Papers of John Adams, volume 4

To Benjamin Hichborn

To Samuel Cooper

From Hugh Hughes, 29 May 1776 Hughes, Hugh JA From Hugh Hughes, 29 May 1776 Hughes, Hugh Adams, John
From Hugh Hughes
Sir New York May 29th. 76

I have the Pleasure to acquaint you that our Citizens had a Meeting on Monday Evening last, when it was agreed, without a dissenting Voice, to instruct our Convention on that most important of all sublunary Affairs, in order that Application may be made to your Honble. House.1 What will our Traitors, with you, say to this virtuous Stand? One of them, I know, will endeavour to turn it to ridicule, as he does every Thing he cant confute.2 The other I suppose, will say his Constituents, the Tories, did not choose him for any such Purpose, which, is not far from the Truth; as they chose him solely for the Purpose of embarrassing the Congress and betraying it's most essential Interests.3 Mr. J4 is here and will be of great Service at this Time. I have had a very agreeable Conference with him I assure you. I hope we shall conquer Monarchy and Aristocracy here, and that my Countrymen, with you, will do the same there. The Prejudices of Mankind are really astonishing to a Freethinker.

I am in the Service, such as it is, but dont yet know whether it will keep Soul and Body together.

I am, with the greatest Regard Sir your very Huble. Servt. H Hughes

N.B. This will be communicated to your worthy Colleague and Relation I expect, for whom I have the same Regard as yourself Sir.


RC (Adams Papers).


The meeting held on 27 May apparently resulted in the appeal of the mechanics to the New York Provincial Congress on 29 May that delegates to the Continental Congress be instructed to work for independence. In rejecting this request on 4 June, the Provincial Congress noted that the committee of mechanics had no standing, that authority was vested in the Provincial Congress and committees. The “enlarged view” of the Continental Congress made it best suited to decide measures affecting the general welfare. Instruction of New York's delegates should await a request from the national body for action by New York (Force, Archives , 4th ser., 6:614–615; Roger Champagne, “New York Politics and Independence,” New-York Historical Society Quarterly, 46:297–298 [July 1962]).


Probably Philip Livingston. See JA to William Heath, 15 April (above).


Possibly James Duane, who was “close in sentiment to Tories” (Roger Champagne, “New York's Radicals and the Coming of Independence,” JAH, 51:28 [June 1964]).


John Jay.