1777 Saturday Novr. 15th.1
At Willis’s at the Log Goal in New Jersey 28 miles from Easton.
1777 Tuesday Novr. 11. Sett off from York Town—reached Lancaster. 12. From Lancaster to Reading. Slept at Gen. Mifflins.2 13. Reached Strickser’s. 14. Dined at Bethlehem. Slept at Easton at Coll. Hoopers. Supped at Coll. Deans.
Met Messrs. Elery and Dana and Coll. Brown on the 15 a few miles on this Side of Reading.
We have had 5 days of very severe Weather, raw, cold, frosty, snowy. This cold comes from afar. The Lakes Champlain and George have been boisterous, if not frozen. Will the Enemy evacuate Ti[conderog]a? Are they supplied with Prov[isions] for the Winter? Can they bring em from Canada? by Water or Ice? Can they get them in the Neighbouring Country?
Can We take Mt. Independence in the Winter?
1. In Congress, 7 Nov., “Ordered, That Mr. Samuel Adams, and Mr. J[ohn] Adams, have leave of absence to visit their families” (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 9:880). The Adamses had waited to make this application until they supposed the text of the Articles of Confederation, debate over which had occupied Congress intermittently since early April, was complete. Actually a final text was not agreed to and spread on the Journal until 15 Nov. (same, p. 907–928); in this form it was to be printed and submitted to the states for adoption. Meanwhile, on the nth, the Adamses set off from York, as appears from the retrospective entries incorporated in the present entry.
Some of the varied reasons for JA’s retirement from Congress at this time are given in his Autobiography, at the beginning of Part Two, entitled “Travels and Negotiations.” The reasons were largely personal. After four years of almost continuous service in Congress he needed to repair his health; and his business, farm, and family required his attention.
2. At Reading JA paid Gen. Mifflin “92 dollars in Behalf of Mr. Hiltsheimer ... for keeping one Horse to the 11. Aug. and another to the 19. Septr.” This was a charge incurred in Philadelphia which JA had failed to pay because of his hurried departure. Mifflin’s receipt for this payment, dated 13 Nov. 1777, is in the Adams Papers.