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frigate, I lay upon the tiller case and both my Nephews with one of the Officers in his birth. It is perpetually Dr. Franklin's practice to employ his wicked tools; a number of whom he keeps always connected with him, to accuse others of the crimes of which he is himself guilty. His recal is to be movd for on monday, but I do not think it will be carried.
By the latest advices from Europe 53 Sail of the british W. and E. India fleets were safe in spanish ports with 1500 land forces bound for the E. Indies.1 We may compute their value at 3 million sterlg. which is a most dreadful blow and must bankrupt half the Nation. Clinton with 3500 troops has landed at Portsmouth in Virginia and is overrunning the Country which is very illprepard to repel him.
I beg you will not forget my most respectful Compliments to Mrs. Warren. It is no flattery to say that I never met with a Lady whose conversation pleased me more, and of whose esteem I shoud be more flatterd.
If you shoud be in town please to remember me to the President and his Family, to Capt. Bradford Mr. Vernon, Dr. Cooper and other friends. I have the honor to be with the greatest esteem, Dear Sir, your most Obedt Servt
P.S. Oct. 31st. By the latest intelligence we learn that Cornwallis had began a precipitate retreat from Charlotte, and it was thought the cause of it was some attack made upon their possessions by the Spaniards, Genl Grean and Baron Steuben.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 2
BOSTON, Novr. 2d, 1780
MY DEAR SIR, -This day has Compleated all our Elections Except for a Lieut. Governor in the room of Mr. Bowdoin, who refused. Tomorrow that is to be done and I suppose will be in the same stile. it is Impossible to describe to you in its full Extent the
I Taken on August 7.
2 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
prevalence of a Certain Influence here. the Papers will at least shew you that it Exceeds any that ever took place in any Country, and if it be as lasting as it is violent and Extensive, will be a Singular Phenomenon. indeed, I had no hand in the matter haveing gone to [Plymouth] the Saturday before and not knowing till I got Home that I was a Representative. when I returned I found things as they were. but in the whole System (for a System it is) Nothing Excited my resentment so much as the Neglect you are treated with. neither your Beloved Town, the County, the State, or the Two Houses have shewn any Gratitude for your many and great Services, and the Man who had the greatest hand in the greatest revolution in the world, in the Choice of a Secretary, could not be supported in Competition with Mr. Avery. I have feelings on this Occasion which I shall not Attempt to describe in a Letter. Mr. Bowdoin, Genl. Ward and myself had the highest Numbers of Votes for Lieut. Governor, but the House selected Mr. Bowdoin and Coll. Orne for the Senate to take one from, who they will select tomorrow, I neither know nor Care. Mr. Powel has been Chose a Senator this day in the room of Mr. Bowdoin and Mr. Jona. Greenleaf in the room of Mr. Gerry, and the former Elected President. [Some lines erased and others struck out.] every thing past is forgot and every Body that will not worship the great Image is to be treated in that way, and the man that formed and fashioned it, not for the purposes of Idolatry but public good has not Escaped.1
MERCY WARREN TO JOHN ADAMS
BOSTON, November 15, 1780
SIR, - I put a Letter of Introduction into the Hand of a Son who has since unfortunately been made a prisoner by the Portland Man of War, and though held as an Hostage till the fulfilment of Certain Conditions Mentioned in a Cartel sent to Boston, he has been treated with Great Humanity and politeness, by Admiral
1 The rest of the letter is missing.
Edwards,1 and by late Letters I find he purposes to pursue his Voyage to Europe, and if he meets with no New Disappointment in England, it will not be long before he will reach Paris, where agreable to your friendly and polite invitation he will immediately wait on you.
I believe I may venture to say he is a youth who will by no part of his Conduct disgrace the Recommendations of his Friends, or disappoint the Expectations of the parent. Yet whoever enters at an early period, amidst a World of strangers and traverses a stage where art, not Nature reigns, ought to be well acquainted with himself, as well as with the History of Man, to parry the Intrigues laid for Innocence, and even thus Guarded, without the aid of Experience he may be liable to many inconveniences in a Country where politeness assumes the air of Friendship, where Refinement is wrought up into the Exstream of Elegance, and Luxury heightened by a systematical desire to please.
I am sir too well acquainted with your disposition to think it necessary to ask your philosophic Hints, which united with his own Good sense, I trust will lead him through with approbation.
Shall I again repeat that I think myself Happy in the full Confidence of Friendship with a Gentleman at once so competent to advise, Direct, and aid, and so Ready to point the youthful ardor of early years to that Line of Conduct which leads to Happiness.
His Views are chiefly of a Commercial Nature, but improved by Industry and Observation, it may be a Happy Opportunity of Qualifying for more extensive usefulness. I once thought I should have trembled for the safety of a son, in the Morning of Expectation, in the Zenith of Warm hope, steping into the Larger Theatres of Intrigue, Bussiness, and Luxuriant Taste.
But I have now no Idea that the Morals of youth can suffer much by leaving Boston for any part of Europe, and the Change of Manners in this Country has brought me to bid Defiance to any disagreable Consequences from a Change of place. A thousand things on this occasion might flow from the lip of Maternal tenderness, did not Civility to you, and an Attention to your public Avocation, forbid.
1 Richard Edwards. See Allen, A Naval History of the American Revolution, 625.
I shall therfore only add on this subject, if my son reaches your Residence, whither it be in France or Holland, I am sure of a New proof of your Friendship to the Father, in the Explicit opinions you will occasionally give, both of Men, and Manners, and the kind assistance you will confer (if necessary) to the prosperity of a Beloved Son. as I understand he destroyed most of his Letters on the Capture of the Pallas, the above is nearly a copy of a few Lines designed for you dated May 15th, '80.
In that was hinted the situation of your Country, the Various opinions of priests, polititians, statsmen, soldiers and courtiers, with regard to the Establishment of Civil Government in the Common Wealth of Massachusetts. The Arrangement of officers under the New Constitution you will have from other hands, and a Detail of the administration, as well as opperation, of a system, so compleat in all its parts, that the Wishes of all parties are concentered in one Great Object, and Whigs and Tories, Infidel and Religionists all agree that some portion of Idolitry is Necessary for the support of the political Machine. of course the Daily Incense is offered in the Capital, and the Guilded puppet placed on the public Theatre a few years ago (for certain purposses) is Become the Idol to whom the supple Homage of Adulation is paid, by a people once Disinterested, Firm, Discerning, and Tenatious of Their Rights.
That tinture of Enthusiasm which is perhaps characteristic of the North American is now heated with the Emulation of Exhibiting the Highest Instances of Worship. yet the Image whose Feet are of Clay,1 may in a short time become as the Chaff of the summer Threshing Floor, unless like another Pisastratus, for the sake of prolonging his power, he should Govern according to the Minutest Forms of the Constitution.
Forgive this little sally. was you sir in this City you would not Wonder. Addresses, Assemblys, Entertainments and Balls have ushered in the Happy Era of Republicanism. if this Infant Common Wealth can thus stand in its pupilage, when Time has Matured its strength, and the Horrors of War are Dispeled, will it not become the Wonder of the World. But I forbear. I inI Hancock.
tended no political observations when I began, least amidst the complicated scenes arround us, I might be led to say something to the Disadvantage of my Country, if it should chance to be perused by any Eye but yours. . . .
SAMUEL ADAMS TO JAMES Warren
PHILADELPHIA, Novr. 20th, 1780
MY DEAR SIR, In your Letter of the 17th of Septr. which is still before me you say, that "the Tongue of Malice has always been employd against me," and in mentioning it, you discover the Feelings of a Friend. It may perhaps in some Measure relieve those Feelings, if I tell you that it serves to make me the more Watchful over my self, lest by any Misconduct, I should afford Occasion to malicious Men, to say that of me which would give me just Cause to be ashamd. It is said to be a Misfortune to a Man, when all speak well of him. Is it then an Advantage to a Man, that he has Enemies? It may be so, if he has Wisdom to make a good Use of them. We are apt to be partial, in our own Judgment of our selves. Our Friends are either blind to our Faults, or not faithful enough to tell us of them. The malicious Man will utter all Manner of Evil of us, and contrive Means to send it post haste to our Ears. and if among much Slander, they say some Truths, what have we to do, but to correct past Errors, and guard against future ones. The Report you mention as propagated of me, is groundless. Would any Man in his Senses, who wishes that the War may be carried on with Vigor, prefer the temporary and expensive Drafts of Militia, to a permanent and well appointed Army. But Envy knows no other Business than to calumniate?
Mr. Penny [Penet] has deliverd me your Favor of the 2d Instant. He has also brought us a Paper which exhibits a Picture of the Times. You express too much Resentment at the Ingratitude which you imagine has been shown to your Friend - that his Name has not been found in any of the Lists, and especially,