Adams Papers
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From John Adams to James Warren, 10 July 1775

To James Warren

Philadelphia July 10th. 1775

Dr Sir

I have just Time to inclose You, a Declaration and an Address. How you will like them I know not.1

A Petition was Sent Yesterday, by Mr. Richard Penn in one ship and a Duplicate goes in another Ship, this day.2 In exchange for these Petitions, Declarations and Addresses, I Suppose We shall receive Bills of Attainder and other such like Expressions of Esteem and Kindness.

This Forenoon has been Spent in an Examination of a Mr. Kirtland a worthy Missionary among the Oneida Indians.3 He was very usefull last Winter among all the Six Nations, by interpreting and explaining the Proceedings of the Continental Congress, and by representing the Union and Power of the Colonies, as well as the Nature of the Dispute.

The Congress inclines to wait for Dispatches from General Washington before they make any Alteration, in the Rank of the Generals, least they should make Some other Mistake. But every Body is well inclined to place General Thomas in the Stead of Pomroy.

You must not communicate, without great Discretion what I write about our Proceedings, for all that I hint to you is not yet public. I am &c.,

RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “July 1775.”

1The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity for Taking Up Arms and the Address to the Inhabitants of Great Britain. The first was passed on 6 July, the other on 8 July (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 2:127–157, 162–171).

2The Olive Branch Petition, or second petition to the King, was carried to England by Richard Penn (1735–1811), the grandson of William Penn and lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, 1771–1773. Although he did not support the American cause, he performed his mission, answering questions about conditions in America while the petition was being considered in the House of Lords (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 ). The King, however, refused to give any answer to the colonists’ petition.

3Rev. Samuel Kirkland (1741–1808), a missionary to the Oneida Indians, was instrumental in 1774 and 1775 in preventing the outbreak of a general Indian war that might have complicated the Revolution or even produced the need for British aid. In 1775 he persuaded the Oneidas to declare their neutrality and obtained a general declaration of neutrality from the Six Nations that was, however, not kept. Kirkland did manage to keep the Oneidas and Tuscaroras loyal to America, and during the war he directed Oneida scouts, who gained valuable information on the movement of British troops (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 ). On 18 July the congress resolved to pay Kirkland $300 for his expenses and recommended that he be employed among the Six Nations to secure their friendship and neutrality (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 2:187).

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