Adams Papers

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 21 September 1776

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Septr. 21. 1776

Yours of Septr. 9.1 I have received. Septr. 5. I sent you another Cannister by Mr. Hare. I have only Time to tell you I am not worse in Health than I have been. Where are your new Delegates? None arrived here yet. Our People are as lazy and slothfull, as Congress.2

LbC (Adams Papers).

17 Sept., above; see note 1 on that letter.

2The General Court during its session of Sept.–Oct. 1776 took no action on JA’s repeated pleas to enlarge the Massachusetts delegation and to send replacements promptly. On 19 Sept. Speaker James Warren wrote JA from Watertown: “We have not yet made an addition to our Delegates, no Body seems to be against it, many are Indifferent about it, and those who wish to have it done, are at a loss where to find the men; so it is procrastinated and left to the next setting” (Adams Papers). JA drafted a reply, 5 Oct., in so angry and bitter a vein that, cooling off almost immediately after he had written it, he appended this note below the text in his letterbook: “not sent, nor fit to be sent.” During its next session the General Court at length, 15 Nov.–10 Dec., reelected JA and his four colleagues and added two more delegates, James Lovell and Francis Dana; and on 4 Feb. 1777 it went a little further by resolving that “any two or more of the said Delegates, Representing this State in Congress, being the major part present, be, and hereby are, vested with all the powers with which any three . . . were vested” previously (Mass., House Jour. description begins Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts [1715– ], Boston, reprinted by the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1919–. (For the years for which reprints are not yet available, the original printings are cited, by year and session.) description ends , 1776–1777, p. 157; JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 7:25–26, 169–170).

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