Adams Papers

To John Adams from Isaac Smith Sr., 29 February 1776

From Isaac Smith Sr.

Salem Feby: the 29. 1776

Mr. Adams

I wrote you One or two letters not knowing of your being coming home all that time.1 We have nothing Material in this quarter.2 By some people a few days since Out of Boston they seem to think they will move off soon, As the Transports seem to be in readiness to receive any thing On board, and that there are Apprizements on the Friends of goverments Estate but I apprehend itt differantly that is that in case of any Attack upon them they may have everything ready to imbark, and that incase of the distructions of Estates in a day of reckoning they may be Accounted for, but att present dont see any end can be Answer’d by itt was such a thing ever to be put in Execution as itt would not put an end to the disputes. The Newbury Yankey Hero has taken Another White Haven Man.3 By a paper of the 16 Novr. has some things in itt which we have not had before which suppose you will have from the General. Is there any probability of a trade being open to foreighn ports. The brig of Mr. Gearey fited Out by our Goverment has met with such an imbaresment as am of Opinion wont be Allowed to return there being a dificulty in the Customs which iff referd to Madrid which I suspect is the case4 of course Our Minister will know of itt and put a stop to her coming itt being now more than three Months when Nothing else hinderd her.

We have two ships stationd here and Marblehead, Manley and One or two believe will sail to day iff can get by.

Our family are well and your hum. servant,

Isaac Smith

P.S. A few Nights Ago seven people belonging to One of the Above ships Tenders took the boat and got ashore att Manchester, there being but 10 more Aboad, she is gone up to Boston to get more hands.

RC (Adams Papers).

1That is, he wrote to Philadelphia, not knowing JA was in Massachusetts. See Smith’s letters of 2 and 19 Jan. in Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 1:339, 342. The Adams Papers Editorial Files list 59 letters exchanged between the two men from 29 Feb. 1776 to 20 June 1786. Since Smith was AA’s uncle, his correspondence with JA has been printed in Series II, but space limitations and the large volume of correspondence for 1776 resulted in 9 letters for that year being held out for possible inclusion in JA, Papers description begins Papers of John Adams, ed. Robert J. Taylor and others, Cambridge, 1977– . description ends . These letters will appear in this and succeeding volumes of the Papers when they meet the criteria for inclusion in Series III.

2Terminal punctuation supplied.

3The Yankee Hero, a Newburyport privateer, took a two-hundred-ton brig bound from White Haven Harbor, Nova Scotia, to Boston with supplies for the army there (Boston Gazette, 4 March).

4Probably Elbridge Gerry’s ship the Rockingham, which sailed in July 1775 for Spain under the auspices of Massachusetts to procure gunpowder, but which never returned to America. It was detained at St. Antonio, Spain (George Billias, Elbridge Gerry, N.Y., 1976, p. 125–126). Smith’s concern may have been provoked by an account from Cadiz, taken from a London newspaper and printed in the Boston Gazette of 4 March, that two vessels carrying ammunition for America had been stopped at the request of the British consul. See also Smith to JA, 27 March, Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 1:365.

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