Adams Papers

To John Adams from Benjamin Lincoln, 8 March 1789

Hingham March 8h. 1789

Dear Sir

When at the close of the war I left public life I had not the least idea of ever returning to it again—I then supposed that by the exercise of industry & œconomy (in the habits of them I was early educated) in private pursuits I should be able to give bread to my family in the evening of life, but painful to relate, things are much changed from causes over which I had no controul. From the deranged state of the continental funds, and the little hope there was that any thing, soon, would be received from the treasury of the United States I was induced to vest the property I had in continental securities, in uncultivated lands in the eastern part of this commonwealth—The property I have in State securities is no longer productive, and from the temper of many, there is little hope that it will soon if ever become so–Finding my self thus embarrassed, for I entered the war with no other property than a small New England farm, a considerable part of which I spent during the contest, I was induced to accept the office of Lieutenant Governour, as the emoluments of that office united with the pay as commander of the Castle, gave an honorable support to my predecessor—I was not a favorite the command of that fortress therefore was with held from me—I need not tell you sir what has taken place since inthe General Court respecting my self nor represent how much I have been chagrened and mortified by their neglect nor say to you that there appears little hope that things will be better.—Thus sir after forty years close application to business I am deprived of those means of support on which I leaned with too much confidence for my own interest and happiness and am now left with prospects much more unfavorable than when I entered life hence I am induced to say that if in the general arrangement of offices there should be one, which, in your opinion, I could fill with advantage to the public and honour to my self and one to which I could approach with equal pretensions to any other I shall be made happy by being remembred—I have suggested similar ideas to the General.

I have the honour of being / Dear Sir with the greatest / esteem your obedient / Servant

B Lincoln

MHi: Adams Papers.

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