From William Tudor
New York 21st. April 1776
I arriv’d in this City last Monday 15th. Instant. I left Boston with much Regret, not so much because I was coming to this unfriendly Town, as because I left that defenceless, or next to it. Nothing had been done towards securing the Harbour except building a Fort on Fort Hill.1 The 5 Regiments left there are neither of them full, and the General Officer who commands the little Army is but little confided in.
Every Thing is extreme dear in this Town. One half the Inhabitants have gone into the Country, and few of the other half appear pleased with their military Visitants.
Barriers are thrown across most of the Streets that lead from the East and North Rivers. Fort George2 is repair’d and the Battery below is almost finished; when these Fortifications are Complete near Seventy Peices of Cannon may be mounted in them. Parties of Fatigue are daily employed in throwing up Works on Long Island, Staten Island and other Places where it is thought necessary for the Security of the City, and in a few Days (if we can have Cannon eno’) I believe we may bid Defiance to an Attack.
The Public Papers contain every Thing new and Mr. Palfrey will give you the Circumstances of this City. I should be exceeding glad to hear from you and am Sir with great Respect Your most obt. Servt.,
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble. John Adams Esq Philadelphia Favor’d by Wm Palfrey Esq”; docketed: “Tudor, Ap. 21. 1776 ansd. Ap. 24.”
1. Fort Hill in Boston was one of the original great hills now leveled. The site is on the north side of Fort Point Channel in modern Boston (Shurtleff, Description of Boston description begins Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, A Topographical and Historical Description of Boston, 3d. edn., Boston, 1890. description ends , p. 162–163; Walter Muir Whitehill, Boston, A Topographical History, Cambridge, 1959, p. 4, 176).
2. At the tip of Manhattan Island, this fort had been built on the site of the old Fort Amsterdam, its position meant to command the two rivers. Below the fort on the water’s edge a large battery had been laid out (Johnston, Campaign around New York and Brooklyn description begins Henry P. Johnston, The Campaign of 1776 around New York and Brooklyn (Long Island Historical Society, Memoirs, vol. 3), Brooklyn, 1878, repr. N.Y., 1971. description ends , p. 36, 55).