Adams Papers
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To John Adams from James Lovell, 21 December 1777

From James Lovell

21st. PM [December 1777]

Dear Sir

After the Resolve for stopping Burgoyne had passed,1 some were of opinion that a State of Facts found by the Committee2 should have preceeded the reasoning. Perhaps you will judge that it is already too laboured a report.

I inclose for your own use the State of Facts alluded to which did not enter into the business of Congress; but was only talked of.

We have intelligence now that 2 Hoits [Howitzers] were thrown into a river; and it is declared that Carleton has scourged some of the returned Canadians to make them take up arms.

Tho’ the Paper containing the affidavits of a prisoner is in Form with its oath yet I cannot myself believe the Savages eat our Flesh.3 Adieu,

J L

I could not get any Resolves passed so as to answer Mr. Izard’s letter4 but will be diligent to do it soon.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble John Adams Esqr. Braintree”; docketed: “Letter from Mr. Lovell to me. 21 Decr. 1777.” Enclosure docketed: “A State of Facts.”

1Which of two possible resolves is meant is not clear. On 1 Dec. the congress, insisting that the convention be adhered to, forbade embarkation of Burgoyne’s army from Rhode Island rather than Boston. On 17 Dec. the congress ordered that any request for alteration in the convention be addressed to it, not to American generals (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 9:982, 1032).

2That is, the committee of R. H. Lee, William Duer, and Francis Dana, appointed on 19 Nov. to examine the accounting of ordnance and other military supplies surrendered by Burgoyne (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 9:939).

3Marked No. 13 in the margin by Lovell, this affidavit has not been found.

4Ralph Izard, who in May had been elected Commissioner to Tuscany, wrote on 6 Oct. to the Committee for Foreign Affairs about Italian hostility toward Britain, optimistically predicting that subsidies and loans would be forthcoming and asking for instructions from the congress (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 7:334; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. description begins Francis Wharton, ed., The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, Washington, 1889; 6 vols. description ends , 2:403).

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