Adams Papers
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To John Adams from James Warren, 1 January 1779

From James Warren

Plymo. N E. Jany. 1. 1779

My Dear Sir

I keep no Copies of Letters and therefore am Unable to refer to the dates or the Contents. I know I have wrote you many and some of them very Lengthy. The Contents may be of no great Consequence whether they are lost or received. How many you have wrote me, you can best tell, only one has yett reached me. I have been now ten days from the Capital, and therefore Unable to give you such Intelligence as I might if there. However I beleive you will not get much from there at this Time Nothing very Remarkable haveing taken place the last three weeks I was at Boston. The Papers that will be sent by the Navy Board by this Good Oppertunity and your Friend the Marquiss Fayate will give you every thing you can wish to know from here.1 The principal Subject of Conversation seems to be a Letter lately published by Mr. Deane Attacking with great Freedom the Character and Conduct of Doctr. Lee, and Indeed that of his whole Family.2 This Letter if neither Elegant or Nervous, is Calculated to Command the Attention, and fix the prejudices of the People and is designed to strike deep, as neither Congress or Individuals that Compose it are spared.

It is no difficult Matter to Engage the prejudices of the people in a Country where Jealousy is Excited on the Slightest Surmise.

Whether the Author has sufficient Grounds for his Charges against Doctr. Lee, and for his Complaints against Congress, or whether this is a political dust he designs to avail himself of, you can better tell in France than I can here. If Dr. Lee and his Connections are guilty of Treachery or any Misconduct I hope they will be discovered and they punished, but I must own at present I doubt it, and Some People think the Author might as well have bent his Attention to clear himself from some Insinuations not much to his Advantage. However let Matters be as they May this has a Tendency to Lessen the Confidence of the People in <their> Congress, and to Create Factions that may Injure the Common Cause. The Tories have by such means a full Swing for their Arts, which they Improve to the greatest Advantage. I say Nothing to you of the State of our Currency and other difficulties we have to Struggle with. The Enemy still retain N York and R Island. The French and English Squadrons are supposed to be gone to the West Indies, from whence we Expect great Events. Mrs. Adams writes you by this opportunity. Your pretty Daughter is here on a Winter’s Visit to Mrs. Warren. She is very well, and wont own that she is not happy. I am with every Wish for Your Happiness Your Friend & Servt

J Warren

RC (Adams Papers.)

1Lafayette carried the official notification of Franklin’s appointment as the minister plenipotentiary to France, and letters from AA to JA of 13 and 27 Dec. and presumably that to JQA of 15 Dec. 1778 (Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– description ends , 3:135–138, 139–141; see also James Lovell to JA, 24 Oct., note 3, above).

2For JA’s reaction to the attack on the Lees and their loyalty to the American cause in Silas Deane’s address, “To the Free and Virtuous Citizens of America,” first printed in the Pennsylvania Packet of 5 Dec. 1778 and then reprinted in the Boston Independent Chronicle of 31 Dec., see his letter to Vergennes of 11 Feb. 1779 (below).

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