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People and is designed to strike deep, as neither Congress or Individuals that compose it are spared. it is no difficult Matter to engage the prejudices of the people in a Country where Jealousy is excited on the Slightest Surmise.
Whether the author has sufficient Grounds for his Charges against Doctor Lee and for his Complaints against Congress, or whether this is a political dust he designs to avail himself of, you can better tell in France than I can here. if Dr. Lee and his Connections are guilty of Treachery or any Misconduct I hope they will be discovered and punished; but I must own at present I doubt it, and some People think the author might as well have bent his attention to clear himself from some Insinuations not much to his advantage. however, let matters be as they may, this has a Tendency to lessen the Confidence of the People in Congress, and to create Factions that may injure the Common Cause. The Tories have by such means a full Swing for their Arts, which they Improve to the greatest Advantage. I say nothing to you of the State of our Currency and other difficulties we have to struggle with. the Enemy still retain N. York and R. Island. the French and English Squadrons are supposed to be gone to the West Indies, from whence we expect great Events. Mrs. Adams writes you by this opportunity. Your pretty Daughter is here on a Winter's Visit to Mrs. Warren. She is very well and wont own that she is not happy. I am with every wish for your Happiness your Friend and Servant1
MERCY WARREN TO ABIGAIL ADAMS ADAMS MSS.
Jan. 19, 1779
I intended writing my Friend Mrs. Adams when Mr. Thaxter returned but dare say he gave you a satisfactory Reason why I did not. since which many matters have taken up my time. the bussy and the gloomy scenes have alternately played before me
I A letter from Samuel Adams to James Warren, January 6, 1779, is in Writings of Samuel Adams, IV. 113.
and commanded my Attention almost ever since I left your house with a Heart full of anxiety.
I saw my Father no more as my foreboding Heart presaged. He breathed his last sigh and bid Adieu to mortality before I reached his now Desolate Mansion.
Why was this such a painful Circumstance to me. How inconsistent, how irrational are our Wishes. when the saint is on the Threshold of Eternity and his Lord has commissioned a Messenger to Release him from his Labours and Bestow the Reward shall we wish a Moments Detention, that we may be permited the painful, the terifying satisfaction of standing by his Couch, while the trembling soul is taking Leave of its shattered tenement, and is looking abroad, amidst the Dark, profound, ethereal oeconimy, for a New and more permanent Habitation.
My excellent parent had long done his Work, and was patiently waiting this important Change. He longed to Depart and to be with Christ, and to unite his song of praise with the separate spirit of one whose Life was such that her Children could not be forgiven if they did not arise and call her Blessed, so long as Memory is lent them.
Forgive the fond overflowings of fillial affection, and I will lead you from a subject so unpolite to a more Fashionable theme, to the Disputes of polititions and statsmen. there if any where is Developed the Dark Windings of the Human Heart. How often when they have involved themselves in Guilt, do they send a Hue and Cry for justice to overtake such as are about to Detect them. perhaps we may soon see the Methods taken to exculpate the knave were the best Means of Bringing to light the knavery: and had the Former been silent, the odium of the Latter might have been fixed where it was not due, but by opening a Door for a strict scrutiny I hope truth will be Discovered. And punishment and Disgrace will rest where it ought.
If your Little Good Girl is unhappy she Conceals it from me, for she smiles as if she enjoyed herself and says plimouth is as pleasant as either Boston or Braintree. I shall endeavour to keep her in that sentiment as long as I can. if you hear anything from france we are not so immersed in our own Happiness but what she and
I can listen with pleasure, nor would Inteligence from any other quarter be unentertaining handed forward by your pen.
Make my Regards to Mr. Thaxter and to all other Braintree Friends. I will not write what I think of this young gentleman, but when I see you I will tell you.
It gives me pleasure in such a day as this when Vice is strengthened by Fashion, and Crimes are fostered by the appelation of Taste, to see any coming on the stage of action who have understanding and Virtue sufficient to Dare to be Good. but this may be one of the Antiquated Whims of your undisguised Friend 1 MARCIA WARREN
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 2
BOSTON, Feby. 12th, 1779
MY DEAR SIR, From the principle that has long Uniformly Influenced my Conduct I went Home to join in the Celebration of our Anniversary, where I had the Misfortune to be taken very Lame, which has detained me till Yesterday, when for the first time I returned here. this only has prevented my acknowledgements of your several favours of Novr. 23d and Jany. 6th, and also the Copy of a Letter from Paris, all which I have Improved in my small Circle to promote the Cause of Truth and patriotism and in support of the Characters of Honest and able patriots against arts and Insinuations which appear to me groundless in their Nature and Infamous in the manner they are done in.
I wish Truth had a more general Influence upon Mankind than it has, and that it was not in the power of designing Men to blind them, or party views to Lead them Astray against that and their own Interest; but we have seen it has done so and I see it now and fear I shall as long as I live. The late publications in Philadelphia are a General Topic here and I suppose all over the Continent. Opinions are as various as Characters and Given with some
I A letter from Samuel Adams to James Warren, February 12, 1779, is in Writings of Samuel Adams, IV. 123.
2 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
warmth on both Sides. however Baneful Mr. D[eane's] Address may be to our Affairs it finds Advocates here and it is difficult to prevent even many honest Men from being Captivated with an Address that falls in with their Jealousy at a Time when they find themselves uneasy and pressed with many difficulties. but what must the man deserve who while he pretends to be a Patriot can Cooly hazard the ruin of the finest proposals by Exciteing Groundless Jealousies and Animosities when the most perfect Unanimity should subsist to prevent the most desolating ruin. but I hope he and every Body will have their deserts. I may write you more on this subject hereafter when I have had more Opportunity to make my Observations here. As for News I can give you None but what you will find in the Papers.
The Court is setting. I can tell you but little about them. I am told they are upon a new Valuation, a Bill of Confiscation, upon a Tax Bill for 1,000,000 of money, a New Constitution and talk of riseing next week. Your old Friend figures away in the usual Stile. sometimes the pendulum swings one way and sometimes the other I mean with regard to Whiggism or Toryism, but never fails to swing uniformly against all that wont Bow down and worship a very Silly Image. you will have an Instance in a Letter which I am told has gone forward lately from a Certain Assembly to Congress relating to the Ships here and the Navy Board. this Letter had its rise from him and was Calculated and designed to Carry very Injurious reflections on the Board, but was greatly Amended (to his Mortification) by the other Branch. I believe it contains now but little more than a desire to have the Navy Board under their direction. if Congress think it necessary they should have more Masters they will do it, but I hope at the same time they will appoint one new Member in the room of one old one. I would not detain you longer, but it is necessary you should be acquainted with some Facts. last Decr. the Council requested us to send the Dean with their Brigantine Hazard down to the Eastward to Attack the Enemy. we represented to them that the Navigation was hazardous and that the force proposed was Insufficient, which was also the Opinion of the Board of War. they then proposed we should Join another Ship,
which we consented to, provided they could furnish us with fifty or sixty Men to man the Boston quick, so that they might Sail before the Enemy could know it at Newport and take measures. to destroy them, but no such thing was done. we then proposed that they should join the Hazard with the Dean and go on the Coast of Virginia, where their Force was Adequate to the Service; but the Board of War said the Brigantine was not Built to defend the Coasts of other States, would not agree to it and the Council was quite Inattentive to our Arguments and pressing Solicitations. we were therefore finally obliged to order the Deane to that service alone. the hazard is Cruiseing for profitable prizes and the Clamour is that we dont take measures to Clear that Coast.
Has Congress reconsidered their Vote for augmenting our Salaries. we have had no official Information of it. I wish to know how the matter stands. if it be on the old Foot I must quit or be ruined. I am your sincere Friend.
My best regards to Mr. Gerry and Mr. Lovel. I wish they would let me know how the world goes. No Body writes to me
The Navy Board has Just received two warrants from your Committee for 100,576 dollars and a promise of 50,000 in Money. My Friend, you must consider this as next to No supply. we have borrowed nearly 50,000 already and paid it away. if we get the 100,000 from the Loan Office in Connecticut, which I dont Expect, it will by no Means supply Huntington, Cotton, and Langdon for the Ships they are Building and Equiping,1 and we shall not have a penny left for all the other great demands on us. what then becomes of your Navy. you must haul up your Ships or supply us Immediately with a much larger Sum.
I Joshua Huntington (1751-1821), John Cotton, of Chatham, Conn., and John Langdon, of Portsmouth, N.H. Some letters on the operations of these agents will be found in the Huntington Papers, Conn. Hist. Soc. Collections, xx, and in Out-Letters of the Continental Marine Committee and Board of Admiralty, 1776-1780, printed by the Naval History Society.