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DEAR SIR, The Letter with the Strictures upon it, I propose to be publishd in Boston if you approve of it. I hope the Press there is free, as the Constitution dictates. If it is not, the Liberties of the People which we have been struggling for, will, in my opinion be soon lost. I see nothing in the strictures disrespectfull to the Governor or the Government. Indeed they were hastily drawn, and I am not unmindful of the Fable of the Ape and her young one. My Design is to discountenance the Lovers of Flattery, and to vindicate a respectable Character which has been wantonly attackd. We must support such characters. You will easily see that for one reason and one only, it would be imprudent for me to be known. I am willing however that you should consult confidential judicious Friends.1 Yours. Adieu.
Jany. 1, '81.
ABIGAIL ADAMS TO MERCY WARREN
Janry. 8th, 1781
s instructions, received by mr. Searl,2 will oblige him to continue in Holland this winter. A Letter arrived for me at the Southward. mr. L[ovel]l coverd it with, a Letter of his own, and the Enemy kidnapt them both, when they stole the last mail. possibly mr. Rivington may give it me by and by. I question it, however. my absent Friend, made wise by experience, is so warry that I dare say, they will get no Booty in politicks from him. I saw by the last pensilvana paper under York News, that they had got a Letter of Dr. Rush's which they have promissed to print in the Next paper in which say they, he treats the Rebel Senate with great freedom. that both you and I can believe, from former Specimens. Rush will care as little as any body. I wait for a key to a Letter which I have now in my possession to give you something, I fancy which will be entertaining. I mean to write you I The communication is not found in any Boston newspaper and was probably unpublished.
z James Searle, agent of Pennsylvania to negotiate a loan in Europe.
soon and send to Boston for conveyance. my hands freaze by the fire. I return the Muslin having been supplied. the black hankerchiefs mr. Gorge may sell at 75, but I had rather the coulourd should be returnd if they will not fetch 80. I can part with them so here. Regards to the young Gentleman. enclose a Letter and peice of News paper. have you seen Hutchinsons character,1 and an other peice in the paper, remarks upon George Germains speech in the house of commons? you will know the writer. pity my fingers now, and I will tire you out an other time. Nabby sends Duty, longs to come to plimouth, but I am jealous of trusting her there again least she should love it better than home. I wish you would not live there. come to Boston, to Braintre I had rather, I fancy the place will be to be sold again. yours most affectionately when you are not affronted when you are, sorrowfull very sorrowfull.2
ABIGAIL ADAMS TO MERCY WARREN
BRAINTREE, March 5, 1781
I hoped before this time to have given you some intelligence from abroad but the Mars brings me only two Letters from mr. Thaxter, written before he left Paris. I find by a few lines of mr. dana, that mr. Guile had many Letters. he sailed in October and has not since been heard of. the best that can be hoped of him, is that he may be taken, and even that is a situation to be deprecated considering the inhumane policy which the New parliment and the successes of the Britains at Charlestown have induced them to adopt, as you will see from extracts from mr. A[dam]s Letters to Congress, which I enclose to you, but should be glad may be returnd to me as soon as a safe conveyance offers.
I "Extract of a letter lately received from a gentleman in Europe" in The Independent Chronicle, January 4, 1781.
2 A letter from James Warren to Arthur Lee, January 10, 1781, is printed in Lee, Lif of Arthur Lee, 11. 273; and one from Samuel Adams to James Warren, February 1, 1781, in Writings of Samuel Adams, 1v. 242.
Retaliation is a painfull task to the Humane breasts of Americans, yet is certainly due in justice to the worthy suffering citizens and especially to so aged and so respectable a personage as the late president Laurence [Laurens], and more particularly so on account of the publick character with which he was invested.
o! My dear Madam when I reflect upon this worthy Mans situation I cannot feel sufficient Gratitude to Heaven for preserving my dearest Friend from a similar situation, and thereby trying me with a calamity which would have "harrowd up my soul."
I congratulate you Madam upon the rising Hero in the south. General Morgan by his repeated Successes has brightend the page of our History, and immortalized his own Name, whilst the opportunely expedition of our Allies checked the treacherous Arnold in his cruel ravages, and opens a prospect for his speedy destruction. May the ancient spirit of America rise with her successes, and crush the venal passion for Gain, may every virtuous citizen cooperate with the Martial Spirit, and drive from these Distressed States the Mercenary invaders since that and that alone is like to give us peace.
With regard to our commercial affairs, you must have misunderstood me with regard to Tea, because I never had any but what I purchased by the pound for my family....
ARTHUR LEE TO JAMES WARREN
PHILADELPHIA, June 15th, 1781
DEAR SIR, I receivd lately some Letters from you of an old date. Others Dr. Shippen tells me he forwarded to Virginia and in the confusion of the times they will probably be lost. Mr. Blodget was exceedingly wrong in answering questions which criminated himself and as far as they concernd me were extrajudicial. He was unjust in telling upon Oath the truth and not the whole truth, which whole truth woud have shewn that the goods ·were to be containd in one trunk, and that it was at his persuasion
and assurance that the trunk shoud make a part of what he was allowd to bring that I allowd them to be brought in the Alliance contrary to what I repeatedly exprest to him. As the Admiralty Board is filld with Duane's friends and Creatures, they did not fail to report this and every thing else they coud cull out against me to Congress. But it has had no Effect, that I know of, on that Body, nor has any use been made [of] it without doors.
There is now operating in union against Dr. Lee's being Minister for foreign Affairs, the french interest, that of Dr. Franklin and of Mr. Duane or of the Tories. You will not therefore wonder that no choice has been made since their Candidate Chancellor Livingston, who, on being detected with his Brother in partnership with Arnold in his illicit plan of Commerce with N. York, retird from Congress, can get but three States.1 You may judge Sir, by their proposing and supporting such a Candidate, for the most confidential office in the U. S., to what a pitch of audacity toryism has arrivd in Congress. You will also judge what respect the french have for our whigg principles when they cultivate and countenance most openly the avowd Tories. Their policy in this is to have a party devoted to their measures, which they know are not for the interest of America, and which they therefore justly conclude the true whigs woud not support. But they have not sagacity enough to perceive that the Tories are only coinciding with them to gain an ascendency over the Whigs, and that they are ministering to views directly opposite to what they pretend the support of our Independence.
What I always knew must now be clear to every one that it was not Dr. Lee but his principles that were offensive to the french Court: since in conjunction with Dr. Franklin, they have commenc'd the very same intrigues against our friend Mr. J. Adams. They know that his intentions are to honest, and his mind too firm, for their purposes; and therefore they are endeavoring to disgrace him, or shakle him with the wiles of that old, corrupt Serpent, who has constantly sold this Country to them.
1 On January 17, 1781, Robert R. Livingston was nominated by James Mitchell Varnum and Arthur Lee by Thomas McKean, for the office of Secretary of Foreign Affairs. On August 10 Livingston was again nominated by William Floyd and elected.
From what I know past relative to the Fishery, I am sure that is one of their objects; and that this manouvre is principally to trick us out of that, to which they know Mr. Adams is an invincible obstacle. I am not without my fears, that the wisdom and virtue of Congress, will not be proof against the wiles and temptations they employ. It seems to me therefore, that you shoud endeavor to have strong Instructions sent from N. Hampshire and Rhode Island to their Delegates, who certainly stand in need of them, in support of Mr. Adams and in maintenance of a full and clear right to the Fishery.
I have heard nothing of the Grant of Land made me by the General Court. I am very desirous of having that matter finisht and therefore shall be much obligd to you to attend to its execution. It is not clear to me that those french politics and a confidence in their promises of a second Division, which I believe was never intended, will occasion the total loss of Virginia. It is already almost ruind. Had the 2d Division been sent as it was promist, it woud have enabled us to drive the Enemy out of the Country, confirmd our Independency and finisht the War. But to finish the war is neither the interest nor object of France; therefore it is weak in us to expect they will perform such a promise. But if we coud not penetrate so far into their policy, yet their not having performd what they have promist for fifteen months, while they are sending larger naval Armaments to different parts of the world, to make conquests, shoud warn us that we are made the dupes of their policy and the instruments of their ambition.
Your friends in Virginia are in the neighbourhood of the war, and I fear will be made particular objects of its cruelty and destruction.
I beg my respects to Mrs. Warren and Mrs. Adams and my Compts. to the two Mr. Bowdoins, Mrs. Gerry, Mr. Lowell and the rest of our patriotic friends. Farewell.