Papers of John Adams, volume 5

From Patrick Henry

From William Vernon, 9 March 1778 Vernon, William Sr. JA From William Vernon, 9 March 1778 Vernon, William Sr. Adams, John
From William Vernon
Dear sir Boston 9th. March 1778

I hope in God this will find you safe arrived at your desired Port, and that you are happy in your appointment, at least as much so, as any Gentleman, who hath left connections as dear to him, as Life can possibly be. Nothing hath occured since you left us, in the Public way, but what you will find in the Papers, which are all transmitted to you by this conveyance, only that the Ship Warren left Providence the 16th. ultimo and got out safe thro' the Fire of the Enemys Ships. The Providence and Columbus are prepareing to leave that Place of confinement, doubt not of their success.1

Inclosed is a Letter for my Son Billy which I beg the delivery of, I hope sir his deportment has been such, as not to forfeit your favors, and that with your kind assistance he is placed in such a situation, as he may by close application and assiduity acquire what I sent him abroad to attain viz. a competant knowledge of business in the Mercantile way, the Language and Customs of France &c. you are sensible sir he is arrived at that critical time of Life when Youth are most apt to run into extravagancy and dissipation, therefor its necessary, their minds shou'd be impressed with sentiments of honor and Virtue; I am perswaded you will at all Times give him your advice, and that he will strictly adhere to the injunctions I have laid him under, of invariably following your councils.2

I wish you health and all possible felicity and am most sincerely, Dear sir your Obedient Humble servt

Tripl (Adams Papers). No RC or Dupl of this letter has been found. The Tripl was included in a letter from Vernon written on 26 May (below, see descriptive note). Appearing on p. 1 of that letter, it was followed by a Dupl of a letter dated 20 May (below) and by the letter of the 26th.


The information on naval matters in this and later letters, particularly that of 20 May (below) containing an account of the efforts of the Warren, Columbus, and Providence to escape the British blockade, parallels that contained in letters sent and received by Vernon as a member of the Navy Board for the Eastern Department (“Vernon Naval Papers”, p. 197–277).


For a report on the activities of William Vernon Jr., see JA's reply of 27 July (below).