Letter from John Sullivan to John Adams, 15 March 1776

Letter from John Sullivan to John Adams, 15 March 1776

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    • Main description

    [ This description is from the project: Coming of the American Revolution ]

    In this letter a commander named John Sullivan writes to John Adams, who requested that his home be checked during the fighting. Sullivan describes his division's activity, as well as the futile efforts of British troops to defend Boston after the cannons were laid in Dorchester Heights by colonial troops.

    "Preparing for their Departure"

    The work of men like Henry Knox and Jeduthan Baldwin looks like it is about to pay off. There is no easy way for the British Army to break through Washington's fortified lines, and after months of privations and shortages, Boston is no longer a comfortable place to sit. When the British wake up one morning to find a large number of Henry Knox's cannon pointed directly at them from Dorchester Heights, hasty action is required to salvage the situation.

    Questions to Consider

    1. What appears to be the relationship between John Sullivan and John Adams? What was John Sullivan's role in the evacuation of Boston?

    2. What tone does Sullivan take in telling about the British flight from Boston?

    3. What details does he think it important to record?

    Further Exploration

    4. What appears to be his opinion of the Congress in the last paragraph? Have you seen this sentiment elsewhere? In which documents?