Come make history with David McCullough on June 5! [[ slide ]]
Yesterday I had the long expected and much wish'd Pleasure of a Letter from you, of various Dates from the 2d. to the 10 March [Abigail to John, 02 March 1776] . This is the first Line I have received since I left you. I wrote you from Watertown I believe, relating my Feast at the Quarter Master General with the Coghnawaga Indians, and from Framingham, an Account of the ordnance there, and from New York I sent you a Pamphlet -- hope you received these.
Since my arrival here, I have written to you as often as I could.
I am much pleased with your Caution, in your Letter, in avoiding Names both of Persons and Places, or any other Circumstances, which might designate to Strangers, the Writer, or the Person written to, or the Persons mentioned. Characters and Descriptions will do as well.
The Lye, which you say occasioned such Disputes at the Tavern, was curious enough. -- Who could make and spread it? Am much obliged to an Unkle, for his Friendship: my worthy fellow Citizens may be easy about me. I never can forsake what I take to be their Interests. My own have never been considered by me, in Competition with theirs. My Ease, my domestic Happiness, my rural Pleasures, my Little Property, my personal Liberty, my Reputation, my Life, have little Weight and ever had, in my own Estimation, in Comparison of the great Object of my Country. I can say of it with great Sincerity, as Horace says of Virtue -- to America only and her Friends a Friend.
You ask, what is thought of Common sense. Sensible Men think there are some Whims, some Sophisms, some artfull Addresses to superstitious Notions, some keen attempts upon the Passions, in this Pamphlet. But all agree there is a great deal of good sense, delivered in a clear, simple, concise and nervous Style.
His Sentiments of the Abilities of America, and of the Difficulty of a Reconciliation with G.B. are generally approved.
It has been very generally propagated through the Continent that I wrote this Pamphlet. But altho I could not have written any Thing in so manly and striking a style, I flatter myself I should have made a more respectable Figure as an Architect, if I had undertaken such a Work. This Writer seems to have very inadequate Ideas of what is proper and necessary to be done, in order to form Constitutions for single Colonies, as well as a great Model of Union for the whole.
Your Distresses which you have painted in such lively Colours, I feel in every Line as I read. I dare not write all that I think upon this Occasion. I wish our People had taken Possession of Nook Hill, at the same Time when they got the other Heights, and before the Militia were dismissed.
Poor Cousin! -- I pitty him. How much soever he may lament certain Letters I dont lament.
Virginia will be well defended, so will N.Y., so will S. Car. America will eer long, raise her Voice aloud, and assume a bolder Air.