Adams Papers

Peter Cunningham to John Adams, 10 September 1777

Peter Cunningham to John Adams

Boston September the 10. 1777

Honner’d Sir

I have been So missfortinate as to be out of my native Country when those unhappy wars began, and have not got home before now. Deturmind to Serve in the United States Service (by Sea) and not Presumeing to Sirlissett any Considerable station on board a Frigate for want of experence in the art of war, I have tacking a masters Berth on board an arm’d Vessell belonging to this State, Cald the Hazard, Commanded by Simmion Sampson, and entended for a Six weeks Cruise. At the time I return, I hope sir, to be Reckermended to you by Some respecttable Jentlemen hear that Shall best now my Capaserty. In the time I am goon I hope Sir you will bare me in mind, and use your great Influance in my be half, to get me appinted to Some office wharein I shall be able to do Service and honner to my Country. I have been and am now, in Perfick’t helth, and am Sir your most Obedant and very humble Servant,

Peter Cunningham1

Their is a thirty six guns frigat now bilding at Newbery—will be redy to Lanch very soon—should be glad And think my Self happy in being Appinted a Liutenant on board her.

Expect to Sail [in all?] next month. Should be highly honerd to have a line from you as soon as wold be Convenant.

RC (Adams Papers). Originally enclosed in Caleb Davis to JA, Boston, same date, which pronounced Cunningham “a Seaman I belive . . . Inferiour to Very few on the Continent,” and recommended him for a lieutenantcy “on Board one of the Continental Frigates” (Adams Papers).

1The writer was a first cousin to JA, being the son of JA’s uncle James and aunt Elizabeth (Boylston) Cunningham of Boston and Dedham. See Adams Genealogy. Cunningham’s service on the state armed vessel Hazard during the next two years is set forth in Mass. Soldiers and Sailors description begins Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Boston, 1896–1908; 17 vols. description ends .

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