From Joseph Palmer
Boston April 16th. 1777
I have too many kinds of public business, to admit my looking into the matter of Finances, and examining the Same with that precision which the Subject demands;1 but some methods must be taken, as Speedily as possible, to sink the Bills of Credit. Taxes will draw in large Quantities, and Lotteries will operate in aid to Taxes: And I think that you ought to borrow hard Money; ¼ the Sum emitted in Bills, will, in hard Cash, form a Sum Sufficient to establish the Credit of the other ¾. We have in contemplation, a Lottery for seting up and carrying on the Manufactures of Salt, Lead, Sulphur, Allum and Copperas. And we are forming a Sinking Fund for Annuities upon Lives. If we had some Men of leisure, who wou’d attend to the Subject of Finances, I doubt not but other means of increasing the public revenue, might be pointed out. We have also in contemplation, to lay a duty of per Cent upon the Prizes brought into this State. And we are now revising the regulating Bill.2
My most respectful Compliments attend your Brother Members; I have wrote a few lines to Mr. Hancock, and inclosed a Copy of a Report of a Committee respecting Boston Harbor, and accompanied with some Plans, which you will See.
Your Family and Friends are all well, so far as I know. Mrs. Howard, late Mrs. Mayhew, was buried yesterday. My Mrs. Palmer fails very fast; I feel very apprehensive about her.3
Adieu my dear Sir, and pray let me hear from you as often as is convenient. I remain your truly affect. Friend & Servt:
RC (Adams Papers).
2. Which measure Palmer meant by the “regulating Bill” is not certain. For the regulatory law governing vessels leaving the state, see JA to James Warren, 6 April, note 3 (above). Two other regulatory laws were undergoing reconsideration in this period: the ban on the export of certain commodities and the setting of prices on a long list of products. The first of these was being considered for repeal, the second for revisions and better enforcement (William Tudor to JA, 16 March, notes 3 and 4, above; Mass., House Jour. description begins Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts [1715-], Boston, reprinted by the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1919-. (For the years for which reprints are not yet available, the original printings are cited, by year and session.) description ends , 1776–1777, 5th sess., p. 279, 287).
3. Mrs. Palmer did not die until 1790.