Papers of John Adams, volume 2

To Josiah Quincy Jr.

From Benjamin Kent

From William Tudor, 22 September 1774 Tudor, William JA From William Tudor, 22 September 1774 Tudor, William Adams, John
From William Tudor
Dr Sir Boston Septr. 22d. 1774

On my Return from Salem this Afternoon I was gratified with the Receipt of your kind Letter dated at Prince-Town 28th. of last Month. I could have wish'd it a much longer one, though considering the 169public Character which You travel in that must occasion You many Invitations; and the important Business which you have engag'd to transact and which must very deeply employ your Time and Thoughts, I must acknowledge myself not only honor'd but oblig'd by your Letter, though so laconic a one. I hope to receive a longer one by Mr. Revere, and, as he will be a most faithful Mercury, pray let it be a political one.

We find that your honorable Assembly have resolv'd that Nothing of their Counsels shall transpire till You have completed your Business. Whilst we must approve this Determination, we live impatient to learn the Result of your Deliberations. Our rankest Tories allow You to be a respectable Body, and are not a little anxious to know your Proceedings. Capt. Scott has got into Salem from London after a Passage of seven Weeks. He brings Nothing material; what is new, You will see in Draper's Paper of to Day.1

The Town met yesterday for the Choice of Members to represent them in the General Court to be held next Month at Salem. The old Members were elected. The Town to Day voted to instruct them. They delegated also 3 Gentlemen to meet a provincial Congress to be held next Month.2 But I waive being particular because I know you will be fully acquainted with the Transactions at Town Meeting by an Express that I suppose will carry this Letter.

Different are the Opinions what the House of Reps. will do when conven'd. As there will be only two constitutional Branches (strictly only one) of the Legislature, no Business will be done, in the old Way. Some suppose the House will resolve themselves into a grand Committee of Safety, after voting the Chair vacant, and adjourn themselves to some western Town of the Province. Yourself, Sir, and 3 Brothers will soon be greatly wanted here. I hope we shall do Nothing a Justification of which may not implicitly be involv'd in the Resolves of the Congress. Heaven preserve Us at this very critical, this most important Day from a Disunion of Sentiments. Surely our Sister Colonies will candidly regard Measures that at any other Time might be adjudg'd imprudent, when they consider the distress'd, the desperate Condition we are reduc'd to.

Genl. Brattle still continues exil'd to Boston, (which is now the City of Refuge for the traiterous Groupe that compose the infamous Divan) and is I believe the most miserable Being existing.3 “You may read said the Duke of Florence, (as quoted by the great Bacon) that we are commanded to forgive our Enemies; but You never read we are commanded to forgive our Friends.”4 Brattle has been a pretended 170Friend to his Country. But his base temporising has brought on him the Detestation of some and the Contempt of all.

I am my Dr. Sir with the greatest Respect, Affection and Esteem, your most obliged Friend and very hum. Servt., Will Tudor

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Tudor Wm September 22d 1774.”


The Massachusetts Gazette , published in this period by Margaret Green Draper (Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns. , 9 [1907]:438).


Thomas Cushing, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and William Phillips were chosen virtually unanimously to represent Boston in the General Court scheduled to meet 5 Oct., and to them were added Joseph Warren, Benjamin Church, and Nathaniel Appleton for representation in the Provincial Congress (Boston Record Commissioners, 18th Report , p. 190, 191; the Report mistakenly gives the date of the meeting for the election of the four as 25 Sept.).

By 28 Sept., events in Massachusetts forced Gage to conclude that no good purpose would be served by a meeting of the General Court, and on that day he issued a proclamation dismissing its members. Ignoring the proclamation, the elected representatives met in Salem on 5 Oct. and, before resolving themselves into a provincial congress, passed resolutions condemning Gage's action as another violation of the charter. On 11 Oct. the former members of the General Court, joined by others elected solely to the Provincial Congress, began deliberations in Concord, moving on 17 Oct. to Cambridge (Mass., Provincial Congress, Jours. , p. 3–6, 15, 20).


William Brattle fled from Cambridge for Boston on 1 Sept., within hours after word had spread of his letter to Gen. Gage. On his letter, see Edward Hill to JA, 4 Sept. 1774, note 1, above. His departure was just in time; before he had crossed Brighton Bridge, shots were fired at him (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates , 7:21).


Apophthegms, No. 206.