Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

The Writings of Samuel Adams, vol. III.

Part 4 out of 7

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

they have greatly chagrined the common enemies of America, who
flattered themselves with hopes that before this day they should
starve us into a compliance with the insolent demands of despotic
power. But the people, relieved by your charitable contributions,
bear the indignity with becoming patience and fortitude. They
are not insensible of the injuries done them as men, as well as
free Americans; but they restrain their Just resentment from a
due regard to the common cause.

The Committee beg the favor of you, gentlemen, to return their
thanks to our worthy brethren of Marble Town, for the valuable
donation received from them.

I am, with due acknowledgments for the care you have taken, in
the name of the Committee, Gentlemen, your obliged friend and

1 Of New York. [back]


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 277, 278; a text, dated January 20, is in Boston
Gazette, January 23, I775, and in Force, American Archives, 4th
ser., vol. i., p. 1172.]

BOSTON, January 13.

The printers in this and the other American Colonies are
requested to insert the following in their several News Papers.


The Committee appointed by the Town of Boston, to receive and
distribute donations for the charitable purpose of relieving and
employing the sufferers by means of the Act of Parliament
commonly called the Boston Port-Bill, from a due regard to their
own characters and that of the Town under whose appointment they
act, as well as for the sake of the said sufferers, who depend
upon the continual beneficence of their friends for necessary
relief; think themselves obliged, in this public manner, to
contradict a slanderous report raised by evil minded persons,
spread in divers parts of this Province, and perhaps more
extensively through the continent. The report is, that "each
Member of the Committee is allowed six shillings, and, as some
say, half a guinea, for every day's attendance; besides a
commission upon all the donations received, and other emoluments
for their trouble." The Committee, therefore, thus openly
declare, that the above mentioned report is in every part of it
groundless and false ; and that they have hitherto attended and
acted in their office, and still continue so to do, without any
intention, hope, or desire, of receiving any other reward in this
life, but the pleasure which results from a consciousness of
having done good.--So satisfied are they of their own
DISINTERESTED motives and conduct in this regard, that they can
safely appeal to the Omniscient Being for their sincerity in this

And whereas the committee have this evening been informed, by a
letter from the country, of another report equally injurious,
viz. that "the Com- mittee have employed poor persons in working
for themselves, and gentlemen of fortune with whom they are
particularly connected in their private concerns, and paid them
out of the donations received "; the Committee do, with the same
solemnity, declare the said report to be as false as it is

They were early apprehensive that the enemies of TRUTH and
LIBERTY, would spare no pains to misrepresent their conduct and
asperse their characters ; and therefore, that they might always
have it in their power to vindicate themselves, they have
constantly kept regular books, containing records of the whole of
their proceedings; which books, as the Committee advertised the
public some months ago, are open for the inspection of such as
are inclined to look into and examine them.

The Committee now challenge any person whatever, to make it
appear, that there is a just foundation for such reports. Until
this reasonable demand is complied with, they confide in the
justice of the public, that no credit will be given to reports,
so injurious to the Committee, and to this oppressed and insulted

If the friends of truth will inform the Committee of any reports
they may hear, tending to defame the Committee, and by that means
to discourage further donations for the benevolent purpose of
relieving the sufferers above-mentioned, it will be acknowledged
as a particular favor.

Sign'd by Order of the Committee,

1 Signed by Samuel Adams as chairman. The authorship is not


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

BOSTON Jan 29 1775


Upon my Return from the Continental Congress at Philadelphia I
had the Pleasure of receiving your Letter of the . . . I beg you
would attribute my not having acknowledgd the favor before this
time, to continual Avocations which the Necessity of the Times
have required.

When the cruel Edict for shutting up this Harbour took place,
which was in a very short time after we had any notice that such
a Measure was intended, the Inhabitants of the Town met in
Faneuil Hall and, as you have long ago heard, resolvd to suffer
all the hardships intended by it, rather than submit to its
unrighteous as well as ignominious Terms. Supported by the most
liberal Donations from their Brethren in all the Colonies, they
suffer the Suspension of their Trade & Business with Patience and
even laugh at this feeble Effort of their Enemies to force them
to make the Concessions of Slaves.

The Act for regulating the Government of this Province and the
Murder Act as it is commonly called soon followd the Port Act;
and General Gage, whether from his own Motives or the
Instructions of the Minister, thought proper to assemble all the
Kings Troops then on the Continent, in this Town and has declared
to the Selectmen & others his Resolution to put the Acts in
Execution. The People on the other hand resolve that they will
not submit to them and the Continent applauds them herein. The
new appointed Councellors and others who have openly avowd the
Measures of Administration being conscious that Mr Gage was not
mistaken when he publickly declared under his Hand, that the
Opposition to these Acts was general through the Province, have
fled to this Town for Protection. Thus we appear to be in a state
of Hostility. The General with . . . Regiments with a very few
Adherents on one side & all the rest of the Inhabitants of the
Province backd by all the Colonies on the other! The People are
universally disposd to wait till they can hear what Effect the
Applications of the Continental Congress will have, in hopes that
the new Parliament will reverse the Laws & measures of the old,
abolish that System of Tyranny which was pland in 1763 (perhaps
before), confirm the just Rights of the Colonies and restore
Harmony to the British Empire. God grant they may not be
disappointed! Lest they should be, they have been, & are still
exercising themselves in military Discipline and providing the
necessary Means of Defence. I am well informd that in every Part
of the Province there are selected Numbers of Men, called Minute
Men--that they are well disciplind & well provided--and that upon
a very short Notice they will be able to assemble a formidable
Army. They are resolvd however not to be the Aggressors in an
open Quarrel with the Troops; but animated with an unquenchable
Love of Liberty they will support their righteous Claim to it, to
the utmost Extremity. They are filled with Indignation to hear
that Hutchinson & their other inveterate Enemies have hinted to
the Nation that they are Cowards. Administration may improve this
Suggestion to promote their mad purposes, but whenever it is
brought to the Test it will be found to be a fatal Delusion. The
People are recollecting the Achievements of their Ancestors and
whenever it shall be necessary for them to draw their Swords in
the Defence of their Liberties, they will shew themselves to be
worthy of such Ancestors. I earnestly wish that Lord North would
no longer listen to the Voice of Faction. Interested Men whose
very Being depends upon the Emoluments derivd to them from the
American Revenue, have been artfully deceiving him. Such Men as
these, some of them, under a mere pretence of flying to the Army
for Protection, have got themselves about General Gage. They are
supposd to be perpetually filling his Ears with gross
Misrepresentations. Hutchinson who is now in England has the
Tongue & the Heart of a Courtier. His Letters to Whately show
what his Designs have been and how much he has contributed
towards bringing on the present Difficulties. America never will,
Britain never ought to forgive him. I know, at least I thought I
knew his ambitious and avaritious Designs long before he wrote
those Letters. I know the part he bore in the several
Administrations of Shirly of Pownal & of Bernard. Pownals Views
were generous. I pitied him under his Embarrassments. Even
Bernard I can forgive. If Administration are determind still to
form their measures from the Information of an inveterate Party,
they must look to the Consequences. It will be in vain for others
to attempt to undeceive them. If they are disposd to bring
Matters to an Accommodation they know the Sense of the Colonies
by the Measures of the Continental Congress. If our Claims are
just & reasonable they ought to concede to them. To pretend that
it is beneath the Dignity of the Nation for them to do that which
Justice demands of them is worse than Folly. Let them repeal
every American revenue Law--recall standing Armies--restore. . .


[Historical Magazine, 2nd ser., vol. iv., p. 219.]

BOSTON Jany 31 1775


I received your kind letter some time ago, which should have been
acknowledged before this time but I beg you would consider that
our hands are full. Our "worthy citizen" Mr Paul Revere will
explain to you the intelligence which we have just received from
England. It puts me in mind of what I remember to have heard you
observe, that we may all be soon under the necessity of keeping
SHOOTING IRONS. God grant that we may not be brought to extremity
or otherwise prepare us for all events.

Mr Tudor has informed me that a report has prevailed in
Philadelphia of a Fracas between Mr Cushing and myself at our
late Provincial Congress, he showed me your letter; you may
depend upon it there is not the least Foundation for the Report.
Any Difference between Mr Cushing and me is of very little
consequence to the public cause. I take notice of it only as one
of the many Falshoods which I know to have been propagated by the
Enemies of America. It is also a Misrepresentation that the sect
taken notice of for opening their Shops on our late Thanksgiving
Day, was that of the People called Quaquers. They were the
Disciples of the late Mr Sanderman, who worship God here without
the least Molestation according to their own manner, and are in
no other Light disregarded here but as it is said they are in
general avowed Friends of the Ministerial Measures. This is what
I am told, for my own part I know but little or nothing about
them. The Different denominations of Christians here (excepting
those amongst them who Espouse the cause of our Enemies) are in
perfect peace and Harmony, as I trust they always will be.

I have written this letter in very great Haste, while in the
Committee of Correspondence and conclude with due Regard to your
Spouse, and all friends

Yours affectionately

[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 161, 162.]

BOSTON, Feb. 1, 1775.


The Committee appointed to receive and distribute the donations
made for the relief and employment of the sufferers by the Port
Bill, have received your letter of the 6th December last,
inclosing a bill of lading for seven hundred and fifteen bushels
corn, thirty-three barrels pork, fifty-eight barrels bread, and
ten barrels flour. We are sorry to inform you that the vessel was
cast away, but being timely advised of the disaster by Capt.
Rysam, we have, though not without considerable expense, the good
fortune of saving the most part of the cargo.

The County and Borough of Norfolk, and Town of Portsmouth, who
made this charitable donation for the sufferers above mentioned,
have the due acknowledgments of this Committee, and their hearty
thanks, with assurance that it shall be applied agreeable to the
benevolent design. The cheerful accession of the gentlemen of
Virginia to the measures proposed by the late Continental
Congress, is an instance of that zeal for, and attachment to the
cause of America, in which that colony has ever distinguished

This Town is suffering the severest strokes of ministerial
vengeance, for their adherence to the same virtuous cause; and
while the sister Colonies are testifying their approbation of its
conduct, and so liberally contributing for its support, we trust
the inhabitants will continue to bear their suffering with a
manly fortitude, and preserve a superiority over their insulting

I am, in the name of the Committee, Gentlemen, your sincere
friend and fellow-countryman,

1A committee for the county and borough of Norfolk and town of
Portsmouth, Virginia.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 185, 186.]

BOSTON, February 1, 1775.


Your letter of the 29th December last, directed to Mr. Cushing,
Mr. John Adams, Mr. Paine and myself, inclosing bill of lading
for three hundred twenty-nine and a half bushels wheat, one
hundred thirty-five bushels corn, and twenty-three barrels flour,
was delivered to us by Capt. Tompkins, and we have laid it before
the Committee of this Town appointed to receive and distribute
Donations made for the relief and employment of the sufferers by
the Port Bill. I am, in the name of the Committee, to desire you
to return their hearty thanks to the worthy gentlemen of Henrico
County, who have so generously contributed for that charitable
purpose, and to assure them, that their donations shall be
applied so as duly to answer their benevolent intention.

The Colony of Virginia made an early stand, by their ever
memorable Resolves, in 1765, against the efforts of a corrupt
British Administration to enslave America, and has ever
distinguished herself by her exertions in support of our common
rights. The sister Colonies struggled separately, but the
Minister himself has at length united them, and they have lately
uttered language that will be heard. It is the fate of this
Town to drink deep of the cup of ministerial vengeance; but while
America bears them witness that they suffer in HER cause, they
glory in their sufferings. Being thus supported by HER
liberality, they will never ungratefully betray her rights.
Inheriting the spirit of their virtuous ancestors, they will,
after their example, endure hardships, and confide in an all-
gracious Providence. Having been born to be free, they will never
disgrace themselves by a mean submission to the injurious terms
of slavery. These, Sir, I verily believe to be the sentiments of
our inhabitants, and if I am not mistaken, such assistances are
to be expected from them, as you assure us are most sincerely and
unanimously wished by every Virginian.

I am, in the name of the Committee, Sir, your sincere friend and

1Of Henrico County, Virginia.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 182, 183.]

BOSTON, February 1, 1775.


Capt. Tompkins duly delivered your letter, dated Virginia,
Chesterfield County, Dec. 1774, directed to Mr. Cushing, Mr. John
Adams, Mr. Paine and myself, with a bill of lading inclosed for
I,054 bushels of wheat, 376 1/2 bushels corn, and five bushels
peas, of which 210 bushels wheat, and 12 1/2 corn we perceive
comes from the people of Cumberland. As this Town have appointed
a Committee to receive and distribute donations made for the
relief and employment of the sufferers by the Boston Port Bill,
for which charitable purpose these donations of your constituents
are appropriated, your letter and the bill of lading are assigned
to them, and in their name I am now to desire you to accept of
their grateful acknowledgments for the benevolent part you have
taken, and also to make their returns of gratitude to the worthy
Gentlemen of Chesterfield and Cumberland County, for the very
Generous assistance they have afforded for the relief of the
inhabitants of Boston, yet suffering, as you express it, under
cruel oppression for the common cause of America. It is a sense
of the dignity of the cause which animates them to suffer with
that fortitude which you are pleased candidly to attribute to
them; and while they are thus encouraged and supported by the
sister Colonies, they will, by God's assistance, rather than
injure or stain that righteous cause, endure the conflict to the

The Committee have received 192 1/2 bushels of wheat, mentioned
in your letter, as a donation from the people of Goochland
County. You will greatly oblige the Committee if you will return
their hearty thanks to their generous friends in that County.

I am, with truth and sincerity, Gentlemen, your respectful friend
and humble servant,

1Of Chesterfield County, Virginia.

[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 223, 224; a text is
also in Force, American Archives, 4th ser., vol. i., p. 1239, and
a draft is in Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 14th, 1775.

MY DEAR SIR,--A few days ago I received your letter of the 7th
December, and was greatly pleased to find that you had returned
from Rome at so critical a time. A sudden dissolution of the late
parliament was a measure which I expected would take place. I
must needs allow that the ministry have acted a politic part; for
if they had suffered the election to be put off till the spring,
it might have cost some of them their heads. The new parliament
can with a very ill grace impeach them for their past conduct,
after having so explicitly avowed it. The thunder of the late
speech and the servile answers, I view as designed to serve the
purposes of saving some men from the block. I cannot conclude
that lord North is upon the retreat, though there seems to be
some appearance of it. A deception of this kind would prove fatal
to us. Our safety depends upon our being in readiness for the
extreme event. Of this the people here are thoroughly sensible,
and from the preparations they are making I trust in God they
will defend their liberties with dignity. If the ministry have
not abandoned themselves to folly and madness the firm union of
the colonies must be an important objection. The claims of the
colonies are consistent . . . and necessary to their own
existence as free subjects, and they will never recede from them.
The tools of power here are incessantly endeavouring to divide
them, but in vain. I wish the king's ministers would duly
consider what appears to me a very momentous truth, that one
regular attempt to subdue those in any other colony, whatever may
be the first issue of the attempt, will open a quarrel, which
will never be closed till what some of THEM affect to apprehend,
and we sincerely deprecate, shall take effect. Is it not then
high time that they should hearken not to the clamours of
passionate and interested men, but to the cool voice of impartial
reason ? No sensible minister will think that millions of free
subjects, strengthened by such an union, will submit to be
slaves; no honest minister would wish to see humanity thus

My attendance on the provincial congress now sitting here will
not admit of my enlarging at present. I will write you again by
the next opportunity, and till I have reason to suspect our
adversaries have got some of my letters in their possession. I
yet venture to subscribe, yours affectionately,


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 206, 207.]

BOSTON, Feb. 21, 1775.2


Your letter of the 17th of January, written in behalf of the
Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Sandwich, came duly
to hand. Capt. Tobey, the bearer, was kind enough to deliver to
the Committee of this Town, appointed to receive Donations for
the relief and employment of the sufferers by the Boston Port
Bill, a charitable collection from the Congregational societies
in Sandwich, amounting to nineteen pounds and three pence, for
which he has our Treasurer's receipt. I am to desire you, in the
name of our Committee, to return their sincere thanks to our
worthy brethren, for the kindness they have shown to those
sufferers by so generous a contribution for their support under
the cruel hand of oppression. It affords us abundant satisfaction
to have the testimony of such respectable bodies of men, that
the inhabitants of this Town are not sufferers as evil doers, but
for "their steady adherence to the cause of liberty," and we
cannot but persuade ourselves that the Supreme Being approves our
conduct, by whose all powerful influence the British American
continent hath been united, and thus far successful, in
disappointing the enemies of our common liberty, in their hopes,
that by reducing the people to want and hunger, they should force
them to yield to their unrighteous demands.

I am, Sir, in the name of the Committee, with sincere good
wishes, your friend and countryman,

1Member of the committee of correspondence of Sandwich,
2The actual date of this letter would appear to have been
February 25, from a prior manuscript copy in the library
of the Massachusetts Historical Society. All letters here printed
from the Collections, 4th ser., vol. iv., are
contained in a volume of manuscript copies, from which apparently
the texts in the Collections were edited. The
text of the Collections has been followed in the present volume.


[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, Feb 21 1775


Agreable to the Order of the Provincial Congress, the Committee
of Correspondence of this Town have written Letters to some
Gentlemen of Montreal and Quebeck, which are herewith inclosd. We
have also sent you Twenty Pounds as directed by the Congress. We
hope you will make the utmost Dispatch to Canada, as much depends
upon it. We are with sincere good Wishes.

Your humble Servants,

1Of Pittsfield Mass.


[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, Feb 21 1775


At a Time when the British Colonies in North America are
universally complaining of the Oppression of a corrupt
Administration, the Necessity and Advantage of a free
Communication of Sentiments as well as Intelligence must be
obvious to all. Hence it is that the Committee of Correspondence
appointed by the Town of Boston, have long been sollicitous of
establishing a friendly Intercourse with their Brethren and
Fellow Subjects in your Province. Having receivd Direction for
this important Purpose from our Provincial Congress sitting at
Cambridge on the first of this Instant,2 we take the Liberty of
addressing a Letter to you Gentlemen, begging you would be
assured that we have our mutual Safety and Prosperity at heart.
It is notorious to all the Colonies, that at the Conclusion of
the last War, a System was formd for the Destruction of our
common Rights & Liberties. The Design of the British Ministry was
to make themselves Masters of the Property of the Colonists, and
to appropriate their Money in such a Manner as effectually to
enslave them. The Ministry had influence enough in Parliament to
procure an Act, declaratory of a Right in the King Lords and
Commons of Great Britain to make Laws binding his Majestys
Subjects in America in all Cases whatsoever; and also to pass
other Acts for taxing the American Subjects with the express
Purpose of raising a Revenue, and appropriating the same for the
Support of Civil Government & defraying the Charges of the
Administration of justice in such Colonies where his Majesty
should think proper. The Principle upon which these Acts was
grounded, is in our opinion totally inconsistent with the Idea of
a free Government; for there can be no Freedom where a People is
governd by the Laws of a Parliament, in which they have no Share
and over which they can have no Controul; and if such a
Legislature shall give and grant as much of our Money as it
pleases without our Consent in Person or by our Representatives
what are we but Bond Servants instead of free Subjects? These
Revenue Laws have in their operation been grievous to all the
Colonies & this in a particular Manner. Our own property has been
extorted from us, and applied to the purpose of rendering our
provincial & only Legislature an insignificant Body; and by
providing for the Executive & judiciary Powers in the Province
independent of the People, to place them under the absolute Power
& Controul of a Minister of State. Our righteous and stedfast
opposition to this System of Slavery, has been artfully held up
to our fellow Subjects in Britain as springing from a latent
Design to break off all political Connections with the Parent
Country and to set up an independent Government among ourselves.
The Letters of Bernard, Hutchinson and Oliver have been detected;
by which it appears how great a Share they have had in
misrepresenting & calumniating this Country, and in plotting the
total Ruin of its Liberties, for the Sake of enriching &
aggrandising themselves & their families. The two last named were
Natives of the Colony, of ancient families in it, and having by
Art & Intrigue gaind a considerable Influence over an
unsuspecting People, and thereby a reputation in England, they
found Means to get themselves advancd to the highest Seats in
this Government; and they improvd these Advantages, to put a
period to our free Constitution, by procuring an Act of
Parliament to disanul the essential parts of our Charter &
constitute an absolute despotick Government in its Stead;
fourteen regiments are now assembled in this Capital, and
Reinforcements are expected, to put this Act into Execution. The
People are determined that this shall not be done. They are
united & firmly resolvd to withstand it at the utmost Risque of
Life and Fortune. A Scene therefore may open soon, unless the
Ministry hearken to the Voice of Reason & Justice, which the
Friends of Britain and America must deprecate.

In the same Session of the British Parliament the Act for
establishing a Government in the Province of Quebeck was passed;
whereby our Brethren & fellow Subjects in that Province are
deprived of the most valueable Securities of the British
Constitution, for which they wisely stipulated, & which was
solemnly Guaranteed to them by the Royal Proclamation. These new
Governments of Quebeck and Massachusetts Bay, of a kind nearly
alike, though before unheard of under a British
King, are looked upon by the other Colonies from Nova Scotia to
Georgia, as Models intended for them all; they all therefore
consider themselves as deeply concernd to have them abolishd; and
it is for this Reason, that, although the Advantage of Delegates
from your Province could not be had at the late Continental
Congress, the Quebeck bill was considerd then not only as an
intollerable Injury to the Subjects in that Province but as a
capital Grievance on all. It is an inexpressible Satisfaction to
us to hear that our fellow Subjects in Canada, of French as well
as English Extract, behold the Indignity of having such a
Government obtruded upon them with a resentment which discovers
that they have a just Idea of Freedom & a due regard for
themselves & their Posterity. They were certainly misrepresented
in the most shameful Manner, when, in order to enslave them it
was suggested that they were too ignorant to enjoy Liberty. We
are greatly pleasd to hear that Remonstrances are already sent to
the Court & Parliament of Britain against an Act so disgraceful
to human Nature, and Petitions for its repeal. We pray God to
succeed such noble Exertions, & that the Blessing of a free
Government may be establishd there & transmitted to their latest
posterity. The Enemies of American Liberty will surely be
chagrind when they find, that the People of Quebeck have in
common with other Americans the true Sentiments of Liberty. How
confounded must they be, when they see those very Peoples upon
whom they depended to aid them in their flagitious Designs,
lending their Assistance to oppose them, cheerfully adopting the
resolutions of the late Continental Congress & joyning their own
Delegates in another, to be held at Philadelphia on the l0th of
May next. The Accession of that Colony in particular will add
great Reputation & Weight to the Common Cause.

We rejoyce in the opportunity of informing you that the Assembly
of the Island of Jamaica have warmly espousd our Interest. We
have seen a Copy of their Petition to the King in which they
declare . . . .

We promise ourselves that great Good will be the Effect of this
ingenuous Application in Behalf of the Northern Colonies.

As it is possible you may not have seen the Kings Speech at the
opening of the Parliament we inclose it. Lord Dartmouth in a
Circular Letter to the Governors in America, a Copy of which we
have seen is pleasd to say "The Resolutions of both Houses to
support the great CONSTITUTIONAL Principles by which his Majestys
Conduct hath been governd, and their entire Approbation of the
Steps his Majesty has taken for carrying into Execution THE LAWS
PASSED IN THE LAST SESSION, will, I trust, have the Effect to
remove the FALSE IMPRESSIONS which have been made upon the Minds
of his Majestys Subjects in America, and put an End to those
have been held forth by ARTFUL & DESIGNING MEN." Dated Whitehall
Decr 20 1774. What Ideas his Lordship has of the Consistency of
the Quebec Act with constitutional Principles, which deprives the
Subjects in Canada of those darling Privileges of the British
Constitution, JURORS and the HABEAS CORPUS Act, and in all Crown
Causes, consigns them over to Laws made without their Consent in
person or by their Representatives, perhaps by a Governor &
Council dependent upon the Crown for their Places & Support, & to
be tryed by Judges equally dependent, we will leave to your
Consideration. The Boston Port Bill is another act passed the
last Session & it is executed with the utmost Rigour. How
consistent was it with the great Principles of the Constitution
founded on the Laws of Nature & reason, to punish forty or fifty
thousand Persons for what was done in all Probability by only
forty or fifty. His Lordship may possibly find it very difficult
with his superior understanding to prove that the Destruction of
the Tea in Boston was, considering the Circumstances of the
Action, morally or politically wrong, or, if he must needs think
it was so, could his Lordship judge it inconsistent with the Laws
of God for a Tribunal to proceed to try condemn and punish even
the Individuals who might be chargd with doing it without giving
them an opportunity of being heard or even calling them to
answer! Such however is the Policy, the Justice of the British
Councils. Such his Lordships Ideas of "great constitutional
Principles"! Nothwithstanding the great Confidence of the Noble
Lord, we still have the strongest "Expectations of Support," not
as his Lordship would have it, in the "unwarrantable Pretensions
held forth by artful & designing Men," but in the rational & just
Claims of every unpensiond & disinterested Man in this extended

We beg that you will favor the Committee of Correspondence by the
return of this Messenger with your own Sentiments and those of
the respectable Inhabitants of your Colony; and shall be happy in
uniting with you in the necessary Means of obtaining the Redress
of our Common Grievances.

We are Gentlemen with sincere good Wishes,

Your Friends & Countrymen,

1A similar letter was at the same time addressed to residents of
Montreal; their reply, dated, April 28, I775, is in
Journals of each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, pp. 751,
752. Cf., W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol.
ii., p. 275.
2The session began February 1; the resolution referred to was
adopted February 15. Journals of each Provincial
Congress of Massachusetts, p. 100.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 233, 234; the text is also in W. T. Read, Life and
Correspondence of George Read, pp. 101, 102.]

BOSTON, Feb. 24, 1775.


By your letter of the 6th instant, directed to Mr. David
Jeffries, the Committee of this Town appointed to receive and
distribute the donations made for the employment and relief of
the sufferers by the Boston Port Bill, are informed that a very
generous collection has been made by the inhabitants of the
County of New Castle on Delaware, and that there is in your hands
upwards of nine hundred dollars for that charitable purpose. The
care you have taken, with our worthy friend Nicholas Vandyke,
Esq., in receiving these contributions, and your joint endeavors
to have them remitted in the safest and most easy manner, is
gratefully acknowledged by our Committee; and they have directed
me to request that you would return their sincere thanks to the
people of New Castle County, for their great liberality towards
their fellow subjects in this place who are still suffering under
the hand of oppression and tyranny. It will, I dare say, afford
you abundant satisfaction to be informed that the inhabitants of
this Town, with the exception only of a contemptible few, appear
to be animated with an inextinguishable love of liberty. Having
the approbation of all the sister Colonies, and being thus
supported by their generous benefactions, they endure the most
severe trials, with a manly fortitude which disappoints and
perplexes our common enemies. While a great continent is thus
anxious for them, and constantly administering to their relief,
they can even smile with contempt on the feeble efforts of the
British administration to force them to submit to tyranny, by
depriving them of the usual means of subsistence. The people of
this Province, behold with indignation a lawless army posted in
its capital, with a professed design to overturn their free
constitution. They restrain their just resentments, in hopes that
the most happy effects will flow from the united applications of
the Colonies for their relief.

May Heaven grant that the councils of our sovereign may be guided
by wisdom, that the liberties of America may be established, and
harmony restored between the subjects in Britain and the

I am, your very obliged friend and humble servant,


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 191, 192.]

BOSTON, Feb. 28 1775.


Your letter of the 30th December, addressed to John Hancock,
Esq., has been laid before the Committee appointed by this Town,
to receive and distribute the donations made for the employment
and relief of the sufferers by the Act of Parliament, commonly
called the Boston Port Bill. I am directed by the Committee to
return you their hearty thanks for the care you have generously
taken in the disposal of a parcel of corn, (free of charge,)
which was shipped for that charitable purpose, by our friends in
Essex County, in Virginia, on board the schooner Sally, James
Perkins, master, driven by stress of weather to St. Eustatia. An
account of sales of the corn was inclosed in your letter,
together with a bill of exchange drawn by Mr. Sampson Mears on
Mr. Isaac Moses of New York, for one hundred seventy-one pounds,
eight shillings, that currency, being the amount thereof.

The opinion you have formed of the inhabitants of this Town, as
having so virtuously dared to oppose a wicked and corrupt
ministry, in their tyrannical acts of despotism, must needs be
very flattering to them. The testimony of our friends so fully in
our favor, more especially of those who are not immediately
interested in the unhappy contest between Britain and her
Colonies, must strongly excite this people to a perseverance in
so righteous a cause.

Be pleased, Sir, to accept of due acknowledgments for your kind
wishes for our speedy relief, and be assured that I am, (in the
name of the Committee,)

Your very obliged friend and humble servant,

1At St. Eustatia.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 188, 189; the text, dated March 2, 1775, is in Force,
American Archives, 4th ser., vol. ii., p. 16.]


Your letter of the 24th December last to Mr. Cushing and others,
by Capt. Tompkins, of the schooner Dunmore, in which was brought
several valuable donations from our friends in Virginia, to the
sufferers in this Town by the Port Bill, was communicated to the
Committee appointed to receive such donations, and by their
direction I am to acquaint you that they cheerfully consented, at
your request, that the schooner should be discharged at Salem,
thinking themselves under obligation to promote her dispatch,
more especially as there was unexpected delay in her loading, and
you have very generously declined receiving demurrage.

We have repeatedly had abundant evidence of the firmness of our
brethren of Virginia in the American cause, and have reason to
confide in them that they will struggle hard for the prize now
contending for.

I am desired by the Committee to acquaint you that a ship has
lately sailed from this place bound to James River, in Virginia;
the master's name is Crowel Hatch. When he was building his ship,
a proposal was made to him by some of the Committee, to employ
the tradesmen of this Town, for which he should receive a
recompense by a discount of five per cent on their several bills,
but he declined to accept of the proposal. This, you are
sensible, would have been the means of his employing our
sufferers at their usual rates, and at the same time as cheap to
him as if he had got his vessel built by more ordinary workmen
from the country. There is also another circumstance which I must
relate to you. Capt. Hatch proposed that the Committee should
employ our smith, in making anchors for his vessel, at a price by
which they could get nothing but their labor for their pains,
because he could purchase cast anchors imported here, for the
same price, which was refused. At this he was very angry, and
(perhaps in a gust of passion) declared in the hearing of several
persons of credit, that he was used ill, threatening repeatedly
that he would stop all the donations he could, and that no more
should come from the place where he was going to, meaning
Virginia. These facts the Committee thought it necessary to
communicate to you, and to beg the favor of you to use your
influence that Capt. Hatch may not have it in his power, (if he
should be disposed,) to traduce the Committee and injure the
sufferers in this Town, for whose relief our friends in Virginia
have so generously contributed.

I am, in the name of the Committee, Sir, your obliged friend and
humble servant,

1James River, Virginia.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 211.]
BOSTON, March--1775.

GFNTLEMEN, Your letter of the 23d of January last, directed to
the Overseers of the Poor of the Town of Boston, has been laid
before the Committee appointed to receive and distribute
Donations for the sufferers by that cruel and unrighteous Act
of the British Parliament, commonly called the Boston Port Bill.
I am now in behalf of this Committee to acknowledge the receipt
of seven hundred thirty-six and a quarter bushels wheat, twenty-
five bushels Indian corn, three barrels flour, and three barrels
bread, shipped on board the schooner Betsey, Capt. John Foster,
being a very generous contribution of Spotsylvania County, in
Virginia, to those sufferers.

You will be pleased, gentlemen, to return the sincere thanks of
the Committee to our friends of that County, for the warm
sympathy they have in this instance discovered with their
distressed brethren in this Capital. Encouraged by these liberal
donations, the inhabitants of this Town still endure their
complicated sufferings with patience. As men, they feel the
indignities which are offered to them. As citizens, they suppress
their just resentment. But I trust in God, that this much injured
Colony, when urged to it by extreme necessity, will exert itself
at the utmost hazard in the defence of our common rights. I
flatter myself that I am not mistaken, while they deprecate that
necessity, they are very active in preparing for it.

I am, Gentlemen, in behalf of the Committee, your obliged and
affectionate friend and countryman,

1Of Spottsylvania County, Virginia.


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

BOSTON March 4 1775


Till now I did not hear of this opportunity of writing to you. I
have therefore only a few Moments before the Vessel sails to give
you a short Account of Affairs here. General Gage is still at the
head of his Troops with a professd Design to put the regulating &
the Murder Acts into Execution. I therefore consider this Man as
void of a Spark of Humanity, who can deliberately be the
Instrument of depriving our Country of its Liberty, or the people
of their Lives in its Defence. We are not however dismayed;
believe me this People are prepared to give him a warm Reception
if he shall venture to make the bold Attack. I know very well the
policy of great Men on your side the Water. They are backward to
exert themselves in the Cause of America, lest we should desert
our selves and leave them to the Contempt and Ridicule of a
Ministry whom they heartily despise. But assure them that though
from the Dictates of sound Policy we restrain our just Resentment
at the Indignities already offered to us, we shall not fail to
resist the Tyranny which threatens us at the utmost risque. The
publick Liberty must be preservd though at the Expense of many

We had the last Lords Day a small Specimen of the military Spirit
of our Countrymen in the Town of Salem an Account of which is in
the inclosed paper. I am just now told by a Gentleman upon whose
Veracity I depend that he knew that Coll L-------- at the
Governors Table had declared this Account in every part of it to
be true, excepting his giving orders to fire.

Every Art has been practicd to intimidate our leading Men on the
popular side, at the same time the General is held up by the
Friends of Government as a most humane Man, in order to induce
the leading Men to behave in such a Manner as to be shelterd
under his Banner in Case of Extremity--this may have an Effect on
Some, but very few--We keep our Town Meeting alive1 and to-morrow
an oration is to be deliverd by Dr Warren. It was thought best to
have an experiencd officer in the political field on this
occasion, as we may possibly be attackd in our Trenches.

The Town of Marshfield, have lately applied to G. Gage for LEAVE
to have a Meeting, according to the Act of Parliament, & have
resolvd as you may observe by the inclosd. They will be dealt
with according to the Law of the Continental Congress. The Laws
of which are more observd throughout this Continent than any
human Laws whatever.

Another Congress will meet at Philadelphia in May next. Every
Colony has appointed its Delegates (I mean those which did
before) except N York, whose Assembly I have just heard have
resolvd not to send any. The People of that City & Colony, are
infested with Court Scribblers who have labord, perhaps with some
Success, to divide them; they are however in general firm, and
have with regard to the Arrival of a Ship from London since the
first of February, behaved well.--You know their Parliament is
septennial--and therefore must be corrupted. It is best that the
Tories in their house have acted without Disguise. This is their
last Session and the house will, I hope, be purgd at the next

There is a Combination in that Colony of high Church Clergymen &
great Landholders--of the former, a certain Dr C is the head; who
knows an American Episcopate cannot be establishd and
consequently he will not have the pleasure of strutting thro the
Colonies in Lawn Sleeves, until the Authority of parliament to
make Laws for us binding in all Cases whatever is settled. The
Latter are Lords over many Slaves; and are afraid of the
Consequences that would follow, if a Spirit of Liberty should
prevail among them. This however is so far the Case yt I doubt
not the People will chuse Delegates for the Congress, as they did
before.--When that Congress meets, it is expected, that they will
agree upon a Mode of Opposition (unless our Grievances are
redressd) which will render the Union of the Colonies more
formidable than ever. Concordia res parvae crescunt.

We have lately opend a correspondence with Canada2 which, I dare
say will be attended with great and good Effects. Jonathan
Philanthrop under the Signature of Massachutensis, & other
pensiond Scribblers have been endeavoring to terrify the people
with strange Ideas of Treason & Rebellion, but in vain. The
people hold the Invasion of their Rights & Liberties the most
horrid rebellion and a Neglect to defend them against any Power
whatsoever the highest Treason.

We have almost every Tory of Note in the province, in this Town;
to which they have fled for the Generals protection. They affect
the Stile of Rabshekeh, but the Language of the people is, "In
the Name of the Lord we will tread down our Enemies."

The Army has been very sickly thro the Winter & continue so. Many
have died. Many have deserted. Many I believe intend to desert.
It is said there are not in all 2200 effective Men. I have seen a
true List of the 65th & the Detachment of Royal Irish, in both
which there are only 167 Of whom 102 are effective.

1See Columbia University Studies in History, Economics and Public
Law, vol. vii., pp. 74, 75.
2 Cf., page 182.

TO _____ ________.1

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

BOSTON March 12 1775


I receivd your favor of the 20 Jany by Capt Hunt via New York. I
never had the least doubt in my Mind but that the Colony of South
Carolina, which has distinguishd itself through all our Struggles
for the Establishment of American Liberty, would approve of and
support the proceedings of the Continental Congress. I cannot but
think that every sensible Man (Whig or Tory) must see that they
are well adapted to induce the British Government to do us
justice, and I still flatter my self they will operate to that
Effect. There are a Set of infamous & atrociously wicked Men,
here & there in this Continent, who have been endeavoring to make
the Appearance of Divisions among us, in order that our Enemies
in Britain may avail themselves of it, and thereby prevent the
good Effects of the Decisions of the Congress; but every
impartial Man who has gone from America must be able to convince
the Nation, that no human Law has ever been more observd than
those resolutions.

The people of this Town have at length gone through the Winter
with tollerable Comfort. Next to the gracious Interposition of
Heaven we acknowledge the unexampled Liberality of our Sister
Colonies. If I am called an Enthusiast for it, I cannot help
thinking that this Union amoung the Colonies and Warmth of
Affection, can be attributed to Nothing less than the Agency of
the supreme Being. if we believe that he superintends & directs
the great Affairs of Empires, we have reason to expect the
restoration and Establishment of the publick Liberties, unless by
our own Misconduct we have renderd ourselves unworthy of it; for
he certainly wills the Happiness of those of his Creatures who
deserve it, & without publick Liberty, we cannot be happy.

Last Monday an Oration was deliverd to a very crowded Audience in
this Town in Commemoration of the Massacre perpetrated by Preston
and his party on the 5 of March 1770--Many of the Officers of the
Army attended. They behaved tollerably well till the Oration was
ended, when some of them began a Disturbance, which was soon
suppressed & the remaining Business of the Meeting went on as

On Thursday following a simple Country man was inveigled by a
Soldier to bargain with him for a Gun; for this he was put under
Guard and the next day was tarred & featherd by some of the
Officers and Soldiers of the 47. 1 did not see this military
parade, but am told & indeed it is generally said without any
Contradiction that I have heard, that the Lt Coll headed the
Procession. We are at a Loss to account for this Conduct of a
part of the Army in the face of the Sun unless there were good
Assurances that the General would connive at it. However he says
he is very angry at it. You see what Indignities we suffer,
rather than precipitate a Crisis.

I have not time to write any more, only to acquaint you that this
Letter will be delivd to you by Mr Wm Savage a son of one of my
most valueable Acquaintances. Any Civilities which you may show
him will be gratefully acknowledgd by

Your friend,

1Endorsed as "To a Southern Friend."
2Hutchinson, in his diary for September 6, 1775, mentions a call
from Colonel James, who left Nantasket July 29, and continues:
"He tells an odd story of the intention of the Officers the 5
March that 300 were in the Meeting to hear Dr Warrens oration--
that if he had said anything against the King &c an Officer was
prepared who stood near, with an Egg to have thrown in his face
and that was to have been a signal to draw swords & they would
have massacred Hancock Adams & hundreds more & he added he wished
they had. I am glad they did not for I think it would have been
an everlasting disgrace to attack a body of people without arms
to defend themselves. He says one Officer cried Fy Fy. S. Adams
immediately asked who dared say so and then said to the Officer
he should mark him. The Officer answered and I will mark you. I
live at such a place & shall be ready to meet you. Adams said be
would go to the General. The Officer said his General had nothing
to do with it the Affair was between them two &c." Egerton MS.
No. 2662, British Museum.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 84, 85.]

BOSTON, 14 March, 1775.


I am to acquaint you, that immediately after the arrival of the
unrighteous and cruel edict for shutting up our harbor, the
inhabitants of this Town appointed a Committee to receive and
distribute such donations as our friends were making, for the
employment and relief of those who would become sufferers

Your letter of the 19th of September last, directed to Jno
Hancock, Esq., or the Overseers of the Poor of the Town of
Boston, was laid before the same Committee, enclosing a bill of
lading for one thousand and eighty-seven bushels of corn, being
part of a very valuable contribution, shipped on board the
schooner Sally, James Perkins, master, for the sufferers, from
our respectable friends in Essex County, in Virginia. The
schooner was by contrary winds driven to the island of St.
Eustatia. Mr. Isaac Van Dam,2 a reputable merchant of that place,
generously took the care of the corn, and having made sale of it,
remitted the amount of the proceeds, (free of all expense,) being
one hundred seventy-one pounds 8/, New York currency, in a bill
of exchange, drawn on Mr. Isaac Moses, of that city, which we
doubt not will be duly honored.

The Committee very gratefully acknowledge their obligations to
you, Gentlemen, for your trouble in transmitting this charitable
donation, and they request that you would return their sincere
thanks to the benevolent people of your County, for their great
liberality towards the oppressed inhabitants of this devoted

This is one among many testimonies afforded to us, that the
Virginians are warmly disposed to assist their injured brethren
and fellow-subjects in this place. This consideration has
hitherto encouraged our inhabitants to bear indignities with
patience and having the continual approbation of all the
Colonies, with that of their own minds, as being sufferers in the
common cause of their country, I am fully persuaded of their
resolution, by God's assistance, to persevere in the virtuous
struggle, disdaining to purchase an exemption from suffering by a
tame surrender of any part of the righteous claim of America. May
Heaven give wisdom and fortitude to each of the Colonies, and
succeed their unremitted efforts, in the establishment of public
liberty on an immoveable foundation.

I am, in behalf of our Committee, Gentlemen, your affectionate
friend and countryman,

1Archibald Ritchie, Jonathan Lee, and Robert Beverly, of Essex
County, Virginia.
2 Cf., page 190.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., p. 263.]

BOSTON, March 14th, 1775.


I am directed by the Committee appointed by this Town, to
acquaint you that your bill of exchange, drawn on Jeremiah Lee,
Esq., for two hundred pounds Maryland currency, being the amount
of a generous collection made by the respectable people of the
middle division of Frederick County, for the relief of the
sufferers by the Boston Port Bill, is duly received. Be pleased,
Sir, to accept of the Committee's sincere acknowledgments of your
kindness in transacting this affair; and if it be not too
troublesome permit me to ask the further favor of you, that a
collection which the Committee are advised is making by our
friends in Cecil County, which will amount to three or four
hundred pounds, may in like manner pass through your hands.

I am, Sir, with very great regard, in behalf of the Committee,
your obliged and affectionate friend and countryman,

1At Baltimore, Maryland.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., p. 244, 245.]

BOSTON, March 15th, 1775.


I am to acknowledge your letter of the 17th of February last,
directed to Mr. Cushing, who is a member of the Committee
appointed by this Town to receive and distribute the donations
from our friends to the sufferers by the Act of Parliament,
commonly called the Boston Port Bill, and to acquaint you that
agreeable to your directions, Mr. Sam'l Purviance, Jr., has
remitted, in a bill of exchange, the sum of two hundred pounds,
your currency, being a contribution from the gentlemen of the
Middle Division of Frederick County, in Maryland, for that
charitable purpose. You will be pleased to return the hearty
thanks of our Committee to those gentlemen for the generous
donation, and to assure them that it will be applied to its
proper use.

It will doubtless afford them satisfaction to be informed that
their brethren in this place endure the sufferings inflicted upon
them by that unrighteous and barbarous edict, with patience and
fortitude, and that they will continue to bear oppression, and
count it all joy so to do, rather than stain their own reputation
by a base compliance with the demands of arbitrary power.

With very great regard, I am, in behalf of the Committee, your
obliged and affectionate friend and countryman,

1At Frederick Town, Maryland.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 227, 228.]

BOSTON, March 15th, 1775.


The Committee appointed by this Town to receive and distribute
Donations made for the relief and employment of the sufferers by
the Boston Port Bill, have received your favor of the 2d of
February, directed to the Committee of Correspondence of Boston,
whereby you acquaint them that a collection is making by the
gentlemen of Cecil County, in Maryland, for those sufferers, and
desire to be informed in what way it will be most agreeable to
have it remitted to this place. As Mr. Sam'l Purviance, of
Baltimore Town, has already obliged us by his kind offices of
this kind, the Committee have asked the further favor of him, (if
it be most agreeable to you,) that this generous donation may be
remitted through his hands.

I am, with sincere regard for our sympathizing brethren in your
County, in behalf of the Committee, Gentlemen, your obliged and
affectionate friend and countryman,

1The committee of correspondence for Cecil County, Virginia.


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a shorter text is in
Force, American Archives, 4th ser., vol. ii., p. 176 ; portions
of the letter are printed in W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams,
vol. ii., pp. 256, 257, 281.]

BOSTON March [21] 1775


I am much obligd to you for your Favor of the 4th of Feb last by
Cap Leighton. From the begining of this great Contest with the
Mother Country Virginia has distinguishd herself in Support of
American Liberty; and we have abundant Testimony, in the liberal
Donations receivd from all parts of that Colony, for the
Sufferers in this Town, of their Zeal and Unanimity in the
Support of that all important Cause. I have the pleasure to
inform you, that the People of this Colony are also firm and
united, excepting a few detestable Men most of whom are in this
Town. General Gage is still here with Eleven Regiments besides a
Detachment from the 59th & 65th, yet it is generally supposd
there are not more than 2500 effective Men in all. They have been
very sickly thro' the Winter past. Many of them have died and
many others have deserted. I have lately seen a joynt List, which
I believe to be a true one, of the Royal Irish and the Detachment
from the 65th in which the whole Number was 167 & only 102
effective. But though the Number of the Troops are diminishd, the
Insolence of the officers (at least some of them) is increased.
In private Rencounters I have not heard of a single Instance of
their coming off other than second best. I will give you several
Instances of their Behavior in publick. On the 6th Instant there
was an Adjournment of our Town Meeting when an Oration was
deliverd in Commemoration of the Massacre on the 5th of March
1770. I had long expected they would take that Occasion to beat
up a Breeze, and therefore (having the Honor of being the
Moderator of the Meeting and seeing Many of the Officers present
before the Orator came in) I took Care to have them treated with
Civility, inviting them into convenient Seats &c that they might
have no pretence to behave ill, for it is a good Maxim in
Politicks as well as War to put & keep the Enemy in the wrong.
They behaved tollerably well till the oration was finishd when
upon a Motion made for the Appointmt of another orator they began
to hiss, which irritated the Assembly to the greatest Degree, and
Confusion ensued. They however did not gain their End, which was
apparently to break up the Meeting, for order was soon restored &
we proceeded regularly & finishd. I am perswaded that were it not
for the Danger of precipitating a Crisis, not a Man of them would
have been spared. It was provoking enough to the whole Core that
while there were so many Troops stationd here with the Design of
suppressing Town Meetings there should yet be a Meeting, for the
purpose of delivering an Oration to commemorate a Massacre
perpetrated by Soldiers & to show the Danger of Standing Armies.
They therefore it seems a few days after vented their passion on
a poor simple Countryman the state of whose Case is drawn up by
himself and sworn to before a Magistrate as you will see by the
inclosd. Thus you see that the practice of tarring & feathering
which has so often been exclaimd against by the Tories, & even in
the British House of Commons, as inhuman & barbarous, is at
length revivd by some of the polite Gentlemen of the British
Army, stationd in this place, professedly to prevent Riots. Some
Gentlemen of the Town waited on the General on this Occasion. He
APPEARD to be angry at it & declared that he knew Nothing about
any such Design. He said that he indeed heard an irregular beat
of the Drum (for they passed by his House) but thought they were
drumming a bad Woman through the Streets! This to be sure would
not have been a Riot. The Selectmen of Billerica an Inland town
about thirty Miles distant to which the poor abused Man belongs,
have since made a remonstrance to the General a Copy of which is
inclosd; the General promised them that he would enquire into the
Matter, but we hear nothing more about it. Some say that he is
affraid of displeasing his Officers & has no Command over them.
How this may be I cannot say. If he does not soon punish the
officers concernd in this dirty Action, which was done in direct
Defiance of their own Articles, one would think it is so. If he
does not do it, he must look to his own Commission. Qui non
prohibet nec puniit fecit. This Town resents it and have directed
their Committee of Correspondence to enquire into this and other
Conduct and have Depositions before Magistrates in perpetuam rei
Memoriam, to be improvd as Opportunity may offer. A Change of
Ministers and proper representations may reduce a Tyrant, at
least to the Condition of a private Subject. The People are
universally enragd, but from the Motives of sound Policy their
resentment is for the present restraind. Last Saturday a Waggon
going from this Town into the Country was stopped by the Guards
on the Neck, having Nine Boxes of Ball Cartridges which were
seisd by the Troops. Application has been made to the General, by
a private Gentleman who claimd them as his property. The General
told him that he would order them to be markd as such but they
could not THEN be deliverd. The Gentleman told him that if they
were not soon deliverd he should seek recompence elsewhere. I
think you may be satisfied that though "the General has
compleated his Fortification" at the only Entrance into the Town
by Land, and our Harbour is still shut up, "our People are in
good Spirits," and I dare say " the Business of Discipline goes
on well."

I have Just received Letters from our mutual Friends in London
dated the 24, 26 & 28 Decr & 4 & 7 Jany, some Extracts from which
I have thought it necessary to have inserted in our News papers,
as youl see by the inclosd. One paragraph which alarms me I have
not disclosd to any one, which is this "I have been in the
Country with Lord Chatham to shew him the petition of the
Congress of which he highly approvd. He is of Opinion that a
solemn Renunciation of the Right to TAX on the one side, and an
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE SUPREMACY on the other should accompany the
repeal of all the obnoxious Acts. Without that, he says, the
Hearts of the two Countries will not openly embrace each other
with unfeigned Affection & Reconcilement." In this short Sentence
I think it is I easy to see that his Lordships plan of
reconciliation is the same now with that which he held forth in
his Speech at the time of the repeal of the Stamp Act. However
highly I think of his Lordships INTEGRITY I confess I am chagrind
to think that he expects an Acknowledgment of the Supremacy in
terms on our part. I imagine that after such an Acknowledgment,
there may be a variety of Ways by which Great Brittain may
enslave us besides taxing us without our Consent. The possibility
of it should greatly awaken our Apprehensions. Let us take Care
lest America, in Lieu of a Thorn in her foot should have a Dagger
in her heart. Our united Efforts have hitherto succeeded. This is
not a Time for us to relax our Measures. Let us like prudent
Generals improve upon our Success, and push for perfect political

Mr John Allston a young Gentleman in my Neighborhood who owns the
Vessel in which Cap Leighton returns is also a Passenger on
board. His Views are to form Commercial Connections in Virginia.
You will excuse me if I bespeak your favorable Notice of him
should he fall in your way.

I am with sincere regards
Your affectionate Friend & Countryman


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 239, 240.]

BOSTON 21 March, 1775.


I have before me your letter of the 10th of February, directed to
Mr. Hancock, Mr. Cushing and myself, inclosing a bill of lading
for one thousand and ninety-two bushels of grain, being a
generous donation sent by the inhabitants of Westmoreland County,
in Virginia, to the sufferers in this Town by the Boston Port
Bill. Soon after that barbarous edict arrived, our inhabitants
had notice of the kind intentions of our brethren of the other
Colonies, towards them, and they appointed a Committee to receive
and distribute such donations as should be made. I have their
direction to request that you would be pleased to return their
grateful acknowledgments to our worthy friends in your County,
for this very liberal contribution, and to assure them that it
will be disposed of agreeable to their benevolent design.

Your candid opinion of the inhabitants of this Town as having
some share in defending the common rights of British America,
cannot but be very flattering to them, and it will excite in them
a laudable ambition, by their future conduct, to merit the
continuance of it. They are unjustly oppressed, but, by the
smiles of Heaven and the united friendship and support of all
North America, the designs of our enemies to oblige them make
base compliances, to the injury of our common cause, have been
hitherto frustrated. They bear repeated insults of the grossest
kind, not from want of the feelings of just resentment, or spirit
enough to make ample returns, but from principles of sound policy
and reason. Put your enemy in the wrong, and keep him so, is a
wise maxim in politics, as well as in war. They consider
themselves as connected with a great continent, deeply interested
in their patient sufferings. They had rather, therefore, forego
the gratification of revenging affronts and indignities, than
prejudice that all important cause which they have so much at
heart, by precipitating a crisis. When they are pushed by clear
necessity for the defence of their liberties to the trial of
arms, I trust in God, they will convince their friends and their
enemies, of their military skill and valor. Their constant prayer
to God is, to prevent such necessity; but they are daily
preparing for it. I rejoice with you, Sir, in most earnestly
wishing for the speedy and full restoration of the rights of
America, which are violated with so high and arbitrary a hand,
and am, in behalf of the Committee, with great respect,

Your obliged and affectionate friend and countryman,

P. S.--Our last accounts from Great Britain, are of the 19th


[March, 1775.]

[W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. ii., pp. 282-284.1]

Brothers,--We, the delegates of the inhabitants of the Province
of the Massachusetts Bay, being come together to consider what
may be best for you and ourselves to do, in order to get
ourselves rid of those hardships which we feel and fear, have
thought it our duty to tell you, our good brothers, what our
fathers in Great Britain have done and threaten to do with us.

Brothers,--You have heard how our fathers were obliged by the
cruelty of their brethren to leave their country; how they
crossed the great lake and came here; how they purchased this
land with their own money; and how, since that time, they and we,
their sons and grandsons, have built our houses and cut down the
trees, and cleared and improved the land at their and our own
expense; how we have fought for them, and conquered Canada and a
great many other places which they have had and have not paid
for; after all which and many other troubles, we thought we had
reason to hope that they would be kind to us, and allow us to
enjoy ourselves, and sit in our own houses, and eat our own
victuals in peace and quiet; but alas! our brothers, we are
greatly distressed, ar we will tell you our grief; for you, as
well as we, are in danger.

Brothers,--Our fathers in Great Britain tell us our land and
houses and cattle and money are not our own; that we ourselves
are not our own men, but their servants; they have endeavored to
take away our money without our leave, and have sent their great
vessels and a great many warriors for that purpose.

Brothers,--We used to send our vessels on the great lake, whereby
we were able to get clothes and what we needed for ourselves and
you; but such has lately been their conduct that we cannot; they
have told us we shall have no more guns, no powder to use, and
kill our wolves and other game, nor to send to you for you to
kill your victuals with, and to get skins to trade with us, to
buy your blankets and what you want. How can you live without
powder and guns? But we hope to supply you soon with both, of our
own making.

Brothers,--They have made a law to establish the religion of the
Pope in Canada, which lies so near you. We much fear some of your
children may be induced, instead of worshipping the only true
God, to pay HIS dues to images made with their own hands.

Brothers,--These and many other hardships we are threatened with,
which, no doubt, in the end will equally affect you; for the same
reason they would get our lands, they would take away yours. All
we want is, that we and you may enjoy that liberty and security
which we have a right to enjoy, and that we may not lose that
good land which enables us to feed our wives and children. We
think it our duty to inform you of our danger, and desire you to
give notice to all your kindred; and as we much fear they will
attempt to cut our throats, and if you should allow them to do
that, there will nobody remain to keep them from you, we
therefore earnestly desire you to whet your hatchet, and be
prepared with us to defend our liberties and lives.

Brothers,--We humbly beseech that God who lives above, and does
what is right here below, to enlighten your minds to see that you
ought to endeavor to prevent our fathers from bringing those
miseries upon us; and to his good providence we commend you.

1It is here stated that portions of the original draft in the
autograph of Adams were in existence.


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

NEW YORK May 7 1775


Having an opportunity by a Gentleman going to Braintree I
acquaint you that I arrivd in this place yesterday in good Health
and Spirits. The City of New York did great Honor to the
Delegates of this Province and Connecticutt by raising their
Militia to escort them into the City and we have each of us two
Centinels at our respective Lodgings. We intend to proceed
tomorrow for Philadelphia. My great Concern is for your health
and Safety. Pray take the advice of Friends with respect to
removing further into the Country. I receivd your Letter of 26th
of April & Hannahs of the 19th which gave me much Pleasure. Pray
write to me as often as you can. Send me whatever you may hear of
my dear imprisond Son.2 Make use of the Money in your hands for
your Comfort. I have always been well satisfied in your Prudence.
I shall do well enough. I have only time to add that I am my
dearest Betsy most affectionately


1Addressed to her at Dedham, Massachusetts. Adams, in 1749,
married Elizabeth Checkley (cf. Vol. ii., page 380),
who died in 1757. He married, in 1764, Elizabeth Wells (cf. Vol.
ii., page 337), who died in 1808.
2An army surgeon; born, 175I; died 1788.


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



Your last Letter to me was dated the 26 of April. I fear you
think too much of the Expence of Postage. I beg of you my dear
not to regard that, for I shall with the utmost Chearfulness pay
for as many Letters as you shall send to me. It was with very
great Pleasure that I heard from Dr Church that he met you on the
Road and that you were well on the 20th of last Month--that your
Mother had been releasd from the Prison Boston. I also have this
day been told that you were at Cambridge on Saturday last in good
health. It would afford me double Satisfaction to have such
Accounts under your own hand. Dr Churchs Servant assures me that
he saw my Son at Cambridge the day before he left that place; but
the Dr himself tells me that when he saw you (which was after he
left Cambridge) you expressd great Concern that he was still in
Boston. I am impatient to hear of him and the two Servants,--Pray
do not omit writing to me by the next post which passes by your
Door--you may inclose your Letter to our Brother Checkley1 at
Providence with your Request to him to forward it to me by the
Constitutional Post, which he will readily comply with.

I have wrote you five or six Letters since my Departure from
Worcester2 the latter End of April. I wish you would inform me
how many you have receivd and their Dates.

I have lately receivd a Letter from your Brother Andrew and
another from your Brother Samll--they were both well in April
last when their Letters were dated and desire their due Regards
to your Mother and all friends. I am now my dear to inform you
that your Brother Saml (who supposd I should receive his Letter
in Boston) desired me to communicate to your Mother the sorrowful
News of the Death of her Son Billy on the 7th of April--he had
been long ailing, and was at length seizd with the bilious
Cholick and died in three days. May God support your Mother and
other Relations under this repeated Affliction. Saml writes me
that he left no Will and that he will take Care of his Effects--
which I think by Law belong to his Mother to whom they will be
sent when the Times admit of it. I will write to your Brother at
St Eustatia by the first Vessel from this place. I beg you not to
suffer your Mind to be overborn with these Tydings. Open the
Matter to your Mother with your usual Discretion.

I am confident it will afford you Pleasure to be informd that I
am in health. My Duty to your Mother--tell my Daughter & Sister
Polly, & Hannah (who I hope is with you) that I love them, and be
assured my dear Betsy, that I am with the warmest Affection


1Cf page 127.
2Cf. John Hancock to Committee of Safety, April 24, 1775. A. E.
Brown, Hancock, His Book, p. 196.


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



I have so often wrote to you, without having a single Line in
Answer to one of my Letters, that I have doubted whether you have
receivd any of them. Had I not heard that you dined with some of
my Friends at Cambridge about a fortnight ago I should have
suspected that you had changed your Place of Abode at Dedham and
that therefore my Letters had not reached you, or I should have
been very anxious lest by some bodily Indisposition you were
renderd unable to write to me. It is painful to me to be absent
from you. As your Letters would in some Measure afford me
Reliefe, I beg you would omit no Opportunity of writing. Your
Backwardness leads me to apprehend there has something happend
which would be disagreable to me to hear. If any ill Accident has
befallen my Son or any other person dear to me, I would chuse to
hear it. Our Boston Friends are some of them confined in a
Garrison, others dispersd I know not where. Pray, my dear, let me
know as much about them as you can. I make no Doubt but it will
be a pleasure to you to hear that I am in good Health and
Spirits. I wish I could consistently inform you what is doing
here. I can however tell you that Matters go on, though slower
than one could wish, yet agreable to my Mind. My Love to all
Friends. I earnestly recommend you and them to the Protection
and Blessing of Heaven. The Bearer is waiting for this Letter, I
must therefore conclude with assuring you that I am with the
greatest Sincerity, my dear Betsy,

Your affectionate husband and Friend

June 17

We have had Occasion to detain the Bearer which gives me the
Pleasure of acknowledging your very acceptable and obliging
Letter of the 6th Instant. I am rejoycd to hear that you are
recoverd from a late Indisposition of Body. I pray God to confirm
your Health. I wonder that you have receivd but one Letter from
me since I left Worcester. I wrote to you at Hartford and New
York and I do not know how often since I came into this City.

It is a great Satisfaction to me to be assured from you that your
Mother & Family are out of Boston, and also my boy Job. I commend
him for his Contrivance in getting out. Tell him from me to be a
good Boy. I wish to hear that my Son and honest Surry were
releasd from their Confinement in that Town. I am much pleasd my
dear with the good Sense and publick Spirit you discoverd in your
Answer to Majr Kains Message--your Concern for my comfortable
Subsistence here is very kind and obliging to me--when I am in
Want of Money I will write to you.



[J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, vol. i., pp. 90, 91.]

PHILADELPHIA, June 22, 1775.


Our patriotic general Washington will deliver this letter to you.
The Massachusetts delegates have jointly given to him a list of
the names of certain gentlemen, in whom he may place the greatest
confidence. Among these you are one. Major-general Lee and major
Mifflin accompany the general. They are a triumvirate which will
please the circle of our friends. Mifflin is aid-de-camp to the
general. I regret his leaving this city; but have the
satisfaction of believing that he will add great spirit to our
army. Time will not admit of my adding at present more than that
I am

Your affectionate friend,


[MS., Collection of John Boyd Thacher, Esq.]

PHILD, June 22, 1775.


Our patriotic General Washington will deliver this Letter to you.
The Massachusetts Delegates have jointly given to him a List of
the Names of certain Gentlemen, in whom he may place the greatest
Confidence. Among these you are one. We have assurd him that he
may rely upon such others as you may recommend to him. Excuse
my writing to you so short a letter and believe me to be

Your affectionate friend,

Major General Lee and Major Mifflin accompany the General. A
Triumvirate you will be pleased With. Cannot our friend Joseph
Greenleaf be employd to his own & his Countrys Benefit?


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

PHILADA, June 28 1775


Yesterday I receivd Letters from some of our Friends at the Camp
informing me of the Engagement between the American Troops and
the Rebel Army, in Charlestown. I cannot but be greatly rejoycd
at the tryed Valor of our Countrymen, who by all Accounts behavd
with an Intrepidity becoming those who fought for their Liberties
against the mercenary Soldiers of a Tyrant. It is painful to me
to reflect upon the Terror I must suppose you were under on
hearing the Noise of War so near you. Favor me, my dear, with an
Account of your Apprehensions at that time, under your own hand.
I pray God to cover the heads of our Countrymen in every day of
Battle, and ever to protect you from Injury in these distracted
Times. The Death of our truly amiable and worthy Friend Dr Warren
is greatly afflicting. The Language of Friendship is, how shall
we resign him! But it is our Duty to submit to the Dispensations
of Heaven, "Whose Ways are ever gracious, ever just." He fell in
the glorious Struggle for the publick Liberty.

Mr Pitts and Dr Church inform me that my dear Son has at length
escapd from the Prison of Boston. I have inclosd a Letter to him,
which I desire you would seal and deliver to him, or send it to
him if he is not with you. Remember me to my dear Hannah and
Sister Polly and to all Friends. Let me know where good old Surry

Gage has made me respectable by naming me first among those who
are to receive no favor from him. I thoroughly despise him and
his Proclamation. It is the Subject of Ridicule here, as you may
see by the inclosd which I have taken from this days paper. I am
in good health and Spirits. Pray my dear let me have your Letters
more frequently--by every opportunity. The Clock is now striking
twelve. I therefore wish you a good Night.

Yours most affectionately,


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



As I have no doubt but the Congress will adjourn in a few days,
perhaps tomorrow, I do not expect to have another opportunity of
writing to you before I set off for New England. The arduous
Business that has been before the Congress and the close
Application of the Members, added to the Necessity and Importance
of their visiting their several Colonies & attending their
respective Conventions, have inducd them to make a Recess during
the sultry Month of August. My Stay with you must be short, for I
suppose the Congress will meet again early in September. I have
long ago learnd to deny my self many of the sweetest
Gratifications in Life for the Sake of my Country. This I may
venture to say to you, though it might be thought Vanity in me to
say it to others. I hear that my Constituents have given me the
Choice of a Seat in either House of our new Assembly--that is,
that Boston have chosen me again one of their Members, and the
House have chosen me one of the Council--you know better than I
do, whether there be a foundation for the Report. My Constituents
do as they please, and so they ought. I never intrigud for their
Suffrages,and I never will. I am intimately conscious that I have
servd them as well as I could, and I believe they think so
themselves. I heartily wish I could serve them better--but the
Testimony of my own Conscience and their Approbation, makes me
feel my self superior to the Threats of a Tyrant, either at St
Jamess or in the Garrison of Boston.

I have receivd a Letter from my Friend Mr Dexter dated the 18
Instant. Present my due Regards to him. He informd me that you
had been at his house a few Evenings before and was well, and
that you deliverd a Letter to a young Gentleman present, to carry
to Cambridge for Conveyance to me. I am greatly mortified in not
having receivd it by the Express that brought me his Letter.

Mr Adams2 of Roxbury also wrote me that he had often met with you
and was surprised at your Steadiness & Calmness under Tryal. I am
always pleasd to hear you well spoken of, because I know it is
doing you Justice.

I pray God that at my Return I may find you and the rest of my
dear Friends in good health. The Treatment which those who are
still in Boston meet with fills me with Grief and Indignation.
What Punishment is due to General Gage for his Perfidy!

Pay my proper Respects to your Mother & Family, Mr & Mrs Henshaw,
my Son & Daughter, Sister Polly &c. Tell Job and Surry that I do
not forget them. I conclude, my dear, with the warmest Affection


P. S. Mr William Barrell will deliver you this Letter--he was
kind enough to tell me he would go out of his way rather than not
oblige me in carrying it--he boards with us at Mrs Yards, and is
a reputable Merchant in this City. Richard Checkley is his
Apprentice--you know his Sister Mrrs Eliot. I know you will
t[re]at him with due respect.

1Addressed "To Mrs Elizabeth Adams at Dedham, near the Hon Mr
Dexters Favord by Mr Barrell."
2Amos Adams; under date of July 18, 1775.


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

DEDHAM Septmbr 4 1775.

Receivd of Samuel Adams the following Sums of Money which were
deliverd to him by several Gentlemen in Philadelphia for the
Benefit of the Poor of Boston, viz

One thousand Dollars delivered to him by . . . Reed Esqr being
the Donation of the County of Newcastle on Delaware.

One second Bill of Exchange drawn by Samuel & Robert Purviance on
Mess Geyer and Burgess Merchants in Boston for the Sum of L228.
2. 11 and another second Bill, drawn by the said Saml & Robt
Purviance on Stephen Hooper, Esqr Mercht in Newbury Port for L78.
2. 1, both payable to the said Adams and amounting to three
hundred and Six pounds Pennsylvania Currency, the Donation of
Cecil County in Maryland.2

Three hundred and fifty Eight pounds ten shillings and four pence
Pennsylvania Currency, being the produce of two sterling Bills of
Exchange deliverd to said Adams by Peyton Randolph Esqr the
Donations of the City of Williamsburgh and the County of James
River in Virginia, viz L239. n. 2p. sterling sold in Philadelphia
at 50 p cent and one hundred and fifty pounds Pennsylvania
Currency being the produce of a Bill of Exchange for L100
sterling deliverd to said Adams by Patrick Henry Esqr and the
Donation of the County of Hannover in Virginia.

Seventy pounds Pennsylvania Currency deliverd to said Adams by Mr
Moor Fyrman and the Donation of the County of Hunterdon in New

Thirteen ounces fourteen pennyweight and twenty Grains of Gold
deliverd to the said Adams by . . . Jefferson Esqr and is the
Donation of the County of Lancaster in Virginia.

Four ounces and Nineteen pennyweight of Gold and two pistarenes
being the Donation of the County of Amherst in Virginia.

Four ounces two pennyweight and five Grains of Gold, five ounces
ten pennyweight and six Grains of Silver, and fifty-seven
Dollars, the Donation of King William County in Virginia--
Containg 51. 5. 4 Phila Currency.

Fifty-one pounds fifteen Shillings & nine pence Pennsylvania
Currency deliverd to him by Mr Winccoop and is the Donation of
the County of Bucks in Pennsylvania.

One hundred and seventy Eight pounds fourteen shillings and Nine
pence deliverd to said Adams by James Willson Esqr, being
Pennsylvania Currency and the Donation of the County of
Cumberland in Pennsylvania.

Also a Bill drawn by Eliezer Callander on William Shattuck,
Merchant in Watertown for forty Eight pounds Sixteen Shillings
and nine pence Virginia Currency payable to Charles Dickn Charles
Washington and George Thornton Esqrs and by them indorsd, being
the Donation of the County of Augusta, in Virginia.

All which Sums of Money and Bills as aforesaid I have receivd of
the said Samuel Adams in behalf of the Committee appointed by the
General Assembly of this Colony at the last Session, to receive
Donations that are or have been made, for the Reliefe of the poor
Sufferers by the Boston Port bill and others in the Town of
Boston and Colony of the Massachusetts Bay.

MOSES GILL, Treasurer to sd Committee.

1Wholly in the autograph of Adams; except the signature.
2Cf, page 204. [back]
3Cf, page 193. [back]


[J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, vol. i., pp. 113, 114; the
text is in Force, American Archives, 4th ser., vol. iii., p.

PHILADELPHIA, Sep. 26, 1775.


I arrived in this city on the 12th instant, having rode full
three hundred miles on horseback, an exercise which I have not
used for many years past. I think it has contributed to the
establishment of my health, for which I am obliged to my friend
Mr. John Adams, who kindly offered me one of his horses the day
after we sat off from Watertown.

I write you this letter, principally to put you in mind of the
promise you made me to give me intelligence of what is doing in
our assembly and the camp. Believe me, Sir, it is of great
importance that we should be informed of every circumstance of
our affairs. The eyes of friends and foes are attentively I fixed
on our province, and if jealousy or envy can sully its
reputation, you may depend upon it they will not miss the
opportunity. It behoves our friends, therefore, to be very
circumspect, and in all their public conduct to convince the
world, that they are influenced not by partial or private
motives, but altogether with a view of promoting the public

Some of our military gentlemen have, I fear, disgraced us; it is
then important that every anecdote that concerns a man of real
merit among them, and such I know there are, be improved, as far
as decency will admit of it, to their advantage and to the honor
of a colony, which, for its zeal in the great cause, well as its
sufferings, deserves so much of America.

Until I visited head quarters at Cambridge, I had never heard of
the valour of Prescott at Bunker's hill, nor the ingenuity of
Knox and Waters in planning the celebrated works at Roxbury. We
were told here that there were none in our camp who understood
the business of an engineer, or any thing more than the manual
exercise of the gun. This we had from great authority, and for
want of more certain intelligence were obliged at least to be
silent. There are many military geniuses at present unemployed
and overlooked, who I hope, when the army is new modelled, will
be sought after and invited into the service of their country.
They must be sought after, for modest merit declines pushing
itself into public view. I know your disinterested zeal, and
therefore need add no more than to assure you that I am with
cordial esteem,

Your friend,


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

PHILADELPHIA, Octobr 20th 1775.1


I have not yet receivd a Letter from you, altho' it is more than
seven Weeks since I left you. I do not mean to chide you, for I
am satisfied it is not your Fault. Your Want of Leisure or
opportunity to write to me, or perhaps the Miscarriage of your
Letters, is certainly a Misfortune to me, for the Receipt of them
would serve to alleviate my Cares. I have wrote you several times
since my Arrival here. In my last I gave you a particular Account
of our latest Intelligence from England, which I [rely upon;] it
came from a Correspondent whose [Connections] have always
afforded him the Opportunity of giving me the earliest and best

The Affairs of our Country are at this Moment in the most
critical Scituation. Every Wheel seems now to be in Motion. I am
so fully satisfied in the Justice of our Cause, that I can
confidently as well as devoutly pray, that the righteous Disposer
of all things would succeed our Enterprises. If he suffers us to
be defeated in any or all of them I shall believe it to be for
the most wise and gracious Purposes and shall heartily acquiesce
in the Divine Disposal. It is an unspeakable Consolation to an
Actor upon the publick Stage, when, after the most careful
Retrospect, he can satisfy himself that he has had in his View no
private or selfish Considerations, but has ever been [guided] by
the pure Motive of serving his Country, and delivering it from
the rapacious Hand of a Tyrant.

I am exceedingly anxious to hear from our Northern and Eastern
Armies. Much, I was going to say, All depends upon the military
Virtue of Schuyler and Arnold. If they do what they can, it will
be all in Reason their Country ought to expect from them. Mortals
cannot command Success. Should they succeed, (God grant they
may!) the plan which our Enemies have laid for the Destruction of
the New England Colonies, and in the Event of all the rest, will
be defeated.

Pray, my dear, let me hear from you soon. I am greatly concernd
for your Security & happiness, and that of my Family. I wrote to
my Daughter yesterday. Pay my particular Regards to Sister Polly.
Tell my Domesticks individually that I remember them. I pray God
to bless you all.

1A letter by Adams, on the same date, to William Heath has
recently been printed in Collections of
Massachusetts Historical Society, 7th ser., vol. iv., pp. 6, 7.

Book of the day: