Papers of John Adams, volume 18

From Thomas Jefferson

To Richard O’Bryen

466 To John Adams from Charles Storer, 26 September 1786 Storer, Charles Adams, John
From Charles Storer
Dear sir, Boston. 26th. September. 1786.

Mr: Martin, who will deliver you this, is a Kinsman of ours & therefore I take the liberty of begging your notice of him: assuring you I shall think myself equally obliged by any attentions he may receive.—

Since writing the within there has been an insurrection in the State of New-Hampshire—1 President Sullivan & the Court were sitting at Exeter: an armed mob, abt: 500, surrounded the House & swore no one shd. come out untill they had voted an Emission of Paper Money— The President, however, found means to send orders to the Militia at Portsmo: & elsewhere to march to his relief—who no sooner, on their ar[riva]l were ordered to form & attack the Rebels, than they fled every m[. . . .] best— Twenty five of the Ring-leaders they have got in Jail [. . . .]

A General Moulton who is involved in debt, was at the head of the Rebels— The […] found him & told him he was that day on duty & asked for his sword— On his saying it was at home, one was given him, & also a Cockade & feather: after wh: The President made him take the Command of the Rear of the Militia—thus making him act against his own party— He is now despised by both sides—2

News fm. Congress you will have fm. better authority than mine— so I say nothing on that subject—

I have only to add to wish you joy & to make my Compts: on the occasion of the marriage in your family— May it exceed a fond Parent’s wishes—

I am, sir, with every sentiment of esteem & respect, / Yr: much obliged, huml: servt:

Chas. Storer.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency / John Adams Esquire / Minister Plenipoy: from the United-States of / America to the Court of London— / Grosvenor-Square. / London.”; internal address: “[…] Adams Esqr:”; endorsed by AA2: “Charles Storer 26 Sept 1786—”; notation: “per: favr: of / Thos: Martin Esqr.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.


That is, since writing his 16 Sept. letter, above, which presumably was enclosed with this letter. In the remainder of this paragraph Storer summarizes the long, detailed account of the events at Exeter, N.H., on 20 and 21 Sept. that appeared in the Boston newspapers, including the Boston Gazette of 25 September.


Brig. Gen. Jonathan Moulton (1726–1788) of Hampton, N.H., was a landowner and merchant with a long history of appearances in the local courts. He had served as president of the August Shaysite convention held in Rochester, N.H, where he supported 467 the state’s emission of paper money. Moreover, in a letter to Joseph French, leader of the protesters at Exeter, he urged French and his supporters to take decisive action to resolve their grievances (Frank B. Sanborn, “General John Sullivan and the Rebellion in New Hampshire,” New England Magazine, 23:326–332 [Nov. 1900]; John B. Clarke, Sketches of Successful New Hampshire Men, Manchester, N.H., 1882, p. 115). Despite Storer’s assertion, contemporary accounts of the disruption at Exeter do not mention Moulton.