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John Adams


June 17, 1775 Letter from Joseph Palmer to John Adams

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Letter, June 19, 1775, from Joseph Palmer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to John Adams, who was in Philadelphia representing Massachusetts at the Continental Congress.

After immigrating to America from England in 1746, Palmer operated a glassworks and various other manufacturing works in Germantown, now a part of Quincy, Massachusetts. He served in the Massachusetts Provincial Congress in 1774 and 1775 and became a brigadier general in the Massachusetts militia in 1776. In his letter, he relates the events of the Battle of Bunker Hill in detail, including the death of their mutual friend Dr. Joseph Warren and the American army's desperate shortage of gunpowder.

Compare Palmer's record to the letter Abigail Adams wrote the day before (June 18, 1775) describing the same events to her husband.

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