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JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 1
WATERTOWN, Octr. 26th, 1775
MY DEAR SIR, I had the pleasure of receiving yours by Mr. Tracey two days ago, and am much Obliged to you for it. I am sorry your Friends dont write you oftner, especially those of them who are more capable of it than I am, and have Abundantly more leisure. I think their Negligence Unpardonable — that of the Committee in perticular; but to tell you the Truth I never Expected your Correspondence would be much Enlarged by their Appointment. I wrote to you not more than three days ago, and now again purely to shew the readiness I have to Comply with your requests and my own duty. not haveing a single new Article of Intelligence to hand you, how long you will wish the Continuance of such a Correspondence I can't say. I am very sensible of the hazard and danger of depending so much on a Change of Measures in Britain. that is a Rock that some of us have ever carefully avoided and should never split upon, but in a general Shipwreck, when we must go with the rest, whether it be occasioned by Timidity, Folly or Wickedness. I was in hopes before this to have found more such Instances and Examples as Lord Effingham has given the world; but the prevailing Luxury and Consequent rage for money has absorbed every other Sentiment and left scarce the least Trace of honour or virtue in any public Class among them. I perceive you had got Church's Letter, which, with an Account of his manner of Conducting this matter, gives you every thing we have here on which we Judge of him and the Criminality of his Conduct. there are Indeed some other Collateral Evidences against him, such as his keeping this Correspondence a secret to every one, Instead of Communicating it to the President or some of the Members of Congress, or to the General, if he Intended it for the Good of the publick, especially when the General in great Confidence has Sollicited him to Recommend to him some proper person in Boston from whom he might receive Intelligence. Add to all which the General Inattention and Unfeeling manner he discovered when he was among us. I used to Impute that to the Indolence of his Temper, but am now Convinced that it proceeded from the Wickedness of his Heart. I have now no difficulty to account for the knowledge Gage had of all our Congress Secrets, and how some later plans have been rendered abortive; or for the Indulgence shewn him when he went into Boston after the Lexington Battle. do I discover a want of charity that the Evidences wont warrant. The judgment of the publick and of Individuals are very severe upon the Letter here. you are to consider that at the Time this letter was wrote, our Army were forming very fast into Order
I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
and discipline, and were so formidable that he could hardly Advise them to make another Attack with any prospect of Success. And with regard to powder we had about that time many Accounts of the Arrival of it, which I dare say he believed. when he could no longer promise himself that the Event of the Contest would be as lucky as the defeat of our Army at Bunker's Hill, it seems natural that he should tell them the Truths he has done in order to Enforce his Sollicitations for Peace. but I quit this subject as it might lead me into a page or two more, and only now Inform you that we have this day taken the proper steps to have him brought to the Barr of the House Tomorrow, 10 o'Clock. then I expect him and as great a Concourse as Curiosity can Collect.
The 27th. Doctr. Church has been brought according to order to the Barr and has made with great Assurance and Confidence an artful, plausible defence, attended with all the poetical Oratory he was master of, and really has Exceeded what I thought him Capable of. the Guards with our Messenger have taken him back and we are now debateing by Candle Light, while I write to a Friend I think will never fall under a Single Suspicion of Treason to his Country. we have no kind of news. shall write you again soon. whether we shall pass Judgment or suspend it least we Influence the final Judgment on the Charge against him, or whether we shall now admit his resignation are the questions. I suppose Coll. Reed will be the Bearer of this and give you a full and ample Account at least of the state of the Army. I have taken good Care of your Letters. I do sincerely wish you every Happiness. Adeu.
You must make my regards to your Brethren Coll. Hancock, Mr. Cushing and Mr. Paine, and any other Gentlemen who may think it worth while to accept them. Time wont permit and you may add, I have nothing Important to write.
My good Friend Mr. Adams shall write to if possible. Mrs. Warren, one of the Choicest Gifts of Heaven, sets by att the writeing this Postscript and desires her regards to your Honour.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 1
WATERTOWN, Novr. 12th, 1775
DEAR SIR, The Bearer of this I suppose will be Mr. Revere, who Carries you from the Council some very Important dispatches, taken by
a Fish Boat in a Schooner made Prize off and Carried into Beverly.
I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
Among other things there is to be found in one Letter the Success and Effects of your Loyal and Dutiful Petition. Administration from it presumed there must be a Weakness among us. this presumption has Animated and Encouraged them to pursue vigorous measures and exert their whole strength. what will be thought of the piddling Genius now. The five Regiments destined for Boston this Fall are partly arrived and the rest daily Expected. how many are in I cant learn with certainty. it is said they are in Choice Spirits in Boston, tho' they are starveing for wood and fresh Provisions, and in want of Bread. with regard to the Inhabitants they are at least as miserable as ever. it was reported last week that Howe had called upon all that were desirous of leaving the Town to give in their names by a certain time, I think the next day, at 12 o'Clock.1 we Expected proposals for their comeing out but hear no more of this matter. Our Military Movements are much the same as they have been lately. they keep within their walls and we watch them. the want of a certain Article has prevented our being able to do more. with an Abundance of it, some Capital and Grand Stroke would have been struck and perhaps put an End to the War. my Greatest Uneasiness arises from the present State of the two Armies. Ours is new modelling, while theirs is reinforceing. in the new Arrangement of our Army the Regiments are to be reduced from thirty-nine to twenty seven. you will easily conceive the difficulty of doing it without disgusting Soldiers as well as Officers. our own men you know are much attached to perticular Officers, and I hear there is in the Camp much Conversation and Uneasiness on this Subject. I am not in the Cabinet. I hope matters have been well digested and that this Business will end well. it is certainly a Critical Time. Prizes chiefly with wood from the Eastward and Stock, Hay and provisions from Nova Scotia are frequently bringing into our Harbours. if these dont Enrich us, the want of them must distress our Enemies. the Vessel from Ireland is, however, a valuable Prize and has many good Bits on Board. The Intelligence you will have by the Bearer, with the R[oyal] silly Proclamation, 2 will, I presume, put an End to the Petitioning. I shall Expect some Movements worthy of so august a Body. A Declaration of Independency, Treaties with foreign powers, a Test that shall draw a clear and distinguishing Line between Whiggs and Tories, and some other matters in the same stile, however they might formerly be thought Extravagant, may now perhaps be considered by even piddling Genius, as not Exceeding the Line of Moderation. Our General Court was adjourned last Night to the 29th Instant. the two Houses have not parted in the best Humour poor time to altercate. I have not time to give you the State of the Con
I Broadsides (Collections, LXXV.) No. 1826.
2 Of August 23. Broadsides (Collections, LXXV.) No. 1818.
troversy. the appointing Field Officers is the Subject. The Council Claim the Exclusive Right as a Prerogative of the Governour; we claim an Equal Share with them as a part of the Assembly of this Colony by Virtue of your Resolves which are so clear and plain that there is no room for doubt and which, if not rightly understood by us, do distinguish us from the other Colonies by depriving us of a great privilege given them. can an Adherence to the old rotten Charter be a Ballance for haveing the militia in the hands of the People. they have lost much of the Respect and Confidence of the People by their Behaviour on this Occasion. tho the Occasion is malancholy it Excites ridicule in the Gravest among us to see more especially some Individuals among them contending for the Prerogative of the Governour with all the Zeal of Bernard and Hutchinson, the Hauteur and Pomp of Majesty. you would certainly think of some ridiculous Animal apeing a fine Gentleman, or etc. Mr. Revere waits. I must refer you to him for the perticulars of a little Affair last week, the Regulars landing on Sewals Point, etc. I am yours, etc."
My regards to all Friends, perticularly Mr. Adams to whom I wrote per Capt. Mcpherson a few days since. dont think I have not a Respect for your Body. I have, but some of them certainly think themselves either Kings or Governours at least. you wont know them when you get here.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 1
WATERTOWN, Decr. 5th, 1775
MY DEAR SIR, I Received your favour of the 4th November Just before I went Home, where I Tarried for a Rarity about nine or ten days and returned here last Week. I thank you for the Letter and as the Sentiment pleased me much I have made use of it, or part of it, to Counteract that penurious narrow Spirit too often prevailing in a House of Representatives and to Impress upon others the Necessity of Guarding against such an Incompatibility of Offices as we have before very Justly, as well as loudly Complained of. it is indeed too true that the doctrine you mention with regard to School Masters has been preached even in the House, as I am told in the debates on the Tax Bill and they are not Exempted as usual. this is a Circumstance I never knew till the Bill was passed, haveing unluckily been out of the House in every reading of it. I should certainly have Exerted my small Abilities had I been there, in sup
1 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
port of the principles and policy of our Fathers. Our Government, however disposed to promote Virtue and the public and private happiness of the People, is not Considered here as permanent. we are all in Continual Expectation of another Change, and besides the late Conduct of the Council has weakened that Confidence and Reverence necessary to give a well disguised Government its full Operation and Effects. I hope however there will be an End put to that. I believe your and my Friend's Letter will make them more modest. I think I see it, tho' I have not seen the Letter. they say you have left things Just as they were. I wrote to my Friend, J. Adams, two days ago,1 which went yesterday by Capt. Stephenson of the Riflemen. to him I must refer you for all the perticulars I could then recollect. since which the only material things that have taken place are Letters from Arnold in the Neighborhood of Quebec, and some more prizes taken. I suppose you will have the Letters received, or the Copies of them, by this Express. You will by them see that this Arnold is a Genius in this way. he has made a March under such Circumstances, and attended with such difficulties, as modern story cant equal. it must be Compared with Hanibal's over the Alps, or Xenophon's retreat. I think we are in a fine way to have possession of all Canada and perhaps Carleton too. Our Privateers more than answer our Expectations. since the Grand Prize I wrote Mr. Adams of several other vessels have been taken, perticularly one from Scotland dunnaged with Coal and filled up with Bail Goods to a very Considerable Amount and Consigned to James Anderson, who by the way is become a Captain in Gorham's Regiment of Fensible Americans. it is said another Vessel with dry Goods for Canada is also taken and one with Fish from the Land. this Success Confirms the Sentiments I have long had. Fifteen privateers fixed out last June would before this have put an End to the War, or at least have Obliged the Fleet and Army to leave Boston. the state of your dear Town and the remaining Inhabitants there is truly miserable. if the Successor of Gage would have more regard to his word than his predecessor, he wants his humanity. he last week turned ashore at pudding Point three hundred poor miserable Inhabitants, almost destitute of every necessary, and there left them Exposed to the rigour of the Season and it is said five or six died before they could be relieved. the Houses there are no Shelter, the windows are all out, and the floors taken up. this day we are in Expectation of another set being sent out in the same manner, but with the Addition of a Species of Barbarity any but a British Minister or British Soldier would Blush at. we are Informed he has Inoculated them in order the more Effectually to destroy them and spread the Small Pox among us. I have many things to say to you which time wont permit. I
1 Vol. 1. 187, supra.