Adams Family Correspondence, volume 2

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 11 August 1777 JA AA


John Adams to Abigail Adams, 11 August 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Philadelphia Aug. 11. 17771

I have paid Turner, his Wages up to this day, and settled all Accounts with him. Besides which I have given him £3:2s:od. L.M. towards his Expences home.2 When he arrives he is to produce his Account to you, of the Expences of his Journey. See that he produces Receipts from the Tavern Keepers. Dont pay a Farthing, but what he produces a Receipt for.

I am glad he is going, for between you and me he is a very stupid, and a very intemperate Fellow, very fit for a Companion of the Man who recommended him. Yet He is honest. I never saw any Thing knavish in him. He has had a fine Opportunity weaving Stockings to the Tune of 2 dollars a Day—besides, receiving Wages and Board from me. If he has drank it all, it is his own fault.3

At the End of the Year, when you send Horses for me again, send some other Man. I will not have him. A low lived Fellow, playing Cards with Negroes, and behaving like a Rival with them for Wenches.

I intend to write you, to perswade your Father or my Brother to purchase me, too4 other Horses. These I will sell.

I am &c.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree Mass: Bay favd. by Mr. John Turner.”


JA wrote three letters to AA this day; since there is nothing to indicate the order in which he wrote them, they are printed in merely plausible order.

305 2.

See entries in JA's Accounts with Massachusetts, Jan.–Sept. 1777 ( Diary and Autobiography , 2:255).


It is not known who recommended Turner to JA. But evidently Turner persisted in one of his bad habits, for in 1796 JA compared his drunken farm hand Billings with “Turner the Stocking Weaver” (same, 3:230).


Thus in MS.

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 11 August 1777 JA AA


John Adams to Abigail Adams, 11 August 1777 Adams, John Adams, Abigail
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Aug. 11. 1777

Your kind Favour of July 30. and 31. was handed me, just now from the Post office.

I have regularly received a Letter from you every Week excepting one, for a long Time past, and as regularly send a Line to you inclosing Papers.—My Letters are scarcely worth sending. Indeed I dont choose to indulge much Speculation, lest a Letter should miscarry, and free Sentiments upon public Affairs intercepted, from me, might do much hurt.

Where the Scourge of God, and the Plague of Mankind is gone, no one can guess. An Express from Sinnepuxent, a Place between the Capes of Delaware and the Capes of Cheasapeak, informs that a fleet of 100 sail was seen off that Place last Thursday.1 But whether this is Fishermens News like that from Cape Ann, I know not.

The Time spends and the Campaign wears away and Howe makes no great Figure yet.—How many Men and Horses will he cripple by this strange Coasting Voyage of 5 Weeks.

We have given N. Englandmen what they will think a compleat Tryumph in the Removal of Generals from the Northward and sending Gates there. I hope every Part of New England will now exert itself, to its Utmost Efforts. Never was a more glorious Opportunity than Burgoine has given Us of destroying him, by marching down so far towards Albany. Let New England turn out and cutt off his Retreat.

Pray continue to write me every Week. You have made me merry with the female Frolic, with the Miser. But I hope the Females will leave off their Attachment to Coffee. I assure you, the best Families in this Place have left off in a great Measure the Use of West India Goods. We must bring ourselves to live upon the Produce of our own Country. What would I give for some of your Cyder?

Milk has become the Breakfast of many of the wealthiest and genteelest Families here.

Fenno2 put me into a Kind of Frenzy to go home, by the Description he gave me last night of the Fertility of the Season, the Plenty of 306Fish, &c. &c. &c. in Boston and about it.—I am condemned to this Place a miserable Exile from every Thing that is agreable to me. God will my Banishment shall not last long.

RC (Adams Papers).


That is, on the 7th. Sinepuxent, an Indian name spelled in many ways, was formerly applied to a bay and inlet on the Atlantic coast of Maryland in the present Ocean City area.


Perhaps John Fenno (1751–1798), the Boston writing master who in 1789 founded the Gazette of the United States in New York City ( DAB ); but this is a very tentative identification.