From James Warren
Watertown July 11. 1775
My dear Sir
I wrote you several days ago, and wrote in a hurry, Expecting the Generals Express would be along before I could finish, but he has been detained, and am told will be on his Journey this Morning. I was much Chagrined Last Evening when setting under a Tree by the Bridge Fessenden rode up from Philadelphia without a Single Letter for me. He says you Complain that you have no Letters. I have Endeavoured to do my part. I Expected we should have rose before this, and I should have got a range over the fields before our Election but I begin to despair. One thing after another continually Crouds upon us. The General thinks he should have more Men. I am of the same opinion. How to get them is our difficulty. We are now raising 1700 for the Express purpose of guarding the Sea Coasts.1 The People are so Engaged at this Busy Season that the Militia if called would come with reluctance, and Tarry but a short time. Just long enough to put the Camp in Confusion. What Course we are to take in Consequence of an Application from the General which now only detains us, I know not. I could wish to have seen more men from the Southward. I always forgot to tell you I have seen your Letter to Gerry, Expressing Mr. Gadsden’ Opinion about fixing out Armed Vessels, and seting up for a Naval power.2 I thought it very happy to have so great an Authority Confirming my own Sentiments, and haveing proposed in Congress Just such a project the beginning of the Session borrowed the Letter to support it, but yet I have not been Able to Effect it. Pickering3 and his politics, the want of Faith, and Ardor in Gerry &c. and above all the want of powder has prevented it. The last is an Objection, tho I think it would be like planting Corn. Ten very good going Sloops from 10 to 16 Guns I am persuaded would clear our Coasts. What would 40 such be to the Continent. Such a determination might make a good figure on your Journals. We are still not a word of news since my last. The Troops were Crossing the Ferry Yesterday in great Numbers.4 Things will not remain long in this situation. I expect Another Action soon, God Grant us Success I believe he will. I have Engaged another Friend to write to you. If it gives you pleasure it will Answer my End. I received it but last Night from Braintree where it was finished.5 The Season here is Hot and very dry. My regards to all Enquireing Friends. I assuredly yours,
RC (Adams Papers).
1. The Provincial Congress made provision for seacoast defense in a resolution of 28 June (Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours. description begins William Lincoln, ed., The Journals of Each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775, and of the Committee of Safety, Boston, 1838. description ends , p. 411–413).
3. John Pickering (1740–1811), brother of Timothy, was a member of the committee on armed vessels with Warren and Gerry. At the time of Warren’s proposal, he opposed any such measure, but later, in a letter to Timothy Pickering, admitted that he might have been wrong (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates description begins John Langdon Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge and Boston, 1873– description ends , 14:482; Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours. description begins William Lincoln, ed., The Journals of Each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775, and of the Committee of Safety, Boston, 1838. description ends , p. 308).
4. That is, crossing from Boston to Charlestown.
5. By “another Friend” Warren may be referring to Mercy Otis Warren. She wrote from Watertown on 5 July (above), but she might have finished her letter in Braintree if, on returning from Watertown, she stopped by the Adams home. She had visited there on her way to Watertown earlier (AA to JA, 5 July, Adams Family Correspondence, 1:240 description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends ). In any case, her letter went by the same express as her husband’s of 7 and 11 July, all three being acknowledged by JA on 23 July (below).