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´╗┐Title: The Writings of Samuel Adams - Volume 3
Author: Adams, Samuel
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Writings of Samuel Adams - Volume 3" ***

Regina Azucena
Daniel Moore








To James Otis, March 19th . . .
Political Activity of Mr. Bacon.

To the Town of Boston, March 23rd . . .
Report of Resolutions in Reply to Governor--Legality of Town
Meetings--Right of Petition--Supremacy of Parliament.

To John Dickinson, March 27th . . .
Controversy with Governor.

To Committee of Correspondence of Littleton, March 31st . . .
Acknowledgment of Co-operation.

To Nathan Sparhawk, March 31st . . .
Political Activity of Rutland.

To Thomas Mighill, April 7th . . .
Political Activity of Rowley.

To Arthur Lee, April 9th . . .
Election to Society of Bill of Rights--Effects of November Town-
Meeting--Controversy with Governor--Attitude of Lord Dartmouth--
Position of Hancock.

To Richard Henry Lee, April 10th . . .
Position of Colonies--Activity of Friends of Liberty--Resolves of
Virginia--Courts in Rhode Island.

Article Signed "Candidus," April 12th . . .
November Town-Meeting--Controversy with Governor.

To John Wadsworth, April 13th . . .
Action of Duxbury.

To Ezra Whitmarsh, April 13th . . .
Political Activity of Weymouth.

To Joseph North, April 13th . . .
Votes of Gardnerstown.

To Josiah Stone, April 13th . . .
Political Activity of Framingham.

To Arthur Lee, April 22nd . . .
Position of Hancock and of Otis.

To Arthur Lee, May 6th . . .
Practice of Instructing Representatives--Controversy with

To Selectmen of Boston, May 14th . . .
Declining Election as Moderator.

To Arthur Lee, May 17th . . .
Meeting of General Assembly--Letters of Hutchinson.

To Arthur Lee, June 14th . . .
Letters of Hutchinson and Oliver.

To Elijah Morton, June 19th . . .
Resolves of Harfield--Unity of Colonists.

To Arthur Lee, June 21st . . .
Letters of Hutchinson--Action of House of Representatives.

To the King, June 23rd . . .
Petition for Removal of Hutchinson and Oliver.

To Arthur Lee, June 28th . . .
Action of House of Representatives on Letters--Attitude of
Public--Independence of Judiciary.

To Committee of Correspondence of Worcester, September 11th . . .
Activity of Committees of Correspondence--Independence of

To Joseph Hawley, October 4th . . .
Disposition of Administration--Controversy with Governor--
Grievances of Colonists.

To Joseph Hawley, October 13th . . .
Character of Lord Dartmouth--Plans of Administration.

To Committees of Correspondence, October 21st . . .
Circular of Massachusetts Committee--Attitude of Ministry and
Parliament--Rights of Colonists.

Resolutions of Town of Boston, November 5th . . .
Duty upon Tea.

To Committee of Correspondence of Roxbury, November 9th . . .
Activity of Troops--Call for Conference.

To Arthur Lee, November 9th . . .
Political Situation.

To Selectmen of Boston, November 17th . . .
Petition for Town-Meeting for Action upon Tea.

To Committee of Plymouth, December 17th . . .
Report on Tea.

To Committees of Correspondence, December 17th . . .
Report on Disposal of Tea.

To Arthur Lee, December 25th . . .
Recommending John Scollay.

To Arthur Lee, December 31st . . .
Boston Town-Meeting--Action on Tea.


To John Pickering, January 8th . . .
Petition of Negroes.

To Arthur Lee, January 25th . . .
Destruction of Tea.

Resolution of House of Representatives, March 1st . . .
Refusing Grant to Peter Oliver.

To Committee of Correspondence of Marblehead, March 24th . . .
Proposal of Continental Post.

To Elbridge Gerry, March 25th . . .
Political Disorders in Marblehead.

To Benjamin Franklin, March 31st . . .
Independence of Judiciary--Controversy with Governor--Rights of

To James Warren, March 31st . . .
Political Comments--Continental Post.

To Committee of Correspondence of Marblehead, April 2nd . . .
Local Politics in Marblehead--Effect of Committee's Resignation.

To Arthur Lee, April 4th . . .
Independence of Judiciary--Attitude of Governor--Relations with

To Arthur Lee, April . . .
Disposition of Lord Dartmouth.

To John Dickinson, April 21st . . .
Oration of Hancock--Course of Massachusetts.

To Elbridge Gerry, May 12th . . .
Duty of Political Service.

To Committee of Correspondence of Portsmouth, May 12th . . .
Action of Boston on Port Bill.

To the Colonies, May 13th . . .
Appeal of Boston--The Port Act--Arrival of Gage.

To Committee of Correspondence of Philadelphia, May 13th . . .
Port Act.

To James Warren, May 14th . . .
Port Act--Attitude of Public--Action of Boston.

To Silas Deane, May 18th . . .
Response to Connecticut Committee--Co-operation of Colonists.

To Stephen Hopkins, May 18th . . .
Port Act--Need of Co-operation.

To Arthur Lee, May 18th . . .
Port Act.

To Elbridge Gerry, May 20th . . .
Port Act--Attitude of New York.

To Committee of Correspondence of Marblehead, May 22nd . . .
Attitude of New York.

To Charles Thomson, May 30th . . .
Function of Committee of Correspondence--Dependence upon
Merchants--Address to Hutchinson.

To Silas Deane, May 31st . . .
Political Plans--Adjournment of Legislature.

To William Checkley, June 1st . . .
Birth of Daughter--Position of Boston.

Resolution of House of Representatives, June 17th . . .
Need of Relief of Boston and Charlestown.

To Elbridge Gerry, June 22nd . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

Article Signed "Candidus," June 27th . . .
Trade Policy.

To Charles Thomson, June 30th . . .
Disposal of Donations.

To Committee of Correspondence of Norwich, July 11th . . .
Acknowledgment of Support.

To Richard Henry Lee, July 13th . . .
Port Act--Policy of Lord North--Attitude of Public.

To Noble Wymberly Jones, July 16th . . .
Acknowledgment of Co-operation.

To Christopher Gadsen, July 18th . . .

To Christopher Gadsen and L. Clarkson, July 18th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance--Efforts of Colonists.

To Committee of Correspondence of Colrain, July 18th . . .
Non-Consumption Agreement.

To Andrew Elton Wells, July 25th . . .
Condition of Boston.

To Peter Timothy, July 27th . . .
Boston Circular Letter--Shipment of Axes.

To Fisher Gay, July 29th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Ezekiel Williams, July 29th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Committee of Correspondence of Marblehead, August 2nd . . .
Attitude of Colonists to Boston.

To Joseph Gilbert, August 3rd . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Fisher Gay, August 4th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Committee of Correspondence of Boston, September 14th . . .
Proceedings of Continental Congress--Middlesex Resolves--
Opposition to Administration--Position of Committee.

To Charles Chauncy, September 19th . . .
Suffolk Resolves.

To Joseph Warren, September . . .
Government in Massachusetts.

To Joseph Warren, September 25th. . .
Need of Co-operation--Action of Continental Congress.

To General Gage, October . . .
Petition of Continental Congress--Acts of Parliament--
Fortifications at Boston--Indignities to Citizens.

To Thomas Young, October 17th . . .
Military Preparation--Resolves of Continental Congress.

To Peter V. Livingston, November 21st . . .
Shipment from South Carolina.

To Union Club, December 16th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.


To Peter T. Curtenius, January 9th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To the Public, January 13th . . .
Statement of Donations Committee--Reply to Criticisms.

To Arthur Lee, January 29th . . .
Port Act--Massachusetts Act--Effects of Military Force--Attitude
of Colonists.

To Stephen Collins, January 31st . . .
Report of Personal Disagreements--Religious Liberty.

To Edward Archer, February 1st . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Richard Randolph, February 1st . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance--Virginia Resolves of 1765.

To Benjamin Watkins and Archibald Cary, February 1st . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Jonathan Tabb, February 7th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance--Attitude of Colonists to Boston.

To Arthur Lee, February 14th . . .
English Politics--Attitude of Colonists.

To Joseph Nye, February 21st . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To John Brown, February 21st . . .
Enclosing letter to Quebec.

To Inhabitants of Quebec, February 21st . . .
Statement of Situation by Committee of Correspondence--Design and
Conduct of Ministry--Acts of Parliament--Letters of Bernard and
Hutchinson--Quebec Act--Attitude of Jamaica--King's Speech.

To George Read, February 24th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Isaac Van Dam, February 28th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To William Black,. . .
Shipment from Virginia--Advice concerning Captain Hatch.

To Charles Dick, March . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Arthur Lee, March 4th. . .
Conduct of Military Force--Action of Marshfield--Disaffection in
New York--Correspondence with Canada--Tories.

To ----------, March 12th . . .
Attitude of South Carolina--Spirit in Boston--Massacre Oration.

To Jonathan Upshaw, March 14th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance--Attitude of Virginia.

To Samuel Purviance, March 14th . . .
Acknowledgment of Remittance.

To Jonathan Hanson, March 15th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Jonathan Veazey, March 15th . . .
Directions as to Donations.

To Richard Henry Lee, March 21st . . .
Military Force in Boston--Massacre Oration--Conduct of Troops--
Course of Administration.

To Jonathan Augustine Washington, March 21st . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance--Purpose of Boston.

To the Mohawk Indians, March . . .
Address of Massachusetts Delegates.

To Mrs. Adams, May 7th . . .
Reception in New York.

To Mrs. Adams, June 10th . . .
Family Affairs.

To Mrs. Adams, June 16th . . .
Personal Comments--Family Affairs.

To Elbridge Gerry, June 22nd . . .
Recommendations to Washington.

To James Warren, June 22nd . . .
Recommendations to Washington.

To Mrs. Adams, June 28th . . .
Engagement at Bunker Hill--Death of Joseph Warren--Proclamation
of Gage.

To Mrs. Adams, July 30th . . .
Recess of Congress--Election to Legislature.

From Moses Gill, September 4th . . .
Receipt of Amounts paid to Adams.

To Elbridge Gerry, September 26th . . .
Journey to Philadelphia--Need of Information--Character of

To Mrs. Adams, October 20th . . .
Affairs of the Country--Schuler and Arnold.

To Elbridge Gerry, October 29th . . .
Militia Bill--Continental Army--Need of Legislation.

To James Warren, November 4th . . .
Need of Powder--Military Affairs--Governments of New Hampshire
and South Carolina--Trade Regulations--Government of

To Mrs. Adams, November 7th . . .
Conduct of Enemy.

To James Bowdoin, November 16th . . .
Petition of Congress--Plans of Administration.

To James Otis, November 23rd . . .
Opinion of Delegates as to Militia Legislation.

To James Warren, December 26th . . .
Government of Massachusetts--Character of the People.


To Elbridge Gerry, January 2nd . . .
Legislative Control of Military Force--Character of

Resolutions of Continental Congress, January 5th . . .
Imprisonment of James Lovell.

To James Warren, January 7th . . .
Establishment of Militia--Powder--Confederation--Attack on

To James Warren, January 10th . . .
Trade Regulations--Imprisonment of Lovell.

To John Pitts, January 12th . . .

To James Sullivan, January 12th . . .
King's Speech.

To John Adams, January 15th . . .
Portsmouth Instructions--Independence--Pay of Massachusetts

Article Signed "Candidus," February 3rd . . .
Dependence of the Colonies.

To Mrs. Adams, February 26th . . .
Duty in Congress--Oration on Montgomery.

To James Warren, March 8th . . .
Political Comments on Colleague.

To Mrs. Adams, March 10th . . .
Personal Affairs.

To Joseph Palmer, April 2nd . . .
Effect of Adopting New England Army--Military Affairs--Evacuation
of Boston.

To Samuel Cooper, April 3rd . . .
Plans of Administration--Evacuation of Boston--Foreign Affairs--

To Joseph Hawley, April 15th . . .
Military Affairs--Necessity for Declaration of Independence.

To Samuel Cooper, April 30th . . .
Views of Independence--Formation of State Governments.

To John Scollay, April 30th . . .
Evacuation of Boston--Public Morals--Defenceless Condition of New

To James Warren, May 12th . . .
Safety of Boston--State of the Eastern District.

To George Washington, May 15th . . .
Proposed Road to Montreal--Defences of Boston.

To Horatio Gates, June 10th . . .
Military Affairs at Boston--Purposes of the Enemy.

To Perez Morton, June . . .
Allowance for Services.

To Joseph Hawley, July 9th . . .
Reverses in Canada--New Jersey Campaign--Declaration of

To Richard Henry Lee, July 15th . . .
Schuyler and Gates--Arrival of Howe--Declaration of Independence-

To James Warren, July 16th . . .
Effect of Declaration of Independence--Constitution of Virginia.

To James Warren, July 17th . . .
Urgent Need of Troops.

To John Pitts, July 17th . . .
Declaration of Independence.

To Samuel Cooper, July 20th . . .
South Carolina Campaign--Howe's Circular Letter.

To Benjamin Kent, July 27th . . .
Work of Congress--Declaration of Independence--New State

To Joseph Trumbull, August 3rd . . .
Affairs of the Northern Department--Legislation on Commissary

To John Adams, August 13th . . .
Military Affairs.

To John Adams, August 16th . . .
Military Affairs--The Northern Campaign.

To John Adams, September 16th . . .
Form of Government of Massachusetts--Military Affairs--
Negotiations with Howe.

To John Adams, September 30th . . .
Conference with Howe--Public Attitude toward Independence.

To Samuel Mather, October 26th . . .
Military Affairs at New York.

To Mrs. Adams, November 14th . . .
Northern Campaign--Military Affairs--Application of Brother-in-
law--Exchange of Lovell.

To Mrs. Adams, November 29th . . .
Character of Americans--Howe's Proclamation.

To James Warren, November 29th . . .
Supply of Clothing--New York Campaign.

To James Warren, December 4th . . .
Massachusetts Legislature--Conduct of the Colonists--Conditions
in Pennsylvania.

To Mrs. Adams, December 9th . . .
Personal Reflections.

To George Washington, December 12th . . .
Rhode Island Campaign.

To Mrs. Adams, December 19th . . .
Adjournment of Congress to Baltimore--Inaction of the Population-
-New Jersy Campaign.

To James Warren, December 25th . . .
Military Operations.

To Mrs. Adams, December 26th . . .
Aid of Samuel Purviance--Attitude of New Jersey.

To Council of Massachussetts, December 30th . . .
Need of Ordnance.

To Walter Stewart, December 30th . . .
Instructions as to Ordnance.

To James Warren, December 31st . . .
Foreign Relations--Military Affairs.


To Arthur Lee, January 2nd . . .
Resumption of Correspondence--Political Situation.

To James Warren, January 8th . . .
Military Operations.

To John Adams, January 9th . . .
Removal of Congress--Military Operations.

To James Warren, January 16th . . .
Representation in Congress--Attitude of Massachusetts

To Mrs. Adams, January 29th . . .
Correspondence--Effect of War News--Charity--Death of Mr.

To James Warren, February 1st . . .
Conference of New England Committees--Management of War Supplies.

To Samuel Cooper, February 4th . . .
King's Speech.

To James Warren, February 10th . . .
Account of Expenses.

To Walter Stewart, February 12th . . .
Price of Ordnance.

To Jonathan Trumbull, February 12th . . .
Use of Connecticut Ordnance.

To John Pitts, February 15th . . .
Activity of Tories.

To James Warren, February 16th . . .
Activity of Tories--Case of General Lee.

To Mrs. Adams, March 19th . . .
News from France--Attitude toward Son--Effect of Trade

To John Scollay, March 20th . . .
Regulating Act.

To Mrs. Adams, April 1st . . .
Assistance from France--Arrest of Spy.

To Nathaniel Greene, May 12th . . .
Military Policy.

To Mrs. Adams, June 17th . . .
Military Operations.

To James Warren, June 18th . . .
Introducing William Whipple--Massachusetts Election-Military

To James Warren, June 23rd . . .
New Jersey Campaign.

To Richard Henry Lee, June 26th . . .
New Jersey Campaign--Progress in Congress.

To James Warren, June 30th . . .
Postal Facilities--Confederation--Massachusetts Constitutional

To Arthur Lee, July 4th . . .
New Jersey Campaign.

To Samuel Hewes, July 7th . . .
Major Ward--New Jersey Campaign.

To John Pitts, July 8th . . .
Interruption of Correspondence.

To Richard Henry Lee, July 15th . . .
New Jersey Campaign--Schuyler and Gates.

To Samuel Cooper, July 15th . . .
Northern Campaign.

To Richard Henry Lee, July 22nd . . .
Confederation--Northern Campaign--Distribution of Forces.

To Paul Revere, July 28th . . .
Ranking of Artillery Regiments.

To James Warren, July 31st . . .
Attitude of Congress to Schuyler--Northern Campaign--
Participation of New England--Hostile Fleet.

To James Warren, August 1st . . .
Northern Campaign.

To Mrs. Adams, August 2nd . . .
Course of Hostile Fleet.

To Samuel Freeman, August 5th . . .
Foreign Relations--Northern Campaign.

To John Langdon, August 7th . . .
Course of Hostile Fleet--Northern Campaign.

To Mrs. Adams, August 8th . . .
Appointment of Gates.

To Roger Sherman, August 11th . . .
Northern Campaign--Letters of Schuyler.

To James Warren, August 12th . . .
Letter of Schuyler.

To William Heath, August 13th . . .
Northern Campaign.

To Mrs. Adams, August 19th . . .
Course of a Hostile Fleet.

To Henry Bromfield, September 2nd . . .
Introducing Henry Crouch--Howe's Army.

To Mrs. Adams, September 17th . . .
Northern Campaign.

To Arthur Lee, October 26th . . .
Resumption of Correspondence--LaFayette.

To Horatio Gates, . . . . . .
Surrender of Burgoyne.

Resolution of Continental Congress, November 1st . . .

To John Adams, December 8th . . .
Re-election to Congress--Conduct of Colleagues--Work of
Massachusetts Legislature.

To Henry Laurens, December . . .
Articles of Confederation.



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

BOSTON, March 19th 1773


I have the honor of joining with my brethren the Committee of
Correspondence for the town in a letter to you, which the bearer
of this is chargd with & will deliver to you.

The occasion is somewhat singular. Our Brother Mr William
Molineux, a few days ago receiv'd an ANONYMOUS letter dated
Barnstable &.c, in which mention is made of some rude Aspersions
cast upon the characters of himself and several others of our
Committee by your Representative Mr Bacon in a public meeting of
your Town. As the intelligence was thus uncertain the Committee
would fain hope that it was impossible for one of Mr Bacon's
station in life to act so unjustifiable a part; especially after
the handsome things which he had the credit of saying of every
one of Committee upon a late occasion in the House of
Representatives. Admitting however, that this might be the case,
they thought it prudent to address you, as the Moderator of your
meeting, and it is their desire, if you judge there is a proper
foundation for this letter AND NOT OTHERWISE, to obtain the
consent of the Town that it should be openly read in the meeting
at the ensuing adjournment. This the Committee refer to your
known discretion, as they cannot place a full dependence upon an
anonymous letter, although there are some circumstances that may
seem to corroborate it.

As there is no measure which tends more to disconcert the Designs
of the enemies of the public liberty, than the raising Committees
of Correspondence in the several towns throughout the Province,
it is not to be wondered at that the whole strength of their
opposition is aim'd against it. Whether Mr B. is of this
character is a question in which his Constituents ought certainly
to satisfy themselves beyond a reasonable doubt. A man's
professions may be as he pleases; but I honestly confess I cannot
easily believe him to be a sincere friend to his Country, who can
upon any consideration be prevail'd upon to associate with so
detestable an enemy to it as I take a BOSTON BORN (I cannot say
educated) Commissioner of Customs to be.

I am with great regard for your family and conexions in

Sir your assured Friend
& most humble servant

P. S. If there is not foundation for what is asserted in the
anonymous letter, we desire that you will not only not read our
letter in your meeting but also not let the original or a copy
of it go out of your hands, but return it by the first

ut supra


[MS., Boston Public Library; the text, with slight variations,
was printed in the Boston Gazette, March 29, 1773, in the
Massachusetts Spy, March 25, 1773, and in Boston Record
Commissioner's Report, vol. xviii., pp. 120-125.]

At a legal Meeting of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of
the Town of Boston, at Faneuil-Hall on Monday the 8th of March
1773, and continued by Adjournment to the 23d instant.

Mr. Samuel Adams acquainted the Moderator, that he was directed
by a Committee (of which he was Chairman) to make a report; and
the same was read as follows, viz.1

The Committee appointed "to consider what is proper to be done,
to vindicate the Town from the gross Misrepresentations &
groundless Charges in his Excellencys Message to both Houses" of
the General Assembly "respecting the Proceedings of the Town at
their last Meeting", beg Leave to report.

That having carefully looked over the several Speeches of the
Governor of the Province, to the Council and House of
Representatives, in the last Session of the General Assembly,
they find that his Excellency has plainly insinuated;

First, that the said Meeting of the Town was illegal in itself.

Secondly, that the Points therein determind were such, as the Law
gives the Inhabitants of Towns in their Corporate Capacity no
Power to act upon; and therefore that the Proceedings of said
Meeting were against Law. And,

Thirdly, that the Inhabitants thus assembled advanced and
afterwards publishd to the World, such Principles as have a
direct Tendency to alienate the Affections of the People from
their Sovereign: And he plainly asserts, that they "denied in the
most express terms the Supremacy of Parliament, and invited every
other Town & District in the Province to adopt the same

We have therefore thought it necessary to recur to the Methods
taken for calling said Meeting. And they find that three
Petitions were prefer'd to the Select Men, signd by 198
respectable Freeholders and Inhabitants, making Mention of a
Report that then prevaild, & which since appears to have been
well grounded, that Salaries were allowd to be paid to the
Justices of the Superior Court of the Province by Order of the
Crown; whereby they were to be made totally independent of the
General Assembly and absolutely dependent on the Crown; and
setting forth their Apprehensions that such an Establishment
would give a finishing Stroke to the System of Tyranny already
begun, and compleat the Ruin of the Liberties of the People. And
therefore earnestly requesting the Selectmen to call a Meeting,
that this Matter might be duly considerd by the Town, and such
Measures taken as the Necessity and Importance thereof required.
Whereupon the Selectmen issued a Warrant for calling a Meeting
accordingly. All which was strictly agreable to the Laws of this
Province, and the Practice of this and other Towns from the
earliest times.

By an Act of this Province made in the fourth year of William &
Mary it is enacted, that "when and so often as there shall be
Occasion of a Town Meeting for any Business of publick
Concernment to the Town there to be done, the Constable or
Constables of such Town, by Order of the Selectmen or major Part
of them, or of the Town Clerk by their Order in each respective
Town within this Province shall warn a Meeting of such Town" &c.2
And by another Act made in the 2 Geo. I. it is enacted that "When
and so often as ten or more of the Freeholders of any Town shall
signify under their hands to the Selectmen their desire to have
any Matter or thing inserted into a Warrant for calling a Town
Meeting, the Selectmen are hereby required to insert the same in
the next Warrant they shall issue for the Calling a Town

But were there no such Laws of the Province or should our Enemies
pervert these & other Laws made for the same Purpose, from their
plain and obvious Intent and Meaning, still there is the great
and perpetual Law of Self preservation to which every natural
Person or corporate Body hath an inherent Right to recur. This
being the Law of the Creator, no human Law can be of force
against it: And indeed it is an Absurdity to suppose that any
such Law could be made by Common Consent, which alone gives
validity to human Laws. If then the "MATTER OR THING" viz the
fixing Salaries to the Offices of the Judges of the Superior
Court as aforesaid, was such as threatned the Lives, Liberties
and Properties of the People, which we have the Authority of the
greatest Assembly of the Province to affirm, The Inhabitants of
this or any other Town had certainly an uncontrovertable right to
meet together, either in the Manner the Law has prescribed, or in
any other orderly Manner, joyntly to consult the necessary Means
of their own Preservation and Safety. The Petitioners wisely
chose the Rule of the province Law, by applying to the Selectmen
for a Meeting; and they, as it was their Dudty to do, followed
the same Rule and called a Meeting accordingly. We are therefore
not a little suprizd, that his Excellency, speaking of this and
other principal Towns, should descend to such an artful Use of
Words, that a "NUMBER of Inhabitants have assembled together, and
having ASSUMED the Name of legal Town Meetings" &c. Thereby
appearing to have a Design to lead an inattentive Reader to
believe, that no Regard was had to the Laws of the Province in
calling these Meetings, and consequently to consider them as
illegal & disorderly.

The Inhabitants being met, and for the Purpose aforesaid, the
Points determind, his Excellency says, "were such as the Law
gives the Inhabitants of Towns in their CORPORATE Capacity no
Power to act upon." It would be a sufficient Justification of the
Town to say, that no Law FORBIDS the Inhabitants of Towns in
their corporate Capacity to determine such Points as were then
determined. And if there was no positive legal Restraint upon
their Conduct, it was doing them an essential injury, to
represent it to the World as ILLEGAL. Where the Law makes no
special Provision for the common Safety, the People have a Right
to consult their own Preservation; and the necessary Means to
withstand a most dangerous attack of arbitrary Power.4 At such a
time, it is but a pitiful Objection to their thus doing, that the
Law has not expressly given them a Power to act upon such Points.
This is the very language of Tyranny: And when such Objections
are offerd, to prevent the Peoples meeting together in a Time of
publick Danger, it affords of it self just Grounds of Jealousy
that a Plan is laid for their Slavery.

The Town enterd upon an Inquiry into the Grounds of a Report, in
which the common Safety was very greatly interested. They made
their Application to the Governor, a fellow Citizen as well as
the first Magistrate of the Province; but they were informd by
his Excellency, that "it was by no means proper for him" "to
acquaint them whether he had or had not receivd any Advices
relating to the publick Affairs of the Government of the
Province." Their next Determination was, to petition the
Governor, that the General Assembly might be allowd to meet at
the time to which it them stood prorogud: But his Excellency
refused to grant this Request, lest it should be "encouraging the
Inhabitants of other Towns to assemble" "to consider of the
Necessity or Expediency of a Session of the General Assembly."
Hitherto the Town had determind upon no Point but only that of
petitioning the Governor. And will his Excellency or any one else
affirm, that the Inhabitants of this or any other Town, have not
a Right in their corporate Capacity to petition for a Session of
the General Assembly, merely because the Law of this Province,
that authorizes Towns to assemble, does not expressly make that
the Business of a Town Meeting? It is the Declaration of the Bill
of Rights, founded in5 Reason, that it is the Right of the
Subjects to petition the King: But it is apparent in his
Excellencys Answer, that the Inhabitants of this Town were in
Effect, denied, in one Instance at least, the Right of
petitioning his Majestys Representative. Which was the more
grievous to them, because the Prayer of their Petition was
nothing more, than that the General Assembly might have
the Opportunity of enquiring of the Governor into the Grounds of
the Report of an intollerable Grievance, which his Excellency had
before strongly intimated to them, it was not in his Power to
inform THEM of, "consistent with Fidelity to the Trust which his
Majesty had reposed in him."

We have been the more particular in reciting the Transactions of
that Meeting thus far, in order that the Propriety and Necessity
of the further proceedings of the same Meeting may appear in a
true Point of light.

His Excellency having thus frownd upon the reasonable Petitions
of the Town; And they, having the strongest Apprehensions, that
in Addition to, or rather in Consequence of other Grievances not
redressd, a mortal Wound would very soon be given to the civil
Constitution of the province; and no Assurance of the timely
Interposition of the General Assembly, to whose Wisdom they were
earnestly sollicitous to refer the whole Matter, The Town thought
it expedient to state as far as they were able the Rights of the
Colonists & of this Province; to enumerate the Infringements on
those Rights, & in a circular Letter to each of the Towns &
Districts in the province, to submit the same to their
Consideration: That the Subject might be weighd as its Importance
required, & the collected Wisdom of the whole people as far as
possible obtaind. At the same [time], NOT "calling upon" those
Towns & Districts "to adopt their Principles" as his Excellency
in one of his Speeches affirms, but only informing them that "a
free Communication of THEIR Sentiments to this Town of our common
Danger was earnestly sollicited & would be gratefully receivd. We
may justly affirm that the Town had a Right at that Meeting, to
communicate their Sentiments of Matters which so nearly concernd
the publick Liberty & consequently their own Preservation. They
were matters of "publick Concernment" to this & every other Town
& even Individual in the province. Any Attempt therefore to
obstruct the Channel of publick Intelligence in this way, argues
in our opinion, a Design to keep the people in Ignorance of their
Danger that they may be the more easily & speedily enslaved. It
is notorious to all the World, that the Liberties of this
Continent & especially of this province, have been systematically
& successfully invaded from Step to Step; Is it not then, to say
the least justifiable, in any Town as PART OF THE GREAT WHOLE,
when the last Effort of Tyranny is about to be made, to spread
the earliest Notice of it far & wide, & hold up the INIQUITOUS
SYSTEM in full View. It is a great Satisfaction to us, that so
many of the respectable Towns in the province, and we may add
Gentlemen of figure in other Colonies, have expressd, & continue
to express themselves much pleasd with the Measure; and we
encourage ourselves from the MANIFEST DISCOVERY of an Union of
Sentiments in this province, which has been one happy fruit of
the Measure, there will be the united Efforts of THE WHOLE in all
constitutional & proper Methods to prevent the entire ruin of our

His Excellency is pleasd to say in one of his Speeches, that the
Town have "denied in the most express Terms the Supremacy of
Parliament." It is fortunate for the town that they made Choice
of the very Mode of Expression, which the present House of
Representatives in their Wisdom made use of in stating the Matter
of Controversy between the Governor & them: And after what they
have advanced upon the Subject, it appears to us impossible to be
shown that the Parliament of Great Britain can exercise "the
Powers of Legislation for the Colonists in all Cases whatever"
consistently with the Rights which belong to the Colonists as Men
as Christians & as Subjects, or without destroying the foundation
of their own Constitution.--If the Assertion that the Parliament
hath no right to exercise a Power in cases where it is plain they
have no right, hath a direct Tendency to alienate the Affections
of the People from their Sovereign, because He is a constituent
part of that parliament, as seems to be his Excellencys Manner of
reasoning, it follows as we conceive, that there must never be a
complaint of any assumption of power in the Parliamt, or petition
for the repeal of any Law made repugnant to the Constitution,
lest it should tend to alienate the Affections of the People
from their Sovereign; but we have a better Opinion of our fellow
Subjects than to concede to such Conclusions. We are assured they
can clearly see, that a Mistake in Principle may consist with
Integrity of Heart; And for our parts we shall ever be inclined
to attribute the Grievances of various Kinds which his Majestys
American Subjects have so long sufferd, to the Weakness or
Wickedness of his Ministers & Servants, and not to any
Disposition in HIM to injure them. And we yet perswade our selves
that could the Petitions of his much aggrievd Subjects be
transmitted to his Majesty thro the Hands of an honest impartial
Minister, we should not fail of ample redress.

His Excellencys Argument seems to us to be rather straind, when
he is attempting to show, that we have "invited every other Town
& District to adopt our Principles". It is this. The Town says If
it should be the general Voice of the Province that the Rights as
stated do not belong [to] them, trusting however that this cannot
be the Case, they shall lament the Extinction of Ardor for civil
& religious Liberty; THEREFORE says his Excellency The Town
invited them to ADOPT their principles. Could it possibly be
supposd that when his Excy had declared to the whole Province
that we had invited every other Town and District in the province
to adopt the same Principles he intended to avail himself of such
an Explanation! Much the same Way of reasoning follows, (though
it would not be to the Reputation of the other Towns if it should
have any Weight). That because THEIR consequent Doings were
similar to those of this Town THEREFORE they understood that they
were invited to ADOPT the same Principles, & therefore they were
thus invited to adopt them.

Upon the whole, There can be no room to doubt but that every Town
which has thought it expedient to correspond with this on the
Occasion have acted their own Judgment & expressd their own
principles: It is an unspeakeable Satisfaction to us that their
Sentiments so nearly accord with ours, and it adds a Dignity to
our Proceedings, that when the House of Representatives were
called upon by the Governor to bear their Testimony against them,
as "of a dangerous Nature & Tendency," they saw reason to declare
that "they had not discoverd that the Principles advanced by the
Town of Boston were unwarrantable by the constitution."6

The foregoing Report was accepted in the Meeting, Nemine
Contradicente, and ordered to be recorded in the Town's Book, as
the Sense of the Inhabitants of this Town.

It was also Voted, That said Report be printed in the several
News-Papers, and that the Committee of Correspondence be directed
to transmit a printed Copy thereof to such Towns and Districts as
they have or may correspond with.



1The preceding portion is in the Gazette, but not in the
manuscript draft.

2Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, vol. i.,
pp. 64, 68.

3Ibid., p. 30.

4At this point the draft originally included the words: "when
they see it approaching them with hasty Strides."

5At this point the draft originally included the words: "Nature

6The following portion, from the Gazette is not in the autograph
draft by Adams.


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

BOSTON, March 27 1773


I take the Liberty of inclosing an Oration delivered by Dr
Benjamin Church on the Anniversary of the 5th of March 1770,
which I beg the favor of you to accept.

The Proceedings of our General Assembly at their last Session,
you may perhaps have seen in the News papers. Our Governor in a
manner forcd the Assembly to express their Sentiments of so
delicate though important a Subject as the supreme Authority of
the Parliament of Great Britain over the Colonies. The Silence of
the other Assemblies of late upon every Subject that concerns the
joynt Interest of the Colonies, renderd it somewhat difficult to
determine what to say with Propriety. As the Sense of the
Colonies might possibly be drawn from what might be advanced by
this Province, you will easily conceive, that the Assembly would
rather have chosen to have been silent till the Sentiments of at
least Gentlemen of Eminence out of this province could be known;
at the same time that Silence would have been construed as the
Acknowledgment of the Governor's Principles and a Submission to
the fatal Effects of them. What will be the Consequence of this
Controversy, Time must determine. If the Governor enterd into it
of his own Motion, as I am apt to believe he did, he may not have
the Approbation of the Ministry for counteracting what appears to
me to have been for two years past their favorite Design, to keep
the Americans quiet & lull them into Security. Could your Health
or Leisure admit of it, a publication of your Sentiments on this
& other Matters of the most interresting Importance would be of
substantial Advantage to your Country. Your Candor will excuse
the freedom I take in this repeated Request. An Individual has
some Right, in behalf of the publick, still to urge the
Assistance of those who have heretofore approvd themselves its
ablest advocates.

I shall take it as a favor if you will present the other inclosed
Oration to Mr Reed, whom I once had the pleasure of conversing
with in this place, & to whom I would have wrote by this
unexpected Opportunity, but am prevented by the Hurry of the

I am Sir with sincere Regards
Your most humble servt

Mr J[osiah] Q[uincy] a young Gentl but eminent here in the
profession of the law is soon expected to arrive at Philadelphia
from South Carolina. Could he be introducd into the Company of Mr
Dickinson & Mr Reed he would esteem himself honord and his
Conversation mt not be unentertaining even to them.


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

BOSTON, March 31 1773


The Committee of Correspondence of the Town of Boston gratefully
acknowledge your Letter of the 2 Instant accompanied with the
declared Sentiments of the Town of Littleton at a legal meeting
on the first of February.

The Sense which that Town has expressd of the Excellency of the
British Constitution of Government, which appears eminently to
have its foundation in nature, and of the Rights which are
secured to the Inhabitants of this province by the Charter, is an
evident token of their readiness "always to joyn in every regular
& constitutional method to preserve the common Liberty."

We are perswaded that the Town whom we have the Honor to serve,
although calumniated by the virulent Enemies of the province and
of America, have nothing in view but to assist in "endeavoring to
preserve our happy civil Constitution free from Innovation &
maintain it inviolate" and we esteem our selves happy that the
Town has receivd the Approbation of so many of their respectable
Brethren in the Country, & particularly the Inhabitants of
Littleton. The agreable manner in which you have communicated to
us their Sentiments lays [us] under great obligation. We heartily
joyn with you in wishing that Peace & Unity may be established in
America, upon the permanent Foundations of Liberty & Truth.

1Adressed "To Deacon Oliver Hoar Cap Jonathan Reed & Mr Aaron
Savit a Come of Correspondence of the Town of Littletown."


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

BOSTON, March 31 1773


Your attested Copy of the proceedings of Rutland District has
been receivd and read by the Come of Correspondence for the Town
of Boston. It affords us an unspeakeable Satisfaction to find so
great a Number of the Towns & Districts in the province
expressing a just Resentment at the repeated Attacks that have
been made on the publick Liberty by a corrupt Administration and
their wretched Tools & Dependents. Your District, in the Opinion
of this Committee has very justly held up the publick Grievances
of America in one short but full View; first the power assumed by
the British parliament (in which we cannot be represented) to tax
us at pleasure; and then their appropriating such taxes, to
render the executive power of the province independent of the
Legislature, or more properly speaking absolutely dependent on
the Crown. It was impossible for the Conspirators against our
invalueable Rights, with all their Art & Assiduity, to prevent
our sensible Brethren in the Country from seeing the fatal
Tendency of so dangerous an Innovation: And in a Virtuous Country
it requires only a Sight of such daring Incroachments, to produce
a manly & effectual Opposition to them. We applaud the patriotick
Determination of the District of Rutland "that it is of the
utmost Importance that the Inhabitants of this province stand
firm as one man to support & maintain all their just Rights &
Privileges." Such a resolution when general among the people can
seldom fail to reduce the most haughty Invaders of the common
Rights to a Submission to Reason.

1Clerk of the District of Rutland, Worcester County.


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

BOSTON, April 7 1773


We the Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Boston,
acknowledge the very obliging Letter to said town, signd by
yourself & transmitted to us by order of the Town of Rowley.

It gives us great pleasure to find that the proceedings of the
Town we have the Honor to serve, have been so acceptable to our
worthy & much esteemed Brethren of Rowley. This cannot fail to
animate the Metropolis in every laudable Exertion for the common
Cause of Liberty. The ardent Zeal of your Town for that all
interresting Cause, expressd in their Letter and their judicious
Instructions to their Representative which accompany it, afford
us a very strong Assurance of the high Esteem they have of our
invalueable Rights & their deep Sense of the Grievances we labour
under. We joyn with them in supplicating Almighty God for his
Direction Assistance & Blessing in every laudable Effort that may
be made for the securing to our Selves & posterity the free &
full Enjoyment of those precious Rights & privileges for which
our renowned forefathers expended so much Treasure & Blood.

1Addressed as "late Moderator of a Meeting of the Freeholders &
other Inhabitants of the Town of Rowley held by Adjournment the
third of February 1773."


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text with
modifications is in R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp.
197-203; printed also in the Boston Gazette, May 23, 1774.]

BOSTON, 9 April 1773


I must by no means omit to request you to present my most
respectful Complimts to the Society of the Bill of Rights and
return them my hearty Thanks for the great Honor they have done
me in admitting me one of their Members. The Gentlemen may be
assured that this unexpected mark of their Respect adds to the
Obligation which I have ever held myself under, to employ the
small Share of Ability which God has given me, in vindicating
the Rights of my Country & Mankind.

I can now assure you, that the Efforts of this Town at their
Meeting in November last, have had Effects which are extremely
mortifying to our petty Tyrants. Every Art & every Instrument was
made use of to prevent the Meetings of the Towns in the Country
but to no purpose. It is no Wonder that a Measure calculated to
promote a Correspodence and a free Communication among the
people, should awaken Apprehensions; for they well know that it
must detect their Falshood in asserting that the people of this
Country were satisfied with the Measures of the British
parliament and the Administration of Government. Our Governor has
in my Opinion merited greatly of the Ministry by his constant
Endeavors, though in vain, to sooth & quiet the people & perswade
them to think there were no Grievances that might "be seen felt
or understood." And when the House of Representatives in the last
May Session, by almost a unanimous Vote remonstrated against his
Independency, he, without the least Foundation in Truth, & for no
other Reason that I can conceive but to give Countenance to his
Patron Hillsborough, or to establish himself in his Governmt
which he recd with so great RELUCTANCE, did not scruple in his
Speech at the Close of that Session, to insinuate that the House
was under the Influence of a few factious members. No Speech of
Bernards ever gave greater Disgust to the People, nor with more

There has been another Session of the Genl Assembly, wch began
unexpectedly on the 6th of Jany last. It is my Opinion that it
would have been postponed, as usual of late, till near the Close
of our political Year, had it not been for the Boston Town
Meeting; I mean to prevent the designd Effects of it, by giving
an occasion to the small Jobbers in the Country to say, that
"however expedient it might have been for them to have had their
meetings before, it now becomes unnecessary & improper since
their representatives are soon to meet in Genl Assembly." This
had an Influence in some Towns; and his EXCELLENCY, I suppose
judgd it more probable that he should be able to mannage the
Members of the House and prevail upon them "to joyn with him in
bearing Testimony against the UNWARRANTABLE Proceedings of
Boston," if they came together without having the explicit
Sentiments of their Constituents.

At the Meeting of the Assembly, he thought proper to open a
Controversy with the two Houses, for which I think Hillsbro would
not thank him; for he has thereby defeated the favorite Design of
the Ministry, which was to lull the people into Security, and for
the effecting of which Design, he had before thought himself, or
endeavord to make Administration believe he was entitled to so
great a Share of Merit. It has been publishd in most of the
Newspapers in the Continent & engages much of the Attention of
the other Colonies. This, together with ye proceedings of a
CONTEMPTIBLE Town meeting, has awakned the Jealousy of all, & has
particularly raised ye Spirit of the most ancient & patriotick
Colony of Virginia. Their manly Resolves have been transmitted to
the Speaker of the House of Representatives in a printed Sheet of
their Journals; and our Come of Correspondence have circulated
Copies of them into every Town & District through the Province.1

I wish I could hear more of Lord D. to qualify him for his high
office, than merely that he is a GOOD Man. Goodness I confess is
an essential, tho too rare a Qualification of a Minister of
State. Possibly I may not have been informd of the whole of his
Lordships Character. Without a Greatness of Mind adequate to the
Importance of his Station, I fear he may find himself embarrassd
with his present Connections. It can easily be conceivd what
principle induced Lord North to recommend to that Department a
Nobleman characterized in America for Piety; but what could
prevail on his Lordship to joyn with such Connections, unless he
had a Consciousness that his own Abilities were sufficient to
defeat the plans of a corrupt Administration, I am not able to
conceive. It might be well for his Lordship to be assured, that
there is now a fairer prospect than ever of an Union among the
Colonies, which his predecessor did & had reason to dread, tho he
affected to despise it. Should the Correspondence proposd by
Virginia produce a Congress; and that an ASSEMBLY OF STATES, it
would require the Head of a very able Minister to treat with so
respectable a Body. This perhaps is a mere fiction in the Mind of
a political Enthusiast. Ministers of State are not to be disturbd
with Dreams.

I must now acknowledge your agreeable Letter of the 24 of Decr.2
I cannot wonder that you almost depair of the British Nation. Can
that people be saved from Ruin, who carry their Liberties to
market & sell them to the highest Bidder? But America "shall rise
full plumed and glorious from her Mothers Ashes."

Our House of Representatives have sent a Letter to Lord
Dartmouth. This must without Question be a wise measure, though I
must own I was not in it. I feard it would lead the people to a
false Dependence; I mean upon a Minister of State, when it ought
to be placed, with Gods Assistance, upon THEMSELVES. You cannot
better prepare him for the representatives of the House, than as
you propose, by giving him a proper Idea of Hutchinson. I am much
obligd to you for your Intention to hold up to the publick the
Generosity of my esteemed friend Mr. Otis. I wish I could assure
you that he is perfectly recoverd.

April 12.

This day I have the pleasure of receiving yours of the 25 of
Jany.3 Your putting me in mind of the Honor done me by the
Society of the Bill of Rights is very kind. I ought sooner to
have acknowledgd it. My omitting it was owing to being in a Hurry
when I last wrote to you. I am sensible I am not one of the most
regular Correspondents; perhaps not so as I should be. I duly
recd tho I think not by Mr Storey, the Letter which inclosed the
Answer to the Resolution of the Govr & Council against Junius
Americanus, which I immediately publishd in the Boston Gazette.
It was read with great Satisfaction by Men of Sense & Virtue. I
am heartily glad to find that the proceedings of this Town are so
pleasing to you. I have heard that Ld Dartmouth recd one of our
pamphlets with Coolness & expressd his Concern that the Town had
come into such Measures. His Lordship probably will be much
surprizd to find a very great Number of the Towns in this
province(& the Number is daily increasing)concurring fully in
Sentiments with this Metropolis; expressing Loyalty to the King &
Affection to the Mother Country but at the same time a firm
Resolution to maintain their constitutional Rights & Liberties. I
send you the proceedings of one town, which if you think proper
you may publish as a Specimen of the whole, for the Inspection of
an Administration either misinformd & credulous to the greatest
Degree of human Weakness, or Obstinate in wilfull Error. They
have lately employd Eight Regiments of British Troops to bring an
handful of unfortunate Carribs to a Treaty dishonorable to the
Nation. How many Regiments will be thought necessary to penetrate
the Heart of a populus Country & subdue a sensible enlightned &
brave people to the ignominious Terms of Slavery? Or will his
Lordships superior Wisdom direct to more salutory Measures, and
by establishing Freedom in every part of the Kings extensive
Dominions, restore that mutual Harmony & Affection which alone is
wanting to build up the greatest Empire the World has ever yet

Mr. Wilkes was certainly misinformd when he was told that Mr H.
had deserted the Cause of Liberty. Great pains had been taken to
have it thought to be so; and by a scurvy Trick of lying the
Adversaries effected a Coolness between that Gentn & some others
who were zealous in that Cause. But it was of short Continuance,
for their falsehood was soon detected. Lord Hillsbro I suppose
was early informd of this imaginary Conquest; for I have it upon
such Grounds as I can rely upon, that he wrote to the Govr
telling him that he had it in Command from the HIGHEST AUTHORITY
to enjoyn him to promote Mr H. upon every Occasion. Accordingly,
tho he had been before frownd upon & often negativd both by
Bernard & Hutchinson the latter, who can smile sweetly even upon
the Man he hates, when he is instructed or it is his Interest so
to do, fawnd & flatterd one of the HEADS OF THE FACTION, & at
length approvd of him when he was elected a Councellor last May.
To palliate this inconsistent Conduct it was previously given out
that Mr H had deserted the faction, & became as they term each
other, a Friend to Governmt. But he had Spirit enough to refuse a
Seat at the Board, & continue a Member of the House, where he has
in every Instance joyned with the friends of the Constituion in
Opposition to the Measures of a Corrupt Administration; & in
particular no one has discoverd more firmness against the
Independency of the Govr & the Judges than he.

I have mentiond to Mr Cushing the Hint in your last concerning
his not answering your Letter. I believe he will write to you
soon. The Gratitude of the friends to Liberty towards Mr Otis for
his eminent Services in times past induces them to take all
Occasions to show him Respect. I am much obligd to you for the
friendship you have discoverd for him, in holding up to the View
of the Publick his Generosity to Robinson.

Your Brother in Virginia has lately honord me with a Letter; & I
intend to Cultivate a Correspondence with him, which I am sure
will be much to my Advantage.

As you have confided in me to recommend one or more Gentlemen of
this place as Candidates for the Society of the Bill of Rights, I
my two worthy & intimate Friends J Adams & J Warren Esqrs; the
one eminent in the profession of the Law & the other equally so
in that of physick. Both of them men of an unblemishd moral
Character & Zealous Advocates for the Common Rights of Mankind.

1An original print of this circular letter, dated April 9, 1773,
is in the Lenox Library.
2R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. i., pp. 224-226.
3R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. i., pp. 226-228.


[MS., American Philosophical Society; a text is in R. H. Lee,
Life of Richard Henry Lee, vol. I., pp. 88-90, and a draft in in
the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, April 10 1773


Your Letter to me of the 4th Feb last, I receivd with singular
Pleasure; not only because I had long wishd for a Correspondence
with some Gentleman in Virginia, but more particularly because I
had frequently heard of your Character and Merit, as a warm
Advocate for Virtue and Liberty.

I have often thought it a Misfortune, or rather a Fault in the
Friends of American Independence and Freedom, their not taking
Care to open every Channel of Communication. The Colonies are all
embarkd in the same bottom. The Liberties of all are alike
invaded by the same haughty Power: The Conspirators against their
common Rights have indeed exerted their brutal Force, or applied
their insidious Arts, differently in the several Colonies, as
they thought would best serve their Purpose of Oppression and
Tyranny. How necessary then is it; that ALL should be early
acquainted with the particular Circumstances of EACH, in Order
that the Wisdom & Strength of the whole may be employd upon every
proper Occasion. We have heard of Bloodshed & even civil War in
our Sister Colony North Carolina; And how strange is it, that the
best Intelligence we have had of that tragical Scene, has been
brought to us from England!

This Province, and this Town especially, have sufferd a great
Share of Ministerial Wrath and Insolence: But God be thanked,
there is, I trust, a Spirit prevailing, which will never submit
to Slavery. The Compliance of New York in making annual Provision
for a military Force designed to carry Acts of Tyranny into
Execution: The Timidity of some Colonies and the Silence of
others is discouraging: But the active Vigilance, the manly
Generosity and the Steady Perseverance of Virginia and South
Carolina, gives us Reason to hope, that the Fire of true
Patriotism will at length spread throughout the Continent; the
Consequence of which must be the Acquisition of all we wish for.

The Friends of Liberty in this Town have lately made a successful
Attempt to obtain the explicit political Sentiments of a great
Number of the Towns in this Province; and the Number is daily
increasing. The very Attempt was alarming to the Adversaries; and
the happy Effects of it are mortifying to them. I would propose
it for your Consideration, Whether the Establishment of
Committees of Correspondence among the several Towns in every
Colony, would not tend to promote that General Union, upon which
the Security of the whole depends.

The Reception of the truly patriotick Resolves of the House of
Burgesses of Virginia gladdens the Hearts of all who are Friends
to Liberty. Our Committee of Correspondence had a special Meeting
upon this Occasion, and determined immediately to circulate
printed Copies in every Town in this Province, in order to make
them as extensively useful as possible. I am desired by them to
assure you of their Veneration for your most ancient Colony, and
their unfeigned Esteem for the Gentlemen of your Committee. This
indeed is a small Return; I hope you will have the hearty
Concurence of every Assembly on the Continent. It is a Measure
that I think must be attended with great and good Consequences.

Our General Assembly is dissolved; and Writs will soon be issued
according to the Charter for a new Assembly to be held on the
last Wednesday in May next. I think I may almost assure you that
there will be a Return of such Members as will heartily cooperate
with you in your spirited Measures.

The most enormous Stride in erecting what may properly be called
a Court of Inquisition in America, is sufficient to excite
Indignation even in the Breast the least capable of feeling. I am
expecting an authentick Copy of that Commission, which I shall
send to you by the first opportunity after I shall have receivd
it. The Letter from the new Secretary of State to the Governor of
Rhode Island, which possibly you may have seen in the News
papers, may be depended upon as genuine. I receivd it from a
Gentleman of the Council in that Colony, who took it from the
Original. I wish the Assembly of that little Colony had acted
with more firmness than they have done; but as the Court of
Enquiry is adjournd, they may possibly have another Tryal.

I have a thousand things to say to you, but am prevented by Want
of Time; having had but an hours Notice of this Vessels sailing.
I cannot however conclude without assuring you, that a Letter
from you as often as your Leisure will permit of it, will lay me
under great

I am in strict Truth
Your most humble servt


[Boston Gazette, April 12, 1773.]

Messieurs EDES & GILL,

PERHAPS no measure that has been taken by the Town of Boston
during our present Struggles for Liberty, has thwarted the
designs of our enemies more than their Votes and Proceedings on
the 20th of November last.1 If we take a Retrospect of two or
three Years past, we shall find that what our "PRETENDED
patriots", as they were stiled in the Court Gazette, so zealously
forewarn'd us of, has since turn'd out to be a Fact; that every
art would be made use of to lull the people of this Province and
Continent into Security, in order that the Conspirators against
our Rights and Liberties might carry on their Schemes and
compleat their system of Tyranny without Opposition or
Molestation. The first part of their plan, they imagin'd they had
finish'd; that is, the Establishment of a Revenue: And though
this was far from being sufficient to answer their whole purpose,
they thought that if they could put the people to sleep, they
might the more easily add to this revenue, at some future time,
and plead the present submission for a precedent. They therefore
began upon the second and equally important part of their plan,
which was to appropriate the revenue they had rais'd, to set up
an Executive, absolutely independent of the legislative, which is
to say the least, the nearest approach to absolute Tyranny.

The Governor, who was the first American PENSIONER, had now an
exhorbitant Salary allowed him out of the monies extorted from
the people: And although this was directly repugnant to the
obvious meaning, if not the very letter of the Charter, much was
said by CHRONUS and the Tribe of ministerial Writers in Mr.
DRAPER'S paper, to reconcile it to the people. But the people,
whom they generally in their incubrations treated with an air of
contempt, as an unthinking herd, had a better understanding of
things than they imagined they had. They were almost universally
disgusted with the Innovation, while the advocates for it were
yet endeavoring to make the world believe, that the opposition to
it arose from a few men only, of "no property" and "desperate
fortunes," who were "endeavoring to bring things into confusion,
that they might have the advantage of bettering their fortunes
by plunder." Little did they think that it was then known, as it
now appears in fact, that those who were assiduously watching for
places, preferment and pensions, were in truth the very men of NO
PROPERTY, and had no other way of mending thier shattered
fortunes, but by being the sharers in the spoils of their

Scarcely had the General Assembly the opportunity of expressing
their full Sentiments of the mischievous tendency, of having a
Governor absolutely dependent on the Crown for his being and
support, before the alarming News arriv'd of the Judges of the
Superior Court being placed in the same Situation. This Insolence
of Administration was so quickly repeated, no doubt from a full
perswasion of the truth of the accounts received from their
infatuated tools on this side of the atlantick, that the temper
of the people would now admit of the experiment. But the News was
like Thunder in the ears of all but a detestable and detested
few: Even those who had been inclin'd to think favorably of the
Governor and the Judges were alarm'd at it. And indeed what
honest and sensible man or woman could contemplate it without
horror! We all began to shudder at the Prospect of the same
tragical Scenes being acted in this Country, which are recorded
in the English History as having been acted when their Judges
were the meer Creatures, Dependents and tools of the Crown. Such
an indignation was discover'd and express'd by almost every one,
at so daring an Insult upon a free people, that it was difficult
to keep our Resentment within its proper bounds. Many were ready
to call for immediate Vengeance, perhaps with more zeal than
discretion: How soon human Prudence and Fortitude, directed by
the wise and righteous Governor of the world, may point out the
time and the means of successfully revenging the wrongs of
America, I leave to those who have been the Contrivers and
Abbettors of these destructive Measures, seriously to consider. I
hope and believe that I live in a Country, the People of which
are too intelligent and too brave to submit to Tyrants: And let
me remind the greatest of them all, "there is a degree of
patience beyond which human Nature will not bear"!

Amidst the general Anxiety the memorable Meeting was called, with
Design that the Inhabitants might have the Opportunity, of
expressing their Sense calmly and dispassionately; for it is from
such a Temper of Mind, that we are to expect a rational, manly
and successful Opposition to the ruinous Plans of an abandoned
Administration: And it is for this Reason alone, that the petty
Tyrants of this Country have always dreaded and continue still to
dread, a regular Assembly of the People.

The desirable Effects of this Meeting, contemptible as it was at
first represented to be, together with the Prospect of what may
be further expected from it, my possibly be the subject of a
future Paper.

April 10, 1773.

1Volume II., page 350. [back]

[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]
BOSTON, April 13 1773


The Committee of Correspondence of the Town of Boston have
receivd a Letter from the respectable Inhabitants of the Town of
Duxborough. Nothing can afford us greater pleasure than to find
so noble a Spirit of Opposition to the Efforts of arbitrary power
prevailing in so great a number of Towns in this province. And it
gives us a particular Satisfaction that our worthy Brethren of
Duxborough, who are settled upon the very spot which was first
cultivated by our renowned Ancestors, inherit so great a Share of
their heroick Virtues. It is as you justly observe an Affront to
the Understanding of our Ancestors to suppose, that when they
took possession of this Country, they consented, even tacitly, to
be subject to the unlimited Controul of a Government without a
Voice in it, the merciless Oppression of which was intollerable
even when they had a Voice there. Your just Resentment of the
Injuries done to us by the British parliament more especially in
giving & granting our property & appropriating it to the most
destructive purposes, without our Consent, and your resolution to
oppose Tyranny in all its forms is worthy the Imitation of this
Metropolis. We wish for & hope soon to see that Union of
Sentiments in the several Towns throughout this province & in the
American Colonies which shall strike a Terror in the hearts of
those who would enslave us; and together with a Spirit of union
may God inspire us with that ardent Zeal for the support of
religious & civil Liberty which animated the Breasts of the first
Settlers of the old Colony of Plymouth from whom the native
Inhabitants of Duxborough have lineally descended. After the
Example of those renowned Heroes, whose memory we revere, let us
gloriously defend our Rights & Liberites, & resolve to transmit
the fair Inheritance they purchased for us with Treasure & Blood
to their latest posterity.
1Town Clerk of Duxbury.


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

[April 13, 1773.]


The Selectmen of this Town have handed to us an attested Copy of
a letter directed to them by order of the ancient Town of
Weymouth. As it is the particular Department of the Committee of
Correspondence appointed by the Town, to return an Answer to this
Letter we chearfully embrace the Opportunity; and acknowledge the
Candor of our Brethren of Weymouth in giving any Attention to the
proceedings of this Town. The Town of Boston are deeply sensible
that our publick Affairs as you justly observe are in a critical
Scituation: yet our Intention was, not to obtrude THEIR Opinions
upon their Fellow-Countrymen, as has been injuriously said, but
to be informd, if possible of their real Sentiments, at a time
when it was publickly & repeatedly given out that this Country in
general was perfectly reconciled to the measures of the British
Administration. It affords us pleasure to find it to be the Sense
of the Town of Weymouth that "Encroachments are made upon our
Rights & Liberties," & that they are "disposed at all times to
unite in every lawful & proper measure for obtaining a redress of
our Grievances." Many of the Towns in this province have expressd
a just Abhorrence of the Attempts that have been & still are made
to deprive us of our inestimable rights. Their good Sense &
generous Zeal for the common Liberty is highly animating & we
would wish to emulate it. We are sensible that "much Wisdom is
necessary to conduct us right," and we joyn in earnestly
supplicating "that Wisdom which is from above." The Friendship to
this Town expressd in your Letter lays us under great
Obligations. No greater Blessing can be desired by this Community
than "Peace Prosperity & Happiness," and the Enjoyment of this
Blessing depends upon CIVIL & RELIGIOUS LIBERTY.

1Town Clerk of Weymouth.


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

BOSTON, April 13 1773


The Votes of the plantation of Gardnerstown have been laid before
the Committee of Correspondence of the Town of Boston by Mr
Samuel Adams to whom you were so kind as to transmit them. The
notice which your plantation have taken of the State of the
Rights & Grievances of this people publishd by this metropolis
gives us great pleasure. So thorough a Sense of Liberty civil &
religious so early discoverd in an Infant Body, affords an
agreable prospect that the good Cause will be nobly defended &
maintaind by it, when it shall arrive to a State of Maturity. We
wish you the Blessings of Heaven in your Settlement; and we will
exert our small Share of Influence in getting you protected from
the savage hand of Tyranny, with which the whole British America
has so long been contending. The resolves of the patriotick
Assembly of Virginia accompany this Letter, & we doubt not you
will partake of the general Joy they have given to all the
friends of American Independence & freedom.

1Clerk of the "plantation" of Gardnerstown. [back]


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

BOSTON, April 13 1773


Your attested Copy of the proceedings of the Town of Framingham
at a legal meeting on the 15th of March last has been receivd by
the Committee of Correspondence of the Town of Boston.

The just resentment which your Town discovers at the power of
Legislation for the Colonists assumed by the British Parliament,
and its exerting that power in raising a revenue and applying it
to purposes repugnant to the common Safety, and the resolution of
that town to defend our rights & Liberties purchasd with so much
Blood & Treasure, must do them honor in the Estimation of all who
place a true Value upon those inestimable Blessings. May HE who
gave this Land to our worthy forefathers, animate us their
posterity to defend it at all Hazards; and while we would not
lose the Character of loyal subjects to a prince resolvd to
protect us, we will yet never forfeit that of Men determined to
be free.

1Town Clerk of Framingham.


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 203, 204.]

BOSTON, April 22nd. 1773.

MY ESTEEMED FRIEND,---I have written you a long epistle by this
conveyance, and yet as the vessel is detained by a contrary wind,
I cannot help indulging the mood I am in to chat a little more
with you. When I mentioned Mr. Hancock in my last, I forgot to
tell you that he is colonel of a company, called the governor's
company of cadets. Perhaps in this view only he was held up to
Mr. Wilkes, when he was informed that he had deserted the cause.
But it should be known it is not in the power of the governor to
give a commission for that company to whom he pleases as their
officers are chosen by themselves. Mr. Hancock was elected by an
unanimous vote; and a reluctance at the idea of giving offence to
an hundred gentlemen, might very well account for the governor
giving the commission to Mr. H., without taking into
consideration that most powerful of all other motives, AN
INSTRUCTION, especially at a time when he vainly hoped he should
gain him over. I have been the more particular, because I know
our adversaries avail themselves much by propagating reports that
persons who have signalized themselves as patriots have at length
forsaken their country. Mr. Otis yesterday was engaged in a cause
in the admiralty on the side of Dawson, commander of one of the
king's cutters. At this some of the minions of power triumph, and
say they have got over to their side the greatest champion of our
cause. I have not yet discovered in the faces of their masters,
an air of exultation at this event; and indeed how can they boast
of the acquisition of one, whom they themselves have been the
most ready to expose as distracted.

I send you a complete printed copy of our controversy with the
governor, at the end of which you will observe some errors noted
which escaped the press.

This letter goes under care of Mr. Cushing's to Dr. Franklin. The
franks you favoured me with I shall make use of as necessity
shall require.

I am yours affectionately,


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 204, 205.]

BOSTON, May 6th, 1773.

MY DEAR SIR,---My last letter to you I sent by Capt. Symmes, who
sailed a few days ago. This town met yesterday, and made choice
of their representatives for the year ensuing. Enclosed is a copy
of the town's instructions.1 It is a very common practice for
this town to instruct their representatives; which among other
good purposes serves to communicate their sentiments and spirit
to the other towns, and may be looked upon as fresh appeals to
the world. I perceive by the late London newspapers that the
governor's first speech had arrived there, and had been very
sensibly remarked upon by Junius Americanus. This warm and
judicious advocate for the province I apprehend was mistaken in
saying, that the supreme authority of the British parliament to
legislate forces has been always acknowledged here; when he reads
the answer of the house to the speech, he will find the contrary
clearly shown, even from Gov. Hutchinson's history. What will be
the consequence of this controversy, time must discover; it must
be placed to the credit of the governor, that he has quickened a
spirit of enquiry into the nature and end of government, and the
connexion of the colonies with Great Britain, which has for some
time past been prevailing among the people. MAGNA EST VERITAS ET
PREVALEBIT; I believe it will be hardly in the power even of that
powerful nation to hold so inquisitive and increasing a people
long in a state of slavery.

Pray write to me as often as you can find leisure, and be assured
I am sincerely your friend and servant,

1The text is in Boston Record Commissioner's Report, vol. xviii.,
pp. 131-134.


[W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. ii., p. 70; printed also
in the Historical Magazine, vol. vii., p. January, 20, 1863.]

BOSTON, May 14, 1773.


I must beg the favor of you to present my unfeigned regards to
the town, and acquaint them that, by reason of bodily
indisposition, I am unable to discharge the duty they have been
pleased to assign me as moderator of their meeting, which is to
be held this day by adjournment. I am much obliged to the town
for the honor done me, and esteem it a very great misfortune
whenever it is not in my power to render them services
proportionate to my own inclination.

With all due respect, I remain, gentlemen,

Your friend and fellow-citizen,


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text with
modifications is in R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, pp. 205, 206.]

BOSTON, May 17, 1773.


My last went by Cap Calef, and inclosd a Copy of the Instructions
of this Town to their representatives. Our General Assembly will
meet next Week, what kind of a Budget the Govr will then open is
uncertain; It is whispered that he intends to bring about a
Coalition of parties, but how he will attempt it I am at a loss
to conceive. Surely he cannot think that the Body of this people
will be quieted till there is an End put to the Oppressions they
are under; and he dares not to propose a Coalition on these Terms
because it would disgust those who are the Instruments of &
Sharers in the Oppression. Besides I am inclined to think he
never will be able to recover so much of the Confidence of the
people as to make his Administration easy. A few of his Letters
we have seen, but are restraind at present from publishing them.
Could they be made generally known, his Friends must desert him.
It is a pity when the most important Intelligence is communicated
with such Restrictions, as that it serves rather to gratify the
Curiosity of a few than to promote the publick good. I wish we
could see the Letters he has written since his Advancement to the
Government. His friends give out that they are replete with
tenderness to the province; If so, I SPEAK WITH ASSURANCE, they
are the reverse of those he wrote before.

I send you for your Amusement the Copy of a Vote passd by this
Town at the Adjournment of their Meeting a few days ago and
remain with Sincerity your friend.

You cannot write me too often.


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., p. 192, under date of
June 14, 1772.]

BOSTON, June 14th, [1773.]

DEAR SIR,-----I now enclose letters written by Thomas Hutchinson
and Oliver-----and others of less importance, the originals of
which have been laid before the house of representatives.1 The
house have already resolved, by a majority of 101 out of 106
members, that the design and tendency of them is to subvert the
constitution and introduce arbitrary power into the province.
They are now in the hands of a committee to consider them
farther, and report what is still proper to be done.

I think there is now a full discovery of a combination of persons
who have been the principal movers, in all the disturbance
misery, and bloodshed, which has befallen this unhappy country.
The friends of our great men are much chagrined.

I am much engaged at present, and will write you more fully by
the next opportunity. In the mean time believe me to be with
great esteem your unfeigned friend,

Wednesday, June 16th, 1773.---The enclosed resolves are to be
considered by the house this afternoon.

1See Journal of the House of Representatives, 1773-1774, under
dates of June 2, 3, 10, 16, 21, 22, 26, 28, 1773; cf.
Bigelow, Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin, vol. v., pp. 147-
150, 152, 153, 205-207.


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

BOSTON June 19 1773


The judicious and manly Resolves of the Town of Hatfield, passd
at the Adjournment of a legal meeting on the 31 of May last, have
been laid before the Come of Correspondence for the Town of
Boston. It affords us very great Satisfaction to find that the
Attempts of this Town to state the common Rights of this Colony &
the many grievances we labor under have been judgd by our
Brethren of Hatfield to be an acceptable Service; and the Thanks
of that Town does great Honor to the metropolis. It has been the
unremitted Endeavor of the Invaders of our Rights & the Tools
they have employed, to prevail on the people to believe that
there have been no Infringements made upon them; and the artful
Publications which have frequently issued from one of the presses
in this Town in particular, had perhaps in some degree answerd
their purpose. But we have the pleasure to assure you, that the
Letters we have lately receivd from every part of the province,
breath the true Sentiments & Spirit of Liberty. There seems to be
in every town, an apprehension of fatal Consequences from "the
illegal & unconstitutional measures which have been ADOPTED, (as
you justly express it) by the British ministry." Your Expression
is indeed pertinent; for it has as we think abundantly appeard
since you wrote, by some extraordinary Letters which have been
publishd, that the plan of our Slavery was concerted here, &
properly speaking "adopted by the British ministry." The plan
indeed is concise; first to take the people's money from them
without their Consent & then to appropriate that money for the
purpose of supporting an Executive independent of them and under
the absolute Controul of the Crown or rather the ministry. It was
formerly the saying of an English Tyrant "Let me have Judges at
my Command & make what Laws you please." And herein he judgd
wisely for his purpose, for what Security can the people expect
from the most salutary Laws if they are to be executed by the
absolute Dependents of a monarch. The nation cannot then wonder
that not only the several Towns of this province in their more
private Departments, but the Representative body of the people in
General Court assembled, are so greatly alarmd at this finishing
Stroke of the System of Tyranny. That Union of Sentiments among
the freemen of this Colony, that firmness, and Resolution to make
every constitutional Stand against the Efforts of a corrupt
administration which appears in the proceedings of so many Towns
already publishd to the World, must afford full conviction to the
Earl of Dartmouth that the opposition is not, as was represented
to his predecessor in office, an expiring Faction. That the
People of this province thus animated with a laudable Zeal, may
be directed to the wisest measures for the Defence & Support of
their common Liberty is the ardent wish of this Committee.

We are with the warmest affection for our Country, and a due
regard to the Town of Hatfield

your assured friends
& humble Servants,

1Town Clerk of Hatfield. [back]


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text with
modifications is in R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp.
206, 207.]

BOSTON June 21 1773


I wrote in very great Haste a few days ago, and then inclosd a
printed Copy of Letters signd Tho Hutchinson, Andw Oliver &
others, with a Copy of certain Resolutions formd by a Committee
and brot into the House of Representatives. Those Resolutions
have been since considerd by the House and with little Variation
adopted as youl see by the inclosd. Upon the last Resolve there
was a Division 85 to 28 since which five of the minority alterd
their minds, and two other members came into the House and desird
to be counted so that finally there were 93 in favor & 22 against
it. Many if not most of the latter voted for all the other
resolves. A Petition & Remonstrance against Hutchinson & Oliver
will be brot in I suppose this Week. I should think enough
appears by these Letters to show that the plan for the ruin of
American Liberty was laid by a few men born & educated amongst
us, & governd by Avarice & a Lust of power. Could they be removed
from his Majestys Service and Confidence here, effectual Measures
might then be taken to restore, "placidam sub Libertate Quietam."
Perhaps however you may think it necessary that some on your side
the Water should be impeachd & brot to condign punishment. In
this I shall not differ with you.

I send you our last Election Sermon delivered by Mr Turner. The
Bishop of St Asaphs I have read with singular pleasure.

I remain sincerely your friend,


JUNE 23, 1773.

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

Province of Massachusetts Bay June 23 17731

To the Kings most Excellent Majesty

Most Gracious Sovereign

We your Majestys most loyal Subjects the Representatives of your
ancient Colony, in General court legally assembled, by Virtue of
your Majestys Writ under the Hand and Seal of the Governor beg
leave to lay this our humble Petition before your Majesty;
earnestly beseeching that in your Royal Clemency, your Majesty
would . . .

Nothing but a Sense of the Duty we owe to our Sovereign, and the
Obligation we are under to consult the Peace and Safety of the
Province, could induce us to remonstrate to your Majesty, the
MalConduct of those, who, having been born & educated and
constantly resident in the Province and who formerly have had ye
Confidence & were loaded with ye honours of this People, your
Majesty, we conceive, from the purest Motives of rendering the
People most happy, was graciously pleasd to advance to the
highest places of Trust and Authority in the province.

It has been with the greatest Concern and Anxiety, that your
Majestys humble Petitioners have seen Discords & Animositites too
long subsisting between your Subjects of the Parent State & those
of the Colonies: And we have trembled with Apprehensions that the
Consequences naturally arising therefrom must at length prove
fatal to both Countries.

Your Majesty will permit us humbly to suggest, that your Subjects
here have been naturally inducd to believe, that the Grievances
they have sufferd and still continue to suffer by the late
measures of the British Administration, have been occasioned by
your Majestys ministers & principal Servants being unfortunately
for us, either under strong prejudices against us, or misinformd
in certain Facts of very interresting Importance to us. It is for
this Reason that former Houses of Representatives have from time
to time prepared a true State of facts to be laid before your
Majesty; but their Petitions it is presumed, have by some means
been prevented from reaching your Royal Hand.

Your Majestys Petitioners have at length had before them certain
Papers, from which, they conceive it2 may be made manifestly to
appear that there has long been a Combination3 of evil Men in
this province, who have contemplated Measures and formd a Plan,
to raise their own Fortunes and advance themselves to Posts of
Power Honor & Profit, to the Destruction of the Character of the
province, at the Expence of the Quiet of the Nation and to the
annihilating of the Rights & Liberties of the American Colonies.

And we do with all due Submission to your Majesty, beg Leave
particularly to complain of the Conduct of his Excellency Thomas
Hutchinson Esqr Governor, and the Honbe Andrew Oliver Esqr
Lieutenant Governor of this province, as having a natural &
efficacious Tendency to interrupt & alienate the Affections of
your Majesty our Rightful Sovereign from this your loyal
province; to destroy that Harmony & Good Will between Great
Britain and this Colony which every honest Subject would wish to
establish; to excite the Resentment of the British Administration
against this Province; to defeat the Endeavors of our Agents &
Friends to serve us by a fair Representation of our State of
facts; and to prevent our humble and repeated Petitions from
reaching the Ear of your Majesty & having their desired Effect.
And finally that the said Thos Hutchinson & Andrew Oliver have
been some of the chiefe Instruments in the Introduction of a
Fleet and Army into this province to establish & perpetuate their
plans; whereby they have not only been greatly instrumental of
disturbing the peace & Harmony of the Government and causing
unnatural & hateful Discords and Animosities between the several
parts of your Majestys Dominions, but are justly chargeable with
all that Corruption of Morals in this Province, and all that
Confusion Misery and Bloodshed which have been the natural
Effects of the posting of Troops in a populous Town.

We do therefore most humbly beseech your Majesty, to give order
that Time may be allowed to us to support these our complaints by
our Agents and Council. And as the said Thos Hutchinson Esqr and
Andrew Oliver Esqr have by their above mentiond Conduct and
otherwise rendered themselves justly obnoxious to your Majestys
loving Subjects, we pray that your Majesty will be graciously
pleasd to remove them from their posts in this Government, and
place such good and faithful men in their Stead as, your Majesty
in your great Wisdom shall think fit----------

1Adopted by the House of Representatives by a vote of 80 to 11,
after a motion to refer its consideration to the
next session had been defeated by a vote of 73 to13.
2As an alternative to the following six words, the draft has
also, interlined, "is most reasonable to Suppose."
3The draft has also "Conspiracy," interlined.


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text with
modifications is in R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp.
207, 208.]

BOSTON June 28, 1773.

Dear Sir,

My last was by Cap. Collson by the way of Bristol, inclosd in a
frankd Cover. I then informd you of the passing of a Number of
Resolves in the House of Representatives upon certain Letters
that had been under their Consideration. Since which the House
have by a Division of 82/12, voted a Petition & Remonstrance to
the King praying that Govr Hutchinson & Lt Govr Oliver may be
removd from their Posts. A Copy of which is sent to Dr Franklin
by this Vessel, who is directed to apply to Arthur Lee, Esqr and
any other Gentleman as Council. Upon my motion the Dr was
directed to make application to you solely; but the next Day it
was questiond in the House whether you were yet initiated into
the Practice of Law, and the Addition was made upon a Doubt which
I was sorry I had it not in my Power to remove. However, you must
be applyd to; Every Friend of Liberty, or which is the same
thing, nine-tenths of the House having the greatest Confidence in
your Integrity and Abilities.

You have herewith inclosd a Copy of the proceedings of the
Council upon the same Subject.

The People are highly incensd against the two impeachd Gentlemen.
They have entirely lost the Esteem of the publick. Even some of
their few friends are ashamd to countenance them. The Govr, as he
has been one of the most obligd, has provd himself to be a most
ungrateful man. He appears to me to be totally disconcerted. I
wish I could say humbled.

The House are now considering the Independency of the Judges; A
Matter which every day grows still more serious, and employs much
of the Attention of the People without Doors, as well as of the
Members of the House. I wish Lord Dartmouth & the rest of the
Great officers of the Crown could be prevaild upon duly to
consider that British Americans cannot long endure a State of

I expect the Genl Assembly will be up in a few Days.1 I will then
write you more particularly. In the mean time I remain

Your Friend,

1The General Court was prorogued June 29, to meet September 15;
but the next session did not begin until
January 26, 1774.


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

BOSTON, Septemr 11, 1773


The happy fruit of the Appointment of Committees of
Correspondence in almost every Town in this province, is the
Advantage that Each has of communicating any Matter of common
Concern & Importance to a chosen Number of Men zealous for the
publick Liberty, in any particular Town or County, where it may
be specially requisite that such Intelligence shd be given. In
order to support our Cause, it is necessary that we attend to
every part of the plan which our enemies have concerted against
it. In making Laws & raising revenues from us without our
Consent, a Design is evidently apparent to render an American
Legislative of little Weight; and in appropriating such revenues
to the support of Governor & Judges, it as evidently appears that
there is a fixd Design to make our Executive dependent upon them
& subservient to their own purposes. Every method is therefore to
be usd that is practicable, in opposition to these two capital
Grievances, which are the fountain from whence every other
Grievance flows. All the Judges of the Superior Court, except the
Chiefe Justice have receivd the Grants out of the province
Treasury in full; but this by no means makes it certain whether
they intend for the future to depend upon the Crown for Support
or upon the Grants of the Genl Assembly. Indeed one of them viz
Mr Trowbridge has explicitly declared to the Speaker of the House
of Representatives that he will receive his Salary from the
province only, so long as he shall hold his Commission. The
Chiefe Justice (Oliver) has been totally silent. So that neither
of them except Mr Trowbridge has yet thought proper to comply
with the just Expectation & Demand of the House of
Representatives, upon which the Safety, & therefore we trust the
Quiet of this people depends.

The Court is now sitting here; and the Grand Jury have presented
a Memorial to them, setting forth as we are informd, the Contempt
with which the Grand Juries of the province have been treated in
the Letters of Govr Hutchinson & others; asserting the
Independence of Grand Juries as being accountable to none but God
& their own Consciences for their Conduct; claiming to themselves
equal protection with the Court, & expecting that effectual
measures will be taken to secure that most valueable Branch of
our civil Constitution, from further Contempt. They have also
represented to the Court, the great Uneasiness in the Minds of
the people of this County & as they conceive of the whole
province, by reason of the uncertainty that yet remains,
respecting the Dependence of the Judges on the Crown for Support,
& their own Doubts & Difficulties on this Account; & they pray
that the Court wd come to an explicit & publick Declaration

This is the Substance of the Matter. We shall endeavor to obtain
a correct Copy, & in that Case you will see it publishd in the
newspapers. In the mean time we would propose to you whether it
would not be serving the Cause if every County would take similar
Measures. And as the Court is to sit next in your County,1 &
yours is the principal Town we have written to your Committee
only on this Subject, leaving it to your Discretion & good
Judgment to take such methods as shall be most proper.

1Cf. Columbia University Studies in History, Economics and Public
Law, vol. vii., p. 58.


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

BOSTON Oct. 4th 1773


I can not omit this Opportunity of submitting to your Judgment,
the Ideas I have of the present Disposition of the British
Administration towards this Country; and I the rather do it at
this time, because as Matters seem to me to be drawing to a
Crisis, it is of the greatest Importance that we should have a
right Understanding of their Sentiments and Designs. The "wild
and extravagant Notions" (as they have been lately called) of the
supreme Authority of Parliament "flowing from the Pen of an House
of Representatives" has greatly chagrind them; as they apprehend
it has been the means of awakning that Spirit of Opposition to
their Measures, which from the Information their Tools on this
side of the Water had given them, and the Confidence they had
placed in the Art and Address of Mr Hutchinson, they had flatterd
themselves, had subsided, & would soon be extinguished. At the
same time they are very sensible, that the impartial Part of the
Nation, considering that the House were in a Manner forced to
express their own Sentiments on the Subject, be they what they
might, with Freedom are ready to exculpate them, and lay the
whole Blame, if there be any, upon the Governor, for his
Imprudent Zeal in bringing a Matter into open Controversy which
the Ministry had hoped to have settled in a silent Way. It is my
Opinion that the present Administration even though the very good
Lord Darmouth is one of them, are as fixed in their Resolutions
to carry this favorite point as any of their Predecessors have
been; I mean to gain from us an implicit Acknowledgment of the
Right of Parliament to make Laws binding upon us in all Cases
whatever. The King who you know determines by their Advice, has
expressd his Displeasure at our late petitions because they held
up Rights repugnant to this Right. Some of our Politicians would
have the People believe that Administration are disposd or
determind to have all the Grievances which we complain of
redressd, if we will only be quiet. But this I apprehend would be
a fatal Delusion; for I have the best Assurances, that if the
King himself should make any Concessions or take any Steps
contrary to the Right of Parliamt to tax us, he would be in
Danger of embroiling himself with the Ministry; and that under
the present Prejudices of all about him, even the recalling an
Instruction to the Governor is not yet likely to be advisd. Lord
Dartmouth has indeed lately said in the House of Lords as I have
it from a Gentleman in London who receivd the Information from a
peer who was present, that "he had formd his plan of Redress,
which he was determind to carry AT THE HAZARD OF HIS OFFICE." But
his Lordship might very safely make this Promise; for from all
that I have heard, his Plan of Redress is built very much upon
the Hopes that we may be prevaild upon, at least implicitly to
yield up the Right, of which his Lordship is as fixd in his
Opinion, as any other Minister. This I conceive they have had
in view from the year 1763; and we may well remember, that when
the Stamp Act was repeald, our Friends in Parliamt submitted as a
Condition of the Repeal, that the declaratory Act as it is called
should be passed, declaratory of the Right & Authority of
Parliament to make Laws binding upon us in all Cases whatever.
Till that time the Dispute had been limitted to the Right of
Taxation. By assuming the Power of making Laws for America IN ALL
CASES, at the time when the Stamp Act was repeald it was probably
their Design to secure, as far as they could do it by an Act of
their own, this particular Right of Taxation thinking at the same
time that if they could once establish the Precedent in an
Instance of so much importance to us, as that of taking our Money
from us, they should thenceforward find it very easy to exercise
their pretended Right in every other Case. For this Purpose in
the very next Session if I mistake not, they passed another
revenue Act, for America; which they have been endeavoring to
support by military parade, as well as by other Means, at an
Expence to the Nation, as it is said of more than the revenue
yielded. And yet, in order to induce us to acquiesce in or
silently to submit to their Exercise of this Right, they have
even condescended to meet us half way (as it was artfully given
out) and lessened this Revenue by taking off the Duty on Glass &
several other Articles. Mr George Grenville declared that he
would be satisfied with a PEPER CORN, but that he must have
THREE; which shows that he had a stronger Sense of the Importance
of establishing the Power of Parliament, or as his own Words
were, "of securing the Obedience of the Colonies" than barely of
a Revenue. The Acknowledgment on our part of the Right of
Parliament has been their invariable Object: And could they now
gain this Acknowledgment from us, tho it were but implicitly,
they would willingly sacrifice the PRESENT revenue by a repeal of
the Acts, and FOR THE PRESENT redress all our Grievances. I have
been assured that a Question has of late been privately put by
one in Administration upon whom much Dependence is had by some
persons, to a Gentleman well acquainted with the Sentiments of
the People of this Province, Whether the present House of
Representatives could not be prevaild on to rescind the Answers
of the last House to the Governors Speeches relative to the
supreme Authority of Parliament; which Answers have been lookd
upon as a Bar in the Way of a Reconciliation and being informd
that such a measure on our part could by no means be expected, I
am apprehensive that Endeavors will be used to draw us into an
incautious mode of Conduct which will be construed as in Effect
receding from the Claim of Rights of which we have hitherto been
justly so tenacious. It has been given out, I suspect from the
Secrets of the Cabinet, that if we will now send home decent
temperate & dutiful petitions, even our imaginary Grievances
shall be redressd; but let us consider what Ideas Administration
have of Decency Temperance & Dutifulness as applyd to this Case.
Our late petitions against the Independency of the Governor &
Judges were deemd indecent intemperate & undutiful, not because
they were expressd in exceptionable Words, but because it was
therein said that by the Charter it plainly appeard to us to be
intended by the Royal Grantors that the General Assembly should
be the constituted Judge of the adequate Support of the
Government of the province and the Ways & Means of providing for
the same; and further that this operation of an Act of
parliament, by which the People are taxed & the money is
appropriated & used for that purpose, derogates from one of the
most sacred Rights granted in the Charter, & most essential to
the Freedom of the Constituion, & divests the Genl Assembly of a
most important part of legislative Power and Authority expressly
granted therein, and necessary for the Good and Welfare of the
province & the Support and Government of the same. The Subject
Matter of our Complaint was, not that a Burden greater than our
proportion was laid upon us by Parliament; such a Complaint we
might have made salva Authoritate parliamentaria: But that the
Parliament had assumed & exercisd the power of taxing us & thus
appropriating our money, when by Charter it was the exclusive
right of the General Assembly. We could not otherwise have
explaind to his Majesty the Grievance which we meant to complain
of; and yet he is pleasd in his answer to declare that he has
well weighd the Subject Matter of the petitions--and is
determined to support the Constitution and to resist with
firmness every Attempt to derogate from the Authority of the
supreme Legislature. Does not this imply that the parliament is
the supreme Legislature & its Authority over the Colonies of the
Constitution? And that until we frame our petitions so as that it
may fairly be construed that we have at least tacitly conceded to
it we may expect they will be still disregarded or frownd upon as
being not decent temperate and dutifull? We may even be allowd to
claim certain Rights and exercise subordinate powers of
Legislation like the Corporations in England, subject to the
universal Controul of Parliamt, and if we will implicitly
acknowledge its Right to make Laws binding upon us in all Cases
whatever, that is, its absolute Sovereignty over us the Acts we
shall them complain of as burdensome to us, shall be repeald, all
Grievances redressd, and Administration will flatter us that the
right shall never be exercisd but in a Case of absolute necessity
which shall be apparent to every judicious man in the Empire. To
induce us to be thus submissive beyond the bounds of reason &
Safety their Lordships will condescend to be familiar with us and
treat us with Cakes & Sugar plumbs. But who is to determine when
the necessity shall be thus apparent? Doubtless the Parliamt,
which is supposd to be the supreme Legislature will claim that
prerogative; and then they will for ever make Laws for us when
they think proper. Or if the several Colony Assemblies are to
signify that such necessity is apparent to every wise man within
their respective Jurisdictions before the parliamt shall exercise
the Right, the point will be given up to us in Effect, that the
Parliamt shall not make a Law binding upon us in any Case until
we shall consent to it, which their Lordships can in no wise be
thought to intend.

But I must break off this abruptly. I intend to write you
further. In the meantime I must beg to be indulgd with your Thots
on these matters & remain with great regard,


1The political leader of Northhampton, Massachusetts. His "Broken
Hints" is in Niles, Principles and Acts, p. 324.


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

BOSTON Octob 13 1773


I lately wrote you a long Epistle upon our political Affairs; and
although I fear I have put your patience on the Tryal, I can not
withstand a strong Inclination to communicate more of my mind to
you on the same Subject. Perhaps it may be of Service to you, as
it may afford you an opportunity of exercising that Charity or
Candor which "beareth all things."

I have taken some pains to enquire into the true Character of the
Minister in the American Department. And I find that all allow
him to be a good man. Goodness has rarely I fear been of late the
Chracteristick of his Majestys Ministers; for which reason his
Lordship is to be sure the more highly to be prizd. But it seems
very necessary that Men in such elevated Stations should be great
as well as good. The Promotion of a nobleman to this Department,
who is famed in America for his Piety is easily accounted for on
the principles of modern Policy. However illy we may deserve it,
the great men in England have an opinion of us as being a
mightily religious People. Surely than it must be supposd that we
shall place an entire Confidence in a Minister of the same
Character. We find it so in fact. How many were filled with the
most sanguine Expectations, when they heard that the good Lord
Dartmouth was entrusted with a Share in Administration? Little
did they think that if his Lordship did not come in upon express
terms, which however is doubted by some, yet without a Greatness
of mind equal, perhaps superior to his Goodness, it will be
impossible for him singly to stem the Torrent of Corruption. This
requires much more Fortitude than I yet believe he is possesd of.
Fain would I have him treated with great Decency & Respect, both
for the Station he is in and the Character he sustains; but
considering with whom he is connected, I confess that in regard
to any power he will have substantially to serve us, I am an

I do not agree with some of our Politicians who tell us that the
Ministry are "sick of their Measures." I cannot but wonder that
any prudent Man should believe this, while he sees not the least
Relaxation of measures; but instead of it new Insult & Abuse. Is
the Act of Parliament, made the last year, and the Appointment of
Commissioners with Instructions to put it in full Execution in
the Rhode Island Affair, a Ground of such a Beliefe? Can we think
the East India Company are so satisfied that Administration are
disposd to give up their Designs of establishing Arbitrary Power,
when no longer ago than the last Session of Parliament they
effected the Deprivation of their Charter Rights, whereby they
have acquired so great an Addition of Power & Influence to the
Crown? Or are such Hopes to be gatherd from the Treatment given
to our own Petitions the last May, when they were discountenancd
for no other Reason but because the Rights of our Charter were
therein pleaded as a Reason against a measure which if a little
while persisted in, will infallibly establish a Despotism in the
End? Surely this is not a time for us to testify the least
Confidence in the Spirit of the British Government, or from
flattering Hopes that their designs are to alter measures, to
trust to their Discretion or good Will.

I am apt to think that Ministry have two great Events in
Contemplation both which in all probability will take place
shortly. The one is a War & the other a new Election of
Parliament Men. In order to improve these Events to their own
purpose, it will become necessary to sooth & flatter the
Americans with Hopes of Reliefe. In Case of a War, America if in
good Humour will be no contemptible Ally. She will be able by her
Exertions to annoy the Enemy much. Her aid will therefore be
courted. And to bring her into this good Humour, the Ministry
must be lavish in promises of great things to be done for her.
Perhaps some Concessions will be made; but these Concessions will
flow from policy not from Justice. Should they recall their
Troops from the Castle, or do twenty other seemingly kind things,
we ought never to think their Designs are benevolent toward us,
while they continue to exercise the pretended Right to tax us at
their pleasure, and appropriate our money to their own purposes.
And this they have certainly no Thought at present of yielding
up. With regard to the Election of another House of Commons, that
will not take place within these Eighteen months unless a
Dissolution of parliamt should happen before; which has indeed
been hinted, & may be the movement in order suddenly to bring on
the Election before the People are prepared for it. We are to
suppose that an Attempt will be made to purchase the Votes of the
whole Kingdom. This will require much Time and dexterous
Management. The Ministry have in a great Measure lost the
Influence of London and other great Corporations as well as that
of the East India Company by their late Treatment of that
powerful Body, whom Lord North now finds it necessary to coax and
pascify. They will therefore be glad to sooth America into a
State of Quietness, if they can do it without conceding to our
Rights, that they may have the Aid of the Friends of America when
the new Election comes on. And that America has many Friends
among the Merchants & Manufacturers the Country Gentlemen &
especially the Dissenters from the establishd Church I am so well
informd that I cannot doubt. The last of these are so from
generous the others from private & selfish Principles. Such
Considerations as these will be strong Inducements [to] them to
make us fair & flattering Promises for the present; but Nothing I
think will be so dangerous as for the Americans to withdraw their
Dependence upon themselves & place it upon those whose constant
Endeavor for ten years past has been to enslave us, & who, if
they can obtain a new Election of old Members, it is to be feard,
unless we keep up a perpetual Watchfulness, will, in another
seven years, effect their Designs. The Safety of the Americans in
my humble opinion depends upon their pursuing their wise Plan of
Union in Principle & Conduct. If we persevere in asserting our
Rights, the Time must come probably a Time of War, when our just
Claims must be attended to & our Complaints regarded. But if we
discoverd the least Disposition to submit our Claims to their
Decision, it is my opinion that our Injuries will be increasd
then fold. I conclude at present with assuring you that I am with
sincere regard

Sir your Friend & hbl servt,


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


BOSTON Octob 21 1773


The Committee of Correspondence appointed by the House of
Representatives of this Province have been not altogether
inattentive to the Design of their Institution. We have been
waiting for Intelligence from Great Britain from whose
injudicious Councils the common Grievances of the Colonies have
sprang; in hopes that a Change in the American Department would
have producd a happy Change in the measures of Administration;
But we are sorry to say, that from the best Accounts that we have
obtaind the Ministry have been hitherto so far from radically
redressing American Grievances that even the least Relaxation has
not been advisd if thought of. On the Contrary, the British
Parliament have been prorogud without taking the least Notice of
the Affairs of America; while they have been curtailing the
Charter of the East India Company in such a Manner & in such a
Degree, as to indicate that they are much more intent upon
increasing the power & Influence of the Crown than securing
Liberties of the Subject. At the same time, this Province has had
a very recent Discovery of the unalterd Resolution of the
Ministry to pursue their plan of arbitrary Power, in the Kings
Answer to the Petitions of our Assembly against the appropriation
of the Revenue raisd from the Colonies, for the purpose of
rendering our Governor & Judges dependent on the Crown. In his
Majestys Answer, we have nothing explicit, but his Resolution to
support the supreme Authority of the British parliamt to make
Laws binding on the Colonies (altho the petitions were supported
by the express Declarations of the Charter of the province) and
his great Displeasure, that principles repugnant to that Right
were therein held forth. Such an Answer to such a petition
affords the strongest Grounds to conclude, that the Ministry are
as firmly resolvd as ever to continue the Revenue Acts & apply
the tribute extorted by Virtue of them from the Colonies, to
maintain the executive powers of the several Governments of
America absolutely independent of their respective Legislatures;
or rather absolutely dependent on the Crown, which will, if a
little while persisted in, end in absolute Despotism.

Such being still the temper of the British Ministry, Such the
Disposition of the parliament of Britain under their Direction &
Influence, to consider themselves as THE SOVEREIGN of America, Is
it not of the utmost Importance that our Vigilance should
increase, that the Colonies should be united in their Sentiments
of the Measures of Oppposition necessary to be taken by them, and
that in whichsoever of the Colonies any Infringments are or shall
be made on the common Rights of all, that Colony should have the
united Efforts of all for its Support. This we take to be the
true Design of the Establishment of our Committees of

There is one thing which appears to us to be an Object worthy of
the immediate Attention of the Colonies. Should a War take place,
which is thought by many to be near at hand, America will then be
viewd by Administration in a Light of Importance to Great
Britain. Her Aids will be deemd necessary; her Friendship
therefore will perhaps be even courted. Would it not then be the
highest Wisdom in the several American Assemblies, absolutely to
withhold all kinds of Aid in a general War, untill the Rights &
Liberties which THEY OUGHT TO ENJOY are restored, & secured to
them upon the most permanent foundation? This has always been the
Usage of a spirited House of Commons in Britain, and upon the
best Grounds; for certainly protection & Security ought to be the
unalterable Condition when Supplys are called for. With Regard to
the Extent of Rights which the Colonies ought to insist upon, it
is a Subject which requires the closest Attention & Deliberation;
and this is a strong Reason why it should claim the earliest
Consideration of, at least, every Committee; in order that we may
be prepared when time & Circumstances shall give to our Claim the
surest prospect of Success. And when we consider how one great
Event has hurried on, upon the back of another, such a time may
come & such Circumstances take place sooner than we are now aware
of. There are certain Rights which every Colony has explicitly
asserted, & we trust they will never give up. THAT in particular,
that they have the sole & unalienable Right to give & grant their
own money & appropriate it to such purposes as they judge proper,
is justly deemd to be of the last Importance. But whether even
this Right, so essential to our Freedom & Happiness, can remain .
. . to us, while a Right is claimed by the British parliament to
make Laws binding upon us in all Cases whatever, you will
certainly consider with Seriousness. It would be debasing to us
after so manly a Struggle for our Rights to be contented with a
mere TEMPORARY reliefe. We take the Liberty to present you with
the State of a Controversy upon that Subject, between the
Governor of this province and the Assembly. And as the Assembly
of this or some other Colony may possibly be called into further
Consideration of it, we should think our selves happy in a
Communication of such further Thoughts upon it, as we are
perswaded will upon a . . . occur to your Minds. We are far from
desiring that the Connection between Britain & America should be
broken. ESTO PERPETUA, is our ardent wish; but upon the Terms
only of Equal Liberty. If we cannot establish an Agreement upon
these terms, let us leave it to another & wiser Generation. But
it may be worth Consideration that the work is more likely to be
well done, at a time when the Ideas of Liberty & its Importance
are strong in Mens Minds. There is Danger that these Ideas will
hereafter grow faint & languid. Our Posterity may be accustomd to
bear the Yoke & being inured to Servility they may even bow the
Shoulder to the Burden. It can never be expected that a people,
however NUMEROUS, will form & execute a wise plan to perpetuate
their Liberty, when they have lost the Spirit & feeling of it.

We cannot close without mentioning a fresh Instance of the temper
& Design of the British Ministry; and that is in allowing the
East India Company, with a View of pacifying them, to ship their
Teas to America. It is easy to see how aptly this Scheme will
serve both to destroy the Trade of the Colonies & increase the
revenue. How necessary then is it that Each Colony should take
effectual methods to prevent this measure from having its
designd Effects.2


The foregoing Letter was unanimously agreed to by the Committee
of Correspondence, and is in their name and by their order
Transmitted to you by your most respectfull friends and humble


P.S. It is the request of the Committee that the Contents of this
Letter be not made publick least our Common Enemies should
counteract and prevent its design.

1The origin of this letter appears in the manuscript journal,
preserved in the Boston Public Library, of the Committee of
Correspondence, consisting of fifteen members, appointed by the
House of Representatives of Massachusetts. At a meeting of the
committee on June 28, 1773, a sub-committee, consisting of Adams,
Hancock, Cushing, Phillips, and Heath, was appointed, to write to
the Connecticut Committee of Correspondence and also to the
committee of each assembly. The letter to Connecticut appears to
have been approved at a meeting of the sub-committee on July 4.
At a meeting of the sub-committee on July 15 Adams was asked to
draft a letter on general government to the committees of the
neighboring governments. This letter was still unwritten on
August 19, and on September 29 the sub-committee called a meeting
of the full committee for October 20. On that date it was voted
expedient to write a circular letter to the other committees, and
in the afternoon of the same day Adams and Warren were appointed
a sub-committee to draft such a letter. At the afternoon meeting
on October 21 a draft was reported, read several times, and
accepted; and it was voted that the chairman, with Adams and
Heath, should sign the letters. The Journal is printed in
Proceedings of Massachusetts Historical Society, 2d ser., vol.
iv., pp. 85-90.
2The remainder is not in the autograph of Adams.


[Boston Record Commissioner's Report, vol. xviii., pp. 142, 143;
a draft of the preamble, in the handwriting of Adams, is in the
Mellen Chamberlain collection, Boston Public Library.]

Whereas it appears by an Act of the British Parliament passed in
the last Sessions, that the East India Company are by the said
Act allowed to export their Teas into America, in such Quantities
as the Lord of the Treasury shall Judge proper1: And some People
with an evil intent to amuse the People, and others thro'
inattention to the true design of the Act, have so contrued the
same, as that the Tribute of three Pence on every Pound of Tea is
not to be enacted by the detestable Task Masters there2---Upon
the due consideration thereof, RESOLVED, That the Sense of the
Town cannot be better expressed on this Occasion, than in the
words of certain Judicious Resolves lately entered into by our
worthy Brethren the Citizens of Philadelphia---wherefore

RESOLVED, that the disposal of their own property is the Inherent
Right of Freemen; that there can be no property in that which
another can of right take from us without our consent; that the
Claim of Parliament to tax America, is in other words a claim of
Right to buy3 Contributions on us at pleasure-----

2d. That the Duty imposed by Parliament upon Tea landed in
America, is a tax on the Americans, or levying Contributions on
them without their consent-----

3d. That the express purpose for which the Tax is levied on the
Americans, namely for the support of Government, the
Administration of Justice, and the defence of His Majestys
Dominions in America, has a direct tendency to render Assemblies
useless, and to introduce Arbitrary Government and Slavery-----

4th. That a virtuous and steady opposition to the Ministerial
Plan of governing America, is absolutely necessary to preserve
even the shadow of Liberty, and is a duty which every Freeman in
America owes to his Country to himself and to his Posterity-----

5th. That the Resolutions lately come by the East India Company,
to send out their Teas to America Subject to the payment of
Duties on its being landed here, is an open attempt to enforce
the Ministerial Plan, and a violent attack upon the Liberties of

6th. That is is the Duty of every American to oppose this

7th. That whoever shall directly or indirectly countenance this
attempt, or in any wise aid or abet in unloading receiving or
vending the Tea sent or to be sent out by the East India Company
while it remains subject to the payment of a duty here is an
Enemy to America-----

8th. That a Committee be immediately chosen to wait on those
Gentlemen, who it is reported are appointed by the East India
Company to receive and sell said Tea, and to request them from a
regard to their own characters and the peace and good order of
this Town and Province immediately to resign their appointment.

1At this point the draft includes the words, "without the same
having been exposed to sale in the Kingdom of
Great Britain."
2The draft reads "here."
3The town record should apparently read "lay."


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

BOSTON, Novr 9, 1773.


The Town of Boston has for a few days past been greatly alarmd
with hearing of the marching of the Soldiers posted at Castle
Island from day to day in Companies through the neighboring Towns
armd. The pretence is that they are sickly & require such
Exercise; But why then should they be thus armd? It is justly to
be apprehended there are other Designs, which may be dangerous to
our common Liberty. It is therefore the Request of the Committee
of Correspondence for this Town, that you would give us your
Company at Faneuil Hall on Thursday next at three o'Clock,
joyntly to consult with them on this alarming occasion-----

We are Gentn
your Fellow Countrymen,


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp 208, 209.]

BOSTON, Nov. 9th, 1773.

MY DEAR SIR,---I have but just time to enclose you a newspaper,
by which you will see that Lord Sh-----ne was not mistaken when
he said that "things began to wear a very serious aspect in this
part of the world." I wish that Lord Dartmouth would believe,
that the people here begin to think that they have borne
oppression long enough, and that if he has a plan of
reconciliation he would produce it without delay; but his
lordship must know, that it must be such as will satisfy
Americans. One cannot foresee events; but from all the
observation I am able to make, my next letter will not be upon a
trifling subject.

I am with great respect, your friend,


[MS., Mellen Chamberlain Collection, Boston Public Library.1]

BOSTON, Decr 17, 1773


Whereas the Freeholders & other Inhabitants of this Town did at
their last Meeting make application to Richard Clarke Esqr & Sons
who are supposd to be the persons to whom the East India Companys
Tea is to come consignd; And request them to resign their
Appointment to which they returnd for Answer that they were
uncertain upon what Terms the said Tea would be sent to them, and
what Obligations they should be laid under. And Whereas by a
Vessell now arrived from London (in which is come a Passenger a
Son of the said Mr Clarke) there is Advice that said Tea is very
soon expected.

It is therefore the Desire of us the Subscribers that a Meeting
of the Town may be called, that another Application may be made
to the same persons requesting as before; it being probable that
they can now return a definite Anwer.

We are Gentlemen
Your humble servts

1All in the autograph of Adams, and signed by Adams and twenty-
four others. Cf., Boston Record
Commissioner's Report, vol. xviii., p. 147.


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

BOSTON, Decr 17, 1773


The Come of Correspondence for this Town duly recd your Letter of
the 14th & note the important contents. We inform you in great
Haste that every Chest of Tea on board the three Ships in this
Town was destroyed the last Evening without the least Injury to
the Vessels or any other property. Our Enemies must acknowledge
that these people have acted upon pure & upright Principle. The
people at the Cape will we hope behave with propriety and as
becomes Men resolved to save their Country.1

1At the foot of the draft is written the following, also in the
handwriting of Adams: & to Sandwich with this Addition--"We trust
you will afford them your immediate Assistance & Advice."


[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.1]

BOSTON 17th of Decer 1773.


Yesterday we had a greater meeting of the Body than ever, the
Country coming in from twenty miles round, & every step was
taken, that was practicable for returning the Teas. The moment it
was known out of doors that Mr Rotch could not obtain a pass for
his Ship by the Castle, a number of people huzza'd in the Street,
and in a very little time every ounce of the Teas on board of the
Capts Hall, Bruce & Coffin, was immersed in the Bay, without the
least injury to private property. The Spirit of the People on
this occasion surprisd all parties who view'd the Scene.

We conceived it our duty to afford you the most early advice of
this interesting event by express which departing immediately
obliges us to conclude.

In the Name of the Come,

1Merely the subscription and addresses are in the autograph of
Adams. Noted as sent "by Mr Revere" to "Mr Mifflin & Geo Clymer"
at Philadelphia and "Phillip Livingston & Sam Broom" at New York.


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp 212, 213.]

BOSTON, Dec. 25th, 1773.

MY DEAR SIR,---I wrote you a few days past by Capt. Scott, and
then promised to write farther by the next opportunity; but not
having heard of the sailing of this vessel till this moment, I
have only time to recommend a letter written and directed to you
by John Scollay, Esq. a worthy gentleman and one of the selectmen
of this town. He desires me to apologise for his addressing a
letter to one who is a perfect stranger to him, and to assure you
that he is persuaded there is no gentleman in London who has the
liberties of Amercia more warmly at heart, or is more able to
vindicate them than yourself. You see the dependence we have upon

Excuse this SHORT EPISTLE, and be assured that as I am a friend
to every one possessed of public virtue, with affection I must be
constantly yours,


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp 209-212.]

BOSTON, Dec. 31, 1773.

MY DEAR SIR,---I am now to inform you of as remarkable an event
as had yet happened since the commencement of our struggle for
American liberty. The meeting of the town of Boston, an account
of which I enclosed in my last, was succeeded by the arrival of
the ship Falmouth, Captain Hall, with 114 chests of the East
India Company's tea, on the 28th of November last. The next day
the people met in Faneuil hall, without observing the rules
prescribed by law for calling them together; and although that
hall is capable of holding 1200 or 1300 men, they were soon
obliged for the want of room to adjourn to the Old South meeting-
house; where were assembled upon this important occasion 5000,
some say 6000 men, consisting of the respectable inhabitants of
this and the adjacent towns. The business of the meeting was
conducted with decency, unanimity, and spirit. Their resolutions
you will observe in an enclosed printed paper. It naturally fell
upon the correspondence for the town of Boston to see that these
resolutions were carried into effect. This committee, finding
that the owner of the ship after she was unloaded of all her
cargo except the tea, was by no means disposed to take the
necessary steps for her sailing back to London, thought it best
to call in the committees of Charlestown, Cambridge, Brookline,
Roxbury, and Dorchester, all of which towns are in the
neighborhood of this, for their advice and assistance. After a
free conference and due consideration, they dispersed. The next
day, being the 14th, inst. the people met again at the Old South
church, and having ascertained the owner, they COMPELLED him to
apply at the custom house for a clearance for his ship to London
with the tea on board, and appointed ten gentlemen to see it
performed; after which they adjourned till Thursday the 16th. The
people then met, and Mr. Rotch informed them that he had
according to their injunction applied to the collector of the
customs for a clearance, and received in answer from the
collector that he could not consistently with his duty grant him
a clearance, until the ship should be discharged of the dutiable
article on board. It must be here observed that Mr. Rotch had
before made a tender of the tea to the consignees, being told by
them that it was not practicable for them at that time to receive
the tea, by reason of a constant guard kept upon it by armed men;
but that when it might be practicable, they would receive it. He
demanded the captain's bill of lading and the freight, both which
they refused him, against which he entered a regular protest. The
people then required Mr. Rotch to protest the refusal of the
collector to grant him a clearance under these circumstances, and
thereupon to wait upon the governor for a permit to pass the
castle in her voyage to London, and then adjourned till the
afternoon. They then met, and after waiting till sun-setting, Mr.
Rotch returned, and acquainted them that the governor had refused
to grant him a passport, thinking it inconsistent with the laws
and his duty to the king, to do it until the ship should be
qualified, notwithstanding Mr. Rotch had acquainted him with the
circumstances above mentioned. You will observe by the printed
proceedings, that the people were resolved that the tea should
not be landed, but sent back to London in the same bottom; and
the property should be safe guarded while in port, which they
punctually performed. It cannot therefore be fairly said that the
destruction of the property was in their contemplation. It is
proved that the consignees, together with the collector of the
customs, and the governor of the province, prevented the safe
return of the East India Company's property (the danger of the
sea only excepted) to London. The people finding all their
endeavours for this purpose thus totally frustrated, dissolved
the meeting, which had consisted by common estimation of at least
seven thousand men, many of whom had come from towns at the
distance of twenty miles. In less than four hours every chest of
tea on board three ships which had by this time arrived, THREE
HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO chests, or rather the contents of them, was
thrown into the sea, without the least injury to the vessels or
any other property. The only remaining vessel which was expected
with this detested article, is by the act of righteous heaven
cast on shore on the back of Cape Cod, which has often been the
sad fate of many a more valuable cargo. For a more particular
detail of facts, I refer you to our worthy friend, Dr. Hugh
Williamson, who kindly takes the charge of this letter. We have
had great pleasure in his company for a few weeks past; and he
favoured the meeting with his presence.

You cannot imagine the height of joy that sparkles in the eyes
and animates the countenances as well as the hearts of all we
meet on this occasion; excepting the disappointed, disconcerted
Hutchinson and his tools. I repeat what I wrote you in my last;
if lord Dartmouth has prepared his plan let him produce it
speedily; but his lordship must know that it must be such a plan
as will not barely amuse, much less farther irritate but
conciliate the affection of the inhabitants.

I had forgot to tell you that before the arrival of either of
these ships, the tea commissioners had preferred a petition to
the governor and council, praying "to resign themselves and the
property in their care, to his excellency and the board as
guardians and protectors of the people, and that measures may be
directed for the landing and securing the tea," &c. I have
enclosed you the result of the council on that petition. He (the
governor) is now, I am told, consulting HIS lawyers and books to
make out that the resolves of the meeting are treasonable. I duly
received your favours of the 23d June, of the 21st July and 13th
October,1 and shall make the best use I can of the important

Believe me to be affectionately your friend,

P. S.---Your letter of the 28th August is but this moment come to
hand. I hope to have leisure to write you by the next vessel. Our
friend Dr. Warren has written to you by this2; you will find him
an agreeable and useful correspondent.

1Under date of October 13, 1773, Lee had written Adams: "Every
day gives us new light and new strength. At first it was a tender
point to question the authority of parliament over us in any case
whatsoever; time and you have proved that their right is equally
questionable in all cases whatsoever. It was certainly a great
stroke, and has succeeded most happily." R. H. Lee, Life of
Arthur Lee, vol. i., pp. 236, 237.
2Under date of December 21, 1773. The text is Ibid., vol. ii.,
pp. 262, 263.

Regina Azucena


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

BOSTON Jany 8 1774


As the General Assembly will undoubtedly meet on the 26th of this
Month, the Negroes whose Petition lies on file and is referrd for
Consideration, are very sollicitous for the Event of it. And
having been informd that you intended to consider it at your
Leisure Hours in the Recess of the Court, they earnestly wish you
would compleat a Plan for their Reliefe. And in the mean time, if
it be not too much Trouble, they ask it as a favor that you would
by a Letter enable me to communicate to them the general outlines
of your Design.

I am with sincere Regard,
Sir, your humble Servt

1Of Salem Mass. Upon a letter from Pickering to Adams is endorsed
in the autograph of Adams: "Letter from Mr J Pickerin an honest &
sensible Friend of ye Liberty of his Country."


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

Jan 25 1774

The sending the East India Companies Tea into America appears
evidently to have been with Design of the British Administration,
and to complete the favorite plan of establishing a Revenue in
America. The People of Boston and the other adjacent Towns
endeavored to have the Tea sent back to the place from whence it
came & then to prevent the Design from taking Effect. Had this
been done in Boston, as it was done in New York & Philadelphia,
the Design of the Ministry would have been as effectually
prevented here as in those Colonies and the property would have
been saved. Governor Hutchinson & the other Crown officers having
the Command of the Castle by which the Ships must have passed, &
other powers in their Hands, made use of these Powers to defeat
the Intentions of the people & succeeded; in short the Governor
who for Art & Cunning as well as an inveterate hatred of the
people was inferior to no one of the Cabal; both encouragd &
provoked the people to destroy the Tea. By refusing to grant a
Passport he held up to them the alternative of destroying the
property of the East India Company or suffering that to be the
sure means of unhinging the Security of property in general in
America, and by delaying to call on the naval power to protect
the Tea, he led them to determine their Choice of Difficulties.
In this View of the Matter the Question is easily decided who
ought in Justice to pay for the Tea if it ought to be paid for at

The Destruction of the Tea is the pretence for the unprecedented
Severity shown to the Town of Boston but the real Cause is the
opposition to Tyranny for which the people of that Town have
always made themselves remarkeable & for which I think this
Country is much obligd to them. They are suffering the Vengeance
of Administration in the Common Cause of America.

MARCH 1,1774.1

[Journal of the House of Representatives, 1773, 1774 p. 219.]

Whereas Peter Oliver,2 Esq; Chief Justice of the Superior Court
of Judicature, &c. hath declined any more to receive the Grants
of this House for his Services, and hath informed this House by a
Writing under his Hand, that he hath taken and received a Grant
from his Majesty for his Services, from the fifth Day of July
1772, to the fifth day of January 1774; and that he is resolved
for the future to receive the Grants from his Majesty that are or
shall be made for his said Services, while he shall continue in
this Province as Chief Justice:

Therefore, RESOLVED, That this House will not proceed to make a
Grant to the said Peter Oliver, Esq; for his Services for the
Year past.

1On March 1, 1774, the House of Representatives voted that Adams
should prepare a resolution stating the reason for omitting the
usual grant to Peter Oliver. He reported the same day, and his
report was accepted.
2For the articles of impeachment against Peter Oliver, see
Massachusetts Gazette, March 3, 1774, and Annual Register, 1774,
pp. 224-227.


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

BOSTON March 24 1774


The Bearer of this Mr Wm Goddard has brot us Letters from our
worthy Brethren the Committees of Correspondence of New York
Newport and Providence, recommending to our Consideration the
Expediency of making an Effort to constitute & support a Post
throughout America in the room of that which is now establishd by
an Act of the British Parliament. When we consider the Importance
of a Post, by which not only private Letters of Friendship and
Commerce but PUBLICK INTELLIGENCE is conveyd from Colony to
Colony, it seems at once proper & necessary that such an one
should be establishd as shall be under the Direction of the
Colonies; more especially when we further consider that the
British Administration & their Agents have taken every Step in
their Power to prevent an Union of the Colonies which is so
necessary for our making a successful opposition to their
arbitrary Designs, and which depends upon a free Communication of
the Circumstances and Sentiments of each to the others, and their
mutual Councils Besides, the present Post Office is founded on an
Act of the British Parliament and raises a revenue from us
without our Consent, in which View it is equally as obnoxious as
any other revenue Act, and in the time of the Stamp Act as well
as since it has been pleaded as a Precedent against us. And
though we have appeard to acquiesce in it, because the office was
thought to be of publick Utility, yet, if it is now made use of
for the purpose of stopping the Channels of publick Intelligence
and so in Effect of aiding the measures of Tyranny, as Mr Goddard
informs us it is, the necessity of substituting another office in
its Stead must be obvious. The Practicability of doing this
throughout the Continent is to be considerd. We by no means
despair of it. But as it depends upon joynt Wisdom & Firmness our
Brethren of New York are sollicitous to know the Sentiments of
the New England Colonies. It is therefore our earnest Request
that you would take this matter so interresting to America into
your consideration, & favor us by the return of Mr Goddard with
your own Sentiments, and as far as you shall be able to collect
them, the Sentiments of the Gentlemen of your Town & more
particularly the Merchants and Traders. And we further request
that you would, if you shall judge it proper, communicate your
Sentiments in a Letter by Mr Goddard to the Committees of
Correspondence of New York & Philadelphia &c. It is our present
opinion that when a plan is laid for the effectual Establishment
and Regulation of a Post throughout the Colonies upon a
constitutional Footing, the Inhabitants of this Town will
heartily joyn in carrying it into Execution. We refer you for
further particulars to Mr Goddard, who seems to be deeply engagd
in this attempt, not only with a View of serving himself as a
Printer, but equally from the more generous motive of serving the
Common Cause of America. We wish Success to the Design and are
with cordial Esteem,

Your Friends & fellow Countrymen,

1Intended also for the Committees of Correspondence at Salem,
Portsmouth and Newbury Port.


[J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, vol. i., pp. 36-39.]

BOSTON, March 25, 1774.


While the general court was sitting I received a letter from you
relating to the unhappy circumstances the town of Marblehead was
then in; but a great variety of business, some of which was very
important, prevented my giving you a convincing proof at that
time, of the regard with which I am ever disposed to treat your
favours. Besides, if it had been in my power to have aided you
with advice, I flattered myself, from the information I
afterwards had, that the storm, though it raged with so much
violence, would soon spend itself, and a calm would ensue. The
tumult of the people is very properly compared to the raging of
the sea. When the passions of a multitude become headstrong, they
generally will have their course: a direct opposition only tends
to increase them; and as to reasoning, one may as well expect
that the foaming billows will hearken to a lecture of morality
and be quiet. The skilful pilot will carefully keep the helm, and
so steer the ship while the storm continues, as to prevent, if
possible, her receiving injury.

When your petition was read in the house, I was fearful that our
enemies would make an ill improvement of it. I thought I could
discover in the countenances of some a kind of triumph in finding
that the friends of liberty themselves, were obliged to have
recourse even to military aid, to protect them from the fury of
an ungoverned mob. They seemed to me to be disposed to confound
the distinction, between a lawless attack upon property in a case
where if there had been right there was remedy, and the people's
rising in the necessary defence of their liberties, and
deliberately, and I may add rationally destroying property, after
trying every method to preserve it, and when the men in power had
rendered the destruction of that property the only means of
securing the property of ALL.

It is probable that such improvement may have been made of the
disorders in Marblehead, to prejudice or discredit our manly
opposition to the efforts of tyranny; but I hope the friends of
liberty will prevent any injury thereby to the common cause: and
yet, I cannot but express some fears, that parties and
animosities have arisen among the brethren; because I have just
now heard from a gentleman of your town, that your committee of
correspondence have resolved no more to act! I am loath to
believe, nay, I cannot yet believe, that the gentlemen of
Marblehead, who have borne so early and so noble a testimony to
the cause of American freedom, will desert that cause, only from
a difference of sentiments among themselves concerning a matter
which has no relation to it. If my fears are groundless, pray be
so kind as to relieve them, by writing to me as soon as you have
an opportunity. I shall take it as the greatest act of friendship
you can do me. Indeed the matter will soon be put to the trial;
for our committee, without the least jealousy, have written a
letter to your's, by Mr. Goddard, who is the bearer of this. The
contents we think of great importance, and therefore I hope they
will have the serious consideration of the gentlemen of your

I am, with strict truth,
Your's affectionately,


[Seventy-Six Society Publications. Papers Relating to
Massachusetts, pp. 186-192. A draft is in the Committee of
Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library. A manuscript text, with
autograph signatures, is in the library of the Massachusetts
Historical Society.]

BOSTON, March 31st, 1774.


By the inclosed Papers you will observe the proceedings of the
two Houses of Assembly in the late session with regard to the
Justices of the Superior Court. The conduct of Administration in
advising an annual Grant of the Crown to the Governor and the
Judges whereby they are rendered absolutely dependent on the
Crown for their being and support, had justly and very
thouroughly alarmed the apprehensions of the people. They clearly
saw that this measure would complete the Tragedy of American
Freedom, for they could conceive of no state of slavery more
perfect, than for a Parliament in which they could have no voice
to claim a power of making Laws to bind them in all cases
whatever, and to exercise that assumed Power in taking their
money from them and appropriating it for the support of Judges
who are to execute such laws as that parliament should see fit to
make binding upon them, and a Fleet and Army to enforce their
subjection to them. No discerning Minister could expect that a
people who had not entirely lost the Spirit and Feeling of that
Liberty wherewith they had before been made free, would tamely
and without a struggle submit to be thus disgraced and enslaved
by the most powerful and haughty Nation on Earth. They heard with
astonishment that his Majesty, THEIR OWN SOVEREIGN as well as the
sovereign of Britain, had been advised by his servants to signify
his displeasure at the decent temperate and humble Petitions of
their Representatives, for the redress of this intolerable
Grievance merely because they held up principles founded in
nature, and confirmed to British Subjects by the British
Constitution, and to the subjects in this Province by a sacred
charter granted to the inhabitants by his illustrious
predecessors for themselves their Heirs and successors forever.
They regretted that the Influence of the good Lord Dartmouth upon
whose exertions they had placed a confidence could not prevail to
gain the Royal attention to their just Complaints being assured
that could his Majesty be truly informed, that the express
intention of the Royal Charter was to establish and confirm to
his subjects in this Province all the liberties of his natural
born subjects within the Realm, to all Intents, Purposes and
Constructions whatsoever, they should soon rejoice in the full
redress of their Grievances and that he would revoke his Grants
to his Governor and Judges and leave the Assembly to support his
Governor in the Province in the way and manner prescribed in the
Charter according to ancient and uninterrupted usage and
conformable to the true spirit of the British Constitution.

The People however forbore to take any extraordinary Measures for
the Removal of this dangerous innovation, and trusted to the
Prudence and fortitude of their Representatives by whose
Influence four of the Judges have been prevailed upon to renounce
the Grants of the Crown and to declare their Resolution to depend
upon the Grants of the Assembly for their future services. The
Chief Justice has acted a different part. The House of
Representatives have addressed the Governor and Council to remove
him from his Office; they have impeached him of High Crimes and
misdemeanors, the Governor has refused, even though requested by
the Council, to appoint a time to determine on the matter, and
finally the House have Resolved that they have done all in their
Power in their capacity to effect his removal and that the
Governor's refusal was presumed to be because he received HIS
support from the Crown.

As the Papers inclosed contain so fully the Sentiments of the two
Houses concerning this important matter, it is needless to make
any observations thereon. The Assembly is prorogued and it is
expected will soon be Dissolved. Doubtless the People who in
general are greatly agitated with the conduct of the Governor,
will AT LEAST speculate very freely upon a subject so interesting
to them. They see with resentment the effect of the Governor's
independency, That he is resolved to save a favorite (with whom
he has a connection by the intermarriage of their children) and
therein to set a precedent for future Independent Governors to
establish any corrupt officers against the remonstrances of the
Representative Body. They despair of any Constitutional remedy,
while the Governor of the Province is thus dependant upon
Ministers of State against the most flagrant oppressions of a
corrupt Officer. They take it for certain that SUCH a Governor
will forever screen the conduct of SUCH an officer from
examination and prevent his removal, if he has reason to think it
is expected he should so do by those upon whose favor he depends.
On the other hand his Majesty's Ministers, unless they are
blinded by the plausible Colourings of designing men may see,
that by the present measures the People are provoked and
irritated to such a degree, that it is not in the Power of a
Governor(whom they look upon as a mere Instrument of Power)
though born and educated in the Country, and for a long time
possessed of a great share of the confidence and affections of
the People now to carry a single point which they the ministers
can recommend to him. And this will always be the case let who
will be Governor while by being made totally dependent on the
Crown or perhaps more strictly speaking upon the Ministry, he is
thus aliened from the People whose good he is and ought to be
appointed. In such a state what is to be expected but warm and
angry Debates between the Governor and the two Houses (while the
Assembly is sitting instead of the joint consultation for the
public Welfare) and violent commotions among the People? It will
be in vain for any to expect that the people of this Country will
now be contented with a partial and temporary relief, or that
they will be amused by Court promises while they see not the
least relaxation of Grievances. By the vigilance and activity of
Committees of Correspondence among the several towns in the
Province they have been wonderfully enlightened and animated.
They are united in sentiment and their opposition to
unconstitutional Measures of Government in become systematical,
Colony communicates freely with Colony. There is a common
Affection * * * * * * * * * * * * * whole continent is now become
united in sentiment and opposition to tyranny. Their old good
will and affection for the Parent Country is not however lost, if
she returns to her former moderation and good humor their
affection will revive. They wish for nothing more than permanent
union with her upon the condition of equal liberty. This is all
they have been contending for and nothing short of this will or
ought to satisfy them. When formerly the Kings of England have
encroached upon the Liberties of their Subjects, the subjects
have thought it their Duty to themselves and their Posterity to
contend with them until they were restored to the footing of the
Constitution. The events of such struggles have sometimes proved
fatal to Crowned Heads--perhaps they have never issued but
Establishments of the People's Liberties. In those times it was
not thought reasonable to say, that since the King had claimed
such or such a Power the People MUST yield it to him because it
would not be for the Honor of his Majesty to recede from his
Claim. If the People of Britain must needs flatter themselves
that they collectively are the Sovereign of America, America will
never consent that they should govern them arbitrarily, or
without known and stipulated Rules. But the matter is not so
considered here: Britain and the Colonies are considered as
distinct Governments under the King. Britain has a Constitution
the envy of all Foreigners, to which it has ever been the safety
as well of Kings as of subjects steadfastly to adhere. Each
Colony has also a Constitution in its Charter or other
Institution of Government; all of which agree in this that the
fundamental Laws of the British Constitution shall be the Basis.
That Constitution by no means admits of Legislation without
representation. Why then should the Parliament of Britain which
notwithstanding all its Ideas of transcendant Power must forever
be circumscribed within the limits of that Constitution, insist
upon the right of legislation for the people of America without
their having Representation there? It cannot be justified by
their own Constituion. The Laws of Nature and Reason abhor it;
yet because she has claimed such a Power, her Honor truly is
concerned still to assert and excise it, and she may not recede.
Will such kind of reasoning bear the test of Examination! Or
rather will it not be an eternal disgrace to any nation which
considers her Honor concerned to employ Fleets and Armies for the
Support of a claim which she cannot in Reason defend, merely
because she has once in anger made such a Claim? It is the
misfortune of Britain and the Colonies that flagitious Men on
both sides the Water have made it their Interest to foment
divisions, Jealousies, and animosities between them, which
perhaps will never subside until the Extent of Power and Right on
each part is more explicitly stipulated than has ever yet been
thought necessary, and although such a stipulation should prove a
lasting advantage on each side, yet considering that the views
and designs of those men were to do infinite mischief and to
establish a Tyranny upon the Ruins of a free constitution they
deserve the vengeance of the public, and till the memory of them
shall be erased by time, they will most assuredly meet with the
execrations of Posterity.

Our Lieutenant Governor Oliver is now dead.2 This event affords
the Governor a Plea for postponing his voyage to England till
further orders. Had the Government by the absence of BOTH
devolved on the Council, his Majesty's service (which has been
frequently pleaded to give a Colouring to measures destructive of
the true Interests of his Subjects) would we are persuaded, have
been really promoted. Among other things the Grants of the House
which in the late session were repeated for the services of our
Agents would have been passed. There is a degree of Insult in the
Governor's refusal of his consent to those Grants, for as his
refusal is grounded upon the Hopes that our Friends will thereby
be discouraged from further serving us, it is as much as to say
that there will be no Agents unless the Assembly will be content
with such as he shall prescribe for their choice. The House by a
Message urged the Governor to enable them to do their Agents
Justice but in vain. This and other instances serve to show that
the Powers vested in the Governor are exercised to injure and
Provoke the People.

We judge it to be the expectation of the House of Representatives
that you should warmly solicit the Earl of Dartmouth for his
Interest that as well as other instructions which are grievous to
us, more particularly those which relate to the disposition of
our public * * * * * that which restrains the Governor from
consenting * * * * * to the Agents may be recalled. And his
Lordship ought to consider his Interest in this particular not as
a PERSONAL favor done to you but as a piece of Justice done to
the Province; and in the same light we strongly recommend it to
your own Consideration especially as we hope for a change in the

We now write to you by the direction of the House of
Representatives to the Committee of Correspondence, and are with
very great Regard,

In the name of the Committe
Your most humble servants,

1Signed by Samuel Adams, John Hancock, William Phillips and
William Heath. [back]
2Cf. Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, vol. i., pp. 436, 437.


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

BOSTON March 31 1774


I have been for some time past waiting for the Arrival of a ship
from London, that I might have something of Importance to
communicate to you. No ship has yet arrived. I cannot however
omit writing to you by our worthy Friend Mr Watson, by whom I
recd your obliging Letter of the 27 Instant.

Altho we have had no Arrival from Londn directly to this place,
we have heard from thence by the way of Philadelphia as you have
observd in the News papers. The Account they first receivd of our
opposition to the East India Act, as it is called, particularly
the transactions at Liberty Tree, they treated with Scorn &
Ridicule; but when they heard of the Resolves of the Body of the
people at the old South Meeting house, the place from whence the
orders issued for the removal of the Troops in 1770, they put on
grave Countenances. No Notice is taken of America in the Kings
Speech. Our Tories tell us to expect Regiments [to be] quarterd
among us. What Measures an unjudicious Ministry, (to say the
least of them) will take, cannot easily at present be foreseen;
it will be wise for us to be ready for ALL EVENTS, that WE MAY
Hutchinson will make the Death of his Brother Oliver a plea for
postponing a Voyage to London, and if Troops should arrive IT MAY
BE BEST THAT HE SHOULD BE HERE.--I never suffer my Mind to be
ever much disturbd with Prospects. Sufficient for the Day is the
Evil thereof. It is our Duty at all Hazards to preserve the
publick Liberty. Righteous Heaven will graciously smile on every
manly and rational Attempt to secure that best of all his Gifts
to Man, from the ravishing Hand of lawless & brutal Power.

Mr Watson will inform you, what Steps [the] Come of
Correspondence have taken with regard to the Establishment of a
Post Office upon constitutional Principles. Mr Goddard, who brot
us Letters from New York, Newport & Providence relating to that
Subject, is gone with Letters from us to the principal trading
Towns as far as Portsmouth. I will acquaint you with the State of
the Affair when he returns, and our Come will I doubt not, then
write to yours. The Colonies must unite to carry thro such [a]
Project, and when the End is effected it will be a pretty grand

I refer you also to Mr Watson, who can inform you respecting one
of your Protecters who has been in Town. The Tryumph of your
Tories as well as ours will I hope be short. We must not however
boast as he that putteth off the Harness. H--n is politically
sick and [I] fancy despairs of returning Health. The "law
learning" Judge I am told is in the Horrors and the late
Lieutenant (joynt Author of a late Pamphlet intitled Letters &c.)
a few Weeks ago "died & was buried"--Excuse me from enlarging at
present. I intend to convince you that I am "certainly a Man of
my Word"--In the mean time with Assurance of unfeigned Friendship
for Mrs Warren and your agreable Family, in which Mrs Adams
joyns, I remain

Yours Affectionately,

                        CORRESPONDENCE OF MARBLEHEAD.1

[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library; a text,
with slight modifications, is in J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge
Gerry, vol. i. pp. 39-42.]

BOSTON April 2d 1774


Yesterday we receivd your Letter dated the 22d of March, wherein
we have the disagreeable Intelligence of your "having resignd the
several offices in which you have acted for the Town" of
Marblehead, and that you shall "accept them no more--without
material Alteration in the Conduct of the Inhabitants."

When we heard of the unhappy Circumstances of that Town--The
Contest that had arisen to so great a Degree of Violence on
Account of the Hospital lately erected there, it gave us great
Concern and Anxiety, lest it might issue to the Prejudice of the
Common Cause of American Freedom. We were apprehensive that the
Minds of the Zealous Friends of that good Cause, being warmly
agitated in such a Controversy, would become thereby disaffected
to each other, and that the Advantage which we have hitherto
experienced from their united Efforts would cease. We are
confirmd that our Fears were not ill grounded, by your
relinquishing a Post, which, in our Opinion, and we dare say in
the Opinion of your Fellow Townsmen you sustaind with Honor to
your selves and Advantage to your Country. But Gentlemen, Suffer
us to ask, Whether you well considerd, that although you derivd
your Being as a Committee of Correspondence from that particular
Town which appointed you, yet in the Nature of your office, while
they continued you in it you stood connected in a peculiar
Relation with your Country. If this be a just View of it, Should
the ill Conduct of the Inhabitants of Marblehead towards you,
influence you to decline serving the publick in this office, any
more than that of the Inhabitants of this or any other Town? And
would you not therefore have continued in that office, though you
had been obligd to resign every other office you held under the
Town, without Injury to your own Reputation? Besides will the
Misfortune end in this Resignation? Does not the Step naturally
lead you to withdraw your selves totally from the publick
Meetings of the Town, however important to the Common Cause, by
which the other firm Friends to that honorable Cause may feel the
Want of your Influence and Aid, at a time when, as you well
express it "a FATAL Thrust may be aimed at our Rights and
Liberties," and it may be necessary that all should appear, & "as
one Body" oppose the Design & defeat the Rebel Intent? Should not
the Disorders that have prevaild and still prevail in the Town of
Marblehead, have been a weighty Motive rather for your taking
Measures to strengthen your Connections with the People than
otherwise; that you might in Conjunction with other prudent Men,
have employed your Influence & Abilities in reducing to the
Exercise of Reason those who had been governd by Prejudice and
Passion, & they have brought the Contest to an equitable &
amicable Issue, which would certainly have been to your own
Satisfaction. If Difficulties stared you in the Face, it is a
good Maxim NIL DESPERANDUM; and are you sure that it was
impracticable for you, by Patience and Assiduity, to have
restored "Order & Distinction" and renderd the publick offices of
the Town again respectable?

It is difficult to enumerate all the Instances in which our
Enemies, as watchful as they are inveterate, will make an ill
Improvement of your Letter of resignation. And therefore we
earnestly wish that a Method may yet be contrived for the
Recalling of it consistent with your own Sentiments. We assure
our Selves that personal Considerations will not be sufferd to
have an undue Weight in your Minds, when the publick Liberty in
which is involvd the Happiness of your own as well as the
Children of those who have ill treated you, & whom to rescue from
Bondage will afford you the most exalted Pleasure, is in Danger
of suffering Injury.

We wish most ardently that by the Exercise of Moderation &
Prudence the Differences subsisting among the good People of
Marblehead may be settled upon righteous Terms. And as we are
informd that the Town at their late Meeting did not see Cause to
make Choice of other Gentlemen in your Room in Consequence of
your declining to serve any longer as a Committee of
Correspondence, we beg Leave still to consider & address you in
that Character.

We are with unfeigned Respect,

1Addressed to "Azor Orne Esqr & other Gentlemen of the Committee
of Correspondence for Marblehead."


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 215-220.]

BOSTON, April 4th, 1774.

MY DEAR SIR,--My last letter to you I delivered to the care of
Dr. Williamson, who sailed with Capt. ----------in December last.
The general assembly has since been sitting, and the important
subject of the judges of the superior court being made dependent
on the crown for thier salaries, was again taken up by the house
of representatives with spirit and firmness. The house had in a
former session passed divers resolutions expressing their sense
of the dangerous tendency of this innovation, and declaring that
unless the justices should renounce the salaries from the crown,
and submit to a constitutional dependence upon the the assembly
for their support, they would proceed to impeach them before the
governor and council. One of them, Mr. Trowbridge, very early in
the session, in a letter to the speaker, expressed his former
compliance with that resolve, which letter was communicated to
the house and voted satisfactory. The other four had taken no
notice of the resolve. The house therefore having waited from the
26th of January, which was the first day of the session, till the
1st of February, then came to a resolution, that unless they
should conform to their order on or before the fourth of the same
month, farther proceedings would be had on such neglect. The
effect of this resolve was, that three of them, viz:--Hutchinson,
(a brother to him who is called governor), --------, ----------,
made similar declarations to that of Trowbridge, which were also
voted satisfactory. Mr. Justice Oliver, who is a brother of the
lieutenant-governor, and is connected with the governor by the
marriage of their children, came to a different determination;
which occasioned a controversy between the governor and the two
houses, inserted at large in the enclosed papers. Therein you
will see that the governor has treated the petitions, complaints,
and remonstrances of the representative body, with haughty
contempt. The people view it with deep resentment as an effect of
his independency; whereby he is aliened from them, and become a
fitter instrument in the hands of the ministry to carry into
effect their destructive plans. They are irritated to the highest
degree, and despair of any constitutional remedy against the
oppressions of a corrupt officer, while the governor, BE HE WHO
HE MAY, is thus dependent on ministers of state. They have ever
since the trial of Preston and his soldiers been murmuring at the
conduct of the superior court, and the partiality which many say
is so clearly discovered in causes between revenue officers and
the government, abettors, and other subjects. Indeed, the house
of representatives two or three years ago passed a resolution
that such conduct in several instances had been observed, as
appears in their printed journals. To give you some idea of what
the temper of that court has been, a lawyer1 of great eminence in
the province, and a member of the house of representatives, was
thrown over the bar a few days ago, because he explained in a
public newspaper the sentiments he had advanced in the house when
he had been misrepresented; and a young lawyer of great genius in
this town, who had passd the regular course of study, (which is
more than can be said of the chief-justice) has been and is still
refused by the governor, only because he mentioned the name of
Hutchinson with freedom, and that not in court, but in a Boston
town-meeting some years before. And to show you from whence this
influence springs, I must inform you that not long ago the
governor, the lieutenant-governor, and three of the judges, which
make a majority of the bench, were nearly related; and even now
the governor has a brother there, and is brother-in-law to the
chief-justice. Such combinations are justly formidable, and the
people view them with a jealous eye. They clearly see through a
system formed for their destruction. That the parliament of
Britain is to make laws, binding them in all cases whatsoever;
that the colonies are to be taxed by that parliament without
their own consent; and the crown enabled to appropriate money for
the support of the executive and arbitrary powers; that this
leaves their own assembly a body of very little significance;
while the officers of government and judges, are to be totally
independent of the legislature, and altogether under the control
of the king's ministers and counselors; and there an union will
be effected, as dangerous as it will be powerful; the whole power
of government will be lifted from the hands into which the
constitution has placed it, into the hands of the king's
ministers and their dependents here. This is in a great measure
the case already; and the consequences will be, angry debates in
our senate, and perpetual tumults and confusions abroad; until
these maxims are entirely altered, or else, which God forbid, the
spirits of the people are depressed, and they become inured to
disgrace and servitude. This has long been the prospect in the
minds of speculative men. The body of the people are now in
council. Their opposition grows into a system. They are united
and resolute. And if the British administration and government do
not return to the principles of moderation and equity, the evil
which they profess to aim at preventing by their rigorous
measures, will the sooner be brought to pass, viz:--THE ENTIRE

Mr. Cushing obliged me with a sight of your letter to him of the
22d Dec. last. I think I am not so clearly of opinion as you seem
to be, that "the declaratory act is a mere nullity," and that
therefore "if we can obtain a repeal of the revenue acts from
1764, without their pernicious appendages, it will be enough."
Should they retract the exercise of their assumed power, you ask
when will they be able to renew it? I know not when, but I fear
they will soon do it, unless, as your worthy brother in Virginia
in a letter I yesterday received from him expresses himself, "we
make one uniform, steady effort to secure an explicit bill of
rights for British America." Let the executive power and right on
each side be therein stipulated, that Britain may no longer have
a power or right to make laws to bind us, in all cases
whatsoever. While the claim is kept up, she may exercise the
power as often as she pleases; and the colonies have experienced
her disposition to do it too plainly since she in anger made the
claim. Even imaginary power beyond right begets insolence. The
people here I am apt to think will be satisfied on no other terms
but those of redress; and they will hardly think they are upon
equitable terms with the mother country, while by a solemn act
she continues to claim a right to enslave them, whenever she
shall think fit to exercise it. I wish for a permanent union with
the mother country, but only on the principles of liberty and
truth. No advantage that can accrue to America from such an union
can compensate for the loss of liberty. The time may come sooner
than they are aware of it, when the being of the British nation,
I mean the being of its importance, however strange it may now
appear to some, will depend on her union with America. It
requires but a small portion of the gift of discernment for any
one to foresee, that providence will erect a mighty empire in
America; and our posterity will have it recorded in history, that
their fathers migrated from an ISLAND in a distant part of the
world, the inhabitants of which had long been revered for wisdom
and valour. They grew rich and powerful; these emigrants
increased in numbers and strength. But they were at last absorbed
in luxury and dissipation; and to support themselves in their
vanity and extravagance they coveted and seized the honest
earnings of those industrious emigrants. This laid a foundation
of distrust, animosity and hatred, till the emigrants, feeling
their own vigour and independence, dissolved every former band of
connexion between them, and the ISLANDERS sunk into obscurity and

May I whisper in your ear that you paid a compliment to the
speaker when you told him you "always spoke under the correction
of his better judgment." I admire what you say to him, and I hope
it will have a good impression on his mind; THAT WE SHALL BE

I am sincerely your friend,

As Capt. Wood is now about to sail, there is not time to have
copies of the papers; I will send them by the next opportunity.
In the mean time I refer you to Dr. Franklin, to whom they are
sent by this vessel.

1Joseph Hawley, Esq., of North Hampton. [back]


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 220, 221.]

BOSTON, April , 1774.

MY DEAR SIR,--Capt. Wood being still detained, I have the
opportunity of acknowledging your favour of the 22d Dec. last,1
which is just now come to my hand. As Mr. Cushing received your
letter of the same date near three weeks ago, I am at a loss to
conjecture the reason of my not receiving it at the same time.

I do not depend much upon Lord Dartmouth's inclination to relieve
America, upon terms which we shall think honourable; upon his
ability to do it, I have no dependence at all. He might have said
with safety, when called upon by Lord Shelburne, that he had
prepared a plan to pursue at the hazard of his office; for I have
reason to believe it was grounded upon the hopes that we could be
prevailed upon, at least impliedly, to renounce our claims. This
would have been an acceptable service to the ministry, and would
have secured to him his office. No great advantage can be made
against us from the letter which you mention to Lord Dartmouth
from the two houses of our assembly; for upon a review of it I
think the most that is said in it is, that if we are brought back
to the state we were in at the close of the last war, we shall be
as easy as we then were. I do not like any thing that looks like
accommodating our language to the humour of a minister; and am
fully of your opinion that "the harmony and concurrence of the
colonies, is of a thousand times more importance in our dispute,
than the friendship or patronage of any great man in England."

At the request of our friend, Mr. Hancock, I beg your acceptance
of an oration delivered by him on the fifth of March last. I
intend to write to you again very soon; in the mean time I remain
your assured friend,

1R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. i., pp. 238-240.


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

BOSTON April 21 1774.


I take the Liberty to inclose an Oration deliverd on the last
Anniversary of the 5th of March 1770, by Mr Hancock; which I beg
you to accept as a Token of my great Regard for you. This
Institution in a great Measure answers the Design of it, which
is, to preserve in the Minds of the People a lively Sense of the
Danger of standing Armies. We are again threatned with that great
Evil; the British Ministry being highly provoked at the Conduct
of the People here in destroying the East India Companys Tea.
They shut their Eyes to what might appear obvious to them, that
the Governors Refusal to suffer it to repass our Castle,
compelled to that Extremity. The Disappointment of the Ministry,
and, no doubt, the Govrs aggravated Representations, have
inflamed them to the highest Degree. May God prepare this People
for the Event, by inspiring them with Wisdom and Fortitude! At
the same time they stand in Need of all the Countenance that
their Sister Colonies can afford them; with whom to cultivate and
strengthen an Union, was a great object in View. WE have borne a
double Share of ministerial Resentment, in every Period of the
Struggle for American Freedom. I hope this is not to be
attributed to our having, in general, imprudently acted our Part.
Is it not rather owing to our having had constantly, Governors
and other Crown officers residing among us, whose Importance
depended solely upon their blowing up the flame of Contention? We
are willing to submit our Conduct to the Judgment of our Friends,
& would gladly receive their Advice.

Coll Lee the Bearer of this Letter and Mr Dalton his Companion,
are travelling as far as Maryland. They are Gentlemen of Fortune
and Merit; and will be greatly disappointed if they should miss
the Pleasure of seeing the common Friend of America, The
Pennsylvania Farmer. Allow me, Sir, to recommend them to you, and
to assure you that I am with great Sincerity,

Your affectionate Friend and humble servt,


[J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, vol. i., pp. 45, 46.]

BOSTON, May 12, 1774.


I duly received your excellent letter of this day, while I was in
town-meeting. I read it there, to the great satisfaction of my
fellow townsmen, in as full a town-meeting as we have ever had. I
think you and the worthy colonel Orne must by no means refuse to
come to the general assembly. Every consideration is to give way
to the public. I cannot see how you can reconcile a refusal to
your own principles. Excuse my honest freedom. I can write no
more at present, being now in committee of correspondence upon
matters of great importance. This waits on you by Mr. Oliver
Wendel, who is one of a committee of this town to communicate
with the gentlemen of Salem and Marblehead, upon the present

I am, in haste, your friend,


[MS., Public Record Office, London.1]

BOSTON 12th May 1774.


I am Desired by the freeholders and other Inhabitants of this
Town to enclose you an attested copy of their Vote passed in Town
meeting Legally Assembled this day--The Occasion of this meeting
is most Alarming: we have receiv'd a Copy of an Act of the
British Parliament--which is inclosed, wherein it appears that
the Inhabitants of this Town have been Tryed condemn'd and are to
be punished by shutting up the Harbour and otherways, without
their having been called to Answer for, nay, for ought that
appears without their having been accused of any crime committed
by them, for no such crime is alleged in the Act--the town of
Boston is now Suffering the stroke of Vengeance in the Common
cause of America, I hope they will sustain the Blow with Becoming
Fortitude, and that the Effect of this cruel act Intended to
intimidate and subdue the Spirits of all America will by the
joint efforts of all be frustrated.

The people receive this Edict with indignation; it is expected by
their Enemies, and fear'd by some of their Friends, that this
town singly will not be able to support the cause under so severe
a Tryal--as the very Being of every Colony considered as a free
people depends upon the event a thought so Dishonorable to our
Brethren cannot be entertain'd as that this town will be left to
struggle alone.

Your Hume St

1The copy from which the text is printed was an enclosure in a
letter of Governor Wentworth, dated June 8, 1774.


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

BOSTON May 13th : 1774

I am Desired by the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of this
Town to enclose you an Attested Copy of their Vote passed in Town
meeting legally assembled this day.2 The Occasion of this Meeting
is most Alarming: We have receiv'd a Copy of an Act of the
British Parliament (which is also inclos'd) wherein it appears
that the Inhabitants of this Town have been tryed and condemned
and are to be punished by the shutting up of the Harbour, and
other Ways, without their having been called to answer for, nay,
for aught that appears without their having been even accused of
any crime committed by them; for no such Crime is alleged in the

The Town of Boston is now Suffering the Stroke of Vengeance in
the Common Cause of America. I hope they will sustain the Blow
with becoming fortitude; and that the Effects of this cruel Act,
intended to intimidate and subdue the Spirits of all America will
by the joynt Efforts of all be frustrated.

The People receive this Edict with Indignation. It is expected by
their Enemies and feard by some of their Friends, that this Town
singly will not be able to support the Cause under so severe a
Tryal. As the very being of every Colony, considerd as a free
People depends upon the Event, a Thought so dishonorable to our
Brethren cannot be entertaind, as that this Town will now be left
to struggle alone.

General Gage is just arrivd here, with a Commission to supercede
Govr Hutchinson. It is said that the Town of Salem about twenty
Miles East of this Metropolis is to be the Seat of Government--
that the Commissioners of the Customs and their numerous Retinue
are to remove to the Town of Marblehead a Town contiguous to
Salem and that this if the General shall think proper is to be a
Garrisond Town. Reports are various and contradictory.

I am &c.

Sent to the Come of Correspondence for
Connecticutt New York New Jersey & Philadelphia

by Mr Revere--and in that sent to Philadelphia there were Copies
of the Vote of the Town inclosd for the Colonies to the
Southward of them which they were desired to forward with all
possible Dispatch with their own Sentiments.

Rhode Island Providence p Post Portsmouth p Ditto

to Peyton Randolph Esqr to be communicated by him to the
Gentlemen in Virginia which was sent by Mr Perez Moulton as far
as Philadelphia to be thence forwarded by the Post.

1The letter was signed by Adams, but only the annotations at the
end are in his autograph. Another draft is also in the Committee
of Correspondence Papers. The final text of the letter as sent to
the Committee of Correspondence of Connecticut, with the
subscription and signature in the autograph of Adams and the body
of the letter in the autograph of Thomas Cushing, is in Emmet
MS., No. 344, Lenox Library, and is printed in Bulletin of New
York Public Library, vol. ii., p. 201.
2Boston Record Commissioner's Report, vol. xviii., pp. 173, 174.


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

BOSTON May 13 1774


We have just receivd the Copy of an Act of the British Parliament
passd in the present Session whereby the Town of Boston is
treated in a Manner the most ignominious cruel and unjust. The
Parliament have taken upon them, from the Representations of our
Governor & other Persons inimical to and deeply prejudiced,
against the Inhabitants, to try, condemn and by an Act to punish
them, UNHEARD; which would have been in Violation of NATURAL
JUSTICE even if they had an acknowledgd Jurisdiction. They have
orderd our port to be entirely shut up, leaving us barely so much
of the Means of Subsistance as to keep us from perishing with
Cold and Hunger; and it is said, that [a] Fleet of British Ships
of War is to block up our Harbour, until we shall make
Restitution to the East India Company, for the Loss of their Tea,
which was destroyed therein the Winter past, Obedience is paid to
the Laws and Authority of Great Britain, and the Revenue is duly
collected. This Act fills the Inhabitants with Indignation. The
more thinking part of those who have hitherto been in favor of
the Measures of the British Government, look upon it as not to
have been expected even from a barbarous State. This Attack,
though made immediately upon us, is doubtless designd for every
other Colony, who will not surrender their sacred Rights &
Liberties into the Hands of an infamous Ministry. Now therefore
is the Time, when ALL should be united in opposition to this
Violation of the Liberties of ALL. Their grand object is to
divide the Colonies. We are well informd, that another Bill is to
be brought into Parliament, to distinguish this from the other
Colonies, by repealing some of the Acts which have been complaind
of and ease the American Trade; but be assured, YOU will be
called upon to surrender your Rights, if ever they should succeed
in their Attempts to suppress the Spirit of Liberty HERE. The
single Question then is, Whether YOU consider Boston as now
suffering in the Common Cause, & sensibly feel and resent the
Injury and Affront offerd to her? If you do, (and we cannot
believe otherwise) May we not from your Approbation of our former
Conduct, in Defence of American Liberty, rely on your suspending
your Trade with Great Britain at least, which, it is acknowledgd,
will be a great, but necessary Sacrifice, to the Cause of
Liberty, and will effectually defeat the Design of this Act of
Revenge. If this should be done, you will please to consider it
will be, though a voluntary Suffering, greatly short of what we
are called to endure under the immediate hand of Tyranny.

We desire your Answer by the Bearer; and after assuring you,
that, not in the least intimidated by this inhumane Treatment we
are still determind to maintain to the utmost of our Abilities
the Rights of America we are,

your Friends & Fellow Countrymen,

1Intended also for the Committees of Correspondence of New York,
New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Portsmouth. An
endorsement upon the draft also states that it was written with
the concurrence of the Committees of Correspondence of
Charlestown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Roxbury, Dorchester,
Lexington, and Lynn. Cf. Proceedings, Bostonian Society, 1891,
pp. 39, 40.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 390-392; a draft, with several variances, is in the
Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, May 14, 1774.


This Town has received the Copy of an Act of the British
Parliament, wherein it appears that we have been tried and
condemned, and are to be punished, by the shutting up of the
harbor and other marks of revenge, until we shall disgrace
ourselves by servilely yielding up, in effect, the just and
righteous claims of America. If the Parliament had a Right to
pass such an EDICT, does it not discover the want of every moral
principle to proceed to the destruction of a community, without
even the accusation of any crime committed by such community? And
for any thing that appears, this is in fact the case. There is no
crime alleged in the Act, as committed by the Town of Boston.
Outrages have been committed within the Town, and therefore the
community, as such, are to be destroyed, without duly inquiring
whether it deserved any punishment at all. Has there not often
been the same kind of reason why the Port of London should be
shut up, to the starving of hundreds of thousands, when their own
mobs have surrounded the Kings Palace? But such are the councils
of a nation, once famed and revered for the character of humane
just and brave.

The people receive this cruel edict with abhorrence and
indignation. They consider themselves as suffering the stroke
ministerial--I may more precisely say, Hutchinsonian vengeance,
in the common cause of America. I hope they will sustain the blow
with a becoming fortitude, and that the cursed design of
intimidating and subduing the spirits of all America, will, by
the joint efforts of ALL, be frustrated. It is the expectation of
our enemies, and some of our friends are afraid, that this Town,
SINGLY, will not be able to support the cause under so severe a
trial. Did not the very being of every sea-port town, and indeed
of every Colony, considered as a free people, depend upon it, I
would not even then entertain a thought so dishonorable of them
as that they would leave us now to struggle alone.

I enclose you a copy of a vote, passed by this Town at a very
full meeting yesterday, which stands adjourned till Wednesday
next, to receive the report of a committee appointed to consider
what is proper further to be done. The inhabitants in general
abhor the thought of paying for the tea, which is one condition
upon which we are to be restored to the grace and favor of Great
Britain. Our Committee of Correspondence have written letters to
our friends in the Southern Colonies, and they are about writing
to the several towns in this Province. The merchants of
Newburyport have exhibited a noble example of public spirit, in
resolving that, if the other sea-port Towns in this Province
alone, will come into the measure, they will not trade to the
southward of South Carolina, nor to any part of Great Britain and
Ireland, till the harbor of Boston is again open and free; or
till the disputes between Britain and the Colonies are settled,
upon such terms as all rational men ought to contend for. This is
a manly and generous resolution. I wish Plymouth, which has
hitherto stood foremost, would condescend to second Newburyport.
Such a determination put into practice would alter the views of a
nation, who are in full expectation that Boston will be unthought
of by the rest of the continent, and even of this Province, and
left, as they are devoted, to ruin. The heroes who first trod on
your shore, fed on clams and muscles, and were contented. The
country which they explored, and defended with their richest
blood, and which they transmitted as an inheritance to their
posterity, affords us a superabundance of provision. Will it not
be an eternal disgrace to this generation, if it should now be
surrendered to that people who, if we might judge of them by one
of their laws, are barbarians. IMPIUS HAEC TAM CULTA NOVALIA
resent the affront and injury now offered to this town; if they
realize of how great importance it is to the liberties of all
America that Boston should sustain this shock with dignity; if
they recollect their own resolutions, to defend the public
fail to contribute their aid by a temporary suspension of their

I am your friend,


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text, with
variations, is in Correspondence of Samuel B. Webb, W. C. Ford,
vol. i., pp. 23, 24.]

BOSTON May 18 1774


The Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Boston have had
before them a Letter signd by yourself in behalf of the Committee
of the Honbl House of Deputies of the Colony of Connecticutt, and
I am desired by our Committee to return them their hearty Thanks,
for the readiness they discover to support this Town, now called
to stand in the Gap and suffer the vengeful Stroke of the hand of
Tyranny, or, which God forbid, succumb under it. I trust in God,
we shall never be so servile as to submit to the ignominious
Terms of the cruel Edict; aided by our Sister Colonies, we shall
be able to acquit ourselves, under this severe Tryal, with
Dignity. But that Aid must be speedy, otherwise we shall not be
able to keep up the Spirits of the more irresolute amongst us,
before whom the crafty Adversaries are already holding up the
grim Picture of Want and Misery. It is feard by the Committee
that a Conferrence of Committees of Correspondence from all the
Colonies, cannot be had speedily enough to answer for the present
Emergency. If your honbl Committee shall think it proper to use
their Influence with the Merchants in the Sea port Towns in
Connecticutt to withhold--& prevail with those of each town for
themselves--their Trade with Great Britain and Ireland and every
Part of the West Indies, to commence at a certain time (say on
the 14th June next) it will be a great Sacrifice indeed, but not
greater than Americans have given the World Reason to expect from
them when called to offer it for the preservation of the publick
Liberty.One years virtuous forbearance wd succeed to our wishes.
2What would this be in Comparison with the Sacrifice our renowned
Ancestors made that they might quietly enjoy their Liberties
civil & religious? They left, many of them, affluence in their
Native Country, crossd an untryed Ocean, encounterd the
Difficulties of cultivating a howling wilderness, defended their
Infant Settlements against a most barbarous Enemy with their
richest Blood.

Your Sentiment that Boston is "suffering in the common Cause" is
just and humane. Your obliging Letter has precluded any Necessity
of urging your utmost Exertions, that Connecticut may at this
Juncture act her part in the Support of that common Cause,
though the Attack is made more immediately on the Town of Boston.
Being at present pressd for time I cannot write so largely as I
feel disposd to do. I must therefore conclude with assuring you
that I am with very great Regard for your Come


your sincere Friend and Fellow Countryman,

1Addressed to Deane at Hartford, Connecticut.
2The following two sentences are stricken out in the draft.


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

BOSTON May 18 1774


You have without Doubt heard of the Edict of the British
Parliament to shut up the Harbour of Boston, the Injustice &
Cruelty of which cannot be parralled [sic] in the English
History. Injustice, in trying condemning and punishing upon the
mere Representations of interrested Men, without calling the
Party to answer; and Cruelty in the Destruction of a whole
Community only because it is alledgd that Outrage has been
committed in it, without the least Enquiry whether the Community
have been to blame. The Town of Boston now suffer the Stroke of
ministerial Vengeance in the Common Cause of America; and I hope
in God they will sustain the Shock with Dignity. They do not
conceive that their Safety consists in their Servile Compliance
with the ignominious Terms of this barbarous Act. Supported by
their Brethren of the Sister Colonies I am perswaded they will
nobly defeat the diabolical Designs of the common Enemies. If the
Spirit of American Liberty is suppressd in this Colony, which is
undoubtedly the Plan, where will the Victory lead to and end? I
need not urge upon YOU the Necessity of the joynt Efforts of all
in the Defence of this single Post. I know your great Weight and
Influence in the Colony of Rhode Island, and intreat that you
would now employ it for the common Safety of America. I write in
great Haste and am with sincere affection,

Your friend,
I shall esteem a Letter from you a very great favor.

1See vol. ii. page 389. Cf. Frothingham, Life of Joseph Warren,
pp. 312, 313.


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 221-223; a draft is
in the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text is in Force,
American Archives, 4th ser., vol. i., p. 332.]

BOSTON, May 18th, 1774.

MY DEAR SIR,--The edict of the British parliament, commonly
called the Boston Port Act, came safely to my hand. For flagrant
injustice and barbarity, one might search in vain among the
archives of Constantinople to find a match for it. But what else
could have been expected from a parliament, too long under the
dictates and control of an administration, which seems to be
totally lost to all sense and feeling of morality, and governed
by passion, cruelty, and revenge. For us to reason against SUCH
an act, would be idleness. Our business is to find means to evade
its malignant design. The inhabitants view it, not with
astonishment, but indignation. They discover the utmost contempt
of the framers of it; while they are yet disposed to consider the
body of the nation (though represented by such a parliament) in
the character they have sustained heretofore, humane and
generous. They resent the behaviour of the merchants in London,
those I mean who receive their bread from them, in infamously
deserting their cause at the time of extremity. They can easily
believe that the industrious manufacturers, whose time is wholly
spent in their various employments, are misled and imposed upon
by such miscreants as have ungratefully devoted themselves to an
abandoned ministry, not regarding the ruin of those who have been
their best benefactors. But the inhabitants of this town must and
will look to their own safety, which they see does not consist in
a servile compliance with the ignominious terms of this barbarous
edict. Though the means of preserving their liberties should
distress and even ruin the British manufacturers, they are
resolved (but with reluctance) to try the experiment. To this
they are impelled by motives of self-preservation. They feel
humanely to those who must suffer, but being innocent are not the
objects of their revenge. They have already called upon their
sister colonies, (as you will see by the enclosed note) who not
only feel for them as fellow-citizens, but look upon them as
suffering the stroke of ministerial vengeance in the common cause
of America; that cause which the colonies have pledged themselves
to each other not to give up. In the mean time I trust in God
this devoted town will sustain the shock with dignity; and
supported by their brethren, will gloriously defeat the designs
of thier common enemies. Calmness, courage, and unanimity
prevail. While they are resolved not tamely to submit, they will
by refraining from any acts of violence, avoid the snare they
they discover to be laid for them, by posting regiments so near
them. I heartily thank you for your spirited exertions. Use means
for the preservation of your health. Our warmest gratitude is due
to lords Camden and Shelburne. Our dependence is upon the wisdom
of the few of the British nobility. We suspect studied insult, in
the appointment of the person who is commander-in-chief of the
troops in America to be our governor; and I think ther appears to
be in it more than a design to insult upon any specious pretence.
We will endeavour by circumspection and sound prudence, to
frustrate the diabolical designs of our enemies.

I have written in haste, and am affectionately your friend,


[J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, vol. i., pp. 46, 47.]

BOSTON, May 20, 1774.


I have just time to acquaint you that yesterday our committee of
correspondence received an express from New York, with a letter
from thence, dated the 15th instant, informing that a ship
arrived there after a passage of twenty-seven days from London,
with the detested act for shutting up this port; that the
citizens of New York resented the treatment of Boston, as a most
violent and barbarous attack on the rights of all America; that
the general cry was, let the port of New York voluntarily share
the fate of Boston; that the merchants were to meet on Tuesday
last, and it was the general opinion that they would entirely
suspend all commercial connexion with Great Britain, and not
supply the West Indies with hoops, staves, lumber, &c.; that they
hoped the merchants in this and every colony would come into the
measure, as it was of the last importance.

Excuse me, I am in great haste,
Your friend,


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

BOSTON May 22 1774


We have just receivd your favor of this Date by the Hands of Mr
Foster. We cannot too highly applaud your Sollicitude & Zeal in
the Common Cause. The News you mention as having been receivd
here from New York by the Post is without Foundation. We have
receivd a Letter from New York dated the Day before the Post came
out from that City, advising us that there was to be a meeting of
the merchants there on the Tuesday following (last Tuesday)--that
by a Vessel which had arrivd there from London the Citizens had
receivd the barbarous Act with Indignation--that no Language
could express their Abhorrence of this additional Act of Tyranny
to all America--that they were fully perswaded that America was
attackd & intended to be enslavd by their distressing & subduing
Boston--that a Compliance with the provision of the Act will only
be a temporary Reliefe from a particular Evil, which must end in
a general Calamity--that many timid People in that City who have
interrested themselves but very little in the Controversy with
Great Britain express the greatest resentment at the Conduct of
the Ministry to this Town and consider the Treatment as if done
to them--and that this is the general Sense of the Inhabitants--
that it was the general Talk that at the Meeting of the Merchants
it would be agreed to suspend commercial Connection with Great
Britain--also to stop the Exportation of Hoops Staves Heading &
Lumber to the English Islands, & export no more of those Articles
to foreign Islands than will be sufficient to bring home the
Sugar Rum & Molasses for the Return of American Cargoes, and we
are to be advisd of the Result of the meeting, which we expect
very soon. The Express which we sent to New York had not arrivd
when this left the City.

We have receivd Letters by the post from Portsmt in New
Hampshire, from Hartford Newport Providence Westerly &c. all
expressing the same Indignation and a Determination to joyn in
like measures--restrictions on their Trade.

Hutchinsons minions are endeavoring to promote an address to him.
The PROFESSD design is to desire his Friendship; but we take it
rather to be a Design of his own, that when he arrives in England
he may have THE SHADOW of Importance. It is carried on in a
private Way--and is said to be signd by not fifty--Names of
little Significance here may serve to make a Sound abroad.

We are sorry to hear that Mr Hooper is throwing his Weight &
Influence into the Scale against us. We can scarcely believe it.
If it be true we would desire to know of him whether he would
advise the Town of Boston to give up the rights of America.

We conclude in haste,

We are credibly informd that in the address to Hutchinson are
these remarkeable Words "We see no harm in your Letters and
approve of them." The most intelligent & respectable merchants
among those who have been reputed Tories have refused to sign it.


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

BOSTON May 30 1774


I receivd your very obliging Letter by the hands of Mr Revere. I
thank you for the warm Affection you therein express for this
Town, your Zeal for the Common Cause of America, and your prudent
and salutary Advice. I hope in God that this People will sustain
themselves under their pressing Difficulties with Firmness. It is
hard to restrain the Resentment of some within the proper Bounds,
and to keep others who are more irresolute from sinking. While we
are resolved not tamely to comply with the humiliating terms of
the barbarous Edict, I hope, by refraining from every Act of
Violence we shall avoid the Snare that is laid for us by the
posting of Regiments so near us. We shall endeavor by
Circumspection to frustrate the diabolical Designs of our

Our Committee of Correspondence will write an Answer to the
Letter they receivd from yours by this opportunity. In order that
you may have an Understanding of our Appointment I think it
necessary to inform you, that we are a Committee, not of the
Trade, but of the whole Town; chosen to be as it were outguards
to watch the Designs of our Enemies. We were appointed near two
years ago, and have a Correspondence with almost every Town in
the Colony. By this Means we have been able to circulate the most
early Intelligence of Importance to our Friends in the Country, &
to establish an Union which is formidable to our Adversaries.

But it is the Trade that we must at present depend upon for that
SPEEDY Reliefe which the Necessity of this Town requires. The
Trade will forever be divided when a Sacrifice of their Interest
is called for. By far the greater part of the Merchants of this
place are & ever have been steadfast in the Cause of their
Country; but a small Number may defeat the good Intentions of the
rest, and there are some Men among them, perhaps more weak than
wicked, who think it a kind of Reputation to them to appear
zealous in Vindication of the Measures of Tyranny, and these it
is said are tempted by the Commissioners of the Customs, with
Indulgencies in their Trade. Nevertheless it is of the greatest
Importance that some thing should be done for the immediate
Support of this Town. A Congress is of absolute Necessity in my
Opinion, but from the length of time it will take to bring it to
pass, I fear it cannot answer for the present Emergency. The Act
of Parliament shuts up our Port. Is it not necessary to push for
a Suspension of Trade with Great Britain as far as it will go,
and let the yeomanry (whose Virtue must finally save this
Country) resolve to desert those altogether who will not come
into the Measure. This will certainly alarm the Manufacturers in
Britain, who felt more than our Enemies would allow, the last
Nonimportation Agreement. The virtuous forbearance of the Friends
of Liberty may be powerful enough to command Success. Our Enemies
are already holding up to the Tradesmen the grim Picture of
Misery and Want, to induce them to yield to Tyranny. I hope they
will not prevail upon them but this is to be feard, unless their
Brethren in the other Colonies will agree upon Measures of SPEEDY
Support and Reliefe.

It gives me the greatest pleasure to find our worthy Friend the
Farmer2 at the head of a respectable Committee. Pray let him know
that I am fully of his Sentiments. Violence & Submission would at
this time be equally fatal.

I write in the utmost haste.

Your affectionate Friend,

You will see in some of our Papers of this day an infamous
Address to Hutchinson signd by a Number who call themselves
Merchants Traders & others. In this List of Subscribers are
containd the Names of his party taken after abundance of Pains
from every Class of Men down to the lowest. I verily believe I
could point out half a Score Gentlemen in Town able to purchase
the whole of them. For their understanding I refer you to the
Address itself. There is also another Paper of this Kind
subscribed by those who call themselves Lawyers. It was refused
with Indignation by some who for Learning & Virtue are
acknowledgd to be the greatest Ornaments of that Profession. The
Subscribers are taken from all parts of the Province. A few of
them are allowed to be of Ability--others of none--others have
lately purchasd their Books and are now about to read. This List
you will observe is headed by one of our Judges of the
Admiraltry, & seconded by another--there is also the Solicitor
General (a Wedderburne in Principle but not equal to him in
Ability) the Advocate General &c &c. The whole Design of these
Addresses is to prop a sinking Character in England.

1Later secretary of the Continental Congress.
2John Dickinson. Cf., page 104.


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

BOSTON May 31 1774


I receivd your favor of the 26 Instant by the hands of Mr Revere.
I am glad to find that it is fully the Opinion of your Committee,
that some immediate and effectual Measures are necessary to be
taken for the Support of this Town. I have just now received
Intelligence(and I am apt to believe it) that several Regiments
are to be posted in the Town. What can this mean but to pick a
Quarrel with the Inhabitants, and to provoke them to take some
violent Steps from whence they may have a specious Pretence to
carry Matters to the greatest Extremity. We shall be hard pressd;
and it will be difficult for us to preserve among the people that
Equanimity which is necessary in such arduous Times. The only Way
that I can at present think of to bring the Ministry to their
Senses, is to make the people of Great Britain share in the
Misfortunes which they bring upon us; and this cannot be done so
speedily as the Emergency calls for, but by a Suspension of Trade
with them. I think that should be pushd as far as it will go & as
speedily as possible. Although the interrested & disaffected
Merchants should not come into it, great Success may attend it.
Let the yeomanry of the Continent, who only, under God, must
finally save this Country, break off all commercial Connection
whatever with those who will not come into it. A Congress appears
to me to be of absolute Necessity, to settle the Dispute with
Great Britain if she by her violent and barbarous Treatment of
us, should not totally quench our Affection for her, and render
it impracticable. I hope no Hardships will ever induce America to
submit to voluntary Slavery. I wish for Harmony between Britain &
the Colonies; but only upon the Principles of Equal Liberty.

Our Assembly was unexpectedly adjournd on Saturday last till the
seventh of June, then to meet at Salem. By this Means I am
prevented mentioning a Congress to the Members. I wish your
Assembly could find it convenient to sit a fornight longer, that
we might if possible act in Concert. This however is a sudden
Thought. I have written in the utmost haste, and conclude, with
great Regard to the Gentlemen of the Committee.


Your Friend & fellow Countryman,


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

BOSTON June 1 1774


It was with singular pleasure that I recd a Letter from you by Mr
Howe, and another since by your worthy Townsman. I began to think
you had at last entirely forgot me. I sincerely congratulate you
on the birth of a Daughter. May God preserve her life & make her
a Blessing in the World. Assure Mrs Checkley of our kind Regards
for her. I hope she will enjoy a better State of Health than she
has had in time past. You have now devolvd upon you the weighty
Cares of a Parent; you will perhaps find it difficult "to train
up the Child in the way it should go" in an Age of Levity Folly
and Vice. Doubtless you will consider your self more interrested
than ever in the Struggles of your Country for Liberty, as you
hope your Infant will outlive you, and share in the Event. Your
native Town which I am perswaded is dear to you, is now suffering
the Vengeance of a cruel and tyrannical Administration; and I can
assure you she suffers with Dignity. She scorns to own herself
the Slave of the haughtiest nation on earth; and rather than
submit to the humiliating Terms of an Edict, barbarous beyond
Precedent under the most absolute monarchy, I trust she will put
the Malice of Tyranny to the severest Tryal. It is a consolatory
thought, that an Empire is rising in America, and will not THIS
first of June be rememberd at a time, how soon God knows! when it
will be in the power of this Country amply to revenge its Wrongs.
If Britain by her multiplied oppressions is now accelerating that
Independency of the Colonies which she so much dreads, and which
in process of time must take place, who will she have to blame
but herself? We live in an important Period, & have a post to
maintain, to desert which would be an unpardonable Crime, and
would entail upon us the Curses of posterity. The infamous Tools
of Power are holding up the picture of Want and Misery; but in
vain do they think to intimidate us; the Virtue of our Ancestors
inspires us--they were contented with Clams & Muscles. For my
part, I have been wont to converse with poverty; and however
disagreable a Companion she may be thought to be by the affluent
& luxurious who never were acquainted with her, I can live
happily with her the remainder of my days, if I can thereby
contribute to the Redemption of my Country.

The naval Power of Britain has blocked up this Harbour; but the
Laws of Nature must be alterd, before the port of Salem can
become an equivalent. The most remote inland Towns in the
province feel the want of a mart, & resent the Injury done to
themselves in the Destruction of Boston. The British Minister
appears to me to be infatuated. Every step he takes seems designd
by him to divide us, while the necessary Tendency is to unite.
Our Business is to make Britain share in the miseries which she
has unrighteously brought upon us. She will then see the
Necessity of returning to moderation & Justice.



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


Whereas the Towns of Boston and Charlestown are at this time
suffering under the Hand of Power, by the shutting up the Harbour
by an armed Force, which in the opinion of this House is an
Invasion of the said Towns evidently designd to compel the
Inhabitants thereof to a Submission to Taxes imposed upon them
without their Consent: And Whereas it appears to this House that
this Attack upon the said Towns for the Purpose aforesaid is an
Attack made upon this whole Province & Continent which threatens
the total Destruction of the Liberties of all British America: It
is therefore Resolvd as the clear opinion of this House, that the
Inhabitants of the said Towns ought to be relievd; and this House
do recommend to all, and more especially to [the] Inhabitants of
this Province to afford them speedy and constant Reliefe in such
Way and Manner as shall be most suitable to their Circumstances
till the sense & advice of our Sister Colonies shall be known: In
full Confidence that they will exhibit Examples of Patience
Fortitude and Perseverance, while they are thus called to endure
this oppression, for the Preservation of the Liberties of their

After debate accepted


[J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, vol. i., pp. 48, 49.]

BOSTON, June 22, 1774.


The committee of correspondence take this first opportunity to
make their most grateful aknowledgments of the generous and
patriotic sympathy of our brethren, the worthy merchants and
traders of the town of Marblehead, as well those who have already
subscribed for our relief, as those who express their readiness
to serve the trade of Boston. Our sense of their favour, as it
respects individuals, is strong and lively; but the honour and
advantage thereby derived to the common cause of our country, are
so great and conspicuous, that private considerations of every
kind recede before them.


[Boston Gazette, June 27, 1774.]

Messieurs EDES & GILL,

From an Extract of a Letter from a Southern Colony, and the
Publications in last Thursday's Gazette, it is very evident a
Scheme has been concerted by some Persons to frustrate any
Attempts that might be made to suspend our Trade with Great-
Britain, till our most intolerable Grievances are redressed. The
Scheme appears to be, to SEEM to agree to the Suspension in Case
all agreed, and then by construing some Passage in a Letter from
the Committee of another Province, that they had NOT AGREED, to
declare that the conditional Signers were NOT HOLDEN. A GAME or
two of such Mercantile Policy would soon have convinced the World
that Lord North had a just Idea of the Colonies; and that
notwithstanding their real Power to prove a Rope of Hemp to him,
they were a Rope of Sand in Reality, among themselves. I would
beg Leave to ask the voluminous Querists referr'd to. whether
they conceive a Non-consumption Agreement would ever have been
tho't of in the Country, could our Brethren there have persuaded
themselves that the Merchants were in earnest to suspend Trade
the little Time there was between our receiving the Port Bill,
and the Appointment of a Congress, or any other general Measure
come into, from which a radical Relief might be expected? 2.
Whether the Trade in their last Meeting declaring, That their
CONDITIONAL Agreement was DISSOLVED, on Pretence that Advices
from New York and Philadelphia were totally discouraging, was not
highly unbecoming a People whose peculiar Circumstances rendered
it their duty to stop their Trade to Great Britain the Moment the
Port-Bill reached the Shore of America? 3. Whether they conceive
the Committee of Boston planned the Non-consumption Agreement,
and sent it first into the Country for their Adoption? or rather,
whether the Country, enraged at their preposterous Management,
did not originate the Plan and press the Committee to have it
digested, printed and recommended throughout the Colony? 4. I
would enquire whether a Backwardness in the Province, actually
suffering, to come into the only peaceful Measure that remains
for our Extrication from Slavery, would not naturally excuse
every other Province from taking one Step for the common
Salvation? 5. Whether in that Case all the Trade of the Province,
whether consisting of Spring, Summer or Fall Importations, would
in the End be worth an Oyster-Shell? 6. Whether all the Bugbears
started against the Worcester Covenant, as holding up the taking
a solemn Oath to "withdraw all Commercial Connexions," which our
honest Commentators tell the People means even to deny buying or
selling Greens or Potatoes to them, does not betray a great want
of that Candor and manly Generosity, which is expected from well-
bred and reasonble Citizens? 7. Whether the suggestion that the
Boston Merchants ceasing to Import, will throw the Trade into the
Hands of Importers in other Provinces, is not utterly unbecoming
an Inhabitant of that Town, into which the Beneficence of the
whole Continent is ready to flow in the most exemplary Manner?
For Shame! Self Interested Mortals, cease to draw upon your
worthy Fellow Citizens the just Resentment of Millions. If there
may be Some Punctilios wrong in the Non-consumption Agreement,
the united Wisdom of the Continent will surely be capable of
setting Matters right at the general Congress; and no Gentleman
Trader, be his Haste ever so great to get Rich, need distress
himself so mightily about the Profits of one Fall-Importation, if
the constant Clamour of the Trade for two Years past, that they
did Business for nothing, had any Foundation.



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

BOSTON June 30 1774


Your Letter by order of your Committee directed to Mr Cooper with
the inclosed Resolves came to my hand this day. I shall as soon
as possible call a Committee of the Town who are appointed to
consider of Ways and Means for the Employment of the poor, and to
appropriate and distribute such Donations as our generous friends
shall make for the Reliefe of those Inhabitants who may be
deprivd of the Means of Subsistence by the Operation of the Port
Bill. This Committee consists of the standing Overseers of the
poor who are to act in Concert with others who had been before
appointed for the purposes above mentiond, as you will observe by
the inclosed Votes of the Town. The principal Reason assignd in
the Vote for joyning the Overseers is because by an Act of this
province they are a corporate body empowerd to receive Monies &c
for the Use of the poor, but those Gentlemen have since informd
the others of the joynt Committee that they cannot consistently
with the Act of their Incoporation admit of any but their own
Body in the Distribution of the Monies that may at any time come
into their hands for the Use of the poor. They are heartily
desirous of acting in Concert agreable to the Vote of the Town
but consider themselves as under Restraint by the Law. The Donors
may if they please consign their Donations to any one Gentleman
(William Phillips Esqr) to be appropriated for the EMPLOYMENT or
RELIEFE of such Inhabitants of the Town of Boston as may be
deprived of the Means of Subsistence by the Operation of the Act
of Parliament commonly stiled the Boston Port Bill, at the best
Discretion of the Overseers of the poor of Boston joynd by a
Committee appointed by said Town to consider of Ways and Means
for the Employment of the poor.

I have given my private Sentiment, and am with great Respect &
Gratitude to the Gentl of the City & County of Philadelphia,

Your friend & fellow Countryman,1

1In the interval before the date of the next letter an article
signed "Candidus" was published in the Massachusetts
Spy, July 7, 1774. This is attributed to Adams by W. V. Wells,
and portions are printed in his Life of Samuel
Adams, vol. ii., pp. 187,197.


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

BOSTON July 11 1774.


Your obliging Letter directed to the Committee of Correspondence
for the Town of Boston came just now to my hand; and as the
Gentleman who brought it is in haste to return, I take the
Liberty of writing you my own Sentiments in Answer, not doubting
but they are concurrent with those of my Brethren. I can venture
to assure you that the valueable Donation of the worthy Town of
Norwich will be receivd by this Community with the warmest
Gratitude and disposd of according to the true Intent of the
generous Donors. The Liberality of the Sister Colonies will I
trust support & comfort the Inhabitants under the pressure of
enormous Power, & enable them to endure affliction with that
Dignity which becomes those who are called to suffer in the Cause
of Liberty & Truth. The Manner of transmitting the Donation will
be left to your Discretion; and that it may be conducted
according to the Inclination of the Town, I beg Leave to propose,
that it be directed to some one Gentleman (say William Phillips
Esqr) to be disposd of for the Employment or Reliefe of such
Inhabitants of the Town of Boston as may become Sufferers by
means of an Act of the British Parliament called the Boston Port
bill, at the Discretion of the Overseers of the Poor of said Town
joynd with a Committee appointed to consider of Ways & Means for
the Employmt of such Poor. The Part which the Town of Norwich
takes in this Struggle for American Liberty is truly noble; and
this Town rejoyces with you in the Harmony Moderation & Vigor
which prevails throughout the united Colonies.

You may rely upon it that there is no Foundation for the Report
that the Opposition gains Ground upon us. The Emissaries of a
Party which is now reduced to a very small Number of Men, a great
Part of whom are in Reality Expectants from & in Connection with
the Revenue, are daily going out with such idle Stories; but
whoever reads the Accounts of the Proceedings of our Town
Meetings, which I can assure you have been truly stated in the
News papers under the hand of the Town Clerk, will see that no
Credit is due to such Reports.

I shall lay your Letter before the Committee of Correspondence
who will write to you by the first opportunity. In the mean time
I am in Sincerity

Your obliged Friend &
Fellow Countryman,

1Addressed to "Jed Huntington, Chris Leffingwell, Theoph Rogers


[MS., American Philosophical Society1; a draft is in the Samuel
Adams Papers, Lenox Library; an undated text is in R. H. Lee,
Life of R. H. Lee, vol. i., pp. 99-101.]

BOSTON July 15th 1774

I have lately been favour'd with three Letters from you, and must
beg you to attribute my omitting to make a due Acknowledgment
till this Time, to a Multiplicity of Affairs to which I have been
oblig'd to give my constant Attention.

The unrighteous and oppressive Act of the British Parliament for
shutting up this Harbour, although executed with a Rigour beyond
the Intent even of the Framers of it, has hitherto faild, and I
believe will continue to fail of the Effect which the Enemies of
America flatter'd themselves it would have. The Inhabitants still
wear chearful countenances. Far from being in the least Degree
intimidated they are resolved to undergo the greatest Hardships,
rather than Submit in any Instance to the Tyrannical Act. They
are daily encouraged to persevere, by the Intelligence which they
receive from their Brethren not of this Province only, but of
every other Colony, that they are consider'd as suffering in the
common Cause; and the Resolution of ALL, to support them in the
Conflict. Lord North had no Expectation that we should be thus
Sustained; on the Contrary he trusted that Boston would be left
by all her Friends to Struggle and fall alone.--He has therefore
made no Preparation for the Effects of an Union. From the
Information I have had from Intelligent Persons in England, I
verily believe the Design was to seize some Persons here, and
send them Home; but the Steadiness and Prudence of the People,
and the unexpected Union of the Colonies, evidenc'd by liberal
Contributions for our Support, have disconcerted them; and they
are at a loss how to proceed further. Four Regiments are now
encamp'd on our Common, and more are expected; but I trust the
People will, by a circumspect Behavior, prevent their taking
occasion to Act. The Port Bill, is follow'd by two other Acts of
the British Parliament; the one for regulating the Government of
this Province, or rather totally to destroy our free Constitution
and substitute an absolute Government in its Stead; the other for
the more IMPARTIAL Administration of Justice or as some term it
for the screening from Punishment any Soldier who shall Murder an
American for asserting his Right. A Submission to these Acts will
doubtless be requir'd and expected; but whether General Gage will
find it an easy thing to FORCE the People to submit to so great
and fundamental a Change of Government, is a Question I think,
worthy his Consideration--Will the People of America consider
these measures, as Attacks on the Constitution of an Individual
Province in which the rest are not interested; or will they view
the model of Government prepar'd for us as a Sistem for the whole
Continent. Will they, as unconcern'd Spectators, look upon it to
be design'd only to top off the exuberant Branches of Democracy
in the Constitution of this Province? Or, as part of a plan to
reduce them all to Slavery? These are Questions, in my Opinion of
Importance, which I trust will be thoroughly weighed in a general
Congress.--May God inspire that intended Body with Wisdom and
Fortitude, and unite and Prosper their Councils!

The People of this Province are thoroughly Sensible of the
Necessity of breaking off all Commercial Connection with the
Country, whose political Councils direct to Measures to enslave
them. They however THE BODY of the Nation, are being kept in
profound Ignorance of the Nature of the Dispute between Britain
and the Colonies; and taught to believe that we are a perfidious
& rebellious People.

It is with Reluctance that they come into any Resolutions, which
must distress those who are not the objects of their Resentment
but they are urg'd to it from Motives of Self-preservation, and
therefore are signing an agreement in the several Towns, not to
consume any British Goods which shall be imported after the last
of August next; and that they may not be impos'd upon, they are
to require an Oath of those from whom they shall hereafter
purchase such Goods. It is the Virtue of the Yeomanry that we are
chiefly to depend upon. Our Friends in Maryland talk of
withholding the Exportation of Tobacco; this was first hinted to
us by the Gentlemen of the late House of Burgesses of Virginia
who had been called together after the Dissolution of your
Assembly--This would be a Measure greatly interesting to the
Mother Country.

Should America hold up her own Importance to the Body of the
Nation and at the same Time agree in one general Bill of Rights,
the Dispute might be settled on the Principles of Equity and
Harmony restored between Britain and the Colonies.

I am with great Regard
Your Friend & Fellow Countryman,

1In this instance the body of the letter actually sent, from
which this text is taken, is not in the autograph of
Adams, only the subscription, signature, and address being in his
hand. The draft is wholly in his autograph.


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

BOSTON July 16 1774


Having receivd Information that the respectable Inhabitants of
the Town of Savvannah have expressd a Degree of Uneasiness, as
considering themselves neglected in the general Application which
the distressd Town of Boston have made to the Colonies in America
for Advice and Assistance in their present painful Struggle with
the hand of Tyranny, I beg Leave to assure you that by express
Direction of the Town of Boston a Letter was addressd to the
Gentlemen of Savannah upon the first Intelligence of the
detestable Port Bill. Permit me to add Gentlemen that the
Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Boston at whose
Request I now write, set too high a Value upon your Advice and
esteem a general Union of too great Importance, to neglect any
Steps at this alarming Crisis, which may have a Tendency to
effect so desirable a Purpose.

They have this additional Motive to invite all the Colonies into
one firm Band of Opposition to the oppressive Measures of the
British Administration, that they look upon this Town as
conflicting for all. The Danger is general; and should we succumb
under the heavy Rod now hanging over us, we might be esteemd the
base Betrayers of the Common Interest.

We are informd that the Infant Colony of West Florida has
contended for the Right on an annual Choice of Representatives. A
noble Exertion certainly if it has taken place. Being your
Neighbor, be pleasd to convey to them our warmest Regards, and
encourage them in the Pursuit of so important an Object.

Your Correspondence with the Committee of this Town will always
be esteemd a singular Gratification.

I am in their Behalf
Your Friend and
Fellow Countryman


Having had your Name and Character metiond to me as a warm and
able Friend to the Liberties of America, I have taken the Liberty
to address the foregoing Letter to your Patronage & beg the favor
of you to communicate the same to the other Friends of Liberty in
Georgia and to assure you that I am with very great Regard,

                                Your very humble Servt,

1Of Savannah Georgia, Cf., C. C. Jones, Biographical Sketches,
pp. 124-136; and C. C. Jones, History of Georgia,
vol. ii., p. 166 and passim.


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

BOSTON July 18 1774


I have lately receivd several Letters from you for which I am
much obliged. It cannot but afford Pleasure to an observing
American to find, that the British Administration, by every
Measure they take for the Suppression of the Spirit of Liberty in
the Colonies, have promoted, till they have at length established
a perfect Union; which, if it continues, must effect the
Destruction of their cursed Plans of arbitrary Power.--The Boston
Port bill is a parliamentary Punishment of this People, designd,
as Lord North expressd himself, to convince America that they are
in earnest.--What will his Lordship think, when he finds, that
his "spirited Measures" have not the designd Effect, wch was to
intimidate us--that America is also IN EARNEST and the whole
Continent united in an effectual Measure, which they have always
in their Power to adopt, to distress the Trade of Britain, &
thereby bring her to her Senses. The Premier little thought of
this united Resentment, and therefore has made no Preparation
against the Effects of it. He promisd himself that the . . . ,
and leave her to fall under the Scourge of ministerial Vengeance.
The noble and generous Part which all are taking & particularly
South Carolina on this Occasion must convince him that the
British Brothers, each of whom resents an Attack upon the Rights
of one as an Attack upon the Rights of all. The Port bill is
followed by two others; One for cutting the Charter of this
Province into Shivers, and the other to encourage Murderers by
skreening them from Punishment. What short Work these modern
Politicians make with solemn Compacts founded on the Faith of
Kings! The Minds of this People can never be reconciled to so
fundamental a Change of their civil Constitution; and I should
think that General Gage, allowing that he has but a small Share
of Prudence, will hardly think of risqueing the horrible Effects
of civil War, by suddenly attempting to force the Establishmt of
a Plan of civil Government which must be shocking to all the
other Colonies even in the Contemplation of it; but the more so,
as they must consider themselves to be deeply interrested in the
Attempt.--I pray God that he may not wantonly exercise the
exorbitant Power intended to be, if not already, put into his
Hands.--If the Wrath of Man is a little while restraind, it is
possible that the united Wisdom of the Colonists, may devise
Means in a peaceable Way, not only for the Restoration of their
own Rights and Liberties, but the Establishment of Harmony with
Great Britain, which certainly must be the earnest Desire of Wise
and good Men. I am

Yours affectionately,t,

1Cf., Vol. i., page 108. [back]


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

BOSTON July 18 1774


We have received your polite and obliging Letter of the 28 June
inclosing bill of lading for 194 whole & 21 half barrills Rice on
board the sloop of Mary John Dove Master which is safely arrived
at Salem. So very generous a Donation of twenty Gentlemen only of
the Town of Charlestown, towards the Reliefe of the Sufferers by
the cruel & oppressive Port bill, demands our most grateful
Acknowledgments; and the Assurances you give us of the kind
Disposition of our worthy Friends in South Carolina towards the
Inhabitants of this Town will, we are perswaded, greatly
encourage them to bear up under that oppressive Ministerial
Vengeance which they are now called to endure for the common
Cause of America. Supported as we are by our Brethren in all the
Colonies, we must be ungrateful to them as well as lost to the
feelings of publick Virtue should we comply with the Demands to
surrender the Liberty of America. We think you may rely upon it
that the People of [this] Province in general will joyn in any
proper M[easures] that may be proposed for the restoration &
Establishment of the Rights of America, and of that Harmony with
the Mother Country upon the principles of equal Liberty so much
desired by all wise & good Men. A Non Importation of British
Goods is (with a few Exceptions) universally thought a salutary
and an efficatious Measure; and in order to effectuate such
a Measure the yeomanry in the Country (upon whom under God we are
to depend) are signing agreements to restrict themselves from
purchasing & consuming them. We applaud and at the same time
[are] animated by the patriotick Spirit of our Sister Colonies.
Such an union we believe was little expected by Lord North and we
have Reason to hope therefore that he has not thought of making
any Preparation against the Effects of it. The Resolution &
Magnanimity of the Colonists and the Firmness Perseverance &
Prudence of the People of this insulted Town astonishes our
Adversaries, & we trust will put them to a Loss how to proceed

We shall dispose of the valueable Donation as you direct, in such
Manner as we shall judge most conducible to the Intention of the
generous Donors, to whom be pleasd to present our kind Regards
and be assured we are Gentlemen their and your sincere & obliged
Friends and

Fellow Countrymen,


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

BOSTON July 18 1774


We receivd your favor by the hand of Mr Wood, and observe the Art
of the Tories in your part of the Province to make the People
believe the Non Consumption Agreement is a Trick of the Merchants
of this Town, that they may have the Advantage of selling off the
Goods they have on hand at an exorbitant Rate. So far is this
from the Truth, that the Merchants importing Goods from England,
a few excepted, were totally against the Covenant. They complaind
of it in our Town Meeting as a Measure destructive to their
Interest. Some of them have protested against it as such; and
they are now using their utmost Endeavors to prevent it. Can it
then be rationally said by the Advocates for Tyranny that it is a
Plan laid by the Merchants? The Enemies of our Constitution know
full well that if there are no Purchasers of British Goodsc there
will be no Importers. On the Contrary if the People in the
Country will purchase there are People in the City avaricious
enough to import. Hence it is that they are so agitated with the
Non Consumption Agreement that they will not hesitate at any rate
to discredit it.

We highly applaud your Zeal for the Liberties of your Country and
are with great Regard

Your friends & fellow Countrymen,


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

BOSTON July 25 1774


I beg you to believe me when I tell you that incessant publick
Business has prevented my writing to you as often as my own
Inclination would lead me to do it. I assure you I feel an
exquisite Pleasure in an epistolary Chat with a private Friend,
and I never contemplate a little Circle but I place you and your
Spouse as two, or I had rather say, ONE.--But consider my
Brother, or to use a dearer Apellation my Friend, consider our
Native Town is in Disgrace. She is suffering the Insolence of
Power. But she prides herself in being calld to suffer for the
Cause of American Freedom and rises superior to her proud
oppressors, she suffers with Dignity; and while we are enduring
the hard Conflict, it is a Consolation to us that thousands of
little Americans who cannot at present distinguish between the
Right hand & the left, will reap the happy Fruits of it; and
among these I bear particularly in my mind my young Cousins of
your Family.

Four Regiments are encampd upon our Common, while the Harbour is
blockd up by Ships of War. Nothing is sufferd to be waterborn in
the Harbour excepting the Wood and Provisions brot in to keep us
from actually perishing. By such Oppressions the British
Administration hope to suppress the Spirit of Liberty in this
place; but being encouragd by the generous Supplys that are daily
Sent to us the Inhabitants are determind to hold out and appeal
to the Justice of the Colonies & of the World--trusting in God
that these things shall be overruled for the Establishment of
Liberty Virtue & Happiness in America--Your Sister is in
tollerable Health and together with my Son & Daughter send their
affectionate respects to your self Mrs Wells & your family--I am


1Cf., Vol. II., page 337. [back]


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

BOSTON July 27 1774


I wrote you by this Conveyance; since which nothing new has
occurred here, saving that this Town at a legal Meeting
yesterday2 orderd a circular Letter to be sent to all the
Towns and Districts in the province a Copy of which is inclosed.
If the two Acts therein referrd to take place, there will not be
even the Shadow of Liberty left in this Province; and our
Brethren of the Sister Colonies will seriously consider whether
it be not the Intention of a perverse Administration to establish
the same System of Tyranny throughout the Colonies. There will
shortly be forty or fifty dozen of Hoes and Axes shipd to your
address by a worthy citizen & Merchant of this Town Mr Charles
Miller--The Makers are Men of approvd Skill and fidelity in their
Business and will warrant their Work by affixing their names
thereon--The original Cost of the Axes will be 40/ & the Hoes 36/
sterling pr Dozen, and I dare say they will be in every respect
better than any imported from abroad.

I am with due Regard

Yr friend & Countryman

1Cf., Vol. II., page 64. [back]
2Boston Record Commissioner's Report, vol. xviii., pp. 186, 187.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 14, 15.]

BOSTON, July 29th, 1774.


I am desired by the Committee of the Town of Boston, appointed to
receive the Donations made by our sympathizing brethren, for the
employment or relief of such inhabitants of this Town as are more
immediate sufferers by the cruel act of Parliament for shutting
up this harbor, to acquaint you that our friend, Mr. Barrett, has
communicated to them your letter of the 25th instant, advising
that you have shipped, per Captain Israel Williams, between three
and four hundred bushels of rye and Indian corn for the above
mentioned purpose, and that you have the subscriptions still
open, and expect after harvest to ship a much larger quantity.
Mr. Barrett tells us, that upon the arrival of Captain Williams,
he will endorse his bill of lading or receipt to us.

The Committee have a very grateful sense of the generosity of
their friends in Farmington, who may depend upon their donations
being applied agreeable to their benevolent intention, as it is a
great satisfaction to the Committee to find the Continent so
united in opinion. The Town of Boston is now suffering for the
common liberties of America, and while they are aided and
supported by their friends, I am persuaded they will struggle
through the conflict, firm and steady.

I am, with very great regard, Gentlemen,

Your friend & countryman,

1A member of the committee of Farmington, Connecticut. [back]


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 19, 20.]

BOSTON, July 29th, 1774.


Your very obliging letter of the 25th instant, directed to the
Selectmen or Overseers of the Poor of the Town of Boston, has
been by them communicated to a Committee of this Town appointed
to receive the donation made for the employment or relief of such
inhabitants as are or may be more immediate sufferers by the
cruel Act of Parliament for shutting up our harbor. This, at the
desire and in the name of this Committee, I am very gratefully to
acknowledge the generosity of the Town of Wethersfield, in the
donation made by them, for the purpose above mentioned,
consisting of 343/4 bushels of wheat, 2481/2 of rye, and 390 of
Indian corn, which your letter informs is fowarded by Capt.
Israel Williams, and for their kind intentions still further.
They may be assured that their beneficence will be applied to the
purpose for which they have designed it. This Town is suffering
the stroke of ministerial vengeance, as they apprehend, for the
liberties of America, and it affords them abundant satisfaction
to find that they have the concurrent sentiments of their
brethren in the sister Colonies in their favor, evidenced by the
most liberal acts of munificence for their support. While they
are thus encouraged and supported, I trust they will never be so
ungrateful to their friends, as well [as] so lost to a sense of
virtue, as to "give up the glorious cause." They have need of
wisdom and fortitude to confound the devices of their enemies,
and to endure the hard conflict with dignity. They rejoice in the
approaching general American Congress, and trust that, by the
divine direction and blessing, such measures will be taken as
will "bring about a happy issue of the present glorious
struggle," and secure the rights of America upon the permanent
principles of equal liberty and truth.

I am, with very great regard to the Gentlemen of your Committee,

Sir, your friend and

1 Of Wethersfield, Connecticut. [back]


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 30-32.]

BOSTON, August 2d, 1774.


The Commitee for Donations yesterday received your kind letter,
by the hands of Mr. Gatchel, acquainting them of the very
generous present made to the sufferers in this Town by the
unrighteous and cruel Act of the British Parliament, commonly
called the Port Bill. They had before received one barrel of
olive oil. Mr. Gatchel delivered them L 39 Is. 3d. in cash, and
this day the fish in eleven carts, and the remainder of the oil
came to hand. I am desired by that Committee to express their
warmest gratitude to the Gentlemen of Marblehead, who have so
liberally contributed on this occasion, and to assure them that
it will be applied in a manner agreeable to the intention of the
charitable donors.

It was in all probability the expectation of Lord North, the
sister Colonies would totally disregard the fate of Boston, and
that she would be left to suffer and fall alone. Their united
resolution, therefore, to support her in the conflict, will, it
is hoped, greatly perplex him in the further prosecution of his
oppressive measures, and finally reduce him to the necessity of
receding from them. While we are thus aided by our brethren, you
may depend upon it that we shall not disgrace the common cause of
America, by any submissions to the barbarous edict. Our
inhabitants still wear cheerful countenances, and they WILL be
supported by the beneficence of our friends, notwithstanding one
of your addressers meanly insinuated to a gentleman of South
Carolina, at Salem, yesterday, that they would receive no benefit
from the large donation of rice received from that place. Such an
intimation discovers a degree of depravity of heart which cannot
easily be expressed. I have received a letter from your
[Committee] to our Committee of Correspondence, which I shall lay
before them at their meeting this evening.

I am, in behalf of the Committee of Donations, Gentlemen, your
friend and


P. S. Mr. Phillips, a carter, with about fifteen quintals of fish
and the remainder of the oil, is not yet come in, but is expected
every hour.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 37.]

BOSTON, August 3d, 1774.


The Committee appointed by this Town to receive donations for the
relief of our poor, suffering by the shutting up this port, have
this day received by the hands of Mr. Roger Wellington, 81/2
bushels of rye and 10 bushels Indian corn, as a donation from
several gentlemen of Brookfield; but as we received no letter
advising us who we are particularly obliged to for this kind
present, we take this opportunity to request you will please to
return the sincere thanks of this Town to all those Gentlemen
that contributed towards this donation. We esteem it a
confirmaiton of that union and friendship which subsists at this
time, and is of the utmost importance to secure the rights and
liberties of this Province and indeed of all America. We shall
endeavor to distribute the donations of our friends to the best
advantage to promote industry and harmony in this Town. Wishing
you the rewards that attend the generous,

We are, with great respect and gratitude, Sir, your friends and

1 Of Brookfield, Massachusetts.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 15, 16.]

BOSTON, August 4th, 1774.


Your favor of 25th July, directed to John Barrett, Esq., has been
laid before the Committee to receive and distribute Donations,
and has been answered, July 29th,1 which [we] trust you will duly
receive. Since which Capt. Williams has arrived and delivered to
the Committee's Treasurer, one hundred and sixteen and half
bushels of rye, and one hundred and ninety bushels of Indian
corn, as a donation from our generous, patriotic friends in
Farmington. This Committee, in the name of the Town, return you
and our other friends their most grateful acknowledgments, and
assure [you we] shall do our utmost to distribute it, agreeable
to the benevolent intentions of the contributors. As Capt.
Williams brought us no letter, nor had any particular directions
about the freight of the grain, the Committee immediately agreed
to pay the same, and offered it to Capt. Williams, but he chose
rather to suspend the receiving of it until further day. You may
be assured that the friends of Liberty and a righteous government
are firm and steady to the common cause of American rights. We
are in hopes to keep our poor from murmuring, and that, by the
blessing of Heaven, we shall shortly be confirmed in that freedom
for which our ancestors entered the wilds of America.

With the greatest respect we are, Sir, your friends and fellow-
countrymen. By order of the Committee appointed to receive
Donations for the employment or relief of the sufferers by the
Boston Port Bill.

1Cf. page 148.


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

PHILADE Sept. 14 1774.


I have been waiting with great Impatience for a Letter from the
Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Boston upon whose
Wisdom and Judgement I very much rely. The Congress is resolved
into Committees and Sub-Committees and all seem fully sensible of
the intollerable Grievances which the Colonies are struggling
under, and determined to procure effectual redress. The Subject
Matter of their Debates I am restraind upon Honor from disclosing
at present; but I may assure you that the Sentiments of the
Congress hitherto discoverd and the Business assignd to the
several Committees are such as perfectly coincide with your

The Spirit of our Countrymen does them great Honor--Our Brethren
of the County of Middlesex have resolvd nobly, and their
resolutions1 are read by the several Members of this Body with
high Applause.

It is generally agreed that an opposition to the new Mode of
Government ought to be maintaind. A warm Advocate for the Cause
of Liberty to whom America is much obligd for his former Labors
told me that he was fully of Opinion that no officer under the
new Establishment ought to be acknowledgd; on the other hand that
each of them should be warned against exercising any Authority
upon pain of the UTMOST Resentment of the people. It is therefore
greatly to his Satisfaction to observe the Measures that have
been taken. I am pleasd to hear that a provincial Congress is
proposd, and cannot but promise my self that the firm manly and
persevering Opposition of that single province will operate to
the total frustration of the villainous Designs of our Tyrants
and their Destruction.

I hope the Committee will continue to act up to their Dignity and
Importance.--I am yet of Opinion that Heaven will honor them with
a great Share of the Merit of saving the Rights of all America.
May God inspire them with Wisdom & Fortitude. I must beg them to
excuse this hasty Effusion of an honest heart, having been just
now (while in a Committee) informd that a Vessell is immediately
about to sail to Marblehead. Pray let me hear from the Committee-
-being as you all know A MAN OF FORTUNE, you need not fear
putting me to the Expence of postage--direct to Mr Saml Smith and
Sons Merchts in this City. I conclude with my warmest Prayers to
the Supreme Being for the Salvation of our Country, your Friend
Fellow Countryman & Fellow Labourer,

1 The proceedings are in Journals of each Provincial Congress of
Massachusetts, pp. 609-614.


[Force, American Archives, 4th ser., vol. i., p. 793.]

PHILADELPHIA September 19, 1774.


I have had the pleasure of receiving a letter from you since my
arrival in this city. Our friend, Mr. Quincy, informed me before
I left Boston, of his intention to take passage for England. I am
persuaded he may do great service to our country there. Agreeably
to his and your requests, I have desired gentlemen here to make
him known to their friends and correspondents.

Last Friday Mr. Revere brought us the spirited and patriotick
Resolves of your County ofSuffolk.2 We laid them before the
Congress. They were read with great applause, and the Enclosed
Resolutions were unanimously passed, which give you a faint idea
of the spirit of the Congress. I think I may assure you that
America will make a point of supporting Boston to the utmost. I
have not time to enlarge, and must therefore conclude with
assuring you that I am, with great] regard, your affectionate and
humble servant,

1The date is given as September 18 in Frothingham, Life and Times
of Joseph Warren, p. 367.
2Journals of each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, pp. 601-


[R. Frothingham, Life and Times of Joseph Warren, p. 377; a draft
is in the Lenox Library.]

PHILADELPHIA, September, 1774.


Your letter of the 12th instant, directed to Mr. Cushing and
others, came duly to hand. The subject of it is of great
importance. It is difficult, at this distance, to form a
judgment, with any degree of accuracy, of what is best to be
done. The eastern and western counties appear to differ in
sentiment with regard to the two measures mentioned in your
letter. This difference of sentiment might produce opposition, in
case either part should be taken. You know the vast importance of
union. That union is most likely to be obtained by a consultation
of deputies from the several towns, either in a House of
Representatives or a Provincial Congress. But the question still
remains, which measure to adopt. It is probable that the people
would be most united, as they would think it safest, to abide by
the present form of government,--I mean according to the charter.
The governor has been appointed by the Crown, according to the
charter; but he has placed himself at the head of a different
constitution. If the only constitutional council, chosen last
May, have honesty and courage enough to meet with the
representatives chosen by the people by virtue of the last writ,
and jointly proceed to the public business, would it not bring
the governor to such an explicit conduct as either to restore the
general assembly, or give the two Houses a fair occasion to
declare the chair vacant? In which case the council would hold it
till another governor should be appointed. This would immediately
reduce the government prescribed in the charter; and the people
would be united in what they would easily see to be a
constitutional opposition to tyranny. You know there is a charm
in the word "constitutional."


[R. Frothingham, Life and Times of Joseph Warren, pp. 377, 378; a
draft is in the Lenox Library.]

PHILADELPHIA, September 25, 1774.

MY DEAR SIR,--I wrote you yesterday by the post. A frequent
communication at this critical conjuncture is necessary. As the
all-important American cause so much depends upon each colony's
acting agreeably to the sentiments of the whole, it must be
useful to you to know the sentiments which are entertained here
of the temper and conduct of our province. Heretofore we have
been accounted by many, intemperate and rash; but now we are
universally applauded as cool and judicious, as well as spirited
and brave. This is the character we sustain in congress. There
is, however, a certain degree of jealousy in the minds of some,
that we aim at a total independency, not only of the mother-
country, but of the colonies too; and that, as we are a hardy and
brave people, we shall in time overrun them all. However
groundless this jealousy may be, it ought to be attended to, and
is of weight in your deliberations on the subject of your last
letter. I spent yesterday afternoon and evening with Mr
Dickinson. He is a true Bostonian. It is his opinion, that, if
Boston can safely remain on the defensive, the liberties of
America, which that town has so nobly contended for, will be
secured. The congress have, in their resolve of the 17th instant,
given their sanction to the resolutions of the county of Suffolk,
one of which is to act merely on the defensive, so long as such
conduct may be justified by reason and the principles of self-
preservation, but NO LONGER. They have great dependence upon your
tried patience and fortitude. They suppose you mean to defend
your civil constitution. They strongly recommend perseverance in
a firm and temperate conduct, and give you a full pledge of their
united efforts in your behalf. They have not yet come to final
resolutions. It becomes them to be deliberate. I have been
assured, in private conversation with individuals, that, if you
should be driven to the necessity of acting in the defence of
your lives or liberty, you would be justified by their
constituents, and openly supported by all the means in their
power; but whether they will ever be prevailed upon to think it
necessary for you to set up another form of government, I very
much question, for the reason I have before suggested. It is of
the greatest importance, that the American opposition should be
united, and that it should be conducted so as to concur with the
opposition of our friends in England. Adieu,


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



The Delegates from his Majestys several Colonies of New Hampshire
* * * * * * * * * * * assembled in general Congress in the City
of Philadelphia take the Liberty of addressing you upon Subjects
of the last Importance, to your own Character, Happiness and
Peace of Mind, to his Majestys Service, to the Wellfare of that
Province over which you preside and of all North America, and,
perhaps, of the whole British Empire.

The Act of the British Parliament for shutting up the Harbour of
Boston is universally deemd to be unjust and cruel; and the World
now sees with Astonishment & Indignation the Distress which the
Inhabitants of that loyal though devoted Town are suffering under
the most rigid Execution of it.

There are two other Acts passed in the present Session of
Parliament, the one for regulating the Government of the Province
of Massachusetts Bay and the other entitled an Act for the more
impartial Administration of Justice in the same Province; the
former of these Acts was made with the professed Purpose of
materially altering the Charter of that Province granted by his
Majesties Royal Predecessors King William & Queen Mary for
themselves their Heirs &c forever; and both or either of them if
put into Execution will shake the Foundations of that free &
happy Constitution which is the Birthright of English Subjects,
and totally destroy the inestimable Blessing of Security in Life
Liberty and Property.

By your own Acknowledgment, the refusal of the People to yield
obedience to these Acts is far from being confind to a Faction in
the Town of Boston. It is general through the province. And we do
now assure your Excellency, that this Refusal is vindicable, in
the opinion of this Congress, by the Laws of Reason and Self
preservation; and the People ought to be and will be supported in
it by the united Voice and Efforts of all America.

We are fully convinced that the Town of Boston and Province of
the Massachusetts Bay are suffering in the righteous Cause of
America, while they are nobly exerting themselves in the most
spirited opposition to those oppressive Acts of Parliament and
Measures of Administration which are calculated to annihilate our
most sacred & invalueable Rights.

It is with the deepest Concern that we observe, that while this
Congress are deliberating on the most effectual Measures for the
restoration of American Liberty and a happy Harmony between the
Colonies and the parent State, so essentially necessary to both,
your Excellency is erecting Fortifications round the Town of
Boston, whereby well grounded Jealousies are excited in the Minds
of his Majesties faithful Subjects and apprehensions that all
Communication between the Town & the Country will be cut off,
or that this Freedom will be enjoyed at the Will of an Army.

Moreover we would express to your Excellency the just Resentment
which we feel at the Indignities offerd to our worthy fellow
Citizens in Boston and the frequent Violations of private
property by the Soldiers under your Command. These Enormities
committed by a standing Army, in our opinion, unlawfully posted
there in a time of Peace, are irritating in the greatest Degree,
and if not remedied, will endanger the involving all America in
the Horrors of a civil War! Your Situation Sir is extremely
critical. A rupture between the Inhabitants of the Province over
which you preside and the Troops under your Command would produce
Consequences of the most serious Nature: A Wound which would
never be heald! It would probably establish Animosities between
Great Britain & the Colonies which time would never eradicate! In
order therefore to quiet the Minds & remove the Jealousies of the
people, that they may not be driven to such a State of
Desperation as to quit the Town & fly for Shelter to their
Friends and Countrymen, we intreat you from the Assurance we have
of the peaceable Disposition of the Inhabitants to desist from
further fortifications of the Town, and to give orders that a
free & safe Communication between them & the country may be
restored & continued.

1Endorsed: "This was offered to the Comittee of Congress to be
reported as a Remonstrance to Genl Gage." On October 6, 1774,
Adams, Lynch and Pendleton were appointed a committee to draft a
letter to General Gage. The committee reported October 10; the
letter was amended and ordered to be signed. The text, dated
October 10, 1774, and finally approved October 11, is in Journals
of Continental Congress (Edit. of 1904), vol. i., pp. 60, 61. The
reply of Gage is in ibid., pp. 114, 115.


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

PHILADELPHIA Octob [17] 1774.


I have receivd your favors of 29th Sept and 11th Instant, the
latter of which is just come to hand. The Affidavit inclosd
confirms the report in Boston about the beginning of July, of a
Mans being seizd by the Soldiery, put under Guard & finally sent
to England. But what Remedy can the poor injurd Fellow obtain in
his own Country where INTER ARMA SILENT LEGES! I have written to
our Friends to provide themselves without Delay with Arms &
Ammunition, get well instructed in the military Art, embody
themselves & prepare a complete Set of Rules that they may be
ready in Case they are called to defend themselves against the
violent Attacks of Despotism. Surely the Laws of Self
Preservation will warrant it in this Time of Danger & doubtful
Expectation. One cannot be certain that a distracted Minister
will yield to the Measures taken by the Congress, though they
should operate the Ruin of the National Trade, until he shall
have made further Efforts to lay America, as he impiously
expressd it "prostrate at his Feet."

I believe you will have seen before this reaches you, some
further Resolves of the Congress relative to my native Town &
Province together with a Letter to Gage. They were sent to the
Come of Correspondence in Boston by Mr Revere who left us a Week
ago, and I suppose are or will be publishd in the papers--you
will therein see the sense of the Gentlemen here of the Conduct
of the General and the "dignified Scoundrels," and of the
opposition made to the tyrannical Acts. I think our Countrymen
discover the Spirit of Rome or Sparta. I admire in them that
Patience which you have often heard one say is characteristick of
the Patriot. I regretted your Removal from Boston when you first
informd me of it, but I trust it will be for the publick
Advantage. Wherever you may be I am sure you will improve your
ten Talents for the publick Good. I pray God to direct and reward

I am with due regard to Mrs Young,

affectionately yours,


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

BOSTON 21 Novr 1774


When I was at New York in August Last I was informd by a
Gentleman of that City (I think it was yourself but am not
certain of it) that a Quantity of Rice had arrivd from South
Carolina consignd to his Care for the Benefit of the Sufferers in
this Town by Means of the Port Bill.--If it is under your
Direction, I am very sure it will be disposd of in the best
Manner for the benevolent Use for which it was intended. My only
Design in troubling you with this Letter is to be ascertaind of
the Matter, and of the Situation the Rice is in, having been also
informd, if I mistake not, that some of it had been dammaged.--A
Line from you by the Post will much oblige me.

I am with great Respect

Sir your most humble Servant,

1Of New York.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol.
iv., pp. 168, 169.]

BOSTON, 16th December, 1774.


I am directed by the Committee of the town of Boston, appointed
to receive and distribute the donations that are made for the
relief and employment of such as are, or may become sufferers by
means of the Boston Port Bill, to return their sincere thanks to
the members of the Union Club, in the Town of Salem, for the
generous contribution they made, and transmitted by their worthy
brother, Mr. Samuel King. It is an unspeakable consolation to
the inhabitants of this devoted Town, that amidst the distress
designed to have been brought upon them by an inhuman, as well as
arbitrary Ministers, there are many whose hearts and hands are
open for their relief. You, gentlemen, are among the happy number
of those, of whom it is said, the blessing of him that is ready
to perish hath come upon us, and through your liberality the
widow's heart to sing for joy.

Our friends have enabled us to bear up under oppression, to the
astonishment of our enemies. May Heaven reward our kind
benefactors ten-fold; and grant to us wisdom and fortitude, that
during this hard conflict we may behave as becomes those who are
called to struggle in so glorious a cause; and, by our patience
and perseverance, at length frustrate the designs of our
country's inveterate foes. You may rely upon it that your
donation will be applied by the Committee to the benevolent
purpose for which you intended it.

Be assured that I am, in truth and sincerity, your friend and
humble servant,

1Of Salem, Massachusetts.

Regina Azucena


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text is in Historical
Magazine, 1st ser., vol ii., pp. 196, 197.]

BOSTON, Jan. 9th, 1775.


The Committee appointed by the inhabitants of this Town, to
receive and distribute the donations of our friends for the
benefit of the sufferers by the Boston Port Bill, acknowledge
your several favors of 7th and 17th of December last, enclosing
invoices of flour, &c., amounting, with charges, to one thousand
and sixty-two pounds, 9/6, which, agreeable to your kind wishes,
are come safe to hand. I am directed by the Committee to request
that you would assure our benefactors, the citizens of New York,
of their warmest gratitude for the very seasonable relief they
have afforded to their afflicted brethren in this place, by such
generous donations, in this most difficult time of the year.
While we acknowledge the superintendency of divine Providence, we
feel our obligations to the sister Colonies. By their liberality,
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.

                              PROVINCE OF QUEBEC.1

[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.


[J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, vol. i., pp. 119-122; the
text is in Force, American Archives, 4th ser., vol. iii., p.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 29, 1775.


I wrote to you a few days ago by young Mr. Brown, and then
acknowledged your favour of the 9th instant.

You tell me that a committee of both houses of assembly is
appointed to bring in a militia bill. I am of your opinion, that
this matter requires great attention, and I wish with you to see
our militia formed not only into battalions, but also brigades.
But should we not be cautious of putting them under the direction
of the generals of the continent, at least until such a
legislative shall be established over all America, as every
colony shall consent to?

The continental army is very properly under the direction of the
continental congress. Possibly, if ever such a legislative should
be formed, it may be proper that the whole military power in
every Colony should be under its absolute direction. Be that as
it may, will it not till then be prudent that the militia of each
colony should be and remain under the sole direction of its own
legislative, which is and ought to be the sovereign and
uncontrollable power within its own limits or territory? I hope
our militia will always be prepared to aid the forces of the
continent in this righteous opposition to tyranny. But this ought
to be done upon an application to the government of the colony.
Your militia is your natural strength, which ought under your own
direction to be employed for your own safety and protection. It
is a misfortune to a colony to become the seat of war. It is
always dangerous to the liberties of the people to have an army
stationed among them, over which they have no control. There is
at present a necessity for it; the continental army is kept up
within our colony, most evidently for our immediate security. But
it should be remembered that history affords abundant instances
of established armies making themselves the masters of those
countries, which they were designed to protect. There may be no
danger of this at present, but it should be a caution not to
trust the whole military strength of a colony in the hands of
commanders independent of its established legislative.

It is now in the power of our assembly to establish many
wholesome laws and regulations, which could not be done under the
former administration of government. Corrupt men may be kept out
of places of public trust; the utmost circumspection I hope will
be used in the choice of men for public officers. It is to be
expected that some who are void of the least regard to the
public, will put on the appearance and even speak boldly the
language of patriots, with the sole purpose of gaining the
confidence of the public, and securing the loaves and fishes for
themselves or their sons or other connexions. Men who stand
candidates for public posts, should be critically traced in their
views and pretensions, and though we would despise mean and base
suspicion, there is a degree of jealousy which is absolutely
necessary in this degenerate state of mankind, and is indeed at
all times to be considered as a political virtue. It is in your
power also to prevent a plurality of places incompatible with
each other being vested in the same persons. This our patriots
have loudly and very justly complained of in time past, and it
will be an everlasting disgrace to them if they suffer the
practice to continue. Care I am informed is taking to prevent the
evil with as little inconvenience as possible, but it is my
opinion that the remedy ought to be deep and thorough.

After all, virtue is the surest means of securing the public
liberty. I hope you will improve the golden opportunity of
restoring the ancient purity of principles and manners in our
country. Every thing that we do, or ought to esteem valuable,
depends upon it. For freedom or slavery, says an admired writer,
will prevail in a country according as the disposition and
manners of the inhabitants render them fit for the one or the

P.S. Nov. 4th. Yesterday the colours of the 7th regiment were
presented to the Congress. They were taken at Fort Chamblee; the
garrison surrendered prisoners of war to Major Brown of the
Massachusetts forces, with one hundred and twenty-four barrels of
gunpowder! May heaven grant us further success.1

1In the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library, is the draft of a
letter, endorsed as to James Warren, the body of which is almost
identical with the foregoing. The postscript, however, is as

Novr 4th

My Time is so little at my own Disposal that I am obligd to
improve a Moment as I can catch it to write to a Friend. I wish I
was at Liberty to communicate to you some of our Proceedings, but
I am restraind, and though it is painful to me to keep Secrets
from a few confidential Friends, I am resolvd that I will not
violate my Honor. I may venture to tell you one of our
Resolutions which in the Nature of it must be immediately made
publick, and that it is to recommend to our Sister Colony of N
Hampshire to exercise Government in such a form as they shall
judge necessary for the preservation of peace and good order,
during the continuance of the present Contest with Britain. This
I would not have you mention abroad till you see it published or
hear it publickly talkd of. The Government of the N England
Colonies I suppose will soon be nearly on the same Footing, and I
am of opinion that it; will not be long before every Colony will
see the Necessity of setting up Government within themselves for
reasons that appear to me to be obvious.

Yesterday the Congress was presented with the Colors of the 7th
Regiment taken at Fort Chamblee which was a few days ago
surrendered to Major Brown--ONE HUNDRED & TWENTY FOUR BARRILS OF
GUN POWDER--May Heaven grant us further success. I am

Your affectionate Friend,


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

PHILADA, Novr 7th 1775


My last Letter to you I sent by young Mr Gowen Brown who left
this place about a fortnight ago. I know not how many I have
written. I wish you would send me the Dates of those you have
receivd, in your next.

My Son informs me in a late Letter, that you were about removing
to little Cambridge. I am exceedingly pleasd with it, because I
am sure you could not be comfortable in your house at Dedham in
the cold Season. When we shall return to our Habitation in
Boston, if ever, is uncertain. The Barbarity of our Enemies in
the Desolations they have wantonly made at Falmouth and
elsewhere, is a Presage of what will probably befall that Town
which has so long endur'd the Rage of a merciless Tyrant. It has
disgracd the Name of Britain, and added to the Character of the
Ministry, another indelible Mark of Infamy. We must be content to
suffer the Loss of all things in this Life, rather than tamely
surrender the publick Liberty. The Eyes of the People of Britain
seem to be fast closed; if they should ever be opened they will
rejoyce, and thank the Americans for resisting a Tyranny which is
manifestly intended to overwhelm them and the whole British
Empire. Righteous Heaven will surely smile on a Cause so
righteous as ours is, and our Country, if it does its Duty will
see an End to its Oppressions. Whether I shall live to rejoyce
with the Friends of Liberty and Virtue, my fellow Laborers in the
Common Cause, is a Matter of no Consequence. I will endeavor by
Gods Assistance, to act my little part well--to approve my self
to Him, and trust every thing which concerns me to his all-
gracious Providence.

The Newspapers will give you an Account of the Surrender of the
Garrison at Fort Chambly to Major Brown of the Massachusetts. The
Colors of the 7th Regiment were taken there and were brought to
the Congress on Fryday last.

I wrote to my Daughter not long ago. I hope she has receivd the
Letter. Remember me to her and to Sister Polly and all the other

You will believe, my dear Betsy, without the Formality of my
repeating it to you, that I am, most affectionately,



[Proceedings of Massachusetts Historical Society, 1st ser., vol.
xii., pp. 226, 227.]

PHILADELPHIA. Nov. 16. 1775.

SIR,--I embrace this opportunity of writing to you by your son,
whose unexpected arrival from London the last week gave me much
pleasure. He seems in a great degree to have recovered his
health; & I dare say it will be still more satisfactory to you to
find, that he is warmly attached to the Rights of his Country &
of mankind. Give me leave to congratulate you, & also to express
to you the joy I feel on another occasion; which is, that your
own health is so far restored to you, as to enable you again, &
at so important a crisis, to aid our Country with your council.
For my own part, I had even buried you, though I had not forgot
you. I thank God who had disappointed our fears; & it is my
ardent prayer that your health may be perfectly restored & your
eminent usefulness long continued.

We live, my Dear Sir, in an important age--an age in which we are
called to struggle hard in support of the public Liberty. The
conflict, I am satisfied, will the next spring be more severe
than ever. The Petition of Congress has been treated with
insolent contempt. I cannot conceive that there is any room to
hope from the virtuous efforts of the people of Britain. They
seem to be generally unprincipled and fitted for the yoke of
arbitrary power. The opposition of the few is feeble and languid-
-while the Tyrant is flushed with expectations from his fleets &
armies, & has, I am told, explicitly declared, that "Let the
consequences be what they may, it is his UNALTERABLE
determination, to COMPEL the colonists to absolute obedience."

The plan of the British Court, as I was well informed the last
winter, was, to take possession of New York, make themselves
masters of Hudson's River & the Lakes, cut off all communication
between the Northern & Southern Colonies, & employ the Canadians
upon whom they greatly relied, in distressing the frontiers of
New England. Providence has smiled upon our northern expedition.
Already St. Johns is reduced, & if we gain the possession of all
Canada this winter, of which there is a fair prospect, their
design, so far as it respects this part of their plan, will be
totally frustrated.

I will not further trespass upon your time. If you can find
leisure, a letter from you will exceedingly oblige me, for you
may believe me when I assure you that I am with the greatest

Your Friend and very humble Servant,


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a certified copy is in
the Massachusetts Archives, 194: 160; and a text is in Force,
American Archives, 4th ser., vol. iii, p. 1654, and in Acts and
Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, vol v., pp. 524,



Having maturely considerd your Letter of the 11th of Novr written
in the Name & by order of the Honb the Council of the
Massachusetts Bay & directed to the Delegates of that Colony,2
and consulted with my Colleagues3 thereon, I beg Leave to offer
it as my opinion, that the Resolve of Congress passed on the 9th
of June last relative to establishing Civil Government must be
superseeded by the subsequent resolve of the 3 of July following
so far as they appear to militate with each other. By the last of
these Resolves the Conventions, or Assemblies of the several
Colonies annually elective are at their Discretion either to
adopt the Method pointed out for the regulation of their Militia
in whole or in part or to continue their former Regulations as
they on Consideration of all Circumstances shall think fit; It
seems manifest therefore that the Honbl Council are under no
restraint from yielding to the Honbl House a Voice . . . . them
in the Choice of the Militia officers in the Colony.

I am prevaild upon to believe that this is the Sense of the
Congress because they have lately recommended to the Colony of
New Hampshire to set up & exercise Government in such form as
they shall judge most conducive to the promotion of peace & good
order among themselves--without Restriction of any kind.

As the Hon Board have been pleasd to direct us to give our
opinion either with or without consulting our Brethren of the
Congress as we shall judge best, I hope I shall be justified in
declining on my part to have the Matter laid before Congress for
Reasons which were of Weight in my own Mind; and indeed I am of
opinion that the Congress would not chuse to take any order of
that kind, they having constantly declind to determine on any
Matter which concerns the internal Police of either of the united

It is my most ardent Wish that a cordial Agreement between the
two Houses may ever take place, and more especially in the
Establishment of the Militia, upon which the Safety of the Colony
so greatly depends.

I am with all due regards to the Honbl Board,

Sir, your most humble Servant,

1Addressed as President of the Council of Massachusetts Bay.
2The words "in the Continental Congress" were stricken from the
3Originally "Brethren."


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

PHILADELPHIA, Decr 26 1775


I have receivd your obliging Letter of the 5th Instt by Fessenden
for which I am very thankful to you. The present Government of
our Colony, you tell me, is not considerd as permanent. This
affords the strongest Motive to improve the Advantages of it,
while it continues. May not Laws be made and Regulations
establishd under this Government, the salutary Effects of which
the People shall be so convincd of from their own Experience, as
never hereafter to suffer them to be repeald or alterd. But what
other Change is expected? Certainly the People do not already
hanker after the Onions & the Garlick! They cannot have so soon
forgot the Tyranny of their late Governors, who, being dependent
upon and the mere Creatures of a Minister of State, and
subservient his Inclinations, have FORBID them to make such Laws
as would have been beneficial to them or to repeal those that
were not. But, I find EVERY WHERE some Men, who are affraid of a
free Government, lest it should be perverted, and made Use of as
a Cloke for Licenciousness. The fear of the Peoples abusing their
Liberty is made an Argument against their having the Enjoyment of
it; as if any thing were so much to be dreaded by Mankind as
Slavery. But the Bearer Mr Bromfield, of whose Departure I did
not know, till a few Minutes past, is waiting. I can therefore
say no more at present but that I am,

Your affectionate Friend,

Mr Bromfield who went in a Stage Coach, set off before I could
close my Letter. I shall therefore forward it by the Post or any
other Conveyance that may next offer. Your last Letter informd me
that "the late Conduct of the _______ had weakned that Confidence
& Reverence necessary to give a well disposd Government its full
operation and Effect." I am sorry for it; and presume it is not
to be imputed to a fault in the Institution of that order but a
Mistake in the Persons of whom it is composd. All Men are fond of
Power. It is difficult for us to be prevaild upon to believe that
we possess more than belongs to us. Even publick Bodies of men
legally constituted are too prone to covet more Power than the
Publick hath judgd it safe to entrust them with. It is happy when
their Power is not only subject to Controul while it is exercisd,
but frequently reverts into the hands of the People from whom it
is derivd, and to whom Men in Power ought for ever to be
accountable. That venerable Assembly, the Senate of Areopagus in
Athens, whose Proceedings were so eminently upright and impartial
that we are told, even "foreign States, when any Controversies
happend among them, would voluntarily submit to their Decisions,"
"not only their Determinations might be called into Question and
if need was, retracted by an Assembly of the People, but
themselves too, if they exceeded the due Bounds of Moderation
were liable to account for it." At present our Council as well as
our House of Representatives are annually elective. Thus far they
are accountable to the people, as they are lyable for Misbehavior
to be discarded; but this is not a sufficient Security to the
People unless they are themselves VIRTUOUS. If we wish for
"another Change," must it not be a Change of Manners? If the
youth are carefully educated--If the Principles of Morality are
strongly inculcated on the Minds of the People--the End and
Design of Government clearly understood and the Love of our
Country the ruling Passion, uncorrupted Men will then be chosen
for the representatives of the People. These will elect Men of
distinguishd Worth to sit at the Council Board, and in time we
may hope, that in the purity of their Manners, the Wisdom of
their Councils, and the Justice of their Determinations our
Senate may equal that of Athens, which was said to be "the most
sacred and venerable Assembly in all Greece." I confess, I have a
strong desire that our Colony should excell in Wisdom and Virtue.
If this proceeds from Pride, is it not . . . . . . Pride? I am
willing that the same Spirit of Emulation may pervade every one
of the Confederated Colonies. But I am calld off and must
conclude with again assuring you that I am, with the most
friendly Regards to Mrs Warren, very affectionately,


Regina Azucena


[J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, vol. i., pp. 125-127; a
text is in Force, American Archives, 4th ser., vol. iv., p. 541;
and a draft is in the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 2, 1776.


Your very acceptable letter of the 13th of December is now before
me. Our opinions of the necessity of keeping the military power
under the direction and control of the legislative, I always
thought were alike. It was far from my intention in my letter to
you on the subject, to attempt the correcting any imagined errour
in your judgment, but rather shortly to express my own
apprehensions at this time, when it is become necessary to
tolerate that power, which is always formidable, and has so often
proved fatal to the liberties of mankind.

It gives me great satisfaction to be informed, that the members
of the house of representatives are possessed of so warm a spirit
of patriotism, as that "an enemy to America may as well attempt
to scale the regions of bliss, as to insinuate himself into their
favour." Whatever kind of men may be denominated enemies to their
country, certainly he is a very injudicious friend to it, who
gives his suffrage for any man to fill a public office, merely
because he is rich; and yet you tell me there are recent
instances of this in our government. I confess it mortifies me
greatly. The giving such a preference to riches is both
dishonourable and dangerous to a government. It is indeed equally
dangerous to promote a man to a place of public trust only
because he wants bread, but I think it is not so dishonourable;
for men may be influenced to the latter from the feelings of
humanity, but the other argues a base, degenerate, servile temper
of mind. I hope our country will never see the time, when either
riches or the want of them will be the leading considerations in
the choice of public officers. Whenever riches shall be deemed a
necessary qualification, ambition as well as avarice will prompt
men most earnestly to thirst for them, and it will be commonly
said, as in ancient times of degeneracy,

Quaerenda pecunia primum est,
Virtus post nummos.

"Get money, money still,
And then let virtue follow if she will."

I am greatly honoured, if my late letter has been acceptable to
the house. I hope the militia bill, to which that letter
referred, is completed to the satisfaction of both houses of the

The account you give me of the success our people meet with in
the manufacture of salt-petre is highly pleasing to me. I
procured of a gentleman in the colony of New-York, the plan of a
powder mill, which I lately sent to Mr. Revere. I hope it may be
of some use.

I have time at present only to request you to write to me by the
post, and to assure that I am

Your affectionate friend,

JANUARY 5, 1776.1

[W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. ii., pp. 342, 343; a
text is in Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of
Congress edition), vol. iv., pp. 32, 33.]

The committee appointed to consider the letter of General
Washington, dated the 18th of December, and the enclosed papers,
brought in a report upon that part which relates to James Lovell,
who has long been, and still is, detained a close prisoner in
Boston, by order of General Howe, which, being taken into
consideration, was agreed That it appears to your committee that
the said Mr. Lovell hath for years past been an able advocate for
the liberties of America and mankind; that by his letter to
General Washington, which is a part of said enclosed papers, he
exhibits so striking an instance of disinterested patriotism, as
strongly recommends him to the particular notice of this

Whereupon, RESOLVED, That Mr. James Lovell, an inhabitant of
Boston, now held a close prisoner there by order of General Howe,
has discovered under the severest trials the warmest attachment
to public liberty, and an inflexible fidelity to his country;
that by his late letter to General Washington he has given the
strongest evidence of disinterested public affection, in refusing
to listen to terms offered for his relief, till he could be
informed by his countrymen that they were compatible with their
safety and honor.

RESOLVED, That it is deeply to be regretted that a British
general can be found degenerate enough, so ignominiously and
cruelly to treat a citizen who is so eminently virtuous.

RESOLVED, That it be an instruction to General Washington to make
an offer of Governor Skene in exchange for the said Mr. Lovell
and his family.

RESOLVED, That General Washington be desired to embrace the first
opportunity which may offer of giving some office to Mr. Lovell
equal to his abilities, and which the public service may require.

ORDERED, That a copy of the foregoing resolutions be transmitted
to the General as speedily as possible.

1See below, page 254. Wells, at vol. ii., pp. 364-366, prints
certain resolutions of the Continental Congress of
January 2, 1776, attributing them to Adams.


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; Cf, R. Frothingham,
Rise of the Republic, p. 470.]

PHILADA Jany 7 1776


I verily believe the Letters I write to you are three, to one I
receive from you--however I consider the Multiplicity of Affairs
you must attend to in your various Departments, and am willing to
make due Allowance. Your last is dated the 19th of December. It
contains a List of very important Matters lying before the
General Assembly. I am much pleased to find that there is an End
to the Contest between the two Houses concerning the
Establishment of the Militia--and that you are in hopes of making
an effectual Law for that Purpose. It is certainly of the last
Consequence to a free Country that the Militia, which is its
natural Strength, should be kept upon the most advantageous
Footing. A standing Army, however necessary it may be at some
times, is always dangerous to the Liberties of the People.
Soldiers are apt to consider themselves as a Body distinct from
the rest of the Citizens. They have their Arms always in their
hands. Their Rules and their Discipline is severe. They soon
become attachd to their officers and disposd to yield implicit
Obedience to their Commands. Such a Power should be watchd with a
jealous Eye. I have a good Opinion of the principal officers of
our Army. I esteem them as Patriots as well as Soldiers. But if
this War continues, as it may for years yet to come, we know not
who may succeed them. Men who have been long subject to military
Laws and inured to military Customs and Habits, may lose the
Spirit and Feeling of Citizens. And even Citizens, having been
used to admire the Heroism which the Commanders of their own Army
have displayd, and to look up to them as their Saviors may be
prevaild upon to surrender to them those Rights for the
protection of which against Invaders they had employd and paid
them. We have seen too much of this Disposition among some of
our Countrymen. The Militia is composd of free Citizens. There is
therefore no Danger of their making use of their Power to the
destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to invade
them. I earnestly wish that young Gentlemen of a military Genius
(& many such I am satisfied there are in our Colony) might be
instructed in the Art of War, and at the same time taught the
Principles of a free Government, and deeply impressd with a Sense
of the indispensible Obligation which every member is under to
the whole Society. These might be in time fit for officers in the
Militia, and being thorowly acquainted with the Duties of
Citizens as well as soldiers, might Command of our Army at such
times as Necessity might require so dangerous a Body to exist.

I am glad that your Attention is turnd so much to the Importation
of Powder & that the manufacture of Salt-petre is in so
flourishing a way. I cannot think you are restraind from
exporting fish to Spain, by the resolve of Congress. I will make
myself more certain by recurring to our Records when the
Secretary returns tomorrow, he being at this time (6 o'clock P.
M.) at his House three miles from Town; and I will inform you by
a Postscript to this Letter, or by another Letter p Post. I have
the Pleasure to acquaint you that five Tons of Powder CERTAINLY
arrivd at Egg harbour the Night before last besides two Tons in
this River--a part of it is consignd to the Congress--the rest is
private property, partly belonging to Mr Thos Boylston and partly
to a Gentleman in this City. Congress has orderd the whole to be
purchasd for publick Use. We are also informd that 6 Tons more
arrivd a few days ago in New York which I believe to be true. But
better still a Vessel is certainly arrivd in this River with
between 50 & 6o Tons of Salt petre. This I suppose will give you
more Satisfaction for the present than telling you Congress News
as you request.

You ask me "When you are to hear of our Confederation?" I answer,
when some Gentlemen (to use an Expression of a Tory) shall "feel
more bold." You know it was formerly a Complaint in our Colony,
that there was a timid kind of Men who perpetually hinderd the
progress of those who would fain run in the path of Virtue and
Glory. I find wherever I am that Mankind are alike variously
classd. I can discern the Magnanimity of the Lyon the Generosity
of the Horse the Fearfulness of the Deer and the CUNNING OF THE
FOX--I had almost overlookd the Fidelity of the Dog. But I
forbear to indulge my rambling Pen in this Way lest I should be
thought chargeable with a Design to degrade the Dignity of our
nature by comparing Men with Beasts. Let me just observe that I
have mentiond only the more excellent Properties that are to [be]
found among Quadrupeds. Had I suggested an Idea of the Vanity of
the Ape the Tameness of the Ox or the stupid Servility of the Ass
I might have been lyable to Censure.

Are you sollicitous to hear of our Confederation? I will tell
you. It is not dead but sleepeth. A Gentleman of this City told
me the other day, that he could not believe the People without
doors would follow the Congress PASSIBUS AEQUIS if such Measures
as SOME called spirited were pursued. It put me in mind of a
Fable of the high mettled horse and the dull horse. My excellenct
Colleague Mr J. A. can repeat this fable to you; and if the
Improvement had been made of it which our very valueable Friend
Coll M----- proposd, you would have seen that Confederation
compleated long before this time. I do not despair of it--since
our Enemies themselves are hastening it. While I am writing an
Express has come in from Baltimore in Maryland with the
Deposition of Cap Horn of the Snow bird belonging to Providence.
The Deponent says that on Monday the first Instant, he being at
Hampton in Virginia heard a constant firing of Cannon--that he
was informd a Messenger had been sent to enquire where the firing
was who reported that the ships of War were cannonading the Town
of Norfolk--that about the Middle of the Afternoon they saw the
smoke ascending from Norfolk as they supposd--that he saild
[from] Hampton the Evening of the same day and the firing
continued till the following afternoon. This will prevail more
than a long train of Reasoning to accomplish a Confederation and
other Matters which I know your heart as well as mine is much set

I forgot to tell you that a Vessel is arrivd in Maryland having
four thousand yards of Sail Cloth--an Article which I hope will
be much in Demand in America.

Adieu my Friend,


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

PHILADELPHIA January 10 1776


I wrote to you the 7th Instant by Mr Anthony by the way of
Providence, and should not so soon have troubled you with another
Letter, but to inform you that upon looking over the journals of
Congress I find that the Recommendation of the 26th of October to
export Produce for a certain Purpose is confind to the foreign
West Indies--and the Resolution to stop all Trade till the first
of March is subsequent to it. This last Resolution prevents your
exporting merchantable Fish to Spain, for the purpose mentiond,
which I am satisfied was not intended, because I am very certain
the Congress means to encourage the Importation of those
necessary Articles under the Direction of proper Persons, from
every part of the World. I design to propose to my Colleagues to
joyn with me in a Motion, to extend the Recommendation so as to
admit of exporting fish to any Place besides the foreign West

A few days ago, being one of a Committee to consider General
Washington's last Letter to Congress, I proposd to the Committee
and they readily consented to report the Inclosd Resolution1
which were unanimously agreed to in Congress. The Committee
reorted that a certain sum should be paid to Mr [Lovell] out of
the military Chest towards enabling him to remove himself & his
Family from Boston, but Precedent was objected to and the last
Resolve was substituted in its stead. The Gentlemen present
however contributed and put into my hands Eighty-two Dollars
for the Benefit of Mrs [Lovell], which I shall remit either in
Cash or a good Bill. I hope I shall soon be so happy as to hear
that he is releasd from Bondage. I feel very tenderly for the
rest of my fellow Citizens who are detaind in that worst of
Prisons. Methinks there is one Way speedily to release them all.


1See above, page 248.


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

PHILADe Jany 21 1776


It is a long time since I had the pleasure of receiving a Letter
from you. I flatter myself that you still place me among your
Friends. I am not conscious of having done any thing to forfeit
your Regards for me and therefore I will attribute your Omission
not to a designd Neglect, but to a more probable Cause, the
constant Attention you are called upon to give to the publick
Affairs of our Colony. It is for this Reason that I make myself
easy, though one post arrives and one Express after another
without a Line from you; assuring myself that your Time is
employd to much better purpose than writing to or thinking of me.
I speak Truth when I tell you, that I shall be exceedingly
gratified in receiving your Favors, whenever your Leisure may
admit of your suspending your Attention to Matters of greater
Importance. I will add that your Letters will certainly be
profitable to me; for I shall gain that Intelligence and
Instruction from them which will enable me the better to serve
the Publick in the Station I am placed in here. Give me Leave to
tell you therefore, that I think it is a part of the Duty you owe
to our Country to write to me as often as you can.

You have seen the MOST GRACIOUS Speech--Most Gracious! How
strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of
Words! It discovers, to be sure, the most BENEVOLENT & HUMANE
Feelings of its Author. I have heard that he is his own Minister
--that he follows the Dictates of his own Heart. If so, why
should we cast the odium of distressing Mankind upon his Minions
& Flatterers only. Guilt must lie at his Door. Divine Vengeance
will fall on his head; for all-gracious Heaven cannot be an
indifferent Spectator of the virtuous Struggles of this people.

In a former Letter I desired you to acquaint me of your Father's
health and the Circumstances of the Family. I have a very great
Regard for them and repeat the Request.


1Of Boston. In the preceding year he had been a member of the
second and third provincial congresses of


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

PHILADE Jany 12 1776


Your very acceptable Letter of the 3d Inst duly came to hand. I
thank you heartily for the favor and shall be much obligd to you
if you will write to me as often as your Leisure will admit of

It gave me pain to be informd by you, that by an unlucky
Circumstance you were prevented from executing a plan, the
Success of which would have afforded you Laurels, and probably in
its immediate Effects turnd the present Crisis in favor of our
Country. We are indebted to you for your laudable Endeavor;
Another Tryal will, I hope, crown your utmost Wish.

I have seen the Speech which is falsly & shamefully called MOST
GRACIOUS. It breathes the most malevolent Spirit, wantonly
proposes Measures calculated to distress Mankind, and determines
my Opinion of the Author of it as a Man of a wicked Heart. What a
pity it is, that Men are become so degenerate and servile, as to
bestow Epithets which can be appropriated to the Supreme Being
alone, upon Speeches & Actions which will hereafter be read &
spoken of by every Man who shall profess to have a spark of
Virtue & Honor, with the utmost Contempt and Detestation.--What
have we to expect from Britain, but Chains & Slavery? I hope we
shall act the part which the great Law of Nature Points out. It
is high time that we should assume that Character, which I am
sorry to find the Capital of your Colony has publickly and
expressly disavowd. It is my most fervent prayer to Almighty God,
that he would direct and prosper the Councils of America, inspire
her Armies with true Courage, shield them in every Instance of
Danger and lead them on to Victory & Tryumph.

I am yr affectionate Friend,

1Of Biddeford; a member of each provincial congress of


[MS., Adams Papers, Quincy; a modified text is in John Adams,
Works, vol. ix., pp. 371-373, and a draft is in the Lenox

PHILADE Jany 15 1776.


Altho I have at present but little Leisure, I can not omit
writing you a few Lines by this Express.

I have seen certain Instructions which were given by the Capital
of the Colony of New Hampshire to its Delegates in their
provincial Convention,1 the Spirit of which I am not altogether
pleasd with. There is one part of them at least, which I think
discovers a Timidity which is unbecoming a People oppressd and
insulted as they are, and who at their own request have been
advisd & authorizd by Congress to set up and exercise Government
in such form as they should judge most conducive to their own
Happiness. It is easy to understand what they mean when they
speak of "perfecting a form of Govt STABLE and PERMANENT"-They
indeed explain themselves by saying that they "SHOULD PREFER THE
GOVT OF CONGRESS, (their provincial Convention) till quieter
times." The Reason they assign for it, I fear, will be considerd
as showing a Readiness to condescend to the Humours of their
Enemies, and their publickly expressly & totally disavowing
Independency either on the Nation or THE MAN who insolently &
perseveringly demands the Surrender of their Liberties with the
Bayonet pointed at their Breasts may be construed to argue a
Servility & Baseness of Soul for which Language doth not afford
an Epithet. It is by indiscrete Resolutions and Publications that
the Friends of America have too often given occasion to their
Enemies to injure her Cause. I hope however that the Town of
Portsmouth doth not in this Instance speak the Sense of that
Colony. I wish, if it be not too late, that you would write your
Sentiments of the Subject to our worthy Friend Mr L------ who I
suppose is now in Portsmouth.--If that Colony should take a wrong
Step, I fear it would wholly defeat a Design which, I confess I
have much at heart.

A motion was made in Congress the other Day to the following
purpose--that whereas we had been chargd with aiming at
Independency, a Comte should be appointed to explain to the
People at large the Principles & Grounds of our Opposition &c.
The Motion alarmd me. I thought Congress had already been
explicit enough, & was apprehensive that we might get our selves
upon dangerous Ground. Some of us prevaild so far as to have the
Matter postpond but could not prevent the assigning a Day to
consider it.--I may perhaps have been wrong in opposing this
Motion, and I ought the rather to suspect it, because the
Majority of your Colony as well as of the Congress were of a
different Opinion.

I had lately some free Conversation with an eminent Gentleman
whom you well know, and whom your Portia, in one of her Letters,
admired if I recollect right, for his EXPRESSIVE SILENCE, about a
Confederation--A Matter which our much valued Friend Coll W------
is very sollicitous to have compleated. We agreed that it must
soon be brought on, & that if all the Colonies could not come
into it, it had better be done by those of them that inclind to
it. I told him that I would endeavor to unite the New England
Colonies in confederating, if NONE of the rest would joyn in it.
He approvd of it, and said, if I succeeded, he would cast in his
Lot among us.


Jany 16th

As this Express did not sett off yesterday, according to my
Expectation, I have the Opportunity of acquainting you that
Congress has just receivd a Letter from General Washington
inclosing the Copy of an Application of our General Assembly to
him to order payment to four Companies stationd at Braintree
Weymouth & Hingham. The General says they were never regimented,
& he can not comply with the Request of the Assembly without the
Direction of Congress. A Come is appointed to consider the
Letter, of which I am one. I fear there will be a Difficulty, and
therefore I shall endeavor to prevent a Report on this part of
the Letter, unless I shall see a prospect of justice being done
to the Colony, till I can receive from you authentick Evidence of
those companies having been actually employed by the continental
officers, as I conceive they have been, in the Service of the
Continent. I wish you wd inform me whether the two Companies
stationd at Chelsea & Malden were paid out of the Continents
Chest. I suppose they were, and if so, I cannot see Reason for
any Hesitation about the paymt of these. I wish also to know how
many Men our Colony is at the Expence of maintaining for the
Defence of its Sea Coasts. Pray let me have some Intelligence
from you, of the Colony which we represent. You are sensible of
the Danger it has frequently been in of suffering greatly for
Want of regular information.

1Cf. New Hampshire Provincial Papers, vol. vii., pp. 701, 702.


[W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams,1 vol. ii., pp. 360-363.]

[February 3, 1776.]

When the little pamphlet, entitled " Common Sense," first made
its appearance in favor of that so often abjured idea of
independence upon Great Britain, I was informed that no less than
three gentlemen of respectable abilities were engaged to answer
it. As yet, I have seen nothing which directly pretends to
dispute a single position of the author. The oblique essay in
Humphrey's paper, and solemn "Testimony of the Quakers," however
intended, having offered nothing to the purpose, I shall take
leave to examine this important question with all candor and
attention, and submit the result to my much interested country.

Dependence of one man or state upon another is either absolute or
limited by some certain terms of agreement. The dependence of
these Colonies, which Great Britain calls constitutional, as
declared by acts of Parliament, is absolute. If the contrary of
this be the bugbear so many have been disclaiming against, I
could wish my countrymen would consider the consequence of so
stupid a profession. If a limited dependence is intended, I would
be much obliged to any one who will show me the Britannico-
American Magna Charta, wherein the terms of our limited
dependence are precisely stated. If no such thing can be found,
and absolute dependence be accounted inadmissible, the sound we
are squabbling about has certainly no determinate meaning. If we
say we mean that kind of dependence we acknowledged at and before
the year 1763, I answer, vague and uncertain laws, and more
especially constitutions, are the very instruments of slavery.
The Magna Charta of England was very explicit, considering the
time it was formed, and yet much blood was spilled in disputes
concerning its meaning.

Besides the danger of an indefinite dependence upon an
undetermined power, it might be worth while to consider what the
characters are on whom we are so ready to acknowledge ourselves
dependent. The votaries of this idol tell us, upon the good
people of our mother country, whom they represent as the most
just, humane, and affectionate friends we can have in the world.
Were this true, it were some encouragement; but who can pretend
ignorance, that these just and humane friends are as much under
the tyranny of men of a reverse character as we should be could
these miscreants gain their ends? I disclaim any more than a
mutual dependence on any man or number of men on earth; but an
indefinite dependence upon a combination of men who have, in the
face of the sun, broken through the most solemn covenants,
debauched the hereditary, and corrupted the elective guardians of
the people's rights; who have, in fact, established an absolute
tyranny in Great Britain and Ireland, and openly declared
themselves competent to bind the Colonies in all cases
whatsoever,--I say, indefinite dependence on such a combination
of usurping innovators is evidently as dangerous to liberty, as
fatal to civil and social happiness, as any one step that could
be proposed even by the destroyer of men. The utmost that the
honest party in Great Britain can do is to warn us to avoid this
dependence at all hazards. Does not even a Duke of Grafton
declare the ministerial measures illegal and dangerous? And shall
America, no way connected with this Administration, press our
submission to such measures and reconciliation to the authors of
them? Would not such pigeon-hearted wretches equally forward the
recall of the Stuart family and establishment of Popery
throughout Christendom, did they consider the party in favor of
those loyal measures the strongest? Shame on the men who can
court exemption from present trouble and expense at the price of
their posterity's liberty! The honest party in England cannot
wish for the reconciliation proposed. It is as unsafe to them as
to us, and they thoroughly apprehend it. What check have they now
upon the Crown, and what shadow of control can they pretend, when
the Crown can command fifteen or twenty millions a year which
they have nothing to say to? A proper proportion of our commerce
is all that can benefit any good man in Britain or Ireland; and
God forbid we should be so cruel as to furnish bad men with the
power to enslave both Britain and America. Administration has now
fairly dissevered the dangerous tie. Execrated will he be by the
latest posterity who again joins the fatal cord!

"But," say the puling, pusillanimous cowards, "we shall be
subject to a long and bloody war, if we declare independence." On
the contrary, I affirm it the only step that can bring the
contest to a speedy and happy issue. By declaring independence we
put ourselves on a footing for an equal negotiation. Now we are
called a pack of villainous rebels, who, like the St. Vincent's
Indians, can expect nothing more than a pardon for our lives, and
the sovereign favor respecting freedom, and property to be at the
King's will. Grant, Almighty God, that I may be numbered with the
dead before that sable day dawns on North America.

All Europe knows the illegal and inhuman treatment we have
received from Britons. All Europe wishes the haughty Empress of
the Main reduced to a more humble deportment. After herself has
thrust her Colonies from her, the maritime powers cannot be such
idiots as to suffer her to reduce them to a more absolute
obedience of her dictates than they were heretofore obliged to
yield. Does not the most superficial politician know, that while
we profess ourselves the subjects of Great Britain, and yet hold
arms against her, they have a right to treat us as rebels, and
that, according to the laws of nature and nations, no other state
has a right to interfere in the dispute? But, on the other hand,
on our declaration of independence, the maritime states, at
least, will find it their interest (which always secures the
question of inclination) to protect a people who can be so
advantageous to them. So that those shortsighted politicians, who
conclude that this step will involve us in slaughter and
devastation, may plainly perceive that no measure in our power
will so naturally and effectually work our deliverance. The
motion of a finger of the Grand Monarch would produce as gentle a
temper in the omnipotent British minister as appeared in the
Manilla ransom and Falkland Island affairs. From without,
certainly, we have everything to hope, nothing to fear. From
within, some tell us that the Presbyterians, if freed from the
restraining power of Great Britain, would overrun the peaceable
Quakers in this government. For my own part, I despise and detest
the bickerings of sectaries, and am apprehensive of no trouble
from that quarter, especially while no peculiar honors or
emoluments are annexed to either. I heartily wish too many of the
Quakers did not give cause of complaint, by endeavoring to
counteract the measures of their fellow-citizens for the common
safety. If they profess themselves only pilgrims here, let them
walk through the men of this world without interfering with their
actions on either side. If they would not pull down kings, let
them not support tyrants; for, whether they understand it or not,
there is, and ever has been, an essential difference in the

Finally, with M. de Vattel, I account a state a moral person,
having an interest and will of its own; and I think that state a
monster whose prime mover has an interest and will in direct
opposition to its prosperity and security. This position has been
so clearly demonstrated in the pamphlet first mentioned in this
essay, that I shall only add, if there are any arguments in favor
of returning to a state of dependence on Great Britain, that is,
on the present Administration of Great Britain, I could wish they
were timely offered, that they may be soberly considered before
the cunning proposals of the Cabinet set all the timid, lazy, and
irresolute members of the community into a clamor for peace at
any rate.


1Wells, at vol. ii,, pp. 349-352, prints an article entitled " An
Earnest Appeal to the People," and signed "Sincerus,"
attributing the authorship to Adams.


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

PHILADA Feby 26 1776.


I have been impatiently waiting for a Letter from you. I think
your last was dated the 21st of January--you cannot do me a
greater Pleasure than by writing to me often. It is my Intention
to make you a Visit as soon as the Roads which are now
excessively bad shall be settled. Perhaps it may be not before
April. I have tarried through the Winter, because I thought my
self indispensably obligd so greatly to deny my self. Some of my
Friends here tell me that I ought not to think of leaving this
City at so critical a Season as the Opening of the Spring, but I
am happy in the return of Mr Adams with Mr Gerry and in being
assured that my Absence from Duty for a short time may be
dispensd with and though I am at present in a good State of
Health, the Jaunt may be necessary for the Preservation of it.
Whenever I shall have the pleasure of seeing you, to me it will
be inexpressible, and I dare say our Meeting, after so long an
Absense, will not be disagreeable to you.

I have nothing new to write to you. In one of your Letters you
told me that Dr C had requested that I would sometimes write you
on the Politicks of this place, and that he might see my Letters
of that kind. Pay my due Regards to the Doctor when you see him &
tell him that I can scarsely find time to write you even a Love
Letter. I will however for once give you a political Anecdote. Dr
Smith Provost of the College here, by the Invitation of the
Continental Congress, lately deliverd a funeral Oration on the
gallant General Montgomery who fell at the Walls of Quebec.
Certain political Principles were thought to be interwoven with
every part of the Oration which were displeasing to the Auditory.
It was remarkd that he could not even keep their Attention. A
Circle of Ladies, who had seated themselves in a convenient place
on purpose to see as well as hear the Orator, that they might
take every Advantage for the Indulgence of Griefe on so
melancholly an Occasion, were observd to look much disappointed
and chagrind. The next day a Motion was made in Congress for
requesting a Copy for the Press. The Motion was opposd from every
Quarter, and with so many Reasons that the Gentleman who made the
Motion desired Leave to withdraw it. Such was the fate of that
Oration which is celebrated in the NEWSPAPERS of this City,
perhaps by some one of the Orators Friends for I will not presume
that HE was privy to the Compliment paid to it as "VERY ANIMATED


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

PHILADE March 8 1776


I now sit down just to acknowledge the Receipt of your favor of
the 14th of Feby, and to mention to you a Matter which considerd
in it self may appear to be of small Moment but in its Effects
may be mischievous. I believe I may safely appeal to all the
Letters which I have written to my Friends since I have been in
this City to vindicate my self in affirming that I have never
mentiond Mr C or referrd to his Conduct in any of them, excepting
one to my worthy Colleague Mr A when he was at Watertown a few
Weeks ago, in which I informd him of the side Mr C had taken in a
very interresting Debate; and then I only observd that he had a
Right to give his opinion whenever he was prepard to form one.
Yet I have been told that it has been industriously reported that
Mr J A & my self have been secretly writing to his Prejudice and
that our Letters had operated to his being superceded. So fully
perswaded were Gentlemen of the Truth of this Report, and Mr D of
N Y in particular whom I have heard express a warm Affection for
Mr C, that he seemd scarcely willing to credit me when I
contradicted it. Whether the report and a Beliefe of it engagd
the confidential Friends of Mr C to open a charitable
Subscription in support of his Character, I am not able to say.
If it was so, they ought in justice to him to have made
themselves certain of the Truth of it; for to offer Aid to the
Reputation of a Gentleman without a real Necessity is surely no
Advantage to it. A Letter was handed about addressed to Mr C. The
Contents I never saw--his Friends signd it. Other Gentlemen at
their request also set their hands to it, perhaps with as much
Indifference as a Man of Business would give a shilling to get
rid of the Importunity of a Beggar. I hear it is supposd in
Watertown to be an Address of Thanks from the Congress to Mr C
for his eminent Services, in which his recall from Business here
is mentiond with Regret--but this is most certainly a Mistake.
The Gentlemen signd it in their private Capacity. With Submission
they should not have addressd it to another Person or publishd it
to the World after the Manner of other Addressers; for if they
intended it to recommend Mr C to his own Constituents, was it not
hard to oblige him to blow the Trumpet himself which they had
prepared to sound his Praise. But Majr Osgood is in haste. I must
therefore drop this Subject FOR THE PRESENT and conclude with
assuring you that I am affectionately yours,


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

PHILADELPHIA March 10th 1776


I arrivd in this City from Baltimore last Saturday. Having been
indisposd there so as to be obligd to keep my Chamber ten days, I
was unable to travel with my Friends, but through the Goodness of
God I have got rid of my Disorder and am in good Health. Mrs
Ross, at whose House I took Lodging in Baltimore treated me with
great Civility and Kindness and was particularly attentive to me
in my Sickness, and Wadsworth is as clever a young Man, as I ever
met with. Tell Mr Collson, if you see him, he more than answers
my Expectation even from the good Character he gave me of him.

I hope, my dear, that you and my Faniily enjoy a good Share of
Health. It is my constant & ardent Prayer that the best of
Heavens Blessings may rest on you and on them. I lately receivd a
Letter from my Son, and since I came to this Place, General
Morris of New York tells me he frequently saw him at Peeks Kill,
and that he behavd well. Nothing gives me greater Satisfaction
than to hear that he supports a good Reputation. I hope my
Friends do not flatter me.

I am greatly disappointed in not receiving your last Letter. It
was owing to the Friendship of Mr Hancock who took it up in this
place, and not expecting my Return from Baltimore so soon, he
forwarded it by a careful hand who promisd him to deliver it to
me there. I shall receive it in a day or two by the Post. Pray
write to me by every opportunity and believe me to be,

Your affectionate,

P. S.

Just as I was going to close this Letter I receivd from Baltimore
your kind Letter of the 26th of January. The Post being now ready
to set off I have only time to acknowledge the favor.

March 12th


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a part of the letter is
in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. xxx.,
p. 310; a portion of the text is in W. C. Ford, Writings of
George Washington, vol. iii., p. 103, from MS. owned by Mrs. J.
S. H. Fogg.]

PHILAD April 2 1776


I am yet indebted to you for the obliging Letter I received from
you some Months ago. The Subject of it was principally concerning
a young Gentleman whom I personally know, and whose Merit in my
opinion intitles him to singular Notice from his Country. This
may seem like Flattery--you may be assured it is not--nor indeed
do I know how flatter. Words however are oftentimes, though
spoken in Sincerity, but Wind. If I had had it in my power
substantially to have servd that young Gentleman you would have
long ago heard from me. The Want of that opportunity causd me to
lay down my pen divers times after I had even begun to write to
you--you will not therefore, I hope, construe my long Delay as
the least Want of that just Regard which I owe to you.

Many Advantages arose to our Colony by the Congress adopting the
Army raisd in N Engd the last Spring but among the Misfortunes
attending it this was one, namely that it being now a Continental
Army, the Gentlemen of all Colonies had a Right to and put in for
a Share in behalf of their Friends in filling up the various
offices. By this means it was thought that military knowledge and
Experience as well as the military Spirit would spread thro the
Colonies and besides that they would all consider themselves the
more interrested in the Success of our Army and in providing for
its support. But then there was the less Room for Persons who
were well worthy of Notice in the Colonies which had first raisd
the Army. This was the Cause why many of our Friends were
discontented who did not advert to it. When the Quarter Master
was appointed, I question whether any of your Friends knew, I am
sure I did not, that the Gentleman I have referrd to sustaind
that office; there was therefore no designd Neglect of him here.
Mr Ms Character stood so high that no Gentleman could hesitate to
put him into a place which was understood to be vacant & which he
was so well qualified to fill. The Truth is, we have never had
that Information from our Friends at Watertown of the State of
things which we have thought we had good reason to expect from
them. I do assure you I have often been made acquainted with the
State of Affairs in our Colony, as well as I could from Letters
shown to me by Gentlemen of other Colonies. I do not mention this
without duly considering that the Attention of our Friends must
have been turnd to a great Variety of Business.

I heartily congratulate you upon the sudden and important Change
of our Affairs in the Removal of the Barbarians from the Capital.
We owe our grateful Acknowledgments to him who is, as he is
frequently stiled in sacred Writ "The Lord of Hosts" "The God of
Armies"--We have not yet been informd with Certainty what Course
the Enemy have steerd. I hope we shall be upon our Guard against
future Attempts. Will not Care be taken immediately to fortify
the Harbour & thereby prevent the Entrance of Ships of War ever
hereafter? But I am called to Duty and must break off abruptly.

Adieu my Friend and be assured I am affectionately yours,

1Of Braintree. A member of each provincial congress of


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

PHILADA April 3 1776.


I lately recd a very obliging Letter from you for which I now
return you my hearty Thanks. I wish your Leisure would admit of
your frequently favoring me with your Thoughts of our publick
Affairs. I do assure you I shall make use of them, as far as my
Ability shall extend, to the Advantage of our Country. If you
please, I will employ a few Minutes in giving you my own Ideas,
grounded on the best Intelligence I have been able to obtain.

Notwithstanding Shame and Loss attended the Measures of the
British Court the last Summer and Fall, yet by the latest
Accounts recd from our Friends in that Country, it appears that
they are determind to persevere. They then reckond (in December)
upon having 20,000 Troops in America for the next Campaign. Their
Estimate was thus-- 6000 in Boston--7000 to go from Ireland--3000
Highlanders raising under General Frazier and the rest to be in
Recruits--of the 7000 from Ireland, we are told, that 3000 were
to sail for Virginia and North Carolina & were expected to be on
that Coast in March or the Beginning of April. It is probable
then that the Ministry have not quitted the Plan which they had
agreed upon above a twelvemonth ago; which was, to take
Possession of New York--make themselves Masters of Hudsons River
& the Lakes, thereby securing Canada and the Indians--cut off all
Communication between the Colonies Northward & Southward of
Hudsons River, and thus to subdue the former in hopes by
instigating the Negroes to make the others an easy Prey. Our
Success, a great Part of which they had not then heard of, it is
to be hoped has renderd this Plan impracticable; yet it is
probable that the main Body of these Troops is designd to carry
it into Execution, while the rest are to make a Diversion in the
Southern Colonies. Those Colonies, I think, are sufficiently
provided for. Our Safety very much depends upon our Vigilance &
Success in N York & Canada. Our Enemies did not neglect Hudsons
River the last year. We know that one of their Transports arrivd
at N York, but Gage, seizd with a Panick orderd that & the other
transports destind for that Place, to Boston. I have ever thought
it to be their favorite Plan; not only because it appeard to me
to be dictated by sound Policy, but because from good
Intelligence which I receivd from England the last Winter, they
revivd it after it had been broken in upon by Gage, and sent
Tryon to New York to remove every obstacle in the Way of landing
the Troops there, and to cooperate with Carleton in the Execution
of it.--

The Kings Troops have now abandond Boston, on which I sincerely
congratulate you. We have not yet heard what Course they have
steerd. I judge for Hallifax. They may return if they hear that
you are off your Guard. Or probably they may go up St Lawrence
River as early as the Season will admit of it. Does it not behove
N England to secure her self from future Invasions, while the
Attention of Congress is turnd to N York & Canada. We seem to
have the Game in our own hands; if we do not play it well,
Misfortune will be the Effect of our Negligence and Folly. The
British Court sollicited the Assistance of Russia; but we are
informd that they faild of it through the Interposition of France
by the Means of Sweden. The ostensible Reason on the Part of
Russia was, that there was no Cartel settled between Great
Britain and America; the Want of which will make every Power
reluctant in lending their Troops. France is attentive to this
Struggle and wishes for a Separation of the two Countries. I am
in no Doubt that she would with Chearfulness openly lend her Aid
to promote it, if America would declare herself free and
independent; for I think it is easy to see what great though
different Effects it would have in both those Nations. Britain
would no longer have it in her Power to oppress.

Is not America already independent? Why then not declare it? Upon
whom was she ever supposd to be dependent, but upon that Nation
whose most barbarous Usage of her, & that in multiplied Instances
and for a long time has renderd it absurd ever to put Confidence
in it, & with which she is at this time in open War. Can Nations
at War be said to be dependent either upon the other? I ask then
again, why not declare for Independence? Because say some, it
will forever shut the Door of Reconciliation. Upon what Terms
will Britain be reconciled with America? If we may take the
confiscating Act of Parliamt or the Kings last Proclamation for
our Rule to judge by, she will be reconciled upon our abjectly
submitting to Tyranny, and asking and receiving Pardon for
resisting it. Will this redound to the Honor or the Safety of
America? Surely no. By such a Reconciliation she would not only
in the most shameful Manner acknowledge the Tyranny, but most
wickedly, as far as would be in her Power, prevent her Posterity
from ever hereafter resisting it.

But the Express now waits for this Letter. I must therefore break
off. I will write to you again by another opportunity. Pay my
Respects to the Speaker pro Temp. and tell him that I have never
receivd a Line from him since I have been in this City. My
Respects are also due to Mr S P S,1 from whom I yesterday receivd
a kind Letter, which I shall duly acknowledge to him when I have
Leisure to write. Give me Leave to assure you that I am with the
most friendly Regards for your Lady & Family very affectionately,


1Samuel P. Savage.


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

PHILADE April 15 1776


Your obliging Letter of the 1st Instt came duly to my hand. So
early as the last Winter was a twelve month past I was informd by
a worthy and very intelligent Friend in London, that the
Subduction of the New England Colonies was the FIRST Object of
our Enemies. This was to be effected, in a Manner coincident with
your Ideas, by establishing themselves on Hudsons River. They
were thereby at once to secure Canada and the Indians, give
Support and Protection to the numerous Tories in New York, supply
their Army at Boston with Provisions from that Colony and
intirely prevent the southern from affording any Aid to those
invaded Colonies. This Plan was in my opinion undoubtedly
dictated by sound Policy; and it would have been put in Execution
the last Summer, had not the necessities to which Gage was reducd
& his Apprehensions from our having a formidable Army before
Boston, obligd him to break in upon it. They did not neglect
Hudsons River the last year; for we know that two of their
Transports actually arrivd at New York; But these were
immediately orderd by Gage, together with the rest of the Fleet
to Boston. My Friend in London whose Intelligence I have never
yet found to fail, informd me the last Fall, that our Enemies did
not quit this Plan. Upon hearing that it had been thus
interrupted, they revivd it, and sent Tryon to New York to keep
the People there in good Humour and cooperate with Carleton in
the Execution of it. They reckond the last Winter upon having
20,000 Troops in America for the ensuing Campaign, of which 3000
were to go to Virginia or one of the Carolinas. These last I
suppose are designd for a Diversion, while the main Body of all
the Troops they will be able to send, will be employd in
executing their original & favorite Plan. Thus, my Friend, I am
yet happy in concurring with you in Sentiments; and I shall
persevere in using the small Influence I have here, agreable to
your repeated Advice, "to prevent the Enemies establishing
themselves & making Advances on Hudson & St Lawrence Rivers."

The Mercenary Troops have at length abandond Boston on which, I
perceive, you will not allow me YET to give you joy. May I not
however advise, that the favorable opportunity which this
important Event, added to the Season of the year has offerd, be
improvd in fortifying the Harbour so as to render it
impracticable for the Enemies Ships to enter it hereafter. I hope
this fortunate Change of Affairs has not put you off your Guard.
Should you not immediately prepare against future Invasions,
which may be made upon you before you are aware? Your Sea Coasts
must still be defended. We shall soon realize the Destination of
the Enemies Forces. Those under the Command of General Howe will
probably remain at Hallifax till the Season of the year will
admit of their going up St Lawrence River. The Troops coming from
Ireland may be destind to New York & will expect to get
Possession there. At least they will attempt it. A failure may
lead their Views back to Boston; for I am in no Apprehensions
that they will think of subduing the Southern Colonies till they
shall have first subdued those of the North. The Southern
Colonies, I think, are sufficiently provided for, to enable them
to repell any Force that may come against them the ensuing
Summer. Our Safety therefore much depends upon the Care which New
England shall take for her own Preservation and our Vigilance and
Success in New York and Canada. There are Forces enough already
ORDERD to answer all our Purposes. Our business is, to imitate
our Enemies in Zeal Application & Perseverance in carrying our
own Plans into Execution.

I am perfectly satisfied with the Reasons you offer to show the
Necessity of a publick & explicit Declaration of Independency. I
cannot conceive what good Reason can be assignd against it. Will
it widen the Breach? This would be a strange Question after we
have raised Armies and fought Battles with the British Troops,
set up an American Navy, permitted the Inhabitants of these
Colonies to fit out armed Vessels to cruize on all Ships &c
belonging to any of the Inhabitants of Great Britain declaring
them the Enemies of the united Colonies, and torn into Shivers
their Acts of Trade, by allowing Commerce subject to Regulations
to be made by OUR SELVES with the People of all Countries but
such as are Subjects of the British King. It cannot surely after
all this be imagind that we consider our selves or mean to be
considerd by others in any State but that of Independence. But
moderate Whigs are disgusted with our mentioning the Word!
Sensible Tories are better Politicians. THEY know, that no
foreign Power can consistently yield Comfort to Rebels, or enter
into any kind of Treaty with these Colonies till they declare
themselves free and independent. They are in hopes that by our
protracting this decisive Step we shall grow weary of War; and
that for want of foreign Connections and Assistance we shall be
driven to the Necessity of acknowledging the Tyrant and
submitting to the Tyranny. These are the Hopes and Expectations
of Tories, while moderate Gentlemen are flattering themselves
with the Prospect of Reconciliation when the Commissioners that
are talked of shall arrive. A mere Amusement indeed! When are
these Commissioners to arrive? Or what Terms of Reconciliation
are we to expect from them that will be acceptable to the People
of America? Will the King of Great Britain empower his
Commissioners even to promise the Repeal of all or any of their
obnoxious and oppressive Acts? Can he do it? Or if he could, has
he ever yet discoverd a Disposition which shew the least Degree
of that princely virtue, Clemency? I scruple not to affirm it as
my opinion that his heart is more obdurate, and his Disposition
towards the People of America is more unrelenting and malignant
than was that of Pharaoh towards the Israelites in Egypt. But let
us not be impatient. It requires Time to convince the doubting
and inspire the timid. Many great Events have taken place "since
the stopping the Courts in Berkshire"--Events at that time
unforeseen. Whether we shall ever see the Commissioners is Matter
of Uncertainty. I do not, I never did expect them. If they do
come the Budget must open and it will be soon known to all
whether Reconciliation is practicable or not. If they do not come
speedily, the hopes which some Men entertain of reconciliation
must vanish. I am my dear Sir very respectfully,



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

PHILADA April 30 1776


I am to acknowledge the Receipt of your Favor of the 18th Instant
by the Post. The Ideas of Independence spread far and wide among
the Colonies. Many of the leading Men see the absurdity of
supposing that Allegiance is due to a Sovereign who has already
thrown us out of his Protection. South Carolina has lately assumd
a new Government. The Convention of North Carolina have
unanimously agreed to do the same & appointed a Committee to
prepare & lay before them a proper Form. They have also revokd
certain Instructions which tied the Hands of their Delegates
here. Virginia whose Convention is to meet on the third of next
month will follow the lead. The Body of the People of Maryland
are firm. Some of the principal Members of their Convention, I am
inclind to believe, are timid or lukewarm but an occurrence has
lately fallen out in that Colony which will probably give an
agreable Turn to their affairs. Of this I will inform you at a
future time when I may be more particularly instructed concerning
it. The lower Counties on Delaware are a small People but well
affected to the Common Cause. In this populous and wealthy Colony
political Parties run high. The News papers are full of the
Matter but I think I may assure you that Common Sense, prevails
among the people--a Law has lately passed in the Assembly here
for increasing the Number of Representatives and tomorrow they
are to come to a Choice in this City & diverse of the Counties--
by this Means it is said the representation of the Colony will be
more equal. I am told that a very popular Gentleman who is a
Candidate for one of the back Counties has been in danger of
losing his Election because it was reported among the Electors
that he had declared his Mind in this City against Independence.
I know the political Creed of that Gentleman. It is, so far as
relates to a Right of the British Parliament to make Laws binding
the Colonies in any Case whatever, exactly correspondent with
your own. I mention this Anecdote to give you an Idea of the
Jealousy of the People & their attention to this Point. The
Jerseys are agitating the great Question. It is with them rather
a Matter of Prudence whether to determine till some others have
done it before them. A Gentleman of that Colony tells me that at
least one half of them have New Engd Blood running in their
Veins--be this as it may their Sentiments & Manners are I believe
similar to those of N England. I forbear to say any thing of New
York, for I confess I am not able to form any opinion of them. I
lately recd a Letter from a Friend in that Colony informing me
that they would soon come to a Question of the Expediency of
taking up Government; but to me it is uncertain what they will
do. I think they are at least as unenlightned in the Nature &
Importance of our political Disputes as any one of the united
Colonies. I have not mentiond our little Sister Georgia; but I
believe she is as warmly engagd in the Cause as any of us, & will
do as much as can be reasonably expected of her. I was very
sollicitous the last Fall to have Governments set up by the
people in every Colony. It appears to me to be necessary for many
reasons. When this is done, and I am inclind to think it will be
soon, the Colonies will feel their Independence--the Way will be
prepared for a Confederation, and one Government may be formd
with the Consent of the whole--a distinct State composd of all
the Colonies with a common Legislature for great & General
Purposes. This I was in hopes would have been the Work of the
last Winter. I am disappointed but I bear it tollerably well. I
am disposd to believe that every thing is orderd for the best,
and if I do not find my self chargeable with Neglect I am not
greatly chagrind when things do not go on exactly according to my
mind. Indeed I have the Happiness of believing that what I most
earnestly wish for will in due time be effected. We cannot make
Events. Our Business is wisely to improve them. There has been
much to do to confirm doubting Friends & fortify the Timid. It
requires time to bring honest Men to think & determine alike even
in important Matters. Mankind are governed more by their feelings
than by reason. Events which excite those feelings will produce
wonderful Effects. The Boston Port bill suddenly wrought a Union
of the Colonies which could not be brot about by the Industry of
years in reasoning on the necessity of it for the Common Safety.
Since the memorable 19th of April one Event has brot another on,
till Boston sees her Deliverance from those more than savage
Troops upon which the execrable Tyrant so much relyed for the
Completion of his horrid Conspiracys and America has furnishd her
self with more than seventy Battalions for her Defence. The
burning of Norfolk & the Hostilities committed in North Carolina
have kindled the resentment of our Southern Brethren who once
thought their Eastern Friends hot headed & rash; now indeed the
Tone is alterd & it is said that the Coolness & Moderation of the
one is necessary to allay the heat of the other. There is a
reason that wd induce one even to wish for the speedy arrival of
the British Troops that are expected at the Southward. I think
our friends are well prepared for them, & one Battle would do
more towards a Declaration of Independency than a long chain of
conclusive Arguments in a provincial Convention or the
Continental Congress. I am very affectionately yours,


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

PHILADELPHIA April 30 1776


While I was sitting down to write you a friendly Letter I had the
pleasure of receiving your Favor of the 22 Instant by the Post.
My Intention was to congratulate you and your Brethren the
Selectmen, upon the precipitate Flight of the British Army & its
Adherents from the Town of Boston, and to urge on you the
Necessity of fortifying the Harbour so as that the Enemies Ships
might never approach it hereafter. Our grateful Acknowledgments
are due to the Supreme Being who has not been regardless of the
multiplied Oppressions which the Inhabitants of that City have
sufferd under the Hand of an execrable Tyrant. Their Magnanimity
& Perseverance during the severe Conflict has afforded a great
Example to the World, and will be recorded by the impartial
Historian to their immortal Honor. They are now restored to their
Habitations & Privileges; and as they are purgd of those Wretches
a Part of whose Policy has been to corrupt the Morals of the
People, I am perswaded they will improve the happy opportunity of
reestablishing ancient Principles and Purity of Manners--I
mention this in the first place because I fully agree in Opinion
with a very celebrated Author, that, "Freedom or Slavery will
prevail in a (City or) Country according as the Disposition &
Manners of the People render them fit for the one or the other";
and I have long been convincd that our Enemies have made it an
Object, to eradicate from the Minds of the People in general a
Sense of true Religion & Virtue, in hopes thereby the more easily
to carry their Point of enslaving them. Indeed my Friend, this is
a Subject so important in my Mind, that I know not how to leave
it. Revelation assures us that "Righteousness exalteth a Nation"-
-Communities are dealt with in this World by the wise and just
Ruler of the Universe. He rewards or punishes them according to
their general Character. The diminution of publick Virtue is
usually attended with that of publick Happiness, and the publick
Liberty will not long survive the total Extinction of Morals.
"The Roman Empire, says the Historian, MUST have sunk, though the
Goths had not invaded it. Why? Because the Roman Virtue was
sunk." Could I be assured that America would remain virtuous, I
would venture to defy the utmost Efforts of Enemies to subjugate
her. You will allow me to remind you, that the Morals of that
City which has born so great a Share in the American Contest,
depend much upon the Vigilance of the respectable Body of
Magistrates of which you are a Member.

I am greatly concernd at the present defenceless State of Boston,
& indeed of the whole Eastern District which comprehends New
England. We have applied for and obtaind a Committee of Congress
to consider the State of that District. In the mean time I hope
the General Assembly and the Town are exerting themselves for the
Security of the Harbour. I could indeed earnestly wish that the
Inhabitants of Boston, who have so long born the Heat & Burden of
the Day might now have some Respite. But this is uncertain. Their
generous Exertions in the American Cause, have renderd them
particularly obnoxious to the Vengeance of the British Tyrant. It
is therefore incumbent on them to be on their Guard, and to use
the utmost Activity in putting themselves in a Posture of

I trust their Spirits are not depressd by the Injuries they have
sustaind. The large Experience they have had of military Tyranny
should rather heighten their Ideas of the Blessings of civil
Liberty and a free Government. While THEIR OWN troops are posted
among them for their Protection, they surely will not lose the
Feelings and resign the Honor of Citizens to the military; but
remember always that standing Armies are formidable Bodies in
civil Society, & the Suffering them to exist at any time is from
Necessity, & ought never to be of Choice.

It is with heartfelt Pleasure that I recollect the Meetings I
have had with my much esteemd Fellow Citizens in Faneuil Hall,
and I am animated with the Prospect of seeing them again in that
Place which has long been sacred to Freedom. There I have seen
the Cause of Liberty & of Mankind warmly espousd & ably
vindicated; and that, at Times when to speak with Freedom had
become so dangerous, that other Citizens possessd of less Ardour,
would have thought themselves excusable in not speaking at all.

Be so kind as to pay my due Respects to my Friends & be assured
that I am with the most friendly Regards for Mrs Scollay &

Very Affectionately,


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

PHILADA May 12 1776


I had the pleasure of receiving your very friendly Letter of the
2d Instant by a Mr Parks. I can readily excuse your not writing
to me so often as I could wish to receive your Letters, when I
consider how much you are engagd in the publick Affairs; and so
you must be while your Life is spared to your Country. I am
exceedingly concernd to find by your Letter as well as those of
my other Friends that so little attention has been given to a
Matter of such weighty Importance as the fortifying the Harbour
of Boston. To what can this be attributed? Is it not wise to
prevent the Enemies making Use of every Avenue especially those
which lead into the Capital of our Country. I hope no little
party Animosities even exist much less prevail in our Councils to
obstruct so necessary a Measure. Such Contentions you well
remember that Fiend Hutchinson & his Confederates made it their
constant Study to stir up between the friends of the Colony in
the different parts of it, in order to prevent their joynt
exertions for the Common Good. Let us with great Care avoid such
Snares as our Enemies have heretofore laid for our ruin, and
which we have found by former Experience have provd too
successfull to their wicked purposes. This will, I think be an
important Summer to America; I confide therefore in the Wisdom of
our Colony, and that they will lay aside the Consideration of
smaller Matters for the present, and bend their whole Attention
to the necessary Means for the common Safety. I hope the late
Situation of Boston is by this time very much alterd for the
better; if not, it must needs be a strong Inducement to the Enemy
to reenter it, and whether we ought not by all means in our Power
to prevent it, I will leave to you and others to judge.

Yesterday the Congress resolvd into a Committee of the whole to
take under Consideration the report of a former Committee
appointed to consider the State of the Eastern District which
comprehends New Engd. It was then agreed that the Troops in
Boston be augmented [to] Six Thousand. The Question lies before
the Congress and will be considerd tomorrow. I am inclind to
think the Vote will obtain. [But] what will avail the ordering
additional Regiments if Men will not inlist? Do our Countrymen
want animation at a time when [all] is at Stake! Your Presses
have been too long silent. What are your Committees of
Correspondence about? I hear Nothing of circular Letters--of
joynt Committees, &c. Such Methods have in times past raised
[the] Spirits of the people--drawn off their Attention from
PICKING UP PINS, & directed their Views to great objects--But,
not having had timely Notice of the Return of this Express, I
must conclude (with my earnest prayers for the recovery of your
Health,) very affectionately,



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

PHILADA May 15 1776


It was not till the Beginning of this Month that I had the Honor
of receiving your Favor of the 22d of March, respecting a
Proposition of Coll Baillie for opening a Road from Connecticutt
River to Montreal. The President, soon after, laid before
Congress your Letter of the 5th, a Paragraph of which referrs to
the same Subject. The Resolution of Congress thereon has, I
presume, before this Time been transmitted to you by him; by
which it appears that they have fully concurrd with you in
Opinion of the Utility of the Measure proposd.

I beg Leave by this Opportunity to acquaint your Excellency, that
the Letters I have receivd from some Gentlemen of the Colony of
Massachusetts Bay express great Concern at the present
defenceless state of the Town of Boston, while they are not
without Apprehension of another Visit from the Enemy. They
thought themselves extremely happy in your Presense there, and
regretted very much the Necessity of your Departure, to which
Nothing reconciles them, but their earnest Desire that the
general Service may be promoted. Congress have resolvd that the
five Battalions in that Colony be filled up, and new ones raisd
for the Defence of the Eastern District. As two General Officers
will be sent thither, it would, I am perswaded, give great
Satisfaction to the People, if General Gates and Mifflin might be
fixed upon. This however, I chearfully submit to your Excellencys
Judgment and Determination; being well assurd, that the Safety of
that distressd City will have as full a Share of your Attention
as shall be consistent with the good of the whole. I have the
Honor to be with very great Esteem and Affection,

Your Excellencys most humbe servt


[MS., Lenox Library.]

PHILADE June 10 1776


Your Favor of the 8th Instant was brought to me by Express. I am
exceedingly concernd that a General Officer is not yet fixed upon
to take the Command of the Troops in Boston--ever since the Enemy
abandond that place I have been apprehensive that a renewed
attack would probably be made on some part of Massachusetts Bay.
Your Reasons clearly show that it will be the Interest of the
Enemy to make a grand push there if they are not properly
provided for a Defence. Congress judgd it necessary that a Major
& Brigr Genl should be sent to Boston or they would not have
orderd it three Weeks ago. The Wish of the Colony with regard to
particular Gentlemen has been repeatedly urgd, and I thought that
an appointment which has been made since you left us would have
given a favorable Issue to our request. The Necessity of YOUR
taking the Command in the Eastern District immediately, has been
in my mind most pressing since I have been informd by your Letter
that your Intelligence in respect to the Attack on the
Massachusetts is direct & positive.

It will be a great Disappointment to me if General Mifflin does
not go with you to Boston. I believe that to prevent the apparent
necessity for this, Genl Whitcomb was thrown into View. He is
indeed in many respects a good Man, but to the other I think the
preference must be given.

The Hint you gave me when I last saw you respecting the Enemies
offering to treat, I have revolvd in my Mind. It is my opinion
that no such offers will be made but with a Design to take
Advantage by the Delay they may occasion. We know how easily our
people, too many of them, are still amusd with vain hopes of
reconciliation. Such Ideas will, no doubt, be thrown out to them,
to embarrass the Army as others have been; but I conceive that
the General in whose Wisdom & Valor I confide, will, without
Hesitation employ all his Force to annoy & conquer immediately
upon the Enemies Approach. We want our most stable Councellors
here. To send Gentlemen of INDECISIVE Judgments to assist as
field Deputies would answer a very ill purpose. The sole Design
of the Enemy is to subjugate America. I have therefore no
Conception that any terms can be offerd but such as must be
manifestly affrontive. should those of a different Complexion be
proposd, under the hand of their Commanding officer, the General
will have the oppty of giving them in to Congress in the space of
a Day. This I imagine he will think prudent to do--at the same
time, I am very sure, he will give no Advantage to the Enemy, and
that he will conduct our affairs in so critical a Moment in a
Manner worthy of himself.

I am affectionately yours,


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

PHILADA June 1776


When I was at Watertown in August last the General Assembly being
then sitting, a Crowd of Business prevented our coming to an
Agreement respecting an allowance adequate to your Services in
the Secretaries Office, or even conversing upon the Subject. I
have been very easy about it, because I have never had the least
Doubt of your Integrity and Honor. Publick Affairs have demanded
so much of my Attention here that I have scarcely had Time to
spend a thought on my domestick Concerns. But I am apprehensive
that Mrs A------ will soon be in Want of Money for her Support,
if that is not already her Case. I shall therefore be much obligd
to you if you will let her have such a part of the Fees you may
have receivd as you can conveniently spare. Her Receipt shall be
acknowledgd by me. And as I foresee that I shall not have the
opportunity of visiting my Friends in New England so soon as I
have intended, you will further oblige me by sending me an
Account of the Monies paid into the office together with your own
opinion of what may be a reasonable and generous Allowance for
your Service.

I am with great Esteem & Affection,
Your Friend & hbl Servt

1Cf., page 109. His name appears as "Morton" in Acts and Resolves
of the Province of Massachusetts, vol. v. He
was deputy secretary under Adams.


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

PHILADE July 9 1776--


I should sooner have acknowledgd the Receipt of your Letters
dated at Northampton & Springfield the 17th and 22d of May, had I
not expected that before this Time I should have had the pleasure
of seeing and conversing with you--but Business here has been so
pressing and important, that I have not thought it consistent
with my Duty as yet to absent myself.

Our repeated Misfortunes in Canada have greatly chagrind every
Man who wishes well to America. I dare not at present communicate
to you what I take to have been the real Causes of these
Disasters. Some of them indeed must be obvious to any Man who has
been attentive to that Department. Our secret Enemies have found
Means to sow the Seeds of Discord & Faction there and Heaven has
sufferd the small Pox to prevail among our Troops. It is our Duty
to try all Means to restore our Affairs to a good Footing but I
despair of that being effected till next Winter. To be acting
merely on the defensive at the Time when we should have been in
full possession of that Country is mortifying indeed. The Subject
is disgusting to me. I will dismiss it.

How[e] is arrivd, as you have heard, with his Troops at New York.
The People in this Colony & the Jerseys are in Motion and if the
New England Militia joyn our Army with their usual Alertness &
Spirit, I have no doubt but the Enemy will meet with a warm
Reception. A few days may probably bring on Event which will give
a favorable Turn to our Affairs.

The Congress has at length declared the Colonies free and
independent States. Upon this I congratulate you for I know your
heart has long been set upon it. Much I am affraid has been lost
by delaying to take this decisive Step. It is my opinion that if
it had been done Nine months ago we might have been justified in
the Sight of God and Man, three Months ago.1 If we had done it
then, in my opinion Canada would [by] this time have been one of
the united Colonies; but "Much is to be endurd for the hardness
of Mens hearts." We shall now see the Way clear to form a
Confederation, contract Alliances & send Embassadors to foreign
Powers & do other Acts becoming the Character we have assumd.
Adieu my Friend. Write to me soon.

1The first thirteen words of this sentence are crossed out in the


[MS., American Philosophical Society; a draft is in the Samuel
Adams Papers, Lenox Library; and a text is in R. H. Lee, Life of
R. H. Lee, vol. i., pp. 182-184.]

PHILADA July 15 1776


I must acknowledge that when you left Congress I gave you Reason
to expect a Letter from me before this Time. You will not, I am
very certain, attribute my omission to the Want of a most cordial
Esteem for you. The Truth is, I hardly knew how to write without
saying something of our Canadian Affairs; and this is a Subject
so thoroughly mortifying to me, that I could wish totally to
forget all that has past in that Country. Let me however just
mention to you that Schuyler & Gates are to command the Troops to
be employ'd there; the former, while they are without, and the
latter, while they are within the Bounds of Canada.--Admitting
both these Generals to have the military Accomplishments of
Marlborough and Eugene, I cannot conceive that such a Disposition
of them can be attended with any happy Effects, unless Harmony
subsists between them.--Alass! I fear this is not the Case--
Already Disputes have arisen, which they have referrd to
Congress! And though they appear to treat each other with a
Politeness becoming their Rank, in my Mind, Altercations between
Commanders who have Pretensions so nearly equal, I mean in Point
of COMMAND, forebode a Repetition of Misfortunes--I sincerely
wish my Apprehensions may prove to be groundless.

General Howe, as you have heard, is arrivd at New York. He has
brought with him from 8 to 10,000 troops. Lord Howe arrivd the
last Week, and the whole Fleet is hourly expected. The Enemy
landed on Staten Island. Nothing of Importance has been done,
saving that last Friday at about three in the afternoon a 40 and
a 20 Gun Ship with several Tenders, taking the Advantage of a
fair and fresh Gale and flowing Tide, passd by our Forts as far
as the Encampment at Kings bridge. General Mifflin who commands
there in a Letter of the 5 Instant informd us he had twenty one
Cannon planted and hoped in a Week to be formidable.
Reinforcements are arrivd from N England, and our Army are in
high Spirits. I am exceedingly pleasd with the calm & determind
Spirit, which our Commander in Chiefe has discoverd in all his
Letters to Congress. May Heaven guide and prosper Him! The
Militia of the Jerseys--Pennsylvania & Maryland are all in
Motion--General Mercer commands the flying Camp in the jerseys.
We have just now appointed a Committee to bring in a Plan for
Reinforcement to compleat the Number of 20,000 Men to be posted
in that Colony.

Our Declaration of Independency has given Vigor to the Spirits of
the People. Had this decisive Measure been taken Nine Months ago,
it is my opinion that Canada would at this time have been in our
hands. But what does it avail to find fault with what is past.
Let us do better for the future. We were more fortunate than
expected in having 12 of the 13 Colonies in favor of the all
important Question. The Delegates of N York were not impowered to
give their Voice on either Side. Their Convention has since
acceeded to the Declaration & publishd it even before they
receivd it from Congress. So mighty a Change in so short a Time!
N Jersey has finishd their Form of Government, a Copy of which I
inclose. They have sent us five new Delegates, among whom are Dr
Witherspoon & judge Stockden.1 All of them appear to be attachd
to the American Cause. A Convention is now meeting in this City
to form a Constitution for this Colony. They are empowerd by
their Constituents to appoint a new Committee of Safety to act
for the present & to chuse new Delegates for Congress. I am told
there will be a Change of Men, and if so, I hope for the better.

A Plan for Confederation has been brot into Congress wch I hope
will be speedily digested and made ready to be laid before the
several States for their approbation. A Committee has now under
Consideration the Business of foreign Alliance.

It is high time for us to have Ambassadors in foreign Courts. I
fear we have already sufferd too much by Delay. You know upon
whom our Thoughts were turnd when you was with us.

I am greatly obligd to you for favoring me with the Form of
Governt agreed upon by your Countrymen. I have not yet had time
to peruse it, but dare say it will be a Feast to our little
Circle. The Device on your great Seal pleases me much.

Pray hasten your journey hither. Your Country most pressingly
sollicits, or will you allow me to say, DEMANDS your Assistance
here. I have written in great haste. Adieu to my dear Sir, and be
assured that I am very Affectionately,

Your Friend,



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

PHILAD July 16--1776


There is no Necessity of my troubling you with a lon Epistle at
present, for my very worthy Friend and Colleague1 who kindly
takes the Charge of this will fully inform you of the State of
Affairs here. He will tell you some things which I have often
wishd to communicate to you, but have not thought it prudent to
commit to writing.

Our declaration of Independence has already been attended with
good Effects. It is fortunate beyond our Expectation to have the
Voice of every Colony in favor of so important a Question.

I inclose you the Form of a Constitution which the Convention of
Virginia have agreed upon for that Colony. It came to my hand
yesterday by the Post, and I spare it to you, although I have not
had time to peruse it. I suppose there are other Copies in Town.

1John Adams.


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

PHILADA July 17 1776


By this Express the General Assembly will receive the most
earnest Recommendation of Congress to raise & send with all
possible Speed the 2000 Men requested of them for New York above
a Month ago. There never was a more pressing Necessity for their
Exertions than at present. Our Army in N. Y. consists of not more
than half the number of those which we have reason to expect will
in a very short Time be ready to attack them--and to this let me
add that when we consider how many disaffected Men there are in
that Colony, it is but little better than an Enemies Country. I
am sensible this is a busy Season of the year, but I beg of you
to prevail on the People to lay aside every private Concern and
devote themselves to the Service of their Country. If we can gain
the Advantage of the Enemy this Campaign we may promise ourselves
Success against every Effort they will be able to make hereafter.
But I need not multiply words. I am sure YOUR Mind is fully
impressd with the Importance of this Measure. Adieu my Friend,
the Express waits--


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

[PHILADELPHIA, July 17, 1776]


You were informd by the last Post that Congress had declared the
thirteen united Colonies free, & independent States. It must be
allowd by the impartial World that this Declaration has not been
made rashly. The inclosd Catalogue of Crimes of the deepest Dye,
which have been repeatedly perpetrated by the King will justify
us in the Eyes of honest & good Men. By multiplied Acts of
Oppression and Tyranny he has long since forfeited his Right to
Govern. The Patience of the Colonies in enduring the most
provoking Injuries so often repeated will be Matter of
Astonishmt. Too Much I fear has been lost by Delay, but an
accession of several Colonies has been gaind by it. The Delegates
of every colony were present & concurrd in this important act;
except those of N. Y. who were not authorizd to give their Voice
on the Question, but they have since publickly said that a new
Convention was soon to meet in that Colony & they had not the
least Doubt of their acceeding to it. Our Path is now open to
form a plan of Confederation & propose Alliances with foreign
States. I hope our Affairs will now wear a more agreable Aspect
than they have of late.


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

PHILADA July 20 1776


I have the Pleasure of informing you, that the Continental Troops
under the Command of Major Genl Lee, have tryumphd over the
British Forces in South Carolina, the particulars of which you
have in the inclosd Paper. I trust this Blow has given so great a
Check to the Power of the Enemy as to prevent their doing us any
material Injury in that part of America. We look towards New
York, and earnestly Pray that God would order a decisive Event in
our Favor there--you must have earlier Intelligence from time to
time of the Circumstances of our Affairs in that Department than
you can have from this place. Yesterday Circular Letters with
inclosd Declarations from Lord Howe to the late Governors of New
Jersey & the Colonies Southward as far as Georgia, were laid
before Congress. As they were orderd to be publishd, I have the
Opportunity of transmitting a printed Copy of them for your
Amusement. There were also Letters from London to private Persons
probably procured if not dictated by the British Ministry and
written with a manifest Intention to form a Party here in favor
of his Lordship, to induce People to believe that he is a cordial
Friend to America, and that he is empowerd to offer Terms of
Accommodation acceptable to the Colonists. But it is now too late
for that insidious Court to play such Tricks with any reasonable
Hopes of Success. The American States have declard themselves no
longer the Subjects of the British King. But if they had remaind
such, the Budget is now opened to the World, and the People see
with their own Eyes, with how much MAGNANIMITY the Prince offers
them Pardon on Condition that they will submit to be his abject

I was informd in a Letter I recd from London last March, that
this very Nobleman declind to accept the Commission until he
should be vested with Authority to offer to us honorable Terms--
that he made a Merit of it. And yet he now comes with Terms
disgraceful to human Nature. If he is a good kind of Man, as
these Letters import, I am mistaken if he is not weak & ductile.
He has always voted, as I am told in favor of the Kings Measures
in Parliament, and at the same time professd himself a Friend to
the Liberties of America! He seems to me, either never to have
had any good Principles at all, or not to have had Presence of
Mind openly and uniformly to avow them. I have an Anecdote which
I will communicate to you at another Time--at present I have not

Pray let me have a Letter from you soon. You cannot do me a
greater Act of Kindness or more substantially serve me than by
writing often.

I am affectionately,
Your Friend,

Will you be kind enough to let my Family know that I am in
health. I wish you wd present my respectful Compts to my very
venerable Friend D C----y.1 I hope the worthy old Gentleman is in
Health & Spirits.

1Cf., page 155.


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

PHILAD July 27 1776


I must beg you to impute to the true Reason my not having yet
acknowledgd & answerd your very obliging Letter of the 24 May.
The WANT OF LEISURE often prevents my indulging the natural
Inclination of my Mind to converse with my distant Friends by
familiar Epistles; for however unequal I feel my self to the
Station in which our Country has placed me here, I am
indispensibly obligd to attend the Duties of it with Diligence.

It has been difficult for a Number of persons sent from all parts
of so extensive a Territory and representing Colonies (or as I
must now call them STATES) which in many Respects have had
different Interests & Views, to unite in Measures materially to
affect them all. Hence our Determinations have been necessarily
slow. We have however gone on from Step to Step, till at length
we are arrivd to perfection, as you have heard, in a Declaration
of Independence. Was there ever a Revolution brot about,
especially so important as this without great internal Tumults &
violent Convulsions! The Delegates of every Colony in Congress
have given their
       Voices in favor of the great Question, & the People I am
told, recognize the Resolution as though it were a Decree
promulgated from Heaven. I have thot that if this decisive
Measure had been taken six months earlier, it would have given
Vigor to our Northern Army & a different Issue to our military
Exertions in Canada. But probably I was mistaken. The Colonies
were not then all ripe for so momentous a Change. It was
necessary that they shd be united, & it required Time & patience
to remove old prejudices, to instruct the unenlightend, convince
the doubting and fortify the timid. Perhaps if our Friends had
considerd how much was to be previously done they wd not have
been, as you tell me some of them were, "impatient under our

New Govts are now erecting in the several American States under
the Authority of the people. Monarchy seems to be generally
exploded. And it is not surprising to me, that the Aristocratick
Spirit which appeard to have taken deep Root in some of them, now
gives place to that of Democracy, You justly observe that "the
Soul or Spirit of Democracy is VIRTUE." No State can long
preserve its Liberty "where Virtue is not supremely honord." I
flatter my self you are mistaken in thinking ours is so very
deficient, and I do assure you, I find reliefe in supposing your
Colouring is too high. But if I deceive my self in this most
essential point, I conjure you and every Man of Influence by
Example and by all Means to stem the Torrent of Vice, which, as a
celebrated Author tells us, "prevailing would destroy, not only a
Kingdom or an Empire, but the whole moral Dominion of the
Almighty throughout the Infinitude of Space." I have Time only to
add that I am very affectionately,



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

PHILADE Augt 3 17762


Our Friend Coll W brought & deliverd to me your Letter of the---
July directed to Mr J. A. and myself. The Inclosures clearly show
the deplorable State of our Affairs in the Northern Department
and it is easy to see the Source of them. I am fully of opinion
that ONE MAN must be removd to some other Department, to put an
End to our Misfortunes there but this has hitherto been
impracticable, though it has been attempted and urgd. A little
Time may perhaps unravel Mysteries and convince Gentlemen that
they have been under certain Prejudices to which the wisest Men
are lyable. It appears to me very extraordinary that Mr L. should
insist upon acting after being apprizd of the Resolve of
Congress, and it is still more extraordinary that he meets with
the Support of . . . . in such Conduct. I am very sure that our
Affairs must greatly suffer if he is allowd to persist in so
doing, and your Reputation as well as the Good of the Service may
be at Stake. I think it would not be amiss for you to State the
Matter to the General by which means it might be laid before
Congress. You are the best judge of the part proper for you to
act on this occasion in your own Department but I shall certainly
do all in my Power to have the Evils you mention corrected. I
have communicated your Letter to several Gentlemen who will joyn
with me in every practicable Method for this purpose. Congress
have this day passd several Resolutions which I hope tend to this
good Effect. Paymasters & Deputy Paymasters are to make weekly
Returns to Congress of the State of the Military Chests under
their Direction. Jonn Trumble Esqr Pay Master in the Northern
Department is to transmit as soon as possible an Acct of all the
Monies which have passed through his Hands. Commissaries & Depy
Comssys Genl in the several Departments are to transmit to
Congress weekly Accots of Monies they receive of Pay Masters or
their Deputies--Quarter Masters & Deputy Qr Masters to do the
same--and the Commanding Officers in Each Departmt are to make
monthly returns to Congress of the Drafts they make on the
respective Paymasters. Comry General, Qr Masters Genl & their
Deputies to make monthly Returns at least of Stores in their
Possession & the Distribution of them. These Resolutions perhaps
may not please EVERY BODY, but if they are duly executed, they
may detect Mistakes or Frauds if any should happen. As to what
has happend in Canada & near it, some person is in my opinion
most egregiously to blame, and, to use a homely Proverb, the
Saddle has been laid, or attempted to be laid on the wrong horse.
I hope that by strict Scrutiny the Causes will be found out and
the guilty Man made to suffer. My Regards to Genl Mifflin & all

I am respectfully,

Since writing the foregoing I have turnd to the printed Journals
of Congress and find that on the 17th of July 1775 Walter
Livingston Esq was appointed "Commissary of Stores & provisions
for the New York Departmt during the PRESENT Campaign. "Upon what
Grounds then does he speak of himself as vested by Congress with
full powers to act TILL REVOK'D? The last Campaign wch limitted
his power to act, is finishd. Under what pretence can he be
supported by his Patron, especially since by the Resolution of
Congress of the 8th of July last, you have "full Power to supply
both Armies, that upon the Lakes as well as that at N Y, & also
to appoint & employ such persons under you & to remove any Deputy
Commissary as you shall think proper & expedient,"3 and for this
express Reason "it being absolutely necessary that the Supply of
BOTH Armies shd be under ONE Direction." Has not Genl S----- seen
this Resolution? or if he has seen it, Does he judge that the
Supply of the two Armies shd be under different Directions, &
undertake to order accordingly? If the Persons whom you send to
act under you in the Northern Army are confined & limitted by ANY
other Person after they arrive there, unless by order of
Congress, & without giving you Notice in case such order shd be
made, we must expect a Repetition of the most mortifying
Disappointments. Upon my Word I think it your Duty to remonstrate
this, either to the Commander in Chief or to the Congress. The
former I should suppose you would prefer.


1Addressed to him at New York; commissary-general of the
continental army.
2At this point reference should be made to the pamphlet entitled
"An Oration delivered at the State House in Philadelphia . . . on
Thursday, the 1st of August, 1776, by Samuel Adams." This was
"reprinted" at London, and the text is given in W. V. Wells, Life
of Samuel Adams, vol. iii., pp. 405-422. Wells, at vol. ii., p.
440, states briefly the reasons why he does not credit the
production to Adams. See also, against its authenticity,
Proceedings of Massachusetts Historical Society, 1st ser., vol.
xiii., p. 451. The text has been published, with no allusion to
its doubtful origin, as recently as 1900, in The World's Orators,
edited by Guy C. Lee, vol. viii., pp. 239-265. John Eliot of
Boston apparently had the matter in mind when he wrote to Jeremy
Belknap, June 17, 1777: "Mr S. Adams is a gentleman who hath
sacrificed an immense fortune in the service of his country. He
is an orator likewise, & there is a famous oration upon the
independance of America, which, it is said, he delivered at
Philadelphia, January, 1776, but which was never seen in America
before." Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 6th
ser., vol. iv., pp. 124, 125. Cf., Sabin, Bibliotheca Americana,
No. 344.
3Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress
edition), vol. v., p. 527.


[MS., Adams Papers, Quincy; a text is in W. V. Wells, Life of
Samuel Adams, vol. ii., p. 441.]

PRINCETOWN Augt 13 1776


Before this reaches you,1 you will have heard of the Arrival of
near an hundred more of the Enemies ships. There are too many
Soldiers now in Philada waiting for Arms. Is it not of the utmost
Importance that they should march even without Arms, especially
as they may be furnishd with the Arms of those who are sick at N
York. Would it not be doing great Service to the Cause at this
time if you wd speak to some of the Come of Safety of
Pennsylvania relative to this matter. I write in haste. The
Bearer will inform you of the State of things.

Your Friend,

1Addressed to John Adams at Philadelphia.


[MS., Adams Papers, Quincy; a portion of the text is in W. V.
Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. ii., p. 442.]

N YORK Augt 16 1776


I sit down to write in great Haste as the post is just going. I
reachd P. Ferry on Tuesday Six Clock P M & passd over the next
morning--found the Genl & his family in Health & spirits. Indeed
every Officer & Soldier appears to be determind. I have not had
Oppty to view the Works here, but I am told they are strong &
will be well defended whenever an Attack is made which is
expected daily. I see now more than I ever did the Importance of
Congress attending immediately to Inlistments for the next
Campaign. It would be a pity to lose your old Soldiers. I am of
Opinion that a more generous Bounty shd be given, 20 Dollars &
100 Acres of Land for three years at least--but enough of this--

The State of our Northern Army mends apace. The Number of
invalids decreases. Harmony prevails. They carry on all kinds of
Business within themselves. Smiths Armourers Carpenters Turners
Carriage Makers Rope Makers &c &c they are well provided with.
There were at Tyconderoga Augt 12 2,668 Rank & file fit for Duty
at Crown Point & Skeensborough 750, in Hospital 1,110-Lt
Whittemore returnd from his Discoveries--he left St Johns July 30
saw 2000 or 2500 at that place & Chamblee. Stores coming on from
Montreal--counted 30 Batteaus. No Vessell built or building. This
Accot may I think be depended upon. In my opinion we are happy to
have G Gates there. The Man who has the Superintendency of Indian
Affairs--the nominal Command of the Army--is the REAL Contractor
& Quarter Master Genl &c &c has too many Employmtts to attend to
the reform of such an Army--besides the Army can confide in the
VALOR & MILITARY Skill & Accomplishments of GATES--SAT VERBUM
SAPIENTI; pray write me & let me know the Confed. &c goes on.
Major Meigs a brave officer & a Prisoner taken at Quebeck is at
this time, as I suppose, at Philadelphia--he wishes to be
exchanged--such an Officer would be very usefull here. I wish you
wd give him your Assistance. I propose to sett off tomorrow for
the Eastward.


Cap Palmer is in this City waiting for inlisting orders. I wish
the Rank of the Navy officers was settled & the Commissions made
out. Capt Dearborne of N Hampshire is in the same Predicament
with Major Meigs. Coll Whipple who now sends his Regards to you,
is very desirous that he may also be exchand--his Character is
remarkeably good as Maj Meigs can inform you.


[MS., Adams Papers, Quincy; a text is in John Adams, Works, vol.
ix., pp. 441-443.]

BOSTON Sep 16 1776


I very gratefully acknowledge the Receipt of your Letter dated
the of August. I should have written to you from this place
before, but I have not had Leisure. My Time is divided between
Boston & Watertown, and though we are not engagd in Matters of
such Magnitude as now employ your Mind, there are a thousand
things which call the Attention of every Man who is concernd for
his Country. Our Assembly have appointed a Committee to prepare a
Form of Government--they have not yet reported. I believe they
will agree in two legislative Branches --their great Difficulty
seems to be to determine upon a free and adequate Representative,
--they are at present an unwieldy Body. I will inform you more of
this when I shall have the Materials. The Defence of this Town
you know has lain much upon our Minds. Fortifications are erected
upon several of the Islands, which I am told require at least
8000 Men. You shall have a particular Account when I am at
Leisure,--by my Manner of writing you may conclude that I am now
in haste. I have receivd no Letter from Philade or New York since
I was favord with yours, nor can I find that any other person
has. It might be of Advantage to the common Cause for us to know
what is doing at both those important places. We have a Report
that a Committee is appointed (as the expression is) "to meet the
Howes," and that you are one. This, without Flattery gave me
pleasure. I am indeed at a Loss to conclude how such a Movement
could be made consistent with the Honor of the Congress, but I
have such an Opinion of the Wisdom of that Body, that I must not
doubt of the Rectitude of the Measure. I hope they will be
vigilant and firm, for I am told that Lord Howe is, though not a
great man, an artful Courtier. May God give us Wisdom Fortitude
Perseverance and every other virtue necessary for us to maintain
that Independence which we have asserted. It would be ridiculous
indeed if we were to return to a State of Slavery in a few Weeks
after we had thrown off the Yoke and asserted our Independence.
The Body of the people of America, I am perswaded, would resent
it--but why do I write in this Stile--I rely upon the Congress &
the committee. I wish however to know a little about this Matter,
for I confess I cannot account for it to my own Mind. I will
write to you soon-in the mean time,


What has been the Issue of the Debates upon a weighty Subject
when I left you, and another Matter (you know what I mean) of
great Importance? Is it not high time they were finishd?

Pay my due Regards to the President Mess Paine1 & Gerry2 Coll
Lees and other Friends.

1Robert Treat Paine.
2A portion of a letter by Samuel Adams to Gerry, dated September
23, 1776, is printed in W. V. Wells, Life of
Samuel Adams, vol. ii., pp. 447, 448.


[MS., Adams Papers, Quincy; a text is in John Adams, Works, vol.
ix., pp. 446, 447.]

BOSTON Sep 30 1776


I am much obligd to you for your two Letters of the 8th & 14th of
this Month, which I receivd, together, by the last Post. The
Caution given in the first of these Letters was well designd; and
had it come to me as early as you had Reason to expect it would,
I should have been relievd of a full fortnights Anxiety of Mind.
I was indeed greatly "concernd" for the Event of the proposd
Conference with Lord Howe. It is no Compliment when I tell you,
that I fully confided in the Understanding and Integrity of the
Gentlemen appointed by Congress; but being totally ignorant of
the Motives which inducd such a Measure, I was fearful lest we
might be bro't into a Situation of great Delicacy and
Embarrassment. I perceive that his Lordship would not converse
with you as Members of Congress or a Committee of that Body; from
whence I concluded that the Conference did not take its Rise on
his part. As I am unacquainted with its Origination and the
Powers of the Committee, I must contemplate the whole Affair as a
Refinement in Policy beyond my Reach, and content myself with
remaining in the Dark, till I have the Pleasure of seeing you,
when, I trust, the Mystery will be fully explaind to me. Indeed I
am not so sollicitous to know the Motives from whence this
Conference sprang, or the Manner in which it was brought up, as I
am pleasd with its Conclusion. The Sentiments and Language of the
Committee, as they are related to me, were becoming the Character
they bore. They mannagd with great Dexterity. They maintaind the
Dignity of Congress, and in my Opinion, the Independence of
America stands now on a better footing than it did before. It
affords me abundant Satisfaction, that the Minister of the
British King, commissiond to require and fondly nourishing the
Hopes of receiving the Submission of America, was explicitly and
authoritatively assured, that neither the Committee nor that
Congress which sent them had Authority to treat in any other
Capacity than as INDEPENDENT STATES. His Lordship, it seems, "has
no Instruction on that Subject." We must therefore fight it out,
and trust in God for Success. I dare assure my self, that the
most effectual Care has before this time been taken, for the
Continuance and Support of our Armies, not only for the Remainder
of the present, but for a future year. The People will cheerfully
support their Independence to the utmost. Their Spirits will rise
upon their knowing the Result of the late Conference. It has, you
may depend upon it, been a Matter of great Expectation. Would it
not be attended with a good Effect, if an Account of it was
publishd by Authority of Congress? It would, I should think, at
least put it out of the Power of disaffected Men (and there are
some of this Character even here) to amuse their honest Neighbors
with vain hopes of Reconciliation.

I wish that Congress would give the earliest Notice to this
State, of what may be further expected to be done here for the
Support of the Army. The Season is advancing or rather passing
fast. I intended when I sat down to have written you a long
Epistle, but I am interrupted. I have a thousand Avocations which
require my Attention. Many of them are too trifling to merit your
Notice. Adieu, my Friend. I hope to see you soon.


[MS., Dreer Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; a
text is in the Emmet Collection, Lenox Library; and a draft is in
the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADA Octob 26 1776


On the Evening of the 24th Instant I arrivd in good health in
this City--I give you this Information in Compliance with my
Word, and flattering my self that I shall very soon be favord
with a Letter from you--I will promise to give you hereafter as
much Intelligence as the Secrecy to which I am in honour bound
will allow.

I met with Nothing disagreable in my journey, saving my being
prevented from passing through the direct Road in East Chester,
the Enemy having taken Possession of the Ground there--Our Army
is extended in several Encampments from Kings Bridge to White
Plains which is 12 or 15 Miles Northward, commanded by the
Generals Lord Sterling, Bell (of Maryland) Lincoln, McDougal,
Lee, Heath & Putnam--I mention them, I think, in the order as
they are posted from the Plains to the Bridge--The Generals Head
Quarters are now at Valentine Hill about the Center of the
Encampments. The Army is in high Spirits and wish for Action.
There have been several Skirmishes; one on Fryday the 18th in
which the Massachusetts Regiment commanded by Coll Glover
distinguishd their Bravery and they have receivd the Thanks of
the General. In this Rencounter the Enemy sustaind a considerable
Loss, it is said not less than 700 Men--Another on the Night of
the 21st. The infamous Major Rogers with about 400 Tories of Long
Island, having advancd towards Mareneck1 on the Main, was
defeated by a Party of ours with the Loss of 36 Prisoners besides
killed & wounded. This valiant Hero was the first off the Field--
Such Skirmishes, if successful on our Part, will give Spirit to
our Soldiers and fit them for more important and decisive Action,
which I confess I impatiently wish for.--I have said that our
Soldiers are in high Spirits; I add, that so far as I can learn
the Character of the General officers of the Enemys Army, we at
least equal them in this Instance, we have an excellent
Commissary & Quarter Master General, officers of great Importance
--Mifflin, who servd so much to our Advantage in the latter of
these Employments, has condescended to take it again though he
had been promoted to the Rank & Pay of a Brigadier General--The
Enemy is posted in a rough hilly Country, the Advantages of which
Americans have convincd them they know how to improve--Under all
these Circumstances I should think that the sooner a General
Battle was brot on, the better; but I am no Judge in military

An interresting Affair, about which a Circle of Friends whom I
had the Pleasure of meeting at Dr Chauncys, is finishd, I think,
agreably to their Wishes--I can only add at present that I am
with the most cordial Esteem,

Sir your assured Friend
& very humble Servant



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

PHILADA, Novr 14th 1776


I wrote to you within a Day or two after my Arrival here by an
Express. I cannot say that I was not disappointed in not
receiving a Line from you by the last Post, as I thought I had
Reason to expect. While I am absent from you I am continually
anxious to know the State of your Health. I must therefore beg
you to write to me often. I have not for many years enjoyd a
greater Share of that invalueable Blessing than I have since I
left Boston. I believe the journey on Horseback has been greatly
beneficial to me.

We have lately receivd Intelligence from the Northern Army of
certain Movements of the Enemy in that Quarter, of which you will
see an Account in the inclosd News Paper. This day we have
further Intelligence that they have totally abandond Crown Point
& retreated into Canada. We have also just receivd a Letter from
a Gentleman living on the Sea Coasts of New Jersey informing us
that near 100 Sail of the Enemies Ships with two Frigates & a
fifty Gun Ship were seen steering to the Eastward. It is supposd
they are bound to England. We had before heard that the whole
Force of the Enemy had marchd unexpectedly & precipitately into
the City of New York. This evening an Express is come in from
General Greene who commands on this Side the North River in the
Jersys with Advice that ten thousand of the Enemies Troops were
embarkd, and that it was given out that they were destind to
South Carolina. This may be a Feint. Possibly they may be coming
to this City, which in my Opinion is rather to be desired,
because the People of this State are more numerous than that of
South Carolina. In either Case however I dare say that a good
Account will be given of them. It is said that Lord Dunmore is to
take the Command. If this be true, it looks as if they were going
to Virginia. Be it as it may, the withdrawing so great a Part of
their Troops from New York, it is hoped, will make it an easy
matter for our Army to conquer the Remainder.

It has not been usual for me to write to you of War or
Politicks,--but I know how deeply you have always interrested
yourself in the Welfare of our Country and I am disposd to
gratify your Curiosity. Besides you will hope that from these
Movements of our Enemies a Communication between Boston and
Philadelphia will be more safe and we may the more frequently
hear from each other.

Novr 17th I wish you would acquaint your Brother Sammy that
General Mifflin is now Quartermaster General in Room of Coll
Moylan--that when I was at Head Quarters I mentiond to the
General the treatment your Brother had met with. He told me that
he would have him state the Matter to him in Writing and that he
would endeavor to have justice done to him. The Letter your
Brother formerly wrote to me I left at Boston. If he will give me
a full Account of the Matter in another Letter, I will state it
to General Mifflin, but the Circumstances of things are such at
present that I would not have him depend on its being immediately
attended to. I will however do all in my power to serve him.

Our Friend Mr Lovell1 is at last exchangd. We receivd a Letter
from him two or three days ago. Probably before this reaches you
he will have arrivd at Boston. Pray remember me to my Daughter,
Sister Polly with the rest of my Family & Friends, and be assured
that I am most sincerely & affectionately,


1Cf. page 248.


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



I take this Opportunity by Mr Chamberlain to acquaint you that I
am in good health & Spirits. This Intelligence, I flatter myself,
will not be disagreable to you. I have not receivd a Line from
you since I left Boston which gives me Reason to suspect that
your Letters may have fallen into wrong hands.

Traveling, it seems, is of late become somewhat dangerous; should
this be intercepted and be seen by the two Brothers,1 they will
have an opportunity of knowing that I am still most firmly
attachd to the best Cause that virtuous Men contend for, and that
I am animated with the full Perswasion that righteous Heaven will
support the Americans if they persevere in their manly Struggles
for their Liberty. I have no Reason to suspect the Virtue of the
Generality of my Countrymen. There are indeed Poltrons & Trayters
everywhere. I do not therefore think it strange that some such
Characters are to be found in this City, but the indignation of
the People kindles at the expected approach of the Enemies Army,
and every proper measure is taking to meet them on the Road and
stop their wild Career.--I am told that Lord Howe has lately
issued a Proclamation offering a general Pardon with the
Exception of only four Persons viz Dr Franklin Coll Richard Henry
Lee Mr John Adams & myself. I am not certain of the Truth of this
Report. If it be a Fact I am greatly obligd to his Lordship for
the flattering opinion he has given me of my self as being a
Person obnoxious to those who are desolating a once happy Country
for the sake of extinguishing the remaining Lamp of Liberty, and
for the singular Honor he does me in ranking me with Men so
eminently patriotick.

I hope you will write to me by every opportunity. Pay my due
Respects to my Family and Friends and be assured that I am most


1Presumably Admiral Howe and General Howe.


[MS., Chamberlain Collection, Boston Public Library.]

PHILADE, Novr 29 1776


I inclose a Resolve1 passd in Congress and attested by the
Secretary which I doubt not the Honbl House of Representatives
will duly regard. Indeed I am in hopes your Committee for
providing Cloathing &c for the Army have already in a great
Measure answerd the Request. You will have heard of the
Scituation of the Armies before this will reach you. A Part of
the Enemy have got on this Side of Hudsons River, but I dare say
you will have a good Account of them. I am more chagrind at the
Disgrace than the Loss we have met with by the Surrender of Forts
Washington & Lee. They should not have cost the Enemy less than
thousands of their Troops. After all, what have the mighty
Victors gaind? a few Miles of Ground at the Expence of many
Millions of their Treasure & the Effusion of much of their Blood.
But we must stop their Career. This I am satisfied can & will be
done. Mr Gerry writes to you by this opportunity--therefore I
need not add more than that I am very affectionately,


1A marginal postscript, in the autograph of Adams, reads: "Pray
deliver the inclosd, if your Leisure will admit with
your own hand."


[W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. ii., pp. 452-454; an
incomplete text.]

[PHILADELPHIA, December 4, 1776.]

It affords me singular pleasure to be informed that our General
Assembly is now sitting in Boston. I have been of opinion that
the public business could be done with more despatch there than
elsewhere. "You have appointed a committee of war," with very
extensive powers, "and appropriated to their disposition two
hundred thousand pounds to purchase everything necessary to carry
on the war with vigor next year." I heartily rejoice to hear
this. I hope the committee are men of business, and will make a
good use of the powers and moneys they are intrusted with. Let me
tell you, that every nerve must be strained to resist the British
tyrant, who, in despair of availing himself of his own troops
which lately he so much prided himself in, is now summoning the
powers of earth and hell to subjugate America. The lamp of
liberty burns there and there only. He sees it, and is impatient
even to madness to extinguish it. It is our duty, at all hazards,
to prevent it.

But I am sensible I need not write you in this style. You and the
rest of my countrymen have done, and I have no doubt will
continue to do, your duty in defence of a cause so interesting to
mankind. It is with inexpressible pleasure that I reflect that
the mercenary forces of the tyrant have for two years in vain
attempted to penetrate the Eastern Colonies; there our enemies
themselves, and those who hate us, acknowledge that the rights of
man have been defended with bravery. And did not South Carolina
nobly withstand the efforts of tyranny? She did. Virginia too,
and North Carolina, have in their turn acted with a spirit
becoming the character of Americans But what will be said of
Pennsylvania and the Jerseys? Have they not disgraced themselves
by standing idle spectators while the enemy overran a great part
of their country? They have seen our army unfortunately separated
by the river, retreating to Newark, to Elizabethtown, Woodbridge,
Brunswick, and Princeton. The enemy's army were, by the last
account, within sixty miles of this city. If they were as near
Boston, would not our countrymen cut them all to pieces or take
them prisoners? But by the unaccountable stupor which seems to
have pervaded these States, the enemy have gained a triumph which
they did not themselves expect. A triumph, indeed! Without a
victory! Without one laurel to boast of! For Bunker's Hill they
fought and bled. They sacrificed their bravest officers, and we
wished them twenty such victories. But the people of the Jerseys
have suffered them to run through their country without the risk
of even a private soldier! They expended their ammunition at
trees and bushes as they marched! But I hear the sound of the
drum. The people of Pennsylvania say of themselves, that they are
slow in determining, but vigorous in executing. I hope that we
shall find both parts of this prediction to be just. They say, We
are now determined, and promise to bring General Howe to a hearty
repentance for venturing so near them. I have the pleasure to
tell you that, within a few days past, they have made a spirited
appearance. In spite of Quakers, Proprietarians, timid Whigs,
Tories, petit-maitres, and trimmers, there is a sufficient number
of them in arms resolved to defend their country. Many of them
are now on the march. Heaven grant they may be honorable
instruments to retrieve the reputation of their countrymen and
reduce Britain to a contemptible figure at the end of this

I am glad to hear our harbor looks so brilliant. I HOPE IT IS

In your letters, you ask me two important questions. I dare not
repeat them. With regard to the last you will understand me when
I tell you, let not your mind be troubled about it.


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



My last by Mr Pliarne I hope you will have receivd before this
reaches you. I am still in good Health and Spirits, although the
Enemy is within Forty Miles of this City. I do not regret the
Part I have taken in a cause so just and interresting to Mankind.
I must confess it chagrins me greatly to find it so illy
supported by the People of Pennsylvania and the Jerseys. They
seem to me to be determind to give it up--but I trust that my
dear New England will maintain it at the Expence of every thing
dear to them in this Life---they know how to prize their
Liberties. May Heaven bless them! It is not yet determind to what
place to adjourn the Congress, if it should be necessary to move.
Wherever I may be, I shall write to you by every Opportunity. Mr
Brown who carries this Letter will give you a particular Account
of the Circumstances of things here--to him I refer you. Pray
remember me to my Daughter, Sister Polly, the rest of my Family &
Friends. I hope the Life of our valueable Friend Mrs March will
yet be spared. She is indeed a good Woman. Tell my worthy
Neighbor Mr Preston, that I rejoyce to hear of his honorable
Appointment. I hope & believe he will use his office well. I wish
to have a Letter from you. You cannot imagine how highly I prize
such a Favor. My daily Prayer is for your Safety, & Happiness in
this Life & a better. Adieu, my dear. You cannot doubt the
sincere & most cordial Affection of,


Decr 11

Since writing the above I have receivd your Letter of the 9th of
Novr, for which I am much obligd to you. If this City should be
SURRENDERD, I should by no means despair of our Cause. It is a
righteous Cause and I am fully perswaded righteous Heaven will
succeed it. Congress will adjourn to Baltimore in Maryland, about
120 Miles from this place, when Necessity requires it and not
before. It is agreed to appoint a Day of Prayer, & a Come will
bring in a Resolution for that purpose this day. I wish we were
a more religious People. That Heaven may bless you here &
hereafter is the most ardent Prayer of, my dear, most cordially,



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



We are this moment informd by a Gentleman who is Brother of Coll
Griffin, and has lately been at New York, that a Body of ten
thousand of the Enemies Troops had actually arrivd at Rhode
Island. As Congress is now adjournd to Baltimore in Maryland, and
the President and the Board of War are not in Town, we think it
our Duty to send you this Intelligence; and as there is no
General Officer in that Department, we refer it to your
Consideration whether the Service does not absolutely require
that one be immediately sent to take the Command of Troops that
may be raisd there to repel the Progress of the Enemy.

If Major General Gates or Green,1 who are greatly belovd in that
Part of America with a suitable Number of Brigadiers could be
spared for this Service, it would be attended with another
Advantage, that of facilitating the new Inlistments.

We intreat your Attention to this important Matter, and are with
great Respect,

Sir your very humble Servants,2

1The words "or Green" and "with a suitable number of Brigadiers,"
were added by interlineations in the first draft.
2Signed by Adams, Elbridge Gerry, William Ellery, and William


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


Decr 19th 1776


The Day before yesterday I arrivd in this Place which is One
hundred Miles from Philadelphia. The Congress had resolvd to
adjourn here when it should become absolutely necessary and not
before. This sudden Removal may perhaps be wonderd at by some of
my Friends, but was not without the advice of Generals Putnam &
Mifflin, who were at Philadelphia to take Measures for its
Preservation from the Enemy. For my own part, I had been used to
Alarms in my own Country, and did not see the Necessity of
removing so soon, but I suppose I misjudgd because it was
otherwise ruled. It must be confessd that deliberative Bodies
should not sit in Places of Confusion. This was heightned by an
unaccountable Backwardness in the People of the jerseys &
Pennsylvania to defend their Country and crush their Enemies when
I am satisfied it was in their Power to do it. The British as
well as Hessian officers have severely chastisd them for their
Folly. We are told that such savage Tragedies have been acted by
them without Respect to Age or Sex as have equaled the most
barbarous Ages & Nations of the World. Sorry I am that the People
so long refusd to harken to the repeated Calls of their Country.
They have already deeply staind the Honor of America, and they
must surely be as unfeeling as Rocks if they do not rise with
Indignation and revenge the shocking Injuries done to their Wives
and Daughters. Great Britain has taught us what to expect from
Submission to its Power. No People ever more tamely surrenderd
than of that Part of the Jerseys through which the Enemy marchd.
No opposition was made. And yet the grossest Insults have been
offerd to them, and the rude Soldiery have been sufferd to
perpetrate Deeds more horrid than Murder. If Heaven punishes
Communities for their Vices, how sore must be the Punishment of
that Community who think the Rights of human Nature not worth
struggling for and patiently submit to Tyranny. I will rely upon
it that New England will never incur the Curse of Heaven for
neglecting to defend her Liberties. I pray God to increase their
Virtue and make them happy in the full and quiet Possession of
those Liberties they have ever so highly prizd. YOUR Wellfare, my
dear, is ever near my heart. Remember me to my Daughter Sister
Polly & the rest of my Family and Friends. I am in high Health &
Spirits. Let me hear from you often.


Mr. Hancock is just now arrivd with his Family--all in good


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



Although I have been continually writing to you, I have had the
Pleasure of receiving only one Letter from you since I left New
England. The Congress is here, scituated conveniently enough and
doing Business. You will ask me perhaps, How we came here. I
confess I did not see the Necessity of removing so soon; but I
must think I misjudgd because it was ruled otherwise, not indeed
until the Opinions of Putnam & Mifflin then in Philadelphia, had
been taken. The Truth is, the Enemy were within seventeen Miles
of us, and it was apprehended by some that the People of
Pennsylvania, influenced by Fear Folly or Treachery, would have
given up their Capital to appease the Anger of the two Brothers &
atone for their Crime in suffering it to remain so long the Seat
of Rebellion. We are now informd that they have at length
bestirrd themselves and that hundreds are daily flocking to Genl
Washingtons Camp, so that it is hoped if our Army pursues as
expeditiously as they have retreated, they will take them all
Prisoners before they can reach the Borders of Hudsons River.

We have this day receivd a Letter from General Schuyler, which
has occasiond the passing a Resolution, forwarded to you, I
suppose by this opportunity. The General says he is informd that
the Levies are making very tardily. I hope he has been
misinformd. It is certainly of the greatest Importance that New
England in a particular Manner should be very active in
Preparation to meet the Enemy early in the Spring. The British
Tyrant will not quit his darling Plan of subduing that Country.
The Intent of the Enemy seems to me to be to attack it on all
Sides. Howes Troops have penetrated this way far beyond his
Expectations; I flatter myself they will be driven back to New
York & winter there. Carleton will, unless prevented by an
immediate Exertion of New England, most certainly possess himself
of Tyconderoga as soon as Lake Champlain shall be frozen hard
enough to transport his Army. Clinton it is said is gone to Rhode
Island with 8 or 10 thousand to make Winter Quarters there. The
infamous Behavior of the People of Jersey & Pennsylvania will
give fresh Spirits to the British Court and afford them a further
Pretence to apply to every Court in Europe where they can have
any Prospect of Success. Russia has already been applied to.
Their whole Force will be poured into N England for they take it
for granted that having once subdued those stubborn States, the
rest will give up without a Struggle. They will take Occasion
from what has happend in Jersey to inculcate this Opinion. How
necessary is it then for our Countrymen to strain every Nerve to
defeat their Design. The Time is short. Let this be the only
Subject of our Thoughts and Consultation. Our Affairs in France
wear a promising Aspect. Let us do our Duty and defend the fair
Inheritance which our Fathers have left us--our pious Forefathers
who regarded Posterity & fought and bled that they might transmit
to us the Blessing of Liberty.

When we first heard at Philadelphia of Clintons having saild to
Rhode Island, Mr Gerry and myself joynd with Coll Whipple of New
Hampshire & Mr Ellery of Rhode Island in a Letter to Genl
Washington and proposed to him the sending Gen Gates or Greene
with a suitable number of Brigadiers to take the Command in the
Eastern Departmt. [In] his answer which we receivd in this place
he tells us he has orderd M Genl Spencer & B Genl Arnold to
repair thither who he hopes may be sufficient to head the
yeomanry of that Country & repel the Enemy in their attempts to
gain possession of that part of the Continent. He [adds] that he
will if possible, send some other Brigadiers, and says Gen
Wooster is also at hand.

I wrote to you after my Arrival at Philade & inclosd a Resolution
of Congress relative to the procuring of cloathing in N E for the
Army. In another Letter I gave you a hint which I think of great
Importance if the Measure proposd [be] practicable. I hope both
these Letters were duly receivd by you. You cannot, my dear Sir,
do me a greater Kindness than by writing to me. I suffer much
thro want of Intelligence from N E; I pray you therefore let your
Letters to me be very frequent.

I am very cordially your friend,

By a late Letter from London written by a Gentn upon whose
Intelligence I greatly rely a Treaty is on foot with Russia to
furnish Britain with 20 or 30,000 troops. Levies are making with
all possible Industry in Germany & in Britain & Ireland from
where it is expected that 20,000 will be raisd. It [is] indeed to
be supposd that, as usual, a greater Appearance will be made on
paper than they will realize. But let us consider that they
realizd in America the last year 35,000 and do without doubt . .
. . . . . they lose because they are able to do it, we may then
set down their actual force in America by May or June next at
least 55 and probably 60,000.

We have the pleasure of hearing that a valueable Prize is arrivd
at [Boston]--among the rest of her Cargo 10,000 Suits of Cloaths!
A most fortunate Prize for us, especially as she is said to be
the last of 8 Vessels taken bound to Quebec. However while we are
pleasing ourselves with the Acquisition we should remember that
the Want of those supplys will be a strong Stimulus to Carleton
to make an early & bold push over the Champlain in hopes of
furnishing himself at Albany; & increases the Necessity of the
Eastern States sending their Troops to Tyconderoga immediately to
supply the places of those who will return home, when the time of
their Inlistments shall expire. I have good Information from
England that a certain Captn Furze who [was] in Boston the last
year & gaind the Confidence & recd the Civilities of the People;
when he returnd gloried in the Deception & carried Intelligence
to the British Ministry, particularly of the Fortifications in &
about Boston. Some of the People may remember him. How careful
ought we to be lest while we mean only innocent Civility, we
expose our Councils & Operations to Spies.

I remain very cordially your friend,


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



I have written to you once since I arrivd here, and am determind
to omit no opportunity, because I flatter myself you will at all
times be gratified in hearing from me. I am at present in good
health and am exceedingly happy in an Acquaintance with Mr Samuel
Purviance a Merchant of this Place, with whom I have indeed
before corresponded, but I never saw him till I came here. He is
a sensible, honest and friendly Man, warmly attachd to the
American Cause, and has particularly endeard himself to me by his
great Assiduity in procuring Reliefe in this part of the
Continent for the Town of Boston at a Time when her Enemies would
have starvd her by an oppressive Port bill.

Just now I receivd a Letter from my Son dated the 7th Instant; he
tells me he had very lately heard from his Sister and that she
and the rest of my Family were well. I pray God to continue your
Health and protect you in these perilous times from every kind of
Evil. The Name of the Lord, says the Scripture, is a strong
Tower, thither the Righteous flee and are Safe. Let us secure his
Favor, and he will lead us through the journey of this Life and
at length receive us to a better.

We are now informd that the People of Jersey & Pennsylvania are
in Possession of their Understanding and that they are turning
out in great Numbers to the Assistance of General Washington. Had
they done this early they would not have so deeply staind the
Reputation of America. However I shall hardly think they will do
their Duty at last if they suffer the Enemy to return without
paying dearly for the barbarous Outrages they have committed in
the Country, without Regard to Age or Sex.

Our Affairs in France & Spain wear a pleasing Aspect, but human
Affairs are ever uncertain. I have strongly recommended to my
Friends in New England to spare no Pains or Cost in preparing to
meet the Enemy early in the Spring. We have a righteous Cause,
and if we defend it as becomes us, we may expect the Blessing of

Remember me to my Daughter, Sister Polly & the rest of my Family
& Friends. Adieu, my dear,


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

BALTIMORE Decr 30 1776


Being a Committee of Congress we are directed to employ some
suitable Person to make Application to your Honorable Board for
certain Ordnance and other Stores, which have been represented by
General Schuyler as immediately necessary for the Use of the
Northern Army. We accordingly send forward Collo Stewart, who
will lay before the Board such Stores as are wanted; which we
hope may be procurd on just and equitable Terms, and transported
with all possible Dispatch to General Schuyler, whose Receipt
will be duly acknowledgd by Congress.

We need not urge the great Importance of having our Army in that
Quarter well furnishd with every necessary Article, there being
not the least Reason to doubt of General Carletons Intentions as
early as possible to push his Forces into the Eastern States, or
of his Success in such an Attempt unless seasonably prevented.

It is therefore our earnest Request that you would afford Coll
Stuart every possible advice & assistance in the Prosecution of
this Business, and furnish him with such Money as he may have
need of for the purpose in which Case your Draft on the President
of the Congress will be duly honord.

We are with the most cordial Esteem
your most obedient
& very humble Servants


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a portion is printed in
W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. ii., pp. 450, 451.]

BALTIMORE Decr 30 1776


We are a Committee of Congress1 authorizd and directed to appoint
some suitable Person to apply to Mr Livingston Owner of a Furnace
in the State of New York, and to Governor Trumbull who has the
Direction of the Furnace in the State of Connecticutt also to the
Council of the State of Massachusetts Bay, to procure such Cannon
and Ordnance Stores, as General Schuyler has represented to be
immediately necessary for the use of the Army in the Northern

We know of no one in whom we can more chearfully confide, for the
Performance of this important Business than your self; and
therefore we request you to undertake it, as Major General Gates
has assured us, that it is not inconsistent with the General
Service, or the Duty of that Station which you hold under his
immediate Command.

You have herewith a List of the Ordnance and Ordnance Stores that
are wanted; and you will be pleasd to make your first Application
to Mr Livingston for such of the Cannon and Stores as he can
furnish. You will then apply to Governor Trumbull, to be furnishd
by him with the Remainder, to be sent to General Schuyler as
early as possible this Winter.

For the Ordnance Stores we depend chiefly upon the Massachusetts
Bay; and desire you to make Application to the Council of that
State; although we would by no means restrain you in Endeavors to
procure them in New York Connecticutt or elsewhere.

We doubt not but you will provide these Necessaries with all
possible Dispatch, and at reasonable Rates; and we desire you to
give Notice to General Schuyler and to us of the Success you may
meet with in your several Applications.

We would inform you that Congress has contracted for Cannon to be
cast in this State at the Rate of Thirty Six pounds ten shillings
p Ton. And the highest price that has been given in Pennsylvania
is Forty Pounds. We desire and expect you will purchase them at
the lowest Rate you can. The Proof of the Cannon must be
according to the Woolwich Practice.

1The members of the committee were Adams, Lee, Harrison, Whipple
and Hayward.


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

BALTIMORE Decr 31. 1776


I am determind to omit no Opportunity of writing to you, although
I of late very seldom receive a Favor from you. Your second
Letter I receivd a few days ago inclosing Copies of Papers from
Spain. I am much obligd to you for them. Our Affairs in Europe
look well, and additional Measures are taking here to establish
them in that Part of the World on a solid Foundation. I assure
you Business has been done since we came to this Place more to my
Safisfaction than any or every thing done before, excepting the
Declaration of Independence which should have been made
immediately after the 19th of April 75. OUR MINISTERS ABROAD are
directed to assure FOREIGN COURTS that notwithstanding the artful
& insidious Representations of the Emissaries of the British
Court to the Contrary, the Congress and People of America are
determind to maintain their Independence at all Events. This was
done before the late Success in the Jerseys, of which you will
have doubtless had Intelligence before this Letter reaches you. I
now think that Britain will soon make a most contemptible Figure
in America & Europe--but we must still make our utmost Exertions.
Pray let the Levies required of our State be raisd with all
possible Expedition. By this Conveyance you will have a
Resolution giving large Powers to General Washington for a
limited Season. It became in my opinion necessary. The Hint I
gave you some time ago, I still think very important. General
Gates arrivd here yesterday. I have conversd with him upon it. He
told me he had conceivd the Idea before and wishes the Measure
may [be] tryed. It requires Secrecy and Dispatch. Lt Coll Steward
will set off tomorrow with Directions to proceed as far as Boston
to purchase Ordnance & other Stores if they cannot be procurd
elsewhere. He is General Gates Aid de Camp & is very clev[er.] I
wish you would take Notice of him.

But I am now called off. Adieu my Friend,

Regina Azucena


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 225, 226; a draft
is in the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]


MY DEAR SIR,--It has been altogether from a regard to your safety
that I have restrained myself from continuing on my part that
correspondence which you was obliging enough to indulge for
several years. I know very well that your avowal of and warm
attachment to the cause of justice and truth, have rendered you
exceedingly obnoxious to the malice of the British king and his
ministers; and that a letter written by a zealous asserter of
that cause addressed to you while you was in their power, would
have brought upon you the resentment of that most cruel and
vindictive court. But I cannot omit this opportunity of writing
to you after so long a silence, to assure you that I am most
heartily engaged according to my small ability, in supporting the
rights of America and of mankind.

In my last letter to you near two years ago, I ventured to give
you my opinion that if the British troops then in Boston, should
attempt to march out in an hostile manner, it would most surely
effect a total and perpetual separation of the two countries.
This they did in a very short time; and the great event has since
taken place, sooner indeed than I expected it would, though not
so soon, in my opinion, as in justice it might, and in sound
policy, it ought. But there is a timidity in our nature which
prevents our taking a decisive part in the critical time, and
very few have fortitude enough to tell a tyrant they are
determined to be free. Our delay has been dangerous to us, yet it
has been attended with great advantage. It has afforded to the
world a proof, that oppressed and insulted as we were, we are
very willing to give Britain an opportunity of seeing herself,
and of correcting her own errors. We are now struggling in the
sharp conflict; confiding that righteous heaven will not look
with an indifferent eye upon a cause so manifestly just, and so
interesting to mankind.

You are now called to act in a still more enlarged sphere. Go on,
my friend, to exert yourself in the cause of liberty and virtue.
You have already the applause of virtuous men, and may be assured
of the smiles of heaven.

Your brother, Mr. R. H. Lee, will give you a particular account
of our affairs in America; nothing therefore remains for me to
add, but that I am your very affectionate friend,


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

BALTIMORE Jany 8th 1777


I have several times referrd you to a Hint which I gave you not
long ago, and which I have not thought prudent to repeat lest by
an Accident my Letters should be intercepted. I have still the
same opinion of the Importance of the Affair, but having spent
this Evening with General Gates and conversd with him upon that
and other Matters, we have concluded upon a more sure Way of
effecting it than the Way I proposd to you. I wish therefore if
you have already communicated it to any one of our Friends, that
you would injoyn them to close Secrecy, and that it may be even
forgot till the Event of it shall be known to the World.

I am much pleasd to find that the New England Troops have so
great a Share in the Honor of the late Action in the Jerseys.
General Gates speaks very highly of the Militia you sent him last
Fall. He applauds greatly their Zeal for the Cause and
particularly their Readiness to tarry in the Service after the
Expiration of the Term of their Inlistments in November, and
tells me he gave them an honorable Discharge. I have not the
Pleasure of knowing General Bricket but he mentions him to me as
a worthy & good officer.

We have further good Accounts from our Army which are credited
although they are not yet authenticated. I verily believe that
the Incursions of the Enemy into the Jerseys will be in the Event
much to our Advantage, and that this Campaign will end gloriously
on our side; I never will be sanguine in my Expectation for I
know the Events of War are uncertain, but there seems to be an
enterprizing Spirit in our Army which I have long wishd to see
and without which we may not expect to do great Things. The same
enterprizing Spirit also takes place here. We have done things
which I would not have flatterd my self with the least hope of
doing a Month ago. This Express will carry to the Council a
Resolution which I presume will of course be communicated to you.
In my next I will give you a very particular & good reason
why it is not communicated TO YOU in this Letter. We understand
that by the Enemies Treatment of General Lee there appears to be
a Design to consider him as a deserter & take away his Life.
Congress have directed General Washington to acquaint Howe that
if this is his Intention five of the Hessian field officers now
in our hands together with Lt Coll Campbell shall be detained &
sacrificd as an Atonement for his Blood should the Matter be
carried to that Extremity; and this Resolution will most
undoubtedly in my opinion be executed in full tale.



[John Adams, Works, vol. ix., pp. 448-450.]

BALTIMORE, 9 January, 1777.

I have every day for a month past been anxiously expecting the
pleasure of seeing you here, but now begin to suspect you do not
intend to give us your assistance in person. I shall therefore do
all that lies in my power to engage your epistolary aid. You will
by every opportunity receive my letters, and, I dare say, you
will be so civil as to answer at least some of them.

I have given our friend Warren, in one of my letters to him, the
best reason I could for the sudden removal of Congress to this
place. Possibly he may have communicated it to you. I confess it
was not agreeable to my mind; but I have since altered my
opinion, because we have done more important business in three
weeks than we had done, and I believe should have done, at
Philadelphia, in six months. As you are a member of Congress, you
have a right to know all that has been done; but I dare not
commit it to paper at a time when the safe carriage of letters is
become so precarious. One thing I am very solicitous to inform
you, because I know it will give you great satisfaction. If you
recollect our conversation at New Haven, I fancy you will
understand me when I tell you, that to ONE PLACE we have added
four, and increased the number of persons from THREE to six. I
hate this dark, mysterious manner of writing, but necessity
requires it.

You have heard of the captivity of General Lee. Congress have
directed General Washington to offer six Hessian field-officers
in exchange for him. It is suspected that the enemy choose to
consider him as a deserter, bring him to trial in a court-
martial, and take his life. Assurances are ordered to be given to
General Howe, that five of those officers, together with
Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, will be detained, and all of them
receive the same measure that shall be meted to him. This
resolution will most certainly be executed.

We have this day passed a recommendation to the Council of
Massachusetts Bay of a very important nature. It will be sent by
this express to the Council, to whom I refer you for a perusal of

Our affairs in France and Spain wear a promising aspect, and we
have taken measures to put them on a respectable footing in other
parts of Europe; and I flatter myself too much if we do not

The progress of the enemy through the Jerseys has chagrined me
beyond measure; but I think we shall reap the advantage in the
end. We have already beat a part of their army at Trenton, and
the inclosed paper will give you a farther account which we
credit, though not yet authenticated. The late behavior of the
people of Jersey was owing to some of their leading men, who,
instead of directing and animating, most shamefully deserted
them. When they found a leader in the brave Colonel Ford, they
followed him with alacrity. They have been treated with savage
barbarity by the Hessians, but I believe more so by Britons.
After they have been most inhumanly used in their persons,
without regard to sex or age, and plundered of all they had,
without the least compensation, Lord Howe and his brother (now
Sir William, knight of the Bath) have condescended to offer them
protections for the free enjoyment of their effects.

You have seen the power with which General Washington is vested
for a limited time. Congress is very attentive to the northern
army, and care is taken effectually to supply it with every thing
necessary this winter for the next campaign. General Gates is
here. How shall we make him the head of that army?

We are about establishing boards of war, ordnance, navy, and
treasury, with a chamber of commerce, each of them to consist of
gentlemen who are not members of Congress. By these means, I
hope, our business will be done more systematically, speedily,
and effectually.

Great and heavy complaints have been made of abuse in the
Director-General's department in both our armies; some, I
suppose, without grounds, others with too much reason. I have no
doubt but as soon as a committee reports, which is expected this
day, both Morgan and Stringer will be removed, as I think they

To the eighty-eight battalions ordered to be raised, sixteen are
to be added, which, with six to be raised out of the continent at
large, will make one hundred and ten, besides three thousand
horse, three regiments of artillery, and a company of engineers.
We may expect fifty or sixty thousand of the enemy in June next.
Their design will still be to subdue the obstinate States of New
England. It was the intention that Carleton should winter in
Albany, Howe in New York, and Clinton at Rhode Island, that, with
re-enforcements in the spring, they might be ready to attack New
England on all sides. I hope every possible method will be used
to quicken the new levies, and that the fortifications in the
harbor of Boston will be in complete readiness. Much will depend
upon our diligence this winter.

The attention of Congress is also turned to the southward. Forts
Pitt and Randolph are to be garrisoned, and provisions laid up
for two thousand men, six months. By the last accounts from South
Carolina, we are informed that late arrivals have supplied them
with every thing necessary for their defence.

I have written in great haste, and have time only to add, that I
am, with sincere regards to your lady and family, very cordially
your friend,

P. S. Dr. Morgan and Dr. Stringer are dismissed without any
reason assigned, which Congress could of right do, as they held
their places during pleasure. The true reason, as I take it, was
the general disgust, and the danger of the loss of an army
arising therefrom.

1Dr. John Morgan, director general, and Dr. Samuel Stringer,
director of hospitals in the northern department, were
removed from office January 9 by the Continental Congress.


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

BALTIMORE Jany 16 1777


We receivd by Mr Williams a Letter from the Council of
Massachusetts Bay, requesting a Sum of Money for Payment of
Bounties to the Troops to be raisd in that State. Accordingly
three hundred thousand Dollars are orderd for that Purpose, which
will be forwarded to the Paymaster as soon as it can conveniently
be done.

I observe that our Assembly have made it necessary, that three of
their Delegates should be present and concurring in Sentiment
before the Voice of our State can be taken on any Question in
Congress. I I could have wishd it had been otherwise. Only three
of your Delegates are now present. So it may happen at other
times. One of them may be sick; he may be on a Committee, or
necessarily absent on publick Business; in which Case our State
will not be effectually represented. While I am writing at the
Table, Mr Gerry is necessarily employd on the Business of the
Publick at home, and the two present cannot give the Sense of the
State upon a Matter now before Congress. Were all the three
present, one Dissentient might controul the other two so far as
to oblige them to be silent when the Question is called for.
Indeed the Assembly have increasd the Number of Delegates to
Seven. But I submit the Matter, as it becomes me, to my

Major Hawley and my other patriotick Fellow Laborers, Are they
alive and in Health? I have not receivd a Line from any of them
excepting my worthy Friend Mr Nathl Appleton, whose Letter I will
acknowledge to him by the first opportunity. My Friends surely
cannot think I can go through the arduous Business assignd to me
here without their Advice and Assistance. I do not know whether
you ever intend to write to me again. Assure the Major from me,
that a few more of his "BROKEN HINTS" will be of eminent Service
to me.1

You cannot imagine how much I am pleasd with the Spirit our
Assembly have discoverd. They seem to have put every Country into
Motion. This forebodes in my Mind that something great will be
done. I have not, since this Contest began, had so happy Feelings
as I now have. I begin to anticipate the Establishment of Peace
on such Terms as independent States ought to demand; and I am
even now contemplating by what Means the Virtue of my Countrymen
may be secured for Ages yet to come. Virtue, which is the Soul of
a republican Government. But future Events, I have learnd by
Experience, are uncertain; and some unlucky Circumstance may
before long take Place, which may prove sadly mortifying to me.
But no such Circumstance can deprive me of the Pleasure I enjoy,
in seeing at a Distance, the rising Glories of this new World.
Adieu my Friend. Believe me to be unfeignedly yours,

1Cf., page 52.


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

BALTIMORE Jan 29th 1777.


Yesterday I had the Pleasure of receiving two Letters from you by
the same hand, dated the 9th and 22d of December. And just now a
Letter is deliverd to me from my Friend Mr Bradford, dated the
13th of this Month, wherein I am informd that you was then in
good Health and Spirits. If you had not told me that you had
written to me Six Letters since I left Boston, I should have
suspected that you did not keep a good Look out for Expresses
which come this Way. I have now receivd only four of them. The
others may possibly have fallen into the Hands of the Lords
PROTECTORS of America. There is one Way in which you may probably
make up the Loss to me, and that is by writing oftener. I assure
you, it would not be troublesome to me to receive half a Dozen
Letters from you at one Time.

You tell me you was greatly alarmd to hear that General Howe's
Army was on the March to Philadelphia. I have long known you to
be possessd of much Fortitude of Mind. But you are a Woman, and
one must expect you will now and then discover Timidity so
natural to your Sex. I thank you, my Dear, most cordially for the
Warmth of Affection which you express on this Occasion, for your
Anxiety for my Safety and your Prayers to God for my Protection.
The Man who is conscientiously doing his Duty will ever be
protected by that Righteous and all powerful Being, and when he
has finishd his Work he will receive an ample Reward. I am not
more convincd of any thing than that it is my Duty, to oppose to
the utmost of my Ability the Designs of those who would enslave
my Country; and with Gods Assistance I am resolvd to oppose them
till their Designs are defeated or I am called to quit the Stage
of Life.

I am glad to hear that the Winter has been in a remarkable Degree
so favorable in New England, because it must have lessend the . .
. . been increasd . . . . the Poor, is in Holy Writ coupled with
him who OPPRESSES them. Be you warm and be you cloathd, without
administering the necessary Means, is but cold Consolation to the
miserable. I am glad you have given Shelter to Mrs A. who had not
where to lay her Head. She deservd your Notice, and she has more
than rewarded you for it in being, as you say she is, GRATEFUL.
Whenever you see a poor Person grateful, you may depend upon it,
if he were rich he would be charitable. We are not however, to
seek Rewards in this Life, for Deeds of Charity, but rather
imitate the all merciful Being, of whom, if I mistake not, it is
said in Scripture, that he doth Good to the Evil and UNTHANKFUL.
There is indeed no such Thing as disinterrested Benevolence among
Men. Self Love and social, as Pope tells us, is the same. The
truly charitable Man partakes of the Feelings of the wretched
wherever he sees the Object, and he relieves himself from Misery
by relieving others.

I am greatly grievd for the Loss we have met with in the Death of
Mr Checkley. From the Account you give me of the Nature & Extent
of his Disorder, I conclude he must have died before this Time.
He was indeed a valueable Relation and Friend. Have you lately
heard from your Brother at St Eustatia?

We have no News here. The Events which take place in the Jerseys
must be known in Boston before you can be informd of them from
this Place. There is a Report that a Party of the Jersey Militia
fell in with a larger Party of the Enemy, killed about twenty and
took a greater Number Prisoners besides fifty three Waggons and
Provisions. This is believd. It is also said that General Heath
has taken Fort Washington. If it be so, we shall soon have the
News confirmd . . . .


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

BALTIMORE Feb. 1, 1777


The Proceedings of the Committees of the four New England States
have been read in Congress and are now under the Consideration of
a Committee of the whole. They are much applauded as being
salutary and wise. I had heard that one of your Delegates at that
Convention had written a long Letter to his Friend and Confident
here, and hearing it whisperd that the Massachusetts State
disapprovd of the Proceedings, I was led to ask the Gentleman who
had receivd the Letter concerning it. He confirmd it and said
that not only the Trade but the landed Gentlemen in the House of
Representatives were sanguine against it. I beg'd him to let me
see his Letter but he refusd in a kind of Pet, telling me it was
a private Letter, & leaving me to conjecture whether I had really
been impertinent in asking a Sight of his Letter or whether the
Contents of it were such as it was not proper for me to see. You
will easily conceive what a Scituation a Man must be in here, who
having receivd no Intelligence of the Sentiments of his
Constituents himself is obligd in vain to ask of another upon
what Principles they have disapprovd of a Measure if in truth
they did disapprove of it, of which he is called to give his own
opinion. You may see, my Friend, from this Instance, the
Necessity of your writing to me oftener. When I was told upon the
forementiond occasion, that I should be intitled to see the
Letters of another whenever I should be disposd to show those
which I receive myself, I could have truly said that I had
scarcely receivd any. Two only FROM YOU in the Space of near four
Months. But I have no Claim to your Favors, however much I value
them, unless perhaps upon the Score of my having neglected not a
single Opportunity of writing to you. Your omitting even to
acknowledge the Receipt of my Letters, I might indeed construe as
a silent Hint that they were displeasing to you, but I will not
believe this till I have it under your own hand. While I am
writing your very agreable Letter is brought to me by Mr Lovell.
You therein speak, as you ever have done, the Language of my
Soul. Mr Adams tells me you are President of the Board of War; I
am therefore inducd to recall what I have just now said which you
may construe as an implied Censure for your not having written to
me oftener. I am sure you must have a great Deal of Business in
your hands. I am not however sorry to hear it, provided your
Health is not injurd by it. I pray God to preserve the Health of
your Body and the Vigor of your Mind. We must cheerfully deny our
selves domestick Happiness and the sweet Tranquility of private
Life when our Country demands our Services. Give me Leave to hint
to you my Opinion that it would be a Saving to our State in the
Way of Supply if the Board of War would consign the Cargos wch
they order here to a Merchant of good Character rather than to
the Master of the Vessell--possibly there may be Exceptions, But
I have Reason to think a Cargo which arrivd about a fortnight ago
consisting chiefly as I am told of Rum & Sugars was sold at least
30 p Ct under what it wd have fetched if it had been under the
Direction of a Person acquainted in the place, and Flour is
purchasing by the Person who bought the Cargo at an unlimitted
Price. I am perswaded that if you had by a Previous Letter
directed a Cargo to be procured here you might have had it 20 p
Cent cheaper. If the Board should be of my Mind, I know of no
Gentlemen whom I would recommend more chearfully than Mess Samuel
& Robert Purvyance--they are Merchants of good Character, honest
& discrete Men, and warmly attachd to our all important Cause.
But I get out of my Line when I touch upon Commerce, it is a
Subject I never understood. Adieu my dear Friend. Believe me to
be yours,

P. S. I forgot to tell you that, a fair occasion offering, I
moved in Congress that the eldest Son of our deceasd friend Genl
Warren mt be adopted by the Continent & educated at the publick
Expence. The Motion was pleasing to all and a Come is appointed
to prepare a Resolve. Monuments are also proposd in Memory of him
& Genl Mercer whose youngest Son is also to be adopted &
educated. But these things I would not have yet made publick.


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

BALTIMORE Feb 4th 1777


I send you the inclosd Speech for your Amusement. One or two
Remarks you will observe are made upon it. There is Room for many
more. I wish some ingenious Pen might be employd. The Contest
with America, it seems, is now confessd by the British Monarch to
be "arduous." I think he greatly deceives himself, if he does not
expect it will be more so. Indeed he sees it; for we must, says
he, "AT ALL EVENTS prepare for another Campaign." "If their
Treason is sufferd to take Root, much Mischief will grow out of
it--to the present System of ALL Europe." Here we have the
Authority of a King's (not a very wise one I confess) to affirm,
that the War between Britain and the united States of America
will affect the Ballance of Power in Europe. Will not the
different Powers take different Sides to adjust the Ballance to
their different Interests? "I am using my UTMOST Endeavors to
conciliate the unhappy Differences between two Neighboring
Powers." If he is still USING his Endeavors, it seems, the
Differences are not yet made up.--"I continue to receive
ASSURANCES of Amity from the several Courts in Europe"--But he
adds "It is expedient we should be in a respectable State of
DEFENCE at home." If he has such Assurances of the Continuance of
Amity in Europe, why is it so expedient at this time to be in a
respectable State of Defence at home? Surely he cannot think the
AMERICAN Navy yet so formidable, as to demand this Caution. Or is
he at length become wise enough to attend to a good old Maxim, IN
his "fair Prospect," and his being manifestly hard pressd with
"the present Scituation of Affairs" in America, I am led to
conclude, that he looks upon his "Assurances of AMITY" as the
mere Compliments of a Court; and that he strongly apprehends, the
Quarrel he has plungd himself into with America hath excited a
Curiosity and a Watchfulness in some of the Powers of Europe,
which will produce a contrary Effect. I am with very great

Your assured Friend
and humble Servant,


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

BALTIMORE Feb 10, 1777


I beg Leave to inclose my Account of Expences from the 26th of
April 1775 to the 27 of Augt 1776 amounting to . . . .

I intended to have laid it before the House of Representatives
when I was last in New England, but the sudden Adjournment of the
General Assembly in September last, and my Hurry in preparing for
my Journey hither after its sitting again in October prevented my
doing it.

When I sat off from Lexington after the memorable Battle there, I
had with me only the Cloaths on my back, which were very much
worn, those which I had provided for my self being then in
Boston, and it was out of my Power at that time to recover them.
I was therefore under a Necessity, of being at an extraordinary
Expense, to appear with any kind of Decency for Cloathing &
Linnen after my Arrival in this City, which I think makes a
reasonable Charge of Barrils Leonards and Stilles Bills in my

It may perhaps be necessary to say something of the Charge of
Horse hire in the last Article. When I left Watertown in
September '75, two Horses were deliverd to me out of the publick
Stable for my self & my Servant, by Order of Honbl Council. They
were very poor when I took them and both tired on the Road as you
will see in my Account. One of them afterwards died in
Philadelphia, which obligd me to purchase another in that place,
and with this Horse I returnd to Boston last Fall. His being my
own Property, having purchasd him without Charge to my
Constituents, I think gives me a just Right to make a Charge of
Horse Hire, which is left to be carried out in a reasonable Sum.
Mr A says he is obligd to allow seven pounds 10 s for the Hire of
each of his Horses to Philadelphia.

I shall take it as a favor if you will present the Account to the
Honbl House, and acquaint the Committee to whom it may be
referrd, with the Reasons of the Charges above mentiond, and make
any other Explanations which you may judge necessary. Mrs A has
the Vouchers, to whom I beg you would apply for them in Person
before you present the Account. I wish it may be settled as soon
as the House can conveniently attend to it. If an Allowance for
my Services is considerd at the same time, you will please to be
informd that I sat off from Lexington or Worcester on the 26th of
April '75 and returnd on the 14 of August following. And again I
sat off from Watertown on the 1st of Sept '75 and returnd to
Boston on the 27th of August '76.

I have troubled you with this Epistle of Horse hire and Shop
Goods at a Time when, no Doubt, your Attention is called to
Affairs of the greatest Concern to our Country. Excuse me, my
dear Friend for once, and be assured that I am your affectionate,


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

BALTIMORE Feb 12 1777


I receivd by Mr Babcock, your Letter dated Lebanon Jany 23,
communicated the same to the Committee and afterward laid it
before Congress. The Price of the Cannon at Salisbury1 so much
exceeds that at which it is set in a Contract enterd into by
Congress with the Owners of a Foundery in this State, that
Congress have thought proper not to allow it, but have directed
the Committee to request Governor Trumbull to lend them, to be
returnd or others in Lieu of them as soon as possible. The Come
have written accordingly; and I think it necessary to give you
Notice of the Sense of Congress relating to the Price of Cannon
as early as possible, that you may govern yourself thereby in
your further Execution of your Commission. I am &c



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

BALTIMORE 12th Feb 1777


The Committee on the Affairs in the Northern Department having
laid before Congress a Letter receivd from Colo Stewart who was
sent by them agreable to Order of Congress, to procure Cannon,
wherein he informs that there is a Quantity of Cannon at
Salisbury Foundery which the Governor & Council of Connecticutt
are willing to dispose of to the Continent, but demand the Price
of seventy Pounds Lawful Money p Ton for 18 & 9 pounders and
Eighty Pounds Lawfull Money pr Ton for 6, 4 & 3 pounders, it is
an Order of Congress that the Committee aforesaid write to Govr
Trumbull & inform him of the Contracts enterd into by Congress,
state to him the Prejudice it will do to those Contracts and the
ill Effects that must ensue to the Continent, should so high a
Price be given for these Cannon, and request him to lend the
Cannon, which are much wanted for the Defence of Ticonderoga, and
assure him that Congress will return them or others in Lieu of
them as soon as possible.

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.


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

BALTIMORE Feb 15 1777


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,


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

BALTIMORE Feb 16 1777


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,


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

PHILADE March 19 1777


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

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


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

PHILADE March 20th 1777


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,


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

PHILADA April 1st 1777


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-


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

PHILADE May 12 1777


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

I am, &c

1Adressed to General Greene at Morristown, New Jersey.


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

PHILADE June 17, 1777


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,


1Treasurer of Massachusetts.


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

PHILADA June 18 1777


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,


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

PHILADA June 23 1777


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


[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


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.



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

PHILADE June 30 1777


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

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.


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

PHILADE July 4 1777


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,


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

PHILADA July 7 1777


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.


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

PHILADE July 8 1777


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,


[MS., Emmet Collection, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE July 15 1777


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

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

Your very affectionate,


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

PHILADE July 15 1777


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,


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

PHILADA July 22 1777


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

Men at Out Posts not included in the Above 218

Sick in Camp and Barracks 342

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

Adieu my Friend,


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

PHILADE July 28 1777


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,


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

PHILADE July 31 1777


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.



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

PHILAD Augt 1--77


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,


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

PHILAD. 2d Augt 17771


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.


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

[August 5, 1777]


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


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

PHILADE August 7, 1777


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

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


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

PHILADA Augt 8 1777


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.


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

PHILADA Augt 11. 1777


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

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,


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

PHILADA Augt 12 1777


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.


[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


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.


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

PHILADA Augt 8 1777


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

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.


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

PHILADA Sept 2, 1777.


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



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

PHILADA Sept 17, 1777


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



[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

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


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

[ 1777]


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


[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

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


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

BOSTON Decr 8 1777


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

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.


[MS., Massachusetts Archives.]



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

I am in the Name of the Council--
your most hbl servt


1President of the Continental Congress.

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