I received yours of July 7 [John to Abigail, 07 July 1775] for which I heartily thank you, it was the longest and best Letter I have had, the most Leasurely and therefore the most Sentimental. Previous to your last I had wrote you and made some complaints of you, but I will take them all back again -- only continue your obliging favours whenever your time will allow you to devote one moment to your absent Portia.
This is the 25 of July. Gage has not made any attempts to march out, since the Battle at Charlstown. Our Army are restless and wish to be doing something to rid themselves and the land of the Virmin and Locusts which infest it. Since I wrote you last the Companys stationd upon the coasts both in this Town, Weymouth and Hingham were orderd to Nantasket to reap and bring of the Grain which they accomplished, all except a field or two which was not ripe, and having whale boats they undertook to go to the light House and set fire to it, which they effected in open day and in fair sight of several men of War. Upon their return came down upon them Eight Barges, one cutter, one Schooner, all in Battle array, and pourd whole broad sides upon them, but our Men all reached the shore and not one life lost, two only slightly wounded in their legs. They marchd up a Hill and drew into order in hopes the marines would land, but they chose rather to return without a land engagement, tho tis Thought they will burn the Town down as soon as the our forces leave it. I had this account from Capt. Vinton who with his company were there. These little Skirmishes seem trifling, but they serve to innure our Men and harden them to Danger. I hear the Rebels are very Wroth at the distruction of the light House.
There has been an offer from Gage to send the poor of Boston to Salem by Water, but not complied with on our part. They returnd for answer they would receive them upon the lines. Dr. Tufts saw a Letter from Deacon Newall in which he mentions the Death of John Cotton, says tis very sickly in Town. Every Fishing vessel is now obliged to enter and clear out as tho she was going a foreign Voyage, no inhabitant is sufferd to partake, but obliged to wait till the Army are supplied, and then if one remains they may beare allowed to
I am ready to believe this of Clinton as I have never heard of any Speaches of his since his arrival, nor scarcely any mention of him. That such characters as Burgoynes and Hows should engage in such a cause is not to be wonderd at, but really to be lamented when a Man possessd of one spark of virtue should be drawn aside, and disgrace himself and posterity by adding one [illegible] more to the already infamous List. -- Suppose you have heard of Darbys arrival, and the intelligance he brings. I could not refrain wishing them everlasting letters. The News received with some symptoms of pleasure
May that day be far distant from America when trade's unfeeling train shall usurp this land and dispossess the Swain.
Your address meets with general approbation here, your [illegible] petitioning the King again pleases (forgive me if I say the timid and the weak) those persons who were esteemed the Luke Warm, and who think that are no Works of Supereragation can be performed to Great Brittain -- whilst others say you heap coals of fire upon the Heads of your Enimies. You know you are considerd here as the most perfect body -- if one Member is by any means renderd incapable of acting tis supposed the difficency will be made up. The Query is why your president left the Congress so long as to make it necessary to chuse an other Member, whether he declined returning to you again?
Suppose you have a list of our Counsel. It was generally thought that Gage would make an attempt to come out either Election Day or upon the Fast, but I could not believe we should be disturbed upon that Day, even the Devils believe and tremble, and I really believe they are more affraid of the Americans prayers than their Swords. I could not bear to hear our inanimate old Batchelor.Mrs. Cranch and I took our chaise and went to hear Mr. Haven of Deadam, and We had no occasion to repent Eleven miles ride. Especially as I had the pleasure of spending the day with my name sake and Sister Delegate. Why should we not assume your titles when we give you up our names. I found her comfortably situated, in a little
I fear General Thomas being overlooked and Heath placed over him will create much uneasiness. I know not who was to blame, but it is like to make a great and fatal Gap in the Army. If Thomas resigns all his officers resign; and Mr. Thomas cannot with honour hold under Heath. The Camp will evince to every Eye how good an officer he has been -- but this is out of my Sphere. I only say what others say and what the general disposition of the people is.
I believe you will not complain that I do not write often enough and lengthy enough. When you are tired tell me. Pray make my complements to Mr. Barrel for his great civility to Portia. I really feel very anxious to be exposed to any Eyes but yours whose partiality I have so often Experienced to cover a multitude of faults that I rely upon it with the utmost Security. -- You will not faill letting me hear from you by every opportunity. All our little folks send duty to pappa.Johnny says do you think Mamma pappa will write to me -- has not he so many things to do that he will forget me. Brother and Sister Cranch send their Love. My Mother says I must always remember to add hers to you when I write. I need not say how much I want to see you, but no one will credit my story of your returning in a month. I hope to have the best of proofs to convince them -- it cannot need any to convince you how sincerely I am your most affectionate