Adams Papers

To John Adams from Thomas McKean, 18 November 1782

From Thomas McKean

Philadelphia. Novemr. 18th. 1782.—


This will be handed to you by Mr: Randell, a merchant formerly of New-York; he is recommended to me by His Excellency the present President of Congress as a friend to his Country: As such permit me to introduce him to your acquaintance, which he has warmly sollicited.

I have little news to communicate, and the sudden departure of the Bearer prevents your knowing what there is from me, but I shall refer you to him. You have no doubt learnt that the Enemy long since evacuated Savannah in Georgia; you may believe they have done the same by Charlestown about the Beginning of this month, tho’ we as yet have no official or certain account of it. New-York is still in their possession, but we have just heard they are at present in great consternation there; the cause we can scarce form a conjecture about. Our army is better cloathed, better disciplined, in better spirits and more effective than at any period of the war; Congress is still composed of virtuous men; and the people in general are such as you wish them to be. Money seems to be our greatest want, and salutary steps are prosecuting concerning it; I flatter myself funds will soon be established sufficiently productive for the public exigences, but if this should in part fail, we must rely somewhat on our Allies, our industry, œconomy & integrity.—

We long to hear from you, having received no official Accounts from Europe since the 5th. Septemr.— The last was from Mr. Laurens—1 His most amiable son, Lieutt. Colo: Laurens, was killed in a battle near Charlestown. You may expect soon our old friend Mr: Jefferson of Virginia at Paris, as a Commissioner of Peace.

I am, Sir, with every possible regard / Your Excellency’s / most obedient humble servant

Tho M:Kean

P.S. The army is gone into Winter Quarters.—

RC (Adams Papers).

1Laurens’ letter largely concerned his health, efforts to return to America through England, and his possible exchange for Cornwallis (Laurens, Papers description begins The Papers of Henry Laurens, ed. Philip M. Hamer, George C. Rogers Jr., David R. Chesnutt, C. James Taylor, and others, Columbia, S.C., 1968–2003; 16 vols. description ends , 16:7–10). But Laurens also enclosed a copy of Alleyne Fitzherbert’s commission, which JA had sent him on 18 Aug. (vol. 13:242–243).

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