Papers of John Adams, volume 3

Elbridge Gerry to the Massachusetts Delegates

To Joseph Warren

To James Warren, 21 June 1775 JA Warren, James To James Warren, 21 June 1775 Adams, John Warren, James
To James Warren
Phyladelphia June 21. 1775 Dr Sir

Major Mifflin1 goes in the Character of Aid de Camp to General Washington. I wish You to be acquainted with him, because, he has great Spirit Activity, and Abilities, both in civil and military Life. He is a gentleman of Education, Family and Fortune.

C. and H. and P.2 have given us a great deal of Trouble, in the Election of Lee, and I expect will avail themselves of all the Whims and Prejudices, of our People.

We are like to have more trouble of the like Kind in the Choice of Brigadiers General. Old Pomeroy3 must be the first. P. to do him Justice, has renounced his Connections in this Instance. He declares he cant and wont vote for him. I had rather vote for Prebble4 in his Bed.

I expect, our People when they come to know the Pay of the General officers and others, will grumble. Adams, Paine and I fought against it totis Viribus. But in vain. It is amazingly high. But the southern Genius's think it vastly too low. Farewell.

John Adams

RC (NHi: Misc. MSS, Adams); docketed: “Mr J A Lettr June 1775.”


Thomas Mifflin (1744–1800) was recognized very early by JA and others for his ability and devotion to the patriot cause. His bravery and military knowledge brought a rapid rise in rank. Appointed as Washington's aide-de-camp on 23 June, he became a colonel on 22 Dec., a brigadier general on 16 May 1776, and a major general on 19 Feb. 1777. His conduct, however, as quartermaster general, a post he held from Aug. 1775 to March 1778, brought dissatisfaction and caused him to leave the army ( DAB ).


JA's Massachusetts colleagues, Cushing, Hancock, and Paine.


Seth Pomeroy (1706–1777), who had played an active role in military affairs for Massachusetts since the expedition against Louisbourg. Appointed third in command of Massachusetts forces under Jedediah Preble and Artemas Ward in 1774, he was most active in raising and drilling troops in western Massachusetts during 1775 and 1776. Although appointed first brigadier general in the Continental Army on 22 June, he apparently never served in that capacity ( DAB ; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours. , p. 35).


Jedediah Preble (1707–1784), appointed first in command of the Massachusetts forces in 1774 (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours. , p. 35; Appletons' Cyclo. Amer. Biog .).