« ZurückWeiter »
States of Georgia, Maryland, Delaware and Jersey pressing them to authorize their Delegates to joyn in this most necessary Transaction. I believe there will [be] no Difficulty except with Maryland, and she will finally accede. The Articles have undergone no Alterations.
The french Minister arrivd in this City on Lords Day, and the day following, last Monday the Delegates of Massachusetts Bay paid him their Complements in Form. I know not that those of any other State have observd this Ceremony. It appeard to us highly proper. We were receivd with Politeness, and heard some handsome Things said of the State we have the Honor to repre
The Minister plenipotentiary deliverd to Congress a Letter from his Sovereign expressd in the strongest Terms of Affection and Friendship.
I can at present add no more than to inform you, that your Nephew, the Son of my old Friend James Otis Esq, came into this City a few Days ago with the Intention of purchasing some Necessaries, but being destitute of Cash his Friends were under a Necessity of Supplying him with the Sum of twenty pounds Lawful Money for the Repayment of which I have taken his written Request to his Grandfather, agreably to his own Proposal. I have indorsed the order and inclosd it in this Letter. I know not whether this will altogether meet with Approbation; I was the rather inclind to interest myself for this young Gentleman, because I have been satisfactorily informd that he has behavd well in his military Character. I gave my best Advice respecting his Morals. When you receive the Money you will please to repay to Mr. Hancock fourteen Dollars and thirteen and two thirds to Mr. Dana, (both which Gentlemen will be at Boston shortly) and the Remainder to Mrs. A., upon Notice of which I will account with two other Gentlemen concernd, Mr. Holten and Colo. Pickering. I remain your very affectionate
Mr. Dana desires his particular Respects to you.
i Probably James Otis, an ensign in Col. Henry Jackson's regiment.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 1
Boston, July 17, 1778 MY DEAR SIR, - I suppose I may now Congratulate you on your return to your Antient and most Convenient Seat Philadelphia. I hope you will now possess it at least as long as you please. we are told the Enemy have suffered great loss in their passage from Philadelphia to York, tho' I could wish they had suffered a Compleat defeat. we have a report of Town that the French Fleet have arrived at the Delaware. I think it high Time to hear of their Arrival somewhere. I hope they will do great service. it is said they are under the directions of Congress. you can hardly Conceive the Uncertainty we have been in about the Military Operations. Gen'l Lee has one day been Exalted by Applauses to the Starrs, and the next Condemned for Capital Offences: at least to the Tryal of a Court Martial for them. We have not a word of News that I can give you, every thing remains here as it did. I shall therefore trouble you no further at this time than to recommend to your Notice and that of my other Friends Capt. Green? the Bearer of this, who came from France as Commander of the Queen of France, and has in all respects Behaved as a Gentleman, and a Friend to America. I Expect a Packet from you soon. I am sure if Numbers and length of Letters are a proper Charge against you the Ballance is against you. I have wrote to your Committee per this Conveyance. do attend to our Letters. I am forced to ask for so many things that I cant repeat them. My best regards to Mr. Gerry and Mr. Lovel. I dont write to the first because I Expect him every day. I am in haste. Your Friend etc.3
I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library. 2 John Green. 3 Letters from Samuel Adams to James Warren, July 20 and 25, 1778, are in Writings of Samuel Adams, iv. 41, 45.
JOHN ADAMS TO JAMES WARREN
Passi, July 26, 1778 MY DEAR SIR, – Yours of  June by Captain Barnes fortunately reached me yesterday. I was much surprised, you may well imagine, at its Contents. But I suppose the Cause of their not electing you to the Council must have been your engagements in the Navy Board.
I am unhappy to learn by the Newspapers that our Constitution is likely to occasion much Alteration in the State, but notwithstanding all our Dissentions, there is a Mass of Prudence and Integrity among our People that will finally conduct them into the right way.
I wish now that I had accepted of your polite offer of your Son. It is however for his Interest, because he may pursue Business there to much better Profit. If Mr. Austin should leave me, I should have occasion for a Clerk, which would afford a young Gentleman a decent subsistence and no more. The Frigates, the Merchandise, the Negotiations and the vast Correspondence we have, render a Clerk indispensably necessary for each of the Commissioners, and for some of them more than one.
Mr. Hancock, Mr. Adams and my respectable successor, Dr. Holten, are gone to Congress, but you don't mention Mr. Paine. Where is he? Earning Twenty thousand dollars a year at the Bar? If he is I wish him Joy and hope in time to arrive at some Part of the same Honour and Profit. Dane, I suppose, is earning Thirty thousands. Upon my word, I think these Gentry ought to throw their Profits into Hotchpotch with a poor Brother at Passi. Where is the Spirit and the Genius of America? To suffer the feeble Remnants of our Enemies in Philadelphia and Rhode Island to come out with such Insolence and burn Houses and Vessels without Retaliation is intolerable.
Will it ever do to think of Race while Great Britain has Canada, Nova Scotia and the Floridas, or any of them? Such a Race will be but short. We shall have perpetual Wars with Britain while she has a foot of Ground in America. But if the belligerent Powers shall be exhausted so as to think of Race, leaving Canada in the Hands of Britain, which I hope they will not, the Boundaries of Canada must be ascertained, and of the Floridas too.
I believe I can tell you a Piece of News. The Cabinet at London have determined to send to their Commissioners in America Instructions to offer you Independence, provided you will make Peace with them separate from France and make a commercial Treaty with them, by which they may retain something like their late Monopoly.
They certainly think that Americans are not Men of Honour. They believe them capable of violating their first Treaty, their first solemn sacred Faith, within a few Moments of its unanimous Ratification. Is it because they have seen, or heard, anything like this Perfidy in Americans, or is it because they feel themselv capable of such Conduct and infer from thence that all other Men are equally so?
Is there a Man in America who would not run all Hazards, who would not suffer the last Extremity, rather than stain the first Page of our History with so foul a Breach of Faith? Is there [one] who would confess and prove to the World that America has no Honour, no Confidence, no faith, no Piety for the sake of avoiding the Evils of War?
But where and how did the King and Council obtain Authority to make such an offer? They have no such Power. Parliament alone can do it.
But they mean no such Thing. They mean only to seduce soldiers to Desertion. They mean only to draw in Congress or some public Body to break their Faith with France, and to do the same Act which shall forfeit the Confidence of all Mankind, and then they think they can manage America. Their object in this Piece of Policy, as in all their others towards America, appears to me to be to seduce, to deceive, and to divide. They must, however, be brought to mingle some sincerity with their Policy before they will succeed. I am as ever, yours.
JOHN ADAMS TO JAMES WARREN
Passy, August 4, 1778 MY DEAR SIR, – Your kind Favor of July 1st was brought here Yesterday from Bordeaux where Capt. Ayres has arrived, but was not deliver'd me till this day, this is only the second received from you. I have infinite Satisfaction in learning from all parts of America the prosperous Train of our Affairs and the Unanimity and Spirit of the people. Every Vessel brings us fresh Occasions of Ardour to the French and of Depression to the English in the War that is now begun in earnest.
The Resolutions of Congress upon the conciliatory Bills, the Address to the People the Ratification of the Treaty, the Answer to the Commissioners, the President's Letter, the Message of G[overnor] Livingston and the Letter of Mr. Drayton are read here with an Avidity that would surprise you. It is not one of the least Misfortunes of Great Britain, that she has to contend with so much Eloquence, that there are such Painters to exhibit her attrocious Actions to the World and transmit them to posterity, every publication of this kind seems to excite the Ardour of the French Nation and of their Fleets and Armies, as much as if they were Americans.
While American Orators are thus employed in perpetuating the Remembrance of the Injustice and Cruelty of G. Britain towards us, the French Fleet has been giving such a Check to her naval Pride as she has not experienced before for many Ages. The Vessel which is to carry this will carry Information of a general Engagement between D'Orvielliers and Keppell, which terminated in a disgraceful Flight of the British Fleet. We hope soon to hear of D'Estaing's Success which would demonstrate to the Universe that Britain is no longer Mistress of the Ocean. But the Events of War are always uncertain and a Misfortune may have happen'd to the French Fleet in America. But even if this should be the Case, which I dont believe, still Britain is not Mistress of
1 July 27. The maneuver failed because of Sir Hugh Palliser's neglect of Keppel's orders.