John Adams to Abigail Adams
Baltimore Feby: 7. 1777
I am at last after a great deal of Difficulty, settled in comfortable Quarters, but at an infinite Expence. . . .1 The Price I pay for my Board is more moderate than any other Gentlemen give, excepting my Colleagues, who are all in the same Quarters,2 and at the same Rates except Mr. H[ancock] who keeps an House by himself.
The Prices of Things here, are much more intollerable than at Boston.
The Attempt of New England to regulate Prices, is extreamly popular in Congress, who will recommend an Imitation of it to the other States: for my own Part I expect only a partial and a temporary Relief from it. And I fear that after a Time the Evils will break out with greater Violence. The Water will flow with greater Rapidity for having been dammed up for a Time. The only radical Cure will be to stop the Emission of more Paper, and to draw in some that is already out, and devise Means effectually to support the Credit of the Rest.3
To this End We must begin forthwith to tax the People, as largely as the distressed Circumstances of the Country will bear. We must raise the Interest from four to six Per Cent. We must if possible borrow Silver and Gold from abroad. We must, above all Things, endeavour this Winter, to gain farther Advantages of the Enemy, that our Power may be in somewhat higher Reputation than it is, or rather than it has been.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. John Adams Braintree favoured by Mr. Hall”; docketed in pencil by AA. LbC (Adams Papers).
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. “at Mrs. Ross’es in Markett Street, Baltimore a few Doors below the fountain Inn” (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:257).
3. See JA’s speeches in Congress on this subject, 10 and 14 Feb., as recorded in Benjamin Rush’s minutes of debates (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 , 2:245, 252). On the Massachusetts pricefixing act of Jan. 1777, see AA to JA, 8 Feb., below, and note there.