Papers of John Adams, volume 5

Vernejoux to the President of the Board of War

From John Avery

To James Warren, 6 March 1777 JA Warren, James


To James Warren, 6 March 1777 Adams, John Warren, James
To James Warren
My dear sir Philadelphia March 6. 1777

Dr. Jackson,1 by whom this will go, is a Manager of the State Lottery, and is bound to the New England states, to forward the Sale of the Ticketts. He wishes to be recommended to proper Persons for the Purpose. If you can assist him with your Advise you will do a public service.

I can give you no News—but the Skirmish at Spanktown.2

This State of Pensilvania, have at last compleated their Government. Wharton is Governor and Bryan Lt Governor. Their Council too is at last filled. Johnson is Governor of Maryland.3 Govr. Livingstons Speech4—you will see.

I hope now, the Loan Offices will Supply us with Money, and preclude the Necessity of any further Emissions. If they dont, what shall We do? But they will.

I am at last got to think more about my own Expences than any Thing else. Twenty dollars a Cord for Wood. Three Pounds a Week for Board, meaning Breakfast, Dinner, and bed. Without one drop of Liquor, or one Spark of light or fire—I am lost in an Ocean of Expence. Horse feed in Proportion—five hundred sterling will not pay my Expences for this year—at this Rate.

Pray make every Body who has Money lend it, that Things may not grow worse.

The loan office in this Town is now successfull.

RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “The Hon. James Warren Esqr Plymouth or Boston favd. by Dr Jackson”; docketed: “Mr J A. Lettr March 6. 1777.”


David Jackson ( JCC , 6:981–982). The congress approved a lottery on 18 Nov. 1776, with the first drawing to be in March if the tickets were sold soon enough. Tickets sold at $10, $20, $30, and $40 (same, 6:959–961).


On 23 Feb. a British foraging party, estimated at two to four thousand men, 101engaged an American force under Gen. William Maxwell at Spanktown (now Rahway, N.J.). The British suffered much heavier casualties than the Americans. Accounts of the skirmish were carried in the Pennsylvania Packet, 4 March, and in the Pennsylvania Journal on the 5th (N.J. Archives, 2d ser., 1:297, 307–308; Heitman, Register Continental Army , p. 385).


Technically, Thomas Wharton Jr., elected the first chief executive officer of Pennsylvania under its new constitution, was President of the Supreme Executive Council and, as the name suggests, was little more than a presiding officer. George Bryan was chosen vice president. Thomas Johnson Jr. was uncle to Louisa Catherine Johnson, future wife of JQA ( Penna. Colonial Records , 11:173–174; Adams Family Correspondence , 2:169, note 3).


This speech, dated 25 Feb. and printed in the Pennsylvania Packet of 4 March, was a vigorous attack upon the rapacity of the British, a condemnation of their hapless American supporters, and a stirring appeal for support of the American cause (N.J. Archives, 2d ser., 1:301–305).