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if not will vanity, Ambition, or popularity without Merit atone for giveing it. Will you in your next give me the Character of Mr. M[ar]ch[an]t. I am always pleased with your pictures. I trouble you no More at this Time than to desire your Care of the Inclosed Letters and to deliver them with my regards to the Young Gentleman they are directed to.
Adieu says your Friend,
Capt. Burke hesitated about accepting Command of the Brigantine but has done it at last. the prejudices of the Officers. here against him are great. as you have patronized him I hope he will turn out an honest man. he has desired a Court of Enquiry into his Conduct dureing his Captivity.
JAMES WARREN TO JOHN ADAMS
BOSTON, N. England, July 1st, 1778 SIR, I have wrote you several long Letters since you left us, some of which you will doubtless by the Enemy be releiv'd from the trouble of reading. My last was by Capt. Barnes about fourteen days ago, at a time when we had reason to be anxious for your safety. Two days ago for the first time we were Ascertained of the safe Arrival of the Boston and of your being in Paris. This Intelligence we have by a Packet from France in forty-six days, which brought public and private Letters. I am told there are Letters from you tho' I have not the Honour and Happiness of being Numbered among those to whom they are directed. I suppose the public Letters that go by this Conveyance with the Gazettes we shall Inclose will give you all the News of this Country. Great Expectations are formed here from the Circumstances and Situation of our own Army, and that of the Enemy. We have no Cruisers on our Coasts at this Time they are all Called into Hallifax where they are in the Horrors from the Apprehension of a French Fleet said to be in these Seas, tho' we have yet no particular Account of them. By this Means our prizes and
Merchantmen have a fine Chance to get in, and they succeed Accordingly. This Vessel goes of so suddenly that I fear Mrs. Adams will not hear of this opportunity to write. If she does not it may be some satisfaction to you to be Informed that she is well. I am obliged to Conclude and am Your Assured Friend and Humble Serv't,
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL Adams 1
BOSTON, July 5, 1778
MY DEAR SIR, — I have wrote you very lately and very lengthy. if they come so fast as to be Troublesome, you will give me Notice and I will stop my hand. The Army was the principle Subject of my last. I will now in turn give you a few more of my Sentiments with regard to the Navy, The Manning and dispatch of your Ships here depend very much on the Character of the Commanders. all we can do seems to little purpose, unless the Captains and Officers are popular, and such as the Seamen have a Confidence in. Capt. Burke may be a good Officer, but there are suspicions subsisting and a certain unpopular air and manner in his Behaviour that has Occasioned those Men who Intended to go in that Brigantine to leave her, and I fear in spite of every thing I can do it will be long before she goes to Sea. This Appointment seems to be a matter of Speculation, and as the Service is retarded by it gives great occasion for the observations of the Speculators. but Nothing has afforded a more ample subject for those People and for the resentment of the Navy Officers than the late Appointment of Capt. Landais to the Alliance. I am afraid this will be productive of much Confusion and Mischief. he is an Ingenuous and well Behaved Man. I am pleased to see him taken Notice of, but this Appointment seems to be marked with some degree of Enthusiasm. you have certainly Exceeded his Expectations if not wishes, and have you done Justice to some Exceeding good officers here, who have older Commissions than his, and with their
1 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
Familys been long starving on their bare pay. Manley, Olney, and Waters have reason to suppose themselves Neglected, especially the first, as he was made acquainted that the Marine Committee (as they wrote us) Intended that Ship for him if he was Honourably acquitted by a Court Martial. Capt. Landais when he went from here seemed to Expect no more than some kind of Superintendency in the Construction of Ships. there are two very good Lieutenants in that Ship but I am told they will both leave her and the service. I fear he will never man her unless with Frenchmen and I suppose that would hardly be Agreable to Congress. she is much the finest Frigate you have had. however my Exertions shall not be wanting more especially as I find there is an Opinion that you was his chief Patron. Capt. Manley will hand you this. he is a Blunt, Honest, and I believe Brave Officer. he was first in the Service, and merited much by his Conduct. I hope therefore he will be continued and satisfied, more especially as he is extreemly popular with Officers, and Seamen, and can Man a Ship with dispatch when a Man as deserving could do nothing in that way, which is an Object you must attend to or be content to have your Ships lay in Port. Capt. Barry's Character stands high, and his Conduct is agreable. I think therefore we shall have but little difficulty in Maning his Ship tho' he is a Stranger.
Capt. McNeil is gone to make you a Visit. his Address is Insinuating, and his Assurance great. he may tell you fine Storys, but be Assured he has had as fair and Impartial a Trial as a Man ever had, and as much Tenderness and delicacy both in the prosecution and Sentence as he ought to wish for. We have frequently wrote for an Establishment for Pursers, and Pilots. the Service suffers for want of it. do see it done both with regard to wages and prize money, and Expedite the other Business we have wrote about perticularly send us Money. We Celebrated the 4th of July here yesterday with great parade and festivity. we have no News here we long to hear how matters stand with the Army and where the French Fleet are. I am with regards to all Friends Yours Assuredly,
Did you ever propose an Allowance of Hay and Oates for our Horses since we have been in this Service. our Board and Horsekeeping has from the begining cost us more than our pay, and since last December we have been at least a dollar a day out of pocket. the Service is hard enough. the least that could be done is to afford us support here, if we are not Enabled to take any kind of Care of our Familys. we are Obliged to give Carpenters, Riggers and some other Tradesmen five dollars a day, while we have but about four. Ceteris paribus they have the Advantage of us. they are at Home with their Familys, we are Abroad and Absent from ours. your Resolve about the Frenchman's Pendant is thought very Extraordinary. it is a great Triumph to the Skippers, and is Improved with some marks of Insult, and is mortifying to your own Officers. if it is a fact that our Ships are allowed to wear their pendants in the Ports of France in presence of Men of War, all the officers lately there give us wrong Information, and certain it is one of your Vessels of War lately at Martinico [was] not permitted to wear her pendant, to the Mortification of Capt. Chew, who was a Man of great Spirit. I hope proper respect will be paid to the Judgment of Courts Martial, and their Sentences never altered but where Errors, fraud, Injustice or partiality plainly appear.
A French Cutter now here fires a morning and Evening Gun.
SAMUEL ADAMS TO JAMES WARREN
PHILADA., July 14, 1778
MY DEAR SIR, — I am to acknowledge the Receipt of your favors of the 26th and 28th of June. I have long been apprehensive, you know, that false Ideas of Politeness would injure the Minds of our Countrymen and prove destructive to Morals and Liberty. But I own, I did not expect that the most ridiculous Folley would have taken so early and large a Stride as it appears to have done in the Instance you mention. It cannot in my opinion be supported by any Principles of Truth and Propriety and discovers a Degree of Servility shocking to sober Humanity.
And yet a Conduct so void of common Sense will find Advocates among many who never had and never can have a Spark of that Republican Feeling which you have always possessd. These People are formd to be Asses and Slaves; Let them remain so. But surely they ought not to be advanced to places of Influence, to spread by their Examples, the Principles of Servility and Slavery among the People. I will take an Opportunity when I am at Leisure to answer your Letter of the 26, which I have communicated to my Friend Colo. Lee. Yesterday I made a short Visit to Monsr. Gerard. If I can form any Judgm[en]t of him, his Manners would suit our Country. But I expect to be better acquainted with him soon. Mr. H[ancock] has asked and obtaind Leive of Absence and is going home! Adieu.
SAMUEL ADAMS TO JAMES WARREN
PHILADA., July 15, 1778
MY DEAR SIR,- Mr. H[ancock] informs me that he will certainly set off for Boston immediately after Dinner, and being now in Congress I have Time only to write you a short Letter.
The Sieur Gerrard, will soon have an Audience in Congress in the stile of "Minister Plenopotentiary of his most Christian Majesty the King of France." Would you think that one so little of the Man of the World as I am should be joynd in a Committee to settle Ceremonials? It is however of some Importance that we agree upon Forms that are adapted to the true republican Principles; for this Instance may be recurrd to as a Precedent in Futurity.1
The Articles of Confederation were signd last Week by seven [eight] States. North Carolina has sent a full Ratification of it, so the Members of that State will sign when they arrive which is expected in a few Days. Congress has written a Letter to the
I The Committee was composed of Richard Henry Lee, Samuel Adams and Gouverneur Morris. They reported on July 17 but the report was debated and the final form adopted on July 20. Journals of the Continental Congress, x1. 688, 698, 707.