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The Writings of Samuel Adams, vol. III.
by Samuel Adams
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Your Honor will please to be informd that Congress have enterd into a Contract with the Owners of a Foundery in the State of Maryland for 1000 Tons of Cannon from 32 down to 4 pounders to be deliverd in such proportion as Congress shall require at L36 10s p Ton accounting Dollars at 7/6.

The Prejudice which will be done to this Contract if so high a Price should now be given for the Cannon at Salisbury, must be obvious. It will be an Example for all others to demand the like Prices; and moreover it may afford a Pretext for those who wish for Occasions to spread Jealousy and Discord among the united States, to say, that the State of Connecticutt have in this Instance taken Advantage of the Necessity of the Continent. As there is no Reason to entertain so unworthy a Sentiment of that State we earnestly hope that no Circumstance may take place which might gratify the Inclinations of our insidious Enemies to do an Injury to our common Cause. We are with the greatest Respect your honors most obedient & very hbl Servts2

1Governor of Connecticut. 2Signed by Adams, R. H. Lee, Wm. Whipple, and Thomas Hayward.



TO JOHN PITTS.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BALTIMORE Feb 15 1777

MY DEAR SIR

I am favord with yours of the 21 of December for which I am much obligd to you. I am much concernd to hear that the Tories in Boston & Massachusetts Bay have lately grown insolent & that no Measures are taken to suppress their Insolence. They are the most virulent, & I am of Opinion, the most dangerous Enemies of America. They do not indeed openly appear in Arms, but they do more Mischief secretly. I am very apprehensive that they greatly operate to the preventing Inlistments and doing other essential Injury to our Cause. If they are not properly dealt with, I am perswaded, the Publick will much regret the Omission very soon. I do not wish for needless Severities; but effectual Measures, and severe ones if others are insufficient, to prevent their pernicious Councils & Machinations, I think ought to be taken, and that without any Delay. It will be Humanity shown to Millions, who are in more Danger of being reducd to thraldom & Misery by those Wretches than by British & Hessian Barbarians. I cannot conceive why a law is not made declaratory of Treason & other Crimes & properly to punish those who are guilty of them. If to conspire the Death of a King is Treason and worthy of Death, surely a Conspiracy to ruin a State deserves no less a Punishment. I have Reason to think you have a Number of such Conspirators among you; and believe me, you will soon repent of it, if you do not speedily take Notice of them. But let me ask you my Friend, Whether some of the late Addressers, Protesters and Associators, are not seen in the Circles, in the Houses and at the Tables of Whigs? Is there not Reason to expect that those who exiled themselves thro Fear of the just Vengeance of their Countrymen will be invited by the kind Treatment of those who have equal Reason to dread that Vengeance, to return into the Bosom of their much injurd Country. But I need add no more. Believe me to be cordially,

Your Friend,



TO JAMES WARREN.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BALTIMORE Feb 16 1777

MY DEAR SIR

A few days ago a small Expedition was made under the Authority of this State, aided by a Detachment of Continental Regulars to Suppress the Tories in the Counties of Somerset & Worcester on the Eastern Shore of Chessapeak, where they are numerous & have arisen to a great Pitch of Insolence. We this day heard rumors that one of their Principals, a Doctor Cheyney, is taken & we hope to hear of the Business being effectually done very soon. In my opinion, much more is to be apprehended from the secret Machination of these rascally People, than from the open Violence of British & Hessian Soldiers, whose Success has been in a great Measure owing to the Aid they have receivd from them. You know that the Tories in America have always acted upon System. Their Head Quarters used to be in Boston—more lately in Philadelphia. They have continually embarrassd the publick Councils there, and afforded Intelligence Advice & Assistance to General Howe. Their Influence is extended thro-out the united States. Boston has its full share of them and yet I do not hear that Measures have been taken to suppress them. On the Contrary I am informd that the Citizens are grown so polite as to treat them with Tokens of Civility and respect. Can a Man take fire into his Bosom and not be burnd? Your Massachusetts Tories communicate with the Enemy in Britain as well as New York. They give and receive Intelligences from whence they early form a Judgment of their Measures. I am told they discoverd an Air of insolent Tryumph in their Countenances, and saucily enjoyd the Success of Howes Forces in Jersey before it happend. Indeed, my Friend, if Measures are not soon taken, and the most vigorous ones, to root out these pernicious Weeds, it will be in vain for America to persevere in this glorious Struggle for the publick Liberty.

General Howe has declared his Intentions that General Lee shall be tried by the Laws of HIS Country. So he is considerd as a Deserter from the British Army. You know the Resolution of Congress concerning this Matter. It is my Opinion that Lt Colo Campbell ought immediately to be secured. He is to be detaind as one upon whom Retalliation is to be made. Would you believe it, that after the shocking Inhumanity shown to our Countrymen in the Jerseys, plundering Houses, cruelly beating old Men, ravishing Maids, murdering Captives in cold Blood & sistematically starving Multitudes of Prisoners under his own Eyes in New York this humane General totally disavows even his winking at the Tragedy and allows that a few Instances may have happend which are rather to be lamented.

Congress is now busy in considering the report of the joynt Comtee of the Eastern States. A curious Debate arose on this Subject, which I have not time now to mention. I will explain it to you in my next.

Adieu my Friend,



TO MRS. ADAMS.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE March 19 1777

MY DEAR BETSY

I wrote to you by the last Post, and am resolvd to write by every Post as well as other opportunities. If I have Nothing more to say to you, I flatter my self you will be pleasd when I have it in my Power to tell you, as I now do, that I am in good Health and Spirits. I must remind you that the last Letter I receivd from you is dated the 26th of January. I am in daily Expectation of receiving another. You do not conceive with how much Satisfaction I read your Letters. I wish therefore that you would not omit writing to me by the Post if other safe Opportunities do not present.

Yesterday we receivd a very agreeable Letter from Doctor Franklin dated at Nantes (in France) the 8th of December. By this Letter, things appear in a very favorable Light to America in that Kingdom. A general War was thought to be unavoidable. The Differences between Spain & Portugal were not settled, although the British Monarch (as he tells his Parliament) had been using his Endeavors for that Purpose. The Passengers tell us it is the Determination of the Court of France to prevent the Russian Troops from coming to America, and that General Howe can expect no Reinforcement of foreign Mercenaries this year. It is however the Wisdom of America to prepare for the most formidable Attacks. I am sorry to tell you that the Vessel which brought us this Intelligence was taken near the Capes of Delaware, having Goods on board belonging to the Continent, to what Value is not yet ascertaind. We must expect Misfortunes and bear them. I make no Doubt but this Contest will end in the Establishment of American Freedom & Independence.

I lately received two Letters from my Son. He writes me that he is in good Health. The Affairs of the Department he is in, will soon be settled on a new Plan, when his Friends here say he shall be provided for. I have told him he must expect to derive no Advantage in point of Promotion from his Connection with me, for it is well known I have ever been averse to recommending Sons or Cousins. Yet I am far from being indifferent towards him. I feel the affection of a Father. It gives me inexpressible Pleasure to hear him so well spoken of. I hope I am not, indeed I have no Reason to think that I am flatterd and deceivd.

In a former Letter you informd that our valueable Brother Mr Checkley was dangerously ill and his Life despared of. I have heard Nothing of him since, although I have enquired of Persons who came from Providence. My worthy Friend Coll Henshaw you tell me, still lives, beyond the Expectation of his Physician and Friends. I did not promise my self the Pleasure of ever seeing him again in this World when I left Boston. But Mr Checkley was by many years younger, and in high Health when I visited him at Providence.

I have been told that the Law lately made in our State has been attended with ill Consequences, and that the Inhabitants of Boston were in Danger of being starvd for Want of the necessary Articles of living from the Country; but a Letter I have just receivd from a Friend upon whom I greatly rely, assures me that it is likely to answer the good Purposes intended. Pray, my Dear, let me know whether you live according to your own Wishes. I am very sollicitous concerning you.—Tell my Daughter and Sister Polly that I daily think of them. Remember me to each of my Family and other Friends. I am

Your affectionate

After perusing the inclosd, you will seal and send it to Miss Scollay.



TO JOHN SCOLLAY.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE March 20th 1777

MY DEAR SIR/

I am to acknowledge your Favor of the 22d of Feb. which I receivd a few days ago. The Act for regulating Prices, you tell me has made a great Convulsion especially in Boston. I am exceedingly sorry to hear that Dissentions should arise in a Community, remarkeable for its publick Spirit, and which has heretofore by the united Exertions of Individuals repeatedly done essential Services in Support of the Liberties of America. Is it indeed true, my Friend, that "Self Denial is a Virtue rarely to be seen among you"? How great a Change in a few years! The Self Denial of the Citizens of Boston, their Patience and long Suffering under the cruel Oppression of the Port bill was astonishing both to their Friends and their Enemies. Their Firmness and Resolution in that severe Conflict, and the Chearfulness with which they endurd the Loss of all things, rather than the publick Liberty should suffer by their Submission, will be handed down to their Honour in the impartial History. God forbid that they should so soon forget their own generous Feelings for the Publick and for each other, as to set private Interest in Competition with that of the great Community. The Country and the Town, you tell me, mutually complain of each other. I well remember it was the Artifice of our common Enemies to foment such Divisions but by the social Interviews of Committees of Correspondence and other Means the Affections of the Town & Country were conciliated. Indeed there is no Time for angry Disputes. While the publick Liberty is in Danger, and every thing that is sacred is threatned, the People should, if ever, be in perfect good humour. At such a Time Citizens should not be over sollicitous concerning their seperate Interests. There should rather be an Emulation to excell each other in their Exertions for the Safety of our Country. I confess I am not sufficiently informd to make up a Judgment for myself of the Utility of the Act in every Particular. Perhaps it would have been better if those necessary Articles of Life for the Supply of which you depend upon the Southern Colonies had been put upon a Footing with other imported Articles. As the Price of Flour for Instance is not limitted in these States, I cannot see how it can be fixed at a certain Rate in New England without Danger of injuring the Importer, or altogether preventing the necessary Supply of Bread. The Committees of the middle States I am told are now met, and if they should agree to regulate the Prices of their produce it may put it in the power of our Gen Assembly to fix them at such Rates as to enable the Merchants to supply the Town without Loss to themselves.

I observe what you have written concerning the Supply of the Army with your Mannufacture. Such Matters are out of my Line, but you may assure your self I shall endeavor to promote your Interest as far as it may be in my Power, for I am,

Your unfeigned Friend,



TO MRS. ADAMS.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADA April 1st 1777

MY DEAR BETSY

I wrote to you the Week before last by the Post and since by a Mr Vose of Boston. I wish to hear of your having receivd both those Letters, especially the last for a Reason which must be obvious to you if you have seen its Contents.

We have receivd the important Intelligence from New Hampshire of the Arrival of a Vessel from France with near twelve thousand Stands of Arms and a great Quantity of Powder &c. I congratulate my Country on the occasion. By this Vessel I have a Letter from my much esteemed Friend A. L. I will recite to you some Passages in his Letter because I recollect with how much Pleasure you used to read those which I formerly receivd from him, and because I think the Spirit with which he writes and the intelligence containd in his Letter, will afford Satisfaction to you and the Circle of our Friends. "It is certain, says he, that the Peace of Europe hangs upon a Cobweb. It is certain that, Portugal & Russia excepted, all Europe wishes us Success. The Ports of France, Spain and the Mediterranean are open to us on the Terms of Neutrality. We have already receivd a Benevolence in this Country, which Will enable us to Expedite and augment the Stores necessary for your Defence." The Benevolence he refers to, is a voluntary Loan of a Sum of Money in France, without Interest, and to be paid as soon as it can conveniently be done after a Peace shall be establishd. You may now remember what I wrote you from Baltimore in December last. I think we shall soon reap the happy Fruits of the Determinations of Congress at that time. My Friend tells me "It is with Pleasure he revives a Correspondence which the particular Situation of Affairs has so long interrupted." His Letter is dated in Paris the 21st of January. I had before written to him on the 2d of the same Month, being then fully satisfied that mine, if no ill Accident happend, would find him in that Place. I then observd to him that our Country had called him to act in a more enlarged Sphere. He soon after informs me that he had "obeyed the Call of Congress into THE IMMEDIATE SERVICE of our Country." What this Service is our Friends will conjecture. You may assure them that Matters merely commercial are not in the Line of HIS Genius. In my Letter, I remark to him that our Country is now enduring the sharp Conflict, confiding that righteous Heaven will never look with an indifferent Eye upon a Cause so manifestly just, and so interresting to Mankind. In his Letter, he tells me with the Spirit of Prediction "When with Roman Fortitude & Magnanimity we refuse to treat with Hannibal at our Gates, he looks forward to Roman Greatness." I am perswaded that these united States will never treat with any Power which will not acknowledge their Independence. The Inhabitants of Boston, who have heretofore acted so disinterrested and patriotick a Part will Surely persevere in supporting this all important Cause. America has already the Applause of the virtuous and the brave. If we are not wanting to ourselves, we may be assured of the Smiles of Heaven. However ready some of the Powers of Europe may be to aid us in this glorious Struggle, it will certainly in the End be best for us, if we can save ourselves by our own Exertions. Our Sufferings will indeed be greater if we are left to ourselves, but the more dearly we purchase our Liberties, the more we shall prize them and the longer we shall preserve them.

Yesterday an unhappy Man was executed here for attempting to entice some of the Pilots to enter into the Service of Lord Howe. He was first examined by the Board of War, and afterwards tried by a Court Martial and condemned. The Pilots pretended to him that they were in earnest till the Bargain was made and he had given them the Bribe. They then seizd him and had him committed to Goal. Before his Execution the whole Proceedings of the Court were laid before Congress and the judgment was approvd of. The Evidence against him was full and clear, but not more so than his own Confession. He said that he had been at New York about a Month before he was detected, and that Mr Galloway, a Man of Fortune & a noted Tory in this State, who last Winter went over to the Enemy, was his Adviser there. No Doubt there were others here who secretly abetted & supported him. Some ordinary Persons, I am told have disappeard since this Mans Detection.

It has been reported here these few days past that Lord Howe is gone to England, and it is thought by some to be probable upon this Circumstance that a new Proclamation has made its Appearance signd William Howe only.

I am informd that General Carleton and his Brother have been very ill used and are greatly disgusted with the British Court. That Lord George Sackvill and all the Scotch hate them, and they him. You remember the old Proverb.

I am afraid, my dear, I have tired your Patience with a Letter altogether upon political Matters. I have only time to tell you that I remain in good Health & Spirits—Believe me

Your affectionate

April 2d

Your Kind Letter of the 19th of March is just come to my hand-



TO NATHANIEL GREENE.1

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE May 12 1777

MY DEAR SIR

Amidst your Hurry of Business and my own, I cannot help withdrawing myself for a Moment to throw on paper a single Sentiment for your Consideration. Europe and America seem to be applauding our Imitation of the Fabian Method of carrying on this War without considering as I conceive the widely different Circumstances of the Carthaginian & the British Generals. It will recur to your Memory that the Faction of Hanno in Carthage prevented Hannibals receiving the Supplys from them which he had a Right to expect and his Necessities requird. This left him to the Resources of his own Mind, and obligd him to depend upon such Supplys as he could procure from the Italians. Under such a Circumstance, it was the Wisdom of Fabius to put himself in the State of Defence but by no means of Inactivity—by keeping a watchful Eye upon Hannibal and cutting off his foraging & other Parties by frequent Skirmishes he had the strongest Reason to promise himself the Ruin of his Army without any Necessity of risqueing his own by a general Engagement. But General Howe (who by the way I am not about to compare to Hannibal as a Soldier) has at all times the best Assurances of Supplies from Britain. There is no Faction there to disappoint him and the British Navy is powerful enough to protect Transports & provision Vessels coming to him. Hannibal despaird of Reinforcements from Carthage, but Howe has the fullest Assurances of early reinforcements from Britain & cannot fail of receiving them, unless a general War has taken place which I think is at least problematical. They are expected every Day. Would Fabius, if he were his Enemy, pursue the Method he took with the Carthaginian General? Would he not rather attend to the present Circumstances, and by destroying the Army in Brunswick prevent as much as possible the Enemy increasing in Strength even if reinforcements should arrive or puting a total End to the Campaign if they should not. I am sensible our own Circumstances have been such, thro' the Winter past, as to make it impracticable to attempt any thing, but I hope we are or shall be very soon in a Condition to take a decisive part, and I do not entertain any Doubt but we shall see such an enterprizing Spirit as will confound our Enemies and give Assurances to the Friends of Liberty & Mankind that we still retain a just Sense of our own Dignity and the Dignity of our Cause and are resolvd by God's Assistance to support it at all Hazzards.

I am, &c

___________ 1Adressed to General Greene at Morristown, New Jersey.



TO MRS. ADAMS.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE June 17, 1777

MY DEAR BETSY

I am disappointed in not receiving a Letter from you by yesterdays Post. The Fears you expressd in your last of the Arrival of Burgoin gave me Uneasiness. We receivd Advice from our Friends in France which gave us some Reason to apprehend the Intention of the Enemy was to attack Boston, and we thought it necessary to give timely Notice of it. I hope the People there will always be so much on their Guard as to prepare for the worst, but I think you will not be in Danger this Summer. This City has been given out as their Object. Last Saturday General Howe with the main Body of his Army marchd from Brunswick to Somerset Court House about 8 Miles on the Road to Cariel's Ferry with an Intention as it was thought to cross the Delaware there, but Genl Sullivan with about three thousand Regulars and Militia got Possession of the post there. The Jersey Militia are coming out with great Spirit and I think the progress of the Enemy in that way is effectually stopped—Coll Whipple will set off tomorrow for Boston & Portsmouth. If I can possibly get time I will write by him. I am now in great Haste. I hope you duly receivd my last enclosing one to Henry Gardner Esq.,1 and that the Matter therein mentioned is settled to your Advantage. Give my Love to my Daughter Sister Polly &c. Write to me by every Post. Adieu my dear & believe me to be most affectionately,

Your,

1Treasurer of Massachusetts.



TO JAMES WARREN.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADA June 18 1777

MY DEAR SIR/

This Letter will be deliverd to you by my worthy Friend Colo Whipple a Delegate of the State of New Hampshire. He is a Gentleman of Candor, and wishes he could have the opportunity of conversing freely with some one of Influence in the Massachusetts Bay upon Matters concerning that State particularly. To whom could I recommend him on this Occasion with more Propriety than to your self. He will be able to give you such Information of Persons and Things as one would not chuse to throw on Paper in this precarious Time when an Accident might turn the Intelligence into a wrong Channel.

I observe by the Boston Papers last brought to us, that you are again placed in the Chair of the House of Representatives, with which I am well pleasd. Mr Paine Speaker pro Temp. Mr Hancock first Member of the Boston Seat and Mr T. Cushing a Councellor AT LARGE—I have the Honor of knowing but few of the Members of the House. I hope my Countrymen have been wise in their Elections and I pray God to bless their Endeavors for the establishment of publick Liberty Virtue & Happiness.

You will hear before this will reach you of the Motions of the Enemy. It has been the general Opinion for many Months past that this City is the Object. Should they gain this Point what will it avail them unless they beat our Army. This I am fully perswaded they will not do. My Wish is that our Army may beat them, because it would put a glorious End to the present Campaign & very probably the War. I confess I have always been so very wrong headed as not to be over well pleasd with what is called the Fabian War in America. I conceive a great Difference between the Situation of the Carthaginian & the British Generals. But I have no Judgment in military Affairs, and therefore will leave the Subject to be discussd, as it certainly will be, by those who are Masters of it. I can not conclude this Epistle without thanking you for your Care in carrying a Matter in which I was interrested through the General Assemby of which I have been informd by our Friend Mr_.

I wish to hear from you. Adieu my Friend,



TO JAMES WARREN.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADA June 23 1777

DEAR SIR

I wrote to you a few days ago by Colo Whipple with whom I hope you will have free Conversation. As he must have been not far from the Spot, he can give you a more particular Accot than has yet been handed to us, of the late Scituation & Movements of the two Armies. The main Body of our Army was encampd at Middle Brook, and a considerable Force consisting of Continental Troops and Militia lay at a place called Sourland Hills within 6 Miles of the Enemy who were posted at Somersett Court House 9 miles on this Side of Brunswick. The Right of the Enemy was at Brunswick & their Left at Somersett. They were well fortified on the Right and had the Raritan River in front and Millstone on the left. In this Situation General W. tho't an Attack upon them would be attended with bad Consequences. His Design was to collect all the forces that cd possibly be drawn from other Quarters so as to reduce the Security of his Army to the greatest Certainty & to be in a Condition to embrace any fair oppty that mt offer to make an Attack on advantageous terms. In the mean time by light bodies of Militia seconded & encouragd by a few Continental Troops to harrass & diminish their Numbers by continual Skirmishes. But the Enemy made a sudden Retreat to Brunswick and from thence with great Precipitation towds Amboy. All the Continental Troops at Peeks Kill except the number necessary for the Security of the Post were orderd to hasten on to the Army in Jersey & a part of them had joynd. I am not disposd to ascribe great military Skill to Genl Howe, but if he designd to draw the whole of our Forces from the East to the West Side of Hudsons River, in order to gain advantage by suddenly crossing the River with his own Army I cannot but hope they will be cut off & his Design frustrated. Great Credit is due to the Jersey Militia who have turnd out with spirit & alacrity. I congratulate you on the Success of our State Vessels of War.

Will you be so kind as to call on Mrs A & let her know that you have recd this Letter, for she charges me with not writing to my Friends so often as she thinks I ought.

The Watchman tells me 'tis past 12 o'Clock.

Adieu my dear friend



TO RICHARD HENRY LEE.

[MS., Lee Papers, American Philosophical Society; portions are printed in W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. ii., pp. 470, 471, 475.]

PHILADA June 26 1777

MY DEAR SIR

I intended to have written to you by the last Post, but being under a Necessity of dispatching some Letters to Boston by the Eastern Post which went off the same day I was prevented. When you left this City you may remember the Enemy was at Brunswick and our Army at a place called Middlebrook about 9 Miles North of Brunswick Since which General Howe who had joyned his Army marchd suddenly from thence with Design as it was generally believd to make a rapid Push for Philadelphia, but he disappointed the Hopes of some and the fears of others by halting at Somerset Court House about 9 Miles on the Road leading to Caryels Ferry. General Sullivan who you know had been at Princeton made a quick March to cover our Boats at the Ferry and by retarding Howe's March to give an opportunity to our Army to come up & attack them. But the Enemy continuing at Somerset Sullivan advancd with a considerable Force—consisting of Continental Troops and Militia & posted himself at a place called Sourland hills within six Miles of Somerset Court house. The Enemy were very strongly posted, their Right at Brunswick & their Left at Somerset well fortified on the Right and having the Raritan in front and Millstone on the Left. In this Scituation Genl W. did not think it prudent to attack them as it did not appear to him to be warranted by a sufficient prospect of Success and he thought it might be attended with ruinous Consequences. The Design then was to reduce the Security of his Army to the greatest Certainty by collecting all the Forces that could be drawn from other Quarters, so as to be in a Condition of embracing any fair opportunity that mt offer to make an Attack on Advantageous Terms, and in the mean time by light Bodies of Militia seconded & encouragd by a few continental Troops to harrass & diminish their Numbers by continual Skirmishes—But the Enemy made an unexpected Retreat to Brunswick, and afterwards with great Precipitation to Amboy.

June 29 —— On Wednesday last the Enemy reinforcd, as it is said, with Marines, marchd from Amboy, through a Road between Brunswick and Elizabeth Town to a place called Westfield about 10 Miles, with Design as it is supposd to cut off our Light Troops and bring on a General Battle, or to take Possession of the High Land back of Middlebrook, for which last purpose Westfield was the most convenient Route and it was also a well chosen Spot from whence to make a safe Retreat in Case he should fail of gaining his Point. On this march they fell in with General Maxwell who thought it prudent to retreat to our main Army then at Quibbletown from whence Genl W. made a hasty march to his former Station and frustrated the supposd Design of the Enemy. I have given you a very general Narrative of the different Situation & Movements of the two Armies, without descending to the particulars, because we have not as yet an Authentick Account, and one cannot depend upon the many stories that are told. I think I may assure you that our Army is in high Spirits and is daily growing more respectable in point of Numbers.

We are going on within Doors with Tardiness enough. A Thousand and [one] little Matters too often throw out greater ones. A kind of Fatality still prevents our proceeding a Step in the important affair of Confederation—Yesterday and the day before was wholly spent in passing Resolutions to gratify N. Y. or as they say to prevent a civil War between that State and the Green Mountain Men—A Matter which it is not worth your while to have explaind to you. Monsr D Coudrays affair is still unsettled. The four french Engineers are arrivd. They are said to be very clever but disdain to be commanded by Coudray. Mr Comr D continuing to send us french German & Prussian officers with authenticated Conventions and strong recommendations. The military Science, for your Comfort, will make rapid Progress in America. Our Sons and Nephews will be provided for in the Army and a long and moderate War will be their happy Portion. But who my Friend, would not wish for peace. May I live to see the publick Liberty restored and the Safety of our dear Country secured. I should then think I had enjoyd enough and bid this World Adieu.

Your,



TO JAMES WARREN.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE June 30 1777

MY DEAR FRIEND

I have the Pleasure of receiving your friendly Letter of the 16 Instant, and have little more than time enough barely to acknowledge the favor. There is an unaccountable Uncertainty in the Conduct of the Post office. About a month ago I remonstrated to the Post Master General that the time allowd the Eastern Delegates to answer the Letters they receivd by the post (being on the Monday between 9 & 2) was altogether spent in Congress, and requested that we might have one Evening for the purpose. He granted it and the Post has been since detaind till tuesday Morning, but I am now informd that the former Regulation is revivd, for what Reason I know not, and our Letters must be ready at two o'Clock. I do assure you I should hardly forgive my self, could I reflect upon my having once neglected to write to so valueable a Friend as you.

You wish to hear "how our Confederation goes on." I do not wonder at your Anxiety to have it completed, for it appears to me to be a Matter of very great Importance. We every now and then take it into Consideration, but such a Variety of Affairs have continually demanded the Attention of Congress that it has been impracticable hitherto to get thro it. There are but two or three things which in my opinion will be the Subjects of much further Debate, and upon these I believe most if not all the Members have already made up their Minds. One is what Share of Votes each of the States, which differ so much in Wealth & Numbers, shall have in determining all Questions. Much has been said upon this weighty Question upon the decision of which depends the Union of the States and the Security of the Liberty of the whole. Perhaps it would be more easy for a disinterrested Foreigner to see, than for the united States to fix upon, the Principles upon which this Question ought in Equity to be decided. The Sentiments in Congress are not various, but as you will easily conceive opposite. The Question was very largely debated a few days ago, and I am apt to think it will tomorrow be determind that each State shall have one Vote, but that certain great & very interresting Questions, shall have the concurrent Votes of nine States for a Decision. Whether this Composition will go near towards the Preservation of a due Ballance I wish you would consider, for if your Life & Health is spared to your Country, you will have a great Share in the Determination of it hereafter. You have later Advices from abroad than we. Our last Intelligence I gave you pretty minutely in a Letter which I sent & suppose was deliverd to you by Capt Collins.

I find by the News papers that the Genl Assembly under the Denomination of a Convention are forming a new Constitution.1 This is a momentous Business, I pray God to direct you. Shall I be favord with your own & others Sentiments upon it. I am greatly afflicted to hear that angry Disputes have arisen among my dear Countrymen, at a time especially when perfect good Humour should subsist and every Heart and Tongue & Hand should be united in promoting the Establishment of publick Liberty & securing the future Safety & Happiness of our Country. I am sure you will cultivate Harmony among those who Love the Country in Sincerity. With regard to OTHERS I will say in the apostolick Language "I would they were all cut off" (banishd at least) "that trouble you."

Will it too much infringe upon your precious time to acquaint Mrs A that I am in good health & Spirits, and have not opportunity to write to her by this post. I am with the most friendly regards to your Lady & Family very affectionately your Friend,

1Columbia University Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law, vol. vii., pp. 194-226.



TO ARTHUR LEE.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE July 4 1777

MY DEAR FRIEND

I did myself the Honor to write to you on the 2d of Jany last since which your favor of the 21st of the same month from Paris came to my Hand. You have supposd that this Campaign would put General Howe, after the Junction with Burgoyne in Possession of the States of New York, New Jersey Pennsylvania & the Delaware with Rhode Island as his Center of Attack upon the States of New England; you have even considerd such a situation of things as almost certain. But I have now the Satisfaction of informing you that General Howe has found it neces- sary to withdraw all his Troops from New Jersey, and I am of Opinion that it is impracticable for him to distribute his Troops among the States you have mentiond in sufficient Numbers to keep possession of them and afford enough to attack the New England States with the least Prospect of subduing them. I have thought that the Impression which the Enemy made the last Winter on the State of New Jersey was owing to favorable Circumstances which then took place, and was not in pursuance of the original Plan. The Time for which our Troops were inlisted had expired—our Army was reducd to a mere handful and General Howe had flatterd himself that the middle States were so generally disaffected to our Cause as to render their total Submission practicable & easy. He therefore made a vigorous push in the Depth of Winter as far as Trenton upon Delaware, and there cantond his Troops with a Design probably of availing himself of this City early in the Spring before we should be able to collect a force sufficient to prevent it. But General Washington, having gaind a signal Advantage by an Attack as you have heard obligd him to retreat and make his remaining Winter Quarters in Brunswick, since which the Vigilance & Activity of the people of Jersey who by frequent Skirmishes have lessend his Army, has given him reason to alter his opinion of their Disposition & his removing from thence has I think afforded sufficient Proof that he has not been able by Arts or Arms to conquer even one of our smallest States. What his next Step will be is uncertain, perhaps he may embark his Troops for Philadelphia, or more probably he may attempt a Junction with Burgoyne. If the first, has he to expect more Laurels or better Success than he gaind in Jersey? Or, if the latter should be his Choice judge what must be his Prospect. Burgoyne who it is said cannot muster more than 7 or 8 thousand will be opposd by our Northern Army & I hope overwhelmd before they can reach Albany. Howe will be followd close by the Army under the immediate Command of G W, at present more than equal it in number, in high Spirits, full of the Idea of Victory and daily increasing. Under these unpromising Circumstances should he even complete a Junction, he will then have to begin an attempt of the most arduous Business of conquering the whole Army of the united States together with the numerous, hardy & stubborn Militia of New England. These are my Views of the present State of our military affairs, and I am perswaded, when I reflect on the Spirit & Valor discoverd in my Countrymen of Georgia So & No Carolina Virginia & Jersey to say nothing of Lexington & Bunker Hill in my own dear native State, Great Britain will ever show her self feeble in her Efforts to conquer America. I beg you to write to me full as often as you may find Leisure, and for my own part I feel a Disposition almost to persecute you with my Letters but I must conclude with congratulating you on this first Anniversary of American Independence, and assuring you that I am unfeignedly and very affectionately,

Your Friend,



TO SAMUEL HEWES.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADA July 7 1777

MY DEAR SIR/

I intreat you to ascribe my not having yet acknowledgd the Receipt of your favor1 to the true Cause, a perpetual Hurry of affairs. I have not been unmindful of its Contents. Major Ward, as you have heard, is appointed Commissary General of Musters with the Rank and Pay of a Colonel. I have long known him a Man of Sense and a zealous and steady Patriot, in Times less promising than the present; and the Part he took on the ever memorable 19th of April 75, together with the Experience he has gaind by constant Application ever since in the military Line, intitles him to particular Notice. I will bear in my Memory the Hint given in the Close of your Letter. If at any Time I may have it in my power to render benefit to a Friend by puting him in the Way of serving our Country it will afford me double Satisfaction. You will have heard before this reaches you that General Howe has at length drawn all his Forces from the State of Jersey to New York. It is the Business of General Washington to penetrate his future Design. This City has been threatned for some Months past; if he ever had such an Intention, it is probable he has now laid it aside, and that he will attempt to force a Junction with Burgoyne, and subdue the Eastern States. [But] why should I hazzard a Conjecture of this kind who profess no Skill in military affairs. I hope my Countrymen are prepared to give the Enemy a proper Reception whenever they may be attackd!

I have written you a friendly Letter though a short one—short for want of time to write more. I have twenty things to say to you but at present must conclude with most respectful Complts to your Lady Family & Connections very cordially your friend,

1Of March 25, 1777.



TO JOHN PITTS.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE July 8 1777

MY DEAR SIR

I do not recollect to have receivd a Letter from [you] of a later Date than the 25 of Decr last, although I have been since writing to you as often as I cod find Leisure. I do not know that I have by any thing I have written given you just Cause of offence. If you think otherwise pray let me know it, and I will make as full Atonement as I am able, for I do assure you I wish to continue a friendly epistolary Correspondence with you. Be so kind as to write me by the very next Post and assure yourself that I am unfeignedly and most cordially,

Yr Friend,



TO RICHARD HENRY LEE.

[MS., Emmet Collection, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE July 15 1777

MY DEAR FRIEND

I wrote to you a Fortnight ago in so great Haste that I had not time to transcribe or correct it and relied on your Candor to overlook the slovenly Dress in which it was sent to you. You have since heard that our Friends in Jersey have at length got rid of as vindictive and cruel an Enemy as ever invaded any Country. It was the opinion of General Gates that Howes advancing to Somerset Court House was a Feint to cover the Retreat of his Battering Train, ordinary Stores and heavy Baggage to Amboy. I confess I can not help yet feeling myself chagrind, that in more . . . . diminish his paltry Army in that State. If their Militia, among whom so great an Animation prevaild, had been let loose upon the Enemy, who knows but that they wd have destroyd their Army, or at least, so far have weakend it as to have put a glorious End to this Campaign, and perhaps the War? I will acknowledge that my Temper is rather sanguine. I am apt to be displeasd when I think our Progress in War and in Politicks is Slow. I wish to see more of an enterprising Spirit in the Senate and the Field, without which, I fear our Country will not speedily enjoy the Fruits of the present Conflict—an establishd Independence and Peace. I cannot applaud the Prudence of the Step, when the People of Jersey were collected, and inspired with Confidence in themselves & each other, to dismiss them as not being immediately wanted, that they might go home in good Humour and be willing to turn out again in any OTHER Emergency. I possess not the least Degree of Knowledge in military Matters, & therefore hazzard no opinion. I recollect however that Shakespear tells us, there is a Tide in human Affairs, an Opportunity which wise Men carefully watch for and improve, and I will never forget because it exactly coincides with my religious opinion and I think is warranted by holy writ, that "God helps those who help themselves."

We have letters from General Schuyler in the Northern Department giving us an Account of the untoward Situation of our Affairs in that Quarter & I confess it is no more than I expected, when he was again intrusted with the Command there. You remember it was urged by some that as he had a large Interest and powerful Connections in that Part of the Country, no one could so readily avail himself of Supplys for an Army there, than he. A most substantial Reason, I think, why he should have been appointed a Quartermaster or a Commissary. But it seems to have been the prevailing Motive to appoint him to the Chief Command! You have his Account in the inclosed Newspaper, which leaves us to GUESS what is become of the GARRISON. It is indeed droll enough to see a General not knowing where to find the main Body of his Army. Gates is the Man of my Choice. He is HONEST and TRUE, & has the Art of GAINING THE LOVE OF HIS SOLDIERS principally because he is ALWAYS PRESENT with them in FATIGUE & DANGER. But Gates has been disgusted! We are however waiting to be relievd from this disagreeable State of uncertainty, by a particular Account of Facts from some Person who WAS NEAR the Army who trusts not to MEMORY altogether, lest some Circumstances may be OMITTED while others are MISAPPREHENDED.

I rejoyce in the Honors your Country has done you. Pray hasten your Journey hither.

Your very affectionate,



TO SAMUEL COOPER.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE July 15 1777

MY DEAR SIR

Before this reaches you, it is probable you will have heard of the untoward Turn our Affairs have taken at the Northward. I confess it is not more than I expected when Genl Schur was again intrusted with the Command there. But it was thought by some Gentlemen that as he had a great Interest & large Connections in that Part of the Country, he could more readily avail himself of Supplys for an Army there as well as Reinforcements if wanted upon an Emergency, than any other Man. You have the Account in the inclosed Paper, which leaves us to guess what is become of the Garrison. There is something droll enough in a Generals not knowing where to find the main Body of his Army. Gates is the Man I should have chosen. He is honest and true, & has the Art of gaining the Love of his Soldiers, principally because he is always present and shares with them in Fatigue & Danger. We are hourly expecting to be relievd from a disagreable State of Uncertainty by a particular Relation of Facts. This Account, as you are told, is related upon MEMORY, & therefore some Circumstances may be OMITTED, others MISAPPREHENDED. But the Post is just going, & I have time only to acknowledge the Receipt of your favor of the 12 of June & beg you would write to me often.

I am affectionately, Your friend,



TO RICHARD HENRY LEE.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; the text, dated July 12, 1777, is in W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. ii., pp. 484-486.]

PHILADA July 22 1777

MY DEAR SIR

Your very acceptable Letter of the 12th came to my hand yesterday. The Confederation, is most certainly an important Object, and ought to be attended to & finishd speedily. I moved the other Day and urgd that it might then be brought on; but your Colleague Colo H opposed and prevented it, Virginia not being represented. It is put off till you shall arrive; you see therefore the Necessity of your hastening to Congress.

We have still further & still confused Accounts from the Northward. Schuylers Letters are rueful indeed! even to a great Degree, and with such an awkward Mixture as would excite one to laugh in the Midst of Calamity. He seems to contemplate his own Happiness in not having had much or indeed any Hand in the unhappy Disaster. He throws Blame on St Clare in his Letter of July 9th. "What adds to my Distress is, that a Report prevails that I had given orders for the Evacuation of Tyconderoga, whereas not the most distant Hint of any such Intention can be drawn from any of my Letters to General Sinclare or any other Person whatever." He adds "What could induce the General Officers to a Step that has ruind our Affairs in that Quarter, God only knows." And indeed Sinclares own Letter of the 30th of June dated at Ty. would induce one to be of the same Opinion, for he there says "My People are in the best Disposition possible and I have no Doubt about giving a good Account of the Enemy should they think proper to attack us." Other Parts of his Letter are written in the same spirited Stile. The General Officers blame N E for not furnishing their Quota of Troops. It is natural for Parties to shift the Fault from one to the other; and your Friend General Steven, who seems desirous of clearing his Countryman from all Blame, in a Letter to your Brother says "Eight thousand Men were thought adequate to the Purpose. They (N E) furnishd about three thousand—for Want of the Quota the Place is lost & they stand answerable for the Consequences." The General forgets that five of the ten Regiments orderd from Mass. Bay were countermanded and are now at Peeks Kill. I will give you an Abstract of the Forces at Ty & Mount Independence the 25th of June taken from the Muster-master General Colo Varicks Return.

Fit for Duty of the 9 Continental Regiments Commissiond & Non commissiond & Staff Officers included 2738

Colo Wells' & Leonard's Regiments of Militia [their time expired the 6th of July] 637

Colo Long's Regimt of Militia [engagd to 1st of Augt] 199

Major Stephens' Corps of Artillery 151

5 Companies of Artificers 178

Whitcombs Aldrichs & Lees Rangers 70 3973

Men at Out Posts not included in the Above 218

Sick in Camp and Barracks 342 4533

Besides a Number of Recruits belonging to the Continental Regiments arrivd at Ty. between the 18th & 29th of June, that are not included in the above Abstract. General Schuyler in his Letter of the 9th of July says, "I am informd FROM UNDOUBTED AUTHORITY that the Garrison was reinforced with twelve Hundred Men AT LEAST, two days before the Evacuation." When the Commander in chiefe writes in so positive Terms, one would presume upon his certain knowledge of Facts; BUT AS HE WAS NOT PRESENT WITH HIS ARMY, let us suppose (though it does not seem probable by the general gloomy Cast of his Letters) that he has overrated the Numbers, and set down 967 and it would complete the Number Of 5500. Deduct the sick 342, and I am willing also to deduct the two "licentious and disorderly" Regiments from Massachusetts who left Sinclare, though he acknowledges they kept with him two days upon the March, and there remaind near five thousand. Mentioning this yesterday in a publick Assembly, I was referrd to the Generals Information to his Council of War, who says "the whole of our Force consisted of two thousand & Eighty nine effective Rank & file." But allowing this to be the Case, Is an Army the worse for having more than one half of its Combatants Officers?

Notwithstanding Nothing is said of it in the publick Letters Genl Sinclair writes to his private Friend that the Enemy came up with the Rear of the retreating Army, & a hot Engagement ensued. Other Accounts say that many were killed on both sides, that our Troops beat off the Enemy & that Colo Francis of the Massachusetts & some of his officers were among the slain.

I shall not write you any more Letters for I hope to see you soon.

Adieu my Friend,



TO PAUL REVERE.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE July 28 1777

MY DEAR SIR

I receivd your favor of the 26th of June and also one from Colo Crafts of the same Date. I wrote to him by the Return of the Post & desired him to communicate the Contents to you. I conversd with Mr J A upon the Subject of your Letter, and we venturd, both of us, to step out of the Line of strict order in a Debate in Congress the other day, to bring your Regiment of Artillery into View. It occasiond a Conversation in the House in which we had a Opportunity of acquainting the Members of the long Standing of that Regiment & the Seniority of its Officers. But still it was considerd as a Regiment raisd by a State & not by the Continent. And though we caused the Merit of it to be well understood & it was acknowledgd in the House, the Difficulty of altering the Regulation you refer to appeard so evidently in the Minds of the Gentlemen, that we waved making any Motion at that time, because we apprehended that the Issue would be unfavorable. Indeed I am of Opinion that Congress will not be induced to make the Alteration you wish for, until it shall become a Continental Regiment. In that Case, I am apt to think there would be no Difficulty with Regard to the Seniority of other Regiments which have been raisd since, over yours. But till that is done, it is feared that an Alteration in this Instance would cause Discontent in other States, where it is said there are Instances similar. A Regiment of Artillery raisd in this State under Command of Colo Procter was lately taken into Continental Service and the Commissions were dated at the time they were raisd. It was upon this Occasion that Colo Crafts Regiment was mentiond; and I suppose that Regiment wd be admitted on the same terms. But I think I foresee an insuperable Obstacle in that Case. If any thing can be done consistently with the general Service, to show Honor, but especially to do Justice to the Regiment of Artillery in Boston, I shall not fail to push it as far as I may have Influence. My fellow Citizens well know that I have never been indifferent TO THEM. I am thought here in a great Degree partial in their Favour. I have in particular a Predilection for that Regiment. But my Friend, let me intreat you and the Gentlemen of your Core, above all other feelings to cherish those of the virtuous Citizen. I will allow that the Ambition of the Soldier is laudable. At such a Crisis as this it is necessary. But may it not be indulgd to Excess? This War we hope will be of short Duration. We are contending, not for Glory, but for Liberty Safety & Happiness of our Country. The Soldier should not lose the Sentiments of the Patriot; and the Pride of Military Rank as well as civil Promotion should forever give Way to the publick Good. Be assured that I am very cordially,

Your Friend,



TO JAMES WARREN.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE July 31 1777

MY DEAR SIR

It is a long time since I had the pleasure of a Letter from you. I have not heard your opinion of the Evacuation of Tyconderoga. You are doubtless chagrind as much as I am. It is ascribd to different Causes. Congress is determined that the true Reasons shall be enquird into, and the Conduct of the General Officers. Sch—rs friends are endeavoring to clear him from all Blame, because, say they, HE WAS NOT THERE. This is true, and as it was well known, that he had never been used to keep himself near his Army, perhaps it may be pertinently asked, Why HE was pitchd upon to take the Command. YOUR Delegates, I can assure you, were utterly against it. And Notwithstanding it was publishd in some of the Boston News papers, said to be warranted by a Letter from this City, that Schr had the entire Confidence of Congress, there were five only of 11 States present, in favor of it. The paper I think was of the 5 of June. I wish I could know who gave the Letter to the Printer. In order, I suppose, to give Credit to that Letter, there was another publication in the papers here, informing the World, that when he set off for the Northern Department he was accompanied by ——- and several other Members of C——-, which I take for granted is true. These are trifling political Manuevres similar to those which we have seen practicd in the Mass Bay when a prop was wanted for a sinking Character. You may think them not worth your Notice. Excuse my troubling you with them. Cunning Politicians often make use of the Names of Persons, & sometimes of the Persons themselves who have not the least Suspicion of it, to serve their own Purposes. When I mentiond 5 out of 11 I shd have explaind my self. There were 5 for the measure 4 against it & 2 divided. Had not the state of Rhode Island been at an equal Division, which wd have prevented the Measure. The most important Events sometimes depend upon small Circumstances. Some Gentn of the State of N Y are exceedingly attachd to Genl Schr. They represent him as Instar Omnium in the Northern Departmt. But after all that has been said, I conceive of him, as I have for a long time, excellently well qualified for [a] Commissary or Quartermaster. The N E Delegates were (perhaps one excepted) to a Man against his having the Command of that Army. But [of] this I will write particularly in another Letter.

I am not willing to prejudge; but I must say, it is difficult to reconcile the sudden Evacuation of the Fortress with the previous flattering Letters of General St Clair. In one of his Letters written but a few days before, he says, "My People are in the best Disposition possible, and I have no Doubt about giving a good Account of the Enemy if they shall think proper to attack us." He has been esteemd here a good Officer, & in his Letter he bespeaks the Candor of the publick till he can be heard. Pains will be taken to lay the Blame upon the N E States, for not furnishing a sufficient Quota of Men. I wish therefore you wd procure for me an authentick Accot of the Number of Men, both regular & Militia, sent to the Northward from our State, and how they were cloathd and armd. You may remember that Congress recommended it to the Eastern States, some time, I think in Decr last, to send a Reinforcemt, of 4500 Militia to Ty. to remain there till they cod be replaced by Continental Troops then raising. I have never been informd of the Effect of that Recommendation; or if I have been informd I do not recollect it. Pray put it in our Power to state Facts precisely so far as they regard our State. It is agreed on all sides that a Fault lies somewhere. I hope the Truth will be thoroughly investigated, and, to use the homely Proverb, the Saddle laid on the right Horse.

We are looking every hour for the Arrival of the Enemy in this River. 255 sail were seen on Wednesday last steering from the Hook S. E. Seventy sail were seen from the shore near Egg Harbour & about 15 or 20 Leagues from these Capes on Saturday steering the same Course—the Wind agt them. They cod not come here at a better time. G Washington is drawing his Troops into this Neighborhood. Some of them are arrivd. But as the Enemy has the Advantage of us by Sea, it s too easy for them to oblige us to harrass our Men by long & fruitless Marches, and I shd not wonder to hear that they have tackd about & gone Eastward. I hope my Countrymen are prepared. LET BROTHERLY LOVE CONTINUE.

Adieu,



TO JAMES WARREN.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILAD Augt 1—77

DR SR

I wrote to you on the 30th Ulto by Mr Bruce who did not leave the City on that Day as I expected. His Stay gives me an Oppty of acquainting you that an Express who left the Capes yesterday informs us that the enemies ships all went out to Sea in the morning steering E N E supposd to be going to Hudsons River Rh lsland or Boston. Mr B will give you as particular an Acct as I can. I therefore refer you to him. This is what I expected. I trust you are upon your Guard. Con. has orderd an Enquiry be made into the reasons . . . . that Schr St Clair . . . . . . . . . repair to Head Qrs & that G W order such Genl officer as he shall think proper immediately to repair to the Nn Departmt to relieve Schr in his Command there. A Come is appointed to digest & rept the Mode of conducting the Enquiry.

It appears to me difficult to account for the Evacuation of these posts even upon the principle of Cowardice. The whole Conduct seems to carry the evident Marks of Deliberation & Design.

If we are vigilant active spirited & decisive, I yet flatter my self, notwithstanding the present vexatious Situation of our Affrs at the northwd we shall humble our Enemies this Campaign. I am truly mortified at their leaving this place because I think we were fully prepared for it, & I believe the Cowardly Rascals knew it. May Heaven prosper our Righteous Cause. Adieu,



TO MRS. ADAMS.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILAD. 2d Augt 17771

MY DEAR BETSY

Mr Bruces tarrying in this City longer than I expected, affords me an Opportunity of giving you a second short Letter by him. The Enemies Fleet have left these Capes & it is supposd they are gone either to N York or N England. Secure a Place in the Country to which you may Retreat in case there shd be a Necessity for it. Preserve your usual Steadiness of Mind. Take the Advice of those who are your and my Friends with Regard to removing. I hope there will be no Necessity for it. I am truly sorry the . . . . have not made this City their Object, as they . . . . long threatend. I think we were fully prepared to receive them. Perhaps Providence designs that N England shall have the Honor of giving them the decisive Blow. May Heaven prosper our righteous Cause, in such Way and by such Instruments as to his infinite Wisdom shall seem meet.

I am in good Health and Spirits. Adieu my dear,

1For a letter on this date by Adams to Washington, see W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. ii., p. 487; cf. Sparks, Writings of Washington, vol. v., p. 14; Ford, Writings of Washington, vol. vi., p. 4.



TO SAMUEL FREEMAN.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

[August 5, 1777]

DR SIR

I have had the pleasure of receiving several Letters from you, and I thank you for the Intelligence therein communicated to me. I beg you will continue your favors although it may not be in my Power to ballance the Account.

Our Affairs are now in a critical Situation. There is strong Reason however to Promise ourselves by the Assistance of Heaven a favorable Issue. Men of Virtue throughout Europe heartily wish well to our Cause. They look upon it, as indeed it is, the Cause of Mankind. Liberty seems to be expelled from every other part of the Globe & the Prospect of our affording an Asylum for its Friends in this new World, gives them universal Joy. France & Spain are in reality though not yet openly yielding us Aid. Nevertheless, it is my Opinion, that it would be more for the future Safety as well as the Honor of the united States of America, if they would establish their Liberty & Independence, with as little foreign Aid as possible. If we can struggle through our Difficulties & establish our selves alone we shall value our Liberties so dearly bought, the more, and be the less obligd & consequently the more independent on others. Much depends upon the Efforts of this year. Let us therefore lay aside the Consideration of every Subject, which may tend to a Disunion. The Reasons of the Scrutiny. Congress have orderd an Enquiry & for this purpose Generals Schuyler & St. Clair are orderd to Head Quarters. Gates immediately takes the Command of the Northern Army. He gains the Esteem of the Soldiers and his Success in restoring the Army there the last year from a State of Confusion & Sickness to Health & good order, affords a flattering Prospect. In my opinion he is an honest & able Officer. Bad as our Affairs in that Quarter appear to be, they are not ruinous. Reinforcemts of regular Troops are already gone from Peeks Kill, and I hope the brave N E Militia will joyn in sufficient Numbers, to damp the Spirits of Burgoin. One grand Effort now may put an End to this Conflict.

I am &c



TO JOHN LANGDON.1

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE August 7, 1777

MY DEAR SIR/

Major Bass will be kind enough to deliver to you this Letter. He brought me a very friendly Message from you, for which I return you my hearty Thanks. If I had Inclination or Leisure to write a Letter of Compliment, I am sure you would not be pleasd with it. The Times are very serious; our Affairs are in a critical Situation. The Enemy, after long promising a Visit to this City, made an Appearance last Week near the Capes of Delaware. But they have not been seen these six days past. The Hounds are in fault and have lost Scent of them. We shall hear where they engage, I dare say, before long. It belongs to the military Gentlemen to frustrate their Design. I think they could not have come here in a better time, because we were well prepared for them. General Washington had drawn his Forces into the Neighborhood of this Place, and I verily believe, the people here, divided and distracted as they are about their internal Government, would have joynd in sufficient Numbers to have given a good Account of them.

The shameful Defeat of our Forces at Ticonderoga is not more distressing to us than it is vexatious. A thorough Scrutiny into the Causes of it must and will be made. For this Purpose Schuyler and St Clair are orderd to Head Quarters. I confess I cannot at present account for it even upon the Principle of Cowardice. There seems to me to be the evident Marks of Design. Bad as our Affairs are in that Quarter they are not desperate. Gates is gone to take the Command. He is an honest and able officer; always belovd by his Soldiers because he always shares with them in Fatigue and Danger. This has not been said of his immediate Predecessor. I hope the N England States will once more make a generous Exertion, and if they do I am deceivd if Burgoyns Prosperity does not soon prove his Ruin.

Our Intelligence from Europe is very flattering to us. The virtuous and sensible there universally wish well to our Cause. They say we are fighting for the Liberty and Happiness of Mankind. We are at least, contending for the Liberty & Happiness of our own Country and Posterity. It is a glorious Contest. We shall succeed if we are virtuous. I am infinitely more apprehensive of the Contagion of Vice than the Power of all other Enemies. It is the Disgrace of human Nature that in most Countries the People are so debauchd, as to be utterly unable to defend or enjoy their Liberty.

Pay my respects to Coo Whipple. He promisd to write to me. I hope he will soon have Leisure to fulfill his promise. A Letter from you would oblige me much. Adieu.

1Of Portsmouth, New Hampshire; member of the Continental Congress.



TO MRS. ADAMS.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADA Augt 8 1777

MY DEAR BETSY

I have lately written to you by every Opportunity and am determined to omit none for the future, till I shall have the Pleasure of seeing you, which I intend some time in the Fall. We have heard Nothing of the Enemies Fleet since this Day Week. General Gates is gone to take the Command of the Northern Army in the Room of Schuyler . . . Gates has always been belovd by his Soldiers & I hope will restore our Affairs there; for although they are in a Situation bad enough I do not think them desperate. He is empowerd to call on the N England Militia, who I hope will once more make a generous Effort. If they do, I am mistaken if Burgoyns present Success does not [prove his ruin.] A Change of Officers, I dare say, will give new Spirits [to] the Men. But I forget that I am writing [to] a female upon the Subject of War. I know your whole Soul is engagd in the great Cause. May Heaven prosper it! Adieu my dear,

My Respects to my Family & Friends.



TO ROGER SHERMAN.

[MS., Library of Massachusetts Historical Society; a draft is in the Lenox Library.]

PHILADA Augt 11. 1777

DEAR SIR/

I duly receivd your obliging Letter of the 11th of July. I thank you for the favor, and beg you to continue to write to me as often as your Leisure will admit of it. The Rumour you mention'd has since appeard to be a serious Fact. We have lost Ti[c]onderoga, and as far as I can yet judge, shamefully: I was going to add, vilainously; for indeed I cannot account for it, but upon the worst of Principles. The whole appears to me to carry the evident Marks of Design. But I hope & believe it will undergo the strictest Scrutiny. The People at large ought not, they will not be satisfied, until a thorough Inquiry is made into the Causes of an Event in which their Honor and Safety is so deeply interested. The only Letter receivd by Congress from St Clair, you have seen publishd under their Sanction. Schuyler has written a Series of weak & contemptible THINGS in a Stile of Despondence which alone, I think, is sufficient for the Removal of him from that Command; for if his Pen expresses the true Feelings of his Heart, it cannot be expected that the bravest Veterans would fight under such a General, admitting they had no Suspicion of Treachery. In a Letter dated the 4th Instant at Still Water, he writes in a Tone of perfect Despair. He seems to have no Confidence in his Troops, nor the States from whence Reinforcements are to be drawn. A third Part of his Continental Troops, he tells us, consists "of Boys Negroes & aged Men not fit for the Field or any other Service." "A very great Part of the Army naked—without Blanketts—ill armed and very deficient in Accoutrements: without a Prospect of Reliefe." "Many, too Many of the Officers wod be a Disgrace to the most contemptible Troops that ever was collected." The Exertions of others of them of a different Character "counteracted by the worthless." "Genl Burgoyne is bending his Course this Way. He will probably be here in Eight Days, and unless we are well reinforced" (which he does not expect) "as much farther as he pleases to go."—-Was ever any poor general more mortified! But he has by this Time receivd his Quietus. Gates takes the Command there, agreeably to what you tell me is the Wish of the People; and I trust our Affairs in that Quarter will soon wear a more promising Aspect.

The Enemies Ships, upwards Of 200 sail, after having been out of Sight six Days, were discoverd on Thursday last, off Sinapuxint 15 Leagues from the Capes of Delaware Steering towards Chesapeake Bay.

Your Friends here are well, except Colo Williams, who has been confined a few days, but is growing better. I have a thousand things to say to you, but must defer it to other Opportunities, & conclude in Haste, with friendly Regards to your Family, very affectionately yours,



TO JAMES WARREN.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADA Augt 12 1777

MY DEAR SIR

The inclosd is an attested Copy of Genl Schuylers Letter to the President of the Congress. It needs no Comment. How far the Massachusetts state deserves the Strictures therein made, you can tell. I send it to you for the Perusal of the Members of your Honbl House. If they have sent into the Army, Boys Negroes & Men too aged to be fit for any Service they will lay their Hands upon their Mouths. If not, I hope some decent but keen Pen will vindicate them from that & other Aspersions. This, like all his other Letters, is written in such a desponding Stile, that it is no Wonder if Soldiers decline fighting under him, though they may be under no Apprehension of Treachery. But he has by this time receivd his Quietus, at least till he can give a good Account of his Conduct. Gates has gone to take the Command, and our Affairs in that Ouarter, I dare say will soon wear another Face.

The Enemies Fleet have been again seen 200 sail off Sinipunxint 15 Leagues South of the Capes of Delaware. I think I have now a just Demand upon you for a Letter. I shall be disappointed if I do not receive one by the next Post. Adieu my Friend.



TO WILLIAM HEATH.1

[MS., Library of Massachusetts Historical Society; the text has recently been printed in Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 7th ser., vol. iv., p. 140.]

PHILADE Augt 13th 1777

MY DEAR SIR,

The Surrender of Tyconderoga has deeply wounded our Cause. The Grounds of it must be thoroughly inquired into. The People at large have a Right to demand it. They do demand it and Congress have orderd an Inquiry to be made. This Matter must be conducted with Impartiality. The Troops orderd for the Defence of that Post were chiefly from New England. It is said there was a great Deficiency in Numbers—and General Schuyler tells us that a third Part of the Army there were Boys Negroes and aged Men not fit for the Field or indeed any other Service, that a great Part of them were naked, without Blanketts, ill armed & very deficient in Accoutrements. Such is the Picture he draws. I wish to know as soon as possible, how many Men actually marchd for that place from N E, & particularly from Massachusetts Bay. What Quantity of Cloathing was sent for them & under whose Care; and how they were furnishd with Arms & Accoutrements. In short I am desirous of being informd by you as minutely as possible, of the part taken by Muster Masters Quartermasters Cloathiers & their Agents and all other Persons employed in making and providing for the Army in the Northern Department, as far as it has properly fallen under your Notice & Direction. Excuse me for giving you this Trouble & be assured that I am very cordially,

your Friend,

1Major General in the continental army.



TO MRS. ADAMS.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADA Augt 8 1777

MY DEAR BETSY

I was favord with yours of the 2d of this Month by yesterdays Post. I am much obligd to you for writing to me so often, and hope you will not omit any future opportunity. [One] or another of my Boston Friends write to me by every Post, [so] that I think I should be informd if any extraordinary Accident should happen to my Family, but I am never so well satisfied as when I receive one from you. I am in continual Anxiety for your Safety, but am happy in committing you to the Protection of all gracious Heaven. May He be your Refuge in every Time of Distress! I had before heard that the Enemies Fleet was seen off Cape Ann. We had an Account of it [by] an Express from General Heath, who contradicted it the [same] Day by another Express. Indeed I did not give Credit to . . . . News for the British Ships were seen off the Maryland Shore on the first of August, the very day on which they were reported to have been seen off Cape Ann. Having the Command of the Sea, they have it in their Power to give frequent Alarms to our Seaport Towns. We have not heard of them since, and it is the opinion of some that they are gone to South Carolina, but as it is altogether uncertain where they will go, it is prudent to be ready to receive them in every Place. It is a Question with me whether they have any Plan upon which they can depend themselves. I pray God that [their] Councils may be confounded.

I earnestly hope with you, my Dear, that our . . . . Life is not always to live at this Distance from each [other] but that we shall see the happy Day when Tyranny [shall] be subdued and the Liberty of our Country shall be settled upon a permanent Foundation. If this is not to be accomplishd in our Day, May we hereafter meet our virtuous Friends in that blessd Region, where the wicked shall cease from troubling.

My Love to my dear Daughter, Sister Polly & the rest of my Family & Friends. Tell my Servants I thank them for their kind Remembrance of me. I am, my dear,

ever yours,

I have sent the Letter to Capt M. inclosd in one to Dr F.



TO HENRY BROMFIELD.

[Publications of Colonial Society of Massachusetts, vol. vi., pp. 78, 79.]

PHILADA Sept 2, 1777.

MY DEAR SIR

I am requested by a Member of Congress from South Carolina for whom I have a particular Regard, to introduce his Friend Mr Henry Crouch to some of my Boston Friends. He is a Merchant of Charlestown and will set off on a Visit your Way tomorrow. I take the Liberty of addressing a Letter to you by him. Your friendly Notice of him will greatly oblige me.

I heartily congratulate you on the happy Change of our Affairs at the Northward. The Feelings of a Man of Burgoyne's Vanity must be sorely touched by this Disappointment.

Howe's Army remains near where they first landed and is supposed to be ten thousand fit for Duty. Washington's Army exceeds that Number, is in health & high Spirits, and the Militia have joynd in great Numbers, well equip'd and ambitious to emulate the Valor of their Eastern Brethren. Our light Troops are continually harrassing the Enemy. The Day before yesterday they attack'd their out Posts & drove them in, killing & wounding a small Number. By the last Account we had taken about seventy Prisoners without any Loss on our side. Our Affairs are at this Moment very serious and critical. We are contending for the Rights of our Country and Mankind—May the Confidence of America be placed in the God of Armies! Please to pay my due Respects to my old Friend Mr Phillips & his Family and be assured that I am very cordially

Yours,



TO MRS. ADAMS.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADA Sept 17, 1777

MY DEAR BETSY

Your kind Letter of the 29th of August is now before me. You therein take a very proper Notice of the signal Success of our Affairs at the Northward. I hope my Countrymen are duly sensible of the obligation they are under to Him from whose Hand, as you justly observe, our Victory came. We had a Letter from General Gates yesterday, from which we every hour expect another great Event from that Quarter. The two Armies this way had an obstinate Engagement last Thursday. The Enemy have gaind a Patch of Ground but from all Accounts they have purchasd it as dearly as Bunkers Hill. Two or three more such Victories would totally ruin their Army. Matters seem to be drawing to a Crisis. The Enemy have had enough to do to dress their wounded and bury their dead. Howe still remains near the Field of Battle. Genl Washington retreated with his Army over the River Schuilkill through this city as far as . . . . and we are every day expecting another battle. May Heaven favor our righteous Cause and grant us compleat Victory. Both the Armies are about 26 miles from this City.

I am pleasd to hear that Colo Crafts invited Mr Thacher to preach a Sermon to his Regiment. He discoverd the true Spirit of a New England officer. I dare say it was an animating Discourse. Religion has been & I hope will continue to be the ornament of N. England. While they place their Confidence in God they will not fail to be an happy People.

I am exceedingly rejoycd to hear that Miss Hatch is in hopes of recovering her Health.

Remember me, my dear, to my Family and Friends. I am in good Health & Spirits and remain with the warmest Affection

Your,



TO ARTHUR LEE.

[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 228, 229.]

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 26th, 1777.

MY DEAR SIR,—-Your several letters, with their enclosures, came to my hand. And although I have not hitherto acknowledged to you the receipt of them, I assure you I have been and am still improving the intelligence you have given me to the best of my powers, for the advantage of this country. From our former correspondence you have known my sentiments. I have not altered them in a single point, either with regard to the great cause we are engaged in, or to you, who have been an early, vigilant, and active supporter of it. While you Honour me with your confidential letters, I feel and will freely express to you my obligation. To have answered them severally, would have led me to subjects of great delicacy; and the miscarriage of my letters might have proved detrimental to our important affairs. It was needless for me to run the risk for the sake of writing; for I presume you have been made fully acquainted with the state of our public affairs by the committee. And as I have constantly communicated to your brother R. H. the contents of your letters to me, it was sufficient on that score for him only to write, FOR HE THINKS AS I DO.

The Marquis de la Fayette, who does me the honour to take this letter, is this moment going; which leaves me time only to add, that I am and will be your friend, because I know you love our country and mankind.

I beg you to write to me by every opportunity. Adieu, my dear sir,



TO HORATIO GATES.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

[ 1777]

SIR

I have had the Honor of laying before the Council Board of this State your Letter of the 19th of October, inclosing Copy of a Convention by which the British Lt Genl Burgoyne surrendered himself & his whole Army on the 17 of the same Month into your Hands. The repeated Instances of the Success of the American Army in the Northern Department reflect the highest Honor on yourself & the gallant officers & Soldiers under YOUR Command. The Board congratulate you on this great Occasion; and while the Merit of your signal Services remains recorded in the faithful Breasts of your Countrymen, the warmest Gratitude is due to the God of Armies, who has vouchsafed in so distinguished a Manner to favor the Cause of America & of Mankind.

I have the Honor to be in the Name of the Council Board, Sir &c



RESOLUTION OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS.

[NOVEMBER 1, 1777.]

[MS., Papers of the Continental Congress. Reports of Committees. No. 24, p. 431.]

Forasmuch as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men, to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God:—To acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to Him for Benefits receivd, and to implore such further Blessings as they stand in Need of:—And, it having pleased Him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of His common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War for the Defence and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties. Particularly in that He hath been pleased, in so great a Measure to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal Success.

It is therefore recommended to the Legislative or Executive Powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday the Eighteenth Day of December, next, for solemn Thanksgiving and Praise. That at one Time, and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their divine Benefactor. And, that together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may joyn the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble & earnest Supplication that it may please God through the Merits of Jesus Christ mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance. That it may please Him, graciously to afford His Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the publick Council of the whole. To inspire our Commanders both by Land and Sea, & all under them with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE. That it may please Him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yet yield its Increase. To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue, & Piety, under His nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion for the Promotion and Enlargement of that Kingdom which consisteth "in RIGHTEOUSNESS PEACE AND JOY IN THE HOLY GHOST."

And it is further recommended, that servile Labor, and such Recreation as, though at other times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, may be omitted on so solemn an occasion.



[TO JOHN ADAMS.]

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON Decr 8 1777

MY DEAR SIR

I heartily thank you for your two favors of the 12th & 18th of Novemr, the former of which gave me a piece of Intelligence which I thought proper to give the Publick through the News paper.

Unluckily for me, on my Arrival here, I found the General Assembly sitting, and consequently I am plungd in publick Business sooner than I could wish to have been. Among other things I have the Satisfaction of informing you of your Reelection as a Member of Congress. Your old Colleagues are all again chosen. I honestly told some of our Countrymen that I thought it incumbent on them thorowly to acquaint themselves with the Character and Conduct of those who represent them at the Distance of four hundred Miles; but I fear they are too unsuspecting. What do frequent Elections avail, without that Spirit of Jealousy & Strict Inquiry which alone can render such Elections any Security to the People? But surely the more implicit the Confidence of the Publick is, the more circumspect ought those to be, who are entrusted with publick Affairs.

Mr——— came to this Town with great Pomp, and was receivd by the military and naval Gentlemen, as I am informd, with equal Ceremony. His Colleagues arrivd in the Dusk of the Evening and without Observation. He is the most happy who has the greatest Share of the Affections of his Fellow Citizens, without which, the Ears of a sincere Patriot are ever deaf to the ROARING OF CANNON AND THE CHARMS OF MUSICK. I have not seen nor heard of any Dangers on the Road that should require Guards to protect one. It is pretty enough in the Eyes of some Men, to see the honest Country Folks gapeing & staring at a Troop of Light Horse. But it is well if it is not some times attended with such Effects as one would not so much wish for, to excite the Contempt of the Multitude, when the Fit of gazing is over, instead of the much longd for Hosannas.

I have not been long enough in Town to be able to give you a full Account of the Affairs of this State. The Assembly are interresting themselves as much as possible for the Supply of our Army—a small parcel of Cloathing is ready to be sent, which is intended for the Troops of this State. It is proposd that they shall purchase them at the first Cost and Charges, but not yet determined. The late Commissary General Colo Trumbull came to Town a few days ago. I have not yet seen him. Your Affairs in that Department suffer for want of a Commissary of Issues in the Eastern District to receive the provisions in Colo Trumbull's Hands. The two Houses have requested him to deliver to Mr Colt who is also here, 12000 bushells of Salt belonging to the Continent in this State, and have authorizd a good Man to furnish him with Waggons, & to impress them if they cannot be otherwise procured. I fear if the Commissaries Department is not soon alterd, a dangerous Convulsion will take place. Pray attend to this.

I had the pleasure of waiting on your Lady yesterday. She & her little Flock, or as I might better express it, her great Flock of little Folks are in good Health, as I suppose she will inform you in a Letter which I hope to inclose in this.

Be so kind as to pay my warm Respects to Mr Gerry and Dana General Roberdeau the two Colo Lees and many others, not forgetting the Connecticutt Gentlemen and all who may enquire after me. Among these I flatter myself I shall not be forgotten by the worthy Ladies in the Generals Family. Pray make my very respectful Compliments together with those of my Spouse to them, and assure them that I have a most grateful Remembrance of the many Civilities I receivd from them. May Heaven bless them and the little Folks under their Charge.



THE COUNCIL OF MASSACHUSETTS TO HENRY LAURENS.1

[MS., Massachusetts Archives.]

STATE OF MASS. BAY COUNCIL CHAMBER Decr 1777

SIR

I have the Honor to acquaint you that your Letter of the 28th of Novr inclosing Articles of Confederation and diverse Resolutions of Congress have been laid before the General Assembly of this State. But the Assembly having previously requested the Council to order an Adjournment, and many of the Members having returnd to their respective Homes, the Council have adjournd the Assembly to a short Day when it is expected there will be a full Meeting; and the important matters above mentiond will be taken under due consideration.

I am in the Name of the Council— Sir your most hbl servt

END OF VOLUME III.

1President of the Continental Congress.

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