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Bound we know not. one of your armed Schooners formerly Commanded by Burke and some time ago taken by the Enemy, last week in a Storm run into a Harbour nigh Portsmouth. the Crew 50 in Number delivered up the Vessel and themselves prisoners.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 1
BOSTON, Feby. 2d, 1777
MY DEAR SIR, I had the pleasure of receiving yours of the 8th Jany, three days ago. I have not been negligent of the hint you mention, but have been greatly at a loss in what manner to put it in Execution here that would not at the same time destroy all hopes of Success. the necessity of Communicating it to so many would certainly have that Effect. I am, therefore, glad to hear that you have fallen on other measures not liable to that Objection. I wish it may be Attended with success. It will certainly be an Important Event if Effected. I shall let it sleep in Oblivion till I hear of the Attempt. I am glad to hear that our Troops and some of our Officers have Obtained a Name and a Character in the Army. I Enjoy and sincerely Congratulate you on the agreable reverse of our Affairs. The Incursion of the Enemy into the Jersies, though it at first gave great Spirit to our Internal Enemies and damped the Spirits of such of our Friends as are Constituted only to sail before the wind, has already turned much to our Advantage. the late success of our Arms has Blasted and Confounded the Hopes and Insolence of the one, and inspired the other with a degree of resolution that may last till the next Misfortune. We have, indeed, had enough to do with the sauciness of the Tories, and the Timidity and wretched folly of many of the whigs. the Events of War are uncertain, but I think we have much to hope for from the present Enterpriseing Spirit of the Army. when you please you will give me the reason why the resolution you mention was not Communicated to me. you have raised my Curiosity with regard to this matter. I hope your Resolution with respect to the Officers in your hands will not abate if Genl. Lee should be treated in the manner you Expect. Lenity and even kindness and Tenderness on our Side is want of policy when Opposed to Barbarity on the other. I have great Expectations from the present Spirit of Congress. it gives me great pleasure to hear things go agreable to your Mind. while they do I ever presume they are Conducted to the Advantage of the Country. what the perticulars are I do not Enquire, but Consider as the Arcana of State. however, if I may Conjecture that the forming a General Constitution be one subject. I hope to hear 1 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
soon that it is Compleated and that in the Execution of it the defects and wretched management in the old Country will be Avoided. Pensions and Sinecures will be an Abhorrence to the present Age, and does it not approach nearly to them to keep up one of the highest Officers with pay and perquisites with the Command of a very Inferiour one. it is a Charming thing to be a favourite at Court. had I been so lucky, the paymaster's pay and perquisites might have been Continued to me to this time, my resignation Notwithstanding. I dont mention this as a thing I wish. I should despise the Pay, etc., of a Major General without doing the Duty, or flying to the Assistance of a Neighbouring State if attacked. if there be now Existing any such Instance you may depend on its being the subject of Conversation. if any such should hereafter Exist do define the powers with which he is Invested, that we may know whether it is necessary for the Court to Interpose upon the smallest Occasions the moveing a single Company or furnishing them with a Blanket or a Dinner, sat verbum sapienti. my Friend Gerry has a Compleat Idea of what has taken place before now. My Friend Mr. Adams gave me the Slip and left me disappointed in looseing an Opportunity of saying many things to him which I had prepared for the parting Interview. I shall persecute him with Letters as soon as I can. I hope he is well and now with you, and also Mr. Lovel, by whom I wrote you. we have no kind of News. we are on the Eve of a three weeks recess which, if nothing takes place to prevent, will Commence in a day or two, haveing passed a Bill against Treason, a Tax Bill, and one or two others, and varied our determinations about raiseing the Army till it is become almost a Byword, and the Business much delayed. how many Men are Engaged I know not. I believe a Considerable Number. the whole would soon be got if we were steady, but we have lately passed and sent out a new resolve, bitterly against my Sentiments, holding up a design of levying them on the Towns. I fear the Operation of this will be to stop any further Inlistments till the Soldiers can Extort from their Townsmen fifty Dollars apiece in addition to the Bounty already given. I wish you Health and happiness and am, with regards to my Good Friends, yours sincerely. [No signature.]
Brigadier Knox is here and has sent in a Memorial and desired the Bounty we give to the fifteen Battalions may be given to four others now to be raised. it seems to be Curious to have one of your Generals petitioner for this Bounty, but how they can be raised without I know not. however, it is not Complyed with.
This Town is full of People of Consequence. your Promotions are rapid and the Increase of the Army has Multiplied Officers so that they are as
numerous here as the British Officers used to be. I feel like a very Inconsiderable person and that it is time for me to retire to my Farm, etc., etc., but this Letter is long enough. Adeu.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 1
MY DEAR SIR, I have now for a rarity been at Home a fortnight where I had the pleasure of receiveing your favour of the Ist Instant two days ago. I have a prospect of being at home one week more and then the Court meets again. I never at Home or Abroad received a Line from you that was displeasing to me. I never received one that did not give me great pleasure. I always Consider them as favours and Endeavour in some measure to deserve them. if my Friend had been Capable of being Infected with the Ill humours of any Man, I should have suspected he had caught a little of the pevishness of the when he seems to have lost his Confidence in the Attention and Affection of his Friend. it was certainly a fortunate Circumstance that Mr. Lovel arrived as he did, with a full Conviction of both. to be serious I do Employ every leisure hour in writeing to you and my other friends. but I have been Extreemly Engaged in Business and greatly fatigued. I have since that by Mr. Lovel wrote you a very long Letter by Mr. Bromfield, which I hope you have received by this time. I did not, however, give you any Account of the reception the proceedings of the Committees you mention, supposeing it would be taken for granted that they were agreable to the New England Assemblies whose Committees they were. and indeed this was the fact. they were received, believed and submitted to like the doctrines of holy writt. A quotation from the report of the Convention would silence any Man and knock down all Opposition at once, and this was really carried a great length with regard to the whole, and in general was and is Universally the case. A Spirit of Enthusiasm prevailed with regard to this matter, and had it not been for the Audacity of a few who ventured at the hazard of their reputation to question the policy of some part of the report, we might have been Involved in greater Confusion than we are. I recollect, however, but one Instance. the Convention reported that the Bounty to be given to the Soldiers in the N. England States should be no more than £10. each. I was always for giveing a Bounty to the Soldier in Addition to that given by Congress, supposeing that Justice required it. but I always wished it should be small, and ever Opposed the Extravagant Measures taken with regard to that matter. but when the
I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
measures were once Adopted and when I saw the fatal Influence of the Versatility of our Counsels and the Continual Change of our Measures both with regard to raising our quota of the Army and the Authority of our Government, I was for Adhering to our former measures as the least of two Errors, and for being steady for once and avoiding the great Confusions that would Ensue from haveing some Inlisted on one Encouragement and others on another. this might Occasion some Mortification to a Man who had assumed some Extraordinary airs from the Exercise of his new Commission and pleased himself with Expectations of Absolute Submission to the decrees of a Body he belonged to, and is the only Source I can conceive of, from whence should arise a Pet in the writer of the Letter which produced one in the receiver. I had once the honour of being president of the Board of War. I remained such with my head full of a Thousand projects and my hands full of Business, till the House took it into their heads that my Attendance there as Speaker was necessary for carrying on the public Business. they passed accordingly a Vote of dismission from the Board in Terms no way dishonorary to me. this was Concurred. I was sent for and have there remained ever since, without any Ideas of my own Importance quite satisfied to be there, or any where that shall be assigned me. I am, however, plyed hard enough with publick Business. had not Providence sent us a succession of Storms I should not have found leisure to write you this long Scroll even at Home. I promised myself here an Opportunity of Attending to a few small matters of my own and the Benefits of some relaxation. but the Board of War have Earnestly desired me to purchase some Vessels and Cargoes, and Charter others for them during this recess. this I am doing and have now six Vessels on hand with which I find full Employment. some of them are ordered to the Gentleman you recommend; several are already gone to that House, and I am glad to find their orders Coincideing with your wishes. No Matters of Intelligence can I give you from here. I have Collected and Conveyed in a Letter to my Friend Mr. Adams, wrote two days ago, all I could think of. I dare say he will Communicate it to you without Pet or pevishness. I think you have done well in regarding the Memory and takeing Care of the Families of those who have Nobly sacrificed their Lives for the publick good. money is much better spent this way than in another Instance hinted to you in my last, which, by the way, I never should have mentioned if it had not been worse than heaving it away and in a manner that is a dead weight on our public Operations. if he (you know who) was a real Statue, we should know what to Expect and act accordingly. Adeu my Friend. [No signature.]
My Compliments to Mr. Gerry. shall write him soon.
James Warren to Samuel Adams 1
BOSTON, April 2d, 1777
MY DEAR SIR, I have often within a week past Attempted to write to you without being able to perform it. something or other has always taken place to Call me off and I Expect will now before I have wrote five lines more. however, it is not much to be regretted on your part, since I have little more to say to you than a bare Expression of my Friendship, which you was well assured of before. no kind of Intelligence has lately been received here but of a Capture made by an Indian party of a small Number of our men at Ticonderoga and a request to push forward our Men for the support of that Important Post, which we are Endeavouring to do. the Tickets for your Lottery have had an amazeing rapid sale here. Your Loan Office, I am told, is successful, but I dont know the perticulars, being as great a stranger, and perhaps for the same reasons, to the L[oan] Officers as you used to be to the friends of Government who sat in the House with you. we have now and then a prize come in, but it is a rarity. I wish again to let loose the privateers. we are takeing measures to Compleat the fortifications of this harbour and I believe if the plan be not too Extensive it will be tolerably Executed. about two-thirds of our fifteen Battalions are raised. we have in the House been Employed among many other things in passing Acts for takeing Care of the Estates of Absentees, etc., for preventing desertion, for Establishing an Oath of Abjuration and Allegiance to be taken by all that have been King's Officers (excepting Mandamus Councellors and a few others), and those suspected of being Inimical, who on refusal are to be sent to England or the West Indies. it is also to be taken by all Officers, Civil and Military, etc. we are also about many other Acts of a more private nature and Resolves in Abundance. I am again Interrupted and so must Conclude after desireing your Attention to the Affairs of my Friend, Mr. Temple. he has suffered Extremely and in a way a little out of the Common Course, not by the ravages of the Enemy, but by the wanton destruction of some of our own Army, which has laid waste his whole Farm and destroyed at once the well Contrived and Judicious work of many Years and left his Buildings in a Situation very little better. whether there be a propriety in takeing up this matter at this time I cant say. if there be I could wish it, as his Circumstances require it and his Industry in the Noble profession of Husbandry with many other good qualities have great Merit. I am with Compliments to all Friends and the best wishes for your Happiness your sincere Friend.
I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.