Papers of John Adams, volume 4

To Samuel Holden Parsons

From Jonathan Mason Jr.

From James Warren, 11 August 1776 Warren, James JA From James Warren, 11 August 1776 Warren, James Adams, John
From James Warren
My Dear Sir Boston August 11. 1776

The singular situation and great suffering, of Mrs. Temple have Induced me to Advise her to write to you, and hope from An Application to your Justice and Benevolence for all the Aid and Compensation that can with propriety be given. I have Encouraged her to Expect at least An Answer to her Letter, which is more than the President with all his politeness gave to one of which the Inclosed is A Copy.1 Had I known your state of Health, or determination to return home I should not have been the Occasion of this trouble. I wish I could Entertain you with any Important Intelligence. We have nothing going forward here, but fixing out Privateers, and Condemnation and Sale of Prizes sent in by them, so many that I am quite lost in my Estimate of them, and West India Goods, are falling at A great rate. Yesterday Arrived A prize2 taken by A York Privateer with several hundred Bags of Cotton (A Capital Article) &c. &c. while all this is going forward and whole fleets have been here and might have been taken by your Ships if at Sea. I cant sufficiently Lament the Langour, and seeming Inattention to so Important A matter. A very fine Ship lies at Portsmouth waiting only for Guns, and I am told there are not yet Orders Issued for maning those at Newberry Port.3 This delay disgusts the officers and occasions them to repent Entering the service. I Informed you in my last that we were Calling in every 44625th. Man of the Train Band, and Alarm List to supply the places of your Battalions called away and already Marched. These Men are coming into the place of Rendesvous Dochester Heigths, but you have Appointed no General Officer to Command them, and unless General Ward can be prevailed on to Continue, I know not how they can be furnished with pay subsistence Barrack Utensils, or Ordinance Stores. Would it not be well to Appoint A Major General to Command in the Eastern department only. I am not Aware of any disadvantages in such An Appointment. I hope before this the Confederation, and matter of foreign Alliances are determined, As I suppose matters will go more glibly after the decleration of Independance, which by the way was read this Afternoon by Doctor Cooper, and Attended to by the Auditory with great Solemnity, and satisfaction.4

Matters of great Importance must after all remain to be settled, Among which I Conceive Coin and Commerce are not to be reckoned Among the smallest. These are indeed such Intricate subjects that I dont pretend to Comprehend them in their full Extent. Your Currency still retains its Credit, but how long that will last if you Continue large Emissions is difficult for me to Guess. Commerce is A Subject of Amazeing Extent. While such Matters are on the Carpet how can we spare you.

I suppose Mrs. Adams will Inform you by this Post5 that She and the Children are well tho' Charles has not yet had the Small Pox, which is the Case with many others After being Inoculated 2. 3. and even 6 or 7 Times. The Physicians cant Account for this. Several Persons that supposed they had it lightly last winter, and some before, now have it in the Natural way. Mrs. Warren and myself have been fortunate enough to have it very Cleverly6 and propose going home this week. She Joins me in the sincerest regards, for you and Mr. Adams, and wishes for your Health and Happiness. I am &c.

If the News you have from France be true the Ball must wind up soon.7 God Grant a Confirmation. I long to be A Farmer again.

RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Warren. Aut 11. 1776.”


Enclosure not found.


The Earl of Errol, bound from Jamaica to London, was sent into Boston “by 2 Letters of Marque from New-York” (New-England Chronicle, 15 Aug.). See Jonathan Mason Jr. to JA, 12 Aug., note 6 (below).


The Continental ship at Portsmouth was the Raleigh, and those at Newburyport, the Boston and the Hancock. The congress had authorized these names on 6 June ( Naval Docs. Amer. Rev. , 6: 143; JCC , 5:422–423). One of the Newburyport frigates was launched on 3 June (Boston Gazette, 10 June).


By order of the Council, the Declaration was read in all the churches on Sunday, 11 Aug. (New-England Chronicle, 15 Aug.). On 17 July the Council, in response to a committee report, ordered that the Declaration be printed and “a Coppy sent to the Ministers of 447every Parish of every Denomination . . . and that they severally be required to read the same to their respective Congregations, as soon as divine Service is Concluded in the Afternoon, of the first Lords Day, after they shall have received it.” After the reading, each minister was to deliver his copy to his town clerk for recording in the town book “there to remain as a perpetual Memorial” (Records of the States, Mass. E.1, Reel No. 9, Unit 3, p. 82).


See AA to JA ca. 12 Aug. , Adams Family Correspondence , 2:86–87.


Agreeably or nicely, obs. ( OED ).


Since Richard Cranch and his family were in Boston at the same time as the Warrens to undergo inoculation for smallpox, Warren probably saw a letter from JA to Cranch which reported the arrival of a ship bringing arms and ammunition from Marseilles and added “She brings no bad News from France” (William Cushing to JA, 29 July, above; JA to Richard Cranch, 2 Aug., Adams Family Correspondence , 2:74).