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ness of the Appointment against every prejudice. I suppose you have such direct Intelligence from your Generals that it would be vain, or at least Unnecessary for me to think of giving you any Intelligence of the proceedings at Rhode Island. I may however venture to predict that there is an End of our Expectations from that Expedition. the French Fleet has left them and I think they must retreat and leave the Island. there is no other Alternative but to strike a great and Capital Blow, such an one as the Genius of an Hanibal or a Frederic would dictate, or leave the Island. The French Fleet is hourly Expected here. an Agent from them has applyed to us for Pilots to meet them off Cape Cod and for Sparrs to repair them. I have sent out twelve Pilots and am provideing the Sparrs. the Council have desired us to furnish every thing they have Occasion for. I Consented, but I find they will heave themselves into the hands of those kind of Gentry here who will take Care to make their money of them (I say I, Mr. Deschon is gone to Providence on our Business, Mr. Vernon has been absent six months). I am somewhat perplexed to know how to dispose of the Raleigh and Resistance, which are both ready for Sea 'and would have sailed this day if the Fleet had Continued before Rhode Island.1 I wish I could have the Sentiments of the Marine Committee as soon as possible, tho' I dont know but shall take some measures without, as soon as I can see Count De Estaing. We have no foreign News, nor any other domestic. I am yours Sincerely.
Augt. 27th. The French Fleet do not yet appear. Our Army still Continues on Rhode Island. General Hancock returned last Evening to this Town. it is reported and believed, I suppose, that he is come to order back the French Squadron. if it was reported that he came to arrest the Course of Nature, or reverse the decrees of Providence, there are enough to believe it practicable.
1 They were ordered to cruise off North Carolina, to take armed vessels fitted out by the Goodriches (John, Bridger and William) of Virginia.
HANNAH WINTHROP TO MERCY WARREN
CAMBRIDGE, Aug. 29, 1778
It would be a Vain thing in me to pretend to give you the tidings the occurrences that the fleeting days and weeks present to View especially as you are so nearly connected with one who has so large a share in the Present Scene and who I doubt not communicates freely to you. We who are at a greater distance and can only behold Events as they take place have nothing to do but wonder and patiently wait the Issue. We have lately seen vast numbers of men hieing away for a field of battle hurrying thither with the most Sanguine expectations but the great Mover of Universal Nature has seen fit by the operation of His Stormy winds to check our fond imaginations and we daily have the Mortification of seeing the men return without the Palm of Victory. Our Son the Librarian1 was a Zealous Volunteer and is not yet come back from Camp. The British G-1 P[hillip]s here kept a day of Festivity on the occasion and humanely orderd his officers not to insult our Men on their return. We who live among them must expect to meet with Chagrin as they are always by some Means or other Possest of the Secret many days before we are.
I have lately been Favord with a Review which Contains some lines which gave me great Pleasure. If you have not happend to have seen it or was not the Philomela who sang it I doubt not they will amuse you; but I must beg the Favour you would return them as they Cost me some time in Copying. Rather than detain you from what will give you more pleasure than anything of mine be pleasd to Accept Sincere Affection from your Unalterable Friend,2
I James Winthrop.
2 A letter from Samuel Adams to James Warren, September 1, 1778, is in Writings of Samuel Adams, IV. 52.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 1
BOSTON, Sept. 2d, 1778
MY DEAR SIR, -We are all under Arms. A Fleet of fifteen sail of the Line and seven Frigates appeared in the Bay last Sunday and Yesterday came Close in by the Light House. they are not to be seen this Morning, but I suppose will show themselves again about Noon. we suppose this to be Lord Howe's Squadron Joined by some new Comers. the French Admiral is makeing every disposition to receive them if they Attempt to come in, not only in the Arrangement of his Ships, but by fortifying Nantasket, George's Island, etc., where he has mounted Cannon and landed men. whether they mean to amuse this Squadron till their Troops make a safe retreat to Hallifax, or whether they design to Attack the French even in this port is Uncertain, but I rather think the first. we have a foolish Spirit prevailing with rancour against the French for leaving Rhode Island. I call it a foolish one because in my Opinion, if the Conduct of the French has been bad, Common discretion would dictate silence to us, and that the only thing was to make the best of it at present. this is the doctrine I preach and practise. I cant bear to see the Whiggs falling in with the views of the Tories and Joining with them in a Clamour that may prove greatly Injurious if not ruinous to us. but we have always been plagued more with the Folly of the Whigs than with the wickedness of the Tories. Time wont permit me to add more than that I am your Friend.2
Samuel AdamS TO JAMES Warren
MY DEAR SIR, — The Bearer of this Letter, Ebenezer Hazard Esq, is a sensible Gentleman of good Character, and has had a liberal Education at the College in Princetown. He has a few years
I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
2 A letter from Samuel Adams to James Warren, September 12, 1778, is in Writings of Samuel Adams, IV. 58.
past been at Pains to obtain Copies of publick Records and Manuscripts relating to America. These with such others as he may be able to avail himself of he intends to publish, in hopes that some other Gentleman finding Materials thus collected may be induced to furnish the Publick with the History of the United States. Congress has countenanced his laudable Undertaking. As I am sure you are ready to afford Assistance to a Person disposd to serve Mankind in this or any other Way, (and I can assure you he is a true Republican Whigg) I have taken the Liberty to recommend him to your Patronage. Might he not be permitted to have Access to the Records of our State. Are there not some valuable Manuscripts in the Hands of private Gentlemen in the County of Plymouth or in the Records of that County or Town? The Papers which were carefully collected by the late Revd. and curious Mr. Prince were left to the Hon Mr. Gill. It might perhaps serve Mr. Hazards Purpose to be introducd to that Gentleman. But I forget that you have your Hands full of publick Business. Excuse me my Friend. Adieu. Your affectionate
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 22, '78.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS.1
BOSTON, Septr. 30th, 1778
MY DEAR SIR, - I have received your favours of the 1st and 12th Instant. I shall dismiss the subject of Manley and McNeil, and neither give you any further trouble on that head, nor Expose my Letters to your Critical Comments on a subject so little Interesting. I am glad to find you possessing your Soul in so much peace and Serenity. Contempt is an Excellent Antidote to the Influence of the Arts and Malice of wicked Men on the peace of an honest Man's Mind; but I think I have heard you hold it as Maxim even in Politics not too much to despise your Enemies. perhaps you only mean you dont think my support of any Consequence. You would be surprised at the State of the political I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
System here, at the little and the great Arts that are practised to pull down the fabric of the last twelve Years, and at the prime Conductors. the design seems to be to lay it in ruins and under them to Bury the fabricators. even in the House a motion has been made and supported by several B [Boston] Members to Admit Treasurer Gray, Doctr. Gardner, Jemmy Anderson,1 etc., to return in peace. this will at once without detail give you a view of Matters. however in Justice to the House I must also tell you it did not obtain at that Time and that they are by way of Contrast on a Confiscation Bill; but it Labours very hard, and if it passes at all will not be very Comprehensive. some People of Influence are against the Principle and Consequently every part of it, and some other Great Ones, haveing no principle themselves but their own Ambition and popular Applause, will Contend with violence for the Principle and then reduce it to Nothing by the small Number to be Inserted. the first is to please the Whiggs, the last the Tories, for all are to be pleased and most people will be pleased and Trumpet the praises of some Men, however Inconsistant their Conduct is and however Manifestly Calculated to serve their own Ambitious purposes. The disposition that at first appeared to Cast an Odium on the Count and to discredit our New Allies seems to have entirely subsided and has been succeeded by the most perfect good humour and respect shown them. General Hancock has made most Magnificent Entertainments for the Count and his officers, both at his own and the public Houses and last Week the General Court Entertained them at Dinner in Faneuil Hall with much military Parade. on this Occasion the General had an opportunity of Exhibiting a Specimen of his Military Talents, etc. I cant descend to particulars that I wish to tell you, but as the Papers have not given a List of the Toasts and the Manner in which each was distinguished, having the honour to be present I will give some of them to you.
1. The United States. The A.D.C. was directed to give the Signal for 13 Cannon to fire.
2. the Monarch and Kingdom of France. Ditto.
1 Harrison Gray, Sylvester Gardiner and James Anderson, who were all included in the prescription act of 1778.