Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

the Sea, and every day will bring fresh proofs that she is not. The Springs of her Naval power are dried away.

I have hitherto had the Happiness to find that my Pulse beat in exact Unison with those of my Countrymen. I have venturd with some Freedom to give my Opinion what Congress would do with the Conciliatory Bills, with the Commissioners with the Treaty, etc., etc., and every packet brings us proceedings of Congress, according in Substance, but executed in a Manner infinitely exceeding my Abilities.

Nothing has given me more Joy than the Universal Disdain that is expressed both in public and private Letters at the Idea of Departing from the Treaty and violating the public Faith. This Faith is our American Glory, and it is our Bulwark, it is the only Foundation on which our Union can rest securely, it is the only Support of our Credit both in Finance and Commerce, it is our sole Security for the Assistance of Foreign powers. If the British Court with their Arts could strike it or the Confidence in it we should be undone forever. She would triumph over us after all our Toil and Danger; she would subjugate us more intirely than she ever intended. The Idea of Infidelity cannot be treated with too much Resentment or too much Horror. The Man who can think of it with Patience is a Traitor in his Heart, and ought to be execrated as one who adds the deepest Hypocrisy to the blackest Treason.

Is there a sensible Hypocrite in America who can start a Jealousy that Religion may be in danger, and from whence can this arise? not from France. She claims no Inch of Ground upon your Continent, she claims no legislative Authority over you, no negative upon your Laws, no Right of appointing you Bishops, nor of sending you Missionaries. Besides the Spirit for cruisading for Religion is not in France. The Rage of making Proselytes which has existed in former Centuries is no more. There is a Spirit more liberal here in this Respect than I expected to find. Where has been the danger to the Religion of the protestant Cantons of Switzerland from an Alliance with France, which has subsisted with entire Harmony for 150 Years or thereabouts. But this Subject is fitter for Ridicule than serious Argument, as

nothing can be clearer than that in this enlighten'd tollerant Age, at this vast Distance, without Claim or Colour of Authority, with an express Acknowledgement and Warranty of Sovereignty, this, I had almost said tollerant Nation can never endanger our Religion.

The longer I live in Europe and the more I consider our Affairs the more important our Alliance to France appears to me. it is a Rock upon which we may safely build. narrow and illiberal prejudices peculiar to John Bull, with which I might perhaps have been in some degree infected when I was John Bull, have now no Influence with me. I never was however much of John Bull. I was John Yankee and such I shall live and die. Is G. Britain to be annihilated? No such thing. A Revolution in her Government may possibly take place, but whether in Favor of Despotism or Republicanism is the Question. The Scarcity of Virtue and even the Semblance of it seems an invincible Obstacle to the latter. But the Annihilation of a Nation never takes place. It depends. wholly on herself to determine whether she shall sink down into the Rank of the middling powers of Europe or whether she shall maintain the second place in the Scale, if she continues this War the first will be her Fate, if she stops short in her mad Career and makes peace she may still be in the second predicament. America will grow with astonishing Rapidity and England France and every other Nation in Europe will be the better for her prosperity. Peace which is her dear Delight will be her Wealth and her glory, for I cannot see the Seed of a War with any part of the World in future but with Great Britain, and such States as may be weak enough, if any such there should be, to become her Allies. That such a peace may be speedily concluded and that you and I may return to our Farms to enjoy the Fruits of them, spending our old Age in recounting to our Children the Toils and Dangers we have encounter'd for their Benefit is the Wish of Your Friend and very humble Servant,

JOHN ADAMS

SAMUEL ADAMS TO JAMES Warren

MY DEAR SIR, - As Mr. Dana purposes to set off early tomorrow Morning I am unwilling to omit writing a Letter to you to be deliverd by him. I part with him with great Reluctance, because I esteem him a very valuable Member of Congress. It is a Consolation to me that he has a Seat in the General Assembly, where I am satisfied he will be greatly instrumental in promoting the Reputation and true Interest of our Country. I sincerely regret that you have not a Seat there; nevertheless I hope you will not withdraw your Influence, which though not a Member, you may employ for the publick Good. There are yet remaining some of the old Patriots who have long struggled with you against the publick Enemies. You will derive to yourself great Delight by a Recapitulation, of past Scenes, in a Circle of such Friends, and by joyning with them in further Efforts, you may make your self still more servicable to our great Cause. I know you are engaged in an important Continental Department and your Hands are full of Business; but I hope you will find Time to continue and further to cultivate an Intimacy with the leading Men of that State in the Government of which, I will venture to say, you must again have a great Share. Adieu my Friend.

S. A.

PHILADA., Augt. 9, '78.

JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS1

BOSTON, Augt. 18, 1778

MY DEAR SIR, Since my last which I own was many days ago, I have had the pleasure of several of your favours of the 14th, 15th and 27th July and thank you for them. I think Congress have pitched on a person to settle Ceremonials who will not be in favour of what I hate, pompous parade, etc. I should have voted for you for that reason. in my Opinion all the plainess and simplicity Con

1 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.

sistent with decency should be used on such an Occasion as agreeing best with our Circumstances and profession; but their is such a variant and Inconsistency between the practice and profession of patriots as well as Christians that I can easily Conceive even a Member of Congress Exhibiting on such an Occasion all the Magnificence of Monarchy. I want much to hear of the full Completion of the Confederation. I shall take Care of the Order you sent me and in a few days have it settled. Manley has returned here greatly Chagrined, and full of Bitterness and resentment against you, who he Considers as the principle Occasion of his disappointment. it is Circulated with Industry that you are the patron of McNeil and Intend to have the decision of the Court Martial set aside. You can hardly Conceive with how much pleasure this, and indeed every other Story to your disadvantage is received and propagated here by a Party who are determined at all Events to ruin your Interest. I stop'd their Career in this by reading and telling a paragraph in your Letter relating to that matter. I shall always oppose the measures of this Party. for if I have no partiality for you, I have a prejudice against many of them. I cant bare the Influence of Men who were so hid in Holes and Corners a few Years ago that it was difficult to find them; and when found dared not tell you which side they belonged to. Especially when that Influence is directed against the Capital and most Staunch Friends this Country ever had. those Men must have an Idol. they most of them worship'd Hutchinson; they all now worship another who, if he has not H's Abilities, certainly equals him in Ambition and Exceeds him in Vanity. I wish I could give you a few Anecdotes. they would Excite your Indignation and perhaps ridicule. The servility and flattery I am daily a Witness [of] is disgusting enough.

Mr. Hancock is returned, seems to be in pretty good Health, is gone on the Expedition against R. Island, and there as Major General of this State Commands, as the Newspapers will Inform you, the second Line of the Army. I am told he sollicited the Council to be ordered on this Business, which after some Opposition obtained. What a noble Example of Heroism, as well as Patriotism does this Conduct Exhibit. we want a Homer or a

Virgil to Celebrate it and surely Congress itself must be the Mecenas to prompt and Encourage them.1

We have no News. our Expectations are now fixed on the R. Island Expedition. we are very anxious for the return of the French Fleet, without which I fear it will not Succeed. we have had a hard Gale of Wind and other very unfavourable weather since our Army was Collected. my best regards to Mr. Gerry, Lovel and Dana. I am your Friend.

[No signature.]

JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 2

BOSTON, Augt. 25th, 1778

My Dear Sir, —I wrote you by last Post pretty much in a hurry, nor do I recollect the perticulars of it. I believe there may have been in it some Treason against puppys and villains and some other things, which may Consign it to the Flames before this reaches you, but I think I did not say enough about Capt. Manley. I do think no Caution ought to be used in speaking of his Bravery. with a Command of a Single Ship my opinion is he would equal perhaps any in that respect, tho his Judgment and Abilities might not be equal to others in the direction of more Ships than one. however, between us, I would much rather trust him even there than another I could name, whose pretences to both are more Confident, and besides who believed better in the begining in a Little Schooner Exposed to all the Men of War, and who did more service by makeing prizes. and in short as Capt. Hinman Cant be Expected here in Season for the Ship at Norwich, I do think Manley should have her. As for Capt. Landais, no Exertions of mine shall be wanting to Afford him every Assistance in my power to man his Ship. he rises in my Esteem every day and I have the pleasure to add in that of others too. the other Captains are Convinced that he is Master of his Business, and that with his agreable Manners and disposition force Conviction of the Judicious

I On Hancock's return to Massachusetts, see Writings of Samuel Adams, 1v. 49. 2 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.

« ZurückWeiter »