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Interest and to render their Idol as Uncontroulable as possible. if I have a Seat in the House I shall use my Influence to Choose you the Secretary, but the Influence of all that dont worship devoutly may be very small and you and I may have none at all. for my own part I am Content to retire into private Life while I can lay my hand upon heart and say that I have in no Instance deviated from the Principles I professed, or those of my Constituents when they Chose me. your Virtue and Firmness have and will Continue to Expose you to persecution. the Tongue of Malice has always been Employed against you, and things, old and new, are mustered to render you Obnoxious. it is now reported that you are against filling up the Battalions for the war and are in favour of drafts of the Militia from time to time. I venture to Contradict many things and this among the rest, but there is no End to Calumny.1
JAMES WARREN TO JOHN ADAMS
MY DEAR SIR, — My last two or three Letters were by Capt. Samson, who if he has not shared the ill fate of some others, must have been handed you long before this. Three Letters went by my Son. he had the Misfortune to be taken, and carried to Newfoundland, and I suppose the Letters went to the Bottom, with a great number of others. in them I endeavoured to give you as perticular an account of our affairs here, at that time as I could. I have no copies, and therefore cant recollect the contents. you must therefore be content with a short detail of matters as they now stand. The papers we shall send you by this Opportunity will give you a general state of the Conduct of Military Matters from the Loss of Charlestown to the defection and Treachery of Arnold, and the hanging of Major Andre, you will learn that the one has fled to New York, and the other been properly treated as a Spy, and that
I A letter from Samuel Adams to James Warren, October 3 [not 6], 1780, is in Writings of Samuel Adams, IV. 207.
both of them deserved infinitely more than they have or will suffer here. if Arnolds Villany and Clintons Meaness had succeeded it would have been a fatal Blow. as it is, it is hard to say which of the two has acted the most infamous part. if one has betrayed his trust, and his Country, the other has disgraced his Nation (if possible) and Mankind by stooping to a Measure that would mark a Savage with Eternal Infamy.
Since the defeat of Gen'l Gates in the South, in which the Enemy lost more than they got, our Affairs are constantly assuming a Good Countenance there, our Army is re-established there, have been successful in several Skirmishes, and I think the Militia there will soon be good Soldiers and learn to stand both the fire and the Bayonet of the Enemy. The Grand Army by drafts, etc., is said to be in as good a condition as to Numbers, etc., as at any time. we have had great difficulties in supplying them with Provisions, etc. they have sometimes suffered. but I hope the measures taken by the several States will prevent in future any difficulty from that quarter. They are acting on the defensive, watching the Enemy, and they in their turn watching them. no. Enterprize or great Strokes on either side, and every thing looks like an Inactive Campaign. The French Fleet and Army are shut up in Newport by a Superior British Fleet. A reinforcement has been expected all Summer, it is now time perhaps to dismiss all further Expectations of that kind, and to satisfy our selves with Speculations on some ill Management of matters somewhere. the Troops and Ships arrived are said to be very fine, and I think if we are disappointed, they must be mortifyed. to be reduced to a state of Inaction after crossing the Atlantic with high Expectations must be among the last stages of Mortification, to fine officers of high Birth and distinction. with regard to ourselves Penobscot is still in the hands of the Enemy, who keeps 4 or 500 Men there, and some Armed Vessels. we keep on the Eastern Shore at different places about 600 Men to guard against their depredations. some few Skirmishes have taken place but nothing of consequence. Our Coast has not been much infested with British Ships, and Privateers this Season the French Fleet keep the British Men of War pretty much collected, and from that cir
cumstance only great advantages have been derived to our Trade, and perhaps in a War which seems to be a Tryal whose Purse shall hold out longest the advantage may be general. Britain has kept up a great Force to watch that Fleet and Army, and consequently have been at great Expence.
Our Privateers have made many prizes and perticularly struck a great Stroke on the Quebec Fleet.1 Our Taxes are heavy the People groan, and pay them slowly, and complain of the Scarcity of Money, but still it does not Appreciate. it stands at about seventy for one, and will be uniformly Mysterious. A great deal of Silver is circulating. Bargains are almost as common in hard as Paper Money. it is difficult to say where it all comes from, tho' the French Fleet and Army introduce a great deal. The New Government is the Principal Topic of Conversation. the General Court meets under the New Constitution the week after next. Hancock is undoubtedly chosen Governor by a very great Majority. his Popularity is greater than ever. No Body was set in competition with him but Mr. Bowdoin and he stood no chance. frequent and brilliant Entertainments strengthen his popularity, and whether it will end in Absolute Adoration, or in the Exhaustion of the Sources of profusion I cant say. he this day feasts the French Minister (who came to Town last Evening) and the Council at the Castle. No Person has a Majority of Votes for a Lieutenant Governor. it is said Mr. Bowdoin has the greatest Number, and probably may be chose by the two Houses. about twentysix Senators are chose by the several districts. some whole Counties have made no choice at all, Plymouth among the rest.
The Continental Navy is reduced to four Ships and a Brig't. The Trumbul and Dean with the Brig't. Saratoga are on a Cruize. · the Confederacy is at Philadelphia, where she has lain five months, and will not sail soon. the Alliance is here, and lays waiting for Money to fix her out. she came here in a distracted Situation. Landais behaves like a Madman, is censured by a Court of Enquiry and suspended, to be tryed by a Court Martial. Barry is in command of her. Officers and Men came here cursing with
I It was stated that twenty-two vessels were intercepted and captured. Gentleman's Magazine, L. 444.
bitterness the Managers of our affairs in France. they have certainly been abused by some Body or other. Your Trunk is not to be found on Board. if it came out it is lost, but as Doct'r Winship 1 in whose care I understand it was left did not return in this Ship, perhaps he kept back the Trunk, and the sooner it is enquired after the better. I have received but two short Letters from you, one by the Marquiss, the other by the Alliance. do you treat all your Friends in this way, or am I the most neglected. as for the Affairs of Europe, we know but little more of them than of those in the Moon. I had the pleasure of some Acquaintance with Doct'r Lee and learnt some things from him, but few that are pleasing. he is gone to Philadelphia. The Delegates are new chosen, Adams, Lovel, and Ward are at Congress Gerry, Holton, and Partridge are at Home. one is yet wanted to compleat the Number 7. Strong 2 and Danielson have been chosen and refused. Mrs. Adams shall be informed of this Opportunity, and will doubtless write you. it grows late, and as I dont recollect any thing further at present conclude with Assurances of Friendship Yours Affectionately,
October 16th. The Enemy have lately made some havock among our Privateers, and Mr. Knox is arrived from England with a Load of Goods. I suppose under the Sanction of Doct'r F's Certificate.4
Arthur LEE TO JAMES WARREN
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 30th, 1780
MY DEAR SIR, — I arrivd in this City after a tedious [journey] about a fortnight since. I am in hopes of settling my Affairs with Congress without the disagreable necessity of a public Appeal. I find Congress much disposd to attend to public business, and avoid disputes; a laudable disposition and worthy of being culti
I Amos Winship, surgeon on the Alliance.
2 Caleb Strong?
3 Timothy Danielson (1733-1791). Dexter, Yale Biographies, II. 411. 4 A letter from Samuel Adams to James Warren, October 24, 1780, is in Writings of Samuel Adams, IV. 212.
vated, tho' my Arch-Enemy Mr. Duane avails himself of it to prevent my having full justice, which Congress, but for the fear of his exciting new discord upon it, seem perfectly inclind to do me.
The conversations I had in the course of my journey with the Governors Trumbull and Clinton satisfy me that they are good and wise Whigs. I stayd some days with the Army which is in every respect ill-supplied; but after the example of their Leaders, they bear it with patriotic patience. The detention of the Clothing, which was to have been sent from France, subjects them to great distress, and enquiry is now making into the cause of that detention. The Admiralty have applied to me for an Account of it; but the most satisfactory facts ought to come from the Purser, Sailing Master, Captain of Marines and Log Book of the Alliance. By ascertaining when She arrivd at L'Orient, when the Supplies She brought were shipt, how long She lay with them in without Dr. Franklin's ordering or taking any measures for her Sailing, how soon after her arrival at L'Orient She might have been laden and fitted for Sea, what prevented this being done, the alterations and expense the frigate was subjected to by Capt. Jones and the violence of his conduct towards the Purser and some of her People together with his Agent Mr. Moylan's 1 attempt to starve the Crew; all these would shew to whom public odium and punishment is due. Capt. Jones in Letters to the Admiralty and Mr. R. Morris has accusd me of being the cause of all this; and therefore I am more desirous that the truth shoud be fully investigated. Among other things he has insinuated that my family and Baggage were accommodated in the Space which shoud have been occupied by the public Stores. Now the Officers can testify and I rely on your friendship for having these points put to them, that my Carriage was left behind because it woud have taken up room in the frigate, that I brought with me only my youngest Nephew, who was my Secretary, that my other Nephew having paid his passage in a Merchant Vessel was taken in during the voyage with several other passengers, the vessel being in distress and obligd to put back. That instead of occupying any useful room in the 1 James Moylan, commercial agent at L'Orient.