To George Washington
Philadelphia April 1. 1776
The Bearer of this Letter Francis Dana Esqr. of Cambridge,1 is a Gentleman of Family, Fortune and Education, returned in the last Packett from London where he has been about a Year. He has ever maintained an excellent Character in his Country, and a warm Friendship for the American Cause. He returns to share with his Friends in their Dangers, and their Triumphs. I have done myself the Honour to give him this Letter, for the sake of introducing him to your Acquaintance, as he has frequently expressed to me a Desire to embrace the first opportunity of paying his Respects to a Character, So highly esteemed, and so justly admired throughout all Europe, as well as America. Mr. Dana will Satisfy you, that We have no Reason to expect Peace from Britain.
I congratulate you, sir, as well as all the Friends of Mankind on the Reduction of Boston, an Event which appeared to me of so great and decisive Importance, that the next Morning after the Arrival of the News, I did myself the Honour to move, for the Thanks of Congress to your Excellency and that a Medal of Gold should be struck, in Commemoration of it.2 Congress have been pleased to appoint me, with two other Gentlemen to prepare a Device. I should be very happy to have your Excellencys Sentiments concerning a proper one.3 I have the Honour to be, with very great Respect, sir, your most obedient and affectionate servant,
RC (DLC: Washington Papers); addressed: “To his Excellency, George Washington Esqr Commander in Chief of the American Forces Boston favoured by Francis Dana Esq.”; docketed: “John Adams Esq 1st April 1776.”
1. Dana (1743–1811) had gone to England in early 1775 in hope of finding some basis for accommodation by working through English supporters of the colonies, but he had become convinced that separation was the only course (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; 20 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends ). Dana later accompanied JA on his second mission to Europe in 1779 as secretary of legation. For a long sketch of Dana and his relationship with the Adamses see Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 1:362, note 1, and Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:403, note 1.
3. In his brief reply to this letter Washington promised to show Dana “every Civility in my power” and left the design of the medal to the committee (Washington to JA, 15 April, Adams Papers).