Adams Papers

[Account with Massachusetts as a Delegate to the Continental Congress, April–August 1775.]
[from the Diary of John Adams]

[Account with Massachusetts as a Delegate to the Continental Congress, April–August 1775.] 1

Mass. Bay Dr. to John Adams
£ s d
To the Hire of two Horses at £10 each 20: 0: 0
To the Hire of a Sulky £8:0s:0d2 8: 0: 0
To the Wages of a servant from the 26 of April to the 14th. of August at £3 per Month 10:16:0 10: 16: 0
To Cash paid Mrs. Yard in Philadelphia for Board and Lodging for myself and Servant &c. Pensylvania Currency £38:13s:6d3 30: 18: 10
To Cash paid Hannah Hiltzheimer for keeping my Horses 4: 16: 3
To Cash paid Dibley & Stringer for keeping my Horses Pen. Currency £8:13s:8 1/2d 7: 0: 0
To Cash paid Messrs. Marshalls for Sundry Medicines 0: 8: 0
79: 19: 14

By Cash recd. 100: 0: 0
carried with me, when I went 50: 0: 0
borrowed out of Money for the Sufferers, at one Time5 31: 0: 0
at another 12: 0: 0

To Cash paid Daniel Smith for Sundries as pr Rect. 2: 8: 06
To Cash paid J Young for Sundries 3: 0: 07
To Cash paid at Horse Neck for a Saddle8 3: 0: 0
To cash paid for a light Suit of Cloaths 4: 0: 0
To Cash paid for my Expences, keeping two Horses and a servants Expences, upon the Road from Braintree to Philadelphia, and from thence to Braintree together with Sundry miscellaneous Expences, while there 26: 12: 11
To 2 Days Spent, in riding after Mr. Cushing before I went away, to get the Money granted me for my Expences Self and Horse 0: 18: 09
To the Hire of an Horse and Man to go to Providence, after my Money which Mr. Cushing said was carried there10
To the Hire of the second Horse and Man to the same Place for the same Purpose, not having obtaind it the first Time.
To Cash paid Mr. Joseph Bass for a Surtout and Pair of Leather Breeches before I went—the Breeches were not brought out of Boston, the 19th of April and there they now are in Mr. Whitwells shop as he told me at Hartford [3:] [16:] [0]11
To Cash pd. the owner of a sulky for the Damage done to it, by the Horse taking fright and running vs. a Rock and dashing the Top in Pieces [12:] [0:] [0]12

1From D/JA/22B, as are the other accounts which follow in 1775 unless otherwise indicated. This is JA’s running record of expenses; he later prepared a fair copy and submitted it to the General Court, together with a file of receipted bills as vouchers, in order to obtain reimbursement. The fair copy, which is in M-Ar: vol. 210, varies in some respects from the rough record; see the notes below. The supporting vouchers are also in M-Ar: vol. 210, but in disorder. Since they throw some light on modes of travel and living on the eve of the Revolution, and since we have no diary entries for this period, the more interesting among them are printed below as separate entries, usually under the dates they were receipted.

2Fair copy in M-Ar adds: “from April to December.” The sulky belonged to AA’s father, Rev. William Smith, and met with an unhappy fate. See last entry in the present document, and JA to AA, 8 May 1775 (Adams Papers; JA-AA, Familiar Letters description begins Familiar Letters of John Adams and His Wife Abigail Adams, during the Revolution. With a Memoir of Mrs. Adams, ed. Charles Francis Adams, New York, 1876. description ends , p. 54–55).

3The ratio of Philadelphia currency to New England “lawful money” was as 5 is to 4. This must be kept in mind when comparing the receipted bills below with the corresponding account entries.

4Error for £81 19s. id.

5JA had been a member of the committee to receive donations for the sufferers under the Boston Port Act since the summer of 1774; see note on entry of 10 Aug. 1774, above. Returning from Philadelphia in Aug. 1775, he brought with him donations from Berks and Bucks cos., Penna., in the amount of £208 15s. lid.; see his receipt from Moses Gill, 12 Sept. 1775 (Adams Papers).

6Fair copy has, instead, £3 0s. od. Smith’s receipted bill, printed below under 10 July, is in the amount of £2 17s. 2d., Philadelphia currency, so that neither figure given by JA is exactly right.

7This item is omitted in the fair copy, though JA submitted a supporting voucher for it, printed below under 31 July.

8Fair copy adds: “after my Sulky was overset and destroyed.”

9This entry does not appear in the fair copy. The entries that follow are separated from those that precede by a blank page in the MS, and no sums are attached to them.

10This and the following entry obviously repeat the preceding entry in more specific language; neither of them is in the fair copy.

11The figure is supplied from the fair copy.

12The figure is supplied from the fair copy, which also has a total, £134 8s. od., followed by the signed statement: “A true Account, Errors excepted John Adams.” This is correct for JA’s account as he submitted it for payment. For the settlement, see JA’s Account for Aug.– Dec. 1775, below, and note 4 there.

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