Papers of John Adams, volume 9

From Edmund Jenings

From William Churchill Houston

507 From Samuel Adams, 10 July 1780 Adams, Samuel JA


From Samuel Adams, 10 July 1780 Adams, Samuel Adams, John
From Samuel Adams
My dear Sir Philadelphia July 10 1780

I wrote to you several Times when I was at Boston, and receivd your Favor by the Marquis de la Fayette. Another, to which you referrd me, has not yet come to hand.1 This Letter will be deliverd to you by Mr. Searl,2 a Member of Congress for the State of Pennsylvania. He will be better able to inform you of the State of things here, than I can, who3 after twelve Months Absence from this City, returned but a few days ago. The People of Massachusetts have at length agreed to the Form of a civil Constitution, in Nothing varying from a Copy which I sent to you by a Son of our Friend General Warren.4 This great Business was carried through with much good Humour among the People, and even in Berkshire, where some Persons led us to expect it would meet with many Obstructions. Never was a good Constitution more wanted than at this Juncture. Among other more lasting Advantages, I hope that in Consequence of it, the Part which that State must take in the War, will be conducted with greater Attention and better Effect. Who is to be the first Man, will be determind in September, when, if our Newspapers rightly inform us, the new Government is to take Place. The Burden will fall on the Shoulders of one of two Gentlemen whom you know.5 May Heaven lead the People to the wisest Choice. The first chosen Governor may probably have it in his Power to do more good or more Hurt than any of his Successors.

The french Fleet is not yet arrived. Perhaps their long Passage may turn out for the best. An earlier Arrival might have found us not altogether prepared to cooperate with them to the best Advantage. I now think we shall be ready to joyn them. One would think the Exertion which America might make with such Aid, would rid us of British Barbarians. I hope this will be a vigorous and an effective Campaign. I left Massachusetts exceedingly active in filling up their Battalions by Drafts, besides raising 4000 Militia for the Service.

Mr. Laurens arrived here from the Southward a few Days past. He will speedily embark for Holland to prosecute a Business which you are not unacquainted with.

Adieu my dear Sir, yr affectionate Friend, S A 508

RC (Adams Papers.)


Lafayette carried JA's letter of 28 February. In it JA indicated that he had entrusted a letter of 23 Feb. to Arthur Lee (vol. 8:374, 353). As of 10 July, however, Lee had not yet sailed for America.


James Searle, former member of Congress from Pennsylvania, carried this and several other letters from individuals and the Committee for Foreign Affairs. Among these were letters of introduction from James Lovell and Joseph Reed of 10 July and Samuel Huntington of the 12th (all Adams Papers). The Committee for Foreign Affairs wrote three letters, two dated 11 July and a third dated the 12th. The Committee's first letter of 11 July reported the arrival, on 10 July, of JA's second letter of 3 April and his first, second, and third three letters of 4 April to the president of Congress (all calendared, above; JCC , 17:595). Only a triplicate is in the Adams Papers, with postscripts dated 1 Aug. and 28 Oct.; it was probably sent with the Committee's letter of 28 Oct. (below). The first postscript reported the arrival of seven letters carried by Ralph Izard dated 20, 24 (2), 26, 27, 28, and 29 March (the first letter of 24 March is printed, the others calendared, above; JCC , 17:685). The second postscript noted that JA's letters through 10 June had arrived in September. The Committee's second letter of 11 July (Adams Papers) was a covering letter for JA's commission of 20 June to negotiate a Dutch loan (above). The letter of 12 July (Adams Papers) described the bills of exchange issued by Congress that JA might be called upon to honor. For the letters from James Lovell and the Committee for Foreign Affairs that are not printed, see Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates , 15:421, 423–424, 435–436; 16:282; for that of Joseph Reed, see Penna. Archives , 1st ser., 8:399. Searle presumably also carried William Churchill Houston's letter of 11 July (below).


JA sent this letter as an enclosure in his letter to Jean Luzac of 20 Sept. (Adams Papers). Luzac translated and printed the text from this point, with the greeting and dateline, in the Gazette de Leyde of 29 September.


This copy was sent with Winslow Warren, but was lost when his ship was captured on its passage to Europe. See Mercy Otis Warren's letter of 8 May, note 1 (above).


John Hancock and James Bowdoin. Both Samuel Adams and JA supported Bowdoin.