John Adams to Abigail Adams
Phyladelphia Septr. 18. 1774
I received your very agreable Letter, by Mr. Marston, and have received two others, which gave me much Pleasure. I have wrote several Letters, but whether they have reached you I know not. There is so much Rascallity in the Management of Letters, now come in Fashion, that I am determined to write nothing of Consequence, not even to the Friend of my Bosom, but by Conveyances which I can be sure of.
The Proceedings of the Congress, are all a profound Secret, as yet, except two Votes which were passed Yesterday, and ordered to be printed. You will see them from every Quarter. These Votes were passed in full Congress with perfect Unanimity.1
The Esteem, the Affection, the Admiration, for the People of Boston and the Massachusetts, which were expressed Yesterday, And the fixed Determination that they should be supported, were enough to melt an Heart of Stone. I saw the Tears gush into the Eyes of the old, grave, pacific Quakers of Pensylvania.
You cannot conceive my Dear, the Harry of Business, Visits and Ceremonies which we are obliged to go through.
We have a delicate Course to steer, between too much Activity and too much Insensibility, in our critical interested situation. I flatter myself however, that We shall conduct our Embassy in such a manner as to merit the Approbation of our Country.
It has taken Us much Time to get acquainted with the Tempers, Views, Characters, and Designs of Persons and to let them into the Circumstances of our Province. My dear2 do, intreat every Friend I have to write me. Every Line which comes from our Friends is greedily enquired after, and our Letters have done us vast service.
Middlesex and Suffolk have acquired unbounded Honour here.3
There is No Idea of Submission, here in any Bodies head.
Thank my dear Nabby for her Letter4—tell her it has given me great Spirits. Kiss all my sweet ones for me.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Braintree”; endorsed: “C 1 No 5.” This and JA’s other letters of this date were conveyed by Paul Revere, who had brought the Suffolk Resolves to Philadelphia; see JA to Cranch, 18 Sept., below.
1. These were resolutions approving the proceedings of the Suffolk co. convention held at Dedham and Milton, 6–9 Sept. (the well-known “Suffolk Resolves”), and calling on all the Colonies for continued contributions to alleviate “the distresses of our brethren at Boston.” The Suffolk Resolves and the resolutions thereupon were entered in the Journal, 17 and 18 Sept. (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 1:31–40), and the latter were ordered to be printed in the newspapers. See also JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:134–135.
2. Here JA wrote and then for reasons of his own heavily inked out a word which may be “Charmer.”
3. The Middlesex co. convention held at Concord on 30–31 Aug. had communicated its proceedings to the Massachusetts delegates in Congress, who presented them to Congress on 14 Sept. (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 1:31). The Middlesex Resolves were printed in Boston Gazette, 12 Sept., suppl., and a broadside text is in MHi (Evans description begins Charles Evans and others, comps., American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America [1639–1800], Chicago and Worcester, 1903–1959; 14 vols. description ends 13439).