Adams Papers

To John Adams from Benjamin Hichborn, 16 January 1787

Boston 16 Jany 87


Some weeks since I took the freedom to communicate to you a few of my political conjectures—since which every circumstance has concured to establish my Opinion; our State Concerns will at a Crisis in seven days—The Insurgents have threatened to assemble on tuesday day at Worcester to prevent the sitting of the Common pleas to be held there by adjournment on that day—the Governor & Council have ordered out three thousand Six hundred Men from the Militia under the Command of Genl: Lincoln to oppose them if they appear, & to hunt up & arrest the Leaders of them if they should decline a trial of Strength in the Field—I presume you know or will know before this reaches you that our late General Court have suspended the habeas Corpus act & given authority by Governor and Council to arrest & imprison in any part of the Commonwealth any person whom they shall Suspect is unfriendly to Government and whose enlargement is dangerous to the public peace & Safety. Thus armed they mean to purge the State in a few weeks of all its internal Enemies. The Sea-port-towns in general are in favour of governmental Measures—the Country in general against them, taken together, I imagine a majority are neutral—I think there can be no doubt without a miraculous interference but the Government troops will prevail in present Conflict—but where it will finally terminate I will not venture to guess—The Country in general are much disgusted with Bowdoin, they say he is a Frenchman in-with the British unfriendly to their peace & happiness & not worthy of their confidence Stef Higginson Jno Lowell Thop Parsons & that set adore him & get most of the Men or property in maritime Towns to joine them in Sentiment—but I beleive notwithstanding their joint efforts this will prove the last year of his Reign under the present Constitution—Lincoln would have had many votes had he not engaged in the present Expedition, but I believe the part he must act on this occasion, will leave Hancock almost without a Rival in the Country at the next Election—

Congress are raising Troops but I believe they will soon determine that they have not the means of supporting a federal Government & return home or obtain a Convention of Delegates from the States to give Congress new power which will [answer] the End of their appointment—I presume this heard you have better Information than I [can] [. . .] shall therefore spare observations which the [. . .] justify—as I mean to be unreserved [. . .] I suppose all your other Correspondents will be continuing—I cannot omit mentioning that I suppose Gorham the late President of Congress has some expectations of being chosen Governor the next Year, but I have not the least doubt of his being disappointed—I presume you have all our Acts of Government & the Newspapers transmitted you, but I shall enclose two of the last lest your other Friends shoud not have an opportunity by this Ship which I expect will sail in half an hour—I feel myself exceedingly obliged by friendly attention to my Brother Gardener—Please to present my Respects to Mrs. Adams & believe sincerely, with / great esteem Yr Friend & Servt

B. Hichborn

MHi: Adams Papers.

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