John Adams to Abigail Adams
Philadelphia July 27. 1776
Disappointed again.—The Post brought me no Letter from you, which I dont wonder at much, nor any Intelligence concerning you, which surprizes me, a good deal. . . .1 I hang upon Tenterhooks. Fifteen days since, you were all inocculated, and I have not yet learned how you have fared. But I will suppose you all better and out of Danger. Why should I torture myself when I cant relieve you?
It makes me happy to hear that the Spirit of Inocculation prevails so generally. I could wish it, more universal. The small Pox has done Us more harm than British Armies, Canadians, Indians, Negroes, Hannoverians, Hessians, and all the rest. We must conquer this formidable Enemy without Hesitation or delay.
Sullivan is here, and in a Miff, at the Promotion of Gates, has asked Leave to resign his Commission.2 I am sorry for this inconsiderate Step. It will hurt him more than the Cause. It is conjectured at New York, I am told, that he expects to be first Man in New Hampshire. If this is really his Motive, he ought to be ashamed of it, and I hope he will be dissappointed.—The Ladies have not half the Zeal for Precedence, that We find every day among the Gentlemen.
The Judge Advocate3 came in this Evening, in fine Health and gay Spirits. The Army is the Place for Health—the Congress the Place of Sickness.—God bless you all.
RC and LbC (Adams Papers).
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. Brig. Gen. John Sullivan asked leave to resign on 26 July because he considered himself slighted by Gates’ recent appointment as major general and commander of the northern army. A committee of which Jefferson was chairman drew a report intended to administer Sullivan “a proper rap of the knuckles” by accepting his resignation. But “on the advice of his friends” Sullivan withdrew his letter before this action was taken. See JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 5:612–613; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd description begins The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd and others, Princeton, 1950–. description ends , 1:477–479, and notes and references there.
3. William Tudor.