Papers of John Adams, volume 10

From Francis Dana

From William Lee

From Arthur Lee, 10 September 1780 Lee, Arthur JA From Arthur Lee, 10 September 1780 Lee, Arthur Adams, John
From Arthur Lee
Dear Sir Boston, Sepr. 10th. 1780

I have but one moment to tell you, that I left Mrs. Adams your Children, General and Mrs. Warren in good health four days ago. I shall soon set out for Philadelphia. Hancock is chosen Governor, owing cheifly to your absence. I paid a visit to Mrs. Dana at Cambrige, who with her Children are well. Please to remember me to her Husband. Mr. S. A. is at Congress, which is very thin. They have lately resolved to redeem the Paper at 40 for 1, and made some reform in the Quarter-master general's department which has occasiond Genl. Green's resignation.1 This, together with the Clothing not having been sent from France, has excited much discontent in the Army. Nineteen of the Quebec fleet having been taken by our Privateers, cheifly from this State, has glutted the market with foreign goods; and together with the depretiation of Paper, made trade stagnate exceedingly. The french fleet and Army are blockt up at Rhode 141Island, and that of Genl. Washington, tho' recruited, cannot act alone. Great complaints of the Tories.


RC (Adams Papers).


Owing to complaints about Thomas Mifflin's administration, Congress had reorganized the quartermaster's department in March 1778 and named Nathanael Greene the quartermaster general. On 15 July 1780, responding to new charges that the quartermaster's department was being run inefficiently, Congress again reorganized the department, but retained Greene as quartermaster general. Greene saw the new system as evidence of a lack of confidence in his administration and angrily submitted his resignation on 26 July. The tone of Greene's letter of resignation angered many members of Congress, but not nearly so much as his response to a request by Congress' Committee at Headquarters that he continue in office as an emergency measure to support impending operations by Washington's army. His refusal to serve under any circumstances unless the reorganization was repealed led to an uproar in Congress and proposals that he be stripped of his rank of major general. The controversy soon subsided, however, and by the date of this letter Greene's relations with Congress had improved significantly. For detailed accounts of Congress' reorganization of the quartermaster general's department in 1778 and 1780, and the controversy surrounding Greene's resignation on 26 July, see The Papers of Nathanael Greene, ed., Richard K. Showman, 6 vols. to date, Chapel Hill and London, 1976–, 2:307–313; 6:150–158.