Papers of John Adams, volume 4

From Benjamin Franklin

From Jonathan Bayard Smith, 28 August 1776 Smith, Jonathan Bayard JA From Jonathan Bayard Smith, 28 August 1776 Smith, Jonathan Bayard Adams, John
From Jonathan Bayard Smith
Respectd Sir Amboy Augt. 28 1776

As I1 find that Mr. Christopher Ludwig2 is about setting off for Philadelphia in the morning, I think it a duty I owe to trouble you with a line or two by him. The troops have complaind much of their provisions, the bread in particular; tho' they may have exaggerated matters in some instances, yet they have not been without good grounds in others. And I am glad that, by ingaging Mr. Ludwig to deliver this to you with his own hands, I have an opportunity of procuring you the fullest information concerning an article of the utmost consequence in our camps. That he is disinterested, except for the public good I am fully confident. If he has any ambition I believe it is to be found, and known to be, in serving the public. That he is very able his neighbors in the City have long known, and I believe this Camp will fully testify. Indeed the alterations here in the article of bread is truely great. It is not surprizing that every circumstance does not meet the particular attention which it possibly may deserve as the different objects are so many and so novel, but I dare say you'd think this of bread to be very essential. An instance was yesterday afforded of its importance; for it was intirely accidental, as the Commissary told me himself, that the troops, ordered to proceed, were provided from Trenton.

The accounts from Long Island you'd receive more authentic, and more early than we have it in our power to give you. I have the pleasure to be with the greatest esteem & regard, very gratefully Dr Sir Yr. m. ob. h. st

Jona. B Smith

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble Mr. Adams Philadelphia”; docketed: “Mr Jona. B. Smith Aut 28. 1776.”


Smith (1742–1812), Princeton graduate, officer in the Associators, and later member of the Continental Congress, had been named mustermaster general of the Flying Camp on 9 July ( DAB ; JCC , 5:529).


Christopher Ludwick (1720–1801), a native of Hesse-Darmstadt, came as a baker to Philadelphia in 1754. In the summer of 1776 he volunteered, refusing either pay or rations, for service with the Flying Camp and while there went into the Hessian camp in disguise in an effort to encourage Hessian troops to desert, an endeavor that met with some success. In 1777 he was made superintendent of bakers, a position that brought him the honorary title of “Baker General” ( DAB ; JCC , 7:323).