Adams Papers

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 26 October 1777

John Adams to Abigail Adams

York Town Octr. 26. 1777

My dearest Friend

Mr. Colman goes off for Boston Tomorrow.

I have seized a Moment, to congratulate you on the great and glorious Success of our Arms at the Northward, and in Delaware River. The Forts at Province Island and Red Bank have been defended, with a Magnanimity, which will give our Country a Reputation in Europe.

Coll. Green repulsed the Enemy from Red bank and took Count Donop and his Aid Prisoners. Coll. Smith repulsed a bold Attack upon Fort Mifflin, and our Gallies disabled two Men of War a 64 and 20 Gun ship in such a Manner, that the Enemy blew them up. This comes confirmed this Evening, in Letters from Gen. Washington inclosing Original Letters from Officers in the Forts.1

Congress will appoint a Thanksgiving, and one Cause of it ought to be that the Glory of turning the Tide of Arms, is not immediately due to the Commander in Chief, nor to southern Troops. If it had been, Idolatry, and Adulation would have been unbounded, so excessive as to endanger our Liberties for what I know.

Now We can allow a certain Citizen to be wise, virtuous, and good, without thinking him a Deity or a saviour.

RC (Adams Papers).

1Washington’s letter of 24 Oct. informing Congress of the bitter (and, so far, successful) fighting cn 21–22 Oct. to keep control of Forts Mifflin and Mercer on the Delaware below Philadelphia, with large extracts of his enclosures, are printed in Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick description begins The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, Washington, 1931–1944; 39 vols. description ends , 9:422–424. They were read in Congress on the 27th (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 9:841). Col. Christopher Greene, of the 1st Rhode Island regiment, was voted a sword by Congress on 4 Nov. (same, p. 862).

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