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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0243

Author: President of Congress
Author: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-18

From the President of Congress

[salute] Sir

You will receive herewith enclosed, a Duplicate of my Letter of the 30th of July, with a List of the original Letters and Duplicates which I have had the Honor to receive from you since that Time.1
The Pleasure and Satisfaction which I have received from the Perusal of those Letters, especially that of the 26th of June with the Despatches accompanying it, makes me lament the Want of Leisure { 424 } to answer your Correspondence. But Necessity compells me to confide in the Committee of foreign Affairs to give you the needful and particular Intelligence from this Part of the World. It is expected a Secretary for foreign Affairs will soon be established,2 and constantly devoted to the Business proper for such Department; which will remedy many Disadvantages we at present labour under.
I have the Honor to be with every Sentiment of Esteem & Respect sir your most obedient & most humble Servant
[signed] Sam. Huntington
1. The enclosed copy of the 30 July letter is with this letter in the Adams Papers, but the list of JA's letters has not been found.
2. The office of secretary for foreign affairs was established on 10 Jan. 1781, but the first secretary, Robert R. Livingston, was not appointed until 10 Aug. (JCC, 19:43–44; 21:851–852).

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0244

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-19

From James Warren

[salute] My dear Sir

Having wrote you so often and so fully1 I presume you would readily Excuse me if I omitted this Opportunity more especially as I am at a distance from the Capital, and have no certain News to hand you, but that Admiral de Ternay died a few days ago of a fever after a few days Illness, which perhaps may have been Occasioned by Chagrin and disappointment.2 It is also reported here that Cornwallis with 4000 Men have been surrounded by our Troops in Carolina and taken Prisoners.3 If this should prove true, it will be a great Stroke, and damp the Joy in England on the Acquisition of Charlestown.
Our New Goverment has been Ushered in with Great Splendor. Balls, Assemblies, Entertainments and Feasts equal to any thing you can tell of in Europe. The silly feelings of Compassion for the distresses of the Country, and the wants and sufferings of the Army have little to do in the Capital. The whirl of pleasure and Amusement has taken into its Vortex the Deacons and the other good People who seldom used to be seen in public but at their Devotions. Whether you will find good Deacon I——rs and good Mr. Scol——y in the dancing or drawing room at a Game of Whist or leading down a Country Dance is uncertain, but if the present G——r is in office on your return you may possibly find them in one or the other.4
We are Trying to get an Army for the war or 3 years.5 I hope to succeed. I shall write you more by the next Conveyance.6 Permit me to trouble you with the Inclosed Letter, and to Ask you to tell me how my Son does, and if his Conduct meets your Approbation. Accept { 425 } Mrs. Warren's regards, & believe me to be Your Sincere Friend & Humbl. Servt.
[signed] J Warren
1. Warren's last letter was of 22 Nov. (above).
2. Ternay had died on 15 Dec. at Newport (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 222). Warren's comment regarding his death probably refers to the fact that since its arrival at Newport in July, Ternay's fleet had undertaken no offensive action.
3. Warren's source for this erroneous report is unknown.
4. Warren here continues his criticism of John Hancock's gubernatorial administration and the events surrounding its inauguration. “Deacon I—rs” remains unidentified; “Mr. Scol—y” is presumably John Scollay, Boston merchant and selectman.
5. Warren hoped that Massachusetts would fulfill the General Court's resolve of 2 Dec. to raise 4,240 men to supply the Commonwealth's quota for the Continental Army, each soldier to serve for three years or the duration of the war (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1:190–201).
6. James Warren apparently did not write again until 4–19 June 1781 (Adams Papers); see JA's letter to Warren of 9 Dec., note 5 (above).
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.