Papers of John Adams, volume 3



Broadside on British Depredations, 18 November 1775 359

Even before the congress acted to name a committee to collect authenticated information on the damage inflicted by British troops and ships, Adams saw the propaganda value such statistics would have, for he wrote James Warren on 12 October, urging the collection of such data “to facilitate Reprizals.” After Adams, George xiiiWythe, and Silas Deane had been named to a committee on 18 October to gather information, Adams wrote Warren again that “This will be an usefull Work for the Information of all the colonies of what has passed in Some—for the Information of our Friends in England—and in all Europe, and all Posterity. Besides it may pave the Way to obtain Retribution and Compensation, but this had better not be talked of at present” (19 Oct., 1st letter, below). Adams kept up a constant pressure by writing to many of his friends on this subject. The broadside was Massachusetts' response to the action of the congress.

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society.