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RICHARD HENRY LEE TO JAMES WARREN
PHILADELPHIA, March 6th, 1779
SIR, I thank you very sincerely for your kindness in forwarding the parcel of bark by Mr. Brailsford, which I have received in good order, and would thankfully have paid that gentleman for his trouble in the carriage, but his civility would not suffer him to receive anything. I have no doubt, Sir, but that the same goodness which has forwarded this parcel of bark, will contrive the other by the first convenient opportunity. This is a medicine rendered necessary in my family from situation and climate which expose us to intermitting fevers. Indeed long habit has made its constant use indispensable to me.
I am extremely sensible, Sir, of your obliging sentiments of me and my family, and I hope we shall continue to deserve them. If all men like General Warren possessed wisdom, integrity, and discernment, such characters as Mr. Deane and his Adherents would never disgrace public employments, or venture upon such experiments as have lately been made on the public. However, indiscernment begins now to discern, and even the interested friends of Mr. Deane seem ashamed to support him. It will be happy for him if resentment rises no higher than contempt.
I have the honor to be with singular respect and esteem Sir your most obliged and very humble Servant,
RICHARD HENRY LEE
MERCY WARREN TO ABIGAIL ADAMS ADAMS MSS.
PLIMOUTH, March 19, 1779
If anything would awake the sleeping Muses or call back the Wandering Deities the Imagery of this Delightful Morn when the hand of Nature has decorated every twig with spangles of peculiar Briliancy, joined with the Repeated Request of my Friend would not fail to do it. the subject you point out requires Heroics. But alas! Clio is Deaf, perhaps irrevocably stunned till the Noise of
War shall cease. The Harmony of Calliope suffers by the jaring of patriots, and Melpomene is starved amidst the General Cry for Bread.
In short, I believe the famed Nine sickened by the unpromising aspect of this Decayed Village, (once the Asylum of piety) and grown weary of their old Friend, sensible they had heretofore made a Lodgment in an unthrifty soil, have bid an Everlasting Adieu. And as their Ladyships have taken Wing (probably in pursuit of some more happy Clime,) I hope they will not rest till they light on the Head of some Votive Genius whose productions will do honour to the Admired Train, as well as to the Cold Regions of the North.
But if they should ever condescend again to make a Temporary Visit to one almost secluded from society, (which Brightens the Ideas and gives a polish to Expression) you may Depend upon it your absent partner will not be forgot. but at present you must be content to let me tell you in plain prose that I think him Honest. that if by living among the Refinements of polititions and Courtiers, his Integrity should be undermined, or his taste perverted, my Motto to every Character in Future shall be, That Man is all a Lye.
I return you a Letter with thanks for the perusal. wish if proper you would forward some others when you send for your Daughter who I really love, and love her the more the longer she resides with me.
In future I shall call her my Naby and Back my Claim with the promise of her papah to whom I shall appeal if you Monopolize too much.
You do not tell me why you was so confident I had a Letter from France. Depend upon it you shall see it when I have. I think I might expect two or three in a year, if it was only a Complimentary Return for the Many Visits made a Lady, by a Gentleman with regard to whom were it in my power, I should Discover perhaps too much of the spirit of the times, by engrossing his hours wholly to myself, and to a Number of amiable youth, but he is impeled by a Coincidence of Circumstance to a style of Life not agreeable to his taste. Call me Miserly if you please, yet I am
sensible you can, you may feelingly join with me and the Bonny Scotch Lass, and warble the Mournful Chorus
From Morn to Eve,
There's Little pleasure in the Room,
When my Good Man's awaw.
I shall return a Number of Letters with a Manuscript Volume by Miss N[abb]y. it has been an agreable Entertainment to me, and when you come to Plimouth which I hope will be within a few weeks I shall endeavour to make all the Retaliation in my power.
You ask what I think of the Late Dispute among the higher powers of America. I know little of it except what is in the public papers, where I think may be discovered the precipitation and timidity of Guilt in a certain Indiscreet writer yet I like not the Expression of Englifyed American, which I saw dropped from a pen I view in a very different Light.
I shall only Gently Remind you that your promise is not yet compleated of writing much and frequently through the Course of the Winter, to her who subscribes your affectionate Friend1 M. WARREN
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 2
BOSTON, March 30th, 1779
MY DEAR SIR, - I have for sometime been Exceeding Uneasy about you. it has been reported here that you are in Bad Health, and I cant reconcile myself to be easy while anything prevents your Services to your Country, at a Time when it so much wants Able and Honest Men. I hope this report is without foundation, but your long Silence seems to be a Confirmation of the Truth of it. I shall Earnestly Expect a Letter by the Post To morrow in answer to the several Letters I have wrote you. Our Speculations here are Employed upon the Mighty Secret Congress is possessed
I A letter from Samuel Adams to James Warren, March 23, 1779, is in Writings of Samuel Adams, IV. 139.
2 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
off and the great Business before them. the Ingenuity of our politicians has been Exhausted and their patience wore out. they now begin to be Content with supposeing that propositions of Peace have some how been made to you and that you are Considering the Terms. this alone is no small Object. I have always had my Apprehensions of danger from Negotiations of this Kind. the designs of the disaffected, the Views of the Interested, will have their Influence upon the Timidity of some and Weakness of others to precipitate us into rash and sudden Concessions. The doctrine that almost any peace is preferable to a Continuance of the war is a dangerous one, because it pleases the Feelings and Taste of the Many who have abandoned every valuable Consideration to a rage for Ease, Luxurious Living and Expensive diversions. in Short we are arrived to that Stage of Civilization and polished Manners which I think Incompatible with public or private Virtue, and therefore worse than Barbarism. I wish for Peace, but had rather the War should Continue the remaining part of my Life than Accept a Peace on Bad Terms.
What are to be the Military Operations of this Summer. is there a judicious plan, or are there to be any wild Romantic Expeditions that promise nothing but Expense, Loss and disappointment, Except serving the purposes of falling in with the Views of the Dons of. I have not a word of News to tell you. we anxiously wait for Intelligence from Georgia. I saw Mrs. Adams a few days ago very well. I am yours Sincerely
I am very happy here in our Friend General Gates, but I fear he is to leave us soon. he is a true Genuine Republican of sterling virtue, etc., etc.
GEORGE WASHINGTON TO JAMES WARREN
HEAD QUARTERS, MIDDLEBROOK, Mar. 31, 1779 DEAR SIR, I beseech you not to ascribe my delay in answering your obliging favour of the 16th of Decr. to disrespect, or want
of inclination to continue a corrispondance in which I have always taken pleasure, and thought myself honored.
Your letter of the above date came to my hand in Philadelphia, where I attended at the request of Congress to settle some important matters respecting the Army and its future operations; and where I was detained till some time in Febru'y. during that period my time was so much occupied by the immediate and pressing business which carried me there, that I could attend to little else; and upon my return to Camp I found the ordinary business of the army had run so much behind hand, that together with the arrangements I had to carry into execution no leizure was left me to indulge myself sooner in making the acknowledgment I am now about to do, of the pleasure I felt at finding that I still enjoyed a share of your confidence and esteem, and now and then would be informed of it by letter. believe me Sir when I add, that this proof of your holding me in remembrance, is most pleasing and acceptable.
Our conflict is not like to cease so soon as every good man would wish. The measure of inequity is not yet filled, and unless we can return a little more to first principles, and act a little more upon patriotic grounds, I do not know when it will, or, what may be the issue of the contest. Speculation, peculation, engrossing, forestalling, with all their concomitants, afford too many melancholy proofs of the decay of public virtue; and too glaring instances of its being the interest and desire of too many, who would wish to be thought friends, to continue the War.
Nothing I am convinced but the depreciation of our currency proceeding in a great measure from the foregoing causes, aided by stock jobbing and party dissentions, has fed the hopes of the enemy and kept the Arms of Briton in America untill now. They do not scruple to declare this themselves, and add that, we shall be our own conquerors. Cannot our common Country (America) possess virtue enough to disappoint them? Is the consideration of a little dirty pelf, to individuals, to be placed in competition with the essential rights and liberties of the present generation, and of millions yet unborn? shall a few designing men for their own aggrandizement, and to gratify their own avarice, overset