Papers of John Adams, volume 5

To James Warren

From James Bowdoin

170 To James Warren, 2 May 1777 JA Warren, James


To James Warren, 2 May 1777 Adams, John Warren, James
To James Warren
Dear Sir May 2 1777

Dr. Brownson,1 a Delegate from Georgia, in Congress, and a worthy, Spirited, sensible Man A Native of Connecticutt will deliver you this. He will be able to tell you much News, because he intends a circuitous Journey by Albany, and the New Hampshire Grants who have lately made themselves a state2 to Boston.

The British Daemons have received a little Chastizement in Connecticutt.3

J. Adams

RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr J A. Lettr May 2. 1777.”


Nathan Brownson was given a leave of absence by the congress on 1 May ( JCC , 7:321).


A convention assembled at Westminster formally declared on 16 Jan. that the New Hampshire Grants were “a new and separate state.” On the following day a declaration of independence asserted that the new state, called at first New Connecticut, should have all the privileges and immunities that the other American states enjoyed (Matt Bushnell Jones, Vermont in the Making, 1750–1777, Cambridge, 1939, p. 375–377).


On 25 April, Gen. William Tryon under Gen. Howe's orders led about two thousand troops from New York to a landing in Connecticut near Fairfield. Without opposition, they marched to Danbury and destroyed the provisions, tents, and other supplies stored there and guarded by only one hundred and fifty Continental troops, who put up no resistance. As the British troops marched back toward their ships on 27 April they were met by a force of considerable size commanded by Gens. Wooster and Arnold. Wooster was mortally wounded, but the British suffered probably two hundred casualties, the Americans sixty. The stores destroyed were a serious loss, but the gallantry of the two American generals and their men was some compensation (Ward, War of the Revolution , 2:492–495, with map). In a letter to JA of 6–9 May, AA enclosed a list of the losses at Danbury ( Adams Family Correspondence , 2:231–233).