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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 5

Docno: ADMS-06-05-02-0195

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-11-18

From James Lovell

[salute] Dear Sir

It appears by Returns this day received from Genl. Gates that Burgoine must have destroyed his Standards and almost every other military Trophy during the Capitulation. Not one Musket fit for use was delivered, not one Scabbard to a Bayonett or Cutlass. We are told that instead of piling the Arms the Enemy chose to ground them, that the Waggons might more certainly crush them. Gates does not notice this as a Breach of Convention, tho his Returns show the Facts; yet he says that if Howe obstinately refuses an honourable Cartel it is proper to delay fulfilling the Convention. I wish you had not left York till now, as I join in the Opinion of many here, Today, that a Committee ought to know the Facts first exactly from Gates, and be empowered to proceed from Albany to Boston, if found necessary. You know I was critical about not violating the Treaty: But the Returns have proved very unfair Dealing on the part of Burgoyne.1
You would scold me yourself if you knew how sick I am and what Hour of the Night it is. You must see Mr. S. Adams for I scrawl one Thing to him and another to you out of pure Oconomy.
Gates tells me on the 10th. “General Lincoln recovers apace.” With affectionte. Esteem yr. humb. Servt.,
[signed] James Lovell
A certain Lady2 has cried bitterly Today about Philadelphia and says “she had rather dye in its Goal than live in any other Place curse those who began the Trouble curse W[].” This savours a little of Toryism. I really believe the two dear Men3 were within the Wind of the Curse. But you will call this, Jeal• { 331 } ousy, Envy, and a Desire to rob you of your Portion of Honey; therefore I desist, and crawl to Bed in a starlight Morning.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mr Lovell”; in CFA's hand: “Novr 18th 1777.”
1. On 19 Nov. the congress appointed a committee of three to consider Gates' return on enemy weapons and other materials surrendered. The committee's report on the 22d stressed the small quantities reported of expected materials. The congress plainly suspected false dealings. Meanwhile, Burgoyne charged a breach of faith in that accommodations for his army in Boston were not as promised (JCC, 9:939, 948–951; 10:32).
2. Probably a reference to Mrs. Clymer, sister of Daniel Roberdeau (Adams Family Correspondence, 2:353). See JA to James Lovell, 6 Dec. (below).
3. John and Samuel Adams, on leave from the congress and formerly guests in Roberdeau's home.

Docno: ADMS-06-05-02-0196

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1777-11-19

To Elbridge Gerry

[salute] My dear Sir

The inclosed Letter,1 I this Moment received and can think of no other Way, to answer the Expectations of Mr. Smith, than to request you to take the Trouble of doing what, by the inclosed Letter I am requested to do.
I am Sorry to take off your Attention from things of more Importance or Amusements of greater Pleasure. But having often experienced your obliging Disposition, I presume upon it once more.
We have nothing New, excepting that a whole Pickett Guard came off together from Kings bridge two days ago—which they say is the second Instance of late. The new Levies are very discontented, and earnestly wishing to escape and throw themselves upon Mercy. G. Gates's Army, are passing fast to Head Quarters.
I have had vast Pleasure in this Journey in remarking the difference between the State of the Country and the Temper of Mens Minds, now, and last Winter.
Our Friend Lovell must remember the general Complaints of Danger from the Tories and of the Discredit of Continental Money, as well as the great Anxiety upon the Minds of the People concerning the Issue of the Cause. All this is now done Away. The Tories are universally discouraged and there Appears not in the Minds of the People the least Doubt of the final success of our great and holy Cause.
Remember me with every sentiment of Respect and Affection to the General and Brothers Lovell and Dana,2 to the Ladies and { 332 } the Children of the Family, and believe me to be your sincere Friend
[signed] John Adams
1. Not found.
2. Although elected to the congress in Dec. 1776, Dana was just beginning his service. In fact, JA met him and his father-in-law, William Ellery, on 15 Nov., a few miles beyond Reading (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:267).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.