Papers of John Adams, volume 5

Enclosure: Johann Kalb to M. Moreau

Ward Chipman to Montfort Browne

From James Lovell, 30 December 1777 Lovell, James JA


From James Lovell, 30 December 1777 Lovell, James Adams, John
From James Lovell
Dear Sir 30th Decr. 1777

Mr. Geary otherways engaged has given me the pleasure of forwarding this Intelligence from your friend Jefferson respecting the ready concurrence of the Dominion with the Articles sent lately to the States in a hope of cementing them together in a firm League.

I am particularly rejoyced at this dispatch at this critical time when things appear almost desperate in this neighbourhood. As a secret I tell you that there is the greatest risque that the army will be disbanded in a short season, for the Commissary's and Quarter Master's departments are ruined. I hope Robt. Morris will take up the first himself immediately or as a Director; Buchannan1 is as incapable as a child and knows not how he can feed the army 3 Weeks from any parts, or how to feed them from day to day with what he has on hand. Mutiny is at present suppressed. The Clothier2 is little better and the Director General of Hospitals3 is at his wits end. Trumbull would be deified if he was on the spot, send him from Boston if there.

The Board of War with military drivers are Quarter masters owing to the Imbicility of the Government of this State which must be changed after the present glaring conviction of its Impotence. If at any day it musters courage to legislate it finds itself without executive.4 Yr. frozen fingered Servt.


RC (Adams Papers); written on a blank page of Jefferson's letter to JA of 17 Dec. (calendared above) and filmed under that date.

374 1.

William Buchanan had been raised from deputy commissary general of purchases to commissary general when Joseph Trumbull resigned ( JCC , 8:477, 607; S. H. Parsons to JA, 28 July, note 4, above).


Washington appointed James Mease clothier general in January ( Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 7:58, 69).


On Dr. William Shippen, see Benjamin Rush to JA, 21 Oct. (above).


Lovell reflected the widespread criticism of the Pennsylvania constitution, which provided only for an executive council, with its presiding officer lacking any real power. Control centered in the unicameral legislature.