« AnteriorContinuar »
3. The Congress. the A.D.C. lookd wishfully, the General Shook his Head. No Cannon fired.
4. The Army and Navy of France. Ditto.
5. Genl. W[ashington] and the Army. the General waved the Signal to the Aid with great Earnestness. Another Aid by his Side waved his hand over his head. 13 Cannon. A General Shout and Clap. no Cannon fired after this Toast. I ventured afterwards to ask the General how it came to pass that Congress were not treated with the highest marks of Respect and Distinction and told him I was sorry to see the day when they were not. he said he had his Orders and they were Included in the United States. I told him I thought Genl. W. and the Army were; that I had as great a Respect for Genl. W. and the Army as any Man, but if they were not Included also in the United States I wished they were disbanded. this is the only time we have spoke since his return. I leave you to make your Comments, and to say whether this was oweing to no principle, or to a wish to distinguish the Military above the Civil, or to Contrast himself with Men he had represented as Inimical to the General and Army. but perhaps you wish also to have this subject dismissed as no more Interesting than the other.
We have no News. prizes are frequently comeing in and some Cruisers are Insulting our Coast, and I think the French Squadron too. they have taken a large Number of Vessels. The Count dont Incline to send after them. he has Formed an Opinion that a larger Fleet is on the Coast and these are designed to draw out a part of his Ships and take them; but I am Confident there are not more than three on the Coast. I want to know what you are doing. is the Confederation Compleated. are you takeing any measures for the Appreciation of your Currency. what says. Monsr. Gerard with regard to the Conduct of the Squadron. how stands matters with Spain, etc., etc. we have been Apprehensive of an Attack on this State, but are now pretty easy and generally think the Enemy are going. I have received the money on Jemmy Otis's Order and disposed of it according to your Order, except to Mr. Dana, who I have not seen since I received it. Please to give my regards to your Brethren, perticularly to Mr.
Gerry and Lovel, and desire Mr. Gerry to let me know under his own hand why he has done writing to me. I suppose I am soon to have the pleasure of seeing him here and you the Mortification of looseing his Company and Assistance. I am your Sincere Friend,
JAMES WARREN TO JOHN Adams
MY DEAR SIR, — As I keep no Copies of the Letters I write to you, and have been so Careless as to keep no Memorandum of them I can't recollect either the Number or Contents, but this I am certain of, that they are both Numerous and Lengthy, and that I have not received a Single Line from you. This is equally a subject of Complaint among all your Friends, and I am to be satisfied while I don't find myself distinguished by any perticular marks of Neglect. I don't write to the Embassador, or make any distinction between the Embassador and the Delegate I write to my Friend and use no kind of Ceremony, I leave that to the Great, and the Numerous Courtiers about you, supposeing that my usual familiarity, Carelessness, and sincerity may at least please by way of variety. I know you wish to be minutely Informed of the true state of your Native Country, and I wish I could recollect on the short Notice I have of this opportunity every thing I can Conceive would gratify your Curiosity, as I have but little time I must leave the great Movements of Congress, and the General State of America to the official Letters of Congress, and those perticular ones, you will receive from your Friends, at Philadelphia, the great Seat of Intelligence, and Confine myself pretty much to our own Affairs, and situation. I dare say before this reaches you, you will be Informed of the Train of misfortunes that have attended Count d Estaing's Squadron, and the Consequent ill success of the second Rhode Island Expedition, since which the Enemy have with their usual humanity destroyed the Town of Bedford, and plundered Marthas Vineyard as you will see by the Papers we
shall Inclose you per this opportunity. They have for some time past been Inactive and still, their Fleet principally at New York, which by the Addition of Byron's Squadron now all arrived is formidable, not less than seventeen sail of the Line and a Number of Frigates, with a 60-gun ship and two Frigates Cruising on our Coast. Boston with the French Fleet now here has been supposed their principal Object, and I once did believe they would attempt that, and the destruction of the Sea Coasts of this State but the Season is now so far Advanced, I think they will not risque such an Expedition, besides the Count has by fortifying George's Island and other parts of the Harbour made it Impregnable by Sea. I think no Squadron in Europe could force their way into this Harbour while the French Fleet remain here, and at this Season of the Year it would be Madness to make an Attempt by Sea when in the Bay a Single Night may prove the destruction of the whole of them. I think an Attack by Land equally Improbable because if they make it from Rhode Island and should be Able to penetrate to this Town, and not be Able to carry it, their retreat and supplies would at least be very uncertain. The Conjectures of their future operations are various. Most people think the Enemy will leave the United States, and we are now Informed they have Embarked twelve Regiments at New York soon after the Arrival of a packet there from England. A few days will decide upon all our Uncertainties.
The French officers and Seamen in this Squadron behave themselves Extreemly well; they are indeed the most peaceable, quiet and orderly set of men in their profession I ever saw, but there has Notwithstanding been several disagreable riots and Quarrel's between them and the English Sailors here. I believe set on by the Tories, who wish to blow up a Breeze between us and our New Allies. I wish it was in my power to tell you that the Number and Influence of the Tories here were reduced, but I think they gain ground fast. This I Impute to the Coincideing of the Ambitious Views of a Certain Gentleman here, with the wicked and Timourous views of others. Things at present Appear to be in a strange way. we have no Constitution nor have we any probability of geting one. A Bill for Confiscating the Tories Estates has had two
readings in the House.1 I am told there is no probability of its succeeding on the third; so far from it that even some Members on the B. Seat have without reserve Expressed their Sentiments that they should be suffered to return. Tempora Mutantur. Our Act prescribeing an Oath of Allegiance has had no Effect. Most of the Tories to whom it was tendered have swallowed it without difficulty. few Towns have had resolution enough to Tender it, and where it has been Tendered and refused and the refusers Committed for Transportation, the Council have not had resolution enough to Carry it into Execution; so that while they Complain that their Laws and resolutions are not Executed they themselves set the Example. A Certain Assembly in this State would make a strange Appearance to you, who have been acquainted with vigorous Measures upon the most steady and vigorous principles. Mr. John Pickering is now the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Mr. Nath'll Gorham, who Mr. Adams Calls my Cousin, is Member for Lunenburge where he has resided since the destruction of Charlestown. Edward Bacon is Member for Barnstable, etc., etc. The Boston Members I presume you know. I have before told you that I have no Share in the Conduct of Matters. I was left out by my Town. I have given you the Causes of it. When I quit the Navy Board I shall be a Simple honest Farmer, and shall have nothing to do but humbly to look at the Conduct of public Men, and public Measures. Mr. Paine has never Attended Congress since you left us. Mr. Dana is Just returned. Gen'l Hancock went last June, after he had taken Care of the public here at Election. He returned very soon finding the Climate did not agree with him. He was not gone but about six weeks. It used to agree with him better than with any of you. Perhaps the Air in the President's Seat is purer than it is in more humble Stations. After his return he went on the R. Island Expedition and there staid Just long enough to gain among the Multitude the popular Eclat, and then left it so soon as to make the more discerning laugh. He is making great Entertainments and figureing away in a most Magnificent Manner. The Eyes of
I The act was not passed till April 30, 1779. Acts and Resolves, v. 1056.
many People are open and see his views and Motives, and some of the Judicious think Nothing Necessary but to veer away rope. Last week this day was Assigned for the Choice of Delegates. This early Assignment was the policy of some Men to strike at some of the present delegates with more certain success, and perticularly at Mr. Adams. If the great Man fails he will be Mortified indeed. Yesterday the House voted him a Marquee with all its furniture and Apparatus, for to do them Justice they are very respectful, and ready to gratify him; but this Vote was Unanimously Nonconcurred by the Council, and this is not the only Mortification in that way. The Boston and other frigates have sent in a prize they took since they left France. Your Lady will write you by this opportunity. She was here yesterday. Mrs. Warren is to dine with her tomorrow. You will please to make My Respectful Compliments to your Associates and Believe me to be Your Assured Friend,1
MERCY WARREN TO JOHN ADAMS
SIR, — A Long absence from your Native shore would insure a Welcome to a line from me had I no other Claim to your Attention. But when I can Recur to former Instances of Friendship and indulgence and in addition to that assure you I take up my pen in Compliance with the Repeated request of your Good Lady, I can suppose it possible that Even the most important Negotiations may for a Moment be suspended.
Nor shall the Distance or uncertainty of Conveyance which forbids the hope of a speedy answer, Check my inclination to Converse with a Gentleman, made dear to me by the high style of friendship subsisting between him and the person who Deservedly holds the first place in my Heart, and as I have thus early mentioned this unshaken patriot I will just hint to you that
I Letters from Samuel Adams to James Warren, October II and 14, 1778, are in Writings of Samuel Adams, Iv. 68, 72.