Adams Papers

From John Adams to James Warren, 3 December 1775

To James Warren

Philadelphia Decr. 3. 17751

My dear Sir

I have only Time to acquaint you that Congress have ordered the arrears of Pay to be discharged to the soldiers and one Months Advance Pay to be made. No Bounty nor any allowance for Lunar Months.2

I have a Thousand Things to say—But no Time. Our Army must be reconciled to these Terms, or We shall be ruined for what I know. The Expenses accumulating upon the Continent are so vast and boundless that We shall be bankrupt if not frugal.

I lately had an opportunity, suddenly, of mentioning two very deserving officers, Thomas Crafts Junior who now lives at Leominster and George Trot who lives at Braintree to be, the first a Lt. Colonel the second a Major of the Regiment of Artillery under Coll. Knox.3 These are young Men under forty, excellent officers, very modest, civil, sensible, and of prodigious Merit as well as suffering in the American Cause. If they are neglected I shall be very mad, and kick and Foume like fury. Congress have ordered their Names to be sent to the General, and if he thinks they can be promoted without giving Disgust and making Uneasiness in the Regiment, to give them Commissions. Gen. Washington knows neither of them. They have too much Merit and Modesty to thrust themselves forward and solicit, as has been the Manner of too many. But they are excellent officers, and have done great Things both in the political and military Way. In short vast Injustice will be done if they are not provided for. Several Captains in the Artillery Regiment were privates under these officers in Paddocks Company.4 Captain Crafts who is I believe the first Captain, is a younger Brother to Thomas.5 I believe that Burbeck, Mason, Foster &c. would have no objection.6

The Merit of these Men from the Year 1764 to this day, has been very great tho not known to every Body. My Conscience tells me they ought to be promoted. They have more Merit between you and me than half the Generals in the Army.

RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “Mr J Adams. Decr 1775.”

1This and one to AA of the same date are the last known letters written by JA from Philadelphia in 1775. On 8 Dec., “worn down with long and uninterrupted Labour,” JA successfully requested the congress for permission to return to Massachusetts. On 9 Dec. he began his journey, arriving in Braintree on 21 Dec. (JA to AA, 3 Dec., Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 1:331; Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 3:350; 2:223–224 and notes).

2The congress took this action on 1 and 3 Dec. (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 3:394, 400; compare James Warren to JA, 14 Nov., note 12, above).

3On 2 Dec. the congress established the organization of the artillery regiment and recommended that Crafts and Trott be appointed field officers (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 3:399). When Washington offered them commissions, however, Trott chose not to serve and Crafts’ “ambition was not fully gratified by the offer of a Majority” rather than a lieutenant colonelcy (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 , 4:161; see also James Warren to JA, 11 Dec. and Thomas Crafts Jr. to JA, 16 Dec., both below).

4For a partial listing of the officers and men of Capt. Adino Paddock’s artillery company, see Thomas J. Abernethy, American Artillery Regiments in the Revolutionary War, unpubl. bound typescript, MHi, p. 4–5.

5Capt. Edward Crafts (Mass. Soldiers and Sailors description begins Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Boston, 1896–1908; 17 vols. description ends , 4:64).

6William Burbeck, David Mason, and Thomas Waite Foster, all officers under Richard Gridley and later Henry Knox (Heitman, Register Continental Army description begins Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution, new edn., Washington, 1914. description ends , p. 133, 383, 234).

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