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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0007

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-05-21

To James Warren

[salute] My dear Friend

I am vastly obliged to you for your Letter. It was like cold Water to a thirsty Soul. We Suffer, greatly for Want of News from you and Boston.
I am very unfortunate, in my Eyes, and my Health. I came from home Sick and have been so ever Since. My Eyes are so weak and dim that I can neither read, write, or see without great Pain.
Our unweildy Body moves very Slow. We shall do something in Time, but must have our own Way. We are all secret. But I can guess that an Army will be posted in New York, and another in Massachusetts, at the Continental Expence.
Such a vast Multitude of Objects, civil, political, commercial and military, press and crowd upon Us so fast, that We know not what to do first. The state of fifteen or sixteen Colonies, to be considered, Time must be taken.1
Pray write me by every Opportunity and intreat all my Friends to do the Same. Every Line from you, any of you does good.
One half the Group is printed here, from a Copy printed in Jamaica.2 Pray send me a printed Copy of the whole and it will be greedily reprinted here. My friendship to the Author of it.
The martial Spirit throughout this Province is astonishing. It arose all of a Sudden, Since the News of the Battle of Lexington. Quakers and all are carried away with it. Every day in the Week Sundays not excepted they exercise—in great Numbers. The Farmer is a Coll—and Jo Reed another.3 Their officers, are made of the People of the first Fortune in the Place.
Uniforms, and Regimentals are as thick as Bees.
America will Soon be in a Condition to defend itself by Land against all Mankind.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr Plymouth”; docketed: “Mr. J.A. Lettr May 1775.”
1. JA is probably including Quebec and some of the West Indian colonies, like Jamaica, in his count. Americans were particularly hopeful that Quebec could be brought to support their cause.
2. The Philadelphia reprinting of Mercy Otis Warren's play The Group lacked scenes ii and iii of Act II; that is, it included merely what had appeared in the Boston Gazette (Evans, No. 14613).
3. John Dickinson and Joseph Reed were colonel and lieutenant colonel respectively in the Pennsylvania Military Association, a volunteer organization that preceded the organization of militia (DAB; Charles J. Stillé, The Life and Times of John Dickinson, Phila., 1891, p. 175; Arthur J. Alexander, “Pennsylvania's Revolutionary Militia,” PMHB, 69:15–25 [Jan. 1945]).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0008

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-05-26

To James Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

The Bearers of this are two young Gentlemen from Maryland, of one of the best and first Families in that Province.1 One of them is a Lawyer, the other a Physician. Both have independent Fortunes. Such is their Zeal in the Cause of America, and Such their fellow Feeling for the People of our Province, that they are determined to Spend the Summer, in our Camp in order to gain Experience and perfect themselves in the Art military. They are soldiers already. Their name is Hall.
It will be of great Importance that these Gentlemen should be treated with the Utmost Delicacy, and Politeness. Their Letters to their Friends will have a great Influence on the Southern Colonies.
I Should take it as a favour if you would introduce these Gentlemen, to all our best Friends, and to the Knowledge of every Thing that can Serve the Cause.
I can not inform you of any Thing, passing here that is worth knowing. I hope We shall give Satisfaction. But it must be a work of Time. I am your Friend,
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.).
1. This is one of a series of four extant letters of introduction for Aquilla Hall and Josias Carvell Hall written between 26 and 29 May. See JA to AA, 26 May, Adams Family Correspondence, 1:206–207; JA to Joseph Palmer, 29 May (CSmH), not printed; JA to John Winthrop, 29 May (below). Aquilla was the lawyer, his brother, the physician. The latter served in the 9th Infantry, Maryland Line in 1776 (Henry J. Berkley, “Maryland Physicians at the Period of the Revolutionary War,” Md. Hist. Mag., 24:8 [March 1929]). Besides introducing the two men, these letters show JA's concern to maintain good relations between the northern and southern colonies in the common effort against Great Britain.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0009

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Winthrop, John
Date: 1775-05-29

To John Winthrop

[salute] Dr Sir

The Bearers of this are two young Gentlemen from Maryland. Aquilla Hall and Josias Carvill Hall, both of one of the best Families in Maryland, and both of independent Fortunes.
Their Errand to Cambridge, is to join our Army as Volunteers, against the Enemies of their Country in order to gain Experience, in the Art of War, in which they have already made good Proficiency.
As it is of importance that they should be treated with Politeness and Respect, I have taken the Freedom to give them this Letter, and to beg the favour of you to shew them, Harvard Colledge.
{ 13 }
The Congress, Sir, have great Objects before them indeed. All is Secret but what you will see in the News Papers. If the Ministry, upon receiving Intelligence of the Battle of Lexington, dont receed all Ceremony will be over. At present We shall be fully United, and I hope shall do well.
My respectfull Compliments to all Friends. News of every Kind will be told you by the Bearers. Yr huml sert,
[signed] John Adams
We Suffer, excessively for Want of Letters and Intelligence from Cambridge. I must beg you would do me the Honour to write me, and desire all our Friends to do the same.
RC (MHi: JA-John Winthrop Corr.); addressed: “To the Honble. John Winthrop Esq L.L.D. Cambridge”; docketed: “29 May 1775.” On the verso, using many abbreviations, Winthrop copied, except for the postscript, his letter to JA of 21 June (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0010

Author: Philopatria
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-06-01

From Philopattria

[salute] Honour'd Sir

An ancient, and accounted a long headed Man, in these parts, has drop'd some words devising a scheme of reconciliation between the Colonies and Mother Country; which I think worthy of notice; and I am persuaded your zeal to a reconciliation is such that you will lend an ear to healing propositions, let it come from what quarter it may. Otherwise you would be unworthy of that eminence of character, which you profess, for republican candour of sentiment. He observed, suppose the Congress were to offer as much to the crown, as all the duties amount to, by a proper estimate, meaning all such duties, which we agree they have a right to lay as regulators of trade, and that exempt from all imposition on the Crown called runing;2 which might be easily assess'd on each Province, by having recourse to their books of entry, and making at the same time, a proper allowence for what are run, which it is thought have been nearly as much again. And besides this to offer a number of forces well disciplin'd, in case of requisition, as was the case the two last wars;—so many thousands or hundreds, from each Province according to their importance and ship, Victual, Pay and cloath the same; some or all, as best judged of by the wisdom of the Congress; and the same to continue for a certain season, or during the expedition, as was the case in the attack last Wars, upon Carthagenia and the Havannah.3 At least, the most strenious endeavours ought to be used, to some how or other effect an accommodation, considering what lamentable confusion and distress { 14 } must attend the quarrel if continued any space of time; and that of aiming at independency at present, affords the most frightful of all aspects, whilst the Mother Country has such power over the Ocean.
So hoping that these hints, may have their due weight, tho' communicated unknown, by the old Gentleman that dropt them; at the same time not doubting, every salutory scheme will be thought of, by yourselves; yet, that nothing may escape commemoration, which seems of a beneficial nature, in order, somehow to effect a speedy reconciliation; I hope you will not be offended at the Contents hereoff, from Sir, Your unknown Friend, & humble Servant,
[signed] Philopattria4
PS: I had like to have forgot that the venerable Sage would have insisted that all the obnoxious acts of Parliament should be repealed at the same time that the above mentioned offers were made, the one to be the inseperable condition of repealing the other, and in the space of ten, fifteen or twenty year, as the Provinces flourish and trade increases, an additional quantity both in money and troops, according to pressing requisitions from home, but still the mode of raising, as well as the quantity also, to be wholly left in the power of the different Assembly's.
And to confess the truth, the within letter on account of your reputed eloquence in the Congress, I direct to you, as it is thus more likely thereby you will have a due influence on that august Assembly altho your under no constraint but may still pursue your own opinion.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To John Adams Esqr. one of the Delligates in the Honble. Congress”; docketed in a hand that may be Rev. William Gordon's: “Philopatria June 1. 1775.” See Adams Family Correspondence, 1:229–230, note.
1. Perhaps Eastown, now Easton, Penna.
2. That is, smuggling (OED).
3. In 1741 Gen. Thomas Wentworth commanded an attack on Cartagena, seaport in Colombia, in which hundreds of Americans, recruited for the purpose, took part. The expedition was a disaster, only a fraction of the American troops coming out alive. An attack later on Cuba was equally fruitless (Howard H. Peckham, The Colonial Wars, Chicago, 1964, p. 91).
4. Philopatria has not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0011

Author: McDougall, Alexander
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-06-05

From Alexander McDougall

[salute] Sir

While you are anxiously engaged to preserve the rights of your Country, I cannot entertain the least doubt, but you will readily excuse this address, when I assure you, I am induced to it, from a Sincere desire to promote the common cause of America in this City. The Delegates of this Colony who are in Trade, can inform you, I { 15 } have no private interest, in the Subject on which I now Sollicit you. Since the commencement of the Non-importation in 1768, to the dissolution of the last continental Congress, the Tea Traders to Holland, were not only countenanced, but greatly Stimulated by the friends of Liberty, to import that Article; to enable us to defeat the Ministerial project of Subjecting us to the payment of the Duty on Tea imported from Great Britain. Before the Congress was convened, or any act or advice from them was announced to the Public, large orders were sent for this Commodity, and a very considerable quantity was imported. When their proceedings came out, those Traders immediately countermanded their orders, altho they were not directed to do it. Previous to this, there was a great quantity arrived, and then on its passage, as it was sometime before those orders had effect; so that when the Non-Consumption of it took place, there remained unsold near the Value of £100,000, Currency. Many of the proprietors of this Article, have the greatest part of their fortunes locked up in it; and more than one of them to the amount of £7,000: and many of the Sufferers are Zealous friends to the Country. They complain, that no order, or advice was given to them, before the dissolution of the Congress, to restrain or Countermand their Orders, and yet they are deprived of disposing and Consuming an Article, which they imported upon the Faith of Public encouragement; and they conceive their case singularly hard, as the Merchants Trading to Great Britain are allowed, (altho they were directed to countermand their orders,) to dispose of the Goods imported within the time limited by the Congress.1 As the consumption of the Tea on Hand, will not affect the manufactorers of Great Britain or Ireland, so as to engage them in our favor, or induce the Ministry to redress our Greivances; the proprietors think they might be at Liberty, without any injury to the Common Cause, to Vend what is unsold; Especially when the British and Irish Traders are allowed this priviledge, even with such Goods as materially concern the Trade of those Countries. Notwithstanding those hardships and this Claim, from a regard to the union of the Colonies, and the respect they bore to the last Congress, they chearfully submited to close their Sales on the first of March, as the association directs;2 relying on the Justice and Wisdom of the next Congress to give them releif. If I might be permited as a Citizen of New York, fully acquainted with the State of this matter, and as a friend to the present interesting Struggle, to give my opinion, it would be; that the Congress give them Liberty to dispose of what they have on hand. I am Confident, such a resolution would tend to Establish, rather than to { 16 } diminish the Power of the Congress in this City. I could adduce many Reasons in support of this opinion, but shall not trespass any longer on your Patience than while I mention the Following. These Gentlemen are great Adventurers, who would have risqued a considerable part of this property, in importing Arms and Ammunition; but were prevented by their having so great a part of their Capitals unexpectedly locked up; and they did not think it prudent to risque any other part of their property, when they were so much embarrass'd in their affairs, by the state of their Tea; which they were in danger of loosing. Nor will they be enabled to engage in the importation of those Articles for some time, even if they should be indemnified by the Public, for the loss of it, as it will be sometime before this can take place. Upon the whole of this matter, Sir, permit me to say, I think it is not a Time for us to Sink £100,000, when we shall in all probability have occasion to make the most prudent use of our common Stock; nor to discourage or impede the importation of Ammunition, which is already attended with very great risque; and especially when so much depends on our being possessed of a Sufficient quantity of that necessary Article. I hope you will excuse the Liberty of this Communication, as my sole motive in doing it, is a regard to that Cause, which I am perswaded you have above all Earthly Considerations most at Heart. I am Sir, Respectfully, Your very Humble Servant
[signed] Alexr McDougall3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To John Adams Esqr at Philadelphi[a]”; docketed: “Mr. McDougall June 5–75.”
1. That is, by 1 Dec. 1774 (JCC, 1:76–77).
2. In Article 3 of the Association (same, p. 77).
3. For McDougall, see JA, Papers, 2:414–415. No mention of JA's reaction to this letter has been found, but on 31 July the congress did receive petitions from New York and Philadelphia merchants regarding tea imported before the Association was adopted (JCC, 2:235). It was not, however, until 13 Oct. that these petitions were referred to a committee, of which JA was a member, the report and recommendations of which were ultimately defeated (same, 3:294, 388–389; see also JA's Service in the Continental Congress, 13 Sept.–9 Dec., No. IX, below).
The issue was a difficult and divisive one, for granting permission for the sale of the tea might have brought charges of favoritism and would certainly have raised policing problems. Moreover, the merchants' request was considered at a time when the whole question of opening trade was under debate and splitting the membership into factions for and against modification of the Association. Judging from the letters that Adams wrote to friends, he favored throwing the ports open to foreign traders if Americans could provide proper defense for their harbors, and he believed that American ships should venture forth in the winter when seizure by the British was less likely. Nonetheless, he saw the dangers and difficulties in his solution; his mind was far from closed on the subject of trade (JA to James Warren, 7 Oct., and to Charles Lee, 13 Oct., both below).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0012

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-06-07

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

We have been puzzled to discover, what we ought to do, with the Canadians and Indians. Several Persons, have been before the Congress who have lately been in the Province of Canada, particularly Mr. Brown and Mr. Price, who have informed us that the French are not unfriendly to us. And by all that we can learn of the Indians, they intend to be neutral.1
But whether We Should march into Canada with an Army Sufficient to break the Power of Governor Carlton,2 to overawe the Indians, and to protect the French has been a great Question. It Seems to be the general Conclusion that it is best to go, if We can be assured that the Canadians will be pleased with it, and join.
The Nations of Indians inhabiting the Frontiers of the Colonies, are numerous and warlike. They seem disposed to Neutrality. None have as yet taken up the Hatchet against us; and We have not obtained any certain Evidence that Either Carlton or Johnson,3 have directly attempted to persuade them to take up the Hatchet. Some Suspicious Circumstances there are.
The Indians are known to conduct their Wars, So entirely without Faith and Humanity, that it would bring eternal Infamy on the Ministry throughout all Europe, if they should excite these Savages to War. The French disgraced themselves last War, by employing them. To let loose these blood Hounds to scalp Men, and to butcher Women and Children is horrid. Still it [is] Such Kind of Humanity and Policy as we have experienced, from the Ministry.4
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr. J A Lettr June 1775.”
1. John Brown (1744–1780), of Pittsfield, Mass., brought the news of the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, arriving in Philadelphia on or about 18 May (E. W. B. Canning, “Col. John Brown,” Book of Berkshire: Papers by Its Historical and Scientific Society, Pittsfield, Mass., 1891, p. 312–319). James Price was a Montreal merchant sent by the other English merchants of that city to tell the Continental Congress about the conditions existing in Quebec. The substance of his report, derived from correspondence rather than from the report itself, which has not been found, was that although the French peasants would probably not act against the colonies, the French upper classes were hostile and were making efforts to raise the Indians against New England, but that their efforts had thus far met with limited success (the Committee of Connecticut to the General Assembly of New York, 23 May 1775, in Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 707). This analysis accords with a letter from Montreal inhabitants to the Massachusetts Committee of Safety, 28 April 1775 (same, p. 751–752).
2. Sir Guy Carleton (1724–1808), governor of Quebec (DNB).
3. Guy Johnson (1740?–1788), superintendent of Indians in the northern department (same).
4. Five days after JA made this statement, Gen. Gage, in a letter to Lord { 18 } Dartmouth, said that he had information that “the Rebels after Surprizing Ticonderoga, made Incursions and committed Hostilities upon the Frontiers of the Province of Quebec; which will Justify General Carleton to raise both Canadians and Indians to attack them in his turn, and we need not be tender of calling upon the Savages, as the Rebels have shewn us the Example by bringing as many Indians down against us here as they could collect” (Gage, Corr., 1:403–404).
The Second Provincial Congress contacted the Stockbridge Indians to enlist them as minutemen and made overtures to the Mohawks and the Eastern Indians, seeking their military support against the British. These efforts the congress was determined to keep secret (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 114–116, 118–120, 225–226).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0013

Author: UNKNOWN
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-06-09

From Unknown

[salute] Sir

The great Character he hath heard of you, induces a private Man to offer to your Consideration the following Hints, with an Assurance, that your Regard for your Country, will improve upon them for the general Good of all America.
When one Colony is declared to be in actual Rebellion, when all the others are anounced to be accessary to, and Favourers of that Rebellion, when the Sword is drawn, and a civil War actually commenced.
Every palliative Measure will be found ineffectual, and nothing will be more likely to restore Peace and a happy Union between Great Britain and America, or so effectually preserve the Liberty of the latter; as bold, daring, and strenuous Exertions of Force in the Beginning of the Contest.
In such a Situation of Affairs; Is it not impolitic to suffer the different Governors to exercise their several Functions, to drain from the People by their large Salaries, part of the Means of Defence, to restrain the Colonists from defending themselves, and to furnish Government with Intelligence, how they may most effectively divide weaken and subdue them?
Is it not still more so, to act the same pusillanimous Part with Regard to the Custom House and other Officers of the Revenue? Doth not common Sense dictate to Americans, the Necessity of strengthening their Hands, by reassuming all the Powers of Government, by seizing upon all the Revenues of the Crown, and by securing the Persons of all the Governors, and other Officers attached to Great Britain thro' out America?
It will be needless to say any Thing of the Necessity of striking a very large Sum of Money, of making it current all over America, and of pledging the Faith of the whole Continent for its Redemption.
{ 19 }
Is not Holland our natural Ally upon the present Occasion, to supply us with Arms, Ammunition, Manufactures and perhaps Money? Ought not an advantageous Treaty of Commerce to be immediately offered her, upon her repaying that Assistance against the Oppressions of Britain, which our Ancestors in the Reign of our glorious Queen Elizabeth afforded them against the Tyranny of Spain?
To proclaim instant Freedom to all the Servants that will join in the Defence of America, is a Measure to be handled with great Delicacy, as so great, so immediate a Sacrafice of Property, may possibly draw off many of the Americans themselves from the common Cause.
But is not such a Measure absolutely necessary? And might not a proper Equivalent be made to the Masters, out of the Large Sums of Money which at all Events must be struck, in the present Emergency?
If America should neglect to do this, will not Great Britain engage these Servants to espouse her Interest, by proclaiming Freedom to them, without giving any Equivalent to the Masters? To give Freedom to the Slaves is a more dangerous, but equally necessary Measure.
Is it not incompatible with the glorious Struggle America is making for her own Liberty, to hold in absolute Slavery a Number of Wretches, who will be urged by Despair on one Side, and the most flattering Promises on the other, to become the most inveterate Enemies to their present Masters?1
If the Inhabitants of Quebec should assist Great Britain, would not true Wisdom dictate to the other Colonies, to lead their Slaves to the Conquest of that Country, and to bestow that and Liberty upon them as a Reward for their Bravery and Fidelity?
Might not a considerable Quit Rent reserved upon their Lands, and a moderate Tax upon their Labours, stipulated beforehand, in a Course of Years, sink the Money struck, and refund to the Colonies the Price of the Slaves now paid to their Masters for their Freedom?
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To John Adams Esq. of the Masachusets Bay now in Philadelphia”; in red ink: “1/4,” probably the postage, and beside this in black ink: “N 8”; on the opposite side from the address and in the same hand as “N 8,” docketed: “Dumfrus June 14 1775”; docketed in a different hand: “anonymous X Fredericksburgh June 9th”; docketed in yet a different hand, possibly that of Rev. William Gordon: “Dumfrus June 9. 1775.” On Gordon, see Adams Family Correspondence, 1:229–230, note.
A check with the Virginia Historical Society, the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, and the Kenmore Association of Fredericksburg brought the suggestion that “Dumfrus” was Dumfries, a town north of Fredericksburg, where the letter might have been posted. No one has yet any clue to the authorship of this interesting letter. It was probably written to JA because he had already { 20 } gained a reputation as a vigorous proponent of strong measures in dealing with Great Britain.
1. The issue of slavery was and continued to be a problem as the colonies moved closer to independence. The author's belief that liberty for slaveholders and denial of liberty to slaves were in conflict was not uncommon, as is indicated by even a cursory examination of the writings of whig leaders, both northern and southern. The writer of this letter was unusual, however, because he not only states the problem, but offers a solution.
His plan did not arise wholly from perception of an abstract, if obvious, injustice, but also from events in Virginia in 1774 and 1775. By 9 June 1775, Virginia and the other southern colonies labored under a growing fear that the British, in the event of revolution, would free the slaves and use them against their former masters. These apprehensions were well grounded, for loyalists and their sympathizers had contemplated this possibility for some time (Benjamin Quarles, The Negro in the American Revolution, Chapel Hill, 1961, p. 21). In letters exchanged between James Madison and William Bradford in Nov. 1774 and Jan. 1775, reference is made to attempts to incite the slaves and to a ministerial plan to foment a slave rebellion (Madison, Papers, 1:129–130, 132). In April a group of slaves seeking to volunteer approached Gov. Dunmore, but he refused their services because he was not yet ready for action (Quarles, p. 22). Soon afterward, however, Lord Dunmore, according to a deposition taken from a Virginian, stated that in the event of rebellion, he would be able to count on the slaves for support (“Virginia Legislative Papers,” VMHB, 13:49 [July 1905]). According to Lord Dartmouth, Dunmore in a letter to him of 1 May stated essentially the same thing (Force, Archives, 4th ser., 3:6). By 15 May news of Dunmore's plans had spread outside Virginia, for Gen. Gage noted the anxiety raised among the insurgents by Dunmore's design to free the slaves (Gage, Corr., 1:399–400). From the warship on which he took refuge, Dunmore continued his efforts to raise forces among Negroes until in Nov. 1775 he issued his proclamation freeing the slaves (Force, Archives, 4th ser., 3:373, 1385). The author was, therefore, not so much anticipating Dunmore's final action as he was reacting to an existing situation and proposing a plan to avoid its consequences.
His solution to the problem was unique; no other reference to this or a similar plan has been found. In proposing to use Canada as a home for freed slaves and as a source of funds to pay the slaveholders, he obviously was responding to the American desire to take Canada. Beyond being of strategic importance, Canada could become the means to end a conflict between the ideals and realities of the American struggle and forestall the horrors of a slave insurrection.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0014

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gill, Moses
Date: 1775-06-10

To Moses Gill

[salute] Dr Sir1

It would be a Relief to my Mind, if I could write freely to you concerning the Sentiments Principles, Facts and Arguments which are laid before us, in Congress: But Injunctions, and Engagements of Honour render this impossible. What I learn out of Doors among Citizens, Gentlemen, and Persons of all Denominations is not so sacred. I find that the general Sense abroad is to prepare for a vigorous defensive War, but at the Same Time to keep open the Door of { 21 } Reconciliation—to hold the sword in one Hand and the Olive Branch in the other—to proceed with Warlike Measures, and conciliatory Measures Pari Passu.
I am myself as fond of Reconciliation, if We could reasonably entertain Hopes of it upon a constitutional Basis, as any Man. But, I think, if We consider the Education of the Sovereign, and that the Lords the Commons, the Electors, the Army, the Navy, the officers of Excise, Customs &c., &c., have been now for many years gradually trained and disciplined by Corruption to the System of the Court, We shall be convinced that the Cancer is too deeply rooted, and too far spread to be cured by any thing short of cutting it out entire.
We have ever found by Experience that Petitions, Negociation every Thing which holds out to the People Hopes of a Reconciliation without Bloodshed is greedily grasped at and relyed on—and they cannot be perswaded to think that it is so necessary to prepare for War as it really is. Hence our present Scarcity of Powder &c.
However, this Continent is a vast, unweildy Machine. We cannot force Events. We must Suffer People to take their own Way in many Cases, when We think it leads wrong—hoping however and believing, that our Liberty and Felicity will be preserved in the End, tho not in the Speedyest and Surest Manner.
In my opinion Powder and Artillery are the most efficacious, Sure, and infallibly conciliatory Measures We can adopt.
Pray write me, by every opportunity—and beseech my Friends to write. Every Letter I receive does great good. The Gentleman to whom most Letters from our Province is addressed, has not Leisure to make the best use of them.2
There are three Powder Mills in this Province—two in New York but no Nitre—cant the Mass. begin to prepare both?3 Pray write me, minutely the State of the People of Boston, and our Army &c. Pray let me know if Mrs. Gill and Mr. Boylstone are out of Prison.4 I have never heard and have sufferd much Anxiety on their Account. My best Respects to them if they are to be seen by you.
RC (M-Ar: 193, p. 349–350); addressed: “To Mr Moses Gill Chairman of the Committee of Supplies Cambridge”; docketed: “<Anonymous> John Adams Letters, June 10th 1775 Philadelphia.”
1. Moses Gill (1734–1800), elected councilor when Massachusetts resumed its charter upon the advice of the Continental Congress, served continuously as councilor both under the charter and the constitution of 1780. In 1795 he became lieutenant governor, serving until June 1799, when he became acting governor until his death on 20 May 1800 (Francis Everett Blake, History of the Town of Princeton, 2 vols., Princeton, Mass., 1915, 1:270–273).
2. Presumably John Hancock, regarded as the leader of the delegation; his name { 22 } appears first whenever the names of the congressional delegates are listed in the Journals of the Provincial Congress.
3. On 10 June the Continental Congress passed resolutions calling upon the colonies to collect all available powder, saltpeter, and sulfur for the use of American forces and encouraging the manufacture of gunpowder and saltpeter (JCC, 2:85–86).
4. Rebecca Boylston Gill, first cousin of JA's mother, left Boston sometime before 24 June 1775, but her brother, Thomas Boylston, remained in the town throughout the siege and in 1779 went to England; whether he became a loyalist is uncertain. Patriots offered to secure his release from Boston through an exchange (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:228;4:342–344; Sabine, Loyalists, 1:248; James Warren to JA, 31 July, note 11, below).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0015

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-06-10

To James Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

I have written a few Lines to Dr Warren to whom I refer you.1
It is of vast Importance that the officers of our Army should be impressed with the absolute Necessity of Cleanliness, to preserve the Health of their Men. Cleanness, is one of the three Cardinal Virtues of a soldier, as Activity and Sobriety are the other two. They should be encouraged to go into Water frequently, to keep their Linnen washed and their Beds clean, and should be continually exercised in the manual and Maneuvres.
General Lee, has an opinion of Burgoine, Clinton and How. Burgoine he says is very active and enterprizing—fond of surprizes and Night Attacks and Alarms,2 he entreats me, to inculcate a most unremitted Vigilance. To guard against Surprizes, especially in the Night.
We have a most miraculous Militia in this City, brought into existence, out of Nothing since the Battle of Lexington.
Measures are taken here and at New York to procure Powder. But We must be Sparing of that Article. The Supineness of the Colonies hitherto concerning it, amazes me.
Genl. Lee and Major Gates are very fond of a Project of procuring Pikes and Pike men.3 I hope We shall send you some Rifle Men. They shoot with great Exactness, at amazing Distances.
They are casting Pateraras, and making Amuzettes4 in this City, and preparing for War, with an alacrity, which does them Honor.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren esq. Plymouth favd by Dr. Church”; docketed: “Mr. J: A Lettr June 1775.”
1. Not found.
2. Generals William Howe, Henry Clinton, and John Burgoyne arrived in Boston on 25 May (French, First Year, p. 168). Charles Lee had served under Burgoyne in 1762 during a British expedition to Portugal and at the time of this letter was still on friendly terms with him. Lee, in fact, carried on a brief exchange of letters with Burgoyne after his arrival in Boston. Each sought to persuade the other of the correctness { 23 } of the side on which he was fighting (Alden, General Charles Lee, p. 21–22, 84–87).
3. Horatio Gates (1728–1806) had also served in the British army, being commissioned a major in 1762. A friend of Washington, he came to the colonies in 1772 and by 1775 was a partisan of the American cause, probably in protest against the British caste system (DAB). On 17 June 1775 Gates was appointed adjutant general with the rank of brigadier general (JCC, 2:97).
Trained pikemen were seen as an answer to British bayonets at a time when gunpowder was scarce and needed to be conserved. Franklin designed a pike for Pennsylvania's Committee of Safety (Carl Van Doren, Benjamin Franklin, N.Y., 1938, p. 533).
4. Peteraras (a variation of pedrero) were small guns originally designed for discharging stones and later, shot, and for firing salutes. Amusettes were light field cannon sometimes used in mountain warfare (OED).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0016

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1775-06-11

To Elbridge Gerry

[salute] Dr Sir

Mr. Gadsden of South Carolina whose Fame you must have heard, was in his younger Years, an officer, on board the Navy, and is well acquainted with the Fleet.2 He has Several Times taken Pains to convince me that this Fleet is not so formidable to America, as we fear. He Says, We can easily take their sloops, Schooners, and Cutters, on board of whom are all their best Seamen, and with these We can easily take their large ships, on board of whom are all their impress'd and discontented Men. He thinks, the Men would not fight on board the large ships with their fellow subjects, but would certainly kill their own officers. He says it is a different Thing, to fight the French or Spaniards from what it is to fight british Americans—in one case, if taken Prisoners they must lie in Prison for Years, in the other obtain their Liberty and Happiness.
He thinks it of great Importance that Some Experiments should be made on the Cutters. He is confident that We may get a Fleet of our own, at a cheap Rate, and this Would give great Spirits to this Continent, as well as little Spirits to the Ministry.
RC (NHpR: Naval MSS Coll.); addressed: “To Elbridge Gerry Esqr Marblehead”; docketed: “Philadelphia Letter J A June 1775.”
1. JA undoubtedly wrote this letter between 1 June, when he had letters delivered to him by Benjamin Church, who had carried to Philadelphia a letter from the Provincial Congress, and 10 June, when Church left Philadelphia to return to Watertown (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:208, 213). Church arrived back in Watertown by 17 or 18 June. James Warren, who was chairman of a committee on armed vessels whose report “was ordered to subside” on 20 June, wrote JA on 11 July that he had seen JA's letter to Gerry and added that “haveing proposed in Congress Just such a project . . . borrowed the Letter to support it” but without success (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 353, 361; Warren to JA, 11 July, below).
2. Gadsden's naval experience consisted of two years as a purser on board a British naval vessel (F. A. Porcher, “Memoir of Gen. Christopher Gadsden,” S.C. Hist. Soc., Colls., 4 [1887]: 1).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0017

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-06-11

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

Since my last I have waited with Impatience to hear from you. I mean Individually. The public Expectation to hear from the Congress is great. They dont Complain but they wonder that the Congress should set a month without their receiveing something decisive with regard to us. I presume we shall have it in due time, at least that nothing will be wanting in your power to relieve the distresses of your Country. I Intended to have devoted some great part of this Day to write to you but have been diverted by Calls that I could not dispence with. Since I knew of this opportunity I have not been able to get a minute till now when the Express is just going of[f]. You will Collect from the publick Letter by this Express our Sentiments with regard to the necessity of assuming Civil Government Constantly Increasing upon us, what we apprehend to be the strength of our Enemies, and what have been and still are the subjects of some of our Contemplations.1 I have not time to Add any thing more with regard to our own proceedings or the state of the Army. I can only say we have difficulties enough to struggle with. I hope we shall do well at last. It is said General Howe gives out that he Intends soon to have a frolick with the Yankees. They are ready for him, and wish for nothing more. Their Grenadiers, and Light Infantry have been Exempted from duty for Ten or Twelve days. We were greatly Elated this Morning with an Account that you had voted 70,000 Men, and 3,000000 sterling to be struck of[f] in Bills for their support.2 Our Joy was damped at 10 O'Clock by a Letter from your Brother Cushing. I wish it had miscarried that I might have Enjoyed the pleasure a little longer, of Contemplateing the dignity of your Conduct, as well as the riseing Glory of America. His Letter was dated the 1st Instant and if he had been in the Clouds for seven Years past, I think he would have had as Just Ideas of our situation and necessities as he had Expressed to his Friend Hawley.3 He thinks a very Inconsiderable reinforcement is to be Expected, and when Arrived that Gage will not have more than 5 or 6,000 Men, and queries whether we had not better discharge part of our Army to prevent Involving ourselves in an Immense Debt. A hint that we are to Expect no support from the Continent, but at the same time talks of an Union and the Day is our own, as saith Dr. Franklin.4 I leave him and only add, I Breakfasted with Mrs. Adams last Wednesday. She and the Family were very well. She Came to this Town with her Father, Sister, Coll. Quincey, and { 25 } Lady, and Daughter, Parson Wybart5 &c. with me that Day, and was greatly disappointed to hear of a Letter from Coll Hancock, when I was not able to find one for her. I could wish She knew of this opportunity. I must Conclude and am with Sincere Wishes for your Happiness, and regards for my Friends—perticularly Mr. Adams. Your Sincere Friend and Humbl. Servant, Jas: Warren
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honbl: John Adams Esqr Att Philadelphia”; docketed: “Warren June 11, 1775.”
1. On 11 June the Provincial Congress adopted an address to the Continental Congress prepared by Joseph Hawley, Walter Spooner, James Warren, and Jedediah Foster (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 318–320). It apparently arrived in Philadelphia a day or two before 19 June, when “sundry letters from the Conventions of Massachusetts bay and New York . . . were read,” because JA in a letter to Elbridge Gerry of 18 June (below) answers most of the questions posed by Warren in his letter (JCC, 2:97–98).
2. The congress did not vote its first issue of bills of credit until 22 June (same, 2:103).
3. Not found. Thomas Cushing's reluctance to use strong measures against Great Britain led to his removal as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776 (DAB).
4. Franklin had advocated a union of the colonies since 1754, when he was a delegate to the Albany Convention.
5. Rev. Anthony Wibird, minister of the First Congregational Society of Braintree (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12:226–230).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0018

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1775-06-18

To Elbridge Gerry

[salute] Dear Sir

I have at last obtained liberty, by a vote of Congress, to acquaint my friends with a few of the things that have been done.1
The Congress have voted, or rather a committee of the whole house have unanimously agreed, that the sum of two million dollars be issued in bills of credit, for the redemption of which, in a certain number of years, twelve colonies have unanimously pledged themselves.2
The Congress has likewise resolved that fifteen thousand men shall be supported at the expense of the continent; ten thousand at Massachusetts, and five thousand at New York; and that ten companies of riflemen be sent immediately; six from Pennsylvania, two from Maryland, and two from Virginia, consisting of sixty-eight privates in each company, to join our army at Boston. These are said to be all exquisite marksmen, and by means of the excellence of their firelocks, as well as their skill in the use of them, to send sure destruction to great distances.
General Washington is chosen commander-in-chief, General Ward the first major-general, and General Lee the second, (the last has not { 26 } yet accepted,) and Major Gates adjutant-general.3 Lee and Gates are experienced officers. We have proceeded no further as yet.
I have never, in all my lifetime, suffered more anxiety than in the conduct of this business. The choice of officers, and their pay, have given me great distress. Lee and Gates are officers of such great experience and confessed abilities, that I thought their advice, in a council of officers, might be of great advantage to us; but the natural prejudices, and virtuous attachment of our countrymen to their own officers, made me apprehensive of difficulties. But considering the earnest desire of General Washington to have the assistance of these officers, the extreme attachment of many of our best friends in the southern colonies to them, the reputation they would give to our arms in Europe, and especially with the ministerial generals and army in Boston, as well as the real American merit of them both, I could not withhold my vote from either.
The pay which has been voted to all the officers, which the Continental Congress intends to choose, is so large, that I fear our people will think it extravagant, and be uneasy. Mr. Adams, Mr. Paine, and myself, used our utmost endeavors to reduce it, but in vain.
Those ideas of equality, which are so agreeable to us natives of New England, are very disagreeable to many gentlemen in the other colonies. They had a great opinion of the high importance of a continental general, and were determined to place him in an elevated point of light. They think the Massachusetts establishment too high for the privates, and too low for the officers, and they would have their own way.4
I hope the utmost politeness and respect will be shown to these officers on their arrival. The whole army, I think, should be drawn up upon the occasion, and all the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war displayed;—no powder burned, however.
There is something charming to me in the conduct of Washington. A gentleman of one of the first fortunes upon the continent, leaving his delicious retirement, his family and friends, sacrificing his ease, and hazarding all in the cause of his country! His views are noble and disinterested. He declared, when he accepted the mighty trust, that he would lay before us an exact account of his expenses, and not accept a shilling for pay. The express waits.
Reprinted from (JA, Works, 9:357–359.)RC offered for sale by Parke-Bernet Gall., N.Y., Gribbel sale, pt. 1, 30 Oct.– 1 Nov. 1940.
1. The JCC contains no reference to this vote, but it probably came on 17 June, for various letters written by members of the congress contain essentially the same information (Eliphalet Dyer to Joseph Trumbull, 17 June; James { 27 } Duaneto the New York Provincial Congress, 17 June; and John Hancock to Joseph Warren, 18 June, Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:127–130, 134–135).
2. The formal vote of the congress was not taken until 22 June, but the committee of the whole reached agreement on 15 June (JCC, 2:103, 91). JA writes of only twelve colonies agreeing, because Georgia was not officially represented in the Congress until 20 July. On 13 May the congress had admitted a representative from St. John's Parish in Georgia, but he could not speak for the whole colony (same, p. 192–193, 45).
3. Washington was appointed commander in chief of the Continental Army on 15 June after considerable maneuvering by various delegates and factions at the congress (same, p. 91; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:321–323). Although present in Philadelphia, Lee did not immediately accept his commission because he wanted to be assured of indemnification if he lost his Irish estate for supporting the American cause. On 19 June a committee of three, of which JA was a member, met with Lee to learn his decision, but he asked that a committee from the congress composed of one member from each of the colonies meet with him to hear his request for indemnification. After a meeting with the new committee, its recommendation to accept his condition was promptly supported by the congress. Only then did Lee accept his commission (JCC, 2:98–99; Alden, General Charles Lee, p. 73–77).
4. The congress set the pay of major generals and brigadiers at $166 and $125 per month respectively, with lesser amounts for the paymaster and commissary generals (JCC, 2:93–94). On 29 April the Provincial Congress set the pay for colonels, lieutenant colonels, and majors at £12, £9 12s, and £8 respectively; these sums were a reduction by one-fifth from the original scale, the change being justified by the reduced size of regiments that had been decided upon (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 167–168). In dollars at 6s equal to one Spanish dollar, the salaries become $40, $32, and $26 2/3. The Provincial Congress left the payment of minutemen up to the several towns, but recognized that a general muster would require payment from the province (same, p. 71). Braintree established pay for its minutemen at 1s 4d for a day of exercising with their arms from two to six o'clock each week; ordinary militiamen were to receive 1s per half-day if they exercised no more than once a week from three to six o'clock (Braintree Town Records, p. 461, 454). No record for monthly pay for privates on general muster has been found. These rates were set at a time when the average daily wage for farm laborers was 2s per day (Jackson T. Main, The Social Structure of Revolutionary America, Princeton, 1965, p. 70). Connecticut, which offers fuller records on pay scales, paid privates during the French and Indian War 36s per month of 28 days; in 1776, it was paying 40s per calendar month (Conn. Colonial Records, 11:94, 15: 297). Roughly, then, we may say that New England privates were getting between $6 and $7 per month. This estimate is confirmed by James Warren in his letter to JA, 20 Oct. (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0019

Author: Palmer, Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-06-19

From Joseph Palmer

[salute] My dear Friend

I thank you for your Several favors, the last of which, the 10th Inst., I just now received.1 I have not had time to write, and thro' abundant business my health has Sometimes been reduced; I now write in Committee of Safety, a few lines at a time as I can; all the business in this Committee has been done by only 6 or 7 Members, upon whom { 28 } it has fallen very heavy, public business having pressed upon us very hard.
To see the distress occasioned by the late measures of Administration is enough to melt a heart of adamant;2 Carts are continually passing in every direction from the Sea-Coast, loaded with Beds, Chairs, Pots, Kettles, and a thousand &ca's, with Women and Children in the midst. Great part of the Sea Coast is thin'd of Inhabitants, and most people have removed their most valuable effects. Mr. Cranch'es Family, and mine, are yet at Vertchild's House; they visit Germantown now and then: I have been with my family only 2 Nights since the 20th March.
You received from Congress the particulars of the battle of Lexington; Since which the affair of Noddles Island3 (and several other smaller Skirmishes) has taken place; in all which, we had greatly the advantage; accounts of which you have doubtless received. But on Saturday last, the 17th, the Regulars attacked us upon one of the Charlestown Hills, where we had begun to entrench, and obliged us to retreat, by means of their Ships and Floating Batterys, we having no large Cannon to match theirs; the Cannon we cou'd have had, if we had had Gunpowder enough to Spare, but we had not more than sufficient for the Field Pieces and Musquetry; however, the Enemy have not much to boast; for tho' they kept the Field, and took from us 4 or 5 pieces, 3 Pounders, yet they lost, by the best accounts we can yet obtain, about 500 kill'd and wounded, and among the former are, as we have reason to believe, several officers of distinction: our loss in numbers is not great, by the best accounts we yet have, about 60 or 70 kill'd and missing;4 but —— among these is —— what Shall I say! how Shall I write the name of our worthy Friend, the great and good Dr. W——. You will hear by others who will write tomorrow, such particulars as I am not possessed of: Soon after the Regulars landed, they Set Fire to the Town of Charlestown, and that day, yesterday and this Day they have consumed most of the Houses as far as Penny-Ferry;5 and they have possession of all that part of Charlestown, and are encamped upon Bunker's Hill; and we are encamped upon Prospect Hill, Winters Hill, and at the Bridge leading to Inman's, Phips's &c. Yesterday and this day, they have Cannonnaded us, but to no purpose; and our people, by Small Parties have picked off some of their out Guards: We expect another action very soon. Do send us Powder, and then we Shall, by the blessing of Heaven, soon destroy this Hornets Nest. This put me in mind of Saltpetre: J Greenleaf Esqr, and Messrs. John Peck and Wm. Frobisher, are now, by { 29 } encouragement from Congress, gone to Brookfield, upon Colo. Foster's Estate, where is supposed to be a very large Bed of fine Earth, such as is described to be in the E. Indies, Strongly impregnated with Nitre: The like is discovered in Several other places. I must beg you to Send the best process of making it. Adieu my dear Friend, and assure Messrs. Hancock, Adams, Paine, &c, that I shou'd be glad to hear often, how, what, and all about the Political World in which I am deeply engaged; and that I remain Your and Their Sincere Friend and very humble Servt.
[signed] J: Palmer6
Earth dug up from under a Stable, put into a Tub, as ashes for Lye. Filled with Water. Stand 24 Hours. Then leaked off Slowly. Then boil'd for one Hour. Then run thro another Tub full of ashes. i.e. filtrated thro the ashes a Small Quantity, not to stand. Then put into a Kettle and boiled, untill it grows yellow. Then drop it on a cold stone or cold Iron, and it will christallise for a Proof. Then set it by in Trays in cool Places. Then it will christallise. And the Salt Petre is formed.7
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia”; docketed, possibly by the Rev. William Gordon: “John Palmer X June 19. 1775.” The recipe for making saltpeter, written in JA's hand, appears at the top of the third page.
1. Not found.
2. Probably a reference to Gen. Gage's having yielded to pressure and modified the agreement he had reached with the Provincial Congress regarding those wishing to leave Boston. At first, those leaving were forbidden to take out any arms or ammunition; then provisions and merchandise were added to the list. Finally, arbitrary searches were made of all containers, and sometimes passports were so drawn as to separate families (Frothingham, Siege of Boston, p. 96–97).
3. A skirmish that took place on 27 and 28 May, when Americans sought to remove livestock from Noddle's and Hog islands in Boston Harbor. The British tried to prevent the removal, and in the fighting the British lost a schooner and had a sloop badly damaged. Reputedly, the British suffered far more casualties than the Americans. Israel Putnam conducted himself so well as commander that presumably the Continental Congress was the more ready to name him a general (same, p. 109–110).
4. For figures on battle casualties, see James Warren to JA, 20 June, note 6, and Elbridge Gerry to Massachusetts Delegates, 20 June, note 5 (both below).
5. The town was set afire by artillery rounds and by marines. The wooden houses and other buildings burned furiously, the flames driven by an east wind. The Penny Ferry, a link between the town and Boston, was at the site of the old Charles River Bridge. A full and meticulous account of the fire and the extent of its damage, including individual claims of losses, is reconstructed from contemporary sources in James F. Hunnewell, A Century of Town Life: A History of Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1775–1887, Boston, 1888, p. 2–15, 112–174.
6. Palmer's letter and those of James Warren to JA and Elbridge Gerry to the Massachusetts delegates of 20 June (both below), and the Provincial Congress to the Continental Congress (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 365–366), were sent to Philadelphia on 20 June. At New York, on 25 June, the express was intercepted by George Washington, who, after some hesitation, { 30 } opened the packet and read at least the letter from the Provincial Congress to gain recent information about the situation in Boston, particularly about Bunker Hill, for which he had had only fragmentary accounts (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:304; Freeman, Washington, 3:464–465). The express arrived in Philadelphia on 26 June or early 27 June, the date on which the letters were read to the Continental Congress, giving that body the first official word on the battle (Jefferson, Papers, 1:174–175; JCC, 2:109; see also JA to James Warren, 27 June, below).
7. Neither the source of this recipe nor the date on which it was written is known. It may have been intended for Palmer, since he asked for such instructions, but it is not known whether it was ever sent to him. It may have been included in the enclosure (not found) sent to James Warren in JA's letter of 27 June (below). On 10 June the Continental Congress had appointed a committee to “devise ways and means to introduce the manufacture of salt petre in these colonies” (JCC, 2:86). A description of the process had been published in the Pennsylvania Gazette of 25 January.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0020

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Washington, George
Date: 1775-06-19
Date: 1775-06-20

To George Washington

[salute] Dear Sir

In Complyance with your Request, I have considered of what you proposed, and am obliged to give you my Sentiments, very briefly, and in great Haste.
In general, Sir, there will be three Committees, either of a Congress, or of an House of Representatives,2 which are and will be composed of our best Men, Such, whose Judgment and Integrity may be most relyed on. I mean the Committee on the State of the Province, the Committee of Safety, and the Committee of Supplies.
But least this should be too general, I beg leave to mention particularly James Warren Esqr. of Plymouth, Joseph Hawley Esqr. of Northampton, John Winthrop Esqr. L.L.D. of Cambridge, Dr. Warren, Dr. Church, Coll. Palmer of Braintree, Elbridge Gerry Esqr. of Marblehead. Mr. Bowdoin, Mr. Sever, Mr. Dexter, lately of the Council will be found to be very worthy Men, as well as Mr. Pitts who I am Sorry to hear is in ill Health.3
The Recommendations, of these Gentlemen, may be rely'd on. Our President was pleased to recommend to you, Mr. William Bant for one of your Aid du Camps.4 I must confess, I know not where to find a Gentleman, of more Merit, and better qualified for Such a Place.
Mr. Paine was pleased to mention to you Mr. William Tudor a young Gentleman of the Law, for a Secretary to the General—and all the rest of my Brothers, you may remember, very chearfully concurr'd with him. His Abilities and Virtues are such as must recommend him to every Man who loves Modesty, Ingenuity, or Fidelity: but as { 31 } I find an Interest has been made in behalf of Mr. Trumbull of Connecticut,5 I must Submit the Decision to your further Inquiries, after you shall arrive at Cambridge. Mr. Trumbulls Merit is Such that I dare not Say a Word against his Pretensions. I only beg Leave to Say that Mr. Tudor is an Exile from a good Employment and fair Prospects in the Town of Boston, driven by that very Tyranny against which We are all contending. There is another gentleman of liberal Education and real genius, as well as great Activity, who I find is a Major in the Army; his Name is Jonathan Williams Austin.6 I mention him, Sir, not for the Sake of recommending him to any particular Favour, as to give the General an opportunity of observing a youth of great abilities, and of reclaiming him from certain Follies, which have hitherto, in other Departments of Life obscured him.
There is another Gentleman, whom I presume to be in the Army either as a Captain, or in Some higher Station, whose Name is William Smith: as this young Gentleman is my Brother in Law, I dont recommend him for any other Place, than that in which the voice of his Country has placed him. But the Countenance of the General, as far as his Conduct shall deserve it, which in an Army is of great Importance, will be gratefully acknowledged as a particular obligation by his Brother.
With great Sincerity, I wish you, an agreeable Journey, and a Successfull, a glorious Campaign: and am with great Esteem, Sir, your most obedient Servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To General Washington Present.” Although the MS was folded for sending, there is no evidence that it was sealed, and it may not have been sent. JA may have communicated his suggestions orally; but the first half of the letter with its mention of province leaders is repeated in the joint letter to Washington from the Massachusetts delegates (22 June, below). It is possible JA was persuaded that a joint effort was preferable.
1. That this letter was written before 21 June is evident from JA to James Warren, 20 June (below), in which JA says he has mentioned Warren's name to the general.
2. JA's uncertainty here comes from his not knowing whether Massachusetts had yet acted upon the advice of the congress respecting its government. See JA to James Warren, 27 June, note 3 (below).
3. James Bowdoin, William Sever, Samuel Dexter, and James Pitts were all elected to the Council in May 1774, but Gage rejected Bowdoin and Dexter, along with JA and ten others (Council Members Vetoed by Gage, 25 May 1774, JA, Papers, 2:96). Pitts had first been elected to the Council in 1766; Sever began service in the Council in 1769. Sever became a member of the Council again in 1775 and acted as president of that body in rotation with Bowdoin and James Warren until the implementation of the Constitution of 1780. Pitts refused election to the Council in 1775 and died in 1776. On Pitts and Sever, see Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 9:76–81; 11:575–578.
4. William Bant, a Boston merchant { 32 } who acted as business agent for John Hancock, was probably the son of the merchant of the same name who died in 1754 (Thwing Catalogue, MHi). The son served on a couple of town committees, but refused the office of warden (Boston Record Commissioners, 18th Report, passim; 26th Report, passim). Bant died in early 1779, and his widow, Mary Anna, married Caleb Davis, who undertook the complicated business of handling the settlement of accounts against Bant's estate (MHi: Caleb Davis Papers, passim). One letter refers to him as “Colo. William Bant,” but the only record of military service is his being listed as a member of a Boston independent company in 1776 (same, Ebenezer Geary to Mrs. Bant, 26 Aug. 1783; Mass. Soldiers and Sailors, 1:582). On Bant and Hancock, see William T. Baxter, The House of Hancock, Cambridge, 1945 p. 241–242, 287–288.
5. Joseph Trumbull, son of Gov. Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut. See Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:128, 133. Actually, Joseph became commissary general on 19 July (JCC, 2:190).
6. A former law clerk for JA; for a brief sketch, see JA, Legal Papers, 1:xcvi.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0021

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Palmer, Joseph
Date: 1775-06-20

To Joseph Palmer

[salute] Dr Sir

We send you for your Comfort the Generals Washington and Lee with Commissions for Ward and Putnam: together with a Vote to Support about twenty thousand Men, for the present, fifteen Thousands in Mass. and 5000 in New York.
We have voted to issue Bills of Credit to the amount of two Million Dollars, and must, I suppose, vote to issue a great deal more.1
I hope a good account will be given of Gage, Haldiman,2 Burgoine, Clinton and How, before Winter. Such a Wretch as How, with a Statue in Honour of his family in Westminster Abbey, erected by the Massachusetts to come over with a Design to cutt the Throats of the Mass. People, is too much.3 I most Sincerely and cooly, and devoutly wish that a lucky Ball, or Bayonet may make a Signal Example of him, for a Warning to Such, unprincipled, unsentimental Miscreants for the future.
I think We shall have an ample Variety of able experienced officers, in our Army. Such as may form Soldiers and officers, enough to keep up a Succession for the Defence of America for ages. Our Camp will be an illustrious School of military Virtue and will be resorted to and frequented by Gentlemen in great Numbers, from the other Colonies as such—great Things, are in the Womb of Providence—great Prosperity or adversity, perhaps both: the latter first perhaps.
My Love and Compliments and Duty where due, especially to your Family, Mr. Cranch's and my own. I am your Friend.
[signed] John Adams
RC (PHC: Charles Roberts Autograph Coll.); addressed: “To Joseph Palmer Esqr of Braintree at the Provincial Congress Watertown favoured by General Washington”; docketed: “Honble John Adams Esqr 1775.”
{ 33 }
1. See JA to Elbridge Gerry, 18 June, note 2 (above).
2. Gen. Frederic Haldimand (1718–1791), of Swiss origin and second in command to Gage, was recalled and left Boston the day before the Battle of Bunker Hill. Dartmouth feared having a foreigner take over in the event Gage was disabled (DNB; French, First Year, p. 207–208).
3. JA is referring to George Augustus Viscount Howe (1724–1758), the older brother of William and Richard Howe, who distinguished himself during the French and Indian War, and whose death in an ill-fated expedition against Fort Ticonderoga in 1758 so affected the people of Massachusetts that in 1759 the General Court appropriated £250 for a memorial in Westminster Abbey. This affection for Viscount Howe and William Howe's statement in 1774 that he would not accept a command in America left Americans ill-prepared for William's arrival to serve under Gage. JA and others in Massachusetts felt betrayed (James Austin Holden, New Historical Light on the Real Burial Place of George Augustus Lord Viscount Howe, repr. from Trans, of the N.Y. State Historical Assoc., 10 [1911]: 9–13, 67–69; Ira D. Gruber, The Howe Brothers and the American Revolution, N.Y., 1972, p. 51–52, 58).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0022

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tudor, William
Date: 1775-06-20

To William Tudor

[salute] Dr sir

I have lamented excessively the Want of your Correspondence ever since I have been here. Not a Line from Dr. Winthrop, Dr. Cooper, Mr. Kent, Swift, Tudor, from some or other of whom I was accustomed the last Fall, to receive Letters every Week. I know not the state, the Number, the Officers of the Army—the Condition of the poor People of Boston or any Thing else.
I have taken the Liberty to mention you to General Washington, for his secretary, which is a very genteel Place—my Brothers here very chearfully and unanimously concurr'd with me in the warmest Terms. A great Interest is making however for Mr. Jos. Trumbull and for others. What the General will do I know not. I would have you wait on him respectfully, and welcome him to the Army, and enquire after my health and let him know that I desired you to call upon him. Invite him to your Fathers, and offer your service to him.1 You will be pleased with him. He is brave, wise, generous and humane. Our Army will be the best military school in the Empire.
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Tudor Papers); addressed: “To Mr William Tudor Attorney at Law Cambridge favoured by General Washington”; docketed: “June 20th. 1775.”
1. For Tudor's description of his meeting with Washington see his letter to JA of 6 July (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0023

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-06-20

To James Warren

[salute] My Friend

This Letter will go by the sage, brave, and amiable General Washington,1 to whom I have taken the Liberty of mentioning your Name.
The Congress has at last voted near twenty thousand Men in Massachusetts and New York, and an Emission of a Continental Currency to maintain them.
You will have Lee, as third in Command, Ward being the second, Schuyler of New York the fourth, and Putnam the fifth. Ten Companies of Rifle Men too, are ordered from Pensylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
Nothing has given me more Torment, than the Scuffle We have had in appointing the General officers. We could not obtain a Vote, upon our Seat for L.2 Sam. and John fought for him, however, through all the Weapons. Dismal Bugbears were raised, there were Prejudices enough among the weak and fears enough among the timid as well as other obstacles from the Cunning: but the great Necessity for officers of skill and Experience, prevailed.
I have never formed any Friendship or particular Connection with Lee, but upon the most mature Deliberation I judged him the best qualified for the Service, and the most likely to cement the Colonies, and therefore gave him my Vote, and am willing to abide the Consequences.
I am much obliged to you for yours of June 11. Pray write me a State of the Army, their Numbers, and a List of the officers and the Condition of the poor People of Boston. My Heart bleeds for them.
We have a great Show this Morning here. Our great Generals Washington and Lee review the three Battalions of this City. I believe there never was two Thousand Soldiers created out of nothing so suddenly, as in this City. You would be surprized to behold them, all in Uniforms, and very expert both in the Manual and Maneuvres. They go through the Wheelings and Firings in sub-divisions, grand Divisions, and Platoons, with great Exactness. Our Accounts from all Parts of the Continent are very pleasing. The Spirit of the People is such as you would wish.
I hope to be nearer to you at least, very soon. How does your Government go on? If We have more bad News from England the other Colonies will follow your Example.3 My Love to all Friends, yours,
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren { 35 } | view A N.W. View of the State House in Philadelphia, Taken in 1778, by James Trenchard, after Charles Willson Peale 35 { 36 } | view An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th 1775, by Bernard Romans 36 { 37 } Esqr at the Provincial Congress favoured by General Washington”; docketed: “Mr. J. A Lettr June 1775.”
1. Washington left Philadelphia on 23 June for Cambridge, where he arrived on 2 July (JA to AA, 23 June, Adams Family Correspondence, 1:226; Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:308, note 35).
2. What JA means is that although he and Samuel Adams supported Lee, they could not secure the majority needed among the Massachusetts delegates if the colony was to cast a vote for him.
3. That is, in reinstituting government under charter forms, but ignoring the royal governor.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0024

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-06-20

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

Since my last I have the pleasure of Several of yours. I am Extreamly obliged to you, and to continue your Attention to me in this way can assure you I dont fail to make use of anything I think will serve the publick from your Letters. I Communicated to both our Generals that Paragraph of your Letter Containing Genll. Lees Opinion of the Generals and character perticularly of Burgoine.1 Yours per Mr. Hall I never received till the day before Yesterday. I have never seen those Gentlemen.2 Shall Observe your recommendation when I do. You will doubtless hear before this reaches you of another Action here on Saturday last which Terminated with less success on our side than any one that has taken place before. However they have nothing to Boast of but the possession of the Ground. You will say that is enough. It is enough to mark with Infamy those who suffered it, but they have paid very dearly for it in the loss of many Men. They Landed about 2000. I cant learn who Commanded them. Were more than once repulsed by the Bravery of our men in the Imperfect Lines hove up the Night before, who had they been supplied with Ammunition, and a Small reinforcement of Fresh men, would thus under every disadvantage have in all probability beat them to peices. Here fell our <murdered> worthy, and much Lamented Friend Doctr. Warren with as much Glory as Wolf on the plains of Abraham, after performing many feats of Bravery and Exhibiting a Coolness and <Judgment> Conduct which did Honour to the Judgment of his Country in Appointing him a few days before one of their Major Generals.3 At once Admired and Lamented in such a manner, as to make it difficult to determine whether regret or Envy predominates. Had our Brave men posted on Ground Injudiciously at first taken, had a Lee or a Washington Instead of a General destitute of all Military Ability and Spirit to Command them it is my opinion the day would have terminated { 38 } with as much Glory to America as the 19th of April. This is our great Misfortune and is remediless from any other quarter than yours. We dare not superceed him here.4 It will come well from you and really merits your Attention. That and a necessary article which makes me tremble to Name or think of is all we want.5 Our men were harrassed all the morning by Cannon from 2 Batteries, 2 Ships, and a Bomb Battery, and att the attack by a great Number of Armed Boats, and nevertheless made a Stout resistance. Some fatality always attends my attempts to Write you. I am called away and fear I shant be able to add another paragraph.
I must Beg you would make my acknowledgements to Mr. Cushing, and my good Friend Mr. Adams for their kind favours. I fully designed to have wrote them but this Express goes of[f] so suddenly as not to give me an opportunity. Shall Embrace the next as well as to Enlarge to you. The Hurry of our affairs can hardly be described. We have just received an account by a Man who is said to have swam out of Boston that we killed and wounded 1000 of them among the first of which is a General, Majors Sherrif and Pitcairn and 60 other officers. 70 officers wounded. The whole of the Troops landed at Charlestown were 5000.6 This account is not Improbable to me but I cannot warrant the authenticity of it. I am your Friend. Adieu.
[signed] J: Warren7
Mrs. Adams and family were well when I last heard from them. I have had great pleasure in Conversing with Doctr. Church who gives me a good account of your Spirit, Unanimity &c. I am well pleased with most of your resolves. I cant however say that I admire the form of Government prescribed, but we are all Submission and are sending out our Letters for calling an Assembly.8 I hope we shall have as good an opportunity for a good Government in some future time.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by JA in a late hand: “Warren June 20 1775.”
1. See JA to Warren, 10 June (above).
2. See JA to Warren, 26 May (above).
3. This passage dealing with the death of Joseph Warren and that giving an account of British casualties and the number of regulars involved in the battle were printed in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 28 June.
4. Warren is referring to Gen. Artemas Ward, commander in chief of the forces surrounding Boston. A controversy developed over Ward's conduct in regard to the Battle of Bunker Hill. Obviously Warren had little respect for Ward's ability, believing that his inaction and lack of leadership had contributed greatly to the outcome of the battle, which contemporary opinion viewed privately as a serious setback to the patriot cause. Compare the views of Elbridge Gerry and Charles Lee with those of Warren (Gerry to Massachusetts Delegates, 20 June, below; NYHS, Colls., for 1872, Lee Papers, 2:146– { 39 } 147). For a brief modern assessment of Ward's abilities, see French, First Year, p. 213–214.
5. Warren may be hinting that the colonies ought to declare their independence.
6. In his official report Gage calls the total number of British troops engaged as “something above 2000 men” (Gage to Lord Dartmouth, 25 June, in Frothingham, Siege of Boston, p. 387). Gage lists the killed and wounded by name and rank, showing totals of 228 killed and 828 wounded. The officers lost were 21 killed and 70 wounded. Lt. Col. Abercrombie was the highest ranking officer who suffered fatal wounds. Maj. Pitcairn, who commanded at Lexington, and Maj. Williams also died (same, p. 387–389). The general that Warren mentions may have been Burgoyne, who was not seen after the battle and was believed by many to be dead.
7. See Joseph Palmer to JA, 19 June, note 6 (above).
8. The resolve of the Continental Congress passed on 9 June regarding the government of Massachusetts was received by the Provincial Congress on 17 June in the group of letters brought from Philadelphia by Josiah Fessenden, who acted as the express during this period. On 20 June the Provincial Congress voted to call on the towns to elect members to a general court that was to meet in Watertown on 19 July (Warrens-Adams Letters, 1:55; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 352, 358–360).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0025

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: Hancock, John
Recipient: Adams, Samuel
Recipient: Paine, Robert Treat
Recipient: Cushing, Thomas
Recipient: Continental Congress, Massachusetts delegates
Date: 1775-06-20

Elbridge Gerry to the Massachusetts Delegates

[salute] Gentlemen

I Received the Letters, with which you were pleased to favor me per Mr. Fessenden on Saturday last being the 18th Instant,1 at a Critical Time for the Army posted at Cambridge. The Evening preceeding Orders were Issued in Consequence of a Consultation between the General Officers and Committee of Safety to take possession of Dorchester Hill and Bunkers hill in Charlestown which I must confess gave me most sensible Pain on hearing more especially as it had been determined about Ten Days before by the same Council and a junction of the Committee of Supplies by their desire, that it would be attended with a great expence of Ammunition by Ordinance and that therefore it was inexpedient and hazardous.2
As soon as it was discovered by the Enemy on Saturday Morning a firing began from the Lively in Charlestown River and also from the Batteries in Boston, which was returned against the Latter by the American Forces untill it subsided on the side of the Enemy and only one Man was lost in the Morning. Our Forces exerted themselves in getting entrenched and soon discovered that a Warm engagement must take place; not withstanding which Care was not taken to place a sufficient Number of Artillery and Cannon on the Hill to defend it. At Noon the Enemy bro't in Two or Three Ships of the Line with which, the Lively, and Batteries at Boston, they endeavoured to Dislodge our Forces, soon after they landed about 3000 Regulars and a { 40 } warm Engagement began, in which our Forces in the Intrenchment behaved like Heroes, but were not sufficiently provided with Artillery nor timely reinforced from Cambridge. They soon found it necessary to Abandon an intrenchment on a Hill to the Eastward of Bunker Hill and made a stand at the Lines on the Hill last mentioned. The Forces then being put in Flames by the Enemy the Enemy advanced and a Furious Fire was kept up for some time on both sides untill the Enemy Forced the Lines and depended on pushing their Bayonets. Our Forces after being overpowered in the Intrenchments left them to the Enemy who are now posted there, and retreated about 3 Quarters of a Mile toward Cambridge where they have four [cannon]3 One of which is on a high Hill opposite or near the Stone House4 and So situated that with good Conduct we expect an Effectual stand. Our good, our beloved Friend Doctor Warren was on Bunker Hill when the Lines were forced and is no more, he was two Days before Chosen second Majr. General, Accepted on Friday and on Saturday dyed like a Hero. We can only drop a Tear for our worthy Brother and Console ourselves with the Consideration that his Virtue and Valour will be rewarded in Heaven. The Reports relative to our loss is varient from 20 to 80 Killed and wounded but I cannot think we shall find it quite so inconsiderable and from the best judgment which I can form at present believe it will turn out about 150 or 200.5 This is a Matter we decline noticing here at present, Altho we dont neglect to Speak of the Loss of the Enemy which I suppose is fully equal to our own. We labour, we are retarded, we suffer for want of a General at Cambridge. Ward is an honest Man but I think Wants the Genius of a General in every Instance. Command, order, Spirit, Invention and Discipline are deficient, what then remains that produced this Choice, I know not. General Thomas is from his Character and Conduct a fine fellow, his camp at Roxbury is always in order without trouble to Congress or their Committees.6 The other at Cambridge ever wanting and never right. I hope We shall not suffer from this Accident. Col. Fry of Andover is in the Cabinet intended as Major General. Colo. Heath first Brigadier General and I suppose will be chosen and Commissioned this Day,7 but we must have the Assistance of Military skill whereever to be found on the Continent. It will I fear be difficult intirely to drop Ward. If he is superceeded by Washington and posted at Cambridge with him, and General Thomas &c. at Roxbury I cannot but think we shall be in a Good situation provided it is timely effected.8
General Lee must be provided for and heartily engaged in the service without being Commissioned at present. He is a stranger and { 41 } cannot have the Confidence of a Jealous people when strugling for their Liberty. He will soon become familiar and be courted into office, I revere him as an Officer and wish he had been born an American.
It affords Consolation that the Congress have or [are?] about taking Command of these Matters. We notice their Resolve in which the Army is Called the American Army. May the arrangement be happy and Satisfy each Colony as well as aford us good Generals.
Medicine is much wanted and Doctor Church has given us an Invoice of necessary Articles which we beg may be ordered here from Philadelphia as soon as possible. I notice what is said relative to powder, no Exertions has been wanting of in the Committee of Supplies since I have been acquainted with it, to procure this Article. Colo. Bower9 was depended on for 200 half Barrels and were disappointed, and the plan of fortifying lines with heavy Cannon was not then in Contemplation. We must hold our Country by Musketry principally untill supplies can be got to expel the Enemy. I rejoice to hear of the Flour ordered to the army. We have an Instance of the Humanity of the Enemy after they had obtained the Hill; not satisfied with burning the other part of Charlestown they proceeded to set Fire to Houses on the Road to Winter Hill.
The Newhampshire and Connecticut Forces as well as the Massachusetts in the Heat of Battle suffered much. I suspect some of our [inferior?] Officers are wanting and one is under Arrest.10 We have lost Four pieces of Artillery and nothing more at present. We are in a worse situation than we shall in future Experience in many Instances, and great exertions are necessary. The Committee of Supplies, have a good share at present from sunrise to 12 at Night constantly employed for several Days but we have now a little abatement. Hall of Medford11 was excused from the Committee on Account of a Weak Constitution and the Congress Judiciously chose one of a strong Constitution to supply the place. Another Engagement is Hourly expected may the great controuler of Events order it for the Happiness of these Colonies. I have Just Received a Letter which puts it beyond Doubt that the Enemy have sustained a great Loss. Capt. Bradford is an Intelligent Man but whether the Loss is equal to 1000 I cannot say. I inclose you the Original itself.12 Complaint from all Quarters of Disorder in the Camp at Cambridge, that it is more like an unorganized Collection of People than a Disciplined army. I cannot rest on this precipice; and engaged as the Committee is shall find time to move this Day that a Committee of Observation be immediately chosen to enquire into and assist in and Rectify the Disorders of the Camp untill { 42 } they shall subside.13 Good God that a Congress so vigilant should have chosen a lifeless F— for such an Important Trust. Will the Honorable Mr. Hancock assist the Committee in [having] the Invoice sent us forthwith. The notes of the Colony can be made as payment without delay. They Carry 6 per Cent Interest, are negotiable, and are received in all the Governments about us readily and without Hesitancy. The Committee of Supplies are greatly Obliged by his proposal relative to the Duck. Doctor Church proposes the Boston Donations14 for this Purpose since the Notes are equal with the Cash in this Colony. I am with the most Sincere respect, Gentlemen, your most Obedt. Sert.
[signed] Elbridge Gerry
MS, contemporary clerk's copyElsie O. and Philip D. Sang Coll., 1960 (ICarbS:Elsie O. and Philip D. Sang Coll.) ; docketed: “Copy Letter to Members of Cont. Congress June 20 1775.” Obvious errors made by the copyist have been silently corrected.
1. The copyist's inadvertence for the 17th, which was a Saturday.
2. The proceedings of the Committee of Safety on 15 June, when it was recommended that Bunker Hill “be securely kept and defended,” are in Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 569. No record of a meeting with the Committee of Supplies has been found, but see the call on 3 June for such a meeting (same, p. 561).
3. Word editorially supplied.
4. That is, the Powder House in present-day Somerville.
5. Allen French, citing Frothingham, gives the total American casualties as 441, but see his note citing the varying figures given by contemporary sources, which give the highest number killed as 139 (First Year, p. 263).
6. John Thomas (1724–1776), commander of the troops in the Roxbury sector, in the spring of 1776 directed the fortification of Dorchester Heights that forced the British to evacuate Boston. Considered by Washington and others as an outstanding general, he later was sent to Quebec to try to salvage that expedition after the death of Montgomery and the wounding of Arnold. Realizing that the situation was hopeless, Thomas ordered a retreat, but he died of smallpox before it was completed (DAB).
7. Joseph Frye (1712–1794) was elected a major general on 21 June but was not commissioned until 23 June (DAB; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 370, 378). Heath's commission as first major general, dated 21 June, is given in Wroth and others, eds., Province in Rebellion, p. 2291.
8. Ward did function as second in command to Washington.
9. For a brief sketch of Col. Jerathmiel Bowers, a member of the Provincial Congress, see same, p. 2834–2835.
10. Actually two artillery officers were charged with misconduct, Capt. Samuel Gridley and Capt. John Callender. The former was cashiered but later got himself reinstated, and Callender was finally exonerated, his false accuser being cashiered instead (French, First Year, p. 244 and note).
11. Stephen Hall III. See the brief sketch in Province in Rebellion, p. 2862.
12. The enclosure, Job Bradford's report, has not been found, but it was printed in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 28 June.
13. On 21 June the Provincial Congress appointed a committee composed of Joseph Hawley, Elbridge Gerry, Samuel Thompson, Noah Goodman, Benjamin Lincoln, and Nathaniel Freeman to “inquire into the reason of the present want of discipline in the Massachusetts army, and to report to this Congress what is the most proper way to put said army into proper regulation” (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 370).
{ 43 }
14. The donations were contributions made from all over the colonies for the benefit of the Boston poor when the Boston Port Act closed the town's harbor. What Hancock proposed to the Committee of Supplies regarding duck cloth has not been determined.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0026

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-06-21

To James Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

Major Mifflin1 goes in the Character of Aid de Camp to General Washington. I wish You to be acquainted with him, because, he has great Spirit Activity, and Abilities, both in civil and military Life. He is a gentleman of Education, Family and Fortune.
C. and H. and P.2 have given us a great deal of Trouble, in the Election of Lee, and I expect will avail themselves of all the Whims and Prejudices, of our People.
We are like to have more trouble of the like Kind in the Choice of Brigadiers General. Old Pomeroy3 must be the first. P. to do him Justice, has renounced his Connections in this Instance. He declares he cant and wont vote for him. I had rather vote for Prebble4 in his Bed.
I expect, our People when they come to know the Pay of the General officers and others, will grumble. Adams, Paine and I fought against it totis Viribus. But in vain. It is amazingly high. But the southern Genius's think it vastly too low. Farewell.
[signed] John Adams
RC (NHi: Misc. MSS, Adams); docketed: “Mr J A Lettr June 1775.”
1. Thomas Mifflin (1744–1800) was recognized very early by JA and others for his ability and devotion to the patriot cause. His bravery and military knowledge brought a rapid rise in rank. Appointed as Washington's aide-de-camp on 23 June, he became a colonel on 22 Dec., a brigadier general on 16 May 1776, and a major general on 19 Feb. 1777. His conduct, however, as quartermaster general, a post he held from Aug. 1775 to March 1778, brought dissatisfaction and caused him to leave the army (DAB).
2. JA's Massachusetts colleagues, Cushing, Hancock, and Paine.
3. Seth Pomeroy (1706–1777), who had played an active role in military affairs for Massachusetts since the expedition against Louisbourg. Appointed third in command of Massachusetts forces under Jedediah Preble and Artemas Ward in 1774, he was most active in raising and drilling troops in western Massachusetts during 1775 and 1776. Although appointed first brigadier general in the Continental Army on 22 June, he apparently never served in that capacity (DAB; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 35).
4. Jedediah Preble (1707–1784), appointed first in command of the Massachusetts forces in 1774 (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 35; Appletons' Cyclo. Amer. Biog.).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0027

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, Joseph
Date: 1775-06-21

To Joseph Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

This Letter I presume will be delivered into your own Hand by the General.
He proposes to set out, tomorrow, for your Camp. God Speed him. Lee is, Second Major General, Schuyler, who is to command at N. York is the third and Putnam the fourth. How many Brigadiers general we shall have, whether five, Seven or Eight, is not determined, nor who they shall be. One from N. Hampshire, one from R. Island, two from Connecticutt, one from N. York, and three from Massachusetts, perhaps.1
I am almost impatient to be at Cambridge. We shall maintain a good Army for you. I expect to hear of Grumbletonians, some from parcimonious and others from Superstitious Prejudices. But We do the best we can, and leave the Event.
How do you like your Government? Does it make or remove Difficulties? I wish We were nearer to you.
The Tories lie very low both here and at New York. The latter will very soon be as deep as any Colony.
We have Major Skeene a Prisoner, enlarged a little on his Parol—a very great Tool.2 I hope Govr Tryon, will be taken care of.3 But We find a great many Bundles of weak Nerves. We are obliged to be as delicate and soft and modest and humble as possible. Pray Stir up every Man, who has a Quill to write me. We want to know the Number of your Army—A List of your officers—a State of your Government—the Distresses of Boston—the Condition of the Enemy &c. I am, Dr sir your Friend,
[signed] John Adams
We have all recommended Billy Tudor for a secretary to the General. Will he make a good one?
This moment informed of Powder arrived here, 500 Blls they say. We must send it along to you.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr J Adams Lettr to Dr. Warren”; docketed in another hand: “read by Genl. James Warren after the Death of Genl. Joseph Warren.”
1. On 22 June the congress chose in order of rank eight brigadier generals: Seth Pomeroy of Massachusetts, Richard Montgomery of New York, David Wooster of Connecticut, William Heath of Massachusetts, Joseph Spencer of Connecticut, John Thomas of Massachusetts, John Sullivan of New Hampshire, and Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island (JCC, 2:103).
2. Philip Skene (1725–1810) was formerly a major in the British army, colonel in the New York militia, proprietor of Skenesborough on the shores { 45 } of Lake Champlain, and, in 1775, the newly appointed lieutenant governor of Ticonderoga and Crown Point and inspector of lands for Quebec with authorization to raise a regiment. By the time he arrived in America however, Ticonderoga had been taken. Skene's mission represented to the northern colonies a threatening move by the ministry, resulting in his arrest when he landed in Philadelphia on 7 June. JA was more directly involved in this affair than he indicates in this letter. See JA's Service in the Congress, 10 May – 1 Aug. (above). On 27 June, probably because Skene was dangerously close to the seat of government, the congress ordered him sent to Connecticut to be put under the supervision of Gov. Trumbull, where after some time in prison, he was exchanged for James Lovell on 7 Oct. 1776 (Doris Begor Martin, Philip Skene of Skenesborough, Granville, N.Y., 1959, p. 38–66; JCC, 2:108).
3. William Tryon (1729–1788), the former governor of North Carolina and, in 1775, governor of New York (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0028

Author: Winthrop, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-06-21

From John Winthrop

[salute] Dear Sir

I received your favor of May 29 by Messrs. Halls. I was much concerned that I had it not in my power to treat those young Gentlemen with as much respect as their characters and your recommendation entitled them to. When your Letter was deliver'd me, which was but a few days ago, we were all in the utmost hurry, packing up the Library and Apparatus, for their removal to a distance in the country for safety; in consequence of an order of the Provincial Congress which was sent us that day;1 so that the young Gentlemen could only take a transient view of things as they lay in confusion. It was then universally expected, that there would be an action in a day or two; which happened accordingly. The night following a body of our men were sent to throw up an entrenchment on a hill in Charlstown. As soon as the day light appeared, they were discovered and fired upon from the men of war, and battery on Cop's Hill. That day, the 17th instant exhibited a most shocking spectacle. About 2, afternoon, a large body of regulars were carried over to Charlestown, and at 4, in the afternoon, the men of war's boats set fire to the town in different places, which in a few hours was burnt to the Ground. When it was all in flames, they attacked our entrenchment, which was very imperfect, being only the work of a few hours; but they were vigorously opposed, and a hot engagement ensued, which lasted above an hour, in which, numbers fell. When our soldiers had fired away almost all their cartridges, and the Regulars were entring the entrenchment with their bayonets charged, and an incessant fire of artillery kept on them on all sides from the men of war and floating batteries, our people retreated and left them in possession of the hill. This advantage they probably purchased dear; tho' what their loss was, we may never know { 46 } exactly. ‘Tis affirm'd their dead were seen lying in heaps on the ground. Our loss was considerable; but being now above 20 miles from the scene of action, I cannot give you any particular information about it. We lost some very good officers; but none is more universally lamented than our friend Dr. Warren, who had been appointed a Major General but a day or two before. I own, I was sorry when I heard of this appointment; because I thought, a man so much better qualified to act in other capacities than most are, ought not to be exposed in this way, unless in case of necessity. But his zeal hurried him on, and he was killed in the entrenchment soon after he got there.
We are now involved in all the horrors of war, and are every moment expecting to hear of another action. Is it not necessary Sir that our army should be effectually supported, in order to bring this cruel war to a speedy and fortunate issue? especially as there is no immediate prospect of war in any other part of America; and a vigorous support here may probably prevent its spreading to the other Colonies.
I am surprised to find you have so little intelligence from hence. I thought there had been a constant intercourse kept up between the Provincial and Continental Congresses. I mentioned this hint of yours to Dr. Warren the evening before that fatal day; he promised that he would write, and put his friends on writing. But, alas!
My respectful compliments to all friends, particularly to Col. Hancock and Dr. Franklin. I wrote to the Doctor soon after I heard of his arrival, but know not whether he has received my Letter. I want much to write to some friends in England, but there is no conveyance this way. If Dr. Franklin should be able, with safety, to keep up his correspondence with England, perhaps he might be willing to send my Letters with his. If I could know this, I would send them by the way of Philadelphia. But I own, I am in great doubt whether it will be prudent or practicable.
God Almighty bless your counsels, and render them effectual for the preservation of America. Your faithful friend and humble Servt.
June 22. Since writing the above, I have received two accounts from different hands of the loss on each side. I send them as I had them.2 I have been also told, that the Regulars acknowlege 428 killed.
Boston almost deserted by the inhabitants—Charlestown burnt down. Cambridge, Medford, Salem, Danvers and Marblehead almost deserted. Tis impossible at your distance to conceive of the distress.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Winthrop 21st June 1775.”
{ 47 }
1. Because of the presence of army headquarters in Cambridge, the Provincial Congress on 15 June commandeered the college buildings and ordered “that the library, apparatus, and other valuables of Harvard College, be removed” to Andover (Samuel Eliot Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636–1936, Cambridge, 1936, p. 148–149; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 334).
2. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0029

Author: Adams, John
Author: Hancock, John
Author: Adams, Samuel
Author: Paine, Robert Treat
Author: Cushing, Thomas
Author: Continental Congress, Massachusetts delegates
Recipient: Washington, George
Date: 1775-06-22

The Massachusetts Delegates to George Washington

[salute] Sir

In Complyance with your Request We have considered of what you proposed to us, and are obliged to give you our Sentiments, very briefly, and in great Haste.
In general, Sir, there will be three Committees, either of a Congress, or of an House of Representatives, which are and will be composed of our best Men; Such, whose Judgment and Integrity, may be most rely'd on; the Committee on the State of the Province, the Committee of Safety, and the Committee of Supplies.
But least this Should be too general, We beg leave to mention particularly Messrs Bowdoin, Sever, Dexter, Greenleaf, Darby, Pitts, Otis of the late Council, Hon. John Winthrop Esq. L.L.D., Joseph Hawley Esqr. of Northampton, James Warren Esqr. of Plymouth, Coll. Palmer of Braintree, Coll. Orne and Elbridge Gerry Esqr. of Marblehead, Dr. Warren, Dr. Church, Mr. John Pitts all of Boston, Dr. Langdon President of Harvard Colledge, and Dr. Chauncey and Dr. Cooper of Boston. Coll. Forster of Brookfield.1
The Advice and Recommendations of these Gentlemen, and of Some others whom they may introduce to your Acquaintance may be depended on.
With great Sincerity, We wish you, an agreable Journey and a glorious Campaign; and are with much Esteem and Respect, Sir, your most obedient Servants.
[signed] Samuel Adams
[signed] John Hancock
[signed] John Adams
[signed] Thomas Cushing
[signed] Robt. Treat Paine
RC in JA's hand (DLC:Washington Papers); addressed in John Hancock's hand: “To the Honble George Washington Esqr. General and Commander in Chief of all the Forces of the United Colonies per John Hancock”; docketed: “[ . . . ] Ju. 22. 1775.”
1. Benjamin Greenleaf (1732–1799) of Newburyport, was a member of the Council from 1770 to 1774; John Pitts (1737–1815), a Boston selectman beginning in 1773, was active in the Sons of Liberty and a member of the Second { 48 } and Third Provincial Congresses; Rev. Samuel Langdon (1723–1797), a strong whig, became president of Harvard College by 1774 and a chaplain to the army in Cambridge, soon thereafter serving as chaplain to the Continental Army until it moved south in 1776; Col. Jedediah Foster (1726–1779) was very active in the local affairs of Brookfield, had long service in the House of Representatives, and was rejected for the Council by Gage in 1774 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 13:86–90;14:197–201; 10:508–526; 11:395–398).
Richard Derby Jr. (1712–1783), a Salem merchant and shipowner, saw service in the House of Representatives before 1774 and as a delegate to the Third Provincial Congress; Col. Azor Orne (1731–1796), Marblehead merchant, attended all three Provincial Congresses (Wroth and others, eds., Province in Rebellion, p. 2847, 2884–2885).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0030

Author: Tudor, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-06-26

From William Tudor

[salute] Dear Sir

You will doubtless before the Receipt of this have heard of the bloody Engagement at Charlestown. For a particular Account of it I must refer You to a Letter I last Week wrote our Friend Collins.1 The ministerial Troops gain'd the Hill but were victorious Losers. A few more such Victories and they are undone. I cannot think our Retreat an unfortunate one. Such is the Situation of that Hill that we could not have kept it, expos'd to the mighty fire which our Men must have received from the Ships and Batteries that Command the whole Eminence. 800 Provincials bore the Assault of 2000 Regulars and twice repuls'd them, but the Heroes were not supported, and could only retire. Our Men were not us'd to Cannon Balls and they came so thick from the Ships, floating Batteries &c., &c. that they were discouraged advancing. They have since been more us'd to them and dare encounter them. The American Army are in great Spirits, and eager to recover their late Defeat. I wish we had more Discipline But Genl. Washington we hear is coming, and we expect much from his Conduct and Experience. The Colony Forces have thrown up very extensive Lines to secure Cambridge and there are four different Entrenchments in Roxbury. The Regular Troops cannot again fight under the like advantages they did at Charlestown. They have dearly paid for one Mile's Advancement, and before they get another I much doubt if they will have Soldiers enough left to maintain it.
The lower Part of the Province has been in much Confusion and Distress. It is suppos'd 20,000 People from Boston and its Environs have deserted their Habitations, yet I hear of Nobody that thinks of any Thing less than Submission. The universal Voice is, if the Continent approve, and assist we will die or be free. The Sword is drawn { 49 } and the Scabbard thrown away, till it can be sheath'd with Security and Honour.
I wish I could be near eno' to my worthy Colonel, to congratulate him on his late Proscription. If anything had been wanting to secure to him and Mr. Adams the Hearts of their Countrymen, Genl. Gage's Proclamation would have amply effected it. The Man must surely have felt ridiculous to order martial Law to take Place through a Province, one Town alone of which he had any Command in.2
The Loss of Dr. Warren is irreparable, his Death is generally and greatly lamented. But
Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria mori.
This is the Day of Heroes. The Fall of one will inspire the surviving glorious Band to emulate his Virtues and revenge his Death on the Foes of Liberty and our Country. Yours, with great Affection and Respect
[signed] Wm. Tudor
RC (Adams Papers);addressed: “John Adams Esq Philadelphia”; docketed by JA in a late hand: “Tudor 26. June 1775.”
1. Stephen Collins, Quaker merchant and whig, whom Tudor probably met on his trip to Philadelphia in the fall of 1774. See JA to Joseph Palmer, 5 July (below).
2. On 12 June, Gen. Gage issued a proclamation declaring martial law and offering a pardon to anyone who would lay down his arms except for Samuel Adams and John Hancock, “whose offenses are of too flagitous a nature to admit any other consideration than that of condign punishment” (Force, Archives, 4th ser., 2:968–970). Gage probably held little hope for success, for in a letter to Lord Dartmouth on 12 June he mentioned only the declaration of martial law, not the offer of pardons (Gage, Corr., 1:404–405).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0031

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-06-27

To James Warren

[salute] My dear Friend

I am extreamly obliged to you for your Favour of the 20th. of June. The last Fall, I had a great many Friends who kept me continually well informed of every Event as it occurred. But, this Time, I have lost all my Friends, excepting Coll Warren of Plymouth and Coll Palmer of Braintree, and my Wife.
Our dear Warren, has fallen, with Laurells on his Brows, as fresh and blooming, as ever graced an Hero.
I have Suffered infinitely this Time, from ill Health, and blind Eyes at a Time when, a vast Variety of great objects were crowding upon my Mind, and when my dear Country was suffering all the Calamities of Famine, Pestilence, Fire, and Sword at once.
At this Congress We do as well as we can. I must leave it to some { 50 } future opportunity, Which I have a charming Confidence will certainly come, to inform you fully of the History of our Debates and Resolutions.
Last Saturday night at Eleven O Clock, an express arrived from the worthy Govr. Trumbull, informing of the Battle of Charlestown.1 An hundred Gentlemen flocked to our Lodgings to hear the News. At one O Clock Mr. H. Mr. A. and myself, went out to enquire after the Committee of this City, in order to beg some Powder. We found Some of them, and these with great Politeness, and Sympathy for their brave Brethren in the Mass, agreed, to go that night and send forward about Ninety Quarter Casks, and before Morning it was in Motion. Between two and three O Clock I got to bed.
We are contriving every Way we can think of to get you Powder. We have a Number of Plans for making Salt Petre and Gentlemen here are very confident, that We shall be able to furnish Salt Petre and Powder of our own Manufacture, and that very Soon. A Method of making it, will be published very soon by one of our Committees.2
Before this reaches you, Gen. Washington, Lee, &c will arrive among you. I wish to god, you had been appointed a General Officer, in the Room of some others. Adams and Adams Strove to get it done. But, Notions, narrow Notions prevented it—not dislike to you, but fear of disobliging Pomroy, and his Friends.
Your Government was the best We could obtain for you.3 We have passed some Resolutions concerning North Carolina, which will do a great deal of good. We have allowed them to raise 1000 Men, and to take Care of Trayters, if necessary.4 This must be kept secret.
We are sending you, Ten Companies of Rifle Men. These, if the gentlemen of the Southern Colonies are not very partial and much mistaken, are very fine fellows.5 They are the most accurate Marksmen in the World: they kill with great Exactness at 200 yards Distance: they have Sworn certain Death to the ministerial officers. May they perform their oath.
You will soon find that the Continental Congress are in, deep enough. The Commissions to the officers of the Army; the Vote for your Government; the Votes about North Carolina; and a Multitude of other Votes which you will soon hear of will convince you.
I have inclosed you an Hint about salt Petre.6 Germans and others here have an opinion that every stable, Dove house, Cellar, Vault &c is a Mine of salt Petre. The inclosed Proclamation, coincides with this opinion. The Mould under stables &c may be boiled soon into salt Petre, it is said. Numbers are about it here.
{ 51 }
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr President of the Provincial Congress at Watertown These”; docketed: “Mr. J.A. Lettr June 1775.”
1. Although Palmer, Warren, Gerry, and Winthrop all wrote soon after the event describing the Battle of Bunker Hill (see their letters, 19–21 June, above), it was the dispatch from Trumbull arriving on 24 June that brought the first news and spurred JA and the rest of the delegation to action. The dispatch contained a letter from Trumbull to the congress that briefly mentioned the battle, and that was read to the members on 26 June, but more important, it also included a detailed account written by Elijah Hide of Lebanon, Conn., who had been a spectator on Winter Hill during the battle (PCC, No. 66; JCC, 2:107; Pennsylvania Gazette, 28 June). JA's account in his Autobiography dates the arrival of Trumbull's dispatch as 23 June, the day that Washington left for Cambridge—an indication that JA did not consult the records of the congress or a letter he wrote to AA on 23 June (Diary and Autobiography, 3:324; Adams Family Correspondence, 1:226–227).
2. Probably the pamphlet entitled Several Methods of Making Salt-Petre; Recommended to the Inhabitants of the United Colonies by Their Representatives in Congress, Phila. and Boston, 1775 (Evans, Nos. 14584, 14585).
3. On 9 June, the congress had resolved that Massachusetts owed no obedience to a Parliamentary act that illegally changed the charter of the province, and that the Provincial Congress should call for elections to a House of Representatives, which would choose a Council. Until a royal governor was willing to abide by the charter, the offices of governor and lieutenant governor should be considered vacant, the powers of governor being exercised meanwhile by the Council (JCC, 2:83–84). JA was not entirely happy with this solution. Years later he explained that “Although this Advice was in a great degree conformable, to the New York and Pensilvania System, or in other Words to the System of Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Duane, I thought it an Acquisition, for it was a Precedent of Advice to the separate States to institute Governments, and I doubted not We should soon have more Occasions to follow this Example” (Diary and Autobiography, 3:353–354). Still, at the time, JA remained somewhat uneasy about the advice that had been given Massachusetts. In letters to the Warrens, he pointedly asked how the government was going on (JA to James Warren, 20 June; to Joseph Warren, 21 June, above).
4. On 26 June the congress resolved that North Carolina should be allowed to raise a body of 1,000 men that would be considered part of the Continental Army with their pay provided by the congress (JCC, 2:107).
5. But see James Warren to JA, 11 Sept. (below). On 14 June the congress voted to raise six companies from Pennsylvania and two each from Maryland and Virginia, and on 22 June two additional ones from Pennsylvania (JCC, 2:89, 104).
6. The enclosure has not been found, but see the recipe in JA's hand and the explanatory note written on Joseph Palmer to JA, 19 June (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0032

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-06-27

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

I feel great reluctance in suffering any Opportunity to pass without writeing to you. I can easily suppose your Anxiety as well as Curiosity make you sollicitous to hear every thing that passes here.
{ 52 }
Since my last nothing material has taken place. The military Operations have Consisted in a few movements and a few Shot Exchanged with very little Effect, sometimes on the side of Roxbury, and sometimes on the side of Charlestown. Our Army have taken every precaution in their power for their defence, and future operations. They are heaving up lines from Charles to Mystick River, and have them in great forwardness. They are Carried across Temples Farm, and his beautiful Groves of Locusts have fallen a sacrifice to the necessity of the Times. At Roxbury they have fortified themselves in a manner almost as Impregnable as Gage has done in Boston. We want but one Article to Enable us to Act offensively, and make a vigorous Campaigne.1 Men in fine Spirits well provided with every thing but the one I mention. The Generals Appointed give us great satisfaction, especially the first and the third,2 whose Characters have for a great while been such as to fix our Esteem and Confidence. Your attention must be fixed on the Article of powder, or I will say no more. I cant but Hope you will make some suitable provision for our General Thomas.3 His Merits in the military way have surprised us all. I cant describe to you the Odds between the two Camps. While one has been Spiritless, sluggish, Confused, and dirty, I mean where Genl. Putnam, and our Friend Warrens Influence have not had their Effects. The other has been Spirited, Active regular, and clean. He has Appeared with the dignity and Abilities of a General. We have no Intercourse with Boston. Get no Intelligence from there but by those who steal out. From them we have certain Accounts of the Amazeing Slaughter made in the last Action. Thier men die of the slightest wounds, oweing to the manner of Living they are reduced to, so there will in the End be but little Odds between being killed or wounded, and we may reckon perhaps 14 or 1500 killed. I am told Genl. Howe says the Army shall not return to Boston but by the way of Roxbury, a very pretty march. It is with Confidence said that Burgoine has not been seen since the Action, and it is given out that he is gone Home. We are not without our Hopes that we shall have little trouble from his Enterprising Genius. With regard to us We are as Busy as you ever Saw Pismires on a mole hill. Our Attention is principally fixed on the Army, to Equip, regulate, quiet, and Inspirit them, and enough it is at times for us. Genls. Washington and Lee I dare say will relieve us. The Inclosed Letter I presume will tell you Mrs. Adams is well.4 You will remember I had not a line from you by the two last Conveyances. My compliments to all that know me; perticularly to my good Friend Adams who must Excuse my not writeing. Tis not for { 53 } want of Esteem or Affection. He can hardly Conceive of my hurry. I wish you every happiness, and am yr. Sincere Friend &c
[signed] James Warren
I have not been able to Obtain the pamphlet you mentioned and Indeed after seeing it advertised in a York Paper have been less solicitous, supposing you would have it from there.5
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by JA: “Warren June 27 1775.”
1. Compare James Warren to JA, 20 June, note 5 (above).
2. Gens. Washington and Lee, not Artemas Ward, the second in command, whose incompetent leadership is mentioned by Warren below.
3. Gen. John Thomas was appointed the sixth brigadier on 22 June, an appointment that caused problems in Massachusetts because Thomas was senior to William Heath in the provincial service, but Heath was made fourth brigadier in the Continental Army (JCC, 2:103; Adams Family Correspondence, 1:237–238, note 1).
4. Presumably AA's letter of 25 June (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:230–233).
5. Warren may be referring to JA's request of 21 May for a complete copy of The Group, since the one published in Philadelphia was incomplete. If so, Warren is referring to the edition of the play published in New York by John Anderson, which would not have met JA's needs since it was also incomplete, omitting the second and third scenes of Act II (Evans, No. 14612).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0033

Author: Gill, Moses
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-01

From Moses Gill

[salute] Dear Sir

I am Now Acompanyg Genl. Washington and Lee from Springfield to the Camp—having been appointed by Congress with Doctr. Church to proceed to Springfield and Acompany them to the Camp aforesaid. We Meet them at Spring, lodged last Night at Brookfield and are now under the Escort of the Troop of Horse which is to Continue till we arive at Worcester—where we are to be received by an Other Troop which is to Escort us to Morelborogh [Marlborough]—where we are to be received by an other Troop of Horse which is to Land the General at the Camp—but Now [no] Powder used. I received your Kind Letters but have had no opportunity to answer them till now. Being from Home I must Omitt it till Next Opertunity—as I have Neither pen Ink nor paper here. I heartily Simperthize with you and our good friend at Phila. in the Loss of Dear Doctr. Warren. However God is wise and Holy in all hes don by us or ours. My best respects to Mr. Hancock, Cushing Adams and Paine—and except the same from your Sincere friend and Huml. Svt.
[signed] Moses Gill
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To the Hone. John Aams at Philadel[phia]”; docketed by JA in a late hand: “Moses Gill 1 July 1775.” The bot• { 54 } tom edge of the sheet has been trimmed, cutting off part of the address but none of the text.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0034

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Palmer, Joseph
Date: 1775-07-05

To Joseph Palmer

The bearers of this letter, Mr. Stephen Collins and Mr. John Kaign, are of the peaceable society called Quakers or Friends, yet they are possessed of liberal sentiments, and are very far from being enemies to American principles or practices.2 They are warm, zealous friends of America, and hearty well wishers to her councils and arms, and have contributed much to promote both in this province.
We have an infernal scoundrel here, a certain Col. S——, who comes over full of plans and machinations of mischief. He has had the most unreserved and unlimited confidence of Lord Dartmouth, during the whole of the past winter, and it seems for some time before; and together with a contemptible puppy of a parson, V——, has been contriving to debauch, seduce, and corrupt New-York. The ministry have given him a commission in the woods as surveyor, and another to be governor of Ticonderoga and Crown Point. He is permitted to roam about, upon his parole of honour not to transgress certain limits, but is doing mischief.3
The colonies are not yet ripe to assume the whole government, legislative and executive. They dread the introduction of anarchy, as they call it.
In this province, indeed in this city, there are three persons, a Mr. W——, who is very rich and very timid;4 the provost of the college, who is supposed to be distracted between a strong passion for lawn sleeves and a stronger passion for popularity, which is very necessary to support the reputation of his Episcopal college;5 and an I—— P——, who is at the head of the Quaker interest: these three make an interest here which is lukewarm; but are all obliged to lie low for the present.6
I am greatly obliged to you for your letters, which contain the most exact accounts we have been able yet to obtain. We are to the last degree anxious to learn even the most minute particulars of every engagement.
I want an exact list of all the officers in our army, if it can possibly be obtained.
I wish I could know exactly what powder you have. We are trying our possibles to get it; but one would not have conceived it possible that the colonies should have been so supine as they have been.
{ 55 }
A large building is setting up here to make saltpetre, and we are about trying what can be done in the tobacco works in Virginia.
This day has been spent in debating a manifesto setting forth the causes of our taking arms. There is some spunk in it. It is ordered to be printed, but will not be done soon enough to be enclosed in this letter.7
MS not found. Reprinted from (the New York Review and Atheneum Magazine, 2:220–221 (Feb. 1826).)
1. See note 7 (below).
2. This is one of several letters that were to serve in part as introductions for Stephen Collins and John Kaighn of Philadelphia. In a letter to AA of 4 July, JA gives a brief sketch of each, and AA in a letter to JA of 16 July mentions meeting Collins and Kaighn and gives her impressions of them (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:238, 245–251).
3. For Col. Philip Skene see JA to Joseph Warren, 21 June, note 2 (above). Rev. John Vardill (1749–1811) was a graduate of King's College, which in 1773 appointed him a fellow and professor of natural law. A staunch tory, his writings satirizing the whigs made him the object of a parody in John Trumbull's McFingal. In London in 1774 Vardill was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church. He remained in England in an effort to have King's College made a university, an effort that proceeded successfully until the war intervened. Vardill, who never returned to America, served as a spy in the British service from 1775 to 1781. His most important accomplishment was the theft, in 1777, of a packet of dispatches from Silas Deane to the congress containing all of the confidential correspondence between the American Commissioners and the French Government between March and Oct. 1777 (DAB; Lewis Einstein, Divided Loyalties, Boston, 1933, p. 51–71).
JA's reference to a ministerial plot to subvert the government of New York through Skene and Vardill was probably based on documents examined by JA's committee appointed to deal with Skene. Only two such documents appear in the records of the congress, and Skene reputedly destroyed private papers relating to his mission; yet Eliphalet Dyer of Connecticut, citing private letters from London, also wrote about Skene's purpose of undermining New York's government (PCC, No. 51, I; Doris Begor Morton, Philip Skene of Skenesborough, Granville, N.Y., 1959, p. 39; Dyer to Joseph Trumbull, 8 June, in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:115). An unsigned letter dated “London, March 4, 1775.” that may have been carried by Josiah Quincy Jr. on his last voyage, states that “a Major Skene, and a Parson Vardell, a native of New York, are to be sent over thither with propositions of advantages for the college, the city, and the Province, and with a list of profitable places for individuals, sufficient, as they conceive,—with the favorable disposition which they are persuaded pervails there,—to draw off that city from the common cause, and attach them to government. They are determined to spare no promises and temporary douceurs to effect their purpose” (MHS, Procs., 4 [1858–1860]: 229).
Although Dyer does not mention him, Vardill's involvement in such a scheme would seem plausible, his personal participation being prevented only by the war's outbreak. Indeed, in a memorial dated 16 Nov. 1783 to the Parliamentary commission formed to compensate loyalists, Vardill noted that his service to the crown had begun very early and had included an effort “to secure to Government the Interest of two Members of the Congress by the promise of the Office of Judges in America,” which failed only because of the Battle of Lexington. In addition, he stated that the new charter for King's College and his appointment as Regius Professor of Divinity were intended as payment for such services “and to give the Loyalists at New York a Proof of the Attention and Re• { 56 } wards which would follow their Zeal and Loyalty . . . and he was ordered to acquaint the President and College with this instance of Royal Patronage” (Einstein, Divided Loyalties, p. 409, 412).
4. Thomas Willing (1731–1821), a prosperous Philadelphia banker who championed colonial rights while resisting the “radical elements.” A member of the Second Continental Congress, he voted against independence (DAB). On 23 JulyJA wrote to AA that “this Province [Pennsylvania] has suffered by the Timidity of two over grown Fortunes,” a reference to the wealth of Willing and John Dickinson Adams Family Correspondence, 1:252–253).
5. Rev. William Smith (1727–1803), the first provost of the College, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia. In June 1775 he preached the widely published Sermon on the Present Situation of American Affairs (T. R. Adams, American Independence, No. 196). He was against independence, and because of his resulting unpopularity, he spent most of the war on Barbados but returned after the peace to resume his activities with the college, probably his chief interest. His desire for “lawn sleeves,” that is, a bishop's place, was never fulfilled (DAB).
6. Israel Pemberton (1715–1779), widely known as the “king of the Quakers,” although actively involved in politics, opposed any violent means for securing American rights. At the First Continental Congress he was a spokesman for Friends who met with the Massachusetts delegation and called for that colony to grant religious liberty. Refusing to support the Revolution or the constitution of Pennsylvania, he was arrested in 1777 (DAB; Isaac Sharpless, Political Leaders of Provincial Pennsylvania, N.Y., 1919, p. 212–213).
7. The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity for Taking Up Arms was adopted by the congress on 6 July (JCC, 2:127–157).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0035

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-05

From Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] Dear sir

I have had the pleasure of seeing several of your Letters in which you Complain that your friends are Rather remiss With Regard to writing you which I think inexcusable at a time when the Liberties of all America and the fate of the British Empire Depend, in a Great Measure on the Result of your Deliberating for if that Respectable Body of which you are a Member, fails, (Either from want of Early inteligence or from any other Cause at this important Crisis) to pursue the wisest Measures what but innevitable Distruction to this Country must follow.
Could I have hoped it was in my power to Give you Either pleasure or Inteligence I should Long Ere this have taken up my pen and added one more to the Triumverate of your friends for be assured there are very few who Can with more sincerity subscribe their names to the List. But as I write in Compliance with Mr. Warrens Request, I must tell you his Application to public affairs Leave him Little time to Attend to the Demands of private friendship. And Could you Look into a Certain Assembly you would not wonder his time is wholly Engrossed or that we ardently wish you may soon be here to assist in the public Counsels of your own Distressed province.
{ 57 }
I shall not Attempt to Give you a Description of the ten fold Difficulties that surround us. You have doubtless had it from better Hands. Yet I cannot forbear to drop a tear over the inhabitants of our Capital most of them sent Naked from the City to seek Retreat in the Villages, and to Cast themselves on the Charity of the first Hospitable Hand that will Recive them. Those who are Left behind are Exposed to the daily insults of a Foe Lost to that sense of Honour, Freedom and Valour once the Characteristic of Briton, And Even of the Generosity and Humanity which has Long been the Boast of all Civilised Nations. And while the plauges of Famine, pestilence and tyrany Reign within the walls the sword is Lifted without and the Artilery of war Continually thundering in our Ears.
The sea coasts are kept in Constant Apprehensions of being made Miserable by the Depredations of the once formidable Navy of Briton Now Degraded to A level with the Corsairs of Barbary.
At the same time they are piratticaly plundering the lies, and pilfering the Barders to feed the swarms of Veteran slaves shut up in the town. They will not suffer a poor fisherman to Cast his hook in the ocean to bring a Little Relief to the Hungry inhabitants without the pittiful Bribe of a Dollar Each to the use of Admiral Grieves [Graves].
The Venal System of the Administration appears to the Astonishment of Every Good man in the Corruption, Duplicity And meaness which Runs through Every Department, and while the faithless Gage will be Marked with Infamy for Breach of promiss (by the Impartial Historian) will not the unhappy Bostonians be Reproached with want of spirit in puting it out of their own power to Resent Repeated injuries by giving these arms into the Hand which would have been better placed in the Heart of A Tyrant. And now they are forbidden Even to Look out from thier own house tops when He sends out his Ruffians to Butcher their Brethern, And wrap in flames the Neighboring towns, but I think this Advertisement was as Great a mark of timidity as the transaction was of a savage Ferosity. The Laws of Gratitude surely Demanded that they should spare that town at Least whose inhabitants from a principle of Humanity saved the Routed troops of George the third from total Distruction after the Battle of Lexington.
But Nothing that has yet taken place is more Regreted than the Death of your Friend the Brave, the Humane, the Good Dr. Warren. And though he Fell Covered with Laurels and the Wing of Fame is spread over his Monument we are Almost Led to Enquire why the { 58 } useful the Virtuous patriot is Cut off Ere He Reaches the Meridian of his days while the Grey Headed Delinquent totters under the Weight of Accumulated Guilt And Counting up his scores is still Adding Crime to Crime till all Mankind Detest the Hoary Wretch,1 yet suffer him to Live to trifle with the Rights of Society, and to sport with the Miseries of Man.
The people hear are universally pleased with the Appointment of the Generals Washington and Lee. I hope the Delegates of the united Colonies will continue to act with Dignity to themselves and in a Manner which will promote the Glory Virtue and Happiness of America. Let not the indiferent Nor the sanguinary Conduct of any individual damp the ardor of such as are Ready to fly to our assistence and Generously to sacrifice the Enjoyments of Domestic Life in support of freedom, and the Inherent Rights of their Fellow Men.
Your friend Dr. Cooper has just informed me that Dr. Eliot is Confined on Board a man of War and several of the inhabitants of Boston imprisoned.2 The Crime of the first was the praying for Congresses Continental and provincial, and that of others was wishing success to American arms. Sad Reflections on the times into which we are fallen Crowd fast upon my Mind, but I will not Longer Call of[f] your Attention from most Important Matters by Expressing them.
I have been happy Enough to spend a Considerable part of the present Week with your amiable partner who assured me a Line from me would be agreable And to whom I will show this before I Close it, and if she thinks I have interrupted you too Long I will yet suppress it and only send all my Good Wishes by Every other Hand to whom you will Condescend [to] write. Though no one would be better pleased by such a Mark of your Esteem than your unfeigned Friend,
[signed] M. Warren
P.S. The Reason of my spending a week at Watertown and Braintree is Mr. Warrens being Detaned from home a Great Number of Weeks. I hope the time is not far Distant when both you and he may Retire with Honour to the Calm Enjoyments of private Life.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “to the Honble John Adams Esqr Philadelphia.”
1. Gen. Thomas Gage.
2. The report that Mrs. Warren had that Rev. Andrew Eliot of the New North Church was confined because of his opposition to the British was erroneous (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 10:128–159).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0036

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tudor, William
Date: 1775-07-06

To William Tudor

[salute] Dear Sir

I have at last the Pleasure of acknowledging your Favour of the 26. June. I have mourned, week after Week, the loss of all my old Correspondents, in a Course of Time when they were of more Consequence to me and to my Errand, than ever. What is become of Tudor? Where is Tudor? Is he gone to England? Is he sick? Is he afraid to write? Is he gone into the Army, and become so intent on War, with his Enemies as to forget his Friends? These were Questions very often in our Mouths.
But the Past shall be forgiven upon Condition, that you keep an exact Journal of occurencies from day to day for the future and transmit it to me by every opportunity.
We have Spent this whole Day in debating Paragraph by Paragraph, a Manifesto as some call it, or a Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of our taking up Arms.1 It will be printed Tomorrow, and shall be transmitted as Soon as possible. It has Some Mercury in it, and is pretty frank, plain, and clear. If Lord North dont compliment every Mothers Son of us, with a Bill of Attainder, in Exchange for it, I shall think it owing to Fear.
Surely, upon the Same Principle that he has ordered or suffered Gage, to proclaim Adams and Hancock unpardonable, he must order all of Us to be declared so—for all have now gone further than they ever did.
The military Spirit in this City, would agreably Surprize you. It breaks out into a great Variety of Forms—Rifle Men, Indians, Light Infantry, light Horse, Highlanders, with their Plaid and Bag Pipes, and German Hussars.
This Morning a Person came to the Door of the State House where the Congress Sitts, in all his Pontificalibus:2 I went out to see him. His Errand was to shew us the Dress, and Armour of a German Hussar —a Stout Man, with an high large Cap on his Head, with a Streamer flowing from it down to his Waistband: a deaths Head painted on the Front of it, a large Hussar Cloak, ornamented with golden Cord, Lace, and Fringe, a Scarlet Waistcoat underneath, with gold Button holes and yellow Mettal Buttons, double breasted—a light Musquet, Slung over his shoulder, and a Turkish Sabre or Scymetar by his side, longer, better fortified and more conveniently shaped than an Highland broad sword—His Horse, well bridled, Saddled—Pistols in good Holsters—an active Fellow, Slinging his Firelock and sabre about and { 60 } mounting with great agility—taken all together the most formidable military Figure, I ever Saw.
It Seems he has a great Inclination to See, Burgoines, light Horse. He tells us, he can inlist immediately 50 or 60, German Veterans who have long Served in Germany, and are as desirous of going in the Character of Hussars, or Troopers, as he is.3
This would Set before our New England People, a fine Example for their Imitation: But what is of more Moment, it would engage the Affections of the Germans, of whom there are many in N. York, Pensylvania, Maryland and other Colonies, more intensely in the Cause of America. What will be done, I know not.
Let me intreat you, as you love your Country, and your Friend write me by every opportunity. My Compliments to your Father and Mother and all Friends.
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Tudor Papers); addressed: “To Mr. William Tudor Cambridge”; docketed: “July 6th 1775.”
1. See JA to Joseph Palmer, 5 [July], note 7 (above).
2. Official or ceremonial attire (OED).
3. On 11 July the delegates from Pennsylvania were given permission to “treat with and employ 50 Hussars” and send them to join Washington's army (JCC, 2:173). On 1 Aug., however, the congress reconsidered and decided that the Pennsylvania delegation should not act upon the resolve and should discharge Hussars that had been “engaged or enlisted” (same, p. 238).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0037

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-06

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

Every Line I receive from you, gives me great Pleasure, and is of vast Use to me in the public Cause. Your Letters were very usefull to me last Fall. Your Character became then known, and much esteemed. The few Letters I have received from you this Time, have increased the Desire of more, and some other Gentlemen who happened to know you, particularly Governor Hopkins and Ward of Rhode Island have confirmed, every Good opinion which had been formed. I must intreat you to omit no Opportunity of Writing and to be as particular as possible.
Want of frequent Communication and particular Intelligence led us into the unfortunate Arrangement of General Officers, which is likely to do so much Hurt. We never received the most distant Intimation of any Design to new model your Army; and indeed Some of Us, were obliged to give up our own Judgments merely from Respect to What We took to be the Arrangement of our provincial Congress. I { 61 } have made it my Business ever Since I heard of this Error, to wait upon Gentlemen of the Congress at their Lodgings, and else where to let them into the secret and contrive a Way to get out of the Difficulty, which I hope We shall effect.1
I rejoice to hear of the great military Virtues and Abilities of General Thomas.
Alass poor Warren! Dulce et decorum est pro Patria mori. Yet I regret his Appointment to such a Command. For God Sake my Friend let us be upon our Guard, against too much Admiration of our greatest Friends. President of the Congress Chairman of the Committee of safety, Major General and Chief surgeon of the Army, was too much for Mortal, and This Accumulation of Admiration upon one Gentleman, which among the Hebrews was called Idolatry, has deprived us forever of the Services of one of our best and ablest Men. We have not a sufficient Number of such Men left to be prodigal of their Lives in future.
Every Brain is at Work to get Powder and salt Petre. I hope We shall succeed: but We must be very CEconomical of that Article. We must not use large Cannon, if We can possibly avoid it.
This Letter will go by two fighting Quakers. Mr. Stephen Collins and Mr. John Kaighn. The first is the most hospitable benevolent [man]2 alive. He is a Native of Lynn—a Brother of Ezra Collins of Boston,—is rich, and usefull here. The last has been the Instrument of raising a Quaker Company in this City, who behave well, and look beautifully in their Uniforms. My Love, Duty, Respects &c where due, Adieu,
[signed] John Adams
Secret and confidential, as the Saying is,3
The Congress, is not yet So much alarmed as it ought to be. There are Still hopes, that Ministry and Parliament, will immediately receed, as Soon as they hear of the Battle of Lexington, the Spirit of New York and Phyladelphia, the Permanency of the Union of the Colonies &c. I think they are much deceived and that We shall have nothing but Deceit and Hostility, Fire, Famine, Pestilence and Sword, from Administration and Parliament. Yet the Colonies like all Bodies of Men must and will have their Way and their Honour, and even their Whims.
These Opinions of Some Colonies which are founded I think in their Wishes and Passions, their Hopes and Fears, rather than in Reason and Evidence will give a whimsical Cast to the Proceedings of this Congress. You will see a Strange Oscilation between Love and { 62 } Hatred, between War and Peace. Preparations for War, and Negociations for Peace. We must have a Petition to the King, and a delicate Proposal of Negociation &c. This Negociation I dread like Death. But it must be proposed. We cant avoid it. Discord and total Disunion would be the certain Effect of a resolute Refusal to petition and negotiate. My Hopes are that Ministry will be afraid of Negociation as well as We, and therefore refuse it. If they agree to it, We shall have occasion for all our Wit, Vigilence and Virtue to avoid being deceived, wheedled, threatned or bribed out of our Freedom.
If We Strenuously insist upon our Liberties, as I hope and are pretty sure We shall, however, a Negotiation, if agreed to, will terminate in Nothing. It will effect nothing. We may possibly gain Time and Powder and Arms.
You will see an Address to the People of G. Britain another to those of Ireland, and another to Jamaica.4
You will also see a Spirited Manifesto.5 We ought immediately to dissolve all Ministerial Tyrannies, and Custom houses, set up Governments of our own, like that of Connecticutt in all the Colonies, confederate together like an indissoluble Band, for mutual defence and open our Ports to all Nations immediately. This is the system that your Friend has aimed at promoting from first to last; But the Colonies are not yet ripe for it.6 A Bill of Attainder, &c may soon ripen them.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr 6th President of the provincial Congress Watertown favoured by Messrs Stephen Collins and John Kaighn”; marked: “on the public Service”; subscribed: “John Adams”; docketed: “Mr. J A. Letter June 1775.”
1. The issue was, at first, the competency of Artemas Ward as compared with John Thomas, but it soon resolved itself into what position Thomas should have among the brigadier generals appointed on 22 June. At that time the aged Seth Pomeroy had been placed first and Thomas, whom many in Massachusetts believed to be their most able general, sixth, below William Heath, his subordinate in the Massachusetts army (James Warren to JA, 20, 27 June; Gerry to Massachusetts Delegates, 20 June; JA to Joseph Warren, 21 June, all above). By 6 July, JA was aware that a mistake had been made and began efforts to rectify it. He was aided by the action of Washington, who, on reaching Cambridge and being informed of the dissatisfaction, held back the commissions until the congress could act (Freeman, Washington, 3:488–489). On 19 July, on Washington's recommendation, JA moved to put Thomas first among the brigadiers in the place of Pomeroy, who had not taken up his commission (JCC, 2:191; Adams Family Correspondence, 1:237–238). The action by the congress brought the controversy to a successful conclusion as far as Massachusetts was concerned, but problems remained in the ranking of brigadiers. See JA to James Warren, 23 July (below).
2. MS torn here.
3. This communication is written on p. 3 of a large folded sheet, of which the signed letter takes up p. 1 and about half of p. 2. The secret information is written in a small hand and crowded lines with such wide margins that it { 63 } takes up only a middle strip of the page.
4. These addresses are in JCC, 2:163–171, 212–218, 204–206.
5. The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity for Taking Up Arms.
6. Perhaps this is the earliest avowal of JA's desire for something approaching independence, which he had indignantly rejected in his Novanglus letters (JA, Papers, 2:263, 336). In those, he had argued for separate states under a common king. Aside from this position, his “radicalism” had meant insisting upon united and firm action in dealing with Great Britain. Rather than petitions and addresses, he had preferred increased defenses and negotiations only from a position of strength. Now, in advocating the establishment of “Governments of our own, like that of Connecticutt,” a nearly self-governing colony, he would seem to be rejecting the Massachusetts charter and thus with it the prerogatives of the king. Connecticut, of course, was under the king and on occasion had been forced to bow to the royal will, but with its elected governor it would have seemed to someone from Massachusetts virtually free of the royal presence. It is impossible to say whether JA meant the change he was advocating to be permanent. In a letter to Warren of 24 July (below), he writes of “Peace and Reconcilliation” and negotiation.
In revealing to Warren the actions of the congress and his own opinion of them, JA was violating for the first time the rule of secrecy imposed by the congress on 11 May (JCC, 2:22). Certainly the violation stemmed from JA's frustration, but it may have had a more immediate cause—his confrontation with John Dickinson, described in JA's Autobiography (Diary and Autobiography, 3:317–318). This event occurred during the debate on the second petition to the king, which ended on 5 July (JCC, 2:127). This first disregard for secrecy rules began a series of letters equally revealing of the divisions within the congress, which culminated on 24 July with the famous reference to John Dickinson as a “piddling Genius” (JA to James Warren, 11, 23, 24 July, below; to AA, 7, 23, 24 July, Adams Family Correspondence, 1:241–243, 252–254, 255–258).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0038

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-06

To James Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

I have this Moment Sealed a Letter to you which is to go by my hospitable, honest, benevolent Friend Stephen Collins. But, I have several Particulars to mention to you, which are omitted in that Letter. Ten Companies of expert Riflemen have been ordered already, from the 3 Colonies of P. M. and V.—some of them have marched, under excellent Officers.1 We are told by Gentlemen here that these Riflemen are Men of Property and Family, some of them of independent Fortunes, who go from the purest Motives of Patriotism and Benevolence into this service. I hope they will have Justice done them and Respect shewn them by our People of every Rank and order. I hope also that our People will learn from them the Use of that excellent Weapon a Rifled barrell'd Gun.
A few Minutes past, a curious Phenomenon appeared at the Door of our Congress. A german Hussar, a veteran in the Wars in Germany, in his Uniform, and on Horse back. A forlorn Cap upon his Head, with a Streamer waiving from it half down to his Waistband, with a { 64 } Deaths Head painted in Front a beautifull Hussar Cloak ornamented with Lace and Fringe and Cord of Gold, a scarlet Waist coat under it, with shining yellow metal Buttons—a Light Gun strung over his shoulder—and a Turkish Sabre, much Superiour to an high Land broad sword, very large and excellently fortifyed by his side—Holsters and Pistols upon his Horse. In short the most warlike and formidable Figure, I ever saw.
He says he has fifty Such Men ready to inlist under him immediately who have been all used to the service as Hussars in Germany, and desirous to ride to Boston immediately in order to see Burgoignes light Horse. This would have a fine Effect upon the Germans through the Continent, of whom there are Multitudes. What will be done is yet uncertain. I should not myself be fond of raising many Soldiers out of N. England. But the other Colonies are more fond of sending Men than I expected. They have their Reasons, Some plausible, Some whimsical. They have a Secret Fear, a Jealousy, that New England will soon be full of Veteran Soldiers, and at length conceive Designs unfavourable to the other Colonies. This may be justly thought whimsical. But others Say, that by engaging their own Gentlemen and Peasants, and Germans &c they shall rivit their People to the public Cause. This has more weight in it. But that it may have this Effect it is necessary that all who shall be sent, be respectfully treated.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); not addressed but probably sent along with JA's other letter to Warren of this date, above; docketed: “Mr. J A Lettr June 1775.”
1. See JA to James Warren, 27 June, note 5 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0039

Author: Tudor, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-06

From William Tudor

[salute] Dr Sir

I received your very kind Letter last Evening and this Morning had the Honour of being introduc'd to Genl. Washington by Majr. Mifflin, and through Your Reccommendation was very genteely notic'd.1 I had an Invitation from the General to dine with him tomorrow, when I shall attempt making a proper Use of your Hints. I have been intirely idle ever since the Communication with the Town of Boston was interrupted. At a Time when every Nerve of every Citizen should be stretch'd in the Service of our bleeding Country it was with Pain I found I could not be useful. The Manner in which Commissions { 65 } in the Army were granted, precluded me from obtaining one, and the Numbers who sought Employment in the other Departments necessitated me to wait for some more favourable Opportunity. Indeed the very little Method or Arrangement that appear'd in the Conduct of Matters, made me decline solliciting any Office.
The General has not yet settled his Family. Having only one aid de camp, and Secretary. Mr. Reed was appointed Secretary before the General reach'd Cambridge.2 I have some Expectation of being in that Office with him. Which will make me one of the General's Family. And I shall be in the Way at least of being known. You will please Sir to make my most respectful Acknowlegements to each Gentleman who did me the Honour of mentioning me to the General.
It has given vast Satisfaction to find the Continent have undertaken the Conduct of the War. The Plans of our Provincial Congress were narrow, and very inadequate to the Great Design. We are not to cope with Great Britain without the most powerful Exertions. Our frugal Representatives have been always so careful of the Public Money, that they are confounded at the Prospect before them. It is computed the Expence of the Army is £120,000 sterling monthly.
I have heard it quoted as a shrewd Observation, that G. Britain had began this Quarrel fifty Years too late, and the Colonies fifty Years too soon, and that by the Mistake of each both would be ruin'd. The first Part of this Position I believe true, but the Colonies are not an Hour too soon. In 20 Years the Arts of Corruption would have debauch'd so many that I doubt whether a majority could have been found to have resisted the most iniquitous Measures. Massachusetts and York felt its Influence, and it would soon have found its Way through the Continent.
Our Army are in good Spirits, but still want Discipline. The Importance of implicit Obedience to the Orders of their Officers, is not yet sufficiently felt and acknowleged by the Ranks. A hardy, free Spirited Yeomanry, all their Lives unus'd to Controul cannot easily brook it. Your most oblig'd and very hum. Servt.
[signed] Wm. Tudor
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “John Adams Esq Philadelphia.”
1. See JA to Tudor, 20 June (above).
2. Joseph Reed was named secretary before Washington left Philadelphia, although Reed agreed only to a temporary appointment (Freeman, Washington, 3:460).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0040

Author: Austin, Jonathan Williams
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-07

From Jonathan Williams Austin

[salute] Dr Sir

I received yours of the 20th June,1 and am very much obliged to you, for your Kindness in mentioning my Name to General Washington. I have since waited on his Excellency and find him answer the high Character we conceived of him. General Lee has treated me with great politeness.
We are very much pleased with the continental Congress having adopted and organized the Army. There never was greater need of it. The Massachusetts Soldiers in particular are very deficient in almost every thing but Courage. The Officers and privates are so far on a Levell, that the former do not receive the Respect and Obedience which is due to their Station. Some Regiments however are much preferable to others. And since the Arrival of General Washington, things wear a quite different Aspect. He has in a manner inspired Officers and Soldiers with a taste for Discipline and they go into it readily, as they all venerate and love the General.
You have I suppose ere this heard of the action at Bunker's Hill. Posterity will with Difficulty believe that about 8 or 10,00 Provincials could make such Slaughter, of well disciplind, regular Troops. They fight like Men who are conflicting pro Aris et Focis,2 for all that is dear to them, and <much more willing> seem to die with the Enthusiasm of martyrs. I love my Countrymen, and when I go into Battle, I go with a Band of Brothers, who seem to be animated with one Soul. Our Men were orderd on the night of, the 16th of June, to fortify a Hill a little below Bunker's Hill. They compleatd this that night. As soon as this was percieved by the Enemy in the morning they began to fire very briskly from the Ships in the Harbour and from some very heavy Cannon on Cob's Hill. About one o'Clock the Regulars came off to the Number of 5000 commanded by General How. They were cover'd by the Fire from Cob's Hill, from the Ships in the Harbour, and a number of floating Batteries, who came all around Us. One Ship was so scituated as to rake Charlestown Neck and prevent if possible any assistance going to the Hill. This however was not effectual for our Men went thro as calmly as if all was quiet, till they were stopd by some Officers, whose Conduct was very unworthy their Station. Our Men on the Hill after having stood the Enemies very heavy fire, till all their Ammunition was expended—till the Regulars had even got, some of them into the Breastwork were obliged to retreat, but not untill they had made the Enemy pay very dear for their { 67 } | view Advantage. The truest Return of the Enemy's Loss is the following, which was sent out of Boston, and which we think here is pretty exact:3
92   commission'd Officers   }   killd  
102   Serjants  
100   Corporals  
753   Rank and file  
1047   Total killd      
445   Wounded      
1492   Total      
Our Loss is computed to about 140 killd, 30 taken, among whom is a L. Colonel, and better than 200 wounded.4 But what would cloud any Satisfaction we might otherwise take is the Loss of that Great and good Man Major General Warren. Regardless of himself his whole Soul seemd to be fill'd with the Greatness of the cause he was engaged in, and while his Friends were dropping away all around him, gave his orders with a surprising Calmness, till having seen the Enemy in the breast work he unwillingly left the front and then fell amid heaps of Slaughter'd Enemies. He is now gone, and closes an illustrious Life, with all the Glory those can acquire who bleed and die for the preservation of the Rights of their Country and Mankind. Col. Gardner is also dead.
We have now fortified Prospect Hill, so call'd in a very strong Manner. This is a large Hill between Cambridge and Charlestown. The Lines extend each Side of that Hill from Winter Hill to Cambridge River. The Enemy have fortified Bunker's Hill. They are very unwilling to make any further Trial of American Courage any further at present.
The Inhabitants of Boston remain there without any possibility of their coming out. We suppose there is now one Quarter part of them there. Mr. James Lovell has been in close Confinement in Goal with a Number of others. One thing I must not omit with Respect to Mr. Lovell. General Gage sent a permit to all the prisoners to have the Liberty of the Yard. All accepted but Mr. Lovell. He told them he despis'd the Favor. He was an American, was entituled to all the priveledges of a Freeman, but was deprived of them by Treachery and Injustice—and Confinement was the same thing in his Opinion.5
With Respect to the officers of our Army I have not had an Opportunity of informing myself particularly but will do it very soon. I should be much obligd to you if you would favor me with what passes { 68 } at the Southward Camp. Intelligence is not much to be depended on. You will mention my respectfull Compliments to those Gentlemen who went from this Colony. I am with Respect, Your sincere Friend and Humble Sevt.
[signed] Jon Williams Austin
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Honourable John Adams Esqr. one of the Members of the honbl. Continental Congress at Philadelphia”; docketed: “[Jon?] Williams Austin July 7th 1775 X”; docketed, probably in the hand of Rev. William Gordon: “Jonathan Williams Austin July 7. 1775.”
1. Not found.
2. For our altars and firesides or for God and country.
3. Compare with James Warren to JA, 20 June, note 6 (above).
4. Compare with Gerry to Massachusetts Delegates, 20 June, note 5 (above).
5. See the account of this incident in Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:37.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0041

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-07

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

I am much Obliged to you for your favours1 by the Sage, Brave, and Amiable General Washington, by Major Mifflin, and by the Express, which came to hand the Night before last. I am much pleased with General Washington. He fully Answers the Character you have given of him. Major Mifflin I have not yet found out, tho' I am told he was once in the Room while I was at the Generals. I shall take perticular Care to know him soon, perhaps this day, as I am to dine with the General. General Lee I have seen but a Minute. He appears to me a Genius in his way. He had the Marks about him of haveing been in the Trenches. I heartily rejoice at the Appointment of these two Generals, and I dare say it will give you pleasure to hear that every Body seems to be satisfied with it. I have not heard a single word Uttered against it. This is more than I Expected with regard to the second, since their Arrival everything goes well in the Army. They are quiet, Busy, and forming fast to Order. Our Business lessens upon our Hands, and we find A great relief from the Generals Arrival. I am told they are very Active &c. You will have a return of the Army from the General I suppose, who will be able to give it with more Accuracy than any Body. The General Estimation of our Army is about 16 or 17000, Ten of which are at Cambridge &c. the remainder at Roxbury. We cant with any Certainty determine the Numbers of the Enemy, we suppose from the Best Grounds we have that when the York Troops Arrive which are daily Expected they will amount to 9,000 at least, perhaps more Including the Black and White Negroes Engaged in their Service in Boston.2 The Battle of Charlestown { 69 } gave them A great Shock. It is now pretty Certain that near 1500, and cheifly of their best Troops, among which were about 90 Officers were killed and wounded, about 1000 of which were killed. This is Amazeing but I belive true. I will Endeavour to get and Enclose the return Exact as we have it. Your Appointment of the Other Generals I cant Say is so well Approved of. We cant Investigate the Principle you went on tho' I think I can Trace an Influence that Marks some of them. But I will say no more on that head. You have enough of it in A Letter I wrote in Conjunction with H. and G.3 The General was very Sorry and somewhat Embarrassed with the Neglect of Thomas. I am told Heath behaves very well, and is willing to give place to him.4 I am much Obliged to you and my Friend Adams for thinking of me. I am Content to move in A Small Sphere. I Expect no distinction but that of an honest Man who has Exerted every nerve. You and I must be Content without A Slice from the great pudding now on the Table. The Condition of the poor People of Boston is truely miserable. We are told that Jas. Lovel, Master Leach, and others are in Goal for some trifeling offences the last for drinking Success to the American Army. Their offenses may be Capital. It is reported that Doctr. Elliot and Mather are on Board A Man of War.5 From these Circumstances you may form an Idea of their Situation.
I am very Sorry for the trouble given you by your Companions and Eyes. I hope to hear the last are better, if not the first. I am much pleased with your doings in General, and the Prospects you hold up to me. Is it not our Duty to pray that the Infatuation of Britain may last one year more at least. The powder you sent us Arrived Yesterday and was viewed as it passed with a kind of pleasure I suppose you felt in sending it. The want of that Article is the only Obstacle I have in geting Through A project of mine for a Fleet. I made the motion early in the Sessions, and though opposed by Pickering &c. this is the only reason that prevailed.6 We Talk of rising Tomorrow. I hope we Shall. I long to ramble in the Fields a day or two and more especially since they have been watered with delightful Showers. I met Mrs. Warren at Braintree, and spent the last Sabbath with Mrs. Adams. Cant you suppose me very Happy in the Company of two such Ladies. The Inclosed Letter will Inform you the Family is well.7 I brought Mrs. Warren here, and Mrs. Adams and A Number of your Braintree Friends came and dined with us on Wednesday. I shall Wish to see you As soon As matters will Admit of it I am Just Informed An Express is going from the General, and therefore Conclude and am Your Friend &c.
[signed] Jas. Warren
{ 70 }
Pray give my regards to My Friend Adams. Apologize for me. I thank him for his Letter, and will write to him very soon.
I cant Send you A List of the officers of our Army. I hope you wont make Establishments for them in proportion to what you hint is done for the Generals. High Establishments will not be relished here, and I think Bad Policy in every view, and will Lead us fast into the Sins, follys and Sufferings of our old Impolitic and unnatural Mother. There is a printed account of the Battle got out of Boston giveing A pompous account of their Victory over the Rebels With a great Slaughter made Among them, and with A Loss only of 170 on their Side. This lyeing paper I Cannot obtain for you.8
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by JA in a late hand: “Warren July 7 1775.”
1. JA's letters of 20, 21, 27 June (above).
2. Dict. of Americanisms cites this passage from Warren's letter as an example of “white Negro” meaning “a Negro of an exceptionally light, often albinic complexion.” Yet given the context, there is no reason why Warren would mention light-complexioned Negroes. More likely, the term was one of opprobrium to condemn white laborers willing to serve the British in the besieged town of Boston.
3. “G” is probably Elbridge Gerry, and “H,” Joseph Hawley. The letter may be that from Gerry to the Massachusetts Delegates of 20 June (above).
4. See the first of two letters from JA to Warren, 6 July, note 1 (above).
5. James Lovell (1737–1814) and John Leach (1724–1799) were both imprisoned for sending to the patriot forces information on conditions in Boston and the disposition of British troops. In Lovell's case the arrest arose directly from his letters to Joseph Warren that were found on Warren's body after the Battle of Bunker Hill (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:36–39; “A Journal Kept by John Leach, during His Confinement by the British, in Boston Gaol, in 1775,” NEHGR, 19: 255–263 [July 1865]). Neither Rev. Andrew Eliot nor Rev. Samuel Mather, the only ministers left in Boston, was arrested by the British (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 7:232–233).
6. On 10 June, Warren had been appointed a member of a committee to “consider the expediency of establishing a number of armed vessels.” The proposal was allowed to die on 20 June (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 318, 358). On Pickering see Warren to JA, 11 July, note 3 (below).
8. Probably the untitled broadside on the Battle of Bunker Hill printed by John Haine in Boston on 26 June (MHi).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0042

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-10

To James Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

I have just Time to inclose You, a Declaration and an Address. How you will like them I know not.1
A Petition was Sent Yesterday, by Mr. Richard Penn in one ship and a Duplicate goes in another Ship, this day.2 In exchange for these Petitions, Declarations and Addresses, I Suppose We shall receive { 71 } Bills of Attainder and other such like Expressions of Esteem and Kindness.
This Forenoon has been Spent in an Examination of a Mr. Kirtland a worthy Missionary among the Oneida Indians.3 He was very usefull last Winter among all the Six Nations, by interpreting and explaining the Proceedings of the Continental Congress, and by representing the Union and Power of the Colonies, as well as the Nature of the Dispute.
The Congress inclines to wait for Dispatches from General Washington before they make any Alteration, in the Rank of the Generals, least they should make Some other Mistake. But every Body is well inclined to place General Thomas in the Stead of Pomroy.
You must not communicate, without great Discretion what I write about our Proceedings, for all that I hint to you is not yet public. I am &c.,
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “July 1775.”
1. The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity for Taking Up Arms and the Address to the Inhabitants of Great Britain. The first was passed on 6 July, the other on 8 July (JCC, 2:127–157, 162–171).
2. The Olive Branch Petition, or second petition to the King, was carried to England by Richard Penn (1735–1811), the grandson of William Penn and lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, 1771–1773. Although he did not support the American cause, he performed his mission, answering questions about conditions in America while the petition was being considered in the House of Lords (DAB). The King, however, refused to give any answer to the colonists' petition.
3. Rev. Samuel Kirkland (1741–1808), a missionary to the Oneida Indians, was instrumental in 1774 and 1775 in preventing the outbreak of a general Indian war that might have complicated the Revolution or even produced the need for British aid. In 1775 he persuaded the Oneidas to declare their neutrality and obtained a general declaration of neutrality from the Six Nations that was, however, not kept. Kirkland did manage to keep the Oneidas and Tuscaroras loyal to America, and during the war he directed Oneida scouts, who gained valuable information on the movement of British troops (DAB). On 18 July the congress resolved to pay Kirkland $300 for his expenses and recommended that he be employed among the Six Nations to secure their friendship and neutrality (JCC, 2:187).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0043

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-11

To James Warren

[salute] Hond & Dr Sir

I have the Pleasure of inclosing you, a Declaration. Some call it a Manifesto. And We might easily have occasioned a Debate of half a Day, whether, it Should be called a Declaration or a Manifesto.1
Our Address to the People of Great Britain, will find many Admirers among the Ladies, and fine Gentlemen: but it is not to my { 72 } Taste. Prettynesses Juvenilities, much less Puerilities, become not a great Assembly like this the Representative of a great People.
We have voted twenty two thousand Men for your Army. If this is not enough to encounter every officer and Soldier in the british Army, if they were to send them all from Great Britain and Ireland I am mistaken.
What will N. England do with such Floods of Paper Money? We shall get the Continent nobly in our Debt. We are Striking off our Paper Bills in Nine different sorts. Some of twenty Dollars, some of Eight, 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. We shall be obliged to strike off four Milliens of Dollars I fear.2
Secret as usual. Our Fast has been kept more Strictly and devoutly than any Sunday was ever observed in this City. The Congress heard Duche in the Morning and Dr Allisen in the Evening.3 Good sermons.
By the way do let our Friend Adams's son be provided for as a surgeon.4
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr. J A Lettr July 1775.”
1. See Julian Boyd's penetrating analysis of the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity for Taking Up Arms, in which he demonstrates that, contrary to the usual assumption, the Dickinson draft strengthened the language of Jefferson's draft and made the Declaration more “inflammatory” in some of its points (Jefferson, Papers, 1:187–192). JA thought that the Declaration might well be the basis for bills of attainder against members of the congress (JA to William Tudor, 6 July, above).
2. The congress had authorized two million paper dollars in June and an additional million was ordered struck off in July. By the end of 1775, six million were issued (E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse, Chapel Hill, 1961, p. 26).
3. For the resolution for a fast day, see JA's Service in the Congress, 10 May – 1 Aug. (above). On 15 July the congress voted to ask Rev. Jacob Duché to preach in the morning and Rev. Francis Allison to preach in the afternoon (JCC, 2:185). For an interesting analysis of the implications of the fast resolution, see Perry Miller, “From the Covenant to the Revival,” in The Shaping of American Religion, ed. James Ward Smith and A. Leland Jamison, Princeton, 1961, p. 322–330.
4. Samuel Adams Jr. (1751–1788) was made a surgeon in the army on or about 4 Aug. (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:334–336).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0044

Author: Dilly, Edward
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-11

From Edward Dilly

[salute] Dear Sir

Every line from you gives me much satisfaction, my Heart Sympathizes with you in your present distress. I cannot write so fully as I could Wish, may Heaven Bless, Protect, and Prosper you, I have sent you a few things per Capt. Falkner hope they will arrive safe and prove acceptable, adieu my Dear Sir. Yours affectionately
[signed] ED
{ 73 }
The small Parcel by the Paul, Capt. Gordon which you say is not come to Hand,1 was sent to the care of Mr. Henry Bromfield. Beg you will make enquiry about it.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “reed Septr. 12 the day I arrived at Philadelphia.”
1. See Dilly to JA, 13 Jan., with explanations there, and Alexander McDougall to ?, 14 April (JA, Papers, 2:211–212, 414–415).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0045

Author: Quincy, Josiah
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-11

From Josiah Quincy

[salute] Dear Sir

Your amiable Lady tells me, you have often complained of your Friends not writing to you. I should have wrote to you, but was unwilling to be troublesome; for I concluded, your Head, your Heart, and your Hands must be so full, so anxious, and incessantly laboring to save your Country, that a Letter, even from a Friend, would be rather a Burthen than a Pleasure; and this Sentiment (I doubt not) has caused others, besides myself, to refrain from writing to you.
Whilst we jointly mourn, the Loss of a Warren and a Quincy ,1 who have perished in the Storm of Tyranny and oppression, that almost overwhelms our american Ship of State; may that God, in whose Hands our Breath is and whose are all our Ways, graciously preserve the Lives of our remaining skilfull Pilots, and enable them to steer the shattered Bark into the Harbor of Peace Liberty and Safety! So well constructed a Ship, and so richly laden ought not to become the Prize of Robbers and Pirates. Before that should happen, were all the Crew of my Mind, we would maintain the Conflict to the last Man. However, if General Lee's Judgment may be relied upon, the Ship is in no great Danger of being finally lost; for he last year publickly gave it as his Opinion, that, if the americans gained the first Victory, it would prove decisive; Whereas, their Enemies might gain several, and be, at last, defeated. Hitherto, they have certainly failed of Success; for, altho they obliged our Troops to retreat, from the Hill in Charlestown, where they were imprudently directed to begin an Intrenchment; yet, their Valor was invincible, whilst their Ammunition lasted; and they killed and wounded so many of their Enemies, that a few more such Victories would certainly ruin them. In short my Friend, had we a sufficient Supply of Powder and battering Cannon, such is the Spirit and Intrepidity of our brave Countrymen, we should very soon, and with little or no Hazard, lock up the { 74 } Harbor and make both Seamen and Soldiers our prisoners at Discretion.
My Head has been teeming with Projects of this kind ever since you left us; and had one of them been timely seconded by the Committee of Safety, we should (I believe) happily have saved the further Effusion of human Blood. You know, my Situation gives me an Opportunity to see, and observe everything that passes up and down the Harbor.2 About a Week or 10 Days after the Battle at Lexington, I was informed that a large Transport was ordered to take on board from the Castle a 1000 or 1200 barrels of Powder, and 20 or 30 Pieces of brass Cannon 24 and 42 pounders; with which she fell down between the Castle and Spectacle Island and there anchored under the Protection of a 70 gun Ship.3 A few Days afterward the Man of war was ordered to Sail for New York, upon which I informed the Committee of Safety of the Situation and Circumstances of the Store Ship and her Cargo; that now was the time to secure a sufficient Supply of Powder and heavy Cannon, by seizing the Ship as soon as the Asia left her. They seemed to be sensible of the Importance of the Object; but such a complicated Body was too slow in its Motion to improve the lucky Minute and catch such an inestimable Prize: for about a Week after the Asia sailed, and the very Morning of the Day that the late worthy Dr. Warren, at the Head of a subcommittee came to take a View of the Transport, and determin upon the Mode of Surprizing Her, another 70 Gun Ship anchored just by her. The letting such a favorable opportunity slip unimproved, verifys a very just tho' trite Observation that the military Department ought always to be under one Direction; and I devoutly pray, for my dear Country's sake, we may have no further Proofs of it.
The Inconveniences, not to say Distresses, in Consequence of a total stop to our Navigation, will, I fear, soon become insupportable, unless an adiquate Remedy can be found. Permit me (with Freedom) to communicate my Thoughts to you upon the Subject.
I am unable to concieve, any Method so likely to secure our Navigation (Coastwise) as Row Gallies. They are calculated to go in shoal Water, and navigated with many Men, are armed with Swivels, and one large battering Cannon in the Bow of each. By this, they can keep off any Vessel of one Tier of Guns. One such Vessel (I apprehend) might securely convoy 10 or a Dozn. provision Vessels, from Harbor to Harbor, in the summer Season.
As the whole Continent is so firmly united, why might not a Number of Vessels of War be fitted out, and judiciously stationed, { 75 } { 76 } so, as to intercept and prevent any Supplies going to our Enemies; and consequently, unless they can make an Impression Inland, they must leave the Country or starve.
Floating Batteries is another Mode of anoying our Enemies which (I apprehend) might be successfully carried into Execution. I have in general a clear Idea of their Construction, and intend, if I can procure a Workman, to form a Model of one; but every Scheme of this Nature depends upon a full supply of Ammunition and heavy Cannon; which I hope the Wisdom of the Continent will soon be able to provide.
I had the Pleasure, last Wednesday of waiting on Mrs. Adams Mrs. Q—— &ca4 to Watertown where we were kindly invited, received and entertain'd by Mr. President Warren and Lady. In our Way thither we were met by Genl. Washington Genl. Lee and their two Aid D' Camps. I beg'd Leave to make my Self known to them; was very graciously received, and had the Honor of introducing them to your good Lady. Genl. Lee complaind, that he did not find Things as the Massachusetts Delagates had represented them; but, hoped all Difficulties would soon be surmounted.
Our Enemies, (since the Action at Charlestown) are quite silent, save, now and then, a Carcase,5 or a 24 pounder. Whether, they have received some disagreable News, or their repeated Losses have discouraged them; or they are preparing to give us a direful Blast, is, at present, problematical; however, this is certain, they are diabolically oppressive, and cruel to those they have in their Power. Poor young Master Lovel, (if not already) will probably soon fall a Victim, to their insatiable Thirst for Blood; on Account of the Contents of some Letters from him, which were found in Dr. Warren's Packets and which, they say, contain Matters of a treasonable Nature.6
I have only Room to add, my respectfull Regards to good Dr. F——n, and to your worthy Brethren, the Delagates from this Colony; which please to make acceptable to them, and believe me to be, Your Affect. & faithfull hum. Servt.
[signed] an Old Friend7
1. His son Josiah Quincy Jr., who died in April 1775 just as he arrived in Gloucester Harbor from England. For his mission, see JA, Papers, 2:168, note 2.
2. Quincy's home was at Mount Wollaston, on the shore of Quincy Bay, from which he had an excellent view of Boston Harbor.
3. For these islands see A Plan of the Town and Harbour of Boston, illustration No. 9.
4. Ann Marsh Quincy (1723–1805), a close friend of AA's, who became Josiah Quincy's third wife (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 8:469).
5. Or “carcass,” a round shell holding inflammable material which flames out { 77 } of the shell's three holes as it is fired from a mortar or gun; used for the destruction of wooden defenses (OED).
6. Compare this account with that in James Warren to JA, 7 July (above).
7. The handwriting, as well as JA's specific reply of 29 July (below), clearly identifies the author as Col. Josiah Quincy (1710–1784), prominent Braintree citizen and Boston merchant.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0046

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-11

From James Warren

[salute] My dear Sir

I wrote you several days ago, and wrote in a hurry, Expecting the Generals Express would be along before I could finish, but he has been detained, and am told will be on his Journey this Morning. I was much Chagrined Last Evening when setting under a Tree by the Bridge Fessenden rode up from Philadelphia without a Single Letter for me. He says you Complain that you have no Letters. I have Endeavoured to do my part. I Expected we should have rose before this, and I should have got a range over the fields before our Election but I begin to despair. One thing after another continually Crouds upon us. The General thinks he should have more Men. I am of the same opinion. How to get them is our difficulty. We are now raising 1700 for the Express purpose of guarding the Sea Coasts.1 The People are so Engaged at this Busy Season that the Militia if called would come with reluctance, and Tarry but a short time. Just long enough to put the Camp in Confusion. What Course we are to take in Consequence of an Application from the General which now only detains us, I know not. I could wish to have seen more men from the Southward. I always forgot to tell you I have seen your Letter to Gerry, Expressing Mr. Gadsden' Opinion about fixing out Armed Vessels, and seting up for a Naval power.2 I thought it very happy to have so great an Authority Confirming my own Sentiments, and haveing proposed in Congress Just such a project the beginning of the Session borrowed the Letter to support it, but yet I have not been Able to Effect it. Pickering3 and his politics, the want of Faith, and Ardor in Gerry &c. and above all the want of powder has prevented it. The last is an Objection, tho I think it would be like planting Corn. Ten very good going Sloops from 10 to 16 Guns I am persuaded would clear our Coasts. What would 40 such be to the Continent. Such a determination might make a good figure on your Journals. We are still not a word of news since my last. The Troops were Crossing the Ferry Yesterday in great Numbers.4 Things will not remain long in this situation. I expect Another Action soon, God Grant us Success I believe he will. I have Engaged another Friend { 78 } to write to you. If it gives you pleasure it will Answer my End. I received it but last Night from Braintree where it was finished.5 The Season here is Hot and very dry. My regards to all Enquireing Friends. I assuredly yours,
[signed] Jas. Warren
1. The Provincial Congress made provision for seacoast defense in a resolution of 28 June (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 411–413).
2. JA to Elbridge Gerry, [ante 11] June (above).
3. John Pickering (1740–1811), brother of Timothy, was a member of the committee on armed vessels with Warren and Gerry. At the time of Warren's proposal, he opposed any such measure, but later, in a letter to Timothy Pickering, admitted that he might have been wrong (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:482; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 308).
4. That is, crossing from Boston to Charlestown.
5. By “another Friend” Warren may be referring to Mercy Otis Warren. She wrote from Watertown on 5 July (above), but she might have finished her letter in Braintree if, on returning from Watertown, she stopped by the Adams home. She had visited there on her way to Watertown earlier (AA to JA, 5 July, Adams Family Correspondence, 1:240). In any case, her letter went by the same express as her husband's of 7 and 11 July, all three being acknowledged by JA on 23 July (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0047

Author: Rice, Nathan
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-14

From Nathan Rice

[salute] Dear Sir

I have, since I have had the Happiness to see you become a Son of Mars. Should have done myself the Pleasure of writing before this had not I thought your Time was spent in more importance than in reading my Letters. Have been very much tyed since I Entered the Army. Mrs. Adams informs me you complain of the Remissness of your former Correspondence; wish Sir it was in my Power to make up their Deficiency.
I am much pleased with my Situation in the Army. Have formed the highest Opinion of the Gentlemen whom you have appointed our Generals. Have had but one Opportunity to be in their Company. Should be very happy were you Sir in our military Order. I dare say Sir you would find it a very agreable Situation. We are continually Saluted with the Roar of Cannon, but Familiarity breeds Contempt. Our Army has not the least apprehension from the Enemy. Our Regiment yesterday went on Long Island1 amidst the Enemies Fire and burnd the Buildings and Hay took of[f] about an 100 Sheep and 20 Head of Cattle lost but one Man.2 Have lately burnt Browns Building upon the Neck. Should mention many other things, but Major Morgan is waiting by whom I send this.3 Please to excuse my { 79 } haste and Errors. Mrs. Adams and little Folks well yesterday. I have entered Adjutant in Genl. Heaths Regiment. I am Sr. your very humble Servant
[signed] Nathan Rice4
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To the Honbe. John Adams Esqr. in Philadelphia Pr Favour Major Morgan”; docketed, probably by Rev. William Gordon: “Nathan Rice July 14. 1775.”
1. In Boston Harbor.
2. See also William Tudor to JA, 19 July (below), and AA to JA, 16 July, Adams Family Correspondence, 1:245–251.
3. Possibly Maj. Abner Morgan of Elisha Porter's Massachusetts militia regiment (Heitman, Register Continental Army, p. 401, 447).
4. For a sketch of Rice, one of JA's law clerks, see JA, Legal Papers, 1:cviii.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0048

Author: Tudor, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-19

From William Tudor

[salute] Dr. Sir

I am much oblig'd by your Letter of 6th. Instant and will now attempt in Part to comply with your Request.1 Things have remaind tolerably quiet between the continental and ministerial Camps for a Week past. The Beginning of last Week a Detachment was sent in the Night to take all the live Stock that was on Long Island. They succeeded and brought away not only all the Quadrupeds but 17 Fellows who were on the Island in the Service of Gage as Mowers. The next Day orders were issu'd to make another Descent and destroy the Buildings. Ten whale Boats mann'd with 12 and 15 Men At 10 o'Clock in the Day Notwithstanding a constant Fire from the Ships of War that lay near the Island, landed and set Fire to all the Buildings, destroying all the Hay &c. on the Place; on their Return they were attack'd by the Men of War's Boats, whom they fought and kept at Bay till they reach'd the Shore, and then fir'd so briskly on them that they thought it advisable to retreat. Our People lost one Man but brought off every Boat.
Since the Arrival of the continental Generals the Regulations of the Camp have been greatly for the Better. Matters were in a very poor Way before. The General was despiz'd.2 There was little Emulation among the Officers, and The Soldiers were lazy, disorderly and dirty. The Genls. Washington, Lee and Gates are respected and confided in, and their Orders strictly and cheerfully executed and obeyed. And I hope we shall soon be able to meet British Troops on any Ground. The Freedom which our Countrymen have always been accustomed to, gives them an Impatience of Controul, and renders { 80 } { 81 } it extreem difficult to establish that Discipline so essential in an Army, which to be invincible, ought to be a grand Machine moved only by the Commander of it. Discipline will not inspire Cowards with Courage, but it will make them fight.
The Day after the Arrival of the Adjutant General3 I had a Letter from him acquainting me with his having Directions from the Commander in Chief to offer me the Place of Judge Advocate to the Army. I immediately accepted the Post, and have every Day since been busy at Courts Martial. And Lords Coke, Holt and Hale4 are made to give Way to your congressional military Code. There never has been a regular Court Martial before now, by Reason of their wanting some Person to methodize and conduct the Business. The Congress have not mentioned such an Officer in the Articles of War, but were they to attend a Court Martial they would see the Importance and Necessity of such an Appointment. The Office is very honorary, but the Stipend is not sufficient. Genl. Gates informs me that the Pay is equal to that of a Capt's. vizt. £6 a month. I must keep a Horse in Order to attend both Camps at Roxbury and Cambridge. A Report must be made of the whole Proceedings in every Trial to the Commander in chief which makes a great Deal of writing, and the salary is too little to pay a Clerk, who will be wanted of the Business. The Court has set for six Days running from 8 to 3 oClock. The Evidence is all taken down in writing, and then copied for the Inspection of the Generals. In so large an Army as we have, there must necessarily be much Business for Courts Martial. I find in the Regular Army, the Judge Advocate has a Stipend as such, and draws pay as an Officer in some Regiment besides. But with us—it would not do. I must beg you to set this office in a proper Light and to get such a Stipend fix'd as shall prevent my being out of Pocket at the Year's End. You know my Situation, Sir, and will therefore excuse what, would otherwise, appear mercenary in this Request.5
Your Declaration has been publickly read by the Chaplains through the Army and receiv'd with great Applause. The Address to the Inhabitants of G. Britain is generally approv'd, But some think, there is too much conceeded, considering the State we are now put in. The Spirit of Freedom glows with unabated ardor. As to Difficulties, we have been so us'd to them, they now occur without occasioning Concern. While the Horror of War ceases to alarm because it is familiar.
[signed] Wm. Tudor
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “John Adams Esq Philadelphia By Mr. Fessenden.”
{ 82 }
1. That Tudor report, from time to time, day-by-day occurrences.
2. Gen. Artemas Ward.
3. Horatio Gates (JCC, 2:97).
4. Sir Edward Coke, Sir John Holt, and Sir Matthew Hale, standard English legal authorities, whose works were frequently resorted to by American lawyers.
5. Tudor was appointed Judge Advocate on 14 July, his appointment being confirmed by the congress on 29 July. His complaints about his pay caused it to be raised in September to $50 per month. He continued in the post until 9 April 1777, having been promoted to lieutenant colonel on 10 Aug. 1776 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:256–259; JCC, 2:221; 3:257; 5:645).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0049

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-20

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

I yesterday returned from Plymouth where I had opportunity of spending only three or four days in such a hurry of private Business as would scarcely admit of a single Meditation in the Calm retirements of the Fields. I Breakfasted in the Morning with your Sensible and Amiable Lady. She showed me a Letter from you.1 I read it with pleasure. I arrived here about 12 O Clock. You will say a late Hour for Election day. I found here two of your Letters one of them Incloseing the two pamphlets, and your Friend Mr. Collins called upon me this Morning and delivered me two more.2 I think myself greatly Obliged to you for your Friendship, Confidence and the Marks of partiality I meet with in every Letter I receive from you. I had but an Hours Conversation with your Friend. From the best Judgment I can make, in so short an acquaintance he is worthy of your Friendship. I admire his open Frankness, and Judicious Observations, and Sentiments. He has promised to dine with me tomorrow or next day. Our New Assembly met Yesterday, and only Chose Speaker and Clerk, and postponed the Choice of Councellors till Tomorrow morning.3 I fear with all this deliberation we shall not get such a Board as will please you. Boston is the only place to Hold Election in. I hope the next will be there, but if we might do as we would it is Astonishing how few sterling Men are to be found in so large a Province as this is. I am not able to give my opinion of the Pamphlets you sent me, not haveing had time to read them. I was late last Evening settleing the List of Councillors. This morning I had many things to do, and then to go to meeting. The Fast is Observed here with a strictness and devotion that shows the Opinion the People have of the Authority that Appointed it as well as their Reverence for him who Overules all Events, and has so signally appeared in our favour. So few Occurrences have taken place since my last in the military way that your Curiosity will not be sufficiently satisfied with an Account { 83 } of them. I will Endeavour to recollect them all. The Attempt on Long Island, the takeing off all the stock and afterwards returning to Burn the Buildings (which you will have in the Papers) was certainly a Bold, Intrepid Maneuvre, and as such Astonished our Enemies. The Barges full of Armed men were Afraid to Attack our Whaleboats at a proper distance, and the Armed Vessels, either agitated with Fear or destitute of Judgment did it without Execution. The next thing that took place, was the possessing and fortifying a post by Brown House very near their Lines. This has been Effected with the loss only of one Man, and he not Employed there, tho' they work'd in open Sight of them and Exposed to an Incessant fire from their Cannon which our people treated with Extreemest Contempt, not so much as once leaving their work, or returning a Shott. No General Movements have taken place. There was an Appearance of it the day before Yesterday on Roxbury Side, but they did not venture out. General Thomas who is yet Continued in that Command made an Excellent disposition to receive them, and was disappointed. Roxbury is Amazeingly strong. I believe it would puzzle 10,000 Troops to go through it. I mean of the best in the world. I am Just Told that our Boats have this day been to the Lighthouse, and Burnt it in spite of the Fireing from a Man of War and a number of Boats. I hear it was Executed by 300 Rhode Islanders. I dont learn that they suffered any loss. It is said they are more afraid of our whale Boats than we are of their Men of War. A few Armed Vessels I am Abundantly Convinced would produce great Consequences. I want to see the Riflemen, and should be pleased to see the Hussar at the Head of his Troop.4 You need not fear our treating them with the utmost Tenderness, and Affection. There is a strong Spirit of Love, and Cordiality for our Friends of the other Colonies prevailing here. The Finger of Heaven seems to be in every thing. I fear Nothing now so much as the Small Pox in our Army, (there is some danger of it tho' I hope it will be stopped) and proposals of a Conciliatory Nature from England. The first would be dreadful, but the last more so. I see the difficulties you have to struggle against, and the Mortification you are Obliged to submit to. I did not Expect another Petition. I hope however your Sentiments and plans will finally prevail. The Infatuation of Britain may supply the Firmness of your Brethren, and Effect what their Timidity, and ridiculous moderation would otherways prevent. If the Canadians should relish an Army of ours there, as I am told they will I think it would be a Grand Move. Capt. Darby who we sent with the Account of the Battle of the 19th of { 84 } April returned two days ago. He was there 8 days, and came away before Gages Packet arrived. He says Trade and the Stocks were Amazeingly Affected in that short time. Lord Dartmouth sent three times for him. He refused to go, and when he threatned him he decamped got on Board and came without either Entering or clearing. I shall Inclose you a Letter Brought by him from Sherriff Lee,5 and one of the latest papers. By the Letter I fancy Genl. Gage is to Expect no other reinforcement this fall. They are very sickly, and are greatly reduced. The Tories in Boston I believe are low enough, are Bowed down with the Load of Guilt they have by their Wickedness Accumulated, and the Apprehensions of what is to come. I am concerned for your Health in this hot Season. Pray take Care of it. I have dispensed with Attendance on publick worship this Afternoon in order to write to you, haveing no other time. Coll. Read was kind enough to give me notice of this Opportunity. Pray present my best respects to all my Friends among which I presume to rank Mr. Hopkins and Ward. Your own Goodness will Induce you to Continue your favours. I shall loose no opportunity of writing as long you Continue to be pleased with it. When you are Tired with my Incorrect ramblings you will I hope very honestly tell me of it. I shall think it not strange, and shant think of resentment. I never write well. I am sure I cant here crouded with Business and surrounded with Company. Your usual Candour must be Called into Exercise, it is greatly relied on. I am as I believe I shall be your Sincere Friend,
[signed] Jas: Warren
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in JA's later hand: “Warren July 20. 1775”.
1. Probably JA's letter of 7 July (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:241–243).
2. One of the two letters mentioned first was that of 10 July (above), which enclosed the pamphlets; the other has not been identified. The pamphlets were A Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North-America, Now Meeting in General Congress at Philadelphia; Setting Forth the Causes and Necessity of Their Taking Up Arms, Phila., 1775, Evans, No. 14544, and The Twelve United Colonies; by Their Delegates in Congress; to the Inhabitants of Great Britain, Phila., 1775, Evans, No. 14532. The letters brought by Stephen Collins were the twofirst and second of 6 July (above).
3. Pursuant to the resolution of the Provincial Congress on 20 June, the newly elected House of Representatives met at Watertown on 19 July and elected Samuel Freeman clerk and James Warren speaker (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 358–360; Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 1st sess., p. 5).
4. JA described a Hussar in the second of the two letters of 6 July (above).
5. Enclosures not found. Capt. John Derby (1741–1812), son of Richard Derby (1712–1783), a prosperous Salem merchant, and brother of Richard Derby Jr. (1736–1787), a member of the Provincial Congress, received orders on 27 April from the Provincial Congress to proceed immediately to England with dispatches describing the American { 85 } version of the Battle of Lexington and Concord in order to anticipate Gen. Gage's own account. Arriving in London on 28 May, Derby lost no time in circulating his description of the battle, thereby scoring a propaganda coup. Returning to the province on 18 July, he gave Washington and the Provincial Congress firsthand accounts of the British reaction (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 154–156, 159, 523; JCC, 2:27, 28, note [both these sources incorrectly identify Capt. Derby as his brother Richard]; DAB; James Duncan Phillips, Salem in the Eighteenth Century, Boston, 1937, p. 364–369).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0050

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tudor, William
Date: 1775-07-23

To William Tudor

[salute] Dr sir

We live in Times, when it is necessary to look about Us, and to know the Character of every Man, who is concerned in any material Branch of public affairs, especially in the Army.
There will be a large Number of Voluntiers in the Army perhaps. Certainly there will be many young Gentlemen from the southern Colonies, at the Camp. They will perhaps be introduced, into Places, as Aid du Camps—Brigade Majors, Secretaries, and Deputies in one Department, or another.
I earnestly intreat you to make the most minute Enquiry, after every one of these, and let me know his Character, for I am determined, I will know that Army, and the Character of all its officers.
I Swear, I will be a faithful Spy upon it for its good.
I beg you would let me know, what is become of Coll. Gridley and Mr. Burbanks,1 and whether they have lost their Character as Engineers and Gunners—and let me know, what Engineers, there are in the Army, or whether there are none.
I want to know if there are any Engineers in the Province and who they are. I have heard the Generals were much disappointed, in not finding Engineers, and Artillery as they expected. P[lease] let me know the Truth of this, if you can learn it, and how they come to expect a better Artillery than they found.2 All this keep to your self. I am &c.
RC (MHi:Tudor Papers); addressed: “To Mr. William Tudor Cambridge”; docketed: “July 23d. 1775.”
1. Richard Gridley (1711–1796), a former officer in the British Army, at the time of this letter was chief engineer and colonel of artillery, appointed such by the Provincial Congress in April and June. He had directed the fortification of Breed's Hill and was wounded in the battle of 17 June. In September he was appointed colonel of artillery for the Continental Army but because of age was replaced by Henry Knox in November. He did, however, retain his post of chief engineer until Aug. 1776 and, in that capacity, oversaw construction of fortifications on Dorchester Heights. From Jan. 1777 to Dec. 1780, he served as engineer general of the Eastern Department. Maj. William Burbeck (d. 1785) was second in command in Gridley's artillery regiment (DAB; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 157, 373–374, 378, 153; { 86 } Mass. Soldiers and Sailors, 6:874–875; 2:818; Thomas J. Abernethy, “American Artillery Regiments in the Revolutionary War,” unpubl. bound typescript, MHi, p. 96–99, 38–39, 100).
2. See comments on Gen. Lee in JA to Josiah Quincy, 29 July (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0051

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-23

To James Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

I have many Things to write you, which thro Haste and Confusion, I fear, I Shall forget.
Upon the Receipt of General Washingtons Letter,1 the Motion which I made Some Days before, for appointing General Thomas first Brigadier, was renewed and carried, So that the Return of the Express will carry his Commission. I hope that this will give all the Satisfaction which is now to be given. You ask me upon what Principle We proceeded in our first Arrangement. I answer upon the Principle of an implicit Complyance with the order in which the General Officers were chosen in our Provincial Congress last Fall. Not one of us, would have voted for the Generals in the order in which they were placed, if We had not thought that you had Settled the Rank of every one of them last Fall in Provincial Congress, and that We were not at Liberty to make any Alteration. I would not have been so shackled however, if my Colleagues, had been of my Mind.2
But, in the Case of the Connecticutt officers, We took a Liberty to alter the Rank established by the Colony, and by that Means made much Uneasiness: so that We were sure to do Mischief whether We conformed or deviated from Colony Arrangements.
I rejoice that Thomas, had more Wisdom than Spencer or Woorster, and that he did not leave the Camp, nor talk imprudently, if he had We should have lost him from the Continental service: for I assure you, Spencer by going off, and Woorster by unguarded Speeches have given high offence here. It will cost us, Pains to privent their being discarded from the service of the Continent with Indignation.3 Gentlemen here, had no private Friendships Connections, or Interests, which prompted them to vote for the Arrangement they made, but were influenced only by a Regard to the Service; and they are determined that their Commissions shall not be despized.
I have read of Times, either in History or Romance, when Great Generals, would chearfully, serve their Country, as Captains or Lieutenants of Single Companies, if the Voice of their Country happened not to destine them to an higher Rank: but such exalted { 87 } Ideas of public Virtue Seem to be lost out of the World. Enough of this.
I have laboured with my Colleagues to agree upon proper Persons to recommend for a Quarter Master General, a Commissary of Musters and a Commissary of Artillery, but in vain. The Consequence has been that the appointment of these important, and lucrative Officers is left to the General, against every proper Rule and Principle, as these offices are Checks upon his.4 This is a great Misfortune to our Colony, however, I hope that you and others, will think of proper Persons and recommend them to the General.
There is, my Friend, in our Colony a great Number of Persons, well qualified for Places in the Army, who have lost their all, by the outrages of Tyranny, whom I wish to hear provided for. Many of them will occur to you. I beg leave to mention a few. Henry Knox, William Bant, young Hitchbourne the Lawyer William Tudor, and Perez Moreton.5 These are young Gentlemen of Education and Accomplishments, in civil Life, as well as good Soldiers; and if at this Time initiated into the service of their Country might become in Time and with Experience, able officers. If they could be made Captains or Brigade Majors, or put into some little Places at present I am very sure, their Country would loose nothing by it, in Reputation or otherwise. A certain Delicacy which is necessary to a good Character, may have prevented their making any applications, but I know they are desirous of serving.
I must enjoin secrecy upon you, in as strong Terms as Mr Hutchinson used to his confidential Correspondents; and then confess to you, that I never was since my Birth, so compleatly miserable as I have been since the Tenth of April. Bad Health, blind Eyes, want of Intelligence from our Colony, and above all the unfortunate and fatal Divisions, in our own Seat in Congress, which has lost us Reputation, as well as many great Advantages which We might otherwise have obtained for our Colony have made me often envy the active Hero in the Field, who, if he does his own Duty, is sure of applause, tho he falls in the Execution of it.
It is a vast and complicated System of Business which We have gone through, and We were all of Us, unexperienced in it. Many Things may be wrong, but no small Proportion of these are to be attributed to the Want of Concert, and Union among the Mass. Delegates.6
We have passed a Resolution, that each Colony make such Provision as it thinks proper and can afford, for defending their Trade { 88 } in Harbours, Rivers, and on the sea Coast, against Cutters and Tenders. We have had in Contemplation a Resolution to invite all Nations to bring their Commodities to Market here, and like Fools have lost it for the present. This is a great Idea. What shall We do? Shall We invite all Nations to come with their Luxuries, as well as Conveniences and Necessaries? Or shall We think of confining our Trade with them to our own Bottoms, which alone can lay a Foundation for great Wealth and naval Power. Pray think of it.7
I rejoice that the Generals and Coll. Reed and Major Mifflin are so well received. My most respectfull Compliments to them all.
I thank you and Mrs. Warren a thousand Times for her kind and elegant Letter.8 Intreat a Continuance of her Favours in this Way, to your old Friend.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr Watertown favoured by Mr. Hitchbourne”; docketed: “Mr. J A Lettr July 1775 X.” If this letter had indeed been carried by Hichborn, it would have been intercepted as were JA's letters to AA and James Warren of 24 July.
2. See JA's first letter to Warren of 6 [July], note 1 (above).
3. At the outbreak of the Revolution, Joseph Spencer (1714–1789) and David Wooster (1711–1777) were brigadier and major general respectively in the Connecticut forces. When the congress on 19 June appointed Israel Putnam the fourth major general in the Continental Army over Spencer and Wooster, Putnam's superiors in their colony's service, both were outraged. Spencer left his post at Roxbury and returned to Connecticut. It took a major effort to reconcile him to his position, but eventually he returned to the army and was appointed a major general in Aug. 1776. Wooster, the only major general in the service of a colony who was not raised to his full rank in the Continental Army, did not leave the army, but his quarrels with Generals Schuyler in New York and Arnold in Quebec raised questions about his fitness for command (DAB; JCC, 2:99, 103; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:137, 142, 164, 166–170, 174, 179, 181). The actions of the congress in regard to the Connecticut officers probably created more serious problems than did those in regard to Massachusetts officers complained of by Warren, Gerry, and others.
4. Washington appointed Thomas Mifflin quartermaster general on 14 Aug., Stephen Moylan mustermaster general on 11 Aug., and Ezekiel Cheever commissary of artillery on 17 Aug. (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:419, 414, 427).
5. On Bant, see JA to Washington, [19 or 20] June, note 4 (above). Both Benjamin Hichborn, JA's letter carrier, and Perez Morton were lawyers; on the latter see Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:555–561.
6. The Massachusetts delegation was divided over the appointment of generals, especially Lee; moreover, Cushing had written back to Massachusetts a very disturbing letter (James Warren to JA, 11 June, above).
7. The resolution on defending trade which passed on 18 July was one of a series of resolves stemming from the report of the committee on improving the militia. The resolution on opening the ports was considered on 21–22 July, but was tabled and apparently no further action was taken at this session. Two draft resolutions in the hands of Benjamin Franklin and Richard Henry Lee, both calling for the closing of all customs houses and the admission of the ships { 89 } and goods of all nations duty free, are in JCC, 2:189, 200–202.
8. Mrs. Warren's letter of 5 July (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0052

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-24

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

In Confidence,—I am determined to write freely to you this Time.1 —A certain great Fortune and piddling Genius2 whose Fame has been trumpeted so loudly, has given a silly Cast to our whole Doings —We are between Hawk and Buzzard—We ought to have had in our Hands a Month ago, the whole Legislative, Executive and Judicial of the whole Continent, and have compleatly moddelled a Constitution, to have raised a Naval Power and opened all our Ports wide, to have arrested every Friend to Government on the Continent and held them as Hostages for the poor Victims in Boston. And then opened the Door as wide as possible for Peace and Reconcilliation: After this they might have petitioned and negotiated and addressed, &c. if they would.—Is all this extravagant?—Is it wild?—Is it not the soundest Policy?
One Piece of News—Seven Thousand Weight of Powder arrived here last Night—We shall send along some as soon as we can—But you must be patient and frugal.
We are lost in the extensiveness of our Field of Business—We have a Continental Treasury to establish, a Paymaster to choose, and a Committee of Correspondence, or Safety, or Accounts, or something, I know not what that has confounded us all Day.
Shall I hail you Speaker of the House, Counsellor or what—What Kind of an Election had you? What Sort of Magistrates do you intend to make?
Will your new Legislative and Executive feel bold, or irresolute? Will your Judicial hang and whip, and fine and imprison, without Scruples?3 I want to see our distressed4 Country once more—yet I dread the Sight of Devastation.
You observe in your Letter the Oddity of a great Man5—He is a queer Creature—But you must love his Dogs if you love him, and forgive a Thousand Whims for the Sake of the Soldier and the Scholar.6
Addressed, To the Hon. James Warren, Watertown. Favor'd by Mr. Hitchborne.
RC not found. Reprinted from (Draper's Massachusetts Gazette, 17 Aug. 1775). This version is printed here because the newspaper seems to have tried to render the text exactly as JA probably wrote it, particularly in the use of dashes of varying length, which normally the editors treat as commas or { 90 } periods unless the dash serves the modern function of indicating a break in thought. Comparison of the newspaper version with contemporary British MS copies, listed below in note 1, shows no differences in wording with two minor exceptions: that discussed in note 4 (below), and the use of the complimentary close “yours,” which occurs in all MS copies but No. 3. None of the MS copies quite manages to reproduce all the dashes of varying lengths. All the listed copies except No. 1 include the newspaper note: “N.B. This Letter was Anonymous, but wrote in the same Hand with that addressed to Abigail Adams.” Adm. Graves, commander in chief of the British fleet, to whom the original was forwarded, sent only copies back to England and to Gen. Gage, but a search of his official correspondence and of his unpublished documentary memoir of his service in America has not turned up the original (Gage, Corr., 1:412; P.R.O.: Admiralty 1, vol. 485; BM: Add. MSS, 14038–14039). It may have been given to the printer, who in good 18th-century fashion, saw no need to preserve it once his type had been set, but see note 4 (below).
1. This letter, a letter of JA to AA of the same date (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:255–256), and a letter of Benjamin Harrison to George Washington, 21–24 July, were all three printed in sequence in the Massachusetts Gazette. They were seized by the British when Benjamin Hichborn, the bearer, was captured on Narragansett Bay en route to Massachusetts. Hichborn had begged JA to give him letters to carry back home because as one who had apprenticed under a tory lawyer, he felt the need to prove his loyalty to the American cause (Allen French, “The First George Washington Scandal,” MHS, Procs., 65 [1932–1936]: 461–467). Copies of JA's letters were forwarded to England by Adm. Graves, Gen. Gage, and others. Authentic contemporary copies known to the editors in British collections are these: (1) P.R.O.: C.O. 5, vol. 122: 15h, originally enclosure No. 7, according to its endorsement, in Adm. Graves to Stephen Stephens, secretary to the Lords of the Admiralty, 17 Aug.; (2) same, vol. 92:250, enclosure No. 2 in Gage to Dartmouth, 20 Aug. (covering letter printed in Gage, Corr., 1:412–413); (3) MiU-C: Gage Papers, English Series, FC of an enclosure in Gage to Dartmouth, 20 Aug., endorsement on FC of the covering letter states that this packet was “Sent by Mrs. Gage” and a “Duplicate by Lt. Bilkinson”; (4) BM: Add. MSS, Haldimand Papers, 21687:225r-226v, endorsement gives John Adams as writer; (5) William Salt Library, Stafford, England: Dartmouth Papers, endorsement leaves blank the name of the writer. Many other copies, both British and American, are recorded or exist as reproductions in the Adams Papers files. The purveyor of one copy attributed the letter to Samuel rather than John Adams, despite his knowledge that others did not agree with him (T. Bruce to Thomas Bruce Brudenwell, Lord Bruce, 12 Aug., TxDaHi: Jake L. Hamon Coll.).
With the oblique reference to John Dickinson as a “piddling Genius,” this letter brought to a head the conflict between him and JA over whether conciliatory or more vigorous measures should be pursued in the congress. The expression of JA's impatience and frustration was not new, for he had relieved his feelings in earlier letters to Warren and AA (to Warren, 6, 11, and 23 July, above, and to AA, 23 July, Adams Family Correspondence, 1:252–253). Certainly at the time the letter was written, JA did not view it as exceptionally important, but its publication identified him as a leader among those pressing for strong resistance to Great Britain.
Copies of the letters arrived in England on or about 17 Sept. and were immediately printed in Lloyd's Evening Post and British Chronicle, 18–20 Sept., and then in other newspapers as well (M. W. Willard, ed., Letters on the American Revolution: 1774–1776, Boston, 1925, p. 187–189). Their immediate impact was probably limited, for the king had already, on 23 Aug., proclaimed that the colonies were in { 91 } { 92 } rebellion, and the Olive Branch Petition had been submitted to Lord Dartmouth on 1 Sept., in whose hands it died (Merrill Jensen, ed., English Historical Documents: American Colonial Documents to 1776, N.Y., 1955, 9:850–851; French, First Year, p. 548–550). Thus the letters at first probably confirmed ministerial views already held.
2. Both the London Chronicle of 19–21 Sept., which took its version from the Massachusetts Gazette, and Gen. John Burgoyne identified the “piddling Genius” as John Hancock rather than Dickinson (Edward Barrington DeFonblanque, The Life and Correspondence of ... John Burgoyne, London, 1876, p. 193–194). In Britain, however, the breach between JA and Dickinson had become known by at least December, when a letter from London declared that the peace commission led by the Howe brothers sought “to sow dissensions among the Provinces, . . . of which they entertain great hopes of success, from the supposed coolness between Mr. D—k—s-n, of Pennsylvania, and Mr. J—— Ads, of Massachusetts-Bay” (Force, Archives, 4th ser., 4:222–223).
3. JA resented this passage's being interpreted as his wish for harsh treatment for tories; see his explanation in Diary and Autobiography, 3:320.
4. In British contemporary copies Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5, listed in note 1 (above), this word appears as “distressful.” The same form is used in the copy furnished by an officer on board the Swan, the vessel which seized the ferry that was carrying Hichborn from Newport to Providence. The account of the seizure was carried in the Newport Mercury, 7 Aug. (reprinted in Naval Docs. Amer. Rev., 1:1086–1087). The Swan officer, writing to London on 14 Aug., two weeks after the capture, says the letters were sent on to Graves, “but I found an opportunity of copying two of them, and herewith send the copies to you” (Willard, ed., Letters on the American Revolution, p. 187). If the officer made his copies from the originals, his text may be more accurate in this one respect than that used by the Massachusetts Gazette. It is conceivable, however, that the Swan officer, given the passage of time, made his copies from copies produced for Graves. In the latter case, one must assume that some copyist made the mistake of writing “distressful” for “distressed,” the word that appears in both the Gazette and in the copy Graves forwarded to London. Of course, if “distressful” was in the original, then the newspaper was furnished with an inexact copy and Graves sent a second such copy to London. No evidence has been found that the British tampered with the wording as JA claimed (Diary and Autobiography, 3:319).
5. Gen. Charles Lee, for whose reaction to this passage, see Lee to JA, 5 Oct. (below).
6. The effect of the letter in America is difficult to assess because it was not printed in any newspaper outside of Boston; thus the extent to which a public debate occurred over its content is a question. The failure to reprint the letter suggests that leading patriots, particularly those in the congress, wanted to avoid widely publicizing a formal split in their ranks. Gilbert Barkley, a British spy in Philadelphia, reported that as of 16 Sept. JA's letters had not been printed in that city largely because great pains had been taken to suppress them and local printers feared printing anything not approved by the congress. But Barkley promised to give his own copies as wide circulation as possible (Geoffrey Seed, “A British Spy in Philadelphia,” PMHB, 85:21–22 [Jan. 1961]). Other MS copies circulated as well.
The effect of the letters on JA personally is also hard to determine. Barkley claimed that JA met with a cool reception, that Quakers and others considered him an enemy to his country (same, p. 22–24). Benjamin Rush, writing his Autobiography years later, remarked that publication of the intercepted letters made JA into “an object of nearly universal detestation,” neglected by his friends and forced to walk “our streets alone,” but Rush recognized that this treatment was temporary (The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, ed. George W. Corner, Princeton, 1948, p. 142). Except for mentioning his meeting Dickinson on the street when Dickinson passed without any sign of recognition, JA apparently gave little weight to the { 93 } reaction to the letters (Diary and Autobiography, 2:173). Nor was his role in the congress notably affected. According to his own account, he continued active in the debates almost every day, and he served on as many committees between Sept. and Dec. 1775 as he had during the first session of the Second Continental Congress (same, 3:327; Adams' Service in the Congress, 13 Sept. – 9 Dec., Editorial Note, below). He received reassurance from Joseph Reed and Charles Lee that the letters were doing no harm, and when the passing months brought more repressive measures from Britain, he was in a sense proved right and enjoyed the acclaim that correct predictions, even dire ones, usually bring (Diary and Autobiography, 3:319–321; Lee to JA, 5 Oct., below). It is possible that his improved reputation even led to publication of his two intercepted letters as late as 1 Jan. 1776 in the Boston Gazette. By that date his call for genuine continental government, with open ports backed by naval power, would find more willing listeners.
The British reaction to the letters centered on the contradiction between the tone of public statements of various patriot leaders and the attitude revealed in the letters. The British officer on board the Swan referred to the “real intentions of those miscreants who have misled his Majesty's subjects in North America to commit acts of open Rebellion” (Willard, ed., Letters on the American Revolution, p. 187). Gen. Burgoyne declared the author of the letters was “as great a conspirator as ever subverted a state” and warned that “this man soars too high to be allured by any offer Great Britain can make to himself or to his country. America, if his counsels continue in force, must be subdued or relinquished. She will not be reconciled” (DeFonblanque, Life of Burgoyne, p. 194–195). Any significant British political use of the letters had to await the opening of Parliament and responses to the King's speech of 26 Oct. In the ensuing debate the letters were cited as evidence that reconciliation was a forlorn hope, that a rebellion was in progress which had independence as its goal (Parliamentary Hist., 18:731–732). Even those friendly to America saw little possibility for improved relations on the basis of the Olive Branch Petition, which was deemed a political ploy; JA's letters reinforced their perception (French, First Year, p. 550–551). The climax came with the Prohibitory Act of 22 Dec., which stopped all American trade (Jensen, ed., English Historical Documents, 9:853), but the intercepted letters were only one among many influences that brought that act into being. Indeed, the act might very well have come even if JA's private thoughts had never become public.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0053

Author: Chase, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-24

From Samuel Chase

[salute] Dear Sir

I am this far arrived on my way Home. Give Me Leave to introduce to your Notice Mr. George Lux a Son of a Gentleman who is my particular Friend, a Man of the most worthy and amiable Character, he is bound for our Camp and would be glad to carry your Commands to any of your Friends. Mr. Cary, Mr. Hopkins and Smith, young Gentlemen of Balt. Town, are also for our Camp and worthy of Attention.2
I met the enclosed from a young Gentleman in my office. The Contents will please You.3
{ 94 }
My warmest Wishes attend You and your worthy Brethren. I beg a Line. Your Affectionate and Obedient Servant
[signed] Saml. Chase
RC (DSI: Hull Coll.).
1. Since JA refers to Chase's mention of these men in letters of 27 and 28 July to James Warren and William Tudor (below), a Monday date of 24 July would seem reasonable.
2. George Lux was the son of William Lux, Baltimore merchant and shipowner (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:258, note). Although Cary has been identified as Richard Cary, aide to Washington, he, according to Freeman, was from Virginia rather than Baltimore (Freeman, Washington, 4:124, note; Warren-Adams Letters, 1:93, note). Smith and Hopkins remain unidentified.
3. The enclosure was very likely a letter of 21 July to Chase from Thomas Maddux Jr., which reported that a Liverpool ship which had salt, cheese, and dry goods on board grounded near the West River and was burned by local people before Baltimoreans could get their hands on it. The letter also reported that the ship's owner had assured the doubtful captain before he sailed for America that 10,000 troops would arrive before him to protect him against violence. Finally, the letter mentioned a rumor that Gage had been taken prisoner (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0054

Author: Warren, James
Author: Massachusetts House of Representatives, Speaker of
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: Hancock, John
Recipient: Adams, Samuel
Recipient: Paine, Robert Treat
Recipient: Cushing, Thomas
Recipient: Continental Congress, Massachusetts delegates
Date: 1775-07-25

The Speaker of the House of Representatives to the Massachusetts delegates

Watertown, 25 July 1775. FC (M-Ar: Mass. House of Representatives Records, 57:263). As speaker, James Warren notified JA and the other members of the delegation of their election to the Council and expressed the wish that they would take their seats on the Council as soon as their duties in the congress permitted.
Their election to the Council had taken place on 21 July. JA took his seat on 10 Aug., upon his return from Philadelphia, and served until the adjournment of the General Court on 24 Aug. (Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 1st sess., p. 6, 60; James Warren to Mercy Otis Warren, 9 Aug., MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.). JA also participated in the work of the Council for a few days at the end of August (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:272–273, note 2).
FC (M-Ar:Mass. House of Representatives Records, 57:263).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0055

Author: Massachusetts Provincial Congress, Committee of Safety
Author: Thacher, Peter
Author: Gordon, William
Author: Cooper, Samuel
Date: 1775-07-25

The Committee of Safety's Account of The Battle of Bunker Hill

A true Extract from the Minutes Att. Saml. Freeman Secry.

(Copy)
In Committee of Safety1
In Obedience to the above Order of Congress, this Committee have enquired into the Premises, and, upon the best Information obtained, find, that the Commanders of the New England Army { 95 } { 96 } about the 14th. ultimo received Advice that Genl. Gage had issued Orders for a Party of Troops under his Command, to post themselves on Bunkers Hill, a Promontory just at the Entrance of the Peninsula of Charlestown;2 upon which it was determined, with the Advice of this Committee, to send a Party who might erect some Fortifications upon said Hill and defeat this Design of our Enemies. Accordingly on the 16th. Ultimo Orders were issued that a Detachment of one thousand Men should march that Evening to Charlestown, and entrench upon that Hill; just before 9 oClock they left Cambridge, and proceeded to Breeds Hill, situated on the further Part of the Peninsula West of3 Boston, for by some Mistake this Hill was marked out for the Entrenchment instead of the other; many things being necessary to be done preparatory to the Entrenchments being thrown up, which could not be done before lest the Enemy should discover and defeat the Design, it was nearly 12 oClock before the Works were entered upon. They were then carried on with the utmost Diligence and Alacrity, so that by the Dawn of the Day, they had thrown up a small Redoubt about eight Rods square; at this Time an heavy Fire began from the Enemy's Ships, a Number of floating Batteries and from the Fortifications of the Enemy on Cops Hill in Boston, directly opposite to our little Redoubt; an incessant Shower of Shot and Bombs was rained by these upon our Works, by which only one Man fell;4 the Provincials continued to labour indefatigably till they had thrown up a small Breastwork extending from the East Side of the Redoubt to the Bottom of the Hill, but were prevented from compleating it by the intolerable Fire of the Enemy.
Between 12 and 1 oClock a Number of Boats and Barges filled with the regular Troops, from Boston, were observed approaching towards Charlestown; these Troops landed at a Place called Moretons Point situated a little to the Eastward of our Works; this Brigade formed upon their landing, and stood thus formed till a second Detachment arrived from Boston to join them: having sent out large flank Guards, they began a very slow March towards our Lines; at this instant Smoak and Flames were seen to arise from the Town of Charlestown, which had been set on Fire by the Enemy, that the Smoak might cover their Attack upon our Lines, and perhaps with a Design to rout and destroy one or two Regiments of Provincials who had been posted in that Town; if either of these was their Design, they were disappointed, for the Wind shifting on a sudden carried the Smoak another Way, and the Regiments were already removed. The Provincials within their Entrenchments impatiently waited the { 97 } Attack of the Enemy, and reserved their Fire till they came within ten or twelve Rods, and then began a furious Discharge of small Arms; this Fire arrested the Enemy, which they for some Time returned without advancing a Step, and then retreated in Disorder, and with great Precipitation to the Place of landing, and some of them sought Refuge within their Boats; here their Officers were observed, by the Spectators on the opposite Shore, to run down to them, using the most passionate Gestures, and pushing their Men forward with their Swords; at length they rallied and marched up with apparent Reluctance to the Entrenchment; the Americans again reserved their Fire untill the Enemy came within 5 or 6 Rods, and a second Time put the Regulars to Flight, who ran in great Confusion towards their Boats; similar and superior Exertions were now necessarily to be made by the Officers, which, notwithstanding the Men discovered an almost insuperable Reluctance to fighting in this Cause, were again successfull; they formed once more, and having brought some Cannon to bear in such a Manner as to rake the Inside of the Breastwork from one End of it to the other, the Provincials retreated within their little Fort; the Ministerial Army now made a decisive Effort; the Fire from the Ships and Batterys as well as from the Cannon in the Front of their Army was redoubled; the Officers in the Rear of their Army were observed to goad forward the Men with renewed Exertions, and they attacked the Redoubt on three Sides at once;5 the Breastwork on the outside of the Fort was abandoned, the Ammunition of the Provincials was expended, and few of their Arms were fixed with Bayonets, can it then be wondered that the Word was given by the Commander of the Party to retreat? but this he delayed till the Redoubt was half filled with Regulars, and the Provincials had kept their Enemy at Bay—for some Time confronting them with the Butts of their Muskets. The Retreat of this little handful of brave Men would have been effectually cut off had it not happened that the flanking Party of the Enemy, which was to have come upon the Back of the Redoubt was checked by a Party of Provincials, who fought with the utmost Bravery, and kept them from advancing further than the Beach; the Engagement of these two Parties was kept up with the utmost Vigor, and it must be acknowledged that this Party of the Ministerial Troops evidenced a Courage worthy a better Cause; all their Efforts however were insufficient to compel the Provincials to retreat till their main Body had left the Hill; percieving this was done, they then gave Ground, but with more Regularity than could be expected of Troops who had been no longer { 98 } under Discipline, and many of whom never before saw an Engagement.
In this Retreat the Americans had to pass over the Neck which joins the Peninsula of Charlestown to the main Land; this Neck was commanded by the Glascow—Man of War, and two floating Batteries placed in such a Manner as that their Shot raked every Part of it; the incessant Fire kept up across this Neck had from the Beginning of the Engagement prevented any considerable Reinforcement from getting to the Provincials on the Hill and it was feared that it would cut off their retreat, but they retired over it with little or no Loss.
With a ridiculous Parade of Triumph, the Ministerial Troops6 again took Possession of the Hill which had served them as a Retreat in their Flight from the Battle of Concord; it was expected that they would prosecute the supposed Advantage they had gained by marching immediately to Cambridge which was distant but two Miles, and was not then in a State of Defence; this they failed to do; the Wonder excited by such Conduct soon ceased, when by the best Accounts from Boston we were told, that out of three thousand Men who marched out upon this Expedition, no less than fifteen hundred (ninety two of which were commissioned Officers) were killed or wounded, and about twelve hundred of them either killed or mortally wounded; such a Slaughter was perhaps never before made on British Troops in the Space of about an Hour, during which the Heat of the Engagement lasted, by about fifteen hundred Men, which were the most that were at any one Time engaged on the American Side.7
The Loss of the New England Army amounted according to an exact Return, to one hundred and forty five killed and missing, and <between> three <and four> hundred and four wounded; thirty of the first were wounded and taken Prisoners by the Enemy; among the dead was Major General Joseph Warren, a Man whose Memory will be endeared to his Countrymen and to the worthy in every Part and Age of the World, so long as Virtue and Valour shall be esteemed among Mankind; the heroic Coll. Gardner of Cambridge has since died of his Wounds; the brave Lieut. Coll. Parker of Chelmsford who was wounded and taken Prisoner perished in Boston Goal; these three with Major Moore and Major Mcclay who nobly struggled in the Cause of their Country, were the only Officers of Distinction whom we lost;8 some of great Worth, tho' inferior in Rank were killed, whom we deeply lament; but the Officers and Soldiers in general who were wounded are almost all upon the9 Recovery.
{ 99 }
The Town of Charlestown, the Buildings of which were in general large and elegant, and which contained Effects belonging to the unhappy Sufferers in Boston, to a very great Amount, was entirely destroyed, and its Chimnies and Cellars now present a Prospect to the Americans exciting in their Bosoms an Indignation which nothing can appease but the Sacrifice of those Miscreants who have introduced Horror, Desolation and Havock into the happy Abodes of Peace and Liberty.10
Tho' the Officers and Soldiers of the Ministerial Army meanly exult in having gained this Ground, yet they cannot but attest to the Bravery of our Troops, and acknowledge that the Battles of Fontenoy and Minden according to the Number engaged and the Time the Engagement continued were not to be compared with this;11 and indeed the Laurels of Minden were totally blasted in the Battle of Charlestown.
The Ground, purchased thus dearly, by the British Troops, affords them no Advantage against the American Army now strongly entrenched on a neighbouring Eminence.
The Continental Troops, nobly animated by the Justice of their Cause, strongly12 urge to decide the Contest by the Sword, but13 we wish for no further Effusion of Blood if the Freedom and Peace of America can be secured without it; but if it must be otherwise, we are determined to struggle and disdain Life without Liberty.
Oh Britons! be wise for yourselves before it is too late, and secure a commercial Intercourse with the American Colonies before it is forever lost; disarm your ministerial Assassins, put an End to this unrighteous and unnatural War, and suffer not any rapacious Despots to amuse you with the unprofitable Ideas of your Right to tax and officer the Colonies, 'till the most profitable and advantageous Trade of the Colonies is irrecoverably lost. Be wise for yourselves and the Americans will contribute to rejoice in your Prosperity.
[signed] J Palmer pr Order
MS (copy in a clerk's hand (Adams Papers)). The letter from Joseph Palmer, dated 25 July, transmitting the account of the battle to Arthur Lee in London and the resolve of 7 July of the Provincial Congress ordering the account drawn up, as well as the narrative itself, are all brought together in a sewn booklet of sixteen pages, of which six are blank. The booklet may be the copy that on 31 Oct. Palmer forwarded to JA (see below). In minor omissions and variations, some mentioned in the notes below, it differs from the versions printed by Force and Frothingham, the differences being attributable to either the copyist's errors or perhaps varying contemporary MS versions (Archives, 4th ser., 2:1373–1376; Siege of Boston, p. 382–384). A contemporary and some• { 100 } what shortened version is printed in The Remembrancer, London, 1775, p. 178–179.
1. On 6 July the Committee of Safety of the Provincial Congress, in order to counteract the misrepresentations of Gen. Gage, urged the Provincial Congress to name a committee to draw up and send to Great Britain “a fair, honest and impartial account” of the Charlestown battle. When the Provincial Congress passed the responsibility back to the Committee, the latter requested Revs. Peter Thacher, William Gordon, and Samuel Cooper to perform the task (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 463, 589, 594). A draft made by Peter Thacher is in AAS, Procs., 2d ser., 19 [1908–1909]:438–442.
2. Omitted here is the clause “which orders were soon to be executed.”
3. Printed versions have here “next to.”
4. The clause “by which only one Man fell” is omitted from the version in The Remembrancer.
5. For a discussion of the likelihood that the British had to storm the redoubt three times before taking it, see French, First Year, Appendix 23, p. 743–747.
6. In The Remembrancer “Generals” is substituted for “Troops.”
7. Thacher's draft ends here.
8. Lt. Col. Moses Parker, Maj. Willard Moore, and Maj. Andrew McClary (Frothingham, Siege of Boston, p. 176, 178, 186–187).
9. Printed versions have here “in a fair way of” for “almost all upon the.”
10. Printed versions have “peace, liberty, and plenty.”
11. In 1745 at Fontenoy, where the French won an impressive victory, the combined forces of England and Hanover totaled about 16,000. At Minden, fought in 1759, the victorious English and German forces numbered around 36,000 (William Edward Hartpole Lecky, A History of England in the Eighteenth Century, 8 vols., N.Y., 1878–1890, 1:455; 2:552). A comparison of English casualties at Minden and Bunker Hill was printed in the Massachusetts Spy, 20 Oct.
12. Force and Frothingham have “sternly.”
13. The Remembrancer omits the two preceding paragraphs and the opening of this paragraph through “but.”

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0056

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-26

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

I can never Sufficiently regret, that this Congress have acted So much out of Character, as to leave the Appointment of the Quarter Master General, Commissary of Musters and Commissary of Artillery to the General; As these officers, are Checks upon the General, and he a Check upon them: there ought not to be too much Connection between them. They ought not to be under any dependance upon him, or So great Obligations of Gratitude as these of a Creature to the Creator.
We have another office of vast Importance to fill, I mean that of Paymaster General. And if it is not filled with a Gentleman, whose Family, Fortune, Education, Abilities and Integrity, are equal to its Dignity, and whose long Services in the great Cause of America, have abundantly merited it, it shall not be my Fault. However I cant foretell, with Certainty whether, I shall be so fortunate as to succeed.1
{ 101 }
I see by Edes's last Paper that Pidgeon has been Commissary for the Mass. Forces, and Joseph Pearce Palmer Quarter Master General.2 No Body, was kind enough to notify me of these appointments or any other.
We shall establish a Post office3—and do what We can to make salt Petre and to obtain Powder. By the Way about Six Tons have arrived here, within 3 days, and every Kernell of it, is ordered to you.
I want a great deal of Information. I want to know more precisely than I do the Duties and necessary Qualifications of the officers. The Quarter-Master, Commissary of Stores and Provisions, the Commissary of Musters and the Commissary of Artillery, as well as the Paymaster General, the Adjutant General, the Aid de Camps, [ . . . ] Brigade Majors, the Secretaries &c.
I want to know more exactly the Characters and biography of the officers in the Army. I want to be precisely informed, when and where, and in what Station General Ward has served, General Thomas, the two Fry's, Whitcomb &c and what Colonells We have in the Army and their Characters.
I am distressed to know what Engineers you have, and what is become of Gridley and Burbanks, what service they have Seen, and what are their Qualifications.4 yours &c.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr. late President of the Provincial Congress Watertown”; docketed: “Mr. JA. Lettr July 1775 X.”
1. James Warren was unanimously elected paymaster general by the congress on 27 July (JCC, 2:211).
2. John Pigeon, about whom there is little information, was appointed commissary of the army by the Provincial Congress on 19 May. Joseph Pearse Palmer (1750–1797), the son of Gen. Joseph Palmer and nephew of Richard Cranch, was recommended to Gen. Ward for quartermaster general by the Committee of Safety on 30 April. Although Ward then appointed him, no record of the approval of the Provincial Congress has been found. Palmer was supplanted when Thomas Mifflin became quartermaster general for the Continental Army (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 242, 530; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:584–590).
3. On 26 July the congress established a post office and unanimously elected Benjamin Franklin to the office of postmaster general (JCC, 2:208–209).
4. JA wrote also to William Tudor on 26 July asking for this same information about army positions and persons (MHi:Tudor Papers). James Frye (1709–1776) was a second cousin to Joseph Frye (see Gerry to Massachusetts Delegates, 20 June, note 7, above) and commander of the Essex regiment at the beginning of the war and later of the 6th brigade of the army surrounding Boston (Appletons' Cyclo. Amer. Biog.). John Whitcomb (1720?–1812) was appointed major general by the Provincial Congress on 26 June (same; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 326, 400).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0057

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-26

To James Warren

[salute] Dr sir

I shall make you sick at the Sight of a Letter from me.
I find by Edes's Paper that Joseph Pearse Palmer is Quarter Master General. I confess I was Surprized.
This office is of high Rank and vast Importance. The Deputy Quarter Master General whom we have appointed for the New York Department, is a Mr. Donald Campbell, an old regular officer, whom We have given the Rank of Collonell. The Quarter Master General cannot hold a lower Rank perhaps than a Brigadier.
Mr. Palmer is a young Gentleman of real Merit and good Accomplishments; but I should not have thought of a less Man than Major General Fry for the Place. It requires an able experienced Officer. He goes with the Army, and views the Ground, and marks out the Encampment &c besides other very momentous Duties.
I have written to Mr. Palmer,1 and informed him that the Appointment of this officer is left with the General.
My dear Friend, it is at this critical Time of great Importance to our Province, that we take Care to promote none to Places but such as will give them Dignity and Reputation. If We are not very solicitous about this, We shall injure our Cause with the other Colonies. yours,
I hope before another Year We shall become more familiarly acquainted with this great Piece of Machinery, an Army.
We have voted three Millions of Dollars—six Tons of Powder are arrived, and We have ordered every Pound of it, to you.
12 O Clock July 26. 1775 this Moment 130 full Barrels making Six Tons and an half of Powder, is brought into the state House Yard in six Waggons—to be sent off to you.2
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr late President of the Provincial Congress Watertown” docketed: “Mr J. ALettr July 1775.”
1. Not found.
2. This powder arrived on 25 July and was immediately ordered to Boston, with a guard of riflemen to join it at Trenton (JCC, 2:204).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0058

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-27

To James Warren

[salute] Dear sir

The Congress have this Day, made an establishment of an Hospital and appointed Dr. Church Director and surgeon1 and have done themselves the Honour of unanimously appointing the Honourable James Warren Esqr of Plymouth in the Massachusetts Bay, Paymaster General of the Army. The salary of this officer is one hundred Dollars Per Month. It is an office of high Honour and great Trust.
There is another Quantity of Powder arrived in New Jersey about 5000 Weight from So. Carolina—and it is said that another Boat has arrived in this River with about Six or Seven Tons. It will be ordered to the Generals Washington and Schuyler.
We have voted fifty Thousand Dollars, for Powder to be got immediately—if possible.2
I begun this Letter only to mention to you a Number of young Gentlemen bound to the Camp. Mr. George Lux, son of a particular Friend of my Friend Chase. Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Smith all of Baltimore in Maryland. Mr. Cary is with them son of Mr. Cary of Charlestown—neither Father nor son want Letters.
Your fast day Letter to me, is worth its Weight in Gold. I had by that Packett Letters from you, Dr. Cooper Coll. Quincy, and Mrs. Adams, which were each of them worth all that I have received from others since I have been here.3
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr J. A. Letter July 1775 X.”
1. Benjamin Church held this position until 20 Sept., when he resigned because of charges made by various regimental surgeons that he was seeking to abolish their hospitals in favor of a general hospital. Hearings ultimately exonerated him. He was arrested as a British spy on 29 Sept. (JCC, 2:211; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 13:380–398; Allen French, General Gage's Informers, Ann Arbor, 1932, p. 171–197).
2. On 27 July the congress voted two sums of $25,000 to merchants in Philadelphia and in New York for the purpose of importing gunpowder (JCC, 2:210–211).
3. Warren's fast-day letter was that of 20 July (above). The letter from Samuel Cooper has not been found. Quincy's letter was that of 11 July (above), and those from AA, 12 and 16 July (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:243–251).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0059

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tudor, William
Date: 1775-07-28

To William Tudor

[salute] Dear Sir

Mr. Lux, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Smith, with Mr. Cary, all from Baltimore, are bound as Voluntiers to the Camp. Beg the Favour of you, to treat them complaisantly and show them all you can consistently with the Labours of your honourable tho troublesome office.
Shall endeavour to get you a Commission this day, and Such an appointment that you will not be a Looser at the Years End. I hope to get you a Clerk, that you may have some Leisure to write me Annals and Chronicles. For Chronicles I will have, of your Army, at all Hazards.
Make my Compliments acceptable to the Generals to Coll. Reed and Major Mifflin &c.
Is it practicable to lock up Boston Harbour and how can it be done. What Islands, can be fortified? Can Row Gallies be built, or floating Batteries? This city is building a Number. Dr. Franklin is Postmaster. Some Powder is arrived, more expected.
[signed] J. Adams
RC (MHi:Tudor Papers); addressed: “To William Tudor Esqr Judge-Advocate to the American Army Cambridge favoured by Mr Lux”; docketed: “July 28th. 1775.”

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0060

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Quincy, Josiah
Date: 1775-07-29

To Josiah Quincy

[salute] Dear Sir

I had yesterday the honour of your letter of July the eleventh, and I feel myself much obliged, by your kind attention to me and my family, but much more by your care of the public safety, and the judicious and important observations you have made. Your letters Sir, so far from being “a burden,” I consider as an honour to me, besides the pleasure and instruction they afford me. Believe me, Sir, nothing is of more importance to me, in my present most arduous, and laborious employment, than a constant correspondence, with gentlemen of figure and experience, whose characters are known. The minutest fact, the most trivial event, that is connected with the great American Cause, becomes important, in the present critical situation of affairs, when a Revolution seems to be in the designs of Providence, as important, as any that ever happened in the affairs of mankind.
We jointly lament the loss of a Quincy, and a Warren; two characters, as great in proportion to their age, as any that I have ever known { 105 } in America. Our country mourns the loss of both, and sincerely sympathises with the feelings of the mother of the one, and the father of the other. They were both my intimate friends, with whom I lived and conversed, with pleasure and advantage. I was animated by them, in the painful, dangerous course, of opposition to the oppressions brought upon our Country; and the loss of them, has wounded me too deeply, to be easily healed. “Dulce, et decorum est pro Patria mori.”
The ways of Heaven are dark and intricate; but you may remember the words, which many years ago you and I, fondly admired, and which upon many occasions I have found advantage in recollecting.

Why should I grieve,—when grieving I must bear.

And take with guilt,—what guiltless I might share?

I have a great opinion of your knowledge, and judgment, from long experience, concerning the channels and islands in Boston harbour; but I must confess your opinion that the harbour might be blocked up, and seamen and soldiers made prisoners, at discretion, was too bold and enterprising for me, who am not apt to startle at a daring proposal; but I believe I may safely promise you powder enough, in a little time for any purpose whatever. We are assured in the strongest manner, of salt-petre, and powder, in sufficient plenty another year of our own make. That both are made in this city, you may report with confidence, for I have seen both, and I have seen a set of very large powder works, and another of saltpetre.
I hope Sir, we shall never see a total stagnation of commerce, for any length of time. Necessity will force open our ports. Trade if I mistake not will be more free than usual. Your friend Dr. Franklin, to whom I read your letter, and who desires his compliments to you; has been employed in directing the construction of row gallies for this city. The Committee of safety for this province have ordered twenty of them to be built, some of them are finished.1 I have seen one of them, it has twelve oars on each side. They rowed up the river the first time, four miles in an hour, against a tide which ran down four miles an hour. The Congress have recommended to the Colonies, to make provision for the defence of their navigation, in their harbours, rivers, and on their sea coasts.2 Of a floating Battery I have no idea—am glad you are contriving one. You tell me Sir, that General Lee complained that “he did not find things, as the Massachusetts Delegates had represented them.” What General Lee could mean by this Sir, I know not. What particulars he found different from the repre• { 106 } sentation, I do not know—nor do I know which delegate from the Massachusetts, he received a mistaken representation from. I think he should have been particular, that he might not have ran the risque of doing an injury.3 If General Lee should do injustice, to two of the Massachusetts delegates, he would commit ingratitude at the same time, for to two of them, he certainly owes his promotion in the American army, how great a hazard soever, they ran in agreeing to it.4 I know him very thoroughly I think, and that he will do great service in our army, at the beginning of things, by forming it to order, skill, and discipline. But we shall soon have officers enough. Your friend, and humble servant,
MS copy made by Eliza Susan Quincy, 1822–1823 (MHi:Quincy Papers).
1. On 15 July the Council of Safety ordered the building of twelve boats (Penna. Colonial Records, 10:287, 295).
2. The recommendation was made 18 July (JCC, 2:189).
3. In a letter to Robert Morris on 4 July, Lee wrote that when he and the rest of Washington's party arrived in Cambridge, “we found every thing exactly the reverse of what had been represented.” He was referring to the lack of engineers and artillery and the apparent unwillingness of the soldiers to accept officers from outside New England (NYHS, Colls.for 1871, Lee Papers, 1:188).
4. A reference to JA and Samuel Adams, who were instrumental in getting Lee appointed despite the opposition of Hancock, Paine, and Cushing (JA to James Warren, 21 June, above).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0061

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-30

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

For the Honour of the Massachusetts I have laboured in Conjunction with my Brethren to get you chosen Paymaster General, and Succeeded So well that the Choice was unanimous: But whether We did you a Kindness or a Disservice I know not. And whether you can attend it, or will incline to attend it I know not. You will consider of it however.
Pray, who do you intend to make Secretary of the Province? Has not our Friend deserved it? Is he not fit for it? Has any other Candidate So much Merit, or So good Qualifications? I hope his temporary Absence will not injure him.1
This Letter goes by my good Friend Mr. William Barrell2 a worthy Bostonian transmuted into a worthy Philadelphian; But whether you will grasp His Letter or the Hand that writes it first, Is uncertain, both about the same Time I hope.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr. Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay Watertown favoured by Mr Barrell.” Only an unmeaningful fragment of the second page of this letter has been found, having the address on the verso.
{ 107 }
1. Undoubtedly Samuel Adams, who was elected permanent secretary on 10 Aug., replacing Perez Morton, who served while Adams was in Philadelphia. Adams took up his duties on 15 Aug. (M-Ar:Executive Council Records, 17:16, 23, 26).
2. William Barrell (d. 1776) began business in Philadelphia, about two years before his death, as a representative of the Boston firm of Amory and Taylor. He was a brother-in-law of John Andrews, whose letters to Barrell describing Boston under siege, taken from a collection of Barrell papers in the Massachusetts Historical Society, have been published in MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 8 (1864–1865):316–412. For a brief sketch of Barrell see same, p. 318–319.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0062

Author: Tudor, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-31

From William Tudor

[salute] Dear Sir

I have this Minute your Favour of 23d. July. We have had, Saturday Night and last Night much skirmishing between the ministerial and continental Troops. The Regulars attempted entrenching on Charlestown Neck Saturday Night, which produc'd a Brush Sunday Morning. They were obliged to desist by the Fire of our ranging Parties. It is said they lost seven and we two Men. There has been a considerable Cannonade from the Entrenchments on Bunkers Hill this Morning. They have kill'd two of our People. Marblehead Men. Their Cannon were not answer'd from our Forts—because we are not yet in a perfect State of Defence.1
Genl. Gage has again permitted the Inhabitants of Boston to come out, on the same Lay2 as before 17th. June. From the best Accounts of those I have seen who came out on Saturday, the Enemy have but 5000 effective Men. The Men grumble for Pay and fresh Provission. They are distress'd, chagrin'd and confounded. They have been very sickly but are mending. The Regulars burnt the George Tavern3 on Saturday Night—and lost one Man who deserted. Last Week we had 5 Deserters come over—I expect many more.
It is now 5 oClock Afternoon and I have but just return'd from Court Martial, which sits every Day from 8 to 3 oClock. I was appointed Judge Advocate the 14th. Instant and have not had a Leisure hour since. The Duty is excessively fatiguing. I am alone in the office without a C[lerk or]4 any Assistance. I am ordered to go to Roxbury tomorrow and yet have Orders to attend a very important Trial here. My Duty is vastly more important and extensive than I could have imagined. One Court is no sooner dissolv'd than another is ordered to sit. The Congress I believe were not sufficiently aware of the Necessity of the Appointment of Judge Advocate and much less of his Duty, or surely they would not have Allow'd only Captain's Pay to the Man who in this Department must act as Advocate, Register, and Clerk. I { 108 } must beg Sir you will make a proper Representation of this Place to the Congress, and let there be a Stipend fix'd a little more adequate to the Office.
I am now writing this Letter on the Secretary's Table at Head Quarters—and have just return'd from viewing 35 Prisoners in the Yard taken this Morning at the Light House by a Party of our Forces. Last fast Day, a Detachment from the Army burnt the Light House and Since which Our Enemies have thought it necessary to rebuild it, or at least set up some temporary Substitute. They sent down a Number of Carpenters and a Party of Marines as a Guard, consisting of 1 Lieutenant 2 Sargents 2 Corporals and 28 Privates. Our Men made a Descent in a Number of Whale Boats from Nantasket, on the Light House Rocks, this Morning—and immediately attack'd the Enemy. They gave our People one Fire, by which we lost one Man, and then surrendered. Their Lieutenant was shot through the Head and they had three other Men kill'd. Our Men made 23 of the Marines Prisoners, 11 Artificers and 1 Tory. The infamous Abijah White5 was shot through the Back, and it is said is mortally wounded. Your very humble Servt.
[signed] Wm. Tudor
Your kind Wishes express'd in the Letter I just received demand my most grateful Acknowlegements.
1. For other accounts of this action, as well as the raid on the lighthouse described by Tudor below, see Gage, Corr., 1:413; Boston Gazette, 7 Aug.; Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:393–394; and Adams Family Correspondence, 1:270–271.
2. Basis or rate (OED). For the conditions, see James Warren to JA, 7 May, note 8 (above).
3. On Boston Neck.
4. Supplied by conjecture but in line with Tudor's expressed complaint (to JA, 19 July, above). Sealing wax has obliterated this portion.
5. Probably Abijah White Sr., who died in Boston on 29 Oct. (Lysander Salmon Richards, History of Marshfield, Plymouth, Mass., 1905, 2:44; Sabine, Loyalists, 2:419).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0063

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-31

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

I had the pleasure of your favours of the 23d. Instant Yesterday. I am glad to find that you have appointed Thomas the first Brigadier this I think will satisfy both him and the Army. I have been Obliged to take pains to keep him in the Camp, he seldom talks Imprudently, and I believe has never done it on this Occasion. Spencer is a Man I have no knowledge of. He left the Camp on the first hearing of the Arrangement with resentment. He has since returned, and I am { 109 } told behaves very well. I am Convinced of the Necessity of supporting your own dignity, and the Importance of your Commissions. If you suffer them to be despised they will soon depreciate, and become of little value. While Thomas talked of leaving the Camp, I must do him the Justice to say he Exhibited a degree of the virtue you admire. He said he would soon return, and serve as a Voluntier.1 I have lately felt great Uneasiness on your Account. Your want of health, and the disorder in your Eyes yet continueing at a time when you are Engaged in such a Variety of great and Complicated Business, I should think sufficient, without External Embarrassments, and the pain you must feel from dissentions which Injure the General Interest of the whole, and that of your own Colony in perticular. It seems to be the misfortune of every Man of Enlarged Ideas, and Extended Views, of Integrity, and disinterested Virtue to be plagued with either the Narrow, Contracted Notions, or Interested designs of those he is Connected with in publick life. This is Exactly your Case. I have been sensible of it a good while, and have a more perfect Idea of it than I can Express. The Hint you give of Inviteing all Nations to Trade with us is indeed a grand Idea and I can easily Conceive how bitterly you regret the loss of it, such a Step would have been worthy of such a Body. It would have been in the true Stile of a Sully, and have produced mighty Consequences. I can easily Conceive also the Narrow Principles that Operated against, and finally destroyed them. The two questions you Ask, to what Articles the Trade should Extend, and what Bottoms it Should be Carried on require a Nice determination. Perhaps it would not Answer our Immediate purposes so well by being Confined to our Own Bottoms, but if it be not and we should finally be detached from Britain we might have some difficulty in makeing an Alteration so Advantageous to ourselves in gaining great Wealth and Naval Power. I hope to hear you viva voce on this Subject.
After a most profound Tranquility for a state of War, several Skirmishes of some Consequence took place last Night. The Regulars had advanced a little without Charlestown Neck, which gave Umbrage to our Troops. Some Fireings happened, in the Night which was dark. A number of the Rifle Men got within their Outer Guards, and but for an Unlucky Circumstance (they happened at that Instant to be relieving their Guards) had brought of[f] their Main Guard intire. However, a smart Action Ensued. They brought of[f] 2 or 3 of them, and several Arms, and killed several of their Men. One of ours was taken by them supposed to have lost his way. About the same time, the regulars about 60 of them pushed out suddenly on Boston Neck, drove { 110 } back a few of our Centinels, and by the Negligence of our Main Guard, and the Cowardice of the Captain,2 Burnt the George Tavirn, and retired without loss. This is Esteemed the greatest disgrace we have suffered. The most Capital Action was at the light House. You will recollect that we Burnt it some time ago. They had for some time been very Industrious in rebuilding it, and had it in such forwardness as Actually to shew a Light on Saturday Night. About 25 Whale Boats, and 200 Men Commanded by Majr. Tupper set off last Night, and Arrived about daylight, Attacked the Guard, and the Workmen, and one small Tender.3 Soon Carried it after Killing 2 or 3, and wounding 4 or 5 more. They took all the rest, Burnt and destroyed the Light House, took 36 prisoners, and all their Arms. Among the Prisoners are 4 Marshfield Tories and 3 or 4 Others the rest are Marines and soldiers. One of the Whites of Marshfield is wounded it is said Mortally.
I went Yesterday for the first time this Session to wait on the General. I had rather delayed it as you had mentioned me to him as a person he might Consult with, to see if he had any occasion to Call on me. However out of Respect to him, and to see if I could serve the persons you recommend I went. I find the Colony as you predicted will suffer by referring the Appointments you mention to him. They will I think go to the Southward.4 I am amazed that the Impropriety of his Appointing was not sufficient to determine every one of your Body, and I should have thought both Considerations would have clearly determined your Brethren. He has not yet made the Appointments. When I was comeing of[f], I took the freedom to mention the sufferings and Abilities of a Number of Gentlemen and to ask the Liberty to mention them if he had any occasion for them even in places of no great Importance. He said there were many Gentlemen that had come some 100 miles and as we had so large a share of the places, they must be provided for and that we had among ourselves in Effect the power of supplying all Vacancies in the Army which is true but wont Aid our Friends. Ever since the Action on Sunday evening there has been a Continual Fireing with Cannon or small arms. The Rifle Men have killed several of them and among the rest An Officer who one of them shot from his Horse Yesterday at the distance of 250 yards. The Prisoners taken at the Light House were yesterday Carried through this Town in their way to the Goals in the Upper Countys.
Our Assembly are drudgeing on in the old way, Shackled with Forms { 111 } and plagued with the Concurrence and Consent of several Branches. A Question was started and warmly Contested whether our Constitution Consisted of 2 or 3 Branches, and was determined in favour of the latter rather from a supposition that it was your design than from the Express words of your resolve.5
It was but last Evening I heard of this Opportunity and have not time to say many things I could wish for I Expect the Express, and must be ready. The General was kind enough to direct he should call.
You will remember that our Army I mean our Forces are Inlisted only to the last of Decr. We must perhaps have a winter As well as Summer Campaign. I Am Well Informed that Newfoundland is Supplied with Provisions from N. York. A late Instance A Vessel Arrived there from York, cleared out for the West Indies. This may be worth Enquiring into. You Mention Nothing of an Adjournment. From others we are made to Expect it, and to suppose you are on your way Home.6
Your good Lady and Family were well a few days ago. I sent a Letter to the Care of Majr. Mifflin some days ago for you perhaps from Mrs. Adams.7 It was sent to me and so directed. He promised good Care of it. Mr. Adams Son is provided for in the Manner he wishes.8 Pray make my regards to him. Nothing but want of time prevents my writing to him. Please to give my regards to Mr. Paine. I acknowledge the receipt of A Letter from him. Shall write him per first opportunity. I Am Your Sincere Friend
[signed] J: W——
A Treaty has subsisted for some time between the Selectmen of Boston and Gage relative to the Poor. Application was made to us. We provided for them at Salem, and Insisted on haveing the donations with them.9 They are on their way there but without the donations. Last Fryday he took a sudden resolution to suffer the Inhabitants to come out. A number of them landed at Chelsea. The General Advised us of it. We apprehensive of the small Pox &c., sent A Committee there on Sunday.10 Many Persons have come out. All Agree in their Accounts of the dristresses of the Inhabitants and Soldiery, that they are very sickly, and many of them dye. It is said that not less than 1800 of the Troops are unfit for Service. Jno. Brown is out and was here Yesterday. He says Gage has determined to detain about 13 till one Jones, and Hicks now in Concord Goal shall be sent in, among which are Boylston and John Gill.11 What is to be done cant say. Have just received a Letter from Mrs. Adams which Inclose.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in JA's later hand: “Warren 1775”; in an unknown hand: “July 31st.”
{ 112 }
1. For Washington's attempt to persuade Thomas not to resign, see his letter to him of 23 July (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:358–361).
2. Capt. Christopher Gardner was court martialed for “Cowardice, abandoning his post, and deserting his men.” He was “sentenced to be cashiered, as incapable of serving his Country in any military capacity” (same, 3:379, 383).
3. Maj. Benjamin Tupper was commended for his action at the lighthouse in Washington's general orders for 1 Aug. (same, 3:381).
4. See JA to James Warren, 23 July, note 4 (above). Mifflin and Moylan were from Pennsylvania, Cheever from Massachusetts.
5. On 28 July the House of Representatives considered how the government of Massachusetts should operate in the absence of a governor or lieutenant governor and ultimately resolved to consider the Council as the governor of the province (Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 1st sess., p. 21).
6. The first session of the Second Continental Congress officially adjourned on 1 Aug. (JCC, 2:239). JA arrived in Watertown on 10 Aug. (James Warren to Mercy Otis Warren, 9 Aug., with postscript 10 Aug., MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.).
7. AA's letter of 25 July. Mifflin, who apparently did not leave for Philadelphia until at least 5 Aug., carried as well Warren's letter and AA's letter to JA of 31 July, mentioned in the last sentence of Warren's letter (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:260–264, 269–272; Warren to JA, 9 Aug., below).
8. Samuel Adams Jr. (JA to James Warren, 11 July, note 4, above).
9. On the donations, see Elbridge Gerry to the Massachusetts Delegates, 20 June, note 14 (above).
10. Meeting on Sunday, 30 July, the House appointed a four-man committee to “inspect the State and Characters of such Inhabitants of Boston, as have, or may arrive from thence” (Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 1st sess., p. 25).
11. Brown reported to the House on 2 Aug. (same, p. 32–33). Jonathan Hicks (1752–1826) and Josiah Jones (d. 1825), loyalists who had taken refuge in Boston after Lexington and Concord, had taken passage in May 1775 on the Polly, a dispatch boat bound for Nova Scotia, which was captured. By 10 June the two men had been before the Provincial Congress and were ordered to the Concord jail (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:388–390; Sabine, Loyalists, 1:592–593; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 315–317). On 5 Aug. the House resolved to deliver up Hicks and Jones for the release of John Gill, Thomas Boylston, James Lovell, Benjamin Hichborn, and others, including all the selectmen of Boston (House Jour., p. 47). The resolve had little effect, for the exchange of men was never consummated.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0064

Author: Young, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-08-02

From Thomas Young

[salute] Sir

To your request that I would give you my sentiments on the important subject of your Commission1 which so much interests the defence of these Colonies I answer.
Of all pursuits that men have yet engaged in none is more subject to misfortune, imposition, and disappointment than that of minerals. Few are, or from the mysterious and complex nature of the thing can be judges of the matter. Few have the diligence, address and oeconomy suitable to carry on so many branches of business with so many men to advantage. Few have the integrity to treat the public with that strict honor that they would a private person or company, { 113 } and on all occasions to make it their study to gain and to save every farthing for them that the business would throw in their way. Suffer me at once to inform your honor that it is your meeting with a person as well calculated for mineral matters as the worthy Doctor Franklin for those of the Post office that will give you any sort of chance of success.
A man must, in the first place, be a judge of the quality of ores and capable of assaying them so as to discover what heterogeneous matters they contain and how or whether they can profitably be seperated from them; he must determine pretty readily whether a certain vein or bed of ore can be carried on to advantage; whether the ore can be had easy and in sufficient plenty to bear the expence of the high wages of this Country. He should be a judge of situation, respecting wood, water and provision of every sort to carry forward every branch of the complicated business: In fine he ought to be the Philosopher, mechanic, chemist, accomptant, indeed a judge and director of the human passions; or so many of the meanest, as well as greatest of mankind as he will have to deal with will never be treated by him in the manner that will afford most advantage and satisfaction to his Country.
Such a man as this, if commissioned by you, will make it his business to seek and fix upon the most advantageous spot he can find, and with the least possible expence, produce you the substance now more immediately wanted. But every one knows that the researches of a skillful and honest man might discover other advantageous metals as well as lead which in our present circumstances are much needed for defence and support.
Whatever a long continued scene of reading and expensive course of experience in this way has put in my power the Committee may at all times command, and if they should judge my services in this arduous department might be beneficial to my Country, and more likely to save the public money than advertising for a miner here, an assayer there, a smelter, colier and every other inferior workman, as chance turned up the information of his being needed, I would cheerfully engage to serve them on such term as none should reasonably complain of.2 I make this offer as I have in fact seen the business carried on, and believe I could still find the smelter with whose abilities I am thoroughly acquainted, and once had the superintendence of his operations. This workman smelted a considerable quantity of lead from an ore belonging to the late Collo. Martin Hoffman of Dutchess County; but the vein sinking perpendicular in the bottom of a valley, which could not be mined, and not being large enough to bear the { 114 } expence of a fire engine3 the work was dropped. The ore that I was most concerned in working was too much embarrassed with iron to yield any profit till it got farther down than our company were disposed to carry it. I am Sir your most obdt. humble servt.
[signed] Tho Young4
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To the Honorable John Adams Esqr.”
1. JA was a member of a committee of the congress which had members from each colony, and which was to find sources of lead and the best methods for refining it (JA's Service in the Congress, 10 May – 1 Aug., Editorial Note, above). If JA put his request in a letter, it has not been found.
2. No record of acceptance of Young's offer has been found.
3. That is, a steam engine (OED).
4. Young (1732–1777), a physician and ardent whig, was active in the Sons of Liberty in Boston, although he grew to manhood in New York. In 1775 he went to Philadelphia, and in 1776 he helped to frame the Pennsylvania constitution (DAB; Pauline Maier, “Reason and Revolution: The Radicalism of Dr. Thomas Young,” Amer. Quarterly, 28:229–249 [Summer 1976]).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0065

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-08-09

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

I have very Accidentally heard of this Opportunity by Mr. Brown and have so short Notice of it that I can do little more than Acknowledge the Receipt of your favour of the 26th. July, which I Received the day before Yesterday when my Mind was tortured with Anxiety and distress. The Arrival of powder in this manner is certainly as Wonderful an Interposition of Providence in our favour as used to take place in favour of the Jews in the days of Moses and Joshua. We have very little News here, no remarkable military Events have taken place in the Army here. In short the General has been obliged from Principles of frugality to restrain his rifle men. While they were permitted Liberty to fire on the Enemy, a great number of the Army would go and fire away great quantitys of Ammunition to no Purpose.1 Four Captains and a Subaltern were killed the beginning of last week cheifly by the rifle men, and I am persuaded they will do great Execution. There was but one Company of them here last Week. On Sunday a very fine Company came in from Virginia. Yesterday Morning went through this Town 3 Companys more as many are Expected this Morning. I never saw finer fellows. What a view does this, and the Concourse of Gentlemen from all the Colonies give us of Bernard! and Hutchinson! small Faction. Last Evening arrived here a Gentleman from Machias with an Account of their haveing taken two other Tenders. So that they now have five prizes: three Tenders, and two Sloops taken from Jones. 28 Prisoners are on the road and will be hear { 115 } this day among whom is Old Ichabod Jones.2 The rest are Lieutenants of Men of War, Midshipmen, and Seamen. Five Sloops after wood and fresh Provisions are taken by Cargill3 and others and Carried into Penobscot this is doing great Service. They are reduced to great straits for wood as well as fresh provisions in Boston. It is said it would fetch 3 Guineas a Cord. They have already Burnt all the fences &c. All Accounts from Boston agree that they are dismantleing the Castle, and Intend to destroy the works there, which with other Circumstances Induce many to suppose they have an Intention to leave the Town. Many People have lately come out. He has restricted them to £5 sterling in Money, a small matter of furniture and absolutely forbid them bringing out plate. What the policy should be unless he designs to plunder, destroy and then leave we cant devise. Boylston, John Gill, Lovel, the Selectmen, &c to the Number of 13, are kept it is said till Jones, and Hicks two Insignificant Puppies we have in Concord Goal are suffered to go into Boston. We have resolved they shall go. The General has sent in the resolve by a Trumpet. We have no Answer yet tho' that was done last Sunday.
I am very sorry I should omit any Information you had occasion for. It is not wholly and only Negligence. Such has been the Confusion here that it was difficult to Ascertain who held many of the offices. This was the Case with Young Palmer. I often asked, and never was satisfactorily resolved whether he was Quarter Master General or his Deputy. He was however the first, and still Acts as such in the Mass. Forces, and has Expectations of being Appointed by the General. I cant learn that any of those you so Justly regret to have referred to other hands than your own are yet made. As to Pigeon I knew he was a Commissary, but his Temper is so petulant that he has been desirous of quitting for some time, and Indeed I have wished it.
I am taking pains to give you the Information you want of the Biography of the offices in the Army, &c. I have Applyed to Genl. Thomas and one Other General for that Purpose.4 As for Engineers I wish we were in a better way. G——y is grown old, is much governed by A Son of his, who vainly supposed he had a right to the second place in the Regiment that is before Burbank and Mason. The Congress thought Otherways. He was Sulkey. We had much Trouble with them, and I Understand the General has his Share yet.5 I have not lately heard from Mrs. Adams, though have frequently Enquired of People from and through Braintree, from which I Conclude she is well. I wrote you a long letter by the Genls. Express which went on last Saturday after being detained much longer than I Expected.6 { 116 } I hope he will be with you Tomorrow. I wish to see the return of Fessenden before I leave this Town.7 We have a short Adjournment in Contemplation, and Expect it the latter End of this week. You will hear of the Accident which befel the Letters sent by Hitchburn. He very Injudiciously kept them when he had all the Opportunity he could wish to destroy them.8 I wish to hear whether the Letter to me was from You or Mr. S: Adams. I lost the pleasure of it and they Boast of great discoveries made from that and the two Letters to Genl. Washington.9 I am very Much Obliged to you for the many Instances of your Partiality and Friendship. I am Necessitated to Conclude or loose this Conveyance, and Am with every Wish for you. Your Sincere Friend,
[signed] J: Warren
My regards to all our Friends, perticularly Mr. Adams. Many of the Tories are prepareing to leave Boston. Sewal and Family and some Others are going Home, and some know not where to go.10 I beleive they are almost ready to Call on the rocks and Mountains to Cover them. I make no Apology for Incorrectness &c. Your Candour is relied on.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in JA's late hand: “Warren Augt. 9th 1775.”
1. Excessive shooting concerned both Washington and the General Court (General Orders, 4 Aug., Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:384–385; Resolution, 12 Aug., Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 1st sess., p. 66).
2. In June, Ichabod Jones led an expedition to Machias, Maine, where he owned a mill, to obtain firewood for the army in Boston. On 11 June, in one of the first naval actions of the Revolution, Jones was captured together with the Margaretta, the schooner sent by Adm. Graves to escort the expedition. On 15 Aug., Jones was sent to jail in Northampton; a few days later the General Court ordered the seizure of his property in Machias, an action that he protested in Sept. 1776, when he petitioned for a rehearing of his case (MHi:Gay Transcripts, Adm. Graves in North America, 1:133, 142, 152, 153, 182; 3:431; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 395–396, 399, 500; Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 1st sess., p. 88; House Jour., 1776–1777, 2d sess., p. 86; Naval Docs. Amer. Rev., 1:655–656, 676–677).
3. Probably James Cargill of Newcastle, Maine (Wroth and others, eds., Province in Rebellion, p. 1691).
4. See replies of Gens. Thomas and Frye of 11 and 25 Aug. (below).
5. The pretensions of Richard Gridley's son, Maj. Scarborough Gridley, did not last long, for a court martial on 24 Sept. found him “guilty of breach of orders” and ordered his dismissal from the army but did not debar him from further service (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:515–516).
6. See Warren to JA, 31 July, note 7 (above).
7. That is, Warren hopes for another letter from JA.
8. For Hichborn's justification of his conduct in caring for the letters, see his letter to JA of 28 Oct. (below).
9. The only known letter to Washington in the group of intercepted letters is that from Benjamin Harrison.
10. The Sewalls and a number of other loyalists left Boston on 21 Aug. and arrived in London on 21 Sept. (Thomas Hutchinson to Lord Hardwicke, 22 Sept., MHi:Gay Transcripts, Hutchinson-Hardwicke Letters, p. 56a–59).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0066-0001

Editorial Note

After the official adjournment of the Second Continental Congress on 1 August, another meeting was held on the morning of the next day. Adams may not have left Philadelphia, then, until 3 August (JCC, 2:239; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:185, note 2). We know that he arrived in Watertown on 10 August to take his seat on the Massachusetts Council, which was then serving as both the upper house and the executive of the province (M-Ar:Executive Council Records, 17:15).
Because Adams did not keep a diary or write letters during August 1775, it is difficult to go beyond the brief references to him in the records of the Council in describing his role in that body. He is listed as being present at Council meetings on nine days between his arrival and 30 August, which are also the days for which the Council on 11 September authorized payment of his expenses (M-Ar:Executive Council Records, 17:15, 28, 29, 31, 37, 39, 61, 66, 69, the dates being 10, 16–18, 22–23, 28–30 Aug.; same, Revolution, Council Papers, 164:91). Adams may, however, have been present on two other days, 19 and 24 August. On the 19th, a report, signed by Adams, concerning the disposition of Thomas Hutchinson's captured letters was presented to the Council, and on the 24th he is recorded as participating in four votes (report, 19 Aug., following Editorial Note; M-Ar:Legislative Council Records, 33:130, 185, 196, 204). For the entire period, the only indications of his individual activity, besides the report on Hutchinson's letters, are these: carrying to the House of Representatives a draft bill on annulling commissions given by former governors and lieutenant governors (Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 1st sess., p. 60; text in Mass., Province Laws, 5:420–421); concurring in 28 votes of the Council on various acts and resolves; signing with other Council members in advance printed commissions for justices and inferior court judges; and apparently initiating the appointment of a committee on 23 August to investigate sources of “virgin lead” in Massachusetts, a motion that grew out of his committee responsibility in the congress (M-Ar:33:74–204, 154; JCC, 2:234–235). On 22 August the Council authorized payment of £130 for his expenses at the congress (M-Ar: 17:38). His expense accounts are in Diary and Autobiography, 2:162–167.
Adams' activities outside the Council are conjectural, but he certainly spent much of his time in Braintree. He was probably there on 14 August, when he settled his account with Joseph Bass Jr., and from 25 to 27 { 118 } August, as is indicated in his letter to Mrs. Warren (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:167; to Mercy Otis Warren, 26 Aug., below). Accompanied by Charles Lee, he made a tour of the American positions around Boston, but on what day is unknown to the editors (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:325). When he attended the Council on 22–24 August, he took Abigail with him to Watertown, but his stay was short, for, as noted, he was back in Braintree on 25 August (same, 2:167–168 and note 1). On 28 August, he left Braintree, stopped at Watertown for three days to attend meetings of the Council, and then continued on to Philadelphia, where he arrived on 12 September (same, 2:168; for the exact day of JA's arrival, see his docket entry on his letter from Edward Dilly of 11 July, above).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0066-0002

Author: Massachusetts Council
Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-08-19

Report of Council Committee Regarding Governor Hutchinson's Letters

THE COMMITTEE [to consider what is proper to be done with the Letters of the late Govr Hutchinson and how they shall be preserv'd]1 Report, that it is of Great Importance that the Letters and other Papers of the late Governor Hutchinson, be carefully preserved, as they Contain Documents for History of great Moment: and that Evidence, in the hand writing of a Man whose nefarious Intrigues and practices, have Occassioned the Shedding of so much innocent Blood, and brought such horrid Calamities on his Native Country, may be preserved for the full Conviction of the Present and future Generations: and therefore that such of the Letters, and Papers aforesaid, as are not now in the Custody of the Honble Saml Dexter Esqr of Dedham, be delivered to him, and together with those, already under his care, faithfully kept by him, until the further Order of this Court, and that such of them be Publish'd from time to time as he shall Judge proper.
[signed] John Adams per Order2
Read and accepted.
Dft not found. Reprinted from (Mass., Province Laws, 19:59).
1. Brackets in printed version.
2. No evidence has been found to reveal JA's contribution to this report, but the demonstrated concern for history and the conviction that Hutchinson was responsible in great part for bringing “horrid Calamities on his Native Country” are quite in keeping with JA's attitudes and thinking.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0067

Author: Thomas, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-08-11

John Thomas to James Warren

[salute] Sir

I receiv'd yours of the 7th Instant, and Consider'd the Contents.1 To comply with every part, so as to make it Inteligable so far as fully to explain every part of the duty of each of those Officers you Mention, wou'd take a small Volume, but will Endeavour to give you some General Account of their Duty—as to their Qualifications you will be able to Judge of it.
The duty of a Quartermaster General, is to Inspect the Provisions and See that they are good and wholesom, and to see that Tents for the Army, Intrenching Tools and any other Articles Necessary for the Camp are Provided, to draw them out of the Store when wanted, and return them in when done with, to pitch on proper Ground for the Incampments, to laying out the Ground in Lines, that the Tents of each Regiment be properly Pitch'd according to their Rank, and form'd in the best manner for defence, and giveing directions to the Quartermasters of each Regiment, and Camp Culler Men, that the Barracks be kept Clean, and the Streets Sweept and all Filth be remove'd, that proper Vaults2 be Open'd for the Use of the Troops &c.
The Commasary of Provision, is to receive the Provision from the Contractors and to deliver them to the under Commasaries with directions for the delivery of them to the Troops according to the Order he may receive from the Commanding Officer, and is to be Accountable to the Publick in what way the Provisions are expended, by takeing receipts of the Commander in Chief for his Voucher.
Commassary of Muster, is to Muster all the Regiments in the Army; Usually once in two Months, that the Commanding Officer of each Regiment, may Account for his Regiment, whether Sick, on Furlough, or on Command, and the Several Cantonements must See that the Muster Rools must Contain the Names of each Man in the Regiment to be attested by said Commasary, One to be Transmitted to the War Office, one to be kept by the Muster Master, The third to be deliver'd to the pay Master, by which the said pay Master is to pay of[f] the Troops, according to their Several Ranks.
The Commasary of Artillery, is what we generally call the Director whose business it is to keep the Artillery Stores, to be deliver'd to the Train, when drawn for by an Order from the Commanding Officer—the receiver to give his receipt, which is to be a Voucher when he is Call'd to a Settlement.
{ 120 } { 121 }
The Pay Master General receives the Cash, and pays of[f] the Muster Rools Affore mention'd, and any other Drafts that the Commanding Officer may make on him for the Use of the Army.
The Adjutant General Attends the Commanding Officer every day at orderly times, for the General Orders, and the Adjutants of each Regiment must attend him at his Office, at a certain hour that he may perfix, where he must deliver the Order to each of them, and they to their Several Regiments.
Aid-de-Camps are constantly to attend the General, are to give him information of what comes to their knowledge, and to be ready to Attend his order, to go on any Message—and what Orders they may deliver Verbally from the General carries as much authority as if written, Especially in time of Action, and many other Services too many to be enumerated.
When the Army is divided into Grand Divisions, they are call'd Brigades, and are under the more immediate command of the Brigadier General, each one has his Brigade assigned him, and a Brigade Major Affix'd to each Brigade, who is to Attend the Brigadier General, to Convey the Orders of the said General, to the Adjutants of the Brigade, and inspect the Guards when Peraded by the Adjutants; and any order Sign'd by him as Brigade Major, must carry the same force, as if Sign'd by the Brigadier General himself. He is to attend the Brigadier General in time of Action, ready to convey his Order during the Action to every part of the Brigade, whether for Attacking, retreating, or any other matter whatever.
With regard to my Services, I first enter'd as Ensign, in a Regiment Commanded by Brigadier Waldo Rais'd for an Expedition against Cannady, was sent to Anapolis Royall and Minis, Commanded Leiut. Colo. Noble, was advanc'd in 1748 in the same Regiment to a Leiutenancy, and Surgeon, Continu'd two years in that Regiment, Rank'd by Act of Parliment with the Regulars, and did duty with them part of the time Anapolis Royall. 1755 Captain Leiutenant and Surgeon in the first Battallion in Governor Shirleys Regiment. 1756 Advanc'd to a Captain in the same Battallion. 1758 Colonel of a Regiment at Noviscotia, Beau-se-Jour. 1759 Colonel of Regiment at the same place. 1760 Colonel of a Regiment in Cannady.
Fry an Ensign at Louisbourg 1745. Major in Scotts Battallion at Noviscotia 1755. Major at the Lake 1757. Colonel at Noviscotia 1759.
General Whitcomb Leiut. Colonel at Lake George 1756. Colonel at ditto 1760.
General Ward, Major at Ford Edward, in Colo. Wm. Williams Reg• { 122 } iment 1758, and in the same year obtain'd a Leiut. Colonel with Colo. Partridge.
As to the Colonels we have in our Forces &c I will take some other Opportunity to Inform, being much Engaged at present.3 I am Sir yr. Friend and very huml. Servant,
[signed] Jn: Thomas
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honourable James Warren Esq. Speaker to the Hon. House of Representatives and Pay Master General to the United American Army Watertown”; docketed by JA: “Sept. Gen. Thomas”; docketed later, probably by Rev. William Gordon: “Aut 11. 1775.”
1. James Warren to John Thomas, 7 Aug. (MHi:John Thomas Papers). This letter, mentioned in Warren's letter to JA of 9 Aug. (above), did not indicate that the information to be given by Thomas was ultimately to go to JA.
2. Drains or sewers, obs. (OED).
3. Warren had asked Thomas to describe “what Colonels we have in our Forces whose Character you Esteem and their Characters.” The only other question that Thomas did not answer concerned the experience and qualifications of Richard Gridley and William Burbeck, about whom JA had expressed strong interest to Warren.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0068-0001

Author: Frye, Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-08-25

From Joseph Frye

[salute] Sir

I have taken leave to Send you Enclos'd herewith, a brief account of the Several Stations in which I have Serv'd my Country in a Military way—as a history of all occurrences and Personal Sufferings in that Service would have been too tedious for your Patience, I presum'd not to trouble you with it.1 Therefore Shall say no more here than that, any Notice you Shall please to take of me on your arival in the Continental Congress, will be gratefully Acknowledged by your Honrs. most Obedient and very Humble Servt.,
[signed] Joseph Frye
RC (Adams Papers); enclosure.
1. In all likelihood, Frye is the “Other General” to whom James Warren applied for information requested by JA (Warren to JA, 9 Aug., above).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0068-0002

Author: Frye, Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-08-25

Enclosure: Account of the Military Services of Joseph Frye

A brief Account of the Military Services of Joseph Frye

In 1745 He was an Ensign of a Company in Colo. Robert Hales Regiment at the Reduction of Louisbourg.
In 1746, He was made a Lieutenant in Major Moses Titcombs Company in Brigr. General Waldo's Regiment, design'd to Serve in an Expedition against Canada under the Command of General St. Clare [Saint-Clair]—but as the Expedition hung in Suspence, It was propos'd by the Government of Massachusetts-Bay, That said Regiment Should Serve in the defence of the Eastern Frontiers in Stead of Impress'd men, till called for to proceed to Canada. Agreeable to which, { 123 } part of the Regiment went to Casco Bay, and was Employ'd in the Defence of that part of the Country, where the said Joseph did a large Share of the hardest of the Service, till news ariv'd from England that the Expedition was laid aside.
In 1747 He was made Captain of a Company for the Defence of the Eastern Frontiers and Posted at Scarborough for that Purpose, in which Service He continued till the Latter part of 1749 when that war ended.
In 1754 He was made Major of a Regiment Commanded by Majr. Genl. John Winslow, which was Sent to Kennebeck River, when the Regiment built Fort Halifax at the Falls in said River called Tauconnock, and before He return'd to Boston, was made a Lt. Colonel.
In 1755 an Expedition was form'd, to remove the French Encroachments in Nova Scotia. A Regiment (formed into two Battalions) was Sent from Boston for that Purpose. And as His Excellency Genl. Shirly, kept said Regiment under his own Command as Colonel—General Winslow went Lt. Colonel of the first Battalion and George Scot Esqr. Lt. Colonel of the Second Battalion, The said Joseph went first Major of the Second Battalion, and was at the Reduction of Fort Beausejour, Fort de gaspereau and other Services in that Country, and continued there for the defence of those Conquests thro' the winter and Summer following, till the fall of the year 1756.
In the fall of the year 1756, as Soon as He ariv'd in Boston, He was made Colonel of a Regiment, held in Readiness to march at a minutes warning, to Reinforce the Troops at Lake George.
In 1757, He was made Colonel of a Regiment Consisting of eighteen hundred men, formed into Seventeen Companies, which was rais'd in the Province of Massachusetts-Bay for the Service on the western Frontiers, with which Regiment, He marched to Albany; from thence to Fort Edward where he lay with said Regiment and did Duty there under the Command of General Webb till the begining of August, when he was Sent with eight hundred and twenty three of them (Inclusive of Officers) to Fort William Henry, and the next morning after his arival there, Monsr. Montcalm arive'd with a Superior Force, laid Seige to the Place, and after Six Days and Seven nights' Defence, were forced to Surrender; which was done by Capitulation, but it was barbarously violated by the French and Indians, which proved a very unhappy occurrence to the said Joseph, as the Regiment was thereby, tore to peices, and many of His Papers fell into the hands of the Enemy, it took the greatest part of his Time in the year 1758 to regain Such a State of the Regiment as that, in the { 124 } payment thereof, Justice might be done to the Public, and to Individuals.
In 1759 He was made Colonel of a Regiment and Sent with it into Nova Scotia for the Defence of that Province, where he continued almost two years.
Finaly, on the 21st of June 1775, The Congress of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay, being Desireous of his Service in the Present unhappy war, gave Him a Major Generals' Commission, and laid him under oath for the faithful discharge of his Duty agreeable to said Commission. In Pursuance whereof He entered upon his Duty and continued therein, till the Representatives of the Several Towns in said Colony, Assembled at Watertown, when that Assembly adopted what the Congress had done in that respect, and by Letter to the said Joseph, desired his Continuance in Camp, till the Continental Congress Should determine the affair with respect to Him.
The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume have been moved to the end of the preceding document.
RC (Adams Papers); enclosure.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0069

Author: Prescott, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-08-25

From James Prescott

[salute] Sir

I have this minit received the Inclosed account1 and Imbrace the oppertunity of Conveying it to you by Mr. Pain. I am Sir your most obediant Huml Sert.,
[signed] James Prescott
NB: I find my Brother has not Been so perticuler as I Could have wished—he has not Given any account of his former Campain—he was an officer at the reduction of the Newtrel frinch at Noviscotia in the last war about two years.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble John Adams Esqr. in Brantrey”; docketed: “Aug 25 1775.”
1. William Prescott to JA, 25 Aug. (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0070

Author: Prescott, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-08-25

From William Prescott

[salute] Sir

I have received a Line from my Brother which informs me of your desire of a particular Account of the Action at Charlestown.1 It is not in my Power at present to give so minute an Account as I should choose being ordered to decamp and march to another Station.
{ 125 }
On the 16 June in the Evening I received Orders to march to Breeds Hill in Charlestown with a party of about one thousand Men consisting of 3 hundred of my own Regiment, Coll. Bridge and Lieut Breckett with a Detachment of theirs, and two hundred Connecticut Forces commanded by Capt. Nolten [Knowlton]. We arrived at the Spot, the Lines were drawn by the Enginier and we began the Intrenchmant about 12, o Clock and plying the Work with all possible Expodition till Just before sun rising, when the Enemy began a very heavy Canonading and Bombardment. In the Interin the Enginier forsook me.2 Having thrown up a small Redout, found it necessary to draw a Line about 20 Rods in Length from the Fort Northerly, under a very Warm Fire from the Enemys Artilary. About this Time the above Field Officers being indisposed could render me but Little Service, and the most of the Men under their Command deserted the Party. The Enemy continuing an incessant Fire with their Artilary. About 2, o Clock in the afternoon on the seventeenth the Enemy began to land a northeasterly Point from the Fort, and I ordered the Train with 2 field Pieces to go and oppose them and the Connecticut Forces to support them but the Train marched a different Course and I believe those sent to their support followd, I suppose to Bunkers Hill.3 Another party of the Enemy landed and fired the Town. There was a party of Hampshire in conjunction with some other Forces Lined a Fence at the distance of three score Rods back of the Fort partly to the North. About an Hour after the Enemy landed they began to march to the Attack in three Columns. I commanded my Lieut Coll. Robinson and Majr. Woods Each with a detachment to flank the Enemy, who I have reason to think behaved with prudence and Courage.
I was now left with perhaps 150 Men in the Fort, the Enemy advanced and fired very hotly on the Fort and meating with a Warm Reception there was a very smart firing on both sides. After a considerable Time finding our Amunition was almost spent I commanded a sessation till the Enemy advanced within 30 yards when we gave them such a hot fire, that they were obliged to retire nearly 150 yards before they could Rally and come again to the Attack. Our Amunition being nearly exausted could keep up only a scattering Fire. The Enemy being numerous surrounded our little Fort began to mount our Lines and enter the Fort with their Bayonets. We was obliged to retreat through them while they kept up as hot a fire as it was possible for them to make. We having very few Bayonets could make no resistance. We kept the fort about one hour and twenty Minutes after { 126 } the Attack with small Arms. This is nearly the State of Facts tho' imperfect and too general which if any ways satisfactory to you will afford pleasure to your most obedient humble Servt.,
[signed] William Prescott
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Coll. Prescott. Aug. 25. 1775.”
1. Prescott's account of the Battle of Bunker Hill was another response to JA's request for information about the army and events in Massachusetts. CFA lent this letter, along with others written to JA, to Richard Frothingham, who printed it in the Appendix to his Siege of Boston (p. 395–396), and thus it contributed to the controversy that developed in the 19th century over who commanded the troops in the battle, Prescott or Israel Putnam. See French, First Year, p. 743–747.
2. Richard Gridley became tired or ill or left to bring up cannon (same, p. 216, note 16), but he did return and was wounded in the battle.
3. Actually, they took up a position behind a fence, in a line perpendicular to the breastwork (same, p. 219).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0071

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1775-08-26

To Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] Madam

I have been, the happiest Man, these two Days past, that I know of, in the World. I have compared myself, in my own Mind, with all my Friends, and I cannot believe any of them So blest as myself.
In the first Place, Rest, you know, is Rapture, to a weary Man; and I was quite weary enough to enjoy a state of Rest for a Day or two in all its Perfection; accordingly, I have Slept, by the best Compution, Sixteen Hours in the four and twenty.
In the next Place, for the two last Days, I have been entirely free from the Persecution, of the “Fidgets, and Caprices, Vanity, Superstition, and Irritability,” which are Supposed by Some, to assault me, now and then, both from within and without. This is rare Felicity indeed.
Thirdly, I have been allowed the Pleasure of rambling all alone, through the Fields, Groves and Meadows, and over the lofty Mountains, of peacefull happy Braintree, that wholesome Solitude and Nurse of sense, “where Contemplation prunes her Ruffled Wings And the free Soul, looks down to pity Kings.”1
Fourthly and lastly, I have enjoyed the Conversation of the amiable Portia, and her little prattling Brood of Children. This is a Pleasure of which I can say no more. Mrs. Warren can conceive it: I cannot describe it.
Now taking all these Circumstances together, neither Mr. Warren nor Mr. [ . . . ], nor Mr. any Body that I can recollect, has been in a Situation equal to mine. These have been vexed with the society of { 127 } Statesmen and Heroes: I have been disturbed with no such Animal. These have been interrupted with Cares: I have banished all of them from my Habitation, from my Head and Heart. These have been wearied with Business: I would have no Business but have been wholly at Leisure. In Short I have some Idea now of the Happiness of the Inhabitants of Arcadia, Paradise and the Elisian Fields.
Why will the cruel Thought intrude itself? Is this to last only, untill Monday Morning, four O Clock?2 Avaunt this gloomy Thought, this impertinent Intruder: I wont Suffer myself to think, that it is ever to End, untill the Moment arrives, and then I must endeavour to forget for a while, that I have ever been so happy.
I hope, Madam, I shall not be left to Stain this Paper with any Thing concerning Politicks or War. I was determined to write you before I went away and there is no other Subject, in the whole Compass of Art, Science or Nature, upon which I could have written one Line, without diminishing my Happiness.
I wish you Madam, a Speedy Return, with your worthy Partner, to your Family, and a Happiness there as exquisite as mine has been here and much more lasting. I am with unfeigned Esteem and Affection, your and Mr. Warrens Friend and humble servant,
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To Mrs. Mercy Warren”; docketed: “J. Adams Augt. 1774”; docketed later: “August 1775 Braintree.”
1. From Alexander Pope's “Satires of Dr. John Donne, Dean of St. Paul's, Versified,” Satire IV, l. 186–187.
2. The day on which JA began his return to Philadelphia, 28 Aug.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0072

Author: Tudor, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-08

From William Tudor

[salute] Dear Sir

You was inquiring the other Day into the Office of Judge Advocate. I will now acquaint you with some Particulars in that Department which will give you an Idea of that Officer's Duty in the Continental Army.
As Judge Advocate, I have his Excellency's (the Commander in chief) Orders, in writing, “to attend every General Court Martial, not only those of the Line but of each Brigade throughout the Army: and to see that there is a fair Copy of the intire Proceedings in each Case, made out to be reported to the General.” (One Reason for which, is, That as the General is to confirm, or reject the Determination of the { 128 } Court, he cannot form a competent Opinion of the Court's Judgement, without seeing the whole State of the Evidence &c.)
The Number of Offences made cognizable by a General Court Martial only; the very large Army here; the Extent of the Camp, in each Quarter of which my Duty requires my Attendance, renders my Office, arduous and difficult.2
I am oblig'd to issue Orders to the Adjutants of the Regiments, to see the Prisoners brought up and that the Witnesses attend—and indeed to put all Matters in such a Train that the Court may have Nothing else to do than to hear the Examination, which is all taken down in writing, and give a Judgement. In every Case where the Evidence is complicated, it is expected of me that I analyse the Evidence and state the Questions which are involv'd in it. But I will not trouble you with a tedious Detail. It is sufficient to acquaint you that I am oblig'd to act as Advocate, Register and Clerk. For the Stipend of 20 Dollars a Month. Without the least Assistance, and without a single Perquisite of Office.
In the British Army, General Courts Martial sit only in capital Cases, or when a commissioned officer is to be try'd. He is allow'd 10/ sterling a Day and draws Pay as Capt. besides. His Duty is easy—because the strict Discipline which prevails among regular Troops, render General Court Martial but rarely necessary. The Difference between the Ministerial Army and the American, is easily conceiv'd without drawing a Parralell. I will only observe the hon. Congress have granted near 2000 Commissions and that no Commissioned Officer can be try'd but by a General Ct. Martial. While two thirds of the Crimes of the Privates must come before the same Court for Trial.
Since my Appointment (14 July) I have attended twenty seven Trials, among which were two chief Colonels and Nine commissioned Officers. Every one of which has been minutely reported in Writing to the Commander in chief. And There are now a Col. and two commissioned Officers under an Arrest—who are to be try'd as soon as possible.3 Those of the Officers have been very lengthy. I am oblig'd to set, without a Minute's Absence from 8 to three—doing the whole Labour of the Trial—and as soon as the Court is adjourn'd, to employ the afternoon in copying the Proceedings of the Morning, that the General may have early Knowlege of the issue. And that the Order of Court may be timely put into the general Orders.
Every Day for a Month past a General Court Martial has set in one or other Part of the Camp. It is impossible for me to be in two Places { 129 } at once. A Court at Roxbury adjourn'd for six Days successively, because my Duty at Cambridge, forbid my leaving it. The Court cannot consist of less than 13 Members, and the Service is hurt—but it must frequently be the Case while the Judge Advocate is allow'd no Assistant.
I must beg, Sir, on your Return to Congress You would prevail on Our American Legislature, to reconsider the Stipend affix'd to this Office, and endeavour to have a Salary fix'd, more adequate to the Service. Should there be no Alteration made I shall be under the Necessity of asking Permission to resign an Employment the Duties of which, leave me without an Hour to call my own; and the Pay of which will not give me even a Maintenance. I am your most obt. Servt.
[signed] Wm. Tudor
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble. John Adams Esq. Braintree.”
1. Since Tudor wrote while JA was still in Braintree so far as he knew and since provision for pay and a clerk for Tudor was made at the opening session of the congress in Sept. 1775, a date of August seems reasonable for this letter. Moreover, examination of Gen. Washington's General Orders, which record officers tried by court martial, from 14 July, when Tudor was appointed, suggests that in terms of the number of officers Tudor mentions, he may have written this letter as early as mid-August (JCC, 3:257; Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:passim).
2. Some 25 of the 69 Articles of War adopted by the congress call for punishment of offenses through the means of a general court martial (JCC, 2:111–122).
3. This sentence was written in the margin and is inserted here, where the editors believe it was intended to go.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0073

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-04

From Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] Sir

This afternoon came to Hand your Favour of August 26. May you ever have it in your power to expatiate this Largly on your own Happiness, but I would not have you Imagine when you in your sixteen hours Nap and Dreaming of the Feilds of Arcadia, and are Enraptured with the Happy Elisian and paridisaic scenes at Braintree that you are the only Happy Mortal among your Numerous Circle of Friends. I dare say had they the talent of Easey Discription they would Boast of a share of the Felicities of Life though few can pronounce themselves Compleatly happy Even for a day, either Amidst the Cares the tumults and Follies of the World or the still pleasures of Rural Life.
By your Freind Mr. Collins I thought It my Duty to Let you know I heard from Mrs Adams this day who has been a Little unwell since you left her but is much better.1 I shall Call on her in a day or two { 130 } and Endeavour to Return her kindness to me when in the same situation.
The person who Holds the first place in my heart your invariable Friend has been too unwell this day to take up the pen this Evening or you would have Received the superier pleasure of a Line from him Instead of this Interruption from me.
The ships which Arrived Last Fryday are from Halifax with a few petatoes and a Little wood. The people there are in Expectation of an Attack from a Body of troops which they hear are to be sent down under the Command of Preble and are preparing for Defence.2 If they suffer such terrors from the Name of a Worn out American Veteran what must be their Apprehensions from the Active Vigorous spirited Heros who are Riseing up from Every Corner of the united Colonies to oppose the Wicked system of politicks which has Long Governed a Corrupt Court.
But I ask parden for touching on War politicks or anything Relative therto, as I think you gave me a Hint in yours Not to Approach the Verge of anything so far beyond the Line of my sex.3
The Worthy bearer of this will inform you of all the Inteligence stiring. Tranqulity still Reigns in the Camp. We scarcly hear the Distant Roar of Cannen for 24 hours past.
By a person from Boston Last saterday we Learn they are Building a Floating Batery in town in order to Bombard Prospect Hill. What a Contemptable figure do the arms of Britain make. But I Have no time to write nor have you to Read observations either Natural Moral or political, so shall ajourn any thing of that kind till your Reverie of Compleat Happiness is a Little over and you Descend to touch again in the arts and sciences.

[salute] With Great Respect (after the affectionate Compliments of your Friend) I subscribe sir your unfeigned Friend and Humble servant,

[signed] Marcia
Swift of Boston is Really Dead.4
RC (Adams Papers); addressed by James Warren: “To the Honbl. John Adams Esqr. Member of Congress att Philadelphia per Favr. Mr. Collins”; readdressed: “Favd pr Sol. Southwick N. Port.” At Newport, Collins put this letter into other hands, perhaps because he feared capture by British vessels. Beneath the seal, he added a note to JA:
Having taken passage by water to N. York, thought best to forward this by Post. Thy Friend.
[signed] Step: Collins
NB We are wating for a fair wind. We sal'd once, got as far as Point Judah [Judith] and was oblig'd to put Back with a Head Wind.
{ 131 }
1. AA, TBA, and several other members of the household contracted dysentery soon after JA's departure for Philadelphia. The disease reached epidemic proportions, causing many deaths, including that of AA's mother, Elizabeth Quincy Smith, on 1 Oct. (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:276–280, 284–285, 287–2891:276, 278, 284, 285, 287, 288, 289).
2. No expedition under Jedediah Preble, who at 69 years of age had turned down general's commissions from the Provincial Congress and from the Continental Congress, was contemplated. The Americans were, however, planning an attack on Canada, with one force going up the Kennebec River and another proceeding from New York. The commanders were respectively Benedict Arnold and Philip Schuyler (French, First Year, 431–432).
3. Mrs. Warren misread JA's meaning. His own relaxed mood kept him from discussing serious matters like these. See his rejoinder in his letter to James Warren, 26 Sept. (below).
4. Samuel Swift, who had been caught in Boston at the outbreak of war and was by August confined to his house under surveillance, died on 30 Aug. (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 9:580–583).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0074

Author: Morton, Perez
Author: Massachusetts Provincial Congress Deputy Secretary
Author: Massachusetts Provincial Congress
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-06

John Adams' Commission as Justice of the Peace in Suffolk County

Watertown, 6 September 1775. Printed form with spaces filled in appropriately (Adams Papers); signed by Perez Morton, Deputy Secretary, and fifteen Council members; on the verso in an unidentified hand: “J. Adams Esq.”; docketed in later years by JA: “Commision.”
This commission, listed in Council records under the date of 8 September, was approved at the same time as similar ones for John Hancock and Samuel Adams (Records of the States, Microfilm, Mass. E.1b.c, Reel No. 2, Unit 2, p. 464–465). The commissions made them “of the Quorum,” a distinction reserved for only the more prominent justices in a county. The appointments followed past patronage practice of handing such commissions to members of the Council and the House, a practice that was vigorously protested a few months later by the Berkshire Constitutionalists (Robert J. Taylor, Western Massachusetts in the Revolution, Providence, 1954, p. 28, 83). No evidence has been found, however, that JA ever made use of his commission.
Printed form with spaces filled in appropriately (Adams Papers); signed by Perez Morton, Deputy Secretary, and fifteen Council members; on the verso in an unidentified hand: “J. Adams Esq.”; docketed in later years by JA: “Commision.”

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0075

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-11

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

I please myself with the probability that before this you are safely arrived at Philadelphia, after having fine weather for Journeying.1 I hope you will not be disappointed in your wishes with regard to the Spirit and Temper of the Congress. I should have wrote you before if I had been well, but from A Cold I took in the long storm we had here, have been much Indisposed since you left us. Am now better.
Nothing very material has Occurred. The Military Operations are much in the same way as when you was last here. The works on { 132 } Ploughed Hill2 are thought to be Impregnable. They fired at them and Roxbury till they Tired themselves and have now in a manner ceased. We seldom hear A Cannon tho' the natural Effusions of Resentment and disappointment now and then give us an Instance, harmless enough for they never Injure us. All seems to be in a Tranquil state for a war. The greatest difficulty seems to be to govern our own Soldiery. I may say the rifle Men only for I hear of no other. Yesterday the General was Obliged to order no less than 24 of them under Guard. They are the most disorderly part of the Army if not alone so. I have not been at head quarters since Saturday but am told that for some Crime one of them was ordered under Guard. An Attempt was made by a Number to rescue him, upon which they were also ordered to be put under Guard, upon which a whole Company undertook to rescue them, and the General was Obliged to Call out a large detachment from the Rhode Island Troops to Apprehend them, who though prepared for resistance thought proper to submit, and the Ringleaders are now in Custody. I believe he will Choose to make Examples of them. I should were I in his place.3
We have in a few days past a great deal of foreign News, and all seems to agree that both England, and Ireland are in great Confusion. It is said the Irish Parliament have resolved that no more Troops, or Provisions for Troops shall come from there to America, and that several of the Recruiting parties there have been killed. That the whole Kingdom is in an Uproar, and in such an Opposition to Administration as will Intitle them equally with the Americans to the Character of Rebels. The Vessel that brings this Account has been stoped by the Men of war at Rhode Island in her way to Providence, and perhaps many other perticulars Smothered.4 Callihorne5 is Arrived at Boston, and several Letters have been received, and some of them sent out of Boston giveing Assurances that no more Troops will be sent to America, and that the dispute will be soon settled. Oliver Wendal6 told me he had seen one to that purpose from a Man whose Intelligence he could depend on. Other Letters I hear of, which say the People had Obliged the King to promise not only to send no other Troops out, but to recall the Fleet and Army Already here. If all this be true how seasonably will your last Petition arrive to serve as a Mantle to Cover the Nakedness of the Ministry, and to Screen them from the Shame of being forced to a retreat by the Virtue of the Americans. Depend on it they will Catch at it, like a hungry Fish at a Bait, and we must be Content with a Harvest Blasted with Mildew, Cut before it is ripe, and Consequently of little value. Does no Powder Arrive. I wish we { 133 } may be able to give them at least one Blast more, that they may leave us thoroughly Impressed with a Sense of American Bravery and Prowess. If they do go, I know you won't fail to do every thing in your power to furnish us. Money if possible grows scarcer than powder. The last dollar perhaps will be gone Tomorrow, and then I Expect we shall be all din'd with Clamours, and Complaints. We have enough of them Already from the largeness of the Bills.7 1200 Men March this afternoon and Tomorrow under Coll. Arnold for Newberry Port to Embark for Kennebeck in their way to Quebec. I wish they may not be Intercepted, in their passage. Were I to Conduct the matter I think I should march them all the way by Land. Two frigates and a Number of Schooners I am told left Boston Yesterday. Probably to Intercept them. A few deserters come over to us, and several of our rifle men have deserted to the Enemy.
A Ship from Piscataqua for the West Indies owned by Mr. Langdon was taken by the Lively and has been retaken by An Armed Vessel from Beverly and Carried into Cape Ann.8 The Prisoners were Brought to Head quarters on Saturday. I don't find your Friend P: Henry in the List of Delegates from Virginia. How does it happen. It gives me Concern, you know I have a great Opinion of him.9
Our Council are yet seting tho' they Talk of An Adjournment Tomorrow. They seem to have been very Busy. I can hardly tell you what has been done since you left us. Coll. Prescot Sherriff of this County, Coll. Dwight Worcester, Dr. Winthrop Judge of Probate his Son Register, Foster Appointed for Worcester. No Appointments for the Superior Court.10 They seem as much at a loss as ever. I Inclose A Letter left at my Lodgings.11 I Suppose from Braintree and so will give you an Account of your Family. I have been much Concerned about them. Mrs. Adams and almost the whole Family I hear have been Sick. I had the pleasure of hearing last Evening that She was better, and all the rest Except One of the Maids and little Tommy who I don't learn are dangerous. You will please to make my regards to All Friends perticularly Mr. Adams, and believe me to be with great Sincerity Your Friend,
[signed] J W
Six regulars put of[f] from Boston in A Boat and were unable to row back against the Wind which blew hard at N:W they say. They drifted on Dorchester and were taken.12
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in an unknown hand: “Warren Sept. 11th 1775.”
1. JA arrived in Philadelphia on 12 Sept., the day before the first meeting of the 2d session of the Second Continental Congress, which had been { 134 } scheduled for 5 Sept. but had been postponed for lack of a quorum. He had left Watertown on 1 Sept. in the company of Samuel Adams (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:168–169; Samuel Adams, Writings, 3:226; JCC, 2:240).
2. Washington had taken Plowed Hill on 26 Aug., a site that commanded the Mystic River, and kept control despite British artillery (French, First Year, p. 481).
3. On 12 Sept., 33 members of Col. William Thompson's regiment of Pennsylvania riflemen were found guilty of “disobedient and mutinous Behavior” and were fined, the money to go to the support of Dr. Benjamin Church's hospital (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:490–491). For an eyewitness account of this episode, see Penna. Archives, 2d ser., 10:8–10.
4. This foreign news is taken from the Boston Gazette, 11 Sept. Compare Force, Archives, 4th ser., 3:168–169.
5. The reference remains obscure.
6. Oliver Wendell (1733–1818), Boston merchant and officeholder (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 13:367–374).
7. Warren writes here as paymaster general. On 1 Aug. the congress had ordered that $500,000 be sent to the army in Massachusetts (JCC, 2:235–236). By the date of Warren's letter, only $172,520 had reached the province. Washington urged speed and described the army's state as “not far from mutiny” (Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:482, 512–513). On 13 Sept. the congress ordered that $527,480 be sent at once; it arrived on the 29th (JCC, 2:245; Warren to JA, 1 Oct., below).
8. The Unity, commanded by Capt. Flagg, was seized by the British warship Lively and retaken by Nicholson Broughton of the schooner Hannah on 7 Sept. (Naval Docs. Amer. Rev. 2:36, 92–93; Allen, Mass. Privateers, p. 163).
9. See JA's explanation to Warren, 19 Sept. (below).
10. Appointments were not made until October.
11. Probably AA's letter of 8–10 Sept. (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:276–278).
12. Reported in the Boston Gazette, 18 Sept.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0076-0001

Editorial Note

In the fall of 1775 Adams worked in the congress to the point of exhaustion; by December he asked permission to leave to restore his energies. He served on thirteen committees, and judging from the fragmentary evidence that has been found, he gave full measure. He was not exaggerating when he told Mercy Warren he was “engaged in constant Business. . . . Every Body is engaged all Day in Congress and all the Morning and evening in Committees.” The workday began at seven in the morning and ended at ten at night (JA to Mercy Warren, 25 Nov., below). Adams' intense activity contradicts the assessment of Benjamin Rush, who saw Adams as a man shunned because of the intemperate remarks about Dickinson disclosed in the intercepted letter (JA to James Warren, 24 July, note 6, above).
Adams arrived in Philadelphia on 12 September, just in time for the official opening for business the next day. Actually, the congress had tried to begin on the 5th, but for lack of a quorum had had to wait eight days for enough members to arrive. In contrast to the preceding spring, Adams found time to record in some detail debates taking place during one month's period, 23 September through 21 October (Diary and Autobiography, 2:178–180, 183–187, 188–217). Among the subjects discussed were the mode of dispensing supplies to soldiers, the gunpowder contract with the firm of Willing & Morris, the wisdom of arresting royal officers and shutting down the royal postal service, the mode of appointment of officers, and, most important, the desirability of modifying the Continental Association by opening the ports and encouraging trade and the establishment of an American fleet.
Although Adams records the positions of many of his colleagues on these issues, he records his views only twice: as making a motion to consult Washington and as making a point of order (same, 2:185, 198). It is mainly from his letters to close friends and associates, James Warren in particular, that one must learn where he stood. And these are not wholly satisfactory, for the congress continued to operate under a rule of secrecy that was reaffirmed on 9 November. Adams and other members at that time signed a formal statement carrying a penalty of expulsion and condemnation as an enemy to American liberties for divulging congressional secrets without authorization (Jefferson, Papers, 1:252–253; photostat { 136 } of MS in MHi). Another source for Adams' positions is his recollections written down in 1805 in his Autobiography, but the evidence is plain that with the lapse of time his memory, even when stimulated by research in the Journals of the congress, confused the facts, and hindsight caused him to claim more than he should have.
In later years Adams was proudest of his contribution to the establishment of an American navy. His pride was justified, despite his oversimplifications. The naming of a committee on 5 October to plan for the interception of two British vessels carrying arms and ammunition to Canada was the first congressional step toward creating a navy (JCC, 3:277). Adams is the only source for identifying the makeup of the three-man committee, but his recollection was not disputed by his correspondent and former colleague John Langdon (JA, Works, 10:27, 28). Besides himself, the committee was composed of Langdon and Silas Deane. Seen now as a first step, the committee was not considered as such then, and much was to occur before the congress clearly saw where it was heading. No great effort was required to turn Adams' mind to the possibilities the sea offered. He had grown up on the coast, his legal business had acquainted him with merchants and seamen, and he got letters from Josiah Quincy urging upon him schemes for bottling up shipping in Boston harbor (Quincy to JA, 11 July, above, and 22 Sept., 25 Oct., both below). Yet he was not appointed to the committee named on 13 October to prepare an estimate of the expense of fitting out and contracting for two armed vessels for the purpose of the interception. He was not called upon until this new committee was enlarged by four on 30 October and ordered to fit out two additional ships. The enlarged committee gradually became known as the Naval Committee, not to be confused with a standing committee of later origin called the Marine Committee. The membership of the Naval Committee included Silas Deane, John Langdon, Stephen Hopkins, Christopher Gadsden, Joseph Hewes, Richard Henry Lee, and John Adams (JCC, 3:293–294, 311–312; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:217, note, 273, note).
Any account of the emergence of a Continental navy that confines itself to the actions of the congress overlooks the independent action of General Washington, who before word of armed vessels was received from the congress had set about hiring several to intercept British transports supplying Boston (Clark, Washington's Navy, p. 3–17). One can argue, of course, that a real navy could be the creation only of the congress, but certainly Washington saw the need for action at sea given the situation he found—a besieged town supplied through its harbor. A recent scholar would go back even further to find the origin of a Continental navy—back to the congressional resolution of 18 July 1775 which urged each colony to fit out armed vessels for its own defense. In so resolving, the congress may have been swayed by the action of Massachusetts' Third Provincial Congress, which on 7 June appointed a committee to consider the feasibility of arming small vessels to cruise along the coast to protect trade and { 137 } annoy enemies (Raymond G. O'Connor, “Second Commentary” in Maritime Dimensions of the American Revolution, Washington, 1977, P. 27; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 308–309).
Formal proposals for an American fleet actually came to Philadelphia from Rhode Island on 3 October and provoked vigorous debate (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:198–199, 201). As the instructions from that colony put it, the best way to achieve peace based upon constitutional principles was to fight a “just and necessary war . . . to a happy issue,” and an American fleet would greatly contribute to that end (JCC, 3:274). Although in the ensuing debate Adams does not record anything he said beyond his raising a point of order, he unquestionably supported the establishment of a fleet, and probably from the first. According to Samuel Ward, the initial attitude of many members was that a fleet was “perfectly chimerical,” but opinions gradually changed until a favorable vote was achieved to create a committee made up of one delegate from each colony that was charged with “furnishing these colonies with a naval armament” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:256; JCC, 3:420). This was the Marine Committee, named on 11 December and reconstituted on the 14th, that Adams in his Autobiography confused with the Naval Committee, and that gradually absorbed the functions of the other.
By 11 December, however, Adams had departed from Philadelphia. Still, he had been able to advance the cause of a navy through his membership on the Naval Committee. His duties involved him in recruiting likely men to serve as officers, a responsibility that caused him to write to correspondents for suggestions. (For his list of possibilities, see Diary and Autobiography, 2:221.) The Naval Committee was ordered to prepare commissions, to purchase ship supplies, to engage With Captain Stone for the seizure or destruction of Lord Dunmore's fleet, and to see to it that ships violating the nonexportation agreement were detained (JCC, 3:316, 392–393, 395–396, 406). This committee prepared Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies (No. VIII, below), which continued in use under the Constitution. These were adapted by Adams mainly from existing British regulations, but listing them in formal fashion with a care for the needs of the colonies was an argument that a naval service would be no casual or temporary thing. The congress was making a commitment not unlike that made when it decided to remodel the army. John Adams' industry gave the congress a nudge.
The accompanying documents and calendared item reflect the work of those committees for which some evidence exists of JA's role in their deliberations and reports or in which he had a particular interest. Following these is a synopsis of his membership on committees for which there is no record of his influence on their actions. The listing gives the names of members in the order in which they appear in the Journal, the responsibilities assigned, and the dates, locations, and authorship, when known, of reports and subsequent resolutions.
The weeks Adams spent in Philadelphia in the fall of 1775 were try• { 138 } ing ones. Important decisions whose consequences could not be fully foreseen pressed for action. Although Adams stood with those who saw no hope of reconciliation, he did not minimize the dangers of the course on which America was embarked. He was bold in his recommendations, but he sought constantly the nourishment he could get from the letters of those in Massachusetts. Occasionally, he even had to explain to them why the colonies could not press on faster. He operated always within the political realities that confronted him in the congress.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0076-0002

Author: Adams, John
Author: Continental Congress
Date: 1775-10-05

I. Resolutions of the Congress on Intercepting British Vessels

Resolved,1 That a letter be sent by Express to Genl Washington, to inform him, that they [Congress] having received certain intelligence of the sailing of two north country built Brigs, of no force, from England, on the 11 of August last, loaded with arms, powder, and other stores, for Quebec, without a convoy, which it being of importance to intercept, that he apply to the council of Massachusetts bay, for the two armed vessels in their service, and despatch the same,2 with a sufficient number of people, stores, &c. particularly a number of oars, in order, if possible, to intercept said two Brigs and their cargoes, and secure the same for the use of the continent; Also, any other transports laden with ammunition, cloathing, or other stores, for the use of the ministerial army or navy in America, and secure them in the most convenient places for the purpose abovementioned; that he give the commander or commanders such instructions as are necessary, as also proper encouragement to the marines and seamen, that shall be sent on this enterprize, which instructions, &c., are to be delivered to the commander or commanders sealed up, with orders not to open the same until out of sight of land, on account of secresy.
That a letter be wrote to said honble council, to put said vessels under the General's command and direction, and to furnish him instantly with every necessary in their power, at the expence of the Continent.
Also that the General be directed to employ said vessels and others, if he judge necessary, to effect the purposes aforesd; informing the General that the Rhode Island and Connecticut vessels of force will be sent directly after them to their assistance.
That a letter be wrote to Govr Cooke, informing him of the above, and desiring him to despatch one or both the armed vessels of the { 139 } | view colony of Rhode Island on the same service, and that he take the precautions abovementioned.3
Also that a letter be wrote to Govr Trumbull, requesting of him the largest vessel in the service of the colony of Connecticut, to be sent on the enterprize aforesaid, acquainting him with the above particulars, and recommending the same precautions.4
That the encouragement recommended by this Congress to be given shall be, on this occasion, that the master, officers and seamen, shall be intitled to one half of the value of the prizes by them taken, the wages they receive from the respective colonies notwithstanding.5
That the said ships and vessels of war to be on the continental risque and pay, during their being so employed.
Reprinted from (JCC, 3:278–279); Dft not found.
1. These resolutions grew out of the report (not found) of a committee appointed on 5 Oct., which, according to JA, was composed of himself, Silas Deane, and John Langdon. The Journals do not give the names of the members (same, 3:277). As JA recalled the episode, the question of whether to try intercepting the ships caused sharp debate, for the attempt was thought by some to be imprudent and potentially destructive of the morals of American seamen because it might put their minds upon plunder. JA and others argued that success would bring needed supplies and would be an encouraging stroke at the enemy. JA added that it would be the beginning of “a System of maritime and naval Opperations.” Because he wrote these recollections long after the event (in 1805) and because he showed some confusion about his own role at this early stage in bringing naval operations into being, one must be cautious about accepting JA's account. He says nothing about his contribution to the report which led to these resolutions (Diary and Autobiography, 3:342–343).
2. Actually Washington had decided on recruiting two armed vessels before he received these orders from the congress (Instructions to Col. John Glover and Stephen Moylan, 4 Oct., Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 4:6–7). For the outcome, see Benjamin Hichborn to JA, 25 Nov., note 9 (below).
3. The published records of Rhode Island do not give the colony's action on the request of the congress.
4. For the action taken by Connecticut, see Conn. Colonial Records, 15:131.
5. “On the margin of the ‘corrected Journal’ the words ‘2. this particularly’ were written against this paragraph” (ed. Worthington C. Ford's note).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0076-0003

Author: Adams, John
Author: Langdon, John
Author: Dyer, Eliphalet
Author: Continental Congress
Date: 1775-10-16

II. Committee Report on Gunpowder Sent to the Northern Army

The Committee appointed to enquire, what Powder has been Sent to the Army in the Northern Department, have attended that service and beg Leave to report
That five Thousand Weight of Powder, sent from South Carolina, has been forwarded to the said Army.   5000 wt.  
{ 140 } | view
That Two Thousand one hundred and thirty six Pounds Weight have been forwarded to the Same Army from the City of Philadelphia.   2136  
That Seventeen hundred Weight have been forwarded from New York.   1700  
That Eight hundred Weight has been forwarded from Connecticutt.   800  
That Thirteen hundred Weight has been forwarded at another Time from the City of Philadelphia.   1300  
  10936  
In Addition to which Two thousand Weight has been lately ordered to New York and from there to the same Army.2   2000  
  12,936  
MS in JA's hand (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 346, filmed under date [1776–1778]).
1. On 16 Oct. a committee composed of John Langdon, Eliphalet Dyer, and JA was ordered to make a survey of the amounts of gunpowder sent to the northern army and by whom. The Journals do not record any report made or accepted (JCC, 3:296).
2. Pres. Hancock informed Gen. Schuyler of the shipment of powder in his letter of 11 Oct. (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:228).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0076-0004

Author: Adams, John
Author: Deane, Silas
Author: Wythe, George
Author: Continental Congress
Date: 1775-10-19

III. Form Letter Requesting Information on British Depredations

[salute] Sir

The continental congress having been pleased to appoint us a committe1 for collecting an account of the hostilities committed by the ministerial troops and navy in America, since last March, with proper evidence of the truth of the facts related, the number and value of the buildings destroyed, and of the vessels inward and outward bound seised, by them as nearly as can be ascertained, and also the stock taken by them from different parts of the continent, as you may see by the resolve inclosed; we entreat the assistance of the convention of your colony in this business, that we may be enabled to perform what is required of us, in the manner and with the expedition congress expects; and, to that end you will be pleased to furnish us with the necessary materials sending to us clear distinct full and circumstantial details of the hostile and destructive acts, and the captures { 141 } or seizures and depredations in your colony, and accurate estimates of the loss and damage with the solemn examinations of witnesses, and other papers and documents officially authenticated. We are, Sir, Your obedient humble servants,
[signed] Silas Deane
[signed] John Adams
[signed] George Wythe
MS (PHi:Sprague CoIl.).
1. This letter was the work of the committee formed on 18 Oct. to obtain “a just and well authenticated account of the hostilities committed by the ministerial troops and navy in America since last March” (JCC, 3:298–299). For JA's comments on the committee and its purpose, see his letters to James Warren of 12, 18, and 19 (1st) Oct. (below). No indication of when or whether this committee reported to congress has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0076-0005

Author: Adams, John
Author: Rutledge, John
Author: Ward, Samuel
Author: Lee, Richard Henry
Author: Sherman, Roger
Author: Continental Congress
Date: 1775-11-03

IV. Resolution of the Congress on New Hampshire Government

3 November 1775. Dft not found. printed: JCC, 3:319. Based on a report (not found) from a committee appointed 26 October composed of John Rutledge, JA, Samuel Ward, Richard Henry Lee, and Roger Sherman, which reported on 3 November (same, 3:307, 319).
On 18 October the delegates from New Hampshire laid before their colleagues instructions from their province which asked the advice of the congress “with respect to a method of our administering Justice, and regulating our civil police” (same, 3:298). The congress recommended the calling of “a full and free representation of the people” and the establishment of a government that would promote the people's happiness and secure good order during the dispute with Great Britain.
In his Autobiography JA recalled that when the New Hampshire delegates presented their instructions, he took the opportunity to harangue “on the Subject at large” and to urge the congress “to resolve on a general recommendation to all the States to call Conventions and institute regular Governments” (Diary and Autobiography, 3:354–357). The congress was deeply divided on the issue, but according to JA, some began to come around. If he spoke as he claimed, he was anticipating by some seven months his motion for independent governments offered in May 1776. Again, JA's recollection may very well have been inaccurate. At any rate, moderates saw to it that the advice to New Hampshire was to be operative only until the dispute was settled. In private correspondence, where the need for circumspection was less, JA saw more than temporary possibilities (JA to Elbridge Gerry, 5 Nov., note 4, below; see also his first letter to James Warren of 6 July, note 6, above).
printed: (JCC, 3:319).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0076-0006

Author: Adams, John
Author: Hopkins, Stephen
Author: Gadsden, Christopher
Author: Lee, Richard Henry
Author: Hewes, Joseph
Author: Langdon, John
Author: Continental Congress, Naval Committee
Recipient: Deane, Silas
Date: 1775-11-07

V. Naval Committee to Silas Deane

[salute] To Silas Deane Esqr.

You are desired to repair immediately to the City of New York, and there purchase a Ship suitable for carrying 20 nine pounders upon one deck, if such a Ship can there be found. Also a Sloop, suitable to carry ten guns, which we would choose should be Bermudian built if such a one can be had. If you succeed in purchasing both, or either of these Vessels, you will use all possible expedition to procure them to be armed and equipped for the Sea. For this purpose you will apply to, and employ such persons as can carry this business into the most speedy execution. Should there be danger in fitting these Vessels at New York from the Kings ships, you may then send the Vessels eastward thro the Sound to New London or Norwich in order to be armed and fitted. Should this be the case you will repair immediately to the place where the Ships are to be fitted, and there use every means in your power to procure this to be done with the utmost expedition. In the Colony of Connecticut you are to procure powder for both these Vessels, and such other Military Stores as can there be had. You will procure the Cannon and other Stores at New York or any other place where it can be done in the best and most expeditious manner. You will also procure Officers and Men suitable for these Vessels. As soon as these Vessels can possibly be fitted for the Sea, you will order them immediately into Delaware Bay. You will by every opportunity give us the most exact intelligence of all your proceedings by conveyances the most safe and secure that can be obtained. You are empower'd to draw on Governor Hopkins for such sums of money as may be necessary for the above business.
[signed] Step Hopkins
[signed] Chris Gadsden
[signed] Richard Henry Lee
[signed] Joseph Hewes
[signed] John Adams
[signed] Jno. Langdon1
PS. In the course of your Journey at New York, or elsewhere you are to employ proper Persons to engage experienced and able-bodied seamen to man the ships now fitting out who must repair to Philadelphia with all possible dispatch.
RC in Lee's hand (CtHi: Deane Papers.)
1. This commission was signed by all members of the Naval Committee except, for obvious reasons, Silas Deane. It is printed as a sample of the kind of { 143 } commissions that the committee sent out. On 6 Nov. Stephen Hopkins had written his brother Esek regarding the command of the fleet which the committee had offered to Esek on the day before (CSmH:Harbeck Coll., in JA's hand but signed by Hopkins). Hopkins said in part, “they have pitched upon you to take the Command of a small Fleet, which they and I hope will be but the Beginning of one much larger.” See also S. Adams to JA, 22 Dec., note 2 (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0076-0007

Author: Adams, John
Author: Deane, Silas
Author: Jay, John
Author: Hopkins, Stephen
Author: Langdon, John
Author: Continental Congress, Safety Committee
Date: 1775-11-09

VI. Committee Report on Petition from Nova Scotia

Proposals.1
That two Battallions of Marines be raised consisting of one Collonell, two Lt. Collonells, two Majors &c. (officers as usual in other Regiments) that they consist of five hundred Privates each Battalion, exclusive of Officers.
That particular Care be taken that no Persons be appointed to office or inlisted into Said Battalions but such as have actually Served in the Merchant Service as seamen, or so acquainted with maritime Affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea, where required.
That they be enlisted and commissioned to be held for and during the present War, between G. Britain and the Colonies, unless regularly dismissed by orders of the Congress.
That they be distinguished by the Name of the 1st. and 2d. Battalion of American Marines.2
That a Sufficient Number of Vessells be taken up, and provided at Newbury Port, or Portsmouth by the 1st. day of December next for transporting Said two Battalions and three Months Provisions, and other Necessaries.
That Said two Battalions be raised and marched to said Place of Rendezvous, by the 1st. of December, and in Case they are not easily raised or there is likely to be delay, that the General Draught out of the Forces under his Command to make up, any such Deficiency, of those who have been employed at sea if such are to be had.
That Said Battalions, shall be armed in the following Manner, vizt. a light Fusee,3 fitted for Slinging, a large Hatchet with a long Handle, and a Spear, with thirty two Rounds per Man of Ammunition.
That a Number of Men be immediately Sent into Nova Scotia, to inform themselves of the Temper and Disposition of the Inhabitants of that Colony with respect to the Present Struggle between G. B. and these Colonies, and how far they may be willing or able to take an active Part in the present Dispute.4
{ 144 }
That two swift Sailing Boats be employed constantly to ply between Minas and Portsmouth or Newbury to bring Intelligence of the State and Situation of the Province, in general, but most minutely of every Thing, respecting the Town and Harbour of Hallifax.
That as soon as the Said two Battallions, shall be arrived, at either of Said Ports and the situation of that Colony and the Town of Hallifax shall be known the Said Battallions embark for Minas and make their Voyage with all possible Dispatch.
That previous to their Arrival, Horses and Carriages, be privately engaged for their Use, and that on their Landing they immediately make a forced March for Hallifax and possess themselves of that Town and of the naval and other Stores there and if practicable of the Shipping.
Note. Coll. Arnolds Expedition was Supposed in Boston to have been against this Place, which caused the General to send thither Shipps, and Troops, but not enough to make Resistance to two Such Battallions. Further the Country are intirely in our favour, a few Scotch Traders and renegade Tories excepted.
Should this Expedition by any Accident be found impracticable, these would be two Battallions of the Utmost service, being capable of Serving either by sea or Land.
Should the Expedition succeed, the Consequences will be of the Utmost Importance, nothing less than the greatest Distress, if not the Utter Ruin of the ministerial Navy in America. The Naval Stores in that Place are Said to be of vast Value, the Docks and Barracks and Yards cost the Nation more than one Million sterling, and is the only Place at which Shipps of War can refitt in America.
These Battalions Should consist of Ten Companies each of fifty privates in a Company. The Reason for this is, that in fitting out any Ship of War one of these Companies would compleatly man a Small Vessell and two of them make a large Proportion of Marines for the largest.
Should this Expedition succeed, which it most unavoidably will, if prudently managed, the Destruction of the Docks and Yards, and the Stores, which may be brought off,5 will be an immense affair, and a Retreat can ever be made with Safety.
But if a ship or two of Warr, should be taken, in the Harbour, of which you may be certain, and the Place by Reinforcements held, untill a force Superior can be brought from G. B. it will unavoidably destroy, and defeat every operation of our Enemy for the next Campaign, as all their Transport Ships may by a few Armed Vesells from { 145 } this Port be intercepted before they can have Intelligence to avoid them.
MS in JA's hand (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 345, filmed under date [ante 1 Dec. 1775].)
1. On 2 Nov. the congress took cognizance of a petition from the inhabitants of Passamaquoddy, Nova Scotia, who had chosen a committee of safety and asked for admission into “the association of the North Americans, for the preservation of their rights and liberties.” To determine what steps should be taken in response, the congress named a committee of five: Silas Deane, John Jay, Stephen Hopkins, John Langdon, and JA (JCC, 3:316). The Journals note that the committee's report was considered on 9 Nov. but give nothing of its substance. The next day the congress acted on the report by adopting three resolutions (same, 3:343–344, 348). It is possible, of course, that the proposals here printed were only JA's preliminary suggestions for a committee report; if so, they must have made their way into it, for some of the language appears in the congressional resolutions.
2. These first four paragraphs constitute the third resolution adopted by the congress, most of the wording being taken verbatim from JA's MS. There are three substantive differences: the congress ruled that the size of the battalions should be the same as others; it called for good seamen, omitting mention of service in the merchant marine; and it added that the two battalions should constitute part of the authorized strength of the Continental Army.
3. A light musket (OED).
4. This paragraph was the basis for the first resolution adopted by the congress, which again borrowed some of JA's phrasing. But the congress settled on two persons for the mission and listed several additional subjects for their inquiry: fortifications, docks, military stores, and the like. In short, the mission was to gather more than political information.
5. The second congressional resolution called for the seizure of military stores and the destruction of installations if Gen. Washington deemed such an expedition practicable. The congress tempered JA's enthusiasm with more caution than he felt, and it insisted upon seeing such an expedition as an integral part of a total effort. The congress preferred to leave the details of mounting an attack to the General's judgment.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0076-0008

Author: Adams, John
Author: Hopkins, Stephen
Author: Gadsden, Christopher
Author: Deane, Silas
Author: Hewes, Joseph
Author: Continental Congress, Naval Committee
Recipient: Saltonstall, Dudley
Date: 1775-11-27

VII. Naval Committee to Dudley Saltonstall

[salute] Sir1

The Congress are now preparing two Ships and two Brigantines to be fitted out as soon as possible to cruise against our common enemy. They have thought of you as a proper person to take the command of one of those ships as Captain. If you enter into this service, which we take to be the service of your country, you will give us the earliest information and repair to Philadelphia as soon as your affairs will possibly admit, and bring with you as many officers and seamen as you can procure at New London and between that place and Philadelphia. Those who may not be able to come with you, leave proper persons to encourage and conduct along after you.
If money should be necessary for the performance of this service { 146 } { 147 } you may draw on Mr. Eleazur Miller Merchant in New York who has money in his hands for that purpose.
In a day or two after you receive this, you will receive by the Messrs. Mumfords2 the Conditions and encouragement offered to the Seamen. We are, Sir, Your humble servant

[salute] Signed by Order of Comme.

[signed] Step. Hopkins
[signed] Christ. Gadsden
[signed] John Adams
[signed] Joseph Hewes
[signed] Silas Deane
Facsim. of MS in unidentified hand ((Magazine of History, 29 [1926]: 242 [Extra No. 116]).)
1. Dudley Saltonstall (1738–1796) commanded the ship Alfred under Como. Esek Hopkins, with John Paul Jones as his first lieutenant (DAB).
2. One of these Mumfords was probably Thomas, of Groton and New London, an active whig (Charles R. Stark, Groton, Conn., 1705–1905, Stonington, Conn., 1922, passim).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0076-0009

Author: Adams, John
Author: Hopkins, Stephen
Author: Gadsden, Christopher
Author: Lee, Richard Henry
Author: Hewes, Joseph
Author: Langdon, John
Author: Deane, Silas
Author: Continental Congress, Naval Committee
DateRange: 1775-11 - 1775-12

VIII. Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies

ART. 1. The Commanders of all ships and vessels belonging to the THIRTEEN UNITED COLONIES, are strictly required to shew in themselves a good example of honor and virtue to their officers and men, and to be very vigilant in inspecting the behaviour of all such as are under them, and to discountenance and suppress all dissolute, immoral and disorderly practices; and also, such as are contrary to the rules of discipline and obedience, and to correct those who are guilty of the same, according to usage of the sea.2
ART. 2. The Commanders of the ships of the Thirteen United Colonies, are to take care that divine service be performed twice a day on board, and a sermon preached on Sundays, unless bad weather or other extraordinary accidents prevent it.
ART. 3. If any shall be heard to swear, curse or blaspheme the name of God, the Captain is strictly enjoined to punish them for every offence, by causing them to wear a wooden collar or some other shameful badge of distinction, for so long a time as he shall judge proper: If he be a commissioned officer, he shall forfeit one shilling for each offence, and a warrant or inferior officer six pence: He who { 148 } is guilty of drunkenness (if a seaman) shall be put in irons until he is sober, but if an officer, he shall forfeit two days pay.
ART. 4. No Commander shall inflict any punishment upon a seaman beyond twelve lashes upon his bare back with a cat of nine tails; if the fault shall deserve a greater punishment, he is to apply to the Commander in Chief of the navy in order to the trying of him by a court martial, and in the mean time he may put him under confinement.
ART. 5. The Captain is never by his own authority to discharge a commission or warrant officer, nor to punish or strike him, but he may suspend or confine him; and when he comes in the way of a Commander in Chief, apply to him for holding a court-martial.
ART. 6. The officer who commands by accident of the Captain's absence (unless he be absent for a time by leave) shall not order any correction but confinement; and upon the Captain's return on board, he shall then give an account of his reasons for so doing.
ART. 7. The Captain is to cause the articles of war to be hung up in some public places of the ship, and read to the ship's company once a month.3
ART. 8. Whenever a Captain shall enlist a seaman, he shall take care to enter on his books the time and terms of his entering in order to his being justly paid.
ART. 9. The Captain shall before he sails make return to and leave with the Congress, or such person or persons as the Congress shall appoint for that purpose, a compleat list of all his officers and men, with the time and terms of their entering; and during his cruise, shall keep a true account of the desertion or death of any of them, and of the entering of others; and after his cruise, and before any of them are paid off, he shall make return of a compleat list of the same, including those who shall remain on board his ship.
ART. 10. The men shall (at their request) be furnished with slops that are necessary, by the Captain or Purser, who shall keep an account of the same; and the Captain in his return in the last mentioned article directed to be made, shall mention the amount delivered to each man in order to its being stopped out of his pay.4
ART. 11. As to the term inferior officers the Captain is to take notice, that the same does not include any commission or any warrant officer, except the second master, surgeons mates, cook, armourer, gun-smith, master at arms, and the sail-maker.
ART. 12. The Captain is to take care when any inferior officers or volunteer seamen are turned over into the ship under his command { 149 } from any other ship, not to take5 them on the ship's books in a worse quality or lower degree of station, than they served in the ship they were removed from; and for his guidance, he is to demand from the commander of the ship from which they are turned over, a list under his hand of their names and qualities.
ART. 13. Any officer, seaman or others entitled to wages or prize-money, may have the same paid to his assignee, provided the assignment be attested by the Captain or commander, the master or purser of the ship, or a chief magistrate of some county or corporation.
ART. 14. The Captain is to discourage the seamen of his ship from selling any part of their wages or shares, and never to attest the letter of attorney of any seaman until he is fully satisfied; the same is not granted in consideration of money given for the purchase of his wages or shares.
ART. 15. When any inferior officer or seaman dies, the Captain is forthwith to make out a ticket for the time of his service and send the same by the first safe conveyance to the Congress or agents by them for that purpose, appointed in order to the wages being forthwith paid to the executors or administrators of the deceased.6
ART. 16. A convenient place shall be set apart for sick or hurt men, to be removed with their hammocks and bedding when the surgeon shall advise the same to be necessary: and some of the crew shall be appointed to attend and serve them and to keep the place clean. The cooper shall make buckets with covers and cradles if necessary for their use.
ART. 17. All ships furnished with fishing tackle, being in such places where fish is to be had, the Captain is to employ some of the company in fishing, the fish to be distributed daily to such persons as are sick, or upon recovery, if the surgeons recommend it; and the surplus by turns amongst the messes of the officers and seamen without favour or partiality, and gratis, without any deduction of their allowance of provisions on that account.7
ART. 18. It is left to the discretion of the Commander of squadrons to shorten the allowance of provisions according to the exigence of the service, taking care that the men be punctually paid for the same. The like power is given to Captains of single ships in cases of absolute necessity.
ART. 19. If there shall be a want of pork, the Captain is to order three pounds of beef to be issued to the men in lieu of a two pound piece of pork.
ART. 20. One day in every week shall be issued out a proportion of { 150 } flour and suet in lieu of beef for the seamen; but this is not to extend beyond four months' victualling at one time, nor shall the purser receive any allowance for flour or suet kept longer on board than that time. And there shall be supplied once a year, a proportion of canvas for pudding bags, after the rate of one ell for every sixteen men.
ART. 21. If any ships of the Thirteen United Colonies shall happen to come into port in want of provisions, the warrant of a Commander in Chief shall be sufficient to the agent or other instrument of the victualling to supply the quantity wanted; and in urgent cases where delay may be hurtful, the warrant of the Captain of the ship shall be of equal effect.
ART. 22. The Captain is frequently to order the proper officer to inspect into the condition of the provisions, and if the bread proves damp to have it aired upon the quarter deck or poop, and also to examine the flesh cask; and if any of the pickle be leaked out, to have new made and put in and the cask made tight and secure.8
ART. 23. The Captain or purser shall secure the cloaths, bedding and other things of such persons as shall die or be killed, to be delivered to their executors or administrators.9
ART. 24. All papers, charter parties, bills of lading, pass-ports and other writings whatsoever, found on board any ship or ships which shall be taken shall be carefully preserved, and the originals sent to the court of justice for maratime affairs, appointed, or to be appointed by Congress for judging concerning such prize or prizes; and if any person or persons shall wilfully or negligently destroy, or suffer to be destroyed, any such paper or papers, he or they so offending, shall forfeit their share of such prize or prizes, and suffer such other punishment, as they shall be judged by a court-martial to deserve.10
ART. 25. If any person or persons shall embezzle, steal or take away any cables, anchors, sails, or any of the ship's furniture, or any of the powder or arms, or ammunition or provisions of any ship belonging to the Thirteen United Colonies, he or they shall suffer such punishment as a court-martial shall order.11
ART. 26. When in sight of a ship or ships of the enemy, and at such other times as may appear to make it necessary to prepare for an engagement, the Captain shall order all things in his ship in a proper posture for fight, and shall, in his own person, and according to his duty, heart on and encourage the inferior officers and men to fight courageously, and not to behave themselves feintly or cry for quarters on pain of such punishment as the offence shall appear to deserve for his neglect.12
{ 151 }
ART. 27. Any Captain or other officer, mariner or others, who shall basely desert their duty or station in the ship and run away while the enemy is in sight, or in time of action, or entice others to do so, shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial shall inflict.13
ART. 28. No person in or belonging to the ship shall utter any words of sedition and mutiny, nor endeavour to make any mutinous assemblies upon any pretence whatsoever upon such punishment as a court-martial shall inflict.
ART. 29. Any officer, seaman or marine, who shall begin to excite, cause, or join in any mutiny or sedition in the ship to which he belongs on any pretence whatsoever, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as a court-martial shall direct.14
ART. 30. None shall presume to quarrel with, or strike his superior officer, on pain of such punishment as a court-martial shall order to be inflicted.15
ART. 31. If any person shall apprehend he has just cause of complaint, he shall quietly and decently make the same known to his superior officer, or to the Captain, as the case may require, who will take care that justice be done him.16
ART. 32. There shall be no quarreling or fighting between ship mates on board any ship belonging to the Thirteen United Colonies, nor shall there be used any reproachful or provoking speeches tending to make quarrels and disturbance on pain of imprisonment, and such other punishment as a court-martial shall think proper to inflict.17
ART. 33. If any person shall sleep upon his watch, or negligently perform the duty which shall be enjoined him to do, or forsake his station, he shall suffer such punishment as a court-martial shall think proper to inflict, according to the nature of his offence.18
ART. 34. All murder shall be punished with death.
ART. 35. All robbery and theft shall be punished at the discretion of a court-martial.19
ART. 36. Any Master at Arms who shall refuse to receive such prisoner or prisoners as shall be committed to his charge, or having received them, shall suffer him or them to escape, or dismiss them without orders for so doing, shall suffer in his or their stead, as a court-martial shall order and direct.20
ART. 37. The Captain, officers and others, shall use their utmost endeavours to detect, apprehend and bring to punishment, all offenders, and shall at all times readily assist the officers appointed for that purpose in the discharge of their duty on pain of their being proceeded against, and punished by a court-martial at discretion.21
{ 152 }
ART. 38. All other faults, disorders and misdemeanors which shall be committed on board any ship belonging to the Thirteen United Colonies, and which are not herein mentioned, shall be punished according to the laws and customs in such cases used at sea.22
ART. 39. A court-martial shall consist of at least three Captains and three first Lieutenants, with three Captains and three first Lieutenants of marines, if there shall be so many of the marines then present, and the eldest Captain shall preside.23
ART. 40. All sea officers of the same denomination shall take rank of the officers of the marines.
ART. 41. Every Member of a court-martial shall take the following oath, viz. “You [] swear that you will well and truly try, and impartially determine the cause of the prisoner now to be tried according to the rules of the navy of the United Colonies; so help you God.” Which oath shall be administered by the President to the other members, and the President shall himself be sworn by the officer in said court next in rank.
ART. 42. All witnesses, before they may be admitted to give evidence, shall take the following oath, viz. “You swear, the evidence you shall give in the cause now in hearing, shall be the whole truth and nothing but the truth; so help you God.”
ART. 43. The sentence of a court-martial for any capital offence shall not be put in execution until it be confirmed by the Commander in Chief of the fleet; and it shall be the duty of the President of every court-martial to transmit to the Commander in Chief every sentence which shall be given, with a summary of the evidence and proceedings thereon by the first opportunity.24
ART. 44. The Commander in Chief of the fleet for the time being, shall have power to pardon and remit any sentence of death that shall be given in consequence of any of the afore mentioned articles.25
There shall be allowed to each man serving on board the ships in the service of the thirteen United Colonies, a daily proportion of provisions, according as is expressed in the following table,26 viz.
Sunday, 1 lb. bread, 1 lb. beef, 1 lb. potatoes or turnips.
Monday, 1 lb. bread, 1 lb. pork, 1/2 pint peas, and four oz. cheese.
Tuesday, 1 lb. bread, 1 lb. beef, 1 lb. potatoes or turnips, and pudding.
Wednesday, 1 lb. bread, two oz. butter, four oz. cheese, and 1/2 pint of rice.
Thursday, 1 lb. bread, 1 lb. pork, and 1/2 pint of peas.
{ 153 } | view
Friday, 1 lb. bread, 1 lb. beef, 1 lb. potatoes or turnips, and pudding.
Saturday, 1 lb. bread, 1 lb. pork, 1/2 pint peas, and four oz. cheese.
Half pint of rum per man every day, and discretionary allowance on extra duty, and in time of engagement.
A pint and half of vinegar for six men per week.
The pay of the officers and men shall be as follows:27
Captain or commander,   32     dollars,   Per Calendar month.  
Lieutenants,   20     do.    
Master,   20     do.    
Mates,   15     do.    
Boatswain,   15     do.    
Boatswain's first mate,   9   1/3   do.    
Ditto, second ditto,   8     do.    
Gunner,   15     do.    
Ditto mate,   10   2/3   do.    
Surgeon,   21   1/3   do.    
Surgeon's mate,   13   1/3   do.    
Carpenter,   15     do.    
Carpenter's mate,   10   2/3   do.    
Cooper,   15     do.    
Captain's or Commander's clerk,   15     do.    
Steward,   13   1/3   do.    
Chaplain,   20     do.    
Able seaman,   6   2/3   do.    
Captain of marines,   26   2/3   do.    
Lieutenants,   18     do.    
Serjeants,   8     do.    
Corporals,   7   1/3   do.    
Fifer,   7   1/3   do.    
Drummer,   7   1/3   do.    
Privates or marines,   6   2/3   do.28    
MS not found. Arts. 1–44 reprinted from (Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies of North-America, Phila., 1775, facsim. edn., Washington, 1944, with “Introductory Note” by Adm. Joseph Strauss); material after Art. 44 from (JCC, 3:383–384).
1. These rules were reported on 23 Nov. by the committee for fitting out armed vessels, later called the Naval Committee, which had been enlarged on 30 Oct. to include four additional members, among them JA. After its reading, the report was ordered “to lie on the table for the perusal of the members.” The congress considered the rules on 25 Nov. and approved them on the { 154 } 28th. The order to have them printed came on 30 Nov. (JCC, 3:293–294, 311–312, 364, 375, 378–387, 393). As will be explained in note 2, the rules before being printed were stylistically revised to facilitate their use, and they were in the hands of fleet officers by 8 Dec. (Strauss, “Introductory Note”).
2. About his role in drawing up these rules, JA wrote: “They were drawn up in the Marine Committee [that is, Naval Committee] and by my hand, but examined, discussed and corrected by the Committee” (Diary and Autobiography, 3:350). Nothing in the Journals specifically indicates that either the original committee or the enlarged one was to draft rules for the regulation of a navy, although rules undoubtedly were necessary for ships being fitted out by the congress. Worthington C. Ford, in citing an endorsement by Charles Thomson in a letter from Washington of 5 Oct., seems to have found some authorization for the committee's rule-making, but Ford misread the MS. The endorsement reads: “That part of this letter which relates to the capture of a vessel in N. Hampshire referred to the committee appointed to bring in regulations for priv[ateers].” Ford read the final word of the endorsement as “navy.” Although Washington's letter was read on 13 Oct., the part requesting “the determination of Congress as to the Property and disposal of such Vessels and Cargoes as are designed for the Supply of the Enemy and may fall into our Hands” received no action in subsequent days. In all likelihood, Thomson wrote his endorsement after a committee on disposal of prizes was established on 17 Nov., in response to a second letter from Washington urging that the congress give him guidance on prizes (JCC, 3: 293 and note 2, 357–358; Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 4:11, 73).
The separately printed version of the rules, of which only one copy is known to be extant, that at Yale University, differs in several respects from the version in the Journals. Only the rules regulating the day-to-day conduct of officers and men were separately printed. The rules on rations and wages and the terms of the covenant which officers and men signed upon entering into service would not have been appropriate for a handbook meant to inform them of fixed duties and rights and of penalties for infractions of the rules. Probably for this reason also, the paragraphs were numbered for ease of reference, and some stylistic changes were made (see note 14, below), although the order to have the resolutions of the congress printed does not specifically authorize such alterations. The handbook was even provided with an enticing subtitle: “Established for Preserving their Rights and Defending their Liberties, and for Encouraging all those who Feel for their Country, to enter into its Service in that way in which they can be most Useful.”
One difference between the handbook and the Journals, however, needs another sort of explanation. Thomson's rough draft shows a change of wording in Art. 24 that was included in the transcribed or corrected Journals, but does not appear in the handbook. Obviously the change occurred after the articles went to the printer (PCC, No. 1, I, f. 248; No. 2, I, f. 130; note 10, below).
3. The first seven articles were taken virtually verbatim from Arts. I–VII under “Rules of Discipline and good Government to be observed on Board His Majesty's Ships of War” in Regulations and Instructions Relating to His Majesty's Service at Sea, eleven editions of which had been issued at London by 1772 (hereafter cited Regulations, page numbers being for the 11th edn.), p. 45–47. In these as in other articles that JA drew upon, all mention of British institutions or administrative bodies was of course omitted and the term “Thirteen United Colonies” or other such terms substituted.
4. Art. 10 was adapted from Art. II under “Instructions relating to the Execution of two Acts of Parliament . . .” in Regulations, p. 49. Slops were clothing and other necessities furnished to seamen out of the ship's stores (OED).
5. A printer's error. Both the rough and transcribed Journals have “rate” (PCC, No. 1, I, f. 246; No. 2, I, f. 128).
6. Arts, 11, 12, 14, and 15 are virtually verbatim from Arts. VII, X, XV, { 155 } and XVI under “Instructions relating to the Execution of two Acts of Parliament . . .” in Regulations, p. 50–54. Art. 11, however, does not list a school-master or a corporal, which are mentioned in the British regulation. The former was meant to teach navigation, arithmetic, and writing to young volunteers on British war vessels. The corporal was an assistant to the master-at-arms (Regulations, p. 136–137). In the British regulation comparable to Art. 14 no mention is made of shares. Indeed, the section on prizes makes no mention of anyone sharing in prize money (same, p. 89–91).
7. Art. 16 was based on Arts. I, II, and III, and Art. 17 is virtually verbatim from Art. IV under “Rules for the Cure of Sick or Hurt Seamen on board their own Ships” in Regulations, p. 55–56.
8. Arts. 18–22 are virtually verbatim from Arts. II, VI, VII, XII, and XVII under “Of the Provisions” in Regulations, p. 61, 63–65, 67. Art. 18, however, neglected to include the British stipulation that when rations had to be reduced, the purser was not to supply the officers full allowance of provisions, that all were “to be equal in Point of Victualling.”
9. The comparable British article provides that the effects of those dying or killed on board should be sold at auction, the proceeds to be given “Executors or Administrators of the Deceased” (Art. XI under “Of Slop-Cloaths” in Regulations, p. 75–76).
10. Except for the designation of the court which was to have jurisdiction, Art. 24 is a close paraphrase of Art. II, Sect. 7 under 22 Geo. II, ch. 33, passed in 1749 (Danby Pickering, The Statutes at Large, Cambridge, Eng., 1765, 19: 327 [cited hereafter Statutes]). Although the handbook mentions the congress as the power appointing a court for maritime affairs, the rough Journal has “Congress” stricken out and the phrase “the legislatures in the respective colonies” substituted (see note 2, above). Obviously the congress was not yet ready for a central court with this jurisdiction. In the fall of 1775 JA would have seen the original language as an important step toward unification.
11. The Statutes make no mention of theft of ship's equipment or arms, but condemn any sort of robbery. See note 19 (below).
12. Adapted from Art. II, Sect. 10, but the British provided the death penalty or other punishment by court martial for faintheartedness (Statutes, p. 328).
13. This provision on desertion was briefly paraphrased from Art. II, Sect. 16 (same, p. 329).
14. Arts. 28 and 29 on seditious speech and mutinous action were adapted from Art. II, Sect. 19 (same, p. 329–330), in which mutiny is mentioned before seditious speech in a single paragraph—just as in the Journal version (JCC, 3:381–382). The presumption is that this order was followed in the committee report and changed only when the paragraphs were numbered for printing. Separation into two articles gave greater emphasis to two kinds of conduct. The Americans, however, lumped together speech and attempting “to make any mutinous assemblies,” behavior which could incur a penalty of less than death. The British punished by death the making of a mutinous assembly, reserving a possible lesser punishment for words alone and failing to make a distinction between assembly and joining in a mutiny.
15. Briefly adapted from Art. II, Sect. 22 (Statutes, p. 330). The British penalty for striking or threatening with a weapon any officer was death.
16. Briefly adapted from Art. II, Sect. 21 (same), which mentions “complaint of the unwholesomeness of the victual, or upon other just ground.”
17. Adapted from Art. II, Sect. 23 (same).
18. Adapted from Art. II, Sect. 27 (same, p. 331), which mentions death as a possible penalty.
19. Arts. 34 and 35 are comparable to Art. II, Sects. 28 and 30, respectively, except that the British rules mention death as a possible penalty for robbery (same).
20. Adapted from the first part of Art. II, Sect. 32 (same), which, however, does not mention the guilty party's suffering in the place of the escaped or dismissed prisoner.
{ 156 }
21. Adapted from the second part of Art. II, Sect. 32 (same).
22. Adapted from Art. II, Sect. 36 (same, p. 332).
23. The British rules require from three to thirteen officers, three of them to be captains. No mention is made of marine officers (Arts. XII and XIV, same, p. 334).
24. Adapted from Art. XIX (same, p. 336), but the British made additional stipulations, particularly when the offense (except mutiny) took place within the “narrow seas,” that is, the English Channel and Irish Sea. Then approval of the death penalty had to come from the lord high admiral.
25. The pardon power for the British was the prerogative of the king. The British rules limit confinement to a maximum of two years and forbid the use of naval court martials for trying soldiers on transports (Arts. III and V, same, p. 332). But generally, the British code is harsher in that it makes the death penalty available for twenty-four offenses; the Americans specify death only for murder. The American rules make no mention of buggery (Art. II, Sect. 29, same, p. 331) nor of a number of other crimes listed in the British rules—spying, aiding the enemy, striking for arrears of wages, failing to protect convoys, wasting ammunition, sabotage of stores or equipment, negligent steering of ships, and several more.
26. Under “Of the Provisions,” Art. I in Regulations (p. 61) sets forth a table of rations which probably inspired the American table, but the latter provides for beef or pork on every day except Wednesday; the British on only four days. Where the British provided for beer (wine and spirituous liquors being substitutes), the Americans stipulated rum. The allowances for cheese are equal, but the British allowed 6 oz. of butter per week to the Americans' allowance of only 2.
27. For officers, rates of pay are difficult to compare, since the British had six different rates for each rank. Thus a British captain, depending upon his rate, could earn from 6s to £1 per day. At 6s per Spanish dollar, the American captain could earn slightly over 6s per day; but an American lieutenant would earn slightly less than 6s per day compared to a maximum of 5s for a British lieutenant. The British able seaman earned 24s per month compared to the American wage of 40s, later raised to 48s (JCC, 3:427). All comparisons must take into account that the British paid in sterling, the Americans in lawful money, which overvalued silver by over one-fourth (Regulations, p. 146–149).
28. In JCC, 3:384–387, the section on pay is followed by “Orders of Congress,” which consists of a covenant of seven parts entered into between the ship's commander, representing the United Colonies, and the officers and men. The latter promised to do their duty and abide by the rules, and in return were assured of pay according to schedule and a fair share of prizes, those disabled having first claim on prize money. It is not clear whether the covenant was part of the Naval Committee's report. In any case, the covenant is omitted here, for it has no apparent relation to the British regulations.

IX. Committee Assignments

14 September – 4 December 1775

  • 14 September. Eliphalet Dyer, Thomas Lynch, John Jay, JA, Francis Lewis (JCC, 2:250).A standing committee to devise ways and means for supplying the Continental Army with medicines. This committee left only scattered evidence of its activities and is treated here through August 1776. JA may not have been an active member for this entire period. { 157 } Thomas Heyward Jr. and Lyman Hall added to the committee: 18 June 1776 (JCC, 5:463).Reported on memorial from Dr. John Morgan and report tabled: 12 July; Dft in PCC (same, 5:460–461, 556; PCC, No. 19, IV, f. 181–184).Resolutions adopted: 17 July (JCC, 5:568–571).Benjamin Rush added to the committee: 7 Aug. (same, 5:636).Reported on petition of Dr. Samuel Stringer and resolutions adopted: 20 Aug.; Dft not found (same, 5:661, 673).Reported on petition of Dr. James McHenry and resolutions adopted: 26 Aug.; Dft not found (same, 5:698, 705).See also, for other references to the committee, JCC, 3:261, 344; 5:528, 622, 633.
  • 25 September. Thomas Lynch, Richard Henry Lee, JA (JCC, 3:261).To prepare an answer to letters from George Washington of 4 and 31 Aug. 1775.Reported and report agreed to: 26 Sept.; Dft not found (same, 3:263; see John Hancock to George Washington, 26 Sept. 1775, LbC in PCC, No. 12A, I, f. 3–6).
  • 9 October.JA, John Rutledge, Samuel Chase, Robert R. Livingston, Silas Deane (JCC, 3:284–285).To prepare an answer to letters and enclosures from Philip Schuyler of 19 and 29 Sept.Reported and report tabled: 10 Oct.; Dft not found (same, 3:287).Report agreed to: 11 Oct. (same, 3:288; see John Hancock to Philip Schuyler, 11 Oct. 1775, LbC in PCC, No. 12A, I, f. 13–16).
  • 13 October. John Rutledge, Samuel Adams, JA, Samuel Ward, Richard Henry Lee (JCC, 3:294).To consider memorials from New York and Philadelphia merchants on tea imported before 1 March 1775.Reported and report postponed: 18 Oct., 13 Nov., 25 Nov.; Dft not found (same, 3:298, 353, 370).Report rejected: 28 Nov. (same, 3:388–389).
  • 2 November. Thomas Lynch, John Jay, Richard Henry Lee, Silas Deane, JA (JCC, 3:317).To draw up instructions for the committee to confer with Philip Schuyler.Letter from Philip Schuyler of 21 Oct. with enclosures referred to the committee: 4 Nov. (same, 3:320).Report agreed to and instructions printed: 8 Nov.; Dft not found (same, 3:339–341).
  • 17 November. George Wythe, Edward Rutledge, JA, William Livingston, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Thomas Johnson (JCC, 3:357–358).To consider the portion of George Washington's letter of 8 Nov. relating to the disposal of captured ships and goods.Reported and report tabled: 23 Nov.; Dft not found (same, 3:364–365). { 158 } Report debated and deferred: 24 Nov. (same, 3:368–369).Resolutions adopted: 25 Nov. (same, 3:371–375).Reported again, modifying second resolution of 25 Nov., after JA had left congress: 19 Dec. (same, 3:437).Additional duties assigned, 25 Nov.: to consider the portion of George Washington's letter of 11 Nov. concerning a vessel captured by inhabitants of New Hampshire (same, 3:375).Report not found.
  • 4 December.JA, Thomas Cushing, Thomas McKean (JCC, 3:406).To inquire into the facts which caused congress to give permission, on 2 Dec., to Capt. Thomas Jenkins to supply Nantucket.Reported and report read: 8 Dec.; Dft not found (same, 3:415).Resolutions adopted: 11 Dec. (same, 3:421–422).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0077

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-09-17

To James Warren

[salute] Dr sir

I have nothing in particular to write. Our most gracious K—— has given a fresh Proof of his Clemency, in his Answer to the City.1 But no more of Politicks, at present—if this Scratch of a Pen should fall into the Hands of the wiseacre Gage, as long as I confine myself, to Matrimony, and Horsemanship, there will be no Danger.
Be it known to you then that two of the most unlikely Things, within the whole Compass of Possibility, have really, and actually happened. The first is the suden Marriage of our President, whose agreable Lady honours us with her Presence and contributes much to our good Humour, as well as to the Happiness of the President.2 So much for that.
The next Thing is more wonderfull still.
You know the Aversion, which your Secretary,3 has ever entertained to riding, on Horseback. He never would be perswaded to mount a Horse. The last time we were here, I often laboured to perswade him, for the Sake of his Health, but in vain.
Soon after We sat out, on the last Journey, I reflected that some Degree of Skill and Dexterity in Horsemanship, was necessary to the Character of a Statesman. It would take more Time and Paper than I have to Spare, to shew the Utility of Horsemanship to a Politician; so I shall take this for granted. But I pointed out the particulars to him, and likewise shewed him that Sociability would be greatly promoted, by his mounting one of my Horses.
On Saturday the second day of September 1775, in the Town of Grafton He was prevailed on to put my servant with his, into Harrisons { 159 } Chaise and to mount upon my Horse, a very genteel, and easy little Creature.
We were all disappointed and Surprized, instead of the Taylor riding to Brentford4 We beheld, an easy, genteel Figure, upon the Horse, and a good deal of Spirit and facility, in the Management of the Horse, insomuch that We soon found our Servants were making Some disagreable Comparisons, and Since our Arrival here I am told that Fessenden (impudent Scoundrel!) reports that the Secretary rides fifty per Cent better than your Correspondent.
In this manner, We rode to Woodstock, where we put up for the Sabbath. It was Soon observed that the Secretary, could not Sit So erect in his Chair as he had Sat upon his Horse, but Seemed to be neither sensible of the Disease or the Remedy. I Soon perceived and apprised him of both. On Sunday Evening, at Mr. Dexters,5 where we drank Coffee and Spent an agreable Evening I perswaded him to purchase, two yards of flannell which we carried to our Landlady, who, with the assistance of a Taylor Woman in the House, made up a Pair of Drawers, which the next Morning were put on, and not only defended the Secretary from any further Injury, but entirely healed the little Breach which had been begun.
Still an Imperfection, remained. Our Secretary had not yet learned to mount and dismount—two Servants were necessary to attend upon these occasions, one to hold the Bridle and Stirrup, the other to boost the Secretary. This was rather a ridiculous Circumstance Still. At last, I undertook to instruct him the necessary Art of mounting. I had my Education to this Art, under Bates, the celebrated Equerry, and therefore might be Supposed to be a Master of it. I taught him, to grasp the Bridle, with his Right Hand over the Pummell of his Saddle, to place his left Foot firm in the Stirrup; to twist his left Hand into the Horses Main, about half Way between his Ears and his Shoulders, and then a vigorous Exertion of his Strength would carry him very gracefully into the Seat, without the least Danger of falling over on [the ot] her Side. The Experiment was tryed and Succeeded to Admiration.
Thus equipped and instructed, our Horseman rode all the Way from Woodstock to Philadelphia, sometimes upon one of my Horses, Sometimes on the other. And Acquired fresh Strength, Courage, Activity and Spirit every day. His Health is much improved by it, and I value myself, very much upon the Merit of having probably added Several years, to a Life So important to his Country, by the little Pains I took to perswade him to mount and teach him to ride.6
{ 160 }
Sully and Cecil were both Horsemen, and you know I would not have our American, inferiour to them in the Smallest Accomplishment.
Pray Mrs. Warren to write to me. I would to her, if I had half so much Time.7
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay and Paymaster General to the American Army Watertown favd by Mr. Andw. Cabot”; docketed: “Mr. J. A Lettr Sepr. 1775.”
1. On 16 July the King rejected the demands contained in an “Address, Petition, and Remonstrance” adopted by the City of London on 24 June that called upon him to dismiss his present ministers and end the despotic war against the American colonies. George III replied: “I am always ready to listen to the dutiful Petitions of my Subjects, and ever happy to comply with their reasonable Requests, but while the Constitutional Authority of this Kingdom is openly Resisted by a part of my American Subjects, I owe it to the rest of my People of whose Zeal and Fidelity I have had such constant Proofs, to continue and enforce those Measures by which alone their Rights and Interests can be asserted and maintained” (Boston Gazette, 18, 25 Sept.). Such a reply supported JA's view that there was little to be gained by attempts at conciliation and clearly foreshadowed the fate of the Olive Branch Petition.
2. John Hancock, president of the congress, married Dorothy Quincy at Fairfield, Conn., on 28 Aug. (same, 11 Sept.).
3. Samuel Adams.
4. “Taylor Riding to Brentford” was the title of a well-known puppet show (Alice Morse Earle, Customs and Fashions in Old New England, N.Y., 1893, p. 246).
5. Samuel Dexter of Woodstock Hill, former Massachusetts legislator, moved to Connecticut in 1775 (Clarence Winthrop Bowen, The History of Wood-stock, Connecticut, Norwood, Mass., 1926, 179–181).
6. Samuel Adams wrote to Elbridge Gerry: “I arrived in this city on the 12th instant, having rode full three hundred miles on horseback, an exercise which I have not used for many years past. I think it has contributed to the establishment of my health, for which I am obliged to my friend Mr. John Adams, who kindly offered me one of his horses the day after we sat off from Watertown” (26 Sept., Samuel Adams, Writings, 3:226).
7. This letter and JA's to Mercy Otis Warren of 26 Aug. (above) suggest that JA's absence from Philadelphia had really refreshed his spirit and allowed some of his old playfulness to reappear, however briefly.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0078

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-09-19

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

I have but a moments Time to write and nothing of Importance to say.
Mr. Randolph, our former President is here, and Sits very humbly in his Seat, while our new one, continues in the Chair, without Seeming to feel the Impropriety.1 Coll. Nelson, a Hunter, Mr. Wythe, a Lawyer and Mr. Francis Lightfoot Lee, a Planter, are here from Virginia, instead of Henry, Pendleton and Bland. Henry is General { 161 } of Virginia. The other two are old and infirm. I am well pleased that Virginia, has Set the Example of changing Members, and I hope that Massachusetts will follow it, and all the other Colonies.
I Should be glad upon a new Election to be relieved from this Service. This Climate does not agree with my Constitution, so well as our own: and I am not very well fortified you know against the Inclemencies of any.
This Congress, I assure you, feels the Spirit of War, more intimately than they did before the Adjournment. They set about Preparations for it, with Seriousness, and in Earnest.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr. J. A Lettr Sepr 1775.”
1. In JA's eyes, Hancock's tenure as president was temporary in that he had been elected to fill the vacancy Peyton Randolph made by returning to Virginia to preside as speaker over a session of the House of Burgesses a few days after his re-election in May as president of the Continental Congress. JA's criticism of Hancock suggests the hostility that had grown up between them (JCC, 2:12, 58–59; Adams Family Correspondence, 1:323).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0079

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-19

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

I had fixed a determination in my own mind to omitt no Oppertunity of writeing either to you, or my Friend Mr. S. Adams, but I have Indeed so little to say at this time, that I should have thought it hardly worth while to trouble you with a Letter had it not been to Inclose one from Mrs. Adams,1 who with the Children I had the pleasure Yesterday to hear were recovered. I have been much Concerned about them. I presume the Inclosed will give you the State of the Family, and make it Unnecessary for me to Add more. I have been here ever since you left us, without once hearing from you. I wrote to you a week ago, and took pains to Collect every thing I could think of as News foreign or Domestic. Your Intelligence from Abroad is so much better than ours at this Time that I Expect no Success in handing you our foreign News, and of the domestic kind we have very little. We suffer Extreamly for want of it when we meet in the Street. We have not a word more to say than to Enquire after each others Health, or make on Observation on the weather. These are Circumstances so different from what we have been used to, that we are quite out of our Element. Scarcely any one thing has happened since my last worthy of your Notice. We have frequent desertions to us, seldom two Nights without an Instance of that kind. The Night before last were four or five Sailors, by the best accounts given by Gentlemen out of Town. { 162 } The Soldiery are dispirited, by their Confinement, their want of Supplies, and above all by their vast fatigue. They Live in Continual Horror of being Attacked. Their Guards are therefore large, and must be Numerous from the Extensiveness of their works. It is supposed that frequent Shews of Attacking them would soon wear them out. I mentioned this at Head Quarters Yesterday. I hope they will take that Method to harrass them. A Servant of Genl. Howe! deserted about 10 days ago. I heard him tell the General that his Master Constantly set up till one O Clock, and then slept till Morning in his Boots and Cloaths. They seem to be makeing but little preparation for winter. It was reported that they were pulling down the Houses from the Hay-market to the Fortification in order to Erect works to retreat to if they could not hold those they now have.2 They really have begun to pull down the Houses, but it is generally thought to be only for fuel of which they are in great want, and they Choose that place as the Clearing it would be most Convenient for new works if they should have Occasion for more. We have had scarce a Gun fired for 10 days before Sunday Morning when A Number of the Rebels Appearing without their works on Boston Neck, our People fired four Cannon on them which, drove them in, killed two, and wounded five of their Men as we have learned by deserters.3 They returned a smart Fire without any Success, and Yesterday again Roxbury Side had a very heavy Canonade with as little, only one officer very slightly wounded. This is indeed very remarkable as our People Expose themselves without reserve haveing been so Enured to Shott, and shells that do no Execution that they totally disregard them. Cobble Hill is to be possessed and fortified this or Tomorrow Night. Putnam is to be gratified with the Command.4 This must Open a warm Sceen, and will furnish us Abundantly with the Musick of Cannon, and Topicks of Conversation. The Constant Expectation I have had of receiving the Money from Philadelphia has Confined me to this place, Contrary to both my Inclinations and Interest, supposeing it would not do to be Absent when it came. It is not yet arrived. This delay is Astonishing, and I fear will Cause irreperable Injuries to the Army. The Soldiers that are not paid for the Month of August are very Uneasy. The General Can't fulfill his promise to them. The Quarter Master Genl. and Commissary Genl. are both out of money. Their Credit suffering, and their provisions for the Army at a stand, and this at a time when the Season is Approaching that Transportation from distant places will be difficult. Do Apologize to my Friend Adams for my not writeing to him. It is really Oweing to the poverty of the Times. I had no Subject { 163 } without I had entered on Metaphysicks, Mathematics or some subjects foreign from Politics or News which alone Engage my Attention. I will however write him soon, Subject or no Subject. The Councill Adjourned for a week. The Assembly meets tomorrow. Whenever any thing Occurs you shall hear it, and shall on my part be glad to hear of your doings. I want to hear of high Spirited Measures. It is in my Opinion ridiculous to hesitate now, about takeing up Crown officers, and fifty other things.
You won't loose sight of powder, and Money. I wish You Health and every Happiness, and am with Great Sincerity your Friend.
Compliments to all Friends. I forgot to tell you that they are Exerciseing their Wit, and diverting themselves in Boston by versifying the Letters taken from Hitchburne as I hear. I have not been Able to get Sight of it.5
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Sept. 19, 1775 Warren.”
1. Probably AA's letter of 16 [i.e. 17] Sept. (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:278–280).
2. Such a line would have protected the harbor, particularly the Long Wharf area, and thus supply lines and escape routes.
3. Reported in the Boston Gazette, 25 Sept.
4. Actually Putnam did not fortify this hill until November (Frothingham, Siege of Boston, p. 268.)
5. Almost certainly a broadside entitled A Paraphrase on the Second Epistle of John, the Round-Head, to James, Prolocutor of the Rump-Parliament, in a Liberal Manner; wherein the True Spirit of the Writer Is Preserved (Evans Supplement, No. 42918). Misdated 25 July and probably taken from the intercepted letter as it appeared in the Massachusetts Gazette, the letter in the broadside took the form of a series of sentences and paragraphs, ten in all, taken in order from the original and labeled “verses.” After each piece of text or verse, the satirist contributed a “paraphrase” or unflattering explication.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0080

Author: Quincy, Josiah
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-22

From Josiah Quincy

[salute] Dear Sir

Under my adverse Circumstances, I stood, and still stand in great Need of your Advice; and am therefore, very sorry I had not an Opportunity to converse with you, before your Return to the Congress.
Your kind Letter of July 29th is now before me. Were my Abilities equal to my Inclination, you would be amply assisted, in giving Birth to a Revolution, which, I think with you, “seems to be in the Womb of Providence as important as any that has happened in the Affairs of Mankind.”
Agreable to the Old Man's Sentiments, in this enclosed Paper, “the Sword and not the Quill is now to decide the Controversy;”1 Nothing therefore, could revive my desponding Hopes more, than the assurance { 164 } you give me, of a sufficient Plenty of Powder against another Year, and of our own make.
In my former Letter2 I said, that “the Harbor might be blocked up; and both Seamen and Soldiers made Prisoners at Discretion;” which seems to you incredible. Please, to read at your Leasure this following Explanation. There are but two Channels, through which Ships of Burthen can pass to and from Boston. One of them runs between the west Head of Long Island, and the Moon, (so called) and is about a Mile across. This Channel is too shallow for any Ship of War above 20 Guns. The other runs between the east Head of Long Island, and the south Point of Dear Island; and is about a Mile and half from Side to Side. This, the only Channel through which capital Ships can pass, leads (outward bound) through the Narrows (so called) between Gallop's Island and Lovel's Island; where the Channel is not wider than the Length of a 50 Gun Ship. In the opening between Gallops Island and George's Island is Nantasket Road; where, one, is always, and at present, five Men of War are stationed, to gaurd the Narrows from being stop'd up.
Upon the foregoing Facts, I thus reason:
The Moon Island communicates with Squantum Neck, at low Water, almost dryshod. A defensible Fort, therefore, upon Squantum, may be so placed, as to secure a Retreat not only from the Moon, but from Squantum to the Main. One upon the east Head of the Moon, and another, if found necessary, upon the west Head of Long Island, secures the Passage between, and covers a Retreat from the Latter to the Former. Another upon the Summit in the middle of Long Island covers the Shore on each Side, so, as that no Force can land without being greatly anoyed, if not entirely prevented. Another strong Battery from 20 to 40 peices of heavy Cannon at the east Head of Long Island, commands, not only the Ship Channel, but the Narrows, and Nantasket Road, so that no Ship can remain there with Safety; and consequently, by sinking Hulks in the Narrows we might prevent any Ship of Force from going out or coming in. If the Passage thro' the Narrows is not stop'd, I am sensible, a Ship with a fresh Gale of Wind, and flood or Ebb Tide, which is rapid between Long Island and Deer Island, might run through without any great Hazard; but, after the east Head of Long Island is fortified, I can foresee Nothing to hinder, the Narrows being reduced to such a Draught of Water, as that, no Vessel of any considerable Force, can pass through there. This, being effected; as I said above, both Seamen and Soldiers, if they dont escape, by a timely Flight, must become Prisoners at Discretion.
{ 165 } { 166 }
I have been told, there is in one of the English Magazines, an accurate Draft of the Harbor.3 If you can procure it, upon Examination, you may determin, the Distance and Depth of Water between the Islands aforesaid with Precision; and consequently, whether such a Scheme is practicable or not.
I have thought, and said from the Beginning, that Row Gallies must be our first mode of Defence by Sea; it gives me therefore, Pleasure to hear, our worthy Friend Doctor F——n is employed in constructing some for the City of Philadelphia. I wish I had the same Employment here, for I am very sure, twenty of them, under proper Direction, would have taken or destroyed all those Cruisers and Cutters, that have infested, and done so much Damage, in, the Vineyard and Long Island Sounds in the Course of the Summer past; besides, being a safe Convoy to our Provision Vessels. When I first proposed the Scheme to our Committee of Safety, it was objected, that, we had no Body skilled in the Construction of them. Afterwards I heard of a Ship Carpenter, just escaped from Boston, who had been several Years a Prisoner in a Turkish Row Galley, and had formed a compleat three feet Model of one. It was then objected, that, heavy Cannon, and Powder were wanting. An insuperable Objection, most certainly; which I hope will soon be removed.
Several Vessels have lately arrived in Boston from England; but the News they bring is industriously secreted. The sullen Silence, and dejected Countenances of the Officers, give Rise to various Conjectures. God grant the Truth may be a Dissolution of a venal P——t, a disbanded Army, and an Order for the Ships and Troops here to return imediately Home.
A few Days since, I received a Letter from my Daughter in Norwich,4 in which is the following Passage: “I have just heard that the Ship in which Mr. —— sailed is arrived in England after 28 Days Passage. I have the Pleasure to hear that there is like to be an Accommodation between Great B—— and America, and that speedily.” By the same Conveyance I received the Resolves Petition and Remonstrance of the City of London to their Sovereign. If such a Spirit of Resentment animates that powerfull Corporation upon the first News of Hostilities, what must be their Indignation, when they come to hear all the Circumstances, that have attended, and disgraced the British Arms, both by Sea and Land! Must not such accumulated Disasters, like so many Flashes of Lightning and Peals of Thunder, penetrate the Hearts of a bloodthirsty Scotch Faction with Dispair of ever enslaving Americans, who have fought with such Valor and Intrepedity as must { 167 } exclude all Hope of Success in any future Attempt! Where will those Sons of Violence, H——n, S——l,5 and others of the same Complection, hide their guilty Heads, when called to answer, for the insidious Arts they have been practicing, against their native Country; to the Ruin and Distruction, of countless Numbers of their industrious Fellow Citizens, whose Worth compared with theirs, is as Diamonds to pebble Stones! When I contemplate the Conduct of such infamous Parricides, my Nerves are braced, my Hand feels the Impulse of my Heart, is ready to drop the Pen and grasp the Sword of Vengeance! I feel my Self young again, and long to exterpate them, and the Memory of them from the Face of the Earth!

“Is there no hidden Thunder, in the Stores of Heav'n,

Red with uncommon Wrath, to blast the men,

Who owe their Greatness, to their Countrys Ruin?”6

Oh! that kindred Flame, has ere this, inspired the Breast of every true Briton; and their s——d S——n7 made to feel, what it is to alienate the Affections of the greatest Part of his Subjects, to gratifie the insatiable Avarice and Ambition, of those treacherous Sycophants, who wish to see him dethroned; and his royal Diadem encircling the Head of a Caledonian Exile.8 Must the Trappings of a M——h and his Minions, which wou'd maintain a Commonwealth be provided for at such an immense Expence of Blood and Treasure? Forbid it Heaven! Shall not the virtuous Part of Mankind, finally prevail over the vicious, notwithstanding the Numbers of the Latter and the Scarcity of the Former? They certainly will, if upon every Occasion, the Spirit of Party is sacrificed, to Unanimity and Perseverance. But whither does my Zeal transport Me? I forget, I am transmitting Sentiments to One, who anticipates all, and more than all I have said or can say upon such interesting Subjects. I beg Leave, therefore, to conclude, with my ardent Wishes, that, the Success of your Endeavors to restore Peace and Tranquility; the genuine Offspring of Order and good Government, may be equal to your distinguished Abilities! And that you and yours, may live long to enjoy the happy Fruits of your patriotic Exertions; however infinite Wisdom may see fit to dispose of Your affectionate and faithfull humble Servant,
P.S. Your good Lady is so well recovered of her tedious Indisposition, as to favour us with a short Visit with your amiable Daughter last Monday.
Be so good as to present my Affectionate Regards to good Doctor F——n; and tell him I have wrote three long Letters to him to { 168 } London, and one since his Arrival at Philadelphia; but, having received no Answer fear they all miscarried.
Please to present my Compliments of Congratulations to Colo. Hancock and his Lady to whom I wish mutual and lasting Happiness.
RC (Adams Papers); with enclosure, for which see note 1.
1. From an enclosure, a letter printed in the New England Chronicle, 24 Aug., and signed “An OLD MAN, from my cottage near Boston.” Probably written by Josiah Quincy himself, it dealt with the exchange of letters between Gen. Burgoyne and Gen. Charles Lee that occurred in July.
2. Of 11 July (above).
3. Probably “A Plan of the Town and Chart of the Harbour of Boston, Exhibiting a View of the Islands, Castle Forts, and Entrances into the Said Harbour,” which originally appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine for Jan. 1775 (vol. 45: facing p. 41). This map is reprinted in reduced size in Adams Family Correspondence, 1: following p. 240, No. 9. JA refers to the map in a letter to James Warren, 8 Oct. (below).
4. Abigail Phillips Quincy, widow of Josiah Quincy Jr. (Josiah Quincy, Josiah Quincy, Jr., p. 288–289). She may be referring to the arrival in London on 14 Aug. of Richard Penn, who carried the Olive Branch Petition from the congress.
5. Thomas Hutchinson and Jonathan Sewall.
6. Written in the margin and its place in the text indicated by an asterisk, this is a quotation with slight modifications from Addison, Cato, Act I, scene i.
7. Sacred sovereign.
8. The Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, grandson of James II.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0081

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-09-26

To James Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

This Afternoon, and not before I received a Line from the excellent Marcia,1 which [is] the first and only Letter I have received from the Family to which She belongs Since I left Watertown. Be pleased to thank her for this Favour, and to let her know that She must certainly have misinterpretted Some Passage in my Letter Since I never thought either Politicks or War, or any other Art or Science beyond the Line of her Sex: on the contrary I have ever been convinced that Politicks and War, have in every age, been influenced, and in many, guided and controuled by her Sex. Sometimes it is to be feared by the unworthy Part of it: but at others, it must be confessed by the amiable and the good. But, if I were of opinion that it was best for a general Rule that the fair should be excused from the arduous Cares of War and State; I should certainly think that Marcia and Portia, ought to be Exceptions, because I have ever ascribed to those Ladies, a Share and no small one neither, in the Conduct of our American Affairs.
I have nothing new to communicate. Every Thing, has been done, and is now doing, to procure the Unum Necessarium:2 I wish I could give you a more agreable account of the Salt Petre Works in this City. { 169 } I fear they have chosen injudiciously a Place for their Vatts, Vaults and Buildings, a low marshy Place which was lately overflowed by the Storm. Still We have Sanguine Accounts of the Skill and Success of some operators.
Coll. Dyer3 produces a Sample of excellent Salt Petre, made by two De Witts, one of Norwich the other of Windham, and he is confident that they can and will make large Quantities. Coll. Harrison of Virginia,4 whose Taste in Madeira, I know, and in Girls I believe, and in Salt Petre I hope to be much Superiour to his Judgment in Men, is very confident that they are making large Quantities from Tobacco House Earth, in his Colony.
We are hourly expecting Intelligence from Canada, as well as Massachusetts, and from London.
My dear sir, Let me intreat you to do every Thing in your Power to get ready the Accounts of all that our Province has done and expended in the Common Cause, for which they expect or hope to be reimbursed by the United Colonies. It has ever appeared to me a Thing of much Importance, that We should be furnished with these Accounts as soon as possible. From present appearances, our session will not be long, and if We should not be furnished with the Necessary Papers, very soon, We shall not be able to obtain any Reimbursement this Fall: and the next Spring We may be involved in so many Dangers, as well as new Expences as to render our Chance for obtaining Justice, more precarious. You know that your Delegates have been here, almost the whole Time since the Commencement of Hostilities, and therefore can say nothing of their own Knowledge concerning your Exertions or Expences, but must depend altogether upon Information from the General Court.
This is really a Strong Reason for a Change in the Delegation. We have been absent so long from our native Country as to be a Kind of Aliens and strangers there. If it is good Policy to reelect one of the old Delegates, because he is personally knowing to what has passed here; it is equally good Policy to elect Some new ones, because they are Witnesses of what has passed with you. For my own Part, as my political Existence terminates with the Year, I Sincerely wish to be excused in the next Election. I long to be a little with you in the General Court, that I may see and hear, and feel with my Countrymen. And I ardently wish to be a little with my Family, and to attend a little to my private Affairs. To be frank and candid to a Friend, I begin to feel for my Family, to leave all the Burthen of my private Cares, at a Time when my affairs are in so much Perplexity, to an { 170 } excellent Partner, gives me Pain for her. To leave the Education of a young Family, entirely to her, altho I know not where it could be better lodged, gives me much Concern for her and them.
I have very little Property, you very well know, which I have not earned myself, by an obstinate Industry, in opposition to the Malice of a very infirm Constitution, in Conjunction with the more pernicious Malice of Ministerial and gubernatorial Enemies. Of the little Acquisition's I have made, five hundred Pounds sterling is sunk in Boston in a Real Estate, four hundred sterling more is compleatly annihilated in a Library5 that is now wholly useless to me and mine, and at least four hundred sterling more, is wholly lost to me, in Notes and Bonds not one farthing of the Principal or Interest of which, can I obtain, and the Signers are dying, breaking, flying every day.
It is now compleatly two years since my Business has been totally ruined by the public Confusions. I might modestly estimate the Profit of my Business before this Period at three hundred sterling a Year, perhaps more. I think therefore I may fairly estimate myself a sufferer immediately, to the amount of two Thousand Pounds sterling. I have purchased Lands, which these Causes have prevented me from paying for, and the Interest is running on without a Possibility of my paying it, and I am obliged to hire Labour yearly upon my Farm to no Small amount.
In the mean Time, all that has been granted me by the general Court for the sessions of this Congress last Fall and this Spring has not defreyed my necessary Expences, however strange it may appear.
The Conclusion from all this is, that I am rushing rapidly into Perplexities and Distresses in my private Affairs from which I can never extricate myself. By retreating from public Life, in some Measure I might, preserve myself and Family from a Ruin, which without it will be inevitable. I am willing to sink with my Country, but it ought not to be insisted on that I Should Sink myself without any Prospect of contributing by that Means to make it Swim. I have taken my Trick at Helm, when it was not easy to get Navigators who would run the Risque of the storm. At present the Course is plain whatever the Weather may be, and the prospect of that is much better than it was when I was called to assist in steering the ship.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr. J. A Lettr Sepr. 1775.”
1. Mercy Otis Warren to JA, 4 Sept. (above).
2. The “one necessity,” that is, gunpowder.
3. Eliphalet Dyer (1721–1807), delegate to the congress from Connecticut (DAB).
4. Benjamin Harrison (1726?–1791), { 171 } delegate to the congress (DAB).
5. JA's library, given to the town of Quincy in 1822, is now housed in the Boston Public Library.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0082

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1775-09-26

To Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] Madam

Your Favour, by my Friend Collins,1 never reached me till this Evening. At Newport, concluding to go by Water, he put it into the Post office, least it Should meet with a Fate as unfortunate as Some others. I call them unfortunate after the manner of Men for, altho they went into Hands which were never thought of by the Writer, and notwithstanding all the unmeaning Noise that has been made about them, they have done a great deal of good. Providence intended them for Instruments to promote valuable Purposes, altho the Writer of them, thought so little of them that he never could have recollected one Word in them, if they had been lost. The most that I care about them, is the indecent Exposure of the Name of a Lady,2 who cannot be put to Pain, without giving me Uneasiness by Sympathy.
I boasted, Madam, of my Happiness, in my last to you, because I knew you could excuse the appearance of Vanity, and because I knew very well that the Person who so deservedly holds the first Place in your Heart, could say by Experience, that an Happiness so perfect was not merely ideal.
I am much obliged to you, for your kind Information concerning the Health of a Lady whom I esteem so highly. I presume her Indisposition has been the Cause why I have not heard from her before. I rejoice to hear she is better. I Hope, my invariable Friend, is better and that I shall receive a long Letter from him, Soon. My best Wishes attend him, as well as all His.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed twice in two different unknown hands: “Hon: Jno Adams Septr 26th 1775” and “J Adams Esqr Septr 1775 Philadelphia.”
1. That of 4 Sept. (above).
2. In the original an asterisk is inserted here to go with a note at the bottom of the page written in the hand of Mrs. Warren: “The intercepted letter alluded to was to Mrs. Adams. It was Caryed into New York and some little things said which would naturally be unpleasant both to herself and Mr. Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0083

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-09-28

To James Warren

[salute] Dr sir

I write at this Time, only to remind you that I have received no Letters.
{ 172 }
Let me intreat the earliest Attention of our Houses, to the Accounts and Vouchers of our Province. Accounts must be exact and Vouchers genuine, or We shall suffer. The whole Attention of every Member of both Houses, would be not improfitably employed upon this subject untill it is finished.
The Accounts, I mean are of Ammunition, such as Powder, Ball, Cartridges—Artillery, Cannon Field Pieces, Carriages—Camp Equipage, Cantins, Kettles, Spoons &c Tents, Canvas &c &c &c.
Provisions, Bread, Meat, Meal, Peas, every Thing in short. In fine it is idle for me to enter to detail. The Pay and Cloathing of the Troops &c &c.
But I must entreat, to have these Accounts and Vouchers. I do beseech that it may be remembered that I was importunate, on this Head with several Gentlemen, when I was with you.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr. J.: Adams Lettr. Septr 28th. 1775.”

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0084

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-09-30

To James Warren

[salute] Dr sir

Mr. Lynch, Coll. Harrison, and Dr. Franklyn are preparing for a Journey to Watertown and Cambridge, one of whom will do me the Favour of taking this Letter.1
Mr. Lynch, you have seen before. He is an oppulent Planter of Great Understanding and Integrity and the best Affections to our Country and Cause.
Coll. Harrison, is of Virginia, and the Friend and Correspondent of the General, but it seems by a certain Letter, under some degree of Prejudice against our dear New Englandmen.2 These Prejudices however, have arisen from Misrepresentation and may be easily removed.
Dr. Franklyn needs nothing to be said. There is no abler or better American, that I know of.
I could wish a particular Attention and Respect to all Three.
I know you will be pleased to be introduced to these Gentlemen, because it will give you an opportunity of serving your Country.3 I am your Friend,
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr. J.: A Lettr Septr 30. 1775.”
1. Probably Franklin; see the following calendar entry, JA to James Warren, 30 Sept.
2. A reference to Harrison's letter to Washington of 21 July, which was intercepted with JA's two letters of 24 { 173 } July||—to James Warren and to Abigail Adams—||and published in the Massachusetts Gazette, 17 Aug. (see same).
3. This was the first of a series of letters of introduction (see JA to William Sever, 2 Oct.; to John Winthrop, 2 Oct.; and to Gen. Heath, 5 Oct., all below). The committee of the congress was appointed on 30 Sept. in response to a resolution of the previous day directing that a committee go immediately to Cambridge to confer with Washington, representatives of the New England colonies, and any others who could help in determining “the most effectual method of continuing, supporting, and regulating a continental army” (JCC, 3:265, 266–267). The General Court was officially notified of the committee's mission on 14 Oct. and immediately made preparations for its reception. The committee arrived in Massachusetts on or about 17 Oct. (Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 2d sess., p. 162–163; Artemas Ward to JA, 23 Oct., below).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0085

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-09-30

To James Warren

Philadelphia, 30 September 1775. RC offered for sale by Parke-Bernet Gallery, N.Y., Gribbel sale, pt. 2, 22–24 Jan. 1941, lot 2. Addressed to James Warren as Speaker of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, “favoured by Dr. Franklin.”
After giving the names of the congressional committee members and explaining their function, JA proceeds, “I hope our Province, in every Part of it, will treat these Gentlemen with every possible Demonstration of Respect, Confidence and Affection. . . .
“Let me intreat you, Sir, to be particularly attentive to these Gentlemen, — to Coll. Harrison particularly — convince him, that the only narrow, selfish People belonging to our Province, the only ones actuated by Provincial Prejudices and Attachments, compass the Sample here.
“Will it not be excellent Politicks to make Dr. Franklin welcome by making him a grant of what is due to him from the Province?”
A quotation from Benjamin Harrison's intercepted letter to Washington of 21 July explains JA's comment: “your Fatigue and various Kinds of Trouble, I dare say are great, but they are not more than I expected, knowing the People you have to deal with by the Sample we have here” (Massachusetts Gazette, 17 Aug.).
On 23 Oct. the General Court resolved to pay Franklin £1,854 sterling for his services as agent from 31 Oct. 1770 to 1 March 1775 (Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 2d sess., p. 188).
RC (offered for sale by Parke-Bernet Gallery, N.Y., Gribbel sale, pt. 2, 22–24 Jan. 1941, lot 2).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0086

Author: Tudor, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-09-30

From William Tudor

[salute] Dear Sir

The manoeuvers of the Camp have afforded Nothing important for a month past. The Works at Plough'd Hill are finish'd, but are useless, because we have not Powder to annoy the Enemy and if we had, it would be an idle Expence of it to expend it in Cannonading at such a Distance. The Enemy have fir'd from their different Works 2000 Cannon Balls and 300 Bombs, without killing ten men of ours.
When Orders were given for 1100 men under Col. Arnold to { 174 } march for Quebec, the men offer'd so readily, that 5 Times the Number might have been draughted for this laborious and hazardous march, had they been wanted. We were in anxious Suspense, during their Passage from Newbury to Kennebeck; We have Accounts since of their safe Arrival in Kennebeck River, and are now only solicitous to hear of the successful Movements of General Scuyler.
The Lovers of Turtle in the Camp are like to be indulg'd with a feast of it, by the Marbleheadmen this Week taking a Schooner belonging to Lewis Gray, bound from New Providence to Boston, loaded with Turtle and Fruit.1 This is no very great Acquisition for Us, but will be a severe Disappointment to our ministerial besieg'd Enemy. The next Day some Boats from Cape Ann took a more valuable Prize, in the Capture of a Brig sent by Genl. Carleton to Boston from Quebec, with 45 horned Cattle and 60 Sheep on board, and the Hold full of Wheat.2 This is but a small Retaliation for the dayly Piratical Acts of Graves's Squadron. There is scarce a Vessel that escapes the Clutches of the Cutters and Men of War that infest the Coast. The Week before last they carried eleven Sail of Vessels into Boston, where after the Formality of a Trial in an admiralty Court, they are confiscated, to the Use of Graves and his Harpies. Notwithstanding these continual Depredations, our Assembly will not be prevail'd on to fit out Privateers.3 The Delicacy is absurd surely.
Two of the Enemy's Sentries left their Post on the Neck last Night and came over to our Camp. They are Privates of the 49th. Regiment. They say, Genl. Gage's Army, consists, sick and well, at Charlestown and at Boston of 6000 Men. That the Troops have the Scurvy very badly and generally, and that it is very sickly among them still.
The Carphenters are all at Work here, building 20 flat bottom Boats, which are to carry 50 men, and which with 250 Whale Boats, which it is said are ordered here, can carry 3000 Men. There are 3 floating Batteries which carry 1 Nine Pounder and 2 six Pounders each, besides, Swivells and small Arms. They are man'd with 30 Hands a peice. From these and some other Preparations it is conjectur'd, Some great Attempt will be made before the Winter sets in. A large Number of Hands are at Work on the Barracks, and it is expected by the End of October, the whole Army Will get into good Quarters.
To our great Astonishment the Surgeon General was this forenoon put under an Arrest for Corresponding with the Army in Boston.4 An intercepted Letter wrote in Characters, and some other Circumstances, have made the Suspicions very strong against him. His House has been search'd and all his Papers seiz'd, by the General's Orders. I am not { 175 } now acquainted with any farther Particulars. You will doubtless have the fullest Information sent the Congress from Head Quarters. Good God! Doctor C——h prove a Traitor! What a Triumph to the Tories? But I quit the shocking Subject.
We have had no Letters from any of You, since the Meeting. I must beg Sir, you would continue your friendly Letters, and oblige me with some further Communications. I am Sir your most oblig'd and very hble Servt.,
[signed] Wm. Tudor
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble John Adams Esq.”; docketed: “Wm. Tudor Sep. 30. 1775.”
1. The schooner Industry, commanded by Francis Butler, was captured on 27 Sept. (Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 2d sess., p. 129–130).
2. The brigantine Dolphin, commanded by William Wallace, was captured on 28 Sept. by men from Gloucester (same, p. 131, 137; Records of the States, Microfilm, Mass., A.1a, Reel No. 12, Unit 1, p. 197).
3. Two days before Tudor wrote, the House of Representatives had appointed a committee to consider the “Expediency of fitting out a Number of Armed Vessels,” which brought in a favorable report on 9 Oct. On 1 Nov. “An Act for Encouraging the Fixing Out of Armed Vessels to Defend the Sea-Coast of America, and for Erecting a Court to Try and Condemn All Vessels that shall be Found infesting the Same” was adopted (Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 2d sess., p. 125, 151–152, 217; Mass., Province Laws, 5:436–441).
4. At the time of his arrest, Benjamin Church was not only director of hospitals for the Continental Army, but represented Boston in the House of Representatives and was a member of the Committee of Safety. On 3 Oct. a Council of War consisting of Washington and his generals ordered Church confined and then referred his case to the Continental Congress and the General Court. On 2 Nov. the House expelled him from that body. On 7 Nov. the congress resolved to have him jailed in Connecticut (Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 2d sess., p. 171, 186, 198, 200–206, 226; (JCC), 3:294, 297, 334). No final determination of his case was made until Jan. 1778, when he was allowed to take passage on the sloop Welcome, which apparently went down with all hands in a New England coastal storm (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 13:380–398).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0087

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tudor, William
Date: 1775-10-01

To William Tudor

[salute] Dr Sir

I have at last the Pleasure to mention to you what I Suppose Mr. H.1 has informed you of, before, vizt that the Pay of the Judge Advocate is raised to fifty dollars per Month for himself and his Clerk, and this is to be allowed from the day he entered upon the service.
There was an Expression in your Representation to the General which alarmed me much, and put me to some Pain lest it should excite a Disgust.2 It was this “The Congress as I have been informed were wholly unacquainted with the Duties of a Judge Advocate, especially in the continental Army.” If this had been true, yet it was indecent to tell them of it, because they ought to be presumed to know { 176 } all the Duties of this officer, but most especially in their own Army. The Construction that I put upon it, was that the Congress had never been made Acquainted with the orders of the General to the Judge to attend every general Court Martial, which made the Duty in the American Army, essentially greater than in any other. By this Interpretation, satisfaction seemed to be given and by the favourable Representation of the General, together with the friendly Notice of General Gates and some Members who had been at the Camp, this Matter was at last well understood, and Justice was done.
I am, very Sorry to learn, that you have been sick, but rejoice to hear you are better. I have this Morning received from my dear Mrs. Adams, two letters which have put all my Philosophy to the Proof.3 Never Since I had a Family was it in such Distress, altho it has often seen melancholly Scenes. I tremble for fear my Wifes Health should receive an irreparable Injury from the Anxieties, and Fatigues, which I know she will expose herself to, for the relief of her Family in their present Sick Condition. I fear too the Contagion of such an Hospital of an House. Whether to return I know not. We expect every Hour, momentous Intelligence from England, and from Schuyler and from Washington. And altho, my Presence here is not of any great Consequence, yet some of my Constituents may possibly think it of more than it is, and be uneasy, if I should be absent. At least, if I am here, and any thing goes differently from my Wishes, I shall have the Satisfaction to reflect that I have done all I could, however little it might be. Yet if I Stay here, I shall not be happy, till I know more from Braintree. Perhaps I may receive another Letter in a day or two. My Respects to your Father and Mother, and all Friends. Pray write me if you are well enough. I am, sir, your Friend,
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Tudor Papers); addressed: “To William Tudor Esqr. Judge Advocate in the American Army Cambridge favd by Major Bayard”; docketed: “Octr. 1st. 1775.”
1. Benjamin Harrison.
2. Tudor's memorial of 23 Aug. was enclosure No. 1 in Washington's letter to the President of the Continental Congress, and can be found in PCC, No. 152, I, f. 99–101. JA's quotation is not exact, but the meaning is unchanged.
3. Those of 8–10 and [17] Sept. describing the family's illness and the deaths of several others (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:276–280).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0088

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-01

To James Warren

[salute] Dear sir

This Morning I received your kind Favours of the 11th. and 19th. Ultimo—with the Enclosures. Drapers Paper is a great Curiosity and you will oblige me by Sending it as often as posible.1
{ 177 }
The Foreign News you mention, is all a Delusion my Friend. You may depend upon it, every Measure is preparing by the Ministry to destroy Us if they can, and that a Sottish Nation is Supporting them.
Heaven helps those who help themselves, and I am happy to find a Disposition so <happily> rapidly growing in America to exert itself.
The Letters, by your Packett from my Family, have given me Serious Concern indeed. I am much at a Loss what Course to take. I have thoughts of returning home. I fear, my dear Mrs. Adams's Health will sink under the Burthen of Care that is upon her. I might well enough be Spared from this Place, where my Presence is of no Consequence, and my Family might derive some Advantage from my being there, and I might have an opportunity of attending a Conference between a Committee of this Congress and the Council of Mass. Where perhaps I might be of more service than I can here. However I am not determined. My Friend, your secretary2 is very much averse to my going. I dont know what to do.
The Committee who are going to the Camp, are Dr. Franklin Mr. Lynch and Coll. Harrison, who I hope will be received with Friendship and Politeness—by all our Friends.
I assure you, sir, there is a serious Spirit here—Such a Spirit as I have not known before.
The Committee by whom this Letter will go, are determined Americans. I fear that two of them, I mean Mr. L. and H. may have received Some unfavourable Impressions from Misrepresentations, concerning our Province, but these will be easily removed, by what they will see, and hear I hope. I wish that every Civility may be Shewn them, which their Fortunes, Characters and Stations demand.
Our news from England, is, Troops from England Scotland, Ireland, and Hanover3—Poor old Britania! I am, your Friend,
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “Coll Warren”; docketed: “Mr: J: Adams. Lettr. Octr. 1. 1775.”
1. None of the enclosures except the letters from AA has been found. Draper's paper would be a copy of the Massachusetts Gazette.
2. Samuel Adams.
3. Great Britain had decided to send some 20,000 troops to America by the spring of 1776 and to do so it was trying to hire mercenaries (Merrill Jensen, The Founding of a Nation, N.Y., 1968, p. 646).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0089

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-01

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

An Event has lately taken place here, which makes much Noise, and gives me much Uneasiness not only as it Affects the Character, and { 178 } may prove the ruin of a Man who I used to have a Tolerable Opinion of, but as it may be the Cause of many suspicions and Jealousies and what is still worse, have a Tendency to discredit the Recommendations of my Friends at the Congress. Dr. C——h has been detected in a Correspondence with the Enemy at least so far that a Letter wrote by him in Curious Cypher and directed to Majr. Cane1 (who is an Officer in the Rebel Army and one of Gages Family) has been Intercepted. The History of the whole matter is this. The Doctor haveing formed an Infamous Connection, with an Infamous Hussey to the disgrace of his own reputation, and probable ruin of his Family, wrote this Letter last July, and sent it by her to Newport with Orders to give it to Wallace, or Dudley to deliver to Wallace for Conveyance to Boston.2 She not finding an opportunity very readily, trusted it with a friend of hers to perform the orders, and came away and left it in his hands.3 He kept it some Time and haveing some suspicions, of Wickedness, had some Qualms of Conscience about Executeing his Commissions, after some Time Consulted his Friend. The result was to Open the Letter which was done. The Appearance of the Letter Increasing their Suspicions, the next question after determining not to send it [to] Boston was what should be done with it. After various Conferences at divers times they Concluded to deliver it to Genl. Washington. Accordingly the Man Came with it last Thursday. After Collecting many Circumstances, the man was Employed to draw from the Girl, by Useing the Confidence She had in him, the whole Secret but without Success. She is a suttle, shrewd Jade. She was then Taken into Custody, and Brought to the Generals Quarters that Night. It was not till the next day that any thing could be got from her. She then Confessed that the Doctor wrote and sent her with the Letter as above. Upon this the General sent a Note desireing Majr. Hawley4 and me to Come Immediately to Cambridge. We all thought the Suspicion quite sufficient to Justify an Arrest of him and his Papers, which was done, and he is now under a Guard. He owns the writeing and sending the Letter. Says it was for Flemming5 in Answer to one he wrote to him,6 and is Calculated, by Magnifying the Numbers of the Army, their regularity, their provisions and Ammunition &c, to do great Service to us. He declares his Conduct tho' Indiscreet was not wicked. There are however many Circumstances new and old which Time wont permit me to Mention, that are much Against him. The Letter I suppose is now decyphering, and when done will Either Condemn, or in some measure Excuse him. Thus much for this long Story.
{ 179 }
A Strong S.W. Wind put into Marblehead last Week a New Providence Man, with a large Number of Turtle, &c &c.7 They Boarded took, and Carryed him to Salem, and prevented the Scoundrels from Enjoying, and feasting on Callipee, Callipach,8 and a desert of Pine Apples &c. A Few Fisher Men also, have taken a Brigantine from Quebec9 with Cattle, Sheep, oatmeal &c A Present from the Tory Merchants &c, to the Sick and Wounded in Boston, and some Forrage for the Light Horse. She is Carried in to Cape Ann. There are two Letters from one Gamble, An officer one to Genl. Gage, the other to Sherriff,10 which tell them that they are to Expect no aid to Government from there. That Carlton dare not Issue his orders to the Militia supposeing they would not be Obeyed. That the Canadians poisoned from N Engld. had got in use the Damned Absurd Word Liberty. I cant recollect the Time She Sailed, her Bills Ladeing dated Sepr. 5 but the Master says that Carlton has had no Success in Recruiting. He went of[f] the Night he came away for St. Johns11 with about 75 Raggamuffins the whole Posse he could Collect. That there were at Quebec 10,000 barrels Powder. I long for them more than Turtle, or Pine Apples. Arnold was last Monday with his detachment 60 miles up Kennebeck, every thing as it should be. We please ourselves with fine Prospects of Success. I say Nothing about St. Johns &c, presuming you know as much or more about it than I do.
The Money Arrived safe here last Fryday, and I assure you gives a New face to our Affairs which by a greater delay must have run into Confusion. I Thank you for your short Letter. Would have Thanked you more if it had been longer. I have no Letter from Braintree to Inclose. I believe they are well.
Is it worthwhile to wonder that some People cant feel Improprieties.12 However Ambition and Vanity I think must predominate, and mark strongly the Character of a Man who can Act such a part if he has any Sense at all. I am glad to find the Congress in such a Temper. I have drawn this Epistle I know not how to An Enormous Length. Intending only to write a few Lines, and Indeed pressed for Time, what it is I hardly know. What you don't like you must Excuse. I give it to you as it is, and with Complements to all Friends, and Assurances of Friendship to Mr. Adams. I am &c
I must write General Court News, and Plans on foot for fixing Armed Vessels, Animated by our late success—in my next, which will be soon after my return from Plymouth where I go in a day or two, having never been there since you left us. I shall also talk to you about { 180 } your Constitution the Climate of Philadelphia and change of delegates in Massachusetts Bay &c.

[salute] Dr. Sir

When I wrote the Inclosed I Expected it would have been called for early this morning. It was not, and by that means I have an opportunity of Inclosing 2 Letters received this day I suppose from your good Family at Braintree.14 I am sorry to hear of the Continued Afflixtions of your good Lady. I am told that her mother is very Ill. I presume the Inclosed will give you the true state of the matter. I hope to hear of her Recovery however Bad she may now be. I have Just heard that the Letter is decyphered, and is much against the writer.15 Shall give you a full state of this matter as soon as I have an opportunity after I am possessed of it. Adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honbl: John Adams Esq. Member of Congress att Philadelphia”; docketed by JA: “Septr. 11 Warren Oct. 1. 1775.”
1. Lt. Col. Maurice Cane, 6th Regiment (Worthington C. Ford, British Officers Serving in the American Revolution, 1774–1783, N.Y., 1897, p. 44).
2. James Wallace, commander of the British sloop Rose at Newport (DNB); Charles Dudley, last collector of customs at Newport (Sabine, American Loyalists, 1:394–395)
3. Godfrey Wainwood or Wenwood, an inhabitant of Newport (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 4:10, note 17).
4. Although Joseph Hawley was merely a member of the House at this time, JA's recommendation of him to Washington apparently caused the general to turn to him from time to time (E. Francis Brown, Joseph Hawley, Colonial Radical, N.Y., 1931, p. 153).
5. John Fleming, printer of the Boston Chronicle with John Mein until 1770, was Church's brother-in-law (DAB).
6. Fleming's letter to Church is printed in Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 2d sess., p. 204–205.
7. The schooner Industry.
8. Calipee and calipash, considered delicacies, are gelatinous substances found near a turtle's lower and upper shells (OED).
9. The Dolphin.
10. Capt. Thomas Gamble and Maj. William Sheriff of the 47th Regiment (Ford, British Officers, p. 76, 160). Gamble's letters were printed by authority in the Boston Gazette, 9 Oct.
11. The fort on the Richelieu River on the line of march for Gen. Richard Montgomery.
12. See JA to James Warren, 19 Sept., note 1 (above).
13. This portion of the letter, which was written on a separate sheet, the verso carrying the address, was clearly intended to be a continuation despite its separate date and closing.
15. Church's deciphered letter is printed in Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 2d sess., p. 202–203.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0090

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Sever, William
Recipient: Massachusetts Council, President
Date: 1775-10-02

To William Sever

[salute] Dr sir1

I do myself the Honour of writing to you for the sake of introducing to you Three Gentlemen, whose Characters and Embassy will render { 181 } any private Introductions unnecessary. Dr. Franklyn, Mr. Lynch and Coll. Harrison, are a Committee from this Congress to consult, the General and the Council of the Massachusetts, the Governers of Connecticutt and Rhode Island, and the President of the Congress of New Hampshire, upon Points of great Consequence, concerning the Army, which they will open to you.
We are in Hopes of News, every Day, from Genl. Schuyler and from Cambridge. The last Advices from England, are rather alarming. But We expected no better. If Powder can be imported or Petre made, We need not dread their Malice. I am sir, with great Respect and Esteem, your very hml sert,
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi: Adams Papers, Fourth Generation); addressed: “The Hon. William Sever Esqr Watertown Pr Favour of Mr. Lynch.”
1. Sever was president of the Council at this time.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0091

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-02

To James Warren

[salute] Dr sir

I believe you will have a surfeit of Letters from me, for they will be as inane, as they are numerous.
The Bearer of this is Major Bayard a Gentleman of this City of the Presbyterian Perswasion of the best Character and the clearest Affections for his Country.1 I have received so many Civilities from him, that I could not refuse myself the Pleasure of introducing him to you.
Our obligations of Secrecy, are so braced up, that I must deny myself the Pleasure of Writing Particulars. Not because some Letters have been intercepted, for notwithstanding the Versification of them, they have done good, tho they have made some People grin.
This I can Say with Confidence, that the Propriety and Necessity of the Plan of Politicks so hastily delineated in them is every day, more and more confessed, even by those Gentlemen who disapproved it at the Time when they were written.
Be assured, I never Saw, So Serious and determined a Spirit as I see now every day.
The high Spirited Measures you call for, will assuredly come. Languid and disastrous Campaigns are agreable to Nobody.
Young Mr. Lux desires his Compliments to you and your Lady. He is vastly pleased with his Treatment both from you and her.
Remember me to her. I have Shocking Letters from her Friend at Braintree, such as have put my Phylosophy to the Tryal. I wait only for another Letter to determine, whether I shall come home.
{ 182 }
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr Speaker of the House Watertown favoured by Major Bayard”; docketed: “Mr. J: A: Lettr Octr. 2. 1775.”
1. John Bayard (1738–1807), who carried back to Massachusetts several of the letters written by JA during this period, was a Philadelphia merchant at this time, an ardent whig, and a major in the second battalion of the Philadelphia Associators (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0092

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Winthrop, John
Date: 1775-10-02

To John Winthrop

[salute] Dr sir

I do myself the Honour of writing you, a very few Lines, just for the Sake of introducing to you, the Gentlemen who compose a Committee of this Congress, who are to consult with your Honorable Board,1 about a Plan for continuing the Army.
I conjecture that the Reduction of the Pay of the private Soldiers, and the Introduction of Some Gentlemen from other Colonies, into the Service as officers will be principal objects.
The Pay of the Privates is generally, if not universally thought to be too high, especially in Winter:2 but whether a Reduction of it would not give Such a Disgust as to endanger the Service, I dont know. If The War Should continue, and their Pay is not reduced this Fall this Congress, will certainly reduce it next Spring, and in a Way that will perhaps be dangerous, at least attended with many Inconveniences. This Way will be by each Colony furnishing its Quota of Men as well as Money.
The other Thing that is wished by many, is not so reasonable. It is altogether Absurd to Suppose, that the Council of Massachusetts, should appoint Gentlemen from the southern Colonies, when Connecticutt, Rhode Island and N. Hampshire do not. But it is idle to expect it of either.
The Council, if they are Men of Honour cannot appoint Gentlemen whom they dont know, to command Regiments or Companies in their service. Nor can they pay a Regard to any Recommendation of Strangers, to the Exclusion of Persons whom they know. Besides it is certain that the Massachusetts has Numbers of Gentlemen, who have no Command in the Army at all, and who would now be glad to get in, who are better qualified, with Knowledge both of Theory and Practice than any who can be had upon the Continent. They have been more in War, and longer in the study of it. Besides can it be Supposed that the private Men will be easy to be commanded by Strangers to the Exclusion of Gentlemen, whom they know being their Neigh• { 183 } bours. It is moreover a Reflection, and would be a Disgrace upon that Province to send abroad for Commanders of their own Men. It would Suppose that it had not Men fit for officers than which nothing can be further from the Truth.3
But I must desist: We have heard nothing from the Committee appointed to write to Us, as yet, nor from that about Lead and salt.4
I pray you sir that We may have, the Accounts and Vouchers sent Us, that our poor suffering Province, may obtain a Reimbursement. I am, with great Respect &c.
RC (MHi:JA-John Winthrop Corr.); addressed: “The Hon. John Winthrop Esqr. L.L.D. Cambridge favoured by Mr. Lynch”; docketed: “Mr. Adams 2 Oct. 1775.”
1. Winthrop was a member of the Council at this time.
2. On pay scales, see JA to Elbridge Gerry, 18 June, note 4 (above).
3. JA is putting himself in opposition to Washington's position that the army be truly continental and that competent officers be assigned regardless of their home colonies. Washington particularly wanted to find places for qualified officers from outside New England (French, First Year, p. 506).
4. The committee named to correspond with the delegates in the congress was composed of William Sever, Jedediah Foster, and Joseph Palmer from the Council, joined by Richard Devens, George Partridge, Isaac Lothrop, and Elbridge Gerry from the House. The committee on lead and salt included Benjamin Greenleaf, Eldad Taylor, and Joseph Palmer of the Council, and Col. Nathaniel Freeman, Capt. Jonathan Greenleaf, Dr. William Whiting, and William Story of the House (Records of the States, Microfilm, Mass. A.1a, Reel No. 12, Unit 1, p. 153–154, 121–122).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0093

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Heath, William
Date: 1775-10-05

To William Heath

[salute] Sir

I never had the Pleasure of a Correspondence or any particular Acquaintance with you, which can justify the Freedom I have taken of giving you this Trouble: But as the good of our Country, which I know is your first Consideration, is my Motive, I presume you will think it a Sufficient Apology.
In the present State of America, which is so novel and unexpected, and indeed unthought of by Numbers of Persons in every Colony, it is natural to expect Misapprehensions, Jealousies and Misrepresentations in Abundance: and it must be our Care to attend to them, and if possible explain what is misunderstood and State truly what is misrepresented.
It is represented in this City by Some Persons, and it makes an unfriendly Impression upon Some Minds, that in the Massachusetts Regiments, there are great Numbers of Boys, Old Men, and Negroes, Such as are unsuitable for the service, and therefore that the Con• { 184 } tinent is paying for a much greater Number of Men, than are fit for Action or any Service. I have endeavoured to the Utmost of my Power to rectify these Mistakes as I take them to be, and I hope with some success, but still the Impression is not quite removed.
I would beg the favour of you therefore sir, to inform me Whether there is any Truth at all in this Report, or not.
It is natural to suppose there are some young Men and some old ones and some Negroes in the service, but I should be glad to know if there are more of these in Proportion in the Massachusetts Regiments, than in those of Connecticutt, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, or even among the Rifle Men.
You may depend, sir upon my Using the most prudent Caution, in the Use of your Letter, and especially of your Name but I could certainly make a good Use, of a Letter from you upon the Subject. Great Fault is likewise found in Several Parts of the Continent of the Massachusetts Officers, whom I believe, taken on an Average, and in Proportion to Numbers to be equal at least if not Superiour to any other Colony.
I must confess I had another View in giving you this Trouble which was to introduce to your Attention, Dr. Franklin, Mr. Lynch and Coll Harrison, a Committee from this Congress to consult with the General and with the New England Colonies, concerning a Plan for future Armies. Mr. Lynch is from S. Carolina, Coll Harrison from Virginia, both Gentlemen of great Fortune, and respectable Characters, Men of Abilities and very Staunch Americans. Dr. Franklyn needs no words of mine. I am, sir, with great Respect, your very huml servant,
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi:William Heath Papers); addressed: “To William Heath Esqr Brigadier General in the American Army Cambridge Per favour of Mr. Lynch”; docketed: “from Jno Adams Esqr Octr. 5th. 1775.”
1. On this same date, JA wrote a similar letter to Gen. John Thomas, introducing the committee members and asking about boys, old men, and Negroes among Massachusetts regiments. In addition, he asked particularly about the qualifications of Henry Knox and Josiah Waters as engineers (RC offered for sale, The Collector, March 1948, p. 57).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0094

Author: Lee, Charles
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-05

From Charles Lee

[salute] My Dr Sir

As you may possibly harbour some suspicions that a certain passage in your intercepted letters have made some disagreeable impressions on my mind I think it necessary to assure You that it is quite the { 185 } reverse. Untill the bulk of Mankind is much alter'd I consider <your> the reputation of being whimsical and eccentric rather as a panegyric than sarcasm and my love of Dogs passes with me as a still higher complement. I have thank heavens a heart susceptible of freindship and affection. I must have some object to embrace. Consequently when once I can be convincd that Men are as worthy objects as Dogs I shall transfer my benevolence, and become as staunch a Philanthropist as the canting Addison affected to be. But you must not conclude from hence that I give into general misanthropy. On the contrary when I meet with a Biped endow'd with generosity valour good sense patriotism and zeal for the rights of humanity I contract a freindship and passion for him amounting to bigotry or dotage and let me assure you without complements that you yourself appear to me possess'd of these qualities. I give you my word and honour that I am serious, and should be unhappy to the greatest degree if I thought you would doubt of my sincerity. Your opinion therefore of my attainments as a Soldier and Scholar is extremely flattering. Long may you continue in this (to me) gratissimus error. But something too much of this.
Before this reaches you the astonishing and terrifying accusation or rather detection of Doctor Church will be reported to the Congress. I call it astonishing, for admitting his intentions not to be criminal so gross a piece of stupidity in so sensible a Man is quite a portent. And supposing him guilty, it is terrifying to the last degree—as such a revolt must naturally infect with jealousy all political affiance. It will spread an universal diffidence and suspicion than which nothing can be more pernicious to Men embark'd in a cause like ours, the corner stone of Which is laid not only on honour virtue and disinterestedness—but on the perswasion that the whole be actuated by the same divine principles. I devoutly wish that such may not be the effects.
We long here to receive some news from the Congress. Now is the time to shew your firmness. If the least timidity is display'd, We and all Posterity are ruin'd; on the contrary at this crisis courage and steadiness must insure the blessings of liberty not only to G Britain but perhaps to all Mankind. Do not go hobling on, like the Prince of Liliput, with one high heel'd shoe one low one, for you will undoubtedly fall upon your noses evry step you take. It is my humble opinion that you ought to begin by confiscating (or at least laying under heavy contributions) the estates of all the notorious enemies to American Liberty through the Continent. This wou'd lighten the burthen which must otherwise fall heavy on the shoulders of the Community—that afterwards you should invite all the maritime powers of the world into { 186 } your Ports. If they are so dull as not to accept the invitation—weed yourselves from all ideas of foreign commerce—and become intirely a Nation of Plowmen and Soldiers. A little habit, and I am perswaded you will bless yourselves for the resolution but I am running into an essay, shall therefore to prevent pedantry and impertenence stop short with once more assuring you that I am most huly and affectionately yours,
[signed] C Lee
My respects to your namesake and let me hear from you.
Spada1 sends his love to you and declares in very intellegible language that He has far'd much better since your allusion to him for He is carress'd now by all ranks sexes and Ages.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Gen. Lee. Octr. 5. 1775.”
1. The name of one of Lee's dogs.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0095

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Quincy, Josiah
Date: 1775-10-06

To Josiah Quincy

[salute] Dear Sir

Two days ago I had the Pleasure of yours of Septr. 22. I am very Sorry to learn from your Letter that you have occasion for any Advice of mine, and have not had an opportunity of taking it. I fully intended to have made you a visit, but my stay was so short and I had So many Engagements that it was out of my Power.
That a great Revolution, in the Affairs of the World, is in the Womb of Providence, Seems to be intimated very Strongly, by many Circumstances: But it is no Pleasure to me to be employed in giving Birth to it. The Fatigue, and Anxiety, which attends it are too great. Happy the Man, who with a plentifull Fortune an elegant Mind and an amiable Family, retires from the Noises, Dangers and Confusions of it. However, by a Train of Circumstances, which I could neither foresee nor prevent, I have been called by Providence to take a larger share in active Life, during the Course of these Struggles, than is agreable either to my Health, my Fortune or my Inclination, and I go through it with more Alacrity and Chearfullness than I could have expected. I often envy the silent Retreat of some of my Friends. But if We should so far succeed as to secure to Posterity the Blessings of a free Constitution, that alone will forever be considered by me as an ample Compensation for all the Care, Fatigue, and Loss that I may sustain in the Conflict.
I am much obliged by your kind Explanation of your opinion that the Harbour might be locked up. I must confess, altho I was born so { 187 } near it, I never before understood the Course of the Channell, and the Situation of the Harbour so well. I have carefully compared your Description of Squantum, the Moon, Long Island, Gallops Island, Lovells Island, and Georges, the Narrows and Nantaskett Road, with “A Plan of the Town and Chart of the Harbour of Boston, exhibiting a View of the Islands, Castle, Forts, and Entrances into the said Harbour, which was published in London, last February.”1 This Plan I knew to be inacurate in some Particulars, and the Chart may be so in others: but by the best Judgment I can make, upon comparing your Facts with the Chart, and considering the Depths of Water marked on this Chart, I think it extreamly probable, with you that nothing but Powder and Cannon are wanting, to effect the important Purposes you mention, that of making soldiers and sailors Prisoners at Discretion.
Dr. Franklyns Row Gallies are in great Forwardness. Seven of them are compleated, manned, armed &c. I went down the River the other Day with all of them.2 I have as much Confidence in them as you have. But the People here have made what some call Chevaux De Frize and others Vesseaux de Frize, Machines to be sunk in the Channell of Delaware River. Three Rowes of them, are phased in the River, with large Timbers barbed with Iron. They are frames of Timber sunk with stone. Machines very proper, for our Channell in the Narrows.
The News you wrote me from my Family, gave me more Pleasure than you could have imagined when you wrote it. My last Accounts from home, before I received your Letter were so melancholly, that I was very unhappy, and was on the Point of returning Home. But your Letter and the Arrival of Mr. Williams,3 have removed my Fears and determined me to continue here in my Post.
We have favourable Accounts from Schuyler. He will have the Province of Canada.
Our Accounts from England breath nothing but War and Revenge. What Pains and Expence, and Misery that stupid People will endure, for the sake of driving the Colonies to the Necessity of a Seperation, and of alienating their best Friends.4
My Compliments to your good Lady and Family, Mr. Wibird and all Friends.
I must entreat your Excuse for the Haste and inaccuracy with which I am obliged to write. Every Letter you can find Leisure and Inclination to write will oblige your Friend & huml sert,
{ 188 }
RC (MHi:Hoar Autograph Coll.); the last page of the MS is a Dft of Quincy's reply to JA of 25 Oct. (below).
1. See Josiah Quincy to JA, 22 Sept., note 3 (above).
2. JA, together with other members of the congress and the Pennsylvania Assembly, made this trip on 28 Sept. For JA's description of it, see Diary and Autobiography, 2:187–188.
3. Mr. Williams, otherwise unidentified, brought to JA the letter which AA had written to him on 25 Sept. (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:295).
4. The tone of this letter here and above clearly indicates that separation was not something that JA welcomed but something that he felt the colonies were being forced into.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0096

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-07

To James Warren

[salute] Dr sir

The Debates, and Deliberations in Congress are impenetrable Secrets: but the Conversations in the City, and the Chatt of the Coffee house, are free, and open. Indeed I wish We were at Liberty to write freely and Speak openly upon every Subject, for their is frequently as much Knowledge derived from Conversation and Correspondence, as from Solemn public Debates.
A more intricate and complicated Subject never came into any Mans thoughts, than the Trade of America.1 The Questions that arise, when one thinks of it, are very numerous.
If The Thirteen united Colonies, Should immediately Surcease all Trade with every Part of the World, what would be the Consequence? In what manner, and to what degree, and how soon, would it affect, the other Parts of the World? How would it affect G. B. Ireland, the English West India Islands, the French, the Dutch the Danish, the Spanish West India Islands? How would it affect the Spanish Empire on the Continent? How would it affect the Brazills and the Portuguese Settlements in America? If it is certain that it would distress Multitudes in these Countries, does it therefore follow that it would induce any foreign Court to offer Us Assistance, and to ask us for our Trade or any Part of it? If it is questionable Whether foreign States would venture upon Such Steps, which, would perhaps be Violations of Treatises of Peace, and certainly would light up a War in Europe is it certain that Smugglers, by whom I mean private Adventurers belonging to foreign Nations, would come here, through all the Hazards they must run. Could they be suffered to clear out for America in their own Custom houses? Would they not run the risque of Seizure from their own Custom house officers, or of Capture from their own Men of War? Would they not be liable to be visited by British Men of War, in any Part of the ocean, and if found to have no Clearances be seized? When they arrived on any Part of the Coast of N. America, { 189 } would they not be seized by Brittish Cutters, Cruizers, Tenders, Frigates without Number: But if their good Fortune should escape all these Risques, have We harbours or Rivers, sufficiently fortified, to insure them Security while here? In their Return to their own Country would they not have the Same Gauntlett to run.
In Short, if We Stop our own ships, have We even a Probability that the ships of foreign Nations, will run the Venture to come here, either with or without the Countenance and Encouragement of their severall Courts or States public or private open or secret? It is not easy for any Man precisely and certainly to answer this Question. We must then say all this is uncertain.
Suppose then We assume an intrepid Countenance, and send Ambassadors at once to foreign Courts. What Nation shall We court? Shall We go to the Court of France, or the Court of Spain, to the States General of the United Provinces? To the Court of Lisbon, to the Court of Prussia, or Russia, or Turkey or Denmark, or Where, to any, one, more, or all of these? If We should is there a Probability, that Our Ambassadors would be received, or so much as heard or seen by any Man or Woman in Power at any of those Courts. He might possibly, if well skilled in intrigue, his Pocketts well filled with Money and his Person Robust and elegant enough, get introduced to some of the Misses, and Courtezans in Keeping of the statesmen in France, but would not that be all.
An offer of the Sovereignty of this Country to France or Spain would be listened to no doubt by Either of those Courts, but We should suffer any Thing before We should offer this. What then can We offer? An Alliance, a Treaty of Commerce? What Security could they have that We should keep it. Would they not reason thus, these People intend to make Use of Us to establish an Independency but the Moment they have done it: Britain will make Peace with them, and leave Us in the Lurch And We have more to dread from an Alliance between Britain and the United Colonies as an independent state, than We have now they are under one corrupted Administration. Would not Spain reason in the same manner, and say further our Dominions in South America will be soon a Prey to these Enterprizing and warlike Americans, the Moment they are an independent State. Would not our proposals and Agents be treated with Contempt! And if our Proposals were made and rejected, would not this sink the Spirits of our own People, Elevate our Enemies and disgrace Us in Europe.
If then, it will not be Safe to Stop our own Ships entirely, and trust to foreign Vessells coming here either with or without Convoy of { 190 } Men of War, belonging to foreign States, what is to be done? Can our own People bear a total Cessation of Commerce? Will not Such Numbers be thrown out of Employment, and deprived of their Bread, as to make a large discontented Party? Will not the Burthen of supporting these Numbers, be too heavy upon the other Part of the Community? Shall We be able to maintain the War, wholly without Trade? Can We support the Credit of our Currency, without it?
If We must have Trade how shall We obtain it? There is one Plan, which alone, as it has ever appeared to me, will answer the End in some Degree, at first. But this is attended with So many Dangers to all Vessells, certain Loss to many, and So much Uncertainty upon the whole, that it is enough to make any Man, thoughtfull. Indeed it is looked upon So wild, extravagant and romantic, that a Man must have a great deal of Courage, and much Indifference to common Censure, who should dare to propose it.
“God helps those who help themselves,” and it has ever appeared to me since this unhappy Dispute began, that We had no Friend upon Earth to depend on but the Resources of our own Country, and the good sense and great Virtues of our People. We shall finally be obliged to depend upon ourselves.
Our Country furnishes a vast abundance of materials for Commerce. Foreign Nations, have great Demands for them. If We should publish an Invitation to any one Nation or more, or to all Nations, to send their ships here, and let our Merchants inform theirs that We have Harbours where the Vessells can lie in Safety, I conjecture that many private foreign Adventurers would find Ways to send Cargoes here thro all the Risques without Convoys. At the Same Time our own Merchants, would venture out with their Vessells and Cargoes, especially in Winter,2 and would run thro many Dangers, and in both these Ways together, I should hope We might be supplied with Necessaries.
All this however Supposes that We fortify and defend our own Harbours and Rivers. We may begin to do this. We may build Row Gallies, flatt bottomed Boats, floating Batteries, Whale Boats, Vesseaux de Frize, nay Ships of War, how many, and how large I cant say. To talk of coping Suddenly with G. B. at sea would be Quixotish indeed. But the only Question with me is can We defend our Harbours and Rivers? If We can We can trade.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr. J: A Octr. 7 1775.”
1. This letter, together with those to James Warren on 19, 20, and 28 Oct. (below), provides a valuable supplement to JA's Diary accounts of the con• { 191 } gressional debates that began on 4 Oct. and continued through December over the trade of America, that is, whether to depart further from the nonimportation stipulations of the Continental Association (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:188–194, 196–197, 204–217, 219–220). Although JA implies that the questions he raises come merely from his own thoughts or from the common talk in the coffeehouses, he was apparently summarizing, at least in part, for Warren the arguments brought out in debate by his colleagues. JA's own solution, stated at the end of the letter, may have been the one he advanced in the debates, although nothing in his Diary indicates that he did so. His solution is not very different from that which he advocated in the first session of the Second Continental Congress. His letter to James Warren of 23 July (above) noted that the congress had had before it a proposal to open its ports to the trade of all nations but that it had “like fools . . . lost it for the present.”
2. That is, when British cruisers could not be so active.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0097

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-08

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

You will not think your Time misspent in Perusing any Plans for the Service of your Country, even altho they may prove, upon Examination chimerical. There are two Channells only, through which Vessells of large Burthen, can pass, to and from Boston: one, is between the West Head of Long Island and the Moon: It is a mile wide, but incumbered with Rocks and too shallow for a Man of War of more than twenty Guns. The other is between Long Island and Deer Island, a mile and an half from Point to Point, the only Channell, thro which capital Ships can pass, leads through the Narrows, between Gallops Island and Lovells Island where it is not wider, than the length of a fifty Gun Ship. In the Interval between Gallops and George's, is Nantaskett Road where, five Men of War are now Stationed; for what other End, do you Suppose, than to guard the Narrows from being obstructed?
The Moon communicates with Squantum, at low Water, even without a Canoe. A Fort, therefore, upon Squantum, may be so placed as to Secure a Retreat from the Moon to Squantum and from that to the Main: one upon the East Head of the Moon, and another on the West Head of Long Island, Secures the Communication, and covers a Retreat from the latter to the former: Another, on the Summit of Long Island, covers the shore on each Side. A strong Battery at the East Head of Long Island, commands the Ship Channell, the Narrows, and Nantaskett Road. Consequently by Sinking Hulks, or Vesseaux de Frize, in the Narrows, We might prevent any Vessell of great Force from going out, or coming in.
In the Month of February last, “a Plan of the Town and Chart of the Harbour of Boston,”1 was published in London. I think in a { 192 } Magazine: I wish you would examine this Project by that Plan, and give me your opinion.
I dont trouble Washington with any of these Schemes, because I dont wish to trouble him with any Thing to no Purpose. But if I could command a Thousand Tons of Powder, and an hundred Pieces of heavy Cannon I would scribble to him till he would be weary of me. Mean Time It may not be amiss for me to amuse myself with some of my Friends, in Speculations of this kind; because Some good, may some time or other Result from them.
Can no Use be made of Rowe Gallies, with you? Eight or Ten are compleated here. Can they be used in the Vineyard Sound? Would not their heavy Metal demolish a Cruizer now and then? There is a shipwright escaped from Boston, who [has] been several Years a Prisoner in a Turkish Galley, and has a Model of one. Coll. Quincy knows him. Or I could procure you Directions from this Place, how to construct them.
We have just received by an express from Schuyler, very promising Intelligence concerning the Operations of the Northern Army. Ethan Allen are in the Heart of the Country joined by 200 Canadians. Montgomery was beginning to bombard St. Johns.2
If We should be successfull in that Province, a momentous, political Question arises—What is to be done with it? A Government, will be as necessary for the Inhabitants of Canada, as for those of the Massachusetts Bay? And what Form of Government, shall it be? Shall the Canadians, choose an House of Representatives, a Council and a Governor? It will not do to govern them by Martial Law, and make our General Governor. This will be disrelished by them as much as their new Parliamentary Constitution3 or their old French Government.
Is there Knowledge and Understanding enough among them, to elect an Assembly, which will be capable of ruling them and then to be governed by it—Who shall constitute their Judges and civil Officers?
This appears to me as curious a Problem as any We shall have to solve. <There are some Gentlemen, whose rule it is to let others think, to play themselves, then claim the Honour and Merit of their Thought and [ . . . ] for them. Oh that I had been born one of this happy breed—with Meanness of Soul enough to applaud myself as they do, when all is done, for their Cunning.>4
When I was at Watertown, a Committee of both Houses was appointed to Correspond with us. We have not received any Letter from it.
Another was appointed to enquire after Virgin Lead and leaden { 193 } ore and the Methods of making Salt and acquaint us with their Discoveries. We have not heard from this Committee.
Please send the enclosed News Paper to my Wife, when you have read it.5
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr. J. A Lettr Octr. 8. 1775.”
1. Closing quotation marks supplied. Obviously JA is making use of Josiah Quincy's plans without mentioning their author, for his first two paragraphs closely paraphrase Quincy's description (to JA, 22 Sept., above).
2. The express carried letters from Gen. Philip Schuyler of 19 and 28 (bis) Sept., with enclosures including letters from Gen. Richard Montgomery, Ethan Allen, and James Livingston (PCC, No. 153, I, f. 140–175). These were read to the congress on 9 Oct., when JA was named to a committee to answer them. Montgomery's siege of St. John's began 17 Sept. and lasted till 3 Nov. (French, First Year, p. 421, 429).
3. That is, the Quebec Act, which left the peasants as oppressed as they had been under the French government.
4. These six lines of the MS are heavily crossed out. Most of the reading given here is conjectural. Within the brackets are two or three words that could not be read at all.
5. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0098

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-10

To James Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

Mr. Jonathan Mifflin, a young Gentleman of this City, a Relation of our Friend the Quarter Master General will hand you this Letter.
I believe you will have enough of my Correspondence this Time, for it has certainly been filled with mere Impertenence and contains nothing of War or Politicks which are so Agreable to your Taste.
Our Expectations are very Sanguine, of Intelligence from Schuyler that Canada is ours. Our Advises from England breath nothing but Malice, Revenge and Cruelty.1
Powder, and Salt Petre are Still the Cry from one End of the Continent to the other. We must, and, God willing, We will have them.
I long to hear concerning our Friends in Boston. My Friends cannot be too particular. I want to know the Condition of every Individual. I want to know also every Event however minute which Turns up in our Camp or Lines. We have most formidable Discriptions of Gages Fortifications in Boston. Ninety Pieces of Brass Field Pieces from four to Eight Pounders have certainly been cast in the Tower for America, and Carriages, Wheelbarrows, Flatbottomed Boats &c. I am &c.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr. J: A Lettr Octr. 10. 1775.”
1. Probably a reference to Britain's decision to raise a large army to send to America, including mercenaries. See JA to James Warren, 1 Oct., note 3 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0099

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tudor, William
Date: 1775-10-12

To William Tudor

[salute] Dr sir

I have received yours of the first of this Instant1 and am glad to find you have me still in Remembrance. I wrote you some time ago, and ventured to acquaint you with the appointment of fifty dollars a Month to the Judge Advocate for himself and his Clerk, to commence from his first appointment. This I hope you received. I feel more anxious about Letters than formerly as you may well imagine. The Times are so critical and there are so many Peepers, that one cant be too carefull. Indeed the horrid Story you allude to in yours of the surgeon2 &c. is enough to make one jealous3 of every Body, but it must not have this Effect. In the Reign of Charles the first, such Instances of Treachery and Infidelity, were not uncommon. I would fain hope however that this has turned out more favourably than was feared: yet from several private Letters received here by Gentlemen, I am Staggered. What shall We say? I think it very odd, however, that every Event which happens at the Camp should regularly come to Governors Ward or Hopkins, or to Coll. Dyer or Mr. Deane, before it comes to me. It is really astonishing. However hush Complaint.
The last Accounts from my Family were very disagreable. And yours mentions not a Word of it. I hope for the best but should be rejoiced to hear.
Three Battalions I believe will be raised in Pensilvania and the Jersies for the Defence of New York.4 News We have none, but such as you see in the Papers.
As you are now in the military Line of Life, I presume it will not be disagreable to have your Thoughts turned to military Speculations. I want to know what Books upon Martial Science are to be found in the Army, and whether, among the many young Gentlemen in the service, any of them are studious of the Principles of the Art. It is a shame for Youths of Genius and Education to be in the Army, without exerting themselves to become Masters of the Profession. If it is objected that Books are not to be had, Measures ought to be taken to procure them. To this End I wish to collect [a] perfect List of the best Authors, and should be obliged to you if you would enquire and make up one for me. And at the same time enquire whether the following are in the possession of any Body in the Army. Dalrymples military Essay. Saxes Reveries. History of Prussia. History of Frederic 3d. Le Blonds military Engineer. History of the late War. Mullers Works Eight Volumes. Maneuvres for a Battalion of Infantry—by Major { 195 } Young. Military Guide, by Simes. Andersons Art of War. Prussian Field Regulations. King of Prussias Advice to young officers. Play-dells Field Fortification. Simes's Medley. Bellidoze, Worth all the rest.5
RC (MHi:Tudor Papers); addressed: “To William Tudor Esqr Judge Advocate in the American Army Cambridge favd. by Mr. Tracy”; docketed: “Octr. 12th 1775.”
1. No letter from Tudor of 1 Oct. has been found; JA is probably referring to that of 30 Sept. (above).
2. Benjamin Church.
3. That is, suspicious (OED).
4. The congress reached this decision on 12 Oct. (JCC, 3:291).
5. The evaluation of the following military titles has been furnished to the editors by Alan C. Aimone, Military History Librarian of the Library of the United States Military Academy, and Robert K. Wright Jr., historian in the Organizational History Branch of the Department of the Army. The former's overall assessment, given in a letter of 10 Sept. 1976, is the following: “Most of the books . . . would be among the best military science works of his age. None indicates new departures such as light infantry tactics or even basic cavalry sources. Such military writers of the time as . . . Lewis Lochée, James Wolfe and Timothy Pickering are missing . . . that would reflect a balanced military library of the John Adams era.”
Campbell Dalrymple, A Military Essay, London, 1761. Considered current literature, this dealt with the problems of recruiting, clothing, arming, and disciplining infantry and cavalry, furnishing information basic for establishing an army. An abridgement, Extracts from a Military Essay, Phila., 1776, is listed in the Catalogue of JA's Library.
Maurice, Marechal de Saxe, Reveries, Edinburgh, 1759. Considered basic, this work regularly appears in military inventories of the time. Listed in the Catalogue of JA's Library.
W. H. Dilworth, The Life and Heroic Actions of Frederick III [II], King of Prussia . . . containing All the Military Transactions of Germany from the year 1740, and including All the Operations of the Campaign of 1757, London, 1758.
Guillaume Le Blond, A Treatise of Artillery, London, 1746. Translated from the French, this work was considered important along with those of Muller's listed below.
Gen. Henry Lloyd, The History of the Late War in Germany; between the King of Prussia and the Empress of Germany and Her Allies, London, 1763.
None of the standard catalogues lists Muller's works in eight volumes, but these titles are found in American libraries: La Mamye Clairac, The Field Engineer, transl. Muller, London, 1773. The Attack and Defence of Fortified Places in Three Parts; the Third Edition . . . enlarged, . . . also Belidor's New Method of Mining; and Valliere on Countermining, London, 1770. A Treatise Containing the Elementary Part of Fortification, London, 1746, 1756, 1774. A Treatise Containing the Practical Part of Fortification, London, 1755, 1774. A Treatise of Artillery, London, 1757, 1768. Muller was the leading English writer on military science.
William Young, Manoeuvres, or Practical Observations on the Art of War, London, 1770, 1771.
Thomas Simes, The Military Guide for Young Officers, London, 1772. A popular work, this contained a section on military terms arranged alphabetically. Volume 2 of the 1776 edition is listed in the Catalogue of JA's Library.
The next three works in JA's listing are of uncertain identity. No standard catalogue lists an art of war by Anderson. Robert K. Wright Jr. suggests two possibilities: Marechal de Puysegur, L'art de la guerre, Paris, 1747, or Granmaison, La petite guerre, Paris, 1756. The British Museum Catalogue lists New Art of War, London, 1726, which was also published under the title The Art of War, neither with author given. Evans lists —— deLamont and others, { 196 } The Act of War, Phila., 1776 (No. 14816). Conceivably JA knew of its forthcoming publication.
According to Wright, “Prussian Field Regulations” might be one of several works: Regulations for the Prussian Infantry, transl. William Fawcett, London, 1757; Thomas Hanson, The Prussian Evolutions in Actual Engagements, 2 vols., Phila., 1775; The Prussian (Short) Exercise, N.Y., 1757, this last probably a reprint of the Fawcett translation.
The “King of Prussia's Advice to Young Officers,” again in Wright's view, seems a garbled title derived from two works perhaps: Frederick the Great, Instructions for His Generals, transl., London, 1762; Gen. James Wolfe, Instructions to Young Officers, London, 1768.
J. L. Pleydell, An Essay on Field Fortification, London, 1768.
Thomas Simes, The Military Medley, London, 1768.
Bernard Forest de Belidor, “the 18th-century Vauban of fortifications,” wrote a number of widely circulated books, almost none apparently translated: La science des ingénieurs dans la conduite des travaux de fortification et d'architecture civile, Paris, 1729, 1739, 1754, 1775. Le bombardier françois ou nouvelle méthode de jetter les bombes avec précision, Paris, 1731. Traité des fortifications, Paris, 1735. Nouveau cours de mathématiques, à l'usage de l'artillerie et du génie, Paris, 1725, 1757. Oeuvres diverses . . . concernant l'artillerie et le génie, Amsterdam, 1764.
It should be added that although JA lists authors and in some instances brief titles, he apparently knew little at this time about his selections, for later he asks Tudor who Belidor is and in what language he wrote (JA to Tudor, 14 Nov., below).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0100-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-12

To James Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

I would write often if I had any thing to communicate: But Obligations of Honour forbid some Communications and other Considerations prevent others.
The common Chatt of a Coffee house, is too frivolous for me to recollect or you to read. I have inclosed a Paper upon which I will make no Remark: But leave you to your own Conjectures.1 Only I must absolutely insist that it be mentioned to nobody. It may gratify your Curiosity and give Some Relief to your Cares.
I most earnestly pray that all my Friends, would exert themselves to furnish me with Intelligence of a particular Nature. I mean with a List of all the Depredations committed upon our Trade. A List of all the Vessells which have been taken by the Cutters, Cruizers &c. The Names of the Vessells, Masters owners, Burthen of the ship the Nature of the Cargo's and the Value of both. Nothing will contribute So much to facilitate Reprizals, as an exact Account of our Losses and Damages. I wish our General Court would take it up—and examine it thoroughly.2
We have no Accounts nor Vouchers yet. Nor one Line from the Committee appointed to correspond with Us.
I am very happy—how it is I know not—but I am very happy.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr Speaker of the House and Pay Master General Watertown favd. by Mr Tracy”; docketed: “Mr. J: A Lettr Octr 12. 1775”; with enclosure in JA's hand.
1. The origin of the enclosure remains obscure. JA probably copied the proposal from some source. The intimate knowledge of Antigua's geography indicates that it was written by some person well informed about the West Indies. Certainly the calling for two ships to go out aggressively and seek munitions accorded with JA's sentiments, for he was a vigorous supporter of the scheme to arm vessels to intercept two British ships known to be carrying munitions to Canada (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:342–345).
It is uncertain whether the proposal was presented to the congress or to one of its committees (perhaps the secret committee on the procurement of gunpowder that had been created on 18 Sept.) and if so, when (JCC, 2:253). The plan is not mentioned in the Journal of the congress, JA's Diary, or any of the other sources examined. If it was presented, it was probably around 6 Oct., when the procurement of gunpowder was debated (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:196–197).
2. JA is here anticipating the action of the congress on 18 Oct., when it resolved that an account of hostilities committed since March be compiled.
To implement the resolution, a committee composed of Silas Deane, JA, and George Wythe was established (JCC, 3:298–299). On, 19 Oct. the committee sent form letters to Massachusetts and elsewhere, seeking information. For the form letter see JA's Service in the Congress, 13 Sept. – 9 Dec., No. III (above). For JA's interpretation of the period of time to be covered, see JA to James Warren, 19 Oct., first letter, note 3 (below). The province responded on 7 Nov. by naming a committee to compile the requested information, although no record has been found that Massachusetts sent in a formal report (Mass., House Jour., 1175–1776, 2d sess., p. 242).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0100-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-12

Enclosure: A Proposal Regarding the Procurement of Powder

As the Article of Powder is much wanted to carry on the operations vs the ministerial Army, and as the british Ministry, have taken every Step that human Nature could divise to prevent the Americans obtaining So essential an Article; it is humbly Submitted to the Wisdom, of the cont. Congress, whether it will not be prudent to Supply yourselves with that Article at the Expence of the said Ministry, by taking it whenever you can get it. It is thus further recommended that 2 Vessells properly mann'd be sent to the Island of Antigua, one of which may anchor at Old Road on the South Side of the Said Island (where there are only a few Houses) in the Evening under Dutch Colours; passing for a Vessell bound on a forced Trade, to the French Islands; in the night you may land, and take away all the powder; there being not above one or two Persons, in the fort to prevent it. As Soon as the Powder is obtained the Vessell may proceed down to Johnsons Point Fort, at the S. W. point of the Island; and take what is there; there being only a Single Matross in the Said Fort; the other Vessell must be commanded by a prudent Man; well acquainted with the Bar and Harbour at St. Johns; if any Man of War be anchored without the Bar; it will not be prudent to attempt any Thing, but Should there be none; the Vessell may then go over the Bar, and anchor close under the fort; as is commonly the Custom. There are generally 10 or 12 Soldiers in James Fort Situated on a Point on the larboard Hand, Seven miles distant from the Town; the Magazine is in a hollow; on the Left Hand just after entering the Gate, and commonly contains from 500 to 1000 Blls of Powder, or more. 2 miles from thence to the northward is a Small fort call'd Corbresons point fort; and 2 miles from this northward is another Small fort called Dickensons bay fort, in either of which there is not above a Single Matross. All this Powder may be easily obtained, without any opposition, if conducted with Prudence; it will be necessary, that the Captain Should have Some Money, to distribute among the Soldiers, to assist in taking it away; He may go into the Fort in the Afternoon (and see how the Land lies) under pretence of Sailing that night and thereby guide his operation.
The Same Thing may be done by other Vessells at Montserrat, Nevis, Charlesfort at Sandy point, St. Kitts, also at St. Martins; without any Risque.
I would advise the continental Congress, to make a general Sweep of all the Powder, at St. Eustatius, it may first be taken and then paid for afterwards as the Dutch refuse to sell it to us;1 I am well perswaded { 198 } the whole of this Plan may be executed, that near 3000 Blls of powder may be obtained in the Course of 3 or 4 months.
The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume have been moved to the end of the preceding document.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr Speaker of the House and Pay Master General Watertown favd. by Mr Tracy”; docketed: “Mr. J: A Lettr Octr 12. 1775”; with enclosure in JA's hand.
1. The Dutch States-General, under pressure from Great Britain, had on 20 March ordered that no munitions be exported to the North American continent for six months, an order which was subsequently renewed periodically, but which was not obeyed in the Dutch West Indies during the American Revolution (F. C. Van Oosten, “Some Notes Concerning the Dutch West Indies During the American Revolutionary War,” The American Neptune, 36:156 [July 1976]).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0101

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-12

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

I have only a Minute to Cover the Inclosed Letters.1 I have been on an Excursion to Plymouth for a Week and returned Yesterday with Mrs. Warren. On our way we Called a little while on Mrs. Adams as you may well suppose, have the pleasure to Inform you we left her well, and hope to see her here in a few days. The rest the Inclosed will tell you.2 We Condole with her, and you on the great Loss sustained in her Good Mother.3
I Received a Letter from you Yesterday, have Observed your directions, and proposed with Earnestness the Compleating the Accounts.4
{ 199 }
They are Attended with great difficulties but hope to get them along in some Shape or other. I Received before I went Home 2 Letters.5 Can only say at present that I Observe you think me very Negligent. I dont wonder at it, but by this Time believe you are Convinced that it was more oweing to my misfortune than Negligence. They were long while in their passage. I knew [not?] of this opportunity till this minute and Mr. Randolph waits. We have no Remarkables. Adeu,
Mrs. Warren desires her Compliments you will soon here from her. She loves to Scribble to those she has a good Opinion off.
[signed] J:W
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honbl: John Adams Esq Member of Congress Philadelphia”; docketed: “Octr 12. 1775 Warren”; docketed in a later hand: “J. Warren October 12th 1775.”
1. These have not been identified, but see note 2.
2. Probably Mercy Otis Warren's letter that was begun on 12 Oct. but was not finished until the 14th (see below).
3. AA's mother, Elizabeth Quincy Smith, died on 1 Oct. See AA to JA, 1 Oct., and Mrs. Smith's obituary of 6 Oct. (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:288–289, 293–294).
4. JA's letter of 28 Sept. (above). The report of the House committee on Massachusetts' accounts with the congress was very long in preparation and was recommitted several times (Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 2d sess., p. 152, 155–156, 159).
5. Probably JA's letters of 19 and 26 Sept. (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0102

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-12

From Mercy Otis Warren

I Write again from Waterton, where I Arrived Yesterday with your Excelent Friend who has been so much Engaged by his Necessary Attention to public affairs that he has had time since you Left us only to run to Plimouth four days ago and bring back your Correspondent to this Crouded inconvenient place, where the Muses Cannot dwell, or the Graces of Elegance Reside. Yet the feelings of Real Friendship will not Languish, nor the tender simpathy of a Compassionate Heart Decay, though within the sound of the Cares and Tumults of the more busy scenes. This I Can Attest from the Concern I have Lately felt for the suffering, of those you stand Nearest Connected With.
How fleeting are all the Joys of this precarious state, by what a slender tenure do we hold the Best Blessings of Life.
Within a few days after your agreable Discription of Domestic Happiness, and the temporary Felicity you tasted under your own quiet Roof, the Good Portia was Involved in a Variety of Affliction. But I called on Her yesterday and found the Little Flock Restored to { 200 } Health. Their Mamah perfectly Recovered and Bearing up under A stroke of Adversity with that Fortitude and Equinimity which Can only Result from the Noblest principles. But when we take a Rational survey of the Condition of Humanity and the Narrow Limits within which our Advances both to perfection And Happiness are Circumscribed, at the same time that the Hope of the Christian smooths the passage to a More Exalted state, why should the shocks of private Misfortune, the Allarms of War, or the Convulsions of states, Ruffle the soul Conscious of Its own Integrity.
Mrs. Adams has Doubtless informed you that she has the Highest Consolation under the Loss of a most Exelent parent and how much Less painful ought the temporary seperation from those we are assured are Translated to unfading Felicity to be, then to behold the Depravity of mind into which some Wretched Individuals are sunk.
I fear a Late Instance of perfidy and Baseness in one who Rancked Himself among the Friends to the Rights of society and the Happiness of the Community Will occasion many Inviduous Reflections from the Enemies of the American Cause.
I was Ever sorry that there should be one among the Band of patriots Whose Moral Character was Impeachable for when the Heart is Contaminated, and the Obligations of private Life Broken through, And the man has thrown of[f] the Restraints Both of Honour and Conscience with Regard to His own Domestic Conduct, what Dependance is to be Made on the Rectitude of His public Intentions.1
The Culprit Assumes an air of Inocence, and with the Confidence usual to Veterans in Iniquity Complains that He is unjustly Restraind. But I imagine when he has no further hopes, left of Imposing on the Friends of his Country, he will be mean, And abject in proportion to his affectation of Intrepidity, for no true Fortitude can subsist in a Mind Devoid of these principles which Leads to some Higher hopes. Yet when they are about to Leap the Gulph of Futurity, the Natural Intimations of an Impartial Tribunal, shakes the firmness of the sceptic And plunges him in all the Horrors of Dispair.
The two armies Remain Rather Inactive. Nothing Vigorous or Decisive on Either side.
It is Generally beleved Gage is Gone home.2 The Communication between the town and Country is now intirly Cut off: so that no inteligence Can be Expected from Boston Except the Little by way of Desserters.
There seems to be such a spirit for Navel preperations, that I beleive it will not be many years before your Friend Gadsdens American Fleet3 { 201 } will make A very Respectable Figure on the Western side of the Atlantic. And if we Can once Gaurd our sea coasts from the Depredations of the British Bucaneers I beleive we may soon bid Deffiance to all the, Hessians Highlanders and Hanoverians, Employed by an unfeeling Arbitrary, —— Monarch.
Mr. Warren and myself are just returned from Head quarters where we had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with the Agreable Mrs. Miflin. The Annimated spirit which Reigns there seems to beat in unison with the sentiments Breathed in your Respectable Assembly, if we may Judge by your Letters just Come to Hand. We Expect Great projects are to open upon us, and that A system of politics will soon be disclosed that will do Honour to the Genius of America, and Equal to some of the Capital Characters which Compose the Grand Counsel of the Continent.
I thank you sir for a Line Received Lately,4 and if you find a Leasure Moment shall be Gratifyed and Obliged if you Condescend at any time to write to your assured Friend,
[signed] Marcia
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Marcia's Letter Octr. 12. 1775.” A Tr of this letter erroneously dated 22 Oct. is in MHi: Mercy Warren Letterbook, p. 160–162. The copy was apparently made at a later date from one not now extant. The only significant difference between the two versions is her specific identification of Dr. Church, whose conduct she describes but whose name she does not mention in the letter here printed. The Tr carries this note: “This was Dr. Church recently detected of betraying the affairs of America to the British army.” For comment on Mrs. Warren's “Letterbook,” see Adams Family Correspondence, 1:93–94, note 1.
1. Rumors, probably much exaggerated, flew around concerning Church's private immorality; but the evidence is clear that he had a mistress who carried the letter which was his undoing (Allen French, General Gage's Informers, Ann Arbor, 1932, p. 149–150).
2. Gage had received orders to return to England, and on 13 Oct. the Massachusetts Gazette reported that he had left Boston on the 10th (Gage to Dartmouth, 30 Sept., Gage, Corr., 1:417).
Gage was recalled by the King presumably to help with plans for military operations in 1776, but his recall actually was owing to political enemies in London who used the outcome of the Battle of Bunker Hill as an excuse (John R. Alden, General Gage in America, Baton Rouge, 1948, p. 280–283).
3. See JA to Elbridge Gerry, [ante 11] June (above).
4. That of 26 Sept. (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0103

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, Charles
Date: 1775-10-13

To Charles Lee

[salute] My dear Sir1

Your obliging Favour of the fifth Inst. I this Moment received, and give me Leave to assure you that no Letter I ever received, gave me { 202 } greater Pleasure. In truth sir I have been under some Apprehensions, that a certain Passage, in a very unfortunate as well as inconsiderate Letter, might have made Some disagreable Impressions on your Mind: I was indeed relieved in some Degree by Accounts which I had from Gentlemen who knew your sentiments, especially such as were present when you first heard it read. The candid, genteel and generous Manner in which it was heard and animadverted on, gave me great Satisfaction: I had thought of writing you on the Subject, but was hindered by certain Notions of Delicacy perhaps as whimsical, as any Thing alluded to in that Letter. But I rejoice exceedingly, that this incident has induced you to write.
I frankly confess to you that a little Whim and Eccentricity, so far from being an Objection to any one in my Mind, is rather, a Recommendation, at first Blush, and my Reasons are, because few Persons in the World, within my Experience or little Reading, who have been possessed of Virtues or Abilities, have been entirely without them; and because few Persons, have been remarkable for them, without having Something at the same Time, truly valuable in them. I confess farther that a Fondness for Dogs, by no means depreciates any Character in my Estimation, because many of the greatest Men have been remarkable for it; and because I think it Evidence of an honest Mind and an Heart capable of Friendship, Fidelity and Strong Attachments being Characteristicks of that Animal.
Your Opinion of my Generosity, Valour, Good sense, Patriotism and Zeal for the Rights of Humanity, is extreamly flattering to me: and I beg leave to assure you, in the Strongest Manner and I flatter myself that my Language and Conduct in public and private upon all occasions, notwithstanding the wanton Expressions in the intercepted Letter have demonstrated, that this Opinion is reciprocal. Your Sincerity, sir, I never doubted, any more than I did my own, when I expressed or implied an opinion of your Attainments as a Scholler and a Soldier. Indeed I might have expressed a much higher opinion of these than I did, with the same Sincerity. But enough of this.
At the Story of the Surgeon General I stand astonished. A Man of Genius, of Learning, of Family, of Character, a Writer of Liberty songs and good ones too, a Speaker of Liberty orations, a Member of the Boston Committee of Correspondence, a Member of the Massachusetts Congress, an Agent for that Congress to the Continental Congress, a Member of the House, a Director General of the Hospital and Surgeon General—Good God! What shall We say of human Nature? { 203 } What shall We say of American Patriots? or rather what will the World Say? The World however, will not be too severe. Indeed, Sir, We ought to expect, in a Contest like this, however we may detest, Such Examples as this. History furnishes Instances more or less, in all Quarells like this. The Doctors Brother Poet Waller2 in the Struggle with a Stuart, was his Antitype. We cannot be too cautious of the Persons We entrust, in such Times as these: yet We ought not to let our Caution degenerate into groundless Jealousy. There is a Medium between Credulity on one hand and a base suspicious Temper on the other from which We need not be induced to deviate, even in such Times as these, and by such Examples as the Doctors.
The Nature of the Conspiracy and the Duration and Extent of it Seem as yet in much Obscurity. I hope Time, and Care will bring the whole Truth to light that exact and impartial Justice may be done, if that is possible.
Before this Reaches you, a Committee from Congress3 will tell you News from hence. I wish, sir that I could write freely to you concerning, our Proceedings: But you know the obligations I am under to be upon the Reserve: and the danger there would be as I know not the Carrier of this Letter, if I was at perfect Liberty. But this I must Say, that I See no danger of our “displaying Timidity.” This Congress, is more united, and more determined, than ever. And, if the petrified Tyrants would but send us their Ultimatum, which is expected Soon, you would see us, in Earnest.
As to confiscating Estates, that is but a Small Part of what will be done when We are engaging seriously.
You began upon a subject, towards the Close of your Letter of infinite Importance; I read with avidity your Thoughts and was much chagrin'd, that you gave me so few of them. The Intricacy and Multiplicity of the Questions involved in it, require more extensive Knowledge and a larger Mind than mine to determine them with Precision. There is So much Uncertainty too, that I believe no Man is capable of deciding with Precision: but it must be left to Time Accident and Experience, to begin and improve the Plan of our Trade.
If We Should invite “all the maritime Powers, of the World into our Ports” would any one of them come? At least, untill they should be convinced that We were able, and determined to fight it out with G.B. to the last? Are they yet convinced of this, or will they be very soon? Besides, if they should, would it be Sound Policy in Us to admit them? Would it not be Sounder to confine the Benefit and the Bargain to one or a few?
{ 204 }
Is it not wiser to send our own Ships to all maritime Powers, and admit private Adventurers from foreign Nations, if by any Means We can defend them against Cutters and Cruizers, or teach them to elude them. I have upon this Subject a System of my own but am not bigoted to it, nor to any other. You will oblige me vastly by your Sentiments at large.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed in an unidentified hand: “Mr. John Adams Oct 13. 1775 X.”
1. Although James Warren was thought by Worthington C. Ford to be the recipient (Warren-Adams Letters, 1:136–139), and his judgment was accepted by William Bell Clark (Naval Docs. Amer. Rev., 2:445), this letter was intended for Charles Lee, for it is an almost point by point reply to Lee's letter of 5 Oct. (above), and Lee replied to it on 19 Nov. (below). It may have been enclosed with JA's letter to Warren of 13 Oct. (below), but how it got back among Warren's papers remains undetermined.
2. Edmund Waller (1606–1687), a noted poet and member of the House of Commons, who at the beginning of the struggle against Charles I, appeared to stand with the Commons, but who in 1643 was seized as the perpetrator of “Waller's plot,” a scheme to seize London for Charles. In 1644 he was exiled, saving his life only because he informed on other members of the conspiracy (DNB).
3. That is, Harrison, Lynch, and Franklin.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0104

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-13

To James Warren

Yours of october 1. and 2d I received this Morning with the Letters inclosed. These were from my afflicted Wife,1 giving me Such a continued History of her Distresses, as has affected me too much to write you a long Letter.
The Misfortune, or what shall I call it of the Surgion General had been represented here in several Letters in very glaring Colours untill one arrived from the secretary to the general, couched in Terms of more Temper and Candour.2 By your Account, and indeed by the Letter itself it appears an unaccountable Affair—Balaam praying for Leave to curse Israel, is the Emblem. A manifest Reluctance at hurting his Country, yet desirous of making a Merit, with the other Side—what shall We think! Is there reason to believe that other Letters have gone the same Way? I was so little acquainted with the World that I never heard a Suspicion to the Disadvantage of his Moral Character, untill I was lately with you at the Adjournment. I should scarcely have joined in a certain Recommendation, if I had heard before what I heard then3—for Honour and Fidelity violated in Such gross Instances in private Life, are slender securities in public. Be not concerned about your Friends at the Congress—their Recommendations { 205 } will not be discredited by this Event. Gentlemen here have behaved universally with the Utmost Politeness, upon this occasion. They say they pitty us, for the Suspicions that there is danger may arise among us of one another, and the Hurt to that Confidence in one another which ought to be. But any Man ought to be kick'd for a Brute that shall reproach Us in Thought, Word or Deed on this account.
Our Accounts from Schuyler's Army are as agreable as yours from Arnold. We are in hourly Expectation.
Rejoice to hear of your Successes by Sea.4 Let Cargill and Obrien5 be put into continental service immediately I pray. We begin to feel a little of a Seafaring Inclination here. The Powder at Quebec, will place us all upon the Top of the House.
Your Letters are very usefull to me—and I cannot have too many, or too long.
I believe We shall take some of the twenty Gun ships before long. We must excite by Policy that Kind of exalted Courage, which is ever victorious by sea and land—which is irresistable—the Saracens, had it—the Knights of Malta—the Assassins—Cromwells soldiers and sailors—Nay N. England men have ever had it hitherto—they never yet fail'd in an Attempt of any Kind.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.);addressed: “The Hon. James Warren Esq Speaker of the House Watertown By favour of Mr. Tracy”; docketed: “Mr J: A Lettr Octr. 13. 1775.”
1. See James Warren to JA, 1 Oct., note 14 (above).
2. Washington to the President of Congress, 5 Oct. (Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 4:9–13).
3. JA had a hand in getting Church his appointment as director of hospitals on 27 July (JCC, 2:211).
4. That is, the capture of the schooner Industry and the brigantine Dolphin, mentioned in Warren's letter of 1 Oct.
5. Why JA mentioned James Cargill and Capt. Jeremiah O'Brien at this point is not clear. Warren does not name them, nor does the Journal of the House, in connection with the seizure of the two ships. Warren did mention Cargill on 9 Aug. (above), however. O'Brien had shown spirit in leading a group of men on board a sloop belonging to Ichabod Jones to pursue a royal tender, which had escorted Jones to Machias. This incident occurred in June and may have been reported to JA (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours., p. 395–396).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0105

Author: Intelligencer
Author: Hughes, Hugh
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-16

From The Intelligencer

[salute] Gentlemen

I1 have been here, almost ever since I had the Pleasure of seeing you at Fairfield, and have attentively observed the Conduct of these People's Leaders; and, according to the best of my slender Judgement, think that their Councils are stampt with Folly, Timidity, and Treach• { 206 } ery. But to trace the whole Labyrinth of their Inconsistency and Perfidy, would be irksome and endless; therefore I shall only mention such as have occurred lately, leaving the Rest for a Day of more Leisure.
In the first Place, the Committee of Safety, during the Recess of the Congress, pass'd a Resolve to impress all the Arms of those who had not sign'd the Association by the 16th of Septr., the Time of passing the Resolve,2 which was done too, only in Consequence of a Letter, or Letters, from your Body, as it is generally imagined. This was first attempted to be carried into Execution on Long Island, in Queen's County, by sending out one or two of their own Board, with 4 or 5 Citizens, who at the same Time were restrain'd from exercising any manner of Coercion whatever by private Instruction, unless endanger'd by Violence &c. According they went out on the 23rd Ultimo and were treated in the most contemptuous Manner, even to Insult and Threat; declaring they knew no Congress, neither would they sign any Association, nor pay any Part of the Expense accruing by an Opposition to the King's Troops &c. On the Contrary, that they were determin'd to support the “King's Laws” and defend themselves against all other Authority &c. Some of this happen'd within 5 or 6 Miles of the City, and some further. They got a few worthless Arms, from some of the most Timid, who, it was tho't, had concealed their best.3
After they had been out 2 or 3 Days a Report was bro't to Town that they were imprison'd, and an Order was made out for the first Battalion of Militia, with some of the Provincials, to go to their Relief. But before this could be carried into Execution, Means were devised, by mustering their whole Force and calling a Committee, to defeat the Measure.
The next Expedient was to appoint a Committee of that Board to wait on them, who return'd as Fruitless as the First. Since the Meeting of the Congress they have endeavour'd to pass a Censure on the whole Proceeding of the Committee of Safety in that Affair and several others.
Some of the Congress have declared that they would not receive the Bills of Credit to be emitted by themselves. Others have said that they would join the King's Standard if Troops came, in order to save their Estates &c. This was said in Congress without any Censure, as reported by a Member in full Company, within these few Days.
A few Days since some Blankets, Sheets Shirts &c. to the Amount { 207 } of several thousand Pounds worth, and what was more necessary, a large Chest of Lint5 was found in the Lower Barracks and secur'd. These were all return'd next Day by Order of Congress.
The Post being just on the Point of going obliges me to omit many Things which I intended to mention.
Finally I inclose you a Paper containing an Extract of Mr. Tryon's Letter to our Mayor, for the Perusal of the Congress.6 I am told this Morning that his Friends had a Meeting on Saturday Night last, to a Considerable Amount, in order to defend him at all Events. I believe there is Truth in it, and shall, as soon as I have put this in the Office make Inquiry. I am also told that he has written a second Letter to the Mayor, desiring to know if [he] cannot be protected against an Order of the Continental Congress &c.7 Both of these last I shall inquire further of, and give you such Intelligence as I receive. This Minute I am inform'd that there is a Vessel at the Hook, in a Short Passage from England, but the Viper Sloop8 detains her, as it is said. Should you want to communicate any Thing to me, direct for the Intelligencer, and cover it to Mr. John Holt, Printer.9 Be assur'd that Mr. Tryon is most assiduously stirring up every Coal that will catch, through the Medium of his mercenary Emissaries &c. If Something be not done very speedily he will give you some Trouble, or I am greatly Mistaken. The Gentleman who told you this Time 12 Month that all would go well here, is now exceedingly alarm'd, and told me Yesterday that we were in a most dangerous Situation. I am, with the greatest Regard, Gentlemen your very Humble Servant,
[signed] The Intelligencer
P.S. Your Candour is begg'd to this hasty Scrawl.10
RC (Adams Papers); directed: “To Messrs. Samuel and John Adams Esqrs.”
1. A comparison of this letter and a second from the Intelligencer of 18 Oct. (below) with letters from Hugh Hughes of 31 March and 29 May 1776 (both below) shows such a similarity in handwriting that it is almost certain that Hughes was the Intelligencer. Hugh Hughes (1727?–1802?) was an unsuccessful businessman who by recurrent financial difficulties was forced also to keep a school. An ardent patriot and member of the New York Sons of Liberty, he was assistant quartermaster general with the rank of colonel for the province of New York from May 1776 till Dec. 1781. He was the brother of John Hughes (1712–1772) of Philadelphia, friend of Benjamin Franklin (New Jersey Archives, 1st ser., 24:646, note; Charles Henry Hart, ed., “Letters from William Franklin to William Strahan,” PMHB, 35:442, note [Oct. 1911]; N.Y. Genealogical and Biographical Record, 47 [1916]: 173; Heitman, Register Continental Army, p. 306).
That this letter is addressed to both Samuel Adams and JA, together with the mention of Fairfield, Conn., suggests that the author met them when they stopped in Fairfield at “Penfields” on their way to the second session of the Second Continental Congress (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:168).
2. The New York Provincial Congress adjourned on 2 Sept. and reconvened on 4 Oct. During the recess, the Committee of Safety conducted business { 208 } (Force, Archives, 4th ser., 3:582, 1267). For the committee's resolve, see same, 3:898.
3. Maj. William Williams describes conditions on Long Island and the resistance of the people to efforts to disarm them. In substance, the Intelligencer's account is almost identical (same, 3:912).
4. Probably an abbreviation for “subsequent,” indicating a break in the writing of the letter of perhaps even a day or two.
5. Soft material for dressing wounds (OED).
6. Gov. William Tryon's letter of 13 Oct. to New York Mayor Whitehead Hicks threatened New York with bombardment from warships in the harbor if he was not protected against seizure ordered by the Continental Congress. A reply came from the City Committee to Hicks and from Hicks to Tryon on 13 and 14 Oct., assuring the governor of his safety and asserting they knew of no such order from the congress to arrest him (Force, Archives, 4th ser., 3:1052–1053). Apparently Tryon was moved by a report that the Continental Congress had entertained a motion for his arrest on 5 Oct. Although the Journal makes no mention of the motion, it was offered and failed to carry (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:195).
7. Tryon's letter of 14 Oct. to Hicks expressed his dissatisfaction with the lack of positive assurances in the replies to his first letter. The mayor and City Committee responded yet again, but Tryon, still unsatisfied, took refuge on the Halifax Packet in the harbor (Force, Archives, 4th ser., 3:1053–1054). On 19 Oct. the Continental Congress asked the New York Provincial Congress to forward a copy of any order from them or the city in consequence of Tryon's letter and to send an attested copy of the governor's letter (JCC, 3:300).
8. The British sloop of war Viper had arrived at Boston from England in September but was ordered to proceed to New York. It was commanded by Capt. Samuel Greaves (Naval Docs. Amer. Rev., 2:38, 611).
9. John Holt (1721–1784), publisher of the New York Journal, a whig paper (DAB).
10. Actually the MS is very clearly written. Although some phrases are interlined, a few words crossed out, and some sentences in the margin, the writer shows unusual care with word choice and placement of modifiers, as well as with punctuation and consistency of spelling.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0106

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-18

To James Warren

[salute] Dr sir

The Letter of Dr—— is the oddest Thing imaginable. There are so many Lies in it, calculated to give the Enemy an high Idea of our Power and Importance, as well as so many Truths tending to do us good that one knows not how to think him treacherous: Yet there are several Strokes, which cannot be accounted for at least by me, without the Supposition of Iniquity. In Short I endeavour to Suspend my Judgment. Don't let us abandon him for a Traitor without certain Evidence.
But there is not So much Deliberation in many others, or so much Compassion.
The Congress declined entering into any Discussion of the Evidence, or any Determination concerning his Guilt, or the Nature of his offence. But in general they had a full Conviction that it was so gross { 209 } an Imprudence at least, and was So Suspicious, that it became them to dismiss him from their Service, which they did instantly.1
Yesterday they chose a Successor, Dr. Morgan an eminent Surgeon of this City.2 We, As usual had our Men to propose, Dr. Hall Jackson and Dr. Forster [Foster]. But Dr. Forsters Sufferings and services— and Dr. Jackson's great Fame, Experience and Merits were pleaded in vain.3
There is a Fatality attends our Province. It Seems destined to fall into Contempt. It was destined that We should make Mistakes I think, in our Appointment of Generals, Delegates, Surgeons and every Thing else except Paymaster and Judge Advocate.4 I hope they will not turn Cowards, Traytors, nor Lubbers, if they do I shall renounce all.
Dr. Morgan will be with you soon. He is Professor of Medicine in the Colledge here, and reads Lectures in the Winter. He is a Brother[-in-law] of Mr. Duche and of our Mr. Stillman. I may write you more particularly about him another Time.
Let me close now with a Matter of Some Importance. Congress have appointed Deane, Wythe, and your servant a Committee to collect a just Account of the Hostilities committed by the ministerial Troops and Navy, in America, Since last March; with proper Evidence of the Truth of the Facts related, the Number and Value of the Buildings destroyed by them, also the Number and Value of the Vessells inward and outward bound, which have been Seized by them, Since that Period, also the Stock taken by them from different Parts of the Continent; We shall write to the Assemblies of New England and Virginia, at least, but we shall likewise write to many Individuals requesting their Assistance and to you among others. I wish you would think a little and consult with others concerning this Business, for it nearly concerns our Province to have it well done.5
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr Speaker of the House Watertown favoured by Captn. Mordecai Gist”; docketed: “Mr J A Lettr Octr. 1775”; above the address, probably postage: “d ster 2.” It may be that Gist carried the letter as far as Dorchester and posted it from there for 2d. For biographical details on Gist, see DAB.
1. On 14 Oct. (JCC, 3:294).
2. Dr. John Morgan (1735–1789), founder of the University of Pennsylvania medical school, who despite his eminence was removed from the post in the Continental Army in Jan. 1777. His wife, Mary, was a sister-in-law of Rev. Jacob Duché (DAB). His sister was married to Rev. Samuel Stillman of Boston (Adams Family Correspondence, 1:314–316, notes 24). See also JA to James Warren, 25 Oct. (below).
3. Dr. Hall Jackson (1739–1797) was a noted and innovative surgeon from Portsmouth, N.H., who, like Morgan, had studied in England. At the outbreak of the war, he joined the army, was at the capture of Ticonderoga, and ultimately became the chief surgeon for the New Hampshire troops in the Con• { 210 } tinental Army (DAB).
Dr. Isaac Foster (1740–1781) graduated from Harvard in 1758 and soon after the outbreak of war became deputy director in charge of the Eastern Medical Department of the Continental Army. His “sufferings” resulted from the loss of all his property in the burning of Charlestown (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:262–268).
4. JA's friends James Warren and William Tudor.
5. See JA to James Warren, 12 Oct., note 2 (above). On 19 Oct. JA wrote to William Cooper, then speaker pro tem of the House of Representatives, and to Joseph Palmer telling them also about the committee on depredations and requesting their assistance. He also asked each to send him a copy of the authorized account of the Battle of Charlestown, that is, Bunker Hill (25 July, above), which he had forgotten to take to Philadelphia, and which, he told Palmer, he wanted “very much” (to Cooper, MHi:Misc. Bound Coll.; to Palmer, M-Ar:194, p. 150–150a). Form letters on British depredations were sent out on 24 Oct. to James Warren, Elbridge Gerry, Samuel Cooper, and others.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0107

Author: Intelligencer
Author: Hughes, Hugh
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-18

From The Intelligencer

[salute] Gentlemen

Since I closed my last, of this Morning,1 I have been inform'd of a most curious Motion that was made in Committee, last Evening, by a Member of our Congress, on Mr. Tryon's last Requisition.2 It was, that they should not only protect him, and his, from any Attempt which may be made by Individuals &c. but that they should give him Notice if any Order of the Continental Congress came to Hand for that Purpose, i.e., of Seizing him and see him safe onboard one of his Majesty's Ships.3 This is a Fact. I have heard several of the Members declare it publickly, and not one contradict it. This is New York; how do you like it? They have complimented him highly, on the Rectitude of his Administration, I understand; and let him know that, they would protect him, as far as was consistent withe the overruling Law of Self-preservation; but not a Word of the Union, or Continental Congress.
If some speedy Method be not fallen upon to remove this intriguing Courtier, he will become daily, more and more popular, and of Course, very dangerous, at such an important Post as This. If Troops are to be sent, do let them hasten along as fast as possible; the Defection becomes greater every Day, in Town and Country. Those that have been pretty hearty, are now afraid of falling a Sacrifice.
Thursday—What I only heard and conjectured Yesterday, you'l find confirm'd in the inclos'd Paper,4 if you should not see it before this arrives. In it you will also see that our motley Council, as Dr. Church phrases it, is shortly to be dissolved.5 I wish the next may be better, but much doubt it I assure you. There is an insuperable Ignorance predominant here, which the Enemies of our Happiness avail themselves of, by some Means or other, continually.
{ 211 }
An Attempt was made, previous to the last Election for City Officers, to persuade the Citizens to reject those Magistrates who had discover'd an unfriendly Disposition to the Cause; but to very little Purpose. There was but one Alderman, and 3 or 4 Common Council, left out. The inclos'd Hand-bill contains some of the principal Objections to them, and will characterize the Men. If you think well of it, you may hand it to Dunlap, and Bradford;6 for which Purpose I shall inclose a Couple, that their Infamy may be as publick as their Actions are criminal, if possible.
Do inform me, under Cover to Mr. Holt, for The Intelligencer, as mention'd in my First, when the Pensylvania and New Jersey Troops may be expected?7 It is not possible to communicate the Necessity there is, just now, for their being here.
I took the Liberty about 8 or 10 Days ago, to mention our Situation to Col. Seymour, of Hartford,8 begging him to lay it before Governour Trumbull, in order that he might prepare a Number of the Militia to assist us, in Case of an Arrival of foreign Troops &c. as our own were not to be depended on, in general. I wish Mr. Deane, Col. Dyer &c. would back it, if approv'd of. I made use of the same Signature, that I do to you.
Evening—Capt. Cressop, of the Rifflemen, was buried here with Military Honours, this Afternoon, in Trinity Church-yard.9 He return'd from Camp to this Place, about 8 Days since, as I am told. The Procession was pretty well conducted, and made a considerable Appearance, allowing for the Defection of the People. But our Fondness for Parade, I imagine, made up for a Want of Zeal, in this Case.
Low, De Lancey, Walton, Kissam, Verplank10 &c, &c, have labour'd hard in Congress to-day, that the Freemen (Freemen being excluded, they expect that the Freeholders will return none but such as will be for preserving this City at the Expense of the Liberties of America; that is, Creatures of their own Cast, and Complexion)11 of this City should be precluded from voting for new Members, and that they should not vote by Ballot; but by Poll, as we are us'd to do.12
I have tho't that, if it were recommended by the Continental Congress to vote by Ballot, it might have a good Effect. I believe it would be adopted; as there has been an inkling for it here, some Time.
Another Stratagem is, that the Members of the next Congress shall serve gratis, by which Means they are in Hopes of having very few return'd, but such as are in the Pay of the Ministry already, and the others can easily be taken into Pay. But this is ridiculous, when it is only considered that the Present Congress can not bind a Future.
{ 212 }
Friday Morn. There is a Report, by a Sloop from Connecticut River this Morning, that St. John's is taken, but whether true or not, is yet doubtful.13
The Viper Sloop is daily stopping the Vessels and Boats from Sea and New Jersey.

[salute] The Post is waiting, or I could add. I am, with the greatest Regard, Gentlemen, your most obedient Humble Servant,

[signed] The Intelligencer
RC (Adams Papers); directed: “To Messers. Samuel and John Adams Esqrs”; docketed by JA: “Intelligencer Oct. 1775.”
1. No other letter of 18 Oct. from the Intelligencer has been found, but see his of 16 Oct., note 4 (above).
2. Probably Tryon's second letter to Mayor Hicks, that of 14 Oct. (same, note 7, above).
3. The substance of this motion was not included in the letter addressed by the City Committee to Mayor Hicks on 17 Oct., but the committee did compliment the Governor on his administration and did desire him to remain and offered him protection consistent with “our safety” (Force, Archives, 4th ser., 3: 1053–1054).
4. Not found.
5. A phrase lifted from Dr. Church's intercepted letter and applied here to the New York Provincial Congress, which on 18 Oct. resolved to dissolve itself on 14 Nov. for new elections (same, 3:1295).
6. The handbill has not been found. John Dunlap (1747–1812) published the Pennsylvania Packet; Thomas Bradford (1745–1838), the Pennsylvania Journal (DAB).
7. On 9 Oct. the congress voted to have New Jersey raise two battalions at continental expense and on 12 Oct. Pennsylvania was requested to raise a battalion on the same terms (JCC, 3:285–286, 291).
8. Thomas Seymour (1735–1829), prominent in Connecticut's political affairs, was named a lieutenant colonel in 1774 (Dexter, Yale Graduates, 2:378–379).
9. Capt. Michael Cressop of Virginia, corps of riflemen, died on 18 Oct. in his lodgings (NYHS, Colls., 84:123).
10. Isaac Low (1735–1791), merchant, member of the First Continental Congress, but opponent of independence; James DeLancey (1732–1800)James De Lancey (1746–1804), leader of the loyalist political faction (both in DAB). Jacob Walton, Daniel Kissam, and Philip Verplanck were all opponents of the Livingston faction, which supported the Revolution (Patricia U. Bonomi, A Factious People, N.Y., 1971, p. 246).
11. This passage, given here in parentheses, was written in the left-hand margin, its place in the MS text indicated with a dagger.
12. On 18 Oct. a motion to elect delegates to the next provincial congress by ballot was rejected (Force, Archives, 4th ser., 3:1294–1295).
13. One of a number of premature reports.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0108

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-19

To James Warren

[salute] My dear sir

It was the latter End of August that I left you. All September has run away, and 19 days in Octr.—and We have had no regular Intelligence from Watertown or Cambridge. Your Goodness I acknowledge. But there was a Committee of both Houses appointed, to correspond { 213 } with your Delegates; and We were to be informed of every Thing that occurred in Boston, Cambridge, Roxbury, Watertown &c especially of every Thing which passed in Either House: But have never received a single Letter not even a Scratch of a Pen from this Committee or any Member of it, unless you are one, which I don't know that you are. Should be glad to hear if this Committee, is all defunct or not.1
I have, in almost every Letter I have written, to any of my Friends, entreated that We might have Accounts and Vouchers sent Us, that We might obtain a Reimbursement of some Part at least of the inordinate Expence that has fallen upon Us. But have received No Answer from any one, concerning it.2 I wish to be informed, however, what the Difficulty is, that lies in the Way, if We cannot have the Accounts &c. The Continental Money goes away So fast, that I greatly fear We shall have none left in the Treasury, before We get the Proper Evidence and Information to obtain a Reimbursement for our Province. Dollars go but little Way in Maintaining Armies—very costly Commodities indeed. The Expence already accrued will astonish Us all, I fear.
Congress has appointed a Committee Deane, Wythe and your servant to collect a Narration of Hostilities, and Evidence to prove it—to ascertain the Number and Value of the Buildings destroyed, Vessells captivated, and Cattle plundered &c every where. I hope We shall tell a true Story, and then I am sure it will be an affecting one. We shall not omit their Butchers nor their Robberies nor their Piracies. But We shall want Assistance from every Quarter. I want the Distresses of Boston painted by Dr. Coopers Pencil—every Thing must be supported by Affidavits. This will be an usefull Work for the Information of all the colonies of what has passed in Some—for the Information of our Friends in England—and in all Europe, and all Posterity. Besides it may pave the Way to obtain Retribution and Compensation, but this had better not be talked of at present.
The Committee will write to the assemblies, and to private Gentlemen—no Pains or Expence will be Spared. I hope to render the Execution of this Commission compleat. It concerns our Province very much.3
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “The Hon. James Warren Esqr Speaker of the House Watertown”; docketed: “Mr J: A Lettr Octr. 19. 1775.”
1. In his letter to Joseph Palmer of this same date, JA complained of the failure not only of this General Court committee to write but of the committee on lead and salt as well (M–Ar:194, p. 150–150a; see also JA to Warren, 18 Oct., { 214 } note 5, above). For the membership of these two committees, see JA to John Winthrop, 2 Oct., note 4 (above).
2. JA made a similar complaint to Palmer (M–Ar:194, p. 150–150a). After JA's mention of the congressional committee on damages, he went on to tell Palmer that the congress hourly expected “Floods of Intelligence” from a variety of places and told of a British ship running aground at Egg Harbor, N.J., the crew destroying weapons and powder on board, an incident reported in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 25 Oct.
3. The committee on damages done by the British was the main topic of JA's letter to Warren of 23 Oct., in which he added: “You will observe the Vote limits Us to last March. This was done without design and I dont intend to be so limited; and therefore I hope the two Houses will appoint a Committee upon a larger Scale and collect Facts at least from the Port Bill, i.e. the time when it took place” (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll., printed in Warren-Adams Letters, 1:159–160).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0109

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-19

To James Warren

[salute] Dr Sir

What Think you of an American Fleet? I dont mean 100 ships of the Line, by a Fleet, but I Suppose this Term may be applied to any naval Force consisting of several Vessells, tho the Number, the Weight of Metal, or the Quantity of Tonnage may be small.
The Expence would be very great—true. But the Expence might be born and perhaps the Profits and Benefits to be obtained by it, would be a Compensation. A naval Force might be created, which would do something. It would destroy Single Cutters and Cruizers—it might destroy small Concerts or Fleets of those like Wallaces at R. Island and Lord Dunmores at Virginia. It might oblige our Enemies to Sail in Fleets—for two or three Vessells of 36 and twenty Guns, well armed and manned might attack and carry a 64 or a 70 or a 50 Gun Ship.
But, there is a great objection to this. All the Trade of Pensylvania, the Lower Counties, a great Part of Maryland and N. Jersey Sails in between the Capes of Delaware Bay—and if a strong Fleet should be posted in that Bay, Superiour to our Fleet it might obstruct all the Trade of this River.
Further the Trade of Virginia and the rest of Maryland floats into Cheasapeak Bay between the Capes of Henry and Charles where a Fleet might stop all. Besides Virginia and Maryland have no Navigation of their own nor any Carpenters to build ships. Their whole Trade is carried on in British Bottoms by British, most of it by North British Merchants.
These Circumstances distinguish them quite from New England, where the Inlets are innumerable and the Navigation all their own.
They agree that a Fleet, would protect and secure the Trade of New England but deny that it would that of the Southern Colonies.
{ 215 }
Will it not be difficult to perswade them then to be at the Expence of building a Fleet, merely for N. England. We are Speculating now about Things at a Distance—should We be driven to a War at all Points—a Fleet a public Fleet as well as privateers might make prey enough of the Trade of our Enemies to make it worth while.1
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “Hon. James Warren Esqr Paymaster of the American Forces Watertown”; docketed: “Mr. J: A Lettr Octr. 19. 1775.”
1. Compare this letter with that to Warren of 7 Oct. (above) and those of 19, 20, and 28 Oct. (below). JA was almost certainly giving, in the guise of his own thoughts on the subject, the substance of the debates over trade and the creation of a navy then going on in the congress. Thus, these letters become a useful supplement to JA's Diary entries for this period.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0110

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-19

To James Warren

[salute] Dr sir

I want to be with you, Tete a Tete, to canvass, and discuss the complicated subject of Trade. I Say nothing of private Consultations or public Debates, upon this important Head.
When I write you Letters you must expect nothing from me but unconnected Scraps and broken Hints. Continual Successions of Company allow me Time only to Scrawl a Page of Paper, without Thought.
Shall We hush the Trade of the whole Continent and not permit a Vessell to go out of our Harbours except from one Colony to another? How long will or can our People bear this? I Say they can bear it forever—if Parliament Should build a Wall of Brass, at low Water Mark, We might live and be happy. We must change our Habits, our Prejudices our Palates, our Taste in Dress, Furniture, Equipage, Architecture &c. But We can live and be happy. But the Question is whether our People have Virtue enough to be mere Husbandmen, Mechaniks and Soldiers? That they have not Virtue enough to bear it always, I take for granted. How long then will their Virtue last? Till next Spring?
If We Stop all Trade, Great Britain, Ireland and West Indies will not be furnished with any Thing.
Shall We then give Permission for our Vessells to go to foreign Nations, if they can escape the Men of War? Can they escape the Men of War? How many will escape in Proportion? If any Escape, will they not venture to Britain, Ireland, and W.I. in defyance of our Association? If they do not, will not the British Dominions furnish themselves with our Produce from foreign Ports, and thereby avoid { 216 } that Distress, which We expect will overtake them? Will not the W.I. Islands especially, who cannot exist without our Provisions for 6. Months, unless G[ . . . ]1 Walker were ignorant.
If We should invite other maritime Powers, or private Adventurers from foreign Nations to come here, Will they venture? They run the risque of escaping Men of War, and the Dangers of an unknown Coast. Maps and Charts may give Strangers a confused Idea of the Geography of our Country, and of the Principal Inlets of Harbours, Rivers, Creeks, Coves, Islands &c. but without skillfull Pilots, the danger of Shipwreck will be 10 to one.
This vast object is never out of my Mind. Help me to grapple it. The W.I. Barbadoes particularly begin We are told here, by a late Vessell to be terrified out of their Wits.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “Hon. James Warren Esqr Paymaster of the American Forces Watertown”; docketed: “Mr. J: A Lettr Octr. 19. 1775 X.”
1. MS torn here. The reference remains obscure.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0111

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-20

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

Can The Inhabitants of North America live without foreign Trade?
There is Beef and Pork, and Poultry, and Mutton and Venison and Veal, Milk, Butter, Cheese, Corn, Barley, Rye, Wheat, in short every Species of Eatables animal and Vegetable in a vast abundance, an immense Profusion. We raise about Eleven hundred Thousand Bushells of Corn, yearly more than We can possibly consume.
The Country produces Provisions of all Kinds, enough for the sustenance of the Inhabitants, and an immense Surplusage.
We have Wood and Iron in plenty. We have a good Climate as well as a fertile Soil.
But Cloathing. If instead of raising Million Bushells of Wheat for Exportation, and Rice, Tobacco, naval stores, Indigo, Flaxseed, Horses, Cattle, &c Fish, Oyl, Bone, Potash &c &c &c the Hands now employed in raising Surplusages of these Articles for Exportation, were employed in raising Flax and Wool, and manufacturing them into Cloathing, We should be cloathed comfortably.
We must at first indeed Sacrifice Some of our Appetites Coffee, Wine, Punch, sugar, Molasses, &c and our Dress would not be So elegant—Silks and Velvets and Lace must be dispensed with. But these are Trifles in a Contest for Liberty.
{ 217 }
But is there Temperance, Fortitude and Perseverance enough among the People to endure Such a Mortification of their Appetites Passions and Fancies? Is not the Merchantile Interest comprehending Merchants, Mechanicks, Labourers So numerous, and So complicated with the landed Interest, as to produce a general Impatience and Uneasiness, under Restrictions So severe?
By a total Cessation of Commerce, [shall we not drive?] away our Mariners? Will they not go, [to other?] maritime Nations, the French, the Spaniards the Dutch? or which is worse will they not go to England, and on Board of British Men of War?
Shall We not lose a large Property in Navigation which will rot by the Wharves?
On the other Hand if We give Liberty Trade, will not most of our Vessells be Seized? Perhaps all but those of the Tories who may be priviledged.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “Hon. James Warren Esq Paymaster of the American Army Watertown pr Favr of Messrs Folwell and Hart”; docketed: “Mr J: A Octr 20 1775.” Small tear in MS.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0112

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-20

To James Warren

[salute] Dr sir

The Bearer of this is John McPherson Esq.1 He is a Genius—an old Sea Warriour, Nine or ten Times wounded in Sea Fights.
He has a son in the Service—Aid de Camp to Schuyler—a very sensible Man.
Of Mr. McPhersons Errand to the Camp ask no Questions and I will tell you no false News. It will make a Noise, in Time—but for the present for Gods sake let not a Word be said.
I hope all our Friends who have Opportunity will show him Respect.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “Hon James Warren Esq Watertown favoured by John McPherson Esq.”; docketed: “Mr J: A Lettr Octr. 20. 1775.”
1. On 20 Oct. the congress sent McPherson to Cambridge to consult with Gen. Washington. He was the originator, according to a JA Diary entry, of a plan to “take or burn every Man of War, in America.” At the camp, Washington and others who heard the plan found it to be based on unsound principles and prevailed upon McPherson to return to Philadelphia to use his energies on row galleys. The exact nature of the plan remained a secret, for those who were given its details took an oath not to divulge it (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:176; JCC, 3:296, 300, 301; Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 4:71–72; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:238, notes; Clark, Washington's Navy, p. 65–66).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0113

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-20

From James Warren

[salute] My Dear Sir

After an Interval much longer than I ever designed should take place, I now set down to write again. The Multiplicity of Business, and the Croud of Company here must be my Excuse, every Body either Eats, drinks or Sleeps in this House, and very many do all, so that for A week past I could get no opportunity to write Morning, Noon, or Night.
The Committee of Congress Arrived here last Sunday. Coll. Harrison went through Town without my seeing him. Doctr. Franklin, and Mr. Lynch stopped at Davis.1 I waited on them, and they came over and drank Coffee with us. The next day I dined with them all at Head Quarters, and Yesterday they and the General Officers, and the Gentleman of Character from the Southward2 on a Visit here were Entertained by the House at Coolidges3 on the best Dinner we could get for them, Turtle, Codfish, &c. Every kind of Civility and mark of Respect is shewn them here, and if they don't leave us better satisfied than they came, to us, it will not be our faults. From the little Conversation I have had with them, which has been as much as could be got in A Croud, I presume they will. I am much pleased with them. Doctr. Franklin who I never saw before Appears venerable in the Characters of A Gentleman, A Phylospher, and Statesman. I think Mr. Lynch very Sensible, and Judicious, and all of them firmly Attached to the good Cause, and I flatter myself their Zeal will not be Abated by this Visit.
In my last Short Billet I forgot to Congratulate you on your Appointment to the Supream Bench of Justice here, and I Expect the first Seat, as no doubts are made of it tho' they are not yet ranked. Four only are Appointed, Mr. Adams, Mr. Cushing, Mr. Read, and Mr. Sergeant.4 The Board voted by Ballot for those that should be Nominated and with the four mentioned voted Mr. Sever, but from his Diffidence &c he prevailed not to be Nominated. Where the Next Appointment will fall I can't tell. Some of Paines Friends had it in Contemplation to have him Nominated but gave it up after you was Appointed very naturally supposeing he could not be ranked before you, and he haveing previously declared to them that he would not serve in an Inferiour Station, as every Body must know he was your Superiour. I am told they have A design to Nominate him Kings Attorney; how far his Acceptance of that place is to be reconciled to his declaration you may Judge.5 Lowel seems to stand no Chance, at least { 219 } till he has served An Apprentiship in Purgatory.6 This appointment if you Accept it will Cooperate with your Wishes Expressed in several Letters to Leave the Congress. Indeed we want you here for this and divers other Reasons, but how to be reconciled to your leaving the Congress I cant tell. I shall certainly when such An Event takes place loose some share of my Confidence in, and Reverence for that August Body. We have passed A Bill for the Judges Holding their Commissions qua[m]diu se Bene Gesserunt but could not Compleat their Independency by Established Salaries. As for the Town of Boston it Continues in the same Miserable Situation. A few deserters come out, and of late several of the Inhabitants have stole out in Boats Among the rest our Friend Hitchburne the Night before last.7 One Man who got out last Night has Just called on me. He says one reason of their running all hazards to get out is the Threats of forceing them to take Arms. They all give the same general Account that fresh provisions are very scarce. 1/ sterling per pound and no vegetables, the meat Excessive poor, that the Troops have not been served with it but twice dureing the Summer and Fall, that their Duty is very severe and they Continue sickly about 1500 in the Hospitals, that they suppose Canada is in our Hands, and are not Elated with any certain Expectation of reinforcements. They are Apprehensive of An Attack—were hove into great Confusion A few Nights ago by Admiral Putnam8 who went down into the Bay with our floating Batteries &c. and fired some Shott into the Town which Interrupted their Ball and the Acting of A Play they were then Engaged in and their repose for the Night.9 A Misfortune Attended this Expedition, which Contributed to their relief, and cost us the loss of two Men Killed and six wounded. A Gun splitt in one of the Batteries, and destroyed her also.
Gage sailed about 10 days ago, and is Succeeded by Howe. Gill, Leach & Edess Son are out of Goal.10 Lovel still remains. It is said he refuses to come out but I doubt that. Several Armed Vessels are fixing by the General, and we have passed a Bill to Encourage Individuals to fix out others.11 We have Just received an Account that they have been Canonadeing Falmouth Casco Bay, and that Wallace the Pirate at Newport has Insisted on the Removal of the Troops from Rhode Island, or he will destroy Newport, and shewn Instructions to the Committee there to destroy four Towns, Among which are Plymouth and Machias, the others I cant learn. This account the Govr. Cook has Just received.12
Please to tell Coll. Hancock I have the Honour to be ranked A damned Rebel with him. Upon hearing we were Concerned in a { 220 } Brigantine Bound to London the beginning of Sepr. they sent out A Cruiser on purpose for her, took her, Carryed her in, Condemned her and Cargo and ordered them sold. Our Accounts or rather the delay of them has given me Infinite pain. We are determined to Exert ourselves and prepare them as soon as possible. In the meantime shall forward you An Application which tho a Lumping one is not perhaps far from the Truth.13 I wish it may have a favourable Reception. It is Impossible to describe the field of Business before us, rendered still more difficult and Embarrassing by the Multitude of New questions out of the common road. When are we to see the Resolves upon which is Grounded the Credit of your Bills. The Misers will soon be started upon that question.
I will thank you for the Establishment of my office. You wrote me it was 100 dollars per mo. Coll. Hancock had every other Establishment here but that. Our army are in much the same state they have been for some time past, as vigorous Spirited as ever, and more healthy than they have been, well secured by Impenetrable Lines. So far we are prepared for the defensive. When we are to be so for the offensive I know not. I suppose that depends much on haveing A large quantity of a certain Article with which we have never Yet Abounded.14 We have no News from Coll. Arnold since he left Norridgwalk.15 I flatter myself he is before this in Quebeck, where are large quantities of warlike Stores not less than 10,000 barrels powder. They would be A grand Acquisition but I can hardly hope that they will be so stupid as not to take care to prevent it by setting them A float. We have no late News from St. Johns. We begin to grow Impatient.
The 21st: The Conference I am told is to be finished this Day. I know little about it. There seems to be such a reservedness among those concerned here, that my pride wont permit me to Ask many Questions. By the way the Committee of Council are Coll. Otis, Mr. Sever, and Mr. Spooner, to whom has since been Added Bowdoin, who lately came to Town and took his Seat at the Board. I believe your Committee were very soon Convinced that the Soldiers never had less wages.16 The Bounty given on An Average last war, I suppose might be set at £8—sometimes we gave £12—tho at first less than £8—which will make at least 20/, per mo. to be Added to 36/, the wages then given. We now give them A Coat upon An Average about 24/, which will make 3/, to be Added to 40 s.17 A Blanket they had in both Cases. It will from these facts be easy to Infer that they then had 13/, at least per mo. more than now.
I have given you before A minute detail of Churchs Affair. I have { 221 } learnt that you are furnished with a Copy of the Letter or should not fail to send one. I am Told that he Continues with great Confidence or rather Impudence to Assert his Innocence and against Common Sense and the most flagrant Evidence to pretend he was serving his Country. This is Indeed Hutchinson like, Affronting to our Understandings. I have never seen him. I never wish to again. You know I hate an Apostate. I hate A Traitor. How he is to receive An Adequate Punishment is I suppose A question for your determination. I am sensible of the deficiencies in your Code of Laws and the Objections to post Facto Laws, but something must be done and he made An Example of, or the People will suppose us all Traitors and loose their Confidence in what we say or do. Our House are Adjusting the Ceremonies of proceeding in order to Expulsion, and there will end our Tether.
I believe it is time to think of Concludeing this Letter, or never Expecting you to wish for Another but before I do I must, and do thank you heartily and fervently for your several Letters received by Majr. Bayard, the Gentlemen of your Committee, and Yesterday by Mr. Mifflin. Tho you Communicate no Secrets, I can see and Taste the Traces of that Extensive System of policy which always mark your way and which I hope will be Adopted. Your Last18 has lead me into a Sea so Extensive, and deep that my small Abilities have not yet been Able either to fathom the Bottom or descry the Shore, however I shall rally them and, if I have vanity enough to suppose I can, strike out one particle of Light on so Grand, and Important a Subject shall certainly Attempt it in my next which will soon follow this if Opportunity presents. In the mean time Your Maxim, “God Helps those who help themselves” recurs to mind. We are in a Storm and must make A Port. We must Exert ourselves in some of the ways you mention. I think we must have Trade and Commerce. I see no difficulty in Admitting it in our own Bottoms consistantly with the Association if Individuals will hazard their Interest and opening our Ports to foreigners, one or more. If you could see me at this Instant you would think that the Embarrassments, and hurry of Business on hand would by no means admit of discussions of this kind. The Great Objects some of us would wish to Confine our House to are, the Manufactureing salt Petre and fire Arms, the regulateing the Militia, and fixing out Armed Vessels. The first is in a good way in Connecticut. We have sent Doctr. Whiteing19 there to learn the process and art, and since his return have directed him to Try the Experiment here. I am not able to Inform you of his Success. The next I think we shall { 222 } succeed in. The two others are under Consideration, and a Bill for the last in great forwardness so far as relates to Individuals. We have a difficulty with regard to the Militia from A Construction in our House of your resolve giveing them A power to Appoint officers. I wish it could be Explained.20
The 22d. We have Just heard that the Pirates on the Eastern Shore have destroyed two thirds of Falmouth burnt down, and have orders to destroy every Sea Port from Boston to Pemmaquid.21 This is savage and Barbarous in the highest stage. What can we wait for now. What more can we want to Justifie any Step to take, Kill, and destroy, to refuse them any refreshments, to Apprehend our Enemies, to Confiscate their Goods and Estates, to Open our Ports to foreigners, and if practicable to form Alliances &c. &c.
Hitchburne was to see me last Evening. He seems distressed to Approve his Conduct to us relative to the Letters—very little of a publick kind can I learn from him more than we have from Others. He says they dread and Apprehend the Erecting Batteries on Dochester Hill, and Noddles Island. The first will drive them from their Lines on the Neck, and the other make it Impossible for Ships to Lay in the Harbour I mean above the Castle. I wish and hope we may be able to Effect it.
One peice of good News I had like to have forgot. A Vessel is arrived at Sheepscot, with a very Considerable quantity of Powder, Cannon and Arms. I believe she belongs to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. I shall Endeavour to see and form a Judgment of your Plan as soon as I can procure the Chart.22 The Row Gallies you have at Philadelphia may be very serviceable in smooth water but if I am rightly Informed would not do in a Sea. No doubt such might be Constructed as would but I am Inclined to think that our common Armed Vessels, especially as we can be so superiour in Men, and are more used to them will Answer the purpose better, if we choose such as sail well.
I am sensible of the Importance of the question you propose about the Government of Canada. It is indeed a Curious Problem, and I am glad it is in such good hands. I never Expected you would derive any Advantages from the Committees you mention. The Spirit of Indolence is too prevalent.
There is in the western parts of this Province a Lead Mine of 3 Miles in length which Affords one half pure Lead. It is said the Country abounds with Sulphur. We want Nothing but salt petre. I trust Providence will give us that. I cannot Inclose you any of Mother Drapers Papers.23 They are very Scarce. I think I have not seen one { 223 } since that I Inclosed you. I shall Endeavour however to procure you one or two Curiosities of a like kind and Inclose without any Comment, tho' I feel somewhat Inclined to it.
Now please to Recollect, and say if you ever received or read so random a Letter before. If I thought there was occasion to produce Evidence of the Confidence I place in you I should think of this for one.
Mrs. Adams has not yet made us a Visit to Watertown. We suppose the weather has prevented. I believe and hope that She and Family are well. I have no Letter from her to Inclose. Mrs. W is here and to my great Comfort, and Consolation aiding and Supporting me in my daily Labours, for the publick Good, and Joins with me in every Wish for your Happiness. I am Yr. Friend,
[signed] JW
My regards to all Friends. I would write to some of them if I could. I will write to my good Friend Mr. Adams if possible.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed in three places: “Warren Octr. 20 1775.”
1. Probably a tavern in Watertown.
2. Jonathan Mifflin.
3. That is, by the House of Representatives at Coolidge's tavern in Watertown.
4. The Council made these nominations on 11 Oct. (M–Ar:Executive Council Records, 17:128). Perez Morton officially notified JA of his appointment as chief justice in a letter of 28 Oct. (below). Although JA intended soon afterward to assume his judicial duties, he could not get free of responsibilities in the congress. He resigned the post in Feb. 1777 (JA, Works, 3:25, note). The other justices named with JA at this time were William Cushing, William Read, and Nathaniel Peaslee Sargeant.
5. Actually Paine was named a justice of the Superior Court of Judicature but refused the office. His being ranked below JA exacerbated the hostility that had begun to grow up between the two men (Warren to JA, 5 Nov., below; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12: 474–475).
6. John Lowell (1743–1802), who had been thought by many whigs to be lukewarm to the cause. See the characterization of him in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:299–300.
7. Benjamin Hichborn, the bearer of JA's intercepted letters, who had been imprisoned on Adm. Graves' flagship, the Preston, in Boston Harbor (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:37–38).
8. Gen. Israel Putnam's reputation for impulsive, almost heedless action, ashore or afloat, probably led Warren to bestow the rank of “admiral.”
9. On 17 Oct. (Boston Gazette, 23 Oct.).
10. John Gill, printer of the Boston Gazette with Benjamin Edes, John Leach, and Peter Edes.
11. A bill on armed vessels was originally proposed on 9 Oct. in response to a resolve of the congress of 18 July permitting each colony to make whatever preparation it wished to protect itself from British depredations. It became law on 1 Nov. with the concurrence of the Council (JCC, 2:189; Mass., House Jour., 1775–1776, 2d sess., p. 151, 217) .
12. Nicholas Cooke, at this time governor of Rhode Island. Capt. James Wallace of the Rose made a business of harassing Newport traders (David S. Lovejoy, Rhode Island Politics and the American Revolution, Providence, 1958, p. 183, 185; Boston Gazette, 16 Oct.).
13. See General Court to Massachusetts Delegates, 24 Oct. (below).
14. An immediate guess is that Warren refers to gunpowder, but a few lines later without any reticence he mentions how important it would be to get powder from Quebec. Warren may be referring { 224 } to independence. Compare Warren to JA, 20 June, note 5 (above).
15. Norridgewock, Maine, in 1775 the last settlement on the Kennebec River at which Arnold's force could stop before it set off into the wilderness for its attack on Quebec.
16. The proper pay for army privates had long been an issue in the congress, where many southerners were apparently convinced that New England paid too high wages to enlisted men and too low to officers. Presumably the pay question was one of the major concerns of Franklin, Lynch, and Harrison, the committee from the congress. See JA to Elbridge Gerry, 18 June (above).
17. These figures are based on eight months' service in the year, since campaigning in the winter months was very rare.
18. That is, JA's letter of 7 Oct. (above).
19. William Whiting (1730–1792) of Great Barrington, who apparently was the Massachusetts expert on the method for making saltpeter. He probably wrote the recipe for its manufacture that appeared in the Boston Gazette, 23 Oct., and he furnished an appendix for the General Court's republication of the congress' Several Methods of Making Salt-petre, Watertown, 1775 (Evans, No. 14585). For a biographical sketch, see Stephen T. Riley, “Dr. William Whiting and Shays' Rebellion,” AAS, Procs., 2d ser., 66 (1956):119–166.
20. The issue was whether the Council needed to consult the House on the appointment of militia officers. In its resolves of 18 July, the congress suggested that officers above the rank of captain be appointed by assemblies, but the advice of the congress on constituting government in Massachusetts seemed to leave regulation of the militia, as well as all other matters, as it had been under the charter, the governor's powers, including appointment of militia officers of high rank, being exercised by the Council (JCC 2:83–84, 188; Council to Massachusetts Delegates, 11 Nov., below). For JA's view, see his letter to James Otis, 23 Nov. (below).
21. For contemporary accounts of the burning of Falmouth (Portland, Maine), see the Boston Gazette, 23 and 30 Oct., and Nathan Rice to JA, 21 Oct. (below). For a later account, see William Willis, The History of Portland, facsim. 1865 2d edn., Portland, Maine, 1972, p. 516–524.
22. The plan to block up the harbor sketched in JA's letter of 8 Oct. (above).
23. That is, the Massachusetts Gazette.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0114

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-21

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

I believe I shall surfeit you with Letters, which contain nothing, but Recommendations of Gentlemen to your Attention, especially as you have So many important affairs to take up all your Time and Thoughts.
But the Bearers, are Gentlemen, who come so well recommended to me that I could not refuse my self the Pleasure of giving them an opportunity of Seeing my Friend Warren, of whom you must know I am very proud.
The Name of one of them is John Folwell, the other Josiah Hart, each of them a Captain of a Company of Militia in the County of Bucks in this Province. Mr. Joseph Hart the Father of one of them has exerted himself with much Success in procuring Donations for Boston.
{ 225 }
These Travellers visit the Camp from the best Motive that of gaining Knowledge in the military Art by Experience, that their Country may have the Use of it, whenever there shall be an opportunity.1
You will greatly oblige them by giving them a Letter to General Thomas, and by introducing them to such Persons and Places as will best answer the honest and usefull End they have in View.
I could wish them as well as other Strangers introduced to H. Knox and young Josiah Waters,2 if they are any where about the Camp. These young Fellows if I am not mistaken would give strangers no contemptible Idea of the military Knowledge of Massachusetts in the sublimest Chapters of the Art of War.
Salt Petre is certainly making in considerable Quantities in several Places. I wish to know what success Dr. Whiting has.3
You wonder, that certain Improprieties are not felt. Well you may. But I have done finding fault. I content myself with blushing alone, and mourning in Secret the Loss of Reputation our Colony Suffers, by giving Such Samples of her Sons to the World. Myself, remember the worst Sample of all. Pray change it.4
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “Hon. James Warren Esqr Speaker of the House Watertown Per Favr Messrs Follwell and Hart”; above the address: “J.A.”; docketed: “Mr. J: A: Lettr Octr. 21. 1775.”
1. On this date JA also addressed to William Tudor a letter of introduction for the two men. The only significant additional information in it is the following: “The Continental association is most rigidly and Sacredly observed, throughout the Continent in all material Branches of it. Not a Vessell puts to Sea any where” (MHi:Tudor Papers).
2. Henry Knox, later in charge of Washington's artillery (DAB), and Capt. Josiah Waters, who helped direct the construction of fortifications near Cambridge after the Battle of Bunker Hill (William Heath, Memoirs, ed. William Abbatt, N.Y., 1901, p. 16).
3. See Warren to JA, 20 Oct., note 19 (above).
4. JA is referring to an earlier exchange between the two on the impropriety of Hancock's conduct. The reference to “Samples” is to the intercepted letter of Benjamin Harrison to Washington. In concluding, JA asks again that he be relieved of his congressional post (JA to Warren, 19 Sept.; Warren to JA, 1 Oct.; JA to Warren, 30 Sept. [calendar entry], all above).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0115

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-21

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

We must bend our Attention to Salt Petre. We must make it. While B. is Mistress of the Sea, and has so much Influence with foreign Courts, We cannot depend upon a Supply from abroad.
It is certain that it can be made here because it is certain that it has been formerly and more latterly. Dr. Graham of White Plains in the Colony of New York told me, that he has made Some thousands { 226 } of Pounds Weight, many years ago, by Means of a German Servant whom he bought and found to be good for nothing else.
Messrs. De Witts, one of Windham the other of Norwich have made a considerable Quantity, a sample of which has been shown me by Coll. Dyer, and they have made a large Collection of Materials for making more.
Mr. Wisner of New York,1 informs me that his son has made a Quantity of very good, by the Method published by the Continental Congress.
Two Persons belonging to York Town in this Colony have made one hundred and twenty Weight, have received the Premium and are making more.
A Gentleman in Maryland made some last June from Tobacco House Earth.
Mr. Randolph our venerable President, affirms to me that, every planter almost in that Colony, has made it from Tobacco House Earth. That the Proscess is so simple that a Child can make it. It consists in nothing but making a Lixivium from the Earth which is impregnated with it, and then evaporating the Lixivium. That there is certainly discovered in Virginia a vast Quantity of the Rocks of salt Petre. That these are salt Petre Rocks he says all Chemists and Naturalists who have written agree. And that he was informed by many Gentlemen in Virginia, cautious, incredulous Men, of strict Honour and Veracity, that they have been to see the Rocks and tryed them and found them, by Experiment to be the very Rock of salt Petre.2
The old Gentleman in short, who is not credulous nor enthusiastical but very steady, solid, and grave, is as sanguine and confident as you can conceive, that it is the Easiest Thing in the World to make it, and that the Tobacco Colonies alone are sufficient to supply the Continent forever.
Every Colony My Friend must set up Works at the public Expense.
I am determined never to have salt Petre out of my Mind but to insert Some stroke or other about it in every Letter for the future. It must be had.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “Hon. James Warren Esqr Speaker of the House Watertown”; docketed: “Mr. J: A Lettr Octr. 21. 1775.”
1. Henry Wisner (1720–1790), a delegate to the congress and a member of the committee for promoting the making of saltpeter (JCC, 3:296; DAB).
2. On 26 Oct., because of the reported discovery of a mineral rich in saltpeter, the Virginia delegates were ordered to send an express to verify the discovery and bring back a sample (JCC, { 227 } 3:307). The express went to Charles Lynch of Bedford co., Va., who, in two letters of 20 Nov., promised to produce the mineral in quantity and described his discovery on the “north East Side of Reed Iseland River” (Jefferson, Papers, 1:261–264).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0116

Author: Rice, Nathan
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-21

From Nathan Rice

[salute] Dr. Sir

I must acknowledge myself culpable, by a Breach of Orders, should not have neglected writing, but for an almost invincible Disorder in My Hands which has deprived me of their Use for two Months, am now almost recovered.
Many things have happened during the Season which I should have transmitted had it been in my Power. The State of our Army you doubtless Sir are as well acquainted with as myself, by Gentlemen more capable of informing you.
There have been Desertions both from the Enemy, and us; those from us were all Foreigners and of the Corps of Rifle-Men. It were to be wished none were in the Service of America, but Americans. In so large an Army as the American it cant be wondered at if there are some Judas's who will betray and Sell us; some we have found, one in an especial Manner whom I thought the best of our Frinds, has forfeited the Character. Can it be possible Sir that the great Patriotick Dr. Church could be guilty of so great Treachery, how are Men lead from their True Intrest by the False Charms of Riches and Honor. Who can we trust or confide in? Our Dependence is on that honorable Assembly of which Sir you are a Member, our Eyes are to you as to the Fathers of the People and from you we hope for Salvation.
We wait with great Impatience for News from Quebec. The Success of our Arms there will be of the utmost Importance to us, as doubtless there are large Magazines from whence we may have the one thing needful.
Our Navy has not in all Respects been so prosperous as I could wish, our Floating Batteries last Week went down the River in Order to give the Enemy a few Shot into Boston, meaning at least to interrupt their Evening Diversion, it being their first Assembly Night for the Season. Capt. Ayres1 who commanded gave them a Dozen or fourteen with a very good Discretion and Execution as we have since learned, one entering the Chamber of Doctor Canner; another passing through 20 Tents on the Common, Several entering their Hospital &c. At length either through Badness of Mettle or Carelessness in loading, one of the Cannon burst which killed one of our Men, wounded { 228 } several slightly, split of[f] a plank in the Battery between Wind and Water; by which She filled. The Water being shallow, the Guns were got out and She brought up the River.
The Enemies fireing on Bristol you have doubtless heard of and News is just arrived in Camp, of their having burnt Part, the greatest Part, of Falmouth in Casco Bay, for its Non Compliance with their Requision for Provision &c. We have now no Mercy to expect from them, nothing but Fire and Sword; our Sea Port Towns must Fall Victims to their Rage.
I rejoice however to see none disheartened or discouraged. The Field now invite us. Husbandry smiles in the interior Parts. There we defy them, let them come if they dare, but by this Time they are Sensible we shall and will Fight. When the Hanoverians arrive I expect perilous Times, which by Accounts is soon to take place.
The Day after the honorable Committee from the Continental Congress arrived in Town, Part of our Brigade were under Arms and reviewed by them. The Brigade is composed entirely of Troops of our Province. Those Gentlemen will doubtless give you their [opinion] of us. Many Gentlemen think our Troops not inferior to those of other Colonies; altho many things have been said against us, little Animosities and Jealousies will arise in all Societies and Armies composed of various Corps's. I hope we shall act from more noble Motives than to suffer such Trifles to break our Union or disturb our internal Happiness: It cant be wondered at if among our Officers there should be some who do not fill their Posts with that Dignity and Honour which they ought; Our Colony Sir you are Sensible laboured under the greatest Calamities, Disadvantages in distributing their Commissions; done in the greatest Hurry and Confusion, and he that was popular obtained the Commissions; good sensible Men are not all Soldiers. The greatest Fault in our Troops is having bad Officers; I could wish in the next Inlistment we might be culled. Coll. Brewer was Yesterday dismissed the Service for Fraud.2 I am Sr. with the greatest Respect yr. very humble Servant
[signed] Nathan Rice
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To John Adams Esqr in Philadelphia”; docketed: “Mr. Rice's Lettr Octr. 21. 1775”; minor tear at right edge of second page.
1. Possibly Capt. John Ayers (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 4:303, 304).
2. Col. David Brewer of the 9th Regiment of Foot was court-martialed for drawing the pay for his son's commission as a lieutenant while the son remained on the farm, requisitioning too many blankets, and using troops to work his farm. Washington approved his sentence on 23 Oct. (same, 4:39–40).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0117

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-10-23

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

I have only Time to acquaint you that Yesterday, that eminent American, and most worthy Man The Honourable Peyton Randolph Esqr. our first venerable President, departed this Life in an Apoplectic Fit. He was seized at Table having but a few Moments before set down with a good deal of Company to dinner. He died in the Evening without ever recovering his senses after the first stroke.
As this Gentleman Sustained very deservedly ONE of the first American Characters, as he was the first President of the united Colonies, and as he was universally esteemed for his great Virtues and shining Abilities, the Congress have determined to show his Memory and Remains all possible Demonstrations of Respect. The whole Body is to attend the Funeral, in as much Mourning as our Laws will admit. The Funeral is to be tomorrow.2 I am the more pleased with this Respect on account of an Impropriety, which you know was unfelt.3
This venerable Sage, I asure you, since he has stood upon the same Floor with the rest of Us has rose in the Esteem of all. He was attentive, judicious, and his Knowledge, Eloquence, and classical Correctness showed Us the able and experienced Statesman and senator, whereas his former station had in a great Measure concealed these and showed Us chiefly the upright and impartial Moderator of Debate.
You would have wondered more at the Want of [sensi?]bility which you remarked if you had [been] here and seen, the Difference.
Mr. Randolph was as firm, stable and consistent a Patriot as any here. The loss must be very great to Virginia in Particular and the Continent in general.
I sometimes wonder that a similar Fate does not befall more of the Members. Minds so engaged and Bodies so little exercised are very apt to fall.
This goes by Mr. Gawen Brown.4
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “Hon. James Warren Esqr Speaker of the House Watertown favoured by Mr. Gawen Brown Jnr”; docketed: “Mr. J: A: lettr Octr. 24th 1775.”
1. JA states that Pevton Randolph died “yesterday”; accordingly, his letter should have been dated 23 Oct. That Randolph died on the 22d is confirmed by Samuel Ward, who refers to his death as occurring on Sunday evening (DAB; Ward to Henry Ward, 24 Oct., Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:240).
2. The funeral was held on the 24th, further evidence that JA misdated his letter (JCC, 3:302–304).
3. See JA's first letter to Warren, 21 Oct., note 4 (above).
4. Boston clock- and watchmaker, { 230 } father of the portrait painter Mather Brown. Why JA tacked on “Jnr” to Brown's name in the address is unclear. Brown had a grandson named after him, the son of John, but no record has been found of a “Junior” (MHS, Procs., 46 [1912–1913]:250; 47[1913–1914]:32, 289–291; Hamilton Andrews Hill, History of the Old South Church, Boston 1669–1884, 2 vols., Boston, 1890, 2:93–94 and note).

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0118

Author: Heath, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-10-23

From William Heath

[salute] Dear Sir

I have to acknowledge the Honor of the Receipt of yours of the 5th. Instant, and shall think myself fortunate if by writeing or Otherwise, I can in the least Contribute to the Good of my Country, or Advantage of my Native Colony.
It is not Surpriseing that Jealousies do Subsist, and that Misrepresentations have been made, respecting our Colony by some, But Such will be despised, by the Wise the Generous and Brave, who will be rightly Informed before they Censure.
A publication in one of the Connecticut Papers Some Time Since, ascribed the Honor of the noble Resistance made at Bunkers Hill on the 17th. of June last, to a Number of Officers by name, belonging to that Colony,1 Some of Whom as I am Informed were not on the Hill, Whilst other Brave Officers belonging to our Colony, such as Colonels Prescott, Brewer, Gardner, Parker &c. who nobly fought, and Some of whom fell, are not even mentioned. But this Account was detested by the Brave Putnam and others of that Colony.
There are in the Massachusetts Regiments Some few Lads and Old men, and in Several Regiments, Some Negroes. Such is also the Case with the Regiments from the Other Colonies, Rhode Island has a Number of Negroes and Indians, Connecticut has fewer Negroes but a number of Indians. The New Hampshire Regiments have less of Both. The men from Connecticut I think in General are rather stouter than those of either of the other Colonies, But the Troops of our Colony are Robust, Agile, and as fine Fellows in General as I ever would wish to see in the Field. We have many Good Officers also, altho Some few have been Disgraced, viz Colos. Gerrish, and Mansfield, and Major Gridley for Backwardness in Duty on the 17th. of June. Some few also have been Guilty of Peculation.
On the 15th. Instant Doctor Franklin, Mr. Lynch, and Colo. Harrison, Arrived at our Camp, the next morning Four Regiments of my Brigade (the other Two being Chiefly on Command, at Medford, Chelsea, Malden &c.) were Under Arms and Reviewed by those Gentlemen. These Regiments are Entirely of our own Colony; and those