Adams Papers
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From John Adams to James Warren, 12 August 1777

To James Warren

Phila. Aug. 12. 1777

Dear Sir

I see by the Papers, our Assembly is called, and conclude it is now Sitting.

The Letters we receive from G. Schuyler, are enough to frighten any Body who does not know him.1

G[eneral] W[ashington] Says that all the Regiments from N.H. and M.B. are at the Northward and yet, Schuyler tells Us he has not above 4000 Men. I hope this Matter will be investigated. I believe Gates will find greater Numbers. If not I hope they will be sent him.

Burgoigne is treading dangerous Ground, and proper Exertions will ruin him. These I hope will not be wanting.

I rejoice to see such a Spirit arise upon the Loss of Ti. and such determined Calls for Inquiry. The Facts must be Stated from the Returns and other Evidence, and the innocent will be I hope acquitted—the guilty meet their Deserts. I see no Medium, I confess, between an honourable Acquittal and capital Punishment.

What is become of Howe? The Jersies are very happy, relieved from an heavy Burthen. What Fears were propagated in Boston last January, that the Jersies were lost. Not a single Village, has revolted.

We have Still Accounts of part of Howes Fleet, coasting between the Capes of Delaware and those of Cheasapeak. What this Mans design is, cannot be conjectured. It is very deep or very Shallow.

Washington has been here with a noble Army, very obedient, and orderly.2

Our News from France, is agreable.3 Trade, Friendship Assistance underhand, and Loans of Money, for the present—other Things by and by. I am &c.

RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr J A. Lettr Augt 77.”

1Two letters from Schuyler, one to Washington dated 1 Aug. and one to Hancock of 4 Aug., were read in the congress on 7 and 11 Aug., respectively. The pessimism of both is marked. The general described an “unaccountable panic” among troops on the march whenever a few Indians shot at them from the woods. He ex­pected Burgoyne readily to reach Albany unless reinforcements in considerable numbers were furnished and doubted that they would be. He complained that the Massachusetts militia in departing had depleted Col. Seth Warner’s forces, and he expected others to leave in a few days. Of his 4,000 Continental men, one-third were Negroes, boys, and old men, and many of the officers were a disgrace to even such contemptible troops (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 8:621, 628; PCC, No. 152, IV, f. 447–448; No. 153, III, f. 230–232).

2Washington’s army began arriving in Philadelphia in the night of 31 July, ready to defend the city against invasion. The British fleet had arrived in Delaware Bay (JA to AA, 1 Aug., Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963-. description ends , 2:297).

3In letters and accompanying documents from the Commissioners, 12 March to 26 May (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 , 2:283–327; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, Washington, 1921–1936; 8 vols. description ends , 2:436).

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