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must therefore Conclude this Scroll wrote in hurry and Confusion and am your sincere Friend [No signature.]
Lord Stanhope's Son and another, said to be a relation of Lord North's, were Intercepted at Rhode Island in one of their Night Walks and secured. One of them offered 100 Guineas and his Gold Watch to be released. I think Stanhope Commanded a small armed Vessel.
JAMES WARREN to Samuel Adams 1
WATERTOWN, Decr. 19, 1775
MY DEAR SIR, — I have but very short notice of this Opportunity. you will therefore escape the Trouble of a long Letter from me at this time. you will doubtless be Informed by the General of the Military Operations, in what manner and when the Army began and advanced their works on Lechmore's Point, and of the Cannonading and Bombardment that has Ensued, and of the Success of it, of the several Prizes our Privateers have taken, and of the Loss of one of the Continental Privateers taken and Carried into Boston. it is said the People are sent to England. I shall therefore leave all those matters and, after Congratulating you on our Success in Canada and wishing for the Completion of our wishes in that quarter, tell you a little General Court News, and ask a little Congress News in return. the Capital matters we are Engaged in are regulating the Militia, paying of the Soldiery, aiding and assisting the Quartermaster General in Supplying the Army with Hay and wood, two very scarce Articles, fixing out Vessels for Importing Powder, etc., promoteing the Manufacture of Arms and Salt Petre, Building Powder Mills, and in short every thing else. it is Impossible to describe the Business we have to do. it is Increased, perhaps doubled, by this Colony being so much the Seat of War. we are to begin this day upon the Consideration of a Militia Bill reported yesterday. there being an End of the Contest between the two Houses I hope we shall get a good one. we are Emitting 75,000 more, not dareing to trust to a remittance from Philadelphia. Hay and wood have given us a deal of trouble. they are dear, but they are very scarce. the General has at times thought the People here Extravagant in their demands, and that they took unreasonable Advantages, while the Circumstances are such as would command the same or greater price for both if no Army was here and the Importation of Eastern wood stopd. to reconcile the General to these Sentiments to avoid any Imputation of that kind from the Continent and at the same time do Justice and give I From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
satisfaction to our own People. It is Labor, etc. we are fixing out ten Vessels for powder, etc. these are all to go to the foreign W. Indies. We Conceive by your resolves we are not at Liberty to carry any produce, etc., to any other place, therefore, tho we have fine merchantable Fish we do not Ship it to Spain, where probably we might get powder, etc., with more certainty and less money. was this Intended or was it an Inadvertency.1 the Manufacture of Salt petre is flourishing here beyond our Expectations. we have a Committee to Build two powder Mills, one at Sutton, the other at Stoughton.
when are we to hear of your Confederation, proposed in your last Session. is it not time to have the Constitution of our supream Legislative accurately fixd and fully Established and known. you have recommended to us to make a Law against harbouring deserters. I wish you would recommend to all the Colonies to, make similar and severe Acts against the Violaters of the Association! it appears to us Important and I believe must be done. the Soldiery in Boston are very sickly and Extremely distressed for necessaries; ours are healthy, vigorous and spirited. the Inlistments rather Increase. we last Fryday Chose delegates to represent us in Congress from the last of January next to the last of December. the only Alteration is Gerry in the room of Cushing, whose Absence could no longer be dispensed with! the Important Post he holds in the County of Suffolk requireing his Attendance may be the reason. I have not time to add one word more and Indeed can hardly recollect what I have wrote. My regards to my Friend Adams. I wrote him by last Post. should like to learn whether he or you ever receive any from me. Adeu.
What are become of the papers sent him by Coll. Reed which you said diverted you.
May Vessels be permitted to go to the W. Indies and elsewhere in Ballast to purchase molasses, etc. I dont know that it is against any of your resolves, and those Articles may be wanted. but then all the hard money will go. what Effect that may have on our Currency, etc., may be worth Considering. do let me have your Opinion as soon as you can on this subject.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 3
MY DEAR SIR, - I now set down to write to you after a longer Interval than the Obligations I readily Acknowledge myself under for your sev
1 Vol. 1. 203, supra.
2 Journals of the Continental Congress, 111. 324. 3 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.
eral favours can Justify. since my last I have been to Plymouth and been so Crouded with Business here that I have not been able to gratify my own Inclinations, or Comply with your desires. Very few things, however, have turned up here worthy of your Notice. The Military Operations are the same now as they have been for Months past, purely defensive and Guarding against the Excursions of the Enemy, Excepting a Little Affair which happened last Monday Night, which tho' not very Important was well Executed and is not without good Effects, Inureing our Soldiers to Service, giveing them fresh Spirits and Encourageing Inlistments. I mean the Burning the Houses at Charlestown, the perticulars of which, I dare say, you will have before this reaches you.
I wish it was in my power to give you a more favourable Account of the state of the Army than it is. The Inlistments by no means answer my Expectations, nor can I account for this Backwardness in a way satisfactory to myself. I cannot give you the Exact Numbers, but doubt whether they exceed 10 or 11,000 after all the Amazeing diligence and Trouble of the General, assisted by Endeavours of Individuals, as well as the General Court. I am very anxious about this matter. it is high time that our Army was Established. I could have wished that some other Mode had at first been adopted, but it is now too late to rectify any original Error. we must go on and do as well as we can. I shall only mention to you that I think the service has suffered and the Inlistments been Embarrassd by the low state in which you keep your Treasury here. had the General been able to have paid of the old army to the last of December, when their Term Expired, and to give Assurances for the pay of the Militia when their Continuance in the Army should End it might have produced many good Effects and, among others, added some Thousands to the Army. you will be surprised, perhaps, when I tell you there is but about 10,000 dollars here and that left by the necessary Parsimony of the General, not knowing what Occasion there might be for a little. The time for which our Militia came in Ends tomorrow. we have presumed so much on the publick Spirit of our Countryman as to make no other provision, tho' every thing depends on their staying, and they wish to be at Home. our House adjourned Yesterday Morning and the Members went down among them to use their Influence. I flatter myself the most of them will stay to the last of this Month. our Naval Operations have been for a while suspended, the Privateers mostly hauled up. I can therefore give you no Account of any late Captures. I hear they are again fixing and hope they will soon have their usual Success. Our General Court are Extremely Busy. the Business Crouding on them is, Indeed, without Bounds, besides the Common Business; and the availing ourselves of our present Situation to make some and repeal other Laws, the necessary At
tention we are obliged to give the Army is a very great Addition to it. Could your Congress be sensible of our Assiduity, and the Chearfulness with which we submit to the Trouble and a great Expense of Time and Money for the publick good, it would of itself be an Irrefragable Argument of the publick Spirit which reigns here. The Continent calls for aid to the Army in wood, Hay, Blankets, Men, etc., are of themselves sufficient to Employ us the length of our usual Sessions. we have, however, been so long used to Climbing Mountains that we go on with a perseverance that demands Admiration. I am sensible the Circumstances you mention must give you pain. they are, indeed, not just. you must, however, Extend your Charity and make Allowances to some of the Authors. I really believe the great perplexities they have been Involved in have prevented their seeing things in their true Light. The principle thing peculiar to ourselves that we have been Engaged in is a Militia Bill, which with much difficulty is now nearly Compleated. It is too lengthy and would be too tedious to give you a perticular Account of. it may suffice to say that all poles from sixteen to fifty, with the usual Exceptions, are to form the Train Band, and the Alarm much as usual. it provides for three Major Generals in the Colony, and a Brigadier in every County where are more than one Regiment, who, with the Field Officers of the Regiments are to be chosen by either House with the Concurrence of the other, and Commissioned by the Council. A ship is arrived at Falmouth which left England the beginning of November. by her we have the Addresses of both Houses in the usual state, some Additions to the Minority. Parliament and Administration going on the same way as usual, etc., etc., which are things of no great Consequence. The passengers relate some Interesting Facts: that the People begin to feel and stirr themselves; that 1800 Troops sailed for Boston were drove back by hard gales of wind in a shattered Condition; that 13,000 Sheep and Hoggs were shipd and sailed for Boston drove back and lost, which are to be ranked in that Train of Events Providence has ordered for the Salvation of this Country. you are to have the Papers from the General and so I shall add no more, but Improve the Little Time left me to Enquire whether your Congress should not by this time have a fixed Constitution that we may know and Consider as permanent; whether it is not time that you should form your Alliances as the has his. what is become of your Fleet. what is the destination of the French Armament in the West Indies, and whether you cant Improve so favourable a Circumstance to our Advantage, etc., etc. if we are not yet ripe for wise, prudent and Spirited measures when shall we be. but I must leave these Enquiries and Expect that if Consistent with your Engagements and Honour you will tell me more than I ask for. Our Good Friend, Mr. J. Adams, will set out in a week or ten
days. I wish him with you, as I think this must be an Important Crisis and I hope will produce great Events. I am with the greatest Sincerity your Friend
We are Improveing the Manufactory of Saltpetre with great rapidity. we Expect in three weeks Newberry Port alone will make 100 lbs. per day. Powder Mills are also Building.
No News from Canada later than 5 Dec. when the Armies were Joined, reinforced by Canadians and in good Health and Spirits, and all Appearances favourable.
17th. we are now called on for more men to come in till the 1st of April, seven Regiments to consist of 728 each, Connecticut for four, N. Hampshire for two, in all thirteen, all which will but Compleat the Army to your Establishment. from which you may Judge of the present Situation of it. Two Prizes Carried in Yesterday to Newberry Port by a small Privateer, one a Ship from London with Coal and Porter, the other a Brigantine from Ireland with Provisions.
JAMES WARREN TO SAMUEL ADAMS 1
MY DEAR SIR, - I have little more Time than to Express my Obligations to you for your several Favours since my last. if you conceive the pleasure with which I receive and read your Letters I am sure your Benevolence would prompt you to continue writing even if the proportion of your Letters to mine, I mean in Number, should be as six to one. Our Valuable Friends, Mr. J. Adams, and Gerry, left us last Thursday, and I hope will be with you soon, from them you will learn the State of things here, Civil and Military, more Compleatly than I could give it you in a Volume. I shall therefore give you no Trouble about matters that had taken place before they left us, and very little has happened since. Manly last week took two Ships from Whitehaven, with Coal, Beer, Potatoes, and some other small Articles. a Tender came to their relief with a Force superiour to Manley's, but he Bravely Beat Him off and Triumphantly Carried them into Plymouth. Advices from Canada, I suppose, you have as soon as we. I am glad to hear our Friends were all well before Quebec on the 14th Instant. Our Militia, I believe, will Come in agreable to the summons of the Court. we hear from some Towns that more are Inlisted than their Quota, and I hope will Join the Army at the
1 From the Samuel Adams Papers in the New York Public Library.