Papers of John Adams, volume 3

To James Warren

From John Winthrop

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

This Letter I presume will be delivered into your own Hand by the General.

He proposes to set out, tomorrow, for your Camp. God Speed him. Lee is, Second Major General, Schuyler, who is to command at N. York is the third and Putnam the fourth. How many Brigadiers general we shall have, whether five, Seven or Eight, is not determined, nor who they shall be. One from N. Hampshire, one from R. Island, two from Connecticutt, one from N. York, and three from Massachusetts, perhaps.1

I am almost impatient to be at Cambridge. We shall maintain a good Army for you. I expect to hear of Grumbletonians, some from parcimonious and others from Superstitious Prejudices. But We do the best we can, and leave the Event.

How do you like your Government? Does it make or remove Difficulties? I wish We were nearer to you.

The Tories lie very low both here and at New York. The latter will very soon be as deep as any Colony.

We have Major Skeene a Prisoner, enlarged a little on his Parol—a very great Tool.2 I hope Govr Tryon, will be taken care of.3 But We find a great many Bundles of weak Nerves. We are obliged to be as delicate and soft and modest and humble as possible. Pray Stir up every Man, who has a Quill to write me. We want to know the Number of your Army—A List of your officers—a State of your Government—the Distresses of Boston—the Condition of the Enemy &c. I am, Dr sir your Friend,

John Adams

We have all recommended Billy Tudor for a secretary to the General. Will he make a good one?

This moment informed of Powder arrived here, 500 Blls they say. We must send it along to you.

RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr J Adams Lettr to Dr. Warren”; docketed in another hand: “read by Genl. James Warren after the Death of Genl. Joseph Warren.” 1.

On 22 June the congress chose in order of rank eight brigadier generals: Seth Pomeroy of Massachusetts, Richard Montgomery of New York, David Wooster of Connecticut, William Heath of Massachusetts, Joseph Spencer of Connecticut, John Thomas of Massachusetts, John Sullivan of New Hampshire, and Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island ( JCC , 2:103).


Philip Skene (1725–1810) was formerly a major in the British army, colonel in the New York militia, proprietor of Skenesborough on the shores 45of Lake Champlain, and, in 1775, the newly appointed lieutenant governor of Ticonderoga and Crown Point and inspector of lands for Quebec with authorization to raise a regiment. By the time he arrived in America however, Ticonderoga had been taken. Skene's mission represented to the northern colonies a threatening move by the ministry, resulting in his arrest when he landed in Philadelphia on 7 June. JA was more directly involved in this affair than he indicates in this letter. See JA's Service in the Congress, 10 May – 1 Aug. (above). On 27 June, probably because Skene was dangerously close to the seat of government, the congress ordered him sent to Connecticut to be put under the supervision of Gov. Trumbull, where after some time in prison, he was exchanged for James Lovell on 7 Oct. 1776 (Doris Begor Martin, Philip Skene of Skenesborough, Granville, N.Y., 1959, p. 38–66; JCC , 2:108).


William Tryon (1729–1788), the former governor of North Carolina and, in 1775, governor of New York ( DAB ).