George Washington Papers

From George Washington to James Warren, 12 January 1776

To James Warren

Cambridge 12th Jany 1776

Dear Sir,

Mrs Washington begs the favour of you to give the Inclosed a conveyance to Mrs Warren, when an oppertunity shall offer.1 I am with great esteem Dr Sir Yr Most Obed.

Go: Washington

ALS, MHi: Warren-Adams Collection. The cover is addressed “to The Honble James Warren Esqr. Watertown.”

1Martha Washington wrote to Mercy Warren from Cambridge on 8 Jan.: “Mrs. Washington presents her respectfull compliments to Mrs. Warren and thanks her most cordially for her polite enquire and exceeding kind offer. If the Exigency of affairs in this Camp should make it necessary for her to remove, she cannot but esteem it a happiness to have so friendly an Invitation as Mrs. Warren has given. In the mean while Mrs. Washington cannot help wishing for an oppertunity of shewing every civility in her power to Mrs. Warren, at Head Quarters in Cambridge. The General begs that his best regards may be presented to Mrs. Warren, accompanied with his sincere thanks for her favourable wishes for his honour and success; and joins in wishing Mrs. Warren, the speaker, and their Family, every happiness that is, or can be derived from a speedy, and honourable peace” (Warren-Adams Letters description begins Warren-Adams Letters: Being chiefly a correspondence among John Adams, Samuel Adams, and James Warren. 2 vols. Boston, 1917-25. In Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, vols. 72–73. description ends , 1:200).

Mercy Otis Warren (1728–1814), sister of the Patriot orator James Otis, was an accomplished poet, dramatist, and historian as well as an astute political observer who corresponded at length with many of the American leaders, notably John Adams. She visited Martha Washington at Cambridge sometime in late March or early April not long after the British evacuated Boston. “I was Receiv’d,” Mercy Warren wrote to Abigail Adams on 17 April 1776, “with that politness and Respect shewn in a first interview among the well bred and with the Ease and Cordiallity of Friendship of a much Earlier date. If you wish to hear more of this Ladys Character I will tell you I think the Complacency of her Manners speaks at once the Benevolence of her Heart, and her affability, Candor and Gentleness Quallify her to soften the hours of private Life or to sweeten the Cares of the Hero and smooth the Rugged scenes of War. I did not dine with her though much urge’d, but Engaged to spend the Ensuing day at head quarters. She desired me to Name an Early hour in the Morning when she would send her Chariot And Accompany me to see the Deserted Lines of the Enemy And the Ruins of Charlston” (Butterfield, Adams Family Correspondence description begins Lyman H. Butterfield et al., eds. Adams Family Correspondence. 11 vols. to date. Cambridge, Mass., 1963–. description ends , 1:385–86).

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