Though our building remains closed to visitors, the MHS is open for business! Learn more about our online offerings and latest updates.[[ ]]
I immagine before this reaches you some very important Event must take place betwen the two Armies. Affairs on all Sides seem to be workd up to a crisis, How is putting his whole force in action and seems determined to drive or be driven.
I feel in a most painfull situation between hope and fear, there must be fighting and very Bloody Battles too I apprehend. O! how my Heart recoils at the Idea. Why is Man calld Humane when he delights so much in Blood, Slaughter and devastation; even those who are stiled civilizd Nations think this little Spot worth contending for, even to Blood.
We have confused accounts of a Battle at the Northward Last fryday, in which the Enemy were put to flight. God grant it may prove true. Vigorous Exertions now on all sides may prove of the most happy concequence and terminate this cruel War. I long for a decissive Battle -- and for peace, an honourable peace. I hope the enemy are as much in our power as you fancy them.
Have just read a hand Bill giving a perticuliar account of our the engagement, at the Northward. You will have it long before this reaches you. The loss of Ticondoroga has awakened the sleeping Genious of America and call'd forth all her Martial fire, may it never again be lulld to rest till crownd with victory and peace. Good officers will make good Soldiers.Xanthippus, the Lacedaemonian General who had been educated in the Discipline of Sparta, and learnt the Art of War in that renowned and Excellent School, when he was call'd to assist the Carthaginians, who had been defeated in several Battles against the Romans, declared publickly, and repeated it often in the hearing of their officers, that the misfortunes of the Carthaginians were oweing intirely to the incapacity of their Generals, and he proved clearly to the Counsel that by a conduct opposite to the former they would not only secure their dominions but drive the Enemy out of them. Upon his accepting the command of the Carthaginians, the gloomy consternation (says Rolin) which had before seized the whole Army was succeeded by joy and Alacrity. The Soldiers were urgent to be led against the Enemy, in the firm Assurance of being victorious under their new leader and of obliterating the disgrace of
This is a case I think very similar to our own, may it prove so in the end. Their are two ways says Rolin of acquiring improvement and instruction, first by ones own experience, and secondly by that of other men. It is much more wise and usefull to improve by other mens miscarriages than by our own.
We have not yet Received any inteligance from the Southern Army since the accounts of the engagement on the 11th, whichby the account must have been very severe upon both sides. You now experience what we sufferd when the Army lay this way. I feel very anxious for their Success. The Suspence which the distance occassions is painfull but still I find very different sensations between having the Enemy at such a distance and having them in my own Neighbourhood. I hope you will all look to your own Safety. As you are not calld to action, kidnapping would be rather dissagreable but were you in the Army I should dispise myself for such a Sentiment -- as much as I did a certain Gentleman who was in the Horrours a few days ago upon hearing that General Washington had retreated within six miles of [Philadelphia]. If How should get possession of that city it would immediately negotiate a peace. I could not help warmly replying, that I did not believe it even tho that should be the case and the General with his whole Army should be cut of. I hoped then that an Army of women would oppose him. I think it was Was it not the Sarassens who turnd their Backs upon the Enemy and were slain by their women who were placed behind them for that purpose?
Your favours of 2d.
[John to Abigail, 02 September 1777]
[John to Abigail, 08 September 1777]
reachd me upon the 20th. Your observations with regard to Luxery are very just, but trade and commerce will always support it. The
Thus you see we go from Step to Step in our improvements. We can live much better than we deserve within ourselves. Why should we borrow foreign Luxeries. Why should we wish to bring ruin upon ourselves. I feel as content when I have Breakfasted upon milk, as when ever I did with Hyson or Suchong.
Coffe and sugar I use only as a rarity. There are none of these things but I could totally renounce. My dear Friend knows that I could always conform to times and circumstances. As yet I know nothing of hardships. My children have never cried for Bread, nor been destitute of cloathing -- nor have the poor or the needy gone empty from my Door whenever it was in my power to assist them.
Heaven grant that I may continue to receive its Blessings. One of its greatest is that I can subscribe myself wholy Yours.
[Envelope -- see page image]