Adams Family Correspondence, volume 4

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams, 27 February 1781 Smith, Isaac Sr. JA Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams, 27 February 1781 Smith, Isaac Sr. Adams, John
Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams
Boston Feby. 27th. 1781

I wrote you a few days since1 by a ship which goes in Company with this of the success under Genl. Morgan in the Caralinions Over the famous Tarleton. Since which we have the Agreeable Advize of an Expedition of a 64 ship and 2 frigates part of the french fleet att Rd. Island, haveing been to Virginia in order to ketch Genl. Phillips and Arnold, which business they have compleated haveing saild from Rd. Island the 9th and returned the 24th with the Romulous a 44 gun and 2 sloops of Warr, of the british with 500 seamen prisoners. They distroyed the most of the transport, and brought of there stores. The Enemy got ashore, but as the Virginians had been under Arms before itts most likely they will be Obliged to surrender As they are deprived of every thing. Itts said to be a plan concerted by Congress and Genl. Washington and has Answered the happy effect. We cant but with gratfully2 Acknowledgments, Acknowledge the particular kind hand of heaven in the late successes Over the Enemy in the southern goverments. We have not got all the particulars as itt came but last Evening.—We hope in a post or two to have Advize from Virginia. The dispute between Virginia and Maryland About the land Affair is settled and Maryland delegates have signed the Confederacy.3

Itt is thought best that Vermont should be a seperate state and will or is Allready.4—Mrs. Adams is well. Mrs. Smith has been confined to her Chamber a Month with a fever but through the goodness of god, is geting better.

I am, Sr. Your Most hum. Servt., Isaac Smith

PS A french frigate is just arrived from france with a large sum of Money and the Marrs from Nantes, with a prize, something Valuable.—Do let my friend M. Hadshon5 know I received his of the 8th Novr. Yours by said Conveyance is forwarded to Mrs. Adams.

Insted of 2 sloops of War, some Armed Transports with stores.6

The famous Capt. Paul Jones is Arrived att Phila.

RC (Adams Papers).


A very brief note dated at Boston, 24 Feb. 1781, in Adams Papers but omitted here.


Thus in MS.


This was substantially true but in part premature news. The long delay in completing the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, originally submitted to the states in 1777, was owing in good part to differences between states (such 85as Virginia) with large claims to western lands and those (such as Maryland) with none. Virginia at last ceded her claims to Congress on 2 Jan. of the present year; in February the Maryland delegates were instructed to ratify; and on 1 March they signed the Articles, the last of the thirteen state delegations to do so. Appropriate acts of celebration followed. See JCC , 19:138–140, 208–223; Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (Old South Leaflets, Nos. 228–229), Boston, 1960; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members , 6:1–4; Merrill Jensen, The Articles of Confederation, Madison, 1959, ch. 12.


Vermont had assumed the status of an independent republic in 1777–1778; despite efforts of some Vermonters and of some groups in Congress to bring it into the Union, it was not admitted as a state, the fourteenth, until 1791 (Burnett, Continental Congress , p. 540–546; DAH ). See also AA to JA, 23 April, below.


John Hodshon, head of a mercantile firm in Amsterdam well disposed toward America (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:444).


This may refer back to the end of the second sentence in the first paragraph of this letter.