From Samuel Holden Parsons
New York 13th. Augt. 1776
My sincere Thanks are due to my Friend in Congress for the unexpected Honor, done me in my late Preferment. As it was unsolicited and unthought of by me, I cannot but feel the most grateful Sense of the Obligation my Friends have laid me Under by this Token of their Esteem for me. I wish I may discharge the Duties of this important Trust in a Manner which may fully Answer the just Expectations of my Country and Friends. I beg Leave to recommend to your Notice my Friend Captain Thomas Dier1 of Col. Durkee’s Regiment as person Suitable to discharge with Honor the Duty of a Major in that Regiment. This is One Instance wherein I agree the Rule of Succession will not be for the best Good. The first Captain by the best Information I can get, perhaps possesses not a Single Qualification for that Office, except his Rank, Mr. Diar is the next in Rank, and will do Honor to the Appointment. Capt. James Chapman of my Quondam Regiment2 is an Officer of Unquestionable Abilities and Universally beloved and Esteemed and I suppose would have a Universal Suffrage in the Regiment, if called for, I therefore beg your Friendship for him to be Major of that Regiment. I am with great Respect & Esteem Yr. Friend & hl Servt3
Saml H. Parsons
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Hon John Adams Esqr. Member of Congress in Philadelphia”; stamped: “N*York. Aug:14 FREE”; docketed: “G. Parsons Aut 13. 1776.”
1. Dyer of the 20th Continental Infantry was a son of Eliphalet Dyer of Connecticut. He was promoted on 19 Aug. (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. 23).
2. Chapman was made major of the 10th Continental Infantry on 15 Aug. (same 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. 21).
3. JA answered this letter and another from Parsons of 15 Aug. (below) on 19 Aug. and from his Letterbook copied his answer into his Autobiography, where it is printed (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 3:447–449.