Adams Papers
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John Thaxter to John Adams, 20 January 1778

John Thaxter to John Adams

York Town Jany: 20th. 1778

Dear Sir

Mr. Lovell informed me last Evening of your acceptation of the appointment; and also that he should send an express immediately to the Eastward with dispatches, by whom I write.1

I feel a mixture of joy and grief on this event. As a Patriot, I ought to congratulate my Countrymen upon it, as having thereby a glorious prospect of seeing the liberties of America supported by so able an advocate; but as an interested individual the event is exceedingly grievous—as thereby an invaluable friend and patron is lost to me for a time.

We are informed by Genl: Gates (who arrived here yesterday) that a general disaffection prevails mong the Canadians; Genl: Carleton, by scourging and bastinading 20 or 30 prisoners under the convention, has obliged them to enlist. By this Conduct, he has evidenced to the world that he is possessed of a Howe’s humanity and a Burgoyne’s faith. They are fit instruments for executing the wicked projects of the sanguinary Administration of Britain.

It is currently reported here that Genl: Lee is exchanged.2 A man, who saw him in New York, says, that upon asking the Commissary of Prisoners who the Genl: was exchanged for, was answered that it was none of his business, that he was exchanged and that was sufficient. The same man further adds, that the Genl: told him, that he should come out of New York in a day or two.

If there is any thing respecting your domestic matters that can be left to my Care, I will manage them with the utmost Cheerfulness and fidelity.

Permit me, Sir, after most sincerely wishing you a good———and that your life, health and Usefulness may be preserved, to subscribe myself, Your very hble. Sevt.,

J. Thaxter Jr.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble. John Adams Esqr. Braintree”; endorsed: “Mr. thaxter”; docketed by JA in old age: “Jan. 20 1778 Yorktown.”

1Lovell’s letter to JA of the present date, which originally enclosed numerous papers—mostly to be forwarded or to be carried by JA to France—is in Adams Papers.

2A false rumor, like so much else that Thaxter reported from York at third or fourth hand.

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