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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0061

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1775-07-30

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

For the Honour of the Massachusetts I have laboured in Conjunction with my Brethren to get you chosen Paymaster General, and Succeeded So well that the Choice was unanimous: But whether We did you a Kindness or a Disservice I know not. And whether you can attend it, or will incline to attend it I know not. You will consider of it however.
Pray, who do you intend to make Secretary of the Province? Has not our Friend deserved it? Is he not fit for it? Has any other Candidate So much Merit, or So good Qualifications? I hope his temporary Absence will not injure him.1
This Letter goes by my good Friend Mr. William Barrell2 a worthy Bostonian transmuted into a worthy Philadelphian; But whether you will grasp His Letter or the Hand that writes it first, Is uncertain, both about the same Time I hope.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); addressed: “To the Hon. James Warren Esqr. Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay Watertown favoured by Mr Barrell.” Only an unmeaningful fragment of the second page of this letter has been found, having the address on the verso.
{ 107 }
1. Undoubtedly Samuel Adams, who was elected permanent secretary on 10 Aug., replacing Perez Morton, who served while Adams was in Philadelphia. Adams took up his duties on 15 Aug. (M-Ar:Executive Council Records, 17:16, 23, 26).
2. William Barrell (d. 1776) began business in Philadelphia, about two years before his death, as a representative of the Boston firm of Amory and Taylor. He was a brother-in-law of John Andrews, whose letters to Barrell describing Boston under siege, taken from a collection of Barrell papers in the Massachusetts Historical Society, have been published in MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 8 (1864–1865):316–412. For a brief sketch of Barrell see same, p. 318–319.

Docno: ADMS-06-03-02-0062

Author: Tudor, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-07-31

From William Tudor

[salute] Dear Sir

I have this Minute your Favour of 23d. July. We have had, Saturday Night and last Night much skirmishing between the ministerial and continental Troops. The Regulars attempted entrenching on Charlestown Neck Saturday Night, which produc'd a Brush Sunday Morning. They were obliged to desist by the Fire of our ranging Parties. It is said they lost seven and we two Men. There has been a considerable Cannonade from the Entrenchments on Bunkers Hill this Morning. They have kill'd two of our People. Marblehead Men. Their Cannon were not answer'd from our Forts—because we are not yet in a perfect State of Defence.1
Genl. Gage has again permitted the Inhabitants of Boston to come out, on the same Lay2 as before 17th. June. From the best Accounts of those I have seen who came out on Saturday, the Enemy have but 5000 effective Men. The Men grumble for Pay and fresh Provission. They are distress'd, chagrin'd and confounded. They have been very sickly but are mending. The Regulars burnt the George Tavern3 on Saturday Night—and lost one Man who deserted. Last Week we had 5 Deserters come over—I expect many more.
It is now 5 oClock Afternoon and I have but just return'd from Court Martial, which sits every Day from 8 to 3 oClock. I was appointed Judge Advocate the 14th. Instant and have not had a Leisure hour since. The Duty is excessively fatiguing. I am alone in the office without a C[lerk or]4 any Assistance. I am ordered to go to Roxbury tomorrow and yet have Orders to attend a very important Trial here. My Duty is vastly more important and extensive than I could have imagined. One Court is no sooner dissolv'd than another is ordered to sit. The Congress I believe were not sufficiently aware of the Necessity of the Appointment of Judge Advocate and much less of his Duty, or surely they would not have Allow'd only Captain's Pay to the Man who in this Department must act as Advocate, Register, and Clerk. I { 108 } must beg Sir you will make a proper Representation of this Place to the Congress, and let there be a Stipend fix'd a little more adequate to the Office.
I am now writing this Letter on the Secretary's Table at Head Quarters—and have just return'd from viewing 35 Prisoners in the Yard taken this Morning at the Light House by a Party of our Forces. Last fast Day, a Detachment from the Army burnt the Light House and Since which Our Enemies have thought it necessary to rebuild it, or at least set up some temporary Substitute. They sent down a Number of Carpenters and a Party of Marines as a Guard, consisting of 1 Lieutenant 2 Sargents 2 Corporals and 28 Privates. Our Men made a Descent in a Number of Whale Boats from Nantasket, on the Light House Rocks, this Morning—and immediately attack'd the Enemy. They gave our People one Fire, by which we lost one Man, and then surrendered. Their Lieutenant was shot through the Head and they had three other Men kill'd. Our Men made 23 of the Marines Prisoners, 11 Artificers and 1 Tory. The infamous Abijah White5 was shot through the Back, and it is said is mortally wounded. Your very humble Servt.
[signed] Wm. Tudor
Your kind Wishes express'd in the Letter I just received demand my most grateful Acknowlegements.
1. For other accounts of this action, as well as the raid on the lighthouse described by Tudor below, see Gage, Corr., 1:413; Boston Gazette, 7 Aug.; Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 3:393–394; and Adams Family Correspondence, 1:270–271.
2. Basis or rate (OED). For the conditions, see James Warren to JA, 7 May, note 8 (above).
3. On Boston Neck.
4. Supplied by conjecture but in line with Tudor's expressed complaint (to JA, 19 July, above). Sealing wax has obliterated this portion.
5. Probably Abijah White Sr., who died in Boston on 29 Oct. (Lysander Salmon Richards, History of Marshfield, Plymouth, Mass., 1905, 2:44; Sabine, Loyalists, 2:419).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2016.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/