Adams Papers

To John Adams from Joseph Palmer, 16 April 1777

From Joseph Palmer

Boston April 16th. 1777

Dear Sir

I have too many kinds of public business, to admit my looking into the matter of Finances, and examining the Same with that precision which the Subject demands;1 but some methods must be taken, as Speedily as possible, to sink the Bills of Credit. Taxes will draw in large Quantities, and Lotteries will operate in aid to Taxes: And I think that you ought to borrow hard Money; ¼ the Sum emitted in Bills, will, in hard Cash, form a Sum Sufficient to establish the Credit of the other ¾. We have in contemplation, a Lottery for seting up and carrying on the Manufactures of Salt, Lead, Sulphur, Allum and Copperas. And we are forming a Sinking Fund for Annuities upon Lives. If we had some Men of leisure, who wou’d attend to the Subject of Finances, I doubt not but other means of increasing the public revenue, might be pointed out. We have also in contemplation, to lay a duty of per Cent upon the Prizes brought into this State. And we are now revising the regulating Bill.2

My most respectful Compliments attend your Brother Members; I have wrote a few lines to Mr. Hancock, and inclosed a Copy of a Report of a Committee respecting Boston Harbor, and accompanied with some Plans, which you will See.

Your Family and Friends are all well, so far as I know. Mrs. Howard, late Mrs. Mayhew, was buried yesterday. My Mrs. Palmer fails very fast; I feel very apprehensive about her.3

Adieu my dear Sir, and pray let me hear from you as often as is convenient. I remain your truly affect. Friend & Servt:

J: Palmer

RC (Adams Papers).

1Palmer was answering JA’s request for advice of 20 Feb. (above).

2Which measure Palmer meant by the “regulating Bill” is not certain. For the regulatory law governing vessels leaving the state, see JA to James Warren, 6 April, note 3 (above). Two other regulatory laws were undergoing reconsideration in this period: the ban on the export of certain commodities and the setting of prices on a long list of products. The first of these was being considered for repeal, the second for revisions and better enforcement (William Tudor to JA, 16 March, notes 3 and 4, above; 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, 5th sess., p. 279, 287).

3Mrs. Palmer did not die until 1790.

Index Entries