail as he calls it. They are all very Healthy this summer, and are in expectation of a Letter every packet that arrives. Yours, ever yours,
[signed] Portia
PS Price Current!! This day I gave 4 dollors a peice for Sythes and a Guiney a Gallon for New england Rum. We come on here finely. What do you think will become of us. If you will come Home and turn Farmer, I will be dairy woman. You will make more than is allowd you, and we shall grow wealthy. Our Boys shall go into the Feild and work with you, and my Girl shall stay in the House and assist me.
{ 289 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia To be left at the Post Office”; franked: “Free”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. Here and below, MS is torn by seal.
2. Not found.
3. Not found, unless (as is very likely) this is a slip of the pen for 8 June.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0231

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

At this Moment, I hope you are abed and happy. I am anxious to hear, and the more so because I had no Letter, from you, nor concerning you by the last Post. I wait with Impatience for Monday Morning, when the Post is to arrive.
I am more Anxious, now, than ever, on another Account. The Enemy's Fleet has sailed—But to what Place, they are destined, is unknown. Some conjecture Philadelphia, some Rhode Island, and some, that they mean only a Feint and intend soon to return to the North River. If they go to Rhode Island, I suppose they will not remain inactive there, which will throw you and your Neighbourhood into Distress.1
Poor, unhappy I! who have never an opportunity to share with my Family, their Distresses, nor to contribute in the least degree to relieve them! I suffer more in solitary silence, than I should if I were with them.
1. On 23 July, after long and elaborate preparations that had gone on in plain sight of the Jersey shore, Howe's army sailed out of New York harbor in a fleet of “above 260 Sail” bound for Delaware Bay. Upon its arrival there on 29 July, however, the fleet put out to sea again and reappeared at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay on 14 August. For a British record of this trying voyage see Ambrose Serle, American Journal, ed. Edward H. Tatum Jr., San Marino, 1940, p. 240–242; for the mystification of Americans concerning Howe's intentions see JA's letters to AA of 30 July21 Aug., below.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0232

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1777-07-27

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

If it should be the Design of Providence that you should live to grow up, you will naturally feel a Curiosity to learn the History of the Causes which have produced the late Revolution of our Government. No Study in which you can engage will be more worthy of you.
It will become you to make yourself Master of all the considerable { 290 } Characters, which have figured upon the Stage of civil, political or military Life. This you ought to do with the Utmost Candour, Benevolence and Impartiality, and if you should now and then meet with an Incident, which shall throw some Light upon your Fathers Character, I charge you to consider it with an Attention only to Truth.
It will also be an entertaining and instructive Amusement, to compare our American Revolution with others that Resemble it. The whole Period of English History, from the Accession of James the first, to the Accession of William the third, will deserve your most critical Attention.
The History of the Revolutions in Portugal, Sweeden and Rome by the Abbot de Vertot, is well worth your Reading.1
The Seperation of the Helvetic Confederacy from the Dominion of the House of Austria, is also an illustrious Event, that particularly resembles our American Struggle with Great Britain.
But above all others, I would recommend to your study, the History of the Flemish Confederacy, by which the seven united Provinces of the Netherlands, emancipated themselves from the Domination of Spain.
There are several good Histories of this great Revolution. Sir William Temples is short but elegant, and entertaining. Another Account of this Period was written by Puffendorf, and another by Grotius.2
But the most full and compleat History, that I have seen, is one that I am now engaged in Reading. It is intituled “The History of the Wars of Flanders, written in Italian by that learned and famous Cardinal Bentivoglio, englished by the Right Honourable Henry Earl of Monmouth, the whole Work illustrated, with a Map of the seventeen Provinces and above twenty Figures of the chief Personages mentioned in the History.”
Bentivoglio, like Clarendon, was a Courtier, and on the side of Monarchy and the Hierarchy. But Allowances must be made for that.
The first Cut is of Guido, S.R.E. Cardinalis Bentivolus.
2. The Emperor Charles the 5th. Prince of the low Countries.
3. Phillip the 2d. King of Spain, Prince of the low Countries.
4. William of Nassau, Prince of Orange.
5. Margarett Dutchesse of Parma and Piacenza, Daughter to Charles the 5th. Governesse of the low Countries.
6. Elizabeth Queen of England, France and Ireland.
7. Anthony Perenott Cardinal Granvel, Councillor of state to Margarett of Parma.
{ 291 }
8. Peter Ernest Count Mansfeldt Governor of Luxemburg.
9. William Lodowic Count Nassau, Governor of Frisland.
10. John Lignius, Count Aremberg, Governor of Frisland, General at the Battle of Hilligal.
11. Ferdinand of Toledo Duke of Alva, Governor of the Low Countries.
12. Sancho Avila Governor of the Fort, at Antwerp, General at the Battle of Mooch.
13. Chiapino Vitelli Marquiss of Cetona, Camp Master General.
14. Robert Lord Dudley Earl of Leicester, Governor of the united Provinces.
15. Maximillian Hennin Count Bossu, Governor of Holland and Utrecht.
16. Lodovico Requesenes, Great Commandador of Castile, Governor of the Low Countries.
17. Phillip Croy Duke of Areschot, Knight of the golden Fleece, Governor of Flanders.
18. Don John of Austria, son to Charles 5th. Governor of the Low Countries.
19. Mathias, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy and Governor of the united Provinces.
20. Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma, Governor of the low Countries.
21. Francis Hercules De Valois, Duke of Anjou, Alencon, Brabant and Protector of the Netherlands.
22. Phillip Count Holach, Baron of Langenberg, first General of the united Provinces.
23. Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, Count Nassau, Governor of the united Provinces.
24. Adolphus Solm Count de Meurs, Governor of Gelderland and Utrecht.
There are three most memorable Seiges described in this History, those of Haerlem, Leyden, and Antwerp.
You will wonder, my dear son, at my writing to you at your tender Age, such dry Things as these: but if you keep this Letter you will in some future Period, thank your Father for writing it. I am my dear son, with the Utmost Affection to your Sister and Brothers as well as to you, your Father,
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in CFA's hand.
{ 292 }
1. Not a single work, as JA seems to imply, but three different works by a prolific French historical writer, the Abbé René Aubert de Vertot d'Aubeuf. A copy of The Revolutions of Portugal, London, 1721, is among JA's books in MB (Catalogue of JA's Library); and two copies in French, published at The Hague in 1734 and 1755 respectively, are still in the family library at Quincy (MQA). JA's copy of The History of the Revolution in Sweden, London, 1716, is also in MB (Catalogue of JA's Library), and no fewer than three copies in French are in MQA: Paris, 1722, 1811; The Hague, 1734. Of Vertot's Histoire des révolutions arrivées dans le gouvernement de la république romaine there is a copy, 3 vols., The Hague, 1737, in MQA.
2. On these works and also on Bentivoglio's History, described at such length immediately below, see JA to AA, 21 July, above, and notes there. The title of Bentivoglio's book as given below by JA is a reasonably accurate copy from the titlepage of the London, 1654, translation; and the titles of the plates are also copied with unusual accuracy.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0233

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-28

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Never in my whole Life, was my Heart affected with such Emotions and Sensations, as were this Day occasioned by your Letters of the 9. 10. 11. and 16 of July. Devoutly do I return Thanks to God, whose kind Providence has preserved to me a Life that is dearer to me than all other Blessings in this World. Most fervently do I pray, for a Continuance of his Goodness in the compleat Restoration of my best Friend to perfect Health.
Is it not unaccountable, that one should feel so strong an Affection for an Infant, that one has never seen, nor shall see? Yet I must confess to you, the Loss of this sweet little Girl, has most tenderly and sensibly affected me. I feel a Grief and Mortification, that is heightened tho it is not wholly occasioned, by my Sympathy with the Mother. My dear little Nabbys Tears are sweetly becoming her generous Tenderness and sensibility of Nature. They are Arguments too of her good sense and Discretion.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0234

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-07-28

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

[salute] Mr. Adams

Not haveing anything worth troubling you with for sometime have been silent. The late Affair of Ticonderogia, makes us all sick. I have been of Opinion for sometime itt would have been best iff itt had been evacuated last spring and come down lower by which means the laboring Oar would have fell more on the Enemy, but to give itt up with such immence stores and charge we have been att, is beyaund all con• { 293 } seption. I cant Care to dwell on so disagreeable a subject and so say no more.
I have a Vessell that went away a little before the Lexington Affair and things soon after became more dificult. I ordered the Master iff he should here that the dificulties still remaind, he might imploy the Vessell in freighting from Spain to any Other places and Accordingly he imployed her in that way as was the case of many Others. I have heard he went from Spain with a freight to London and back to Spain Again, in consequence of which I suppose he took Out a New regester to cover his Vessell. I have wrote to London and sundry times to my friends Gardoquis in Bilbao and inclosed letters to the Master to purchase a load of Salt in Spain or Portugal and to come directly home—but have no Account whether he ever received my letters. I have wrote the Master upon supposition that he had got a british regester to distroy itt and come without any, but since I have thought of Another method, which think may be supported, on principle of justice and patreoticism, and am inform'd has been countenanst by the Honbl. Continental Congress in order to get One's Interest into this part of the world, and that is to have two setts of papers—but what I think will Answer my purpose, is Only to have a Certifycate from the Congress sertifying liberty for the Vessell to return into any of these states with a load of Salt, and that no Arm'd Vessell in any of the United states should stop or hinder her in prosecution of her returning home.
I had thoughts to have Applyed to Our goverment, which might easily be effected but then there Authority extends no further than Our Own state wereas One from Your body would extend through the United states.
The Vessell is a schooner of 100 Tons called the Success, Ignatius Webber Master. I have had often upwards (say upwards of Twenty times) Three thousand bushels salt, which att this time would be a publick benifit. I think there need but a very little wrote upon the Matter, iff any charge Attending itt to the under Clerks iff you will pay itt, will Account with you. You will send two as itt is Nessesary these times to have a duplecate.

[salute] I am Sr. Yr. h S,

[signed] Isaac Smith
PS I have just returned from Weymouth w[h]ere have been a day or two. I forward you a letter from Mrs. Adams.1 Mr. Cranch is a[s] busey as a bee and seems to be in his Elliment about his New farm. I find a letter from you by Mr. Hewes.2 I have not seen the Gentleman { 294 } yet, but shall take proper Notice of him.—Yesterday there was an Account come that How's fleet had saild. Att present we here nothing more so that we suppose they are gone your way.
I Observe what you say about salt and the Necessity of the Importation. I have not time to say any thing on that subject as the post is near going but will let you know in my next the dificulty we labour under here in the Navigation way, & are Y[ours],
[signed] IS
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. The letter immediately following?
2. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0235

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-07-30

Abigail Adams to John Adams

I dare say before this Time you have interpreted the Northern Storm; if the presages chill'd your Blood, how must you be froze and stiffend at the Disgrace brought upon our Arms unless some warmer passion seaze you, and Anger and resentment Fire your Breast.
How are all our vast Magazines of Cannon, powder, Arms, cloathing, provision, Medicine &c. to be restored to us—but what is vastly more, How shall the Disgrace be wiped away? How shall our lost Honour be retreaved? The reports with regard to that fortress are very vague and uncertain. Some write from thence, that there was not force sufficent to defend it, others say it might have stood a long Siege. Some there are who ought to know why and wherefore we have given away a place of such importance.
That the inquiry will be made I make no doubt, and if Cowardice, Guilt, Deceit, are found upon any one How high or exalted soever his station, may shame, reproach, infamy, hatred, and the execrations of the publick be his portion.
I would not be so narrow minded as to suppose that there are not many Men of all Nations possessd of Honour, Virtue and Integrety; yet tis to be lamented that we have not Men among ourselves sufficently qualified for War to take upon them the most important command.
It was customary among the Carthaginians to have a Military School, in which the flower of their Nobility and those whose talants and ambition prompted them to aspire to the first dignities, learnt the art of War. From among these they selected all their general officers, for { 295 } tho they employd mercenary Soldiers, they were too jealous and suspicious to employ foreign Generals.
Will a Foreigner whose Interest is not naturally connected with ours, (any otherways than as the cause of Liberty is the cause of all mankind), will he act with the same Zeal or expose himself to eaquel dangers with the same resolution for a Republick of which he is not a member as He would have done for his own Native Country? And can the people repose an eaquel confidence in them, even supposing them Men of integrety and abilities, and that they meet with success eaquel to their abilities. How much envy and Malice, is employd against them; and How galling to pride, How mortifying to Humane Nature to see itself excelld.
I have nothing new to entertain you with, unless it is an account of a New Set of Mobility which have lately taken the Lead in B[osto]n. You must know that there is a great Scarcity of Sugar and Coffe, articles which the Female part of the State are very loth to give up, expecially whilst they consider the Scarcity occasiond by the merchants having secreted a large Quantity. There has been much rout and Noise in the Town for several weeks. Some Stores had been opend by a number of people and the Coffe and Sugar carried into the Market and dealt out by pounds. It was rumourd that an eminent, wealthy, stingy Merchant (who is a Batchelor) had a Hogshead of Coffe in his Store which he refused to sell to the committee under 6 shillings per pound. A Number of Females some say a hundred, some say more assembled with a cart and trucks, marchd down to the Ware House and demanded the keys, which he refused to deliver, upon which one of them seazd him by his Neck and tossd him into the cart. Upon his finding no Quarter he deliverd the keys, when they tipd up the cart and dischargd him, then opend the Warehouse, Hoisted out the Coffe themselves, put it into the trucks and drove off.
It was reported that he had a Spanking among them,1 but this I believe was not true. A large concourse of Men stood amazd silent Spectators of the whole transaction.2
Your kind favour received dated july 11, favourd by the Hon. Mr. Hews, left at my unkles in Boston. Tis not like he will make an Excursion this way, if he should shall treat him in the best manner I am able.—What day does your post arrive, and how long are Letters travelling from me to you? I receive one from you every week, and I as regularly write one but you make no mention of receiving any, { 296 } or very seldom. In your Hurry do you forget it, or do they not reach you. I am very well for the time, not yet 3 weeks since my confinement and yet I think I have wrote you a very long Letter.
Adieu, your good Mother is just come, desires to be rememberd to you. So does my Father and Sister who have just left me, and so does she whose greatest happiness consists in being tenderly beloved by her absent Friend and subscribes herself ever his
[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); addressed in John Thaxter's hand: “To The Honble: John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia To be left at the Post Office”; endorsed: “Portia ans. Aug. 11”; docketed by JA in old age, and later by CFA. Probably enclosed in Isaac Smith's letter, preceding, q.v.
1. CFA printed this letter at least five times between 1840 and 1876, and in every printing his text of this passage reads: “It was reported that he had personal chastisement among them. . . .”
2. Although AA did not say so and although JA in his reply of 11 Aug., below, did not indicate that he knew who was meant, the victim of the ladies' resentful action was Thomas Boylston, a Boston merchant who was rich, miserly, a bachelor, and first cousin to JA's mother; see Adams Genealogy. On 25 July 1777 John Scollay, a Boston selectman, wrote his friend Samuel Phillips Savage:
“Yesterday we had a high Scene in this town. In the Morning a Number of Women waited on Mr. Boyleston. They told him that they kept Little shops to sell Necessarys for Poor People, they understood that he had Coffee to sell and if he would sell it at a reasonable price they would take it of him. He gave them a verry short answer and they Left him, about 3 oClock in the afternoon a Number of Women mostly from the North part of the town Assembled under the direction of one Mrs. Colter. They were not your Maggys but reputable Clean drest Women Some of them with Silk gownes on. They went to Boylestons Warehouse where they found him. They Insisted on having his Coffee at their price. He refused. They without Ceremony put him into a Cart they having one at hand and drove him some way up the Wharf. He found it Impossible to withstand, gave them his Keys, they took one Cask and Carried it off Intending to pay him for it. Poor Boyleston was never so Swetted since he was born. He was verry roughly handled. I am sorry for the Occasion but I cant say I am sorry that he has met with a rebuff.—We had yesterday a Legal town Meeting. The town agreed to raise by Subscription £8000.0 La[wful] Money to put into the hands of a Committee to purchase articles for the Inhabitants to deliver them to the Hucksters at the price they cost, they to sell them to the Inhabitants at a Moderate proffit. I hope this method will be of Service” (MHi: S. P. Savage Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0236

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-07-30

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I am sorry to find by your late Letter what indeed I expected to hear, that my Farm wants manure. I fear by your Expressions that your Crop of Hay falls short.
But, there has been an Error in our Husbandry in which We have { 297 } been very inconsiderate and extravagant, that is in pasturing the Mowing Ground. This will ruin any Farm.
The true Maxim of profitable Husbandry is to contrive every Means for the Maintenance of Stock.—Increase your Cattle and inrich your Farm.—We bestow too much manure upon Corn—too little upon Grass. Make Manure, make food for Cattle, increase your stock—this is the Method.
Howes Fleet has been at Sea, these 8 days. We know not where he is gone. We are puzzling ourselves in vain, to conjecture his Intention. Some guess he is gone to Cheasapeak, to land near Susquehanna and cross over Land to Albany to meet Burgoine. But they might as well imagine them gone round Cape horn into the South Seas to land at California, and march across the Continent to attack our back settlements.
Others think them gone to Rhode Island, others think they mean only a Deception and to return to the North River. A few days will reveal their Scheme. . . .1
We have now before Us, the Months of August, September, October and November, for the Operations of the Campaign.—Time enough for Mischief.
G[eneral] Washington is so near this City, that if the Enemy come into Delaware Bay, he will meet them before they can come near this City.
1. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0237

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-01

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My best Friend

The Fleet is in Delaware Bay. 228 of them were seen, in the Offing, from Cape Henlopen, the day before yesterday. They come in but slowly.
G[eneral] Washington, and the light Horse came into Town last Night. His Army will be in, this day—that is the two or three first Divisions of it—Greens, Sterlings and Stevensons [Stephen's].
The rest is following on, as fast as possible. General Nash with about 1500 North Carolina Forces, has taken Post on the Heights of Chester, about 15 miles below this City on the River. The Fire Ships &c. are ready.
I really think that Providence has ordered this Country to be the { 298 } Theatre of this Summers Campaign, in Favour to Us, for many Reasons. 1. It will make an entire and final Seperation of the Wheat from the Chaff, the Ore from the Dross, the Whiggs from the Tories. 2. It will give a little Breath to you in N. England. 3. If they should fail in their Attempt upon Philadelphia, it will give Lustre to our Arms and Disgrace to theirs, but if they succeed, it will cutt off this corrupted City, from the Body of the Country, and it will take all their Force to maintain it.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0238

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-02

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My best Friend

By an express last night from Cape May, We learn that the Fleet went out of the Bay, the Morning before, i.e. on Thursday Morning and put to Sea, and went out of Sight.
What this Man is after, no Wisdom can discover.
Last night another Express says the Fleet appeared off the Capes again, i.e. part of it, upwards of one hundred Sail.
After all these Feints and Maneuvres, it is most likely he designs to run up the North River, by and by.
The hot weather grows burthensome. And our Business thickens, and presses. I feel as if I could hardly get along through this Month and the next. But must see it out as well as I can.
We have News from France, from our Embassadors.1 The French will not declare War, as yet. They tell the English they neither desire War nor fear it. But they will lend Us Money, and they have sold Us Eighty thousand Stands of Arms, and will aid Us in every indirect Way. So will Spain.
I hope by this Time you are in perfect Health. Tomorows Post, I hope will confirm the most agreable Account, in the last I received from you, of your being in a good Way. My Health and Spirits and Life are bound up in yours. May Heaven preserve my dearest Friend, and make her happy.
Never was Wretch, more weary of Misery than I am of the Life I lead, condemned to the dullest servitude and Drudgery, seperated from all that I love, and wedded to all that I hate.
Digging in a Potato Yard upon my own Garden and living in my { 299 } own Family would be to me Paradise. The next Time I come home, shall be for a long Time.
1. “Congress have this Day recd. a number and very large Letters from Dr Franklin Mr Lee and Dean, with a great variety of Papers, the Letters from 12 Mar. to abt the 26 May” (William Williams to Gov. Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut, 2 Aug., Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:436). Letters from the American Commissioners at Paris, 12 March–26 May, take up most of the space in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:283–327.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0239

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-04

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your kind Favour of July 23, came by the Post, this Morning. It revives me, to hear of your Health, and Welfare, altho I shall be, and am disappointed of a Blessing, which I hoped to enjoy. But this is the Result of Wisdom superiour to ours and must be submitted to with chearfull Resignation.
The Loss of Ti. has occasioned as loud Complaints and as keen Resentment in Philadelphia as in Boston. And Congress have determined that an Inquiry shall be made, and have ordered the Major Generals Schuyler and St. Clair, to Head Quarters and ordered M.G. Gates to relieve M.G. Schuyler.1 Lincoln and Arnold are there. These three I believe will restore our Affairs in that Department.
We have Letters from France, Spain and the West Indies, which shew that our Ground in Europe is firm, and that a War is brewing.
We have all the English Papers, till the latter End of May, which shew that Britain is in a wretched Condition indeed—their East India Affairs in Distraction, their Affrican Trade ruined and their West Indian Concerns in the Utmost Distress. Almost all their West India Planters have left in the Kingdom in Despair.2
Their Scavengers of the Streets of Germany have been able to rake together, but a little Filth.
Where How is going No Astroleger can determine. He has left the Capes of Delaware and where he is gone no one can tell.—We expect to hear from him at the North River, or at Rhode Island, but cant tell when.
I, for my Part am very homesick, but I will not leave the Field untill the Campaign is ended—unless I should fall sick. This horrid Hot Weather melts my Marrow within my Bones, and makes me faint away almost. I have no other Way to keep alive, but by Abstinence { 300 } from Eating and drinking. I should not live a Month if I did not starve myself. When I come home I shall be an Epicure.
Tell Tom, I would give a Guinea to have him climb upon my shoulder, and another to chase him into his Jail.—My Love to all the rest. I will write them as soon as I can. I wrote Mr. Thaxter inclosing Letters to the Court and Bar. Has he received them?3
1. These important measures, in which JA was very much concerned, were the nub of the “Business [which] thickens, and presses” alluded to in the preceding letter. On 30 July and 1 Aug. respectively, Congress had ordered St. Clair and Schuyler back to Washington's headquarters, and on the latter day JA and four others were appointed a committee “to digest and report the mode of conducting the enquiry [voted 29 July] into the reasons of the evacuation of Ticonderoga and Fort Independence, and into the conduct of the officers who were in the northern department at the time of the evacuation” (JCC, 8:585, 590, 596). The subject was a difficult one, Congress was sharply divided on it, and much of Congress' as well as JA's time in the following weeks was given to it. The only visible progress made was a vote on 27 Aug. to conduct a much more elaborate inquiry, and on the 28th Henry Laurens, R. H. Lee, and JA were named the members of a committee to do so. See same, p. 653, 659, 668–669, 681–687, 688. The investigation and its sequels lasted until long after JA had left Congress; see Burnett's valuable notes in Letters of Members, 2:458, 469.
On 2 Aug. JA had also been appointed, with four others, “to take into consideration the state of the northern department,” to “confer with General Washington,” and to “report as soon as possible.” Losing no time, this committee next day recommended, and Congress resolved, that Washington be requested to appoint Schuyler's successor. But Washington declined, and on the 4th Congress elected Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates to command the northern army. See JCC, 8:599, 600, 603–604; also JA to AA, 7 Aug., below.
2. Thus in MS. Probably JA meant: “have left the Kingdom in Despair.”
3. These letters were received and they accomplished their purpose, but they have not been found; see Thaxter to JA, 4 June, above, and note 3 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0240

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-08-05

Abigail Adams to John Adams

If allarming half a dozen places at the same time is an act of Generalship How may boast of his late conduct. We have never since the Evacuation of Boston been under apprehensions of an invasion from them eaquel to what we sufferd last week. All Boston was in confusion, packing up and carting out of Town, Household furniture, military stores, goods &c. Not less than a thousand Teams were imployd a fryday and saturday—and to their shame be it told, not a small trunk would they carry under 8 dollors and many of them I am told askd a hundred dollors a load, for carting a Hogshead of Molasses 8 miles 30 dollors.—O! Humane Nature, or rather O! inhumane nature what { 301 } art thou? The report of the Fleets being seen of[f] of Cape Ann a fryday Night, gave me the allarm, and tho pretty weak, I set about packing up my things and a saturday removed a load.
When I looked around me and beheld the bounties of Heaven so liberally bestowed in fine Feilds of corn, grass, flax and english grain, and thought it might soon become a prey to these merciless ravagers, our habitations laid waste, and if our flight preserved our lives, we must return to barren Feilds, empty barns and desolated habitations if any we found, perhaps no1 where to lay our Heads, my Heart was too full to bear the weight of affliction which I thought just ready to overtake us, and my body too weak almost to bear the shock unsupported by my better Half.
But thanks be to Heaven we are at present releaved from our Fears, respecting ourselves. I now feel anxious for your safety but hope prudence will direct to a proper care and attention to yourselves.
May this second attempt of Hows prove his utter ruin. May destruction overtake him as a whirlwind.
We have a report of an engagement at the Northward in which our troops behaved well, drove the Enemy into their lines, killd and took 300 & 50 prisoners. The account came in last Night. I have not perticuliars.2—We are under apprehensions that the Hancock is taken.3
Your obligeing Letters of the 8th, 10th and 13th came to hand last week. I hope before this time you are releaved from the anxiety you express for your Bosom Friend. I feel my sufferings amply rewarded in the tenderness you express for me, but in one of your Letters you have drawn a picture which drew a flood of tears from my Eyes, and rung my Heart with anguish inexpressible. I pray Heaven I may not live to realize it.4
Tis almost 145 years since we were united, but not more than half that time have we had the happiness of living together.
The unfealing world may consider it in what light they please, I consider it as a sacrifice to my Country and one of my greatest misfortunes [for my husband]6 to be seperated from my children at a time of life when the joint instructions and admonition of parents sink deeper than in maturer years.
The Hopes of the smiles and approbation of my Friend sweetens all my toil and Labours—

Ye pow'rs whom Men, and birds obey,

Great rulers of your creatures, say

Why mourning comes, by bliss convey'd

{ 302 }

And ev'n the Sweets of Love allay'd?

Where grows enjoyment, tall and fair,

Around it twines entangling care

While fear for what our Souls possess

Enervates ev'ry powe'r to Bless.

Yet Friendship forms the Bliss above

And life! what art thou without love?

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia”; docketed in an unidentified hand.
1. MS: “not.”
2. It was a groundless account.
3. The Hancock frigate, Capt. John Manley, was captured after a stiff fight on 8 July by H.M.S. Rainbow and carried into Halifax.
4. See the last paragraph of JA's letter to AA of 8 July, above.
5. Actually thirteen.
6. Three words editorially supplied for sense.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0241

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-06

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Price current.—Oak Wood £4:15s:od. Pr. Cord. Bad Beer, not so good as your Small Beer, 15d: Pr. Quart. Butter one Dollar Pr. Pound. Beef 2s:6d. Coffee a dollar a Pound. Bohea 8 dollars. Souchong £4: 10s. Hyson £6. Mean brown sugar 6s. 6d. a pound. Loaf sugar 18s. a pound. Rum 45s. a Gallon. Wine 2 dollars a Bottle.1
The Hounds are all still at a Fault. Where the game is gone, is the Question. The Scent is quite lost.
Sullivan Thinks the Fleet is gone to Portsmouth—Green to Newport—Parsons, up the North River—Mifflin to Philadelphia. Thus each one secures his Reputation among his Townsmen for Penetration and Foresight, in Case the Enemy should go against his Town.
Some Conjecture Charlestown S.C.—others, Georgia—others Cheasapeak Bay.
For my Part, I have formed an Opinion, in which I am as clear and positive as ever I was in my Life. I think I can adduce Arguments enough to convince any impartial, cool Mind, that I am in the Right.
My Opinion is, that four Months Time will discover where the Fleet is gone—perhaps less Time than that.
Some begin to be whimsical, and guess them gone to the West Indies. But this is impossible. Some surmise Hallifax—some old England. But these are too flattering Conjectures.
{ 303 }
1. Here, for some reason, JA left a blank space of over half a page and continued his letter on a new page of his folded sheet.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0242

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-07

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest

We have not yet the least Intimation of Howes Design. He is wasting away the Time. Let him aim at what Object he will, he will have scarcely Time to secure that, and will have none left to pursue his Advantage, if he gains any.
Burgoine I hope will be checked, and driven back. I hope the New Englandmen will now exert themselves, for it has cost Us, severe Conflicts, to get Affairs in that Department, in the Order they are. Gates cost Us a great deal of Pains.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0243

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I have concluded to run the Risque of sending Turner Home. It will save me the Expence of his Board and Horse.
The Moment he arrives, I hope you will send his Horse to Boston to be sold at Vendue. If he rides the Horse let him be sold immediately. If he rides the Mare, you may keep her if you chuse to do so and sell the old Horse, provided the Mare will go in a Carriage which must be tried, because I dont know that she ever was in one.
We have heard nothing from the Enemys Fleet, since they left the Capes of Delaware. They may intend for Philadelphia yet, which makes me a little irresolute about sending away my Man and Horse without which I should be puzzled to get away from this Place, if it should be invaded. I believe I shall delay his Journey for a few days. Perhaps We shall hear more within that Time.
This day compleats Seven Months, since I left all that I delight in. When shall I return? Not untill the Year is out, provided I can keep myself tolerably well.
Our Accounts from the Northward are still gloomy. Gates is gone, and I hope will restore some degree of Spirits and Confidence there. Burgoigne is laying himself open to destruction, in that Quarter, every day. It is strange that no Check is given him.
These vile Panicks, that seize People and Soldiers too, are very { 304 } difficult to get over.—But at last they turn to Vigour, Fury and Desperation, as they did in the Jerseys. I suppose a few Tories in New York, in the Grants1 and in Berkshire and Hampshire will join Burgoigne, but they will soon repent their rash Folly, and be sick of their Masters. For indeed they will find that neither Burgoigne nor Howe, nor their Master are kind Masters.
The longer We live, the more clearly We see, that nothing will serve our Purpose, but discipline and Experience. Discipline—Discipline, is wanting and must be introduced. The Affair of Ti. will introduce it. The Public calls for Justice, and will have it. This Demand does Honour to the People and is a sure Omen of future Success and Prosperity.
1. The New Hampshire Grants, territory which was long disputed between New Hampshire and New York and which subsequently became Vermont (DAH).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0244

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I have paid Turner, his Wages up to this day, and settled all Accounts with him. Besides which I have given him £3:2s:od. L.M. towards his Expences home.2 When he arrives he is to produce his Account to you, of the Expences of his Journey. See that he produces Receipts from the Tavern Keepers. Dont pay a Farthing, but what he produces a Receipt for.
I am glad he is going, for between you and me he is a very stupid, and a very intemperate Fellow, very fit for a Companion of the Man who recommended him. Yet He is honest. I never saw any Thing knavish in him. He has had a fine Opportunity weaving Stockings to the Tune of 2 dollars a Day—besides, receiving Wages and Board from me. If he has drank it all, it is his own fault.3
At the End of the Year, when you send Horses for me again, send some other Man. I will not have him. A low lived Fellow, playing Cards with Negroes, and behaving like a Rival with them for Wenches.
I intend to write you, to perswade your Father or my Brother to purchase me, too4 other Horses. These I will sell.

[salute] I am &c.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree Mass: Bay favd. by Mr. John Turner.”
1. JA wrote three letters to AA this day; since there is nothing to indicate the order in which he wrote them, they are printed in merely plausible order.
{ 305 }
2. See entries in JA's Accounts with Massachusetts, Jan.–Sept. 1777 (Diary and Autobiography, 2:255).
3. It is not known who recommended Turner to JA. But evidently Turner persisted in one of his bad habits, for in 1796 JA compared his drunken farm hand Billings with “Turner the Stocking Weaver” (same, 3:230).
4. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0245

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Your kind Favour of July 30. and 31. was handed me, just now from the Post office.
I have regularly received a Letter from you every Week excepting one, for a long Time past, and as regularly send a Line to you inclosing Papers.—My Letters are scarcely worth sending. Indeed I dont choose to indulge much Speculation, lest a Letter should miscarry, and free Sentiments upon public Affairs intercepted, from me, might do much hurt.
Where the Scourge of God, and the Plague of Mankind is gone, no one can guess. An Express from Sinnepuxent, a Place between the Capes of Delaware and the Capes of Cheasapeak, informs that a fleet of 100 sail was seen off that Place last Thursday.1 But whether this is Fishermens News like that from Cape Ann, I know not.
The Time spends and the Campaign wears away and Howe makes no great Figure yet.—How many Men and Horses will he cripple by this strange Coasting Vo[y]age of 5 Weeks.
We have given N. Englandmen what they will think a compleat Tryumph in the Removal of Generals from the Northward and sending Gates there. I hope every Part of New England will now exert itself, to its Utmost Efforts. Never was a more glorious Opportunity than Burgoine has given Us of destroying him, by marching down so far towards Albany. Let New England turn out and cutt off his Retreat.
Pray continue to write me every Week. You have made me merry with the female Frolic, with the Miser. But I hope the Females will leave off their Attachment to Coffee. I assure you, the best Families in this Place have left off in a great Measure the Use of West India Goods. We must bring ourselves to live upon the Produce of our own Country. What would I give for some of your Cyder?
Milk has become the Breakfast of many of the wealthiest and genteelest Families here.
Fenno2 put me into a Kind of Frenzy to go home, by the Description he gave me last night of the Fertility of the Season, the Plenty of { 306 } Fish, &c. &c. &c. in Boston and about it.—I am condemned to this Place a miserable Exile from every Thing that is agreable to me. God will my Banishment shall not last long.
1. That is, on the 7th. Sinepuxent, an Indian name spelled in many ways, was formerly applied to a bay and inlet on the Atlantic coast of Maryland in the present Ocean City area.
2. Perhaps John Fenno (1751–1798), the Boston writing master who in 1789 founded the Gazette of the United States in New York City (DAB); but this is a very tentative identification.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0246

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I think I have sometimes observed to you in Conversation, that upon examining the Biography of illustrious Men, you will generally find some Female about them in the Relation of Mother or Wife or Sister, to whose Instigation, a great Part of their Merit is to be ascribed.
You will find a curious Example of this, in the Case of Aspasia, the Wife of Pericles. She was a Woman of the greatest Beauty and the first Genius. She taught him, it is said, his refined Maxims of Policy, his lofty imperial Eloquence; nay, even composed the Speeches, on which so great a Share of his Reputation was founded. The best Men in Athens frequented her House, and brought their Wives to receive Lessons from her of OEconomy and right Deportment. Socrates himself was her Pupil in Eloquence and gives her the Honour of that funeral oration which he delivers in the Menexenus of Plato. Aristophanes indeed abuses this famous Lady but Socrates does her Honour.
I wish some of our great Men had such Wives. By the Account in your last Letter, it seems the Women in Boston begin to think themselves able to serve their Country. What a Pity it is that our Generals in the Northern District had not Aspasias to their Wives!
I believe, the two Howes have not very great Women for Wives. If they had We should suffer more from their Exertions than We do. This is our good Fortune. A Woman of good Sense would not let her Husband spend five Weeks at Sea, in such a season of the Year. A smart Wife would have put Howe in Possession of Philadelphia, a long Time ago.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0247

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1777-08-11

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Son

As the War in which your Country is engaged will probably hereafter attract your Attention, more than it does at this Time, and as the future Circumstances of your Country, may require other Wars, as well as Councils and Negotiations, similar to those which are now in Agitation, I wish to turn your Thoughts early to such Studies, as will afford you the most solid Instruction and Improvement for the Part which may be allotted you to act on the Stage of Life.
There is no History, perhaps, better adapted to this usefull Purpose than that of Thucidides, an Author, of whom I hope you will make yourself perfect Master, in original Language, which is Greek, the most perfect of all human Languages. In order to understand him fully in his own Tongue, you must however take Advantage, of every Help you can procure and particularly of Translations of him into your own Mother Tongue.
You will find in your Fathers Library, the Works of Mr. Hobbes, in which among a great deal of mischievous Philosophy, you will find a learned and exact Translation of Thucidides, which will be usefull to you.
But there is another Translation of him, much more elegant, intituled “The History of the Peloponnesian War, translated from the Greek of Thucidides in two Volumes Quarto, by William Smith A.M. Rector of the Parish of the holy Trinity in Chester, and Chaplain to the Right Honourable the Earl of Derby.”
If you preserve this Letter, it may hereafter remind you, to procure the Book.
You will find it full of Instruction to the Orator, the Statesman, the General, as well as to the Historian and the Philosopher.1 You may find Something of the Peloponnesian War, in Rollin.

[salute] I am with much Affection your Father,

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); docketed twice in JQA's mature hand: “J. Adams. 11. Augt: 1777,” and “Mr: Adams. Augt: 11. 1777.”
1. Among JA's books in MB are two editions of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, with Greek and Latin texts in parallel columns, one of them published at Frankfort, 1594, bearing JQA's signature, and the other at Amsterdam, 1731 (Catalogue of JA's Library). At the Stone Library in Quincy (MQA) there are no fewer than six other editions in various languages, including William Smith's translation, 2 vols., London, 1781, and Thomas Hobbes' translation, 2 vols., London, 1812. JA's edition of The Moral and { 308 } Political Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, London, 1750 (also in MB), contains Hobbes' discourse preliminary to his translation of Thucydides, but not the translation itself.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0248

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-08-12

Abigail Adams to John Adams

A few lines by way of remembrance every week tho I have nothing new to write you if I may judge you by myself are very acceptable. I long for a wedensday which to me is the happiest day of the week. I never fail of a pacquet, tis soon read, and then the next wedensday is thought of with the same Solisitude—

“Man never is but always to be blest.”

The last post brought me yours of july 16, 18 and 20th.
You have often of late mentiond a daughter with much tenderness and affection, but before this time you must know of our Bereavement. I felt it last Sunday with all its poignancy. It was the first time of my going out. Your Brother held up a daughter and call'd it by the Name of Susana.1 I wishd to have call'd ours had it lived after my own dear Mother, and was much gratified by your mentioning it and requesting it. But tis now of no importance either the Name or the Relation. Do you feel in your own Breast any Sentiments of tenderness for one you never knew, for one who could scarcly be said ever to have had an existance? The loss occasions very different Sensation[s] from those I once before experienced, but still I found I had a tenderness and an affection greater than I immagined could have possess'd my Heart for one who was not endeard to me by its smiles and its graces. But the Parent is dear to me, dear to me beyond the power of words to discribe. I always feel a perticuliar regard for the young fellow who has attended upon him in the capacity of a servant. Nay even the sight of a Garment (worn) belonging to him will raise a mixture both of pleasure and pain in my Bosome.
Can it then be strange that I should feel a fondness and a tender affection for a pledg of unabated Love, a Love pure as the Gold without alloy—

“I Glory in the sacred ties

Which Modern Wits and fools dispise

Of Husband and of Wife.”

I have seen an advertisement in your papers of some Select Essays { 309 } upon Husbandry containing the manner of whitening and Bleaching cloth, raising flax and hemp &c. If you think the Book worth purchaseing should be obliged to you for it.2 We must study to make the most of our Husbandery or we must starve. 3 dollors will not purchase what one would (of any article that can be mentiond) two months ago.
I believe we are no way behind hand in prices with any of the other States.
You wish yourself at Home to study agriculture with your Brother Farmer. Tis a wish I most heartily join in, but he is a great practisser I assure you. He has cut the chief of his Hay this summer and made the whole of it with his own hands, and he has several tons too. He has New Built his barn which he has done much of himself. His whole Heart is engaged in Farming. You never took more pleasure in your meddows and Feilds in their greatest perfection.
Hardwick begs me to apply to you to purchase him some needles as he is now obliged to stand still for want of them, will send the money for them if you think it may be conveyd with safety. If you would send along only one hundred in a Letter to me he would be greatly obliged, he has wrote to Turner the Numbers.
We wish to know where the Enemy are and what they are about, but it seems to me your inteligance is very uncertain and in general bad. General <Skliler Skiler> Schuyler has calld upon us for 2000 militia. We seem to be already striped of so many Hands as scarcly to leave enough to perform our Farming. They make strange work in this Town in procuring their Men as usual, it always was a croocked place.
I hear nothing new—nothing worth writing you.
Enclosed is a Letter your Brother desires you would take care of.

[salute] Adieu most sincerely yours,

[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Ans. Aug. 25”; docketed in an unidentified hand. Enclosed letter from Peter Boylston Adams, or concerning his affairs, not found.
1. This was Peter Boylston and Mary (Crosby) Adams' second daughter named Susanna, born on or just before 10 Aug., their first Susanna having lived less than a year (1775–1776). The second Susanna became Mrs. Darius Boardman in 1803 and died in 1816. See Adams Genealogy.
2. This work, a compilation from a number of sources, was advertised in the Philadelphia papers during June and July as just published and for sale by Robert Hill. For its full title see Evans 15597.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0249

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-13

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

We have been sweltering here, for a great Number of days together, under the scalding Wrath of the Dog Star. So severe a Spell of Heat has scarcely been known these twenty Years. The Air of the City has been like the fierce Breath of an hot oven. Every Body has been running to the Pumps all day long. There has been no finding a Place of Comfort—the shade, and the very Entrys of Houses where they have the best Draughts of Air, have been scarcely tolerable. This season always affects me, deeply. It exhausts my Spirits, and takes away all my Strength of Mind and Body. I have never lived here in Dog days, without becoming so enfeebled, and irritated, as to be unable to sleep soundly and regularly and to be still more reduced by Night Sweats. If I can avoid these Inconveniences, this year, I shall be happy. But I have experienced something of it, already, altho not in any great Degree.
When the Weather is so extream, the Fatigue of even holding a Pen to write a Letter, is distressing.
We have no News from the Fleet since last Thursday when about 200 of them were seen off of Synepuxent.
What will our People do with Burgoigne? He has put himself in the Power of the People in that Quarter, and if they do not make him repent his Folly, they will be to blame. It is a Shame that such an handfull should ravage in a Country so populous.
You will see by the Papers that Manly is taken.—What a Disappointment to Us!—Yet We might have expected it. What rational Creatures could order two thirty Gun Frigates to cruise on the American Coast, for the Protection of Trade. They should have been ordered to some other Seas—to France, to Spaign, to the Baltic, the Mediterranean—any where but where they were.
The Ship and Men are a Loss, but We must build more.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0250

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-08-13

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

[salute] Mr. Adams

I wrote you the post before last to which refer you.1 In your last2 you mention the prize [price] of Salt, which am very sorry to see was so high. I had a little parcel lately which I retaild Out att 12/ a single { 311 } bushel, and sold a Gentleman from the Jerseys who are deprived from geting that Article and to compasionate there case let him have itt att 10/ tho was offerd 20/ for itt, but as he wanted a considerable quantity more his southward friends who had salt here in a prize sold him theres att 30/ which was sorry itt should get to.—You Ask why the Merchants cant get in those Articles now as when the Elicet trade was carried On and M[en of] W[ar] &c. were here. The case is very differant for more than half the Vessells that have been fited Out this Winter have been taken and we have had Three ships for Near Two Months past Cruseing in the bay and come up so near the Lighthouse as that the Flagg att the Castle has been hoisted for them, and the many Captures in the West Indies has risen Insurance near double. Inded there is hardly geting any done att any rate, and itts very dificult to get hands to go, to give 50 P[er] C[ent] Insurance you must pay as much as your Vessell and Cargo is worth to cover your Interest but to give 75 PC still Inhances the Value which is to be laid with all Other Charges On the bare Cargo, and there is Nothing of any Value of the produce of this Province that can be bought to send but that itt must sink 100 PC and we have no Other way to get any Cargo that will any ways Answer than by sending to the southward which makes the Insurance the Vo[yage] round very great.—I have several Vessells tho small I purpose sending that way when itt comes a little later in the season but am put to dificulty of geting money to the southward, without being att the Charge of sending on purpose. I want to get about 8. or 10.000 Dls. lodged that way. I have talkt with Mr. Hewes and find itt very dificult to have any Exchange of money that way.—Mr. Hewes is gone to Piscataque. I have Askt him Once or twice to dine with me, but has been engaged. When he returns I expect he will.
A Commite of Ours and the Other States have met to Consider of what method to take in order to Establish the Currency or rather to prevent itts further deprecasion.3 I wish some method could be found Out but itt Appears to be a thing that is very dificult.—I was Agoing to give you my sentiments sometime Ago when I heard you had Orderd several large ships to be built, but, as you was the best judges of the Motives of your doing itt, Omited itt as itt could not have any Other merit than a private sentiment. The money to be made to carry on and Compleat these Ships must be immence. I reckon itt will require a Wagon load to be sent Once a Month and such a sum to be made which is the Means of the depresasion, and not to have any benifit Ariseing from itt Appears to me they had never been thought off { 312 } for I will Venture to say they wont get to see [sea] unless we can make Men this six Years, and to have the Frigates that are building got to see likewise. Frigates I Apprehend would be more servisable, Altho we have lost One, not to exceed 36 or 40 Gun ships, under proper regulations.

[salute] I am Sr. Your hum. servant,

[signed] Isaac Smith
PS I dont mean by any thing I have said to be Only my private sentiments to you.4
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Smith.”
1. Smith to JA, 28–31 July, above.
2. Not found.
3. This convention of delegates from four New England states and New York was held at Springfield, Mass., on 30 July–6 Aug.; its proceedings are printed in The Public Records of the State of Connecticut, Hartford, 1894–1953, 1:599–606.
4. Smith probably meant just the opposite of what he wrote: he wished his views as here expressed to be considered as no other than “private sentiments.”

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0251

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-14

Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Adams

Most sincerly do I Congratulate My Friend on her Restoration to Health after pain, peril and Disappointment. May she Long be spared [to] her Family and Friends, And be happy in Domestic Life, Though the political sky Looks Dark and Lowry and the Convulsions of War! shake the Lower Creation.
You ask My opinion with Regard to affairs in the North. All I Can say is I am Mortifyed and Chagrind at the surrender of Ti, but suspend my Resentment till Those who have a better Right than myself have scrutinized, judged and Condemned.
I have not Yet been able to purchase any Coffe. Shall Remember you when I do. My son has had no Returns from France. I begin to fear the Vessels on which he Ventured have fallen into the hands of the Enemy.
I think you desired me to Let you know if I met with any thing suitable for Childrens wear. I have 2 peaces of Blue and White striped French Cottons the one 5 quarters the other, 6 in Width. Very Good and very pretty for boys or Girls, but the price is somewhat Modernized, though not to the Extent of the Fashion, only 20/ £2 per yard. If you Incline to have any of it Let me know and I will keep it till I have an opportunity to send it. What is become of the sagathe3 { 313 } &c. I only inquire Least you may have sent it forward by some hand that has Neglected to Deliver it to your Friend unfeignedly,
[signed] M Warren
I wish you would let your Neghbour the stoken Weaver know I Could not send him the Cotton but intend to send him some Worsted Work as soon as I can Get it spun.
Do Give me the Inteligence from Mr. Lees Letter.4 Mr. Lothrop has forgot Every Word.
If you are in want of a Little Nice Black Russel5 for shew, Let your Friend know it.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree”; at head of text in CFA's hand: “July 1777.”
1. It is clear from several allusions in this letter that it is a reply to one from AA that has not been found; and it is equally clear that AA's letter to Mrs. Warren, dated 14–16 Aug., following, is a reply in turn to the present letter—in all likelihood a prompt reply.
2. Thus in MS.
3. Sagathy, variou