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ignorant of the Law of the Land and made the Amend honorable. The Board of War afterwards adjusted the Account and the Creditor was satisfied. Adieu.
I intreat you not to resign your Seat at the Navy Board.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 1
BOSTON, Octr. 25th, 1778
MY DEAR SIR, I received yours by Mr. Thaxter in safety and hope you have before this found leisure to pursue the subject. I am fully Convinced that no Man, let his Integrity and services be ever so great or Meritorious, is to Escape free from the Malignant and Envious Spirit now prevailing. Doctr. Lee must Expect his Share. if it is not a proper reward for public virtue, I have learnt to Consider it as a certain mark of it and whoever escapes is in some degree suspicious.
We have just received an Account that a large Fleet of British Men of War and Transports have left N. York and many People are Apprehensive they are comeing this way. preparations are makeing to receive them. for my own part I Cant Conceive that even Britons are yet so Infatuated as to risque an Expedition here at this Season. if they should they may give us some trouble and probably ruin themselves. One storm such as we frequently have at this Time of Year may gratify our wishes and leave the French perfectly at Liberty to pursue their Conquests in the West Indies. we have no other Intelligence of any kind of Importance to give you. the French Squadron still remain here, all ready, or nearly ready, for the Sea. the General Court is adjourned to January. Most People are Engaged in geting and some in spending Money as fast as they can. superb Entertainments are very Common. Genl. H[ancock] gives a Magnificent Ball to the French Officers, and to the Gentlemen and Ladies of the Town next Thursday Evening. indeed all manner of Extravagance prevails I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
here in dress, furniture, Equipage and Liveing, amidst the distress of the public and Multitudes of Individuals. how long the Manners of this People will be Uncorrupted and fit to Enjoy that Liberty you have so long Contended for I know not. I fear you have lost your Labour. they will be soon fit to receive some Ambitious Master.
we have had an Agreable Visit from your Lady and Daughter at Plymouth. I have not seen her since her return a few days ago; she was then very well. Inclosed is a Letter for the President which you will please to deliver. it contains my resignation of my office at the Navy Board. perhaps you will think I do wrong. I cant help it. this Business is very laborious, requiring close and constant Attention. I have no time to Attend to my Family and private Affairs, subject to the disagreable Circumstance of liveing from my Family and not in the most agreable manner, and besides all this, it is too Expensive for me. I live very frugally. I Board very simply, but that and my Horsekeeping only, without a Servant and any kind of Elegancies, has, while Board was fifteen dollars per week and under, cost me about 500 dollars more than my pay. it is now twenty dollars per week, hay 30/ per hundred. this Expense with the Neglect of my private Affairs will ruin me. the honour of holding this place will not Compensate for all this and the public will receive no detriment by my retirement. you will easily find others Capable of doing this Business better than I can. when Congress permits me, I will go Home and pray for your Success. I am in the mean Time your assured Friend, etc. J. WARREN
My regards to Mr. Gerry, Lovel and other Friends.
October 27th. No further Intelligence of the British fleet, nor have we any News from any quarter.
I am desired by Capt. Brown, whom you once mentioned to me, to recall your Attention to him. he dont seem to think there is now room for him to be appointed to the Command of a frigate, but he thinks there would be Advantages from haveing a Superintendant Appointed, whose Business it should be to superintend
and direct the repairs and fixing the Ships under the direction of the Navy Board. you will Judge of the propriety of such an Officer. your Navy here seems to be Important enough to Command your Attention. this will always be their head Quarters. docks and Yards would Cost no doubt a great deal of Money, but if Congress could see how we are Imposed on, Cheated and delayed in our Business and Unavoidably so, they perhaps would think the Money well laid out. You furnished us not long ago with an ample and generous supply. you will perhaps be surprised when I tell you it is gone. we must write to you for more, tho' I do it with reluctance, yet it is necessary, and we must be supplyed without any kind of delay or the whole Business must stop at once. We must mention other things to your Committee which I beg your Immediate Attention to. we have supplyed the French Squadron to the Amount of about 130,000 dollars. you are to Consider there are in this harbour six frigates, a Brigantine and Sloop, a large Ship Building at Portsmouth, two frigates at Connecticut and a Ship in Connecticut River, all calling for Money as fast as it can be told. the truth is the Money fetches so little that I am sick with seeing the Bills brought into this Office. I cant add more at present, haveing our hands full. Adeu.
We have done a great deal of Business for the French Squadron. when we rendered our Accounts by the Advice of General Whipple, we charged a Commission of five per cent. whether it will be admitted or not I dont know. I rather doubt it, tho' we have earned it. Will you please to Seal the Inclosed before delivery.
JAMES WARREN TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS1
BOSTON, Oct. 28th, 1778
SIR, I Beg leave to make my Acknowledgements to Congress
for the Honour they have done me by the repeated Marks of their
I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
Confidence in the several Appointments they have Conferred upon me. If anything could add to the Zeal with which I have served the publick in the present great Contest, and Excite me to greater diligence it would be the Gratitude I feel on these occasions. However Circumscribed my Abilities are I have Endeavoured to supply the want of greater by an honest and assiduous attention to my duty, and I flatter myself that my Exertions have produced some Advantages to the Common Cause. I Wish it was in my power to Continue at the Navy Board, and serve the publick in that Station in a way that would at once be honourable and advantageous to the public and myself. I have been Engaged many Years in public Service to the Injury of my small Fortune and the great disadvantage of my Family. The Business in this Department is very Extensive and requires Constant Attention to the total Exclusion of the private Business or relaxation of the Members, and under the present Circumstances of things Nothing but the Solicitations of Gentlemen well affected to our Cause, and my own Inclinations to serve it, has Induced me to Continue as a Member to this Time. As there are undoubtedly Many Gentlemen of greater Abilities, who in Addition to my Motives may have in Contemplation the honour and profitt of this Employment, and the public will receive no detriment by my retirement, I Beg the favour of Congress to permit me to resign, Assuring them that I shall Consider it my duty to attend to the Business here till they have had an Opportunity to make a new Appointment. As I feel greatly Interested in the Cause of America, I sincerely wish Success to every Department Constituted to promote it, and particularly to the Navy, which I flatter myself by a Judicious Management and proper Attention may soon be on a footing to rank America with the most distinguished Naval Powers.
I Beg Leave also to Inform Congress that by the Integrity and Honour of Coll. Laomi Baldwin (who Commanded a Regiment when I was Paymaster) I have discovered a considerable part of the deficiencies which I could not then account for. He has paid into my hands 576 dollars which after long Enquiry he has been Able to Account for no other way than by his receiving it from my office by mistake. This Money waits for the disposition of the
Honourable Congress. I shall be happy in being fortunate enough to discover the remainder.
I have the Honour to be with the Greatest Esteem and Respect Your Excellency's Most obed't Humble Serv't,
This resignation was not accepted by Congress, but at their request and the urgency of many other Gentlemen the writer continued to serve in that department for two or three Years longer.1
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 2
MY DEAR SIR, - I am to thank you for your favours of the 17th and 20th of October, which were received last Evening. I am not able at present to make any perticular reply to the Contents of them. can only say that your Advice has alway's great weight with me and your Entreaties still more; but whatever Influence they might have had in this Instance they came too late. my resignation was sent forward last week by Express and perhaps by this Time is handed to you. I had no reason to suppose it would be disagreable either to you or Mr. Gerry. I had hinted it to both of you and no Objection was made. however; when you are possessed of my reasons, I am Inclined to suppose you will think it best. the Business is Enormously great and serving on the Terms we do is Injurious to our Families, not to mention till I see you one or two other things.
Mr. Temple will hand you this. his Character, his Conduct and his Sufferings in Consequence of them are too well known to you to require anything said by me to Insure him a handsome reception from you. I have no doubt he deserves it. we have no news. I am yours affectionately
1 A letter from Samuel Adams to James Warren, November 3, 1778, is in Writings of Samuel Adams, IV. 88.
2 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.